Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lady Justice and the Pharaoh's Curse by Robert Thornhill

Hi Everyone,

Welcome local Kansas City area author, Robert Thornhill.  This prolific author has another great book released titled Lady Justice and the Pharaoh's Curse.  I have read the excerpt and this book sounds very intriguing, especially, as I've seen the King Tut exhibit in Cairo and, also, at the exhibit in Kansas City.

An artifact is stolen from the King Tut exhibit, setting in motion a string of bizarre murders that baffle the Kansas City Police Department
            A local author simultaneously releases his novel, The Curse of the Pharaohs, attributing the deaths to an ancient prophesy, ‘Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King.’

            Are the deaths the result of an ancient curse or modern day mayhem?

            Follow the clues with Walt and decide for yourself!

Valley of the Kings
1323 B C

            Imhotep, a high priest in the court of Tutankhamun, Pharaoh of Egypt, took one last look at the vault that held the sarcophagus of his beloved boy king.
            His craftsmen had spent months preparing the body of the king and the vessels that contained his vital organs, so that the Pharaoh could pass freely from this mortal life to the next.
            His last remaining task was to seal the tomb with its gold and precious stones, and conceal it from the marauders, raiders and looters that roamed the desert hills.
            He stood before the Anubis, the jackel-headed god that had been the protector and guardian of the pharaoh’s tombs for centuries.
            Between the jackal’s paws, he placed a stone tablet inscribed with the words, “Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King.”
            The Anubis stood guard in the dark tomb for more than three thousand years. Then one day, the tomb was opened -----

Lady Justice and the Pharaoh’s Curse
Kansas City, Missouri

            Bernard Maloof pulled the dog-eared journal from under his mattress and carried it to the small dinette table in the kitchen.
            Although he had read the journal dozens of times, he needed to read it one more time to reinforce the decision he was about to make. He knew that if he acted on the information he had found there, his life would be forever changed. There would be no turning back.
            He took a moment to reflect on the events of the past year that had delivered the journal into his possession.
            Bernie was just an ordinary guy living an ordinary life.
            His parents had been killed in an auto accident. He was the sole beneficiary of a small life insurance policy and had used the money to enroll in the Metropolitan Junior College. After a year, the money ran out. He dropped out of school and found a job working on a custodial crew that cleaned office buildings at night.
            The job paid enough to keep a roof over his head and food on the table, but little else.
            Then one day, he received the call that would change the course of his life. It was from an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio. His uncle, Nasser Maloof, had passed away. Bernie, his only living relative, had been named executor of the estate. Nasser’s will had also designated him as the beneficiary. The call was to see if Bernie was available to come to Cleveland to settle his uncle’s affairs.
            Bernie knew very little about his uncle other than that he was a skilled craftsman and artisan. In 2003, Nassar had been contacted by Dr. Mostafa El-Ezaby, one of the most prestigious sculptors in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. El-Ezaby was putting together a team of craftsmen whose task would be to replicate the vast collection of treasures discovered in the tomb of King Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922. Since the original treasures were no longer permitted to leave Egypt, the goal was to replicate a thousand of the most significant artifacts from the collection which would be presented on a world tour. Nasser Maloof had been invited to become a member of the team.
            The timing could not have been worse. Nasser’s wife, Anat, was too ill to make the journey to Egypt. Realizing that this was a great honor for her husband, Anat encouraged him to go and moved into a private nursing facility.
            The decision enraged Bernie’s father, Rashidi, who believed that family was more important than prestige. Nasser had been gone for almost a year when Anat passed away --- alone. Rashidi had not spoken to his brother from that day until he perished in the auto accident.
            Bernie took a leave of absence from his job and headed to Cleveland hoping that his uncle’s estate would put him back on his feet financially so that he could continue his schooling. He couldn’t have been more mistaken.
            Without insurance, the monthly fees for the nursing facility soon drained their meager savings account. Nasser mortgaged their home so that Anat could get the care she needed.
            Instead of a tidy nest egg, Bernie found a stack of unpaid bills and a house mortgaged to the hilt. When it was all said and done, Bernie had just enough money for gas back to Kansas City.
            Two days before his departure, he had been boxing up clothing, dishes and other household items for the Salvation Army. That’s when he found a metal canister in the back of the closet.  The journal, which he had just opened on his dinette table, was tucked away in the canister.
            Weary from his labors, he had taken a break to examine the journal. It appeared to be a diary of sorts, a day-by-day account of Nasser’s work replicating the artifacts from King Tut’s tomb. Much of the narrative was of a technical nature and beyond Bernie’s comprehension. He was soon bored with the technical stuff, but he kept reading because interspersed were Nasser’s personal feelings about how the work was progressing. Nasser was quite articulate and as Bernie read, he found himself fascinated by this family member he barely knew.
            The early entries were positive and optimistic, but as time went on, Bernie could sense a change in the tone of the entries. Although Nasser loved the work he was doing, it was obvious that he was missing his home and burdened with guilt having left his wife in her time of need.
            Nasser’s entry about the death of his wife brought tears to Bernie’s eyes. The anguish and remorse that Nasser felt was heartbreaking.
            It was at that point that the tone of the entries changed again, from somber and reflective to bitter and vengeful. He now saw his work as the culprit in his financial demise and the abandonment of his family.
            Following the account of his wife’s death, the entries in the journal were no longer about an artisan proud of his work, but about a clever plot to exact revenge on the entity that had ruined his life.
            Bernie had deduced that his uncle’s work involved taking epoxy resins, plaster, and original materials such as wood, stone, and gold leaf to make the replicas, instead of using the solid gold and precious stones of Tutankhamun's day. Nevertheless, over 5,000 original artifacts were at his fingertips on a daily basis as models for the replicas.
            Bernie read with fascination his uncle’s account of his final task on the team --- the replication of Anubis, the protector of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
            One entry read, “The statue of the Anubis, depicted completely in animal form was attached to the roof of the shrine. The jackal lying on the shrine is made from wood, covered with black paint. The insides of the ears, the eyebrows and the rims of the eyes of the reclining animal are worked in gold leaf as well as the collar and the band knotted around the neck. The whites of the eyes are made from calcite and the pupils from obsidian. The claws are in silver, which was more valuable than gold in Ancient Egypt.
            “I shall replicate the Anubis in every detail with one exception, the belly of the beast shall be hollowed out to accommodate the gold and precious stones which I will take from various artifacts over a period of time. Given the vastness and the age of the collection, the purloined items will never be missed.”
            The remaining entries in the journal detailed the items that Nasser had removed from the original artifacts, an emerald here, a ruby there, a bit of gold or silver from somewhere else. Everything was hidden in the hollowed belly of the Anubis and finally sealed.
            The last entry in the journal read, “My task is complete. While no amount of riches can bring back my beloved Anat or assuage the torment that I feel, I have, at the very least, struck a blow against the ghost that pulled me away from my family. These riches from the pharaoh’s tomb shall remain hidden until such time as I or a member of my family can claim them.”
            Bernie was dumbfounded. If what he had just read was true, and he had no reason to believe it wasn’t, somewhere out there was an artifact filled with gold, silver and precious stones and he was the only person in the world that knew of its existence.
            During the long drive back to Kansas City, he replayed the journal entries over and over in his mind.
            What his uncle had done reminded him of the old Johnny Cash song, One Piece at a Time. It was about a guy that worked on the assembly line at General Motors building Cadillac’s. The guy had always wanted one but knew he couldn’t afford one, so he devised a plan to steal one piece at a time over a period of years.
            One verse said, “I’ve never considered myself a thief, but GM wouldn’t miss just one little piece, especially if I strung it out over several years.”
            In the end he put all the parts together from 1949 to 1970 and had one “Psyco-Billy Cadillac!”
            Bernie couldn’t wait to get home and research the tour which had been named,

