A plot to smuggle money into the U.S. by sailboat results in passengers battling treacherous storms and would-be pirates in the author’s debut novel.

Joe Anderson, having had his 40-foot yacht stolen, is stranded in the Bahamas and agrees to sail Mission to Charleston, S.C. Coleman’s book drops the reader right onto the sea—in a water taxi with Joe, on his way to what he hopes will be a job. The sailboat’s owner, Alex Smith, is desperate to sneak his $2 million into the country, mostly to avoid explaining how he has that much cash. The two men; Alex’s wife, Frances; and Mary, a guest whose one-day stay is unavoidably extended, brave storms at sea and men in a cigarette boat who undoubtedly have an interest in Mission. Romance threatens to steer the plot—before setting sail, Frances plays matchmaker to Mary, whom she’s just met, and the man her husband’s recently hired—but once they hit the open water, it’s all about their time on Mission. Still, relationships are well-established: Joe and Mary slowly and believably develop feelings for each other, and the other couple’s tumultuous marriage is agitated by Alex’s obvious infidelity and Frances’ oscillating moods. The author’s nautical terminology is comprehensive but often incorporated with little context, such that boat novices won’t understand some of the jargon. But readers should be able to conjecture meaning when it counts—when Alex or Joe yell orders over heavy winds, it’s abundantly clear that they’re trying to prevent the boat from capsizing. Coleman garnishes the story with eloquent passages—the “twinkling” of lights from houses as the sailboat passes nearby islands. And he uses well-timed humor—Mary swims to another boat to escape Alex’s unwelcome advances and stumbles on a young couple enjoying the ocean water in the nude. But what makes the novel truly great is its simplicity. It’s not bogged down by multiple subplots or characters—just four people to worry about as they sail the vast ocean, and that’s more than enough.

Worth the trip.

Pub Date: April 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0985006501

Page Count: 282

Publisher: S B Coleman

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2012

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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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