Life is a Game

Ambrose Murtagh

Xlibris, 179 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781450054867
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

When lifelong New Yorker Ambrose P. Murtagh sat down at age 91 to write a memoir, he wisely concentrated on his turbulent youth and early adulthood. The disjointed anecdotes collected here cry out for a good editor and more reflection by the author, but the raw material of Murtagh’s early life is compelling.

Born in […]

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“Sir, Is This Where I Catch The Cellitoons?”

Dan Celli

Xlibris, 143 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456894412
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Each page of San Francisco native Dan Celli’s Sir, Is This Where I Catch the Cellitoons? contains a single-panel cartoon, often an illustration of a pun or a literalism. For example:

– A blind woman says to the blind man sitting across the table from her, “Glenn, I don’t think we should see each other […]

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The Happiest Woman

Edmund Raynor

Xlibris, 73 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456894825
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Author Edmund Raynor wants to tell men how to earn the trust of their wives and how to love and be loved by them, including sexually. The payoff: the man with a happy wife has a happier life himself. Raynor believes he can offer advice because as an airline pilot for many years, he talked […]

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Be Not Afraid

K.R. Morrison

Xlibris, 221 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781462852215
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Although categorized as horror, K.R. Morrison’s debut novel is more appropriately described as an amalgam of vampire-powered dark fantasy and faith-based supernatural suspense — i.e.: Christian horror. While Morrison’s novel does little to expand or re-imagine the vampire mythos in any way, the sheer intimacy of the narrative is what powers this redemptive tale.

Lydia […]

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A Trip Thru Hell (Nam)

Joe W. Harrison

Xlibris, 98 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781456875480
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Though Joe W. Harrison left the war in Viet Nam in April of 1968, it has never left him. The 67-year-old author, who currently serves as associate pastor at a cowboy church in Texas, has penned this memoir as a tribute to his fellow soldiers, living and dead.

His story begins when he decides to […]

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Secrets to Emotional Wealth

Simon Casey

Xlibris, 177 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456876876
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

In Secrets to Emotional Wealth, a psychotherapist certified in treating addiction and eating disorders and in offering biofeedback and forensic mental health delivers an olio of introductions and approaches to treatments that help facilitate better mental health, personal growth and empowerment.

Known as “Dr. Emo” on Twitter, Simon Casey is the creator of Emotional Mastery, […]

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8-Track Flashbacks

Tom Alt

Windy City Publishers, 128 pages, (paperback) $11.99, 9781935766124
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

Those oldies stations that proclaim their music “the soundtrack of your life” are just shoveling the usual radio hype. But for Tom Alt, the music of his youth, the music of the tumultuous ’60s, is not only on his ipod, but in his soul. It formed him just as much as family, friends or teachers.

[…]

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When Dark Gods Descend

John P. Galassie, Jr.

Xlibris, 348 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456838782
(Reviewed: July, 2011)

There appears to be a colorful swords-and-sorcery story–well, in this case it’s actually a swords-and-vampirism story–encased inside When Dark Gods Descend, just as one can vaguely glean a shape within a half-chiseled block of marble. A perfectly nice sculpture could eventually emerge, but there’s still far too much stone in the way. This first novel […]

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Adventures With an American Emperor

Judith Gainor

Xlibris, 152 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781456871345
(Reviewed: June, 2011)

This charming novel blends fact with fiction to tell the story of a girl’s coming of age in San Francisco toward the end of the 19th century. Sent from New York to live with her maternal aunt after her father’s remarriage, 11-year-old Noelle Browning encounters Norton the First, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States and […]

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The Super Human Effect

Dennis Rodriguez

Balboa Press, 185 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781452532950
(Reviewed: June, 2011)

In The Super Human Effect, Dennis Rodriguez details his difficult decision to leave his job as a successful college administrator and undertake an in-depth, transformational, spiritual search. Giving himself a 60-day countdown before he hands in his notice, he writes a very personal nightly blog in which he deconstructs his life’s journey – from his […]

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