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Friday, 22 May 2015

Death in Printers Alley - Book Review

Book Review:                                 Death in Printers Alley
Author:                                            Ken Brigham
Personal Quality Rating:                5            
Reviewer:                                        Yvette van Niekerk (South Africa)


This Science Fiction Novel revolves around a murder taking place in ‘Printers Alley’ – which is associated with musicians and nightclubs.  Bonz Bagley the owner of a club in the street is murder in the early hours of Sunday morning.  A former detective, Shane Hadley hears the shots fired and wheels his wheelchair into the direction of the fired shots.  On reaching the porch overlooking ‘Printers Alley’ he see’s someone running away from the crime scene, with a slight hitch in their gait.
The police arrive within minutes and detective Hardy Seltzer interviews detective Shane Hadley.  A connection is made and Hardy and Shane start with their detective work.  Hardy goes with his gut and arrests Jody and Shane still keep the investigation going on his end.  Not believing that the criminal will hand over the gun.

KiKi (Katya Karpov) is Shanes wife and she is suspicious about data she thought did not make sense.  Cy Bartalak and his wife Beth work alongside KiKi and she has her doubts about the results of the tests.  She looks access Beth’s computer and finds information that is damming to the project.

Social / Historical Context:

This dynamic story tells about the drive for success in the business world, the craziness of the academic world – the quest to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  The morals and standards of people involved.  

The policing and the politics that is ongoing throughout the story and the way Hardy and Shane work together.  How they reach their different goals. 

Writing Style:

The writing style to my mind is evocation and common place.  It narrates the experimental drugs that are used on people and the outcome of the tests.  The story is really about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and the people involved in the studies.  The focus is on the studies and detective work around finding the murder.  The characters are exciting and interesting.

The writer knows the academic world and is able to describe environment, his investigative skills are really good.  I think the writer has the ability to draw you into the story and you keep wondering what’s going to happen next.
I enjoyed the read and to be honest I just could not put the book down, it was thrilling and interesting and I like the angle the writer took.

My Thoughts:

I liked the story; I like Katya Karpov – the neurologist, her retired detective husband Shane Hadley and the people she was associated with.  Beth and Cy Bartalak at the university.  Bartalak’s business dealing and the cunning way he draws people into his business venture.  The murder of one of the club owners in Printer’s Alley, Bonz Bagley.  Not forgetting the detective doing all the hard work Hardy Seltzer, not your normal run of the mill kind of guy.  Excellent story!  Must read!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

To live a Godly life

In the half-century that I have been around I have come to the conclusion that it is imperative for me to live a Godly life.  I want to please my Lord and Saviour and I want to be gracious as I grow older.  As I have been thinking about what it takes to get to living such a live I want to share my thoughts with you.

How to live a Godly life?

Let’s start by following the Lord Jesus’s instructions as it is written in Mark 12: 29 – 31 (CEB) and Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  The second is this, you will love your neighbour as yourself.  No other commandment is greater than these.”


Because I am human and have problems with my fellow man I will get angry and upset with them, family and neighbour.  How to deal with my frustrations and get on with my live turning more Godly?  The Lord Jesus speaks to us in John 13: 15 ‘I have given you an example, that as I have, so should you do.’  Here’s the first part we need to do ‘follow by example’, and to confirm this Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11: 1 ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ.’  So we need to read, learn and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.  Another scripture to consider is Ephesian 5: 1 ‘Be imitators of God as dear children’. 


Since I didn’t always allow myself to be obedient and follow the Lord’s footstep, the word says that in Matthew 12:44 “… the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.”  Now there is a chance for the devil to come and move in.  I was the one who neglected to stay in the word of God.  Making me lukewarm as a Christian, weakening me in my trails and testing’s.

Turning back

Proverbs 8: 17 – 21 ‘I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  With me are riches and honour, enduring wealth and righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.’  I now start to study the scriptures and look to become more like the Lord.  I want to chance my unrighteousness into righteousness.
Psalms 1: 1 – 3 ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he mediates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.’
John 14: 21-27 ‘Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.  These words you hear are not my own, they belong to the Father who sent me.  All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Repentance of Sin

2 Chronicles 7: 14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;  then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  As I consider my position I have realised that there are things that aren’t right in my own life, I have to repent and change my ways.  Coming back to the Lord my God. 

Read you Bible

We teach our children in the Afrikaans Sunday Schools to ‘read your Bible and pray each day, so that you are able to grow spiritually.’  This is my advice too, read your Bible and pray each day.  James 1: 22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.”  And Matthew 4: 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  2 Timothy 3: 6 says ‘All scripture is inspired by God and profitable [for something] for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;’
With these scriptures I am able to meditate on God’s word, learn to imitate Him and live a Godly life.

Allow God to change me

Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”  I have come to that point in my life that I need to allow the Lord my God to change me.  I have to let this happen so that I am able to grow spiritually.  Taking the responsibility for my own life, look at what Ephesians 4: 24 says “and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  By clothing myself each day with Jesus I will become a new person.  My ways start to change, it will be seen by others on how I speak to them, what I say and what I do.  People will notice on my person what I wear and look like, how I react and what my likes and dislikes will be like. 
James 1: 21 says ‘therefore, rid yourselves of everything impure and every expression of wickedness, and with a gently spirit welcome the word planted in you that can save your souls.’


 In 2 Timothy 3: 12 ‘in fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,’ people will find you difficult to live with, it will frustrate them because your life style with clash with theirs.  They will persecute you because you do things soberly and consciously not wanting to make a fool of yourself or embarrass yourself.

Daily Devotion

In Ephesians 1: 16 Paul reminds us to pray for a “Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation” now then also pray this prayer with me Ephesians 1:16-23 (CEB) I don’t stop giving thanks to God for you when I remember you in my prayers.  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you.  I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength.  God’s power was at work in Christ when God raised him from the dead and sat him at God’s right side in the heavens, far above every ruler and authority and power and angelic power, any power that might be named not only now but in the future.  God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church,  which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way.’  In praying this prayer we will allow the Lord to open our spiritual eyes to His word, and help us in our development.

Their point of view

It is really difficult for me to see other people’s point of view when I want it my way.  So now I am learning to just give others the right to their own point of view.  I don’t know everything and should allow others to discover their own way to the Lord and not try and enforce it on them.  Difficult lesson for me but I am working on this.


Because I have become so set on having my own way it is difficult for me to accommodate other people.  “It’s my way or the highway.”  Now, I have to understand that not everybody will do as I say.  I have to practice restraint and patience and learn to understand them.  I also have to love my enemies, because God loves them and me. 

Serve others

Caring for other people is something we need to do each day, I have teenagers.  I also need to care about other people, those in need.  James 2: 16 “if one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” So when you can help your fellow man, the one who is struggling.  Give with a happy heart, clothing or food and if you can with money.

What goes around comes around

If you treat others disrespectfully, be sure it will come back to you.  Treat each other with respect and kindness; do unto others as you want done unto you.

Peace in the home

In 1 Thessalonians 4: 11 ‘Aim to live quietly, mind your own business, and earn your own living, just as I told you’.  By living a peaceful live we must guard against becoming filled with pride, which simply is judging other people and thinking we are that much better than they are.  Allowing ourselves to be filled with pride; we are allowing sin to come back into our lives.  Pride is sin, when we have so much pride we become greedy, we lust after, we hate other and other sins come out.

Spread the good news!

Living a Christian life requires we share the Good News!  Speak to people about what God has done for each of you.  Be a living testament to the Lord.  I never allow people to say bad things about my God.  I stand up for what I believe.  God loves you.

Go to church

In living a Godly life you need to fellowship with other Christians, we grow by going to Church and learning the word of God.  People need people to grow spiritually.  Fellowship with other Christians makes the word come to life.  God works through each one of us and we need to be there for each other.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015


LORD, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, LORD.  Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.  His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from HIS hand, where His power was hidden. Amen

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Secret History of another Rome : Book Review

Book Review:                                 The Secret History of another Rome
Author:                                            Bear
Realest book:                                 April 2015
First book:                                      Excellent
Personal Quality Rating:                4            
Reviewer:                                        Yvette van Niekerk (South Africa)


The Science Fiction story foretells a future in the 2600’s.  A young child named Octavian depart Table Mountain in Southern Africa to go to the new country Alexandria, his mother accompanies him on the flight.  The child reaches an aged where he is permitted to change his name and he chooses to be called Ranulf.  Ranulf is being trained to become the next Supreme Pontiff of the Empire of Rome at Alexandria.  His teachers are called Librarian which looks a lot like priests.

The current Pontiff dies and Ranulf has to fill his shoes, the change is dramatic and it take Ranulf some time to settle into the role.  He is constantly learning and he starts to investigate his predecessor Julius VII Heraclitus whom by the way was a native of “Bloemfontein”.  I absolutely enjoyed this as “Bloemfontein” is a real place in Southern Africa, the Free State.

Because of Ranulfs curiosity he ventures out of the enclosed Librarian property into the city and he doesn’t realise that he has someone watching over him.  Ranulf is guided by tutors and Murmur as he called him is one he like.  Something interesting pops up about this character which made the story even more interesting.

Ranulf is on a quest in finding out the truth and there are secrets he starts to uncover with the help of a mysterious stranger.

Social / Historical Context:

This is a normal day-to-day life, with constant teaching and learning and the relationships that Ranulf make.  The strategic way the Librarians keep Ranulf in the dark with their half-truths.  The venturing out of the Library into the City and the way Ranulf discovers the Secrets.

The story hits home as I live in Southern Africa and a number of places are mentioned in the book.  Which makes the story credible and interesting.

The plot thickens when the one person you don’t suspect is actually a traitor, I was so surprised.  Then the dismissing of this person?

Writing Style:

The writing style to my mind is evocation and some common place.  It narrated a journey in the life of a young man being taught to life according to a set thinking.  The writers to my thinking are someone set on learning.

The writer’s view of the years to come was interesting and made me think that everything was formal and unsent.  When the immortal spoke to Ranulf ‘You do not know who we are, yet you deal with us, trust us.’ It made me think people believe whatever they see.  If you don’t question you won’t know.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the story and feel it was a good read, I love reading of the places referred to in the book and it sounds believable.  I enjoyed the teachers (Librarians) they were wise and never got on my nerves.  The story revolves around a young man being groomed for a really important position.  Ranulf’s Tutoring and learning; all the interesting events that happen in his life.  The loss of his mother and the secrets that is unsolved.   I like the immortals that spoke to him on occasion in the Great Hall, how they reminded him to relax and still.  Ranulf revisited his past on many occasions and the story get really good near the end.

Short version

The young child Octavian whom changes his name to Ranulf becomes Supreme Pontiff of the Empire of Rome at Alexandria in the mid 2600’s.  The Librarians who teach and tutor him, after twenty some years on the throne Ranulf starts to think back on his life.  He reminisced about his mother and there time together and how he made decisions.  He thinks of his relationships with some of the people.  To my thinking he was in search of the truth and the Secret History which finally become clear near the end.  The mysterious strangers or the Immortals that he encounters and how he finally gets to uncover the Secret.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Happy Mothers Day

To all the mothers all over the world :  Happy Mothers Day, I wish you a splendid day with loads of love, flowers, chocolates, and may children around your table.

:-)  You are a blessing!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Clan of Midnight - Book Review

Book Review:                                 Clan of Midnight
Author:                                            Richard Phillip Hoffman
Personal Quality Rating:                4            
Reviewer:                                        Yvette van Niekerk (South Africa)


This Science Fiction Mystery Novel is written using the setting of the California.  The story kicks off with murders which are reported on Channel 6.  The main character David Zane is a magician who doesn't age.  So he looks really good for a 65 year old chap.

Detective Roberts contacts Zane to see what he thought of the murders and if there was away in solving the murders.  After inspecting the bodies Zane suggests that the Detective see if they can get some cash to pay the matron Bonny St. Claire to help with the investigation.

The story is interesting and there is a lot going on with nostalgia around Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney and the different immortals.

Social / Historical Context:

Considering that David Zane is now out of the Underworld and living between people his day-to-day living is normal with some dynamics of being a magician and noticing other things taking place around him.  Zane starts to pick up that it isn't just one person doing all the killings but a number of killers.  It gets interesting and now the story starts to come alive.

Writing Style:

The writing style to my mind is a little evocation and common place.  It narrated a person who is deep in the magical world living among humans.  The writer enjoys describing his characters so you get a good idea of what they look like.

To me the writer has a great imagination and enjoyed writing this story, it does have a strong detective pull in the story and the other immortals are interesting too.

Somewhat graphic in the sense of language I do believe the rating of 18 years is a good thing.  The writer enjoyed the story telling which makes it a good read.  Great job!

My Thoughts:

A page turner for me, I enjoyed the story and loved David Zane he seemed like the type of guy I would like to talk with.  I felt the intrigue and enjoyed the discovery of the Clan of Midnight which revealed the demonic rituals and evil plans that was being plotted.  

Short version

The telling of David Zane an immortal magician whom is made known and is contacted by the police to come and give some insight on a number of murders which they are baffled by.  Life starts to heat up a little when he is exposed to the community and of course the underworld hears of it too.
Because of his training he is well equipped to deal with every situation that arises and soon discovers there are a number of killers involved with the murders.  As the story progresses you find that an evil clan involved in demonic rituals live in the same county as Zane making life very interesting for him.

It turns out that David Zane the immortal magician stands between the people and the Clan of Midnight.  The story is a page turner, which cannot be put down.