Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
|Home / Small
Small Press Bookwatch
Table of Contents
The Sound of Water
Turning Stone Press
9781618520883, $15.95, 154pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After a lifetime of living, Joshua K. Linden heard the sound of water in a whole new
way. The mesmerizing, meditative sound resonated so deeply within his soul that it propelled
him on a seven year journey of reflection: on soul, ego, and our place within the web of life.
What he has discovered during his journey is suffering is a result of the battle between the ego
and the Soul. The ego wants to plan and create a future whereas the Soul needs to express itself
in the present. If one is truthful, eventually one awakens to the fact that the body will die, and
that the future in this dimension is limited. "The Sound of Water: A Psychology of the Soul"
leads readers to understand it is in their best interest to shed the ego and to live life with the Soul
that is eternal. "The Sound of Water" points you in the direction of this Source. This is where
your essence and the essence of all things flow into one another -- without deception, distortion,
or corruption. "The Sound of Water" offers a series of thoughts and meditations that will guide
you in your own journey to reconnect with the Source. You are invited to read it from beginning
to end, or flip to a page at random to find deep insight and wisdom; inspiring you to awaken to
living a life that deeply honors and values the Soul.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Sound of Water: A
Psychology of the Soul" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring. An
ideal and highly recommended addition to community, and academic reference Mediation
Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists, "The Sound of Water: A Psychology
of the Soul" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' from beginning to end and enthusiastically
recommended to the non-specialist general reader. It should be noted that ""The Sound of Water:
A Psychology of the Soul" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
Brenda M. Asterino
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781494927387, $12.95, 90pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Celebrating Life: A Resource Manual for Caregivers and Self-Advocacy", author
Brenda Asterino draws from her extensive experience as both a caregiver and a self-advocate to
provide novice caregivers with a series of practical tools, forms, and information to make the
healing journey easier, safer, and more effective. Best of all, she offers ways to celebrate life in
the midst of it all!
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Celebrating Life: A Resource
Manual for Caregivers and Self-Advocacy" is as practical and informative as it is 'user friendly'
from beginning to end. Especially recommended for the non-specialist general reader wanting
instruction and guidance for taking care of themselves and/or others, "Celebrating Life: A
Resource Manual for Caregivers and Self-Advocacy" is a truly invaluable read.
Mockingbird Lane Press
Kelly & Hall Book Publicity
9781634154932, $12.95, 252pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sometimes heroism is lost to history. Jack and Charlie are two of the millions of farm
boys who drop their bales of hay and join the Army or Navy in 1943 because it was the right
thing to do. The lifelong friends served together in basic training, but are separated to pursue
additional military training that fit their individual talents. Mere weeks after their separation, Jack
finds himself assigned to his dream job, gunner on a B-17 crew that makes regular bombing runs
over Germany. Charlie is disappointed to be assigned to 'company clerk' school, but soon finds
himself assigned to General Dwight Eisenhower's staff at allied headquarters in London. A
perfect confluence of events brings the two friends back together during a time of critical
planning for the D-Day invasion of Europe. In the midst of a Nazi attack on the D-Day planners,
the two young men carry out incredible acts of heroism that ultimately save the invasion plans,
and possibly, the entire war effort against Hitler and his Nazi regime. Medals for valor are
considered for the two men, but a decision is made at the highest levels that public knowledge of
the pair's actions would be detrimental to the war effort. The two soldiers' meritorious service to
their country and the world is forgotten... almost.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and a compelling read from beginning to end, "Unspoken
Valor" will prove to be of exceptional interest for personal reading lists and community library
Kick Her Again; She's Irish
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781475126594, $7.95, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Marie O'Reiley is outside screaming at the world. Her children watch through the
living room window as the police come and arrest her for disturbing the peace, leaving them
alone in the house. Thus begins the astonishing true story of a family always living on the brink
of disaster. The story unfolds, told through the eyes of Marie's children. Not only are they
impoverished, but they are dealing with Marie's erratic and often bizarre behavior. Through it all
shines Marie's sense of humor and her unconventional ways of dealing with her difficult
situation. How they manage to not only survive, but to grow into well-adjusted adults is a true
story that shows how the miracle of love can overcome all obstacles.
Critique: A compelling and ultimately heart-warming read, "Kick Her Again; She's Irish" is
solidly entertaining from beginning to end and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition
to community library collections. For personal reading lists, it should be noted that "Kick Her
Again; She's Irish" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
Fly Away Free
Anne Turner Coppola
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781499049152, $29.99, 142pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The story begins when Tessie Farrell, an older woman living in South Florida, is
walking her dog and rescues a baby osprey whose parents are killed by three young boys raiding
the osprey's nest to steal the baby ospreys. Taking the rescued baby osprey home, Tessie contacts
the police to report what happened. After caring and feeding the baby osprey and building a cage
for the bird, Tessie finds herself exhausted. Lying down to rest, Tessie is transported back in
time, when she was a ten-year-old girl living with her parents on a dairy farm in northern New
York. Devastated to learn that she is adopted, Tessie is taunted by her classmates as she struggles
to understand why she was unwanted by her biological parents. In her isolation from children her
own age, she creates her own fantasy world with the help of Dolly, a horse that is boarded at the
farm and whom Tessie adopts as her pet horse, and two pet geese, raised and nurtured by Tessie
as hatchlings. While Tessie roams her fantasy world with Dolly, she meets and befriends an older
woman, Maudie, who will play a very important role in helping Tessie find herself as she learns
to accept who she is and to find acceptance by those around her. This is a story of courage,
self-discovery, and love, and a young girl's struggle to overcome the pain of being adopted.
Critique: A deftly crafted and ultimately heartwarming story, "Fly Away Free" is wonderfully
entertaining from beginning to end and certain to be a very popular addition to community library
collections. Strongly recommended for personal reading lists, it should be noted that "Fly Away
Free" is also available in a paperback edition (9781499049169, $19.99) and in a Kindle edition
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Adventures in Writing for Children
PO Box 280, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
9780938497653, $12.50, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Fifteen years after publishing "The Business of Writing for Children" -- Amazon.com's
all-time bestseller among guides to children's writing -- award-winning author Aaron Shepard
returns with a new collection of articles on the art and business of creating literature for young
people. Topics include managing time in stories, structuring a chapter book, retelling folktales
and legends, obtaining permissions, databases and business forms for children's writers,
performance tips for author readings, online interaction with young readers, reviving a book with
print on demand, converting from picture book to ebook, and more. Whether you're aiming at
traditional publishers or choosing to self publish, let "Adventures in Writing for Children" help
you pursue an adventure of your own.
Critique: Simply stated, anyone aspiring to write a book, any kind of book, for a child should
spend a half-hour of their time and read Aaron Shepard's "Adventures in Writing for Children:
More Tips from an Award-Winning Author on the Art and Business of Writing Children's Books
and Publishing Them". This little instruction volume fully and completely lives up to the hype of
its title. It will prove to be an invaluable addition to personal and community library
Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections and reading lists. It should be noted that
"Adventures in Writing for Children" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Great Grammar Book
27 Innsbrook Road, Asheville, NC 28804
9780984115723, $24.95, 268pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Grammar books are a necessary tool for writing, but few actually enjoys reading them.
