John F. Dobbyn (University Press of New England, 258 pages)
Crafted in edge-of-your-seat fashion, this debut novel by Villanova University law professor and veteran short-story writer John F. Dobbyn has it all—drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and characters you care about—acted out, in part, by his somewhat famous fictional detectives, Michael Knight and Lex Devlin. Add to that Dobbyn’s insight on the legal system, and you’ve got a legal thriller you won’t want to put down.
Liz Chang (Book & Arts Press, 60 pages)
One poem is all it takes to be lured into Liz Chang’s world. The Wynnewood native’s grasp of life’s simple, mundane moments is so sharp, her use of language so sensibly profound—straightforward, raw, calculated yet conversational, void of sugarcoating. She brings a sad memory home in “Survivors,” about the 1991 plane crash involving Sen. John Heinz that killed two children from Merion Elementary School.
Kelly Ricketts (CF Productions)
On her debut CD, local singer/songwriter Kelly Ricketts wears her relationships on her sleeve, her nimble fingers and captivating vocals reliving the ebb and flow of the heart. There’s an honesty and purity to the New Castle, Del., native’s music that will send shivers down your spine. Her voice resonates much like Paula Cole’s, and her melodic strumming hints at the Indigo Girls. The raw emotion, however, belongs solely to her.