wSome advice from
Joshua Tallent of eBook
wA profle of Jane
Ward, author of,’
‘The Mosaic Artist’

A quarterly guide
to what’s new in
Full reviews of 35
Listings of
130 new titles
October 2011
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You’ll reach booksellers, publishers, both domestic and foreign, distributors, agents, librarians, wholesalers, and the
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WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 29
I-Book master Ciass
Bv Ci~ic moic~x 1iiciii Someone who
has an idea
becomes the
publisher of
that idea.
1aiient’s company, eBook Architects, is a ieading
e-book conversion and consuiting resource íor
seií-pubiished authors.
Ií seií-pubiishing is a major part oí the íuture oí
the pubiishing business, then its most unchart-
ed region, and the írontier oí greatest possibii-
ity, is digitai seií-pubiishing, where authors
can make their own names and seii innnite numbers oí
books with the heip oí a handíui oí increasingiy weii-
estabiished piatíorms and standards—Amazon, Appie,
IPub among them.
Oí course, it’s hardiy that simpie, and a wouid-be seií-
pubiished author is íaced with a daunting number oí op-
tions and tons oí iníormation that can be impossibie to sort
through and goes out-oí-date aimost as íast as it’s pubiished.
Ior this instaiiment oí PW Select, we thought we’d taik to
somebody who makes a iiving heiping authors sort through
those choices and turn their manuscripts into handsomeiy
pubiished e-books. )oshua 1aiient is the íounder and CIO
oí eBook Architects, an Austin, 1ex., íirm that designs and
codes e-books íor both independent ciients and traditionai
pubiishers. We asked him to taik straight about the advantag-
es and disadvantages íacing authors iooking to pubiish their
own e-books. 1aiient points out that some oí the company’s
ciients, iike mark Coggins, author oí The Immortal Game, have
achieved nationai íame, and that the company has turned
down projects that weren’t oí suííicientiy high quaiity.
According to the company’s Web site (www.ebookarchi-, a prose novei wiii cost between ;100 and ;250
to convert to e-book íormat, and between ;1.50 and ;2 per
page íor most noníiction (with a minimum charge oí ;200).
1aiient points out that many authors don’t reaiize they’ii want
not oniy IPub but aiso .mobi, the íormat Amazon accepts íor
the Kindie store. He shares iots oí other tips with us, too.
Can you taik a bit about what eBook Architects does
and its history·
1he big thing íor seií-pubiished authors is having peopie back-
ing you who have the knowiedge to navigate the e-book worid
where the author is the pubiisher. What we do is interact with
seií-pubiished authors on that ievei íor the e-book part oí the
I started out on my own in )anuary oí 2009. I hired my íirst
empioyee in march oí iast year. I now have nine team members
and we’re activeiy hiring more deveiopers. It’s been very very
íast. 1he whoie industry has been totaiiy biowing up. We have
a ¯0/30 or 60/40 ciient base spiit between tradition and seií-
pubiishers, weighted toward seií-pubiished authors.
Compiex projects are our speciaity. We’re kind oí a boutique
e-book design íirm. We can do things iike cookbooks and other
heaviiy designed books. We try to take the quaiity oí the book
that we’re given and keep as much oí that quaiity as we can. We
can do embedded íonts and other styiistic things to try to match
the originai print.
What are the biggest chaiienges íacing wouid-be seií-
pubiished authors who want to do e-books·
most authors are iooking íor iníormation. A big part oí our job
is educating our ciients. A iot oí peopie who are seií-pubiishing
get a iittie bit oí inío írom somebody—an author íriend, some-
one they met at an author meetup. 1hey have a iittie bit oí inío,
but they’re stiii iacking the core process. 1hey may not know
A D V I C E F O R T H E S E L F - P U B L I S H E D
PW 1~iis »i1i
)osii~ 1~iiix1

the year, but, for instance,
someone will say I’ m
going to have a book
ready to go in February, and they’ll reserve
a place in the queue now.
How do you feel about the future of
the so-called traditional publishing
business? Will all books be self-pub-
lished sooner or later?
I think traditional publishing will always
be there because there will always be a need
for highly curated content. As an industry,
it’s changing constantly—most of us are
ingesting content through the Internet
more than we are through books. The pub-
lishing industry has to think of itself more
as content suppliers rather than book pub-
lishers. That’s where self-publishing is so
important. Someone who has an idea
becomes the publisher of that idea. That’s
the freedom that self-publishing gives. I
don’t think print books are going to go
away. We engage
books in ways I don’t
think an e-book will
be able to take over.
the difference between the formats or
where to go to get that information or how
to find a good editor. Self-publishing is
changing so rapidly that guidebooks from
a year ago can be out-of-date.
What advice do you have for authors?
The vast majority of people are still doing
both print and e-books. Some start with
e-books and then jump into print if they
have the numbers. I suggest you don’t go
to print until you’re ready—the print pro-
cess is more expensive. If you are doing
both, though, do the print prep first, and
then send us the print-ready file, from
which we can create the e-book.
You should also hire a real book editor,
who’s not family or a friend.
So what’s the process of working with
eBook Architects look like?
It’s all project based. We like to give our-
selves two to three weeks turnaround time.
Potential clients can upload a file into our
system. We assess the complexity of the
project and send back a quote. At present,
we’re pretty booked solid until the end of
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ O C T O B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 1 30
A D V I C E F O R T H E S E L F - P U B L I S H E D
ate last month, the self-publishing company FastPencil
re-signed bestselling children’s author Mercer Mayer to
another multibook deal. Mayer shared his experiences
working with FastPencil with PW, and why he decided to do
more books with the company.
“I really do partner with them. I’m consid-
ered a partner rather than just a business asset,”
says Mayer. “I can pick up the phone and talk
with them, discuss new book product ideas,
and sign three-page contracts in record time.”
Mayer uses FastPencil’s Premiere service,
which targets top-tier authors. “I provide FastPencil Premiere
with high-res digitized art and PDF layout guides, and then
they take over and bring it to print-ready stage. And then on
it goes to their various business partners.... BookMasters for
high-quality printing, then BMI, Barnes & Noble, and Lyons
LLC take the book distribution forward into every conceivable
distribution delivery outlet, from e-commerce to retail, and
in every format, physical book and e-book. It’s a seamless
process and occurs very quickly.”
Still, despite FastPencil’s higher royalty rates and stream-
lined operation, Mayer says what attracts him most to the
company is the partnership. “I’m a partner with a company
that sees me as a partner,” Mayer says. “We can explore and
innovate together rather fearlessly. I can truly
shape my publishing program, even get
involved in promotion planning, although I
much prefer to write and illustrate and let
FastPencil Premiere take it from there. It’s
nice to work with a partner in publishing who
is not afraid of e-books and sees things as opportunities to
build sales rather than as limitations. It’s refreshing, fun, and
Mayer’s first book with FastPencil, Professor Wormbog in
Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo, came out in June and sold out
of its first printing in two months. His next title with Fast-
Pencil, Little Monster Fun and Learn, will be available this
month and already has 1,000 pre-pub orders.
Mercer Re-ups with FastPencil B G H
Tallent’s 3 Warnings
for Self-Published
It’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot
of self-published authors jump into
self-publishing thinking it’s the easiest
thing in the world, but it’s not just push-
ing a button. As a self-publisher, you’re
doing what the publishing industry has
done for hundreds of years and doing
it yourself.
Watch out for misinformation. Find
valid, high-quality sources, people
who have been doing it a long time and
can share that info. Watch out for com-
panies that just want to sell you some-
thing. If they just want to sell, they’re
not a good source.
Don’t sidestep the process. Do
everything the way it’s supposed to
be done. Remember that quality is still
important. The role of a publisher is to
curate content, so your role as a self-
publisher is to organize, edit, market,
and distribute your own content.
A sample of what eBook
Architects can do.
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 31
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
Flying Horses: The Golden Age of
American Carousel Art.
Peter ). maiia. 1he Connecticut Press. ;¯5
hardcover (200p), ISBN 9¯8-0-9825468-
A signed, numbered,
and iimited coiiector’s
edi ti on oí thi s cri ti -
caiiy acciaimed, íuiiy
documented, and iav-
ishiy iiiustrated history
oí American carousei
íigures and their artisans during the art’s
goiden age, 18¯0–1930.
Denise Logan’s Amazing Art Projects
for Children.
Denise m Iogan. Dynamic Art Proj-
ects. ;26.95 paper (120p), ISBN 9¯8-0-
(480) 49¯-91¯6
An art instructionai book oí unusuai
economicai projects íor
chiidren, teachers, and
parents inciudes more
than 500 íuii-coior
step-by-step iiiustra-
tions, patterns, and
student work.
Beauty in Bent Grass: A Memoir.
Ruth Ada Ciark. Vantage Press. ;14.95
paper (118p), ISBN 9¯8-0-533-16384-¯
A compeiiing biography oí the author’s
deceased son who was a ciassic hemophii-
iac, this book is aiso instructive as it oííers
readers vaiuabie iníormation about inherit-
abie diseases and retroviruses.
How to Improve Your Goose Hunting.
matt Waish. Vantage Press. ;12.95 paper
(100p), ISBN 9¯8-0-533-163¯8-6
1his work combines eiements oí autobi-
ography, iand management, ethics, natu-
rai history, and meteoroiogy with a cogent
anaiysis oí what it means to staik the wiid
Gang Member: Another Side of
P.). Brown. Vantage Press. ;13.95 paper
(162p), ISBN 9¯8-0-533-16240-6
In this riveting account oí the author’s
iiíe, P.). Brown reveais how he agreed to
work íor a iocai gang at a time oí despera-
tion, untii the day he reaiized “a ciear con-
science is the oniy way” and turned his íocus
to martiai arts as a career.
Brooklyn’s Two-Story Mountain.
Aibert S. marcantonio Sr. Vantage Press.
;24.95 hardcover (¯92p), ISBN 9¯8-0-
1his true-iiíe story begins with a
Brookiyn neighborhood account oí two
exceedingiy ciose hometown íriends, the
author and Greg Scarpa, who was the
most notabie iníormant in the history oí
the IBI.
Eden Was on a Hollywood Hill.
Iari Barret. CreateSpace. ;14.80 paper
(442p), ISBN 9¯8-1-4505-¯616-1
A Romanian chauííeur and a Hungarian-
American waitress pursue the American
dream, ending up in
Hoi i ywood, whe r e
their tap-dancing, vio-
iin-piaying son íinaiiy
becomes a 1V comedy
writer, and author oí
this íamiiy taie.
Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber: One
of the FBI’s Most Elusive Criminals.
Dane Batty. Nish Pubiishing Co. ;15.95
paper (218p), ISBN 9¯8-0-615-26845-3
Among the oííerings here: noveis about bioterrorism,
Caiiíornia in the 1980s, a messy divorce, a woman who receives a íace trans-
piant, and a murder set in the worid oí ciassicai music. In noníiction: books
about goiden retrievers, íiying horses, and a (Piayboy) bunny. In chiidren’s:
a picture book about a chipmunk íamiiy, a garden oí verses, and a wartime
romance about an oider brother iost in Iraq.
