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Create Your Success: The Lived Experience

Patricia Butterworth

Balboa Press, 98 pages, (paperback) $8.99, 9781504320184
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

In Create Your Success: The Lived Experience, Patricia Butterworth tells her story of personal growth through the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, and on through her embracing of New Age practices and intensive martial arts training.

Butterworth quickly describes her Catholic childhood in Sydney, Australia, before diving into her hippie years. American readers may […]

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Zoos of the Midwest: An Animal Photo Book and Travel Guide to 28 Midwestern Zoos

Stephen Toothman

ZPBG Publishing, (paperback) $39.99 pages, 200, 9781734367805
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Photographer and animal enthusiast Stephen Toothman’s Zoos of the Midwest offers an illustrated and conservation-focused travel and photo guide showcasing 28 zoos in seven Midwestern states—North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri—selected for their high animal care standards and conservation, scientific, and educational programs.

Organized into two distinct parts, the first is […]

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Throes: A Transformative Parable – An Epic Journey into Darkness and Discovery of Transcendence

Mary Dolor

iUniverse, 248 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532088100
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Mary Dolor’s Throes is part fictionalized memoir, part self-help book that recounts the tortured path of a mother and her substance-abusing daughter.

Dolor’s “parable” uses a mother and daughter as archetypes symbolizing those possessed by “the beast” of addiction. The story is narrated by Susan, adopted mother of Mariah.

As a child, Mariah exhibited sudden […]

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Faculty Affairs and Other Stories

Richard Stein

Diggypod, 401 pages, (paperback) $14.95, 9780575706528
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Fidelity, ambition and the decisions that shape our lives are the themes driving Faculty Affairs and Other Stories, Richard Stein’s sprawling and ambitious short story collection.

The collection contains 27 stories that can stand alone, although a minor character in one may be the protagonist in another. While many take place in and around Nashville, […]

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Beyond the Saga of Rocket Science: In Space to Stay

Walter Sierra

Xlibris, 372 pages, (paperback) $115.95, 9781499095241
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Walter Sierra continues his epic chronicle of the history of rocketry in Beyond the Saga of Rocket Science. While his first two volumes progressed from 3rd century China through the Cold War and the space race, this volume picks up with the race to the moon and culminates in the early 21st century.

Sierra jumps […]

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The Harlequin and the Drangùe: Book One in the Elioud Legacy Series

Liane Zane

Zephon Romance, 532 pages, (paperback) $14.99, 9781735131801
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

The first installment of the pseudonymous Liane Zane’s Elioud Legacy series blends romance, thriller and paranormal genres.

Olivia Markham is a CIA operative stationed in Vienna who also moonlights as a virtually unstoppable bō-wielding vigilante who wears a harlequin hood. When a mysterious man helps her defeat a group of zombie-like attackers, Markham is drawn […]

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Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: From Disability to Possibility

Hanneke Boot

AuthorHouse, 82 pages, (paperback) $30.26, 9781728398242
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Author Hanneke Boot opens her personal journal to readers in Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, describing events and issues that arise in her life as an artist with a degenerative muscle disease.

Boot’s Preface describes how her diagnosis of the unspecified disease led her to begin painting by holding the brush in her mouth. The […]

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Katharina and Bianca

Elizabeth Reinach, illustrated by Salvador Capuyan

Xlibris, 74 pages, (paperback) $13.29, 9781984593788
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

In this unusual offering, Elizabeth Reinach employs a sequence of 50 Shakespearean sonnets to describe a man’s strange relationship with two cats.

Petruchio, a chauvinist, has been rejected by his feminist girlfriend, Katharina. Dejected, Petruchio adopts two cats, Katharina and Bianca (the girlfriend and cat have the same name). Katharina, the cat, hunts at night, […]

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Within Reach

Ian Douglas

Xlibris, 498 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781796064438
(Reviewed: August, 2020)

Ian Douglas’s new police procedural, set in New Zealand, introduces intrepid Inspector Simon Hadlow.

Within Reach begins as Simon arrives at a new posting in Christchurch, where he immediately butts heads with the comically ineffective Inspector Galligar. There, Simon encounters a puzzling new case: A severed hand and arm, from two different bodies, have been […]

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Who Do I Say I Am?: Twelve Steps to Knowing Yourself, Being Yourself, and Expressing Yourself

Naomi Somone

iUniverse, 138 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532094590
(Reviewed: July, 2020)

Naomi Somone’s Who Do I Say I Am? offers self-help from a multi-faceted perspective structured in a 12-step program similar to that of A.A. and Celebrate Recovery. Her focus, however, is not on addiction, but rather on living life to its fullest potential through the renewing of one’s mind.

Somone’s 12 steps are reflected in […]

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