Fantasy & Sci Fi
Right: Galak's Rising
Christina Goebel, Publisher
Print: 978-1-7338449-7-0 $19.99
Ebook: 978-1-7338449-9-4 $ 3.99
Right: Galak's Rising
represents such a blend of approaches that it's hard
to describe. Think of an epic fantasy, but with dystopian elements. Add
coming-of-age story and romance. Pepper this with a time travel story
easy to see that this story defies pat categorization.
tale opens with a summary of events recapping and
leading up to the Great Technological War in 2071 AD, where Mark Ward
expected rebellion against his role in the increased interconnections
genetics and automation by those who perceive its potential for
is the culminating representative of the
problem: a half-automation monster capable of evil whose goal is to
genetic makeup so he can reproduce, making his new race the most
blue and black line drawings pepper the story
with vivid comic art panels as Galak turns on his creators and becomes
proverbial monster in the story, exerting his technological prowess
lesser humans who try to oppose him.
Galak presses forward unopposed by any who might
have controlled him, readers receive a fast-paced adventure that moves
from the events leading up to the war (including the last moments
onset) to the world in 2203 AD, over a hundred years later. This is
meat of the story takes place and, armed with proper background
readers are well prepared to absorb the specter of a barren human world
new feudal system bent on surviving attacks from marauders and Galak's
this world enters an unlikely hero in the form of
Prince Henry, who knows (among other things) that unethical tactics are
only advantage that he has over his larger opponents. The human history
created this world has largely been forgotten, but its legacy lives on
survival and alliances, including romance, still move the human race to
against vastly revised odds and environments.
Goebel does a fine job of capturing the
human elements left in this futuristic society, from the politics of
to the psychology of love: "This
woman must be in his future, if not in the stars, then in a destiny he
carve from hewn rock."
young adult to new adult readers absorb an
engrossing tale of survival, they receive a vivid story of wandering
resolute minds, and a leader who thinks himself too old to rule until
becomes a prisoner and sparks a revolution in hearts and minds.
and fantasy readers seeking a story that
bridges several subgenres and fills its pages with impossible
hope against all odds will find Birth
Right: Galak's Rising an excellent story that stands well on
its own, but
sets the stage for more stories in the series. It's a vivid, memorable
choices, consequences, and their lasting impact on the future of
will linger in the mind long after the final struggle's outcome.
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The Keepers of the Black Cave
978-1096489238 $7.99 Paper
Keepers of the
Black Cave charts the course of a band of siblings charged
history on a liner, unchanged track. They are keepers of tradition and
charged with making sure the progression of events stays the same. But
happens when they confront a force dedicated to altering that timeline?
Many time travel stories
address the effects of an
alternate, changed history; but few focus on the responsibility of
entire world safe, a charge that rests squarely on the shoulders of the
characters in this story. Nicole, the narrator, is not young anymore,
fully aware of this responsibility: "I
do what needs to be done, right or wrong. Following orders would make
predictable, if not for my personal interpretation of what is really
The inclination to change what I came to do, or how I am to do it, is
As she encounters knights
and castles, challenging
options and circumstances, and choices that demand she assume different
personas to blend with the era she's interacting with ("As
I saw it, I had three options: be mad, be submissive, or be
blond. I had just a few seconds to make the decision. I went for the
option: be a lady."), the
best-laid plans go awry for everyone involved. What promises to be
management adventure becomes a potential disaster.
More so than most time
travel adventures, The Keepers of the Black
Cave probes the
individual Keepers' motivations and responses as much as the backdrop
era in which they operate. Atmospheric descriptions of past and present
tempered with intriguing reflections on the personal impact of being a
outside of the usual constraints of time: "I
had told Richard about Terry who died of old age and lived a good life,
had aged while I stayed the same, and it was hard on him. It had been
all of us to say goodbye to him. We had very few relationships and so
say goodbye often and were not used to it."
Nicole is a mature
protagonist, not your usual teenager,
and so adult themes are included as logical pieces of a story that is
compelling and unexpected.
Perhaps the strongest
attribute of The Keepers of the Black Cave
lies in its ability to capture this
sense of surprise in a genre which all too often features predictable
outcomes. Readers are continually kept on their toes, here,
direction which changes in delightful ways. This, plus an attention to
characters and an unusual version of time travel dilemmas, makes The Keepers of the Black Cave a highly
recommended standout for time travel fans seeking fresh and original
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Capital Station Books
978-0-9980452-2-1 $14.99 Print/$2.99 ebook
Knightmare Arcanist is the first book in
the Frith Chronicles and
tells of lowly gravedigger Volke Savan, who dreams of emulating the
adventure of his hero, legendary magical swashbuckler Gregory Ruma.
however, he must learn magic; and in order to do so, he must bond with
mythical creature. Any kind of creature will do. Even a knightmare,
admittedly not the best of choices.
It turns out
Volke has made a wise choice, however, for the knightmare knows a
secret about Ruma that changes everything. This secret involves Volke
heroic quest of his own—one which goes against his own long-held
But, how can
newcomer to magic confront the powers of one who is perhaps the
arcanist in the world?
Stovall has a
winning way with words and description that brings Volke's world to
lends both passion and purpose to his efforts. There's also a touch of
embedded in many of the observations ("Did
Tyms have to shout everything he said? The trumpet he had for a
opportunity to train under Ruma and fellow magical apprentice Illia
faces a decision
between Ruma and Volke, a powerful magical confrontation evolves which
swordplay, shadows, and a knightmare's deadly knowledge.
created by his own magic, which are used against him, to form-changing
creatures and a foray into a kind of swashbuckling adventure he'd
(only to find its reality quite different), Volke carries readers into
engrossing world with a passion that makes Knightmare
Arcanist satisfyingly unique and hard to put down.
looking for a
magic-based quest fantasy will find this story compelling and nicely
with strong characters propelling action which is often unexpected and
Knightmare Arcanist is highly recommended
for both young adults
reading coming of age fantasy sagas and adult fantasy readers who like
of sword and sorcery paired with self-discovery.
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Great Escape Part 2: Return to the Tunnel People
9781074765712 Paperback $9.99; e-book $4.89
it the end of the world, or a new beginning? The
first book in 'Our Great Escape', Dumbers,
presented the far-future world of 2360 when a small group of human
affected by longevity is changed by the awakening of potential leader
Shannon, who finds himself considering a world without these drugs and
to the Tunnel People
extends the story into new realms, but is actually a
stand-alone read which doesn't require prior familiarity with Dumbers in order to prove accessible and
enlightening. Previous events are reviewed quickly in the first
'Snakes', and provide a recap which segues smoothly into the ongoing
Henry faces as he steps into his role as the Orchestrator of an
survivor refugees on their way to Jupiter and a new life.
a three-year nightmare which leads to new
questions about a return to Earth under changed (but still similar)
a master plan which has reached a dead end, Henry's own failure as a
hero, and a series of baffling puzzles about a new world which hardly
is a constant string that runs through Return
to the Tunnel People as the
colonizers confront the Tunnel People, who are also survivors of
and who hold historic insights on the progression of events which fill
blanks for Henry.
has caused the Tunnel People's population to
blossom, and how will this change the human race?
events move from Earth to the stars and back again,
readers receive a lively, astute consideration of the future of the
which builds nicely upon the setting the protagonists of Dumbers,
but adds an extra dimension of insight and
thought-provoking passages about human endeavors and growth.
result is a compelling story that vastly expands
the initial dilemmas and scenarios in Dumbers,
but remains true to its own story as Henry comes to consider his role
evolution of humanity itself, beyond its mere survival.
fans interested in a uniquely different saga of
change will find Return to the Tunnel
People a delight.
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Never Sit If You Can Dance
She Writes Press
Sit If You
Can Dance: Lessons From My Mother is a memoir that should be
all mothers and daughters because it puts a smile on one's face, gets
tapping, and belays the notion that mother/daughter relationships
It's a tribute to
award-winning reporter Jo Giese's
mother, but it's also a raucous celebration of personalities that often
with seemingly dissimilar values and very different life perspectives.
Surprisingly, daughter Jo was the one who tended towards the serious as
adult, while her mother Babe enjoyed drinking, dancing, and partying,
as sewing and dressing up.
As an adult, the author
became closer to her mother and
began to better understand the roots of values that somehow had become
intrinsically entwined with her own life choices: "The
beauty of learning and lesson and incorporating it so fully
that it becomes a part of you, as if it were your own chromosomal
that you can casually pass it on without even noticing."
One day, she comes to
realize that her closet is filled
with the clothing her mother loved and cultivated as mother/daughter
before daughter Giese rebelled and chose different styles. The magic of
exploring such a relationship from an adult perspective is that life
can be gleaned from both rebellion and acceptance.
As Jo Giese reviews these
connections and her mother's
life, she becomes more cognizant of the messages she's absorbed both
consciously and unconsciously. Her tribute to her mother in Never Sit If You Can Dance reviews not
only these ideas, but how they are transmitted and enacted throughout a
Lively, introspective, and
fun, Never Sit If You Can Dance is
more than a tribute: it's a review of
the mother/daughter relationship that offers much food for thought
nature of trust, intimate relationships, and family ties. Readers will
compelling and entertaining all in one: a simply outstanding piece that
attention from its first few lines and never lets go: "One
day Babe and I were discussing why some people were so
unhappy and cranky. I asked her, "Okay, why do you think I turned out
happy?" "Because you take after me," she said."
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9781095797112 $9.99 Paper/$4.99 Kindle
returns counterterrorism operative Matti Baker to the spotlight as she
continues her struggle to maintain the appearance of an everyday wife
mother while juggling the demands of a secret identity tied with
time, Matti faces not only new dangers, but her
obsession with death ("Being in my
line of work, deep in the recess of my mind, I always play out how the
could come. Each day it changes, from some international terrorist
blowing up a
city block, to another undercover operative like myself who catches me
guard. I visualize being gunned, stabbed, burned, and then get creative
some sick, evil shit; the stuff no one wants to talk about."),
grown childrens' decision to become involved in her line of dangerous
challenges to her long-standing relationship with her buddy Freddy.
whole world is rocked when she discovers that a
seemingly serendipitous relationship that led her to her husband was in
carefully orchestrated affair, a thought which leads her down some
personal and professional roads: "You
make mistakes when you assume. I had made too many assumptions. Fareed
the only Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, orchestrating everyone’s
waiting. His patience and commitment were far greater than anyone,
myself, could ever imagine. F’me. Just like in the movie Pelican Brief, I had caught wind of a
crazy-ass conspiracy theory and it, on all accounts, appeared to be
true. There had to be more."
exposed, and angry, Matti faces haunting
reexaminations about nearly everything in her life as she wonders
many targets she's facing and if she can resolve all the questions
everything she holds dear and trusts.
pleasure in the ongoing Aesop
series lies in two strengths that set it apart from other
thrillers featuring strong female protagonists: Matti's unique, gritty
and approach to her job and life, which holds the ability to question
and her assumptions as well as the truths she's long considered
and a story line which juxtaposes thriller elements with psychological
inspection and revelation.
big plus is Michele Packard's ability to
capture the background and psychology of Matti for newcomers, weaving
the latest story so deftly that prior fans won't have to plow through
scenarios and relationships they are already well familiar with.
expands upon these existing relationships in a way that keeps newcomers
fans equally engaged and involved in Matti's evolutionary process.
keeps the story lively and engrossing. Matti
continues to grow and change in the course of her courageous
Added to a thriller story that incorporates cat-and-mouse games and
adversaries, it's evident that a superior, completely engrossing read
proves that the series continues to be a delightful
standout as its brash, spunky female protagonist challenges both the
her abilities, taking neither for granted.
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Paper: 9781-941072-52-3 $17.95
Ebook: 978-1-94107253-0 $ 6.99
Sales link: https://www.amazon.com/Battered-Whipped-Sipped-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07RLFDNPP/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=battered+a+whipped+and+sipped+mystery&qid=1557677036&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell
stories which pepper recipes and food references into the overall saga
appreciate the focus in Battered,
Book One of the 'Whipped and Sipped Mysteries' series which features
Baron, owner of the vegetarian café Whipped and Sipped. Forced to turn
detective when her friend is murdered, Alene finds herself moving from
the owner of a trendy Chicago neighborhood establishment to being an
sleuth who faces personal danger from her investigation.
note is that this story is steeped not just in culinary insights, but
focus on healthy pursuits, as a young entrepreneur faces her days: "Alene woke up groggy. She wiped her
eyes with the corner of her pajama top and dragged herself out of bed
as usual. Through the front windows, the sky billowed lighter where the
about to rise over the lake. She was somewhat revived by her morning
apple-cider-vinegar-and-honey spiked water. After that, she pulled on
and a t-shirt and headed down to run on the lake path before her
father got up. Alene was only responsible for opening the café on
Most other days, her employees took turns opening, and she worked out
before going in. She could usually count on Jocelyn, who’d served in
military and was used to waking up at the crack of dawn."
eating and cooking healthy, working out, and maintaining physical
mental acuity enhances her ability to move beyond her familiar job and
realms of investigative thinking and problem-solving.
person is on
the loose, and she's personally threatened, but life—and business
on: "He didn’t have to speak to her
as if she were a child, she thought glumly. She turned away, instead of
admiring Frank’s muscular back and confident stride. She sat down and
to her speed dial after her father, Ruthie, Lydia, and Brianne.
apple from the counter, she headed to her office. It was the end of the
and she had to finish ordering and to work on payroll."
investigative avenues and personal and business objectives creates an
excellent, involving read that holds more realistic scenarios than most
competing culinary mysteries. Alene attempts to maintain her family and
foundations even during the course of her new tasks, and this makes for
excellent added value to a story in which the protagonist is only too
juggling too much already and hardly needing to embark on a new career,
mysteries well steeped in both culinary traditions and realistic
between career and family will relish this multifaceted investigative
which draws readers in from the start with its realistic balance of
and life challenges.
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Sheryl Lynn Rosenstock Marcus
The Cassendre Decree is paranormal
romance thriller writing at its
best, offering a different kind of story than one might anticipate from
usual genre read.
earthly protagonist whose alter-ego Cassendre was born in the
unusual progression of black and white illustrations sets the stage for
intrigue and interest before the story even begins, which opens with
first-person discussion of Cassidy's relief that a company newsletter
again successfully been put to bed. It's also the anniversary of an
which began 10 years ago at Thanksgiving: one which challenged her life
sent her on a different trajectory.
include time stamps to clarify place and time as the story moves
and present events. They also craft intriguing atmosphere by using odd
(i.e. 'The number you dialed') that additionally keep readers engaged
Cassidy faces the return of Cassendre and the odd circumstances that
her life so many years ago.
between familiar Brooklyn and another world, the importance of the
the beginning of the story become clear. These nightmares have been
into images, and Cassidy's flashbacks and odd poetic messages from
are pushing her back into her world.
talent is one of the ways she connects to another realm which holds
life. It also serves as a bridge to danger as she confronts the
of timing, logic, and rhythm, living her life on the cusp of what some
deem insanity, controlled by medication and married to a man who at
like a stranger. Is there really love and happiness beyond what she's
built with Roger?
Cassendre juxtapose their lives, their back-and-forth movements are
a combination of prose and poem structures that move each into other
desire and experience. Cassidy's life of love, success, and friendships
stark contrast to the passionate desire of Cassendre to "be human for
long as it takes."
What is the
being human and leading a human life, and is it worth it? Both
about to find out.
Rosenstock Marcus crafts a delicate dance between the two lives and
different personas. Readers who come along for this ride will find The Cassendre Decree is not just about
paranormal experiences or love. It questions sanity, insanity, and what
the back-and-forth worlds of Cassidy and Cassendre might be confusing
indeed, they demand attention to detail with their swings between
worlds, purposes and perceptions). Marcus adds just the right flavor of
intrigue, romance, and insight to keep the story line vivid while
these encounters to keep them intriguing without being confusing.
different kind of paranormal romance than most: one designed to keep
engaged right up to a surprise ending which, on reflection, held its
the beginning, but still ends with a shocking bang in a final,
resolute conclusion that lingers in the mind long after the final
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Black Rose Writing
Publisher Website: https://www.blackrosewriting.com
Author/book website: https://www.fishermenscourt.com
Ordering links: Publisher: https://www.blackrosewriting.com/thrillers/fishermenscourt
failed at his artistic ambitions and is living in his dead parents'
bereft of goals, family, or connections in life. He should be the last
candidate to be picked by a killer interested in framing another person
actions, but actually, he's the perfect choice: a fact he discovers
when a team
of killers tries to murder him, leaving behind a note that exposes a
from his past.
Fishermen’s Court then takes many
unexpected turns as Finn makes
new discoveries and confronts numerous puzzles. The killers aren't
him, his choice of refuge on Musqasset Island, after he flees, leads
both new connections and further isolation, and he is forced to
deeply disturbing political clashes between Maine's fishing community
drive for tourist development.
caught in the
middle of many dilemmas both personal and political as he faces debts
almost twenty years old, his sister Angie's resistance to his probe
ancient history, mysteriously-disappearing text messages that lead him
into uncharted territory, and increasing questions that lead him to
the motives of the few people he trusts.
conducts an increasing bizarre investigation, he discovers not just the
of fishing industry and family connections, but the wellspring of his
ties to life.
Wolfendon does an exquisite job of bringing together a mystery
investigation. From the differences between a close-knit community of
and their values to an unexpected romance which evolves against the
a relentless hit team, Fishermen’s Court
successfully draws in readers on more than one level.
man's alienation from the world and failed dreams and moving to how his
purposes are redefined in the face of life-threatening decisions, the
moves inexorably towards a riveting conclusion that neatly ties up all
ends while keeping readers on the edge of their seats.
thrillers and suspense stories will appreciate this fine balance
personal introspection and mystery, tempered by the added value of a
place and a community facing change. All these facets make Fishermen’s Court a solid, involving tale
that's hard to put down.
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satisfying to see a book subtitle that goes
beyond defining the genre of a story to impart an exciting sense of its
atmosphere. Flies in the Punch Bowl:
Theft, Cocktails, and High Society
sets the stage for a lively whodunit romp through the art world,
readers interested in a blend of social commentary and intrigue.
a rampage of thievery
in Seattle's art world, inject an amateur artist/sleuth recovering from
impact of forgery on her own efforts, and add Annabel's motivation for
an investigative process foreign to her (she wants to restore her
art circles) for a story which neatly balances intrigue with a quest
personal and professional redemption.
