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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Children's Book Review

The Silver Creek Secret
by Christopher Doyle
ISBN-10: 1403392811
Review by Heather Froeschl

This roller coaster ride is fun and entertaining, July 20, 2004
On Kurt’s thirteenth birthday he beat his record time in climbing Mount Catawalla and took a little rest at the top. But when we wakes up, we is no longer overlooking the Milky Way Amusement Park, but rather a very flat desert with mountains in the distance. He can see a few buildings not too far away and soon stumbles into the town where things are not quite what they seem and neither is he.

The townspeople, a handful of adults and a bunch of kids, seem to think he is Roy Sharp, returned from whence he vanished to years before. Vanished into thin air while riding his donkey. Kurt finds all of it vaguely familiar, and he should, for his Grandfather’s stories of the old west revolved around these very people and the town of Silver Creek. But Silver Creek is not what old Pa’s stories made it out to be. This Silver Creek is dried up. The kids don’t know what fun is and the adults can’t seem to remember things. Something just isn’t right in this town where the children never grow older and the adults are never thirsty.

Kurt pieces together the puzzling circumstances around him and realizes that he must escape this place in order to find his way back home. The mountains seem to hold the answers he seeks. Will he make it back to his own life? Will the other kids do the same?

Christopher Doyle has created a mirage in the desert that is full of mystery and secrets. With a captivating plot and truly interesting characters, he grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go until the end of the tale. This roller coaster ride is fun and entertaining, keeping the reader guessing to the last page. Part of the plot may be a little confusing to some readers but following through will clear things up and bring closure.

Fact Based Fiction Review

Hospital Privileges: The Harrowing Story of one Doctors Journey Through Conspiracy & Violence
by Dr. Mark D. Hopkins
ISBN-10: 1413710743
Review by Heather Froeschl

Corporate America enters the medical field. Rather, Capitalism runs the medical field. In a profession that should be ruled by compassion and medical care, the practice has turned into a purely moneymaking scheme for some. And it is a deadly game of competition for money. Based on real life events, Mark Hopkins has written a book that is a real eye opener for every American.

An assassin is hired to kill two orthopedic surgeons at a conference in Vail, Colorado. They die in an avalanche and it is initially chalked up to accidental circumstance. The local police don't get all that much to do most of the time and one officer, a former homicide detective from Chicago, has plenty of time to look into the recent deaths. Something just doesn't seem right. At the same time, Dr. Mark Adams is doing some investigating of his own. The two doctors that had died held the same beliefs as he, that corporate holdings should have nothing to do with medicine. He uncovers some very interesting information regarding a monster parent company that is making progress at taking over the entire medical practice of the country.

It seems that doctors who do not want to join the parent company are being killed off one by one in seemingly accidental tragedies. Mark sends an email off and eventually it comes to the attention of the FBI, CIA and the President. Can the truth be uncovered in time? Can someone put a stop to the insane empire that is being built of the basic needs of people for health care?

In a fast moving, attention grabbing plot, "Hospital Privileges" tells a story that every American needs to read in a way that is entertaining and thought provoking. A handful of typos and misprints do not detract from the author's good writing, though there are instances where the characters suddenly know facts without the reader being witness to the thought process of the situation. These are not major distractions and can be overlooked since the overall plot and conveyance of the story is well performed. I applaud Mark Hopkins, M.D. in his endeavor to provide a good read, and relay some disturbingly true events.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Fable Review

The Wisdom of Our Burdens, Vol. 1: From Debt to Deliverance
by Ruth Theobald Probst
ISBN-10: 0975342207
Review by Heather Froeschl

We all have burdens in our lives, it is from these burdens that we learn our life's lessons and discover the potential to grow. It is essential that we grow as human beings, thus we can assume that our burdens are really gifts of opportunity. At least that is the basic message of Ruth Theobold Probst's book, "The Wisdom of Our Burdens."

In a very unique style, Probst allows the reader to tag along on Avery Victoria Spencer's journey within. Avery is a very successful bank president who has some very big issues when it comes to her own personal finances. There are deeper problems, which fuel her immense debt, and no one can help her but herself. Avery must learn where her issues lie in order to deal with them. Her journey begins in a locked castle keep.

Through the fable of Avery's castle, the reader will become aware that these are problems that most of us face. The problem is making ourselves come face to face with our burdens, for unless we can do that, we will not learn from them and they will blossom into even bigger burdens to bear.

