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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 5, Number 9 September 2006 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Biography Shelf Black Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Business Shelf Children's Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Fiction Shelf Folklore/Mythology Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Music Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Nature Shelf Parenting Shelf Photography Shelf
Poetry Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Sports Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Travel Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Zen Death Poems And Other Stories
Bruce Adam
Arapacis Publishers
P.O. Box 1202, Des Plaines, IL 60017-1292
096613186X $19.95

Zen Death Poems And Other Stories is an anthology of plays, stories, and a small amount of poetry, each with its own humorous slant on the human condition that ranges from absurd to jocular to satirical. Zen Death Poems And Other Stories may not present the ultimate truth per se, but it will prod the reader to go looking with a smile and a chuckle. Delving into metaphysical mysticism and practical reality in equal measure, Zen Death Poems And Other Stories offers a unique and amusing perspective for readers of all background and experience levels in the workings of zen, philosophy and consciousness. "Calliope, oh milk my Cheerios / Sugar my Wheaties, and don't forget my spoon, / So I may tell of the tremendous blows / On the gods' souls before the deadline at noon."

Whiskey & Wisdom
France Austin Miller & Yvonne Foster
Red Stable Press
P.O. Box 345 Bayfield, WI 54814
0978563506 $14.95 715-779-5336

Part artbook, part collection of timeless folksy sayings, Whiskey & Wisdom: A Watercolor Journey Through Irish Sayings And Proverbs distills tidbits of Irish wisdom alongside the gentle colors and simple outlines of familiar everyday objects, pets, and landscapes. Each full-color painting is keyed to its proverb, such as "It's no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking" opposite to a still life of galoshes doubling as flower vases, and "Even a tin knocker shines on a dirty door" opposite an almost abstract representation of house. A wonderful giftbook, Whiskey & Wisdom shines in its unique balance of verbal and visual art.

Hurricane Guide
Sandra Fontana
Privately Published
P.O. Box 650635, Vero Beach, FL 32965
0978592611 $9.95

Hurricane Guide: Be Ready, Be Safe is a no-nonsense, worst-case-scenario guide to preparing for, surviving, and coping with the aftermath of a hurricane. Chapters cover recommended personal inventory and supplies to keep handy in case of emergency, homeowner's insurance concerns, how to evacuate if there is need, financial planning to take into account, what to take when evacuating by car, food and water concerns for after the storm, and much more. Consumable checklists pepper this "must-have", easy-to-use resource highly recommended for anyone living in hurricane territory.

Love In The Land Of Dementia
Deborah Shouse
The Creativity Connection Press
613 West 61st St., Kansas City MO 64113
0977759040 $14.95 816-361-7878

Love In The Land Of Dementia: Finding Hope In The Caregiver's Journey by Alzheimer's expert Deborah Shouse is the true story of one woman's connection to her mother. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Deborah's mother gradually lost the ability to recognize or remember her daughter, yet even the in the twilight Deborah learned the joy of compassion, deepened bonds, and connection with her mother and her family. Love In The Land Of Dementia is a true story of coping with loss, grief, guilt, and shame, as well as the wonder of making new discoveries and the compassion and grace of caring for a loved one in their final years. A poignant and heartfelt personal testimony.

The Frozen Ship
Sarah Moss
Blue Bridge
c/o United Tribes Media, Inc.
240 West 35th Street, Suite 500, NY, NY 10001
1933346035 $24.95

Sarah Moss (Lecturer in American and English literature) presents The Frozen Ship: The Histories and Tales of Polar Exploration presents true stories of Arctic and Antarctic voyagers who dared to make dangerous and often fatal journeys to the icebound poles. Chronicling explorers, missionaries, and archaeologists ranging from Viking settlers and Renaissance conquerors to modern-day scientists, The Frozen Ship also reflects upon morbid global cultural fascination with expeditions that went horribly wrong, and the powerfully romanticized appeal of the frozen polar landscapes and the drive to plant flags in ice. A skillfully researched and smoothly presented chronicle of man versus nature throughout the centuries.

Who Are We Really
Robert Wiedemeyer
Dendrax Publishing
100 Newman Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520
0964740788 $24.95 1-912-634-0150

Who Are We Really: The Truth About Why We Think And Act The Way We Do by for practicing neurologist Robert Wiedemeyer is a coldly and brutally honest appraisal of what motivates human beings to act the way they do. Written exclusively from a biological and scientific perspective, and discarding religious, metaphysical, or folk wisdom concerns, Who Are We Really emphasizes the overpowering limitation that neurochemicals, stored emotional memories from life experiences, and survival instincts have upon the human brain and therefore our own consciousness. While acknowledging that free will exists, Who Are We Really puts forth stringent claims such as that all pursuit of sexual activity stems from the pursuit of power and self-esteem, that true unselfishness cannot exist - even Mother Teresa and similar charity workers are simply obeying the dictates of what is right as generated by their own brains - and that too much compassion (such as feeding the starving so that they reproduce and generate more starving, or taking care of invalids who cannot contribute to the well-being of society) is an evolutionary "bug" that is detrimental to human survival as a species. Although the more counterintuitive proposals of Who Are We Really are subject to debate, its core foundation of neuroscience makes its black-and-white view of reality and consciousness worth scrutinizing in detail, in the quest to better understand both oneself and others.

Swimming With Gandhi And Einstein
William Colwell
True Flight Publications
491 Collis Court Milton, Ontario Canada L9T 5M7
097396300X $14.95 1-905-876-1443

Swimming With Gandhi And Einstein is author William Colwell's visualized discourse two great human beings. In the foreword, Colwell warns, "If you are looking for a treatise on the life and thoughts of Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi put this book down, it's not for you. Although they speak on topics that would be considered their forte, science, consciousness, and the human spirit, their words are mine." Swimming With Gandhi And Einstein reflects profoundly on both the physical and metaphysical, and what it means in essence to be truly human. A poignant and extensively examined reflection upon eternal questions.

The Singular Journey Of O'Hea's Cross
Elizabeth Reid
Leamcon Press
64905 Albert Street Yale, British Columbia, Canada
0973874104 $24.95 CAN

The Singular Journey Of O'Hea's Cross by Elizabeth Reid is a historical mystery about the only Victoria Cross ever awarded for an act of heroism on Canadian soil, based on true events from 120 years ago. Author Elizabeth Reid researched the tale of deception and identity theft for over thirty years on three continents. Following the story of Timothy O'Hea from his birth in Ireland through his service with the British Army in Canada, to his terminal illness and ultimate fate, The Singular Journey Of O'Hea's Cross reads like a novel yet is endorsed by the Victoria Cross Society for its heavy grounding in fact. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this captivating revelation historical intrigue.

Aging Artfully
Amy Gorman, with CD of songs by Frances Kandl
Pal Publishing
1563 Salano Avenue, #455, Berkeley, CA 94707
0978519205, $20.00, 148 pages plus CD of 7 songs, 1-510-527-4977,

"Aging Artfully: 12 Profiles: Visual & Performing Women Artists Aged 85-105" is Amy Gorman's wonderful celebration of twelve remarkable women and their long-lived artistic creativity. In "Aging Artfully" Gorman selects twelve especially talented and accomplished women of the San Francisco Bay Area and tells their stories interlaced with poems, photos, and enhanced by songs composed and performed in honor of seven of the twelve by Francs Kandl. From Madeline Mason, 104 year old sculptor and doll maker, to 84-year old Rosa Maria Morales Escobar, singer and Folklorico dancer, to Dorothy Takahashi Toy, tap dancer of 89 years, to Mary Beth Washington aka Orunamamu, storyteller and snake handler aged 95 years, to Frances Dunham Catlett, painter aged 98 years, here are amazing portraits of creative women aging artfully. A companion DVD, "Still Kicking," by Greg Young follows the life stories of 6 of the 12 women and also includes Grace's song, written by Frances Kandl for Grace Gildersleeve, 94 year old weaver of rugs. Here is a remarkable collaboration to illustrate the power of involvement in the arts. "Aging Artfully" is such an uplifting experience, it should be shared with persons of many ages and occupations. It is certainly inspiring to meet Lily Hearst, for example, who at age 107 practices piano scales and chords over an hour daily, and performs pieces such as Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu" and Mozart's "Turkish March" just for fun. These are wonderful women, extraordinary women, but they are also women who are used to making the best of their lives and keeping on getting on with it, despite hardships, setbacks, and sorrows. "Aging Artfully" is a book to be treasured and to be shared.

