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

MBR Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 4 April 2013 Home | MBW Index

Table of Contents

Cowper's Bookshelf Donovan's Bookshelf Dunford's Bookshelf
Greenspan's Bookshelf Helen's Bookshelf Klausner's Bookshelf
Laurel's Bookshelf Lorraine's Bookshelf Micah's Bookshelf
Richard's Bookshelf Shelley's Bookshelf Shirley's Bookshelf
Taylor's Bookshelf Vogel's Bookshelf  

Cowper's Bookshelf

Conscious Spending. Conscious Life.
Laurana Rayne
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781481140119, $25.00,

We live in an economy dependent on a consumer culture, yet our public schools and colleges all to often lack effective curriculums on handling personal finances and dealing with the challenges specific to that consumer culture. In "Conscious Spending. Conscious Life.: An uncommon guide to navigating the consumer culture", author Laurana Rayne draws upon her twenty-seven years of experience and expertise teaching consumer issues to college students to explain how to meet the fiscal challenges of surviving and thriving in a consumer culture. This 410-page compendium is deftly organized into four major sections: Economics, Illusions & the Consumer Culture; Fraud, Ethics & Justice in Our Transactions; Money, Power & Making a Life; Health, Safety & Integrity of the Future. Of special note are the chapters on 'Looking After Yourself in the Marketplace' and 'Spending Consciously'. Enhanced two articles ('Strategies & Principles to Live By' and 'The Complexities of Health and Safety'); copious endnotes; a substantial bibliography; 'Authors Whose Work Inspires Me'; 'Your Personal Index', and 'Why a spiral?, "Conscious Spending. Conscious Life.: An uncommon guide to navigating the consumer culture" is a complete course of thoroughly 'reader friendly' commentary, real life examples, advise, strategies, and techniques that will enable anyone to seeking to avoid common mistakes and succeed to create a solvent and successful life for themselves in the modern era.

Detour Trail
Joy V. Smith
Melange Books
9781612355702 $12.95 pbk. / $5.99 ebook

Detour Trail is an original Western novel, about a woman' journey on the perilous Oregon Trail. Lorena Emerson is left by herself when a thief murders her uncle; rather than return home, she works with other people in need of help. This makeshift group joins a wagon train to continue their long, hard journey through sticky mud and forbidding mountain passes. Lorrie must battle the elements and the ferocity of winter itself, not only for her own sake, but for the well-being of all who brave the difficult journey with her to stake their hopes and dreams on the future. Captivating from cover to cover, Detour Trail is highly recommended.

Code Talker
Ivon Blum
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478719250, $18.95,

There was conflict in many as they volunteered to protect a country that had oppressed them. "Code Talker" is a novel of World War II following Talking Boy Gorman, a Navajo code talking soldier in World War II who is betrayed by those closest to him and wonders about his allegiance to the American cause in the conflict. "Code Talker" is an enticing exploration of the Native American participation in World War II, very much recommended reading for general fiction collections.

The Good Die & The Bad Live On
Jonathan Dennis
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781456784195, $16.71,

Love is illogical, but we embrace it fully anyway. "The Good Die & The Bad Live On" is a novel of facing down the dark side of love as Matt Malone struggles with his love for Liv, a girl she views as too good for him and when the truth of their relationship comes out, everything will be changed for the two of them forever. "The Good Die & The Bad Live On" is a strong addition to contemporary fiction collections with a focus on psychology.

Miles and Jo
Jo Gelbard
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477289570, $16.95,

The sense of self is powerful, and drives us ever forward in our pursuit of a better life. "Miles and Jo: Love Story in Blue" is a memoir from Jo Gelbard, as she shares her story of facing a sudden crisis in life after being married for a decade and a half and the allure of Jazz legend Miles Davis in her life, and how she became enraptured in his life and started an affair that forever changed her life, for better or for worse. "Miles and Jo" is an enticing and hard to put down read that shouldn't be missed.

Your Friend Jim
James Winn
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452561134, $12.99,

The potential for our success lies within, waiting for its chance to be unleashed. "Your Friend Jim: The Foundation" is an inspirational self-help guide from James Winn who advises readers on unlocking the power of their subconscious mind and use knowledge to find their potential and own personal success for a lifetime, encouraging general awareness. "Your Friend Jim" is an inspiration, and reading well worth considering.

One Woman's Choice
Karen Whitaker
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475952155, $11.95,

Parenthood is an all too daunting thing to face alone. "One Woman's Choice" is a memoir from Karen Whitaker as she sought to face two bouts of unwed motherhood, facing the tough choice of abortion or carrying the child to term. In the process, she learned the tough aspects of potential motherhood, the potentials for adoption, and something about both sides of the coin for being a parent. "One Woman's Choice" is a deeply personal story that will resonate well with many a reader, highly recommended.

Dancin' Schmancin' with the Scars
Jan Marshall
Do Write Publishing
c/o Smith Publicity
1930 E Marlton Pike, Suite I-46
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9780988514607, $10.00,

Everyone likes a laugh. "Dancin' Schmancin' with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What!" is her inspirational read as she encourages people to find good humor and happiness in their life, and use that good will to build bonds of a lifetime with everyone around them. Insightful and inspiring, "Dancin' Schmancin' with the Scars" is a strongly recommended addition to any motivational collection with a focus on the healing power of humor.

For Her Pleasure
Denver Williams
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432788148, $13.95,

To live for another can be quite fulfilling. "For Her Pleasure" is a memoir from Denver Williams as he shares his story of marrying a single mother and entering the early stage of life with someone who has always seen a good deal of life already. "For Her Pleasure" is a moving memoir of dedication to another and what it can bring you, highly recommended.

Ocean Inspirations
Dwainia W. Tullis
Trafford Publishing
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781426926617, $10.50,

We try to find our life's inspirations where we can and use it to find our happiness. "Ocean Inspirations: Thoughts Upon the Water" is a collection of inspiration in verse from Dwainia W. Tullis who shares her life's journey and how water has served as an often inspiration. "Ocean Inspirations" is thoughtful and recommended reading for those seeking spiritual poetry. "Same God": The same God that causes the flowers to grow on this side of the world, is the same God who/causes the flowers to grow on the other side/of the world.

Not Without Purpose
Phil Sims
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781462718429, $33.95,

How far does one go for one who they believe to be a friend? "Not Without Purpose" is a novel of faith, as a veteran and his friend find themselves placed with the challenge of disposing of a corpse. As they are tested with this challenge, they struggle with the ideas of faith and become enraptured with some boy scouts who are faced with their own challenges. "Not Without Purpose" is an enticing addition historical Christian fiction collections.

Occasions of Sin
John Martin Gehl
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477283684, $16.95,

Cruelties of human nature can often challenge faith. "Occasions of Sin" is a novel of theology and mystery, following a group of investigators as they search for the roots of the murder they are faced with, and learn much about themselves and life's philosophies in the process. "Occasions of Sin" is a strong addition to general fiction and mystery collections, highly recommended reading.

Mary Cowper

Donovan's Bookshelf

Winning the Timeshare Game: Buying the Bargains
Deanna Keahey
B&D Success Publishing
ISBN (PDF version) 9780988839205
ASIN (Kindle version) = B00B5LRRTA $9.95

Winning the Timeshare Game: Buying the Bargains is a recommended pick for any reader who likes the basic idea of owning a timeshare, but wants to avoid the usual pitfalls that result in making bad judgments on a timeshare's value and usefulness.

Unlike most general real estate or investment guides, Winning the Timeshare Game: Buying the Bargains can be read in two different ways: from cover to cover or through spot reading and use as a quick reference. The latter is accomplished through highlighted notations throughout to mark passages that alert readers to scams, offer insider tips from timeshare owners with years of experience, and outline key questions to help readers determine the kind of timeshare opportunity that is right for them.

Readers are advised on how to conduct their own due diligence research: Winning the Timeshare Game is not intended to replace this piece of action; nor do the case histories and sample experiences promise similar results for other timeshare deals. That said - pages pack in solid advice based on experience and help newcomers avoid many mistakes.

The book opens with going to a timeshare presentation and offers specifics on how to ask the right questions and avoid the inevitable hard-sell tactics of presenters trained to elicit too-quick commitments from timeshare seminar audiences. How the salesman wants you to purchase a timeshare is not necessarily in your best interests - and paragraphs provide quick links to making better decisions based on an understanding of how the timeshare industry works, what its affiliated networks are, and typical approaches of scam artists.

The best buying method is not always to skip such a presentation, but to understand salesman tactics and how to use a presentation as the starting point to cut corners in due diligence research, assembling facts while fielding pressure to "buy now."

Laws covering timeshare purchase and management, tips on where to locate timeshare bargains online (and other places), and how the entire purchase process works (including agreement structures and negotiating tactics) makes for plenty of easy and specific insights covering the entire process.

Best of all, however, are the 'insider tips' on managing the timeshare environment and the 'our recommendation' sections which discuss pros and cons of different options and conclude with tips on getting the most from a timeshare deal.

From splitting weeks to gain more trading power to handing guest certificates, linking consumer protection laws with places to buy, and avoiding the common pitfall of viewing a timeshare as an investment, discussions take into account all economic factors involved.

Winning the Timeshare Game doesn't stop at traditional timeshare condos, either; but adds discussions of vacation clubs, resorts, and more.

In short - any family even casually thinking about investing in a timeshare opportunity simply MUST read Winning the Timeshare Game. It IS a complicated game with many potentials for pitfalls and satisfaction and thus this guide is an essential key to assuring success.

There's nothing quite like it on the market: certainly, nothing that combines specifics from trials and errors with concrete advice designed for either at-a-glance reference reading or cover-to-cover study.

Avery Aster
Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc./Amazon Kindle
ISBN# 9781419940736
ASIN: B00BGDDW5A $8.75

Undressed by Avery Aster is Book #1 in 'The Manhattanites' series and offers a blend of high fashion society intrigue, erotic scenes and encounters, and fashion competition: as such, it's a powerful pick for adult readers interested in a blend of arts politics and erotica.

The spotlight's on Italian playboy Massimo Tittoni, who has made his money in fashion design and seems to have every toy that money will buy. He's on the fast track to move his successful design company into the global arena when he meets his match in seductive client Lex Easton, an equally powerful personality also bent on success and fame in the fashion industry.

They are two powerful success-driven businesspeople not only bent on fame, but harboring a consuming passion for sex - and a determination not to let their interconnected business associations get in the way of both individual profit and sexual satisfaction.

The result is akin to an atomic explosion as the two vie over fashion world successes and personal tastes for pleasure.

First off: be prepared for some eye-popping descriptions as depicted not just in the body of text but in chapter headings (such as 'Prologue: Screw the Masi Salami Dildo Fantasy'). Undressed is not just swearing and sex, however: that would be too simple and shallow a plot. There's also an underlying ribald humorous observational tone that lends depth to the characters and fun for the reader: " ...And did he say Mr. Lex? The boss? She was the boss. "Prince Massimo, you are speaking to Lex." You buffoon - I've been buying fabric from you for two years."

Secondly - enjoy a fine juxtaposition between American and Italian culture, which both clashes and melds at unexpected moments throughout the story line. The sexual tensions between Lex and Masi literally drive the plot but also reflect social tensions between two individuals from two different cultural backgrounds: "Massimo remained powerful. But Lex, she gave intensity."

Controversial? You bet. But peppered with psychological insights on the characters' emotional development and motivations which go beyond casual encounter and delves into life's meaning: "Over the years, Lex questioned why her mother stayed with her father. Why her mother turned a blind eye. More than ever, why she memorialized Eddie's death after he killed himself. Tonight the answer to her Birdie and Eddie Easton mystery found her. It was called love. She wanted no part in it. Ever!"

Be forewarned: when this novel receives a billing of 'erotica', it's not a feel: it's hardcore reality. What elevates it beyond the 'porn' touch is a background plot and attention to character development that creates complexity and intrigue beyond evolving sexual tensions between two powerful protagonists. Readers who don't like explicit sexual description should NOT be pursuing Undressed - but those who enjoy sexual tension as a part of a powerful plot and power structure will appreciate the fine line between literature and erotica.

Avery Aster literally writes highly erotic literature. -- There IS a difference.

Have No Shame
Melissa Foster
World Literary Press
098905084X $4.99

Have No Shame centers on the character of Southern teen Alison and how her life is changed by the discovery of a hate crime murder and a forbidden love that will place her choices in danger. It's not easy growing up in a small town in Arkansas, where her father struggles on the family farm and where Alison is slated to marry her childhood sweetheart - until she discovers the body of a black man in the river: an event that changes her life. The shock of her discovery forces local politics and prejudice into her world on an intimate level and Alison finds her perspectives quickly changing as a result.

Alison's never had many encounters with black people, but her discovery leads to a friendship and then an intimate relationship with a black boy and to newfound perceptions that rock her world and change her perspectives entirely.

Unfortunately they also mean Alison is no longer in sync with anything familiar: her family's values, her boyfriend, or the larger white community whose ideals she has long accepted without question.

By the very act of questioning and forming a relationship with 'the other side', Alison finds herself on quite a different path: one which invites readers to move along experiencing her changes through a vivid first-person voice that proves compelling: "I wanted to bake apples for him, and to take his mother a batch without havin' to hide. More than anything, I wanted our love not to be forbidden...Run after him. My legs were rooted to the ground by my Daddy's love. He disappeared into the darkness, takin' a piece of my broken heart with him."

Even marriage and pregnancy doesn't tame Alison's heart and affections for another, and as she considers her evolving sentiments she finds that prejudice is taking a whole new course, involving other family members and threatening more hate crimes to change all their lives.

Have No Shame is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness. In following Alison through her heartfelt journeys readers learn how emotions progress, how prejudice is tested, and how interracial couples in the South risk life and limb to be together.

Death, family responsibilities, loyalties and ties, and love that transcends racial barriers are all powerful themes in Have No Shame, along with Alison's coming-of-age encounters. All these themes coincide to create a powerful, unexpected conclusion that includes a change in protagonist, perspective, and outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.

No Defense
Rangeley Wallace
Rangeley Wallace/Smashwords
9780991679843 $1.99

When LuAnn Hagerdon Garrett journeys back home to her small Alabama town to attend the dedication of the new courthouse named in honor of her father, it isn't with the idea of meeting a famous newspaper reporter, confiding the secret of a 1960s-era racial murder, and involving her father in a murder charge the day after he announces his candidacy for governor. But this is what happens; and as LuAnn faces her own involvement in the high-profile case and sees long-held family secrets and values exposed, she comes to find there's not only no defense but no hiding from justice.

Shaken by her father's refusal to defend himself, LuAnn embarks on further investigation into not only the circumstances surrounding the murder, but her father's overall strange behaviors, and finds herself in the midst of both a personal obsession and a terrible series of events that seem to hold no end in sight and no justice or easy resolution.

Why does LuAnn become obsessed with gaining answers from a decades-old case, even if it implicates her family? Her reasoning is irrefutable: ""Why are you so set on solving this case, LuAnn?" "I don't know. I guess there are a lot of reasons. It's hard to be white in the South and not feel guilty for all the horrible things that happened even if you weren't personally involved. But Daddy was sheriff when Jimmy and Leon were killed, and he was really, really upset over it...I just feel somehow personally responsible for helping solve the case and seeing that justice is done."

Where is the fine line between a quest for justice and an obsession? Even LuAnn's mother, who has a vested interest in the trial's outcome, is concerned about LuAnn's passion: "You seem to be consumed with your father's trial, about which you can do nothing, while your life and your family are falling apart."

In some ways No Defense is all about second chances - and righting wrongs. In other ways, it's about family interactions, hidden truths, and a quest for justice that comes to life decades after the event has taken place.

Most of all, it's a fast-paced, believable story of racial encounters and family secrets brought to the public eye and holds not only a lively and realistic cast of characters, each with their own obsessions and private interests, but a fascinating and complex plot that relentlessly winds towards a satisfyingly unexpected conclusion.

Any reader interested in Southern civil rights issues and culture, mystery, and family interactions will find No Defense a winning combination of all three elements.

Jonathan R. Miller
Independently Published/Amazon Digital

Delivery is the hard-hitting story of one Ambojeem, a biracial Somali man blinded during an encounter with kidnappers while overseas and now forging a new life in Minnesota.

Contrary to modern-day experience, Ambo isn't forging this life from blindness but from the vantage point of new retinal implants and synthetic vision, eking out a living as a delivery driver transporting legal and illegal items alike when one of his deliveries changes his life. It's a delivery which delves into the world of illegal organ trading involving kidnapping and delivering sensitive materials, and it takes place in a near-future society where abilities can be bought and sold - much like Ambo's new vision.

Delivery services in Ambo's world can assume a life and importance of their own: a fact that is made clear in the first few pages of Delivery: "The first delivery will be of documents. Simple thing. A sheaf of hardpaper, that's the total of it." But as with any career path the introductory phase passes quickly - and moves from delivering sensitive materials to the right person and place to delivering and returning with messages that hold dark implications: "On the drive out of Eudora Heights [Ambo's] thoughts are churning with the man's words. The way he said odayaal. Tell odayaal that I do not hide anyone, the man said, as though Ambo could deliver the message. As though he would understand its meaning."

One strength of Delivery is its powerful characterization which lends to a progressive plot fueled by both mystery and interest in the figure of Ambo, who literally stands between different worlds both ethnically and ethically. His participation in what first seems a simple delivery process becomes increasingly complex as he's drawn into an underlying world of life, death, and questionable values.

At the heart of his conundrum is a girl whose father needs one of her vital organs in order to survive, and he also wants her blessing when he removes it: "The girl can save him easily if she so chooses, and the girl absolutely must choose it with her own mind. The father needs to be able to watch the girl's face and to hear her voice as she says yes. He needs to weigh it by hand. There needs to be belief. It is a case requirement."

A tiny requirement with immense implications - for Ambo, for his job, for the state of humanity itself. At the heart of an increasing mystery is an increasing struggle to understand ethical outcomes and choices - and that is one of the finest points of Delivery: its ability to take a common immigrant struggling for his own personal survival and elevate his life experience to one reflecting an evolving society's uncertain grasp on technology and its benefits and discontents.

His involvement with the child and her decision will not only change his life, but hers - and, like a ripple in the pond, all the lives they touch.

Delivery is at once a mystery, a celebration of life and free will, a test of ethics and values and even personal courage, and a medical thriller. Add a biracial flavor to the entire mix and you have a hard-hitting novel packed with psychological tension and emotional scenes that will delight any reader.

Winter Reeds
Holland Kane
Rumor House Books
9780985829308 $14.95

Winter Reeds provides a powerful first novel and tells of documentary filmmaker Mike Harrison, who moves to a remote northwest town to research an unsolved arson that left two dead. He's intent on solving the mystery - but standing in the way is a popular town sheriff who uses his deputies and traffic cameras as tools to keep outsiders from exposing the small town's secrets.

Neither tool dissuades Mike; but when a romantic rival of his is murdered, Mike finds his own reputation and life under
surveillance and his investigation moves from the impersonal to the intensely personal realm.

Involved in the complicated saga is one Katie, a fellow New Yorker who has also come to Hallmark County in search of answers to family dilemmas - and who is dating an architect found dead under mysterious circumstances.

When it appears that Katie and Mike won't get very far individually in breaking small town silences and deeply held secrets, they join forces and compare facts dug up in the course of research. As complicated relationships, interactions and family encounters evolve, Mike and Katie discover the interconnectedness of the town's dilemmas and their own issues are driving them ever closer to a dangerous truth.

There are many threads of intrigue begun in this thriller, and many complicated twists and turns of plot. Some threads dead-end while others lead to further revelations and logical progressions of plot and characterization.

The nature of hidden heroes, murderers, and most of all the Civil Disobedience surveillance that permeates every corner of small town life eventually brings to light a deeper story that evolves with satisfying twists and turns of plot.

In the end the scoop of a lifetime awaits Mike: involving political interactions, civil liberties, and the likelihood that all the evidence of an unsolved crime will never come to light.

Winter Reeds is a fine novel with a complicated plot, and is especially recommended for fans of mysteries involving small towns and entwined relationships. Don't expect easy answers and predictable conclusions, here. Do expect a wonderfully detailed progression of events that led to no clear resolution.

Morning Light
Holland Kane
Rumour House Books
Morning Light print edition: 9780985829339, $15.95
Morning Light digital edition: 9780985829346, $2.99

Morning Light is a poignant novel which revolves around love, death, and the stress that leads people to commit unethical acts, and centers around teen David, whose mother is dying. In the process of seeking comfort from her best friend Emily, the two become entwined in a brief but forbidden passion - and Emily becomes pregnant. The further complication: Emily and her devout Catholic husband have long stopped having sex - so there is no way to hide the results of their affair.

What evolves between the two is a twisted tangle somewhere between grief and romance as David continues his passion for Emily and Emily struggles to keep too many balls in the air: her interest in David, advances in her career as a dance choreographer, her husband, and an unborn child.

While clashes between all these factors are predictable and inevitable, what isn't as predictable is David's ongoing interest, which returns to haunt him years later: "She'd been my muse; there were so many aspects to her. She was a woman and a child; she was a tomboy and very sexual. She was an artist and a dancer. She was good and she was bad. I had missed her all these years."

The world of dance, the arts, and (most of all) hopeful love permeates chapters that explore how David and Emily's relationship evolves and changes. Throughout all of it is a hopeful thread that circumvents the inevitability of anguish: "She liked it that she was carrying a baby with my genes and my mother's genes, and she was growing more optimistic that her unconventional relationship with Rick might work out after all."

Despite the delicate tightrope dance Emily walks, husband Rick is no fool: he suspects something's afoot and evolves cautious habits which have them both walking on eggs: "His eyes suggested suspicion, or perhaps wariness. He avoided talking about dance, and she avoided talking about business. Not a word about the baby. At times the silence between them was healing, and those times Rick's decency and loyalty amplified the guilt she experienced. This led to mutual evasiveness that became oddly contagious and appeared to be gathering strength, as if they were adversaries maneuvering for advantage in a potential divorce. Yet she didn't want a divorce. She wanted him to stay..."

As her pregnancy progresses Emily finds herself feeling both elated and fragile, and as mental illness begins to evolve from obsession and tangled passions, so both of their lives begin the fateful opening movements of separation and distance. When double tragedy strikes, David finds their mutual passion and longing also receives a wrenching blow that will change both their lives and bring more issues and confusion than clarity about their relationship, motives, and future together.

And when the inevitable happens, Emily finds there're no easy answers and much confusion on all sides: "But she didn't tell me about Rick and her heart was racing on account of it. She was afraid that Rick might have killed me. She went to the kitchenette for a glass of ginger ale. It's not that things just snap into place and make sense, she wrote in her journal."

The answers to David's ongoing questions about the chain of events which will change his life and psyche take the form of a play he writes - Morning Light - which examines his long-buried memories and unsolved mysteries about this event, which thus comes full circle from loss and longing to passionate, obsessive love and, eventually, a sense of self.

Morning Light moves smoothly between Emily and David's very different concerns and perspectives on their evolving relationship, at times taking the third person to create an overall observational tone narrating events from a less passionate, involved vantage point.

The result of this changing perspective is a smooth, evocative story line that is packed with constantly changing perceptions, involving readers in the underlying motives of all concerned. Any reader interested in romances and life's challenges will find it a moving story of ethics, love, and change.

Between Two Eternities
Barbara Brett
Brett Books
ISBN: e-Pub: 9780963662064
Kindle edition: 9780963662071 $4.99

Between Two Eternities presents Robert and Marcie Silver, who lead an idyllic life. At age 32 Marcie seems to have the world on a platter and would appear to have decades in which to enjoy it; but fate is never predictable and even youth does not preclude the possibility of death. What begins as tiredness evolves into the eventual certainty that something is wrong - and with it the veil of lies, denial, and illusion is lifted.

The first thing readers will notice about Between Two Eternities is that there's plenty of dialogue between all characters: dialogue lending to both light discussion and deep psychological profiling: "Marcie turned to him. "Happy New Year, honey." He kissed her, hoping she would attribute the break in his voice to the rigor of his fast. "Happy New Year, sweetheart." The numbness was gone. There was nothing left to cushion the brutal reality that lay ahead. In the days that followed, Robert felt like a snail that has been deprived of its shell: There was no place left for retreat."

