Do you believe in the afterlife? What do you think happens when we die? by Gareth Frank
The Moment Between is a psychological thriller published by Three Women Press, that brings death to life through the story of Doctor Hackett Metzger, a neurologist who struggles with grief four years after losing his wife and becomes involved in a medical study of near-death experiences just as he meets a woman with a dangerous past. Hackett is reluctantly involved in the study because he doesn’t want to be reminded of his wife’s death and he doesn’t believe in the afterlife. His life and research are about to collide.
The Moment Between is not a fantasy or a ghost story. Instead, it uses fiction to explore the very real phenomena of near-death experiences in a way that forces the reader to challenge their own assumptions about the possibilities of what awaits us all in that moment between life and death.
I grew up across the street from the Episcopal Church where my best friend’s father presided as our priest. I went to Sunday school, learned about heaven and hell, but never thought about it seriou
sly. I was a kid, fortunate enough to have seen very little of death. Now in my sixties, it is a subject that is increasingly hard to avoid. Still, when it comes to religion I am an agnostic and when it comes to spiritualism, I am even more skeptical.
So how does a non-believer like me explain near-death experiences and the wealth of evidence surrounding them? I can’t. I don’t know that they represent proof of a conscious life after death, and I don’t dismiss that possibility either. The main character in my novel, like all of us must contend with two competing aspects of human nature — the tendency to be rational and the tendency to be spiritual. Each one of us falls somewhere on this continuum.
Not too many years ago, these tantalizing glimpses of life after death were almost universally dismissed as mere hallucination, but we are finding more and more evidence that something very real is happening. We still may not know what it is, but a lot of people are reporting physical sensations and memories at a time when medical science says there was no brain activity to support it. Dismissing these near-death visions as mere hallucinations require just as much conjecture as believing that they present proof of consciousness after death. Something is happening, and we who are skeptics should be open to answers.
The facts are:
As reporter Judy Bachrach says in her book about near death experiences, we are living in the days of Lazarus. Modern medical resuscitation techniques have made it a fairly common practice to bring people back to life after they are clinically dead and absolutely no brain function is detectable.
Afterlife experiences are surprisingly similar from person to person, across cultures and time periods.
A 2008 study followed cardiac arrests at fifteen prominent hospitals in the US and Great Britain. It found that 39% of those who survived and could be interviewed reported memories of their own resuscitation, a feat that medical science tells us is impossible. More than that, 13% reported memories of their conscious mind separating from their body.
We also know with certainty that the human mind is capable of incredible feats that appear to be more the realm of mysticism than science, such as savants like Daniel Tammet who recited the mathematical constant pi down to 23,000 digits without error, or actress Marilu Henner who has near-total recall and can tell you what happened on each and every day of her life.
What is consciousness? How does the physical activity of neurons and other brain matter explain consciousness? Science can describe the activity, but can’t explain how it produces conscious thought. It might as well be voodoo. The best explanation was presented 400 years ago by Rene Descartes, “I think, therefor I am.” And that doesn’t really explain anything.
The physical basis of thought becomes even more confusing when quantum theory is considered. Physicists have proven that the universe as we know it is defined and shaped by conscious observation. The nature of matter itself is determined by observation. Some theoretical physicists have even theorized that consciousness is the missing variable that Einstein was searching for in his quest for a unified theory of physics. (unifying general relativity with quantum mechanics)
Let me tell you a true story. You can interpret it as you wish, but I believe that the underlying facts are true.
On a November day in 2008, Doctor Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, like my fictitious Hackett Metzger, lay dying of bacterial meningitis at Lynchburg General Hospital in Southwest Virginia. He had lapsed into a coma. The doctor’s treating him did a brain scan which showed he had irreversible brain damage and no chance of surviving. He was toast. With assurances that his brain was in fact already gone, his family took shifts at his bedside waiting for the inevitable moment when his heart would beat one last time. But deep within, Eben Alexander was not only conscious, but he was also in the midst of a life-altering experience. He would later say that he crossed the plain of death before returning to this world. During a time when his brain was shut down, he reported looking down on his own body, hearing people talk even as the neurons in his brain were inactive. Seeing people move around the room when no electrical activity flowed from his optic nerve. Having conscious thought, when his doctors said that dreams even were not possible. Upon waking he related conversations that his ears could not have heard and eyes could not have seen.
He experienced The Moment Between life and death.
Written by Gareth Frank, Author of The Moment Between
I have penned my memoirs and have found the whole book experience and the business of books an eye opener to say the least. Though, I am quite happy to be learning all the time. It is learning new things that keep me interested, but that’s not all. Why write? Many ask the same question and often. I have written my books not as therapy but definitely as a way to take feelings from inside of myself and put this emotion into and the actual object. How can emotion carry across through text? I don’t really know, to be honest, it just has a way of hitting the readers, I guess.
