Prisoners denied basic human rights at Ionia State Prison in Michigan

Prisoners denied basic human rights at Ionia State Prison in Michigan

Photo Credit: © Alptraum | Dreamstime Stock Photos Is orange really the new black? Would millions of people binge-watch the popular Netflix program if the women the show was about were denied showers and life-saving medications? Probably not. I mean there is nothing cool about seeing people denied their basic human rights. Well that’s exactly what’s happening at Ionia State prison in Michigan. According to the family of one of the prisoners, their son and brother is not allowed to take showers, staff have taken his reading glasses, denied him television (…he may thank them for that one later), and most importantly withheld life-saving HIV medications. All from a prisoner who is mentally disabled. And guess what? This behavior is against the law. You see, prisoners are human beings and in the United States are protected by this thing we call the Constitution. Warden Willie Smith must be held accountable for the actions of his staff. The buck must stop there! Prisoners are people too. They are human beings who have committed crimes. In some cases, really bad crimes. I get that. As a society we have chosen to incarcerate these criminals. We have not chosen to abuse them. Nor would we want to (I had a quick flash of Sarah Palin probably saying the exact opposite but I stand by my statement). According to FindLaw.com here are some of the basic rights of prisoners (to name a few): 1. Prisoners have a right to live in humane conditions (free of vermin or hazardous waste). 2. Freedom from sexual harassment. 3. The right to complain in the courts about...
The Wolf and the Lamb: A Jerusalem Mystery by Frederick Ramsay

The Wolf and the Lamb: A Jerusalem Mystery by Frederick Ramsay

Synopsis: It’s Passover. Gamaliel, and his physician friend, Loukas, are crime-solving a third time—reluctantly. Pontius Pilate has been accused of murder. He denies the crime. If convicted, he might escape death but would be removed from Judea. Those rejoicing urge the Rabban to mind his own business. But Gamaliel is a Just Man which is, as Pilate points out, “your weakness and also your strength.” Knowing that exonerating the Roman could cost him his position, possibly his life, Gamaliel, as would Sherlock Holmes centuries later, examines evidence and sorts through tangled threads, teasing out suspects who include assassins, Roman nobles, Pilate’s wife, rogue legionnaires, slaves, servants, thespians, and a race horse named Pegasus. Unusually, justice triumphs over enmity. Gamaliel is satisfied, High Priest Caiaphas is irate, Loukas accepts an apprentice from Tarsus, and few notice the events of what will later be known as Easter. Ramsay’s plausible narrative answers some questions which have puzzled Biblical scholars for centuries. Why did Pilate hear the case against Jesus? Why invent a tradition that required one prisoner be released at Passover? Having done so, why offer the most terrifying criminal in the country, Barabbas, as the substitute for Jesus when two better, less dangerous prisoners were at hand? And we ask, why could Caiaphas not heed Gamaliel’s warnings not to martyr the man? Cover: Publication Date: December 9, 2014 About the Author: Frederick Ramsay was raised on the east coast and attended graduate school in Chicago. He is a writer of mysteries set in Virginia, (the Ike Schwartz Mysteries) Botswana (Predators, Reapers) and stand-alones (Impulse). He is a retired Episcopal Priest, Academic,...
Cattle Kate by Jana Bommersbach

Cattle Kate by Jana Bommersbach

Synopsis: Ella Watson is the only woman to be lynched in the nation as a cattle rustler. She and her husband were hanged on July 20, 1889, by prominent cattlemen. History portrays the lynching as a case of “range land justice,” with “Cattle Kate” tarred as both a notorious rustler and a filthy whore. Is this sordid story true? It was all a lie. She wasn’t a rustler. She wasn’t a whore. She was a 28-year-old immigrant homesteader murdered by her rich and powerful Wyoming cattle-baron neighbors who wanted the land and its precious water rights she’d refused to sell. She was never called “Cattle Kate” until she was dead and they needed an excuse to cover up their crime. Some people knew the truth from the start. Their voices were drowned out by the all-powerful Wyoming Stock Growers Association. And those who dared speak out—including the eye witnesses to the hangings—either disappeared or mysteriously died. There was no one left to testify against the vigilantes when the case eventually came to trial, so it was dismissed. Her six killers walked away scot-free. Dozens of books, movies, too, spread her ugly legacy. Now, on the 125th anniversary of her murder, Ella comes alive again in the novel Cattle Kate to tell her heartbreaking story, one central to the western experience. Cover: Publication Date: October 7, 2014 About the Author: Jana Bommersbach is one of Arizona’s most respected and acclaimed journalists. She has earned numerous national, state and regional awards, including the prestigious Don Bolles Award for investigative reporting for the newspaper series on Winnie Ruth Judd that led to...
Sons of Sparta: A Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mystery by Jeffrey Siger

