Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Bridge of Deaths

Review of The Bridge of Deaths by M. C. V. (Catalina) Egan
A quote from Carl Sagan at the beginning is:
something incredible
is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan
American astronomer, writer, and
scientist. (page ix)
This book took me about three or four chapters to really get into it. I did not care for it at the beginning but as I got into it, I was very impressed. The book is in the third person. Catalina Egan has taken historical facts and turned them into a novel. I liked the characters, even with some faults they had.
There is Maggie and Bill, who live in London and the lady from Florida, Catalina, who connect on the Internet and use Skype and emails to communicate.
Bill has been transferred to London where he has recurring dreams about a past life. He meets Maggie at a bookstore and they click right away. They begin to search what is happening to Bill and why.
Catalina is searching for clues to the death of her grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo, a Mexican, who worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey and died in an British Airline airplane crash off the coast of Denmark on August 15, 1939.
There were four other passengers that died in the crash; a member of British Parliament, Anthony Crommelin Crossley, a conservative; another employee of Standard Oil of New Jersey, Samuel James Simonton, an American; a German Corporate Lawyer, Erich Bruno Wilhelm Beuss and a crew member for the airline, Alfred Stanley Mardsin Leigh. The pilot, Clifford Frederick Cecil Wright survived.
Catalina has been researching for almost twenty years and the facts she has acquired are very detailed.
There were so many facts, I had to stop reading and give my mind a rest. It is like when I do the genealogy for my family, I need to clear the mind of facts and names. I found myself checking the Internet for more information.
Bill felt he had a past life; Maggie and Bill began to search for answers. They consulted with a hypnotist as well as other means such as the Internet. "Hypnotist's job was to help Bill separate who he was today from who he had been in a past life." (page 302).
The book leads you into the past of many well known names in history. Winston Churchill, Nevile Chamberlain, Ronald Regan as well as many books and movies.
Anyone into genealogy, an interest in World War ll, history and mystery will like this book. Most of the characters are real.
I wish to thank the author, M.C.V. (Catalina) Egan for the complimentary e-book to read and review.
I give this a five star for all the research and facts that are in The Bridge of Deaths. The opinions are my own.
Acknowledgements on page 327
Bibliography on page 335
Films on page 346
Newspaper and Magazine Sources on page 347
Flight Magazine on page 349
Internet Sources on page 350
Archives on page 354
Author Biography on page 355
Epilogue on page 313
There are pictures of planes, people and scanned documents.
Find Catalina Egan at: and
Go to: to read an interview with the author.
Leona Olson ( )

Monday, April 23, 2012

Side Dish: SurveyMonkey is NOT a free service

Side Dish: SurveyMonkey is NOT a free service: I just got burned by a classic bait and switch thanks to SurveyMonkey, so I thought I'd spread the word. I posted a single question survey...


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Five Dances With Death, Dance One

Austin Briggs has written a good historical/supernatural book about the Aztecs of Mexico. The book begins in 1516. It also relates to the Spaniards as well as the Mayans, Olmec and Toltecs, people of Mexico. The "outlanders" are the Spanish who came in ships. The Aztec Empire is called "One World".
Angry Wasp is searching for his daughter, Dew, who was captured by his enemy, Talon. The beginning of the book has Angry Wasp and Talon at the ballcourt for the game to get Dew back . I have seen the ballcourt at Chichen Itza and was told there were sacrifices for the losers.
There is gore but anyone who has studied these cultures will not be surprised at the violence. The names in the book have somewhat been changed because they are hard to read; for me, I did not have much of a problem. I am glad I have studied the Maya, and also taught school children about them, and I have studied the Aztec somewhat, because it made the book more interesting and easier to read. Many of the words and happenings were familiar to me. The language of the Aztec was Nahuatl. I recommend the readers copy the Notes at the beginning of the Five Dances With Death which has a Quick Pronunciation Guide, Names of Places and Tribes, Historical Names and Gods so when they read they will have as good guide. I would have liked a map to help locate the area.
This is a supernatural book and Broken Plume, wife of Wasp, is a sorceress from Blue Cloak Mountain. She sends Wasp into the Void where he becomes a "twin" of himself where he can have a out of body experience. Plume has warned him not to go too far.
There are a number of characters and they all blend together, Wasp has his father, his wives and children as well as other leaders form other clans. The book begins with the search for Dew but somehow she is not the main part of the story. The book is fast track and there are many twists and turns. The language is fine and no sexual portions.
List of some characters are: Angry Wasp, his father Angry Wasp the Elder, His first wife Broken Plume, Talon, his enemy, Stern Lord ( Montezuma) who was leader and ruler of the Moonnwalk People and One Grass of Sacrifice, a young woman. Some gods are Feathered Serpent (Quetzalocotal), God of Rain (Tlaloc), and Smoking Mirror (Tezcatlipocal).
This is the first book of a series and the end of the book will leave you wanting to see the next "chapter".
I give it a five star. There is a quality of writing and I did not find any typos. Five Dances With Death is in the first person with Angry wasp as the person; I think it helped make the book personal. I will recommend this to my local library because they have recently acquired the option of e-books for the patrons.
The reader will learn something about the ancient cultures of Mexico.