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April 2019

Book Reviews

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The US Review of Books connects authors with professional book reviewers and places their book reviews in front of subscribers to our free monthly newsletter of fiction book reviews and nonfiction book reviews. Learn why our publication is different than most others, or read author and publisher testimonials about the USR.

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Focus Review
Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Milk Street: Tuesday Nights
by Christopher Kimball
All Points Books


"...for those raised on classic American cookery, heavily influenced by the cuisines of northern Europe, this is a watershed moment."

After never having published a cookbook before last year—surprising in its own right—Milk Street stuns us again within a second offering in a year. This time the Kimball gang in Boston focuses on flavorful, modern, and quick recipes for the working class. Except for the perhaps top 1%, we’re all working class, and we’re all hungry after work. ... (read more)

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Featured Book Reviews

 

Family Trials

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Marvin's Garden
by Joseph Brisben
TopLink Publishing, LLC


"I was just the housewife, and something told me it was my role just to go along. If I had said anything, what was going to happen to me might have happened sooner."

Narrated by the title character’s long-suffering, deceased wife Madge, this is the story of a thoroughly reprehensible brute’s treatment of his cowed wife and son. Marvin is a swindler in his business dealings and a narcissist who disowns his son because he disapproves of the girl he chooses to marry. Marvin also physically assaults his wife. After Madge begins working at the telephone company, coworkers convince her that she must leave Marvin. Too intimidated to ask for a divorce, Madge decides she must murder him, but her efforts are complicated by an illness from which she eventually succumbs. But after her death, her friend Betty carries on (in her memory as it were) to inadvertently bring about what Madge longed for. ... (read more)

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Uncommon Bravery

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Cordelia Lionheart
by Ron Fritsch
Asymmetric Worlds


"'Father,' Cordelia said, 'I fear you'll soon regret being so stubborn, so unwilling to admit your kingdom isn't the peaceful, orderly realm you dream it to be.'"

Cordelia, the youngest daughter of King Lear, is beginning to lose faith in her father’s ability to rule as a fair and just king. Between rumors of unrest, distrust among the soldiers, her sisters’ and their husbands conspiring for the throne, and the occasional assassination attempt, it seems that King Lear’s peaceful reign is coming to an end. Cordelia soon finds herself in the midst of an oncoming war as Lear declares her his heir. With her life on the line and the future of the kingdom at stake, will Cordelia be able to fight back and keep the kingdom at peace? ... (read more)

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A Complicated Character

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Raven's Resurrection: A Cybertech Thriller
by John D. Trudel
Trudel Group


"Raven slung his rifle. He walked over and stood behind them, his Sig leveled, finger on the trigger."

In the author’s latest thriller, America is not as secure as its average citizen might think. Radical Islam poses a serious threat to the nation, but only a few understand just how extensive the reach is of its practitioners. Raven has experienced firsthand how dangerous the nation’s enemies can be, but many of them, in turn, will learn what a deadly adversary he can be. ... (read more)

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Making a Leader

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact
by Ron Price and Stacy Ennis
Greenleaf Book Group Press


"'Are you happy where you’re at? Do you feel like you’re fulfilling what you’re meant to in life?' ... it was a question she knew she needed to answer..."

This leadership book isn’t your common offering about building a great team, establishing good relationships, and building trust to bring out their best (not that you won’t learn valuable information about those things). But as strong leaders know, delivery is everything, and this small offering delivers valuable insights and knowledge in a big way. ... (read more)

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Surviving Stroke

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: From Occupational Therapist to Patient and Beyond
by Janet R. Douglas
Archway Publishing


"Even though I did not see myself as handicapped in terms of doing my job, obviously others did."

Janet Douglas knew that her family had a history of stroke. And as an occupational therapist, she knew all the warning signs, the symptoms, and how to defend against something she had a genetic disposition toward. While attending a country wedding reception for her nephew, she became sick to her stomach and believed she was having a heart attack, turning a blind eye to the diagnosis she dreaded most. The next month was spent in and out of consciousness, in hospitals on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, including in places she once worked. Despite surviving narrow odds after neurosurgery, Douglas continued her denial that the diagnosis she feared had happened to her. As she struggled through physical therapy, she continued to improve enough to be sent home and set her sights on a difficult goal: 90% recovery of how she was before the stroke. ... (read more)

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Becoming a Leader

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Unlocking the Natural-Born Leader's Abilities: An Autobiographical Exposé
by Salar A. Khan, MD., MBA.
Xlibris


"…natural-born leaders...have an innate skill set conducive to becoming leaders. They are optimistic, selfless, and do not seek external rewards or glory."

Illustrating the author’s own journey to leadership, this autobiography/memoir was written to pass on experience gained by a lifetime of service. A young child at the time of the India/Pakistan partition, his family resettled in Pakistan. With those early years in turmoil, his parents were his teachers. Once the author entered school, his brilliant older brother became a role model. Challenged by his family, the author assumed responsibility for household duties and volunteered for additional tasks. On his father’s advice, Khan became a doctor serving in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and America. From experience gained, he declares it our duty to find out what we are capable of. ... (read more)

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Max's Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Case of Emil Diesel
by Patricia Menton
Xlibris


"Art survives. That is all that matters. Each piece tells our history. It is our gift to future generations. It is our legacy."

This novel is a fictionalized account inspired by a true story. It involves a private art collection illegally seized by the German Democratic Republic in the years during the Cold War. ... (read more)

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Still the Same

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Complete Food Substitutions Handbook: Including Options for Low-Sugar, Low-Fat, Low-Salt, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan
by Jean B. MacLeod
MacLeod How-To Books


"Honey - 1 cup
- 1 cup light agave syrup/nectar
- 1 cup Coconut Nectar
- 1 cup rice-based nectar, such as Just Like Honey"

In today’s culinary world, any group meal is bound to feed someone with food allergies, a specialty diet, or just a preference against certain ingredients. Or maybe you have found a new recipe, the prep begins, and then suddenly you realize you’re missing an important ingredient in the pantry. Perhaps even the item in question is out of season or unavailable in your area. This book aims to solve such problems by providing a comprehensive, A-to-Z resource for quick reference to substitute virtually any ingredient needed in cooking with something else, either in a pinch or if your dinner plans include people with dietary restrictions. With more than 500 pages of suggestions, this aims to be the only book you need when it comes to food substitutions. ... (read more)

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A Ray of Hope

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Real Daughter
by Lynne McKelvey
Savant Books & Publications LLC


"He doesn’t get it, she thought, pausing beside the baby mastodon and its imploring trunk. Doesn’t get that Mandy is a child in mourning, a child in mourning for her mother."

