5 stars to “Adam’s Witness” by J.A. Paulson–a terrific first novel from a Canadian Author!

 

Adam’s Witness is a terrific first novel! I read it in one long sitting—wanted to see how it ended. The plot has many twists and turns—the romance fraught with tension because Grace and Adam had to fight their attraction. Devastatingly handsome, and honorable, Detective Sargent Adams knew that his unbidden attraction to the main witness and possible murder suspect in an unusual and shocking murder in the Saskatchewan city where they both lived, was against the rules and could jeopardize the case. When she became a victim, they both realized that their attraction was powerful. As the weeks slipped by, neither knew exactly how the other felt. After the dust settled, the investigation and trial concluded, months had passed, and Adam and Grace were hesitant to show their true feelings, in case they were not reciprocated.

I always try to figure out who the guilty party is when I read a murder mystery, but as this story unfolded, I continually realized that I had no clue.

I love it when both male and female characters openly express deep emotions toward their family, their friends and the ones they love intimately. There is plenty of real emotion among these characters. This book is woven around socially sensitive subjects: one that sadly still exists today, even though most of us want to believe it is not an issue. Another that is rejected by all normal people, but is more prevalent than we want to admit.

Great Job J.A. Paulson. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Adam’s Witness can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here

5 stars for “Living A Lie” by Sheryl Lee, a brilliantly written book of fiction that centers around a difficult social issue.

Living A Lie, was a heart-wrenching book to read. Immediately, I thought of how frightening it would be to wake up and realize that you don’t know who you are or anything about your life or the people who claim to be your family and friends.  Andrew Russell was a wonderful, supportive husband, who did everything he could to help Alicia when it happened to her.

When Alicia’s memories eventually returned—except those for one day—I immediately began to wonder what was so crucial about that missing day.

There were hints, but a reader had to understand what they could mean in real life to sort them out. I am thankful that I have no personal experience with the trauma that led to Alicia Russell’s amnesia, but I know enough about it to understand how devastating it is, and how it impacts the victim’s entire life unless they can confront what happened and deal with it. Even with counseling, the path to a healthy, normal life is much longer and more difficult than the author would have had time to explore in this book.  And very often, the victim does not have a strong support system to back them up.

Sheryl Lee did a brilliant job of portraying all of the characters in this work of fiction, and I was pleased to see that she gave Alicia the fortitude to pursue the issue to justice. Under the circumstances, it wouldn’t have been an easy thing to do in real life.

Sadly, this social issue is not uncommon. And often, the perpetrators are the last people that families or communities would expect to be involved in this sort of crime.

There are many true-to-life reactions and responses threaded into “Living A Lie.” I believe it would be a helpful book for anyone to read; doing so could open their eyes and minds to the telltale signs of abuse-whether they have experienced it or know someone who is reaching out for help. I highly recommend this book.

Living A Lie can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here.

5 stars for “Zappa’s Mam’s A Slapper” by John Lynch. A touching story of overcoming the hand life dealt a man.

After I read Lynch’s Bio, I was curious about his writing; two different genres, written under two different names. I read one of his historical fiction books: “A Just and Upright Man,(R.J. Lynch)” and then purchased “Zappa’s Mam’s A Slapper”(John Lynch)

I enjoyed both, but “Zappa’s Mam’s A Slapper” really touched me. This is a book that had so much reality and feeling; I felt I could have been reading a biography, rather than fiction.

Lynch portrays the many aspects of Billy McErlaines journey from life as a child at home with his siblings and their dysfunctional, promiscuous mother, to his involvement with the criminal element in the neighborhood, arriving at a point where he breaks under pressure and commits a felony that results in him being sent to a Young Offenders institution at the age of 14. There he sees more of the vilest sides of humanity. Fortunately, with inspiration and direction from his counselors, he discovers a budding talent with a camera and Photoshop. Both are skills that he takes with him when he is released on parole at the age of 18.

When he returned to society, Billy (known as Zappa) was determined to pull himself out of the environment he grew up in. As I read, I wondered if he could do it, when those around him chose to do the only thing they knew. His mother made my heart ache, and as I read the last couple of chapters, my eyes filled with tears.

In the end, Billy had to make a life altering decision. Would he break the cycle, or would he watch history repeat itself.

This book, made me think about how sheltered my own life has been; also about how important stability and love are for people of all ages.  “Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper” is not all about tragedy and despair though—I laughed at times, I admired Billy at times, I shook my head many times, and I feared for him often.

This isn’t a read for the faint of heart: it is a harsh and sometimes ugly look at humanity. It can offer hope for those who struggle to rise above their circumstances; it should open the eyes of others to humility and gratitude for having been dealt a kinder hand. I am not traditionally “religious,” but the phrase “But for the grace of God, there go I…,” came to me.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here.