The Woodcutter and the Fox

Joseph Newns

Xlibris, 24 pages, (paperback)$12.99UK, 9781469125107
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

With his picture book, The Woodcutter and the Fox, Joseph Newns has written a parable for adults about what happens when caregivers in public institutions become lost in a bureaucratic fog and lose sight of their primary duty: to serve their community with love and respect. The book is illustrated in vibrant color by Raynald […]

Read full review...

22 Years: That’s More Than a Life Sentence

Michael Wood

Trafford, 98 pages, (paperback) $12.99, 9781426912269
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Englishman Michael Wood served 10 years in the British military before becoming a local police officer during 1985. He kept notes about his police training and service in Northamptonshire, and three years ago published selected portions as a book.

Because police work is inherently dramatic from time to time, occasional portions of Wood’s account offer […]

Read full review...

Guinevere’s Walk of Life

Kristen Mylonas

Xlibris, 75 pages, (paperback) $19.99 AUD, 9781465300973
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Guinevere is 18 years old and about to graduate from high school. She’s typical in most respects, but unique in another: she’s a witch. You’d think spell casting would make life easier, but Guinevere’s got girlfriend trouble, boyfriend trouble, a talking cat who doesn’t know when to pipe down, and a demon abduction to contend […]

Read full review...

Winds of Destruction

Peter Petter-Bowyer

Trafford, 600 pages, (paperback) $42.60, 9781412012041
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

For most people in the U.S., the story of Rhodesia was pretty cut and dried. In the ’60s and ’70s, the white minority government did everything it could to keep the country out of the hands of black nationalists. News of military excursions into neighboring countries, assassination attempts on the lives of opposition leaders, and […]

Read full review...

Men Can Be Neanderthals

Rafeal Rivera

Trafford, 64 pages, (paperback) $12.00, 9781412030762
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

You can call them many things — louts, brutes, vulgarians. But Rafael Rivera prefers the term “Neanderthals” for these lowbrow non-conformists. “In contrast to modern gentleman’s etiquette rules,” he writes in the Introduction to his slim book Men Can Be Neanderthals, “the non-conformist is not governed by Emily Post’s etiquette rules and protocols. He is, […]

Read full review...

Dirty Secrets

K. C. Albury

Trafford, 279 pages, (paperback) $26.00, 9781412069458
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

With its Caribbean beach setting, sizzling sex scenes and soap-worthy plot twists, Dirty Secrets is a great, steamy, summer read.

This romance novel takes place in the Bahamas in the 1970s and features an entirely black cast of characters and an intricate plot that weaves the lives of half a dozen major characters together in […]

Read full review...

When Lilacs Bloom

Donald E. MacKay

Trafford, 264 pages, (paperback) $24, 9781412073774
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

This collection of 15 short stories tackles heady philosophical themes and delivers no easy answers. Among its offerings: A small man, overlooked by his peers, is visited by departed spirits and allowed to become a hero. Creatures battle a black hole that turns out to be a lesson in perspective. A seeker of spiritual truth […]

Read full review...

The Strength of My Spirit

Patrick McKenzie

Trafford, 229 pages, (paperback) $21.40, 9781425163167
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

A young boy overcomes an impoverished childhood in rural British Guiana to become Chief Agricultural Officer of independent Guyana in this engaging memoir.

In 1931, author Patrick McKenzie was a happy, well-loved boy, living in a village with no running water, electricity or proper medicine. “Puncture wounds were filled with soft grease… a lighted match […]

Read full review...

Diverse Love

Sharon Downey

Xlibris, 70 pages, (paperback) 9.99 UK, 9781453586402
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

Diverse Love by British-born, London-resident Sharon Downey is a volume of poems written in an earnest, innocent voice. As the title indicates, the poems bring the reader through different kinds of love–romantic, familial, spiritual, and of the natural world.

Several of her poems exhibit nostalgia for a past, as in “There Was a Time Long […]

Read full review...

A Natural

D.C. Lang

Trafford, 105 pages, (paperback) $14.50, 9781412044162
(Reviewed: July, 2012)

D. C. Lang is the biological child of parents who made a four-decades-long career of fostering at-risk children. Her perspective as “a natural” is a unique one, with the potential to illuminate a lifestyle few of us know about. Before that information can be effective, though, issues of organization, purpose and editing need attention.

Lang, […]

Read full review...