Category Archives: literature and fiction

In the Right Place - art

WTF – Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s so much going on around the world that is so damn troubling. Like countless others, it seems that no matter what one does individually or collectively, these troubles persist. Yet we try.

I’m one of those who in the past few years has tried to avoid “the news”, as in “mostly the relentless accounts of the worse current events”. In fact for me almost everything about what we call “the news” is among the most troubling of our current events.

As hard as I try, one simply cannot avoid some stories, such as the ongoing Ferguson debacle. I usually don’t blog or comment about these terrible tragedies, but for some reason this one has gotten me down more than most . . . I’m reminded of an incident that happened about 12 years ago, in Birmingham, Alabama.

I was there for a few days on business, along with a few others. One evening a co-worker and I decided to go for a walk, check out the city a bit. We were close to downtown, walking distance from the convention center, and there was plenty enough to see and do. In other words, we came across a pool hall.

It seemed like a nice, safe area. It was clean, lots of lights, a beautiful evening, friendly people around, and so on. We felt extra safe when we noticed a few police officers. They stood out partly because they were on bikes, just strolling around. One especially stood out because he looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. They also had on these skin-tight uniforms – a tight shirt and shorts – at least on of the Village People would be so envious.

A few minutes after seeing these police we were safely inside this nice, clean pool hall. We got ourselves some whiskey & coke and soon the game became so relaxing. In other words I began to kick his ass . . . oh, how I missed my snooker! To make matters sweeter, the music came on. Nice tunes on the jukebox, courtesy of two very attractive young ladies in the corner, the only two others in the place, aside from the bartender. I glanced over. They really were stunning to be honest, especially with their smiles and giggles.

My friend and I continued with our game. Then Arnold entered the hall. I had my back to the ladies in the corner, which is where the policeman was headed. All of a sudden those giggles turned to loud screams. In a horrible flash I turned to see what was going on. The ladies had their arms up and backs arched away from Arnold – a defensive posture. It was necessary because the policeman had a long nightstick raised and extended in his right hand.

In this flash I saw this nightstick begin its downward assault. Almost miraculously, it stopped. No one was hurt. The young ladies left their drinks behind and made a quick exit, visibly shaken but at least not beaten. The officer had his back to us the whole time. I can’t remember if he glanced over in our direction behind he quickly left the place as well.

We asked the bartender what had just happened. She told us that apparently these young ladies did not have any I.D. on them, so it was unclear whether they could legally be in this licensed hall.

My reaction now remains as it was then, and it’s the same for Ferguson, “WTF!!!”

I forgot to mention that these were ladies of color and the officer was white . . . they also appeared to be close to the same age.

Anyway, I can’t stop any of this madness. About the only thing I can do is offer my little sign of peace. It’s not much. It’s just a savings of five bucks, and by that I mean I’m giving away my novel – today and tomorrow – November 26th and 27th.

While the book is about love, it does have its unsettling parts and aspects . . . did I mention fear? Still, overall it’s about the best of humanity . . . at times like these it seems we all need reminders of that means . . . a temporary escape from some of these troubles.

So here’s my Amazon link to “Dawn at Last”. While I know it doesn’t mean much at all, at least it’s a little something . . . a little gift.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Finally, to my friends around the world, even those whom I have yet to meet, I’d be honored to have you accept my gift.

An Original Short Story

Do you mind if I tell you a little story?

“Lawrence, you need to make a decision,” she said, partly in exasperation, part in concern.

“What do mean Jeanette?”

“You need to decide whether your art is decorative or fine art.”

“I’m still not sure what you mean. Please explain.”

She sighed, “I mean do you want to see it hung in a museum or in people’s homes.”

I was flattered . . . in a museum? This all started in a discussion about our art. Her art is digital too. She’s in an MFA program in major city in Ontario, while I just do what I do in a small prairie center. Her goal is to create something that will one day appear in the history books. Mine is to pay the rent and keep me sustained enough to do more art.

