Plus

:
◗ What sells in the
self-publishing market:
A Bowker study
◗ Book industry couple
turns to DIY
◗ Rachel Abbott:
#1 on Amazon U.K.
A quarterly guide
to what’s new in
self-publishing
Full reviews of 45
titles
Listings for 184
new books
July 2012
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 1
Taking the Measure of
Self-Publishing
In surging market, paperback,
nonfction do best
By Jim Milliot
At the uPublishU conference held June 3 at the Jacob
Javits Center in New York just before the official opening
of BookExpo America, Kelly Gallagher, v-p of publisher
services at Bowker, offered the most detailed analysis yet
of the characteristics of the self-publishing market.
tend to buy more of the expensive aca-
demic/professional and nonfiction titles
than women, who dominate the fiction
buyers. The age of buyers is pretty evenly
divided among the major age groups.
Those buying the most titles are in the
30-to-44-year-old age bracket, closely
followed by the 18-to-29-year-olds
(25%) and those 65 and older (24%).
Fiction was the largest category in
2011, accounting for 45% of units, but
because of the lower prices of fiction
works, the segment only accounted for
25% of spending on self-published books
last year. The highest amount was in the
nonfiction segment, which accounted for
38% of spending despite selling many
fewer units. The juvenile segment was a
relatively small portion of sales in 2011,
representing 9% of spending and 11% of
units.
The reason for the nonfiction seg-
ment’s ability to capture a higher per-
centage of dollars than units can be seen
in the average price consumers paid for
self-published books last year. The non-
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
L
ooking at overall growth,
Bowker reported that
211,269 titles were self-
published in 2011 in either
print or digital form, com-
pared to 133,036 in 2010. (The number
of titles is based on registered ISBNs.)
Gallagher observed that while the
increase in output is a sign of a vibrant
market, he also pointed out that the
growing number of titles represents
increased competition among self-pub-
lished authors vying to get their books
noticed by the reading public or
a larger publisher.
Beyond documenting the surge
in the number of self-published
titles released last year, Gallagher
presented information on who is
buying self-published titles and what
types of books they are purchasing.
While women bought more units than
men last year, 62% and 38% respec-
tively, men spent more money on self-
published books, 56% of sales. The dif-
ference, Gallagher explained, is that men
Sci/Tech/Med
Academic/
Professional
Religion
Juvenile
Nonfiction
Fiction
25%
38%
9%
16%
18%
2%
45%
22%
11%
5%
15%
2%
Sales by
Dollars
Sales by
Units
Sales by Segment
source: Bowker Market Research
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Hardcover
Softcover
E-book
All others
8%
75%
11%6%
6%
47%
41% 6%
Sales by
Dollars
Sales by
Units
Sales by Format
source: Bowker Market Research
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 2 , 2 0 1 2 2
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
fiction category easily had the highest
average price per title, at $19.32; the
average price paid for a fiction book was $6.94, the low-
est among all segments.
Consumers bought more paperbacks in 2011 than any
other format and spent more on that format as well.
According to Bowker, paperbacks represented 47% of
self-published units purchased last year, but accounted
for 75% of spending. While e-books were a close second
in terms of units, at 41%, they trailed significantly in
the spending category, accounting for only 11% of sales.
The reason for the difference is easy to see: the average
price paid for an e-book was $3.18 last year compared
to $12.68 for a paperback and $14.40 for a hardcover.
Gallagher said that later this year Bowker will
release a White Paper on the self-publishing market
that will include more analysis of the dynamics of the
segment. ■
New Tool Aims to
Help Self-Published
Authors Market
E-books
Late last month Author Solutions launched
BookStub, an e-book marketing tool that
provides self-published authors a way to
distribute promotional copies of e-books.
A BookStub is a wallet-sized plastic
card featuring an image of the author’s
book cover on one side, and an indi-
vidual product code, QR code, and
download instructions on the other.
According to Author Solutions—
which has published more than 150,000 authors and 190,000
titles—authors can use BookStubs like business cards, carry-
ing promotional copies of their e-books with them at all
times and distributing them to potential readers or book
reviewers. Each BookStub can then be redeemed for one free
e-book via the publisher’s online bookstore.
“Authors still have a great desire to connect with readers
and promote their books,” says Keith Ogorek, senior v-p of
marketing at Author Solutions, noting that while this sort
of marketing is possible at book signings of print editions,
authors promoting e-books have traditionally had limited
options.
“If you have an e-book, how can you give someone a sam-
ple of that and make it feel personal, like you’ve connected
with the reader?” Ogorek says. “That’s really how the Book-
Stub idea came about.”
According to Ogorek, authors can even autograph Book-
Stubs before handing them out to fans or potential
readers.“How do you capture the experience of a book sign-
ing or the experience of connecting with the reader by giving
them a physical copy of your book in a digital work? The
answer is BookStubs.”
BookStubs are available as part of publishing packets for
all authors self-publishing via any Author Solutions imprint,
including Abbott Press, AuthorHouse, Balboa Press, Inspir-
ing Voices, iUniverse, Palibrio, Trafford, and Westbow Press,
and the company’s DIY e-book publish-
ing platform, Booktango.
Additionally, Author Solutions is cur-
rently developing www. bookstub
.com—a site where potential readers will
be able to register to get free BookStubs
and participate in online book signing events, according to
Ogorek.
And when that launches, Ogorek says, BookStubs may be
available to all authors, regardless of their publishing com-
pany. “We don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t be available
to traditional publishers and other self-publishers,” Ogorek
says. “The technology that we have and the ability for us to
create BookStubs is something that any publisher could take
advantage of. And we expect that will happen in due time.”
—Adam Boretz
$0
$5
$10 $15 $20
Sci/Tech/Med
Academic/
Professional
Religion
Juvenile
Nonfiction
Fiction
$8.77
$13.24
$12.93
$9.47
$19.32
$6.94
Average Price
Price by Genre
source: Bowker Market Research
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 3
A Book Industry Couple
Tries Self-Publishing
It took self-publishing to get a book
publishing veteran a conventional deal
B C R
Despite 18 years in book publishing and a spouse as well-connected in the industry as herself,
Adrian W. Liang, a romance novelist as well as associate publisher at Seattle book packager
Becker & Mayer, found that it was self-publishing that enabled her to be published and
helped her land a conventional book deal.
L
iang, who writes under the pen name of Adrianne
Wood, also happens to be married to Kuo-Yu
Liang, v-p, sales and marketing, at Diamond Book
Distributors; together the couple can boast of more
than 30 years working in book publishing.
Despite what an amateur might think, it turns out that even
a hyperconnected book industry power couple can hit a wall
when it comes to finding an agent and publisher for a debut
publishing deal. Wood, who has worked for Random House and
Penguin, writes in the western and contemporary romance
genres. While her book publishing experience opened doors,
Wood says it didn’t get her any closer to a book deal or even an
agent, and after 15 years, multiple unpublished novels and
mounting frustration, she decided to self-publish her novels as
e-books.
In fact her “agent”—that would be her husband, Kuo-Yu,
universally known as Ku—says, “When we started, I thought,
‘I know all the book buyers and editors, this will be easy. I’ll just
call them up.’ But I got an education about publishing.” Ku,
who also worked at Del Rey and Random House Publisher
Services for many years, says the responses were all the same:
“not looking for anything new,” “western romance is dead, try
writing paranormal.”
“I submitted romances to publishers for 15 years,” says Wood,
who initially had
no desire to self-
publish. “I got
some interest, but
I never got an
offer.” Finally, she
sai d, f ri ends—
editors, store buy-
er s , and ot her
book profession-
als—pointed to the “self-published e-book phenomenon,” and
encouraged her to give it a try.
The results of self-publishing were immediate. After releasing
two western romance e-books—Unruly Hearts on the Nook and
Kindle platforms in late 2011, and Badlands Bride as a Nook exclu-
sive published in January 2012—Wood was able to land a two-
book deal with S&S’s Pocket Books imprint to republish Badlands
Bride in a new, mass market paperback edition in November, as
well as an untitled sequel, to be released in November 2013.
Unruly Hearts was a self-pub learner. Wood says the cover was
bad—she designed it herself—and despite getting good reviews
and being noted on GoodReads, the novel sold less than 200
copies. For her next e-book, Badlands Bride, she got an art
designer friend to do the cover art and offered the book as an
exclusive on the Nook. The book was highlighted on the
BN.com site and took off; selling “several thousand copies” in
four days, it was the #1 bestseller on BN.com across all plat-
forms. In turn, Badlands Bride helped the sales of Unruly Hearts
and eventually helped swing the book deal with Pocket.
Nevertheless, there are advantages to being a pro: Ku plans
to call buyers to alert them to Wood’s new books, and the cou-
ple are planning their own marketing promotions along with
Pocket’s: “S&S has been very cooperative and pleased that we’re
doing so much,” he says. But they also intend to continue to
self-publish—Mind Tricks, a paranormal romance, is coming in
December. Ku points out that certain aspects of traditional
publishing—e-book royalty payments are scheduled the same
as for print, every six months, despite no returns and better sales
tracking—are just “not acceptable for e-books.”
“We agreed to terms because Adrian wanted the book deal,”
he says. “Traditional publishing is for prestige, it gives you
credibility and a platform, but self-publishing gives you flexi-
bility and more money, and if you can be successful it gives you
leverage for better deals in traditional publishing.” ■
S E L F  P U B L I S H I N G
Publishing
family (l. to r.)
Adrian,
daughter Mia,
and Ku.
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 2 , 2 0 1 2 4
My Bestselling Story
How hard work turned a frst-time novelist from
self-published author into a #1 bestseller on Amazon
U.K.
By Rachel Abbott
I remember vividly the moment I decided to become an inde-
pendently, or, some would say, self-published author. I wish I
could say it was a eureka moment, but it wasn’t. While
browsing the Web last October, I discovered an article that
said I could now publish in the Kindle Direct Publishing
program. In the beginning, Amazon’s Kindle publishing pro-
gram was restricted to U.S. bank account holders only, and I
am a U.K. citizen now living in Italy. But with that barrier
removed, I thought, “Why not?”
people wanted to read.
Several months later, after reading that
fateful article online, I decided to publish
with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publish-
ing, and I got to work.
Independence
I had no idea how to format a book for
the Kindle, or any other e-reader, but I
was pretty sure that just uploading a
Word file wouldn’t give me the best
result. My novel had been proofread by
some really good people, and I’m not a
bad proofreader myself—or so I thought.
But in the weeks before I uploaded my
book, I made some tweaks and intro-
duced mistakes—I can’t blame my
proofreaders for that. And this was the
first lesson I learned: if I publish inde-
pendently again, I will not only have my
book proofread, I will use a professional
editor to tell me where my novel needs
further work.
At the same time, I did one thing
right. Fortunately for me, I have a friend
who is a brilliant graphic designer, and
he offered to design my cover after seeing
my rather pathetic efforts. I really think
this made a major difference. The old
adage says not to judge a book by its
cover, but in practice, that’s not the way
it works.
A reader may not buy a book because of
the cover, but it could well be what
attracts their interest in the first place.
Think “curb appeal,” you know, the
thing that everybody shouts about
when buying a house. The cover
is the book equivalent of curb
appeal.
When everything was in
place—clean copy, good
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
T
he experience has been life-
changing. My book, Only
the Innocent, has now sold
more than 100,000 copies,
even hitting #1 on the
Amazon list for four weeks, with the vast
majority of those sales priced at $2.99,
with Amazon’s 70% standard royalty.
And due to my novel’s success, I now
have an agent, who has helped enor-
mously with planning my future direc-
tion as an author.
When I wrote Only the Innocent, I
had no real aspirations. I wrote it
because the story had been in my
head for years, and it was bursting
to get out. But then a small num-
ber of people read it, and they
encouraged me. So I made a rather
feeble attempt to find an agent. I
sent the synopsis and first 30 pages
to about eight different agents, all
unsolicited. Most sent a form
rejection letter, and some didn’t
even respond. Two agents, how-
ever, did respond, and asked to
read the whole book. They
were both very generous with their praise
and encouragement. But they, too,
weren’t sure that they could sell Only the
Innocent to a publisher on the grounds
that it didn’t precisely fit into a genre,
and apparently it wasn’t what people
were looking to read. Despite some posi-
tive feedback, I never got that elusive
deal. Even though I never had any real
ambition to be published, I
was frustrated to be
told that my book
was n’ t what
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 5
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
design—I uploaded the book to Amazon
(and several other distributors). It felt
great to see my novel given the same
amount of “shelf space” as the greats in
my genre. There was just one small prob-
lem: who was going to buy it?
Business Mode
The biggest mistake I made in my self-
publishing efforts was thinking that the
marketing could wait. But even more
crucially, I had absolutely no idea how to
set about marketing my novel.
In the first week or so, I netted some
sales through my network of friends and
family. But after the initial enthusiasm
and great joy at selling 25 copies a day
for about three days, the
numbers dropped to about
one a day. It was a bit
depressing, even though I
had very low ambitions. I
was hoping to sell a thou-
sand copies in total. At
this pace, this was going to
take a while.
One of the great things
about the Kindle Direct
Publishing system is that
your sales figures are con-
stantly updated. Because I
was able to check them
every day, suddenly, I
wanted to sell more. Something had to
be done. The trouble was, I didn’t have a
clue what that was.
I went into research mode, reading
about ways of getting my book noticed.
But weeks later, I realized a very sad fact:
I was doing lots and lots of reading of
advice, but I wasn’t actually doing any-
thing at all. It was just so easy to go from
one author help site to the next thinking
“ooh, that’s a good idea” and bookmark-
ing the page. My “e-book marketing
bookmarks folder” grew to be enor-
mous—but my sales were still small.
As somebody who used to run a busi-
ness, I had to acknowledge that this was
not a very productive way of working,
and I forced myself out of “writer mode”
and into “business mode.” I wrote a mar-
keting plan—seven pages of it—and it
was the single most important thing that
I did.
The specific details of my plan are
almost irrelevant, because a marketing
plan for one book could be very different
to a plan for a different type of book. But
what this plan gave me was structure: a set
of priorities and some specific targets.
And once the plan was in place, I knew
what I had to do each day and how much
time to spend on each activity.
To create the plan, I started by looking
at “channels” to market—in other words,
the places where my book could be pur-
chased. I looked at every relevant Web
site and considered how I could influence
the visibility of my novel. I tweaked the
plan constantly, as I rec-
ognized which strategies
were working and which
were not—helped by the
very current sales figures
provided by Amazon.
And I prioritized. I
spent more effort on those
places where I thought I
had the best chance for
sales. Primarily, I decided
that Amazon in the U.K.
would be my number one
target. Only the Innocent is
based i n London and
Oxfordshire (with a bit of
Venice and Positano thrown in), and
there was potential word-of-mouth mar-
keting buzz, so it seemed like the best
choice.
Visibility
When I launched my book, I had an
unimpressive Web site, no blog, a stag-
gering nine followers on Twitter, and
about three Facebook fans. There was
nobody itching to buy my book. But one
thing Amazon does really well is provide
lots of different opportunities for making
a book visible. And one thing I’ve learned
is that if people can see your book, and
you’ve done everything else right, they
will start to buy it.
I looked at some of the “visibility”
options to see which, if any, I could influ-
ence, and I selected two: “Customers who
bought this book also
bought...” and “Browse
Kindle Books.”
When you go to the “Browse Kindle
Books” option, the default is to list books
based on their popularity. This is not the
same as their chart position, a fact that
confused me for a long time. In fact, I
still don’t understand the algorithm
Amazon uses, but I figured out that if
you get a few things right, you can get
your book to appear on the first page of
this section for a limited period.
For example, one of the options avail-
able is to view “New Releases” from
either the last 30 or 90 days. Remember
how I said I initially thought marketing
could wait? This was a huge mistake—
and this is why. With no marketing plan
in place, you cannot exploit the visibility
option in the first weeks after release, and
after that it gets a lot tougher.
I also made another mistake. I didn’t
understand how the “Categories” work.
There were 22,000 fiction titles pub-
lished on Amazon in the past 30 days
(the U.S. and U.K. have surprisingly
similar numbers). Without putting your
book into a sensible category your
chances of being visible are seriously
diminished.
But which category? My book is a psy-
chological thriller, so I listed it under
Thrillers. It made sense at the time. But
there were 1,400 thrillers released in the
past 30 days. What I hadn’t realized is
that the thriller category has lots of sub-
categories, and a listing in Suspense
would only compete with 572 books, and
if you’re lucky enough to have written a
Legal Thriller there are just 33 titles in
that list, making the odds of discovery a
bit better.
