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It's Not the Trauma, It's the Drama
Marjorie Leigh Bomben
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781500741785, $14.98, PB, 122pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For more than thirty years, Marjorie Leigh Bomben has been a member of the Chicago
Fire Department, starting her career as a candidate paramedic working on an ambulance in some
of the city's toughest neighborhoods. Now a paramedic field chief, Bomben looks back on thirty
years of service in "It's not the Trauma, It's the Drama: Stories by a Chicago Fire Department
Paramedic". The twenty true stories Bomben relates are unique and each one told from the point
of view of a woman rising through traditionally male ranks. Bomben's tales range from funny to
gory, from the dangers paramedics face to the history of a venerable old firehouse. Some, of
course, are about saving lives. Others are about simply staying alive. From Bomben's first trauma
call (the result of a drag race along city streets gone horribly wrong), to her eventual rise through
the ranks, all of her tales shift seamlessly from humorous encounters to descriptions of injuries
human beings shouldn't be able to endure. Through it all, "It's Not the Trauma, It's the Drama"
offers an insider's glimpse of the strain and risk experienced by Chicago Fire Department
paramedics every day.
Critique: Well written, organized and presented, "It's Not the Trauma, It's the Drama: Stories by a
Chicago Fire Department Paramedic" is a compelling and absolutely absorbing read from
beginning to end. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "It's Not the Trauma, It's the Drama"
is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).
Dear Rita: One Marine's Journey Through WWII
George Baird, author
William Baird, editor
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781512061390, $14.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Compiled and edited by William Baird, "Dear Rita: One Marine's Journey Through
WWII" is a love story gleaned from the letters of George Baird, a young Marine who wrote them
during World War II. These letters, and the hand-drawn illustrations on the accompanying
envelopes, give a uniquely candid look into the passionate love and steadfast devotion that kept
this Marine going in the throes of war. Preserved for 70 years, the letters were kept private, read
only by George and Rita, until Rita's passing in 2014. Now, the abridged letters, supplemented
with anecdotes from George's own oral history of the war, as well as helpful annotation and
historical context from George and Rita's youngest son, give us a firsthand look at the origins of
an inspiring, lifelong love.
Critique: An absolutely absorbing read from beginning to end, "Dear Rita: One Marine's Journey
Through WWII" is an invaluable and much appreciated contribution to the growing body of
World War II memoirs, biographies, and personal stories. Very highly recommended for both
community and academic library collections, "Dear Rita" is very highly recommended to the
attention of individual readers with an interest in true life romance, the daily life of a World War
II marine, and the vital role that personal correspondence with folks back home played in the
lives of the men fighting a savage and deadly war abroad.
Roller Babes: 1950s Women of Roller Derby
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491783290, $23.95, PB, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Although a work of fiction, "Roller Babes" by Tim Patten honors the women of 1950s
professional roller derby: those indomitable female athletes who inspired millions to find
independence and freedom in the world of sports. Their soaring aspirations, hard won
accomplishments, and turbulent melees have all been documented in the annals of American
sports history. With "Roller Babes" readers will enter into the secret world of these early skaters.
These are legendary women who were set apart by exceptional grit, and remembered by
thousands of fans around the globe.
Critique: An exceptionally entertaining read, "Roller Babes: 1950s Women of Roller Derby" is
especially commended to the attention of anyone who has watched and enjoyed a roller derby
game -- especially those old enough to remember the Blond Bomber and other stars of the rink
back in the day. "Roller Babes" is highly recommended for community library General Fiction
collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Roller Babes" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($3.99).
Gaia's Majesty: Discovery: An Unbearable Choice
Roger B. Burt
Bivens & Jensen Publishing
9781935994237, $17.95, PB, 544pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Our earth mother, Gaia, was intrigued by clever creatures developing on her Earth. She
believed they held promise but also danger for themselves and her planet. Wisely Gaia reserved a
gifted population of women dedicated to earth's stewardship to safeguard the future of
humankind. They remained in cities in the sea called Tethys. They would be a genetic pool if she
needed to restart the species. The ones in the sea were called Progenitors and had lower fishlike
bodies when in the sea but could morph to totally human form on land. Some members, called
Primals, lived on the land and among them were a defense force, predominantly women, called
the Andromeda. From these people were born the myths of mermaids and amazons. Together
they are called Tethyans. Opposed to the Tethyans are the Overlords. While Tethyans devote
themselves to the stewardship of humankind and the earth, the Overlords are devoted only to
profit and power. "Gaia's Majesty: Discovery" begins the trilogy by Robert B. Burt which
explores if Gaia's preparations will succeed. Is this story a myth, or like so many myths, does it
reside on the cusp of reality?
Critique: An absorbing and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "Gaia's Majesty:
Discovery: An Unbearable Choice" is a compelling work of speculative fiction and one that will
leave its thoroughly entertained readers looking forward to the next two titles in what promises to
be a truly outstanding series. Highly recommended for community library collections, it should
be noted for personal reading lists that "Gaia's Majesty: Discovery: An Unbearable Choice" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Gun Shelf
Conceal Carry; Pause
Donn G. Ziebell
Ziebell Associates, Inc.
9780989474559, $9.95, PB, 118pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: By nature most men and women do not court danger, but it can on occasion confront
them. Knowing how to handle the unexpected is important. Both armed and unarmed people
must follow the very same steps for self-protection. Although when things escalate to Code
Black, the unarmed will likely have no means to overcome the life-threatening amount of force
against them. Actions for survival can be learned and routinely practiced by armed and unarmed
citizens. Licensed armed citizens provide an invisible presence and are a respected deterrent
within a society braced for increasing random acts of violence. "Conceal Carry; Pause: The
Pursuit of Trained Readiness with a Goal to Avoid a 3-Second-Long Gun Fight" is the story of
Donn Ziebell's interesting expedition to learn about conceal carry, including his training to
become a licensed conceal carry citizen. Discovered and un-imagined insights are encountered for
the purpose of offering challenges for self-examination of risks and benefits. When it comes to
firearms, concealed or readily apparent, knowledge and wisdom greatly outweigh the
disadvantage of ignorance about self-defense.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, informed and informative, thoughtful and
thought-provoking, "Conceal Carry; Pause: The Pursuit of Trained Readiness with a Goal to
Avoid a 3-Second-Long Gun Fight" should be considered essential reading for anyone
contemplating or already involved in carrying a concealed firearm. An invaluable contribution to
our national dialogue over gun safety and regulation issues, "Conceal Carry; Pause" should be
considered a critically vital addition for community and academic library Personal Defense
reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
How to Get What We Pay For
The Change Project, Inc.
9780983995333, $15.95, PB, 340pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: We can fix healthcare now. We can rebuild the system to give us better, cheaper care
for everyone. We now have the tools. This is the moment, while healthcare is already changing
rapidly. Who is "we"? Everyone who affects the system, from doctors and nurses to healthcare
leaders, health plans, employers, and consumers -- you. Along the way, we can each get better
healthcare for less for ourselves and our families. Complete with checklists and pages of
resources, Joe Flower's "How To Get What We Pay For" shows how. It challenges all our usual
ways of thinking about healthcare, and especially the assumption that we personally cannot do
anything about it. "How to Get What We Pay For" presents an in-depth, easy-to-read breakdown
of the current system and the seven "levers" that are changing it: Shopping; Transparency;
Results; Prevention; Targeting; Trust; Tech. As confusing as today's healthcare seems, there is
hope. This guide puts the tools in your hands to make better, cheaper healthcare available --
sooner rather than later.
Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, exceptionally well
written, organized and presented, "How to Get What We Pay For" is above all as practical and
'user friendly' a personal instruction manual, as it is a much needed and valued contribution to the
nation's raging debates over health care reform. Very highly recommended for both community
and academic library Health/Medicine reference collections and supplemental studies
curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How to Get What We Pay For" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off!
Lisa Tillinger Johansen
J. Murray Press
9780996310208, $12.99, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Paleo. The Zone. The Gluten-free. Another day, another diet. We're caught in a
never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors, and
companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion a year industry. But do these diets really work?
And how healthy are they? In the pages of "Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!", Registered
Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on
medical facts, not hype. And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies,
relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach
efforts. With insight and humor, "Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off" shows that the best answer
is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our
health and our waistlines.
Critique: Simply stated, "Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!" should be considered a "must read'
by anyone and everyone who is riding the rollercoaster wave of never ending diet fads. Informed
and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off!" is certain
to be an enduringly popular and useful addition to every community library's Health & Medicine
reference collection. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Stop the Diet, I Want to
Get Off!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
The Power of Feelings
Verlag VCS Dittmar
9783940773166, $14.50, PB, 198pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Feeling are emotions. We all have them. Your feelings determine who you are and how
you live your life. Like most people, you probably spend a lot of time and money trying to create
or avoid certain feelings. In order to liberate the true power of your feelings, you need to
understand their real purpose. They are the keys to your emotional potential and intelligence. In
the pages of "The Power of Feelings: A Practical Guide to Emotional Intelligence", author Vivian
Dittmar (who is also the founder of the non-profit Be the Change Foundation), you will learn
why feelings like anger, sadness, fear and shame are really the key to your clarity, love,
creativity, humility and natural authority, as well as how you can unlock it!
Critique: As informative and thought-provoking as it is thoroughly 'reader friendly' and inspiring,
"founder of the non-profit Be the Change Foundation" is a very highly recommended addition to
community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should
be noted that "The Power of Feelings" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Power Of Me
Russel Aitken, Fran Traill, Nicki Myszka
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504329217, $31.95, PB, 80pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When properly understood and followed, "The Power Of Me: A Powerful Program For
Young People" by the team of Russel Aitken, Fran Traill, Nicki Myszka, will help children to
achieve their full potential in all areas of their lives. "The Power Of Me" covers such issues and
techniques as: Goal Setting; Visualization; How The Mind Works; The Power Of Choice;
Treasure Mapping; Self-Talk and Affirmations; Believing in Yourself; Daring to Dream; and
Dreaming Big. The basic message revealed in the pages of "The Power Of Me" is that anything
you want is possible!
Critique: A consumable that is meant to be written in by the young reader, "The Power Of Me: A
Powerful Program For Young People" is not appropriate for school or community library
collections, but it is ideal for classroom and counseling use on an individual assignment basis.
Thoroughly 'kid friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Power Of Me" is very highly
recommended to the attention of home schooling parents as well.
Healing the Wounds of Childhood
Don St. John
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781508925200, $16.95, PB, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Throughout his infancy and childhood, Don St. John suffered severe physical and
emotional abuse. In "Healing the Wounds of Childhood: A Psychologist's Journey and
Discoveries from Wretched Beginnings to a Thriving Life", St. John shares his personal journey
and the disciplines, treatments and practices that enabled him to overcome the effects of severe
maltreatment. He studied as a professional each of these disciplines and treatments that helped
him as a patient. Along the way St John had some life altering insights, such as: Normal" is not
nearly good enough; We have all been wounded to some degree or other; Most of can increase
our ability to receive and absorb love; We can enjoy more life-giving love connections; We can
improve our resilience, deal more effectively with stress, experience better health; We can
expand our sense of who we are; Water is highly adaptable, and because our bodies are mostly
water, we can heal the deepest wounds to our psyche and go beyond what we can even imagine.
