Latest Reviews, Interviews & Writing Tips

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.

AUTHOR: Donna Andrews

PUBLISHER: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1250115478

Author: MargaretMizushima
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
ISBN: 978-168331-778-4

Burning Ridge is Margaret Mizushima's fourth Timber Creek K-9 mystery and the first I've read. It's a police procedural with an interesting cop—Sheriff's Deputy Mattie Cobb and her German shepherd K-9 partner Robo who work out of small Colorado town. Mattie is romantically involved with the widowed local veterinarian Cole Walker, and the narrative shifts from Mattie to Cole and back, sometimes in the same chapte

Author: Andy Zach

Publisher: Jule Inc.; 1edition (May 5, 2018)
ASIN: B07CJP8FYP welcomes as our guest, composer, author of books and articles, librettist, playwright, and gastronome, Norman Mathews. Norman's work has been performed at the Kennedy Center, on radio, and at theatres and concert venues around the world. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, foundation grants, and commissions.

Norman has recently written his autobiography, The Wrong Side of the Room: A Life in Music Theater that will shortly be published.

Author:Fiona Davis

Publisher: Dutton

ISBN: 9781524742010 (trade paperback)

Author: Wesley Hyatt

Publisher: BearManor Media (December 15, 2017)

ISBN-10: 1629332178

ISBN-13: 978-1629332178

Author: Cara Black
Publisher: Soho Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-61695-678-3

I would like to write about Cara Black's Murder on the Quai in such a way that it does not discourage mystery readers from picking up the book, which is a creditable effort, but also explains why I have difficulties with certain mysteries.

Author: D. B. Moffatt

Publisher: BeachHouse Books (March 25, 2018)

 ISBN-13: 978-1596301030

Unexpected beginnings become fatal endings in a young man’s life as Chester White is forced into marrying Shirley with not choice for a reprieve. This one act sets off a chain of events that creates friction, discord and will later hinder the life of an 11-year-old girl. With a father only interested in expanding his business ventures and a mother whose selfish needs preclude that of caring for her child, the night out with the girls will set off Chester White on a quest to take it all away from Shirley in a violent and abusive act that will shatter his daughter’s life. Violence, lust, hate, murder, deceptions and deceit plague their marriage but this is where it begins but far from where it will end.

Author:Michael Carlon

Publisher: Michael Carlon

ISBN: 978-0-692-76075-8 welcomes as our guest Ronny Herman de Jong author of Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy. Ronny was born in Surabaya on the Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, and is a survivor of Japanese concentration camps on Java with her mother and little sister during WWII in the Pacific. She has written two other books on the eyewitness account of living conditions and brutal treatment by the Japanese in her mother's journal smuggled through the camps and individual interviews with WWII survivors

Author:Ronny Herman de Jong

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 14, 2015)

ISBN-10: 1519299583: ISBN-13: 978-1519299581

Ronny Herman de Jong's Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy blends historical fact with a vivid personal journal that was given to the author in 1985 by her mother, Jeannette (Netty) Louwerse after her grandparents had died in 1985. The narrative is set during World War II in Java, which at the time was a part of the Dutch East Indies.


Author: Andrew Wichland

Publisher: CreateSpaceIndependent Publishing Platform (June 29, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1720625689
ISBN-13: 978-1720625681

As I rarely intentionally spend time with YA novels,  I haven’t really thought about what elements characterize such books. Now that I’ve read the first volume of Andrew Wichland’s Wild Hearts,  I’m pretty sure one feature of his fiction is likely typical in sci-fi or fantasy books crafted for young readers. Wish fulfillment.

Author: CherylPallant
Publisher: Big Table Publishing Co.
ISBN: 978-1-945917-14-1

In 2007 Cheryl Pallant accepted an offer as Visiting Lecturer at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea. She had "no images of its landscape and architecture, no familiarity with its language, people, history, or culture" other than that American soldiers fought against communism there in the 1950s. Pallant, in the middle of a divorce after a 15-year marriage, was moving from Richmond, Virginia, population 223,000 to Daegu, a city of 2.5 million people in south-central Korea. Ginseng Tango is a memoir of her year there.

Author: Edward Sheehy
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, 2018

Author:Gordon Marino, PhD
Publisher: HarperOne

It sounds like an interesting and practical book: The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age. The author, Gordon Marino, PhD, "is a professor of philosophy and the director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College" in Minnesota. He's written and edited a number of books about Kierkegaard and is also "an award-winning boxing writer for The Wall Street Journal and other outlets." 

Author: Abbott GeorgeBurke

Publisher: Light of the Spirit Press

ISBN: 9780998599854

This book is not just a question and answer book meant for the sincere seeker. It is a colossal statement of faith by the author on the nature of Reality and how one might navigate its precarious waters. It also documents the author's deep conviction that Jesus was schooled in India where he learnt the tenets of Sanatana Dharma as laid out in the ancient Indian scriptures, personalized them through diligent practice and then disseminated them to the Western world. After his crucifixion, he arose from the dead and came to India where he lived out the rest of his life

Author:  MagdalenaTulli
Publisher: Archipelago Books
ISBN: 978-1-935744-08-5

Because Bill Johnston led the workshop I attended at the Bread Loaf Translators' Conference, I bought his translation of In Red by Magdalena Tulli. Johnston has published over thirty book-length translations from the Polish, including poetry, prose, and drama. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

Magdalena Tulli is a Polish novelist and translator and is one of Poland's leading writers. She's won the Gdynia Literary Prize and been short-listed five times for the Nike Award, Poland's most prominent literary prize. While her own novels have been translated into a number of languages, she has translated Proust, Calvino, and Fleur Jaeggy into Polish.

Author:Yoav Limor: Photo Journalist, Ziv Koren

Publisher: Gefin Publishing House

ISBN: 972-2-538-0247

What exactly is the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)?

Author:Rafe Martin

Publisher: Wisdom Publications

ISBN: 978-1-61429-354-5

Somewhat akin to the role played by the Parables in the Christian tradition, jataka tales exemplify the key values implicit in the Buddhist religion. However, unlike the former stories and analogies, these tales all center on the experiences of the Bodhisattva, with each focused on one of the various forms that Shakyamuni Buddha assumed in his various lives that he spent on Earth before becoming fully awakened to becoming the Buddha. Reaching the highest plane of existence known as Nirvana, where suffering, desire, and sense of self and subject all end, is the final goal of Buddhism. The jatakas show, each in their own small, yet significant, way, how to get there. welcomes as our guest Kathryn Berla. Kathryn enjoys writing in a variety of genres including light fantasy, contemporary literary fiction, and even horror. She writes for all ages: children, middle grade, young adult, and adult.

She’s the author of the young adult novels: 12 HOURS IN PARADISE, DREAM ME, THE HOUSE AT 758, an  GOING PLACES, which received VOYA Magazine’s Perfect Ten rating.

A JOURNEY OF ORDINARY PROPORTIONS  is her middle grade novel for adults. And although ORANGE DOG, a children’s picture book, exists only in her heart, it holds a special place there.

THE KITTY COMMITTEE is her first novel written strictly for adult readers. welcomes as our guest, Roger Johns. Roger is a 2018 Georgia Author of Year for his debut mystery, Dark River Rising. He is a former corporate lawyer and retired college professor  with law degrees from Louisiana State University and Boston University.

During his nearly two decades as a professor, he served on the editorial staffs of several academic publications and he won numerous awards and recognitions for his teaching and his scholarly writing. Roger is the author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries, Dark River Rising (August 2017) and River of Secrets (August 2018) from St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books.

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