Echoes in the Walls

Katrina Morgan

Xlibris, 325 pages, (paperback) 17.99, 9781456850852
(Reviewed: April, 2011)

Katrina Morgan’s lively voice relates the harrowing saga of remodeling the dilapidated pre-Civil war farmhouse she and her husband bought on the outskirts of their small Ohio town. It’s a tale replete with dangerous mishaps far in excess of the average homeowner’s experiences, mainly because the Morgans vowed to restore their dream house with no […]

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Wake Up USA

Citizen Charles

Xlibris, 201 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456874292
(Reviewed: April, 2011)

Wake Up USA begins with the premise that the United States has “essential needs” consisting of “abundant and economically priced supplies of energy, transportation, housing, food, water, health care, and education” and that long-range planning is needed to secure those needs. Author Citizen Charles then shows, in detail, just how dire those needs are and […]

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The House on Maple Drive

Edna May Cieslewicz

Xlibris, 126 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781436340502
(Reviewed: April, 2011)

This third mystery by Edna May Cieslewicz centers on two old, architecturally interesting homes on Maple Drive. The Andrews family lives in one, while the other is empty. The husband is critically ill, requiring nursing care. Meanwhile, the mother rules over one son, three daughters and a 2 ½ old grandson, who also live in […]

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A Lonely Kind of War: Forward Air Controller – Vietnam

Marshall Harrison

Xlibris, 367 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456834951
(Reviewed: March, 2011)

When Marshall Harrison joined the United States Air Force, he knew he would probably fly missions in Vietnam. What he did not anticipate: his designation as a forward air controller during combat in North and South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia between 1965 and 1970.

After piloting high-speed jets at high altitudes while in the military, […]

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Leaving Brogado

Marshall Harrison

Xlibris, 314 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781453563366
(Reviewed: March, 2011)

Marshall Harrison presents this book as one Marine’s memoir of his experiences in Vietnam, but readers will quickly realize that these recollections are no more factual than those of George MacDonald Fraser’s popular character Harry Flashman. Leaving Brogado is actually a funny, honest, thoroughly engaging novel, published (posthumously) by a writer who experienced three tours […]

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Redeeming the Wounded: A Prison Chaplain’s Journey into Crime Victims’ Advocacy

B. Bruce Cook

Xulon, 232 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781609572990
(Reviewed: February, 2011)

As a long-time, nationally lauded chaplain for both crime victims and prisoners on the county and federal levels, Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook saw that the prison system was imbalanced toward offenders’ rights at the expense of the victims’ rights. Cook set out to change that by founding the Crime Victims Advocacy Council in Atlanta, […]

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Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery

Melissa M. Garcia

iUniverse, 295 pages, (paperback) $18.95, 9781450236911
(Reviewed: January, 2011)

Every mystery has its dark secrets, but the best ones reveal them with a kind of perverse, teasing finesse. And author Melissa M. Garcia does so deftly in Stranger, her second mystery.

Ex-con Alex Delgado and her brother Ric have fled Los Angeles for a new start in the small, gritty town of Lake City, […]

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Tricked

Holly Gaskin

Outskirts Press, 76 pages, (paperback) $12.95, 9781432746612
(Reviewed: January, 2011)

If your kids love sitting around a campfire listening to ghost stories — in this case, super-ghastly ghost stories — this one is for them. Gaskin spins a horror story for the pre-teen set that’s not for the faint of heart.

Tricked is actually a long short story, set on Halloween. It’s the first time […]

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Blueink Best Book

Carlos the Impossible

JTK Belle

Incongruous Press, 45 pages, paperback, $5.99, 9781452877624
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

In this short but elegant novella, an aging matador from Mexico meets his greatest adversary in an infamous bull from the American heartland. Inspired by traditional folk tales, the author sets his story in an indeterminate time period, spinning a legend all his own with the compassion and verve of a born storyteller.

The novella […]

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Heaven in the Midst of Hell: A Quaker Chaplain’s View of the War in Iraq

Commander Sheri Snively, D.Min.,CHC, USNR

Raven Oaks Press, 269 pages, (hardcover) $26.95, 9780981992600
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

Commander Snively, a Quaker minister and U.S. Navy chaplain, served a year with Marines at a trauma hospital and morgue in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. This book–a well produced, if unevenly written coffee-table-style volume combining photos and text–offers reflections of her time there.

Snively’s strength is her heart. With great empathy, she shares […]

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