April Read of the Month: “Fixing Boo-Boo,” by Pat Stanford

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Ultimately a story of grace and transcendence, Fixing Boo Boo (Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, 2017) details a reluctant caregiver’s journey with her brain-damaged older sister, Barb. It gets messy along the way, and Barb is often her own worst enemy. But Pat Stanford tells the story with a deft and […]

March Read of the Month: “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” by Claire Fullerton

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Hans Christian Anderson wrote, “To travel is to live.”  His words suggest the underlying theme of Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton.  Living, instead of existing, is exactly what protagonist Hailey Crossan does on the west coast of Ireland. Leaving the “soullessness of Los Angeles” and her job in […]

February Read of the Month: “Gradle Bird,” by J.C. Sasser

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Rodgers  Can a savior come in the form of a sixteen-year-old girl in a green prom dress and cat-eyed glasses? A phenomenal debut novel by gifted storyteller J. C. Sasser, Gradle Bird flips southern gothic fiction on its head and turns ghosts stories inside out. Forget everything you thought you knew […]

“Sally St. Johns,” by Denise Heinze

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The voice of 43-year-old Sally St. Johns sparkles with intelligence and humor in Denise Heinze’s debut novel, which shares its title with the protagonist. As this eco-thriller opens, Sally calls to inform her mother she is in big trouble. She is in jail. Not for jaywalking either. The CIA wants to […]

“Seven Wings to Glory,” by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Texas author Kathleen M. Rodgers weaves a tale of heartache and triumph for the multigenerational residents of Portion, Texas, in the masterful Seven Wings to Glory. Portion is a place where the past is the key to the present and strangers become family.  With empathy and a true sense of place, […]

“Engineering Eden,” by Jordan Fisher Smith

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Engineering Eden, by Jordan Fisher Smith, is not for the squeamish. Its pages contain numerous accounts of human encounters with bears that end in death or injury, and as Smith points out, “There are two ways in which most people don’t wish to die: by being torn apart by a wild […]

“Sanctuary,” by T.M. Brown

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard T. M. Brown’s Sanctuary is a Southern tale of mystery with themes of redemption and the Christian belief of fulfilling one’s mission for Christ. Brown does an admirable job of character development with protagonist Theo Phillips, a retired publishing executive. Theo and his wife, Libby fulfill their retirement dream by moving to […]

“Marantha Road,” by Heather Bell Adams

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Marantha Road is an exquisite story with characters so real they could step off the pages into your living room. All the strengths and flaws of small town life are laid bare. The worry over how others will judge you. The importance of the church in the community. The complicated bonds […]