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Book Reviews for the

Los Angeles Book Expo 2003

Book #1

The Willow Tree: A Story of Forbidden Love

by Brenda Billups

The book is like a thriller story of forbidden love affairs, lust and hidden secrets within the family. Sarah one of the main characters, is a very attractive 16-year-old dancer with a slim body and gorgeous look. She is very fashionable and always wears the latest outfit, and she is very stylish. When Sarah dresses up, she looks as if she has just stepped off the page of a fashion magazine.

Just as many things are going good for her, she has as many conflicts in her life. First, Sarah is in love with Greg who has another girlfriend named Candice. Sarah’s mission is to yank Greg from Candice. Greg is an athlete who runs tracks and plays basketball, making him an attraction to many young ladies. While Candice is intent on keeping Greg, her boyfriend, away from Sarah, Sarah herself is busy trying to get Greg into her love nest. Candice regards Sarah as a spoiled young woman who wants what she wants, regardless of the cost. Each time Sarah sees Greg and Candice, she tends to ignore Candice to attract Greg’s attention. Even though Greg loves Candice, he still has a lustful eye for Sarah because she is so attractive.

Within her family, Sarah also has a secret life with her brother and a fire burning under her skirt. Sarah’s mother hated her because she was forced to stay in a bad marriage because she was pregnant with Sarah. So for that, Sarah’s mother resents Sarah and never liked her.

Sarah’s brother Isaiah loves Sarah and never wanted anybody around her. He is always following her around and trying to see what she is doing and whom she is getting involved with. Isaiah’s love for Sarah becomes so hot and uncontrollable, and he wants her only for himself and nobody else. He starts peeping through the keyhole to see her dressing and undressing. Sarah tells her mother about her brother’s affection for her, but the mother ignores her. When both brother and sister were younger, Sarah responded to her brother’s affection not knowing he was taking it the wrong way. She continues to complain to her mother and other relatives about Isaiah’s affection for her. Eventually Sarah’s mother sends Isaiah away when he is about 14 years. Isaiah is 20 years when he comes back to the house and Sarah, the sister is 16 years old.

Isaiah becomes more aggressive with Sarah when he comes back and he is even angrier because his mother had sent him away because of Sarah. Later, Isaiah becomes obsessed with his forbidden love for his sister. When Isaiah notices Sarah’s affection for Greg, the man she is falling in love with, Isaiah becomes even more upset. Once Isaiah notices he has a rival for his sister’s affection, he becomes even more aggressive on being romantically involved with her. He starts to grab and kiss her while they are in the house together. While all thus is going on, Greg is still dating Candice, his girlfriend.

One day, Sarah is supposed to meet Greg under the Willow Tree. While Sarah is waiting for Candice, Isaiah shows up. He approaches his sister with his affection again, and she turns him down, expressing her disgust over his forbidden desire. Sarah expresses her outrage to her brother, making him very angry. Isaiah insists she is going to be his for the night and Sarah refuses. Isaiah starts chasing Sarah, who is running to get away from him. He catches up with Sarah, tears her clothes, pushes her to the ground and rapes her.

Greg and Candice show up later to find out what happens to Sarah. Greg is very sympathetic with Sarah and decides to return her love. Greg drops Candice and falls for Sarah. Later, Sarah find out she is pregnant with her brother’s child.

The story in this book continues with many twists and turns, a non-ending saga of thrilling and shocking surprises. Quite an interesting and an entertaining book to read. Although it is a fiction story, according to an interview with the author, most of the events are based on real-life stories. The sequel to the book is coming soon as Women at the Wells – Torn Between Two Hearts by Brenda Billups.


Book #2

Black and Still Here

by Jeffrey Dean Swain, J.D.

Black and Still Here is a collection of essays written by an intellectual who is also an educator as he relates the conditions of racism in America. He starts his book saying, "Silence in the face of evil is complicity. I cannot be silent any longer."

He starts his point by educating people about the failure of the mass media to inform people based on many distortions presented as news. For example, he says, "Events that happen are all too often viewed through the refracted lens of the mass media, a medium that by its very nature, size and purpose lends itself to distortions." As a result he refused to leave the story of the people of African Diaspora in the hands of the untrustworthy historians.

The author starts his diagnosis of America’s ills by referring to the Littleton massacre in Colorado by teenagers on a calculated killing spree, a symptom of the psychosis engendered by a culture that lies to itself constantly. He refers to the faces of the blacks as the faces of stolen treasures as he defines the identity and origin of black people. Instead of being embraced, blacks in America are not considered beautiful or valuable with the fictitious notion of one nation under God. This demonstrates a schizophrenic nation, according to the author.