In order to make such changes we must address ourselves as a whole, which means not only our
psyches, our personalities, our belief structure, our relationship capacities, but the fluids, tissues,
structure and movement of our bodies as well. We are whole organisms, not just bodies with a
mind. "Healing the Wounds of Childhood" tells the reader where to look if she wants to grow
into her full potential for good health and beautiful intimate relationships. Most self-help books
focus on one area such as the brain, or communication skills. "Healing the Wounds of
Childhood" provides the big picture and is infused throughout with autobiographical material,
lending a very human story to this holistic presentation.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Healing the Wounds of
Childhood" is as compelling a read as it is informed and informative, thoughtful and
thought-provoking. Very highly recommended for community and academic library
Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Healing the Wounds of Childhood" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
The Fiction Shelf
Gina Maria DiNicolo
St. John's Press
9780966298604, $7.95, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It is the first spring of the new millennium. Susanna Marcasi prowls Washington,
D.C., looking for lost love. Thoughts of her brutal New Orleans youth haunt her. She suffers
physical and mental anguish stemming from a so-called "accident" of which she has no memory
and believes something more occurred. The banished Marine Corps officer receives a surprise 3
a.m. call. She meets estranged Lori O'Reilly. Susanna senses an opportunity for redemption and
truth and agrees to unravel the apparent suicide of Lori's lover, Joe Earhardt While stringing at a
White House ceremony, Susanna surprises Naval Academy classmate Mike Singleton. The
carnage from a bitter lovers' struggle has kept the couple apart until now. Singleton, on a special
tour with the Defense Intelligence Agency, hunts Earhardt for suspicious liaisons. Susanna
finders herself toe-to-toe with Manfred Stahl, a man to whom all are beholden and whom a
cowering president has crowned defense secretary. Stahl's unabashed lust for power and
emotional instability are eclipsed only by his vile and vindictive nature. She waged war with the
senator and Marine War hero on the Hill, but feels their relationship may transcend Washington.
She has learned the powerful have secrets and Stahl has his share. Susanna has worked to
decipher the disappearance of billions targeted for New Orleans' aging levees. Her spot-on
funding query enrages the new cabinet secretary-cum-clandestine paramilitary broker, sending
the two on the deadly collision course they shared a lifetime earlier.
Critique: Exceptionally well written from beginning to end, "Blood Stripe" is an impressive and
deftly crafted novel from beginning to end. Clearly documenting author Gina Maria DiNicolo (a
military historian and award-winning journalist) as a talented and original storyteller, "Blood
Stripe" is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For
personal reading lists it should be noted that "Blood Stripe" is also available in a Kindle edition
I Was Here
Stanley B. Graham
9781425934552, $25.99, PB, 716pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A work of deftly crafted fiction, I Was Here: The Young Manhood and Education of
Rick Stevens" presents a complete, unvarnished, and rounded portrait of the young manhood and
education of a white American male, living in a mid-western state. "I Was Here" depicts his good
qualities as well as his bad ones. The span of his life covers begins with his birth in 1928 until
continues through to when he is twenty-nine years of age. From his early childhood and boyhood
growing up on a farm and in a small town in northeastern Ohio; to the persecution and verbal
abuse by his stepfather; constant moral support by his mother; to his extreme shyness and
inability to socialize during his high school years, his lack of a father-figure and its effect upon
his personality; to his dubious sexual education; his voluntary service in the United States Army
Quartermaster Corps (the peacetime Army from 1946 - 1949); his clerical and stenographic
training and jobs in the Army; his achievement of the rank of Corporal and then Sergeant; his
friendships with Army buddies; his long automobile trip with friends through the Western states;
his college education (with help of the GI Bill) at the University of Virginia and Ohio State
University; his friendship and romance with a southern lady; his college friendships; his failures
and his successes; his college summer jobs on Great Lakes iron ore freighters; his education
courses and preparation for a science teaching career (Glasgow College, Pa.); his love life and his
sex life; his European trip with his best friend-a fellow sailor and college chum, "I Was Here" is
a true saga told in detail and scope.
Critique: A complex, layered, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly absorbing novel from
beginning to end, "I Was Here: The Young Manhood and Education of Rick Stevens" by Stanley
B. Graham is very highly recommended reading and would make an enduringly popular addition
to any community library General Fiction collection.
The Zum Zum Girls
Red Seal Press LLC
9780989056311, $14.99, PB, 374pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Relive the incredible '60s in New York City through the eyes of Lori, Angela, Marcia,
and Priscilla, known as the Zum Zum Girls. The first in a series by Lynn Wachtel, "The Zum
Zum Girls" portrays the exciting story of four members of the "Baby Boom" generation who,
while attending business school, developed a special friendship and form a bond that would last a
lifetime. An inspiring and often funny narrative of their lives, loves, and careers during an
unprecedented period of social and technological change including the Vietnam War, the sexual
revolution, the advent of women's liberation, and the first man on the moon.
Critique: Impressively well written and a thoroughly engaging read from beginning to end, "The
Zum Zum Girls" wonderfully showcases the exceptionally skillful storytelling talents of author
Lynn Wachtel. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Zum Zum Girls" is also available in a Kindle
Sunsets of Tulum
Raymond Avery Bartlett
Barrel Fire Press
9780988939028, $34.99, HC, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Reed Haflinger and his aloof wife take an impromptu trip to Mexico's Riviera Maya,
but it's not the re-connection Reed was hoping for. When she departs early for home, he stays at
the resort, lost in what remains of a vacation he feels he deserves. But when a brief interaction
with a beautiful female traveler offers a clue as to how to meet her again, Reed must decide
whether to venture out of his comfort zone in search of her, or accept that he will always let life
pass him by.
Critique: All the more impressive considering that "Sunsets of Tulum" is travel writer Ray
Bartlett's debut as a novelist. Sunsets of Tulum is an impressively written and exceptionally
absorbing novel from first page to last. Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly
popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Sunsets of Tulum" is also available in a paperback edition
(9780988939035, $14.99, 328pp) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781681391762, $11.95, PB, 94pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Rocky's Road" is a collection of twelve short stories by rocky Kuznik that will take
the reader on a word journey of humor, sadness, love and its relationship to emotional hurt, along
with a sprinkle of pure human madness. Although these stories have been fictionalized they were
based on actual characters, circumstances and events where all of them to some extent, found
themselves embroiled. These stories portray a diversity of individuals caught up at different
times, conditions and locations and where they are brought into the light between the covers of
this book. There are a variety of topics where it should appeal every reader and their taste,
including a step into the unexplained super natural and a "who-done-it-mystery". These are
stories which could be used as a learning tool in daily life.
Critique: "Rocky's Road" is an anthology that clearly documents author Rocky Kuznik's truly
impressive storytelling skills. Among the twelve short stories, of special note are 'The Railbirds';
'The Morning Man'; and 'Lydia'. Highly recommended, "Rocky's Road" will leave the reader
looking forward to more stories from this remarkably talented author. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "Rocky's Road" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
9781628821123, $21.99, HC, 308pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After losing his wife in a diving accident, Tim James descends into a life of drunken
misery, and blames his plight on Haiti, a Caribbean nation even more downtrodden than the sorry
state in which he finds himself. He's an easy mark for con artist, Vinny Berkowitz, a prominent,
though bogus island attorney. Vinny convinces him that his best hope to escape his self-dug,
crap-filled abyss is to take part in a ruse posing as an anthropologist in search of pre-Colombian
artifacts. Unbeknownst to Tim, the artifacts Vinny truly seeks are made of gold. Vinny also
ensnares Madeleine McCoy, an attractive missionary nurse, and Ti Bon Baptiste, a peasant
farmer, into his greed-driven scam. The mismatched foursome soon plunges into an odyssey
replete with outer islands, dense jungles, Vodou temples, and an ancient burial cave, not knowing
that all the while they're being stalked by an insidious bocor, a priest of the underworld.
Immersed in one harrowing experience after another, Tim discovers a connection to Haiti he
never imagined, becomes like a brother to Ti Bon, and begins to view Haiti in a new light, that
being through the eyes of Madeleine. As the couple's feelings blossom, his litany of lies mounts
ever higher. In fact, at the urging of Vinny, who for his latest con, is posing as a Methodist
minister, everything he has told her about himself is a total fabrication. But that is the least of his
problems, for on this island many believe is cursed, no one and nothing are as they seem.
Critique: An impressively crafted novel, "Cracked Island" is an exceptionally absorbing read
from beginning to end and clearly establishes author Chris Kohler as an especially talented
writer. Solidly entertaining, "Cracked Island" is very highly recommended and certain to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Cracked Island" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781628821062, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781413476088, $30.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Johanna is a lonely, curious, spirited young girl who spent her young years in the
tangle of a loose knit extended family; she lived with a great-aunt and uncle, dutiful but detached
who seemed unaware of the needs of their young charge. The dark little secrets, sorrows and
regrets are their, claiming the energies of their obsolete generation. Joanna was born during the
Great Depression of the 1930's when children were tolerated but not taken very seriously. Her
journal became her companion and comforter. As she tries to understand her part in a family
tragedy that destroys her mother, she seeks solace circle. Joanna feels exiled herself and becomes
fixed on the young handicapped son of aunt's household, her increasingly absent father and
memories of her lost brother, Toby. Joanna finds an unexpected tutor in Alonzo, the remarkable
husband of her grandmother, whose wisdom and humor pull her back to a safer place. Joanna
grows up, still trying to understand and still trying to go back to where she was welcomed and
sheltered. She is still wise and foolish, happy and sad, curious and afraid. Of course her journey
Critique: All the more impressive considering that "Calico Jam" is author Joanne Greene's debut
as a novelist, this is an impressively written and deftly crafted novel that is unfailingly
entertaining and fully absorbing from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for
community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Calico Jam" is also available in a paperback edition (9781413476071, $20.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781516860470, $16.95, PB, 464pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Warm Gold" by Samuel Cronin is the compelling story of a miner who, by braving
his fears, discovers the Motherlode. As an orphan living in the slums of Boston during the Civil
War, Sollinger is betrayed by his belated father's partner and sent to prison for 35 years. He is
released into the bustling Industrialized America of 1896, minus an eye, and begins his personal
quest to find not only his father, if he's alive, but also a vein of gold, even though the Gold Rush
has long since passed. Driven west, physically ill, he arrives in Canyon City, where he learns of a
mysterious, some say haunted, mine up in the mountains. What he finds is something he cannot
live without -- gold, of course, but of a purity more valuable than anything he's sought before. He
finds his son. His journey will draw him close to the writings of Job and will demand from him
not only all the relationships around him, but also the depths of himself. His decisions will
impact the mine, the miners, his family, and the entire town of Canyon City, struck hard by the
Depression of 1893.
Critique: A truly impressive saga, "Warm Gold" is an exceptionally well written and complex
story that showcases author Samuel Cronin's considerable gifts as a novelist. Thoroughly
entertaining, "Warm Gold" is a fully absorbing novel from beginning to end and very highly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "Warm Gold" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Marathon Watch
9780615886435, $9.95, PB, 252pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Marathon Watch" by Larry Laswell pits treachery, deceit, and betrayal against
naval traditions of duty, honor, and loyalty. At the center of this struggle is the oldest US naval
destroyer, the USS Farnley. The Chief of Naval operations steps in to rescue the Farnley and
bring an unscrupulous admiral to justice, but disaster strikes. Guided by the canons of tradition,
the Farnley's courageous captain and crew disobey the admiral's orders. In a life-or-death
struggle, the Farnley sails in harm's way to save the life of a single man and the future of the US
Critique: Clearly, author Larry Laswell is an impressively gifted novelist able to compel his
reader's totally absorbed attention with every unexpected plot twist and turn. A simply riveting
read from beginning to end, "The Marathon Watch" is a deftly crafted novel and certain to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Marathon Watch" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Ephesian Artifacts
Patrick W. Ledray
Romanian Dragons LLC
9780985356712, $14.95, PB, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Ephesian Artifacts" is a blend of history, action and adventure featuring the death
of Cleopatra, the fall of Saigon, and the search for artifacts hidden beneath the sands of the
ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey. The race for the priceless artifacts pits the Black Pope (head of
the Jesuits) against modern-day Amazons and artifact seekers from Austria and the United States.
The bones of the Virgin Mary, the Artemis star, and the writings of Jesus are believed to have
been hidden centuries ago in Ephesus, which is visited by over a million tourists each year.