Simms writes with a style talented in spicy
description: "From the shelf, the bartender
selected a bottle of Pernod absinthe and mixed the emerald antidote.
should soften the blow,” he said. The pained man sipped from the
posture relaxed. “Ordinarily I’d have my attorney sue the other buyer,
currently hiding out on a nude beach in Aruba bronzing his nether
topics and local gossip, intrigue and
confrontation, and a well-paced action-packed story that is injected
humor at many turns will attract readers interested in stories that are
above the usual one-dimensional whodunit. Simms excels in a sense of
fun even when situations are tense: "Exasperated,
Lyla hurried up behind me toward the
abandoned hotel, mouthing the words reckless
The second of which made no sense, but I didn’t stop to clarify. When
caught up, she yanked my stick away and tossed it to the ground,
freeing me of
the obvious encumbrance. It
the sort of foolish action typically saved for the movies, where the
short-sighted protagonist tosses their only semblance of a weapon as
antagonist nears; a blunder on par with that same protagonist dashing
to hide in the shower from an intruder who’s just smashed in through
is not above fudging ethics and truth during
her pursuit, and so there are wonderfully succinct reflections embedded
action scenes that leave readers simultaneously thinking, laughing, and
entertained: "Finally aware of my
presence, the hobo yanked
cash from my fingers and ambled away, the coat dragging like a
along the dirty cobblestones behind him. I turned my eyes back to the
folder resting in the passenger seat
of the convertible. I thought, two types of people exist
world—those who get away with things, and those who do not. With that
mind, I lifted the folder from the convertible. It put up little fight
thumbed through its contents."
an original voice, realistic characters and
motives, and solid descriptions of artistic circles and Seattle society
superior, engrossing, fun story that is highly recommended not just for
fans, but for anyone looking for a rollicking good read.
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High Tide Publications
9781945990298, $14.99, print, $4.99, ebook
Sandi Beck is an amateur sleuth and liveaboard sailor who can just sail away from her troubles at any moment. But in The Lies Beneath, adversity follows her onto the water and thwarts her plans for a peaceful life. The body of a former CIA agent draws her into the search for a missing scientist and international intrigue that makes the idea of a sailing adventure a duller back-burner affair.
Part of what makes The Lies Beneath so compelling is Ann Eichenmuller's ability to delve into the heart of not just a murder mystery, but the protagonist who seeks to leave her angst-ridden world and profession behind: "It was late afternoon on day one of my resurrected life. The breeze picked up, and I felt Serenity's sails catch the wind, felt the moment when her heavy hull became almost weightless, lifting me up and over the waves. I wanted to make Norfolk before sunset. It had been nine long hours since I untied the lines and left the dock. I had traveled more than fifty miles since morning. My friends, even the ones who knew me well, thought I was crazy. Just when it seemed I was getting past my husband's death, when it looked like I might be ready to live a so-called "normal" life, I suddenly announced I was taking off for the Caribbean in my own boat - me, the woman who had never sailed past Stingray Point alone. I could understand their concern. Sometimes I wondered if I were crazy myself."
What reader has not, at some point in their lives, wanted to hoist sail, throw off the dock lines, and escape into another world far from the familiar? And who has not experienced a compelling situation that drags them back into such a world, against all odds?
As Sandi becomes more and more involved in solving an increasingly complex murder mystery, she finds herself further from her goals than ever before. In many ways, Sandi's journey is one that brings her full circle; but in others, she is venturing into new territory that will challenge not only her abilities, but her values and vision of how she wants to lead her life.
It should be noted, at this point, that this is the third book in The Lies murder mystery series. It also should be mentioned that The Lies Beneath stands well on its own and needs no prior introduction to or familiarity with the protagonist and setting to prove completely satisfying to newcomers.
Is Sandi 'borrowing trouble' she can't give back, or is she increasingly getting pulled in over her head as the waters become murky? Ironically, an FBI investigation threatens her as much as her discoveries.
As Sandi faces the ominous feeling that she's missing something, she also struggles with a revised life not entirely of her making. Her reflections on the differences between past and present experience contribute to a solid psychological inspection of not just her actions, but her motives and how her past experiences fuel her present-day approaches to life: "Perhaps it was the weather, or living on a boat, but the Christmas season had come without my noticing. For the first time I was conscious of green wreaths on doors and lampposts and holiday displays in windows. It felt wrong somehow, to be wearing only a light jacket and hear "Jingle Bells" play on gas station speakers. If I had been in Irvington, there would have been a Christmas party at the museum and a Festival of Trees at the gym. Debbie would have hung lights along the ceiling of the Back Porch Cafe so it looked like a thousand stars were twinkling in the middle of the day. I would have sat on the bow with a mug of hot cider and watched the boats parade along Carter's Creek, each more elaborately decorated than the last. After Ryan's death I tried to ignore the season as much as my mother would let me, but slowly, insidiously, new traditions crept in to replace the old ones. Now, a traveler in a strange place, I found myself craving the rituals of a familiar life."
The result is a powerful exploration of not just murder and motive, but a determined amateur sleuth's increasingly complex dilemmas of being sandwiched between professional investigators and perps alike.
Fans of murder mysteries that hold strong characterization and insights will relish the attention to psychological inspection given in The Lies Beneath, which creates a compelling story not just about the murder event itself, but through the eyes of a protagonist facing her own major life changes.
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Larry J. Horn
Hardcover - 978-1-7339526-1-3 $27.85
Paperback - 978-1-7339526-0-6 $19.95
eBook - 978-1-7339526-2-0 $ 7.99
Rico in a bar in Dubai just after he's performed a successful kidney
on the sheik's son. Their first meeting doesn't go well because Rico
that one of the greatest transplant doctors in the world is only in it
money, rather than performing a life-giving service that should be
rich and poor alike.
with his admonitions to the good doctor. He's determined to locate the
weakness and exploit it, and thus the groundwork is laid for Rico's
a prologue that sets the stage for confrontations and ethical
note about The List: Rico’s Revenge
is that the main event takes place a year later, when the good doctor
more famous and even more apt to be in the right place at the right
gain further fame and fortune. Despite the fact that he's saving
lives, LAPD detectives Beth Harper and John Ramos sense that something
wrong–something likely connected to their investigation.
recipients chosen? What are the opportunities for schemes involving
organs to the wealthy? And how could the famous Dr. Stevens get rich
system replete with underlying criminal influences?
possible widespread repercussions, a newfound focus on a secret list of
kept by Dr. Stevens, and increased transplant opportunities for the
famous keeps the detectives on their toes and Dr. Stevens and Rico
bullets of discovery and ethical exposure in a fast-paced thriller
of the medical novels of Robin Cook.
between a Cook production and L.J. Horn's riveting novel, however, lies
details. Horn focuses not on medical science but on the social and
conundrums faced by a range of characters as they navigate the
grounds of medical treatments and opportunistic choices. This focus
novel that holds many thriller elements, but is just as satisfyingly
with psychological tension and ethical insights as it outlines
between crooks and curers.
threats of discovery, Rico reluctantly finds himself willing to kill a
and her child to keep the lid on his deals. This and other choices lead
possible rupture in his carefully-wrought control over Dr. Stevens in a
packed with twists and turns and satisfying developments on all sides.
medical stories embracing ethical challenges and relationships between
physicians and those who would exploit inherent special interests will
find The List: Rico’s Revenge an
different kind of murder mystery that even holds a taste of romance at
heart of its evolving story. It's unexpected on many levels, and will
readers interested in a solid production that operates on the cusp
mystery and thriller.
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Geoffrey M Cooper
Captain Thomas Publishing
Paperback: 978-1-7337714-0-5 $12.95
eBook: 978-1-7337714-1-2 $ 0.99
Amazon Ordering Link:
harassment escalates into rape and murder at a premier university, with
professor accusing his colleague of misconduct, it's up to not just a
university detective but department chair Brad Parker to investigate
difference to this story over similar-sounding mysteries is that the
took place first and resulted in amnesia. The victim is murdered only
memories begin to return to lend a few clues as to what happened.
anticipate a medical thriller approach that delves into student and
relationships, departmental politics and conflicts over technology and
equipment acquisition, and the dilemma faced by a department head who
imagined his job description would include crime-fighting ("You’re going to have to work with Karen as her
coinvestigator while she plows her way through this. Given the stature
accused—one of your top faculty members—the investigation has to be
and leave no room for any complaints afterward.").
It turns out
background in research and different kinds of investigations and
methods lend a
unique talent to the process, allowing him to see possibilities that
professional detectives could miss: "I
had the same feeling in my gut that I sometimes got about a research
the lab. Something just didn’t seem right about the obvious answer."
Richmond and her assigned partner Brad Parker make a good team, as it
But it will take a great team to follow all the trails this murder
before disaster strikes again.
crafts a riveting saga of mystery, discovery, and redemption. Nondisclosure opens as a singular
pursuit of the truth about a young woman's murder, but rapidly moves
of science, education, and special interests to keep readers guessing
up to be attractive bait and Brad moves perilously close to the truth,
mounts in a story line that delivers a one-two punch and doesn't
readers interested in medical thrillers will relish the turns taken in Nondisclosure, an engrossing story
that's hard to put down.
Return to Index
978-1532391323 $14.95 Paper/$3.99 Kindle
There is no
world: J'ne is confident of that. But if there were one, she's not sure
the choices she's making would enhance it.
Choices winds a ghost story into a time
travel adventure, employing
an unusual twist on the typical alternate history approach. Readers who
such stories will discover that time travel is only one surprising
that trial lawyer J’ne Wilcox undertakes after her ghostly
expected to encounter on her early morning jog is a specter of herself.
too busy confronting basic questions at a crossroads in her own life ("More important, who am I? What do I
really want out of life? Most would think I have a great life, but if I
am I so unsettled? So empty?").
she doesn't recognize the runner immediately, and why she is able to
any mystery about her appearance and disappearance to focus on
swirl around her own future.
different turn when she encounters a talented young man able to open
the past and begins to realize the impact on the future made by
generations ago. All this leads to a newfound recognition of her own
choices and their lasting impact.
dovetails with a puzzling case of government abduction of a genius
events reinforce the nature and impact of J'ne's life, she is forced to
reassess her role in a bigger picture scheme affecting the future.
taking the typical time travel scenario a step further, adding elements
intrigue via government involvement, professional quandary. J'ne stands
at a crossroads
in her career's objectives, and must regain control of her present and
by examining both through a different lens of reality.
travel adventures would focus on changing history, J'ne's
realization of how she can change herself
remain central to the story, involving readers in more than just a
confrontation with forces that would control the timeline of events.
her respite from her world ("Welcome
to a different time, a time when no one will ask us to do as they
please, but a
time when we can do as we please."), J'ne is forced to
everything from her ambitions and focus to the choices that lend
meaning to her
errors are peppered throughout, and a final proofreading could have
to a more polished read. This caution aside, the premise, progression,
characters in Choices are nicely
presented. The plot is a notch above competing time travel tales, and
on J'ne's process of validating herself makes for a winning combination
will keep readers immersed to the end.
Return to Index
Creative Edge Publishing LLC
9781091374799 $3.99 Kindle/$12.99 Paper
High Flying combines a time travel
odyssey with the aviation story
of an angst-ridden pilot, Skylar, who narrowly escapes death during an
show, but finds herself mysteriously transported to the past. This
any confrontation with the distant past, however. Skylar arrives eight
before she was born and a week before her father was murdered, and has
opportunity to change everything—if she dares.
combining flight with confrontations with the personalities of her
and present, makes for many insights filled with psychological
insights: "This situation was
ridiculous and most of what he
said was too, but that was who Jessop Haines was. A self-serving,
to High Flying is this
inspection process, evident from the first chapter and increasing as
evolves and Skylar begins to learn family secrets, dangerous truths,
ultimate consequences of good and bad choices.
drug money, efforts to keep Jake's business afloat and her in the
what she loves to do most in life, and finds herself keeping secrets
their price in losing credibility with others, she faces many
scenarios that threaten not only her heritage and life, but her love of
make a difference and use money wisely, Skylar also confronts the
love. Will she make wise choices taking that route, as well?
filled with satisfying aviation and romantic references will especially
readers looking for more than a simple time-travel saga.
With Kaylin McFarren's hand on the joystick, the
story becomes much more multifaceted than anticipated, providing a
engrossing read to female audiences who like stories of confrontation,
family legacy, and present-day choices.
Return to Index
978-1532391293 $14.95 Paper/$4.95 Kindle
Hope translates to despair quite easily
as a blogger experiences a
sensual night of bliss with a celebrity chef who appeals to her senses
than one level, then jetsets out of her life as quickly as he entered.
J's job was
to "...to tell the world his secrets,
among those of all the other chefs I cover for my blog site."
Xavier ("X")'s job is to create and explore sensuality on many
levels. But he lives in and for the moment, and she is well aware of
motivations in becoming a media kitchen celebrity: "...when
you’re no longer running the kitchen of a famous New York
restaurant not many get to sample what you’ve prepared anyway. The fun
contemplating different food combinations than you find in most
even websites. That’s why he goes to such remote places. And then there
those in between episodes where he makes something that is vaguely
you’ve either tried or heard of, but is made using ingredients you’d
thought of. How that all tastes remains a mystery unless you go find
ingredients and try it yourself. X tries it and gives a verdict on air,
one really knows if he’s telling you the truth about how it tastes."
One night is
taste she gets of his world, but when one door closes, another opens.
leaves for new worlds, the rich and handsome Ace replaces him, offering
her on the trip of a lifetime.
enter her life back to back shake J's world. Which one should she wait
Does she even have a choice?
with a rich, sensual style that captures J's dilemma, world, and the
hold the power to change it. All the ingredients of a fine romance are
but to peg Hope as a 'romance read'
alone would be to do this literary novel a grave disservice.
Hope is about exploration, growth,
imagination, and making physical
and emotional connections; but most of all, it's about choice and
As J navigates the new terrain of opposing options that test her own
life and some of her resolves for independence, readers receive a
thought-provoking, literary production that excels in depicting J's
she considers making some big changes in her life.
It offers an
consideration of what wealth really means and how it would translate on
physical and ethical level, viewing relationships and the world through
eyes of a woman who has some big decisions to make about how she will
life: "Now that I’ve committed
myself and set the ground rules I need to figure out what are the
want to exchange? What is it I want from Ace, if anything? Until I got
he had dropped off my radar. That would mean I didn’t expect or want
from him. So this is bonus time. Kind of like the lottery. What would I
do if I
had a million dollars? Well, after tax I would only have about
after I paid off my college debt I’d have about half a million. Okay,
not so much as it sounds when you’re up to your eyeballs trying to make
to keep all the bills paid. And that’s exactly where I am. Sweating
every week that there will be enough in the bank to pay everyone who
claim on me. Half a million in the bank. Okay, this is where it becomes
because now I know I’ve got things covered and I still have some to
Half a million. Would I move to a bigger place? One where I could
the Hudson even on the bad days?"
contemplative considerations and its astute observations of this
process ("People adjust to the people they are
with.” I observe. “Do things because the other person likes it or not
they don’t.”), readers interested literary productions
psychological reflection and relationship insights will be delighted by
progress, which leads the reader into a world that tests more than
hearts, ultimately inventing the formulas for success and failure.
Hope is highly recommended reading for
audiences who like their
protagonists strong, thoughtful, and growth-oriented as J explores the
of both finding and losing hope and understanding the different
individuals make to the lives around them.
Return to Index
$14.00 Paper/$5.00 Kindle
Her Wingless Eyes is set in 1936 and focuses on Jewish-American athlete Joshua Sellers, who has his eyes set on winning a gold medal in the 11th Olympiad in Berlin. This brings with it not only athletic challenge, but political and social conflict, because Berlin, at the time, is only one place where hatred against Jews has flared. One of the many other places in the world is America.
The first thing to note about Her Wingless Eyes is that it incorporates elements of Robert Rubenstein's past novels, The White Bridge and Ghost Runners: An Olympic Dream Betrayed. No prior familiarity with either book is needed, however, in order to follow Joshua's progression in this book, which involves a dangerous foray into the prejudices of the world in general and America in particular, though an interwoven story of American racism and sexism told by Ginger Lee as a fledgling reporter for The Chicago Daily News that surveys how they evolved.
Olympians as they sojourn across dangerous waters, but it's especially
in remarking on how these athletes set aside the rising tide of hatred
of a singular pursuit of their dreams: "The recent
had stripped German Jews of their citizenship, forbade work in many
and caused half to lose their jobs. The politics of the day,
didn’t really bother him. He was taught to stand behind in the shadows
for a favorable wind.”
Even as events swirl deeper into threats to life and liberty, it's repeated that: "Joshua was only an athlete and cared little for the news." What will it take to shake his single-minded obsession?
One of the
of Her Wingless Eyes is that, more
so than most novels, it
cultivates not just an evolving awareness, but captures the dilemma of
the crosshairs of killers condoned by political forces on all sides:
"Joshua was in a corner of the stadium split like an ax that had cut him in two. A world apart, he faced the track with heavy eyes and a howling inside his head. It was that little fist, like a child’s, pounding, pounding inside his head. His lonesome gaze always returned to the Chancellor of the host nation. From where he would be handed the baton, and for his start in the one hundred meters around the oval, he’d be able to see the plush place where the monster sat. Hitler would have to watch a Jew beat a Nazi— beat all Germans of the master race."
The result is more than just a study in personal political awakening. It's an astute observation of how hatred spreads and is sanctioned by some of the very forces that would purport to be on an opposite side, capturing many powerful moments in the conversion and realization process to lead readers down unexpected paths of understanding.
complex, Her Wingless Eyes is no
light venture into prejudice,
but a hard-hitting, thought-provoking story that will leave readers
long after Joshua's ultimate race to "illuminate a future in a
It is the
ultimate confrontation of good and evil, the
mystery that Ginger Lee uncovers about “those poor wingless eyes,
through the vagaries of time for American justice.”
Wingless Eyes is
very highly recommended for its ability to follow personal journeys
characters and big dreams into the jaws of political and social
processes; there to emerge revised and forever changed.
Return to Index
How Beautiful They Were
Were is a historical novel set in 1850s New York's theatre
Colonel Tearwood’s American Theatre Company challenges the status quo
times by bringing daily life to the stage.
All the elements of high
drama are deftly incorporated
into a vivid story that comments not only on individual lives and
but the impact of theatre in everyday American society as a whole: "Theatre is ideas, and ideas change the
flow of power, and the flower of power affects who has the money, and
has a dog in that fight."
From operas and high society
to criminal acts that
challenge actors and viewers alike, characters face their fears, often
dual roles on and off stage, and address plays lacking essential
as a female character.
When the owner of a
theatre troupe is murdered, the investigation moves into private lives
public by circumstance, association, and fate. The
American Theatre Company stands at the crossroads of not only
changing social mores and political contention, but a deadly game that
players are ill-equipped to handle.
evocative descriptions, compelling drama, and
the backdrop of seasons passing through New York City's 1800s culture, How Beautiful They Were is a captivating
examination of life and death both on and off stage, and will delight
general-interest novel readers, but those who hold a special affection
theatre history and New York City.
Return to Index
Jamie Schulz, Publisher
978-0998025711 $16.99 Paper/$2.99 Kindle
Redemption is a prequel
the Angel Eyes series, holding the unique ability to combine a
romance with a dystopian fantasy insert to create
both to romance and sci-fi readers.
Jake and friend Bret are prisoners of a woman who openly mocks her
Bret: "How could you think any
self-respecting woman would want you for anything more than your
and hard body?” she asked, not waiting for a reply. “A decent woman
accept you as an equal. Any woman who would is worse than the slave you
men stripped of their power and enslaved by women, and one in which
Nichols suspects his life will end. Jake endures torture in captivity,
life is not slated to conclude in this manner. When he's hired out to
beautiful Monica to help her finish building her ranch home, everything
reads, even those which include romance between characters, Jake's Redemption is firmly rooted in
romance and doesn't skirt the edges like most such fantasy novels. This
translates to steamy sex scenes, percolating love, and a focus on
relationships that supersedes the usual focus on survival tactics and
that the story is one-dimensional. Indeed, it is filled with
depth and insights. Jamie Schulz takes the time to explore each
growth process, and this is reflected in passages that reveal these
viewpoints: "There was more to him
than the trembling, half-starved, pitiable man who’d first arrived, and
definitely more than just his handsome face. All of it made her wonder
else lay beneath his wary, kind, and sometimes curious eyes."
predictably, but not without its obstacles, and as Jake and Monica
consider forging a brave new world, many things change.
It's rare to
prequel that adequately covers the logic and progression of the novels
Often, such an attempt feels like an afterthought rather than holding
foresights to dovetail with the foundations of what is to come.
Jake's Redemption carefully crafts a
story that doesn't feel like a
manufactured tie-in, nicely pairing the feel of a romance read with the
backdrop of a society where power has shifted and resulted in radical
redefinitions of not just control, but love itself.
and control are hard gifts to give; especially in a world turned upside
and Monica are challenged on more than one level, finding that their
affection for one another redefines not only their perceptions, but how
feel about their potentials both individually and with one another.
realize he has work to do to move from being a slave to being a
powerful man in
love, Monica finds him increasingly compelling. His emotional growth is
nicely portrayed, as is an evolving passion based on a different kind
structure: "And what are you
feeling?” she asked, almost breathless. His throat muscles worked as
was having trouble swallowing. Then he took a deep breath and gave
second pleasant shock of the morning. “Like I want to try to be the man
to be. I want to stop being afraid. But I’m not sure how.”
relish Jake's Redemption's
unusual blend of dystopian sci-fi and the trappings of romantic
sci-fi fans looking for something different will also appreciate the
story of a
world that has changed so much that lovers must find new ways of
relationships and themselves.
Return to Index
Barbara J. Dzikowski
Paperback: 9780984030538 $13.95
Ebook: 9780984030545 $ 2.99
novels attempt to capture the turbulent times and
social sentiments of 1960s America, but The
Moonstoners goes a notch above most in exploring an
individual's quest for
love in the shadow of changing social relationships.
a child of this era, Noël
is only too aware of
these dangerous forces, from a murder that sparked her family to flee
Louisiana home to her marriage to the man who raped her and made her
individual tumult mirrors the world around her as
everything from racial relationships to Vietnam's impact takes hold,
her life and everyone she interacts with.
the biggest eye-opener here is Noël's
maintain her identity, which holds a dangerous secret at its core even
threatens everything, including the stability and interrelationships of
Barbara J. Dzikowski's story deftly navigates both
matters of the heart and questions of madness and redemption, the 1960s
life in a manner that integrates romance with life choices and values.
excels in marrying a sense of the times with a
family's dire circumstances. It should also be noted that this is the
book in a projected trilogy: as such, it crafts the idea of
their hidden depths and then sets the stage for more revelations in
who enjoy blends of romance and social
inspection will appreciate this story's realistic atmosphere and
engrossing approach to capturing not just one girl's dreams, but two
nightmares as they intersect in the arena of social change.
Return to Index
Resurrection of Jesus
978-0-9860316-9-4 (Paperback) $6.96
978-0-9860316-4-9 (Ebook) $4.99
Resurrection of Jesus
isn't another religious novel, and readers who
automatically think that the title portends such will be
they quickly realize that what they are immersed in is actually
Williams excels at weaving a wry sense of humor
into a story about an unresolved art world theft. Thirty years have
since two policemen/thieves stole some $500 million of famous paintings
midnight from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Museum, but the
remains open. Until now.
weaves into nonfiction history to create a
compelling "what if" exploration of the circumstances, but Williams
takes no easy outs during his recreation of events.
do two unlikely nere-do-wells, one newly out of
prison, and the other a Native American from the reservation who holds
suspicion of the world around him, have to do with one of the biggest
unresolved heists in the art world?
Williams explores these possibilities using a
fictional backdrop to add drama to speculation, readers receive a
engrossing story that grabs attention from the first few paragraphs and
lets go: "It stood out. The Jesus
Saves part. The big, bold
letters on the side of a weathered, tattered and frayed, dilapidated,
billboard. The message read, The Devil
was on my back. He was heavy and riding me hard. But, not no more cause
Jesus...Framed in a forty-by-sixty-foot crimson, pinewood border, the
monstrosity was in the middle of nowhere. By its sheer size, you would
thought that the sign would be speaking to a much larger audience, but
Nowhere was a broad field deeper than it was wide, plainly measured
other open fields and long stretches of tattered barbed wire most of
distressed, grounded, and loose ended, set some distance from a grove
leafless willow trees and scrub oak. The support timbers leaned in
directions almost like poorly concocted decoration, perhaps
surely suggestive, even metaphorical, a tangential and bucolic bust of
but only if you used your imagination."
observations of religion, belief, and purpose
permeate the story and may offend those who have rigid, politically
ideas about either religion or gender descriptions ("in the
this the final sundown, I am betting that God, the grand caretaker, He
there. He has checked out. Or, He wasn’t never there in the first
squaw, Esther, she can pretend though. And, she can then sprinkle the
into the dark water of the beaver pond up above the coyote den or tip
remains into and along the water’s edge of the clear, still trout
won’t matter none. I am dead. The pure water will wash away all of me
blink of a stout and strong and bull-necked night owl. I am then little
than a memory in the minds of the people that I have touched for better
the meat of The Resurrection of Jesus
lies not in social propriety but in the
ribald, candid observations of life, opportunity, and fortune that the
thieves bring to the table. This creates a read that is more about the
than their heist, crafting a fun series of observations about life that
to mind the classic A River Runs Through
the surface, The
Resurrection of Jesus is about a major coup in the theft
world. But look
closer, for a powerful example of satirical reflection that is at once
thought-provoking, and simply a fun read.
and literature readers with a special interest
in humorous devices will find The
Resurrection of Jesus a special production, indeed.
Return to Index
Book 2 in
series, Shards of Light, opens
events left off in the first book after teen Shilo discovered she has
spiritual power of healing. That story ended with a sojourn to Italy to
her great grandmother, who also possessed the power to heal, but lost
it. In Shards of Light, Shilo
arrives in Sicily
and continues her spiritual and physical journey.
titles rely heavily upon one another for background and fluidity of
one of the pleasures of Shards of Light
is its ability to stand alone as a complete novel unto itself.
background events aren't a prerequisite for the complete enjoyment of
in its ability to cultivate intrigue right from the start, presenting
plot to kidnap the young girls who were stolen from his brothel
nuns. This would seem a rather mature subject for teen audiences, but Shards of Light will reach advanced
teens to new adults and doesn't skimp on either describing deadly power
or explaining the dark thinking behind them: "Whatever
happens next will be their own fault.” He mumbles to the
darkness, justified in knowing they’re simply paying the price for
actions. Doing wrong had painful consequences. He learned that
all too well, and all too often."
successfully create a 'crossover' title that will appeal as much to
adult as to
young adult audiences as Shilo's foray into Italian culture presents a
dangerous opportunity for healing in a new fashion.
another hand, Shards of Light could
all too easily
have become a murder mystery or a novel of intrigue alone; but there's
purpose at work here, and romance enters into an already-complex
introduce Shilo not just to her newfound abilities, but her heart: "Dark eyes smile at me and they are
molto bella, magnifico, so beautiful. Oh, man, my heart should not be
at this rate. I’ll just say no and help the sisters bake pastries
That’s the right thing to do. It’s just a river. We have those back
That’s it, then. The answer is definitely no. “Okay. Yes. I’d like to
Somewhere between my brain and my mouth, the words got lost in
everywhere: in dreams, shattered trophies and lives, and even in the
that hurts as much as it heals. As Shilo learns different facets of
many levels, she explores not only her gift and its legacy, but also
forces at work in life and learns to field a host of special challenges
grows not just healing powers, but better understanding.
this story is narrated through different perspectives: injured ballet
Melody whose parents are pursuing financial compensation, and Shilo,
her gift is "all God" but doesn't quite understand the role she plays
in disseminating it.
characters and their special focuses and its gentle exploration of a
woman's life and talents in flux, Shards
of Light is a beautifully evocative story that stands well
alone while enhancing a series. It invites readers to reflect long
Shilo's journey through faith and secrets comes to an end.
