In Place of Strife

Elizabeth Reinach

Great Writers Media, 176 pages, (paperback) $9.16, 9781956517620
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

In this tale, a group of employees for a local U.K. government agency find themselves with a mystery on their hands as elections near and a murder occurs.

When the obese Mrs. Gordon takes a new job as secretary for the chief executive’s department within the city council, her size prompts giggles from two of […]

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Searching for Clarity

Gene Zimmerman

Snow Capped Consulting, 140 pages, (paperback) $12.00, 9781737012405
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

Gene Zimmerman’s poetry collection, Searching for Clarity, details his five-year journey caring for his wife, who eventually died from cancer. It was a time filled with hardship, stress, loss, and grief but also love and appreciation.

The book has an orderly feel due to the formal consistency of its poems, all relatively short, each with […]

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Annihilation

Kaylin McFarren

Creative Edge Publishing, pages, , 9781685640569
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

The second installment in Kaylin McFarren’s Gehenna saga (after 2020’s Soul-Seeker) is set largely in the realm of Hell, blending biblical myth, dark fantasy, and erotica.

The story begins with teenager Samara Daemonium attending high school in the realm of Middle Earth—a place where angels and demons exist like humans. Her mother Ariel, a guardian […]

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The Principle of 18, Getting the Most out of Every Stage of Your Life

Eyal Danon

Blue Branch Press, 174 pages, (paperback) $7.99, 9781736299449
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

In The Principle of 18, Eyal N. Danon creates a formula for maximizing happiness and success by dividing life into in five, 18-year stages, and detailing what’s most important in each stage.

Danon is a certified life coach and founder of a consulting company that works with Fortune 500 firms. Of his formula, he writes: […]

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The Rape of Persephone: A Novel

Monica Brillhart

Ferryman Press, 431 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781737799108
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

In his “Hymn to Demeter,” the Greek poet Homer wrote about Persephone, the beautiful daughter of Zeus and priestess Demeter, who is abducted by Hades, King of the Underworld. Homer’s poem is just under 500 lines long. Novelist Monica Brillhart has reimagined this story into an enchanting 431-page novel, the first of a trilogy.

The […]

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The Anderson Letters

Wayne Aarestad

iUniverse, 414 pages, (paperback) $28.99, 9781663221186
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

During the late 1800s, Wayne Aarestad’s ancestors immigrated to America along with more than a million other Swedes seeking land and economic opportunity. This book is his compilation of letters the Andersons wrote amongst themselves as they migrated and settled, mostly in the Dakota Territory. They detail poverty and hardships the family overcame with flinty […]

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Dem Haoles: Imagining Whiteness, Hawaiian Style

Brian M. Gilpin

Xlibris, 266 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781664176416
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

In Dem Haoles, author Brian M. Gilpin looks at how haoles (non-native Hawaiians—usually Caucasians) use media images to rationalize their discriminatory behavior.

Gilpin engagingly draws from short stories, travelogues, novels, television programs and movies to delineate six haole archetypes: “gods, demigods, saints, seekers, rogues and vagabonds.” Throughout the book, he examines how various media portray […]

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My Story: Taking Control of Schizophrenia

Stewart (Andy) Lightstone

iUniverse, 144 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781663227300
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

Author Stewart Lightstone discusses his challenges coping with schizophrenia in this volume, which also offers suggestions on managing the thought-process disorder.

Frustratingly, the author provides few details about his treatment or the course of his disease. He notes that he was approximately age 16 when a counselor first recommended he enter a psychiatric hospital, where […]

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Houston Has a Problem!: The Shocking Real-Life Story of a Sexually Abused Child

Saint Andrews

AuthorHouse, 278 pages, (paperback) $20.11, 9781665590037
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

Saint Andrews tells the story of his troubled life in his memoir, Houston Has a Problem!

Born in the ‘60s, Andrews’s story begins with intense memories of his first molestation at age four by a teenage babysitter. From there, he discusses other disturbing events, including watching neighbor brothers have sex with their sister; a summer […]

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Divine Intervention: A Tragic Memoir of Unwavering Faith

Gunmolly Kodiad

iUniverse, 108 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781663227331
(Reviewed: January, 2022)

In Divine Intervention: Tragic Memoir of Unwavering Faith, Gunmolly Kodiad offers an unflinchingly honest account of his life’s journey, including the many challenges he has faced.

Kodiad notes that he’s an “orthotist” (a healthcare professional who makes and fits braces and splints for people in need of them) and son of an orthopedic surgeon. The […]

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