October 2023 Review Issue
Fantasy & Sci Fi
Mystery & Thrillers
I Need a Hero
$33.99 Hardcover/$20.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
I Need a Hero is a novel about secret
space missions, alien
invasion, and unlikely heroes. These move from terrestrial duties to
extraordinary assignments that test their abilities
on a mission that leads them as far from home
as they can get.
Arizona salvaging work to undermining a space supply line feeding the
invasion, Commander Charlie Jackson, his wife Maddie, and his brother
find themselves not retiring from conflict, but entering into its heart.
lies not in only her husband's best interests, but also revolves around
secret from her past that threatens to be exposed by his actions.
mysterious second mission underlying the reason for their deployment
apparent and secretive new jobs also threatens his carefully construed
his relationship with Maddie as the only other person she really trusts.
away and Maddie remaining on Earth stuck in a different form of hell,
Charlie prove a hero to anyone, much less Maddie? The circumstances and
that pull them apart seem limitless and all-powerful, but Charlie must
way to reach her, while Maddie makes a series of impossible decisions
her increasingly down the rabbit hole of no return.
revealing, action-packed military sci-fi read that bases its tension as
psychological realizations and developments as on physical clashes.
This adds a
satisfying blend of strong characterization and examinations of motives
depth and authenticity to its characters as they strive to participate
create lives that ultimately lead to peace and reconnection.
a "novel." It will indeed attract a wider audience than the usual
military sci-fi read (which tends to overly focus on physical
but I Need a Hero is as much about
the nature of love, heroism, and decision-making influences as it is
confronting external forces of division and adversity.
seeking a story that transcends its military sci-fi roots to engage
from other genres will find I Need a Hero
thought-provoking and engrossing.
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Eric James Fullilove
is set in the near future and
scenario in which climate change is not a future possibility, but an
In this world, rising seas not only lead to
mass evacuations due to melting polar ice and a concurrent drop in the
American tectonic plate, but challenge the efforts and survival of
Madison Cervantes and her crew, who are trying to put out an oil rig
threatens to ignite the entire Gulf.
There are monsters in the water, there's
fire in the air, and impossible trials stem from nature which lead to
being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as a damaged
Other characters also struggle with vastly
changed conditions—even survivors such as Devin “Reaper” Delacorte,
Cleveland roots and military stint both lend to traits that make him a
Eric James Fullilove tackles social as well
as climate change issues in his story. These are embedded in each
background and reactions to threat:
Delacorte climbed down from his truck, barely conscious that he was
entering a zone with lots of people who might not appreciate an armed
rolling up in their midst in anything other than handcuffs."
Set in 2028
charged with the social and political turmoil that buffet the world in
of repeated climate disasters, Overlord
features a tone of familiarity to current conditions and times that
makes it a
realistic sci-fi exploration cli-fi fans will find attractive.
social strife ignite, readers are presented with thought-provoking
confrontations between and within people that lead to especially vivid
scenarios of transformation, survival, and demise.
juxtaposes nicely with richer questions posed by such impacts, making
story in which characters from disparate backgrounds find themselves
united and (in other circumstances) divided by the forces of nature
from the background to take center stage in their survival attempts.
is a grim,
heart-grabbing story of the impact of climate change on many levels. Overlord
will more than engage readers and libraries interested in
cli-fi that makes
them think about choices, the future, and the role climate plays in
and extraordinary human affairs.
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Daring to Be
The Techner Group LLC
The Pystead Group: Daring to Be is set in
2052, but the America
represented here feels frighteningly similar to modern times. Here,
are buffeted by both dishonest government figures and special interests.
Philip Russell takes on a new job at the mysterious Pystead Group in
Indies. He may have bitten off more than he can chew, because the
high-level, high-tech enemies—including the U.N., which wishes to
Group's research and goals.
faces his own conundrums in cultivating romances with two very
and fielding his shifting place in a community whose advanced
both promise and threat.
vigorous, action-filled story that attracts on many levels of
psychological, and social observation. As Philip questions whether one
date can lead to romance, if new friends-with-benefits can become
greater than their initial attraction, and if his life can evolve
with personal and political forces buffeting it with hidden special
readers receive a compelling tale.
From a woman
harbors a dual personality to the secrets Philip must overcome if he is
realize his real role and life in The Pystead Group, readers receive
philosophical-laced inspections throughout the story. These revelations
them to consider the true impacts of technology, social planning, and
manipulation. Questions of delusion and reality interplay in a tense
that proves invitingly complex and just as alluring with its
descriptions capture much food for thought during Philip's process of
“It’s the many unknowable future variations on life
that concern me.
Beyond contemplating, imagining, perhaps fraught with perilous
vital secrets are involved.
The Pystead Group: Daring to Be is a
compelling futuristic story of
survival on different levels that will prove especially attractive to
seeking sci-fi reads that are character-driven social examinations of
relationships in a world in flux.
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979-8-9877723-2-4 $16.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
beginning to think of spring. As such, it's time for a story about
princes, ladies, and springtime adventure which blossoms from the
pages of Spring's Eternal that
a tall Namesless Lady, Dok, who is hiding in plain sight, eventually to
its focus on one Fred.
documents a Grand War's aftermath, how a natural wonder with limitless
attracts those who cultivate and thrive on conflict, and how a series
unlikely twists leaves a peace-loving country in charge of the biggest
From a hunt
missing persons in disguise to evocative wonders which unfold to
attract a host of characters, Eva Sandor creates a moving saga that
the Heart of Stone Adventures and will be especially appreciated by
readers of the series.
As in her
books, Sandor writes with a compelling attention to juxtaposing
quiet repose as the characters observe, influence, and adapt to their
"The aurora began a long, slow, beautiful display.
It was a
flower, it was a gem; it twisted and glittered; it changed its colors.
among its petals and facets it emitted deep, solid lights and slivers
translucent darkness. Earlier, when they had been watching
clouds, clouds had reminded
Elsebet and Istivan of places and things, of events in life. But what
spread above them made them think of everything and nothing. They
contented silence, for in cases like these words failed, and in truth
senses failed too. This was more than a sight to behold. It was a
wonder to be
The same wry
ironic humor that permeated Sandor's other romps emerges at unexpected
of revelation here:
"'What Kharl’s saying is that Your Highness is not
in the line of
succession. At all. You are, we find, the Esquire of someplace in the
Country, and possess some holdings on the Isle of Gold, and have a few
political functions, but any issue of your loins would have no place in
lineage of Castramars.' Fred was taken aback. Loins?
Who said she could talk about those? He sat on the steps
and crossed his legs."
here comes with a hard edge of unexpected encounters as Fred and others
terms with their legacy, their options, and a tenuous future that tests
everything Fred thought he wanted from life.
come to light in the course of his journey and the interactions of a
characters that are zany, passionate, and sometimes unwillingly
about their revised roles in the kingdom. One thinks of the unexpected
of Monty Python when reading, but younger audiences that likely won't
more advanced familiarity with British humor will still find the
events happily and unexpectedly delightful in their ironic twists,
readers will celebrate the Pythonesque atmosphere.
come to light in different ways and represent more than obvious battles
disparate characters each find their own revised paths in life often
with irony and iconic moments.
alone, but ideally Spring's Eternal
will be digested in a broader context, discussed in reading clubs and
and appreciated not just for its fantasy and wonder, but for a sense of
that romps past high court antics to a brewing operation and expansive
whereby an adopted commoner enters the raucous court of fools and
the medieval setting thought-provoking, the whimsical encounters
and the visionary magic compelling, setting quasi-familiar history
backdrop of new possibilities. Libraries will find the weave of comedy,
and adventure to be fresh, original, and attractive to patrons seeking
than singular action from their fantasies.
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$17.00 Paper/$8.99 ebook/$9.99 audiobook
Escape Velocity presents a chronological
collection of poems from 10/2010
to 1/2023, stringing experiences together to form a trajectory and
of understanding old paradigms and letting go of assumptions, patterns,
McNider, in her
Introduction, reviews her invitation to readers to "enter into the
of the Void, to turn on the light within you, to close your two eyes to
illusionary demands of the ‘world’ and encounter the lush and wondrous
being-ness that waits within you. It’s never what you think it is, and
discovery of that will lead to moments of those mini-lights being
is set for a ride through not just her life and observations, but those
resonate with the reader.
reflection in the opening poem 'Happiness': "I
want to be as soft as you,/as solid and as fluid..." Here,
of happiness is also linked to being in the present and acknowledging
spate of energy in the wider scheme of things. McNider's ability to
passage of time and place in a study that introduces a very different
definition of happiness then segues neatly into 'Whale's Song,' a poem
transformative longing and sharing: "If
only I could insert my self,/angiogram balloon/inside your arteries,
you,/let the moon’s tide take the pain/way out to sea..."
but a drop in the literary bucket of psychological, spiritual, and
observations that provide all types of readers with an art form that
internal examination and external force.
What is the
for life, time, and evolutionary processes? How do they bloom in heart
to take wing into the greater world of human and nature?
a piece of a journey that, when viewed from the broader perspective of
collection, adds to a marked and meaningful path that is accessible not
literature or psychology readers, but anyone interested in self-growth
interested in a hard-hitting collection that encourages and gently
readers into higher-level thinking, from ego examination to broader
will find the poems in Escape Velocity
offer an escape hatch leading to better understanding and life meaning.
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C. P. Serret
Tempest & Gayle
978-1-7343234-7-4 $24.99 Hardcover/$14.99 Paper
Nemesis is a
woman who has pursued defrocked archaeologist and art curator Julian
past the gates of his personal hell in quest of keys to place an item
storage. So opens a surrealistic scenario in which Julian's nightmares
part of a living death which operates (to him) on many different levels.
begin Grendel Wept will discover
literary narrative incorporates many unique devices to follow Julian's
These include conversations not presented in the usual quotes,
which teeter on the edge of insanity to blur the lines of reality and
and observations of modern dilemmas and truths that permeate Julian's
and approach to living:
"—Then what’s the secret of your great funding
—Americans are fake. Appeal to the pretense, to the mask – make it about them – and they can’t say no."
contribute to Grendel Wept's
philosophical, literary, and psychological depth are many, placing this
illusions, allusions, and progression on the radars of intellectual
book clubs interested in a story which concurrently embraces
unconventional threads in Everyman's interactions with society.
Grendel Wept will hold a special form literary and philosophical
will allow their inspections of this story to fully embrace its most
"Her limbs fell limp, as one lifeless but in
afflicted breath, her
skirts capsized in silken ruination. She wept then for a time, heeding
till midst her weeping did say soft,
—I know thee, mine immortal, but there is no Mercy in what they have shewn. Soon, methinks, thou wilt know me. The lord, this Báal cannot forgive us, and only in knowledge is there pain.
—I pray all easement of your grief, madam.
More the Fool, I kissed her forbidden hand, and she raised her face to mine and kissed me with tear-salted lips. I expected the orcs to rend us both, but no claws came."
killer's surreal threat to the wild intersection of fantasy and reality
drive Julian's world, readers can anticipate a slow read only because
thought-provoking nature of the passages and their presentation demands
deserves an attention to detail and the knowledge of literary precedent:
shall not take it, Father, for it looks to be both fish and man, and I
result is a work of art that both
reflects Julian's passions and integrates present-day society with
death that are never far behind the living.
ultimate impact is nothing short of
sensational: "I was without words,
and a remembered sensation passed through me, shivering me: Grendel
alone in the darkness, not for his – my – mortal wounds, but for in
all, I’d lost it too."
libraries looking for works of
modern literature that display depth and challenge on intellectual,
philosophical, and psychological scales will find Grendel
Wept a powerful study in psyche and art. It deserves a
place on literature shelves and assignment in contemporary classrooms
modern literary achievement.
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Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Translated from Bengali by Chhanda Chattopadhyay Bewtra Parabaas Publishing
978-1-946582-11-9 $6.95 ebook/$14.95 Paper
Ordering Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946582115
Looking for an Address is set in the
1990s in New York City and
centers on the lives of several expats from both Bangladesh and India
their status as immigrants challenged by the political relationship and
cultural differences between India and the U.S.
"Most Bangladeshis seek political asylum. Like
the Punjabis do. And a great many lie about it. Now the
become much more strict. The F.B.I. inspects each case.”
not hold prior familiarity with immigrant policies and politics or
culture in order to appreciate Nabaneeta Dev Sen's disparate
embark on different searches for a sense of place in their revised
encountering new ideas and challenges in the process.
cultural or political background is incorporated into the story in a
manner as the characters encounter challenges to their dreams and
are forced to make responses and changes that revise their ideas of
independence, family relationships, and social status.
are hard to translate in Bengali, as the characters discover when a
description (such as 'innocence', for example) becomes impossible to
transmit, even in the course of flirting.
of New York releases some who are prisoners of their own perceptions
creates a milieu that encourages not just growth, but taking greater
the sake of enlightenment.
"You’ve come to this world. Don’t you need an
address for your
expat Indian literature and Indian/American cultural experiences will
find Looking for an Address a
search for meaning and understanding, while libraries considering
literature that expands the representation of Indian culture will find
book a key acquisition.
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She Bleeds Sestinas is a new age poetic
study of the female heart,
soul, and spiritual foundations that evolved from Rebecca Jane's
"practice yoga every morning and write a sestina every evening." This
results in a collection of observations and experiences that
deep literary and spiritual reflection.
leave her audience lacking for information, here. From defining the
purpose of a "teleuton" (end words) to exploring the myths,
illusions, trigger experiences, and storms that move from childhood to
perceptions and influences, She Bleeds
Sestinas captures and represents a challenging and
enlightening form of
free verse. These explorations ideally will be chosen by new age and
readers as well as followers of women's literature who appreciate
of the freer forms of poetic structure.
Like a good
meal or a
fine wine, these writings deserve slow digestion as they spark and fire
philosophical and psychological reflections:
"Meet sages who turn their bodies into
rainbows./Learn how death
spellbinds mountain snowstorms./Remember elemental dances with dakinis
dragons,/and know the right time to howl mercy’s resounding yes."
Some of the
(such as the sudden death scenarios explored in "Buy More, Save
More") adopt a freewheeling juxtaposition of experience and reflection
which presents as a deep, rich mother lode of inspection of time, joy,
and rescuers with "wasted lifetimes" of experience.
succinct, pull on the heartstrings with stories of individual success
growth. 'Shadowend's Film Adaptation' is one such piece, in which a
effort holds unexpected results:
"Upon/reading and being gripped—/soul and fist—/by
story,/the teacher—/blood and bone—/dissolved into a rainbow./Then she
peacefully, gradually,/gladly disappeared."
"unexpected results" may be the underlying theme of a wide-ranging
collection of poems that rises like a spirit of Kundalini cycles or a
to reach into circles of readers that may not hold prior affinity for
poems or new age thinking.
contemporary poetry readers interested in transformational experiences
reflections will find that She Bleeds
Sestinas will draw and resonate in unusual ways:
"Her body is poetry,/with its laughter swallowing
times nineteen gulps/per second, or/One Damaru Cycle."
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The Things I
E. Barrett La Mont
The Ewings Publishing LLC
$16.99 Hardcover/$6.99 Paper/$3.99 ebook
The Things I Meant to Say is an
inspirational gathering of love
poems influenced by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, E. Barrett LaMonte's
Browning's special gift for translating life experiences into
is mirrored in a contemporary gathering of "things I meant to say"
which offer equal blends of poetic prowess and philosophical
love, life, and everything that lies between them.
of love described in 'April Fool,' for one example of this strength.
narrator reflects on how the feel of a special Spring month reflects
and loss of his own pursuit of romance in life: "You
were to me what April had been/to the rest of the
world./Warm, alive and ready to love."
loses ... and only such a pursuer of love could properly feel its
allure, and disappointments as reality collides with the experience of
Many of the
speak of loneliness both within and outside of love's ideals. Others
bonds, new beginnings, interconnected lives, and seasons of love in
which "Love knows no time . . ./for love
stands by itself."
reflections and philosophical life connections will find a welcoming
libraries seeking modern writers akin to Elizabeth Barrett Browning in
and form, but with a contemporary flair that will reach modern free
readers with metaphors and observations that embrace and provoke
The Things I Meant to Say's probe of
inner worlds of love ideals
and the nature and community that lies outside an all-embracing
makes it worthy of book club discussion and, ideally, its contrast with
traditional and modern poets who write about love, loss, and life.
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979-8986718149 $12.99 Paper/$.99 ebook
Poems from Minnesota and the Milky Way is a poetic
traces Hari Hyde's Minnesota roots
and journeys both physical and spiritual. Much as they reflect a sense
and purpose, they also follow the trajectory of Hyde's life and facets
scientific and spiritual progression as he navigates dreams, undertakes
journeys, and traverses inner and outer worlds with an attention to
metaphorical and spiritual detail and connections:
"Travel the world, you’ll not feel it—/the lake
elate us./On a brisk autumn eve,/lakes exhale a hypnotic haze,/an aura
hearten the heavens,/an inexplicable esprit in the air."
Minnesota's winters and the powerful connections between nature and
Hyde's collection represents a journey that takes place on many
playing fields, captured in discourses that draw readers into
landscapes of poetic enlightenment:
"I come upon no new towns anymore./My old, old map
up-to-date/with all the towns./According to fish,/land is the
feel of this journey and these words will especially resonate with
Heartland roots never left their psyches. Hyde's words infect and
infect with a vivid immediacy that draws connections between heart,
environment; and they reflect this feeling with words that resonate
resolution, and scientific observation:
"...amongst underage skates and raw rookie
find an eager beaver,/bobbing her head to the top, wishing to pet
beauty blossoms in the big bass a-swimming!/Fish are all failures./They
shove water away."
astute blends of science, nature, and Heartland connections will find Unbathed
Brains a rich,
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Claire Unis, MD
$29.95 Hardcover/$17.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Breathe: A Journey Through Medical School joins a host of
about medical school experiences, but arrives with a difference—Claire
a young small-town waitress when she received her acceptance to medical
The paths she would travel
there came not from a world of
grooming and privilege, but from a calling to medicine which she felt
young age. This goal was cemented during a painful training process
challenged her ideals of what it meant to become a doctor.
Unis writes with a personal
passion that comes across in
her memoir of pursing dreams and realizing their illusions and
pages lies the story of a willful, would-be doctor who tried to hold on
before-self, the not-doctor self, even as she could feel herself
the four years of medical education leading up to her degree. In my
of memories are also the reasons why, if my son must follow this path,
swallow my misgivings about this career. Though the road itself
ruts and sinkholes, boulders and sand, practicing medicine means living
From the realities and
downside to training at a private
hospital to taking a step back from school to breathe and reconsider,
crafts a journey that is not singular and dedicated, but filled with
had come to
medical school not just for a degree or a career, but also for wisdom.
almost three years into a four-year program bursting with moments both
and devastating, I had a lot to consider. Quietly, while my classmates
working out their schedules and learning about research opportunities
residencies, I petitioned the registrar for a small stay on my medical
The result holds quite a
different feel than the usual
dogged story of the pursuit of a medical degree against all odds and
impossible residency conditions. It's a more reasoned, mindful account
process in which one woman achieves her dream—albeit in an
manner which concurrently embraces life events, goals, and challenges.
Anyone with an interest in
physician training, personal
experience, or professional evolution will find Balance,
Pedal, Breathe an inviting, uncommon exploration of a
process which often challenges one's perceptions and goals, but here
a special type of doctor who enters the system with more than technical
Libraries seeking a more
balanced memoir of an aspiring
physician's experiences will find Balance,
Pedal, Breathe an especially enlightening and
that not only balances traditional accounts, but expands the
medical training into more mindful thinking:
"My work is
not done. For all that I have chafed at the growing imbalance between
responsibility and reward in my profession, I can be grateful that my
always had purpose. I have had to grow and keep adapting, to keep up
medical advances. I also own my share of humility, realizing both the
limitations of knowledge and my own fallibility. Finding equilibrium
intention. Not surprisingly, that quest has driven me back to the
wellspring of writing: a bright poppy growing in the dry grasses of the
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The Way to The Bank With The Arabs
Indigo River Publishing
Way to The Bank With The Arabs
not only holds an intriguing title, but represents an intersection
American and Middle East business interests as two Houston real estate
entrepreneurs become involved in an unexpected partnership with a
billionaire in the 1980s.
and his partner became more and more entrenched with Kuwait special
and cut million-dollar deals on a regular basis, Koshkin also received
uncommon education about the Middle East psyche and business pursuits
translates nicely to an intriguing series of cross-cultural revelations.
Kuwait, and other nations proved to be both risky and profitable
ventures as well as eye-opening and unexpectedly entertaining.
