Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Small Press Bookwatch

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 6 June 2005 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health/Medicine Shelf Computer Shelf
Fiction Shelf Biography Shelf Self-Help Shelf
American History Shelf Business Shelf Poetry Shelf
Parenting Shelf Black Studies Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Children's Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Waiter, There's a Horse In My Wine
Jennifer "Chotzi" Rosen
Dauphin Press
245 S. Garfield St., Denver, CO 80209
0976317001 $14.99 1-303-321-0211

Waiter, There's a Horse In My Wine is a chuckle-inducing collection of writings by internationally-acclaimed wine writer and educator Jennifer Rosen. Written with especial tongue-in-cheek humor, Waiter, There's a Horse in my Wine shows the reader how to deal with wine snobs, impress friends, and give enemies pause! Cartoonish black-and-white illustrations add a charming touch to this delightful guide; regardless of whether one is a connoisseur of wine or hardly ever drinks it, Waiter, There's a Horse In My Wine is just plain fun to read.

The Dancing Chain
Frank J. Berto
Cycling Resources Books
Van der Plas Publications
1282 7th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
1892495414 $54.95 1-877-353-1207

Now in an updated and expanded second edition, The Dancing Chain is the in-depth story of the history and development of the Derailleur Bicycle. The Dancing Chain offers the culmination of 10 years of research - 5 poured into the first edition, and now another 5 into the second, and focuses especially upon the past 100 years. Black-and-white photographs and illustrations reveal how bicycles adapted to the challenges of traveling faster on level ground and climbing better uphill. The Dancing Chain does not shy from technical detail, yet remains informatively accessible to the lay reader making it a fascinating resource for leisure reading, as well as hard research for academia. Highly recommended for bicycle enthusiasts and historians alike.

Sex and Love Addiction
Jay Parker
Issues Press
c/o Idyll Arbor (dist.)
PO Box 720, Ravensdale, WA 98051
1930461011 $18.00

Sex and Love Addiction: My Journey from Shame to Grace is the true story of one man's recovery from exhibitionism, fueled by sex and love addiction. Now a licensed addictions counselor and one of the first specializing in Internet addiction and related sex and love addiction issues, his story spares no graphic detail in how addiction seized control of his life, and his long, slow struggle to reclaim himself and his purpose. A testimony of the forces both within and without needed to make the journey to recovery, Sex and Love Addiction is a profound yet ultimately hopeful personal memoir and highly recommended reading, especially for those who are having to deal with sexual addiction issues within their own lives and families.

Toward A Philosophy Of Perception
Margaret A. Harrell
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
4511 Mimosa Tree Lane, Apt. 1201. Raleigh, NC 27612
142080149X $41.25 1-888-280-7715

Impressively enhanced with thirty-three full-color, coffee table-sized cloud photographs, Toward A Philosophy Of Perception: The Magnitude Of Human Potential--Cloud Optics by academician and Eastern Studies advocate Margaret Harrell provides the reader with a thoughtful and thought-provoking text illustrating a powerful and extended journey into a higher consciousness. Toward A Philosophy Of Perception engagingly chronicles Harrell's several decades of inspirational teachings and personal experiences, as well as her dedicated research into consciousness and life. Toward A Philosophy Of Perception articulates the position that everyone inherently holds all the tools they would need to reach a higher level of conspicuousness, and in doing so, become a source of love and light that can help shape a better future for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. An enthusiastically recommended reading experience, the photography, poetry, sciences, and Harrell's own remarkable abilities to communicate with the reader, make Toward A Philosophy Of Perception a seminal work of wit, wisdom, and imagination.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Yoga Therapy For Overcoming Insomnia
Peter Van Houten & Rich McCord
Crystal Clarity, Publishers
14618 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
1565891740 $14.00 1-800-424-1055

