The Gift

Paul Lara

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456879501
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The Gift is a heartfelt children’s bedtime story created by the father-and-son team of Paul and Nathaniel Lara. With child-like illustrations and simple text, The Gift tells the warm and inspiring story of how God answered the prayers of a childless couple with the gift of a baby. This gentle tale celebrates family, love and […]

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The Clinic

Robert C. Jackson, M.D.

Xlibris, 181 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781436312929
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Fictionalizing the pro-choice issue is creative, to say the least; it’s also the most that can be said of Robert C. Jackson’s The Clinic. An over-abundance of characters, inconsistencies in names, ages and the passage of time are among the book’s distractions that do little to further the pro-choice cause — or make for a […]

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The Ark of IZANNA

Eugene R. Grace

Xlibris, 176 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456864286
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

A reviewer could be compelled to give Eugene R. Grace’s science-fiction novel The Ark of Izanna the benefit of the doubt simply from the story in the author’s bio.

The book, which plays with the idea that humans originated from a fictionalized “Fourth Planet,” was conceived years ago by the author’s brother Arthur. (The bio […]

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Brooke and Lily and the Magic Dust

Bob O'Hare

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456838720
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Stuffed toys come to life in this sweet, but problematic picture book. While on a sleepover, cousins Brooke and Lily find a bag labeled, “Magic Dust,” in an empty toy chest and decide to put their toy monkey and bear in the chest, sprinkle them with the dust and close the lid. The next day, […]

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Mankind Man Unkind

Albert J. Myers

Xlibris, 191 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462871544
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Albert J. Myers tells a good story. Sometimes, it’s just parts of stories.

Mankind Man Unkind is a memoir of Myers’ military service in Vietnam. It begins with him arriving there in early 1968 as a 20-year-old Navy corpsman. Immediately after landing, as he waits for his flight to the combat base at Dong Ha, […]

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This Glorious Disorder

Rae Marie Bruce

Xlibris, 91 pages, Paperback (15.99), 9781462858507
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

After successfully publishing more than 40 poems in anthologies and journals, Rae Marie Bruce has self-published her first book of poetry, titled This Glorious Disorder. It is a well-thought-out, loosely categorized collection of reflections on family, history, place and art. Through her poetry, we see her life in all its glorious disarray: women gossiping in […]

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Colonial Adventure and Other Stories

H. Ann Akroyd

Xlibris, 154 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456881375
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The first poem in H. Ann Ackroyd’s anthology of short stories in free-form verse is a tale from two cultural viewpoints of British colonialism in Africa until the uprising by “black majority rebels.” Although not the epic poem it claims to be, “Colonial Adventure” is a narrative in verse. It contains 46 chapters, ranging from […]

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Twenty-Five Years in the Fourth Grade

Joseph L. Borowitz

Xlibris, 69 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781453573419
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

A grizzled college professor teaching Sunday School? To fourth graders no less? That appealing scenario is the backdrop for Twenty-Five Years in the Fourth Grade, the booklet-size guide by Purdue University pharmacology professor Joe Borowitz on why Sunday school counts and how to give a classroom of wiggly kids your best.

That’s the good and […]

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Cuauhtemoc: Descendent of the Jaguar

D L Davies

Xlibris, 231 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781462857746
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In Cuauhtemoc: Descendant of the Jaguar, the third in D L Davies’ fantasy series set in 16th century South America, readers learn more about Cuauhtemoc’s supernatural side and how the teen-aged emperor of Maya got his powers.

In the first two installments, the boy learned to fly a hang glider and became a birdman/messenger. He […]

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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 […]

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