The American History Shelf

Anita M. Smith
P.O. Box 1342, Woodstock, NY 12498
096792684X $37.50 1-800-431-1579

First published in 1959, Woodstock: History And Hearsay by gardner, artist, and historian Anita M. Smith (1893-1968) is an engaging and in-depth, up-close-and-personal history of Woodstock in the decades leading up to the world-famous Woodstock Festival of 1969. Coffee-table sized and illustrated with black-and-white color photographs as well as a color portfolio of Smith's paintings of the town and landscape, Woodstock: History and Hearsay chronicles Woodstock from Native American legends revering it as sacred ground, to the Revolutionary War era, to the dramatic repercussions of the Industrial Revolution, to the founding of the utopian communes and the Maverick Festival, Woodstock: History and Hearsay covers both sweeping historical transformations and the folksy charm of charismatic individuals who shaped Woodstock over the decades. A classic local history and a true pleasure to read.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Children Picturebook Price Guide
Linda And Stan Zielinski
Flying Moose Books L.L.C.
P.O. Box 2251 Park City, Utah 84098
0977939405 $24.95

Children Picturebook Price Guide: Finding, Assessing, & Collecting Contemporary Illustrated Books is a straightforward guide for book buyers and book sellers, featuring current market prices for over 22,000 illustrated children's books, including Caldecott Medal and Honor books that are individually worth over a thousand dollars. Though the majority of Children Picturebook Price Guide is a straightforward price catalog, the first one hundred pages also discuss such topics as how to identify first edition books, particularly Caldecott Medal books and Dr. Seuss books, where to find first edition picturebooks, key factors affecting a book's value, and much more. Enthusiastically recommended for serious picturebook collectors, and a very useful guide to booksellers searching for hidden paper gold.

The Biography Shelf

Reinventing Myself
Marlys Marshall Styne
1094 New Dehaven Street, Suite 100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
0741432080 $15.95 1-877-289-2665

Reinventing Myself: Memoirs Of A Retired Professor by Marlys Marshall Styne (40 years of teaching in The English Department of Wilbur Wright College) is the a selection of personal essays by the retired, widowed, childless author, seeking contentment and greater understanding through reflection. Her reminiscences on family, aging, teaching, travel, revelations, and inspirational moments are meant to encourage fellow human beings of all ages and senior citizens especially to experience more and partake in the catharsis of writing. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this gentle and overall joyful collection.

Rising From The Rubble... Germany Revisited
Kenneth Weaver
Aspen Mountain Publishing
5885 Cumming Highway, Suite 108, PMB 254 Sugar Hill, GA 30518
0977723771 $19.75 404-384-4443

Rising From The Rubble... Germany Revisited by Army Signal Corps veteran Kenneth Weaver (served in Europe 1945-47) is the firsthand testimony of Germany's struggle to survive after World War II. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the author's memory of black markets, a collapsed economy, and worthless currency followed by a spark of hope from America's Marshall Plan. Tracing the lives of eight young men from Germany, France, Poland, and America, Rising From The Rubble is as much a story of hope as it is of the consequences Hitler's aggression wreaked upon his own nation.

I'll Be In The Car
Annette Januzzi Wick
Three Arch Press
3116-C West Montgomery Road, #221, Maineville, OH
0977485609 $23.95

I'll Be In The Car: One Woman's Story Of Love, Loss, And Reclaiming Life is the true story of a wife whose young husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She and her infant son had to cope with her husband's cycles of disease and remission, readying themselves to confront the inevitable. Yet I'll Be In The Car is a story of hope, not despair - it is about finding love in the precious moments of life together, no matter how fleeting, and the choice to carry on and cherish the love that was had rather than the years that were lost. An uplifting testimony written to reach out to readers who have experienced terrible loss, highly recommended.

Just Call Me Moose!
Karl R. Rossi
Gondola Press
1435 East Venice Avenue #109 Venice, Florida 3420
0975981110 $14.95 (pb); 0975981102 $23.95 (hc)

Illustrated with a handful of black-and-white photographs, Just Call Me Moose!: Growing Up Italian In America by Karl R. Bossi is the haunting memoir that follows the author from boyhood in '50s Boston, and the terror of his father's suicide, to the jungles of Vietnam as a member of a bomb disposal team, to civilian life. Over the course of fifty years, he learned that it was impossible to live fully as long as he shut out the reality of his father's death. Just Call Me Moose! is filled with dialogue straight out of the author's memories, and a no-nonsense realistic perspective of daily life even under the most extraordinary pressures. Highly recommended.

Growing Up In The Valley
George R. Holmes
Harbor House Books
111 Tenth Street, Augusta, GA 30901
1891799622 $16.95 706-738-0354

Growing Up In The Valley: A Memoir by George R. Holmes (Professor at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine) is the nonchalant catalogue of a childhood growing up the youngest of four brothers in an Irish immigrant family in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a steel and coal-mining town crisscrossed with immigrants from a wide variety of origins. From the repercussions of World War II, to church, to coping with high school, Growing Up In The Valley paints an impressionable portrait of daily life half a century ago. An immersive experience of comradeship, family ties, charm, and irrepressible fondness for America's 40's and 50's.

Growing Up In The Valley
George R. Holmes
Harbor House Books
111 Tenth Street, Augusta, GA 30901
1891799622 $16.95 706-738-0354

Growing Up In The Valley: A Memoir by George R. Holmes (Professor at the University of South Carolina School Of Medicine) is the nonchalant catalogue of a childhood growing up the youngest of four brothers in an Irish immigrant family in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a steel and coal-mining town crisscrossed with immigrants from a wide variety of origins. From the repercussions of World War II, to church, to coping with high school, Growing Up In The Valley paints an impressionable portrait of daily life half a century ago. An immersive experience of comradeship, family ties, charm, and irrepressible fondness for America's 40's and 50's.

The Black Studies Shelf

A Search Of African American Life, Achievement And Culture
John C. Cothran
Stardate Publishing
P.O. Box 112302, Carrollton, Texas 75011-2302
0963400207 $24.95 1-972-898-8349

A Search Of African American Life, Achievement And Culture is a reference compilation of over 400 black-and-white photographs and 1800 facts about the amazing struggles and accomplishments of African Americans over the past 500 years. Twelve chronological chapters cover landmark African American achievements in art, literature, science, education, business, geography, civil rights, military, sports, and entertainment. A unique question-and-answer format ("Who grew up in Washington D.C., was inspired by African American soldiers assigned to Washington D.C. after the Indian Wars, and later became America's first African American General?" Answer: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.) allows A Search Of African American Life, Achievement And Culture to be easily incorporated into educational games or quizzes. An excellent resource especially for grade-school African American studies.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Zen Student
Raymond Reed Hardy
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
1587366126 $14.95

Written in plain terms for American practitioners in the art of meditation, Zen Student: Remember, Live Right Now by Raymond Reed Hardy (Associate Professor Of Psychology at St. Norbert College) Zen Student is as much a testimony of the experience of meditation as it is a guide for novice to intermediate meditators. The author's history of more than twenty-three years in the practice of zazen meditation shows through, and inspirational haiku poems as well as question-and-answer sessions, mindfulness stories, and practical suggestions for incorporating Zen into daily life round out this excellent and descriptive guide. Recommended for anyone seeking to explore the benefits of Zen meditation and practice.

The Business Shelf

Team Effectiveness Survey Workbook
Robert W. Bauer & Sandra S. Bauer
Quality Press
600 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203
0873896726 $40.00

Team Effectiveness Survey Book by Robert W. Bauer and Sandra S. Bauer, who have more then 60 years of combined experience in the design, administration, analysis, and feedback of survey data, is a practical resource that teaches its readers how to develop survey objectives, prepare survey questionnaire, professionally administer a survey with minimum chance for error, and properly analyze and draw logically founded conclusions from survey results. Intended especially for use by team leaders, and internal and external consultants responsible for team development activities, Team Effectiveness Survey Book walks the lay reader through the survey process step by step with numerous sample forms, sample questions, and charts along the way. Over 500 different questions divided into 28 categories ease the quick creation of relevant surveys. A brief but highly effective toolkit, complete with accompanying CD-ROM for easy use of printable materials.

More For Less
Andrew Spanyi
Meghan-Kiffer Press
310 East Fern Street, Suite G, Tampa, FL 33604
0929652037 $29.95

To succeed in today's volatile and increasingly competitive global marketplace, a company must provide their customers with what Andrew Spanyi describes as "more for less". That is, more value, service, consistent delivery, accuracy, responsiveness, and quality for their purchasing dollar. At the same time the customer also demands less hassle, bureaucracy, and sales pressure in their purchasing process. Spanyi drew upon the 2004-2005 Mindset Study in writing "More For Less: The Power Of Process Management", to provide business managers with up-to-date information in support of shifting conventional but dysfunctional notions of strategy, leadership, growth, mergers and acquisitions, with an improved and effective organizational design for their corporate decision making, the role of technology in achieving and maintaining a competitive edge, the measuring of targeting goals, and an integrated approach as illustrated by such corporate examples as Caterpillar Inc. and the Xerox Corporation. Enhanced with the inclusion of appendices ('The Judicious Use of Reference Frameworks' and 'A Business Process Orientation Survey Instrument'), an extensive bibliography for further reading, and a "user friendly" index, "More For Less" is a welcome and instructive reference recommended to anyone who has a managerial responsibility for their company or corporation's bottom line.