With good pre-release marketing,
contacts you’ve made on Twitter, Face-
book, or in other forums might just
decide to buy your book on day one, and
that can really help, because you don’t
need too many sales in that first period
to gain even more precious visibility via
Amazon’s popularity rankings. Through
my lack of experience, however, I missed
all that.
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 2 , 2 0 1 2 6
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
Reviews
What I did do, however, was work on the
“Browse by Average Review” option. As
soon as my book was launched, I sent off
formal review requests to as many book
bloggers as I could find. I produced a
professional review request that provided
all the details about my book, and then I
waited.
It takes effort and a lot of research (plus
a fair bit of nail-biting), but it’s worth it:
good reviews will make a real difference.
They may take longer than 30 days, but
reputable reviews (rather than the one-
line positive or negative type) are worth
their weight in gold, and hopefully can
have an impact within the 90-day win-
dow.
When I first published my book, it
was quite depressing to see the “Custom-
ers Who Bought This Book Also
Bought...” on my book’s page, because it
either doesn’t exist or it is empty. Of
course, this means that your book won’t
feature on any one else’s page either. So,
to fix this, you need readers who love
your sort of book—and there are ways to
find them.
Twitter offers a great advantage here.
Check out the people who follow authors
in your genre that you admire, and follow
them. Many people will follow you
back—not everybody, but just keep at it.
Use hashtags to find people who are read-
ing books like yours, and follow them.
You can do all of this before your book is
even launched. You only need a few of
these people to buy your book, and then
the linking begins.
One of my most successful strategies
was to engage with people in online
f or ums . I us ed t he Amazon and
Goodreads forums, but there are many
others. I didn’t just use forums to pro-
mote my book; I met some great people
who were, and still are, very supportive.
Many of them did buy my book, and
some of them even reviewed it. But bet-
ter still, they talked about it on other
forums, and that’s when things really
started to take off.
Of course, visibility is only important
if people want to buy your book when
they’ve discovered it—and that’s why
your product description is so important.
Make it count. It needs to be as good as
the blurb on the back cover of a printed
book, not a one-line description.
Price and Discounts
Amazon offers additional programs—
such as the KDP Select program. With
KDP Select, authors have to agree not
to sell their book anywhere but on
Amazon for a 90-day period. During
that time, your book can be loaned
through the library system (authors are
paid for this) and can be served up as a
free promotion for up to five days dur-
ing that period. Some authors have had
success achieving a high chart position
when their book was being promoted as
free, which carried forward into sales
when the book reverted to its usual sell-
ing price.
I did not use this program. It did seem
to me that in most cases the KDP Select
books fell back down the charts quickly
after coming out of the program, and I
felt that building sales by creating inter-
est from the ground up would enable me
to sustain a chart position for longer.
But pricing does play an important
role. I originally set the price of Only the
Innocent at £1.99 and $2.99, but in mid-
January I decided to drop the price to
£0.99 and $1.99 as a promotion. As a
new author, I wanted people to be able to
buy my book without even thinking
about the price, so I marketed it as a “spe-
cial offer” for a “limited period.” During
this time, I only took a 35% royalty.
Soon, my book reached #1 in the U.K.
After hitting #1, I gave it a couple of
days and then put the price back to the
original level, to see what effect this
would have. Surprisingly, the daily total
hardly moved. I was selling over 3,000
copies a day. It is worth noting that I
made all the pricing decisions—Amazon
never reduced my price. The decisions I
made were based on books that I was
competing with in the top 100, but I
think price points change from time to
time and need to be considered carefully
when launching a new title.
Finally, luck played
its part in terms of my
success, particularly in
terms of timing. Thankfully, I didn’t
have to compete with Fifty Shades of Grey
or The Hunger Games to get to the top—
although it was The Hunger Games that
finally knocked me off the #1 spot.
You Can, Too
I don’t believe that I hold the key to self-
publishing success. I did some things
right, some wrong, and there was a whole
lot of luck and many hours of hard work
involved. But I was able to prove that
Only the Innocent really is the type of book
people want to read.
I’m lucky to now have a terrific agent,
and she has edited Only the Innocent, pro-
viding me with copious notes that have
helped me to improve my writing. And
at the moment, I am in the final stages
of negotiation to have my book pub-
lished in the U.S., and there has been a
lot of interest from publishers in the
U.K., too.
Working with a team of supportive,
professional publishing experts is very
appealing. But if nothing works out, I
wouldn’t hesitate to self-publish again.
Self-publishing has allowed me to dem-
onstrate that I can write books that peo-
ple want to read, and given me confi-
dence to carry on writing. Whether with
KDP or with a traditional publisher, it’s
all about getting my book out there and
hoping and praying that people enjoy
reading it as much as I enjoyed writing
it. And I’ve learned some valuable lessons
about marketing, which I will carry for-
ward with my next book—whether self-
or traditionally published.
What started as a “have a go” moment
turned into months of hard work, and,
ultimately, success. What a journey. ■
Rachel Abbott is the author of the psychological
thriller Only the Innocent, which reached #1 on
Amazon U.K. in February 2012, remained there
for four weeks, and has sold more than 100,000
copies to date. She is currently working on her sec-
ond novel.
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ARCHITECTURE
Best of Hospitality: Architecture and
Design.
Cindy Allen. Sandow Media, $45.95 hard-
cover (272p), ISBN 978-0-9833263-1-1
This photography-filled volume features
over 70 of the best-designed hotels, spas,
restaurants, and bars across the globe, from
Istanbul and Denver to Hong Kong and
Namibia.
ART
Brooklyn Revisited: My Journey Back.
Gloria Golden. Outskirts Press, $30.95
paper (100p), ISBN 978-1-4327-8396-9
Amazon; B&N
Golden’s photographic journey back to
the Brooklyn streets and neighborhoods of
her childhood allows readers to rediscover
the vitality of an earlier era while finding
that everything in Brooklyn is new again.
BIOGRAPHY &
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
In Search of Princess White Deer.
Patricia Galperin. Vantage Press, $16.95
paper (228p), ISBN 978-053316419-6
Amazon
S E L F  P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
Our seventh PW Select features listings of 184 titles recently self-published, and our
editors have chosen 45 for full PW reviews. For the first time, more than one title has
merited a starred review—five, in fact: Dan Handfield’s novel, Touchback, based on the
movie he wrote and directed, starring Kurt Russell; John Montandon’s “gentle memoir”
about his father, a Texas farmer infected with AIDS; a memoir of Southern life “straight
out of a Flannery O’Connor story,” by John Snyder; a POW tale by Ralph Poness; and
Sondra Bernstein’s gorgeous cookbook, Plats du Jour—see our interview with Bernstein
on p. 22.
A Strong Crop of
DIY Titles
Tnc 18( 1i1ics sunri11cn ron oun scvcN1n punn1cniv PW SELECT
A biography of the third-generation
Mohawk entertainer Esther Deer, a per-
former in Wild West Shows who took her
solo act to Russia as well as the Vaudeville
and Broadway stages.
Common Courage: The Campaigns of a
Revolutionary War Veteran.
Daniel D. Kinley. Vantage Press, $18.95
paper (180p), ISBN 978-053316503-2
Amazon
Kinley tells the story of his ancestor and
Revolutionary War veteran, Timothy Per-
cival, who fought in the French and Indian
War and against the British in the Ameri-
can Revolution.
Little Man in a Big Hurry: The Life of
Joseph Hirshhorn, the Man Behind the
Museum.
Gene Hi r s hhor n LePer e. Vant age
Press, $19.95 paper (352p), ISBN 978-
053316509-4
Amazon
A biography of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, a
Jewish immigrant who rose out of poverty
to eventually donate the largest private art
collection ever accumulated to the people
of the United States.
Asphalt Warrior: The Story of New
York City’s Fastest Messenger.
Kurt Boone. Tasora Books, $18.95 paper
(124p), ISBN 978-1-934690-29-1
www.kurtboonebooks.com
In this memoir, Kurt Boone, a courier
legend in New York City, describes the
business and the culture of the messenger
world.
Hello! Stories from the Past: Scotland
in the 1930s, ’40s and
’50s.
El i z a be t h O’ Ne i l l
Campbell. CreateSpace,
$17.95 paper (231p),
ISBN 978-1-4637-
6206-3
Amazon
This memoir, seen through a child’s
eyes, views wartime Britain, evacuation,
the Clydebank Blitz, resulting homeless-
ness, the collapse of her parents’ marriage;
and her own eventual romance.
Well Worth the Wait: My First Thirty
Days of Retirement.
Nancy Carini. $15 paper (132p), ISBN
978-1-4699-8162-8
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 8
google.com/site/lifeinretire-
ment
Well Worth the Wait exposes retirement’s
humorous and heartwarming realities and
gives a real sense of what it’s like to have
“no more work.”
Drowning in the Dark: My Descent into
Hell and the Long Road Back.
Daniel C. Friend. Inkwater Press, $12.95
paper (176p), ISBN 978-1-59299-730-5
Amazon
The story of one man who awoke in a
mental hospital to discover that his worst
nightmare had become reality.
Confessions of the Night Ranger: Mem-
oir of a California State Park Ranger.
Daniel C. Friend. Inkwater Press, $20.95
paper (560p), ISBN 978-1-59299-714-5
Amazon
Confessions of the Night Ranger is the true
story of one California State Park Ranger’s
adventures in the Santa Cruz Mountains
during the turbulent 1970s.
The Road from Morocco.
Wafa Faith Hallam. CreateSpace, $17.99
paper (408p), ISBN
978-1-4528-0808-6
Amazon
The true story of a
13-year-old Arab girl
wed against her will in
French Morocco and her
daughter’s rise and fall
on Wall Street.
The Family Fables.
Linda Locke. RoseDog Books, $15 paper
(110p), ISBN 978-1-4349-8698-6
www.rosedogbookstore.com
Locke shares her tumultuous experi-
ences, ranging from being adopted to
working with Cesar Chavez and all the ups
and downs in between.
My Top 40 at 40: Making the First Half
Count: A Modern Man’s Story Collec-
tion.
Kari Loya. XK Productions, $24.95 hard-
cover (252p), ISBN 978-0-9847637-0-2
www.mytop40at40.com
To celebrate turning 40, the author
shares 40 favorite stories spanning six
continents and two decades that will
inspire readers to live fun, meaningful
lives.
Hill of Beans: Coming of Age in the Last
Days of the Old South.
John Snyder. Smith/Kerr Associates LLC
Publishing, $24 paper (201p), ISBN 978-
0-9830622-0-2
Amazon; B&N
This memoir of growing up in the
Depression-era South evokes a time gone
by in a candid account of the author’s early
life.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I’ve
Lost My Damn Mind: A Manic’s Mood
Chart.
Derek Thompson. CreateSpace, $14.95
paper (222p), ISBN 978-1-4679-3523-4
Amazon
The story of one millennial’s bipolar life,
with moments ranging from the ridiculous
to the terrifying to the hilarious.
Only in America: Memories of Faith,
Inspiration, Love and Business.
Emilia Zecchino. Thinkgroup, LLC/Llu-
mina Press, $19.95 hardcover (304p),
ISBN 978-1-60594-658-0
Amazon; B&N
This book blends a delight in mental
images while skillfully depicting tragedies,
adventures, romances, and businesses that
led to the achievement of the American
dream.
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
Journey to Feel Like a Man: Olym-
pic Fencer, Gurdjieff Work, Tai Chi
Teacher.
Herb M. Cohen. A Spiritual Evolution
Press, $14.95 paper (234p), ISBN 978-0-
9822323-3-0
Amazon
A young boy’s need to prove himself
reveals his own inner contradictions. His
growing dissatisfaction compels him to
seek out a deeper and broader understand-
ing of life.
Teachers of Wisdom.
Igor Kononenko. RoseDog Books, $33
paper (418p), ISBN 978-1-4349-9898-9
www.rosedogbookstore.com
This collection describes the lives,
works, and teachings of 79 sages through-
out history.
Train to the Moon.
John Kowalski, illus. by Mark Bird.
Babacita, $19.94 (32p), ISBN 978-0-615-
59600-6
Amazon
A love story of two soul connections that
take a nightly train to the moon.
At Left Brain Turn Right.
Anthony Meindl. Meta Creative, $19.95
paper (235p), ISBN 978-0-615-53486-2
Amazon
Fifteen weeks and 25 ways to unleash
your creative talents.
Love Unbroken: From Addiction to
Redemption.
Susan Thesenga and and Pamela Thesenga.
Being and Awakening, $17.95 paper
(286p6), ISBN 978-0-615-55980-3
Amazon; www.loveunbroken.org
A vi vi d mot her-
da ught e r a c c o unt
of addiction and an
unusual path to recov-
ery for them both—
through ayahuasca, a
psychoactive Amazo-
nian rainforest tea.
Interview with the Antichrist: Darken-
ing of the Light 666.
Tinger Windom. AuthorHouse, $14.99
paper (104p), ISBN 978-1-4678-6822-8
Amazon
This interview with the antichrist is the
first in a series. Windom contends that
there are many antichrists appearing on the
Earth and he pursues a dialogue.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
The Rainforest: The Secret to Building
Next Silicon Valley.
Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt.
Regenwald, $12.99 paper (304p), ISBN
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 9
978-0-615-58672-4
Amazon
Wh a t ma k e s
places like Silicon
Valley tick? Can we
replicate that magic
in other places to
help solve the world’s
biggest problems? The authors speculate
on where the next technical revolution
might be centered.
Idea-Links: The New Creativity.
Jim Link. Beaver’s Pond Press, $24.95
hardcover (264p), ISBN 978-1-59298-
275-2
www.thenewcreativity.
com
The secret to creativ-
ity is reavealed by Link,
a respected consultant
to more than 100 com-
panies.
COMICS & GRAPHIC
NOVELS
The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles: Book
One.
Ben Avery, illus. by
Casey Heying. Buy-
MeToys, $19.99 paper
(184p), ISBN 978-0-
9828750-1-8
www.buymetoys.com
Alice and Dorothy
must return to their childhood fantasy
lands, as the Jabberwocky threatens to
destroy everything.
COOKING
Plats du Jour: the girl and the fig’s Jour-
ney Through the Seasons.
Sondra Bernstein. the girl & the fig, $48
hardcover (336p), ISBN 978-0-615-
51364-5
www.girlfigstore.com
Plats du Jour is a collection of seasonal
recipes and authentic stories that the
author calls her love letters to Sonoma. An
illustrated guide to the best of wine coun-
try food, wine, and lifestyle by the well-
known Sonoma restaurateur.
EDUCATION
A Degr ee I s Not
Enough! : 8 Smart
Things You Need to
Do in College to Jump
Start Your Career and
Finances.
Katherine Berntzen.
Katherine Berntzen
Inc., $10.29 paper (130p), ISBN 978-0-
9823452-5-2
Amazon
Eight things you need to do in college to
become a desirable job candidate at gradu-
ation.
FAMILY &
RELATIONSHIPS
Pals Forever: Memoirs of a Labrador in
His Own Words.
Ri char d L. Hami l -
t on, i l l us . by Sean
L. Hami l t on. Cr e -
ateSpace, $15.95 paper
( 122p) , ISBN 978-
1467919647
Amazon
Pals Forever presents a black Labrador
that listens and talks to humans.
Shore Lines: Life Les-
sons from the Sea.
Edwin Lynn. Author-
House, $14.95 paper
(121p), ISBN 978-1-
4634-1971-4
Amazon
In three sections—
Attitude, Adversity, Gratitude—the
author shares intimately about family,
friendships, and personal experiences by
drawing comparisons to his seaside obser-
vations.
Jerk Radar: How to Stop a Bad Rela-
tionship Before It Starts.
Stephen T. McCrea. Inkwater Press, $15.95
paper (235p), ISBN 978-1-59299-740-4
Amazon; B&N
There are lots of books about how to tell
if you’re in an abusive relationship. This
book shows you how to avoid getting in
one in the first place.
The Moose’s Children: A Memoir of
Betrayal, Death and Survival.
David M. Mokotoff.
I nf i ni t y Publ i s her,
$13.95 paper (204p),
I S BN 978- 0- 615-
50669-2
www. buybooks on-
theweb.com
A cautionary tale of
love, sexual abuse in one family, and addic-
tion, written from the victim’s family’s
point of view.
FICTION
Injustice for All.
Christopher Allen. Dorrance Publishing,
$22 paper (202p), ISBN 978-1-4349-
1005-9
www.dorrancebookstore.com
Decades after a battle with alien invad-
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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 10
ers, the United States Army
has unknowingly become
infiltrated by evil, alien forces.
One Blood.
