Fiction

Browning Road

Jeff Marlowe (Capablanca Books)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

Jack Pszcynack lives as a young adolescent in the house of his parents, who are still surprisingly married. Jack’s older brother, Joey, goes out of his way to torment and terrorize Jack. The Pszcynacks live in the town of Pennsauken, New Jersey. Jack’s parents, Barbara and Joe Sr., are all about maintaining appearances, especially when it comes to their neighbors. However, recent developments on Browning Road have upset the delicate balance in the neighborhood. A neighbor has decided to sell his house, and a barely concealed intolerance begins...

The Wisdom of Winter

Annie Seyler (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

The Wisdom of Winter by Annie Seyler is one of those literary pieces that intelligently examines themes of reality versus appearance. Six-year-old Beatrice has strived under the shadow of her fashionable mother and father, a sweet, loving man. She is very intuitive and innocent about the world outside. That is until tragedy hits home and she loses her mother. She is thrust into a world she has never known and that makes her question if she truly belongs. Moving from Vermont to San Francisco as an adult, she struggles to fit in, embracing a pers...

Drawn into Danger: Living on the Edge in the Sahara

Keith Costelloe (Friesen Press)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Drawn into Danger: Living on the Edge in the Sahara by Keith Costelloe is a tale of surviving in very austere and dangerous conditions in a foreign country. Twenty-four-year-old Dave accepts his first job as an English teacher in Algeria. That is 1978. He is just so happy to leave the UK and its doldrums behind. Going to Algeria offers the prospects of a new start, adventure, and an encounter with new cultures. But Algeria is not what he has imagined it to be. Everything changes for the worst when he helps a friend get revenge and finds himself...

Rafael Jerome: A Novel

Tobias Maxwell (Wheatmark)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

Jeremey Jerome meets Gary Silverman in Paris in unusual circumstances. As the connection between the two deepens, Jeremy learns about an encounter between his father, Rafael Jerome, and Gary Silverman in 1949. Learning about his father’s secrets in Hollywood, Jeremy sets out to uncover the whole truth, a journey that takes him across different cities and that brings about exciting encounters. Rafael Jerome: A Novel by Tobias Maxwell is a novel with an irresistible appeal to fans of LGBTQ, a deftly plotted narrative with compelling dialogu...

We Are All Together

Richard Fulco (Wampus Multimedia)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

We Are All Together by Richard Fulco follows a young character’s incredible journey of self-discovery against the backdrop of the dazzling rock n' roll culture in the late 60s. Twenty-one-year-old guitarist Stephen Cane has just returned home to his mother after a devastating failure with the band on which he has built his dreams. Stephen is determined to pursue his career in music, so he moves to New York where he reconnects with his former friend and bandmate, Dylan John, an up-and-coming psychedelic rock star whose band is already attracting...

Come See The Light

Norman Luce (Norman Luce)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

Come See the Light by Norman Luce is a compelling story with a setting that has strong elements of post-apocalyptic. It is forty-seven years after The Wave destroyed power and humanity finds itself surviving against the odds. Maya is a young girl, a survivor, whose idyllic life has been in the village. She has lived with her brother and great-aunt. When she discovers that there is a machine that has stunted the world's power, she sets out on a journey to locate it, accompanied by Inari, her loyal pet fox. As they set out on this perilous journe...

The Diomedeia: Diomedes, the Peoples of the Sea, and the Fall of the Hittite Empire

Gregory Michael Nixon (DokNyx Publisher)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

The Diomedeia: Diomedes, the Peoples of the Sea, and the Fall of the Hittite Empire by Gregory Michael Nixon intelligently blends history with myth to offer readers a fascinating reading experience. The novel transports readers to the Bronze Age in the Hittite Empire and follows the final months of the collapse of the empire. Raids, lootings, and chaos abound, and one of the least celebrated heroes of legend, Diomedes, takes center stage in an act that ushers a new era. It is a tale that explores mutations in a civilization and a captivating jo...

Not for God and Country

William M. Murphy (Koehler Books)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

From the painful experience on the battlefields of Vietnam to the psychological damage that US soldiers experienced, Not for God and Country by William M Murphy offers a mesmerizing, poignant account of the Vietnam War. Written by a war veteran, this book features a cast of young men armed to the teeth and deployed to fight a war they don't clearly understand why in a danger-infested terrain, facing untold hardships and dangers. The author explores the emotional and psychological states of these characters, the power of friendship, and their re...

Balsamic Moon

Alan Gartenhaus (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

In Balsamic Moon by Alan Gartenhaus, a sudden flood compels neighbors to struggle for survival. Faced with the impending danger and the imminent threat to life, will two neighbors who have been indifferent to each other work together for a solution? Doreen Williams is an Afro-American single mother whose relationship with her neighbor, Richard Girard, a gay man who keeps to himself, has been nothing but cordial. That is until Hurricane Katrina hits and they find themselves in the attic as the water rises below. Heat, scarce supplies, and f...

The Excursion

T.O. Paine (Dark Swallow Books)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Charly Highsmith has learned to depend on no one from the time she was abandoned by her parents. A Street smart she looks after her autistic brother, Jacob. When her father dies, Charly becomes the heir to his estate, which includes a weather-beaten cabin in the Rocky Mountains. Charly can't wait to visit the cabin, linked to childhood memories, so she invites her cousins, Amanda and Cam, to visit the cabin. Up in the mountain, they find themselves trapped between the claws of a vicious killer and the blizzard. Can they outwit the hunter who is...

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