Latest Reviews, Interviews & Writing Tips

Author:Hiro Arikawa
Publisher: Berkeley
ISBN: 978-0-451-49133-6

Hiro Arikawa's The Traveling Cat Chronicles (旅猫リポート) is an delightful novel on a couple levels. First, it has an interesting structure. Second, Philip Gabriel has done an impressive job of rendering Arikawa's Japanese into English. (Gabriel has also translated Kenzaburo Oe's Somersault and four Haruki Murakami novels including Kafka on the Shore, so he's got some chops.) Third, as a small book—about 5.5" x 7.5"—it is a pleasure to hold.

     welcomes as our guests, Dr. Edward Shorter and Dr. Max Fink authors of The Madness of Fear: A History of Catatonia.

Authors: Ms. Yellow and Mr. Wide
Publisher: Simply ReadBooks
ISBN: 978-1-7722-90295

Authors: Dr. Edward Shorter and Dr. Max Fink
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0-19-088119-1

What is catatonia? Is it a symptom of schizophrenia? Can it be treatable and reversible?
These are the questions I asked myself when I picked up Dr. Edward Shorter and Dr. Max Fink's tome, The Madness of Fear: A History of Catatonia that explores the critical factors that have affected its recognition and treatment.

Author: Matt Kahn

Publisher: Hay House

ISBN: 978-1-4019-5495-6

Author: Sarah Ingerman

Publisher: Sounds True

ISBN: 978-1-68364-149-0

Sandra Ingerman, author of The Book of Ceremony, has been a teacher of shamanism for over thirty-five years. (2018, p.195) She is also a licensed and board certified professional mental health counselor with a specialization in traumatic stress. In 2007 she was awarded the Peace Award from the Global Foundation as an Integrative Medical practitioner. Spirituality and Health Magazine selected Sandra as one of the Top Ten Spiritual Heroes in 2013. She has penned twelve books, many award-winning.

Author: Tonja Drecker

Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press

ISBN: 978-1-9398-56-9

Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 9780345544988

Author: RachelCusk
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 978-037-427986-8

Kudos is the third book in Rachel Cusk's trilogy. I've discussed the two earlier books, Outline and Transit. As in those novels, Kudos has no conventional plot as defined in my on-line dictionary as "the main events of a novel devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence." There is no rising action leading to a denouement. The narrator, a middle-aged British novelist, flies to an unnamed foreign city (it sounds like Dubrovnik to me but it could be Gdansk) to speak at a literary festival and people talk to her. is pleased to have as our guest Ashley Rhodes-Courter author of the international best-seller Three Little Words and Three More Words which debuted at #1 on Amazon Bestseller’s List.

Author: David Carlson

Publisher: Coffee Town Press, 2018,

ISBN: 978-1-60381-393-8

Author:Theresa Barta

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-1-61254-969-9

The focus of Greed on Trial is to bring to light how greedy and corrupt health insurance companies, medical groups as well as health management companies mistreat and impede medical doctors from providing the best possible care to their patients.

Authors: Michael Lenox andAaron Chatterji

Publisher: Stanford Business Books,

ISBN: 978-0-80479-099-4

The authors of Can Business Save The Earth tell that it took several years to compile their data and write the end result. (2018, preface) They also acknowledge the aid of several key people in the finalization of this process.

Author: Ulrich Kellerer

Publisher: Ulrich Kellerer

ISBN: 9781986551229

This is a great book to read if you are looking for a dose of inspiration.

Author: CarlBrookins
Publisher: Brookins Books LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9969991-0-6

Carl Brookins has created an interesting crime-fighting duo, Marjorie Kane and Alan Lockem. They are married, live in Minneapolis, and sound as if they are in their late 50s, early 60s. Marjorie is an exceptionally well-preserved former stripper. Lockem is a "private consultant," whatever that means. He's not a PI. "Some people call him a salvage expert." In any case, the two help people in trouble.

The soul of the story in Thelma Allen Watkins' debut children's book, Harpoona The Diary Of An Ugly Tuna pertains to a disfigured tuna by the name of Harpoona. This is a character that grows on you and even feels real. And what makes her memorable is the way she sees the world and interacts with it. welcomes as our guest, Thelma Allen Watkins author of Harpoona: The Diary Of An Ugly Tuna.

Author: Stephen Markley

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7447-6


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Chats With Writer, Director, Producer, Musician Cameron Washington Who has Just Come Out With a Documentary, A Man And His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story once again welcomes as our guest, Michael Pronko. Michael is a professor of American Literature and Culture at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. 

He has written about Japanese culture, art, jazz, and politics for Newsweek in Japan, The Japan Times, Artscape Japan and many other publications for over twenty years.

Michael has appeared on several television broadcasts and he has an award-winning publication of essays about life in Japan.

Recently, Michael has published The Moving Blade: A Tokyo Mystery which is part of the Detective Hiroshi series.

Author:Michael Pronko

Publisher: Raked Gravel Press 2018

ISBN: 978-1-9422410-16-4

With his recent tome, The Moving Blade: A Tokyo Mystery Michael Pronko has given his readers a great deal to chew on and digest. He has crafted a yarn that includes a well-respected American diplomat and expert on Japanese American relations, a corrupt member of Japan's bicameral legislature or as it is referred to as The National Diet, the transporting of nuclear waste as a result of the powerful earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, and the international agreement between the USA and Japan known as the Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA which governs facilities and areas granted to the USA as well as the status of US armed forces in Japan. And thrown in for good measure are a few murders that seem to be interlinked.

Author: Bob Woodward

Publisher: Simon &Schuster; 2nd edition (September 11, 2018
ISBN-10:1501175513      ISBN-13:978-1501175510

I’m pretty sure this was the first time I ever picked up a new book anticipating a depressing reading experience.

That’s because, like many Americans, I watched the election results of Nov. 9, 2016 with amazement and horror.   I saw my country go insane.  In the months and years since Trump’s inauguration, I’ve seen a narcissist, often paranoid president looking at the world through Trump-colored glasses.      Policy wise, it’s been clear he has protectionist, populist, and nationalist views. It’s been clear he operates on the fly, often responding emotionally to any perceived threats or attacks. He’ll lie at the drop of a hat.

Author: Lawrence Millman

Publisher: St. Martins Press

ISBN:  978-0-250-11140-1

Author: Mark A. Cymrot,

Publisher: Twelve TablesPress
ISBN: 978-1-946074-19-5

Author: Renee Linnell

Publisher: Pink Skeleton
ISBN: 978-1-63152-487-5

Author: Sharon Prentice, PhD

Publisher: Waterside Press

Author: Alys Murray

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing


ISBN-13: 978-1947892316

Author: Peter Vollmer

Publisher: Endeavour Media(August 17, 2018)

My first paragraph here is almost word-for-word  how I opened my 2017 review of Peter Vollmer’s A Question of Allegiance: 

I may not have been the very first one, but I was certainly among the earliest reviewers of the novels of South African writer Peter Borchard a.k.a. Peter Vollmer.     My reviews began with 2011’s Relentless Pursuit, continued with 2012’s Diamonds Are But Stone, and 2015’s Left For Dead. Of special interest was his 2015 Per Fine Ounce, a continuation novel featuring a character named Geoffrey Peace created by fellow South African novelist Geoffrey Jenkins, a writer with notable connections with Ian Fleming.

Author: Gordon Lore

Publisher: BearManor Media (October 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1629333441  ISBN-13: 978-1629333441  

The bulk of Gordon Lore’s latest book is a compilation of summaries describing apparently every UFO sighting reported to the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) from 1956 to 1980. During that time, Lore served as Vice President, Assistant Director, Secretary-Treasurer and investigator for NICAP, then the world’s largest UFO organization.

Author: Omarosa Manigault Newman

Publisher: Gallery Books

ISBN: 978-1-9821-0970-7

Curiosity got the better of me when I picked up a copy of Omarosa Manigault Newman's Unhinged:An Insider's Account of the Trump White House.

My initial thought concerning Omarosa had been was how could an intelligent woman be taken in by the cult of the Trump world? Did she sell herself to the devil in the hope that she could really make a difference helping the African-American community? Was she overestimating her importance? Was she taken in by the glitter of power and wealth? Was she overambitious?

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 9781250180797

Death and Night take on human form as they learn to love one another. A woman granted a wish loses her self-confidence as she navigates a world unknown to her. A queen and king, on the night before their wedding, engage in the greatest challenge to their union. Author Roshani Chokshi brings back characters readers will recognize in Star-Touched Stories, a triad of novellas almost too sumptuous for consumption.

Publisher Callaway Arts & Entertainment
ISBN: 978-0-935112-37-5

Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and pupil of Aristotle, was born around 372 BC, died around 287. When Aristotle was forced to retire from Athens in 323, Theophrastus became the head of the Lyceum, the academy Aristotle had founded. Under Theophrastus the enrollment of pupils and auditors rose to its highest point. 

Author: Beth Daigle

Publisher: W.L.Marker

ISBN: 978-1-947966-079

Author: Carl J. Schramm

Publisher: Simon &Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4767-9435-8

Editors:Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer
Publisher: Graywolf Press
ISBN: 978-1-55597-792-4

Author: Pratima RaoGluckman,

Publisher: Friesen Press
ISBN:  978-1-1210-0

Author: Travis Smith

Publisher: Templeton Press
ISBN: 978-1-59947-4-0 welcomes as our guest Emily Bleeker, author of Wreckage, When I'M Gone, (Wall Street Journal Best Seller), Working Fire and her most recent novel, The Waiting Room.

Emily is a former educator who learned to love writing while teaching a writer’s workshop. After surviving a battle with a rare form of cancer, she finally found the courage to share her stories. Emily currently lives with her family in suburban Chicago.

Author: Dylan Jones

Publisher: Crown Archetype



When Prince died on April 21, 2016, just four months after the passing of David Bowie on January 10, there were immediate and numerous comparisons made between the two giants of music in terms of importance and influence.   I well recall one TV commentator certain Prince was the more influential of the two. 


Author: Alejandra Olivera
ISBN: 978-0692800584

Here Be Dragons starts in a slightly confusing manner with a young man’s dream followed by a flashback to his youth to paint a picture of his character. Clearly not a suspense packed beginning but the story is well worth pressing on to enjoy an intriguing portrayal of intertwining lives. It wasn’t long before I had to keep reading to see what would unfold next.

Author: AndrzejStasiuk
Publisher: Dalkey Archive
ISBN: 978-1-56478-687-6

Dukla is a small town in southeastern Poland on the Jasiolka river at the foot of Cergowa mountain. It has a population of about 2,200 people, a 17th century town hall, the ruins of a 1758 synagogue, the ruins of a 16th century border tax office, the ruins of a brewery. In 1944, the Battle of the Dukla Pass left 90 percent of the town in ruins. In 1997, Pope John Paul II visited and in his sermon mentioned John of Dukla, one of the patron saints of Poland and Lithuania.

Author: Dennis Royer

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 23, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1547166517   ISBN-13: 978-1547166510

I was delighted to meet author Dennis Royer at a local writers’ conference this August. I was intrigued to hear his description of his latest Perry County novel, Flash Friends, as that’s the locale where my stepson and my grandson live.  I was curious to hear that one of his main characters is blind. So am I. 

Author: MargaretMizushima
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
ISBN: 978-1-62593-381-0

Killing Trail is Margaret Mizushima's first Timber Creek K-9 mystery. I wanted to read it because I enjoyed the fourth in the series, Burning Ridge. In Killing Trail we are introduced to Deputy Mattie Cobb who has just completed twelve weeks of training with Robo, the county's new police service dog. We meet Cole Walker, Timber Creek's only veterinarian, whose wife has left him and their two daughters. We meet the town's sheriff, Abraham McCoy, and another deputy, Brody, who resents Mattie because she beat him in the competition to become the town's K-9 officer. We also meet Detective Stella LoSasso who is called in from the county seat to take charge of the investigation of the crime and who, by book four, is living in Timber Creek.

Author: Cristopher DeRose

Publisher: BearManor Media

ISBN: 9781629333182

As a book reviewer and author interviewer, I always enjoy picking the brains of authors to find out what makes them tick. When Cristopher DeRose's The Complete Scribes of Speculative Fiction: A Collection of Interviews came to my attention, I could not resist requesting a copy.

AUTHOR: Rhys Bowen


ISBN: 978-042528352

I’ve been half in love with Lady Georgiana Rannoch since the first book in the series about ten years ago. She is part of the British royal family in the 1930s. In the first book, I believe she was number 31 in succession to the throne. By this 12th novel in the series, she’s number 35. She is sufficiently unimportant in the royal scheme of things that through the book series, she’s been a penniless house guest at a variety of homes of friends and relatives. She often has to try to work for a living. When you are raised as a royal aristocrat but do not inherit money and haven’t yet married, you don’t have much in the way of job skills, so working is difficult.

Author:Paul Levine

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 978-1503951716

If you enjoy reading offbeat legal thrillers, Paul Levine's latest tome Bum Deal is likely to be your cup of tea. Once again Levine's principal characters comprise a second-string professional football player, Jake Lassiter who was hit in the head once too often and his two colleagues Steve Solomon and his fiancée,Victoria Lord.

Authors: Bill Clinton & James Patterson

Audible Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Hachette Audio

ISBN: 978-1780898407(soft cover)

On so many levels, the powerhouse collaboration between best-selling novelist James Patterson and former President William Jefferson Clinton has ignited nearly every kind of possible critical response. Some readers nearly gush with effusive praise; other reviewers are far less kind, and not always for political reasons.

Author: Astrid Brown

Publisher: A Thorned Rose Publication

ISBN: 9781719218481 welcomes as our guest Jesse McKinnell, author of Dead Cats and Other Reflections on Parenthood.

Jesse grew up in Massachusetts but has lived peacefully in Maine for many years. On July 4, 2015, he had a dream about a dentist with a passion for writing sitcoms. Somehow, DEAD CATS And Other Reflections on Parenthood was the result. It is his first novel.

Author: Jesse McKinnell

Publisher: Shine Box Publishing

ISBN: 9780692101858

Dead Cats and Other Reflections on Parenthood is a first novel by short-story writer Jesse McKinnell. As McKinnell states in the Acknowledgements, love of music and a sick sense of humor drives most of the narrative of the book which he thanks his dad for passing this onto him.

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