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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Killjoy

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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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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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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Three Days to Die

John Avery

Apticon Books, 224 pages, (paperback) $11.95, 9780983696308
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Three Days to Die is a relentlessly paced page turner with a screenwriter’s visual sense and shoot-’em-up gore more typical of a videogame aesthetic than YA fiction. With taut, action-packed chapters and crisp dialogue, John Avery’s thriller keeps things moving at breath-taking speed. He has created a sort of “boy fantasyland” where nasty stepfathers are […]

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The Heart is for Believeing

Rouzier Dorce

Xlibris, 42 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781462886371
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

The Heart is for Believing is a vibrantly illustrated picture book celebrating the native intelligence of all children. Author Rouzier Dorce, an education administrator originally from Haiti and now living in Georgia, makes the case that educators should always listen to children with open and curious hearts. When teachers and caregivers take the time and […]

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Theater of the Blind: Cataracts of Misperception

Jaeson Brunette

Xlibris, 137 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462870288
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

People’s prejudices, actions and inactions and how they impact others are the focus of this book of 13 interlocking short stories dealing with issues ranging from racism to differing religious beliefs, politics, the death penalty and even violent rape. The first story opens in Reilly Penitentiary where Warden Summers and inmate Stephen McCaulsey face off […]

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There’s No Place Like Home

Jean Studebaker

Xlibris, 163 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462892501
(Reviewed: October, 2011)

Flip to nearly any page in Jean Studebaker’s memoir There’s No Place Like Home and you’ll find an elaborate slice of life on a Kansas farm. Studebaker not only shares the smallest peculiarities of farming, but she conveys them in a way that magnifies their rugged beauty. Her tale renders back-breaking labor and unpredictable weather […]

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