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Most Recent Reviews

Filling In The Black: One Woman’s Journey of Re-education

Joan Kantor (Joan Kantor)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

Filling in The Black: One Woman’s Journey of Re-education by Joan Kantor is a collection of thought-provoking, oftentimes poignant poems that capture the painful experience of the color line and what it implies for humanity. Kantor's voice joins those of icons like Langston Hughes to denounce the inhumanity and the inequality of equal men, solidly opposing racism in all its forms. These outstanding, lyrical, and intelligently crafted poems brilliantly portray the empathic voice of a white woman who stands against racism. She doesn't hesita...

Maiden Voyage

Daphne Birkmyer (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Maiden Voyage by Daphne Birkmyer is the third book in the Comfrey, Wyoming series, an engrossing tale that follows the unique journeys of twins, Amadeus and Marcela, on a path of discovering themselves and their purpose. Amadeus and Marcela Crow are twins who grew up together but their paths are destined to be different. While Marcela completes her gender-affirming surgery in San Francisco, Amadeus leaves college and goes to Alaska to work in the risky fishing industry. These characters face unique situations and readers follow them as they str...

Bomb Cyclone

J.A. Adams (Atmosphere Press)

| Reviewed by Matthew Novak

Bomb Cyclone by J.A. Adams features a stunningly imagined tale of international intrigue that follows two elaborately developed characters as they navigate dangerous waters in an unprecedented romance. Mykola has always been intrigued by his father's tales of how a cyclone bomb destroyed his ship that was carrying nuclear weapons and how one of the bombs got missing. Now, working as an assistant professor at an Ohio university, this son of an immigrant is still obsessed with the missing bomb and determined to find it. Meanwhile, Oksana Kov...

Sunnyside Up

Rea Nolan Martin (Wiawaka Press)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

A spellbinding tale that follows the lives of two sisters bound together by complex family dynamics, Sunnyside Up by Rea Nolan Martin is a spellbinding tale for fans of literary fiction with fully drawn, sophisticated characters. Set in a rural village in Kentucky, Adelaide Somers lives with her younger sister, Felicity. They are two unique characters whose current circumstances are forged by events that happened in their childhood, events that they don’t remember so well. Addie sees herself as the only responsible person in the famil...

Penelope’s Purple Passions

Penelope Chaisson (Evoke 180 LLC)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

A dazzling collection of love poems, Penelope’s Purple Passions by Penelope Chaisson is divided into four parts — The Egg’s Innocence, The Larvae’s Sincerity, The Pupa’s Paradigm Shift, The Adult’s Climax — symbolic of the journey of a butterfly and telling of the human experience of love. The butterfly is Penelope who falls in love and is thrilled by the experience. But then as she matures, she begins to understand that love can be more than just what she feels, opening her heart to its beckons and discerning the call to grow as she matures in...

Like Falling from an Airplane

Jim Antonini (Pump Fake Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Like Falling from an Airplane by Jim Antonini introduces readers to intriguing characters and a fascinating tale of forbidden love, betrayal, and adventure. Jonathan is a man who is reckless, and prone to taking risks. While his brother, William is a disciplined, well-mannered man who completes his education and becomes a doctor, Jonathan moves from one disaster to another. When readers meet him, he loses his mother’s car, steals a new car, and gets himself arrested. But his sister-in-law, Catherine is about to rock his life. While they have op...

Bullets for Silverware

Jim Antonini (Pump Fake Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

A young pharmacist leaves Pittsburg and accepts a job in rural Caldwell County, West Virginia, and quickly finds himself enmeshed in a world of sex, guns, and drugs, and the criminal underlay of the rural town. He falls in love, but obsessed with the mystery of the disappearance of the pharmacist he is hired to replace. His journey is fraught with danger in a world where guns are easy to find and use, but will he be able to leave this addictive town and Crystal, the girl who has rocked his world, when the moment comes?Bullets for Silverware&nbs...

Sky Curse: The Chosen Five

Janet Kravetz (40 Years Press)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

A grounded and utterly resonant novel, Sky Curse: The Chosen Five by Janet Kravetz follows Cecilia Miller, a coder of artificial dreams in her relentless quest to be the hope of humanity in an apocalyptic age. The repercussions of climate change and overpopulation are felt heavily in the year 2045. The population is at twenty-five billion and the Earth is fast wearing out. While the Universalists consider migration to a new planet, the localists, those with little or no influence of AI struggle to survive. Humanity’s hope might be in...

Like a Lily Among the Thorns

Karen S. Bell (KSB Press (self))

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

Gabrielle Bernstein is a young woman in her twenties who works at the NYC public library. Her father abandoned her when she was young, and her mother has never developed a strong relationship with her. Things start getting rough for her when she gets an eviction notice. While Countess Ivanova gives her someplace to stay, she still has a lot to worry about, especially when it comes to her longing for family. Then everything changes when she inherits the bed-and-breakfast from her estranged and now deceased father. But the inn is filled with myst...

In Defense of Patch Schubert

John Clark Payne (Independently Published)

| Reviewed by Matthew Novak

In Defense of Patch Schubert by John Clark Payne is a historical romance with an irresistible appeal to fans of novels with a setting during the Civil War. It has been just thirty days after Lee surrenders to Grant when the friend of Confederate Private Patch Schubert is killed. Partnering with a Mexican mercenary, Patch sets out to capture a Union prisoner, a dangerous mission that will take him away from the one woman he has already come fond of. After the end of the war, all he wants is to reunite with Rosa, the woman who has made him feel l...

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