The Children's Shelf

The Witch on Oak Street And Other Adventures with Debbie Folino
Major Mitchell & Karen Borelli
Infinity Publishing
1094 New DeHaven Street, Suite 100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
Author Marketing Experts (publicity)
P.O. Box 421156, San Diego, CA 92142
0741430304, $13.95, 204 pages, 1-858-560-0121, 1-800-BUY-Book,

Written by Major Mitchell, "The Witch on Oak Street" is a wonderful series of original, imaginative, and entertaining tales in which a nine year old heroine named Debbie Folino learns amazing life lessons about true friendship, Christian faith, and ultimate belief. Along with her friends she experiences the challenges, hard knocks, laughs, and joys of growing up with an unexpected ally, the witch on Oak street turns out to be a very wise lady who believes in Jesus and other good things. Delightfully illustrated with humourous black and white drawings by Karen Borelli, "The Witch on Oak Street" is certain to find a solid readership among the 9-11 year old crowd. The stories are effectively conveyed morality tales. Each one deals with a certain problem or challenge faced by the children, and ranges from selfishness and telling untruths, to phony popularity and even mortality. "The Witch on Oak Street" is a great way to present natural growth to young readers, as well as a model for asking important the questions relevant to childhood.

Lucy And Seymour's Circus
Sally O. Lee
Lee Publishing
35 Locust Street, Danvers, MA 01923
1419639862 $17.95

Lucy and her friend Seymour have plans to go to the circus, but to her dismay, Lucy wakes up not feeling very well and her mother won't let her go. What can Lucy and Seymour do instead? How about creating their very own circus!! An original and imaginative story by author and illustrator Sally Lee, "Lucy And Seymour's Circus" is a brightly colored, entertaining, thoroughly "kid friendly" anthropomorphic picturebook that will entertain and engage young readers ages 3 to 7 from beginning to end. Ms. Lee, who has written and illustrated fifteen other books for children, has once again demonstrated her unique storytelling and artistic ability. "Lucy And Seymour's Circus" would make a welcome and popular addition to family, school, and community library collections for preschoolers and young readers.

Greg Raver Lampman
Absey & Co. Inc.
23011 Northcrest, Spring, TX 77389
1888842326 $14.95 1-888-412-2739

Adrift: Lost In Life, Marooned At Sea by Greg Raver Lampman is a novel for young adults about Jenny, a fifteen-year-old girl, her father, and stepbrother, who attempt to sail up the Atlantic Coast. Miles from shore, a cataclysmic hurricane sets them adrift and fighting for their lives, and Jenny must find the courage within herself to chart a new course through troubled waters. A suspenseful novel about the twin themes of survival on the seas and taking charge of one's own destiny. Highly recommended.

The Cookbook Shelf

Tini Bigs Big Martinis
Patrick Haight & Keith Robbins
Documentary Media LLC
3250 41st Avenue, SW Seattle, WA
0971908486 $19.95 206-935-9292

Tini Bigs Big Martinis is a compilation of martini recipes as concocted within the Tini Bigs Lounge of Seattle, open since 1996. Full-color photographs illustrate these easy-to-use recipes for a wide array of palate-pleasing drinks. All of the recipes are designed for the Tini Bigs' famous 10-ounce martini glass and meant to be shared. From the Playboy Martini with Starbucks Coffee Liqueur as its prime ingredient, to the Feng Shui Martini of Grey Goose vodka and Beefeater gin, to the Sex in the City Martini of Finlandia vodka, Grand Marnier, and cranberry juice, these drinks blend just the right ingredients for flavorful and intoxicating results. Highly recommended for martini connoisseurs.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Prophecy Quest
Bill Pottle Inc.
P.O Box 2399, Bangor, ME 04402-2399
1591138906 $13.95

The sequel to Dream Quest, Prophecy Quest is the return to the fabulous Lands of Daranor, in which a scholar discovers a prophecy leading to the opening of a gateway that will return the lost Power of Air to the world. Learning of this, the adventurer Tarthur sets out on a quest rescue the lost shapeshifter Yan. Yet another mysterious being trails him, plotting dark designs to apply the Power of Air for his own ends, and Tarthur's young son Alahim appears to be more deeply entangled in the workings of the prophecy each step of the way. A truly exciting high fantasy adventure.

Serpent of Eternity
Nikki Persley
Wingspan Press
PO Box 25102, Brooklyn, NY 11202-5102 (author)
1595940472 $16.95 264 pages

"Serpent of Eternity" is the first volume of a trilogy of speculative fiction by Nikki Persley which blends elements of urban fantasy, mythology, horror, and self-discovery. Its heroine, Anya Alan (beautiful, ambitious, and black), experiences a call to another world/identity, steeped in darkness and ultimate evil. She is invited to become the vessel of rebirth for a thing of inhuman origin. The temptation in this world is almost reversed; Anya is aware of the evil and seeks to avoid it, but her efforts are flawed and she is endangered by her own ensorcelment. One of the fascinating effects of "Serpent of Eternity" is the masterful interweaving of centuries of racism with the evolution of history and of evil. It is quite difficult to believe "Serpent of Eternity" is a first effort. Complex and demanding, vivid and haunting, by turns it terrifies and reassures, only to build anew the uncertainty of the evil at the foundation of this world. Documenting Nikki Persley as a truly gifted and imaginative author, "Serpent of Eternity" is a real page-turner that will have readers waiting in eager suspense for volumes two and three.

The Brand Medallion
Steven J. Martin
Wingspan Press
Livermore, CA
1595940413 $14.95

The Brand Medallion by minister and Christian counselor Steven J. Martin is novel about a fourteen-year-old boy who prefers to keep to himself. But when his single mother falls mysteriously ill, he must follow a series of clues to a land beyond Earth - Palatore, a world where ordinary words have incalculable power to heal or destroy. His travels lead him to the aid of new friends and guide him against an implacable enemy dedicated to his family's destruction. A wondrous fantasy adventure about both an inward and outward journey of destiny.

The Fiction Shelf

The Ultimate Guide To Darcy Carter
Teresa Slack
Tsaba House
2252 - 12th Street, Reedley, CA 93654
1933853476 $15.99

The author of twenty books in ten years, Darcy Carter's editor considers her to be versatile an expert in everything from parenting to the NFL draft to online trading. But when she is assigned to write a "how to" book on finding "Mr. Right", she is not happy and heads to North Carolina to do research on the subject, only to realize that where she once wrote for the pleasure and challenge of writing, she has somehow come to write just for the money. In trying to write a book about finding true love, Darcy finds that rather than rely on her own heart alone, she must turn to God to find the wisdom to recognize Mr. Right. Very highly recommended, entertaining, thoughtful and though-provoking reading, The Ultimate Guide To Darcy Carter is a well crafted, realistic novel that will resonate in the mind and imagination of the reader from beginning to end.

A Pocket Full Of Gold
John Burke
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1425916104 $17.99 1-800-839-8640

A Pocket Full Of Gold is a novel about Jack, a recovering alcoholic with a tragic past who becomes drawn into a plot to uncover ancient pirate treasure. When a drug dealer obsessed with revenge also learns of the treasure, he enacts a ruthless plan to exterminate Jack and his friends. Kidnapping, a common destiny, and the need to think quickly intertwine in this saga of adventure, love, deception, and the yearning to heal past wounds.

In The Pool
Hideo Okuda
Stone Bridge Press
P.O. Box 8208, Berkeley, CA. 94707
4925080946 $24.95 1-510-524-8732

Award-winning Japanese author Hideo Okuda presents In The Pool, a wildly popular Japanese novel that has been successfully adapted to a major Japanese motion picture. "Doctor of Neurology" Ichiro Irabu is a therapist for the image-conscious and all too often mentally pressured people of Japan, and his odd methodology of sharing his patients' stress-related problems and making them much worse before they get better distinguishes him sharply from his colleagues. His patients include a man who suffers a constant and painful erection, a pretty young woman convinced that every man she meets on the street is a stalker, a high school student addicted to text messaging the "friends" he desperately craves, and a journalist terrified his house will burn down should he leave it. A deliciously twisted commentary on human neuroses, with wit and insight that translates seamlessly between cultures. Highly recommended.

Sacred Vow
C. G. Walters
Dragons Beard Publishing
P.O. Box 200, Micaville, NC 28755
0977427145 $13.95 1-919-338-2784

Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of a woman, opening the way to redefinition of both himself and his understanding of the world around him. He takes his first steps on a journey to accept the world around him as a place to live, not simply a place to survive day-to-day. Sacred Vow is both a narrative and the means for the author to communicate a positive message about life and fully integrating the most into each moment. Highly recommended.

