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Archive for February, 2011

A Space Anthology Book One – Borealis – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘The Borealis is a hive of villainy where anything can be bought or sold – anything or anyone – if the price is right.  Once intended to function as a city unto itself when the universe first began to ‘shrink’ and Mankind spread out into the stars.  Exploration turned into domination.  Nearly a hundred years have passed since then, and now the Trans Planetary Protectorate (TPP) governs all.  The Borealis, once a thriving station, is now little more than a slum town, decrepit and crumbling.’
Story #1 Inamorate Crossing – P. I. Barrington, Author
Khai Zafara is a Lieutenant with the TPP.  Her sworn promise to herself is to track down every Rebellion possible in hopes of finding those who murdered her father.  Her present prisoner, Teyrnan Sajan, is in her care to be transported to Borealis and placed in their prison section called the Inferno.  Here prisoners are stripped of their dignity by addicting them to a drug they call Uudon.  Once a prisoner is sent to the Inferno, they are never seen nor heard from again.  But as Khai makes the trip to deliver her prisoner, she sees something in his eyes that tells her she may have once known him at one time.  Is he really as bad as they say?
Story #2 Kiss Me, Kate – J. Morgan, Author
Prince K’tlyn Byllvian Augustyne Dar of the Royal Pyernian Seat has embarked on a journey to find “The Professor.”  His search takes him to a bar, leads him into a bar fight without a weapon and lands him in the hands of Richelle Burton who turns out to be the Professor’s assistant.  As he explains his reason for needing to meet the Professor, Richelle takes pity on him and decides to help him herself.  His quest – he wants to become a man so he can defend his kingdom once he is made king.  But someone has put a price on his head.  So can Richelle turn him into a real man in time?
Story #3 – Forgive Us Our Debts – Gail R. Delaney, Author
Theron Kess is a mercenary that has been hired by King Saron Laroux to rescue his daughter Sarina who has been captured and taken to Borealis and imprisoned.  She is being held by Tandeth Joquit and is being used for his own amusement as he drugs her with Uudon to keep her weak and under control.  Theron’s rescue of the Princess takes place as the Rebellions lead an attack on the prison and when he finally finds her he also finds that she has an addiction to the deadly drug, making his rescue even more difficult due to her lack of cooperation.  But there is something pulling at Sarina’s memory that tells her Theron is not all he appears to be.
All three stories have been a joy to read.  These three authors are so in sync with their writing that I would have never guessed they weren’t written by the same person.  Each story has its own story but still brings you into the same atmosphere.  Each has mystery, suspense and love with a bit of humor added to Story #3 Kiss Me, Kate.  I have one thing to say to each of the authors, “please keep writing.”
2010
Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
ISBN# 978-1-936000-61-6

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Homeless Like Me – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

“Whatever.  So since it’s not warm now, where are you sleeping?”  “Here at the mission.  Are you going to spend the night with us?”  Brian’s mouth fell open.  “Me?”  “Dude, if you’re going to write a book about being homeless, you can’t just put on the garb and expect the insight to magically appear in your head.  You have to live the life for a while.  This has to be an emotional experience so you can get the feeling into the book, not just the ideas.”  “But I …”  “Do you want to write a best seller, or do you want to dink around wasting your time and mine?”  “Well, of course I want to come up with a best seller, but I wasn’t planning to go into the bowels of Hell to do it.”  “Dude, you don’t know what Hell is.  Being homeless is only a purgatory, or maybe you could call it a near Hell experience.”  Brian surveyed the occupants of the room.  It was bad enough for him to share eating quarters with some of these people.  The thought of sleeping in the same room with them made his stomach churn.  Visions of having his scalp taken while he slumbered were impossible to shake off.  He bit down on his lower lip.  “Too much for you, ain’t it?  I should have known you didn’t have what it takes when I first ran into you.”

Brian Anderson is writing his first book.  He has decided to make it fiction about how it feels to be homeless and the best place to do his research is at the local shelter.  So he dons his “bum” clothes, parks his car several blocks away and walks in.  At least that was what he had planned but his plans are about to change when he has a knife stuck under his neck by shelter resident Zeke.  It takes a little talking but he finally convinces Zeke that he is an ok guy and plans no harm to him or any of the other shelter people.  Zeke, knowing what he does about living a life on the streets decides to become Brian’s body guard and even moves in with Brian to help him with his book.  But Zeke isn’t the only homeless person Brian ends up taking in, even though in reality he is about to become one of them himself.

As Brian meets the “shelter people,” gets to know them and hears their stories he finds himself getting even more excited about his book.  When he meets Miss Angel, a volunteer who helps serve meals, he decides she has the perfect name because she is truly an angel and the woman of his dreams.  But they have a three letter bridge named God between them.  Miss Angel is a Christian and Brian isn’t.  Now he has to find a way to bring her across the bridge to his side before she tries to drag him across to hers.

Homeless Like Me is a wonderful book of trust, friendship and love which brings people across the bridge into the land of God.  It has made me have second thoughts about some of the feelings I’ve had all my life regarding people and their personal ways of life.  It reminds us that through God, anything can happen and happen for the best.

209 pages
Sword of the Spirit Publishing
2009
ISBN# 978-0-578-03282-5

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The Queen’s Marksman – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘The clouds had covered the moon, and the night was dark and cold.  The single rider on horseback picked his way along the meager tufts of grass lining the dusty trail until he came to within one hundred meters of the camp.  There he dismounted, drew his rifle and sword from his pack, and sent his horse away with a gentle slap on the animal’s rump.  Thus left alone, the dark figure went down crouching behind a boulder, silently watching the movements of the men among the tents.  Most were arranged in a circle around a roaring campfire, sharing tea and couscous, smoking hasheesh, sharing gossip and singing songs.  Others had retired to isolated spots to read their Korans and contemplate the greatness of Allah before bedding down for the night.  The horses tethered nearby shifted restlessly or together to draw warmth from each other.  There were six tents in all, arranged around a larger tent at the center of the compound.  The hostages had to be in there.  If they tried to escape, they would be easily detected and caught by anyone around them.  They were trapped like animals in a cage even though the bars were made of cloth and the floor of carpet.  The watcher settled down to wait until the camp grew quiet.’
Robert St. John has seen, done and learned a lot since his induction into the Queen’s army at the young age of 20.  Shortly after leaving home Robert encountered two men that would change his life forever.  They were Alexander Vincent Corvina and Count Karel Nikolai Arkelin. When Alex first met Robert, he saw a friendship that he knew would bond them forever, whereas Count Arkelin saw the mind of a great warrior that needed to be utilized.  It then became the Count’s decision to “turn” Robert.
With the realization of what his new life brings, Robert creates quite a name for himself by taking risks that no other would dare.  As he rescues those being held prisoner he ends up finding himself face to face with not only the woman he loves but had to leave behind but also the sister of Alex.  His feats of bravery endow him even more with Alex as well as the Queen herself.  Her reward for him is to make him a Knight and set him up with his own hand selected force of spies.  This will take him through the encounters of two deadly enemies.  One calls himself Count Vladimir Drakulya of Transylvania and the other calls himself Jack the Ripper.
In The Queen’s Marksman, Author Theresa M. Moore takes you through some of the history of England as well as some of the surrounding areas.  Her accounts of Jack the Ripper and his final demise gives yet another ending to the Whitechapel legend and his destruction of life.  As with the others in the Children of the Dragon series, I have thoroughly enjoyed loosing myself in yet another of Theresa M. Moore’s books.  I’ve read Destiny’s Forge, To Taste The Dragon’s Blood, Red Dragon and now The Queen’s Marksman. Next comes The Black Witch which I’m sure will keep me as intrigued as those before it in this fascinating series called Children of the Dragon.
2010 – 3rd Edition
Antellus

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Sin Creek – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘When I was a high school administrator, I asked a student of mine how her sister coped with college life.  She told me her sister found a lucrative way to raise tuition and live “the high life.”  What this student said next left me shaken, and I’ve never been quite the same since.  I went home that night and searched for information the student had casually given me, hoping to find no truth in what she said.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  I still shiver that some among us are so willing to be part of the filthy underbelly that runs beneath many of our towns and cities.  Research for this book challenged me to search my soul, and I stopped on many occasions not certain if I should continue.  But someone needs to tell this story – as ugly and offensive as it may be.  SIN CREEK is truly a work of fiction.  However, the seed that started it is alive and spreading like a lethal dose of poison throughout society.  WARNING!  This book contains sexually graphic scenes!  It is not meant to offend but to inform.  “Porn is a multi-billion dollar business in the USA.” “Five million new cases of STDs surface every year in the USA alone.”  “340 million new cases of STDs worldwide.”  – Susan Whitfield, Author

‘I clicked on a video feed that showed a cute girl being offered money at a street café.  She didn’t look any older than fifteen, her long hair pulled back into dog-ears on each side of pink ribbons.  Two men approached her with their backs to the camera.  They had microphones pinned on.  I could hear them offer her money for an hour of her time.  She asked about the camera and they said they were filming everything for themselves and if she wanted the money she’d have to come with them.  This cute but naïve girl only hesitated for a second, then grabbed her purse and left with total strangers.  This scene horrified me.’

I’ve followed SBI Agent Logan Hunter as she tracked down killers in Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp and now in Sin Creek.  Author Susan Whitfield has created an amazingly ‘normal’ character with Hunter.  She has feelings and isn’t afraid to cry, she takes on danger and doesn’t mind showing her fears, but when she takes on the world of porn, she shows a caring side that has been glimpsed in all of her stories but with more strength than ever in Sin Creek.

After reading Sin Creek, I visited some of the sites listed by the author to see for myself exactly how strong the porn world is within our colleges and universities.  Is it as big an industry as the author proclaims in her writings.  I have to say “yes it is.”  Read Sin Creek as a book of murder and suspense but also read it as a book that opens your eyes to the problems our young adults are faced with, where these problems can take them and what the end results can be.  It opened my eyes and I believe it will yours too.  It has helped to educate me to the underworld of the internet.

Now I’m waiting with excitement for Whitfield’s next book The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood which promises to fill me with laughter.

2011
194 pages
L & L Dreamspell
ISBN# 978-1-60318-305-5
http://www.susanwhitfieldonline.com/

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She Felt No Pain – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘He snugged the rubber tubing around his arm, laughing as his body cooperated with a bulging vein.  Born to shoot.  A crust from a sore on one elbow was still pink, but he read no warning of infection.  Soft beds and softer women on the way.  The skags he’d met on the road were all bones and dry.  Then he filled the syringe, tipped up and tapped to get the air out, plunged into the vein and pulled back with blood.  Then back again until gone.  Warm fire, like being in a hot tub.  Cold water the first time taught a rough lesson.  He breathed deeply.  As he closed his eyes, he could still hear that other stupid song: “Stronger than Spain and France.”  He gasped, dimly aware that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen.  His nostrils were stuffed from the humidity.  He tried short, shallow breaths.  But everything was slowing down, like a wind-up clock.  He dropped the syringe and clutched at his throat.  Before he could telegraph his brain one last time, the bellows in his skinny chest hung limp, and his head lolled.  An adventurous ant climbed aboard his hand and headed for a tasty piece of dry skin.’
RCMP Corporal Holly Martin’s transfer to Vancouver Island is perfect.  It’s a small precinct employing herself, one other officer and Ann who was placed on desk duty after injuring her back in the line of duty.  But it’s home for Holly.  Her home, which is still occupied by her father, is close enough that she can live there instead of paying the high price for an apartment.  Plus, after her mother disappeared several years earlier, this gives her the comfort of taking care of her father.
Vancouver Island has its usual run of the mill crimes such as a break-in now and then, speeding, drinking and occasionally a drug bust, but major crimes quite rare.  So, when a homeless man is discovered dead due to an overdose, Holly isn’t totally surprised.  But when she finds that the drug he injected into his blood stream was laced with Fentanyl, a synthetic morphine used to treat extreme pain, she decides this isn’t a normal overdose.  Then there is the discovery of a wad of bills in the man’s pockets.  Was he dealing?  Where did the Fentanyl come from?  As Holly answers one question, it seems another pops up and each answer takes her to one person.  A person that she has really grown to like and hopes has nothing to do with the death of this man.
Lou Allin has continued to entertain me with a second Holly Martin Mystery.  Through her first book And on the Surface Die and now through She Felt No Pain, I feel that I’ve actually paid a visit to what she describes as Canada’s Caribbean.  I’ve felt the cool breeze coming in across the water and seen the beauty of the land.  But she has also kept me on the edge of my chair as I tried to determine who was responsible for the murder and why.  I must admit that Lou Allin has taught me that the answers to some questions simply stare you in the face but you don’t see them because you don’t want to.  A very enjoyable read.
272 pages
2010
RendezVous Crime
ISBN# 978-1-926607-07-8

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Betcher Has Done it Again with his book

The 19th Element – you’ve never been scared so “good!”

The 19th Element – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
“Gentlemen.  You sit here in this room, insulated from reality, comfortable in your delusions that you are safe from international terrorism.  In your imaginary world, your families are safe.  Your neighbors are safe.  We are all totally safe.  Your delusions have led you to the conclusion that the nuclear catastrophe waiting to happen inside that fence across the parking lot is a fiction.  Of course, you all know how extreme the consequences of a successful terrorist attack on the nuclear plant would be.  But because of your fantasies, you discount the dangers – not only to yourselves and your loved ones, but to everyone in the eastern half of the United States and possibly beyond.  But what if the worst possible scenario proves not to be a fantasy at all, but a deadly fact?”
These words and more are spoken by James “Beck” Becker as he tries to convince a security group meeting at the Prairie River Nuclear Plant that there is very possibly a real threat of an attempt by Al Qaeda to run a plane full of explosives into their spent fuel pool.  They simply aren’t buying it.
After the murder of a professor who had been experimenting with potassium turns up on the shores of the Mississippi, Beck started putting things together.  When he learned the name of the professor’s assistant, Farris Ahmed, he knew he was on to something big.  After researching potassium, as well as the procedures taken to secure nuclear waste, Beck was positive that there would be an attack — and the nuclear plant would be the target.   But getting the attention of those responsible for security without appearing to be a total fool was almost impossible.
In reading The 19th Element, I’ve had a quick enlightenment as to how power companies make power.  I’ve learned what actually happens to “spent” nuclear fuel.  I’ve also been educated on the true hatred that seeps from the influence of Al Qaeda.  And to be totally honest with everyone, it scares the pure hell out of me!  I can see the possibilities of a nuclear disaster such as the one envisioned in The 19th Element actually happening.  My question is, are we truly prepared for this or anything even close to this happening?  I can only pray that we are.  The 19th Element is definitely a “wake-up America” book that we should all read and listen to.
316 pages
2010
ISBN# 1451521014

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