Seraph: Living Inside My Father’s Pain

Iris Liebner

iUniverse, 124 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532067846
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

With her Seraph: Living Inside My Father’s Pain, Iris Liebner offers a book of poems, not only about her father but also about love, friendship, meditation, sex, dying and existential angst.

Liebner’s background as a student of psychotherapy lends her an acute awareness of the fears and self-accusations to which most people are […]

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Finn and Botts: Double Trouble At the Museum

Stew Knight, illustrated by Mark Meyers

Dreamwell Press, 122 pages, (paperback) $8.99, 9781733609210
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

In Stew Knight’s delightful middle-grade book, best friends Finn and Botts solve a mystery during their school field trip to a museum.

Finn and Botts (depicted as pigs in the illustrations, although the text never refers to this) are invited, along with school classmates, to spend the night at the city museum. Before […]

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Finn and Botts: Talent Show Tricks

Stew Knight

Dreamwell Press, 106 pages, (paperback) $8.99, 9781733609227
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

A fun, magic-filled children’s chapter book with a resonant moral, Stew Knight’s Finn & Botts: Talent Show Tricks delivers memorable characters readers will want to revisit in future books.

Best friends Finn and Botts are the stars of this middle grade series, whose characters are all anthropomorphic pigs (this doesn’t directly impact the […]

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Finn and Botts: Curse of The Cornfield Ghost

Stew Knight

Dreamwell Press, 114 pages, (paperback) $8.99, 9781733609203
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

Stew Knight delivers age-appropriate scares and suspense in his entertaining Halloween-themed middle-grade book, Finn & Botts: Curse of the Cornfield Ghost.

Finn and Botts, like their friends, classmates, and parents, are anthropomorphic pigs. It’s Halloween, and with the memory of trick-or-treat bags stolen by a mysterious black-caped figure last year, the kids are […]

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From Despair to Hope: Survival Guide for Bereaved Parents

Linda Zelik

BookBaby, 173 pages, (paperback) $15.00, 9781543968484
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

Nine years of her own evolution from devastation to acceptance, Linda Zelik offers this valuable book to aid other parents grieving the sudden death of a child.

Linda and her husband had no time to prepare for the shock of her 24-year-old son Kevin’s death by asphyxiation. “The next three years were the […]

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Longing to Share What I’m Feeling: Poetry, Verse, and Worse—A Father-Son Tradition

Harry S. Bodin and Arthur M. Bodin

Xlibris, 156 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781796011371
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

Two generations of men in one family share their writings in this collection of love poems, tributes and more that spans roughly 100 years.

The book begins with a charming Preface from Arthur M. Bodin, noting that the men in his family were not only encouraged to express their feelings, but “in fact,” […]

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God Creates a Snake

Charles Peterson, illustrated by Brian Russell

Underfold, 32 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9780985927738
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

A colorful picture book depicting a unique origin story, God Creates a Snake is like a successful comic strip: light on words, leveraging a solid punch line, and accessible to all ages.

The angels at “Creation Station” send Snake from the waiting room into God’s office for a meeting before Snake is placed […]

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Gogen

Jean Marie

Xlibris, 50 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781796010985
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

Jean Marie’s horror novella Gogen, set in late1400’s Japan, wastes no time getting to the action. After a two-page prologue told in first-person by a mysterious narrator, the book launches into the grisly experiences of Yari, a lone samurai scout.

Yari’s mission is to explore Harutaka, a castle where his younger brother served […]

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Shall We Gather at the River

E. Reid Gilbert

Xlibris, 226 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465348050
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

In this novel of race relations in the 1870s—a theme that resonates even today—Jimmie Sue, a white teenager, falls in love with Madeleen, a black sharecropper’s daughter, in High County, Virginia.

Jimmie Sue (nicknamed for his great-grandmother Sue) comes from a long line of independent mountain men. They are farmers by trade, but […]

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Stumperland

Ken Hauk

Xlibris, 48 pages, (paperback) $24.99, 9781524599270
(Reviewed: September, 2019)

Two boys earn a place among defenders of nature in the intricately imagined children’s book Stumperland.

The story revolves around two orphans, Malibu Mitch and Mikey, who meet the Positive Force Team and help defeat a sawmill owner who’s cutting down trees illegally. Invited to join the team after their victory, the boys […]

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