Insomnia is the single most prevalent sleep disorder with an estimated ten percent of the American population having insomnia nightly. Yoga is a recognized exercise technique with established healing effects. Now Yoga has been applied to treating insomnia with a therapeutic regimen made accessible for the non-specialist general reader through the collaborative efforts of practicing primary care physician Peter Van Houten and Rich McCord, the worldwide director of Ananda Yoga, one of the largest schools of yoga in the United States today. Yoga Therapy For Overcoming Insomnia articulately discusses the types, causes, and treatments of insomnia, as well as providing expert instruction on creating good sleep habits. Extensive information is provided on how to use yoga postures as an aid in treating and preventing insomnia, along with useful conventional and alternative treatments to supplement the utilization of yoga in combating insomnia. Enhanced with a variety of additional "tips, techniques, and tools", Yoga Therapy For Overcoming Insomnia requires no prior knowledge of, or expertise with, yoga in order to quickly benefit from the advice and instruction provided. If you or a loved one is grappling with the problem of insomnia, whether chronic or intermittent, then give a careful reading to Yoga Therapy For Overcoming Insomnia.

Lose Weight with the Power of One
Stephen Moss
Moss Publishing
PO Box 68, Postal Station Victoria, Westmount, QC Canada H3Z 2V4
0973322802 $19.95

Lose Weight with the Power of One: A Motivational Journey To Nutritional Sanity is a diet book unlike virtually any other. It opens on a simple premise... all diets fail. Some diets are based on myths (such as the "food combining diet") or even bad nutrition, and are certain to be harmful. Some diets are nutritionally sound on paper, but they effectively tell the dieter what to eat and when, according to someone else's rules - and human nature, complete with its changeable tastes, cravings, and moods, will sooner or later resist the morass of tangled rules and regulations. Instead of providing the reader with a meticulous eating plan, Lose Weight with the Power of One offers eight basic strategies for healthier eating, such as "reduce one's daily fat intake as low as possible", "eat breakfast", "do not bring factory made snacks, meals, or refined products into the home - use foods that are as close to natural as possible", and "stop eating when you are approaching feeling full". These simple tenets can promote a nutritional lifestyle revolution. Each principle, and the reasons behind it, is explained in-depth in a dialogue format that almost resembles reading a novel. In a world horribly oversaturated with fad diets that ignore the basic needs and nature of the body, Lose Weight with the Power of One is an absolute "must-read" for anyone striving to make permanent, positive changes in their eating and health habits.

The Doctor's Heart Cure
Al Sears, M.D.
Dragon Door Publications
PO Box 4381, St. Paul, MN 55104
Phoenix Media (publicity)
29 Miriam Drive, Matawan, NJ 07747
0938045652 $16.95

A disclaimer in The Doctor's Heart Cure warns the reader that the information within is absolutely not a substitute for the medical evaluation and recommendations of a physician. With that caveat firmly in mind, The Doctor's Health Care is a groundbreaking challenge to "conventional wisdom" concerning what is good and bad for the heart. Chapters claim that starches, not fat, are what fuel heart disease; warn against the health risks of a vegetarian lifestyle (vitamin B12 deficiency is a problem that can only be remedied with supplements, and other important nutrients are much less likely to be consumed in a vegetarian lifestyle); and recommend interval-exercise and weight training for improved heart health rather than long-duration cardiovascular exercise. Denouncing widely accepted principles in favor of lifestyle changes especially tailored for optimum heart health, The Doctor's Heart Cure offers a refreshing counter-point view and is especially recommended for those with a heart at risk seeking to gather all the information they can on their own in addition to consulting with a physician in person.

"Where's my Shoes?"
Brenda Avadian
North Star Books
PO Box 589, Pearblossom, CA 93553
0963275240 $17.00 1-661-944-1130

Now in an expanded and updated second edition, "Where's my Shoes"?: My Father's Walk Through Alzheimer's by Brenda Avadian is more than simply another heart wrenching/heartwarming personal story of a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer, it is also a professionally informed and informative survey of all of the various facets and concerns involved with the treatment and care of Alzheimer victims and their familial support. Among the issues author Avadian touches upon are the diagnosis of this slowly debilitating disease, Alzheimer's support groups available to family members and caregivers, conservatorship, in-home and out-patient medical care, skilled nursing care, and the handling of such inevitable issues as family conflicts, as well as legal and financial considerations. Of special note is what, based upon her personal experiences in taking care of her late father with Alzheimer's, is what Brenda Avadian has to say about celebrating life all the while dealing with an Alzheimer's patient. Enhanced with a bibliography, an index, illustrative photos, invaluable caregiver tips and warning signs, "Where's my Shoes?" is especially recommended reading for anyone who finds themselves dealing with Alzheimer.

The Computer Shelf

IT Software And Services
Robin Sood
AiAiYo Books, LLC
PO Box 201672, Austin, TX 78720-1672
0976067439 $49.95 1-877-742-6657

IT Software And Services: Outsourcing And Offshoring offers a complete, definitive, strategic plan for anyone wanting to provide or benefit from the outsourcing and/or offshoring of computer services for corporations. After providing the reader with an informed and informative overview of the rapidly expanding phenomenon of outsourcing computerized activities, contract management and outsourcing expert Robin Sood discusses and explains all of the elements necessary to take advantage of outsourcing, what work can be outsourced most effectively, why outsourcing sometimes fails (and how to avoid such failures), which are the most desirable offshore locations, and what criteria to use for selecting the vendor that is right for your particular corporate needs with respect to outsourcing computerized functions and processes. IT Software And Services is a complete course of instruction under a single cover and strongly recommended reading for any corporate CEO or manager who aspires to utilizing outsourcing to strengthen their company's bottom line.

Look Mom! I Built My Own Web Site
Zohar Amihud
605 King Georges Post Road, Fords, NJ 08863
0976011107 $16.95

Look Mom! I Built My Own Web Site by computer expert Zohar Amihud is the perfect, "kid friendly", step-by-step, 240-page "how to" instruction manual for creating and personalizing a website. The text is hallmarked by its simplicity, practicality, conciseness, and focus on getting the aspiring webmaster up and running with quick results. Enhanced with 48 screen shots, the text provides short assignments followed by succinct explanations. When the reader has completed all of the assignments the result is a full website that includes five pages and a built-in navigation bar (menu), all easily customizable with the reader's own content including text, images, colors, and more. Ideal as either a classroom computer curriculum supplement, or as a textbook for independent study, or as a homeschooling project, Look Mom! I Built My Own Web Site is also highly recommended for anyone at any age who wants to have a website of their own for any purpose!

The Fiction Shelf

Black Lily: Have No Mercy III
Kam Ruble
Global Authors Publications
PO Box 922, Crescent City, FL 32112
0974216178 $16.50 1-386-698-2544

In Black Lily: Have No Mercy III, homicide detectives Joe Warner and Eddy Konklin investigate the sudden disappearance of Richard Alan Eckhard, the mayor of Mt. Pride, Colorado. A man of wealth and prestige, there are questions that must be answered. Is the mayor the victim of foul play or did he disappear for reasons of his own -- and if so, what would they be? Finding out if the mayor is dead or alive is the top Missing Person's assignment for these dedicated cops. Author Kam Ruble has once again deftly woven an intricate mystery with memorable characters, nice attention to background details, unexpected plot twists, and an even more unexpected ending. Also very highly recommended are Ruble's two early mystery novels featuring homicide detectives Warner and Konklin: Have No Mercy and Black Rosebud: Have No Mercy II.

Rashi's Daughters
Maggie Anton
Banot Press
1413 W. Kenneth Road #280, Glendale, CA 91201
0976305054 $15.95

Set in 1068, Rashi's Daughters: A Novel of Life, Love and Talmud in Medieval France is a novel about a winemaker and Talmud scholar, who undertakes an action that would be viewed negatively by the community if it became known - he dares to teach the Talmud to his three daughters. The eldest daughter finds her mind and spirit awakened with her learning, yet knows she must keep her knowledge hidden, even from her betrothed. Yet when she and her husband encounter their first crisis, the eldest daughter must make the fateful choice between marital happiness and her true self. A forceful novel of the power of learning, faith, and the two sides of love.

Don Corace
Emerald Ink Publishing
1499 Airport Rd., Hot Springs, AR 71963
0976042606 $21.95

Written by a former "roughneck" in the Texas oil field trade, among many other careers, Offshore is an exciting novel about the fierce competition between an offshore drilling company and the family dynasty behind it, and the predatory cunning of a Wall Street corporate raider. Partly a tale of a father and his estranged son seeking to make amends, partly a love story, part redemption saga, and part plucky novel of determination to win a challenge, Offshore culminates in a devil's bargain that pits a family's drive to succeed against not only the ruthlessness of their enemies, but the force of an incoming hurricane. A saga that effectively captures the spirit of resilience and the can-do drive to succeed.

