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bookCheri L. Florance, Ph.D. is an international brain scientist, trained at the National Institutes Of Health. She has completed many missions for the United States government as well as numerous foreign countries in Europe and the Middle East. She is the daughter of a Navy Commander fighter pilot, and the mother of a U.S. Army Officer deployed to Afghanistan in the Corp of Engineers. An award-winning expert on brain health, she has been interviewed by Oprah, honored by the White House and is the author of The Maverick Mind, a story of hope for children and adults with symptoms of autism. Visit



Poison Heartbeats is a mental jewel box of twists and turns. As an internationally known brain doctor, I review a book to determine the value of entertainment and brain exuberance.


Poison Heartbeats: A Critical Read


Poison Heartbeats is so captivating and timely that I could not put it down - reading till the wee hours and then again at dawn. We live inside the minds of the Director of Homeland Security, twin terrorists separated in war-torn Afghanistan, tycoons who are corrupt killers, down-home country folk, and an extended military family unit. Temple Williams’ ability to move from voice to voice gives us insight into our complex world of aggression and defense. He weaves such a fascinating story of the players’ relationships that we devour the pages one after another.


Poison Heartbeats: A Brain Builder


What an opportunity to enjoy an obstacle course for exercising your mental zeal. As brain scientists, we have learned recently, that our brains can experience growth called exuberance or death called pruning at any age. One of the best ways to stimulate brain exuberance is to activate your mind’s anticipation machine. The brain craves “nexting” and in Mr. William’s Poison Heartbeats, we are compelled to discover what will motivate each complex character’s next act. We push our memories to tie strategies from past chapters to those unfolding. We excite our brain processors to analyze and evaluate the intertwining of plots, places, and people. I recommend Poison Heartbeats not only as an excellent literary creation to enjoy but as a complex mental smorgasbord to gobble hungrily.– Cheri Florence, PhD




Charles Freedom Long is an author whom I respect and admire. He was an organizational psychologist who has lived and worked in the health and social welfare systems of the U.S, Canada, England and Africa. He was kind enough to take a look at Poison Heartbeats before its publication. He spotted some problems that escaped me, and I thank him for it. He is the award-winning author of Dancing with the Dead.



Temple Emmet Williams’s fast-paced, Poison Heartbeats offers up a magic carpet ride of mystery, terrorism, and suspense. This thoroughly engaging tale revolves around an ill-fated pair of Afghan twins—brother and sister—and the three-generation U.S. Marine family whose destiny becomes intertwined with them. Williams takes the reader on a wild ride from the mountains of Afghanistan to the mountains of western Virginia, where one twin, an ardent jihadist, attempts to poison a major water supply and kill thousands of people, as the other, a professional killer, falls in love with the marine officer who is now a director of Homeland Security.

The author’s intricate knowledge of elite military units, weaponry, tactics, and above all soldiers, makes the book ring with authenticity. Reminiscent of W.E.B.Griffiin’s classic, Brotherhood of War series, the Heartbeats series is a topical, up-to-the-minute look into contemporary events that goes beyond the daily headlines and televised sensationalism, and takes into account the values, emotions and humanities of the individuals global conflict has created. His impressive cast of characters, flawed and heroic, major and minor, are filled with purpose, and thoroughly, often chillingly, believable. The brilliantly conceived and well executed plot will delight readers with enough twists and turns to keep them eagerly turning pages.

Move over Frederick Forsyth and Jack Higgins. Make room on the masters’ bench. Temple has landed.– Charles Freedom Long




Sybil Rosen is an extraordinary playwright and author with whom I had the honor of sharing an awards platform in Miami in 2015. Her books include Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley and her gold-medal winning Riding the Dog. Readers fall in love with Sybil's work because she exudes a deep, gentle wisdom and the loving touch of an author who cares about every word that she writes. She treated my work with kindness as well as an eagle's eye: after a dozen people went through Poison Heartbeats looking for errors before its final proofing, Sybil still discovered 14 typos. She is an amazing person.


To read POISON HEARTBEATS is to enter a labyrinth of murder, suspense, love, humor, sex, friendship, good old boys, corruption, and terrorism. Just when you think you know where you are, the plot turns an unanticipated corner, and all you can do is hold onto the page, turn it, and keep reading in the hopes that your equilibrium will return. Temple Emmet Williams knows this labyrinth well. He is a master storyteller: funny, brutal, wise and tender. And like Fishbait, the expert fly fisherman in this exciting second HEARTBEATS novel, he catches you on the first page and sets his hook. – Sybil Rosen




Robert Eggleton has written the best Sci-Fi satire I ever read, with one of the most important messages that families need to understand. His novel is called Rarity from the Hollow. The book is a gem, and his generosity inspires me (he contributes part of his royalties to the cause he champions). Robert is a spirit lifter, a man who has spent a lifetime smoothing out wrinkles in other peoples lives. Read his book.