Qwantu Amaru. The Pantheon Collective
(TPC Books), $15.95 paper (488p), ISBN
978-0-9827193-6-7
Amazon
A voodoo curse torments a group of
people unaware of their hidden connec-
tions.
Eyes of God.
Philip Babcock. Cre-
ateSpace, $12.95 paper
(344p), ISBN 978-1-
4637-2819-9
Amazon
A young expatriate
in Indonesia gets tan-
gled in a crisis of succession when the coun-
try collapses—a tale of shattered Western
idealism and love unexpected.
The Savannah Project.
Chuck Barrett. Switchback Publish-
ing, $16.95 paper (332p), ISBN 978-1-
936214-07-5
chuckbarrett.org
From the tree-lined streets of Savannah
to the mossy stones of an ancient Irish cas-
tle, a tale of danger, treachery, and action.
A Civil Man.
Bruce Barsanti. CreateSpace, $23.99 paper
(510p), ISBN 978-1-4515-5995-8
Amazon
A Civil Man follows the action-packed
adventures of Cris Reese through his con-
flicts with a Chicago mobster and his mis-
sions in the OSS.
Death in the Recovery Room.
James D. Beeson. Vantage Press, $18.95
paper (356p), ISBN 978-053316485-1
Amazon
A fast-paced mystery that follows Lt.
Larry Garret’s investigation into a series
of murders within a hospital, as well as
the domestic crimes that ravage the low-
income communities around it.
The Breeders.
Matthew J. Beier. Epicality Books, $14.99
paper (426p), ISBN 978-0-9838594-0-6
www.matthewbeier.com
Homosexuals, once
an ostracized minor-
ity, have taken over the
world and put in place
a controlled breeding
program to combat
popul ati on growth.
Grace and Dex have
illegally conceived a child. Their only
choice is to run.
Walking with Elephants.
Karen S. Bell. KSB Press, $16 paper
(197p), ISBN 978-1-934037-69-0
Amazon
Walking with Elephants is a lighthearted
slice-of- life story, bringing to the table the
serious work/family issues facing women
today. Bridget Jones meets Erma Bom-
beck.
Expecting
Lula Belle. Creative License Press, $10.50
paper (272p), ISBN 978-0-615-57254-3
Amazon; B&N
Before she became
pregnant at the age of
14, Sheila’s main con-
cerns in life were boys
and Lady Gaga. Sheila
is forced to grow up
faster than she’d like as
she navigates her way through pregnancy
and a stay at a girls’ home for pregnant
teens.
Fireman Games.
Jack Bennett. Vantage Press, $18.95 paper
(334p), ISBN 978-053316459-2
Amazon
A novel chronicling the career of Jack
“Curly” Allen, from rookie to assistant fire
chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Depart-
ment.
Three and a Half Virgins.
John Blumenthal. Farmer Street Press,
$14. 95 paper ( 286p) , I SBN 978-
0967944418
Amazon, B&N; Ingram
A 40-year-old man
feels guilty about three
women whose hearts he
broke 20 years before,
and he tracks them
down to apologize.
What Happened in Granite Creek.
Robyn Bradley. CreateSpace, $13.95 paper
(362p), ISBN 978-1-4664-2955-0
Amazon
A woman with three children falls in
love with a quadruple amputee injured in
Iraq, and she must choose between him and
her family.
Me, Not Me.
Laura Brenner. Inkwa-
ter Press, $12.95 paper
(180p), ISBN 978-1-
59299-628-5
Amazon
In Me, Not Me, Elea-
nor X, a professional
eulogy writer, begins the strangest encoun-
ter of her life.
The Devil’s Dime: Book 1—The Samar-
itan Files.
Bailey Bristol. Prairie Muse Publish-
ing. $14.99 paper (374p), ISBN 978-1-
937216-16-0
Amazon
When investigative reporter Jess Pep-
per’s column reopens a 20-year-old case, he
has no idea it will put a target on the back
of his sweetheart’s father.
Hanged for the Few.
James T. Carpenter. CreateSpace, $15
paper (281p), ISBN 978-1-4610-4004-0
Amazon
A band of incompatible adventurers
seeks a city for a king who wishes to destroy
it with his army.
The End of Democracy.
Don Carroll. Little Peak Creek Publish-
ing, $15.95 paper (382p), ISBN 978-0-
9829265-2-9
Amazon
A fast-paced suspense thriller and a
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 11
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search for the meaning of consciousness
and community.
Zombie Necropolis.
Bryan Cassiday. Create Space, $22.95 paper
(349p), ISBN 978-1-4700-9498-0
Amazon
A CIA black ops agent looking for his
missing brother uncovers a government
conspiracy during a zombie apocalypse in
Los Angeles.
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love.
Sebastian Cole. Sebastian Cole LLC, $9.99
paper (224p), ISBN 978-0-9851156-0-9
sebastiancoleauthor.com/buy-it/
A man on his deathbed describes his
life of love and loss, only to discover a far
greater truth about the past, present, and
future.
Robert, Last Name Unknown.
Robert Corrales. Vantage Press, $16.95
paper (379p), ISBN 978-0-533-16516-2
Amazon
A boy born at an orphanage in Germany
follows his ambition to the United States
and becomes very successful while still being
haunted by the mystery of his true last name.
The Lie-Catcher in the Primate House.
Lindsay Crane. Print and Pixel Books, $8.95
paper (250p), ISBN 978-0-9833051-9-4
Amazon; B&N
A thriller about stopping the smuggling
of endangered species, featuring exotic
locations and a unique supporting charac-
ter. The heroine, captured in Joseph Kony’s
Uganda, escapes and triumphs.
Undertow.
Joseph Michael DeGross. Hawk Bluff Pub-
lishing, $14.95 paper (282p), ISBN 978-
0-615-57852-1
Amazon
This fictional memoir explores how
nature and nurture drive a man to become
who he is.
Whole Latte Life.
Joanne DeMaio. CreateSpace,
$14.95 paper (336p), ISBN 978-1-4664-
2750-1
Amazon
In her 40th year, Sara Beth Riley walks
out of her life to find herself again. In
doing so, she risks losing friends, family,
and love.
The Bakery Girls.
Florence Ditlow. CreateSpace, $17.95
paper (439p), ISBN 978-1-4610-7954-5
Amazon; thebakerygirls.net
Three women come of age working in
their father’s bakery. Along the way, they
reinvent bread, use pie as therapy, and sur-
vive WWII in style.
Skyscraper Secrets.
Jennifer Dozier. Clocktower Books, $12.95
paper (180p), ISBN 978-1475227376
Amazon; B&N
The passionate, sentimental summer
Mario Lopez
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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 12
romance of Muriel and Sarah
during the bleak, terrifying
1950s. They will marry and move on, but
never forget.
The River Secrets.
Diane Dunning. Diane Dunning, $6.75
paper (68p), ISBN 978-0-9850381-1-3
Amazon
A tale of love, passion, religion, murder,
and sin, in which a young woman is black-
mailed into a murder coverup when her
illicit affair is discovered.
Eucalyptus and Green Parrots.
Lori Eaton. Lori Eaton, $8.99 paper (250p),
ISBN 978-0-9851614-0-8
Amazon
Americans Virginia and Clem are liv-
ing in Buenos Aires when WWII erupts.
When Clem gets arrested, Virginia discov-
ers enemies frighteningly close to home.
The Constant Child.
K. M. Edwards. CreateSpace, $9.89 paper
(246p), ISBN 978-1-4681-2142-1
Amazon
A 60-something widow returns to
the small river town where her long-lost
extended family still resides. A bitter-
sweet reunion is mixed with life-changing
intrigue.
Soul-Aris.
Henrietta Elmore-Smith. Inkwater Press,
$17.95 paper (398p), ISBN 978-1-59299-
626-1
Amazon
This is the story of Aris, a woman of
color, with the determination and where-
withal to succeed in the world of Beverly
Hills cosmetology.
The Angry Woman Suite.
Lee Fullbright. Telemachus Press, $9.99
paper (376p), ISBN 978-1-937698-53-9
Amazon
Betrayal and a double murder define
generations of two Pennsylvania fami-
lies, spawning a deadly cycle of abuse in
a novel that spans the early 1900s to the
1960s.
The Spirit Keeper.
Melissa Luznicky Garrett. CreateSpace,
$12.99 paper (334p), ISBN 978-1-4635-
8142-8
Amazon
Was the fire that killed Sarah Redbird’s
family an accident or a deliberate act of
revenge? What she learns is that some
secrets are better left unspoken.
Kimchee Days, or, Stoned-cold War-
riors.
Timothy V. Gatto. The Oliver Arts and
Open Press, $19.95 paper (328p), ISBN
978-0-9819891-4-3
www.oliveropenPress.com
A comic novel about a Nike-Hercules
battery in Korea in the 1970s, drawn from
real duty in the Korean Air Defense Artil-
lery.
Angel Dance.
M. D. Grayson. Telemachus Press, $16.99
paper (349p), ISBN 978-0-9849518-4-0
Amazon
Beautiful Seattle heiress Gina Fiore
has vanished. Desperate, her family turns
to Danny Logan, PI, and his crew in the
Danny Logan Mystery series debut.
Touchback.
Don Handfield. Sky Village Press, $12.99
paper (272p), ISBN 978-0-9854552-8-6
Amazon
A love story about
football, farming, and a
time-traveling pickup
truck. An aging farmer
on the brink of total
failure gets a chance
to go back to his high
school glory days and change his life. The
author wrote and directed the movie based
on the book.
Zero North Platte.
F. G. Harris. Vantage Press, $27.95 hard-
cover (242p), ISBN 978-053316457-8
Amazon
An authentic, gritty, fast-paced western
that follows young rancher Ben Cole on a
perilous cattle drive between Denver and
Hat Creek Station, Wyo.
Death in the Saddle (Not a Western).
A. J. Harris. Murder Mystery Press, $15.95
paper (412p), ISBN 978-0-9829361-9-1
www.murdermysterypress.com
When billionaire real estate developer
Peter Bruxton is found murdered, it comes
as no surprise. In fact, the biggest challenge
facing the detectives charged with solving
the murder may be finding someone who
is not a suspect.
Partially Broken Never Destroyed.
Nataisha T. Hill. Tai-Lor Made Books,
$8. 99 paper ( 224p) , ISBN 978-0-
9853232-1-9
Smashwords
Caught up in a world of betrayal from an
abuser and dealing with a roommate who
is a glutton for punishment, Kayla is on a
complex journey.
Between the Shadow and the Flame.
Geoffrey Lee Hodge. Penumbra Invic-
tus, $17.95 paper (492p), ISBN 978-0-
9851802-0-1
www.penumbrainvictus.com
The allegorical retelling of the history of
philosophy, as seen through the journey of
its three main characters.
The Weapon.
Heather Hopkins. Vantage Press, $15.95
paper (288p), ISBN 978-053316476-9
Amazon
Technological genius Veronica Stone
must stop a Russian scientist from uti-
lizing her invention, a holographic cell
phone, to weaponize a wasting disease that
spreads via sights and sounds.
Amelia’s Gift.
Debra John. Balboa Press, $15.99 paper
(224p), ISBN 978-1-4525-4286-7
Amazon
Based on true events in the life of the
author, Amelia’s Gift is an inspirational
story of Lisa, a woman who overcomes
adversity through spirituality.
Love in a Carry-on Bag.
Sadeqa Johnson. 12th Street Press, $14.95
paper (336p), ISBN 978-0-9847289-0-9
Amazon
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WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 13
A New York publicist and a D.C. musi-
cian attempt a long-distance relationship.
Their connection is sexy and fierce until
outside forces cause them to unravel at the
seam.
Unburdened.
David Karademas. Pallas Publishing,
$17. 99 paper (601p), ISBN 978-0-
9852342-5-6
Amazon
Written by an attorney and successful
businessman, Unburdened is a manifesto of
common sense, providing a new platform
that appeals to both left and right.
The Spiral Code.
James Edward Kaune. Vantage Press,
$32.95 hardcover (360p), ISBN 978-
053316489-9
Amazon
An adventure tale of good and evil that
investigates the human struggle to make
appropriate decisions when faced with the
complexities of politics, love, and spiritual
understanding.
Nai j a St ori es: Of
Tears and Ki sses,
Heroes and Villains.
Edited by Myne Whit-
man. NS Publishing,
$14.99 paper (260p),
I S BN 978- 0- 615-
61355-0
Amazon
Watching for the extraordinary magic
that lies in the everyday. An anthology.
Such a Nice Boy.
Daren Krupa. CreateSpace, $12.99 paper
(273p), ISBN 978-0-615-48521-8
Amazon
A man leading a gay life to avoid his
feelings for women falls for a married co-
worker and her infant son.
The Sacred Imposter.
J. R. Lankford. Great Reads Books, $16.95
paper (238p), ISBN 978-0-9718694-5-5
Ingram
In Book 3 of the Jesus Thief series, a
rumored second sacred clone intrigues Luis
Moctezuma, involved in human smuggling
across the Mexican border.
The Firing of Stephen
Ledberg.
Allan Lenzner. Troy
Book Maker s , $21
paper (298p), ISBN
978-1-61468-059-8
Amazon
Ledberg seeks his
biological parents,and his only clue is a
picnic hamper lined with a newspaper from
the day he was born.
The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice.
Amy Logan. Priya Press, $14.95 paper
(267p), ISBN 978-0-9853080-1-8
Amazon
A post-9/11 cautionary suspense tale
about the search for the divine feminine
and the ancient, lost origins of honor kill-
ing in the Middle East.
The Katar Legacy.
Tobin Loshento. New Libri Press, $14.95
(268p), ISBN 978-1-61469-005-4
Amazon; B&N
World-building fantasy where the rul-
ing elite can drain the soul’s energy, or ka,
as punishment.
72 Hour Protocol: Warfare Is the Tao
of Deception.
Howard Manson. EM Press, $13.97 paper
(298p), ISBN 978-0-615-58572-7
Amazon
Katherine has two secrets. The Chinese
want one of them, and the Americans want
her to give it to them, in this debut spy
thriller.
White Heat.
Paul D. Marks. Time-
less Skies Publishing,
$14.99 paper (352p),
ISBN 978-0-9850760-
2-3
Amazon
PI Duke Rogers finds
himself in a racially charged situation: get-
ting out of South Central L.A. in one piece
as the Rodney King riots ignite.
Col d Hearted Son of a
Witch: The Dragoneers
Saga Book Two.
M. R. Mathias. CreateSpace, $9.99 paper
(210p), ISBN 978-1-4663-1800-7
Amazon, B&N
Five dragon riders come together as they
are forced to stand against a terrible threat
that’s only just revealing itself.
The Confliction: The Dragoneers Saga
Book Three.
M. R. Mathias. CreateSpace, $9.99 paper
(210p), ISBN 978-1468090253
Amazon; B&N
The conclusion to the Full Confliction
cycle of Dragoneers Saga books.
Living Lies: Book 1 of the Agent Mela-
nie Ward Novels.
Kate Mathis. PowWow Publishing, $14.95
paper (394p), ISBN 978-0-9819789-0-1
Amazon
This mystery thriller has suspense,
intrigue, humor, and romance, as under-
cover operative Melanie Ward tackles pro-
fessional and personal crises while living
the life of a spy.
One Passion.
Teresa Matvejs. Dorrance Publishing, $24
paper (318p), ISBN 978-1-4349-1126-1
dorrance.stores.yahoo.net
Follow circus performer Rose Vitkov-
skis and her cohorts as they travel the small
towns in the Australian outback.
Severed Threads.
Kaylin McFarren. Creative Edge Publish-
ing, $14.95 paper (285p), ISBN 978-1-
4675-2671-5
www.kaylinmcfarren.com
Rachel Lyons is called upon by a
museum director to assist her former love
interest with the recovery of a cursed relic
from a sunken Chinese merchant ship, and
she has no intention of cooperating— until
her brother is kidnapped by a drug-dealing
gangster.
Spoonful.
Chris Mendius. Anything Goes Publish-
ing, $14.95 paper (322p), ISBN 978-0-
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Amazon
This debut novel, set in Chicago’s
Wicker Park in the late 1990s, tells the
story of Michael Lira and his friends
as they try to get by in their changing
world.
Tapestry.
Jeanette Michelle. iUniverse, $20.95 paper
(348p), ISBN 978-1-4620-6491-5
Amazon
A soap-opera–style drama based on real-
istic characters with a splash of fiction that
reveals the importance of family, extended
family, and close friends.
Zero Point.
Wasique Mirza. Lulu, $17.49 paper (356p),
ISBN 978-1-257-79192-7
Amazon
A political thriller/murder mystery
revolving around the complex and often
convoluted relationship between the
United States and Pakistan.
Public Trust.
J. M. Mitchell. Prairie Plum Press, $24.95
hardcover (354p), ISBN 978-0-9852272-
2-7
www.prairieplumPress.com
In a story of our times—polarized soci-
ety and battles over government—Jack
Chastain, a park ranger in New Mexico, is
caught between warring factions.
Nine Lives: A Story of Horror.
George M. Moser. i Universe. $20.95 paper
(364p), ISBN 978-1-4697-5311-9
Amazon; B&N
This debut novel is a quirky tale in
which a chilling horror rises from the most
unlikely of places.
Redemption Day.
Steve O’Brien. A&N Publishing, $14.95
hardcover (313p), ISBN 978-0-9820735-
2-0
New Shelves Distribution
A thriller set in Washington, D.C.,
based on historical events and the docu-
mented teachings of the Posse Comitatus.
Dead Light.
Mike Pace. River Point Press, $11 paper
(450p), ISBN 978-0-615-51842-8
Amazon
A smalltown sheriff
investigates a string of
student suicides and
ultimately discovers
that the victims had
been hypnotized by
a Satanic light acci-
dentally released after
being buried for over 2,000 years.
Seeing in the Dark: Arielle’s Story.
Judith Peck. Wasteland Press, $19.95
paper (433p), ISBN 978-1-60047-642-6
www.iapbooks.com
Arielle, a bright, beautiful electrical
engineer, must navigate a difficult and
dangerous marriage and then counter
the destructive choices of her grown
children.
Queen of the Jews.
Judy Petsonk. Blair Books, $15.99 paper
(288p), ISBN 978-1-4701-6093-7
Amazon
The remarkable rule of Queen Salome
Alexandra (Shalom-Zion) of Judea, sponsor
of the Pharisees, and her stormy relation-
ship with her husband, King Alexander
Janneus.
Secrets of a Boy, Lost.
William C. Prentiss. AuthorHouse,
$28.95 hardcover (290p), ISBN 978-1-
4685-4026-0
www.AuthorHouse.com
An orphaned 15-year-old boy runs away
to search for a new life and meets many
crises. A semiautobiograhical coming-of-
age story.
Reflection.
Jessica Roberts. Jessica Roberts, $2.99
e-book (343p), ISBN 978-0-615-60117-5
Amazon
What if six perfect months with a
dream guy turned out to be nothing but
a dream?
A Field of Poppies.
Sharon Sala. Sharon Sala Books, $16.99
paper (454p), ISBN 978-1-4699-3717-5
Amazon
A story spanni ng
years in the lives of
two families, unknow-
ingly bound together
until an old secret is
revealed, destroying all
they thought they knew
to be true.
The Last Mercenary.
Lee Schomaker. Dog Ear Publishing.
$15.95 paper (285p), ISBN 978-1-4575-
0838-7
Amazon; B&N; Ingram
A former law professor at the Uni-
versity of Rome and now the CEO of
Døti Enterprises, Drago Hawkwood
conceives himself to be a modern-day
mercenary similar to his legendary
ancestor.
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The Duke Don’t Dance.
Richard Sharp. CreateSpace, $12.95
(257p), ISBN 978-1-4679-4916-3
Amazon
An irreverent and audacious journey
through minefields of love, sex, race, and
social change with resolute but fallible pro-
tagonists of the Silent Generation.
The Protectors.
Steven Sheridan. CreateSpace, $9.99 paper
(216p), ISBN 978-1-4679-6472-2
Amazon
Intergalactic war threatens to destroy
the earth and the human race with it. This
is one boy’s journey to become one of the
protectors of the planet.
After the Fog.
Kathleen Shoop. CreateSpace, $13.99
paper (416p), ISBN 978-1-4699-3570-6
Amazon
In Donora, Pa., in 1948, pressure
mounts as a deadly smog descends on
nurse Rose Pavlesic’s family, friends, and
patients. Will her professional obligations
overshadow her family loyalty?
Jesus: Man, Not Myth.
Peter D. Snow. Book Publishers’ Net-
work, $21.95 paper (420p), ISBN 978-1-
935359-49-4
www.jesusmannotmyth.com
Commonsense narrative of Jesus’ minis-
try and teaching.
Babes in Tinseltown: A Mystery of Hol-
lywood’s Golden Age.
Sheri Cobb South. CreateSpace, $12.95
paper (237p), ISBN 978-1-4700-9374-7
Amazon; Baker & Taylor
In 1936, a sheltered Georgia belle hopes
to become a movie star. Her career threat-
ens to be short-lived when the producer
dies mysteriously during filming.
Extra Innings.
Bruce E. Spitzer. Bear
Hill Media, $16. 95
paper (435p), ISBN
978-0-9849569-0-6
www.extrainningsthe-
novel.com
Cryonics return Ted Williams to life.
Will he use this second chance to win his
first World Series or to become a better
man?
In Times of Trouble.
Jeanette Stanhaus. CreateSpace, $16.50
paper (250p), ISBN 978-1-4680-5804-8
www.intimesoftrouble.com
An adventure of extremes leads to
an encounter with a miraculous Black
Madonna at Chartres Cathedral in France.
Fireseed One.
Catherine Stine. Kon-
jur Road Press, $7.99
paper (296p), ISBN
978-0-9848282-0-3
Amazon
In 2089, Varik trav-
els to a lethal desert
with his enemy, Marisa, who’s destroyed
the world’s crops.
A Smudge of Gray.
Jonathan Sturak. Pendan Publishing, $4.98
paper (194p), ISBN 978-0-9825894-4-1
Amazon
Det. Brian Boise is on the trail of a mys-
terious murder suspect who has an intimate
connection to Boise’s family secret.
The Accidental Don: A Man Caught
Between Two Identities.
Guy J. Tirondola. CreateSpace, $9.99
paper (225p), ISBN 978-1-4701-0104-6
Amazon
Running from the Jersey mob, an impos-
ter Mafia don becomes a force for good in
the Deep South of the 1950s, combating
bigotry, hatred, and superstition.
Resistors.
Peter T. Tomaras. CreateSpace, $15.99
paper (380p), ISBN
978-1468039160
Amazon
When a Cypriot
flight attendant
helps an American
security consultant
terminate a sky-
jacking, they launch an intercontinental
affair complicated by venge-
ful Palestinians and prior
relationships.
Reel Life.
Jackie Townsend. Ripetta Press, $9 paper
(376p), ISBN 978-0-9837915-0-8
jackietownsend.com
In this debut, two sisters wrestle with
their past through a shared love of movies.
Designer Dirty Laundry: A Style and
Error Mystery.
Diane Vallere. Polyester Press, $14.99
paper (270p), ISBN 978-0-9849653-0-4
Amazon; Ingram
Ex-retail buyer turned “trend specialist”
becomes an amateur sleuth when a design
competition leads to an unexpected crime
of fashion: homicide.
Bloomingulch.
J. L. Walters. CreateSpace, $28.32 hard-
cover (108p), ISBN 978-0-9848987-1-8
Amazon
Loneliness and ennui afflict adolescent
Lucas Waltham and his friends; then they
go on a creative adventure.
Joy.
Anne L. Watson. Shepard and Piper, $15
paper (335p), ISBN 978-0-938497-53-0
Ingram
In Oakland, Calif., in 1989, Mirai San
Julian knows how to restore a carousel, but
can she restore relationships with those she
loves?
I Could Have Been Born an Ant.
Rochelle Weiner. Xlibris, $12.99 paper
(24p), ISBN 978-1-4691-4246-3
Amazon
A fascinating ride through the realms of
plants and animals where children imagine
their lives as an ant, a flower, a dog, even
a gorilla.
What We Leave Behind.
Rochelle B. Weinstein. CreateSpace,
$14.99 paper (328p), ISBN 978-1-4662-
3631-8
Amazon
A provocative novel for women who have
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loved and lost and wonder
what could have been.
One Hundred Miles
and Running.
Q.B. Wells. Art Offi-
cial Media, $15 paper
(214p), ISBN 978-0-
9768061-7-2
www.artofficicalmedia
.com
On the run with $100,000 in counterfeit
cash and a suspect in a murder case, Face
is forced to put his girl Jazz to the street.
Accidental Felon.
Gloria Wolk. Bialkin
Books, $21.95 paper
(362p), ISBN 978-0-
9652615-5-5
Amazon; Ingram
Carly Daniels, a sin-
gle mom with a special
needs child, works for a company accused
of fraud. She is innocent but suddenly is
indicted, facing years in prison, and wor-
ried about her young son.
Heart’s Blood.
Elizabeth Zinn. Cre-
ateSpace, $13.95 paper
(272p), ISBN 978-1-
4681-4038-5
Amazon
A family saga set on
the Arizona border is a
tale of secrets kept and revealed, blood ties
versus emotional ties, from generation to
generation.
Murder of Crows: Book One of the
Pillars of Dawn.
Athena A.M. Sartor. CreateSpace, $12.49
paper (400p), ISBN 978-1-4750-9834-1
Amazon
Murder of Crows is fantasy flush with
romance, intrigue, and desperate choices.
Catastrophically Consequential.
Stephen C. Bird. Hysterical Dementia, $9
paper (152p), ISBN 978-0-615-56663-4
Amazon
A surrealistic, character-based collection
of thematically unified, darkly humour-
ous, satirical short stories featuring mean-
dering nonlinear plots, disturbing inner
monologues, imaginary dialects, dream
sequences, and comical rants.
GARDENING
Secrets of the Land: Designing Harmo-
nious Gardens with Feng Shui.
S he l l e y S pa r ks .
Ha r mo n y Ga r -
dens, $27.95 paper
(190p), ISBN 978-
1-4637-4955-2
Amazon
This book teaches
people to honor and
connect to their land to restore their sense
of joy, abundance, peace, and trust.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Now It’s Funny: How
I Survived Cancer,
Divorce and Other
Looming Disasters.
Michael Solomon. Cre-
ate Space, $9.99 paper
(212p), ISBN 978-1-
4637-4955-2
Amazon
A modern hybrid: on the one hand a
page-turning medical thriller, and on the
other a hilarious romp through the mind of
a man bedazzled by fatherhood and midlife.
HISTORY
A Ship with No Name.
Richard Hersey. Sunoasis Publishing, $15
paper (336p), ISBN 978-0-9834123-0-4
www. sunoasi s. com/
atr3.html
The story of rescue
operations in the Eng-
lish Channel before,
during, and after the
D-Day invasion aboard
an ocean-going tug.
The Holocuast Diaries: Book 1, Souls
of the Just.
Leo V. Kanawada Jr. AuthorHouse, $22.99
hardcover (393p), ISBN 978-1-4520-
5705-7
Amazon; B&N
Roosevelt and Pope Pius XII plotted and
collaborated overtly with Hitler’s Vatican
ambassador and Rome’s Jewish community
to save 85% of Rome’s Jewish population.
Parallel Lives: A
Social History of
Lizzie Borden and
Her Fall River.
Michael Martins and
Dennis A. Binette.
Fall River Historical
Society, $79.95 hard-
cover (1,138p), ISBN 978-0-9641248-1-3
lizziebordenparallellives.com
Parallel Lives provides a vivid portrait
of Fall River, Mass., during the 19th and
early 20th centuries; against this backdrop,
the untold story of Lizzie Borden unfolds.
Change for a Dollar:
A History of 1st Savings and Loan.
Ricky N. Smith. Chapel Hill Press, $25
hardcover (312p), ISBN 978-1-59715-
079-8
www.mebanehistoricalsociety.org
Change nearly destroyed the nations
financial system. By staying a small-town
thrift, 1st Saving and Loan thrived.
JUVENILE FICTION
Echo’s Revenge: The Ultimate Game—
The Ongoing Investigation of Sean
Austin.
Sean Austin. AAA Reality Games, $11.99
paper (293p), ISBN 978-0-9837264-0-1
echohunt.com
Reggie and Jeremy are expert gamers.
When they run away from home to escape
mom’s abusive boyfriend, they discover
that Echo-7, an indestructible game preda-
tor, has reversed the rules of its own video
game and is hunting them down.
The Ancient Realm: Vol. 1.
Sarah Leith Bahn. CreateSpace, $5.99
paper (114p), ISBN 978-1-4681-2401-9
Amazon; www.sarahleithbahn.com
A bored girl and a misled boy are pitted
against each other in a battle over nature’s
magic and beauty.
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Revenge of the Dorkoids: The Secret
Club Begins.
Holly Beck. Skyscraper
Pr es s , $8. 99 paper
(135p), ISBN 978-0-
9819505-7-0
Amazon; B&N; Ingram
The adventures of
Aaron Walton and his
two buddies, Trevor and Ryan, as they
deal creatively with Jake and his friend’s
attempts to bully them.
Bouncy the Smart Ball.
Demetrius Bradshaw, illus. by Victor
Gui za. DPB Pr od-
ucts, $12.95 hardcover
(26p), ISBN 978-0-
9839444-0-9
Amazon
A s t or y a bout a
peculiar-looking ball
that encounters and
befriends a little boy named Devon along
with his friends.
Max and the Magic Boy.
Jack Cain. JJC Publications, $7.95 paper
(150p), ISBN 978-0-615-60018-5
Amazon
Max, the smartest kid in class, meets
the strangest boy in the universe. Together
they go on numerous adventures.
Sweet Savage Blood.
Carolina Courtland. Carolina Courtland,
$13.15 paper (366p), ISBN 978-1-4750-
1263-7
Amazon
A teen vampire romance about undying
love that sweeps across time from the 19th
to the 21st century.
Gramee and Her Whippersnapper
Boys.
Myra Gowans. RoseDog Books, $18 paper
(34p), ISBN 978-1-4349-8079-3
www.rosedogbookstore.com
A children’s picture book about the lov-
ing relationship between a grandmother
and her grandsons as they explore nature
and celebrate differences.
Night Buddies and
the Pineapple Cheese-
cake Scare.
Sands Hetherington.
Dune Buggy Press,
$7.99 paper (128p),
ISBN 978-0-9847417-
1-7
www.delphidistribution.com
An entertaining story full of antics and
excitement. First in the Night Buddies
series.
On the Bright Side: The Starlings.
S. R. Johannes. Coleman and Stott, $8.99
paper (250p), ISBN 978-0-9847991-3-8
Amazon
When a tween guard-
ian angel is assigned to
protect her school nem-
esis, her pranks kick off
a celestial adventure in
this lighthearted look
at death.
Headache: The Hair-Raising Sequel to
Bellyache.
Crystal Marcos. Cat Marcs Publish-
ing, $9.95 paper (134p), ISBN 978-0-
9843899-1-9
www.crystalmarcos.com
From the author of Bellyache: A Delicious
Tale comes the sequel children’s fantasy-
adventure for ages seven and up delivering
a lesson on standing up and facing fears.
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble.
D. Robert Pease. Walking Stick Books,
$12.99 paper (320p), ISBN 978-0-615-
52499-3
Amazon
Noah lives for piloting spaceships
through time, dodging killer robots, and
saving Earth’s animals from extinction.
Life couldn’t be better. But the 12-year-
old time traveler learns it could be a lot
worse when his parents disappear during
the Ice Age.
The Glister Journals: Bronze.
B. B. Shepherd. China Blue Publishing,
$26.99 hardcover (556p), ISBN 978-0-
9828936-0-9
Amazon
New friends expose Alli-
son to a world of new experiences: horses,
equestrian events, extreme sports… and
falling in love.
The Rumor:
And How the Truth Sets You Free.
DeShawn Snow, illus by David A. Perrin
III. Carpenter’s Son Publishing, $6.99
paper (96p), ISBN 978-0-9839876-8-0
www.lilshawnee.com
When Shawnee finds out that her school
friends are really not her friends at all, she
learns some important lessons about the
difference that kind words can make.
Oscar.
Amber Tayler, illus by Kelly Ewing Pow-
ell. Robertson Publishing, $9.99 paper
(20p), ISBN 978-1-61170-057-2
www.rp-author.com/tayler
O s c a r
takes his har-
r i e d mot he r
through a glo-
r i ous day of
a d v e n t u r e s ,
all the while
reminding us
that life’s biggest treasures are found in the
littlest moments.
Welcome Home.
Billi Tiner. CreateSpace, $7.99 paper
(163p), ISBN 978-1-4680-8256-2
Amazon
The story of Jake, a Labrador retriever
who embarks on an incredible adventure
to find a man he has dreamed about his
entire life.
LAW
Show Trials: How Property Gets More
Legal Protection.
Peter Afrasiabi. Envelope Books, $20 paper
(270p), ISBN 978-0-9847915-2-1
Amazon; www.showtrialsbook.com
Harrowing real-life stories that depict
the failed immigration system, which
fails to give the same justice that property
courts provide property. Serious reform
proposals are advanced.
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MEMOIR
34 Kensington Square.
Robert Chapin Alsop. Vantage Press,
$16. 95 paper ( 162p) , I SBN 978-
053316446-2
Amazon
A memoir by a member of the Greatest
Generation that offers readers a firsthand
account of the daring missions flown by
U.S. soldiers over Europe during WWar II.
God and I and Elvis.
Ilona Bauer. Vantage Press, $19.95 paper
(384p), ISBN 978-053316451-6
Amazon
A memoir of one woman’s life-altering
love for Elvis Presley, which turned into
an obsession that led her to move from
Germany to Memphis and marry an Elvis
impersonator.
Through the Unknowable: Family Life
with Depression, Alcohol, and Love.
Elsa Campion. Vantage Press, $13.95
paper (153p), ISBN 978-053316497-4
Amazon
From a psychiatrist accustomed to help-
ing patients who struggle with depression
and substance abuse, this memoir re-exam-
ines the meaning of these same diseases
when they strike her own daughter.
The Five Sisters. A Young Norman in
the Second World War.
Jean E. Havel. Vantage Press, $17.95 paper
(164p), ISBN 978-053316471-4
Amazon
The author’s memoir of his idyllic child-
hood, surrounded by his mother and her
sisters, in Norman France before it was
interrupted by the German invasion in
June 1940.
Far Distant Echo: A Journey by Canoe
from Lake Superior to Hudson Bay.
Fred Marks and Jay Timmerman. Vantage
Press, $17.95 paper (333p), ISBN 978-
053316463-9
Amazon
The chronicle of two men’s travels by
canoe from Lake Superior nearly 1,400
miles north to York Factory on Hudson
Bay. Simultaneously historical, informa-
tional, and deeply personal.
The Hungry Dog.
Edward C. Mueller. Vantage Press, $19.95
hardcover (128p), ISBN 978-053316075-4
Amazon
The story of one man’s swordfishing
adventure to the fishing grounds of the
Windward Passage aboard a steel shrimp
boat called The Hungry Dog.
A Dying Breed.
Lou Pharao. Vantage Press, $29.95 hard-
cover (308p), ISBN 978-053316506-6
Amazon
A memoir of a Bronx native’s entry into
the high-crime areas of New York as an
NYPD officer at the age of 22, through
his 34-year career in law enforcement.
P.O.W.: A Sailor’s Story.
Ralph C. Poness. Vantage Press, $16.95
paper (131p), ISBN 978-053316447-9
Amazon
A personal account of the political and
military blunders post–Pearl Harbor that
led to Poness being captured by the Japa-
nese and spending years as a P.O.W.
Memories from the Forgotten War.
Harris R. Stearns. Vantage Press, $14.95
hardcover (128p), ISBN 978-053316472-1
Amazon
One man’s account of his experiences in
the Korean War as a result of his superiors’
incompetence, which included being over-
run by the enemy, captured, interrogated,
and beaten.
NONFICTION
A Pool Player’s Journey.
Dale Brandt. Vantage Press, $16.95 paper
(132p), ISBN 978-053316541-4
Amazon
Brandt explores the mysteries of the
game of pool, making connections to phys-
ics, mathematics, and martial arts to edu-
cate players on how to sharpen their skills.
Inside the Cup: Translating Starbucks
into a Drinkable Lan-
guage.
Kenneth Brown. Fee
Publishing, $15. 99
paper (250p), ISBN
978-0-9852408-0-6
insidethecupbook.com
Includes drink rec-
ommendations and modifications, cus-
tomer stereotypes, how to get hired, coffee
information, and more, from a Starbucks
store manager and trainer.
Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern
New Mexico.
Mark H. Cross. Caminito Publish-
ing, $26.95 paper (415p), ISBN 978-0-
9834194-2-6
encyclopediaofsantafe.com
A catalogue of the people, places, arts,
cultures, and colloquialisms unique to the
region.
Birthday Suit.
Tyler Durman. CreateSpace, $14.95 paper
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 19
(172p), ISBN 978-1-
4675-1803-1
Amazon
A collection of short
personal stories that
are both poignant and
intensely funny. Dur-
man gives us hippo
incidents, parenting woes, nuns and
nudity, while interlacing moments of for-
giveness and hope.
Requiem for a Country:
A History Lesson.
Jasha M. Levi. Editions JML Hibou, $15
paper (166p), ISBN 978-1-105-22956-6
Amazon; www.jashalevi.com
The birth and death of Yugoslavia twice
between 1918 and 1994 and the world
events of the century that found its author
“waterboarded by history.”
The Tragedy of PortAmerica: And
Other Developments from Tysons Cor-
ner to Istanbul.
James T. Lewis. Vantage Press, $28.95
hardcover (182p), ISBN 978-0-533-
16493-6
Amazon
Chronicles the ups and downs—and
unfortunate demise—of a real estate proj-
ect named PortAmerica, which resulted in
years of litigation and government inter-
vention.
Vodka on My Wheaties.
Ann Lloyd. Biographical Publishing
Co., $19.95 paper (361p), ISBN 978-1-
929882-57-1
www.vodkaonmywheaties.com
“ Not hi ng a bout
her is normal, and she
shares her story well
and leaves readers with
humor and a strong
message—an excellent
read.”—The Midwest
Review
Strategic Diversification: Retirement
Planning That Works.
Jeff Martin. KDM Investment Manage-
ment, $29.95 hardcover (161p), ISBN
978-0-9833189-0-3
630-232-9097
Strategic Diversification provides a blue-
print for how to build a retirement saving
and investing plan customized to specific
needs and situations.
By His Own Blood.
John Montandon. Rockford Brownstone
Publishing, $14.95 paper (288p), ISBN
978-0-615-60483-1
Amazon
The true story of the tragic death of a
Texas farmer by tainted HIV blood and his
son’s search for forgiveness and redemption.
The Green Foodprint: Food Choices for
Healthy People and a Healthy Planet.
Linda Riebel. Print and Pixel Books,
$15.95 paper (155p), ISBN 978-0-
9833051-1-8
Amazon; B&N; Ingram
A practical guide to making food choices
that support people and planet.
The Blueprint:
Averting Global Collapse.
Daniel Rirdan. Corinno Press, $22 paper
(492p), ISBN 978-1-4701-3588-1
Amazon; Baker & Taylor; Ingram
Identifies stressors afflicting our
world—from climate change to peak oil—
and lays down a detailed, employable plan
to sustain the manmade world and restore
ecosystems.
Hollywood and Catholic Women:
Virgins, Whores, Mothers, and Other
Images.
Kathryn Schleich. iUniverse, $17.95 paper
(198p), ISBN 978-1-4697-8219-5
www. wome n- wr i t e
.com
Explores the image
of Catholic women in
Hollywood film and on
television from a femi-
nist point of view.
Prescriptions from Paradise: Introduc-
tion to Biocompatible Medicine.
Carlos M. Viana. Healing Spirit Press, $25
paper (238p), ISBN 978-0-9789920-4-0
Amazon; www.healingspirit-
Press.com
A comprehensive, holistic medicine ref-
erence guide for optimum wellness that
draws on Viana’s knowledge and decades
of clinical experience using a commonsense
approach to good health.
The Bitchographies: Random Com-
mentaries About Life, Love and Knock-
off Christian Laboutins.
Vivenne Vuitton. Inkwater Press, $18.95
paper (170p), ISBN 978-1-59299-722-0
Amazon; B&N; inkwaterpress.com
Random experiences from the author’s
personal inventory
POETRY
And This Too Shall Pass:
A Poetic Gallery.
Jeri L.M.S. Guyette. Casa Zia Produc-
tions, $12.95 paper (131p), ISBN 978-0-
9834688-0-6
Amazon; www.casazia.com
A “ n e o - s o u l ”
poetry collection pep-
pered with free verse,
haikus, and tankas
chronicling the jour-
ney from abusive love
to newfound romance.
Clouds, Rain.
Maria Maris. RoseDog Books, $12 paper
(82p), ISBN 978-1-4349-9693-0
www.rosedogbookstore.com
Clouds, Rain is a personal journey
through the remembrance of joys beyond
loss, youthful passion, and loneliness while
experiencing another culture.
The River Bends in Time.
Glen A. Mazis. Anaphora Literary Press,
$14.99 paper (110p), ISBN 978-1-
937536-23-7
Amazon; B&N
A collection of poetry that evokes life
along the Susquehanna River in a small
town, laments the forgetting of the past
in postmodern times, follows a bout with
cancer, and affirms life in quiet moments
that retrieve the past.
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 20
POLITICAL
SCIENCE
Campaign: The 1983 Election that
Rocked Chicago
Peter Nolan. Amika Press, $16.95 paper
(199p), ISBN 978-0-9708416-8-1
Amazon; amikapress.com
The story of how Chicago elected Har-
old Washington, its first African-American
mayor, in a campaign and election that
shook the city.
Governing Ourselves: How Americans
Can Regain Their Freedom.
Harold D. Thomas. BookLocker, $14.95
paper (194p), ISBN 978-1-61434-913-6
booklocker.com
Envisioning America
today as the founding
fathers created it, the
author explains politi-
cal ideas in everyday
language and suggests
a course of action.
RELIGION
Islam.
Manzoor Hussain. Vantage Press, $32.95
hardcover (364p), ISBN 978-053316599-5
Amazon
An American Muslim sees his fellow
Americans laboring under many miscon-
ceptions about Islam, and strives to teach
them the truths about the West’s most mis-
understood religion.
The Day of Darkness, Night of Destruc-
tion.
Larry R. Lee. Vantage Press, $34.95 hard-
cover (350p), ISBN 978-053316475-2
Amazon
A personal treatise based on the religious
experiences of the chaplain of the Atwater,
Calif., police department, designed to edu-
cate the reader on how best to serve Jesus.
My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from
a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey.
Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. Bassey. Balboa
Press, $24.99 paper (400p), ISBN 978-1-
4525-4580-6
Amazon; www.balboapress.com
My 52 Weeks of Worship is an unusual
memoir chronicling one woman’s quest
for spiritual clarity.
Julia Episcopa: A Woman’s Struggle in
the Church.
John I. Rigoli . MBA Consulting, $14.95
(296p), ISBN 978-0-615-59023-3
Amazon; B&N
A mystery rooted in biblical archaeology
about an unknown first-century woman
bishop whose discovery will cast doubt on
the founding doctrines of the Church.
In the Cool of the Day.
Neil Wilson. RoseDog Books, $20 paper
(178p), ISBN 978-1-4349-8546-0
www.rosedogbookstore.com
A simplified version of the Bible that
centers on the Lord’s choice of Immanuel as
His name when He came to live among us.
The Brotherhood in Islam: Message to
Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Ahmed Shendy Yousef. Dorrance Publish-
ing, $13 paper (90p), ISBN 978-1-4349-
0935-0
www.dorrancebookstore.com
A call for all faiths to unite and work
toward carrying out God’s mission to teach
us how to live in peace and harmony.
SCIENCE
The Origin of Everything via Univer-
sal Selection, or the Preservation of
Favored Systems in Contention for
Existence.
D. B. Kelley. Woodhollow Press, $39.95
paper (345p), ISBN 978-0-9854625-0-5
www.universalselection.com
This new work by physicist Kelley
reveals the natural origins and therefore
the natural order behind everything known
via universal selection.
SELF-HELP
A Friend in Grief: Simple Ways to Help.
Ginny Callaway. High Windy Press,
$10.95 paper (108p), ISBN 978-0-
942303-49-0
www.afriendingrief.com; Ingram
A Friend in Grief suggests words and
actions for reaching out and supporting
grieving friends.
Healing Through Illness, Living
Through Dying: Guidance and Rituals
for Patients, Family, and Friends.
Candice C. Courtney. Danton Press, $18
paper (244p), ISBN 978-0-9850522-2-5
www.dantonpress.com
Courtney covers a wide range of practical
and emotional issues experienced by those
confronting serious illness or end of life.
You Are the Problem, You Are the
Solution.
Andy Holligan. Dorrance Publishing, $19
paper (182p), ISBN 978-0-8059-7776-9
www.dorrancebookstore.com
How to reach one’s potential through an
exploration of how the subconscious and
self-esteem are lead factors in how we shape
our lives.
Dreams Altered but Not Abandoned:
The Teen Mom Experience.
Erica Mills-Hollis. Precious Heart Pub-
lishing, $19.95 paper (101p), ISBN 978-
0-615-41816-2
Amazon; www.apreciousheart.com
For teenagers faced with the enormous
challenges of raising a child.
The Grief Recovery Kit:
A Young Person’s Guide Through the
Journey of Grief.
Tanya Kilgore. Aepisaurus Publish-
ing, $19.99 paper (152p), ISBN 978-0-
9835688-0-3
Amazon; www.griefrecoverykit.com
A tool designed to help young people in
the grieving process after any significant
loss, offering practical guidance and hope.
SOCIAL SCIENCE
Social Worker on Steel:
The Steel Stories.
Linda Locke. RoseDog Books, $19 paper
(190p), ISBN 978-1-4349-9918-4
www.rosedogbookstore.com
The author spent 25 years providing
placement and legal services in the locked
facilities of Contra Costa County, Calif.;
these stories are the result. ■
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D L I S T I N G S
RELIGION UPDATE:
CHILDREN,
FAMILIES & RELATIONSHIPS
ISSUE DATE AUGUST 27
Ad Reservations due 8/13/12 Materials due 8/14/12
NEW AGE
ISSUE DATE SEPTEMBER 24
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RELIGION UPDATE:
ACADEMIC PUBLISHING
AAR/SBL
ISSUE DATE OCTOBER 8
Ad Reservations due 9/24/12 Materials due 9/2512
BIBLES AND SACRED TEXTS
ISSUE DATE OCTOBER 15
Ad Reservations due 10/3/12 Materials due 10/8/12
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT
ISSUE DATE OCTOBER 22
Ad Reservations due 10/10/12 Materials due 10/15/12
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RELIGION
Faith Fiction Forecast: Growing, Changing
To order call 1-800-877-2665 — In Canada, contact David C. Cook Distribution 1-800-263-2664.
In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth
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ISBN: 978-0-8007-1991-3
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September 2010

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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 2 , 2 0 1 2 22
A Recipe for Self-Publishing
The challenges of doing a cookbook
Bv Ai~x Boii1z
Cheí and restaurateur Sondra Bernstein didn’t pian on seií-
pubiishing her second cookbook, Plats du Jour: The girl & the
fig’s Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country, but, in the
end, íound that the DI\ approach gave her compiete controi
over the project—and this, she says, was a great reiieí.
W
hen Bernstein, the
proprietor oí severai
restaurants in Caii-
íornia and author oí
The girl & the fig
Cookbook (Simon s Schuster), set out to
pubiish Plats du Jour, she hired a iiterary
agent who represents numerous top cheís.
Bernstein wrote up a proposai. 1he agent
ioved it. 1he oniy probiem. they couidn’t
seii the book.
Whiie a íew pubiishers expressed inter-
est in the titie, Bernstein says they wanted
her to make signiíicant changes to the
book’s concept, which íocuses on seasonai
recipes írom Sonoma Vaiiey. Some pub-
iishers íeit the book’s íocus was too nar-
row. Some wanted it to inciude recipes
írom other smaii wine countries.
“We rewrote the proposai severai
times,” Bernstein says. “But the changes
were pushing ¦the book] too íar írom my
originai concept. In the end I was reiieved
to do what I wanted to do.”
Another issue íor Bernstein was the
book’s photography. Her biggest disap-
pointment with her íirst cookbook—now
in its íourth printing with Simon s Schus-
ter—was the iack oí coior photographs.
“1he deai íor the ¦íirst] book was íor
biack-and-white with a iimited amount oí
photographs,” she says. “And the photos
that were used I had to pay íor. 1his time
¦I said,] ‘Ií I’m going to do it, I’m going
to do it the way I want.’”
So Bernstein decided to seií-pubiish,
taught herseií Adobe InDesign—and did
absoiuteiy everything by herseií and on
her own terms. But seií-pubiishing a
cookbook (as opposed to a novei or mem-
oir) is a very compiex and detaiied
endeavor.
Iirst oí aii, the recipes íor Plats du Jour
come írom Bernstein’s restaurants—the
giri s the íig, the giri s the íig caíé and
wine bar, Istate—and those recipes are
designed to produce big batches íor many
customers. As such, everything had to be
scaied back and revised íor the home cook.
Aíter revising the recipes, Bernstein
needed to test them. Her initiai caii íor
recipe testers went out over Iacebook.
And once she received comments, she
made adjustments and hired a íuii-time
tester—not to mention an indexer, severai
editors, and other staíí.
