October 2019 Review Issue
Table Of Contents
A Fray of Furies
André van Wyck
9781089293477 $6 (eBook) $11.00 (paperback)
The prologue is set in the distant past. It opens with war-like siblings, founding the perfect colony to rebuild their naval nation, following the devastation of the Fall.
Thell, and its threats, should be half a world away. They discover the danger has trailed after them. Nobody had thought to watch for monsters among them. But one (or more) has slipped past.
The colony grows into the present-day Heli Empire, spanning several continents and thousands of years. Chapter One introduces the woodswoman who must confront Thell’s legacy: the deadly, shape-shifting krin, that hunt the Hillmen territories.
(It should be noted that, despite being a coming-of-age story, A Fray of Furies is recommended for adults and mature teens. Graphic descriptions of gore and death, though appropriate to the setting, precludes recommendation for younger readers.)
The characters are motivated by desperation as often as by sacred duty. A host of thieves, assassins, witches, priests, and madmen add their own special interests. The story line is complex, fast-paced, and remarkably astute in observing how disparate forces vie, veer and overlap.
A Fray of Furies provides an absorbing (and challenging) read for mature fantasy fans. Shifting perspectives and in-depth atmospheres offer an intricacy not found in the majority of similar works or leisurely reads.
Author André van Wyck intersects past and present with convincing political and survival interests. Each engrossing encounter adds to an overall game of cat-and-mouse, playing out on the personal, societal, or (possibly) planetary level.
Van Wyck's evocative descriptions, multifaceted settings, complex characters, and ability to inject wry humor sets A Fray of Furies apart from staid, predictable stories. This multifarious creation is a sterling example of high(est) fantasy. Very highly recommended for mature teens and adult fantasy fans.
Anne Marie Lutz
Author website: www.annemariesblog.wordpress.com
story Taylenor's vivid opening is
of Vonda McIntyre's Dreamsnake
about a healer...but without the snakes: "Jaena
knew as soon as she set foot in the village that a gifted child lived
She opened up her senses and cast wide. Taylen
lay over the place like a layer of mist floating over
fields on a damp
morning. Her first thought was to run away." This talented
also journeys to villages, to bless births and sing the souls of the
to her goddess, until one day she stumbles upon a boy with the rare
taylen, which is linked to a fatal illness.
The best of
intentions often go awry, as they do here when Jaena thinks she is
young Wiel by taking him to a safe city, only to discover she's
to the very force that threatens him: the Mage Defender, who actually
magic from children.
studied to be a
priest for years, and has long known her duty and where her loyalties
Taylenor's ability to create a magical
world, infuse it with the
strong personality of protagonist Jaena, and draw readers into a series
disastrous realizations that lead the formerly faithful Jaena to
everything ("The sky spun. Her whole
world was not what she thought it had been, and her part in it was far
different from what she had thought.") lends to an evocative
is nearly impossible to put down, once begun.
As old Mage
threats from Easterners, and the betrayal of longtime guide Mother
affect Jaena's journey, readers are drawn into a world that feels
believable, and compelling.
Much as the
Vonda McIntyre achieved a superior blend of individual challenge and
broader social commentary in Dreamsnake,
so Anne Marie Lutz's Taylenor holds
similar yet different kind of draw—one that successfully crafts a world
magic, tests it with forces of loyalty and betrayal, and includes
considerations of the real tests of power and heritage: "With
no taylen to
give her more than ordinary ability, would her people still follow her?
was the power of centuries of worship and Ark-amne’s personality worth?"
create a magical dilemma that forces her characters to think about set
purposes and ultimate journeys makes this fantasy tale more than just
quest story. Taylenor holds a
and power that makes for a thoroughly engrossing, often satisfyingly
unpredictable read in which true friends come together to expose hidden
J. L. Nicely
Paperback: 978-1-7321010-2-9 $15.00
Ebook: 978-1-7321010-3-6 $4.99
Warrior Rising is the second book in the Womara series, complimenting the prior Unconquered Warrior with a continuing story that will especially be appreciated by prior fans who enjoyed Nicely's sweeping epic of this woman's world.
Seanna, a scout for the Womara, is heading home after crossing the treacherous mountain pass to reunite with a king. She has saved James’ life, gaining his favor and now his love. She returns with a treaty between their realms and will stand before the new alliance of clans who could hold the fate of her clan’s future.
Even as her love for James grows, she questions how to bridge the divide of their two different worlds, and treachery arises again to threaten the course of her life.
Warrior Rising follows Seanna's foray into political realms and battles of heart and mind. From the new alliance's obstructions to building a trading port and the growing strength of James and Seanna's formidable partnership, Warrior Rising expands the Womara’s world with a carefully constructed story of strategic unions, powerful alliances, and the deepening relationships of the Womara women.
Readers who appreciated the setting created in Unconquered Warrior will enjoy the many new dimensions explored in this sequel, which enlarges upon not just James and Seanna's growing relationship, and its uncertainties, but perspectives into the mind of the villain Lord Orman, a character you love to hate.
is a sweeping epic that is as rooted in
political developments as it is romance and personal quests. It is a
will delight fantasy fans who like their characters strong and adept,
vulnerable. The story promises more books in the series and is highly
recommended for epic fantasy readers who seek stories of powerful women
their continued fight for independence.
the Pedal to the Metal
Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince
Blood Moon Productions
Burt Reynolds: Put the Pedal to the Metal
inspection with the dramatic flourishes of a gossip column based on
well-researched events, and is brought to life by colorful language
a flamboyant character indeed.
Productions creates examinations that are notable not just for their
but for details that make them weighty and absorbing. Burt
Reynolds is yet another example of
their approach. It's no light read, but weighs in at 680 pages packed
black and white photos ranging from posters and ads to screen shots,
magazine covers, and more.
All this is
on the cake of detail, because Porter and Price focus on not just Burt
Reynolds' life and notable (to shocking) actions, but his overall
Hollywood and celebrity productions themselves.
that comes steeped in sensationalist facts also is tempered by
examination and insights, news reports, behind-the-scenes probes of his
image and private life, revelations of not just this hellraising
powerful impact on the world, but the influences on his tumultuous
captured the public imagination and eye like Burt Reynolds. And few
other books delve so deeply into the oddities, ironies, struggles, and
that swirled around Burt.
combined with a solid attention to describing Hollywood politics and
sets Burt Reynolds: Put the Pedal to the
Metal more than a notch above any other book about the man.
It's a powerful
survey based on source material research and comes packed with quotes,
observations, insights and revelations.
or celebrity biography collection should be without Burt
Reynolds: Put the Pedal to the Metal.
Cancer It's Not a Death Sentence
978-1-94963-997-1 $19.99 Hardcover/$14.99 Paper
Cancer: It's Not a Death Sentence is
about reaching for happiness
and recovery in the face of sudden life-threatening situations like
reviews the caregiving, life, and health challenges of survivors and
Ross Suozzi's family.
cancer; then that of his wife and eldest son. The first thing to note
story is that it combines a memoir format with health advocacy and
combating huge challenges with bigger pictures in mind, both about the
health professionals during this battle and the ultimate goal of
challenged by health developments: "The
doctors and nurses weren’t there to give us special attention, coach
teach us everything we needed to know to survive each day, and they
definitely not there to help us think about becoming and staying happy.
were working to keep our bodies alive, but it was up to each of us to
lives going. After diagnosis and during treatments, different aspects
of our lives fell apart in ways that we had not anticipated. And we
learn quickly about things that we had never before thought we’d need
effects is that it isolates sufferers and their families in insidious
Suozzi attacks this sense of distance in the introduction to his story ("The purpose of this book is to help
you navigate and cope with that feeling, believe in yourself, and keep
friendships, your family, and your life intact while you work on
ass."), creating a road map of positive goals that moves
usual focus on recovery and into the arena of building a better life
despite, but because of a cancer diagnosis.
thorough not just his own role as a cancer patient in recovery, but as
caregiver helping other family members with their own struggles, his
includes a great deal of insights on the special concerns of the cancer
caregiver: "There may be a point in
your caregiving task where it becomes extremely clear that recovery is
attainable. But that does not change the need for you to be supportive.
encourage you and, should you have them, your team of family and
find a way to take a positive approach to the precious time your loved
have. My family’s experience has shown us that difficult times are made
if they are filled with what is most meaningful to us."
memoirs often become singular focuses blending personal experience with
recovery and medical insights, Suozzi's ability to cover both sides of
cancer coin creates an atmosphere that is as specific about emotional
as it is about treatments, what works and what doesn't, and how to
just physical but psychological and social challenges surrounding
survivor's ability to incorporate all these facets under one cover
unique approach to his subject that will educate and enlighten not just
sufferers, but caregivers, families, friends, and anyone whose lives
touched by a cancer diagnosis.
Cancer: It's Not a Death Sentence is an
ray of light in the literature of cancer survivors. It should be on the
bookshelves and reading lists of anyone touched by a cancer diagnosis.
Home Front Wives in World War II
Diane Phelps Budden
Red Rock Mountain Press
Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives in World War
II is a true
story based on loving letters between Diane Phelps Budden's parents
war. What might have been a singular publishing of these works expands
broader horizons because it's been enhanced by her research done at
National Archives, military libraries, and other sources to provide
for these intimate mailed discussions.
Budden uncovers is further strengthened by the fact that her parents
lives with strong memories of events which allowed her to not only
interested in their lives, as an adult, but to question them about the
experiences during the conflict to changing womens' roles because of
letters serve as a basis for closely examining one of the biggest
social change to occur in U.S. history.
noted that while the 75th anniversary of the end
of World War II
will be celebrated in 2020, most participants of that era have since
making works like these letters some of the only eyewitness legacies of
times—and thus making their publication and discussion even more
contents of these letters ("Darling Dearest: All day long I
tonight. The later it got the more nervous I got thinking maybe you
get through. The thought of hearing your voice in the evening made me
all day. I just worked and worked, thinking the harder I worked the
time will pass, and soon evening will come.")
is nicely juxtaposed with the facts Budden uncovers ("Once the
war started the shortage of suitable fabrics for clothing was
especially when rationing of textiles began. Ready-to-wear clothes had
acceptance but were costly to purchase. Like other women, Irma
or reuse was the slogan—dress fabrics for her own clothes and for the
Part of the
of writing successfully lies in the author's ability to breathe new
the story. Dear Hubby of Mine does
what too few World War II titles achieve: it blends personal experience
broader social examination, it pairs researched history with examples
everyday lives, and it captures both the certainties and uncertainties
relationships conducted on the battlefields of the heart: "Dearest Lou: How are you? There is much
fighting going on there. I’m pretty sure you must be in the midst of
wasn’t prepared this time for the Bull going out. I only received six
in all this period. It seems you could have written more. In the last
there was a check in each. Of course, you may have written some that
passed [by censors] until you are back again. Or maybe you didn’t just
writing. Which is it?").
remarkably poignant, educational observational piece that is rich in
and background insights ("For the
four million or more home front war wives, the stress of being
their husbands were magnified by the challenges of managing household
family responsibilities in the face of shortages and rationing. For
this was the first time they had the role of head of household, and at
ages, since many were newlyweds. Raised
among immigrant families, Irma didn’t expect any assistance from
resources, and didn’t know how to access them anyhow."): a
example of how history should be anything but dry and uninvolved.
Budden's hand, her parents' experiences and love comes to life with
lessons for others who may be struggling with separation, social
the demands of being war wives and husbands committed to both country
No World War
feminist, or social history collection should be without this vibrant,
enlightening survey that seamlessly puts the personal touch back into
political, and military issues.
Dear Hubby of Mine is not just the story
of one husband and wife.
It's a snapshot of the experiences of a nation under siege on the
of social change.
Paying the Rent
Lymer & Hart/Garden Oak Press
Paying the Rent: Adventures of a Left Coast
Activist Lawyer from the
Turbulent '60s to the Era of Donald Trump: A Memoir follows
lawyer author's cross-country journeys as an activist, neatly capturing
and legal challenges from a perspective most memoirs about the 1960s
American civil rights history, activism, and how Dick Eiden joined a
movement to support political wars on the home front. It surveys not
personal evolution, but the rise of his political consciousness and how
his profession to help advance his ideals, from the Native American
for rights to modern immigrant issues.
professional perspective, combined with his Leftist political leanings,
makes Paying the Rent such a unique
presentation. Stories of 1960s activism, social change, and personal
transformation abound; but rarely are they wrapped in the perspective
blossoming lawyer who discovers his purpose through linking his
world to the social revolutions happening around him.
rapidly-changing landscape of social and legal challenges to freedom,
operates at the cusp of social change in this country, using his legal
to confront and battle challenges to freedom. Paying
the Rent further documents the mercurial world of legal
efforts from the perspective of an individual whose personal and
life is also constantly in flux: "Life
was good in the Santa Barbara Legal Collective where I learned so much
law, political organizing and life. We all felt a spirit of purpose and
camaraderie, and an optimism about how we could help change the world.
Selective Service cases kept me busy and brought good income into the
collective, but those cases were drying up."
the world and encounters issues beyond America's borders, he gains
knowledge of struggles that reinforce his Marxist ideals and their
importance: "No matter what country we were
spoke the same language of the international proletariat Marx, Engels,
and Mao. It was great for me to be around political people like them.
I spent much of my time talking to people about our inconsequential
and consumer things. We did not immerse ourselves in world issues 24/7
stories of the '60s might choose this book expecting another
focus, but it should be cautioned that this is no singular rehash of
individual life or American ideals alone. It's a world-hopping survey
social and legal presence of leftist ideology in other countries, as
is a 1960s
memoir with a big difference: a focus on social activism and personal
responsibility that follows how one lawyer pushes the boundaries of his
profession so that it reflects his growth and his ethical, moral, and
approach weaves a sense of adventure and transformation into his
creating in a story hard to put down, packed with thought-provoking
This makes it a draw for not just legal beagles and 1960s American
readers, but to anyone interested in the political and cultural
of American society in its fight for values, dreams, and civil
ChoirMaster: A Mister Puss Mystery
Hardcover: 978-0-578-52330-9 $24.95
Paperback: 978-0-578-52375-0 $14.95
Kindle: B07V5ZK8SH $ 4.95
Mister Puss Mystery adds the
second book to a new series that began with FlabberGassed
and pairs a
talking cat's tale with a crisis that circles around marriage, faith,
troubled Wisconsin church. It combines the thwarted romances of a
Place-type atmosphere with murder.
Puss is at the center of these events, lending a paw to his human
Questman's life and communicating with her via telepathy. Mister Puss
already a seasoned feline investigator, but events challenge human and
alike as St. Alban's new rector, Joyce Hibbard, taps Mary to help her
The story isn't told from Mary's viewpoint
or by Mister Puss alone, however. The narration moves between
incorporates different character perceptions and experiences, creating
multifaceted production. The changing perspectives provide a delightful
opportunity to view events not just through Mary's eyes, but through
encounter Mary and her cat, as in this scene dealing with leash
now, Mister Puss,” said Mary, “let’s not make such a racket.” She
pick up the gadget and tried to reel him in toward her heel, but the
have none of it. He plopped down on his side as she dragged him across
slick floor to her jaunty yellow Ferragamo pumps."
From investments gone awry and the financial
and political influences on building a new church versus restoring the
to a shocking death and its ramifications, ChoirMaster
operates on many
levels to provide an intriguing, fast-paced story.
Michael Craft takes time to stop and smell
the roses (or, in this case, to add atmospheric observations), and this
another strength to a story that provides a "you are there" feel
rather than just documenting events: "The grounds were
at that time of year, with the summer annuals in riotous full bloom.
course, built in the 1920s before the wide availability of heavy
equipment, was designed to the natural contours of the land, punctuated
rocky outcroppings that had been left by a prehistoric glacier.
groomed and green, extended off toward the gentle hills as Glee drove
winding entryway beneath a canopy of oaks. Sapphire splotches of the
sky peeked through a matrix of leaves and dappled the windshield with
Readers looking for a murder mystery that
goes beyond a whodunit to probe the hearts, minds, and lives of small
residents will relish the realistic setting, diverse characters, and
profiled in ChoirMaster. It's a mystery that
continues to build upon the
Mister Puss character as a satisfying series addition while standing
alone on its own four paws.
Ann Margaret Johns
Ann J Downey, Publisher
978-0999345702 $14.99 Paper/$9.99 Kindle
mayhem struck a peaceful rural small town community that Ann Johns'
escaped to from urban Detroit, young Ann did what many do, to cope:
her memories in a mental folder and locked them away for decades.
Curse: One Child's
Quest to Explain the Series of Tragedies in Her Hometown unlocks that folder, takes out these files,
and recreates the traumatic experiences that changed not only her life,
lives of forty families in rural Clarkston, Michigan.
Her examination represents a powerful recreation of not just the events of one small town, but the atmosphere of growing up in 1960s and 70s America in a time and place that served as a microcosmic example of the escalation of violence in this nation.
Narrated in the first person
from the viewpoint of young
Ann Johns, homespun events such as pie on the porch with grandma and
tragedy of a lost pregnancy intersect with broader social issues and
challenges as murder rears its head not once or twice, but repeatedly,
away at the idyllic perceptions of childhood in a small rural town.
her younger persona's observational style and
presenting her vivid memories as in-the-moment experiences, Johns draws
into this atmosphere more thoroughly than any third person examination
have created. Her account touches on issues of different kinds of
effects of death and news reports about it on children; religious
death; and a child's questions about her role in affecting the world
("Do you think it could be possible
that I am the curse, Grandma?" "People don't get cursed, Annie. They
get possessed. And you are hardly possessed.").
thoroughly immersed in a child's perspective, logic, and ability to
the very adult and life-ending issues faced by a community, exploring
to events which adults around her have difficulty understanding or
to a child.
powerful story of an entire community's repeated and ongoing
with loss and how that translates to and, years later, impacts the next
memories, and unfolding drama, Clarkston's
Curse captures the personal angle through a child's-eye view
America's social struggles with violence. It should be in any
in American history, culture, social issues, and children's psychology.
Jeanette de Beauvoir
Paperback: 978-0-9992451-8-7 $12.99
Ebook: 978-0-9992451-9-4 $4.99
A Killer Carnival: A Provincetown Mystery
is the fourth book in the
Sydney Riley series and is set in a colorful town planning for its
colorful annual Carnival Parade. Sydney's nose for trouble is awakened
boyfriend's police officer sister shows up and begins making inquiries.
Beauvoir's wry sense of humor and ability to capture immediate
evident from the very first sentences, which are revealing and fun: "By the time the float exploded, we
were all far enough away that it was only ear-splittingly loud rather
lethal. I guess one has to be grateful for the small things in life.
well, life. I don’t usually
spend a lot of time around objects that explode, so the experience was
in the mystery of an exploding float and murder attempt that grabs
interest even before relationships, mystery, and investigative premises
introduced. These subplots flush out the setting and circumstances that
make A Killer Carnival so
flagrantly outrageous, and so is Sydney's course as she faces
life-changing circumstances, and insights that lead her to make some
realizations about her choices and progress in the world.
outstanding job of creating suspense, capturing a vivid personality's
narrative style, and crafting a mystery from the story's first few
she doesn't leave newcomers in the lurch over Sydney's background. This
presented after the gripping
which makes for an irresistible addition to the story's introduction ("How is it that stories begin? “It all
Sydney fans thus receive a tale accessible to all, powered with a
observational style that does more than just narrate a mystery, placing
squarely in Provincetown's atmosphere: "P’town
being P’town, a lot of the floats feature loud music and scantily clad
well-oiled impossibly handsome young men dancing suggestively to a
bass beat. Our float, I’d liked to think, was somewhat more subtle.
not subtle enough. Or maybe I just don’t have a handle on subtlety
live in one of the least subtle places in the world, a town
your face about everything, a town with swagger to spare. I’d like to
technically speaking, none of
this was my fault."
By now, it
evident that readers who choose A Killer
Carnival are in for a rare treat. It's an explosive
of intrigue, suspense, and psychological insight set in an atmospheric,
colorful locale that benefits from the author's personal familiarity
P-town's eccentrics and sometimes-questionable characters.
and heart-stopping moments and spiced by Sydney's irreverent wit and
humor, A Killer Carnival is mystery
writing at its finest. It's especially recommended for prior readers,
quite accessible to newcomers seeking superior stories, memorable
and fast-paced action.
Burn House Publishing
and thrillers will find The Meat Hunter
provides just the ticket with a read that skirts the borders between
pieces and tales of intrigue, offering many differences that places it
others and alongside some of the best reads in each of these genres.
intriguing visual ad for a pig farm's meats, highlights an actual
event from an Iowa pig farm, then moves deftly into a story that begins
years in the past, when little girl Molly lies in the dirt, clutching a
boar and crying over it.
first hunting day of the season, the now-adult Molly Bishop's favorite
a time when she participates in the hunt in a different way than most.
As issues of
and human cruelty meld with the psyche of a woman who has become, in
the thing she abhors, readers are treated to a vivid, engrossing story
serial killer who chooses her victims with a special purpose, attacking
meat industry which formed her root experiences and encounters with
of revenge, to her mind, is every bit as moral and ethical as
decisions, and her logic and life play out in a story line replete with
reflections on issues ranging from animal cruelty and meat industry
to hunting and pharmaceutical uses for animals.
than scratch the surface of social and moral issues. She delves into
and mind of a murderer and presents a powerful female character whose
into madness is finely detailed, logical, and every bit as strong as
mysteries featuring the usual male protagonist: "Her
whole life had been a crawl through pity, a crawl through the
slime of acquiescence, accepting the carnage around her as something to
despised, but tolerated. That day, right there in the road, Molly would
The Meat Hunter may not be appropriate
for readers sensitive to
descriptions of animal cruelty, but murder mystery fans who look for
and moral conundrums wound into an absorbing story line will find it
processes of a murder investigation that's constantly thwarted by a
woman more than able to cover her tracks are nicely detailed in
games of detective work ("It wasn’t
loose. We both saw that busted collar. That took anger. And rage. A car
into the driveway might serve as an irritant to an already irritable
it’s not likely to fly into enough of a tantrum to break free. But
owner beaten and left for dead; that would do it. That would push the
sunovabitch right over the edge. That dog got her on the way out, not
in.”), while entwined relationships gone bad create backdrops
and insight to keep readers engaged.
ironies mount, mystery and thriller fans receive a thoroughly
that lingers in the mind long after the story's conclusion, creating
twists and turns that lead to more than one surprise.
