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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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I Want to Know My Future

Linda Dipman

Outskirts Press, 285 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781432773526
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Elizabeth and Tori are young Christian wives and mothers in small town Kansas, who meet each other and fall in love during the late eighties. The pair battles fierce opposition, and even violence, from their families, friends, church, and the courts as they defy the law and flee to Colorado.

This earnest, well-intentioned narrative of […]

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Sweetheart’s Lullaby

Stephen Card

Xlibris, 527 pages, (hardcover) $23.99, 9781456868277
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

A deeply disturbing story revolving around a traumatized girl whose nightmarish experience living with an alcoholic father literally fractures her into two personalities, Sweetheart’s Lullaby is a psychological horror that takes place in the fictional town of Emily, Maryland, a setting similar to Stephen King’s Castle Rock and H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth that is steeped in […]

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The A Book of Things, B Book of Things in Versability

Roger J. Maderia

Xlibris, 86 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456873318
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In the fast-spinning world of texts, tweets and emoticons, it can seem quaint and old fashioned to remember there are actual words that make up the English language. Lots and lots of them, some of which are common, others that have slipped from usage save the occasional crossword puzzle or Scrabble game

Longtime elementary school […]

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A Heart’s Cry

Joel "Yang Guang" Tedder

Xlibris, 112 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456824457
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Feeling blue about your life? Pick up a copy of Joel “Yang Guang” Tedder’s A Heart’s Cry. It’s a case of perspective by sledgehammer, as Tedder lays bare a life defined by unrelenting tragedy.

Now 57, Tedder recounts a childhood marked by repeated abuse, first at the hands of his birth father, and later by […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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