A Cracker Legacy
Gordon A. Stevens
International Video Projects Inc.
6700 South Florida Avenue, #28, Lakeland, FL 33813
1561422002 $29.95 1-800-852-0662

Set in sunny Florida, A Cracker Legacy: Subdivide This! by producer, writer, and narrator Gordon A. Stevens is an original novel inspired by the raging battle between unchecked development and private land owners, and the ongoing disappearance of agricultural and beachfront lands. An ordinary rancher, Claude Bamhill, has vowed to preserve his ancestral lands from the bureaucracy encroaching upon it, but he needs help - and hires a rag-tag turkey hunter and local Indians to form a de facto guard. From Tampa to fields and flatwoods, to the Everglades and Miami, A Cracker Legacy is a whirlwind tour of greed, stubbornness, and defiance. A thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover.

The Room With Closets
A. Pablo Iannone
Vagabond Press
P.O. Box 4830, Austin, TX 78765
097557163X $10.00 512-343-1540

The Room With Closets by Latin American philosophy teacher A. Pablo Iannone is an anthology of thirteen short stories connected by common threads. With tones ranging from comedy to dark humor to the shadow of political oppression, the stories range from a woman confronting reminders of death on the first morning of her honeymoon, to a Spanish shepherd who abandons his old identity to sail for the New World, to three Argentines who brave a hellish ordeal to obtain a passport from their fascist government. An unforgettable portrait of human struggle, survival, and wry insight.

The Big Bang
James Lake
Cork Hill Press
597 Industrial Drive, Suite 110, Carmel, IN 46032-4207
1594085498 $22.95 1-866-688-2665

The Big Bang: A Visionary Novel of Cosmic Proportions by English professor James Lake is the mind-expanding story of a novice cosmologist who searches for the true nature of light, and therefore the source of all life. The discovery he finds is so immense as to transform understanding of existence. The Big Bang is not so much a standard plot-driven story as it is a staggering reflection upon the meaning of modern scientific discovery in dialogue form. Highly recommended as a riveting introduction to cosmological mysteries for lay readers. "So light doesn't physically exist... It's energy without mass. And yet it's not only the source of all life as we know it, but it's somehow able to impart its energy to whatever it interacts with... But isn't that how we might also describe a spiritual force? Isn't that how we might also describe God?"

Thorns Of An Innocent Soul
Barbara Watkins
P.O. Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705
1424107849, $12.95, 55 pp.,

Thorns Of An Innocent Soul is a short novella about two women, corrupted by hatred and enmity in life, forced to confront their own flaws and failings after death. Ella, the mother, was cruel to her children in her obsession for beauty, wealth and prestige; Jennifer, the daughter, hated her abusive mother so much she refused to take any responsibility for the pain or grief that she caused in her own life. Neither woman would believe in or accept God; when the day of reckoning came, both would have to confront the greed, hatred, and revenge that had colored their lives for so long. A profound tale about the difficult journey to redemption and the quest for lost innocence.

Blood on the Shamrock
Cathal Liam
St. Padraic Press
P.O. Box 43351, Cincinnati, OH 45243-0351 USA
9780970415523, $16.00, 535 pages, 1- 513-985-9816,

"Blood on the Shamrock" is the sequel to "Consumed in Freedom's Flame," Cathal Liam's historical novel about Ireland's Civil War in the 1920's. Fictional hero Aran Roe O'Neill continues in the struggle for Irish self-governance and independence. In this complex network of loyalties and treachery, he faces foes both from within and outside the ranks of Irish patriots. For those who may have missed the first novel, "Blood on the Shamrock" stands very nicely on its own as a great historical novel. It is greatly enhanced by an introductory list of cast of characters, in order of appearance by chapter, the prologue, which quotes the Declaration of Arbroath and the Proclamation of POBLACHT NA H EIREANN, and the glossary. Frequent quotations from poems and songs also help to place the novel's tone and action core. The reader will quickly become caught up in the life and cause of Aran, which is 'at one with the cause of Pearse, Connolly and Collins.' Twentieth century Irish political reality evolves through the pages, with many references to its cultural and historical heritage. "Blood on the Shamrock" is immediate and personal; it will serve to enlighten many readers about the latter days of the Irish Civil War. Ending in the 1960's, "Blood on the Shamrock" is a complete read in and of itself. But one wonders (and hopes!) if there will be another novel to the present day?

The Last Volkswagen
Charles A. Sennewald
New Century Press
1055 Bay Boulevard, Suite C, Chula Vista, CA 91911
1890035556 $15.95 209 pages 800-519-2465

Charles Sennewald has scored a deftly written and original comedy hit with "The Last Volkswagen," an enthusiastically recommended and entertaining novel about repression of foreign competition that takes ridiculous government regulations of imports to new satiric extremes. Little does the unsuspecting public know that their days of freedom to choose in the market place are numbered. In the best of American heroic traditions, a last stand is taken and held by the owner (a cantankerous rancher in Nebraska) of the last remaining 1963 Volkswagen "beetle". The outcome? That would be telling! "The Last Volkswagen" will make you re-think more than a few stereotypes and assumptions about the ideal American life and what it can cost us to live it.

Butterfly Warrior
Juan Blea
Sherman Asher Publishing
126 Candelario Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
SCB Distributors, 1-800-729-6423
1890932310 $14.95 136 pages

"Butterfly Warrior: A Novel" by Juan Blea is an original murder mystery set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, tracing the bond of four friends with common roots in the Los Arbolitos Barrio. Together they form a society of the Butterfly Warrior, the feminine Aztec deity Itzpapalotl, who is empowered to grant to the dead the experience of returning to earth to collect and consume sacred nectar, their eternal reward. The four friends are Cuate, a clown, Anna, his logical twin sister, Whitey, the "wannabe," and Manny, the musician who mysteriously commits suicide. Though all friends have gone their separate ways, the death of Manny brings them together in unforeseen ways to examine their bond and the reason for death and life. Highly recommended for mystery buffs, "Butterfly Warrior" is a novel well grounded in place and cultures, filled with vivid bits of detail that enhance the story and the conflict of the characters.

To The Ends of The Earth
Frances Hunter
Blind Rabbit Press
P.O. Box 8136, Austin, Texas 78713-8136
0977763625 $20.00 392 pages (512) 302-4799

Frances Hunter is a pen name for two sisters, Liz and Mary Clare, who wrote "To The Ends of The Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis & Clark" together. It deals with the course of the relationship between Lewis and Clark and the mysterious death of Lewis in 1809, shot in a lonely inn on the Natchez Trace. Timed for release on September 23, 2006, "To The Ends of The Earth" will mark the end of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. "To the Ends of The Earth" is both a historical novel and a gripping mystery. It begins where the great expedition of 1803-1806 ends, with Lewis and Clark receiving kudos, fame, and political appointments. Lewis is appointed governor of Louisiana Territory, a virtual kingdom in size, and Clark becomes the Indian superintendent and militia general for the Louisiana Territory. Life in St. Louis, the center from which they operate, is colorful and unregulated in the extreme. While Clark, the more stable of the two, manages to marry well and begin to court financial success, Lewis finds the reality of post Expedition fame less than palatable, and he sinks into a frightening disintegration of mental illness and alcoholism. The story turns on the relationship between Clark and Lewis, and also the relationship between Clark and York, his companion and slave since childhood. "To the Ends of the Earth" is full of gritty historical detail and raw imagery that rings true across the years. "To The Ends of The Earth" is historical fiction at its best, pulling the reader in and re-engaging the mind and imagination in the drama that occurred 200 years ago.

The Rose Of York: Crown Of Destiny
Sandra Worth
End Table Books
c/o National Book Network
4270 Boston Way, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
P.O. Box 37426; Houston, Texas 77237-7426 (author)
0975126482 $14.95

With "The Rose Of York: Crown Of Destiny", Canadian author Sandra Worth has penned the sequel to her outstanding historical novel "The Rose Of York: Love & War" (0975162607, $16.95). The second title in a planned trilogy, "Crown Of Destiny" is a dramatic retelling of Richard II and the murder of his royal nephews in the Tower of London. Court intrigue abounds as the late Edward IV's detested queen plots to usurp power, compelling Richard of Gloucester into decisions that alter British history and would give rise to rumor, slander, betrayal, revenge, and a fight against injustice. Like "Love & War", this second novel in "The Rose Of York" trilogy showcases author Sandra Worth's painstaking historical research, dedication to authenticity, and superbly crafted characters and plotting that are the hallmark of her work. Very highly recommended and entertaining reading, "Crown Of Destiny" will leave its reader looking eagerly toward the third and final volume of "The Rose Of York" series.