He discusses racism as a form of human exploitation for economic gains. How could a group of people work so hard to prepare a meal but never get invited to dinner? And if they dared to complain, they become items on the menu. "As long as there are people willing to exploit others for economic gains, racism will live." This happens, perhaps, when people have no conscience or when their conscience is dead.

The book, Black and Still Here, goes on to continuous analysis of blacks in America with a history of great injustice done to the people of African decent. It discusses the roles of black leaders, miseducation of the masses, racism, sexism, classism and much more.

Undoubtedly, this book is a masterpiece invention of an intellectual. Although the author is a teacher, a trained attorney and a preacher, he belongs to one of the offices of the CEOs of major corporations in the United States. Considering his knowledge and eloquence, life has done this man no justice! His book should be required reading for all college students because high school kids may just be too young to appreciate the richness and the great value of education inherent in this book.


Book #3

101 Ways to Prevent Medical Errors

by Yinka Vidal

The new book is based on an ongoing project study on how to prevent or fix medical errors. The project started four years ago, working with different institutions and project locations across the country. It outlines effective processes of identifying medical errors and ways to design solutions. Developing checks and balances along the route of designing a process-line is one of the points of emphasis throughout the book.

The author discusses many stories of implementation processes, what works, what fails and the deterrence created by human behavior. He discusses many success stories and many challenges along the way of fixing medical errors in various incidents in different hospitals. He indicates that the biggest challenge to overcome while working on this project and on the national campaign to prevent medical errors is the human resistance to change. A large part of the book discusses the ongoing struggles within the health-care field on how to fix medical errors.

All health-care professionals and administrative officials will find this book very useful as it also discusses how barriers can be removed along the way to achieve project success. The book discusses some of the old problems leading to medical errors and how most of these situations can be addressed using action task force committee members with special training.

Vidal stresses throughout the book and in progress reports on this study that medical errors are not created by bad medicine or bad people. Medical errors are created by simple systemic failures due to the lack of effective checks and balances along the process-line of patient care.

This book addresses many problems associated with root cause analysis, solution design and the processes of solution implementation. The report in this book is collected based on research study from those working directly with patients on the frontline of patient care. If you are working in the nursing, laboratory or quality improvement department of the hospital, this book is required reading. It gives you many tools to achieve your objectives.


"The best patient is an awake, aware, alert patient who wants to wisely participate in his or her health and healing. This book insightfully teaches how to do so."

- Mark Victor Hansen, Co-creator, #1 New York Times best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul


Book #4

Network Marketing: The Wave of the Future

by Adam Agahiu

According to the author, network marketing is an outgrowth of multilevel marketing as a form of direct or personal selling. During the colonial time in this country, Americans bought most of their goods from independent businessmen and peddlers who sold goods from door to door. This type of direct marketing was eventually overwhelmed by the genesis of retail outlet stores in population centers and the Yankee peddlers were later driven out of business.

By the early twentieth century the power of manufacturing improved goods and direct selling was rediscovered. The advantage of door to door selling came back to light again. The book offers an interesting history of how network marketing became popular again. It discusses the basics of networking marketing, multilevel marketing, stories of many successful products, the advantages of multilevel marketing and much more.

The author outlines the advantages of network marketing as being low risk with high income potential, regardless of educational background. A large volume of goods are being moved through network marketing while word of mouth remains one of the powerful tools of advertising goods. People find it easier to buy goods from who they know compared to people they do not know. Many companies are presently taking advantage of this by selling, for example, a vacuum cleaner to a family and asking for the names of the neighbors and friends. The sales agent will then give the first sales contact a discount in return. This type of network selling is so easy that most of the products are sold at higher and inflated prices compared to similar products in regular stores. Similarly, a big company selling knives recruited fresh high school graduates to sell its products to their friends, relatives, coworkers and family members with no overhead.

Network marketing is becoming once more a powerful avenue to sell products and move goods through a community. Sales agents may sometimes reside temporarily in an area while others like the Avon Lady remain for a longer time. The overhead is very low and the agent only gets 5 – 10 percent of the sales.

Network Marketing by Adam A. Agahiu, is an excellent book and a powerful tool for anybody who wants to start a network marketing business. It can help both a small and a big business to move goods. But it is not meant for moving goods alone; it is also used for selling services from state to state with the advent of Internet marketing.

Book #5

The Sorceress of Atunluck

by Aaron Dean Hall

This is an interesting story about Zafer, whose magic ability is discovered at a very painful time of her life. She is waiting for her father’s arrival as she sees the ship. Suddenly, the ship disappears and she becomes troubled. She conjures a light overhead, which allows her to see the fate of her father’s ship. She watches as the father’s ship is sinking with the rest of the people on board.

