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Stories of Yesteryear: Horse and Buggy Days
Harry H. Brown
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781494850807, $11.95, PB, 82pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Born and raised in Halifax, Massachusetts, the late Harry H. Brown was a historian,
author, farmer, youth leader, dowser, and community volunteer who lived to be 102 years old.
"Stories of Yesteryear: Horse and Buggy Days" is a compilation of his engaging short story
reminiscences of a now bygone era in the New England farming community of Fullertown.
One of the last of the swamp Yankee storytellers, Brown's succinct tales breathes new life into
the now long gone day-to-day world of Pilgrim descendants at the turn of the twentieth century.
Written with wit, warmth, and whimsy, this compilation of fifty-three stories and forty-five
illustrations charts the town from its early settlers in the 1600s to the horse-and-buggy days of the
early 1900s. Along the way, Brown paints a convivial, authentic portrait of the early settlers as
they came together to create the American spirit.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and consistently entertaining read from cover to cover,
"Stories of Yesteryear: Horse and Buggy Days" will prove to be an enduringly popular and
welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted
that "Stories of Yesteryear: Horse and Buggy Days" is also available in a Kindle format
At Dreams' End
Firefly Scribbles, LLC
9780998739007, $16.95, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "At Dreams' End" is not just the love story of Mary Tiffin (the founder of the RunLites
company), and her husband David, it is also a compelling story of faith and hope, because no
matter what kind of person you are, be it a hopeless romantic, a spiritual soul, a grand questioner
or a firmly-planted realist, you cannot help but find a bit of destiny in their personal journey
together. Married just ten years when David was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, the
two of them had hope and faith that they could beat the cancer odds and be among the 5 percent
who survive this disease.
Critique: Candidly informative, inherently thoughtful, inspired and inspiring, "At Dreams' End"
is impressively well written, organized and presented from beginning to end. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists for anyone struggling with similar health problems in their own lives, "At Dreams'
End" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
A Lifetime of Fishing
9780620693028 $13.99 pbk / $5.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: "Something of a fishing freak" Jack Wreford Walsh was born in November 1937. His
parents aptly named him Jack, which must have been short for "Jack of all trades". If only they
had known! He was schooled at Wet Pups (Western Province Preparatory School) and St
Andrew's College, Grahamstown.
Three generations (On both sides of the family!) of insurance industry executives determined
unequivocally his future. However even that could not keep him from the sea, as he was always
fishing mad. Still wet behind the ears, he inherited one of the first true country insurance
brokerages, together with the instilled principle to the extreme of "honesty is the best policy".
The business flourished, leading, he says, to his first big mistake when he sold an excellent
business, for which he was never paid, to concentrate on the sea.
Fifty-two years later, with an Associateship of the Chartered Insurance Institute having
specialized in Marine Insurance Law, a management diploma, a foreign going fishing masters
ticket, a pilot's licence, a flirtation with politics, a rocky personal history, thirty or so companies
(two of which he took to the JSE) in some fifteen or so different industries and vocations, and
last, but certainly not least, four wonderful and successful children, he has now finally retired!
With his interest fired up by a natural sciences academic, who was to become his closest friend,
he became an avid layman researcher in the field of Marine resources and their management. All
in all his adventures and experiences are extremely entertaining, exciting, at times comical, and
very insightful in the fields of commercial fishing and sea diamond recovery, about both of
which very little has been written.
Critique: A Lifetime of Fishing is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into the fishing industry,
as well as a candid biography and memoir. Occasional black-and-white photographs enliven the
"you-are-there" tales of hard work on the seas, as well as the challenges of resource management.
The result is a surprisingly addictive browse from cover to cover! It should be noted for personal
reading lists that A Lifetime of Fishing is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
The American History Shelf
Yanked Into Eternity
9780970282989, $15.99, PB, 228pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Before executions were moved to Jefferson City, the State of Missouri executed well
over 300 people in the various counties, most by legal hanging, and citizens have taken the law
into their own hands to lynch about 200 people by hanging during Missouri history. In "Yanked
Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri", Larry Wood ( a retired public schoolteacher
and freelance writer specializing in the history of Missouri and the Ozarks) details thirteen of the
state's more remarkable lynchings and an equal number of its legal hangings.
Critique: Impressively researched, exceptionally well written, and enhanced with the inclusion of
five pages of Bibliographical Notes, a four page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "Yanked
Into Eternity" is an invaluable and seminal contribution to community and academic library
American History collections in general, and African-American History supplemental studies
reading lists in particular.
The World History Shelf
The Other Side Continent
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478772408, $34.95, PB, 134pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Profusely illustrated throughout with 133 photographs, drawings, and watercolor
painting illustrating how seafarers lived and works, and how their ships looked and functioned,
"The Other Side Continent" is a compilation of the incredible histories and mythologies of
ancient voyages of exploration. Michail Varvarousis has supplemented his own study of primary
sources by interviewing archeologists, traditional shipbuilders, and sailors with experience in
ocean voyages and ocean weather conditions, and himself sailing the open sea, many times
pushing his boat and crew to the limits to better understand what those explorers of yesteryear
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organization end presented, "The Other Side Continent" is
an impressively informed and informative study that is very highly recommended, especially for
community and academic library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Other Side
Continent" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.00).
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Between the Knife and the Sock
Midpoint Trade Books
c/o Incorgnito Publishing Press
300 East Bellevue Drive, Suite 208, Pasadena, CA 91101
9781944589141, $17.95, PB, 326pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Inder Sandhu lives in a picturesque town in India, far from the dismal conditions of
those less fortunate. Yet, nowhere is he completely safe from the crime and violence that clings
to his country's underbelly and he soon finds himself on the receiving end of a brutal attack in the
While his body survives, his soul suffers and his mind dwells in darkness. Recovery is long; the
outside world is unforgiving and whatever happiness enters young Inder's life, is quickly
squashed by his desire to simply wallow in his depression.
Then one day, Speed, a new Doberman puppy becomes part of Inder's family. Though he is slow
to embrace this new addition, Inder finally warms to the puppy and a bond is formed that brings
Inder back into the light.
Soon, they are off, man and dog, on an international, existential adventure; an adventure
recounted in the pages of "Between the Knife and the Sock".
Critique: An inherently fascinating and compelling read from cover to cover, "Between the Knife
and the Sock" is an extraordinary and deeply personal story that will have a very special appeal to
anyone with their own canine companion.
The Biography Shelf
In the Shadow of the White House
Rare Bird Books
453 S. Spring Street, Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA 90013
9781945572081 $35.00 hc / $17.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: For her first forty years, Jo Haldeman's life followed a conventional path. While her
husband, Bob, built his career in advertising, Jo comfortably settled into her role as mother of
four, housewife, and community volunteer.
In 1968, Jo's world changed dramatically. Richard Nixon was elected President of the United
States, and Bob was offered the job of a lifetime - White House Chief of Staff. As Jo and Bob
discussed the opportunities and challenges that this move would entail, little did she anticipate
the course that her life, and her relationship with Bob, would take over the next ten years.
In this insightful, poignant, and guileless memoir of those ten years, Jo shares her story as the
wife of H. R. Haldeman, often referred to as the second most powerful person in the White
House. She offers a window into the world of trips on Air Force One, weekends at Camp David,
and events at the White House, as well as family vignettes and the growing stresses of her
husband's demanding job.
Then a bungled burglary at the Watergate erupted into a national scandal...
Critique: In the Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years
is a behind-the-scenes look at life in the White House during the Nixon years, including and
especially as the Watergate scandal sent out shockwaves. Candid and forthright, In the Shadow
of the White House offers a glimpse into the little, day-to-day details as well as the broader
picture of American government in crisis. Utterly fascinating from cover to cover, In the Shadow
of the White House is highly recommended especially for public and college library collections.
It should be noted for personal reading lists that In the Shadow of the White House is also
available in a Kindle edition ($17.99).
Claude T. Smith: Harmony from Within
Pam Smith Kelly
9780998472508, $34.49, HC, 432pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Written by his daughter, Pam Smith Kelly, "Claude T. Smith: Harmony from Within"
travels through Claude's lifetime including his birth, childhood, education, Army and music
career, and concludes with the legacy of Claude's life, including his impact on today's band,
orchestral and choral music. The impact of Claude's use of irregular meters, fugue, hymn settings
and variations and theme compositional structure forever changed all genres of music in the 20th
Critique: Claude T. Smith (1932-1987) was a renowned American band conductor, composer,
and music educator. An inherently fascinating biography that is impressively informed and
informative, "Claude T. Smith: Harmony from Within" is especially commended to the attention
of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in music. Exceptionally well
organized and presented, "Claude T. Smith: Harmony from Within" is unreservedly
recommended for both community and academic library American Biography collections.
Pesos to Pennies
Pinay Mom Publishing, LLC
9781945505201, $16.95, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It was a typical day at the call center Gladys worked at in Manila when she answered a
customer service call that would change her entire life. After the man on the other line, Tim,
asked her to take down his phone number, something inside Gladys told her she had to call him.