The Middle-Aged Man & The Sea
Christopher Meeks
White Whisker Books
726 Portola Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90042
1411647610 $12.94

Christopher Meeks teaches creative writing, has three full-length plays produced in Los Angeles to his credit, and is the author of four non-fiction children's books. "The Middle-Aged Man & The Sea" is an anthology of thirteen short stories by this accomplished author, many of which have been previously published in such literary journals as 'Rosebud', 'Clackamas Literary Review', and the 'Southern California Anthology'. These are original, articulate, engaging stories which examine life in America from the unique perspectives of ordinary people searching for their share of the promises held out as part of the American dream. Meeks' writing style is characterized by an ability to create identifiable characters that will hold a haunting familiarity for the reader, along with imaginative but realistic and original scenarios which play out succinctly in the short fiction format. "The Middle-Aged Man & The Sea" is highly recommended, highly entertaining, and highly rewarding reading.

Parallel Lives
Rose Stadler
PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705-0151
1352 Hall Street, Huntington, WV 25705 (author)
1424102898 $24.95

Featuring black/white photographs of Anasazi ruins, Rose Stadler's "Parallel Lives" combines mystery with romance in the Arizona desert as the talented commercial artist Patricia White strives against White Dove (third wife of a stone-age Anasazi chief) and contend in a no-holds-barred contest for the man they both love but only one can have. The battle between these two women involves drought, fire, starvation, and a bloodthirsty battle where "only the victor can survive the past as they share the future". The characters are vividly detailed, the plot lines expertly crafted, and the result is a riveting, imaginatively written, and original read from first page to last. Also very highly recomended are Rose Stadler's earlier novels: "The Confederette" (PublishAmerica) and "Release Your Inner Bitch" (Author House).

Sunshine Assassins
John F. Miglio
Capricorn Publishing
c/o Online Review of Books
7536 Circuit Drive, Citrus Heights, CA 95610
0977475727, $15.99, 240 pages,

A superbly crafted novel by John F. Miglio, "Sunshine Assassins" is a bone-chilling political morality fable that poses uncomfortable directions and results of America's history of blind cooperation with the corporate powers that be. Using both bleak, sarcastic humour and science fiction Armageddon traditions, "Sunshine Assassins" is a logical development of political reality especially suited for the "Daily Show" generation, cutting across all age and culture groups. "Sunshine Assassins" is about democracy, and the lost definition of it in an America of the near future. It is about corporate manipulation of media, reality, funding, and all decision-making processes. It is about mind manipulation, even brainwashing, and the infinitely tricky business of evaluating the validity of witch hunting and vigilantism. Specifically, "Sunshine Assassins" targets the misuse of Christianity in a tradition of Corporate Christian conditioning that pervades the infrastructure. Will Americans be able to un-write their conditioned and contracted lives and retake control of both themselves and democracy? Readers of "Sunshine Assassins" may be dismayed by the premise, but they will find the emerging answers unforgettable.

Lies That Bind
Thomas Domenici
Arbor Books
19 Spear Road, Suite 202, Ramsey, NJ 07446
0977187039 $14.95 1-201-236-9990

Lies That Bind is written with an unusual authority by psychologist and psychoanalyst Thomas Domenici who, in addition to being homosexual, works extensively with gay youths, teens and young adults, as well as treating child molesters and victims of sexual molestation. Lies That Bind uses the format of a novel to lay out and illustrate the issues of a young gay boy coming to terms with his same-gender sexual orientation who can no longer play the "I'm-not-gay" game with his family that has resulted in severe depression. Lies That Bind is also about a young gay teenager embracing his reality, healing emotional wounds, and ultimately obtaining a social and more comfort zone and acceptance. Of special note are the embedded messages for the reader as to the process sexual predators and molesters use to lure gay boys. Lies That Bind is a superbly written and highly recommended caution regarding the dysfunctional consequences of trying to change a child's innate, biologically driven same-sex gender preference.

The Folklore/Mythology Shelf

Chinese Fables
Mary W. Ng
Aim Publishing
P.O. Box 29545 Maple Ridge, BC, Canada V2X 0V2
0968763731 $12.95

Chinese Fables is an anthology of ninety timeless Chinese fables selected and retold by Mary W. Ng. Each fable is only a few paragraphs long, and Mary Ng offers an interpretation of each tale's moral at its conclusion. Though brief, Chinese Fables is thoroughly captivating and presents valuable nuggets of wisdom transcending the life experiences of millennia. Highly recommended.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Decoy Menagerie Part 2
Courtney Huddleston
Penny-Farthing Press Inc.
10370 Richmond Avenue, Suite 980, Houston, Texas 77042
0971901279 $19.95 1-800-926-2669

Decoy Menagerie Part 2 is the second anthology of comic stories by a wide variety of artists and storytellers, featuring the loveable, kindhearted alien Decoy (originally created by comic-book talent Courtney Huddleston), refugee from the violent planet of Nacrum. Contributors include Eisner Award-winner Mike Kunkel, Inkpot Award-winner George Gladir, and many more. Each artist in this full-color volume brings his own style and narrative slant to another slice of Decoy's tangled but ultimately optimistic life. Gentle humor and thrilling action characterize this wonderful continuing saga of interspecies friendship.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The 28 Day Cleansing Program
Scott Ohlgren & Joann Tomasulo
Genetic Press
7440 North 49th Street, Longmont, CO 80503
0972148345 $28.00 1-303-530-2332

Part recipe collection, part nutrition and dietary planning guide, The 28 Day Cleansing Program: The Proven Recipe System For Skin And Digestive Repair is a spiral-bound guide to planning eating habits designed to help purge oneself of internal toxins and related ills. Over 12,000 people have completed the authors' highly affordable cleansing program, which does not involve any form of starvation. Though the authors are not doctors, they have recognized dead-on something that far too much of the medical, health care, and pharmaceutical industry all too readily ignores - that there is an overwhelming connection between what we eat and the harmful symptoms we suffer, from acne to irritable bowel syndrome to arthritis, high cholesterol and much more. The 28 Day Cleansing Program denounces modern over-reliance on processed foods and presents healthy, tasty alternative recipes that anyone can easily learn to make. Additional food preparation tips, such as soaking beans at length in water to make them more digestible, round out this "must-have" guide to anyone seeking to make substantial dietary improvements to both look and feel better.

Andrea's Voice Silenced By Bulimia
Doris Smeltzer with Andrea Lynn Smeltzer
Gurze Books
PO Box 2238, Carlsbad, CA 92018
0936077018 $15.95 1-800-756-7533

"Andrea's Voice Silenced By Bulimia: Her Story and Her Mother's Journey Through Grief Toward Understanding" is a final legacy organized and co-written by both Andrea's mother, Doris Smeltzer, and Andrea herself in the form of her journals and papers. This compelling account tells the story of a beautiful and talented young woman who suffers, and eventually dies from, an eating disorder. "Andrea's Voice" represents a great lesson woven from painful experience. Doris Smeltzer is co-founder of the eating disorder prevention nonprofit organization, Andrea's Voice Foundation. Through the finely crafted voices and carefully chosen writings in "Andrea's Voice," her mother presents both the deep isolationism of the disordered eater, her daughter, and the close bond that still enriches her life today, when her daughter's living voice is silenced. "Andrea's Voice" is both a deeply compassionate, inspirational tribute to the life of Andrea, and a search for clues and tools to stem the outcome in others with disordered eating. "Andrea's Voice" is both a clinical and a very human look at the relationship between Andrea and her mother, shared to help others afflicted with eating disorders -- or have loved ones who are faced with such potentially dangerous health issues.

Hot Flashes
Julie A. Calligaro
Women's Source Books
20600 Eureka, Suite 900, Taylor, MI 48180
189011717X $9.95 1-734-283-2727

"Hot Flashes: 21 Non-Hormonal Strategies to Put Out the Fire" is a tool to empower women to survive menopause by giving tips to help women control their hot flashes, or 'put out the fire.' The author, Julie Calligaro, is a former nurse and practicing attorney, and an author of several other self-help books for women. In brief, Calligaro begins by suggesting that the woman begin by establishing a baseline of frequency, duration, severity, and triggers of her hot flashes, then try any or all of the following approaches: Paced breathing, regular exercise, black cohash, red clover, soy foods, acupuncture, avoidance of triggers, cessation of smoking, reduce weight until achieving a health weight, bathing/showering in tepid water, and lowering the temperature of surroundings, especially the bedroom. Additionally, these are 10 cooling strategies suggested: Wear cotton, not wool or synthetics. Dress in layers. Wear sleepwear that wicks sweat away from the skin. Carry a pocket fan. Have fans positioned around home and workplace. Meditate. Do yoga. Adjust your attitude about menopause. Use BeKool Hot Flash gel sheets for immediate cooling. Wear kleenex in your bra. Calligaro's final suggestion to the reader is to maintain regular physical checkups, pap smears, and breast exams. "Hot Flashes" is a practical manual to assist the menopausal woman to greater comfort during her change of life.

