When the Jacaranda Petals Fall

David Barnato

Xlibris, 200 pages, (paperback) 13.99, 9781456894658
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Barnato’s adventure tale, which travels between Scotland and South Africa, begins dramatically in 1999 when Johannes, a young South African, sets fire to his neighbor’s house after catching him having sex with his wife. The next chapter rapidly shifts to a Scottish castle and is written through the eyes of Boysie, the new resident Jack […]

Read full review...

Home on the Big Salmon

Sid Bell

Xlibris, 183 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462862023
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Anyone who has ever considered opting out of the rat race will admire the journey author Sid Bell recounts in his novel, Home on the Big Salmon. Bell’s story of a veteran who moves to the Canadian wilderness teems with the first-hand knowledge of a Survivalist 101 course. But unfortunately, Bell’s saga, which spans decades […]

Read full review...

Count von Ice de la Cream and the Golden Ice Cream

G.O. Martinez

Xlibris, 54 pages, (paperback) $27.99, 9781456865221
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In this imaginative but strange picture book, a count invents a flavor of ice cream from a princess’s golden locks and everyone who eats it grows hair all over their bodies.

When Count von Ice de la Cream sees how delicious Princess Clarisse’s hair looks, he asks her father, King Gustav, to waive a law […]

Read full review...

Harry Meets Sam

Denise Britan

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781462867561
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

While riding a school bus for the first time, a six-year-old boy runs into bullies and makes a friend in this sweet but slow-paced picture book that, unfortunately, offers nothing new in the heavily visited premise about starting school.

First grader Harry lives at the end of a country road and can’t wait for school […]

Read full review...

A Ranger’s Life

T.W. Strait

Xlibris, 243 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462863631
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

T.W. Strait’s own work with the Missouri Park Board no doubt fuels his fiction in A Ranger’s Life, the story of adventurous main character Jack Anderson’s tenure as a ranger at Osage State Park. Strait’s first-hand experience shines through as Jack Anderson tells believable tales about his time at Osage, which include funny run-ins with […]

Read full review...

Trials of a Small Town Lawyer

Ervin E. Grant

Xlibris, 64 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781453595596
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The majority of chapters in Ervin Grant’s slim book, Trials of a Small Town Lawyer, are a scant two pages long–long enough for us to gradually take pleasure in the Kansas author’s plainspoken voice, but not long enough, unfortunately, to get a good sense of his experiences, let alone go along for the ride.

Grant […]

Read full review...

The Knight’s Gambit

John Alfred Barrett, Mariner

Xlibris, 49 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456878078
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Among the forgotten tragedies of World War II, the destruction of Convoy PQ-17 in the Arctic Ocean is surely one of the most poignant. Following an initial assault by German torpedo planes and U-boats on July 4, 1942 and a seeming threat from Hitler’s battleships, the British Admiralty ordered the doomed convoy’s destroyer escorts to […]

Read full review...

Law School: A Dream or a Nightmare?

Lloyd S. Foote

Xlibris, 345 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781453587652
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Law School: A Dream Or A Nightmare? is ostensibly a novel centering around Dexter and Judy, two married law school students passionate about the rigors of the legal training in which they are immersed. They start each morning excited about whatever topic is scheduled for class that day and go to bed enthralled about what’s […]

Read full review...

Being Better Than You Believe

Philip Berry

Outskirts Press, 232 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781432756369
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Have the highlighter handy. One indication of a good self-help book is the amount of passages readers find thought-provoking enough to mark for future reference. Being Better Than You Believe has plenty.

Philip A. Berry’s advice is gleaned from his career as a “human capital improvement” leader and executive at companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and […]

Read full review...

Canyons of the Soul

Charles L. Fields

Outskirts Press, 211 pages, (paperback) $12.95, 9781432769864
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

This sequel to Charles L. Fields’ first Charles Stone adventure, Sentimental Me, finds the lawyer, sculptor and amateur poet on the case once again for Franklin Life Insurance Company. This time, Stone must leave his Boston home for Arizona to investigate a renegade Mormon sect led by self-styled prophet Lucas “Luke” Simon.

Simon is an […]

Read full review...