Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fiction Review

Dry Sterile Thunder
by Jim Accardi
ISBN-10: 0595319084
Review by Heather Froeschl

It appears that there is a serial killer in a small Alabama community. The murders are horrible to begin with but the killer is leaving grotesque messages on the skin of the victims. Clues left to taunt investigators lead to the possibility of more murders, more victims and sheer panic in the air.

New District Attorney Katie O'Brien is quickly finding out that she?s not sure she really wants this job. The press is in her face, the public wants answers and the cops want to make an arrest. But she knows that making arrest just to do so would be wrong, and would not be helping the public in any way. The real killer would still be out there, hunting victims, fulfilling desires and getting the media coverage over it.

Jim Accardi has woven quite a tale of murder, suspense and brain teasing. "Dry Sterile Thunder" is a twisted story, full of puzzling plot and action and promises a good read. The author has paid great attention to detail and characterization and has succeeded in writing a well-done murder mystery. There are times when he goes a little too far into minor character?s backgrounds and motivations for my taste, but the positive far outweighs the negative. Look for more from this author and you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Children's book Review

by Elizabeth A. McMahan
ISBN-10: 0759688613
Review by Heather Froeschl

In 1934, in the piedmont area of North Carolina, Cammie is turning ten. Looking forward to celebrating her first decade of living, she asks her parents for a hotdog roasting party. The whole family shows up, complete with both sets of Cammie's grandparents, her aunts, uncles and cousin Ben and her best friend Jessica. But the party isn't the focal point of the book. Growing up in the depression, crafting playthings, inventing games, and even being a bunny in the school play are all part of Cammie's life.

Cammie's stories are told in a friendly, easygoing way, which will be a joy to children to read. Every chapter shows this spunky, kind-hearted girl being creative and caring and enjoying life. From taking care of her little brother by playing every game she can think of to being the game master at her family's reunion, it is clear that Cammie knows how to entertain herself and others.

It is a simpler life than today's children are used to and the stories bring an air of innocence to the reader from those days gone by. Elizabeth McMahan has once again carried me back in time to more close-knit families, honest hard work, putting up stores for winter and the enjoyment of a hayride. "Cammie Turns Ten" stands alone, or could be read as the first, second or third in the Cammie series. In any event, readers aged 9 -12 will adore the books and if parents are allowed to share them it will bring back memories of their own childhood.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Fiction Review

Abram's Journey: Quest for the Man in the Stars
by Pamilla S Tolen
ISBN-10: 1594675376
Review by Heather Froeschl

Look back into ancient Mesopotamia. 4,000 years ago the customs and lives of people were very different from what they are today. Through the eyes of Abram and his family we are introduced to a world of Gods and Goddesses and astrology, and then the introduction of a new religion.

Daily life is wonderfully described, from the lay of the land to the figs and goat milk. The reader is totally absorbed in a different culture. The Gods and Goddesses and rituals honoring them are relayed in great detail. This story of Abram's early life is told with honor and reverence and seemingly much anthropological research.

We cannot truly research the way in which Abram was led to his one God, but the speculations in this story make for good reading and understanding of what could have happened. The use of astrology in the book is fantastic and adds to the ancient feel of the read. A nicely done work.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Fiction Review

Eclipse of the Soul
by Olga Morales
ISBN-10: 1594573530
review by Heather Froeschl

Mia, a young mother and wife, disappears under the shadow of an eclipse. Her husband is left to challenge the theories of the local police in a land he is unfamiliar with, leaving his children with their Uncle. Mark knows that Mia did not run off with another man, he knows that something is terribly wrong, but he cannot believe what he is being told.

A skeptical man, Mark hesitates to listen to the shaman he is brought to for guidance. He ignores the signs he is shown and attributes his nightmares of Mia's demise to his stress and worry. It takes a bolt of lightning to show him the light of what is really going on, who he really is and how to find his wife. At the same time he realizes the peril that the souls of the world are in. Will he be able to do anything about it? Will he be able to find his wife in time?

In a book that combines mysticism and adventure, Olga Morales has also woven a story of soulmates, love, trust and the power of the light. Many occult topics are addressed and explained through the character's voices and blend well into a mystic brew of interest. Astrology, crystal use, astral travel, and shamanism are just a few of the mystic arts portrayed in the book. The writing is well done and the storyline compelling, overshadowing several typos. The author has introduced the reader to theories they might not otherwise read about and addressed a thoughtful plot.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Fiction Review

Last Things, First Things
By Wells Earl Draughon
ISBN-10: 0595269427
Review by Heather Froeschl

What would you do if you had only a short time left to live? What if you did everything you thought you'd wanted to do but your life was just empty and lonely? Could you call your life complete if you had not accomplished what you thought was your life's work? Wells Earl Draughon has addressed some very deep topics in "Last Things, First Things." His characters confront issues that we all hope we won't ever have to. This makes for a heart touching, thought provoking read.

Val believes that he is dying of cancer. He saw the foreboding word on his medical charts. His mistrust of doctors convinces him that he has little time left and he takes matters into his own hands. He quits his job, sells everything he owns and is ready to embrace the world during his last weeks. But all he feels is empty and hopeless. Except for the memory of meeting someone at the hospital...someone who he feels drawn to in ways he never has felt before.

Erin is working on the plans of her dream house. As an architect she is successful yet her ambition drives her to fulfill her goal of designing the perfect house. She also wants a baby and a husband and is in the process of adopting a baby girl. But her fatigue is dragging her down and scaring her to no end in her worry over what it could be that is causing it. Her doctor tells her she is fine, and she believes him. She trusts him.

Taking a trip to the Greek islands seems to be the answer for much needed rest and inspiration. When Val and Erin find each other there, the draw between them is evident. Should he tell her that he is dying? Should she tell him she is adopting a child? She makes him feel alive and complete. He makes her forget her exhaustion. Is the love they have discovered enough to get them through their troubles? Or is it the very thing they live for?

Wells Earl Draughon has written a piece that will leave you wondering what you would do if you were faced with the end of your life. What things would come first for you? What would be the last things you ever do? He will also remind you to live as if you were dying - living to the fullest. With a plot that is fast paced and emotionally charged, "Last Things, First Things" will have you turning pages and looking for more from this author when you reach the end.