J. Helen Elza


J. Helen Elza writes essays, book reviews, childrens books, poetry, poetry collections and womens fiction while on the road across America.

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Smashwords book reviews by J. Helen Elza

  • First You Pay on Feb. 17, 2013

    David Hayme's debut novel reads like the work of a seasoned master and with the speed of classic James Patterson. Not at all what I expected, the book delivers so much more. Readers will identify themselves in the pages. An analysis of human motivations, of the choices that dictate our lives, the book is a banquet of wit, wisdom and insight. The surprise is that every sentence pulses with compassion, with the honesty and emotion of a human heart beat. The prison inmate language is raw and angry but fortifies the book's message; No man is so lost that he can't be found; no sinner so unworthy that he can't be forgiven, no life so wasted that it can't be redeemed. In following the metamorphosis of Dr. Paul Ochs from his wealthy, god-like position among the privileged North Dallas elite to the bottom bunk in a prison cell with all his earthly possessions in a 2'X 2' box we experience the metamorphosis. First You Pay is a mirror that examines our hidden selves and then slaps us with the verdict--guilty! Who among us is not guilty of pride, arrogance, greed, and self-absorption? How many kids do you know will lament "Yeah, my parents were there but they weren't really there." Our guilt extends to abandoning the less fortunate, the "less desirable" and to shunning the less-than-perfect. In the church pews and in the halls of industry we find no shortage of despair for they are filled with the families of inmates whom have succumbed, individually and collectively to hopelessness. David Haymes' First you Pay is a celebration and proclamation of HOPE. HOPE for you, HOPE for me, HOPE for them. J. Helen Elza