Deed: A Sam
Steven W. Horn
Granite Peak Press
978-0-9991248-1-9 (cloth) $29.00
978-0-9991248-7-1 (paper) $17.95
978-0-9991248-9-5 (ebook) $ 4.99
Release date: November 7, 2019
No Good Deed adds to the Sam Dawson
series and follows the
photographer/historian's latest attempt to unravel a mystery of the
latest revolves around a dead teacher who knew the truth about a boy's
shooting a century before, and who reaches out from beyond the grave to
Sam to help solve the mystery once and for all.
of No Good Deed is that it isn't
about a singular mystery, but the entanglements and process of Sam
life as he struggles with romance, a long-dead legacy, and political
never expected. He's an expert in locating lost graves, not in matters
and political process, but his expertise is dragging him into affairs
begin with good intentions and push him into puzzling conundrums.
No Good Deed holds the signature
combination of strong characters
and well-developed tension which made the other Sam Dawson books
adds a new level of intrigue and discovery to expand the dimensions of
experiences and test his decision-making process.
there's intrigue and tension; from the opener which indicates
vindication is in
the wind for a wrongful death to Sam's encounter with Cricket, ranching
history, health care costs, and links between cemeteries and graves and
tense revelations that challenge and change Sam's life drive a
mystery that takes history and personalizes it, from a great
possible lie to the lasting, far-reaching impact of bad decisions and
with his daughter, a potential love, and the past all spice an
mystery recommended for all ages, from advanced high schoolers and new
to adult genre readers who will appreciate the added touch of history
romance injected into a vivid story of discovery.
The Salvation Project
Opus Self-Publishing Services/Politics & Prose
978-1-62429-237-8 $29.50 Hardcover
Project is a stand-alone sequel to Joe Rothstein's The Latina President, and opens with the
atmospheric description of
an odd meeting between a Muslim imam and businessman Javier Carmona,
doesn't know the reason why he's being called in. An important deal
potential profits, a business arrangement between Turkey and Mexico,
tricky imam's manipulation of matters to enlist Javier's help in
take control of the U.S. is the opening salvo in a story packed with
high-octane action, and a threat couched as a desperate effort to save
humanity, called The Salvation Project.
Rothstein excels in an approach that blends a logical progression of
and personal special interests with a story that feels firmly rooted in
international perceptions and modern times. One can easily imagine such
project, such a purpose, and such an arrangement between religious
business interests, and this is the first spark that makes The
Project a compelling read.
soon into the plot) is Rothstein's exploration of the evolution of a
that holds its roots in the shared political and business frustrations
associations of two different cultures. This is further advanced by the
political changes experienced by President Tennyson, who enters the
ideals and perceptions quickly changed and challenged by circumstances
political dynamics and Congressional hostility that evolves from
conspiracy operations which redirect President Tennyson's approach to
triangles, poisonings, political and social set-ups to a murder that
into the conspirators' top circles, The Salvation Project
with satisfying twists and turns that lead in unexpected directions.
It should be
cautioned that readers anticipating a linear, simple suspense or
may find Rothstein's story more complex than they'd anticipated. But
bonus for a story that rests on no simple scenarios, whether it be a
President's campaign, a conspiracy to change the course of U.S.
processes, murderous associations, or an unexpected romance that
there's a lot of juicy action to digest here...and just when it seems
tidy ending will evolve, yet another unexpected twist emerges.
thought-provoking political intrigue that operates on both domestic and
international soils will relish the approach of The Salvation
which embraces elections, murder, and conspiracy at the highest levels
office and the heart.
A Boomer's Tale
Cross Dove Publishing
Ordering Links: https://www.amazon.com/Darryl-Nyznyk/e/B001K93KPM%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share and https://www.darrylnyznyk.com/
lawyer in his 50s who is experiencing a mid-life crisis—the realization
he's not really done much with and in his life. A
Boomer's Tale documents the results of a camping
in an effort to regain this life purpose, but diverts from any
of self-realization by injecting a time travel element into the plot as
transported to a world in which he is a hero some thirty years younger,
Or, are they?
It turns out
Jack's transformative experience is his introduction to new revelations
not only his ideals and dreams, but his real life purpose. This only
clear as he lives out his alternate persona in the style he'd
aimed for in his former life.
which...what is happening to the former Jack? The door on that world
closed; but can it open again?
of a baby boomer's mid-life crisis with a psychologically and
transformative event, Darryl Nyznyk crafts an account that
will appeal to
different audiences on many levels.
the strong story of a life confronted and changed; but within that
the powerful examination of the different roles of a hero, and forms
heroism might take. These offer unexpected glimpses into how
chapters at first swing between the 'other time and place' and the
life-threatening real world Jack is more familiar with, readers are
a vivid series of battles, difficult confrontations, the impacts of
and revenge, and Jack's evolving struggle to help both his lord and
limited to a fantasy adventure becomes a reflective study in growth and
living as Jack learns some hard lessons from his newly heroic lifestyle.
middle-age crisis story, and filled with gripping encounters and
self and the world, A Boomer's Tale offers
a thought-provokingly different kind of adventure/self-improvement
will keep readers engrossed and thinking long after the tale's epic
which links not only disparate worlds, but newly healed hearts.
978-1796993929 $6.95 Paper/$9.00 Kindle
Banja is bisexual, divorced, determined to lead an
life. She's also the heroine of Comet Fox,
which romps through not only her life but the artistic circles in which
'glorious' people and exhibits a flair and sassy persona that matches
sexuality, and approach to life. Readers receive a spirited blend of
'curveball' sexual encounters, double natures, and 'switched on' life
These operate hand in hand with a fluid blend of art world exposés
and underlying ironic observation to create the feel of a memoir.
fictional story is married to the passion of a quirky character whose
embrace numerous flings, encounters, potential partners, and ribald
is the quintessential story of a woman on the edge who loses many
exploring her sexuality and relationships in and to life. Her antics
smoking hot and peppered with challenging descriptors that will send
college-educated literature readers to the dictionary for some
vocabulary-expanding definitions. This means that those anticipating a
leisure read may be in for more of a challenge than they'd anticipated.
This is just
about its delivery and intellectual, literary foundations, however,
because Comet Fox isn't the kind of
should be regulated to the mundane or to predictability, whether
Baja's journey or the language employed to describe it.
being challenged either in their perceptions of the art world or a
sexuality or in an emotionally riveting account of entwined passions,
relationships, and choices will find Comet
Fox just the ticket. It's a lively romp through both business
worlds, examining the life of a woman determined to take back her
empower herself. The tale thus walks a thin line between a cultural
an artistic examination, and a lively probe of a woman's sexual and
politics, business, entry into middle age, or a woman newly capable of
anything from the past (even her son) that doesn't contribute to her
purposes and future, Comet Fox
up a warm dish of intellectual, social, and psychological growth.
lively, vivid read that's hard to put down, powered by a protagonist
doesn't just walk through her life, but rocks its foundations.
East of Lincoln
9781090683281 $15.95 Paper
Richard Jenkins was once a successful
California real estate agent. Now, he's not. He was raised
many opportunities; but now he is 'invisible' and finds himself on the
end of history, faced with unprecedented decisions that hold moral
and consequences. What happens when old routines no longer work? Chaos.
of Lincoln follows the
first-person reflections of a
man who finds himself middle-aged and at a crossroads in his life. As
his story of the end of the world as he's known it, murder, redemption,
experiences with the Artist and Bales, his tone and presentation
gritty series of revelations and truths that open eyes and minds.
How can Richard rebuild his life and thrive
in a world turned upside down? His hard-hitting grasp of events is
succinct, involving descriptions that keep readers immersed and
do you do when your whole world has been rocked? When your life is
between a skateboard and the end of times? Do you start picking up dog
eight bucks an hour? Fuck no. You start drinking."
It's the end of the reign of the white man,
and Richard and his growing group stand in the crosshairs of revolution
contemplate their next moves and uncertain futures.
In many ways, East of Lincoln
captures a microcosm of current events. Richard is 'everyman' in
America, and his experiences mirror many lives as he observes these
spirals and their impact not only on his world, but American
was happening. I’d seen it before in my line of work. The new owners
to bleed us out. One by one. We’d either move by choice, at their
some form of payment (bribe), or we’d stay and fight. But whatever
chose, the outcome would be the same. We would be gone from our
was just a matter of time. And like I said earlier, when you lose your
apartment, you lose your community. That’s because you can never afford
back in. It was happening all up and down the California coast. I’d
anything like it. The gentrification—this great consolidation of
Street speculators and international money were gobbling up older
record prices and knocking them down and erecting smaller, luxury
units, literally transforming cities overnight. The poor were thrown
street dogs, left to fend for themselves. From San Francisco to San
great displacement was underway."
How can such
be fought? Richard finds a way, and his choices and their consequences
for thoroughly engrossing reading as readers find themselves caught in
of social change and one man's challenges.
East of Lincoln embraces themes of
survival, art, magic,
friendship, change, and moral and ethical dilemmas. The added dose of
inspection of Southern California culture ("Los
Angeles doesn’t care who you are, what you are, or how long you’ve
She will always sell you out to the highest bidder. That’s just the way
is.") makes it a particularly powerful, hard-hitting
for California fiction readers.
eBook: B07WF9WDY1 $ 3.99
Ron Lewis isn't psychic; but if he could have predicted the future, he might not have been blindsided so badly. His work as a physicist and engineer is firmly rooted in science, but his innate attraction to the strange, weird, and inexplicable both in human interactions and brushes with childhood and adult monsters seem to counter everything he believes in.
What if an
curse and these supernatural encounters are more real than anything
Ron's journey really begins after a tragedy strikes, even though he's spent his childhood supporting 'normalcy' and rejecting the input of his experiences: "It’s amazing how you can find normalcy even in the most bizarre situations. By the time I started high school, I had figured out how to create a reasonable life while dealing with the threat of the Tokoloshe."
It's when he turns from rejecting the truths of his senses to embracing them in an attempt to communicate with the dead, rather than rejecting this possibility, that all hell breaks loose.
One of the many special flavors of Edge of Perception lies in this transition process from one stalwart concept of reality to the acceptance of ongoing clues which indicate that more lies beyond the realm of perception.
As Ron embarks on a discovery process that leads to accepting concepts he's long rejected, readers are carried into a scientist's world shaken by seemingly impossible evidence of something that may not be verifiable in the traditional sense.
Insanity and extrasensory perceptions fall neatly into the realm of uncharted territory for Ron, but as he probes both during the course of an unpredictable relationship, he grows in ways that allow him to accept and deal with these forces. This leads him to a revised perception of life, death, and what lies beyond.
Even more thought-provoking is Ron's use of science to enter a spirit world where none have ventured before. Is he cheating, with a ghost? Or is his unearthly relationship the side effect of a machine that can make the dead appear, challenging his perspectives about those he loves?
Ron's venture into the spirit world will attract fans of paranormal fiction who enjoy accounts of scientific and psychological investigations. Edge of Perception skirts the edges of logic and the supernatural, creating a compelling story that opens the door to other worlds and a particularly dangerous force that Ron unwittingly unleashes onto his friend Mike and the world.
action-packed story following Ron from childhood night terrors to adult
confrontations with the nature of reality and evil, Edge of
offers a powerful narrative that sifts through the demons in Ron's life
conclude with an unexpected bang.