Sons of Sparta: A Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mystery by Jeffrey Siger

Synopsis: Did the warriors of ancient Sparta simply vanish without a trace along with their city, or did they find sanctuary at the tip of the mountainous Peloponnese? That stark, unforgiving region’s roots today run deep with a history of pirates, highwaymen, and neighbors ferociously repelling any foreigner foolishly bent on occupying this part of Greece. Less well recorded are the Mani’s families’ strict code of honor and their history of endless vendettas with neighbors and with their own relatives. No wonder their farms look like fortresses. When Special Crimes Division Detective Yiannis Kouros is summoned from Athens to the Mani by his uncle, Kouros fears his loyalty to his boss, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, is about be to be tested by family pressure on the detective to act in some new vendetta, for this uncle once headed the Mani’s most significant criminal enterprise. Instead, Kouros learns the family is about to become rich through the sale of its property –until the uncle is killed, and thus the deal. Acting swiftly to head off a new cycle of violence, Kouros satisfactorily solves the murder. Or so it seems until, back in Athens, Kaldis’ probe into deeply entrenched government corruption leads straight back to the Mani. Both cops now confront a host of unexpected twists, unanticipated players, unanswered questions –and people yet to die. [divider type=””] Publication Date: October 7, 2014 [divider type=””] Cover: [divider type=””] About the Author: The New York Times described Jeffrey Siger’s novels as “thoughtful police procedurals set in picturesque but not untroubled Greek locales,” the Greek Press called his work “prophetic,” Eurocrime described him as...
Desert Rage: A Lena Jones Mystery by Betty Webb

Desert Rage: A Lena Jones Mystery by Betty Webb

Synopsis: Ferociously ambitious U.S. Senatorial candidate Juliana Thorsson has been keeping a secret. The horrific slaughter of a prominent doctor, his wife, and their ten-year-old son inside their Scottsdale home brings Thorsson to Private Investigator Lena Jones. The slain family’s 14-year old, Alison, and her boyfriend, Kyle, have confessed to the murders. Thorsson wants to hire Lena to discover if Alison is telling the truth, but before accepting the job, Lena demands to know why a rising political star wants to involve herself with the fate of a girl she’s never met. Desperate for Lena’s help, Thorsson reveals her explosive secret – that Alison is the candidate’s biological daughter, a fact she’s kept hidden for years. But that’s not all. Thorsson then confides something even more unusual than a mere hidden pregnancy, something that could ruin her political plans forever. Suspecting that Alison’s parents had secrets of their own that could have led to the murders, Lena finally accepts Thorsson’s assignment. But interviewing those who knew the family well soon puts Lena — now a strong defender of the two teens — in danger of her life. Fast paced, probing, and filled with the trademark twists of the Lena Jones series, Betty Webb is unsparing of her characters yet writes their stories with wit and compassion. [divider type=””] Publication Date: October 7, 2014 [divider type=””] Cover: [divider type=””] About the Author: Before writing mysteries, Betty Webb was a journalist, and interviewed U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, astronauts who walked on the moon, and polygamy runaways. Now she is best known for her prize-winning Lena Jones books (Desert Noir, Wives,...
Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery by Dennis Palumbo

Phantom Limb: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery by Dennis Palumbo

Synopsis: Psychologist and Pittsburgh Police Department consultant Daniel Rinaldi has a new patient. Lisa Harland, a local girl, once made a splash in Playboy and the dubious side of Hollywood before bottoming out. Back home, down and out again, she married one of the city’s richest and most ruthless tycoons. Lisa’s challenge to Danny is that she intends to commit suicide by 7:00 PM. His therapist skills may buy some time—but, exiting, she’s kidnapped right outside his office. Summoned to the Harland estate, Danny is forced, through a bizarre sequence of events, to be the bag man on the ransom delivery. This draws him into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant, lethal adversary. Complicating things is the unhappy Harland family, whose members have dark secrets of their own along with suspect loyalties, as well as one of Danny’s other patients, a volatile vet whose life may, like Lisa’s, be at risk. What is really at stake here? Phantom Limb, fourth in the acclaimed series of Daniel Rinaldi thrillers, will keep readers guessing until the very last page. [divider type=””] Cover: [divider type=””] Publication Date: September 2, 2014 [divider type=””] About the Author: Dennis Palumbo, M.A., MFT is a writer and licensed psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in creative issues. The first Rinaldi mystery, Mirror Image, was published in 2010. Palumbo is also the author of Writing From the Inside Out(John Wiley), as well as a collection of mystery short stories,From Crime to Crime (Tallfellow Press). Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter, Palumbo’s credits include the feature film My Favorite Year, for which he was nominated for a WGA Award for Best Screenplay. He was...
Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension

Eclipse – The Lost Book of Ascension

Eclipse: The Lost Book of Ascension What happens if after the winter solstice, the days keep getting shorter? And shorter? Until there is an eternal night? What happens as the darkness grows? And the creatures of dusk take control of the Mountain? And the quest for the third Book is the only hope? The Mountain is in its death throes as the Nazir send their wraiths to finish what the dusk-rats and grale had begun. Soon there will be no daylight to protect the Maelir and Faemir, and with each twilight there are fewer places to hide. Will the Mountain finally collapse under its own instability or will Atreu and Verlinden’s descent find the words of salvation in the Lost Book of Ascension? [divider type=””] Eclipse Excerpt: ‘Run,’ cried the Watcher. ‘They’re coming again.’ The cobblestones shifted under them and several of the soldiers lost their footing. ‘Run!’ cried the Faemir again, and Hrulth led the charge towards the Maelir stronghold. All around them, buildings were collapsing in the darkness. Cluric had sheathed his sword to allow himself to run more freely. Somehow he knew instinctively that if this came to a fight, he would be lost. Horrific bellowing noises, which he knew from bitter experience were grale, filled the night sky. This time they were accompanied by a droning undercurrent that was totally unfamiliar. Cluric didn’t look back. He kept his eyes on the street, watching for the potholes and chasms that opened up in his path. The Maelir barricades were in sight now. Cluric saw the torches burning in front of him. More bellows vaulted into the...
Equinox the Second Book of Ascension

Equinox the Second Book of Ascension

Equinox: The Second Book of Ascension The Keep The most beautiful city on the great Mountain The pinnacle of Maelir culture The home of the Inner Sanctum The place where secrets hide The fate of the Mountain hangs in balance at the time of Equinox, and even the Keep can no longer remain untouched. The Maelir are desperate to defend it, the Faemir to demolish it, the windriders to claim it. But unknown to them all, a dark force has already emerged from the chaos to seize power. As Atreu and Verlinden strive to decipher the power of the Talisman that has defined Atreu’s Ascent, Teyth and Valkyra are locked in a desperate battle that neither of them can win. At a time when darkness and light are in perfect equilibrium, when Maelir and Faemir must find a way to break the deadlock and avoid annihilation, the world’s fate lies in the Book of Ascension. [divider type=””] Equinox Excerpt: The Keep was much higher than he anticipated, and the giant pillar seemed to widen as they ascended. Atreu’s flight was not as exhilarating as his first one. Riell’s strange silence made it seem like an eternity. At times the sporadic winds buffeted them so close to the smooth rock that Atreu was sure they would be crushed, but Riell’s skill was such that he managed to avoid any damage. Occasionally he would be so close to the wall that he had to kick off, but he did it with such precise timing that Atreu soon ceased worrying about it. He watched the mists wrap their tendrils along his arms...
Zenith – The First Book of Ascension

Zenith – The First Book of Ascension

Zenith: The First Book of Ascension A mountain so great it takes a year to travel from base to summit A sun so powerful it drives you into madness if you look at it An ascent so vital it determines the fate of the world A summit so precious it holds the key to the divine The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them. When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life the Mountain itself. [divider type=””] Zenith Excerpt: Metheus walked over to the fissure and beckoned Atreu to follow. ‘Stop there,’ commanded the old man. ‘Do not get too close.’ Metheus was a step away from the fissure. ‘Now, watch and believe.’ He approached the large crack, and Atreu stared as the old man closed his eyes and bent his head over into the steam. Atreu could just make out his lined features which were softened by...