Another nice review for Lemoncella Cocktail

Review by LINA M-EMBER AMA — Lemoncella Cocktail

3 out of 4 stars

This is a beautifully crafted crime, detective, romance novel. It’s beginning gave no clue of the excellent plot of a story ahead. It’s the story that in a unique way replays how one wrong move yields ghastly consequences both for ourselves and the people around us. A teenage girl’s love escapades as well as her fascination with a rich boy and his possession lured her into a dilemma. Amelia McLeod was on the run for her life for weeks not knowing who to trust and escaping death quite a number of times. Being the sole witness to an arms sale deal she was wanted by the criminal in question, her boy friend, Oscar Calander. She had to overcome the shock of finding out her love’s criminal occupation and take to her heels. Then waltzed in the one I term the main character Patrick the hero who saved Samantha, Amelia’s younger sister from drowning. The push Into the fast flowing river was an attempt by the criminals to cover their tracks supposing the younger to be the older sister. The story unravels itself beautifully introducing detective Andre Des Pres the director of task force 101, Lucien Borodin his very competent secretary and many other characters that made up the book. The man hunt for the perpetrators of the attempted drowning of Samantha McLeod opened the doorway to a horde of activities both from the police as well as the criminals generating a hard-to-drop thriller.

I kept on wondering about the title of the book and it’s appropriateness right up to the end of the book. I must confess that the title almost threw me off since I could not link it with the pages before me but right before the end of the book it all came together for me. The suspense is incredible keeping one longing for more. The romance in the book was light and heart-lifting making the ugly acts of some of the characters easier to swallow.

The plot of the story is excellently executed and the characters well developed. I could step into each character’s shoe easily and followed the story right up to its end with great enjoyment. The book did not seem like a story at all but a rare experience because the writer carried me into the very life of her book and had me experience every nook and cranny of it as though I was the same person performing, acting the roles albeit naturally as the story flowed.

The only issues I had with the book were a few typographical errors, one word omissions and character name replacements. These did not inhibit my reading pleasure at all since I could easily tell what was supposed to be. I can say the editing was not perfect.

The chapters are short and well organised delivering a great story. The love scenes are mild but captivating. The crime scenes do not carry a gory description. The language is simple and non vulgar hence I recommend the book for general reading. Because I enjoyed this book so thoroughly and if not for the constraint of time on my hands would have gulped it down in a sitting, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
I refrain from filling up the rank because of the editorial and proofreading deficiency which was not much.

I must mention that I found a role model in Jessica McLeod, the children’s grandmother who demonstrated a mother’s love for her progeny, firmness in discipline and attentiveness needed by children to grow well. Her strength in The face of trauma is also enviable. Great lessons have I learnt from this book and I hope many others especially teenagers will also learn.



A Nice Review!

Review by Zelinda — Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan

3 out of 4 stars


Patrick Carter’s life seems to be going nowhere when his pick-up breaks down and he begins walking home. As he is walking, he hears a girl screaming followed by a splash in the river that runs beside his path. Without thinking twice, he jumps in the river and rescues the girl who was thrown in. With that action, his life changes dramatically.

Lemoncella Cocktail is a suspenseful work of fiction that takes place in a town on the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In rescuing the young girl, Samantha, and restoring her to her family, Patrick becomes embroiled in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigation. Conducted by a Special Task Force led by Andres Des Pres and his secretary Lucien Borodin, the investigation is focused on arms-trafficking and bringing the arms buyers and sellers to justice.

The book, though well-written and well-edited, sometimes left itself open to disbelief. For example, Amelia, Samantha’s sister, is portrayed as having fallen in love with Oscar, the criminal mastermind of the arms traffickers. That Amelia, described as a beautiful young woman, would be attracted to Oscar, a crude overweight thug, is hard to understand. So is the induction of Patrick into acting as a special agent for the RCMP, since he is a high-school dropout with no discernable job skills. And yet Amelia is described as somewhat immature and Oscar does have a Corvette, a car described by many as a girl-trap. And Patrick may be a high-school dropout but his keen intelligence and insight are clearly observed by members of the task force. So…maybe it’s a little hard to believe, but not totally unbelievable. Besides, it still works.

I enjoyed learning about the Mounties and the author delivered insight into their operation, piquing my interest in learning more. The descriptions of both the professional and personal lives of Des Pres and Borodin leads me to believe that law enforcement in other countries is similar to my own. I’d like to see how they differ, though, and the book gives small glimpses of that.

The book’s plot is well developed and easy to follow. The characters, too, are well honed; the author inspires affection for the heroes, disdain for the criminals, and compassion for those caught up in the murky area where both right and wrong call their names. The ability of human beings to change and grow is one of the themes of the book, along with the ability to recognize and resist childhood conditioning and move toward self-determination. The clarity of Natan’s writing shows her skill in revealing people and their character. What I especially liked was the main protagonist, Patrick, and how thoroughly decent he was. This was demonstrated by the kindness and affection he showed to a young boy in the story even though he maintained to himself that he didn’t like children. The respect he showed to his girlfriend by practicing tolerance for her father, an opinionated and pretentious man, reinforced this view.

The book moved at an appropriate pace. It is not an edge-of-your-seat thriller but more of a middle-of-your-seat one. It unfolds in a timely way and it will appeal to readers who like a good crime story with a non-ambiguous resolution. It’s a feel-good story with happy endings for the good guys and not-so-happy endings for the bad ones. Sometimes it seemed like issues were resolved too easily to be realistic, and the resolutions seemed a little too pat, but all in all it was a good read. If there were grammatical or spelling errors, I didn’t detect them. I would rate it 3 out of 4 stars.


A nice review!

Review by kebb — Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan

3 out of 4 stars

I give Lemoncella Cocktail three out of four stars because it was overall an enjoyable read. As a former lifeguard and bartender, Patrick Carter, as the central character in the novel, was especially relatable and down to earth. Patrick contained a sense of spirit that resonated consideration and alertness, even though it was apparent that he preferred a life of solitude. However, there are many complexities to his character that are slowly dragged out throughout the entirety of the novel.

