Thursday, January 22, 2009

Babylon's Tablet of Destiny by Jack Dunn

Indiana Jones meets The Omen—only much scarier, because of current events. These are the thoughts that kept coming to mind as I eagerly leaped into Mr. Dunn’s thriller. Right away, the hair on my neck stood up when he introduced the radical Islamic plan to destroy America: “First, we’ll raise prices lowering the value of their dollar and then the bankers will raid their treasury.” Whoa! How familiar does that sound? And as I delved further into the fast-paced story, I was immersed in a journey and quest around the world where the villain is profoundly evil and the heroes are everyday folks required to step up to extraordinary circumstances. There’s multi-dimensional involvement with Islamic fundamentalists, archaeological legends, the Catholic Church, Mafia, and even a young woman with psychic visions. And for you readers who’re into history and non-fiction, there’s an added treat in store for you because the author infuses a bonanza of related biblical and archaeological information.
Along with Lisa Weinstein, Jonathan Anderson searches for valuable items looted from the Iraq during the current war. They’re wondering how all this relates to a multi-national banking conspiracy that’s been created to destroy the American economy. Meanwhile, an evil spirit searches for an ancient tablet that could open the entrance to the underworld and change the destiny of the world. A Catholic priest pursues his own quest, instigated by the involvement with a young girl with psychic visions that will “suck the energy out of you”. Will these “visions” require an exorcism, or are they some bizarre form of divine intervention? Mr. Dunn skillfully ties it all together, believe me.
Since there’s no author bio at the end of this novel, I’m guessing he’s an archaeologist, a historian, or both. Regardless, the research for this thriller is flawless, imparted by extensive blocks of exposition. To be honest, I have to say that I found myself plowing through and skimming some of the historical data in order to get back into the plot, but that’s probably just me—more into drama. Strictly from a fiction standpoint, I found the author’s writing to be crisp and well edited, his dialogue authentic and his transitions smooth. Since there was so much historical information imparted, I especially liked how he kept the chapters short and ended them by leaving me salivating for more. Plotting is definitely the author’s strong suit; the plot is complex, full of twists, and peppered with plenty of false leads and blind alleys. And did I mention scary? According to Mr. Dunn, President Woodrow Wilson once admitted how fearful he was of “self-serving politicians and credit controlled by a small group of dominant men”. Sound familiar?
A Great Read, by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews
Published by: Raider Publishing International ©2008
ISBN1-935383-05-1, Trade paperback, 266 pages Jan. 2009

Your Health and the Information Age

The Internet is always in a state of evolution as it increases its presence in our everyday lives. The Internet has many different functions: that of entertainment, of communication, and of information. People around the world depend on the Internet more and more for all of the above functions. But when we think of the Internet, do we really think about health care?

Many people do, in fact, use the Internet to search for information: about diseases, about treatments, or about alternative treatments. People also use it for communication with support groups. However, do we ever think about interacting with our doctor over the Internet? In fact, there is a move towards online doctoring – through e-mail and video conferencing. With this trend, there are security issues, telephobias and tele-addictions, and a big, wide, open sea with no clear start point.

This is where Peter Yellowlees book will become useful. It is an excellent resource for those who are starting to, or currently are, using the Internet for health care. The book is organized into chapters, with subsequent sub-headings, touching on everything from the changing face of healthcare, to searching the web and changing the ways that doctor’s work. At the end of each chapter, there is a summary of points of what was discussed in that chapter. Throughout the book, there are website addresses, which are useful starting websites to aid people in the research about a particular illness or related topics. At the conclusion of the book, there is a long list of useful resources for additional reading on different topics related to the book.

Peter Yellowlees is a doctor, who has lived in the UK, Australia and the USA. He currently works for the University of California Davis. He is internationally recognised as an expert on healthcare over the Internet.

This book is definitely worth a read if you have ever researched health over the Internet, or are considering participating in e-Health. Recommended by: Margaret Orford, Allbooks Review. It is also available through most online booksellers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and from

Title: Your Health in the Information Age – How you and your Doctor can use the Internet to Work Together
Author: Peter Yellowlees
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 978 – 0 – 5955 – 2775 - 5
Pages: 188 pages
Price: $17.95 US
Jan. 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009


I walk through the doorway and enfold her into my open arms. She is fragile both emotionally and physically; her body feels thinner as we embrace. Is it possible that she is a widow at such a young age? It is hard to believe that he is actually gone. How I loved that ornery, opinionated man. His humor was one of a kind and his love for her shone with the brilliance of the sun on his face. I will all of my strength into her as we stand molded together, oblivious of everything and everyone around us. This woman is my friend and I will support and encourage and accompany her through her grief. My eyes are teary but I fight the urge, trying to be strong for her. I withdraw slowly, placing a gentle kiss on her cheek. I smile and she returns the smile with tearing eyes on her mournful face.
It has been years since that day but the memory is fresh and clear in my mind as if it were yesterday. I don’t know if it was the feeling of absolute oneness with another human being that I felt at that particular moment, or my sympathy for my friend’s pain, that keeps the thought close but I will never forget that moment.
Friends, people that reach out and engrain themselves deep into your heart until they are a part of who you are, a part of your soul. That feeling is rare and precious and it is forever.
It started out as a weekly get together; a time when three friends could get together to laugh or cry; a time to help her forget her grief, if even for a few hours. But it grew into much more than that, it was something to look forward to, something special and wonderful. Our number soon grew from two to four and we became the Ya- ya girls. The name adopted from a movie we watched during one of our weekly get togethers. A movie about friendship and four wild and crazy women who loved and cared for each other. From that day on we called ourselves the Ya ya girls and even made silly hats as a sort of initiation. Each hat was decorated with memorabilia of our excursions, plus several tacky items just for fun. We looked ridiculous but we felt wonderful. We belonged.
Let me introduce the Ya ya girls. First, my name is Shirley, I am a writer and this is my story. Second we have Jean, our young widow, next is Carol the kindest, gentlest woman you ever wanted to know and fourth but not least Carol’s sister, the feisty, often outspoken Barbara. Our fifth and honorary Ya ya is Sue, Jean’s sister. Sue lives quite a distance from us but joins us whenever she is in town.
As I said, it all began with Carol and I trying to keep Jean distracted, but the four of us soon blended and merged into a tight group.
Sue joined the group the day we drank bottles of Boone’s Farm Wine and all giggled and laughed until we cried. We are not sure if it was the wine or the company, but she was made an honorary member and the laughing continues still.
I remember the day we took Carol to the hospital with dizzy spells, the rest of us paced the waiting room filled with worry and concern for our dear friend. We chatted and joked to distract ourselves but our thoughts remained in the emergency room with Carol. No family was closer. Fortunately, some medication and a few doctor’s visits put our friend back in the fold. We drove her crazy with our fussing but she put up with it because she knew we cared.
Jean met a wonderful gentleman a few years later and many humorous get-togethers were spent discussing his assets and liabilities. Finally she married him with all of the Ya ya’s in attendance. Sue, who planned the wedding very carefully, was most concerned that we would show up wearing our Ya ya hats and ruin the seriousness of the occasion. We held back until the reception but then it was a Ya ya day and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Sue, throwing caution to the wind, quickly produced a highly decorated Ya ya hat of her own. Sisters indeed!
Shirley A. Roe