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"The Carriage Driver 3" by Mike Friedman, Book Review

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Peggy Cole is a self-published author who enjoys writing fiction stories, book reviews and articles about simpler times.


In this third in a series of short stories about the afterlife, Fiction Award-winning author, Michael Friedman, continues to delight his readers with glimpses into what might await us in our next life among the stars.

These short stories serve to reassure the reader concerning those who have made the journey to the other side telling of travels guided by Captain Griffin Chaffey, the carriage driver with his noble stead, Nuelle.

The book opens with a story about a man and his six-year-old Labrador Retriever, who, after losing her master, makes a new acquaintance and finds a new life. For pet lovers that wonder what will happen to our pets should we depart first, this tale gives a sense of peace that all will be well with the creatures we leave behind.

The Carriage Driver makes a journey across time on this vintage clock

The Carriage Driver makes a journey across time on this vintage clock

Have you ever wondered what Heaven would be like? For those who have, this collection of stories offers new glimpses into the realm of possibilities. If presented with an eternity to live, the reader must only choose their destination in which to live out their dreams.

The stories in this book talk about those who've demonstrated a spirit of love and caring during their lives. For these folks who've crossed over, there awaits a better place that matches their talents, interests and desires. For those that promote evil and nefarious deeds, there also awaits a destiny. That is, if you believe The Promise.

For me, this book has proved to be of great comfort when a loved one passes away, something that as we grow older, seems to happen more frequently. With this sobering realization comes the importance of making the most out of life and poses the question, "Who goes to Heaven and why?"

This weathervane sits atop the portico of a local Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center

This weathervane sits atop the portico of a local Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center

Through these stories we meet Nichole, Ann, Magruder, Betty Lou, John, Annie, Paula; professors, farmers, hippies, pilots and soldiers, children, mothers, brothers and blue-bellied warriors. Some have seen nearly a century of life, balancing their toils with joys, dancing their way across the years while others are plucked early from life by the ruthless, murderous spawn of Satan. They're from Texas, Florida, New Concord, Pakistan; north and south, east and west. They've explored the Euphrates and the deserts. They represent folks from every walk of life. Each story has a character to which we can feel a bond, a familiarity and presence of someone we knew or held close.

"When I was arrested I was dressed in black."

I Think I'll Run

In this story, the reader meets a character quick with a practiced smile and devil blue eyes whose penchant and passion included illegitimate schemes for making money. It seems every family has one of these characters that operate the "small cons, even on members of his family."

This particular stocky man, fond of wearing black and tons of gold jewelry, thinks he is in charge of the destiny of others even in the afterlife.

"There would be hell to pay," and his self-assured promises were put to the test when Dottie’s name appeared in “the book.”

What happens to you does not define you."

A Woman Like Me

Anyone familiar with Goth or Emo can relate to the story about Lisa whose wardrobe consists of a black leather jacket with silver studs, heavy black boots and layers of mask applied over many years. She wears layers of darkness to distance herself and to pull “the cloak of fear” about her.

After she manages to escape on Nuelle, she's comforted by the oracles that take her under their wings. Later, at Elysian fields, they render aid along with a heavy dose of much-needed healing.



The story of Louise tugs hard on my heart strings as it reminds me of my mother's sister, my maiden aunt whose life purpose was one of gentle simplicity, of kindness and charitable actions. In the story, Louise transcends a life where her mobility has been restricted and after a life of active sports, dancing and grace, she's confined to a wheelchair. Her vision has been taken away by age-related Macular Degeneration, and at the age of ninety-seven, she's removed from even the simple pleasures of reading, playing bingo or watching her favorite game shows.

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Her transition to the afterlife includes the gift of a brand new pair of emerald green, t-strap dancing shoes fit for a ballroom. Like Cinderella, she's transformed from her former diminished self into a new and enchanting world of music and song finding herself in a great hall filled with handsome and willing dance partners where they twirl under a galaxy of glittering stars.

The Legend

Every day the news seems to bring word of the passage of one of our modern musical heroes. From Elvis, to Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Tom Petty, the stars are falling from the sky like raindrops. This story highlights a young performer, Chuck Berry, who drew the hordes of youth out onto the dance floor stepping to his tunes. He brought "generations of teenagers together."

When his time came to take the carriage ride to the stage in the sky he reminisced about meeting Elvis, and how the influence of the Beatles, Marvin Gaye and Otis changed the world.

Captain Griffin Chaffey and his trusty steed, Nuelle, travel the skies, transporting dearly departed souls to the destination of their wishes, sharing an apple and small talk while we eavesdrop into their journeys, gleaning a fragment of hope and solace in our hours of need.

It's a book in which the reader will find comfort and hope. This is a book to be shared and treasured; a book that explores “our deepest desires for an afterlife free from the stress and constraints of our earthly bonds.”