Secrets have always played a major role in novels. From secret passageways in adventure tales to secret betrayals in spy yarns to secret familial revelations in Victorian comedies, tragedies, whodunits, and more. A secret is also at the center of this literate psychological drama that unspools in late 1970s Los Angeles. It is a secret that engulfs its keeper completely—a secret that results in unimaginable consequences when shared. ... (read more)

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Exploring Self

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Walking Shadow
by Gary Bolick
Unsolicited Press


"He called the desert the perfect place for him because so little moved. Just one big photograph, so it provided the illusion that his life was back to normal."

There is an exceptionally fine line between intense introspection and prolonged navel-gazing. That line is a tightrope author Bolick walks precariously in this tale of one man’s unyielding search for enlightenment. Bolick’s protagonist desperately wants to come to grips with personal answers to profound questions such as why are we here, what does consciousness really mean, and can we ever truly understand one another or, for that matter, ourselves. The author encases these soul-searching queries in a story that dispenses potential answers much like a time-release capsule—a few now, a bit later, and eventually perhaps enough to ward off congenital melancholia. However, these intermittent answers raise additional questions. Does the patient stand a chance of actually being cured or merely treated? Should his doctor heed the proverb, “Physician, heal thyself”? ... (read more)

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Generations of the Chesapeake

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Family Matters
by D. C. Moses
Cherry Street Publishers


"But what had happened to Alex and Barry…so busy, so loving, so passionate for self-discovery, so yearning for self-transcendence?"

The untimely death of their son, Lu, is a shadow that haunts and looms over the Byrnes family. Each one grieves his loss in their own private way while attempting to find a way forward, immersing themselves into their careers and daily life. Then father, Barry, faces a life-changing decision when his company requests to relocate him to Washington. This sets in motion the mixed feelings and introspection by Barry and his reluctant wife, Alex, who contemplate the uncertainty of their future so close to retirement. They each reflect upon the early years of their marriage and life before and after Lu’s death. Others in the family must also come to terms with the tragic familial loss. As they each face uncertainty in the way forward, they learn something of themselves and one another. ... (read more)

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Getting Away

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jubilant Journeys
by Connie Spenuzza, M.S. Ed.
Libros Publishing


"The stone symbols of these unborn babies stood shoulder to grey stone shoulder."

Part memoir, part travelogue, and part genealogical study, this book is joyously refreshing. It is also poetry in motion. For example, instead of "China is too big to see in one trip," the author writes, "We barely scratched the surface of this commanding dragon." ... (read more)

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Forever

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

They'll Never Die
by Don Calmus
Fulton Books


"'I have died a couple of times, and there's nothing out there but cold dark space.'"

Generally, engineers and other professionals don't morph into successful writers. But Don Calmus, a retired engineer, has writing talent and took the time to study the craft, enabling him to write this stellar novel. Not only should he not "stay in his own lane," he should write a sequel. ... (read more)

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An Intrepid Storyteller

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Cognition
by Jacques St-Malo
Ballista Press


"How can a clock tick if time itself doesn’t know in which direction to flow?"

How does one explore scientific, philosophical, cultural, and moral questions without wading laboriously through the muck of debate and diatribe? If you’re this author, you weave it all into a tapestry of good old-fashioned adventure. Nothing takes complicated intellectual queries and injects them with pulse-pounding energy quite like a rousing thriller—which this novel certainly is. ... (read more)

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Unknown Heroes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

In the Shadows
by Larry Stafford
Xlibris


"Many acts of bravery and distinction that arose to the phrase ‘above and beyond’ generally did not emerge in the annals of historical colloquialism."

Recognizing those have been lost “in the shadows” of history, writer Stafford begins with a slave, James Armistead, who worked as a spy for the American side during the American Revolution. The Iroquois Nation had a model of governance that became the (unattributed) basis for The Articles of Confederation and later the US Constitution. George Mason pushed for inclusion of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. Stafford also highlights other relatively unknown heroes: Edith Wilson, the power behind the President when Woodrow had a stroke; Joshua Chamberlain, an academic-turned-soldier who served valiantly in critical battles of the American Civil War; Aaron Aaronsohn, whose specialized agricultural knowledge aided immeasurably in deciding borders for the Palestinian state; Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic who saved the lives of countless Jewish children during World War II; and Russian submarine commander Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, whose refusal to fire a nuclear weapon in 1962 probably saved the world from nuclear holocaust. ... (read more)

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Collecting Down Under

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

All About The Coins of Australia: Their Stories and How to Collect Them
by David Miller
Book-Art Press Solutions


"Coins make ideal collectibles. They are robust and permanent..."

This 164-page book with quality photographs reveals the diversity of collecting Australian coins. The country’s history itself divides official coinage into colony, pre-decimal, and decimal. There are also various mints—Royal Australian Mint (RAM) in Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney with production dates. For those unfamiliar with coin collecting, the author explains the correct terms for heads (obverse) and tails (reverse). He points out that coins of the British Empire always have an image of royalty on the obverse side. Any events or series are commemorated on the reverse, and if someone notices that a royal’s head looks left or right, this signifies the line of succession. Queen Elizabeth looks right, while George V, her father, looked left. Various coin designers are sought after. There are also mint marks, privy marks, and counterstamps to search out. Coins circulated or in mint condition can define a collection. The book makes clear the enormity of possible collection categories. ... (read more)

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History of Plunder

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Quest for the Three Keys
by Deke Rivers
BookVenture Publishing


"The three keys and the three metal boxes, that the keys would open, provided the path to the treasure."

In the tradition of The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Order, Foucault’s Pendulum, and more comes this novel of a search for treasure that can only be uncovered by deciphering a set of clues hidden in puzzles written in three separate languages and stashed away in different parts of Europe. History, suspense, and romance all intertwine as the race is on to locate a cache of stolen artwork purloined by a brilliant and opportunistic German General in World War II. ... (read more)

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Morally Bankrupt

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

An Apprentice Dictator in the White House
by Abner Clerveaux
Book-Art Press Solutions


"The law then must be above everyone, so no one, no matter your title, should be above the law."

Political superstar John Red Light is young, handsome, and charismatic. When he wins the American presidential election, his inauguration is attended by the most prestigious leaders of the world, including the Pope and the Queen of England. Unfortunately, he is also a womanizer. Once he gains control of the White House, he becomes obsessed with a new lover and, though married, spends time with her inside the Oval Office, giving the opposition party ammunition for impeachment. The President, however, reacts to these threats by extending his presidential powers and forming a dictatorship, rendering the judicial and legislative branches impotent. As tension builds, the government and its citizens are forced to answer a crucial question: “What kind of country will we be?” ... (read more)

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New York Makers

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Fascinating New Yorkers: Power Freaks, Mobsters, Liberated Women, Creators, Queers and Crazies
by Clifford Browder
Black Rose Writing


"To know these people is to know New York..."

