Power and Control

Ralph Leaton White

Xlibris, 406 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781462862177
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

Ralph White’s debut novel, Power and Control, a political thriller that takes place in the near future, begins shortly after a cataclysmic Christmas Day that saw entire towns and villages in 19 countries totally wiped out by chemical or biological attacks.

The “Earth Cleansers,” who have taken responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, […]

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Faith Journeys with Hope and Love

Debora J. McGill

Xlibris, 113 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781441542038
(Reviewed: November, 2011)

This collection of short stories illustrates, in the words of the author, “that stressful events can happen with little or no warning.” With that as a basis for each story, McGill has written a collection of tales of faith in God and Jesus Christ and its importance in meeting everyday – and often unexpected – […]

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The Greatest of These

Dorothy M. Foss

Xlibris, 214 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465345547
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Partly based on the author’s childhood memories, this somber novel chronicles a family’s difficulties during the Great Depression from the alternating perspectives of a mother and daughter.

Jenny is crushed when her husband Jonathan abruptly tells her in 1930 that he’s lost his job and they are moving to Duluth. A year later, Jonathan is […]

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I May Not Know What I’m Talking About But I’m Gonna Say it Anyway

Tara Ratney

Xlibris, 313 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456801762
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

From the difficult-to-read cover type to the dense chapters to her somewhat muddled parting words, “enjoy or again maybe not, but hopefully though you’ll still get something out of it anyway…,” Tara Ratney’s religious self-help book issues an implied challenge: “Read me, if you dare.” Spelling, punctuation and grammar aren’t conventional. Paragraphs go on for […]

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Blowing Up Walmart and Other Florida and California Stories

Jackie Pentecost

Xlibris, 228 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456896805
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Blowing up Walmart and other Florida and California Stories is a collection of short stories, poems and a play. Many of the stories share a common theme of life in sunny communities where retirees reign, while others explore the intricacies of family relationships.

In the title story, “Blowing Up Walmart,” a pair of senior women […]

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Carl E. Clark

Xlibris, 77 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781436322102
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Desolate, dusty Killjoy, Texas, was home to eight, dirt-poor sharecropping families in 1930. Slavery was over, but “freedom” wasn’t something they could eat or drink, and the promise of “forty acres and a mule” didn’t materialize. Hired to work the fields, they were cheated out of wages while being tied to soul-breaking work.

This fictional […]

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Day Watch at Hollywood

Roger F. Kennedy

Xlibris, 181 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781453576069
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

When Victor Krait, a Jeremy Irons look-alike and “functional psychopath,” is released from prison after serving 12 years for bank robbery, he’s fixated on one thought: murdering Jack Stiles, the Los Angeles police officer who killed his co-conspirator, Raphael Parra, and botched their heist. And if Traci Little, Stiles’ partner and the cop who held […]

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Vodka On My Wheaties

Ann Lloyd

Biographical Publishing Company, 361 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9781929882571
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

With three startlingly inappropriate husbands behind her, long battles with alcoholism and Valium dependence, and time spent living in a porcelain-lined trailer due to chemical sensitivities, Ann Lloyd has surely endured a complicated life, which is detailed in her tangled but engaging memoir, Vodka on My Wheaties.

Born to comfortable but neurotic parents in Cleveland, […]

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Impure: Resurrection

J R Bailey

iUniverse, 272 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781462020324
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Powered by an intriguingly complex antihero, richly described realm-building, relentless pacing, and a darkly lyrical and deeply philosophical narrative, the first installment of J.R. Bailey’s fantasy series is gloriously comparable to classic adventure fantasy sagas like Moorcock’s History of the Runestaff, Howard’s Conan, and Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

After almost being turned into […]

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Falling into History

Peter Fleming

Xlibris, 187 pages, (paperback) $29.99 AUD, 9781462887514
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

A man, a woman, and a talking Martian plant walk into a bar…

OK, that doesn’t exactly happen in Falling into History–among other things, the plant doesn’t walk; it glides. However, Peter Fleming’s time-traveling tale is about a sentient, super-powered plant transporting itself and two human companions through time and space, and an eighteenth-century London […]

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