When it came time to shoot íuii-coior
pictures íor the book, she hired Steven
Krause oí Steven Krause Brookiyn Studio
West. Over the course oí a year, Bernstein
and Kraus heid 28 photo shoots in her
restaurants.
“We cooked the íood and piated it as we
wouid and then they shot it,” says Bern-
stein, who then cropped the images and
prepped them íor the printer. “1he hard
part was toward the end, getting the cor-
rect coior proíiies íor the printer and
understanding the ianguage that came
with that process.”
Once Plats du Jour was compiete, Bern-
stein went with Iour Coiour Print Group,
headquartered in Iouisviiie, Ky., to pro-
duce the book.
“Iour Coiour did aii oí the conversion
íor the ¦e-book] version,” says Bernstein.
“1hey were a pieasure to work with and I
wouid totaiiy recommend them.”
Whiie none oí this was inexpensive—
Bernstein estimates she spent tens oí
thousands oí doiiars—marketing and seii-
ing a seií-pubiished cookbook is aiso very
diííerent írom marketing and seiiing a
seií-pubiished novei.
Ior one thing, getting copies oí Plats du
Jour into bookstores wasn’t a top priority.
“It’s iess important because I know the
¦saies] voiume is deíiniteiy going to hap-
pen in our restaurants,” Bernstein says,
adding that whiie she may seii a íew cop-
ies oí her book in stores, she seiis 10–15
copies every day in her restaurants. “Saies
are pretty good.”
Stiii, whiie Bernstein advises her cheí
íriends to consider seií-pubiishing their
cookbooks, she admits the process is a
compiicated and oíten diííicuit one.
“Ií I didn’t have this much staíí or
hadn’t buiit our company to the stage that
it’s in, I don’t know ií it wouid have been
that easy,” she says, oííering this advice.
“Iearn as much as you can, have reaiistic
expectations about saies, have enough
money, and a game pian about it. Get cre-
ative ií you don’t have enough money.” ■
A U T H O R P R O F I L E
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 23
A Field of Poppies
Sharon Sala. CreateSpace (www.createspace
.com), $16.99 paper (456p) ISBN 978-1-4699-
3717-5
In Sala’s heavy-handed novel about the
consequences of sin, secrets, and selfish-
ness, heroine Poppy Sadler flounders after
learning that both her parents have died.
In the first four pages of the book,
Poppy’s mother succumbs to cancer and
her father, Jessup, is murdered. The
20-year-old waitress feels alone in her
harsh, hardscrabble mining hometown on
the wrong side of the tracks in West
Virginia. She can’t even get to work since
the family’s only car is now a crime scene
that has been impounded by the police.
What Poppy doesn’t know is that, thanks
to the unexpected mercy of mine owner
Justin Caulfield, things may not be as bad
as they seem. But life is definitely going
to get a whole lot more complicated be-
cause Caulfield is harboring a guilty se-
cret. Sala’s characters are well realized and
vivid, but the novel is tainted by the au-
thor’s cloying moralism.
★ Accidental Felon
Gloria Wolk. Bialkin Books, $21.95 paper
(362p) ISBN 978-0-9652615-5-5
Wolk’s taut legal thriller powerfully
depicts an innocent woman caught up in
the machinery of the criminal justice sys-
tem. Carly Daniels does data entry for
Archer Life Settlements of Southern
California. Despite her mostly clerical du-
ties, a federal investigation of Archer Life
for insurance fraud
catches her in its net.
The company special-
ized in viatical settle-
ments in which termi-
nally ill people sold
their life insurance pol-
icies for cash. The
Justice Department
believes that Archer Life routinely bought
policies it knew were fraudulent, taken
out by policyholders who had lied about
serious pre-existing medical conditions—
a practice called clean-sheeting—before
applying for coverage. Daniels does her
best to aid the probe, but is indicted any-
way, and faces the prospect of jail, which
is especially disturbing given her son’s
Asperger syndrome. The details of the al-
leged scheme are clearly conveyed, but
the book’s real strength stems from its
David vs. Goliath battle to avoid an un-
just criminal conviction.
After the Fog
Kathleen Shoop. CreateSpace (www.cre-
atespace.com), $14.99 paper (416p) ISBN
978-1-4699-3570-6
Set in the steel town of Donora, Pa.,
Shoop’s second novel follows hard-drink-
ing, foul-mouthed community nurse Rose
Pavlesic as she struggles to maintain con-
trol over her family and life. Raised in a
“wretched orphanage,” Rose compensates
for her unfortunate upbringing by excel-
ling as a nurse and encouraging her teen-
age twins to attend college and escape the
mill town. Everything begins to disinte-
grate, though, when she finds out both
children have different plans and her hus-
band loses his job at the mill. Rose’s own
career is at risk when the new mill super-
intendent’s wife, Mrs. Sebastian, is reluc-
tant to fund the town health clinic.
Through her attempts to persuade Mrs.
Sebastian by treating her asthmatic
daughter, Rose is forced to confront a se-
cret from her own past. Rose’s personal
drama unfolds as a “killing smog” de-
scends on Donora, forcing her to care for
dozens of suffocating townsfolk. As one
surprise follows another, each begins to
lose its shock value and the novel de-
scends into melodrama. The unexplained
smog, an actual event that killed 20
Donora residents and sickened thousands,
becomes an afterthought in the back-
ground of Rose’s family conflicts. Despite
its potential, too many twists and sub-
plots crowd the novel, leaving it feeling
unfocused.
Babes in Tinseltown: A Mystery of
Hollywood’s Golden Age
Sheri Cobb South. CreateSpace (www.cre-
atespace.com), $12.95 paper (238p) ISBN
978-1-4700-9374-7
Cardboard leads and a paper-thin plot
are the primary features of this subpar
whodunit from South.
The year 1936 finds
19-year-old Frankie
Foster traveling to Hollywood from
Georgia to pursue her dreams of stardom.
Her train trip takes an unexpected turn
when she is enlisted to help Mitch
Gannon, an attractive man who boarded
without a ticket. He returns the favor al-
most immediately, rescuing her from a
pimp who attempts to convince her that
he’s a star-maker when she arrives in
California. Foster is painfully naïve and
struggles to navigate an unfamiliar world.
Gannon ends up doing her another turn,
this time professionally. After his training
as an engineer lands him a job as best boy
for Monumental Pictures, he persuades
producer Artie Cohen to give Foster a
spot as a film extra. Soon after, Cohen
drops dead, and Foster takes it upon her-
self to investigate what she is convinced is
his murder. Her awkward amateur sleuth-
ing, coupled with predictable romantic
developments, don’t add up to a satisfy-
ing read.
The Breeders
Matthew J. Beier. Epicality (www.matthewbei-
er.com), $14.99 paper (426p) ISBN 978-0-
9838594-0-6
In this tense, dystopian thriller, Beier
inverts the social order to explore sexual
politics on a global level. Several centuries
from now, following the devastating Bio
Wars, homosexuals
have seized control of
what’s left of the
world, turning hetero-
sexuals into a heavily
oppressed minority,
good only for strictly
regulated breeding
purposes. And when
Dex Wheelock and Grace Jarvis—both
part of the ruling order’s backup plan for
reproduction—conceive a child during a
one-night stand, they are forced to go un-
derground to avoid prison—or worse.
Meanwhile, the ruling New Rainbow
Order sets plans in motion to enact a final
solution for all heterosexuals. The end re-
sult is a bleak, terrifying world in which
Fiction
Reviews
P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 24
all hope seems lost.
Unfortunately, Beier takes
his material so seriously that
the book’s satirical elements may be lost
on many readers. The author’s solid prose
and unforgettable story line are undone
by heavy-handed allegories and an unsat-
isfying conclusion.
Dead Light
Mike Pace. River Point (www.riverpointpress
.com), $11 paper (450pp) ISBN 978-0-615-
51842-8
This horror novel draws readers in with
a likable hero, Sheriff Estin Booker, who
is trying to solve a series of teen suicides
in the town of Cumberton, Md. Booker is
joined by Anna Tucci, a Baltimore homi-
cide detective on a forced vacation whose
tough attitude and
smart remarks lead the
sheriff to label her a
“bitch.” Naturally,
they are romantically
involved by the end of
the book. While the
two cops exchange
forced and inappropri-
ate banter and chase clumsily placed red
herrings, frequent flashbacks to colonial
Maryland inform the reader that the cause
of the suicides is more supernatural in ori-
gin. Unfortunately, the book degenerates
into increasingly gory deaths and a wildly
unlikely plan to save the world. The cli-
max is dragged out with multiple near-
disasters and dramatic flashback revela-
tions, diluting any fulfillment readers
might derive from solving the contrived
mystery.
Designer Dirty Laundry
Diane Vallere. Polyester Press (www.polyester-
press.com), $14.99 paper (274p) ISBN 978-0-
9849653-0-4
Vallere’s decades of experience in the
fashion industry don’t quite translate into
entertaining storytell-
ing in this middling
cozy. Samantha Kidd
takes a professional
gamble—leaving her
secure job as senior
buyer of ladies’ design-
er shoes in New York
City to become the
trend specialist at Traveda—a family
owned company in her hometown of
Ribbon, Pa. But the first day at her new
job couldn’t be worse: she finds her fash-
ion director boss, Patrick, dead in an ele-
vator, and after the EMTs arrive to trans-
port the corpse, the body vanishes. With
the only person able to verify her employ-
er dead, and no actual body to examine,
the police are naturally skeptical of her
story. Determined to restore her reputa-
tion, Kidd sets about playing detective.
Patrick’s scheduled involvement in an up-
coming design competition—he was to
be one of the judges—is one of several
motives Kidd investigates. Her bravado
(“Some crazy killer out there was going
about to learn one thing. You don’t mess
with the Kidd”) comes across as silly rath-
er than convincing, and the intelligence
Kidd must have had to succeed in her
field is sadly absent in her avocation as
amateur sleuth.
The Devil’s Dime
Bailey Bristol. Prairie Muse (www.prairiemuse
.com), $14.99 paper (372p) ISBN 978-1-
937216-16-0
Set in 1896, this engaging, if uneven,
first volume in Bristol’s Samaritan Files
series introduces New York Times reporter
Jess Pepper, whose investigation into a
decades-old string of violent crimes un-
covers corruption in high places and sets
into motion a series of events with wide-
ranging consequences. When lovely vio-
linist Addie Magee locates her long-lost
father, Ford Magee, she quickly learns
that Police Chief Deacon Trumbull is also
hunting for Ford, with whom he has a
score to settle. Meanwhile, Pepper, blind-
ly smitten with Addie, pens a column
that inadvertently leads the corrupt
Trumbull right to Ford’s door, putting
the old man’s life on the line. All is re-
solved with just a touch of forgivable deus
ex machina. While the romance is tender
and the suspense taught, the overall effect
is confused.
Eucalyptus and Green Parrots
Lori Eaton. Lori Eaton (www.lorieaton.word-
press.com), $8.99 paper (250p) ISBN 978-0-
9851614-0-8
Virginia and Clem Reed are Americans
living in Argentina in 1943. While
WWII rages all around the globe,
Argentina remains neutral. But Clem—
who works for a cotton exporter—yearns
to do more for the Allied war effort. On a
trip to the coast, he tells Virginia he has
become involved in covert operations to
smuggle radio equipment that will help
locate German ships. Virginia is furious,
especially when Clem leaves to go on a
mission and their daughter falls ill. When
Clem returns, he is arrested for covert ac-
tivities, and Virginia must take control of
her family and save her husband. Eaton
offers a detailed look at a place and time
with which most readers will not be fa-
miliar and describes an often overlooked
aspect of the espionage story: the suffer-
ing of the family at home. While
Virginia’s experience of the war is far less
colorful than Clem’s, her story is compel-
ling and told convincingly. Eaton’s tale
never quite achieves the intensity requi-
site for a tale of espionage, but readers
will still be curious about Virginia and
Clem’s fates.
Expecting
Lula Belle. Creative License Press (www.ulla-
belleauthor.com), $10.50 paper (272p) ISBN
978-0-615-57254-3
Belle’s explicitly preachy debut is an
exploration of an alternate America in
which Sarah Palin—after the death of
John McCain—became president and
promptly restricted reproductive rights
across the country. Living in Palin’s
United States is 15-year-old Sheila
Martin, a rape victim
whose mother won’t let
her get an abortion.
Instead, Sheila is sent
away to a House of
Mercy, a destination
for underage, pregnant
girls. Her roommate,
an 11-year-old girl
who was raped repeatedly by her older
brother and forced by her Roman
Catholic parents to keep the child, crys-
tallizes Sheila’s feelings about abortion.
Soon, Sheila resolves to help her room-
mate escape and get an abortion, but her
plan fails, setting up further confronta-
tions with her parents and the system.
Belle’s novel—perhaps an attempt at a
cross between Girl Interrupted and The
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Handmaid’s Tale—is sadly little more than
a diatribe against conservative America,
thinly veiled as a teenager’s journal.
While readers will sympathize with
Sheila’s experience and find her voice rea-
sonably convincing, the insertion of facts
about abortion and lectures against its re-
striction diminish her story.
Extra Innings
Bruce E. Spitzer. Bear Hill Media (www.extrain-
ningsthenovel.com), $16.95 paper (412p)
ISBN 978-0-9849569-0-6
A preposterous premise and predictable
plot fail to diminish the entertainment
value of Spitzer’s debut novel, in which
Ted Williams (widely acknowledged as
the greatest hitter in baseball history) is
resurrected via the science of cryonics in
the year 2092—nine decades after his
real-world death at the
age of 83. Dr. Elizabeth
Miles reanimates
Williams by grafting
his preserved, frozen
head onto the body of a
deceased 25-year-old
professional tennis
player, and although it
takes him several months to adapt to his
new surroundings, Williams winds up re-
living significant elements of his first life
by rejoining his old team, the Boston Red
Sox (which now plays at Fenway Island,
after global warming generated coastal
flooding) and then re-enlisting in the
United States Marine Corps to fight the
Pakistanis. Along the way, Williams must
adjust to a baseball culture in which play-
ers legally consume a mixture of steroids
known as “the cocktail” and the pitchers
are hulking robots. He even manages to
fall in love. Spitzer seamlessly mixes fact
with fiction, and the future world he
imagines isn’t too far-fetched. But by at-
tempting to make sweeping statements
about everything from performance-en-
hancing drugs, global warming, and cor-
porate greed to war, morality, and mortal-
ity, Spitzer swings for the fences when a
triple or even a double would have been
good enough.
Eyes of God
Philip Babcock. Edgeworth Press (www.cre-
atespace.com), $12.95 paper (354p) ISBN
978-1-4637-2819-9
This political thriller labors under its
own weighty atmosphere and is tripped
up by the author’s
heavy-handed style, al-
though the web of in-
trigue at the book’s
center is well construct-
ed. When an ex-pat oil
executive in Indonesia
commits suspicious sui-
cide, his protégé, Harry
Griffin, is thrown into a dangerous mire
when he questions the official story. Soon
a fugitive, Harry flirts with insanity and
endures delusional bouts as he struggles
to piece the story together. Corrupt gov-
ernment officials, greedy foreign busi-
nesses, and crooked diplomats make the
situation all the more fraught.
Meanwhile, Indonesia in 1998 is in tur-
moil—rioting and a financial crisis even-
tually result in the ousting of Suharto.
Babcock’s novel—which features a myste-
rious narrator prone to long tangents—is
bloated with awkward, vaguely artful
prose. Readers’ interest may flag.
The Firing of Stephen Ledberg
Allen Lenzner. The Troy Book Makers (www
.thetroybookmakers.com), $21 paper (298p)
ISBN 978-1-61468-059-8
More a muddle than a mystery, this
strange novel ham-handedly shoehorns is-
sues of race and religion into a bewilder-
ing plot. Beginning on a light note, the
novel introduces hapless reporter Stephen
Ledberg, who discovers some naughty
dealings on a golf course. As it turns out,
his discovery is merely an entrée into a
drama of hidden identities, political cor-
ruption, and African economic policy.
Stephen is fired because of the story, but
quickly gets a new job helping free spuri-
ously jailed civil rights activist Marcus
Aurelius Brown. When Marcus skips bail
and flees to Africa, Stephen is sent after
him, but fails to persuade the civil rights
activist to return. Improbably, nearly ev-
ery character from the first part of the
novel then shows up in Africa. There’s
also a confusing subplot about Jewish
businesses in Tanzania and a bizarre inter-
lude involving Ralph Nader. These ele-
ments only contribute to the confusion.