© 2018 Peg Cole


Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on August 09, 2018:

Shauna, I love reading Mike's stories, too. It's nice to have them in a paperback version all in one place for night reading. Thanks for stopping in.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 08, 2018:

Hello Peg - Sha's comment brought me back here which allows me to thank you again for such a nice overview of these Carriage Driver stories. You picked some of my favorites.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 08, 2018:

I love Mike's Carriage Driver series. I've not bought the books, but I follow his stories on HP. They're so well-crafted, touch all emotions, and make you think.

Great review, Peg!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on April 24, 2018:

Hello Ann, Glad you could come by to check out this book review. Our mutual friend, Mike, is certainly deserving of a worldwide audience. His talent is versatile and he shares it willingly and cheerfully. Thanks so much for your insightful comment.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 24, 2018:

I haven't yet read all these, Peg, but I'm bursting with anticipation as I enjoyed the first and second series immensely. I have much catching up to do but I intend to read each and every story of all three series so far.

Thanks for setting out this third one so succinctly. You've done a great job of describing the delights which await us. Mike already has a good audience on HP but I hope articles like this expand his readership, as he deserves an even better following worldwide.


Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on April 22, 2018:

Sounds like a good read, Lawrence. Wow, prison in the 1640s was likely mighty harsh. I enjoy reading in the King James Version of my old Bible. It used to seem odd sounding but it's easier to follow now that I'm used to it. I'll have to give this book a try. Thanks.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on April 21, 2018:


It is, it was written by a 'puritan' back in the 1640s in prison for his beliefs, and behind the Bible is the moat translated book ever written. But the English on the original style is a bit hard going.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on April 21, 2018:

The fantasy of a Heaven designed to our own imagination is intriguing. Who knows what is actually in store for us. I've never read the book you referenced but it sounds intriguing.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on April 21, 2018:


This book reminded me of 'pilgrims progress and the exertions 'Christian' has on his way to the celestial city.

I can imagine the book does have a 'feel good' factor about it, but I'm not sure I buy into the idea of a private heaven or hell, then again, I don't think that would stop me enjoying the book, and at least thinking about the ideas it proposes.

Nikki Khan from London on April 03, 2018:

Okay, thanks Peg, I would check over Amazon :)

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on April 02, 2018:

Hello Nikki, Mike is a fabulous writer with an important message to tell. His books are available on Amazon.

Nikki Khan from London on April 02, 2018:

The book is quite interesting to tell the stories of different individuals.Would love to read it if it’s available to buy.Mike is a great writer, have read some of his articles, they are just amazing inspiration for others.

Thanks for sharing his story with us Peg!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on April 02, 2018:

Hello Chitrangada, I'm glad you're a fan of Mike's work and thanks for the kind words about the book review. We all could use a little more news of hope, faith and happiness, that's for sure.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 01, 2018:

Mike is a gifted writer, and you have done a wonderful job with this review. It makes me want to read this one. I have read some of his stories, and he is brilliant. I love stories of hope, faith and happiness .

Thanks Peg for sharing this!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 31, 2018:

Thank you, Genna, for your visit and I have to agree that Mike is the best. He keeps his stories fresh and I truly love them all. Nice to see you today.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 31, 2018:

Mike is such a treasure, as are his wonderful stories. 'The Carriage Driver 3' -- I think this one is his best -- is yet another installment of his brilliant creativity, and hope for the future. A must read for everyone. :-)

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 28, 2018:

Hi Peggy, Glad you've been part of that journey with Mike as he pens his tales of hope and joy. I like that kind of reading, too. There's a quote by Billy Graham about animals in Heaven that I like.

“God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.”

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 27, 2018:

I love the stories that Mike Friedman writes in his Carriage Driver series. In some other books that I have read about near death experiences people in that tunnel of light see animals as well as people. That makes me happy. They are God's precious creatures. Why should they not be in heaven? I'm sure Saint Francis would have wished it to be so.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 27, 2018:

Hello Dora, I've really been into that kind of reading lately with family developments. I've always wondered what Heaven would be like for an eternity. This collection of stories gives some imagination to the thought. Thanks so much for dropping in. I'm heading over to catch up on your Caribbean Story.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 26, 2018:

Thanks for this book review. Even without reading the whole story, your review suggests inner peace of comfort at the end of life and beyond. Certainly interesting!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 26, 2018:

Frank, I just followed you on Amazon Author's Central. Wow, you have an impressive list of published novels. I'd better get busy reading. I would love it if you got a copy of the Adventures of Cookie when it's done. I'm thinking about making the title "Looking for Home, Adventures on the Road." I'll let you know when it's out there. Meanwhile, you can find me via The Pub, A Murder Mystery. It's out there. And thanks for all the encouragement.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2018:

email me.. (sorry )

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2018:

you just let me know when you have urs in book form I would love to keep it in my collection case.. email when i can get it on Amazon et el

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 26, 2018:

Frank, It's probably about time that I reviewed one of your books. I have a few and they are truly enchanting page turners. Thanks for making the time to drop in here to read about Mike's book. And thanks for the kind words, friend.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2018:

Peg Cole .. no room for debate.. you giving most writers what they need and point out some of the strongest features of the tale told on here and on it's own book form... amazing hope your Cat gets the same fan fare.. it deserves..