Lessons From The Miracle Doctors
Jon Barron
Baseline Of Health Foundation
1800 East Sahara Avenue Suite 107 Las Vegas, NV 89104
0971919801 $14.95

Lessons From The Miracle Doctors: A Step By Step Guide To Optimum Health And Relief From Catastrophic Illness by Jon Barron (member of the advisory board of The Health Sciences Institute) is a no-nonsense guide that anyone can follow to optimize their diet, nutrition, exercise, and life habits for improved well-being, especially when confronted with the specter of severe health threats. Written for the lay person, Lessons From The Miracle Doctors offers sound advice on enzymes, herbs that promote health, how to keep one's liver clean, turning around one's thoughts to a positive attitude, the incomparable value of vigorous exercise, and much more. Extensively researched and easy-to-follow, Lessons From The Miracle Doctors is enthusiastically recommended for its sound advice.

The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones
Michael E. Platt, M. D.
Clancy Lane Publishing
73-345 Highway 111, Suite 203, Palm Desert, CA 92260
0977668304 $24.95 202 pages 760-836-3232

"The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones: A Revolutionary Approach to Wellness for Men, Women and Children" is a comprehensive presentation explaining how hormone replacement therapy can restore lost health in ailments such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, ADHD, menstrual problems, migraine headaches, asthma, sexual problems, urinary incontinence, fertility issues, and others. Author Michael Platt is board certified as an internist and founder of Platt Medical Center in Palm Desert, California. Dr. Platt is expert and renowned for his work with natural hormone replacement to enhance wellness. The findings in the thoroughly "reader friendly" book are presented skillfully and clearly, making the information thoroughly accessible for the non-specialist general reader. Dr. Platt urges his readers to consult their physicians first in order to begin planning an hormonal treatment approach for any medical disorder. While "The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones" is based on many years of clinical experience and observation by Dr. Platt, it is no substitute for the consulting with one's own doctor. Nonetheless, "The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones" can substantially aid men and women, with the help of their physicians, to seek effective hormonal solutions to health problems previously thought to be insoluble.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

A Witch In The Family
Stephen Hawley Martin
The Oaklea Press
6912 Three Chopt Road, Suite B, Richmond, VI
189253844X $15.95 804-281-5872

A Witch In The Family by Stephen Hawley Martin (two time winner of the Writer's Digest Book Award for Fiction) is more than a historical examination of the Salem witch trials and executions, and case studies of accused witches. Delving into the realm of metaphysics, A Witch In The Family explores the lives of women who were hanged as witches, demonstrating that their outspokenness, and perhaps feminist impulses made them targets - and also put them in touch with a higher level of reality, and shades of existence beyond those driven to murder through fear and hysteria. Contemplating the nature of God, as experienced by the Puritan women whose own devout beliefs were put sorely to the test by their vengeful countrymen, A Witch In The Family is a transcendental study of fundamental truths the accused woman of over three hundred years ago may well have grasped in their hearts and minds.

Ghosts and Oddities
Jack Fitzgerald
Jesperson Publishing
100 Water Street PO Box 2188 St John's, NL Canada A1C 6E6
1894377141 $14.95 709-757-2216

A scattering of black-and-white photographs illustrate Ghosts and Oddities by reporter and public affairs writer Jack Fitzgerald is an anthology of extra-short vignettes (one to three pages in length each) about ghosts, hauntings, and other supernatural vagaries spotted throughout Newfoundland. Though Ghosts and Oddities is not a poetry book per se, a number of the vignettes include telegrams, folk songs, correspondence, and other ponderings about ghosts in verse form. A true treasury for any ghost lover, Ghosts and Oddities is equally fun to read a few pages a day or all at once.

Field Guide To Dreams
Kelly Regan
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1594740194 $15.95

Kelly Regan's "Field Guide To Dreams: How To Identify And Interpret The Symbols In Your Dreams" is a compact and organized introduction to identifying and interpreting the hidden meanings embedded in our dreams. Arranged by dominant symbol (animals, caves, hospitals, teachers, celebrities, monsters, authority figures, etc.), and enhanced with the inclusion of a section of full color photographs, Regan draws upon Freud and Jung to explain what is meant by the images and circumstances portrayed in our dreams. From flying to being naked in public, from combat to coitus, from single episodic dreaming to dreams that reoccur, non-specialist general readers will find the "Field Guide To Dreams" to be an invaluable, illuminating, informative, and enthusiastically recommended approach to determining what the subconscious is trying to portray through the medium of our dreams.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Gaining And Maintaining Wealth
F. William Bauers, Jr
Edgewood Publishing Company
4000 Cathedral Avenue, Suite 628 B, Washington, D.C. 20016
0966061144 $29.95

Gaining And Maintaining Wealth: A Guide To Financial & Estate Planning by real estate expert, estate executor, and trustee F. William Bauers Jr. is a straightforward advice guide for lay readers about gaining control of one's financial independence and ensuring that one's wealth is properly handed down to one's heirs. Chapters cover the nuts and bolts of writing a will, developing a savings plan, getting started in investment without taking unnecessary risks, what everyone should know about insurance, real estate, estate planning, and trusts, and taxes. Consumable pages for the user to write down their essential information to get started, a friendly, no-nonsense tone, a glossary, and an appendix of sample forms and much more round out this easy-to-use, utterly invaluable resource.

The Music Shelf

Respiratory Function In Singing
Thomas J. Hixon
Redington Brown LLC
5530 Camino Del Celador, Tucson, AZ 85750
0976351315 $29.95

Author Thomas J. Hixon puts his more than 40 years of experience in singing and acting to the page in Respiratory Function In Singing: A Primer for Singers And Singing Teachers. Respiratory Function In Singing details precisely how to coordinate posture, muscular training, breathing techniques, and much more to optimize one's vocal talents. Of especial note are the popular myths of respiratory function in singing that Hixon denounces, such as the all-too-common suggestion to "breathe like a newborn" (newborns breathe lying down, which is fundamentally different from breathing while standing). Black-and-white diagrams and charts, sample breathing and singing exercises, and singularly valuable advice for singers of all experience levels from novice to professional make Respiratory Function In Singing a "must-have" for vocalists and vocal teachers everywhere.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Thrilling Detective Heroes
edited by John Locke & John Wooley
Adventure House
914 Laredo Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901
1597980765 $20.00 240 pages 301-754-1589

"Thrilling Detective Heroes" is a selection of tales from detective pulp fiction published back in the 1930s and 1940s during the "Golden Age" of pulp magazines. There are ten outstanding and representative selections in this timeless anthology, each of which is accompanied with a brief introduction and critical sketch of the author, showcasing work from Perley Poore Sheehan, Frederick Painton, Ray Cummings, Benton Braden, Milton Lowe, Walt Bruce, Robert Leslie Bellem, Carroll John Daly, M. D. Orr, and Stewart Sterling. It is particularly interesting and informative to read the introductory biographical sketches of each of the authors chosen. Their detective heroes' names read like a litany of murder mystery nabobs: Doctor Coffin, Duffy Kildare, Dr. Feather, Mister Finis, Dr. Zeng, Nick Ransom, Race Williams, Archie McCann, Don Marko, and last but not least, Baghdad, Hobo Detective. If your literary taste in detective mysteries runs to thrilling "time lost" reads such as those originally published in 'Popular Detective' or 'Thrilling Detective' magazines, then "Thrilling Detective Heroes " was meant for you. Enhanced with the inclusion of a history of the Thrilling pulp magazine chain, "Thrilling Detective Heroes" will appeal to both an older audience for its nostalgia value and introduce a new generation of mystery fans to a series of true Golden Age classics.

The Nature Shelf

Trees of Michigan
Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
1808 "B" Street NW, Suite 140, Auburn, WA 98001
9768200073 $20.95

Trees of Michigan Including Tall Shrubs is a straightforward guide to 254 species from 36 arboreal families. Color photographs and close-ups of leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, cones, or overall shape illustrate every page of this easy-to-use guide, filled with identification tips, notes on edible fruits and human and wildlife uses of trees, name origins and alternate names of trees, range maps and habitat descriptions, and much more. An illustrated glossary rounds out this first-rate Michigan reference for amateur and professional nature lovers alike, and the soft cover and internal pages are printed on durable stock for weathering journeys into the field.

The Parenting Shelf

IDEA 2004
Shelly Smith
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1425906303 $10.99 1-800-839-8640

IDEA 2004: A Parent Handbook For School Age Children With Learning Disabilities by school psychologist and parent advocate Shelly Smith is a straightforward guide for parents and professionals to the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act. Condensing everything parents need to know to be effective advocates in plain terms, IDEA 2004 covers practical applications of the law, disability laws in general as they pertain to schoolchildren, and the rights of both children and parents. Reducing seemingly incomprehensible bureaucracy into simple terms, and fully explicating both the letter and the spirit of the law, IDEA 2004 is an absolute "must-have" for any parent or guardian raising a child with learning disabilities and seeking a positive, balance-of-power relationship with the public school system.

