Author Archives: Just Reviews by:gabina49:

About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

A KILLING AT COTTON HILL

Standard

Just Reviews

A Killing At Cotton Hill: Terry Shames

A small town has someone who you might call the town gossip or in this case her name is Loretta. She is not offensive, mean or cruel but manages to have her pulse on what is happening in the small town of Jarrett Creek. Murder is not the norm in this town but someone made sure that Dora Lee Parjeter did not live out her days in Cotton Hill. She was found murdered. Poor Loretta was doubled over with grief, could not believe that her friend was gone and had just spoken to her the previous evening.

Sam Craddock was the former police chief now retired and the present one Rodell Skinner doubles as the town drunk as well as police chief. Inept, not capable of solving where he might have put his own gun if misplaced, Sam, the former Police Chief, decides…

View original post 1,457 more words

The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

Standard

Just Reviews

The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake: A Samuel Craddock Mystery (Samuel Craddock Mysteries): Terry Shames

In a small town called Jarrett Creek a young girl comes back into town unnoticed. A family that seems distant and close-knit yet in reality each one harboring their own secrets and thoughts as a member of their family unexpectedly arrives causing a chain of events that would change their lives forever. Why was Nonie Blake sent home from a mental institution with her suitcase in hand and no notice to anyone that she was about to arrive? For 20 years she was housed in this institution for trying to kill her young sister Charlotte by hanging her. The fact that she was returning frightened the residents and living with her family again brought back memories they chose to forget. Difficult to handle, not sociable at all and distant from her family, Nonie was not…

View original post 1,372 more words

The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery

Standard

Just Reviews

The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: Herbie J Pilato

Extremely important, necessary fundamental to the nature of someone or something are several definitions for the word essential. Author Herbie J Pilato has created a plethora of information in which he shares with readers about what he feels are the extremely important, necessary fundamental things that everyone should know about this icon of television, theater, movies and stage: Elizabeth Montgomery. If there was a recipe with ingredients for how someone expands on the qualities of a person’s life all of the essentials are here. Starting with the author’s notes where he relates how he came to write this book, growing up watching her on television and interning at NBC. Watching Bewitched after breaking his toe started his journey. Working in NBC in many different capacities helped him use this as a starting point especially in the Press and Publicity department. Imagine helping to…

View original post 1,070 more words

Full Bloom: My thoughts

Standard

Full Bloom: Mark T Greene

 

 

Take the simple bud of a flower like a rose and watch it as the pedals begin to flourish. Watch how it appears so fresh, beautiful and fills the air with its magnificent scent. Some people bloom or flourish at work. Some flourish or bloom as parents but what happens when something takes over your mind, body and soul and causes you to flourish or bloom in a different way? The petals on this rose would begin to wilt. The life that was once alive and filled with hopes and dreams has now fallen prey to a condition that affects how you feel or act. With a flower you might be able to replant it or water it. With a person you cannot. What happens when your mind is taken over by a mood disorder that is caused by chemical imbalances within your brain? This results in moods swings that go back and forth like a pendulum that cannot seem to find any balance or place to stop. Going from manic highs and lows this disorder has a name. As you will learn when you read this enlighten, honest and based on the author’s real life experience with Bipolar Disorder, the harsh realities of what happens when you cannot control how you act or feel and have to come face to face with yourself as you slide down a dangerous slope hoping to find your way back up. Full Bloom: Mark Greene: A must read!

 

The introduction sets the tone and explains what he experiences. Have you as the author begins his story “ felt your eyes moving around in their sockets, or your legs all tingly..?” Speaking with his primary doctor he gave him a multiple-choice test, which alerted him to the fact that he is depressed. So, he did what so many doctors do prescribed Prozac hoping that this would change his life. But, add liquor and the outcome just might be much more dramatic. Using this strong medication and whiskey as his medication of choice he soon learned this was the wrong road to success. Finding Sue Joseph a therapist who wanted to help him and Dr. Pile a psychiatrist that cared and was good just might help him go back up the slope but first you need to learn more.

 

Look in the mirror. Whose face do you see?  Look again! Do you recognize the person? Bipolar as the author states in sentence on of the first chapter “replaces you with an unrecognizable twin.” Imagine not realizing who you are or being able to discern what is real and what is not!  Like a flower that is now in full bloom and flourishing, bipolar does the same. Flowers are multiple colors but imagine seeing yellow, orange and other colors so vividly that you have to cover your eyes while driving because you cannot see the sun, separate what is real or not and your perception is off. Buying over 200 dollars worth of magazines and newspapers and finding himself driving to where he lived as a child remembering events in his life but what he describes next is a cross between what is real and what is not. Meeting a girl that he calls Shannon and telling about her life we wonder whether what happens to him because of her really did. Yet, the picture of this young girl with her icy stare and her cold eyes lets you know that what she did and what he experienced would set off a chain of events even more devastating. He found himself after leaving her alone in the street without his clothes and then taken in by a man who claimed he was supposed to be at a hotel on stage. Read the encounter and understand the final outcome as you wonder what really happened when he winds up beaten up and in need of medical help. In a hospital and handcuffed and becoming a ward of the Abbot police he found himself treated as a criminal. Placed in a hospital to help him he meets and describes some people that will allow readers to understand others with mental disorders and how Mark finally decide to take a different route. With the support of his wife he found his way to talk to his therapist but not venturing past the mailbox outside of his house. Like a jamboree or dances or a kaleidoscope of colors he could not separate or defuse his emotions, as he knew he was hurting himself, his family and even more abusing pills. In one simple moment in time something changes and he realizes that he needed to do something fast or become a permanent victim of this disorder. Take the journey up the slope and read what he does and how he gets his life back on pages 47-49 when his flower and his life are in Full Bloom. But, there is much more to his story as part one might seem positive now read what part 2 titled Fake It! Till You Make It!

 

When someone is diagnosed with bipolar disorder they experience lows called depression. But, sometimes this depression becomes so unbearable and life becomes too hard that as you will read within the remaining pages of this memoir how the author explains his solution. Wanting to take his own life seemed to be the answer as he reminds readers that he worked for an insurance firm, was going to New York and left without leaving a note or any warning to his family. Wanting to learn more I researched this disorder and learned that there are ten signs that everyone should be aware of: Great Mood, inability to complete tasks, depression, irritability, rapid speech, trouble at work, as with our author abuse of drugs and alcohol, flight of ideas, erratic behavior and sleep problems. This overview as you read more about his trip to NY you will learn that he even brought a revolver and hoped to use it on himself. Confession stemmed from different directions as you read his reasons for wanting to end his life and finding his own release. “How could I get beyond having to fate it till I make it?” Did anyone even him know the real him? Told in author’s voice anyone whose family member has been diagnosed with this disorder will learn a lot from reading this book. Liquor and Vicodin do not mix. Reminding himself of his successes and failures at work dealing with insurance sales just part of the reason for his downward spiral. Relating how he was voted Rookie of the Year in 1999 at his insurance firm and being promoted to sales manager. One statement sums it up: “What a great life it is to never ever feel secure! But, a break down was in his immediate scope or future and his trip to the hospital a startling and illuminating experience. But, first let’s learn more about his thoughts as he takes his cell phone and smashes it, finds himself wanting the attention of a young girl in a bar when you read what happens and the lesson he learns on pages 62-64. Check out the photo understand. Finding himself in the Economy Lodge he takes readers along with him on his journey to finding death but instead getting admitted to a mental hospital. People were suicidal or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Everyone there had problems but what would he do to solve his? Read what he wrote as we once again learn that he was handled roughly by the police and finding himself writing about a childhood memory that will help readers understand him even better. Listen to his voice hear his words: “I’m bored, suicidal, maybe, bipolar, they say-did I mention bored?” Read about his experience and the people that were there and the turning point when his parents come to visit. Read or just a vision as he describes a young girl sitting on a wooden chair by a window telling him about herself you wonder if meeting her will make it worse. Seems dangerous, unstable and playing a game that he could not quite grasp her meaning of. Would this be his last stay in the hospital? Will he finally realize that the world needs to know him as well as him himself? He concludes with a very important poem: Damsel in Distress: After reading the final pages of story two you decide who he is writing about and why! “ Who was this damsel in distress?” A story of fear, hope, love and the desire to decide between life and death. Bipolar disorder does have to rule your life you can get control. Find out what happens to Mark by reading this five star book. This is a valuable resource for anyone diagnosed with this disorder to understand why they need to get help and seek the out the right treatments. Like a flower that you hope will never wilt stay in Full Bloom so do we hope that the life of this amazing and talented writer and author will always blossom.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Retribution: my review

Standard

Retribution: Anderson Harp

 

 

 

One man’s family is obliterated on a flight that would take more than just their lives. Terrorists often feel that they win when they blow up a plane. All too often the other side looks to retaliate and the war is waged and the final body count rises. A lone pilot flying over the Atlantic loses control of the plane and dies for her cause. A huge white ship came out of nowhere. The “rust of the ship and its dark ore cargo had been camouflaged by snow and ice, making the vessel nearly invisible.” The lone pilot prayed to Allah but in the end her words be heard.

 

United States Embassy, Doha, Qatar, where Maggie O’Donald has just received an email from Riyadh. Tired and weary she and her partner Pat Stuart would face something they never expected. Information in e-mails coming through that were being sent she thought to present her with information for some reason but what? Something odd struck her and then her whole world would change as she removed her Glock from her draw and along with Pat remained at the window where she saw a lone figure and then everything turned black.

 

 

 

Colonel William Parker is a dangerous man. His family killed in Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. A bomb tore through it and everyone was killed. William Parker would seek justice for his parents but someone else would change the tide first. A simple phone call would bring him out of retirement and back into the fold of the CIA as Agent James Ford Scott enlists his help. Parker’s team, the ANGLICO team had been awarded two bronze stars and a purples heart for service in Iraq. This next mission would change not only his perspective but the end result could bring death and devastation.

 

 

 

One bomb that would change it all the composition is Semtex according to Scott. As the victims are counted one in particular is of interest because somewhere in the recesses of Maggie’s mind is the name of a person who was her contact and whom she cannot remember. Questioned and asked many times Maggie’s mind is devoid of her recent memories and the Brain Traumatic Injury just might be permanent.

 

 

 

A successful mission in Korea and millions of dollars paid to Parker, Scott was going to enlist his aid and the budget and resources were unlimited. Wanting to know why the target was, who was involved and why would they want a retired operative to come out of retirement were the questions of the day. Except: the important one is WHY! Maggie O’Donald is more than just a friend and the link to an operation called Intekam was the clincher. One Saudi named Yousef al-Qadi was his target. His purpose a Jihad that would take millions of lives if not stopped.

 

 

 

What is planned will make you shudder and the end result could not only kill those involved in the mission along with the target but if not handled the right way many innocent victims too. As the plot unfolds and we learn more about the mission Scott reveals information about a reporter named Sadik Zabara. A powerful journalist who was offered a position with Al-Quds who now has a meeting with Yousef. As the plan unfolds we learn more about each player and Parker begins to formulate his plan and his team. Take a black cargo hole of Pakistani airline freighter and place something within a weaving machine. But, there is something else within this object that if not controlled will take out an American city and much more. Learning more about the Muslim’s we find out that Yousef’s niece was killed in a retaliation bombing sending him on his path of revenge. What could the Center for Disease Control do in order to stop this man? What was Parker’s plan?  Retribution: punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved. But, just how far will Parker and the CIA go to get this? Intekam: “Farsi for an equal and just revenge.” Iran Air Flight 655 went down killing 290 innocent victims one of whom was Yousef-al-Qadi’s niece.

