Outside the Box: A Wind of Change

Pietro Barbara

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $20.69, 9781543408157
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

In Outside the Box: A Wind of Change, Pietro Barbara shares his views on how to make a better Australia.  Using a self-described “round-the-campfire tone,” Barbara delivers opinions on such disparate topics as the creation of a new Australian constitution, the eradication of foreign-owned property, and a “public health service funded by a percentage […]

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The Rules

Richard L. Jackson

RoseDog Books, 46 pages, (paperback) $9.00,
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

Before the social revolution beginning in the 1960s, books of etiquette and well-accepted manners ruled the lives of middle-class Americans. The decline in formality extended to the workplace, where the entry of people from diverse cultures and women into positions of authority changed the playbook, for many observers for the better. However, the erosion […]

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Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

George M. Lewis

Xlibris, 370 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781524559199
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

The title of George M. Lewis’ novel represents the difficult choice its protagonist ultimately faces:  As a college senior, Camy devotes Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to ballet and Tuesdays and Thursdays to her other passion, physics. Which will prevail?

Camy’s affinity for classical dance comes from her mother, Marilyn, a white Englishwoman, once […]

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The Adventures of Phatty and Payaso: Central Park

Marie Unanue

iUniverse, 182 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532040511
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

With help from old and new friends, a shy, fearful tabby stops a menacing hawk from committing a crime in Marie Unanue’s middle-grade novel, The Adventures of Phatty & Payaso: Central Park.

“Scaredy-cat” Phatty loves his home with its window view of Central Park. He’s eager to reunite with his best cat friend […]

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I Didn’t Believe Any of This Hippie Dippy Bulls**t Either: A Skeptic’s Awakening to the Spiritual Universe

Julie Rasmussen

Red Renegade Press, 198 pages, (paperback) $14.95, 9780692080900
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

Subtitled A Skeptic’s Awakening to the Spiritual Universe, this memoir/map to enlightenment is funny, earthy, and gallops along at a breathless pace. The author claims to have done in 18 months what other revered gurus have spent decades accomplishing: evolve from a fearful, ego-enslaved, perfectionist to a self-accepting, independent, open-hearted citizen of the universe.


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Sons of Freedom: A Historical Novel

John Stark

Xlibris, 136 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781483686943
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

“A barbed wire fence surrounded the entire property and more barbed wire was strung around the dormitory buildings. The police guarded the perimeter. Inside the dormitories, small cots were lined up and filled with crying children.”

This chilling description seems straight out of today’s news from the U.S.-Mexico border but instead comes from […]

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Kick-Ass Kinda Girl: A Memoir of Life, Love & Caregiving

Kathi Koll

Ward Publishing, 229 pages, (paperback) $16.00, 9781732364905
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

Life isn’t over yet for Kathi Koll, no matter how much loss she’s suffered. In this memoir, she proves with humor and compassion that, “As difficult as it is, life’s worth living. In the deepest and saddest moments, somewhere there is a flower just blooming.”

Koll narrates her life on two levels. On […]

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A Trilogy of Love Triangles: The Misconception, the Borrowed Plumes, the Disconnected

Jack K. Campbell

Xlibris, 257 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781543472554
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

In this trio of novellas, male protagonists find themselves in troubling situations with women as they also deal with the changing times of their lives.

The first, “The Misconception,” finds Eugene Baran awakening in a hospital bed to news that he has wrecked his car. As he moves in and out of consciousness, […]

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Painting Sunsets: A Story for Young Artists

Stephen Evans

Time Being Media, 180 pages, (ebook) $4.99, 9780991575947
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

In Stephen Evans’s imaginative young adult fantasy, 12-year-old Lissa plunges into an exquisite undersea world populated by merfolk and sea creatures whose wisdom guides Lissa as she contemplates a life-altering decision.

Painting Sunsets begins with Lissa and her father, a poet and poetry professor, on a pilgrimage to the Key West seaside dock […]

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Miriam: A Tale of Judea in the Time of Christ

Frank Scotello

LifeRich Publishing, 223 pages, (paperback) $16.99, 9781489715265
(Reviewed: August, 2018)

Frank Scotello’s Miriam is an intriguing tale of a Jewish girl, Miriam, who lives in Israel during the time of Christ.

Miriam is a devout Jew who works with her father selling fruit and nuts in the market. A Roman centurion, Gaius Fabius, frequently stops by to purchase goods and sweet-talk Miriam, but […]

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