BOOK REPORT: THE MADNESS OF CROWDS by LOUISE PENNY

I rank Louise Penny right up there with John Grisham. Their writing just gets better and relevant with each book. Their ability to take true events and their emotional and social effects and write a novel about them is exceptional!

THE MADNESS OF CROWDS begins just after a vaccine has been approved as protection from a virus. As usual there is a murder. Why this person was murdered is not understood. As the story goes, it’s complicated! An idea about euthanasia and abortions of the unhealthy ring bells of dangerous dictators hiding in the background. Most people conclude that those ideas would never reach the surface of society again but a charismatic statistician starts a movement with lectures about what “facts prove” that euthanasia should be mandatory by law. All of a sudden with fear and intimidation NEVER becomes POSSIBLE!

This was one of the fastest reads I’ve ever made! I literally did not want to put the book down until I found out who killed the “dead person”! NO SPOILERS ALERTS HERE!

Hot off the press: Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny have teamed up with a new mystery thriller, “State of Terror.” Hillel Italie Associated Press

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Book Report: WOLFSONG Series (4 books…each 400+ pages each)

By TJ Klune

Important Note: I’ve never read the same book twice……until now. I have read the entire WOLFSONG series and I’ve finished book 1 for the second reading! That should be a clue of how good it is!

Anne Rice used VAMPIRES and ANGELS in some of her books as the characters that were different and feared, TJ Klune uses WOLVES and MAGIC!

T K is an excellent writer. The first time I read Book 1, I kept reading until I finished the series just to find out how it ended! The second time around, I’m discovering how much I missed in the details the first time!! The stories are multilayered and detailed and as some have said before me, “The truth is in the details.”.

NEED to know facts about the series:

  1. In the information section about the author: TJ, being queer himself believes it’s important—-now more than ever to have accurate, positive queer representation in stories.
  2. There are some passages that are sexually explicit. If that bothers you, I’d recommend just skipping over those few and read the series for the great writing it is! *

There was a time when authors could not reveal their true nature such as whether they were male or female. Theses days that’s not a problem, but addressing their nationality, gender preference or any other personal information might affect book sales. That many authors are willing to sacrifice book sales to be truthful speaks well of the quality of the authors of today!

I agree with Mr. Klune that it is important to have accurate positive representation in stories and all literature! I know when I was growing up it would have made a huge difference in my comfort and self esteem to read about people like me in a positive character presentation!!

We’ve come a long way as a society but WE ARE NOT THERE YET!!!!

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Where Did All the LOVE go? (Where did I go?)

When the pandemic started, the panic started. At that time survival was what was on everybody’s mind! A lot of routine things in our lives (all of us) just stopped! Our lives depended on “How quick can we get “The SHOT”. At first that was a real challenge, the rules and facts seemed to change everyday!

And then we got The SHOT! WOW! What a relief it was! And then, the 2nd SHOT! WE were saved! And then we weren’t! The dreaded VARIANT Delta came and now there is an E!!!!! Updates everyday! Mixed signals from “trusted authorities”! Worry! FEAR!

And all of this time it seems like the big questions are What is “the truth”?, What kind of future will we find ourselves in?

MY questions are Where did I go?, Were did my faith go?, What do I want to happen next?, What can I DO? What can anybody do?

WHERE DID THE LOVE GO?

The pandemic (I refuse to capitalize that word), effected people differently. Some people became more creative and productive and some became quiet, silent and withdrawn.

I was not withdrawn but I was quiet. I stopped making entries to my blog, I lost my zest for life and until recently my love of flowers and nature and God Blessed Companionship was what kept me alive.

When a person writes a blog it is very personal and that person wonders if it resonates with and touches other people.

I had not made an entry in my blog for a very long time. I just didn’t see the point.

In the last 2 weeks several people asked why I had stopped my blog entries. One in particular stirred my heart strings and I FOUND WHERE THE LOVE HAD GONE. IT HADN’T GONE ANYWHERE! THE FOG OF FEAR, DISAPPOINTMENT, LOSS AND PAIN HAD BLOCKED THE LIGHT!

What can we do? We can LET OUR LOVE LIGHTS SHINE! TELL PEOPLE WE LOVE THEM. TELL THEM THEY MATTER! SHARE OUR FAITH!

LOVE DIDN’T GO ANYWHERE! WE JUST FORGOT TO LOOK!

LOVE IS THE ANSWER TO ALL QUESTIONS! HOLD ON TO IT!

