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The Two Pound Tram
ISBN: 0747573336 A$21.95 186 pages
Ann Skea, Reviewer
We walked the length of the tramshed and into the yard. It held trams of every description, many
decrepit and obviously out of use for a long time, but also there were ones like the picture in the
"All these 'ere are two pounds." said Alf. "You can 'ave whichever you likes."
So Wilfred and his older brother, Duncan, bought a tram. How they came to do so, and all that
happened to them after that, Wilfred relates, although, as he says, this is "a story which starts in a
world now vanished".
In some ways, Wilfred's vanished world is the rosy world of childhood memory. In the 1920s and
1930s, Wilfred and Duncan grew up in a big house in Sussex, cycled the countryside, camped,
hunted small animals, collected butterflies and dreamed of owning a tram like the one they had
advertised in the Daily Mail. But illness, family breakdown and war changed all that.
Familiar as this scenario might seem, this is no commonplace story. Duncan suffers a bout of
meningitis which leaves him dumb, and he and Wilfred learn to communicate through their own
language; the boys' mother drives off in her Hispano-Suiza car and disappears from their lives, and
their father take up with "a succession of ladies", none of whom like the boys. Then, in early
Hitler walks into Austria: and Pale Clouded Yellow butterflies invade the Sussex fields. In pursuit
butterflies, the boys trespass on a nearby property and are seized by the gardener and hauled
the owner, Mr Schwayder, who is German. But this is not a spy story.
As a result of all these events, the boys (now young teenagers) decide to be independent. They
scrape together their meagre savings, leave home, and go to London to buy a tram. What they
do with their chosen tram once they have it, they have not considered, let alone how they will get
tram out of the depot without tracks and wires. Alf, the tram-depot foreman, saves their dream by
offering them an ancient horse-tram - a 'penny-bumper' - which has wheels which can be taken on
the road. And, in a tour of the Acton totters' yards ['totters' were the London rag-and-bone
collectors], the boys find an ancient draught horse, used to hauling coal, whose owner no longer
So, with the tram comes, first, Homer (the horse) and his inseparable companion, Tiger, the dog;
then Hattie, a girl of about the boys' own age; then, by chance, a private tram-line in Worthing;
followed by bombs, unofficial signalling duties, a German bomber seemingly shot down by
catapult, a letter from Winston Churchill, and a visit from the King and Queen.
All of this sounds fantastic, but the charm of this story is that it could all, just possibly, be true.
William Newton tells it so simply and so plausibly that you end up wanting to search for
corroborative evidence. And if you do so, I'm sure you will find some, although the details may
be sufficient for you to verify Wilfred's version of events.
Whether the story is truth or fantasy, however, is not important. It is a wonderful story, told by a
story-teller who, if nothing else, can embroider facts so imaginatively that you suspend disbelief. It
reads like a memoir, and it captures with deceptive simplicity and humour, the adventure,
delights and disappointments of the vanished world of youth. It is a pleasure to read.
Alfred A Knopf
201 E 50th St, New York, NY 10022
ISBN 1400042332X, $23.95, 292 pp.
A tale with three prongs: The escape from a life in a homeland that was so desperate, so
that it made the lonely and dreadful prospect of becoming a stowaway look attractive. The
frightening and solitary life of an alien in the USA. The terrifying awareness of an illegal that he
might be of interest to Federal agencies.
In several flashbacks we are taken into the military experiences of Aziz in Algeria including the
brutal killing of a woman, and his unending fear of being tortured himself by his own comrades
superiors as he watched others in the throes of agony. He trusts no one. "Now there was nothing
Antar (the local warlord) did not believe was his right. There were those among Antar's men who
took to depravity the way birds take to air. They had imaginations bloated with ways to inflict
suffering, and they saw the permutated hell of their nighttimes as an underground heaven they had
never hoped to enter." (p157) This was the atmosphere that drove Aziz to escape his
He manages to get back to his family and intends to leave the country but his inability to get the
proper papers from his government forces him to take the risk of becoming a stowaway. He is
hungry, cold and without the native language when he drags himself onshore in Boston. A stroke
good fortune brings him to the attention of an Egyptian whose Arabic tongue allows him to
help. Aziz manages to get in touch with a friend, Rafik, from Algeria who he knows is living in
Boston. Rafik is glad to hear from him and he invites him to live at his flat. He knows he must be
careful when dealing with Rafik who is known to be untrustworthy but this relationship is the only
one he feels comfortable with in Boston. Illegals come and go at Rafik's apartment.
Aziz' lack of language skills and his unsettled background left him feeling isolated. He doesn't
understand a lot of what is going on "Mostly, he had no one to discuss most things with, so their
weight and importance were all too often equal. Anything could matter. Anything could be
anything." (p65) He watches people closely in an attempt to better understand this place. He feels
invisible but lucky because he is here and not in Algiers where terror is the order of the day.
The federal agents have numerous meetings to determine if they have a case against Aziz and
who pass through Rafik's apartment in Boston. They decide to arrest them. Those arrested are
people who fled the fear and intimidation of life in Algeria only to find themselves faced with
and suspicion in the land they hoped would give them a chance of refuge. The story gives us a
glimpse into the lives of these unfortunates and into the Federal agencies charged with their
The Devil in the White City
Random House Inc.
ISBN: 0375725601 $14.95 464 pages
Heard the one about the architect and the serial killer? It's not a bad joke, but it is a great book.
architect was Daniel Burnham, the driving force behind the Chicago World's Fair of 1893; the
was H.H. Holmes, a Svengali-type figure who lured young women to his hotel and did the most
gruesome things, the least shocking of which was murder. The two men never met, but The Devil
the White City brings their stories together, and although it reads like a novel, everything is
thoroughly researched fact.
The Great Columbian Exhibition of 1893 was Chicago's big chance to shake off its old image as a
hog-slaughtering, dirty and dangerous town and to take its place as America's second city.
the fair's theme gave a backward nod to the 400th anniversary of Columbus bumping into the
Americas on his way to India, its vision was futuristic: for the first time, electric lighting, clean
water, and planned green spaces could be experienced on a massive scale. Innovations - the Ferris
Wheel, the hamburger, an elevated railway, Juicy Fruit gum, the zip fastener and shredded wheat
among them - enhanced the feeling that the next century would belong to America. The buildings
were monumental, the exhibits eclectic (one example: a map of the USA made entirely of pickles)
and the visitors were awestruck. They called it the White City, from the colour of main buildings
that were imposing by day, dazzling by night.
Much of this was down to Daniel Burnham. His can-do reputation for building skyscrapers made
him a natural choice as project manager. But we're frequently reminded that he had to push
to the limit and step on quite few toes to ensure the Fair's success, a job made all the more
by economic recession, bickering architects, striking workers, pompous politicians and Chicago's
As if all this weren't enough to occupy the reader, a parallel story takes us inside the grim world
H.H. Holmes. Capitalising on the advent of the Fair, Holmes built his own hotel to attract single
young women who were streaming into the city from across America in search of work,
independence and a new life in the big city. One such unfortunate believed she was on the
of marriage to this enchanting gentleman; in reality, she was destined for a gas chamber in the
basement. She was not to be the last to fall for his charms, but even in death there was no rest.
Holmes literally picked over the bones of his victims, selling their remains to medical students
to examine recently deceased corpses - no questions asked. At first, the benefit for Holmes was
financial, but as time passed, the chase, the kill, the post mortem had become ends in themselves.
single-minded detective and a stroke of luck brought Holmes to justice, but even when he realised
the game was up, he managed to keep his unsettling cool.
I had a strong feeling that I would take to this book, and from start to finish I was never
disappointed. It fairly zings along, both stories proving absorbing, while casting out facts like
Although Burnham and Holmes are the book's dominant characters, there are walk-on parts for
numerous figures who made their own mark on the White City. Buffalo Bill, Thomas Edison, and
Scott Joplin are among the famous names, and the description of George Ferris's efforts to debut
eponymous wheel is a story in itself. But the lesser-known characters are also worthy of note. I
pitied poor Frederick Olmsted's attempts to landscape the exhibition in the midst of an enormous,
muddy construction site and a fit of depression. But I can see how ahead of his time he really was,
insisting on natural greenery instead of a regimented collection of flower beds. Then there was
Patrick Prendergast, whose descent into madness was to have a shocking impact on the Fair's final
days; it's here that Larson's descriptive powers really come into their own.
As for the serial killer, the author doesn't dwell on the sensationalist aspects of his more grisly
activities, but what he leaves to the imagination is far more powerful. Extracts from letters written
by a child kidnapped by Holmes are among the most upsetting words I've ever read - a reminder
the worst of human nature may not only be found in our own times.
But my lasting impression from this book is one of optimism, of Burnham straining every nerve
sinew to achieve the impossible, and the ordinary folk of Chicago bursting with pride at what had
The U.S. edition of the book has the subtitle "the fair that changed America" - and that's certainly
true, right down to the Pledge of Allegiance which can trace its origins to the exhibition's opening
day. Beyond that, the Chicago Fair of 1893 not only showed America how it could be, but how it
would be - better living and working conditions, convenience foods, domestic appliances, gadgets
and more time for fun. In short, it heralded the prospect of a decent day's pay for a full day's
clean, safe environment, and of course the God-given right to eat shredded wheat.
Who would you like this book?
I enjoyed it because of an interest in cities and architecture. But it would equally appeal to readers
who are into engineering, politics, social history, horticulture, true crimes; does that leave anyone
The Other Brother
Allen and Unwin
ISBN 1741143241 A$24.95 194 pages.
The Other Brother is the story of Simon Holmes … Court, the younger brother of Robert, the
Australian billionaire. Unexpectedly it's a fairly ordinary story of a rather quiet, shy young man
making a career first as a wild life protection officer in the then Bechuanaland Protectorate (now
independent Botswana). After independence, having to leave the British Crown service, he
to start up a yacht charter business but first had to find a boat and learn to sail. Unfortunately this
enterprise did not prosper so he then decided to make a wild life documentary film whilst sailing
round the world. He completed his filming and spent a year or so editing the film footage he had
taken but found no takers for the finished film. He then returned to Botswana starting out again as
What is puzzling is that in June 1977, at the age of 37, he suddenly disappeared. His vehicle was
found abandoned some two days drive away from his home in a remote forest. Moreover the
identity had been defaced as if someone did not want the identity of the owner to become
Three years later some girls out cutting twigs to make brooms stumbled across a skeleton which
presumed to be that of Simon. Alongside was a double-barrelled shotgun, one shell still unfired.
inquest was held and the case closed. The official cause of death was found to be an accident or
suicide and it was also found that no one else was responsible for the cause of death.
All of this was reported in the South African press but did not get exposure in Australia where his
mother and brother lived. This is not really surprising as he wasn't an Australian or a resident of
Australia and his story wasn't unique.
So how did Elliott get involved? It seems that Elliott began his career as a journalist in Western
Australia where, amongst other stories, he reported on the rise of Robert Holmes … Court. Later
moved to Europe and then to South Africa, working in Cape Town. A colleague there mentioned
that he had gone to school with the Holmes … Court brothers and that Simon had disappeared.
was the first time that Elliott knew that there was a younger brother and he became intrigued
(obsessed) by the story. This book is the result of the research that followed.
It would appear that Simon was a somewhat foolhardy young man and early on in his sailing
was 'lost at sea' between Maputo (Louren‡o Marques) and Durban. Fortune smiled on him and he
was rescued by a passing oil tanker. However he had run up a huge debt for the rescue. In
settlement for the rescue and towing, and to pay the cost of repairing his yacht, he agreed to a
sailing trip up the east coast of Africa, ostensibly a charter trip for two rich tourists. In reality this
was electronic surveillance or spying trip where he also honed up his skills as a sailor. Another
sailboat and a round the world sailing trip followed, ostensibly to film wild life. Unfortunately his
film was not the commercial success Simon had hoped for and he ended up back in Botswana
starting a new career as a sculptor. His friends say that he had a natural ability and could have
become well known. During this time, he apparently became involved with a married woman who
was living apart from her husband. The night before he left there was a tiff she said she needed a
breathing space, time alone to work things out. Simon left early next morning for Johannesburg,
ostensibly to purchase casting supplies for his business but he never reached there or returned
Elliott's style is easy to read and my only complaint is where he comes into the story himself as a
fictional reporter. As he says, he had trouble with writing this part of the story and this was his
of managing it. All-in-all a light read useful for passing the time on a long air trip.
The Artist's Quest for Inspiration, second edition
10 East 23rd Street, Suite 510, New York, NY 10010
ISBN: 1581153589 $19.95 279 pages
The Artist's Quest for Inspiration is a book that will appeal to artists at many different stages of
career and in most artistic fields. If you are creative at any level this is a title that will help you
new ways of being inspired.
The author offers many suggestions to help you break through any creative blocks such as:
writing, working with other artists, meditation, and music... just to name a few techniques!
Throughout The Artist's Quest for Inspiration you will find highlighted ideas for you to try. One
them that I like in particular goes like this:
'I think creative responses are helped by singing old songs. I know it can lift my mood. Even in
private, singing can help you remember incidents from your past that might have drifted off to a
corner of your mind's attic.'
This is NOT a how-to book with step-by-step instructions in using various media or lessons in
perspective etc. However, this is a book that will draw on your true creativity and individual
offerings to the world that will truly reflect what you have to offer.
The author has done a fabulous job in providing you with a multitude of 'block' busters that will
you break through any creative barriers you may be suffering from. Even if you don't suffer from
problem The Artist's Quest for Inspiration is bound to provide you with even more energising
than you already have! The language is easy to understand and friendly.
I would recommend this book to anyone involved in a creative pursuit - particularly if you are
looking for new ideas - but also for those of you looking for a fresh approach. I must admit that I
don't suffer from a shortage of ideas, but this title certainly gave me a lot more to think
Minding Her Own Business: The Self-Employed Woman's Essential Guide to Taxes and Financial
Records, 4th Edition
Jan Zobel, E.A.
P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410
ISBN 1572484551 $14.95 239 pages
Minding Her Own Business: The Self-Employed Woman's Essential Guide to Taxes and Financial
Records by Jan Zobel is a solid introduction to taxes and recordkeeping for small business
We learn there are 10.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. (48% of all businesses),
employing 19.1 million people and generating total annual sales of $2.46 trillion.
During her career preparing over 8,000 small business tax returns and teaching small business tax
classes, Zobel says she learned that many people women, in particular are frightened by financial
and tax issues.
Zobel writes: "Taxes don't differentiate between men and women the complexity of the laws
everyone confused! This book was written with the belief that anyone no matter how unfamiliar
with or afraid of numbers can learn to take charge of her finances."
Minding Her Own Business covers these topics especially well:
* Tracking Expenses
* Understanding What Makes an Expense Tax Deductible
* Car Expenses and Home-Office Expense
* Depreciation and Amortization
* The Importance Of Tracking Business Revenue and Other Sources Of Income
* What Records the IRS Expects You To Keep and How Long
* Financial Statements
* Inventory and Cost-of-Goods Sold
* Retirement Accounts
* Understanding the Audit Process and What To Expect If You're Audited (Yikes!)
* Sole Proprietorship (Schedule C) Taxes
* Self-Employment Tax (IRS Schedule SE)
* Estimated Tax Payments (IRS Form 1040-ES)
New business owners (and most business owners) operate as sole proprietorships and need to
understand the three basic IRS forms for sole proprietor tax reporting and payment. Those forms
(Schedule C, Schedule SE, and Form 1040-ES) are covered in detail. One-member limited liability
company (LLC) owners also file as if they were sole proprietors.
Zobel writes: "Sole proprietorships file a Schedule C with their tax return, showing their business
income and expenses. For this reason, the IRS calls sole proprietors Schedule C filers. Schedule C
filers are audited more often than other people because the IRS thinks they may not be reporting
their income. There is less focus on businesses that don't have a lot of cash transactions than there
on businesses, such as restaurants and hair salons, where much of the business is done in cash.
Nevertheless, all businesses need to keep good records."
Zobel does a good job of explaining the rationale behind IRS requirements and explaining tax
in simple, real-world terms.
For example, in discussing car expenses, Zobel uses a little drawing showing commuting between
home, a regular job, a second job, and a temporary work location to show when car mileage is
Zobel writes: "When asked how many miles their cars were used for business in the prior year,
taxpayers stare at the ceiling as if the answer's written up there. Some tax preparers call this the
PFTA (Plucked From The Air) approach to recordkeeping. It will not stand up in an audit.
Business owners sometimes claim that they use their car 100% for business. If you have a
deductible office-in-home, 100% business car use is possible if you have another car available for
personal transportation. If you don't have a deductible office-in-home, your car generally won't be
used 100% for business because you have at least some commuting miles. Often, the business car
also used for a vacation trip or to pick up groceries. True 100% business use is rare for a
Minding Her Own Business is completely updated for 2005 and covers important tax
for today. The deductibility of health insurance premiums to small business owners is discussed, as
are education expenses and the lifetime learning credit.
One of my favorite chapters covers retirement planning for small business owners. With worked
examples showing how much an individual could save tax-deferred with SIMPLE-IRAs,
and the new one-person 401(k), it becomes clear the newer one-person 401(k) (also known as the
self-employed 401(k) or the solo 401(k), among other names) is a particularly desirable option for
those entrepreneurs who don't have employees but who wish to maximize their tax-deferred
Zobel also discusses the new Saver's Tax Credit which is designed to give a tax credit up to
to lower-income individuals for a $2,000 contribution made to a retirement account. (My first
reaction: What?! A tax credit for low-income people? How did that find its way into the
legislation?). Essentially, if you qualify, you can get $1,000 back from the IRS if you contribute
$2,000 to a retirement account. As Zobel points out, this tax credit expires in 2006 (You had to
know they'd catch it eventually!). This demonstrates the importance of staying current on tax
Reading the current edition of Minding Her Own Business and taking advantage of this credit,
instantly get some entrepreneurs $2,000 from the IRS for the next two years.
A great chapter focuses on IRS audits and what to expect if you're audited. We learn that your
chances of being audited is very low. Zobel writes: "In reality, only a small percentage of people
audited each year. Just 1.91% of all Schedule C filers were audited in 2003 but this was nearly
triple the rate for other taxpayers. Those who believe their income is too small for the IRS to care
about may be surprised to learn that in 2003, 3% of sole proprietors with gross receipts below
$25,000 were examined."
I think every new business owner who isn't already familiar with business taxes should get a copy
Minding Her Own Business. I highly recommend this book to both men and women, especially
entrepreneurs who plan to operate as sole proprietors or as one-member LLCs. Because the book
updated for 2005, I recommend people who own previous editions also acquire a new edition for
current information about one-person 401(k)s and other changes affecting entrepreneurs.
The Culprit and the Cure
Steven G. Aldana, PhD
Maple Mountain Press
935 East 900 North, Mapleton, UT 84664
ISBN 0975882805 $24.99, 272 pages
Most everyone knows a healthy lifestyle includes eating right and exercising, yet many people
eat right or exercise regularly. What will it take to get you committed to a healthy lifestyle? For
it was Dr. Steven Aldana's book The Culprit and the Cure.
The Culprit and the Cure clearly connects the dots between a healthy lifestyle and the prevention
chronic diseases, a prolonged life, and a higher quality of life. It also shows you what you need for
healthy lifestyle and how to achieve it. Dr. Aldana, a professor of lifestyle medicine in the College
Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University, "read just about every scientific
article ever published on nutrition, physical activity, and chronic diseases." He uses them to make
convincing case for permanent lifestyle changes and to define healthy nutrition and exercise
guidelines. It's his engaging, but matter of fact, presentation that gets your attention. For example,
" approximately 40% of all cancers are caused by the typical American diet, lack of physical
activity and obesity, and that cancer is mostly a preventable disease." And, "Chronic diseases are
among the most common and costly health problems to treat, but they are also among the most
Have I heard these facts before? Probably, but study results tend to go in one ear and out the
because the results seem to conflict. One study says, "Do this," and the next one says, "No, don't."
Because of his extensive research and background, Dr. Aldana can state,"17 studies show this, 3
studies show this, and 2 show this. Taking all of them into account, here's what we know." I feel
I'm finally getting the whole picture, not just part of it. Having convinced you of the need to make
permanent, healthy lifestyle changes, Dr. Aldana next gives you the tools to make them. No quick
fixes or meal-by-meal plans. Dr. Aldana doesn't advocate giving up all red meat, or all white
or extremes of any kind. He advocates something much more realistic: a balanced diet and regular
exercise. He lays out nutrition and exercise guidelines, such as a new food pyramid, and a
explanation of why food closer to its natural state is healthier. He gives you a blueprint for
how to incorporate proper nutrition and exercise as a natural and permanent part of life. You'll
tips on how to overcome obstacles, helping children accept healthier food, setting goals, useful
websites, and more.
Making lifestyle changes happens when you see benefits outweighing the barriers. The Culprit and
the Cure had a profound impact on me. It tipped my benefit/barrier scale to the benefit side,
changing my life. If I feel barriers creeping back up, I can refer back to the book to reinforce the
benefits. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be healthy or raise
The Amateur Marriage
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
1400042070, $24.95, 320 pages
We have all read books that rehash the same tired motif of the fairy tale relationship. Even when
these stories are laced with reality, the authors seem to wrap up the stories neatly with a nice
Life is not always so tidy or sweet. Anne Tyler graces her readers with a beautiful story that
rival that of a fairy tale, but it is about real life, with real characters with only the most understated
notions of glamour.
Tyler's gives us her first dose of reality when Michael and Pauline fall in love in the romantic
of early WWII. Young men are running off to enlist in the Army, and young women are busy
romanticizing the soldiers' struggle to protect their homeland. Michael enlists in the Army and
quickly returns home from boot camp after he is accidentally shot during a training evolution.
Although his wound is not serious enough to cripple him, it does keep him from serving
There the real journey begins. Michael and Pauline marry without any of the misty-eyed romance
a soldier returning home to his war bride. Their marriage isn't a glorious reunion after
months of separation. Instead, it is subdued, entirely human, and far from perfect. Pauline wants
more from life than Michael can give her. She is ambitious, manic, and largely unsatisfied with the
life her grocery-store-owner husband provides for her. In contrast, Michael seems emotionally
distant, content to steer clear of life's many peaks and valleys as he plods through his daily
Tyler truly shines as she defines the course of their marriage. A subtle tension ripples just below
surface, and she skillfully hints at the larger problems that inevitably result from the pairing of
mismatched personalities. Tyler recognizes that marriage is a partnership, and that far too many
people slip into flawed relationships based on an ill-founded infatuation. Michael clings to an
of his wife seared into his mind during the passion of their initial encounter, all the while longing
a wife who only wants to share his peaceful existence. The quiet desperation that permeates 'The
Amateur Marriage' is all too real. Tyler is a first-rate author, and her beautifully drawn novel is a
What You Owe Me
Bebe Moore Campbell
G.P. Putnam's Sons
375 Hudson St., New York, New York 10014
ISBN: 0399147845 $25.95 640 Pages
Kim Anderson Ray
Los Angeles in 1948 marks a crossroads for both Hosanna Clark and Gilda Rosenstein. Both are
running from violent pasts. Hosanna from the vicious mob that raped her sister and stole her
farm and Gilda from the death camps of Nazi Germany. Tapping their resilient inner strength, the
two women manage to start a small cosmetics company catering to women of color. But their
success doesn't last long because one day Gilda simply disappears taking all of the small
assets with her.
Gilda's defection plants a bitter seed of retribution inside Hosanna that lives even beyond the
and continues to grow inside her youngest daughter, Matriece. Gilda has resurfaced many years
and heads one of the most successful cosmetics companies in the world. Now it's time for
to collect her dead mother's due.
Bebe Moore Campbell skillfully revisits a period when black people were migrating to Los
with little more than dreams. It is a story that spans fifty years and all the poignant drama of three
dynamic women, their friends, children and lovers. It is tantalizing, edgy, and sexy at times; sure
keep you turning the pages to discover who comes out on top in this corporate drama.
The Lilypad List
Marian Van Eyk McCain
Findhorn Press, 305a The Park, Findhorn, Forres IV36 3TE, Scotland, UK
ISBN: 184409037X $14.95 182 pp.
Linda Davis Kyle, Reviewer
In her wonderful book, The Lilypad List: 7 steps to the simple life, Marian Van Eyk McCain helps
you to find 'The Way of Consciousness' to simplify on all levels -- not just the "surface
manifestations of the simple life: how to recycle things; live on less money; tie-dye your old
clean your windows with vinegar" as in some other also useful books. But her book delves into
"most profound level of all" to help you to align with the "greater whole of which we are a part,
the Earth" (p. 115). In inspiring and poetic prose, McCain offers ideas "upon which to build a life
that's simpler, sweeter, and more fulfilling than the one you have been leading up till now" (p.
In addition, at the end of her book, McCain suggests additional books to read. Having been a
certified psychotherapist for many years, she also shares a self-therapy technique "to use for
more deeply into the corners of your unconscious mind," and a "tape measure to estimate the size
your ecological footprint" (p. 141). The Lilypad List is a must read for anyone on a quest to
and revitalize life and restore health to help not only oneself but also to make a difference in the
of those near and far and to respect and nurture the very Earth itself. Rather than offering a
prescription for the simple life, McCain shares the pathway that she has used with the hope that
will "enable you to create your own, unique prescription" (p. 152). If The Lilypad List enchants
you will find McCain's Elderwoman a must read, too. I highly recommend both books.
What Does Bunny See? A Book of Colors
Linda Sue Park, author
Maggie Smith, illustrator
ISBN 0618234853 $15.00 32 pp.
Lynne Marie Pisano
Follow Bunny through a cottage garden in Linda Sue Park's sometimes-rhymed, morning-to-night
story. In this colorful garden, Bunny discovers a variety of flowers in red, yellow, purple, green,
pink, orange and blue. Maggie Smith's charming watercolor and pencil illustrations drive the
through the sometimes awkward (though sometimes rich in assonance and consonance) verse
near-rhymes: In a cottage garden/ past the pussy willow/ bunny nibbles tender shoots/ what she
is---/ yellow!/ Primroses are nestled low/ in their leafy pillows. Surprisingly, this picture book
the usual Linda Sue Park polish. Still, little ones may enjoy identifying the bold colors, as well as
locating the small insects pictured on each spread.
Knock Their Socks Off: A Freelance Writer's Guide to Query Letters that Sell
e-book, $12.95 130 pages
Magdalena Ball, Reviewer
If you are looking to make a living as a freelance writer, you'll need to become very familiar with
query letter. It is the basis of any assignment, from a brief point by point article to a full length
non-fiction (and even fiction writers need to produce good queries). Mridu Khuller is the editor of
WritersCrossing.com, and has written for hundreds of magazines, websites, newspapers and
anthologies around the world. Many of the books targeted to freelance writers come out of the
USA, and tend to be just a little bit US-centric (to coin a word). Although Knock Your Socks Off
applicable to writers working anywhere in the world, for those freelance writers who don't live in
USA, the global applicability of the advice and anecdotes is refreshing. Khuller writes in clear,
accessible and friendly prose, designed to encourage and inspire new, and experienced freelancers
the art of finding ideas, markets and putting together query letters with those ideas, for those
markets, in order to land writing assignments.
Khuller presents a number of "assignments," brainstorming techniques and practical suggestions
designed to give you targeted and viable ideas --the obvious basis of any query. The assignments
provide activities which will help you understand the limits of your own knowledge, and ensure
when you do get a sale (as you will if you follow Khuller's advice), your work is relevant to you,
example: "Make a list of all the jobs you've held previously and for each, come up with an idea
would appeal to a mass audience." The idea generation questions in this section are guaranteed
block busters, and will provide the basis for magazine articles for the rest of your working career.
Some of the suggestions, like itemising your big successes, or noting the compliments that others
give you may seem obvious, and they are, but just the process of working through the questions in
writing, with article ideas as the agenda, is enough to generate a huge number of fairly original
topics. Khuller provides advice on how to ensure that your idea is original too, by using a very
common title for one market (like an article about good eating for a pregnancy magazine) and
switching the market (an article on your pregnant spouse's diet for a man's magazine).
If you've followed Khuller's advice in the idea chapter, you will probably already have a number of
markets lined up, but Knock Their Socks Off provides a detailed guide to the different types of
markets, generally focussed towards the non-fiction magazine markets, both online and print. She
also provides links to some of the more respected online market e-zines and instructions on how
set up an manage a market/query database for the huge number of potential markets. Once you
a good list of markets, it is critical to determine whether the piece you are pitching is a good fit
the market and Khuller provides a number of techniques for customising your queries in a way
which will be most attractive. She also provides advice on how to obtain and make good use of
quotes and expert opinion, with tips on using online websites like Profnet and NewsWise.
The rest of the book goes into the nitty gritty of putting together an actual query, from the
through the lead or hook, the brief, the bio and clips. Throughout the book are examples and
anecdotes, quotes from queries that worked, and those that didn't, and tricks for making your
queries stand out above others. Hints on using photographs, formatting, e-mail querying, one
sentence queries and resubmissions, with a range of real life templates/queries that you can use
yourself with a few modifications. Khuller also suggests a workable schedule for ensuring a steady
supply of queries goes out (2 queries for each rejection). Although at 130 pages, this isn't a
book, it is a pleasurable, humorous read full of pithy information designed solely to get the reader
writing for the potentially lucrative magazine/freelance article market. By the time you've finished
Knock Your Socks Off if you haven't already begun the process of writing a series of weekly
queries, and receiving a reasonably number of acceptances, you probably aren't serious about
freelance non-fiction writer.
Bantam Dell, Division of Random House
ISBN: 0553587242 $7.50 428 pp.
Within the magic circle Emma has drawn in the sand, Stevie, Emma and Maddie chant, "Beach
now, beach girls tomorrow, beach girls till the end of time." The three girls enjoy blissful summers
on the beach at Hubbard's Point, Connecticut, during their youth. But now years later there are
two surviving "beach girls," and they are lonely women whose lives have turned into an emotional
wasteland. Stevie Moore, artist and author, after three failed marriages and having "fallen in love
hard and too wrong," lives hermit-like at her beach house on Hubbard's Point until nine-year-old
Nell Kilvert bolts past her "Please go away" sign, skinning her knees on the rocky path leading to
Nell is the daughter of Emma, who Stevie lost touch with years before. Emma married Maddie's
handsome older brother Jack, making Emma and Maddie sister-in-laws. But now Emma is dead.
And something that occurred during the traffic accident that killed Emma and seriously injured
Maddie a year before has driven a wedge between Jack and his sister. Nell grieves the loss of her
mother and the beloved aunt she is forbidden to see and strives to come closer to them through
Stevie's beach memories. With Nell, Stevie begins again to feel the warmth of the sun, and that
glows even hotter when Stevie meets Jack. There is an instant attraction between them, but Jack
bewildered, struggling to cope with his wife's death while building a new life for himself and
In Beach Girls, Luanne Rice probes gently but realistically some of life's darkest trials: the loss of
one's mother during childhood and the suffering at the end of a marriage. As Stevie, Nell, Jack
Maddie attempt to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and find a way to fit them together
more, the book progresses like a wander through a maze, with each character allowing his or her
feelings to lead them, submerged as they are in the dark substance of life's tragedies. Rice extols
beneficial effects of psychotherapy during deep trauma, and emphasizes the importance of taking
care of the environment and all living things. Even when her characters appear to lose all hope of
happiness, they are pulled back from the abyss by the bonds of friendship, family and the coherent
force of beloved surroundings.
I read Beach Girls at the suggestion of my daughter, who is a big fan of Luanne Rice and eagerly
awaits the appearance of her latest novel. Rice is a prolific and popular writer. Her former novels
include Dance With Me, The Perfect Summer, The Secret Hour, Safe Harbor, Summer Light and
Firefly Beach. The author's in-depth descriptions of emotions and romantic settings will be most
appreciated by women, but her topics are universal.
Detailed and lyrical descriptions of New England's beaches draw the reader into the story. A
full-moon night on Hubbard's Point is pictured: " the moon would crown the surface -- a
copper-colored orb slipping out of one element into another. It would shimmer, then clarify, turn
glowing white, and grow smaller as it rose high in the sky, its light trickling onto the surface of
This book is an enchanting, sincere and positive read, with an ending that demonstrates the
redemption and solace family, friends, love and nature can bring in times of loneliness and
Rich Dad's Escape from the Rat Race: How to Become a Rich Kid by Following Rich Dad's
Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, CPA
Little, Brown, and Company
Time Warner Book Group
1271 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10020
ISBN: 0316000477 $9.99 www.lb-kids.com
Peggy Tibbetts, Reviewer
Don't let the comic book format fool you! Money is serious business. But let's face it -- that's
bor-ring! Yet Tim Turtle makes a strong case for achieving financial intelligence when he runs out
money at the amusement park. He thinks the answer to his money problems is to get a job. When
Red Rat laughs at him and says he'll never get rich by working at a job, poor Tim is totally
But isn't that how to make money? Instead Red Rat shows him the difference between working
money and making money work for him. Based on Kiyosaki's bestselling book "Rich Dad, Poor
Dad", this comic book adventure into the world of finance brings money issues to life. How to
moneymaking opportunities and create assets are explored in ways that are fun and easy to
ISBN: 006056668X $13.95
I had a ball reading this book. I've just finished ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN and
THE LUST LIZARD OF MELANCHOLY COVE, too.
Christopher Moore is a New Age Hunter Thompson. Irreverent. Cheeky. Cynical. And
Set in Maui, FLUKE centers around an expert whale researcher seeing the words BITE ME on
tail of a humpback whale. Of course, he was the only one who saw it and the pictures he took
turn out, so he has to prove to himself that he's not going crazy from too much time in a
Moore has filled his book with rich characters, a plausible plot (mostly), and some really wild
Moore has many gifts, but the one that shines brightest is his skewed view of what most of us see
normal. He makes his readers pause and think: "Could this really happen?"
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
ISBN: 0060572973 $6.99 453 pp.
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead is Kim Harrison's follow-up to Dead Witch Walking. The
of this duo is a future Cincinnati which has survived a genetically engineered tomato plague that
exposed 'supernaturals' to the world. The supernaturals have staked out a community called the
Hallows. To humans, the Hallows is like Vegas or New Orleans during Mardi Gras - a definite
on the wild side and tourist trap.
Rachel is back with a vengeance along with Jenks, her pixie sidekick, and Ivy, the living vamp.
story begins about a month after the conclusion of Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is still struggling
earn her half of expenses at the church with Ivy. Rachel's new association with FIB - the Federal
Inderlander Bureau, police force for humans, finally pans out. On the surface the case appears
- Sara Jane's warlock boyfriend has disappeared. Normally IS, police force for supernaturals,
handle the case, but they have a 72 hour waiting period. Rachel jumps at the chance to be
for the money and Sara Jane is Trent Kalamack's secretary.
As normal, nothing is as it seems. Dan, Sara Jane's boyfriend, may be one in a string of grisly
murders of ley line witches. Ley line witches tap into the Ever-After using ley lines for their
Rachel is at a disadvantage as she failed the ley line witch class she took in college. She is also
leery of the Ever-After due to the demon attack in Dead Witch Walking and the death of her
Rachel finds many links to Trent, but is unable to find hard proof to satisfy Detective Edden of the
The Hallows is the incredible world created by Kim Harrison. The alternate world of the
with a demon city is very interesting. Rachel finally takes us to Pizza Piscary and we get to meet
master vampire Piscary himself. Kist and his motorcycle are back to torment Rachel. During the
course of the novel, we finally get a much clearer picture of what Trent Kalamack is and what his
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead far exceeded my expectations after Dead Witch Walking.
storyline branches out in many directions that are unexpected and thrilling to read. I thoroughly
enjoyed the ride and am anxiously awaiting the third installment, Every Which Way But Dead due
out in July of 2005.
Kim Harrison describes herself as born in the Midwest. She has been called a witch, among other
things, but has never seen a vampire (that she knows of). She loves graveyards and midnight jazz,
and wears too much black. Please be sure to visit her website at:
The Autumn Castle
ISBN: 044652381X $24.95 435 pp.
The Autumn Castle, first in the Europa series is a very fascinating urban fantasy from Australian
author Kim Wilkins. I highly recommend this wonderfully imaginative series.
The Autumn Castle introduces use to a group of artist who are currently working under a
which allows them to live at the Hotel Mandy Z. in Berlin, Germany. The fellowship is through a
very eccentric artist, Immanuel Zweigler whom everyone calls Mandy Z. Jude, one of the artists,
lives with his girlfriend, Christine Starlight. Christine is an American who lived in Berlin as a child.
The artists are rounded out by Gerda, Pete, and Fabiyan.
Christine has had a very difficult life. While living in Berlin, she befriended a neighbor child
called little May. May and Christine were inseparable. One night, May disappeared and was
presumed dead. Christine and her parents moved back to America shortly after May's
In 1989, she lost her parents in a horrific car accident that left her with horrid injuries. The car
accident was caused by another driver who never even paused to see if anyone survived. Life was
bleak for Christine until Jude appeared in her life like a knight in shinning armor.
Mandy Z. is a very complex and creepy man. He is a world renowned sculptor and is also color
blind. Along with being incredibly wealthy, he is also an insane sociopath. He is secretly working
a bizarre sculpture he calls the Bone Wife. This sculpture is not made of marble or any other
but of fairy bones. Mandy Z. has a unique gift that allows him to know when a person is really a
One fateful day, Christine injures herself and is transported to Ewigkreis, Fairyland. In this strange
land, Christine encounters a talking fox named Eisengrimm and the Fairy Queen. Queen Mayfridh
Christine's childhood friend, May. As children, they preformed a 'blood bond' that allowed
to enter Ewigkreis. One characteristic of Fairyland is residents forget about humans and our world
once the seasons change. Queen Mayfridh is amazed and intrigued to be reunited with her friend
Christine. After Christine returns to the real world, Mayfridh longs for all she lost when she
Ewigkreis. Soon a plan is hatched to allow Mayfridh to visit the world she left as a child.
The residents of Hotel Mandy Z. are on a collision course with Mayfridh. She brings out many
secrets and tempts Mandy Z. to commit unspeakable acts. Mayfridh's visit brings all these horrors
and more to pass. Christine, Jude, and the rest are never the same again.
Kim Wilkins has created an incredible tale of morality and madness to delight. Her characters are
rich and multidimensional. The plot does seem to lag at times, but that is a result of dealing with
character development. We get to know the residents of Hotel Mandy Z. and Ewigkreis very
intimately. The twists and turns created in the plot are amazing in their ingenuity. This is not a
typical Fairytale nor is it a typical fantasy. At the end, Wilkins treats us to a real Fairytale that
the plot in such a way that you crave more.
Kim Wilkins lives in Australia and is the author of numerous books. Her Europa series continues
with the Giants of the Frost - available in Australia, and the Snow Witch - to be released July,
in Australia. For more information, visit her website at http://www.kimwilkins.com/
ISBN: 0373802137 $13.95 551 pp.
Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast is a wonderful follow-up to Cast's first novel, Goddess by
Elphame's Choice is set in the same world, Partholon about 125 years after the events in Goddess
Elphame, the great-granddaughter of Rhiannon and the daughter of Etain, the current Goddess
Incarnate is struggling to find her way. Born part-human and part-centaur, she is worshiped by the
people of Partholon and she hates it. Elphame is a woman - not a goddess. Epona, the Goddess,
never directly spoken to Elphame. As a matter of fact, Elphame has never experienced anything
magical except her hybrid looks.
MacCallan Castle, according to Goddess by Mistake was the site of a terrible atrocity. The
Fomorians, vampire-like demons attacked the castle, murdered all the men and used the woman as
incubators for their children. Fomorians had lost the ability to reproduce and had discovered that
human woman could be used for children. These women died a horrible death at the birth of these
Fomorian off-spring. With the help of Rhiannon and Epona, the Fomorians were defeated and
into the Wastelands. MacCallan Castle was destroyed when it was used a funeral pyre for the
Elphame has decided MacCallan Castle should be rebuilt. She hopes those who join her endeavor
will accept her just as a woman and not a goddess. To assist her in rebuilding the castle are her
brother, Cuchulainn, Danann, Stonemaster and centaur, Brighid, a Huntress and centaur, Brenna,
Healer, and many others. This band of young people are hopeful that MacCallan Castle will be a
place for them to start over and have a better way of life.
The Fomorians are not done with Partholon. While the original Fomorians have long since died
of a plague, their children have survived. Epona, in her infinite wisdom, allowed some of the
mothers to survive. These mothers loved their children, even though they where fathered by
Fomorians. These hybrid children raised by loving mothers fight a constant battle to retain their
humanity. Lochlan, their leader, believes in a prophecy told to him by his mother - the hybrid
Fomorians will gain salvation from madness with the blood of a dying Goddess. Lochlan believes
this to be Elphame - who is also his lifemate.
P.C. Cast has created a wonderful and rich mythology for Elphame's Choice. The intricate
characterizations make the book very interesting to read. This is not just as standard romantic
fantasy. There are no buxom heroines in distress. Elphame is strong in both character and body.
While some parts of the story are traditional romance, most is not. The storyline has a few twists
that are not anticipated. The fantasy element of the book is what dominates the storyline. The
will even surprise most. It is not your typical 'happy ever after.' I enjoyed reading this book.
P.C. Cast is a professional teacher and speaker. Her first book, Goddess by Mistake won the Holt
Medallion in the category of best paranormal romance, The Prism Award, and the Laurel Wreath
Award for Excellence in Published Romance Fiction. Goddess by Mistake will be re-released by
Luna entitled Partholon by Mistake in the fall of 2005. Her other works include Goddess of
Goddess of the Sea, and Goddess of Light. For more information, please visit her website at
Sister of the Dead
Barb & J.C. Hendee
ISBN: 045146009X $7.50 405 pp.
Sister of the Dead is Barb & J.C. Hendee's third book in the Noble Dead series. Once again, we
Magiere and Leesil on their journey for the truth - no matter where it takes them. Wynn, an
apprentice sage, and Chap, a Fay spirit in dog form, round out this intrepid traveling group.
Magiere is a dhampir, half-human and half-vampire. She is a hybrid created for unknown reasons.
Dhampir, Magiere was introduced to Welstiel Massing, a Noble Dead (vampire) who told her she
was created to kill other Noble Dead. In Thief of Lives, Welstiel is unmasked and Magiere learns
true intentions - to force her to find an artifact that will allow Welstiel to become human again.
Needless to say, Magiere is not one to appreciate being manipulated and has vowed to never help
Welstiel in his quest.
At the conclusion of Thief of Lives, Magiere and Leesil have decided two different treks are in
order. Leesil, half-elf and half-human, has just found out that his elvish mother, Nein'a is still alive.
Leesil has vowed to find out her fate. He believed his parents were executed after he deserted
employment as an assassin to a powerful lord.
Magiere seeks to find out why she was created. Her mother, Magelia was impregnated by a Noble
Dead with Magiere the result. Magelia died shortly after Magiere's birth and she was raised by her
Aunt Bieja in the small village of ChemestŁk in the country of Droevinka. Life was hard for
as the other villagers never accepted her.
Leesil and Magiere decide to head to ChemestŁk first as it is closer. This decision brings about
knowledge and even more questions. The events around Magiere's birth are even more complex
anyone had previously considered. The journey is arduous for all and much is revealed.
Sister of the Dead is a wonderful addition to the Noble Dead series. While certain mysterious are
answered, even more are created. Leesil and Magiere's relationship deepens. We learn more about
Chap and what his intentions are. Sister of the Dead leads us on an amazing adventure that will
you engrossed until the final chapter.
The Noble Dead series is a mix of high-fantasy and traditional vampire fiction. This makes the
unique and interesting. The fantasy elements are interwoven with the vampire lore. Magiere is a
hybrid and as such struggles with her nature. Leesil has similar struggles as he is also a hybrid.
two together present both sides of the mixed genres. This is a series that will appeal to both
and fantasy fans.
Barb & J.C. Hendee are a husband/wife pair of writers. Dhampir is the first in the Noble Dead
followed by Thief of Lives, and Sister of the Dead. Traitor to the Blood, fourth in the series, is
scheduled to be published in January, 2006. Barb Hendee is the author of another vampire novel,
Blood Memories published in 1999. Both authors have written many short stories. They have a
website at www.nobledead.com with many extras for the series.
P.O. Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302
ISBN: 0931513589; $12.95; 201 pp.
In Lyn Denison's novel, Dreams Found, Australian carpenter Riley James is a twenty-five year-old
woman who has decided to locate her birth mother who gave Riley up for adoption. She has the
complete love and support of her adoptive mother, Lenore. "As I see this, love," she continued,
most important thing is whether or not you want to contact your birth parents." (Page 9) Through
some vigorous research Riley finds the woman and makes that all-important first telephone call. "
was born on September twenty-fourth." (Page 13) To which Margaret Easton whispers into the
phone, "My baby girl." (Page 13) Thus begins one woman's journey to discover a family she never
knew, and at the same time, to meet a young woman, Jayne, who could affect Riley in a myriad of
ways. Throughout this passage there are the reassuring confirmations as well as the unexpected
pitfalls that serve both to inspire and discourage Riley. Friends, some calmly and steadfastly loyal
and another the epitome of outrageous egocentricity, take part as she tries to put into perspective
how her life is, should, and will evolve.
Denison has crafted a novel with likable and realistic characters whose exceptionally believable
seamless dialogue flows smoothly and effortlessly. Riley James is a proud and out lesbian who
sometimes questions whether her birth mother will be accepting of this fact, while at the same
Riley never denies who she is. Mac Bradford, her straight male best friend, provides the comic
with his easy self-deprecating swagger and magnetism. Jayne Easton captures the angst and
uncertainty of a thirty year-old woman who has followed the corporate and conventional path and
the expectations of others for too long and far too intensely. She also is on a journey of
and renewal. "Looking back, I suppose I settled ." (Page 194) It remains to be seen if Jayne can
overcome the obstacles in her path and trust in her own judgment. Darren Wardell, Jayne's
partner, exhibits that smarmy, suffocating, and superficial charm of a fundamentally insecure man
that wears thin and tedious for most whom he encounters, and that feeble charm increasingly
exasperates and infuriates Riley. Their skillfully written pivotal verbal confrontation is one to be
savored and re-read with delight.
Denison develops the plot in a sequential, straightforward, and comprehensible fashion. Conflicts
created with just the precise degree of foreshadowing which enables the reader to actively
and participate. Becoming part of any scene is the hope and desire for most readers, and they will
neither disappointed nor dissatisfied here. One can indeed identify with these two main
Riley and Jayne, and their trials, uncertainties, and aspirations. Events fall so neatly and believably
into place that the reader never has to think or utter those five dreaded words, "Where did that
from?" In a subdued, yet controlled and quiet style, Denison creates tension and suspense that
true. These actions never appear to be maudlin, gratuitous, or unwarranted.
Lyn Denison's novel Dreams Found is, indeed, undeniably one of those exceptional books that one
reluctant to put down; it truly is an indisputable page-turner. Denison effectively manages to take
rather routine occurrence, seeking one's birth parents, and transforms it into a particularly
and richly rewarding narrative. What makes this book so different from so many others of this
is this author's ability to imbue her characters with such a degree of coherent vulnerability and
fortitude that the reader cannot help but be enchanted with them from the very start. The
that Riley and Jayne discover, as they examine who they are and desire to be, create empathy
the reader that is both satisfying and enjoyable. This reader is eagerly looking forward to a sequel
Dreams Found for two crucial reasons. First, this novel has only two-hundred and one pages; at
times one does feel slightly rushed toward the finale. Secondly, there is undeniably more to
amplify, and expand with these attractive and engaging characters. Of course, it could very well
simply a matter of this reader's not wanting a good thing to end.
Saving Grace, Second Edition
Yellow Rose Books
PMB 210, 8691 9th Avenue, Port Arthur, TX 77642-8025
ISBN 1932300260; $15.95; 167 pp.
Dawn Beaumont, a once promising Australian champion swimmer with Olympic aspirations, is
bemoaning the sad state of her twenty-two year-old life to her cousin Trish. It's been six months
since Dawn's accident shattered any prospects for an athletic career. To make matters worse, she
returned to her parents' home which causes her to proclaim dramatically, "It's driving me 'round
bend living at home" (page 1). Trish explains that she has planned a holiday get-away for Dawn, a
return trip to the isolated Moon Island, so that she can relax, strengthen her body, and generally
her priorities in order. Recognizing an opportunity to escape from her parental strangle-hold,
reluctantly accepts her cousin's offer to return to a place which has less than pleasant memories
her. However, at this stage in Dawn's life, any alternative would be better than her present
Grace Ramsay, a thirty-two year-old scientist and savvy career woman from New York City, is on
her way to Moon Island where she will be conducting discreet geological studies for Argus
a worldwide conglomerate searching for a new dumping ground for toxic wastes. Grace, too, has
past, one she has neither accepted nor dealt with. However, this is only one of the reasons why
so very cool and composed woman careens from one meaningless affair to another, consumes far
too much alcohol, and is so ruthless in both her professional and personal dealings with
The two women soon find themselves sharing the small island, and this proves to be a challenge
them both. Add to this mix a former lover, an unscrupulous businessman, a casual one night
and another's sexual awakening, and you have all the elements necessary to keep you reading until
the very last word of the epilogue.
Jennifer Fulton has created credible conflicts, both internal as well as external. The main
Dawn and Grace, are beset with numerous problems which each can no longer avoid, deny, or
escape. Yet these struggles are described through viable actions and believable dialogue. Both
women have realistically reached that pivotal point in their lives, and for better or worse, the
each woman will make will affect more than simply themselves.
This novel offers well-rounded, three-dimensional characters, not stereotypes or stock players.
secondary characters are endowed with personality, insight, and humor. There are people the
grows fond of, wants to spend time with, and hopes only the best for like the septuagenarian
living alone on a Pacific atoll or the bi-sexual personal assistant who, after having spent only one
brief evening of lust with Grace, understands Grace better than Grace cares to admit or even
Fulton's writing style is fluid, fast-paced, and compact yet it is extremely descriptive, " watching
the procession of colors from sapphire to heliotrope to amethyst, until finally the blood-red sun
fused with the ocean." (Page 35) The diction chosen captures the mood of the scene, "blinking in
buttercup light of morning" (page 50). This appreciation for just the right word enhances the
narrative, "In the moonlight, she glowed marble-smooth, her hollows and contours deeply
shadowed" (page 74). Proficiency in word choice too often is a neglected skill. Being able to
that natural balance between the trite and the florid is a talent which is most evident in this novel.
Imagery is not given short shrift here.
Ethics, moral principles, integrity, self-worth, acceptance, and societal accountability are some of
themes touched upon in Saving Grace. However, the author has managed to seamlessly weave
throughout the intelligent plotting that the reader never loses sight of the fact that she is reading a
true romance novel of two women on a journey of discovery. It is to the author's credit that the
reader can so easily read between the lines; there is depth to this novel.
Jennifer Fulton's Saving Grace is an enjoyably entertaining and rewarding way to spend a few
The exceedingly likable and believable characters find themselves in the midst of various
and startling developments. The delicate convolutions of personal relationships, sexual
and past misfortunes will keep the reader thoroughly engaged and satisfied. Although this novel is
Book II in Fulton's Moon Island Series, it is not a prerequisite to have read the first installment.
is an excellent stand-alone novel, complete in its detail and current issues. Saving Grace has all the
hallmarks of a well written romance novel: unique setting, superb characters, plausible dialogue,
realistic and exciting sexual depictions. This is a tale that will make you want to pack your bag,
an airplane ticket, and check into that tropical cottage on Moon Island where you can read the
of the series.
The Book of Daniel
Mary Breeden, illuminator
1393 Old Homestead Drive, 2nd floor, Oakland, OR 97462-9506
1932762264 $20.00 elderberrypress.com
The Book of Daniel is an illuminated rendition of Christian Biblical text, chronicling the
of Daniel, a man "greatly beloved" by God and an excellent role model for today. Colorful
in the style of Persian courts - Persia is the site of ancient Babylon where the story takes place -
lends vivacity to this timeless classic. Though it resembles a child's picturebook at first glance,
Book of Daniel is a faithful rendition of the Biblical story and equally meaningful to young and old
So Who Is This Jesus?
Russell Boulter, host
PO Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490
#4806D $19.99 www.visionvideo.com
So Who Is This Jesus? is a superbly produced, 48 minute, full color, DVD documentary that
viewers a basic introduction to Jesus. Specifically designed for young people who have no idea
Jesus is, and ideal viewing for anyone needing a helpful overview about Jesus, host Russell
takes an engaging and thoroughly "viewer friendly" approach in providing a tour of the very
Jesus lived and ministered in the Holy Land. We meet a Jesus who changed people's lives then and
who continues to do so now. A co-production with Christian Television Associates of Bristol,
England, and organized in a three part presentation, this outstanding and DVD is also available in
VHS format. So Who Is This Jesus? is an ideal addition to family, church school, and Sunday
School multi-media resource collection.
Raising Maidens Of Virtue
Books On The Path
20770 Westheimer Parkway, Suite 504, Katy, TX 77450
0974339016 $17.99 www.booksonthepath.com www.raisingmaidens.com
It has always been a primary task of Christian parenthood that fathers and mothers raise their
daughters to grow up exhibiting such moral values and personal behaviors as modesty, purity,
cleanliness, compassion, industriousness, courtesy, guarded of speech, peaceable with their
honoring their parents, and keeping faith with their God. These are all attributes ascribed to
biblically based standards of feminine beauty both in appearance and in conduct. In Raising
Of Virtue: A Study Of Feminine Loveliness For Mothers And Daughters, wife and homeschooling
mother of nine uses stories, conversational teachings, illustrations, and memory-making projects
aid mothers in teaching their daughters on how to best comport themselves as Christian women
to deal with the inevitable decisions that will confront those daughters with respect to family life,
peer relations, courtship, marriage, and all other aspects of womanhood in the world today.
Maidens Of Virtue is strongly recommended reading for parents wanting only the best for their
daughters and seeking to help their daughters to want only the best for themselves.
Earth, Wind, & Fire
Carol J. Dempsey & Mary Margaret Pazdan, editors
Saint John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
0814651100 $21.95 www.litpress.org
Assembled, compiled, organized and co-edited by Carol J. Dempsey (an instructor in Biblical
Studies and Theology, University of Portland) and Mary Margaret Pazdan (Professor of New
Testament, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis), Earth, Wind, & Fire: Biblical And
Perspectives On Creation consists of twelve papers by experts in their fields that together provide
the reader with a compelling dialogue between feminist exegetes and theologians on the subject of
creation. Common themes running through these diverse contributions concerning distinct texts in
the Jewish and Christian Scriptures celebrate the biblical traditions of creation inclusive of plants,
animals, non-human and human life, as well as the male and female genders. An impressive body
academic and theologic work, Earth, Wind, & Fire is a testament to the creative artistry of God
within the Judeo/Christian tradition, and highly recommended reading for both seminary students
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Genesis story of creation as interpreted
reference in both the Old and New Testaments.
Sylvia Plachy: Self-Portrait with Cows Going Home
20 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010-4463
193178843X $50.00 1-800-929-2323 www.aperture.org
Sylvia Plachy: Self-Portrait with Cows Going Home is a moving and personal photographic
by expert photographer Sylvia Plachy. Forced to depart her native Hungary at age thirteen with
parents, she arrived in America in 1958 and became a U.S. citizen in 1963; Self-Portrait with
Going Home reflects upon the Eastern Europe of her childhood, her changing homeland, and the
trials and travails of growing up in America. The black-and-white images throughout offer a
look into the stages of her life and the world around her, and her commentary is a candid window
insight into her difficulties and joys. A moving and emotional collection.
Beyond the Reach of Time and Change
Simon J. Ortiz, editor
University of Arizona Press
355 South Euclid Avenue, Suite 103, Tucson, AZ 85719-6654
0816523606 $24.95 1-800-426-3797 www.uapress.arizona.edu
Beyond the Reach of Time and Change: Native American Reflections on the Frank A. Rinehart
Photograph Collection features one hundred photographic portraits taken during the very late
nineteenth century by professional Frank A. Rinehart. Rinehart practiced his trade upon Native
Americans in their traditional dress during the an event known as the Indian Congress; his
photography, which unlike that of others did not pander to shameless stereotypes, rests in the
Haskell Indian Nations University today and is widely regarded as one of the best photographic
documentaries of the era. In addition to the powerful black-and-white photographs of individuals
and groups from a wide variety of native tribes, Beyond the Reach of Time and Change features
essays by modern Native American writers, artists and educators - including some descendants of
the individuals photographed - offering various reflections upon the role of these timeless images
their heritage. Highly recommended for native studies shelves and personal collections, and an
emotional collection to page through.
The Art of Photographing Children
Cheryl Machat Dorskind
c/o Watson Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
0817435476 $24.95 1-800-451-1741 www.watsonguptill.com
The Art of Photographing Children: Techniques for Making Better Color, Black and White,
Handcolored, and Digital Pictures is a no-nonsense guide for amateur and professional
photographers alike. Chapters discuss optimum equipment, lighting, composition, and more, such
how to capture an important moment, and tips for running a smooth photo shoot. The
easy-to-follow narration accompanies a wealth of black-and-white and color photographs that
keenly illustrate points and principles discussed. Highly recommended for proud parents seeking
succinctly capture their child's milestones on film, family portrait experts striving to improve their
craft, and every photographer in between.
Charms and Charm Bracelets: The Complete Guide
Joanne Schwartz, author; Robert N. Schwartz, photographer
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764321293 $39.95 www.schifferbooks.com
Charms and Charm Bracelets: The Complete Guide is a price guide to charm bracelets from the
century to the present, illustrated with over 300 color photographs and featuring jewelry ranging
composition from gold to plastic. Written by an enthusiastic collector of antique jewelry, Charms
and Charm Bracelets discusses techniques in making charms, trends in charm and jewelry making
throughout the decades, factors to consider when evaluating and appraising specific pieces of
jewelry, and much more. A "must-have" resource for serious collectors, and a treasury to page
through for art lovers interested in this unique form of adornment.
Wesleyan University Press
215 Long Lane, Middletown, CT 06459
0819566721 $20.00 1-800-421-1561 www.wesleyan.edu/wespress
Eyeshot is a collection of free-verse poetry. The common theme of the wide range of human
blindness - from literally being unable to see to willfully refusing to see what lies before one -
permeates these often dark verses, sometimes brooding and anxious, sometimes laced with black
humor. "Through" (After Sully Prudhomme) In blue or black, all lovely and beloved, / Some
countless human eyes have seen the dawn. / They're sleeping at the bottom of the grave. / Here
comes the sun. // But far more delicately than the days / The nights ignite in countless eyes a
The stars are always sending out their rays: / Eyes fill with dark. // That they should lose their
glimmer, one and all- / No way. It simply isn't possible. / I say they've turned toward the side we
/ Invisible. // And like the stars that must incline to set / They too are somewhere out there in the
sky; / The eye-lights may go down at times and yet / They do not die. // All lovely or beloved, in
black and blue, / To any dawn's immensities disposed / On earth's far side they're seeing through /
The lids we closed.
Vitamins: Their Role in the Human Body
G. F. M. Ball
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
0632064781 $199.99 1-800-216-2522 www.blackwellpublishing.com
Vitamins: Their Role in the Human Body is a single-source reference and textbook that
the latest knowledge about vitamins' biological properties with regard to human nutrition.
Introductory chapters cover historical and nutritional aspects of vitamins, detailed aspects of
physiology and functional anatomy, biochemistry, immunology, the regulation of protein synthesis
by nuclear hormone receptors, and much more. The subsequent thirteen chapters scrutinize each
specific vitamin in turn. A glossary, bibliography, and index round out this expert resource
especially for nutritionists, biochemists, physiologists, physicians, food scientists, food
and other health professionals whether in the fields of research, teaching, or study. An in-depth
overview of vitamins, that does not shy from advanced scientific detail but is packed with tools to
help the lay reader understand exactly what vitamins are and what they do. Highly recommended
especially for health and science student and library collections.
Workouts for Women
Healthy Living Books
c/o Hatherleigh Press
5-22 46th Avenue, Suite 200, Long Island City, NY 11101
157826183X $16.95 1-800-528-2550 www.healthylivingbooks.com
Certified Personal Trainer Joni Hyde presents Workouts for Women: The 12-Minute Total Body
Sculpting Workout, a straightforward introduction to circuit training, offering a program designed
by a woman for women. Focusing on a total body exercise session that builds feminine lean
tone, increases strength, and cultivates aerobic endurance in a time-efficient workout that can be
condensed into as little as 12 minutes a day, Workouts for Women also offers tips for fitting
into one's schedule and eating right for optimum health. Over 90 different exercises, illustrated
black-and-white photographs as well as meticulous instructions, make Workouts for Women an
easy-to-use resource to tailor a fitness regimen right for the individual.
Strength Training For Women
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61825-5076
0736052232 $18.95 www.HumanKinetics.com
Lori Incledon is Vice President of Human Performance Specialists, and for more than a decade
been highly involved in personal training, sport-specific conditioning, physical therapy, athletic
training, and injury prevention. Specializing in women's personal training with an emphasis on
strength training, Lori draws upon her considerable experience and impressive expertise in
Training For Women to present a unique, individualized, highly recommended approach to
training specifically designed to teach women how their muscles function so that they can take
maximum advantage of every workout they do. Sample training programs and exercises are
provided to work every area of the female form, and are presented in such a way as to be easily
customized for individual training objectives. Organized into three main sections ("Designing
Women"; "Results-Oriented Training"; "Movements and Muscles", Strength Training For Women
the ideal do-it-yourself instructional guide which is enhanced with an Appendix, Glossary,
"References and Resources", and an index.
Betsy L. Hogan
Feminine Wiles: Creative Techniques for Writing Women's Features Stories That Sell
Donna Elizabeth Boetig
Quill Driver Books
c/o Word Dancer Press
1831 Industrial Way, Ste. 101, Sanger, CA 93657
1884956025 $14.95 184 p.
If you want to make it into the pages of magazines like Ladies' Home Journal or Woman's Day,
Donna Elizabeth Boetig can show you the way. The cover of her book, Feminine Wiles, is as
eye-catching as the covers of popular women's magazines, plastered with headlines that grab your
attention and make you want to read what's inside, just like the newsstand magazine covers: Get
Intimate With Your Readers. Why Gushing Doesn't Sell. Stark-Naked Interviews - Getting a
Woman to Bare Her Soul. Inside, Boetig divides her information into four cleverly-titled sections
that will move you from reading women's magazines to writing for them.
In the first section, The Chase, Boetig tells you how to come up with ideas and how to massage
them to fit the magazine you want to sell them to. In addition, she gives you tips on how to write
attention-getting query letters, how to do a good interview, how to get permission to tell
story, and how to use quotes appropriately and effectively.
The second section, (The Drama) demonstrates the use and importance of pictures and emotions
illustrate and add oomph to a story, while the third section, (The Main Event) gives several
and lists of steps for writing the actual meat of an article.
Finally, in The Bye Lines, Boetig demonstrates showing, not telling, fact-checking, marketing, and
other end-of-the-process details. If being published in a big name women's magazine is one of
goals, reading Feminine Wiles will be a great jump-start. In fact, once you've finished, you'll be
overflowing with ideas and possibilities. I find it so inspiring that it's one of the books I keep
for days when I'm threatened with writer's block!
Until the Last Dog Dies
John Laurence Robinson
c/o Cook Communications Ministries
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
1589190211 $12.99 381 p.
Until the Last Dog Dies is a Joe Box mystery, the second by author John Laurence Robinson.
third Joe Box title, When Skylarks Fall, is due out from RiverOak in October 2005, and Robinson
currently writing Skin the Cat.) Sadly, the first Joe Box book, Sock Monkey Blues, is currently
unavailable, as it was originally published by a Publish-On-Demand company that refuses to return
the rights. Robinson is currently in negotiations with said company, and I look forward to
being able to read Sock Monkey Blues, too.
Meanwhile, my enjoyment of Until the Last Dog Dies was not hampered much by not having read
the first book. A few questions did crop up, but none made a big difference in following what was
going on (and most were answered by the end of the book, through the use of back story). Back
story is often known among writers as "infodump", a pejorative term that means the author took a
bunch of material he thought the reader needed to know and inserted it whole. It usually sticks
like a sore thumb and many readers skip over it without a qualm.
However, Robinson does it with scarcely a ripple by alternating chapters of Joe's present life as a
newly-Christian private investigator with chapters of his past life as a skilled soldier in Vietnam.
story starts with Joe being dragged from sleep by a phone call. It's Little Bit, an army buddy he
hasn't heard from in over thirty years, and it isn't good news. A man Joe and Little Bit's unit
captured during the war has escaped, according to the terrified Little Bit, and he was gunning for
Joe couldn't believe it. Martin ten Eyck, the son of a powerful senator, had become a sadistic and
talented killer during the war, and after Joe's unit had tracked him down and captured him, he'd
locked up for life in an asylum for the criminally insane. True, ten Eyck had sworn to kill them all,
one by one, but he couldn't be out. No one would be that careless with someone that deadly.
But Little Bit has gotten a threatening phone call and he's sure it was ten Eyck, coming for him.
finally hangs up, still unconvinced, only to be aroused a few hours later by a call from Little Bit's
wife. Little Bit is dead. He was electrocuted while working on a radio that was still plugged in.
authorities have written it off as an accident, but Joe knows better. Soldiers spend a lot of time
talking, and he knows Little Bit was terrified of electricity. No way he'd have been working on
something still plugged in.
Then, Joe begins to find out about other deaths in the unit. Vlad, who feared blood and being shot
at, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. Ed, who's afraid of driving and always lets others drive him
around, dead at the bottom of a cliff in a car he was supposedly driving. Each man had died in the
way he'd been most terrified of, and Joe can't convince the authorities that they were murdered.
Then, there are more murders, and now Joe is one of only three men left alive. Time to find out
what's going on!
When he talks to one of ten Eyck's doctors from the asylum, he discovers that ten Eyck is even
dangerous than before. Over the thirty years ten Eyck has been imprisoned, the asylum treatments
have included LSD and unrestricted involvement with the occult. As a result, ten Eyck is
by more evil than Joe has ever faced before. He may not be able to stop him from killing again,
armed with a borrowed gun and backed up by the prayers of the church he attends - he has to try,
for it isn't just Joe in danger now, it's everyone he cares about. Will his faith in God, bolstered by
prayer, be enough to help Joe stop ten Eyck from killing again?
Words of Wisdom: Beginning Buddhism
Master Hsuan Hua
Buddhist Text Translation Society
3106 Crescent Avenue, Unit 7, Marina, CA 93933
0881393029 $12.00 www.bttsonline.org
Words of Wisdom: Beginning Buddhism is an anthology of introductory talks concerning
by Tripitaka Master Hua, who was born near Manchuria in 1918, became a monk at age 19, and
brought orthodox Buddhism to the United States in the 1960s. Words of Wisdom discusses such
topics as the potential of all living things to become Buddhas, warnings against the three poisons
greed, anger, and sexual misconduct, the Six Guidelines of no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no
selfishness, no pursuit of personal advantage, and no lying, and much more. Presented in plain
easily accessible to the reader who knows little or nothing of Buddhism, Words of Wisdom is a
superb introduction to Buddhism as a faith that embraces people of all backgrounds and strives to
alleviate the suffering inherent in all life.