A Wide Range íor
Seií-Pubiished 1ities
1ii +¸c 1i1iis sinxi11ii ioi oii ioii1i ¸i~i1iiiv PW Siiic1,
Leslie Ibsen Rogge,
number seven on the
FBI’ s most wanted
list, robbed more than 30 banks without
firing a shot. His nephew recounts his story
based on interviews and letters.
A Rose for My Mother.
Nancy Lee Canfield. iUniverse. $21.95
paper (286p), ISBN 978-1-4502-3123-7
Canfield chronicles her difficult child-
hood, which included going in and out
of an orphanage and five foster homes, all
before the age of 13.
Norma Jean’s Sun.
Kris Courtney. Kris Courtney. $17.95
paper (290p), ISBN 978-0-578-02059-4
This “touching story, full of hope” tells
of a young man who believes he was mis-
takenly born as a man and of his journeys
through drug and alcohol addiction as well
as years of surgical interventions.
The Sixties: An American Family
in Europe
Ada Feyerick. Academia Books. $25 hard-
cover (152p), ISBN 978-0-9653159-9-9
America as seen from Zurich and
Paris during the tumultuous 1960s, as
the author’s fam-
ily adapts to foreign
cultures and views
Amer i can event s
through the eyes of
the countries where
she and her family
lived. International
political cartoons contribute to the living
No Longer Silent.
Tammy Gagnon. Tammy Gagnon. $14.95
paper (223p), ISBN 978-0-578-06895-4
It only takes one step to change your
future. The author recounts her horrific
childhood, fleeing home at 14 and forced
to survive on her own as she comes to terms
with the truths of her violent history and
Survivor’s Game.
David Karmi. D.K. Montague. $20 paper
(280p), ISBN 978-0-615-41295-5
“Some people have a
knack for survival, for
getting out of jams.”
Karmi is one of those,
and he faces the ulti-
mate test as a young
teen in Nazi-occupied
Europe as he and his
family are deported to Auschwitz.
The Angel on My Shoulder: My Life
with an American Pit Bull Terrier.
Jol ene Mer cadant e.
iUniverse. $19.99 paper
(216p), ISBN 978-1-
A librarian and her
pit bull, a truly beautiful
soul, rescue each other.
Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy
Bunny Found Her Way.
Tricia Pimental. CreateSpace. $9.95 paper
(180p), ISBN 978-0-615-37570-0
A young woman seeking sexual free-
dom and spiritual enlightenment enters
the world of Playboy, drugs, mysticism, and
Hollywood before finding ultimate peace.
Sandy Powers. Authorhouse. $21.95 hard-
cover (140p), ISBN 978-1-4567-2956-1
Amazon; Barnes & Noble
One woman’s involvement with the
clashing ideologies of the 1930s, 1940s,
and 1950s is the centerpiece of this nar-
rative set against the backdrop of a steel
town in Ohio.
I’ve Always Loved You: A Story of
WWII in the Pacific.
Ann Seymour. Firefall Media. $25 hard-
cover (260p), ISBN 978-0-915090-68-6
Amazon; Barnes & Noble
“Ann has written a poignant tribute to
her father, a WWII hero, taking us from
Pearl Harbor to VJ Day with emotion and
historical accuracy.” —Adm. Robert Foley,
former commander-in-chief, U.S. Pacific
I’m Not Crazy, Just Bipolar.
Wendy K. Williamson. AuthorHouse.
$16.95 paper (300p), ISBN 978-1-4520-
Buckle in for the roller-coaster ride of
bipolar disorder. Laugh, cry, and every-
thing in between, but walk away with hope
and tips for wellness.
Working on Purpose.
Kent Holland. Ardent Publication. $14.95
paper (145p), ISBN 978-0-9723158-6-9
Succinctly discusses the importance of
taking a deeper look at what is meaningful
to us, and setting written goals and manag-
ing time wisely for success and satisfaction.
Written exercises make this book a practi-
cal and powerful life tool.
Paranormal Pooch: A True Story of the
Dog Who Healed One Family
Olga Horvat. $14.99 paper (192p), ISBN
An eye-opening story about one fam-
i l y ’ s f o u r - mo n t h
sojourn into the dark
and unknown side of
the canine world. It’s
like something out of
the Twilight Zone or a
Stephen King thriller,
only this is real.
Snowflake from the Hand of God: A
Book of Uncommon Prayer.
Cathy Cash Spellman. The Wild Harp &
Co. $18.99 paper (162p), ISBN 978-1-
Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Baker & Taylor
Reaches into the hearts of those who are
suffering the many assaults of life’s journey,
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ O C T O B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 1 32
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 33
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
with the honesty, compassion and wisdom
of shared experience.
Fabulous in Flats: Putting My Best Foot
Mary T. Wagner. iUniverse. $14.95 paper
(172p), ISBN 978-1-4620-1531-3
In the third in her series of collections
of essays from the heart, the author finally
admits that high heels just aren’t the foot-
wear for every occasion...especially when
power tools are involved.
Life Is Good, All Is Well: Everything Is
Wendy Ann Zellea. HappyAwareness.
$14.95 paper (164p), ISBN 978-1-60910-
Letting go of the denser energies of
lower vibrations and holding more light,
allowing us to evolve in the process of con-
scious human evolution.
Your Customized Budget: A Manual.
Patricia F. Charney. $7.99 paper (54p),
ISBN 1-893652-03-3
Wi th thi s uni que pl an, average
Americans, claims the author, can find the
peace of financial security that they think is
only possible by winning the lottery.
What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for
Freelancers and Consultants.
Laurie Lewis. Outskirts Press. $23.95
paper (175p), ISBN 978-1-4327-6764-8; Amazon
A how- t o gui de
on freelance pricing,
including types of rates,
record keeping, negoti-
ations, contracts, post-
job assessment, and the
only two rules of pric-
ing for freelancers.
The Sleeping Giant: The Awakening of
the Self-Employed Entrepreneur.
Ken McElroy. Kylekade Press. $24.95
hardcover (192p), ISBN 978-0-9829108-
Twenty entrepreneurs share their inspir-
ing stories of how they found success
through self-employment; their stories
show the reader how to live a life of free-
dom and passion.
Little One.
Brenda Davis-Worrles. Vantage Press.
$7.95 paper (24p), ISBN 978-0-533-
A colt wanders away from his barn, and
disobeying his mother’s rules leads him
into danger. Yet like Daniel in the lion’s
den, he finds safety in God.
Oliver and the Spinning Cats.
Tanya Kasim. Vantage Press. $8.95 paper
(34p), ISBN 978-0-533-16381-6
A char mi ng t al e
that celebrates the joy
and good fun a new
friendship can offer,
and how such alliances
can bloom between the
most unlikely pals.
Science Boy and Luke the Lab Dog:
Meet Jimmy Junk.
Chassidy F. Lucas, Ph.D. Vantage Press.
$14.95 paper (42p), ISBN 978-0-533-
An imaginative tale full of important
life lessons, this phantasmagorical adven-
ture teaches readers about clean water, the
benefits of taking vitamins, and the impor-
tance of being kind to others.
Blooming Buddies, in the Garden: A
Blooming Book of Verse.
Wendy Peterson. Pixie Land. $16.95 hard-
cover (16p), ISBN 978-0-9825819-0-2
Portraying a garden filled with color-
ful flower friends, vibrant watercolors are
paired with charming short verses speaking
to love, friendship, and kindness.
Henry! You’re Late Again!
Mary Evanson Bleckwehl. Beaver’s Pond
Press. $16. 95 hardcover
(32p), ISBN 978-1-59298-
357-5; Amazon
The big bad wolf of a school secretary
awaits Henry’s late school arrival—again.
Will he be eaten alive? Hilarious and edgy
illustrations mirror Henry’s daily dilemma.
Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the
Kathy M. Miller. Celtic Sunrise. $19.95
hardcover (40p), ISBN 978-0-9840893-
1-4; local bookstores
The second in a series relates fun-filled
facts as well as an entertaining story along
with more than 80 photographs of squirrels
exploring a garden.
I’m 5.
Alva Sachs. Three Wishes Publishing.
$12.95 hardcover (32p), ISBN 978-0-
Barnes & Noble; Amazon
Julie is turning five,
celebrating with all her
friends and getting ready
for school. But school is
not ready for her. What
could this be?
Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight
Loss: Control Your Body Chemistry,
Reduce Inflammation and Improve
Your Health.
Nicolette M. Dumke. Adapt Books. $23.95
paper (302p), ISBN 978-1-887624-19-0
Those with food allergies and on gluten-
free diets often gain weight. This approach
to weight loss is based on how our bodies
control fat.
Me, Myself, and I.
Virginia Johnson. Trafford Publishing. $14
paper (24p), ISBN 1-4120-9201-9
A pleasantly plump little girl is made
fun of at school yet grows to accept herself.
The Best Little Grammar
Book Ever!: 101 Ways to Impress with
Your Writing and Speaking.
Arlene Miller. bigwords101. $11.95 paper
(132p), ISBN 978-0-9843316-0-4
An easy-to-use gram-
mar reference highlights
the most common gram-
mar and wri ti ng mi s-
takes. This user-friendly
guide includes a gram-
mar refresher, quizzes, and
many examples. Intended
for ages 12–adult.
Multiply & Divide with Sticks & Steps:
Teach This Easy Method in Just
5 Minutes.
Maureen Stearns. Enrichment Books.
$14. 95 paper ( 96p) , ISBN 978-0-
9726908-5-0; Amazon;
Step-by-step instructions show what
multiplication is, instead of just having
students memorize the times tables. A
valuable resource for parents and educators.
So You Want to Go to College.
Richard LaDoyt Pinkerton, Ph.D. Vantage
Press. $15.95 paper (108p), ISBN 978-0-
In this authoritative yet accessible
guidebook for high school students,
parents, and guidance counselors, Dr.
Pinkerton addresses the seminal question:
“Are you ready, able, and willing to go to
Talking Time: Language Enrichment
Activities: Birth to Three.
Jeanette W. Stickel. CreateSpace. $12.99
(94p), ISBN 978-1-4635-5819-2
A speech therapist for 30 years creates
activities to engage and encourage learn-
ing in children from birth to three years
of age.
Theater, Stories and Scenes of a Forgot-
ten People.
Mariano Morillo. Vantage Press. $11.95
paper (80p), ISBN 978-0-533-15930-7
An anthology of five short stories, two
plays, and a monologue for the theater fea-
tures a diverse array of thought-provoking
work focusing on the human condition and
those the author regards as “forgotten.”
An Uprising of Angels.
Marc D. Baldwin. Baldwin Book Publish-
ing. $13.95 paper (314p), ISBN 978-1-
Examines race rela-
tions, crime, and a mid-
dle-class neighborhood
duri ng the Rodney
King riots in 1992 Los
Shadow Cay.
Leona Bodie. WRB Books. $19.95 paper
(480p), ISBN 978-0-9844198-1-4
Amazon; B&N;
Rico Salazar sets up a transnational
crime headquarters in the Bahamas, but
then he runs afoul of Madeleine Nesbit
as a sea of deception and lies engulfs the
Before the First Snow: Stories from the
Walter M. Brasch. Greeley & Stone.
$29.95 hardcover (320p), ISBN 978-0-
A story of the counterculture and
America from 1964 to the first Gulf
War, as seen by a “flower child” and the
reporter who covers her story for three
A Song in My Heart.
Roma Calatayud-Stocks. Beaver’s Pond
Press. $34.95 hardcover (376p), ISBN
Alejandra Stanford is born in 1902
in Minneapolis. As a young pianist
and budding composer, she resolves to
become an orchestral conductor despite
society’s obstacles, in this first of a tril-
ogy. Includes CD with original songs and
Jack Cohen. Elders of Zion Press. $16.25
paper (259p), ISBN 978-1-4495-6824-5
An autobiographical novel of a poor
Jewish boy from the East End of London;
he attends Cambridge University, faces
anti-Semitism, and confronts a terrible
family secret that underlies his striving to
Mack Dunstan’s Inferno.
Paul Collins. iUuniverse. $12.95 paper
(148p), ISBN 978-1-4620-3276-1
Amazon; Barnes & Noble
Inspired by Michael Moore’s chal-
lenge to Charlton Heston in Bowling for
Columbine, this story tells of a movie star
who supports gun owner rights, who dies
and meets many victims of his pro-gun
policy. The Heston estate forbade the use
of Heston’s name and image.
The Ghosts of Watt O’Hugh.
Steven S. Drachman. Chickadee Prince
Books. $14 paper (214p), ISBN 978-0-
This western fantasy
relates the adventures
of Watt O’Hugh III—
Civil War vet, orphan
of New York’s slums,
dime novel hero of the
Old West, and time
Rose Petals and Gun Powder.
Jean E. Dugas. Crimson Works Publish-
ing. $9 hardcover (607p), ISBN 978-0-
A series of novels brings together Edison
Thomas and Sampson Baker to solve crimes
in the 1920s, ’40s, and ’50s.
Ghosts of Coronado Bay: A Maya Blair
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JG Faherty. JournalStone. $9.99 paper
(162p), ISBN 978-1-936564-09-5
Maya is a young woman who can see
ghosts, but what happens when she falls in
love with one?
White Sleeper.
Stephen Langford and David Fett, M.D.
Synergy Books. $18.95 paper (259p),
ISBN 978-0-9845040-2-2
Dave Richards, a Centers for Disease
Control physician, is investigating how
three families in Arkansas have come down
with bubonic plague, rabies, and botulism.
He uncovers a domestic plot against the
U.S. via a bioterrorism attack on our medi-
cal delivery system.
The Nordion Within.
Roberto Guerra. CreateSpace. $10.99
paper (250p), ISBN 978-1-4611-1624-0
A group of diverse individuals from
different corners of the world experience
the same extraterrestrial phenomenon that
changes their lives. Eventually they all
meet and discover the truth about them-
selves and their own realities.
Speaking Truths.
Dayna Hester. iUni-
verse. $28.95 hardcover
(312p), ISBN 978-1-
Relates the multi-
layered trauma of child
abduction, and the tough road back to nor-
malcy when the child is recovered.
Chicago Shiver.
Terry Holland. Holland Publishing. $18
paper (224p), ISBN 978-0-615-39630-9
A murder appears open and shut until
Harry Pines finds a trail of blunders and
omissions that lead to the pinnacle of polit-
ical power in Illinois.
Bella Coola: The Rainforest Brought
Them Home.
Earl D. James. Black Moon Press. $16.95
paper (322p), ISBN 978-0-615-50194-9
From the British Columbia rainfor-
est to the power centers of New York,
Washington, and Rome, Bella Coola
probes the spiritual fault lines of a civiliza-
tion in crisis.
Yellow Bird.
Linda Johnson. Garden Gate Farm. $12
paper (151p), ISBN 978-0-578-06973-9
Barnes & Noble
Amanda Abernathy moves to a dilapi-
dated farm in Appalachian coal country,
where her increasingly mystical encounters
ignite her faith and steel her against cata-
strophic events.
There Is a Road.
Terry Kettig. Vantage Press. $11.95 paper
(192p), ISBN 978-0-533-16371-7
A son searches for his biological father
in the Florida Keys amid tall tales of fish-
ing and the sea. Reunited, father and son
precipitate a tragic finale in Cuban waters.
Diary of a Short Life.
Michael R. Krozer. CreateSpace. $10.95
paper (243p), ISBN 978-1-4609-5948-0
Facing a new life filled with the prom-
ise of love, Angela hopes her violent past
is behind her until it emerges and may
destroy the person she has become.
Vaporized: A Rock ’n Roll Mystery.
Victor Levine. ForceField Studios. $24.95
paper (508p), ISBN 978-0-9833608-0-3
New York, 1982: a musician’s quest for
greatness is threatened by a 2,500-year-old
secret that ups the ante in the war on drugs.
Demise of the Horse Fairy: Firehouse
Family, Book Four.
Laurie Loveman. CreateSpace. $16.99
paper (694p), ISBN 978-1-4505-8538-5
Fire Chief Jake McCann teams up with
a gangster’s top man to stop the gangster
from carrying out his plans for vengeance
against Laura Darvey.
Dantalion of the Goetia.
Tina M.E. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper
(314p), ISBN 978-1-4609-8377-5
Dantalion, a condemned Incubus
demon, is summoned to his true form by a
mortal college girl, creating an unexplain-
able relationship of love, obsession, and
Goodbye Milky Way: An Earth in
Jeopardy Adventure.
Dan Makaon. eFfusion Publishing. $27.95
hardcover (436p), ISBN 978-0-9833785-
When apocal ypse
threatens the Earth in
2012, governments are
powerless. An eclectic
team of scientists, a
sentient computer, and
an extraterrestrial develop a survival plan.
Bittersweet Summer: Paula’s Story.
Patricia McLaine. CreateSpace. $14.30
paper (396p), ISBN 978-1-4537-5105-3
The 1967 Summer of Love brings more
than its share for artist Paula, as she reig-
nites the flame with Jamie and meets Beau,
a handsome, wealthy Texas rancher.
The Devil and Preston Black.
Jason Jack Miller. Union City Publishing.
$14.99 paper (412p), ISBN 978-0-615-
This new take on the “deal with the
devil” leads readers into Appalachia to find
the song that may save Preston Black’s life.
One Down, One to Go.
Robert B Mills. Vantage Press. $11.95
paper (112p), ISBN 978-0-533-16307-6
In Spokane, Wash., Mills introduces
readers to Steve Nicholls, a 16-year-old
high school student whose father has died
of cancer; based on a true story.
Waldensong Saturnalia: A
Tribute to the Mythic Years.
A.D. Morvaye. Prince Chameleon Press.
$20 paper (486p), ISBN 978-1-894967-
The novel fuses memory and imagina-
tion as a young girl, abandoned by her vast
chaotic family, recreates them into legend.
Until Brazil.
Bethe Lee Moulton. The Glide Press.
$14. 95 paper (256p), ISBN 978-0-
M.B.A. Beth Bartlett
travels between Boston
and Brazil, where her
cultural assumptions
are challenged. She
deals with business
intrigue as well as an
unexpected love story
in this intimate portrait of personal trans-
Transplant: A Young Woman’s Full-
face Transplant.
Gerald Neufeld. Novel Voices Press.
$20.95 hardcover (340p), ISBN 978-0-
Following a severe auto accident, a
young woman struggles to identify with
the transplanted face she receives.
The Chance Confession (of a Fellow
Vlad K. Once. CreateSpace. $11.99 paper
(154p), ISBN 978-1-4609-1674-2
The upward path to success is hard and
exhausting and not everyone can stand its
dizzying height when they get there. But
how painful it is to fall headlong from such
a height. A psychological thriller exercises
the intellect.
The Dead: And Other Tales of Terror.
Michael Pendragon. Malleus Maleficarium
Press. $19.95 paper (272p), ISBN 978-1-
Seventeen ghostly tales explore the
many faces of death in an eerie, soul-chill-
ing phantasmagoria where the worlds of
the living and the dead eternally collide.
Bridge of the Single Hair.
Candida Pugh. Langdon Street Press.
$15.95 paper (239p), ISBN 978-1-
Hot-tempered and 17, Jeri Turner puts
herself and others in danger when in 1961
she joins nonviolent demonstrators chal-
lenging racial segregation in the deep
Gone to Graveyards: An Epic Novel of
the Korean War.
Brewster Milton Robertson. Quail Hollow
Books (CreateSpace). $25 paper (735p),
ISBN 978-0-615-44535-9
Amazon; Ingram
Describing the effect of war on an ill-
starred young married couple, the narrative
extends five months beyond the Korean
truce in July 1953.
Tragic Miracles.
S.M. Rolfe. Vantage
Press. $11.95 paper
(108p), ISBN 978-0-
A gripping work of
fiction inspired by the
author’s belief in guardian angels.
The Privateer Clause: Cruising Has
Never Been So Dangerous.
Ken Rossignol. CreateSpace. $14.50 paper
(374p), ISBN 978-1-4536-4147-7
Are cruise passengers bored to tears?
Not on the Sea Empress. All manner of may-
hem strikes as soon as Marsha and Danny
Jones hire on as security.
The Labbitt Halsey Protocol.
Andrew M. Ryan. Gadfly. $17.95 paper
(358p), ISBN 978-0-9802088-0-1
A single mother struggles to save her son
from the consequences
of being genetically
engineered with over-
whelming intelligence.
Reggae Jihad.
Caleb H. Smith. Cre-
ateSpace. $12.95 paper
(462p), ISBN 978-1-
A dying Saudi bil-
lionaire is on a per-
sonal jihad to destroy
the U.S. gasoline sup-
ply, and a former Navy
SEAL works to thwart his plan.
Lark’s Labyrinth.
Cathy Cash Spellman. The Wild Harp &
Co. $23.99 paper (674p), ISBN 978-1-
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor
Kings, emperors, and Adolf Hitler
believed that the spear that pierced Christ’s
side gave them the power to rule the world.
What if they were right?
Past Oz.
Peter Jacob Streitz. Past Oz Unlimited.
$19.99 paper (482p), ISBN 978-0-615-
Amid hi-tech tumult, an executive tee-
ters on the edge of enormous success, yet
only the muteness of murder or suicide
makes a sound.
Permanent Damage.
D.M. Thompson. Vantage Press. $12.95
paper (94p), ISBN 978-0-533-16360-1
Allison Whitmark’s relationship with
Mark is built on lies, which undermine
their love. The protagonists grapple with
the implications of revelations from beyond
the grave.
Trained to Kill: A Detective Oliver
Rousseau Novel.
Cynthia Townley. Smashwords. $2.99
(250p), BN ID 2940011340703
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Women are murdered in New Orleans
on rainy nights during hurricane season.
Detective Rousseau discovers the killer
through his wife’s psychic power, but he
must find evidence that will stand up in
The Abominable Gayman.
Johnny Townsend. Booklocker. $19.95
paper (420p), ISBN 978-1-60910-118-3
Robert Anderson is a tormented gay
Mormon missionary in Italy, but one day he
meets another missionary who loves him,
and his world changes.
Zombies for Jesus.