Personality Insights for Moms!
Susan Crook with Robert A. Rohm
Regency Taylor Publishing
11936 West 119th , #159, Overland Park, KS 66213
0977839702 $13.95

"Personality Insight for Moms!: Decrease Conflict & Increase Happiness Today" by Certified Human Behavior Consultant Susan Crook (with the assistance of Robert A. Rohm), is a handy illustrated, 319 page text to help moms understand their offsprings' baffling behavior. "Personality Insights for Moms" also helps moms understand and use their own personality styles, understand their children's ability to communicate better, handle conflict, and offer appropriate discipline, (or D-I-S-Cipline). Motivation strategies for different personality styles are offered. "Personality Insights for Moms" is a humourous, accessible book that will help parents ready to throw in the towel to hang on and keep on trying. The handy little lists, charts, graphs, and tools are quite practical and visually appealing as well. Symbols allow compressed information to be presented and humourous cartoons help to make the point memorable. "Personality Insight for Moms" is a "must read" for parents and child caretakers.

The Parenting Game Plan
Katie B. Marsh
Abundance Press
300 Carlsbad Village Drive 108A-134 Carlsbad, CA 92008
0978578902 $14.95

The Parenting Game Plan: Negotiate, Compromise And Explore The Parenting Journey Together is a unique consumable workbook meant especially to help expectant mothers and fathers prepare for the birth of their first child. Pages bring up serious topics that any committed couple should discuss at length and plan out, including the number of children to plan on having, circumcision, breastfeeding, birth control, childcare plans, amount of TV time for children, how to deal with tantrums, division of household chores, sex education, setting positive examples for the kids, allowances, and much more. Each topic offers sample scenarios of a couple facing a difficult issue, and some suggested discussion questions with room to write answers. The rest is left up to the parents to work out; The Parenting Game Plan does not preach, but rather serves a tool for couples to chart the future. Highly recommended.

The Child With Autism At Home
Kathy Labosh
Labosh Publishing
PO Box 588, East Petersburg, PA 17520-0588
Even Management Services (publicity)
1127 Grove Street, Clearwater, FL 33755
0974434124 $6.00

As the mother of two autistic boys, Kathy Labosh draws upon her experience and hard-earned expertise to write The Child With Autism At Home: The Home-Life Guide which is a succinct compilation of 350 tips for parenting an autistic child in every area of the home environment including the attic, master bedroom, child's bedroom, "the corner", the family room, playroom, music room, kitchen, study, bathroom, broom closet, even the front and back doors. Also very highly recommended for parents and care-givers of autistic children are Kathy Labosh's other two user friendly "how to" instructional guidebooks: The Child With Autism Goes To Town (0974434116, $5.00) which offers practical tips and helps for taking an autistic child to the playground, fast food restaurant, the mall, the barbershop, grocery stores, movie theaters, church, an amusement park, sporting events, the pharmacy, the hospital, the library, to see a doctor or a dentist, and various kinds of gatherings. The Child With Autism Goest To Florida (0974434132, $9.95) specifically addresses taking an autistic child to Central Florida's theme parks, resorts and rides and includes advice and tips for travel web searches, tickets, resort safety, "lost children", Universal Studies, Magic Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studies, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, "Islands of Adventure", fireworks shows, and travel resources. Each of these three unique, practical, "parent friendly" guides will prove simply invaluable for parents with autistic children at home, in the community, or on a special Florida-based vacation.

The Photography Shelf

Three Gorges
Bill Zorn
Flat Edge Press
178 Butler Lake Drive, Saint Simons Island, Georgia, 31522
0972427902 $50.00

Three Gorges is a coffee table book of black-and-white photography capturing the land, the people, and the natural beauty of the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River in central China. All images were taken between 2001 and 2003; in the summer of 2003, the construction of the world's largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam, created the largest reservoir in history and changed the lives of the inhabitants forever as the water levels rose and submerged much of the land. A few poems in both English and Chinese intersperse the images, but the majority of Three Gorges allows the images of people conducting their daily lives to speak for themselves. A profound and powerful glimpse through time to a land on the cusp of drastic change, highly recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

Poems Of The Grieving Soul
Lisa Blen
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
0533150817 $17.95 212-736-1767

Poems Of The Grieving Soul by an anthology of free-verse poetry by a mother who experienced the personal tragedy of losing her beloved son and having to raise her son's children. The verses reflect the anguish of loss and the search for meaning, up to the moment of demanding "Where Were You, God?" in the face of suffering. A profound and emotional work straight from the depths of the heart and soul. "Should I Love You Again?": Can you promise me this time around? / If I let you back inside my heart / That we'll never again be apart? // If I learn to trust you again / How do I know that maybe someday / When I need you most, you won't walk away? // All the dreams that we both shared / So many times in the past / Will they become real at last?

Living in the Heart
Kelley Jean White
WordTech Editions
PO Box 541106, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1106
1933456132 $17.00

Written by Kelley Jean White, who is both a poet and a physician,"Living in the Heart" is a collection of framed moments of poignancy and more intense reverberations. White writes from her own heartfelt experiences, with deep authenticity. There is a healing potential in all such poems if correctly read and experienced. ' Shadowbox' is one of her poems that seems to touch the reader intimately, deep inside: "I am going to frame/ the shadow that was/ my loss. There, along the bottom,/ my children wave/ goodbye. A little higher up runs/ a line of song we used to know./ You sang it in sleep. It stitches the hem/ of my mother's face. See, the door/ to my house stands/ open and the garden is represented/ by a patch of ice. There/ are ripples and waves defining/ borders and a caption saved/ from a fortune cookie. Over/ it all is embroidered the map/ my youngest drew of the heart (p. 70)."

Corey T. Tate
It Is Written Publications
P.O. Box 75984, Colorado Springs, CO 80970-5984
0972117202 $16.95

Evolution of the Heart Mind Body Soul is an anthology of free-verse spiritual poetry expressing a range of subjects from sexual pleasure to quiet patience to spiritual jubilation. Drawn from the real life experiences of the author, Evolution of the Heart Mind Body Soul acknowledges both the wisdom of God and the travails of mundane life. "Knowledge, Purpose, Peace": Knowledge of self gives you a purpose in life // Once you know your purpose / you can have peace not only with yourself, / but also with God. // Keep God first in everything that you do in life // and you'll never be second to none // All things shall come to those who believe in Him.

Red Summer
Amaud Jamaul Johnson
Tupelo Press
PO Box 539, Dorset, VT 05251
1932195327 $16.95 1-800-283-3572

Red Summer is a collection of free-verse poetry unafraid to experiment with both lyric and narrative modes. Issues of consciousness, social struggle, and the knife edge between the material and spiritual world form a tapestry of the human search for meaning in a coldly impersonal world. A very highly recommended debut anthology by a talented and insightful poet. "Rumor": is // a toothless // tiger // it gums // its prey // to boredom // leaves // it alone // to rot // in mid // summer // sun

Six Trips in Two Directions
Jayson Iwen
Emergency Press
533 W. 25th Street, New York, NY 10001
0975362321 $15.00

Written by the co-winner of the Emergency Press annual book contest for 2005, Six Trips in Two Directions is a poetry narrative that applies a pattern to its characters and chronicle while roaming past both external and internal divisive events in a modern world rent with strife and uncertainty. The chaos and confusion of Beirut fuse with the crystal clarity of bearing witness in this multifaceted prism of struggle, tragedy, and hope. "beirut's exciting as having gas // and it's the most exciting city // in the most exciting country // in the middle east // if not for cars we'd be // televisually comatose // we live so between the two // reality isn't real enough // peace not peace enough // to make struggle fun // all we need is one foot // on land, one in a boat // the indecision splitting us

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Stilling The Storm
Rogers Turner Jr.
Creation House
600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746
1591857317 $6.99

Stilling The Storm by teacher and communicator Rogers Turner Jr. draws parallels between the sea storms that threatened Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke until Jesus Christ calmed the stormy waters, and the often inevitable storms of modern life that ordinary human beings must weather. Turner shows how God's presence aids His children in confronting the roughest of life's storms; by telling the Biblical parable from Matthew's, Mark's, and Luke's points of views individually, he shows new ways of perceiving and confronting life's challenges with the wisdom and guidance of God. A brief, inspirational, pocket-sized testimony written by a devout Christian, for devout Christians.

Talking to God
John Gattuso, et. al.
Stone Creek Publications
460 Shire Road, Milford, NJ 08848
0965633837 $39.95

Illustrated throughout with more than a hundred full-color photographs, Talking to God: Portrait of a World at Prayer is compilation of fifteen essays discussing the topic of prayer from the point of view of many faiths. Writings from authors including the Dalai Lama, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, C. S. Lewis, Elie Wiesel, Pope John Paul II, and more allow the reader to contemplate the spirituality of opening oneself up to communication. Writings are brief, sometimes only a page, sometimes a handful of pages; Talking to God is a visual and reflective experience, rather than a lengthy academic or in-depth theological one. A beautiful compendium, compiled with respect toward all faiths and all efforts to humble oneself before the divine.