Five months, countless phone calls, and a visit to the Philippines over Valentine's Day later, Tim
proposed. The two married shortly after, and Gladys prepared to move to America. "Pesos to
Pennies: A Filipino Immigrant's Memoir" is down-to-earth memoir follows Gladys from her old
life in the Phillippines to her new life in America.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, inherently compelling, and told with unexpected and deftly
presented candor, "Pesos to Pennies: A Filipino Immigrant's Memoir" is a true-life love story as
well as a saga of adapting to a new way of life in America. "Pesos to Pennies" is a pleasure to
browse, highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary
In the Matter of Edwin Potter
David E. Geiger
9780692797822, $17.95, PB, 426pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "In the Matter of Edwin Potter: Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform" is
essentially an autobiographical work where the names have been changed, but which is
accurately based upon author David E. Geiger's own tumultuous and disturbing life
Critique: "In the Matter of Edwin Potter" is compelling presented from the point of view of
someone who is mentally ill and who has been through the criminal justice system since 1979.
Navigating the unnerving reality of schizophrenia and the exigency for a public conversation
about mental illness in our contemporary society, Geiger reveals an impressive flair for deftly
presenting an inherently informative and thought-provoking read. While very highly
recommended for community and academic library collections, "In the Matter of Edwin Potter"
will prove to be of immense and lasting interest, making it especially appropriate for the personal
reading lists of both professionals and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
subject of mental health.
Taimak: The Last Dragon
Midpoint Trade Book
c/o Incorgnito Publishing Press
300 E. Bellevue Drive Ste 208, Pasadena, CA 91101
9781944589110, $24.95, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Taimak Guarriello was only 19 years old when he starred in The Last Dragon. He was
already a champion martial artist, a bouncer at some of New York City's famous clubs, and a
budding ladies' man. Over the next thirty years, he had many more adventures. He learned
lessons, fell in love, made countless new fans, and discovered the spiritual strength inside
In this autobiography, readers will follow Taimak's inspirational, hilarious, shocking,
eye-popping life story, including his encounters with everyone from David Bowie to Mike Tyson.
readers will join Taimak as he experiences triumphs and heartbreaks in the world of Hollywood,
as well as learning more about his relationship with Denise Matthews (Vanity) and his other
co-stars from The Last Dragon.
Taimak's life isn't all about Hollywood, though. Included are his battles with self-doubt, his
encounters with racism, and the struggles that he faced as a lonely kid growing up in the big city.
Then there are his quirky parents, his beautiful girlfriends, and the companions and rivals he
encountered in the dojos and grindhouse theaters of New York.
Critique: Impressively candid, informative, insightful, "Taimak: The Last Dragon" is an
extraordinary and comprehensive account of an interesting life lived out in interesting times. A
'must read' for his legions of fans, "Taimak: The Last Dragon" will prove to be an enduringly
popular addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Taimak: The Last Dragon" is also
available in a Kindle format ($7.99).
The Bravest Guy
Harry E. Wedewer
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781539098874 $9.50 pbk / $1.95 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: As a U.S. Army infantryman in World War II, Don Wedewer was twice wounded in
four days. On both occasions he was left for dead. Now, at 19, he was a double amputee and
blind with seemingly no hope for the future. Yet, inspired by a brief meeting with the renowned
activist, Helen Keller, and through extraordinary determination and persistence, this highly
decorated combat veteran overcame seemingly impossible odds to become a leader in Florida
and nationally in providing opportunities for those with vision loss. Don Wedewer's
accomplishment would be recognized by Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, George H.W.
Bush and Bill Clinton. He would also be awarded the Migel Medal -- the highest award afforded
to those in the field of vision loss. This is Don Wedewer's truly remarkable and inspiring
Critique: The unforgettable biography of WWII veteran Don Wedewer as penned by his son
Harry Wedewer, The Bravest Guy tells of a man who lost both legs and most of his vision at age
19. He dedicated his life to breaking down barriers to the blind; for his efforts, he earned
recognition from four U.S. Presidents, selection for the Blind Hall of Fame, and the Migel
Medal, the highest award in the blindness field. An extraordinary and captivating story of a
soldier whose mission of service to others continued for the whole of his life, The Bravest Guy is
highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Bravest Guy is also
available in a Kindle edition ($1.95).
An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones
Ida Bell Publishing, LLC
PO Box 175, Springfield, NJ 07081
9781946348029 $19.00 www.idabellpublishing.com
Synopsis: A native of the South, a descendant of slaves, and the daughter of sharecroppers, Mrs.
Jones ventured North, to New York and Harlem, to find her chance. The tale of her tenacious
advance, transforming what to others might seem to be insurmountable obstacles and burdens,
into opportunities to shine - the stuff of alchemy, might in less able hands, seem apocryphal. But
Wendy Jones, like her role-model-mother, keeps things real.
The saga she spins out is so inspirational, because in relating the highly specific history of a
highly individual figure, she has made her mother's quest: to enhance her community, to
enlighten her people, to educate and arm - with truth and an appreciation of beauty - her only
child, into a universal story. If her mother was an alchemist, turning dross into life's gold, with
this memoir written with her mom, Wendy Jones, can be considered like Mary Shelley's Doctor
Frankenstein - she makes mere dead words on a page live, to recreate in the form of a woman of
African descent, born poor but curious, an all-American hero.
Critique: An Extraordinary Life is the biography of Josephine E. Jones, a twentieth-century black
woman and the daughter of sharecroppers, who dedicated herself to hard work and single
motherhood (the man she married turned out to have a weak work ethic, and she quickly
divorced him for it). In the course of her life she rose from domestic cook to temp work to
becoming the first black woman in management of a Fortune 500 company. She was also a
Harlem activist, and worked multiple jobs to ensure that her daughter would have the best
education and the best life possible. Penned by Josephine's daughter Wendy Jones, An
Extraordinary Life is also a testament to the bonds that connect mother and daughter, as well as
to human courage and motivation. Highly recommended.
The Philosophy Shelf
In Search of Truth and Freedom
PO Box 418, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007-0418
9780967745329, $26.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Is truth relative or absolute? Is freedom won on the battlefield or by personal effort?
How are spirit and mind related? What are the essence and purpose of life? Are biblical
creationists and Darwinian evolutionists both wrong? What is the universe made of? "In Search
of Truth and Freedom; A Path from Ignorance to Awareness " is a courageous quest for answers
to life's ultimate questions, in which Dr. Rothe deftly explores the mysteries of existence and
shares his philosophical insights, which go far beyond the narrow, diverging views of reality
painted by scientific and religious doctrines.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "In Search of
Truth and Freedom; A Path from Ignorance to Awareness " is an inherently engaging,
exceptionally well written, impressively organized and presented read from cover to cover. Of
special note is the concluding chapter on 'Creativity, Beauty and Happiness'. Enhanced with the
inclusion of a ten page listing of Sources & References, and a nine page Index, "In Search of
Truth and Freedom" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as
community and academic library General Philosophy collections and supplemental studies
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Life After Death, Powerful Evidence You Will Never Die
Stephen Hawley Martin
The Oaklea Press
9781543134322, $11.95, PB, 206pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A universal question across all ages, cultures, and peoples is: What happens when we
die? Now in newly updated and expanded second edition of "Life After Death" by Stephen
Hawley Martin, powerful evidence of continued consciousness after mortal death continues to be
Martin spent two years gathering information that demonstrates this and along the way
interviewed more than a hundred experts in a number of different fields. Among them were
parapsychologists, medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, quantum physicists, and
researchers into the true nature of reality. Specific examples are presented that indicate what
happens when we die, for example that memories can be formed and retained despite a subject's
brain having been shutdown and the blood drained from it.
Additionally, questions such as whether or not you will be able to communicate with living loved
ones after death are addressed, if it is possible to be reborn, and what might be missing from
reproductive theory to explain the various phenomena indicated in the many case histories and
scientific investigations presented.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Life After Death, Powerful
Evidence You Will Never Die" is as impressively informed and informative as it is thoughtful
and thought-provoking. While very highly recommended for both community and academic
library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Life After Death, Powerful Evidence You
Will Never Die" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.49).
One Man's Spiritual Journey to Healing with Color Energy
Mountain Arbor Press
9781631830648, $15.95, PB, 211pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Color is all around us and it has the power to change our lives. Author Lee Hillberg
has been using the healing properties of color to make a difference not only in his own life, but
also in the lives of others. In "One Man's Spiritual Journey to Healing with Color Energy", he
shares some of his most moving and spiritual experiences.
Readers will learn: How color affects their everyday lives; How listening and paying attention to
nature provides guidance and insight in your life's journey; How the application of color can be
used to lift depression, shrink tumors, provide pain relief, and more.
The techniques and advice given in "One Man's Spiritual Journey to Healing with Color Energy"
have been frequently utilized by the author and could make a difference in readers' lives as
It is interesting to note that Hillberg (a self-professed naturalist, Native American historian, and
lover of all parts of nature) is an ordained minister, the he has been a student of metaphysics and
spirituality for many years, and that he is eager to help people using everything he has learned in
any way he can. Most importantly, he is passionate about harnessing the power of God's creation
to effect serious change in the world.
Critique: Impressively well written, informative, organized and presented, "One Man's Spiritual
Journey to Healing with Color Energy" will have a special relevance for anyone interested in
metaphysical studies and alternative medicine. While certain to be a welcome and enduringly
popular addition to personal and community library collections, it should be noted that "One
Man's Spiritual Journey to Healing with Color Energy" is also available in a Kindle format
Children of Eden
Troubador Publishing Ltd.
9781788037266, $16.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle, 154pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Starting at the beginning with the creation story of Adam and Eve, Martin Hinde's
"Children of Eden" traces the true origins of humankind using the best available evidence. This
leads to the startling revelation that humankind may have originated as hominid Primates who
have been genetically-modified by a higher civilization in our own Solar system.
