Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee

Book Summary:

Cordelia Lee has experienced something few in the Western world have even witnessed: exorcism. Demonic possession brought her to a Taoist shaman who could drive out her tormentors, but only temporarily. Cordelia’s problems were multifaceted: a troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, black magic, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression. Given the severity of her experiences and the return of the evil spirits, Cordelia had to dedicate her life to healing if she was ever to recover.

She had earlier experienced an unexpected kundalini awakening; it awakened her to the spiritual realm and the unseen energies that fill the universe. Things she used to think were illogical and nonexistent. But the spiritual realm that promised answers also held the ghosts that flooded her—and a much more human danger.

Not everyone had the kindness of the shaman who exorcised Cordelia. She met other teachers on her journey, and some of these gurus wanted to manipulate her with black magic. Discerning between helpful guides and wolves in sheep’s clothing proved challenging. Yet the promise of healing through earthly and spiritual means urged her forward. With the support of trustworthy friends, Cordelia would become a healer in her own right.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2p2vXxI

Review:

Possessed: From Darkness to Light by Cordelia Lee is a memoir that reads like horror, and it’s hard to believe this is a true story, but the narrator’s voice is so real that the reader is compelled to accept the extraordinary events narrated in this memoir. Readers are introduced to a protagonist with a heap of problems — difficult childhood, molestation, attempted rape, black magic, anorexia, marital issues, and depression. Possessed, a shaman exorcises her, but is unable to completely banish the evil spirits. While Cordelia Lee seeks healing, she has an unusual experience of awakening — transported to a spiritual realm where she experiences the different energies in the universe. She could find answers to her quest for healing in this dimension, but this realm is also the dwelling of malevolent spirits. Can she beat the ruses of manipulative spiritual teachers who would use black magic to get what they want, find the tools she needs for her battles, and win her inner freedom? This is a story that exudes a rare kind of pathos and as the reader encounters young Cordelia Lee — a once happy and exuberant child — they become keen to find out what could possibly happen to her. They quickly learn to care about her.

The author has a unique narrative voice and knows how to make readers feel what she has felt. You’ll touch her fear; you’ll feel the chills run down your body as you connect with the images she conjures. While the writing might not be exceptional, the story is confidently told and the author has a voice that is original. Possessed: From Darkness to Light is a true story that gives hope to readers, making them understand that they can be masters of their destiny and that no matter how horrific their experiences in life, they can always choose to seek the light at the end of the tunnel. This is an engrossing story that will awaken all kinds of emotions in readers.

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/possessed

Author Comments about the book:

My personal memoir as a survivor of black magic and demonic possession, on top of other life challenges like troubled childhood, molests, rape attempt, anorexia, unfulfilled maternal instinct, failing marriage, and depression

This is the only personal memoir in the market of a real person who came out triumphant, positive and healed after a harrowing experience as a black magic victim and that of demonic possession.

Not to mention becoming a healer who helps others who suffer such torment.

Most victims end up diagnosed as schizophrenic and having to medicate themselves for life or end up being committed to a mental institution. Or they live a life of suffering till they are able to find salvation.

Author Bio:

Cordelia Lee lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and their son. After overcoming depression and anorexia in her teens, Cordelia experienced a spontaneous kundalini awakening in her thirties. Although she had no prior training, she found herself able to perform vocal sound healing, which she has used to help others handle stress and heal.

Together with her husband Ket, they are meditation teachers. Their practice is nonreligious and not mainstream. The most important aspect of their work is to help and empower people to heal, especially those who have gone through ordeals like hers. Their work has taken them around Asia and Australia as they lead meditation sessions, retreats and workshops.

Cordelia is a firm believer in second chances and their availability to anyone who seeks them.

