The Buchanans: Storm

Carlene Keim

Xlibris, 244 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456880569
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

For the first 150 or so pages, The Buchanans: Storm is an old-fashioned, Harlequin-style historical romance. But as the book progresses, it becomes clear that it’s more–and in some cases less–than a formulaic read.

The book takes place in 1880s Texas. Storm Buchanan is a handsome Texas Ranger who, after losing his Ranger father as […]

Read full review...

Country Lawyer

George Kilbourne

Xlibris, 291 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462876327
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In Country Lawyer, author George Kilbourne remembers his six years of legal practice at the firm of Hays & Hays in the small town of Sullivan, Indiana. The result is a collection of interesting and sometimes funny stories.

Kilbourne had been an attorney in California, but after travelling through Sullivan to visit a relative, he […]

Read full review...

The Twerp

Dale McMillan

Xlibris, 241 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781453525043
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The hero of East Texas retiree McMillan’s inspirational coming-of-age novel is a scrawny, bespectacled misfit named Fredrick Overall. “Frail Freddy” is certainly no candidate for the high school football team coached by his blustering father, Luther, and he gets no respect from his older siblings–not even his sister, Velma. Only the Twerp’s loving mother, a […]

Read full review...

What’s for Lunch?: A Cooking Guide for Parents

Theodora Floros

Xlibris, 108 pages, (paperback) $47.49, 9781462899869
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Theodora Floros owns a Montreal catering company and runs a high school kitchen. While her cookbook title is a bit of a misnomer – the recipes are actually geared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dishes such as “Cornish game hen with BBQ sauce” and “Pork with chickpeas” (the author capitalizes only the first word […]

Read full review...

Life is a Game

Ambrose Murtagh

Xlibris, 179 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450054867
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

When lifelong New Yorker Ambrose P. Murtagh sat down at age 91 to write a memoir, he wisely concentrated on his turbulent youth and early adulthood. The disjointed anecdotes collected here cry out for a good editor and more reflection by the author, but the raw material of Murtagh’s early life is compelling.

Born in […]

Read full review...

“Sir, Is This Where I Catch The Cellitoons?”

Dan Celli

Xlibris, 143 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456894412
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Each page of San Francisco native Dan Celli’s Sir, Is This Where I Catch the Cellitoons? contains a single-panel cartoon, often an illustration of a pun or a literalism. For example:

– A blind woman says to the blind man sitting across the table from her, “Glenn, I don’t think we should see each other […]

Read full review...

The Happiest Woman

Edmund Raynor

Xlibris, 73 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456894825
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Author Edmund Raynor wants to tell men how to earn the trust of their wives and how to love and be loved by them, including sexually. The payoff: the man with a happy wife has a happier life himself. Raynor believes he can offer advice because as an airline pilot for many years, he talked […]

Read full review...

A Trip Thru Hell (Nam)

Joe W. Harrison

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456875480
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Though Joe W. Harrison left the war in Viet Nam in April of 1968, it has never left him. The 67-year-old author, who currently serves as associate pastor at a cowboy church in Texas, has penned this memoir as a tribute to his fellow soldiers, living and dead.

His story begins when he decides to […]

Read full review...

Be Not Afraid

K.R. Morrison

Xlibris, 221 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462852215
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Although categorized as horror, K.R. Morrison’s debut novel is more appropriately described as an amalgam of vampire-powered dark fantasy and faith-based supernatural suspense — i.e.: Christian horror. While Morrison’s novel does little to expand or re-imagine the vampire mythos in any way, the sheer intimacy of the narrative is what powers this redemptive tale.

Lydia […]

Read full review...

Dead Cat Alley

James Chatfield

Xlibris, 319 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456883850
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

In the year 2025, newspaper editor Justin Wright takes on the establishment to find justice when a homeless woman is murdered and one of his young reporters is assaulted. The crime takes place in a Sacramento alley, the famous Dead Cat Alley, known for its public arts project: ceramic rooftop cats with over-sized eerie eyes. […]

Read full review...