"The Great Grammar Book: Mastering Grammar Usage and the Essentials of Composition" by
Marsha Sramek is enhanced with fun facts, news article excerpts, and goofy trivia to demonstrate
the principles of grammar. "The Great Grammar Book" focuses on the commonly encountered
bulk of real-world writing. If proper use of capitalization, quotation marks, and apostrophes has
you pulling your hair out; if you need some little trick to help you remember whether to use "lie"
or "lay;" or if you mistakenly think a lengthy sentence is the same thing as a run-on sentence, you
will benefit from "The Great Grammar Book". Of special note is the inclusion of a practical
guide to better writing called "Successful Writing Strategies" which addresses wordiness, unclear
pronoun references, and meaningless phrases. Especially important to students is the advice on
writing essays, research papers, and works of literary criticism. "The Great Grammar Book" even
includes a how-to on business letter writing.
Critique: In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules governing the composition of
clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of
such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by
phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. All aspiring writers should be well grounded in the rules of
good grammar -- especially if they want to bend those rules to create a colloquial 'voice' for their
writing. Very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library
English Studies and Writing Instruction reference collections, "The Great Grammar Book" is as
informed and informative as it is 'user friendly'.
Tell Me A Story In The Dark
9781939629586, $14.95, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Tonight, don't read your child a story. Instead, dim the light, lie down, and create
storytelling magic. Weave a spell that will enchant your child. Written by an award-winning
playwright John Olive, "Tell Me a Story in the Dark: A Guide to Creating Magical Bedtime
Stories for Young Children" provides every tool needed to tell great and entertaining stories. In a
day when parents want to spend more quality time with their children, "Tell Me A Story In The
Dark" shows how to prepare and tell a story that will communicate such enormous benefits as
ending the bedtime battle of wills, building vocabulary, and making room for effective parenting
moments. "Tell Me a Story in the Dark" provides a treasure trove of stories that parents (and
grandparents) can adapt for their children. But most especially, "Tell Me a Story in the Dark"
teaches how to make up and tell original stories suitable for children.
Critique: A unique 'how to' guide and manual, each page of "Tell Me a Story in the Dark: A
Guide to Creating Magical Bedtime Stories for Young Children" has made arrangement for the
reader to add their own notes. Although basically intended as an instructional primer on oral
storytelling, "Tell Me a Story in the Dark: A Guide to Creating Magical Bedtime Stories for
Young Children" has an important relevance for aspiring authors seeking to create and write
entertaining and original stories for children of all ages and is therefore very highly
recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing as
well as Parenting instructional reference collections.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Be Positive, No Matter What
Karen J. Nolan
54 Forest Avenue, Rochester, NY 14622
9780692258989, $15.99, 60pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Be Positive, No Matter What: My Journey Through Breast Cancer" is the personal
story of Karen J. Nolan. She wrote this book in hopes that it will help others traverse a similar
journey of their own. Karen Nolan was diagnosed in August 2012 with breast cancer. In "Be
Positive, No Matter What" shell candidly reveals her thoughts and feelings, and what she learned
from all her caregivers as she got through each day of treatment. She also relates all her angel
blessing stories. Karen Nolan once considered herself broken as she began this particular journey.
Now she stands proud to have been chosen.
Critique: A quick and easy read, "Be Positive, No Matter What: My Journey Through Breast
Cancer" is as inspired and inspiring as it is informative and thoughtful. "Be Positive, No Matter
What: My Journey Through Breast Cancer" is especially recommended to the attention of those
who themselves or their loved ones are having to deal with cancer in any of its forms.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
The Audition Bible
2418 North Keystone Street, Burbank, CA 91504
Jacqueline Green Public Relations
9780977291168, $18.95, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As a casting director for twenty-three years, Holly Powell witnessed the casting world
from three different points of view: As an independent casting director, as Head of Casting for a
Studio, and as a Network Casting Executive. From this unique perspective, she formed Holly
Powell Studios, with her mission being to demystify the audition process for actors. Through
using her "The 6 Audition Tools Method," actors are guided into adopting the mental focus of the
athlete and learn to control sabotaging thoughts that can derail an audition. "The Audition Bible:
Secrets Every Actor Needs To Know" was originally written as a companion piece to Holly's
audition workshops and covers not only audition techniques and tools but answers many
common questions about audition protocol. Anecdotal audition stories exemplify what works and
what doesn't during the casting process. Part 1: The Audition is a handbook for any actor
auditioning for any venue, be it television, film, theater, a commercial or a webisode. The actor
travels through waiting in the lobby, walking into the audition room, the audition itself, the
people he encounters in the room, and finally exiting the audition room. Part 2: Auditioning For
A Series-Regular Role guides the actor through the four steps it typically takes to book a
series-regular role on a network television series: The Pre-Read with the Casting Director, The
Callback for Producers, Reading for Studio Executives, and Testing at the Network. Even though
the format in Part 2 is specifically geared toward auditioning for television, all actors in every
medium will find invaluable information here that will apply to their individual audition
Critique: A true insider's instruction manual, "The Audition Bible: Secrets Every Actor Needs To
Know" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it a thoroughly 'user
friendly' guide that should be considered 'must reading' by all aspiring actors from local
community theater groups to Broadway and Hollywood casting calls. Highly recommended for
community and academic library Theatre/Cinema/TV instructional reference collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Audition Bible: Secrets Every Actor Needs
To Know" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.49).
The Fiction Shelf
This Side of the River
Nautilus Publishing Company
426 South Lamar Blvd., Suite 16, Oxford, MS 38655
9781936946389, $24.95, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The story of "This Side of the River" is told from the perspective of multiple narrators.
It is a gritty tale that takes place in the summer of 1865 after the Confederacy has collapsed. A
contingent of young Civil War widows who have survived General Sherman s March to the Sea
rally around a teenage, Christ-haunted Texas Ranger named Cat Harvey to travel to Ohio to burn
down Sherman s home. "This Side of the River" explores themes of trauma, revenge,
redemption, and the disorder known then as nostalgia or soldier s heart.
Critique: Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, "This Side of the River" is a
compelling read from first page to last and is a novel that will linger in the mind long after it is
finished and set back upon the shelf. Also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99), "This Side of the
River" is a solidly scripted, full bodied entertainment and highly recommended for both personal
reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.
The Perils of Pauline
Astor + Blue Editions
1150 Ave. of the Americas, 6th Fl., New York, NY 10036
9781941286050, $13.95, 298pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Pauline Parril is a survival expert. For ex-army veteran Pauline Parril, life marches
along in orderly formation now that she is happily married, raising three children, and ascending
a promising career ladder. But the handles of her safe and comfortable world soon turn upside
down when a termination letter lands on her lap and her once-loving husband Donald grows
suspiciously distant. Complications further arise when Pauline returns to school and meets
Michael Fortune -- the handsome and exciting poetry professor who threatens to get out of hand.
Pauline once endured a long deployment to a war-torn country halfway around the world, but can
she survive the front lines of her fraying household? Find out how she does it in "The Perils of
Pauline", an uproarious tale of an intrepid every-woman stepping through the challenges of
rebuilding her life while learning that there's actually more to discover about herself than she
ever dreamed possible.
Critique: A deftly written, uproariously funny, exceptionally entertaining novel, "The Perils of
Pauline" clearly document author Collette Yvonne as a gifted author of the first order.
Impressively entertaining from beginning to end, "The Perils of Pauline" is very highly
recommended reading for personal leisure time lists and would prove to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "The Perils of
Pauline" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.39).
The Black Fountain Goddess
Paladin Timeless Books
c/o Twilight Times Books
P. O. Box 3340, Kingsport TN 37664
9781606191088, $17.95, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: While studying anthropology in Arizona, graduate student Jacob Colt is shocked to
discover that his great-grandfather was hanged for a ritualistic murder in rural Oregon nearly a
hundred years earlier. Angered that the truth has been kept from him, Jacob returns to his
hometown in Oregon and begins searching for the truth behind the crime, but almost immediately
a grisly murder occurs at the small college where his father is a professor. As Jacob learns more
disturbing details about his family's leadership in an ancient goddess cult, he finds that the two
murders, separated by decades, may both be rooted in the cult's worship of a sacred object.
Complicating his investigation is his involvement with three young women involved in the
current murder investigation, all of whom he finds attractive and all of whom have their own
secrets. Ultimately, he knows he must unravel the most complex and dangerous mystery of all:
who is the Black Fountain Goddess?
Critique: A tautly written, deftly crafted, original mystery from beginning to end, "The Black
Fountain Goddess" documents author Jean Moynahan as an impressively skilled storyteller and a
master of the mystery/suspense genre. Solidly entertaining, "The Black Fountain Goddess" is a
compelling and highly recommended read that will prove an enduringly popular addition to
community library collections. It should be noted that "The Black Fountain Goddess" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Queen Of Sparta
T. S. Chaudhry
Top Hat Books
The Barrett Company Communications
9781782797500, $22.95, 383pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Xerxes, the Great King of Persia invades Greece in 480 B.C. at the head of a massive
army. Three hundred Spartans and King Leonidas die heroically blocking the Persian advance at
the pass of Thermopylae. The Persians are poised to conquer all of Greece. The only one
standing in their way is a woman -- Gorgo, Queen of Sparta. Though history has relegated her
role to that of a bystander, In T. S. Chaudhry's novel "The Queen Of Sparta, she plays a central
role in the Greek resistance to the Persian invasion while keeping her true role a secret in order to
play it more effectively. She was hiding other dark secrets of murder and vengeance as well. The
only person who truly appreciates her genius is an enemy prisoner whom she has vowed to kill?
Then after their victory over the Persians, the Greeks started to turn on each other. Eventually,
Gorgo had to choose between the security of Sparta and safety of her son. The only one who
could find a way out of the Queen's dilemma is the same prisoner who had once fought against
Critique: A deftly crafted and compelling read, "The Queen Of Sparta" documents the impressive
storytelling talents of T. S. Chaudhry in a novel that will leave his entertained readers looking
eagerly toward his next title. Enthusiastically recommended for historical fiction enthusiasts and
community library collections, it should be noted that "The Queen Of Sparta" is also available in
a Kindle edition ($3.82).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781500800000, $9.99, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: DI Rosemary Leach is used to dealing with the sicker side of life; rape, murder,
violence; it comes with the job. But the events about to unfold take her down unfamiliar paths,
paths that lead to the darkest of secrets; paths that lead to an evil, sadistic mind. Given the option
she would not have walked those paths but she has no choice, fate has dictated that she must
tread them, regardless where they lead. She doesn't always walk these paths alone, DS Jennifer
Preston treads with her; aiding, questioning, befriending, protecting; but there are some paths she
has no choice but walk by herself and one which she never thought she'd have to walk again,
ever. She had no idea that what started as a simple, long overdue arrest would be the beginning
of a series of sickening events that would have her question her skills, her abilities, her resolve.
But is there any connection between the events unfolding before her? Is this revenge or
coincidence? Why the graffiti and what is its significance? More disturbingly: how many more
must die before she understands?
Critique: Unrelentingly suspense, unexpected plot twists and surprises, deftly crafted characters
-- these are the hallmarks of David John's "Nameless". Exceptionally well written and thoroughly
entertaining, "Nameless" documents author David John as a novelist rich in imagination and
endowed with impressive storytelling skills. "Nameless" is very highly recommended for
community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Nameless" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($3.93).
The Testament Of James
PO Box 4843, Pahrump, NV 89041-4843
9780967025933, $32.50, 209pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The manager of Books on Benefit has died under mysterious circumstances, and one of
the rarest books in the world is missing - if it ever existed at all. Did James the Just, oldest
surviving brother of Jesus of Nazareth, write a book about the suppressed secrets of his brother's
ministry, and the plan to help him survive the crucifixion? The number of strange characters
descending on the scene, determined to lay hands on the missing volume, indicate powerful
forces believe it exists -- and are hell-bent on making sure "The Testament of James" never sees
the light of day. Aided only by a small band of College Hill misfits, can the unorthodox methods
of Matthew Hunter, tracer of lost books, find the Testament in time to keep the Forces of
Darkness from condemning the Western World to yet another long, dismal night of ignorance
and repression? The manager of Books on Benefit has died under mysterious circumstances, and
one of the rarest books in the world is missing -- if it ever existed at all.
Critique: A riveting novel and a compelling entertainment from beginning to end, "The
Testament Of James" clearly documents author Vin Suprynowicz as a gifted and imaginative
novelist. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted that "The Testament Of James" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($5.99).
Between These Walls
MM Book Publicity
9780991530915, $15.95, 484pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At 26 years old, Hunter Carlisle has a successful sales career, a devoted girlfriend, and
rock-solid faith. He also guards a secret torment: an attraction to other men. When a career
plunge causes muscle tension, Hunter seeks relief through Gabe Hellman, a handsome massage
therapist. What begins as friendship takes a sudden turn and forces the two friends to reconsider
the boundaries of attraction. Along the road to self-discovery, Hunter's secret is exposed to the
community. Now Hunter must face the demons of his past and confront his long-held fears about
reputation, sexual identity, and matters of soul. A story of faith, fire and restoration, "Between
These Walls" braves the crossroads of love and religion to question who we are and who we will
Critique: Addressing adult themes that resonate with our current national dialogue on such issues
as gay marriage, the generational divide with respect to acceptance of gay life styles, and a
compelling read from beginning to end, "Between These Walls" is written and recommended for
a mainstream readership -- not just the gay community. This is a sophisticated and deftly crafted
novel of faith occurs within a true-to-life context of redemption -- and contains adult language
and content. Very highly recommended, it should be noted that "Between These Walls" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
Angels At The Gate
T. K. Thorne
Cappuccino Books Publishing
Jane Wesman Public Relations Inc.
9783906196022, $22.50, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Secretly raised as a boy in her father's caravan and schooled in languages and the fine
art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic
life and independence. With the arrival of two mysterious Northmen, rumored to be holy men,
Adira's world unravels. She loses everything she values most, including the "Angel" who has
awakened her desires. Caught between her culture and freedom, and tormented by impossible
love, she abandons all she has known in a dangerous quest to follow the "Angels." With only her
beloved dog, Nami, at her side, Adira must use all the skills she learned from her father to
survive the perils of the desert, Sodom, and her own heart. "Angels at the Gate" is a story of
adventure and the power of love, a compelling saga based on historical research about the ancient
biblical world of Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the woman who "became a pillar of
Critique: A compelling and exceptional read, "Angels At The Gate" documents author T. K.
Thorne as an impressively talented novelist. This is the stuff of which block-buster movies are
made. Solidly engaging and entertaining from beginning to end, "Angels At The Gate" is very
highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be
noted that "Angels At The Gate" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
The Umbrella Mender
Christine Fischer Guy
Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
280 James Street North, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8R 2L3
9781894987905, $21.99, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Though a stroke has left her mute, the story Hazel MacPherson has to share is
unforgettable. As a talented nurse in the early 1950s, she went north to Moose Factory to help
fight the epidemic of tuberculosis that was ravaging the Cree and Inuit peoples. Each week the
boat brought new patients from the James Bay, Hudson Bay, and Nunavik communities to the
little hospital. It was a desperate undertaking, fraught with cultural and language difficulties that
hampered the urgent, sometimes reckless, efforts of the medical staff. But Hazel is soon
distracted from the tensions of the hospital by an enigmatic drifter named Gideon Judge, an
itinerant umbrella mender searching for the Northwest Passage. From her own hospital bed, the
older Hazel struggles to pass on to her grandniece the harrowing tale of her past in the North,
including the fate of Gideon and the heartbreaking secrets she left behind.
Critique: A terrifically entertaining read from first page to last, "The Umbrella Mender"
documents novelist Christine Fischer Guy as a major storytelling talent of the first order. Deftly
crafted characters and a complex but gripping plot highlight "The Umbrella Mender", making it
very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction
John M. Cahill
Bygone Era Books
7665 East Eastman Avenue, #8101, Denver, CO 80231
9781941072097, $21.95, 402pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Sean O'Cathail deserted in New York Harbor in 1681, it was not to become a
boschloper. He jumped ship to save his own skin. Getting into the fur trading business was just
where he landed. As an Irish refugee hiding out in a Dutch colony now controlled by the English,
Sean found he had a knack for diplomacy as he negotiated between the colonists and their
Iroquois neighbors. This skill also helped with his love life, torn between courting a servant in
town, while sleeping with an Indian lass when in the wilderness. As the French and their Indian
allies encroach ever farther into their territory. Sean's diplomatic skills will be put to the test.
Then, he learns more than a few pelts are at stake!
Critique: Exceptionally well written and a thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end,
"Primitive Passions" is the first volume of author John M. Cahill's 'The Boschloper Saga' and
will leave his readers looking eagerly toward the next novel in what will prove to be an
extraordinary historical fiction series. Very highly recommended for community library
Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Primitive
Passions" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
Of Bonds And Bondage
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781420885651, $19.99, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Archie Bingham, an assistant District Attorney in New York and son of Sir
Archibald Bingham, an eminent British barrister, tries to blackmail Joseph Bocacci into revealing
information about certain members of the Mafia, Joseph enlists his adopted grandson, Frankie
Leeman, to look into Bingham's background. In Part One, Leeman's mission takes him to
London, England, where he learns what effect Bingham had on the lives of the people who loved
or trusted him, uncovering the shocking tale of a man seemingly possessed by the devil. Leeman
is drawn into a bittersweet love affair although he knows his heart will be broken, and comes to
learn about his own mysterious roots and Joseph Bocacci's connection to the death of his parents
in Italy. The reader learns Bingham's version of everything that took place in his life before he
emigrated to America-his betrayals, seductions, sins and lies. The reader learns the reasons for
his actions and for his bitter relationship with his father. The author then weaves these two
narrative strands back together, bringing her story to a shocking, touching and ultimately
Critique: "Of Bonds and Bondage" is a gripping tale filled with mystery, love, sex, hate and
revenge -- and demonstrates author Rita Baker's mastery of writing a compelling novel that holds
the reader's fully engaged attention from beginning to end. Complex, deftly crafted, and a great
entertainment, "Of Bonds and Bondage" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and
community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Of Bonds and Bondage"
is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
A Shocking Reunion
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781469188263, $15.99, 82pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Although Christine Chandler is a woman who attained success as a national advocate
for women's rights relating to domestic violence, her major goal in life is that of seeking revenge
against a college alumnus. The conscious fixation that she's harbored for years has left her
unfulfilled with a heart that has turned to stone. A college reunion invitation offers her an
opportunity to execute her unspeakable plan of retribution -- one she feels is fully justified.
Critique: A quick and easy read, "A Shocking Reunion" fully demonstrates author Pat
Booth-Lynch's impressive storytelling skills. A solid entertaining and highly recommended for
personal reading lists, it should be noted that "A Shocking Reunion" is also available in a Kindle
Black Is Not A Color
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
The Belcastro Agency
9781490340739, $12.95, 330pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Ava Fodor returns to New York from Paris, she leaves behind her budding
romance with Pierre and turns her attention to another man: Zsolt Fodor, her father. He's a
penniless Hungarian poet transplanted to New York in the wake of the failed 1956 Hungarian
uprising. Raised by her New England grandparents, Ava barely knows him. Dramatic, effusive,
emotional, he's everything her grandmother warned her against. Yet his crazy conversation
fascinates her. His chicken paprikash isn't bad either. Pierre's pull draws Ava back to France, to
the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. There, his tender care of his ailing mother awakens Ava
to something lacking in herself. Unless she finds it, she can't give him her heart. When her father
has a heart attack, Ava is thrust into a caregiver role, looking after a man who never looked after
her. She's terrible at it. So was her father, so he forgives her. But can she forgive him? Until she
learns to love the man she has every reason to abandon in his hour of need, she can't move on.
Only her father can show her the way. But will she let him? And if she can, will it be too late for
Pierre and her?
Critique: "Black is Not a Color" is second volume of author Rozsa Gaston's 'Ava Series' which
presents Ava Fodor's journey of self discovery, that was begun in the first volume, "Paris Adieu"
(978-0984790616, $12.95 (PB), $2.99 (Kindle), 290pp.). A compelling, entertaining, and deftly
crafted read from first page to last, it should be noted that "Black is Not a Color" is also available
in a Kindle edition ($2.99). Both "Paris Adieu" ($21.83) and "Black is Not a Color" ($17.45) are
also available as Audio Book Downloads.
The Sports Shelf
Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers
Summer Game Books
PO Box 818, South Orange, NJ 07079
9781938545467, $10.00, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With "Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction To Baseball History", baseball
teen star blogger Matt Nadel has written a thorough and accessible book on the biggest stars,
greatest games, and most amazing feats in baseball history. Richly illustrated, the text includes
bios of the all-time greats; the history of classic ballparks and the game's great franchises; a
section on the Negro Leagues, Japan, and women's baseball; and the expert lowdown on stolen
bases, perfect games, triple crowns, and even baseball uniforms! "Amazing Aaron to Zero
Zippers" is the go-to resource for anyone looking to learn everything important about the history
of America s greatest game, and learn it in a fast, fun way. Filled with incredible, classic photos
from the official Baseball Hall of Fame Archives, it is a baseball history primer for beginners and
developing fans, and a treat for long-time devotees who will love having so much essential
baseball knowledge all in one convenient place.
Critique: Impressive enhanced throughout with historic black-and-white photographs, "Amazing
Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction To Baseball History" is exceptionally well written,
organized and presented. Very highly recommended for baseball enthusiasts of all ages,
"Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction To Baseball History" will prove to be an
enduringly popular addition to personal, school, and community library Sports/Athletics
collections. It should be noted that "Amazing Aaron to Zero Zippers: An Introduction To
Baseball History" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Christian Studies Shelf
203 East Birch Street, Abbotsford, WI 54405
9781622452392, $16.99, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Often disguised as something that would help him, evil accompanies Christian on his
journey to the Celestial City. As you walk with him, you'll begin to identify today's many
religious pitfalls. These are presented by men such as Pliable, who turns back at the Slough of
Despond; and Ignorance, who believes he's a true follower of Christ when he's really only
trusting in himself. Each character represented in this allegory is intentionally and profoundly
accurate in its depiction of what we see all around us, and unfortunately, what we too often see in
ourselves. But while Christian is injured and nearly killed, he eventually prevails to the end. So
can you. The best part of this edition of a Christian classic are the Bible verses added to the text.
The original Pilgrim's Progress listed the Bible verse references, but the verses themselves are so
impactful when tied to the scenes in this allegory, that they are now included within the text of
this edition. The text is tweaked just enough to make it readable today, for the young and the old.
Youngsters in particular will be drawn to the original illustrations included in this wonderful
Critique: An impressively produced and highly recommended edition of a Protestant Christian
classic work originally written centuries ago when the author was imprisoned for his religious
beliefs, "Pilgrim's Progress" is a 'must read' for all Christians regardless of denominational
affiliation. "Pilgrim's Progress" is highly recommended for church, community, and academic
library Christian Studies collections. Also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99), it should be
noted that a paperback copy of "Pilgrim's Progress" was provided for review by Aneko
The Biography Shelf
History of Street Cops
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478737537, $19.95, 346pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Chicago's Cabrini Green Housing had snipers firing on the police, residents, firemen,
anyone in the area of the infamous housing project every day. In 1970, Sergeant James Severin
and Officer Anthony Rizzato were murdered by snipers at Cabrini Green Housing Units. Their
killers are serving 199 years in prison. Eight years later, Grego Zito and his partners worked
Cabrini Green Housing area arresting gang members and in four years confiscated over 660
various types of weapons. They also arrested five snipers at different times and locations, firing
at residents, the police, and firemen. "History of Street Cops" is the true life story of how Greg
Zito and his partners survived through the years as Chicago police officers.
Critique: Candid, engaging, informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, "History of Street
Cops" is a true life biography that reads in some parts like an episode of Dragnet meets CSI. One
terrific read from start to finish, "History of Street Cops" is highly recommended reading and
certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.
Sexy Serenity: A Memoir
Miranda K. Simon
27068 La Paz Road, Suite 102, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
9780989703765, $16.99, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Sexy Serenity" is Miranda's unabashed diary of her life as a young college student
who is forced by poverty to betray her long-held morals and become a dance hostess at an
infamous underground club in downtown Los Angeles. With a one-year-old son, nowhere else to
turn, and a hearty dose of naivete, she does what she must to make ends meet. From the
beginning of her new career, Miranda constantly struggles to adapt to nightly grinding sessions
with the city's creepiest men and the pressure to date clients outside of the club. When she feels
her safety has been compromised, she tries to escape hostess clubs and her clients by stripping off
her values and her clothes. She transforms herself into exotic dancer "Serenity," a woman who
has no problem getting naked for men and refuses to cry every night about it. Between dressing
up as a cop and being fingerprinted by one, Miranda's life plunges into chaos. After earning (and
paying for) her college degree, she lands a new corporate job but faces brazen discrimination
against single mothers. She still can't afford rent so she's compelled to work weekends at the
clubs. It seems every time she attempts to quit dancing, some new expense gets in her way. But
when one of her past clients shows up at her office, trying to win her back with diamond earrings
and cheap promises, Miranda can no longer ignore her past nor the power it still has over
Critique: As candid as it is superbly narrated, "Sexy Serenity: A Memoir" is a compelling
autobiography that grips the reader's total attention and holds it firmly from beginning to end.
Very highly recommended reading, it should be noted that "Sexy Serenity: A Memoir" is also
available in a hardcover edition (9780989703741, $27.00).
You. Are. Not. Alone.
W. R. Watkins
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781500149994, $8.00, 98pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "You. Are. Not. Alone." is the debut, semi-autobiographical anthology by W. R.
Watkins, that takes you on a journey through the pain of isolation, the feelings of rejection;
through to the joys, hopes and dreams of life. This anthology is about healing the past; letting go
of fears and regrets; embracing who you are as a human being; accepting the situations you
cannot control; making peace with who you are internally and externally, and having the courage
to change your life.
Critique: A quick and easy read, "You. Are. Not. Alone." is exceptionally well crafted and highly
recommended. It should be noted that "You. Are. Not. Alone." is also available in a Kindle
edition ($3.99). Also by W. R. Watkins and highly recommended, "An Obsessive Infatuation" is
available in both a paperback edition (9781500923167, $7.00, 72pp) and a Kindle edition
Fall In, Fall Out: The Dogface Years
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478732426, $25.95, 342pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At seventeen years old, and with parental permission, Joseph Crew and his identical
twin brother enlisted in the army in 1958. Their destination was the Third Armored Division in
Germany. Their parents were in the beginning stages of divorce, and Joseph and his brother were
looking to escape the domestic warfare. Little did they know they'd be trading one battle zone for
another. "Fall In, Fall Out: The Dogface Years" is Joseph's memoir, set against the backdrop of
President Truman's racially integrated army, charged to protect Western Europe from Russia's
hostile, overwhelming might during the deepening freeze of the Cold War. "Fall In, Fall Out" is
about friendships, sexual discovery, racial tensions, and the heartbreak of young love. It starkly
depicts barracks life and bleak war game maneuvers, and brings to life the flesh trade in a
Mexican border town; the nightclubs of Copenhagen; the seedy streets of Amsterdam's red-light
district; and the glittering neon lights of Paris and Frankfurt-offering a glimpse of what those
cities were like thirteen years after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Based on hastily scribbled yet
carefully preserved writings from the last six months of Joseph's military service, "Fall In, Fall
Out" skillfully brings history to life. But it's also a coming-of-age story about two brothers
struggling to become men-a touching tale resurrected from the ashes of memory.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Fall In, Fall Out: The Dogface
Years" is a compellingly candid, informed and informative personal history that is a very highly
recommended addition to community library American Biography collections. For personal
reading lists is should be noted that "Fall In, Fall Out: The Dogface Years" is also available in a
paperback edition (9781478727347, $14.95) and a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Criminology Shelf
Indie Publishing Limited
9780992745516, $14.99, 416pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Hashish, or hash, is a cannabis product composed of compressed or purified
preparations of stalked resin glands, called trichomes. It contains the same active ingredients
(such as THC and other cannabinoids) but often in higher concentrations than un-sifted buds or
leaves. Hashish may be solid or resinous depending on the preparation; pressed hashish is usually
solid, whereas water-purified hashish (often called "bubble melt hash") is often a paste-like
substance with varying hardness and pliability, its color most commonly light to dark brown can
vary to see-through glass varying toward yellow/tan, black or red. This all depends on the process
and amount of contaminate left over. "Beyond Hercules: An Inside Story of the Moroccan Hash
Trade" is a revealing insider expose into the escalation of the Moroccan hash trade as it
developed throughout the eighties; an illicit and clandestine industry supplying ever increasing
demand and sustaining an otherwise impoverished local economy in return. A fast-paced,
action-packed adventure from first page to last: take a vicarious journey into the world of
smuggling, eighties style.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Beyond Hercules" is as informed
and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. A true 'insider's account', "Beyond
Hercules" is highly recommended reading for academia and the non-specialist general reader
with an interest in understanding drug smuggling and the financial, social, cultural, and political
impact it had (and continues to have) in funding outlaw and terrorist operations in the middle
east. For personal reading lists, it should be noted that "Beyond Hercules" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
The Love Fight
Tony Ferretti, Peter J. Weiss, authors
Todd Chobotar, editor
Florida Hospital Publishing
900 Winderley Place Suite 1600, Maitland, FL 32751
The Cadence Group
9780990419129, $16.99, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "The Love Fight: How Achievers & Connectors Can Build A Marriage That Lasts",
authors Tony Ferretti and Peter Weiss address a new dichotomy: the clash between Achievers
and Connectors. In studying couples with Achiever and Connector personalities, this duo
illustrates how this common encounter can create a mutually satisfying relationship. Their
expertise will walk you through the scrimmage between those who want to accomplish and those
who want to relate. They couldn't be more opposite, but both Tony Ferretti and Peter Weiss know
how to mentor Achievers and Connectors through their differences and guide them to a marriage
that lasts. "The Love Fight" is a book that can help you understand your spouse and save your
marriage. Its self-assessments and content based on the authors' years of experience will give you
an action plan to achieve connection today.
Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented instruction guide for
reconciling matrimonial differences between spouses (and between men and women engaged in
any deeply personal and emotional relationship), "The Love Fight: How Achievers & Connectors
Can Build A Marriage That Lasts" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' from beginning to end and will
prove to be an invaluable and popular addition to community library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. Very highly recommended for the non-specialist
general reader seeking to create and maintain loving and practical relationships with their
significant others, it should be noted that "The Love Fight: How Achievers & Connectors Can
Build A Marriage That Lasts" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.59).
Living In Balance
Joel Levey & Michelle Levey
Divine Arts Media
9781611250299, $19.95, 360pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As our world grows increasingly more complex and stressful, developing our capacity
for dynamic balance in our lives, work, and relationships becomes more and more vital. Based on
the ancient wisdom traditions, contemporary neuroscience research, and the insights of
indigenous cultures throughout our world, "Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for Thriving in a
Complex World" shows that, in each moment, we have the capacity to be mindful of whether our
thoughts and actions are moving toward harmony and balance or away from it. Through this
awareness we can make a conscious choice to continue on the path we are on or to change our
attitude and direction. With a foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Living in Balance offers a rare
synthesis of ancient wisdom traditions with cutting-edge research on peak human performance
that points toward mindfulness as being truly the key to living in balance.
Critique: A compelling read from beginning to end, "Living in Balance: A Mindful Guide for
Thriving in a Complex World" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and
inspiring. This collaborative work by Joel and Michelle Levey is extraordinarily well written,
organized and presented. Very highly recommended for both personal and community library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should also be noted that "Living in Balance: A
Mindful Guide for Thriving in a Complex World" is available in a Kindle edition ($10.49) as
Grit In Your Craw
c/o The Cadence Group
9780990785606, $12.99, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Do you have confidence, discipline and a sense of purpose? Are you diligent, resilient,
tenacious, optimistic and flexible? If so, you've definitely got "a little grit in your craw", as they
say in the South. In other words, you have what it takes to succeed! Actually, we all have those
eight strengths, but we don't always know how to harness them and put them to work for us.
"Grit in Your Craw" can show you how to do just that. All you need is a willingness to dig deep
and a commitment to achieving your highest goals. Maybe you're not so sure you have what it
takes to succeed? Well, "Grit in Your Craw" will help you find and focus those inner strengths
essential to your success. You will be enlightened and entertained as author Robert Luckadoo's
life stories tug at your heart strings and bring a new clarity to the strengths already inside you.
And no doubt, you will be inspired to dig deep inside yourself to find the eight strengths you
need to succeed in your professional and personal life. It will leave you with a tear in your eye, a
big southern smile in your heart, and a recharged desire to succeed in finding your true purpose in
Critique: An impressive and compelling read, "Grit In Your Craw" is especially commended to
the attention of anyone seeking to become inspired to maximize their personal potential
regardless of their current circumstances or condition. "Grit In Your Craw" would prove to be an
invaluable and enduringly appreciated addition to community library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists, it should also be noted that
"Grit In Your Craw" is available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
Win Friends and Customers
Lawrence J. Bookbinder
c/o The Cadence Group
9780990775409, $4.95, 148pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Empathy is the ability to experience what it's like to be another person and can yield
tangible benefits during conversations. For example, a salesman who listens with empathy when
talking with a customer could achieve business success. A wife who listens in this manner when
talking with her husband could enhance their emotional connection. These benefits and others
sometimes stem from people using empathic listening during some of their conversations. In
"Win Friends and Customers: Relationship and Business Success from Empathic
Acknowledging", author Lawrence J. Bookbinder teaches this listening skill only at the
beginner's level because many people don't want to spend too much time learning this skill since
they live in a fast-paced world. The good news is that the responses to his workshops and
writings taught him that people could win friends and customers from their conversations
without knowing how to listen like an expert. To help his readers easily and rapidly learn
empathic listening, Bookbinder gives a wealth of conversation examples, writes in short
paragraphs, uses plain English, and emphasizes bulleted lists.
Critique: A quick and easy read, "Win Friends and Customers: Relationship and Business
Success from Empathic Acknowledging" will prove to be an invaluable and practical guide for
utilizing simple conversations to achieve desired ends when significantly enhanced by listening
techniques that can be readily mastered in short order. Thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning
to end, it should be noted that "Win Friends and Customers: Relationship and Business Success
from Empathic Acknowledging" is very highly recommended for personal and community library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections.
The Playground Principle
David R. Smat
9780990413202, $8.49, 50pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Playground Principle: 10 Steps to Enhance Your Working Partnerships" by
David R. Smat focuses on achieving success in the workplace through honing one's people agility
skills using what the reader once learned at an early age during school recess. "The Playground
Principle," is a 6,000 word 'Top - 10' of sorts, that will help resurrect these distant childhood and
teenage relationship building experiences.
Critique: A quick and easy read, "The Playground Principle: 10 Steps to Enhance Your Working
Partnerships" is informed, informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and very highly
recommended for anyone seeking to enhanced and hone their own 'people skills' in any
professional or social setting. It should be noted that "The Playground Principle: 10 Steps to
Enhance Your Working Partnerships" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Making Of A Mystic
Warwick Associates Publicity
9780990670612, $14.95, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Paddy Fievet is a modern mystic, facilitator, speaker, author, blogger, and artist.
"Making of a Mystic: Writing as a Form of Spiritual Emergence" is Paddy Fievet's vivid
description of her dramatic spiritual transformation and lights the path for her readers to discover
their own spiritual empowerment through writing.
Critique: A combination of personal memoir, poetry, and instruction manual, "Making of a
Mystic: Writing as a Form of Spiritual Emergence" is a compelling read that is by turns informed
and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring. Of special interest to
readers seeking personal growth and an enhanced spirituality, "Making of a Mystic: Writing as a
Form of Spiritual Emergence" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and
community library collections. It should be noted that "Making of a Mystic: Writing as a Form of
Spiritual Emergence" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Risen II - The Progeny
The Barrett Company Communications
9781941536520, $27.95, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Francis Barclay, the vengeful and bloodthirsty vampire resurrected from the dead after
200 years, has once again returned from the ashes -- and this time he's not alone! Working his
slow and agonizing way back to Alder Lake, Barclay is determined to save Lorna, the vampire
child he accidentally sired during his last revenge-fueled visit to town. Kurt Dale, the
womanizing detective blamed for his mistress's death during Barclay's murderous rampage, is
once again in hot water with another woman. This time he does not have his best friend and
partner to help bail him out trouble. In fact, there is a new detective in town who wouldn't mind
seeing Dale take a fall. Barclay is determined to save his progeny. Kurt and his wife Amanda are
unaware that Lorna, the daughter they love, was made vampire by Francis Barclay all those years
before. While they realize she is wise beyond her years, and at times a bit peculiar, they do not
know their child's true nature.
Critique: The sequel to Krystal Lawrence's riveting novel "Risen" (X), the saga of the vampire
Francis Barclay continues in "Risen II - The Progeny". Krystal Lawrence has proven herself a
master of the vampire fantasy genre and her ability to deftly craft a novel of so many unexpected
plot twists and surprising turns is truly exceptional. Solidly entertaining from beginning to end,
"Risen II - The Progeny" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library
fantasy fiction collections. It should be noted that "Risen II - The Progeny" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($2.99).
Scott James Magner
c/o Resurrection House
9781630230036, $24.95, 382pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of a far-future Earth struggling to reinvent itself after a
technological disaster, "Homefront is an uncompromising adventure story set in the Transgenic
Wars about what it truly means to be human. Jantine is a Beta, a genetically modified super
soldier charged with establishing a hidden colony on Earth. When her expedition arrives in the
middle of a civil war, she must choose her allies wisely or be exterminated. Featuring complex
characters and edge-of-your-seat action sequences, "Homefront" will have readers guessing until
the last page.
Critique: A superbly crafted novel, "Homefront" is especially recommended to the attention of
science fiction enthusiasts. Original, compelling, deftly written from beginning to end,
"Homefront" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library science
fiction collections. It should be noted that "Homefront" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781630230272, $16.00), a Kindle edition ($10.49), and in an Audio Book Download format
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Murder On Easter Island
Gary D. Conrad
PO Box 430, Highland City, FL 33846-0430
9781568251806, $14.95 (PB)
9781568251790, 209pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Daniel 'Hawk' Fishinghawk is the best of the best--a detective's detective. Raised by
his Cherokee grandfather to be sensitive to the subtle signs of nature, no clue goes by unnoticed,
and each and every case he is faced with is quickly solved. When Hawk is recruited by the State
Department to assist with a series of gruesome murders on Easter Island, even his brilliant mind
could never have predicted the power of the evil he would soon have to face. Every second
moved him closer and closer to the hideous presence, and he knew--without a doubt--there would
be no escape.
Critique: An impressively compelling read, "Murder On Easter Island" demonstrates author Gary
D. Conrad's complete mastery of the Mystery/Suspense genre. A deftly crafted plot of surprising
twists and unexpected turns, "Murder On Easter Island" is a solid entertainment from beginning
to end. Very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of mystery enthusiasts, "Murder
On Easter Island" would prove to be popular addition to any community library's
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Murder On Easter Island" is also available
in a hardcover edition (9781568251790, $20.95) and a Kindle edition ($5.95).
The Logic Bomb
Scott Richard Lord
The Barrett Company Communications
9781460249109, $14.99, 264pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Tom Tresh is a small-time Los Angeles attorney always looking for a big score.
Divorced and broke, with an ex-wife and a seven year old son to support, Tom has spent his
career trying to walk the line between defending his criminal clients and becoming involved in
their crimes. So when his old friend Charlie asks him to help broker a deal for a mysterious new
computer program and promises him a huge payday for his services, Tom is willing to turn a
blind eye to the details. Big mistake. Two of the people involved in the theft are found
gruesomely slaughtered in a vacant lot. It's a warning. If Tom doesn't return the program, a
"Logic Bomb" capable of destroying the world's vital computer systems, then all Tom has -- his
family, his friends, his life -- will be brutally exterminated. Tom's frantic fight to unravel the
conspiracy erupts into an all-out war waged in court and in the street against a cartel of corporate
thugs, Chinese spies, domestic terrorists, and the U.S. government. Tom recruits an army of his
own, led by the head of a murderous LA gang, a beautiful and deadly former cop, and a
mysterious genius hacker. As Tom's team races towards a fierce and violent showdown, no one
can be trusted and everything is at stake.
Critique: "The Logic Bomb" is the stuff of which blockbuster movies are made! A compelling
and highly entertaining read from beginning to end, author Scott Richard Lord has an impressive
ability for the deft creation of memorable characters the development of a cyber war based novel
that has the chilling feel of what is now going on in the real world around us. Very highly
recommended reading and a popular addition to any community library's Contemporary Fiction
collection, it should be noted that "The Logic Bomb" is also available in a hardcover edition
(9781460249093, $24.99), as well as a Kindle edition ($5.99).
The Cookbook Shelf
Zing! By Gorji
9780988489707, $20.00, 175pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Blending science and Old World "hot and cold" theories, chef Gorji details unexpected
ways to combine ingredients. Chef Gorji won the Texas Steak Cook-off Championship twice
with his take on steak with pomegranates! Pure olive oil. Lots of limes. Few batters, coatings, or
rubs. No tahini in that hummus. Instead, an imaginative, personal, and highly memorable take on
enhancing natural flavors. With reader-friendly, easy to follow recipes, this cookbook is a
collection of his signature dishes that have garnered critical acclaim at his restaurant Canary By
Gorji in Dallas, Texas.