The discussion was more about the frustrating business side of digital painting. The original art is essentially in a file and then printed in a museum-quality way. However, museums are used to showing art that is one-of-a-kind. It seems that is the point she was trying to make.

That’s a big decision from a business point-of-view, though it has nothing to do with the creative process. We talked about how people get confused by it all. When they think of prints they think of a photograph or scan taken of a one-of-a-kind work of art, and so the quality is not the same as the original.

However, with digital painting each print is a first generation of the original art. We talked about that too.

“But Jeanette, here’s where we disagree. I can produce the exact same work of art for a gallery as I can for someone’s home. I know that’s a big change for the gallery world, but I never intended to screw anything up. I just love doing my art as I do it, and never really thought of things much . . . and by the way, thank you for the really nice compliment!”

Jeanette didn’t say anything for a minute. She was thinking. She understood the importance of it from the marketing point of view. After all, in a previous life she owned a pretty successful advertising boutique. She also lives in different circles from me. She’s not a snob about it all, but she’s very much aware of the games that go on in the world of art . . . the silly ones really.

One of those games concerns limited editions. I expressed my frustration at that, telling her that I’m not going that route anymore. There’s a lot of trust involved on both sides . . . artists and buyers, and anyone else in the middle. Besides, very few limited editions really go up in value, so it’s a dangerous game investment wise.

She seemed to sense that I was making my decision as the conversation went on. She understood when I explained how my only real way to reach art lovers is online, at least for now. She sympathized with my desire to simply have people buy my art because they like it or love it. She understood how I hope that when necessary, it brings them a much-needed smile or some kind of inspiration.

She kind of frowned slightly when I added, “and that could be anybody . . . I’ve gone with open editions and am making my high quality art available at the lowest prices I can justify.”

It was obvious that Jeanette didn’t approve. How could she? She had long forgotten the pressures of rent and such. She had many luxuries that I don’t, including time. She can travel and shmooze and sell the odd piece for $5,000 while I plug away at prices that start at $32 . . . funny thing is that most find my art to be more interesting hers. Then again, her customers don’t know of me, and they seem to want something to pay that kind of money for . . . it just takes some convincing in terms of the value.

Jeanette and I never discussed value, or technique for that matter. For me it’s because I know how she does her art, and it really is just pushing a few buttons. Mine is much different, much more like real painting, more hands on and lots of TLC. As for her silence on the matter, well . . . she simply knows that I know!

Before we parted ways for the last time, I asked, “Why not both?”

She was already walking away and turned and gave me a puzzled look, “Excuse me?”

I said, “Why not both? Why can’t I sell the same work of art to people for their homes and still have one hanging in a museum?”

She kind of laughed, definitely gasped. She never said a word, but the laugh was meant as agreement, while the gasp was definitely to say, “the horror of such an idea!”

This is the end of the story. My art will likely never be in any museum. That was never part of the dream and so that’s okay. And if I want it published in a book, I can damn well do that on my own! Then again, all I really want is for those who love it to have it in their homes, and once awhile smile for the picture.

Now here’s a video that in a way makes fun of my art predicament, but please don’t think of my art in terms of photocopies or even mass-produced big-box posters . . . each one is the same as the original . . . hence that wonderfully confusing new term, “multiple originals”! I had quite a discussion about that with one of my old economics professors not long ago. However, that’s another story – one in which we both laughed a lot!

Finally, finally . . . and one of these days I really must finish that little story . . . the one about gravity, and how apples really do float. Ah, the Son of Man (the painting)!

To Dreaming and Knowing

Perhaps this is my last post on the topic, we shall see. That topic is the imaginary universe, the place where ideas live and roam, and then where selfless love lives as well.

First though, you should know that I’ve been following the current madness around the world lately as much as anyone. It’s debilitating, so sad on too many levels. But like I’ve often said, me writing about it in any depth solves nothing. I only mention it because as we are bombarded with one horror after another it is easy to lose touch with something special – truth and love – both of which are aspects of the more natural world. It almost feels like something in this world wants us all to forget about love, caring, compassion . . . to give up on it. Don’t.

Now, back to the topic at hand, and it does concern love.

As I’ve said many times, in nature there are no lines, only curves, and then there’s the circle. I’ve studied, meditated, fantasized and played with all kinds of aspects of that very natural, eternal symbol . . . the perfect circle. It is the ultimate and perhaps only symbol of perfection . . . no beginning and no end. Immeasurable, and yet we know that the arc of it is completely consistent. We can know by simply imagining the sight of it, and with simple logic. But again, no measuring, and really no need for that.

A Condensed View of Perfection

So awhile ago I mentioned how ideas can and do travel faster than the speed of light (see Light Surfing and Chasing the Big Ideas). The pure imaginary circle teaches us that, and again in pictures and logic. All you need is a reminder of a few things you probably already know but don’t think about . . . a different perspective:

  • that perfect circle can be infinitely large and infinitely small, which is completely harmonious with an infinite universe,
  • that circle can be right here and a billion miles away in that direction, and again in every other direction, all at the same time, making it timeless, co-existing, and also faster than the speed of light,
  • because it is imaginary, you could stack countless of them on top of each other into an immeasurably small space. Think of it like stacking a thousand vinyl records into a thin sheet of paper, and then again with another thousand onto the same sheet, and again and again. Then you may want to think of this in the context of what they call a black hole. That can be a pretty amazing journey,
  • no matter what happens in the physical universe, and in our lives, the above remains true . . . it survives all changes in physical matter.

So there you have it, my teacher, the circle. And where ideas can go on forever so too can truth . . . the truth is known by the universe, which I suppose some may find troublesome, even to the point of denial in the extreme. Those same people will probably scoff at the notion that along with that truth exists pure love, the memory of all love previous and more love to come, though we do not know when or how or anything of that. We just know, or at least I do, and I cannot see it any other way.

Perhaps Poe was on to something, and this video does go well with all of the above, if you care to watch it . . . never seems to get old . . . enjoy the blending. Finally, perhaps another time I’ll tell you some of what the candles have taught me, but not all . . . some of it is just too hot to share! 🙂

 

Loving and Laughing – the Real Midas Touch?

Yesterday I had the honor of receiving another very kind review of “Dawn at Last”, one written by Fran Gold. Overall, I’ve really happy with the reviews of the book . . . actually overwhelmed by it all, and especially by this one. Here is a quote from Fran’s review:

Mr. Grodecki has accomplished much with this novel. He kept me entertained with a great story, added some humor which I always find to be a must have, some out of the ordinary sex scenes, and art. He writes of “an ongoing, unattainable fantasy” and while I am not sure there is “pure love” out there in this world, he made me hopeful that there could be.

It is most gratifying when you read about your writing and realize that it touched someone in a very nice way. It’s humbling, an amazing feeling on its own. And helping someone laugh, even at the serious stuff, is perhaps the most rewarding of all.

I do believe in the magic of laughter, and it’s special place in the heart of love, and that’s all that needs to be said.

So here is a link to the review, followed by a wonderful video about love and laughter – a tribute to a pair who seemed to make it all look so easy, and natural. I’m not sure why, but it does seem to tie in nicely with the review, though the life story of the couple in this video is very different than my book. Still, in the end, as the man in the video says, “. . . a love story and it’s a good book.”

 

 

PS – I think there may be a touch of Grace in the character of Donna Belauche, though she seems to hide it well!

 

Light Surfing and Chasing the Big Ideas

Picture called Wind Surfying

A picture I did many years ago called “Wind Surfying”.

There’s something that really grabbed me about the most recent review of Dawn at Last. Maybe it’s the part about writing from the heart? Maybe it’s the reflective quality? If you wish, you can read the entire review here on Ionia Martin’s Amazon review of Dawn at Last.

