Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Relax Ma, I know what I’m doing

In the backyard, Ma is tossing a small stick for my golden retriever to fetch. But as I come in, Browny forgets all about the game and leaps up, almost knocking me over with the full force of happiness.
My mother says, “I know you love chicken soup, Ash. I made some for you.” 
I say, “Smells delicious, all the way from the kitchen, Ma.”
She smiles. “It’s been simmering all day.”
Her hand runs ever so softly over my forehead, so I avoid telling her that I’m tired of the same old meal. I bet she also cooked some carrots and peas, but having been called a vegetable, I promised myself not to eat them.
It’s time for a change. 
So, I decide to surprise her with a new recipe, which I learned a few months ago from my boyfriend. At the time, we cooked it together in his kitchen. 
Just thinking back to that evening makes me miss Michael so much. In recent weeks, I have lived in isolation. It allowed me to reflect on everything that has happened to me, so as to figure out where to go from here. And after all that time, the only thing I know for sure is that I pine for him. I long for the warmth of his embrace. I miss his passion. 
Am I ready, at long last, to rekindle it?
I go to the kitchen, Browny’s paws tapping the floor close behind me. I heat some oil in a large saucepan, chop some garlic and onion and toss them in. Listening to the start of the sizzle, I sprinkle oregano, cumin and cinnamon. My golden retriever sniffs the air with great excitement.
I cover the saucepan, letting the onion cook until it is tender. From time to time, I stir it. For good measure, I mix in chili powder and flour.
Ma comes in just as I start whisking in her chicken broth.
“Oh no!” She purses her lips in disapproval. “Why are you wasting it?”
“Relax Ma,” I say. “I know what I’m doing.”
“Do you?”
“Yes, Ma! This is going to be great over chicken and rice. Mole sauce celebrates the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine. And it has a special nutritional ingredient, which I find absolutely essential for my diet these days.”
“Which is what?”
She raises an eyebrow but says not a thing. 
Meanwhile, I increase the heat and cook until the liquid is reduced. Then I remove it from the heat, whisk in large chunks of dark chocolate. As they melt, I season the sauce with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
The aroma is simply exhilarating. When I pour the sauce over chicken and rice, the only thing Ma says is, “Mmm.”
“Have a seat, Ma,” I say, carrying both plates to the table. “Today, we’re going to have a gourmet meal.”
“Yes,” she says, looking at Browny, who is licking a drop of the sauce on the floor. “I’m hungry.”
We eat. We lick the plates clean. We hug.

Excerpt from Coma Confidential

★ Love Suspense? Go for the ride 

Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it? 

A diary of memories

A short and sweet review for Apart from Love:

April 24, 2019
A dark family drama. Very deep in content and form this is a story of memories and pain. Extremely well written and will leave the reader with darkness and light soulful thoughts.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Do No Harm: Savage Art by @danielle1girard

Crouched in the closet, he waited for the sounds of her arrival. Sweat pooled beneath the black gloves, but his face and neck were cool. The red light on the bedside clock read 11:47. She was never earlier than 11:36 and never later than 12:04. She would arrive momentarily. Anticipation ran like a blade across his skin, arousing each part of his anatomy.
From his pocket, he found the patch of pink satin he had cut from the first one's panties, and rubbed it across his lips. Nearly three months had passed since that first time. Almost five years since his mother and sister, but he didn't count them with the others.
For nearly five years, he'd been content, working in the morgue. Late at night, when he was there alone, he would do a bit of dissection, practice his skills. He was always sure to work on a victim who was headed out to a closed-casket funeral or to the crematorium so no one would wonder about his handiwork. It had been a satisfying experience.
And then the idiot manager had caught him with one of the cadavers, a young woman, and had fired him. He'd felt himself explode at that moment, the trigger firing. He'd gotten into his car and driven it so fast, he'd gone right off the road. It had been a momentary release, to be free and flying.
The doctors had told him that he was fortunate to be alive, but he knew it was more than that. He was chosen. Once he had healed, with a new face thanks to the accident, he'd found himself hunting for another patient.
That was three months ago. He could still see the first one's body writhing for him, with him, against him. The satin caressed his neck, then his chest. He felt himself grow harder at the thought of her.
Lucy, she had called herself. Lucy was a whore just like his mother. "Lucy," he whispered, pressing the cloth against himself.
He smelled the satin, the scent of his own sweat and her blood and tears. The small triangle was the only thing he had allowed himself to keep. Soon, he would need to be rid of it, too. He gathered himself and returned the satin to his pocket.
He let his body cool, using his mind to control its fierce desire, concentrating on his next work. For the one he'd just finished, he had fixated on the face, the center of pain. She had been a model. The face had seemed appropriate for her.
As long as he could remember, he had dreamt of pulling the body apart, of cutting the skin from the organs, of seeing the body in pieces. Originally, he had also dreamed of putting it back together.
But fixing was his sister Karen's job. You're not good enough—not smart enough, not motivated, not clever. He'd heard that often from their mother—the man-hating bitch. Not clever—he had shown them who was the most clever.
Being a doctor was just like being an artist, and he had shown he was a wonderful artist. It took skill, and practice. And each time, he only got better. Soon, he would make the perfect doctor. They wouldn't deny him again.
The metal tink of the key in the lock renewed his arousal. His fingers tingled with the closeness of her. FBI Agent Casey McKinley. No victim would be more enticing than she.
Cincinnati rarely captured such high-profile visitors. She had come because of him. His art had drawn her. How he had longed to share his next work with her. Now he would. 
FBI Profiler Casey McKinley would be the next piece, perhaps his first masterpiece.

Excerpt from Savage Art by Danielle Girard

No Longer Available
Do No Harm

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The David Chronicles: Trilogy

Love the story of David? The David Chronicles: Trilogy describes the life of one of the most fascinating figures in history, starting from his youth, his ascension to the throne, and his struggles with his heirs during his old age: 
Rise to Power:
Here is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.

Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul's army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind. But how does he see himself, during this first phase of his life?

With his hands stained with blood, can he find an inner balance between conflicting drives: his ambition for the crown, his determination to survive the conflict with Saul, and his longing for purity, for a touch of the divine, as expressed so lyrically in his psalms?

A Peek at Bathsheba:

Against the backdrop of wars, raging within the land and without, David is growing into the mantle of leadership. Between his anointment as a tribal king and his anointment as the king of all of Israel, he uses wisdom, cunning, and his own understanding of the forces of history, aiming for high ideals: stopping the bloodshed, uniting the nation, and bringing about healing and peace. 

But then, having reached his peak, David falters. He makes a serious error that threatens to undo his political success, and cost him not only the adoration of his people--but also the sense of being sustained by a divine power. That error is the most torrid tale of passion ever told: his deliciously forbidden love for Bathsheba, followed by his attempt to cover up the ensuing scandal by sending her husband--who serves him faithfully in his army--to his death.

The Edge of Revolt:

David loves his sons. The last thing he expects is that they will topple him from the throne. Who among them will remain by his side? Who will be not only loyal, but also eager to continue his legacy?

For now, David remains silent, even as Amnon rapes Tamar, even as Absalom lures Amnon to his death. In families other than his, such crimes may be concealed. But when they occur in the king's family, they affect matters of the state, and result in his escape from the son he adores. Will he finds a way to quell the revolt and come back to the City of David?

The story of David and Goliath through the eyes of the masters

Love the story of David and Goliath? It is the quintessential win of the week against the mighty, the just against evil, and it intrigued artists across different cultures throughout history. Every moment of this fight, from the initial battle cry to the moment the giant falls down, astonished by his own defeat, is depicted in this book.  

Friday, April 26, 2019

Brutal murder with no suspects and a lot of drama

A short and sweet review for Virtually Lace:

April 22, 2019
Book 1 was great and I finished this one in a day! The virtual part of the story is genius! To do a reenacted crime scene in most police and detective stories is nothing new BUT a virtual simulation is. WOW When the plot picks up, there are still NO suspects. I was frustrated with Ash not being able to remember but, that shows the author's skills.

The suspense is there with Michael and the solving aspect. The scenery, computer skills and mystery make this a great book!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Do No Harm: Outcome by @BarbaraEbel

Diana Devlin scanned the September night from the window of her Cessna 402 as the twin-engines purred. She enjoyed listening to the smooth and familiar motors. The mechanical music was like a fine symphony to her ears and part of her fastidious nature wanted to make sure nothing sounded amiss before she commanded her plane to cruise at 200 knots.
Her passengers seated themselves in four of the six seats and placed their equipment, paperwork, and white jackets on the available floor space. She smoothed a soft wisp of butterscotch hair away from her forehead and peered outside to the FAA control tower and fixed-base operator office at Standiford Field. She would be back home in Louisville by morning depending on how fast things moved once the transplant team disembarked in Birmingham. Not that she was in a hurry. She had made trips for organ retrieval before and liked the adrenaline rush, the pressure of the medical necessity, and the involvement in saving a recipient’s life.
Retrieving organs wasn’t even Diana’s main job. During weeks off from flying UPS cargo, she leased trips on her private plane. She planned on giving up flying UPS Boeing 757s by the time she turned fifty, in twelve more years, when her retirement assets would be dependable and flying would be at her discretion. She piloted her Cessna for sheer joy and exhilaration and charged handsomely for some excursions, but tonight’s trip, except to cover the cost of gas and landing fees, was charity. Her husband, Peter, was an anesthesiologist; they only partially depended on her full-time salary and didn’t need her extra-curricular income.
A passenger’s voice broke into Diana’s thoughts. “It would be allowed for me to sit there? Up front?”
Diana motioned to the right seat. “Go ahead. I’m pilot, co-pilot and crew. Seat’s empty.”
Sukhdev Bhagat planted his buttocks into the seat and sighed after arranging himself. He was a large man with pudgy cheeks, dull black hair, and sloping eyebrows. He unfastened his top shirt button and folded his white coat on his lap. He was one of the two main surgeons for the impending liver transplant, but his partner stayed at Samaritan Hospital while he headed to procure the donor liver. A senior surgical resident accompanied him as well as a United Network organ representative and a registered nurse.
Diana tuned the cockpit radio frequency to Louisville clearance. “Organ Life Zero One requesting clearance to Birmingham.”
A voice on the other end crisply responded, “Organ Life Zero One cleared to Birmingham as filed, climb and maintain ten thousand feet. Contact ground on 121.7 for taxi.”
“Roger,” Diana said. “Organ Life Zero One cleared to Birmingham as filed, climb and maintain ten thousand feet.” She looked at Dr. Bhagat and then craned her neck to see the passengers behind her. “Are all items secured and are you all buckled? And, are there any last minute questions regarding the emergency drill I gave you?”
“We are ready,” the thirty-five year old surgeon said. “Your briefing did not involve us learning brain surgery.” He faced the right window and lowered his voice. “Please, let us get this plane moving.”
Diana frowned but continued her eye contact with the other passengers. They nodded and she proceeded to switch frequencies as instructed.
“Ground, Organ Life Zero One is ready to taxi with information Alpha.”
“Organ Life Zero One cleared to taxi and hold short of Runway 17 Left via taxiway Echo,” said a voice from ground control.
Diana read back the taxi clearance, released the brakes, and headed for the runway. Her 20/20 vision gauged the small truck to the side of the plane to be far enough away from her right wing.
“Organ Life Zero One monitor tower on 124.2 for takeoff.”
“Roger that.” Diana set the brakes and completed the before-takeoff checklist.
“Organ Life Zero One ready?” queried a voice from the tower.
Diana viewed the panorama to her left - the 150 foot wide runway and the white runway lights stretching forward 200 feet apart like white-spotted dominoes in the dark.
“Tower, this is Organ Life Zero One ready for takeoff.”
“Organ Life Zero One. Maintain runway heading. You are cleared for takeoff on Runway 17 Left.”
Diana echoed the tower’s instructions, taxied onto the runway, and pushed the throttles forward. She quickly and methodically checked the engine instruments and the air speed indicator as the plane accelerated to takeoff speed.
Inside the unpressurized aircraft, her passengers remained quiet. The spotless white plane rolled forward. Diana’s pulse quickened along with her accelerating toy. Her ears keyed to the roar of the engines, her sharp eyes to what lay before her as well as the incandescence passing to the right and left.
But something wasn’t right…

Excerpt from Outcome, A Novel byBarbara Ebel

No Longer Available
Do No Harm

This medical thriller will have you holding your breath

I love this review so much that I'm tempted to steal it for the book blurb of Coma Confidential...

