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Featured Biographies and Memoirs Reviews

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The last Dance: A Memoir of the Garden Island Grille

Dave Trentlage | Biographies and Memoirs

In this spellbinding memoir, Dave Trentlage takes readers on a rollicking journey to a dream. He spent most of his life grinding, doing a job he disliked. That was before he met Sherri, who ''was in the same boat, muddling through a job that was just that, a job.'' They were tired of working so hard to make ends meet. That was when they decided to start a restaurant. In this book, the author recounts their journey of how they nurtured ideas of a future built on what they loved to do. They wanted to be free from the daily struggle with a job they didn't like and that led to an unfulfilled life. This is the story of a dream and teamwork and how creative work can transform people, their relationships, and their inner worlds and how success in one's dream creates a path that others can use to walk into life. But as they worked towards their dream, Covid-19 struck, and the Hawaiian Islands closed. This signaled a difficult moment for a promising dream. When the going gets tough, how do Dave...

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Most Recent Reviews

A Deadly Covenant

Michael Stanley (White Sun Books)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

A Deadly Covenant by Michael Stanley is the eighth entry in the Detective Kubu mystery. The young Detective Kubu has just joined the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department and is eager to prove himself. In rural Botswana, a backhoe unearths the skull of a long-dead Bushman and Kubu accompanies Ian MacGregor, a Scottish pathologist to watch and learn. When eight more skeletons are uncovered, Ian and Kubu are aware they might not be dealing with a cold case. The locals claim to know nothing about the massacres, but when an elde...

The Monster, Mayhem, & Magical Love (Peter Pan Man #3)

Lawrence H Sola (Black Rose Writing)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

The Monster, Mayhem, & Magical Love is the third entry in the Peter Pan Man series by Lawrence H. Sola and it is a mesmerizing romance littered with intrigue and surprising moments.Larry is an author who is researching his next book. After an interview with Carla Kimbrel, a journalist from a reputable book magazine, he gets the inspiration he needs for his next novel. But everything takes a sudden and unexpected turn when a doctor who has been his fiancée’s ex-boyfriend hints at a leakage of a virus from a bioweapons lab that...

Detroit: Who Built Her? Who Broke Her? 1620 to 1890

Douglas Jamiel (Douglas Jamiel)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

Detroit: Who Built Her? Who Broke Her? 1620 to 1890 by Douglas Jamiel documents the history of the Great Lakes region, examining factors that shaped her and what eventually broke her. The book takes readers to the beginning, in the mid-1800s, to a place where the French trappers sparred with British soldiers. The influence of the French Jesuits who fought for the souls of men and the army that wanted to gain control of the trade are eminently documented. Readers are introduced to the key players, the powers, and the ideas that shaped Detroit an...

Some Good Writ: Christmas, Cancer, Dad, Wine, Sex and Jeff

Jeffrey Bailey (Jeffrey Bailey)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Some Good Writ: Christmas, Cancer, Wine, Sex and Jeff by Jeffrey Bailey is an intimate, observant collection of poems that examine life within the poet's family, his own personal experiences, and the thoughts and emotions that propel him from one moment to the next. The sub-title offers a glimpse of what readers should expect in this superbly rendered collection of poems — sickness in the family and how it affects everyone, intimacy, passions, and observations on a variety of topics. Bailey writes about love, humanity, politics, and nature, and...

The Dragon's Zenith

Jason F Boggs (Mill City Press)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

The Dragon's Zenith by Jason F Boggs is the third and final entry in the Dragon Trilogy and an enthralling tale for fans of epic fantasy. While this is the third and final book in the trilogy, it reads beautifully as a standalone novel, with plenty of background information to fill in the blanks for new readers. This spellbinding narrative follows Nelson Jones and his motley team of misfits as they wage battles against powerful enemies bent on dominating the galaxies. Ira Bilis heads the New Era, a regime once ruled the Earth in a time of crisi...

The End of May

Kem Richards (Grandeur Publishing)

| Reviewed by James Farlow

In The End of May by Kem Richards, Marcella ''Marcy'' Burke, a woman from Ohio seems to have everything anyone would desire — a loving partner, a wonderful best friend, and career. But what will Marcy do when everything comes tumbling down? She fights. She is determined to rise back to her former status of success, glitz, and glamor. The cost is what she doesn't envisage yet as she finds herself navigating the dangerous, dark part of New York City, a world littered with drugs, shady connections, and prostitution. In her quest to succeed, can sh...

Madame Curie’s Piano Tuner

Steven Barron (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Madame Curie’s Piano Tuner by Steven Barron is more a story of a place as it is of the characters. The protagonist is Raymond Dover who visits the small town of Bucksnort hoping to offer his services to a veteran's retirement home. But upon arrival, he suffers from a mysterious form of amnesia. After treatment he stays for a while in the city. He recounts experiences and offers a mesmerizing portrait of a town where it is hard to grasp its soul. This novel is written in beguiling prose and the narrative voice is powered by a quirkiness that re...

Becoming Nora

Margaret Farrell Kirby (Proving Press)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Becoming Nora by Margaret Farrell Kirby is a compelling narrative that follows Nora as she faces the part of her that has remained buried over the years. This nuanced and intelligently crafted tale presents Brad and Nora Stanton as they navigate the most crucial moment of their lives. Everything has been perfect for Nora — a seemingly happy marriage, a great career, and lovely kids. That is until her husband tells her that he is unhappy and needs time to sort things out. Nora is shocked. She is even stunned that her husband has already started...

Topanga Canyon: Fire Season

Barbara Bryan (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Topanga Canyon: Fire Season by Barbara Bryan is a wonderfully crafted novel with strong themes and a young protagonist that instantly wins the sympathy of readers. Matt's alcoholic mother sends him away to his grandfather's horse ranch in Topanga, California. ''Her goodbye hug held only hot anger, which she wrapped around him until its searing heat penetrated his bones.'' In the new world, the teenage boy must learn to quickly adapt, facing new people and dealing with animals. As his love for horses grows, he notices that his grandfather might...

Time 2 Die

Brent Ladd (Morgan James)

| Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro

In 1906, Charles Henry Warren is unexpectedly felled by Typhoid. Soon, his family is fighting for their lives against the deadly disease. The Warren’s cook, Mary Mallon, appears to have avoided contracting the dreaded disease. However, another family is soon affected by the virus and the commonality is Mary. She is a carrier of the disease and authorities quarantine her. Her danger to society is seemingly contained. In the present day, Joel and Codi are two FBI agents operating out of the Special Projects division. They handle cold cases and h...