Created as hybrid Spiritual Beings bonded to physical Primate forms - this is the crux of the
situation facing humankind. But there is a way out. Martin follows the path of some secret
knowledge that was handed to a few from the creators of humankind: Knowledge that has been
hoarded by elites and priesthood class, from the time of the Pharaohs and the' Mystery Schools',
up to the present day.
This is the knowledge that empowers humanity to brake the chains of physical bondage, and
allow our Spiritual Beings to rise to their auspicious place in the Cosmos.
"Children of Eden" shows us a way out of the quagmire that is our lives and our planet today, and
how we can progress to a future where we can reconnect with our (true) higher Self; take back
control of our lives, our governments, our environment; and leads us to the Return of Eden.
Critique: Deftly written, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Children of Eden" is an original,
inherently fascinating, and compelling read from beginning to end that is very highly
recommended for community and academic library collections in general, and dedicated students
of Metaphysical Studies in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Children
of Eden" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
The Fiction Shelf
Susan I. Weinstein
9781938349508, $21.95, PB, 506pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Something that could easily have been ripped from today's newspaper headlines in this
our second Golden Age of Robber Barron capitalism as evidence by President Donald Trump
turning his administration over to corporate executives and millionaires, and appointing to be
heads of various governmental agencies men and women hostile to them in line with Steve
Bannon's aspiration to 'deconstruct' the government."Paradise Gardens" by Susan I. Weinstein is
a truly Orwellian novel of speculative fiction that is set in an all too believable near future world,
where the Federal government has dissolved amid ecological breakdown.
"Paradise Gardens" becomes the home of the United Business Estates (U.B.E). Capitalism has
devolved into the corporate feudalism of the U.B.E., where employees are conceived as Superior
or Average to fit the needs of business. It is a vision at once strange and familiar. The recognition
it brings is a dark pleasure.
Critique: Part of the attraction of "Paradise Gardens" is that it is all too believable given the
political climate today where corporate money clearly dominates all three branches of the federal
government (even to the point of running well funded television commercials promoting the
appointment of a member of the United States Supreme Court), and the top 1% of the population
control 80% of the country's wealth. Deftly written, "Paradise Gardens" follows in the literary
tradition of dystopian novels and is very highly recommended for both community and
academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that
"Paradise Gardens" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.95).
No Ordinary Season
James V. Jacobs
Father & Son Publishing
9781935802303, $19.95, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cassie Garnet hates the word mediocre. Yet her existence in a rural Indiana town could
certainly be labeled that if not for her place on the cross country team. With her senior year
approaching, Garnet has been River Bend High's best runner ... but she longs to be better. Cassie
has never been challenged and pushed to reach her potential, and the Lady Coyotes are a terrible
team. Then, everything changes.
When the beautiful and charismatic Charna Rothstein Simon moves to River Bend to become a
teacher and cross country coach, Cassie's senior year will be anything but ordinary. C.R. Simon
will raise eyebrows and push Cassie Garnet on both the running trails and as a person. The
Jewish Simon will also challenge stereotypical perceptions in River Bend, a conservative town
where different is viewed as threatening to its way of life.
Kyesha Hendrix the only African American student at River Bend and Cassie's unlikely training
partner will join Jake Nader basketball star and Cassie's romantic interest to make her senior year
one to remember. Before that year is over, Cassie will be forced to take a stand when accusations
are made about someone Cassie respects. The consequences for speaking out and challenging the
establishment will change her life forever.
Critique: An impressively compelling, exceptionally well written, inherently fascinating, and
unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end, "No Ordinary Season is an extraordinary
novel that is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction
collections, as is very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of those who
appreciated a finely crafted, multilayered 'coming of age' novel.
RMSW Press, LLC
9780996017954, $23.99, HC, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Callie Novak is on the cusp of changing her life as she warms up
for the final heat in the Women's 1600 meter track and field competition. While she sets a new
state record, her family's worse nightmare is just beginning. When tragedy strikes the Novak
family it comes in the form of drug abuse. "Ruined Wings" is a novel of pain, of grief, of the
perils of drug abuse, of the despair that leads to a shocking downward spiral, and of the strength
that's needed to overcome addiction.
Critique: A gritty, realistic, deftly crafted novel, "Ruined Wings" is a simply riveting read from
beginning to end. "Ruined Wings" is a significant, relevant, and highly recommended addition
for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library General Fiction
Mountain Hill Press
9780998506302, $15.00, PB, 271pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Olivia Benton is happy with her life in small town Bryson City. She loves her
downtown floral business, her family home shared with her father, and the lavish formal gardens
that sprawl behind their rural mountain property. Only a niggling restlessness alerts her to how
life might change one summer day when Warner Zachery drives back into town. No one had ever
thought Weird Warner, or his big dreams, would ever amount to anything, especially Olivia's
father and grandmother. Even Olivia, who loved him, felt reluctant to risk everything and leave
behind her familiar life to follow Warner's dreams. Now he's returned to Bryson City, famous
and widowed, and as soon as Olivia sees him, she realizes she still loves him--a dilemma she is
not prepared to deal with.
Warner Zachery, now better known as W. T. Zachery for his famous Geeky Gilmore books for
kids, has avoided even visiting Bryson City since his high school graduation ten years ago. Even
though his parents still live there, unhappy memories linger of being bullied in school, never
fitting in with his peers, and being spurned by his childhood neighbor and sweetheart, Olivia
Benton. After his wife Nelle's murder, Warner grew discontent in New York and headed home to
spend time with his family, to see old friends, and to take a well-needed vacation. He knows he
will probably see Olivia Benton again but expects time will have healed his broken heart -- and
Critique: A deftly crafted and thoroughly absorbing novel, "Daddy's Girl" reveals author Lin
Stepp as having a genuine flair for creating memorable characters and an original, unfailingly
entertaining story. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Daddy's Girl" is also
available in a Kindle format ($8.69).
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491794715, $20.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: All Patti Murray asked the Lord for was help in finding a God-fearing husband who
would be a good provider for her and the family she hoped to raise. Oh, and if he were tall, dark,
and handsome, that wouldn't be so bad either. Aside from this goal, she wanted to continue to
grow her cake decorating business. This would give her the opportunity to exercise her unique
creative talent and earn a little money on the side while being a full-time mommy.
However, when one of her exquisite wedding cakes comes to the attention of a national celebrity,
Patti is suddenly thrust into the exotic world of the rich and famous and a whole new chance for
romance. Was this God's plan all along?
Critique: Author Donielle Ingersoll's "Patti Cake: An Inspirational Romance" combines the
theme of cake decorating with inspiration romance in a way and manner that is as unique as it is
entertaining. Interested readers will be able to create their own versions of Patti's delectable
desserts because "Patti Cake: An Inspirational Romance" also features 'kitchen cook friendly'
recipes! While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Patti Cake" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Tribulations of An Old Hippy
Leslie R. Tucker
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781540537256, $12.00, PB, 312pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jack Burns was not one of those silent majority baby boomers. He was one of those
who helped to make them the hippest generation, if not the greatest. He went to the Fillmore,
marched in anti-war protest, and watched Yellow Submarine on acid.
Jack had no interest in his own pedigree when he read of Lee Melon's search for his Confederate
General ancestor of Big Sur, he saw only the symbolism of a war against the status quo, a war he
was a veteran of. Like Melon, 21st century Jack values the past and has pride in his Southern
heritage, but it is just one more anchor around the neck of an aging baby boomer.
He once trusted no one over thirty, but now at more than twice that age has difficulty accepting
the new world. He sold out and embraced materialism claiming he did so for the sake of
He has fulfilled his duties and there is still time to chase the ambitions of his youth. His wife of
more than forty years, trying to balance career and family, forces him to choose between her and
his dream. The situation is complicated by their son Aaron who has disappeared into a drug
culture and their Harvard grad lawyer daughter Amanda battling her own demons. The clock is
ticking and the end is near, a man must do what a man must do.
Like Agamemnon he assembles a band of friends willing to follow him in his quest. He
accomplishes his mission, but not in the way he imagined when he started. In "Tribulations of an
Old Hippy", armed with the attitude that "if a baby boomer can't do it then it can't be done," one
man finds his answer to the meaning of life.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and deftly crafted novel, "Tribulations of an Old Hippy"
showcases author Leslie Tucker's genuine flair for originality and ability to compel his reader's
attention from beginning to end. Offering extraordinary insights into the mindset of a now aging
baby-boom generation, "Tribulations of an Old Hippy" is very highly recommended for both
community and academic library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Tribulations of an Old Hippy" is also available in a Kindle forma t
Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon
9780995512214, $19.00, PB, 388pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A deftly crafted work of historical fiction, author Melissa Riordan showcases the rise
and reign of Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon in 600 BCE, and the lost world of the kingdom of
Babylon, its conquest of Jerusalem and the aftermath that was to shape every succeeding
generation of the children of Abrama.
At every turn, through haunting dreams, confounding miracles (three Hebrews living with a
Fourth Man in the fiery furnace), or his encounters and romance with the beautiful Daughter of
Zion, the Most High confronts this willful king with his undeniable sovereignty and power.
