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Walking in Grace with Grief
Button Rock Press
9780996387804, $14.95, 126pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Part memoir and part meditation guide, "Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for
Healing After Loss" combines Della Temple's personal story of loss with teachings of energy
awareness, mindfulness, and conscious living. Filled with stories of hope and profound
confidence in life after life, providing comfort and nurturing for anyone dealing with loss. Della
Temple believes it's time to broaden the discussion about death and dying. It may not be
necessary to walk the normal stages of grief: from anger, denial, bargaining and depression to the
final destination of acceptance. She believes that others too can start at acceptance and stay there
throughout their journey of recovery. This might fly in the face of what's considered "normal
grieving", but what the author experienced during her period of mourning was an amazing
feeling of ease, comfort and nurturing - what she refers to as Grace - that kept her from drowning
in the mire of doubt, wishful thinking and regret. "Walking in Grace with Grief" includes
meditations for healing that are easy to follow and useful for not only the most pressing moments
of grief and loss, but throughout your lifetime.
Critique: Impressively well written and exceptionally well organized and presented, "Walking in
Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss" is as compelling a read as it is inspired
and inspiring. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Walking in Grace with Grief" is also available in a Kindle edition
Unspeakable!: A Mother's Journey
Kay Armstrong Baker
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478710813, $11.95, 202pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After her daughter's death in 2000, Kay Armstrong Baker began journaling, compelled
to express herself in writing as a way to cope with this unspeakable event in her life.
"Unspeakable!: A Mother's Journey" is a compilation of her journal entries that comprises a
personal account from the heart of her grief, despair, anger, and hope. It's an honest,
heart-wrenching, yet hopeful book that bravely deals with what most parents fear the most-the
loss of a child. A child's death leaves a tremendous void for parents, an emptiness that settles
within the very core of their being. Kay shares her personal experience in the hope that other
grieving parents can gain comfort from it, and know that they are not alone in this convoluted
journey called grief. "Unspeakable!: A Mother's Journey" is also for family and friends and those
who support parents who stumble along this path of the unspeakable.
Critique: Candid, immensely personal, informative, thoughtful, "Unspeakable!: A Mother's
Journey" is a compelling and highly recommended to the attention of any parent or other family
member that is grieving the loss of a child. A critically important addition to community library
parenting and contemporary American biography collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Unspeakable!: A Mother's Journey" is also available in a Kindle edition
9780914303145 $14.95 pbk / $2.99 Kindle www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sometimes the horror and devastation of war are just normal. Sometimes the noise, the
dirt, the destruction and the pain is just part of the day. Sometimes the death and the loss is just
what goes to make up your life. Sometimes you just want out.
Critique: Hasan is a work of fiction, yet it is based on the all-too-real war crimes perpetrated
against Syria's people. Author Drew Saunders, who has won awards for his work from Eastern
Michigan University, portrays a living nightmare and its direct effects upon children who are
trapped within it. Hasan is a stark and unforgettable story, harrowing to the final page.
Guardian Stewardship Editions
9780991134915 $29.95 www.gsebooks.com
Synopsis: After World War II and to the early 1980s, artists, writers, architects, performers,
spiritual seekers, freethinkers, political dissenters, and social revolutionists gathered in
California, intent on creating a new way of seeing and interacting with the world. The result was
an unstoppable counterculture that blazed its way across the American tableau, forever changing
the national and international spirt of art and culture.
Learn more about the fascinating individuals and groups who created an art, architecture, music,
and, often, a productive creative mayhem along the entire Pacific coast, from the remote reaches
of northern California, south to the beaches of San Diego. Bohemian Highways is published in
conjunction with the 2015 California Preservation Foundation Annual Conference.
Critique: A slipcase encloses this inspired anthology about the avant-garde social, cultural, and
artistic movements of California from the 1950s to the 1980s. Second in the "Bohemian" series,
Bohemian Highways: Art & Culture Abide Then Divide Along the California Coast is an
extraordinary tour of striking developments in modern art history, packed with eyebrow-raising
anecdotes as well as insights into the genesis of cultural transformation. Also highly
recommended is the first volume in the series, "Bohemian Crossroads: Art & Culture Collide
Then Subside on the Monterey Peninsula" (9780991134908, $29.95).
The Art Shelf
Digital Paintings Techniques: Volume 7
9781909414259, $49.99, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in its seventh year, "Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 7" continues the
tradition of showcasing the latest digital painting trends and techniques from industry experts,
including Renee Chio and Cris Delara. Renee is a classically trained animator and self-taught
illustrator with five years of experience in the animation industry and a massive fanbase. Delara
is a pin-up specialist with nearly twenty years of experience in various artistic industries. In this
latest volume of a truly outstanding series, aspiring artists will learn how to create robot
concepts, scar environments with a natural disaster, sculpt hard-surface air vehicles, craft matte
paintings, and design concept cars.
Critique: Profusely illustrated, informed and informative, "Digital Paintings Techniques: Volume
7" is thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end. A pleasure to simply browse through and
an exceptionally well organized and presented instructional, "Digital Paintings Techniques:
Volume 7" is a "must-have" for any aspiring digital artist and would prove to be an enduringly
popular addition to art school and academic library Art Studies reference collection.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781497598232, $22.95, 622pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Written by Z. Altug (a licensed physical therapist and performance specialist with
more than twenty-five years of experience in his field) as an easy-to-follow companion guide to
medical treatment, "Sustainable Fitness: A Practical Guide to Health, Healing, and Wellness"
helps readers understand how to self-manage their recovery and health after visiting the doctor.
Organized into six parts, "Sustainable Fitness" covers health and wellness, healing and recovery,
weight management and nutrition, mind and body training, an exercise menu, and wraps up with
a comprehensive resource section Formatted as a series of lists and handouts so you can quickly
access the information you need, "Sustainable Fitness" is a guide that benefits patients and health
professionals alike. "Sustainable Fitness" reveals how a proper understanding of exercise,
nutrition, stress, sleep, habits, and your purpose in life can give you the ability to achieve and
maintain your best level of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Sustainable Fitness: A Practical
Guide to Health, Healing, and Wellness" is very highly recommended for community library
Health/Medicine instructional reference collections. Impressively accessible for the
non-specialist general reader, it should be noted that "Sustainable Fitness" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($5.99).
Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices
Marion R. Behr
377 River Road. Branchburg NJ 08876
9780615856001, $20.95, 268pp
Synopsis: Compiled and presented by Marion R. Behr, "Surviving Cancer: Our Voices &
Choices" is a compilation commentaries by a diverse variety of medical professionals with
respect to the subject of breast cancer, its treatment and its impact on the lives of patients and
Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Surviving Cancer: Our
Voices & Choices" is a compelling read and very highly recommended for the personal reading
lists of patients, family members, and medical professionals dealing with the various issues
imposed by a diagnosis of breast cancer. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content,
organization and presentation, "Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices" is a critically
important and highly recommended addition to both community and academic library Health &
Medicine reference collections. It should be noted that 20% of the profits from the sale of
"Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices" are donated to cancer charity.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Helen Currie Foster
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781505378269, $12.99, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Ghost Dog" by Helen Currie Foster is the second and latest installment in her
outstanding 'Alice MacDonald Greer' mystery series and finds our intrepid sleuth caught up in the
intriguing world of Texas country folk music when one popular artist is found dead in a
swimming pool and another goes missing. The body of folk icon Annie Temple is discovered just
before a concert at the chic recording studio and retreat of Twin Springs, and police suspect a
young singer-songwriter, Tessa McElroy, of the murder. It seems that Annie recorded a
commercial using Tessa's signature song without her permission. But Alice has concerns about
the business practices of the recording studio -- and owner Ray Gimble's strange obsession with
killing an engaging stray dog. Alice is also hired to help a local rancher deal with the abandoned
belongings of Blanton Geddes, the fabled bad-boy singer known for sporadically disappearing --
except this time, he's left behind not only his truck but also an unpublished novel and recordings
of a new song cycle. Set against the rustic beauty of Texas Hill Country, "Ghost Dog" features
lively dialogue, quirky characters, and heartfelt music as the small-town lawyer unravels an old
mystery to solve a new one.
Critique: Simply stated, Helen Currie Foster is a master of the mystery/suspense genre and
"Ghost Dog" is a riveting novel replete with unexpected twists and surprising turns that will
prove to be a genuine 'page-turner' of a read for all mystery buffs. Of special note is the inclusion
of two original poems at the end of the book. Very strongly recommended as an enduringly
popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Ghost Dog" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99). Also very
highly recommended is "Ghost Cave" (9781505414301, $12.99 PB, $8.99 Kindle), the first of
the Alice MacDonald Greer mystery novels.
9780692481721, $9.99, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Nicole Lewis leads a hectic life, balancing work at L.A.'s most prestigious law firm
and a long-distance romance with her English lover. Things go sideways when she tracks down a
missing office mate, the firm's in-house investigator, and finds him murdered. Robert's murder,
his mysterious wealth, and his inexplicable bequest make Nicole a target for the police, the
paparazzi, and the killer. As Nicole's love life takes an unexpected turn, she uncovers evil and
corruption among the city's most powerful people. "The Bequest" plays out against the backdrop
of Los Angeles, with its peculiar mix of balmy weather, the celebrity-crazed media, and a corrupt
power structure hidden by the veneer of glamour and wealth.
Critique: An impressive and deftly crafted mystery replete with unexpected twists and surprising
turns, "The Bequest" is a terrifically entertaining read and very highly recommended for
community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists
of mystery novel enthusiasts that "The Bequest" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Also highly recommended is Nancy Boyarsky's "The Swap" (9780692298442, $9.99 PB, $2.99
Kindle), her first mystery featuring Nicole Lewis.
A Racket in the Burbs
9780996776301, $12.00, 238pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ron McCallister's job is to be a hard-ass, to keep unwelcome degenerates out of
Starlet's Alley. The strip club is the only locally owned business in Chicago's suburb of
Woolrich. The pay beats working anywhere else nearby, and Ron can keep tabs on the city's
scum, both well-connected and otherwise. Ron's life changes when a stripper who piques his
interest, Carey Sullivan, saves his life from sleazy mob subordinates. The brush with death pits
both of them against municipal politicians, local police, and the mobsters who own them. Carey
and Ron rely on their wits, a growing cadre of like-minded friends, and a little outside help to
strike back at local thugs and attempt to take back their lives. During their struggle, a desire
ignites between them that burns brighter than a freshly-lit Molotov cocktail.