During this time, human are in the middle of war with barbaric elf. As a result, the human takes Zafer away to train her so she is able to develop her magic ability. She is only fourteen at the time the training starts, but nothing happens. The humans fails to train her become they are not able to read. Zafer herself continues to work hard and develop her ability. Everything she tries fails. One day her island is under attack while she tries to use her magic power, and it fails

According to the story, when Zafer’s island is taken, Nealgunthra, who loves to milk people’s energy, tries to use her by draining her energy. She is later taken underground by Mongod toll who teaches her magic and how to cast and remove spells.

Although the book is fiction, it has a lot of interesting twists and turns, to it making it a very entertaining reading.


Book #6

Leaving the Wilderness

by Tonya Blount

This is a fascinating story of a young and very attractive lady who, at the prime of her life finds the man she believes is her soulmate. Like any other young woman hungry for love, she surrenders everything she has to him. Instead of this lucky man taking advantage of the relationship for the happiness of both of them, he starts to take advantage of his wife. She endures many pains like any wife imprisoned with the shackles of love as a part of her is gradually destroyed.

Why is love so powerful and at the same time so dangerous? Why do we fall in love so hard, let our hearts be stolen and yet refuse to build defenses against a lover who turns out later to be a roommate from hell? People carry guns to prevent against physical violence, and stores hire security guards to chase away intruders. What has human created to protect a heart not only from being broken, but also from being torn into pieces from the violence of abuse and pain?

So the story continues as this young and attractive woman surrenders her will-power to a man who continues to physically, emotionally and sexually abuse her. How is such a book easy to write? To those who have been victimized by abuse either within the family, in relationship or on the job, the pain is no different. "Jordan, in order to free yourself from the pains, you must open up. You must release it. You have to turn around and face it. It has ruled you for too long." says the author.

Within her struggle to free herself from the painful relationship of an abusive husband, she endures a lot of violence including a rape from her own husband at the peak of painful experiences. She surrenders her heart to him as a valuable present of love. He becomes a womanizer and the abuse continues. In return for her love, e smashes her head against the wall, pulls her heart from her chest between her beloved breasts, and tramples n it for her to endure much humiliation. From the rape by her husband, she gets pregnant again.

When the marriage ends the emotional war for freedom and healing starts. She goes through many ups and downs in life as the story takes many interesting directions. Through the power of God and infinite love she is able to come to the healing ground.


Book #7

Children's Book Review

What Holds the Family Together by Dolly Braida is a book for sharing with the entire family about connecting in love with family and members of different cultures within the community. It is an excellent children's book discussing the role of each family member and the power of their responsibilities and functions to help keep the family together. With beautiful illustrations it also discusses different parts of the body and their functions in the best way for children to understand.. The pictorial part of the book and the beautiful colors jump at the reader and make the book very enjoyable reading for kids.

The book is good and enjoyable reading with the family as it helps the children learn the simple secrets of keeping family bonds strong by treating others with love and respect.

The author uses an engaging method of comparing the structure of the body to the family. This helps to illustrate how members of a family can participate in keeping the family loving and strong. This book will attract the attention of many young readers from ages 6 and up.

"I love how you relate the family to the different parts of the body," Florence Richardson, mother and grandmother

"Loved your book. It's beautiful and colorful," Irma Stilner

Published by Windsor, California CallieCat Books, written by Dolly Braida and illustrated by Scott Cook, 40 pages, hardcover, ISBN # 0-9658113-6-0, $15.95

Order: Jo-Eric Publications, 528 Mallory Avenue, Windsor, CA 95492. Author's Website:


Book #8

The Story of Deeva Denez in three Books

Deeva Denez is an author with many colorful experiences in her life. One day she picked a pen and decided to share those experiences with others. Uncaged: A Story of Faith and Survival is one of her three books written from her painful experience of being married to an abusive husband who physically and emotionally abused her. She came from a family where her father used to drink while physically abusing her. Life was good when she was first married to her first husband until what she refers to as the golden year ended. She was later plagued with abandonment, depression, financial hardship and a dysfunctional family. She learned to forgive her father and her first husband to set herself free of emotional turbulence.

Deeva’s second book The Image; A Prophetic Birth is about the fulfillment of the prophecy told to her and about what she herself experienced in life. In this book she tries to share with others the power of spirituality and how God works with people to manifest His power and will on earth. It helps us to understand our mission in life as she explains the difference between the human body and the creation of the spirit.

The Bearer of the Sign is the continuation of the first book, Uncaged. It is an interesting story of how she discovers her second husband, the man who brings her joy and happiness. She starts the book with a prayer to God to send her a man who will bring her happiness. She receives some divine messages and these lead her to the man she calls the bearer of the sign, who later becomes her soulmate.

Deeva Denez’s books take the reader on the journey of life in many different ways. They are very entertaining and, for the most part, the book teaches us more about the lessons of life.


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