 

 

 

There is much more as the author relates information of previous mission referred to as Lockerbie and names those involved and where the Semtex came from and who the person’s relation to Yousef. Hear his voice and know that he will stop at nothing to create this jihad, killing Americans and sacrificing his own.

 

 

 

When this reporter was taken and placed in a safe place, his wife and young infant niece stowed away with Parker the dye is set and Parker is going to become Zabara and the rest remains to be unfolded as we learn his plan. Wanting the best infectious disease doctor was the start as the author takes readers inside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and we learn about a deadly virus and its implications called: Neisseria Meningitidis. The research into this disease was extensive and the deadly virus would infect victims causing either brain damage that was permanent or those that were lucky not to succumb to this might lose limbs. Some, if lucky might become deaf but most would need treatment that would be so aggressive from powerful drugs that would have to be on hand and readily available. To learn more about this virus, what it does and how it is spread you need to read Chapter 12 to understand the seriousness of what Parker has planned if this virus is unleashed.

 

 

 

The author reminds us now of Maggie O’Donald as we enter her hospital room, hear the many questions she is asked and learn more about the injuries to her mind. Yousef-al-Qadi was responsible for the death of Parker’s parents and would kill many more if Parker does not stop him first. His cover in place, the phones needed and two articles planted as if written by Zabara, Parker is about to go into deep cover with no backup, endless resources and hopefully a team that would come through.

 

 

 

But, the reader begins to wonder who can be trusted even within his own organization as we learn more about James Ford Scott a CIA agent who has enlisted Parker’s talents to foil the operation that Yousef has already set into motion. Contacting Clark Ashby a court reporter and someone close to Parker was his lead to getting his attention and the message he sent even more. But, just what are his real motives and will he really protect him? Questions asked and some answers not given as Parker hesitates before agreeing. A jihad that would make all others look like a sunny day in May and an end result that would kill millions. We continue as we learn more about Sadik Zabara as Parker assumed his identity, is writing for the Al-Quds newpaper and hopefully will get that face to face with Yousef.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet his team: Kevin Moncrief, Enrico Hernandez and Army Captain Mark Furlong as they discuss the mission. But, no one realizes that their movements are being tracked and someone is following them. A terrorist who has stolen an Islamabad nuclear weapon but Parker has to come up with a way to stop him and using a highly dangerous and contagious strain of a communicable disease is his method of choice. Ripped right out the headlines you might say when we had that Anthrax scare, Retribution is a sober reminder that we need to stay alert and even more vigilant.

 

 

 

Within the novel there is much violence and other forms of retribution as our main antagonist takes readers to the House of Saud and has the Prince kidnapped, tortured and buried alive to prove to his father what happens when he is crossed. CIA Deputy Director Robert Tranthan wants answers from Maggie and although warned not to push her too far he disregards the nurses orders and proceeds. Information lodged within the deep recesses of her brain would help them when dealing with the House of Saud and the upcoming elections. But, the Secretary, as he is referred to is smart, has his own network called the Black Swans as the author reminds us of the lone pilot at the start of the novel and her fate is about to be sealed.

 

 

 

One Chechen named Umarov, Yousef and the secretary, so powerful and so diabolical their actions will make you cringe. But, all the questioning in the world by Tranthan cannot restore her memory as yet and the information she had imparted to a nurse when she was lucid was passed off as ramblings.

 

 

 

The plan is carefully outlined by the author as we learn just what Yousef has planned in order to create what he envisions is as new Muslim state. Entering the hospital room of the King of the House of Saudi, we hear the voice of the secretary. One side he shows allegiance to the King and on the other to Yousef. Torn between both which way will he go as readers learn that someone hiding in plain sight is more than just a traitor and lives that are supposed to prevent what this man has planned are in danger by someone they are supposed to trust. A death within the hospital is about to be hidden and the safety of many in more than just danger as Yousef plans to take down the communication system and computers in the US and Canada hoping that no one will notice where the real bomb is going to explode and what now that he stole the two nuclear cores will be in it as one young girl with a limb comes flies her last flight.