As the two confront the devastating truth in different ways, at first hiding their pain from each other and then clashing over these different coping methods, Marcie and Robert come full circle from confronting love to confronting death and life's meaning. And as they slowly let in friends and religious figures from their Jewish faith, they gain perspective and insight from unexpected places: "He looked from Robert to Marcie. "Maybe it's because we read so many fairy tales when we were young - or maybe it's something inherently tied up with human frailty - but we all seem to be guilty of making the assumption that we're entitled to live happily ever after, that life is supposed to be a smooth road that we should be able to skip joyfully along. Whenever evil, sorrow, or tragedy waylay us along the way, we react with hurt surprise, as though they are out of place and out of order and have no relation to the real business of living." "

There are no simple palliatives, but insights supporting how to face change (even death) with strength: "It can't be easy for anyone who knows that his own death is imminent, but, actually, it's that last bit of death-overshadowed life that you need help facing, not the final act of death itself. And the Torah would tell you to live every moment allotted to you to its fullest, and to face the fact that there are not destined to be many moments with courage and dignity."

From decisions on how to spend last days and how to renew the love between them to how to face a loved one's moving on, Between Two Eternities provides a gripping saga packed with discussions of life and death's meaning, how to face the inevitable with dignity and wisdom, and most of all - how to preserve lasting love in the face of end times.

Ethical considerations - such as the right to refuse life support - are introduced to the mix towards the end of the novel: its 1970s setting means that hard rules have to be broken to achieve this goal, raising many issues all characters must grapple with: "With a trembling hand, Robert smoothed the sheet under Marcie's chin, remembering how she'd looked the night she'd begged him not to let the doctors prolong her life. "But I love you," he whispered now. "I want you with me as long as I can have you - even if it has to be this way. Surely, you can understand that.""

While the novel's conclusion is predictable (even inevitable), the changing relationship between husband and wife is not: for both are on a journey brought about by medical challenge, truth, and life-affirming measures; and both face the ultimate test of their love and ability to give in the face of letting go with dignity.

Heartfelt, poignant, and - surprising - even uplifting at many unexpected points, Between Two Eternities will captivate any reader interested in life, death, and transition points in between.

The Fine Society
A.H. Kent
Amazon Digital Services
ASIN: B00AZMZN96 $3.99

The Fine Society makes full use of the e-reader format in providing an e-novel enhanced with audio and video segments, making it one of the few e-books to take advantage of new technology to enhance its story line with powerful visuals.

The Fine Society opens unexpectedly, with the perilous journey of scientists struggling to escape Nazi Germany with their lives, their families, and precious scientific papers outlining ancient secrets and scientific discoveries. Their attempt to flee the country is nearly thwarted; but, at the last minute, their escape is successful. The plot then segues to the future, where Laura Olson is preparing to graduate from college with a teaching degree and high hopes for her career.

Her focus has always been on science and how it may be used for the good of mankind. What she does not realize is that the scientific principles she learned in her college science classes hold implications for prediction, change, and applications beyond theory.

While Laura and her fellow college students have had their imaginations and abilities challenged by physics and geometry, they have also delved into quantum physics, examples of behaviors in action, and science's applications to daily life. She remembers, in particular, the advice of one of her favorite professors, "As you go about your life, look for these and other basic behaviors in action. I think you'll be surprised by the number of times they appear. Look for science everywhere."

Science is not only everywhere in this story, but as Laura and other Fine Society members come to realize, it's packed with experiences that hold implications for moral choices, alternative ways of thinking, and applications that alter perceptions and require thinking outside the box.

What begins as a perilous escape from Nazi Germany, moving into a college physics class where Laura and her peers are challenged to think, becomes a mystery leading to high adventure and unexpected encounters along the way. Ordinary things, such as a box of science books and a classroom loner wearing all-black, raise unforeseen challenges for this new young teacher. But, as Laura begins to understand her new students' lives and their connections, she finds her understanding of scientific principles integrates neatly into her newfound teaching goals and higher aspirations.

As this story progresses, previously hidden secrets of the universe are slowly revealed, through what seem like unrelated circumstances - an unresponsive fourteen-year-old student, known only as "L," and an introduction to the mysterious Walter Stein, owner of a toy store specializing in scientific apparatus, to name only two.

It's the combination of a plot infused with mystery, science, and colorful inquiring personalities that keeps The Fine Society filled with satisfying twists and turns. And it's the embedded videos and science demos that help this novel realize its full potential as a multifaceted e-book reader filled with visuals and added enhancements.

Most e-book novels take the written word and just translate it to the e-reader format. The Fine Society goes a step further in demonstrating the true potential of the e-reader as a multimedia platform - and creates a colorful story packed with satisfying visuals and unexpected moments as a result.

Deadly Weakness
Alex Siegel
Amazon Digital Services
ASIN: B007U7JTRG $2.99

Deadly Weakness provides another Grey Spear Society adventure (actually, the fifth book in the series which began with Apocalypse Cult) and continues to relate how the Society functions under attack: this time from a dangerous threat that has conquered the Miami team and threatens the entire Society and all its members. It appears that a traitor is functioning within the Society itself, providing key information to forces which then annihilate entire teams, and it's up to Aaron to devise a plan of attack to ferret out the traitor and end the onslaught before the entire Society is decimated from the inside.

One different focus of Deadly Weakness (as compared with its predecessors) is a survey of the Society and its various branches and functions as a whole. Where pieces of the Society and its intentions have been outlined in prior novels, Deadly Weakness provides much more insight into its structure and internal interactions, rounding out characters, providing subplots that link to overall development of the bigger picture, and providing a continuity and depth that will especially satisfy prior readers of the Grey Spear Society who have followed the evolution of its individual protagonists and their involvements.

What differentiates this from the other Grey Society sagas is that the danger begins internally - something already posited in a prior book, but much expanded upon here. The Society must look to its own for answers not only as to who is loyal and who is suspect, but to how the cell structure has been compromised.

A host of new characters are introduced in the course of a gripping plot that begins with Aaron's ultimate test as a commander (his ability to shoot a beloved loyal team member who may have gone bad) and explores his commitment to the Society he is wedded to. As he discovers that there actually are only a few people in the entire Society network that can be ruled out as being a traitor, he finds his own commitments and assumptions challenged on a very basic level and becomes involved in a gripping investigation where nothing and nobody can be assumed safe.

From regenerative energy that heals wounds to special abilities that demand creating special rules all must live by, the plot moves forward with revelations of powers, action and insight as Norbert, Smythe, and others prove their abilities, their loyalties, and test an increasing awareness that key members may be out the destroy what has been laboriously built, exposing secrets that have been closely held and long kept.

Also under the gun is romance within the Society: relationships that both fuel it and which could prove a danger long-term. As Aaron narrows his search to a few suspects and makes decisions on how to handle them, he also faces the knowledge that he and others may be unwittingly contributing to forces that are trying to bring down the Society - and faces clear but difficult decisions that must be made to keep the Society strong and impenetrable in the future.

While Deadly Weakness could appeal to newcomers to the Grey Spear Society series, it's the fan who has prior knowledge of each of the books and their separate contributions to the evolving scenario as a whole who will find this latest addition to be most satisfying.

Here characters are further developed, member interactions and strengths are explored, and the supernatural and superior forces that keep the Grey Society an evolving and powerful protection force are cemented.

Readers who appreciate a blend of thriller, mystery, and the supernatural will find this a gripping read: hard to put down, filled with unexpected twists and new characters, and providing different perspective on old, familiar protagonists developed in the prior books of the series.

Diane C. Donovan
Senior Reviewer

Dunford's Bookshelf

Echoes from Imaginary Space
Herb Haslam
Windspur Press
9780972491556 $12.00

Echoes from Imaginary Space is an extraordinary metaphysical novel encompassing genesis and storytelling on a cosmic scale. A creative consciousness reflecting the fabric of the universe seeks the everyday human stories that have the potential to engender greatness, and is in need of a scribe to profile her chosen mortals. The interconnected paths of the individuals she watches have repercussions beyond knowing, in this thoughtful and multilayered chronicle. Original and provocative, Echoes from Imaginary Space is a treasure to be savored. Also highly recommended is author Herb Haslam's previous novel, "Shadow Realities" (9780972491549, $12.00).

Raising Redemption
R. A. Russell
Langdon Street Press
9781626520141, $15.95,

A second chance is invaluable in life. "Raising Redemption: A Novel of Shame, Secrets, Sacrifice, and Struggle" explores the second chance as Alicia Tilman is faced with the harshness of her family's history as she dares love a boy condemned by her father...only end up pregnant and homeless from it. Looking to find success again to make it up to herself and her family's history, she finds less than standard way of doing so, learning that redemption has more than one face. "Raising Redemption" is a fine tale, very much highly recommended reading.

The Shepherd of Destiny
Gary Sturm
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478716662, $17.95,

As we search for perfection, we may find it and face the full weight of that perfection. "The Shepherd of Destiny" is a psychological novel as Danny Loveless tries to find his way through life and cope with the search for the perfect woman in his life, as Byron Shepherd encourages his new protege to travel to Japan for that perfection, which he finds in ways he never expected. "The Shepherd of Destiny" is an odd yet fascinating read, recommended.

Morning By Morning
Norma DeVault
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781462723331, $15.99,

Good health is more than a fit body. "Morning By Morning: Pathway to Health" is a Christian-driven inspirational guide from Norma DeVault as she combines the ideas of spirituality and fitness to create an advisory to finding that better combination of health and living on many levels, taking notes from scripture and life. "Morning By Morning" is well worth considering for fitness collections with a Christian focus, highly recommended.

Taking the Fall
Summer Miller
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432772475, $16.95,

One accident can turn your entire world upside down. "Taking the Fall: Life After a Boy Scout Zip-line Ride Went Horribly Wrong" is the story of Summer Miller as she recounts the medical and legal minefield that followed after her son faced a tragic accident with the Boy Scouts. Filled with legal headaches and worry about family, "Taking the Fall" is a tragic tale of trying to cover one's own fault after everything hits the fan.

The Spirit of Agape Self-Help from Within
Terry Harvey
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452550596, $13.99,

The self is the most powerful force in self-improvement. "The Spirit of Agape, Self-Help from Within" is a collection of inspiration from Terry Harvey as she encourages readers to piece their spirits together and find the drive they need to inspire themselves and make a difference in their lives and find a better part of their consciousness and their life. With much insight and devotion, "The Spirit of Agape" is a must for any spiritual self-help collection, highly recommended.

Sticks & Stones
Glenna Thompson
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478719618, $12.95,

You can't run from the past forever. "Sticks & Stones" is a novel following Abby Warren as she returns home to her small town after years divided from there for years. On her homecoming she finds she still has old enemies and may have old loves waiting there too, both tough things to be coping with and dealing with. "Sticks & Stones" is a read that will resonate with many a reader on coping with old wounds and flames, highly recommended.

How to Get More from Your Satnav
RT Scanlon
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477219201, $15.18,

Satellite Navigation is one of the great treasures technology has brought us. "How to Get More From Your Satnav" is a guide to using one's satellite navigation apps and using it to better get you to where you want to go and better know your location when going deeper into uncharted territory, as well as analyzing issues with the technology as well. With plenty of practical advice for wisdom and execution, "How to Get More From Your Satnav" is a great resource, highly recommended and not to be missed.

Terry Wadsworth Warne
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432789732, $30.95,

In the hands of the enemy, hope can be so easy to lose. "Terry: The Inspiring Story of a Little Girl's Survival During WWII" is a memoir of the Pacific theatre as Terry tells the story of her family's struggles in the pacific against the onslaught of the Japanese offensive, and how she was a prisoner of war at the age of eight through eleven. An intriguing story of prisoner of war from the perspective of a youth, "Terry" is well worth considering for World War II memoir collections.

Journey of My Heart
Mary Ann Sheveland
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475937862, $21.95,

A spouse facing a terminal illness is one of the most terrifying things that can happen in one's life. "Journey of My Heart: Family Life After My Spouse Developed Coronary Artery Disease" is a memoir of tragedy from Mary Ann Sheveland as she shares the story of facing the terminal illness with her husband and facing the challenges in the life he had left, and how the inevitable had changed her. "Journey of My Heart" is a moving story, very much recommended reading.

Affirmative Discipline
Theresa M. Sull
Trafford Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781466952782, $11.95,

Discipline is always a difficult topic for parents and teachers. "Affirmative Discipline" is a parenting guide from Theresa M. Sull presents new thoughts on disciplining children, focusing on affirmation instead of strictly punishment. Taking notes from the latest behavioral studies and encouraging a child's own personal spirit and well being, "Affirmative Discipline" is a strong pick for parenting reference collections, highly recommended.

Michael Dunford

Greenspan's Bookshelf

Dragon Alliance: Dark Storm
J. Michael Fluck
Inspiring Voices
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
Bohlsen Group (publicity)
9781462403592 $33.99 softcover
9781462403585 $3.99 ebook

The second novel in the "Dragon Alliance" fantasy series, Dragon Alliance: Dark Storm portrays a shift in the gripping war for survival between the noble dragons of the Alliance, and the ruthless chromatic dragons. Legendary dragon rider Mkel and the fierce gold dragon Gallanth must confront harrowing decisions on the battlefield, with the lives of their soldiers at stake; all the while, the sinister arch dragon Tiamat and her Talon Covenant hatch a murderous scheme. An epic saga of mass dragon battles with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Dragon Alliance: Dark Storm is a treat for fans of dragons and high fantasy, and very much in the spirit of Tolkien's classic "Lord of the Rings" saga.

Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings
Anne Marie Gazzolo
Westbow Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449769680, $17.99,

The Lord of the Rings tale is known quite well to all. "Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in the Lord of the Rings" discusses the themes of the novel and how they can be carried to the nature of spirituality and be used to inspire readers well and through their lives, telling the stories of the characters, their personal struggles, and what we can learn from them. "Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in the Lord of the Rings" is a choice pick for fans of the novels seeking a spiritual perspective on the series.

A Life for Nancy
Danita Stoudemire & Riley Henry
Bookstand Publishing
9781618633330, $18.95,

A tattered history leads to a curious life. "A Life for Nancy" follows the 19th century story of Nancy Silver, a daughter of a woman hanged for murdering her husband in 1833. Through her life, her tattered story is told, of a woman trying to find peace in her life when it only began through violence and dealing the tumultuous region of the Appalachia throughout the nineteenth century. "A Life for Nancy" is an intriguing tale, hard to put down.

Letting Go
Mary Sommerset & Jean Stoll
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432769529, $15.95,

A loose mind is a happy mind. "Letting Go: For Fun & Profit" is a guide to personal success and inspiration from Mary Sommerset & Jean Stoll as they offer inspiration and advocacy on trying to better inspire the self and mind on many levels to rewire oneself's mind for change and a more positive world view. "Letting Go" is a strong addition to self-help collections dedicated to training one's own mind for more complete success.

Matrimonial Magic and Mayonnaise
C. B. Murray
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477265307, $14.95,

Marriage is bliss, or so they say. "Matrimonial Magic and Mayonnaise" is a novel exploring the wedlock adventures of an Iowan family dealing with many marriages and the drama and comedy that spills out from all of them. With plenty of humor about the problems of loving and living, "Matrimonial Magic and Mayonnaise" is a solid addition to general fiction collections with a focus on comedy and romance.

Paris, I've Grown Accustomed to Your Ways
Ruth Yunker
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432796617, $11.95,

Paris is what many people dream about, but the reality is different, but not so bad. "Paris, I've Grown Accustomed to Your Ways" is a memoir focused on Paris living from Ruth Yunker who shares her experience of touching on that Paris life that is dreamed about for everything with it, for better or for worse. "Paris, I've Grown Accustomed to Your Ways" is a humorous and poignant memoir that should be relished for anyone who seeks to realize their dreams of Parisian living.

Tainted Child
Shey Olivia Sullivan
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477239056, $18.24,

A mystical lineage can set us up for a life time of conflict. "Tainted Child" is a story of fantasy following young Belladonna, faced with an unusual parentage and how it will place her at odds with the evils of the world that threaten all that she loves, and only able to rely on herself for survival. "Tainted Child" is an enticing spin of angelic fantasy, much recommended.

Annie K. Koshi
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432784133, $12.95,

There is a united place in all of our spirits. "Reflections: A Woman's Journey Through Life Experiences" is a collection of poetry from Annie K. Koshi who shares her introspection on life and how they can be a message for everyone and anything in their lives, and the common dilemmas that we all chase in our lives. "Reflections" is a strong addition spiritual poetry collections, recommended.

A Wing And a Prayer
Ernest Oglesby
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781450243766, $16.95,

A fallen angel brings to earth much that greed would seek. "A Wing And a Prayer" is a religious fantasy spinning the tale of Gabriel and Lucifer, expelled from heaven and purged of their wings, live life among the mortals, although immortal themselves. For thousands of years, they elude the power hungry greed, but Lucifer may have finally been captured, leaving Gabriel with tough choices. "A Wing and a Prayer" is an enticing adventure exploring theology and fantasy, much recommended.

Walter Irvin's Diary
Ruby Gwin
Trafford Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781466952270, $14.50,

The personal stories of the sole soldiers of war often go ignored. "Walter Irvin's Diary" is a collection of diary entries touching on the writings of a young Texas boy who went on to serve in the Navy as a Pharmacist Mate and how his six years in the service altered the course of his life. "Walter's Irvin's Diary" is an intriguing snapshot of the picture of life and living, not to be overlooked.

Tainted Love
Dr. Julie Gowthorpe
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452552620, $11.99,

It's not healthy to let an ex rot in one's mind after a breakup. "Tainted Love: Why Your Ex is Making You Miserable and What You Can Do About It: A 28 Day Plan" is a psychologist's take on moving on past your relationship issues and not letting oneself liberate themselves from a bad marriage and find happiness again going past it all. "Tainted Love" is an insightful addition to relationship and reference collections, and a must for those struggling to get over love gone sour, recommended.

Able Greenspan

Helen's Bookshelf

365 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Your Cat
Peter Scottsdale
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432790080, $14.95,

People love their cats, but there's countless curiosities about these felines in our life. "365 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Your Cat" is a pet lover's trivia book as Peter Scottsdale informs readers about the many curious things about cats and their relationship with mankind throughout their long history and how we can better bond with these creatures in our lives. "365 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Your Cat" is a must for cat lovers everywhere.

Selling To China
Stanley Chao
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
Smith Publicity
1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9781475911787 $20.95,

China is a growing market and any serious business would do well in seeing a new consumer base open up. "Selling to China: A Guide to Doing Business in China for Small and Medium Sized Companies" discusses how companies without a global size can sell globally, expanding and meeting Chinese standards for entry to their market and realizing the profit that lies there, knowing the difference between culture and language. "Selling to China" is a must for any company that sees potential in globalization, recommended.

Here Comes Amazing You
Carol Sue Gershman
Privately Published
9780988699908 $14.95

Here Comes Amazing You: 49 Terrific Ideas for a Bigger, Better, Happier, Healthier, Sexier, and More Vibrant Life Style is a positive-minded, self-help guide written especially for people who resist the idea that getting older has to mean a more boring life! Author and vibrant, 77-years-young grandmother Carol Sue Gershman offers a marvelous medley of ways to re-energize and live one's life to the fullest. These range from solid basics (working healthy exercise into one's daily routine) to positive attitude changes (don't fear making mistakes; they're a necessary component of trying new things) to tips for forming and maintaining friendships ("Watch out for those who are kind to you but hostile to others; in the end they will treat you as one of the same") to a couple of controversial suggestions, such as brief fasts (never longer than a few days, and never against the wishes of one's doctor) or trying a facelift. Although one may not agree with all of the ideas in Here Comes Amazing You, the gist of its message - keeping oneself energized and thoroughly engaged in life through one's golden years - resonates strong and clear!

Sweetest Taboo
Eva Marquez
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781478136811 $11.99

Also available as an ebook, Sweetest Taboo: A Novel is a sensual romantic novel about a forbidden relationship. Isabel Cruz fell in love with Tom Stevens when she was 15, and first made love with him at age 16. The problem? Tom is her teacher and swim coach (and married, too). The pressures of keeping their taboo love secret mount, as do the terrible risks of revealing their relationship - he could face criminal charges, while she would be publicly scorned, or worse, pitied. By the time Isabel turns 18 and sets her sights on college, her relationship is almost in a shambles. What is a girl - or the love of her life - to do? Also highly recommended for fans of character-driven romance is the emotionally tempestuous sequel, "Tainted Love" (9781481121026, $11.99). The final book of the trilogy, "Time After Time", is forthcoming.

The Acts of the Apostles
Willaim A. Anderson
9780764821240, $12.99,

The book of Acts focuses on the growth of the faith and Church, the apostles following the words of Christ. "The Acts of the Apostles: Good News for All People" is a Bible Study guide focusing on the book of Acts, and the chapters within telling the journeys and actions of the Apostles, spreading the word of Christ and his love. "The Acts of the Apostles" is strongly recommended for any student of faith and the Bible who wants to ponder the underlying messages of Acts.

Digging for Home
Jimmy Ball
Windy City Publishing
9781935766643, $11.99,

A dog destined to be put down is not a destiny unbreakable. "Digging for Home" is a youthful novel as twelve year old Benjamin Davies, concerned with little more than Little League, sets out to rescue a dog that is going to be euthanized soon, working with his younger brother and others along the way. "Digging for Home" is a fine addition to young adult fiction collections, recommended.

Journey to My Soul
Terri Lynn
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452545059, $14.99,

When we have lost everything that clouds our sight, then we can realize our true potential. "Journey to My Soul" is a memoir of spirituality from Terri Lynn who tells her story of losing her family to her own demons, and how finding God helped her find her way to happiness and try to piece back her life when all seems hopeless. "Journey to My Soul" is an exciting read of spirituality and living better for ourselves, highly recommended.

Spank the Bank
Karlene Sinclair-Robinson
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432794613, $24.95,

To make money you need money, and getting that money is always the toughest part of the endeavor. "Spank the Bank" is a guide that advocates better business financing without resorting to bank loans by looking to other ways to get that start up capital through small loans, crowdfunding, and other financial techniques to get the business of of the ground. "Spank the Bank" is a strong addition to general finance and reference collections for willing entrepreneurs.

Dick Farnsworth
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452559025, $14.99,

Being in tune with the world is a treasure we can all realize on different levels. "Tunein'" is a novel from Dick Farnsworth who writes of young Rod Harris, who finds he has the ability to tune people who are ill, and offer his own brand of healing, finding his way through life and making many revelations about human nature and living. Enticing and curious reading, "Tunein'" is a read worth considering for those seeking something a bit spiritual.

What We Tell
Holly W. Schwartztol
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475962727, $15.95,

A secret between friends shouldn't be something we have to fear being revealed. "What We Tell" is a novel of friendship gone sour and struggling with the betrayal and everything that break of trust can bring. Following these women as the cope with the loss of a bond and break of knowledge, "What We Tell" is an intriguing story that explores the pain that friendship gone bad can wreak.

Fereidoun Gharagozlou
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475955347, $20.95,

In the earliest of civilizations, mankind struggled to create the most basics of society. "Hooman: Dawn of Civilization" is a novel of the earliest of civilizations. Ariana, a nation preceding ancient Persia, and how these humans struggled to found their nation and build a culture that could defend and feed itself for years to come. With drama and intriguing twist of pre-history, "Hooman" is a fine look into near pre-history historical fiction, much recommended.

All Shall Be Well
Lillian Lewis
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475920253, $15.95,

Sometimes when we search for the truth, we find very strange things about our selves. "All Shall Be Well: An Irish Inheritance" is a mystery by Lillian Lewis as she tells the story of Morgan Kenny, an American traveling to Ireland who finds herself entrenched in a murder plot that seeks to cheat her out of the inheritance she seeks. "All Shall Be Well" is a fun adventure novel that blends paranormal and mystery elements together quite well.