Illuminating Occurrence of Maxine Porter
Kindle Direct Publishing
9781099883309 $15.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Carlisle is in
his early 20s when he begins a job as a designer at The Plush
small Chicago toy design studio—but he's not the only new arrival to
shop and possibly change its downward trajectory.
Porter provides a major impetus for positive change, bringing
with her an
intense energy that nobody can quite define. Does she have genuine
and business savvy, or is something else lending to her ability to pull
Plush Porcupine—and Hayden—into new realms of possibility and success?
enters this job with a few ambitions ("...work
hard enough to be a respected employee for at least one year, be
enough that my coworkers talk to me, and force myself to find at least
quality about everybody so I don’t dread each moment of being there.").
investor meetings that pick apart and question new product designs and
dutifully chronicles a fateful turning point for the company in a
replete with astute observations and mystery, perspectives shift
Hayden, Walter, and others who find themselves on a remarkable journey
viewpoints are clearly documented in chapters which move between
journal reflections, third-person views of company owner Walter
success (and possibly his first failure, as well), and the experiences
fellow designers Marty and Scott. A fine blend of mystery and business
keeps readers engaged not just in business processes, but in
Occurrence of Maxine Porter is a revealing, absorbing, engrossing story of budding
relationships in the business
and social design world. It ventures into unexpected territory by
the personalities, dreams, and extraordinary abilities of more than
powerful figurehead, Maxine Porter. The result is a fine survey of
awkwardness, business success, and the pressures upon owners and
to re-brand a small company, among other topics.
To bill The Illuminating Occurrence of Maxine Porter a 'business novel', however, would be to limit its audience too strictly. There's a great deal of interplay between characters of various ages and experience levels, creating a psychological depth and insight rare in business novels which, tend to focus on company advancement processes alone: "It always amazes me how different people think. Scott seems to take a single grand idea, mold it, tweak it, and build on it until he gets to a final concept, whereas I like to throw a bunch of random thoughts down and analyze them to pick which attributes to draw from each. Scott seemed confused when I put out my multiple sketches. He rightfully thinks of me as a young kid and not the successful creative designer that he is. He obviously thought that this process would go like the other things, where he would come up with the idea and I would develop the details."
Occurrence of Maxine Porter will
delight those seeking a multifaceted story of personal, professional,
business changes. It follows a young man's new entry into the workforce
path to success, which is sparked by a relatively short encounter with
extraordinary, visionary individual who changes his life.
Occurrence of Maxine Porter comes
full circle in examining definitions of that success, and will prove
surprising, and hard to put down as its characters and company dilemmas
come to life.
Persuasion Media, LLC
ASIN: B07WHR8WPM $2.99
Layla's Love adds the second book to the
Ivyhurst romance series
and follows the changing life of the busy owner of Ohio pizzeria
Gourmet Pizza Shop, whose focus is on business success, not love—until
Raymond walks in the door.
excellent recap of Layla's fiery personality, her role as a successful,
hard-working African American businesswoman in the revitalized,
small town of New Ivyhurst, and a lifestyle that has little room for
co-workers encourage Layla Smith to take chance and make room in her
love, she discovers that the biggest barrier to romance isn't finding
guy or opportunity, but herself: "I
think that is what finally broke through my resistance and fear and
was right. It wasn’t life or death, it was just a date. Just a date
with a man
I wouldn’t mind getting busy with."
Layla's Love eschews the usual complexity
of too many romance
novels in favor of a simple format, a short presentation (which
lends to its recommendation for busy readers who want a quick,
story), and an approach that builds the image of a successful
community and powerful female protagonist.
intentions of a woman who must overcome her greatest challenge to
heart (her own psyche; not her business's demands) makes for a
fun read that delivers its revelations with clear impact and meaning
by overly complicated undercurrents: "I
was a business owner and an independent woman. I could chase down a man
darn well wanted to."
social involvements, and media attention permeate the story, Layla is
blindsided by more than just the possibilities of love.
note the many social inspections that are wound into this relatively
story, but Ava Bleu's approach simply excels in creating succinct,
hard-hitting, yet direct descriptions and experiences that enhance her
without adding too many overly-complex subplots.
is a romance
that's also a reflection of community issues and social change. Layla's Love is a read that juxtaposes
levity and serious issues but, in only 25K words, creates a novella
heartbreak, social inspection, and new possibilities to brighten a
reader's day and heart.
Librarian at the
End of the World
The Librarian at the End of the World
presents a satirical romp
across America, and is a recommended pick for readers who want to take
iconic Jack Kerouac classic On the Road
one step further into absurdity. (Indeed, The
Librarian at the End of the World combines the travelogue of
the absurdity of Ken Kesey.)
undertaken by champion speedbather Ramdas Bingaman and his equally
Colletta, who turn a projected vacation into a rollicking odyssey of
immediately categorize The Librarian at
the End of the World because so many elements are present and
the very beginning, all using copious and non-stop levels of ironic
and spoofs. Everything readers might anticipate from the novel by its
(either the story of a staid librarian, or an apocalyptic piece about
is turned on end from its introductory lines, which refute any idea
story will be either dry or easily anticipated: "If
you are going to rise to the top of your field at a young age,
as I have, you have to own a closet full of suits because dressing well
balance out your otherwise youthful demeanor. People in my line of work
take you seriously unless they suspect you are capable of destroying
their families, and their legacies. You probably don’t think of
this light, but I assure you it is true. Librarians are fucking fierce.
must know, I, Ramdas Bingaman, was never properly educated as a
that has never kept me from knowing all I need to know to help a patron
cultivates a first-personal observation tone rooted in give-and-take,
on words and expectations with a deft confidence that leads readers on
journey of anticipation, frustration, revelation, and satisfying
initially hides in a classroom and builds his reputation by being
in his actions, but a league of speedbathers and other circumstances
to regain his initiative with grand schemes even involving cheese
pilfering ("I slip in the basement, find his
refrigerator, and slice off a really thick slab of Lagoon
with a View Bleu, though hopefully not enough for it to
be missed, unless he already weighed the block of cheese, which I’m
has. Do I feel bad? Luring him back to his house with promises of a
fortune in exchange for his special cheese? Not at all. I am stronger,
and more resourceful than my peers and auction competitors. I deserve
rewarded, and if Ayn Rand were still alive we would have had the
two rapacious narcissists with delusions of grandeur could have. The
owes me everything, and I owe it nothing in return. Besides which, if I
going to completely satisfy six Amazonian strap-on fem doms, I am
right gonna keep all the
Besides, from what I can tell, I’m not making a dime in residuals.").
The Librarian at the End of the World
at once gritty, hilarious, raunchy, ironic, iconic, and as socially
as any classic travelogue of the 1960s.
trappings of wine and cheese events and compulsions to win recognition
story of an insidious plan that may be either fabricated or real,
the protagonist's current state of mind.
Novel readers looking
for a lively romp across America's prized standards and social circles
married to an iconic, quirky character's search for "...love,
life, death, and the end of the world", will
find The Librarian at the End of the
World to be social satire at its best, ultimately questioning
purpose and coming up with a surprising conclusion about the end of
On Wings of
Susan Wakeford Angard
9781733898409 $13.99 Paper/$7.99 Kindle
and historical fiction readers are in for a treat with On
Wings of a Lion because Susan
Wakeford Angard traverses these genres with an authoritative attention
detail, creating a sweeping drama that promises high-octane action
its opening lines: "It’s no use!” yelled Hans. “Strike it
Evans shouted, steadying a crowbar wedged against the rear door jam of
barricaded Sohbe Emrooz newspaper building. His helicopter pilot Hans
ax high and slammed it into a rear door bolted from the outside, a
In 1978, an assignment brings Hollywood film
director Kathryn Whitney to Iran, a nation on the cusp of revolution,
some lucrative TV commercials at the ruins of Persepolis. A chance
Sir Anthony Evans, a dashing half-British, half-Persian playboy
does not promise romance at first, but he grows on her.
Also growing is the sense of danger and
deadly forces as the two become caught up in something greater than
professional photo shoots or personal attraction, because Iran explodes
drags both individuals into its struggle.
Kathryn discovers Anthony is actually not
what he appears to be, and she must make some difficult choices about
alliances, her friendships, and her life.
It's important to note that On Wings of a Lion is populated by a
diverse range of characters who all have special stakes in Iran's
events. These goals are worth murdering for, they're worthy of
they even merit the sacrifice of a nation.
purposes and pursuits of Anthony's cousin Mirdad Ajani to General
clashes with Anthony and his own mission in this changing world, Susan Wakeford Angard weaves intrigue into
her historical novel that incorporates Iranian culture and politics
descriptions of personal pursuits for glory and riches.
Her juxtaposition of very different
characters and their concerns is exquisitely done partially because of
growth process she explores between Kathryn and Anthony, which lead to
revelations on many different levels. Anthony has long tried to assume
responsibility for everything around him. When his friends are murdered
their homes, can he just fly back to Britain and pretend nothing
leaving responsibility and passion behind?
In the wake of the Iranian revolution and
the interactions of secret police and clever adversaries, Kathryn and
become swept up not only in each other, but in circumstances far
either their individual or shared pursuits. Mysterious crown jewels,
threats to love and life—what could be more compelling?
strikingly realistic feel is derived from Angard's personal familiarity
her subject. On Wings of a Lion is
based on her experiences while in Iran, and on incidents related to her
Iranians with whom she met and filmed.
On Wings of a Lion's ability to capture
Iranian culture, politics,
and society and place these facets against the backdrop of two very
strong characters who struggle with themselves and each other places
a cut above most historical novels, romances, or thriller stories.
genres will be exceptionally pleased at the story's depth, background,
evocative phrases, which engage and educate readers about Iran's
connected, in life. When human relationships fall apart, these
become frayed, but often they are not entirely gone.
Fischer, a gay
man on the cusp of his 40s, stands to lose all connections in his life,
his family, which has disowned him because of his sexuality, to his
husband Nick, who has betrayed his trust. His artistic pursuits do not
promise they once did, either, and this is one of the reasons Nick, who
been largely supporting them, has grown distant and disappointed.
ways, Panic River is the
of middle-age revelations and angst; but it also presents an edgy
of the impact of an inheritance which changes everything and exposes
underside of a much-changed relationship.
is a gray
area where youthful perceptions and enthusiasm are traded for rude
powerful realizations about dreams and realities, and both evolving and
disintegrating bonds between families, lovers, and life itself.
reflects this process as he struggles with family secrets and a huge
to everything he's built and believed in, including himself. This draws
to the edge of the roots of growth and realization as patterns of old
from his childhood come to permeate vastly changed connections as an
and incident becomes the pivot point of this process. Readers will be
to a story that seems to move towards inevitable disaster, only to pull
and become a saga of transformative possibilities and a new life.
river, Panic River ebbs and flows
as truths are
slowly and often reluctantly uncovered and Corey pulls apart the ties
until threads are left raw, hanging, and seemingly disrupted forever.
what can be rebuilt from such disaster, but just as new truths emerge,
phoenix of possibility rises from the ashes of destruction.
at creating a hard-hitting story that begins softly, with a life on the
of big changes, and then moves into the protagonist's ability to accept
illusion and, finally, reality. This forces him—and readers—to
only the pull and power of past influences, but their ability to craft
Panic River is no cursory romp through
Foster takes time to build exquisite descriptions that link events to
own physical and psychic vulnerability, as in the emotional grab and
of a successful hunt: "He tried
looking away, but couldn’t help seeing Nick stab the jagged edge of a
knife into the deer’s protruding rib cage. An audible burst of air
the slit, the final remnant of life held deep within the buck’s chest.
gasped a moment later, sucking into his lungs the same air he imagined
deer had just expelled. And then he held it inside, willing himself not
exhale for as long as he could muster. He finally released one steady
exasperation— the air, the tension, the regret. He hadn’t been the one
the trigger but felt just as bad as if he had."
these ties that bind re-form decades later, juxtaposing angst and loss
connected, in life.
choose Panic River for its theme
middle-aged gay man facing his demons and much-changed circumstances
uncover the roots of these connections and will learn how they evolve.
will find Panic River a powerfully
evocative, thought-provoking consideration of how life moves on, how
evaporate and re-form, and how one man makes difficult choices that
full circle in an unexpected way.
Paul Martin Midden
Just a year ago, Riley
Cotswald was a published,
successful, up-and-coming young author with the world at her
her first book, all Riley had to do was type and the powerful words
she's at an impasse over her new characters Adam and Suzanne, who are
stuck in their relationship and life. It all feels too close to home.
And with that, everything
is a work
of art in many ways, not the least of which is Paul Martin Midden's
get under the skin of surface connections and patterns to probe not
Riley's characters and writing, but how it mirrors her own relationship
her estranged husband Cameron and the undercurrents of her life.
Serious Riley has long
viewed her perpetually happy
husband as a mystery, because his reactions to life are the opposite of
hers: "What she was thirsting for the most
was elusive. In her real life, she was the one who sat around wanting
the obvious truth to Cameron, who seemed eternally tone deaf about
his natural inclination toward happiness. It came so easy to him; it
crazy. Riley never quite grasped the root or the nature of his sunny
disposition. Why was he so impossibly happy? He smiled a lot; he was
he put a good spin on everything. On those rare occasions when he
could not avoid his emotions, as when he was watching a tear jerker or
about the death of a friend or a national tragedy, he would shed a tear
but very briefly and, if it lasted more than a couple seconds,
Riley had never seen anything like it. And then he would return to his
preternaturally happy default state."
He drove her crazy; but
she's writing this story to help
herself, despite the elusive nature of clarity and resolution. And so
persists in self-examination through creative writing, trying to kill
with one stone by meeting the demands of her publisher and her
During this effort, Riley
considers the goal of peace of
mind and the barriers of her own expectations from life, facing an
stormy relationship with Cameron, who finds his own frustrated
reactions to his
estranged wife to be both alien and threatening.
As Riley's alter ego in the
fictional Suzanne juxtaposes
with her own life choices and confusion, readers receive a story that
back and forth between Riley, Cameron, Adam, and Suzanne to reveal
enlightenment, shock and grief, fresh starts with new opportunities,
Midden excels at crafting a
story that carefully
juxtaposes fantasy and reality. As Jennifer's friendship with Riley
takes a new
turn and youthful introvert Edward enters Riley's life, the complexity
seeks from her fictional story becomes part of her own life.
At each step of Riley's
blossoming and struggles, readers
are drawn not just to her story, but the mirror of her writing,
italics for easy comprehension. Midden's ability to both separate and
these two characters and their lives makes for an engrossing approach
keeps readers on their toes.
Tragedy and grief coalesce
in this story, but Riley seeks
to find the courage to confront the discourse in her own life. Readers
into this unusual story of self-exploration, growth, and revelation
the psychology astute and thought-provoking and the focus on a
couple's individual and relationship struggles to be well done and
recommended for readers who like their stories multifaceted and
compelling. This audience will find it filled with unexpected
an approach that makes it hard to put down right up to its unexpected
concluding lessons about failure, success, and life's meaning and
Mouse Hole Press
HC = $19.95 SC = $14.95 EB = $ 5.95
For more information and to order books see https://www.facebook.com/Author-Andrea-Steele
Trap opens with a brief prologue set in Tübingen,
Germany in 1920, where a child confides a family secret to a
friend. Then fast forward to the same setting in 1995, when sociopath
challenges his parents' morals and lives. Now move to the same year,
place, in Harford, Connecticut. Alana Eastwood finds herself on a
Germany after she loses her job, when her grandfather, Kirk, suddenly
An unopened letter she finds
in a trunk poses a mystery
she can't ignore, but holds few clues for resolving what sounds like an
important dilemma. Alana has had indications from an early age that she
clairvoyant, and this talent, combined with her relationship with her
and her connections to and appreciation for Germany, are what power her
to uncover a close-held truth that's been generations in the keeping.
Alana has rarely spoken of
her dreams, but the events in
Germany force her to confront her psychic ability and even broach the
important one of all: one that called into question the validity of her
grandfather's identity in her life. And before she can, there is no
option to clarify this mystery—or any other.
Alana’s psychic ability does
not overpower the storyline;
it believably melds in with the investigation to unravel the mystery
that occur fifty years apart.
The Trap winds German and American
history into a satisfyingly
complex novel of intrigue and discovery as Alana probes her own
family heritage, and the secret that threatens her identity and life.
Albert and Helga's dilemma in handling a
dangerous son who might be better off dead to Alana's search for
the past that threaten her future, The
Trap weaves a gripping story powered not by a singular
or mystery, but by the interconnected lives of various characters past
culture are injected into and reflected into the plot's setting and
creating a strong backdrop for the investigation and action that offers
insights into German affairs, from the lingering aftermath of World War
the evolution of a deadly killer and his parents' struggles as they
and a dangerous choice.
As Alana investigates her
mysterious letter and discovers
it holds a deadly secret, she also finds out that those who might solve
mystery are politically dangerous in their own right: "Alana
interjected, “I have an old letter that we wanted to show
him. It concerns something that happened during World War II. Professor
Altmeyer said Herr Schmidt had the expertise help us.” “Expertise? The
guy is a
Nazi! He has a whole group of Nazis writing propaganda outta some big
mansion in the country. They all think it’s a secret, but everyone
they are up to.” Stefan spoke with anxiety in his voice. “All history
have to take Schmidt’s classes because nobody else teaches them. But
appalling that we have to even talk to him.”
From neo-Nazis and
terrorism's rise to an Israeli agent
who tails Alana and the evolving importance of Alana's own ability,
be the key to saving lives, Andrea
Steele crafts an important survey of various mysteries and traps that
and become more complex and impossible for the characters to handle as
story line evolves.
exploring logical progressions of power, political purpose, and
dilemma, arriving at intersections where all three facets coalesce in
surprising ways. As the trap tightens, the story becomes one of a
The result is a
powerful saga of Hitler's ability to reach into modern times through a
mystery that becomes a world-changing paradigm, documenting a young
awakening ability to change everything through her insights and actions.
Historical fiction tempered
with mystery doesn't get much
better than this!
Neem Tree Press
978-1-911107-05-7 (hardback) $20.99
978-1-911107-10-1 (paperback) $14.99
978-1-911107-11-8 (e-book) $ 9.99
The Umbrella Men is witty business novel
writing at its best and
chronicles the dilemmas faced by Peter Mount, the Chief Executive of a
rare-earth mining company who encounters angst and conflict when the
Oregon environmentalists backfire and ripple through global financial
political communities. The book gives an excellent and entertaining
into the global financial crisis as it unfolds.
astute opinion of the realities of the banking environment in which he
operates: "The new characters on the scene at Royal Bank of
seemed perfectly comfortable with their own sort of legal
without troubling to get it blessed by someone actually qualified in
They had all the qualifications they needed right there on the team –
Videur was Emeritus Professor of Client Maltreatment, Judd had an MA in
Borrower Intimidation and Slight was studying at the Open University
degree in Advanced Commercial Bullying."
conflicting concerns in both business and personal circles, and
that the green tech revolution still depends on the basic rare-earth
his company is involved in extracting, and all the environmental
corporate greed in himself and those around him are exposed, Peter
in a whirlwind of change he can't always manipulate. As Simple Lies,
Complicated Truths, and other influences on permits, expansion goals,
financial dreams come to light, everything changes for all the
playing on different stages around the world.
The Umbrella Men is a novel that operates
on many different levels,
but one of its strengths is an ability to create a variety of
capture personal, political, and business dilemmas in their lives. This
creates, in effect, a global community that interacts on unexpected
individuals who sometimes unconsciously thwart their own stated
As the story
around the world (a progression clearly outlined by subject headings
document place and time to avoid confusion), readers will find The Umbrella Men a delightful novel that
holds unexpected personal insights as characters who move in their own
begin to interconnect in unanticipated ways.
global corporate adventure story that holds many different angles will
find The Umbrella Men satisfyingly
a strong story of business savvy, intrigue, and discussions of
materials and their place in human endeavors.
Wedding at Walden Pond
Bramble House Books
Small Print: 978-1-7332261-7-2 $13.99
ebook: 978-1-7332261-8-9 $ 2.99
Large Print : 978-1-7332261-6-5 $17.95
Vermont's picturesque small town of Snowdrop Valley brings more changes
than Fall colors as Mirabelle Martine faces the loss of her beloved
bookstore. One thing she can do to save her business is design a
harvest-season book festival. Another path is to accept the
attentions of an unknown horror bookstore owner who tells his visiting,
meddling mother that they are engaged, in exchange for his help.
leads to another and Mirabelle discovers that matters of the heart
easy as falling in love and living happily forever after. In between
to save her bakery and please her father, there is angst, growth,
and a gray area in which she finds herself pitted against not only
challenges, but romantic conundrums with a stranger as
they try to help one another achieve their goals.
creation of Snowdrop Valley isn't new, and prior romance readers who
latest will be happy to see this quintessential small town return. The
of autumn, one of New England's most famous and pictorial seasons, is
nicely done in this book, as are the touches of Vermont culture and
that stem from Mayfair's personal familiarity with and affection for
aren't singular characters in search of love, either: they are also on
for uncovering the truths in their own separate life journeys, and this
on both sides sets Wedding at Walden Pond
apart from the usual romance read. Mirabelle and Zeph are contrasting
individuals in their own right, and so their different journeys nicely
compliment their conjoined fates.
As a white lie and simple ruse become complex even to the one who conceived them ("Why was Mirabelle playing along? All he wanted was to visit with his mom, then get her back on that plane. Mirabelle’s playing along only meant it would be that much harder to break the news. It’s one thing for Drozah to fib, but for all three of them to carry on a ruse?
Not right. He detected the hope in his mom’s voice,
unable to remember
hearing her speak with so much enthusiasm since the time he told her he
going into graduate school."), a sense of humor, good clean
fun, and a
story line steeped in possibility and New England flavors emerges.
cozy novel readers interested in a gentle tale of tangled lives,
fates, and growing passion will relish the fine feel of small-town
Mayfair cultivates in one of her best romance stories yet.
Songs for Early Childhood Gym
Absolute Author Publishing House
978-1-951028-03-9 $9.99 Paper
28 Best Games & Songs for Early Childhood
Gym provides 14
structured games and songs suitable for early childhood gym, summer
outdoors activities. It is a highly recommended guide packed with tips
improving early childhood educational and health goals.
part-time job teaching sports classes, a dying educational pursuit,
a passion for teaching creative movement to 3 to 6-year-olds: an age
typical gym approach doesn't tend to reach.
The evolution of these games and songs reflect Edelman's
research uncovering activities appropriate for this age group, then
this could have ended the process, but Edelman did more than gather
activities. He field-tested them, putting together lesson plans based
efforts, and "...found out what
games and activities were a hit with the children and which ones I
should not try again. I learned to quickly change things up if a game
working and how to keep the children engaged..."
of a process that involved testing, adjusting, or creatively adding to
games he located that makes 28 Best Games
& Songs for Early Childhood Gym a standout in the
field of early
equipment, and instructions are accompanied by color diagrams to make
effort crystal clear, while variations on the theme give early
and outdoors teachers plenty of options for adding to or expanding upon
reason for purchase, it should be noted that all proceeds from the
sales of 28 Best Games & Songs for
Childhood Gym go to Lurie Children's Hospital.
28 Best Games & Songs for Early Childhood
Gym is simply
outstanding: an early education reference that should not be missed by
teacher looking to creatively expand the exercise and engagement
options of the
The 'Armchair' Gambler
Ronald K. Evans
Amazon Digital Services
ASIN: B07VHBCF84 $3.99 Kindle
The ‘Armchair’ Gambler: How You Can Profit From
Casinos - And Have Fun
- A Systematic Way To Win - Observations From A Former Casino Dealer
from a professional who offers candid, complete insights on not only
gambling system works, but how to devise a strategy that, despite the
results in more wins through a systematic change in bet selection
This is no
coverage intended for the occasional gambler; but an in-depth survey of
gambling industry's methods, house edges, and words of wisdom from
Evans' own gambling and extensive research into odds, strategies, and
lessons of volatility and fluctuations in the process.
know about The ‘Armchair’ Gambler
that it focuses on traditional casino table gambling and doesn't
or slots. These table games employ various systems that readers will
better understand as chapters closely examines processes. The book
new, recommended method requiring not in-depth professional attention,
regular casino gambling background and interest, attracting gamblers
making fairly frequent forays to the casino table.
From a plan
bet selection and seeming randomness to the pros and cons of various
gambling systems, Evans combines a seasoned hand with well-researched
that even casual betters will easily comprehend.
data from authoritative sources such as Berkeley University, and clear
what to look for when analyzing a casino's system offer not a singular
but approaches that encourage patrons to customize and define their own
the mean and casino drawdowns to handling losses with an eye to larger
The ‘Armchair’ Gambler clearly
outlines its strategy, discusses the pros and cons of various
approaches, and is the item of choice for anyone who harbors more than
interest in gambling. It's a top pick for anyone who seeks better and
understanding of the casino process in order to up their odds of
Art for All
Corinne Miller Schaff
Top Reads Publishing
Paperback: 978-1-970107-03-6 $24.99
Ebook: 978-1-970107-10-4 $9.99
Art for All Ages: Reignite Your Artistic Self holds a promise in its title: that a prior affection and talent for art only needs to be reignited in order to blossom. While readers can learn new art skills here, there are many books on the market that "teach art." Art for All Ages's purpose is to go beyond the mechanics of creating art to fire up the inspiration that promotes it in the first place. This approach places Corinne Miller Schaff's book in a category of its own.
note that after providing a self-rating scale and discussions of innate
creativity and artistic talent, Corinne Schaff moves to a series of
chapters. These provide the basic ingredients to understanding new
to watercolors, painting, and special effects such as incorporating 3D
into a piece.
'ingredients' receives a detailed discussion, and each supportive
the lesson comes with a color-coded symbol for age-appropriate
supports the 'all ages' mentioned in the title, providing options which
reinforce each lesson and encourage creative exploration at the
essential ingredient discussions may seem basic to adults with a prior
background in art, such as a survey of basic color theory, these often
more complex facets that non-artists will want to know. In this case,
color theory dovetails nicely into a discussion of adding magenta and
creations into a mix.
guidelines for using particular mediums such as acrylics are presented
sidebars of at-a-glance information, while full color examples leave
wonder. Again: some of this is basic, simple information that may be
to artists who set aside their muses some time ago. In this case,
Art for All Ages can also serve as a
refresher course for aspiring artists with a need for not only
but brushing up on the basics.
separate parts to Art for All Ages:
activities, art skills development, and encouraging creative
segment receives simple step-by-step coverage, and each presumes no
knowledge of art or the roots of creative inspiration.
component is what truly sets this book apart from others, as readers
encouraged to not only create, but explore their feelings about their
and artistic pursuits through fill-in workbook questions ("Painting
a landscape is a major accomplishment. How do you feel?
What will you do differently next time? Were you able to place color on
canvas without making it totally smooth? Did it have a texture? Could
adults and children of all ages can learn together. It's a special
participatory choice for parents who would not just teach kids about
join in for a shared, successful experience. And this is the final
that places Art for All Ages in a
category of its own: it offers the rare opportunity for adults and
work side by side as they build skills and explore their creative
a shared learning experience on equal grounds is rare, indeed, making Art for All Ages especially highly
recommended for parents, kids, and any adult seeking supportive manuals
just for art, but for self-discovery and growth experiences that
Dr. Troy Hall
$24.95 Hardcover, $16.95 Paper, $7.99 Kindle
The real challenge facing
businesses doesn't lie in
attracting great employers, but in retaining them long-term. Cohesion Culture: Proven Principles to Retain
Your Top Talent addresses this problem and offers many
a blueprint for company leaders whose goal is to "...create
workspace environments where all employees have a sense
of belonging, feel valued, and make a commitment to organizational
This idea may sound simple
and familiar, but statistical
evidence shows that most organizations aren't paying enough attention
retention. Over sixty percent of employees in any given occupation are
seeking another job!
discusses employer performance and responsibility in creating an
work environment that leads to job satisfaction on more than one level.
Six chapters discuss values,
effective leadership and its
direct connection to transformative principles, how trust is cultivated
maintained in the workplace, and how an organization can adopt the
outlined in Cohesion Culture to
support talent retention.
Dr. Troy notes that "...building
a Cohesion Culture that works with people who want to be part of it
lot of relational underpinning."
seeking to be more effective in crafting an environment of empowerment,
responsibility, and satisfaction will find Cohesion Culture advocates making the kinds of changes that
lead to the ultimate goal—talent retention and a stronger competitive
fueled by workers who aren't always casting about for better
because the real opportunities lie in their existing workplace.
Cracked Mirror Clear
Reflection: Shatter an Illusion of Perfection
Cracked Mirror Clear Reflection: Shatter an
Illusion of Perfection
is about freedom and illusion: the illusion of striving to be perfect
eye, and the freedom to be gained when this effort is cast aside. It's
recommended reading for perfectionists who may otherwise spend their
pursuit of an ever-elusive goal that actually thwarts happiness,
God, and real living.
coach Julie Barbera lost her voice and turned to writing as the
"paintbrush of expression," she discovered a renewed commitment to
God and faith which forms one of the foundations of Cracked
Mirror Clear Reflection: "In search
of a tool to replace my voice’s paintbrush, I found
eyes to see and ears to hear. More aware, I noticed a blunt pencil in
I turned to God and asked, “Why is this pencil so dull?” He responded,
the pencil I have been using to write on your heart. I have had to
to get your attention.” At that moment, I exchanged my paintbrush for a
God and I began to write in unison."
one result of losing her voice was an enhanced ability to listen to her
and the messages of God. Her voice returned, but her focus was forever
Her journey is recounted in a story that blends memoir with spiritual
purpose messages that will resonate with Christian readers.
expect a linear production, here. Barbera daydreams, reflects on
draws connections between experience and growth-inducing realization,
this conclusion from her son's award ceremony: "External
awards, while gratifying, lead to a temporary sense of
accomplishment. Inner strength builds the courage to stand, even when
says sit down."
As she tries
in with groups and struggles with God's and life's purpose, Barbera
her experiences with a marriage between heartfelt emotion with deep
insights: "Life had to have a deeper meaning.
would never be satisfied with just fitting in. I was determined to find
purpose. There had to be more. I tried so hard to fit in that I failed
out. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to fit in. Maybe I was supposed to stand
out. If I
wanted to stand out, I needed the courage to step out."
Some of the
poignant, higher-impact of these realizations are lifted from the text
illustrated with a black and white line drawing of a lighthouse and a
emphasizing their importance.
aware that a spiritual overlay is present throughout. This is just one
enlightening strengths of a Christian read that gently admonishes how
achieve better grace and understanding. Barbera writes with a welcoming
that allows readers to enter her world with understanding: one which
educating over admonishment: "Your
views of yourself, the world and others are highly dependent on the
you put on. Glasses of judgment cloud the view. You may need to lay
them on the
stand and replace them with lenses of grace."
Cracked Mirror Clear Reflection: Shatter an
Illusion of Perfection
is about not just perfection, but about achieving a deeper connection
and life through a process that encourages growth, sharing, risk-taking
transformation over judgment and resisting change. It's a road map for
achievement that encourages readers to embrace a personal development
strongly rooted in God's will and the effort of uncovering a personal
purpose. Christian readers will find Cracked
Mirror Clear Reflection both inspirational and surprisingly
Gregory R. Piché
978-1948598248 $19.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
The Four Trials of Henry Ford is a highly
recommended pick for any
collection strong in American, legal, or transportation history,
the litigation process at the turn of the 20th century. In this era,
not a giant company, but a man whose development efforts threatened the
existing Seldon patent on the automobile. But this wasn't the only
Henry faced in the course of developing his Ford brand.
also brought suit for shareholder oppression after they initially
Ford's mechanical car parts, while Ford sued the Chicago Times for
just a few
examples of the litigious history of Ford covered in The
Four Trials of Henry Ford, which provides more than just
insights into the man and his company, but traces the evolution of both
Henry Ford's brand took off.
fascinating of all are the insights into a process which involved Ford,
shareholders, reporters, and publishers in a series of legal battles
outcomes ultimately shaped the fate of not only Ford, but other
versed or interested in legal processes will find the social,
economic, and psychological descriptions of these battles to be vivid,
exciting, powerful insights: "Henry
Ford established his own personal news bureau in Mt. Clemens to provide
concerning the trial to small town newspapers all over the country. It
effort to combat the influence of the Tribune
with large urban daily newspapers, which tended to
identify with the Tribune.
Both sides smothered the
town with private detectives trying to dig up dirt on potential jurors
witnesses that might be called. Ford agents spread rumors in the
the Ford Motor Company planned to open a new plant in Macomb County to
thousands of workers. No stone was left unturned by either side in an
obtain an edge in the litigation."
wide-ranging examination of these four major trials, their outcomes,
lasting impact creates a spirited survey that will appeal to a diverse
of historians, transportation buffs, legal beagles, and
readers. It's thoroughly engrossing reading offering many insights and
added inclusion of the biographies of individuals involved in Ford's
rounds out the book's historical and technical details with lively
read with the descriptive force of fiction: "Sapiro
was an intense presence with dark brown eyes and a zealous, passionate
demeanor. He presented a compelling story. His father had died in a
accident when he was young, and because his mother was unable to
Sapiro grew up in an orphanage in San Francisco. He was ambitious and
trained early to become a rabbi at the Hebrew Union College in
Ohio. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1908 and later gained a master’s
history. Still later, he studied law at the University of California
College of the Law, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1911.
giving his class’s commencement address, he attracted the attention of
progressive California Governor Hiram Johnson, who had an interest in
While it might initially seem that The Four Trials of Henry Ford is a
specialty item, it in fact is a strong recommendation for all kinds of
who will find Piché's
attention to footnoted, well-researched
facts backed by a talent for description. He captures the Ford story in
account that's atmospheric, compelling, and hard to put down.
Make Love Better
Jan Dworkin, PhD
Belly Song Press
9781733901109 $18.95 Paper, $14.99 Kindle
How to Own Your Story, Connect with Your Partner, and Deepen Your
Practice is more than just another addition to the self-help
improvement shelf. It comes from a therapist whose decades of work
cross-cultural and international experiences. This background allows
unusual blend of approaches.
Dr. Dworkin's personal story
and case studies form the
foundation of an examination that focuses on common conflicts stemming
issues of race, gender, and class. These are subjects all too
omitted in favor of psychological profiles and background, yet are
influencers in relationship issues and power dynamics.
From the trickiness of
language nuances in interpersonal
communications to practices to calm the nervous system and discussions
the brain is wired to connect (which can have unexpected consequences,
Dworkin's relationship, in which "We
were entangled, but not necessarily in sync."), Make Love Better isn't about better
sexual intimacy alone (as a
reader might expect). It delves into the mechanics of making better
and fostering intimacy on an emotional level. Readers receive a
that empowers them to rewrite their own life story and objectives.
From clarifying confusing
experiences to techniques for
improving new and old relationships alike, addressing common patterns,
of conflict, and pathways towards resolution, Make
Love Better offers a wide-ranging approach to deeper intimacy
and relationships. It is highly recommended for those who would do the
exercises and embark on a journey that begins with self-examination.
The Way We
the Job in Hollywood
Bruce Ferber, Editor
A Vireo Books/Rare Bird Books
9781644280140 $18.00 Paper/$14.99 Kindle
Hollywood history and media studies will find The
Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood a powerful addition that
surveys the skills, processes, and interactions that comprise a
creative endeavor. It consists of essays written by successful
directors, writers, and producers who lend their personal experiences
insights to this collection.
this compilation, which opens with 'The Story' and then moves on to
'The Icon', 'The Shoot', 'The Picture', and other phases of film
just as important as the works themselves.
interviews and insights from many angles, from Chris Rock's
'It’s a White Industry', which chronicles a young black man's Hollywood
and the difference between white privilege and blacks in Hollywood ("I try to help young black guys coming
up because those people took chances on me. Eddie didn’t have to put me
Beverly Hills Cop II. Keenen Wayans didn’t have to put me in I’m Gonna
Sucka. Arsenio didn’t have to let me on his show. I’d do the same for a
white guy, but here’s the difference: Someone’s going to help the white
Multiple people will. The people whom I’ve tried to help, I’m not sure
was going to help them."), to Stu Goldman's 'Recollections
Other Side', reflecting on his entry into the entertainment industry
work with Orson Welles.
autobiographical sketches. Each offers a slice of Hollywood life and
about the industry, its personalities, and how it operates.
students who have their eyes set on Hollywood receive many 'how to'
not a few autobiographies about Hollywood, but few incorporate the
daily experiences and social and political examinations of The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood,
which considers the pros
and cons of actors and acting, Hollywood film-making processes, and the
challenges involved in Hollywood jobs.
collection should be without this revealing guide, which is at once
entertaining and educational.
The 'Borne of Blood' saga opens with Bloodborne
Awakened in which 16-year-old Jessie Connelly is traumatized
witnessing a vicious attack on her classmate at school. Her parents
out of town to her grandmother's house for the summer to help her
recovery isn't the focus or end of the story. It's only the beginning.
meets Jacob and faces not just a camping expedition gone awry, but the
about different creatures and worlds that operate behind the scenes to
Young adult to adult fantasy and horror
readers will find Bloodborne Awakened an intense,
gripping story powered
not just by a typical story of good and evil, personal destiny, or the
of other creatures who are hidden from human society, but a
young personality who observes and captures the challenges in her
Jessie's voice, paired with Tracey
Laviolette's exquisitely metaphorical,
atmospheric descriptions, drive this story from its very first
clock’s pendulum created such a soothing, yet so eloquently familiar
reminder that time moved on in a eurythmic direction. Just as the gears
clock continued ticking in constant motion, so did the days of our
least until the end came. The sound was almost poetic—yet, ironically,
continued after death? Newton’s second law, which described the changes
force can produce on a body in motion, stated that the time rate of
the momentum of a body is equal in both magnitude and direction to the
imposed on it. The energy of a body is like the product’s mass and
and the force applied to a body can change the magnitude of the
its direction, or both. If this applied to my life, then a force would
be strong enough to change the momentum and direction of my life. At
moment, my thoughts rambled on to what type of power would change my
path. I stared at
the clock for a long
moment, absorbed by the hypnotic sound, as each of my main muscle
loosened their tense embrace. Perhaps the idea of me meeting a person
that was my equal to change my life was a bit whack."
secret revelations close because otherwise, those who operate in the
world (parents, counselors, and professionals) would surely consider
insane. Yet, she pours out her heart and reactions in this
powerful production that explores her discoveries about the
Bloodborne world and its legacy; her startling role in it (even though
feels powerless at times); and her evolving relationship with Jacob,
"every girl's dream."
As dragons and demons are confronted by a
band of brave, intrepid, and inexperienced young folk, readers are
an epic story seasoned with a dash of comic relief at unexpected
the adventure: "Kyle stood tall, rolled his shoulders, then
staff around and locked it underneath his arm. I must say I had gotten
distracted with those muscles, but what was a girl to think anyway when
showed up wearing a muscle shirt and green army fatigues?"
Jessie forms new bonds with her Bloodkin,
but discovers that the survival of everything and everyone she loves
squarely on her shoulders. She's charged with assuming her new role as
Awakened Dragonborne whose very existence creates a paradigm-changing
two very different worlds.
Readers will find themselves on edge as
Jessie comes to realize the world isn't as she expected it to be, and
things she's been taught are wrong. Most of all, Jessie's journey leads
discover the personal purpose and meaning of her life. She brings other
adults into this realization through adventures that offer as much
about personal growth processes as they do fast-paced action and
Young adult fantasy readers will welcome Bloodborne
Awakened's unique combination of coming-of-age and quest
story. Its wound
into engrossing descriptions and atmospheric settings designed to keep
thoroughly engrossed to the satisfying end, which sets the stage for
story without the frustration of the usual cliff-hanger approach to
Springs appears in a completely
revised second edition as a Young Adult Western.
It probes the life of the youthful
pistol-carrying Western frontier fighter Kurt West.
From childhood to age eighteen, he fights to
protect his ranch, his family and friends—and even his pets, a horse
As he does with his other Westerns, the
first strength to note is that Charlie Steel excels in describing a
place: "Cottonwood leaves drooped silver-green
Cattle, yellow grass, and rocks spotted the valley where the far side
gray shimmering flatness and then rose up again in an array of pastel
that extended to the distant purple mountains. The air was
dry, the heat
sucking moisture out of everything so that the sky was crystal clear
could see land and mountains a hundred miles away."
One can see, hear, taste, and smell the
atmosphere of the land and its challenges as the story opens with
West's confrontation with ranch hands of a powerful land-grabber,
men threaten her and
her young son Kurt, demanding she sell her property, which is Kurt's
It should be noted that women are powerful
forces in Steel's story, even though it is centered on Kurt and his
world. Priscilla is
no diminutive little woman
meekly following male leads. She's made plans of her own and is both
clever in how she confronts the bullies in their lives: "Well,
John," said Priscilla giving her husband a determined glare. "You are
selling my half of the herd. I'm calling in your vow that I have fifty
say-so. Half the money I get I will salt away; the other half
I'll use to
buy supplies and to make the changes I drew on this paper.
Here, look at
The idea of women working hard alongside men
to support and protect their homesteads and livelihoods is brought home
different ways in a story that revolves around personal strength,
concerns about land and people that evolve from early power struggles
Where other Westerns too often give female
characters the "short end of the stick," Charlie Steel takes time to
build insights about all the family members and neighbors involved in
Western community's operations and challenges. This strengthens a saga
nicely steeped in social concerns ranging from homestead
cross-cultural relationships between Mexican vaqueros and Anglos.
Outlaws, landowners, and a host of
characters coalesce in a powerful saga.
The West’s befriend and hire rejected characters and
redeem them. Jedidiah,
an old Mountain Man, becomes once
again a powerful and worthy advisory, defending Wet Springs Ranch. This unusual
story documents not just the
hardship and angst of fighting to save their ranch against impossible
also celebrates life: "People agreed that it was a great
dance, a muy
bueno fiesta, a wonderful gathering of friendship and boisterous
By cementing these relationships and the
atmosphere before delving into town politics and processes, Steel
story that is truly gripping. It will reach beyond the usual Western
audience and into the hearts and minds of leisure readers who enjoy
Readers seeking an entertaining read that
grabs the heartstrings and doesn't let go, but which incorporates the
backdrop of the old West with all its challenges, will relish
Steel's lively novel. It
exploration of a community's spirit in an epic fight for freedom.
Wet Springs is definitely a story packed with adventure.
It's OK to be Different
Dunhill Clare Publishing
Hardcover: 9780073410440 $17.99
Paper: 9780973410457 $ 9.99
Digital (mobi) for Kindle: 9780973410471 $2.99 US
Digital (epub): 9780973410464 $2.99 US
OK to be
Different receives warm, cheerful illustrations by Sujata
Saha and will
attract young picture book readers with both colorful drawings and a
survey that maintains that everybody is different, reinforcing the
light rhyme, that uniqueness is a good quality to cultivate.
People hold different
interests and enjoy diverse
activities. As Sharon Purtill explores these contrasting styles,
enjoyments, she moves into physical and racial disparities, employing
tone of acceptance that encourages kids to view these variations as
relish, in turn. Kids learn to not just identify these differences, but
understand that diversity is a big plus.
Parents seeking read-alouds
that educate kids about
diversity and acceptance will find It's
OK to be Different holds the perfect lesson of choice. Warm,
colorful, and attractive, it delivers its message using a joyful tone
helps kids not only accept, but celebrate their unique attributes,
Moo the Ghost
ASIN: B00P85PG8S $0.99
the Ghost features fun drawings
by the author's
father, Jack Praed, with a delightful series of full-page, colorful
that bring to life the simple story of a haunted house populated by
practice going "Boo Boo Boo" all day long...all except for one little
ghost who can't quite pronounce the letter 'B'.
Moo is teased by the other ghosts, but just
can't correct his linguistic snafu.
When siblings decide to explore the haunted
house, with all its frightening creaks and groans, they aren't
the 'Moo' sounds. They find these curious noises are made by Moo the
discover that 'B' is not the only letter that challenges his
However, there's an advantage to not being
able to be scary, and Beth Praed does a fine job of showing how a
lead to new opportunities in this gentle story of friendship and fun.
also a second game for children: one involving finding elusive spiders
spread. Kids who love games involving finding hidden items will
Moo the Ghost arrives just in time for
Halloween, but will provide
year-round attraction for young readers interested in the fun tale of a
handicap that becomes an unexpected asset.
Bryan R. Johnson
Candy Wrapper Inc.
Ebook- 978-1-940556-06-2 $5.99
Hardcover- 978-1-940556-07-9 $18.99
Paperback- 978-1-940556-05-5 $9.99
The Proto Project: A Sci-Fi Adventure of the Mind
reading for grades 3 and up and tells of young Jason Pascal's
Proto, his scientist mother's expensive AI invention. The problems
stem from Proto's existence, though, but from his disappearance.
The Proto Project opens with Jason's
excitement over a field trip
that promises cupcakes and intrigue. In the past, he's considered
scientists relatively dull; but this time his mother has created
could save and change the world. Nonetheless, Jason is more excited
food trucks than her world-changing announcement, until intrigue enters
treated to a sci-fi story of an AI that opens like a science read, but
evolves into a mystery. As Jason's mother is threatened and his group
friends join him to get to the bottom of not just Proto's existence and
disappearance but the concurrent vanishing of citizens around them, the
fast-paced story moves through science and social issues alike.
solving a host of problems and confronting a virtual army of trouble,
Proto come to better understand what it means to make mistakes, learn
them, and evolve into being more human: "Proto
glowed a faint blue, which looked even sadder than his happier blue. “I
have been smart enough not to make such an error.” “No,” Jason said.
“Search your recordings. I’m sure Mom has told you at least
once that you must learn from bad
stuff that happens. Rise to the challenge. That’s just life, Proto.” “Life? I don’t know what that is,” Proto said. “I’m not a living thing. Do you know what I am, Jason? I am a complete and utter mistake. Please continue the mission
satisfying blend of mystery, science, and social inspection, The Proto Project excels in crafting a
fast-paced story of how proactive AIs, savvy children, and adults
their rapidly-changing new world with an attention to revealing trade
As they embark on world-changing choices and action, the efforts of one
man who becomes involved in a new formula to enhance humanity's future
everything. (It should also be noted that the open-ended conclusion
satisfyingly ends The Proto Project,
but paves the way for more adventures.)
Thousand Acre Wood Books
978-0-578-56697-9 $17.99 print/$7.99 ebook
Spooky and the Gargoyle is a fun picture book Halloween recommendation that excels in lovely, colorful, whimsical drawings by Ariana Dahlenburg. It tells of a fearful little white kitten who is even afraid of her own shadow. And the old Maxwell place that is her new home holds a LOT of them!
Bravery is a
issue for Spooky, but when she summons the courage to touch a big stone
gargoyle who guards the house, she is not encouraged by the frozen
desire to be left alone. But she keeps coming back anyway, because they
love of watching the world, and through her small acts of courage, she
know the huge, reclusive Eben, who is always 'too busy' to chat.
friendship forms between the formidable gargoyle and a kitty who is
of everything, something changes for Spooky, giving her the courage to
make a friend, but confront true danger when it threatens her buddy.
Spooky and the Gargoyle might disappoint
young readers looking for
a truly spooky ghost-style haunt story, but it will delight youngsters
parents who absorb the underlying messages about courage, friendship,
to find both when the world seems frightening.
So, while Spooky and the Gargoyle might seem a
Halloween-oriented choice, it actually holds attraction and lessons
It's a top recommendation for parents and caretakers of their own young
'spooky' personalities, who want to provide some basic illustrations of
just what courage is, but how to cultivate it.
Paul Meyer & Carlos Meyer
North Fourth Publications
Under the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera
is a unique
young reader's graphic novel story notable for many exceptional
First is its
full-color illustrations by Margaret Hardy and Jasey Crowl, which go
capturing action to imbed a sense of the New Mexican landscape that
backdrop for this exciting adventure.
graphic novels, these drawings are vividly rendered, unique in their
composition and appeal, and add a lively and rich visual element to a
that excels in exploring Southwestern mythology, magic, and
grader readers and beyond will also find accessible and intriguing the
of Spanish words throughout the dialogue, and events which capture the
cultural influences that is New Mexico ("Hermano,
why don't you ever believe me?").
& Carlos Meyer's pen, the story of a young boy's sudden
comes to life, powered by sterling visuals by Hardy and Crowl which
only their confrontation with an evil force, but daily activities;
the homey act of making fried bean and cheese tacos or facing a battle
giant tree monsters.
others traverse not just a strange change but an unfamiliar world,
treated to an exceptional graphic novel that began in 1980, when a
Meyer had a dream about a talking calf and older brother Carlos wrote a
story based on the dream and was subsequently printed by the
publishing house to surface from the Chicano movement of the Sixties;
Sol. Their early efforts evolved into this expanded graphic novel.
hold similar-looking illustrations and formula writing. Under
the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera represents
something unique in the graphic novel world: an original,
beautifully drawn story that stands out from the crowd, will appeal to
and multicultural audiences alike, and is steeped in the flavors and
It's a winner that deserves an award in and of itself and is a standout among graphic novels, no matter what age group is being targeted.
9 Lively Cat Tales and Other Pet Poems
Poems for Pleasure Press
Paper: 9781948854016 $14.99
Hardover: 9781948854009 $22.99
Ebook: 9781948854030 $ 4.99
Lively Cat Tales
and Other Pet Poems comes from
winner of a Robert Frost Foundation National Poetry award and combines
Glover's experience as an author and educator in a collection replete
feisty tales of catitude, fanciful pet troubles, and life lessons.
Other collections of stories and poetry
provide a particular focus on felines and pets. Glover's wide-ranging
designed to capture the diverse attractions and challenges of the
lessons, tales, and stories to deliver insights about cats who are not
each other in personality.
There's a logical progression to the
chapters and poems, which move from domestic to wild cats and then to
Each topic receives nine sets of rhyming poems of nine poems each, in
with a cat's nine lives.
Additionally, there's a whimsical air to
many of the cat personality descriptions, which delve into the realm of
as they probe kitty possibilities and impossibilities alike, as in the
rhyming 'Tale of the Perspicacious
Cat', who is a surprising math savant: "He could
pi,/Count the stars in the sky,/And trees in a wood;/Indeed understood/Calculus,
too,/Which he liked to
pursue,/And never grew weary/Of using set theory."
No cat is left out of this appraisal, from
the alley cat ("I’ve seen them feast in garbage cans;/Their
far from fussy./While rodents figure in their plans,/Of these they’re
fond--they must be,/And every one they catch for dinner/
Makes people grateful they have been there.") to a consideration of 'Why the Lynx Isn't Famous': "The lynx is not a cat with fame/Due perhaps to its strange name,/And unlike lions with shorter mane,/All reasons fame it can’t obtain."
The combination of whimsy, feline insights,
and varied, rollicking poetic structures will make 9 Lively
Cat Tales and
Other Pet Poems appealing not just to young readers absorbing
its relevance for the first time; but to all ages who harbor an
rhyme, felines, and fascinating observations of pets and their quirky
importance to human lives.
Time for Letters
Robert D. Rice Jr.
Writer's View Publishing
978-1099163289 $9.99 Paper/$6.99 Kindle
Burn Marks is a literary presentation of
five short stories holding
many compelling features that make each uniquely attractive gems.
reader even embarks on reading these tales, each story's title offers a
tantalizing, succinct description of its premise, as in 'Ethel—letters
innocence - Letters to Santa Claus en route to the electric chair' or
Jumper - She’s a fighter who won’t take crap from anybody.'
intriguing snippets of description, the reader delves into back stories
tales that take real historical events and turn them upside down for
reflective consideration and value.
Star', for example, which takes place on November 22, 1963, the day of
Kennedy's assassination. The nation is preparing for Thanksgiving, not
scene in Texas, Rice diverts to a fun description of a woman settling
in for a
rest on the couch...a woman whose son happens to be Lee Harvey.
humor is injected into even this serious setting as Marguerite Oswald,
with the rest of the nation, experiences an unprecedented national
disaster: "In a house that had seen kinder
Marguerite Oswald sat with Egypt on her lap. She and the dog struggled
cozy, on a lumpy couch that would’ve been hauled to the curb, if only
the wherewithal to replace it. She didn’t, and it had survived the
of Sanitation men’s collection for another week. It wasn’t terribly
uncomfortable. However, if one sat on a specific corner there was a
that was apt to take one’s temperature. Postscript on the couch: too
timeline of events
from the shooting captures the political, social, and psychological
of the times, readers are treated to the story of a mother who knows
well what her sons are capable of.
accounts of historical events, Rice takes on the challenge of
life-altering moments from the perspectives of individuals who are just
outside the normal investigative path. This lends both a literary and
reflective atmosphere to the intersection of American history and
drawing readers into bigger pictures and more engrossing insights than
anticipated by their subjects.
stories in Burn Marks defy neat
categorization, so suffice it to say that readers of good literature
diverse tales of historical fiction, psychological growth and suspense,
humor will find each story packed with food for thought and
well-crafted characters based on real-world dilemmas: a combination of
approaches that results in superior reads easily digested, but not
Off-Ramp to the Void
Red Skye Press
978-0-9907102-4-0 $2.99 Kindle
Void presents seven short stories
of seven women who have been betrayed in different ways, and who
loss of love and anger in manners that emphasize survival and change.
The title story features a young,
resourceful protagonist, Dominique, who has been trained by her parents
life for an inevitable disaster that separates them. Left on her own,
instigates their carefully-rehearsed survival, only to find that she
upon further skills to create a new life.
In the course of absorbing this short
story's progression, readers receive a powerful portrait of a savvy
path diverges from a carefully-formed game plan, who must then call
own resources to survive.
In 'It Wasn’t Supposed to Happen This Way',
Becky is an average girl. To her, this situation is unacceptable. So,
school, she devises a plan that will lead her to not live her mother's
drudgery and lack of self (it would help to become a nurse and marry a
for one thing).
But as Becky's plans change and she moves
into a motherhood and life that she questions ("The truth was,
didn’t care for motherhood. She found her children too needy..."),
discovers that fate has led her full-circle from her childhood
A.G. Russo's short stories excel in twists
of plot and conclusions that leave readers not hanging, but thinking.
works stand out for their strong characters: portraits of girls and
live their lives with purpose and confront adversity with intelligent
consideration, and who often face circumstances that force them onto
unpredictable paths of change.
All respond in different ways, which keeps
these short stories connected by a common theme of inner strength and
power, each differing in theme and perspective.
This fine collection is especially
recommended for women who want to absorb stories of challenge, change,
creative problem-solving from characters who confront their challenges
better, albeit revised lives.
Kenneth J. Kogut, PhD
to Live By (a
Not All Inclusive Look at Life in Words) gathers
and arranges them by subject for quick browsing, creating a daily
different insights on life, captured in quick snippets of wisdom by a
range of thinkers.
There are numerous quotation
and inspirational books on
the market already; but what makes Words
to Live By special is its arrangement by thought-provoking
subject categories ('On Life', 'On Toasts', 'On Personal Care'), and
chosen quotes often represent plays on words.
Many are contributions by
Dr. Kogut himself ("Life is a piece of cake.
depends on how you slice it."). Others are nuggets of wisdom
diverse names as Will Rogers, Groucho Marx, Robert Frost, Mark Twain,
literary and pop culture figureheads.
This inclusion and emphasis
on names from popular culture
also sets Words to Live By apart
other inspirational guides that tend to rest almost solely on the names
literary figures and philosophers.
There are also numerous
citations from 'Anonymous' that
are often just as hard-hitting as those penned by well-known
personalities: "Why pay money to have your
traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you."
The last big note on this
little collection is that it's
not only easy to read and packed with surprises and wisdom, but every
linked to approaches to daily life that will leave readers reflecting
own choices and values.
If a quick,
inspirational read is desired, holding more
broad appeal and wisdom than most, then Words
to Live By is the item of choice, recommended for being a
standout in its
field, and quite accessible to literary and everyday audiences alike.