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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Thought Provoking: Ashes of the Earth reviewed by fran lewis, May 1, 2011
By Fran Lewis "Fran and Bertha"This review is from: Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America (Hardcover)
Title: Ashes of the Earth
Author: Eliot Pattison
ISBN: 978-1582436449.
Publisher: Counterpoint

Take a glimpse into the future. Think about your world as it is right now. Trees, markets, stores, technological advances, medical breakthroughs and modern conveniences that everyone takes for granted and rarely gives thanks for. Imagine in one strike of a match your world goes up in flames and the end result is a total global holocaust. What is left is smoke, ash, soot, burned buildings, pieces of glass and human beings so deformed so ill they can barely survive. Humans exposed to radiation and expelled and exiled not to contaminate others. Martial law reigns. Those who question are exiled or punished. Those who dare to challenge the government tortured. Imagine a world devoid of flowers, trees, metal, medicines, books and paper to write on and the basic comforts of life. Picture the devastation shown in Japan just this month. Remember the Tsunamis in Hawaii and Korea as the world comes to an end and the result will rock your world and give the reader much pause for thought.

Hadrian Boone is the main character in this book. Often imprisoned on petty charges and beaten, tortured and abused by those in charge he manages to stay afloat using his intelligence, connections and instincts. A founder of the colony and former professor, he hopes to work to rebuild what is left of Carthage. His long time friend Jonah Beck has been secretly working on many projects including a new public works system, medications to heal the sick and a way to bring both the exiles in New Jerusalem and those in Carthage together. But, what Hadrian learns and what happens to Jonah, will shake their worlds and rock the inner core of what is left of Carthage. Becoming more than a liability to his former friend Governor Buchanan, his often the brunt of many beatings, torturous experiences imposed on him by his one time friend.

Becoming embroiled in the intrigue and the subterfuge of Carthage, learning of the plots and deceit of those in government and in power, just might get him killed. Murders of young men made to look like suicides. His friend Jonah thought to have hanged himself but did he? Any hope of restoring life to its original state and creating a bridge to reach out to the exiles and provide them with food and medicine gone.

Taking him into the underworld of the exiles, unearthing the secrets that lie beneath the walls of a monastery, and uncovering the whereabouts of a ship thought sunk, draws Hadrian and many others into a web so tightly spun they might never survive. The contraband that Hadrian finds buried in a church is startling. A cloud of doubt that hangs over him when dealing with Sergeant Waller and her true reason for shadowing his every move and appearing to help him at times and at others lost and unable to cope. Emily, the head of the hospital faces the death and doom daily dealt to the many brought in who are murdered, maimed and in some cases left for dead. Scouts that go out and never return and people who are hanged just because they are considered expendable or not worth living at least in this world devoid of emotion, caring and anyone who wants civilization to really survive.

This book brings to light many issues that we hope we never have to face. Children forced to do the dangerous dirty work of adults, smugglings, stealing and committing other crimes to stay alive. Pranks played just for fun on the dead. The characters depicted in this novel seem totally devoid of emotions. The vivid descriptions of the deterioration of the world, the disintegration of the human bodies, their minds and spirits are so clearly written you can create you own mental image of the scenes, the characters and what is left of their world.

Sometimes the search for answers brings new questions. As Hadrian Boone reenters the world of those exiled he learns the hidden truth behind his friend's mission and what he was really creating with those in New Jerusalem as the camp was renamed. Appearance are quite deceiving and people are not always who and what you think they are.

Jackals, young children enlisted to work for the smugglers, men who played both sides of the fence and a directory of names that would shed light on the rest. Who was behind the killings? Who would benefit the most from the smuggling and creating deadly drugs that would silence the inquisitive? A Governor who appears to want to find the answers behind the murders but does he? But, when the final showdown comes to play where will his allegiance lie and just how far will he go to get what he wants.

A plot so diabolical, convoluted and intricate no one will saw it coming nor will they see the end result until it's too late. The granaries are full, the food supply plentiful and the government blinded by their own greed. An ending so explosive that the world as they knew it, as you know it will never be the same. Who will win? Carthage or Total Carnage?

Fran Lewis Reviewer for Book Pleasures Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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A Good Story Is A Good Story: Book Review by Fran Lewis -AUTHOR TOM GREATON


Have you read a Tim Greaton novel lately? One reviewer called The The Santa Shop "...pure distilled emotions." Tim's mainstream emotional novels and fantasy books for all ages are available at all fine bookstores, or get discounted and signed collector editions at

Hope is something that everyone needs and never give up on. No matter what life throws at you it’s too precious to take yourself away and out of the world. Everyone has a purpose in life and sometimes events happen that we cannot control yet feel that if we were present the outcome would have been different. Not always the case. Skip Ralstat was a lawyer whose family died at the hand of a thoughtless man who was on drugs. Going to an office party on Christmas Eve and arrive back home finding his wife and son burned to death riddled him with guilt. Deciding his life was worthless; his time on earth limited, he gave up on himself and decided to live on the streets. But, unknown to Skip although he lived alone and wandered the many streets in Albany each day and night he was never really alone nor lacking people who really cared about him and understood his despair.