The Discovery of King Tut
His Tomb * His Treasures
The Breathtaking Recreation
             He was delighted to discover that the traveling exhibit was to be at Union Station in Kansas City in the near future.
            He had to get close to that exhibit and he figured out just the way to do it.
            Once back home, he made several trips to Union Station and discovered that many of the exhibits were manned by volunteers. He went to the Union Station website and clicked on the tab, ‘Volunteers.’ He read about becoming part of the team and clicked on the tab, ‘Click here to join now.’
            His night job with the cleaning company gave him his days free to volunteer at Union Station.
            That was three months ago. Since then, he had become a regular, spending every free minute volunteering and sucking up to the guy in charge. It had paid dividends. He had been assigned to the King Tut exhibit.
            He had helped unload the crates from the tractor-trailer rigs, helped clean the massive rooms that would house the exhibit and even gotten to help assemble the exhibit before opening day.
            He vividly remembered seeing the Anubis for the first time. It was everything he expected. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. It was ferocious. It had been created by his uncle and as he stood there looking into the obsidian eyes, he knew that inside the black belly was a treasure that would soon be his.

Buy link:

Pharaoh's Curse has been downloaded over 44,000 times in the last four days and on Tuesday it was #1 in Amazon's 'Cozy Mystery' and 'Humor' categories, and #2 in Amazon's 'Top 100'.

Award-winning author, Robert Thornhill, began writing at the age of sixty-six and in five short years has penned seventeen novels in the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series, the seven volume Rainbow Road series of chapter books for children, a cookbook and a mini-autobiography.