There are some big picture issues that I only lightly touch  in the book – this post is more about these issues than about Dawn at Last.  It’s about the kind of stuff Einstein and others liked to ponder. There is so much more to write about, but not necessarily in fiction.

Light, Camaraderie, Action!

The other night I watched a wonderful NOVA docudrama, How Albert Einstein Discovered e=mc2. It is not just about him. The story covers the lives of a handful of scientists and thinkers over the span of more than a century, so in a way it is one account of the history of the ideas behind the components of the equation: energy, matter and light.

The individual stories are portrayed in an overlapping way, almost blending into each other, though in many cases the characters are completely unknown to each other in the personal sense. Speaking of personal, The individual stories are alive with humanity, including their many sacrifices and their intimate relations . . . muses more than sounding boards?

I also learned of some remarkable women, at least two of whom I’d never heard of before – I’ll leave it for you to discover them by yourself. All in all it is a film full of pleasant surprises.

Tickled In the Light and Other Ideas!

My favorite part, the one that gives me an intellectual tickle of sorts, concerns a discussion between a young Albert Einstein and an unidentified lady friend, while on a stroll. He ponders what it would be like to travel alongside a wave of light . . . light surfing, so to speak! What happens at such a speed? In a way he wonders how one would think of time in such a travel. For example, in the film he asks the young lady whether one could see one’s mirror image in such a condition.

He states that light in our normal condition light reaches our face, then the mirror, and then back to our eyes so that we can see the reflection of the face in the mirror. However, while travelling at the speed of light he contends that the light from his face would never reach the mirror. He asks whether he is then invisible.

Mirror_Mirror

Zoom In and Zoomin’!

This is the place where I begin my own zooming, and for me this is a ton of fun!

First, Einstein liked to think in pictures, which ties in nicely with this mirror scenario. Because of the situation he would not be able to see his mirror image, yet the encased mirror would have its own image, travelling in different light a few feet ahead of him. However, even if he could see it, he would only see the casing and a blank mirror . . . in one sense he has become selfless?

Second, Einstein firmly believed that the speed of light is the fastest speed in the universe. That poses the following dilemma. In his mirror scenario he must have the mirror in his hand and then extend his arm to put the mirror a few feet in front of his face. However, in order to do that his arm must move ahead of him – in fact for this motion to occur the arm must move faster than the speed of light, which according to him is impossible!

Now here’s where things get really interesting. In such a circumstance it seems that he would not be able to see anything at all. I wonder too whether his other four physical senses would be functional. Still, assume that he would be able to think – to use his mind’s eye. Hans Selye did a number of studies concerning sensory deprivation and it seems the mind becomes quite hallucinatory in such a condition. As such, in a way the ego disappears, one loses control of one’s self – again, selfless in a way?

Before Sunny Side Up!

Where am I going with all this? Consider that a selfless man is actively light surfing, time seems non-existent, so he is kind of completely in the moment. Yet his mind is working, playing all kinds of tricks on him. Ideas come. They arrive.

In order for ideas to come – to arrive – they must travel much like that arm holding the mirror must travel. In other words, ideas can move faster than the light.

This relates to something I touched briefly on in Dawn at Last . . . what guides the light? It also relates to that age-old question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg? In either case, first there is the idea!

I will be writing further on this topic of ideas, tying it in more with some of my other writings, but in essay form as well as in story telling. I’ll also be writing more about love . . . if you’ve read Dawn at Last you know I believe in love in a certain way . . . something timeless, yet faster than the speed of light. It’s very real, selfless and enduring . . . somehow the butterflies know this in their own marvelously fearless way!

Light_Surfing

Julie's Pets

The Precious Pet Projects of Julie Whiteley

One of the nicest surprises about self-publishing is getting to know book reviewers. They have quite the story to tell, and each one is different. One such person is Julie Whiteley, who coincidentally is the first reviewer that I ever approached about Dawn at Last. I was quite nervous back then, feeling that I must maintain a cool distance. I thought that was required of the author. I’m glad I was wrong.

