ForeWord Review - 10 Women

10 Women (Cover)

This off-the-wall collection of character sketches paints eccentric women in darkening shades of realism. Forbidden interludes, experiences that awaken, and pondering disclosures fill the pages of Bowering’s unique book. His literary escapades enlighten and entertain, allowing an eye-opening glimpse of liaisons that do not always play by an established set of rules.

ForeWord Review - Summer on the Cold War Planet

Summer on the Cold War Planet (Cover)

The heady atmosphere of 1989 Berlin sets the stage for this thought-provoking journey into the heart and soul of a pregnant woman mourning the disappearance of her husband. Paula Closson Buck delves into complex and contradictory emotions that lead to the renewal of a past infatuation, a situation fermented in wariness. This brooding novel will appeal to an audience seeking knowledge about the Cold War, while enjoying an introspective look at what constitutes love and trust.

ForeWord Review - A Veil of Fog and Flames

A Veil of Fog and Flames (Cover)

Danger thrusts two vulnerable adolescents into the mire and mayhem of 1851 San Francisco in this coming-of-age novel. Beninger delves into the anguish and turmoil associated with maturing in an environment that drives unprepared young souls into a brutal world more suitable for jaded adults. Defying established convention and resisting social pressure to conform is part of any generation’s awakening, and these mid-nineteenth-century American teenagers are no exception.

ForeWord Review - Passionate Encounters

Passionate Encounters (Cover)

Like poetry in prose, Jabry explores the psychological churning that accompanies the push-pull within the mind as a person experiences negative and positive feelings for another. She captures attention with well-crafted phrases and subtle play on words, offering a new literary take on the commercial romance novel. An experimental collection of articulate perceptions, this book delves into the process of tumbling in and out of love.

ForeWord Review - The Lives of Lyman Liri

The Lives of Lyman LIri (Cover)

Hidden within clouds of philosophical mist that shroud the narrative, Lyman Liri emerges in a series of brief sketches told from the viewpoint of those who knew him. Johnston-Brown shines a spotlight on human nature, exposing raw behavior and cruel intentions as well as sterling morals and simple kindnesses. She offers a parable that asks what would happen if key decisions could be reversed. Though some believe fate and destiny play a part in determining one’s happiness, this foggy perception can lead to a lack of action and no goal, rather than a potentially wrong goal. Lyrical and graphic, this innovative storytelling sets the book apart from other works of intellectual fiction.

ForeWord Review - Henry First

Henry First (Cover)

Fine cuisine and morbid excess create an exquisite word parfait in this sardonic look at the competitive world of gourmet cooking. Laced with potent dark humor, Lawrence’s entertaining yet often disturbing novel crosses the fine line drawn between satire and realism. This in-depth literary masterpiece is hardly based on mere competition, however, for lurking in its complex structure is a life-or-death punch.

ForeWord Review - Quick Kills

Quick Kills (Cover)

Rock-bottom self-esteem, along with a desire to please, reaches a treacherous psychological cliff in Lurie’s frighteningly realistic novella. Art and pornography vie for prominence in this ultra-sophisticated take on fashion and photography. A compilation of literary snapshots expose the dark side of a glamorous profession by revealing the damaging impact on a young woman’s mind.

ForeWord Review - Lusty Little Women

Lusty Little Women (Cover)

Discover Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic from a new perspective in this exciting remake. Pearl takes her characters into forbidden territory, breaking the rules and restrictions imposed on nineteenth-century society in Massachusetts. Tasteful and reserved, the book takes only a conservative step forward in its liberation stance.

ForeWord Review - The Blue Hole and Other Stories

The Blue Hole and Other Stories (Cover)

Life-changing moments revealed in retrospect lend a contemplative tone to this outstanding short story collection. Sometimes obvious, yet often oblique, every situation depicted in these fourteen eclectic snapshots of life leads to a turning point, propelling a protagonist in a specific direction. Hendrix suggests these catalysts are not always apparent at the time they occur.

ForeWord Review - Fo's Baby

Fo's Baby (Cover)

At thirty-nine, a woman is destined for disenchantment if she fails to find an appropriate baby daddy. Accustomed to being the center of Fo’s domestic realm, her partner Dina sees the prospect of offspring an intruding threat to their established home. Snatches of life in poignant vignettes grab attention throughout this multifaceted novel, jarring away remnants of complacency from a bygone era content to allow so-called “accepted” standards. Literary in style and focus, this book is no ordinary labor of commercial fiction.

ForeWord Review - Oulanem

Oulanem (Cover)

Inspired by an obscure dramatic fragment written by Karl Marx in 1837 while attending the University of Berlin, this experimental literary endeavor showcases a contemporary author’s illumination of a plot only partially developed yet potent in its caustic social messages. This novel elaborates on the single act of a play. Though no one will know precisely what Marx may have wanted to express if he had finished the drama, Majkut has done a superb job using the abandoned fragment to its fullest potential.

ForeWord Review - Plumb's Bluff

Plumb's Bluff (Cover)

Ely portrays a small community on the brink of paranoid, superstitious madness, along a river steeped in symbolic meaning and, on one unfortunate occasion, booby-trapped with barbed wire. Alternating between scathing depictions of a narrow-minded, sequestered town and investigative savvy, he charges his novel with the skills of a wordsmith. A witchcraft mentality in a traditional environment adds a chilling element, enhancing the ominous mood. Menacing and provocative, this exploration of the so-called bad seed within humankind will illuminate the contradictory impulses that drive some to violence and some to love.

ForeWord Review - The Whip

The Whip (Cover)

A skillful blend of fact and fiction, Kondazian’s incredible story of a courageous nineteenth-century heroine dramatizes actual events in the life of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879), a stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. This pioneering woman chose to live as a man, combating old-school tradition and unhealthy stereotypes. Riveting and action propelled, this award-winning title showcases the best and the worst of America as our country began to transition into a progressive society founded on fairness and equality.

ForeWord Review - Nine Rabbits

Nine Rabbits (Cover)

This fictionalized memoir brings the pain of the past to the brink of tolerance then dissipates bad memories by celebrating simple pleasures in life. Zaharieva’s ingenious approach to personal distress is a perceptive examination of family and tradition, while exposing the underlying abuse behind social niceties. Engaging, with a decidedly feminist tone, this enlightening journey will inspire anyone dealing with trauma suffered within a domestic or a religious sphere.

ForeWord Review - Her America

Her America (Cover)

Susan Glaspell holds her place in the annals of literature, esteemed as a forerunner in feminist prose. This scholarly presentation is a compilation of twelve short stories, followed by detailed notes and information on where each piece originally appeared. Those written between 1915 and 1925 have not been available since their initial publication. How she conveyed her subtle and not-so-subtle messages, using symbols and well-crafted prose, may always remain the subject of ongoing interest to other writers.

ForeWord Review - Going the Distance

Going the Distance (Cover)

An injured major-league baseball pitcher finds an unfamiliar woman in the passenger seat of his car on the day of the 1979 all-star game. Laced with mystery and offbeat humor, this baffling though enjoyable novel ambles along a bumpy road with excursions down unpaved fictional territory. Those who savor the exploratory, as opposed to the traditional, approach to narrative will discover a feast in Joyce’s writing. Intriguing and a bit surreal.

ForeWord Review - Of Little Faith

Of Little Faith (Cover)

Brutally frank and devastatingly real, this exceptional novel set during the 1960s explores the dynamics of a dysfunctional family while calling attention to hypocritical behavior. Narrated from the distinctive viewpoints of four protagonists, the story reveals that interpretation of religious structure is highly personal. Hoenig delivers a punch to old-school beliefs while spotlighting the period when progress for women battled nightmarish condemnation and self-centered ritual.

ForeWord Review - Illegal Liaisons

Illegal Liaisons (Cover)

This book espouses a complicated mixture of conservative restraints and liberal ideals at war within a protagonist who cannot balance the definition of matrimony with genuine love. Fascinating, yet somewhat disturbing, the plot exposes what can happen when the tables are turned in an ego-driven marriage, and a husband plays a secondary role next to a successful wife. Admirable command of language, as well as perceptive understanding of human character, sets Plebanek’s work apart from run-of-the-mill erotic fiction.

ForeWord Review - Song for Chance

Song for Chance (Cover)

An aging legend cannot escape the nightmare of a composition that catapulted him to fame in this realistic yet lyrical look at the drug-fueled music industry of the 1970s. Steeped in the culture of a time gone by, this rock star faces a suicidal hell that strikes close to his soul and exposes the inadequacies of his successful youth. John Van Kirk has combined external vibrancy with thought-provoking introspection, juxtaposing understated drama with inner sadness.

ForeWord Review - Fondly

Fondly (Cover)

Lurking within the shadows of two “fond” novellas is the ghost of a yesterday gone awry, laying in wait to sabotage the present and the future. This achievement deserves a high mark for flipping the age-old theme: one cannot relive the past. Yes, one can, and in a bad way. Winnette fashions his words not merely to create story, but to probe one’s brain.

ForeWord Review - Past the Last Island

Past the Last Island (Cover)

In this fascinating return to the beginning of society, Rollins depicts a place and time in which modern humans perish, a raw and natural existence on desolate terrain fourteen thousand years ago in the South Pacific. Steeped in mysticism and superstition, the story delves into primal fear, spiritual awakening, and sensory enlightenment. A poignant reminder of the power of love and an exploration of the collective unconscious.

ForeWord Review - Uncertain Journey

Uncertain Journey (Cover)

A downtrodden Albanian enters the United States, believing that with the right connections and the right job, he will succeed. His illegal status haunts him throughout this perceptive story of a man whose only crime is his desire to remain. Articulate and insightful, Rouman’s descriptions bring to dramatic life an individual who wants to escape the bad conditions in his homeland for a better existence.

ForeWord Review - The Last Rendezvous

The Last Rendezvous (Cover)

A gifted poet and actress experiences the joy and pain of romantic passion in this fictionalized account of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore’s life. Researched like a biography, the book exposes her innermost thoughts, much like the pages of a diary. A woman ahead of her time in nineteenth-century France, Marceline is an early feminist with the courage to distance herself from the confines of a restricted society to pursue the dictates of her heart and soul. Translated from the French by Willard Wood.

ForeWord Review - Quickening

Quickening (Cover)

Delve into this collection of twelve short stories filled with potent symbolism and emotional punch. Wieland’s writing is understated and sophisticated, the work of an award-winning author.

ForeWord Review - What Cheer

What Cheer (Cover)

Real happiness resides in unexpected places, and love is defined by an individual. Jack’s sophisticated style lends a comedic twist to the contemporary romance, contrasting urban and rural values.

ForeWord Review - The Silver Lotus

The Silver Lotus (Cover)

Two culturally diverse lovers do business on the developing Northern California coast. This literary masterpiece is an exceptional portrayal of an early feminist struggling with an oppressive society near the turn of the twentieth century.

ForeWord Review - Sand Dollar

Sand Dollar (Cover)

Destiny and realism are a heady mix in this debut romance. Sebastian Cole tells his story through intermittent flashback. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy his style.

ForeWord Review - So L.A.

So L.A. (Cover)

Read this journal-style exploration of a grieving artist’s mind by an award-winning writer. In a candid, first-person story broken into lyrical entries, a flawed, beautiful heroine reinvents herself after the tragic rock-climbing death of her brother and the demise of her marriage.