Lady Justice and the Sting, Lady Justice and Dr. Death, Lady Justice and the Vigilante, Lady Justice and the Candidate, Lady Justice and the Book Club Murders, Lady Justice and the Cruise Ship Murders and Lady Justice and the Vet won the Pinnacle Award for the best new mystery novels of Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2012, Spring of 2013, Summer 2013 and Spring of 2014 from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.

 Many of Walt’s adventures in the Lady Justice series are anecdotal and based on Robert’s real life.

Although Robert holds a master’s in psychology, he has never taken a course in writing and has never learned to type. All 28 of his published books were typed with one finger and a thumb!

His wit and insight come from his varied occupations, including thirty-three years as a real estate broker. He lives with his wife, Peg, in Independence, Missouri.

Visit him on the Web at:

Thank you for welcoming Bob to my site, and I hope all of you enjoy his books.  See you next Sunday.  Have a great week.

Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sleep Apnea and Miscellaneous Stuff

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day.  If you didn't remember our military on the 4th of July here is your chance.  Click on this link to help veterans who fought for our freedom.

For those of you in the Kansas City, Missouri area don't miss seeing the WWI museum at Liberty Memorial.  It is the only museum in the country dedicated to WWI, and they celebrating a 100 years since the war.   Here are some links to visit for prices, times and directions to their site. and Wednesday is the cheapest day to go there; it's only $7.00, but whatever you pay to visit it is well worth the price.  On any day but Wednesday ask for a military discount, or senior discount. 

It's just been recently, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  Most people think sleep apnea only happens to overweight people, but that's not the case.  Skinny people have sleep apnea, too.  Here's some of what I have learn about this disease. 

There are two main types of sleep apnea:

·                     Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax

·                     Central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

Common Signs of Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

·                     Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)

·                     Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea

·                     Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person

·                     Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea

·                     Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat

·                     Morning headache

·                     Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

·                     Attention problems

Causes of obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the side walls of the throat and the tongue.

When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, and you can't get an adequate breath in. This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood. Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it.

You may make a snorting, choking or gasping sound. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night long. These disruptions impair your ability to reach the desired deep, restful phases of sleep, and you'll probably feel sleepy during your waking hours.

People with obstructive sleep apnea may not be aware that their sleep was interrupted. In fact, some people with this type of sleep apnea think they sleep well all night.

Causes of central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea, which is much less common, occurs when your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles. You may awaken with shortness of breath or have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep. Like with obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and daytime sleepiness can occur. The most common cause of central sleep apnea is heart failure and, less commonly, a stroke. People with central sleep apnea may be more likely to remember awakening than are people with obstructive sleep apnea.

Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea

·                     Excess weight. Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing. However, not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. Thin people develop this disorder, too.

·                     Neck circumference. People with a thicker neck may have a narrower airway.

·                     A narrowed airway. You may have inherited a naturally narrow throat. Or, your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway.

·                     Being male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they're overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.

·                     Being older. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in adults older than 60.

·                     Family history. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.

·                     Race. In people under 35 years old, blacks are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.

·                     Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat.

·                     Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who've never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.

·                     Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether it's from an anatomical problem or allergies — you're more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea

·                     Being male. Males are more likely to develop central sleep apnea.

·                     Being older. People older than 65 years of age have a higher risk of having central sleep apnea, especially if they also have other risk factors.

·                     Heart disorders. People with atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure are more at risk of central sleep apnea.

·                     Stroke or brain tumor. These conditions can impair the brain's ability to regulate breathing.

Complications caused by sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications may include:

·                     High blood pressure or heart problems. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) is greater than if you don't. The more severe your sleep apnea, the greater the risk of high blood pressure. However, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke, regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure. If there's underlying heart disease, these multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from a cardiac event. Studies also show that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and other vascular diseases. In contrast, central sleep apnea usually is the result, rather than the cause, of heart disease.

·                     Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings associated with sleep apnea make normal, restorative sleep impossible. People with sleep apnea often experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability. You may have difficulty concentrating and find yourself falling asleep at work, while watching TV or even when driving. You may also feel irritable, moody or depressed. Children and adolescents with sleep apnea may do poorly in school or have behavior problems.

·                     Complications with medications and surgery. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a concern with certain medications and general anesthesia. People with sleep apnea may be more likely to experience complications following major surgery because they're prone to breathing problems, especially when sedated and lying on their backs. Before you have surgery, tell your doctor that you have sleep apnea and how it's treated. Undiagnosed sleep apnea is especially risky in this situation.

·                     Liver problems. People with sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring.

·                     Sleep-deprived partners. Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It's not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep-deprived as well.

People with sleep apnea may also complain of memory problems, morning headaches, mood swings or feelings of depression, a need to urinate frequently at night (nocturia), and a decreased interest in sex. Children with untreated sleep apnea may be hyperactive and may be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

I used these links for my sources on sleep apnea and you can find even more information on them. and

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author