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Hi Linda and what a pleasant surprise to see you here today. Yes, our friend Mike has been busy with his creative talents. Hope that you are well. Thanks for stopping in.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Bill, You're right about our mutual friend. He's always promoting our work and forgets to promote his own. Hope this does the trick to bring more awareness to his Carriage Driver series.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Hello Maria dear, Unforgettable, yes, that's definitely true. And that would make a great song selection, too.

I thought about you when I posted this photo of Zoey aka Tony and how much she meant to you and yours. Gone way too fast. Hugs.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Linda, Glad you've had a chance to catch a few of the stories in The Carriage Driver 3. That is my favorite of the series, although, the others come in a close second and third. Nice to see you here. Thank you.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Hello Chris, Thanks for stopping in. Mike's book is a definite keeper. I hope sales go through the roof.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 25, 2018:

I had no idea Mike published a third edition! Thank you for the heads up and the glowing review.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Hello Mary, Mike smoothly transitions the reader into new characters and situations as the stories flow like a river. Thanks for stopping in to read this review.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 25, 2018:

Mike is so good at sharing everyone else's work that he never showers praise on himself. I had no idea this book was even out. Thank you Peg!

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 25, 2018:

Verlie, "To free us from our fears and console us for our losses," wow, you've really summed it up clearly. That's exactly what Mike's stories do for us.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 25, 2018:

Dear Peg,

You have captured the essence of Mike's TCD3 through your thoughtful text and well-appointed songs.

My eyes glisten at seeing Zoey's handsome cousin, Tony, and the sweet picture of Aunt Louise.

Like you, Mike's stories fill me with hope, comfort and peace. I have admitted that the third volume of Mike's series is my favorite.

Beautiful review of an unforgettable book. Love, Maria

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 24, 2018:

I've read a few stories in Mike's Carriage Driver series and enjoyed them all. I'd like to read more of them now that I've read your review.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 24, 2018:

Hi Jackie, This series is right up your alley and I believe you would enjoy the stories in all three volumes of Mike's Carriage Driver books. He certainly has a vivid imagination and an enchanting way of expressing things.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 24, 2018:

Hi Flourish, This particular book is one of my all time favorites from Mike's creative mind. Thanks for coming by to read this review that only touches the surface of his many published stories.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 24, 2018:

Hello Mike, The pleasure of writing this review was entirely mine. I'm grateful that you like it and that it captured the essence of your concept for the book. You have an amazingly creative talent with a multitude of ways in which to express it, whether it's in your writing, your art or your book cover designs. I cherish my copy of this printed book along with your many others.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on March 24, 2018:

Peg, I've read a number of Mike's stories and am delighted to hear about this collection. I hope your review provides many with a push to go out and buy the book.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 24, 2018:

This is fascinating as the story of each one unfolds. We can easily relate to the stories which give us hope and make us dream of our own afterlife.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on March 24, 2018:

Peg, this is awesome, you've related exactly what makes 'The Carriage Driver' stories so precious, where real life and afterlife blend, and bend time, to free us from our fears, and console us for our losses. The weather vane atop the nursing home is such a beautiful tribute!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 24, 2018:

Sounds like a very interesting read, Peg, and your photos and videos add volumes! I have only one on my list for my next library trip so I will surely add this one to it!

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 24, 2018:

I was intrigued by these stories and would love to read more. Thanks for sharing this!

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on March 24, 2018:

Hello Peg - Thank you. This expanded version is so nice to see here published on Hubpages. Your review certainly captures the concept that I worked so hard to convey. Who goes to heaven and why, then if so, how is that defined. Readers like yourself, made the series the success that it is. This is a perfect gift this Saturday morning.

Peg Cole (author) from North Dallas, Texas on March 24, 2018:

Hello Mactavers. I always appreciate a recommendation for a good book particularly one about pets and Heaven. Thank you for the visit and the suggested reading.

mactavers on March 24, 2018:

Great Hub. I think you would like reading James Herriot's short stories about his young life as a vet. One of them is about an old lady who refuses to die unless she knows for sure that she will meet her pets in Heaven.

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