Then, when Nebuchadnezzar thinks he has it all, in one simple moment, he loses everything, cast
into a wilderness no man has ever traversed. Cared for by the woman he loves while being
pursued by his murderous son bent on claiming Babylon's throne, Nebuchadnezzar finally (and
dramatically) relinquishes the glory of kingdoms for the Throne of the Lord, sending his famous
letter to the nations, immortalized in Scripture, declaring "all the wondrous things the Most High
did for me."
Critique: An inherently compelling, skillfully engaging read from cover to cover,
"Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon" reveals author Melissa Riordan's genuine flair for creating a
truly memorable retelling of an ancient story of imperial arrogance and an ultimate redemption
that arising from the chastisement of Israel's God. An impressive and extraordinary novel,
"Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon" is highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly
popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon" is also available in a Kindle
Country Doctor and the Epidemics
Steven D. Helgerson
c/o Farcountry Press (distribution)
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781591521914, $16.95, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In mid October 1918 the largest epidemic of the 2oth Century struck in a small eastern
Montana town. Within a few weeks influenza had killed dozens of people in the rural county. But
this was just one of a series of extraordinary events attacking the social fabric of the community
in 1917 and 1918. Rich in detail, broad in scope, this novella by Steven D. Delgerson places a
fictional physician in the midst of the riveting events of those years. The physician grieves the
death of his wife and unborn child. He is deeply troubled by the limitations of medical science.
Then he is tragically enveloped by yet another epidemic. Can a country doctor alter the fate of his
patients? Or his own fate?
Critique: Replete with accurate historical details, "Country Doctor and the Epidemics: Montana
1917-1918" is a deftly crafted and inherently compelling read from beginning to end. Author
Steven Helgerson has a genuine flair for creating memorable characters and accomplished
storytelling skills that combine to make "Country Doctor and the Epidemics" an unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Historical Fiction
In the Fullness of Time
Katherine P. Stillerman
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781540718907, $9.98, PB, 244pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "In the Fullness of Time" is the sequel to Katherine Stillerman's "Hattie's Place" and is
set in the year is 1913.
Hattie Robinson is married to the widowed Charles Barton and has left her teaching position at
Calhoun School to raise Charles's sons and manage the Barton estate. Now she must reconcile
her role as mother and wife with her work for woman's suffrage, a cause that ignited her passion
when attending the Woman's Suffrage Procession in Washington, on the eve of Woodrow
Wilson's first inauguration.
As a young bride, twenty-three years her husband's junior, Hattie struggles for acceptance in the
community and Barton family. And then, Will Kendrick, her first love, appears, causing old
feelings to resurface. When Julia Martin, the widow of Charles's best friend Percy, reaches out to
Charles for legal advice in settling her husband's estate, Hattie discovers clues casting doubt on
Charles's fidelity, and begins to question her marriage.
As Hattie throws herself into her work to gain the vote for women, South Carolina's reactionary
politicians Ben Tillman and "Cotton Ed" Smith thwart suffrage efforts in the state at every turn.
Even the progressive president Wilson drags his feet, invoking states rights as the only pathway
to an amendment. Equally discouraging is the anti-suffragist sentiment among those of Hattie's
When Hattie's sister-in-law Alice learns to drive and purchases a 1916 Saxon touring car, Hattie
agrees to go on a road trip to join the peaceful protests in Washington on the eve of President
Wilson's second inauguration. Alice also invites Julia Martin to go along, and to Hattie's chagrin,
Julia is sitting in the passenger seat when the two arrive from Columbia to pick her up. The
journey brings new insight and fresh perspective, enabling Hattie to resolve misunderstandings
with Charles and convincing her to continue her work for suffrage, with her husband's blessings.
But the road Hattie has chosen becomes even more fraught with disappointing setbacks and
In 1917, the US declares war on Germany and the president mobilizes the country in the fight for
freedom in Europe, ignoring the oppression of the rights of women at home. Public opinion
shifts, casting the women's movement as unpatriotic and subversive. Hattie does her part for the
war and agonizes when Charles Jr. and the boys from Calhoun are drafted and sent to the front.
She continues to support the suffrage cause, but must cancel a second road trip due to gas
When the war ends, she travels with Alice and Julia and Charles Jr.'s fiancee Pauline, to
Washington to join the peaceful protests at the White House, organized by Alice Paul and the
Woman's Party. The women become inspired to drive on to New York to join the demonstration
against president Wilson, who is speaking at the New York Opera House on the eve of his return
to the Paris peace negotiations.
The peaceful demonstration turns violent when the police and soldiers, who have flooded the
ports on their return from war, begin shoving the suffragists and breaking and burning their
banners. Amidst the uproar, Pauline becomes convinced that she has spotted Charles Jr. in the
crowd and is determined to go and look for him. Hattie persuades her that they must first go to
police headquarters to find Alice and Julia, who have been arrested and detained there.
The Susan B. Anthony Amendment finally passes the Senate in 1919. But Hattie and the South
Carolina suffragists endure their greatest disappointment yet when the South Carolina legislature
refuses to ratify the amendment by an overwhelming majority. They must now depend on the
men of other states to ensure their enfranchisement.
In August, the Tennessee legislature becomes the thirty-fourth state to ratify, ending the long
struggle for suffrage, and making the 19th Amendment the law of the land, just in time for Hattie
to cast her first vote in the 1920 presidential election.
Critique: An historically accurate novel that is richly endowed with incorporated background
detail, "In the Fullness of Time" is a deftly crafted and inherently compelling read from cover to
cover. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Historical
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "In the Fullness of Time" is
also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Maya Nessouli Abboushi
9781610058636, $12.95, PB, 215pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Layla is a young woman who has recently moved out of her parent's home in the
Atlanta suburbs and into an apartment in the city to assert her independence. Between her social
life and her job as a feature writer for a small newspaper, Layla has little time to think about
marriage and children, much to the dismay of her Lebanese parents. "Middle South" follows
Layla on her hilarious journey from the Southeast to the Middle East and back. This is a journey
in which Layla finds out a little more about herself and, ultimately, what she is looking for in life
and in love.
Critique: A thoroughly entertaining and engaging read from beginning to end, "Middle South" is
an original and highly recommended novel by a skilled and articulate author. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Middle South" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.95).
Mark Alan Leslie
Elk Lake Publishing
9781946638007, $10.99, PB, 290pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "As Maine goes, so goes the nation" was a motto in the American politics of the early
1900s. The Ku Klux Klan determined if they could grab a foothold in the bellwether
northeastern-most state, they could succeed anywhere and everywhere else in the country. So
they sent their most charismatic KKK recruiter to draw the crowds. And the KKK succeeded --
Critique: Although a work of historical fiction, "The Crossing" author Mark Alan Leslie includes
a meticulous attention to historically accurate details with respect to the KKK's presence in
Maine and their attempt to target Catholic immigrants, jews, blacks, and illegal alcohol. With a
genuine flair for compelling, entertaining, and deftly crafted storytelling, "The Crossing" is very
highly recommended, especially for community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "The Crossing" is also available in a Kindle format
The People's President
John C. Bednar
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781480839014, $14.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dr. George Franklin is an idealistic yet practical political science professor at
Princeton University who is fed up with the current political scene. In mid-April of a turbulent
election year, George surprises everyone when he calls an Associated Press office and calmly
announces he is throwing his hat into the ring as an Independent candidate for the office of the
President of the United States. After he proclaims he will not spend his own money or accept
contributions to run his campaign, George has no idea of the firestorm he has just unleashed.
After George's surprising yet intriguing announcement, he summons help from respected
campaign manager, Larry Stanton. While a growing number of supporters rally around him,
another presidential candidate meets tragedy head-on. As George uses the press and social media
to motivate the American public to actively participate in the political environment while
eliminating the power of the dollar's influence, his radically different approach to American
politics touches a nerve. Now only time will tell if the citizens can transform the political process
or whether the powerful leaders within the current structure will succeed in stopping them.
"The People's President" shares the tale of a political science professor's quest to run for the
highest office in the United States and, in the process, change the future of his great country.
Critique: As timely and relevant as today's newspaper headlines, "The People's President" is a
deftly crafted and engaging read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended for both
community and academic Contemporary Political Fiction collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The People's President" is also available in a Kindle format
The Professor And The Suicide Girl
LucenGeist Literary Press LLC
9781943564026, $21.99, HC, 328pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Professor And The Suicide Girl " by Nick Totem is strange surrealist tale in
which a professor of virology is out to prove that he can create a deadly virus. On his quest, the
Professor gets help from an eclectic group that is comprised of a nuclear physicist, a Marxist, and
a doctor of medicine and metaphysics. To achieve his goal, the Professor will need to outsmart a
few bad guys and get a few viruses, including one from the other side of the world. But then he
meets the Suicide Girl, who has a penchant for self - mutilation and is searching for her own
meaning. This bizarre encounter draws the two of them together with unexpected consequences.
Will the Suicide Girl ultimately help or foil his plan? Will he succeed?
Critique: A deftly crafted and original novel filled with unexpected twists and turns, humor, and
suspense, "The Professor And The Suicide Girl" is an inherently compelling read from beginning
to end and very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and
academic Literary Fiction collections.
Alarice Multimedia, LLC
9780692848807, $9.99, PB, 214pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The scourge of opioid addiction is deeply woven throughout the history of the world.
It's notable that between 1861 and 1865 our own American Civil War produced roughly 200,000
addicts who spent their remaining years navigating shattered limbs and unstable minds. Fast
forward a century-and-a-half and a 2016 report by the American Society of Addiction Medicine
reveals that approximately two million Americans were addicted to prescription opioids in 2015.