Pocket Guide To The Bible
Jason Boyett
Relevant Books
100 South Lake destiny Drive, suite 200, Orlando, FL 32810
0976817543 $11.99 407-660-8555

Pocket Guide To The Bible: A Little Book About The Big Book is an easy-to-use reference for lay readers to the cannonical sacred text of Christianity. Composed of a glossary of oft-unfamiliar words used in the Good Book, and alphabetical cast of characters, condensed summaries of the old and new testaments, a timeline, a selective survey of translations, miscellany, and a bibliography, Pocket Guide To The Bible is plain-spoken and easy to take in even as it accurately crystalizes key points. Enthusiastically recommended for novice biblical scholars or anyone seeking to quickly better acquaint themselves with the Good Book.

The God-Man
Robert Spearman
Pentecostal Publishers
1057 D Avenue No.6, Douglas, AZ 85607-1931
0976918803 $22.95

After a spiritual quest for truth that led him to atheism, agnosticism, Sufism, and Judaism, author Robert Spearman embraced Jesus Christ in midlife, and devoted twenty-five years to the study of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. The God-Man presents Spearman's exploration of the seeming contradiction between multiple personalities in the Godhead and the divine nature of Lord Jesus Christ. The traditional trinity expresses God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that Jesus Christ had two natures - fully God and fully Man - when he walked the earth. The God-Man explores the question as to whether these views are fully compatible, and whether multiple personalities in Godhead defy the concept of absolute deity in Christ. Spearman finds the answer in the book of Revelation, that the One we will see at the time of Resurrection is Jesus Christ, God revealed in bodily form. God-Man is the distillation of passionate faith, and traces a long journey of understanding through Christ, and the quest to understand and worship both His natures. A singularly visionary testimony.

The Force Of My Yeshua
T.A. Veach
Xulon Press
380 Crown Oak Center Drive, Longwood, FL 32750
311 U.S. 31 (00EW), Kokomo, IN 46902 (author)
1597813923 $12.99

The Force Of My Yeshua is the testimony of a spiritual truth-seeker who, disillusioned by the hollow exclusivity of the Christian Church at a young age, sought answers from almost every other major world religion. After thirty years of seeking, she despaired of knowing God, but God did not despair of knowing her. She discovered the guidance of his Holy Spirit, toward the Truth of Jesus Christ. The Force Of My Yeshua recounts the steps of her lifelong journey, and encourages readers to follow the path, listen for God's voice, and prepare to transform beyond the death of the self. A deeply reflective testimony, emphasizing the importance of submission to God and rejecting extraneous mortal philosophies that distance oneself from God. "'I have to find myself?' Indeed! There is no hope of ever knowing myself without coming to know Him first. 'I have to do what makes me happy?' On the contrary! There can be no hope of happiness without my Yeshua to guide me into right action." A passionate exhortation of overwhelming faith and obedience to God's will.

The Self-Help Shelf

You Are What You Love
Purple Haze Press, LLC
PMB 167, 2430 Vanderbilt Beach Road #108, Naples, Florida 34109
0977320006 $24.95 (239) 513-3313

You Are What You Love is a self-help guide about the search for enlightenment, wholeness, and the answer to the big questions: why are we here? What is the relevance of God in everyday life? Above all, You Are What You Love stresses the healing power of love - loving oneself, one's neighbor, and embracing the love of God. The difficult journey to love and acceptance is traced in chapters that reveal ultimate truth and ultimate lies, the confusions of perception that distract from the power of love and forgiveness, and how to keep moving forward toward wholeness in a world filled with conflict. The author's personal spiritual revelations illustrate the healing journey in this inspirational testimony.

Take Back Your Life
Janja Lalich & Madeleine Tobias
Bay Tree Publishing
721 Creston Road, Berkeley, CA 94708
0972002154 $19.50 510-525-0842

Take Back Your Life: Recovering From Cults and Abusive Relationships by co-authors Janja Lalich (Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico) & Madeleine Tobias (The Clinical Coordinator and a psycho therapist at the Vet Center in White River Junction) is a self-help resource for survivors of harmful relationships, whether with an individual or a group, and their loved ones. Chapters explain in plain terms the siren call abusive relationships have some people, and the confusion, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress experienced by the victim, along with suggestions for picking up the pieces of one's life and embracing the healing process. Of special note are the chapters addressing problems with family members and children in cults, and therapeutic concerns. Take Back Your Life is written primarily for lay readers however, and is a very sober, serious, and practical guide.

The Business of Love
Dr. John Curtis, Ph. D.
IOD Press (Baker & Taylor, dist.)
1000 Winderley Pace, #147, Maitland, FL 32751
0977344401 $14.95 201 pages (407)-265-1280

"The Business of Love: 9 Best Practices for Improving the Bottom Line of Your Relationship" is a self help book that applies successful business practices to marriage relationships. To approach marriage as a business joint venture may be radical, but due to the percentage of marriages that fail, perhaps this revolutionary new outlook is justified. Appealing to the success-driven members of generations X and Y, "The Business of Love" is reassuring in its practicality and specificity. The nine best practices include creating a vision of your relationship, developing your relationship's objectives, funding the partnership, branding and marketing your relationship, growing the relationship: mergers, job descriptions for couples, relationship feedback for partners, compensation and benefits, and meetings and retreats. A plethora of tables and graphs and illustrations are used to demonstrate the sound business principles that are applied in "The Business of Love." In all, Dr. Curtis' background as an organizational development consultant, business trainer and researcher has been put to innovative use. Billed as a practical book to help normal men and women with normal challenges, "The Business of Love" promises to decrease the failure rate of marriages (50% of all first marriages fail), based on sound business concepts proven to work.

The Sports Shelf

$20,000 In Tennis Lessons
Dr. Robert Ford Greene
Berkshire Press
2500 Johnson Avenue, 12-F, Riverdale, NY 10463-4933
0977832503 $34.95 1-608-835-7937

Dr. Robert Ford Greene demonstrates his 50 years of tennis experience in $20,000 In Tennis Lessons: Your Personal Coach, a solid handbook and self-teaching tool for novice to expert tennis players determined to improve their game. Chapters describe the techniques, skills and drills used by professional tennis players in their training sessions, as well as strategies for raising power, control, and defensive skills, recommended exercises, and solid tennis strategies, such as faking a net approach to throw off the opponent or using a "shuffle step" to reach tennis balls nearby. Black-and-white photographs illustrate almost every page of this easy-to-follow, "must-have" resource for any tennis player serious about honing a competitive edge.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Planning The Low Budget Film
Robert Latham Brown
Chalk Hill Books
P.O. Box 606, Woodland Hills, CA 91365-0606
0976817802 $29.95

Planning The Low Budget Film by producer and production manager Robert Latham Brown draws upon the author's 30 years of experience to lay out the principles of solid film planning with strictly limited resources. Chapters discuss how to get into the low-budget film business, how to apply and adhere to a schedule, methods of calculating and keeping track of the budget. Of especial value is the meticulous step-by-step instructions for anyone who is brand new to the confusing world of financial recordkeeping. Written in down-to-earth, no-nonsense format, Planning The Low Budget Film is enthusiastically recommended for aspiring and professional film producers of all experience levels.

The Travel Shelf

Eric Peterson
Speck Press
PO Box 102004, Denver, CO 102004
1933108088 $18.00 1-800-996-9783

Part travel guide, part travelogue, all fun, Ramble: A Field Guide To The U.S.A. by veteran travel writer Eric Peterson is an exciting detour from traditional guidebooks. Ramble covers the USA from coast to coast, with special attention to California and Texas, stopping to marvel at 250 American attractions. Highlight locations include unique eateries, famous cemeteries, distinctive road art such as Bubblegum Alley and the Museum of Bad Art, and such bizarre icons as the Erotic University, (legal) Nevada brothels, distillery tours, and New York mafia landmarks. Abundant full-color photographs and sample narrative road trips round out this eye-opening guide as enthusiastically recommended for arm travelers as it is for vacationers looking for a fresh American experience.

My Indiana
Earl L. Conn
Indiana Historical Society
450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
0871951959 $19.95 317-233-8814

My Indiana: 101 Places To See by Earl L. Conn (Dean Emeritus, College Of Communications, Information And Media, Ball State University) is a stunningly illustrated travel compendium of 101 unforgettable tourist hotspots to visit in Indiana. From the site of the world's very first train robbery, to the annual Draft Horse Auction, to Mount Baldy and Versailles State Park, Indiana's local cover and rich history offer a unique sense of charm and appeal. Each site has a two-page description that includes full-color photographs, directions for driving there, admission hours, phone numbers and web sites with more information, and fee information. A fun supplement to any Indiana vacationer, and armchair travelers are sure to enjoy paging through My Indiana as well.

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

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