Hats off to Temple Emmet Williams. It looks like he has another winner in his new book, Poison Heartbeats. The characters are well drawn, if not always sympathetic. His research is impressive. This book is not as much a sequel as it is a continuation in the lives of some of the characters in his previous book, Wrinkled Heartbeats. ISIL terrorists, government plots, love stories, you name it … it’s all here. Look forward to a good read.

– Robert Eggleton



Josef Peeters is an Australian author, wood carver, and caravan park owner. He did a masterful job of improving, and correcting mistakes in Poison Heartbeats. His editorial heart is in the right place, and solid. If you’re ever in Australia, look him up. Of course, you can always visit him in cyberspace at

Temple Emmet Williams at his best, getting the ‘Heartbeat’ racing once more in his latest novel, “Poison Heartbeats.” His latest stand-alone novel in the ‘Heartbeats’ series introduces new and exciting characters as well as reintroducing familiar names from his previous novel. An action-packed thriller immersing the reader into the twisted mindset of the modern terrorist targeting America and her citizens in a deadly jihadist plot. If suspense, drama, crime and action are your bailiwick, then Poison Heartbeats is a must-read. – Josef Peeters




Lisa Kearns has been one of Amazon’s leading book critics for many years. She has published reviews of over 2,000 products during the past 13 years with integrity and honesty. She puts her heart into them. I have read many of her literary assessments and been inspired to purchase books because of her guidance. Her opinions of Warrior Patient, Wrinkled Heartbeats, and, now, Poison Heartbeats, continue to surprise me with their clarity and insight.

This is the second installment of the Heartbeat series, and a nail biter throughout! The author brings back the main characters from his first book, Wrinkled Heartbeats, including retired veteran George McKlane, his feisty assistant/nurse Sharonda, and the shadowy character Torbjorn. It’s not necessary to read the first book before this one, but I highly recommend reading it, too!


Set in current times, the characters struggle to stop an ISIL terrorist event that would kill millions. There are several mysteries and surprises woven into the story, some humor, a budding romance between two characters, and exciting battle scenes. Add in some Special Forces and the FBI, and this book will keep you up late at night, wanting to know what happens next.


Common themes among the main characters in this series are loyalty, love of country, respect and honor, which makes them not only memorable, but also people I’d like to know in real life.

This author is a natural born storyteller, and I look forward to reading the next book in this series! I unhesitatingly give this book five stars for excitement, well developed characters, surprising plot twists and the very real horror of terrorists. – Lisa Kearns




Irene Schyberger, born in Sweden, broke through the glass ceiling before people knew it existed. In the corporate world, she managed mega stores for IKEA in Malmö, Stockholm, and Washington, D.C. She was a Vice President at Spode & Royal Worcester, Orrefors/KostaBoda, and Crystal Clear. She’s a true professional, and she can spot a mistake on a page of one of my books after I have reviewed it a dozen times. This remains an unexplained secret.

Temple William's latest book, “Poison Heartbeats,” is an eerily thrilling novel of what could happen, or maybe is happening, in ISIL's Holy War on Infidels. The narrative brings us to different countries and cultures, while we wonder if the terrorists will succeed in their murderous attempts on innocent people. The fragile love story somehow makes sense.


I love the author's way of writing: short sentences, to the point, his incredible humor which lightens up the plot, and the exciting events that take place in the book. I highly recommend this book to every audience, since it is entertaining as well as informative. We cannot wait for the next Heartbeats book! – Irene Schyberger




Ronald A. Feldman is the author of IF TRUTH BE TOLD, little secrets, BIG LIES, and The Crossover Mystery. He is an exceptional writer who helps me by example as well as in person. He has shown me what putting your heart on a page looks like and means.

Temple Emmet Williams’ latest novel, Poison Heartbeats, is both timely in its subject matter and in the clarity with which it presents various US government agencies. There’s much to learn from this rapidly evolving story and extremely satisfying ending. It is an action novel with fast-paced events exploding from its pages. Readers will discover a great deal to put in their kit bag of knowledge in this very confusing time in American history. – Ronald Feldman




Anne-Marie Reynolds is an English woman currently living in Bulgaria. She reads two or three books a week and is an author herself. She is a professional editorial reviewer for Readers’ Favorites.

Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams is a very real-to-life story of terrorism. ISIL wants to poison the water network in America and their target is the Jackson River, located in Northwest Virginia. If they succeed in their mission, they will have the blood of thousands on their hands and millions more will never be able to trust a simple glass of water ever again. Abira and Ahmed Khan are twins, born in Afghanistan and separated through war. Ahmed becomes a Holy Warrior of ISIL while Abira becomes Holly Smolkes, a beautiful girl who happens to fall head over heels in love with the Director of the Poison Well unit in Homeland Security. Life is about to become difficult as the twins go head to head in the battle for survival, but who will triumph over all others?


Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams blew me away. It is the second story in the Heartbeats series and is, without any doubt, one of the best books I have ever read. It made me want to read the first one and I am definitely looking forward to the third when it comes out. The story started almost like a history lesson, a fascinating one that had an awful lot of bearing on the story. There is a lot of this throughout the book, background that is essential to understanding what is going on – without it, the story would still be there but, in my opinion, not so good. The plot is clever, very real to life, given current world events, and is something that we should all fear could happen at any time. The character development was excellent, leaving you with the impression of having known them. The way the story is written, you can see it playing out, you can almost smell and feel everything that happens. To me, that is the mark of a top-class author, pulling a reader into a story in such a way that they end the book shaken, feeling as though they had lived every minute of it. Fantastic book, excellent story, I'm really looking forward to more from Mr. Williams. – Anne-Marie Reynolds




Christian Sia says that a book he read on a flight to India in 2014 turned him into an avid reader for life. “I love the smell of books, and I love the exciting and entertaining stories within them.” He is a professional copy-editor and a freelance editor for a number of writers.

A book with monumental characters and a daring plot, Poison Heartbeats is another compelling installment in the Heartbeats series by Temple Emmet Williams. With an international setting, featuring powerful historical, cultural, and religious elements, this book is about one of the realities that everyone dreads: terrorism. The author carefully steps away from the mainstream pattern of featuring terrorism as a phenomenon involving guns and bombs. This time, the threat is against the one vital element that everyone needs for survival: clean and potable water. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has conceived a plan to plunge the US into a state of terror by poisoning its waters, starting with the northwestern Virginia’s Jackson River. But who are the key players in this deadly game and how can they be stopped?


Readers are introduced to twins born in war-torn Nuristan, Afghanistan, a boy and a girl, and their response to their first-hand experience of war becomes one of the key elements that drive the plot. While one joins the jihadists and fights fanatically for a jihadist cause that can pose great danger to millions of people, the other, the girl, ends up falling in love with a very important person in the US Security Department. There are many twists and surprises in this story and the title aptly describes the experience that many readers will have while reading. Temple Emmet Williams writes beautifully and offers powerful political commentaries and excellently explores the psychology of a fanatic. Poison Heartbeats is a hard-to-put down story that is as believable as it’s unsettling. It’s hard not to think about it happening in some corner of the world. – Christian Sia




Shari Risoff is the author of Released: A True Story of Escape from an Abusive Marriage and Accidental Sabbatical. She began to write full time during her own accidental sabbatical. She edits books for other authors. She does not normally read this genre, but she helped me with it and suggested she’d probably buy the first novel in the series. Writers in need of an editor can get in touch with Shari at

Poison Heartbeats is fiction, however it could come straight from the headlines. Although it is not necessary to read the first book in this series, I wish I had and now I will. – Shari Risoff




Divine Zape is a stay-at-home mom with an avid thirst for reading and a degree in political science from the Far Eastern University.

Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams is the second novel in the Heartbeats series, a surprisingly compelling work that features terrorism and the insanity that accompanies it with a clarity that is quite forensic. And readers get acquainted with very compelling characters as well. The Islamic organization ISIL, synonymous with ISIS, is about to unleash terror in a form never imagined before. This time, it is not about suicide bombers, but a systematic poisoning of the wells in the US, and the target is the Jackson River in northwestern Virginia. If they succeed, many will die from touching or drinking the water. What could follow is undeniably clear: paranoia, panic, and fear. Who can stop them?


There is something very moving and intimate about this book that one finds it hard to read without feeling a hastened heartbeat or goosebumps. The setting is international and the story offers glimpses of some part of Afghanistan ravaged by war. Now, it is interesting to watch a pair of twins living two diametrically opposing lifestyles: a terrorist warrior and an American girl who falls in love with a very important person in the Security Sector. How their destinies intersect is a riddle the author allows readers to mull over.