New York City is known for its rich history and iconic status as one of the greatest cities in the world, and part of that reputation comes from its inhabitants. From power-hungry politicians to avant-garde artists, socialites, activists, union workers, and all those in-between, New York either makes or breaks those who call her home. Some New Yorkers are, of course, more famous than others, and it is the lives of these history-makers that are explored in this book. From more modern figures like Anais Nin to turn-of-the-century folks like Stanford White, the book provides snapshots of these people’s lives against the culture of their time to show their impact on New York society. Not all of them were good people or did good things, but in some way, they made their mark. ... (read more)

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Bright Gothic Tone

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Spirit of Cassious House: To find Truth, Valour and Honour, One must have the Courage to Search Among the Lies Book I
by Linda Key
Book-Art Press Solutions


"'I hope you don’t plan to move, Alyssia? I have grown quite fond of you.' Alyssia touched the Prince’s cheek, 'Where would I go?'"

Alyssia Anne Franklin-Jenkins is at a turning point in her life. Orphaned after a home explosion killed her mother, she has spent the last seven years living with her grandmother Jessica in Welleston Village. When Jessica passes away, Alyssia is ready to pack up and go back to her hometown of Kelton Heights to attend university. A letter from her mother is given to her from Jessica, urging her to reconnect with her estranged father and brother. In order to keep distractions out of her life, Alyssia moves into a rental property attached to Cassious House, a centuries-old manor with a checkered history and the home of a deadly curse. Unable to assimilate to college life like a normal girl her age, Alyssia’s hunt for her family begins in earnest while she also finds herself at the center of a supernatural mystery surrounding the curse of Cassious House. ... (read more)

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The Legend Begins

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Exiled: The God Stone Trilogy
by Joaquin Lopez
Book-Art Press Solutions


"’I promise that if we lose here I will find you and put you on the throne. Let the gods be my witness. I swear it.’"

The God Stone Sword is a gift from the gods only given to an exceptional human who is truly worthy. The last warrior who wielded it lost that right as his heart wasn’t truly given to the gods. It has been lost to mankind for thousands of years. ... (read more)

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Earning the Stone

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Redemption: The God Stone Trilogy
by Joaquin Lopez
Book-Art Press Solutions


"Jack looked at him and said, 'I am nobody, and nobody sent me. I killed the one I came here to kill.'"

Following the events of Exiled, Jack is living with the Claws. Now a respected warrior of the tribe and married to the chief’s daughter Anjolina, he has a place of power and admiration but cannot stop the yearning of his soul to travel north and return to the Kingdom to be reunited with Princess Linnie and his mother Anna. Having recovered an ancient map that shows the path he can take to return to his homeland, Jack sets out alone, breaking Anjie’s heart in the process. Jack discovers that the compulsion he felt to go north has led him to a cave in a mountain with only a dead body and a sword. Touching the sword, he blacks out from pain only to be greeted by the gods of the land, bequeathing the God Stone Sword to him if he will agree to be tested and found worthy. ... (read more)

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Magical Adventure

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Gondoliers: The Secret Journals of Fanticulous Glim
by Paolo Mazzucato
BepiBooks


"Venice has a secret, and you know if you open your mind and search deep enough you might discover more than you imagined."

This magical novel begins with the promise of a journey unlike anything ever seen before. Following the adventures of 15-year-old Fantina, a self-proclaimed explorer who comes to Venice in 1902 at the request of her uncle, it delivers just that. Fantina makes her way from an orphanage in Boston to find her Uncle Gio at work restoring one of the old churches of Venice. The adventurous Fantina is intrigued by this work and recalls her father saying that Gio’s work restores not only the architecture of the city but its stories and legends as well. When later she is approached by a white pigeon that suddenly becomes a fairie, Fantina embarks on a fabulous adventure leading her through the streets and history of Venice as she seeks to discover what secrets the city holds. ... (read more)

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Trilogy's End

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Chosen One: The God Stone Trilogy
by Joaquin Lopez
Book-Art Press Solutions


"When Jack let the sword down and paid attention to what was going on around him he heard the cheering."

In this conclusion to The God Stone Trilogy, Jack is home once more in the city of Twin Falls and now the King after marrying Princess Linnie and helping the Kingdom bloom under his leadership and guidance. After founding a military academy, Jack’s eyes are on a singular goal of uniting the people and putting an end to the wars and bloodshed that have plagued the land for too long. Standing in his way are two formidable foes: Prince Willard of the Independent City—a powerful sorcerer and son of Boris and Ariel, the recently deceased leaders of the Freedom Fighters resistance against the crown—and Anjolina, Jack’s jilted ex-wife and new member of the Horde. With two dangerous foes, each with personal reasons to overthrow and end Jack, he will have to rely on all the powers of the God Stone Sword, all the harsh training he has endured, and every ally he has. ... (read more)

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Bold & Avant-Garde

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Blueberry Dreams
by Calvin Earl Dallas
Stratton Press


"I was talking to a member and letting him know that I knew I was a dreamer even when I was a child."

Every night is an opportunity for the human mind to wander through the mists of imagination and discover surprising and surreal events, people, and landscapes. In this novel, the author recounts several such journeys of his own, organized in a chronological fashion and following the subtle subconscious threads that chain one thought to another. Following the dreamer from one scene to the next, there are specific recollections of conversations with loved ones, societal anxieties, sexual desires, and spiritual encounters in a realm where there are no limits or rules. Profoundly descriptive and artistically captured, each dream is thoroughly described for its length and to the best of the author’s ability, while wholly at the whim of the abruptly ending nature of dreams. ... (read more)

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Irish Times

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Big Yank: Memoir of a Boy Growing Up Irish
by J. P. Sexton
Paddy Publications


"One thing I could never quite fathom was why parents needed to beat you."

The modern classic, The Great Santini, by Pat Conroy has nothing on this book. Sexton documents the horrors of his home life in the USA and Ireland and writes about his odyssey as skillfully as any other professional writer could have described it. Sexton's dad is the Big Yank, thereby named because he was raised in New York but moved back to his roots in Ireland. The Big Yank was physically large and beyond cruel. Sexton writes sardonically, "To say that mine were not the most warm-hearted of parents would have been like saying Hitler wasn't such a great Humanitarian...." Sexton Sr. was abusive emotionally and physically toward his children, but, like any person, he was multi-dimensional, and the author captures that essence perfectly: "Despite his erratic, dysfunctional and maniacal behavior, my father had a streak in him that allowed him to deeply believe in the people of Ireland." ... (read more)

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Cryptocurrency Unveiled

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Blockchain Code: Decrypt the Jungle of Complexity to Win the Crypto-Anarchy Game
by Dave Kinsey
Modern Expert, LLC


"Through the help of cryptocurrency (hidden money), stories in campus newspapers and other publications mentioning Bitcoin began to appear."

In the past couple of years, the public has become aware of and even obsessed with the idea of cryptocurrency. Pundits and armchair experts throw around a term like blockchain without a full understanding of what it is or does, let alone the technology that makes it work. In this book, the author presents the history of cryptocurrency and, further back than that, the crypto-anarchy movement that led to the core tenets of an untraceable, government-independent form of currency. ... (read more)

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A Sinister Plot

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Rose Diary
by C. Maynard and Lil Barcaski
Maynard Productions


"As I opened the first page of the sparkly diary, nothing I had previously written was there."

Jacqueline is just 12 years old when her sister Sandra dies of a mysterious illness. Racked with grief, the sudden loss threatens to tear her family apart. Jacqueline starts dressing in all black and becomes a cynical teen overnight. Her father seems distant and hard to reach, and her mother retreats to drinking. Investigating her sister’s neatly-maintained room, Jacqueline finds a diary that belonged to her sister but is totally empty. Needing an outlet, she takes the diary and begins to write down her feelings in a hurry. When she wakes up the next morning, however, the words have all vanished and are replaced by a message that Jacky believes is from her sister. That message is one pleading for help from beyond the grave, a message from Sandra that states she believes she was murdered. ... (read more)

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Direct Answers

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Common Sense and Reasonable Answers
by William Warren Luce
Seacoast Press


"World peace is achievable. We simply have to change our perception, believing that it is attainable."

In a book that examines life from many points of view, a retired military officer has delved into politics and religion, asking questions and coming up with startling but often sensible responses. The book as a whole seeks to examine in detail many major concepts that we think we should live by or have been conditioned to believe. The author then proceeds to pick these concepts apart, from branch to root, offering a different way of approaching such time-worn notions. The basic premise is that, despite what we have been led to believe, we can change the world, but we must do so by changing ourselves. ... (read more)

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Small Town, Big Killing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Poplar Falls: The Death of Charlie Baker
by Pierre C. Arseneault
Artemesia Publishing


"Walter had good days and bad days, but the good days were rare now and getting scarcer as time passed."

Murder in a small town is at the heart of this novel, which combines a mystery with a police procedural and is frequently played for laughs. The local Lothario has been snuffed—apparently in mid-escapade—and there appears to be no shortage of potential perpetrators. As multiple suspects are brought to light, so too are the sexual proclivities of many of the hamlet’s randy inhabitants. ... (read more)

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Passion So Intense

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Antidote: To The T-Rump Show
by Dr. Blackman
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


"Never in the history of the world has it been more important to find a pathway to healing."

In a satirical alternate universe, a fascist dictator seeks to displace and wall off indigenous populations. His sons abuse power. He abuses power. The people must rise up and reclaim their native land, identity, and form of government. If this setup sounds familiar, it’s supposed to. These plot points are thinly veiled political criticism from an aggressive narrative that is part manifesto, part political satire, and part the desperate plea of a voice enraged and called to write in response to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. ... (read more)

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Enthralling

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Cost of Justice
by Michael Skeen
Outskirts Press


"...a segment of our population has been convinced that the government is the enemy..."

Fast-paced and realistic, this novel is enthralling. The author imagines, "What if the news media worst case scenarios of our time actually came true?" Skeen puts the possibilities in writing in a three-book series. Although this is the final book in the trilogy, it stands alone without confusion. ... (read more)

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A Military Life

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Major Harold Ferguson: Citizen-Soldier Meets Roaring 20s Los Angeles
by Edmond J. Clinton III
Xlibris


"Harold Ferguson lived and worked during a time of great growth, technological advances, and social upheaval in Los Angeles."

Harold Gale Ferguson was the son of Canadian immigrants to Los Angeles. He attended Stanford University, set up a law practice, joined the California National Guard, and was sent to Mexico when outlaw Pancho Villa threatened the border. At the outbreak of World War I, with the rank of captain, later major, he went to France. In his diary, Ferguson penned vignettes about conditions in Europe, especially Paris. He never saw combat but was affected indirectly by the Spanish flu epidemic that raged through the world in 1918. Back home, in the exhilarating atmosphere of Hollywood in the birth years of the film industry, he made a fortune in real estate, once owning a significant strip of beachfront property in Malibu. In 1931, he was accused of numerous violations of securities law and sentenced to prison. Released after two years, he spent the remainder of his life in relative obscurity. ... (read more)

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A Western Gem

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Off The Well-Lit Path
by M. S. Holm
Sentry Books


"Rugg did not ask the cop why he robbed adolescent girls of their innocence and bragged of the obscenity. He knew the cop would have no answer."

Danger, fear, and violence come shockingly to life in this searing tale of modern Mexico. From deserted desert highways to crowded city streets, mayhem is ever present as marauding gangs ply their contemptible trade. Police are either too corrupt or too powerless to stop the rampant bedlam as citizens and tourists alike become prey for criminals immersed in a culture of brutality. ... (read more)

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A Guilty Pleasure

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Nila's Babies
by Jac Simensen
Cosmic Egg Books


"Lilith and Hattie, her pale daughter, were condemned by the gods to eternal life and they both walk the earth today, just as you do."

After Gordon Hale’s wife dies from cancer, leaving him with two twin baby girls to raise, his sister convinces him to get a nanny. Nila Rawlings, with her years of experience and good-natured experience, is the perfect match. Soon, she and Gordon fall in love, and they live together in harmony with the twins, planning the next phase of their life. However, Gordon and Nila’s new bliss is threatened by the schemes of Gordon’s next-door neighbors, Myra Silk and her aide, Hattie. Myra is, in fact, possessed by the ancient Lilith. After taking over a newer, younger body, she starts to plan the takeover of the Hales, including the babies. The only way to protect the twins and Gordon lies within Nila. ... (read more)

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Never Again?

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Hitler: Could It Happen Again?
by Paul LeFort, MD
iUniverse


"Unemployed until the age of twenty-five, fifteen years after his entry into politics, he gained supreme power in a country that was not even his."

Dr. Lefort’s text approaches Hitler from an incredibly unique angle. Rather than presenting Hitler’s already well-documented history, Lefort focuses on understanding Hitler’s life from a comprehensive perspective to identify catalysts that transformed an art aficionado into one who believed his divine mission involved “exterminating” the Jewish population. From Hitler’s family history to how he recoiled from life after his mother’s death, Hitler’s multitude of layers and dichotomies are depicted with extreme clarity. For instance, Hitler was known for being shy and reserved; however, he is also recognized for being one of history’s most potent orators. Even his ardent nationalistic tendencies are doused in irony as he could not even claim Germany as his motherland, his own country. ... (read more)

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Island Winds

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

With You Tonight
by DD Sinclair
AuthorHouse


"How could someone from a tiny village in a tiny country not give thanks for the life she had been given?"

Like so many West Indians in the 1950s and 1960s, Sinclair leaves her beloved St. Vincent for England when she is a young girl. In this fascinating autobiography, she recounts the highs and lows of her life as an immigrant and eventually as a successful recording artist and entertainer. With personal insights into the experiences of prejudice and discrimination, she reflects on the startling contrasts between England and the Caribbean and the feeling of separation that overwhelms her early life. ... (read more)

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Kerry on the Run

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Kerry Returns
by Annette Salt
AuthorHouse


"He was horrified to see that there were ten more bodies just lying on the floor."

