Skip the First Amendment

Marlowe J. Churchill

Trafford Publishing, 290 pages, (paperback) $18.50, 9781426965852
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Marlowe J. Churchill’s noir crime novel, Skip the First Amendment, opens with Skip Easley, a jaded crime reporter at a newspaper in Seattle, working on a story about a murdered topless dancer. But he soon gets himself fired, and the novel then follows Easley to a newspaper in Riverside, California, a dusty, small, college town […]

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Angel in Black: A Musical Life in Letters

Beverly Shaffer Gast

Trafford Publishing, 204 pages, (paperback) $13.66, 9781426974854
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Part-memoir, part-biography, part documentary record, Beverly Shaffer Gast has put together a moving record of her sister, Elaine Shaffer, the world’s first concert flutist, whose life was cut short by lung cancer.

Elaine Shaffer grew up in a depression-era family that could just about get by as far as essentials were concerned but had no […]

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The Further Adventures and Life of Jack Dawkins, Also Known as The Artful Dodger

Alan Montgomery

Trafford Publishing, 209 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781426931000
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

In his debut novel, author Alan Montgomery imagines the life of Jack Dawkins –the character in Dickens’ Oliver Twist who is also known as “the artful dodger” – after he is deported to the U.S. for his crimes as a pickpocket.

The story begins as a frightened Dawkins awaits transfer from his jail cell to […]

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Two Ticket Ride

Sweigart Brothers

Xlibris, 281 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465381521
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

There was a time when Jake Riley led special forces teams into missions impossible, but now, unemployed, unhappily married, and dangerously depressed, he hops on his Harley with a woman he barely knows, hoping to feel powerful again. As Jake pushes his ride to the limit with his new, troubled woman complaining behind him, they […]

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Logdog

Michael P. Johnson

Xlibris, 37 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781465356581
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Michael P. Johnson’s cartoon-ready character LOGDOG is 100% heart, and this illustrated picture book devoted to him seems intended to launch the franchise with a hearty, action-packed creation story.

Billy and Kyle are the grandsons of Grandma and Grandpa Tuttle. Every summer, the boys visit their grandparents on a farm in the country where they […]

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Alexander and the Ring of Destiny

Denise Pryce

Trafford, 72 pages, (paperback) $24.99, 9781425188870
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

In this children’s story, a young boy named Alexander meets Peter, a talking rabbit who has been sent by the Queen to find him. She believes Alexander is the only one who can help her.

Peter brings Alexander to a fairytale kingdom, where the Queen explains that a villain has taken a ring that will […]

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The Judgment Against Imperialism, Fascism and Racism Against Caliphate and Islam

Khondakar Golam Mowla

AuthorHouse, 748 pages, (paperback) $36.49, 9781438910956
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Khondakar Golam Mowla was born in West Bengal in 1946. Although he currently lives in the United States, his passion remains the Middle East and Orient. His book’s back cover makes that clear: “This book is all about Caliphate and Islam which was destroyed in 1914 through first illegal invasion of Iraq and Caliphate was […]

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The Opiate Cure

Robert T. Cochran Jr., MD

Xlibris, 257 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781465391483
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

Many people associate opiates with drug addiction. Author Robert T. Cochran, Jr., however, proposes in The Opiate Cure that this class of drugs is something of a miracle cure for numerous pain disorders and bipolar psychiatric problems. Under FDA guidelines, Cochran has used opiates to treat hundreds of patients with chronic pain. What surprised him […]

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The Princeton Experience

H.S. MacAyeal

Xlibris, 450 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781465369192
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

It takes place 60 years ago, but this richly-stocked story, which appears to be a thinly-veiled memoir about the author’s college experience, betrays no hint of the haziness of detail often wrought by time.

Through his protagonist Harry Douglas, the author reconstitutes, in minute particulars, late-night theological arguments conducted by 20-year-olds during the Truman Administration. […]

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Signals of Smoke and Ash

Evan Quitelle

Trafford, 112 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 9781466903944
(Reviewed: January, 2012)

At their best, the poems in Evan Quitelle’s Signals of Smoke and Ash are smart, assured and engaging, displaying a wonderfully dexterous and adroit use of language in the service of deeply felt emotions.

Readers are put on notice to be on their toes from the first poem, which reads in its entirety, “Ardor is […]

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