My Thoughts on The Last Surgeon

Recently, I was fortunate to win a contest… the juicy prize that lured me in??? An advance reader’s edition of The Last Surgeon, autographed by author Michael Palmer.  This glorious treasure is not due out on shelves until February 16, 2010. 

If you are an avid reader, as I am, then you can imagine my excitement of receiving this book.  I know many have already read it, but being just an everyday, average gal, I feel I have been let in on a huge secret. 

 

So the day came when my book arrived in the mail, very quickly I might add.  I couldn’t wait to get home from work to begin my journey into Michael Palmer’s mind and his latest creation.  That night I slipped into bed, anxious and thrilled as I opened my book and read the first line, “I know you can’t believe this is happening, Ms. Coates, but I assure you it is.  I have been paid, and paid very well, to kill you.”

 

From there I was taken into a new world.  I first witnessed a murder by an assassin who is the master of the non-kill.  He is paid the big bucks to make his kills out to be accidents or suicides so as not to bring unwanted attention to what is really going on.  He is clever and wily enough to make some of his targets actually commit the acts themselves. Who is he working for??? What are they trying to cover up??

 

When a doctor who has been searching for his missing friend, the friend that saved his life in the war and a psychiatric nurse, who is positive her sister did not commit suicide meet, they begin uncovering clues, that in some strange way connect the two incidences.  The harder the two push to uncover the truth, the more trouble seems to arise, placing them both at death’s door.  Will the truth be revealed??? Can both of them stay alive when trusting anyone becomes so dangerous??

 

This book was genius!!! I was enthralled at chapter one and it just got better from there. I love how Michael Palmer captured the true psychopathic and sociopathic nature of his assassin.  The heart and courage of the doctor and nurse shine through every step of the way as they face the most frightening circumstances to find the truth about their loved ones.  Most of all, I am amazed at how Michael Palmer manages to get thrill, mystery, romance, fear, rage, conspiracy and happiness all in one novel and really make you wonder, could this be true???  You will have to read the book when it is released, the ending is highly explosive!!

 

To find out more about Michael Palmer and his other books (including New York Times Best Sellers) visit his recently updated website: www.michaelpalmerbooks.com 

and follow @Michael_Palmer on Twitter.

Musings of a 5 year old

This morning I woke up far too

early, bitchy and bloated to that

unavoidable monthly moment all

women face (come on menopause,

hurry up and get here!!).  In the

process of getting the children

ready for school, and trying not to

be impatient with the constant

chatter we hit upon the topic of

age.  For some reason all children

want to be older than what they

are. My 7 year old wishes he were

10.. then life would be great

because he could walk down the

road to his friend’s house

unaccompanied.    Every child I’ve

ever spoken to wishes this

blessing upon themselves, to be

more grown up.  All except my 5

year old who wishes he was a baby

again because he says,  ” I was so

cute” .  So I asked, “Do you not

think you are cute now?”  His

reply ” I am only kind of cute now,

but I am growing up.  Babies are

very cute”  This lead him to

discover a new philosophy: For

every birthday we skip, we grow a

year younger.  He is looking

forward to growing younger as the

years go by and reasons that when

he is 9 he will be at the perfect

baby age  to achieve his ideal

cuteness.  In the meantime he will

have to suffer through days of

“boring, nothing to do” school and

cleaning his room.  Which he

finds annoying because he will

just have to dump everything out

again to find that one perfect toy

to play with.  So I sit here now and

think, this one is going to be

trouble.  He, I believe will grow

into one of those who goes against

the grain of society’s rules. 

Perhaps there is hope for our up

and coming generation to make

changes for the better in our

world.

To my new friend

Racism seems to be a trending topic among some of my newly

found friends.  One of these new friends is a black author

from Brooklyn.  Her writing is very compelling and thought

provoking for me.  I spent the first half of my life as a

Military brat travelling the globe, living in other countries,

learning new cultures.  This is something I crave.  Growing

up, race was never an issue.  No one ever said to me “Hey,

that’s a black girl you’re playing with”. It never would have

phased me either.. my friends and I found common ground

among our likes and dislikes, not of color, but of interests. 

When I was eight or nine I wanted a black barbie so my

friend and I could play and she could have a chance to be the

princess.  I think this was my first encounter with racism.  I

recall, at a party my parents were hosting, playing with my

friend and over hearing one grown up tell my mother ” You

let her have a black barbie??” with such disgust in her voice. 

My Mother, being the lady she is smiled gently and

responded ” As soon as they hit the shelves.”  This left the

other woman with a wide-eyed, shocked expression.  I didn’t

understand at the time, and was confused as to why this

woman was so aghast at my beloved doll, my princess

Kenyata. 

 

Moving forward in my life to my stay in New Orleans,

Louisiana.  You see since I was 12 I’ve lived in the Southern

United States.  At 18 I took a job waiting tables at a hotel

downtown and met a great group of people who worked

along side me.  During one of the many rainy seasons down

here, I got off work and walked out the front door to head to

my car and ran into Mikey.  Mikey is black and washed

dishes at the time.  He had gotten off shift about 2 hours

before I did and had been waiting for his ride that hadn’t

shown up.  So I did what anyone would do and offered him a

way home.  We trudged through the pouring rain to the

employee section of the parking lot and as I was unlocking

my doors, Mikey jumped into the back of the pick-up truck .

“What are you doing Mikey??” I asked… his reply shocked

me to my core when he answered ” My Daddy always told me

never to get into a car with a white woman because they will

kill you for that.”  “That’s absurb Mikey, it’s pouring rain, get

in the truck” … ” Oh, no maam.  I appreciate the offer for a

ride home, but if I can’t ride here then I’ll just have to walk” 

So I drove Mikey home that day, in the back of my pick-up

truck and cried.  That night i could not sleep, who could?? I

kept asking myself how could racism be this prevelant in this

day and age in this huge city??? How could, in today’s world,

a man be mortally afraid to get a ride home??  My ten years

in New Orleans was a wake up call for me.  I did have other

experiences where racism demonstrated how alive and well

it is indeed, but none shook me up as much as my ride home

with Mikey.

 

I think for me, I just don’t get it?? My mind cannot grasp the

hatred others feel towards people because of color or

religion.  What makes us all so different??? I think what

bothers me most is seeing the hurt and embarassment that is

caused by someones racial slurs.  My heart breaks when my

new friend writes out of anger because public racial slurs are

being softened and new “racial phrases” are being created to

hide the “dirty truth”.  I too am angry that the line between

color cannot be crossed and overcome, that it is an invading

part of our lives that continues to separate and keep apart

relationships, personal or political. 

 

I too am angry that this dirty secret has been kept under hats

for far too long.  I’ve never been quiet when I hear an

injustice being served and it is being spooned out by the ton

right now and I will not sit back quietly and eat it. 

 

To my new friend, you are a beautiful woman with a great

mind.  I hope we can make a stand together against this ever

evolving hatred.

Reflections of Beauty

I stand in front of a square of mirror each morning carefully

applying the paint of an urban female warrior.  This is what

I do, this is what I am trained for.  Each brush is skillfully

used to embellish every facial feature to perfection.  Swirling

colors to blend so you cannot tell where one stops and one

begins.  My face a daily canvas to be remade to reflect sexy,

charming, in control.

 

Golden strands of hair fall around my face in soft flowing

waves. All in place designed to be stared at; to be touched.

 

Matching clothing flattering just the right curves of the

body.. coordinated handbag and shoes with not a speck of

dirt on them. Which sunglasses to wear, to tie a pretty bow

on the package?

 

A quick look in the mirror to ensure all is right. Pretty girl

staring back with empty eyes.  I look away for fear of

confronting the truth. 

 

Inside a slow scream starts to form.. pushing it’s way up,

wanting to be set free. Push it back down, it cannot escape,

there is no time for dwelling on what should be.

 

Echos haunt my mind, “you’re such a pretty girl” ; “how can

you be sad, you’re so pretty”; “you have it made, your so

pretty”; “we like being around you, YOU’RE SO…

FUCKING…. PRETTY”

 

SHUT UP!! I cannot talk to you now, I have beauty to throw

around, tell your lines to somebody else. They mean nothing

to me.

 

Look into my lifeless eyes and tell me how pretty I am once

you really see me.  Tell me how pretty I am now that you

know the truth, now that you see reflections of beauty in me.

 

FEELING STUPID LATELY??

If you ever feel a little bit stupid, just dig this up and

read it again; you’ll begin to think you’re a genius.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

(On September 17, 1994, Alabama’s Heather Whitestone was

selected as Miss America 1995.)

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer: “I would not live forever, because we should not live

forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we

would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I

would not live forever,”

–Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

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“Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all

over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be

skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and

stuff.”

–Mariah Carey

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“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important

part of your life,”

— Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign .

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“I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my

body,”

–Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

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“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest

crime rates in the country,”

–Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC . ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

“That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a

jackass, and I’m just the one to do it,”

–A congressional candidate in Texas ..

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“Half this game is ninety percent mental.”

–Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

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“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the

impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”

–Al Gore, Vice President

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“I love California . I practically grew up in Phoenix .”

— Dan Quayle

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“We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air

do we need?”

–Lee Iacocca

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“The word “genius” isn’t applicable in football. A genius is a

guy like Norman Einstein.”

–Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.

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“We don’t necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude

certain types of people.”

— Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

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“Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992

because we received notice that you passed away. May God

bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your

circumstances.”

–Department of Social Services, Greenville , South Carolina

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“Traditionally, most of Australia ‘s imports come from

overseas.”

–Keppel Enderbery

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“If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at

night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart

throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake

up dead, there’ll be a record.”

–Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

JUST REMEMBER, EVERYONE IS STUPID SOMETIMES