Johnny Townsend. Booklocker. $16.95
paper (296p), ISBN 978-1-60910-100-8
Among the stories in this collection,
a girl is haunted by Joseph Smith’s wife;
a plastic surgeon accidentally discovers a
new life form; and God’s wives fight for
supremacy among themselves.
Bonnie Trachtenberg. iUniverse. $27.95
hardcover (262p), ISBN 978-1-4620-
In this poignant romantic comedy, a
hopeful aspiring actress lets years of disap-
pointment catapult her into a disastrous
Hard Water Blues: Stories.
Robert Wangard. Ampersand. $16.95
paper (226p), ISBN 978-1-4507-0624-7; Ingram; Ama-
Passion, greed, revenge, twisted love,
murder are woven through Wangard’s lat-
est collection. Pete Thorsen takes center
stage, making you laugh, cry, and double-
lock your doors.
The Takers: Ahna.
Taille Weaver. Studio on a Hill. $15 paper
(344p), ISBN 978-0-615-43720-0
Ahna, a nomad in prehistoric Greece,
seeks balance and purpose in her life. She
joins the secret women’s society, pledges
to the Goddess, then faces the violence
endemic in her culture, finds love, and
finally helps save her people from them-
N.C. Weil. Fool Court Press. $16.95 paper
(278p), ISBN 978-0-9834893-0-6
In the love triangle of Laura, boyfriend
Walt, and rival Cob in late ’70s Berkeley,
intention meets karma and loses—again.
Hitch a ride through tumultuous times.
The Spy Book.
John Westin. McNeil and Richards. $13.95
paper (196p), ISBN 978-0-9825602-0-4
An American professor and the beguil-
ing co-ed he’s having an affair with put the
last nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union.
Getting Oriented: A Novel About
Wally Wood. CreateSpace. $12.95 paper
(240p), ISBN 978-1-4635-2528-6
Private dramas provoke crises and life-
changing decisions when middle-aged Phil
Fletcher guides 10 Americans through
Japan, from Kyoto’s ancient temples to
Tokyo’s modern skyscrapers.
The Mystery of the Mounds: The
Exploits of Beal Wrightwood, Book
Robert L. Wyricki. iUniverse. $25.95
hardcover (224p), ISBN 978-1-4620-
Beal Wrightwood discovers he has
special abilities and his destiny is to re-
establish an ancient order of conservators
thought to be long extinct.
G-Spot 2: The Seven Deadly Sins:
Pride: The 1st Deadly Sin.
Noire. Little Black Books by Noire. $4.99
paper (120p), ISBN 978-0-9830936-1-9
A sequel to G-Spot: An Urban Erotic Tale,
G-Spot 2: The Seven Deadly Sins is a serial
novel told in seven parts:
Pride, Betrayal, Greed, Envy,
Lust, Trickery, and Revenge.
Music and Human Health.
Jin H. Wang. iUniverse.
$12.95 paper (94p), ISBN
Thi s cut t i ng- edge
work discusses the influ-
ence of music on human
West Jupiter Quick Takes: Reminis-
cences of the African American and the
Seminole in a Hideout.
Samuel A. Hay. Vantage Press. $14.95
paper (171p), ISBN 978-0-533-16338-0
In this fascinating history of West
Jupiter, Fla., the author offers readers
many short takes on the wide variety of the
region’s past, from the ancient Seminoles
to a famous lighthouse and many colorful
History of Humanity: Engraved in
Granite, Vol. I.
Jacques-Andre Istel. Bluebird Press of the
Museum of History in Granite. $19.90
paper (126p), ISBN 978-0-934003-06-3
Photographs of more than 100 granite
panels commemorate human history in
text and engraving, in a museum created by
Istel, a noted French parachutist. “Worthy
of the Pharaohs.” —Former French Prime
Minister Pierre Messmer.
Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project.
Jack Mayer. Long Trail Press. $17.95 paper
(382p), ISBN 978-0-9841113-1-2
Amazon; Bar nes &
Noble; Ingram; Baker
& Taylor
Irena Sendler res-
cued 2,500 Jewish chil-
dren from the Warsaw
Ghetto. Her story was
lost until three Kansas
teens discovered it 60 years
later and told the world, as
part of a National History Day project.
The Computer’s Nerd.
W. Royce Adams. Rairarubia Books.
$22.99 hardcover (150p), ISBN 978-0-
Bullied and mistreated by three school-
mates, Arthur discovers a program on his
computer he thinks can help him secretly
get even, but trouble follows.
Dot to Dot.
Kit Bakke. CreateSpace. $8.95 paper
(194p), ISBN 978-1-4563-6804-3; Amazon
The tale of a plucky young teen’s pas-
sage through grief, after the death of her
mother, with an oddball aunt and a trip to
England—where she learns the stories of
the women writers she’s been named after
and the power of books and travel to heal us.
The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable.
Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall. Strategic Book
Group. $18.95 paper (310p), ISBN 978-1-
Amazon; Barnes and Noble
A 16-year-old girl is
arrested for participat-
ing in the blockade and
occupation of the Capitol
to protest political and
environmental issues,
and fights for the right
to live independently.
Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy:
poems & drawings for kids & the kid
@ heart.
Aleza Freeman. Big Doodle Head. $12.95
paper (36p), ISBN 978-0-615-39362-9
A fish with a feline-sized appetite; a
poker-swindling bear; a land where all let-
ters of the alphabet spell together; and (of
course) a candy store in space: launch your
mind into orbit with this quirky collection
of edgy poems and drawings.
Mimi’s Dream and the Central Park
Maureen Mihailescu. Windsurf Publish-
ing. $15.95 paper (60p), ISBN 978-1-
Mimi dreams about the animals in
Manhattan’s Central Park Zoo. The ani-
mals delight her with their music, dance,
and unusual ways.
Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter.
L.A. Miller. Millhouse Press. $10.95 paper
(298p), ISBN 978-0-615-43925-9; Amazon
Abducted to a scary alien world, two
teens must unlock the mystery of their
captivity and try to escape back home as
they battle real and virtual monsters and
elude their kidnappers.
The Unearthing: Pond Punkies, Book 2.
Lisa Riebe. Ravine Publishing. $15.95
hardcover (167p), ISBN 978-0-9819493-
In this middle grade
sci-fi series, Blaze has
nightmares about mon-
sters after his sister is
abducted and sets out to
rescue her. Meanwhile,
his allies discover a plot
against a planet very far from Earth.
Music in My Soul: A Tribute to the
Unique Sounds of New Orleans.
Marian Schmitt. Ampersand. $17.95 hard-
cover (32p), ISBN 978-1-4507-0622-3; Ingram; Ama-
A seagull’s call, tourists conversing, the
laughter of children, and music on nearly
every New Orleans corner: these are the
sounds of the city, bringing music to your
soul, if you just listen.
Heaven Is for Heroes.
PJ Sharon. CreateSpace. $11.99 paper
(290p), ISBN 978-1-4635-6954-9
Seventeen-year-old Jordie Dunn loses
her brother in Iraq. When his best friend
Alex comes back wounded and blaming
himself for her brother’s death, Jordie is
determined to find the truth. What she
doesn’t expect to find is love.
Kyla & Carlos: Talk on the Phone/
Hablan Por Teléfono.
Trey Holder & Sandy Trevizo. The Gate-
way Network. $3.99 paper (22p), ISBN
Kyla and Carlos are
cousins who live in dif-
ferent countries, but
keep in touch over the
telephone. In this vol-
ume, readers learn the
names of household
objects in Spanish and English.
The Adventures of Anna and Andy
Hummingbird: Book 1 Stories 1–5;
Book 2 Stories 6–10.
Linda P. Young. Xlibris. $21.99 paper each
(44p), ISBN 978-1-4568-9568-6 (Book
1); ISBN 978-1-4568-8849-7 (Book 2)
Anna and Andy Hummingbird have
many adventures to share with young read-
ers ages 9–12.
Champagne and Roses: A Story of Love
and Cancer.
Arthur J. Benson. Vantage Press. $22.95
hardcover (130p), ISBN 978-0-533-
Benson shares with readers his wife’s
heroic 21-month struggle with cancer in
this tribute to her. His love for his spouse
and compassion for her suffering, as well
as his sense of humor, humanize the seri-
ous subject.
The Long, Hot Walk.
Deb McCarroll. Studio Pacific. $12 paper
(255p), ISBN 978-0-578-07315-6
“When I was eight years old I walked
across the New Mexico desert with my
crazy mother”: so says artist McCarroll in
this off-kilter memoir with a tender heart.
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Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Res-
cued Golden Retrievers.
Holli Pfau. Glad Dog Press. $24.95 hard-
cover (272p), ISBN 978-0-9836451-0-8
Pure Gold chronicles the author’s per-
sonal journey with six rescued golden
retrievers, as she trained the dogs in new
behaviors and they led her to a new career
in animal-assisted therapy.
The Mysterious Lindsey Lights: One
Family’s True Encounters with Strange
Lights in the Sky Near Lindsey, Wis-
Betty May Ockerl. Vantage Press. $11.95
paper (86p), ISBN 978-0-533-163-99-1
A true story of one family’s experiences
with enigmatic phenomenon, this account
of unidentified, mysterious lights in the
Wisconsin sky will intrigue readers curious
about worlds beyond this one.
Stupid Me? Stupid You!
Jerry Rajkumar. Vantage Press. $14.95
paper (236p), ISBN 978-0-533-16411-0
At times fiery, at times humorous, the
author castigates cheats yet also censures
the victims in an attempt to illuminate the
need for everyone to be aware of just how
easy it is to be deceived.
The Legacy of Ida Lillbroända: Finnish
Emigrant to America 1893.
Arlene Sundquist Empie. Boulder House
Publishers. $24 hardcover (288p), ISBN
Young Ida’s journey from Finland to
America in the 1890s intertwines cultural
and historical research with a compelling
story of courage, pio-
neer spirit, and family
tradition. Winner of
the 2011 Multicultural
No nf i c t i o n, Ne x t
Generation Indie Book
Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations
of African American Philanthropists.
Valaida Fullwood, photos by Charles
W. Thomas Jr. John F. Blair Publishers.
$36.50 hardcover (392p), ISBN 978-0-
A t r a d i t i o n
o f gi v i ng pe r -
meates Af ri can-
American culture.
Photography and
narratives high-
light this tradition rooted in faith, mutu-
ality, and responsibility.
Your Guide to Earth’s Pivotal Years: A
Direct Path to Enlightened Living.
Selacia. iUniverse. $22.95 paper (320p),
ISBN 978-1-4502-9707-3
A writer and spiri-
tual gui de, Sel aci a
answers universal ques-
tions about the future,
helping readers under-
stand their role as a
divine changemaker
during Earth’s pivotal
years and to discover the truth about the
paradigm shift, our future, and a more
enlightened way to live.
A Complete Guide to Ventriloquism:
Principles, Practics and Performance.
Naveen Sridhar. CreateSpace. $25.90 paper
(260p), ISBN 978-1-4636-8437-2
Deals with all aspects of performance,
from developing an original ventriloquist’s
voice and act to acquiring stage presence
and beyond. Preface by Siegfried and Roy.
Songs of My Soul: Vol.
1, Upon the Horizon.
D. K. Bridges. Van-
tage Press. $8.95 paper
(60p), ISBN 978-0-
A soul-searching col-
lection that engages readers
with a variety of themes, D.K.
Bridges’s candid work is also a fitting tribute
to his recently deceased mother as well as
an expression of his respect for the written
Teenie and Bobbie and Bobbie’s Poems:
A Childhood in New Hampshire—True
Children’s Stories for Adults.
Millicent Evans Clapp. Vantage Press.
$10.95 paper (54p), ISBN 978-0-533-
An endearing and nostalgic collection
of prose and poetry offers a variety of true
stories about smalltown kids during the
Great Depression.
Ramblings of My Mind: A Poetic
Thelma Louise Jefferson. Vantage Press.
$10 paper (72p), ISBN 978-0-533-
A thoughtful col-
lection of poems, lush
wi t h mus i ngs t hat
explore the author’ s
own experiences, from
he r t ho ught s a nd
reminiscences to the
everyday aspects of
life. Jefferson’s poetry
reflects the emotions of her soul.
With Warm Breast... and Bright Wings:
Collected Poetry & Prose.
Rev. Augustine John Moore, Ph.D. Van-
tage Press. $14.95 paper (235p), ISBN
The poet awards readers a renewed sense
of personal value, celebrating the funda-
mental dignity of every human being.
Into the Night: Collected Poetry of
Michael Pendragon.
Michael Pendragon. Malleus Maleficarium
Press. $19.95 paper (264p), ISBN 978-1-
They’re all here: rhymed and metered;
free verse; love poems; hor-
ror poems; the sacred, the
humorous, and the profane: the definitive
collection of Michael Pendragon’s works
to date.
A Day to Remember.
Steve S. Singh. Vantage Press. $9.95 paper
(24p), ISBN 978-0-533-16498-1
A moving work strives to convey the
wide range of memories, thoughts, and
emotions that the author (and much of
the world) has felt and considered since
September 11, 2001.
An Ordinary Person, an Extraordinary
Deanna Danielle. Westbow Press. $13.95
paper (173p), ISBN 978-1-4497-0540-4
The author encourages a deeper, per-
sonal growth in our relationship with
God, taking the reader to the heart of the
Christian faith.
Backwards Beliefs: Revealing Eternal
Truths Hidden in Religion.
Nanci L. Danison. A.P. Lee. $19.95 hard-
cover (198p), ISBN 978-1-934482-10-0
Following a near-death experience, the
author presents the history of human reli-
gion, the role of religious messengers, the
origins of Christian churches, renowned
Bible scholars’ research, and how eternal
truths became hidden in human beliefs.
Unlocking the Zohar.
Michael Laitman. Laitman Kabbalah Pub-
lishers. $30 hardcover (432p), ISBN 978-
1-897448-59-5; NBN
The Book of Zohar (Book of Radiance)
collects commentaries
on the Torah for those
of advanced spiritual
attainment. Laitman
unfolds the mysterious
and often misconstrued
wi sdom wi thi n the
book, showing human-
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ity a new and bright future.
A Prayer Journey Through Deploy-
ment: The Prayers of a Mom.
Donna J. Mull. WinePress Publishers.
$14.99 paper (113p), ISBN 978-1-4141-
A military mom shares meditations that
flow into powerful conversations with God
on behalf of soldiers and families. A source
of hope, comfort, and encouragement with
insights relevant to all life “battles.”
Turning the Tide: The Top Ten Prin-
ciples of a Successful Mindset.
Rebekah Harkness. Vantage Press. $10.95
paper (65p), ISBN 978-0-533-16180-5
An accessible primer outlines what the
author believes to be the top 10 principles
of a successful mindset that will allow read-
ers to rise above mediocrity and achieve the
level of success that they desire.
DNA—The Healing Therapy: Create
Your Life New Every Day, by Choice.
Kathy P. Reddick, Psy.D. Vantage Press.
$8.95 paper (48p), ISBN 978-0-533-
A systematic life-
c ha ngi ng pr o c e s s
incorporates hypnosis,
transcendental medita-
tion, essential oils, and
remedies derived from
natural plants, a com-
bination that together
promotes better physi-
cal and mental health on a cellular level.
Gifts from Shane: A True Story of Love
and Loss.
Marie Bartlett. ASJA
Press. $4. 99 paper
(275p), ISBN 978-0-
Nook; Kindle; Ama-
zon; Barnes & Noble
The author’s son was
a young man with spe-
cial needs who displayed amazing courage
in the face of terminal illness. His story
includes the gifts he left behind. Foreword
by Winston Groom.
Beyond the Myth: How to Live the Life
You Desire.
Maria T. Holmes. Get Published. $24.95
hardcover (60p), ISBN 978-0-9830946-
0-9; Amazon
With beautiful imagery and inspiring
quotes, Holmes shows you how to live the
life you desire, using the Law of Attraction.
The 4-1-1 on Life Skills.
Michele Sfakianos, R.N., B.S.N. Open
Pages Publishing. $14.95 paper (160p),
ISBN 978-0-9836646-0-4
These are the basic life skills young
people need when they head out on their
own: how to balance a checkbook; how to
do the laundry; how to cook a meal; and
many more tasks of everyday living.
Make Light Work: 10 Tools for Inner
Kate Sutherland. Incite Press. $12.95
paper (99p), ISBN 978-0-9866127-0-1
.org; Amazon; Ingram
This step-by-step
guide introduces 10
tools, like an internal
GPS, for greater clar-
ity, effectiveness, and
joy, along with pitfalls
to avoid and inspiring
Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start
Your Puppy Off Right.
Sophia Yin, D.V.M., M.S. CattleDog Pub-
lishing. $19.95 paper (176p), ISBN 978-
With 400 photos and a step-by-step
plan, this puppy book visually guides
you through socialization, house train-
ing, and life skills while making the
process fun.
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White Sleeper
David R. Fett and Stephen Langford. Synergy
Books (, $18.95 trade
paper (260p) ISBN 978-0-9834879-3-7
A recovering alcoholic doctor who
works for the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention converts effortlessly and
rapidly from insightful intellectual into
an action hero; those who accept the im-
plausibility of the setup will find this
present-day medical thriller diverting.
Dave Richards’s once bright professional
future has been blighted by his addiction
to the bottle, but he catches a break when
his boss sends him away from Atlanta
headquarters to look into unusual deaths
in Arkansas, some from bubonic plague.
He’s joined in his investigation by Paula
Mushari, a Muslim FBI agent, who is
both proficient at her job and a looker.
Richards quickly realizes that a serious
bioterrorism threat looms, and the reader
knows its source. Ben Curran is intro-
duced in a flashback to 1996, as his par-
ents are gunned down by ATF agents in
an incident reminiscent of Ruby Ridge,
and the authors trace his evolution into
domestic terrorist. Things move swiftly
to a satisfying conclusion.
Gone to Graveyards: An Epic
Novel of the Korean War
Brewster Milton Robertson. Quail Hollow
Books (, $25 trade pa-
per (736p) ISBN 978-0-615-44535-9
Collier Boyd Ramsay is a young man
uncertain about what he wants to do
with his future. He is married to a nurse
who is frustrated with his artistic aspira-
tions and wants him to have a serious ca-
reer. With the Korean War raging, Ram-
say enlists and enters Officer Candidate
School. After finishing the program,
Ramsay trains as a medic before being
sent to Korea. There, he witnesses
enough death and destruction to make
him question his country’s involvement
in the war. When he gets home, he di-
vorces his philandering wife and marries
the woman he has always loved. While
Robertson’s writing is solid, he is overly
detailed in his depiction of Ramsay’s
life—the protagonist doesn’t even get to
Korea until page 561. Robertson has the
basics of a compelling book, but it could
be more streamlined.
NC Weil. Food Court Press, $16.95 trade pa-
per (278p) ISBN 978-0-9834893-0-6
In 1978, two young lovers leave Boul-
der, Colo., and head to Berkeley, Calif.,
where they struggle with life’s messy
problems and intrusions in this capable,
well-developed look back at an edgy, by-
gone time. Arriving at the University of
California, Berkeley, Laura—with free-
spirited boyfriend Walt in tow—begins
graduate studies in biology. It isn’t long
before she meets fellow student Cob, an
irresistible fruitarian from Nebraska with
whom Laura eventually has a passionate
affair replete with unbelievable orgasms.
But the relationship with Cob—and the
sex—lacks love, and Walt is summoned
to the rescue. This love triangle plays out
against the background of the political
and social upheaval of the time, with
Weil referencing everything from the
controversial Proposition 13—which
rolled back property taxes—to the mass
suicide by cult members of Jim Jones’s
People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.
Weil ably captures the period, while con-
vincingly delineating her characters.
Getting Oriented
Wally Wood. CreateSpace (www.createspace
.com), $12.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-
An American tour guide to Japan in
charge of a handful of motley, clueless
compatriots finds his charges’ eccentrici-
ties touching in this nicely noisy, descrip-
tive novel. At 55, Phil Fletcher, a recently
downsized advertising salesman from Ka-
tonah, N.Y., finds himself shepherding
tourists around Japan for two weeks on
behalf of the Zarin World of Travel Agen-
cy—a not unwelcome
distraction from his
grief at the untimely
death of his wife, Hel-
en, to whom he writes
a running letter on his
laptop when in his ho-
tel room. As Phil dis-
penses Japanese history
to tour groups, visits
temples, and tries not
to lose anyone on the
trains, he becomes in-
volved in the lives of the tourists, includ-
ing an elderly couple who have come to
Japan to kill themselves, a sex-obsessed
husband who requests Phil translate an
erotic comic book, and a hapless woman
who is being drugged by her Japanese
boyfriend. Wood ably manipulates his
awkward Americans around Japanese
tourist sites, and the reader finds his char-
acters, as Fletcher does, winningly hu-
morous and sympathetic.
Transplant: A Young Woman
Struggles to Adapt to Her New
Gerald Neufeld. Novel Voices Press (www, $20.95 trade paper
(342p) ISBN 978-0-9868773-1-5
In Neufeld’s tedious debut novel, a
team of doctors selects
Jenny Beaulieu to be the
first recipient of a face
transplant in Canada after
she is disfigured in a car
accident. Her friends and
family are enthusiastic
about the opportunity,
but Jenny is hesitant be-
cause of both the medical and psychologi-
cal side effects: transplant rejection, noto-
riety, lowered life expectancy, and feeling
disconnected from her new face. Jenny
decides to have the procedure and is
grateful that she can finally eat, breathe,
and talk normally. But postsurgery, she
feels like her new face is only a mask. To
fight depression, she dedicates herself to
her job as a linguist, through which she
meets a blind child who finally helps her
accept her new life. Neufeld interviewed
both transplant surgeons and recipients
and his thorough research is evident in
many scenes depicting the debate over
Jenny’s decision to have transplant sur-
gery. While the author’s background in
science writing—he was a professor of
linguistics and psychology—lends well to
these types of medical discussions, he
struggles to develop compelling charac-
ters. Even Jenny is more of a vehicle for
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ O C T O B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 0 42
addressing medical issues
than an interesting protago-
nist, which makes for a very
dry re ad.
Bonnie Trachtenberg. iUniverse, $17.95 trade
paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4620-2267-0
In Trachtenberg’s debut novel, Rebec-
ca Ross knows from an early age that her
calling is to be an actress. A perfection-
ist, Rebecca soon finds herself perform-
ing in an off-Broadway production. A
move to California after college brings
success closer, but Re-
becca’s true potential is
out of reach because of
her self-righteous atti-
tude and the influence
of her overbearing,
doubting mother. In
the novel’s first half,
Trachtenberg impres-
sively charts Rebecca’s adolescence and
attempts at stardom with grace and hu-
mor. However, the book’s second half—
which details Rebecca’s neurotic fall and
marriage to a man she barely knows—
takes the story into unexpected territory.
Rebecca finds herself questioning her life
and struggling with depression. But the
character’s absurd decisions and behavior
will likely confuse and annoy readers.
The first half of this novel is marvelous
and fun; the second half can be skipped
An Uprising of Angels
Marc D. Baldwin. Baldwin (www.createspace
.com, $13.95 trade paper (314p) ISBN 978-1-
The 1992 L.A. riots that followed the
acquittal of the four policemen accused of
beating African-American Rodney King
are the basis for this fervid debut from
Baldwin. Using the inhabitants of “an in-
tegrated, staunchly respectable neighbor-
hood,” Baldwin tries to illustrate the rage
and despair that were
fueled by the King
beating. Characters run
the gamut from ex–
vice cop Michael
Macetti and his beauti-
ful daughter, Sonja, to
Gunther, an unem-
ployed black man who
turns to drug dealing, and his son Anwar,
who falls for Sonja. Rabid gangbanger
Rayhab has both avid followers—like
Fedallah and Tashtego—and reluctant
followers, such as Anwar and Hangman.
Baldwin’s liberal use of ghetto slang
doesn’t always ring true and his characters
sometimes sound or act out of character or
excessively preachy. However, he does a
fine job of portraying the chaos and vio-
lence that convulsed the city.
Victor Levine. ForceField Studios (www.force-, $24.95 (508p) ISBN 978-0-
This ambitious, lively, but character-
clogged rock ’n’ roll mystery charts the
course of two rival immigrant families—
the Iranian Monsouris and the Italian
Pecorinos—in New York City in 1982.
Caught in the middle of this family feud
is rock musician Jon Cells. After getting
busted for drug possession, Cells finds
himself on probation and forced to work
at the Monsouris’ Laden Imports perfume
factory. But by night, Cells frequents the
Black Sheep, a staple of the downtown
music scene, owned by
the Pecorinos. Mean-
while, the United
States Customs Bureau
is watching the Mon-
souris’ perfume factory
for irregularities, while
also keeping an eye on
the Pecorinos—be-
lieved to be mixed up in the drug trade.
The novel finally gets underway when
Princess Tears, a perfume spiked with
heroin, is stolen from the Monsouris, and
all clues point to the Pecorinos. Unfortu-
nately, Levine isn’t able to keep all the
balls in the air; Cells fades into the back-
ground and the novel dissolves into ca-
Out of Tune Piano Blues
James Boyk. Performance Recordings (www, $19.95 trade
paper (246p) ISBN 978-0-615-41841-4
The extreme difficulty of conveying
classical music in prose proves too formi-
dable a challenge for Boyk, who grafts an
murder mystery onto a contemporary
coming-of-age story that explains how a
30-year-old concert pianist “learned that
life can be tragic.” In 1995, the musician,
Arthur Singer, arrives at Wisconsin Uni-
versity at Black Falls to perform and con-
duct master classes. In less than a week,
he becomes passionately involved with
faculty member Fumiko Kawatani de la
Riviére, also a pianist, and lands in the
middle of a homicide investigation when
someone affiliated with the school is shot
to death. Mystery fans, be warned: almost
half the book goes by before the killing.
The author includes a variety of docu-
ments, including instructions for visitors
to the local prison, which distract rather
than reinforce the insights about human
nature he’s trying to convey.
Lark’s Labyrinth
Cathy Cash Spellman. The
Wild Harp and Company
com), $23.99 trade paper
(649p) ISBN 978-1-4611-
Politics and religion
collide as Spellman
(Bless the Child) delivers another fast-
paced, suspenseful, and totally enjoyable
thriller. When mathematical genius Jack
Monahan and his parents are murdered,
his wife, Cait, is thrust into a complex
web of faith, mystery, magic, and ancient
history. With little understanding of the
powerful forces closing in around her,
Cait must choose whom to trust and
whether to believe in the existence of the
Spear of Longinus, a sacred object that is
said to hold absolute power and possible
immortality. Soon, Cait and her daugh-
ter, Lark, are on the run, hunted by the
same men who killed Jack: members of a
power-hungry secret society that believe
she and the brilliant Lark are the only
people capable of unlocking the secret lo-
cation of the Spear. Spellman’s charac-
ters—particularly Cait and Lark—are
well drawn, believable, and likable. The
author constructs a blistering story—re-
plete with political and religious in-
trigue—that never slows down and will
keep readers turning the pages of this
spectacular thrill ride. An absolute must
for Spellman fans.
Chicago Shiver: A Harry Pines
Adventure Novel
Terry Holland. Holland, $18 trade paper
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 43
(224p) ISBN 978-0-615-39630-9
Holland’s second present-day mystery
featuring ex-con–turned–detective Harry
Pines isn’t quite as good as 2008’s An Ice
Cold Paradise. After getting out of prison
for assaulting a federal agent, Pines catch-
es a break when Chicago attorney Mu-
hammad Ali prevents him from getting
arrested after he defends himself from
muggers. So when Ali asks Pines to leave
Hawaii for the Windy City to help sports-
writer Jack Netherland, found shot in a
locked room on top of a strangled woman,
he doesn’t hesitate. The victim, Erica
Conway, a former model, worked for a
company that opened theme restaurants
using the names of entertainment and
sports stars, founded by the current gov-
ernor of Illinois. Pines digs through her
financial records and discovers that Con-
way was somehow able to deposit into her
bank account $10,000 every month, de-
spite being unemployed. Few will be
shocked when the investigator finds Con-
way’s diary, complete with embarrassing
revelations about Gov. Michael Stratton.
Things play out pretty predictably from
there, and the book’s ending will be fa-
miliar to readers of Holland’s first Pines
Sleeper’s Run
Henry Mosquera. Oddity Media (www.odd-i-t
.com), $9.99 trade paper (345p) ISBN 978-0-
Introducing an amnesiac lead that
clearly is more than he appears often
works as a narrative hook, but Mosquera’s
inability to make Eric Caine more than a
cipher is fatal to this contemporary thrill-
er. A Miami Beach inline skater witnesses
a street person collapse after muttering
something in Arabic. When the street
person, who turns out to be Caine, wakes
in a hospital, he’s baffled to learn he was
speaking Arabic and unaware that he was
recently involved in a serious car accident.
This leads to a suspension from his job as
a paramedic. After ending up in a bar
fight, Caine gets a break—a mysterious
Venezuelan businessman recommends
him for a position as a senior information
officer to a U.S.-based development com-
pany called Corso International. He’s soon
dispatched by Corso to Caracas, Venezue-
la, ostensibly to check out some security
weaknesses and resolve them. That as-
signment is prologue to the assassination
of a high-level government official, which
sends the country into turmoil and forces
Caine to go on the run. Clunky prose
(“Truth cut through Trishna like a light-
ning bolt”) coupled with role reversals
that won’t shock anyone make for a disap-
pointing read.
The Spy Book
John Westin. McNeil & Richards (www, $13.95 trade paper
(206p) ISBN 978-0-9825602-0-4
The point of this heavy-handed farce
about the waning days of the Soviet
Union will elude most readers. In 1990,
KGB operative Nick Boorstin—whose
cover is posing as an auto mechanic in
Brooklyn, N.Y.—is ordered by his bosses
to activate a sleeper agent. That mole,
Natalie Kramer, is ordered to enroll in
two economics classes taught by Univer-
sity of Virginia professor Eugene Thur-
ston as part of a slow-motion effort to
salvage the Soviet economy. The plan,
which comes from the mind of Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev himself, is
for the sultry Kramer to get close to
Thurston so that he can figure out how
Soviet financial ruin can be avoided. Al-
though Gorbachev himself states that the
analysis must be done “immediately,”
Thurston is never captured and confined
until he generates something useful. In-
stead, Kramer tells him that she wants
his help in writing a book on the subject
and seduces him. Thurston’s battles with
his colleagues, who are jockeying to suc-
ceed the retiring department head, add
The Mosaic Artist
Jane Ward. CreateSpace (www.createspace
.com), $14 trade paper (356p) ISBN 978-1-
When Jack Manoli was a young man,
he left his wife—and two children, Shel-
ley and Mark—to marry his secretary,
Sylvie. Years later,
when Jack dies of can-
cer, Shelley has man-
aged to find peace with
her father, while Mark
still clings to anger and
abandonment. Further
complicating matters,
Jack bequeaths his and
widowed Sylvie’s summer
home to Shelley and Mark.
Now Sylvie, Mark, and Shel-
ley must struggle to come to
terms with one another and the past. This
is an exceptionally well-crafted novel, a
delicate story, and a fine exploration of di-
vorce, forgiveness, happiness, and loss.
The relationships between the characters
are thoughtfully constructed, and Ward’s
decision to alternate among points of
view provides an invaluable window to
character growth and evolution. Perhaps
the only underdeveloped character is Syl-
vie, who remains more an object (of love
or resentment) than a fully realized indi-
vidual. This is unfortunate, because it’s
her perspective that many readers will
find most intriguing.
The Takers: Ahna
Taille Weaver. Studio on a Hill (www.studioon-, $15 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-
The first volume in Weaver’s Chroni-
cles of Eden series, this novel takes read-
ers 4,500 years into the past in Greece, a
realm of nomadic tribes, barbarians, and
destructive social change. This coming-
of-age story follows Ahna, the daughter of
a nomad chief who is desired by two men,
introducing a world of nomadic societies
that are defined by paganism, polygamy,
and harmony and discord between war-
riors and women. While interesting in
concept and plot, the novel would strong-
ly benefit from a thorough edit. Weaver’s
use of modern details (e.g., knowledge
and understanding of concussions) and
the contemporary tone of some dialogue
may prove distracting. This epic will ap-
peal to readers who enjoy historical fic-
tion that forgoes fact checking.
Zombies for Jesus
Johnny Townsend. BookLocker (, $16.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN
Eerie, erotic, and magical, this book of
loosely connected stories delves deep in-
side the consciousness of American Mor-
mons. Set mostly in the South,
Townsend’s tales feature Mormons with a
lot on their minds: environmental col-
lapse, church politics, racism, and ho-
mophobia. But mostly they think about
transgressing the church’s restrictions on
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ O C T O B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 0 44
sexuality. “She felt guilty for
sinning,” Townsend (himself
a Mormon) writes of one
character, “but there was
something exciting about it, too.” Some
of the stories’ plots wander into the super-
natural—a girl is visited by the ghost of
religious leader Joseph Smith’s wife, a
woman’s breasts come alive after her sili-
con implants interact with electricity—
but Townsend keeps his stories grounded
despite the fantastic elements, allowing
him to reveal what it means to be a mem-
ber of the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat-
ter-Day Saints.
There Is a Road
Terry Kettig. Vantage Press, $11.95 trade pa-
per (190p) ISBN 978-0-533-16371-7
Johnny Lawless is a smuggler in the
Florida Keys. He brings health care sup-
plies and food to Cuba and smuggles back
boxes of cigars. While he exhibits basic
humanitarian concern, Johnny refuses to
get involved in politics. During a smug-
gling run, Johnny’s long-lost son, Monty,
arrives in Florida and starts looking for
his father. Almost as soon as father and
son meet and begin to get to know one
other, another figure from Johnny’s past
appears: Alonso, a Cuban drug dealer.
Alonso begs Johnny to help him smuggle
out of Cuba a family that has run afoul of
the country’s government. Johnny reluc-
tantly agrees, but dies while trying to res-
cue the family. This purported crime
thriller rambles. The pacing is poor, the
philosophical pretensions (Johnny has a
parrot named Kierkegaard) are thin, and
some aspects of the plot are ludicrous
(Johnny’s friend, Knuckles, frequently
shoots police officers for no reason and is
never caught). Readers will likely be frus-
Pure Gold: Adventures with Six
Rescued Golden Retrievers
Holli Pfau. Glad Dog Press, $24.95 (272p)
ISBN 978-0-9836451-0-8
Pfau, a truly gifted writer and avid
golden retriever lover, recounts the joys,
challenges, and rewards of sharing her life
with six rescued goldens, each with a dis-
tinct personality that offers genuine love.
One by one, Pfau introduces readers to
these remarkable dogs—from the wise
Nikki to the abused but loving and ener-
getic Chatter. Readers will be captivated
by Pfau’s characterization of these canines
with their profound ability to enhance the
lives of those around them. Nikki, who
inspires Pfau to embark on a new career
path, aids her owner as a therapy dog to
senior citizens and rehab convalescent pa-
tients, while Bodie, a gentle but adven-
turous pup, is best suited to working
with wheelchair patients and provides his
own brand of comfort. A loving and re-
spectful tribute to the amazing animals
that have graced Pfau’s life, as well as the
lives of many others, this book celebrates
the special bond that elevates canine
friends to family members.
Backwards Beliefs: Revealing
Eternal Truths Hidden in Religions
Nanci L. Danison. A.P. Lee & Co. (www, $19.95 (198p) ISBN 978-1-
During a near-death experience, Dani-
son connected with Source (her term for a
universal spirit in which all of creation re-
sides) and viewed the entirety of human
religious history. Additionally, she came
to realize the ways her Judeo-Christian
upbringing misled her and how people
use organized religion for personal gain.
Danison conveys a message of universal
love and hope, and encourages readers to
abandon any fear of death and be skeptical
of people using religion to advance non-
spiritual agendas or claim exclusive li-
cense over the truth. She also provides a
summary of the evolution of the Judeo-
Christian tradition to highlight where
humanity has erred in the path from uni-
versal truth. Her insights come across as
harmless and well-meaning, and while
readers may be skeptical about near-death
experiences and comprehensive instanta-
neous knowledge of the universe after
death, her points about universal love and
good works are positive. However, readers
will find her credibility strained when she
begins predicting future events.
Flying Horses: T
he Golden Age of American
Carousel Art, 1870–1930
Peter J. Malia, photos by Bryan Page.
Connecticut Press (www.connecticutpress
.com), $75 (196p) ISBN 978-0-9825468-2-6
Carved wooden carousel
horses parade the pages of
this collector’s limited edi-
tion, published in coopera-
tion with the New England
Carousel Museum. This
splendid book captures a by-
gone era, as museum director
Louise L. DeMars notes in
her foreword, “With less than 200 an-
tique, wooden carousels still operating in
the United States, they have become an
endangered species.” Beginning with
British steam-driven steeds of the 19th
century and Coney Island mechanic
Eliphalet S. Scripture’s 1850 patent for a
“galloping roundabout,” Malia describes
the three major carousel horse-carving
styles. The Philadelphia Style originated
with cabinetmaker Gustav Dentzel, father
of the modern American carousel. A per-
fectionist who launched America’s first
carousel company in 1867, Dentzel
“showcased beautifully carved animals
with handsome faces, real horse-hair tails
and meticulous attention to detail, crafts-
manship and old-world artistry.” The Co-
ney Island Style was born when Danish
woodworker Charles Looff carved Coney
Island’s first carousel in 1875, while
Brooklyn toy manufacturer Charles Dare
created the Country Fair Style, favored by
carnivals. Spurred by this trio’s success,
other startups launched in the 1880s, and
the glorious Golden Age was underway.
Malia offers authoritative, comprehensive
coverage, while the 187 high-quality col-
or photos of prancing ponies plus 46 b&w
photographs and 18 illustrations make for
an attractive package. Anyone unfamiliar
with the art of carousel carvings will find
this an informative and impressive intro-
Champagne and Roses:
A Story of Love and Cancer
Arthur J. Benson. Vantage (www.vantagepress.
com), $22.95 (129p) ISBN 978-0-533-16417-2
It was a losing battle,
but for 21 months Benson
fought bravely alongside
his wife, Sandy, during
her grueling treatment for
lung cancer. The couple
conceded little during the
fight, least of all hope—
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continuing to press for new medications,
holistic treatments, and stem cell therapy.
“I just keep believing, and try to keep
Sandy believing, that we’ll get through
this, too, as long as she keeps giving me
one more day, and never, ever quits,” Ben-
son writes in this heartbreaking, lyrical,
and sometimes humorous memoir. What-
ever bitterness Benson harbors is reserved
for the doctors, declaring that with “cer-
tain notable exceptions,” he “lost all re-
spect for the medical profession,” includ-
ing one callous oncologist who would
meet with patients only once a month and
another who told the Bensons their deci-
sion to fight was merely “a crap shoot.” In
the end, Sandy died too young and suf-
fered too much. But Benson’s keenly per-
sonal memoir and collection of e-mails
from friends and family show how uncom-
promising love and unflagging commit-
ment can help families face even tragic di-
agnoses with hope and courage.
Fabulous in Flats: Putting My
Best Foot Forward!
Mary T. Wagner. iUniverse, $14.95 trade pa-
per (160p) ISBN 978-1-4620-1531-3
In this latest collection of essays, Wag-
ner (Running with Stilettos; Heck on Heels)
again brings her wit and everywoman bril-
liance to the page, providing readers with
insights into her daily
battle to juggle the multi-
ple roles of womanhood
and live a balanced life.
Among the many stand-
out essays are “Read the
Instructions,” in which
Wagner shows herself to
be a woman with a stub-
born side who wants to do things for her-
self, and “Tiger Beat,” in which she reveals
her “mother tiger” side. Wagner’s essays
are straightforward, to the point, and
touching. Any woman struggling to com-
bine work, family, love, and life in general
will not only appreciate Wagner’s words
but also identify with her completely.
Once upon a time, women were told they
had to wear many hats in life, but Wagner
proves that it’s the fabulous shoes that
make all the difference.
The Legacy of Ida Lillbroända
Arlene Sundquist Empie. Boulder House
(, $24
(288p) ISBN 978-1-931025-05-8
An immigrant woman finds broader
horizons in America in this warmhearted
family history. Empie (Minding a Sacred
Place) recounts her grandmother Ida’s
journey from a Swedish enclave in west-
ern Finland in 1893 and her life as a
farmer’s wife in Washington’s Skagit Riv-
er Valley. The first part of the book is an
epic of genealogical sleuthing that intro-
duces the author to long-lost relatives and
Finland’s haunting midsummer twilight.
The rest is an exegesis of family lore
drawn mainly from her Aunt Leona’s live-
ly memoirs. (There’s a scrapbook feel to
many passages, as the author sprinkles in
recipes, news reports, and a bookshelf cat-
alogue.) There are flashes of adventure—
Leona is a witness in a kidnapping case—
and tragedy, when Ida loses a son to
drowning and a grown daughter to a gris-
ly car crash. Mostly, though, it’s a quiet
story of happiness achieved through hard
work and love, fleshed out with Empie’s
thorough research on everything from
transatlantic travel to the feminist stir-
rings that the assertive, forward-thinking
Ida welcomed. Written with an affection-
ate sense of place and character, Empie’s
recreation of Ida’s world offers shrewd in-
sights into her life and times. Photos.
Rabbit Trail: How a Former
Playboy Bunny Found Her Way
Tricia Pimental. TAP Publications, $9.95 trade
paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-615-37570-0
In this straightforward memoir with a
heavy religious emphasis, Pimental traces
the course of her life, from Irish Catholic
schoolgirl in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Playboy
Bunny and her quest for spiritual fulfill-
ment. Though she attended church regu-
larly as a child, Pimental became disen-
chanted with Catholicism—particularly
its emphasis on men and women rather
than God—as a teen. Leaving New York
for Los Angeles in the 1970s, she burns
through a series of temporary jobs until
auditioning for a coveted spot as a Play-
boy Bunny, a job she holds for four years.
Among the book’s highlights are Pimen-
tal’s descriptions of the ins and outs of
wearing the trademark bunny ears while
learning a complicated alcohol list and
dealing with “hands-on” customers.
Though she left Catholicism behind, the
need for a connection with God remains,
and Pimental tries Buddhist
chanting, followed by a seri-
ous attempt to be accepted
into the Mormon Church. A
failed marriage leaves her increasingly un-
fulfilled, despite her two children, and it’s
not until her marriage to her current hus-
band, Keith, that her passion for God is
reignited. While Pimental’s search for a
spiritual connection is intriguing, secular
readers may be put off.
The Sleeping Giant: The Awaken-
ing of the Self-Employed Entrepre-
Ken McElroy. Kyle Kade Press (thesleepinggi-, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-9829108-
McElroy, a successful self-employed en-
trepreneur, encourages would-be entre-
preneurs to take advantage of the wealth
of opportunities available even in the cur-
rent economy. He identifies an emerging
group of people who are creating their
own employment destinies—a group he
calls the “Sleeping Giant.” To illustrate
the varied yet pragmatic paths available
to those seeking to take charge, he in-
cludes 20 stories by successful individuals
who carved out careers for themselves
with an idea and little experience or mon-
ey. While some of McElroy’s terminology
seems dated—new economy versus old
economy and the Internet and its endless
possibilities—the stories he includes are
just the opposite. Fresh, practical, and full
of warts-and-all commentary, the advice
these entrepreneurs share is insightful and
of value to those contemplating starting
their own businesses. Carol Frank’s
“Choose Your Partners Well” is a caution-
ary and frank account that everyone start-
ing out should read. Neil Balter’s “A
Twenty-Year Overnight Success Story”
shows the importance of resilience and
highlights best practices as well as mis-
takes to avoid. And “Follow the Cash” by
Richard Levychin shows that sometimes
new business opportunities find you and
advises on everything from cash flow to
brand integrity. Interestingly, McElroy’s
own story is missing, but he more than
redeems himself in his solid choice of con-
tributors who harness a wealth of wisdom
that can set new entrepreneurs on the
right path.
