A Long Way from Clearwater

Dale McMillan

Xlibris, 622 pages, (paperback) $23.99, 9781456837365
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Racial barriers and poverty versus wealth set the stage for this book of Christian fiction, which opens in 1927 in Clearwater, Miss. George Simmons and his wife, Chassity, run a successful plantation and cotton gin while employing generations of black domestic help, which are treated like dear family, much to the chagrin of many other […]

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WTF Moment

Bolaji Tijani-Qudus

Xlibris, 217 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462865437
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

A bad divorce can be debilitating and disheartening. In WTF Moment, Bolaji Tijani-Qudus details the fallout of a particularly brutal breakup, following his character’s struggles as he faces separation, divorce and an eventual emotional recovery.

The story starts as Devin Lewis, a personal trainer and startup business owner, walks out of the posh San Francisco […]

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After the Cleanse 2012

Russell Four Eagles

Xlibris, 340 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450074483
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

In After the Cleanse 2012, Russell Four Eagles’ narrative alternates between two future timelines–one far off, one very near. The first portrays a young man (Bear Paw, later renamed Gifted) coming of age in a future society based on Native American traditions. The other depicts the lives of people who survived worldwide flooding in 2012. […]

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Gentle Annie

Carol Tipler

iUniverse, 248 pages, (paperback) $16.95, 9780595471768
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Set in Australia and powered by aboriginal mythology, Anne Ravenoak’s novel is a deeply spiritual yet thematically inefficacious story that follows Annie, a free spirit idyllically existing in the Dreamtime — a timeless place between death and rebirth — who is called by the Master Dreamer time and again to return to the world to […]

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Finance Matters! Exploring Your Assets and Securing Your Future

Leann Voss, IYR, LLC

Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC, 83 pages, $9.99, 9781616633264
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

As millions of American families continue to struggle in this economy, now more than ever, it seems prudent – and perhaps even mandatory– that the next generation be well educated on the basic principles of personal finance and money management.

Author Leann Voss, who, along with her husband, runs an Oklahoma company to promote financial […]

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Mischievous Mary Margaret

Gloria Ritchie

Xlibris, 34 pages, (paperback) $21.99, 9781441583130
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Mischievous Mary Margaret is an amusing picture book about a little girl who likes to play pranks and pick on others until finally she becomes the one who needs help.

Mary Margaret is so mean that the neighborhood kids refuse to play with her. Even her brother isn’t immune to her pranks. Noticing a wad […]

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Hypomnemata

Kenneth A. Symington

Xlibris, 169 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450076944
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

The most obvious question, even to the author, is, “Why the obtuse title?” Kenneth Symington answers this in his Introduction: it means a book of notes or memories, or, in this case, a collection of short essays and poems ranging from fables and mythology to stories about his ancestors and erotic fantasy. A chemical engineer […]

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Stranger in Dixie

James Fearn

Xlibris, 294 pages, (paperback) $29.99, 9781456883034
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

James Fearn has taken his great-grandfather as his subject for this fictionalized biography, a man who certainly seems to deserve the attention, as he lived an extraordinary and adventurous life on three continents.

John Fearn Francis was raised in the English Midlands in the mid 19th century. Despite his family’s wealth, he had an ingrained […]

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The Yoder Incident

Mark Alexander Smith

Xlibris, NULL pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456888299
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Mark Alexander Smith’s bio notes that he is a writer and educator who has taught all over the world. Considering Smith’s professional achievements, his debut novel, The Yoder incident, is a surprising disappointment. His story is filled with implausible plot twists and other storytelling distractions.

Jaegan Yoder is a high school English teacher in Saskatoon, […]

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Murder by Accident

Ken Austin

Xlibris, 191 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456866044
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Despite its title, Ken Austin’s Murder By Accident downplays murder and instead focuses on two families in the wake of a fateful car accident. There is a murder — an innocent woman is killed instead of an intended target — and there is a tragic death from the accident — the daughter of the main […]

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