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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God is Not Green: The Scary Story of Christian Systematic Theology

Patricia Lingenfelter Highby

Scribd, 133 pages, (ebook) free,
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

In this extended essay, author Highby proposes that the reason why planet Earth is in such dire straits environmentally is because of the anti-nature message that Christianity’s leading theologians promulgated during the early years of the Church’s formation. For example, the author argues that early Christian leaders put less emphasis on Jesus’ message of social […]

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Go Eat, Pete

Katie Nelson, Illustrated by Gail M. Nelson

LifeVest Publishing, 26 pages, paperback, $9.99, 9781598797343
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

Pete is a dog who eats all the wrong things. While a monkey munches on a banana, Pete eyes a pizza. While a mountain goat eats grass, Pete samples a cinnamon roll. A wolf, an elephant and a seal all choose healthy eating options; meanwhile, Pete is eating cotton candy and French fries and slurping […]

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Herby’s Secret Formula

Sue C. Hughey

Associated Arts Publisher, 221 pages, (paperback) $11.95, 9780981453958
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

Hughey takes a clever approach to the premise of the boy who shrinks, then relies on his wits to survive in a big world in this first in a promising middle-grade series.

A grade school boy named Herby accidentally spills a potion he’s developing for the science fair into his bath and shrinks to 6 […]

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Beyond the Summit

Linda LeBlanc

Ama Deblam, 280 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9780978535308
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

This intelligently written adventure/romance novel details the lives of Sherpas in the Himalayas who earn a living as high-altitude porters for tourists who want to view Mt. Everest. Beth, an American journalist, has just arrived in Nepal to capture the “never-before-told” inside story of the Sherpas. She has brought along a top photographer, Eric, who […]

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Neptune’s Chariot

Irv Sternberg

Outskirts Press, 316 pages, hardcover, $26.95, 9781432718848
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

The author of several well-received regional mysteries, Sternberg (No Laughing Matter, 2007, etc.) hits his literary sweet spot with this imaginative throwback set on the high seas circa 1855. As the novel opens in Boston, a highborn lady named Elizabeth Godwin argues vehemently against returning with her family to her native England, begging to join […]

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Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman’s Wife

Michele Longo Eder

Dancing Moon Press, 431 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9781892076441
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

While fishermen bear the physical risks of their sea-going profession, their family members carry the emotional burdens. So it was for Eder, who started a journal in December 2000 to chronicle the life of her commercial fishing family in Newport, Oregon. Eder’s husband Bob operated two fishing boats. Her sons Ben and Dylan pitched in […]

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Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend

Cheryl Carpinello

Outskirts Press, 122 pages, (paperback) $10.95, 9781432737047
(Reviewed: November, 2010)

In this sweet, if uneven introduction to the lore of Camelot, a spirited young Guinevere struggles to accept her destiny.

Just before her 13th birthday, as she prepares to become a queen, Guinevere slips off into the forest with 7-year-old friend Cedwyn to hunt for a rabbit she hopes will bring her luck. She stumbles […]

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