The decisions we make in life can determine what happens to us in the present as well as the future. Not all decisions will be sound or right. But, making them we have to stand by what we decide. Replaying and reliving failures and successes will not help because you cannot rewind time and recreate the outcome of a decision or event. Skip decided to go to a Christmas party on Christmas Eve leaving his wife and daughter home. Unfortunately, one of the tenants where they lived was careless, on drugs and started a fire that killed many including his family. Was their death really his fault? Would the outcome have been different had he been home? Would the world be better off without him? Hard decision. What would your answer be?
Self- blame is a way out of facing reality. Suicide is one means of escape. As Skip wanders the streets one morning he meets Father Johnson he invites him into his warm church, gives him a warm meal, somewhere to sleep and much food for thought. Kind, caring and understanding and definitely not judgmental, Skip hears what the Father’s message about life is but will he heed his words.

Leaving the church he meets a man named Barwood who shares his story with him and takes him to meet a wonderful woman named Martha who owns a soup kitchen. Justifying being homeless, explaining why he’s living on the streets and yet encouraged the man to return to his life and not give up on himself. Christmas and the holiday season often brings out the best in some and the worst in others. Meeting Barwood would play some positive thoughts and remembrances in his mind as he remembers the good times and the wealth of having a family. But, yet he planned to take his own life and when Barwood tells him about Christmas Leap in the town of Gary, he plans to find a way to get there. Meeting several people along the way, Jenny who owns a lot of property and is striving to open her own shelter. The lady at the Governor’s office who opens his eyes to prejudice and the waitress at the diner that was just plain rude. Yet, Skip in all of his despair and sorrow found a way to teach each one of these people and others a lesson in kindness, humility and understanding.

Arriving in Gary he befriends the man in the Santa Shop who explains how he came to own it and why. But, one toy truck, one man dressed as a reaper would make all the difference to him and many others. Living on the streets, not used to the kindness and caring of others he turns down the gift from the man who owns the Santa Shop, tells the waitress she is rude and finds a way to make a little girl at the inn smile. Why do people treat the homeless and those less fortunate as less than human? Remembering his wife and son he realizes that his own death should be imminent and finds the bridge famous for the Christmas Leap event each year and climbs to the top.
What does happen I cannot tell you or explain? The thoughts played in his head, the words that come out and the fear in his heart is immeasurable. The reality of the situation, what changes him or does not change him you need to read for yourself. The story begins with one man who needs to do something before he and his wife move to another place. Just how the beginning links to the ending you will have to read for yourself. Will he jump or will something in his heart bring him back and show him that life is fragile as delicate as a piece of blown glass which needs to be protected or it will shatter. Find out for yourself because this is one book that everyone should read.

I just lost my mom and my sister. There are times that I feel sad, cry and wonder why they are no longer here. I often wonder what more could have been done by the doctors to save them. I often wonder what would have happened had I been there or told sooner about my sister’s heart attack. You cannot rewind the past but you can make them proud of you and your work in the present.

One man’s heartfelt story and journey from despair to redemption. One man’s voice heard loud and clear and one author who gave me the honor of reading and reviewing it.

Skip could be anyone. He could be your neighbor, friend, husband or brother. This book teaches so many important lessons. First, you are never really alone if you allow others to reach out to you. Second, the kindness of both Martha and Jenny was precious to him regardless of the end result. Third, never letting the words of others sting even though they burn your heart. The tears that came to my eyes were not only for my sister and mother but for anyone who loses faith and does not realize that life means easing the pain of others to sometimes help yourself. The only leap anyone should take is one of faith and hope.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Sunday, May 22, 2011


On May 24, at 7PM MT - 8 PM CST -9PM- EST -6PM PST join Host Marsha Cook for a great show about Marcus Bryan and Associates INC. and Michigan Avenue Media LLC.

All the answers to the question what is Marcus Bryan & Associates and what do they do and also,what does Michigan Avenue Media LLC do.There will be surprise guests and interesting topics discussed ,especially screenwriting. So many authors write a book hoping to have their book made into a movie but don't know how to reach the right people. That will be an open discussion. Hollywood and how to get there will also be discussed.

The conversation will shift back and forth about all the important issues writers of screenplays and books need to know.There will be screenwriters, producers, directors and actors involved in this fast paced but fun based show. Some of the guests for the show will be actor and writer Reesa Guerra, January Roberts, screenwriter, novelist, Jeff Fleischer, National and International journalist, screenwriter, author and editor. Mike Fazelian, agent with Marcus Bryan & Associates Inc.And if that's not enough we will also have talk about book reviews and if they help sell books. This is a live show but you can listen on demand as soon as the show is over.Denise Spooner will have the phone lines open and the chat room will be open.

The phone number to call is 714-242-5259.

Link to the show