Patrick is conveniently situated at the occasion of a potential murder and kidnapping. After responding to an eventful scene in the beginning of the novel, Patrick quickly becomes engrossed in aiding a criminal investigation involving kidnapping, drugs, and murder. What we are left with is a suspenseful and engaging novel that revolves around crime and heroism. As I also enjoy romance, the creation of some love in the novel was also a welcome addition. It has a little of everything!

The novel is divided into multiple sections, which makes the story more compelling. Jumping between narrators made the pages turn easily and quickly, and all of the narratives fit well together. Once I would finish one section, I could not help to want to move to another section, which often led to many sleepless nights. The pace of the novel moved well and I thoroughly enjoyed its structure.

Overall, the plot of the novel seemed familiar, but the storytelling made it still interesting. I was happy to see the common themes and also to be surprised by new events. The tension is built effectively and I was excited to see what would happen next. I found myself questioning how I would feel and what I would do in Patrick’s situation. Certainly it is filled with drama, struggle, and insecurity – something that would be extremely nauseating in real life – but how exciting it was to read in the comfort of my own home.

Rene Natan is extremely skilled in her creation of the main characters and their relationship to one another. Furthermore, the way that she stages the scene is thrilling in and of itself. You can definitely feel as if you can transplant yourself into the events she is transcribing. To be quite frank, it was hard to put the novel down! Though I am usually not a fan of surprise endings, Rene’s ending was extremely satisfying and unexpected. I highly recommend this read.


Hollywood Treatment

Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
Title: Lemoncella Cocktail
Author: Rene Natan
Treatment By: Bryan Erik
Mission Statement:
Lemoncella Cocktail is a thrilling crime novel, one that succeeds due not just to the many plot twists, but also the charming, believable characters. These feel like real people, so a reader is all the more engaged in their plight.
Of course, all novels undergo many changes on the long road to being adapted into a feature film. This is especially true of densely-plotted, 400-page novels. In the treatment below, much of Lemoncella Cocktail’s plotting has been condensed, with scenes combined, reordered or cut. Additionally, the ending was altered – while it works in the book, film audiences would find it anti-climactic if the main villain is apprehended by someone other than the protagonists for a different crime, and if secondary villains then take center stage for the climax.
That said, all efforts were made to stay true to the spirit of Lemoncella Cocktail. The below treatment can be used as a pitching tool, or to have an experienced screenwriter create a screenplay, the ultimate tool in hooking producers, financiers and acting and directing talent. Either way, Lemoncella Cocktail will get the shot it deserves to thrill and charm audiences on the big screen.
An aimless young man saves a teen from drowning, and gets drawn into the war between Canada’s law enforcement and a ruthless arms dealer.
It’s a late summer evening in Grand Bend, Ontario. PATRICK CARTER (25, a modern Marlboro Man) drives along a rural road. His clunker of a pickup sputters and dies. He groans, muttering that now he’s not just broke and jobless – he’s got no wheels. Patrick continues his journey on foot. Hours later, Patrick hears someone crying out from a nearby river – followed by a splash. Patrick races to the river and sees a teen drowning in the rapids. He dives in and saves the girl – SAM (14, thin as a willow). As Sam recovers
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
on the bank, she looks around fearfully for her attackers and suggests they hurry back to her grandma’s cottage.
As they arrive, Sam’s grandma JESSICA MCLEOD (60s, intelligent hazel eyes behind metal-framed glasses), little brother JUSTIN (5) and small-town policeman GARY HUSTON (50s) come out in worry. Patrick wants to leave, but Jessica welcomes him inside and serves him food, and Gary tries to question him. They come to an agreement to leave it until the morning.
In the morning, Justin wakes Patrick up in the guest bedroom. Patrick’s annoyed – he’s never liked kids. However, Justin’s curiosity gets him talking a bit – Patrick quit high school after his mom died. Patrick learns that Justin and Samantha are summering here with their grandma, as they do every year, in the tiny, quaint village of Aurora.
Gary takes Patrick and the family to the local station – which is teeming with police officers and other agents. Canadian Security Intelligence Service Agent ANDRE DES PRES (30s, with dark hair and tortoiseshell Glasses) holds a meeting, establishing what they know so far: Sam received a note she thought was from her boyfriend, asking her to meet by the river. Two men came out of hiding and threw her in the rapids. Patrick Carter was in the right place at the right time to save her. Des Pres says the crime raises deep concern for not just Sam and her family, but also the country itself. However, he can’t disclose details.
Des Pres interviews Jessica and Justin. Jessica reveals that her son – Sam and Justin’s father – moved out west with his wife for an oil industry job. Jessica takes care of the kids more than their actual parents do. Des Pres asks Justin about Sam and her boyfriend, and conversation leads to Justin’s eldest sister – Amelia – and her boyfriend. Amelia recently left for university in Toronto, where she dates a man with a corvette. Wheels appear to be turning in Des Pres’ head.
After the interview, Des Pres’ secretary LUCIEN advises him that the press has arrived. Des Pres tells him to spread a cover story – they’re here scouting potential locations for an action movie, incognito due to the high profiles of the talent involved. Spotting Patrick, Des Pres tells him to be on guard: there’s a small possibility that the criminals will contact him to find out if he can identify them as a witness.
Inside a transport company storehouse in the outskirts of Greater Toronto, ARNOLD CALANDER (60s) berates his thuggish employees NAT and ARCHIE for failing to kill the girl, and picking up a witness. He says he’s teaming them up with a person with a bit of tact – and points to MARTHA STEIGER (33, overweight in a too-tight, too-short dress). Martha flirts with Arnold – there’s clearly some history here – but he rebuffs her. He’s too worried about the mess his son Oscar has gotten into by expanding the family business from drug smuggling to the weapons trade. Arnold orders Martha and Nat to travel to the village and eliminate both the girl and the Good Samaritan.
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
Martha and Nat canvass the village but don’t get any helpful answers. She’s upset that she’s being involved in murder, all because Arnold’s idiot son was careless with his girlfriend. Martha wishes she could leave Arnold, but after working for him – and having an affair with him – for more than a decade, she knows too much for him to just let her leave. They have a stroke of luck – Nat recognizes Patrick. After following him home, they head off for a celebratory drink to plot their next moves.
Shortly after Martha and Nat leave, Des Pres and Lucien visit Patrick. They deliver a generous reward check from Jessica, who is quite wealthy. Patrick grins – he can afford to buy a new truck now. They also show a video of the McLeods’ eldest daughter – AMELIA (19, a pretty, petite brunette). In the video she’s laughing, and she looks quite similar to Sam. Des Pres says that the criminals attacked the wrong sister. Amelia happens to be dating a man involved in a weapons deal. Des Pres has a proposition for Patrick: since he’s a bartender, they want him to go undercover at a night club that is suspected to be used by individuals in the weapons trade to hold preliminary meetings. They’ll create a fake identity for Patrick – but he has to concurrently study online and get his high school diploma. Patrick agrees since he needs a job anyway. Lucien says one of their undercover agents will introduce herself to Patrick at the bar by placing a certain order. For now, however, Patrick should move to his new apartment.
Patrick explores his new place – it looks like a married couple lives here. He sees a framed photo of him and his “wife”… and FLASHES BACK to when he’s 13. Young Patrick passes a similar photo of his parents as he enters the home. He finds his father severely beating his mother. When Patrick calls 911, his father attacks. Patrick stabs him in the chest with a kitchen knife in self-defense.
Back in the present, Patrick works in the Shining Star nightclub. A beautiful blonde waitress, EMY WALKER (32), orders from him, identifying herself as the undercover CSIS agent. Later in the evening, Patrick sees Emy hurrying out, with another man seeming to pursue her. Patrick is about to follow, but runs into his boss in the club and gets delayed.
Amelia, the eldest McLeod daughter, tries to buy a ticket at a Toronto railway station – but her credit card gets declined. In desperation, she seeks out help from her roommate ROSE, who rebuffs her – she doesn’t want to be mixed up in Amelia’s trouble. Amelia asks if she can at least place a phone call to her grandma.
Patrick cooks in his new kitchen. He FLASHES BACK again, remembering his mother comatose in the hospital when he was a teen. After her death, Patrick attends mandatory counseling. The COUNSELOR tells Patrick that he’s scarred for life – violence in a family is almost always hereditary, so the same patterns will likely repeat if Patrick has a family.
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
Back in the present, Patrick is disturbed from his reverie by a call from Jessica. She asks if he can do a favor and pick up Amelia. A while later, Patrick parks his new, used pickup before a Toronto apartment building. Amelia scurries out of the alley and into the car. She refuses to engage in conversation with him.
Patrick parks the pickup near Jessica’s cottage and brings Amelia inside. Jessica is relieved to see her granddaughter, while Justin clings to Patrick, much to his annoyance. Samantha has been moved out west to her parents for her safety. Jessica gets Amelia to tell her story: she’s been dating an older guy with money, Oscar. However, he started acting strangely and having many late night phone calls. Suspecting him of cheating, she followed him out one night. Amelia overheard Oscar in negotiations for an arms deal. She fled, but accidentally left personal property behind. While hiding, she overheard Oscar assuring his business associates that Amelia was as good as dead.
Patrick visits the temporary local headquarters for Des Pres’ CSIS task force. He reports Amelia’s return, but Des Pres is already aware – the McLeod property is under surveillance. Des Pres berates Patrick for endangering his undercover role by interacting with the McLeods so obviously. Des Pres also reports that Emy Walker is missing; he reveals that she lives in the same building as Patrick and asks him to keep an eye out.
Arnold gets a call from Martha and Nat, who confess they found Patrick, but then lost him when he moved out of his place. He screams at them and fires them. Arnold’s son OSCAR (31, short, chubby and prematurely balding, always chain-smoking menthol cigarettes) says he’s gotten a tip on Amelia’s location. He’s going to send some of his men – professionals, unlike Nat and Martha, who are now liabilities.
Two armed, MASKED MEN storm the McLeod cottage at night. Jessica stalls them as best she can – allowing Amelia to escape from the upstairs balcony.
A short while later, Des Pres and Lucien arrive in an undercover van – a mobile HQ. They’re too late to catch the masked men. Des Pres decides to station an agent on the property from now on. He also questions about who knew Amelia was back. The list is short: Patrick and family friend/local cop Gary Huston.
Patrick deals with CSIS paperwork when someone knocks on his door: Emy Walker. She’s laying low because she walked in on a meeting in the Shining Star basement. She didn’t hear anything actionable, but someone followed her out. Emy is stressed and paranoid and plans on moving apartments; she asks if she can temporarily stash belongings at Patrick’s. He agrees, and invites her in for brunch.
As they dine together, Patrick introduces Emy to a cocktail he’s created – it’s a passion of his. Emy reveals that she’s an agent because it’s a family tradition, and she had to do her father’s bidding. However, she doesn’t think she’s cut out for the stresses of the job. Patrick says he also has issues with the job – Des Pres wants him to apply for a gun
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
permit, but Patrick says he’ll never kill anyone again. He won’t go into further detail, changing the conversation to how pleased he’s been by the online high school courses. He’s discovered that after all these years, he actually enjoys learning.
Later, as Patrick works on a history course, he gets a call from Jessica: someone is holding Amelia for ransom. She begs Patrick to come over, and he says he’ll ask Des Pres if that’s allowed.
Patrick arrives at the McLeod cottage, joining Des Pres and Lucien who are already there. Des Pres comments that he also has an agent tracking Gary Huston. Jessica can’t believe such an old family friend would betray her. The ransom call comes in, and Jessica takes it, writing down instructions. The call is too short for the agents to trace.
Des Pres outfits Jessica with a GPS necklace, and promises that they’ll follow just out of sight and monitor her at all times with a drone. Jessica heads to the ransom rendezvous point, where she finds a note with further directions. She follows them to an abandoned barn, and calls out, but no one answers. Des Pres and Lucien storm the barn – and find two men who were recently shot to death. We recognize one as Nat.
Meanwhile, Patrick babysits Justin at the cottage. Emy arrives and updates him on the developments. She also admits that she looked at his file, and knows about what happened between him and his parents. Patrick is shocked, since the records are supposed to be sealed. However, he starts to open up, revealing how much damage the counseling did, and how he hasn’t trusted himself to have a close relationship or consider starting a family ever since. Emy’s heart breaks for him, and she does her best to comfort him.
To give Jessica some time to recover from her ordeal, Patrick and Emy take Justin on a zoo trip and enjoy their time with the boy. Emy lets Patrick in on what she’s heard: one of the dead men, Nat Smith, drives trucks for a transport company. CSIS also suspects that Amelia and her captor – a woman, based on the foot prints – fled the barn before or shortly after the double murder. Conversation turns more personal, and Emy confesses that she wants to quit her job. She just doesn’t know how to face her father.
Patrick attends a meeting at the CSIS task force HQ. Des Pres says that in monitoring Gary Huston, they’ve learned he’ll be meeting someone in the Shining Star club that night. They’ll have multiple agents undercover, with Patrick tending bar, disguised so Gary doesn’t recognize him.
At the Shining Star, Patrick observes Gary enter the club and sit in a back corner. Patrick also notices a muscular man, LUKE, observing Gary and moving in. However, another older MAN approaches Gary first – and the agents spring their trap, escorting Gary and the older man out. Luke quickly disappears.
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
The next morning, Patrick shows up at HQ and asks Des Pres if they got the wrong guy. Des Pres looks surprised, and asks how Patrick knew. Patrick says you learn to size people up quickly as a bartender. The older man who approached Gary looked lonely. The muscular man who got away, however, looked like a wrestler on a grim mission. Des Pres says they’ll get a composite sketch of the muscular man from Patrick. He reveals that Gary doesn’t know much – he was approached by an intermediary whose name he never learned, and given ten thousand in cash. However, they’ve learned that one of the dead men from the barn and another female employee of Arnold Calander’s transport company had been snooping around the village, asking questions about Amelia and the Good Samaritan. They’re going to start investigating Arnold and his female employee.
Meanwhile, Martha drives to a remote cabin on the shores of Lake Huron. She wonders what to do with a delirious Amelia, who’s in the back seat. Martha FLASHES BACK to a few nights ago….
Martha and Nat are parked in the McLeod cottage’s neighborhood, wondering if they should kidnap Amelia and bring her to Arnold to get back in his good graces. They then see a car drive up to the cottage, and two masked men get out and storm inside. Martha and Nat watch Amelia flee out of the second floor balcony. They follow and abduct her.
Nat and Martha keep Amelia in the dilapidated bar, even as she’s running a fever. They agree that it will be more lucrative to ransom her than bring her to Arnold. After Martha plants the ransom instructions and returns to the barn, however, she’s been followed by two goons working for Oscar: CHARLIE (20s) and RON AMALDI (late teens). A shootout ensues – Nat kills Charlie and wounds Ron, before succumbing to wounds himself. Martha grabs Amelia and flees.
Des Pres gets a visit from MR. WALKER – Emy’s retired, nosy father who misses his glory days. Mr. Walker’s angry that Emy hasn’t been promoted in years, and even more angry about rumors that she’s dating a nobody – a high-school dropout bartender. Des Pres sees Mr. Walker out as efficiently as he can without ruffling too many feathers.
Des Pres returns to work, learning from Lucien that the second body in the barn has been identified: Charlie Amaldi. They’re interrupted, however, by the younger Walker. Emy tenders her resignation. Des Pres talks her into giving it a few more weeks.
In the remote wilderness, Martha pulls an unresponsive, feverish Amelia out of her vehicle. Martha’s upset, telling Amelia that she has to disappear because of the girl. The girl has to disappear too. But Martha can’t bring herself to dump Amelia into the frigid waters of Lake Huron. Instead, she leaves Amelia where she lays and drives off.
Patrick, working on his online courses, gets a call from Emy asking him out. Patrick reveals that he promised Des Pres he wouldn’t meet up with Emy anymore, so long as the case was ongoing. Emy arrives at a compromise: Skype. They video chat, talking about
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
their past loves. Patrick admits he doesn’t think he and Emy could work out – the social gap is too big.
Patrick responds to summons from Des Pres, who reveals that they’re running surveillance on Oscar Calander, son of Arnold Calander and owner of a corvette – and thus, the potential arms-dealer ex-boyfriend of Amelia. Des Pres shows surveillance photos of Oscar meeting with associates… and Patrick is able to identify one, Luke, as the man in the night club.
Late at night, as Des Pres keeps working, Lucien runs in with news: the McLeod parents out west, and their daughter Sam, have been killed in a chartered plane accident. Local authorities are not ruling out foul play. With a heavy heart, Des Pres calls Patrick and Emy and asks them to meet him at Jessica’s cottage.
Oscar, meanwhile, drives with Luke as his passenger. Oscar is exultant over the plane crash – he’s finally tying up loose ends. He agrees to Luke’s terms: $20k per head to kill Amelia, Martha and Patrick. The two of them visit Ron Amaldi, recovering in his mum’s house from a gunshot wound. Ron reveals what happened: he and his older brother Charlie, sent by Oscar, tracked Martha and Nat to the barn. Nat opened fire unexpectedly, and Ron was barely able to flee with his life.
Patrick enters the McLeod home to find Emy cooking with Jessica. He makes cocktails for everyone – another original recipe. A somber Des Pres and Lucien arrive shortly thereafter, asking Patrick to take Justin somewhere. Patrick takes Justin driving on an empty road, letting him steer the wheel. Des Pres reveals the grim news to Jessica, who faints. When she recovers, Des Pres says they have a lead – a plane mechanic with ties to criminal elements in Toronto.
Amelia wakes up in a hospital, disoriented. A nurse tells her that a farmer brought her in. Ontario Police will come by to question her, now that she’s up. When the nurse leaves, the frightened Amelia steals out of the hospital.
At a bus station, Amelia learns from a newspaper that her parents and sister have died. She’s devastated. A sympathetic waitress from the station café comforts her, and Amelia pretends to be a friend of the family. The waitress serves her breakfast, and then notes that she’s in need of an extra pair of hands.
Des Pres and Lucien knock on the door of Ron Amaldi’s mum, flashing their badges. She lets them in to meet her son. Des Pres tells Ron that a third person’s blood was found in the barn, as well as shells from a third firearm. They’re willing to bet that the blood matches Ron’s, since he’s clearly trying to cover up a wound. And they bet he has an unlicensed firearm that matches the bullets. However, they’re willing to cut a deal, if Ron is willing to keep working for Oscar. Ron accepts a special cell phone from the agents.
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
Jessica, Justin, Patrick and Emy attend the McLeod funeral, along with many agents, officers and Mounties. Strolling into their midst casually is a disguised Oscar. He scouts about, then leaves and meets with Luke. Oscar says Amelia wasn’t there, but Luke should follow and kill Patrick, then get ready to help with a big weapons shipment in a few days.
Patrick heads home from the funeral, and Luke tails him. Luke then knocks on Patrick’s door, telling him he has information regarding Amelia McLeod. When Patrick lets Luke in, Luke pulls his gun to shoot Patrick – but he’s tackled and arrested by Des Pres and Lucien, who are already in the apartment. They reveal that they’ve had Luke’s car bugged since he started meeting with Oscar.
Later, Emy invites Patrick over for dinner. He’s amazed by how ravishing she looks, and what a good cook she is. They flirt, until Emy learns that her father is coming over. Patrick helps her rush about, hiding all sign of the dinner. When Mr. Walker arrives even sooner than expected, he hides in the closet.
Oscar picks up Ron, saying he needs him for a job as a driver. After driving for a few minutes, Oscar stops and searches Ron, finding the cell phone. Ron’s scared, but Oscar just inspects it, tosses it and tells him to keep driving.
Oscar, Ron and another hired gun meet in a remote location with an arms dealer. Oscar hands over a suitcase of cash, and the arms dealer hands over three trucks full of firearms.
Oscar, Ron and the hired gun drive the trucks in a convoy, until Ron is able to take advantage of road work and get separated for a spell. He places a call to his mum’s house, leaving a message with details about where he is, what direction he’s heading, and what he’s driving.
Des Pres and Lucien listen to audio-recording of the message, impressed at Ron’s resourcefulness. Des Pres orders an APB for the convoy Ron described. The trucks are spotted soon enough, and followed to Port Glasgow.
At the port, Oscar oversees a team of his men, who unload the firearms from the trucks and onto speedboats. The speedboats ferry the weapons to the buyer, who waits on a larger ship off the coast. Suddenly, CSIS and Ontario Provincial Police vehicles and boats converge on the scene. Some of the criminals start firing, and all hell breaks loose. Des Pres and Lucien help the other agents subdue and arrest the smugglers. However, they discover that Oscar and Ron are nowhere to be found.
Oscar pushes Ron through the woods with his handgun, suspicious about the well-informed raid, and the cell phone he confiscated from Oscar. Oscar leads Ron to a small cabin and binds his wrists. Oscar then calls his father, who is upset at his son’s continued bad decisions, but agrees to send help. Ron, meanwhile, slips out. Unfortunately, his gunshot wound has opened up, and he’s bleeding profusely.
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
Oscar’s anxious mother CHLOE arrives at the cabin to pick him up. She shows him a newspaper reporting that government forces seized “terrorists” attempting an arms deal. Oscar fumes, blaming Amelia for all of this and vowing vengeance. Chloe cries in worry, but continues to help her son, letting him take the car so he can drive to the village and track down Amelia.
Des Pres fields an angry call from Ron’s mum – her son was found washed up on a beach. He’s in intensive care now. Des Pres does his best to calm her, promising that CSIS will take care of everything. When he hangs up, Emy walks in, tendering her resignation a second time. Seeing she’s determined, Des Pres relents.
Patrick plays with Justin in the cottage, by now enjoying the boy’s company. Mr. Walker comes by, looking to give his daughter hell for quitting CSIS. Since she isn’t there, Patrick takes Mr. Walker out for coffee. When the waitress engages in hero worship over him saving Samantha, Patrick plays it down and makes her promise not to mention anything on social media, since the case is still ongoing. Mr. Walker is impressed by both Patrick’s heroics and professionalism.
Amelia McLeod, meanwhile, works at the bus station café. She sleeps in the other waitress’s camper at night, though she’s plagued by nightmares. Sensing that it’s time for the girl to move on, the waitress suggests she could arrange a ride south with a trucker friend.
At night, Oscar strides into a hospital. He jabs a gun into the side of a NURSE and demands she remain calm and lead him to Ron Amaldi. The nurse complies – but a guard stationed outside Ron’s door pulls his piece. Oscar shoots him, runs into the room, and unhooks Ron’s life support. However, more guards come running. Swearing, Oscar shoots at them and flees.
A trucker drops Amelia off by the village. She sneaks into a vacant cottage across the way from her grandma’s. However, she finds signs that someone else has been hiding out here – including a bunch of menthol cigarette butts. Amelia hears a car pull up – she panics and hides. Oscar enters with a gun, wired and muttering to himself about the damn police interfering. He gathers his belongings and departs.
A shaken Amelia leaves the abandoned cottage, heading for her grandma’s – but then sees a van with tinted windows screech to a stop out front. Men in suits run into the house. Scared, Amelia flees into the night.
In Jessica’s cottage, Des Pres and Lucien brief Jessica and Patrick on what’s happened at the hospital – an agent was killed, and two hospital employees injured. Ron, however, survived. Patrick and Jessica reel – will Oscar ever stop? Later, Patrick pulls Des Pres
Hollywood Treatment Date: 4.22.17
aside and says the McLeods can’t keep living like this – not knowing when Oscar is going to strike next. Patrick says he has an idea.
Oscar hides out in the cabin by Lake Erie again. He calls home on a burner phone, and Arnold refuses to speak with him. Chloe informs him, however, that a photo of Oscar’s girlfriend Amelia, together with another man, was released to the press, then retracted hours later. Oscar drives to the nearest convenience store and searches the papers, finding the photo – it clearly shows Amelia and Patrick enjoying one another’s company. Fuming, Oscar inspects the photo and recognizes a different cottage in Aurora village in the background.
At night, Oscar arrives at the cottage in the photo. He sneaks up to a window, hearing the muffled voices of a man and a woman inside. Oscar picks the back door lock and creeps in. He doesn’t see anyone – but now the shower is on, Amelia’s giggles come from the bathroom. Oscar’s blood boils. He barges into the bathroom, gun raised – and finds only a laptop, playing the video of Amelia that Des Pres showed Patrick in the beginning. Oscar turns to flee – and finds himself surrounded by Des Pres, Lucien and other agents.
As a cuffed Oscar is shoved into the back of a car, Des Pres compliments Patrick on his idea to release a doctored photo to the press and lure Oscar in. Patrick has a bright future as an agent if he wants it.
A MONTAGE shows Arnold and Chloe arrested for aiding and abetting Oscar. Martha – with a new hairdo in a small northern town – is stopped by a police officer demanding that she properly register her car. When he runs her license, he identifies her and arrests her. Des Pres and Lucien visit a recovering Ron in the hospital, thanking him and saying he won’t be charged.
Patrick and Emy take Justin and the family dog for a walk in a nearby park. The dog runs off, barking. They follow it… and find Amelia in a shed, delirious. Patrick hoists her up and they go rushing to the hospital.
The Shining Star club is filled to capacity. Patrick, now head bartender, introduces everyone to his newest invention, the Lemoncella Cocktail. Jessica, Amelia, Justin, Des Pres, Lucien, Mr. Walker and Emy are all there. Patrick and Emy announce their engagement, and Mr. Walker is very proud since Patrick is hailed as a hero. Patrick in turn salutes Des Pres, the other agents, the policemen and the Mounties for all their hard work – they’re the real heroes of Canada.

Early Computers and the Like

A career centered on improving the effectiveness of computers

 Irene Gargantini Strybosch, professor emeritus with Western University, IEEE senior member

The first contact I had with computers left me with an unforgettable impression. It happened at the Politecnico di Milano where I followed a course offered by, among others, Drs. Luigi Dadda and Lorenzo Lunelli. Could that machine with blinking diodes and triodes produced results? I joined the group who worked steadily on the CRC 102A,* an early computer by the Computer Research Corporation (later bought by NCR). The input was via a punched tape, it understood instructions written using numbers in base eight (000, 001, …,111); direct instructions included store, add, subtract and multiply, but not divide. It was a challenge to write short programs like the evaluation of a trigonometric function or finding the inverse of a 3×3 matrix.

The knowledge I acquired there was invaluable. It got me a job with Agip Nucleare first, followed by one with The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Here I was involved in the calculation of the neutron flux, an essential task in this field, since a controlled amount of neutrons has to be produced at all times in order to keep a nuclear reaction stable. Numerical calculations played an essential role and these were done with computers of the IBM700-series (not using transistors yet). The importance of finding new methods that could speed up the massive computation while saving memory hit me as an essential task that should be pursued with consistency and vigor. At that time, neutron flux was evaluated by slices; the output (under the form of punched cards) of one layer became the input of the next one, each slice aligned along the vertical axis. One of the time-consuming computations was centered on the integral of some modified Bessel functions, known as Bickley functions. This raised an interesting question: could these functions be evaluated mathematically in forms other than the usual polynomials? I talked over with the group I was working with, but only one member seemed interesting in the issue. The first thing was to explore which approximations were available in the literature outside the polynomials: I encountered articles on Padé approximants, continued fractions and, in a recent paper by Fraser and Hart, a method resulting in very compact rational functions obtained by using the equalization of maxima, a procedure known as Remez algorithm. So T. Pomentale and I applied this novel approach to the functions essential to the evaluation of neutron flux. Once this done, one had to prove that the numerical values arising from the new approximations were correct. To this end I performed exhaustive (and exhausting) visual checks using the existing Mathematical Tables. Once convinced that our approach produced correct results in a fraction of the time used by methods on the market, I searched a journal interested in publishing our paper. One of the few journals available at that time was the Communications of the ACM. Our paper was accepted in record time.

As I advanced my career by joining The IBM Research Laboratory in Rueschlikon (Switzerland) I came across other interesting research topics; some concerned other forms of approximations of complex mathematical functions; another was to research constructive methods for the determination of polynomial zeros, as the lab was offering a symposium on the subject.

The next advancement in my scientific career was to accept a position with The University of Western Ontario, where I was able to conduct research amidst heavy teaching. The course overload was due to the fact that the university was offering the first undergraduate program in computer science (first in the country), which attracted a far more number of students than the department could handle. It was at that time that I investigated the iterative methods used to calculate polynomial roots. Was there a way to improve the convergence, i.e. making the evaluation faster? Computer time was still at a premium in the early ’70. This resulted in a seminal paper (Circular Arithmetic for the Solution of Polynomial Equations) that was the foundation of the several hundred articles that followed. I introduced a very original idea for iterative methods: given an approximate value, iterate not only on the starting point(s), but also on the error bound(s). In several occurrences, like in Newton’s and Laguerre’s, this approach improved the order of convergence by one unit (from quadratic to cubic, etc). This paper was the result of my own thinking, in spite of the coauthorship.

