Fran Lewis: Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and
Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters
degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is
a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's Who of America's
Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three
children's books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer's
disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a
cure. The title of my new Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey; Ruth’s story
She was the musical director for shows in her school and ran the
school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and
for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com
and on ijustfinished.com under the name Gabina. I am a member of Whos Who of Americas Teachers and Whos Who of America’s Executives and Professionals on Cambridge. I review books for authors upon request. My goal is to get my books published by a traditional publisher and on the shelves of every school library, hospital and bookstore. I host two radio shows on Blog Talk Radio. Book Discussion with Fran Lewis is on Blog Talk every third Wednesday of the month from three to five eastern. My children’s author’s show is four times a year. I host online book blogs and book tours for authors and I review books for authors throughout the world. I have published six books the last Because We Care in memory of my sister Marcia. The proceeds going to find the cause and cure for Alzheimer’s. I am an Amazon reviewer. I have three master’s degrees and a PD . I have reviewed over 400 books in the last year and a half. I do online interviews and review for bookpleasures, manic readers, booktown and authors all over the world. You can find my reviews on reviewers roundup, fellow writers and many sites for authors on facebook.
My websites are: www.gabina49.webs.com
Where to find Fran Lewis online
Where to buy in print
MJ Magazine July — Created By Authors for Authors
The fourth issue of MJ Magazine includes Book of the Month Madiba: A-Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela; Featured Authors Clint Morey and Allan Topol; Christian Fiction reviewed by Lee Harmon; Fran’s Top 5 New Authors: Mark Murphy; and recommended reading by Marybeth Zeman, Steve Berry and Daniel Palmer; and Featured Teen Columnist Jake Swerdloff. New Section — Writer’s Workshop.
MJ Magazine March — Created By Authors for Authors
The third issue of MJ Magazine includes Featured Authors Robert Dugoni and Allan Topol; Featured Romance Authors Lori Foster, Christie Ridgway and Victoria Dahl; the first of Fran’s Top 5 New Authors: Redfern Jon Barrett; and recommended reading by David Baldacci and Mark Shaff. Readers will also enjoy regular sections like Writing Tips, Book Reviews, Fran’s Picks and Dellani’s Stories.
MJ Magazine November — Created by Authors for Authors
The second issue of MJ Magazine includes featured authors RaeAnne Thayne and Rita Plush, author of the month, Tess Gerritsen. Reviews and interviews including Mark Rubenstein interviewing M.J. Rose and Christoph Fischer interviewing Paulette Mahurin, Ada Winder and DM Lee. The featured new author this time is Timothy Louis Baker, plus articles by Mark Rubenstein, Brian Hayden and Donald Riggio.
MJ Magazine September — Created By Authors for Authors
Welcome to the first issue of MJ Magazine –written by authors for authors. This issue includes interviews with Jon Land, Steve Berry and R.J. Ellory as well as book reviews, writing tips, Fran’s pick of the month and much more. Authors are encouraged to read the magazine and then send their writing for possible inclusion in the next issue.
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Smashwords book reviews by Fran Lewis
- ZombieStop Parade
on Oct. 02, 2010
Author: Richard Buzzell
Ideas are something we all have. Some ideas create good situations and others bad. Ideas should not always be divulged to others because they could be misconstrued and twisted in favor of another person. Voice: Yours needs to be heard loud and clear. What happens when you believe that all people, especially teens, should voice their opinion and use the net as their microphone? The end result could be a site like Face Book or My Space or in this case ZombieStop a website set up by two twelve year old guys to get word out there, allow others to have discussions about whatever topics the creators or members choose to discuss in their forums, or create situations that cause a stir.
Someone decided to drop a financial news flash or bomb on the creators of this site stating that Seedy Bank, as our narrator states, has been sending money illegally to an offshore account for their own benefit. This statement alone and the hype it created sent one of its creators mind into action. Why not record the events that occurred as a result, the hits we receive and investigations they started into finding out who the person, calling himself the Jackal, might be that posted the information on this website. Author Richard Buzzell did not write a typical novel. He wrote a novel diary of events that relates in the words and voice of our narrator what occurred, the outcomes, ramifications, his co-founder Corky’s ideas and quirks and much more.