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ O C T O B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 0 46
So You Want to Go to
Richard LaDoyt Pinkerton, Ph.D.
Vantage Press, $15.95 trade
paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-533-16346-5
Former college professor Pinkerton
presents high school students (and re-
turning adult students) with clear facts
about college and dispels many myths as-
sociated with higher education in mod-
ern America. Those myths include that
college is something everyone must do,
that everyone can be good at everything
if they work hard enough, and that the
only good education is an Ivy League ed-
ucation. Pinkerton advises students with
unclear ambitions to look for a college
that will make them well-rounded indi-
viduals and strong critical thinkers, and
urges students with clear goals to consid-
er pre-professional or vocational pro-
grams. Pinkerton is unabashedly opin-
ionated and extremely brusque in his
writing style—readers may be turned off
by his abrasiveness. While some of his
candor is refreshing, Pinkerton’s relent-
less attitude (as well as his occasionally
meandering prose) will likely turn some
readers away. Although Pinkerton pro-
vides a few good resources for students,
he is not providing information that par-
ents and students can’t get in a host of
other places.
The Recipe for Ecstasy: What
Women Want: Sexual and Rela-
tionship Satisfaction
Myrtle C. Means. Myrtle C. Means (www.cre-, $24.99 trade paper (260p)
ISBN 978-0-615-49004-5
A researcher specializing in female sex-
uality, Means’s professional goal is to
identify what brings women (particularly
African-American women) sexual and re-
lationship satisfaction. To this end, she
examines the self-reported desires and
stimuli of different groups of women—
married women, single women, mothers,
etc.—and offers tips and strategies for at-
taining maximum relationship and sexu-
al satisfaction. These are laudable goals,
to be sure. However, Means delivers this
information and advice via a poorly con-
structed cooking analogy that is overused
to the point of incomprehensibility and
will leave many readers scratching their
heads. All of the author’s advice can be
found in other sources that are more
straightforward and skip the clunky anal-
ogies. Means tries for a text that is aca-
demic and friendly, but ends up missing
the mark.
Wanted: Gentleman Bank Rob-
ber: The True Story of Leslie Ibsen
Rogge, One of the FBI’s Most Elu-
sive Criminals
Dane Batty. Nish Publishing (www.nishpub-, $15.95 trade paper (211p) ISBN
Will readers will
share in the author’s en-
thusiasm for his career
criminal relative, who
robbed almost 30 banks
from the 1970s to the
1990s across the United
States, as well as escap-
ing from jail? Batty’s account of his
uncle, Leslie Ibsen Rogge, is cobbled
together from interviews and letters
written by Rogge. And while some an-
ecdotes about him may have garnered
laughs at family get-togethers, they are
likely to leave readers cold. Batty mini-
mizes the harm Rogge caused. Not
only did his victims suffer substantial
financial loss, but those he threatened
to kill felt real terror, even if Rogge
never actually resorted to violence.
Rather than presenting a balanced ac-
count of his uncle’s life, the author
simply repeats what a nice guy Rogge is
and how his friends stood by him even
when they learned of his crimes. While
some lack of balance is to be expected,
Batty goes too far—even criticizing the
FBI for interviewing people after those
people had spoken to the fugitive.
Picture Books
Henry! You’re Late Again!
Mary Evanson Bleckwehl, illus. by Brian
Barber. Beaver’s Pond Press (www.bea-, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-
It’s “just another crazy morning” at
Henry’s house—his father overslept, his
mother forgot to set her alarm, his sister
can’t find the socks that match her un-
derwear, and his brother needs a diaper
change. Knowing that he’ll be late for
school again, Henry fears the wrath of
Miss Timberlane, the school secretary.
The boy’s narrative alternates between
descriptions of his chaotic household and
musings on the secretary’s life (Does she
ever forget to set her alarm? Does she have
a baby?). Henry’s fretting is for naught:
when he arrives at school, a cheerful Miss
Timberlane tells him that there’s no
school for students (it’s a teacher work-
day), that he can make the morning an-
nouncements the next day, and that she’ll
give him a wakeup call each morning.
While it’s unclear whether Miss Timber-
lane has had a sudden change of attitude
or if Henry’s fears are unwarranted, Bar-
ber’s jaunty illustrations add liveliness.
His loose yet polished cartooning offers
many visual gags, including portraits of a
ferocious wolf hanging over the secre-
tary’s desk and bed, and Henry’s dog’s ex-
aggerated facial expressions. Ages 3–6.
Blooming Buddies in the Garden:
A Blooming Book of Verse
Wendy Peterson, illus. by Debbie Donner. Pixie
Land Inc. (,
$16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-9825819-0-2
Anchored by Donner’s sunlit water-
colors, this choppy read-aloud collects
snippets of verse, written in the voices
of the flowers depicted in the paintings.
A number of the singsong ditties,
which are vaguely tied to a theme of
friendship, are ambiguous or awkward
(“I’m shy but I must tell her/ She’s
standing on my stem/ Please move a bit
Miss Posey/ So my play time can be-
gin”). Occasionally, a clear message sur-
faces—“We understand you’re curious/
Now here’s a tip for you/ When you see
others talking/ Please wait until they’re
through”—but the absence of any-
thing resembling a story line is diffi-
cult to overlook. Donner’s floral im-
ages, though somewhat static for a
young audience and lacking visual va-
riety, feature dappled backgrounds
and a lovely pastel palette, accentuat-
ed by splashes of vivid color. This
sweet-intentioned but unfocused com-
pilation is more pleasing to the eye
than the ear. Ages 3–6.
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 47
Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the
Kathy M. Miller. Celtic Sunrise (Atlas, dist.),
$19.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-9840893-1-4
Miller’s sharp, close-range photo-
graphs of a chipmunk family and other
backyard animals are the mainstay of
this sequel to Chippy Chipmunk: Parties
in the Garden. Chippy’s mate, Lily, leads
her six-week-old chipmunk babies into
the garden, where “they huddled to-
gether and gazed at their new world
with wonder and curiosity.” Endearing
images of the interactions among the
siblings are front and center as they in-
vestigate their new world and nuzzle
nose-to-nose. Miller stretches the story
to accommodate pictures of other crea-
tures: the chipmunks listen to the songs
of an array of brightly colored birds, and
a squirrel warns them about predators
such as eagles, owls, and a cat (which is
seen gazing out at Chippy from in-
doors). There are some overly precious
moments, including a game of hide-
and-seek among the chipmunks, but
they don’t detract much from this in-
nocuous, if discursive, story of backyard
exploration. Information about chip-
munks (and about Chippy and Lily’s
four babies) appears on the endpapers.
Ages 4–up.
Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter
L.A. Miller. Millhouse Press (www.questsof-, $10.95 trade paper (304p)
ISBN 978-0-615-43925-9
In Miller’s complex novel, first in a
planned eight-book series, 15-year-old
Logan Oakes and his younger sister, Min-
dy, awaken one morning to many surpris-
es: they are in someone else’s house (and
pajamas), the world’s adults have van-
ished, and giant mechanical insects, “ani-
bots,” appear and kidnap their older
friend Preston. When the siblings discov-
er that they can enter Shadowind, a “plan-
etoid” full of virtual humans, through the
computer, they work together to solve
numerous puzzles, in hopes of acquiring
the Staff of the Sky Shifter before the evil
Lord Torrent and his Spirit Beast comput-
er virus (or local bully Kyle) find it and
destroy both worlds. While Miller’s many
action sequences are suspenseful, the
premise is complicated and the characters
undeveloped. The plot branches out into
too many story lines, the narrative hop-
ping between players on all sides, with
plodding and explanatory prose (“[Tor-
rent] would get what he wanted by rid-
ding himself of the meddlesome, goody-
two-shoes Logan and by manipulating a
computer program and then governing
Kyle”), and the story often loses its focus
and steam. Ages 6–12.
Dot to Dot
Kit Bakke. CreateSpace (www.createspace
.com), $8.95 trade paper (202p) ISBN 978-1-
In Bakke’s (Miss Alcott’s E-mail) second
book, her first for teens, the life of
12-year-old Dorothy Mary-Jane (aka Dot)
is altered after her mother is hit by a
truck and killed. Dot is left afraid of
things connected to the accident—librar-
ies, traffic, the color red. Her bossy and
determined Aunt Tab swoops in and in-
sists they take a trip to England to scatter
Dot’s mother’s ashes and research Dot’s
namesakes: Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane
Austen, and Dorothy Wordsworth. When
Dot meets the ghosts of these writers, she
learns, through their conversations and
novels, that she is not as alone as she be-
lieved. Bakke faces Dot’s pain head-on
(“[I]t’s hard to care about three women
who’d been dead for two hundred years
when your own mother has been dead less
than two months and you weren’t too sure
about the point of staying alive yourself”),
and the shifting relationship between Dot
and her aunt, as well as Dot’s tender
memories of her mother, are especially
well done. With complex characters and
eloquent prose, it’s an absorbing story of a
girl’s surprising path through her grief.
Ages 12–up.
Heaven Is for Heroes
P.J. Sharon. CreateSpace (www.createspace
.com), $11.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-
Sharon’s first novel is a slow but sin-
cere contemporary wartime romance.
Seventeen-year-old Jordie’s older brother,
Levi, is a Marine, who has just been
killed in Iraq during a mission with his
childhood best friend, Alex. Alex returns
missing a leg and with no memory of the
incident. Despite her grand-
father and mother’s accep-
tance of the official military
report, Jordie can’t shake the
feeling that her traditionally reckless
brother’s death wasn’t an accident: “He
and my mother would be just as happy to
believe a lie. If I wanted the truth, I
would have to find it myself,” she thinks.
Athletic and willful, Jordie makes it her
mission to heal Alex and find out what
really happened, rereading the letters
Levi sent her from Iraq and learning
more about his “dark side.” As Alex
struggles through physical and mental
rehabilitation, Jordie worries about their
potential relationship and her post–high
school plans. Although the dialogue can
be overly dramatic and the plot is some-
what overwrought, the underlying emo-
tions come across as authentic. Ages 12–
The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable
Stuart Jeanne Bramhall. Strategic Book Group
(, $18.95 trade
paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61204-219-0
At age 16, Ange Jones has experi-
enced more than most adults. When the
book opens she is going in for her sec-
ond abortion after her 23-year-old boy-
friend badgered her into having unpro-
tected sex. Her mother, a callous beauty
queen, recently suffered a stroke, and
Ange has been her primary caregiver
while attending school and working.
Inspired by a social activist’s kindness
and resentful of adults’ condescending
attitudes, Ange changes her look from
goth to nerd and heads for Washington,
D.C., to dedicate herself to political ac-
tivism, with no intention of returning
to school in the fall. She stays at a hos-
tel, takes a job at a deli, and gets her
GED, relishing her independence. Par-
ticipating in a nonviolent antiwar pro-
test, Ange is arrested and put in a juve-
nile detention facility, which raises the
book’s central issue of teenagers’ lack of
rights. Bramhall’s first novel gets
bogged down by extraneous details and
takes too long to reach the central con-
flict; dialogue is often stilted, and
Ange’s character is little more than a
vessel for the author’s message. Ages

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