Monday, March 31, 2014

U. S. Ethics surrounding kidney donations result in needless deaths

The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran
By Sigrid Fry-Revere, J.D., Ph.D.
Published by Carolina Academic Press 
Copyright March 10, 2014
Genre:  Creative non-fiction, non-fiction adventure (adult and young adult)
ISBN 978-1-61163-512-6

According to Sigrid Fry-Revere, ethics consultant for the Washington Regional Transplant Community’s Organ and Tissue Advisory Committee, there were more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the United States at the end of 2013 and about 400,000 people on dialysis.
The sad truth, she says, is that many of them will die because there are not enough cadaver kidneys to meet their needs and those on dialysis usually only survive for approximately four years.
“Every year only about 15% of those on the active waiting list get transplants,” she writes. “Most will die waiting. Another 7–8% die or drop off the list (because they are too sick for an operation) without getting a kidney. This translates to approximately 20-25 American dialysis patients dying needlessly every day.”
Why is this happening in such a progressive country? Fry-Revere says it is because Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) in 1984 that prohibited anyone from paying for organs. On top of that, doing so could result in a fine of $50,000 and up to five years in jail.
Based on the ethics that body organs should not be up for sale, this system is why those wealthy enough sometimes turn to purchasing a kidney on the black market. Fry-Revere notes “ a thousand or more Americans purchase illegal organs (mostly abroad) every year.” However, the black market is totally unregulated leaving patients open to contracting such diseases as “HIV, hepatitis and even cancer from improperly screened donors.” And she adds, “Donors are lied to, cheated, and left without sufficient post-operative care.”
The wealthy can also afford to get an operation as well as take the needed time off work. Thus the poorer folks are the ones more likely to die. Fry-Revere, who is also project director of the Center for Ethical Solution’s SOS (Solving the Organ Shortage) project, views this situation as unacceptable, especially when she learns that a much smaller country - Iran – has solved the problem of kidney shortages.
“The United States should be ashamed to be outdone by a country like Iran,” she notes.
Fry-Revere spent two months in Iran interviewing physicians, nurses, kidney sellers and patients, as well as administrators of non-governmental, non- profits called Anjomans that arrange kidney sales in that country. She became the first person ever to document interviews on film and what she learned about the Iranian’s legal compensation system has proved invaluable.
One cannot read this book without feeling deep sympathy for not just the kidney patients who die each year in the U.S. but also for the families who are forced to watch them slowly dwindle away on dialysis. For Fry-Revere it also strikes close to home because her own son was diagnosed with kidney cancer when he was just 10 months old.
For this writer living in Canada brings the same restrictions as the U.S. I could only helplessly watch as a good friend and former co-worker on dialysis slide toward death’s door. According to Organ Donation and Transplantation in Canada, kidney donations have not increased over the past 10 years and ironically it is believed that copying the U.S. would provide the solution.
This book is a work of creative non-fiction. As such Fry-Revere, who is also president of Stop Organ Trafficking Now, uses not just her own knowledge of the situation but also relates the stories of others both in the U.S. and Iran in a way that is informative, interesting, easily readable and most importantly, heartfelt. Travel along with this courageous woman, who took her chances filming interviews without government permission. Find out why the 25-year-old Iranian system works and what problems still exist. Learn how donors are compensated and kidney patients are helped. Also discover how administrators, donors and patients deal with the ethical problems that have caused the U.S. to refuse to institute a similar system. Most importantly, learn what life on dialysis is really like. It will surely break your heart.
Aside from compelling personal stories, Fry-Revere also gives us a glimpse of life in current-day Iran that is far different than what the media and the U.S. government have led us to believe. This book is definitely worth five stars and a must-read that is hard to put down.

To pick up a copy of The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran, go to Amazon link:

All author royalties go to support the SOS, Solving the Organ Shortage, project (

To view photos that Sigrid Fry-Revere took while in Iran, go to  For a discussion of the center’s Solving the Organ Shortage project and other related issues, go to:

Other sources:Organ Donation and Transplantation in Canada

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Author Profile: Jack Durish

Rebels Mountain
By Jack Durish
Published by Venture Galleries, LLC
Copyright December 20, 2011
Pages: 301

Although this blog is primarily for book reviews, I also provide author profiles. Today that profile is for Jack Durish, author of Rebels On The Mountain, an historical fiction work that is available in all ebook formats on, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. What follows is a Q & A with the author.

Q. Please give us a one sentence synopsis of your book.

A. Nick Andrews, a U.S. Army spy assigned to unwrap the mystery of diplomatic failures in Cuba, avoids being entrapped in Castro's revolution until he is forced to bury his friends and fight.

Q. Who are the main characters and who would you like to see portray them in a movie?

A. Nick Andres: A U.S. Army Ranger and Korean War Veteran who has made a career of reconnaissance patrols behind the Iron Curtain - possibly portrayed by Stephen Amell.
Lucia Comas: An American educated, island born mulata, daughter of the second wife of don Carlos Comas, a Cuba sugar plantation owner, and love interest of Nick Andrews - possibly portrayed by Christina Milian.
Emma Regan: An American socialite whose husband, a retired pediatrician operates a free clinic on the sugar plantation she inherited, and sister to the don Carlos Comas' second wife, Sigourney Weaver.
Fidel Castro: The charismatic leader of the revolution that overthrew the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista - possibly portrayed by Jsu Garcia.
Che Guevera: The Argentinian doctor who became one of Castro's most notorious lieutenants and his executioner following Fidel's rise to power - possibly portrayed by Guillermo Diaz.
Ernest Hemingway: Nobel Prize winning author and Havana resident who mingled freely in the halls of power in Havana and purportedly supported Castro's revolution - possibly portrayed by William Hurt.

Q. Can you tell us the story without revealing too much?

A. Nick Andrews uses the cover of a pleasure trip with friends, the Regans - a retired doctor and his socialite wife, who own an estate in Cuba - to infiltrate the island from its halls of power in Havana to the rebel camp in the mountains at the eastern end of the island. Unexpectedly, he rekindles a childhood crush with the island-born niece of the Regans, and makes friends with a loyal Fidelista rebel. Romance, rum, rumba and revolution layer themselves into a thrilling tale of intrigue, action and suspense.

Q. What inspired you to write this book and how long did it take?

A. I was slated to pilot a vessel from Galveston Bay to the Chesapeake with a stop in Havana when I was a young sailor but the trip was canceled due to several factors including the fall of the Batista government in Cuba. I suppose that I never let go of the disappointment of missing that adventure. Thus, I followed events in Cuba closely and studied the history of the island and its people during the intervening fifty years. I spent another two years cataloging and studying my research, and another year and a half to write and edit the manuscript.

Q. What other books have you written?

Dream Pirates - Fiction for young readers with impaired reading skills and new English speakers.
WordPerfect: Creative Applications - Technical manual
Infantry School: A Soldier's Journal - Personal memoir
Vietnam: A Soldier's Journal - Personal memoir
Trifles: Literary Dessert - A collection of short stories to be published soon

Q. Which authors inspired you, your style?

A. Many including Ernest Hemingway (voice), Mark Twain (irony), Charles Dickens (memorable characters).

Q. Where can we learn more about you and your books?

A. My web site at contains my personal blog, as well as my biography, a synopsis of all of my books and links to them, and recommended web sites for anyone interested in reading.

Q. How can we follow you? (ie.) Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

A. Twitter    Google+

Q. Is there anything else you would like us to know?

A. I am currently working on my second novel featuring Nick Andrews as a young soldier in the Korean War. Also, I have been posting to my blog a series of articles built from my research into Cuba with special emphasis on the love-hate relationship between the island and the United States. Most expect a change in U.S.-Cuban relations when Fidel Castro dies, and Americans will begin looking forward to visiting this Caribbean paradise, which has been off limits for so many years.

To pick up a copy of Rebels On The Mountain, go HERE

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In Harmony: A biography of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan

By Moragh Carter
Published by Matador
© Copyright 2012
ISBN#978 1780884 202
Pages: 136

Author Moragh Carter offers an inside peek at the private lives of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan, best known for their hit song, Tennessee Birdwalk, which reached the number one spot on the country charts in 1970.

Through Carter, Jack and Misty share the joys and sorrows they faced over the years as they shared their music with the public in everything from run-down bars to festivals, packed auditoriums and even the Grand Ole Opry. What makes this book particular delightful is Jack’s humor that not only shines through in their music but also in how he tells their story.

Carter shares both the highs and lows this talented duo endured during their years in the music business. There were times of extreme poverty, when they struggled to make a living and aside from performing gigs, they took on extra odd jobs. At the same time, they had to content with bar owners that sometimes disappeared before paying them and even one at The Comic Book in Jacksonville Beach who fiend a fake robbery just to get out of paying them.

In 1965, the couple recorded an instrumental together called Gemini. Then in 1967, their first recording session at Woodland Studios in Nashville resulted in their song, Bethlehem Steel. Their next title - Big Black Bird - was a ‘Top 10 Pick’ on Billboard.

Their best times were during the ‘70s when they released a series of popular songs, including Somewhere in Virginia in the Rain, Humphrey The Camel and There Must Be More to Life than Growing Old but even then, record producers found exceptional ways of getting out of contracts and refusing to pay.

After suffering from ill health for a time, the couple made a major comeback going into the 2000’s with remakes from old vinyl records to digital editions of such songs as Call On Me, Back from the Dead – Volume 2 (there was no Volume 1, which again showed Jack’s amazing wit), A Little Out of Sync and Jack & Misty are Crazy. In 2004, the couple was inducted into the New York Country Music Hall of Fame and soon thereafter, into the Buffalo (NY) Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

But by far the most interesting aspect of their lives unfolds when Jack relates some of the things that happened over the years. For example, he relates that when he was a teenager, he joined a trio with two other young men, who were Mohawk Indians. The boys took him to races at the Six Nations reservation in Ontario where their parents ran a general store, post office and funeral parlor.

One night, the boys took him downstairs for a jamming session “by flashlight and candle light. It seems the entire family woke up and came down to cheer them on but when the lights went on, Jack realized “they were in the funeral parlor with two dead bodies in the audience!”

Years later, when Jack and Misty performed at a hotel restaurant and lounge in Sebring, Florida, they ran into trouble when they sang their song, Cows. Right in front of the audience, the owner yelled at them saying, “they should have known better” and promptly fired them.

This book, which is such an easy read, also includes a collection of Jack’s lighthearted and humorous stories. As Moragh noted, he has the innate ability to “paint with words.” When you purchase this book, be sure to read such stories as, ‘Henhouse Murder Trial Begins and The Last Day. You’re sure to have a great laugh!

To hear their music and keep up with their latest news, be sure to visit Jack’s web sites:
CD Baby:

Moragh Carter web site:

To pick up your copy of In Harmony: A biography of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan, go to:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Attention Writers!

 Maurice Tudor has a Linked-In group for writers and authors. He is always coming up with new and great ways that you can promote your work for free.

You will find Maurice on Linked-In here:

Maurice also has a web site where he posts author profiles at no cost. Here is an example of one of them:

On this site, you will also find links to free tools and resources for writers, as well as promotional tips and a place where you can brag about your book - all free of charge! And there is even more to explore on this site, so be sure to check it out.

As well, Maurice has put together a Publishers Plus Directory, which every published author should take advantage of. You will find that at:

You can join his mailing list by sending your name and email address to with Join-mailing-list in subject line, and receive all the latest free promotions as they emerge.

Also so:

Bookshelf for writers

Writers discussion group

Writers Co-operative discussion group 

 Happy Writing!


Full Professional Manuscript Editing Service

For those of you who are not aware, I also provide full professional manuscript editing services on a freelance basis.

This service includes everything from correction of typos and spelling errors to sentence structure, paragraph structure, punctuation use, proper tense use, effective conversation, making sure the story line makes sense, plot structure, character development, use of scenery, and much more.

My basic fee is significantly lower than most manuscript editors because as an author myself, I realize how difficult it can be for a writer to get his or her work out to the public. However, if major revisions and/or additions are required, this could raise the price.

If you are a new author, who is unsure about the accuracy of your manuscript's content or an established author in need of this professional service, I would be happy to hear from you. I can be contacted at

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Learn how to use your intuitive & psychic abilities

                                     The 7 Lost Senses
                              Developing Your Intuitive 
                                 and Psychic Abilities

By Alain Jean Baptiste
Published by iUniverse
Copyright 2013

The 7 Lost Senses – Developing Your Intuitive and Psychic Abilities is a fascinating book that teaches through examples, lessons and practical applications how to tap into abilities that many of us never use and if we do, we often do not realize that we are actually doing it.

“These seven lost senses will enable you to develop new skills and abilities at reading others and predicting future events, gain access to information beyond space and time, and help gain greater understanding about yourself and others,” the author, who is an Ottawa, Ontario psychic explains. “They are the key to perceiving a new world that is already there, just waiting to be seen and experienced.”

The author notes that most people have “intuitive flashes about a person or situation” either positive or negative. However, because we don’t realize we are able to tap into this information, we fail to act on it. The five senses we all use include sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.

The author states that the typical human being has 12 senses, or instruments. Beyond the five we know we use, this book reveals the senses of imagination, balance, life, voice, movement, warmth and substance. The sense of imagination, often called the sixth sense, he says, allows us to access to both the physical and non-physical worlds. The sense of balance allows us to distinguish between the two.

The sense of life, which he calls the “sense of light and darkness,” and “calibrates and observes the life force.” The author notes that this sense is “not limited by space or time and works hand-in-hand with the sense of imagination.” This sense, he says, “enables us to work toward self-realization by providing clear pointers toward paths and people that strengthen our light.”

The sense of voice or “voice of the soul” involves “understanding one’s true path in life as well as those of others.” This ‘voice’ can be used in life for either positive or negative purposes. As an example, the author cites Nelson Mandela, who used his voice to inspire a generation to work toward equality and peace. Hitler would be an example of the opposite.

The sense of movement, which he notes is “linked to smell,” allows us to “perceive beyond the physical world, beyond this world, when you calibrate it through the sense of imagination.” The author added, “People with those special abilities can sense the movement of subtle energies, the variation of frequencies, which are beyond the human range of perceptible frequencies. They are able to use and fine-tune their sense of movement, which can also be used in such areas as health, finance, business, education, psychology and more.” The sense of movement, the author notes, also allows us to “sense the presence of your higher self (the being that is intermediary between you and God/Goddess/All That Is), which is why it is used by some to sense the movement of entities and passed loved ones.”

The sense of warmth, which is “linked to touch, “ allows us to determine the value of “human interaction because it calibrates to frequencies that we experience as a mental sense of warmth and cold. Most typically, you use this sense to measure your interactions with other human beings.”

The author calls the sense of substance “the sense of soul because it is “most often used to discover and reconnect to one’s essence. Essence is the core of who you are; it is beyond the physical—it is the matter, the substance from which you are made.”

While some of this material might be difficult to understand at first, the author states that none of it is “magic, any more than electricity is magic” (which we also cannot physically see.) “Psychics and mediums are simply people who have learned how to use these senses in a more conscious manner.” The author adds, “With practice and time, you can acquire the skills that will allow you to see the future, know whether or not people are trustworthy and suggest actions that will bring about the greatest good.”

“By becoming aware of developing these lost senses, you will be able to perceive a whole new reality and take it to the next level: that of consciously creating your own reality, the one that currently seems like an unattainable dream.”

This book is suitable for a variety of people from those who simply wish to access the seven lost senses to open the door to the paranormal world, to those who wish to apply them to everyday life, personal and/or business relationships, helping others and more. It is a book that should be read and re-read until a complete understanding of its concepts is achieved.

To obtain a copy of The Seven Lost Senses - Developing Your Intuitive and Psychic Abilities, go to ( or other on-line bookstores.

Alain Jen Baptiste: