- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 18, 2013
My name is Donna Scrima, Author of MommyBest: 13 Inspirational Lessons Derek & Dylan's Mom (& maybe yours) Never Learned in School. So you can imagine my hesitancy as a Mom, Author & Teacher, to go into the dark side of what appeared to be a very creepy book. And some of it is as each gravestone tells its story of despair and demise. Sometimes I found myself wanting to jump inside the pages to rescue the victim from the cruel punisher or at least shake her/him into fighting the good fight. But the truth is that the world is full of injustices and some very cruel and hurtful people who overpower humble and kind human beings. Still, I believe that good prevails over evil, which is why I would have loved for some of those gravestones to unearth themselves and visit the villains who gave them their admission ticket into the ground.
I most connected with Fran about the absurdity of some of the injustices she so insightfully exposed within the Teaching System whereby many innocent Teachers fall prey to false accusations. Such is the case of Virginia Green who, along with some unlucky colleagues, ends up in the infamous, "Rubber Room." Fran's voice is one of knowing sprinkled with the sensitivity of a loving and caring Teacher, which I suspect Fran was: the kind of Teacher who would go to the ends of the earth to find that missing piece to help a struggling child and give hope to beleaguered parents.
The greatest travesty is silencing a Teacher's beckon to her students. Fran Lewis exposes a lot of the social ramifications of doing just that. Maybe her next book will include some educational rebirth and the burying of those who violate goodness and light.
Posted June 28, 2013
Fran Lewis’s Bad Choices reveals the other side of what most people don’t see in drug and alcohol abuse. Situations of fiction originate from the matters that are real. Short stories tell what the rest of the drug world can be and are about from the standpoint of most readers. Seemingly very few people ever really see what is like to be at the end of the road and no turning back, because another pathway is being taken, death, murder, even ridicules of the society that the characters once thought they had where they wanted them. This set of short stories certainly is a warning that if you are in now you better get out and if you don’t then see what happens in Fran Lewis’s short stories of Bad Choices. For if you do not, there may be a cold stone where you will be behind with your face never showing except if someone were to make mention of you except as an example as did Fran in her fiction work with characters of her own creation. These signs all point out that we are human and how human others can be around us, friend or enemy, stranger or longtime companion, anyone can make that fatal mistake, knowingly or unknowingly of becoming involved with the ‘wrong crowd’ and then instead of reaping those benefits we thought were building up we are paying the consequences of actions we had no intention or certainly no desire of ever entering into. Most of the main characters depicted in Fran’s book, apparently never knew what ends things could come to or how badly they would be affected by them. I highly recommend anyone reading Fran Lewis’s Bad Choices before they go or allow others to go to any kind of alcohol and/or drug addictive lifestyle because it might persuade them to hold on before they go over the edge and pull back once they can get away from that edge far enough to be safe. Foresight is better than hindsight and those who can see where the path led others may stay off that trail themselves. By Timothy Louis BakerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2012
Before I dive into my thoughts about Fran Lewis’ debut novel Faces Behind the Stones, let me start as she does for each story: with a little background — for her with her characters, for me with me. First, I don’t do horror, which is what I thought this book was going to be about. It freaks me out and gives me the creeps. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had far too many dealings with actual, living demons and real spiritual warfare. To me, horror books are all too real.
But remember that adage you learned many, many years ago about not judging a book by its cover? I fell victim to it, silly me, which gave me reason to second guess my agreeing to review her book. The cover is a creepy, dark cemetery with tombstones in front and a woman’s face as a shadow cloud behind. Definitely not my idea of a good time. But I had told her I would review it, so with much trepidation, I opened to the first page, swallowed, and began reading. What I quickly discovered was completely and entirely not what I had expected.
Fran has compiled the stories of seven very different characters, each of whom is already dead, but they all have their own cautionary tales to tell from beyond the grave so nobody else will fall victim to similar unfortunate circumstances. And the stories of their demise are as plausible as any obituary you would read in the local paper. While there is a bit of mystery in each story, this is not a detective novel. The cases have already been solved. We know the victims, and in some cases we know the killer very early in the story; others we have to wait until the end. What we learn throughout each story is how they got there, how they found themselves in the situations that got them killed, and from their perspective how the readers can avoid finding themselves in similar circumstances.
Fran Lewis has created not only a compelling book but also a solid lesson in character development. As a reader, I enjoyed the stories. As an author, I had fun watching Fran’s mental gears turning from afar as the characters she had placed on paper grew heads and hearts as they developed believability.
Fran used her extensive experience as an educator in the New York City public school system to create characters, both male and female, who are not only believable but strikingly similar to people you already know. In each case, the victim is an ordinary individual, as relatable as the person sitting next to you in the movie theater, in church, or at the DMV. The scary part of this book is that any of these characters could be any one of you.
Posted June 29, 2012
A collection of seven short stories, connected by the theme of untimely death, Fran Lewis’s Faces Behind the Stones combines a genuine concern for real-world issues with the shocks and twisted connections of horror and ghost stories. The combination can be a little uncomfortable at times, as when one story ends by teaching the warning signs for suicide—wise lessons, but oddly placed—and another asks readers to consider the real-world dangers of abuse . According to the author, these tales are all based on real life, and it’s easy to recognize newspaper accounts that would herald many of them. Using voices from the grave to show the victim’s thoughts is certainly an interesting technique. Sometimes strident, sometimes pathetic, the voices do indeed demand to be heard. But the pairing of familiar cruelties with unlikely coincidence and confusing mystery, can leave the reader unnerved in the manner of classic horror, but also a little unsure what to take seriously.
The stories are short and the lessons wise in this collection. Occasional typos and odd word choices can be justified by the tone of character and voice. Final questions linger in the mind lending a completeness to this collection—murder, suicide, innocent victim, killer, redeemed or broken?
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to win a copy of this short story collection from the author.
Posted June 2, 2012
Faces Behind the Stones #1 is an eerie collection of tales told by the dead themselves. Each of the seven stories reveals what events brought them to their final resting place – an obscure, neglected corner of a graveyard.
Each character tells his or her own story. Often, the reader is left wondering—murder or suicide? All the people are forgotten, their graves ignored by the living, their graves overgrown. Why did these people have to die?
Sadly, none of the dead seemed to matter to the people they left behind. There is no one to grieve for them except a lone stranger who picks her way through the deserted cemetery.
Faces Behind the Stones is an incredible collection of stories, each more eerie and spine tingling than the last. Fran Lewis' style is chatty and easy to read. The reader feels drawn into the characters as if they really are the ones speaking.
I highly recommend this creepy compilation and look forward to the other books in the series.
Below is a short review of the first tale in the collection: "Murder Through the Eyes of a Dead Woman"
MJ, a beautiful and successful woman in her 60's, has a secret past that only she and a handful of people know about. She works for a doctor's office and often goes in early and stays late. One day, she thinks she's being followed. The feeling of being stalked doesn't go away, it worsens. She wonders who's following her and why. Has her past caught up with her? Or is something more insidious awaiting her?
Five Golden Acorns
Posted April 24, 2012
FACES BEHIND THE STONES-FRAN LEWIS
Faces Behind the stones is a collection of short stories about people who are buried in a desolate graveyard that matches the desolation of their former lives. All the stories are of people who have either been murdered or have found another way out from under. The reader can’t help but feel sympathy for these poor souls as they were unfairly treated in life and felt desperation. These are not light stories but Ms. Lewis writes them with compassion and urges the readers to listen to the stories and judge for themselves. I found myself a little bit teary after reading the book but felt the compassion for the characters. I like the epilogues after each story which gives a bit of background and factual information about suicide prevention as an example. I give this book 5 grave stones for poignancy.
Posted January 23, 2012
As the driver stops in front of each stone you can see the magnificence of the gold and marble and the faces of those behind each stone. Each stone is marked. Each stone has someone buried beneath it. Each stone has a story that goes along with the person behind it. Listen as they tell you how they became a face learn what happened to one woman in a nursing home her life, her possible murder in Murder from the Eyes of A Dead Woman. Hear the voice of Virginia Green and understand how she was Wrongly Accused and wound up in a rubber room for teachers accused of unthinkable acts. Hear Katie's voice before she was given a deadly drug and many other voices before it is too late for you. So many faces in this outstanding novella told by author Fran Lewis through the eyes of each victim as you hear their voices, cries and you decide: Were they murdered? Was it suicide? Why are they Faces Behind these Stones? Bone chilling, spine tingling and only told the say this author can tell it. This is one book you need to read. No one wants to be a face behind the next stone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.