Specifically, overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers took 20,101. "Jellybeaners" by
Gene Scott is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties,
political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture
from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.
Critique: A compelling and impressively well crafted read from cover to cover, "Jellybeaners" is
one of those all-to-rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself
has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly recommended, especially for
both community and academic library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Jellybeaners" is also available in a Kindle format
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Lake Union Publishing
9781503943377, $14.95, PB, 524pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian
teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls - but his days of innocence are numbered. When
his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad
helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his
In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier - a move they
think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of
eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler's left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers,
one of the Third Reich's most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures
the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his
love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.
Critique: "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" reveals novelist Mark Sullivan's genuine flair for creative and
consistently entertaining storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community
library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beneath a
Scarlet Sky" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Robert Flynn III
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781542737227, $13.95, PB, 382pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The old beast is up to something out of character here. Gabriel appears autistic because
he hears a voice. The voice is real, but it is a supernatural presence. This voice gives him a power
that he can transfer by touch. Gabriel does not trust this presence, though he finds that the
wonder of what he is experiencing is far too great for him to resist.
Gabriel's "autism" is really a defense against the weight of the power that has engulfed his heart,
mind and soul, from the very beginning. He has no memory of his parents and in actuality, the
voice, which causes him so much distress, is the only reality he has ever known. Living in an
orphanage in Austin, Texas, all of his life, the voice has shown him more attention and love than
any other person.
He befriends one other special young person in that orphanage, Joshua Fellows. Joshua also has
experienced little love in his short life. The bond between these two young boys is the beginning
of an amazing journey Together, they form a bond that gives each of them strength to take the
gift, and to use it for good. They will ultimately discover that the presence is not at all who they
Critique: A consistently absorbing and entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Touch" is a
spellbinding novel that reveals author Robert Flynn as having a genuine flair for engaging his
reader's total attention from beginning to end. with an evident mastery of the supernatural genre,
"The Touch" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library
Flight of the Feathered Serpent
9780692792780, $11.50, PB, 278pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In Dana Alexander's new novel, "Flight of the Feathered Serpent", New York based
psychiatrist Sara Forrester will encounter an old and deadly enemy, a danger reaching beyond
life's boundaries, a love destined for all eternity, and a silent killer who sweeps humanity,
consuming its life force, threatening an eternal reign of darkness.
After narrowly escaping this shadowy force in the highlands of Scotland, Sara is tasked with
finding the second key of life by unlocking the riddles of Mayan myth in the shrouded depths of
the Yucatan jungle. As Sara and her team are plunged into a history rooted in magic and mystery,
they struggle to find light in the darkest corners of the unfamiliar. At risk are the billions of lives
on earth and a future Sara longs to keep with the man she bonded with before either were ever
Critique: The third volume of her "The Three Keys" series, author Dana Alexander once again
demonstrates her genuine flair for originality, deftly crafted and memorable characters,
consistently engaging and unpredictable storylines replete with unexpected twists and turns.
While highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted that "Flight of
the Feathered Serpent" is also available for personal reading lists in a Kindle format ($5.99).
A Rain of Night Birds
Hand to Hand Publishing
PO Box 186, Topanga, CA 90290
c/o Rare Bird Lit (dist.)
9780998344300, $18.95, PB, 284pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sandra Birdswell is a student of climatology with an uncanny ability to sense weather
events. Her mother, who died in childbirth, is a mystery to her. Her father, John, formerly a
Reservation doctor, faithfully raises her despite his limitations and obligations.
She first meets Terrence, a Native man and a professor of climatology, at her university classes.
Years later, they are drawn together by the powerful forces of their love, for the Earth, for each
other, and their mutual need to seek out the broken links of their family histories.
When the UN report on climate change is released in 2007, the reality of the effects of the
Anthropocene era sends a shockwave through both their lives. Their relationship to each other
and to the elementals they are so intimate with lightning, thunder, rain, mountain brings them
deeply and violently into a quest to live their lives in ways that disengage from colonial mind, the
same mind that brought devastation to the Native peoples, and now brings all of humanity to the
brink of extinction.
Through their love of and deeply felt intuitive connection to the Earth, they each go to the brink
of death to find their truth, to gain strength and wisdom.
Critique: Original, exceptional, inherently fascinating, and one of those all to rare novels that will
linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "A
Rain of Night Birds" by Deena Metzger is a truly exceptional and highly recommended addition
to community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that "A Rain of Night Birds" is also available in a Kindle format
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Long Harbor Testament
Black Rose Writing
PO Box 1540, Castroville, TX 78009
9781612968001, $17.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Father Jim has a gambling problem, a girlfriend, and his brother Gabe just killed his
bookie. Detective Mark Porfino investigates while mob boss Mario Gallante arrives to figure out
why his protege was found floating in the harbor. Mark and Mario form an unholy alliance, with
fast food, drinking, Girl Scout cookies, a dead man with a morbid sense of humor, and a wedding
with a miracle, contributing to the search for the killer. Jim must weigh family loyalty and
protection of his lover against the vows he's made to himself and his church. Will Gabe confess
and relieve Jim of his burden? Or will they both be dragged further into the abyss until their
secret is revealed?
Critique: Very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, "The Long
Harbor Testament" reveals author Tom Minder's genuine gift for narrative storytelling and
complete mastery of the Mystery/Suspense genre. A compelling and deftly crafted read from
cover to cover, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that
"The Long Harbor Testament" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Code 7 Books
9780998587363, $15.95, HC, 394pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jack Anderson, the newly elected, optimistic President of the United States finds his
political agenda put on hold when fifteen American naval officers unexpectedly seize control of a
USS-Ohio class nuclear submarine. In possession of the most formidable war machine ever
created, carrying enough nuclear weapons to destroy every major city in the Middle East, the
mutineers form a new terrorist organization that threatens to attack militant Islamists and their
supporters around the world. In a race against time, the FBI and the US military try to stop the
deciphered missile launch codes from reaching the nuclear submarine and unravel a conspiracy
that permeates the very foundations of the US government. Replete with sophisticated characters,
international intrigue, murder and mayhem, "Rage" confronts radical Islamic terrorism with a
new western form of itself that threatens the entire world order.
Critique: The stuff from which block-buster movies are made, "Rage" is a simply riveting
international political thriller from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially
for community library action/adventure fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Rage" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Inevitable Witness
Chickadee Prince Books
9780991327478, $14.99, PB, 282pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bobby Earl is the guy you call when it's time to fix bayonets and go to trial. But when
he's tapped to defend a notorious safecracker arrested for killing a decorated LAPD officer, Earl's
own life is suddenly in danger, and Earl must dive into LA's dangerous underworld, and battle a
court system in which the news media and politics corrupt the wheels of justice.
Critique: "The Inevitable Witness" is a deftly crafted and inherently compelling legal thriller by a
master of the genre. It's clear from the attention and accuracy of procedural background details
that author Ed Rucker draws upon his years of experience and expertise as a Los Angles based
defense attorney to create a thoroughly entertaining read that will prove to be an enduringly
popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading
lists it should be noted that "The Inevitable Witness" is also available in a Kindle format
Conspiracy of Wolves
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781466443594, $11.99, PB, 310pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With "Conspiracy of Wolves", novelist Ernie Hasler has written an explosive political
thriller involving a young couple who come into possession of the secret list of names of the
people who rule the world. These three hundred powerful individuals, mostly men, but including
a few women, comprise The Committee of Three Hundred.
Although expertly disguised by their spin doctors and media bosses, the main objective of the
Committee of 300 is a communistic world order where they rule the serfs. They want complete
control over the world's critical resources and they are heavily involved in the politics of so
called democracies, media propaganda, eugenics and the creation of a "Master Race".
The hero and heroine become aware of the murder of the hero's father, a trade union activist
during the miner's strike and national confrontation where he is given safe keeping of the secret
list. Ten years later an updated secret list comes into the hands of his son who is pursued by the
police, MI5 agents and gangsters in a mesmerizing series of chases and narrow escapes.
Although a work of fiction, "Conspiracy of Wolves" deftly explores the legal and moral
legitimacy of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and the Romanising of the New Testament by
Emperor Constantine during the fourth century and its spread to northern Britain after the Synod
of Whitby in 664 and the world in general.
Critique: "Conspiracy of Wolves" is an impressively original, exceptionally well written,
inherently fascinating, consistently entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Conspiracy of Wolves" is also available in a Kindle format
Thomas Haftmann, Private Eye: The Short Stories
New Pulp Press
9781945734090, $14.95, PB, 326pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ex-cop Thomas Haftmann, formerly of Cleveland Homicide, works as a private
investigator in the resort town of Jefferson-on-the-Lake. "Thomas Haftmann, Private Eye: The
Short Stories" is an anthology his fifteen of his short neo-noir cases. Among them are "The
Kneeling Woman," "Ni Escape, No Turning Back," "The Riding Boy," "The Slave Master's
Dungeon," "Archangel's Daughter," "A Woman With Tea-Colored Eyes," and "The Dog
Returneth to His Vomit." These have been collected from a variety of outstanding publications
and blog sites, ranging from Powder Burn Flash to A Twist of Noir to Sex and Murder Magazine.