After getting to know Julie better – and a few others – it just seemed right to do let my followers have the opportunity to hear what she has to say. So here’s my interview. Enjoy it and learn . . . I know I have.

Can you give me a little about your background? How long have you been writing reviews? What made you pursue this hobby?

I started writing reviews 3 years ago when I began to notice authors becoming more vocal about the need for reviews. My family said I should write reviews because I read so much and I should share my thoughts with others, plus help an author out in the process. So, I thought why not?  So, I wrote my first review for Amazon and a professional reviewer tore it apart. I didn’t know I was being graded! I took that as a personal challenge and started writing reviews all the time, for every book I read, but stayed over on Goodreads instead of Amazon.  One day I got an email from Goodreads letting me know I was in the top 1%  of reviewers on that site.  This was another indicator that authors needed reviews.  So,  that was when I started taking things more seriously and got very involved all over social media and with authors personally, also on Netgalley and Edelweiss, and I started a book review blog.

Can you describe a typical week in the world of reviewing?

Oh that’s a good question. Instead of a typical week, though, let’s break it down into a day.   I have a blog post every day. So, I schedule the post,  then I start putting it  out there on social media.  I then answer emails for review request and other emails concerning tours, blogs, reviews etc.

After that I read, read, and read, then I start writing reviews. I like to write the review as soon as possible after reading the book so it’s still  fresh in my mind.  It can take up to two hours – sometimes more – to write a review. At that point I will either need to contact the author to let them know I have their review ready, or I will need to post it to Edelweiss or Netgally or one of the other sites I review for, then on to  GR, Amazon, and LibraryThing for starters.

I start prep work on the next blog post, interview or spotlight, check on all social media to touch base with other reviewers and bloggers, authors etc.  I may chat with Lawrence. LOL

Then I read some more!  I do this seven days a week.  I work on books in one way or another for 5 to 6 hours a day.

Is there anything you would like authors to know? Is that different for indie authors than for traditionally published ones?

What should  an author’s know?  They need a thick skin,  a positive attitude, must always be professional, even if this isn’t your day job, and above all be patient. Read a lot, research self-publishing and get advice before you even start  trying to promote. Beware of scams and paying for reviews and do not under any circumstances swap reviews with other authors.  Going a little further, I really don’t recommend having friends and family post reviews for you either. Trust me, this will come back to haunt you.  So, try to prepare yourself and arm yourself with some good solid advice before publishing your book.  Knowing what to expect and having some idea what works and what doesn’t will go a long way.  Also, you might want to know that most likely you will have to spend a little money to get your book promoted. I don’t mean buying reviews, but you may consider doing some book tours and putting your book on an indie author site like StoryFinds that will get you get some reviews and a little recognition.  Costs for joining are very reasonable and will help get the ball rolling for you.

Yes, it is different for independent authors. A lot different in fact.  Indies do not have a filter. The traditionally published author has a little help even if it’s a small publishing company.  There is  more money to spend on promoting your book, there are more contacts, more ways to reach people. The indie is out there all by themselves.  If their book gets promoted it’s because they used their own money and spent their own time building up a network of contacts and it’s a much slower process and  since you don’t have an advisor, you can make a lot of mistakes and get taken for ride if you aren’t careful.  On the plus side, you have complete creative control over your work. You are your own boss, so can write a romance then write a horror novel if you want. You don’t have to fit into any set mold and you aren’t under a contract or deadline. Writing can be something you do for pleasure away from your day job or you can turn it into a career option, it’s up to you.

You must have certain experiences that really stand out for you, both positive and not so positive – can you tell us a bit about them?