FireSeed One
Catherine Stine. Konjur Road
(www.createspace.com),
$11.10 paper (296p) ISBN 978-0-9848282-0-3
Set in 2089, Stine’s latest adventure de-
scribes a globally overcooked and devas-
tated Earth divided into three sociopoliti-
cal regions: the Hotzone, where burn-
scarred workers struggle to survive in 160
degree temperatures;
Land Dominion, where
realtor Melvyn Baron
builds an empire by ex-
ploiting the Hotzone
and its people; and
Ocean Dominion,
where newly orphaned
teen hero Varik Teitur runs a vast sea
farm. But when Marisa Baron—the ideal-
istic, rebellious teenage daughter of
Melvyn—and her activist friends break
into Varik’s farm, his crops are poisoned
and humanity’s food supply is imperiled.
Cardboard characters Varik and Marisa
embark on a predictable quest to find
FireSeed, exotic plant life that can rebuild
their world. In a fictional world creakily
created to allow Stine to present her poli-
tics, Varik’s predictable coming-of-age
story and general hypersensitivity under-
mine this would-be thriller.
Julia Episcopa: A Woman’s
Struggle in the Church
John I. Rigoli. MBA Consultants, $14.95 paper
(296p) ISBN 978-0-615-59023-3
In an effort to prove there were no fe-
male leaders in the earliest Christian com-
munities, Cardinal Antonio Ricci charges
two women scholars, Valentina Vella and
Erika Simone, to pore over manuscripts in
the Vatican to produce materials confirm-
ing the primacy of male leaders from the
beginnings of Christian history. In the
novel’s opening scenes, the women stum-
ble upon a scroll written by Julia
Episcopa (formerly Julia Achilles), who
performed the duties of
bishop in late first-cen-
tury Rome. To investi-
gate further, they enlist
the help of a seasoned
archeologist and
Mossad agent, Yigael
Dorian—who previous-
ly discovered other doc-
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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 26
uments relating to Julia. The
women must deceive the
Vatican as they gather evi-
dence in an intrigue-filled journey that
takes them from Paris to Jerusalem and
Ostia. Lacking suspense, believable con-
flicts, convincing characters, and replete
with stilted dialogue, Rigoli’s preachy
novel tells an oft-told tale (scholars have
long known that women served in these
offices) that is little more than a veiled at-
tempt to assert his views of the Roman
Catholic Church’s teachings.
Naija Stories: Of Tears and Kisses,
Heroes and Villains
Edited by Myne Whitman. NS Publishing
(www.naijastories.com), $14.99 paper (260p)
ISBN 978-0-615-61355-0
In the introduction to this anthology of
short stories by contemporary Nigerian
writers, the editors make it clear that they
intend to avoid the clichés of African lit-
erature. “Most of us have only seen zebras
in the zoo,” they write. Selected from con-
tributions to the Naija
Stories Web site, the
stories in this antholo-
gy certainly eschew
many of the expecta-
tions of African litera-
ture, but, unfortunate-
ly, they do little to
build any new or excit-
ing literature in its place. Many of the
stories demonstrate some of the common
pitfalls of inexperienced writers: poor pac-
ing, didactic moralizing, and an inability
to differentiate between story and anec-
dote. Ironically, the strongest stories in
the collection—“Visiting Admiral John
Bull,” about a young woman interviewing
her uncle, a leader in the Liberation Army
of the Niger Delta, and “What
Theophilus Did,” in which the author
teases out the conflicts between
Christianity and tribal spirituality—are
the tales most interested in African cul-
ture and history. While the intentions be-
hind this anthology are certainly admira-
ble, the results are lackluster.
One Passion
Teresa B. Matvejs. Dorrance (www.dorrance-
publishing.com), $24 paper (316p) ISBN 978-
1-4349-1126-1
Rose Vitkovskis is a lifelong circus per-
former and mother of five children. Her
time in the circus has been a mix of famil-
ial community and economic uncertainty,
and she couldn’t imagine life any other
way. But when a natural disaster destroys
the circus, Rose ends up in Brisbane,
Australia, where she starts film school,
but has trouble adjusting to civilian life.
However, she is soon discovered by a pro-
ducer and sells the rights to her story, al-
lowing her to restore the circus to its for-
mer glory and reunite all her friends.
Matvejs’s debut reads like thinly veiled
memoir masking as fiction. The author’s
experience as a circus performer is appar-
ent on every page, and this realism will be
appreciated by readers. However, the nar-
rative meanders and is repetitive, the dia-
logue is stilted, and the prose is tedious.
While Matvejs clearly has a fascinating
story to tell, she fails to present it in a
compelling way.
Prescriptions for Boredom:
Take Two a Day
Ruth Ada Clark. Vantage (www.vantagepress
.com), $15.95 paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-533-
16508-7
Clark’s story collection features highly
descriptive portraits of smalltown life that
examine themes such as racism and senili-
ty through protagonists ranging from ec-
centric elderly women to beavers.
Throughout, style trumps content and
story development, and there are few con-
nections between stories. While Clark
demonstrates an excellent command of de-
scriptive language, some of her creative
choices are bewildering and presented
with little context. While many story col-
lections have a unifying theme (geograph-
ic, etc.), this collection seems to have no
common motif, which some readers may
find frustrating. Additionally, readers may
have difficulty becoming emotionally in-
vested in any of the characters. At best,
these are snapshots of Midwestern life.
Redemption Day
Steve O’Brien. A&N (www.aandnpublishing
.com), $14.95 paper (313p) ISBN 978-0-
9820735-2-0
When Supreme Court Justice Silvio
Caprelli is kidnapped, all the evidence
points to recently laid-off terrorism ana-
lyst and protagonist Nick James. Now
both the terrorists and the government
are out to get him in this testosterone-
fueled novel featuring plenty of violence,
a crazed and committed militia group, a
sexy female FBI agent, government graft,
intrigue, creepiness (Caprelli is seques-
tered in a coffin), and a romantic subplot.
Readers might hear a patriotic score play-
ing in the background when the action
closes in on Washington, D.C., and the
book lurches toward its violent but righ-
teous conclusion. Unfortunately,
O’Brien’s characters are no more than car-
icatures, and readers will have little in-
vested in who survives and who dies a
miserable death—by toxin, via noose—
and it’s pretty clear from the start who’s
going to triumph in the end.
Resistors
Peter T. Tomaras. CreateSpace (www.cre-
atespace.com), $15.99 paper (380p) ISBN
978-1-46803-916-0
Set in Egypt in
1982, Tomaras’s
uneven historical
thriller begins with
a bang as federal air
marshal Stephen
Kappas succeeds in
foiling a hijacking
attempt by terrorists on a flight from
Cairo to Cyprus. After an attractive stew-
ardess is taken hostage, Kappas’s quick
thinking saves the day and prevents the
death of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Mitchell Robertson. Whatever momen-
tum this beginning generates is quickly
lost when Tomaras launches into a series
of flashbacks, first to the meeting of his
hero’s parents in 1948, and then to
Tomaras’s school years in Sparta, Wis. By
the time the leaders of the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine–General
Command—the terrorist organization be-
hind the hijacking attempt—reappear
and vow retribution, many readers will
have lost interest—a problem exacerbated
by additional visits to Kappas’s past that
do little to flesh out his character. The au-
thor throws in the de rigueur romance,
but it lacks genuine emotion, and the
eventual resolution of the plot strains
credulity.
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Robert, Last Name Unknown
Robert Corrales. Vantage (www.vantagepress
.com), $16.95 paper (379p) ISBN 978-0-533-
16516-2
Corrales’s novel—based on “a lifetime
of memories”—reads like an optimistic
and less profane cousin to the slightly fic-
tionalized autobiography of Charles
Bukowski. Impressionistic vignettes of
early childhood in a German orphanage
lead to an overly detailed blow-by-blow
account of how the protagonist, Robert,
bootstrapped himself from runaway or-
phan to aeronautics tycoon, all on his
powerful knack for business and inven-
tion. There is an interesting story here,
but it is hampered by anachronism (as his
son contemplates fighting in the Vietnam
War, Robert orders the confiscation of
laptops), grammatical errors (the text
switches person, narrator, and tense with-
out warning and with disruptive frequen-
cy), and repetition of events. Additionally,
Robert’s constant business success is hard
to believe.
The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice
Amy Logan. Priya Press (www.7perfumes
.com), $14.95 paper (268p) ISBN 978-0-
9853080-1-8
Logan’s debut novel deftly explores
honor killing, religious suppression, and
the Druze—a Middle Eastern religious
sect—as seen through the eyes of an
American journalist seeking justice. On
assignment in Israel, freelance reporter
Fereby McCullough Jones is outraged and
grief-stricken when her Druze friend,
Leila, is found brutally murdered in what
is ruled an accidental death. Believing
that the reason for her friend’s death is
tied to Leila’s forbidden and provocative
paintings, Fereby begins a tumultuous
journey to find the truth. The book’s
many characters are well drawn, vivid,
and, like puzzle pieces, each is essential to
the whole. At times the depth of histori-
cal detail disrupts the narrative flow, but
in the end this thought-provoking tale is
part women’s history, part armchair ad-
venture, and an eye-opening investigation
of an often hidden world.
Three and a Half Virgins
John Blumenthal. Farmer Street Press (www
.threeandahalfvirgins.net) $17.95 paper
(286p) ISBN 978-0-9679444-1-8
This latest from the author of What’s
Wrong with Dorfman? tells the tale of
Jimmy Hendricks, a lonely, middle-aged
man on the brink of di-
vorce, who finds him-
self reminiscing about
his old girlfriends.
Jimmy contemplates
the what-ifs, all the
while fantasizing about
the possibility of re-
union. But when he re-
members the cruel ways he ended his rela-
tionships, Jimmy decides to repent in
person—and if in the process a torrid love
affair ensues, then so be it. As he makes
his apologies, Jimmy drags along friend
Morris, an Orthodox Jew, whose obser-
vant habits are featured prominently.
Each of his exes gets her own chapter,
with Jimmy first giving a full account of
their past relationship, followed by their
present-day encounter. However, this
proves to be more of a chance for Jimmy
to flaunt his sexual conquests and de-
scribe in detail how he tricked this series
of hot women into sleeping with him.
The novel features a slew of scenes that
seem inspired by pornographic films, e.g.,
Jimmy’s soon-to-be ex-wife turns to his
new girlfriend and compliments her “nice
tight ass.” Blumenthal’s bumbling main
character has wit, and there are moments
of definite charm in the dialogue, but not
enough to salvage the flimsy structure of
this sexual odyssey.
★ Touchback
Don Handfield. Sky Village Press, $12.99 pa-
per (272p) ISBN 978-0-9854552-8-6
Handfield’s novel about a fallen foot-
ball star and second chances—the 2011
film adaptation of which, written and di-
rected by Handfield, starred Kurt Russell
and Christine Lahti—will resonate with
readers. One of Scott Murphy’s finest mo-
ments came as a high
school star quarterback
when he scored the
winning touchdown in
the championship game
in Coldwater, Ohio.
But Murphy was vi-
ciously tackled on the
same play, leaving his
leg bones shattered. Living
in Coldwater 20 years later,
Murphy, who lost his father
in the Vietnam War, still suffers from his
football injury and is haunted by fantasies
of his stunted pro-football career. A vol-
unteer fireman, Murphy’s life is a succes-
sion of failures—his soybean farm is fi-
nancially imperiled and his marriage is
sexless and stagnant—and he sees suicide
as the only option. But instead of a heav-
enly afterlife, Murphy finds himself
young again, back in high school, and
with the opportunity to change the course
of his life. Although the premise of right-
ing the past’s wrongs is a well-worn
theme, the author’s treatment is engaging
and his breezy, uncomplicated style will
appeal to readers looking for a feel-good
summer read.
The Weapon
Heather Hopkins. Vantage Press (www.van-
tagepress.com), $15.95 paper (288p) ISBN
978-0-533-16476-9
Hopkins will lose many of her readers
from the outset of this present-day thrill-
er when she introduces her heroine,
Veronica Stone, “the leading technologist
in the world,” who also happens to be
“tall, raven-haired, and curvaceous,” and
often mistaken for a model. After her
company rolls out a high-definition,
three-dimensional video cellphone, Stone
is approached by her chief business rival,
Hirojia Nakashimi, who wants her assis-
tance making conventional arms obsolete
by weaponizing radio signals and light—
the key to creating this new weapon
(based on old Russian plans) is Stone’s
breakthrough in three-dimensional imag-
ing. Unsurprisingly, Stone’s decision to
help Nakashimi places her life in jeopardy
and leads to threats against her family.
Plausibility is in short supply, with hard-
to-believe gaps in national security creat-
ed to advance the plot and Stone’s trans-
formation into a woman of action uncon-
vincing.
White Heat
Paul D. Marks. Timeless Skies Publishing
(www.timelessskiespublishing.blogspot.com),
$14.99 paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-9850760-2-3
A stalker slaying modeled on the 1989
murder of television actress Rebecca
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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 28
Schaeffer
forms the
basis of
this taut crime yarn set
in 1992 against the
turmoil of the Los
Angeles riots that fol-
lowed the acquittal of
the police officers charged with assaulting
motorist Rodney King. PI Duke Rogers
views his life as a succession of failures—
and those culminate with an error in
judgment that leads to murder. When a
squirrelly man named Jim Talbot hires
Rogers to track down his friend Teddie
Matson, the sleuth uses a source at the
Department of Motor Vehicles to get
Matson’s address. But a week later,
Rogers is horrified to learn that Matson,
an actress, was shot to death in her
home—and the PI is sure all the evidence
points to Talbot. Pressured by his friend
at the DMV to come forward, Rogers de-
cides to close the case himself. Rogers’s
powerful guilt over Matson’s death suc-
cessfully drives the plot, and the author
ably evokes the chaos that erupted after
the Rodney King verdict.
Zero Point
Wasique Mirza. $24.99 paper (356p) ISBN
978-1-257-79192-7
Mirza’s present-day political thriller set
in Pakistan begins in dramatic fashion,
but is undone by a contrived plot. Malik
Jahangir, a strong candidate to become
his country’s next prime minister, is shot
to death while addressing a campaign ral-
ly in Rawalpindi. Suspicions about his
death are fueled when authorities prevent
doctors from performing an autopsy.
Among those suspicious about the coun-
try’s official line on the tragedy is Dr.
Kamran Haidar, who teams up with re-
porter Sana Aziz to investigate the slay-
ing. Early sections of the book introduc-
ing Jack Donaldson, a Texas senator and
presidential aspirant, and Bronx hitman
Vincent Portelli, suggest a possible
American role in the assassination.
Meanwhile, Haidar—risking his career—
steals blood specimens drawn from
Jahangir for independent analysis. He
soon finds himself in the crosshairs of an
assassin, who—improbably and conve-
niently for the plot—fails to confirm the
death of a target. Fans of political sus-
pense novels may be intrigued by the ex-
otic setting, but will likely be disappoint-
ed by the illogical story line.
Nonfiction
★ By His Own Blood
John Montandon. Rockford Brownstone (www.
byhisownblood.com), $14.95 paper (302p)
ISBN 978-0-615-60483-1
This sincere, gentle memoir documents
the unfortunate story of the death of the
author’s beloved father, Doc Montandon,
an elderly Texas farmer infected with HIV
via a blood transfusion in 1985, when
testing was rare, public policy unformu-
lated, and public perception of the disease
fearful and linked almost entirely to ho-
mosexuality. The bulk of Montandon’s
book is neither medical nor legal drama
but rather simple family stories about
growing up on a farm, told in straightfor-
ward prose that emphasizes Doc’s virtues.
Montandon’s depiction of his family
throughout his life and during his father’s
death is understated and told with digni-
ty and grace. And in this—more than in
addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS—the
book succeeds as a heartwarming bit of
rural Americana and a loving story of a
mostly unremarkable life.
Campaign!: The 1983 Election
That Rocked Chicago
Peter Nolan. Amika Press (www.amikapress
.com), $16.95 paper (220p) ISBN 978-0-
9708416-8-1
This veteran newsman’s account of the
tumultuous mayoral race that upended
city politics and made Harold
Washington the first African-American to
lead the city of Chicago offers a bit of po-
litical history, some rough character
sketches, and snippets of professional
memoir. Nolan paints a deft portrait of
the political vacuum that ensued after
iconic mayor Richard J. Daley’s death in
1976 and the players that jockeyed to fill
his shoes. As a political reporter, he’s
well-informed about the way things
worked in Chicago, but his periodic de-
partures into what seems to be nostalgia
for an outdated model of governance
prove distracting. At the same time, the
dispassionate recounting of brutal race
politics and their inflammatory effect on
the 1983 election offers a solid, workman-
like piece of journalistic history. Nolan’s
dedication to recounting the perspective
and political records of bit players,
though, means he commits the journalis-
tic sin of burying the lede, noting only in
passing that a federal investigation into
voter fraud threw Washington’s 48,000-
vote margin of victory into question.