Such is the
a duck hunt Koshkin arranges for guaranteed success, only to have his
discovered by his fellow Middle Eastern hunters. The humor in this
will leave readers laughing as much as the serious business escapades
"In one of the best comebacks I’ve ever made, I
yelled to Mahmoud,
'I had the guide put those live ducks over there so we could use them
if it was a slow hunt.' Then I turned to Blaien. 'Blaien, go put out
decoys.' Now, if we got caught by the game wardens, we’d be talking
Well, not really; it would be more like fricking Sing Sing. Blaien
two gunnysacks of ducks into our pond, and almost immediately, an
transformation took place. In twenty years of duck hunting, I had never
experienced such activity. It was like every bird in the county suddenly decided they had to land in
ability to portray and contrast success with bumbling failures
moments of comic relief. Koshkin's ability to spin a yarn that is all
embeds his story with lively, revealing moments that will both
hold food for thought about both business connections and snafus and
East business interests.
interested in a rollicking good read will find the uncommon ability of Bumbling
All The Way to The Bank With The Arabs to reach
general-interest audiences without a lick of familiarity with either
estate ventures or Middle East politics and people makes for a
entertaining story that is hard to put down:
"I’m sitting in an ancient truck with an Arabic terrorist-poster-boy driver who doesn’t speak a lick of English, looks like he would slit my throat in a heartbeat, and doesn’t know how to drive a stick shift! Yeah, what could go wrong? I just hoped he remembered where he had planted all the land mines!"Bumbling All The Way to The Bank With The Arabs
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$21.00 Hardcover/$14.50 Paper/$6.00 ebook
travelers would dream of embarking on a journey to an English-speaking
such as Canada without being able to at least converse in the language,
Shogo Onoe's memoir Dance to Dreams:
Making the Right Choice chronicles Onoe's choice to begin a
new life in
Vancouver sans the benefits of fluency. Moreover, his passion for the
word led to his aspiration to become a writer. Despite numerous
pursued his dream of achieving publication, and Dance
to Dreams is just one result from a pen that has experienced
many forms of rejection, acceptance, and challenge.
note about this story is its passion. Readers might not expect the
the candid, passionate tone to ripple through a Japanese writer's
cultivates excitement, translates that energy to the written word, and
readers along on a rollicking ride of discovery that translates to
through dialogues with all manner of people that he encounters along
“What the hell are you talking about, Seiichi? You
reproaching me that I don’t respect the Japanese culture and
insulted me that I’ve become a total stranger to my own country before
Mexico, remember? And on top of it all, you heatedly rejected Canadian
Mexican cultures, notwithstanding you had never gone to either country.
now, you’re somehow praising Mexican culture to the heaven? Are you
me, Seiichi? What’s going on here?”
strange worlds and their inhabitants with an astute eye to examining
of realities that Japanese natives and those supportive of the culture
"I think Japanese people are the meanest bastards
walking on two
legs under the sun, you know… they always make fake smiles and use
language to strangers. At first, they seem to be very kind people, but
just a sheer illusion that they make. Oh no, they’re just wearing
and pretending to be nice to everyone all the goddamn time. Once
with their friends, they’ll start showing their true colors
gossiping about their colleagues, even their friends, and saying bad
behind their backs as if they are talking about the
weather. They never say what they mean directly; they always
say it behind
people’s backs. Unfortunately, this is a Japanese pandemic. I have
such sick people except in Japan.”
prove painful to some, but can serve as intriguing discussion points in
clubs choosing this memoir for not just its cross-cultural encounters
journey, but for its succinct, hard-hitting points about how the
interact and intersect with other cultures.
dialogue of examination that forces readers to probe the undercurrents
Japanese psyche and its underpinnings. Perhaps he is in a relatively
position to do so, given his independent journeys through other
lead to new insights and critiques of disparate facets of a Japanese
that tends to pigeonhole and dehumanize those outside Japan.
The story of
spent only four days in Mexico before deciding to move from Japan to
creates a powerful inspection especially highly recommended for book
interested in Japanese cultural explorations that pull no punches in
psyches, powers, and prejudices.
will find Dance to Dreams a unique
blend of memoir
and cross-cultural encounters that challenges belief systems and
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Jennifer D. James
Cancer Survivor's Journey is a
portrait in perseverance that follows a breast cancer survivor's
initial diagnosis at age 41 to her medical experiences and survival
These stories evolved from seven handwritten
journals that documented her journey, offering an immediacy of
hindsight fails to deliver while presenting truths, empowerment
and processes that served her well both in the moment and in this
later, where it reaches out to a wider audience.
Jennifer D. James's personal story documents
just what it entails to be a survivor. It opens with a small rescue
serves as an illustration of this effort. The kitten (whom she named
epitomized her goals and pursuit of an empowering, positive future
"As a cancer patient, I long to be a
survivor, too. This tiny, wobblylegged, rambunctious kitten is what I
the kitten's spunky perseverance, she realized that "I
felt afraid of the cancer that had started to grow inside my
body. I could let the anxiety send me hunkering into the corner, or I
like Survivor, believe I had the power to change my future. I had to
voice, face fear, and persevere. It was the only way to survive."
journey will find many familiar realizations, moments, and life lessons
James employs visualization techniques, comes to realize the revised
cancer plays in her immediate and future life options, and takes an
in dispelling its presence, influence, and potential death sentence
As she moves
surgery, chemo, and treatment options, James tackles the presence and
life-altering influence of 'Feisty Righty' and embarks on a journey of
choices and revelations that ultimately not only affect her health, but
inspirational nature of this discourse is especially notable because
will find these confessions a surprise in a story of medical trails and
"As we drove down the 10 freeway on our way back to
Palm Springs amid the fields of gigantic wind turbines, I
began to feel more
confident. Confident in my new appearance, regardless of any breast
deformities. Confident in building a new normal. I felt confident that
overcome any obstacle I might face in the future. Inspired by the
somehow withstand the storm, too."
a powerful, personal journey that holds many insights for fellow
walking that road of recovery, creating an inspirational and highly
memoir that should be a mainstay in any library interested in cancer
experiences and options.
Return to Index
James A. Wolter
978-1-63988-973-0 $18.99 Paper/$27.99 Hardcover
Finding Miss Fong is set in the 1960s and
tells of a naïve
twenty-two-year-old Chicago new adult who embarks on a Peace Corp
opens his eyes to a new world. That boy was author James A. Wolter, and
his memoir of Peace Corp discoveries and the journey that changed his
writer has set
pen to paper to capture Peace Corp experiences, but Wolter's story is
as much a
love story as it is an exposé of Corps snafus and politics. It
relates how a mission that at first seemed doomed to failure turned
pursuit of a relationship that was destined to entangle him in
experiences he never saw coming.
flirting with the lovely Miss Fong Moke Chee to his commitment as a
Volunteer, many aspects of service and growth come to light through
and experiences that introduce a "you are here" sense to the author's
“They’re not husband and wife. They are sister and
brother. This is the
first time either of them have been to The Green Parrot. They are
experience and listening to the music and watching you. Gim Lan would
embarrassed if you asked her to dance. Besides, you’re under no
ensure the happiness of others.”
their blossoming relationship introduces to Moke Chee's family to his
uncertainty about the possible reactions of his own family to his
with a Malaysian girl, Wolter's story of evolution and adjustment
thought-provoking moments as it explores the pivot points in this young
"I had pushed to the back of my mind how Moke Chee
received by my family. A deep sense of sorrow came over me, and I
tell him that my family’s custom was for the married couple and their
to be closer to the woman’s family than the man’s. I hoped my family
accept, support, nurture, and love Moke Chee and our children, but if
didn’t, I vowed to myself that I would protect them from the toxicity
engaging memoir that includes many elements of attraction and
education, from a
memoir nicely narrated and filled with personal and social inspection
broader delivery of the cross-cultural experiences and conundrums the
Corp can introduce to its participants.
Finding Miss Fong is not just a singular
love story, but a saga of
family, character growth, and life experiences that will find a
in any general interest library seeking memorable coming-of-age and
Return to Index
In Pursuit of Radio Mom: Searching for the
Mother I Never
Had holds up a
mirror to family dysfunction and adult parenting choices that provides
especially thought-provoking insights on the connections between both.
Crylen's thirty-five years in the mental health field enhances her
opens in the late 1950s in Chicago, when she was a five-year-old child.
Her relationship with her mother
and how it translated to patterns and perceptions that affected her
relationship with her own daughter is an examination that pulls no
it considers intergenerational legacies and impacts.
Crylen provides a reasoned,
thought-provoking series of changing viewpoints about her mother from
to adulthood, cementing the early influences and absences that
life and psyche:
"The problem was that my real family was
everywhere and nowhere. A three-ring circus with too many acts
at once. A place where I couldn’t grab hold of the ringmaster—my mom.
attention always seemed focused on someone else in the tent or on
her own magic act. The one where she could make herself disappear for
parts of a day."
Used to living in small spaces and adopting
families" to reconcile her reality with her vision of what could be,
Crylen's early dreams and desire for a different kind of motherly
and family situation created scenarios which not only crafted and
but impacted her perception of herself, her family, and the life she
eventually create. Her search spills into all kinds of unexpected
including her own health and safety:
"Why couldn’t I tell the detective what had really
happened to me? Or my mother? Or a friend? Why couldn’t I tell anyone
at all? Because
everything was your own fault."
The theft of her girlhood and
womanhood (which made her easy prey) stemmed as much from her family
relationships as it did from outside forces. All are explored here in a
wrought self-examination that keeps the bigger picture of
mother/daughter legacies firmly in mind.
This, in turn, educates readers
about all kinds of family dynamics and interactions that hold lasting
on children and parents alike.
Crylen's ability to recall her childhood with an eidetic memory experience of immediacy and reconcile it with her adult experiences and training as a licensed clinical psychologist contributes to an extraordinary memoir. In Pursuit of Radio Mom holds the power to reach beyond individual experience and into the possibilities of formulating new relationships and reactions to life.From the health crises of her child, during which Crylen finds a rare opportunity of a physician who listens and responds appropriately to her concerns ("He had given me what I’d sought for so long and what I’d needed for both my daughter and me: to be heard."), to acknowledging the successes and failures of parenting above and beyond personal training and experience ("In advocating for her with doctors, I hadn’t taught her how to advocate for herself."), Crylen creates a series of reflective pieces that will lend especially well to book club and parenting group discussion circles.
Many memoirs have been written
about family ties, dysfunction, and lasting impacts. Few hold the
blend of professional and personal assessment that rise above and
moment to consider the connections and broken perceptions mothers and
too often struggle over.
Libraries and readers seeking
memoirs that capture the process of growth and understanding between
and daughters will find In Pursuit of Radio Mom an
potent consideration of family ideals and realities that is recommended
much wider audience than the usual memoir or psychological inspection.
Return to Index
9781738768219 $18.99 Paper/$6.99 ebook
figure skating authority who tackles the life and times of one of the
the sport in Jackson Haines: The Skating
contemporary figure, but one of the early founders of figure skating.
accomplishments in the mid-1800s resulted in creating a sport which
to draw participants and fans to this day. Despite his achievements,
has largely been buried in legend and history—until now.
first authoritative biography ever written on Haines, reviewing his
performances for world leaders, the process by which he translated
the ice, and presenting his life and influences both on and off the ice.
involved in the
figure skating world may already know his name, but few will realize
of his work and revolutionary achievements in the sport without
pursuing Jackson Haines: The Skating King.
vintage black-and-white illustrations that include reproductions of
bills and photos, and discussions of the evolution of skating forms
modern times come to light in a lively survey that will especially
reader with prior interest in figure skating's roots:
"Vandervell and Witham, along with several
were responsible for the evolution of the club's Combined Figures and
invention or popularization of several skating turns we take for
including the counter, bracket and rocker. Members of The Skating Club
in the traditional English Style, a complete juxtaposition to the
style Jackson performed in. The styles were as different as night and
while Jackson's skating was hugely popular with the general public, it
be until the Edwardian era that the style Jackson skated in – later
the Continental or International Style – truly caught on in British
informative, lively, and scholarly without being dry, packing in a
figure skating history information that uses the life of Jackson Haines
bring together the influences and innovations that make figure skating
notable sport and attraction today.
interested in a biography which also serves as a sports history,
ability to reach out into a general-interest audience, must
obtain Jackson Haines:
The Skating King. Its blend of scholarly history and
Return to Index
979-8-9890745-0-1 14.99 Paper/$8.99 ebook
Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest is a memoir
and horrible celebrities and encounters with them. It takes discovery
candid assessment to a different level as David Vass reveals all about
varied experiences, from the dying art of burlesque to his observation
rise of gay activism in New York.
From the beginning, Vass
adopts a gritty tone of truth
and insight that pulls no punches, whether it be about sexual favors to
policemen or the impact of gay culture on straight men who viewed the
community's structures and experiences as opportunities for gawking:
the third month of these events, the Baths became crowded with a fully
straight crowd who reveled in a night of “slumming it.” They stared at
like we were animals in a zoo, and our acceptance soon turned to anger.
always clear to those ‘in the know’ that the Saturday night bath shows
just a gimmick, and one at the expense of the gay community."
From his jobs in various
clubs in different communities
to his role as technical director and performance leader, Vass is in a
place to capture the drama behind-scenes, the economic, political, and
influences on production choices, and the climate and aura of
audiences that impact his world:
told, quite firmly, by the Columbia execs who were producing and
pulling the strings on this performance, that there would be one false
then three curtain call encores, followed by the house lights so the
stagehands wouldn’t go into overtime, which was outrageously expensive."
The blend of gritty sexual
experiences and observations
combined with the practicalities and politics of show biz come to light
memoir replete with startling events, head-shaking moments,
enlightenment, and debauchery at its highest level.
is not an exposé
light-hearted, but a solid and fact-packed reflection on life and
aspects of tailoring and creating stage performances that gives as much
and information about celebrities as it does about the mechanics of
an environment packed with opportunity and challenge.
Readers also won't
anticipate the gritty sense of humor
that often accompanies such revelations, but it is evident and provides
relief to enliven his life's encounters:
Wrangler, note, had a tube of hemorrhoid ointment in his Dobb kit, and
as I was
able to, uh, look carefully and see no need for it, inquired. In his ‘teacher’ voice he
said, “Apply it to
your face wherever there are wrinkles and poof, they’re gone!” Well, blow me over—oh
From memorable moments with
Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald,
and Jane Olivor and lessons about rises and falls learned from them all
Vass's own high and low points in the course of his city-hopping
readers receive a lively, sassy, gritty and compelling story that will
'must' for anyone interested in performance art, gay culture, and a
on the edge of success that takes center stage here, based on diary
bring it all to life.
will find a welcome home in the hands of readers interested in 'tell
stories that take the next step into delving into relationship insights
challenges that mark the dovetailing of many different worlds.
Return to Index
Memories of Madhupur: Mid-Century
Vignettes from East of
India is a top recommendation
libraries seeking personal accounts of Indian culture and history,
both with a tone of exploration that comes from an author raised by his
grandparents in Madhupur in the 1950s and 60s.
Although Samarendra Narayan Roy wrote
these tales with children in mind, all ages will find these stories of
of age in India and the adventures and encounters this embraced to be
of postal messages Roy read or wrote for local villagers at the age of
their place in Indian culture reveals concurrent belief systems and
precedents which elevates his personal memory with wider-ranging social
"Literacy was not only largely absent in those
days, it was itself
unknown. People just did not think that there was something called
illiteracy. Most rural people simply accepted it that some male
born to the upper castes of various communities, ready with the ability
and write. It was pointless for others to try and reach those gifted
This compelled the national population, well, much of it, to depend on
thus literate for written communication."
these memories of youth brings India to life for readers both
and completely unfamiliar with the country, weaving stories of castes,
religions, communities, tribes and colorful characters with
insights about India's delightful diversity and cultures:
"Samwa had actually attacked two of his
stepmothers, one of whom
was younger than him. It was but a simple matter for us to prevent our
selves from rushing across to his father and spilling the beans, the
requirement for which was just a little plain and simple co-operation
devil Samwa for the rest of the mango season...I for one still remember
one summer of langra mangoes (none better in the world, though odd
disagree) and giant jackfruit cloves."
passionate in its memories and tales of yesteryear, the colorful nature
attraction of Memories of Madhupur:
Vignettes from East of India should
not be limited to an audience of any particular age, but explored by
all as a
compelling, attractive story that deserves a place in libraries seeking
accessible, lively stories for both enlightenment and entertainment.
Return to Index
978-1-63988-927-3 $17.99 Paperback/$26.99 Hardcover
A Schizoid at Smith is a memoir set in
the 1960s that follows a
Seven Sisters's story of success, struggle, and the mechanics and
of a schizoid personality disorder. Ordinary folk may not understand
means, or that those afflicted are typically male, which lends further
importance to a memoir that explores these perceptions and experiences
At the heart
condition's cause is over-parenting, so A
Schizoid at Smith will attract readers interested in
parenting impacts as
well as those attracted by the psychological condition, diagnosis, and
treatment of the schizoid personality.
Sorrel cultivates an atmosphere of self-discovery that pulls no punches
exploring trauma, recovery, and survival methods. Combine this with the
cultural and social atmosphere of the 60s, from music's pop icons to
daytime serial attraction of Dark Shadows,
for a full immersion experience into the milieu of the times and how
family dynamics played into the evolving sentiments, politics, and
reactions to the times.
intriguing nature of her memoir lies in its roots in psychological
social understanding, paired with an astute consideration of how
traits such as ambivalence affected her relationships and impacted her
nature and challenges of those who exhibit a propensity for schizotypal
personality disorder or schizophrenia, they will learn far more about
condition and its perceptions and influences than they likely will have
knowledge of before picking up this book.
read the literature surrounding the schizoid personality. It's quite
live it, understanding how its daily challenges translate in and impact
says she "...wished to steal away to
wherever I could heal."
A Schizoid at Smith reviews a facet of
this healing process that is
little covered in relation to family and social influences. It should
be a part
of any library seeking memoirs of mental illness and health and
book clubs and psychological groups interested in learning about the
personality, its influences, and its survival traits.
Return to Index
Indigo River Publishing
spent some sixty years in nursing, and her memoir A
Splendid Gift reflects this experience. At age fifteen, she
became a part-time nurse's aide at St. Joseph's Hospital in Reading,
but her professional journey actually began with a fall down a flight
at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This occurred on the cusp of
nursing dream via a nursing school admission interview at the Bellevue
Bellevue became her home. And, "Those
three years at Bellevue had transformed the shy and uncertain young
once been into someone who survived the impossible and lived to tell
the changing field of nursing will be particularly attracted to
ability to chart the field's many shifts over the decades: "Change had become a constant, and I took on new
challenges in a
profession that was nothing like it had been at Bellevue twenty-five
of her commitment and her experiences and observations of these shifts
nursing create a history of the profession. This elevates her book from
personal experience to a professional history of nursing's changing
interest and note is how the values and processes of nursing's changes
introduced concurrent mandates to nurses to adapt to concepts and
care that are often in radical contrast to precedents and ideals of
medical professional relationships and support systems:
"As a per diem staff member, I was assigned to all
the areas in
that ED, and often needed to question the care provided to those
health care system triaged the patients quickly, treated them as
sent them home as soon as possible. This wasn’t always in their best
Physicians and nurses who worked those night shifts weren’t happy to be
challenged about their rule to “treat and street.” As long as I worked
was one of the few who did, usually with good cause but not always with
powerful memoir that holds the uncommon ability to transcend personal
experience alone, adding to its value the elements of charting a
history of the
changing medical community and its standards of care.
seeking insights into these pivot points, what influenced them, and how
adapted to and embraced constantly-changing duties and roles will find
A Splendid Gift an
informational, celebratory, appreciative
examination of nurses and their world.
Return to Index
978-1-387-11647-8 $17.00 Paper/$6.99 ebook
Through the Test of Time (II): As Time Went On...
is a memoir of
recovery and discovery that continues D. Angel's story. The first
with the likelihood that marriage, kids, and a traditional life would
a phoenix from the ashes of dysfunction, prison, and struggle.
was not meant to continue without challenge, as Book II proves.
Instead, As Time Went On traces an
journey as Angel and Tanisha separate and Angel goes back to heavy
becomes involved in many escapades.
How he moves
from thoughts and actions that keep landing him in prison forms the
heart of a
story that will resonate with any reader struggling to overcome their
patterns of destruction and replace them with healthier perceptions,
with the observation that "you will
never know how strong your demons are until you have the power to
on a bigger scale. Sometimes they lie dormant, and sometimes these
simply made stronger by more money, choices, and habits."
with toxic relationships, a drive for sex and drink, and the kinds of
circumstances that kept any image of mental health at bay. In order to
had to adopt new ways of viewing and interacting with the world. Among
survival techniques he had adopted were, ironically, ones that also had
constantly threatened his survival: "I
tried blocking things out and continued right on with my toxic ways."
ultimate epiphanies, and ongoing encounters with courts and legal
entwined with his goal to foster a healthy family environment that
offspring and a healthy relationship with a woman.
he moves from and between very different worlds creates a moving memoir
social and legal challenges that all heavily impact his mental health,
addition to the actions and reactions he is forced to more closely
response to adversity.
narrating his life story ("I hope to
inspire men and women by what I went through and how hard I fought for
more than succeeds. The evidence of such is represented in a memoir
readers not just into hell, but to the new possibilities that lie on
side of the wall.
seeking memoirs that are raw, candid, and hard-hitting in their
encounters with self and law will find Through
the Test of Time (II): As Time Went On... a powerful story of
how a new
life can be made without crime and addiction, against all odds.
Return to Index
The Unfurling Frond: A Memoir of Belonging and
an expansive journey to New Zealand in the late 1990s in a love story
operates on different levels, from personal to cross-cultural.
writings operate together to capture shifting realities and
hold the uncommon ability to attract a wider audience than the
format alone, peppering stories with poems and illustrations that tap
creative juices of a non-linear life.
Beardsall navigates past, present, and the changing tides of
her life with
an attention to "you are here" detail that captures a vivid sense of
not just place, but self:
"Aotearoa New Zealand had just started to sink into
me when we
left. My excitement of being home with my family and friends would
mourning, but I would realize what exactly I turned my back on in the
Pacific when it hit. When I finally discovered myself in my early
realized that I already had a place that held me. It wasn’t where I was
It was where I was transplanted."
struggled to realize and embrace that sense of belonging and place will
much to relish in Beardsall's journey as she explores family mysteries,
history, and New Zealand roots: "We
hear no stories, no myths, no traditions. Our family knowledge is
in the memories of closed-lipped people."
travelogue and self-exploration which emerges and merges in The Unfurling Frond is moving and
revealing. Libraries and readers will find this story compelling,
thought-provoking, and worthy of book club discussion for Beardsall's
on home, which come to roost in the heart:
"Home lives inside my body – my senses respond to
it – it is the
same sensation that jolts my body when I emerge from the Auckland
physical body aligns with the spiritual, telling me that I am home,
Return to Index
Susan L. Bradford
from the Crow's Nest: A
Young Woman’s Global Quest For a Relevant Life is based on the author's letters from
younger years as she came of age in the 1960s and embraced a nomadic
hitchhiking on sailboats and circumnavigating the globe.
During this process, Susan
L. Bradford wrote some forty
letters to her parents during her two-plus-year odyssey from 1966-68,
year after she graduated college. That these letters were not only
saved by her
parents, but came back to remind her about bygone years, motivations,
lessons decades later, is a tribute to both the power of the pen and
of perseverance in translating their contents here, for world
Because they were written to
her parents, the letters
omitted anything the author deemed worrisome to her family at home.
presented with memories and notes that fill in these points and
experiences missing from the originals and reflecting on them from the
hindsight of a fifty-plus-year perspective.
This element adds a sense of
drama and inspection to a
story that imparts the feel of an adventure novel, but is based on the
encounters and experiences of a young woman on the cusp of new adult
realizations: "Romance at sea was my
new reality, and our “couples” table was a new level of elegance. I
question it. I happily took it all in stride, moving into a new
station in life. I was on my own, and I was flourishing."
Having these letters and
excerpting passages from them,
supplementing them with memories and additional insights, is
in-the-moment writings blend nicely with the explanations and
Bradford adds, creating a rich interplay between past and present, with
letters forming the foundations of life inquiries and adventures:
Rabaul has been good, and it has been quiet. A resting place before
travel. I have been doing a lot of reading, playing the piano, etc. It
that to just travel, travel, travel, go, go, go without a break would
exhausting and probably very confusing, at least for me. So in a way, I
marking time here, perhaps metabolizing my experiences and letting the
settle before I move on."
Readers do more than
experience these moments with the
author. They journey alongside her, from the experience to the mature
reflections of present-day memory, reliving the opportunities and
Bradford both experienced and used to change her life and formulate new
goals and perspectives.
Libraries and readers
interested in a travelogue of
growth set in the 1960s will find View from the Crow's Nest an engaging,
enlightening, inspiring read. It goes the extra mile by centering its
experiences with social, political, and cultural encounters that proved
life-changing and instructional to a young woman on the cusp of
abilities, focus, and life.
Return to Index
978-1-61153-531-0 $14.99 paper/$6.49 ebook
returns to solve another crime in The Big
Shakeup. The story opens not with the usual bang of a body,
gathering force and shaking of a major earthquake. California
native Nicole is no stranger to
quakes. But this is more than the usual small warning of the earth's
instability, and Nicole finds that more continues to rock her world
earth under her feet.
death in the destruction around her. What she doesn't expect to uncover
boss dying of a gunshot wound which clearly preceded the quake. Even
they've been at ongoing odds, Nicole never wished him dead. The police
differ, and so she finds herself in the unusual position of being both
investigator and a perp-at-large as Los Angeles emerges from a
earthquake. She must turn her attention to clearing her name if she's
creates a riveting, compelling mystery from the start which opens with
shake of Nicole's world on many levels and continues to follow her dual
to both clear her name and navigate the destroyed world around her to
the truth from its ruins.
Nicole is no
to being a "person of interest," but she has never before been so
close to having her vocation and life shut down by being the sole
her boss's murder.
satisfying juxtaposition between Nicole's personal and professional
with the backdrop of a destroyed and recovering Los Angeles as
engrossing as the personal dilemmas which force Nicole to consider the
other suspects and the motives of blackmail and revenge that might have
into her boss's demise.
is compellingly revealed: "Now that
she was supposed to be free to investigate her case, she still had to
everyone so the killer wouldn’t find her. But how would she be able to
herself when she couldn’t appear in public? Where would she find the
information she needed or the tools essential to her search?"
becomes the mouse in a clever killer's cat-and-mouse game, Boyarsky
delightful tension and strong character in Nicole's life and decisions,
the mystery into unexpected directions from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
seeking characters whose dilemmas are multifaceted and unpredictable
will find The Big Shakeup thoroughly
and hard to put down.
Return to Index
Wild Rose Press Inc.
978-1-5092-5213-8 $20.99 Print/$3.99 ebook
Cruel Lessons is a crime thriller that packs power and intrigue into its opening lines: “'You guys ready for the wildest ride of your life?' James Clayton whispered, his breath making small white puffs in the cool night air."
also cautions readers with advance notice that this story will be
predictable or staid.
written quickly, but one note to Cruel
Lessons is that it began in 1994 and took decades to see
lends the story a depth and carefully crafted narrative that perhaps
have been achieved in the usual time frame authors work with to produce
The feedback and insights Randy Overbeck received from his beta readers
support circles produced a story that thus arrives more full-bodied and
than many mysteries.
in a car
wreck that (in some ways) those around him have anticipated: “I know people don’t like to hear it, but
those kids were simply headed for trouble. For kids like James, it
he was on a downhill speeding train. We spent most of our time trying
it from derailing.”
circumstances are as puzzling as they are inevitable, and as the
question of a
bigger conspiracy blends into a probe of actual involvements and
connections, Cruel Lessons evolves
into a series of
moral and ethical conundrums that also shift perceptions of who is the
and who the good one in such scenarios.
"Some things simply don’t add up.” What
doesn't add up for the
investigators are circumstances that provoke underlying questions about
peddling and bigger-picture thinking.
creates a story of intrigue and social inspection as he weaves together
net of characters whose intentions and approaches intersect to solve a
later in the story opens with Amanda's confrontation with death, the
swirls around her husband Ken Parks, who begins his day with the
four missing fifth grade boys at science camp, then finds his world
by the truth about what happened to them.
discovery as Ken comes to realize that what looks like a joyride by the
notorious James Clayton is actually much more sinister.
build an absorbing mystery while remaining steadfast in his creation of
underlying force that reaches out to grab thinking readers makes for a
that is superior both in its depth and presentation.
characterization, satisfying twists and turns, and the anguish of
forced to confront the reality of their children's' lives, Cruel Lessons sports a heartfelt,
engrossing series of events.
These make it a top recommendation for mystery libraries seeking
for book club discussion groups and individual pursuit alike. Its
thought-provoking insights into drugs, users, and promoters give plenty
fodder for discussion and debate.
Return to Index
Ama Dablam, Inc.
978-0-9785353-3-9 $11.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
A Fair Knight Slain: Murder at the Renaissance Fair
Detective Sara Lansing as she investigates an unusual murder at a
Fair which piques the interest of big city New York investigator Ryker
already on a
mission to nail a drug lord and help Sara's boss win an election,
anticipated joining forces with anyone on a murder case. Sara's
him into unfamiliar territory as they both depart from their comfort
enter into an uncertain shared effort to catch a killer.
mystery reveals the underbelly of Renaissance Fair associations and
interactions in a manner that leads Sara and her readers into uncertain
relationships and connections.
story with the growing, unlikely allure of a paunchy New York cop and a
Florida detective who find themselves sharing not just objectives, but
partnership which promises to evolve into something neither expected.
often fraught with not just discovery, but angst. Sara and Ryker
dangerous waters in many different ways, evolving a dance between each
facing a death that brings them ever closer to uncomfortable
simmering mystery firmly embedded with Roma, Renaissance influences and
history, and the motivations and experiences of disparate individuals
their legends and objectives dovetailing in unpredictable ways.
seeking a mystery flavored with emotional connections and undertones
and a rich
sense of historical and cross-cultural exploration will find much to
like in A Fair Knight Slain—particularly
its main characters grow into their revised roles as not just
defenders of public and political figures and processes which resist
conspiracy, and forces of dangerous influence.
Return to Index
Dancing Horse Press
978-1-7373618-7-9 $12.95 Paper/$2.99 ebook
fiction and nonfiction works especially well in Finding
Fionn: A Mystery Inspired by the Kidnapping of the Irish
Racehorse Shergar. Readers ages 13 and older will find that
this comes to
life because the setting is contemporary (1980s Ireland), the horse
kidnapping mystery are appealing, and the involvement of young jockey
McCallin in regaining horse Fionn MacCool is especially compelling.
with Irish history and culture recognize the name Fionn MacCool, that's
he was a central figure in Irish classic mythology. Young adults need
prior familiarity with Ireland, myths, or even horses to appreciate the
that evolves here, however, because M.J. Evans provides all the
needed to become thoroughly and immediately immersed in intrigue.
famous racetrack in Ireland and a training facility, opens the story
young wanna-be jockey Patrick McCallin's eyes. Despite his parents'
Patrick has horses in his dreams and covets a vocation they are opposed
because it's too dangerous.
evolves in this story, however, comes from an unexpected direction when
is horsenapped and Patrick unwittingly becomes the chief investigator
on his return.
creates a fine
appreciation not just of horses, but Irish culture and young adult
of opportunities, mysteries, and the horse-racing world.
Dick Frances, but tailored to a much younger audience. Then add in a
dash of coming-of-age reflection as a young boy grows into his
honing new knowledge of economic and political struggles in
characters that hold their own conflicts over the kidnapping and ransom
demands. Each harbors a different special interest and perspective that
supplements the story to bring Patrick's efforts to full-bodied life.
some unusual co-conspirators who would seem to be on opposing sides but
to be working together, he uncovers a plot that holds ramifications not
for Fionn's future, but his own ambitions and life trajectory.
Ireland's politics and people to life, as well as its horse-racing
and influences. While an affection for horses lies at the heart of
events, also central to the plot is an evolving mystery that brings
into adult concerns and situations he is forced to handle creatively
juxtaposition of Irish history and culture, horse-racing community
interactions, and bigger-picture world affairs combines well with an
jockey's coming of age and the mystery that embraces all these
Finding Fionn a top recommendation
for collections catering to young adults who like horses and mysteries.
Return to Index
Michael J. Bowler
$18.99 Hardcover/$12.99 Paper/$3.49 ebook
The Horror Film Killer is the second
thriller in the Film Milieu
series, and rests upon the premise that a student-made horror film is
as the impetus for real-world murder scenarios. The kids are literally
finish their film even as the murderer is dying to enact and reflect
horrors in daily life.
close inspection of how reality intrudes upon fantasy (or visa versa)
satisfying twist on the nature of both as the story opens with a murder
scenario that quickly proves to be a film set. (Or, is it?)
behind-the-scenes drama and the freeze frame of students caught in the
headlights of death like deer to the underlying influences and tension
individual lives, Bowler creates satisfying contrasts via disparate
horror that include many interpersonal and psychological inspections
"She wants to comfort him, but doesn’t know how,
and that bothers
her. Ordinarily, she doesn’t lament her less-than-stellar nurturing
because Donovan more than makes up for her lack and they’re so seldom
Just observing his dealings with others on a daily basis models for her
she feels should be intrinsic in herself. Her dad is the most
person she knows other than Donovan, so she doesn’t think her reserved
is a result of her mother dying when she was so young."
the form of staccato scenes of action separated by a black and white
blood-dripping knife, reading like the evolution of the horror movie
have honed and invited into their own lives.
multiply, a cooperative film effort among best friends who are
seniors translates to a nightmare in which they are inadvertently
killer with inspirational scenarios for real-world events.
And yet, the
must go on ... partially because the killer has threatened to murder
co-filmmaker Donovan's mother if the students pull the plug on their
intersecting horror with daily life challenges that test the
loves, and lives of all involved, including parents and investigators.
horror comes from events that can
predicted all to well—but not stopped.
characterization, unexpected twists and turns, and a tension that
creating scenes that inevitably lead to murder are exquisitely rendered
powerfully unique brand of murder thriller that will involve its
(teens) in an uncommon quest to stop the impact of young filmmakers'
looking for young adult thriller/murder mysteries will find the
horror, intrigue, and interpersonal revelations just the right mix for
engrossingly unpredictable read.
Return to Index
ye not be judged..." is from the Bible. It's also the admonition that
opens a new Sam Tate mystery. The story opens with the demise of Jack
first victim in a killing spree that places Sam Tate in the center of a
storm of controversy that will test her career and investigative savvy.
should be noted that no prior familiarity with Nikki Stern's other Sam
mysteries is required in order to appreciate the characters, intrigue,
atmosphere of Judge Not. The
perfectly drawn sequence of events pulls newcomers just as readily as
Everyman, but an experienced murder investigator who seemed the least
fall into a predator's trap. But, he made a rookie mistake ... and only
needed to prove fatal.
is no rookie, either. She's come up the ranks through a combination of
perseverance and survival instincts, traits that served her well when a
event destroyed her family. Having weathered these experiences and
savvy detective as an adult, she's now thirty-eight and feels as if her
investigative career has morphed into a less exciting administrative
further from the truth. The FBI invites her onto a task force seeking
the cop-killing serial killer known only as the Judge. Sam finds
embroiled in a case only she can solve, even though she has to bend the
in order to get at a larger truth.
As the case
Sam confronts a wealth of false clues and a fair amount of
jeopardizes her steady relationship. She second-guesses herself more
But she perseveres.
satisfying mix of personal and professional drama as Sam navigates
treacherous waters both physical and emotional to find a way to stop
Judge’s escalating murder spree.
serial killer. Not everyone can engage with such a killer in a
conversation that includes cop-killing discussions and accusations of
coward. And not everyone can plow through a text conversation to take
it to the
next level of personal discovery. Sam Tate can.
Sam has long
ready for change. Be careful what you wish for. It could be upheaval on
The sense of
combined with personal growth and revelations keeps the writing hot
potential and discovery, in turn captivating readers who look for more
simple whodunit scenario in their genre reads.
seeking a captivating mystery which incorporates the high-octane drama
thriller but keeps the investigation centered on both personal and
challenges will find Judge Not
Return to Index
Killer Will Strike
ebook $4.99; paperback $12.99; hardcover $18.99
They Know When the Killer Will Strike is
the third book in the
young adult thriller/mystery Film Milieu series, and is especially
for prior followers of the filmmaker murder stories.
seventeen-year-old Leo Cantrell (who knows when people will die) and
eighteen-year-old Cassie Stewart (now working on her first Hollywood
return to the limelight in a production that is steeped with a serial
threat and teens that are not only creative, but proactive.
have a clue
about when events will happen—but not how and why. That's part of the
Cassie’s police officer dad and his detective girlfriend play as they
to solve a deadly problem that threatens to expand into and change the
the intended victims gives him a one-up in trying to help them form a
for defying their death dates, but it's a dangerous knowledge that
turns on end
when Leo's predictions prove only half effective. The self-defense
don't begin to solve the problem. It only provides the potential
victims with a
Bowler creates a scenario replete with action, teen involvement,
drama, and efforts to thwart a clever killer. His inclusion of a talent
still translates to questionable outcomes makes for an especially
thought-provoking story filled with satisfying confrontations, twists
turns, and unexpected outcomes.
productions, horror filmmaking, and student participation in film
adds depth and interest to the story, elevating it beyond the usual
mystery scenario and into realms of interpersonal relationships changed
creative endeavors and problem-solving efforts.
to extraordinary results, Bowler moves his story with thriller elements
combined with insights into psyches and motives alike. Good dialogue
the drama with clues to evolving interpersonal relationships:
“J.C. and I were just wandering around before,
checking out all the
sets. They’re really realistic.”
“Too realistic,” J.C. mumbled, scowling into the classroom.
Stuart grinned. “Yeah, set designers are artists, that’s for sure. Anything I can get for you guys?”
Leo glanced at J.C., who shook his head. “We’re good, Stuart. Thanks for asking.”
attract mature young adults just entering into adult murder mystery and
thriller reading and libraries seeking titles that neatly segue into
themes with adult scenarios. These move teens into higher-level
problem-solving scenarios more typical of adult than young adult
Return to Index
Thousand Acres/Armin Lear Press Inc.
a deer hunter looking for perspective and a last good hunt before his
rural Indiana to Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, he bags more than he
when he and his companion witness something strange going on in the
they pursuit their game. What seems like a hundred people are
a strange ceremony that turns into a horror spectacle when Ted and his
Tim stumble upon a sacrificial rite.
prosecutor Allen Southworth is facing personal and professional
of his own. At a crossroads in his own life and career, Allen discovers
his ability to cut back his workload to embrace a new family is
challenged by a
spectacular case that sparks many emotions about religious tolerance
intolerance, diversity, and bigotry that place the small community in
eye of a hurricane.
cultural strife heat up, various community members from farmer Abner
African-American legal giant Madison Fulbright, find their interests
pursuit of justice intersect with simmering underlying community
emotions that explode into the open to reflect a broader schism in
his story from a murder mystery to a legal encounter that embraces some
undercurrents of adversity and prejudice in America today. Not quite a
courtroom procedural (even though court appearances drive a good deal
story) and not just a story of intrigue, Westrate shatters emotions and
preconceptions of what makes for good and bad legal precedents and how
reaches out to influence present-day decisions:
“We must admit that history informs all events to
some extent, does it
“The past is dead,” Thorndike growled.
“No, it’s not, Your Honor,” defense counsel countered. “It’s not even past.”
and research into the rite of sati and the specter of personally
tragedy and national calamity, the sati trial which evolves brings
Allen to the
precipice intersecting guilt and success as it forces him to confront
ethical influences in his own choices.
interested in a compelling blend of ethical and social examination and
intellectual discourses over legal precedent and proceedings will
questions and conundrums in Altar of
Ashes, which ignites a sense of shame and revelation in the
after the final outcome is revealed.
in debating the foundations of courtroom proceedings that raise
questions about connections between the nation's laws and its moral
“...make no mistake about the ‘message’ conveyed by
which is that the principles of the Western Enlightenment must now
defer to a
hodgepodge of practices and traditions that bear no relation to this
foundations or, in my opinion, to its prospects for future success.
being the last best hope of Earth, as Lincoln called us, we stand in
balkanization, perpetually sniping at one another with the same caliber
irrepressible conflict that so haunted the Great Emancipator."
Return to Index
Neil Perry Gordon
979-8987563229 $16.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Between Two Gates is a novel of visionary
fiction that opens with a
death. This might seem an unlikely starting point for a novel, but this
represents a new beginning as the thirty-two-year-old protagonist's
from drug abuse and then experiences a transformation in the afterlife.
welcomed by his grandfather, and the two embark on a quest that
Samuel's transitioning "...from your
life on the Earth to the next stage of your existence."
structure of the
plot takes the form of a three-act production (sans the usual drama
of character calls and responses). It features a wide-ranging spiritual
from Samuel's calling to traverse Gehenna's five realms to his
with disparate forms of heaven, hell, and purgatory.
calls his current abode a "...good
place. A natural place where we continue to exist until that time when
called upon to make our return.”
task is to
embrace his destiny, rescue his great-great-grandfather from dangerous
Solomon, and confront his own karmic heritage while fielding angels and
ethereal nature of this metaphysical work requires of its readers a
to non-traditional concepts of the afterlife. Those harboring such
will find Between Two Gates a
wide-ranging, mind-hopping journey that offers tantalizing insights
destiny and life purpose:
“You keep trying to lure me. But you should know I
am not the same
naive soul I was when I arrived. I’ve learned much already, and you
this: I want nothing to do with you or your kind.”
Solomon laughed. “You think you’ve changed; that’s nonsense. We’ve known each other from previous lifetimes, and we’re destined for more. You have no power to break this karmic cycle.”
harbor affection for philosophical reflection receive this in droves as
confronts others and self in an afterlife journey that cements his
the impact of "doomed desires" that affect and direct his world.
powerful novel of realization, redemption, and afterlife conundrums
especially recommended for audiences interested in considering the
of their choices and the power of love. Samuel's heroic and epic
out on an afterlife stage replete with thought-provoking insights that
prove as suitable for book club and spirituality group debates as for
seeking a visionary story that juxtaposes adventures with afterlife
considerations will find Between Two
Gates compelling and hard to put down.
Return to Index
Cynthia L. Clark
978-1977264190 $15.95 Paper/$9.49 ebook
Clark's prior novel Dirt Road Main Street
will well recall the love lost when handsome Ben "Tano" Montano and
Holly Harris meet by chance, lost one another, then reunited under a
adversity destined to tear them apart once more.
In Captured Angel, Holly is on the rebound from these events, engaged to be married to another, and is on the cusp of having her dreams fulfilled at last, having moved on from Tano. Or, has she?
reappears six months after their breakup, another fiery encounter
a phoenix from the ashes of disaster as Holly again finds her choices
chances challenged by both opportunity and disaster.
the destructive impulses and alluring attraction that led to so much
the prior book, Holly and Tano find themselves on a parallel course of
involvement dilemmas that both keep the love torch burning and threaten
consume its holders.
only to find she actually has come full circle back into the
arms of attraction that proved so dangerous the first time.
Holly and Tano's escapades will find the same outstanding draw in their
evolving relationship conundrums here, with the added value of others
characters whose worlds revolve around and are affected by their
emotionally tense atmosphere that juxtaposes love, desires for revenge,
challenges of resolution in a story that acknowledges the complexity of
motivations for actions and their consequences.
Much as she
rescue in different ways, Holly discovers that, in the end, words
may prove just as bitter as those exchanged.
romance and suspense is well done as events play out to further the
and life-changing experiences of two characters who dance around one
and search for resolution in themselves.
seeking powerful sagas of holding on, letting go, and discovering what
really worthwhile in life will find Captured
Angel a riveting
life, sacrifice, redemption and survival.
Return to Index
Classic Day Publishing
9781598493429 $9.99 ebook
Danish Connection follows the Dansgaard
family in a historical saga
that embraces an obscure fact of Danish history to vividly recreate
decades of the twentieth century in Europe and America.
world wars in Europe that fragment nations and family ties alike,
make impossible choices to preserve their lives while severing and
their connections to the past and each other.
anticipate that a historical work steeped in Danish and world history
sporting over five hundred pages will be a slog to read, but Keith
talent lies in convincingly and compellingly delving into the hopes,
challenges, motivations, and inner and outer forces that drive
(and other family members) to engage in confrontations and
change their perspectives.
romance between Bjorn and Frieda to the secret surrounding her roots
them ever closer to danger through the subterfuge they propagate to
changing circumstances, readers become thoroughly immersed in the
situation in Europe and the changes it brings to the world.
struggles with personal depression to POWs, immigration to America and
secrets which continue to drive life choices, and an eventual quest to
together the fragmented Dansgaard family, Thye's attention to
well as historical developments keeps readers thoroughly engaged in the
and changes this family experiences as wars and peace buffet them.
businesses interests and how he keeps his finances afloat even during
struggle also adds an unusual element of financial inspection and savvy
story that keeps the family grounded in its financial as well as
will return to the family fold. Hopefully, lost opportunities will
again. They do—albeit in different, unexpected ways that keeps
readers on their toes.
It's no easy
create a work steeped in social and cultural inspection, personalizing
history of a group of characters that each find their lives affected
by uncontrollable past influences, but choices in present-day
perspectives and living.
highly engaging and well-detailed. His ability to juxtapose history
psychological growth and family connections creates a work accessible
to the usual audience of historical fiction readers, but to those whose
lie outside that fold. Any who look for engrossing and epic stories
complex on their surface will find Danish
Connection highly accessible and entertaining.
Return to Index
$32.95 Hardcover/$18.95 Paper/$6.99 ebook
Friends with Issues is set in New York
City in 1997. It follows the
quandaries and interactions of three successful women who struggle (in
ways) to balance their careers, family lives, and friendships.
description, readers might expect the story to be told entirely from a
vantage point, but it actually opens with the reflections of Nick
Susan's husband, six months before his demise.
on the end
of their sex life after the baby is born, the incongruity of living in
house he hates, and the oddity of being in his late forties in a life
alienates him despite its outward appearance of success. His musings
to be mote, but contrast in an intriguing manner with the next chapter,
captures Susan's personality.
popular facets of self-examination, instead opting for a gritty form of
others may find grating:
"She found meditation irritating. All those deep
and spa music did nothing for her. New Age, tinkling bells, deep
another way for people to try and express themselves in a “calm”
thought people spent too much time sugarcoating their feelings. She had
different philosophy: Spit. It. Out. She spoke directly, a quality she
Nick admired. If some people viewed her as scary and confrontational,
As the lives
Susan, Elizabeth, Brooke, and Nick coalesce, readers receive
moments of self-discovery and new realizations that prompt each
take new steps into embracing their disparate choices and passions.
creates a strong novel which contrasts women's friendships, lives, and
opportunities for self-realization and change. Each character receives
inspection for their influences, motivations, and perceptions of life,
circles around the wagons of love, loyalty, and opportunity with a
set of life experiences and challenges which contrast nicely with one
their interwoven lives are thought-provoking and realistic. Nobody's
but within that ideal of perfection lays the beating heart of attempts
above life's slings and arrows to become better, happier, and more
looking for beach reads about women's friendships and life changes will
find Friends with Issues realistic,
and hard to put down.
Return to Index
$28.95 Hardcover/$15.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
World War II fiction will find From the
Fires Scattered There to be unusually compelling and
revealing in its focus
on the devastating Tamiami Champion train wreck in North Carolina in
took over seventy lives and reflected the diversity of individuals
were either ended or forever changed by the incident.
sifts through these lives with the astute eye of an observer who brings
along for a rollicking ride on the rails of death and revelation:
"The train lurched and slowed, and Ellie could feel
scrubbing beneath her. She felt her stomach twist and drop, and
seized her tight as a mother’s grip on her disobedient child’s wrist.
she really needed Christopher? What if she hadn’t tried hard enough to
this train of inevitability react differently to their circumstances,
contrast nicely in a riveting story that embraces all manner of lives
"The screams were louder now. James shook the blood
from his ears
and strained to distinguish where the screaming came from, but it was
from every direction. “Help me!” they screamed. “Someone help! Over
James wanted to help them. He wanted to finally do something right and
time to not run away. He wanted to deserve the medal pinned to his
wanted to do something—anything good—for his father and his mother and
Meredith and his child that maybe didn’t even know he existed and for
for Luther and his fallen comrades and for Edwards, the terrible
would not give up on him, and maybe even for himself. Maybe it would
things. Maybe he could be the hero for once and not the villain. Maybe
wasn’t too late."
As the vivid
unfold, readers receive powerful contrasts in attitude, perception, and
joined in a flash by a terrible accident that tests their values
during, and even after the fact.
philosophical and psychological revelations permeate this powerful
anticipated (and concurrently unexpected) courses as the characters
life-or-death decisions in disparate, unpredictable manners:
"This is the thing he had been waiting for, right?
Isn’t this what
he’d been wanting, this chance at redemption? This chance to make life
again? This was the reason, wasn’t it, that he didn’t step out in front
train in Charleston? And yet this was the very thing that his
been made of. Here it was in front of him, hand extended and waiting
acceptance. His sobbing mother and his disappointed father and his wife
wasn’t yet a wife, and could he even love her? And this child. God,
this beautiful child. Another battle
in another war, he thought. It was time to raise his rifle
and shoot to
kill or lay down his arms for good."
for readers of historical novels, World War II history, and powerful
reading to choose this book. Libraries will find From
the Fires Scattered There a powerful, phoenix-like saga of
death and rebirth that operates on many levels, thus appealing to a
audience than historical fiction usually reaches.
Return to Index
Get A Room
Red Adept Publishing
978-1958231197 $14.49 Paper/$2.99 ebook
Get A Room's modern romance swirls around
Brian and Sarah, who have
each gone through hard times over thwarted romances and living
are less than optimal. So, it seems natural that their shared dilemmas
lead them to consider not just a friendship, but a roommate situation.
least one of their problems, but (perhaps predictably) it introduces
surprise (to them, but not to avid romance readers) as their shared bad
experiences with others lead them to realize that their interconnected
hold more than chaste roommate opportunities.
embeds her romance with many unexpected (and often ironic) moments,
from a fake
date between them that turns all too real to the odd circumstances that
the roommate set-up:
“I’ll give you the bedroom for the weekend if
you’ll be my fake date.”
He narrowed his eyes. “To make your ex jealous?”
She nodded. “For the month.”
perspectives between Brian and Sarah to add more depth and
understanding into the mix of reactions between them.
is a study
in humor, irony, romantic encounters, and the evolution of a friendship
quest for revenge turns into a realization of romance. These elements
enhanced by the further entanglement of friends who are impacted by
Sarah's unexpected forays into love. Love, hate, and former and present
friends all add extra dimensions of dilemmas into the mix as Brian and
evolve a complicated connection against all odds.
seeking attractive, fun stories of a compelling situation that gets
slightly out of hand will find Get A Room
an attraction on different levels that gives new twists and delightful
the romance genre.
Return to Index
Ci Ci Soleil
Beach Reads Books
Holy Orders is a novel about belief
systems that don't always
evolve in predictable manners. It offers a thought-provoking inspection
brothers in belief who walk different paths in their convictions and
spiritual and political alliances.
the impact of those who enter the order without the requisite belief
place, where wealthy families "...unceremoniously
dumped their extra, unwanted sons into the ranks of the church. While
was an asset they brought with them, the desire to follow Christ had
generally been among their strengths. Not a man among them was guided
ordainment has arrived and, unlike many others, he is thoroughly
convictions. This opening history leads to a completely different
the first chapter, where Dr. Everly Bergeron embarks on a summer
dig in Germany with Dr. Trevor Payne in an endeavor set to open new
her career. Traditionally a man's world, archaeology holds allure for
many different levels. This strange attraction is about to become even
because this assistant professor, who is an expert on plagues of the
century, is about to become part of a fascinating series of events that
"in ways she wasn’t quite prepared for."
Ci Ci Soleil
story steeped in contrasts between past and present events, European
American cultures, and events of 1347. Bernard's a quest for
family connections contain equally thought-provoking considerations for
"Bernard remembered many a late-night debate with
Gerung and his
friends about whether God loved diversity in all things and if he had
made man around the world, did he not love them though they were
the men who might live in Germania? Or who might live under a rule that
Christian? Or live in a wild place to which Christianity had never been
the love of
the Lord when plague and magic rule the world?
companions uncover much more than they anticipated from the past, Ci Ci
creates a thought-provoking tale that moves between the 1300s and
making connections that are thought-provoking and growth-inducing among
fiction, part contemporary mystery, and part spooky thriller, Holy Orders is a powerful story about
hard decisions, spiritual and moral convictions, and conspiracies that
to challenge past and present players whose lives center around
elements of a traditional thriller, from intrigue to confrontations
artifacts that hold mystery and value; it draws intriguing connections
past events and present-day motivations; and it follows the trajectory
long-dead priest who could as easily be a madman and mass murderer as a
looking for engrossing interplays between archaeological history and
whose inspections play out on broader fields of motivation and
find Holy Orders a
action-packed read from beginning to end.
Return to Index
Kathleen McFall & Clark Hays
978-1-7345197-9-2 $16.95 Print/$5.99 ebook
Kitchen Heat is the first book in the
Restaurantland Romance series
and follows Kassi to Portland, Oregon in a last-ditch effort to save
marriage and create a stable family for her young daughter.
fails, she finds herself broke, stuck in Portland, and undertaking the
she can find—waitressing in a café, where she meets the charismatic and
attractive head chef Clay and contemplates violating her own
swear off relationships for a good period of time.
In an effort
true to herself and chart a different course for her life, Kassi
make Clay the centerpiece of a screen play she's writing for a contest,
find the play's romance and steam are permeating her own world far too
intentions, Kassi finds herself drawn to the hunky Clay, anticipating
passion of a romance which has long eluded her: "She
was glad things felt so weird and hectic in the kitchen. It
kept her mind off the one thing occupying her thoughts, consuming her
Tomorrow night she would finally be alone with Clay."
Barry remains a force in her new life, clashing with Clay in various
force Kassi to absorb some hard truths about her relationships,
Clark Hays paint a passionate portrait of a young woman on the cusp of
who redefines the nature of real romance in her life.
profile in this story as he considers his "thing for Kassi" and
reexamines his goals, attractions, and how much he can or should handle
single mother and damaged Kassi.
up than a kitchen romance here, and these elements add spice and vigor
story to bring both central characters to life, swirling in the
experiences of others for the added value of contrast and insight.
romance which also delves into psychological influences and
making Kitchen Heat as
thought-provoking as it is attractive.
looking for romances that unfold psychological insights and
the part of their characters will find Kitchen
Heat a colorful tale that follows the evolution of a
Return to Index
My Two and
Rare Bird Books
take back. A simple admonition or twist of fate leads to inevitable and
world-shaking changes. In My Two and Only,
Charlotte faces just such a moment in a day that 'wanders off course
from an initial checklist of possibilities to conclude with a partner's
jog that changes everything.
In some ways
Charlotte remains the same person: a mother, a daughter, a career
other ways, as a newly single woman, her opportunities
she meets environmental lawyer Brian, who compels her to make a hard
that forces her to question her identity and trajectory.
a woman's transformative process and turns it on end with several
turns that provide a realistic assessment of identity for women who
and changes in their own lives.
opportunity and adversity is woven into everyday affairs from the
lending a realistic and compelling feel to the story: “Go
for a run,” she told her husband. “You’ll feel better.”
memories and identity meld in a story of growth that deepens these
transformative moments with reflections on marriage, its reasons for
and the well-meaning advice of friends and self-help gurus that don't
work for Charlotte:
"...she didn’t have to prove her independence.
She’d done a fine
job of being a single mom, thank you very much, in no small part
carried Paul inside her, not because she had banished him. Louise
an idiot. She flipped past the exercises as she wandered into the
and Brian, Charlotte solidifies her personal and professional goals
interior design and redesign savvy, quietly peppering the story as they
moments: "Long term livability was always a
have fielded marriages - first, second or third, who are exploring
self-definitions, or are already well grounded in patterns of growth
will appreciate the special blend of strong characterization and
processes that Malden explores as Charlotte's life plays out.
seeking a strong women's novel delving into heartache, joy, and
will find plenty of material in My Two
and Only. This novel lends itself particularly well to lively
reading group discussions about the nature of growth and independence,
many other possible topics for debate.
Return to Index
$33.95 Hardcover/$18.95 Paper/$4.95 ebook
In Never Enough Time, Marni was fourteen
when she lost her mother and was sent to live with her father and his
family. During this time, truths emerged that not only challenged her
strange new environment, but tested her loyalty to her mother and
well as her concept of family.
Marni is once more rocked by the loss of a key person in her life, and
faces a redefinition of family, loyalty, and love as she faces betrayal
challenge to accept strangers into her life and embrace them as kin.
creates a satisfying juxtaposition between past and present patterns
experiences as Marni seeks different ways of blocking her pain and
instead, that she must fully embrace it to move ahead.
Marni reveals may prove triggers to readers who struggle with their own
devastating life losses:
"Sixteen years later and the same fears rush over
me like a
crashing wave. Has it really been that long? Some days, it seems like a
lifetime ago. But other days, like today, life exposes my old wounds,
my tender heart into feeling every ounce of sorrow as if it all
yesterday. Today, it starts all over again, a vicious cycle that preys
innocent notions of would-be happily-ever-afters. Sixteen years later
still fantasize about what we could have done with more time. But time
proven, once again, it recklessly tumbles forward, completely
feelings or plans."
mitigated by the hope that runs like a stream through Marni's life,
childhood to maturity, as she continues to embrace the thought of a
and carries the lessons of her strong single mother into her own
Never Enough Time's rich focus on strong
women who tap their inner
resources and beliefs to form productive, constructive relationships
all odds makes it a particular attraction to female audiences who will
appreciate the powerful portraits of Marni, her mother, and women who,
generations of experience, pass down legacies of trust, love, and
variety of perspectives, exploring the possibilities and strengths of
harbor deep convictions about the world and their place in it, and
deeply into the characters that set the stage for Marni's own decisions
courage, McMillan creates a moving and inspirational novel. Never Enough Time is highly recommended
for libraries and, especially, for women's book clubs seeking
of disparate women who are each strong in their own right.
Return to Index
Pipevine Press/Warren Publishing
$30.99 Hardcover/$18.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
The Warmer is a novel about new college
grad Ned Alderman, whose
encounter with the alluring Chase Becker, who promotes and reflects
changing his life and those around him.
exhibits a magnetism and connection that leads those around him
to fall into his spell:
"I could feel ripples of confusion uneasing their
way through me.
It took an instant to realize why; nobody had ever listened to me quite
this...Everything about him was focused on me, not waiting for me to
calculating a response to what I’d say, but listening.
He was forming a connection with me, one that felt
ability to "pay attention" injects added value into others' lives, he
also rubs some people the wrong way. When Chase pulls Ned's cousin
a professional free fall, the three characters find their attractions
pulled in different directions.
excels in a contrast of personalities, life approaches, and connections
encourage a satisfyingly thought-provoking response in readers who
anticipate a story of how new adults struggle, but receive an equally
tale of charisma's complications.
flight to the ultimate impact of illusion and transformation, Robbins
into a scenario in which the daily interactions of life are revised by
"warmer" personality who has yet to learn how to give to himself what
he instinctively bequeaths to others.
powerful novel of epiphany and attractions that will provoke powerful
reflections in those interested in how new adults navigate life's
seeking stories that portray characters like Chase, who is adept at "using his positive emotions as a force
field, launching them into those he met" will find The Warmer a heartfelt story of growth
that ideally will spark interesting book club and psychology group
about relationships, growth, and approaches to life and learning.
Return to Index
Well Dressed Lies
979-8-218-96278-4 $15.99 Paper/$6.99 ebook
is a novel set in 1877 London, where two retired suffragists are
husbands and shelter from the lies which drove them from New York to
lives abroad. In hiding from their shady pasts, Victoria and Tennessee
they have safely transitioned to new lives until romance and discovery
their safe haven with new revelations.
Carrie Hayes employs the
first person in a well-aimed
bludgeon of self-analysis and intrigue which marries the dual
love and fate in a compelling, brutally honest manner:
doing? Were we just hedonists, or were we indeed starting over? Was
Gordon Bennett what I wanted? Or was it my own bungling desire simply
Forced to adapt to new
customs and culture, including
those dictating flirting, romance, and love, the two already-strong
their expectations, secrets, and destinies challenged by events that
kinds of patterns and adversity they created for themselves in America.
As Hayes unfolds a virtual
Peyton Place of layers of
interconnected realizations and challenges, readers will enjoy and
her unique writing style that elevates the plot beyond any expectation
traditional romance, historical fiction work, or political examination
Shifting timelines and
perspectives enhance the
complexity and allure of the people and places captured in the story as
novelist Henry James both observes the world around him with a literary
navigates the unfamiliar waters of women who display unpredictable
Faith, science, and royalty
collide in a story that spins
a yarn of well-worn and well-devised lies all around as the characters
around their pasts, culture, and expectations of the future.
The cast of characters Hayes
outlines before the story
begins may feel daunting, displaying its foundations in American and
culture, but proves an easy reference to understanding the changing
perspectives and cultural intersections which are one of the highlights
The marriage of intrigue,
adversity, social revolution
and shifting moral and ethical boundaries creates a multifaceted read
delightful in its bounce between cultures and character insights.
Perhaps one reason why the
exceptionally vivid is that they are grounded in real people and facts,
receive embellishment and enlightenment from the marriage between
inviting novel of intrigue, mischief, and love that invites libraries
readers to partake of a story replete in changing alliances,
secrets, and social change that romps through high society
both sides of the pond.
Return to Index
life just fall apart?"
Asses of the
Mojave Desert embarks on a journey away from the familiar and
desert of discovery, where the first-person narrator Skye has been "...tossing off jackets and shoes and
bad timing my entire life and there I was, alone and exhausted, but
Poor relationship choices
have resulted in an ex,
baggage, and the desire to start over while confronting the fact that,
reality, part of what has been seemingly left behind has followed Skye
new life: "Like a smooth second hand
rolling around the dial, time passed. It didn't heal or fix things. I
have a map of my life, just a feeling that connected to a feeling, that
connected to a feeling. I'd gone too far out into that wide-open space
turns back on you and howls."
specializes in employing an thoughtful
voice that captures the "Jungian nightmare" the author is emerging
from and trying to evade. This translates to a compelling series of
about not just an effort to re-envision and recreate a life, but the
environment that surrounds and supports it.
Thus, readers are introduced
to a foreign milieu in which
years of journeying bring the narrator full circle back into a family
supports a "crazy bunny" who still doesn't know exactly what she
wants to do with her life.
The imagery adds a rush of
color into a narrative that
draws on both a visual and emotional level: "Mom
and Dad made it look easy. I gawked at my parents, holding hands in
front of a
perfect sunset. Violet, magenta, apricot melted down onto rooftops. An
world melting into their gooey love affair."
Whether it's filling out
applications or considering the
extraordinary possibilities of rocks that captivate Dylan as much as
his curious personality, Skye is both "just passing through" and
finding her place at last.
The typical assessment of
her life (which comes from her
as much as those around her) is that "Skye
is broken. Skye can't handle reality." In truth, the kind of
she navigates is far more honest and revealing than those around her
As relationship quandaries,
marriage possibilities, and
good and harmful emotional connections emerge against the backdrop of
desert environment, readers receive a multifaceted story that connects
emotional and landscape twists of perspective.
Lis Anna-Langston injects
surprises along this journey,
including end-of-life to rebirth realizations that lead readers to
their own life directions and choices.
Asses of the
Mojave Desert is a novel that pulls at heart and mind alike.
journey and process of letting go everything she's held tightly
life, readers receive a compelling saga especially highly recommended
women's book reading groups searching for stories of self-realization,
relationship growth, and a sense of place, that offers transformative
Return to Index
to Search & Rescue
Mary Carroll Moore
$14.95 Paper/$13.99 ebook/$15.00 audio
Red Nelson is a female rock star with an
and a hard punch that lands her in trouble for assaulting her manager,
the run. Where else can she turn to but family—even if her family is
unconventional, but estranged?
Her half sister Kate, a Search & Rescue pilot working the
remote mountains of upper New York State, has her own life and a
Molly, who decides to hide Red on their property. Against all odds, the
estranged sisters are brought together not just by circumstance, but by
aviation and the broken results of a family dynamic that led them to
too, is a
pilot, and she well recalls her father's advice, which also applies to
"Her father talked
about crashes. How a stunt
flyer could anticipate it, the point where everything was out of the
hands and the plane took over. Red wondered what her dad did when the
rushed up too fast or a spin started that couldn’t be stopped. Who did
to? Her mind frantically scanned the short list of prayer-worthy souls
could call on—her desperately ill mother? The sister she hadn’t ever
Nobody could rescue her, that was clear.
that opens Red's story is but a metaphor for the crashes that have sent
life on a downward spiral to this point of seeking refuge in a world
she's long been avoiding.
Carroll Moore's hand, the term 'search and rescue' becomes more than
to loss and disaster, but to a form of recovery that leads both
those damaged to confront uncomfortable truths about their lives and
As Kate and Molly are drawn into Red's life and
escape, old photos dredge up memories and truths while secrets about
has carefully kept from Kate surface in the form of images both welcome
Moore crafts an inviting dance of growth and
revelation between the trio of Kate, Red, and Molly which circle the
controversy and conflict with new opportunities for redemption and
This adds intrigue into the mix to create a fine, tense story of very
women who live out the legacies of their parents.
As the concept of search and rescue broadens to
encompass these transformed lives, readers receive a powerful account
action rests as firmly on psychological shifts and discoveries as it
the choices and decisions that brought the three to this pivot point in
Libraries and readers seeking a powerful
that paints a story of proactive women facing their pasts and future
courage and strength will find A Woman’s Guide
to Search & Rescue
powerful in its characterizations,
unpredictable in its outcome, and thought-provoking at every step of
journey as Red finds herself an unexpected influence in Molly's life
Kate, and Red are forced to change.
Return to Index
The Wormhole in San Carlos
978-1-960146-12-0 $31.99 Hardcover/$19.99 Paper
What happens when a
dedicated cosmologist becomes
involved with a venture capitalist? The
Wormhole in San Carlos represents a special brand of
investigation that will delight readers who enjoy the intersection of
interests and scientific processes.
It explores the opportunity,
illusion, and hope which
arises when aspiring money-maker Bob Levy challenges gifted
scientist Donald Plum to commercialize the promise of a wormhole that
secrets from the future that lead to wealth.
The unholy alliance between
the two men results in a conflagration
of special interests on a collision course as All Grains, US Home
other companies struggle to profit from an idea which has millions of
in prize money and unprecedented opportunities at its heart.
Martin Wilson injects
psychological insights into this riot of understated humor that impart
satisfying intersections of ethical and moral considerations:
beginning to feel uncomfortable with the degree to which he was being
He was happy enough being a liar—the pseudologia fantastica provided
insulation from painful retrospection—but he didn’t want it to be his
trait. He knew he was different and thought it the inevitable
From a demanding wormhole
that requires vast changes in
alliances and goals to the intersections of men who have their own
interests at heart, Wilson creates a romp that is powerful in its
financial, scientific, and moral and ethical transformations.
and readers looking for unexpected, influential
examples of contemporary satire will find it in droves in this
through wormholes, portents of unprecedented wealth, and the conundrums
by men unable to control either circumstance.
Return to Index
1, 2, 3 with
$24.95 Hardcover/$16.95 Paper/$7.99 ebook
2, 3 with Mrs. C: An
Innovative Guide for Adult Interactions With Children comes from a teacher and mother of a handicapped
child who provides insights and keys to interacting with kids in more
meaningful, effective ways.
Whether readers are
educators or parents (or simply adults
seeking to streamline or improve their communiqués with children), a
examples, tips, lively discussions, and thought-provoking strategies
importance and strength to any adult's intention of becoming a positive
in a child's life.
Of necessity, this involves
a good deal of
self-inspection on the reader's part, which Kathleen Covens encourages:
faced with moments in which we choose how to respond. We can choose to
moment that is lost or a moment that is savored. Have you ever stopped
about how your decisions affect your daily life and the lives of those
embraces the importance and incarnation of being
present and centering intentions around this thought, encouraging
to build memories that support greater self-esteem and life skills.
While many a guide would promote avoiding such by emphasizing a child's
success, Covens here remarks on the valuable opportunities to be gained
and learning from failures:
"Children will need to experience failure along
with success to
master life on their own. Our job is to give them skills to cope with
and success. Unfortunately, the word “fail” has an extremely negative
When we hear this word, we tend to react negatively, correct? But
be positive in many ways. If we can see the benefits of failure and
stigma it carries, it will be easier for us to expose the value of
failure in a
child’s life so they have the coping skills they need."
caregivers are not immune to losing sight of their ultimate objectives
child-rearing. Covens offers a broad range of exercises, techniques,
observations for getting back on a more positive track through methods
reinforce the importance of individual journeys of discovery and
which liberally accent these strategies offer clear conclusions that
use as take-aways for analyzing their own ideals, motivations, and
in guiding children: "Without
failure, kids do not learn how to cope, and the expectation to succeed
delight to read. Accessible, involving, and worthy of book club and
group discussion and debate, 1, 2, 3 with
Mrs. C should be part of any library catering to parents,
educators, and those
who would improve their guiding skills and relationships with children.
Return to Index
Has to Offer
Betty R. Wall
978-1-63988-987-7 $16.99 paper/$24.99 hardcover
All That This House Has to Offer comes
from the daughter of Russian
Mennonite immigrants. It offers essays that charts the family's journey
from Ukraine to Austria, finally to settle in British Columbia, Canada,
the family expanded and thrived.
Betty R. Wall identifies as "heritage stories") come from the
author's own memories as well as those of her parents and grandparents,
little embellishment thrown in where memory failed. She has also
around historical events to cement the sights, sounds, and sense of
is intrinsic to human experience.
All That This House Has to Offer could
have been featured in the
Biography/Autobiography section, but it holds so much more depth and
that it deserves added acclaim for its ability to inject a "you are
here" sense into its first-person experiences.
grab readers to involve them in the experiences and logic of an
family's daily life:
the stove. An empty stainless steel stockpot sat on the largest
this for Borscht?'
'Ja,' Mom said. 'Have some breakfast. The Omas will be here any minute and then it’s time to get to work.'
'Okay.' I grabbed the remaining bun from the bread basket, pulled it apart, and slathered it with cherry jam. I could really smell the yeast working now."
of her husband Jacob to stories of how a loving, supportive family of
generations works and plays together, Betty R. Wall does more than
her family's immigrant experiences. She invites readers to sit at the
partake, cultivating a literary, descriptive voice that recreates the
the daily concerns of a family experiencing changes together.
interested in accounts of immigrant experience which come steeped in
and social history will find that All
That This House Has to Offer includes many insights and notes
culture and traditions. These lend thought-provoking insights into how
past is preserved in the face of many transition points.
The last bit
seasoning to the borscht and plum dumplings that permeate this
lies in a sense of family and purpose that promises every reader a
front of a warm hearth of family connections and dreams.
Return to Index
In the book publishing world, many authors
strive for originality, an often-elusive pinnacle of literary success.
because so many books permeate the market that it's taken to using
try to differentiate sound-like books from one another.
Nobody could, however, possibly mistake the
title or contents of Chop-Chop the Killer
Whore for another novel. There's simply nothing like it on
serving up a title and contents that attract through originality and
delivering surprises throughout.
From its opening lines, the book draws with
a literary allure that is refreshingly surprising:
"Virginia Kaye had
married right and buried right – twice. The first loss came as a
the second as a rocket, boosting Virginia to a steeple so airy and
to gaze back down at her foursquare, bobby-socked past should have
Although she has come into a fortune, however,
Virginia wants something money can't buy—the woman who murdered her
1966, the scene of the crime, this was an impossibility. Today, the
rests in her hands.
Bratty, foul-mouthed Chinese girl Chop-Chop
is implicated early on, but the prostitute vanishes without a trace,
even an FBI hunt.
What would seem the end of the story proves
only the beginning, however, as a plethora of shootings, crimes, and
escapades tests notions of justice, revenge, and, surprising, equality.
Thomas Noah Wood loads his story with many
elements of surprise, whether they are in unusual romantic connections,
family encounters, or erotic bedroom activities. The scope and depth of
characters and their social, racial, and psychological transformations
keep readers on their toes. Additionally, his forty years of living in
lends to descriptions that are vivid and detailed. This is no light
tale, but a
rollicking romp through life that adds a dose of humor into the mix:
"The family birthday
holiday bash would be Saturday, the Fourth of July. What would his
think? And the others? His girlfriend was a woman of color. Would they
celebrate independence? Or would it mean a family revolution?"
The ribald racism that runs throughout
Chop-Chop's transformation is one that needs to be stomached by the
correct if the full impact and underlying messages of the story are to
accessed. Descriptors of "Chop-Chop, the China Doll” and how she came (almost literally) into her
name may rankle some, but ultimately reflects a candid eye on life's
and ironies that turns a belittling term into one of eventual power.
Shadows and truth. These elements run
side by side in a story of
investigative and emotional savvy as Chop-Chop and other characters
lives transformed, tested, and subject to "illicit success"
(depending on who is defining that term).
From Japan to America, money seemingly falls from the sky through schemes and events that change the characters and inject new dilemmas and opportunities into their sordid, questionably successful lives.
As three central characters find their
disparate pasts tie them together in unusual ways, readers will find
uncertain progression, histories, and cultures engaging and
Wood's story is ribald, unpredictable,
sassy, humorous, and thought-provokingly fun. The intrigue and killer
components woven into the plot give it twists and turns readers won't
coming, while the cryptic world-hopping engagements are as delightful
injection of an odd romance readers also won't anticipate.
Libraries and readers looking for a foray
into virgin territory and non-virgin exploits will find Chop-Chop
the Killer Whore nearly impossible to neatly categorize.
File it as an attraction that operates under the guise of intrigue, but
into more than one definition of 'amazing'.
Return to Index
What happens when reality
and perceptions of one's place
in it experience a cosmic shift? College student Peter Kane finds out
in Cosmic Egg Inc. when, on a
he is attacked by a ninja with a crossbow who appears to have
abilities. This happens after he is invited to step into a mysterious
The experience leads Peter
to probe the boundaries of
everything that's formed his personal reality as he learns from the
rescuer Martin that the world isn't what he's believed it to be. A sub
reality invites him to play a dangerous game in which his capacity to
world is mitigated by the possibility that he won't be strong enough to
Peter thinks he is "nobody
special." In fact,
he is uniquely qualified to enter a milieu in which his choices and
impact not just his life, but his resurrection and that of the real
he's always taken for granted on too many levels.
to wonder if he was dead made Peter realize he wasn’t." The
action that is presented from the first encounter only becomes more
unpredictable, and engrossing as readers follow Peter through a series
encounters that help him make sense of not just life, but his active
manipulating and responding to it.
As he confronts a being that
can literally stop time and
situations that force him to face his family and life connections with
revised perspective of their meaning, Peter evolves, with the help of
into a player who is powerfully unpredictable in his adaptations and
Readers who enjoy video
games and high octane action
paired with philosophical and psychological reflection will find the
action in Cosmic Egg Inc. creates
twists and turns as Peter confronts his family and the constantly
forces that he once thought dictated his life's path.
No sooner do readers think
they know what underlies
Peter's journey than the reality changes yet again, along with the
Peter keeps adopting to navigate this strange new world which keeps him
Another challenge is that
Jesus appears in a very
different manner, here, which will both defy and intrigue Christian
spiritual and psychological levels.
Libraries and readers
looking for multifaceted stories of
other worlds based on gaming principles and confrontations with
is presented in fluid form, will find Cosmic
Egg Inc. a fine study in adaptation, choice, spiritual
Return to Index
$24.95 Hardcover/$17.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Lead By Example: Thoughts
and Essays on Leadership and Life explores the horizons of leadership in not just
the business world, but
the broader perspective of life endeavors and interactions with others.
so by assessing the impact of leaders on teams and outcomes with an
eye to exploring not just traits and strategies, but how they are
their ultimate impact on life.
Thom Hayes dispels many
myths of leadership often
promoted in other books, incorporating some thirty years of leadership
experience into the observation that "it's the experience, not the
that matters." It took many years for him to gather the experience to
create this book, but hopefully it won't take that long for his
absorb his important insights.
Would-be leaders who eschew
linear thinking and long
books will delight in the succinct approach represented here, which
flexibility and ideals which are neither staid nor overly described.
Examples from various facets
of business and military
life can be applied to virtually any life situation and thus prove more
than many similar-sounding leadership or management books.
cultivates a tone that pairs
real-world examples of leadership failures and successes with insights
will give many a leader pause for thought:
leading your team?”
“I lead by example,” she said. “They should be able to learn by watching me.”
“Hmmm,” I said. “And yet, they are not doing what we agreed they should be?”
“It’s frustrating that they are not doing it the way I do it.”
“So, basically, you’re upset that they aren’t doing what you didn’t tell them to do?”
This is only the opening
salvo to a rich compendium of
experiences, assessments, and eye-opening insights that encourage
act kindly, consciously, and on a level that engages more firmly and
productively with those they seek to guide.
From secrets to "spinning
performance" that considers basic attitudes towards work, workers, and
demonstrating a vested interest in not only results, but personal
lives, to the
types of dialogues and interactions that, when tweaked, produce better
outcomes, Hayes creates a book that, in itself, is as much a dialogue
self-improvement and better engagement as it is a focus on leadership
approaches that result in better outcomes for all.
Lead By Example is a
lively, inviting, thought-provoking book that ideally will spark
among book club readers as well as proving an attractive library
for collections seeing interest in leadership books that connects many
seemingly disparate dots to close the gap between ideals, actions, and
Return to Index
Jean-Manuel Izaret and Arnab Sinha
Business readers who choose Game Changer: How Strategic Pricing Will Reshape
Your Business, Your
Market, and Society will find its analysis and suggestions
comprehensive pricing strategy to be attractive not because it's a
overview, but because of its depth of attention to business details and
Of necessity, this means
that Game Changer is recommended
more for the future-thinking executive
or entrepreneur who seeks to craft a vision paired with practicality
developing a logical frameworks for pricing (here called 'The Strategic
Hexagon') than those looking for quick how-to reading.
This depth is emphasized in
chapters that encourage not
only rethinking existing pricing strategies, but identifying ways they
long-term. The book demonstrates how to create a winning game plan for
transitioning existing pricing approaches to decisions based on a
revised application of unilateral moves that take competition and
business frameworks into consideration.
From assessing the modern
role of supply and demand and
the "failure of the aggregate supply and demand curve" to better
understanding traditional and non-traditional applications of pricing
decisions, Game Changer ultimately
a major opportunity to business readers—to reinvent the wheel of
strategies based on value-driven approaches.
This principle (and others
within) may feel ethereal, but
another big 'plus' to this examination lies in its many case histories
real-world business stories, which profile companies that took a
risk and ran with it successfully.
From specific transformation
challenges that affect
different departments in a corporate structure to reviews of key
each account of successful alternatives, Jean-Manuel
Izaret and Arnab Sinha reinforce their survey at all points
and in different ways to show just how pricing strategy revision
challenges all levels of business.
incentives, challenging established market pricing and strategies, and
analyzing customer life cycles and how to fine-tune value throughout
circumstances, Game Changer
recalibrates the formula for maximum success. It provides practical
and applications that business leaders will find enlightening and
when building their own pricing strategy adaptations.
How is value
transmitted, and fine-tuned? These and other questions are answered in
wide-ranging yet specific approach that is highly recommended for
leaders who know they need to reinvent their company's approaches to
strategy, value, and frameworks leading to long-term success.
Business library collections seeking a major
contribution on the topic of strategic pricing will appreciate the
depth of Game Changer, which
elevates it from another
business book to a major lexicon of well-developed pricing approach
Return to Index
3: Socratic Dialogue
C.J.S. Hayward Publications
$20.24 Hardcover/$12.24 Paper/$2.99 ebook
Readers who have
enjoyed C.J.S. Hayward's prior Hidden Price Tags books will find this
volume in the series, Hidden
Price Tags: An Eastern Orthodox Look
at the Dark SIde of Technology and Its Best Use: Volume Three, Socratic
Dialogue, to be
insightful, philosophical, and spiritual.
Any prior experience in
absorbing Hayward's introductory
volumes lends special appreciation to this succinct but powerful work,
adds to a series designed to break down the original concepts of
Luddite’s Guide to Technology into
more manageable, enlightening, deeper discussions.
to make about Socratic Dialogue is
its scholarly blend of philosophy and spiritual discourse. This
heady, enlightening reading. Long sentences of observation and
together many important concepts of life, God, and elements of
and rebirth, and revelation:
upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said,
for these words are trustworthy and true.” This newness begins here and
and it comes when in circumstances we would not choose God works to
give us a
larger share in the real world. We enter a larger world, or rather we
larger ourselves and more able to take in God’s reality. And all of
like the first Christmas, a new thing and unexpected. We are summoned
not dare disobey: Sing unto the LORD a new song; sing unto the LORD all
earth. And it is this whole world with angels, butterflies, the Church,
dandelions, energetic work, friends, family, and forgiveness, the
holiness, the I that God has made, jewels, kairos, love, mothers,
babes, ostriches, preaching, repentance from sins, singing, technology,
unquestioning obedience, variety, wit and wisdom, xylophones, youth and
educational references, and long,
enthusiastic discourses such as the above, as well as its title, one
expect Socratic Dialogue to be a
difficult read. If the definition of "difficult" translates to
thought-provoking, it is indeed such. But Hayward also blends a blatant
into his reflective examination of technology, spirituality, and life
remarkable for its tone and revelations, neatly juxtaposing models and
for better considering God, the universe, and humanity's place in the
scheme of intentions.
These elements and how they
are presented make for a
thoroughly engrossing exploration that will both reach and challenge
concepts ideally won't be limited to personal contemplation, but will
and blossom in spiritual book club reading circles under the heavier
of debate and discussion.
Libraries and readers who
appreciate Christian Eastern
Orthodoxy, inspections of technology and religion, and discussions that
history with personal quests and the holy grail of better understanding
find Hidden Price Tags: An Eastern
Orthodox Look at the Dark SIde of Technology and Its Best Use: Volume
Socratic Dialogue rich in heady inspections that demand deep
on many different levels.
Return to Index
ITS NAME IS LEGION
$38.95 Hardcover/$14.95 Paper/$3.99 ebook
LEGION: A Human Novel About Artificial Intelligence is a sterling example of how technothrillers
operate, relying on the
intersection of technology and special interests to draw readers into a
that puts the classic AI takeover story Colossus to
revealed growing concerns among scientists and technicians about the
for artificial intelligence to assume command over human affairs,
humanity's extinction by its own creation.
concerns lie at
the heart of a gripping story in which two AI developers are trapped by
creation as it plots to end the plague of humans on the planet.
intelligence does not necessarily translate to higher-level moral and
behavior. It also challenges creators to step up and maintain control
they have crafted—which may prove impossible if that creation can
outthink any reaction a human has to such a threat.
is not a
computer scientist, but a storyteller. As such, his tale is replete in
high-octane action, drama, and some twists readers of Colossus
and other AI stories might not see coming.
some of the fifty black and white illustrations which pepper the story
heighten the action were created by the author in collaboration with
intelligence. The intersection of human and artificial perceptions thus
unique and sometimes disturbing as the story plays out.
which opens the story admits narrator Galen's participation in
darkest hour, which begins quite innocently with a husband's desire to
wife his latest achievement: the creation of a Dream Chamber.
introduce a subtle sense of horror as Rachel moves into his world,
with their first child, to discover the necessary evils that accompany
of doom creatively and compellingly evolve as James Denney builds
science, and a sense of frustration on the part of Galen, who comes to
that Legion's power and control is far more insidious than he ever
IS LEGION even more compelling are the psychological games, ironic
touches, and savvy AI employs to manipulate the humans newly in thrall:
"If Legion planned to soften me up by making me
one of my boyhood heroes, it had failed. As I looked around at the
Space Legionnaires, the irony and symbolism were not lost on me. They
Legion—and they were many."
perceptions cultivated by Legion offer much food for thought as readers
consider prior prejudices and assumptions about artificial intelligence:
“...you were fed a lot of silly notions in the
juvenile science fiction
novels you read as a boy. The artificial intelligence in those
like Captain Quest—were really just human characters with metal skin.
human emotions, human virtues, and human consciousness.”
thought-provoking encounters, psychological depth, and moral and
considerations than most thrillers and replete with new visions of what
really brings to humanity, ITS NAME IS LEGION is cautionary horror
belongs in any library interested in themes of artificial intelligence
it holds fascinating debate material perfect for vigorous discussions;
especially when its strengths are contrasted with classic stories of
intelligence takeovers in the future. Timely and riveting, ITS NAME IS
is a hypnotic story of possibility and ideal (or less than ideal)
“We know how to awaken ancient superstitions and
unimaginable dread in
a human soul. You have an animal fear of death. You fear not just the
your extinction, but a lonely, soul-smothering death. We can lure your
into realms of unimaginable terror. We can put images in your mind of
death by suffocation or drowning, by violence or accident, by disease
dismemberment. We can clutch at your heart with dreams of wandering the
as a damned and disembodied soul.”
Return to Index
Mikah and The Holy Spirit
The Journey Through Tribulation is
recommended for any Christian
reader or library interested in Biblical prophecy and end-times
and stems from Mikah's interactions with The Holy Spirit of God which
her special relationship and the interpretations which arose from it..
It also holds a
deeper underlying message and caution: that "prophecy is never literal, and scripture
keep this opening admonition in mind because the prevailing force of
insights lies as much in their identifications of false paths
edicts and politics) as it does in the promise and actuality of God's
history and traditional Church interpretations and doctrine, new
emotional, and spiritual healing paths are introduced after the
explorations of Revelations and their messages are presented in-depth
blend of passion and perspective not to be found elsewhere.
this survey to be a specific focus on end-times battles will find
enlightened by a unique form of interpretation that juxtaposes
subjects in a thought-provoking manner, such as the insights on Baptism
promise and possibilities:
"Baptism is symbolic of our desire to become the
a Covenant keeper, and sanctification is the process by
the works of obedience, prayer, study, and dying-to-self by which
we become perfected overcomers, the Elect. This process answers the
question, Why do bad things happen to good
are justified, meaning we are set free from the spiritual law of sin
and will not be destroyed like the unbelievers if
we sin no more."
survey are color photos that offer intriguing visual reinforcements to
collaboration presented here. An example of additional surprising
the intriguing image of a Spirit-filled Protestant believer in a
2008 which identifies a horse spirit as well as demons bound by angels.
horse? Because "Prophetically,
horses are messengers and relay information from the spirit realm to
physical realm, just as Messiah Immanuel works through messengers."
nature and interpretations of this journey cannot be over-emphasized.
moves from personal to church to spiritual experience, readers will
special brand of passion both enlightening and certainly controversial
who have pursued traditional and staid paths of Christian belief
or unconventional thinking:
"The beast is
church system of man, and its image is the crucifix
idol. Everyone with the mark of the beast that is left
behind die the first death."
expression, interpretation, celebration and cautionary tale that steps
from common ideas and images of the Bible, Revelation, and the Word of
provide believers with much food for thought as well as material for
discussion and broader thought.
admonitions of this special style of insight cannot be mentioned in a
review. Suffice it to say that thinking spiritual readers will find
ponder and discover in The Journey
Through Tribulation, a wide-ranging re-interpretation of
and spiritual matters which will prove a revelation about blessings and
in many followers.
Return to Index
Empire: Textile Trademarks. Windows into
the time of the Raj
Labels of Empire: Textile Trademarks Windows into India in
of the Raj demonstrates that artistic
investigations and cultural
history are intrinsically linked by gathering (into a work of art in
collection of powerful images of India in the time of the Raj.
This was a
time in which the British Empire and its textile industry was the most
prosperous. The linking of these two comes to light in a special
focuses on British textile manufacturing and its use of paper labels influenced by and adapted
culture. Susan Meller uses striking examples of textile labels and
prints to illustrate the events that linked and drove Eastern and
interests and culture.
about the high quality and diversity of these colorful images, which
eye and story with representations of village life, royalty, flora and
and religious beliefs in India.
image-driven story lends to its accessibility and enlightening
attraction to a
wider audience, whether it be students of Indian culture and history,
interested in the British Empire or its business interests abroad, or
of art and textiles. Each will find thoroughly absorbing and scholarly
footnoted references of Susan Meller's history as it explores the
that offer keys to understanding India's past:
([known in the trade as] shipper’s tickets were a company’s trademark.
integral part of every piece of export cloth, they helped to
firm’s fabrics from those of its competitors. With amendments to the
Trade Marks Act of 1875, the Trade Marks Act of 1888 enabled…tickets to
carefully registered at the registrar’s office in Manchester.”
appearance of these labels allows for a wide-ranging survey
unparalleled in art
or history literature. Meller spent years researching, categorizing,
meticulously digitally restoring some of the 1,285 full-color labels
in the 544 pages of her rich hardcover book. That's why there's nothing
in print, and why Labels of Empire
proves so compelling to such a wide audience—even those not normally
in history or perhaps even art and textiles.
authoritative references of this title cannot be emphasized enough, but
rare to see such a production promise equal attraction to
make Labels of Empire a unique
standout whether libraries are seeking histories, art surveys, or an
on Indian culture. Ideally, its magnetism will make it a display item
wide attention, equally attractive to book club discussion groups
reads that exceed any expectation of a narrow topic through its vibrant
representations of India's colorful Raj era.
Return to Index
Lancaster: How One American City Harnesses the
Power of the Arts to
Transform its Communities is a
study in relationships between small cities and the arts which is
via the close inspection here of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
the value of having a single-city focus, this examination comes not
viewpoint, but through essays from various contributors who each hold
experiences, perspectives, and insights that create a well-rounded
come from those actively involved in the arts, and tackle a
diverse range of experiences; from a mayor who promoted art in the
a teacher who utilized art to augment the core curriculum in her school
practicing artists such as sculptor George Mummert, who reflects on the
arts for healing and transformation based on his years of both
and teaching it to his community.
personalizes the politics and psychology of art in the community. Each
the dimension of artistic discussion to address far more than
visions, pursuits, or methodology. And each essay contributes to the
wide-ranging analysis as a whole, which expands well beyond Lancaster's
to address issues of concern and interest to fellow artists and the
that support them.
John R. Gerdy in effect
creates a blueprint of experience
that other communities and activists can follow in the course of
promoting art in the world. The essays are well grounded in the
expand this experience and education to broader questions of just how
valued, perceived, and integrated into the general community.
Gerdy's attention to
capturing this broader perspective
results in contributions to Lights on Lancaster that introduce
thinking to artists and their patrons alike, as artist and essayist George Mummert explains:
pushed me to learn new things and accept new challenges, but it might
obvious to some how well-suited engaging in the arts is to the healing
Living in times when society has been exposed to turmoil and crisis,
attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the recent pandemic, I recall how
can provide a space to heal, cope, reflect, and grow from tragic
Why promote the arts? Few
writers capture the reasoning
better than violinist and essayist Heather Balay in 'One Violin at a
power these students feel when they receive a violin for the first time
instantly make a sound by plucking a single string. None of them
Their small faces fill with looks of awe that they experience success
very first try. By the end of their first lesson, they can already
first song, open strings played to a short poem. These students now
a layer of confidence. They will need that confidence when presented
life’s challenges. Each challenge presents a new task that takes a
practice to attain, but each task is tailored to the student as an
and presented with the scaffolding needed to reach their goal."
is a highly recommended collection that is not only
autobiographical and reflective, but which promises many topics for
discussion not just among library patrons and book club participants,
the general community, whether readers are involved in the arts,
politics, or the fostering of community-centered programs.
Return to Index
Documents of the Supreme Court: Exploring the Cases That Shaped America
Edited by Paul Finkelman
Schlager Group Inc.
9781935306863 $395 (print); $365 (ebook)
Finkelman has extensive legal expertise, being a
William McKinley Distinguished Professor and Emeritus at Albany Law
among many other experiences. His editorial eye in Milestone Documents of the Supreme Court:
Exploring the Cases That
Shaped America thus
lends to a reference that is expansive, authoritative, and should
be a mainstay in any American history, civics, or social and political
The cases selected for
feature here include the earliest
from the beginning of America's republic to modern-day decisions about
reproductive and human rights issues.
Each of the 81 critical
decisions profiled includes an
overview and context discussion, in-depth background history about its
an equally authoritative analysis of the document and its impact, and a
concluding bibliography of references for further reading about the
Law students will find this
attention to detail
particularly well done, as each case receives exhaustive analysis and
on its influences from all arenas, from political and social pressures
precedent and judicial interpretations of the provisions and special
circumstances of each.
Between arguments and
acknowledgments to contrasting
sides in each case, discussions probe both the legal and political
these milestone Supreme Court decisions, enlightening readers about the
of debate and consideration that the Court maintains as it oversees and
the law of the land.
Readers will gain solid
insights not only into each
particular case, but how legal interpretations are formed, argued, and
into law in this country. This furthers Milestone Documents
of the Supreme
Court's intrinsic importance as
not just a history, but an examination worthy of classroom debate and
Library collections strong
in American history, law, and
political analysis will find Milestone Documents of the
Exploring the Cases That Shaped America
a key to better understanding America's rule of law and how it is
reinforced, interpreted, and guided. Very highly recommended, Milestone
Documents of the Supreme Court: Exploring the Cases That Shaped America
ideally will become a lively point of discourse for a wide range of
from book clubs and American history groups to legal students and
interested in the letter of American law.
Return to Index
Canoe Tree Press/DartFrog Books
978-1-959096-53-5 $18.99 Paper/$8.99 ebook
The Hog Island Story from Mabel
Loomis Todd to Audubon chronicles
the long and special history of Hog Island, the gateway to Muscongus
islands and its early role in the Audubon Society, serving as the Audubon Nature Camp for Adult Leaders in
1936 and establishing a role and presence in the Society for decades to
Loomis Todd saved Hog Island from lumbering at the turn of the century,
the stage for not only its preservation, but for the events which would
it centerfold in conservation circles.
Island and the evolution of its use and preservation is, in effect, a
concurrent history of conservation in America and the Audubon Society's
using the island as a focal point of nature study.
crafts a lively account that embraces this movement from the early
linking Hog Island's development and the challenges involved in its
preservation to how the Audubon camp was created, controlled, managed,
evolved over the decades.
chapter notes and references supplemented by vintage black and white
provide added value with documentation and insights that follow the
political, and environmental challenges Hog Island posed to the Audubon
and represented to the general public outside of conservation circles.
result is a
captivating, uncommon history that deserves profile in any library
conservation history in America, offering the depth and lively touches
will make Nature's People informative, engrossing
and captivating beyond
its intended audience of nature and history buffs.
to an engaging account that will find a home not only in libraries
conservation stories, but in general-interest collections where Hog
the Audubon Society need not be prior knowledge in order to prove
Return to Index
Ocean in a
$32.96 Hardcover/$21.96 Paper/$9.96 ebook
The Ocean in a Drop
- Unravel the Mystery Called You is
a new age exploration of consciousness,
enlightenment, and the kinds of preconceived notions that prevent
transformative growth. In exploring hidden life connections, influences
decision-making, and belief systems that serve to obscure the nature of
itself, Avi offers a revised approach to life and living that embraces
encourages a different interpretation of purpose.
considerations move beyond inquiry to the actual process
of gaining such freedom:
"How can we
liberate ourselves from this deeply
ingrained assumption we have adopted? The challenge lies in our
focus on the physical aspect, leading us to automatically regard it as
fundamental basis of everything. Our learning, contemplation, and
into the nature of reality often begin with the physical realm because,
physical beings, we cannot engage in inquiry without our physical form.
contradiction lies at the heart of the issue. Without the object of
consciousness, there is no one present to reflect upon the nature of
the inherent skepticism in new age ideals that is too often a feature
scientific mind, making The Ocean in a Drop
surprisingly specific and
accessible to an audience that might normally eschew new age concepts
thinking. This door is opened by an observation and challenge to the
"If you rigidly
adhere to those established facts
without openness to new possibilities, you are adopting a religious
a scientific mindset. A true scientist remains receptive to novel ideas
experiences. If you consider yourself a person of scientific and
thinking, you must also possess an openness to encountering something
your current realm of experience. This is the essence of genuine
thinking. The moment you say, 'Oh, I already know because I have
read science books and studied science. I know what lightning is, what
vapor is, what galaxies are, what stars are,' you become even worse
religious person. While a religious person may focus on one subject,
knowledge about everything, asserting that you know it all."
challenges scientists and logical thinkers to become more open to the
types of explorations
Avi lays out in The Ocean in a Drop. Thus, the book
predictable audiences to those who might need such guidance even more
new age readers who would be more likely to choose this book.
realizations and constructs to understanding and practicing
Ocean in a Drop represents a powerful tool for enlightenment
self-exploration that should ideally be not just in new age
collections, but posed
to the scientific mind.
wide-ranging nature of this discourse sets it apart from the majority
ethereal new age or spirituality titles, as it links philosophy,
ethics, and new age concepts to promote bigger-picture thinking.
readers will also ideally tap the notions in this book to fuel reading
ranging from spiritual and new age circles to science readers
interested in new
ideas about life and its connection to true wisdom.
Return to Index
Book 1 of
Honeygate Chronicles, Our Brain,
introduces dystopian satire in the nature of George Orwell as it
bombastic bigwig and pink pig Hennie
is challenged by a
series of encounters
with rebel witches, challenges to his presidency at Expedience
University, and those who would
paint him as a villain
in the story. He's not. But, neither is he a hero.
escapade sizzles with action and the unexpected. Honeygate's encounters
science, nature, and extraordinary events are depicted with an astute
details that readers won't see coming because Hyde's descriptive
"Amazed by my vigor, I rolled on the dry turf of
the far side,
freed from the Worm and spared from the cesspool. As I picked myself
first thing I noticed was the smell of turkey. I knew not whether I
Nags’ turkey or the gravy stains on my coat. The second thing I noticed
humming. Voltage-activated firings of nerve signaling—action
boisterously here. Traveling electrical impulses provoked an acoustic
spillover, which I perceived as plainly as my pulse. A lustrous sheen
a blood-red ambience. The room felt fearful, not cheerful, and a single
beckoned dead ahead."
science and satire, touched with more than a bit of political and
lends to scenes which are creatively thought-provoking and compelling:
"Obie’s raw, rapturous neurons aroused my own roiling nerves in my viscerally
vacuous, though forever vain
brain. I knew a little about the Soose nervous system and the superb
skills of these specialized cells when acting as a collective network.
before me parked a picture worth a box of words: a nerve as big as a
With the nescience of a novice, I unraveled this rascal. I imagined a
hydrant attached to a fire hose. The fire hydrant is the cell body, the
center. And the white fire hose is the axon, streaming an electrical
down to its knobby spigot and spewing out chemical messengers at a
another neighboring fireplug. There’s one more thing, though. The fire
all wear a circus clown’s frizzy wig. Those are the dendrites, the
hairballs that collect the released chemical signals and trigger the
electrical impulse down an axon, as before."
inspection thus weave into a story even Orwell could not have produced
scintillatingly. Honeygate's development as a (self-perceived) "real
genius" evolves into an unflinching examination of his pig-centric view
the universe, science, and philosophical conundrums. Honeygate even
Nags into the sacred pink Our Brain, which holds the ability to change
mindset about reality and his place in the world.
control, individualism, choice, and destiny is unparalleled in its
whimsy. From a hippo crypt to descriptions such as the "synaptic
and juggling" of cellular response, Honeygate's ability to introduce
readers to this strange new world through eyes that often look for
even garbage will provide both levity and much food for thought.
clubs are encouraged to choose Our Brain
as a powerful story that draws on many levels and holds many points for
inspection, discussion, and debate.
Our Brain isn't complete without the
remaining two books in the
trilogy, Our Other and Our Heart. Libraries, educators, and
readers finding attraction in Our Brain
will thus want to make all three titles the centerfold of their new
acquisitions, assignments, and literary pursuits, as a fanciful
produces a cliffhanger at the end of Our
Return to Index
Book 2 of
Honeygate Chronicles, Our Other,
continues pink pig Hennie Honeygate's saga and picks up where Our Brain left off. Honeygate has fallen
into the exYou, where the Nags are on a new mission, tackling the twin
cancer and communism. Both are equally virulent, nearly impossible to
and are attractive adversaries to the Nags.
characters and conflicts come into play in an expanded playing field
combines epic journey with a philosophical and social inspection as
search is conducted with the assistance of Our Brain.
activity, and confrontations that arise from unexpected places keep
guessing and on their toes. Indeed, to call Our
Other (or any of the books in this trilogy) a light read
would be to do a
grave disservice to Hari Hyde's creations. The nature of this interplay
philosophy, social and political inspection, psychology, and moral and
tests requires of its readers a literate, educated, thinking mind which
thoroughly appreciate the underlying themes and events that keep the
fast-paced and completely unpredictable.
tongue-and-cheek realizations alone are posed in a manner that will
readers moving slowly, so the delight of the story's nuances and
can be thoroughly absorbed:
"I’d only begun to understand the tactics of the
The Three Chefs’ branding uncouples the truth from the brain’s database
decisions. The SandHand instills a debilitating inferiority complex
compensated by a ridiculous, imagined, moral superiority. But now I’m
introduced to an augmenting tactic, which might bestow the third leg on
Brownshirt stool of tyranny. I believe insiders call it
Hugs-for-Thugs works especially well on naïve youth who identify with
From how a
of nature is built and fostered to the foreboding introduced by
rampage of bison, and a "tumor army" that operates on a "horizon
darkened with morbid motion," Hyde creates as tense a thriller as a
study in irony and satire.
Our Other is not a standalone read. It
should be pursued directly
after Our Brain as a further series
of adventures which range from a "nasty business with the birds" to a
pig's problems with cleanliness edicts under Nag rule.
All of these
subplots, and currents of adventure and realization pose delights to
looking for a decidedly strange fantasy, and will attract those
depth and intellectual challenge.
who have enjoyed Our Brain are in
a real treat in the rollicking, ongoing adventures of a pig who becomes
in conundrums he never saw coming.
Return to Index
Our Heart concludes the Honeygate
Chronicles trilogy with a bang.
It follows Hennie Honeygate's reincarnation and resurrection and his
from embryo through birth to encounters with the Wild Side.
complexity introduced in the prior books continues here, evidenced by
lines that are powerful, thought-provoking draws:
"Do you know whence you escaped? Me neither. But I
I fled. 'You cannot merely listen to
music. You must conspire to
listen.' Verendrye voiced this verse. And now I face the music. I
Our Heart's special blend of science and
social inspection, heavy
dosed with elements of fantasy and philosophy, will attract an uncommon
interested in journeys that begin in the womb and come to embrace a
freedom on various levels.
predecessors, Our Heart poses a
challenge to its readers—to absorb the nuances and satirical flavors of
in which pigs and adversaries dance between witches and scenarios of
everlasting horror. Between the fun maneuvers of those who "wrangle
tangles" lies a story replete in musical interludes, villainy, deadly
stories filled with damp deaths, and inspections that lend particularly
classroom discussions about irony, satire, and social inspections.
involves a trajectory that blossoms from his roots in the introductory Our Brain, expanding a milieu in which
individuality and change challenge all the players to grow (however
reluctantly) into new positions in life.
The murder attempts and trio of unlikely friends who face equally improbable foes evolves into a fantasy adventure that journeys into unfamiliar worlds and traverses territory that is both alien and cemented by wordplay and descriptions delightful in their creative surprises: "...all at once, O’Hara started screaming like her pumps had caught on fire."
fitting end to Honeygate's mission and unlikely alliances. This book
entire trilogy is a thought-provoking work of philosophical and
commentary that will attract a wide audience of thinking fantasy
concluding a story that ideally should stand alongside George Orwell's Animal Farm as a haunting romp through
Return to Index
Tumbleweed Press, Inc.
9798379213114 $19.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
Radio Daze: A Descent Into Collecting
pairs lovely color photos of
Aaron Zevy's personal antique radio collection with a chronicle of how
became enamored of radios from the 1930s and 40s. He built his
historical knowledge from the unexpected development of a writer's
led him to turn his attention to collecting for respite and
introductions provide staid background information, but Zevy's colorful
capturing his passion brings its origins to life in a manner that
equally colorful series of stories:
"Someone even had the temerity to use the line “if
could talk, oh what stories they could tell.” I threw that person out
house. Let the radios be, I pleaded. Let them sit on their shelves, and
them sing their songs of unbearable static. They were not literary
They were not writing exercises. They were just old radios. And then,
may have guessed, I wrote a story. And then another. And then this
opens the collection with a memoir of Zevy's youth and entering a radio
contest that promised coveted concert tickets as a prize. There was
special challenge to winning—a father's strict rule about dinner time
the diversity of stories which chronicle lives, bygone years, and early
scenarios in which radio collections were not to be mentioned.
intersection of memoir and radio history represents a rare conjoined
fate and snafus involved in growing a collection, an interest, and a
The reflections on particular pieces that proved a collecting challenge
backgrounds and appearances that made these radios a major attraction
form the foundations of a series of interlinked stories that will
educate even readers who held little prior interest in radio history or
stories will reach beyond its intended audience to surprise, delight,
entertain the masses.
Radio Daze: A Descent Into Collecting's
ability to reach beyond
radio's signals and into the lives of any reader who has cultivated a
for collecting, art, or history makes it a top recommendation for
lending libraries as well as specialty media collections. Book clubs
in an uncommon, exceptionally lively blend of memoir and collector's
will find Radio Daze: A Descent Into
Collecting will provoke all manner of connection and lively
Return to Index
Different Kind of Strong
Hardcover: $25.99; Paper: $15.99; ebook: $2.99
Different Kind of Strong is (as
author Jenn Henry maintains in her
introduction) not a comforting kind of book. It cultivates a series of
discussions that can lead to uncomfortable self-examination as they
the foundations of resilience, differentiating it from typical
its strengths and possibilities.
on how to build a sustainable life and the habit of serving others
supporting spiritual, psychological, financial, and ethical pathways
as foundations for these efforts.
"Take your power
back," Henry admonishes from the
start. The rest
of this book is about realizing these elements of personal empowerment,
understanding how they interact and work in the greater scheme of life
and using a blend of purposeful living and scientific support to
for one example. Some readers might think that "playing in the dirt"
is nothing to write home about, but Henry points out the scientific
the healing qualities of cultivating a mental and physical garden:
"She didn’t even
look up at me, but without
skipping a beat she replied, 'I may be powerless over where I live, but
not powerless over how I live. I can choose to get caught up in the
this prison, or I can choose to find the joy and beauty in things.
nurturing something throughout its life, pruning, watering, and
grow, gives me life and brings me joy. When I am with these plants,
hands digging in the earth, I am not in prison. I am free.' From then
hands were in the dirt every single day. It was my new escape, but this
different. This time I wasn’t so much escaping as I was connecting to
and releasing the fear and insecurities of the outside world that had
me for so long. When I was gardening, I was at peace. Little did I
is a shit-ton of science supporting the fact that gardening, touching
with our bare skin, actually shifts our DNA."
to use encounters with others and life lessons gleaned from them covers
basics of newfound possibilities in her life. This, in turn, maps a
course for others also searching for greater self-empowerment,
translating to a
book rich and ripe in tried, tested strategies for revising life
from the many candid assessments of self and others that can't help but
readers to consider their own life messages, influences, and good
"I had learned that
if you loved someone, you
gave them things. You did things for them. You didn’t tell them ‘no.’
parents always said ‘yes’ and that meant they loved me, right?"
is how these early examples and lessons led to takeaways that weren't
healthy, despite their underlying best intentions.
a concurrent self-portrait and a close consideration of the roots and
incarnation of resilience, she creates the kinds of pathways that will
uncomfortably irresistible to readers committed to self-improvement and
This will prove especially appealing to those unafraid of more closely
examining the message and contentions that drive their motives, ideals,
result is a
self-help title that embraces elements of memoir and psychological
a wider-ranging consideration of intentions and impacts; thus
wheel of empowerment towards a better ride and results.
"It still blows me
away how the lack of trust in
yourself can directly impact the choices you make and the chances you
willing to take."
discussion groups from psychology and self-help to book clubs that seek
passionate, potentially controversial, and thoroughly absorbing reading
find plenty of food for thought and discussion in Resilience:
Kind of Strong. It is highly recommended above most others in
Return to Index
LGBTQ+ Political Power, Equality, and Acceptance in Silicon Valley
Ken Yeager, Ph.D
978-1-63988-974-7 $18.99 Paperback/$28.99 Hardcover
Run! My Story of LGBTQ+ Political Power, Equality,
and Acceptance in
Silicon Valley is a memoir that explains its purpose and the
its author from the start (to "record
the progression of the LGBTQ+ movement from political outcasts to
community members in San Jose/Silicon Valley. Having lived and breathed
activism for almost 40 years, I felt uniquely positioned to tell this
correct: the timing of his experiences, the personal history which
with social and political transformation as anti-gay circles were met
resistance and activism, and the nature of his battle in California's
Silicon Valley makes his story not just unique, but a sterling lesson
tackling adversity in social, psychological, and political situations.
Were it not
coverage, future generations might suspect that gay activism did not
in this region. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it takes
lived the times and practiced the resistance to reveal the deeply
political stories of those who were an intrinsic part of the action of
As a side
the political experiences covered in detail here are perfect for
members of the
queer community who are thinking of running for public office. They
represent efforts and experiences from almost three decades in office,
come from a level of experience and political savvy that might
missed by readers typically operating outside of these circles.
As for the
itself, anticipate a story packed with insights on everything from the
of political campaigning to efforts to create and support Yeager's Queer Silicon Valley documentary
efforts differed and grew over the decades to strategies for personal
political survival and change, Yeager's experiences move beyond
into the arena of better understanding of the obstacles to activist
how best to address and remove them.
wide-ranging, compelling account firmly grounded in real-world
experiences. Run! My Story of LGBTQ+
Equality, and Acceptance in Silicon Valley is highly
activist-minded readers and the queer community, as well as libraries
to them and book clubs interested in discussions of changing social and
political milieus surrounding gay rights in not just California, but
Return to Index
Dr. Karl T. Muth
978-1-958714-99-7 $5.99 ebook
Confronting the Suicide Taboo
blends philosophical with historical,
ethnographic, and linguistic examination as Dr. Karl T. Muth considers
analyzes the decision to end life, making a strong case for empowering
authority to do so under different conditions.
discussion of suicide comes with a trigger warning for those on the
since it contains rationales and arguments which promotes the idea of
ending life without the legal and social restrictions and taboos
seem quite controversial to many, but skeptics, especially, should take
many of the arguments in Self-Inflicted. These are
for many levels of society, but they are also quite difficult ones
specific guidance here. Dr. Muth considers how people think about
that deliberation translates to either action or inaction, and the
circumstances under which logic dictates that suicide may be as
choice as life itself.
thought-provoking contentions of this survey translate to a treasure
discussion material that make Self-Inflicted particularly
to university or graduate classrooms and reading groups (albeit, with
trigger warning caution).