Return to Index
Terrible Loyalty: A World War
II Submarine Novel
ASIN: B07Q62KS4T $0.99
Terrible Loyalty is
World War II military fiction at its best,
capturing the struggles and experiences of the months before and after
Harbor in a "you are there" fashion that brings history to life.
are over seventy chapters in a book a little
over seven hundred pages long, but while some might predict that the
this story would limit an enthusiastic tone to its contents, one of the
strengths of A Terrible Loyalty is
its ability to capture the atmosphere and excitement of its times while
true to historical facts.
necessity, this approach requires not only a heavy
research hand, but an exploration that weaves fact and fiction with
background details. Protagonist Dade Bowie escaped poverty in West
becoming a military man, but his training didn't prepare him for the
and his fellow submarine commanders in the Pacific face when they
their torpedoes are shockingly unreliable, and that military ineptitude
far beyond equipment and into the guiding leaders of U.S. forces.
is sworn to obey the orders of these guiding
hands, but when loyalty to his crew and oath collide against the
attack and war, where and when should he make his stand?
has a different way of fighting not only the
war, but their own hearts. Romance, loyalty, and life itself take a
to codebreakers, submarine commanders, and struggles with moral and
conundrums as the war permeates every aspect of life in America.
might seem unlikely that one novel could reach
beyond military descriptions and circles to chart the course of these
but A Terrible Loyalty does so with
its finger on the pulse of struggle and change, profiling one man's
assessment of atmosphere and challenges in his submarine world.
honesty in response to a casual question at
dinner imparts many insights into the physical challenges of living in
but it's the reaction of his female dinner partners which is equally
astonishing: "Commander, you have
got to be one-in-a-million. What a woman expects to hear from a man who
came off a war patrol is pure braggadocio. Crazy bullshit about his
even though he ‘tries’ to sound modest by giving a few of the other
least some credit. But you, sir, well, I’ve not seen one like you, a
an opportunity to impress two very available women, neither one of them
look at, in an atmosphere of moonlight and music and a wonderful meal
and the lush tropics, who just talks about how he and his crew smell
I’ll bet you’re the real deal. I’ll bet you’re a real hero.”
kinds of interpersonal connections and
explorations lend an unexpectedly personal tone to the military
focuses that most World War II novels seem to exclusively feature.
descriptions of war and conflict are social, political, and moral and
challenges which are equally well probed; and this is a rare facet in a
typically focuses on physical struggle over relatively little else.
powerful attribute of A Terrible Loyalty
lies in its ability to delineate the challenges
of different kinds of concurrent loyalties which at times clash with
another. Dade, Rachael, and others have choices to make not only about
careers and anti-war efforts, but each other and the oaths and promises
have made. These choices prove as mercurial as the times. The result is
powerful exploration of not just battle or military structure and
the perceptions of loyalty and purpose that each character holds dear.
seeking more than the usual battleground
descriptions of World War II will relish the psychological and social
depth of A Terrible Loyalty, which
examines the forces that divide and challenge hearts and minds while
and taking the submariner experience to a depth that few competitors
Return to Index
are directed to teen audiences and young drama students whose teachers
quick, uplifting pieces for this age group; but one of the special
of Laurie Allen's 22 Comedy Ten-Minute
Plays is that it's directed to ages 15-30, and so its themes
limited to teenage concerns.
the short beauty parlor play 'Just A Trim'. Kyle has entered the barber
with just a trim in mind, but Lola fancies herself an artist committed
than just cleaning up the edges, and embarks on a campaign to get Kyle
realize the potentials and impact of a complete haircut. But Kyle has a
and it has much to do with his hair of choice. Can Lola change his mind?
It should be
that each play is complete unto itself, from its evolving plot to its
characters, setting and property descriptions, roles which are
and cast compositions of 2-8. This makes for easy assignment and
scheduling, which will delight drama teachers and coaches.
A final plus
these plays not only embrace comedy, but do so in a clean, fresh
makes the works especially appealing because so much humor these days
around risqué innuendo or crass language. And yet, these works are
appealing productions designed for mature audiences and actors alike.
unique presentation that should be in every drama collection and on the
of any director looking for original writings designed to appeal to
Return to Index
Modern Vaudeville Press
Body Talk–Basic Mime covers the basics of
mime in a workbook format
that can easily be accessed by professionals and drama students
learning more about body movement and language. It should be required
for any theater participant looking to incorporate elements of mime
Body Talk–Basic Mime assumes no prior
knowledge and covers the
basics of silent communication and movement's messages, opening with a
survey of the history of mime and moving quickly to exercises and
of movements that translate easily to recognizable emotions.
white photos give visual embellishment to written descriptions which
specific insights into how a mime can better feel their body's
movements, as in
the section devoted to eyebrows: "Put
your index over the eyebrow, then lift your eyebrow high enough to feel
movement with your finger. Do not use your finger to push. Only your
muscles are working."
examples of the flow of movements (such as the step-by-step
the 'spider'), specific exercises are followed by tips on studying the
reinforce realistic, recognizable gestures: "Public
areas are good for mime studies. Just sit somewhere, in a park or a
mall, and observe people around you. Look at their hands, how they
follow the words they say, or the emotions they show or hide. Hands can
many things about who you are. On stage they become a very important
visual effects gained from amplifying an illusion or fixing a point to
translating body movements to convincing an audience of silent
there is no more specific primer on mime than Body
exercises make for a highly recommended 'must' for any theater or drama
reference collection and for producers and actors who want to translate
basics to better acting and cognitive results.
Return to Index
For Good of
The Plot to Kill an American President
Thomas E. Sawyer, PhD. JD
Living History Publishing House
(Paperback) 978-1-7327371-0-5 $14.97
(Hard Cover) 978-1-7327371-1-2
For Good of Country: The Plot to Kill an American
yet another book to the chronicles of conspiracy surrounding the murder
F. Kennedy, but focuses heavily on the actions of the U.S. government's
blocking public access to information about the assassination. This
a political coverage of Kennedy's rise to presidential status with a
the Warren Commission's presumptions, failures, and Oswald's
status as a lone assassin acting independently.
considerations appear in other books on the subject, of particular note
Thomas E. Sawyer's survey of apparent attempts made by the U.S.
immediately after the assassination, to quash any public notion of the
of either other assassins or a conspiracy. Why?
Kennedy's coronation day and uses this pivot point to add facts about
political rise to power. It reads almost like a novel, from atmospheric
descriptions of weather conditions during the event to contrasts
and present presidents: "Following
his swearing in on the Veranda of the Capitol, the president and Mrs.
rode down Pennsylvania Avenue toward their new home in the White House
by the most conservative standards, can best be described as a
to glory. Later, on the reviewing stand, the young president stood
hatless, and apparently oblivious to the extreme cold. What a physical
this young man made with the septuagenarian whom he had succeeded as
agent recruitment proceedings that enveloped a young Jack Kennedy and
underlying motivations of that community to gain not only his trust but
dependence on them ("The objective
of the moment was to get this young American to begin to rely on the
intelligence professional, for whatever reason, to seek his guidance,
hence, to be under his professional control. There would be years to
the intelligence relationship, and the young man unwittingly would find
more and more involved.") to examinations of KGB leadership
and actions, how a plan was formulated at high levels to assassinate
president, and who was involved, For Good
of Country takes many surprising turns that similar JFK
embellishments lend to this story's appearance of a novel, including
which may deter more scholarly readers who prefer their investigations
rooted in facts rather than reconstructed possibilities, but readers of
crime and political intrigue will find these touches appealing. It also
be remembered that the basic premise is (as with other Kennedy
hypothetical, so some poetic license in description and reenactments is
add political analysis of government entities and their choices at
levels of involvement creates a survey different from many competing
unusually lively, dramatically embellished, but thought-provoking read
sheds new light not just on Kennedy's assassination, but the actions,
motivations, and role of the American government itself.
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Dolly Gray Landon
Seventh Species Publications
9781795387514 $12.99 Paper/$4.99 Kindle
Nothing is More: A High Black Comedy in Verse with
Music for Six Actors
demands much from its readers, who ideally will be drama students with
penchant for satire, verse, and the outrageous. Anyone expecting a
or a typical outline of dramatic form is in for both a revelation and a
because Nothing is More delights in
the unexpected, from blatant and ribald sexual explorations to archaic
whimsical explorations of college courses as odd as Feline Transgender
any expectations out the window and settle back for a challenging but
rollicking ride as Dolly Gray Landon romps through academia and social
inspection with an eye to probing the roots of artistic and social
will be performed, but a six-hour production is a lot to commit to, for
theatres. College students and avant garde stages will be more likely
undertake the production of this complex story, knowing that an
literary-minded social scientists will be highly appreciative of both
literary achievement of putting together a six-hour production entirely
and the story's focus on personality clashes, cultural and religious
references, and sexual and social revelation.
mentioned that no group is immune, here. Landon pokes fun at and makes
observations of just about everything in this circle, which holds as
potential for offense as it does insight.
well-crafted, complex, dramatic work that will gain attention not just
innovative drama students and producers, but from readers of plays, who
find it delightfully quirky and whimsical in its creative, complex
of the evolution of dogmas and schemes in the art world.
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Sell Your Words: Write, Self-Publish, and Market Nonfiction Books is for indie authors who have decided to publish their own books rather than seeking an agent or pursuing a publisher, and offers invaluable advice not just on publishing, but on the important task of marketing the book after publication (which could be a book in and of itself).
the process of self-publishing? Leila Peltosaari not only sports three
of success, but points out she has "...made
more than a million dollars by self-publishing title after
title." And English is not her
mother tongue! These facts alone add enough weight to this particular
book to make it a worthwhile pursuit.
begins with the writing process based on her first book, written when
34 years old. Perhaps it was serendipity that her first home-produced
book, Easy Sewing for Infants,
gained the attention
of Family Circle, which plugged it to a national
audience in their
magazine. But chance had no hand in her ongoing success story, as she
marketed numerous well-received books, received much acclaim, and
more than the 'pocket money' she had anticipated from her efforts.
in particular, are admonished to strive for creative originality: "Stand out from the crowd. Make your
book different by focusing on one thing that makes your knowledge
Seize it, research it, and write it down. Explain and clearly
makes you unique, and your nonfiction book will attract great reviews."
visual examples, Sell Your Words
provides the right blend of excitement, encouragement, and practical
give aspiring, would-be authors a boost at all levels of the process.
tips are specific and cover everything from POD (print-on-demand)
short runs, handling review copy distribution, making front and back
which are enticing sales tools, and more.
