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21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Carson Cunningham

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Wake Up - God's Talking to You

Wake Up – God’s Talking to You by Many Dean Fernandez

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Hogback by Simon Plaster

Hogback: A Tale of Inter-Generational Conflict and a Girl by Simon Plaster

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The Next Boston Band

The Next Boston Band by Michael Fertik

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Random Targets

Random Targets by James Raven

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The Schwarzschild Radius

The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin

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The Antigone Poems

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker (Artist)

Described by The Washington Independent Review of Books as ‘terrifyingly brilliant,’ The Antigone Poems is a powerful retelling of the ancient Greek tale of defiance and justice. An intensely personal invocation of the Sophocles tragedy, it questions power, punishment and one of mythology’s oldest themes: rebellion. Click Here to Purchase More »

Strong Darkness

Strong Darkness by Jon Land

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My Best Friend and Loyal Companion

My Best Friend and Loyal Companion
by Nancy Eaton

About six months ago, I had to have my Shih Tzu euthanized. She was very ill and did not want to eat. No one wants their beloved pet to suffer. I was devastated. Today, I am still not over the hurt I feel over her loss. When I tried to More »

21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Carson Cunningham

21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Reviewed by Teri Davis

How would someone who lived almost two centuries ago react to waking up today in America? What if that someone was the legendary Huckleberry Finn? Huck had difficulty with the societal rules of his own time period so how is he going to handle the technology and transportation of the 21st-century?

At the conclusion of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the readers find Huckleberry choosing between living his life and following the rules established by his Aunt Sally or to run away to Apache territory.

Naturally Huck chooses the easiest one and explores America’s southwestern region. He quickly discovers that he does not enjoy hot climates.

Seizing an unusual opportunity, Huck invests his money and himself into an expedition to the Arctic.

During this time, there were not successful Arctic explorations. The expedition has their ship wrecked and the survivors set up their camp on a glacier. Exploring the area, the last thing Huck remembers is falling through the ice.

Huck awakens about 170-years later on a table connected to various tubes and wires. A scientific team has successfully thawed and completely revived this teenage-age boy. While the medical staff dreams of how this remarkable feat will change their lives, Huck dreams of his freedom and is feeling confined and imprisoned.

However what the scientists don’t realize is the natural capabilities of Huckleberry Finn. Huck has never handled rules and regulations in his own time. Now a medical team will likely want to continue to study him.

While moving Huck by train, he manages to escape. Life has given him a second chance and he plans to take it.

How does someone from 170-years in the past hide? If anyone can succeed at this task, it would be Huckleberry Finn.

Huck quickly discovers that the world has changed during his deep freeze. Accustomed to being extremely self-sufficient, survival is not difficult for Huck since he knows how to camp, fish, hunt and to live in the wild. How will he stay hidden? How will he fit in?

One of the first lessons for Huck to learn is the people in the twenty-first century wear shoes when in public.

Huck observes three boys playing “rounders” which is similar to the game of softball. Once Huck asks to join the game, he quickly learns that life in the twenty-first century is quite different from daily life in the nineteenth-century.

Huck knows that the medical team will be searching for him. This causes him to adjust to this century so that he doesn’t seem different. Also, he now calls himself Mark Finn.

Dealing with cell phones, high-definition flat screens, automobiles, and life for teen-aged boys in today’s world is a complete shock to Huckleberry. For the never flustered Huckleberry Finn of the 19th-century this is a challenge that he completely understands.

Will he be recaptured and for the rest of his life be studied as a medical experiment? How will he get along with today’s teens?

21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful adventure in friendship.

Click Here to Purchase 21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Mystery at Rolling Dunes

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman (Review #2)

After I'm Gone

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Laura Lippman has written an engaging mystery that is as much about unraveling a puzzling crime as it is about probing into the unexpected repercussions faced by individuals after the abrupt disappearance of a friend and loved one.

After I’m Gone begins July 4, 1976. Felix Brewer, a racketeer, has made the decision to jump bail so that he can avoid serving time in prison. He enlists the help of his stripper girlfriend, Julie Saxony, who is disappointed when he refuses to take her with him. Felix also leaves behind his wife, three young daughters, and close associates. Lives are changed forever because of Felix’s rash decision.

Wake Up – God’s Talking to You by Manny Dean Fernandez

Wake Up - God's Talking to You

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Everybody dreams, but most people forget their dreams soon after they wake up, not realizing that some of their dreams might be a direct means God is using to communicate to them. Author Manny Dean Fernandez has written Wake Up – God’s Talking to You, an inspiring guide designed to help people remember their dreams and interpret them, to discover what God might be trying to tell them.

Wake Up – God’s Talking to You is not a regular sort of dream interpretation book in which dreams can potentially mean any number of fanciful things; rather, it is a look at the importance of dreams in an entirely different light. Dreams can be viewed as one of the many ways God attempts to convey meaning to the lives of His creation, as Fernandez does in his enlightening book.

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker (Artist)

The Antigone Poems

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Certain stories are timeless, and they can be reshaped in many ways, without losing their essence, such is the story of Antigone. First introduced to the world as a heroine by Sophocles, she now re-emerges in The Antigone Poems of Marie Slaight. However, the heroine of this volume is not one woman, but all.

This volume’s cover is haunting through the intensity of its simplicity. Before we read Slaight’s poems, we see Terrence Tasker’s work, to whom this volume is actually dedicated. Tasker’s charcoal drawings close each of the five chapters of the book and their raw quality matches that of the poems. Even if there aren’t that many drawings, they leave their imprint not just on the pages, but on your memory as well. The beauty in Terrence Tasker’s drawings lies in his ability to allow and almost unnoticeably push the viewer to project their own images over his. The images I saw were filled with pain, desolation, and silent despair. Also, the format of the book is very well thought out since it becomes a tool to control the reader. The empty page which faithfully follows each poem forces us to reflect – even if only fractions of a second – more on what we have just experienced. It dictates the tempo of Marie Slaight’s song.

Her words align themselves obediently to the rhythm of some foreign tribal drums. It’s not so much the words themselves, but how they are put to use that empowers these poems. Their order seems unnatural at first, but each time you read them, they speak to you more. Also, many unexpected associations challenge the reader’s imagination “like scattered dynamite/dissembled power/shattered glass”. There are certain words that reoccur almost obsessively (blood, daemon, sun) which haunt Antigone through her journey. But the beat that overshadows all the other instruments is the fusion of pleasure and pain. It is this fragile string which interweaves both of these contrasting emotions that ties all the poems together. There is a voluptuousness about pain, and a distress in pleasure that Marie Slaight is not afraid to explore.

Although the female spirit seems to be dominating throughout The Antigone Poems, the feelings these speak of transcend the rigid barriers of gender. Universal themes like love, passion, pain, lust, loneliness are combined in a unique way through a strong imagery. The poet makes use of all our senses to perceive inner states in a more organic way. So, we come to smell the odor/see the colors/hear the melody/sense the warmth/taste the flavor of Her emotions.

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Murder by Sarah Pinborough

Murder

Reviewed by Vickie Dailey

This book works fairly well as a stand alone – but I highly recommend that you read the first one due to numerous mentions of past events that took place in the first book. The main character Dr. Thomas Bond has worked with the police on several cases including the Ripper murders. In this book he is trying to regain his normal life while trying to romance the widow of his dead friend (whom he killed). Edward Kane is also a friend of the dead man and trying to romance Juliana with somewhat more success.

Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear

Leaving Everything Most Loved

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Maisie Dobbs has come a long way over the course of the series. Now it seems there maybe major changes in Maisie’s future brought on in part by the case she is called to solve in Leaving Everything Most Loved.

A young Indian girl with big dreams of returning to her home and starting a school for disadvantaged children is murdered. Her brother travels to England to claim her body and find out what happened to his sister. When Scotland Yards is unable to solve the case, Maisie Dobbs is called on to look into it. As Maisie, investigates, readers are drawn into the lives of the victim meeting the hotel owners where the victim lived, her former employees and friends. One of the more puzzling questions Maisie has is why the victim had remained in England long after she had the money to return home. Hoping to understand what the victim was thinking, Maisie intended to speak with a friend of the victim, also a young Indian woman. Unfortunately she is murdered in the same manner before Maisie has a chance to interview her. Fueled by the second death, Maisie takes a hard look at the way those from India are treated in England.

Shattered Witness by Anna DeStefano

Shattered Witness

Reviewed by Inishowen Cailín

After an assault, CEO Shaw Cassidy’s memory is shattered. Under suspicion of treason, only her blocked memories can provide the answers needed to prove her innocence.

Tucked away on her isolated childhood summer home on Lake View Mountain, Cassidy should be in the ideal place to rest in familiar surroundings. But Cassidy is plagued by nightmares coupled with experiencing numerous accidents in the old home and the nagging feeling that she is being constantly watched, puts Cassidy’s nerves on edge.

Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials by Ovidia Yu

auntyleesdeadlyspecials

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Author Yu’s second installment of her mystery series set in Singapore featuring protagonist Rosie “Aunty” Lee, Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials finds Aunty in a bit of trouble. While catering a brunch at a well known attorney’s home, both the hostess and her son are found dead from cyanide poisoning presumably from one of Aunty’s signature dishes. The fact that no one else at the party became ill, or that up until this point Aunty Lee’s Café had a pristine reputation does not keep the police from shutting the café down. So what does our energetic protagonist do while her restaurant is closed? She starts investigating the family of the deceased-from their family relationships to their businesses.

Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

Concealed in Death

Reviewed by Allen Hott

As far as I can remember this is the first book that I have read by Robb and for sure it is the first I have read in her In Death series. This is really a great read!

Robb’s heroine, Eve Dallas is a Lieutenant in the NYC police department and is also happily married to Roarke, her millionaire husband. From what I can gather from this book they have both come from really terrible home situations and both ended up on the street for most of their young adult lives. I also assume this is the second (at least) marriage for them both.

Now however they live like the extremely rich in a mansion with a man servant (who also was in earlier books I figure). But regardless of this way of life they both work and are very successful in their careers. They also work together in many ways as there are times Eve needs some information or assistance in getting around in a hurry so they use one of Roarke’s planes.

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Acclaimed author Patrick McCabe gives readers the creeps in his recent horror fueled contribution, Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat. The book features two eerily disturbing novellas both of which have central characters that narrate their tales from beyond the grave.

In the first novella, Hello Mr. Bones, child abuser Balthazar Bowen aka Mr. Bones observes his victim/accuser Valentine Shannon waiting for the right time to reach out and assert his brand of dark vengeance. Bowen is a bitter and maniacal sort whose observations and rhetoric become creepier by the word. This tale becomes especially creepy when Mr. Bones sets his sights on Valentine’s disabled son.