Selectively Lawless: The Story of Emmett Long, an American Original

Asa Duane Dunnington

Primix Publishing, 188 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 9781957676753
(Reviewed: June, 2024)

Selectively Lawless is a short biographical novel about the life of Emmett Long. The son of itinerant sharecroppers, Long used legal and illegal means to build a life for himself in early 20th century Oklahoma.

Author Asa Duane Dunnington brings a personal connection to his writing, having been married to Long’s niece. In a prologue, […]

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A Scammer, A Diamond, and Ransom

J. Morewood Osborne

Primix Publishing, 636 pages, (paperback) $22.99, 9798891940819
(Reviewed: June, 2024)

A Scammer, a Diamond, and Ransom is J. Morewood Osborne’s true account of his encounter with an online dating scammer and the ensuing fallout as told through their email exchanges.

Newly single, John Osborne casually joins a dating site. Despite having sworn off love, when Beck Hill contacts him, John is thunderstruck by their connection […]

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A Shadow of Black Water

John Wilson

Volossal, 357 pages, (paperback) $22.99, 9781963359114
(Reviewed: June, 2024)

In John Wilson’s new thriller, the first in a projected series, a young gangster reconsiders his life.

At 17, Abel Kane helped his uncle Deacon, a career criminal, get away with murder. Ten years later, under Deke’s mentorship, Abel heads his own gang of robbers. The crew’s latest job – robbing a sleazy check-cashing establishment […]

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The Canticle of Ibiza

Justin Kurian

Stillwater Press, 390 pages, (paperback) $16.99, 9781963296068
(Reviewed: June, 2024)

In Justin Kurian’s novel of redemption and self-realization, a New Yorker journeys to Ibiza in the summer of 1988 to find a long-lost friend—and regain his sense of human connection.

Fifteen years ago, John Balkus was an idealistic college graduate with plans to launch a philosophical and theological journal with his best friend, Gunther. He […]

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Doctor Lucifer

Anthony Lee

Anthony Lee, 312 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9798881161088
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

Doctor Lucifer is the first in a promised series of medical thrillers following the crime-busting exploits of Dr. Mark Lin, an internist at Ivory Memorial Hospital in Southern California.

Lin tends to his patients with skill, knowledge and a warm, caring demeanor, but he’s a cynic. In fact, when he’s initially introduced, he admits that […]

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Meditations at Midnight

Gary Jansen

Loyola Press, 96 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 9870829458886
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

Meditations at Midnight is a small but impactful book of poetry and prose from an award-winning author of nonfiction, contemplating the ways in which the spiritual intersects with the mundane.

Gary Jansen’s chapbook-sized collection is divided into five parts whose titles are freighted with meaning, and which peer through thick layers of emotion with a […]

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Fear Dynamics: Harnessing Fear and Anxiety to Create Lasting Happiness and Meaningful Achievement

Stephen J. Dietrich, JD

Amplify Publishing, 241 pages, (hardcover) $29.00, 9781637559734
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

On the surface, successful business attorney Stephen J. Dietrich seemed to live a charmed life. Underneath, though, he struggled with fear and anxiety rooted in his emotionally distant mother’s alcoholism and his father’s sexual abuse. In Fear Dynamics, Dietrich shares his life story, combining memoir with self-help and revealing the therapies and programs he tried […]

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Balloon Theater: Short Stories and Personal Essays

Steve Moncada Street

Contingency Street Press, 330 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 978958015063
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

In Steve Moncada Street’s posthumously published collection of short stories and personal essays, characters grapple with life’s puzzles, often finding insight through chance encounters.

In the opening story, “Snakes,” Lovo watches the news in a “venerable old bar,” and sees a place he once traveled to. He attempts to share an important memory, but his […]

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How to Hold a Glue Stick: and other clues to parenting

Froukje M. Matthews

Balboa Press, 114 pages, (paperback) $11.99, 9781982295561
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

In this practical guide to parenting, Froukje M. Matthews shares techniques for developing healthy social skills and personal confidence in young children.

After her career as a Montessori teacher, Matthews compiled her years of experience into this concise collection of strategies for new parents. She states, “Like a gardener who creates the right conditions for […]

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Joe Learns to Listen

Diana Duncan

Partridge, 28 pages, (paperback) $29.99, 9781543774214
(Reviewed: May, 2024)

In this rhyming story, a chatty boy makes a new best friend with a dog who loves his company, even if others find his monologue overwhelming.

Joe cannot stop talking. Even his parents tire of it, and his teacher is sometimes so frustrated “she could scream.” His parents decide that the solution isn’t to tell […]

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