Thomas Haftmann's dark world of murder and madness that first began with the publication of
author Robb White's "Nocturne for Madness" (9780692609026, $14.95 HC, $4.99 Kindle).
Critique: Clearly, author Robb White is a master of the noir-style mystery genre and "Thomas
Haftmann, Private Eye: The Short Stories" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to
community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated
mystery buffs that "Thomas Haftmann, Private Eye: The Short Stories" is also available in a
Kindle format ($4.99).
Soul Attitude Press
9781939181756, $14.95, PB, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It has been four years since attorney Michael Tucker defended Sara Goldstein, the
Long Island heiress, against murder charges. Now she is suing him! As Michael comes to terms
with his true feelings for Sara, he unwittingly uncovers the truth behind Uncle Charlie's murder,
as well as an unsolved murder from years' past. By exploring the present and the past, "Forbidden
Night" begins to decipher the mystery of the carousel horses, and answers the question: did Sara
really kill Uncle Charlie?
Critique: "Forbidden Night" is the second installment of the Forbidden trilogy by Joanne Lewis
and reveals her as a master of the genre with a genuine flair as a novelist for originality, deftly
created characters, and an inherently absorbing story from beginning to end. While "Forbidden
Night" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that it is also available
in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Custer Conspiracy
9780998080802, $14.99, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A week after uncovering the secret of what really happened at the Battle of the Little
Bighorn, history professor Matt Conroy was lying in a morgue with the back of his head blown
off. SFPD homicide inspector Tom McGuire, a long-time friend of Conroy's, volunteers to assist
the FBI in bringing the killer to justice. The FBI, however, is ordered to stand down for "national
security" reasons. They thought that would be the end of it. They were wrong. Tom McGuire was
not about to stand down. Not for anyone, not for any reason. That decision put him in the
crosshairs of one of the world's most secretive and dangerous organizations - an organization
whose rich and powerful members will stop at nothing to make sure their 140-year-old secret
remains hidden. Drawn into a labyrinth of conspiracies over a century old, Tom McGuire has just
walked into his worst nightmare.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel by a master of the genre, and a simply riveting read from cover to
cover, "The Custer Conspiracy" will prove to be an original and enduringly popular addition to
community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated
mystery buffs that "The Custer Conspiracy" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Thomas & Mercer
9781503943933, $15.95, PB, 284pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With its manicured lawns, pastel houses, and quiet, tree-lined streets, Willow Ridge
seems to be the perfect place for Megan and Tyler Stokes to start a new chapter in their lives
together. But soon after settling in, Megan begins to notice cracks in the neighborhood's bright
suburban facade -- cracks that reveal a darker secret hidden just beneath the surface.
After an angry encounter with a neighbor takes a horrifying turn, Megan's waking nightmare truly
begins -- growing ever more chilling and bizarre with each shocking twist. Suddenly forced to
question everything around her, Megan finds herself trapped between the specter of madness and
the shadow of something far worse.
Her only hope is to expose the community's pretty lies and discover the truth about what is really
going on in Willow Ridge -- a truth so devastating that her life will never be the same.
Critique: An extraordinary, original, and deftly crafted novel, "The Ridge" is an inherently
fascinating and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end, Revealing author John
Rector's genuine flair as a novelist for memorable storytelling, "The Ridge" is an especially
recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "The Ridge" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Awakening: Part One
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781539638612, $11.99, PB, 228pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Druid War has ended after a year of bloody combat, as Lycan armies battled each
other to decide the course of civilization. Kestrel and her Lycan army have been defeated by the
Druidess Sylvanis' Lycan army.
Kestrel, unbeknownst to Sylvanis, has cast a powerful spell. One, that upon her death, her
essence shall remain upon this Earth until the last stone of the Calendar, what we know now as
Stonehenge, falls. The spell will also awaken the power of lycanthropy in the ancestors of her
champions, allowing her to cheat death and return to once again wage war on civilization.
Sylvanis executes Kestrel for her crimes, thus setting in motion Kestrel's spell. Sylvanis
discovers the deceit and is left with no alternative but to cast a spell of her own. When Kestrel's
spell goes into effect, Sylvanis will be reborn, and her champions will awake as well, to fight
against Kestrel and her Lycans.
Two millennia have passed and the last stone has fallen. Kestrel spell awakens her. Sylvanis is
reborn with almost no recollection of who she once was. Kestrel will stop at nothing to destroy
her and her Lycans before they can discover their powers and find each other.
Now, four individuals find within themselves the power of lycanthropy awakened, the Wolf,
Boar, Tiger and Rat. They must learn to control this new-found power as they discover they are a
part of an ancient war between two Druidesses. Will they learn to use their powers in time?
Critique: An impressively crafted and original novel by an author with a genuine flair for
narrative driven and inherently compelling storytelling, "The Awakening: Part One" by Michael
Timmins is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community library Science
Fiction & Fantasy collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated lycanthropy fantasy
fiction fans it should be noted that "The Awakening: Part One" is also available in a Kindle
Eve of the Exceptionals
Parker Sinclair, author
Meredith Tennant, editor
Rawlings Books, LLC
9780998405308, $11.99, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When fate brings the young Prince Ryzyn and the rover girl Gem together, not only do
their lives become forever entwined, their meeting also ignites the power within an ancient object
called the Heart of Cyan. With the mystical Heart discovered, the wielder must prepare for an
epic battle against a vicious, pervasive darkness that threatens all of Parlethis. Magical forces
unite for the good of the land, but will that be enough to stop the Shadowland creatures from
destroying them all?
Critique: An original and inherently compelling read from cover to cover, "Eve of the
Exceptionals" reveals author Parker Sinclair's genuine flair for a deftly created and unfailingly
entertaining action/adventure fantasy of unexpected plot twists and turns. While very highly
recommended, especially for community library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "Eve of the Exceptionals" is also available
in a Kindle format ($2.99).
The Abscission Zone
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781537593890, $14.95, PB, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dr. Texie Raynott and Dr. Dock Hatman hope to use their expertise in plant biology to
discover new cancer drugs. They never imagined that they would end up fighting a global
menace that has deadly implications for the future of humankind.
While examining a tissue sample, Texie falls and cracks her skull. At the same time, Dock
uncovers the truth behind a series of mysterious deaths. Earth's green plants have turned violent.
Someone or something has begun a new war that could wipe out all of humanity. Mother Nature
wants to reclaim the Earth, and there is little we can do to stop her.
While some choose to stay and fight, others elect to establish a new home on another planet. As
Texie makes an astounding discovery on Mars, Dock tries to stop the conflict that is ravaging
Critique: Original, imaginative, engaging, entertaining, "The Abscission Zone" by Samuel
Muggington is a compelling science fiction novel that reveals the fragility and savagery of the
natural world, along with mankind's profound impact on the Earth's biodiversity and ecosystems.
While very highly recommended, especially for community library Science Fiction collections, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Abscission Zone" is also available in a
Kindle format ($2.99).
Reversione: Reset the Future
Chris A. Jones
Green Ivy Publishing
9781946775337, $16.50, PB, 235pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mankind had spent decades trying to overcome an impending ecological global
disaster. By the late 23rd century the disaster that they were attempting to prevent was at hand,
and there was no reversing the damage. Now two scientists, both more than a 150 years apart are
brought together to find a way to change the mistakes of the past and try to save a future that can
only be done through the destiny of these two individuals. The love they will find together will
not only determine the fate of their own lives, but the fate of the world. Can the two of them turn
back the clock and reset the future of discovery? "Reversione: Reset the Future" is a science
fiction love story that will define a destiny that will survive all time.
Critique: Impressively original, deftly written, thoroughly entertaining, "Reversione: Reset the
Future" is an inherently compelling read from cover to cover and very highly recommended,
especially for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Reversione: Reset the Future" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
An Alien's Quest
Penscript Publishing House
9781622220212, $24.95, HC, 276pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Only two decades after first contact, even Earth's people know of Haralahn, the
great-fish spiritual leader on distant Ellason. Shawne Oran-ElConn-Grey determines to seek his
guidance as she struggles to tame a haunting disillusionment that followed her home from Earth.
Her quest for meaning draws everyone she loves away to the Kuiper Belt and into a genetic
mystery on the watery home planet of the ellls.
Critique: The fourth novel in Cary Neeper's outstanding 'Archives of Varok' series, "An Alien's
Quest" nicely completes the story of Shawne and her mixed-species family as they search for
answers in Ellason's wild seas. Exceptional, original, deftly crafted, and a consistently
entertaining read from cover to cover, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
dedicated science fiction fans that "An Alien's Quest" is also available in both a paperback
edition (9781622220229, $14.95) and a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Enlighten Your Life: Spiritual Guidance + Life Coaching
The Church of Terra Sanctuaria
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781542972628, $45.00, PB, 816pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Steve is the Spiritual Leader of the Church of Terra Sanctuaria. "Enlighten Your Life:
Spiritual Guidance + Life Coaching" is a compendium of base, enlightened truths that shine with
their own light to help guide the reader on their own particular path for personal enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a gradual awakening, a dissolving of past delusions, a greater awareness and
understanding of reality. Follow the instructions comprising "Enlighten Your Life" see how they
help living life gradually, more and more each day and enjoy a better, more rewarding life.
Be spiritual but don't forget to be physical. Reality can be good, it can be fun, it can be worth it.