April 23, 2019
This medical thriller will have you holding your breath. Written in first person, Coma Confidential draws the reader into the mind of the heroine, a young woman who barely survived a brutal beating and rape. Ash doesn’t remember what happened. She doesn’t even remember her name, but she’s aware of her surroundings and the people who come and go. Slowly, she pulls together the puzzle pieces and unravels the mystery...while the reader bites nails, hoping she’ll discover the culprits before it’s too late.

Not only is Ash battling to move to let someone know she’s aware—a finger or toe or her eyes—she’s frantic to discover what happened and who was responsible for her attack. When she finally realizes the truth, a whole new villain emerges and Ash must challenge herself…will her body to respond so she can save her own life.

A remarkable story of courage, strength, and survival. Without revealing spoilers, I’ll simply say don’t miss this beautifully written, lyrical story by USA Today Bestselling Author, Uvi Poznansky.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

New! Paperback editions for six art collections

Just when you weren't looking, I created the paperback editions for the six art books in The David Chronicles series. Each one of these collections is curated around the events in King David's life, moment to moment across the work of masters of all ages. So you get the viewpoints of Rembrandt and Dali focusing in on the same moment of the story...

So if you fancy one of them, you can have it not only on your Kindle but on your coffee table too... Just in in time for Mother's Day, perhaps? Hint hint..

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Do No Harm: Shatter Proof by @JudithLucci

I jumped from my bed and crouched on the floor my arms folded around my head like fragile armor. My eyes searched the dark frantically for my enemy. Finally, I saw it. I saw the apparition of the monster – my father! His cruel eyes shone black and glittered with hate.  I waited, my breath ragged, for the noise. My body quivered with fear and anticipation. Terror consumed my soul as panic shot through my body. I waited for it to begin. My heart thudded against my ribcage. I placed my hand on my chest to keep it from exploding. I didn’t want to be discovered.
A sharp noise - the slap! The noise echoed in the room.  My face dug into the floor as I tried to escape the sound of my enemy and his havoc. My brain emptied conscious thought as my sympathetic nervous system took charge and prepared my tiny body for action.  
A second smack and a cry of pain. I heard bones crack. I felt a thousand eyes watch me. They scrutinized my every move. I was frightened, as terrified and panicked as I’d been years ago when I was three years old. The slap and splintered bones that shattered my life forever over 35 years ago.
I felt a wisp of air touch my cheek as a large hand sliced through the air and separated the molecules. Another slap!  I heard bones crack.  The victim whimpered. The sob became a quiet moan.
My mother lay crumpled like a broken doll as she cried softly on the floor near me. Her breathing sounded funny. My mother’s cheeks glistened with blood and tears. Her broken nose destroyed the symmetry of her beautiful face. Her long blonde hair was matted with blood. Radcliff-educated Melody Fitzpatrick, the daughter of a famous American diplomat, was a mass of crumpled flesh, blood and bones. My mother had fallen in love with a monster who now assaulted her body and mind, blinded by the love that only comes once in a lifetime.
Of course, he wasn’t a monster when my mother married him – that came later when he became a jihadi terrorist, filled with hate for all things Western, including his once-devoted wife.
I lay helpless for an eternity. I felt the sweat dry and evaporate from my body. I opened my eyes. It was dawn. I was at home, in my apartment, safe and sound in the outskirts of Washington DC.  I was safe.
At least for now

Excerpt from Shutter Proof by Judith Lucci

No Longer Available
Do No Harm

A time that should not be forgotten


A. Lee

Marriage Before Death: WWII Spy Thriller

 A time that should not be forgotten 

Overall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed: 12-23-18

Uvi Poznanski writes of a time almost forgotten by those who were not there, the Freedom Fighters and their continuous fight to free France from the Nazis. This is the story of two individuals, a personal story. She has the ability to give life to the time, creating characters fighting for their beliefs. For lovers of war stories, romance, and spy stories.
Was this review helpful for you?