With wars come casualties; with casualties come grief-stricken family members; and where there are grief-stricken family members, the charlatans pop out of the woodwork.

It’s right after the Civil War in Philadelphia in Alan Finn’s book, THINGS HALF IN SHADOW, and Spiritualism has risen in the wake of so many lost soldiers.  His protagonist, who calls himself “Edward Clark,” even though that’s not his real name, is a reporter tasked with exposing the fakes who are preying on the desperate relatives of those lost too early.  He goes “undercover,” posing as a man looking to make contact with The Other Side.  When a medium dies in his presence, though, he finds himself a murder suspect…and the fun begins!

This is a very different sort of mystery novel with a lot of twists, turns and surprises.  I’ll say no more so I don’t spoil the ride for anyone else who wants to take it.  I recommend this book whole-heartedly.  Here’s the trailer.  Take a look, and enjoy!

A Very Cool Internet Business Opportunity

Want to be a Consultant and get your friends a break on their energy bills?  You can sign up right here with me!  If you’re already on the Internet reading blog posts like this one, wouldn’t it be more fun to make money on the Internet while you’re at it?

Take a look and give me a shout if you’d like to join this team:

The Best Tweet of the Oscars

Sean Penn at the Oscars.

Sean Penn at the Oscars.

If there was an Oscar Award for Biggest Jerk at the Academy Awards Ceremony, Sean Penn would win it, hands down.

In case you haven’t heard, since it’s all over the media today, Penn was the presenter who announced the nominees for Best Director.  When Alejandro Inarritu, who hails from Mexico, won for BIRDMAN, Penn said, with staggering inappropriateness, “Who gave this son of a bitch a Green Card?”

Son of a bitch?  First and foremost, how could anybody say that to the winner of an Academy Award?

Second, what a vile reference that Green Card remark was to the fact that Inarritu is originally from Mexico!  If Penn believed saying such a thing would raise awareness on illegal aliens, it was too vile a comment to be taken seriously.  What kind of actor doesn’t know that presentation is everything?

Apparently Penn and Inarritu are “friends” and make jokes like these to one another quite a lot.  If that is truly the case, unless Penn lives under a rock, which I’m beginning to think may indeed be the case, surely he must have realized these kinds of private jokes wouldn’t fly in front of a general public that had no previous knowledge of them.  Beyond that, with a “friend” like Penn, Inarritu will never need enemies.

The Twitterverse lit up with Tweets in response to the insensitive Sean Penn remark, of course. Way to go, Twitter!  One of the best comments came from a fellow Brooklynite, Jermaine Spradley.  He expressed a sentiment that I’ve long felt.  Jermaine said:

“That ‘Green Card’ quip was microcosmic of everything everyone hates about privileged folk who adopt the struggles of underprivileged folk.”

If Oscar nominations were given for Best Tweet, I’d vote for Jermaine Spradley’s!  BRAVO!


Download a Book on Internet Moneymaking – for Free!

Take a look.  Here is a book on making money on the Internet.  It was ten years in the making, I’m told, and it’s a totally free download!  It’s called THE CIRCLE OF PROFIT.

Here it is – enjoy!

Thank You to the Police of the 62nd Precinct!

The New York Police Department Flag.

The New York Police Department Flag.  Bravo to the officers of the 62nd!

I wanted to give a great big and positive shout out to the policemen of the 62nd Precinct in Brooklyn who responded on January 18th after I was hit by a van at an intersection.

The officers arrived quickly, were very professional, and took full charge of the situation.  I don’t get impressed too easily, but I was extremely impressed by these police responders, and by the EMT’s they called for me, too.

People have been far too hard on the police of late due to a few unfortunate incidents.  The memories of the public can be deficiently short.  On 9/11, when the Twin Towers were attacked, a sight I witnessed live out the windows at my old job, New York police and firemen ran right into that inferno – to rescue as many people as they could.  When there’s a problem, they arrive.  When a pedestrian like me gets mowed down, they get there as fast as they can.

Thank you, 62nd Precinct!  I stand with all of you.

Blue ribbons have been popping up around Brooklyn in support of the police.

Blue ribbons have been popping up around Brooklyn in support of the police.

The Incredible – but Inedible – Egg

The incredible egg from Holland owned by author Johanna Reiss

The incredible egg from Holland owned by author Johanna Reiss.  Her sister Rachel, now 97, crocheted the doily.

Take a look at this egg.

It comes from Holland and was given to author Johanna Reiss as a gift.

When I visited Johanna the other day she asked me if I would like to see a crazy experiment to see if this egg, which is decorated like Dutch Delft porcelain, was capable of doing what it was supposed to when it was put into a pot of boiling water alongside of a real egg.

“Sure!  What’s it supposed to do?”  I asked.

“It should play a song when the egg is ready,” Johanna said.

“What song, the Dutch national anthem?” I joked.

Well, imagine my shock when Johanna said, “Yes!”

She put that egg into the water and sure enough, it played the Dutch national anthem and more.  There was one song timed to play when a soft-boiled egg was ready, another – the anthem – for a hard-boiled one, and also a third, for I’m not sure what.

That egg is hilarious.

Johanna Reiss, who wrote The Upstairs Room about her experiences as a child in hiding in Holland during the Second World War, has finished a new book.  It’s called Beyond Hiding: My Sisters and I.  It was all miraculous that Johanna and both of her sisters, Rachel and Sini, survived the war, as did their father, Ies.  They were the largest family group to come back to their hometown of Winterswijk after their country was liberated in 1945 – but that’s the beginning of another story…

Stay tuned for more about Johanna’s upcoming book.

Now where can I get a singing Dutch egg?

Carole Lombard: Full Movies!

Carole Lombard, whose spirit never dies.  BRAVA!

Carole Lombard, whose star never fades. BRAVA, Carole!

Here’s a treat for all of the Carole Lombard fans out there – and I know there are quite a lot of you.  The most popular posts on my blog are always the ones that mention the incomparable Carole.  Not bad for a lady who was born in 1906 and died in 1942!

Stories of Carole enchanted me when I first heard of her as a teen.  She was discovered at age 12 when her next-door neighbor saw her playing in the street.  Her real name was Jane Alice Peters, a perfectly pretty name, if you ask me, but one that didn’t have enough “glamour” in those days for Hollywood.  She consulted a numerologist and changed it to Carole Lombard.

So I went on YouTube and ran a search to see if there were any full Carole Lombard movies available for viewing online.  There are – in fact, it turns out that there are full Carole Lombard movies over there in abundance!  This, I have a feeling, will make quite a lot of people’s day.  Take your pick and by all means enjoy!

The Campus Carmen (1929) – Rare Silent Mack Sennett Comedy:

High Voltage (1929) with William Boyd:

The Racketeer (1929) with Robert Armstrong:

My Man Godfrey (1936) with William Powell, her first husband:

Nothing Sacred (1937) with Frederic March:

Swing High, Swing Low (1937) with Fred MacMurray:

Made for Each Other (1939) with James Stewart: