“Lady of the House,” by Lynn Braxton

Lynn Braxton

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Lynn Braxton’s debut novel, Lady of the House, is a sweeping period romance certain to sweep you off your feet. The story is set in the early 1800s in Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans—both cities known for their history, southern culture, and class consciousness. Braxton, the penname of Panhandle resident […]

“A Long Time Gone,” by Karen White

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Take a wounded woman with a good heart and addiction problems. A troubled child who needs love. A dog in need of a home. And a man who has known since childhood the name of the woman he wants to marry. Throw them into the same story, mix thoroughly, and you […]

“The Secret of Magic,” by Deborah Johnson

Deborah Johnson

Review by Donna Meredith The fiftieth anniversary of the Freedom Summer is the perfect time for the release of Deborah Johnson’s novel, The Secret of Magic. Johnson’s story reminds us in a powerful way how severe the effects of racism were just a short time ago, yet the novel’s achievements go far beyond a simple […]

“Dream Chaser,” by Pat Spears

Pat Spears

Review by Donna Meredith Dream Chaser, by Pat Spears, delivers an iconic figure as the protagonist: a Southern blue collar drunk struggling to hold onto a job and his family. That’s hardly a new story, but the author renders Jesse McKnight with such compassion and prose so perfect that Dream Chaser easily ranks as one […]

“The Trench Garden,” by L.C. Fiore

LC Fiore

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In L.C. Fiore’s short story, “The Trench Garden,” which appears in the new Ploughshare’s Solos series, four men come together to restore a ravine in Tennessee while World War II rages on the other side of the ocean. With his clear prose, Fiore crafts a story that meets Poe’s primary directive: it strives […]

“Reparation,” by Ruth Rodgers

Ruth Rodgers

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Ruth Rodgers’s debut novel, Reparations, tells the poignant story of a friendship in the 1940s between two girls—one black, one white. Yes, it’s another story with race relations at its center, a story the South must tell and retell because each iteration takes us one step further toward understanding and healing […]

“Hell and High Water,” by Rebecca Theim

Rebecca Theim

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you aren’t from New Orleans, why would you read a book about the city’s battle to keep a daily newspaper? Because the problems faced by the Times-Picayune plague newspapers across the country. Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune, by Rebecca Theim, is more […]

The Honorable Terry Lewis, A Literary Judge

Delusional

By Donna Meredith What surprises most people about Terry Lewis is not that he can only carve out five hours a week for writing legal thrillers. It’s that he can find any time at all. Lewis has been a circuit court judge in the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida since 1998 and was a county […]