 

 

 

Parker’s life is in danger if his team fails. The team’s rules apply, Parker’s friend Gunny on board, no special treatment given just what the end result will be remains to be seen as the author although shares what happens to Zabara’s family, the bomb that took out so many and those behind it.

 

Terrorist attacks are the norm not the unusual and the intricate planning and the nature of how these terrorists are able to inflict the devastation on so many innocent people is blood curdling to say the least. Two nuclear cores that if released would wipe out Chicago in a heartbeat. A plan so diabolical and one man who would risk it all to save so many. With the plan in place and meeting with Yousef what Parker does will stupefy readers as he takes on piece of gum, chews it and infects himself with a deadly virus that takes immediate hold of him. But, just what he does to Yousef and those with him will allow readers to know to what lengths he would go to in order to save lives. With his team in place, the virus overtaking him and his life in danger will he manage to escape? An ending so riveting and a story so terrifying you won’t be able to put it down until you learn the final fate of each member of the team and whether what Yousef has planned is stopped. Anderson Harp gives new meaning to the word: Retribution: Which side gets theirs? Read it to find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spider Tree

Standard

The Spider Tree: Vanessa Mulvaney

 

Imagine living in a world where nothing grows, where plants cannot survive. Imagine a world devoid of color, kindness and love. Imagine a world where the only smells that are permeated are those of decay, death, urine, the stench of rotted food, dust fills the air and the only way to survive is to live off of whatever scraps you are handed. No, this is not an imaginary place. It exists as author Vanessa Mulvaney takes you inside the walls of this dingy, dark and dank place called: Briar Orphanage, a place that no one should enter and everyone should try to escape. The children living in this horrific place live in fear of starvation, abuse, beatings, and hopelessness. Madame Briar is sadistic, demonic and cruel. With her evil smile, her magic, her private agenda, Madame Briar comes up against Void and what happens between them will alert readers that he is more than he seems, concerned about saving Dallas and the end result is whether Dallas Lawson will heed the warnings and understand his need destiny. Learning the truth behind his parent’s death is devastating as Void explains the reality behind the accident that took their lives, the uncle that made sure he was left with nothing, stealing his family’s fortunes and leaving him to rot behind the walls of Brian Orphanage. Scaring, brutalizing and terrorizing children bring a smile to the face of this wicked witch. Secrets, lies, deceits and betrayals follow her as Dallas forms a strange alliance with a single Wolf Spider, who decides use him to replace her as a warrior for the Spider Nest. A world that can only be entered through the portal or gateway in the backyard of the orphanage in a special place within the Spider Tree that stands tall covered with webs in a dark and dingy spot. Imagine trying to convince Dallas to leave, enter the portal and live among insects and then fight along side of them. But, when all seems lost, his best friend Ellie is tortured and then gone because Madame Briar found her expendable, Dallas becomes part of an army that is fighting for survival. Referred to as a Human or Titan, Dallas meets many insects when he falls to the ground, tastes real water for the first time and enters a world that would do more than astound him. Two different worlds yet really the same where people argue, battle, fight for power and position and hope to survive. In our world it’s wars against foreign countries that take our soldiers in this world it is dreaded Wasps that are most dangerous. But, the dialogue is filled with sarcasm, humor, heartfelt as Dallas enters a world filled with danger, intrigue and just might learn the real meaning of loyalty, trust and friendship before all the wars are said and done but not before he meets and has an audience with the Queen Spider. Enter Agent True Heart his second savior after arriving there and meeting the potato beetle bug Sprucie who gave her life for him.

 

Entering the world of Anthropoda and meet the Spider Queen, the soldiers, the army, Colonel Marik who dislikes Dallas from the start and Agent True Heart his savior, mentor and protector. But, prejudice reigns even in this realm you might say as we learn more about the many different spiders, their jobs. Not wanting a Titan or Human living in the Nest nor thinking Dallas capable of protecting their lair, they provide many obstacles in his way. Bullying Dallas from the start, Marik makes it blatantly clear that he does not belong there, does not want him to join the Nexus army. Dallas is smart, resourceful but lacks self-confidence but made a promise to the wolf spider to fight because she trusted him. Making a difference is all that matters to him but every step of the way you will find that the world of spiders is really not much different than ours.

 

The author brings readers into the world of spiders tilled with wonders you have never seen before. From combating insects to a pool of dangerous bass, an army of ants and bees Dallas refuses to give up and wants to prove his worth for being freed from the fangs of Madame Briar.

 

But, True teaches him the meaning of friendship, trust and loyalty. Anthropoda is where spiders rule the world; plants are their shelter, their food, friends and even their enemies. The special thing that gives the plants their properties and helps them to survive she explains to Dallas is Manna. Manna gives the plants so vividly described by the author their special properties. True explained to Dallas that Manna is powerful and must be respected she also told him that it is never to be touched or tampered with. While Dallas beings to comprehend the information he is in awe of his surroundings. Never wanting to go back to Wales and be a pawn of Madame Briar he is determined to fight, become a brave warrior and not let True down. Risking her life for his and placing herself in danger, Dallas realizes that she is truly his friend. But, Dallas feels defeated at times unwanted and out place. Throughout the novel the spiders poke fun at him, call him names, refuse to accept him and undermine what he is trying to do. Defending the wolf-spider, not allowing Marik to hunt down Shorra and have her killed for sending Dallas in her place, did not endear him with too many others but the fast paced novel filled with interesting twists and turns allows younger readers, young adults and adults to see what happens when a 13 year old teen is determined to prove his worth, not let anyone get him down and finish what he started. Imagine a place that is so huge, filled with stalactites that light up the world within, the Nest, leaves that are neon green in color, and strands of purple, blue, pink and yellow hang from the branches swinging in the breeze. A world filled with so many wonders yet unchartered for Dallas.

The author’s research into spiders had to be extensive as we learn about fishing spiders, jumping spiders, wolf spiders, how they search for food and survive. But, the real demons are the Wasps and they are at the center of the war that these spiders need to win. Crap spiders camouflage themselves, jumping spiders search fro their food, fishing spiders jump their prey. But, there is so much more that Dallas will experience before finding out whether this is where he belongs or should he go back to the orphanage?

 

Entering True’s world, living in her part of the Nest, learning to hunt food, fend for himself he next meets the queen he presents him with a challenge. Would the Queen think that he was capable of fighting for their cause against the Wasps? Would she allow him to remain or find a way to open the portal and send him back? Within the pages of Chapter 12 the author shares the beauty of the Nest and then we learn about the many branches of services and that Dallas has to enlist in one. Just like the armed forces here he had to decide between the Army, Navy and Air Force and be trained from the bottom as a soldier. The author shares the information about each branch, which runs it and the pros and cons of each one as Dallas makes his choice but will it be the right one for him? Corporal True Heart, or True is a Leaplurker under the rule of General Tulsa. As True settles Dallas in her cell, she leaves him to make her report of the events that preceded his arrival. Listening she gets mixed reviews and accusations are made about her decision to bring a Human to Anthropoda. Knowing that Shorra was an X-member and defected you might say in their eyes, they felt she should not have risked the sanctity and safety of the Nest or the other spiders for one. Reasons given, an old law that was never revoked enforced and decisions are made. Within pages 187-188 we hear many voices that express opinions as well as the strong voice of True who defends what she did and will not back down.