Be aware of the Heisenberg principle at work as you read these teachings; the act of observing an
event influences it. Don't worry, crossing a bridge doesn't often damage it!
This book is written purposely in an under-written style. Each word is important while
superfluous words are omitted. The phrasing might be difficult to understand and the concepts
testing of your world view, your belief system. It consists of a heap of small chapters like a
reference manual or encyclopedia of life and help improve your daily experience of life. If a
chapter seems silly or confusing move on and try another. The more you read of it the more it
should become readable. Get from it what you can.
"Enlighten Your Life" reveals: How to progress along your path of enlightenment; How to start
exercising and get a good healthy diet; That you are 31/2 billion years old and counting; How to
program yourselves and reinforce positive activities; How to gradually distance yourselves from
the madding crowd; How to have Tantric sex with orgasms lasting for hours; How to reduce
negative energies in your life and free yourselves from any negative history; and so much
Critique: A volume of impressive insights and a kind of reference workbook that is as informed
and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Enlighten Your Life: Spiritual
Guidance + Life Coaching" offers a life-changing, life-enhancing, practical instruction guide.
Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Enlighten Your Life" is highly
recommended for community and academic library Self-Help / Self-Improvement collections.
For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Enlighten Your Life" is also available in an
inexpensive Kindle format ($1.00).
Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama
Ananda Gurukula Publishing
9780986304712, $14.48, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama: Timeless Teachings for Transformation
and Awakening" by Maetreyii Ma offers a unique blend of the ancient teachings of yoga and
modern psychology. Ma (a licensed transpersonal psychologist and an ordained yogic minister, or
Acharya) provides basic life principles to live by and offers teachings for happiness, compassion,
self-love and self-realization.
These ancient teachings of yoga provide clear guidelines to face the difficulties of life. "Living
Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama" deftly leads the reader through processes that can help
them shift negative beliefs and thought patterns, transform their relationship with themself and
others and ultimately their own life.
"Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama" gives simple practices that can resolve, solve,
clarify, heal, purify, fend off confusion, dispel error and light your way into developing a deeper
connection with your true divine nature. "Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama" is a
practical guide to living a deep and fulfilling life that will move you towards awakening to the
deepest love within you.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama: Timeless
Teachings for Transformation and Awakening" is an inherently fascinating and potentially life
changing read from cover to cover. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation,
"Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama" is an extraordinary and highly recommended
addition for community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections in general,
and Yoga supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of yoga students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject
that "Living Love, The Yoga of Yama & Niyama" is also available in a Kindle format
I Am * You Are * Love Is
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504352277, $31.95, HC, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Throughout the ages philosophers, saints, and sages have described a state of pure
love, bliss, peace, and joy. Many have studied the words of such beings and practiced their ways,
seeking the experience of which they spoke. Still, until recently, few have experienced more than
fleeting glimpses of such a state. However, humanity is currently embarking upon a shift where
many of the seekers are beginning to experience themselves as they were created to be.
In the pages of "I Am * You Are * Love Is", Curtis Christian deftly explores basic truths of
existence and experience that will deepen your understanding of the source of who you are.
While not a magic ticket into the divine state that is so immensely sought after, nevertheless, "I
Am * You Are * Love Is" can serve as a guide to aid those transitioning through the stage of
spiritual seeking into the experience of being.
"I Am * You Are * Love Is" explains complex ideas, perspectives, and experiences in a
refreshingly unique and understandable way, inviting you to accelerate your journey inward while
making friends with the mind, expanding your awareness, and deepening your understanding of
yourself and your experience. No stone is left unturned as commonly accepted spiritual concepts
are questioned and examined from many angles, along with new, unique perspectives being
offered for consideration.
"I Am * You Are * Love Is" serves as an elaborate invitation to awaken the message of the heart
and begin expressing it to the world.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, erudite and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone,
commentary, organization and presentation, "I Am * You Are * Love Is" is an extraordinary and
life-affirming read that is highly recommended for both community and academic library
collections. It should be noted for the personal lists of non-specialist general readers that "I Am *
You Are * Love Is" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504352253, $14.99) and in a
Kindle format ($3.99).
The Poetry Shelf
This Is Me, Not Robert Creeley, Speaking
9780972688420, $16.00, PB, 53pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "This Is Me, Not Robert Creeley, Speaking" is a book of poetry in which the Paul
Bussan, in his own particular way, attempts to capture that calculated spacing and passionate
compression which Dudley Fitts cited as the virtues of Robert Creeley's first book of poetry "For
Love", and in which the poetry is not so much found in the poems themselves as in the spirit
animating them. "After Berkeley": While I, based / on who I am, / who I see myself / at being, am
being / seen as, am / seeing others / as they are, / is to be.
Critique: Whimsical, thought-provoking, deftly crafted, "This Is Me, Not Robert Creeley,
Speaking " clearly showcases Paul Bussan's genuine flair for deftly crafted, succinct, and
memorable free verse. This brief compendium of his work is very highly recommended for
personal reading lists.
In Hubble's Shadow
Shanti Arts, LLC
9781941830444, $14.95, PB, 98pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Though privileged to live in times when space exploration and technology have
advanced our knowledge of the universe at breath-taking speed, we still live as if we are the ones
around whom the sun rises and sets. Moving from the most intimate of human activities to the
profound and expansive dimensions of the universe, "In Hubble's Shadow" is a collection of
poems by Carol Smallwood that explores, as did Edwin Hubble, the elusive mysteries of life. The
vision, shared by all of us (poets, artists, laborers, homemakers, and space explorers) is to make
the best of this world while seeking to understand it more fully.
'A Dark Matter': Observers learned by watching rotation / that galaxies are nearly 90% invisible
dark matter / which confounds our very best contemplation. / Observers learned by watching
rotation / that without dark matter galaxies lack consolidation / and would collapse in one
comprehensive splatter. / Observers learned by watching rotation / that galaxies are nearly 90%
invisible dark matter.
Critique: Deftly crafted, each individual free verse poem is a thoughtful and thought-provoking
gem. Taken as a whole, "In Hubble's Shadow" is an elegant compendium of verse that will prove
to be inherently compelling from cover to cover and an enduringly popular and appreciated
addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary Poetry collections.
The Christian Studies Shelf
Finding God Anew
P.O. Box 2324 Traverse City, MI 49685-2324
9780998006307, $15.95, PB, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Finding God Anew: How I Fell Away and Returned to God Despite Divorce,
Betrayal, and Personal Tragedy", Barbara Kudwa unveils how God never gave up on her. She
takes you down a very personal journey through the storms of life to hope and healing as her
relationship with God is tested. She faces challenges in marriages resulting in divorces,
heartbreak in pregnancy loss, and deaths of family members, along with holding on to
unforgiveness and anger from shocking betrayals. Experiencing trauma, anxiety, pain, and grief,
she turns to God for hope, allowing her relationship with God to flourish and her brokenness to
Critique: Candidly informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring,
"Finding God Anew" is deftly written, inherently compelling read from beginning to end. While
very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all Christians (regardless of
denominational affiliation) that "Finding God Anew" is also available in a Kindle format
Beloved Hear MY Heart
National Library and Information System Authority
9789768260123, $12.60, PB, 166pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Lawrence Sankar is an Ordained Minister within the Church of God in Christ and has
served at various levels of Ministry during his twenty-six years of service at his local Church, the
Greater Malabar Christian Center. The contents of his new book "Beloved Hear MY Heart: A
Deep Sense of Righteous Urgency!" have been prayerfully and thoughtfully articulated in such a
way that it carefully navigates the reader through the many challenges of this life, while keeping
a laser focus on the Word of God.
"Beloved Hear MY Heart" addresses the many relevant issues of today's society within a poetic,
prophetic discourse, reverently combining very vivid analogies, parables and anecdotes that
ignite one's passion and call to action. It is Reverend Sankar's sincere hope that this very
passionate Prophetic discourse will wholly provoke all, to zealously proclaim the Word of
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, "Beloved Hear MY Heart: A
Deep Sense of Righteous Urgency" is an extraordinary and potentially life altering read that is
very highly recommended to everyone and anyone seeking to adhere their lives to the expressed
and implied Word of God. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beloved Hear MY
Heart" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.50).
The Money/Finance Shelf
Live Rich Stay Wealthy - Total Retirement Freedom
Blue Apple Enterprises, LLC
9780692674925, $39.99, PB, 339pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Live Rich Stay Wealthy: Total Retirement Freedom", Ken Himmler draws upon his
years of experience and expertise designing protected income and tax strategies for high net
worth clients and companies to provide practical insights and instructions for non-specialist
general readers with respect to investment, tax, and real estate planning strategies for
The underlying message is to not work your entire life for money, but rather, learn how to get
money to work for you for what Himmler describes as 'Total Financial Freedom'.
The first part of "Live Rich Stay Wealthy" gives the do-it-yourself person the tools, the resources
and processes on how to create a Total Retirement Freedom plan. The second part of "Live Rich
Stay Wealthy" will teach you how to protect your money from certain advisors and financial
companies which may cost thousands or even millions of dollars.
"Live Rich Stay Wealthy" will help you find, hire and oversee the right person. With checklists,
software access and processes, you'll now have in "Live Rich Stay Wealthy" a tool to create a
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and
presentation, practical, insightful, and directly applicable, "Live Rich Stay Wealthy: Total
Retirement Freedom" will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to
personal, community, and academic library Money/Fiances instructional reference collections
and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Live Rich Stay Wealthy: Total
Retirement Freedom" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.99).
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Steven J. Sommer
9780995434516, $35.00, HC, 434pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When he almost lost his life in 2012, holistic medical practitioner Dr. Steven Sommer,
became inspired and determined to share his experience and knowledge before his life was done.
The result is "Finding Hope: When Facing Serious Disease".
In "Finding Hope", Dr. Sommer shares his patients' and his own personal journey exploring how
to defy the odds with Meditation as medicine, Lifestyle as therapy, Mind-body weaving,
Epigenetics, Complementary therapies, Humor that heals, Fecal transplantation, Judgement and
enlightenment and Dying well.
Gathering examples and research from illnesses such as Cancer, Heart Disease, Parkinson's, MS,
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Dr. Sommer synthesizes the key
principles for finding and maintaining hope for better health in the face of such serious
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Finding Hope: When Facing
Serious Disease" is a compendium of practical wisdom presented in a thoroughly accessible (and
occasionally humorous) style. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and
thought-provoking, "Finding Hope" is a life-affirming, life-enhancing, life-prolonging read that is
especially recommended for both community and academic library Health/Medicine collections
in general, and Alternative Medicine supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted
for medical students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Finding Hope" is also available in a paperback edition (9780995434509, $22.00) and in a
Kindle format ($9.20).
I'm Hopeless, I'm Crazy
Linda Rae Anderson
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781524554538, $29.99, HC, 152pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "I'm Hopeless, I'm Crazy: How My Mother Recovered from the Ravages of Mental
Illness Through Natural Medicine and Integrated Therapies" is the candid account of author
Linda Rae Anderson's mother Elaine struggled to regain her mental and emotional health which
included trying to protect her four children with respect to their father who has problems of his
own with emotional stability and the consequences of poor life decisions. Linda's own journey as
a child growing up during those turbulent years that were to include a five year commitment of
her mother to a psychiatric facility is candidly related. Then when Linda's mother was again
hospitalized when in her sixties she experienced another major psychiatric break and became
catatonic due to the use of psychotropic drugs, having to step in to protect her mother and helping
her recover through the use of a naturopathy approach which, after three years of nutritional
supplements, various herbs, healthy foods, exercise, and therapy resulted in a complete
Critique: An honest, straight-forward, exceptionally well written account that is inherently
fascinating, informative, thought-provoking, and ultimately inspiring, "I'm Hopeless, I'm Crazy:
How My Mother Recovered from the Ravages of Mental Illness Through Natural Medicine and
Integrated Therapies" is an extraordinary story that should be a part of every community and
academic library Alternative Medicine collections in general, and Psychology/Psychiatry
supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal lists of
students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "I'm Hopeless, I'm
Crazy" is also available in a paperback edition (9781524554545, $19.99) and in a Kindle format
The Psychology Shelf
Phobia Relief: From Fear to Freedom
Building Your Best
9781945953033, $14.95, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Humans are born with two fears: the fear of falling and fear of loud noises. All the rest
of our fears ranging from spiders, snakes, clowns, and flying, to close spaces, getting sick, dogs,
and needles, are learned and can therefore be unlearned.
In "Phobia Relief: From Fear to Freedom", author Kalliope Barlis draws upon her more than 20
years' experience in Neuro-Linguistic Programming to offer step-by-step instructions for ridding
yourself of illogical fears and phobias by using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
techniques. What she offers is education, not therapy, and the results can be absolutely
By completing the exercises comprising the life-changing workbook that is "Phobia Relief: From
Fear to Freedom", readers be able to: Learn the true cause of their phobias; Gain control over
formerly uncontrollable thoughts; Shrink their fears and reverse them; Stop visualizing what they
don't want and start visualizing what they do want; Find their purpose and build their best life
Critique: As thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation as it is informed and
informative, "Phobia Relief: From Fear to Freedom" will prove to be an effective, practical, life
changing/life enhancing read. While very highly recommended for both community and
academic library Psychology collections in general, and Self-Help supplemental studies lists in
particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists for psychology students and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Phobia Relief: From Fear to Freedom" is also
available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Business Shelf
The Dance of the Business Mind
9780998779409, $19.95, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Using ballroom dancing as a metaphor, "The Dance of the Business Mind: Strategies
to Thrive Anywhere, From the Ballroom to the Boardroom" by Valeh Nazemoff (co-owner of a
consulting firm, and executive coach, as well as a competitive ballroom dancer) deftly guides the
reader through 6 steps to stimulate creativity, enhance awareness, and lead to peak performance.
In each individual chapter of The Dance of the Business Mind, provides specific strategies
gleaned from interviews with international award-winning dance coaches and performers,
including Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars to train the mind to "dance". Readers start
with the basics (mental and physical preparation) then expand to choreography and practice,
before the finale: learning how to perform in the office and beyond with confidence and
"The Dance of the Business Mind" covers such issues as: How freeing your mind to dance can
help you make better decisions in the workplace and achieve desired results; Why positive
thinking and visualization can help you perform at your highest level--in business and in dance;
The Four I's, which will help you bring your passion and expertise to essential professional
decisions; Successful business partnerships require you to get in sync with your colleagues (they
take communication, rhythm, and a shared purpose); How to make sure that your "steps" (your
business plan) match your "music" (your goal) so you can succeed in the best possible way; The
value of mapping your business strategy like a choreographer, creating a plan of action before
taking to the stage.
Critique: Offering an original and effective approach, "The Dance of the Business Mind::
Strategies to Thrive Anywhere, From the Ballroom to the Boardroom" is impressively
informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. A potentially life changing, life enhancing read,
"The Dance of the Business Mind " is exceptionally well written, organized and presented,
making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal, corporate, community, and
academic library Business Management collections in general, and Self-Help/Self-Improvement
supplemental studies lists in particular.
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Your Breath in Art
Everything Goes Media
PO Box 1524, Milwaukee, WI 53201
9781893121782, $16.95, PB, 220pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Your Breath in Art: Acting From Within" by the late Beatrice Manley (1921-2002) is
nuanced and quirky collection of expert advice and observations once reserved for actors has
been especially formatted for a new generation and a broader audience interested in: Breathwork;
Mindfulness; Personal Presence; Presentation; and Authenticity. Drawing upon her more than
60-year theater career centered in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and having
distinguished herself on stage in tragedy and comedy, classical and modernist works, and
ultimately as a beloved teacher and acting coach, Manley drew upon her experience and expertise
to present an informed and informative instruction guide and manual.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Your
Breath in Art" should be a core part of every community theatre group, highschool and college
drama department, and community library Theatre/Cinema/TV instructional reference collection
and supplemental studies reading list.
The Social Issues Shelf
Mission Point Press
9781943995264, $19.95, PB, 244pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The 1967 race riot in Detroit, Michigan was one of the worst in the country at that
time. Now some fifty years after anger and frustration over police-community relations boiled
over into a city-wide rebellion, "Intersection: What Detroit has gained, and lost, 50 years after the
uprisings of 1967" addresses the critically important questions of what has been learned, and how
have things changed. It is ironic that so many of the factors that led to that uprising are still with
us. There are so many reminders, both physical and metaphorical can be disheartening. Is the past
simply prolog to the future?
If there is good news, some 50 years after that 1967 uprising, it is probably that we are all much
more honest about the ways in which the problems of then still haunt us now. There's nowhere
near as much gloss or self-kidding as we used to indulge. The collective effort of the editorial
staff of Bridge Magazine, and members of the Detroit Journalism Collective, "The Intersection",
is a unique and informative collection of reports and insights with respect to the enduring effects
of the traumatic experiences arising from the race riot and how race relations between the
community and the police continue to be problematic to this day.
Critique: Highly illustrated with archival photos, contemporary photos, graphs and time lines,
"The Intersection" is extraordinarily informed and informative. As comprehensive and inclusive
as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Intersection" is very highly recommended for
both community and academic library Social Issues collections, as well as for the personal
reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Why Physicians Die by Suicide
Michael F. Myers, MD
9780692831878 $14.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: Physicians are known to be a group of professionals who are at risk of taking their own
lives. In this easy-to-read book, Dr. Michael Myers, a psychiatrist and specialist in physician
health, attempts to explain the mystery of why some doctors, despite their calling and the
adoration of their families, patients, students and colleagues, perish by suicide. He combines the
powerful and gripping insights of dozens of bereaved people whom he interviewed for this
project with disguised stories from his decades long clinical practice to shed some light on this
The stigma attached to mental illness in doctors is ubiquitous and pernicious - and, because
untreated illness is one of the major drivers to suicide, Dr. Myers argues that stigma must be
fought with urgency and might. He makes across-the-board recommendations in an effort to
prevent suicide in physicians and concludes that everyone has a role to play in saving a doctor's
life. This is a book about heartbreak, loss, prevailing, growth, passion and hope. It's a book for
doctors themselves, their families, those who train them, those who treat them and those who
care about them.
Critique: Written by professional psychiatrist Michael F. Myers MD especially for physicians and
their families, Why Physicians Die by Suicide directly addresses a distressing problem - why 300
or 400 doctors kill themselves every year. Chapters address multiple contributors to the epidemic
- stress and burnout, inherent knowledge of and access too potentially deadly drugs, and flaws in
how the medical system treats physicians who need care. A compassionate call for prevention
and change, Why Physicians Die by Suicide is highly recommended.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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