Writing has become not only a hobby to me but a career. I write daily now and am continuously keeping up to date with all web and social media platforms where I continue to spread the word about my books and hopefully encourage many to come and read them. I found myself wanting to know more about life, and I had many questions that no matter in what way I asked them I always heard my own questions to have a serious underlying tone of WHY?
In an effort to help me overcome some personal tragedies and to help me view my own life outside and in front of me, the writing was and has still been the perfect remedy. I sincerely recommend writing to anyone for whatever reason they see fit. It is through writing that my mind has cleared and my own emotions have found balance. It is writing that has shown me some of my own great power and through writing, I can speak to you all at any given moment. This is a great companion to have.
Many who wants to write, have many stories within their heads, always running at a nonstop loop, yet they’re not able to get them down on paper. Some can do that, while others first can when they are ready. I was one of those such cases, where I tried writing them, but failed again and again, until the day arrived where I was ready. Writing them down led to the stories playing in my head became less frequent, becoming more into ideas for my stories. What I also learned was how the story I first envisioned in my mind turned out very differently on paper. The time with ideas ‘running amuck’ has left me with many ideas of tales I want to tell.
Everything in our daily lives can inspire and does. From as little as a mere sentence to as big as an experience; real-life events can be a steady source of inspiration… it’s often something you would never think of without reality inspiring. The same thing goes with finding it from existing stories to enhance your own. As writers, we want our stories to be as good as possible. (At least most of us.) Sometimes we get so many ideas, to keep track of. I, like many others, get the ideas after turning into bed for the night, even writing notes to myself with the ideas I had.
The many ideas/ stories running through our heads can be great ideas, like dreams can, (for the ones remembering their dreams, that is.) But not all ideas are strokes of genius, some are worth forgetting again, while others, that are forgotten, we wish we had made a note of before it got forgotten.
But the time we invest with ideas in our heads should hopefully enhance the ones we have on paper, in a perfect world it would, but we don’t live in that one, so that’s not always how it goes…
Written by Dennis Scheel
Dennis Scheel has always had the stories running in his head, but not until after his accident, which left him mute and paralyzed on the right side was he able to tell them. After he worked his way back, he wanted to try to tell his story once more since an acquaintance told him there was talent in his poetry, he had been convinced by his ex not to write for ten years, she insisted he had no talent. This time tried in English since all other times failed. Finally, he succeeded, and he never stopped writing since. Which led to the completion of No Way Back- The Underworlds and the sequel Taken With a Dark Desire: The Underworlds
Children discover the world around them when they play.
They discover in nature what they will later learn to call science.
My stories grow from this joyous approach to life.
I was lucky. I grew up in a college town. When I found an interesting rock, there was somebody I could bring it to with my questions. I remember finding a geode – a rock with crystals inside. I took it to the college where a professor told me that my rock comes from a river about 30 miles away. Somebody had brought it to our town and abandoned it. Now, it was my treasure. The college had a rock collection from around the world. I joined a rock hunting club that drove out on weekends to explore wild locations in mountains and at lakes, and learned about rocks form in different kinds of places and look different because of how they form.
One of the rocks I found was called magnetite. Metal things stuck to it. Not all metal things, but some metal things. I became fascinated by magnets. That led to the study of electricity.
Every new discovery led to more ideas, more places to go, experiments to try, things to learn. In college, I studied biology and chemistry. I collected bacteria from everywhere. I discovered that toilet seats have very few bacteria, but the floor in front of the hand drier had the best collection on campus.
I learned to use a microscope. I discovered that colored pictures in magazines are made of tiny dots of ink. I also saw that life – tiny cells – are infinitely enlargeable. The more I increased the magnification, the more new details appeared.
In chemistry class, I learned what happens at the molecular level when we cook. Why do bubbles form when we boil water? The water is changing into steam. Steam is a gas. Gases form bubbles in the water. Why do bubbles form when we add lemon juice and baking soda to cookie dough? That’s a chemical reaction releasing bubbles of carbon dioxide – the same gas that our bodies make from the oxygen we breathe.
In my yard, I watched grasshoppers hop, fireflies light up, butterflies work their way out of cocoons. Adults knew what fascinated me and would show me a new flower that came up in their yard, or the new kittens their cat was nursing.
I was lucky to have adults around who knew how to help me discover the things and ideas that fascinate me. Now, I’m an adult, and I want to pass on this excitement for today’s children. Science is an adventurous way to explore the world.
