Recommended Reading



Getting Ready to Travel

by Llewellyn McKernan

Published by Finishing Line Press

$14.99 plus shipping

Cover Art by Judith A. Lawrence
This book's a dipsy-doodle dizzy trip that “could have been co-authored by Mother Goose and William Blake,” says George Ella Lyon, Poet Laureate of Kentucky, in her blurb on the back cover.

Marc Harshman, Poet Laureate of West Virginia tells you: “Prepare to be astonished as you travel through these poems, where what’s considered is not leisure but life, death, and purpose.”

Meredith Sue Willis, author of many well-known novels, including “Oradell at Sea,” also adds: “To take this journey is to make a surprising spiritual preparation for our own life journeys. 

                    This is Sunshine Hill
                    where I sit
                       for a spell.  I ponder
                sundogs, the smell
                   of a leaf, over-ripe
apples, the sour
      and the sweet.

              I reflect on crime.
               I examine dirt.
                   I take off my laminated
            lemon-colored skirt.
                I take off my blouse,
it’s pleated, it’s simple.
     I watch
          the clouds,
     how they shift
and glow.

                I dance with joy.
          I know what I know.

                               —Llewellyn McKernan

"Morning Tea,"  by Judith A. Lawrence
 "Under the EL"  by  D. T. Cook

A story of love and redemption in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, PA.
Can be purchased at

D T Cook - Under The El
"Monte Carlo Days & Nights," by Susan Tepper

The relationships between beautiful women and powerful men, already complicated, are further compounded when the heroine is fiercely sexually attracted as well as in love with her wealthy part-time suitor, who promises he will never marry her, preferring the pursuit of beautiful women as toys for pleasure. She lives a life both interior and exterior. One in which she withholds her true thoughts from him fearing and resenting his dismissal, and another in which she plays his game as if complicit to his desires and whims. 

                                 —Judith A. Lawrence

A five star review currently by 28 readers
Can be purchased at

Excerpt from "Monte Carlo Days & Nights," 'Poodle'

I’m spooning in the most incredible soup. Cream of sorrel. I almost want to order another bowl. I love this soup so much, I say.

Too rich, he says. Placing his salad fork on the service plate. Be sure and leave room for your duck.

I will.

I suddenly feel like a child who’s been reprimanded at the table. I scrape the remains of my soup carefully from the bottom of the bowl. He’s usually quite calm. Though something minor, like scraping the bowl, can set him on edge. He’s watching me with one eyebrow raised. I’m careful not to slurp what’s left. I tell him that he has supersonic hearing.

What makes you say that? he wants to know.

I’m not sure.

It’s amazing I can hear at all, he says. 

Two Excerpts from Under the El by D T Cook   
No one accosts a Kensington family walking together. The neighborhood’s drug addicts and desperate homeless know the consequences of such a foolhardy act. The husband will surely fight for his family without the burden of mercy or concern of legal consequences. He will fight with the same rules his opponent lives by, but with more sincerity. And Kensington women are not bashful in conflict. They are, pound for pound, more dangerous than their men. As Sally and Ned and young Harry walk together in the night to Jimmy’s viewing, they are safe in a jungle sort of way. They are safe and protected by the oldest strength on earth, they are protected by each other.

Jackie makes the following Friday evening at his steak shop special. Even so, every Friday at Jackie’s is weird and bizarre. The new man’s face scares some of the late-night drunks as he mops and wipes. 

“Keep cleaning, keep cleaning,” Jackie tells Ned.

Sylvia is, as always, immaculate and pleasant. The customers, direct descendant’s all of P. T. Barnum’s original sideshow, would not call themselves bizarre, could not spell bizarre. Tonight is special because Jackie appears to have been abducted, willingly, by aliens. Tonight Jackie is supernatural.

Natural Kensington law has always always dictated that only a gruff, unshaven, thoroughly slovenly man of Jackie’s exact description could work and prosper on this corner, on this Avenue. Tonight, however, a supernatural event has happened and national law has been broken. 

Behold: Jackie has been standing before the takeout window and politely asking, “May I help you?” What’s more, he is clean-shaven, in a clean apron, wearing a clean, white paper cap, and most astonishing of all, he is without an unlit cigar stub in the corner of his mouth. His new cap bears the proud logo on both sides: Polish Paints Cover The World.

The crack whores, a hardened lot who are exposed to the perverse often, have been talking about Jackie’s Change, as they have come to call it, from Front and York Streets to Allegheny Avenue—their entire working area sanctioned by the police—all night. One of the newer, less respectful girls even dares to ask if Sylvia is pregnant. “But Jackie,” she reasons, “What else would make you clean up like this?”