When the ’80 came, other exciting fields emerged; one of these was the demand of representing and searching spatial data effectively. My paper, entitled An Effective Way to Represent Quadtrees won the cover of the Communications of the ACM. This technique was used in structuring geographical data and, later on, applied effectively to the display of images—something extremely useful, since computer graphics was coming of age. While teaching this topic, I was approached by Dr. Uldis Bite, a medical doctor extremely interested in adapting some of my findings to medical imaging. He supplied me and my graduate students with several digitized tomography images; in 1988 one of the first software packages, “CTpak: An Interactive Utility for CT Data” was produced as part of the Master’s thesis of one of my students. It became routinely used at the Robarts Research Institute. Uldis was very busy, with his work and because of an incurable disease that hit his little girl; meanwhile I became chair of the computer science department and thus we never got around to publish together a scholarly paper on the subject. When Uldis left for a research post at the Mayo Clinic, I didn’t find a replacement of his caliber—an essential element to continue to be at the frontiers of this field.

Mandatory retirement was on the horizon; I tried to see if my expertise could be useful in other activities, like spreading the gospel about how important science and engineering are to the wellbeing of our daily life; my attempts didn’t find any interest within the university.

Meanwhile my husband’s health started to deteriorate; he was very happy I stayed home.

I found other interests—but this is another chapter of my life…



A Nice Review

by KasieMiehlke — Lemoncella Cocktail by Rene Natan

Post Number:#1 by KasieMiehlke » 19 Mar 2017, 20:12

[Following is a volunteer review of “Lemoncella Cocktail” by Rene Natan.]


Patrick is down on his luck. He has just been fired and on his way home his car broke down. He suddenly hears a cry for help and plunges into an icy river to save a young girl’s life. A case of mistaken identity throws him into a massive police investigation. Danger is lurking around every corner. Kidnappers, murderers, terrorism, and trafficking become a constant presence. Can Patrick remain level headed as the investigation forces him to face his past? Can a family survive the terrible tragedy that envelopes them?

The author, Rene Natan, has turned her love of storytelling into a prolific career. She has won multiple awards and has several books published. She has an amazing ability to capture the reader’s attention and Lemoncella Cocktail is no exception. She created multidimensional characters that are extremely relatable. The precision that she describes the locations and events throughout the book transported me into the story. This book has inspired me to read more of her works.

The best and worst qualities of humankind are present throughout this book. Greed and wrath drive the antagonists while the protagonists make their choices based on love and morality. Desire is a force that is present on both sides of the characters. Desire to find the criminals and the criminal’s desire to escape creates a battle of wills. The good versus bad aspect of the book will allow the message to survive the test of time.

Two major crimes that are becoming more and more prevalent seem to be the major factor in Lemoncella Cocktail. Natan does a great job at showing how trafficking and terrorism are often intertwined. She also shows the dangers that are faced by both the people committing the crimes and those who try to capture them.

I give Lemocella Cocktail by Rene Natan 3 out of 4 stars. It is a gripping thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. There were several incorrectly used words, flu instead of flew, and also several missing words. I believe that another round of editing would correct these problems and would allow for a perfect score. Natan does a great job at making her characters relatable and creating realistic events. Overall I found this book to be extremely well laid out. This was a fantastic read and I will not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great who-done-it story.


A Success Story


Interviewing Legend Claude Mario Victor Pensa

by Irene Gargantini Strybosch


Interviewer’s preamble. As an immigrant and a writer I have a keen interest in gathering information on how first generation Canadians manage/d to tread between the culture they absorb/ed at home and the customs of the society in which they are/were called to live.


The Pensa Family is a success story.


Enrichetta Gianotti and Filippo Pensa, Claude’s parents, came to Canada separately around 1910, when Italy, called the sick man of Europe, was in a depression. Enrichetta was 20 (came with a sister) while Filippo was only in his early teens. The two sisters wanted to make a bit of money and return to Italy as soon as that goal was achieved. It didn’t work out that way—the outbreak of World War I (1914) probably being one of the reasons Enrichetta stayed in Canada and long enough to marry Filippo.

A girl, Mary, brought cheers to their family; unfortunately the infant suffered a bad fall and succumbed to an ensuing infection. The Pensa family then adopted Florence, a 7-year girl from the Mount St. Joseph orphanage in London. She stayed with the family even when two boys and a girl came along.

Filippo, who had adapted well to the new country, started a successful cigar factory, while Enrichetta worked for a seamstress specializing in fur coats. Filippo was a sport man, playing curling in the winter. Of very sociable nature, he became president of the Marconi Club and ran for London City Council.

Their own three children went to college; the oldest became an economist, the young woman a teacher and the youngest, Claude, a lawyer.

When the father, Filippo, retired, he had a hotel in Port Stanley; he hadn’t miss a thing of the Italian culture; on the contrary, the mother, Enrichetta, spoke with nostalgia of her country of origin. On the total, she took three trips to Italy and upon her return she would tell everybody how lovely things over there were.

It was in this formative two-culture environment that Claude Mario Victor grew up.

In 1958 he married Elaine Wettlaufer and the couple was blessed with four children: Christine Anne, Victoria Marie, Marc Anthony, and Jonathan Pierre.

Claude’s career and accomplishments are countless. Below I’ll mention a few.

In 1962 he formed the law firm Giffen Pensa; in 1999 the Harrison Pensa (which as per today comprises 55 lawyers); from 1991 to 1993 he was Chair of Western’s Board of Governors; in 2003, together with his wife Elaine, he founded the London Lawyers Feed the Hungry, which as per today has raised over half a million dollars.

