Finance Matters! Exploring Your Assets and Securing Your Future

Leann Voss, IYR, LLC

Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC, 83 pages, $9.99, 9781616633264
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

As millions of American families continue to struggle in this economy, now more than ever, it seems prudent – and perhaps even mandatory– that the next generation be well educated on the basic principles of personal finance and money management.

Author Leann Voss, who, along with her husband, runs an Oklahoma company to promote financial […]

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Stranger in Dixie

James Fearn

Xlibris, 294 pages, (paperback) $29.99, 9781456883034
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

James Fearn has taken his great-grandfather as his subject for this fictionalized biography, a man who certainly seems to deserve the attention, as he lived an extraordinary and adventurous life on three continents.

John Fearn Francis was raised in the English Midlands in the mid 19th century. Despite his family’s wealth, he had an ingrained […]

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Mischievous Mary Margaret

Gloria Ritchie

Xlibris, 34 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781441583130
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Mischievous Mary Margaret is an amusing picture book about a little girl who likes to play pranks and pick on others until finally she becomes the one who needs help.

Mary Margaret is so mean that the neighborhood kids refuse to play with her. Even her brother isn’t immune to her pranks. Noticing a wad […]

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Kenneth A. Symington

Xlibris, 169 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450076944
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

The most obvious question, even to the author, is, “Why the obtuse title?” Kenneth Symington answers this in his Introduction: it means a book of notes or memories, or, in this case, a collection of short essays and poems ranging from fables and mythology to stories about his ancestors and erotic fantasy. A chemical engineer […]

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The Invisible Struggle

Faye Farnsworth

Xlibris, NULL pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450014021
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

In The Invisible Struggle, Faye Farnsworth uses fantasy tropes to tell a story of the battle between good and evil in the lives of contemporary teens. At the same time, she tries to reconcile God’s seeming indifference to the horrors that take place in the lives of innocent people.

High school sophomores, Larry and Dave, […]

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The Yoder Incident

Mark Alexander Smith

Xlibris, NULL pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456888299
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Mark Alexander Smith’s bio notes that he is a writer and educator who has taught all over the world. Considering Smith’s professional achievements, his debut novel, The Yoder incident, is a surprising disappointment. His story is filled with implausible plot twists and other storytelling distractions.

Jaegan Yoder is a high school English teacher in Saskatoon, […]

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Murder by Accident

Ken Austin

Xlibris, 191 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456866044
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Despite its title, Ken Austin’s Murder By Accident downplays murder and instead focuses on two families in the wake of a fateful car accident. There is a murder — an innocent woman is killed instead of an intended target — and there is a tragic death from the accident — the daughter of the main […]

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Billy Jo and the Monsters of the Moat

Bill Thomas

Xlibris, 32 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781462860791
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Bill Thomas was ten years old when he suffered a traumatic head injury causing severe brain damage. His teachers and friends began teasing him as learning and memory difficulties overwhelmed him. Billy Jo and the Monsters of the Moat is based on Thomas’ real life experience.

The main character, also named Billy, is friendly until […]

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Hand of the Omega

Katherine Whitley

Xlibris, 601 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781456887131
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Although appealing to mainstream fiction readers, Katherine Whitley’s Society trilogy (Society Rules, Knights of Redemption, and the recently released Hand of the Omega) is a subtle fusion of many genre fiction elements: paranormal romance, allegorical fantasy, science fiction, and apocalyptic thriller. The character-driven storyline — which revolves around a quartet of thoroughly developed and endearing […]

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Of Smiles and Tears

Robert J. Singleton

Xlibris, 142 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462847884
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

The cover on Of Smiles and Tears depicts the title in literal terms, which signals the simplicity of the poems inside. This volume by Robert J. Singleton consists of 142 pages of brief prose with poetic interludes.

The subject of most of Singleton’s work here is love and the “lady” who is the object of […]

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