Dallas is determined to become part of their life, learns to eat bugs, wears the proper armor and finds himself in class with baby spiders but first let’s meet the Queen who was flanked with many guards in the form of tarantulas. W magnificent sight wearing the royal garb the Queen entertains Dallas, True in her court. But, what happens will surprise readers as you begin to think you are in a courtroom in our world and sentence is about to be passed even before the case if presented. Entering the room he and True are told the proper protocol and then the Queen speaks. What happens is private and I cannot reveal what is said in the court so that you will have to learn for yourself as the Queen hands out a mission to Dallas and his fate is sealed. Meet the nursery spiders and Mrs. Birdsong his instructor. This is priceless as he learns from the start that these small little spiders are smart, tricky and will do anything to throw him more curve balls. But, things begin to change and as he attempts to become a warrior many dangerous situations come his way as he has many more lessons, we begin to explore the planet and see the lush green leaves, the plants and experience the landscape. But, one spider named Fisher would enlighten Dallas as about an incident that cost True her ranking six years before and many things would come into place as he begins to understand why Marik dislikes him and will do anything to make him disappear or worse.

 

As danger arrives Dallas leaves the group, Fisher and the baby spiders and is now on his own as he encounters a cottonmouth snake and has to find a way to survive. Will he be able to defend himself or will the snake swallow him whole? What did Fisher tell him about True that changed everything? Where will he wind up and why does he feel that no one wants him around? When the final battle is fought and he is left to his own devices what happens will alert readers that the story is far from over, the dangers are real, the deceits, lies and betrayals run high as Dallas Lawson’s greatest fears come true.

 

What happened to True? Will she be there for him? Where does he wind up? The answers are in the computer, pen or manuscript that our creative and talented author is hopefully penning as we read this uniquely crafted novel. Two different worlds that are different yet so much the same. A tree that links two worlds filled with webs, wonders and sights within it that no one would believe. Who will win? What is next? Trust, love, a home and hope for his future: Will Dallas ever find it?

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

The other room

Standard

The Other Room: Kim Triedman

 

 

 

Can two people live in the same world, know that they are both there living within the parameters of their home, marriage and go about their daily lives yet remain invisible to each other? When a child is taken from your life do you ever recover? Claudia and Josef deal with the death of their daughter Lily in different ways. Some find comfort in each other while others like Claudia and Josef become distant, cold and pretend that life is the same yet their directions are different. The book opens as we meet Claudia in the office of her psychotherapist, Stuart relating a vision, dream or moment that she tens to think is reality while in what the author titles: the other room. Visions of a room come into her mind and a bed that she is on finding her head and neck inside the crook of the arm of this man whom she is speaking with. But, he seems divorced from her story, comments and asks her “Where Shall We Begin,” as if their session never started and her words were not heard.

 

 

 

Fast forwarding to meeting her husband for lunch, we learn something about Josef from the start as their conversation is heated, his expectations of her low and her forgetting to bring him what he needed unforgiveable. As the author brings the reader right into her home finding him cooking his lone dinner and then leaving without another word. Two people as the author once again flashes into the mind thoughts of Claudia, who loved each other, whose touch mattered now live alone within the same world yet apart. A child that bonded them and whose material things have been discarded or hidden away so that Claudia does not even have one precious item to cling to including a scent from the child’s room. Living separate lives and turning to others and other outlets is not a life but an existence. But, will they realize it before it is really too late? Guilt, fear, resentment but what about hope, can they fill the empty hole within their hearts that lies there as a result of Lily’s death? But, just how did she die has yet to be revealed? These thoughts are revealed in her Blue Book or journal that she shares from the start when we hear her voice describing her feelings, the things about her daughter she misses and the room where she lived for so short a time devoid of anything that was Lily’s.  

 

 

 

The story is told from three different perspectives as we hear Claudia, within this Other Room, how she relates to not only Stuart but the reader the events that led up to the death of her daughter, the reactions of herself and Josef, and her sister Yvonne. Next we get some insight into her perception of herself and how she often felt invisible and never really felt that she existed. Claudia seems highly disturbed and often shuts herself off from the realities that she has to face, hides herself from Josef and learns to ignore what others might be saying or thinking about her. From the moment she met him the relationship seems odd and her actions seemed rash as he fell into the arms of a stranger when someone else closed their’s. The author shares another side to this tragic story as she allows us to learn about Yvonne, Claudia’s twin sister, her physical disability and the fact that she seems to be buckling under either stress, a serious illness or hiding something. But, the harsh reality of Lily’s death comes to the forefront when both Yvonne and Claudia’s father are told of her death from the doctor in charge and alerted that the death is in question. The police informed and the questioning will begin as to just why and how Lily really died. Why did Claudia rush out of her house in her nightclothes all in disarray? Where was Josef?