Critique: "A Racket in the Burbs" by Ben Broeren is a work of compelling fiction that is inspired
by the backdrop of Operation Family Secrets, a real life FBI investigation that crippled the
Chicago mob. A riveting read from beginning to end, "A Racket in the Burbs" is very highly
recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted
that "A Racket in the Burbs" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
No Need To Know
Mark A. Hewitt
Black Rose Writing
PO Box 1540, Castroville, TX 78009
9781612965789, $23.95, 592pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A major security breach finds the CIA's closest secrets divulged and dozens of their
highly-placed spies exposed and killed. As the Agency investigates the source of the disclosures,
an old Office of Strategic Services file and the former Director of Central Intelligence become
the focal point of their research. A race is on to find the file's secrets. If al-Qaeda's wins, they can
acquire "suitcase" thermonuclear devices to attack America. If the CIA gets there first, they can
make a deal with a Russian billionaire and trade the missing treasure for the weapons al-Qaeda
craves. The political awakening of Duncan Hunter continues as he battles radical fundamentalists
across the globe, he thwarts the terrorists' best plans and eliminates their leaders. He survived
their latest attempts to kill him when he's finally cornered, captured, and dragged to an al-Qaeda
lair. Inside lurks certain doom at the hand of his bitterest foe.
Critique: Impressively well written, "No Need To Know" is a deftly crafted thriller from
beginning to end and showcases author Mark A. Hewitt as an exceptionally talented writer of the
first order. Very highly recommended for community library collections, "No Need To Know"
will prove to be an enduringly popular addition. Simply stated, "No Need To Know" is the stuff
of which block buster movies are made! For personal reading lists it should be noted that "No
Need To Know" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).
The Museum Heist
9780996175340, $14.95, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the early morning hours after St. Patrick's Day, 1990, two men disguised as
policemen gain access to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a stately four-story Italian
mansion in the Fenway district of Boston. They handcuff the guards, wrap their mouths with duct
tape, and proceed to commit the largest robbery in history. The stolen masterpieces, including
Vermeer's The Concert, a Degas, a Manet, and three irreplaceable Rembrandts, are valued at half
a billion dollars. Despite a $10 million reward, and the combined efforts of the FBI, Scotland
Yard, INTERPOL, and the Canadian Mounted Police, the treasured art is never recovered.
Jump to twenty-five years later. Paris is an ex-con, a classics professor and superbly gifted art
forger who is passing the time at a self-storage facility he bought in out-of-the-way New Mexico
to earn a living while figuring out what to do next with his life. When a suspicious out-of-towner
arrives to check on his belongings, Paris' curiosity gets the best of him. He breaks into the man's
storage unit only to find the stolen art now missing for a quarter of a century. With the $10
million in reward money under his belt, Paris sets off for Boston to fulfill his dream of building a
classical museum of his own. In order to help the eccentric Lieutenant Lowell nab the illusive
thief, Paris dives back into the world of obsession and deception which may send him back to
Critique: "The Museum Heist" is based on the real-life robbery of the famed Gardner Museum
and a fast-paced, wily whodunit filled with intrigue, romance and stimulating scholarship. Author
Kameel Nasr, an international adventurer and art connoisseur, shines a penetrating light on the
motives, habits, and sometimes less-than-noble intentions in the demi-monde of world-class art
collecting. Along the way, author Kameel Nasr has created a wonderfully satisfying mystery
novel for anyone interested in historical fiction. "The Museum Heist" takes the reader on a
veritable roller-coaster ride of suspense. A meticulous portrait of the underbelly of the art world
at its highest echelons, "The Museum Heist is very highly recommended for community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading list of mystery buffs it should be noted
that "The Museum Heist" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle edition ($2.99).
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781480824348, $17.99, 258pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In his forties, Julian Peale is getting a fresh start. Formerly in Navy intelligence, he's
cast his lot in the New York art world. He's landed a job with the venerable Medici Studios,
which also contracts with the NYPD and FBI. On a winter morning, they've run a sting operation
to track Russian art smugglers. The caper goes awry, but an odd bit of evidence remains: four art
catalogs with graffiti markings. So begins "Gallery Pieces", an art mystery that will keep readers
guessing until the end. Peale follows the clues where they lead. He meets a heavy at the Miami
Art Fair, chases a mystery bidder at Merriweather's auction in Manhattan, and crosses paths with
a Brooklyn performance artist whose pranks are dangerously entangled in the Russian intrigues.
Step by step, Peale enters an art world permeated not only by the avant-garde, but by the Russian
mob, hackers, forgers, hipsters, and the history of art looting in Europe during WWII. When
Peale least expects it, the catalogs lead him on another trail. He is drawn into a long-forgotten
mystery surrounding his grandfather, Maxwell Peale, who had been a "monuments man," a
soldier who helped reclaim art looted by the Nazis. Peale is on his way to discovering paintings
stolen in postwar Europe. Finding the culprits, however, brings him closer to home than he'd
Critique: A deftly crafted masterpiece of mystery and suspense from first page to last, "Gallery
Pieces" clearly documents author Larry Witham as a master of the genre. Very highly
recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists
of all mystery buffs that "Gallery Pieces" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Gold in the Coffins
Dominic Certo & Len Harac
9780578155609, $28.95, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Co-authored by Dominic Certo and Len Harac, "Gold in the Coffins " is a taut tale of
greed, murder, and revenge as combat-weary Marines take on the crooks of Wall Street. "Gold in
the Coffins" follows the story of a tight band of retired Marines who bonded during a bloody tour
of duty in Vietnam, only to find themselves facing a darker enemy back home, the demons of
Wall Street. Donnie DeAngelo survived Vietnam and the rough streets of his childhood by never
giving up the fight, whether his enemy was the Viet Cong or the mob. Defying all odds, he
launched a successful coffee and food business, and decided to take his company public, but a
Wall Street power broker has other plans for his business: force him and his comrades into
bankruptcy and loot the spoils. When Donnie threatens to blow the whistle, his best friend winds
up dead-and it looks like Wall Street has drawn first blood. Donnie and members of his former
platoon are betrayed by the system they once fought to defend, leading them to conclude that
revenge is a dish best served bloody.
Critique: A work of fiction that reads like a documentary expose of the kind of Wall Street
corruption that almost led to a second Great Depression just seven years ago, "Gold in the
Coffins" is a riveting read from beginning to end. A deftly crafted story of unexpected twists and
turns, "Gold in the Coffins" is certain to be a popular addition to community library General
Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Gold in the Coffins" is also
available in a paperback edition (9780578155166, $18.95) and in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Still Night in L.A.
Three Rooms Press
561 Hudson Street, #33, New York, NY 10014
9781941110331, $15.95, 220pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Michael Shepard, a detective with his own set of problems, is hired one morning by a
fashionable young woman at her Hollywood apartment. Soon he's embroiled in a murder
investigation that may shed light on a nearly forgotten tragedy. A divorced father wondering how
to set his son on a better course in life, the detective gets into deepening trouble as he negotiates
a vivid panorama of the town's modern-day beautiful and damned. Author Aram Saroyan
harnesses the hardboiled styles of Chandler, Hammett, and Ross MacDonald into a contemporary
tale of information age intrigue. The text is supplemented with cell phone photos taken by
Saroyan in the same environs in which the story unfolds.
Critique: Aram Saroyan is an internationally known poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist and
playwright. With the publication of "Still Night in L.A." Saroyan demonstrates that he is also a
master of the mystery genre as well. A terrifically entertaining read from beginning to end, "Still
Night in L.A." is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
For the personal reading lists of mystery buffs it should be noted that "Still Night in L.A." is also
available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).
George A. Bernstein
GnD Publishing LLC
9780989468145, $12.95, 314pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The second serial killer in less than a year is prowling the streets of Miami,
systematically killing off some of South Florida's most beautiful young women. Detective Al
Warner is just back on The Job, fully recovered from a bullet wound that cracked his skull during
a deadly chance encounter with another madman. Due to rigorous physical therapy, Warner is in
the best shape of his life, but his days are laced with headaches and his sleep fraught with
terrifying dreams. Lack of rest clouds his usually laser-sharp mind, but doesn't slow his
single-minded hunt for this new killer. Warner and the FBI's BAU become more frustrated as
each new death provides plenty of evidence it's the same Unsub, but no new clues to his identity.
They learn the killer's name, Angie Dedios, and eventually realizes it's really "Angel de Dios"...
the Angel of God... but they are helpless as more beauties die with no new leads as to this deadly
"angel's" real identity. Then Warner's love, Sharon Clark, becomes a target for this madman, and
Warner must stop him before she is his 8th victim. Only chance again brings them all together in
one final deadly dance of terror.
Critique: A masterfully crafted suspense thriller from beginning to end, "Death's Angel" is a
terrifically absorbing read and very highly recommended for community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Death's Angel"
is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781502855534, $15.65, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Blood, fear and mayhem are served up in generous portions as love turns to murder in
"Chimera Murders", a psychological thriller by Frank Maldonado. It's a race against time as two
good friends fight to stop an unseen evil that penetrates into the very depths of terror!
Critique: A deftly crafted novel of unexpected twists and surprising turns, "Chimera Murders" is
an absorbing read from beginning to end and one that documents author Frank Maldonado's
exceptionally storytelling skills. "Chimera Murders" is highly recommended for community
library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of mystery fans it should be
noted that "Chimera Murders" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.00).
The Fiction Shelf
The Shakespeare Mask
Blue Bird Press
c/o Yorwerth Associates LLC
410 Fieldstone Drive, Bozeman, MT 59715
9780996048408, $29.99, 372pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the early sixteenth century, a precocious young nobleman draws the attention of the
Elizabethan court and of The Virgin Queen herself. A writer and patron of the arts, Edward de
Vere is volatile, controversial-and brilliant. He leaves a trail of women and scandal in his wake.
But his plays, when he's in the queen's good graces, charm the court. His sonnets turn feelings
into sound. Yet the rules of the court say a nobleman may not publish. An earl's name is too
sacred for the theater. If DeVere must write, he must do so anonymously, and employ a runner,
an almost illiterate cobbler's son from Stratford by the name of William Shakespeare, to claim his
Critique: Author Newton Frohlich invested some fifteen years in researching the controversial
life and times of William Shakespeare. The result is a truly impressive novel in which close
attention has been paid to historical detail. An inherently fascinating and entertaining read from
beginning to end, "The Shakespeare Mask" is very highly recommended for community and
academic library Historical Fiction collections. Of special interest to Shakespear enthusiasts, it
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Shakespeare Mask" is also available in a
paperback edition (9780996048439, $15.95) and in a Kindle format ($13.14).
Champlain Avenue Books
2360 Corporate Circle Drive, Henderson, Nevada 89074
9781943063093, $13.99, 292pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What is "normal"? That question consumes psychologist Cathy Morgen when she
takes on the case of a devastated teenager named Joseph. In the spring of 1961, Cathy receives a
distressing call from the director of Summerhaven Mental Hospital in Portland, Oregon: They
need her expertise. Over her husband's angry protests, Cathy drives to the asylum, where she
observes a bizarre sight: a kicking, neighing boy behaving exactly like a panicked mustang. What
horrors, Cathy asks herself, have caused Joseph to give up being human? Thus begins Cathy's
heart-wrenching quest to unravel the mystery of the talented, traumatized "horse-boy" - and in
doing so redeem herself for failing to save a similar young patient. Many people are working
against her, including an arrogant chief psychiatrist, a doctor who favors a host of barbaric
"therapies," and her own spouse. Near escapes, brilliant insights, shocking confessions, and
unthinkable betrayal will all play a role in helping Cathy discover the true meaning of
"normal"...and the key to healing Joseph's broken psyche. "The Thundering" is a haunting and
uplifting tale of brutality and compassion during the darkest times of America's mental healthcare
Critique: An exceptionally and deftly crafted novel from beginning to end, "The Thundering" is
an inherently fascinating and thoroughly absorbing read from beginning to end. Very highly
recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Thundering" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
Wait Until I'm Dead!
Elda M. Dawber
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781499766349, $14.50, 346pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Surviving family horror is one thing. Having the courage and determination to reveal it
is another. DJ Brava, romance novelist extraordinaire, has the courage. She has the
determination. She has friends covering her back. But when unearthing one family secret leads to
another and another can she survive the fallout? Some family members beg her to wait until
they're dead. Has one of them gone too far in a misguided effort to protect someone -- or
something? Structured as a memoir within a novel, readers move through the main character's
history of childhood trauma and healing. But it is her actions in the present that propel the story
through a series of compelling revelations affecting numerous characters in unforeseen ways. The
dialogue is crisp and the humor rich. Emotional connections are profound, and the topic is one
that touches the lives of millions.
Critique: A masterpiece of literary fiction with an inherently absorbing theme, "Wait Until I'm
Dead!" is a deftly crafted novel from beginning to end and one that documents the impressive
and complex storytelling skills of Elda M. Dawber. Very highly recommended for community
library Contemporary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that 'Wait
Until I'm Dead!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
C. M. Furio
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781512091847, $16.00, 388pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Set amidst the drama of Fascist Italy, "Francesco's Song" is the gripping story of one
man's struggle to survive. Based on her family history, author C.M. Furio tells the poignant story
of young Francesco as he grows up in the small seaside town of Mola di Bari. The saga of birth,
love and death in rural southern Italy unfolds as Italy becomes involved in the cataclysm of world
events. Francesco's carefree youth ends when, the oratory of Mussolini and the false sense of
patriotism seduces him and he joins the military police of the Italian armed forces, the
Carabinieri Reali. Stationed in Yugoslavia and later in Milan, everything he treasures is
threatened as he confronts events during the war and witnesses firsthand the destruction of his
homeland. Fleeing from the occupying Nazi, Francesco is sheltered by sympathizers of a growing
resistance movement. He enters the darkest period of his life. where his only dream is to be
reunited with his family and the love of his life, Francesca. Based on letters and war-time
documents found in the author's family home "Francesco's Song" is a moving portrayal of the
struggles of the Italian people during the war years and the customs that bound them. It is the
story of an immigrant who never lost the love for his homeland and who valued family above all
Critique: Impressively well written and deftly drawing from real-life sources, "Francesco's Song"
by Colomba M. Furio-Spigner is an exceptionally crafted novel and an absorbing read from
beginning to end. Indeed, "Francesco's Song" is one of those works of literary fiction that will
linger on in the mind and memory of the reader long after the novel itself has been finished and
set back upon the shelf. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library
Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Francesco's Song" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.00).
Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum
Richard T. Morrison & R. Stephanie Good
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781496915153, $29.95, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A great secret lies hidden within our Constitution that five great statesmen took an
oath to conceal. They knew that once revealed, that secret would turn jurisprudence on its head,
and likely divide our Nation as never before. Do not make light of what you will read. Oft times,
our history borders on a thin line between fact and fiction. So does the novel "Sovereignty
Betrayed: Imperium Proditum" written by the collaborative team of Richard T. Morrison and R.
Stephanie Good. While it was penned as historical fiction, its premise is one to be taken very
seriously. For written within these covers are self-evident truths that constitutional scholars will
be debating for years to come. Given today's political climate, "Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium
Proditum" is one of those works of historical fiction that one day could well turns out to be
Critique: Impressively well written and an inherently fascinating read from beginning to end,
"Sovereignty Betrayed: Imperium Proditum" is strongly recommended for the personal reading
lists for anyone who enjoys a well crafted historical novel, as well as being commended for both
community and academic library Historical Fiction collections.
The Apocalypse Men
9780692518984, $12.95, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "We know the state of the world, we know its history, and most of all, what it will be!"
With these chilling words, a new terrorist group sets off a series of horrifying attacks, claiming
they are destined to fulfill prophecy from the Book of Revelation. CIA analyst Kyle Ferguson and
American intelligence must decipher the group's messages to stop them before it's too late. But as
the attacks escalate, Kyle discovers he alone may hold the key to stopping the Apocalypse Men.
Forced to confront his scarred past and an uncertain future, Kyle embarks on a journey that will
challenge everything he hopes and fears, knows and believes.
Critique: A riveting action/adventure novel from beginning to end, "The Apocalypse Men" by
John Cheney is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections.
This is the stuff of which blockbuster movies are made! For personal reading lists it should be
noted that "The Apocalypse Men" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Mother Of Invention
18 Village Plaza, PMB # 177, Shelbyville, KY 40065
9781681110288, $14.99, 274pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Claire Goldstein dislikes change, but she is about to be overwhelmed by a tsunami of
problems. The editor of a newsletter for the Arts and Sciences College at a university in upstate
New York, her values and beliefs are challenged when she is instructed to write a series of
articles which present hydrofracking in a neutral light. At the same time, her son Stephen, a
student at the university, is secretly planning a major anti-fracking demonstration on campus that
will threaten his life and her career. There are rumblings of malaise in her marriage to Marco
Capobianco, a social psychologist. Her closest friend Maude, who is many years older than she,
has developed a serious health problem, and asks Claire to make an extremely difficult
commitment. And her very old Bolshevik grandfather, who lives in a nursing home after a stroke
rendered him speechless, has apparently fallen in love with a woman Claire considers utterly
Critique: A fully absorbing, complex, and entertaining novel from beginning to end, "The Mother
Of Invention" showcases the impressive literary talents of author Nina Miller and is high
recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "The Mother Of Invention" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
Edward Lewis Wallant
Fig Tree Books
9781941493144, $15.95, 279pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At 45, Nazerman, who survived Bergen-Belsen although his wife and children did not,
runs a Harlem pawnshop. But the operation is only a front for a gangster who pays Nazerman a
comfortable salary for his services. Nazerman's dreams are haunted by visions of his past
tortures. Remarkable for its attempts to dramatize the aftereffects of the Holocaust, "The
Pawnbroker" is likewise valuable as an exploration of the fraught relationships between Jews and
other American minority groups. That this unique novel, a National Book Award finalist,
remains so powerful today makes it all the more tragic that its talented author died, at age 36, the
year after its publication. The book sold more than 500,000 copies soon after it was
Critique; Arguably a masterpiece of contemporary American literature, "The Pawnbroker" is very
highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. A compelling and
inherently absorbing read from beginning to end, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Pawnbroker" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
We'll Live Tomorrow
9780996287104, $14.95, 385pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In an aid compound in southern Afghanistan, under the watchful eyes of the Taliban,
lives Hunter Ames, an American grappling with a dark family history and a growing midlife
malaise. As he tries to find meaning in the chaos, he meets the mysterious Karimullah, a former
bacha bazi sex slave hunted by his master. "We'll Live Tomorrow" follows the unusual
friendship the develops between the two. But menacing forces surround them, imbuing their
friendship with the promise of salvation and the prospect of tragedy.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel of impressive complexity, "We'll Live Tomorrow" is a
masterpiece of contemporary fiction and a thoroughly absorbing read from beginning to end.
Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted that "We'll Live
Tomorrow" is also available for personal reading lists in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
A Sudden Gust of Gravity
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781519181930, $14.99, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Christina Davenport, waitressing to pay the bills, has abandoned her childhood dream
of becoming a magician -- until she meets the mesmerizing Reynaldo the Magnificent. He hires
her as his assistant for his magic and juggling show; she hopes she can play the role without
cutting his giant ego in half. Devon Park, a surgical resident, is escaping his own problems when
he visits the street performers in downtown Boston. But the young doctor worries that the bruises
beneath Christina's makeup go deeper than the training accident she professes. Convinced the
doctor's interest is more than clinical, the mercurial magician attempts to tighten his grip on
Christina. Now she needs to decide if the opportunity Reynaldo offers worth the price of
Critique: An impressively well written novel from beginning to end, "A Sudden Gust of Gravity"
confirms author Laurie Boris as a master of the Contemporary Romantic genre. An inherently
absorbing and entertaining read throughout, "A Sudden Gust of Gravity" is very highly
recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted
that "A Sudden Gust of Gravity" is also available in an inexpensive Kindred edition ($0.99).
The Biography Shelf
Walking Out the Other Side
Alan S. Charles
9780996830607, $24.99, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Walking Out the Other Side: An Addict's Journey from Loneliness to Life" is the
personal story of a journey from childhood to adulthood, from addiction to sobriety, from fearing
life to living joyfully. Readers will join Alan S. Charles through the dramatic ups and downs of
his life from an adventurous childhood to the tragic early death of his father and his traumatic
home life with a mentally ill brother and depressed mother. Readers will learn of Alan's attempts
to overcome his past through professional sports such as baseball and harness racing, and then a
high profile career in sales. They will plummet with him into a twenty-four-year cycle of cocaine
addiction and recovery. Before it's over, Alan's addiction will destroy his aspirations and
relationships and almost kill him. Yet he will ultimately walk out the other side. Anyone who has
experienced addiction will relate to Alan's story. Anyone struggling with recovery will find hope
in these pages. Anyone with addicted friends or family will get a clear picture of how the addict's
mind works and how they can best cope with their loved one's behavior while practicing hard
love to protect themselves. "Walking Out the Other Side" is a cathartic read that will have a
profound impact and maybe even lead to believing in miracles.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Walking Out the Other Side: An
Addict's Journey from Loneliness to Life" is a compelling and inherently fascinating read from
beginning to end. "Walking Out the Other Side" is very highly recommended for both
community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. For personal
reading lists it should be noted that "Walking Out the Other Side" is also available in a paperback
edition (9780996830614, $19.99) and in a Kindle format ($8.69).
The Christian Studies Shelf
9780986382307, $10.95, 266pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Flourish: A Guide To Your Growth In God's Community" by Phil Rehberg is a
compact guide to living your life in Christ. It is a handbook for spiritual growth. "Flourish" is for
longtime believers as well as newer believers who want to be transformed into the "image of the
Son" (Romans 8:29). It explains many of the important principles for following Jesus. Since the
greatest commands are to love God and love others, "Flourish" is centered on relationships. Most
of the chapters are short so you can pause and absorb what you have just read. "Flourish" can be
used for daily devotional or study. In order to make this a good experience for readers, almost
every scripture referred to in "Flourish" is quoted in full. There are about thirty pages of quoted
scriptures and fifteen blank pages at the end for note taking.
Critique: "Flourish: A Guide To Your Growth In God's Community" is informed, informative,
thoughtful, thought-provoking, inspired and inspired. Simply stated, "Flourish" is very highly
recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational
affiliation. It should be noted that "Flourish" is also available in a Kindle edition ($0.99).
The Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Muse Harbor Publishing
9781612641720, $21.99, 548pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation: The Promise Will Be Kept" by Barbara
Marx Hubbard offers an extraordinary evolutionary and future-oriented perspective on the
Gospels of Jesus Christ. Barbara reveals that many of the miracles Jesus performed are actually
similar to those acts that we currently aspire to achieve today, but so often without consciousness
of Christ love. "The Evolutionary Testament of Co-Creation" builds on the great themes in the
New Testament, such as Jesus' statement: "You will do the works that I do, and greater works
will you do in the fullness of time..." and St. Paul: "Behold I show you a mystery, we shall not all
sleep, we shall all be changed..." These statements are coming true. The Promise is being kept.
We are all being changed. We do have the power of what we called gods. We can destroy the
world and we also can restore the Earth, evolve ourselves and all of society. This is the last
trump, and the trumpet is sounding for our generation. "The Evolutionary Testament of
Co-Creation" invites us to form Evolutionary Bible Study Groups to join together to consider and
deepen the guidance for the meaning of our new Christ like powers to be used for a positive
future for all Earth life.
Critique: An impressive and unique contribution to Christian Metaphysics, "The Evolutionary
Testament of Co-Creation: The Promise Will Be Kept" is an informative, absorbing, and
inherently fascinating read that is highly recommended, especially for the non-specialist general
reader with an interest in an iconoclastic and gnostic approach to Christian Studies.
The Self-Help Shelf
How to Do the Impossible: And a Whole Lot More
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781514279540, $27.00, 132pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Do you have problems that you need to solve or things you must get done? Here is a
systematic approach, like you have never seen before, to help you achieve your goals and
improve your productivity. The author has taken time proven self-help principles and presented
them in an intriguing fashion utilizing a mnemonic device, the LOGIC DIE(TM). This new tool
has already helped numerous solve problems and achieve goals. The LOGIC DIE(TM) system is
so unique that you cannot even imagine what it is; all thought when you see it you will say, "Why
didn't I think of that!" The LOGIC DIE(TM) system is a true innovative break-through in
cognitive processing. You will find it to be quick to learn and easy to apply. It provides a simple
path for gaining knowledge and understanding enabling you to make wise decisions and develop
realist manageable plans of action that get results. This system delivers the intellectual
underpinning that is required for us to overcome our greatest obstacles. It is intuitive in nature
and packed full of common sense.
Critique: Offering a quite unique approach, "How to Do the Impossible: And a Whole Lot More"
is as practical and effective as it is informative and inspirational. Exceptionally well written,
organized and presented, "How to Do the Impossible: And a Whole Lot More" is highly
recommended for both community and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it
should be noted that "How to Do the Impossible: And a Whole Lot More" is also available in a
Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Power of 10
Mill City Press, Inc
9780990975311, $27.00, 282pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Power of 10" is a practice for engaging the voice of wisdom through inquiry and
advocacy. Inquiry raises our awareness of what is through inviting us to examine our current state
of being; advocacy prompts us to live into what is possible. Together, inquiry and advocacy
evoke the voice of wisdom, that is, the quiet, still voice inside us, the confluence of knowledge,
experience, and insight flowing through all living beings that speaks through our bodies, hearts,
and minds. As we learn to listen to it closely, the voice of wisdom reveals our true nature and
purpose, calls on us to commit to something greater, and guides us toward being our best selves
in every thought, word, and action. At its heart, "The Power of 10" sensitizes us to our own,
unique purpose, and helps us discover that spark of the divine at the core of our being. Put
simply, it is a practice for engaging your voice of wisdom to become the greatest you -- the you
who is meant to be.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of an informative introduction, information about the
number 10, and the names of people cited in his book, "The Power of 10" by Rugger Burke is
organized and presented in two major sections: Inquiry and Advocacy. Also featured are three
appendices (Our Toolkit; Descriptive Terms; List of Common Values); and twenty-three pages of
Endnotes. Impressively accessible for non-specialist general readers with an interest in improving
themselves, "The Power of 10" will prove to be a unique and enduringly popular addition to both
community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement reference collections and
supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Power of 10" is
also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Millionaire's Message
332 Center Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
9780984816279, $11.00, 98pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The readers of "The Millionaire's Message: The Homemade Millionaire's Secrets of
the Rich and Free" will meet Michael Zors, a man who began with nothing and now has a lot. He
has a message that has the potential to make the reader one of the elite, one of the rich and free,
enjoying a life of success and happiness, a life that is just a dream for most people no matter how
hard they work, a life where the reader becomes the boss and reap the rewards reserved for
bosses. What does it take? Only the willingness to learn the simple secrets and processes that
people like Zors use to accomplish anything.
Critique: A quick and easy read that is specifically designed and written for the non-specialist
general reader who would like to improve the quality of their life by increasing their access to the
money an improved life-style would require, "The Millionaire's Message: The Homemade
Millionaire's Secrets of the Rich and Free" is highly recommended and potentially life-changing.
It should be noted that "The Millionaire's Message: The Homemade Millionaire's Secrets of the
Rich and Free" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Jericho River, second edition
David W. Tollen
9780985451721, $12.95, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in a second edition, "The Jericho River" is one of those unique novels that takes
the reader through a magical world shaped by myth and history. Young Jason Gallo sails the river
on a dangerous quest to rescue his estranged father. He battles minotaurs and pirates, flees
barbarians, stumbles into mummies' tombs, and outwits fairies, philosophers, and scientists.
Along the way, he finds love and betrayal, faces the legacy of a broken family -- and flees a
hidden foe who threatens all he holds dear. But Jason's tale is more than an just another
action/adventure story. The river flows like a kind of time line, carrying the young man through
historic lands including Sumer, Babylonia, ancient Greece, Medieval Europe, Napoleon' empire,
and many others, each in chronological order. The result is a tracing the history of Western
Civilization, from its Middle Eastern origins to the modern era. Professor Gallo, Jason's father, is
a historian, and his notes outline the journey, revealing the truth about Cleopatra, King Arthur,
and the fall of the Roman Empire. He explains how Snow White began as a goddess and why
Eve was created from Adam's rib, as well as the origins of coffee, the cat, chivalry, the Internet,
Atlantis, and so much more.
Critique: Impressively well written and an exceptionally entertaining read from beginning to end,
"The Jericho River" is enhanced with the inclusion of twenty-six vivid historical illustrations and
three maps. An inherently fascinating and absorbing novel, "The Jericho River" is highly
recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic
library original fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Jericho
River" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).
Ghost Pines Publishing, LLC
9781937223175, $14.84, 364pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mina Louvet is a fighter, a human with a powerful will to survive in a world
dominated by warlocks, soul-eaters, and shifters. Identified by the king's witch as one of the rare,
invaluable females in Dragons Realm who can give birth to a dragon's son, she was stolen from
her parents as a child and taken to the Keep to be reared in the ways of the Ahavi. As one of the
few, the elect called the Sklavos Ahavi, Mina is expected to feed her master's fire, reanimate his
blood, and above all else, give him strong dragon offspring: children who will one day rise to
power. But Mina, to her great misfortune, is far too intelligent for her own good. She has a
stubborn sense of justice, and she is wholly incapable of blind submission. Dante Dragona is as
cunning as he is lethal, as methodical as he is dangerous, and as terrifying as he is powerful. As
the eldest of three dragon princes, he is destined to succeed his merciless father to the throne of
Castle Dragon. But first he must do his duty to the Realm by governing one of its harsh,
unforgiving districts and claiming a Sklavos Ahavi. Hardened by the sadistic abuse he endured as
a child and shaped by the tragic suicide of his twin, the prince lives only to fulfill his obligations
to the monarchy: to maintain law and order in a bestial land, to contain its magical inhabitants,
and to keep the kingdom safe from its mortal enemies, the Lycanian shifters across the sea. Like
all primordial dragons, he rules with an iron fist, dominates with absolute power, and punishes
with fire. Those who oppose him die a swift and brutal death be they subject, enemy, or slave --
the Realm has no tolerance for weakness. When the iron resolve of a dragon prince clashes with
the stubborn will of a slave, bonds will be broken, alliances will be tested, and a kingdom will be
Critique: As a novelist, Tessa Dawn is a master of heroic fantasy and gothic romance. "Dragons
Realm" is original and deftly crafted, a riveting and entertaining read from beginning to end that
is replete with unexpected plot twists and turns. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to
community library fantasy fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of
fantasy enthusiasts that "Dragons Realm" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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