Critique: Deftly crafted, complex, compelling, "The Ephesian Artifacts" is a terrifically
entertaining roller-coaster of a read from beginning to end. Author Patrick Ledray is one very
talented novelist. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ephesian Artifacts" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($5.99).
The Lame Duck
Bernard Leo Remakus
221 East Publishing
PO Box 367, Hallstead, PA 18822
9781519163844, $19.95, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Some believe Dr. Bob Cassidy is America's worst doctor. The young physician is
already defending his third malpractice suit, being investigated by the feds, and about to lose his
hospital privileges. Many believe Angela Fratello is America's top malpractice lawyer. Known as
the "Angel of Death" in legal circles, she knows how to win in the courtroom - and win big.
When Angela starts experiencing severe foot pain while skiing, she drives to the closest medical
facility - the backwoods office of Dr. Bob Cassidy. Angela becomes Cassidy's patient, and their
chance meeting sets the stage for the perfect crime - and a love story for the ages.
Critique: "The Lame Duck" is an impressively entertaining read from beginning to end, and
clearly showcases author Bernard Leo Remakus as an especially gifted novelist with a
remarkable storytelling talent. Highly recommended, especially for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Lame Duck" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Funny Thing About War
c/o L & R Publishing LLC
PO Box 3531, Ashland, OR 97520
9781555718084, $21.95, PB, 426pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Meet Chris Columbo. Twenty-two years old, intelligent, well spoken, and once a
promising U.S. naval officer candidate. But at college, his plans and dreams are shattered by the
woman he deeply loves. Disillusioned about life in general, he falls into an abyss of self-pity,
resigns his ROTC scholarship, abandons his studies, drops out and embarks on a downward
spiral, eventually hitting rock bottom. But all is not lost as he receives orders to report for active
duty with the U.S. Navy, an organization to which he is contractually bound. In spite of his recent
opposition to the war, desperation forces him to honor the terms of his contract and he soon finds
himself aboard the USS Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer, deployed as an active participant
in the Lam Son and Linebacker operations off the coasts of South and North Vietnam. "The
Funny Thing About War", although a work of historical fiction, provides a rather accurate sailor's
perspective of the Vietnam War through the exploits of Chris and his shipmates. Sometimes
challenging, often humorous, Chris's experiences will change him forever, leading him to
embrace his life and future. Now, if he can just survive his final mission.
Critique: Impressively well written throughout, "The Funny Thing About War" offers a solidly
absorbing and highly entertaining read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for
community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Funny Thing About War" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Wild Rose Press
9781509204939, $16.99, PB, 290pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Adam Donatello and Nina Morales share an immediate and powerful attraction, and
their future together seems assured. But love is difficult enough without adding complications
(real or imagined) to the mix. Nina sees life as a thousand shades of gray, while Adam tends
toward black-and-white. He wants to move fast; she needs time. Nina sees her past liaisons with
women as immaterial to their relationship, while her disclosure drives Adam to a state of
irrational jealousy. He doesn't know how he could compete with a woman, and his suspicions
(which Nina views as hypocritical) lead them both to make decisions they may live to regret.
Critique: A smoothly written and compelling read from first page to last, "Still Counting" is an
extraordinarily entertaining story that clearly establishes author Phil Fragasso as an impressively
gifted storyteller. Very highly recommended for community library Romantic Fiction collections,
it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Still Counting" is also available in a Kindle
edition (9781509204946, $4.99).
A Closet Full of Masks
Archer Hill Publishing
PO Box 23341, Columbia, SC 29224-3341
9780985330170, $16.95, PB, 206pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Author Susan Snowden's wry sense of humor suffuses even the most poignant of these
stories, all of which are set in the South ranging from south Georgia to southern Appalachia.
Thematically, she treats readers to a smorgasbord of tales whose characters are struggling in
various ways. Presented with a rare opportunity, an artist must face his insecurity; an uneducated
woman searches for a way to win her son's respect; a reclusive librarian seeks solace after the
death of her father; a divorced woman is shocked by her behavior when she starts dating again.
And in the title novella an eighteen-year-old, away from home for the first time, encounters
difficulties she never anticipated. Clearly Snowden understands her characters, each with a
distinctive voice and worldview, and that she cares about them enough to redeem them (or at
least give them hope) regardless of the challenges they face.
Critique: The title piece and novella (A Closet Full of Masks) and the fifteen short stories that
comprise this anthology fully certifies Susan Snowden as an exceptionally gifted, impressive, and
entertaining storyteller. An impressively absorbing read from beginning to end, "A Closet Full of
Masks" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, and
academic library American Literary Fiction collections.
Evolution of a Revolution: Vol. 2
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781518652783, $14.75, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Andre Braden started out as a common laborer before climbing the ranks to become a
respected international labor leader. He's tried to work with the establishment, but now he feels
disheartened. Andre partners with experienced labor leader Daniel Martins in the hope of making
progress, but he soon discovers that organizing labor isn't Daniel's only reason for partnering
with Andre. Indeed, with thousands of eager mercenaries awaiting his command, Daniel is
thinking revolution. Andre eventually sees no other option - even though the odds are against
them. His fight for the working class takes him against the CIA, mercenaries, a major drug cartel,
militaries, and the right-wing media. With so many responsibilities, Andre can't help feeling
bogged down. But when he's fighting for the world's workers, how can he stop now?
Critique: "Evolution of a Revolution: Vol. 2" is a deftly crafted and provocative novel that
demonstrates author Conallan Power's truly impressive storytelling talents. A riveting read from
beginning to end, "Evolution of a Revolution: Vol. 2" is very highly recommended for
community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Evolution of a
Revolution: Vol. 2" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.00).
Thomas-Jacob Publishing LLC
PO Box 390524, Deltona, FL 32739
9780996388412, $12.99, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On a beautiful fall evening, in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, five-year-old
Bobby Clark is kidnaped by his estranged father, a shiftless man with a history of domestic
violence and drug abuse. Bobby's twin brother Ricky watches, terrified, from his hiding place
behind the bougainvillea, while mother Tabby, who also struggles with addiction, lies inebriated
on the living room floor. Bobby isn't seen by his loved ones again until a fateful morning
twenty-five years later, when video of his arrest dominates the morning news. He has been
charged with the murder of his father, but before the trial can begin, he manages to escape. As
Tabby and Ricky absorb the news of Bobby's return and subsequent escape, Tabby is convinced
he'll come home to the quiet Florida street from which he was taken so long ago. But when
events begin to spiral out of control, she's left to wonder: is a child born to be evil, or shaped to
be evil? And in the end, when it's time to make amends, does it really matter?
Critique: An extraordinary story of impressive complexity, "Making Amends" is a fully
absorbing read from beginning to end and showcases author Melinda Clayton as in exceptionally
talented and original novelist. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Making Amends" is also available in a Kindle
Evangeline: The Seer of Wall St.
9780976837572, $26.95, HC, 376pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A descendant of presidents John and John Quincy Adams, and the black sheep of her
family, astrologer Evangeline Adams flees provincial Boston in 1899 to launch her business in
New York City. On the train ride, she casts her own horoscopic chart. Her findings (death on
November 10, 1932 and an unusual intimate union) alarm her. Soon after, she meets actress and
suffragist Emma Sheridan-Fry, and she spends the rest of her life torn between society's
restrictions and the trail-blazing nature that made her one of the most prominent female
businesswomen of her time. Peopled with real historical figures, including J.P. Morgan, King
Edward VII, Enrico Caruso, Rudolph Valentino, Charles Schwab, Mary Pickford, Charlie
Chaplin, Sheridan-Fry and occult figure Aleister Crowley, "Evangeline: The Seer of Wall St."
immerses readers in a New York populated with the Wall Street wealthy and the downtrodden,
all of whom visited Evangeline's Carnegie Hall office.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and terrifically entertaining read from beginning to end,
"Evangeline: The Seer of Wall St." establishes author Clint Adams as an impressively gifted
novelist of the first rank. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Evangeline: The Seer of Wall St."
is also available in a paperback edition (9780976837596, $15.99) and in a Kindle format
Honey and Leonard
Mark Paul Smith
Christopher Matthews Publishing
9781938985812, $16.95, PB, 238pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Honey and Leonard fall in love in their seventies. Leonard is in the early stages of
Alzheimer's. Honey thinks her love will save him. When high levels of arsenic are found in
Leonard's blood and a petition for guardianship is filed by his sole heir, Honey and Leonard flee
to France. Their story catches fire as they elude police, private investigators and the international
press. They become the Bonnie and Clyde of love until their apparent drowning when they are
pushed off the dock in St. Tropez by an overzealous crowd of well-wishers. "Honey and
Leonard" is about the power of love and how it is more important to love than to be loved.
Critique: An absolutely absorbing and page-turner of a read from beginning to end, "Honey and
Leonard" establishes author Mark Paul Smith as a master novelist with an ability to deftly create
characters and a story that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been
finished and set back upon the shelf. Very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Honey and Leonard" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
The Novice Master
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781518737558, $14.98, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Evan Claver gives Ellis Barlowe his last chance at redemption, seeking him out as his
mentor, or 'novice master': As a freshman college student boarding at the history professor's
house, he unravels Barlowe's secret past as a saint, decades spent as a devout monk ministering
to the sick and dying at a monastery hospice before renouncing his faith and rejoining the world.
Yet Barlowe runs his household like the abbey he left behind, treating his boarder-student like
one of his lowly novices, endeavoring to teach him about the realities of life. This role-play is
complicated by their mutual passion for the same woman, who plays one against the other. As
their roles blur and finally dissolve, the men form a crucial bond which ultimately changes the
course of both their lives.
Critique: An impressively crafted novel from beginning to end, "The Novice Master" aptly
showcases author Kathy Cecala's exceptional talents as an original and entertaining storyteller.
Very highly recommended for community library Adult Contemporary Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Novice Master" is also available in a Kindle
New Internationalist Publications Ltd.
9781780262352, $16.95, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Vera is a nurse from Sweden who, while delivering a dangerous birth in the
Colombian jungle, makes contact with indigenous people who give her a wholly different
outlook on life. A traumatic experience takes her home, her life in pieces, just like the world as
she now sees it. Her quest to put her life back together becomes tied up with her vision of a more
sustainable world. She meets the corporate heir to a company specializing in luxury travel who
has a predatory attitude to women. Could such opposites really attract? And, if they came
together, could they actually do something to halt the global march to self-destruction?
Critique: An exploration of the inter-connectedness of human life and an unexpected love story,
in the pages of "Integrity" author Anna Borgeryd delves deep into the choices and emotions of a
woman trying to change the world, and a man trying to change with her. "Integrity" is a
genre-bending novel has achieved cult status in Sweden where Anna Borgeryd heads one of the
country's most progressive companies. Exceptionally well written, as entertaining as it is
thought-provoking, "Integrity" is very highly recommended for both community and academic
library Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Integrity" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).
Escape from His Past
White Feather Press
9781618081254, $16.95, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Will Sayre thought he had found 'the one' years ago, but she left him, married, and
moved on with her life. Since then, he's searched the world for that special someone with whom
he would spend the rest of his life. His job brings him to dozens of countries, allowing him to
meet and entertain all kinds of different women, but for one reason or another, none of them can
live up to his expectations. His first true love set the mark so high that no one else compares.
Until he meets Renee.
Will's sister, Kim, is a 1st grade teacher, and Renee's daughter is in her class. When Will speaks
to Kim's class about different countries and animals around the world, he's introduced to Renee's
daughter. Through a series of events, Will meets Renee and starts romancing her and her
daughter around the city. He seems to have finally escaped from his past and his search for 'the
one' may finally be over.
Renee's friends say that Will is too good to be true, but her daughter is convinced that he is Mr.
Right for her mother. Will's friends say that she has too much baggage, being a single mom who
regularly goes through loser boyfriends, but his sister is convinced that Renee is the girl for him.
Will's bachelor habits appear to be too much for Renee, and her mood swings make Will wonder
if any sane man could stay married to the same woman for the rest of his life. They decide at one
point that the relationship is doomed, but could the wise advice from good friends and family
bring them back together?
Critique: Impressively well written from beginning to end, "Escape from His Past" clearly
establishes author Rick Gangraw as a master of the Romantic Comedy genre. A thoroughly
entertaining read from first page to last, "Escape from His Past" is very highly recommended for
community library Romance Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that
"Escape from His Past" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
M. S. Holm
PO Box 31361, Tucson, AZ 85751-1631
9780979619984, $12.00, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Retch Barter waits on a waterless ranch for a driller to sink his well. Come to Mexico
in bad company and running from a sordid past, Retch lives with Dolores Anguamea, a
dark-skinned woman whose history is as scarred as her pockmarked face. While Retch stakes his
future on the arrival of the driller, Dolores waits for a chance to quit the godforsaken ranch.
Critique: "Driller" is taut, literary descent into the world of dirt, death, and well drilling. A
riveting read from beginning to end, "Driller" clearly demonstrates author M. S. Holm's truly
exceptional storytelling talents and is very highly recommended for community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Driller" is also available in
a Kindle edition ($6.59).
Victor Cunrui Xiong
9789866286667, $10.00, PB, 278pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Heavenly Khan: A Biography of Emperor Tang Taizong" by Victor Cunrui Xiong is a
work of historical fiction that is based on the true story of Li Shimin (also known as Tang
Taizong), the greatest sovereign in Chinese history. About 30 years younger than Muhammad, he
grew up in a world of devastating upheaval that tore China asunder and was thrust into the role of
a military commander in his father's rebel army while still a teenager. In the process of
vanquishing his enemies on the battlefield, he proved himself to be a great military genius. As
emperor he encouraged critical suggestions by his court officials, which he often adopted, and
lent support to the religions of his day, notably, Buddhism, Daoism, and Christianity. The
international prestige he had won for Tang China was so high that the states of Central and North
Asia honored him with the title of "Heavenly Khan". Although his father founded the dynasty, it
was his reign that laid the groundwork for a brilliant empire that was to endure for centuries.
Critique: A deftly written and truly riveting work from beginning to end, "Heavenly Khan: A
Biography of Emperor Tang Taizong" is an extraordinary and solidly entertaining story that
reveals author Victor Cunrui Xiong to be a exceptional and impressive novelist of the first order.
Highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Historical Fiction
collections, "Heavenly Khan" is one of those literary works that will linger in the mind and
memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.
The Outreach Committee
C. L. Woodhams
9780990892403, $14.95, PB, 480pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In South Bay, California, the Battered Women s Escape Foundation (BWEF) shelters,
counsels, and trains abused women so that they can start new lives. However, one group cannot
take advantage of this haven: women of means, whose influential husbands can unearth any
shelter with a single phone call. Mora Rey and Carol Ewald form the Outreach Committee to rid
these women of their abusive spouses by creating accidents to dispatch them. But when they
learn that the BWEF s newest benefactor is an abuser himself, will they tread too far into
Critique: A serious philosophical issue presented in a deftly crafted work of fiction, "The
Outreach Committee: Because Marriage Can Be Murder" is a compelling read from beginning to
end. An impressive storyteller, readers should be aware of author C. L. Woodhams' blog for
abused women and their supports at clwoodhams.com. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "The Outreach Committee" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
He Can See Heaven: The Hierophant
J. B. Keats
9780990448907, $11.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A cascading adventure of discovery, intrigue, and romance, "He Can See Heaven: The
Hierophant" by J. B. Keats tells the tale of Ellen Shea, an intrepid graduate student on a perilous
search through exotic locales for a trove of lost scrolls. Penned by Saint Papias and known to
history as the Logia, the scrolls are the first record of Jesus, eyewitness accounts older and truer
than the New Testament. They unveil a new perspective of the man-god and predict the coming
of a doomsday prophet, the Hierophant, the one who can see heaven. Along the way Ellen meets
a cavalcade of intriguing characters including two beguiling men, polar opposites who tantalize
her mind and inflame her desires. The text depicts a second journey, that of the scrolls
themselves, from their origin in ancient Anatolia, through Judea to Constantine's Council at
Nicaea, and then west to Iberia and the medieval kingdoms of the Visigoths, Moors, and
Spaniards, at last coming to rest in modern Granada. A raucous ride through Europe, North
Africa, and New York City, this uncommon novel ponders the nature of faith and its professors,
concluding with the poignant appearance of the Hierophant and his timeless message.
Critique: Exceptional, entertaining, and a terrific page-turner of a novel from beginning to end,
"He Can See Heaven: The Hierophant" showcases author J. B. Keats as an impressively skillful
writer and storyteller. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "He Can See Heaven: The
Hierophant" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781517054847, $24.99, PB, 798pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On July 23, 1587, England established its first permanent North American settlement
on Roanoke Island in present day North Carolina. Barely a month later, the colony's deteriorating
circumstances forced Governor John White to return to England for additional supplies and
colonists. However, war with Spain preempted his return until 1590, when upon his arrival, he
discovered the colony had vanished.
Shortly after the governor's departure - the last instant of known Roanoke history - hostile
relations with the nearby Indians and imminent starvation force the colonists to consider leaving
Roanoke Island. But where can they go? Their charter from Sir Walter Raleigh is for the
Chesapeake Bay area to the north; yet, the river to their west offers a far shorter, but more
dangerous passage - it's populated by hostile Indian tribes antagonized by an earlier, English
While the colonists weigh their options, suitors seek Emily's favor; the powerful Powhatan
chiefdom plans the colony's demise; and four warriors from a tribe to the distant north make their
way toward the coast to trade with tribes near the colony. Ill fortune relentlessly hounds the
colonists as they depart Roanoke, and they soon realize their new circumstances are more
precarious than those they escaped. As the colony struggles for survival against mounting
adversity and internal conflict, an unlikely suitor enters Emily's life, and she faces terrifying
perils that ultimately lead to an agonizing decision.
Increasingly distraught, Allie follows the Lost Colony and Emily as they march inexorably
toward their destinies. Desperate to understand the genesis and verity of her dreams, she probes
the depths of modern dream science to fashion a theoretical explanation for her dreams. But as
the colony's prospects dim, Allie discovers there may be far more to her bond with the Lost
Colony and Emily Colman than she could ever have imagined; and as her emotional fusion with
Emily surges, she faces a dire challenge that threatens her own survival.
Critique: An exceptionally well written saga, "Dangerous Dreams" blends history with fiction to
deftly present a compelling and multilayered story that will hold the reader's rapt attention from
beginning to end. An epic novel that showcases author Mike Rhynard's impressive storytelling
talents, "Dangerous Dreams" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library
collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Dangerous Dreams" is also
available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock
Eileen Haavik McIntire
9780961451905, $14.95, PB, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The antique clock keeps ticking, but what does it hide? Nancy seeks its secret as she
and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village discover swindlers are targeting and
defrauding the residents. The scams are online, but the swindlers know too much to be strangers.
Did they shoot and kill Nancy's new friend Betts? Nancy and the 90s Club pursue the killer and
the con men, but the killer is no fool and attacks first. This time, the killer swears, Nancy will not
escape. "The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock" is yet another great cozy mystery by Eileen
Haavik McIntire featuring the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village.
Critique: An impressively well crafted and thoroughly entertaining mystery that plays fair with
the reader from beginning to end, "The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock" will prove to be
an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the
personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "The 90s Club & the
Secret of the Old Clock" is also available in a Kindle edition ($1.99).
Secret in Whitetail Lake
c/o Indigo Sea Press
9781630662349, $14.95, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department stumbles upon a car at the bottom
of Whitetail Lake, what appears to be a probable accident from three decades earlier, turns into
something far more sinister when Sheriff Twardy disappears that same day. It's up to Sergeant
Corinne Aleckson and Detective Elton Dawes to probe into both mysteries. As they investigate
little do they know that they are being carefully and surreptitiously watched.
Critique: Another riveting novel by Christine Husom who is clearly a master of the genre. "Secret
in Whitetail Lake" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense
collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted for mystery fans that "Secret in Whitetail
Lake" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
127 East Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
9781631857645, $25.99, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Michael's smile broadened. "It seems like you're surprised to see me, Jean. Don't tell
me you thought that they'd leave an eleven-year-old boy locked away forever." Twenty-nine years
after the tragic death of her childhood best friend, Hope, Jean Cartwright Rhodes returns to her
hometown with her husband and daughter after she inherits the house her friend's family once
lived in. Now, years later, she finds herself haunted by a dark truth - and by the specter of Hope
herself. Every time Jean looks through her kitchen window, she sees two stark reminders of her
troubled past; the Afta-U sailboat, ironically named after young Hope, and the old oak tree where
her eleven-year-old friend met her death at the hands of another child. "Afta-U" unfolds as a
psychological chess match, a complex web of intrigue, unexpected relationships, lies, and
devastating secrets as Jean struggles with the impact of decisions she made long ago on all the
lives around her. When Jean confronts and tries to come to grips with Hope's killer, she finds
herself waging a personal battle between madness and redemption.
Critique: An exceptionally well crafted and truly absorbing novel from beginning to end,
"Afta-U" by Jennifer-Lynn Keniston is an impressively entertaining read and highly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "Afta-U" is also available in a paperback edition (9781680284270,
The Christos Mosaic
Blank Slate Press
c/o Amphorae Publishing Group
9781943075034, $28.00, HC, 554pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ancient scrolls hold the key to the origins of Christianity, but some will stop at nothing
to hide the truth. A suspicious death in Istanbul leaves one ancient scroll and clues to finding
another in the hands of Drew Korchula, a thirty-two-year-old American expat, a Turkish dwarf
named Kadir, and Zafer, a Special Forces washout. Drew is desperate to turn everything over to
the academic community, and in the process redeem himself in the eyes of his estranged wife, but
Kadir and Zafer are only interested in what they can get for the scrolls on the black market. Not
everyone wants to see the scrolls go public, however, and some will stop at nothing to protect the
Church and believers around the world from the revelations embodied in the priceless
An action-packed intellectual thriller unraveling a theological cold case more than two thousand
years old, The Christos Mosaic is a monumental work of biblical research wrapped in a story of
love, faith, human frailty, friendship, and forgiveness. Author Vincent Czyz takes the reader
through the backstreets of Istanbul, Antakya (ancient Antioch), and Cairo, to clandestine
negotiations with wealthy antiquities smugglers and ruthless soldiers of fortune, to dusty
Egyptian monasteries, on a nautical skirmish off the coast of Alexandria, and finally to the ruins
of Constantine's palace buried deep beneath the streets of present-day Istanbul.
Critique: A brilliant, deftly crafted, inherently absorbing novel from beginning to end, "The
Christos Mosaic" by Vincent Czyz is one of those truly extraordinary stories that will linger in
the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.
Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library
General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Christos
Mosaic" is also available in a paperback edition (9781943075041, $18.95) and in a Kindle
Ronin Robot Press
9780986087387, $16.99, PB, 428pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Warrior" begins in 1973 with a .50 caliber machine gun round slamming overhead as
Rick Putnam and Eve Buffalo Calf are walking in supplies to the American Indian Movement
militants besieged in Wounded Knee. In a matter of hours, they find themselves on the run from
distrustful AIM members, US Marshals, the FBI, and a mysterious group that appears to be
attacking both sides. Rick accepts a sacred mission from a militant who saved his life back in
Vietnam and that leads him into battle against a cult determined to destroy the reservation where
Eve grew up.
Critique: "Warrior" is the second volume in author Terry Irving's 'Freelancer' series. Like the first
volume of this outstanding series, "Courier" (9780986087318, $14.99 PB, $4.99 Kindle, 302pp),
"Warrior" takes the reader on a headlong adventure replete with unexpected twists and
unanticipated turns. A riveting action/adventure read from beginning to end, "Warrior" is very
highly recommended for community library Contemporary Adventure Fiction collections. For
personal reading lists it should be noted that "Warrior" is also available in a Kindle edition.
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514407998, $22.99, HC, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sean Green, the spin doctor for many multimillion dollar companies, becomes
infatuated with the idea of helping a beautiful woman take her apparel business to the next level.
During the process, his best friend, biggest client, and mentor is murdered at one of Sean's
homes. Through Brazilian connections, lessons in using the power of sex, international
marketing, and police investigations, "Uncontrolled Spin: The Power and Danger of Spin" by
Jerry Summers develops an array of characters and plot twists that keeps the reader turning the
pages. With knowledgeable research, straightforward language, and the ability to draw the reader
into the current situation, readers will lose themselves in the characters that author Jerry
Summers has created and brought to life (and death) in his debut novel for a series of what he
describes as "unmissable" books.
Critique: A compelling read from beginning to end, "Uncontrolled Spin: The Power and Danger
of Spin" showcases novelist Jerry Summers as an exceptionally gifted writer able to rivet his
readers to an deftly crafted and unfolding story of originality that interweaves such otherwise
despite elements as mystery and romance, murder and sex. Simply stated, "Uncontrolled Spin" is
strongly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Uncontrolled Spin" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781514407981, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Word Hermit Press LLC
PO Box 21849, Charleston, SC 29413
9780990859338, $16.99, PB, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mike's usual strategy was to gently stir the pot and wait for patterns to emerge, but this
case was boiling over from the day Willimina showed up at his office. Freelance investigator
Mike Ironwood doesn't hesitate for a moment when a lovely stranger asks him to help her get to
the bottom of suspicious happenings on her family cattle ranch. The case is intriguing, and
Willimina even more so. Six days in, the case has turned up two dead bodies, an alphabet soup of
secretive federal investigators, and a client who just might be The One. That's when things get
complicated. When a greedy DEA agent and his complicated and deadly triggerman kidnap
Willy, Mike enlists help from his brother and sets out to rescue her from a conflicted cartel jefe.
The trail leads them deep into Mexico, but they come home with dangerous unfinished business.
Ochoco Reach introduces Mike Ironwood, his special ops brother Daniel, and Bucket, a
Catahoula leopard dog who is equally at home herding cattle and pinning bad guys to the floor.
Together, they are formidable allies who also seem to attract trouble at every turn.
Critique: An impressively entertaining and exceptionally well crafted novel from beginning to
end, "Ochoco Reach" by Jim Stewart is very highly recommended and would prove to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Ochoco Reach" is also available in a Kindle edition
Amy M. Schisler
Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing
PO Box 355, Bozman, MD 21612
9780692497869, $14.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Melissa Grant has escaped the clutches of death, not once, not twice, but three times.
While she considers this to be divine intervention, her assailant is sure that her luck will run out,
and the authorities are suspicious that Melissa isn't as innocent as she seems. Implicated in the
murders of two of her closest friends, and running from both a hit man and the law, Melissa does
what is thought to be impossible in the 21st Century - she disappears.
Julie Lawson has no family, no friends, and no past. She spends her days photographing the
country and her nights tossing and turning as nightmares plague her sleep. While passing through
the town of St. Brendan, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Julie finds some things she hasn't had in a
very long time - a home, friends, and love. For the first time in two years, Julie can see her future,
but she can attain it only by surviving a predator from her past.
Eric West has a past of his own that he is trying to forget. His return to his hometown keeps his
demons away until he meets Julie, and she stirs up emotions in him that he hasn't felt in a long
time. As he slowly begins to let go of this past, Eric tries to break down the walls that Julie has
so tightly built around herself. Gaining her trust one small act at a time, and hiring the best
investigator in DC to dig for answers, Eric opens the Pandora's Box to Julie's past which
threatens all of their futures.
Critique: A riveting novel from beginning to end, "Picture Me" is replete with unexpected twists
and turns. Exceptionally well written, "Picture Me" fully establishes author Amy M. Schisler as a
impressively gifted storyteller. "Picture Me" is very highly recommended for community library
collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Picture Me" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($5.99).
Royal Oak Press
9780983081661, $12.99, PB, 346pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The disappearance of former handler and lover Megan Winslow strikes hard at Wade
Hanna's soul. He tenaciously digs into covert operations and learns that Megan is in mortal
danger. The secret laboratory she has penetrated is conducting experiments on orphans to revive
a Nazi effort to modify cell structure and turn innocent children into weaponized biological
agents. A ruthless Argentine mobster now has world powers unfriendly to America eager to pay
exorbitant sums for this technology of terror. Megan is the only one standing between the horrific
experiments and the children's freedom. If she is discovered, torture and death will follow.
Facing overwhelming odds, Wade has little time to rescue her and save the children.
Critique: Attention Hollywood! "Shadow Cell" is the stuff of which block-buster
action/adventure movies are made. A riveting and non-stop entertainment of a read from
beginning to end, "Shadow Cell" is very highly recommended for community for community
library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shadow
Cell" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
9780984617395, $15.99, 324pp, www.mikebroganbooks.com
Synopsis: As an infant, Ellie Stuart was adopted by a poor but loving couple in Kentucky. When
Ellie was sixteen her adoptive parents did leaving her alone. In college Ellie searches for her
biological parents with the help of law student Quinn Parker. But there's a problem. Someone is
trying to kill Ellie. Quinn and Ellie come to discover that Ellie might be the biological daughter
of a wealthy man who died with no heirs. But even after several valid DNA tests prove she can
not possible be this man's daughter, there is still someone trying to kill her. Ellie and Quinn must
flee for their lives.
Critique: Impressively well written from beginning to end, and a work of fiction that is based
stories that were told to him by friends in the medical community, "Kentucky Woman" clearly
demonstrates author Mike Brogan's complete mastery of the mystery genre. Certain to be an
enduringly popular read by mystery buffs, "Kentucky Woman" is very highly recommended,
especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
The Wrong Treatment
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781517595098, $9.95, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Adam Hooker was delighted to be working with advanced technologies such as MRI to
help doctors perform surgery and treat patients, but his world is overturned when his brilliant
mentor Gary dies in a horrific accident. But it seems Gary may have had dark secrets and
everything points to his involvement in a series of recent murders and attacks on women. Adam
is determined to find the truth and clear Gary's name, and is finally able to connect the dots
between Gary's death and the real killer. All this is set against a background of hi-tech medicine
and political intrigue within a top-ranked research institution.
Critique: "The Wrong Treatment " by Chris Malone is a deftly crafted, fast paced, compulsive
page turner of a medical mystery thriller. Very highly recommended for community library
Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated
mystery buffs that "The Wrong Treatment" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478763611, $28.95, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mac Taylor is a former Newark Police Detective has become a Private Investigator.
When his first client hires him to look into a reported suicide, he soon uncovers a sinister plot
that involves murders in Scotland and Italy, and plans to destroy several U.S. landmarks. Shortly
after his discovery, Mac and his pregnant wife, Cheryl, become targets of an international terror
organization; specifically, that of a psychopathic killer named Dirk Conroy, aka Ahmed Sal
Mohammed. Working with FBI Agent Sara Dillon, Mac sets out to find Conroy. Dillon wants
him captured alive. Mac wants him dead at all costs. Along the way, Taylor's old friend from his
Vietnam days, Nick Polsani, tries to convince him that seeking justice is the only course of action
to be taken. Mac disagrees. It's not justice he's looking for, rather it's a "Just Vengeance".
Critique: A riveting read from beginning to end, "Just Vengeance" is especially commended to
the attention of readers who prefer there suspense thriller novels to be non-stop page-turner
novels that hold one's rapt attention and won't let go until the roller-coaster of a literary ride is
done. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Just Vengeance" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781478763079, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($4.99). Also very highly recommended is
author Anthony D'Augustine's first Mac Taylor novel "Best Enemies" (9780595657179, $18.58
HC; 9780595278626, $16.95 PB; $3.99 Kindle).
The Social Issues Shelf
American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504933285, $31.99, HC, 348pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: America is in desperate need of new ideas. In the richest, most powerful nation in
history, Americans are profoundly troubled. The level of fear, anger, and dissatisfaction with life
in 21st century America is reflected in our many social ills and questionable national behavior,
exacerbated by the general lack of insight to explain what is wrong. Where will the new ideas
come from? In "American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture", cultural critic Stephen James draws
upon his more than thirty years of experience, observation, and experience to offer a fresh
perspective on the problems that plague America, as well as much-needed solutions. By applying
modern social science and interdisciplinary thought to contemporary American issues,
"American Stew" offers a sweeping and relevant analysis of a culture that has become toxic for
its members by proposing that our drive to become the most powerful nation on earth can be
understood in terms of the theories of the late Ernest Becker (September 27, 1924 - March 6,
1974). A Jewish-American cultural anthropologist, Becker wrote that all human beings dread
death, and all cultures have developed measures to deny death and create opportunities for
immortality. Unfortunately, our culture offers an inadequate antidote to death anxiety, pushing us
to success as a nation, while leaving us anxious, driven, and unhappy. Our own culture has
evolved to oppress and exploit us. It is, in a word, toxic. In the pages of "American Stew",
Stephen James suggests unique opportunities for hope, as well as new forms of heroism, new
values, and fresh approaches to life that counter death anxiety and promote satisfaction on a
deeper human level. "American Stew" synthesizes ideas from a multitude of disciplines to help
us better understand the complexities of culture and human motivation.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, Stephen James'
"American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture" is a landmark work of observationally based insight
that is truly impressive in scope and dimension. An inherently absorbing and challenging read
from beginning to end, "American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture" is very highly recommended
for both community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues reference collections and
supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for members of academia and non-specialist general
readers that "American Stew: Hope in a Toxic Culture" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781504929141, $23.95) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Far Orbit Apogee
Bascom James, editor
World Weaver Press
9780692509760, $14.95, PB, 316pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The second volume of the World Weaver Press 'Far Orbit Anthology' series, "Far Orbit
Apogee" takes all of the fun-to-read adventure, ingenuity, and heroism of mid-century pulp
fiction and reshapes it into modern space adventures crafted by a new generation of writers.
Science fiction fans can follow the adventures of heroic scientists, lunar detectives, space
dragons, robots, interstellar pirates, gun slingers, and other memorable and diverse characters as
they wrestle with adversity beyond the borders of our small blue marble. Compiled by Bascom
James, "Far Orbit Apogee" showcases outstanding science fiction stories from Jennifer
Campbell-Hicks, Dave Creek, Eric Del Carlo, Dominic Dulley, Nestor Delfino, Milo James
Fowler, Julie Frost, Sam S. Kepfield, Keven R. Pittsinger, Wendy Sparrow, Anna Salonen,
James Van Pelt, and Jay Werkheiser.
Critique: A truly exceptional anthology of deftly crafted science fiction short stories by an
assembly of writers who are masters of the genre, "Far Orbit Apogee" is very highly
recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Science
Fiction & Fantasy collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Far Orbit
Apogee" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
Written In Blood
Theresa M. Moore
9781938752070, $24.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An epic adventure of the 17th century, "Written in Blood" is the story of Alexander
Corvina who learns the art of the sword in Japan; then travels to Tibet and persuades his father
Lucien Arkanon to rejoin the world of mankind. They share adventure and danger on the road as
they travel toward France, and become eyewitnesses to history along the way. Yet their
adventures have only just begun as they encounter a new kind of adversary who wants to wipe
out all their kind.
