Thursday, February 23, 2023

Hardy Boys Adventures #25 The Smuggler's Legacy

The Hardy Boys travel to New York City with the Bayport High History Club to visit museums and historical sites over a four-day weekend.  The club's first stop is the New York City Prohibition Museum, housed at the original site of the Gilded Top Hat speakeasy.  The speakeasy was run by two brothers, Sal and Gino Facchini, whose descendants still run the grocery store that hid the entrance to the speakeasy.

Frank stumbles upon some documents in a hidden compartment in the wall of a tunnel under the museum.  The boys learn that the Facchini brothers didn't own the speakeasy, and someone wants this information kept secret.  The boys and the museum are threatened, and the boys search for answers.

I read Nancy Drew Diaries #24 Captain Stone's Revenge back in January.  I decided to wait until after I had read the latest Hardy Boys Adventures book before publishing that review.  I wanted to see how the new titles compare.

After not enjoying Captain Stone's Revenge, I wondered if I was the problem.  A few other fans said that the book was good.  Was I the problem?  Have I been expecting too much of S&S?  It must be hard thinking up plot ideas that are not sabotage.  

I had forgotten about the new Hardy Boys book until this week, due to distractions mentioned in my recent posts.  On Monday evening, I realized that I hadn't read the new book, so I purchased it. 

If I was the problem, then I definitely would not enjoy this book since I had a bad attitude from the onset.  I began reading, certain that I was going to be bored out of my mind.

I found that the book was pleasant reading and better than the extreme boredom that I felt during every page of Captain Stone's Revenge.  Even though I liked the beginning of the book, I felt certain that it would go downhill.  The book continued to hold my interest, and I found that I cared about the plot.  Huh.  Perhaps I'm not the problem.

This is an excellent book, and I loved it!  This is what I want when I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.  My goodness, why can't more of the books be like this?  S&S has an entire year to create each new book.  It shouldn't be this hard to get a good one.

Is the story completely original?  Of course not.  It's standard Hardy Boys fare, but that is exactly what we want.  Best of all, this book is not sabotage.  The story never mentions sabotage.  Splendid!

I like how the story blends fact and fiction.  Some historical figures are mentioned during the boys' research, but their stories are blended with fictional content.  This is a large part of why the story is so engaging; it feels real.  I was intrigued by the story of the speakeasy and the different people who might have been involved in running it.

The humor is great in the better Hardy Boys Adventure books.  Early in this book, Joe goes to the vending machine and gets a lot of stuff.  It is referred to as the "leaning tower of snackage."  I love that statement.  The Nancy Drew books can't manage anything like that.  The humor in them tends to be poking fun at Nancy or having her go to the restroom.

This story contains multiple warning notes, including one affixed to a brick that was thrown through a window.  This is an example of standard Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys fare.  We need more warning notes and bricks.  We demand them!

The first-person narrative is a downside to these books.  I've been okay with it, but after I finished Captain Stone's Revenge, I decided that I don't like the first-person narration.  It weakens Nancy Drew's character.  With the Hardy Boys, it doesn't weaken them, since we see one of the two names constantly no matter which brother is narrating.

The first-person narrative is still problematic in the Hardy Boys series because the books have two narrators who constantly switch.  I continually forget which brother is narrating, so it is confusing.  The Hardy Boys series needs third-person narration.

Now I will mention a few quibbles I have with the book.  The curator's office is said to have fluorescent lighting.  Fluorescent lights have nearly as much radiation as direct sunlight, so this is a terrible choice for a museum and would be illogical.

On page 61, Charlene says that she's going to ask the librarian for "microfiche of newspapers from the twenties about the raid."  For older readers, we know that the writer is referring to the 1920s as the twenties.  That's what the twenties has always meant.

Let's not forget that we are in the twenties, approaching halfway through in fact.  Young readers, who are the target audience, could very well be confused by the reference.

I dislike the tendency of these books to bring in references to politics.  A political candidate's message includes the phrase "pulled themselves up by the bootstraps."  That phrase is used often in modern politics, sometimes as a statement by candidates and sometimes while poking fun at the opposing party.  My problem is that this pulls me out of the story.  I don't want that.

This is the best entry in the Hardy Boys Adventure series since #16 Stolen Identity.  Try this book if you want to sample a modern Hardy Boys book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Nancy Drew Diaries #24 Captain Stone's Revenge, or The Sailing Club Sabotage

Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Vermont to stay at the Gemstone Islands Resort on Lake Champlain.  Nancy's friend, Grace, owns the sailing club, which is about to have its grand opening.  Nancy and her friends soon learn that strange events have happened.  Could someone be sabotaging the sailing club?

I decided not to use the publisher's summary, because it pretty much tells the entire story except for the ending.  That right there indicates a problem.

When I am reading a book, I am strongly influenced by whatever I just finished reading.  I recently read through all the Harry Potter books, which are outstanding.  Nothing can compare to Harry Potter.  I'm still jazzed by it and have been spending time in the Harry Potter subreddits.  No Nancy Drew Diaries book can compare to Harry Potter, so that undoubtedly influenced my opinion.  Even so, I don't think this is that good of a book.

I hadn't read the publisher's summary when I started the book, which is just as well for the reason I already stated.  Despite not reading the summary, I knew on the very first page that it was sabotage.  

Once I was a few pages into the book, I asked myself why I was reading it.  Why am I continuing to support this series?  I don't know.  Every story is the same.

I found this book to be quite bland, lacking description and characterization.  The book is just words on pages telling a story of sabotage for the umpteenth time in the Nancy Drew franchise.

This part of my review of Nancy Drew Diaries #10 A Script for Danger is relevant.

It's like Simon and Schuster is playing Nancy Drew Mad Libs.  Each book must center around sabotage, and they switch around names and places, making up another generic sabotage story.

That really is what they are doing.  Each book is the same story.

Nancy and her friends travel to __________ to visit Nancy's __________ at their new __________.  The __________ is having problems.  Perhaps someone is sabotaging the __________.  Nancy must find the saboteur before it is too late.

This is so boring.  The book never gave me reason to care.

Since the folks at Simon & Schuster cannot come up with any interesting Nancy Drew stories, perhaps the time has come for them to introduce the supernatural in the books.  Let's get some werewolves and vampires involved. 

Look, I am joking, but not completely.  While I don't want the supernatural in the books, I do want an interesting plot that isn't the same recycled sabotage.  The franchise needs new life to be breathed into it.  It is possible to write an engaging story that is not sabotage.  It really is, Simon & Schuster!
In fairness, Simon & Schuster has fixed most of my complaints about the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  I took a list of how the books should be from one of my old posts.

1.  The case is urgent.

Fail - I didn't feel any urgency.

2.  Nancy doesn't go to the restroom.

Pass - no restroom.

3.  Nancy's sleuthing abilities aren't belittled.


4.  Nancy is confident.


5.  Nancy has above average abilities.

Not sure.  It might have more been writer's magic.  I don't see how she guessed the solution to the treasure.

6.  Technology is used properly.


I am glad that those problems have been fixed.  Now we have just one lingering problem: sabotage.  Could we fix that as well?  Pretty please?

My closing statement in my review of Nancy Drew Diaries #13 The Mystery at Grey Fox Inn could be applied to this book.

This is a good book overall, but I've read this same story a few dozen times and have grown tired of the predictable plot.

As I read Captain Stone's Revenge, I was never remotely interested in the plot.  Nothing about the book appealed to me. 


The above commentary was written in January.  I was puzzled when early reviews were favorable.  I wondered why other people liked the book when I didn't.  A couple of later reviews were decidedly lukewarm.  Nevertheless, I still wondered if I was being too harsh.  Perhaps I expect too much of S&S.  I didn't think so, but I decided to hold this post until after I was able to read Hardy Boys Adventures #25 The Smuggler's Legacy.  I finally read that book this week.

At least I now know that I wasn't being unduly harsh.  I went into The Smuggler's Legacy expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised.  I'm not the problem; the creative team at S&S is. 

I leave you with this: A better ghost writer makes for a better product.  The Hardy Boys Adventures series overall has better ghost writers than the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  That and the Hardy Boys Adventures series tends to avoid sabotage.  It's disappointing that the Nancy Drew Diaries series is stuck with ghost writers who only know how to write about sabotage.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Boxing Up Unlisted Extras + Selling Update

I have begun the process of boxing up some of my unlisted extra books in order to free up shelf space.  After I filled each box, I wrote on the top and side what I placed in each box.

The books that I chose to box were chosen for a reason.  I tried to go with sets of like books and with some books (like the upgraded ND PCs) that I want to make sure that I keep shelved together and not mixed in with other books.  Boxing the books keeps them together until I once again have shelf space for them.

I have made sure not to box books that could go to bulk lots.  Whenever I begin selling again, I will likely want to put together bulk lots with books that aren't fit to sell individually.  Those books must stay where I can see them.

For instance, the Nancy Drew and Tom Swift books about which I posted today on Facebook will not be boxed.

Nancy Drew and Tom Swift Books

While the cigarette odor is nearly gone, I don't want to box the books up with no access to air circulation.  Secondly, some of the books will go to bulk lots, so they need to stay out with the other candidates for bulk lots.

I finished working on my website migration yesterday.  I went into Turbify and cancelled my Yahoo! website starter accounts that I had had for 20 some years. 

I learned yesterday that they really were still my old Yahoo! accounts.  I knew that my payments were taken each month by Aabaco, which was one of the previous Yahoo! brands.  I went into PayPal to cancel the automatic payment permissions as a failsafe after I cancelled on Turbify.  Look what I found.
Huh.  It seems that my payments were still going to Yahoo!.  I don't get it, because I found a blurb online about the small business web hosting being sold last year to Turbify.  

Notice the appalling amount that I was being charged for each of the three sites.  Yes, multiple $24.98 by three.  My charges each month on GoDaddy for all three sites combined will be around $20 total, which is quite a savings.  

Companies always do this with legacy accounts.  They charge them too much since the accounts have been around forever.  Why?  Because they know they can.  The customers with the legacy accounts are either not paying attention or don't want to bother with changing.  The companies take advantage of those customers.

For years, I've had this nagging feeling, knowing that I was being charged too much and knowing that I needed to get the sites on another platform where I had control of the situation.  It was a massive amount of work, but I have finally done it.  

I exhausted myself, and my brain is fried.  I caught a virus around February 4, and it caused a significant autoimmune flare.  I got a little better, but then the extra website work of last week has caused another flare.  I thought my memory was bad last month; now it's even worse.  I am making a lot of mistakes.  I have cringed about a few online gaffes from the last week.  Oh, well.  I've gotten pretty used to embarrassing myself during flares and even sometimes when not in a flare.  

My next thyroid appointment is on March 7.  I feel certain that I am once again at a deficit and think it likely that my medication will be increased again.

I had mentioned previously that I would resume selling sometime between March and late May.  My hope had been to resume in mid-March during spring break, but I'm now leaning strongly towards waiting until about the time school lets out in May.

Finally, I have quit reading again.  I was so close to finishing John Benton's books, but I haven't read since I caught the virus on February 4.  Perhaps I can begin reading again soon.  Or perhaps not.  I have other concerns right now.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Website Migration Progress

This is an update to my post about my progress (more like an exhausting struggle) in getting my three websites moved to a new server.  View my previous post for background information.

How I Wasted a Saturday...

In short, I created three websites on the Yahoo! GeoCities site around 20 years ago.  GeoCities was later shut down, and the Yahoo! web hosting has been rebranded multiple times.  It appears that the web hosting service was sold last year to Turbify.

I didn't mention in my last post that I had found a message in late January in my email informing me that I needed to change the DNS settings for by February 13, or else the site would go down.  I had never received such a notice before, and this was an indication that the web hosting service is no longer connected to Yahoo! in any fashion. 

I went to figure out what the Turbify message meant and discovered that the file manager had changed.  I had no idea what to do about the DNS, so I decided that it was time to jump off the Yahoo! GeoCities train.  If I was going to have to learn how to use a new interface anyway, then I needed to gain control of the situation.

That's what I have been doing the last few weeks.  The incredible amount of work involved is exactly why I had stayed with my original accounts. 

I have set up three GoDaddy web hosting accounts and have been working on migrating the sites off of Turbify and onto GoDaddy.  I will now be in full control, and the Yahoo! GeoCities train cannot continue to take my sites to random places. is finished.  It has been fully moved to GoDaddy and looks good in all browsers. is on GoDaddy and looks good in all browsers except for Google Chrome.  The problem is that some images are on  Some are also on, but has been moved to GoDaddy, so those images are fine.  For whatever reason, the Chrome browser won't load the images from the Turbify server onto the sites as hosted by GoDaddy. 

On the surface, this makes no sense.  The HTML files for have the full URLs to the images on  The images load fine in the other browsers, just not Chrome.  I have a suspicion what the problem might be, but it's not worth investigating since I'm going to close the Turbify accounts sometime soon.

You might be wondering why many of the images are hosted by the other two sites.  This goes back to the free GeoCities sites that I originally created.  The storage space was limited, and I had so many images for the series book cover art galleries that I had to place a bunch of them on the other two sites.  I have left them where they were placed even though I have had paid accounts for more than 15 years.

This week I worked on migrating to GoDaddy.  Once complete, all of the images on should show up again on Chrome.  Turbify has not changed to the new file manager.  The other two sites had been changed, so I was able to create backup files that I then uploaded to GoDaddy.  Since is still on the old file manager (as in the old Yahoo! GeoCities version from 20 years ago), I have to use FTP.  I first had to learn how to use it, and with my thyroid-impaired brain, that gave me some difficulty.

I figured it out and got the files migrated.  However, around 500 of them failed.  Some hosting services limit FTP to 2000 files, and has over 2,500 files.  Turbify is making this hard for me by forcing me to use FTP and then I am limited on the number of files that can be transferred.

I realized that I could just do another transfer but start with other folders.  Most of the missing files were transferred over.  I then manually looked for missing files.

Today I changed the name servers for over to GoDaddy, and I'm hoping for the best.  The main page loads fine, but some other pages are returning errors.  I will wait until DNS propagation is further along, and then I'll check to see if the pages load.

I have been working on this during all of my downtime at school this week.  I am determined not to lose this weekend to website migration like I did last weekend.  I hope that with just a small amount of additional work that all three sites will be 100% up by the end of this weekend.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

How I Wasted a Saturday...

I have three websites that I created circa 2001-2003, some 20 years ago.

Series Books for Girls
New World Zorro
Zorro: The Legend Through the Years

At the moment, the first two sites are screwed up to some degree due to today's misadventures.

The sites were created on the Yahoo! Geocities interface.  The original URLs for my sites were as follows.

Each site was on a different Yahoo! account, and the account IDs can be seen at the end of the URLs.  

Yahoo! got tired of its older assets, gradually shutting everything down.  Geocities was shut down, and the sites were moved to Yahoo! Small Business.  By the time that happened, I had already purchased domains for all three sites, so the URLs had already changed to what they are now.

Yahoo! Small Business then rebranded to Aabaco.  No problem, that just meant that I logged in through a different-looking page.

Aabaco rebranded to Luminate.  Okay, this was getting a little weird, but I no longer cared much about any of the sites by that point.  I just let Yahoo! rebrand and didn't worry about it.

The Yahoo! assets of Luminate were purchased by Verizon or moved to Verizon.  I don't even know.  I have had other concerns during the last five or so years, so I didn't pay much attention.

I still had access, and that was all that mattered.  I checked on one of the sites last month and discovered that it (along with the other two sites) had been acquired by Turbify during the last six months.  The interface had changed to Cpanel on two of the sites and was still the old Yahoo! file manager on the third site.

I am still being charged by Aabaco each month, and the name hasn't been Aabaco in years!  What nonsense is this?  They sell the assets but keep using an older name to charge their clients.  Maybe that's to avoid us doing a chargeback since we'll recognize the old name.

I was annoyed and decided that this needed to end.  The only way to stop this idiocy was to remove my sites from the former Yahoo! Geocities assets.  

For lack of a better idea, I signed up for web hosting on GoDaddy.  I went with it only because I already had a user ID.  It might not be the best choice, but I needed a fast solution. This was two weeks ago.

I then looked up how to transfer a domain.  Every step of this has required me to do Google searches to learn what to do.  It has been a mess.  It's still a mess, actually.  But anyway...

I figured it out.  I initiated the domain transfers of and  I had to wait one week for due to when the registration was last renewed.  Domains cannot be transferred until 60 days after a renewal.  

Last weekend, I got the files in place and the site changed over to the GoDaddy web hosting.   

I'm keeping all three Turbify accounts until I have this entire mess fixed.  It's going to be awhile.  I won't risk losing the sites, so I'm paying twice for hosting for each site right now.

The website is partially hosted by  Even though I moved last weekend, many images remained on Turbify.

Today I worked on  It didn't work.  I had purchased GoDaddy web hosting where one account can host up to 10 domains.  I spent most of the day trying to get to work as hosted with my new account.  I could not figure it out.

I googled for information, finding someone with the same problem who also couldn't get it to work.  That was when I gave up.  

I created a second GoDaddy account just for  I finally have it working... sort of.  It looks awful. is still fully on Turbify even though I now control the domain.  I will finish the other two sites before I work on it.

What happened today is that I made multiple mistakes.  At one point, showed the home page of  Later, I had two Series Books for Girls websites online at and  And then after that, newworldzorro went down when I removed it from my first GoDaddy account and created the second GoDaddy account.

So now, the DNS propagation is under way.  I'm seeing different versions of the site when I refresh, one of them significantly more screwed up than the other.  Since many of the images are hosted by, is also screwed up to some degree.

Some pages could even be missing from within the sites.  I'm afraid to look.

I haven't lost any of the content.  I still have the Turbify accounts in place.  I had to go back to both of the sites on Turbify at least once today when I screwed up.

So that's how I spent my Saturday.  I will be working on this on Sunday, but I should hopefully make more progress tomorrow.

There could be some typos in this post.  I'm not sure that I care.  

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Vicki by John Benton

From the back cover:

The infamous Bourbon Street district in New Orleans gave Vicki Hensley plenty of chance to vent her anger on the world.  With a gun in her hand, she could outsmart just about everyone—except the law.

Her criminal escapades carried a heavy price tag, however.  Serving time in the notorious "stockade," Vicki encountered all kinds of hurt and despair—especially in her own soul.  Faced with a future behind bars, her thoughts turned to suicide.

Then, an unusual message of hope penetrated Vicki's darkened world:  "You may be in prison, but the prison doesn't have to be in you."  What happened afterwards changed her life—forever.

VICKI provides a startling glimpse into prison life... a realistic story of a young woman's self-discovery... and an encounter with the truth that could make a dramatic difference in your life, as well.
Content: suicide attempt, completed suicide, violence, theft, drug use, homophobia, transgender issues

From page 80:

"That all depends.  If the judge is in a good mood that day, it could be six months.  If his mood is bad, it could be fifty years.  If the assistant district attorney wants to make an example out of you, it could be more.  If he's busy and wants to get this over with, the judge could even dismiss the charges and put you on probation.  You'd be out free."

Was this justice?  Why should my sentence be determined by the mood of some judge or the case load of some assistant district attorney?  Why wasn't there some way I would know exactly how long I was going to get, so I would know whether to fight or not?

Of course what happens is that the police decide to work out a deal with Vicki.  They want her to turn informant and help them bring the drug dealers to justice.  The police even give Vicki's gun back to her so that she will have protection. 

From pages 172 and 173:

She handed me the book, and I studied the cover.  It looked like any other paperback on the newsstands.  Only this Lori looked a lot like me.  I started to thumb through the book, and one of her experiences caught my eye, and I started reading.

"Not now," Wigge said, pulling the book from my hands.  "When you start one of John Benton's books, it's hard to put it down until you're finished.  There'll be plenty of time for you to read this, later."

While it's a bit funny for Benton to be praising his books in his own books, I do agree with the sentiment.  These books are hard to put down.

I wasn't very interested in the beginning of the story, but I became quite absorbed later.  I especially enjoy the parts where the character is in prison.  This is because the character is in a difficult situation, and I love teen books the best when the character has a great struggle.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Jackie and Terri by John Benton

From the back cover of Jackie:

"My old man didn't care about me.  My old lady didn't care.  Nobody cared.  So I'd find a way to punish them—and punish them good."

There's no place like home.  Sixteen-year-old Jackie Marshall found that out when her parents discovered her drug habit.  Vowing to get even with them, she traded her intolerable home life for the streets—and found a lot more than she bargained for.

Narrowly escaping the clutches of a pimp, Jackie sought the protection of a sympathetic junkie, only to resort to the unthinkable in order to support their thousand-dollar habits.  One thing became clear:  the only person she had punished was herself.

Was it too late for a teenage-prostitute and junkie to start life all over again?

Content: prostitution, drug use, physical abuse, false rape accusation, animal abuse

Jackie is one messed-up girl.  She wants to torture her parents.  Her idea of a good joke is to tell them that she's pregnant, when she isn't.  She decides to get even with her father by going to the police and accusing him of rape.  How horrifying.

I was a little worried about Jackie's dog as I read the book.  I never like to see animals hurt.  Fortunately, the dog survives the story just fine.

This girl is a train wreck.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her crazy misadventures.

My summary of Terri:

Terri's father uses all of their family's money to purchase alcohol to fuel his addiction.  The family has no money for food.  Desperate, Terri robs a pizza place.  She gets caught and is sent to a women's prison for a year.  Terri finds herself at the mercy of the mean matron who makes up rules that she then uses to punish Terri.  Terri also is bullied by the other prisoners and fears for her life.  Terri searches for a way to escape.

Content: burglary, physical violence, robbery, drug use, prison

This is one of Benton's more hilarious books.  It is comedy gold.

On pages 30 and 31, Terri's parents get into a physical altercation.  Terri's mom is obese, and her father is drunk.

"Terri, get this two-ton monster off me!" Dad shouted.  "She's about to kill me!"

I ran over, grabbed Mom by the shoulders, and pulled her off-balance.  She tumbled off Dad and rolled across the floor, her blubber making squishy noises as she rolled.

I have no words.

Terri's escapade where she robs the pizza place is absurdly funny.

Terri spends a good portion of the book in the women's prison, that is until she convinces her father to help her escape via a crazy scheme.  I'll not try to describe it, but the result is several chapters full of hilarity.  Such fun.

I love this book.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Lefty by John Benton

From the back cover:

Every choice made by eighteen-year-old Lefty Taggart hinged on one fact: he had an insatiable need for heroin.  Teaming up with another streetwise junkie named Oscar, he entered the double-dealing world of drug connections, theft schemes, and fugitives fleeing the law.

Minutes before undercover policemen closed in on Lefty and Oscar, two compassionate strangers offered them a chance to stop running—and start life all over again.  For one of them, however, it turned out to be too late.

LEFTY introduces you to the treacherous world of the ghetto... to the vicious cycle of drug addiction and crime... and to the one Person who offers anyone—no matter how far gone—a dramatic turning point and a whole new tomorrow.

Content: gun violence, muggings, beatings, mail theft, abductions

This book is nonstop action from start to finish.  I read it fast due to how interesting the story is.  

The book opens with Lefty about to attack an old man with a chain.  Oscar comes along, warning Lefty that the man is a cop.  Lefty gets away and meets up with Oscar.  A boy approaches Oscar wanting to buy drugs from him.  Oscar takes money from the boy, leaving with Lefty.  He then informs Lefty that the boy was a young cop.

The cops start swarming, so Oscar and Lefty force their way into an apartment, holding a mother and young boy hostage for an hour until the cops disappear.  Oscar and Lefty leave, going to Spino's apartment to buy drugs.  On the way up, they spot a con artist on the stairs.  Oscar robs him and threatens to kill him, telling him to stay where he is.  The man is terrified and takes off his clothes to prove that he can't go anywhere.  

Oscar and Lefty continue to Spino's apartment.  Spino is furious that they have endangered him by coming to his apartment, so he robs them and threatens to kill them.  The two leave, passing by the naked man who is still on the stairs and is now crying.

Lefty finally gets some drugs, goes home, and accidentally overdoses.  Lefty's mom finds him and kicks him out for being a junkie.  Lefty goes to live with Oscar in Oscar's nasty, infested basement apartment.

This all happens within 24 hours in the first 44 pages of the story, and I left out some events.

Reverend Benton shows up near the end of the story to tell Lefty about Christ.  I find it amusing that Benton writes himself into the books and describes himself to be a very likeable person.  More than once, Benton is described as having an "infectious laugh."  On page 158, Lefty thinks to himself that he "couldn't help but like the guy."

Lefty is an engaging, exciting book.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Julie and Debbie by John Benton

From the back cover of Julie:

For sixteen-year-old Julie, just living with an alcoholic mother in a junkie-infested neighborhood was bad enough.  But it took the discovery of her father's secret profession as a con artist for Julie's own downfall to begin.  Julie agreed to become her father's partner so she could share in the profits.  Together, father and daughter cooked up ingenious schemes and swindled their innocent victims out of thousands of dollars.  By the time the police had caught up to them, Julie had become a demoralized young woman—and a hopeless drug addict.  As she faced the possibility of a penitentiary sentence, Julie realized her future rested with the judge—or did it? 

JULIE is the moving story of not only one broken life that was healed by the Word, but of an entire family.  Find out how Julie, her mother, and her father were powerless, in the end, to resist the truth that set them free.

Content: faking a seizure, various con acts, alcoholism, drug abuse, physical violence

On page 153, Julie vomits into the toilet.  Julie's mom uses some of the toilet water to wipe Julie's face and then flushes the toilet.  Um, what?  Julie's mom wipes Julie's face with the water in the toilet that has vomit in it?  Besides the vomit, toilets are not clean.  The water is contaminated by bacteria from waste material.  This is revolting.  Just, wow.

I enjoyed this book.  It was interesting to read about the different types of con jobs.  

From the back cover of Debbie:

After her first decent foster father died, sixteen-year-old Debbie took a familiar path back to the city streets where a rapid, downward spiral of degradation and despair awaited her.  Lower and lower she sank into a life of prostitution, heroin addiction, physical abuse, and daily threats from the vicious pimp she'd hoped would protect her from a worse fate.

When two kind strangers appeared out of nowhere and offered Debbie a new life based on Jesus' teachings, it didn't take her long to accept it.  Days after she received Christ into her heart, however, Harding, the pimp, tracked her down, gun in hand, and threated Debbie's life again.  Had Debbie won salvation only to lose her life?  This moving story contains a dramatic, surprise twist that will thrill and inspire you and, above all, prove to you that with God there is always a second chance.

Content: prostitution, assault, drug use

This was one of the books I read over six months ago, so I can't remember much of the content.  Here's a great review which gives many funny details.

Debbie by John Benton

Debbie was one of the first few Benton books that I read.  I enjoyed this book and the others that I tried so much that I purchased the entire set.