This short, fifty-nine-page story blends eroticism and terror. It covers a few days in the life of a woman who is reunited with her former lover, only to learn that whatever befell the battered and bruised Kerry may not be as horrible as what lies ahead.

Annette is a woman who works in a psychiatric unit. She’s currently in a relationship with another woman named Melanie. Before that, however, her lover and partner was Kerry. Kerry has been missing for over a year. One day she’s found and brought into the hospital where Annette works. Kerry is covered with terrible bruises and cuts all over her body. Not only is she physically scarred, but it’s obvious she’s mentally damaged as well. After a short recuperative stay in the hospital, Kerry is released, and Annette brings her back to the home they once shared. Melanie is understanding and tries to cope as Annette attempts to help Kerry without abandoning her new relationship. Things go off the rails quickly, however, as mayhem and murder are introduced, and corpses begin to accumulate. ... (read more)

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Guam Heat

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Quonset in Tutujan
by C. Sablan Gault
Xlibris


"Before she could leave, Philip pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard. She yielded to him. His kisses still made her dizzy."

Picking up where A Mansion on the Moon leaves off, this is the story of Guam native Vivian Camacho and Philip Avery, the American naval engineer that is determined to reunite with and marry her despite a bloody and bitter theater of a horrifying war. In this sequel, Vivian is nervously preparing to travel to New York and meet Philip’s well-to-do family. Her simple life as a teacher and lanchera contrasts deeply with the Avery family’s status and sophistication, and she is aware of it. Revisiting the tragedy of their courtship and how it strengthens their bonds, Vivian is the proverbial fish out of water as her perspective extends beyond her tiny home island into a world that she has never been a part of but must reconcile with to fully understand her husband and his past. ... (read more)

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A Dark Premonition

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Flagstaff's Forgotten Cowgirl: The Journals of Lizzie Hoffman
by J. K. Hoffman
Xlibris


"For I, Lizzie Hoffman, am a woman of immense strength and beauty and I shall let no man rule over me."

Spunky, stubborn, and adventurous, Elisabeth ‘Lizzie’ Hoffman is not your ordinary midwestern girl. The daughter of a rancher, Lizzie has a bit of a tomboy streak in her. Her role model is Annie Oakley, and she dreams of being a rancher when she grows up and traveling the world. After a family tragedy, the Hoffmans move to Flagstaff, AZ, where Lizzie continues to grow into an extraordinary, independent young woman. From catching the eye of rough cowboy Ed Geddes to traveling up to Yukon to pan for gold, there’s no lack of excitement in Lizzie’s life. But as she starts to settle down, a dark premonition from her childhood creeps back into her mind. Will Lizzie be able to forge her own destiny, or is she just on a path to misfortune? ... (read more)

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A Mystic Memoir

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

You Are Here for a Reason
by Celeste Gianni
Xlibris AU


"Get up every morning with the aches and creaks, and keep moving. Every day is a blessing; don’t ever give up."

Child of Greek migrants living in Australia, Gianni early on perceived that she didn’t fit in with other children. Certain incidents indicated the possibility of psychic abilities. An unknown woman approached her on the street saying that she’d been getting “messages from her guides” about Gianni’s near-death experiences. As a mother, Gianni could hear her children summoning her mentally, once receiving a powerful message to save her infant child, whom she found inexplicably outside her room and about to grasp some poisonous rat bait. Several times the author’s vacation plans would be blocked for no apparent reason; only later would she discover that the destination was in the throes of natural disaster or war. She mentally “saw” an unknown girl running from a “house of horrors” and later learned that the envisioned escape had actually happened the day after her vision. All the while, Gianni suffered from mysterious illnesses and allergies with no secure medical diagnosis or cure, but she never gave up hope. ... (read more)

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A Visionary Priest

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Cathar Truth: Why These Pacifist Good Christians/Cathars Were Brutally Persecuted as Heretics by the Medieval Church of Rome
by Beverley E. Gould
Xlibris


"The Cathars played a major part in Christian history in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries."

A chance message from ancient times prompted the author to study the actions and beliefs of the early Christian group known as Cathars. They were centered in the Languedoc region of Southern France and may have been connected to similar groups such as the Essenes, Gnostics, and Knights Templar, with whom they shared various radical religious views. The Cathars, who called themselves the Good People, believed that Jesus may not have died on the cross and that Paul’s preaching was contrary to the teachings of Jesus. They believed in reincarnation, respected women, considered Mary Magdalene to have been a spiritually guided person, and felt that the Catholic Church had become corrupt and greedy. They considered themselves true Christians. Seeing these views as both threatening and heretical, the Church determined to destroy all vestiges of Catharism, burning many followers at the stake. ... (read more)

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Romance Comes Knocking

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Tales of the Whispering Pines
by J. T. Carruthers
Xlibris


"'I need to tell you something, Destiny. You make me feel like I’m on top of the world.'"

Tree farmer and volunteer firefighter Chris has been living with his daughter Sapphire deep within the whispering pines of Alaska. The years have been tough for the small family. Chris lost the love of his life—Sapphire’s mother, Samantha—to cancer, and things just haven’t been the same since. Chris continues for Sapphire’s sake, knowing his beloved wife would want him to give their daughter every bit of joy as possible in her childhood. During one dispatch call, however, Chris’s life gets turned upside down. Destiny and her daughter Holly have had a terrible fire at their home and need a place to stay. Chris decides to offer a place at his parent’s bed and breakfast. The bond that the two single parents form is not like anything Chris has felt in a long time or even knew was possible. What will happen with Chris and Destiny? Will they run away from another chance at love, or will they reflect Destiny’s name and find their own destinies together? ... (read more)

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Epic Scope

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Echoes Through Time: A Harvester Adventure Series
by Richard W. Chamberlain
LitFire Publishing


"The Harvester’s plan is much more licentious [than] we first imagined. Their plan has many different levels, all of which are perilous for any life forms in this Universe."

Jerome is chosen for a secretive mission into space in the hopes he’ll find a solution to Earth’s rapidly dying sun. However, the day before he leaves, he is told the real reason he was originally chosen is because of a message which scientists received from outer space many years before he was even born. The message warned about a technologically superior alien race threatening all of humanity. More surprising, however, is that the voice on the message is Jerome’s. Armed with this confusing new knowledge, Jerome is rocketed into space where he will befriend an extraordinary alien and take command of an impressive spaceship which is apparently waiting for him. He’ll also find an advanced race traveling through time and space intent on destroying most other life in the universe. ... (read more)

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Valor on Deck

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Fire, Fire, Fire on the Flight Deck Aft; This Is Not a Drill: An Inconceivable Story of Brave Men Battling Raging Fires and High-order Explosions to Save Their Shipmates and the World’s First Super Aircraft Carrier
by Kenneth V. Killmeyer
AuthorHouse


"The flight deck had to be regarded as a place where the highest professional skill was continuously demanded, to avoid accidents and fatalities."