 

 

 

Within the framework of this story the reader feels that Claudia is in denial about many aspects of her life and often compensates by rationalizing situations, pushing people away and deciding how she thinks or wants the event to come out and explains this to Stuart within the confines of The Other Room. But, what are truly disturbing about her are her fantasies about this man and her desire to do more than just get his approval and thoughts on what she relates to him but his emotions too. Told the D.A. needs to find out the facts and rule out homicide, suggesting they speak with a lawyer alerts readers that something is hidden and there is more to Lily’s death that has not been revealed. The death of a child changes people drastically and Josef and Claudia’s lives would never be the same as their relationship began to wither like a rose that was losing its luster and finally crumbled. Author Kim Triedman takes the reader inside the minds of Yvonne, Josef and Claudia as Claudia relates the events within this Other Room in her own voice. The Blue Book or the journal is quite revealing as she relates what happened after the death of her daughter until the truth is revealed. Can putting her thoughts within the pages of this book help her to deal with her grief?

 

 

 

Understanding her relationship with her parents, the blame she recounts for her mother’s untimely death and father distancing himself from her and relying on her sister helps the reader to understand just how alone she feels. A dinner engagement with Josef and some friends is delayed because he claimed to be tied up in the OR all day. Cold, isolated, unfeeling and hard to control her temper at times Claudia finds herself in many situations that could turn equally as tragic as her daughter’s death. Within so many different rooms alone with Stuart as she relates the experiences of each character, the events in chronological order and then hones in on the present in her Blue Notebook we see many sides of Claudia, hear her voice as she enters so many rooms from the past, the present and maybe even what she hopes for her future. Grief can be portrayed in many ways as the author allows Claudia to expose and exhibit many different emotions. Sometimes she seems accepting when at others she is angry, unfocused and distant. The scene with her boss when she is removed from a project and another editor is asked to complete her project shows just how disjointed she has become and how unaware of her actions she has become.

 

 

 

A family gathering during Thanksgiving brings out the resentment, her true feelings and frustrations. Both she and her sister have many unresolved issues that need to be addressed and both deal with them with anger, fear and lashing out. But, something changes everything as one simple sentence brings to light a hidden truth. As Yvonne says in simple words: one death should not have cost so many lives,” you wonder just how many were and still are affected by the death of a child and what really happened to her you just won’t believe. Throughout each chapter we hear Claudia describe the actions and feelings of different family members, friends and their reaction to what she is going through and the lack of understanding for her that her sister shows. Close when they were younger yet Claudia resented her in so many ways what will it take for her to find herself, understand who she is as a person and forgive herself and find her own inner peace. Her final session with Stuart is quite compelling, remarkable and enlightens the reader to just how astute Claudia really is and why some many hours, weeks and sessions within Stuart’s Other Room changed both of their lives but how? The untold feelings, the silence between them and her emotional conflicts and the final resolution will help readers understand that things changed drastically in her life and as we read her final entry in her Blue Notebook we have to wonder just what room Claudia will wind up in? Will she ever find herself? Will she open one door and find somewhere she really belongs? An ending quite compelling and will keep the reader wondering: Where is Claudia now and where will she wind up? Told so brilliantly through one voice and our narrator Claudia takes us through each event until the final present, author Kim Triedman allows readers to wonder what is next for Claudia? Will she find her inner peace or will she lock herself up in another Room? Two sisters each troubled different yet the same.  Forgiveness comes at a high price only if you can forgive yourself first.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer