Shadowman

Aaron Dennis

Xlibris, 100 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781465376671
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

He can move between the visible world of the living and the ethereal realm of the spirits, changing from man to animal as he skips between dimensions.

Those are the extraordinary powers of the protagonist in Aaaron Dennis’ slim debut work Shadow Man, a story that incorporates voodoo magic, spirit guides and the hoodoo traditions […]

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Enduring Relations

Jane Hyatt

AuthorHouse, 242 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781420897357
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Enduring Relations is the story of a family as they gather for a funeral and a wedding, told chapter by chapter in the alternating voices of each of the women characters. Each woman reveals her secret thoughts about the rest of the family, weighing and measuring them against her own happiness or disappointments, often with […]

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Skip the First Amendment

Marlowe J. Churchill

Trafford Publishing, 290 pages, (paperback) $18.50, 9781426965852
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Marlowe J. Churchill’s noir crime novel, Skip the First Amendment, opens with Skip Easley, a jaded crime reporter at a newspaper in Seattle, working on a story about a murdered topless dancer. But he soon gets himself fired, and the novel then follows Easley to a newspaper in Riverside, California, a dusty, small, college town […]

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Angel in Black: A Musical Life in Letters

Beverly Shaffer Gast

Trafford Publishing, 204 pages, (paperback) $13.66, 9781426974854
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Part-memoir, part-biography, part documentary record, Beverly Shaffer Gast has put together a moving record of her sister, Elaine Shaffer, the world’s first concert flutist, whose life was cut short by lung cancer.

Elaine Shaffer grew up in a depression-era family that could just about get by as far as essentials were concerned but had no […]

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The Further Adventures and Life of Jack Dawkins, Also Known as The Artful Dodger

Alan Montgomery

Trafford Publishing, 209 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781426931000
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

In his debut novel, author Alan Montgomery imagines the life of Jack Dawkins –the character in Dickens’ Oliver Twist who is also known as “the artful dodger” – after he is deported to the U.S. for his crimes as a pickpocket.

The story begins as a frightened Dawkins awaits transfer from his jail cell to […]

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Two Ticket Ride

Sweigart Brothers

Xlibris, 281 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465381521
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

There was a time when Jake Riley led special forces teams into missions impossible, but now, unemployed, unhappily married, and dangerously depressed, he hops on his Harley with a woman he barely knows, hoping to feel powerful again. As Jake pushes his ride to the limit with his new, troubled woman complaining behind him, they […]

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The Lost: Caprian 1

C.C. Lea

Xlibris, 146 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465396983
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

The Lost appears as the first in a contemporary fantasy series, centering on a secret dynasty of supernatural beings sharing a private island in Virginia. When vampire Samuel Vardan issues a challenge to the households of Caprian Island, Caprian Elder Kyle Gruder knows that too few supernaturals from his generation remain on the island to […]

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Climates of the Mind: A Bipolar Memory Including the Therapy Journals

Allen Jeweler

iUniverse, 122 pages, (paperback) $13.95, 9781440193507
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

The National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that 2.6% of American adults suffer from bipolar disorder. There is no shortage of textbooks, articles and scholarly papers on the topic. But a view from the inside is rarer. Jerry Jewler, a successful ad man who transitioned into academia and spent nearly 30 years as a […]

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Humanity in the Midst of Inhumanity

Shahkeh Yaylaian Setian

Xlibris, 240 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462884230
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Here is an eloquent cri de coeur by a writer, teacher and humanitarian activist whose parents survived the infamous Armenian Genocide. It is a valuable addition to the literature of that event, not least because the author’s main goal is reconciliation between Christian Armenians and Turkish Muslims, whose forbears committed this first mass murder of […]

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The Princeton Experience

H.S. MacAyeal

Xlibris, 450 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781465369192
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

It takes place 60 years ago, but this richly-stocked story, which appears to be a thinly-veiled memoir about the author’s college experience, betrays no hint of the haziness of detail often wrought by time.

Through his protagonist Harry Douglas, the author reconstitutes, in minute particulars, late-night theological arguments conducted by 20-year-olds during the Truman Administration. […]

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