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Book Review: The Searcher, a novel by Irish Writer, Tana French

I love mysteries! I love great writers! This author is new to me but now I feel like and old friend!

Ireland is a beautiful country with wonderful customs, legends and stories. The Searcher uses vivid descriptions of the terrain and the characters to place you right in the middle of the action. Young people make mistakes. That is a big part of growing up. Some choices create major changes in our lives. Choose what you will! Live with it you must!

Starting over? Think about it and remember you carry your luck and your happy with you!

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The Legend of the White Camellia Tree Miracle

The forest was very quiet. There was no wind or even a breeze winding through the trees. The snow was falling in a gentle mist and beginning to pile up around the smaller shrubs and trees. Most of the trees looked the same. They had been planted to grow together and become tall and straight so that they could be used for telephone and other poles to support the overground wires. It was a noble reason for being and they all were very proud to be there together.

Almost in the middle of the proud pine trees stood something that certainly could not be called a “Mighty Pine”. It had no “needles” and was shaped more like Christmas tree than a pine. It had flat oblong shaped leaves and had almost no smell at all! It certainly looked out of place to say the least. Each species of trees has a “guardian tree master” that goes around checking on all of the trees in that group to be sure that they are doing well and to be sure that they are fulfilling their mission in life and are happy and safe.

Today was the day the pine tree area was on the list to have a visitor. The tree master looked out across the huge field of pines and saw something that shouldn’t be there! Right there in the middle was some other kind of tree!! What was it? The tree master’s first idea was that it would have to go! It would ruin the other trees in the field and look very out of place!

A voice from somewhere in the sky said, “Leave that tree where it is! It has been placed there for a special reason and to remove it would be a serious offense to the creator of all trees.”

A small voice came from the tree,” I know I’m not like the other trees, but someone planted me here several years ago and told me to be patient because one day I would learn why I’m are here and why I’m special.

Years went by and all of the trees in the field continued growing tall and straight and reaching for the sky except the little tree in the middle. It was growing fast but it wasn’t growing straight up! It was shaping up and was adding some wonderful additional features every year. In the spring new growth would add to the size of the tree and in late summer plump buds would form all along the arms of the tree. In the late fall the buds would open and the tree would have blooms almost all winter long. The blooms were the purest white with little golden stamen in the middle an inch and a half long. Each one looked like a huge pearl with stands of gold in the middle. Every year the little tree got larger and more beautiful. It began to be the center of attention for all visitors to the pine tree growing fields.

The little tree enjoyed being the center to attention but wondered why the small voice had told it to be patient and that one day the reason why it was so special would be given to it. That afternoon the tree master arrived and was making the annual visit to the pine forest and stopped in front of the small green tree with the beautiful white flowers. The little tree ask the tree master, “I want to know why the voice that day long ago told me that I was special and that one day I would know why.”

My dear little friend, “Do you see all of these wonderfully tall and straight pine trees in this field? There are thousands of them, all pretty much look the same. And then right here in the middle stands this beautiful green tree with the magnificent white flowers with the stamens of gold strands proudly for all to enjoy. All things are important and all of them have a purpose. The tall pines grow straight and tall to fulfill their purpose and you grow green and white and gold for your purpose. You bring joy and beauty and hope to every creature that sees you! And THAT is your purpose.”


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Authors, Louise Penny and Ken Follett have new books out!!

Both authors are well known, both new books are great!!!

=Louise Penny, ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE!!!, Number 16 in the mystery series about 3 Pines, Canada. If you aren’t familiar with her series about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache start out a wonderful journey about a rural village south of Montreal with book number 1, STILL LIFE!

By the end of Book one I was ready to move to Three Pines to live and be a part of such a fantastic place full of real people! I always say the books can’t get any better, but they really do!

Book number 1 has been made into a great movie!

Ken Follett, THE EVENING AND THE MORNING (The prequel to THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH TRIOGY). If you like history and want a great book to snuggle up with during the cold wet dreary days that are ahead of us this winter and spring seasons get this book! And then get the series. Follett is known for great writing and detailed research of the topics. The Prequel starts in the years 997 into the early 1,000s. If you think life is tough now……..wait until you see what was going on in that time frame of the world!

Book clubs around the world are challenging readers to read the books and pick out the characters that could be you and those that could be others that are in your life right now! I found at least 2 characters that could be me and many others that could have been family or acquaintances in another lifetime (if you can believe in reincarnation) 🙂

I enjoy the feel and smell of a new or old book, but if you can’t read most books also have audio versions that have excellent readers and all you have to do is sit there and listen!

Either way. Get your books and blankets and those cups of hot chocolate or coffee or tea. AND BE READY FOR the short days of winter sitting all curled up with a blanket and a great book!

Let it snow! Who cares!

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Do Animals Go to OUR Heaven?

Now this is a question that EVERY animal lover on Earth would like to have a definitive answer for!

Unfortunately, there really isn’t one!

But recently I found the best answer I ever seen written by one of the local ministers here, Cynthia Taylor. I will share some of her information:

You probably have heard of The Rainbow Bridge (that all of our beloved pets cross over when they go to heaven). Well, that is comforting to believe but what if you had some more “comforting news” to hang onto when you let them go to the bridge and watch them cross over?

  1. Billy Graham said, “God will prepare something for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there too!”

2. C. S. Lewis said,”If a good sheepdog seems “almost human” that is because a good shepherd has made it so…” Elsewhere in his writings, Lewis commented that he thought that animals have a kind of soul, not like humans, who were made in the image of God but that animals, especially dogs, carried part of the “Divine Spark.”

3. From the Bible, Paul’s Letter to the Romans; 8 19-21

4. In a blog for Focus on the Family, Randy Alcorn,”It may well be that all creation includes animals!”

5. From the Bible, Ecclesiastes, “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same…They all have the same spirit…all go to the same place.”

6. Episode from “The Twilight Zone” titled, “The Hunt” by Earl Hammer about an old man and his dog, Rip. They were on the Eternity Road and meet several characters that offer the old man paradise, but only he could come in. Rip could not enter. The old man kept turning them down because to him without Rip, it wouldn’t be paradise! It would be Hell! On down the road a piece he meets a really friendly face dressed in coveralls(an Angel)who says to him when the old man again refuses unless Rip can come in too, “Mr. Simpson, You ain’t far wrong, that is Hell! Heaven is up yonder a piece” .AND THEN the 3 of them, Rip included go on up to Paradise!

NOTE: Many thanks to Cynthia Taylor for her research work and sharing for others to find comfort in losing their precious creatures!

Of course all of us will have our own opinions about what happens when our physical self dies and our spiritual self goes back to heaven. AND THEN we will hear “The Rest of the Story”…….You older folks know what I mean by that. You younger folks, leave a comment/question and I’ll tell you.

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The Legend of What happens in Heaven BEFORE we are born!

The instant we take that first breath here on Earth, we scream and hollow and act like we are shocked at what just happened. Here we are, all connected to somebody by this long cord-thing and then somebody cuts us loose and ties the cord in a knot!Shock!!! Shock!! Shock!!!! Birth on Earth!

This Legend takes place BEFORE then, in Heaven! Jack and Jill, twins, Soul Mates, One Boy, One Girl. And so it begins:

Jack was just getting out of one of the mid-level creation classes when he got a buzz on his “smart watch”. Jill was leaving the Heavenly Choir rehearsal and was just checking in;

Jill, “Jack, can you meet me for a quick meeting this afternoon?”

Jack, ” Sure, when and where? What’s up?”

Jill, “I just got word from the Re-entry Board that our application for Earth Re-entry has been reviewed and the next step is to meet for the details of our proposal plan. It has been scheduled for next week. We have a LOT to discuss! In the Garden by the Raintree by the waterfall mid-afternoon.”

Jack, “I’ll be there.”

The application details they submitted to the Board covered why they thought they were ready for Earth re-entry and what the detailed plans were for the next phase of their Eternal Upward Mobility. They had completed 2 lifetimes as identical twins as girls and wanted to live lives next as identical twin boys. Note: In subsequent lives they would have to split up as individual entities and explore life separately.

Jack and Jill had their meeting that afternoon and decided on specific spiritual topics that this next trip to Earth should address.

The next step after getting approval from the Re-entry Board would be in finding the exact human situations on earth that would provide the opportunities for them to complete the Earth Mission.

There are certain (human bodies and situations)at all times available for those ready to go back for re-entry. But the rules stipulate that when a soul wants to re-enter the Earth Realm it must utilize the available ones at that time or wait until more suitable conditions come about later. Sometimes this is a deal breaker. It is helpful to remember that eternity is forever so there is no rush or lack of other things to do in the meantime!