Dragons have long held the fascination of men, related in the oldest of myths. Tales abound of Oriental beasts of great power and Norse monstrosities guarding treasure. Numerous accounts from the ancient lore and traditions of Wales, Nubia, Greece, and Rome, suggest the myths may have origins in the great water snakes of the Nile, giant crocodiles, even whales, whose bones may have been found bleached on some antediluvian shore.
For a long time, I have wanted to include them in my tales, though none of my stories to date had a place for them and they are certainly not beasts a writer should throw around gratuitously. In ‘The Henna Witch’, dragons could exist within the deep reaches of the uncharted lands, even necessary in such a dark place, and so they were born, gargantuans who share a common mind. Their presence was felt early as Ashia and her entourage entered the abysmal swamps.
Excerpt from “the Henna Witch”
Vines as thick as stoneworker’s cables draped the log, carpeted with bright green moss and tender ferns. Long ago, an aging Utill had toppled to earth, bridging the morass of brown stagnant water. The dregs of light that filtered down in the late hours of the day had their own murk, leaving the air dank and moldering.
Zinan took the lead, the black jaqar weaving along the thin path that was worn into the gnarled and rough bark. Ashia followed, with O’la close on her heels. The scruffy beige terrier came last, constantly looking behind as though suspect of every shadow. The colorful birds that O’la knew, were absent in the bleak airs that suffocated near the ground, a layer of liquid surfaces that marled between muck and bottomless gloom. Birds could only be spied in the highest rungs of the canopy, not venturing into the dank atmospheres that were trapped by the thick primeval awning thrown over the depths.
‘Wyrms.’ Was the only portent the birds would offer her, though their flashing images were far more monstrous than the grubs they would feed to their young. O’la had seen the sheens of algae ripple, the disturbance roiled from deep within the water. Once she had seen slick scales brush the surface of the waters, black with leaf rot. The bulge had drifted back into the slimes with a sloughing silence. Sounds suffered the same damp fate, sucked into the evaporating steams. She could not see them, yet their presence weighed within the waters, far heavier than the mother serpents of her home. She had grabbed the witch-woman’s attention too late to identify the slithering presence.
“Yes. I have noticed too.” Ashia reassured her in quiet tones as if not to disturb the heavy air or attract the attention of unseen eyes. “Water dragons. They are not of this world and we are in their domain.”
The beasts did not exist outside the dark mists of the impenetrable Vacant Green, known only as sinister fables in ancient lore, tales told by mad prophets to frighten the most hardened of souls. In another time, she had traveled to the Sanctuary of the Outcasts along the ordained path, beyond the reach of the fabled beasts.
Ashia gauged the height of the tangle above them. Occasional crackles and shifts in the lipid foliage marked the passage of some cautious being. Bats with dark membrane wings and mottled fur, drifted in circles among the vines, the slow flap of their wings pocking the damp silence as they searched for their fruits. She had cast a thought to them. They too acknowledged the beasts that lurked below the scabrous algae. It was danger to fly close to the waters … their notion of death was, ‘open mouth’ and she saw the enormity of the maw in their fleeting thoughts.
The trees above were marked with slashes, the lowest foliage marked as constantly torn with fractured aged decay, shredded with new grooves. Above the ragged edges, the overhangs bound together in choking disarray. It was possible to navigate further into the Green by keeping to those middle reaches thick with the old arms of the trees. The route would not be as direct; and, as she had studied the progress of the Akalla, it was certain that he’d found the Tendrillar, the secret long hidden in the clot of the jungle. To fly, they lay closer than the Akalla to the clouded labyrinth of the Sanctuary. Yet they had not the benefit of wings and there was more than the haunting presence lurking beneath the waters that could delay them.
“We don’t attract their interest. But, you are wise to keep your silence.”
O’la nodded, her eyes round with understanding. She slowed her step as she felt the lurking presence, as could Fetch, who followed closely on her heels. The old Utill log, once a giant standing tall over the morass, was now adrip with old moss and spent vines. It stretched its fallen length across the dark, turbid water to a crest of land framed with skeletal roots. There had been many similar bridges, a god’s tangle of ‘catch-sticks’ laid over the water between the plots of stubborn soil. Following the black jaqar, they walked single-file along the span, a sparsely worn path centered in the dank moss which feasted on the aged bark.
Written by Greg Scherzinger
Author Bio ~ GJ Scherzinger
Gregory Scherzinger spent the bulk of his formative career skiing as much as possible while finding gainful work as a TV Producer and Director. He left the broadcast business to spend the next 13 years living on a 41′ yawl in NW Washington. In various adventures, he sailed the Inside Passage, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Bahamas. His first novel was penned while residing in the San Juan Islands. He lived for a while in Todos Santos on the Baja, Mexico, where he continued writing and was adopted by a stray dog who is still with him. He currently lives on a small farm in the coastal hills of his native Oregon and just completed the first draft of his fifth novel, the Deck of the Numinon..
Always gray in winter is a science fiction story. The story is short, however, filled with paranormal activity, is action-packed and contains strong military flavor. A shapeshifter is a form of werecats dominating the formula of the plot. Pawly is Polish American and has eyes for Lenny a German American. Pawly is a were lynx superhero and is in a fight with Mawro, a werecat. Mawro is nothing but trouble, a North Korean scientist that has shapeshifting powers.
The work is filled with abbreviations, complex storyline content, and many names to remember. For me, it was not as easy to follow through, but I am sure someone who is a fan would have found it to be effortless to comprehend.
The literature was written very well. It contained many layered plots intertwined together, creating a multi-diverse state of a fascinated storyline. The ancient were cat clan are designed in a modern way, and with just short of 200 pages managed to keep a steady plot keeping the reader intrigued.
I think what stood out most to me was the thought that went through creating the werecats. This large cast of cats was converging on a device that had to with their affliction. Since this item is a hot commodity, the story mostly revolves around everyone wanting their hands on it.
I recommend this book to sci-fi fans and people who like to read on shapeshifters.
Immortal is a science fiction book. The story is about aliens contacting earth and letting them know that they are in danger. In order to live, they need to comply with the aliens; however trust is an issue, and no one is really sure about the authenticity of things. Francis Mckenzie is in charge and orders everyone to conform. Everyone working for him has 164 days in order to prepare to protect, and that is when the story begins to take an interesting turn.
Alongside the drama with high tech facilities, discussing personal data remaining private, and people’s integrity being questioned it was apparent to see a small love interest as well with Sam and two other potential admirers. I found the story to be very thought-provoking and intriguing. There was a lot of suspense and questions that needed answering as you read along. Many loopholes needed to be filled, and I believe the author managed to pull everything together in a neat way.
The literature was filled with science fiction content. It needed proofreading; however, the mistakes weren’t that eye bothering to take away from experience. What I believe made this story different was it being relatable to our modern living today. We exchange and provide much information as a result of trusting organization who claim to protect us; however, what really happens with that information is beyond our knowledge, and that really does need to be spoken about.
I recommend this novel to people who like to read about alien stories and are science fiction fans.
The Plague is a science fiction story about a reporter investigating suspicious deaths that begin to happen randomly but then start showing up as a patterned event. David Miller begins his research from his own area and then the investigation expands. The story is set in 2040 and robots to live amongst the living. As David proceeds to understand the situation a little he realizes that the selection of deaths is not random and that is when the story takes an interesting turn.
The story also focuses on Dave overcoming his own personal issues and problems. He is claustrophobic, has some insecurities and does not trust himself being a good reporter. I believe that added a personal touch to the story. The writing keeps you intrigued trying to understand what is behind the events happening at all times. The mass panic was also captivating.
The literature was well written. As a sci-fi novel, it needed to have enough scientific content and the story provided just that. The pace of the storyline was steady and kept the interested up until the end. I particularly enjoyed the person added touches that were blended with the story. I considered the fact that how confusing it would have been if an epidemic happened with no common cause or revelations that anyone would be used to. Trying to identify the cause and finding a solution would be so hard.
I recommend this book to people who enjoy sci-fi novels and stories about robots.
The day my kisses tasted like disorder is a collection of poetry written by Emmanuella Hristova. Each poem tells a story like a memoir. It reflects the ups and downs the author has gone through. The death of her sister, relationships, the good, the bad and everything in between.
The poems are also a beautiful and descriptive way of the author expressing her core emotions towards her encounters. It is a delicate touched natured work of what appears to be covering love, loss, and the feelings that each poem wishes to pass along.
The literature was admirable, and I enjoyed how easy it was to understand the references and poetic lyrical nature of the work. Other poem books are just so hard to relate to or to understand, but this collection was quite the opposite.
As one enters a relationship, they face the initial rush of love, excitement, joy and if it does not work out well, then the anger, loss, feeling down follows through.
I believe in improving the work; the electronic version of the collection would have benefited from having separations between chapters or segment. The work was merely separated by dates and sometimes titles, but it was still not clear.
Altogether, I thought this was a well-polished poetry book and would be suitable for people who are into art and poems.
The Lonely Little Emoji is a children’s book written with the attempt to educate children in believing that no matter how many times you are rejected, due to being different, you should never give up trying.
The drawings were hand sketches, and the focus of the story was mostly on the emoji emotions rather than color and other illustration facts. I found the literature to be easy to read; however, as the story went along, it changed tenses from the past to the current. This error could easily be fixed with a little editing.
The message of the story was appreciated. Being a parent myself, it makes you want to find books that can also teach the young mind with being strong.
I believe the story would suit very young children.