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Without Consent – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A DishHe probed for the next vessel, clamping and cutting in a similar fashion. The cavity brimmed with blood and he couldn’t see. But now, it didn’t matter. He had what he wanted. He lifted his hand. He felt resistance. A Tiny tenuous cord stretched out of the wound. Another vein. Grasping the scalpel, he carved through the connecting tissue and the organ came free. For several seconds he nestled the coveted organ as if holding a newborn robin in the palm of his hand. Its warmth seeped through his latex gloves. Below his hand, blood surged into the gaping wound. He shot a glance at the woman’s face. Mary Jane, her driver’s license said. How plane. He’d call her Gabrielle. Yes, she was more beautiful than a Mary Jane.Dr. Claire Valincourt, works the ER at Grace Memorial Hospital. In her worse dreams she never expected to find what she found while jogging to work one evening. A foot, sticking out of the bushes. It was pale and white and Claire sound found, it was attached to a body. A dead body that looked as though it might be a patient that had for some reason left the hospital after having surgery. There was definitely an incision going down the woman’s stomach and the incision had been stitched back together. But why was she in the park and not still in her hospital bed. That’s a question that the police will have to answer. Detective Gerry Rosko got the call that there was a body found in the park. What he never expected to find was that the woman didn’t just have surgery within the hospital but somewhere unknown. He learned after the autopsy that the sloppy job of her surgery had allowed her to bleed out and she was missing a kidney. Pressure on him was to find the killer but that pressure was increased tenfold when another victim was found in yet another park. As with the first victim, this one had bled out and was also missing a kidney.Without Consent had me looking over my shoulder as I walked my dog at night. The tension this book puts out as Rosko tries to find a serial killer before he strikes again had me just about biting my nails. Then when it looks like he may go after Claire I was really on the edge of my seat. This is a good one for Criminal Minds to pick up. It’s believable and will scare the heck out of you for at least a few days.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

Ghost Hunting Diary Vol II – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

I don’t much care for my days and nights getting mixed up, but since I won’t take sleeping pills unless I’m desperate, I hadn’t taken any this night. Being ghost-sensitive, though, I had realized that the ghosts were fairly active. I’d heard –and felt – someone several times since I’d settled in the room, and been aware of various noises in the rest of the house that couldn’t be explained away as a roaming cat. I’d also encountered the ghost in the bathroom a couple times: that drop in temperature and the skin-crawl sensation of the energy surrounding a paranormal entity. Normally, I don’t bother turning on the light during my nightly bathroom excursions, but due to that fairly strong presence this night, I did. And I’m not too happy with being watched during what should be a private time, but I don’t have much choice around here. I won’t call them pervert ghosts, but the bathroom ones are male.

This is Author T. M. Simmons talking about her own home, which is haunted, especially her spare bedroom which she calls the Molly-Belle Suite and which accommodates her when she can’t sleep and doesn’t want to wake her husband. She normally gets along with her resident ghosts but that’s only due to her ‘laying down the house laws’ to them. But now and then they will ‘test’ her to see what they can get away with.

In Ghost Hunting Diary Vol. II, T. M. Simmons records some of her experiences in both the cemetery as well as a few haunted buildings. Some of these experiences would scare the pants off people like myself yet all are quite interesting and there are even a few that are quite funny. By funny I’m talking about her records of the Naked Ghost which she found in the Baker Hotel. And her description was so that I don’t think I would mind meeting this ‘Adonis’ghost. But the evil ones she encounters within the Goshen Cemetery I think I’ll pass on.

If you enjoy a good ghost story, you’ll enjoy this series of books – Ghost Hunting Diaries. If you’re a believer, you’ll love these stories. If you’re a non-believer, they just might change your opinion regarding ghosts, ghost hunters and the paranormal world. They have made a believer out of me!

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

Suzanne’s Kitchen – An A-Z Kitchen Guide – ‘Come on In’ – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

What is ‘Brown Betty?’ What is ‘Enamelware?’ What is ‘Gratin?’ What is ‘Light Beer?’ What is a ‘Snow Pea?’ What is ‘Quinoa?’ If you know the answers to these questions, see if you can answer a few more. What does ‘Cooking in Liquid’ mean? What does ‘Cube’ mean? What does ‘Frizzle’ mean? What does ‘Mince’ mean? What does ‘Render’ mean? Answered these all correctly? Just a few more. Do you know how to purchase ‘Corn?’ Do you a substitution for ‘Corn Syrup?’ Do you know how to store ‘Limes?’ Do you know what needs to be done to ‘Meringue’ to keep it from shrinking? Do you how to use ‘Star Anise?’

If you answered yes to all of these you just may not need this book. I for one have to look some of these up before giving an intellegent answer. I’ve always heard of Brown Betty and am sure I’ve eaten it but never really knew what it was. I found a recipe using Quinoa but had no idea what it was, where it came from nor how to cook it. I actually have some Star Anise but had no idea what meats are complimented by this licorice smelling ‘pod’ that comes from an evergreen that grows in southwestern China and northern Vietnam. And when it came to a substitution for Corn Syrup, I had to look that answer up too and that is where Suzanne’s Kitchen came in.

As soon as I picked this book up the first thing that came to my mind was a ‘cooking dictionary!’ How many times have I needed one of those. Sure, we can all go to the internet but that means logging in to the internet, typing in the main topic of what we’re looking for and then sorting through several pages of articles/blogs written on the topic. With Suzanne’s Kitchen you simply look it all up within one book. Short, simple and quick. I love this book and as much as I cook I’ll never be able to store all of the cooking information within my head that you can find within this one book. This is a book that EVERY kitchen needs, whether you cook a lot or just a little. This one will be used in my kitchen.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

The William S Club – Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Damon’s grandfather pulled a heavy brass key from around his neck. For as long as he could remember that key had hung there, a visual reminder of a lifetime of secrets. ‘I want to know the moment she boards the plane,’ his grandfather said. Damon nodded. Not like he had any other choice. Fresh rain pelted the double glazed windows as the key clinked in the lock, echoing across the Spartan dining room. The house had become more mausoleum than home. Behind the wooden door lay a metal door; the kind used by bank vaults. It protected a flight of stairs that led to the basement. Not that Damon Harvey had ever been down there. The basement was forbidden to all but The William S Club. As a child, Damon spent hours pondering what lay behind that door. Now he didn’t care. Let them have their secrets. As long as they left him alone.

What began as a derogative term to explain the tight, inner circle of firstborn Harvey men became a badge of honor worn by each consecutive William Sydney Harvey including Damon’s older brother, BJ – Bill Junior – older by a whole minute and a half. But The William S Club were not without their secrets, the biggest one hidden in the basement. Only one brave man had discovered that secret; Paul Baker, a former employee of Harvey Enterprises. And Paul paid the ultimate price for his discovery – he lost his wife, his daughter and his freedom, spending twenty years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Now out of prison, Paul is determined to find his daughter, Victoria, and prove his innocence. But finding Victoria will be harder than he thinks. She changed her name and fled Australia the first chance she got, distancing herself from her father’s criminal past and her mother’s apparent suicide. Paul has no idea his daughter is being used as bait to draw him out or that Victoria, or Charlotte Burke as she is now known, is a guest on the Harvey’s wine and dine press trip. There is only one way Paul can save his daughter’s life – retrieve the documents his wife hid. But first, he must find them.

When I agreed to read The William S Club I didn’t realize that one of its tags was erotic, which isn’t my cup of tea and since I don’t read other reviews nor comments before reading a book I’ve found myself reading something that just doesn’t fit my suspenseful mind. Well, The William S Club is a book that can claim the tag of erotic but I have to say from the very beginning the suspense grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I was so hooked that I decided I could live through the erotica which actually came a little later in the book. I found myself reading every page in the hope of finding out just what the Harvey men were hiding. What was so precious that they not only killed outsiders for but family members too. It took me to within the last few pages to find my answer and I was completely surprised. I had ventured many guesses but none were correct. Their secret was something so different that I would have never been able to come up with it on my own. This is a true suspense novel with some erotic sex along the way.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

Time Out – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

I never thought
it would turn out this way.
Growing old,
fat, wrinkled, gray.
Going to funerals
way more than weddings.
Watching our friends’ children die.

When we were kids
back in the North Country,
we would twirl our way
up Broad Street,
heading home
from the movies
and Confession
on Saturday afternoons.

Everything seemed
so easy, so clear
The movies ended happy every after,
The priest gave
short penances.
Three Hail Marys
One Our Father.
A piece of cake

As I read Time Out I couldn’t help but relate to many of the memories Author Mary Allen Sochet brought to my own mind. She talked about her life with Marvin, with his ability to never be on time, how he stood up for his rights and the rights of others, and how this standing up even landed him in jail at the age of 75. You see, Marvin was a ‘baby boomer’ that grew up during the times of flower children, hippies and the Viet Nam War. Through her writing I can picture the protests, changes in time, the changes in values and the changes in ourselves as we grow old. I can see these because I too am a ‘baby boomer’ that lived through these times. Some were happy, some were sad and some were simply bad.

Time Out is a series of poem ‘stories’ that trace the author’s life from the beginning to the end with her beloved husband Marvin. In Time Out, Mary Sochet expresses her own way of coping with the ups and down of life and the death of a loved one. It’s one of the most touching books I’ve read in some time.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

One Rainy Summer – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Quietly, I dragged a chair over the soft beige carpet, took my seat, and pulled aside the curtain. Granny stood at the bottom of the ladder with a man a full head taller, and the two of them headed for the woods on the side of the house. He held her hand, pulled her along after him, and focused a flashlight on the wooded trail that led to the canal. Granny, don’t you know you’re too old to be sneaking out windows and climbing ladders? What in the world’s going on? Granny was a grown woman. Why was she sneaking around with this mystery man? What was going on? Why was my honest, respectful, Bible-reading granny slipping out her bedroom window in the middle of the night like some teenager breaking curfew? I was determined to find out, so I jumped back into my bed and grabbed the heavy volume of Walden. No time to waste. Something was going on, and I knew this book and Granny’s journals held the answer. I made up my mind that this was one puzzle I’d stick with and solve.

After her father’s death, Hope and her mother went to live with her Granny in the beautiful Sunshine State of Florida. She loved it. Her best friend Matthew lived next door and the two of them spent hours in the woods, swamp and along the canals and lake. So when she spotted Granny sneaking out one night she knew it would be her job, with Matthew’s help, to find out the secrets that Granny had been keeping. Her first clue was found inside her Granny’s volume of Walden where she had hidden a picture of herself and a handsome man from earlier years and written notations within the margins of the pages. Her biggest clue came when she and Matthew were out searching for the man Granny had slipped out with. After finding him she discovered him to be the same man in the picture hidden in the book. So, who is he and why must they slip around to see each other. Who are they hiding from?

Hope ends up opening up more doors than she ever expected when she learns the true identity of Granny’s special friend Sandy. She also finds that the person Granny is apparently hiding Sandy from is Hope’s own mother. Now she has to find out why.

One Rainy Summer is a book of true love and God’s way of making everything turn out just the way it was supposed to. If you don’t believe in ‘things happening for a reason’ this book just might make you believe. The trust in God that Hope, Matthew, Granny and Sandy have for bringing happiness and love to everyone is written in a beautiful way. And as the story unfolded I couldn’t help but feel the love of the characters as well as the love God bestowed on each of them. A truly beautiful book.
B. J. Robinson makes her home in the Sunshine State, Florida, where she lives with her husband and pets. She’s blessed with children and grandchildren, and Jesus is her best friend. Visit BJ Robinson at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com and check out her available books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Christianbooks.com.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

Dead Man Haunt – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Twila and I see ghosts. We talk to ghosts. We actually hunt ghosts and enjoy the heck out of our quests. We love to prowl old buildings and graveyards, day and night, study the history of them, and occasionally chat with the long-passed occupants of both the buildings and graves. Yet out of the dozens of gone-by souls we chat with, very few ever keep our attention past that one and only conversation. Patrick, however, a ghost I met recently, had intrigued us into this upcoming adventure, the adventure Jack was so adamantly opposed to. I’d met Patrick when I joined a few local ghost hunters to investigate the historic, scheduled-for-demolition Springs Hotel in the tiny West Texas town of Mineral Springs. He stepped out of the shower in the men’s dressing room, six foot of blond nakedness, dribbles of water crawling down his tanned muscles, a white towel draped around his neck. No doubt in my mind he was a ghost, yet what a gorgeous ghost. Patrick winked at me – he could see me every bit as well as I could him. Then he disappointed me greatly when he faded back into his own dimension. I didn’t even get a chance to see if he’d show up in a photograph, because I was too rapt to remember the digital camera hanging around my neck.

Alice is a writer by occupation and resides in a lakeside cabin in Six Gun, Texas along with several cats and a dog and a mixture of ghosts who would rather stay as they are than to go into the light to the other side. Her closest neighbor Granny and her aunt Twila both indulge in Alice’s taste for the spirit side of life, or should I say death. Oh yeah, I can’t leave out the 4 legged ghost hunters, Trucker the dog and Miss Molly the cat who accompany the 3 on all of their ghost hunting trips. And I almost forgot Jack, Alice’s ex-husband who is a New Orleans detective who seems to be drug into all of Alice, Twila and Granny’s tangles with the ghosts as well as the non-ghosts. Jack just happens to be a non-believer but he can see the ghosts. Go figure.

I can’t get enough of this author. In Dead Man Haunt I enjoyed a real laugh when Alice and team are accosted by a skunk and end up taking a tomato juice bath. I laughed when Patrick would appear at the most inopportune times, sporting nothing but his birthday suit, which seemed to be his preferred mode of dress, or should I say undress. I laughed when the ghost Mary Ann, who had been cut in half, appeared scaring the pants off Delroy the ‘commando.’ But laughter isn’t all T. M. Simmons puts into the Dead Man series. I stayed in total suspense until the end trying to guess who killed Mary Ann and why. I strained my mind trying to come up with the reason for Patrick, as well as several other ghosts, still being on this side and not the other where they can find peace. And then the characters started coming together making the puzzle into a picture. But the ending still ended up being nothing that I had suspected.

I seem to be reading this series backwards starting with Dead Man Hand, book #1, which was just as good as Dead Man Haunt, book #2, I can’t wait to read book #1 Dead Man Talking. I’ve also read T. M. Simmons Paranormal Suspense Winter Prey, enjoying it immensely. As I said, I can’t get enough of this author. And did I tell you that T. M. Simmons actually lives in a haunted house in East Texas which she shares with hubby, a variety of pets and of course her paranormal residents.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com