It Happened in Tuscany

Gail Mencini

Carpiole Group, 314 pages, (ebook) $3.99, 9781938592157
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Gail Mencini’s engaging novel It Happened in Tuscany concerns an old man’s search for his long-lost love.

The story opens in 1945, as the US Army 10th Mountain Division scales Riva Ridge in Tuscany, hoping to penetrate Nazi control of the territory. But things go horribly wrong, and Will Mills, a teenage expert climber and […]

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Flights from Fairyland

Karen Lee Oliver

Xlibris, 164 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781543456875
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Karen Lee Oliver’s Flights from Fairlyland is a poetic medley addressing myriad topics, from philosophical questions surrounding identity and truth to contemplations of nature to considerations of fictional and historical figures as diverse as Gertrude Stein and Cinderella.

The book is comprised of free verse and rhyming poems, most written in English and a few […]

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Sketches from Life

Gillian Skeen-McKee

Xlibris, 376 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781796024043
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Gillian Skeen-McKee’s Sketches from Life delivers a collection of eclectic stories set in South Africa and around New York, often focusing on troubled relationships and vulnerable animals.

The collection opens with “The Ship,” in which a surgeon recalls a time in the 1980s when a Russian ship came into a South African port […]

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Tales of Old: Stories from the Old Testament

Clive Johnson

Labyrinthe Press, 273 pages, (ebook) $5.95, 9781916227637
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Clive Johnson retells selected stories from the Bible’s Old Testament in this read-aloud compilation for children and adults.

With tales of “giants, fabulous creatures…unworldly beings…maverick prophets…unfathomable miracles and celestial wonders,” the Old Testament has “inspired writers, film makers, painters, composers and many more over the centuries.” Johnson encourages a revival of the oral tradition of […]

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Origin of the Follower and His New Actions

John Durbin Husher

iUniverse, 302 pages, (paperback) $20.99, 9781532010200
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

John Durbin Husher’s action thriller features Axel Tressler, also known as The Follower, a biology professor who uses his extraordinary physical capabilities to carry out high-risk missions for the U.S government.

Growing up, Axel realizes that his body is capable of producing much larger than normal quantities of energy. Axel sets about developing a mini-computer […]

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Haiku for Today’s World

Jon Seymour

Xlibris, 86 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781796047813
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Jon Seymour’s collection, Haiku for Today’s World, addresses a wide variety of topics, ranging from broad, philosophical categories like love, friendship, hypocrisy, and the meaning of life to more particular, concrete categories like movie characters, lawyers, and baseball.

The volume is comprised of 22 sections of tercets arranged by theme. While the poems resemble classic […]

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Just Me Thinking Out Loud

Thomas Frank Gibbs, Jr.

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781984514240
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Just Me Thinking Out Loud by Thomas Frank Gibbs, Jr. is a collection of poems that meanders through one’s man’s life and reflections on topics that touch us all, such as love, fate, world issues, and personal sorrow.

The book is a series of poems without sections and many of the titles espouse skepticism and […]

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A More Perfect Union

Paul Shemella

Page Publishing, 149 pages, (ebook) $16.95, 9781646282968
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Paul Shemella’s second in a series, A More Perfect Union, takes place in pre-9/11 America, as a right-wing group of white nationalists plans a series of terror attacks to incite a militia-led uprising against the federal government.

Gabriele Barnes is happily married to husband Carl, but at the story’s opening, he dies trying to prevent […]

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The Water Column

Aran Jane

Roquebrune Books, pages, (paperback) $, 9780578622897
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Aran Jane’s engaging thriller, The Water Column, follows Lila Piper, a gifted intuitive personal injury investigator who is examining the suspicious death of a young man.

The victim is Wolf Holzinger, 33, the son of her boss’s friend Hans Holzinger, a wealthy dairy farmer. Wolf had fallen 16-stories to his death while attempting to rappel […]

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Brink of Life: Book 2: Brink of Life Trilogy

Rick Moskovitz

Fluke Tale Productions, 160 pages, (paperback) $7.95, 9781734178913
(Reviewed: January, 2020)

Rick Moskovitz’s Brink of Life is the second in a fascinating science fiction trilogy about a futuristic society where minds can be swapped to different bodies.

The story begins where A Stand-in for Dying ends. In 2059, a female consciousness awakens inside a different body, attending the funeral of that person’s husband. Standing over the […]

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