Positive far outweighs the negative.  I have built some wonderful relationships with publishers and authors since becoming a reviewer. I have had my reviews published in books, in publications, and I have had people send me personal notes, become friends with me through social media and we work together to help spread the word about great talent and good books.  I love this part of being a reviewer.  Most authors are very professional and nice.  In fact, just yesterday I got a card  in the mail from an author thanking me for the review and interview I did for him. I get personal notes, swag and some authors are kind enough to follow my blog and help me gain more followers.  Most authors are aware that reviewers are not being paid for their time and so they will do some little something to pay if forward. One of the best rewards though is seeing an author blossom and knowing that in some small way I helped them out.

Negatives: Spending hours on a book, the review, the blog post, and promoting on social media and never even getting a response from the author. No thank you, no kiss by *** or anything.

While many worship athletes, musicians, and actors, it was always authors that did it for me.  Becoming a reviewer has shown me another side of the author that I wish I didn’t have to know.  A little familiarity breeding contempt I think, which can lead to disillusionment and so it’s easy to get burned out.  Some authors have written one book and suddenly they think they are Ernest Hemingway.  They don’t ask if you will do something for them, they demand it and some can be really rude.  So, I’m going to lecture authors:

The statistics for reviews is dismal. People will rate a book but will not leave comments. I have to wonder why that is. Informal polls suggest reviewers don’t want to be hassled by authors to revise, edit or even take down the review. One reviewer expressed real concern when an author began stalking him online.  Seeing reviewers being trashed on social media sites is also a real turn off.  It’s no wonder authors have a hard time getting people to review books for them.  Again, be professional, even if this is just a hobby for you.  Always thank a reviewer for their time, even if the review was disappointing.

I’ve had my moments too, when  I wanted to know “What’s in it for me?”  LOL [Note – Julie sent me this clip from one of her favorite movies – Field of Dreams – and the author gets to walk I can so relate to this :-)]

Aside from reading, what are your other passions in life . . . chocolate goes without saying!

My pets are a HUGE part of my life.  I have two cocker spaniels and three cats.  They are all spoiled and so I have to spend a lot of time with them. Somebody has to do it  LOL  I also spend a lot of time spreading the word against animal cruelty and violence against women.

Where would you to go from here regarding your book reviews, personally and professionally?

First a personal comment. I hope to continue to increase my blog followers in order to reach more readers. I want to improve my writing skills and in the process write cleaner and more interesting reviews.  I am also working on calling attention to reviewers so that authors can appreciate the hard work that goes into writing a thoughtful review and to  work on a system that will compensate reviewers in some way and perhaps come up with a way for authors and reviewers to rate their experiences with  one another after a review has been completed.  Feedback from both parties could help us learn what we need to do to improve a system that is in terrible shape at the moment.  Do you think this is a good idea or do you think it will only increase the gap between author and reader? [I think these are fantastic ideas – it’s about time.]

Professionally, the future is wide open for some really great changes in the world of books and reading.  The short story will become a favorite of fans and e-series will grow in popularity.  I really do believe that books will become more interactive in the near future, giving the reader a say in what takes place within the story and the way the story ends. Alternative endings are already cropping up as well as books that offer the reader choices within the book on which path they would like the character to take.  It’s like reading a book three different ways.   I think video reviews will also crop up more often.  There are still a lot of changes to come and growing pains yet to work through, but overall it’s an exciting time for authors, books and readers.  I hope to be part of it in some way. 

 A huge thank Julie. If you would like to follow her, here are a few links, one to Facebook and one to her blog:

Julie Whiteley on Facebook          Julie’s Blog – Cluereview on Blogspot

Six Star Book Reviewers

I’ve never been published by a major publisher, though I’ve worked with a pretty big one (Reader’s Digest). When I look back to those days, it’s ironic how my closest friends were in the creative department – artists and writers. It’s also funny how I had all these preconceptions of the place – “they must be a bunch of stodgy teetotalers” – nothing was further from the truth. I’ve got the stories to prove it . . . one about a night at Casablanca, the extra replica of Rick’s Cafe on Montreal’s rue St. Denis, a night full of surprises . . . martinis by the jug, an amorous couple looking for “weekend friends”, and unexpected party with then-premier Renee Levesque – and “friends”!

I hope they’re friendly?

You would think a person would learn over the years – manage to avoid the stereotypes – and I have to a large degree, but still catch myself once in awhile. It’s safe to say that I had a certain image of a group of people who write book reviews. That was about seven months ago now. I was just then learning of the need to approach them about Dawn at Last.

When I first published the book I was so naive. Wasn’t it safe to assume these reviewers would just magically find the books they review, on Amazon or on other social media?

However slow my pace may be, the journey has been a rewarding one. My first real eyeopener came in a book I purchased on book bloggers . . . it explained the passions of these people so wonderfully, and again my preconceptions were shattered – thankfully so!

One big difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that authors can get to know some of these book reviewers. It’s really a necessity, given there is no corporate entity doing this for any of us. More than that though, it has been a privilege, another one of those wonderful, unexpected surprises.

They love me, they love me not, they . . .

After several months into this process, I’ve recently enjoyed receiving a number of 5-star reviews on Amazon and goodreads, as well as a 4-star one. You can find all these reviews through this Amazon link – My Amazon Reviews – and I hope that if you read them, you show some love by voting Yes – I know they really appreciate the feedback.

I’ve come to know some of them to varying degrees. Here is a little info about these reviewers, including links to their blogs and quotes from their reviews of Dawn at Last:

Christoph Fischer – We hit it off from our first discussion on a Facebook. Chris is an Amazon Top 500 reviewer and an accomplished author . . . I’m flattered how he took an interest in the book and how he captured the essence of it so easily. He probably won’t admit it, but we have a similar sense of humor.

“A fascinating and captivating reflection on the human condition (with mild erotic content).”

Janice Ross – Very few people realize it, but this lady is truly paying it forward when it comes to helping all kinds of authors. Her stories are full of passion and she always goes the extra mile, asking for nothing in return.

“He [Grodecki] uses an endearing love of all things artsy and hidden meanings to shower readers with clever motifs. I have to admit that there were several times that I was caught in awe, as complex scenes unfolded on the pages.”

Jo Robinson – A lady who believes in what she is doing, who has lived through more trying times than most of us can imagine, and whose strength through perseverance is remarkable. That, and we share a thing for chocolate!

“This author has created a world where you deeply ponder the rules of wrong and right, or rather the way these things are perceived.”

Julie Whiteley – She is the first reviewer with whom I had direct contact. She immediately put me at ease and has taught me more than she realizes – so friendly and down-to-earth.

“This is truly a unique novel. The prose is literary in nature, but the story is about love, courage, faith, and maybe even a little redemption.”

Patricia Williams-Forgenie – A lady who works incessantly at finding the most positive aspects of humanity.

“A romantic but modern, complex, fictional narration that realistically looks at common issues facing people today.”

Thomas Jerome Baker – A real gentleman, author of over 60 books himself, and a man who seems to fully understand and believe in the power of love. I’m sure Gabby would agree – that’s his wife.

“Nothing happens by chance, every “tidbit” of information, every incident, every person you meet is there for a purpose. This is why I call this book extraordinary, superb, well-written. The hand of a master craftsman and gifted storyteller is clearly evident.”

What a crew they are, these reviewers – folks are from around the globe – just as it should be when to comes to a book about love?

You will have to visit their sites to see which one’s from Texas and which one is originally from Guyana (not Africa). One lives in the UK via Germany and another in South Africa via a country I can’t recall! Another American is actually from Trinidad and Tobago, while yet another left San Diego for Chile and fell in love in many ways. Whew – now if only I can get some Canadian attention.

Who knows, perhaps we’ll all meet one day and mull over yet another set of quirky characters? Don’t forget . . . Carrots Love Tomatoes!