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
1590301722 $16.95 www.shambhala.com
Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume is an anthology of essays
by a wide variety of learned authors that scrutinize the overpowering desire for material items
Buddhist viewpoint. From how yearning for material things can have a corruptive influence, to the
value of Buddhist tools in restoring balance to one's life and wants, to ethical principles of
consumption (ranging from how to successfully be generous in a consumerist world to Green
in contemporary Japan) and much more, these essays strike directly to the heart of modern
materialism - what it is, how much is too much, and how to put the craving in its place before it
escalates into untold misery. Highly recommended; one does not have to be a Buddhist to see the
value in moderation in an increasingly advertisement-saturated world.
Peace Begins Here
Thich Nhat Hanh
PO Box 7355, Berkeley, CA 94707
1888375450 $14.00 www.parallax.com
Peace Begins Here: Palestinians And Israelis Listening To Each Other by Nobel Peace Prize
Nominee Thich Nhat Hanh focuses on the importance of Palestinians and Israelis working
for peace and stability of the Middle East and the world as a whole. Thich Nhat Hanh highlights
individual stories arising from Palestinian and Israeli participation in "peace retreats" which he led,
and how the participants found peace and shared an experience of deep listening, deep relaxation,
and "mindful walking". Relying on his lifelong commitment to Buddhist teachings and non-violent
action, Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how the opportunity for making peace is possible through daily
peace practices. Peace Begins Here offers a kind of blueprint for the readers to join in the
peace-making process within their own lives. Peace Begins Here is especially recommended for
Buddhist Studies, Peace Studies, Middle East Studies, and International Studies supplemental
reading lists and reference collections.
Open Court Publishing Company
332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60604
0812694600 $18.95 www.opencourtbooks.com
Written by a Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, Frege Explained: From Arithmetic to
Analytic Philosophy is an in-depth examination of Frege's career and legacy. Frege's work was
marked by his determination to show that arithmetic is really a part of logic; while that effort
in failure, in the process Frege revolutionized philosophic understanding of logic and set the
foundation for analytic philosophy. Chapters survey Frege's life and character, his "new logic" and
definitions of numbers, his logical investigations and speculations upon the foundations of
his impact upon recent and modern philosophy, and much more. Especially for philosophy
and scholars, Frege Explained presents complex concepts in as straightforward a manner as
practically possible, and is especially recommended for college library philosophy shelves.
An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire
South End Press
7 Brookline Street, #1, Cambridge, MA 02139-4146
0896087271 $12.00 1-800-533-8478 www.southendpress.org
Award-winning writer Arundhati Roy presents An Ordinary Person's Guide To Empire, an
anthology of her lectures and essays highlighting the injustice, greed, and corruption behind the
"poverty draft" of the United States (in which the military is disproportionately made of
of indigent backgrounds, and very, very few politicians have a child serving in Iraq), murderous
pogroms against Muslims in India with atrocities that bring so-called ethnic cleansing to mind, the
transformation of South Africa that ultimately only further concentrated wealth and power in the
hands of a few, and more. From the obsessive nature of crisis reporting in the media that ignores
underlying problems and history, or summarizes them in a backward progression if at all, to
propaganda as a tool of empire-building, to the ruthlessness of the police state in so-called
"democracies" that get their hands as bloody as any fascist, An Ordinary Person's Guide To
spares nothing in its effort to show the raw, real, and often vicious truth. Highly
Tribute To A Mathemagician
Barry Cipra, et al.
A K Peters, Ltd.
888 Worcester Street, Suite 230, Wellesley, MA 02482
1568812043 $38.00 www.akpeters.com
Collaboratively compiled and edited by the team of Barry Cipra, Erick D. Demaine, Martin L.
Demaine, and Tom Rodgers, Tribute To A Mathemagician is an impressive compilation of
mathematical games and puzzles contributed by a roster of "Who's Who" in the world of puzzles.
This 464 page collection includes Tripos, Black Jack, Chinese ceramic puzzle vessels, paper
Mongolian interlocking puzzles, rolling block puzzles, sliding puzzles, cryptic crosswords, The
Panex Puzzle, polyonimo puzzles, and so much more. Tribute To A Mathemagician is a "must"
dedicated puzzle enthusiasts, mathematicians, and gaming enthusiasts of all kinds and
Faith In Science
Gabriel R. Ricci
Rutgers - The State University
35 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, NJ 08854
0765808420 $24.95 www.transactionpub.com
Volume 34 in the Transaction Books "Religion and Public Life" series, Faith In Science is
organized and edited by Gabriel R. Ricci (Associate Professor of Humanities and Chair of the
Department of History, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania). The focus of the expert
draw from diverse historical, religious, and scientific vantage points to explore and analyze the
relationships of religion and science. After an informed and informative introduction by the editor,
Faith In Science is composed of these scholarly essays: A Tech Approach to God and Religion
Consolmagno); On Being an Intellectually Fulfilled Theist: A Critique of Darwin's Dangerous Idea
(Anthony Matteo); The Clergyman-Scientist: Locating the Conflict between Science and Religion
(William A. Durbin); Teilhard and Evolution: Faith in the Cosmos, Faith in Person, Faith in the
Divine (Kathleen Duffy); Valuing Nature: Vital Reconstructions of Anne Conway 1631-1679
Wayne Wright); Science and Religion: A Reconstructive Postmodern Perspective (Dave Ray
Griffin); A Place for Religion in Science? (Robert Pollack); and Science and the Bible: Two
of One Reality, The Most FAQ's in the Science/Bible Debate (Gerald Shroeder). Faith In Science
especially recommended reading for students of philosophy, religion, and the sciences.
Willis M. Buhle
The Underground Rail Road
Plexus Publishing, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055
0937548553 $49.50 www.plexuspublishing.com
Originally published in 1872, The Underground Rail Road presents firsthand accounts of
African-American slaves who escaped north via the human support network known as the
Underground Railroad. Collected by William Still, the son of emancipated slaves, who helped
fugitives to safety as an Underground Railroad "conductor" based in Philadelphia, The
Rail Road collects letters, testimonies, news articles, and reflections upon extraordinary individual
journeys to freedom. Collecting these records, let alone participating in the Underground
was a dangerous endeavor in an era when merely failing to report slave escapes could get one
imprisoned or worse. William Still hid his manuscripts in a crypt to protect himself and the people
they documented; he never expected to witness emancipation or the opportunity to publish them
his lifetime. The Underground Rail Road remains a classic first-person anecdotal documentary of
history itself, and is highly recommended for American history and library collections.
A Century Apart: Maine Then & Now
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
089272613X $28.00 1-800-685-7962 www.downeastbooks.com
A Century Apart: Maine Then & Now is a gorgeous visual and historic tour of Maine's landscapes
and cities. Author Cindy McIntyre was an avid collector of Maine postcards; inspired by the
photographs, she sought to compare snapshots of present-day Maine with images past, revealing
striking differences and similarities. The text recounts changes in the last hundred years in various
Maine towns, while the full-color paintings and photographs often display striking contrasts when
placed side by side. A superb souvenir book for Maine vacationers, and a trip down memory lane
longtime Maine residents.
Bradley T. Lepper
Orange Frazer Press
PO Box 214, Wilmington, OH 45177
1882203399 $39.95 1-800-852-9332
The companion book to the Ohio Archaeology project, which also includes a public television
documentary series, an "Ancient Ohio" art series, and a companion website Ohio Archaeology:
Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures is a superb history of prehistoric
cultures in Ohio and their legacy to this day. Full-color artworks, maps, and photographs on
every page lend a vivid touch to this accounting of ancient migration to and settlement within
how the first Ohio people lived over thousands of years, Native American earthworks that survive
this day, and legal and ethical controversies concerning the research and display of human remains
and funerary objects - while much of scientific use can be learned from such things, many Native
Americans consider digging them up a violation of the sanctity of their ancestors' gravesites. Ohio
Archaeology is a truly wonderful, balanced, and in-depth read revealing fascinating new details
about Ohio's lively past.
The International Book of Days
Stephen G. Christianson
H.W. Wilson Company
950 University Avenue, Bronx, NY 10452
0824209753 $140.00 1-800-367-6770
The International Book of Days is a companion volume to the fourth edition of "The American
Book of Days". For each of the 366 days in the year (including February 29th), The International
Book of Days remarks on extraordinary and pivotal events in world history, as well as
holidays and observances, from the debut of Beethoven's first symphony to Evacuation Day
commemorated in Egypt (celebrating the withdrawal of British colonial forces) to Respect for the
Aged Day in Japan. A unique and useful reference, especially recommended for public, school,
private library collections, enhanced with appendices and a straightforward index.
Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress
John Y. Cole and Jane Aikin, editors
Bernan Press with The Library of Congress
4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391
0890599718 $125.00 www.bernanpress.com
The most comprehensive book yet published about the largest library and research institution in
world, Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress: For Congress, The Nation & The World is a
resource categorizing details about the American Library of Congress in alphabetical order.
include biographies of all 13 Librarians of Congress, essays, articles, and more than 300
black-and-white photographs, descriptions of the Library's collections, functions, and
units, and much more. An easy-to-use, in-depth, information-packed resource written for lay
as well as students of library science, especially recommended for educational and public
Walk Around F-8 Crusader
Ed Barthelmes, author; David Gebhardt, illustrator
1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010
0897474848 $TBA 1-972-242-1485
Walk Around F-8 Crusader offers the reader an in-depth tour of the F-8 Crusader airplane, a
carrier-based supersonic fighter first designed in the 1950's to serve the US Navy and used as a
line interceptor until December 1999. Known as "The Last of the Gunfighter" because the F-8
Crusader was the last US fighter plane designed with guns as its primary weapon, these planes are
examined inside and out, in this guide packed with black-and-white and color photographs.
Paragraphs of text delineate technical details of the F-8 as well as convey the craft's strengths,
weaknesses, and limitations, as well as the bravery of those who risked their lives to fly them.
Recommended for anyone with a keen interest in specific details of military aviation history and
indissoluable contribution made by The Last of the Gunfighters.
Colors: Architecture in Detail
Oscar Riera Ojeda and James McCown, authors; Paul Warchol, photography
Rockport Publishers Inc.
33 Commercial Street, Gloucester, MA 01930-5089
1592531075 $50.00 www.rockpub.com
The third volume in the "Architecture in Detail" series, Colors: Architecture in Detail explores the
work of top architects and interior designers working today. Especially focusing on the
duality, Colors is filled cover to cover with beautiful photographs illustrating rooms and exteriors
based around the impact of various colors: white, black, red, blue, yellow, brown, gray, green,
polychrome. Paragraph highlights draw attention to specific details, but the majority of Colors
focuses squarely upon the almost dreamlike images themselves. A truly captivating volume simply
2005 National Construction Estimator
Dave Ogershok and Richard Pray
Craftsman Book Company
6058 Corte del Cedro, Carlsbad, CA 92009
1572181427 $52.50 1-800-829-8123 www.craftsman-book.com
Now in its 53rd updated edition, 2005 National Construction Estimator is a no-nonsence resource
designed expressly to aid in estimating labor and material costs, manhours, and city cost
for residential, commercial, and industrial construction. 2005 National Construction Estimator
consists almost entirely of tables listing prices for each piece of hardware (or manhours); an index
allows for swift lookup of individual components. Monthly price updates are automatically
on the web throughout 2005, for free; an accompanying CD-ROM features "National Estimator",
program that will aid the reader since it has all the book's cost estimates plus an easy-to-use
Windows program that allows one to quickly and efficiently add up totals for a final ballpark
A program called Job Cost Wizard transforms estimates into invoices and exports to QuickBooks
Pro. A superb, professional-quality, industry-standard reference.
Get Out of Your Own Way!
5875 Doverwood Drive, Suite 211, Culver City, CA 90230
ISBN 0974988715 $15.00 108 pages
Are you searching for just the right book that will help you to jump start a new career or
your current one? Well, this maybe the book for you. Get Out of Your Own Way! is a new
motivational book by executive coach, Jovita Jenkins. Unlike other self-help books, I found this
to be realistic and easy to follow. This thought provoking book encourages the reader to think
differently about their life, goals and dreams. Jenkins challenges the reader to think outside of the
box, while offering creative strategies along with some age old wisdom that will not only help the
reader to reorient their thinking but to reinvent themselves in the work place. I think this book is
also a great resource for high school seniors and college students who are in the mist of
their purpose in life.
A former engineer and executive in a Fortune 500 aerospace company, Jovita Jenkins, MBA is a
Certified Professional Coach and the founder/president of Ajides International, Inc. She lives
between Culver City, CA and New Orleans, LA with her husband.
House of Songhay
P.O. Box 74084, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70874
ISBN 0910758530 $15.00 252 pages
Black Sheep is a desperately needed wake up call for inner city youths and the professionals who
trying to save them. In addition to offering insight and intellectual nourishment, Black Sheep also
gives us hope.
Achebe Toldson invites the reader into a world filled with social stigmas, systemic challenges and
fates and fortunes that are the familiar stumbling blocks for individuals who are growing up in
infested and poverty stricken environments. A haunting suspense novel, Black Sheep is told
the eyes of Duce, a prominent graduate student who has become obsessed with his thesis, which
tries to explain the mindset of youth offenders. In the mist of his self absorption Duce loses sight
reality and begins to live through his thesis. He soon discovers that his greatest challenge will not
come in the form of a research paper, but in learning how to fight the demons of his past and
confronting his present fears.
Toldson does a remarkable job of challenging the reader's current perspective on life as we know
and he helps us to understand the present state of our inner city youths. The human mind is
tantalized with psychological proses, biblical quotes and sometimes just the plain truth as he
us to the brink of reality. A modern day Harlem Renaissance writer, Toldsons' impressive style
surely leave a mark in the literary world.
Achebe Toldson, Ph.D. is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he lives with his lovely wife
Marshella. Dr. Toldson is a psychology professor at Southern University and he is currently at
on two additional novels: Birthright and Blackened Mississippi.
Characters of Lust
2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN 0595325394 $15.95 225 pages
Characters of Lust is a riveting novel by literary newcomer, Karlyn LeBlanc. In this eye-opening,
one of a kind novel, LeBlanc takes the reader on an intoxicating journey through the eyes of a
Christian woman who is torn between lust and her religious convictions.
Shelby Tate is the main character and as the story opens, she has just ended a five year
with her first love. Determined to stay on the right track, Shelby has recommitted her life to the
Lord and has begun to attend weekly bible study and Sunday church services, but one night of
backsliding and hanging out at the club leads her back into the life she desperately tired to avoid.
Readers become mesmerized as Tate and her friends venture into a wild life filled with sex,
gambling and lusting to name a few, but a life threatening event changes their lives forever.
A combination of Zane meets Christian, this novel is filled with subliminal messages that are sure
hit home with many mature readers, but will also raise a few eyebrows with its thought
erotic and hard-core content. Characters of Lust is a great book if you are an open minded
Karlyn LeBlanc is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she
works as a medical social worker. LeBlanc is currently at work on her second novel, When Lust
Steps Back In.
A Bird in Flight
P.O. Box 19049 Anaheim Hills, CA. 92817
ISBN 0972793305 $16.95 US $22.95 Canada 267 pages
A Bird in Flight (Hytara Productions) is a beautiful novel that shares the pain, passion and
of one woman, Rachel Howard, as she struggles to find inner peace, truth and compassion within
world that she lives in. Rachel's story is a familiar one that many readers can relate to. From being
raised by a single parent to living with a spouse who is a drug addict, her story is about courage,
strength and spirituality. Each chapter begins with a related scripture that is taken from
and the basis for what is about to transpire in the novel. The inspiring words and details are heart
warming to the human spirit and you feel as if you have been transplanted into the life of the main
character, with the reader taking on her pain and suffering. Buckner's novel is hypnotic, often
a slow and methodological tempo as the story of one woman's determination to make it, despite
of the obstacles that are placed in her way, unfolds before your very eyes. Although this novel is
based on spirituality there is some language and materials that may be offensive to some readers,
despite this factor I found this book enlighten and would recommend to anyone who is struggling
with a difficult situation in their life or who is trying to strengthen their relationship with
Troy Buckner is a graduate of Southern University and holds a degree in Accounting. She is the
founder of My Broken Wings Women Organization and currently resides in Anaheim Hills,
California. Buckner is currently traveling throughout the US to promote her play which is based
The Last Dance
Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 0684855135 $25.00
Ed McBain (Evan Hunter) has written 50-plus 87th precinct novels as well as numerous other
novels. He also writes books for children.
In "The Last Dance," cops Carella, Meyer, and others hunt the killer of an old man who, it at first
appears, has nothing of value to anyone.
For fans of a good cop novel, this is a step-by-step police investigation.
For fans of a good mystery, this book provides an intricate tapestry that unravels bit-by-bit,
the reader puzzled and surprised.
For those not fans of McBain's 87th precinct books, and those who like character driven fiction, it
may be hard to get into this book. There is no character to care about but there are many
characters to keep track of and only the crime, the investigation and the mystery to move the
along. The dialogue is true-to-life, often repetitious the way people talk, and often hilarious.
Although I couldn't get into the story I didn't care about the murder victim or the detectives--I
kept reading to see what all the guys were wearing. Like Robert B. Parker, McBain describes
every male who steps into the story has on, ". . .black jeans, a black turtleneck sweater, and a
fringed suede vest." ". . .a moss-green corduroy suit over a black turtleneck sweater, black loafers
and black socks, a massive gold ring on the pinky of his left hand." Evidently detectives, or at
detective story writers pay attention to those details.
The women, however, got "The woman had fake teeth but she smiled a lot nonetheless." or
" a green cardigan sweater and a brown woolen skirt." (evidently no blouse, shoes or socks).
Try this book. Skim through the somewhat boring parts to get to the dialogue where you will be
captivated, as I was, by the natural flow of the back and forth discourse. If it hadn't been for that,
fashion show, and Fat Ollie Weeks, a total bigot of a cop, I might not have stayed for "The Last
All That Matters
ISBN 140130110X $17.95
The story question of All That Matters is, "Can a 76-year-old woman with severe emphysema
her depressed and suicidal granddaughter, Jennifer, before the young woman kills herself or
her father carts her off to a mental hospital?"
Jennifer is depressed over the death of her mother and blames herself in some ways. The father, a
busy, take-charge movie maker, feels the only solution is to get Jennifer professional help. Gabby,
the grandmother, a holocaust survivor, is determined to help Jennifer overcome her suicidal
"I did not hide away in an attic, jump from Hitler's death train, and escape the burning hell of
to see my granddaughter locked up in a loony bin," Gabby says.
Against the father's wishes, Gabby takes Jennifer to New York, and the first thing she does is take
Jennifer to shovel horse manure. This is also the first time the reader might pause to wonder. How
would this extremely ill grandmother be capable of such strenuous work?
Gabby and Jennifer next go on a trip through new England to places Gabby and Jennifer's mother
used to go. Stories about Gabby's life and the life of Jennifer's mother come to light. Some scenes
are quite touching, occasionally there is humor.
There are little inconsistencies in this book, and there are also big errors. The biggest, in my mind,
when the author has Gabby confront Jennifer. Jennifer is "staggering bleary-eyed" drunk.
not a good time to have a heart-to-heart. Jennifer, in turn, carries on a totally coherent
with Gabby while in this drunken state.
Gabby also picks this point in time to tell Jennifer about her own life as a child in Poland. What
could have been a very moving story stopped me cold when Gabby said she clung by her fingers
the slanted walls of an attic all day so her feet wouldn't touch the floor. Maybe. But it is very
difficult to picture a ten-year-old being able to do that.
Jan Goldstein has a good story and the novel is at times a tear-jerker, but also at times the reader
jolted right out of the story by something said or done.
Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War
Native Ground Music
109 Bell Road, Asheville, NC 28805-1521
1883206332 $5.95 1-800-752-2656
Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War is an anthology of vintage songs and anecdotes
the American Civil War. Each song is fit onto one page, in simple musical notation with the lyrics
printed both within the music notation and separately for easy reading. Black-and-white
and illustrations embellish the histories behind individual tunes and some just plain eye-popping
Especially ideal for Civil War buffs as well as anyone interested in singing vintage pieces or
performing them on any simple instrument (the tunes appear to work especially well with a
harmonica), Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War perfectly captures the spirit of a
troubled and transforming era.
Edward C. Matthews III
Southeast Missouri State University Press
MS2650, One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
0976041308 $19.00 www.semo.edu
Matthews: The Historic Adventures Of A Pioneer Family by Edward C. Matthews III is the
biographical story of the author's family who settled in Southeast Missouri two hundred years and
eight generations ago. A superbly written family history, this is the story of generations of men
women whose ambitions and perseverance were to shape and influence the entire region.
with the settlement of the then newly acquired Louisiana Territory, nd continuing with the
subsequent growth and development of Southeast Missouri, these are very human stories of
Matthews family members complete with the private tragedies, public accomplishments, and
personalities. At the core of the story is C.D. Matthews who was born a poor farm boy in the
and who grew up to risk his life supplying corn and wheat to the Confederate forces during the
War. Surviving the war, he went on to amass a fortune in the fields of banking, lumber, railroads,
and land. Also available in a hardcover edition (0976041316, $35.00), Matthews: The Historic
Adventures Of A Pioneer Family is informative and fascinating reading, and could well serve as a
template for others who are thinking of writing their family histories.
Watching Your Back
Anthony L. Schmieg, M.D.
The University of Hawaii Press
2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822
0824828232 $20.95 1-888-847-7377
Emergency physician and martial arts practitioner Anthony L. Schmieg presents Watching Your
Back: Chinese Martial Arts and Traditional Medicine, explores the symbiosis of traditional
medicine and the martial arts. Chapters reflect on how the martial arts grew out of the need for
survival, their history and intent, the distinction between martial and military disciplines, the
influence of Daoism upon the evolution of an ancient system, and much more. Watching Your
debunks common myths such as misinterpretations of the yin/yang dichotomy, and over-emphasis
the role of Shaolin temples in the genesis of Chinese martial arts (the Shaolin temples reflected
Buddhist culture specifically and isolated their warrior-monks from Chinese society, and therefore
could not be prototypical of Chinese martial arts). An articulate, well-thought-out philosophical
treatise revealing the far-reaching depths of Chinese martial arts, reflecting meaningfully on their
purpose and greatness in human history.
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1857443756 $19.95 1-800-243-0495
Now in an updated second edition, The Scandinavian is a guide for intermediate to advanced
players concerning the Scandinavian Defense, its various strategies and tactics, and tips for using
to the fullest advantage or reacting to it. Written by John Emms, one of Britain's most well-known
Grandmasters, The Scandinavian is packed cover to cover with examples and sample games,
of which are taken directly from matches between expert players, to illustrate its points. Changes
made to the new second edition include revisions of personal opinion and analytical amendments,
which by the author's own admittance, are so common that he elected not to highly each and
one. A superb resource for the serious chess player striving to improve.
Living Smart: New York City
Hal Leonard Corporation
151 West 46th Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10036
0879103086 $16.95 1-800-637-2852
Living Smart: New York City: The Ultimate Insider's Guide for the Budget Savvy is a resource
packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for living frugally in the big apple. From avoiding health
insurance scams to discount internet service providers to stretching the dollar while shopping to
partaking of high culture on a low disposable budget and more, Living Smart: New York City
balances quality with economy. Written in a lighthearted, fun-filled tone, Living Smart: New York
City is a quality of life advice guide that quite literally pays for itself.
McPherson & Company
POB 1126, Kingston, NY 12401
0929701658 $18.00 1-800-613-8219
Essential Deren is an anthology of writings concerning cinema theory by acclaimed filmmaker
Deren. From the poetics of "Cinema as an Art Form" to tips on "Creative Cutting" to scrutiny of
fims in medias res and much more, Essential Deren is a treasury of insight reflecting a life and a
professional career dedicated to the highest potential of expression movies can bring. Appendices
present Deren's articles in the "Village Voice" as well as manifestoes and program notes; a
bibliography, filmography, and list of resources points the reader toward more useful and
discussion of the film as trade and medium. Especially recommended reading for cinematography
students, connoisseurs and critics, and college libraries and references shelves.
Families Of The King
University of Toronto Press
10 St. Mary Street, Suite 700, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4Y 2W8
0802089844 $70.00 1-800-565-9523
Families Of The King: Writing Identity In The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by Alice Sheppard
Professor, Department of English, Pennsylvania State University) directly addresses the central
interpretative question with respect to the student of five primary manuscripts that together offer
contemporary history of Anglo-Saxon English ranging from the ninth to the twelfth centuries, and
materially contribute to understanding the body of Old English prose and poetic texts which in
enabled scholars to document how the Old English language evolved and changed. The question
how those five manuscript function as history. Professor Sheppard shows just what has been read
a series of disparate entries and peculiar juxtapositions are upon closer scrutiny a compelling
articulation of collective identity and provide academia with a coherent approach to writing the
secular history of invasion, conquest, and settlement. The central theme for Families of the King is
that the king's performance of his lordship obligations was recorded and transformed by annalists
into literary representations of a political ethos offering insights and an understanding of the
Anglo-Saxon aristocratic culture and the impact upon that culture by the Normans who
them. A work of impressively articulate scholarship , Families Of The King is an invaluable, core
addition to academic library collections and will prove to be of immense interest to students of
Randall L. Bytwerk
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, Manly Miles Building, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
0870137107 $24.95 1-517-355-9543 www.msupress.msu.edu
In Bending Spines: The Propagandas Of Nazi Germany And The German Democratic Republic,
Randall L. Bytwerk (Professor of Communication, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan) has
created a seminal, groundbreaking work of painstaking scholarship in the often obscure field of
governmental propaganda and the influence such controlled and goal oriented communication has
upon those who create it as well as upon those to whom it is directed. With the benefit of
archival and field research, Professor Bytwerk reveals that inevitably propagandists come to
their own distortions while the recipients of their work grown increasingly cynical as the
ideologically driven announcements diverge from real world experience and observation.
Bytwerk also underscores how even though Nazi and German Democratic Republic propaganda
took diametrically opposing stands, the mechanics, dynamics, and consequences of their
efforts were far more similar than dissimilar. Bending Spines is especially recommended and
informative reading for students of rhetoric, mass communication, and twentieth century German
Michael J. Carson
The Coal Tattoo
Workman Publishing, Inc
ISBN: 1565123689 $22.95 336 p.
Rating 5 stars
Silas House embodies a sense of family and community, an appreciation and a disdain for the
life and forgiveness and tolerance of others in his latest book, The Coal Tattoo.
It is an intricate tale of two sisters, Easter and Anneth Sizemore, raised under the watchful caring
eye of their grandmothers, Vine and Serena after the sudden tragic death of their mother. But the
Lords calls them home, first Vine and then Serena, leaving the girls to their own devices.
Easter gives up her scholarship to Berea College and her dreams to become a teacher to care for
Anneth, who is still a minor and quite the handful. Easter is a woman of faith; a devout
who would never dream of straying from the righteous path to salvation for fear the fires of hell
would rise up and claim her.
Anneth rebukes her family's rigid faith and enjoys the life of a sinner. But to Easter's dismay, her
sister embraces the darker side of drinking, smoking and men, and makes no apologies for her
But Easter does stray from the church after she falls in love and marries El. Together they get
fill of bars and immorality until Easter's guilt consumes her and she finds herself standing at the
church altar asking for forgiveness for her wickedness. Her request comes too late as she will pay
the ultimate price years later.
Anneth never ask for forgiveness even after she elopes with Matthew, a promising country and
western singer, and runs off to Nashville. Some life's teaching are etched in stone as Anneth insists
on a Pentecostal preacher to perform the wedding ceremony. Like a wildflower in a clay pot,
struggles against the concrete and the high rises of Nashville and seeks solace down by the river -
river whose waters had passed through her own small town before washing over the banks of
The sisters, who seem like water and fire on the exterior, are undistinguishable on the inside,
their Grandmothers molded them with strength to overcome even the most devastating of losses,
love as if it is their last day on earth, and the taught them of forgiveness and tolerance. These gifts
caused their souls to mesh as one.
Silas House brings The Coal Tattoo to life against the backdrop of the beautiful and magical
Appalachian Mountains and the tyranny of the coal mining companies whose decades of treachery
and abuse of the powerless local community is about to come to an end. It encompasses all the
elements for a classic and his slow, sensuous style will take your breath away. Well done Silas
Carry Me Home
Dell Publishing Company
ISBN: 0385338139 $13.00
Rating 5 stars
Sandra Kring weaves an intricate and heartwarming tale of family, love, and forgiveness in her
sensational debut novel set in 1940 rural Wisconsin.
Earwig Gunderman is a simpleminded sixteen year old coming of age during the tumultuous era
World War II. Mentally crippled by a fever when he was young, he is protected and nurtured by
family, especially his older brother Jimmy. Although his ability to interact with others is limited,
thoughts on the world around him are just as precise as even the sanest person in town.
Earwig's story is told through his eyes of innocence and honesty as he spends his days working in
family grocery, sucker fishing with Jimmy and his friends, playing with his young friend Eddie and
visiting his Pa at the local garage. His unique point of view on the quirky residents of his small
is at times hysterical and other times poignant and introspective.
His family life is turned upside down when Jimmy volunteers for the National Guard and is sent to
the Philippines during the early days of the war. And old family secret emerges from the depths of
his mother's memory and hovers over Earwig's family long after Jimmy's departure and
disappearance on the Bataan Peninsula, which eerily mirrors a similar family occurrence during
World War I. Despite their attempts to keep appearances, Earwig stumbles upon the clues he
to discover the truth.
It is only upon Jimmy's return home five years later that the family learns the truth of his ordeal in
the Bataan Death March where he was subject to inconceivable torture and witnessed
horrors. Only Earwig seems to understand Jimmy's need to rid himself of the sorrows he carries
inside. He watches, but does not criticize, as Jimmy and his friend attempt to drown both the
demons that visit them in their dreams and their feelings of abandonment with alcohol, but to no
As stories of Jimmy's and the other local boys' ordeal in the Asian jungle are told, a covert
of the US Government emerges among the town-folk, as those who served and were affected
during post World War II are ignored and silenced 'for the good of the country".
Together, Jimmy and Earwig bear their burdens and eventually find their place in a town ripped
apart by the tragedies of war.
Sandra Kring's passionate voice is reminiscent of Faulkner, Hemingway and Steinbeck, and leaves
you wanting more. In these modern days where commercial thrillers and chick-lit often rule the
best-seller list, her old-fashioned style seems new again, and quite a welcome change. The story
flows flawlessly from beginning to end and her words are sheer artistry, carefully woven in to
Earwig's world. She will make you laugh, have you in tears and take you back to the days of good
friends, good times, millponds and bonfires. This is a piece destined to become a classic and is a
must read for devotees of the historical fiction or the literary fiction genre. I look forward to her
Oh No! UFO!
Strange Encounters Series; Book One
Linda Joy Singleton
P.O.Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383
ISBN 0738795799 $4.99 192 pp.
Meet the Strange family! Dad, popular cable show host, is a passionate paranormal debunker,
on proving logic always wins. Mom, an environmental activist in search of a cause, is a woman of
the earth, whose idea of a hearty meal consists of cucumber-and-apricot-jelly sandwiches. Lucas,
ten-year-old actor-wannabe, lives on the edge of stardom. Amber, a cherubic, golden-haired
first-grader, talks to the animals in Dr. Doolittle fashion. Then there's average, boring Cassie, two
years from teendom, who prefers to live low-key with no special talents, and claims she's the only
normal seed in the Strange household.
When Dad decides on a family vacation to the China Flat Campground, Cassie is elated. What's
more normal than family togetherness? Normal, however, quickly turns strange as Cassie
her father is on another secret mission. After his hands-off, top-secret briefcase thuds to the
papers fly and an eerie photo catches her by surprise. There, glowing against a star-filled, velvet
is a banana-shaped sphere, caught in a glossy Kodak moment of all moments! Shock soon turns to
fear when Cassie realizes Amber is the victim of an alien abduction. To win her sister's freedom,
must become a risk-taker. In so doing, can Cassie prove she has the zeal for real-life
Singleton, author of more than twenty-five books, including the Regeneration and The Seer
spends her spare time researching mysterious legends and destinations for her books. Oh No!
a mystery written for ages 9-12, is loosely based on a true-life family excursion as a child. She
the wide-eyed innocence of her youthful memories to life through a zany cast of colorful
The first-person narration provides the reader a front-row seat to the hilarity of the family
and the jaw-dropping effect of the surprise factor built into each chain-reactive scene. Short
chapters, clever titles, and an imaginative plot maxed to the limit with non-stop action, all work in
unison to ensure a successful reading experience for younger readers. Singleton's style is
and her story, vivid and unmistakably believable doodlezapps, zillofaxes, babbzonks, and all!
Don't Die, Dragonfly
The Seer Series: Book One
Linda Joy Singleton
P.O. Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383
www.llewellyn.com Ages: YA
ISBN 0738705268 $4.99 288 pp.
How does a girl with psychic visions blend in with her surroundings and find a new normal? Easy!
Survive a mysterious move, switch schools, create surface friendships, and spend most of the time
running from the one thing that makes you who you are a girl with a paranormal gift and a cranky
spirit guide to boot!
Sabine Rose may seem normal by anyone's definition, but she sees visions that could have deadly
consequences and knows she lacks the power to change them. Or does she? When Sabine receives
psychic warning about a girl with a dragonfly tattoo, her first inclination is to protect her deepest
secret, but as the visions become more intense and the threat more imminent, she knows she must
uncover the girl's identity and warn her of the danger lurking in the shadows.
Singleton, author of the Regeneration and Strange Encounters series, is a veteran series writer for
the mid-grade and young adult audience. Don't Die, Dragonfly explores the other-realm
of an otherwise average teen, with a taste of intrigue and ever-present danger wrapped in
outrageous, frightening predictions. The heroine, strong and feisty on many fronts, fears what
her most vulnerable, not unlike the challenge of most teens.
One of the most interesting characters in Sabine's life is Opal, her bossy spirit guide, who with a
imagination takes on a Paula Danzinger (author of Amber Brown series/Scholastic) persona,
complete with shimmering sequins, golden threads, and swirls of dancing lavender scarves. Opal is
unique in that she offers advice in not-so-gentle nudges, but she never steers the main character
path not of her own making, even though she's often outwardly impatient. She leaves the
up to Sabine, simply offering clues, warnings, and words of wisdom as guidance. Only after
acknowledges this source of wisdom does she begin the journey to self-discovery and an
appreciation for her gift.
Every page tingles with paranormal activity a glittering of fairy sprinkles and otherworld whispers.
Singleton's characters a confidant, a raging enemy, a Goth girl, a quirky grandmother, a
roommate, and a delicious love interest share in Sabine's treacherous quest, adding several
layers of subplot. The surprising twists and page-turning cliffhangers literally pulsate with
tension, and the novel's pace, in near-breathless passages, runs full-throttle as the reader
the story's climax and vows to untangle each perilous detail. Singleton's next installment debuts in
A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister
2646 New Prospect Rd., Pine Bush, N.Y. 12566
Ph. 845-744-5081 Fax: 845-744-8081
ISBN# 0974207454 224 p. $12.95 paper
ISBN# 0974207462 224 p. $21.95 cloth
"Why can't you just let it be what it is?" Shirley asks her sister while in stage Two of the Final
toward death. "I've never been madder." Shirley was mad because we wouldn't just let it be what
was. Her dying."
Imagine your dearest friend, who also happens to be your older sister and sort of your mother, is
dying of pancreatic cancer. She understood you best, nurtured you growing up and stood by you
through all your crazy phases. You owe your life to her. She taught you how to love. Now, for
seven months you put your life on hold without any conflict over it. You're with her cooking her
meals, cleaning her house, fielding phone calls, caring for her, running errands, and have become
health care proxy. You watch her cry out in pain, make good-bye phone calls, and ask for
This is what Julie Mars, the author of this book, went through. As her sister, Shirley draws closer
her faith, Mar's disappears. Later, when Mars returns to her home in New Mexico, a driving need
suddenly envelopes her. She must go to church and search for the spirit. And so, the pilgrimage
begins. Mars decides to go to church every Sunday for thirty-one weeks; a month of Sundays.
Sunday she'll visit a different church. Some are in New Mexico, some in New York and one in
Canada. Some are traditional and others, not at all. She also decides to arrive a half-an hour early
take a picture of the building (photographs featured in the book), with Shirley's camera, sit
somewhere in the middle of the church, and then open her heart to the spirit. Why? Mars isn't
exactly sure until toward the end of her month of Sundays.
Throughout eight months of visiting churches, Mars remembers her life, her sisters, and struggles
through her dying marriage, and her dying father, who she never got along with.
Mars asks the question many do. "My doubt says, "There is no order in the universe. No
No meaning. No hope. No point at all. Is there a God?"
'A Month of Sundays' is Mar's second book, and has received various praises. 'The Secret
published in 2000, is her debut novel. This too received excellent feedback. Mars is the recipient
the NYS Council on the Arts Grant in Screenwriting, and lives and teaches in Albuquerque, New
At the True Vine at Five Points Baptist Church Albuquerque, NM
Everyone here is black, all ages.
"Do you have a bible sister? Somebody find that sister a Bible!" Reverend Bobbes says.
My ears open up, as if they suddenly have better circulation, and the cartilage in them gets
"I got a flint rock right here," he bellows, tearing open his robe to show us his heart," he says. "I
my own eternal flame, right here. If you feel the Lord, come up here! If you feel the Lord, you
up her right now!" He repeats and then to my dismay he points right at me.
Right at me.
His arm is fully extended and I can feel the power of his finger on me, like God and Adam in the
Sistine Chapel ceiling, but I don't move.
How does 'A Month of Sundays - Searching for the Spirit and My Sister' measure up?
Field/Genre: Non-Fiction - Memoir, 1st person
Originality of theme: Original
Quality of writing: Excellent
Author's ability to prove the point of the book: Excellent
Target audience: Especially for women over the age of forty, but some younger women will enjoy
Middle and late aged women especially will find themselves nodding in understanding and
on their relationships with their family, friends, God and with themselves. They will find a type of
homage in sharing Mar's insight. Also for those who've sought the truth about God and dealt with
the devastating blow of loosing someone close to them. But, most everyone will benefit from
book because it's about life - something we all have, will loose, and will watch loved ones
Mars shares this challenging time in her life, swooping readers along; immersing them in her grief,
meditations, struggles, memories, and spiritual questioning. Despite the prevailing darkness, her
story offers moments of humor, whimsy, and warmth. She also provides multiple words of
along with a few poems to stir up thoughts and tips to live by. A worthy book to experience. A
beautiful, enduring, and haunting journey. A salute to the connections women have with each
as sisters, friends, mothers, and daughters. Also, a celebration for the strength, and understanding
they provide each other.
Equine Graphics Publishing Group
285 Taylor Street, Zanesville Ohio 43701
ISBN# 1887932232 $15.95
Horse-showing can be a cut-throat world. Some will do anything to win. Liz Barnett believes
be taken seriously though, even if she is a woman. So what if most winners are men. Her horses
good. Somehow her business, Legacy Arabians, needs to attract clients, and winning would do
She'd moved from Kentucky to California with what was left of her deceased father's outstanding
Arabians. She'd graduated top in her class from Tufts University Veterinary School, and been
resident veterinarian at a large Thoroughbred farm. To make a living, Liz needs to gain the
of the area ranchers. That wouldn't be easy since the retiring vet is a man. The rancher's don't
women can do as good of a job. A few situations present themselves and Liz jumps in. Will they
how good her abilities are or just that she's female? If this isn't enough of a challenge, something
happens at an important horse show. Kurt warns her not to leave her horses. He tells her some
people will do anything to win, even harm a horse. Liz decides the stakes are too high. She loves
horses too much. Her dreams aren't worth their safety. Will her horses' bloodlines and her father's
reputation be enough to still attract clients?
Kurt DeVallio knows horses. He's trained some of the best, unfortunately for the worst owners.
of them destroyed his reputation years ago along with his dreams. Ten years later, he's lucky to
a job training horses. A dark secret haunts his waking days. When Liz steps into his life, he denies
his attraction to her. He doesn't mean to lead her on, yet she fills those jeans nicely. He's haunted
the woman he doesn't want to want. "Cool it," he tells himself. "You have absolutely nothing to
offer her. The way things stand right now, she can't be part of your life."
She doesn't understand him. His mixed messages confuse her and she doesn't need more confusion
her life. She has to pay attention to her business. If only he didn't show up everywhere, and obsess
His mustache curled enticing at the corners of his full mouth. "Not for a few days yet. Eve
her mind about showing that weanling, so I decided to urn up here and see how you were
"Eve changed her mind? I thought you were the one who was so hot to show that baby."
Kurt's smile faded abruptly. "Not me. I'd never wean a foal so early... I don't believe in it. 'Course,
that opinion could cause me problems with Eve down the road." He grinned wickedly. "But, I'll
my cues from you."
About the Author:
Leland's life has revolved around horses since her youth. She spends free time with them and
her careers around them as well. Her professional background includes advertising, graphics, and
since 1994, owner/editor of two small publishing companies. Her published books include 2
children's books and three novels. She recently signed a contract with Arabella Romance
for her short story.
Leland paints a real-life horse world. Reader's who've never been around horses get to sample it,
for those who have spent time with them, will enjoy the familiar. Leland shares her knowledge
various horse personalities and how to move around them. She provides all this, and a romantic
Winning Ways is a delightful and fast read. Leland entices readers with a blend of horses and
romance. Her characters are ambitious and engaging. A novel filled with surprises, clever twists,
constant entertainment. An absorbing story.
Christina Francine Whitcher, Reviewer
Fairway to Heaven
Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
ISBN 0425201554 $5.99, 258 pages
Golfer Cassie Burdette teams up with her father, Chuck, and boyfriend, Mike Callahan, for the
Straw Three Tour Challenge at Pinehurst, North Carolina. Following the tournament, Cassie's
to be maid of honor at her friend Jeanine Peters's wedding, something she dreads more than
interacting with her father's wife. During the tournament, Cassie's game improves while her
teammates perform poorly, leading to even more tension with her boyfriend. Before the bridal
shower, Jeanine's father mysteriously disappears after a man who opposed his plans to develop a
strip mall in their community is found dead. Jeanine shows Cassie a demand for ransom and asks
to surreptitiously check around, see if she can find out who kidnapped her father. From that point
on, Cassie can't stay out of trouble with the police while being pursued by a mysterious person
on harming her.
Fourth in the Cassie Burdette series, FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN delves deeper into the family
dynamics between Cassie and her estranged father, embittered mother, and jealous stepmother.
that with Cassie's roller-coaster relationship with moody Mike Callahan and the underlying mutual
attraction going on between Cassie and her friend, psychologist Joe Lancaster, and you've got a
hole-in-one. Cassie is a delightful character, with a dry wit and fresh perspective. Her personal
insights, as well as her sessions with her shrink, will amuse the reader throughout the book. Her
amateur sleuthing may lead to dangerous territory, but Cassie proves a real penchant for solving
complicated mysteries. Golf fan or not, this is one book all mystery lovers will enjoy reading, with
plenty of twists and turns and suspicious characters. Highly recommended.
My Life Undercover
22365 El Toro Road #135, Lake Forest, CA 92630
ISBN 0974896276 $14.95 171 pages
Paralegal certificate in hand, C.C. Chaney heads out into the business world, hoping to land a job
the field she loves: law. At the age of 42, she ends up as an investigator with the Economic
Unit for her city's District Attorney's Office. And that's when the fun starts. With tape recorder
stuffed into her 40-D bra, C.C. sets out to catch violators of the consumer protection act. C.C.
after scam artists, auto repair shops, air conditioning repairmen, art forgers, roof repairers,
employment agencies, and the like, some with success, others not. But all with a great deal of
Author Mary Erickson's comedic peek into the investigative work of a middle-aged former
homemaker will evoke plenty of laughs. Her style is wonderfully engaging and a delight to read.
antics of C.C. and her cohorts and the quirky characters they deal with will hold the reader's
attention throughout, eagerly turning pages to read what happens next. Absolutely one of the
entertaining books written, one everyone should read, if only for the health benefit derived from
having a good laugh.
The Dead Angel
Carolyn Rowe Hill
P.O. Box 151, Fredericksburg, Maryland 21705
ISBN 1592863760 $21.95 270 pages
Detective Hannah Bell, called to the scene of an apparent suicide, is struck by the perfect
arrangement of the body of deceased Angela Allen, as well as her youth and beauty. Suspicions
at the unemotional reactions of Angela's mother, Mariah, and twin sister, Gloria, to her death, as
well as the mother's declaration Gloria killed Angela. Dr. Garrett Adams, forensic scientist at the
scene, suspects foul play but dies suddenly of a heart attack after confiding this to Hannah.
begins an intense investigation of Angela's death, unsettled that the deceased has stirred up
memories for her concerning her own twin sister's sudden disappearance at the age of eleven. The
investigation intensifies and becomes more complex, with questions arising concerning Mariah's
secret meetings with several powerful men in their community and suspected dealings with the
immigration of Irish workers. When Mariah is found dead, apparently having choked to death,
only grow more complicated.
Ms. Hill delivers a nice mystery here, with plenty of red herrings and twists and turns to keep the
reader on edge. Hannah is a likable character, a young woman determined to make her mark in
investigative world while trying to deal with the loss of her twin during childhood. A very good
guaranteed to entertain the reader, one I recommend highly.
Christy Tillery French
Good News, Bad News
ISBN: 0525947949 $23.95 307 pages
The first chapter of David Wolstencroft's Good News, Bad News promises great things: two
unnamed men flip a coin--the first indication that the book's plot will hang on the vicissitudes of
chance--to determine which of them is going to die. Surprisingly, the loser of the toss does not
unduly put out by the result. In chapter two we are introduced to Wolstencroft's two main
characters, Charlie, the younger of the two, and George, "a baked potato of a man" given to
spouting the plots of locked room mysteries at odd moments. Both men are relatively new
employees of a photo lab situated in the "troglodyte empire" of the London Underground.
at least, is convinced that one of their regular customers, a gorgeous woman whose photographs
suggest she trots the globe at breakneck pace, is a spy. The two men bicker regularly over the
implications of her suspicious photography.
The opening chapters of Good News, Bad News are very good indeed, suspenseful, well-written,
and humorous. (I was sold on the book after the first half page.) The interaction between Charlie
and George is especially good, Charlie attempting in vain to ignore the older man's "endless and
near-psychotic amiability." In the course of the novel Charlie and George come to discover that
have more in common than they--or we--had supposed, including, in particular, that both are
interested in quitting their jobs.
But while Wolstencroft's novel starts extremely well, it does not quite live up to the promise of its
introduction. As Charlie and George's situation becomes more dire, the humor of their early
intercourse is dropped. And while there are patches of exquisite prose early on in the book, the
writing becomes less noticeably good--if never bad--later on. Nor will readers be glued to their
awaiting the book's outcome. It is certainly a good enough book to continue with, but it does not
build the sort of suspense that keeps one up reading late into the night.
Despite these reservations, Good News, Bad News comes recommended. Wolstencroft (he is the
writer and creator of the spy drama MI-5, which airs on A&E) is clearly a writer to watch.
ISBN: 0525948430 $26.95 374 pages
Christmas Eve starts out poorly for Antonia Gallo, head of security at Scotland's Oxenford
when she discovers that two doses of a top secret experimental drug have gone missing. The drug
an antiviral agent, a potential antidote for the deadly Madoba-2 virus, and its disappearance
that the virus itself, kept in storage under the tightest possible security at the small
firm, may have gotten out of the lab. In the next 72 hours Toni will find that the situation is far
worse than she initially supposed: the security system at Oxenford has been breached by the one
person capable of defeating its safeguards, someone who now has access to a highly infectious,
easily released disease with a survival rate of zero. Throw into the mix an uncooperative police
superintendent and an unexpected blizzard, and Toni may not be able to stop the bad guys from
unleashing a plague with unprecedented killing power.
We've seen this sort of book from Ken Follett before: a highly competent heroine battles an
amoral--or at least insufficiently moral--antagonist while overcoming obstacles thrown at her by a
difficult former lover. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and the heroine's ultimate
over her nemesis is never really in doubt. But if the general outline of Follett's plot is familiar, so
is the author's skillful build-up of page-turning suspense. Follett never fails to fashion characters
wants to root for, and he is adept at keeping the good guys forever in the thick of some horrific
danger. Whiteout, like its predecessors in the author's shelf-full of bestsellers, is a great read.
My Kind of Place
ISBN: 0679462937 $24.95 282 pages
Susan Orlean's third collection of essays includes thirty pieces that were previously published,
of them in The New Yorker, between 1990 and 2003. Orlean explains that the essays she chose
the book are connected in that the sense of place in them is especially important: "When I wrote
these pieces, the sense of where I was--of where the stories were unfolding--seemed to saturate
every element of the experience, to inform it and shape it, and to be what made the story whole."
some cases the importance of location to an essay will be apparent to the reader, as for example
Orlean's piece on the student president of Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Manhattan
("Madame President"). But in other cases the reasons for the author's inclusion of an essay are not
apparent. Readers, at any rate, are unlikely to care whether the essays are connected to one
by a meaningful theme. Orlean divides her book into three sections: "Here" includes essays set in
United States; those set abroad--from Cuba to Hungary to Thailand--are included in "There"; and
"Elsewhere" is a hodgepodge of mostly short (some as brief as two pages), mostly whimsical
set in any number of places.
Orlean's modus operandi is to observe her subject for a length of time--spending a week or two,
walking the aisles of an independently owned grocery store in Jackson Heights, New York,
interviewing its managers and employees, watching the parade of hair-netted housewives and
pierced teenagers and hand truck-pushing delivery men who flow in and out of the store ("All
Up"). And then she writes about the experience in plain prose, and through the accumulation of
ostensibly mundane details--sometimes, truth be told, a few too many mundane details--she brings
her chosen slice of society alive for readers. Sometimes Orlean is introducing us to unfamiliar
terrain, to the resting stations that punctuate a climb up Japan's Mt. Fuji, for example. But
essays are no less interesting--are indeed often more interesting--when she focuses on the familiar:
among my favorite essays in this collection is "We Just Up and Left," the author's description of a
trailer park in Portland, Oregon, the sort of place one can drive by for years without noticing.
Other noteworthy pieces in My Kind of Place are "Royalty," detailing the author's investigation
the curious abundance of royally-named papaya stores in Manhattan (Papaya King, Papaya Prince,
Papaya Kingdom); "Art for Everybody," a look inside a Thomas Kinkade (the Painter of Light!)
Signature Gallery; and "The Congo Sound," an essay about an African music store in Paris,
Fans of Orlean's will find more morsels to savor here. Readers who have not read Orlean
can start here or might, better yet, read the work for which she is best known: her book The
Thief is itself very much about a place--Florida--as well as the orchidophiles who populate it. Just
don't expect the book to resemble its fanciful film adaptation, Adaptation, wherein Orlean, played
Meryl Streep, is depicted as a drug-addicted murderess.
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312315732 $13.95 368 pages
The main characters of Tom Perrotta's Little Children find themselves, in their early thirties, stuck
imperfect relationships and in life situations that are somehow less than what they had imagined
themselves. Sarah, in her college days a short-haired feminist flirting with lesbianism, is married to
an older man, Richard, who failed as a father and husband in his first marriage and is repeating his
mistakes in a second. Sarah, though not a bad mother to her three-year-old daughter Lucy, is not
fully comfortable with, or competent at, the task of caring for a child. Todd, on the other hand, a
square-jawed former athlete whom the other mothers at the playground have dubbed the Prom
thoroughly enjoys his role as stay-at-home dad. What plagues him is his failure to pass the bar
his failure to want to pass it, and his wife's relentless attempts to push him into a career for which
is unsuited. Sarah and Todd meet near the swings, enact a dramatic if unlikely scene for their
audience of busybody playground parents, and fall into an affair which they hope will make their
lives right. The drama of their relationship and its complications is supplemented by trouble in
town, the arrival of a convicted child molester, who has moved in with his mother after a stint in
and has his own more extreme problems forming relationships.
Perrotta's novel is about choices--the mate one selects, the children one chooses, or not, to have,
life that results from the small decisions one makes along the way. And it is about relationships,
usually dysfunctional romantic relationships, unexpectedly supportive same-sex groups that play
read or pass out flyers together, ties between parents and children. The book is not always
successful. The hierarchy of playground mothers, the less powerful personalities under the sway
spandex-clad, fascistic, supermom, does not ring true. And the children's dialogue, what little
is of it, sounds to my ears more like an adult affecting childish speech than realistic three-year-old
language: "Where it went? ...Where my snack?" But sometimes Perrotta gets it just right, as in his
description of Todd's contentment with full-time fatherhood:
"Something had happened to him over the past couple of years, something to do with being home
with Aaron, sinking into the rhythm of a kid's day. The little tasks, the small pleasures. The
repetition that goes beyond boredom and becomes a kind of peace. You do it long enough, and
adult world starts to drift away. You can't catch up with it, not even if you try."
Little Children builds in suspense as Todd and Sarah's relationship consumes them and as the child
molester's demons threaten to overpower him. One fears for the children of the book's title, not so
much because of the threat posed by the sex offender in their midst, but because of the harm their
own parents' bad decisions may cause. It is a powerful book, worthy of the read.
An Eye for Murder
Libby Fischer Hellmann
Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN: 042518739X $6.50 322 pages
Documentary filmmaker Ellie Foreman's interest is piqued when she learns that an elderly
Ben Sinclair, has died in a Chicago boarding house leaving a scrap of paper with her name on it
among his possessions. Ellie's attempts to understand the deceased's interest in her, beginning with
meeting with the dead man's landlady, lead her into a much larger mystery: Sinclair's death is
somehow connected with Nazi-era intrigue and Chicago politics, an illicit love affair, and more
one murder. While tracing Sinclair's steps on her own time, Ellie is hired to produce a campaign
for a senatorial candidate, the scion of a long-dead Chicago steel magnate, who may have
of her own to conceal. Ellie's work on the campaign dovetails neatly into her private
and she finds herself in increasingly hot water the closer she gets to the truth Sinclair had been
to unravel before his death.
Libby Hellmann's An Eye for Murder is the first in a series of mysteries featuring filmmaker Ellie
Foreman. It's a good read with a rather complex plot that, however, can become confusing if one
isn't paying strict attention. In Ellie Hellmann has created a likable protagonist with an interesting
circle of friends and family: Ellie, the divorced mother of a twelve-year-old daughter, has a fiscally
irresponsible ex-husband, an unusually but charmingly devoted gardener, a cigar-smoking
of a father, and, as we see blooming in this first book in the series, a love interest in the person of
fifty-something David Linden. Hellmann saddles Ellie with some unfortunate vices: she has a
of kleptomania, and it is hinted that she makes occasional use of drugs (not to mention alcohol
tobacco). In future installments these imperfections may serve to round out her character, but in
present book they seemed tacked on rather than organic. I will be interested to read future books
the series to see how Ellie develops, and how her ostensibly safe career as a documentarian
her in new difficulties.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
ISBN: 0375423214 $15.95 133 pages
When they're not belting out a lusty sea shanty or arguing about the best way to prepare ham,
nothing pirates like more than a rousing adventure. Happily, that's just what's in store for the
Captain and his shipful of variously monikered pirates--the scarf-wearing pirate, the pirate with an
accordion, the ill-fated balding archeologist pirate--when they bump into Charles Darwin and his
trained monkey Mr. Bobo in the South Pacific. Together, Darwin and the pirates sail off to
to combat the Bishop of Oxford, an evil-mustachioed villain with a diabolical scheme involving
grisly murder of numerous circus-going women. The Pirate Captain may be an unusually gullible
scofflaw, and--how to put this nicely--he's not the sharpest cutlass in the drawer, but his peculiar
combination of hirsute manliness, keen introspection ("Damn my piratical nature!"), and roguish je
ne sais quoi may be just the thing needed to defeat the Oxfordian knave.
Gideon Defoe's exuberant The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists purports to be an account
down some 150 years ago by the debonair Pirate Captain himself--so the Captain's note to readers
(specifically, negligee-clad, nineteen-year-old readers) on the back of the book alleges. (Careful
readers may doubt the account's historicity, though, given its frequent anachronisms - references
Murder, She Wrote, for example, and Cocoa Puffs. I'll leave it to readers to nitpick.) It comes
complete with the occasional footnote, some of the entries very odd indeed: "Black looks best on
persons who have black in their features (hair, eyes, brows, and lashes), although black can be
by most people for very dramatic occasions." There is also a handful of helpful questions for
discussion in the back of the book. (For example, number seven: "Scientifically speaking, who do
you think the tallest pirate in the world is?")
If it's not clear enough by now, Defoe's Pirates is a hilarious read filled with some extremely
writing. Not for nothing has Monty Python's Eric Idle blurbed it as "destined to become a classic
pirate comic fiction." You'll want to read this one.
Debra Hamel, Reviewer
Lessons from the Gypsy Camp
Scribes Valley Publishing
6824 Drybrook Lane, Knoxville, TN 37921
ISBN: 0974265217 $20.95
Ten-year old Lolly Candolin has decided to rebel. Either her father stops drinking, or she's cutting
Her father, lawyer Regan Candolin, doesn't care much for Lolly's ultimatum, and after she cuts her
hair, he forces her to wear an itchy, wool cap over the mess she's made on her head. But that's not
all. A firm believer in consequences, the unlikable Candolin forces Lolly to accompany him to the
levee, where he proceeds to dump her old, best-friend cat.
At times disturbing, perhaps because of its realistic voyeurism into a home wrought with
and mean-spiritedness, Lessons from the Gypsy Camp is riveting.
So it was at the Johnsons' that she realized she could eat her entire dinner without having to force
food down between knots in her throat. That night, when her mother came into her bedroom to
her prayers, Lolly knelt and made the Sign of the Cross. "In the name of the Father, and of the
and of the Holy Ghost. God bless Mama and Daddy and Bo and me. And God, please let us have
dinners like they do at the Johnsons' and have Daddy talk to me at the table." She blessed herself
crawled into bed.
"Your daddy is who he is and nothing's going to change him." Her mother leaned over and
her into her arms. Lolly twined her mother's hair around her finger and breathed in her scents of
Estee Lauder and Kent cigarettes. "I don't want to change him. I just want him to talk to
"Don't bother with those kinds of prayers, Lolly. God made your daddy. Once the cherry pie
out of the oven, you can't turn it into a lemon meringue."
"Do you love Daddy?" she asked.
Her mother sighed, then said, "Of course."
Lolly liked the feel of her mother's fingers combing through her unbraided hair.
"Do you think he loves you?"
Her mother said, "Yes. But there's two things I want for you, Lolly girl."
"What are they, Mama?"
"I want you to need your own approval before anyone else's, and I want you to be able to take
of yourself in case you ever have to."
"What do you mean?"
"Just that you mustn't be afraid."
Lolly proceeds to look for her cat, Bo, and visits the other side of the levee where all children of
good upbringing are forbid to go - this book's equivalent to the 'other side of the tracks.' While
there, Lolly befriends Tick, a young-girl home-schooled by her healer mother, Sophia.
The other residents of the small trailer park also take a liking to Lolly and add layers to this novel,
which keeps the pages turning. Meet Maltilda and Ducky, a husband and wife who are determined
outdo each other in their threats to kill each other; Bob Bob, a literal giant of a man who never
misses a shot but misses the subtle meanings of life; and Sam, a man in love with Sophia who
cougar, which is Cougarville's secret.
Lolly becomes more involved daily with the residents of Cougarville and discovers more than she
needs to know at ten-years old. She also manages to draw her grandfather into her secret visits
which results in his being wounded by the cougar.
She is horrified and angry at the people of Cougarville, but doesn't realize the full ramifications of
her actions. The sheriff proceeds to kill the cougar; the sheriff is murdered; and Sam is tried for
Lolly discovers more secrets and her knowledge leads her to testify against her father in court as
proceeds to prosecute Sam in the murder of the town's sheriff.
Though the book is fascinating, the prose at times slips to read like a young-adult novel, which
is not. The subjects of alcoholism, cruelty to animals, grudges, revenge, murder and insanity clash
with the storytelling style.
I would not recommend this book for unsophisticated young readers, as the images portrayed are
vivid enough to leave disturbed marks in a child's mind.
On the other hand, I would have liked to seen this story told in a more adult style to fit the adult
sophistication level of the material. Though children today face horrid circumstances, and the
portrayed reveal both the best and worst of humankind, Appel's approach leaves the adult wanting
more; but provides too much too much information for a child to absorb and process without an
educated parent's firm and guided supervision.
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
http://www.thomasnelson.com/ (615) 902-2704
ISBN 0849943736 $21.99
I am a columnist for Faithwriters Magazine as well as the Editor in Chief for Sisters in the Lord
Magazine, and as part of those jobs, I look for good reading material that engages the mind and
challenges the reader to pursue a relationship with our Creator. I ran across Dekker's work two
years ago when I searched for "Christian Fiction" on the Internet. A couple reviews piqued my
interest, and I bought the second book in his "Martyr's Song" trilogy, titled "When Heaven
That first book served to build in myself an obsession to read all of Dekker's books, and I
bought all that were available at the time. I've yet to be disappointed.
Dekker writes for the average individual and targets his books at a secular audience. He's received
both good and bad reviews for doing so. I happen to applaud his courage and insight into man's
psyche and his ability to enthrall even the most jaded reader. Perhaps a reader won't immediately
out and become a born-again Christian, but at all levels, a reader will have his heart touched and a
seed is planted that develops an urge to want more.
Dekker's style in each book is to capture the reader from the first page and not let up until the
So far, all his books have left me gasping at the end and obsessed to seek more.
Since the year 2000, author Ted Dekker has had eleven books published. An amazing
accomplishment by itself, but currently, he also has all three of his Circle Trilogy books on the
Christian Booksellers Association bestseller list.
No one can quite figure out what genre he's writing in, though. Is it fiction, fantasy, science
thriller, mystery, Christian fiction? He's crossed genres in all of his books and perhaps that's what
makes his work so appealing.
OBSESSED is Dekker's eleventh book, which combines mystery with a huge dose of suspense;
historical fiction with compelling characters; and a quiet introduction to the true power and
of love. OBSESSED has something for everyone.
It begins in 1973 with young real-estate broker, Stephen Friedman, whose mother disappeared
the Holocaust. He's a brilliant moneymaker, living a quiet lifestyle and seems content until a phone
call propels him into a madcap race to discover a treasure, his past, and possibly the love of his
OBSESSED takes the reader on a journey into two eras with alternating storylines. In 1973,
Stephen's quest to discover the truth of his past and recover a treasure pits him against villain
Braun, the offspring of Gerhard Braun, an SS Officer during the Holocaust.
Scenes from 1944-45 at the work camp Toru¤ (Thorn), in Germany (now Poland) tell the stories
Stephen's mother, Martha, and her friend, Ruth as they struggle to survive and keep their children
alive while under the evil power of Gerhard Braun. Both women are pregnant, a condition that
them in peril. Between them, they are able to ensure the survival of their children: Stephen,
son; and Esther, Ruth's daughter.
The wit and courage of Martha and Ruth reach across a generation and instigate a pursuit to fulfill
the promises of hope and defeat the power of evil on one hand; and on the other, a pursuit to
destroy hope and defeat the power of good.
Stephen discovers that his biological mother, Martha, may have lived near him for many years,
though he never knew her; they were separated after the war, never to be reunited. Her death sets
into motion both Stephen's quest to find one of the treasured Stones of David and recover his
and Roth Braun's mission to recover not only a journal of the torturous games of his father, but
the power he feels has been drained from his family by the cleverness of Ruth and Martha.
Braun is disturbing, perhaps more so than the fictional Hannibal Lecter. He is obsessed with
regaining a power that can only be fueled by drinking the blood of the offspring of the women his
father guarded in Germany almost thirty years ago. Right before he kills them.
As Stephen races to retrieve the stone, his obsession grows to encompass the mysterious Esther.
Could she be alive? Are they meant to be together? Are they the true Stones of David?
Dekker is a master at creating suspense with his creepy villains and boy/girl next-door heroes.
Stephen is not athletic, his reasoning is skewed at times, and his courage is pulled from the depths
his being. As his obsession leads him into dangerous territory, a battle for his life and for others,
questions of exactly how is he going to prevail keeps the pages turning. The touches of humor in
OBSESSED are a new device used by Dekker. But it works.
OBSESSED explores the question, "how far would you go" to retrieve a treasure? To discover
past? To find the love of your life? To protect the ones you love? To seek revenge on the ones
The theme in OBSESSED mirrors that in many of Dekker's books - the obsessive actions of a
person in pursuit of his heart's desire, be that a possession, a person, or a god. Dekker also uses
compelling storyline to introduce readers to the parallel obsession of God in His never-ending
pursuit of human hearts. At the end of OBSESSED, another question begs for an answer: How
will God go to woo our love?
Readers who are unfamiliar with Dekker's work can discover more online at his website, which is
complete with trailers, soundtracks, free book downloads and a reader forum.
For a reader new to Dekker's style, I recommend two books to begin the heart-racing journey and
obsession to read more:
Thr3e - A thriller which is under movie contract
When Heaven Weeps - the 2nd book in the Martyr's Song Trilogy. Start with the second book,
read the first, followed by the third.
All books by Dekker:
The Circle Trilogy: Black, Red, White
Blessed Child (with Bill Bright)
A Man Called Blessed (with Bill Bright)
The Martyr's Song Trilogy: Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, The Thunder of Heaven
I had an opportunity to interview Dekker about OBSESSED, and for those interested, it is
online at http://www.handsforhope.com/Obsessed-Dekker-Review.htm.
Your Father's Voice: Letters for Emmy About Life with Jeremy and Without Him After 9/11
Lyz Glick and Dan Zegart
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
ISBN: 0312319215 $22.95
Lyz Glick, a self-described "single-married person," chose to write a series of letters to her
Emerson, about Jeremy Glick: husband, father, and fighter a hero who died on September 11,
2001, as one of the passengers on Flight 93.
Brutally honest, Lyz Glick and writer, Dan Zegart, create more than a book filled with letters to
Glick's daughter, Emerson, or "Emmy." Emmy, and readers around the world, will come to know
man who is both common and exceptional. Glimpses into the past, told by friends, family and his
wife, show Glick's growth from precocious child to courageous man.
Emmy was not quite three-months old when her father and other passengers of Flight 93 became
icons of courage in modern American history.
As Emmy learns about her father's past, from childhood to adulthood, readers also come to know
Jeremy Glick, his wife, his extended family and friends.
Poignant, funny, wry, and sad, Your Father's Voice, is an intimate portrait of a special man whose
past prepared him for the events on 9/11, an infamous day carved forever into American
Your Father's Voice is not a book to enjoy, but rather one to absorb.
This is a story of how the common man can rise with honor and sacrifice self to fight against evil.
Jeremy Glick, in these letters to his daughter, is such a man a man who became one of God's
Lyz Glick and Zegart, through Your Father's Voice, allows those of us who watched helplessly as
events played out on 9/11 to believe in heroes and hold them close in our hearts.
Laced with humor, sadness, anger, curiosity and more, this book of letters is also an account of
process Mrs. Glick was forced to partake in as a surviving widow, or "single-married person," as
Though the details are sometimes gruesome, at the same time, they are important to not only Lyz
Glick, but to readers as well. Because of her tenacity, the world can also take a step forward
healing by putting to rest questions about that ugly day.
Your Father's Voice is not a sugarcoated account of Jeremy Glick's life. We meet Glick as he
was an ordinary man made extraordinary through his choices in life, and in death.
About the Authors: LYZ GLICK teaches at Berkeley College in New York. DAN ZEGART is a
journalist whose work has won him several awards. He lives in Titusville, New Jersey, with his
INTERVIEW WITH LYZ GLICK - NOVEMBER 2004
Now that Your Father's Voice is published, what, if anything, would you like to add?
Mrs. Glick: Tough question. I think Your Father's Voice accurately portrays where I am today in
terms with my acceptance of Jeremy's death. I am still learning from him and still feel him near to
in so many ways. Emmy continues to grow and when she asks I tell her stories about her father.
However, her knowledge of the events of September 11th is still very basic.
You wrote about the advice of a friend who said to get up immediately and don't stay in bed.
words of advice would you give to someone who is suddenly widowed?
Mrs. Glick: To take each moment as it comes. I feel best when I live in the moment, not worrying
about the future or mourning the past. Take care of yourself, physically, emotionally and
How would you like to see this book used?
Mrs. Glick: I was touched to see how my book brought a sense of peace surrounding September
11th to you. My hope is that it will bring healing from a personal perspective to those either
or not directly affected by September 11th. I hope my words and my story bring comfort and
strength to those who have experience or will experience loss.
The picture on the back of the book looks like Jeremy is looking into the future, perhaps praying.
What was he looking at?
Mrs. Glick: That has actually been a secret up to now -- because he really looks like he is thinking
deeply and contemplating life, doesn't he? On a much lighter note however, he is looking with
disgust at the spider webs which have accumulated on the porch ceiling.
How did the collaboration with Dan Zegart come about?
Mrs. Glick: I was introduced to Dan through my literary agent Bob Mecoy. I felt a natural
with Dan immediately. He is a great listener and obviously a very talented writer. As a father, with
daughter Emmy's age, he was able to capture my voice perfectly.
How long did it take to write this book?
Mrs. Glick: I started work on this book in the spring of 2002. I brought Dan in a few months
So I guess about two years.
I was struck by the many ceremonies you attended and the ever-present presence of the media.
advice would you like to give the planners of ceremonies and the media when intruding into a
Mrs. Glick: I feel that media events and public ceremonies are for the public and do not
reflect the needs of grieving families. Respecting privacy is number one. I have met many
who were very respectful of my privacy and others who were overly aggressive and pushy. For
months I hand reporters knocking on my door uninvited. Personally, I preferred to be contacted
mail. Then it was up to me whether or not I wanted to call back and I could do so at a time that
convenient for me.
What's new with you and Emmy?
Mrs. Glick: We just celebrated Halloween. Emmy was Pocahontas. I still have my ups and downs
but watching Emmy grow and learn always lifts my spirits. As she grows, I see so much of Jeremy
her and that is very beautiful for me.
Treasure Forest, Book I of The Forest Inside Trilogy.
Namaste Publishing Inc.
P.O. Box 62084, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6J 4A3
ISBN: 0968236480 $24.75
A riddle, a wise-woman, mystical acorns and a hermit all are part of the mysterious journey a
grandmother entrusts to her grandchildren Ben and Sara.
Grandma Daphne has died, and her Will includes secret letters and instructions to her daughter
children. Daphne's greatest wish is for the family to live in her house adjacent to the Forest for
year, during which time she hopes Ben and Sara's tasks will lead their mother and father into the
forest to find "the dearest freshness deep down inside."
First in a trilogy, author Cat Bordhi has set the stage for an ongoing adventure-quest acted out by
Ben and Sara. Ben is a new teenager, with Sara close on his hills. Together, their special skills and
knowledge, taught them by Grandmother Daphne, work towards the ultimate understanding of
In this first book, young Sara turns up missing after a visit to the Forest. The characters
to complete this storyline are each interesting.
Daggett, a hermit who lives on the other side of the pond in the Forest and communes with ravens
Esther, a woman of wizardly skills who continues Daphne's story for Sara.
Rupert, an old friend of Daphne's, confined to a wheelchair and the owner of Matthias, the
three-legged bloodhound Ben loves.
Thea, Rupert's daughter, who, with Matthias, joins the search for Sara, and trusts the instincts of
Archie, another friend of Daphne's.
Lily, Ben and Sara's mother, who is frightened of the Forest.
Peter, the father of Ben and Sara, who learns his children know more about the universe than he
Mystery surrounds each character and object in the book, from how to retrieve a treasure from
beneath the pond without disturbing the water to the mystical qualities of seven, specially carved
acorns. One of the seven acorns is in the wrong hands. Why does Daggett live in the Forest? Why
Lily afraid of the Forest?
One of the numerous unique story elements is a tree-house knitted from rope. Ben learns this skill
from Rupert, and he uses it to help his mother continue to knit a special pair of socks for the
Listed as Young Adult Fiction, "Treasure Forest" is an adventure suitable for adult readers,
CAUTION: Parents should know that dangerous situations are described in detail in "Treasure
Forest," such as falling into quicksand, escaping it, but liking it enough to want to do it again;
rope to climb steep cliffs, and venturing into areas the fictional parents told their children not to
I recommend for parents to read the book first and decide whether their child is mature enough to
not go out and attempt any of the adventures described in the book. Though the information, if
properly absorbed can save a life, please make sure your child is mature enough to apply the
information with common sense.
That caution aside, the book is fascinating, the characters well drawn, and the setting one of
secrets to discover.
About the Author: http://www.catbordhi.com/index.html
Interview with Cat Bordhi, Author of Treasure Forest, Book I of The Forest Inside Trilogy
Dian: There are many elements in this first book of "The Forest Inside" trilogy. Can you share
of your inspiration for
a. The knitted tree-house
Cat Bordhi: I love trees - and spent hours and hours in them as a child. I am a knitter as well,
actually a knit designer and author, and it was natural for me to segue from knitting into knitting a
tree house. It turns out to be a profoundly practical method of making a tree house which goes up
and down quickly, does not harm the tree, and is very safe because it involves no nails or
and you can cling to it anywhere with fingers or toes.
b. The seven acorns
Cat Bordhi: The tree I spent the most time in as a child was a California Live oak, with wonderful
acorns. They always seemed magical to me - and still do.
c. The mystical Esther and who or what she represents:
Cat Bordhi: Esther just appeared. She represents the wisdom that comes from being old enough
have lived many lives and also old enough to be unattached to appearances, ideas, or other
in the ego's struggle. I did not invent her or think about her - she just "is".
Dian: Some of the situations Ben finds himself in are dangerous, and he gets into these situations
disobeying his parents. Young Adults will appreciate the small rebellions, but parents may be
concerned, especially with the explicit scenes about the quicksand and using rope to climb the
forbidden cliffs. With this in mind, what advice do you have for your young readers and their
Cat Bordhi: This is a good question, one which my brother asked me after reading the book as
I grew up in a large family and also spent a decade as a school teacher, so am very familiar with
mischief and children's fondness of trying the "forbidden". The last thing I would want is for
to become harmed through reading my book, but I feel I have been very careful to safeguard
such things. The information about quicksand is accurate and who knows, it may save a life
sometime if a reader knows to relax and not struggle. I do feel that the level of misbehavior the
get into is very realistic, and in my opinion, realism offers parents and children a good forum for
discussion. It is much safer to talk about what happens to characters in a book than to have your
child try things out him or herself; my hope is that the book acts as a caution to children in certain
Dian: Daggett is a complex character. Did you have a role-model for Daggett and will he have a
larger role in subsequent books?
Cat Bordhi: My role-model for Daggett comes from several places. One, Ishi, the last Yahi
and the subject of many books, this Rousseau-like man of nature also inspires Daggett as a boy
when he discovers Ishi's artifacts in a museum in San Francisco. The other model for Daggett is
darker and not directly mentioned - and this is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. I do consider
Daggett to be "Everyman", the seemingly "bad" person who is in truth deeply good. Yes, Daggett
will have a large role in both remaining books. In the prequel he will be a pivotal character -
appearing as a youth along with the other older characters of Treasure Forest, also appearing in
youth. In the sequel Daggett will surprise you with what happens to him as he must continue his
"homeless" and far away from his kingdom of nature.
Dian: Have you knitted your own tree house?
Cat Bordhi: I have knitted several. In fact, if you go to my web site, catbordhi.com, you will find
photos and directions and also several very detailed interviews with me about the book.
Dian: Where did the phrase, "the dearest freshness deep down inside" originate?
Cat Bordhi: This phrase comes from Gerard Manley Hopkins, the poet, from the most delicious
poem, "God's Grandeur".
Dian: Will all the character introduced in Book I make an appearance in Book II?
Cat Bordhi: All the main characters, including Matthias the bloodhound, will appear in all three
Dian: This book is a journey of discovery into our inner-man and the intertwining spirits of all
creatures. Readers will absorb the meanings in this story based partly on their own spirituality,
understanding of fantasy and other things you have no control over. Ultimately, what is the
you wish your readers to take away from the book?
Cat Bordhi: My wish is that readers awaken from their time with my book with two things. One, a
feeling that cannot be put into words, a feeling that the world is good and life is good and that the
dearest freshness deep down things is indeed in all things and all beings. Two, I hope that readers
find themselves experiencing life with a greater innocence and faith in themselves and others, that
they notice that which is "invisible" yet powerfully felt in other people is of enormous value and
worthy of love and respect. And I wish to bring people's awareness to nature more than it may be
now. Again, thank you for the opportunity.
Dian: Thanks so much for sharing your imagination, love for nature and for re-awakening the
Kevin Scott Collier
Baker Trittin Press
PO Box 277, Winona Lake, IN 4659
ISBN: 0975288024 $10.95
Through my position as an editor and columnist for Christian publications, I am always looking
good reading material for all ages. I happened upon author Kevin Collier quite by accident when I
saw the title listed on a new releases publication. Intrigued by the name of the book, and the
of heaven going high-tech, I sent for the book. I was charmed. Though written for the
middle-school-aged child (tweener), BARTHPENN@HEAVEN.ORG strikes a chord in the adult
heart as well.
Ten-year old Jordan Mink accidentally receives an email from Bartholomew Pennington (Bart), an
Angel who lives on Cloud 9. Jordan writes back, and Bart is in deep trouble for breaking the
confidentiality of Heaven. To avoid exposure he agrees to correspond with Jordan, and the story
unfolds, told entirely in emails.
I recommend that people of all ages read this small book with a big message. Better yet, all ages
should read this book together, as a family, with friends, and in school. Yes, in a public
Without preaching, Collier has created a masterpiece of communication full of vivid details, which
appear in the reader's mind through short, web-ese emails.
By the end of the story, I was amazed, and touched, to realize I had finished a story of remarkable
Kindness, good deeds and learning the importance of empathy are explored, and Collier shows
through this story how our actions cause ripples in the ocean of human life, affecting ourselves
the people we come to know. The importance of love and friendships without judging one another
are illustrated as Jordan interacts with his family, schoolmates and an angel who also has a lesson
My interest in this author grew, and I wanted to know more about him and his inspiration for this
unique book. He agreed to an interview, and I've included it below for those who are interested in
Collier also writes and illustrates two online stories on www.tweenertime.com, The Adventures of
Tommy Tweener" and "Esther's Channel." He designs all the graphics and illustrations.
Interview with Kevin Scott Collier, author of BARTHPENN@HEAVEN.ORG
Interviewed by Dian Moore
Q. What was your inspiration for a book written entirely in e-mail form?
A: It just came to me, from a joke I told a child. He asked me if I prayed to God, and I responded,
"No, I email him instead!" Then, the wheels in my head started turning. I started seeing the entire
concept in my head, of a book that is both inspirational, and tech oriented for children.
Q. What is your ultimate dream - your hopes from the publication of this book?
A: To inspire children. To reach out and make people think, both young and old. I'm not in it for
fame or fortune, I'm on a pathway my creator has put me on. This is about using my gifts for a
Q. When did you begin to write, and what types of things did you write?
A: I actually began as an artist, at age 5. But, with the creation of characters, stories had to be
so writing was a natural companion to illustration. I mainly created, wrote, and illustrated Super
Heroes, and made my own comic books which I sold to neighborhood kids. I pretty much had my
own humble little publishing company by age 13.
Q. Tell us a little of your background - where you grew up, family composition, hobbies and
A: I was born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan in 1957. It was a foundry town, my dad worked
an automotive pattern maker, and mom was a full time mother raising us five kids; I have 3
1 sister. I was really into art as a kid, cartooning in particular, and still am today. I have a lot of
strange and dangerous hobbies, like Parasailing and Sand Boarding to name a few. My family has
cottage on a lake, we pull a parachute behind our powerboat, and go sailing up to 500 feet in the
I have a few surfboards I surf down huge sand dunes with too, some hills as high as 10 stories.
had a few mishaps there! I love to ride my mountain bike everywhere too, and average 1,500 -
miles a year recreational biking.
Q. Will there be a sequel to Barthpenn?
A: The ending of the book is set up to lead to a sequel, and my publisher, Baker Trittin Press has
opened the door for one. We're just going to see how much impact it has before I begin a second
one. And, I have many other books for them in the works, so I'd like to get out new things before
something I've done.
Q. How about a book for adults, in the same format - would you do one? If so, why, and if no,
A: Actually, "email@example.com", and all of my upcoming titles, are for parents, too. My
publisher is aware of this, and supports the concept. It's a way to reach and touch kids and adults
more of a blanket audience. My next book, "Esther's Channel", on the surface, looks like a little
about a turtle and her friends, but it's really about adult behavior that unites and divides us.
Q. When determining what type of job an angel might hold, how did you come up with the
A: It all sort of fell into place. Heaven was going to be shaken up with a breach in security, and
there has to be an angelic food chain as well, different levels all trying to manage a crisis. It's
whimsical! I think the funniest part is Bart the angel's superiors (St. Andrew and St. Hawthorne)
trying to keep the "misguided email" sent to Jordon Mink a secret of sorts from God Almighty.
Yeah, right! God knew this all was going to happen before any of it did!
Q. Who is the inspiration for Jordan's character?
A: It's me, but I didn't do it intentionally. My wife says I drew so much on my past that Jordon
became me. I did have a situation when I was 16, where I had a burst appendix, and spent a
in the hospital. I almost died, and I was very spiritual, and felt I had a guardian angel there
Q. Feel free to talk at length about anything you would like readers of this book to know.
A: There are a lot of messages in BART (as I call the book), but perhaps the best message is to
never make negative assumptions. There are so many situations in the book where assumptions
made about others that turn out to be totally wrong. Get to KNOW others. Negative assumptions
caused Jordon to misjudge Mr. Baxter, the elderly man with Alzheimer's disease, and a
of Brandon's character (Jordon's friend) nearly cost the two their friendship. It isn't until we get to
know others, and use compassion and wisdom and hope as our guide, do others begin to unfold
us in our lives. You really begin to see what life is all about when your heart becomes your eyes.
And, we all affect one another, and influence others. It's like they book says, "by the end of our
we become a collection of everyone who ever loved us." You will miss out on many good people
misjudging them or making assumptions.
February 2005 News about firstname.lastname@example.org
"BART" WINS CRAIG'S CHOICE AWARD
"barthpenn @heaven.org" has been chosen the as the February 2005 book of the month by Craig
Hart's ChristianLit magazine website. The first place award recognition notes: "(It) is the first
juvenile fiction book chosen for the Craig's Choice Award."
The Valley of Cancer: a Journey of Comfort and Hope
Belleville, ON. (no longer in business)
ISBN 1553060229 $10.95
Cancer. The word itself is ominous and strikes terror in our hearts. Today, it's not uncommon for
people in North America to know someone who has or had cancer, have it themselves, or had a
family member suffer from it.
A diagnosis of cancer means many things to different people, but often it does not immediately
conjure a feeling of hope.
In "THE VALLEY OF CANCER: A JOURNEY OF COMFORT AND HOPE," author Angelina
Fast-Vlaar has given to the world a gift of hope. It is her "prayer that this sharing of my journey
be a means of "calling back" to you to encourage you, whatever your valley may hold."
The small volume is arranged to document the 17 months of Fast-Vlaar's journey, beginning with
diagnosis in July 1997 to remission of the cancer in November 1998.
Then entries are excerpts from her journal, beginning with what her condition that month is, then
proceeding to reflection, a poem, a place of understanding. As Fast-Vlaar states in the conclusion,
the entries themselves sometimes inspired hope as a thought, scripture or poem was brought to
mind. In reading the different chapters, the reader also takes the journey and experiences a
The format is unusual as it is not a memoir or in-depth story of a woman's life after being
with colon cancer. Instead, it is a personal dialogue between the author and God, the author and
herself, the author and her family, and finally, the author and the readers.
I watched my mother travel in the dark valley of cancer over a period of two years, and I wish I
had this work to share with her during that time. To know she was not alone in the moments of
darkness, and to encourage her to find the peace in her heart.
As a reviewer, I normally read a book with an analytical approach as to its overall value in
writing skill, entertainment value, life-application, and ultimately reach a conclusion of whether I
This review process was different. From the first page, I was enthralled, emotionally attached to
work as I wept, laughed and finally rejoiced. I have been blessed from reading this book. Though
mother did not survive her battle with cancer, I was comforted that hope springs eternal through a
woman I've never met.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who has cancer, fears getting cancer, has a loved one
cancer or is just curious. And along with reading the book, I encourage the reader to also journal,
taking inspiration from a survivor who wishes to "call-back" to you.
Books may be purchased through the author's website at
About the Author: Angelina Fast-Vlaar is a cancer survivor, teacher and writer. She has a new
Seven Angels for Seven Days, scheduled to be released in late Spring/05. It won The Word
"Best New Canadian Author" award!
Interview with Angelina Fast-Vlaar:
Q. It's been almost eight years since you received the diagnosis that you had colon cancer. I'm
thrilled you are here today as a survivor and thankful that you shared your journey with us in The
Valley of Cancer: A Journey of Comfort and Hope. What was the defining moment that caused
to publish this book of personal journaling, poetry, and vignettes of your time of treatment and
AFV: There were several defining moments that prompted the publishing of The Valley of
wrote "Glory for Jane" for a friend experiencing the hair loss disaster at the same time I did. She
deeply touched and encouraged by the piece and that gave me the first indication that my
could be of help to others. I sent "Easter" to a friend with terminal cancer. It arrived on the day he
went to glory. Again, the family was deeply touched not only that I shared but that it should arrive
on the day they so much needed this vision of entering heaven.
The most defining moment came into the eighth month of chemotherapy treatments when I
so ill I thought I might not make it. My reading was in Psalm 118 one day. When I read verse 17,
will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done..." it was as if the words were
aloud directly to me - a promise that I would live and a task to tell others what the Lord had done
for me in the form of a book.
Q. May I ask how your health is today?
AFV: My health today is good. The last check-up showed I'm still completely cancer free! I do
have the energy I used to have, but we learn to adjust to that.
Q. At times the book is both poignant and hopeful, such as "The Dance," where you describe
dancing with your granddaughter and her delight in the new hair that's growing back. Your
then joins you and helps shape the hair, and you are admired as once you admired the new growth
on newborn babes. Tell us how that moment defined hope for you.
AFV: That moment remains such a precious memory! The room tingled with joy and hope that
night; the walls echoed giggling and laughter. My "newborn fuzz" was a sign of healing! Just as
head was "healed" of baldness, so my body could be healed of cancer. Life and love would
Q. Cancer changes people, as you noted in the epilogue. Now, a few years later, what other
have you experienced because of your journey through that valley of cancer?
AFV: My activities have changed. They are now much more cancer-patient focused: visiting,
encouraging, writing, and, yes, being at death-beds. I've spent the last two years visiting, among
others, a dear neighbor as she battled lung-cancer. We spent precious hours together; I heard her
life-story; she gave her heart to the Lord. A few hours before she died, I spent time softly stroking
her, telling her to let go, the angels would soon come and take her Home. I miss her. I am the one
who is blessed by these encounters with brave souls who have made peace with God and with
Q. Have you thought of adding to the book, or perhaps writing a sequel? I noticed it is on its third
printing as of November 2004, and that you post new information on your website.
AFV: After finishing Seven Angels for Seven Days, I feel "nudged" to write a devotional book.
quite a sequel to The Valley of Cancer but it will include experiences after cancer. It seems like a
monumental task to write 365 pages but ideas keep coming and I keep scribbling. It'll be in the
vein as the other books: finding a message in the circumstances God has placed us. The theme for
this new "work-in-progress" is, "In the shelter of His presence."
Q. A term you used, "call-back," refers to an action or feeling of a cancer survivor who calls back
those newly diagnosed to not give up hope, that they are there on the other side. This described
"Valley of Cancer" in a nutshell. Would you elaborate more on calling back?
AFV: The term, "calling back," originates in a poem printed in Streams in the Desert (Compiled
Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman). It embodies the idea of encouraging each-other. "Tell me how it was for
you and that will encourage me to keep going." We see ourselves in other people's stories and
truth and encouragement. I met a friend at the cancer clinic who said, "Angie, all my hair fell out
over the week-end and I cried my eyes out. But that was all right because I knew you also
Q. You stated in the beginning of "Valley" that friends and family encouraged you to publish this
book, taken mostly from your journaling during that time. How much of the book is from those
journals, and how did journaling help you through your journey?
AFV: All the titled pieces in the book appear just as I wrote them in my journal except for some
minor editing. The pages that describe what took place each month are many journal entries
condensed to one page.
Journaling became my "out" during the long year of therapy treatments. Too ill to get up and
bored, I'd reach for my notebook and just start writing. It was mostly telling the Lord exactly how
was feeling. I wrote short sentences because I was too tired to write long ones! Short sentences
and added title creates a poem more or less! I soon realized the writing was God's gift to me - to
help me pass the time as I played with words, to record what I was feeling, to pray on paper, to
meaning in the suffering and to receive encouragement!
Q. What are you working on now?
AFV: I'm very excited about my new book, Seven Angels for Seven Days, scheduled to be
in late spring of this year. It won the "Best New Canadian Author" award. The publisher is Castle
Quay Books (connected with Augsburg Fortress Publishers.) The book tells another personal
"saga." An exciting journey into the Australian outback desert takes a drastic turn and catapults
into a desert of a different kind. Strangers come to minister to me, as I envision angels
Q. Finally - say anything you like - a blurb about your upcoming book; a plug for cancer
the page is open for you.
AFV: Today as I watched Oprah, [Feb. 10, 2005] two cancer patients received a wedding shower
and a trip to Australia. It touched me so that with tears in my eyes I proclaimed to my husband
a new charity needs to be founded: "Make an Adult Smile!"
We can all do something on a smaller scale: give a coupon for a facial, a massage, a dinner out, a
weekend away, an offer to baby sit, clean the house, etc. etc. etc.
I just received a phone call. Another friend, a beautiful husband and father, just heard the
news - colon cancer gone to the liver and lungs. So very sad. Especially so because a colonoscopy
time may have prevented it all!
Thank you for sharing this story with the world. I believe every cancer patient should have a
Dian Moore, Reviewer
The DaVinci Code
Doubleday, div of Random House
1745 Broadway; New York, NY
ISBN: 0385504209 $24.95 454 pp.
The curator of the Louvre Museum is murdered. He leaves a cryptic message that leads his
granddaughter (a gifted French cryptologist) and an American expert in religious symbology on a
hunt to understand the curator's last message and the hidden details buried in Leonardo DaVinci's
The prize they seek is a collection of ancient documents that will reveal the real history of the
prophet Jesus: that he was married to Mary Magdalene. Following his death Mary came to France
protect the child of Jesus, named Sarah. The documents list the children of Sarah and list her
descendants who became the first members of the Merovingian blood line of French royalty. The
collection of documents and the bones of Mary Magdalene are known by another name, the Holy
Browns' The DaVinci Code is a fast paced adventure of two people who are running to stay one
step ahead of a religious fanatic assassin. The story resolves itself when Sophie (the cryptologist)
discovers why her parents were killed and discovers she has a surviving brother.
The Grail story is based on the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln.
1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza; New York, NY 10017
ISBN: 0440036623 $24.95; 387 pp. plus 77 pp. appendices & Index.
There are, living among us, lineal direct descendants of Jesus of Nazareth. These descendants
the genetic markers of the prophet Jesus and his wife Mary Magadalene. The authors claim the
church slandered Mary Magdalene (who was not a prostitute) in order to foster the asceticism of
Further, the authors propose that Mary traveled to southern France to protect her child, Sarah.
Direct descendants of Sarah were the progenitors of the royal bloodline of Franch kings. The
authors also propose the Knights Templar brought Solomon's treasure to France and (perhaps)
in a mine in southern France.
The authors also propose that the Priory de Sion has protected the bloodline and the bones of
Magdalene down through the centuries. Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a reference work used by Dan
Brown in writing his novel The DaVinci Code, If you have an interest in the hidden obscure
of the Priory de Sion then this book is a comfortable entry into the mystery.
St. Martin's Paperbacks
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
ISBN: 0312995423 $7.99; 430 pp.
Imagine if you will, a computer generated algorithm with the ability to stifle and bewilder any
anywhere in the world. This algorithm would have the ability to protect the privacy of all
transmissions on the internet. Dan Brown's Digital Fortress proposes that the United States could
build an agency with a computer so powerful that it could decipher any 'Privacy Code' used by
security technicians, unless a 'Digital Fortress' code was developed to thwart that code-breaking
Digital Fortress is a techno-thriller that held my attention with escalating drama and plausible
dangers to the two heroes who are acting to save and preserve the United States' intelligence
computer from a massive and invasive virus. This book is a fast read and an enjoyable thriller.
will enjoy the suspense.
Marty Duncan, Reviewer
No Plot? No Problem!
ISBN 0811845052, $14.95 176 pp.
How you would feel if you were told you could write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days? Would
picture yourself quitting your day job and retreating to some log cabin to write it? Could you see
your name on the New York Times Bestseller list? Well, in Chris Baty's new book "No Plot? No
Problem!," the author explains just how the seemingly impossible goal is attainable.
Baty is the founder of the National Novel Writing Month challenge (NaNoWriMo), where
from the polished author to the newbie is given the task of writing a novel in 30 days. The book
serves as a step-by-step guide on how to achieve the goal. Why is the writer only given 30 days?
because people seem to work better when deadlines are established. Baty explains: " most of us
become "one day" novelists. As in, 'One day, I'd really like to write a novel.' The problem is that
day never seems to come, and so we're stuck. Or we were stuck, anyway. Because as far as
deadlines go, this book comes with a doozy."
What about the person who hasn't a clue about novel writing? Not a problem. Baty shows you
to get started by developing characters, writing what you know or want to know, and
in free range writing without worrying about editing. By the time you're done, you'll have a first
draft of that great American novel you've been promising yourself you'd write. Well, uh, at least
you'll have written an American novel, which is the goal here
anyway. The editing phase and getting published are a whole different ball game. So if you're just
writing a novel just to say you've written one or to get a major publishing deal like a few of the
NaNoWriMo participants have done, there's something in this book for you.
"No Plot? No Problem!" is filled with sound advice on how to write the first draft of a novel, even
you don't adhere to the 30-day rule. Baty's humorous writing style makes reading the book a fun
way to learn all about the writing process without necessarily taking the task too seriously. So if
you're interested in writing a novel just for the hell of it or to sign that two-book deal with a major
publisher, this book is great desk reference to help you get started.
We the Media
ISBN 596007337, $24.95 304 pp.
Weblogs (online web pages written in diary-format often called blogs) are one of the latest trends
Internet technology. Blogs can be written by an incredibly diverse group of people, including
consumer products advocates, political supporters, and corporate public relations people. In "We
Media," San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor discusses how grassroots journalism has
gained momentum, especially due to weblogging.
From the introduction of the book, it is clear that the author believes that "tomorrow's news
reporting and production will be more of a conversation, or a seminar." The technology behind
allows that conversation to take place, particularly the comments section that allows readers to
input and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that allows readers to pick and choose the subject
they want to read about. Even though there is a down side to consider (trolls, liars, and other
who use the technology maliciously) the tone of this book indicates that Gillmor is a supporter of
"We the Media" is very informative when it discusses history in journalism, the limits of the First
Amendment, and trends in technology, such as WIKI, SMS, and RSS. However, if one was
for a more technical book on how to use this technology, this may not be the book for that
since it gives more of a surface level overview than a deep, technical view. In other words, it is
of a "what is" versus a "how to" book. Though some of the information tends to get repetitive,
book could still serve as a useful guide on the future of grassroots journalism.
Emanuel Carpenter, Reviewer
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
ISBN 0743488008 $25.00
This is Joy Fielding at her very best. I have read this author since the first novel and she continues
show why she is one of the best in the field of suspense novelists. This novel marks a first in that it
takes place in Palm Beach and Canada. Attorney Amanda Travis gets a call telling her that her
mother has been charged with the crime of murder in Canada. She leaves her home in Palm Bach
Florida to confront her mother in jail. She is stunned when her mother admits to the killing and
wants to receive her punishment. Amanda knows there is something beneath the surface and she is
determined to find out what it is. Fielding once again tells her narrative with solid characters and
writing that build to the final surprising ending.
Clear Body Clear Mind
L Ron Hubbard
4751 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029
Phone: (800) 722-1733 Fax: (323) 953-3328
ISBN 1573182249 $14.95 www.bridgepub.com
In death L. Ron Hubbard has become a publishing phenomenon. He died in 1986 at the age of 74,
but Bridge Publications under the banner of Galaxy Publishing continues to pump out copies of
science fiction novels including "Battlefield Earth," The Mission Earth Series," his pulp westerns
and, of course, Dianetics. With this book the late founder of Scientology weighs in with more
for the living. Originally intended to be used in the drug treatment programs, Clear Body Clear
offers advice on how someone can remain youthful and healthy by keeping the body in harmony.
Hubbard discusses such things as running every day to get rid of toxins that build up in the body;
eating the right foods to keep the system well tuned; and keeping a positive mental attitude. He
argues that with a body in good working order, stress can be easily relieved. This book, originally
published in 1990, is back again with a new cover and format of trade paperback. Its information
timelier now as opposed to when it first came out, because our world is more stressed than ever
before. What I liked about this book is that it has a very sensible approach that is easy to
and the information makes a lot more sense than the fad diet programs we have seen come and
Business Daffynitions Humor from the Workplace
ISBN 0964761858 $9.99
I love books like this that are just a lot of fun. Heuer has pulled together a lot of wacky definitions
of terms about jobs, business, bosses, and a lot more, and given new meaning to many things we
frequently say and do everyday. This is a book to take to the office and have fun with co-workers.
The funny thing is that some of his warped definitions are right on target with the way things are
today in our society. Heuer's book is one to laugh out loud and share with others to create lighter
moments for all occasions.
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XX
Edited by Algis Budrys
7051 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 200, Hollywood, CA 90028
ISBN 1592121772 $7.99
When this series began, no one ever believed it would last this long. This twentieth volume shows
that Writers of the Future program will be around for a lot longer. This is the newest installment
continue the yearly collection of novice writers who for the first time get a chance to be published.
Like all other volumes in the series there are also some great editorials by many noted writers in
field of fantasy and science fiction. Some are former contest winners themselves. Galaxy Press
continues to be one of the biggest contributors to the field of science fiction and fantasy and
out the mission author Hubbard set forth to bring new talent to the genre.
Simon Says Dream Live a Passionate Life
Simon T. Bailey
Foreword by Mark Chironna
P. O. Box 150823, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32715-0823
ISBN 0972991204 $15.00
I found this book to be very interesting because it tells that you can do whatever you want to you,
just have to have the imagination to do whatever you want to do. He shows that so many of us do
not use what we have to get where we want. His writing is clear and concise, while he speaks in
simple terms all can understand. Bailey is truly a motivator with a great book that has a lot to say
about getting what you want in life.
James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Warner Books Inc.
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020
ISBN 0446614831 $7.99
So far, this is the best book of the series. The writing is, as always, fast and furious with many
likeable characters. In this one there is an element that makes it different from the first two. One
the four characters of the Women's Murder Club will die before the end of the book. Part of the
was to try to figure which one it is. These are the three professional ladies who in the last two
get together with Detective Lindsay Boxer and give her insight that helps her solve her case.
Patterson is as always a master of this type of book and he shows again why he is so popular. I
forward to seeing the next book in the series where Patterson is teamed with a female writer. It
be interesting to see if that book is as good as the first three that were written by males.
The Acton Principles
American Success Institute
5 North Main Street, Natick MA 01760
ISBN 1884864139 $6.00
This small book is packed with lots of good positive statements on how to have a wonderful life.
There are over 100 different things the author shows on how to have a better life. This is an
inspirational book that is easy to follow and understand.
Hard Case Crime
Dorchester Publishing Co. Inc
200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
ISBN 0843953543 $6.99
I loved this book with a twist and turn mystery that held my interest to the final page. Forensic
psychologist Jake Danser finds he is the center of an investigation into the murder of one of his
patients, even though the police on the case have worked with him before, because all of the
evidence they have points directly to Danser. This is an author who knows how to tell a good
I look forward to seeing other books by this writer.
The Executioner: Poison Justice
ISBN 0373643160 $4.99
Known for so many years as guilty pleasure, reading these books continue to pour out to fans like
myself every couple of months. The stories are written by several authors and detail the
of Mack Bolan who fights terrorists and others in a never-ending war. The books are always good
escapism and this one is one of the best in a long time. In this one there is a radioactive toxin that
Bolan has to shut down before it is set off to cause so much damage and destruction.
Kipton & the Android
Charles L Fontenay
Royal Fireworks Press
First Avenue, PO Box 399, Unionville, NY 10988, USA
845 726-4444 Fax: 845 726-3824
ISBN 0880923830 $7.99 www.royalfireworkspress.com
Now seventeen, Kipton is on another case of murder on the planet Mars in the 8th novel of the
Kipton Chronicles. Fontenay, a master storyteller, has once again combined the best elements of
science fiction with those of the mystery genre in a very fascination story that is filled with
interesting characters like gruff, who helps her solve the puzzling tale. Fontenay has also included
the Asimov Laws of Robotics for the Android character who has confessed to the murder that
up the rest of the novel.
From Sawdust to Stardust
Terry Lee Rioux
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
ISBN 0743457625 $14.00
I enjoyed this biography of one of the most important actors to the show "Star Trek" because
throughout the book, the author is always very positive about DeForest Kelly who played Dr.
McCoy. Unlike other books by the stars of the show where they were ridiculously negative about
certain aspects of the show and movies, this author shows the real DeForest Kelly to be a very
private person as well as an actor who had worked in many genres and types of film before "Star
Trek" Also unlike other actors of the show he never felt or resented being typecast, and loved the
character of Dr. McCoy. I am a Trek fan like most and learned a lot about a very fine actor who is
no longer with us. The author's work is a tribute to the man who made the character so much fun
The Mocking Program
Alan Dean Foster
Warner Books, Inc.
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 044661307X $6.99 312 pages
Foster creates worlds. In 'The Mocking Program,' Foster brings the reader into the foreseeable
future. The region along the border between Mexico and the US has become the industrial
powerhouse for the North American continent. The 'Strip,' from the Pacific to the Caribbean, is an
area of factories and urbanization blended with Mexican, Native American and US cultures. It has
the problems of a thriving growing community of millions bursting into its own power.
Inspector Angel Cardinas is the federale investigating the scavenged corpse of George Anderson.
His DNA doesn't match his ID. His wife claims she isn't his wife and disappears with their young
daughter, Katla; leaving their home, a time bomb triggered to kill anyone who enters it. Inspector
Cardinas is an intuit investigator for the Noamerican Federal Police, NFP. It takes all of his
training to follow and survive the trail the Andersons leave through the teaming underworld of the
Strip. With criminal gangs from three continents trying to kill or capture the women, Inspector
Cardinas' skills are pushed to the limits in the dangerous search for the truth behind the women's
'The Mocking Program' is a hard-boiled detective novel set in a believable science fiction world. It
isn't an easy read. You are brought into a new reality with all of the surprises and familiarities of
someplace you imagine might exist a hundred years from now. 'The Mocking Program' is a must
read for anyone who enjoys SF or gritty detective mysteries. The richly detailed action story will
carry you nonstop from the first page to the last, leaving you wanting more.
Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
ISBN: 0061098035 $7.99 424 pages
Mills is a straightforward suspense writer. He doesn't push the plot too far into fantasy.
Quinn Barry is working as a computer programmer for the FBI. A search program she writes for
CODIS, the national DNA criminal database, turns up five linked murders. When she tells her
about the links, she is nearly fired. Quinn decides to investigate and discovers that the CODIS
system has been programmed to ignore crimes where a specific criminal's DNA is left. Soon more
than her job is at stake when a shadowy government agency tries to silence her and the sadistic
murderer discovers she is looking for him. 'Burn Factor' is a clear-cut thriller. It doesn't push the
limits of believability to the extreme. 'Burn Factor' is a comfortable nail-biter that is an
S.A. Gorden, Reviewer
Women Surviving the Holocaust In Spite of Horror
Jutta T. Bendremer
The Edwin Mellen Press
PO Box 450, Lewiston, NY 14092-0450
0773486658 $99.95 1-716-754-2788
Women Surviving the Holocaust In Spite of Horror presents the experiences of ten female
Holocaust survivors. Each one tells her story in a first person interview, the paragraphs of which
broken up by editor, compiler and author's Jutta T. Bendremer's summaries of the milestones of
The tales are unflinchingly honest in their portrayal of unspeakable horror, but also reveal
determination and boundless strength within the hearts of those who suffered. A powerful,
and welcome addition to Holocaust literature shelves.
The New Politics Of Race
University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520
081664280X $19.95 www.upress.umn.edu
The New Politics Of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice, is a collection of superbly crafted
by Howard Winant (Professor of Sociology, University of California - Santa Barbara) dealing
contemporary American social issues arising from considerations of race and ethnicity. A mix of
and previously published essays, The New Politics Of Race combine to provide the reader with a
comprehensive perspective on the origins and nature of post-World War II complex racial politics
that evolve and persist to the present day. Of special note are Professor Winant's thoughts on
identifying the ways in which racial hierarchies everywhere are being reestablished and
(often clandestinely and in newly refashioned forms) by contemporary political state and national
forces. Also available in a a hardcover edition (0816642796, $59.95), The New Politics Of Race
seminal and critically important work of impeccable scholarship which is an invaluable
to academic library Contemporary Social Issues, Political Science, and Black Studies reference
collections and supplemental reading lists.
Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World
270 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10016
0415933196 $27.95 1-800-634-7064 www.routledge.com
Investigative reporter Rober Neuwirth personally spent two years living in squatter
on four continents, and from that experience presents Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New
Urban World an engrossing documentary concerning shantytowns and those who live within them
estimated to be a billion individuals, and projected to grow to two billion. Though shantytowns
feared as centers of decay and lawlessness, Neuwirth discovered thriving and vital communities
striving to build liveable quarters in an era when private developers charge far more than
can afford. One squatter home in Rio de Janeiro is a three-room apartment with tile floors, a full
bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, electricity, running water, and a balcony with a view of the ocean.
Though Shadow Cities understands that the reality of squatters may be gritty, it reveals hope in
character of those who live humbly, and reveals that squatters will build vibrant neighborhoods
without private titles as long as they know they are not subject to eviction. A probing and highly
recommended scrutiny of all dimensions of a critical worldwide phenomenon.
Learning and Knowledge for the Network Society
David V. Gibson, Manuel V. Heitor, and Alejandro Ibarra-Yunez, editors
Purdue University Press
1207 South Campus Courts, Bldg. E, West Lafayette, IN 47907
1557533563 $69.95 1-800-933-9637 www.thepress.purdue.edu
Learning and Knowledge for the Network Society is an anthology of essays by a wide variety of
learned authors from academic, business, and government sectors across the globe, concerning
crucial contemporary issues of science and technology and their use to foster economic
development, at home as well as abroad. Chapters discuss the nuts and bolds of building a
economy", how to network for regional economic development, issues of language and policies to
help transcent the language barrier, and much more. Charts, graphs, and bibliographies
these valuable and cutting-edge assessments of problems be wary of and solutions to be
Governing by Network
Stephen Goldsmith and William D. Eggers
Brookings Institution Press
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-2188
0815731280 $44.95 1-800-275-1447
Written by former politician Stephen Goldsmith and global director of Deloitte Research, Public
Sector William D. Eggers, Governing by Network: The New Shape of the Public Sector exposes
largely hidden but nonetheless monumental transformation in the manner that public services are
delivered and local and national governments fulfill their policy goals. Dubbed "governing by
network", it presents great challenges to those in charge: skill-set issues (managing a contract to
capture value); technology issues (keeping information systems compatible with one another);
communications issues; cultural issues (including differences between public, private and
sector cultures) and much more. Governing by Network clearly outlines what works in a
state and what is a recipe for failure, using case studies as well as firmly established practices.
Chapters focus on achieving the goals of efficiency and effectiveness in the constantly changing
increasingly technological 21st century. Governing by Network is especially recommended for
political leaders, political science teachers, political science students, and school library collections
for its invaluable contribution to observing dramatic shifts in leadership and day-to-day practice
Humanism: An Introduction
ISBN 1591022398, $20.00 120 pp.
Humanism: An Introduction makes some valid points. For example:
"It is worth noting that the account of a miracle often involves personal interpretation. The one
person who is not killed in a motorway pile-up attributes his or her salvation to a miracle; but the
dozen or so dead are merely the detritus of the workings of nature." (p. 19)
"Humanists do not on the whole take the extreme view that Jesus did not exist, but they see him
fallible human. Some might see him as misguided in his political activity; others might admire his
revolutionary activity and ethical teaching, although his ethics are inconsistent you can only
produce a consistent picture of Jesus' teachings by selective quotation." (p. 33)
"It should be noted that many theologians and clergy today are fully aware of the highly skeptical
approach to the Bible but they do not pass on their doubts to their congregations." (p. 34)
It also makes some less valid points:
"In the post-communist Russian regime religions are thriving, demonstrating perhaps that ignoring
religion is much more successful than persecution in bringing about its decline. Now in Russia the
larger religions such as the Orthodox Church are trying to ban the newer ones such as Jehovah's
Witness or Mormons an example of how religions often do not love one another." (p. 29)
That Russia's attempt to suppress religion was a disastrous failure is not in dispute. But the
suggestion that ignoring it would have worked better is absurd. Russia wasted the perfect
opportunity to free its citizens of religion. Instead of compelling all school children to study the
Bible as critically as they would study a will signed by "Howard Hughes," and identifying the mass
of evidence that it is a work of fiction, it actually campaigned to keep such material out of
hands, perhaps in recognition that if competent documentary analysis became widespread, it might
be applied to Das Kapital.
As for the Orthodox Church's attempts to ban newer religions, Herrick ignores the obvious point
that the Jehovah's Witness and Mormon religions can be totally falsified without the necessity of
falsifying Christianity just as Protestantism can be falsified without falsifying Catholicism, and
Christianity and Islam can be falsified without falsifying Judaism. Falsifying Judaism, in contrast,
automatically falsifies all religions that start from the assumption that the Torah is nonfiction.
For some reason, Herrick adheres to practices and beliefs most modern writers have abandoned.
continues to use the offensively Christian dating system, AD/BC, when even liberal Christians are
now using the scientifically neutral CE/BCE. He states that the existence of a god or gods cannot
disproven, apparently unaware that the existence of the god of religion (as opposed to an
god) has indeed been disproven. And he uses the word atheist in situations where nontheist would
be more appropriate, apparently unaware that to the brainwashed masses the former term has
acquired connotations of a belief system, while the latter, as yet, has not.
Humanism: An Introduction will cure not a single believer, since it makes no attempt to show that
religion stands or falls on the veracity of religious writings that endorse a flat earth, among other
demonstrable falsehoods. It adds nothing to the Humanist Manifesto. In the bluntest terms, it can
viewed as either a good undergraduate essay or a mediocre Master's thesis.
Lawrence Prader and Michelle Smith
St Martin's Press
175 5th Avenue, NY 10010
ISBN 031292531X, $3.50
J. Edgar Hoover's thought police have a vested interest in convincing the public that there are
they alone can solve. Yet the FBI has publicly acknowledged that satanic cults and ritual abuse
fantasies concocted by evangelicals and fundamentalists. The author of this book informed
Bruce Grearson that he considers the question of whether Michelle's claims are "technically
immaterial nit-picking. (Manufacturing Victims 2001, page 196) Michelle Remembers is a close
clone of Little Red Riding Hood, but less entertaining.
The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin With a Mythical Christ?
Canadian Humanist Publications
P O Box 3769, Stn C, Ottawa ON, K1Y 4J8, Canada
ISBN 0968601405, $14.50 390 pp.
No competent biblical historian believes that the virgin-born god Jesus who emulated fifty other
savior gods by rising from the dead on the third day ever existed. Anyone who thinks otherwise
started from predetermined conclusions and distorted the evidence to make it fit. That is not
On the question of whether myths that were already 3000 years old were posthumously grafted
the biography of an anti-Roman rebel so insignificant that contemporary historians did not deem
important enough to mention, scholars are evenly divided. My book, Mythology's Last Gods,
the position that Jesus was indeed a person from history. So do Michael Arnheim and Martin
Larson. Robert Price and G A Wells do not, and Earl Doherty does not
The main argument for Jesus' nonexistence is the absence of his name from non-Christian
Extant passages in Josephus are, as Doherty correctly observes, Christian interpolations. But
Josephus's Halosis, quoted by Robert Eisler, described Jesus as, "a man of simple appearance,
mature age, small stature, three cubits high [4 ft 6 in], hunchbacked, with a long face, long nose,
meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair ... with a parting
the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazirites, and with an undeveloped beard."
While it is possible that the Josephus passage is a forgery, it is a matter of record that the earliest
generations of Christian apologists accepted its accuracy.
That description of an ugly Jesus is one of the proofs that such a man existed. Origen, Tertullian,
Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria and Andrew of Crete would not have accepted such a
description without dispute if their Khristos had been a literary invention whom they could have
repainted in any image they wished. Further evidence lies in the first gospel's acknowledgement
Jesus' family saved him from a lynching by arguing that "He's gone mad," (Mark 3:21) and Luke's
acknowledgement that Jesus' first remark to a synagogue audience was, "You're sure to recite this
proverb to me: Doctor, heal yourself." (Luke 4:23) Why would Jesus have said such a thing, if he
was not as malformed as Josephus described? The gospel authors were attempting to portray
as their ultimate hero, and assuredly would not have included such negative anecdotes if they
not stuck with the reality that they actually happened.
In contrast, Robert Price wrote that, "The gospel story of Jesus matches the pattern of the Mythic
Hero Archetype in every detail, with nothing left over." Doherty agrees with that. I do not.
Doherty presents a logical, coherent argument for a purely mythical hero, that I am not prepared
state categorically is wrong. As a historian, I am more impressed by the negative anecdotes that
creator of a totally heroic mythical Jesus would ever have invented. Doherty likewise gives
paramountcy to negative evidence, meaning the absence of any mention of Jesus by writers who
logically should have mentioned him if he existed. I can only suggest that the reader reach his own
conclusion after reading both my book and Doherty's.
Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People
Dr. Tana Dineen
Robert Davies Multimedia Publishing
9 Parkside Place, Montreal, QC, H3H 1A7, Canada
ISBN 1552070328, $12.99 320 pp.
"Psychology presents itself as a concerned and caring profession working for the good of its
But behind the benevolent fa‡ade is a voracious, self-serving industry that proffers 'facts' which
often unfounded, provides 'therapy' which can be damaging, and exerts influence, which is having
devastating effects on the social fabric. The foundation of psychology, its critical thinking, if not
illusion from its inception, had by the end of the 20th century been abandoned in favor of power
profit, leaving only the guise of integrity, a show of arrogance and a well-tuned attention to the
bottom line." (p. 15) The only incomprehensible element of Dineen's totally accurate observation
the snake oil industry of psychology is that, forty years after Thomas Szasz gave the world the
information, it needs to be restated at all. The first photographs of the Martian surface destroyed
"canals" myth. Why did the first exposure of psychology as a fraud not destroy the
industry? In the words of Cassius, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in
Humankind as a species is unteachable. As long ago as the year dot, philosophers proved, in
widely circulated among the educated, that in a world produced and directed by omnipotent,
omnibenevolent gods, evil could not exist. Two thousand years later, in a world observably
with evil, as many as half of this planet's six billion denizens continue to believe that they are the
beloved, domesticated livestock of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent god.
More than 150 years ago, historians proved that all claims of a god revealing its existence can be
traced to a Bible that simultaneously claims that the earth is flat. Yet a billion Christians continue
believe that a flat-earth fantasy novel containing over 19,000 demonstrable false statements is
nonfiction. Certainly the existence of professional pushers whose bread and butter depends on
perpetuating the Big Lie that religion cannot be disproven is a significant factor in the survival of
superstition. But human imperviousness to evidence is a more significant factor.
Decades ago the pretence that humanoid aliens have visited earth was definitively falsified. Yet
conspiracy freaks continue to insist that governments are covering up an alien space ship (actually
spy balloon) crashing at Roswell.
Decades ago Thomas Szasz published the definitive exposure of psychology as pseudoscience and
psychiatry as pseudomedicine. Since then Robert Baker and others have published confirmations
Szasz's conclusions. They pointed out that, in every court case in which a psychiatrist gave
ostensibly expert testimony, the other side called its own psychiatrist to contradict the first
psychiatrist's supposedly expert opinion. And it is an observable fact that psychology, unlike any
legitimate science, is a cult in which two dissertations so incompatible that for either one to be
the other must be incompetent nonsense can both be awarded Ph.D.s by the same department of
same university in the same year.
Now Tana Dineen has added testimony from her forty years as a practising psychologist to the
revelations of Szasz and Baker. And eight years after the publication of the first edition of
book, the psychology hoax is as widespread and dangerous as it was when Sigmund Freud first
invented the masturbation fantasy of psychoanalysis. Is "unteachable" a sufficient explanation? Or
are believers in playacting and self-delusion better described as insane, even though Szasz showed
that insanity as a medical condition does not exist?
Psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate for any profession, with the probable exception of
for whom such statistics are suppressed. There is a good reason for this. For those psychoquacks
with even a modicum of rationality, the day eventually comes that they realize they have spent
entire lives practising contentless humbuggery. Since they have long forgotten everything they
learned about genuine medicine, and therefore cannot switch to a different specialty, they are
to choose between killing themselves and staying on as conscious hypocrites. No doubt a large
number do choose the hypocrite route, or the suicide rate would be even higher.
Dineen readily recognizes the worst scams of psychotherapy for what they are. She is fully aware
that the recovered memory hoax, unquestionably the most repulsive of all of the psychoquackery
industry's crimes against humanity, was invented for the sole purpose of enriching its creators and
enabling them to exercise absolute power over persons who are indeed victims not of imaginary
abusers but of the self-styled therapists. Yet she writes of a patient who asked to be hypnotized,
"Hypnotizing him seemed both unsafe and inappropriate." (p. 25) Newsflash! Hypnotism does not
exist. All allegedly hypnotic phenomena has been playacting, delusion, fantasizing, or what a car
rental agency calls "trying harder."
Dineen observes that, "One would assume, considering the use of psychological services by
each year, that indisputable evidence exists proving the effectiveness of psychotherapy. But most
the information about therapy's usefulness comes from those who buy and sell the services rather
than from scientific research . Why would psychologists distort the truth, accentuating the
and minimizing negative results? Of the many reasons, two stand out: looking honestly at what
are doing might interfere with their practice and their income, and might create doubts about their
effectiveness, self-worth and chosen career." (pp. 112-113) In other words, psychotherapy, like
prayer, is rated as effective by persons addicted to the practice, even though every objective
evaluation of observable results says otherwise. "But the Psychology Industry proceeds
measuring its success not by research findings but by satisfied customers . Nowhere does he
acknowledge the already plentiful research that fails to support psychotherapy's effectiveness."
Dineen further recognizes that, "However, naming or diagnosing 'diseases' in the pseudomedical
field of the Psychology Industry in mostly fictional in nature . For instance, the Psychology
Industry may pejoratively describe the construction worker who whistles at a passing woman as
harassing and assaultive, while being more forgiving of such behaviors as consuming alcohol,
heroin or overeating, calling these 'addictive diseases.'" (pp. 84-85) In other words, observable
realities diagnosed by psychoquacks as medical problems are really behavioral problems. Is that so
hard for the ignorant masses to comprehend, that it has to be repeated over and over and still does
not get through?
Although Dineen does not suggest that psychiatrists who perpetuate the most nonsensical
are not sparking on all neurons, she does cite cases that raise precisely such a suspicion. A
psychiatrist wrote a book authenticating alien abductions, based on his fatuous conviction that he
could not be deceived by lies, and anyone who spun him an abduction tale with a straight face
be telling the truth.. And a psychiatrist whose book authenticated satanic ritual abuse (which even
the FBI acknowledges does not exist) informed a correspondent "that it didn't really matter
or not they were technically true, that was immaterial;' he didn't want to 'nit-pick about facts.'"
Psychotherapy's bottom line depends on its success at manufacturing victims. Just as pushers
bread and butter is extorted from prayer addicts perpetuate the Big Lie that the entire human race
needs their services, so do psychoquacks promote the Big Lie that the entire population are
who need "therapy." Not only are the relatives and friends of persons killed in the assault on the
World Trade Center "traumatized victims;" so is every person who encountered the atrocity by
watching television or reading a newspaper.
A Denver newspaper journalist quoted on the cover of Manufacturing Victims describes Tana
Dineen as "arguably the planet's preeminent psychotherapy critic." Presumably the journalist has
never heard of Szasz or Baker. Or perhaps what gives Dineen preeminence in some people's
that she denounces psychotherapy's excesses and self-serving practices while continuing to treat
psychology per se as a legitimate science. Newsflash! Psychology is not a legitimate science. If
persons who listen to compulsive talkers, nod sympathetically, and occasionally venture a
designed to prove that they have been listening, are therapists, then bartenders, taxi drivers and
girls are therapists. The discipline that invented the hoaxes of multiple personality, past-life
recovered memory, hypnotism, and dream interpretation, and reclassified behavioral indiscipline
"attention deficit disorder," is an incompetent, fraudulent, self-serving scam motivated solely by
for power, and a desire to enlarge one's bank account by deluding every human being on this
that he is a victim of a nonexistent pathological "condition." Frenchman J. Messelier in 1733
"I should like to see the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest." So would I. I would
like to see the last "profiler" strangled with the guts of the last psychotherapist.
Whiskey Creek Press
P.O. Box 726, Lusk, Wyoming 82225
ISBN 1593740956 $15.95 (available electronically at $3.99)
With visions of a plane falling out of the sky, you meet Abby, a sweet, interesting Irish-American,
who has chilling dreams that tend to come true. In a few chapters you get a feel for this feisty,
clairvoyant woman, enjoy her quick wit and learn of her tendency to dream of bloody scenes. In
time, the novel's strong start shifts from Abby's gruesome nightmares and charming but mystical
Irish ancestry to the building of a modern, go it alone character, who has yet to fall deeply in love
and who doesn't seem to care. Not until we read a hilarious scene do we learn that Abby is pretty
fair at karate and very able to take care of herself. After landing a guy on his overbearing, male
chauvinist ass, Irish Magic turns into a romance because, from his awkward position, a position
most men would find humiliating, Jake, the handsome friend of a friend, is done for. Never
worrying about his ego, poor Jake is captivated and so, it turns out, is Abby.
The relationship between Jake, the detective and Abby, the author, pretty much dominates the
hundred pages. The characters are likable and their pairing is written so well that readers can
practically see the twinkle in their eye, feel the chemistry in the air and appreciate their sparing.
what was fun at first turned boring. Abby's trip from feisty combatant to starry-eyed lover was
too simple for me. That would have been alright had it not been for reading the same words and
actions over and over and over again. For too much of the story, the nightmares, the Irish
the witchcraft or whatever you want to call it, takes a back seat to too many predictable head on
chest scenes of rising passion and everlasting declarations of love.
Maybe I'm just jealous, after all, Jake will never need anything like Viagra and never finds it
to express his love, but I need more complexity and found myself losing patience with the
predictability of it all. When mystery finally moved forward, I felt as if I already knew who'd done
Oh, I was hoping that I was wrong, that no author would give it away so early, so I waited for the
tension to build, thinking it would and that I had been cleverly fooled. That didn't happen. All that
was left was for me to pay attention to details and their inconsistencies.
For example, if readers are to accept that Abby is a clairvoyant with magical powers, shouldn't she
have those powers throughout the story? And, if she can foresee how and when a relative
is about to face danger and be able to avert it, why not do the same when a lover is threatened?
Also, if readers are to believe that Jake is the bright detective we are told he is, shouldn't an
to lure him into harms way require sophistication if it is to be successful? As for the killer and his
motivation, the author lost her opportunity for suspense by limiting her characters. Then she
weakened her story by not sticking to one reason for the killer's killing, one pattern and one type
victim. Still, Anita Whiting has created likable, charming characters and as Irish Magic stands
it is a simple story and an easy read.
Port of Fear
Whiskey Creek Press
P.O. Box 726, Lusk, Wyoming 82225
ISBN: 1593740301 $12.95
Twenty pages into Port of Fear by Sherry Derr-Wille, I felt that the two main characters needed
more of an introduction before Hugh, the ex-cop from Atlanta and Dani, the Minneapolis travel
agent, meet in Florida. Still, I enjoyed being thrust into the story of a young woman running from
her fiancee - a serial killing scam artist.
Dani is not the typical Grade B damsel in distress and some aspects of her bio required a good
of suspended disbelief - like her dropping the news that she was a virgin (at the age 29) before she
met her fiancee - but I accepted the fantasy and settled back to enjoy the light reading Port of Fear
promised. At times I wished that the goodness of many of the characters were plausible. I
would have liked it if there were more Hughs to go around. Atlas, there was only one - and he
on paper - but it would be great meeting a caring, sexy guy who could (and would) solve life's
problems as easily as Hugh did Dani's.
Port of Fear accomplished a multiple feat. It created a sexy romance while attempting to create a
thriller. From the start, Hugh, the hero of Port of Fear, assumes personal risk beyond what most
people would think reasonable. He does it simply because his heat is rising, and that doesn't have
anything to do with his living in the Florida heat, either. Coincidently, Hugh already knows the
guy. His knowledge came from another time and place. Still, like Hugh, I assumed that it will be
awhile before the bad guy makes an appearance and becomes physical threat in this story.
Here in lies the weakness of Port of Fear. There is no suspense. It didn't take any time at all for
bad guy to get there and get right into his awful ways. As a reader, I sat back, as the day old
Hugh-Dani relationship grew, thinking that the evil guy in this story would be incapable of a quick
appearance, and wondering how, once his first plan was accidentally thwarted, he would develop
second. After all, the bad guy was in Milwaukee expecting his fiancee, Dani, to be waiting for him
Minneapolis. I read thinking that a transition would develop and the evil recalculations of the bad
guy explored. They weren't. Suddenly the shit hit the fan and when it did, the characters did, said
and thought in ways I found unbelievable.
Still, Port of Fear made for enjoyable reading. The dialogue moved me along effortlessly. Sure, I
that the explanations, descriptions and segues fell short but Port of Fear read like a TV serial -
quick, light, and easy. As a thriller, it needed a more suspense. Still, I was able to sit sat back and
enjoy it. You will too.
A Fresh Air Cure
ISBN: 1414072465; $16.00 (electronic $4.95) 328 pages
This easy to read romance explores another time and place and family crisis that is neither as
nor as threatening as it was a hundred years ago. For that I was happy. I prefer escaping into
another world while I read, and this story did that for me.
Martha, the heroine, is the essence of the sweet, guileless, dependent matriarch that was typical in
the early 1900's society. Almost as soon as the story begins, Martha is diagnosed with
and forced to leave her husband and children to go off on her own to seek a cure. Desperately
she is at least comfortable with the fact that her sister, Susan, will be there to run her house and
care of her husband and children.
From the start, there is something unacceptable about Martha's husband. His reaction to Martha's
crisis made me very uncomfortable. It didn't take too much more reading to realize that Barb
Jensen truly created Dickens like characters for this story. There were either the very, very good -
Martha, Chet and Connie - or the very, very bad. Rest assured that while reading this, you will
emote. You will feel Martha's frustration, sadness, and impatience. You will learn how
the CURE was. You will learn more about TB, a killer of many during the early 1900's (my
grandfather among them) and you will get a sense of life when good people can make lemonade
Isobel Kleinman, Reviewer
Realizing the Power of Love: How a Father and Teenage Daughter Became Best Friends...and
You Can Too!
V. Michael Santoro and Jennifer S. Santoro
ISBN: 1413715109; $19.95; 196 pp.
Description: Recognizing communication misunderstandings
There's a special relationship between every parent and child. In the beginning, it's the family
which causes the parents to love unconditionally and the for the children to obey. That's works
when the family is young. Then the children grow to become independent thinkers. The teenage
years can blend smoothly or completely break the harmony of the family, depending on the loving
tone set from infancy to adolescence.
"Realizing the Power of Love" explains how good communication between a father and daughter
helped to improve the parent-child relationship. In the early years, Dad Santoro's job kept him
from his family for long periods of time. This could have been a ripe opportunity to burn the
of trust with daughter Jennifer. But Dad Santoro developed habits of recognizing the non-verbal
clues, traits and character of his daughter Jennifer. Most of the chapters in the book outline his
practices to how he improved his character to set a good example daughter Jennifer. "No matter
how great a communicator you are, there will be times when your daughter will catch you off
with a topic that makes you angry. When this happens, it is imperative that you think before your
react, which is usually easier said than done." (pg 65)
But he was successful. Daughter Jennifer explains how she spoke to Dad Santoro with respect,
when upset. Controlling her response by writing down what she really wanted to say, helped bring
an awareness of how words can hurt. She knows it takes two to make a great relationship work
correctly. "Being best friends with your father is a team effort and just like any other relationship,
takes effort to make it work." (pg 155) As a bonus, communication building exercises get the
involved by showing the reader how to apply what the authors have learned.
V. Michael Santoro and Jennifer Santoro do a fantastic job by working together to assist other
families build better relationships. It's great to hear from both generations about developing a true
friendship. Although he started early on the relationship with his daughter, it's never too late to
applying the techniques of good communication with your child. I recommend "Realizing the
of Love" for all parents and children, no matter which gender.
By Chance or Choice
Toni Staton Harris
Epiphany Publishing House LLC
One Gateway Center, A-193, Newark, NJ 07102
ISBN: 0971069506, $14.95, 364 pp.
Description: Not by accident
Life experience is by cause and effect, action then reaction, or biblically known as reaping what
sow. The fundamental principal lies in your driving skills while steering on unpredictable roads.
When do you arrive at a destination by accident? Never.
"By Chance or Choice" follows the paths of three main characters, Talise, Gemmia and Stephanie.
We watch as their daily lives entertwine as a marketing exec, a professional singer, and a
phychologist, respectively. In the beginning, there appears to be minor events, but nothing
immediately drastic. With the assistance of boyfriends, other peers and family members, the
adventures curve through steep inclines and hilly terrains. All three ladies begin to face the
consequences of their driving skills. "Choice always comes with a price." (pg 211)
Toni Staton Harris holds the wheel as a very good storyteller. She coasts along by describing the
lives of each character, so the reader knows them as friends. Then the action begins, and you can't
put the book down until you arrive at a complete stop. I recommend "By Chance or Choice" to all
young women, 18 years and older, as a fantastic example of driving while under the influence of
and the desire for success.
Pond Casse Press
4711 Cashill Court, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
ISBN 0974934909; $13.95, 224 pp.
Description: The storm is worth the rainbow
There are many kinds of weather storms, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or simply dark skies with
pouring rain. First it starts with a little drizzle, then you run for shelter and wait until the "coast is
clear." Once the clouds have finished squeezing out the last drop, the skies become blue and
sometimes you might see a rainbow. The heavens play like a grown child and silently exclaim, "Oh
did I do that!" I suppose human imitation of this behavior is the sincerest form of flattery to
In "Chance Meeting" Sandy goes through a tsunami, some of which she caused, but Damon and
family helped to increase the windsheild and everyone jumped to hide. The storm started brewing
when Sandy finds Tom, her finance, trying on his birthday suit with Evelyn, their wedding planner.
So Sandy cancels holy matrimony, runs for cover to Savannah Lakes, and bumps into Damon, a
she thought was a poor-guitar-drifter turned out to be a rich-doctor-playa. The skies were so
that she forgot to check the adverse effects of antibotics on her birth control pills, and he didn't
The connection with Sandy was something Damon had never experienced, so he cancelled his
wedding plans to his high school sweetheart. But one month later, a little embryo caused lightning
flash. Accusations of he said, she said, and his mother said caused Sandy and Damon to put on
golashes with holes in the sole while the rains poured down. He had to find out the truth about a
family secret, and she found out her socks were wet well before Damon. Both of them try to
the storm alone, but soon realize they need to share the golf umbrella. The rain really helped to
the air, and there was a double rainbow at the end!
I loved the familiar scenes Esther Christian uses in the book. The story revolves around Haines
Point, Zanzibar, Mitchellville and Bethesda, MD. Esther writes about well educated characters,
act just like ordinary folks with their down-to-earth conversations. There are familiar reality
with not answering the telephone to chit chatting with girlfriends over lunch. I recommend
Meeting" for anyone who likes a fun romp in the rain and read about the rainbows after heavy
Judine Slaughter, Reviewer
Coaching the Artist Within : Advice for Writers, Actors, Visual Artists, and Musicians from
America's Foremost Creativity Coach
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA, 94949
1577314646 $14.95 256 pp.
I've read almost a dozen books by Eric Maisel about writing, the arts, and the psychology of
creativity, and though it seems impossible, each new book is better than the last. Maisel's latest,
COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN, is no exception. Drawing on his experience as a
psychotherapist, author, and creativity coach, Maisel has developed a book that creative people
all realms can use.
From the first examples in the Introduction through the twelve chapters of advice and
anyone practicing an art will find solid help and inspiration. Chapters on self-coaching, creating
while in the middle of things, dealing with anxiety, achieving balance and centeredness, and
maintaining a creative life are particularly excellent. Maisel also provides the reader with 22
exercises, all of which provide food for thought and could easily jumpstart authors or artists who
blocked or at a crossroads with their work.
Inspiring, challenging, and entertaining, the book is compulsively easy to read and jam-packed full
the kind of teaching and coaching that every creative person needs. I can't recommend it highly
enough. Maisel includes an Appendix for anyone interested in becoming a Creativity Coach. At
end he also lists a Resource section of all of his own writings that support the teachings within
book. Taken all together, this volume is a wonderful addition to the library of anyone interested in
furthering their creativity.
Yellow Rose Books
ISBN: 1932300341 $16.95 212 pp.
Homicide detective Jamie Saunders is a mess. The vicious murder of an eight-year-old girl has
pushed her over the edge into hopelessness. Other people might not notice it from the outside, but
it's clear to Jamie that she is coming a little more unglued every day. The death of this small child
reverberates through her life, and the shock waves keep on coming when Jamie learns of another
murder, this time of someone she knows personally and with whom she has bad history. To make
matters worse, apparently the killing has been done by a person Jamie knows and never would
suspected, but she can't figure out why. Under stress and in no small amount of panic, Jamie
withholds information from her friend and work partner, Alex, and attempts to solve the murder
cases on her own.
And who can she turn to? Not to her ex. Not to family. Jamie feels utterly alone and on the edge,
but Darcy, her long-time buddy who owns the local lesbian bar, is there for her. The past comes
back to haunt Jamie, though, and she is unable to tell where friendship ends with Darcy and
something else begins. Her work life is a wreck, her relationships are compromised, and her self
esteem is zero. Will she ruin the one good friendship she has and lose her job as well? It's clear
Jamie must reconcile her past and present, or her future will be bleak, but she is not able to
what that looks like. The bumpy journey she takes makes for an engrossing read.
This is the third installment in the "Boston Friends" series (TWIST OF FATE, WALKING
WOUNDED), which follows the work lives and relationships of a group of Boston women whose
lives often cross paths. The beauty of this series is that the books are so loosely connected that
can read them in any order. Grab any one of them and settle in for a gripping and entertaining
Nick of Time
Scott & Scott
ISBN: 1594574251 $12.99 193 pp.
Brent, a former ballet dancer from New York City, is in town to attend his sister's wedding. Rural
Holmstead County is a far cry from the "clubs, coffee houses, book stores, chic little storefronts
crammed with modern design" (p.1), but it's where Brent grew up. And it's where he happens
Nick is a handsome, extremely well-built stonemason engaged to marry an Irish immigrant. She
seeks citizenship, not love. He's not interested in a relationship anyway. After being badly burned
his last relationships with a man named Alex, Nick "buried his dream of finding an equal. A
He became disciplined. Trained his body. Trained his mind. He declared he would never fall in
(p. 11). He's become practical and rather jaded.
But of course, upon meeting one another, sparks fly even if Nick is repulsed by Brent at first and
won't admit it the attraction. He doesn't see Brent as someone worthy of a relationship and figures
him for the "wham-bam-thank-you-man" type. And besides, Nick is getting married!
What follows is a classic romance fraught with perils and pitfalls and the angst and reluctance of a
man with a broken heart. Will these two men manage to see beyond the opposites that they
to one another and find love? The tension runs high, the love scenes are hot, and the story is
refreshing within this age-old genre. NICK OF TIME is a fun and entertaining read.
Erik & Isabelle: Freshman Year at Foresthill High
ISBN: 0975584804 $12.95 235 pp.
Isabelle and Erik, teenage friends in their first year of high school, are the heroes of this Young
Adult novel. Isabelle comes from a family of former hippies who are Peace Corps volunteering,
eccentric geniuses. Free spirits and emotionally open, Isabelle's household is warm and inviting,
they are not concerned that she has professed a liking for girls.
Erik's household and life are very opposite from Isabelle's. His father and brother are both
and his household runs with military precision, including their meals being called "rations" and
beds made only with hospital corners. "Erik tried to conform by studying his father and brother's
actions and language, but he never seemed to be able to mimic convincingly what came naturally
them. There was a softness in his demeanor that couldn't be ordered out .The gentleness in his
hazel eyes refused to be hardened. His father saw and despised this softness" (p. 9). That
is disguised as much as possible by Erik because he is gay.
This book follows the trials and tribulations of these two young people in their first year of high
school. The author has planned four books, one for each year of school, to show the ups and
Erik and Isabelle go through. The writing is clear, to the point, and accessible to teens while not
being overly simplistic for the adult reader. Kim Wallace has written a realistic and hopeful book
will be enjoyable for anyone, gay or straight.
Lori L. Lake, Reviewer
Pink Panther Cocktail Party
230 East Ohio Street, Suite 120, Chicago, IL 60611
1572840722 $16.95 www.surreybooks.com
Adam Rocke celebrates the more than 40 years of Pink Panther popularity with this new
edition of the Pink Panther Cocktail Party, a collection of 85 "pink-a-licious" mixed drinks that
liven up any and all festive occasions. Enhanced with the Pink Panther illustrations of San
Diego-based artist Shag, this compendium of happy time beverages includes a sampler CD with
music from the "Pink Panther's Penthouse Party " featuring Mailbu, St. Germain, Fat Boy Slim,
others. After an informative introduction, readers will learn how to set up a "Pink" bar complete
with basic instructions and a glossary of terms. The rest of this unique drink book is devoted to
wonderful liquid refreshments ranging from a Pink Panther Cooler, to a Pink Cream Fizz, to a
Harvey Wallbanger, to an Electric Pink Banana, and so many more. If you are a fan of Pink
movies or parties, then get yourself a copy of Pink Panther Cocktail Party!!
The Sensational Skillet Cookbook
4308 Blueberry Road, Fredonia, WI 53021
1891400258 $16.00 1-877-250-3354 www.championpress.com
In The Sensational Skillet Cookbook: Create Spectacular Meals With Your Electric Skillet,
expert and author Wendy Louise draws upon her lifelong interest in cooking to create a follow-up
cookbook to her highly recommended debut effort Complete Crockery Cookbook: Crate
Spectacular Meals With Your Slow Cooker. This latest compendium of mouth-watering, kitchen
cook friendly, mealtime delights have has being prepared with an electric skillet as their unifying
focus. The more than 180 recipes range from traditional to innovative. From Ham and Broccoli
Ups with Mustard Sauce; Beef Sandwiches a la Stroganoff; Lamb with Snow Peas; and Sauteed
Olives in Wine; to Cauliflower Escabeeche; Fried Green Tomatoes; Crepes a la Jubilee; and Peach
Melba, The Sensational Skillet Cookbook fully lives up to its title! If you have an electric skillet
a hungry family, then The Sensational Skillet Cookbook will make a welcome and appreciated
addition to your kitchen cookbook collection!
Anointed To Cook
127 East Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
1933148152 $19.95 1-888-361-9473 www.tatepublishing.com
A wife and mother of two active boys, Penny Tootle of Las Vagas, Nevada is active in various
ministries including her local church. She is the co-founder of Impact Ministries which serves the
needs of others throughout her community. It was in living a such a busy, active life that she got
inspiration to compile a book of recipes particularly well suited to family oriented, time-stressed
kitchen cooks in need of a fool-proof planning method for meal preparation. The result is
To Cook: Recipes That Bring The Family Together. Beginning with an informative chapter on
to get started, there are chapters devoted to recipes for Entrees (chick, turkey, beef, pork,
Side Dishes (starches, vegetables); Breads; and Desserts (cakes, pies, cobblers, cookies,
Of special note are the chapters devoted to practical tips and helpful tools. From Turkey Salad;
Beef Sticks; and Lemon Baked Cod Fish; to Fast and Easy Onions and Green Beans; Monkey
Bread; and Pudding Surprise, Anointed to Cook will prove a welcome and appreciated addition to
the cookbook shelves of busy couples and single parents everywhere.
The Wholesome Dog Biscuit
Patricia Leslie, M.S.
6020-A Adeline, Oakland, CA 94608
1587901048 $12.00 www.regentpress.net
For human vegetarians wanting a healthy, meat-free, make-it-yourself, snack or treat for their
companions there is now Patricia Leslie's The Wholesome Dog Biscuit cookbook in which this
vegan and dog friendly author provides thirteen tasty, natural-ingredient recipes for vegan,
sugar-free, allergy-free dog biscuits and treats ranging from Great Danish Cookies and Tail
Waggers, to Veggie Crunchers and Langues de Chow. All the necessary preparation techniques
provided along with illustrative diagrams so that even the most novice of kitchen cooks will feel
confidently in making these recipes. Enhanced with timely information of "Food, Health, and
the clear, concise text is embellished with original drawings of the real-life dog, and biographies of
these mostly rescued dogs told with humor and offering food for thought as well. If you have a
canine companion who has truly become a member of your family, then get yourself a copy of
Patricia's wonderful cookbook with its no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no wheat, no corn recipes for
doggy snack and reward time!
Lande Communications (publicity)
36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City, New York, 11106
1-800-432-6277 www.berlitzbooks.com (fax) 1-718-784-0640
Berlitze Publishing is a highly respective producer of travel books and language instruction
materials. They have now launched "Berlitz Baby Talk & Tunes", two new series of language
oriented audio CD titles in English or Spanish. The ten-page "Baby Berlitz Talking Board Books"
($8.95 each) are laminated, chunky and round, the six-buttons are easy to press, and the books
light enough for baby to easily lift. The titles include Peek-a-Boo Family; Baby's Animal Friends;
Count On Me Baby! Employing original music, the "Baby Talk & Tunes" titles ($9.95 each) are
30-minute audio CD's designed to tach baby important basic concepts, promote both language
and overall cognitive abilities -- all in a thoroughly entertaining and "parent friendly" format. The
"Berlitz Baby Talk & Tunes" and the "Baby Berlitz Talking Board Books" are enthusiastically
recommended for family, preschool, daycare center, and community library collections for babies
3209 S. IH 35 #1086, Austin TX 78741-6905
ISBN: 1894942000 $14.00, 197 pages
Auckland, New Zealand's "City of Sails."
Vanessa, at the "fragile" age of 44, suddenly finds herself alone at home. Her kids, now grown,
gone off to study. Her husband has just moved out to live with his mistress.
Vanessa can't help laughing at her predicament. Free at last! Yet uncertainty and fear for what the
future holds fills her soul.
Her children and neighbors aren't particularly helpful nor comforting. Stuck with a dead-end job
living a dull, gray life, she is terrified of ending up as most of the women her age: watching soap
operas and gossiping. But not even all her self-help books and subscription to Cosmopolitan are
Henry, her neighbour, is obviously interested, but who needs to jump into another relationship so
soon, specially with a man who, though caring, leaves her cold?
Instinctively aware she needs a change, Vanessa makes some clumsy attempts like coloring her
red, getting a new wardrobe, and looking for another job. She also decides to make a trip to
and thus meets Nigel young, irresistible Nigel who, in an instant, with his flashing black eyes and
"lost boy" looks, sweeps her off her feet.
For a while it seems their romance will last forever. Then tragedy strikes, and Vanessa's dull gray
threatens to consume her once again. But is it a man what she truly needs, or is this just a "mask"
a much deeper void that lies within?
Nominated for an EPPIE 2005 award, Progressions is a story about sexual awakening and the
almost pitiful fatalism of women's roles in society, particularly of Vanessa's age group. The author
has done an excellent job in portraying Vanessa as a vulnerable yet shallow human being who was
obviously raised to believe that a woman is nothing without a man at her side, a woman incapable
enjoying solitude and without any intellectual restlessness of any kind. I highly recommend this
for group readings, as it raises some quite interesting and controversial questions about women's
Asgard Publishing Company
21185 Tennyson Rd., Moreno Valley, CA 92557-8407
ISBN: 0974579017 $23.95 313 pages
Fiction Mystical intrigue, literary
Reviewed by Mayra Calvani
In this intriguing, suspenseful, beautifully written, complex psychological tale, the author presents
with Daniel Graham, a talented young actor who finds himself in the strange, unusual predicament
having to save himself and escape from a darkness that, though he may not realize it, threatens to
While acting on stage in New York, Daniel suddenly experiences what every actor dreads
most stage fright. But as we are clued in at the very beginning of the story, "phobias which
develop in adulthood are related to a loss of control in other major facets of one's life," thus
foreshadowing a story rich with psychological implications.
After one of the performances, a small, emaciated man approaches Daniel and offers him a major
role in a film soon to be shot in Italy. The rest of the cast already has been selected. When Daniel
asks to see the script, the man tells him it is being kept in secrecy by the director. Strange indeed.
But the pay is good, and more than anything else at this point, Daniel feels like escaping his
situation. "I was so determined to get away that I did not really dwell on where I was going,"
Warm, sunny, sensuous Italy. The set is on a hill overlooking the sea and next to the ruins of an
ancient Roman villa. Soon Daniel meets the cast, and he finds himself instantly attracted to actress
Deidre, who is to play his love in the film. He also learns some very odd facts about the script.
Supposedly, it is based on a translation by a previously unknown comedy by Ephorus, and was
found buried in a clay pot until a construction project uncovered it. Moreover, the director plans
film the whole movie without re-takes. In other words, all takes are a master. Why the film has to
shot in such an unconventional way, no one seems to understand.
At times Daniel experiences feelings of "separation" and confusion, as if he is somehow breaking
thin fabric between illusion and reality. These feelings appear to intensify when he meets Count
Cagliostro, an enigmatic, mysterious man feared by the locals and accused of being the Devil
himself, but who also happens to be the producer. Daniel has the recurrent feeling that Cagliostro
not what he claims to be.
Unexpected events and spooky coincidences threaten Daniel's state of mind. Soon after they start
filming, the actor who was to play the major role, "disappears." Daniel finds a skull by the ruins of
the villa. Cagliostro shows Daniel an old Roman coin engraved with a profile which uncannily
resembles Daniel's. Is Cagliostro immortal? A psychic? A magician? An alchemist? Are all the
spooky incidents real or hallucinations? Is the place itself evil? Is it one of those "dark places
where one feels dread, where without knowledge of the horrors that occurred, there is a sinister
As the film unfolds, so does Daniel's story, both overlapping one another in a bizarre way.
Ultimately, Daniel must save Deidre, the woman he loves, from a cave. Highly symbolic, the cave
represents the darkness that has threaten to consume Daniel all this time the darkness and enigma
of his childhood and family, his inability to express love and make a commitment to a woman. In
escaping from this cave, Daniel will escape from this darkness. Or will he?
From the fascinating first chapter to the deeply enigmatic ending, I was entranced with the eerie,
dream-like quality that permeates the novel throughout. Paralleling the mystery of the plot is the
mystery of Daniel himself, and the author has made this work superbly. The author never tells the
reader anything about Daniel's past, his childhood, his family. There is only a brief mention, when
refers to his parents as "monsters." Daniel, in fact, is a riddle.
The elegance and grace of the narrative and dialogue completely absorbed me. The simple, yet
beautiful rich descriptions strongly appeal to the senses: "The low sun illuminated the nearby hills,
oblique light cutting into ravines. In the distance, on wine-dark sea, fishing boats headed back to
port after a long day. The air was scented with wild oleander and jasmine, fresh with the tang of
salty sea breeze. Some kind of blackbird squabbled in the woods behind the trailers."
Another fascinating element of the story is all the bits of information about acting and the stage.
author has done an excellent job in using this acting "illusion vs. reality" or "double-life" as a
metaphor for Daniel's psyche. A book difficult to forget, Enchanter comes highly recommended
from this reviewer.
Purrlock Holmes And The Case of the Vanishing Valuables
PageFree Publishing, Inc.
109 S. Farmer St. Otsego, MI. 49078
ISBN: 1589613309 $8.50 92 pages
Fun Read ... Highly Recommended .. 5 stars
Birman Purrlock Holmes lives with the Robertsons. They are a typical family with Dad a
'geek', Mom working for the police department, and pre teen Steve and fifteen year old Rebecca
going through much of the same growing up angst as all kids experience. And, oh yes, there is the
dreaded hairball hacker, whomever that maybe as well as the family dog Watson the Basset. The
opens on a day for what Purrlock reveals is a pretty characteristic day for the family. The kids are
fighting, Dad is lost in the sports page, Mom is concerned about a rash of recent thefts and the
just fell down stairs, again. So far the thefts are small: a silver lighter here, an old silver dollar
a silver chain. The only suspect so far is Andrew. He is a new kid in town who has been working
odd jobs for the neighbors. Where ever Andrew has worked something seems to have
Purrlock and Watson set out to try to discover what is really going on. Before long Purrlock sees
pattern. With the help of the neighborhood pets: a Schnauzer, a gold fish, parrot, ferret, potbelly
snooty cat and a rabbit it doesn't take Purrlock long to discover a sad little boy who is recovering
from his parent's divorce. He also finds a pair of lost kittens and discovers exactly who, how and
why the thefts have been taking place.
Writer Sleep, herself a cat breeder and lover of the Birman group, has penned a sure winner with
Purrlock Holmes: And The Case of the Vanishing Valuables. The tale told in the first person by
Purrlock is filled with humor, tongue in cheek plays on words, enough clues to aid the target
audience into making some assumptions about who the culprit might be along with enough red
herrings to keep older readers on their toes and turning the pages.
Purrlock Holmes: And The Case of the Vanishing Valuables is a book cat lovers and even those
don't care so much for the creatures will enjoy. The escapades, near misses and scrapes Purrlock
Watson get themselves into as they try to unravel the mystery are sure to bring a chuckle to the
young reader. This is an excellent book for that after lunch period quiet reading time as teacher
teachers a chapter a day to youngster.
Excellent choice for the school, counselor and home library. Older kids will find the work perfect
an afternoon's reading, younger kids will enjoy the grown up chapter feel to the book. With
and wisdom Purrlock Holmes: And The Case of the Vanishing Valuables touches on the
children often experience when divorce turns their world upside down, children who have
experienced this sadness may see themselves in Andrew. The two lost kittens typify the attitude
many folks have for their pets, when they become a 'burden' many pets find themselves discarded
with little regard for the animal and its plight. Along with an enjoyable tale teachers and
will find opportunity for children to discuss divorce and responsibility for the creatures who share
Enjoyed the tale, hope to see more from this writer. I too like cats and particularly enjoyed
this story told from the perspective of a pretty quintessential cat.
Happy to recommend.
The Wells End Chronicles Book 2: Whispers of War
PO Box 372 Atherton QLD 4883
Format: pdf, html, palm, rtf, Microsoft Reader and unencrypted mobipocket (prc)
File Size: 471K
ISBN: 1876962380 $3.00 (download) $9.95 (CD)
Interesting read . Recommended .. 4 stars
Over a thousand years have passed since Labad wrote his prophecy in blood. The promised ones:
the last of the king's lineage are among us. Adam and Charity are well known through the legend.
the approach of a small dark figure; Drinaugh, a dragon, and a wolf pack stand in the center of
town. McCabe is not just any small dark figure. Recently released from the darkness of the duke's
dungeon there is more to the man than meets the eye. The power of a shaping is the only thing
will save Milward the wizard, Adam and the rest of the small group.
And the tale begins long after Labad died during the Magik Wars; Charity and Adam, unaware
the other is alive, the last of the house of Labad face the oncoming strife filling the land on
sides of the conflict. Wizard Milward who parted from Adam during an angry row does his best
guide the siblings as the wall between the worlds weakens. Adam has become the officer of the
guard under Cpt Bilardi and joins the army of Grisham as they begin fighting the soldiers from the
south, while Charity continues her search for Adam with Flynn and Neely. The trio join the
army, befriend Circumstance a half elf lad and march against the city of Grisham.
Watching from afar are the inhabitants of Dragonglade. Shealauch a young dragon has had a
discouraging meeting with men resulting in his being pierced with arrows. This action by man is
something the Dragons must consider carefully. Many of the dragons believe they must withdraw
from man, others of their group believe a watch and see attitude is needed.
On the pages of The Wells End Chronicles Book 2: Whispers of War writer Beers weaves a
multi-layered account within the fanciful backdrop of myriad tales and imaginative, extraordinary
characters such as the hoary harridan living in the bog who detests humans and the antiquated
dragons who watch mankind from afar. They and the innumerable others leaping from Beers
imagination add a manifest piquancy to the brew. Peopled with intriguing beings including a crone
name Haberstroh, elves, dragons, wizards, sorcerers, a swordsman named Ethan, thieves, wolves,
and evil spirits, a horse name Heartthrust, two dedicated armies, Thaylli, an old duke, a special
potion, jumping the swords, McCabe and his treachery, a cat, wolves and help from dragons this
one book you won't want to put down.
The Wells End Chronicles Book 2: Whispers of War captures the spirit, dialog and character of
fantasy settings known and loved by young and old alike. Ingenious author Robert Lee Beers has
constructed a fascinating domain infused with both base and charitable, blameless and depraved,
loveable and detestable characters the reader is sure to find engaging. Teeming with strife fittingly
resolved in this masterfully engineered suspense filled narrative; The Wells End Chronicles Book
Whispers of War paints a razor sharp, focused account of destiny, cupidity and perseverance.
dialog, well-drawn scenarios and characters to love and hate the book is an enjoyable read.
Some parental guidance will be necessary for younger readers in the 12-15 age group: now and
language or topic may offend. On the whole the book is sure to be a welcome addition to the
library. Meant for pleasure reading, The Wells End Chronicles Book 2: Whispers of War target
audience of young adults will find the book has all the ingredients they wish in a good fantasy
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin, Reviewer
ISBN 0974244775 $7.99 332 pages
Devilishly delicious, just about sums up my feelings after reading Mr. Crisper. T.M. Gray has
another winner, and it's one you don't want to miss. From page one, this is a sordidly sinful ride
will make you cringe, laugh, and want to read again.
Pork rinds. Insert cringe. I admit that I've never had one, but they've always intrigued me. There's
something enchantingly grotesque about them and because of that, I've never had the nerve to eat
one. After reading this compulsive novel, I must say, there's no chance in hell I'll try one. But for
many unsuspecting consumers and factory workers of Mr. Crisper, Hell is where they end up.
Dartmor, the former owner of the Sunnydale Snacks had happy employees working for him,
delicious pork rinds to the public. The factory was a place of benefits, quality, and utmost
satisfaction. After his untimely death, the strange and uptight Mr. Crisper took over and that's
all the insidious trouble began. Terrified to say or do anything, the disgruntled workers are made
adhere to his harsh and rigid set of rules, while watching one employee after another succumb to
bizarre deaths and unexplainable accidents. Many believe Mr. Crisper is nothing short of evil and
perhaps the devil himself. With his devious assistant Mr. Krackle, the very innocent souls of the
factory are collected and discarded, just like a bag of pork rinds.
Page by page we delve in deep to the unrelenting ways of Mr. Crisper. With his monocle he is
to see inside the minds of people, as well as able to make them do things they otherwise would
After too many odd coincidences, a couple employees decide to seek out Mr. Crisper's true
but what they learn only leads them to danger.
Accomplished author T.M. Gray, knows how to keep a reader's attention. By adding just the right
balance of naughty and nice, she excels at the true art of master storytelling. Mr. Crisper is a
scandalous way to pass your time and possibly help you to pass on another bag of pork rinds. The
story is easily digestible and satisfying, while the subject itself is a bit dodgy.
ISBN 1413734367 $24.95 316 pp.
Oral Vices. Yes, what a title, and oh what a story! Adrienne Jones, author of many stories and a
clever story titled Gypsies Stole my Tequila, has penned yet another exhilarating and
adrenaline-inducing piece. Samuel Doherty, an artist looking to be discovered, winds up running
into a giant selling jewelry outside a local club. With the charm of a snake and a little opium-laced
tea, the giant - Garr, stirs up Samuel's curiosity with an offer too good to be true. And indeed it
comes with a hefty price. For all the fame, money, fortune, women, and riches, he is to wear a
pendant around his neck. Before he has a chance to decline, Garr whisks him away, far into the
future within his mind, and entices him with the fantasy life he longs for. How can he possibly
such temptations? Greedily, Samuel accepts, and the giant, quite sure this man was "chosen for
success" tells him to never to take the pendant off for his very life is dependant on it.
Five years later, Samuel has enjoyed the good life and sitting in the lap of luxury, but strange
gnaw away at him. He realizes the life he thought he wanted, wasn't really what he wanted at all.
Just as there was a price for obtaining his fame, the fame itself had a price tag as well. Bothered
odd feelings or uneasiness, he wants to be rid of the pendant.
What he doesn't realize is that the pendant acts like an all seeing eye, complete with shape-shifting
creatures - morphlings - that are to watch over him. Samuel makes a special trip to seek out the
giant, Garr, after having learned his lesson of looking a gift horse in the mouth, and hopes his life
goes back to normal, when people didn't even know his name.
Adrienne Jones writes with a whimsical wit that is full of adventure, vivid characters you want to
meet someday, and a plot that takes you down one tumultuous road and up another. When you
arrive at the end, you know you've been somewhere exciting and can't wait to embark on yet
journey. Oral Vices has not only a killer title (and this author knows how to pick a title), but has
enough panache to keep you reading it all in one sitting. Addictive - yes, and a must read for
Mike E. Purfield
ISBN 1592861237 $19.95 219 pp.
Stereo Sanctity reads like a surreal mind-trip that pulls you in and doesn't let go. Mike Purfield
created an exhilarating story that leads up to a frantic yet necessary finish.
Sleepwalking. Dreaming. These seem normal to most people.
Beings. Invisible beings that only a chosen few can see, doesn't seem quite as normal to the
Daryl Hersh does his best to live with the unknown creatures that come to him in the night, and
from childhood playmates to deadly enemies in a flash. Without a memory of his past, his family,
even his name, he does what he can to survive in a world where reality and dreams coincide with
For a while, things seem to appear okay. He works and is a best selling children's author. Then a
procession of life-changing events occurs where he scrambles to keep hold of his sanity. A close
friend commits suicide and he feels guilt that he was unable to stop her. He falls in love with a
beautiful singer of an all-girl band and finds happiness. Shortly after their marriage, the
beings put his life at risk one time too many, and he's admitted to a facility to help him make sense
it all. The man in charge of the hospital seems to care and is willing to help Daryl be rid of the
in his mind, but he's not sure at what cost. Several others are also inside the hospital with him,
claiming to see the creatures as well. Concerned for the well being of his wife, he makes a phone
only to learn she has moved on without him. Or has she? The thin line between reality and dreams
mesh as one and it all becomes a frightening blur.
Mike Purfield takes an all ready disturbing concept and adds a unique strain to it. His ability to
very real and honest characters drives this story forward. The reader is able to experience the
thoughts, ideas, and visions of Daryl Hersh, and truly care for him and what he's going through.
whole way I was rooting for him to be rid of the beings, and return to a somewhat normal life.
the many twists and levels of suspense, Stereo Sanctity is bold, brash, and full of surprises.
Pasquale J. Morrone
ISBN 0595311520 $32.95 395 pp.
Spook Rock is a brilliant blend of both fiction and historical facts. Between the haunting words of
witchcraft, magic, legends and folklore to the gripping fast-paced plot, Pasquale J. Morrone
a stunning read.
If you love to delve into tales of witches and be told stories passed along from one generation the
next if you crave supernatural tension and a plethora of twists and turns you will be hooked
immediately into the pages of Spook Rock. The complexity of the story is laden with intrinsic
characters, suspense, intelligent ideals and strange coincidences. Add to that the already intriguing
pieces of history from the Salem witch trial, zombies, creatures of mythology to satanic demons,
you have yourself a page turning delight. This is the kind of book that reaches out to you with
intellect and doesn't let up for a minute.
The Banning Corporation is a powerful force, one with money and prestige behind its name. With
need to become modernized for the international popularity of video games and production,
filmmaker Brad Banning, son of his deceased father Jacob Banning, decides to take on the job.
Halester, comes up with an idea for a video game titled The Guardians, about witches from the
sixteen hundreds, and pitches it to the Banning Corporation. With an assembled team to help with
research and realistic design, they suddenly become the key players in a game bigger than they
ever imagine. Unknowingly, Brad Banning uncovers a host of secrets buried deep in a place
discreetly known as Spook Rock. Disturbing a vicious and revengeful creature, he and his crew
venture in too far and must deal with the repercussions.
As the team fights for their lives, they must believe in and accept the very things that seemed like
they were once only campfire stories. The eyes of the sadistic creature watch their every move,
darkness closes in fast. I won't divulge how many times I shivered or looked behind me, as that
would be embarrassing, but I will say that the whole premise makes for an eerie read that requires
nerves of steel and a well-lit area.
The author writes in a sharp style that begs you to ignore all the things you think you know, and
rather let your imagination take over. After all, isn't that what storytelling is about? The escape to
the unknown, reading between the lines, forcing you to ask questions and revel in the many
answers; and at the same time is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish? Pasquale J. Morrone
does this with fine-tuned skill and creates a novel that demands attention. Not only is this a
persons book, it is a tribute to creative minds everywhere. Spook Rock will draw you in and
mesmerize even the most stubborn of non-believers. In short, it's a gem worth discovering.
Catherynne M. Valente
ISBN 1894815661 $29.95 180 pp.
The Labyrinth is a prose-laden journey through light and dark blended together in a kaleidoscope
exquisite imagery. For those who appreciate fine puzzles and intricate maze-like inner travels, this
will thoroughly captivate you. Freely flowing between trance-filled fantasy and enchanting
mythology, this makes for a surreal and soothing read.
All perception of reality instantly falls away, as you join the main character in her decent within.
There is a high level of intelligence here, each action has a consequence, and each path is a lesson,
but one for each person to make their own and discover. Rather than searching for doors with the
hopes they lead somewhere, our strong-willed warrior must hide from the Doors and be given the
freedom to make her own choices. The Doors - seemed to me - to act like pressures,
and places that want to cage you up and keep you stuck. Her need to be liberated and trek
the perils of the maze, or life itself, is very much like our ways in this modern world. Behind every
turn something lurks, waits, and attempts to stifle our more passionate direction. I believe each
person will take away something different from the story, depending on what we're facing in our
The Labyrinth is very much like a classical music piece. Starting softly it sings to the soul, is filled
with complexity and poise, reaches a startling crescendo, and then leaves the body luxuriously
stirred for quite some time. While the characters seem offbeat at first you may find they represent
the very events, things and people that surround us all. The author's sheer use of creativity is what
makes the whole story work and in a manner that deserves attention as well as applause. This is
original, and a beautiful direction for literature to take. Think mystic, Shakespeare, fables, and
the gentle escape into a multi-faceted world.
This was my first opportunity to read something by the artistic and eloquent author, Catherynne
M.Valente. I will no doubt be on the lookout for all her future works. Her sense of writing style
grabbed my attention immediately and pulled me along through each and every strand of prosaic
words. For one who appreciates the fine art of using the imagination to its greatest capacity, this
be delicious mind candy.
Nancy Jackson, Reviewer
The Doomsday Brunette
John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
ISBN 0756400902, $6.99, 356 pages
Set in the middle of the 21st century, the Thompson Quads (short for quadruplets) are genetically
engineered to be stronger, smarter, more beautiful and alluring, more everything than the average
person. Ona, Twoa, Threa and Foraa (seriously) are supposed to be the pinnacle of humanity, but
their personalities never caught up with their bodies. During a private dinner at Ona's private
compound, attempting to patch up disagreements between them (which have grown to the size of
the Grand Canyon), Foraa falls to the floor, dead, and apparently poisoned.
Enter Zachary Nixon Johnson, the world's last freelance private investigator. The wine Foraa was
drinking when she collapsed tests negative for all known poisons. An autopsy on Foraa is
because her skin, like that of her sisters, is impregnable to outside objects, including scalpels,
and even lasers used on asteroids. Johnson, who is assisted in his investigation by HARV, the
world's most sophisticated supercomputer hardwired into his brain, doesn't lack for suspects.
Perhaps the killer was aiming for Ona (she inherited all of Daddy's money when he died, and has
become an arrogant, overbearing you-know-what) and miscalculated. After much investigation,
narrowly surviving an attack by a cybernetic suit of armor, Johnson feels the case is solved.
what is supposed to be the climatic scene, where the hardboiled PI calls together all the suspects
order to reveal the murderer, Johnson gets a call from the morgue. Foraa has woken up, gotten
the autopsy table and left. The final battle of the book takes place in a New Vegas casino that
happens to be built on top of a real doomsday device, built by Daddy before he died.
Fans of hardboiled detective novels will enjoy this story; science fiction fans will also enjoy it. The
authors do a fine job throughout and this is well worth reading.
In Lieu of Heaven
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
ISBN 1413421865, $30.99 166 pages
A man is walking along a path, not totally sure of where he is going. In the middle of a desolate
landscape, he suddenly encounters a lush, green forest. Exploring the forest, he comes across a
cooking a meal by a fire, a small cabin nearby. The traveler is invited to sit and realx for a while,
he was expected. The forest resident (for lack of a better name) tells his story.
One day, he woke up in a beautiful garden, with no memories before that day. Physically, he was
adult, but mentally and emotionally, he was like a newborn child. His father gave him no
no idea what to expect. Adam (that is what he calls himself) had to find out for himself what
happened when he pricked his finger on a thorn or ate the wrong berries. His father told him not
eat from the tree in the center of the garden. Sound familiar? Adam had no concept of "Do Not..."
His life became complete when Eve, his mate, arrived (yes, that Adam and Eve). After they ate
the forbidden tree, because Eve was never told not to do it, they are thrown out of the garden by
Adam's father (Jehovah) and forbidden to return.
They eventually found a place to live, and Eve gave birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain killed
Abel (if there was only the four of them, where did the concept of murder come from?) and
disappeared. This seems to suck the life out of Eve. She got sicker and sicker, until she just
breathing. Holding her in his arms, Adam swore vengeance on his father.
Adam has little good to say about many of the major figures of the Bible, like Abraham and
He talks about this tribe and that tribe that are not just defeated by the Israelites, but totally wiped
out. After many years of wandering, Adam met a freelance prophet in the south, and realized that
this was Jehovah in the flesh (his vow has not been forgotten). His teachings are either vague,
bloodthirsty or taken from other groups. Adam became one of the Disciples, using the name
and waited for the chance to carry out his vow.
As someone who was born and raised a Catholic, my initial reaction to this is: Holy Cow! The
author also includes over 270 references to specific Bible verses, so the reader can see for
themselves. For a very different, and very uncomplimentary, view of Christianity, this book is very
an imprnt of HarperCollins: London
0722532938 177 pp.
0060834838 $14.93 256 pp. large print edition
If dreams were candy, we would eat the sweet ones and hide the others where others could
over them, forgotten in an overgrown graveyard.
"The boy's name was Santiago. Dusk was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned
church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where
the sacristy once stood." (p3)
The neutron bomb came from the invisible atom..The sanctimonious moralist goes about spouting
aphorisms, "From the tiny acorn comes the mighty oak." Bookstore and grocery shelves alike
inspirational literature that is meant to uplift you with the "aha" moment of sudden insight and
spiritual revelation. Paul Coehlo belongs outside the clutter of oozing inspirational literature
the saint is found up to the elbows in the washtub, still scrubbing away with the corrugated
scrub-board with Grandpa's red winter flannels. The Alchemist belongs with a small collection of
literature that includes Tagore's Gitanjali and Gibran's Prophet. Ageless, it will withstand many
of reading and re-reading during the nights of anxiety and disillusion when the frozen pipes
and the mortgage threatens to squash the house.
The story line is geometrically simple. So simple that I could get it right on a practice SAT exam
turn the page without a bead of sweat. Draw a line from A to B and then from B to C, and then
from... What kind of book is that? Without subplots and the cast of thousands to be modified for a
television series or at least one bad movie?
Why must all books be venues for bad movies or Hollywood extravaganzas with animation and
actors so mixed that reality and illusion become impossible to differentiate? Consider it a jewel an
opal. Smooth, round, luminous, cool, yet whenever you turn it, appearances change as it breathes
fire to incite life. Such is the Alchemist, a person who can change appearances more easily than
legendary Chameleon and genie of the desert.
Santiago explains simply if he were to write a book, he would introduce the characters one at a
so that the reader wouldn't get confused. Accordingly, new faces enter sequentially as Santiago
leaves his beloved Andulasian homeland to travel across the strait to enter a different world. His
impression of the inhabitants of Tangiers smoking enormous pipes is a "practice of the infidels."
Santiago sees the world in reflection of his own prejudices and preconceived stereotypes, but as
progresses on his path toward his destiny, he discovers that reality is different. Chagrinned with
being scammed, he recognizes his willingness for self-deception, "I'm like everyone else I see the
world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does." (p 42)
Through experience, with encountering his projected stereotypes Santiago learns to see through
superficiality of his environment and listen to the Soul of the World. In his encounter with
Melchizedek, he learns that people ae aware early in their lives their reason for being, but it might
also be the reason why they give up so easily. A dream without application is only a fantasy.
are afraid to dream as they are afraid to fulfil their destinies, inhibited by the anxiety of failure or
they are not worthy of their aspirations. Only through pursuit of a dream, can it be realized, but
when a person refuses to acknowledge the dream it dies within him like a discarded flower.
Poetic, lyrical, Paulo Coehlo takes the reader on a journey of the soul, confronting the evil genies
within. Filled with soft irony and dry humor that fizzes like champagne, tickling the heart, the
becomes immersed with the struggles of Santiago to get from Andulasia to the Egyptian
On his path, he meets the ubiquitous Englishman of the desert in search of the Alchemist. Being
mildly practical, the Englishman packs around with him a library of ancient books to make the
complicated and have encyclopedic knowledge of his subject. Being a seminarian turned shepherd,
Santiago is only slightly interested, but far more aware of his environment, learning to listen in the
language of the universe. Ironically, for a seminarian, Santiago has no recollection of an ancient
named Melchizedek, revealing the immense gap between the Catholic and Jewish faiths, and
even greater ignorance when confronted with his Islamic brothers. However, he learns.
In a world troubled by national and religious bitterness, Paulo Coehlo's Alchemist is a refreshing
study of faith and destiny. Through hardship, Santiago learns to discard the stereotypes of his
childhood as well as his prejudices. He comes to recognize that courage is not only protecting the
sheep from their predators, but confronting the unknown and allow it to wsh over him, trusting in
the mysterious forces of the Soul of the Universe and the Principle of Favorability. The ubiquitous
Englishman carries a gun because it helps him trust in men, and he seeks the mentorship of the
alchemist to learn teh secret of turning lead into gold. Unarmed, Santiago comes to understand
each thing has its own value and place in the universe and that each person is as important as the
next one in shaping destiny. Definitely a parable of our time, the Alchemist considers the conflicts
human relations among the three great faiths within in the context of fantasy.
There ae several different imprints of the text available on Amazon, including audio and a
compilation of three short novels: The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage and By the River Piedra, I Sat
Down and Wept from One Spirit (ISBN : 096547559X 2002)
A Soft Place to Land
1590885082, $15.00 212 pp.
Fast moving, Jaxine Daniels takes you on adventure. as Nic rescues the unknown woman off the
street, dressed in pajamas but minus a slipper--a potential Cinderella minus the ball gown and
pumpkin. Every parajumper knows that when dropping form heights, you need a soft place to
even if in a parking lot.
Nic finished off his pizza, left the beer and left the pub when the hockey game ended. Winter
came in one flavor cold. He scraped off the ice on the car and headed back to the hotel only to
edge up to a disabled vehicle with a disoriented driver. The paramedic with Batman's instincts
sprang into action, taking on the uneven battles of the world, championing the underdog. She
so terribly bad looking, either, but didn't respond normally. Drugs? At least she knew her first
She began looking around as if hoping that the answer would appear in lights. It wasn't that hard a
question. Hell. This could be a problem. while he waited for the answer, he automatically clicked
through the possible causes of altered levels of consciousness. Alcohol, altitude, anaphylaxis,
apnea...the list went on." (p6)
Reality orientation begins with the list of questions: the president, date, place, etc. Julie fails with
date, coming close with the twenty-third of December. Nic is in for a Christmas he will remember
for the rest of his life. Skiing was planned, but now he has company for the slopes that he didn't
invite. Having a soft heart, he takes her in with the compassion for an abandoned kitten. Lost?
Perhaps, but difficult to know when someone can't remember who they are. But what to do? You
can't rightly just take in a lost person in the same way as a lost dog or cat, especially when you
know anything about their past. Besides who wants to be alone or abandoned at Christmas.
Within a few pages the reader is snagged. The writing is fluid, swift and dynamic, drawing the
into the drama of Julie's tulmultous life. Defenseless, she dislikes being defended as a victim; but
traumatized her life is broken in confused fragments. Steps retraceed, she confronts the horror
lies beyond the front door. Action moves quickly across the California-Nevada wonderland as
tries to recall the nightmare. She's wanted; but not for any good reason.
In a quandary, faced with more than he can handle, Nic turns to his relatives and team mates for
support as he assists Julie rediscover herself. Although she seems survival smart and can handle a
gun, she seems vulnerable to mental lapses. Like an animal, she's tracked, but doesn't have a
place to hide. No stranger to trauma, himself, he understands the need for extended support and
dangers of facing crisis alone. Members of a team live and work together in seasons of distress.
Paramedics trust each others in the face of death, rescuing survivors of airplane wrecks or pulling
bodies out of fires. Courage comes in two parts, physical and mental that requires spiritual
toughness to overcome adversity and the finality of death.
Intimate with rescue teams, Daniels convinces the reader of the dangers and cameraderie that
among paramedics and their colleagues. Often the unknown heroes, they are overlooked when
headlines scream about survivors airlifted from a cliff face or bodies recovered from the
wilderness. Daniels conveys the intense drama of wilderness rescue through the multiple eyes and
voices of the team members, from control down to the ground. She pits the harsh realities of
manuevers against the off-beat humor that's required to survive psychologically. The characters
lively, realistic and dynamic. Through Julie's identity crisis and her recent trauma, Daniels paints
blossoming affair of Nic and Julie against the insidious treachery of local city corruption and the
bravery of wilderness rescue teams. When folks are snuggling in front of a fire or Christmas tree,
they open presents and drink hot cocoa, but avoid unlocking the cupboard for the skeletons in the
Slick, fast, Daniels knows how to write a page-turning book that is good for the purse or
to take on the train or plane or read in a night of insomnia.
The Unicorn Treasury: Stories, Poems, and Unicorn Lore
Bruce Coville, compiler and editor
Magic Carpet Books
ISBN: 015205216X $5.95
What does a Unicorn find irresistible? So irresistible in fact, it can be used as a trap? What sort of
power radiates from its legendary horn? And what is an "alicorn?" In this endearing collection of
unicorn lore, the word treasury is appropriately applied. Compiled and edited by a unicorn master,
author Coville has taken us into a magical realm where we can believe in ancient times and
venues featuring stories, poems, and unicorn tales. We meet a princess who encounters a
and arrogant unicorn and a boy torn between saving himself or a trapped creature destined to
We feel the angst of two children struggling to protect a unicorn from hunters and we realize the
power of a unicorn's magic and the extent of its charm. This enchanted collection includes works
from Bruce Coville, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, Jane Yolen, and others coming together to
create a world of unicorn adventure.
What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? A Math Adventure
Julie Ellis, author
Phyllis Hornung, illustrator
Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1570911509 $6.95
Ever wonder where all the math theories came from and what drove the great minds to discover
how things work? Meet Pythagoras, a young Greek boy born around 563 BCE. This engaging
of discovery is told through a fictionalized account of curiosity and persistence. The father of
Pythagoras wants his son to be a merchant, but the son has other dreams. He likes to ponder the
geometrical puzzles he sees before him. Why do columns lean, why is the ladder too short, and
is that specially knotted rope used by Neferheperhersekeper the builder? Left alone in a garden
a statue base shaped like a triangle, Pythagoras experiments by placing different colored tiles
the sides. Through visual discovery, the young Greek begins to understand the laws governing the
right triangle and how that knowledge may help him. From this inquiry, the Pythagorean Theorem
born. Although a sophisticated concept to understand, the endearing storyline and delightful
pictures help the youngest to grasp the concept behind aý+ bý=cý. Readers will be able to put the
story into historical prospective with illustrations featuring a peaceful Mediterranean
HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN: 0064404897 $6.99
What are the hardships of being a young Chinese boy in a new American frontier during the late
1800's? What do you do when you have come from a privileged background and you are suddenly
thrust into an unbearable work environment of little food, long grueling hours, and unbelievable
danger? America's quest to build a transcontinental railroad is historically detailed in this fictional
account of laying track across an unforgiving mountain known as "Snow Tiger." Young Otter
wishes to join his father and uncle in America so he can be part of a new creation called the
And bridging travel across the land is a tireless wonder known as the locomotive. Forbidden by
adopted mother to join his father and uncle in the land of promise, Otter suddenly finds himself in
jeopardy after encountering the combative Manchus. He arrives in America to find life is not what
thought. His uncle "Foxfire" is not the great man he thought him to be, and his once kingly father
has been reduced to a gravelling laborer. The hardships of intense physical labor, dangerous
conditions, starvation, bitter cold, racial prejudice, and isolation bring the reader's sense to life. It
through these senses we feel the desperation of Otter's destiny as he chooses to die or rise above
task. Friendship and family love provide strength in this heart felt story.
The New Workforce: Five Sweeping Trends That Will Shape Your Company's Future
ISBN 081440829X $27.95 243 pages
Thought-provoking, Educational: Well worth your time.
Human resources executives are naturally concerned about what's coming. Part of their job is to
prepare for future workforce and workplace needs and advise senior leaders regarding appropriate
strategies. Those senior executives are also beginning to wake up and smell the trends. The smart
ones are hungry for the insights that will empower them to lead their organizations boldly into the
Harriet Hankin, president of a benefits design consulting and administration firm in the
area, brings corporate experience, an ownership role, and the perspective that comes from serving
an objective consultant to corporations. She's obviously done her research in order to present key
trends and their impacts.
The book is organized into two sections: The Five Major Emerging Workforce Trends and The
Impact of the Trends on Human Resources. Hankin selected five trends; as a futurist by
see a number of others on the horizon. Selecting the more influential trends can always be
challenged. This book addresses Longevity, More Varied Household Types, Generations,
and Trust, Respect, and Ethics.
The book is written in an almost conversational style, with stories and anecdotes that flavor the
and make the book even more readable. Hankin includes some information which, while it may
be right on target from a serious business perspective, broadens the reader's appreciation of the
issues raised. The depth of the author's research comes out in the notes at the end of each chapter.
Readers interested in gaining even more knowledge about a topic Hankin discusses will easily be
able to follow her research path. Call-out boxes and charts fit well into the book design,
the value for the reader.
In the second section, Hankin shares a treasure chest of ideas that employers may apply. There are
enough ideas in these pages to keep a human resources staff busy for quite a while! Among the
valuable features I appreciated is a list (on page 181) comparing the kinds of reward priorities that
will be preferred by various generations.
A helpful appendix offers an outline for engaging employees in a future think tank experience to
prepare tomorrow's workforce. A comprehensive index makes it easy to find what you're looking
if, as I expect, you'll want to go back to this book for repeated readings and considerations.
As a qualifier, I am author of "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People," a book on
coming shortage of skilled workers. The issues we concentrate on as workforce futurists, are
well-addressed in "The New Workforce." If you're in management or human resources or moving
in that direction in your career, read this book.
Lee & Grant: Profiles in Leadership
Maj. Charles R. Bowery, Jr.
ISBN 0814408192 $24.00 262 pages
Wonderful Mix of Leadership and History
Here's a very enjoyable book written by a military historian and leadership specialist. Bowery has
very effectively intertwined a captivating history of the civil war, a tale that certainly holds the
attention of the reader, with an almost subtle set of valuable leadership lessons.
Using profiles and examples of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, the commanding generals of
Union and Confederate armies of the American Civil War, Bowery teaches strategic leadership,
effective interaction with subordinates, changing styles with needs, and transformational
By using the lessons demonstrating the impact of leadership styles on the outcome of battles and
war, Bowery delivers a powerful insight into a trying period of history.
The lessons of this war's battlefields, influenced by politics and an ever-changing environment, are
inspirational and instructive. Leaders of today and tomorrow, on battlefields that are much
than those challenging conditions of the 1860s, will gain from understanding of Lee and Grant's
successes and failures.
I was impressed with the way Bowery wove his leadership lessons into a thoroughly researched
detailed story of historical battles and maneuvers. The lessons sort of sneak up on you. The
body of the book is supplemented by a helpful summary of the Union and Confederate forces and
suggestions for further reading. An appendix on Leadership Laboratories ways to gain the most
from visiting the battlefields adds an unexpected, but stimulating, perspective.
This book can serve as a fine management text, offering an opportunity for leaders to engage in
some fascinating conversations about what they've read. Touring the battlefields, using the
guidelines in the book, will add a deeper dimension to the experience.
Get What You Want: A Fun, Upbeat, and Fresh Approach to Negotiating
Hal Becker and John Lief
ISBN 1886939683 $17.95 230 pages
Light Reading with Good Messages
Hal Becker is a sales trainer and professional speaker. His friend, Jon Lief, is a gemstone broker.
What can these men teach us about negotiating? They're not negotiators. They're not trainers in
field of negotiating. They're not university professors specializing in negotiating. And they're
certainly not statesmen with decades of experience across the table with heads of state.
That's the point. They're ordinary guys who gained their expertise in negotiating in the trenches.
is a practical book written by two businessmen very successful businessmen who learned about
getting what they want by actually doing it in a variety of situations. Becker was Xerox's Number
One salesman; you don't achieve that rank without gaining substantial negotiating experience. Lief
deals internationally in a highly competitive field where one slip can cost you a lot of money.
The two authors have put together a list of Top Ten Negotiating Points on which the book is
Teaching the real-life application of the ten points, they use stories from their experiences and
they've learned from others. Becker wrote the first portion of the book; life wrote the second
portion. The third portion is a summary of a set of interviews, conducted by Becker, of people the
authors consider to be effective negotiators.
The style of the authors is light, but content-filled. At several points in the book, I felt that I was
being dragged through a story that took me far afield from the topic of negotiating. Then, the
dawned and I realized that I'd just been taught some more about the topic. The book goes beyond
business negotiating to demonstrate that getting what you want is a life skill. The authors are a bit
irreverent at times, but if you've read Becker's other books you know that this is part of who he is.
He takes what he does seriously, but that's where his seriousness stops. The interviews toward the
end of the book seemed lighter than what I expected disappointing, but there are nuggets there,
too. When you read between the lines, a skill of negotiating, you "see" more than what appears on
the printed page.
Good book for sales professionals, businesspeople in all fields, parents, and well just about
It's not heavy, but it's educational, fun, and only $17.95.
Roger E. Herman, Reviewer
How To Photograph The Paranormal
Leonore Sweet, Ph.D.
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
1125 Stoney Ridge Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902
1571744118 $16.95 1-800-766-8009 www.hrpub.com
How To Photograph The Paranormal is an advice guide to capturing preternatural phenomena
events on film. From learning to recognize and avoid reflections of TV screens or other light
sources, to recognizing and finding the best times to hunt orbs, will-o'-the-wisps, and other
lights, to filming apparitions and unknown biology and more, How To Photograph The
describes in plain terms what symptoms and markers to watch for, and what techniques to use.
Black-and-white and an inset collection of color photographs enhance this easy-to-follow
PO Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383
0738704717 $29.95 1-800-843-6666 www.llewellyn.com
With his practical, non-dogmatic, occasionally iconoclastic approach to the Black Arts, as well as
being one of Europe's best known practical magicians and contemporary occult authors with more
than twenty-five books to his credit, Belgium-based Frater U.D. is the founder of "Pragmatic
and "Ice Magic", and the author of High Magick: Theory & Practice. This comprehensive and
thoroughly "reader friendly" introduction to magical practices will provide even the most novice
inquiry with a sold, methodical foundation for furthering their personal studies. Rather than a
compendium of potions and spells, High Magick focuses upon explaining the basic laws governing
magic, with an emphasis on what it means to be a "good" magician. With an impressive emphasis
self-discipline and the need for training the practitioner's own will, High Magick covers all of the
major facets of high magick including "The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram", sigil
ritual magick, visualization, the "Greater Ritual of the Pentagram", planetary magick, tools of the
magician, talisman work, mantra magick, money magick, magickal paradigms, chaos and cyber
magick. Enhanced with practical exercises at the end of each informed and informative chapter,
Magick: Theory & Practice should be considered required reading for anyone wanting to study
metaphysical and magical arts of the occult. Also very highly recommended is Frater U.D.'s
work published by Llewellyn Publications, Secrets of Western Sex Magic: A Practical Handbook
Men and Women (15767187064, $17.95).
The Great American Novel Or, Random Start
2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512
ISBN: 0595334466 $13.95 paperback
ISBN: 0595669360 $23.95 cloth 173 pages
The Great American Novel Or, Random Start is a precious shot of adrenaline. This brilliantly
original storyline is a saucy tale taking place in the small rural town of Hickston, Kansas.
Dr. Daniel Morrison, a recently retired OBGYN, and his wife are quietly settling in to the simple
when a past anxious patient knocks on his door. Seventeen years ago, Dr. Morrison delivered the
eccentric patient's daughter dubbing the baby Miracle Miriam, due to the difficulty of the birth.
Miriam is the reason for Alice Baxter's (the patient) zealous visit. Alice, in her hyper-parenting,
believes her daughter is a prophet.
Alice parcels out the necessary information convincing the good Doctor to participate in the
validation of this miracle. Miriam seems to be carting messages from heaven in a very unusual
Once this news is released about Miriam, it becomes a horse that can't be put back in the barn. As
the situation continues, it has a transformative effect on all involved.
The author chisels his characters so finely that the book is alive with side-splitting yet heart
comedy. This is one vastly entertaining novel. I loved this kooky intelligently written book.
Mr. Stafford has a vibrant creative imagination and deserves a Bravo!
Guardian of the Zercons
Brian Jeffrey Voigt
Blue Pig Productions
PO Box 691779, Orlando, Florida 32869-1779
ISBN 1932545182 $21.95 339 pp., 10 black and white illustrations
The story unfolds as the wicked Schartan implements his masterfully designed plan. In the city of
twin luminescent blue moons, Plebar, the market is full of delco traders by day. Delcos are coins
made of a metal similar to gold. Schartan is a conniving, gluttonous delco trader with his eye of a
much larger objective. The enigmatic Schartan slyly acquires great wealth which catapults him to
achieving his next purpose. The evil plotter desires to become Chancellor giving him wide-ranging
access to the King. Once he accomplishes this, the land soon becomes his. He spitefully strips the
of color from his land and blinds others.
Schatan's victims include the massive peace loving vegetarian Zercon Dragons. He doesn't stop
as his nightmare rein fully destroys the diminutive little Frollics while shades of gray loom over the
Yet, success is not guaranteed to Schartan, for life is full of surprises. A small Dragon cub is born
and renews hope for all. Little Repunzel blurted out the most stunning words at the age of five.
These important three little words revitalizes the Zercon's and hope abounds once again. Repunzel
becomes the eyes and the protector for the Zercons. As the Guardian of the Zercons, Repunzel is
told a tale about a missing magical amulet. This amulet could put an end to the Schartan's torment
and so the search begins to rescue his world from devastation.
Enjoy cat-like creatures, Sany Monsters and Gorgon Soldiers to name a few of the peculiar and
inventive characters. Add in the weird and wonderful gizmos along with the suspense and you
a cleverly created fantasy.
Guardian of the Zercons showcases Mr. Voigt's talent for entertaining fantasy. A real treat for
fantasy lovers and for those who love "good over evil" story lines. A bonus is the glossary in the
back of the book.
Poe's Heart and the Mountain Climber: Exploring the Effect of Anxiety on Our Brains and Our
Richard Restak, M.D.
ISBN# 1400048508 $22.00 235 pages/indexed
The book's title refers to Edgar Allen Poe's protagonist in "The Tell-Tale Heart" short story.
killed a man, the main characcter develops deep anxiety from guilt, leading him to imagine that he
hears the heart beat of his deceased victim. Meaning: anxiety can be a strong, and negative, force
some humans. The mountain climber allusion relates to those who fearlessly, and apparently, with
little anxiety, climb such peaks as Mount Everest. In brief: anxiety doesn't have to inhibit.
Anxiety is defined as "A state of uneasinss and distress about future uncertainties; apprehension;
worry," according to The American Heritage Dictionary.
Today, more than ever before, many people are highly anxious. The book points out that, "...over
million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety dysfunction." Why? Well, thanks to modern
technology, more is learned about what's going wrong in the world. And that information comes
around the clock, seven dys a week. Certainly, events like 9/11 in New York, Washington DC,
Pennsylvania are a part of this heightened anxiety, too. With so much bad news, people are tenser.
And it's making some of them anxious to the point of experiencing panic and anxiety attacks.
That's the bad news. The good news is, according to Dr. Restak, the book's author, anxiety can
benefit humans. This life saving/or enhancing trait lets people know of internal conflict, so
can be done to resolve or alleviate the problem. And for those who have an inordinate amount of
anxiety, they can learn to cope with it and/or to medicate the malady. And here he's not talking
about old self-remedies for anxiety, such as consuming alcohol to excess or becoming a
He's discussing effective, nonaddictive pharmacological drugs such as Prozac plus attitudinal
The author explains the difference between fear and anxiety. The former being a reaction to a
specific external threat: a bear met face to face in the woods, for instance. Once that threat passes,
so does the fear. Anxiety, on the other hand, is more of a general feeling of unease, an internal
conflict. The anxious sufferer may not even know what's causing that feeling. But it effects his life
The amount of anxiety felt by individuals, of course, varies. Researchers suspect, it depend upon
genes. No one, however, knows exactly which genes are responsible.
Restak writes, "[...]. My point here is that people differ in their susceptibility to developing
not because of 'neuroses' or a 'weak will' but, we're learning, because of genetic susceptibility:
Nature dealt them a 'bad hand.' "
At the end of chapters and in the epilogue, the author lays out ways to learn how to cope with
anxiety, like thinking specifically about what makes you anxious, recording these thoughts in a
journal, learning how to stop thinking that way, and more.
The idea isn't to rid yourself completely of anxiety, because it's a very necessary life force. But
shouldn't let it ruin your life, either. It's a survival mechanism. So it has to be kept in proper
Writer of over a dozen other books, Restak is a neurologist and neuropsychiatrist. He also teaches
neurology at a major university hospital.
Letters to a Teacher
Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN# 0871136996 $19.95 242 pages
This is an advice book addressed to teachers of all grade levels of school, public and private, boys
and girls, rich and poor, average and above mentally. Its format is the essay, in fact a series of ten
them, on various topics of concern to the teaching profession, written as letters to an imaginary
This advice giver is teacher himself, now a Professor of English at the University of Connecticut.
earned his Ph.D. in English from Princeton. Pickering has had extensive teaching experience in the
lower grades, too, at schools in the U.S. and around the globe. He was also the inspiration for the
DEAD POETS SOCIETY motion picture that came out few years ago.
Some of his advice includes, "You must realize that much lies beyond your knowledge. Never [..]
underestimate the ignorance of the partially learned, that is all of us. Although older teachers
generally lack the energy of beginning teachers and responsibility may make some older teachers
inclined to stray from the fold of rule, people who have been in the classroom for decades can be
more tolerant and kinder than the young. One of the best things you can do amid the mess of class
interest students in the particular, matters close to hand that at first seem small but may enrich life
more than things generally thought major or important. As a teacher you cannot escape being
misunderstood. [...], if you think a slight distortion will encourage and maybe lead to blossoms,
push a mark a little higher than it should otherwise be. Unless new teachers stumble badly and
control of themselves or their classes, probably the best things you can do are to act concerned
be ready to advise. A person can learn as much about good living from a science course as from
history. There are no easy answers and no easy classrooms or lives."
Pickering leavens all his essays with several humorous, down-home stories of his imaginary
up years in Carthage, Tennessee.
Most of the seventeen books that Pickering has written are collections of his essays.
Echoes Of Eternity
Hal M. Helms
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
1557251738 $9.95 www.paracletepress.com
Hal M. Helms (1923-1997) was a Congregational minister who served five different
between 1949 and 1974. For twenty-three years he also served on the clergy staff and lived at the
Community of Jesus in Orleans, Massachusetts writing a number of devotional books and
modern versions of Christian classics for contemporary readers including "Pilgrims Progress" and
"Confessions of St. Augustine". With Echoes Of Eternity: Listening To The Father, Hal Helms
compiled 365 meditations on different scripture verses with a special focus emphasizing the
necessity to listen for the still, small voice within us, as well as to speak when we pray. Each of
daily meditations comprising Echoes Of Eternity includes a scripture verse and encouraging
that speak of Chris as our personal anchor, the treasure of God's love, and the abiding peace of
that can sooth even the most troubled of souls. Very highly recommended and with a conveniently
pocket-sized portability, Echoes Of Eternity can accompany the reader anywhere for
reading at any appropriate time.
James Montgomery Boice
Baker Book House
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
0801012821 $19.99 www.bakerbooks.com
Written by senior Presbyterian pastor James Montgomery Boice, who has also written
upon The Gospel of Matthew, The Gospel of John, and many more, Nehemiah: An Expositional
Commentary is a scholarly and well-reasoned close reading and interpretation that inspects the
Testament book. Revealing how God steels His servants for their appointed tasks, Nehemiah: An
Expositional Commentary deconstructs the holy text verse by verse and draws from it profound
all-encompassing truths: "If we will not obey him [Jesus Christ], live holy lives, and be his witness
this world, it is certain that no one else will. The responsibility is ours alone." A deeply moving,
passionate, and faithful presentation.
Cold Tree Press c/o Terry Kyllo
7555 Crescent Lane, Anacortes, WA 98221
1583850570 $12.95 1-360-770-2774 www.coldtreepress.com
In Being Human: The Image of The Serving God, Lutheran pastor Terry Kyllo invites the reader
explore Jesus' profound relation of the Serving God. A God utterly committed to loving and
everyone and everything think in a contemporary world that seems intent upon inflicting damage
the hopes, aspirations, and spiritual lives of the Christian community. Very highly recommended
reading for Christians of all denominations and traditions, Being Human offers a compelling vision
of just what it really means to believe in Jesus in the context of the modern world. Pastor Kyllo
maintains that we are made in the image of a loving God, and it is in serving God that we serve
world, as well as find purpose, meaning, and joy in our personal daily lives.
A Biblical Guide To Counseling The Sexual Addict
Pure Life Ministries
14 School Street, Dry Ridge, KY 41035
0971547092 $13.99 1-859-824-4444 www.purelifeministries.org
Like any other kind of compulsive behavior that rises to the level of mental illness, sexual
the victim must deal not only with the self-destructive behaviors, but also the social and spiritual
stigma associated with sexual promiscuity or deviancey, and the condemnation of them by the
Christian community as sexual sinners. Steve Gallahger (Founder and President of Pure Life
Ministries) has come to the aid of such unfortunates and the clergy charged with the responsibility
providing them with pastoral counseling with A Biblical Guide To Counseling The Sexual Addict.
Organized into three major sections (Applying the Fundamentals of Biblical Counseling;
Specifics; Running A Successful Support Group), A Biblical Guide To Counseling The Sexual
Addict is a complete course in a single volume that will materially assist any pastor, priest, or lay
leader in effectively assisting their afflicted brothers and sisters in Christ to understand and
end their compulsive behavior. Enhanced with a Bibliography, a Recommended Reading list, and
indexes by Scriptures and by Subjects, A Biblical Guide To Counseling The Sexual Addict is an
essential and strongly recommended instructional reference.
The Complete Jesus
Rick Alan Mayotte
Steerforth Press, LLC
PO Box 70, South Royalton, VT 05068
1883642779 $15.00 www.steerforth.com
A lifelong student of the history of religion, Ricky Alan Mayhotte has produced what can only be
called a seminal, breakthrough work that should be read by every member of the clergy and ever
member of the Christian congregations they serve regardless of denominational affiliation. The
Complete Jesus is nothing short of a complete and exhaustive collection of sayings by Jesus as
recording in 23 documents surviving from antiquity. In addition to the four biblical gospels and
"Book of Revelations", this ancient sources include Christian Gnostic writings and New
Apocrypha ranging from "The Book of Thomas", to "The Gospel of Mary", to "The Apocryphon
James", to "The Sophia of Jesus Christ", to "The Acts of John", to the "Epistle of Titus", to "The
Apocalypse of Peter". The sayings of Jesus are impressively organized into nine chapters:
Commandments, Parables, Jesus Speaking About Himself, Warnings And Admonitions, Teachings
And Proverbs, Hymns And Prayers, Jesus Laughing, Diverse Doctrine, Apocalyptic And
Enhanced with appendices that provide the reader with the descriptions of the New Testament
books, the Gnostic documents, and the Apocrypha writings which served as the sources for the
diverse quotations from Jesus. "Jesus said, Who ever finds the world and becomes rich, let him
renounce the world."
The Work Of The Pastor
Victor D. Lehman
PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-9897
081701473X $12.00 www.judsonpress.com
Rather than laying out a rigid job description, The Work Of The Pastor by Victor D. Lehman
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Fargo, North Dakota) presents ideas and perspectives based on the
understanding that there is really no single correct way to be an effective pastor. There are simply
too many variables within congregations and their pastors for any "one size fits all" job
Instead, Pastor Lehman focuses on core ministry duties essential to the vocation of pastor. Of
special interest is the beneficial focus upon the obligations of small church pastors having to
a diverse range of congregational expectations. Also of great utility is the advice offered and
perspectives given for the benefit of all pastors regardless of the congregational assignments, as
as those who are contemplating a pastoral ministry of service to the Christian community. The
Of The Pastor is also very highly recommended reading from members of church boards charged
with the tasks of recruiting, overseeing, and evaluating pastors for their churches.
The Most Real Being
J. A. Crabtree
Gutenberg College Press
1883 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403
0974691410 $33.00 www.gutenberg.edu
The Most Real Being: A Biblical And Philosophical Defense Of Divine Determinism by biblical
scholar J. A. Crabtree (Director of McKenzie Study Center, Gutenberg College, Eugene, Oregon)
distinguishes between the Christian bible-based concept of divine determinism and pagan fatalism
while addressing major philosophical and ethical arguments such as the doctrine of free will.
Controversial, and given contemporary Christian dogmas and theological discussions, sometimes
iconoclastic, The Most Real Being is hallmarked with a logical consistency as it argues divine
determinism being consistent with the concept of human free will and independent choice. The
in knowing that God is in control which provides an assured confidence in our decision making
processes. A welcome and scholarly contribution to the Free Will vs Divine Determination debate
within seminarian theological discussions, The Most Real Being is also recommended reading for
non-specialist general reader with an interest in this often misunderstood and misleadingly
aspect of Christian belief.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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