Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear





 The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear

“Two generations of dementia are enough!”

Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?

Book Review: I found The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear most interesting because my grandparents managed a retirement home and nursing home. I grew up around these homes, associating with many of the older people who lived in both. When my father became disabled (car accident, my mother, father and I teenager) we moved into an apartment within the Retirement Home. I lived there until I graduated from high school and left home. This book brought back a lot of wonderful memories of the older people that I associated with in my youth. It also brought back memories of those I saw physically and mentally decline.

I love how the author draws the reader into the daily lives of the people who live at “The Fountain of Youth” and I love the title. As I said, I have already lived in an old folks’ home, so when I get old I want to go to a young folks’ home. The colorful characters who reside at “The Foundation of Youth” bring with them their past experiences, their lifelong stories, their strong personalities, human emotions. They exhibit an ability to adjust to their surroundings as they fight to stay in control of their physical and mental health with full knowledge that the road ahead is not what anyone would want for themselves or anyone else.

Main character Robert Glickman is acutely aware of his genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has lost family and friends and he refuses to go quietly into this physical and mental hell. Adding a little romance can’t hurt. Robert did his best to encourage others through reading to them. Here is a good quote from Robert: “As I dropped down to LL2, it occurred to me that I no longer considered the lowest floor as Hades or the River Styx and when the elevator doors opened it didn’t seem as hot and oppressive. It was certainly quiet however. I stepped into the lounge and stared at the couch where O’Reilly and I read Gatsby. I could still see the crowd of patients in wheelchairs, on walkers, and sitting uncomfortably in those same gray folding chairs everyone purchases from Costco… Patients! I referred to them as patients, not residents. The word rolled off my lips without a bit of concern. Maybe I was reconciling myself to the future. Never!”

You probably know someone or even care for a loved one who is struggling with one or more diseases that cause dementia. As researchers work hard to find cures for these diseases, it is our job to stay informed of the latest advances in medications and assistance for end of life. Although fiction, I think this author has addressed these issues well.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear. I give the book 5 stars because the author shows great compassion for those afflicted and this book addresses a difficult subject that affects missions of people, their family, friends and caregivers. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on October 12, 2017.

Message From The Author: When I was growing up, sharing a single bedroom with three brothers in a duplex on Dartmouth Avenue, my maternal grandmother, Mama, lived with us and had her own room. Often, she would babysit when our parents went out and we would play gin rummy, Mama and me. She cheated but I still won. Mama would also buy individual packets of sunflower seeds (we called them 'polly' seeds) from our uncle who lived upstairs. He was a pharmacist and even though she bought them wholesale, she sold them to us boys retail. Of course, we knew where she hid them so I'm afraid to say she got the short end of that deal. At the time I didn't think she knew we were stealing them. At the time I was young and stupid.
When Mama was around nine-two my parents moved her to a nursing home. In those days you really didn't want to visit a nursing home, but we did, every Sunday. During one visit, Mama introduced me to 'Aunt' Charlotte, her next-door neighbor at the home. "Mama," I said, "She's not my aunt." But she stood her ground and insisted Charlotte was my aunt and I should greet her accordingly. Finally, while I was still arguing with her, she said, "Stevie, mit her money and no one to leave it to, she's your aunt." Again, I was young and stupid.
Thank the powers greater than us (if there are any), Mama did not live long in that nursing home (which she hated) and she died with the humor I grew up with. She was one of the reasons I wrote The Fountain of Youth. 

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Drama


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The Trials Of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants.

As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he, do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent?

Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

Message From The Author: From the Author: When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was 'forced' to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

Actually, I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi's book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I'm not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that's bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan--only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind's eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy's--or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy's life. There's no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that's what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn't know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn't you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: "HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!" Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.
By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it's at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That's what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

Steve is happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated move, NO), and the screenplay has been completed. Steve is also a published playwright, having co-authored with his wife, Susan, The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, interactive courtroom dramas published by ArtAge Publications. You can learn more about Steve and his other endeavors (as a painter, sculptor, poet, and retired intellectual property attorney) at www.steveshear.net.

Genre: Law, Specialties, Military, Arts and Photography, Theater



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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight With Author Steve Shear

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler is author Steve Shear’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

Steve is happy to announce that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: A trilogy including The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts & Hungry Bears and The Click, a Sci-Fi thriller. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

Steve also has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (a number of which have been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area? I spent most of my career in Silicon Valley and just returned after almost 24 years. It’s great to be back and to be writing in a broadminded, liberal state. We were in Boulder, Colorado the first 12 of those 24 years, another liberal environment, and in Tucson, Arizona the last 12 years ... not so liberal to say the least.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I was a patent attorney for over 40 years which meant I wrote quite a bit, mostly technical garbly-gook and legal mumbo jumbo. Approximately 30 years ago I began painting and sculpting the figure. At some point I decided I would like to write fiction as well as I painted. It’s now been over fifteen years and I enjoy writing more than painting. I thought I’d never say that.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No. I spent most of my time on the basketball court. But alas I didn’t even make it to 6 feet even though I stretched on a daily basis. Hope springs eternal, I thought. No such luck.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Ten years ago, when I wrote my first novel. After two or three drafts I gave it to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at one of the local colleges, all 250,000 words. They told me I was full of myself which when I think back is true. I then spent six months revising it down to 110,000 words While that book has not as yet been published, over the last ten years it as morphed into a trilogy and I believe my best work, but who knows, maybe I’m to close to my first real creation.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? How much I have improved, although that may or may not be saying a lot, but much more important how much I love the process ... writing NOT marketing God help me!!!!!

How many published books do you have? I have two published books and two published plays.
Please list the titles of all your books: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler (originally published by L&L Dreamspell and The Fountain of Youth published by The Wild Rose Press. The two plays are: The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal, published by Artage Publication. They are presently being produced around the country.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I have no main genre, although all my novels (six in all) focus on serious issues within plotlines that are at time quite serious and dramatic and at times humorous. I have dealt with religious bigotry, PTSD and the Iraq war, dying with dignity, overpopulation, and other “simple” subjects.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Love it or leave it!

Who is your favorite author and why? I have no favorite author. If I’m reading a really good book that author at the time is my favorite author. I will say this though. If the writing is not exceptional (like for example the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez), I usually never make it very far even if the story is good. On the other hand if the story is slow and stodgy like many of Wallace Stegner’s I don’t get any further. Some of the old science fiction/fantasy authors like Jack Chalker and Stephen McDonald were (possibly still are) amazing.




Twitter Link: @steveshearbooks




Monday, October 9, 2017

Divine Comedy by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.



Divine Comedy by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

"Divine Comedy" is a comical take on life's medical and personal challenges. Though it is based on a one man's real life, it is in the form of fiction since the fine line between real life and fiction is very thin and can often be crossed.

Pacific Book Review: What is reality and what is fiction? Do any of us really know in the end? This is something which the author, and in turn the reader, ponders throughout this novel by Sabri Bebawi titled Divine Comedy. How can one man face so many medical obstacles in a single lifetime? Can one man have such fervent love affairs with so many exotic women and yet never seem to really find true love? Life is, after all, a Divine Comedy. As the author wrote, “There are only two ways to react to life’s trials and tribulations: either to become frustrated, bitter, angry and feeling sorrow, or to see all as events as comical and, somewhat, wacky.”

Bebawi does a great job of reiterating his book’s theme throughout the novel. There is no doubt left upon the readers of this book exactly what the author set out to accomplish through his unique style of storytelling. The revolving mention of Divine Comedy is interwoven in almost every chapter; showing life can be full of twists, turns and upside downs, as well as times of beauty and love. This point was well articulated throughout the storytelling of the book.

As an uncommon angle throughout the story, the narrator has a wondering eye along with an enticing way with the ladies, leaving me wondering what void the character was trying to fill. I believe this humanized the character in a great way and showed great restraint. I believe what outwardly was shown as a strength was indeed something which many would look upon as a great weakness.

On the surface this book is easy to read, however to grasp the connectedness of the writing is a bit more challenging, requiring to slow down at times to absorb the deeper meaning of the story. While the words and overall thoughts flowed well, the reader needs to allow for the theme to be revealed, otherwise one may find something in the story missing. I believe the rhythm of this author is uniquely different than all others I have experienced. The reveal of the story is only the beginning of the journey; thus the strength in his writing is accomplished with the addition of allowing time for mulling over the underlying irony of the character’s awareness, affording the philosophical undercurrent to rise from just the reading of the words.

The author did a excellent job of reminding us of the ever-changing nature of our world. Bebawi threaded a similar situation repeatedly, although the ailments and the faces changed. The ability to be true to a theme while still introducing new challenges and ideas allow Bebawi to truly master the writing of this book.

Bebawi leaves the readers to decide what is factual and what is fictional within the book. It makes for the reader to always wonder about the threads of reality which is exactly the point of Divine Comedy. Overall, I found Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi to be a charming, unique story, full of adventure and emotion, with a creative edge for storytelling.

Book Review: Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi is a short, but intense read. The story is a stormy one told by the main character named Alexandre Akpors. Alexander shares with the reader on an intimate level his life from the age thirty-five to well into his late fifties.

As a woman, I found this book hard to read, but I am very glad that I read to the end. This book is for adults and I suggest you lay your own personal and world views aside, so you can read with an open mind. I personally do not agree with the religious, political and economic views of Alexander, but my heart and mind listened to his story. We all have a story to tell, ours is factual and this story, I will leave it up to you to determine.

This is perhaps the most important quote that I can share from the book: “The divine comedy is life, and life is a divine comedy; therefore, there is no ceasing. I continued to look at every day’s affairs as a form of divine comedy and to smile at all things, whether they were positive or negative; I saw them merely as the divine comedy of human existence. As the great Dante wrote, “There is no greater sorrow than to be mindful of the happy time in misery.” I am relentlessly mindful. I am continuously aware. Again, as the great Charles Dickens wrote in his masterpiece A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” All is just the same except our mindfulness of the happy time when desolation strikes. I, Alexandre Akpors, have been here and there, at times stretching the fine line between fiction and reality and at other times jumping the line altogether. I have done this so often that I normally have no idea which side I am living on: fiction or nonfiction.”

My assessment of the character: He is self-indulged primarily due to his life experiences and has a narrow view of how others live and think. I have not walked in his shoes, but the very fact that he uses the word “Divine” over and over gives me hope that through it all, he will come to the truth when he finds himself at the end of his life’s journey.

About the author: Sabri George Bebawi was born in Egypt in 1956. He is well-educated, an avid reader and is a professor of English. He has acquired training in journalism, teachers training, and educational technology. His first novel, God on Trial, has won many awards, including a British literary award in 2015. This is an important quote about the author, “Bebawi waits for that certain-to-come day when all religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and inhumanity are eradicated. He wishes America well, though it appears to him that it is a little too late; evil forces have possessed America, and no one knows how.”

I reiterate, I do not agree with the character’s views, but I am happy that I read ‘Divine Comedy’ all the way to the end. I came away with a profound sense of gratitude for the blessings in my own life. I have to admit that my emotions were all over the place as I read Alexandre Akpors’ story. Personally, I conclude that this story is told with brutal honesty. Fact or Fiction, I will leave it up to you to decide.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorse Divine Comedy by Sabri Bebawi as a personal tragedy which the character refers to as “Divine Comedy”. I give this book 5 stars because the character Alexandre Akpors is brutally honest. If you are reading this, it is because you live in a country that affords you the freedom to do so. Freedom must be protected at all cost. I purchased this book from Kindle and this review was completed on October 18, 2017.

