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Archive for January, 2013

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

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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

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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

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