This story of the Forrestal starts in early 1967 as the ship prepares for real war—the purpose for which this first super aircraft carrier was constructed. The behemoth of eleven years had just undergone an overhaul with the latest technology. Loaded halfway with new recruits, it traveled south from Norfolk to GITMO for extensive training off Cuba. The training concentrated on GQ assignments to man fire stations and conducted man-overboard rehearsals. Captain Beling, USN, reinforced training to avoid a fire breaking out like the one recently on the Oriskany. Besides his crew, Beling had responsibility for the aircraft squadrons aboard―a total of 5,500 men destined for Vietnam. ... (read more)

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Flow

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

I: The Immutable and Perpetual Divine in 9
by Davide
Xlibris AU


"That no being, no matter how intelligent, how creative, or how ingenious, cannot ever escape this dynamism."

Davide wraps the energy flow that commences with life’s beginnings within a web of life’s complexities. In the process, he examines the universal question that gnaws at humanity: who am I? Moreover, he compels audiences not just to embrace self-realization but to grasp what it really means to peer within. ... (read more)

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Fear of Trump

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Armageddon of a Different Order: Wake Up, America
by Dennis Dawson Elliott
iUniverse


"The world is losing respect for the United States because the president has demonstrated he cannot be trusted."

In a series of essays focused on both the breadth and a particular component of the Donald Trump presidency, the author of this book seeks to illuminate and call for accountability toward the myriad inconsistencies between promises and deliverables. From the Russia investigation to the concealed tax documents, the Supreme Court appointees and the constant turnover of staff, every remarkable fact or curiosity of Trump’s White House is examined and scrutinized by the author. ... (read more)

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Strange & Cruel World

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Demon Pirate (Bilge Rat - Pirate Adventurer Series, Book Three)
by Kevin Charles Smith
Journey Publications, LLC


"Consequently, I have agonizingly realized that providing even a modicum of mercy to sworn enemies can come at an exceedingly high price."

By the third book of the author’s series, Smith’s protagonist, William Echo Eden, has weathered the tragic childhood of the first book, Remarkable Rascal, and the perilous adolescence of the second, Black Tarantula. This third chronicle finds Eden in adulthood, and though he has made it to manhood, the journey has not left him unscathed. He has lost much but refuses to lose his friend, Captain Adams. The beginning of this adventure finds Eden plotting the Captain’s rescue from “ruthless pirates.” What follows is an ingenious plot with a touch of dark humor and a cast of characters as crusty as their names. ... (read more)

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Wendy Time

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Wendy Takes a Stand
by Christy Wilburn Nobella Webb
Stratton Press


"It’s more important to be beautiful on the inside and treat everyone you meet with respect and kindness."

Wendy is a young, attractive girl going through the changing dynamics of adolescence. The story opens with her attempting to navigate her feelings for Russell, a boy who once bullied her but now shows that he is interested in her. The school newspaper publishes a story highlighting Wendy’s beautiful red hair and her judo adventures over the summer. This combined with the attention of various boys at school causes Darsha to be jealous of Wendy. Darsha and her friends set out to make Wendy’s life miserable. Will Darsha succeed in sabotaging Wendy’s happy life? Will Wendy choose revenge or forgiveness? ... (read more)

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Music History

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Secrets of the Old Music Room
by Christy Wilburn Nobella Webb
Stratton Press


"…it was hard to contain her excitement as she anticipated being able to explore the old music room, especially the magical secrets of the old player piano!"

In the summer of 1968, seventeen-year-old Debra spends her days watering the yard and knitting a sweater at her grandfather’s house while he’s away. The curious Debra discovers an exceptional secret of the player piano hidden in the basement, inadvertently conjuring up an entity named Middle C. Debra is taken into the music realm by way of a music mobile and a trusty metronome “to modulate their exact destination.” ... (read more)

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Sonic Revenge

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Secrets to the Old Music Room: Book 2: Mildred's Revenge
by Christy Wilburn Nobella Webb
Stratton Press


"Justice and vengeance aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be, are they?"

A musical story set in Salt Lake City, Utah begins with Debra exploring her grandfather Paul’s music room. As she sits down at the piano to play, music notes emerge from the piano and take on human form. Middle C reveals himself to be an important and wise advisor to the main characters throughout the book. Debra travels to France for a music recital and receives rave reviews for her performance. She also meets Ted, an exceptional singer who is struggling to perform. Debra helps Ted to find his voice again, and they begin a romantic relationship. Paul’s girlfriend Mildred is very jealous of the piano and also of Debra and Paul’s close relationship, so she conspires with Rita, an enemy of Debra’s, to steal the beloved player piano from Paul’s house. Will she succeed with her evil plan, or will Debra and her band of allies jump in to save the day? Will Paul see the dark side of Mildred, or will he continue with his plans of marrying her? ... (read more)

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A New Trilogy

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

BFFs (Best Friends Forever): The First in the Alex's Dreams Trilogy
by Alexander Rutherford
Stratton Press


"Alex, Chris, and the others have taken the next step in their adult lives."

This first book of a trilogy introduces Alexandria, her family, and her friends who are navigating the hormonally charged world of high school hallways and college dorms. Some in the group are looking for hook-ups, but Alex finds love with Chris in her California high school and never looks back. She marries him, and they start a family while attending college. Swirling in her orbit are friends and couples whose lives are chronicled as the group progresses through high school and college. ... (read more)

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Mr. Charming?

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

True Love Found
by Freeda Seltzer
Xlibris


"She knew she would be dreaming of her wedding and the new home she would be going to in Oregon."

Riley Donovan is a young businessman who dreams of success and is determined to make his own way in life, no matter how shady or disreputable that path may be. After gathering investors to open a lumber mill in Oregon, Riley sets his sights on Nadeen Rebillett, a Boston socialite who enjoys her independence but also craves adventure. After a fast courtship and wedding, the two are off on their journey to build a life together, but Nadeen soon learns that Riley isn’t as charming as he’s made himself out to be. ... (read more)

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Girl Gone

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Gabrielle, Lost
by Lynn Case
Xlibris


"Once again she was the party girl of just a few years ago. …The planner and the risk taker, the adventurous one to lead the way."

Strikingly beautiful, Gabrielle Grimaldi is dedicated to both her job in the fashion industry and her live-in boyfriend, Frank Mangini. When she is offered a six-week stint in Italy under the tutelage of the prestigious fashion executive, Giada Rossi, Gabrielle is thrilled to prove herself worthy of the top position in her company’s European market. Though both Frank and Gabrielle are concerned about spending so much time apart, this is her dream job, and they decide their relationship can weather the separation. However, it isn’t easy to fight temptation when she feels an immediate attraction to her mentor. Adding to the stress of navigating the sexual tension is Gabrielle’s discovery of unusual after-hours deliveries to the company’s warehouse, activities that tempt her curiosity and may put her life in danger. When Frank’s calls to Gabrielle go unanswered, he wonders if he was right to worry about his gorgeous girlfriend and books a flight to Italy, afraid of what he might find when he arrives. ... (read more)

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Rescuing Women

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

God and the Hillbilly
by Susan M. Hogan
Xlibris


"God forgived us for our bad ways, and we has to forgive other peoples for their bad ways."

Young wife Linda is trapped with an abusive spouse who explodes with violence at her smallest failures and is beginning to do the same to their two young children. Linda has one safe haven—her computer, a gift from her brother Larry. With it, she secretly corresponds with two women who both advise her to leave home after an especially frightening and painful beating. Using a phone number supplied by one of them, she winds up in a shelter for battered women where she and her children enjoy kindness and security. Additionally, she is befriended and encouraged by Mary, a social worker who finds Linda exceptional. Linda is hired to assist at a nursing home, excelling at her job despite her very unusual “hillbilly” accent and folksy sayings, which her new friends find charming. Linda knows that God has saved her, and even in the face of the worst devastation she hangs on to that belief. ... (read more)

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Your True Potential

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

This Side of Forty: Exploring the Dynamics of Pursuing Life’s Passions at Any Age
by Cathy Glen
iUniverse


"We must not feel inadequate about pursuing dreams at any age."

Glen believes many people are not living up to their potential because they are held back by negativity and a focus on aging that deters people from taking chances. With this book, she hopes to encourage people to move beyond their pasts, embrace their age, and pursue their dreams. Injecting personal anecdotes, spiritual wisdom, and cultural observations, Glen celebrates life’s possibilities and untapped potential in all stages of life. She empowers all people, but especially those in middle age who might feel adrift in their 40s, to re-evaluate their careers and passions to find true fulfillment. ... (read more)

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War Beats

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Last Crusader: Attack of the Goblins
by Jeffrey Loefer
Stratton Press


"’How do you know we’ll beat you?’ Brock confronted the beast.
‘Even we trolls know we’re looking at people of legends.’"

Wearing his gold and silver guild leader armor, Gregor announces to the other warriors in the crusaders guild that it is the time of year the goblin menace typically appears. Brock, Joe, Maddie, and Matt, along with the other members, believe they are ready for any incursions the goblins might make. However, when scouts Bif and Kif are reconnoitering Red River Woods, they quickly learn that the goblins have much bigger plans and a much larger force. Their intention is a war to clear the lands of the human presence. With the goblins in pursuit, the scouts realize they must warn the guild members and citizens of the nearby town. This information particularly shakes Brock because he just had a dream about a massive goblin attack that left scores of humans and goblins dead, with one lone crusader valiantly fighting against an overwhelming force of goblins. ... (read more)

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Another View

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Padre Cisco: Conversations With a Desert Father
by Michael McCabe
iUniverse


"'When you don’t outright vex me, you at least set me to wondering. This isn’t easy.'"

Rocky Stellar has enjoyed a self-made lifestyle as a syndicated cartoonist, but when he’s dropped from the syndicate and essentially forced into retirement at age 60, his believed raison d'être is pulled out from under him. Taking a drive into the Arizona countryside at the urging of his wife, Rocky reunites with an old college professor of his, Dr. Frank O’Shaughnessy, a.k.a. Padre Cisco. Cisco lives a humble life largely off the grid and is delighted to speak with Rocky about his worries. Through parables and personal stories, riddles and jokes, Padre Cisco teaches Rocky to alter his perspective and his way of thinking, opening up a more spiritual connection between him, the world around him, and the people he holds close. ... (read more)

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Jenny Steps

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Love List
by Dave Dearman
Xlibris NZ


"She was almost tempted to be a little adventurous, experimental even."

Jenny Wintle is a highly successful merchant banker in London with her life figured out. She has an exciting career, wonderful city-living, and a nice, although somewhat bland, boyfriend. Enter Xavier De Souza, an aggressive new client who refuses to do business with women. After an initial meeting where the two butt heads, Jenny finds herself drawn to De Souza, figuratively and literally as she’s transferred to her company’s new Singapore office to work with De Souza’s company, Eastern Construction. Before Jenny leaves, her flatmate, Linda, gives her “The Love List,” a cheeky eight-step guide to getting and keeping a man. While Jenny uses it sparingly, the list’s advice proves useful in navigating the playing field of East Asian business politics and forces both Jenny and Xavier to be more honest in their dealings. ... (read more)

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Universal Conflict

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Time Wars
by David Loper
Stratton Press


"He had heard songs about America being an illusion. To what degree? It made him wonder."

Dave is a normal boy growing up in a low-income 1960s family, attending Catholic school and part of the local Boy Scout troop. On a week-long camping event, he starts having difficulty breathing and passes out, waking up in a Vietnam hospital in the middle of the war. When a Vietnamese soldier kills a Marine while he’s using the bathroom, Dave does what comes naturally and uses his knife to kill the enemy combatant. From this point, he becomes recruited by the CIA as a decoy, given strict instructions as to how to behave and sent on various clandestine missions. Going through college, starting a family, and finding employment, Dave tries to live a normal life while at the same time knowing that there is more to the world than meets the eye and that he is in the middle of a universal conflict. ... (read more)

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Violent Collision

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Intersection
by Gary Cephas
Xlibris


"She had come this far and would have to do battle with whatever else was in her path. There was no other choice."

A husband and wife barely hold their marriage together, but neither is willing to end it. A man is haunted by thoughts of inadequacy and a father he could never impress. A preacher is seduced by the trappings of fame, attention, and avarice. An organized crime enforcer fresh out of prison is trying to play by a new set of rules. These are just some of the individuals whose stories are told and cross with one another in this tale of morality and consequence. The only things that can offer salvation to these troubled and wayward souls are the ability to make better decisions and the intervention of a higher power if they are open to receiving it. Otherwise, every interaction has the destructive potential to end in a violent collision. ... (read more)

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One Final Time

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

His Last Mission
by William Clifford Brown
Xlibris


"His hands were unclean… he knew he had baggage that he might never get rid of."

The duality of Will Brandon’s life in 1968 is starkly represented by the class reunion he plans to attend the same week he returns from fighting in the Vietnam War. The realities of war and memories of childhood flood Will as he flies home to Missouri. Brown effectively renders the bonds of boyhood as Will thinks back on the life he is returning to after experiencing the atrocities of war. Reunited with his lost love, Will seems determined to leave the war behind until he is called back into service for one final mission. ... (read more)

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Wealth to the People

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Remaking the Wealth of the Nations
by Md Shamsul A. Chowdhury
Xlibris


"Is there any invisible magic behind the differences of national economies? Is there any influence of powerful yet invisible hands?"

Most of the world operates under a free-market system at this point, so why are some countries wealthy and prosperous while others have their populace living in rampant poverty? Examining countries across the entire income spectrum, the author of this book identifies the practices that lead some parts of the world to be rich and those that keep other areas poor. Then, using indicators like the level of corruption in the government, ease of doing business in that country, or how democratic the society is, correlations are drawn that provide the best practices for creating a higher-income nation. ... (read more)

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Financial Bible

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Investment Atlas II: Using History as a Financial Tool
by Ken Winans
KGW Publishing


"One of the public’s mistaken beliefs about Wall Street is that the 1929 stock market crash caused the Great Depression."

The investment community and the opportunity to take a wise decision and profit greatly from it are embedded in the DNA of the American identity. But navigating a complex and diverse market is daunting for many and potentially disastrous for the fearless. Using over two centuries’ worth of market data and its ties to historical events, the author presents his specialization in historical market analysis with hard data and in a way that makes clear sense. ... (read more)

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Divine Pep Talk

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

I Am Amidst You Now: God The Father/Healing My Truth
by Penny McCoy
Stratton Press, LLC


"Though you think I Am not
You can be sure that I Am on the scene
And I know all things big...small and between."

The author states her goal early for this 78-page book; it is to set readers’ hearts free to follow their God-given destiny. McCoy knows this is possible, having lived through teenage success and mistakes, followed by feelings of failure. She was once a world champion alpine skier who subsequently made bad choices which she has now overcome with God’s help. ... (read more)

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Future Crimes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Waking Dead: A Novel
by Jay Glendell
iUniverse


"The nightmare had been repeating more frequently, leaving him in a dreamlike state, semi-conscious but paralyzed and speechless."

The medical profession meets the FBI in this engaging book that takes the reader on a quest from New York to South America, Spain, and eventually Key West. A doctor with a bag full of troubles teams with a special agent whose motive for tracking down a killer is as personal as it is professional. Together they both put their lives on the line to unearth secrets from World War II that hold the key to present and, potentially, future crimes. ... (read more)

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Atypical Biography

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Night of Other Days: The Life and Work of Poet Seamus Heaney
by Hugh Mulrooney
AuthorHouse UK


"In transmitting his feelings into words, he masters the art of reporting his own emotional responses to the life around him in language that is authentic and totally accurate."

You might know Seamus Heaney for his lyric poetry or his famed translation of Beowulf. Chances are, though, you might not know him at all. Author Mulrooney aims to change that and make more people aware of Heaney's influential work through this book, which is both a biography of the Irish poet and a celebration of his life. ... (read more)

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Gendering

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Becoming Female and Male: Our Extraordinary and Perilous Journey
by Ramon Piñon, Jr.
BookVenture Publishing LLC


"A moment’s reflection will convince us that the development of an individual from the fertilized egg must be incredibly complex."

Life is a word that all of us experience but few of us truly understand, often adorned with words like wonder and mystery for all the odds-beating it takes to create a human being. Examining the reproductive system of men and women from the earliest stages of development to postpubertal function and performance, this book seeks to offer readers a glimpse into what makes the creation of life possible and all of the factors that can affect it. ... (read more)

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All Wrapped-Up

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Mummy
by Samuel Myhre
BookVenture Publishing, LLC


"Now the world is safe."

In a world where most young people spend their time mesmerized by video games and tiny screens, it’s refreshing to discover there still exist avid readers within the generation accustomed to sensory overload at the push of a button. Even rarer is to find an author still in elementary school, but that is the case with the literary imagination behind this book. Already the author of four books, Sam Myhre, who was born in 2011, has the distinction of being the youngest published author in the United States. ... (read more)

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Uncertain Territory

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Steinman: A Novel
by Leo Kearley
Stratton Press


"Klaus Steinman stood at the head of the Terror Group. He looked at the destruction of what had once been the city of Mons."

The onset of World War I throws Europe into a politically charged and violent landscape where enemy lines are drawn and allies formed in Kearley’s ambitious, sweeping historical novel. When young brothers Joe and Colin Travis are arrested for a crime in a situation of mistaken identity, they are sent to a juvenile facility. There, the boys discover their strengths and weaknesses before enlisting into war, having been selected for scout training to become snipers. They rely upon the lessons learned from their father as they head into uncertain territory. ... (read more)

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Power Prose

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Below the Rim of Heaven
by Donnell Perryman
Stratton Press LLC


"Below the rim of heaven, we are all children of God, regardless of religious order, denomination, or faith."

The opening poem in this colorful debut collection is “My Knight in Shining Armor.” It celebrates the love of a gallant man for his lady:

Let me shield you inside my valorous heart
When your fragile world has come apart... ... (read more)

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Divine Language

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Divinely Sinful Saints
by Con Trong Bui
Archway Publishing


"Moreover, human beings do not have words for “things” or “beings” that exist in the nonphysical worlds. Therefore, symbols and analogies must be used..."

Interpretation of the Bible has undoubtedly produced a plethora of arguments since the first emergence of the Old Testament around 2000 B.C. when it was passed down from generation to generation in the oral tradition to today’s modern translations meant to make it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds. At the heart of the most heated debates and the driving force behind the numerous Protestant denominations is the question: Should the Bible be interpreted literally? In this book, Bui argues that it should not. ... (read more)

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The Weight Issue

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Chronic Disease of Obesity: How Sponge Syndrome Causes Repeated Weight Gain
by Brian Scott Edwards, MD, FNLA
iUniverse


"Diet medications...should be continued for life to maintain weight loss with less hunger, allowing you to tolerate lower calories."

The author’s personal health history is used to validate his discoveries as a doctor dealing with diabetic patients unable to further reduce their weight. He explains the Sponge theory as it affects fat cells that remain after major weight loss. Since fat cells only shrink and never die, they develop low leptin levels which trigger the brain of impending starvation. Then the stomach secretes a peptide—ghrelin—to stimulate appetite and causes any diet to become unsustainable. Edwards’ Sponge theory explains why the “reduced obese” plateau at higher and higher weights. ... (read more)

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Seven Angels

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Seven Churches of Asia Minor: The Churches in Revelation
by Dr. Orville R. Beckford, Sr.
LitFire Publishing


"[John] was one of Jesus’ closest friends. But none of his past experiences with Christ prepared him for this moment."

Students of Revelation―the final book of the Bible―are familiar with the letters Christ gave to the seven churches of Asia Minor as recorded by the Apostle John. At the time of this vision, John was exiled on the nearby island of Patmos. Some dispensational Bible scholars believe these church letters represent the history of the Church from 30-100 AD and 1960-present times. The angels mentioned may have been real people, responsible as lights to pass on Christianity to their church members. Beckford includes in each chapter information about the location of the church mentioned in Revelation, the glorified Christ’s introduction, Jesus’ critique with specific mention of each church’s works with a promise/warning to believers, and the author’s application for today’s churches. ... (read more)

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