Devil Wind by Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid wins 2011 Royal Palm Literary Award!

Congrats to my creators, Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid for another great win. Last year the team’s novel Dead Air won First Place, Best Thriller for the Royal Palm Literary award sponsored by the Florida Writers Association. Now the second in the Sammy Greene series, Devil Wind, has won the 2011 Royal Palm Literary award for Best Thriller. Way to go, guys!

So for those of you who haven’t read book #1 (Dead Air) or book #2 (Devil Wind), you’re in for a treat. And of course, I’m the star of both stories.





“Dead Air” by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid may be fiction, but it’s “dead on”

The authors of “Dead Air, Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid, wrote the thriller as a cautionary tale. As medical research has become more and more competitive, with funding often only availabe from corporate sources with profit motives, conflicts of interest are a real issue – one that literally costs human subjects and, ultimately, patients taking a drug that should not have been approved, their lives. ThisWall Street Journal article details the growing number of real life examples of poor medical research coming out of ostensibly prestigious institutions and published in widely-respected medical journals. This is becoming a serious problem that doesn’t normally get much press. Read the article, then read the book. “Dead Air” may be fiction, but as far as a premise, it’s really dead on!!

– Sammy

Dead Air by Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid, winner of Royal Palm Literary Award

Devil Wind by Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid is Finalist for the 2011 Royal Palm Literary Award!!

Just announced today: Devil Wind is a Finalist for this year’s Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association. Winners will be honored at the October Florida Writers Association meeting in Orlando.  I couldn’t be more excited for my creators: Linda Reid and Deborah Shlian. Last year, Dead Air, the first in their series about me, won First Place in the Thriller category. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they win this year too. But as they say in Hollywood, “just to be a finalist is an honor in itself”.


Devil Wind by Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid: new book review

Thanks to Edie Dykeman, Bellaonline’s Mystery Books editor for her wonderful review of “Devil Wind”.  Her words: “The story is fast paced and the several plots and subplots deftly intertwined throughout the book come together in a harrowing, but satisfying, finish.”

But read the whole review here and if you haven’t read the book, for heavens sake, buy it now! Deborah has been donating all her royalties to breast cancer research. The novel is available in hardback, on eBook and Audiobook (20% discount all summer).



How Jews got their surnames

This is a piece sent to me without giving credit to the author, but I thought it was interesting so I am re-printing here verbatim. It’s about how Jews got their surnames. I am still not sure how my family got the surname “Greene”. If any of you know, please write me.

Thanks, Sammy.


Other than aristocrats and wealthy people, Jews did not get surnames
 in Eastern Europe until the Napoleon years of the early 19th century.
 Most of the Jews from countries captured by Napoleon, Russia, Poland,
 and Germany were ordered to get surnames for tax purposes.

 After Napoleon’s defeat, many Jews dropped these names and returned
 to “son of” names such as: MENDELSOHN, JACOBSON, LEVINSON, etc.

During the so called Emancipation, Jews were once more ordered to
 take surnames. In Austria, the Emperor Joseph made Jews take last names in
 the late 1700s; Poland in 1821; and Russia in 1844. It’s probable that
 some of our families have had last names for 175 years or less.

 In France and the Anglo Saxon countries, surnames went back to the
 16th century. Also Sephardic Jews had surnames stretching back centuries. Spain prior to Ferdinand and Isabella was a golden spot for Jews.
 They were expelled by Isabella in the same year that Columbus left
 For America.

 The earliest American Jews were Sephardic.

In general there were five types of names (people had to pay for their
 choice of names; the poor had assigned names):

1– Names that were descriptive of the head of household:

 HOCH (tall) ,
 KLEIN (small),
 COHEN (descendant of Aaron on the male line),
 BURGER (village dweller),
 SHEIN (good looking),
 LEVI (Levite),
 GROSS (large),
 SCHWARTZ (dark or black),
 WEISS (white),
 KURTZ (short)
 GROSSBARD (big beard)
 GELBART (yellow beard)

— Names describing occupations: 

HOLTZ (wood)
 HOLTZHOCKER (wood chopper),
 GELTSCHMIDT (goldsmith),
 SCHNEIDER (tailor),
 KREIGSMAN (warrior),
 MALAMED (teacher)
 EISEN (iron),
 FISCHER (fisherman)
 SCHMUCKLER (jeweler)

3– Names from place of origin:

 DEUTSCH (German)

4 — Bought names: 

GLUCK (luck),
 ROSEN (roses),
 ROSENBLATT (rose paper or leaf),
 ROSENBERG (rose mountain),
 ROTHMAN (red   man),
 KOENIG (king),
 SPIELMAN (spiel is to play),
 LIEBER (lover),
 BERG (mountain),
 WASSERMAN (water dweller),
 KIRSHENBLATT (cherry [colored] paper),
 STEIN (stone, stoneware, beer mug).

5– Assigned names (usually undesirable): 

PLOTZ (to die),
 KLUTZ (clumsy),
 BILLIG (cheap)
 DREK (shit)
 BARDAKI (bordello operator)
 SCHEINSKOPF (shiny head)
 BECKMESSER (knife beak)
 MONCHARSH (monk’s arse)

Original Birth Names of Jewish Performers:

Woody Allen — Alan Stewart Koenigsberg

June Allyson — Ella Geisman

Lauren Bacall — Betty Joan Perske

Jack Benny — Benjamin Kubelsky

Irving Berlin — Israel Baline

Milton Berle — Milton Berlinger

Joey Bishop —Joseph Gottlieb

Karen Black — Karen Blanche Ziegler

Victor Borge — Borge Rosenbaum

Fanny Brice — Fanny Borach

Mel Brooks — Melvin Kaminsky

George Burns — Nathan Birnbaum

Eddie Cantor — Edward Israel Iskowitz

Jeff Chandler — Ira Grossel

Lee J. Cobb — Amos Jacob

Tony Curtis — Bernard Schwartz

Rodney Dangerfield — Jacob Cohen

Kirk Douglas — Issue Danielovich Demsky

Melvyn Douglas — Melvyn Hesselberg

Bob Dylan — Bobby Zimmerman

Paulette Goddard — Marion Levy

Lee Grant — Lyova Geisman

Elliot Gould — Elliot Goldstein

Judy Holliday — Judith Tuvim

Al Jolson — Asa Yoelson

Danny Kaye — David Daniel Kaminsky

Michael Landon — Michael Orowitz

Steve Lawrence — Sidney Leibowitz

Jerry Lewis — Joseph Levitch

Peter Lorre — Lazlo Lowenstein

Elaine May — Elaine Berlin

Yves Montand — Ivo Levy

Mike Nichols — Michael Peschkowsky

Joan Rivers — Joan Molinsky

Edward G. Robinson — Emanuel Goldenberg

Jane Seymour — Joyce Penelope Frankenburg

Simone Signoret — Simone-Henriette Kaminker

Beverly Sills — Belle Silverman

Sophie Tucker — Sophia Kalish

Gene Wilder — Gerald Silberman

“Devil Wind” by Deborah Shlian & Linda Reid book review on

Read another nice review of my latest adventure (“Devil Wind”) here. Reviewer Patricia Reid says “the authors bring the multiple story lines together in a satisfying and surprising way.” Finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards, “Devil Wind” is available in hardback, eBooks (including Kindle) and Audiobook.

Dead Air by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid book review by Fran Lewis

Hi guys! Read this wonderful review of “Dead Air” – the first of my adventures. You can read it in hardback, on eBooks and you can now hear it on CD or download MP3!

Dead Air, winner of Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller 2010

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