Marketing insights include not only recommendations but cautions about pitfalls, offering many alternatives to getting out of the slush pile: "I found the literary critique section in any daily paper to be a dead end for my nonfiction books, but the lifestyle section often needs interesting leads. Some have sections like traveling, business, home, health, food, or pets, and one could be a match for your book. Many dailies have reduced personnel and use freelancers, so one person might write feature articles for several departments or publications—get familiar with those names as potential contacts. Some dailies list emails of their personnel and links to their previous articles or columns so you can see their style."
information provided in a lively, encouraging style, Sell
Your Words should be the first book writers consult when they
embark on the road to publishing success. It covers all the bases and
and makes the writing and marketing process both logical and achievable.
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Who's Got Your Back?
David W. Smith
Who's Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Relationships Among Men is a specific focus on how men build friendships and where they fail at this task, and is directed towards Christian men open to receiving a combination of psychological and spiritual insights about the process.
While it's based on David W. Smith's own experience with relationships, it broadens its perspective and references to tap into Biblical wisdom as well as the approaches of others, creating a more multifaceted production than most men's psychology books offer.
As chapters review definitions of manliness and traditional male relationship patterns, they examine what builds bridges between not only individuals, but God. It stands to reason that the man who is unable to fully let in human beings will also lack in the area of a personal relationship with God. Who's Got Your Back? Is, thus, an important consideration for Christian men who might eschew the notion of developing better relationships with others—until they realize that this process can be applied to any effective relationship with their Creator.
But, how can men make and form such meaningful relationships? The nuts and bolts of the process are covered in depth and detail, assuming no prior knowledge of the definition of what it means to be a friend: "A true friend will come to your aid even if it’s unpopular to do so. When we are concerned with others, we tend to be less aware of ourselves. It’s ironic how happiness eludes those who seek it directly. But the person who takes on the burden of concern for the welfare of another often discovers, surprisingly perhaps, that he has indirectly obtained happiness, but he’s obtained happiness nevertheless."
This is not to say that Who's Got Your Back? replaces the need for counseling. Smith is quite clear about this: "This is not the Bible’s view of man. We are not a tabula rasa or a mindless lump of clay to be molded by others or by biological genes. How much control do I really have over my own life? Can I change on my own, or do I need counseling to improve my patterns of living? In some cases, we can engage in self-examination on a solo basis. Self-reflection and contemplation can be helpful, but many people need the added insights, understanding, and objectivity that can be provided only by an outsider such as a close friend, wife, minister, or counselor."
Men seeking to truly change their perceptions, lives, and the depth of their interactions with loved ones and others will find the precise, Bible-supported message here translates neatly to interpersonal and spiritual relationships alike.
Who's Got Your Back? provides an excellent starting point to crafting better relationships with a deeper understanding of what makes them work and the (often self-driven) obstacles to success.
Who's Got Your Back? is especially highly recommended for thinking men who have already decided to make meaningful changes in their lives and attitudes.Who's Got Your Back
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Magic: Uncover the Secret of the Big Apple
978-1-943493-26-5 (paperback) $10.00
978-1-943493-27-2 (hardcover) $18.00
978-1-943493-28-9 (eBook) $ 6.99
Uncover the Secret of the Big Apple provides young readers
with another Lindie Lou
canine adventure. This time,
the little dog is on a plane heading for New York City and adventure.
Lindie Lou loves to meet new
people, learn new things,
and have adventures, but she also holds an active imagination, as
by her dreams about being able to fly without mechanical assistance.
Her ability to learn, adapt,
and wonder about the world
are challenged, however, when a quest for a big apple tree leads her
rescue dog onto the streets of New York for some unexpected encounters.
Parents of children who are
past the elementary picture
book level and into reading chapter books and longer readers will
the blend of easy language, big print, and illustrations that nudge
from picture book to longer forms.
Parents will also appreciate
this story's focus on
courage, flexibility, and facing life changes with hope and creativity
Lindie Lou imparts some basic insights into dealing with life through
Her enthusiasm about the
wider world, her ability to
communicate with humans and fellow animals alike, and her involvement
Kris, who brings her a wonderful gift, creates many unexpected moments
lend to parent and child discussion, especially recommended for adults
materials that contain bigger-picture thinking rather than
The result is a winning
story about a wise puppy who
takes the world's challenges and runs with them. It's a delightful
with more than a light dose of messages for kids about how to live
emotionally cognizant lives.
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The Healing Star posits a world in which a dying grandmother, who is protagonist Julia's 'cosmic twin', may be healed by a particular kind of magic if Julia can find an old falling star with special stardust properties. Her goal is in keeping with those in her town who would catch such a star either for resale profit or to make their deepest wishes come true.
Julia sets out with a plan; but like most plans, it's subject to change and life circumstances. Guided by her ailing grandmother, who she calls Grammu, she must be stronger and braver than she's ever been before to confront the "magic in the sky" that her grandmother has warned her about.
As advanced elementary to middle school readers traverse Julia's world, they receive a fine combination of a magical journey and a coming-of-age story as Julia evolves to realize her own powers and how she can be more effective in her own life and that of her grandmother.
During a series of confrontations with a lost girl and other characters who also pursue a different kind of goal for winning, Julia finds herself in a situation where she might be trapped forever as her beloved grandmother fades away. Can she defeat the One-Eyed Thief and develop a rare brand of heroism while staying true to her goals and heart?
A. Kidd cultivates a special sense of magic in chronicling Julia's struggles against the odds. To call it a fantasy alone would be to do it an injustice: The Healing Star is as much a story of a young girl's efforts to achieve the impossible as it is the tale of a town steeped in the magic and legend of stardust and the potentials and consequences of seemingly unreachable dreams.
Ultimately, it's a story about living and
dying. Julia's efforts and choices lead to a surprising conclusion that
leave all ages with much food for thought and a warm feeling about the
of The Healing Star and its true
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ResQ and the
Eva J. Pell
ResQ and the Baby Orangutan reaches ages
9-12 with a vivid story
set in Indonesia and centered around animal rescue efforts, adding a
added sci-fi to keep the tale especially engrossing.
black and white drawings to enhance the story of boy genius Wheaton and
nature-loving cousin Stowe, who embark on their first adventure in
rescue organization when they fly their modified space shuttle to
find a missing baby orangutan, helped by a grandmother equally
influence a successful rescue mission.
Eva J. Pell
incorporates the atmosphere of Indonesia's jungles and peoples as she
this vivid story, adding a realistic feel to events that swirl around
animals: "We head north, and despite
our mature driver, people stop and stare. It’s not every day you see
like a pickup truck cab mounted on top of a speedboat on wheels. And
course, there’s us. Thanks to my Filipino grandparents, my hair and
dark brown, a lot like the Indonesians, but blonde-haired Stowe, and
with her white braid and pale skin, look nothing like the locals."
ground a story that also changes its perspectives to add additional
from the characters, including notes from Stowe's journal of
which are a fine contrast to Wheaton's reasoned first-person narration
events in Borneo and journeys through Indonesia.
powerful story that invites preteens to learn more about Indonesia and
animal trafficking. Its facts are based on firsthand accounts of those
with both orangutans and Borneo, and this reality enhances an adventure
will not only entertain, but educates.
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faces many changes when family deaths lead to his move from New York to
Hampshire, where he begins to fall in with bullies in order to survive.
experiences and his high-flying evolution is narrated not from the
experience of a pre-teen, but from a father who plays with his daughter
assesses his role in her life and the past experiences which led him to
note about Shadow Kid is that it's
not a coming-of-age story, per se. Jennifer Vaughn's use of reflective
and metaphor creates a read recommended for adult as well as mature
audiences: "I was always a natural
assimilator. Like how the waves broke seamlessly along the shore, I
surroundings and became a part of them. I have done this so
constant pulse of water—that no one ever knew we were there. Water was
in that way, limitless and perpetual. Hayley’s innocence and
proved that while our hearts may tarnish and fracture, they never
it felt like to love. I became what I needed to be in that decisive
smooth operator she’d always known me to be. The steady dad who was
this earth to be her father. The keeper of no secrets. The guardian of
many adult realizations here; from a break-in prank where participant
discovers that a corrupt school principal is blaming thieves for his
pilfering of school money (but can't do anything about it) to learning
having this become a driving force in his life, and turning 21 with a
cash in the bank and no sense of purpose.
(and a candid tone that includes swearing) would seem to indicate the
level of a Shadow Kid reader should
lie in adult realms, the novel is reviewed here because mature teen to
adult readers will gain much from the story.
come of age: he solidifies his passions in life, learns what is behind
façade of persona once deeply-held lies are exposed, and cultivates a
purpose that is both far-reaching and thought-provoking: "It
was the deeper connection I’d been searching for, the chance
to tell important stories that shocked people, taught them or changed
could use television to do it. Was that the reason I was still here?
why I’d heard Amy in that field, in the exact spot where someone’s lost
had found my broken one? What was my unfinished business? If I was here
other people’s stories, what would become of my own?"
out on many levels to explore Gavin's evolution as a young man, a
reporter, a father, and a journeyman. All ages will find Shadow
Kid compelling and nicely presented: a read perfect for
those interested in exploring the influences and sources of shadows in
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978-0988609839 $9.99 Paper/$7.99 Kindle
Santi is a rich Hollywood high school
freshman who materially has everything a young man could desire, but
the guiding hand of a father.
his mother one day turns his world upside down,
he find himself in the Midwest, living on a sofa bed at his
and entering a new high school. Everything is very different from
known before in his privileged life, but the real changes aren't just
Roman is also forced to delve into his own skill sets and ambitions to
charge of a life which, until now, has just been handed to him on a
mother has gotten them well-off by living with a
rich Hollywood mogul, but her affair with another celebrity has landed
the cover of a gossip magazine and ruined their plush situation. At
feels like she has destroyed his life through her actions.