Genre: Short Read, Contemporary Fiction, Literature & Fiction



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A Dream Is Just That by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

From his childhood in Egypt to his immigration to the United States, Dr. Sabri g. Bebawi has assembled scores of incidents, which weave a tapestry of his life with candor, honesty and intelligence in his book, A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey from Egypt to America.

A foreign upbringing by American standards, Dr. Bebawi began his book by telling tales of his childhood in an Egyptian oasis called Fayoum. As virtually any childhood parallels in human emotion those of children around the world, his intellectual curiosity and passion for truth filled his world around the Egyptian dust and dirt, religious laws and culture, giving him a rather unique upbringing. Being from a family of wealth, he was afforded comforts and education; however all was not at peace within his youth. Instances of naivety while being sexually abused, and witnessing indescribably bizarre events, etched a permanent chasm of ideological awareness of life in his developing mind.

From the frailty of being a victim of various childhood diseases, he relied on his one physical characteristic of strength, his mind, for survival. This prowess has manifested itself in his literary achievements in journalism, authorship, and achieving his PhD in English as a part of his higher education. After his autobiographical account of his upbringing and family, the book shifts to America, the “Land of Freedom,” so he thought. What are described are incidents of hardship, legal abuse, financial slavery and class struggles in society; which Dr. Bebawi cleverly juxtaposes against his Egyptian culture. He concludes there are more similarities than differences, and human nature is eerily constant within the various geographical and political environmental regions of the world. I must admit I found a tidbit of arrogance in his written voice, as he describes legal battles and confrontational issues with established American corporate behemoths over policies of customer apathy.

Dr. Bebawi found a call to action as he became the self-appointed spokesperson for the less articulate and educated masses; as he single-handedly attempted to change American society. His battle was brought all the way to The White House where he received a customary reply thanking him for his concern; but leaving the situation unchanged. Hence A Dream is Just That…..a dream. This book is surprisingly compelling and difficult to put down. It reads rather swiftly due to the layout of short “scenes” intermixed with very interesting photographs and exhibits. The single most quality which resonates throughout his writing is truth. This, I imagine, comes from his years of journalistic work, but is obviously rooted in his morality and his own core values. With all of the turmoil going on in the world, especially from his homeland of Egypt, I found this to be extraordinarily timely and pertinent. Americans need to see ourselves not from within our culture, but from foreign observations, to realize some of the truths and rights we hold to be self-evident are a part of the American Dream, and A Dream Is Just That.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Ethnic & National


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Chiara by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.
Chiara is a 22 year-old-girl who has just graduated with a degree in Art History. She travels to Rome and lives with one of her mother's friends, Sofia. Chiara falls in love with Sofia's nephew, Professor Rafi Curti. Several events take place and Chiara finds that her mother slept with Rafi and her father with Sofia. She later discovers that Rafi is engaged to one of his students at the university of Florence, Italy. The novel has a surprising conclusion.

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Dramas & Plays, Regional & Cultural, United States


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God On Trial: A Short Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

For the main character of Sabri Bebawi God On Trial, each moment brings a torment of some kind. The character is extremely intelligent and yet disturbed by thoughts that never cease, as well as memories that evoke strong responses, eventually leading to a confusion of time and current reality.

Indeed, as time progresses, the confusion grows worse; his reality rarely merges with truth. Paranoia and hallucinations take over his mind and thoughts, provoking dangerous responses on his part. As this deterioration advances, his connection with his wife becomes tenuous in that she is not able to understand the dimensions of his personal reality.

He may have little intellectual connection with his wife, but one portion of his thoughts remains largely coherent. In an attempt to gain some recompense for his suffering—and possibly to protect others from similar problems—he wishes to put God on trial. With little sleep or rest, he begins to gather the data needed for such a task even as his life begins to fall apart. His rage against God takes on new proportions as he develops the case; reviewing Holy Scripture, he in fact finds God culpable in the most heinous of crimes against humanity. The case envelops his imaginings, isolating him from those who care about him most. This disturbed man is presented in Bebawi novel as a remarkably compassionate person who has experienced the worst of life in his various ailments. He is certainly representative of much of the reader's own private questionings of God and the trials that are faced by even the most innocent.

Even in the midst of obvious hallucinations, he provides a lucid argument against God, definitely not the ravings of a madman. And yet mental illness is one of his problems, the most prominent one during the action of the novel. Following his thoughts through various mental states, the writing in Bebawi book is chaotic but not confounding; it is more disconcerting in that the reader witnesses the suffering of such a kind and intelligent man in the midst of mania and delusion. Bebawi skillfully leads the reader through the meanderings of his mind and leaves the indelible impression of a man who did not deserve his fate. Too, the writing is obviously sympathetic toward those with mental illness without being condescending or overly dramatic in its representation. By presenting the argument against God within the context of the thoughts of a mentally ill person, Bebawi may be providing a “safe” place for such discussion. Some may dismiss the case that the character is developing as that of delusion, and yet there are those in the novel who find it remarkable.

Following the main character as he gathers his information from the various religious texts, the reader may make a similar conclusion. Or, if religious, he or she might simply find a common ground with this man in his suffering and the rage caused by it. Bebawi leaves such a decision up to the reader and his or her conscience. This intricate story is so captivating with such vivid, detailed characters, that readers will fall in love with this book. Even within the space of a short novel, Sabri Bebawi is able to present difficult—and often private—questions of life, God, and reality in the harsh existence of a mentally ill man. Through smooth prose that expresses the man's desires, Bebawi provides the reader with not necessarily the answer to whether or not God is guilty of crimes against humanity, but rather the context in which to begin answering those questions. The fictional space of the book provides only the beginning of this discussion, and yet it is a powerful beginning.

Genre: Short Story, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense


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Tango Under The Same Moon: Sudden Fiction by Sabri G. Bebawi PhD.

In writing these stories, the writer discovers the simple assumption that we are all the same inside. We share the same feelings, emotions, dilemmas, and tribulations regardless of where we come from or live; we are all under the same moon. While there are no super-humans, there are many questionable ones; nevertheless, our inner souls are connected and our daily lives are somewhat and somehow interwoven.

These short-shorts, from the author perspective, have a unique implication. The moral is that much of what happens in our lives depicts an elusive spiral of fatality that can touch the existence of many of us, though we are not necessarily physically connected. The author hopes that his readers will relate to some of the characters, who all tango under the same moon, and to the events as they develop and unfold.

Genre: Short Stories

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A Dream Is Just That: An Interminable Journey From
Egypt To America by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

This is an objective endeavor to reveal how two worlds far apart: Egypt and the US are indeed parallel in various respects: Hypocrisy and duplicity, religious fervor and vehemence, corruption and depravity, moral deficiency and exploitation.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Consider The Following: Writing From A Non-Native Perspective
by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

An Academic Writing Text designed to help learners with basic writing skills, enhance critical thinking skills and develop and refine communication skills. This edition includes extensive grammar review.

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Consider The Following: Writing Simplified With Grammar
by Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

A writing course for ESL/EFL and native speakers. The course includes an extensive grammar review. Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching, Certification & Development

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Sabri G. Bebawi Ph.D.

Sabri Bebawi, born in 1956 in Fayoum, Egypt. He attended law school at Cairo University. He left Egypt for the United Kingdom. Oxford University invited him during the fourth and last year of Law School. He never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working as a journalist in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took political refuge in the United States. He has been teaching ESL, English, Journalism, and graduate Educational Technology courses. He studied for more graduate work at UCLA and got a PhD degree in Philosophy, English Education and Distance Learning from Capella University.

Although English is his third language, Bebawi has published many articles, books, and essays on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels. This is his second try; his first has been successful; God on Trial has won several awards including a British Literary Award in 2015. That English is a third language to Bebawi, writing a novel has always been preoccupying and challenging.

As a child, Sabri Bebawi struggled to make sense of the world and of human nature. He knew of the human condition. As he grew older, and studied law, and the “not so holy” books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the world became just a mirage, an illusion and a mere phantasm. Bebawi waits for that to come day when religions, conformity, capitalism, republicanism, and corrupt governments are eradicated. He believes in John Lennon’s immortal lyrics, “Imagine.”

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from (Long Beach, California)? I have been an American citizen for forty years and I am not very proud of that. I am originally a lawyer and a journalist. When I came to this forsaken country, I worked as a journalist and media personnel for a while. Writing has always been with me since childhood. I am proud to be a writer because, like being a university professor, I can pass the candle light of knowledge from one person to another, for those who want to learn and know.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Becoming a writer, I believe, does not need someone to be an inspiration; it is an innate characteristics. I have been writing since childhood. I wrote memoirs every single night for as long as I can remember. But I must say my inspiration in all is my Supreme Court Justice father, with whom I practiced law and learned everything that I know.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, this is a very good question. My upbringing in a fascist dictatorship taught me what dictatorship is and that is why I detest Donald Trump because he is familiar to me. Also, because Egypt is a religiously fanatic country, I grew up detesting religion in general for seeing first-hand religions’ hypocrisy and evil. So, absolutely, I owe it all to Egypt, no country, except the United States, is as phony as Egypt.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Being published was never an aim at all. I only wrote; however, I have always hoped that my thoughts would become known and recognized. I started writing to publish when I became a University Professor and wrote textbooks.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Writing itself is very rewarding for it teaches the writer a lot about the writer’s self. I have always written that novels have a life of their own. One starts and does not know where it is going until it is finished. I always wonder, “have I written that, really?”

How many published books do you have? I think among the educational textbooks, I have about 17 books published.

Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Besides educational books, I love to write novels that relate to reality. I do not like Science Fiction or unrealistic tales. My work, like Woody Allan’s, has to relate to the “Human Condition.”

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write without thinking of money or success. Write your true and real thoughts; if they make it, that is great. If they don’t, it is great for you and those who know you

Who is your favorite author and why? Certainly, I love many authors since I am an avid reader. I love Dostoevsky and his style of representation and settings. As an Egyptian, I also love the victim of the bloody Islamists, the Noble Price Winner for Literature, my friend Naguib Mahfouz for his honesty and bravery in a country that these two elements do not exist.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker


 

Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker

This is a collection of poems about nature, life, and fantasy written by Dawn Huffaker. They are meant to spark the imagination. Relax. Recharge. Here is a poem for you:

Meditation
Stillness, peace,
Kindness, joy,
Love, patience,
Guidance, completion.
Listening to God within
Brings understanding
And satisfaction
To my journey.
I am never alone.
2017©Dawn Huffaker

Book Review: I have been following Dawn’s poetry for years. Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker is her most complete poetry book to date.

She looks at our world through the sensitive, creative, heart of a poet. For an example, she asks you these questions: “Have you ever wondered how the flowers feel when they bloom?”

Dawn wants to bring you joy into your life through her poems. I invite you to purchase this book and keep it in your pocket book, brief case, desk drawer, night stand for the very times that you feel stress in your life. Like a song that lifts your spirit so is the power of poetry.

About The Author: Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Although disabled and in a wheel chair, God has bestowed upon her life soul music in the form of poetry.

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee) endorse Poetry To Ponder by Dawn Huffaker. Enjoy this book and all Dawn’s poetry books. I purchased this book print format from Amazon and this review was completed on September 24, 2017.


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I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

Dawn and Maria are poets with message of hope and encouragement. Some of these 50 poems that fill this book are based on real life events and others are “what if’s”. They write each poem to inspire you in your daily life.

The best way to begin this review is to tell you about the poets, so I quote their Introduction as it says it best:

Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Over time, she also responded with great passion to Computer Science in which she obtained a degree and founded a computer store which she ran for sixteen years.

Her inspirations are nature, her parents both retired teachers and the world. This has made her write poetry with a very calm but still exotic intricacy. Poetry and her love of Computer Science are like breathing to her. These gifts that God has bestowed upon her life have brought her pure happiness.
This is Dawn’s third book of poetry, having also written Flights of Fancy: Volume 1 published in 2007 and Flower Escapes: Book 1 published in 2009.

Dawn welcomes you to this book of collaboration with her friend, Maria and hope it gifts each reader a touch of happiness, hope and love.”

“Maria Kontaxis was born in Australia. She came into Dawn’s life via a mutual friend named Chase Von. Maria was living in Greece at the time. The internet made this possible through MySpace.

There, Maria and Dawn exchanged poems and got to know each other. They found out that they had a lot in common.

Maria has loved to write since she was a small child. She has written poetry, lyrics, and stories. Many of these have been about nature, the ocean and animals.

Her talent and gift for interior design has been her lifeblood for many years. It has given Maria a chance to study life and see the colorful patterns all around her. This is also a component of poetry.

Maria’s philosophy is peace and harmony among mankind. She has lived in parts of the world were hate has reared its ugly head. Her greatest hope is that love will prevail. These themes are reflected in her poetry in this book.”

I invite you to put the cares of life aside and come fly with these two Poets and see the world from their vantage point. It has been an honor to be associated with Dawn Huffaker for years. Her gentle loving spirit, e-cards and words of friendship has made my world a better place.

The cover art is designed by Debbie Kontaxis.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis as they touch each reader with heart felt verse that brings with it a well of emotion for both them and the reader. Poetry is the song of love and expression which these two poets have mastered. They love the world around them, every part of nature and wants the best in everything to shine through, be immortalized and passed on. This book was given to us for review in a PDF format and the review was completed on September 7, 2015.


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Flights of Fancy - Volume 1 (SE) by Dawn Huffaker

This first volume covers a selection of Dawn's poetry from the past twenty-five years.

The poems capture special moments in nature or about life. Most are happy. A few are sad. Many of Dawn's poems describe the amazing beauty that is found in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico.

Together, with her unique outlook and style, this book makes a wonderful read.


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Flower Escapes (Book 1) by Dawn Huffaker
This book showcases Michele's incredible floral photography, and Dawn's inspirational poetry. Together, they bring the reader into God's garden. Once there, the poems bring nature alive. Each plant has a voice. Even the insects share their wisdom. While traveling through the garden, life is viewed through another's eyes. Ultimately, one comes away with a new appreciation of God, and His presence in each of our lives.


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Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Dawn Huffaker

Dawn Huffaker lives in the mountains of the southwestern corner of New Mexico. She is the eldest daughter of two educators.

At the age of eight months, Dawn became mysteriously ill and never learned to walk. She has had to learn to deal with her world from a wheelchair. With the help of her family, she is leading a productive life.

In junior high, Dawn discovered her passion for poetry. Some very special teachers took the time to show her the beauty of words. From that point on, she wrote poetry for family and friends, and published works in the school newspapers.

In college, she received her bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and minors in English and Biology. Dawn went on to found a local computer store. The store operated for seventeen years. Then, she spent two months in the hospital dealing with a health concern, and had to close her business.

When Dawn returned home, she spent several months recuperating. During this time, she began exploring the idea of publishing her first book of poetry, and selecting her very best poems to put in volume one. That was how Flights of Fancy came to be.

Flights of Fancy became available in 2008. It is available through Amazon.

Dawn published her second book Flower Escapes in 2009. The collaboration is with Michele Duncan who has provided her amazing floral photography. This book is available through Amazon.

Book three is titled I Will Fly and now Poetry To Ponder was just released. It is a collection covering a wide variety of topics including nature and faith.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from New Mexico, USA? I am proud to be a writer from this area because it is a small mountain town where I get to live out my dreams.  Having lived here for over 40 years, I am still amazed by all of the beauty that surrounds me.  Living in the mountains, I have an endless source of inspiration for my poetry.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Words have always fascinated me.  When I was in junior high, two of the English teachers (Mrs. Nolan and Mrs. Thomas) introduced me to poetry. I saw how it influenced them.  They would share the poets that they enjoyed, and I saw their eyes light up.
When it was our turn to write verse for them, I fell in love.  It was such a beautiful form of expression.  I could capture a moment out of time, or share a precious feeling from my heart.  Later, these teachers continued to encourage me to keep writing, and I did.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? My friends had asked me to give it a try.  Had thought about it for a couple of years, but my workload would not allow me to get very far.  It was in the fall of 2006 that I got started.  I was home recuperating from a serious illness. On the good days, I sorted through the poems that I had written over the years, and typed them into a manuscript.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Being exposed to famous poets in school was the spark for my career.  Also, I did a lot of reading as a child, so I learned about word craft, and how words could be used expressively.  Both were important.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? I come up with my titles after I write the manuscripts, unless I have been collaborating. Often the title is created before the book is written.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is poetry. The preferred form is free verse. Rhyming can easily take away from the subject of a poem. I carefully choose my words, and use them for rhythm and impact.  One can express a lot in a few words, and that is why I find it so satisfying.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I paint with words.  When I’ve captured my subject as I intended, the poem comes alive in the mind of the reader.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? My most rewarding experience on this publishing journey has been the freedom to create my own book.  I enjoy doing the layout and artwork for each book.  It allows me to showcase what I love to do. The final product is a beautiful book that I would either want to give to someone that I care about, or to treat myself.
Cold Coffee has been one of the bright spots, but most advertising is too costly and often does not bring about positive results. You can work very hard to create an enjoyable book, but if no one knows it’s available, there is a wall that you cannot get around. The book gathers dust. I’m not able to spend time out on the road doing book fairs or poetry readings. My illness has left me housebound. Hiring an agent is too costly and they do not usually promote poets. Going through a publisher is difficult and time-consuming. If you are not writing on a hot topic, they really don’t want you as a client. Also, they do not see a new author as profitable for them.
While this may sound discouraging, I have changed my outlook. I write for fun. There is the occasional promotion on different websites like Cold Coffee, but I am collecting my fans by word-of-mouth. It will take time, and I doubt I’ll ever be as famous as JK Rowling or Robert Frost. During this journey, I hone my craft and learn along the way. That is what life is all about.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t write to get famous. Write because you have a voice that wants to express an idea. Your voice is unique and is a gift that only you can use.

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert Frost. His poetry inspired me to write about nature and life. The poems were thought-provoking and very imaginative. One of my favorites is The Road Not Taken. Thought I would share it with you:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
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Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
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And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
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I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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The last three lines have been my motto for many years. It is easy to go the way that everybody else does, but it is more rewarding when you choose the less traveled path.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes, I would like to share a poem that will appear in each of the new books that will be coming out in 2015.

Here is a poem from Poetry to Ponder:
 Capture That Moment
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Capture that moment
In words, rhythm, and rhyme!
Paint a perfect picture.
Compose a compelling concerto line by line.
Feel the elusive emotion.
Discover the eternal divine.
Make it incredibly memorable.
Make it so subtly sublime.
Tickle the reader’s imagination.
Expand his curious mind.
Put it down on paper
For all time.
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2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker
All rights reserved.
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Here is poem from I Will Fly:
 You Are Not Alone
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You are not alone.
No matter where you go,
Or how far you flee,
You cannot escape Me.
***
I am here to keep you company.
I am here to free you from mistakes.
I am here to show you the way home.
I am here to help in any way.
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The world does not think I exist.
They try to substitute idols for Me.
They think they don’t need Me.
They think they can handle everything.
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Don’t let them convince you.
Don’t let them substitute idols to worship.
Don’t let them put fear in your heart.
Don’t let them guide you astray.
You are not alone
Because I created you.
I want the best for you.
Share this life with Me.
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I am forever yours.
Have faith. Trust Me. Pray.
Walk with God.
Thank you!
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2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker
All rights reserved.
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