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Heartbeat: How I Grew from Victim to Survivor

Michael Dymant

iUniverse, 108 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532068676
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

Having something go wrong during surgery is like having a nightmare double in length. Author Michael Dymant had just such an experience—a mini-stroke that compromised his vision along with hallucinations brought on by the anesthesia—and needed yet another operation. His memoir describes his journey in therapy and how it helped him feel safe again.

Dymant’s […]

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From Moses to Moses

Irving Taylor

AuthorHouse, 352 pages, (paperback) $20.95, 9781546297550
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

With From Moses to Moses, English author Irving Taylor has created a vibrant fictional account of the life of Moses Maimonides, a man known best through his many scholarly writings handed down through the ages.

Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain in 1135, a time when Jews flourished under Islamic rule. Raised by his rabbi […]

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Jack of Thorns

A.K. Faulkner

Ravensword Press, 390 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781912349111
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

This winning male/male paranormal romance has a “happy for now” rather than “happily ever after” ending, as one might expect from the first of a series.

The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Laurence Riley and Quentin d’Arcy, Earl of Banbury. Both are psychics of extraordinary, but unrecognized potential. Laurence can make flowers […]

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Don’t Drink the Pink

B.C.R. Fegan, illustrated by Lenny Wen

TaleBlade, 40 pages, (paperback) $8.99, 9781925810097
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

A girl named Madeline is given a different power-providing potion every birthday in B.C.R. Fegan’s beautifully illustrated children’s picture book Don’t Drink the Pink.

On her first birthday, Madeline is visited by her Grandpa Gilderberry, an eccentric inventor with an array of colorful potions. He tells her to pick one, warning her “Don’t drink the […]

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The Phantom of Witch’s Tree

Mark Lunde

Untreed reads, 616 pages, (paperback) $26.00, 9781949135046
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

An unapologetically raunchy Western with subtle fantasy elements, Mark Lunde’s stellar debut novel, The Phantom of Witch’s Tree, is set in 1912—the last days of the Wild West—and follows one man’s redemptive journey from wastrel to legend.

Matt Hargreaves is a deputy of Widow Tree, a dying northern frontier town that’s clinging to its identity […]

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Celia the Cow: Another Tale with Doug and Gina from the Little Brown House on the Hill

Lynn Domenick McKenzie

Okir Press, 52 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 9781642710984
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

When two young siblings discover a pregnant cow in the marsh behind their house, their sighting sets in motion a rescue mission and, ultimately, the delivery of a healthy calf in Lynn Domenick McKenzie’s children’s book, Celia the Cow.

As the story opens, we learn that Doug and Gina, nearing their teenage years, have moved […]

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The American Nightmare and the Art of Failure

Matthew Altobelli

iUniverse, 284 pages, (paperback) $20.99, 9781532064401
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

Matthew Altobelli’s memoir reveals the former airman’s struggle with PTSD after serving as a weapons specialist in Afghanistan.

Altobelli’s story begins in 2007 in Afghanistan. Intelligent and charming, the author was 19 years old and just one year into an eight-year Air Force stint when he went to make a phone call in the middle […]

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My Life: Escape from Communism

Richard O Rafanovic

Xlibris, 256 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781524555559
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

In My Life: Escape from Communism, Richard Rafanovic chronicles his life growing up in Czechoslovakia on the eve of WWII and his survival during the ensuing conflict.

Born in 1929 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, Rafanovic remembers his early childhood as happy and peaceful. That calm ends upon the German occupation of Czechoslovakia beginning in 1939. While […]

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The Moonlight Runner

J. J. Ballesteros

iUniverse, 390 pages, (paperback) $20.99, 9781532068478
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

Retired federal agent J.J. Ballesteros draws from a career combating weapons and drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America for this sprawling second novel, a sequel to Ballesteros’ debut novel Run for the Devil (2017).

While the narrative is missing some backstory, readers will parse the plot from context. The bad guy is drug lord […]

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Mikkee the Martian: Book One, Mikkee Arrives

Peter Locke

AuthorHouse, 54 pages, (paperback) $12.90, 9781728383873
(Reviewed: July, 2019)

In Book One of Peter Locke’s Mikkee the Martian chapter book series, a Martian boy arrives on earth and befriends a brother and sister. Together they bring a trio of robbers to justice.

Mikkee has arrived from Mars to gain more knowledge of earthlings and enjoy a “short holiday.” He lands in a field where […]

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