Let your mind wander about the thousands of combinations of parents, grandparents, economical and social situations possible. Putting a set of those together that would best fit the goals to be accomplished during a lifetime takes a lot of time and effort. At some point it gets down to this situation; pick out the ones available knowing they are not perfect and just handle what ever comes up in that life and deal with it. You’ll learn no matter what does or does not happen according to the PLAN!

Jack and Jill cleared all Boards and Agencies required for re-entry into life on Earth. They spent weeks reviewing the specifics of the journey: They were to be born into a family of middle of the road income and social status. Loving and devoted parents AND grandparents on both sides of the family lines. No special hardships were scheduled for this lifetime but one older autistic boy would be there and one genius, so not challenge free either.

Now keep in mind that All of these other people mentioned in the above paragraph have their own plans and goals to work on as individual souls. The plot thickens!

Jack and Jill met one last time before their appointment with their Mother in the hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

Jill, “Jack I’m a little scared this time! I’m not gonna do it if you aren’t there with me the whole lifetime! There are a lot of twist and turns and uncertainty involved with this lifetime we’ve chosen!”

Jack, “Too late to back out now, we’ve got all of these people to agree to be part of this journey. It wouldn’t be fair to back out now! Here, take my hand. You know how quick all of this happens once it starts!”

Meanwhile back in the waiting room Tom McNeil was patiently waiting with their other children and grandparents for the new additions to the family when the doctor and nurse came out each holding a baby in their arms. They were walking together extremely close….and the doctor said,”These two came out together holding hands so tightly that we can’t separate them yet. Not to worry. They’ll be fine after they calm down and relax a little. Looks like they didn’t want to loose each other during the trip. And everybody clapped and shouted welcome!!!!”

To some of you this may read like science fiction. To others it may seem to be just another made up story in the imagination of the writer. If you want further information about the topic of life after and before death and birth I suggest Between Death and Life, newly updated and revised edition by Dolores Cannon/Ozark Mountain Publishing

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The Legend of “Just Around the Bend in the ROAD”

As the legend goes,strange things may happen at the most unlikely times when you go just around the bend in the road. What are you doing right now, walking or riding in a vehicle? How fast are you going? WHERE are you going and WHY? What are you expecting?

OR, are you just not thinking about it? Just blindly going on down the road to the place where it goes around the bend?

That day was no different from most of the other days. I was going about my daily routines and didn’t think too much about what could happen to change my life. I was just going about life and living it as it happens! Had I only known what was about to happen!

I had written checks that morning to pay some of the bills and was on my way to the small neighborhood post office on the other side of town. There was not much traffic so I was not hurried or upset with heavy traffic. After going through town there is a mile or two of open fields of the annual crop of huge yellow headed sun flowers! Once a year the fields are a golden yellow sheet of pure delight! It always lifts my spirits when I see them!

Up ahead at the corner is a huge oak tree. The post office is about another mile after you turn left at the tree. As I got closer I could see somebody hitch-hiking standing under the tree limbs waving for me to “please stop”! Normally I’m afraid to pick up strangers so I wasn’t going to stop. But all of a sudden the car just started to go slower and slower and finally just stopped right by the young girl at the tree!

My mind was saying to me, “Richard, are you crazy? You know you don’t pick up strangers and give them a ride these days.!” Yeah, I hear you but the car just stopped. I didn’t!” The young girl looked harmless.

“Hello, my name is Alice. I’m on my way to the greeting party. It’s just around the corner. Can you give me a lift the rest of the way?” With that, she opened the door on the passenger side and got in and seat belted herself for the rest of the ride. Saying no at this point didn’t seem to be an option. “What kind of greeting party are you going to? I haven’t heard anything about a greeting party being planned.” ” Never mind she said, you’ll see.”

When we turned the corner I could see a large white tent down the hill with a lot of smaller tents surrounding it. There were no cars in sight. I could see a lot of people moving around the tents. How did these people get here? Drop right out of the sky? Alice must have read my mind because she said, “well yes, they kinda did just that!” and smiled. The car stopped on its on decision.” We’ll need to walk the rest of the way Richard, Alice said. As we got out of the car, I noticed that we had not opened the doors! I shouted, “What’s going on!?” by now it was noticeable that we weren’t communicating with our voices either! We were just reading each other’s minds! Who are those people down there? You’ll see, we’re almost there. Am I dead? No, you’re very much alive but much different! Alice smiled again.

As we got closer to the tents I realized there was a lot going on but I couldn’t see people. I saw shapeless collections of what looked like colored mists in the vague shape of people! There were a lot of greens and blues but very few purples. A few shapes of pink were mingling around, not really moving and yet they were! My mind was saying, “Richard surely you know what has happened by now.And I somehow replied, “I have died without warning or even a hint and my car just took over and brought me here and picked up a young girl along the way. Or is this just a really really bad dream?!”

All of a sudden right in front of my so-called face (no telling what I looked like now)! was a purple mist of somebody or something that said, Richard, we’ve all been waiting for you. So glad to see you looking so well!” I wanted to say, “so just how do I look so well? What color mist am I!” I realized I was being a little, well maybe a lot sassy! But give me some slack, I just died and turned into a colorful looking mist of some color. What do you expect?

The purple mist said, “You’ll adjust very soon. It takes a while for your vibration levels to adjust to this new place. To us you look just fine and well. We are so glad to see you.. We have a few special people that want to greet you first and then later I’ll come back and take you to the Healing Temple. After that you’ll be able to adjust to life UPHERE and will move on to visit your Cosmic Family. Most of them are here right now and the others are on their way. You are greatly loved by all and they can’t wait to welcome you home.”

Legends are born from stories that are passed down from generation to generation. You can’t expect them to be 100% true, but there is a lot of colored mist sometimes when you take that bend in the road. Be careful if your car slows down on its own!

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The Night that Ann Danced With The Devil

Some people don’t believe that there is such a person as “The Devil”. Certainly, Ann was one of them until that night that she met him behind door #2. She was young and pretty and knew it. Thought she was smart and capable of taking care of herself but she wasn’t! It was really dumb to assume all of that stuff and go out and party by herself but she did!

One of Ann’s favorite places was a little joint down on the lower part of the town called Little Joe’s House of Surprises where the main attraction was a game called What’s behind Door Number 2? On weekends the crowds would pack the town trying to get into Little Joe’s. There had been rumors about there “being a little trouble down at Little Joe’s sometimes” but nobody paid any attention to those. After all where else would they go?

It was a warm summer night with just a sliver of the pearl white moon hanging in the sky. The area in front of Little Joe’s was crowded with people waiting to get in. Ann approached the crowd in her blazing hot red low neck dress that she appeared to have been melted and poured into. People made a path as she sexily walked on toward the front door in her red stiletto shoes. Just as she got to the steps up to the door a Tom Selleck* look-a-like stepped forward and took her hand to lead her into the room. Had Ann taken even a brief moment to think about the situation, she would have known that something was happening….But she didn’t!

As Ann stepped into the room the next game was just getting started. There was a hush of the noise in the room as she walked over to the announcer and said, “I’m next!” Nobody challenged her! Of course! And so the game began. Door number 1 always had a brand new car behind it. Door number 3 always had half a million dollars behind it. BUT door #2 was the surprise door. Most people were satisfied with either door number 1 or number 3. What door do you think Ann picked? Yep, Door number 2 was her choice! 

Congratulations Ann! You have just chosen Door number 2! Please step forward and get ready to open your prize door!

There was dead silence in the room. It was like all of the air had been sucked out. As Ann reached for the door handle she was suddenly chilled. The handle was warm as she slowly turned it to the left to open it. It wouldn’t open!  A voice from behind the door asked, “Are you SURE you want to open this door?” Ann being a little frustrated at this point yelled, “You damn right I am open the door!? The answer came back as the door slowly opened, “Step right in Miss Ann. Be my guest!” Had Miss Ann taken even a brief moment to think about the situation she would have known that something was about to happen, but she didn’t! 🙂

The same great looking guy that had stepped up to assist her into the game room took her hand in his and slowly pulled her closer to him. He kissed her on her forehead gently and slowly began to sway to the beautiful music that the orchestra was playing. Ann swooned and melted in his arms and was beginning to think she was in Heaven, but she wasn’t! As they danced he whispered in her ear, “How do you like your choice of Door number 2 Miss Ann?”  “Well so far, it is just like I died and went to Heaven”! The Devil replied and smiled, “Well you didn’t and it isn’t!”

AND so, if you are somewhere in the South and see an arrow pointing to a little joint called Little Joe’s House of Surprises and don’t even take a moment to think about the situation, Remember what’s behind Door # 2! UNLESS you really want to dance with the Devil! 🙂

* The Devil in disguise ( He never looks like he is supposed to! )

 

 

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