Critique: Spiral bound, this impressive compendium showcasing Mediterranean cuisine is a true
gourmet's delight. The 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes range from Gorji's Crispy Skillet Pizza;
Escargot with Pomodoro; Celery Root with Carrots & Fresh Mint; and Striped Marlin with
Sauteed or Grilled Rhubarb; to Duck Breast & Plum Sauce; Pan-Seared Filet Medallions; Wild
Boar, Gnocchi Gorgonzola & Tomato; and Champome (a light and fresh champagne and
pomegranate with strawberry). Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout in full color,
"Zing! By Gorji" is a unique, sophisticated, and enthusiastically recommended addition to
personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
The Art Shelf
c/o HOW magazine
PO Box 421751, Palm Coast, FL 32142-1751
The Cadence Group
9781440333323, $32.99, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In most graphic arts classes, students are taught the rules of design by mentors and
professors. They are told what to do and how to do it. "Follow the rules and color within the
lines." and "Only use two fonts on a page and don't make your logo too complicated. In "Creative
Anarchy: How to Break the Rules of Graphic Design for Creative Success", author and graphic
artist Denise Bosler explains and explores both rule-following and rule-breaking design.
"Creative Anarchy" includes tips to throw design caution to the wind, designers' stories with
galleries of work, and creative exercises to help push your designs to the next level. With
sections specifically devoted to designing logos, posters, websites, publications, "Creative
Anarchy" is about great design and awesome ideas.
Critique: Following the concept of anarchy as applied to design, "Creative Anarchy: How to
Break the Rules of Graphic Design for Creative Success" follows it's own premise and the book
is divided into two major sections -- each upside down from the other. As iconoclastic and
profusely illustrated as it is informed and informative, "Creative Anarchy: How to Break the
Rules of Graphic Design for Creative Success" is very strongly recommended reading for all
novice graphic designers and has a great deal to offer even the more experienced artists and
technicians in graphic design -- and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to art
school and community library instructional reference collections.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
A Modern Look At The Hoof
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478735311, $79.95, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Keeping horses comfortable and sound can be a complicated and often times stressful
process not only for the owner, but also for hoof care professionals. Equine expert Monique
Craig started her learning journey out of personal frustration with these issues. Her goal was
initially just to find solutions for her own horses. Eventually her hoof research provided results
applicable to every horse. A must for anyone (owners, trainers, trimmers, farriers, and
veterinarians) wishing to be well-versed in the hoof, readers will without a doubt gain new
insights from "A Modern Look At The Hoof" on topics not found in other horse hoof related
publications. "A Modern Look At The Hoof" is a new look at the hoof, focusing on a detailed
look at its morphology (shape) and function, and discussing implications for how the hoof should
be trimmed and cared for. The information is backed up with the presentation of accurate
measurements from thousands of horses' hooves, as well as examples painstakingly collected
over the author's 20 year involvement with trimming the hoof.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of more than 300 full color illustrations and images (many
with measurements and annotations), "A Modern Look At The Hoof" is as 'user friendly' as it is
informed and informative. Very strongly recommended as a core addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Equine Studies instructional reference
collections, it should be noted that "A Modern Look At The Hoof" is also available in a
hardcover edition (9781478735328, $99.95) and a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Education Shelf
Engaging Gifted Readers And Writers
Kenneth J. Smith & Terri Zazove
Pieces of Learning
1990 Market Road, Marion, IL 62959
9781632790187 $19.95 www.piecesoflearning.com
Synopsis: Today's students live in a fast-paced, high-tech world. If they aren't motivated to learn,
if they aren't engaged, we will lose them. Perhaps the worst part of this is that once they become
disengaged, they will never achieve what they are capable of. "Engaging Gifted Readers &
Writers: 35 Ideas for Integrating Common Core Into Your Language Arts Curriculum" showcases
lessons balanced in many ways. First, it contains an assortment of reading, writing and speaking
lessons. These are further divided among expository, persuasive, informational, and poetry
lesson. Some will take less than a class period; others can take a week. The longer lessons are
designed to be flexible enough for you to adjust expectations to meet your time constraints.
Regardless of time constraints you face, all lessons are written to be easy to implement. Finally
we offer both collaborative and individual activities. We want the lessons to engage students.
This means students find them challenging, but not frustrating. They are open ended, allowing
students to bring their own voice to them, to express their own creative ideas. The lessons guide
students to develop the skills needed to take their original ideas, develop them in depth, and
articulate them in alignment with the Common Core Standards.
Critique: Of special note is the informative Introduction featuring three major sections: How does
this book help me use common core with my gifted students?; What is the research base for this
book?; How do these lessons connect Common Core to gifted curriculum? Spiral bound and
thoroughly 'user friendly', "Engaging Gifted Readers & Writers: 35 Ideas for Integrating
Common Core Into Your Language Arts Curriculum" is an invaluable and highly recommended
curriculum supplement for public and private schools utilize Common Core approaches to
literacy development for gifted students.
The Beer/Wine Shelf
Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass
Satya House Publications
PO Box 122, Hardwick, MA 01037
9781935874300, $18.95, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass" is the story of the emerging farm-to-glass
revolution on the New England and New York craft brewing scene. Just a few years ago, if a
brewery wanted to use local ingredients, they were limited to what farmers had on hand for other
markets, such as honey or fruit. Today, the region fosters numerous small hop farms as well as
several malt houses that use local grain exclusively. As a result, breweries are now able to
capitalize on a growing locavore economy by creating "beer from here." Small farmers are
bucking a stagnant economy by marketing directly to the public as the growing number of both
farms and farmers' markets demonstrates. The public wants local food, and no drink is more of a
meal than the liquid bread in a pint of beer. In recent years, craft brewing has grown at a 15
percent clip. In 2014, there were 2,700 craft breweries in the US with another 1,500 in planning.
Not since the 1880s have there been so many breweries throughout the country. As more brewers
try to get their brand noticed, the incentive to distinguish one beer from another increases.
Tapping the existing local food market by supporting small farms can help garner some attention
for these start-ups. In the 19th century, brewers of the Northeast had plenty of local malt and
hops to choose from. Now, old meets new in a way that supports tradition and contributes to the
future security of our farmlands... whether it's the young mother who began her thriving and
unique business by growing barley in her garden and malting it in her kitchen, or the incredible
passion for the land of a brewer who began as a farmer himself. Not only does "Beer Terrain:
From Field to Glass" tell the story of these people, their products, and the land that supports
them, it also serves as a guidebook for readers who want to explore this terrain for themselves.
With an extensive resource section that illustrates the connections between the land and the beer,
"Beer Terrain: From Field to Glass" will be a valuable companion on any New England
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Beer Terrain: From Field to
Glass" is an impressively informed and informative descriptive overview of the domestic
brewing movement throughout the northeast. Thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Beer Terrain: From
Field to Glass" is enhanced with the inclusion of a section devoted to beer brewing Resources.
Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, "Beer
Terrain: From Field to Glass" could well serve as a template for similar regional-based works
related to micro-breweries and the growing do-it-yourself brewing industry.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
Site design by Williams Writing, Editing &