Archive for June, 2012

Royal Pain Down Under – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds

(This book has an added bonus. The Author is giving you a 1/2 off code for your copy of Royal Pane Down Under through Smashwords. Here is your code HM48Z)

When the cheeseburgers arrive Ash about falls out of her chair. The things are huge, probably bigger than those of the Red Top back home. They’re certainly thicker. No wonder they’re that price.. Ravenous Ash manages to eat only one of them. They taste fantastic. She has the other put in a to-go container. On a whim, Ash has the waitress get the owner to her table, acting as if she has a complaint. When the owner comes to the table, she tells him she won’t pay that for those burgers. Before he can say a word, she hands him the check with a ten thousand dollar pack of bills, “That’s what I’ll pay for these burgers.” The man if flabbergasted, totally speechless. Exactly the effect she wanted to have on him. She and Rodger get up to leave. She tips the waitress a thousand dollars because she can. Outside, Rodger quips, “What do you fancy yourself? Some kind of Robin Hood or something?” Ash smiles, “Something like that, when I get unexpected funds like those t the mill, I like to spread it around to those that deserve it, some of it, anyway. Some folds give to charities, I do a bit of that myself. I also like to help out hard working people that are doing things right.”

Ashling Pane is a woman of many faces and she doesn’t mind exposing them all when the need arises. One of her best friends just happens to be the President of the United States. After she saved his life twice, his career once, and rescuing his daughter from kidnappers, he has declared that she has free run of whatever she might need or think she might need. Nobody dares say different. This friendship has helped her accomplish her tasks in more ways than one. Ash normally works recovering high dollar items for major insurance companies. Her fees are high but her success rate is even higher, since she never gives up. On a case where she recovered a famous violin ‘Lady Blunt’ she also recovered a young Russian immigrant, Roz, that was being and used against her will. After taking her in, Ash discovers the girl’s musical talent affording her any instrument her heart desires to help make up for what she has been through. Money for that job was good but when Ash is asked to go to Australia to free those being enslaved by a man named Aldridge Ainsworth, the offer becomes more than she can afford to turn down. The Queen herself is making the request and offering her over $188,000,000 and that doesn’t count whatever she and her team might find along the way.

As it turns out, Ainsworth has the natives working the mines producing uranium as well as gold and silver. As the mines and compounds are attacked and the slaves freed, Ash and team find themselves collecting what ends up being several billion dollars in gold, gems, art and money hidden within the compounds. Even after making the team members rich beyond their belief, Ash still has more than she can ever begin to spend. Therefore she becomes ‘Robin Hood’ of sorts, taking from the criminals and giving a hand up to the working class.

Royal Pane Down Under wasn’t a disappointment. Ash Pane is still the person that you would love to be friends with while hoping that you never get on her bad side. If she likes you, you will always be in good hands. If she doesn’t like you, don’t step into her path. She is one macho woman who even the most macho men fear. This would make a good character for Angelina.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com


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


Life again and again
Finds only crossroads
Where now and before
Shall turn into a tomorrow.

Worry not in this
Crossroad’s time
For this will always
Pass into a yesterday.

Life again and again
Finds only crossroads,
Where life will again
Be always new.

This has to be one of my favorite. Each time I read these few words, the more I agree what that they say and mean to me. We do have a lifetime of crossroads and now does always become tomorrow.

I’m not big on reviewing poetry due to the fact that what I like you might not like, but Ellenelizabeth Cernek has written ‘songs’ that tug at my heart as well as my spirit. “Her Beach Reverie” will make you wonder about ‘Neptune’s fury’. “Empty Space” will have you remembering illusions you believed in at one time. And then there is “To Remember.” It will bring back the Could-bes, Should-bes and Would-bes. Captured Moments will keep you stepping in and out of time, life and space. This is a beautiful book!

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

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

“I said I’ll get it for you tomorrow,” Sal said shakily. “I promise, I will.” Sweat was pouring down his face. “I promise you, please,” he pleaded, with both palms facing the men in a useless defense. “Not good enough, Sal, you had your last chance. We gotta’ have it tonight. There is no more time. Where is the money? Get up and get it.” He didn’t move. “You don’t have it, do you? You are a liar. Nobody’s gonna’ lie to me. You have made the worse mistake of your life, Sal.” “No, but” – There was a noise coming from the closet and the other man heard it. Anna must have tripped on some clothing and the sound telegraphed through the closed door…… “Please, you guys, I’ll get the money. I’ll bring it to you tomorrow. I’ll bring all of it to the bar plus extra.” The other man jerked the door open and Sal’s wife fell out……. “Please guys don’t do this. I’ll do anything you want,” Sal pleaded. “I told you, it’s too late for your excuses,” threatened Mo, spittle hanging off his lip. “We have to go for a ride; the boss wants to see you,” Mo pulled Sal brutally out of bed and shoved him into the hallway….. A few months later, Sal and his wife Anna were found under the railroad trestle, both dead.

Sal and Anna Santorini had a son named Joey. Thanks to the kind heart of Leonardo Bonino, Joey was taken into his home and treated like a member of the family. Leo’s own son Frankie and Joey became inseparable ‘brothers’ with both watching the other’s back. When Leo, who was a widower, decided to remarry Frankie and Joey gained another brother Mario and a sister Christina. The closeness of the three boys, their desire to protect their sister and the love of Leo and his new wife Colina completed the circle that shaped the Santorini family.

Trouble started when a man who called himself Whitey came around to collect protection money from the shoe shop that Leo and the boys ran. Leo knew the larger, more profitable business were being required to pay for what was being called ‘insurance’ against accidents but until Whitey, the smaller business had been left alone. Determined not to pay, Leo came up with The Recipe. Anything worth doing right required a recipe in Leo’s books and this one would require the perfect ingredients to make the plan work and his recipe required the help of his three sons.

I don’t normally read gangster/mob books and seldom read anything written within the time period of the 1930s through the late 1940s. When I started reading The Recipe I had myself convinced that it was a book that I just might pass on to a friend to read and review for me. I simply wasn’t interested in reading about the mob taking over the neighborhood and fighting within the mob families. I have to admit, I was hooked after the first few pages. Actually reading about the many scams that were pulled surprised me. Not only were there the protection scams but also the real insurance scams where policies were sold to the soldiers and money collected but no real coverage. There was the ‘buy your coal in the summer at a discount’ but no coal delivered in the winter. And one of the worse were those that targeted the widows stating that the deceased owed money on anything from repairs to the house to the purchase of a Bible. This book really kept my interest. But the best part was when the boys finally found a way to strike revenge for the death of Joey’s parents. I must say that they gave out what was deserved.

What did I not like about The Recipe? The ending. It came too quickly. I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. Will they now become mob leaders or will they try to find a way to live their lives like normal families? I guess Author Joseph Parente will just have to write a sequel so we can all find the answers to my questions.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

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