"The Wisdom of Our Burdens" is an interesting and helpful read. It will instill personal reflection and encourage the reader to look into their own castle dungeon.

Non-Fiction/Spirituality Review

Miracles: Inviting the Extraordinary Into Your Life
by Richard Webster
ISBN-10: 073870606X
Review by Heather Froeschl

Miracles happen every day. Some are major noteworthy events that the newscasters pick up on, and some are closer to home happenings that dearly effect the recipient. In a wonderful guide to Miracles, Richard Webster explores the history of such events and leads the reader to creating miracles of their own.

Religious and healing miracles always seem to get the biggest headlines and Richard begins his book recalling the big ones of Jesus, Buddha, and Muhhamad and healing miracles of Leprosy and other illness. Acknowledging that these are major events, Mr. Webster insists that everyone can have miracles in their lives by possessing the following qualities: contentment, serendipity, intuition, universal love, faith and a willingness to make any necessary changes in our attitude toward life.

In describing the philosophy of Huna of Hawaii, Richard shares the secrets of bringing miracles into our lives. Following the teachings brings incredible results. In addition to this chapter are more guides on using your intuition, the miracle of magic, understanding and balancing your Chakra system, and spell casting...all to bring about your own miracles.

Richard Webster is the author of more than twenty-five books on varying metaphysical topics. Who better to look to for guidance when exploring your inner power?

Sunday, July 4, 2004

Christian Fiction Review

Abram's Journey: Quest for the Man in the Stars
by Pamilla S Tolen, Kimberly Brouillette
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.

Children's Book Interactive CD Review

Murphy's Safety Songs
by Tim Young
ISBN-10: 0974822604
Review by Heather Froeschl

This is a wonderful tool for families who have dogs or are considering getting one. Tim Young offers advice, instruction and good doggie fun in this book and accompanying CD. His "Tuneful Tips for Tots and 'Spots'" will surely be a hit with the younger set, and entertaining for any dog lover.

In eleven original songs, and narration by "Murphy", a Boston Terrier with an English accent, the CD captures the listener's attention with lighthearted humor and toe tapping music, while enlightening on such topics as: What to do about strange dogs, hot and cold weather, traveling pups, chow time and trips to the vet. The colorful, high quality book offers the lyrics to the songs in order for young readers to learn them well, and a section in the back for parents with tips regarding each of the song's topics, fun facts, warnings and statistics, and a health record. At the end of the CD there is a brief "quiz" regarding the important information. If your kids aren't screaming out the answers, they are instructed to listen to the music again.

This book should be mandatory reading for anyone adopting a dog, and never before has mandatory reading been so fun. Kids, ages 3 - 10 will enjoy learning about doggie behavior with this book almost as much as playing with the puppy itself. Teachers, day care providers and library story time tellers will love this book and CD, and so will dogs everywhere.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Children's Book Review

Raising Cane with Cammie
by Elizabeth A. McMahan
ISBN-10: 0613745604
Review by Heather Froeschl

In 1934, in North Carolina, on a sorghum cane farm, ten-year-old Cammie learns what it really takes to be a member of a farm family. Nothing could be better and the air couldn't be sweeter than it is filled with the aroma of boiling molasses.

Through nearly a year of honest hard work, Cammie learns the ropes of raising cane, and in the process, so does the reader. In the early spring days, Cammie's dad readies the fields and Cammie finds a perfect quartz arrowhead. In a classic childhood fantasy tale, she and her cousin Ben create a buried treasure, complete with map. In the process they dig up an even greater treasure: an Indian axe head. Cammie and Ben help her father to thin the long rows of tiny plants and earn a good bit of money. Cammie opens a bank account for the first time and later uses some of her own money to put herself through 4-H camp.

All through the year Cammie learns the different jobs required on the farm and becomes a reliable family partner. This demonstrates the tight knit relationship that farming communities had and shows how families who farmed together really relied on each other. It makes the reader nostalgic for such opportunities.

The stories woven into the book are full of family times and strong characters. Children will love reading about Cammie's adventures and parents will enjoy the wholesomeness of the tales. In a plot that grows as the cane does, the reader will feel a satisfaction when the cycle is complete. Look for more from Elizabeth A. McMahan and young Cammie.