In 1991, Western conferred him the degree of Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa) and an honorary diploma from Fanshawe College is in the making at the time of this interview. Claude is in the process of writing a book about his parents and the extraordinary adventure they lived when, very young, they crossed the Atlantic. From what I gather, it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was surely a great landing.

What impressed me most of Claude, together with his positive attitude in general, was what he said about growing up in a two-culture environment: it was a gift.


London, May 27, 2016

From Archway Publishing

Rene Natan narrates thrilling story bleeding with reality

‘Lemoncella Cocktail’ follows young man whose fate takes sharp turn after he saves girl from drowning

STRATHROY-CARADOC, Ontario – Published author Rene Natan returns to the literary scene with another thrilling story she titled, “Lemoncella Cocktail” (published by Archway Publishing). Natan invites readers to visit Northern America and learn of the unfortunate reality that involves terrorism and weapon trafficking.


Involved in a murder at younger age, Patrick Carter, now 25, plans to stay out of troubles and live a life without confrontations. Being a lifeguard during the day and a bartender at night is his ideal way to spend a summer on the shores of Lake Huron.

Unfortunately, one day, as he walks along the Ausable River on his way home, an unmistakable cry for help makes him plunge into the river, fight the strong current and pull a girl to safety. But his good action is not without consequences, since the 14-year girl, thought to be a witness to a massive weapons exchange, is marked to death – and so, it seems, the man who saved her.

Patrick is not keen on cooperating with police and is reluctant to move from his comfort zone to a world of suspicion and violence even if his life is at stake. He wavers – and his hesitation could be costly.

As readers follow the journey of Patrick, they will get to learn more of the ugly reality of trafficking and terrorism. Colored by the hand the media plays in the development of the story, this tale not only excites and entertains but also informs and inspires.

“Lemoncella Cocktail”  By Rene Natan
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Rene Natan (aka Irene Gargantini Strybosch) is the author of several short stories and 10 novels, in genres varying from thriller to romantic suspense. Some of these have gained international recognition. “The Blackpox Threat” won first place in the 2012 Dragonfly Book Awards and was a finalist in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards; “The Loves and Tribulations of Detective Stephen Carlton” got Silver in the 2015 Global Ebook Awards; “The Woman in Black” won Second Place in the 2015 Five Star Dragonfly Awards. Her books are available on and A former professor of computer science with Western University, she lives in Strathroy, Ontario. Readers can visit her online at

Keyword 1.       Lemoncella Cocktail


Keyword 2.      Rene Natan


Keyword 3.      trafficking


Keyword 4.      terrorism


Keyword 5.      Northern America


EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:

Marketing Services, Tel: 888-242-5904, Fax: 812-961-3133

Email: pressreleases(at)archwaypublishing(dot)com

(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)


Shameless Bragging 2016

Merry Christmas

A bit about myself…

Early in the year I got news of another award, “Second place, the Five Star Dragonfly Book Award for The Woman in Black.” The awards I have accumulated so far make me feel dec10-irene-alone-antlersgood about myself and my writing; they do not translate in substantial sales, unfortunately.

John Grisham once wrote, “When A Time to Kill was published twenty years ago, I soon learned the painful lesson that selling books was far more difficult than writing them. I bought a thousand copies and had trouble giving them away. I hauled them in the trunk of my car and peddled them at libraries, garden clubs, grocery stores, coffee shops, and a handful of bookstores.”

And he was John Grisham!

Regarding my former carrier in computer science at the IBM Research Laboratory in Rueslikon (Switzerland) and with Western University, a got another recognition… I received a letter from IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) announcing that I have been elevated to the grade of IEEE Senior member, “an honor bestowed only to those who have made significant contribution to the profession.”

Hurrah! Hurrah!

I spent most of the 2016 winter months in Arizona, where I played golf every other day. In the other time I looked after my new novel, Lemoncella Cocktail (published last summer). Now I’m working on its promotion, writing blogs and tweets. Not that I believe much in these, but I’m following the instructions of my publisher.

Once again, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2017!

Rene Natan aka Irene Gargantini Strybosch

Digital Pornography and the Children

Comments on the book “Digital Sexual Victims: True Cases”

by Charlene E. Doak-Gebauer


The author poses a big question: How our society protects children under the age of 16 from the dangers that lurk in the digital world? Electronic devices such computers and cell phones offer access to a huge amount of information–some very detrimental to the well-being of children.

At the beginning, the author describes a tragic case at length and then reports of two incidents of which she was the victim.  After this kind of prologue, she depicts the different phases of child pornography: how sexual predators lure very young people; how they acquire and distribute pictures with sexual content; how parents unknowingly supply information, mostly through Facebook, on the household, school, children’s friends, their children’s accomplishments and activities; how all this can help a predator build a profile of the targeted victim and initiate him/her to visual sexual activities. All this information can also help a predator to stalk a child in the vicinity of the school or playground and ultimately can provide a means to abduct the child.

Parents are the natural and primary “defenders”; the author lists a number of suggestions for the parents to be in control of how their children communicate with friends via social media—mainly using computers hooked up to the Internet or cell phones. Some of these suggestions require a bit of computer knowledge, others are elementary. To start with, she suggests to keep the family main server in a safe place out of children’s reach (the parents’ bedroom for instance). If there is some computer knowledge, the parents can install software that routes what is on the child’s cell phone and/or personal computer (messages and pictures from friends, downloads from the Internet) onto the family server where it can be easily checked. If there is limited computer knowledge, then protect the children from late-hour communication; this is the time predators prefer for contacting potential victims. Just turn off the Internet (router or modem) at night and have the children’s phones turned in.

Finally, a section at the end explains what child pornography consists of according to The Child Protection Act of the Canadian Criminal Code. See:


This book is an incredible source of up-to-date facts, strategies and suggestions to protect children from predators with digital expertise.