A Table Set For Guests
Edgar John L'Heureux, Jr.
Sabal Palm Press
PO Box 756, Goldenrod, FL 32733
0961634138 $12.95 1-407-696-7222

Ed L'Heureux is an accomplished author of Florida-based novels and a deftly skilled writer of engagingly original short stories. A Table Set For Guests is a particularly impressive anthology showcasing eleven of his best efforts in the short story genre consisting of Gifts; Chance Encounters; The Rerun; Judgement Day; The Obituary; Andrew and the Missionaries; Numbers Speak; I Am An Entertainer; Mrs. Adams and Mr. Yates; Clifford and His Candles; and World War III. Ed's short stories (as well as his full length novels) are characterized by developed and inherently interesting characters, attention to details of plot development, and a thoroughly "reader friendly" satisfaction from beginning to end. Also very highly recommended are Ed's other literary works: Tunes above The Noise And Other Stories; To Lullaby A Dragon; and Florida Conversations: Volumes I, II, and III.

Mission Octagon
Ken Smith
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
0975390767 $24.95

Mission Octagon is the suspenseful story of a man on a revenge mission against three others - "The person who did the dirty work, the person who told him to do it, and the person who told them where to look." Yet this seemingly simple personal mandate will draw him through a morass of deadly worlds, from the gangland streets of Miami to the killing fields of Vietnam to an all-black college in Georgia. The trail of secrets leads him afoul of murder and to the highest levels of the United States government. He must choose between fulfilling his personal revenge and the greater good of a righteous cause. Gripping to the last page, Mission Octagon weaves its cruel story with hidden revelations and moral quandaries to give the reader cold pause.

From A Hard Rock To A Gem
Pamela M. Johnson
Macavelli Press
1550 California Street, Suite 6-262, San Francisco, CA 94109
0974657212 $14.95

From A Hard Rock To A Gem is a dark, gritty novel about the price of returning to one's dream. Blunt, at times shocking, and not intended for the faint of heart, From A Hard Rock To A Gem follows a young woman in an inner-city filled with crime and poverty. Becoming a street-corner drug-pusher, she claws her way to the top of a multimillion-dollar narcotic syndicate. Yet her power comes at the price of her dream to become a lawyer, earning legitimate success, or leaving behind a legacy to help others living in the inner city. She is determined to "flip" her blood money into something beneficial - but in order to fulfill her purpose she must first tear down the drug empire she helped to create, at singularly brutal cost. A profound story, as philosophical as it is graphic.

The Biography Shelf

Once Upon An Evil Time
Dieter Steiner & Diane Marcou
Quixote Publications
490 Merrimak Drive, Berea, OH 44017
0967758327 $14.95

Once Upon An Evil Time is Dieter Steiner's personal and gripping story of how he grew up in a Germany dominated and corrupted by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party. Related from the perspective of a boy, Steiner's first-hand experiences starkly reveal the social, cultural, and political insanity spawned by legalized intolerance and lethal prejudice. Diane Marcou provided essential assistance to Steiner in recapitulating his boyhood memories of what it was like to forage for food by day and huddle in a cellar by night as enemy bombs pounded terror and devastation into his German city. Steiner (now retired and living in Florida) has provided a riveting account of a young boy's endurance during a time of horrific changes that is accessible to readers today, with a detailing of his personal journey from prejudice and bigotry, to tolerance and empathy. In this time of world wide terrorism and murderous intolerance, Once Upon An Evil Time is very timely and highly recommended reading.

Why The Plum For Courage
Mary Ellen Sinclair
Zenga Publishing
48 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010
0976548402 $19.95 1-212-620-4281

Why The Plum For Courage is author and artist Mary Ellen Sinclair's personal memoir of growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, in the early 1950s, and concludes with her life in present day New York City. Mary Ellen Sinclair's writing style is thoroughly "reader friendly" and her narrated autobiography is totally engaging from the very first page as she relates with great candor and a deft simplicity the highs and lows of her life, her family, her friends, and the times she has lived through. A welcome contribution to the growing library of 20th Century American Biography, Why The Plum For Courage is entertaining, informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and a truly great read.

The Self-Help Shelf

Breakaway Laughter
Nan L. Crockett
VanderWyk & Burnham
KSB Promotions (publicity)
PO Box 2789, Acton, MA 01720
1889242225 $12.95

Breakaway Laughter: How To Lighten Up--Despite It All by academician, Reiki Master, and change/stress management consultant Nan Crockett deftly explains just how to counter stress by analyzing its causes with an element humor allowing us to "break away" from the causes of that stress and its effects upon our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. A series of specific stress management areas are specifically addressed including boundary setting, depersonalizing, diet, expectations, fear, grieving, rules, socializing, "playing the victim", and more. Also discussed is the role of forgiveness, medication, perspective shifting, problem assessment, surrender to a higher power, transcendental meditation, twelve-step programs, and visualizing better ways. Breakaway Laughter is thoroughly "reader friendly", insightful, practical, and especially recommended reading for anyone at any age trying to cope with the impact of stress upon their lives and families.

Lessons to Live By: The Canine Commandments
W. R. Pursche
Varzara House
10477 Warland Road, Marshall, VA 20115
0975379313 $12.95

Although it will resonate especially strongly for pet lovers, Lessons to Live By: The Canine Commandments is a self-help book intended for readers of all backgrounds, regardless of pet ownership, that draws upon what humans can learn from their canine companions. Timeless wisdom, from the importance of living for the moment to loyalty to the treasure that is friendship and the power of everlasting faith and more - all these are virtues embodied within man's best friend, of which man (and woman) should take heed. "The next time you are with a group of people, count how often their 'conversation' is really nothing more than telling other people how they should behave. 'Don't do that!' 'Put on a sweater, it's cold.' 'Change the station.' Sometimes what passes for conversation is nothing more than a subtle - or not so subtle - series of comments trying to get each other to change - to do what they want, to be like them... Dogs just accept others for what they are, and love them as they are." 100% of the net proceeds of Lessons to Live By: The Canine Commandments will be used for the saving and care of dogs and other animals through the efforts of humane organizations. Highly recommended as an inspirational gift, especially for dog owners but sure to add a ray of cheer for anyone with fond memories of a beloved four-footed friend.

The American History Shelf

The Golden Corridor
Jody & Ric Hornor
19th Century Books
c/o Electric Canvas
1001 Art Road, Pilot Hill, CA 95564
0976697637 $21.95

The Golden Corridor is an anthology of writings from journals, books, and letters written by California's early settlers. Nineteenth century black-and-white photographs illustrate this amazing collection of firsthand testimony, allowing the reader to see the same breathtaking sights these hardy pioneers saw. Sidebars offer amusing quick vignettes from the era! Enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone driven by personal curiosity or professional research needs to gain insight as to what nineteenth century life in California was truly like.

The Business Shelf

In Search of Business Value
Robert McDowell and William L. Simon
Select Books
1 Union Sqaure West, Suite 909, New York, NY 10003
1590790626 $24.95

A key Microsoft vice president and a skilled author of the business world (among other venues) combine their talents to present In Search of Business Value, a management self-help book for both corporate and IT leaders that offers real-life examples showing how best to extract the maximum business value from technology. Framing the achievement of business value as a leadership issue, not a technology issue, chapters address how to make a business case for types of technology, the role governance can play in order to improve the useage of IT, how to cope with controversy and miscellaneous problems, and much more. A no-nonsense guide to steering clear of trouble and gaining optimum benefit, written especially for managers and lay people who themselves may be only minimally familiar with the latest technological innovations.