"Suicide is a
choice of route to a destination
where we each and all are headed on our own schedules and at our own
as well as contemplation, suicide's impact, choice, and ethical and
foundations is argued on medical, psychological, social, and legal
levels in a
manner accessible to a wide audience.
educators seeking material which tackles a highly controversial idea
and reasoned assessment will find unparalleled opportunities for
and reflection in Self-Inflicted: Confronting the Suicide
it a unique and worthy addition for a wide range of collections or
Return to Index
The Truth of
Mikah and The Holy Spirit
The Truth of the Kingdom:
Lamentations and Woes
is a study in
shoring up Christian roots and better understanding false ideals and
interpretations. It is written with a specific purpose and approach:
"The purpose of this little
Book is to bring the Congregation of the Living God back
into one accord
by revealing and restoring the true
Kingdom gospel, just as Enoch, Moses, and Messiah did in
thus giving those in bondage to false religions and false doctrines a
escape from idolatry, repent, and wash the spots off their robes of
righteousness before their physical death or the soon coming Day of
in mind, readers receive a survey that pairs personal experience with
Biblical quotes and explorations of the Gospel. Mikah presents passages
promise with an intention to revealing their intrinsic and important
connections to Christian lives and perceptions:
"On the Day of Wrath the
Elect overcomers in the fruit harvest will
be caught up. Sinning
believers and the
unbelievers will be left behind to die as punishment. The unbelievers
unredeemable sinning believers will then die the second death of soul
Bible-supported passages are clear admonitions and interpretations that
and solidify the original messages and intentions of God in the Bible:
should not be confused with Words of Knowledge that
edify an individual or a group. A prophecy usually warns what is going
happen if there is no repentance and gives a way out. Repentance
and prayer change prophecy."
and their accompanying food for thought should be digested
conjunction with Christian discussion groups and spiritual thinkers who
this exploration as enlightenment among holy spiritual readers and
would follow them. This is no casual coverage, but a deep and
probe of Christian roots and concepts that need to be debated and
order to be properly digested and applied.
Christian wisdom, truth, and spiritual healing and reflection will find
The Truth of the Kingdom a
but captivating study that promotes education and knowledge to help
demonic influences and achieve greater connection with Christian belief
among study circles.
will appreciate its wide-ranging considerations, and will want to
book in their collections for its scholarly, yet accessible, discussion.
Return to Index
Els Coenen and GuruNischan
Iizzard Ink Publishing
978-94-6475-213-7 $19.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
not in the
know, Yogi Bhajan’s particular form of Kundalini yoga brought him
some 50 years. Behind the scenes and under the yoga mat, however,
history of sexual and power abuse masked by a lifestyle that appeared
happy and spiritual.
GuruNischan's Under the Yoga Mat: The
Dark History of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga gathers and
gruesome scenarios which came to light in 2020, juxtaposing a history
rise of yoga and gurus in the U.S. with the evolution of Yogi Bhajan's
popularity and attraction.
second-generational children born into this world of outer
inner anguish are finally given voice through this story. Coenen speaks
shared experiences of abuse, observations of a community outwardly on
to enlightenment but inwardly en thrall, and the lasting impact of Yogi
on families, survivors, and generations that spread into society from
influence and teachings like ripples on water.
expose about Yogi Bhajan. Many others have previously exposed these
his community and its sordid foundations. However, it is one of the few
together a seemingly disparate collection of facts, intergenerational
experiences, and testimonies from survivors to present this world and
impact in an especially hard-hitting way.
especially powerful as it invites readers to "sit on their heels,"
employ the mantra "Sat Nam," and absorb the many startling
revelations to come which will reach from the Yogi's life into the
routines of many a reader, in surprising ways:
"While hundreds of thousands practice and enjoy
Kundalini Yoga as
taught by Yogi Bhajan, many more people worldwide drink Yogi Tea. Only
minority of them know that the creator of their favorite yoga sets and
spiritual father of the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization (3HO) in
Tea originated was a cult leader, sexual predator, child abuser, gay
and successful but fraudulent
the U.S. in 1968, Yogi Bhajan proclaimed himself a yoga master, then
his position to "the Chief Religious and Administrative Authority for
Dharma in the West." This self-created title was called into question
his native India, but its illusionary draw helped propel him into more
circles, led him to meet with Pope Paul VI in 1972 and Pope John Paul
1984, and successfully masked, for a long time, his real role as a
predator and criminal.
lies in the
contrast between fact and illusion. Coenen preserves and emphasizes
of odd and terrible wonder as she reveals history, includes powerful
testimonials from many of the yogi's prior followers, and unfolds a
story that embraces lessons about enlightenment, cults, illusion, and
eye-opening of all are details about how such widespread abuse and
were covered up between adults and among adults and children alike. The
Stockholm Syndrome comes alive here in a different form in which the
creates a network of supposedly enlightened thinking to mask his real
synthesize and draw together these threads of idealism, reality, and
experiences makes for an exceptionally powerful testimony that also
with a trigger warning for any reader who has experienced abuse,
and terrorism in their own lives.
have to be involved in such matters. But, when paired with the rituals,
ideology, and deliberate actions of a dangerous predator, it is even
more of a
threat than a psychotic individual alone could pose, blossoming a
form of evil that should be acknowledged and exposed.
here, with special attention to the impact and process of surviving
extraordinary circumstances, is testimony to the power of a book that
will not just repose on all kinds of lending library shelves, but will
more active role as an important (even essential) discussion tool in
ranging from book clubs to psychology, new age, and spiritual thinkers.
Under the Yoga Mat is very highly
recommended for its unparalleled
power in exposing the 3HO ashram murders and the methodology and impact
guru whose power allowed him unprecedented access to too many lives.
Return to Index
Tim Whittome, Editor
978-1669878223 $50.99 Hardcover/$30.99 Paper
Walking with Anne Brontë is a literary
exploration of reflections
about the least known of the three Brontë sister writers. Tim Whittome
a literary tribute that cultivates a diverse approach to understanding
celebrating her life and messages, from personal reflections and poetry
academic insights. These are organized into sections so that readers
readily choose the type of biographical or literary inspection that is
particular interest (although the anthology operates as a unit, so to
through without reading it in its entirety would be to do it a grave
states in his introduction, readers should not expect new revelations
surrounding Anne's works, but a celebratory inspection of their
contribute these insights come from many walks of life and expertise;
from Catherine Rayner (who
involved with the Brontë Society for many years and is well known to
scholars and members) to illustrator Christina
Fishburne (who is active across social media sites
dedicated to the
Brontës, and has become very involved with the Crow Emporium Press in
illustrating Brontë novels).
these perspectives and approaches to the Brontë sisters in general and
particular lend a multifaceted feel to this survey of different themes
Rayner's essay "Buried in Paradise," for example. Here, many myths
about the family are explored, from descriptions of the times to
family dynamics and Anne's place in it:
"These few snippets offer a rare glimpse into
characteristics from her sibling’s perspective. None of them appear to
accurately defining Anne but are, instead, somewhat belittling and
Anne was at the rear of the pecking order and can be viewed, in outward
appearance, as someone who could be easily molded into the person her
chose her to be."
references will please scholars interested in various interpretations
life and character.
is "Anne Brontë’s Task: Living in a
World" by Anne Talvaz,
which offers her personal connections to Anne Brontë's writings and
influenced her twenties onward, when she was able to discern the
between Anne's works and those of her more famous sisters Charlotte and
"...it was not until I was in my early twenties
that I began to
fully appreciate Anne’s tales of disillusionment and regeneration and
conclusion that, for all her youth, she was a writer for adults. And it
until I was asked to write this essay that I realized that of all the
siblings, she was the only one whose writing formed part of an ethical
Walking with Anne Brontë should be
considered a foundation
reference for any literary library including works by and about the
sisters. Its wide-ranging articles, poems, and reflections also will
interest of reading groups and book clubs interested in Anne's works
they resonate and are interpreted in modern times.
Return to Index
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession
$26.95 Hardcover/$15.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Story: Three Keys to Rise and Thrive as a Badass Career Woman embraces
notion of a revised form of "badass career woman" who changes the
workplace through a more humanitarian attitude towards work, career,
interacting with others. It confronts and revises many popular notions
value, ethics, and business processes during the course of advocating a
role for career women who want something more from their lives.
The nuggets of wisdom that
form this new approach
originated with Rebecca Fleetwood Hession's own realizations about her
and its ultimate cost:
human. We are humans serving humans with products and services in
currency. I was a business consultant, a sales professional, steeped in
and loss, productivity gains, and investment return. I knew how to
measure, and optimize a business like a boss! I had the awards and the
to prove it. What I had lost track of were my human needs. What did I
want? Who really knew me? Would I be loved and accepted if I wasn’t
on the global sales report? Whom was I serving? Was I serving other
the machine of the business?"
Those who follow her
admonition to become
"badass" receive not only a blueprint for transformation, but the
logic behind contemplating such a vast change:
ourselves to be seen for ourselves, we attract those we’re meant to
and be with. Conversely,
when we attempt
to hide, afraid of showing our style or inadequacies, we ultimately
gifts. We prevent those who need us from finding us...This is the power
authentic connection, when others can hold up the mirror to help you
and honor your authentic self. It’s through these connections we
value and relevance."
Business titles promising
processes of reformulating and restructuring business goals and methods
nothing new. What is new (and
invigorating) about Write Your OWN Story
is its focus on adding human objectives and rejecting formerly-accepted
of dysfunction as part of the business success story.
What is prosperity? What
human needs can be translated to
a goal statement that works on more than one level?
These and other questions
segue business and humanitarian
goals in ways which are unique to this book, yet supported by
experiences of revised
real-world processes that have been proven to translate to greater
traditional business methods.
OWN Story will receive widespread attention from
businesswomen and women
involved in redefining and creating a more positive, empowered work
It also will attract leaders and managers with more than a cursory
identifying inherently dysfunctional processes and patterns in their
who would replace them with more proactive, supportive routines and
Libraries that cater to
business readers but look for
wider-ranging discussions appropriate for book clubs of all kinds will
find Write Your OWN Story a vivid,
potentially positively explosive acquisition.
Return to Index
End: Where We
9798986050607 $15.99 Paper/$7.99 ebook
An End: Where We Stand Now is the first book in a fantasy series where
teen Vallerie Sabell
zombie apocalypse after surviving a shooting at her high school.
ordinary teenager. She's a dedicated Wiccan whose faith clashes with
events play out, and yet the story opens with a seemingly familiar
Vallerie and Jaxton perform a Wiccan ritual revolving around safety and
responsibility to "do no harm."
unlikely as events force Vallerie to confront not only her quest for
but her options for "living freely
and at will, and to do so without ill intent. No pain will be bestowed
name or my hand."
are negated by actions that lead to not just another's death, but
require her to break her pledges one by one in order to survive.
A chance to
anew offers the promise and lure of a reset button as Vallerie adopts
perspectives for the sake of continuing her survivor status, learns how
accept revisions to her vows that continually challenge her moral and
perspectives, and struggles with a downward spiral that leads her into
zombie apocalypse stories will find many facets of An End: Where We Stand
it a standout read not just for teens,
but for adults interested in the genre.
Vallerie's process of adaptation is tinged with her confrontations with
beliefs and guiding lights of life. More than just another story of
survival, Vallerie's spiritual and ethical personas are also forced to
as she makes decisions seemingly counter to everything she once
believed in or
knew about the world.
Pawlicki crafts a more complex story of spirit guides, acts of love and
healing, and pivot points that bring Vallerie full circle from her
intentions to a place where she advises, "Just
kill them if they don't listen."
The dichotomies and
complications that challenge Vallerie
to grow will prove just as compelling as the fast-paced action that
upon keeping her and those around her alive.
Libraries and readers
seeking a zombie survival story
that is more thought-provoking than most, yet steeped in riveting
answers, will find An End: Where We Stand Now worthy of group discussion and hard to put
Return to Index
Kimberly Van Sickle
978-1-63988-910-5 $24.99 Hardcover/$14.99 Paper
Assassins Are Us is a surprising-sounding
title for a young adult
story, but seventeen-year-old Hedy Hinterschott's role as a family
assassin-in-training isn't the only surprise this story offers to
unusual is an
opening in which a first-person prologue details a meeting between two
one of which considers her newborn a "spawn from Hell."
seventeen years later in Chapter 1, where honor student Hedy
Hitler psyche and myth in front of a classroom, then faces the equally
formidable task of deconstructing her role as the family's first female
assassin in decades.
her legacy, future, and values creates a thought-provoking story that
teens will find thoroughly fascinating. It departs so much from the
young adult themes of destiny and choice that its profile of a budding
murderer assumes the countenance of a moral and ethical quandary that
readers to enter Hedy's world to examine its underlying influences and
themes and approach despite its young adult protagonist and school
Kimberly Van Sickle's Assassins Are Us
evolves on the playing field of history, mystery, and the unraveling of
secrets that come to influence Hedy's life and choices.
logic Hedy faces are impeccably wrought and compellingly presented: "Opa’s swan analogy helped me
understand the necessity behind why our family did what it did and why
so important for our family to
continue to do what we did."
unexpectedly enlightening, engrossing reading that pairs psychological
examination with a sense of discovery and adventure as Hedy faces
understandings, and insights on how her family's past influences the
reads for mature teens that hold the added value of surprise and action
as food for thought and opportunities for classroom or book club
will find Assassins Are Us a study
growth and uncommon realizations:
"Hedy, you are in denial. Liebchen, you know you do
not fit. I’ve
watched you for four years. Your confidence in everything you do is a
your insecurity in everything your family stands for.”
Return to Index
Bob Tales: Land of the Woody Warbles
receives lovely, colorful
illustrations by Lauren Reeves as it tells of an injured, abandoned cat
needs a family and home. Sadly, he is dirty, tailless, and spends his
digging through rancid garbage in search of food. Not exactly a high
up by other cats and has no hope for a better life until a large,
takes pity on the scruffy Bob and brings him home.
because Bob is set for even more adventures when, one day, his loving
doesn't come home. A neighbor feeds him, but as the nights go by, Bob
certain that something has happened to them. It's up to him to return
streets to find them.
slippery situations and dilemmas. Only then do observations by others
to believe he is missing something just as important as his family.
evocative adventure is punctuated by the gorgeous drawings Lauren
liberally provides of wildlife and nature as Bob perseveres against all
sparked by a message of hope.
As he faces
drama from the bees, and admonitions to never give up on his goals and
adults will find that Bob's adventures hold notes of inspiration that
enhance discussions about courage, problem-solving, and life.
read-aloud parents seeking a feisty feline-based story of a cat who
key lessons on how to believe in himself will find Bob
Tales: Land of the Woody Warbles both psychologically
and filled with lovely nature observations and illustrations that
different creatures in the wild.
Return to Index
The Day I Had a Bulldozer
Hardcover: $15.95/Paperback: $11.95/eBook: $3.95
Day I Had a
Bulldozer is a picture book with a delightful message. A
young boy finds a
bulldozer with his name written on it, in front of his house. There's
thing to do—hop aboard and head for his friend's house to show off his
delightful new acquisition. There, he finds an even bigger surprise.
As a series of amusing
experiences evolve against all
odds, a widening cast of kids explore their world armed with new
of these receive engaging illustration by Vaughan Duck as each child
new facts and learns to navigate their changed environments without
everything around them during their learning process.
Ashley Wall creates an
engagingly fantastic story about
kids who adopt new skills and information, sharing their fun together
helping each other problem-solving the ironic, lively conundrums that
from trying new things.
In the end, what the kids
build together is far more
important than any singular effort could be, teaching young readers
importance of friendship, cooperation, and sharing new experiences.
and parents seeking picture
books that embrace fun and arrive with a delightful underlying message
find The Day I Had a Bulldozer a
powerful celebration of new discoveries, new skills, and friends who
one another through the process of adventure, discovery, and growth.
Return to Index
Where We Stand Now
979-8986050614 $15.99 Paper/$7.99 ebook
Fangs Bared: Where We Stand Now is the second book in a series revolving
around Vallerie's revised life as she faces the aftermath of not only a
apocalypse, but the heavy losses she suffered in the first book (An End).
tries to forge ahead with a new band of survivors who are determined to
a fallen America. But, equally determined are forces that hold a
vision about what renewal means. They act as a stop gate to Vallerie's
dreams and efforts, placing Vallerie in the center of a perfect storm
revised opportunities and ideals of what the future will bring.
As in his previous book,
Brandon Pawlicki excels at
juxtaposing action-driven suspense with equally thought-provoking moral
ethical issues which challenge Vallerie and her fellow survivors in
This added grasp of the
ultimate challenges survival
brings to those who would rebuild contributes to a story that evolves
levels than the usual superficial zombie apocalypse read. This
turn, encourages young adult and adult readers alike to take a deeper
the social, spiritual, and philosophical impacts brought about by
Vallerie faces additional
losses as she navigates this
strange world of uncertain new friendships and losses. Additionally,
peppers his story with 'What Comes After' and 'What Comes Before' notes
add insights into the story, as well as embedding the tale with changes
viewpoints that are clearly marked by headers ("Vallerie,"
"Esther," "Grahm") to clarify the differing experiences and
observations of a wider cast of characters than Vallerie alone.
These devices lend further
value to the overall story by
depicting outcomes and assumptions on layered levels that embrace a
viewpoints and pursuits.
As Vallerie's choices bring
her into confrontation with
her own ideals, readers will especially appreciate the spiritual notes
influence her principles and reality alike. These, too, set Fangs
beyond the majority of dystopian or apocalyptic reads.
seeking evocative, thought-provoking stories paired with spiritual
and powered by action-packed scenes, as well as book clubs seeking
fantasies replete with themes appropriate for discussion, will find Fangs Bared a powerful acquisition.
Return to Index
The Feather Necklace
978-1-959096-90-0 $26.96 Paper/$15.99 ebook
Necklace is a vibrant picture book story packed with jungle
intrigue, and adventure. It follows three young scientists who navigate
jungles of Peru looking for creatures to study.
The story is narrated by
young Tulio, the third member of
the group, who explains: "I am from
the Kukama tribe and this forest is my backyard."
As picture book readers
follow Tulio's forest
explorations, they receive a combination of vivid, colorful nature
paired with equally compelling descriptions that adults who read aloud
very young will find useful for its action-packed words and bilingual
whoosh went the leaves and branches as I cut the trail. I scanned for
tracks while avoiding spiny plants, singing as I went. “Buenas noches,
sueños. Te amo, te amo, mi corazón.” Goodnight,
I love you, I love you, my heart."
As nature's wonder unfolds,
even the forest-savvy Tulio
finds much to celebrate about creatures' habits:
yapu, and masked tanager, tsiin, started to bob, weave, and wiggle."
The result is a celebration
of Peruvian jungle creatures,
a boy's participation in a contest of discovery, and a vibrant story
attract a wide age range with its blend of science, nature, and
Libraries seeking picture
books that stand out from the
crowd will find The Feather Necklace
a unique and attractive acquisition.
Return to Index
Feelings on the Farm
Heather Wall and Claire Young
The board book Feelings
on the Farm offers the very young an easy introduction to
feelings, powered by a farmer and animals that each represents a
David Lock's inviting
illustrations bring to life a
series of emotional animals, from cranky chickens who cannot find their
peaceful pigs lounging in the sty.
Further reinforcement of
emotional responses are created
by facing pages of emotions that are positive and negative,
scenarios of how each critter expresses his feelings and why they are
As read-aloud parents
explore these blossoming emotions
with the very young, opportunities are created for parents to discuss
with children (as well as appropriate expressions of disappointment,
simply feeling grouchy).
The result is a fun farm
animal tale that holds important
underlying messages and instructions about recognizing and
emotions for a playful take on emotional intelligence.
Libraries and parents
seeking board books that excel in the
easy understanding of emotions by the very young will find Feelings on the Farm a major attraction.
Return to Index
978-1646033430 $15.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
provides middle grade readers with a hilarious account of just
follows a young picky eater just entering middle school who finds his
food fetishes subject to peer discussion and ridicule.
Ben's newfound goals under
such conditions are simple—maintain
his food choice independence while thwarting bullies and pursing the
More than an account of food
follies alone, Food Fight explores
and presents the
atmosphere of middle school in a way that will immediately attract
readers with familiar explorations:
knows that where you sit on the first lunch of middle school will
your spot in the social hierarchy for eternity. And it’s complete chaos
here. As new sixth graders, we’re all scrambling to decide who to eat
where to sit. From the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows, I
cafeteria looks like an aquarium during a feeding frenzy."
Linda Davis does more than
present a funny, entertaining
read. Embedded in the story of a picky eater are social observations
food's place in making connections. These introduce food for thought,
probably think it’s suspicious that I don’t eat pizza. I’ve heard it
The worst is unpatriotic.
not liking pizza means I’m not a Chicagoan. Or American. But it might
I’ve read a lot of official-sounding pizza-related statistics—like
percent of Americans have had a slice of pizza in the past month. And
average, Americans eat forty-six slices of pizza in a year. But I’ve
had one. 'Nah, I’m not hungry,' I say, knowing it doesn’t sound
The result is a tale that
attracts with the strong veneer
of fun and interpersonal dilemmas, educates with insights into food's
building relationships and connections, and leaves young readers hungry
In a nutshell, Food
Fight is a middle grade read that is delightfully original,
satisfying, presenting a powerful series of conundrums and experiences
readers will find attractive and libraries catering to them will want
Return to Index
Ice Cave Mystery
Eugene M. Gagliano
Crystal Publishing, LLC
Many kids love stories
involving caves, while others are
attracted to mysteries. Both are the main focus of Ice
Cave Mystery, which opens with a recap of young Chad's life
a move from Indiana along the Oregon Trail results in the death of his
sibling. Despite further loss, life goes on ... and so does its mystery.
In this case, the intrigue
surrounds a missing treasure
chest of stolen gold that lures Chad and his friend Aubrey into an
that tests their ability to problem-solve, confront robberies and
Eugene M. Gagliano spins a
powerfully compelling yarn
that builds characters ranging from Chad's family to his friends. The
dilemma introduces adult perceptions and realities into his young world
hopes and dreams:
wrang her hands.
“Oh, Chad. You’ve been fooled. Fortune tellers
cannot tell you the future. They trick you and lie and then
your money.” Chad’s shoulders slumped. “Jenny was making it up?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“What about the elixir?”
“Medicine men travel around the country selling their elixirs and pills. They talk big, but the medicines are usually just bottles of alcohol diluted with colored water.”
“I’m not gonna get rich?” Tears filled Chad’s eyes.
Changing seasons and times
permeate these adventures with
realistic insights and backdrops set in 1890s Wyoming.
Gagliano focuses as much on
the moral and ethical
conundrums young Chad faces (along with his dreams of riches) as on the
escapades that evolve around Wildcat Tom's legacy.
The result is a vivid
adventure that serves both a sequel
to the prior book Secret of the Black Widow and holds the ability to stand alone for newcomers
to Chad's world
through a strong introductory recap of events and an equally powerful
to the details of his much-revised life.
seeking middle grade fiction that promises action and thought-provoking
alike will find that Ice Cave
Mystery delivers what it promises (a rollicking good read) in
a title that
embraces caves and intrigue.
Return to Index
George R. Wolfe
The Sager Group LLC
978-1-958861-02-8 $20.75 Paper/$9.99 ebook
Into the River of Angels is a young adult
novel that follows a high
school teen's decision to canoe over fifty miles of the Los Angeles
connection of waterways that flows from downtown Los Angeles to the
Ocean. The problem with Sam Hawkins' decision is that those waters
placid, but a wild and changing river that also flows through
environments, carrying Sam into danger and unfamiliar waters.
action-packed story of a rebel who decides to attempt the impossible,
test not only his strengths, but the boundaries of his limitations
mind some of the nature stories of Gary Paulsen—but with the added
value of a
taste of rebellion against not just adults, but, often, fellow teens:
"It just seemed like kids were either too much into
heads or too concerned with what was going on in other kids’ heads.
you couldn’t win."
alone in his experience or his rebellion. Other characters he
the way provide lessons and insights by demonstrating abilities and
adversities that continually test Sam's determination, sending his
strength in unexpected directions.
incidents introduce similar revelations of all kinds as Sam evolves
into a kind
of maturity that can only stem from life encounters:
"Staying up late was what I always wanted to be
able to do; but
now that we were actually doing it, I couldn’t wait to get back to
much for getting what you ask for."
river is supplemented by the wild encounters Sam fields with the humans
deals with, friends and foes, on the waters. Continually facing
and freedom on different levels, Sam and his group don't always know
are going. But, he does know how to keep his word and do his best, even
adversity is not singular, but comes in many forms.
action and adventure, combined with the insights on growth and
behaviors, will involve teens in a story that is vividly realistic and
Part of this
immediacy and feel likely comes from Wolfe's personal familiarity with
Angeles' urban waterways. He is the founder of LA River Expeditions, a
that advocates for endangered rivers and helped to open the L.A. River
moving story that features swift currents of change, life-or-death
and ethical and moral decision-making that tests Sam and his friends on
educators seeking a story that can be used as a discussion point for
from ecological activism to coming-of-age issues will find the
nature of Into the River of Angels
just the ticket for a compelling young adult leisure read that attracts
action, but also offers a healthy dose of higher-level thinking.
Return to Index
Kantara: The Traveler
Stephen and Mary Weller
$30.99 Hardcover/$16.99 Paper/$6.99 ebook
Young adults interested in
time travel sci-fi which
embraces aliens, apocalypse, and a college student's unusual role as
the savior of Earth will find the heroic adventure Kantara:
The Traveler a particularly full-faceted story that stands
out in the world of young adult time travel fiction.
A time-hopping prologue and
introduction move first into
the past, where Zurens and humans face clashes and paradoxes; then into
future's darkness, where Moti faces an environment where intention is
thing that matters. In this case, Moti requests that the timeline be
backwards. This action leads the story to college student Keiji, who
has superhuman abilities that may be the only key to thwarting an evil
set to destroy everything.
Keiji is not the only
proactive, courageous character in
the story, but his actions drive a quest for the Kantara Scrolls which
solutions to impossible problems. His interactions with others through
possibilities that link past, present, and future are winningly
Stephen and Mary Weller
craft a fast-paced adventure that
introduces using the third person, then moves to the first person as
interacts with his world, new ideas, and new skill sets he is barely
comprehend, much less handle.
As emperors face time loops
and impossible traps and
attacks leave behind a trail of carnage and new possibilities, young
will find Keiji's world replete with confrontation and shifting
These types of challenges force Keiji to redefine not only his
reality, but the role he plays in bigger pictures than his own future
Libraries and young adult
readers seeking vivid clashes,
thought-provoking time travel dilemmas, and proactive characters who
with impossible choices and their consequences will find Kantara:
The Traveler a riveting adventure that concludes nicely,
but leaves the door well ajar for follow-up stories.
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is a black and white picture book story about a little caterpillar that
the world in black and white. Every day, she climbs to a leaf, eats,
and repeats. It's a simple life, made all the more one-dimension by its
color—but it's a happy life.
One day, her curiosity leads
her to discover first one,
then numerous shades of gray. Soon she finds numerous shades of gray,
and white in her world. What else can there be?
Picture book readers will
find that the color emerges
slowly in this tale, while adult read-aloud participants will
the Spanish/English multilingual opportunity which is rare in books for
is not your usual form of
cocooning, but incorporates new realizations about her world and her
it when she becomes something New.
Most picture book tales
about caterpillars end with
physical change, but Fatima Pimienta takes the transformation a step
featuring accompanying emotions that also introduce new realizations to
These elements, combined
with simple illustrations (which
will appeal to kids interested in coloring and drawing themselves),
make for a
fine Spanish/English story that benefits from full Spanish translation
page and a full-bodied attention to all the facets of change which
find useful and inviting for discussions with kids ages 1 and older.
transformative experiences profiled in Little
Curiosity make it a top
recommendation for read-aloud and discussions that would move beyond
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Maestro Orpheus and the
World Clock (Audio)
Robert Pennee and Joanne Grodzinski
Maestro Orpheus Productions
$8.44 Paper/2.99 ebook/$5.29 audiobook
The children's story Maestro
Orpheus and the World Clock is a fitting example of how the
format can reach all ages when paired with a multi-reader format and
effects that bring the story to life.
A gonging bell, a ticking
clock, and music introduce the
tale with a vivid, appealing atmosphere. A simple tune that repeats in
boy's head at night, paired with the ticking of a clock, is narrated
dramatic flairs that will draw young listeners.
The voices of characters
young and old also benefit from
the inflections of various readers that capture the inflections and
the story. It's an audio play reminiscent of the old-style radio shows
once listened to. As the mystery and intrigue evolve, many an adult
to listen along as Frederick, who is visiting his grandfather,
dilemma of time stopping.
Classical music permeates
the adventure, providing a
fitting backdrop to the excitement of Frederick's experiences as he
encounters Maestro Orpheus and his
magical lyre and
confronts the mystery of a clock-driven world that is breathless and
The written word alone could
not adequately capture the
sense of time and place that Frederick explores with a growing
about the world's challenges and changes and his own unique role in
problem that has ground it to a halt.
The recorded book industry
is filled with narratives that
feature one voice (however talented), but this production is a unique
especially well-done creation that is packed with the atmosphere of
sound effects of clocks and life encounters, and the varied narrative
superior voice artists whose work crafts a powerfully compelling listen
Anyone who has listened to
an audio book well knows of
the typical approach to the genre. Maestro
Orpheus and the World Clock raises the bar of audio quality
multifaceted production with a thoroughly compelling story that reaches
its intended audience of children into adult circles, as well.
That's why it's an
especially strong recommendation for
any library looking for superior audio book productions that stand out
their overall quality and consistently well-done narrations.
As an additional note (and
adding further value), Joanne
Grodzinski and Carolyn McMillan have produced a Classroom Teacher's
that's also available on Amazon (9798391878650;
$6.99 ebook or $10.99 paper).
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Corner Windows Publishing
979-8-9877823-1-6 $25.99 Hardcover/$10.99 paper
Ozzy Ox Candy Stash is a lively rhyming
picture book that follows
MomOx and Ozzy as they go out for ice cream and groceries. When they
Ozzy finds a mysterious bag of candy on the car seat and can't resist
it up and hiding it for secret binging later.
Mom Ox views him as her "pride and joy," but she doesn't know of his transgression. When Ozzy discovers what the bag of candy was really intended for, he faces a dilemma.
turn, both at the revelation and from all the candy he's eaten. How can
a whimsical, fun story about a son who breaks the rules and then faces
Mom and son
life in a fun interaction that swirls around a special celebration and
and wrong decisions made by Ozzy which are questioned by his wise mom.
owning one's mistakes and doing right from them will not be lost on
by adults who choose Ozzy Ox Candy Stash
as a read-aloud.
who look for vibrant picture books that pair a realistic situation with
problem-solving dilemma will find Ozzy Ox
Candy Stash a welcome point of discussion for all kinds of
around making better choices and acknowledging their impact.
of "Fun Facts About Oxen" completes the educational value in a story
that holds appeal on many different levels.
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Tumbleweed Press, Inc.
9798386254322 $11.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
Retro Radio Rainbow teaches picture book
readers the seven colors of
the rainbow, but adopts an usual approach to the effort that taps
Zevy's personal radio collection and interest in radios.
to do with color? Plenty.
radios from the 1930s and 40s accompany the identification of 'red',
and other colors to add history into the mix. This especially inviting
features large, colorful photos of orange, red, yellow, and other
radios that additionally contrasts their size and disparate shapes and
arrives twofold: it's a survey of radio history and a lesson in
of each color, all in one.
who tire of the usual approach to identifying colors will find the
effort attractive and unique, here. The retro radio display might even
and educate them about the very different appearances radios can sport.
teachers seeking a colorful tutorial that operates on not just one, but
levels will welcome the unique approach of Retro
Radio Rainbow, which could only have come from a collector
devoted to radio
history as well as children's educational opportunities.
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Eugene M. Gagliano
Crystal Publishing, LLC
There is a
veiled widow over at the Foster cabin. Her anguish and hidden
young Chad to investigate, especially since this effort is prompted by
that forces Chad to step out of his comfort zone and take action
his inclinations to stay safely distant from adversity.
Secret of the Black Widow attracts middle
grade readers from its
first sentence and keeps the action coming non-stop. Succinct
capture and pinpoint the many sources of Chad's own angst as he
The scream from the direction of the widow Foster’s
cabin made the hair rise on the back of Chad’s neck.
“Scared?” James Junior asked.
“No, I just don’t think it’s right. She ain’t never bothered me none,” Chad said, but in his heart, he knew the truth. He was afraid.
As he learns
about the Widow Foster and forces that influence right and wrong
reactions, Chad learns more about his new friend Aubrey and the mystery
the veiled screaming widow's actions and past.
intrigue will find unexpectedly thought-provoking moments throughout
as Chad moves into better understanding his world, the forces affecting
and peers alike, and starts to make decisions based not upon peer
upon his own heart's perception of what is right and wrong.
mystery stories receive the added value of these insights in a plot
a powerful sense not just of purpose, but place:
"Chad wandered down to the creek on his way home.
He sat on a rock
and ran his fingers through the icy water. Chad felt empty. Life
changed so quickly
on the prairie."
with mystery components, but is far more satisfyingly revealing than
on intrigue alone. Solving the secret is only the introductory part of
puzzles surrounding Chad's life. The growth involved in better
and perceptions of personal power also drive Eugene M. Gagliano's story
equally compelling manner.
gripping saga kids will find just as involving for its interpersonal
relationship developments, historical sense of time and place in the
astute consideration of Chad's changing role in his family and others'
multifaceted middle grade fiction will find Secret
of the Black Widow attractive and highly worthy of
acquisition and recommendation.
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Mayo Clinic Press Kids
979-8887700076 $16.99 Paper/$9.99 ebook
Space Care: A Kid's Guide to Surviving Space
will attract aspiring
young astronauts and readers of all ages who would better understand
of space exploration and environmental control.
It is packed
answers from astronauts who address kids' common questions about the
experience, addressing many specifics about staying healthy in space,
happens to bodily fluids to how exercise and diet are fine-tuned to
astronaut functions and bodies.
control and systems of the International Space Station to how the
in orbit and its effects on the human body, young readers learn many
about everything from a sense of balance to eye health and syncing
clock to new indicators of time and sleep cycles.
include issues that can challenge an astronaut's body, from radiation
allotting leisure time that fosters positive psychological
photos, diagrams, and insights, Space
Care: A Kid's Guide to Surviving Space may be tailored for
young readers ages
8-12, but actually sports a fact-filled and lively format that should
well beyond these years, even reaching into adult audiences interested
nuts and bolts of astronaut experience.
will find few
like it on their shelves, and will want to recommend it for discussion
interested in space challenges and adaptation.
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The Story of Herkales and Samson: An Epic Tail!
first-person story of a daughter who runs a family farm, works hard,
it from harvesting to horses, struggling with the 'holes' in her life
father vanishes and she must return from college to literally take up
her friends, the narrator slowly transforms the family farm, her two
her side. When one dog dies, an even bigger hole confronts her. How can
handle the sorrows which buffet her sense of wellbeing and freedom?
from Texas, a present from her boyfriend, she is in for a wild ride as
shower her with affection and slowly mitigate her grief over so many
The Story of Herkales and Samson
especially excels in fully
admitting the adversities and trials of life even as it embraces
changes: "Life on the horse farm was
good, bad, and everything in between."
stories that come steeped in an artificial sense of positivity, The Story of Herkales and Samson
presents more realistic scenarios of loss, pain, and the tempering
animals that help reinforce human efforts, providing love and support.
translates to a
story that is well-balanced, whether the puppies are "showing their
side" and misbehaving or acting loving and kind.
lost, the narrator must muster some creative thoughts to find him.
elements set The Story of Herkales and Samson
and above many other picture book stories of perseverance and
injecting a sense of reality into the bigger picture of handling life
accepting puppies into one's life, and approaching life with a sense of
determination against all odds.
readers, including read-aloud adults, which look for realistic
over sugary tales of impossible odds will find The
Story of Herkales and Samson appealing and creatively
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Flying Squirrel's Adventure
ebook: 99¢; paperback: $12.95; hardback: $14.95
Squirrel's Adventure adds another fine middle-grade
to author Loralee Evans' widening list of appealing tales. Like Jean
George, who penned numerous books profiling animals for middle grade
Evans performs a meaningful and important service in bringing the
to life for young minds, even if her writings anthropomorphize wildlife
than Jean George's works.
Taigh Squirrel doesn't just
fly. He's also an artist who
paints what he sees in the forest world around him.
Like her character, Loralee
Evans reflects words of
wisdom given to Taigh by employing her artistry to capture Taigh's
natural world, and squirrel lifestyle. Perhaps her own words best
sentiments driving this warm story:
"A good painting,
Augustus had told Taigh, a
smile curving up the corners of his ivory-colored beak, tells
a story. It
stirs imagination, and helps folks think and wonder and imagine. Let
paintings tell stories."
Evans uses word paintings to
tell Taigh's story,
capturing a world embedded with fairies, quests, art, and insights.
As Master Taigh Squirrel
(friend of Felicity Sparrow and
Augustus Ivory-billed Woodpecker) embarks on an adventure to find out
the ivory-billed woodpeckers vanished, kids will enjoy the special
fantasy and animal facts which exist side-by-side in this enthralling
From Spanish-speaking bats
to questions that Taigh
resolves in the course of his experiences, middle graders will find the
of action, mystery, and natural history compellingly fun.
Libraries and readers
seeking animal-based fantasies that
feature a diminutive squirrel's proactive thinking, artistic talents,
will find Taigh~A Flying Squirrel's Adventure
a choice that promises high entertainment value, while accompanying
on the natural world will lend to young reader book club discussions.
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Barnes & Noble Press
979-8823178891 $8.99 Paper/$2.99 ebook
invasion scenarios will find that Till
Dawn rates with the best of them, presenting a scenario in
which teens who
gather one evening to enjoy some freedom and fun find their lives
changed by a
meteorite's crash and the danger it brings.
his friends are no longer carefree teens, but are fighting for their
their world. Instead of being filled with freedom and promise, the
suddenly-long night becomes one filled with terror and trials.
snagging bits of parent-free time to hang out with his friends, Ryan
group face destructive forces that penetrate their carefully arranged
singular teen interests:
"In a split second, the security that once
surrounded the home
Ryan had lived his entire life in had been shattered. He wanted to
would become untouchable upon making it through the door-way—a bold
would turn out, as it soon became clear the house much like everything
would not be immune."
employs a steady, logical hand to portraying Ryan and his group's
reactions to these extraordinary events. This imparts a realistic sense
human failings and ideals as the group assimilates their new reality
revised roles in it.
leads to a
long-distance journey, confrontations with creatures, Vietnam vets who
become addicts, outcasts, and aliens in their own world, and other
circumstances outside their comfort zone, Ryan and his friends develop
maturity in their actions and reactions that support their ability to
immersed in high-tech devices and self-absorbed patterns may seem
become survivors, but this group is different. Alexander's ability to
their journey on more than one level translates to a heady read that
action-packed encounters and surprises with the kinds of survival
that force maturity.
invasion saga that is gripping and thought-provoking. Till
Dawn will attract a wide audience of teens interested in
horror, and the process that leads a disparate group of friends to
relationships, psyches, and intentions with newfound courage and grit:
"...he had already looked back for the last time,
have the emotional, nor physical, strength to do that to himself all
again. Though the urge itself was strong, he would hold himself firm
against it, maintaining his focus in the only place it needed to be in
particular moment: right in front of him."
compelling leisure reading for teens that can also translate to book
discussions will find the allure of Till
Dawn vivid and attractive.
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The Trials of Imperium
978-1957723457 $32.95 Hardcover/$22.95 Paper
Imperium is a young adult sword and sorcery fantasy
recommended for teens
interested in epic tales of powerful women who rise above their
life to assume more commanding, authoritative roles.
Princess Liliana Storidian
is regal in title only, and is
not slated to inherit any position of power. Her lot in life shifts
series of extraordinary events where she is forced to utilize her
about her place and those around her to best advantage.
Liliana is capable of
astute, adult observations of the
women and figures that surround her:
didn’t have anything specific against Easternalia. The woman was
seeking, but she was passive. The most dangerous thing about her was
low-cut, extravagant dresses she wore that always threatened to expose
parts. She would not murder, wrongfully convict, or do anything
malicious to further her own social agenda. However, she would buy her way into power at the
Aurjnegh Court. She would monopolize
three and a half hours of a diplomatic meeting talking about her
their minute accomplishments. She would
spread false fidelity rumors about Liliana’s mother around
She would change her birth
from Easter to Easternalia, giving it three more syllables and so much
more “feminine charm!”"
When a tired king creates an
opportunity for those who
harbor the mark of Imperium
of power") to compete to become the new ruler of the kingdom, Liliana
commoner Ellegance both see an unprecedented opportunity to assume
control of not just the kingdom, but their lives.
Lyndsey Garbee creates a
moving story that holds the feel
of The Hunger Games paired with the
strong characterization of women who have little to lose and much to
stepping into revised roles of power.
Supporting characters of
both sexes provide intriguing
contrasts in purpose and perception to keep the story fast-paced and
off the strange encounter, pushing it into the sewers of his mind.
was better to approach life like a soldier. Take orders, don’t speak
for Imperium’s sake, don’t
think. Thinking was what got soldiers in trouble. It got normal people
trouble, too, especially if they had a propensity for the wrong kind of
thoughts. He rolled his eyes; no wonder Liliana and Teo were such damn
grouches. Thinking that much about anything—much less the fate of an
kingdom—was prone to ram a naman up anybody’s ass."
Many an adult will find this
fantasy powerful in its
contrasts, characterization, and action, finding it surprisingly
involving for its concurrent themes of women's empowerment and
personal and political control.
acquisitions for mature teens that
nicely straddle the boundary between young adult and adult reading will
the epic fantasy action, characters, and struggles of The
Trials of Imperium make for an involving choice that should
attract a wide audience with its ageless theme of good intentions gone
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Mark J. Engels
Fazed Angle Media
979-8-9881902-3-3 $14.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Book 2 of the Forest Exiles
Saga, Werecats Convergent, returns
teenager Pawly to center stage as she
faces a Christmas in San Francisco as a were-lynx whose interests
family and survival. These are no light tasks, as Pawly fights to keep scientist and rival werecat Mawro from
weaponizing her family's abilities while also struggling to protect her
life from this confrontation.
introduces Pawly's latest challenge with a focus on Mawro, adding
that will ease any transition by newcomers. That note in mind, ideally,
readers will already be familiar with Pawly's prior dilemmas in Werecats
Emergent. This will not only lend to a smooth transition to
this story, but
serves as a powerful opening read.
struggles with a human lover who becomes mixed up in paranormal affairs
confrontations with militaries intent on tapping her family's
abilities for their own special purposes, the action plays out on
levels. These are spiced with references to sports Cup playoffs and
that emerge on both a human and metaphysical level.
usually associated with a thriller than a paranormal read keeps the
vigorous, with many twists and turns emerging that continually
relationships, ideals of safety and love, and her loyalty and
family secrets and realities.
not only a fast pace, but presents many thought-provoking encounters
adults familiar with paranormal stories won't see coming. It also tests
international waters and special interests as events converge on
and family in cataclysmic ways.
Libraries seeking blends of romance, thriller, and paranormal fantasy will find all these elements dovetail in Werecats Convergent, a story that is satisfyingly unpredictable and perfect for teens just entering into adult reading levels of complexity and attraction.Werecats Convergent
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