Poison Heartbeats deals with themes that are current and crucial, and it comes across as a powerful warning to the threat that fanaticism can pose to society. Globally, there is an outcry of war against terrorism, and this book carries a message that will create a sense of awareness in many readers. Temple Emmet Williams is a great storyteller and he has the gift of making readers get lost in the trail of his characters and the twists in his plot. One of the best books I have read on terrorism.. Divine Zape




Michael Marnier got hooked on writing because of Mark Twain and his short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” The frog was named Dan’l Webster, and its owner lost a $40 bet when a con man poured buckshot down the frog’s throat before a jumping contest. Dan’l couldn’t hop an inch. Michael Marnier’s work does not bother with buckshot or frogs. No, sir. It’s white sharks with attitude and a Navy SEAL who’s larger than life and every bit as exciting as the tall tales he tells. Mix in some tequila and great supporting characters and you have an author who’s in his comfort zone writing thrillers based on life experiences. Michael also pays attention to details, like some of the errors he discovered in my book. Thanks.

From the first paragraph to the last sentence in chapter one, you will be captured by Williams’ skillful portrayal of co-MC Holly Smolkes, recapping her early childhood with vivid action scenes, including events that create instant justification for her cool, heartless treatment of enemies. And that’s all packed into the first chapter. Hang on as the tale continues with equally compelling description of Holly’s estranged brother and ISIL-jihadist, Ahmed Kahn. The set up enables a deep understanding of what drives the actions of these two characters and lays the foundation for a story with twists designed to challenge and delight. In addition to the usual military spec ops events, Williams weaves an unusual link between Holly, her brother and ‘Mac’ McKlane, team leader of a special anti-terrorist unit in Homeland Security and prime MC of the story. A triangle filled with conflict between protagonist, antagonist and Holly in between. Be prepared for an exciting read. You will not put this book down until you reach the end. When you do, there is no doubt Williams’ next book, African Heartbeats, will be on your must-read list.




Ruffina Oserio graduated from the Far Eastern University of the Philippines with a Degree in English. She was a teacher for over four decades, before retiring. She loves edge-of-the-seat thrillers.

What if the water that supports the lives of millions of people in the US was poisoned? How would it feel to know that water isn’t safe to drink anymore? How would people react? And what does the destiny of a pair of twin kids from Afghanistan have to do with all this? Such are questions that people hardly think about, but since 9/11 people have thought about terrorism and security has doubled in malls and many public places. But the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant plans to strike the United States, and this time, no one will know where or how the attack will come about. Their plan is very simple: to poison the Jackson River. The jihadists are most certain of claiming as many lives as possible and putting the rest of the US into a state of panic. Who can stop them? Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams is a thriller that will keep readers turning the pages, nonstop!


Temple Emmet Williams paints a very grim and powerful political and religious landscape in this new installment in the Heartbeats series, a story that features characters as memorable as they are interesting to watch. The author makes brilliant use of suspense by offering compelling subplots with the lives of the twin kids from Afghanistan whose destinies will blow the minds of readers. The writing is tight, laced with descriptions of the general climate of war in Afghanistan, and reflections on politics and the fanatical side of religion. The plot couldn’t be enhanced any more; fast-paced and complex, with interesting characters. Poison Heartbeats is a wonderful read for lovers of thrillers and crime fiction. Great writing, great plot, great characters. – Rufina Oserio




Katelyn Hensel opened her book review website, Unabridged Andra, two years ago. She says: “I have reviewed over 300 books in my two years as a blogger and absolutely love it.” She is a freelance editor, copy editor, developmental editor, and a proofreader for novelists, non-fiction writers, and journalists.

Poison Heartbeats by Temple Emmet Williams is electric action from beginning to end. Following twins Holly Smokes and Ahmed Kahn, it explores the different aspects of lives torn apart by war. One is adopted into an American family, the other becomes a high-ranking official in a terrorist organization. How their lives play out is at times tragic, tense, and deeply unsettling.

The writing style was interesting. It felt at times as though I were reading a newspaper report on events or perhaps a military briefing. Then at different moments the point of view would transition so that it felt closer to the characters and pulled more of their emotions into the story. While this feeling was a little choppy, it sort of worked as you transitioned from mainland USA to the war torn Middle East and back again. I also enjoyed the look at the twins and how they grew. This novel is definitely an argument for nurture versus nature.

An interesting and timely book, Poison Heartbeats allows us a peek into the conflicts of the Middle East from the vantage of fiction, allowing us to both empathize more with the situation while keeping us safe from any real-world conflict. I admit, I thought that ISIL and ISIS were the same organization. Temple Emmet Williams does a good job distinguishing between the two and describing the threat that they represent in very realistic ways. It was very clear that a lot of research and thought went into this book, making it that much more tense and thrilling for the reader. –Katelyn Hensel




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