Murder at Amapas Beach (An Amanda Pennyworth Mystery)

James Gilbert (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

Murder at Amapas Beach (An Amanda Pennyworth Mystery) by James Gilbert is a splendid meld of sleuth, crime, and mystery. Amanda Pennyworth just wanted to have a romantic moment with her boyfriend Romero Morelos on Amapas Beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. But all the fun she has planned to have is marred when Danielle Maglin, a woman who has been with Amanda and her friends on the same boat is found brutally murdered. Back in the US, things take another turn when, Terry Blanchard, one of the last people to see Danielle alive is found dead. What...

Brain Storm

Shelley Kolton (FLR Press)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

In introducing Brain Storm: A Life in Pieces by Shelley Kolton MD, Robin Morgan states: ''This book will not leave you unchanged... It is a harrowing, hallowing experience—and a triumph of the human spirit.'' There couldn't be a better statement to speak about this memoir of mental illness and the author's incredible journey toward understanding herself and healing. Born in 1950, she recalls having an idyllic childhood, her mother carrying her constantly, while her father would playfully toss her into the air. But she experienced loneliness, to...

The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story

Brian Rouff (Huntington Press)

| Reviewed by James Farlow

The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story by Brian Rouff follows Anna Christiansen, a small-town girl who works for the Scandia Gazette and whose life is about to be changed in ways she never could have imagined when she falls for the person she is interviewing, a bass player in a promising band. It is not long before she finds herself moving to Las Vegas, getting married, and pregnant. She moves into a house haunted by the ghost of a racketeer in Sin City. An unscrupulous casino owner sends her a letter stating that he will be buying all the...

Long Enough to Love You

Kirsten Pursell (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

''Love can be uniquely beautiful in its most raw, honest, and emotional way.'' Jenn embarks on an unforgettable journey as she fights to find and reignite the vibrant and free-spirited person she once was. She discovers that divorce doesn't mean the end as she reunites with her first love, who helps her to find the love and passion that lay dormant inside of her in author Kirsten Pursell's Long Enough to Love You. This book is a romantic, appealing read where the character stays true to herself and is steadfast with what she wants des...

The Color of Frost

Kasey Rogers (Indies United Publishing House)

| Reviewed by Morgan Amos

What would you do if you found valued keepsakes left by the previous homeowners in your residence? Nina DeMarco pondered this question as she discovered hidden letters in a crawl space in her attic apartment. Captivated by Lilia Michaud's story, Nina rediscovers herself after experiencing a troubled divorce and is motivated, excited, and has a new purpose. She is determined to find and return these letters to Lilia while reuniting her with the two inspirations behind the letters in Kasey Rogers's The Color of Frost. Nina also meets Ma...

Tim: The Story of Timothy H. O'Sullivan as a Young Apprentice at Mathew Brady's Studio

Daniel A. Sheridan (Self-published)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

In 1850, Timothy Sullivan lives with his father (Jeremiah) and older brother (Thomas). Tim and his family are still recovering from the loss of his mother to Yellow Fever. Tim’s Aunt has recently learned of an offer that she desires to convey to both Tim and Jeremiah. The offer involves Tim becoming an apprentice to renowned photographer Mathew Brady. Jeremiah, despite initial skepticism, acquiesces and Tim is soon traveling from Staten Island to New York City to learn a new trade. Despite a rocky first day where he is beaten and robbed, Tim ar...

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 Witness Tree

Jena M. Steinmetz (Palmetto Publishing)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

The Witness Tree by Jena M. Steinmetz is a spellbinding romp of historical fiction steeped in mystery. Breanne Walker is a Pennsylvania archival preservationist working for Gettysburg National Military Park’s museum. Breanne is called to investigate a mystery about the Witness tree, the same that stood on the battleground of the Civil War and that is now toppled. In the roots of the toppled tree is the remains of a Confederate soldier and a tattered diary. Breanne's boss, Greg Ransome, entrusts her with the secret project. Breanne works feveris...

The Gold Rose

Jodi Lea Stewart (Progressive Rising Phoenix Press)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

The Gold Rose by Jodi Lea Stewart is a gripping tale chockful with intrigue and a story with strong and mature themes. Charlotte Hunt-Basse works for ROSE International, a secret rescue agency veiled as an international horticulture enterprise and funded by some of the wealthiest people in the world. Charlotte is stuck in dire conditions due to bad weather, and again, flashes of dangerous work she has done for the agency begin to come to mind. She has handled very dangerous cases, especially the two-year-old Pinkie and Babe.  During a vio...

The Pig Who Loved Gluffles

Tony Philips (Idle Brains Publishing)

| Reviewed by Matthew Novak

In The Pig Who Loved Gluffles by Tony Philips, a pig who loves gluffles meets a resourceful rabbit who sells him ten pounds of the stuff. After consuming everything in one sitting, the pig goes looking for more. The rabbit is surprised to see the pig again at his door at four o'clock in the morning saying, “There’s a hole in me that’s burning.” He goes off looking glum as the rabbit tells him he doesn’t have anything for him. But the rabbit knows a secret place where gluffles grow in the heart of the woods. So he creeps there just to...