Of Smiles and Tears

Robert J. Singleton

Xlibris, 142 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462847884
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

The cover on Of Smiles and Tears depicts the title in literal terms, which signals the simplicity of the poems inside. This volume by Robert J. Singleton consists of 142 pages of brief prose with poetic interludes.

The subject of most of Singleton’s work here is love and the “lady” who is the object of […]

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Society: The Invisible Giant

Warren K. Eister

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456848040
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

In Society: The Invisible Giant, Warren K. Eister, a former engineer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, offers a look at the structures and dynamics of society as they relate to the various organizational frameworks we all fit in, with the “Invisible Giant” of society being the over-arching blanket of humanity. As he describes his […]

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Labyrinth of Passions

Angelica Rose

AuthorHouse, 324 pages, (paperback) $17.99, 9781452079905
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

Even though it features the traditional 19th century romantic duo of a rakish viscount and a beautiful Spanish maiden, Labyrinth of Passions is definitely not your great-grandmother’s, let alone your mother’s, romance.

First of all, there are the sex scenes, which are so graphic they could serve as a how-to manual. That’s not to say […]

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The Invisible Struggle

Faye Farnsworth

Xlibris, NULL pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450014021
(Reviewed: September, 2011)

In The Invisible Struggle, Faye Farnsworth uses fantasy tropes to tell a story of the battle between good and evil in the lives of contemporary teens. At the same time, she tries to reconcile God’s seeming indifference to the horrors that take place in the lives of innocent people.

High school sophomores, Larry and Dave, […]

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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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The Scent of the Armoires

Celeste A. Mansylla

Xlibris, 361 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450016070
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

The personal armoires popular in our ancestors’ time held important fragments of each family member’s life. “They were works of art,” writes Celeste A. Mansylla. “. . . Every armoire had its own smell according to the wood that had been used to make it and, with time, it acquired the scent of the person […]

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Take a Walk with Me

Rudy Calzada

Xlibris, 62 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456834654
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

In Take a Walk With Me, Southern Californian Rudy Calzada, who retired after working for 43 years with the United States Postal Service, writes about the moods and memories of his personal life without ever getting too personal. The result is a jovial and generous collection.

Framed by two poems that elaborate on the title, […]

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Poetry, Transcendence and the Search for Wisdom

George Lysloff

Xlibris, 225 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462865369
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

Author George Lysloff is a thoughtful man who misses his wife who has passed away; loves his children; has dreams and thoughts he wants to share with the world. He is, in his own words, “one of those that [sic] will try to cultivate familial relationships, possible with exaggerated persistence or assiduity, maybe for the […]

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Passion in Paris: Directions of the Heart

Rusty Blackwood

Xlibris, 343 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456842314
(Reviewed: August, 2011)

This sequel to Passion in Paris: Connections to the Past begins as the grandchildren of recently deceased Canadian Joy Wychmere discover shocking revelations about their grandmother’s romantic past in diaries and a manuscript left behind. Her story begins dramatically as the married woman, along with her lover, Irish actor Cullen Malone, are being held captive […]

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