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Canyons of the Soul

Charles L. Fields

Outskirts Press, 211 pages, (paperback) $12.95, 9781432769864
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

This sequel to Charles L. Fields’ first Charles Stone adventure, Sentimental Me, finds the lawyer, sculptor and amateur poet on the case once again for Franklin Life Insurance Company. This time, Stone must leave his Boston home for Arizona to investigate a renegade Mormon sect led by self-styled prophet Lucas “Luke” Simon.

Simon is an […]

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Being Better Than You Believe

Philip Berry

Outskirts Press, 232 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781432756369
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Have the highlighter handy. One indication of a good self-help book is the amount of passages readers find thought-provoking enough to mark for future reference. Being Better Than You Believe has plenty.

Philip A. Berry’s advice is gleaned from his career as a “human capital improvement” leader and executive at companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and […]

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A Heart’s Cry

Joel "Yang Guang" Tedder

Xlibris, 112 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456824457
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Feeling blue about your life? Pick up a copy of Joel “Yang Guang” Tedder’s A Heart’s Cry. It’s a case of perspective by sledgehammer, as Tedder lays bare a life defined by unrelenting tragedy.

Now 57, Tedder recounts a childhood marked by repeated abuse, first at the hands of his birth father, and later by […]

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Trials of a Small Town Lawyer

Ervin E. Grant

Xlibris, 64 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781453595596
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The majority of chapters in Ervin Grant’s slim book, Trials of a Small Town Lawyer, are a scant two pages long–long enough for us to gradually take pleasure in the Kansas author’s plainspoken voice, but not long enough, unfortunately, to get a good sense of his experiences, let alone go along for the ride.

Grant […]

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The A Book of Things, B Book of Things in Versability

Roger J. Maderia

Xlibris, 86 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456873318
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In the fast-spinning world of texts, tweets and emoticons, it can seem quaint and old fashioned to remember there are actual words that make up the English language. Lots and lots of them, some of which are common, others that have slipped from usage save the occasional crossword puzzle or Scrabble game

Longtime elementary school […]

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Sweetheart’s Lullaby

Stephen Card

Xlibris, 527 pages, (hardcover) $23.99, 9781456868277
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

A deeply disturbing story revolving around a traumatized girl whose nightmarish experience living with an alcoholic father literally fractures her into two personalities, Sweetheart’s Lullaby is a psychological horror that takes place in the fictional town of Emily, Maryland, a setting similar to Stephen King’s Castle Rock and H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth that is steeped in […]

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Lucy Dakota: Adventures of a Modern Explorer Book 1- Rocky Mountain Beginnings

CS Shride

My Piece of the Puzzle, LLC, 304 pages, hardcover $22.95, 9780983386315
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In this heartfelt but flawed first book in a young adult adventure series, Colorado teen Lucy Dakota pushes past her fears and grows more self-assured during a life-changing trek into backcountry.

From middle school on, Lucy has struggled to feel accepted and proud of how she handles things. She’s lonely, at times overweight, and passive […]

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Parachuting for Gold in Old Mexico

Jim Hall

Parachuting Publishing, 492 pages, (paperback) $25.00, 9780984279005
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In the mid 1950s, World War II veteran Jim Hall abandoned a series of dangerous dead-end jobs and followed accounts of gold deposits to the high Sierras of central Mexico. Although he never became fabulously wealthy from his subsequent adventures, the search was, according to this engaging memoir, filled with weird and wonderful encounters.

Most […]

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Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption

Raymond J. Learsy

iUniverse, 344 pages, (paperback) $23.95, 9781462018093
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Compiling blog posts into a book is a new path to publishing filled with obvious potential dangers: the very timeliness of blog postings can mean a short shelf life for relevant information; read as a body of work, the posts might seem disconnected, repetitive or both; and many bloggers care little about memorable or even […]

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What’s for Lunch?: A Cooking Guide for Parents

Theodora Floros

Xlibris, 108 pages, (paperback) $47.49, 9781462899869
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Theodora Floros owns a Montreal catering company and runs a high school kitchen. While her cookbook title is a bit of a misnomer – the recipes are actually geared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dishes such as “Cornish game hen with BBQ sauce” and “Pork with chickpeas” (the author capitalizes only the first word […]

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