12 Choices... That Lead To Your Success
David Cottrell
CornerStone Leadership Institute
PO Box 764087, Dallas, TX 75376
0976252813 $14.95 1-888-789-LEAD

12 Choices... That Lead To Your Success is a business self-help book by the president and CEO of CornerStone Leadership Institute. The twelve general principles are especially intended for those striving to be successful in business, yet are so universal to apply to diverse facets of life itself. From making the choice to do something to advance toward one's goals, to understanding that there will always be enemies and the importance of choosing carefully not to align oneself with destructive individuals (including short-tempered types and rebels against authority, who are on a collision course with failure), to remaining crucially aware of the limits of reality, 12 Choices... That Lead To Your Success is a treasure trove resonating with wisdom about the power of the human mind and attitude. Highly recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

Sandstone Monastery
Anson Wright
Wijiji Publishing
6312 SW Capitol Highway, PMB 177, Portland, OR 97239
0975853104 $14.95

Demonstrating a true mastery of memorable word imaging drawn from elements, experiences, and insights with respect to his personal life, Sandstone Monastery showcases the enthusiastically recommended poetry of jazz guitarist and novelist Anson Wright. In the Art of Making Love: In the art of making love/the power lies/in not killing/each other,/in the openness/of warm chests/pressing against/weakened hearts,/in the giving up/of one stranger/for another,/in letting time pass/within the twilight/of not being.

Bringing a Fir Straight Down
Hugh Ogden
Higganum Hill Books
PO Box 666, Higganum, CT 06441
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
0974115835 $12.95

Bringing a Fir Straight Down is an anthology of free-verse poetry. Opening with verses that respond to the September 11th attacks and the war in Iraq, Bringing a Fir Straight Down progresses to an understanding of the forests, the natural world, and how human respect for the wild lands can bring a transformation of dignity and spiritual renewal to sustain dignity when confronted with terror and chaos. A moving and emotionally profound testimony that extols the greatness of the world beyond the self and the realm of man-made things. "For Barbara, On The Death Of Her Horse": Earth, we gave you footpaths and walked / beside / the mountain. We bridled our dreams // and they fell; the ground lay / heavy / with bones. Then Barbara came // and the morning. She placed a wild / iris / on the ear of Ginger who had returned // to you, the magpies cackling, / not yet / plunging for her eyes. She knelt // and put a hand on her white forehead / and you / cradled her when she heard hoofbeats.

The Parenting Shelf

Want Great Kids? It Takes Good Parenting!
Penny C. Martensen
Privately Published
PO Box 558, Montgomery, TX 77356
1419600516 $11.99

In Want Great Kids? It Takes Good Parenting?: How To Raise Great Kids In Ever Changing Times, motivational speaker Penny Martensen draws upon her experiences as a single Mom who raised two children while running a small business. Readers will learn How to inculcate within their children the key elements necessary to developing a health self-esteem and the integrity to make consistently good choices. In short, Want Great Kids? It Takes Good Parenting! is thoroughly "parent friendly" reading and recommended to anyone who wants to grow their offspring into social, responsible, compassionate, able, competent adults to be proud of.

The Black Studies Shelf

The Black History Quiz Book
Melvett Chambers
Privately Published
PO Box 165, Hennepin, OK 73444
1890994391 $12.95 1-580-868-2357

The Black History Quiz Book: A Look Back, At The 20th Century professional photographer and Black History expert Melvett Chambers approaches surveying African American personalities and accomplishments buttressed by a series of short quizzes in varying formats including multiple choice questions and matching exercises. Featuring more than 600 questions and answers about Black Americans from 1900 to 1999, The Black History Quiz Book is as fun as it is informative and a welcome, enthusiastically recommended supplement to Black History curriculums. Nicely enhanced with photos and illustrations of famous individual and historical sites, The Black History Quiz Book is ideal for school and community libraries, as well as home study programs.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Pele's Wish
Sondra Ray
Inner Ocean Publishing
PO Box 1239, Makawao, Maui, HI 96768-1239
1930722443 $12.95 1-800-863-1449

Pele's Wish: Secrets Of The Hawaiian Masters And Eternal Life by rebirthing movement pioneer Sondra Ray will instruct the reader into the mysteries and mastery of the "Aloha Spirit", the unique principles of Huna philosophy, the ancient Hawaiian counseling and prayer technique called "ho-oponopono", as well as Kahuna magic. Sondra Ray (with the assistance of her personal guide, Maui-based kahuna Puanani Mahoe) acts as a messenger of the Aloha spirit to reveal as an aspect of Hawaiian metaphysics rarely observed or understood by outsiders. With its revelations of the wisdom and spirituality of the Hawaiian ancients, Pele's Wish is a welcome and unique contribution to Metaphysical Studies reference collections and reading lists.

Chancing Life
Mona Van Joseph
Mystic Ventures, Inc.
9360 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 110-143, Las Vegas, NV 89147
0976284006 $19.99

Chancing Life: Wisdom In A Dice Toss by Las Vegas (a.k.a. "Mystic Mona" and hostess of the Psychic View radio show, columnist for The Las Vegas Weekly, and a licensed psychic) showcases a new method of divination using two regular six-sided dice. Basically, you think of a question and roll the dice, then turn to the page of the combination rolled in the pages of Chancing Life and look up the answer to your question. Chancing Life provides the exact attitude, tool or action to encourage the most beneficial outcome to the question posed with the dice roll. Chancing Life is recommended to the attention of students and practitioners of Occult and Metaphysical divinations.

Witnesses To The Unsolved
Edward Olshaker
Remiel Press
PO Box 970, Owings Mills, MD 21117
0975560158 $22.95 1-410-581-0170

Witnesses To The Unsolved: Prominent Psychic Detectives And Mediums Explore Our Most Haunting Mysteries by Edward Olshaker examines the use of psychic phenomena in the form of "psychic detectives", "remote viewers", and mediums who have assisted in the solution of homicides and the searches for missing persons through the use of case examples as the deaths of Vincent Foster; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Kurt Cobain; and others. From the mystery surrounding the death of Secretary of Commerce Ron Borwn, to the fate of former CIA chief William Colby; to the violent deaths of financial magnate John Markle and his family. Especially recommended reading for students of Metaphysical Studies, Witnesses To The Unsolved offers fascinating insights into the use of psychics and psychic phenomena as a means of solving crime in more than one-third of major police departments across the United States today.

The Children's Shelf

The Glass Heart
Kathleen A. Killion, author; Gary M. Lang, illustrator
Imagine That Enterprises, L.C.
c/o KSB Promotions
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301-9768
0972306714 $19.95 1-800-431-1579

Engagingly write by Kathleen Killion and superbly enhanced with the watercolor artwork of Gary Lang, The Glass Heart is the story of a young girl who asked a glassblower to make her a new, beautiful, jeweled glass hart. She trades her glass heart for another in order to please others. After experiencing several adventures of the heart, she ultimately returns to the safe and trusted home of the glassblower, where she ultimately discovers the beauty of her own heart. The Glass Heart is an allegorical fable about bowing to peer pressure, fitting in with the "right" crowd, and trying to change yourself in order to be like other people's expectations of you. A celebration of personal individuality, The Glass heart is especially recommended for young (and not-so-young) readers having to deal with the stresses and temptations of peer pressure and group conformity.

George Washington's Unsung Heroes
Marc J. Stockwell-Moniz
American Revolution Publishing
12514 Mustang Drive, Poway, CA 92064
0976094878 $15.95 1-866-858-1812

There are a great many books available for young readers on the subject of George Washington and the American Revolution. What sets Marc Stockwell-Moniz's George Washington's Unsung Heroes apart from the others is an emphasis on the ordinary people who involved themselves in carrying out the campaigns that led to the founding of the United States of America. While there are chapters about John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Alexander Hamilton, the primary focus is upon such usually overlooked figures as Salem Poor (an African-American soldier who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was with George Washington and the Continental Army at Valley Forge); Phillis Wheatley (the first African-American slave to publish a book); John Peter Muhlenberg (an ordained minister who became a brigadier general in the Continental Army and later served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives); Tench Tilghman (who served as Washington's aide-de-camp and secretary for two years without salary until Washington wrote to the Congress insisting that Tilghman be given a commission and a paycheck); as well as the stories of Benjamin Tallmadge (America's first "spy master"), and so many others. George Washington's Unsung Heroes is an important and recommended addition to school and community library American History and American Biography collections for young readers.

Wishes And Worries
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Ben Hodson, illustrator
33 Russell Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2S1
0888684932 $9.95 1-800-661-1111

Colorfully illustrated by Ben Hodson, Wishes And Worries is a picturebook story specifically produced by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to help children ages 5 to 10 understand a parent who drinks too much alcohol. Maggie is a young girl whose father has a problem with alcohol and, in the course of the engaging and carefully crafted story, learns the answers to key questions all children have when dealing with a parent who drinks to much. Ideal for use by parents and counselors helping children from homes where alcoholism has been (or continues to be) a disruptive factor in their lives, Wishes And Worries will help young readers learn that its okay to ask questions, talk to teachers, school counsellors, and trusted adults about a parent who drinks excessively, and discover that they are not responsible for their parent's drinking problems. That it is okay to reach out for help and that they can find safe and helpful places and people to share their feelings and concerns. Also very highly recommended is Can I Catch It Like A Cold?: A Story To Help Children Understand A Parent's Depression, another titles in the outstanding CAMH "Storybooks for Children" series.

Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective And Peacemaker
Elana Ashley
Dream Image Press, LLC
PO Box 454, Northbrook, IL 60065-0454
0974481211 $17.95

The debut title of a bilingual (English/Spanish) picturebook mysteries series for young readers by author/photographer Elana Ashley, Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective And Peacemaker (Detective y Pacificador) introduces a stuffed animal detective who is called upon to find out what has happened to a lost friendship bracelet. In carrying out his investigation, Splunkey helps two friends find more than just one very special bracelet. With a fun and engaging story text so very nicely illustrated by her photography, Elana Ashley's Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective And Peacemaker is especially recommended for family, school, and community library bilingual picturebook collections for children who are preschool through second grade.

When I Met You
Adrienne Ehlert Bashista & Christine Sykes
DRT Press
PO Box 427, Pittsboro, NC 27312
1933084006 $16.95

The collaborative work of author Adrienne Bashista and illustrator Christine Sykes, When I Met You: A Story Of Russian Adoption is a picturebook based on Bashista's own family experience in describing a little girl's life before and after she was adopted from Russia by an American family. From scenes in the Russian orphanage to the birth mother, When I Met You is a unique chronicle of the special background of abandoned or orphaned children adopted from Russia. Syke's 36 delicate watercolor artworks provides a superbly visual enhancement of a story that is as entertaining for young readers as it is informative and thoughtful. When I Met You is a welcome addition to school and community library picturebook collections, and especially recommended reading for children from families who are themselves adopted or who have adopted siblings.

The Heart Of The Lion
Pete Watson & Mary Watson
Shenanigan Books
129 West End Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
0972661417 $15.95

The collaborative work of author Peter Watson and illustrator Mary Watson, The Heart Of The Lion is the picturebook story of a young American boy and his West African adventures with his friend Yampabou as recorded in the pages of his personal journal. It is through the people he meets and the animals he encounters that this American boy comes to understand and respect the rich culture and traditions of West Africa. Peter Watson is a natural born storyteller who himself first experienced the mystery and magic of African culture as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Dahomey/Benin. The impressively stylistic artwork of Mary Watson is a perfect showcase and compliment to an engaging story told in discrete segments that will engaging the total attention of young readers from first page to last. The Heart Of The Lion is an enthusiastically recommended addition to family, school and community library picturebook collections.

Purple Puppy
Susan Faith, author
Naomi Offner, illustrator
Purple People, Inc.
PO Box 3194, Sedona, AZ 86340
0970779305 $19.95

Engagingly written by Susan Faith and impressively illustrated by Naomi Offner, Purple Puppy is much more than a just another picturebook for young readers; it also deftly promotes the concept of respect for our animal friends and companions within the context of a thoroughly "kid friendly" tale of what a puppy could encounter out in the world. Purple Puppy is the story Helen, an adventurous child with a vivid imagination, who after a busy day of preparing to adopt a puppy, falls asleep and dreams that she is a puppy herself! Children (and adults!) will discover that adopting a dog is a serious and rewarding responsibility, and entertainingly learn about issues of pet care and safety. Also very highly recommended is Susan Faith's first picturebook story, Purple Love, which introduces the concept of equality and respect among all humans.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design