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids by SB Hilarion

Book Summary:

After immersing themselves in mantras in I AM Manifesto, young siblings Hao Finley and Sabine Yi Lee are on their journey of seeking knowledge from around the world. In Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids, these philomaths not only learn about words from their own and other cultures and countries, they absorb new facts about stuff they thought they knew. Name the subject, they’re sharing: science and math (big, uncomplicated check!), different languages (“oui, sí, shì” check!), environmental awareness (layered-atmosphere check!), etiquette (thank you, check!), music (treble clef check!), international cuisine (lots of yummy checks!), and many more. Shared with wit.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2OvMJzZ

Review:

Readers’ Favorite:

Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is a nonfiction educational book for children written and illustrated by SB Hilarion. Hao Finley Lee (HF) and his little sister, Sabine Yi Lee (SY) are philomaths, and they really enjoy it. What’s a philomath, you may wonder? According to the definition provided at the beginning of this book, a philomath is “a seeker of knowledge; a person who loves learning and studying new facts and acquiring new knowledge.” And by even picking up this book and reading through the first page or two, kids and adults alike will find themselves suddenly appreciating the concept that they might already be philomaths themselves.

Each chapter in this quite engrossing book covers a letter of the alphabet. No big deal, you say? Actually, it is. Along with learning the pronunciation and meanings of words that will dazzle parents, teachers and fellow students alike, readers are treated to entertaining snippets, drawings, and even some science as they read through this book. And while the thought of learning vocabulary usually makes even the most dedicated student yawn and start to feel drowsy, this book will achieve the exact opposite reaction in all but the truly undead zombies out there.

I love words and have always considered that I have a fairly strong grasp of vocabulary, at least English vocabulary, that is. SB Hilarion’s uniquely mesmerizing vocabulary primer had me questioning my actual credentials as a philomath from the very first page. I love this book! I enjoyed the presentations my two hosts, HF and SY, gave in each chapter, and I had to slow myself down to adequately digest all the data, drawings, humor and knowledge found on each page. This book is a sheer delight and will, no doubt, convert even the most abject despiser of vocabulary drills into a fellow philomath, one who easily uses the most amazing words and actually knows what they mean. Each word presented is given glorious, multicolor life, making learning an interactive and simply amazing experience. I hope that Hilarion, HF and SY are planning further books and eagerly await further learning adventures with them. Humongous (& Cool) Words For Kids is both humongous and cool — it’s also most highly recommended.

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/humongous-cool-words-for-kids

Author Bio:

SB Hilarion is the author and main illustrator of the narrative nonfiction children’s books in the Raising Young Scholars Series. The author of I AM Manifesto, Hilarion holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a law degree from Harvard University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, plus some deer who refuse to pay rent.

Lesath by A. M. Kherbash

Book Summary:

Amateur journalist Greg travels to a remote mountain area to investigate rumors of a sinister building only to find himself imprisoned there. As he tries to escape, he evinces symptoms of a strange affliction, and struggles to remain conscious while maintaining an uncertain hold on reality.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2A5KYBi

Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45173036-lesath

Advance Praise:

“Kherbash adroitly conjures an atmosphere of menacing uncertainty” — Kirkus Reviews

“An /X-Files/-esque read tinged with elements of /Shutter Island/, /Inception/, and the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Every page will leave you questioning what is true and what shapes reality, what hides in the dark and what hides in our own inner depths. Are you brave enough to face Lesath? Are you brave enough to face yourself? Enter the shadowed halls of Duncastor, where dreams are reality, and reality tis but a dream.” — J. Aislynn d’Merricksson, San Francisco Book Review

Author Bio:
A. M. enjoys telling stories in one form or another. Born, and raised in Dubai, she worked as a graphic designer and art director for over ten years, during which her work was featured online and in print. Her writing desk doubles as her design studio, and when not working, she can either be found drawing, gaming, or reading. You can find more information at http://amkherbash.com/

A Peach For Big Jim by Lisa Belmont

Book Summary:

In 1947 racially-charged Mills Hollow, South Carolina, Chloe Mason knows not to go near the Negroes who live in the river shacks, especially sixteen-year-old Big Jim. He’s something of a myth, a big black boy known for eating opossums and howling at the moon. At least that’s what Chloe’s brother, Caleb, and her Pa, a fiddle-playing Southerner who waves a Confederate flag, tell her. Yet when Chloe slips into Foxhole Swamp, it’s Big Jim who saves her from an alligator. She secretly befriends Big Jim and takes it upon herself to teach him to read, even bringing him a forbidden peach from Widow Jones’ tree. Chloe meets Big Jim in a tree fort he constructs in the woods, and together they endure the injustices Big Jim suffers – like being whipped by Chloe’s father for trespassing. But once her father discovers their secret meetings and is ready to lynch Big Jim, Chloe’s loyalty is tested to the breaking point, calling into question everything she’s come to believe about herself, her family, and what truly matters most.

Lisa Belmont’s debut novel is a vividly imagined tale set in the Lowcountry swamps of South Carolina; a poignant story of enduring hope, relentless determination and coming-of-age at a time when innocence is all but gone.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2Zf7buQ
Book Releases July 31, 2019

Reviews:

A Peach for Big Jim is a tale about a girl who pursues a forbidden love. The protagonist, Chloe, dares to befriend a black man at a time when many people are still openly racist in the South. Their friendship begins when Jim saves Chloe’s life on a chance meeting by the river. Out of gratitude, Chloe befriends Jim and starts to teach him how to read. This is a great risk because Jim is well known and much hated by Chloe’s father and brother. How long can their secret meetings remain undiscovered?

This is a riveting tale with many twists and turns. Chloe starts teaching Jim out of gratitude but soon discovers a deep connection between them that compels her to protect him. Many would have her believe that Jim is dull and unable to learn, but she has no trouble teaching him. Their meetings are a joy to them both.

Not long after, Jim’s mother finds out that Chloe is teaching Jim. She is on their side but also wary of her son’s safety. There is a popular tale in town about a girl who tried to run away with a black boy; their story was tragic, and she thinks Jim and Chloe will suffer a similar fate. It turns out that Chloe and Jim aren’t the only ones keeping a secret. Someone else harbors a dangerous secret for which he would be willing to kill. In a town like Mills Hollow, Jim would be the obvious scapegoat for a murder. His race and physique set him apart. Theirs is a dangerous friendship, but they remain true to each other and to their principles.

I rate this book highly. The story was rich and its twists and turns were pleasant and unexpected. I also gained some insight into how Jim Crow laws impacted black people’s lives. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction and thriller genres. The story might be about a girl and a boy, but don’t expect a fiery romance. A Peach for Big Jim is suitable for adults and young adults, too.

The build-up to the climax of the story is intriguing and full of suspense. Tolerance will fail the town’s people, friendships will be betrayed, secrets will be exposed, and a murder and a cover-up will ensue. I loved every moment of the story, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.

Reviewed By: Esther Wairimu
https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/a-peach-for-big-jim/

Author Bio:

I drew much of my inspiration for A PEACH FOR BIG JIM from my mom’s childhood tales. A gifted writer in her own right, my mother grew up in a rural town, much like the fictional Mills Hollow where the story takes place. Some of the more humorous elements of the story were inspired by stories of my mom’s younger brother, Harold, who was known to run around the woods and bring home wild animals. Once he brought home a snake and it disappeared inside the house. How they found it, I’m not sure, but I know it was pretty nerve-wracking while they were looking for it.

My grandpa was born in Mississippi and one of my earliest memories is of him chopping down a tree with my father. I remember him as a kindly older gentleman who loved God and was good to people. Thankfully, he was nothing like the patriarch in my novel. My grandma mirrors Chloe’s mother in the novel in that she had a great sense of hospitality. She could make a gourmet meal for a dozen people at the drop of a hat. How she did it, I still wonder. I like to think it’s a Southern gift, but whatever it is, there’s an indescribable joy that surrounds a table filled with food and made with love.

I currently live in Seattle with my family and a cute little bichon named Frosty.

Find more info about Lisa Belmont at – https://www.lisabelmont.com/

The Misogynist by Steve Jackowski

Book Info:

George Gray, San Francisco-based reporter for the New York Sentinel, receives two similar emails an hour apart. One offers to expose well-known individuals who have criminally perverted use of the internet to enrich themselves. The other promises to murder women who have ruined the lives of technologists who were changing the world. Could they be the same person? Mike McKenzie, San Francisco homicide detective was frustrated by his last major case. He never caught the serial killer who targeted the clients of prostitutes in the Tenderloin. He’s hoping that this time, he’ll be more successful. Samantha Louis, unmarried psychiatrist who has finally decided to find a life partner, takes on a new patient, a technologist suffering from late-onset schizophrenia who was hospitalized after a psychotic episode. Could he or one of her other patients be the killer? George, Mike, and Sam are about to embark on missions that will disrupt their careers and their lives as they race to identify The Misogynist.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/31Og10o

 

Review:

George Gray receives a tip on a groundbreaking story. Coincidentally, he is also contacted by a serial killer alerting him to his plan to kill his first victim in a week’s time. George hands this information over to the police, and this marks the beginning of a joint effort to catch the killer.

The Misogynist is an exciting, fast-paced crime thriller cast in Silicon Valley. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The storyline is well developed and has no wasted characters. Everyone has a role to play, and they play it well.

My favorite character in the book is Janey, George Gray’s girlfriend. She is witty, funny, and extremely resourceful. The serial killer goes after women, and Janey is the exact opposite of the kind of woman the serial killer preys on. Not only does Janey help catch the killer, but she also brings balance to a narrative that portrays some women as selfish and opportunistic.

Author Steve Jackowski does a good job concealing the identity of the killer until the story reaches its climax. He does provide a few clues here and there, but you will never guess who the true killer is.

From the way he writes, you can tell that Jackowski has worked in technology and is familiar with Silicon Valley. In some ways, this book is an inside look into the lives of tech executives, if you were ever curious about them.

Dr. Louis is another one of my favorite characters. I found her most relatable among all the characters. She, too, has some theories on who the killer might be. Often, I found myself viewing things from her vantage point.

This is one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year. It had mystery and a good dose of suspense. I recommend it to anyone who loves mystery, crime, and thriller genres. The plotline is like no other, and the characters are well-rounded and believable.

If you find explicit language distasteful, you will enjoy this book. It steers clear of explicit language and is minimal in its description of explicit scenes, making it suitable for young adults.

The Misogynist isn’t just another crime thriller. It explores many themes that are relevant to this current cultural moment. Notably, it explores the misuse of the internet by actors who use it to make unfair gains while exploiting others. It also discusses the vast extent of modern-day slavery. You would be wrong to think that only the poor and destitute are vulnerable.

Reviewed By: Esther Wairimu
https://sanfranciscobookreview.com/product/the-misogynist/

 

Author Bio:

Born into a military family, Steve traveled extensively throughout the US and overseas, attending fifteen schools before graduating from High School. After studying mathematics, computer science, comparative literature and French at the University of California, Steve began his career with IBM as a software engineer. He later founded three successful high-tech start-ups.

A former competition hang glider pilot, Steve continues to surf, ski, kayak whitewater, and dance Salsa with his wife Karen whenever possible.

Steve divides his time between Santa Cruz, California and the Basque Region of France.

Find more info and his other books at http://www.stevejackowski.com/

The Way by Kristen Wolf

Book Summary

Anna is a striking and spirited young girl living in ancient Palestine where being a daughter is a disappointment. While her father excitedly anticipates the birth of his first son, the invisible Anna endures a life of drudgery. One bright spot in her world is the crippled old woman living by the village well who declares that the headstrong girl possesses a powerful destiny. But before the elder can reveal her prophecy an unexpected tragedy strikes Anna’s family and her father—dressing Anna as a boy—sells his daughter to a band of wandering shepherds.

Abandoned and armed with only bravery and wits, Anna must learn to survive the harsh desert and unruly men. Yet just when she masters her bold life of disguise, she stumbles upon a den of mysterious caves and is captured by the secret band of women living inside. Unable to escape, Anna soon discovers that the sisterhood’s mystical teachings and miraculous healing abilities have forced her to question everything she’s been told to believe and—to her amazement—unleashed an astonishing power within her.

But when violent enemies opposed to the women’s ways threaten to destroy them, Anna vows to save her mentors and preserve their powerful wisdom. Forced again to leave home and loved ones behind, a transformed Anna returns to the world of men—as only she can—determined to unfold a daring and dangerous mission: One that will put everything she’s become to the test. Will she succeed…or be condemned?

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2Ng0NuD

“This book took me on a journey… I was surprised in more ways than I ever could have imagined. THE WAY is one of those rare novels that makes you think.” – Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper

“Remarkable story, beautifully told.” – Mary Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of An Unquenchable Thirst

Author Bio:

KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The Oprah Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, won a 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was nominated to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins University.

Tree by Melina Sempill Watts

Book Summary

Tree is a novel about a tree written from a unique point of view: the chief narrator is a tree. Tree uses magical realism as a key to access the interrelated emotional realities of the many species that share one pristine valley in Topanga, California. Grass, birds, other trees and animals come to life on the pages, while one 19th century Mexican woman and one 20th century schoolboy, hearts opened by grief and loneliness, come to know one California live oak whose 229 years span the evolution of four human civilizations, Chumash, Spanish/Mexican, Yankee and new money Hollywood, which each leave their mark upon the landscape and upon Tree. The author’s obsessive botanical, scientific and historical research gives substance to a world that feels both as real as last weekend’s dust on hiking boots and as mind-altering as a fully fledged mystical experience. Take a journey into the heart of the woods where every plant shines Tree will change how you see nature.

Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2JYUgmo

YouTube Video – https://youtu.be/tUx3twJDisQ

KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut novel tells the story of life in a California valley through the eyes of a tree.

The hero of this book is, as the title suggests, a tree. Specifically, a live oak that germinates in Topanga in the 18th century. The tale begins, more or less, at the protagonist’s conception: a new acorn drops from a tree and is picked up by a blue jay, which is in turn snatched by a hawk. The acorn falls from the hawk’s talons high in the air and comes to rest in a crack on the dry valley floor. It waits for days in the arid dirt until a mountain lion kills and eats a deer over the crack, coating the acorn in blood: “And the acorn responded to sudden moisture as seeds do. Things uncoiled and uncurled inside.” From there, Watts takes the reader on a journey through more than two centuries of California history with Tree right at the center, from the struggles of the surrounding animals and plants who serve as the oak’s neighbors to the human settlers—Chumash, Spanish, American, and contemporary Angeleno—who alter the face of the valley. The saga of Tree becomes a window into the immensity of nature, simultaneously dynamic and everlasting, and the ways that humans have come to upset the ancient balance. Watts writes in an elegant, highly detailed prose that shows an incredible knack for chronicling the minutiae of the natural world. Even more impressive is her ability to wring narrative from the most common interactions, reminding readers of the Homeric drama unfolding all around them, at every level of life. She makes the most of the novel’s conceit, going so far as to use a Tree-specific pronoun: e instead of he or she. Far from cute, this book takes a serious look at the value of love, the impossibility of permanence, and the ways in which humans leave the world. For anyone wondering about the outcome, Watts closes the work’s first paragraph with the reminder that “there is no happiness. Only serenity lasts.”

An ingenious and satisfying tale about a single live oak.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/melina-sempill-watts/treeT/

Author Bio:

Melina Sempill Watts’ writing has appeared in Sierra Magazine, the New York Times Motherlode blog, Earth Island Journal and Sunset Magazine, in local environmental venues such as Urban Coast: Journal of the Center for the Study of the Santa Monica Bay, the Heal the Bay blog and in local papers such as Malibu Times, Malibu Surfside News, Topanga Messenger and Argonaut News.

Watts began her career in Hollywood as a development executive, writing consultant and story analyst working for such luminaries Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Peter Horton and at Dreamworks. She has worked as a watershed coordinator, run a stable, shelved books at a library and created, marketed and ran Starfish Catering. Watts graduated from UCLA with a degree in history. She lives in California.

Upcoming events include on stage (5000 guests anticipated) at the Placer County Earth Day at Royer Park in Roseville, California and on April 21 and L.A. Zen Center on June 17.

Watts will come to university or high school classrooms to talk about “Tree.”

Last Song and Dance Cover

Last Song and Dance by Christopher Woods

Story Summary

LAST SONG AND DANCE is an illustrated novel which tells the grim story of Cy Sullivan, failed alcoholic author who has returned to his hometown after years of scandal and disgrace, not in triumph but simply to die. He has but a week to compose his great American novella, Curse of the Blue Nun which he structures in relation to the seven days of creation in the Book of Genesis. A surrealist bible of sorts–but unlike the original, this one does not purport to be true.

Stylistic influences/parodies run the gamut from biblical parables, Shakespeare to various 20th century modernists—Joyce, Faulkner, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs etc as well as film noir, supernatural horror and even Fellini. I employed a number of voices ranging from erudite to jail house slang to hillbilly (my Kentucky voice) so it’s a veritable literary collage. The artist at Bookfuel did a great job with my visual designs which were primarily inspired from Gustave Dore although it concludes with a pastiche of Grant Wood’s American Gothic which is quite nice. While this all sounds rather heavy and artistically over the top, Last Song and Dance is very much a black comedy which takes nothing seriously including itself or its failed author. The LSD initials of the title are appropriate given the hallucinatory quality of much of the writing. I believe there is a potential cult audience but as of today, it’s only sold three copies and there is no browsing on these sales sites nor is it visually displayed on Bookfuel’s site which is primarily genre or non fiction/ self help that sort of thing so it’s a bit of an orphan as such…

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2BBqONP

San Francisco Book Review – 5 Stars

Christopher Woods has penned a curious yarn in the Last Song and Dance. The book is written in a unique style unlike any other. It addresses a chaotic set of contentious characters who dare to be noticed, each with an eagerness for confrontation. With wonderful black ink drawings that capture the mood of the characters of the story, the author paints an ominous narrative. Last Song can be compared to Sanctuary by Paul Monette for its imagery and imaginative style. Many of the illustrations feature symbolic references to the plot that add intrigue to the story, forcing you to reflect on the meaning of certain passages. Much of the narrative reads like dialogue, but conveys a meaning of reaching into the mind of the character. The storyline is complex, with a variety of characters who seem to share certain traits.

The storyline focuses on tested confrontations. Although these keep the reader busy, they add depth to the plot. It’s a little misdirected in places, giving the reader a chance to compare that part with other parts. This tends to function like a red herring in a mystery. You cannot tell if it’s a blooper or a ploy until you finish it. Sorry—no spoilers!

Christopher Woods does a fine job at depicting the characters with verbiage, the illustrations bringing them to life. The intricacy with which the characters are woven into the plot shows us only glimpses of what’s to come, kind of like a foreshadowing of events. The reader must do a lot of work to put the story together in his or her mind as he or she reads. This provides an overall aura of mystery, motivating the reader to keep turning the pages. And the text flows along fast, making it easy reading.

If you want to sit down and read something to contemplate and capture your attention, then you’ve come to the right work. Last Song kind of reads like a fairy tale or fable, yet some of the characters are using profanity that would not be appropriate for children under 18, and the characters appear to engage in behavior that would also not suit young readers.

Reviewed By: D. Wayne Dworsky

Last Song and Dance

the prize cover

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

Book Summary

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit, fraud, even murder? Set in the competitive world of cutting-edge medical research, The Prize is a science thriller in which jealousy over the discovery of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leads to fraud, betrayal and violence.

Pam Weller makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a drug with the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research. Lusting relentlessly for the Nobel Prize, Prescott fears that Pam’s work will derail his ambitions. He seduces one of Pam’s research fellows and enlists her in a plot to brand Pam a fraud and steal her discovery. But when an investigation threatens to uncover their plot, Prescott kills his co-conspirator and fakes a suicide that places the blame squarely on Pam. Leading Pam into a world where nothing is real, except threats to her career, her freedom and even her life.

In a novel of intrigue and suspense, The Prize explores the human side of science and drug discovery, exposing the pressures and ambitions that can drive the betrayal of scientific ethics and lead to fraud in medical research.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2DJmePo

Kirkus Reviews

Three scientists strive to find the cure for Alzheimer’s in Cooper’s (The Cell: A Molecular Approach, 2015, etc.) scientific thriller.

Forty-seven-year-old Eric Prescott is an accomplished scientist specializing in Alzheimer’s disease research at the Institute for Advanced Neuroscience in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The novel opens with a conversation between Eric and some scientists after he accepts the Lasker Award for “seminal research in elucidating the basis of Alzheimer’s disease.” Eric’s arrogance is apparent when one of the Karolinska Institute professors on the Nobel Committee, Alfred Bergner, recommends that Prescott speak to another scientist, Pamela Weller: “Prescott was steaming. Did Bergner seriously think this woman was some kind of competition?” Pam is a faculty member in the Langmere Institute for Neurological Disease at Harvard University. When her research results in what may be the key to the cure, Holly Singer, one of her postdocs, teams up with Eric to claim the breakthrough as their own, and they take extreme measures to ensure their place in history and receive the Nobel Prize. The omniscient narration makes each major character’s intentions clear: Pam wants to make a difference, Eric wants fame, and Holly wants to establish herself as a respected voice in the scientific community. One of the highlights of this book is how comfortably Cooper manages to find a balance in presenting difficult scientific topics in an easy-to-follow narrative, as when Holly explains a cell culture: “They’re cells that were triggered to start producing Alzheimer’s plaque. You can see the plaques have formed and the cells are beginning to die.” The characters do come off as a little one-dimensional, however, and the book might have benefited from additional back story, such as how Pam became so interested in Alzheimer’s research. Nonetheless, this is an engrossing read; in one particularly suspenseful moment, a character awaits the results of putting Nembutal in another’s wine.

An intense story about ruthlessness in the scientific community.

Charmer Boy Gypsy Girl by Victor Harrington

Story Summary:

The essence and meaning of transcendent love between two people—the kernel of human existence—is often found in the crucible of war. Such was the love between Bosko, a Serbian boy, and Admira, a Bosnian girl, who were caught in one of the most barbaric and brutal periods of the last century: the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2AdQOCr

Indie Reader Review:

CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is a novel about enduring love in impossible circumstances. Bosko is a handsome and charming Orthodox Serb. Admira is a Muslim Bosnian with gypsy blood running through her veins. In spite of their religious and ethnic differences, when they meet at a New Year’s Eve party and share a kiss they know that it’s fate. As Yugoslavia begins to splinter and lines are drawn between ethnic groups, the couple will have to fight to stay together — and alive.

CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is meticulously crafted, drawing on ample historical details to bring to life one of the most horrifying events of the 20th century: the siege of Sarajevo. Based on the real-life love story of Bosko Brkic and Admira Ismic whose heart-wrenching tale captivated the world in the 1990s, Victor Harrington’s novel is a powerful reminder that love can prevail in even the most brutal conditions.

While it is a love story, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is also very much a stark examination of the cruelty of war. In its pages, we see the best and the worst of humanity. As Sarajevo is under attack, life comes a matter of day-to-day survival. Serbs and Bosnians are pitted against each other, but Bosko and Admira refuse to let their love become another casualty. Rather than allowing their relationship to dominate the narrative, Harrington uses it to contrast their grim surroundings, highlighting the senselessness of war and the resilience of the human spirit.

Superbly written and well-researched, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL portrays one of the most ruthless periods of modern history in haunting prose. Harrington does not hold back in his depiction of the ethnic cleansing that took place during this tumultuous time and reminds us through Bosko’s friend, Matko, of our responsibility to safeguard life. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” says Matko; these words remain relevant today.

Ultimately, CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL is a tribute to that most powerful of emotions which rules us all: love. Admira and Bosko are vivid characters who stick with you long after the final page has been read, almost as if they are begging you to remember that, in the end, love must triumph over hate.

~Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon for IndieReader

CHARMER BOY GYPSY GIRL, an epic story of love and survival

Author Bio:

Author Victor Harrington has the quintessential writer’s family history. The adventure began in 1850 when Edward, an Englishman in the British Army, fell in love with a Muslim princess whose family lived in Agra. Victor’s American paternal great-grand-mother was the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor from New England. The author was born in India in 1958, and his family immigrated to Canada in the late 1960s.
For Victor, New York remains a city that creates its own temporal distortion where a writer can observe, for a moment, the many worlds past, present, and future that make up the space-time continuum of his city.
Charmer Boy, Gypsy Girl is Victor Harrington’s first novel, and he has recently completed his second.