Are you a conformist? Do you always follow the rules and never deviate from the norm? You would not fit in with those on ZombieStop. Corky set up this site for young people to speak out, up and loud about their concerns for the future. Freethinking ideologies frighten many and although Corky’s purpose is to enlighten our youth about the differences between the Corporalist Elite and mainstream media thinking and viewing them as a threat to their marketing ideology. However, they are not the only ones who have taken an active role in trying to find out what is really behind the site’s creators and more. The FBI even assigned an agent to delve into their purpose and learn more about them since the firebombing of Corporate Divine Right and their possible link. Would Corky or any of his members create media hype just to get more hits on the site? Added to the mix is our narrator who seems to be getting himself into the limelight in spite of himself. Although Corky believes in free speech and thinking he now asks prospective new members to fill out a biography and other information before giving them a logon and password.
Although I realize that Corky does believe in what he is doing and allows members to voice their opinion in many ways he does show signs wanting to have full say and full control of many situations such as what happens in the Corky’s Club. Deciding on the music and not accepting requests is one sign of being controlling. This diary book or novel diary is definitely a total spoof on corporate America and much more.
Throughout the book there many who allude to the fact that ZombieStop was behind the firebombing of Corporate Divine Right’s house and many feel they are dangerous to the public and their opinions need to be investigated. There are those who feel they might be behind this and other incidents in order to get more hits on the site and generate more interest. However, that remains to be seen and much more happens as our narrator or ZombieStopperUno enters the limelight and many question why its creator prefers to stay in the background even though it is his voice and ideas that are narrator has typed or penned in his log or diary. Conspiracy theories are stated and voiced, economic spin doctors weigh in with their views and thoughts and what is the truth or real reason Corky stated this website.
Many characters appear and other creates more of a stir like Ad Nauseum and Wolverine. What happens when corporatists, media elites and others are faced with smart, intelligent x-rays or MRI’s that see through and give a more vivid picture their policies and viewpoints? Corky and ZombieStop questions and challenges the building blocks of our financial framework, our free marketing ideology and those who run our financial institutions and more. Many view this site as a dangerous and a threat to many marketist ideological viewpoints and cannot understand what the real purpose of this non-profit site can be.
Throughout the diary we do see a marked change in the attitude of our narrator and how he views his close friend and why he feels that he is living in his shadow at times and why Corky might not be so well adjusted as we think. Coming from a wealthy family who shuns those who have money, Corky dropped out of school along with our narrator and has decided to devote his life to fostering an avenue for the young to express their thoughts, views and ideas through their many forums and the website.
There are no real zombies in this book just those whose thoughts and ideas are controlled by others and spend their time spouting and repeating what the media wants them to know and understand, even if it is not true countered by those who are free thinkers and want to expand their minds and be more open to the ideas of others. Ideas can be hazardous to your health, mind and well being if not expressed and accepted in the right forum.
This is a book about greed, financial deceit, money and just what part cash grabbing plays in our lives and society. The voice of the narrator comes through loud and clear as you understand his frustrations with Corky, corporate America, being accused of conspiracies and how someone could create a site that allows its members and others to copy their information, distribute their thoughts and allow visitors free access.
ZombieStop gets tons of media coverage causing suspicions to rise and more interest from the FBI and many others. Added to the mix is FBI agent Sike who is relentless in her quest to uncover something illicit about what they are doing and is constantly questioning our narrator about things she has uncovered.
Defending his friend and not allowing anyone to dissuade him from how he feels about him our narrator continues on the same path as he started at the beginning only now, he has decided to publish his diary as a book. But, his friend or friend, Jill seems bent on making him feel like an underdog and now a totally freethinker. Stating that our narrator feels threatened by any other relationship Corky might have with someone else. Interesting to say the least. Lawsuits do not stop him and Ad Nauseam started many but Corky did not seem concerned or distracted by them or anything else that might focus negative attention on him and his site. Reasoning it out by feeling that the positive attention they were received bothered and annoyed the corporatists.
Finally, our narrator comes full circle with his true feelings about who he is, might be and whether his personality is truly that of ZombieStopperUno and whether he has lost sight of the real him. Referring to himself as part of Generation Whatever, these two young guys have raised many questions that we need to address today discussing and debating two sides of the coin: Our viewpoints and that of those with their own corporate views or ideas.
The end result will be what happens to these two in the future, the result of his book deal and its affect on their lives and ZombieStop. How will all of this turn out you decide for yourself after reading this novel diary.
Humor, sarcasm, thought provoking and much more, this is definitely one for all college students and those disenchanted with corporate America to read. These are my ideas and thoughts. They are honest, thought out and definitely not dangerous.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
on Jan. 24, 2011
Author: R.M. Doyon
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Family is precious and relationships often change throughout a person’s life. But, one constant is the bonds that unite one’s family. However, that is not always the case. Jane Schumacher’s family has not seen her for many years. Her perspective about family and past are about to take a drastic turn as I review Upcountry, by author R.M. Doyon.
Jane Schumacher’s life is about to change in many different directions and ways. As press secretary for the Governor of New York, she is used to being in the limelight dealing with a highly charged political world. Her boss is running for President and her job is to make him a marketable candidate.
But, as she is about to embark on this journey with him, life hands her a curve and things change for her. Receiving some life-changing news shortly before Thanksgiving, abruptly, Jane decides to return to her upstate New York hometown of Morgantown, and to her estranged family.
As she ponders her past and comes face-to-face with her present, she enters her sister’s home and a scene that will set in motion one event that will change her and her sister’s life. Spousal abuse is a behavior that engulfs and involves many symptoms.
Joanne, her sister, is married to Denny, a man who takes pleasure in degrading her in public and anyone in his wake. Threatening verbal and physical abuse on her and others, he justifies his actions in his mind and others. Soon after Jane arrives, Denny openly insults her in his attempt to inflate his own ego, thereby creating his own sense of sense of control.
However, what happens as a result of Jane witnessing his actions towards her sister will surprise you. What Joanne does as a result of her Jane's response will further surprise the reader as the two sisters, reunite and take a journey into the future together. One sister is freed from one set of chains and another must face her own.
Traveling together for the first time in many years, the sisters meet many people along the way including Matt Booker who owns and operates a motel, bar and restaurant. Hiding from the police and not wanting to face what happened back in Morgantown, Jane and Joanne must decide what will happen next. Some will understand and others will drift farther apart because the stark reality sets in and the truth is told.
As Jane decides their next move, she calls an old beau, Brian Boychuk, the county sheriff back home, and explains certain facts to him hoping to draw him away from her sister yet not telling him the truth about what happened. Her father, cousins and others are concerned about the outcome. The sheriff wants to help but his hands are tied.
Sisters should have a special bond and relationship. They should be each other’s best friend. But Jane and Joanne parted company years before due to their mother’s attitude and treatment of Jane. Yet, they are in this together and hopefully something positive will result. And Jane is harboring a secret of her own--one that she has kept to herself and to the exclusion of her lawyer boyfriend, Roberto.
The author brings to light the very serious issues linked to spousal abuse. Recounting the events in Joanne’s life you can hear the screams of pain inflicted on her and the verbal slurs and abuse carried out by her husband. Staying with him seemed like her only choice. Men like Denny Lowry need to have a sense of power and control over people. Joanne did not have the courage to leave, although at times she did stand up to his attacks. But physically she was no match.
But when you read about his fate, you need to decide who is the victim and who is guilty? Would you agree with what one of the characters did in order to free her sister from bondage and the abuse? What would you have done?
As Roberto tries to determine Jane's motives for her action, Jane must decide what will happen next in her life and where she will wind up. Her sheriff friend is still searching for answers and although he knows the truth in his heart, he is having trouble dealing with it.
Throughout this novel, you hear many voices that enter the minds of both Jane and Joanne. If you listen carefully to Jane’s inner thoughts you will relive many of the difficult conversations she had with her mother, Donna, and learn the reasons behind her leaving home.
If you listen further, you will relive with Joanne the horrors that befell her living with an abusive husband, his words and his voice. Along with that you will learn the many secrets that Jane kept from her family.
Sisters have a very close and special bond as I did with mine before she passed away this July. Reuniting with Joanne was Jane’s greatest gift to both of them as years of resentment are washed away--only to form a final bond that would remain forever. As Jane’s secrets are revealed and her fate is decided, Joanne is liberated and can now start anew once the final nightmare is over.
What these secrets are and who is involved you will have to read for yourself.
Jane, strong willed, strong minded, and was determined to shield her sister from so many truths. But as a result of her Thanksgiving trip home, we find that abuse rears its ugly head in so many ways. This includes a father caught in a tangled web by a mean and controlling woman, while Joanne’s abuse was mental, physical and psychological. A domineering woman that did not know the true meaning of the word love controlled Hubie, her father. Jane, a victim of her mother’s narrow mindedness and bias, and a family torn about by lies, decides it is time reveal the secrets that kept them apart for too long.
There are many innocent victims of this crime that need to speak up and speak out. As Denny’s voice begins finally to fade from Joanne’s thoughts and mind, Jane’s voice can be heard as she reminds her of their love and final bond; a family learns the true meaning of loyalty, friendship and love.
The circle of life has many curves and winding roads. Each bend on the never-ending circle holds many unique and exciting things in store for us. Some good and some bad will be revealed at each bend and hopefully we all can learn to become stronger and wiser in order to deal with what comes next.
An ending that will bring tears to every reader’s eyes brings new meaning to the word survival. Author R.M. Doyon’s novel is one that everyone should read to be reminded how precious life is and how short our tomorrows are before there are no more.
The ties that bind a family are fragile and yet strong. We need to always remember that and celebrate our love of family and our closeness whenever possible.
The empty space in our heart that is left behind
Within this world we all know
Reminds us just how we must cherish each day
And how precious our time is before we go
This review is dedicated to Family Love and the Memory of my best friend and sister Marcia.
This novel gets Five Beautiful Carousels with Five White Horses
Fran Lewis: reviewer
- A Work in Progress
on Nov. 17, 2011
Work In Progress
Author: Larry Sheridan
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Jeremy Jackson is about to experience life as if he is the primary actor in an episode of the Twilight Zone, What you are about to hear will enlighten the reader and help you understand that life throws you definite curves, appearances are deceiving, things happen and situations can be orchestrated, created and unexplainable. Jeremy started his day like any other going through his normal routines, but this day would turn out to be anything but that. So, why would Jeremy be contemplating using a gun? What could make this intelligent and rational man want to resort to violence?
As he states, let’s start at the beginning! Revved up like a racecar motor, excited about closing a potential business deal, Jeremy prepares to go to the airport and fly to LA. Events that happen forewarn him that something might go wrong and things feel off balance. Premonitions, we all have that sixth sense or unnerving feeling that makes us wonder if we should get out of bed in the morning. We get that gnawing, nagging feeling that something is not right. But, do we listen to our inner voice or self, or just ignore it, shrug it off as just plain nerves or paranoia? Can you retrace your thoughts or double back when something seems wrong? So, when Jeremy relates to the reader his argument with his wife Cassie, things he’s hiding for the from her, seeing a black cat staring at him when he leaves the house and a violent encounter with a police officer plus getting rear ended, do you think maybe a warning or siren should have gone off in his head and yelled: STOP and THINK? But, Jeremy leaves the house, speeds to where he is going, gets stopped by a violent officer and meets one gorgeous woman at the airport who sets a plan in motion that you won’t believe and neither will he. Conniving, cunning, definitely outfoxing our Jeremy he falls prey to her wiles, and never suspects what is happening to him until it’s too late. Helping him through security, getting on the plane and not realizing that what he thought he was taking in meds was anything but his real prescription.
Waking up feeling disoriented, unable to focus and unbalanced he thinks its stress, or just under the weather never suspecting the truth. You hear his fears, his frustrations, anger and inner most thoughts as Jeremy tries to figure out what is happening to him and the author takes you on a journey that will be anything but someone’s nightmare but definitely during the day. Trying to process what is happening and the events, he can’t. Maybe it’s something he ate or drank or something unknown. Able to understand most things but being unable to process and put the facts together and in some order, Jeremy takes a journey into another world that he never expected.
Every man needs an assistant to prepare his schedule, make appointments, take phone calls and keep his day straight. Tish is Jeremy’s trusted assistant. For all appearances she seems to be the perfect assistant able to coordinate his life, make sure that everything goes right, get the deals in order and make sure that Jeremy rakes in the money. As a financial advisor he comes in contact with huge amounts of money that he handles for clients. But, when he meets his driver and arrives at the airport things happen that make you realize there is much more to this meeting than meets the eye. John Stephens is the name of the man who is his driver. Appearances are not what they seem as you will learn. Tish, his assistant appears to want to help him close this multi-million dollar deal at all cost. But, when the meeting is over and the plan is presented to the group of men present, Jeremy thinks all is well, but is it? Ross Holder is the man in charge of the meeting and the group that he is presenting to. Who is Ross and what his connection to the truth behind the deal and the group funding it remains to be seen. As the men assemble in the conference room the games begin. Jeremy once again addresses the reader explaining how the players appear to him, but who are they really and what are they really after? After all this is Las Vegas and the stakes are higher than the payout in black jacks or roulette.
As the meeting begins Jeremy thinks out loud to himself, switches gears, changes his plan and his presentation hoping to engage his audience, make a better impression and close the deal. Three strategies that are proposed yet not embracing any one. Engrossed in his presentation those present seem to be listening, hearing what he is saying, taking notes for further discussion. Questions flying, making, final decisions not made. But, as Jeremy leaves there are three more groups waiting in the wings to present their plan to win over and get the account for Portfolio K. Who will be the victor?
Returning home he sees his wife Cassie, expresses his true feelings, his thoughts about their past, their lives and their future. Regaling how life has its disappointments, joys and hoping to recapture some of their beginnings. But, then something happens, snaps him out of his reverie. Cassie begins to yell, scream and his vision is blinded and he does not know where she went or what happened to his children. Winding up in a car with his driver, his vision limited and his facts confused, he is not sure whether he dreamed what happened or if it is real. Jeremy’s lack of perception and reality become his norm, disoriented and confused his world turns dark but he has no idea of the cause. Thinking he was in a car accident and in a coma for two weeks he awakens finding himself in restraints, his driver present and the truth about his identity revealed. What he learns frightens him, changes his perspective on life, his job and those he thought he could trust. Learning what is expected of him, who might be behind the deceit, the deals, and his supposed accident not only angers him but also puts him and his family in grave danger. As things progress he’s made to believe that he is in another car crash causing the deaths of several people, defending himself against an intruder in his home and finding out that one nurse is anything but what she appears to be and much more. Why? Threats, innuendos, intruders, police brutality, messages that are given and implants within his body to prevent him from not complying with the plan, Jeremy begins to not really know who or what he is. Would you squawk at getting an account that brings in over 300 million dollars? Would you complain if your assistant were so efficient that the financial benefits of what she has done are astronomical? Would you care if what she is into was illegal money laundering, deceit, murder and fraud? What if you tried firing her and learned you cannot? Who is behind the deals, the group that claims it works for the government? Where is the money coming from and what part does this John play, Tish and even his wife Cassie? Who can he trust? Anyone? Why are there so many bodies piling up and why is his world becoming surreal, contrived and totally orchestrated by a master conductor?
Author Larry Sheridan takes the reader along with Jeremy on a dangerous roller coaster ride with so many twists, turns, ups and downs, curves and fast paced speed that you won’t see the end coming and the final outcome will keep you on edge until you turn to the last page and find out the truth.
Life like a house of cards or dominoes can come falling down in a flick of a finger or wink of an eye. As the pieces fall into place and the truth behind the deception revealed what will happen to Jeremy, what will his final fate be and what will happen to his life, as he knows it? One ending that will have the reader hoping that Jeremy will come back again in another novel written by this outstanding and creative author. What is the final outcome? What exactly is the Company and when and how did it start? Well, there are cameras, bugs, videos, and surveillance equipment all over the place so that this reviewer will not reveal the secrets nor tell you the final outcome. This is one book you definitely want to read and one author who has taken the mystery/thriller genre by storm. Watch out Larry Sheridan is definitely going to be right up there with Steve Berry, James Grippando and Daniel Silva. Will Jeremy remain a work in progress or will he become a finished product? You decide when you read this Five Star Novel.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer