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The Buchanans: Storm

Carlene Keim

Xlibris, 244 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456880569
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

For the first 150 or so pages, The Buchanans: Storm is an old-fashioned, Harlequin-style historical romance. But as the book progresses, it becomes clear that it’s more–and in some cases less–than a formulaic read.

The book takes place in 1880s Texas. Storm Buchanan is a handsome Texas Ranger who, after losing his Ranger father as […]

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Quality Quantification Theory

Spiro V. Haxhi

Xlibris, 46 pages, (paperback) $31.99, 9781453502549
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In this slim book titled Quality Quantification Theory, Spiro Haxhi, a former quality control specialist at a manufacturing plant in Albania, offers a complex treatise on the quantification of work, the qualities of work, the general well-being of society and the differences in the way these subjects are measured by individuals as opposed to government.

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A Trip Thru Hell (Nam)

Joe W. Harrison

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456875480
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Though Joe W. Harrison left the war in Viet Nam in April of 1968, it has never left him. The 67-year-old author, who currently serves as associate pastor at a cowboy church in Texas, has penned this memoir as a tribute to his fellow soldiers, living and dead.

His story begins when he decides to […]

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Be Not Afraid

K.R. Morrison

Xlibris, 221 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462852215
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Although categorized as horror, K.R. Morrison’s debut novel is more appropriately described as an amalgam of vampire-powered dark fantasy and faith-based supernatural suspense — i.e.: Christian horror. While Morrison’s novel does little to expand or re-imagine the vampire mythos in any way, the sheer intimacy of the narrative is what powers this redemptive tale.

Lydia […]

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The Happiest Woman

Edmund Raynor

Xlibris, 73 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456894825
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Author Edmund Raynor wants to tell men how to earn the trust of their wives and how to love and be loved by them, including sexually. The payoff: the man with a happy wife has a happier life himself. Raynor believes he can offer advice because as an airline pilot for many years, he talked […]

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“Sir, Is This Where I Catch The Cellitoons?”

Dan Celli

Xlibris, 143 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456894412
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Each page of San Francisco native Dan Celli’s Sir, Is This Where I Catch the Cellitoons? contains a single-panel cartoon, often an illustration of a pun or a literalism. For example:

– A blind woman says to the blind man sitting across the table from her, “Glenn, I don’t think we should see each other […]

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Life is a Game

Ambrose Murtagh

Xlibris, 179 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450054867
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

When lifelong New Yorker Ambrose P. Murtagh sat down at age 91 to write a memoir, he wisely concentrated on his turbulent youth and early adulthood. The disjointed anecdotes collected here cry out for a good editor and more reflection by the author, but the raw material of Murtagh’s early life is compelling.

Born in […]

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Dead Cat Alley

James Chatfield

Xlibris, 319 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456883850
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

In the year 2025, newspaper editor Justin Wright takes on the establishment to find justice when a homeless woman is murdered and one of his young reporters is assaulted. The crime takes place in a Sacramento alley, the famous Dead Cat Alley, known for its public arts project: ceramic rooftop cats with over-sized eerie eyes. […]

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Secrets to Emotional Wealth

Simon Casey

Xlibris, 177 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456876876
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

In Secrets to Emotional Wealth, a psychotherapist certified in treating addiction and eating disorders and in offering biofeedback and forensic mental health delivers an olio of introductions and approaches to treatments that help facilitate better mental health, personal growth and empowerment.

Known as “Dr. Emo” on Twitter, Simon Casey is the creator of Emotional Mastery, […]

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8-Track Flashbacks

Tom Alt

Windy City Publishers, 128 pages, (paperback) $11.99, 9781935766124
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Those oldies stations that proclaim their music “the soundtrack of your life” are just shoveling the usual radio hype. But for Tom Alt, the music of his youth, the music of the tumultuous ’60s, is not only on his ipod, but in his soul. It formed him just as much as family, friends or teachers.

[…]

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