Critique: A terrifically entertaining read from beginning to end, "Written in Blood" will have a
very special appeal to vampire fiction fans and documents author Theresa M. Moore as a master
of the dark fantasy genre. For those to whom "Written in Blood" is their first introduction to the
storytelling talents of Theresa Moore, go to the Antellus Books web site at
www.antellusbooks.com for a complete listing of her other outstanding novels.
Soul Fire Press
c/o Christopher Matthews Publishing
9781938985676, $17.95, PB, 244pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Anyone around the snug village of Bizi-Herri might pass it by upon first glance.
However, this quaint hometown of Olivia and Alazne Zubiondo is far from ordinary, and one
day, they find out why first-hand. When a curse afflicts Alazne, Olivia must find a way to stop it.
As she searches for answers, more problems surface and she finds herself uncovering secrets kept
hidden away from the world secrets meant to come out by nature, but were concealed by man.
Now, Olivia must figure out how to save her sister, her people and the dimensions intertwined
with her fate.
Critique: "The Angelnots" is a unique and riveting entertainment from beginning to end, and one
that clearly establishes that author Elise Pherson is an impressively talented novelist of the first
order. Appreciative readers of "The Angelnots" will look eagerly toward the next title in
Pehrson's deftly crafted 'The Unknown' series. Very highly recommended for community library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Angelnots" is also available in
a Kindle edition ($4.99).
Surviving the Improbable Quest (Heroes of Distant Planets Book 1)
9780692567456, $12.99, PB, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Jibbawk is a dark creature, a shadow almost, with glowing eyes. It hunts humans
for sport or revenge or hunger, no one knows really. We do know it's not from Earth and that its
cunning arises from a ruthless nature. And there are more dangers on this far-away planet called
Lan Darr, more dangers than can be counted. Allan Westerfield is someone who has lost so much
-- his Olympic dreams, his parents, the use of his legs, even his voice. When life is at its bleakest,
its darkest, Allan and his uncle are almost drown by a flash flood. Allan must save his uncle,
even if it's the last thing he does. Allan crawls for help, a seemingly insurmountable task for a
paraplegic. Then without warning, Allan is transported to planet Lan Darr by the least likely
thing, a flower. He is lost, hopeless and confused. Will he get home? Will his uncle die alone in a
cold, dark forest? No. A fire erupts inside Allan. In a blaze of utter resilience, Allan finds his
voice, his soul and his heart.
Critique: "Surviving the Improbable Quest" is the first volume of the "Heroes of Distant Planets" series, which is certain to be enduringly popular among science fiction fans. This deftly crafted story is written and illustrated by Anderson Atlas, who is an impressively gifted and original novelist. "Surviving the Improbable Quest" is an exciting adventure, very highly recommended for school and community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Surviving the Improbable Quest" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Arrival of Richard III
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781512361896, $13.99, PB, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What would you ask for if God owed you a favor? King Richard III chooses to travel
to the twenty-first century to repair his reputation. After more than five hundred years of
Tudor-inspired propaganda, Richard's name is in tatters. Reviled for crimes he never committed,
he has his work cut out for him. He needs help, and decides his distant cousin Ned York is just
the person to assist him. But mild-mannered Ned has problems of his own. Recently fired from
his prestigious law firm due to a mistake by his ex-girlfriend, Ned is trying to figure out what to
do with his life. The last thing he needs is some cousin he's never met, with a wacky story to tell,
arriving at his doorstep in Colorado. Nevertheless, Ned finds he is unable to resist Richard's plea
for support and begins an adventure that turns his life even more upside down, all while
discovering Lindsey, the love of his life. If only Lindsey can get around the fact that she thinks
Ned is a little kooky. After all, Ned has now become convinced that Richard is actually the real
king come back to life.
Critique: Entertaining, original, exceptionally well written, "The Arrival of Richard III" very
nicely showcases author Kari August's impressive storytelling talents. Certain to be an enduringly
popular addition to community library collections, for personal reading lists it should be noted
that "The Arrival of Richard III" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
The Immortal: Alabaster
Simpson & Brook, Publishers
9780990394075, $26.00, HC, 268pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Crime consultant and philosophy professor, Dr. Aaron Archer, receives a call from the
LAPD to assist in the investigation of a series of gruesome murders-the victims were
immobilized and their hearts were cut out. In the course of the investigation, Aaron, a fifty-five
hundred year old immortal detective, will encounter a killer that challenges even his vast
experience and threatens the life of the women he loves, the only person who knows who and
what he really is. LAPD Captain, Frank McGarry, hires Aaron to help investigate the murders of
three religious leaders whose hearts were cut out. A small statue of an odd looking little man was
left in the chest cavity of each victim. Aaron recognizes the image as Ipsis, the ancient Assyrian
god of retribution and revenge. Why would someone be killing religious leaders in the same way
the priests of Ipsis killed their victims 3,000 years ago? The investigation leads Aaron from
rituals associated with an ancient, brutal past to a contemporary criminal enterprise of staggering
and dangerous proportions. Searching for the killer requires Aaron to utilize skills from his past,
a past he'd rather forget. As Aaron begins to unravel the clues, more people die and Alexis, the
woman Aaron trusts with his secret and with his love, becomes a target.
Critique: A unique blend of historical fantasy and contemporary mystery, "The Immortal:
Alabaster" by Glenn Rogers is a deftly crafted, solidly entertaining, and riveting read from
beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library Fantasy/Mystery collections,
it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Immortal: Alabaster" is also available in a
paperback edition (9780982837184, $15.00), and in a Kindle format ($2.99).
The Business Shelf
Zombies Ate My Business
River Grove Books
9781632990709, $22.95, HC, 198pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The thing about zombies (a contextual term for "toxic employees") is you don't know
them when you see them. They're invisible; but don't be fooled. As they walk unnoticed through
the halls of your small business, they're doing a negative number on your bottom line. They slow
productivity, treat your customers rudely, and infect other employees with their poor morale and
shoddy work ethic. In a small business, one zombie - one employee not pulling his or her share of
the workload - can make all the difference.
In "Zombies Ate My Business", Jamie Gerdsen (President and CEO of Apollo Home in
Cincinnati, Ohio) seeks to help traditional business owners find and eliminate zombie employees,
and to clear the ranks of zombie-like thinking among management. Traditional businesses-those
mainstays of Main Street-may have started out with a bang, but many have grown stagnant, even
tottering on the edge of death. In the pages of "President and CEO of Apollo Home in Cincinnati,
Ohio", Gerdsen considers the life cycle of a traditional business, and the life cycle of an
employee. He forecasts what happens when the two intersect. Sure, a young business staffed with
young employees should find it easy to grow; but what about a mature, "plateaued" business,
staffed with mature, retirement-age employees? Or a middle-aged company with middle-aged
workers? Even these companies can return to growth, says Gerdsen, who speaks from experience
with his own turned-around HVAC business. "Zombies Ate My Business" maps the way to
growth, renewal, and zombie-free prosperity for businesses in all life stages.
Critique: Informative, insightful, practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end,
"Zombies Ate My Business" should be considered a "must read" for all small business
entrepreneurs seeking to profitably maximize all every aspect of their operation. Very highly
recommended for both community and academic library Business Management instructional
reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Zombies Ate My
Business " is also available in a paperback edition (9781632990600, $16.95) and in a Kindle
Success Productions LLC
9780997076318, $19.95, PB, 234pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In theory, Merton Financial owned the market. Everyone knew that. But even its
hotshot founder Jack Merton had to call in high-powered consulting help when the Seattle branch
went off the rails with out-of-control discord, drama, dissension, and distrust. Three managers in
four years. Poor customer service. Employees acting inappropriately. Revenues down. What
next? That's why Jack desperately called in leadership consultant Glen O'Brien to troubleshoot.
"Magnitude: Releasing the Power of Your Leadership Presence" by Boyd Ober (President of
Leadership Resources, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based consulting company with clients throughout
the country) shows how understanding and applying the five-layered leadership model helped
move the ailing company from mayhem to magnitude by releasing the power of leadership
presence in every employee. An unforgettable allegory follows HR manager Sondra, high-tech
hipster Miles, young Kate at the front desk, team player Laney in finance, frumpy Maryann in the
executive suite, former manager Tom, and even Jack himself on a journey to dive deep and peel
back the layers of leadership. "Magnitude" reads like a novel but rings true for every employee in
any field or career who wants to strengthen his or her own leadership presence, because, after all,
you can discover your hidden power and make positive changes in your business and life.
Critique: A unique and highly effective approach to instructive business management concepts
and techniques, "Magnitude: Releasing the Power of Your Leadership Presence" is a thoroughly
'reader friendly' in commentary, organization, and presentation. A critically important and
strongly recommended addition to both community and academic library Business Management
reference collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "Magnitude" is also
available to academia and non-specialist general readers in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Military Shelf
James L. Young
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781508998174, $11.00, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Since 1972, the United States Air Force has argued that its operations against North
Vietnam were unsuccessful primarily through a combination of civilian interference and poor
strategic choices. Often citing the "success" of Operation Linebacker II as an example of what
might have been had its leaders been given free rein, for almost forty years the Air Force has
maintained that its proper employment is the key to winning America's wars. In "Barren SEAD:
USAF Suppression of Enemy Air Defense Doctrine, 1953-1972", military historian James L.
Young Jr. propagates a different theory: Instead of being a sign of what the Air Force was
capable of, Linebacker II was a bitter failure that starkly outlined the USAF's limitations.
Furthermore, instead of the meddling of the Johnson and Nixon Administrations, this defeat was
brought about by Air Force leaders' refusal to develop a Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
(SEAD) doctrine from 1953-1972. Relying primarily on Air Force archival documents, memoirs,
and contemporary doctrinal publications, Young illustrates just how dangerous the Air Force's
failure to nurture its SEAD capability was during this period of the Cold War.
Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively documented
and exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Barren SEAD: USAF Suppression of
Enemy Air Defense Doctrine, 1953-1972" is a compelling read that has not only historical value
but contemporary relevance as air command policies are formulated and implemented in
America's current campaigns in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. Very highly recommended for
community and academic library 20th Century Military history collections in general, and the
growing library of Vietnam War literature in particular, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Barren SEAD" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Education Shelf
Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education
Henry C. Lucas, Jr.
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781508803706, $49.95, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: American universities for years have been the bright spot in our educational system.
Today, these institutions are under siege from multiple constituencies including students, parents,
legislators, government officials and their own faculties. Education has historically been a way
for students to improve their lives and fortunes. However, the rising costs of college are a barrier
to access for many students, reducing their chances for upward mobility. Is technology the
solution, or is it just another costly problem for universities?
The purpose of "Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education: Saving the American
University" is to explore how new technology has the potential to transform American higher
education. However, this same technology also has the potential to disrupt universities. Much
depends on how administrators, faculty and students apply technologically-enhanced learning.
"Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education" presents details on MOOCs, blended,
flipped and online classes and their role in transforming higher-ed based on my experiences
teaching all of these types of courses. A blended course includes asynchronous material, usually
on the Internet, that students access at their convenience. Faculty may post videos and other
exercises they find on the Web, and they may create their own short video lectures. Class time is
devoted to "active" learning, where students make presentations, solve problems, and discuss the
issues in the course. A major contribution of this approach is to move from passive lecturing to
an active learning environment. Fully online classes have existed for years, but technology
available today makes it possible to have an online experience that includes synchronous
interaction between faculty and staff online through video conferencing.
"Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education" describes the development and contents of
a high-quality, online MBA program that is very successful two years after it began. Massive
Open Online Courses or "MOOCs" are the utility infielder of new educational technologies. They
can be used in many different ways, as standalone courses for general interest or a certificate, as a
supplement to college courses, or as the basis for a degree or even a new type of university.
These technology-enabled approaches to teaching and learning offer tremendous opportunities to
schools, but they also threaten the traditional university. "Technology and the Disruption of
Higher Education" identifies some of these threats and opportunities and offers suggested
strategies to take advantage of the technology. Is this technology enough to save the American
University system? While new ways of teaching and learning are exciting, they are only part of
the puzzle. Radical change beyond what happens in the classroom is needed if our higher
education system is to continue to flourish and some of these ideas are discussed in the final
Critique: An exceptionally well researched, impressively written, accessibly organized and
presented study, "Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education: Saving the American
University" by Henry C. Lucas Jr., (Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems and Chair
of the Department of Decision, Operations and Information Technologies, University of
Maryland) is an seminal work of impressive and painstaking scholarship. An invaluable
contribution to our national dialogue with respect to college and university educational missions
in a digital age, "Technology and the Disruption of Higher Education" is very highly
recommended for personal, professional, governmental, and academic library Higher Education
reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The New Medical School Preparation & Admissions Guide 2016
Dr. Andrew Goliszek
PO Box 24906, Winston-Salem, NC 27114
9780692552158 $21.95 www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An updated and comprehensive guide to medical school preparation and admissions,
including the latest information on the new MCAT and future admission trends. Competition for
a limited number of places in the nation's medical schools is increasing, so students must have a
competitive edge. Dr. Goliszek's guide is unsurpassed for the timely and expert information it
offers about all aspects of premedical planning and successful admissions strategies. Some of the
areas covered are: Undergraduate curricula that increase the chances for successful admission;
academic and non-academic activities that make you stand out as a potential candidate; scholastic
and personal qualities that all medical schools are specifically looking for; the kinds of medical
schools you're most likely to be admitted to based on your qualifications; the new Medical
College Admission Test (MCAT), with study tips and new key science terms; over 300 actual
interview questions, along with tips on what to say and do on the interview; chapter on minority
admissions, including lists of summer minority enrichment programs; chapter on high school
preparation and pre-college planning for students, teachers, and advisors; chapter on alternate
health careers, along with employment trends for the next decade and beyond; chapter on study,
learning, memorizing, and test-taking skills for students at all levels; lists of medical schools
with the best records of accepting women, minorities, and non-residents; medical school rankings
based on undergraduate GPA, MCAT scores, and state of residence; up-to-date information and
data on all 144 U.S. medical schools, as well as medical schools opening in 2016-2017.
Critique: The New Medical School Preparation & Admissions Guide 2016: New & Updated For
Tomorrow's Medical School Applicants and Students lives up to its title as a "must-have" for
anyone contemplating a potential career in medicine. Chapters guide future professions through
recommended preparation during their high school years, the premedical curriculum, the
application process and specific tests, recommended extracurricular activities to make one stand
out, options in foreign medical education, and much more. Thoroughly accessible and
reader-friendly, The New Medical School Preparation & Admissions Guide 2016 is also an
excellent choice for community library collections, as a handy reference and resource for local
students planning their college education and careers!
You Are Your Child's Best Teacher
DeBora L'T. Mapp
Inspired Schooling Solutions Publishing
PO Box 818, Louisville, KY 40201-0818
9781513600772, $19.95, PB, 112pp, www.deboramapp.com
Synopsis: The target audience for "You Are Your Child's Best Teacher: A Holistic Guide To
Link Home And School" are parents, families and loved ones who are concerned about children
and how they're faring in today's world. This audience is striving to make life better for children,
beginning with home lives where children are first taught how to live and learn. Families are the
basic social unit of society and important to their children's and our nation's futures. "You Are
Your Child's Best Teacher" recognizes that families need help in becoming the best teachers for
their children in our rapidly changing and sometimes cruel world. "You Are Your Child's Best
Teacher" is also written for advocates who help support children and their families through
community initiatives and in and out of school time programs. Clues in this guidebook may help
families and advocates move from where you are right now (the status quo) to your future plans
and goals to improve children's academic achievement so they can have better life chances in
their futures - which benefit our nation also. The sections and chapters comprising "You Are
Your Child's Best Teacher" introduce many concepts as clues to family building more family
well-being, relationship building and student achievement.
Critique: Absolutely 'reader friendly' in tone, scope, commentary, organization, and presentation,
"You Are Your Child's Best Teacher: A Holistic Guide To Link Home And School" is as
informed and informative as it is 'real world' practical and 'do-it-yourself' applicable from
beginning to end. "You Are Your Child's Best Teacher" is very highly recommended for
community library Parenting/Education instructional reference collections and supplemental
studies reading lists.
The Money/Finance Shelf
Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing
Financial Literacy Press
9780991316601, $22.95, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing" by wealth management advisor, speaker and
author Kim Curtis is especially commended to the attention of anyone for whom money makes
them uneasy, for whom the fear of losing money keeps them awake at night, for all those who
would you like to be smarter about employing their money. Money questions plague all of us at
one time or another and penetrate every aspect of our lives it doesn't matter how old you are or
how much money you have. "Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing" provides solid, practical,
realistic and action-oriented guidance for dealing with protecting a financial future; financially
surviving the unexpected twists and turns of the economy, a career or family members create;
having an investment strategy that encompasses the highest vision for ourselves versus what
others think we should have important? "Money Secrets" provides a front row seat to what the
financial industry doesn't want known about investing, from a true financial services industry
insider. For example, over 90 percent of so-called financial advisors are in the business of
making profitable sales for themselves. Most who work for brokerage firms, banks and insurance
companies, make money by selling products from their employers grab bag? That means that
every stock, every trade, every mutual fund everything most advisors recommend buying and put
into your portfolio gives them a kickback of some type. Those so-called 'financial advisors' may
not have your best interest in mind. "Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing" is a
common-sense approach to planning and investing wisely.
Critique: Impressively well written, exceptionally informed and informative, and thoroughly
'reader friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing
" should be considered a "must read" for anyone planning on investing in any stock and/or bond
portfolio. Simply stated, every community library in the country should have a copy of "Money
Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing" in the Money/Finance collections for the benefit of their
patrons. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Money Secrets: Keys to Smart
Investing " is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Poetry Shelf
Joseph E. LeBlanc, Jr.
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9780595847891 $25.95 hc
9780595404131 $15.95 pbk www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In Defining Moments, Joseph LeBlanc takes us on a journey through times and
happenings in his life firm in the belief that so many of these moments have been lived by each
of us in countless ways that are, in the end, so much the same. His words speak of hopes and
fears and loss and pain and of the spirit that survives. He finds in these moments a common
thread and finds it well. These are roads well-traveled as we make our way, sometimes halting,
sometimes tentative, always in search of more meaning. There is much to savor that should not
be missed. Rare will be the reader who is not found somewhere in these pages. Rarer still will be
the one who is not moved to remembrance and reflection from having read this way.
Critique: Defining Moments is a more than a compilation of free-verse poetry; it is also the
memoir and legacy of a devoted husband and father, spanning almost forty years. Author Joseph
E. LeBlanc, Jr. offers a brief paragraph of context in preface to each poem; collectively, the
verses reflect those moments of timeless memory, human choices, emotions, love, and inner
conflict that shape life itself. Highly recommended. "The Reassembling": We travel in time /
more than we know, / departing with those who / go ahead, / leaving vestiges of our selves / for
our return, / the space filled by memories / we have learned. // We are strangers welcomed back, /
seeming the same, / but drifting in a void, / returning as someone else / that no kings horses or
kings men / can ever put back together again.
Ariana D. Den Bleyker
Raw Art Press
9780981953465, $15.00, PB, 76pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Life is no lightweight thing, as poet Ariana Bleyker writes, "we are reborn in our heavy
steps, our secrets zippered shut on our backs". Our humanity, our bodies, is where we find
ourselves in her poems, in the drama, in the finality of acceptance and self- determination, at the
edge in which we burn white hot. The inward entanglement of two bodies strong in love, in
leaving, in struggle, emotions and feelings, thick, palpable, and wonderment too whatever it is
we experience, the body is the doorway, the body pushing against gravity, pulled by its own
vision, needs and desires, "our secrets" leave us with "mud up to our ankles." Love, in
"Wayward Lines", is fathoms into the quick, leaving the shallows of fantasy, romance. The body
is our connection, here is breath, teeth, throat, mouth, tongue, arms, skin eyes throb, our backs
carry the world and our dreams, "hands full of dark." The body, life, is its own hunger and the
beauty, even when we feel broken. These are poems of relationship, of home and traversing the
impossible as we feel every inch of it.
Critique: An impressive word smith who is able to plumb the depths of the human experience
and the emotions infused into those experiences, Ariana Bleyker is an impressively gifted poet
and "Wayward Lines" a very highly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as
community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. 'Burying the Dead':
He says I'm supposed to heal, reconcile / the past, even if pain is the healing / and the reconciling
burying the dead. / So I cover myself in black and howl / over empty caskets, watch the
internments, / smell the cremations, seek solace / in stowing red roses beneath my bed, / shelving
ashes in my closet. I have only / flowers, a color, a scent, stretching my / insides out until i let it
all go, go down, / down until it is dying, dead, and my world / breaking open, heart unbound,
having no / word for closure or anything like it.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504328937, $17.99, PB, 266pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When we open to heal, we invite the power that creates worlds to move through us and
guide us. We practice presence, we pay attention, and we allow. "Living in the Flow: Practicing
Vibrational Alignment" by Ruth Cherry (who practices individual psychotherapy, writes, and
offers daily guided meditation groups) illustrates this process with journal writing, psychological
insights, meditation instruction, and spiritual awareness.
Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively well written, organized and presented instructional,
"Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment" is very highly recommended for
community and academic library Meditation Studies, Metaphysical Studies, and
Self-Help/Self-Improvement reference collections and supplemental studies lists. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Path of the Heart
Blue Sapphire Books
9780984061624, $15.00, PB, 210pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Path of the Heart: A Spiritual Guide to Divine Union, Expanded Edition with
Commentary" by theologian and spiritual teacher Beverly Lanzetta is a modern spiritual classic,
and the first written account of the life-changing mystical revelations of divine suffering and
divine love that she experienced in 1976. Completed in 1984, and originally published in 1985,
the text for "Path of the Heart" describes the interior process of mystical intimacy or union,
combining insights from Lanzetta's own transformation with those she witnessed in the souls of
people who came to her for spiritual guidance. Now published in a newly updated and expanded
edition with Beverly Lanzetta's commentary on each chapter comprising "Path of the Heart" is a
clear guide for those who deeply yearn for spiritual meaning in life.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Path of the
Heart: A Spiritual Guide to Divine Union, Expanded Edition with Commentary" is an inherently
inspired and inspiring read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community and
academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Path of the Heart" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
Gods, Goddesses, and Saints
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478747000, $34.95, PB, 554pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Chanting exists in many religious and spiritual traditions. The practice of chant focuses
the mind and body with simple physics of sound, while the choice of chant can reflect a specific
need, or honor a tradition. "Gods, Goddesses, and Saints" by Barbara Carroll is a user-friendly,
in-depth, and comprehensive guide to a solitary practice of chant and meditation, providing
chants from many faiths, ranging from pagan deities to saints from many religions. Beautifully
organized in many different ways, "Gods, Goddesses, and Saints" encourages you to explore the
resonance of important figures and their associations and meanings across many traditions. You
will also find blank forms to help you create your own chants and meditations. "Gods,
Goddesses, and Saints" provides a fresh view of spiritual practice and new ideas for the future of
Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring,
"Gods, Goddesses, and Saints" is a unique and very strongly recommended addition to
Metaphysical Studies instructional reference collections. Exceptionally well written, organized
and presented, for personal studies lists it should be noted that "Gods, Goddesses, and Saints" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
The Biography Shelf
Roberta's Boys: Four Pitts Brothers of Macon, GA
Ann B. Carlson
Ann Carlson Publishing
9780996288309, $26.95, HC, 282pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "Roberta's Boys: Four Pitts Brothers of Macon, GA", author Ann B.
Carlson tells the inspiring true life-stories of four great African-American men (Dr. Willis N.
Pitts, Robert B. Pitts, Dr. Raymond J. Pitts and Dr. Nathan A. Pitts), their wives, and their
children. "Roberta's Boys" explores how these men were able to recover from childhood's tragic
losses to succeed as accomplished professionals, despite the discrimination of the Jim Crow
South, and how they contributed to the nation during the Civil Rights Era. They were four
brothers, born in the early years of the 20th century to an educated and ambitious
African-American couple of Macon, Georgia. Their parents, part of the emerging black middle
class, gave them an affectionate family, a close community, and the best schooling available to
blacks at that time. Then, a family tragedy took resources and security away and scattered the
family to the four winds. In the years of the Great Depression, throughout World War II and
beyond, these men would have to summon every ounce of the faith and fortitude they learned at
their mother's knee: to survive, to finish college and graduate school, and to each make their own,
notable contribution to the nation in government service or education. Each son gave his mother,
Roberta ("Sis") Pitts, the credit for his success.
Critique: A deftly chronicled history of the triumph of the human spirit over incredible adversity,
"Roberta's Boys: Four Pitts Brothers of Macon, GA" is a compelling and ultimately inspiring
read from beginning to end. "Roberta's Boys: Four Pitts Brothers of Macon, GA" is an
extraordinary and very highly recommended for personal reading lists, in addition to community
and academic library American Biography and Black Studies collections.
Fading into Focus
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781505633986, $12.00, PB, 84pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Nothing strains family relationships like Alzheimer's. As her mother begins her
descent into dementia, Joan Kantor must assume a challenging role. Layers of past and present
become a complicated reality that she must untangle for both of them. "Fading into Focus" is Kantor's unique
memoir of their relationship told through a collection of over fifty poems. Through the flexibility
of verse, Kantor dips into different moments and memories, offering raw insights into her
frustration, guilt, and confusion as she struggles to understand who her mother is and how that
knowledge affects her as a daughter. At its heart, Kantor's poetry is painfully honest. Rather than
tiptoe around past hurts, she reveals that forgiveness doesn't forget but is instead a choice to
value love more than justice. These poems are an encouraging read for anyone caring for a loved
one suffering from dementia or dealing with a challenging relationship because they offer a
foundational hope that frees you to consider your own situation with new, compassionate eyes
and experience the peace that accompanies a life of grace.
Critique: With an impressive candor and an exceptional ability to craft poetry that touches the
psyche as well as the heart, "Fading into Focus" is a truly extraordinary read and one that will linger in the mind
and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Absolutely recommended
for personal reading lists, "Fading into Focus" is certain to prove an enduringly popular addition
to both community and academic library collections as well.
Good Luck Bill
Goat Tree Press
9780990892519, $9.95, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Can we inherit the capability (or the inability) to love someone? Does one failed
relationship put all future ones at risk? Could it be that what tears two people apart are the very
things they hold in common? These are just some of the questions explored by Carrie Herzner in
the pages of "Good Luck Bill", Her own haunting and raw true story of an unraveling marriage
which compelled her to take a closer look at her virtually nonexistent relationship with her
long-absent father. What else could she do when her husband blamed their failed marriage on her
genetics. As Carrie enters her new role as a single mother of two boys, she begins the difficult
process of reconnecting with her father Bill. As some questions are answered and new ones are
raised, she gradually comes to terms with where she came from and who she has become.
Sometimes, before we can move forward, we have to go back and shed some light on the dark
Critique: A deftly crafted and extraordinarily candid personal memoir, "Good Luck Bill" is an
inherently fascinating and fully absorbing read from beginning to end. "Good Luck Bill" is all the
more impressive considering that it is mother, hairstylist, and yoga devotee Carrie's first book.
Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library American Biography
collections, it should be noted that "Good Luck Bill" is also available in a Kindle edition
The Christian Studies Shelf
The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening
Abbot George Burke
Light of the Spirit Press
PO Box 1370, Cedar Crest, NM 87008
9781507722541, $14.95, PB, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: While the rest of the Apostles dispersed to various areas of the Mediterranean world,
the apostle Thomas travelled to India, where growing evidence shows that Jesus spent his "Lost
Years," and which had been the source of the wisdom which he had brought to the "West". The
Gospel According to Thomas (or the Gospel of Thomas) is an early Christian non-canonical
sayings-gospel that many scholars believe provides insight into the oral gospel traditions. It was
discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the
Nag Hammadi library. In "The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening", Abbot George Burke shines
the "Light of the East" on the sometimes enigmatic sayings of Jesus recorded by his apostle Saint
Thomas, revealing their unique and rich practical nature for modern day seekers for spiritual
Critique: An extraordinary work of theological commentary by Abbot George Burke (who is also
known as Swami Nirmalananda Giri), "The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening" is as informed
and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Very highly recommended to clergy and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in The Gospel of Thomas, this outstanding volume
is very highly recommended for seminary, church, community, and academic library Christian
Studies reference collections in general, and The Gospel of Thomas supplemental studies in
particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Gospel of Thomas for
Awakening" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle edition ($0.99).
International Studies For The Christian
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781329634909, $19.99, PB, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: William Tisdale wrote his "International Studies For The Christian" with the specific
intention and purpose of helping his fellow Christians to utilize the Bible as a resource for
identifying, exploring, researching, and analyzing international issues, global affairs, and current
events with a given geographic framework to reveal the otherwise unseen hand and unrecognized
scriptural truth of a wise, intelligent, and powerful God intervening in the affairs of mankind.
The purpose of that divine intervention being to save men and women from a sinful and decadent
Critique: An inherently absorbing read from beginning to end, "International Studies For The
Christian" is as informed and informative, and as thoughtful and thought-provoking, as it is
inspired and inspiring. Very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community
regardless of their denominational affiliation, as well seminary and church Christian Studies
reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "International Studies For
The Christian" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).
Fishing For God -- And Vice Versa
2301 Lucien Way, Suite 415, Maitland, FL 32751
9781498422925, $16.99, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Any fisherman can attest to this undeniable truth: when it is just you, a fishing pole and
the water, God's loving presence can feel closer to you more than anything else. In the pages of
"Fishing For God -- And Vice Versa", author and longtime angler Bill Rooney confirms this truth
from personal experience, feeling the peace of God while bobbing in the waterways of the United
States and even Canada. He recalls several of his favorite fishing and camping memories, as well
as those of friends and recognized authority figures. The articles comprising "Fishing For God --
And Vice Versa" are published pieces from the Rooney's years as a freelance writer for various
magazines, combining fishing tips, stories and even scriptures that include one of the most
appreciated fisherman, Simon Peter. The truth he hopes to reveal is that God calls us to become
more like disciples of Jesus, embodying fishers of men and not just of fish.
Critique: As entertaining a read as it is inspired and inspiring, "Fishing For God -- And Vice
Versa" is very highly recommended, especially to all members of the Christian community
regardless of their denominational affiliation. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Fishing For God -- And Vice Versa" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).
The Parenting Shelf
Home Childcare vs Childcare Centers
Alice O. Carrillo
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478758136 $19.95 / $9.99 Kindle www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Childcare is critical in this country. Women are forced to go work more than ever. The
children are left with relatives and friends because of high cost and not being able to fine high
quality childcare for their children. The book helps parents find high quality childcare, and to be
aware of childcare that is not 100% for the children but instead is there because of the money.
The book makes the parents aware of how to choose an excellent childcare for their children. It
explains the pros and cons of both home childcare program and childcare centers. The book talks
about what to expect from both programs. How as a parent, can help the provider to improve her
program, making the program a better place for their children. The book has observations on both
home childcare programs and childcare centers. This helps the parents see what is healthier for
the children ages from 0 to 4. The book has art activities, activities for rainy days, and activities
for infants and toddlers, It's an excellent book for parents that have the problem of finding high
quality childcare but yet reasonable in cost. The book has a monthly curriculum that parents can
follow, so that their children can be ready when it's time for kindergarten. The book contains
information about nutrition and includes a well balanced weekly menu. This helps parents know
how to select healthy foods for their children. This information can be shared with their childcare
provider. It contains tips on what to look for when visiting a childcare program. It has questions
the parents can ask the childcare provider on the first visit. The book is a big help to parents!
Critique: Author Alice O. Carrillo has a master's degree in Early Child Development; she
operated her own home childcare program for 15 years, ran her own childcare center for 10 years,
and works as an advocate for children's rights. Now she shares her years of expertise in the field.
Home childcare programs and childcare centers each have different pros and cons, which should
be weighed carefully while determining what is best for one's child. While Carrillo emphasizes
the value of a home setting that is friendlier, less stressful, and offers children more freedom, she
also reminds readers that "...your child, sooner or later, needs a childcare program that offers
preschool." The suggestions for activities and games are useful whether at home with one's own
children or taking care of children in a professional setting. Highly recommended for parents,
caregivers, and educators of young children everywhere.
The Sports Shelf
Patrick 'Packy' Mader & Joel Rippel
Wise Ink Creative Publishing
837 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405
9781634890076, $39.95, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: ''If we can only stay on our feet, we'll medal!'' These are the words of Minnesota
speedskating silver medalist, Randy Bartz. Minnesotans, in the heart of the Midwest, have long
been known for their humble nature and work ethic and have long taken great pride in their
athletics. "Minnesota Gold: Conversations with Northland Athletes Competing on the World
Stage" celebrates the perseverance and triumphs of fifty-seven diverse homegrown athletes from
1948-2014 as they pursued their dreams to compete in the greatest international competitions.
"Minnesota Gold" is a compilation of inspiring biographies, in which Patrick ''Packy'' Mader
(with the help of Joel Rippel) shares the memorable conversations he had with these remarkable
men and women who honored their sport, their state, and their country on the world stage over
the last seven decades.
Critique: Profusely illustrated, "Minnesota Gold: Conversations with Northland Athletes
Competing on the World Stage" is a unique and absolutely absorbing read which is very highly
recommended, not only for Minnesota sports fans, but as a template for others to emulate in
presenting similar studies of sports and athletics in other states and regions of the country.
Informed and informative, "Minnesota Gold" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to all
Minnesota community and academic library collections!
The Political Science Shelf
Breaking Big Money's Grip on America
Our Time Books
9780996623209 $14.95 pbk / $8.95 Kindle www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The power of huge sums of money greatly influences elections and public policy in the
United States today. As a result, some people see the United States as a plutocracy run by and for
the very rich. Breaking Big Money's Grip on America provides convincing evidence to support
this view and explores how a nationwide Democracy Movement can overcome the ruling status
of Big Money and convert our government into one that instead serves the true needs and desires
of the American people. Moreover, it demonstrates why breaking Big Money's grip on our
government is critical to solving other crucial issues, like affordable healthcare, climate change,
gun violence, homeland security, immigration reform, Social Security, and income inequality.
Whether you are a conservative, moderate, liberal, or progressive, your participation is vital for
building this grassroots movement to fix our broken political system.
Critique Breaking Big Money's Grip on America lives up to its title as a call to action. Only the
collective will of the people, and their participation in the political process, has a prayer of
countering the enormous influence of money in American democracy. Chapters outline
point-by-point principles in need of immediate legal implementation, including mandatory public
financing of all congressional and presidential elections, a constitutional amendment to reverse
the Supreme Court's infamous "Citizens United" and associated decisions that equated money
with speech and corporations with people, eliminate gerrymandering of congressional districts,
regulate lobbying more closely, eliminate the Electoral College so that the President must win the
popular vote to be elected, strike down restrictive voter ID requirements, and more. Chapters also
direct readers to current grass-roots movements working today to create a more democratic
tomorrow. In today's troubling times, where the election season is dominated by misleading
television advertisements funded by the wealthiest one percent, Breaking Big Money's Grip on
America is worthy of the highest recommendation.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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