An in-depth look at the nuances of infertility, helpful for couples facing similar circumstances.



Polak’s memoir details the trials and disappointment of being unable to conceive when Murphy, of Murphy’s Law, lives on your street.

Everything that can go wrong seems to go wrong for Emma and William in their attempts to have a child. Emma, a schoolteacher, endures rounds of in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination with no success. When she does miraculously get pregnant without medical intervention, Emma loses the baby just shy of 12 weeks and has to have a post-miscarriage D&C procedure, which is emotionally and physically devastating. Emma continues with fertility drugs, artificial insemination, IVF and even acupuncture, at a cost of thousands of dollars. During one round of IVF, Emma’s life is put at risk when the implantation of fertilized eggs results in a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. After another round of IVF doesn’t result in a pregnancy, Emma and William begin to consider using a donor’s eggs. As each attempt ends in failure, Emma and William confide less in their friends and family, hoping to keep the brunt of the disappointment to themselves. Unexpectedly, they get a call from an adoption agency—they have been chosen by a young couple having a baby girl. Cautiously optimistic, Emma and William exchange emails with the birth parents and prepare their home for the baby’s arrival. But Murphy’s Law strikes again, resulting in heartbreak for the couple. Polak goes into great detail describing every aspect of the medical procedures Emma endured, including the shots given, blood samples taken and drugs prescribed. The writing is self-conscious at times, especially when Polak draws attention to what she calls “unimportant” details or when she unnecessarily explains pop-culture references, like Seinfeld’s “close talker,” for instance. Nonetheless, this memoir serves as a source of information for similarly inflicted couples, providing a stark depiction of the emotional reality a woman faces when faced with the prospect of never having children. For Emma and William, eventually, the “why me” outlook subsides. After trying a third doctor, Emma says: “Suddenly, putting my life in danger did not seem to be an issue. My life was in danger as it was, because I was living without hope.”

An in-depth look at the nuances of infertility, helpful for couples facing similar circumstances.

Pub Date: July 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615555638

Page Count: 226

Publisher: Merryl Polak

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2013

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.


Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.

Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.

Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0980806601

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Marq Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2012

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