Chicago offers him a rare opportunity to do more
than blame his mother for their revised circumstances. This transition
dovetails nicely with the fifteen-year-old's coming of age and entry
world with more responsibility and choice than he's ever known before.
Roman becomes interested in poetry and the Spoken
Word literary performance movement, his life changes even more—it
of his own making.
is not just another coming-of-age tale. It's about the power and
potential of a young man who receives mentoring from adults and peers,
finds support and purpose in a revised life.
Weiss draws readers into Roman's world by
using the first person to follow how he cultivates a revised
his visiting mother and the rest of his family as he explores this
world. He's disarmingly savvy during this process, as teens often are: "I know the whole messy drama of why we
left L.A. has trickled down from parent to child and spread stealthily
the community...Mom and my friends spent the whole dinner talking about
Hollywood stuff. She does not realize how confusing it is to have all
memories churn up again. It reminds me of when every day was golden and
hardest thing I had to think of was if Alex and I should fire up Call
or Grand Theft Auto on my PlayStation."
will follow his blossoming maturity easily,
receiving a solid hand on the joystick of experience as Roman evolves
own personal growth and relationships with others.
adult readers of coming-of-age, rags-to-riches
stories will find Spoken: A Novel
holds more growth focus and insights on changing relationships than
written with a compelling vision that has its finger on the pulse of
concerns and family interactions.
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Will? Will You?
Blue Whale Press
978-1-7328935-1-1 (hardcover) $16.99
978-1-7328935-2-8 (paperback) $10.99
Will? Will You?
is a picture book for ages 4-8 that receives lovely
colorful illustrations by Milanka Reardon as it explores a young
unusual find at the seashore.
never expected to find something bigger than a
shell, but a little pup tugs at her heartstrings and poses a problem
greater than locating the perfect shell.
are interested in adopting Lottie's find...until
they look into her wagon after initial excitement. The story evolves to
question not only who will take charge of a stray, but why nobody will
fun, unexpected conclusion teaches kids not only
about shore life, but about what makes a welcoming home for a stray.
Kids who love beaches and parents who love thought-provoking messages will find Who Will? Will You? engrossing and fun.Who Will? Will You?
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Fight is Real
April L. Jones, PhD.
Visionary Consulting Services, LLC
In order to
understand the basic premise of B.O.P.
Cancer: The Fight is Real, a different approach to cancer
management, it is
first necessary to receive the definition of 'B.O.P' which Dr. Jones
in the opening introduction of her book: "B.O.P
Cancer is the slang expression for knocking out (K.O.) cancer."
'B.O.P'? It also serves as an acronym from the four types of cancer
in the book series (breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers).
B.O.P. Cancer fills many gaps in cancer
literature by providing a
self-help, psychological inspection of various approaches to cancer's
and physical challenges and how to overcome cancer's mental effects.
strategy is, of
necessity, multifaceted. After a brief introduction (which prior
already know, but those newly diagnosed might need) of cancer's types,
diagnoses, stages, treatments and causes, Jones moves to the meat of
discussion: traversing stages of grief; employing mentally stimulating
and exercises to distract and strengthen mental acuity, resilience, and
positive thinking; and covering all aspects of psychological self-help.
spiritual is not
neglected during this process. Readers receive discussions about spirit
animals, mantras, and other exercises and reflections which include
fill-in invitations for self-help, supported by Biblical passages.
There is no
approach or focus to B.O.P. Cancer,
which uses all tools, from traditional to new age, to address the
dealing with cancer.
approach than most gathers a plethora of resources under one cover,
cancer patients and their caretakers a workbook template for positive
and spiritual reinforcement.
B.O.P. Cancer is a motivational guide
that shares stories, compiles
routines and approaches that work, and injects comfort and peace into a
their caregivers need to make this toolkit a part of their arsenal for
cultivating positive paths away from negativity, overwhelm, and chaos.
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Mari L. McCarthy
978-1-5356-1677-5 $6.99 Kindle
self-healing method that anybody can use to enrich their lives, and Heal Yourself With Journaling Power provides
an introduction to this resource for those who may have heard of it,
are unaware of its many benefits.
writers to create a new life story just by putting pen to paper? Mari
McCarthy demonstrates the wisdom of this approach not just by sharing
life-changing process, but by interviewing others who used journaling
used to funnel emotions such as anger into a 'safe' area of expression
cathartic relief: "Are you angry
because you’re struggling with health issues? Pour your raw, honest
into your journal. Remember, Dr. Journal is there to listen to you
she doesn’t charge a dime. Everybody gets angry and upset. It’s part of
human. What sets us apart is how we deal with it. We all know it’s
healthy to keep things bottled up, but it can be equally as unhealthy
explode emotionally and verbally rage in front of others. On the other
verbally exploding into your journal can be courageous, combative, and
It can act
thought and emotional organizer, exposing buried solutions to problems
simmer unresolved ("Journaling helps
you access and unlock what’s already inside you. And what you unlock
amazing and really surprise you. In fact, what you’ll discover through
journaling is that within you is a treasure chest of answers and
solutions."), and most of all, it requires little
guidance in order to prove an effective self-help method.
fellow journalers explore their processes of writing and healing,
receive a guide to "the cheapest form of therapy", along with
specific insights about why it works so well for so many: "Journaling allows you to break from this grind and
create a sense
of calm, so you can get clear on what you want. Even when you write
something bad that happened during your day, journaling empowers you to
it from your system, so you can focus more energy on good stuff to
a good deal of time outlining just how and why journaling works, she
attends to the nuts and bolts of how to journal: "Just
write in a stream of consciousness. You’re not trying to
impress anyone, justify your thoughts or emotions, or otherwise get
being you. You are
not writing the final
draft of War
& Peace. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, recommends doing
three pages right as you wake up. We are in this wonderful half-asleep,
half-awake state, when the mind has very few of its usual protective
logical thinking built up around it for the day. This way, you are more
access your unfiltered thoughts, not the primped for prime-time
unfiltered writing can be very helpful in “dumping” a lot of negative
chatter. If you can’t see it, you can’t change it."
take the place of self-examination and self-knowledge. Journaling
method of tapping into these inner resources, and Heal
Yourself With Journaling covers the why and how of that
process. All that's required from readers is a willingness to put pen
more effectively, and to consider enacting the changes that flow from
self-help psychology will find these approach and insights invaluable,
making Heal Yourself With Journaling a
for anyone who would use their own inner wisdom to heal and change.
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Darkness of PFC
Petkoff: and Other Stories
Andrew Ashleigh Kozelka
978-1521862124 $9.99 Paper/$5.99 Kindle
Darkness of PFC Petkoff: and Other Stories
is historical short fiction at its best, offering a
literary and revealing examination of individuals from other cultures
controversies and life-changing moments. This cross-cultural inspection
a seasoned blend of historical and social insights into every tale,
engrossing, involving set of 15 short stories with various settings in
mythologized mid-20th century milieu.
story 'The Octopus', for example. Take the introductory story 'The
for example. A spear fisherman faces a rare find in a pool, but it
that his increasing obsession with capturing it holds roots in a need
survive. As hunger drives both, a struggle ensues over who will become
of the small space that each wants all for himself.
Man Who Was Ready'
tells of Jason, who faces police action in the imaginary country of Zagastan, retribution for
being an American,
and cultivates a suffocating paranoia in response to his foreign
His navigation through what he perceives as a series of dangerous
documents a country which 'hangs in the balance' much as his mental
However active his imagination, the danger is real, and sets the stage
final battle and dubious victory.
story gives pause for
thought about efforts to survive, change, and relate to one's world.
looking for a
literary, diverse collection of short stories that center on the human
condition and its mercurial transition points will relish Andrew
Kozelka's probe of the heart of darkness both within the human psyche
stemming from environmental encounters beyond individual control.
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Gathered at a Bitter Cup:
Short Stories of Trouble at
Diane Rosier Miles
ASIN: B07HFHY6WC $.99
in Gathered at a
Bitter Cup center
upon family life and struggle, offering pointed
observations from both parent and child as they traverse lives
family relationships and perspectives.
from the perspective of Jake, an adult "child made bold by a tantrum"
who faces the challenges of aging parents who continue to ignore Jake's
now-sage advice. Jake's elderly parents are in declining
health, and he
is a caretaker both considerate and resentful about the changes which
moved him from child to adult in this family.
of aging and angst is created as Jake faces the inevitable without the
Barn Swallows' takes quite a different path as it presents the
figure of old farmer Fred Stride who, at age 70, has faced storms
his life. Having lost his wellspring and much younger wife Linda, Fred
to facing fields and weather alone.
faced the biggest challenges and come through them, but when a swallow
his hand, he is forced to reconsider the choices which have led him
this point in time and to the junctures in his life which have created
isolation in his later years.
Wars' follows Captain Patricia Harding as she interacts with her family
former soldier in the army and as a disabled mother. Her effectiveness
choices also come to the forefront as she interacts with angry children
drunk handyman who represents yet another battle in her life.
hard-hitting, well-crafted pieces that excel in vignettes of
have each been isolated by circumstance and attitude alike.
stories which read quickly but hold deceptively captivating portraits
powerful moments in time that linger in heart and mind long after the
concluding sentence will find Gathered at a Bitter Cup a powerful drink, flavored with the roots of
bitter lives and thwarted dreams.
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