Helen Dumont

Klausner's Bookshelf

Angel's Gate
P.G. Sturges
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781476712970, $27.00

In Los Angeles, former cop and now a fixer, Dick "The Shortcut Man" Henry works odd cases using any means including peeing on a barred lawyer's plant to obtain satisfaction for his clients and a fee for services for him. Producer Melvin Shea supplies cocaine and wannabe actresses like Rhonda Carling to Ivanhoe Studios chief Howard Hogue. Vicious Director Eli Navaria thrives in this den of inequity where he can get away with abusing women. Meanwhile Ex-marine Devi Stanton watches over the young starlets as the housemother. She needs help with a nasty situation so turns to the Shortcut Man to clean the mess.

Ellen Arden has not heard from her sister in years. She hires the Shortcut Man to find her missing sibling. The cases intertwine with a questionable death on a boat several years ago.

The latest Shortcut Man caper (see The Tribulations of the Shortcut Man) is an enjoyable Hollywood studio system satire. The engaging storyline is fast-paced with plenty of humor (including some gross smelly slapstick) yet with a serious undertone involving the abuse of power of the naive ambitious and those in charge deem that satisfying.

Murder By Chance
Pat Dennis
Forty Press
427 Van Buren Street
Anoka, MN 55303
9781938473043, $16.95,

As the snow piles up, Take A Chance Tours arrives late to the Moose Lake Bay Resort and Casino in northern Minnesota. Most of the surely elderly passengers run off the coach to the slot machines while owner Betty Chance and bus driver Tillie McFinn realize one of their forty-four attendees failed to take a coupon book. They search for a sleeping senior only instead Tillie finds the corpse of 350 pounds Mr. Farsi with a knife protruding from his back inside a locked bathroom.

Sheriff Severson leads the investigation in which he suspects ex-con Tillie killed the victim. With the help of Tillie, security casino Tom Songbird and gambling addict Lori the CPA who rushed from Chicago to be there for her beloved aunt, Betty using skills as the ex-wife of a CPD homicide detective begins her own inquiry.

This is a fun amateur sleuth starring a spunky fiftyish overweight heroine and her fascinating sidekicks. Fast-paced as the lead character deals with the mentalist performer, irate clients ready to sue over a progressive slot $13 million lost opportunity, loss of the coach due to being a crime scene, the Buffet Betty blog or the murder, fans will enjoy taking a chance on Pat Dennis's enjoyable mystery.

Andrew Post
Medallion Press, Inc.
100 South River Street
Aurora, IL 60506
9781605424934, $14.95

Minneapolis war veteran Brody "Knuckleduster" Calhoun met battered Marcy a cancer victim at a community center where both slept on cots. Her boyfriend Jonah beat her up so Knuckleduster enters a bar to kick his butt. After the vigilante for hire takes care of business with his knuckleduster brass knuckles, Detective Nathan Pierce arrives to take him to the station for busting up a man's face for the eighteenth time; both know the violence against women has been halved since he began to mete out an eye for an eye justice. Knuckleduster also needs to recharge the battery in his carotene contact lenses that enable him to see after the Molotov cocktail attack blinded him in Cairo.

Thorp Ashbury, who served with Calhoun in Egypt as peacekeepers a decade ago, invites Knuckleduster to his Illinois farm. When he arrives, Thorp tells him his kid sister Nectar enlisted over his objection. She went to Fort Reagan in Chicago for pre Basic class work training, but when Knuckleduster goes to talk to her he finds she has vanished. As the two vets search for the missing sibling, they begin to uncover a lethal mind-bending corporate conspiracy that leaves Knuckleduster wondering if he has become as crazy as his friend is.

This entertaining futuristic noir sets the tone with little interwoven activities like the electronic monetary card to exchange credits. The vigilante protagonist is a violent Daredevil butt-kicker who defends the downtrodden and paying customers (someone has to fund his expensive contacts). The exhilarating investigation grips readers with a pulp fiction excitement as Knuckleduster battles some nasty adversaries; while also thinking his paranoid friend is insane as there is no corporate conspiracy to wire wounded warriors.

Her Sister
Karen Rose Smith
Amazon Digital Services
B00BFFJ79Y, $3.99

When Clare Thaddeus was five years old, someone abducts her three year old sister Lynnie. The child never came home and their parents Amanda and Max divorced. Clare never quite recovered from her loss and subsequent family collapse; behaving wildly as a teen years.

Almost three decades since the tragedy that changed her life, single mom Clare struggles with her defiant teenage daughter Shara while musing fate is giving to her what she gave to her parents when she was sixteen. Clare's mom calls to tell her that retired Detective Grove, who worked the Lynnie kidnapping twenty-seven years ago, thinks he has a lead. He meets with Clare and her parents at her Amanda's Yesteryear office. The former cop says Luther Brown on death row in Texas for killing two little girls says his sister struck a deal with authorities that led to the corpses, but now dying from pancreatic cancer, she gave her sibling's journal to the FBI. Two girls Winnie and Barbara were abandoned in Pittsburgh. A DNA test will prove whether one of them is Lynnie.

The seventh Search For Love contemporary tale (see HEARTFIRE and CASSIDY'S COWBOY) is an engaging family drama that looks deeply into the impact on people when a tragedy destroys their idyllic world. Two well-developed romances rightfully play second fiddle to the mystery of Lynnie with each affected by the kidnapping and now the DNA test. Though there may be too much tsuris as an unwanted pregnancy adds to the family issues, the character-driven strong storyline showcases how each Thaddeus deals differently to the abduction that devastated their loving home though they have a second chance at coming together after failing to do twenty-seven years ago.

Karen Wiesner
Writers Exchange E-Publishing
9781922066817, $14.97,

In Peaceful, Wisconsin, Christian and Elizabeth Riley, and Oscar and Yolie Albright are receiving Humanitarian Awards while both couples also celebrate their Platinum wedding anniversaries. Chris' twenty year old daughter Destiny tells him that her boyfriend James Sparks proposed though they know each other for a relatively short time. She says she knows her parents dated forever, but Chris corrects her by saying they knew each other as church brats but did not date until they were thirty.

Chris felt stifled as a "church kid" so he moved to Los Angeles in spite of believing he loved Elizabeth Horace and she loved him back. Over the years he morally floated adrift with a flavor of the month girlfriend, but Chris always turned to Elizabeth for solace (and sex). When they make love, she becomes pregnant but wonders how God's most beautiful blessing seems wrong. Downtown Don Juan the serial killer rapist assaults Elizabeth in a garage, but her screams brings the attendant to her. She physically survives but wishes she loved steady Oscar as she ends her dysfunctional relationship with Chris. Stunned, Chris realizes what he lost; to get her back, he needs to return to the Lord he deserted.

The latest inspirational visit to Peaceful, Wisconsin (see Family Heirlooms and the Friendship Heirlooms Series) is a wonderful romance starring a lost soul and the love of a woman destined to return him to the flock. The lead couple and Oscar make for a strong tale as love is blind but in this case not in the traditional meaning. Fans will enjoy playing Destiny Poker as Karen Wiesner provides a tender second chance at love between soul mates and with the Lord drama.

Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon Inspire
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062204400, $12.99

For the past six months New Order Amish Viola Keim has worked at the Daybreak Retirement Home. Her favorite resident is Mennonite Atle Swartz who cherishes his son Edward; every time he receives a letter from his offspring, Atle reads it to everyone especially Viola. She cannot understand why Edward traipses around the world instead of his daed living with him at home as she would never abandon her medically needy twin sister.

When Ed makes a surprise return from his missionary work in Nicaragua, Viola condemns him for abandoning his father to strangers. He is shocked by her animosity as she seems so kind to his daed. As they become better acquainted, Viola realizes Ed is a caring son adhering to his beloved daed's wishes. She and her siblings learn a secret about their austere grandmother that causes a family schism. Meanwhile Viola and Ed fall in love and want to marry. However, she has never left home and hates leaving behind her family especially her sister, but must decide whether to accompany him back to Nicaragua, wait for him at home or end their relationship.

The first Days of Redemption Amish family drama is an engaging tale as each Keim member has issues to deal with though Viola's is the storyline's prime focus. Viola has choices to make at a time when she believes her family needs her most. As it should be, the romance is straightforward; with the Keim brood struggling to deal with a shocking revelation that has Viola pondering between love of her family and love of Ed.

The Fifth Man
James LePore
Story Plant
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 West 57th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10107
9781611880656, $14.95,

Almost a decade ago, attorney Chris Massi's father, Mafia hit man Joe Black Massi, was murdered and soon afterward his mother succumbed to a heart attack. Divorced from his Mafia princess wife, Chris feared his teenage son chose the mob path of his late grandfather that he avoided; entry meant murder. Chris met with his ex-father-in-law the Don Junior Boy DiGiglio, who tells Chris to man up as an eye for an eye is his current legacy into the family business (see Sons and Princes).

Almost a decade later, Matt attends Columbia University. A letter arrives addressed to Mr. Massi, but sent to his mom's previous New Jersey address stating that a bin at Wall Storage owned by his late Uncle Joseph, dead eight years, will be forfeited if not renewed within an hour; not sure what is inside he directs Anna Cavanagh to renew the storage cell in Jackson, New Jersey for six months. Soon afterward, he meets with Nico Pugach the Russian in Brighton Beach who not so subtly implies he knows the family business. Soon Matt will be embroiled in the theft of valuable diamonds, murders, Secretary of State Clinton in Prague, and threats to his sister Tess and dad; as he ends up on a lethal grand tour of Europe.

The Fifth Man is a fascinating action-packed international thriller as two "Mafias" collide with a diabolical terrorist plot in Europe. Fast-paced, the son is the prime player though the dad plays a key role. Readers will enjoy the somewhat convoluted but entertaining suspense as Tess learns no one even her dad the weapon is what they appear to be.

The Next Time You See Me
Holly Goddard Jones
Touchstone Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
9781451683363, $24.99

In 1993 in Roma, Kentucky, Ronnie Eastman vanishes. No one blinks; as the townsfolk expected no less of troubled Ronnie addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex. The one exception is Ronnie's married "Sister" with a young daughter Abby, middle school teacher Susanna Mitchell who wants to know what happened to her sibling. She detests the holier than thou attitude of Pendleton the cop, friends and family including her school band leader Dale. All assumes Ronnie got what she deserved.

Thirteen-year-old loner Emily Houchens prefers role playing in the woods rather than friends. When she stumbles across a corpse, Emily decides to tell no one. Near retirement mechanic Wyatt Powell knows what it is like to be an outsider, but recently fell in love though he feels underserving. Finally Tony the black police detective, who dreamed of playing in the majors, returns to Roma after being away briefly; he investigates the disappearance of Ronnie.

Although ostensibly a mystery re what happened to Ronnie; The Next Time You See Me is more a deep look into the powerful force of what happened to Ronnie on people impacted by her disappearance. The key to this entertaining fresh suspense is that the prime characters are fully developed with each having doubts about the lives they live. Readers will enjoy Holly Goddard Jones' engaging tale of the profound effect on the intertwining relationships when the dynamics change as the gap caused by deletion must be refilled by something or someone.

Supernatural: Fresh Meat
Alice Henderson
Titan Books
144 Southwark Street
London SE1 OUP, UK
9781781161128, $7.99,

This part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains has an infamous history as here inside the Tahoe National Forest is where the Donner Party resorted to cannibalistic survival. In the present something evil emulates the Donner Party by dining on humans with a paranormal dessert. Those losing their lives reanimate while an unidentified flying monster continue unabated attacks.

After learning about the supernatural killer in the Sierra Nevada's, evil hunters Bobby Singer and brothers Sam and Dean Winchester arrive to end the malevolent murderer's malice. Trapped by a blizzard and trusting no one but themselves, the intrepid threesome must survive the weather while also avoiding becoming Fresh Meat for a diabolical adversary who can shapeshift into a human.

The latest super Supernatural novelization takes place in between season seven's "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" and "Slash Fiction" episodes as Alice Henderson in her first outing deftly fits this thriller inside the series. Fast-paced from the first assault, fans will enjoy this action-packed urban fantasy as the overwhelming odds of survivor reside with evil over the outgunned hunters.

Targets Of Revenge
Jeffrey S. Stephens
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451688726, $26.00

CIA field operative Jordan Sandor ignores the warning of his superiors to forget Venezuelan terrorist Adina, who escaped his previous attempt to end this psychopath's reign of indiscriminate mass murdering (see Targets of Opportunity). He deploys a hand-picked team to destroy Adina's cell and kill this maniac.

Sandor glides into the Venezuelan jungle with plans to assassinate Adina. However, though he thirst for vengeance as one of Adina's victim was a close friend, Sandor changes his mission once he obtains facts on the ground after breaching the terrorist's camp. Adina is not just processing cocaine for the world markets, he is manufacturing anthrax. Killing the abomination may not thwart his unknown evil scheme. Contacting his agency's bureaucratic leaders, Sandor convinces them to set up a counter-operation to prevent Adina from deploying his latest evil. As he globetrots, Sandor finds his adversary has allies inside the American and several foreign governments to probably include the CIA and INTERPOL.

The latest fast-paced Sandor entry (see Targets of Deception) is an exciting action-packed tale as the hero risks his life to save the innocent from an amoral maniac's plan to cause a pandemic disaster. With a contemporary Rambo-like star moving forward the storyline at an incredible clip, fans of action-packed thrillers that never takes a respite will appreciate the rematch.

Three Graves Full
Jamie Mason
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451685039, $24.99

In Stillwater, Michigan a year and a half ago in a fit of rage, normally mild widower Jason Getty killed someone. Panicking, the office worker buried the body in the back yard. Since interring the corpse, he lives in fear of being caught as he expects the neighbor's dog to dig up the bones though after crossing the first anniversary he logically knows the odds are statistically insignificant.

However, Jason also allowed his property to deteriorate during that same time. So to keep the complaints away, he hires Dearborn's Landscaping to fix the front yard. Calvin the foreman and his two workers find a body buried there. Though not his haunting corpse Jason fears Detectives Tim Bayard and Ford Watts, who believe the previous owner placed the dead person under the ground, and Tessa the K9 will find another body; which they do, but once again not his.

Leah Tamblin never forgave her fiance Reid Reynolds for running away with less than two weeks before their wedding. She needs to know if one of the dead is her Reid. The police identify Reid buried next to Katielynn Montgomery; her husband Boyd is the prime suspect.

Three Graves Full is a zany comedic twisting murder mystery as facts are not always facts when someone digs deep enough. The fully developed cast (including Tessa) makes for a fun tale as the players except for the brilliant dog seem to step in it.

Immortally Embraced
Angie Fox
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780312546670, $7.99

Having been drafted during the war between the Old and New Greek Gods, Army MASH Dr. Petra Robichaud, a hybrid fairy, pulled off a miracle; not the oracle prophesy she fulfilled that led to the cease-fire she fostered as the peacemaker, but instead finding love in Demi-God Commander Galen. As a reward for her valor and diligence, she becomes a part of a special MASH unit to the paranormal.

Her current patient is an over three thousand years old pregnant gorgon who fears telling her parents. After Petra informs Medusa of her delicate condition and telling her to come back for an ultrasound, Galen embarks on a needed but suicidal mission after ending their relationship. Meanwhile her former lover Mark arrives pleading with Petra to investigate a ghost causing havoc amidst the enemy. Neither is prepared for what they confront and learn nor another Oracle Prophecy.

The latest Robichaud MASH unit military urban fantasy is fast-paced from the opening scene in which the Doctor to the Gods (and wannabes) explains to Medusa that she got pregnant the old fashion way and never slows down until the final confrontation. Filled with satirical humor especially with placing the Greek pantheon in a modern day environment and loaded with action, readers will relish the adventures of the Army doctor though it helps to have read Immortally Yours to best understand the Fox mythos.

Dusk With A Dangerous Duke
Alexandra Hawkins
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250001382, $7.99

Six years ago, Nicolas Towers became the Duke of Huntsley when his parents died. His Grandmother arrived at Telcliffe Castle to raise the child with a tough love attitude. In 1806, Hunter meets a weeping baby; the daughter of a duke with a large dowry. Grandmother tells her shocked beardless virginal grandson that he will wed two year old Lady Grace Kearly when she turns twenty-one.

After years of rakehell activities, in 1825 the time for Hunter to wed his fiancee has arrived if he wants to keep his inheritance instead of his cousin Walker getting it. Having seen her once almost two decades ago when she bit him, he does not look forward to his second encounter with Lady Grace. She also fears marriage to this dedicated Lord of Vice as she assumes he wants the heir, the spare and her nowhere near. Thus, Hunter is shocked when Lady Grace refuses to honor their families' nuptial agreement. Hunter's new mission is winning the heart of his former fiancee, unaware he also brings danger to her.

The latest Lords of Vice Regency romance (see Sunrise with a Notorious Lord, After Dark with a Scoundrel, Till Dawn with the Devil and All Night with a Rogue) is an entertaining historical. Though the premise has been used frequently before and Grace's abrupt change of heart never is explained though implied during the fiery climax, sub-genre fans will enjoy the delightful Dusk With A Dangerous Duke.

The Earl Is Mine
Kieran Kramer
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250009890, $7.99

Heir to the Marquess of Brady though not his son, Lord Gregory Sherwood the architect needs a wife. However, his choice Lady Eliza has selected his best friend Dougal instead of him.

Gregory has no time to mend his broken heart as childhood friend and fellow survivor of Uncle Bertie's parties Pippa Harrington storms back into his life as she has done several times over the years. She explains to him that she heads to Paris to avoid an unwanted arranged marriage. As she takes a detour masquerading as his valet, she always has known deep in her soul that he is the one person who could break her heart if she trusts him with her love.

The second House of Brady Regency romance (see Loving Lady Marcia) is an amusing lighthearted historical with not so subtle references to the TV show beginning with the names of the Brady Bunch and Alice the housekeeper. Readers will enjoy this amusing historical as Gregory and Pippa learn that love makes everything seem better.

Death, Taxes and Peach Sangria
Diane Kelly
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250023063, $7.99

Treasury Department Criminal Investigation Team field operatives Tara Holloway and Eddie Bardin share a great partnership though they are total opposites. He is a married suburban dad who knows the difference between a metaphor and a simile, and a near extinct African-American Republican; she is a single white inner city woman who is the one person education left behind. However, when it comes to catching tax cheats, they are the best (see Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte; and Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure).

Tara toasts the destruction of the "Deduction Diva" especially after the cheat kneed Eddie so that his wife will be celibate for a while. The remaining three frauds involve a retired incompetent IRS auditor the "Tax Wizard", and the owners of Beauregard Financial services and Bulls-eye Taxidermy and Tax Processing. At the office, her associates look for love at the online Big D Dating Service. She can deal with her boss "The Lobo" and the virgin Josh going on line for a date, but not her secret attraction for bad-ass Senior Special Agent Nick Pratt even if she has Brett in her life. Eddie and Tara are assigned to the most dangerous death and taxes case yet; working with CIA agents Zardooz and Wang to take down the financiers of terrorists.

The latest Tara Holloway Death and Taxes thriller is an engaging suspense with the heroine's asides adding humor. The storyline is fast-paced while the CIT officials bring depth and jocularity to the mix. Fans will enjoy the antics of the fastest gun in the IRS as she deals with terrorists, ball-busters and obtaining a perfect Peach Sangria.

Where The Peacock Sings: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home
Alison Singh Gee
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780312378783, $25.99

Alison Gee lived the good life as an American journalist based in Hong Kong writing for the top magazines. Though dedicated to her work, she also enjoyed the best that Beverly Hills, Hong King and other locales offered. However, her self-perceived perfect lifestyle crashes when Alison meets Indian reporter Ajay Singh. Falling in love, he takes her to meet his royal family living in a dilapidated historical palace Mokimpur in the rural village with the same name. As his family doubts that a Southern California American "princess" has the grip to be their Ajay's mate, she wonders also especially dealing with the plumbing. This is a terrific memoir that looks deep into what a family and a home are; made interesting by Alison Singh Gee's ability to blend humor and seriousness into an enjoyable read. The road to the so "happily ever after" ending leads to Ms. Gee feeling bipolar with highs and lows; and readers to wonder whether his family is right that an American (even one in love) cannot slow down long enough to enjoy the peacocks singing.

Neferet's Curse
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250000255, $12.99

In 1893 not every resident of Chicago enjoys the World's Fair. Sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler has no time for the Ferris wheels since her Mother Alice died in childbirth along with the male baby. Her angry martinet Father, Barrett, head of the First National Bank of Chicago, loathes his late wife for leaving him no male heir. He demands his daughter ignore her grief and teen girl fantasies to take over her Mother's hostess duties to the city's affluent and participate as a member of the General Federation Women's Club feeding the homeless; as expected of the Lady of Wheiler House.

Frightened by her sire's rage, she obeys her patriarch and begins the transition to replace her Mother. Emily also realizes something is wrong with her Father as he refers to her as frigid Alice. At her first hosted gala, Emily hits it off with Arthur Simpton but Father forbids her to see him or any male. Fearful of her increasingly abusive Father, she flees Wheiler House when he goes too far; only to have the Goddess of the Night Nyx, Marked her as a vampyre.

The latest House of Night Novella (see Lenobia's Vow and Dragon Oath) uses Emily's 1893 journal to tell the tale of her transition from female teenager to Neferet. The journey from coddled teen to Queen of the Night is well written as the Cast team enables readers to feel Emily's changing myriad of emotions mostly depressingly pessimistic until the sly optimistic climax when she takes action. In spite of fans knowing what happens to Emily as Neferet over a century later, series fans will appreciate her "sweet sixteen" conversion as she finally reacts to her Father's abuse.

Opal Carew
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780312674625, $15.99

Recently Lindsay ended her relationship with philandering Glen to the scorn of her stepmother Audrey who assumes she sucks (figuratively) in bed. Lindsay and three hunks (Erik, Connor and Travis) ride the apartment complex elevator together. She mentions seeing them to her BFF Jill who knows Connor and Travis from the swimming pool. When Lindsay receives an invitation for fun in the penthouse, she assumes Jill is playing her. Instead her three hunks welcome her for a weekend of sex.

She and Erik are attracted to each other, but once the weekend ends he leaves with no plans for future trysts. His two roommates and her best friend intercede as they know this pair has something special.

Fans who relish sex, sex, sex and more sex (of all kinds) will want to read the torrid Illicit. The four lead characters are not full-blooded (except for the males' lower heads) and the romance feels out of place in this ultra-hot menage a quatre. Still erotica readers will want to follow the sexploits of Lindsay and her studs as they heat the sheets with the aid of Erik's special ability (not just that one) to know her fantasies.

The Gin Lovers
Jamie Brenner
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250035936, $14.99

"Gin Lovers 1." Charlotte's marriage to affluent William Delacorte provided her with an immediate entrance into New York high society. She wants her spouse to respect her so Charlotte tries to be his perfect (albeit bored) wife. However, when Mae, her sister-in-law, introduces her to the nightlife, she meets Jake Larkin, owner of a speakeasy where liquor, jazz and intimacy flow.

"The Gin Lovers 2: Little White Lies." As Charlotte begins to uncover the dark side and secrets of her husband, she distrusts him, his family and his friends; leaving her kin and Jake as her only possible allies.

Told in six Gin Lovers' parts (revealing anything else would be spoilers), readers will enjoy this episodic Prohibition Era drama as the period comes alive through the background of real persona like Duke Ellington. The engaging storyline is somewhat a soap opera as Charlotte grows emotionally due in part to her personal struggles between two men flawed by a dark side.

James Madison and the Making of America
Kevin R. C. Gutzman
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250023193, $16.99

This is an intriguing but difficult read as Kevin R. C. Gutzman provides a deep look into the life especially as a leader of the paradoxical "Father of the Constitution", but at times like our visit to the Philadelphia Convention feels overwhelming with its neutrino level detail. Founding Father biographical fans will appreciate the insightful full picture of the fourth president who thought the document he helped write would not survive very long and that the Bill of Rights he and others authored was unnecessary; though ironically Madison developed and oversaw implementation of the separation of state and church in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. With a contemporary premise, Madison thought political parties were bad for the country as their power-seeking self-interest would supersede the nation's need. Dr. Gutzman makes a strong argument that perhaps the most long term influential of the Founding Fathers in the "Making of America" is James Madison; as even his wife Dolly was the prototype of the First Lady. This is a winning biography; just set aside plenty of time as this is not a quick read.

Wolf Hunter
J. L. Benet
Belfire Press
9781927580035, $10.99,

Aware that the Third Reich was losing the war, Himmler authorized the creation of super soldiers. In a remote part of the Forest of Rhineland at Castle Schlosshuelchrath, scientists experiment in turning into werewolves Karl "Bear" Wahlsevski, Luther "Mountain" Grutzmann, Dr. Albrecht "Spy" Pactwandler and Hitler Youth Viktor Huelen. Luther dies while the other three succeeds but as Lycan they are uncontrollable. Viktor escapes settling in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

In the present, University of Michigan student Steve Williams is an obsessed genius researching the werewolf mythos with a particular interest in Dr. Worklauf's Nazi Lycanthopker experiments as he has a compulsive need driving him. At the same time, Jack the Ojibwa shapeshifter, hunting the Lycan abominations, kills a dying Albrecht in Chicago. Meanwhile, knowing what Viktor is, Steve demands the Lycan convert him; while Jack seeks to kill the werewolf and the wannabe.

Fast-paced, the gripping brisk Nazi experiment subplot affirms that war brings out the best and the worst in people as each side will have amoral people willing to do anything to gain the victory. When the storyline changes into an exciting modern day urban fantasy, the well-written horror plot becomes typical of the genre. Wolf Hunter is an entertaining though provoking thriller.

Phony Tinsel
Robert S. Levinson
Five Star Books
295 Kennedy Memorial Drive
Waterville, ME 04901
9781432826796, $25.95

Wannabe screenwriter Charlie Dickens writes a script for Showdown at Shadow Creek. His agent Roy Balloon tried selling the script to the studios but all rejected it. After Balloon fires Dickens for his hitless batting average, the desperate author decides after seeing Cecil B. DeMille's 1920s silent film The Ten Commandments he needs to produce his movie. As he invades the estate of the producer in the Hollywood Hills, he concludes this is like going to Heaven without dying.

However, Charlie enters the wrong mansion as he breaks into the home of producer Maxwell Moonglow. Greeting him in a sexy towel is Moonglow's wife actress Sarah Darling. Instead of concern about her uninvited guest, Sarah is used to lovers visiting her. Seductive, she persuades Charlie to execute her plan to kill Max in spite of the screenwriter struggling between two women sort of in his life. With nothing going right even Max's filming his script seems ill-fated for key players, Charlie revises his muse to this is like going to Hell without dying.

This femme fatale 1930s twisting thriller is an enjoyable tale that will remind readers of Double Indemnity but with a comedic twist. The fast-paced lighthearted storyline is fun to read as Charlie navigates the Hollywood scene leaving behind corpses in his wake.

The Truth About Love and Lightning
Susan McBride
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062027283, $14.99

In 2010 inWalnut Ridge, Missouri, single mom fiftyish Gretchen Brink lives on her family farm with her blind twin sisters when a tornado rips through the property. After the storm leaves, Gretchen goes outside to investigate the damage. She sees nuts on the ground near a fallen walnut tree that has not been fruitful in years. However, Gretchen has no time for the nutty mystery as underneath the tree is a man who sort of looks familiar.

Fearing her forty-year lie will be exposed, Gretchen wonders whether the man suffering from amnesia could be the love of her life Sam Winston who vanished in Africa four decades ago. Meanwhile her fortyish daughter Abby comes home pregnant and single; believing that she finally meets her biological father.

Rotating between different eras, Susan McBride provides a warm drama that focuses on how even a little white lie can have a snowball running down a hill gathering mass effect and what a family truly is. Although amnesia is an overused device, readers will root for the likable fully developed cast who are on the brink of either disillusioned dissolution or beautiful bonding.

Susannah Sandlin
Montlake Romance
c/o Amazon
9781612183596, $12.95

Vampire Tribunal leader Mathias Ludlam remains frustrated over his failure to destroy the Penton community established by Aidan Murphy as a haven for vampires and untreated humans to live together in harmony and a home to his traitorous son Will. However, diabolical Mathias uses his defeats as a means of winning the final fight against the Alabama abomination. He persuades the reluctant Vampire Tribunal to deploy an all-out assault on Penton for the crimes they committed against their kind; cleverly concealing his duplicity in causing their reactions.

The residents retreat into Omega, an underground bunker. Will assigned to protect the humans as his vampire allies cannot risk his symbolic capture, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. Ordered to help Will is former US Army officer Randa Thomas who was forcibly changed. She sees her partner as an elitist dilettante while an upset Will seethes over being underutilized. As the attack begins, Will and Randa prepare to fight to the death.

The third Penton Vampire Legacy (see Redemption and Absolution) is an exciting romantic urban fantasy. Randa remains a dedicated soldier as a vampire just like she was when she was human; however, Will owns the paranormal storyline (and in many ways the series) with his constant growth. With a deep look inside the heads of the key players during the Omega crisis without crimping the action, sub-genre fans will relish Susannah Sandlin super vampire mythos.

The Devereaux Legacy
Carolyn Hart
Prometheus/Seventh Street
9781616147044, $13.95

In Rockport, Texas, Leah Devereaux Shaw buries her beloved grandma Louisa Abbot Shaw, the woman who raised her. However, Grandmother Shaw's last letter and a much read magazine article stuns Leah who travels to Mefford, South Carolina where apparently her kin live. Her first stop in Mefford is the cemetery, which contains stones for her grandma, her parents and two years old Leah; all "lost at sea" when the New Star went down.

Leah heads to the family plantation that her grandma accompanied by baby Leah fled almost two decades ago. Her arrival is met by mixed emotions. Cousin Merrick Devereaux welcomes her; an extended family in-law Mrs. Leclerc warns her that the return of the Whispering Lady means death; cousins Cissy and John Edward Devereaux tell her to return to Texas or else; and her maternal grandmother Carrie Devereaux is stunned with a second chance to atone for her pride driving away her daughter in the 1960s. With a need to know why kind-hearted Grandmother Shaw vanished with her, Leah investigates while also attracted to Merrick.

This reprint of a 1986 Carolyn Hart romantic amateur sleuth is an entertaining tale that brings to life the author's trademark Lowcountry setting (see the Death on Demand series). The cast is solid and the twists inside a taut suspense storyline plausible. Although the romance between the "kissing cousins" feels forced while supporting Ms. Hart's Introduction's contention on female mystery writing in the Reagan era, readers will enjoy this engaging "cold case" murder mystery.

Hammett Unwritten
Owen Fitzstephen
Notes and afterword by Gordon McAlpine
Prometheus/Seventh Street
9781616147143, $13.95

In New Year's Eve 1959 on Long Island, ailing Dashiell Hammett holds a .38 and his own unfinished (and unpublished thanks to a recovery) New York Times obit from a few years ago ending with the unanswered question of why he stopped writing. In 1922, as a private investigator Hammett solved the Black Falcon murder mystery; ironically his last case as a gumshoe. He also married that same year but later divorced his wife as he began a decades-long affair with Lillian Hellman. At a police auction he bought the statuette that SFPD declared a worthless counterfeit. With the Falcon on his desk, Hammett began writing short stories and ultimately five hard boiled detective novels with his last one being The Thin Man in 1934 when the Black Falcon vanished; leaving behind the mystery of why he abruptly stopped writing. He surfaces in Hollywood and becomes a volunteer victim of McCarthy's witch hunt.

Hammett Unwritten is a fresh meta-biographical fiction that brings to life the great mystery writer. The storyline cleverly blends known facts and real persona like Ms. Hellman and Senator McCarthy (at the hearings) with allegedly the real role models of key characters from the Maltese Falcon. Although the latter feels somewhat over the top of Nob Hill especially when the talisman seekers return years later into the Hammett's life, the Black Falcon revisited makes for plenty of fun entertainment. Hammett fans will appreciate this bio-noir as Gordon McAlpine points out in his Afterward that 1920s mystery author and writer of this piece Owen Fitzstephen is the villain in the Dain Curse.

Temple Of A Thousand Faces
John Shors
New American Library
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780451239174, $16.00

In 1177 King Indravarman leads his vast invading Chams army as they attack Angkor in a bloody assault. Khmer Prince Jayavar and his number one wife Ajadevi flee into the jungle as the Cham horde devastate his overwhelmed people.

Now the king with the death of his father, Jayavar recruits thousands of troops like the fishing family of Boran, Soriya and their sons Vibol and Prak, who have witnessed the atrocities. Jayavar knows he has nowhere near the number of soldiers that the Cham claims, even fewer experienced warriors compared to their vicious adversaries; and they also lack the equipment. Indravarman's top-level advisor Asal meets and falls in love with Khmer prisoner Voisanne. She opens his mind to the genocide and reminds him of what he prefers forgotten with the horrors he witnessed first-hand as a youth. Knowing the monarch will torture them until they die; Asal and Voisanne flee the Chams to join the Khmer resistance.

This is a profound rare look at twelfth century Cambodia as readers learn much about the Middle Age Buddhist and Hindu spiritualism and the Khmer culture; symbolized by the Angkor Wat complex. However that historical insight also tends to slow down the storyline with incredible layers of Eastern philosophical and religious depth. Fans who prefer intense passive societal deepness at the cost of action will enjoy John Shor's perceptive look at Angkor a half of century before Thomas Aquinas' writings.

The Crook Factory
Dan Simmons
Mulholland Books/Little Brown
9780316213455, $15.99

In the summer of '42, WW II is hot with spies seemingly everywhere at least according to Hoover. Of particular concern to the FBI chief is Ernest "Papa" Hemingway. To insure that the writer stays in line, Hoover sends Agent Joe Lucas to spy on the great author.

With the aid and approval of the American ambassador to Cuba, Hemingway leads an anti-submarine squad of misfits (at least in terms of soldiers) and old buddies from the Spanish Civil War. Lucas figures that all he has to do is relax amidst a bunch of drunken fishermen. However, to his amazement and chagrin, the amateur espionage group soon becomes embroiled in the real thing. Lucas wonders if a conspiracy leading back to his own government and perhaps his agency is behind the abruptly dangerous and deadly activities of The Crook Factory.

This reprint reminds readers that Dan Simmons has been a leading light of fictional biographical thrillers for years. The Crook Factory is a fabulous historical that takes real life happenings in the life of Hemingway and brings them to the reader in an engaging fictional account. Though no Islands In The Stream, this story makes the macho Hemingway seem alive as Mr. Simmons catches the literary legend's essence through a well-designed espionage thriller, packed with real people.

Seal Team Six: Hunt The Scorpion
Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo
Mulholland Books/Little Brown
9780316209601, $25.99

Thirty-five miles off the coast of East Africa in a busy sea lane frequented by foreign vessels, prates hijack the MSC Contessa as the ship headed to the Island of Suqutra. Captain Jake McCullom feels guilt for bringing his wife Tanya on this voyage because he concealed the dangerous risk from her.

SEAL Team Six assault leader Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker and his unit who wait for the CIA sent drone in the middle of al-Qaeda held territory in South Yemen when the mission is abruptly aborted. They were contacted and flown to the USS Carl Vinson where he learns his new mission has higher need to know priority. Pirates captured the MSC Contessa, which contained yellowcake as part of the cargo. Securing this war grade uranium before terrorists obtain it has become their task; rescuing the hostages is acceptable as long as that does not impede their obtaining the radioactive material.

The latest Seal Team Six thriller (see Hunt The Wolf) is an exciting action-packed tale from the opening hijacking to the final confrontation. Though incredibly fast-paced, readers also obtain a deep look at how complex and convoluted (outside of Congressional sound bite hearings) foreign policy is even working with allies. Fans of high octane thrillers will enjoy this Seal team Six adventures as plausibility coming from political considerations interfering with mission accomplished and blood flowing from the heroes make for an enjoyable adrenaline ride.

Three Sisters
Susan Mallery
Mira Books
c/o Harlequin
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, ON, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780778314349, $14.95

Besides humiliation and pain of standing alone at the altar in front of 300 friends and family including both moms, Andi Gordon is also left paying the bills and returning the gifts. Thus three months later, Andi decides she needs a major makeover so buys one of the Queen Anne historical "Three Sisters" houses on Blackberry Island in Puget Sound with plans to open up a pediatric practice in her new home.

She meets her neighbor artist Boston King, whose husband Zeke she already met. Boston and Zeke struggle to move on after the death of their baby, but increasingly they appear to be moving on separately.

Also residing in one of the Three Sisters' homes are Deanna Phillips, her husband Colin and their five daughters. Deanna fears Colin is having an affair. When she confronts him, he confesses but blames her; sadly she agrees with him.

The return to Blackberry Island (see Barefoot Season) focuses on three women with emotional issues bonding like the Three Musketeers. Each believes in "All for one, one for all" mantra; as the trio knows they have "sisters" who have their back during their personal crisis. The ensemble cast is fully developed due in part to the rotating storyline and mostly because of the "Three Sisters" sharing their tsuris with each other and readers.

The Garden of Stones
Sophie Littlefield
Mira Books
c/o Harlequin
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, ON, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780778313526, $14.95

In 1978 San Francisco, someone murders fifty-nine year old Reginald Forrest in his office near his gym in the basement of the De Soto Hotel. SFPD Inspector Torre visits Forrest's acquaintance Lucy Takeda as a witness placed someone who looks like her with her pink scarred face at the gym when the murder occurred. Lucy admits knowing the victim over three decades ago.

Lucy tells her upset daughter Patty about what happened to her when she was fourteen and to her mom Miyako. Her father just died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Japanese Americans were taken to internment camps. Mother and daughter went to Manzanar Relocation Camp run by ruthless George Rickenbocker, who rapes and impregnates Miyako. When he targeted Lucy, a distraught Miyako scarred her daughter's beautiful face to try to keep the guards from raping her child. She then kills Rickenbocker and herself.

Rotating between the 1978 mystery and the WWII internment in the California desert, Garden of Stones is a deep historical that shines a timely spotlight on a dark period in American history; the terrible mistreatment of American citizens rationalized by homeland security needs. The three generations of Takeda women are fully developed with Lucy connecting family and eras. Although Rickenbocker is stereotyped as a ruthless individual, he also brings a belief that the interred are not real Americans so are subject to abuse. Readers will relish this profound storyline as one must "Never Forget" the heritage horrors caused by "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one" (Benjamin Franklin).

The Mountain Mother Cipher
N.S. Wikarski
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781468127591, $9.99

Nineteen year old college freshman Cassie Forsythe suffered a horrific nightmare in which a cowboy demands the key before murdering her sibling Sybil. After someone kills Sybil, Cassie sees the cowboy flee her late sister's apartment after finding the Granite Key. Shocked she joined Arkana seeking the Key and other ancient artifacts as she replaces Sybil as the Pythia psychokinetic reader of objects' history.

Cassie teams up with Chief Scrivener Griffin and Security Coordinator Erik. On Crete, the trio learns of the existence of the mythological Minoan Sage Stone; to retrieve this ancient relic they must find five artifacts in a specific order. Blessed Nephilim Diviner leader Abraham plans for a third world war crusade once he obtains the Sage Stone. Arkana leader Faye the Memory Guardian fears exposure to the Blessed Nephilim; who would destroy the relics protected in their Central Catalogue vault. Thus Cassie and her teammates must find a way to steal the artifacts that the enemy own without their foes realizing what happened. They travel to Mount Ida near Troy in Turkey with the Blessed Nephilim and other unknown unsavory people seeking the same treasure.

The key to the second Arkana urban fantasy (see the Granite Key) is the cast who make the quest seem genuine. Cassie doubts she has the right stuff to replace her sister; Griffin doubts he belongs in the field as he is a librarian; Erik doubts his two mates have the heart and soul of a warrior. The support characters from both sides are also strong; and not just the leaders. Filled with action, fans will appreciate N.S. Wikarski's Mediterranean tour.

The Arena Man
Steve Englehart
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780765325006, $28.99

In between his war against supernatural evil, former Vietnam grunt Max August the immortal but destructible magic practitioner and his apprentice lover Pam continue their unsuccessful search for the lost soul of his first wife Val. The pair ends their current investigation when they learn troubling information. The Necklace cabal of international magickal societal leaders and the demonic Belia'al have united. The powerful malevolent union plans to deploy Black Ops and magick to cause an attack that will gain everyone's focus as thousands will die from their mass murder against man.

At the same time Alexsandra the diabola pretends to be the lover of the Gemstone leader of the Necklace Lawrence Breckenridge. She hides her real agenda behind her farcical tryst as her plot is to defeat Belia'al. Max takes over the identity of a dead conspirator (whose body he places in the Collective Unconscious) in order to get inside to learn what the cabal and the demon plot. At the same time, Pam seems trapped inside the Subconscious even as she needs to bring the Key to Max.

The latest Max August fantasy (see The Plain Man and The Long Man) is an exhilarating hyper-paced thriller. With a comic book style of non-stop action, series fans will relish this rousing entry as Max knows he must be a mad man playing the superhero to save those who disdain him against a seemingly invincible enemy who has the support of those same people he tries to rescue (to the PR goes the masses).

For Love Of Eli
Loree Lough
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801
Nashville, TN 37202
9781426752506, $12.99

After his parents died last year, five year old Eli lives with his legal guardian maternal Aunt Taylor Bradley at the Misty Wolf Inn in Blacksburg, Virginia. Eli's paternal Uncle Dr. Reece Montgomery blames his late brother-in-law Eliot who died as a soldier in Afghanistan for the subsequent death of his sister Margo. Reece also feels guilt for not being there for her; knowing Margo's dying was not an accident. He especially rages over a loser like Taylor is named his nephew's guardian when he is a pediatrician; worse he is attracted to the failure raising his last relative.

Eli and Taylor find an unfinished quilt that Margo started for her son. Taylor decides to finish the quilt so that Eli will have a precious memory of his late parents. As Reece visits Eli, he and Taylor fall in love, but he assumes she belongs to celebrity Jimmy Jacobs.

The latest Quilts of Love inspirational (see A Wild Goose Chase Christmas by Jennifer AlLee, Beyond the Storm by Quilts of Love and Path of Freedom by Jennifer Hudson Taylor) is a warm family drama starring three survivors struggling with the deaths of loved ones. The engaging storyline focuses on healing as each of the trio handles their grief differently. Although the romance feels forced and uninspiring, readers will enjoy the lad's living relatives doing for him whatever he needs because of a love for Eli and his late parents.

Cold Light
Traci L. Slatton
Parvati Press
9780984672684, $14.99,

The white miasma Mists burned except chlorophyll. Billions died when the Mists sucked out metals from humans and other beings on the planet during the Day. Arthur saved Emma, her young daughter Mandy and seven lost little orphans attached to her when he dispatched the Mists and brought them into his safe camp. Emma assumed her husband Haywood and their oldest daughter Beth are dead. She and Arthur become an entry while leading their settlement. However, Haywood found his wife and child in France and brought them home to Edmonton leaving Arthur behind despondent from his loss (see Fallen).

In Canada, raiders abduct Beth. She and Haywood search for their child. Clues lead them to Arthur and his townsfolk; all of whom are angry at their former first lady for leaving them. Still everyone joins in on the quest to find and rescue Beth; while Haywood and Arthur demand she choose between them as neither will voluntarily leave her. At the same time, everyone mentally prepares for the confrontation with the Mists knowing many of their loved ones will die in the final battle for survival.

The second exciting "After" post-apocalyptic thriller moves forward on two fronts: Emma's relationships and the anticipated suicidal Armageddon Mists war as Traci L. Slatton deftly blends both subplots into a superb dystopian tale through her quality cast. The triangle participants fear the repercussions on the young at a time when nightmares are prevalent yet none of them can leave. Readers will wonder who will quote Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known."

To Brie or Not To Brie
Avery Aames
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10014
9780425255544, $7.99

In Providence, Ohio, Charlotte Bessette owns Fromagerie Bessette better known locally as The Cheese Shop. Carelessly she causes a grease fire in her kitchen because she was distracted by her delicious latest concoction. As usual, Charlotte has a lot going on as she and her fiance Jordon Pace discuss marital plans; feed the cast performing in her grandmother's production of Hamlet at the Providence Playhouse; cater the upcoming marriage between her best friend Meredith and her cousin Matthew; and create with the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor magician a Brie blueberry ice cream.

However, a new distraction pops up when the Tourist is found dead inside the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor cooler. The murder weapon is a carton of Brie blueberry ice cream. Police Chief Urso leads the investigation, but Charlotte identifies the corpse as Giacomo Capriotti, estranged abusive husband of Jacky Peterson; the only suspect. Charlotte conducts her own inquiry starting with who notified the New Jersey resident that his missing wife had become a Buckeye.

The latest Cheese Shop cozy (see Clobbered by Camembert, The Long Quiche Goodbye and Lost In Fondue) is an engaging murder mystery starring a courageous amateur sleuth. Though at times comedic, the female support cast too frequently acts more like WrestleMania participants with their back and forth shrilling rather than small Ohio townsfolk. Still series fans will enjoy murder by cheese ice cream as the Bard arrives in Providence.

One Sunday
Carrie Cecil
Howard/Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451664768, $14.99

Ambitious thirty-something Alice Ferguson felt she was on top of the world as with her gay business partner Amos, she edits a trashy tabloid and runs the Trashville Hollywood gossip website that consistently has her flying cross country. She recently met in Bel Air and soon married Dr. Burton Bannister II, the father of the child she carries.

However, her pregnancy proves difficult with health problems threatening her and her unborn. Alice gives up her stressful career and leaves Southern California for the Nashville area. There she feels like a fish on dry land living in suburban jail amidst the idle housewives. Adding to her frustration is realizing that Amos is doing a great job running Trashville without her. Retired NFL lineman Pastor Tim Jackson, his wife LaChelle and their two daughters are her only friends as Alice feels more like a squatter than a neighbor. However, Tim and LaChelle gently persuade the mocking doubter to show up One Sunday at their church.

Alice is a fascinating protagonist as she gives up the fast lane and what she believes is her identity to live as an outsider in the Deep South Bible Belt. Initially the coastal heathen makes no efforts to belong. Her long journey of redemption and forgiveness (of one's self) make for a warm, at times amusing (especially Alice's wry commentary) inspirational Christian tale.

The Woman From Paris
Santa Montefiore
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451676686, $25.00

In 2012 in the Swiss Alps, Lord George Frampton dies in a skiing accident. Ten days later in his Hampshire home, his wife Antoinette, their three sons (David, Joshua (his spouse Roberta) and Tom) and his mother Margaret grieve their loss. Also attending the funeral is Canadian Phaedra Chancellor; who David thinks love at first sight is inappropriate at his dad's funeral.

Family attorney Julius Beecher introduces Phaedra to the Frampton family as George's illegitimate daughter. Everyone is stunned with different reactions. Phaedra rejects her share of the inheritance, the Frampton sapphires even as her sweet kind disposition soon leads to the family warmly welcoming her. However, David wants more than just a half-sister while Phaedra feels the same way about him. However she conceals a dark secret that would rip asunder the Frampton family who she loves and due to her has come together.

The Woman From Paris is an entertaining family drama starring a fully developed ensemble cast. The Frampton clan is dysfunctional with the one person keeping them together now dead; that is until Phaedra enters their lives. Though readers will figure out Phaedra's dark secret, love heals all types of emotional wounds.

Tosca Lee
Simon & Schuster/Howard
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451683769, $22.99

With the death of King Herod, Jerusalem turns into a deadly tinderbox as revolutionaries take down the Eagle. However, soldiers go after those who defiled the Eagle. Six year old Judas flees with his family to Galilee as his Father was one of the conspirators. While nearing Sepphoris, they learn thousands of their Father's compatriots were slaughtered by the new king Archelaus at the Temple. Rebellion explodes across the kingdom, but is put down with Judas' Father dying on a Roman cross. The child vows to never follow his Father's fate.

Judas becomes a Zealot studying the Torah. When he meets Jesus, Judas believes he met the Messiah king of the Jews who will end Roman rule. Feeling euphoric, Judas breaks his youthful commandment of never joining rebels when he becomes a disciple of the Nazarene. However, his hero rejects any religious dogma, which leads to a dispirited Judas believing he erred as Jesus is no Messiah planning to free the Jews but instead has a different plot.

This is an insightful exhilarating bibliographical biblical fiction that looks deep into the soul of the man history paints as the greatest betrayer as well as how Judas changes his opinion of Jesus and the disciples. Inside an entertaining tale that brings to life first century Judea, Tosca Lee makes the arguments that the child is the adult and that the victors write the history books (and Gospels). The childhood flight culminating in his Father's execution haunts the adult Judas while his changing beliefs as to whether Jesus is good for the Jews is not different than the doubting denying disciples. Iscariot will leave the audience to wonder how we would have acted wearing Judas' sandals.

Brooklyn Bones
Triss Stein
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464201202, $24.95

In the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, Widow Erica Donato works part-time at a museum and attends grad school as a history major; but her prime job is to raise her teenage daughter Chris as a single mom. Family friend Joe leads a team renovating the Donato home. Chris, working with the crew, calls her mom informing her that they found the skeletal remains of a young female cradling a teddy bear inside a wall.

The police act at best perfunctory as they seem to prefer to ignore the interred bones and feel mother and daughter should do likewise. Chris needs to know who the victim was while Erica recognizes items buried with Jane Doe from the 1970s. They obtain information from retired reporter Leary who covered the gentrification tactics of the 1970s. As strangers threaten the pair, family friend retired cop Rick Malone ignores Erica's pleas and affluent developer Steven Richmond hires the mom for no obvious reason while an unknown adversary will kill anyone looking into Jane Doe.

The key to this solid murder mystery is Park Slope today and during the tumultuous 1970s gentrification. The mother and daughter lead couple is each fully developed as Erica is a young widow with concerns and ambitions, and Chris is a typical mercurial teen; while the secondary characters bring out the neighborhood, the family and the mystery. Although some of the actions and decisions by Erica feels out of a slasher movie (stepping into peril) and thus over the top of the Brooklyn Bridge even accounting for New York shtick, fans will enjoy this amateur sleuth tour of the fourth largest city in America.

Holy Smoke
Frederick Ramsey
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464200922, $24.95

In 29 C. E. Jerusalem, a severely burned body is found behind the Temple's most sacred inner sanctum the veil of The Holy of Holies; a place no one is allowed to venture except for the Jews' Chief Rabbi and he only on the Day of Atonement. When news of the corpse floods the city, many irate Jew believe heavenly fire burned the intruder for heresy while political and religious leaders like High Priest Caiaphas, raging over messiah-like Rabbi Yeshua of Galilee rallying the masses, insist on learning how this infidel gained access to the Holy of Holies.

The Chief Rabban Gamliel and Greek physician Loukas doubt that God's wrath killed the violator as each believes a mortal sinner committed murder. They team up in search of a human murderer in order to calm the populace and quiet down the rabble rousing authorities as dealing with the Romans is enough of a problem for the rebellious Jews.

The latest Jerusalem biblical era mystery (see The Eighth Veil) is an enjoyable whodunit as readers obtain a deep look at troubled Jerusalem during a tumultuous period. The leisurely-paced investigation grips the audience with more deaths dividing a split city further. Fans of ancient detective tales will appreciate touring Jerusalem during a time when Jewish leaders, Romans, Jesus, and traders clash.

Out of the Black Land
Kerry Greenwood
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464200403, $24.95

In circa 1335 B.C.E. Egypt has flourished under the rule of Pharaohs Amenhotep III and his successor son Amenhotep IV. However, Amenhotep IV begins to suffer from terrifying nightmares and changes his name to Akhnaten while also proclaiming there is one god instead of a pantheon of deities and bans their worship. Egyptians are stunned by their ruler's heresy fearing the wrath of the Gods their Pharaoh chooses to ignore and anger.

He further angers the inner circle of leaders when he selects young peasant Ptah-hotep to the critical oversight position of the Great Royal Scribe; a job the lad does not want as he prefers to remain with his beloved Kheperren (General Horemheb's scribe) and their dog Wolf. Meanwhile the Pharaoh marries Nefertiti, whose sister Mutnodjme and other ladies devise a scheme to have their Queen birth the heir in spite of Akhnaten being impotent. At the same time, the Dynasty's leaders conclude their lunatic leader threatens the well-being of the nation.

The first Ancient Egypt Eighteenth Dynasty thriller is a terrific historical that brings to life the tumultuous reign of the "Heretic Pharaoh" as fans will believe they are visiting the "Black Land". Action-packed with newcomers at court like Ptah-hotep, Nefertiti and Mutnodjme leaning survival methods amidst those who prefer them to go home or die, fans will enjoy Kerry Greenwood's strong tale as the author's Australian leads (Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman) take respites.

Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp
Nathan Bransford
illustrated by C.S. Jennings
Dial Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
345 Hudson Street, 15th floor
New York, NY 10014
9780803737037, $16.99

After losing the election for President of the Universe to his arch rival Planet Royal Mick Cracken (see Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe), twelve year old Jacob Wonderbar, Sarah Daisy and Dexter Goldstein return home on the Praiseworthy. The trio left home two weeks campaigning and saving the world. However, they are greeted by an earth that has seen five decades pass since they left and Mick is still the President. Instead of forty-something, Jacob's mom is a nonagenarian while he remains a tweener. She tells him to find his missing father to reset the world; a task he has tried and failed to do for two years since his dad went missing.

Mick provides the trio with a time machine as he explains for them to find Jacob's dad they must travel in time and space. Back in the Jurassic Period, Sarah's sister Chloe greets the threesome. At the same (relative) time, the Strangers deploy a time sensitive plan of genocide eradication of the Astral self-exiled earthlings who led by Father Albert went into space. Since his father is an Astral, Jacob knows he is on the termination list as hybrids must die too. They become separated in the dinosaur age, but reconnect when an older Dexter is an advisor to Napoleon.

The third Wonderbar time travel science fiction (see Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow) provides middle school children with an enjoyable action-packed thriller that never decelerates. The storyline is amusing though never deep as science is not the objective; fun entertaining reading is and Nathan Bransford achieves his objective with this wacky tale.

Dark in the Woods
Rosemary Laurey
Samhain Publishing
B008TR5AX8, $15.00 print / $4.24 Kindle

Alan Harrington persuades his doubting wife Cassie to move from Boston to his hometown of Andrews Meadows, Virginia; she agrees to a six-month trial in the mountain town. However, his mom makes it clear Cassie is unwelcome; his brother Tate, the only family member from his side to attend the wedding, invites them to stay at his house. Cassie finds his kin of hunters detest her while the residents across the river in Silver Grove are wary of her.

Not long after their arrival, Alan dies in what appears to be an accident. The Harrington brood ignores his widow to include funeral plans. Thinking of her marriage vows "or worse", Cassie sneaks into the funeral parlor only to be shocked by her discovery. Deputy Sheriff David Argon investigates Alan's murder and the subsequent killing of his sister Sherry-Ann; while also trying to keep the newcomer safe. He struggles to adhere to the advice of his Aunt Morgaine's marital prediction for him to remain patient as she proclaimed before the then married Cassie arrived in town she was his future wife.

From the opening Aunt Morgaine's prediction until the final confrontation, readers will appreciate this taut paranormal police procedural romance. In some ways, the exciting storyline feels like a mountainous gothic starring a heroine in peril, a dangerous remote landscape (incredibly eerie yet feeling genuine), and a hero brooding over having to be patient. Fans will believe that in the remote Virginia Mountains live the paranormal, the hunters and the mundane as Rosemary Laurey escorts her appreciative fans deep into the deadly Dark in the Woods.

The Night Ranger
Alex Berenson
G. P. Putnam's Sons
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780399159725, $27.95

Four recent University of Montana graduates (Gwen Murphy, Hailey Barnes, Owen Broder and Scott Thompson) volunteer to work for the Worldcases Children First at the giant Hagadera Refugee Camp in Kenya. Scott's Uncle James Thompson runs the relief organization out of Houston, but is at the East African site because a Houston Chronicle reporter Pamela Hutchins is writing a story on the camps and the aid groups.

Three months later, local worker Suggs drives the volunteers for an R&R weekend at the Lamu island resort. However, to avoid a police blockade delay, Suggs uses a different route. Somali bandits abduct the four grads, but no one claims responsibility or demands a ransom. Back in the states; clamor for an invasion grows stronger every day.

The last time Evan Wells spoke to his father John, he called him a war criminal. Now a decade later, Evan contacts his dad to ask him to rescue the four hostages as he is good friends with Gwen's sister Catelyn. Though no longer a CIA vigilante and unfamiliar with East Africa, John leaves his New Hampshire home and his lover Anne for the only person who could get him back into the field.

The latest John Wells thriller (see The Shadow Patrol) is a terrific suspense story with plenty of action. Though an excellent Wells tale, much of the superb fresh storyline focuses on the camp, the plight, the bureaucracy and the various bandit groups. Readers will believe they are on the Kenyan Somali border as Alex Berenson, like a writing wizard, provides a strong twisting rescue mission.

The Perfect Scream
James Andrus
Pinnacle Books
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21
New York, NY 10018-2522
9780786027705, $9.99

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Detectives John Stallings and Patty Levine handle a missing person's case that neither wants to investigate. Ten days ago, University of North Florida senior Zach Halston vanished. The pair chats with Halston's Tau Upsilon Fraternity buddies, and they search his two apartments. In one of them Stallings finds a photo of Halston with his missing teenage daughter Jeanie; the case has become interesting for the veteran cop who conceals the picture from his partner and his estranged wife as he has his first lead in three years on an inquiry that matters to him.

Meanwhile, a diabolical avenge-seeking killer wants to hear the spoiled affluent Tau Upsilon members scream while dying. One at a time they are brutally murdered as the serial killer lives for The Perfect Scream.

The latest Detective John Stallings Florida police procedural (see The Perfect Prey and The Perfect Death) is a taut suspense starring several "damaged" individuals including the cops and the killer. Action-packed, fans will enjoy following Stallings who gets around the Sunshine State seeking clues to his missing daughter under the guise of the Halston inquiry. Although the climax feels rushed, James Andrus provides an exciting psychological thriller.

How To Seduce An Angel In 10 Days
Saranna DeWylde
Kensington Brava
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21
New York, NY 10018-2522
9780758269171, $9.95

Irate Falcon Cherrywood believes his punishment does not fit the crime. He admits he shot that pest Cupid in the butt with a fireball, injuring the pink-winged angel. However, he feels replacing Cupid is cruel and anti-angelic punishment since he does not believe in love. To make matters worse, he also is assigned Parole Officer duty.

His criminal is Drusilla "Tally" Tallow, who was sentenced for ten days for knocking the temporary love angel off his broom out of frustration of always finding love in the wrong places with the worst heavenly misanthropes. As Falcon and Tally fall in love, she fears the replacement Cupid will prove a pain in the ass; she's just not sure whose.

The latest amusing "How to ... in 10 Days" romantic fantasy (see How to Marry a Warlock in 10 days) is an amusing madcap tale. A lighthearted frolic, fans will laugh at the antics of Tally and Falcon; as each has strong reasons to ignore their attraction.

One Night With A Cowboy
Cat Johnson
Kensington Brava
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21
New York, NY 10018-2522
9780758285386, $9.95

Dr. Becca Hart loses her assistant English professor position at Vassar at the same time her boyfriend moves out. A month after the seminar ended she remains unemployed with the only vacancy at Oklahoma State University. She tells her sibling Emma she will not apply. OSU English Department Dean Mark Ross asks Becca to come to Stillwater for an interview. Emma submitted her resume. The sisters travel to OSU. The sisters attend the rodeo and meet bull riders Tucker Jenkins and Jace Mills. Divorced army sergeant Tucker and Becca are stunned by their attraction. The foursome goes back to the hotel where Becca and Tucker take out a room.

Becca teaches at OSU while Emma returns home. Dean Ross hosts a part welcoming Becca. On the faculty, Tucker attends. Both are stunned to see each other. He is upset as she never told him she interviewed for a job and she with his not mentioning the military. Tucker's superior officer warns him of the non-fraternization rule. Still each agrees to become friends with benefits until he volunteers to return to Afghanistan so she would not be fired.

The latest Oklahoma Nights Romance (see Two Times as Hot and Three Weeks with a Bull Rider) is a fun military academic romance in which the attraction at first sight is deftly handled as each protagonist is fully developed. The rodeo scoring rules and ROTC training are deftly interwoven into the engaging plot due to a solid support cast. Although his logic for volunteering to serve in Afghanistan seems crazy and affirms the lead couple's somewhat infantile behavior, readers will enjoy One Night (and many more) With A Cowboy.

Yes, Master
Tawny Taylor, Anne Rainey and Vonna Harper
Kensington Aphrodisia
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21
New York, NY 10018-2522
9780758287847, $14.00

Stark Pleasure" by Tawny Taylor. College student Alice Barlow poses as a model for an artist. Dominant Tristan Stark sees her and wants the virgin as his sub.

"Ruby's Awakening" by Anne Rainey. In Ohio Drake South has his choice of females except the one he covets, his neighbor Ruby; he even sends away the hot Skylar. When Ruby's boyfriend Bryan rejects a weekend of sex, eavesdropper Drake drops in as better replacement.

"Runa's High" by Vonna Harper. College runner Runa Mullan hopes to set the school's female record at 800 meters. She asks Olympic silver medalist Jeff Tappe for advice. He says there is more to life than just the track. Soon, the two runners and Ken Paro run an erotic marathon with the males as her Master to help her break her mental barrier preventing her from achieving her goal.

These three heated BDSM tales contain strong protagonists who make for a fun hot time for erotica readers.

Sweet 16 to Life
Kimberly Reid
Kensington K-Teen/Dafina
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21
New York, NY 10018-2522
9780758267429, $9.95

After solving several crimes at her school Langdon Prep (see Creeping with the Enemy and My Own Worst Frenemy), teenager Chanti Evans' ex quasi boyfriend Marci Ruiz and her mom undercover vice cop Lana demand she stop her investigations though she has saved lives. The relationship between Chanti and Lana is further strained because the teen's absentee father wants back in the lives of mother and daughter just before her sixteenth birthday.

In her Denver Heights family house, Chanti follows the smell of smoke until she sees a fire two houses over. She calls 911 while grabbing a fire extinguisher as the home of her friend MJ and Big Mama is on fire; no one is inside. Chanti knows the fire was deliberate and probably aimed at MJ by her former gangbanger pals. Unable to ignore the arson, Chanti enlists Marco as she tries to help MJ deal with an angry gang member Lux. However the situation turns nastier when Lux vanishes. The cops and the gang suspect the worst from Chanti and MJ.

The latest Langdon Prep young teen street noir is a super suspense with an extremely complex investigation as the intriguing case is far from linear (young readers and us geriatric boomers will need deep concentration). The support cast is solid and the heroine displays depth as leads the inquiry. Readers will enjoy Sweet 16 to Life.

Necessity's Child
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Baen Books
PO Box 1188
Wake Forest NC 27588
9781451638875, $25.00

Clan Korval moved to planet Surebleak though Liad will always be home in their hearts. However, in their settlement Jelaza Kazone, the youngest family member Syl Vor feels worthless with no responsibilities and no friends since his cousins left for other worlds as apprentices. He believes his only importance is as a token showing his clan's support to the newly established school that he attends. With nothing to do, Syl Vor helps a neighbor with seed planting, but failed to tell the clan so is lectured as several rogue Department of Interior agents seek their deaths.

An assassin tries to kill lifemates Liaden Val Con yos'Phelium and Terran Miri Robertson. Clan Korval searches for this killer as no one gets away with killing any of them, but especially this pair as they together are the Delm. The Bedel clan bunkers down in their tunnels until young Kezzi sneaks out with her dog. A vendor catches her stealing food but Michael Golden the Terran pays her tab. A Kompani guardian brings a comatose body to healer Silain who tries to save the coma victim. Golden follows clues that lead to her and her granddaughter Kezzi who soon meets Syl Vor at school.

Necessity's Child is an intriguing Liaden thriller that appears to be a transition to the next generation as much of the somewhat limited action focuses on Kezzi and Syl Vor. The overarching theme fails to move at all yet the plot sets up the future with an insightful look at their new planet, another culture and the young of Korval and Kompani. Series fans will have mixed feelings on Necessity's Child, but will agree this is a clever perceptive entry.

The Ship Who Searched
Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey
PO Box 1188
Wake Forest NC 27588
9781451638738, $14.00

Archaeologists Doctors Pota Andropolous-Cade and Braddon Maartens-Cade conduct an evaluation at a Salomon-Kildare site with no one else on the planet except their school aged daughter Hypatia "Tia" Cade. For the most part Tia is by herself at camp while her parents work though she has her own excavation site in the nearby trenches. Just after Tia's seventh birthday, Moira and Brawn Tomas arrive with supplies and a blue teddy bear gift for the child who calls her present Theodore Edward Bear.

Tia finds a real artifact that she seals inside a container before showing it to her parents. However, the container leaks dust into the child's face. While her excited parents look for more artifacts in the locale Tia found her relic, the child becomes paralyzed. The Institute accepts Tia as a shellperson installed in a brainship delivering supplies to excavations with her Brawn being Alexander Joli-Chanteu. Accompanied by Theodore Edward Bear, they specialize as first responders on controlling diseases until the medics can arrive. MedCen assigns them to search for smugglers importing diseases into the Central Worlds even as Tia seeks the source of her paralyzing ailment.

The reprint of the entertaining third Brainships entry (see The Ship Who Sang and Partnership) is an engaging science fiction. Tia is a super protagonist who keeps the storyline steady and on course with help from her Brawn and her teddy bear. Filled with compassion, courage and chutzpah, The Ship Who Searched remains a fabulous outer space thriller.

Jennifer Roberson
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780756407964, $25.95

Trained at the Alimat Southron School, Tiger swore his allegiance to the sword-dancer code of honor. His mate Delilah comes from the north where vengeance led her to training as a sword-singer. They are considered the best at their respective skill; together they seem invincible as legends while outlaws in their respective lands.

However, Tiger's adult son Neesha accuses him of becoming too "domesticated" and challenges him to prove the legend on a quest with the lad and Del. Irate at the affront, the sword-dance instructor insists they cannot leave because of his two years old daughter Sula. Neesha scoffs at his alibi claiming his dad had become a soft family man. As sword-dancers challenge the teacher to the death, Umir the Ruthless offers a reward for the capture of his enemy Tiger, who used magic to render useless his grimoire. Loved ones make perfect hostages.

The latest Tiger and Del fantasy (see Sword-Sworn and Sword-Born) is more a family affair as the twenty-something Neesha brings out the best and worst in his dad while Sula manipulates both her parents. Initially leisurely-paced, the storyline accelerates as Umir seeks revenge against his adversary, but never forgets forcing Tiger to deploy magic to free his tome of spells. Series fans will enjoy the superb Sword-Bound.

The Silent Dragon
Irene Radford
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780756407940, $7.99

In Coronnan, Dragon Crown King Darville and the Council of Provinces argue over allowing magic to return to the kingdom and over whether the monarch's fourteen year old daughter Rosselinda should immediately marry in order to birth the male heir. Recently Darville has been beset by accidents that as a pattern indicate assassination attempts.

At the University of Magicians, Chancellor Jaylor refuses to promote his son Glenndon to journeyman in spite of the power the lad possesses because the apprentice is mute. Jaylor ignores that Glenndon's telepathy is so powerful he does not need to speak to communicate. Darville orders Glenndon, the illegitimate son he had with Brevelan the witch, to come to court as the ruler names the lad his heir to protect his young daughter from an unwanted marriage. Confused as he always thought Jaylor was his sire, Glenndon arrives in Coronnan City greeted by raging councilors who loathe the outsider for his blood interferes with their plans. They barely understanding they and the citizens will turn deadly hostile if they learn of his magic or his silence.

The latest Dragon Nimbus tale (see The Glass Dragon, The Perfect Princess, The Loneliest Magician and The Wizard's Treasure) is an engaging political fantasy. The interesting beleaguered hero becomes abruptly caught up in ugly court intrigue that makes the university in-fighting look tame. Although the theme of a naive youngster becoming overnight the successor to power has been used before, readers will enjoy Glenndon's efforts to adapt as an unwanted stranger in a strange land.

Dead Things
Stephen Blackmoore
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780756407742, $7.99

Fifteen years ago necromancer Eric Carter fled Los Angeles with no plans ever to return as too many essences wanted him dead. Estranged from his family, over the decade and a half he used his paranormal skills to make a nice living mostly helping spirits move on and occasionally some more dangerous missions, but he always adhered to his vow until now. Something ripped to shreds his sister Lucy in her home. Feeling guilt as he may have been the motive for her torturous death, Carter needs to know who did it so he can bring Lucy justice.

Carter comes home to learn his worst fears seem true when his sibling's killer left a message that only he could read. Anguished Carter knows Lucy was an avenue to get to him. However, he knows so many want to perform the act of his gruesome murder, but who was amoral enough to use Lucy as an expendable tool? His answer to his rhetorical question leaves him with numerous suspects as he woks the blighted streets.

Dead Things is a great hard-boiled detective thriller inside an urban fantasy landscape. Fast-paced from the moment the kick butt necromancer comes home to the "Mad City" to investigate his sister's murder and never slows down, readers will appreciate this terrific paranormal mystery as few writers capture Los Angeles as the City of the Lost as well as Stephen Blackmoore does.

The Trouble with Charlie
Merry Jones
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G
Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608090747, $25.95

The divorce ending the decade marriage of Philadelphia elementary schoolteacher Elle Brooks and Charlie Harrison is almost a fait accompli. Elle comes home to their townhouse after a night on the town with her friends. Although Charlie moved out weeks ago, she senses he is here. When she feels a light kiss on her nape, Elle becomes disturbed. However, Elle panics when she sees long-stemmed rose on floor. Grabbing a kitchen knife, she looks for the intruder only to find Charlie dead on their living room couch, stabbed to death by a kitchen knife.

The police suspect Elle murdered her husband especially when she cannot explain what she was doing or where she was at the time of his death. Elle fears she may have killed Charlie as her short-term amnesia may be a repression of a memory she cannot accept; made worse by Charlie's ghost accusing her of murdering him. After consulting with her friends, Elle looks into Charlie's activities only to find she never knew her mate who not only cheated on her but had connections with nasty people. Each revelation is another motive for her to have killed him; but also for his amoral associates to kill her and for the cops to arrest her.

This exciting paranormal amateur sleuth is a fun whodunit as the more the heroine learns of her late almost ex-husband, the more danger she places herself in as well as she increasingly begins to conclude she may be his killer. Though the living relationship between Elle and Charlie is not developed enough; fans will enjoy the fast-paced investigative storyline as Elle dodges killers, cops and ghosts.

Cheryl Brooks
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139
Naperville, IL 60563
9781402251719, $7.99

Needing to start over, horse breeder Sara Shield moves to Terra Minor where she opens up a ranch. However, her prize Andalusian, Danublan, escaped before he arrived at his new home. Her neighbor Bonnie Dackelov informs her that another nearby rancher insane Zetithian, Jerden Morokovitz, found a wild horse. Sara visits him having already heard rumors he sold himself for 1000 credits per tryst in a brothel. Jerden gives her back her horse.

However, he is stunned by his reaction to Sara as he should not want her since he emotionally collapsed with the murder of his lover; yet he is attracted to the newcomer. Jerden realizes she can mend his broken soul, but first he must mend her broken heart. However, besides the killer who destroyed his mind with murder, others have an interest to keep the pair apart with Danublan the obvious easy target.

The latest Cat Star Chronicles romantic science fiction (see Fugitive, Virgin and Stud) is an exciting thriller of healing as the protagonists fall in heat and love. However, it is the adversaries who have differing motives but identical goals that keep the plot fresh by enhancing the enjoyable tale with taut suspense.

A Howl For A Highlander
Terry Spear
1935 Brookdale Road, #139
Naperville, IL 60563
9781402258930, $7.99

American Gray Wolf and financial wizard, Salisbury Silverman stole a fortune from his clients including a Highlander werewolf pack. Sal hides in his home on the Grand Cayman Island unaware of his fatal mistake when he absconded with the investment funds of Duncan MacNeil's pack. A guardian, Duncan has plans to deal with the thief; werewolf style as the governmental laws mean nothing to this commando when it comes to his pack.

At the airport, Duncan meets American botanist Shelley Campbell, who has come to Grand Cayman Island to research rare flora. Shelley and Duncan are attracted to each other from the onset as he recognizes kinship and more since she contains wolf blood though lives outside a pack. However, though nearly impossible to ignore his need for the plant lady; the Highlander knows he must remain vigil as his first task must remain Sal.

The latest Highlander werewolf romance (see Heart of the Highland Wolf and Dreaming of the Wolf) is an engaging lighthearted romp as love interferes with the respective missions of the lead couple. Fast-paced from the first wolfish encounter, fans will enjoy Terry Spear's entertaining howler.

All Mortal Flesh
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250018557, $14.99

In Millers Kill, New York Episcopalian Priest Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne feel guilt over falling in love with one another as he is married to Lindy, who lovingly has been at his side every step of the way for his twenty-five years army career. Neither Clare nor Russ wants to hurt the kind caring Lindy, but they failed to hide their needs and finally he dropped the bomb on her. Linda (Lindy was that naive army spouse) is divorcing Russ and moving on symbolized by her buying her first cat.

However, her friend Meg Tracey, having not heard from Linda in a few days, visits the Van Alstyne farmstead only to find Linda murdered. State Police take over the investigation to insure there is no conflict of interest in the homicide investigation of a local officer's wife. The case seems obvious: a disaffected uncaring husband eliminated his unwanted wife to be with his paramour. Adding to that theory is the Archdiocese has assigned a permanent deacon to "assist" meaning watch over Reverend Fergusson. Clare and Russ share culpability, but not that of the murder as the Episcopalian Church comes down on her for her transgression and the law on both of them while the townsfolk condemn the duo as much for betraying Linda and their positions as for believing they killed her.

This reprint of a 2006 Fergusson-Van Alstyne investigative tale takes a personal spin with the death of Lindy as Clare and Russ feel anguish over what happened to her. The story line is filled with twists and turns that will shock readers yet seems plausible as Julia Spencer-Fleming is at her best with this terrific thriller. This is must reading for series fans while newcomers will find this tale a delightful standalone yet enhanced by reading previous novels (see OUT OF THE DEEP I CRY) to gain a tastier flavor of the triangle.

The Office Of Mercy
Ariel Djanikian
Viking Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9780670025862, $14.99

Three centuries ago in reaction to Malthus proven right by 59 billion residents, domed biospheres like America-Five were created. Soon after those who went inside, the Alpha release the Storm that causes pandemic destruction reducing the planet's population to a few hundred thousand and making the surface hostile. Inside, there is abundance. To achieve their merciful vision of World Peace, Eternal Life, and All Suffering Ended, America Five established the Office of Mercy. Their mission to perform mercy killing sweeps of the starving tribes just outside their dome in order to end the suffering of these plighted poor souls.

Twentyish Citizen Natasha Wiley an Epsilon is assigned to the Office of Mercy as a tracker of the tribes who venture within fifty miles of the dome. Her boss and love interest Jeffrey a Gamma assigns her to reset monitoring sensors on her first venture outside the dome while reminding her that the key to stepping outside is to adhere to the Ethics Code especially no rapport with the tribes. However, her trek outside the dome does not go according to procedure.

This futuristic dystopian thriller is an exciting plausible tale in which the heroine finds the beliefs that she and all of Epsilon and those Generations before them has grown up with contain false premises (sort of like learning the Ten Commandments were a Genesis hoax). Somewhat a coming of age story inside a somewhat muted action storyline, readers will appreciate the 1984 logic of the America Five's "burden" of saving the external masses by mass mercy murders.

The Goddess Inheritance
Aimee Carter
Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373210671, $9.99

Kate Winters spent the nine months of her pregnancy in captivity. For most of her incarceration, her beloved Henry was led astray by Walter and Ava to believe Kate accompanied James searching for the missing Rhea. Kate believes her Henry finally knows the truth re her fate. Everyone seemingly wants the unborn as perhaps the most powerful being ever since Cronus the Titan claims the fetus is his (though Henry sired the child) and the Queen of the Gods Calliope makes sacrificial plans for Kate's baby once born.

Kate knows she can do nothing against either super God as Calliope takes away her newborn Milo. Cronus offers her a deal he knows that she cannot refuse. He will spare her and her newborn Milo and limit human collateral damage in the war of the gods if she pledges her total loyalty to him. She understands the cost of committing to Cronus means Henry, her mother and the Gods will die; failure to pledge means Milo is gone forever and she, much of mankind and her loved ones will probably die.

The final Goddess Test urban fantasy (see the Goddess Test and Goddess, Interrupted) is a strong twisting ending to a fabulous series as a distraught Kate finds herself caught between the love of her family and saving the world by self-sacrifice. Fast-paced and loaded with action, fans of the trilogy will enjoy the final confrontation though they will question Kate's terrible decisions even factoring in the protagonist's Olympus levels of stress and depression. Still Aimee Carter provides an engaging end to an entertaining thriller.

All He Ever Desired
Shannon Stacey
Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373777563, $7.99

After graduating from college, Ryan Kowalski fled his hometown of Whitford, Maine when the love of his life Lauren married his best friend Dean Carpenter. The couple divorced eight years ago after she caught him cheating; their sixteen year old son Nick lives with Lauren who works as the office assistant at Demarest Insurance.

After years away from town, Ryan returns to help his family renovate their Northern Star Lodge. When he catches teenager Nick vandalizing Kowalski property, Ryan must confront the woman he loved and lost. They agree to allow Nick working for Ryan to pay for the damage he caused. Both remain attracted to one another, but each is wary of a relationship. At the wedding of his brother Mitch and Paige (All He Ever Needed), she takes the risky first step.

The latest "Killer" Kowalski contemporary romance (see Yours To Keep and Exclusively Yours) is an enjoyable third chance at love tale (he unsuccessfully tried to persuade her to take her then infant and go away with him). The storyline is the usual warm madcap mania as the extended Kowalski brood celebrates a wedding in their boisterous style. However, the key to this entertaining entry is the pace as Ryan and Lauren take their time to regain trust and faith in love.

The Best Man
Kristan Higgins
Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373777921, $7.99

In Manningsport, New York, high school sweethearts Faith Holland and Jeremy Lyon are engaged. As the wedding nears, he jilts her when he realizes he is gay. Shook up by her fiance's revelation, Faith left town heartbroken and feeling betrayed though in lucid less emotional moments she knows she owes thanks to Jeremy for ending their relationship before they said I do. Still she trusts no man with Jeremy's Best Man Levi Cooper the subject of her biggest scorn for failing to tell her that her fiance was gay; using background checks that would make FBI agents envious, Faith has no faith in any man.

Several years after she left her Upstate New York town, Faith comes home to a dysfunctional family. Making matters worse for Faith is that she loathes her attraction to Levi, the town's Police chief. He feels the same way as he wanted her when she was dating his best friend. Both are wary to take a chance as he brought back his Afghan war experience as a wounded warrior and she struggles to move passed the betrayal.

This is a fun madcap romance filled with plenty of feelings as the protagonists suffer from carrying differing emotional baggage. Although the fully developed support cast (especially Jeremy and Faith's family including her leg-humping canine) adds overall depth, they also impede the prime romantic storyline. Still fans will enjoy the love story of the jilted bride and The Best Man.

What She Saw
Rachel Lee
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373278138, $5.50

College student Haley Martin works as a waitress at a truck stop. She fantasizes about a consistent customer whose shirt says Devlin. Ray Liston, who she knew in high school, stops for coffee. Soon after he leaves to drive his rig, Deputies Micah Parish and Sarah Ironheart arrive to ask questions about Liston; which Haley answers without hesitation that he seemed fine to her. Ten miles from the truck stop, Liston drive his rig off the road and died.

Former MP, truck driver Buck Devlin investigates the death and other odd events impacting his firm. Already attracted to the college student, he fears her chatting with Liston places her in danger as a "loose end". To keep her safe and besides which he needs her help to uncover the truth, he asks for her assistance by pretending to be lovers.

The latest Conrad County: The Next Generation (see Rancher's Deadly Risk) is a taut romantic suspense thriller due to the super protagonists. Fast-paced from the moment the deputies enter the truck stop and filled with twists while never slowing down, readers will appreciate Rachel Lee's interesting investigative romance.

Operation Reunion
Justine Davis
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373278152, $5.50

Chad Tucker vanished just after the murder of his parents over a decade ago. The two intertwined cases have gone cold, but Chad's sister Kayla continues to search for her sibling. Her obsession has driven friends and family away, including her beloved Dane Burdette. He believes she is throwing away her life on the delusion that her brother is innocent and is tired of coming in a distant second to her all-encompassing quest.

At a time when she has run out of ideas, Kayla and Cutter meet. The Belgian canine escorts the distraught woman to Quinn Foxworth and Hayley Cole (see Operation Midnight). They and their team take on clients like Kayla with no one else to turn to for help. While Dane remains doubtful, but nearby, Cutter and his humans replenish Kayla's hope.

This Cutter's Code entry is an entertaining romantic suspense that affirms the W.C. Field's comment "Never work with animals or children" as the delightful daring dog steals the show from the two pairs of couples. Fast-paced, Operation Reunion is an engaging story as fans will conclude that the canine knows best.

How To Catch A Prince
Leanne Banks
Harlequin Special Edition
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373657292, $5.25

Sophie Taylor argues with her boss Max Carter that he should meet his royal family and is previously unknown sister Coco Jordan (see A Home for Nobody's Princess); both offspring of Prince Edward of Chantaine. Unimpressed by the uproar, he insists he is too busy designing roads to visit his biological family at the Royal House of Devereaux even with his being in country on a project.

Still a reluctant Max listens to his assistant's advice and meets the royals. His regal half-sisters know that their new sibling and his assistant are in love with each other though they also conclude he is in denial and she gave up on his inability to commit. Thus the royals play matchmaker.

The latest Royal Babies (see The Princess and the Outlaw) is an entertaining contemporary romance. The relationship premise between the protagonists has been used frequently (see the movie The Duchess of Idaho), but made fresh by the royals especially the matchmakers.

The Right Twin
Gina Wilkins
Harlequin Special Edition
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373657308, $5.25

Aaron Walker grew up as one of the "Terrible Trio" in Texas. His cousin Casey has recently married and set up a law practice in Tennessee (see The Texan's Tennessee Romance); his twin brother Andrew has become a successful private investigator. Only Aaron remains a "Terrible" one with debacles and screw-ups his norm.

Fleeing his family's condemnation of his latest fiasco, Aaron travels to the Bell Resort and Marina on Lake Livingston. He is stunned when a beautiful blond greets him with an enthusiastic hug. Shelby Bell mistook Aaron for Andrew who has helped her family. She persuades him to go undercover as her pretend boyfriend to catch a thief. However, quickly both acknowledge (to themselves) that they wish the modifier was dropped from boyfriend.

The latest Walker extended family romance contains a strong investigative mystery that enhances the changing relationship between the lead couple. Readers will enjoy when Aaron sets out to prove initially to himself but soon to his beloved that he is The Right Twin for her.

One Less Lonely Cowboy
Kathleen Eagle
Harlequin Special Edition
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373657278, $5.25

Thirteen years ago, Mike Reardon kicked his pregnant daughter Lily out of their home. Now with no money, the unemployed schoolteacher accompanied by her daughter Iris heads to her family Rocking R Ranch in Lowdown, Montana hoping her dad will allow her and his granddaughter to temporarily stay. Iris' plans to work as a substitute teacher until she and Iris can get a place to stay.

Day worker Jack McKenzie works on several of the ranches though recently he is spending most of his time helping his mentor Mike. A divorcee with two kids (Becky and Wade) living with his remarried ex, Jack has heard Mike proudly talk about Lily for years. At the ranch, Lily helps out with the chores; while she and Jack feel an immense attraction though both have doubts because they do not wanting to hurt an ailing Mike.

One Less Lonely Cowboy is an engaging warm romance with a second chance at family underlying premise. The lead couple and her family make for a tender Big Sky contemporary as a small family operation struggles to survive amidst the mega corporations.

Smooth Sailing
Lori Wilde
Harlequin Blaze
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373797462, $5.25

Affluent playboy Jeb Whitcomb spent a year in atonement to prove to his ex, marine biologist Ph.D. candidate Jackie Birchard; he earned a second chance with her. He spent one year of near celibacy while redeeming himself working on the rebuilding of St. Michael's Island in the Caribbean.

Instead he learns his Jackie is marrying Coast Guard Lieutenant Scott Everly in Key West in four days. Jeb reacts poorly as he desperately needs to stop the wedding unless he is the groom. Jeb sails to Key West only to find an angry nurse Haley French on board. Someone attending the bash he threw drugged her. As Mr. Shallow and Ms. Irate sail together, each struggles to ignore the desire that accompanies them on their sea cruise.

The second male obsessing over Stop the Wedding (see Night Driving for Jackie's half-brother Boone on land) of Birchard-Everly nuptials makes for another zany at sea romance starring two opposites falling in love. Character driven by the lead couple, fans will enjoy the changing relationship between the hedonist playboy and the dedicated nurse.

Katherine Garbera
Harlequin Blaze
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373797455, $5.25

San Diego based Sweet Dreams Bakery owner Staci Rowland meets New Orleans chef Remy Cruzel in the elevator just before they and others vie for slots on the Premier Chef reality TV show competition. The selecting committee teams up in pairs the contestants leading to the Cupcake Girl and the Cajun Chef arguing over who should lead whom. Each makes the cut.

As the contest continues on the air, the heated attraction between sweet and spice improves both their performances. Over the weeks of the show, Staci and Remy fall in love, but he conceals his wealth as the heir to his family's renowned Gastrophile Restaurant. When his beloved learns the truth, Remy fears she will dump him as trust in the kitchen means a lot to sweet Staci.

The Sweet Dreams sequel (see One More Kiss starring Staci's partner Alysse Dresden) is a lighthearted culinary competitive romance. Using a chef reality show contest is not a new device, but made fresh by the lead couple who turn sweet and spicy into a sizzling sexy story.

The Lieutenant By Her Side
Jean Thomas
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373278121, $5.50

In New Orleans the man informed fifth grade schoolteacher Clare Fuller that if she is to prove her sister Terry did not commit the murder she is accused of she will do his bidding. He explains she will steal an amulet from US Army Ranger Lieutenant Mark Griggs in exchange for the proof that her sibling is innocent. At the luxurious Pelican Hotel, Clare calling herself Nola cons the heroic soldier but feels guilty for doing so to a warrior recovering from a war injury obtained protecting a child from the Taliban.

However, before she escapes with the amulet, Mark catches her when engine trouble grounded the last ferry off the island. Contrite to his irritated, she tells him the truth. Mark agrees to help her learn what the hidden agenda of the blackmailer is. Though neither trusts the other with good reason, they head to New Orleans to investigate knowing they have nothing to offer to the police. Falling in love leaves both vulnerable.

The Lieutenant By Her Side is a taut investigative romantic suspense headed by the title hero and a beleaguered teacher. Fast-paced from the opening seduction and never slowing down until the final confrontation, readers will enjoy this tense thriller as Mark's Ranger DNA means protecting even someone he distrusts though to his chagrin desires.

The Alaskan Rescue
Dominque Burton
Harlequin American
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373754441, $5.25

Dr. Cole Stevens flies from Ketchikan to Marshall's Fishing Lodge And Resort on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska to attend to several sick guests. However, he becomes livid to learn that the owner Frank Marshall lied about the ailing individuals who instead of Kansans were foreign visitors; thankfully suffering from Strep and sea sickness, and not a virus. He stays the night and meets dancer Sashi "New York" Hansen who dreams of opening up a ballet studio in Alexandria, Virginia, but gruelingly works at Marshall's with three days of employment left here for her and her BFF anthropologist Kendra Knight. The dancer and the doctor spend the night together.

A few days later, a distraught pregnant Kendra runs outside at night after seeing the father of her unborn Freddy Marshall with another woman; Sashi follows her. A bear attacks them killing Kendra and injuring Sashi. When they are reported missing, Cole joins the rescue party that finds Sashi. As Cole and Sashi fall in love, his rage against Freddy and her guilt over Kendra keep them from emotionally healing.

The Alaskan backdrop enhances a strong contemporary romance. Character driven, fans will root for the doctor and the dancer to forge a healing tango built from their love.

My Cowboy Valentine
Jane Porter and Tanya Michaels
Harlequin American
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373754427, $5.25

"Be Mine, Cowboy" by Jane Porter. In Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas single mom Rachel James struggles to make a decent life as a baker for her and her autistic four and a half year old son Thomas. Five years ago, she left her beloved Cade King because he chose Jack Daniels over her. Sober, he wants a second chance with Rachel and a first chance with her child she says is not his offspring and who insists this stranger leave.

"Hill Country Cupid" by Tanya Michaels. Single dad Rick Calhoun arrives late to pick up his six years old daughter Bailey from her dance class. He likes the teacher Tess Fitzpatrick who notices the shy father eying Farrah Landon, the single mom of another student. Tess decides to help Rick with Farrah. However, Rick prefers his dating instructor.

These are two warm Texas Valentine Day romances starring wonderful protagonists with children complicating both relationships.

Hostage Midwife
Cassie Miles
Harlequin Intrigue
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373696697, $5.25

Midwife Kelly Evans left Austin where she practiced for three years due to an ugly divorce. She joins a practice in Valiant, Colorado when her friend Serena Bellows invites her though Kelly plans to stay for only a few months until she emotionally moves passed the divorce.

Kelley happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when architect Samuel Spencer dies, but not before he tells her his last words, which made no sense to her. The police believe Samuel committed suicide but his nephew Nick thinks otherwise especially after a loan shark tells him of a deal involving gold with his late uncle. While someone stalks Kelly, she teams up with Nick investigating what happened to Samuel and whether the family's wealth is in jeopardy. However, as she leads a Lamaze class, adversaries take her students hostage.

This is an exciting romantic suspense from the moment Kelly meets a dying Samuel until the final incredible climax. Action-packed, readers will relish the romance between the playboy and the midwife, but it is the taut intrigue that makes Cassie Miles' latest Midwife intrigue (see Montana Midwife and Mommy Midwife) a terrific thriller.

Dangerous Memories
Angi Morgan
Harlequin Intrigue
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373696734, $5.25

Two decades ago in St. Louis, Jolene Atkins was a child when she saw the murder of her mother Elaine, a lawyer, along with two U.S. Marshals. She suppressed the horrible memory and with her dad went into the Witness Protection Program; she became Emaline Frasier and he Dallas landscaper Robert Frasier.

In the present, Jo insists on burying her dad next to her mom in St. Louis after he died in a car accident. Attending the funeral is Denver-based U.S. Marshal Levi Cooper as a friend of her late father planning to keep Jo safe though he has no authority here. Shots aimed at killing Jo just miss. Levi hustles her from the cemetery and begins an odyssey to keep Jo from harm though she distrusts him for lying to her; he knows how she feels but would do it again as he promised her dad and his word means everything. Still with her repressed memory of her mom's murder slowly returning; someone persistently pursues them wanting her dead.

Although recovering repressed memories of a murder is not a new theme; Angi Morgan keeps it fresh with having her fans struggling to use the clues to identify the killer. Fast-paced from the opening funeral scene until the final confrontation, readers will appreciate Angi Morgan's dangerous cross-country road trip.

The Marshal's Witness
Lena Diaz
Harlequin Intrigue
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373696727, $5.25

In the White Plains Federal Courthouse, accountant Jessica Delaney testified against her former boss Richard DeGaullo, head of the most powerful New York crime family. To her shock and fear, one juror held out leading to a mistrial and placing Jessica in danger from his expected retaliation. She resentfully gives up family and friends to go into hiding under the Witness Protection Program while that monster is free.

U.S. Marshal Ryan Jackson detests Jessica for her felonious activity, but like the good soldier he was, the former Ranger, knowing the monster set a hit on Delaney, plans to keep her safe. When the nob stalks them, Ryan believes an agent inside the DOJ probably within WitSec feeds the enemy with information. Trusting no one including his boss Alex Trask except his brother in arms Stuart Lanier, Ryan escorts Jessica in isolated woodlands while the mob pursues them.

This is a fabulous WitSec romantic suspense with a great late twist that will stun readers because the clues are there. The chase storyline engages the audience, as mobsters diligently hunt the accountant and the Fed.

The Devil's Looking Glass
Mark Chadbourn
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616147006, $17.95

In 1593, Queen Elizabeth's inner most circle of powerbrokers are afraid of what will happen since black alchemist magician Dr. John Dee vanished in possession of a doomsday weapon of mass destruction, the obsidian mirror that if ignited will cause an inferno around the world. Complicating matters with Dee's disappearance is the magic defenses that prevent the Unseelie Court from devastating Elizabeth's England are collapsing as the evil enemy begins turning London into an ice age.

Top operative Will Swyfte and his allies (Carpenter, Strangewayes, and Robert) are assigned to find and bring back to London Dee and the mirror. However, when Will obtains the obsidian mirror, he also learns this magical looking glass might help him solve the haunting mystery of what happened to his beloved missing Jenny abducted by the Fey over a decade ago. Delaying for a personal obsession means the sun will no long rise over England; so outing aside his compulsion to take care of his need, Will pursues Dee into the heart of the Unseelie Court in the New World's Great Satan.

The third Sword of Albion Elizabethan Era fantasy (see The Scar-Crow Men and The Silver Skull) is an exciting action-packed thriller that once again effortlessly blends the paranormal with the historical. Though some of the key support players seem off their A game, the storyline is fast-paced from the moment Dee thinks with his lower head and never slows down. Readers will enjoy The Devil's Looking Glass as Will faces a devilish opportunity cost between attempting to save his Jenny and attempting to save his country.

Crimson Rain
Jaye Roycraft
ImaJinn Books
PO Box 74274
Phoenix, AZ 85087-1004
9781610261067, $14.00

Dens telepathic exile Rayn DeStar and Interplanetary Investigation Bureau agent telepath Mondina "Dina" Marlijn met in their dreams before they joined forces in person to prevent a calamity (see Rainscape). She went home to Glacia to tell her father she found her mate and on probation he went home to B'harata for the first time in twenty years. Their plan was for her to join him on his planet as he is not allowed to leave B'harata.

However, raider Alecto Kylariz and his Roven first mate Sandy Sanjan take the Palladia whose most valuable cargo is Dina. They flee with her as a prisoner as Kyl plans to use "Hellfire" to force the hand of his despised enemy Dhagaz. However, instead they run into problems with Synergy's Space Division forcing Kyl and Dina to leave his ship the Tisiphone using the smaller vessel Megaera to escape. Another raider Vaizya attacks the Megaera, but Kyl lands them safely on Ror, a hellhole.

Meanwhile Rayn whose cousin Cyonne and her mate Sage welcome him, but his brother Ryol D'Anthara still holds him culpable with what happened two decades ago to their late sibling. When Rayn learns Dina has been abducted, with the help of Sage, he ignores the rules of his probation to rescue his beloved.

The second Rain science fiction tale is an engaging outer space thriller that rotates leads between the two star-crossed telepathic lovers. The Dina subplot is more exhilarating especially in the first half than the intriguing insight into Rayn's culture, but the latter goes into hyperspeed once the rescue attempt begins. Readers will enjoy the triangle between Kyl, his Hellfire and her telepath.

Angel Of Syn
Mertianna Georgia
ImaJinn Books
PO Box 74274
Phoenix, AZ 85087-1004
9781610261180, $14.00

The authorities declare Cara Augustine the Synemancer a criminal for committing the capital offence of "enslaving" Tom the werewolf. Her explanation that his becoming her familiar was an accidental by-product of her recently discovered power is no excuse under the law (see Syn In The City).

The Portalkind cops pursue the witch who hides in Beverly Hills; while she deals with a horde of males; many obsess over her binding them to her or want to bind her to them. Besides Tom, bodyguard Azrael the angel of death (assigned by her parents after a sub-demon attack on Cara) wants her. Etiene the werewolf challenges Tom for her though their Alpha Bart banished the familiar from the pack. Tom persuades her to accompany him to Santa Lacuna where his former pack is in trouble although she does not want to go there as her mentor Paul the wizard died saving her life. Finally Roman the Nightkind demands she marry him immediately. While protestors curse Cara for mistreating Tom as an animal (by making him her familiar) not a person who shifts, she and her retinue end up in the Garden of Eden where they find hell not heaven.

The second Cara Augustine urban fantasy is a fun fast-paced tale as the heroine's male bonding problems continue unabated. The storyline is fast-paced from the moment Cara returns to Santa Lacuna and never slows down especially when they enter "paradise". Although the protagonist does not seem to have grown from her coming of age debut as her lack of confidence remains tropospheric in spite of her head to head with Texcatlopoca in San Francisco (see Syn In The City), fans will enjoy visiting the Georgian paranormal realm.

The Love Of My Other Life
Traci L. Slatton
Parvati Press
9780984672622, $14.99,

Divorcee Tessa Barnum wonders what next will befall her as her already shaky world seems in the final stages of implosion. An artist who has not painted in three years while never having a showing, she struggles with paying her rent and buying groceries.

On another earth, brilliant scientist-mathematician Professor Brian Tennyson teaches at Yale though he prefers baseball. He pursued the love of his life Tessa Barnum the cello player who was his age as a student in his Calculus class. When he tests his decoherence theory based on quantum chromodynamics, Brian lands in a parallel universe in which the divorced Tessa Barnum is a failed artist.

This is an entertaining romantic science fiction frolic with a powerful philosophical theme of swing the bat even though you may strike out. Brian is a fun genius whose physics humor and Star Trek trivia add depth to his travelogue. Tessa is a bit more complicated as she struggles to get back into playing the game after making bad decisions in her life. Readers will enjoy their changing relationship as love proves to be the most powerful force in the Slatton multi-universe.

Harriet Klausner
Senior Reviewer

Laurel's Bookshelf

Michael Corrigan
Virtual Bookworm
P.O. Box 9949
College Station TX 77842

Of all author Corrigan's characters, the fictional Michael Mulligan has been the most fascinating. Born of Irish gypsies, adopted by Tyrone Mulligan, our Oxford educated hero becomes an Irish freedom fighter, stable boy, U.S. cavalry officer and theatre producer throughout a long, eventful life.

At age ten, Michael Dunne finds refuge with Tyrone Mulligan's theatrical group after an Irish landowner kills his gypsy father. He vows revenge on the landowner - Nathaniel Burke - but vengeance has to wait until Michael reaches manhood. By age 20, Michael has become a respected trainer who can calm or cure ailing, skittish horses. Lord Nathaniel Burke hires Michael to manage his stables during the potato famine. Burke is a detestable man, married to a beautiful young wife. Lady Maria Burke falls in love with the intriguing horse trainer and escapes to America with Mulligan, leaving wealth and privilege behind. Mulligan's joy turns to sorrow when Maria dies of ship's fever before reaching shore. After burying Maria, he joins a wagon train heading west.

Michael loves the rough, heady atmosphere of San Francisco. He befriends actor Edwin Booth, manages theatrical productions, and marries Emily O'Rourke. Michael loses her as he did his first love when Emily dies giving birth to a son. When their son John is five years old, Michael leaves him in the care of friends to fight for the Union Army.

The Civil War is a nightmare slaughter of men and horses on blood soaked ground in God forsaken places. The war leaves Michael soul-sick and he flounders in the chaos that follows war's end. He's too world weary and haunted to return to his son in San Francisco, so wanders aimlessly until he meets his old friend, Edwin Booth. Booth's brother has assassinated the beloved President Lincoln, so both men are haunted by actions beyond their control.

When Michael finally returns to San Francisco and the son he hasn't seen for nine years, the reunion is touching and awkward. Finally, Michael finds release from his nightmares in opium dens. He's far gone in opium addiction when the father of an old friend rescues him. A period of peace follows until John enlists in the cavalry at age 20, bound for General Custer's Indian campaign. Michael fears his son will die in the Indian Wars because of Custer's reckless nature, so sets out to separate John from Custer's campaign. Sheer Irish luck leads him to the frozen prairies of North Dakota and the means of saving John from dying with Custer's regiment.

Mulligan is an exciting, thoroughly engrossing read about a fascinating man who survives a ghastly history. The author transports readers back in time, from Ireland to America to England and back to Ireland but does not romanticize the Irish famine, the Irish and American Civil Wars, or the military blunders that expedited the Indian uprisings. The slaughters are tragically realistic, the sorrows heart rending, and the final vengeance of a haunted Michael Mulligan insufficient to offset his losses. Corrigan is a gifted wordsmith and this book is highly recommended.

Wood Smoke and Old Indians
C.H. Foertmeyer
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
97811482396652, $7.99

I enjoy books about everyday humans encountering mysterious, convoluted, unexplainable developments that can't be explained away by logic. And if that book features Native American characters, I'm hooked. Foertmeyer is one of my favorite writers because he spins mysterious, imaginative scenarios that pique my curiosity.

Rhys Carter is a best-selling author living his dream in an isolated cabin surrounded by a 200-acre beech forest in New Hampshire. His books blend fantasy and reality in ways readers love, but Carter's vivid imagination has dried up. The words no longer flow freely, so he distracts himself with a walk in his peaceful beech forest. What he finds surpasses any fantasy novel he ever wrote. He smells smoke and follows the scent into a small stand of spruce trees that - as far as he knows - never existed on his property before. The spruce trees increase in number as he walks, until they become a huge, silent place without the usual sounds of forest animals. He encounters Jacob Miller, who thinks he's on his land in North Dakota; Chandler Halverson, an Apache who thinks he's in New Mexico; a dead FBI agent from Miami; and Gage Wolf, a Cherokee from Georgia who is much more than he seems to be. The men soon learn they're no longer in their home states and that the spruce forest is a magical and dangerous place. What is the forest's purpose, where did it come from, and why where they chosen to explore it?

The answer is frightening and can only be revealed if they find the Ring of Wisdom and defeat the evil demons stalking everyone who enters the spruce forest. Thousands of lives could be lost in the real world if Carter and his fellow travelers fail. Will Native American magic and good men prevail over evil? You'll have to read the book to find out because I'll share no more plot points in this review. If you enjoy imaginative, fanciful mysteries, give this one a try.

Laurel Johnson
Senior Reviewer

Lorraine's Bookshelf

Grab It
Vince Lauria
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Road -515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478714477 $11.95

"Grab It" is a guide to the seven major modal scales for non-music major/guitarists, presented as the golden key to unlock a world of complex music theory without years of painful study. "Grab It" is part of a series by the same name for interested but unschooled musicians. Designed and presented in a USE-NOW FORMAT, "Grab It" contains all the basic information about the seven major scale modes, including steps, notes, scale formulas including step patterns, chords, and chord progressions, for piano or guitar. The seven major modes include Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian, beginning on C, D, E, F, G, A, and B, respectively. "Grab It" can be a tool to unlock musical creative potential and expression.

All Things Necessary: A Practical Guide for Episcopal Church Musicians
Marti Rideout, author
Church Publishing, Inc.
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780898696523 $24.00

"All Things Necessary" is a compendium of sources and suggestions for Episcopal Church musicians for planning different musical components of the cycle of liturgies of the Episcopal (Christian Church) Year. This helpful guide presents much crucial underlying information about the planning of appropriate music for specific Episcopal Church services. Written by an experienced Episcopal church organist, the book is offered as a help to all church (especially Episcopalian, or Anglican tradition) musicians, organists, choir, and clergy who desire to improve their celebration of faith through music with proper attention to "all things necessary," a phrase with significant history in the Episcopal Church, according to Marilyn L. Haskel, Program Manager for Liturgical Arts and New Initiatives and Cantor, St. Paul's Chapel. It is described as a phrase used in liturgical forms for consecrating bishops and ordering priests and deacons since 1571. Describing the usefulness of "All Things Necessary," Cantor Haskel asks, "Can you be a church musician without the information in this book? Yes, but you will be a better one if you read, mark, and inwardly digest 'All Things Necessary.'" Included is much succinct summary of the Book of Common Prayer and its historical place in the Episcopal and Anglican traditions, plus chapters on hymns and hymnal supplements, music and music ministry, rubrics and liturgy rules, music for daily offices, psalms and psalm settings, music for the Holy Eucharist and sacraments, music and liturgical planning, and coda, plus bibliography. Chapters are introduced with appropriate Psalm quotations. A highly useful and interesting glossary of terms is titled Terms and Definitions - and Episcopal Perspective, organized alphabetically under specific section such as church structure and government, Clergy and Lay participants, The Book of Common Prayer and Liturgical Terms, etc. "All Things Necessary" is a valuable resource to not only Episcopal church musicians but also those who desire a fuller understanding of the practice of the faith, and musical expressions supporting that.

Top Christian Hits 2012-2013
Hal Leonard corporation
7777 W. Bluemound Rd.
P.O. Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213
9781480309227 $16.99

"Top Christian Hits 2012-2013" is an excellent anthology of piano/vocal/guitar arrangements of pop hits of Christian vocal solos. Including such songs as All this Time, Carry Me To the Cross, Forgiveness, The Hurt and the Healer, Jesus, Friend of Sinners, Me Without You, My Hope is In You, When the Stars Burn Down (Blessings and Honor), Where I Belong, and Whom Shall I Fear, this is a fabulous collection representative of the best in pop vocal Christian music. Piano arrangements are complete, sophisticated, and complex. Artists and groups represented include Matthew West, MercyMe, Sidewalk Prophets, tobyMac, Jason Gray, Chris Tomlin, and many more. This collection is invaluable to the vocal leadership of contemporary Christian worship.

Children's Mandolin Method
William Bay, author
Mel Bay
9780786684298 $17.99

"Children's Mandolin Method" is an instructional book and CD for children age 9 and up who are learning to play mandolin. It includes large print chapters on tuning and holding the mandolin, as well as how to read chord diagrams and key signatures. Instructions for strumming and learning notes are both in written and diagram format and also demonstrated on the Cd. After the instructional part of the manual, consisting of theory subjects, demo songs, and CD references, there are additional five pages of bonus solo songs for young performers. The "Children's Mandolin Method" is an excellent juvenile instruction manual, and is recommended for young musicians with some experienced guidance and demonstration. Another recommended title from the same publisher on advanced guitar independent compositions is "Travis Reuter: Compositions, by Travis Reuter (9780786684403, $19.99), for advanced solo guitarists and other instruments.

2 Wives 2 Laws
James C. "Jim" Robinson, author
Xlibris Corporation
1663 South Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781479756063 $23.99

"2 Wives 2 Laws: A Story of Mormon Polygamy" is balanced presentation of life and circumstances for the polygamous great- grandparents of the author in Utah Territory during the persecution of polygamous Mormons in the late 1880's. Tracing events in the lives of Richard, Kara, and Margaret Connell, up until Richard's death from being shot by U. S; Deputy Marshal William Alden while attempting to evade being arrested for "cohabitation." This martyrdom takes on a complex, shadowed stature when viewed through modern perspectives. Historic referenced and related incidents are woven into the rich tapestry of this recent chapter of religious intolerance in U. S. history. Richard Connell emerges as a man who only sought to uphold his faith and care for his family while also meeting his responsibilities in obeying two laws in conflict, one terrestrial and one ecclesiastical. "2 Wives 2 Laws" is a fascinating examination of not only the large theoretical issues of polygamy, but also the mundane casual details of ordinary daily life in a typical Mormon family of the era. The theme of the sisterhood of wives in polygamous families is sensitively reviewed and explored. "2 Wives 2 Laws" is unflinchingly honest in its treatment of the life and death issues faced by Mormon pioneers who tried to uphold their interpretation of the law according to their religious beliefs.

Nancy Lorraine
Senior Reviewer

Micah's Bookshelf

Flirting With the Uninterested
Maria Ferrante-Schepis & G. Michael Maddock
Advantage Media Group
c/o News & Experts (publicity)
9781599323695, $25.99,

The insurance industry is a curious one, but one that is stagnant. "Flirting with the Uninterested: Innovating in a Sold, Not Bought Category" is a discussion of the modern insurance industry from Maria Ferrante-Schepis & G. Michael Maddock as the discuss the future of the insurance industry and what can be done to improve and enhance it, noting the industry is ripe for innovative practices if there are those willing to take a risk and change the ways things are done. A fascinating look into insurance and how it's handled, "Flirting with the Uninterested" is an enticing analysis of modern insurance, much recommended.

Susan May Warren
Summerside Press
9781609367718, $14.99,

We can have everything, and then nothing, so much closer together than we think. "Duchess" is the third book in Susan May Warren's Daughters of Fortune Series, this time following Golden Age starlet Roxy Price as she loses everything about her that gained her fame. With nowhere to turn, she becomes enraptured by a Duke who may rescue her from her dilemma...but with trouble looming in Europe, Roxy has much to consider before accepting his hand. "Duchess" is an exciting twist of romance and drama set amongst the Stock Market Crash and the murmurs of World War II, highly recommended.

I. V. Mazzoleni
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9780595430574, $21.95,

For the success we seek, we often work with people we would random not. "Libretto" is a novel of the drive to succeed from I. V. Mazzoleni, following young Jessica St. James as she chases her dreams of being an international renown opera singer, and the constant obstacles that sit in her way and her path to success. A riveting novel of the cutthroat world of opera, "Libretto" is an exciting and recommended addition to fiction collections with a focus on the arts.

Muhammad Anwar Ebad Baig
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477250303, $18.25,

Pakistan has had a rocky history in the fifty years since its inception. "Pakistan: Time for Change" discusses the plight that the state has had since its creation in 1947 following World War II, as a separate entity from the state of India. In the following decades, it has had some leadership issues and a very militaristic view of the world and a troubling relationship with the Muslim faith. "Pakistan: Time for Change" is a strong look into the issues of the country and what can be done to assist it from Muhammad Anwar Ebad Baig, very much recommended reading that shouldn't be overlooked.

Fat Loss Revolution
Paula Owens
Privately Published
9780615654201, $24.95,

Good health takes hard work, but you can put yourself on the right track in under three months. "Fat Loss Revolution: 12 Weeks to a Hot'n Healthy Body at Any Age" discusses how to improve one's general health and encourage better overall health through better dietary decisions and encourage long term fat loss and fitness that can last a life time. With illustrations, exercise programs and more, "Fat Loss Revolution" is well worth considering for health and wellness collections.

Work Toward Reward
Chia-Li Chien
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475949056, $29.97,

There should always be a clear result of one's efforts. "Work Toward Reward" is an inspirational read as Chia-Li Chien encourages readers and business leaders to understand the fruits of their labor, why they keep at it, and cope with the pressures of success or lack there of. "Work Toward Reward" is driven and inspirational advice on how to greatly improve one's business through efficiency, desire to succeed, and how a good business can create a great community, highly recommended.

Bringing Home the War
Theresa Brandt
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478719564, $12.95,

War wreaks havoc on the lives of all of those connected with the conflict. "Bringing Home the War" is a memoir of facing the pains of conflict and what it brings home, as Theresa Brandt tells the tale of being a military wife in these chaotic times and through the War on Terror, the very dark side of coming home injured. "Bringing Home the War" is a moving read, bringing a personal face to the conflict many people face.

Molecules and Women
Paola Giorgio
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475949940, $18.95,

Our stories are different, yet so much the same. "Molecules and Women" is a collection of fifteen linked short stories as Paola Giorgio presents the experiences of these women, and their struggles, and the union of sisterhood they can feel throughout the world. "Molecules and Women" is a driven read of life's dilemmas and the bonds we share facing them, sure to speak to many a reader. Highly recommended.

The Five Sources of Human Hope
Alphonsus Obayuwana
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781462021895, $14.95,

Hope is the reason to keep going even against all common sense. "The Five Sources of Human Hope: Mirror of Our Humanity" is an inspirational read from Alphonsus Obayuwana, as he seeks to offer inspiration and the root of hope, how to find them and realize it beyond a loose word that gives us the courage to carry on with our lives. With plenty of humor and wisdom, "The Five Sources of Human Hope" is a strong addition to motivational collections.

A New Beginning for Humankind
R. B. Herath
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475939521, $19.95,

Nuclear war is a nightmare of so many. "A New Beginning for Humankind: A Recipe for Lasting Peace on Earth" discusses the threat of nuclear war and what people can do to avert this looming crisis and help us all better deal with the weight of this threat against us, and ensure a lasting peace for years to come for mankind, fighting the very habits that promote conflict. "A New Beginning for Humankind" is worth considering for social issues collections.

Micah Andrew

Richard's Bookshelf

She That Remains
Anne Irgens Vandermolen
L. J. Parrish Press
217 - 1st Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
9780985742508, $14.95

Private Research - An Unscrupulous Physician - Secrecy, Power, and Greed

In her novel "She That Remains" Anne Irgens Vandermolen skillfully melds well researched, complex, widely accepted, and established scientific fact with the fictional elements of intrigue, suspense and romance. She takes the use of and creativity of the "What If - Question" to new levels of imaginative, unexpected plot twists.

Young, beautiful, and highly motivated Katherine Wood was on her way to a successful career on Wall Street. Her plans were interrupted when she was diagnosed to have an aggressive brain cancer. After she received recommendation from doctors at the University of Michigan, Katherine contacted the Boerma Medical Center, a division of the New World Research Corporation in Boston for another opinion.

In a contractual commitment to the program Katherine submits herself to the care of Dr. Roman Czensky, researcher and neurosurgeon. Katherine is diagnosed to have an invasive glioblastoma. The right hemisphere of her brain is surgically replaced with that of Joan Gianelli, a young woman trying to escape a world of sexual exploitation. This procedure conjoins the lives of the two young women in a dramatic story of conflict, stark realism, sexual tension, corporate corruption, and deceptive governance.

I found myself deeply engrossed in the story line with a haunting sense of suspense dangerously approaching a disastrous precipice. Anne's dialog is stimulating; her characters are well developed and believable.

Vandermolen's meticulous research and creative imagination combine to make "She That Remains" a significant contribution to the genre of medical thriller.

The Redemption of An African Warlord:
The Joshua Blahyi Story: A Modern Day Conversion From Saul to Paul
Joshua Blahyi
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA, 17257-0310
97807684742076, $ 15.99

From the Evil Darkness of Satanic

Control to the Glorious Light and Freedom of New Life in Jesus Christ In "The Redemption of An African Warlord"

Joshua Blahyi begins by carefully developing the history background, and culture of the Sarpo-Krahn people, a warrior tribe who believed in conquest. As a child Joshua was trained to become a priest among his people; a people under the power and rule of Nyagheaweh, who was dominated by the devil and his demonic cohorts.

Within a short time Joshua Blahyi became the youngest and one of the most powerful warlords in Liberia. Empowered and motivated by demonic forces, he became feared for his reputation of terror, as he sacrificed men, women, and babies, and recruited children to fight with him. In a blinding light, similar to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to Joshua, with a message of repentance. Joshua changed his allegiance from demonic darkness to the light of Christ; received forgiveness, regeneration, and restoration. He is now a testimony of the Light of Jesus Christ reaching out with the message of hope and love, redemption and renewal.

Joshua story is remarkable, a powerful testimony of the grace and power of God to change a life, overcome bondage to Satan, and use him to bring the message of Christ's forgiveness and redemptive power to those "lost" in the darkness of evil in Liberia, Africa.

"The Redemption of An African Warlord: The Joshua Blahyi Story" will be of interest to everyone who has followed the troubled affairs of Africa, political, historical, and cultural. It will be of special interest to Christians with a prayer concern and World View of the expanding the Kingdom of God.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Possessing Your Healing
Kynan Bridges
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA 17257
9780768442045, $14.99

Principles of Scripture and the Reality of the Supernatural Healing

Kynan Bridges provides a Biblical foundation for divine healing in his book "Possessing Your Healing." From God's original design in Genesis chapter one to the blessed promise of Revelation twenty-two Bridges encourages the reader to possess their healing. Each of the fifteen chapters of the book is filled with powerful life changing, transformational teaching with mind renewal principles for releasing the supernatural power of God.

Kynan Bridges is articulate, a gifted communicator, and an anointed teacher. "Possessing Your Healing" has a message of healing, deliverance, or edification for every believer. Highly Recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

God Longs to Heal You: Free Your Body, Mind, and Spirit
T. D. Jakes
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9780768410105, $ 15.99

The Results of Brokenness and the Rewards of Renewal

In "God Longs to Heal You: Free Your Body, Mind, and Spirit" T. D. Jakes, bestselling author and pastor/founder of Potters' House is uncompromising in his message of the life changing power of God's forgiveness, freedom from fear, healing, and wholeness.

Pastor Jakes helps the reader understand the importance of an openness and honesty in relationships with God and man, as we recognize His unfathomable love. He encourages the Christian to experience the transformation and fellowship of the Christ of the Cross, personally, and to acknowledge this in worship and celebration.

T. D. Jakes writes with convincing authority on the significance of Christ's blood and the power of the cross in reconciling men to God. He writes with passion, spirit filled intellect, and heartfelt simplicity.

Each chapter is filled with practical pointers for meeting personal "struggles" met in daily living; friendships and relationships, conflict and the cross, as well as perseverance in prayer, and tenacity in purpose. Jakes challenges the church to exchange the comfort of the pew for the challenge of the brokenhearted, to exchange method for mission, and the sanctuary for the street.

Sound doctrine, profound application, and anointed preaching continue to be the trade mark of T. D. Jakes' writing. "God Longs to Heal You" is for everyone, the Christian layman, the sincere seeker, and the pastor or theologian.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Bullet Proof - Accessing the Favor and Protection of God in the Secret Place
Jeff Rostocil
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9780768442052, $15.99

Deliverance from a Life of Fear in Perilous Times

"Bullet Proof" helps the reader draw strength from the promises of Psalm 91. The pages of are filled with Biblical examples, edifying personal experiences, and verse by verse insights into the Psalm. Jeff Rentokil's remarkable imagery, and powerful word pictures allow the reader to personally visualize the promise of strength and deliverance from fear in these perilous times.

Rostocil introduces the elements that accompany the conditions of experiencing the full benefit of the secret place and the protection it provides. He explains the figurative interpretation, and the parallelisms of the Psalm; he carefully builds a historical background, explains the Messianic meaning, and the Hebrew approach to the scriptures. Other elements include the importance of prayer and fasting, surrender and consecration, humility and justice, as well as faithful obedience. He offers guidelines that challenge you to confidently thrive, be revived, and survive in the midst of turmoil, confusion, and evil in the world today.

Jeff is a gifted communicator, committed to his calling, firm in his belief, and passionate about his purpose. His writing is based on solid Biblical teaching and illuminating interpretation, designed to open a meaningful dialog on accessing the favor and protection of God.

Heaven & Hell - A Young Boy's Experience of Heaven and Hell
Retha and Aldo McPherson
Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9780768442083, $15.99

A Young Boy's Message from God - New Insights and Revelations into the Realities of Heaven and Hell

Aldo McPherson and Retha continue their story of faith in the book "Heaven and Hell." This is a sequel to the story told in the book "A Message from God." In an auto accident in 2004 Aldo was thrown from the car on impact: he was airlifted to the hospital; badly hurt with a head injury, which left him on the brink of death, and in a coma for over four weeks.

Co-Author Retha McPherson, Aldo's mother reiterates the early stages of Aldo's miraculous gift of life and her own faith story. In a beautiful heartfelt testimony she tells how she exchanged the rules, regulations, and traditions of religion for the reality of knowing Jesus personally, and how her life was transformed from a self-center-ego-centered controller, to a humbled, forgiven, child of God. She tells about the pain of grief and the promise of Aldo's recovery.

Retha relates how she and her husband Tinus followed the Lord's instruction to speak life into Aldo and of his road to recover. From a hospital bed, to a wheel chair, to playing soccer with his friends, Aldo's recovery continues. Faltering steps and a slow monotone speech pattern have not hampered Aldo's love for Jesus nor deterred his determination to deliver the message of heaven and hell given Him by Jesus during his visit in heaven. Aldo continues his journal writing with Holy Spirit inspired messages, prayer vigils with Jesus and a vision for bodily healing and an anointed ministry.

"A Young Boy's experience of Heaven and Hell" is an intense fast moving story of courage and triumph in the midst of life altering circumstances and the miraculous supernatural power of a living God.

Jewish Roots: Understanding Your Jewish Faith
Daniel Juster
Destiny Image Publisher, Inc.
P. O. Box 310
Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9780768442038, $17.99

Background and Theology and the Messianic Vision

"Jewish Roots: Understanding your Jewish Faith" is a scholarly critical revaluation of Rabbinic Judaism, its theological doctrines, its practices, and its government.. This is the fourth edition of Dr. Daniel Juster's work.

The need for this revised and update of "Jewish Roots: Understanding your Jewish Faith" is twofold: 1. There have been significant gains in the number of scholars that support Messianic Jewish theological positions. 2. The change in the concentration of Messianic Jewish movement from North America to the Russian speaking Jewish community extending through Russian community, western Europe, Israel, and Ethiopia.

Dr. Juster also discusses the eschatological meaning of the Biblical feasts of Israel the many interpretations and their future prophetic significance. He looks at the works of Dr. E. P. Sanders, Dr. Michael Brown, and R. Kendall Soulen in his analysis of Jewish background and interpretation. Additional helpful insights are gleaned from his consideration of the works of Markus Bochmuel, Peter Tomson, Bishop N. T. Wright, and Doulas Harink in a to introduce the reader to current thinking on uni-plural understanding.

As a result of his scholarly study of the Messiah his own Jewish roots, and the role of the church in Israel's salvation, Dr. Juster has gained recognition as a highly recognized authority on Biblical theology from a Jewish context.

"Jewish Roots: Understanding your Jewish Faith" is a fascinating study for the layman, the theologian, and anyone concerned about the destiny of the Jew and the destiny of the church.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Jumpstart your Leadership: 10 Jolts to Leverage Your Leadership
Shawn Doyle
Sound Wisdom
167 Walnut Bottom Road
Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9781937879204, $14.99

Ten Key Concepts that will Increase Leadership Effectiveness and Results

Popular speaker and leadership development expert Shawn Doyle CSP addresses leaders, mangers, and entrepreneurs in his book "Jumpstart your Leadership." He introduces the reader to 10 key principles or building blocks for improving leadership skills and leadership teams.

The reader friendly format includes a "nutshell" preview of each chapter, which are described as "jolts to jumpstarting your leadership." These are followed with chapters packed with concise, clearly stated, do-able tools and techniques for becoming the leader people want to follow.

Each chapter begins with a quote, citing sage advice for reflection, assimilation and implementation as well as for application and training. The material is presented in a natural progression beginning with a look at your mission and vision statement moving on to developing both a short-term and long-term plan. The next chapters cover team building, including: Guidelines for recruiting, developing and effecting training programs, and communication, creativity, motivation, and leadership skills. The concluding chapters deal with personal opportunities, and the importance of authenticity.

"Jumpstart your Leadership" is a fast moving quick read with potentially long term results and life changing implications. This is a book you will want to peruse, read carefully, study selectively, and refer to frequently.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Are You Living or Existing? - Nine Steps to Change Your Life
Kimanzi Constable
Sound Wisdom, 167 Walnut Bottom Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257-0310
9781937879242, $14.99

Inspiration for the Reader to Find Passion in Their Work

Kimanzi Constable challenges his reader to dream bigger, get fit, and get rid of negativity. "Are You Living or Existing? - Nine Steps to Change Your Life" sets forth a blueprint for making a radical life change using a nine step - nine month plan. Constable maintains that the first step begins with a change of attitude: an attitude built on the premise that "Life is too short; we can't just exist anymore, we have to live!" He helps the reader exchange an existence of living in fear of failure for a life where dreams are fulfilled.

The reader is invited to join Constable in a commitment to join him in pursuing nine common sense steps to radically change your life. His writing is easy to read, understand and apply. The beauty of the plan is that it is "Do-able." An emphasis on family involvement, increasing mind and intellect improvement, and increasing energy levels all add to the practical value of enjoying the change.

"Are You Living or Existing? - Nine Steps to Change Your Life" is a reminder that God put us on this planet with a plan and a purpose; a plan for moving beyond merely existing -- to experience a fulfilling life.

A copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Dylan's Song
P.M. Terrell
Drake Valley Press
Richmond, VA 23320
9781935970071, $16.95

A Magical Melding of Historical Fact and Mythical Magic

"Dylan's Song" is carefully crafted fiction; a melding of facts from the history of World Wars I and II are combined with Irish tradition, superstitions, folklore, and physic phenomena. Terrell skillfully introduces law enforcement procedures and the latest cutting edge technology in a "novel" formula - introducing Ground Penetrating Radar Systems/GPRS, satellites, computer simulation, and three dimensional animations with adrenaline pumping action, otherworldly evil, and suspense building terror.

P. M. Terrell picks up the story line where Secrets of a Dangerous Woman left off. Vicki Boyd, Dylan Maguire, and Brenda Carnegie are on a mission in Ireland. Dylan is assigned to rescue a CIA operative imprisoned in a myriad of tunnels beneath the ruins of an ancient castle.

Stimulating dialog, realism, attention to detail and a compelling writing style all add to Terrell's gift for drawing the reader into the intensity of a dramatic plot and an emotional involvement with her key characters; each facing unresolved personal issues, and secrets that impact their relationships with one another.

Terrell just keeps getting better. "Dylan's Song" is fourth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, her eighth suspense/thriller, with a promise of more to come. She is raising the standard of the genre of Psychic/Action and the Historical Suspense Thriller.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Rhyme and Reason
Nan Baker
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781479393862, $25.00

A Compilation of Commentary, Inspiration and Insight from the Writings and Artwork of the Masters

Nan Baker masterfully intertwines selections of her previously published works "Swan Song," and "Work, Work, Work" with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the poems of Emerson, Frost, Thoreau, Ibsen, and numerous others of the "greats" in her book "Rhyme and Reason."

Selections include poems and commentary with themes that elicit deep stirrings of justice, personal conviction, heartfelt empathy, and pathos. Nan writes with amazing insight into the nature of man, the character of God, and the disparity of the "great divide" between.

Baker unveils a spiritual understanding that transcends creeds, denominations, or sects. With a unique tongue in cheek humor she is able to illustrate the irrelevance of religious trifles that brings a smile of recognition to the self-righteous Pharisee or hypocrite alike.

I only wish that an introduction would have been included that gave a hint to the richness of the depth of the content and the purpose behind the inspiration that brought this book into being.

"Rhyme and Reason" is a book for lovers of literary writing, prose, poetry, or just plain common sense. It is a book for the tender hearted or the skeptic, for readers, writers, the clergy, or the politician. Reading "Rhyme and Reason" will work its way into your regular routine as a companion, a unique friend.

Richard R. Blake, Senior Reviewer

Shelley's Bookshelf

Double Play
Jen Estes
Camel Press
PO Box 70515
Seattle, WA 98127
9781603819411 $15.95

Jen Estes began her writing career as a baseball blogger, expanding to sports reporting two years later. She is a member of the National Writers Union, the Society of American Baseball Research, and Springfield Poets & Writers. DOUBLE PLAY is her third Cat McDaniel mystery.

In her newest Cat McDaniel mystery, we find Cat is engaged, has a great job working for the Buffalo Soldiers, and has a wonderful apartment with her fiance, Benji. She also has a good working relationship with another reporter, Spencer. Then, to muck up her perfect life, her half-brother Quinn decides to make an appearance:

"Quinn let his duffel bag slide off his shoulder onto the carpet and propped the bat against the sofa. He twirled his helmet around and plunked it atop the bat. Then he plopped down on the couch, kicking his black Red Wings up on the glass coffee table.

Cat pointed at his bag in disbelief. 'How did you get up here carrying all That?'

Quinn flashed his reddened palms at her. 'Climbed the rusty fire escape. Now are you going to introduce me to my soon-to-be-bro-in-law or what?'"

The Soldiers are going into the playoffs. Brother Quinn quickly ingratiates himself with enough of the team to invite them to Cat's place for poker (she and Benji are asleep), and one of their stars falls (or is pushed) off her balcony. He isn't killed, but the rest of his season is shot. Fans blame Cat, and then she is forced to investigate. The deeper she goes, the worse it gets. Greedy ballplayers, owners, gamesters, all abound. Brother Quinn seems to be in the middle. What's a girl to do? As usual, Cat's pluck and intelligence switch into gear for a thoroughly entertaining whodunit.

A Rendezvous to Die for
Betty McMahon
Lulu Publishing
3101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781257931323 $15.98

Betty McMahon earned her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and never looked back. She has been an award-winning journalist and short-story writer for the past thirty years. A RENDEZVOUS TO DIE FOR is her first mystery.

Cassandra Cassidy is a New York native who grew up in a series of foster homes. She makes a sane move to Minnesota, and discovers a lovely little town where she feels comfortable setting herself up as a photographer. She is beginning to build her business and takes a job on a nearby reservation, where reenactment enthusiasts are gathered for a variety of activities, including "hawk" (tomahawk) throwing. The trouble is, Cassandra has a run in with a fellow journalist, Eric Hatfield, for all to see and hear. She later finds his dead body, courtesy a hawk in the back of the head, in a nearby sweat lodge, casting suspicion of the small town cops in her direction:

"I backed up and swung my head in every direction to examine my surroundings. Not a single leaf on any tree stirred. I saw no one.

It was unbelievably quiet. I shivered, knowing I was utterly alone.

'What should I do? Maybe my imagination has gone wild.' Slowly I turned to take another look. 'God, no!' I thought. 'It ...can't be.'

But it was. The main by the fire pit was Eric Hatfield. A very dead Eric Hatfield. And a familiar weapon was buried deep into the Base of his skull."

McMahon's first effort is a professionally crafted effort. Cassandra Cassidy makes a terrific elementary investigator, driven into the role by circumstances well beyond her control. She is young, attractive, smart, and can't trust anyone. McMahon's detailed description of both the Minnesota countryside and the reenactment culture show thorough research, and her killer remains well hidden until the last moment.

Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer

Shirley's Bookshelf

Revealing Heaven Book Two
Kat Kerr
Illustrated by Walter Reynolds
Xulon Press
2301 Lucien Way, Suite 415
Maitland, FL 32751
9781609578633, $14.95

I had the pleasure of reading Book One of Revealing Heaven and it truly encouraged me. I was excited to begin Book Two and believe me I was not disappointed. Inside the pages of this book I again found out about some of the wonder of the mansions prepared for those who have loved and served the Lord. Amazing. I telling of where the precious babies are that were either unwanted to lost before birth will truly pull at your heartstrings. What an amazing God we serve, but I have to tell you to find out my beloved pets who I have lost and loved will be waiting for me there brought me to tears. I always knew that God would care for what I loved, but to hear it from someone who has been there sealed the deal as far as I was concerned with this matter. Thank You God.

Listen, there is so much in this read that will truly bless you. Life can be a challenge, but if you read this book you will be filled with excitement and encouragement of what awaits those who have loved and served the Savior. Every page is packed full of exciting news of your soon to be home, and yes, its all good. You also will learn what is soon to happen upon the earth, I found that to be very encouraging. This is a must read for all Christians. The words in this book will uplift you and encourage you as you live your daily life. Accepting and following Jesus is the only way to go, don't miss out. Another work by Kat Kerr that is truly kissed by God.

The Blurs
Julie Affleck
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
97814700068363, $14.95

Gaven, the main star of this book, is an eleven year old boy whose life is about to change. Gaven lives in a small town, but he is happy with his friends and his life, until something strange begins to happen. One day Gaven sees something, blurs, that no one else sees. What is he to do, after all how could he explain this to others? However bad things begin to happen, he has to do something before someone dies, but what? Will Gaven find out what these strange blurs are or will they win! The adventure awaits you.

What a great tale this is. It is definitely not the norm, but that is just one point that makes it so interesting. The author does a great job with her character development, both with Gaven and his friends and family and also with the mysterious blurs. She builds up the suspense and questions concerning what is happening in the story, and keeps the flow moving along nicely. I liked the suspense she put into action at just the right times, nudging you on to see what is going to happen, and the ending definitely leaves you craving for more.What will happen to Gaven in the future?

This is a great story for young and old. This tale will definitely keep their attention and will perhaps make them wonder at times, what did they see?

Soul Catcher
Julie Affleck
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
97814791963395, $14.95

In this delightful read we meet two young girls, Emily and her best friend, Katherine. They have been best friends for a long time, now they have another girl in their group, one who may change their lives, Lanie. After a while things begin to get strange, bad things start to happen in their quiet little town, and Emily and Katherine begin to think maybe Lanie has something to do with it. What they find out will change their lives forever.

Wow, what a read this is, any young person will be glued to the pages of this book. Our author does a great job of character development as she weaves the web around this story. She brings you into the world of these young girls and paints a mystery of their new friend that will be hard to unravel. Evil or good? that will be the question. I liked this read, it definitely kept my attention and moved along at a good pace. The story was wrapped in suspense and mystery and left you wondering will there be more? Very well done, recommended read for young and old.

Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience
Carole P. Roman
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781478113553, $12.99

In this delightful tale we are taken on the ship, the Flying Dragon, whose Captain is No Beard. We meet some crew members such as Mongo, the mast-climbing monkey and Linus, the loud mouthed lion. They are all busy getting the ship ready. They meet their new member, Pepper the parrot. Soon they find out that Pepper does not know left from right, poor little Pepper, but don't worry he is soon helped and all is well.

What a delightful read this one is. The illustrations are colorful and definitely bring the characters to life. The story brings into play how some have trouble knowing left and right, and our author uses wisdom, kindness, and friendship to help Pepper, who deals with this problem to correct it. Written in a way where children will easily grasp the solution this tale will not only help a child who has this problem but will encourage others to be understanding and helpful as well. Recommended.

Sussex Cove
Carol Owens with Jimmy Owens
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9780985095321, $14.95

Sam Cannday, our main character, is definitely an over comer. Accused of a terrible act as a child that he did not commit caused deep emotional trauma. However, Sam put his trust in God and when the time was right he sought the answers to many questions. The answers could well mean his life and the life of those he loves.

This book is one of a kind. It is packed full of questions that you turn the page hoping to see the answer, but the suspense just keeps building. The characters are merged together in a way that grabs you and pulls you into their life. They are very well defined. You have to find out how his childhood trauma is related to the present. You have romance, deception, mystery and best of all a nice slice of God all wrapped up in this outstanding read. Definitely one of a kind, a book you will not want to put down until the stunning conclusion. Highly recommended.

A Pale Horse
Wendy Alec
Wayboys Publishing
77 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland
9780957149823, $15.95

Something deep stirred inside of me as the read the words of this book. Each page brought me closer to the reality of what truly is about to happen around me. Ms. Alex's words ran deep into my Spirit and caused my heart to reach out to a God who loves me, who soon I would be in His arms. It isn't often that a book can stir such deep emotional feelings, feelings that come from the very core of my existence. Perhaps it is because this book is more than a story, it is the future. It is why Christians do what they do, and the darkness does what it does. It is our destiny. Read this book, and see where you belong. Highly recommended.

Shirley Johnson
Senior Reviewer

Taylor's Bookshelf

Stealer of Horses
Loretta Jackson & Vickie Britton
Thomas & Mercer
9781612186689, $14.95,

A two hundred thousand dollar heist is beat by just taking the two hundred thousand outright. "Stealer of Horses" is a mystery set among the kidnapping of an art seller's wife who had the money on hand, as Sheriff Jeff McQuede tries to hunt down what's behind the plot and the missing fortune, wondering if the case is far more than a simple kidnapping and ransom. "Stealer of Horses" is a twisting and turning thriller that should prove so very hard to put down, much recommended.

The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club
Lynda Stephenson
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478713111, $16.95,

Racial acceptance never comes easily. "The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club" is a novel of the 1950s and the conflict of racial segregation in schools. Frankilee Baxter befriends the only black girl on her campus, and with her, move to defend her from discrimination, all while dealing with all the other joys of being a freshman in college. "The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club" is a strong addition to historical fiction collections, recommended.

Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand
Linda J. Ferguson
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452541211, $14.99,

Trying to find clarity of thought and soul can be so difficult and tiresome in today's world. "Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millenium" is a spiritual inspirational from Linda J. Ferguson who encourages readers to find their soul, their consciousness, and stay with it through their soul and life through the toughest of times in their life. Encouraging one on how to find one's empowerment, "Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand" is an enticing and recommended addition to general spiritual self-help collections.

Malibu Med and the Sweet Smell of Money
C. Rex Sarorius
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475943733, $20.95,

Science is not to be played with lightly. "Malibu Med and the Sweet Smell of Money" is a novel following the fall out of designer pharmaceuticals gone bad as the race against aging and other ailments starts to build up a body count, and one particular doctor finds himself in the center of it all. A medical thriller written by someone with experience in the field, "Malibu Med and the Sweet Smell of Money" is reading well worth considering, highly recommended.

Jesus the Healer
Rosa L. Gonzalez
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432788230, $11.95,

Through faith, we can make it all possible. "Jesus the Healer" is an inspirational memoir from Rosa L. Gonzalez as she recounts the power of her faith and how it has helped her realized her own dreams and fulfilled what she wanted out of herself and others. "Jesus the Healer" is an inspirational read for faith-driven memoir collections, recommended.

The Renegade Leader
Debora J. McLaughlin
Balboa Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452552415, $33.99,

Leadership isn't a science; it's an art, and taking charge can put on a great example. "The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use: to Ignite People, Performance, & Profits" discusses how to become a more passionate leader that people are more than willing to follow and give their all for, encouraging people to work together, take charge themselves and inspire innovation. "The Renegade Leader" is a choice addition to business and self-help collections, highly recommended.

Beyond the Maze
Chris Tate
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477249987, $19.76,

Hedge mazes can invite many curious mysteries. "Beyond the Maze" is a novel following three friends as they look through the massive maze of their garden and find the many stories behind the maze over the years as they adopt it into their new home, and find out the secrets that may lurk behind it all. "Beyond the Maze" is a strong addition to contemporary fiction collections, highly recommended.

Memories of the Catskills
Alvin L. Lesser
GSL Galactic Publishing
c/o KSB Promotions
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301
9780986003400, $16.50,

A place in the mountains is always good for some memories. "Memories of the Catskills: The Making of a Hotel" is a memoir from Alvin L. Lesser as he recounts his life in the eastern mountains and being raised there working with his family's hotel and what he remembers from living in the mountains, the small parts of the unusual life. With humor and plenty of stories within the story, "Memories of the Catskills" is a strong addition to any American memoir collection.

God, Do You Know What You Are Doing?
Maria Erwin Duncan with Kasandra Erwin
Westbow Press
c/o AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449768973, $11.95,

Doubt in God comes with many a tragedy in our life. "God, Do You Know What You Are Doing?: P. S. You've Made a Mistake!" is a Christian inspirational read about finding hope in God's will even when He seems to be against you. With much inspiration and comfort aimed at helping people through these so very tough times, "God, Do You Know What You Are Doing?" is an inspirational and much recommended addition to Christian spirituality collections.

John Taylor

Vogel's Bookshelf

A Cup of Joe
Peggy Parsons Sands
Privately Published
9780615698601, $14.95,

Human nature will always push us forward, no matter our condition. "A Cup of Joe" is a memoir from Peggy Parsons Sands as she recounts the sunshine that her brother Joe brought into her life in spite of his intellectual disability, through his state as a human being and a brother with a sense of humor and will to succeed. "A Cup of Joe" is a strong addition to memoir collections dealing with people with developmental disabilities.

Grabbing Your Destiny By the Horns
William Gabienu
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477231579, $15.18,

You are in charge of your own future. "Grabbing Your Destiny By the Horns: Finding Your Place in Life" is an inspirational guide to inspiring oneself to allow themselves to flourish further and more effectively for their hopes for personal success and their lives, as well as finding that purpose and allowing it to flourish further. "Grabbing Your Destiny By the Horns" is a strong addition to inspirational collections, highly recommended.

Changed in a Heartbeat
Tina Hamel
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781432791186, $14.95,

The worst monsters are the ones that have a human shape. "Changed in a Heartbeat: A Story of Innocence Betrayed" is a mystery novel as a Deputy in a small town is on the trail of a serial rapist who has already irrevocably damaged the lives of seven young women...and the deputy realizes that she may be next. A dramatic yet tragic tale of the pain sexual assault can inflict, "Changed in a Heartbeat" is a fine addition to any mystery and fiction collection.

The Devout Woman
Emmanuel Igwaro Odongo-Aginya
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477251652, $19.76,

Christianity is still being introduced to many parts of the world, and splitting many between tradition and the words of Christ. "The Devout Woman" is a memoir of faith from Emmanuel Igwaro Odongo-Aginya who shares her journey of faith in her small village in Coomit village, a tiny Ugandan village. Recounting the transition between the faiths and a very personal story of mourning a departed husband, "The Devout Woman" is an intriguing story of the shifting of times in modern Africa, recommended.

Ol' Shakey
Byron Gene Fish
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515
Parker, CO 80134
9781478716907, $15.95,

A car having problems may mean you have to pull on the side of the road. There's no side of the road in the skies. "Ol' Shakey: Memories of a Flight Engineer" is a memoir from Byron Gene Fish as he shares stories of his life as an aviator, touching on his adventures with his favored plane, 'Ol' Shakey', known for its constant malfunctions and the fearful thrill that came with it. For those who dream about the skies, "Ol' Shakey" is a choice and very much recommended addition to aviation and memoir collections.

Skip Tracing Basics & Beyond
Susan Nash
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781475957563, $29.95,

Little secrets can keep a business going even through the tough times. "Skip Tracing Basics & Beyond: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide for Locating Hidden Assets" is a guide to using the technique of skip tracing to realize the potential of one's business from Susan Nash who advises readers on how to more efficiently use the aspects of finding the assets one may forget that they have. "Skip Tracking Basics & Beyond" is a strong addition to any economics and business collection.

Coming Into Focus
Mary Kaufman Schwartz
Tate Publishing & Enterprises
127 East Trade Center Terrace
Mustang, OK 73064
9781618620781, $10.99,

The Amish lifestyle is a curiosity for many. "Coming Into Focus" is a memoir from Mary Kaufman Schwartz as she shares her experiences of growing up in the largest Amish settlement in the world with a very large family. She recounts her experiences including why she chose to leave the Amish world to pursue a career as a psychologist. "Coming Into Focus" is an enticing and riveting tale that gives a look into the hidden world of the Amish.

Chasing the Bullet
Tom Holden
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
978146789053, $18.24,

Corruption runs deep and finding the source may be impossible. "Chasing the Bullet" is a novel from Tom Holden as he tells the story of Reuben Freeman as he finds himself trying to find the bankers behind the organized crime that caused the collapse of the world financial systems in 2008. With deception and betrayal lurking everywhere, "Chasing the Bullet" is an enticing and much recommended addition to contemporary fiction and thriller collections.

Working With Bitches
Meredith Fuller
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
9780738216584, $14.99,

People can get catty at work, and working through them instead of against them can lead to a happier office all around. "Working with Bitches: Identify the 8 Types of Office Mean Girls and Rise Above Workplace Nastiness" is a guide to diffusing a hostile work environment and working through the bitchy nature some mean girls have in the work place, understanding their motives, and knowing when to act and when to not. "Working with Bitches" is a strong addition to self-help collections, highly recommended.

The Snow Leopard and the Ibex
Douglas W. Farnell
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781477255759, $14.95,

Against all odds of survival, people can tap into something deep, primal. "The Snow Leopard and the Ibex" is a thriller following entrepreneur Daniel Prescott as threats high above in the skies leave him on the verge of imminent death...and he has to turn to his totem, an Ibex battling a Snow Leopard, and learn the secrets he needs to thwart the hijacking and learn much more about himself in the process. With proceeds going to the Snow Leopard trust, "The Snow Leopard and the Ibex" is a strongly recommended addition to general fiction collections.

Paul T. Vogel

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