Drowning in the Dark:
My Descent into Hell and
the Long Road Back
Daniel C. Friend. Inkwater (www.inkwater-
press.com), $12.95 paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-
59299-730-5
Entering the Air Force in 1963, Friend
served in the Air Defense Command be-
fore traveling worldwide as a CIA opera-
tions officer and instructor and working in
special operations and counterterrorism.
He was still in the CIA when he began his
14-year battle with suicidal depression. In
1988, he was ready for a new assignment
in Pakistan, but his wife did not want him
to go. In what he regards as a “betrayal of
mammoth proportions,” she made a phone
call that put him in a mental hospital,
preventing his planned career move. In
the first part of this memoir, Friend de-
scribes life in the psych ward: the medica-
tions, the psychological tests, his friends
there (and the loss when they were dis-
charged), group therapy, the stress of deal-
ing with his domineering wife, and a di-
agnosis of bipolar disorder. Retiring from
the agency, he finds new work in San Luis
Obispo, Calif., and separates from his
wife. Although Friend’s prose is literal and
flat, his struggle to rebuild his life after
losing his family, friends, and career keeps
one turning pages.
★ Far Distant Echo:
A Journey by Canoe from
Lake Superior to Hudson Bay
Fred Marks and Jay Timmerman. Vantage
Press (www.vantagepress.com), $17.95 paper
(344p) ISBN 978-0-533-16463-9 
Outdoorsmen and armchair travelers
will encounter history, ravenous insects,
trail menus, hungry bears, and the quiet
joys of endurance in this intriguing re-
counting of a 2008 canoe expedition. Six
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men began a 1,300-mile canoe trip along
a traditional fur-trading route. During
the two-and-a-half-month expedition,
four of them dropped out. One of the two
who saw it through (Marks) turned 62 on
the trail, and the satisfaction of the au-
thors at completing the trek is expressed
in vibrant if understated language: “Both
of our hearts were racing. We had made
it.” The highly detailed account of plan-
ning the trip underscores the atmosphere
of authenticity, and problems encountered
along the way ring true. This is no jour-
nal of transcendental rapture; the empha-
sis is on the incidental and, often, on mis-
haps. Moments of serendipity, too, are
presented keenly. Yet the perspective is
not mere self-absorption: the account
touches upon Canadian culture and histo-
ry. Invoking traditions of earlier travelers
on the route extends this theme. But anti-
quarianism is no goal in itself; the travel-
ers rely on satellite phones and GPS de-
vices as well as maps. Although the expe-
dition concludes with an airplane flight
home, no ironic overtones seem intended
in the comment: “sorrowfully we are on
our way back to the twenty-first century.”
Readers with a yen for adventure—
whether in person or vicariously—will
appreciate the achievement and the wil-
derness explored along the way.
Governing Ourselves:
How Americans Can Restore
Their Freedom
Harold D. Thomas. Booklocker (www.book-
locker.com), $14.95 paper (194p) ISBN 978-1-
61434-913-6
Sweeping statements bolstered by opin-
ion rather than research form the back-
bone of this Tea Party–tinged treatise on
the proper role of government in the lives
of the citizenry. Thomas begins by enu-
merating the failures of the federal gov-
ernment, followed by the familiar dooms-
day scenarios of collapsing currency and
foreign domination,
before presenting
purely fictional case
studies of what life
would be like if a lib-
ertarian utopia
emerged post-crash. In
this scenario, corpora-
tions police them-
selves, banks operate with transparency
and ethics, and children are home-
schooled by mothers who don’t work.
Problematically, the book goes on to uti-
lize these invented case studies as evidence
that social programs only foster depen-
dence and laziness, and that regulations do
nothing but suppress entrepreneurship.
Thomas further claims that trade unions
are unnecessary because people can always
find other jobs, that unemployment insur-
ance and Social Security simply bail peo-
ple out of bad life decisions, and that the
needy could be cared for by the charity of
their community. A chapter on the envi-
ronment dismisses global climate change.
Readers looking for doctrinaire right-
wing politics will find it here..
The Green Foodprint:
Food Choices for Healthy People
and a Healthy Planet
Linda K. Riebel. Print and Pixel (www
.thegreenfoodprint.com), $15.95 paper
(200p) ISBN 978-0-9833051-1-8
Environmental educator Riebel’s updat-
ed and expanded follow-up to Eating to
Save the Earth is a congenial treatise on the
importance of conscious eating. Her equa-
tion is simple: wise food choices equal
greater personal and planetary health.
With appealing can-do spirit, Riebel re-
sists bashing the prime suspects behind
global warming, diminishing natural re-
sources, and epidemic rates of obesity and
life-threatening diseases. Instead, she de-
scribes efforts made by various people,
businesses, and public and nonprofit orga-
nizations to lighten individual and collec-
tive “foodprints”—the toxic waste created
by the production, distribution, and con-
sumption of food and beverages. Riebel
offers tips and case studies for developing
Earth-friendly practices: eating seasonally,
purchasing organic whole foods, limiting
intake of meat, dairy, eggs, and fish, sup-
porting local farmers, developing a diverse
diet, and living sustainably at home,
work, and in the community. Some read-
ers may be surprised to learn that simply
covering pots when cooking significantly
cuts energy use, that soaping hands before
turning on the faucet saves gallons of wa-
ter, and that not stocking up on perish-
ables prevents waste. Most importantly,
Riebel makes it clear that even with little
time, money, and effort, ev-
eryone can do something
kind for themselves and the
earth by eating smart.
★ Hill of Beans: Coming of Age
in the Last Days of the Old South
John Snyder. Smith/Kerr (www.smithkerr
.com), $24 paper (256 pages) ISBN 978-0-
9830622-0-2
In this moving memoir, Snyder docu-
ments growing up in the Carolinas dur-
ing the Great Depression and offers a de-
tailed look at that fascinating period of
American history. Presenting remem-
brances from three geographic locations
that shaped his young life, Snyder ex-
plores Cedar Mountain, N.C., “a remote
place inhabited by mountaineers” who
lived in rough cabins without electricity
until the late 1930s; Greenville, S.C.,
“the textile center of the world” in the
early 1940s; and the Snyder family farm
in Walhalla, S.C., where sharecropping
was the primary means of agriculture.
Snyder also expertly profiles a wide range
of family and friends—most notably his
father, a hard man given to arcane phrases
(“Cut that racket!’ he shouts, ‘or I’ll come
down there and transmogrify your para-
phernalia’”) and his Aunt Bess, whose
streak of cruelty is displayed in her love of
killing chickens and telling Snyder and
his brother extremely scary bedtime sto-
ries—all of whom seem to have walked
straight out of a Flannery O’Connor story
and into Snyder’s life.
Inside the Cup: Translating
Starbucks into a Drinkable
Language
Kenneth Brown. Fee Publishing (www.inside-
thecupbook.com), $14.99 paper (250 pages)
ISBN 978-0-9852408-0-6
This is the perfect gift for the kind of
coffee-crazed reader who is partial to
Starbucks and its “half caff, double, tall,
one and a half pump,
soy, extra hot, no
foam, two equal, va-
nilla latte kind of
drinks.” Brown, a for-
mer Starbucks store
manager, offers an un-
authorized, insider’s
look at the world of
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P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY ■ J U LY 9 , 2 0 1 2 30
Starbucks—his goal being to
help customers learn how to
choose and modify drinks in
ways they might not have known possi-
ble. “You’ll learn how to speak
Starbucks,” he promises. It’s a promise on
which he delivers, providing clear, often
humorous, consistently informed, and de-
tailed descriptions of the company’s myri-
ad beverages and the many options avail-
able for each and every drink. After read-
ing Brown, you’ll know how to confi-
dently order espresso shots “long or ris-
tretto” or—to impress friends—
“affogato.” Best of all, Brown spends the
bulk of his book describing the ingredi-
ents of specific drinks (e.g. the Mocha)
and then offering recommendations (the
“Grande Marble Mocha Macchiato—not
well known but underrated”), low-fat op-
tions (“Tall, sugar-free caramel, nonfat, no
whip, mocha”) and decadent options
(“Grande, whole milk, caramel drizzle,
extra whip, in a venti cup, mocha.”)
My Top 40 at 40:
Making the First Half Count
Kari Loya. XK Productions (www.xkproduc-
tions.com), $24.95 hardcover (252p) ISBN
978-0-9847637-0-2
In this entertaining nonfiction collec-
tion, voice-over artist Loya celebrates his
40th birthday with 40 wide-ranging tales
from his own life. During his teens and
early 20s, the author searched for the reclu-
sive J.D. Salinger on his Dartmouth
College campus, parlayed a family connec-
tion into an internship with Nike at the
1992 Barcelona Olympics, and joined
Teach for America to help socio-economi-
cally disadvantaged first- and second-grad-
ers learn to read. In his late 20s he lost his
prudishness and stuffed himself into a
flimsy Speedo in a beach town near Rio de
Janeiro, and hosted a pig roast—feasting
on the animal’s brains—after completing a
triathlon in New Zealand. During his 30s,
Loya celebrated a three-day James Bond
theme wedding in Argentina, enjoyed an
epic six-day, guided horseback crossing of
the Andes, and partied with President
Obama at the Southern Inaugural Ball.
These stories present enthusiastic, energet-
ic, heartfelt if pedestrian musings from a
man in his prime who always tries to enjoy
life to its fullest.
★ Plats du Jour: The girl & the
fig’s Journey Through the Seasons
in Wine Country
Sondra Bernstein. The girl & the fig (www
.platsdujour.net), $48 hardcover (336p) ISBN
978-0-615-51364-5
In this her second cookbook,
Bernstein—chef and proprietor of the girl
& the fig and other restaurants in
Sonoma, Calif.—presents 28 three-course
meals arranged by season and based on
the French custom of daily set menus.
Recipes for more than 100 starters, main
dishes, and desserts call for a cornucopia
of organic fruits and vegetables, but meat
and dairy—and, of course, figs—are the
centerpieces of many recipes, e.g., confits
of duck and rabbit, wild boar ragout,
sweetbreads, pots du crème, custards, and
crème brûlée. Although Bernstein claims
simplicity in her approach, considerable
behind-the-scenes work is required for
these sophisticated dishes. Fortunately,
the promise of these meals—truly rich
and rarified experiences—will provide
readers the incentive to source ingredi-
ents, select cheese and wine, and adapt
recipes to local seasonal fare. The cook-
book’s artful design invites readers to sa-
vor tempting food photographs, study
sidebars on cheese, cured meats, and wine,
and read longer sections about the author’s
collaborators, branded ventures, and
method of growing a business. Together
with her rousing commitment to Sonoma,
the author’s passion will likely spark read-
ers to create their own culinary treasures.
★ P.O.W.: A Sailor’s Story
Ralph C. Poness, edited by Ralph J. Poness.
Vantage (www.vantagepress.com), $16.95 pa-
per (243p) ISBN 978-0-533-16447-9
Ralph C. Poness, who died in 2002,
spent most of WWII in Japanese prison-
er-of-war camps. Although the memories
of WWII brought him “anxiety and
sometimes great pain,” he began to write
about his experiences as a POW. Telling
these grim stories, however, became “al-
most unbearable” for him. In 1991, he
wrote, “The story of my capture at the fall
of Corregidor Island and of my intern-
ment by the Japanese for almost four
years is one of brutality, degradation, tor-
ture, and witnessing agonizing death.”
He describes the chaos in the Philippines
on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
One of the last to leave the navy yard in
Manila, he headed for action in Bataan:
“This small group of sailors and marines,
ill-prepared, lacking logistical support,
and poorly equipped, had been ordered to
attack and defeat a well-trained, well-
equipped, and fanatical enemy.” After his
capture at Corregidor, Poness details de-
privations, humiliations, and horrors at
the Cabanatuan POW camp, where 15–
30 people died each day. He and his fel-
low prisoners were then taken to another
camp in Japan where “daily beatings,
deaths from dysentery, pneumonia and
malnutrition were considered routine.”
Poness documents his survival strategies
amid these nightmarish experiences, but
his closing chapters are filled with joy and
emotional resonance, as he recalls the re-
lief and exhilaration of the Allied victory
and his journey back to America. Poness’s
son has skillfully edited his father’s drafts
into a vivid memoir of WWII.
Prescriptions from Paradise:
Introduction to Biocompatible
Medicine
Carlos M. Viana. Healing Spirit Press (www
.healingspiritpress.com), $25 paperback
(240p) ISBN 978-0-9789920-4-0
In this compendium, clinical nutrition-
ist Viana claims the requirements of so-
cialized medicine and insurance compa-
nies result in mainstream physicians of-
fering generic, ineffective care, and offers
an alternate approach to healing. In an
appendix to his alphabetically listed
guide to treatments, health concerns, and
life-threatening illness, he explains the
concept of biocompatible medicine, a
healing modality he developed at his
medical center in Aruba to provide opti-
mal, personalized treatments that are not
recognized or not covered by insurers.
Those unfamiliar with Viana’s complex
philosophy should read this section before
reviewing his recommendations. Certified
in traditional Chinese medicine, addic-
tionology, and colon hydrotherapy, Viana
draws on myriad holistic and traditional
practices for his three-step program of de-
toxification, nutritional therapy, and life-
style changes, placing emphasis on oral
health, stress relief, and pH balance. His
methods of reducing inflammation and
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WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 31
acidity—which he cites as implicated in
all degenerative conditions—include so-
phisticated testing, a blood type–based
diet, acupuncture, colon cleansing, chela-
tion therapy, and in more extreme cases,
cell replacement injections. In each of the
book’s sections, Viana defines his subject,
places it within a biocompatible frame-
work, and concludes with a brief list of
suggestions. The volume serves best as an
introduction to Viana’s work rather than a
comprehensive reference. Readers inter-
ested in alternative healthcare will find
Viana’s advice fascinating and his view-
point fresh.
Vodka on My Wheaties
Ann Lloyd. Biographical Publishing (www.bio-
pub.co.cc), $19.95 paper (361p) ISBN 978-1-
929882-57-1
Lloyd’s unconventional memoir is told
with gusto and packed with honest, en-
tertaining episodes. Raised by “intense
and neurotic” parents, the quirky narrator
with a “mind and a will of [her] own” en-
dures a lonely childhood and tumbles
through her colorful life. Tying the knot
with her handsome boyfriend results in a
dangerous marriage that threatens her
life. Her second mar-
riage leads the author
to support her new
husband’s many “failed
business enterprises”
and then maintain a
resort in the Bahamas.
Her brief third mar-
riage leads to substance
abuse, as she starts “drowning her depres-
sion in vodka.” Eventually Lloyd discov-
ers a 12-step program to maintain sobri-
ety, filling the “empty void left by the re-
moval of alcohol” with the “fruits of spiri-
tuality.” But the onset of an autoimmune
disease changes everything and forces
Lloyd to remake her life yet again. The
author’s constant digressions, excessive
detail, and meandering narrative hinder
this account of her adventures, but her
voice remains determined and fearless
nevertheless. Unapologetic name-drop-
ping is made more convenient—and
slightly more ridiculous—by the inclu-
sion of a “Celebrity Index.”
Children’s
Books
Picture Books
Oscar
Amber Tayler, illus. by Kelly Ewing Powell.
Robertson Publishing (www.Robertson-
Publishing.com), $9.99 paper ISBN 978-1-
61170-057-2
Inspired by the childhood transgres-
sions of Tayler’s (What Do Monsters Look
Like?) son, this breezy book chronicles a
day in the life of a free-spirited toddler
and his beleaguered mother. The day
starts out auspiciously, with Oscar put-
ting on his matching dinosaur T-shirt and
underwear, reminding his mother that
“that meant it was going to be a good
day.” Alas, not for
her. In quick suc-
cession, Oscar
pours milk in
Grandma’s purse
(“I had to remind
mom to use her
quiet voice”); bur-
ies his mother’s jewelry in the yard (“I had
to remind mom we should forgive oth-
ers”); and sets free his spider collection in-
doors (“I had to remind mom we should
love all of God’s creatures”). While kids
will be tickled by the rampant mischief, a
few lines break the illusion of a small boy
narrating; after Oscar repaints the living
room walls, he says, “I had to remind
mom we should enjoy all forms of artistic
expression.” Powell’s energetic paintings
easily keep up with Oscar’s exuberance,
and her round-cornered rectangular scenes
are suggestive of family photos from a
busy, messy day. Ages 3–up.
Fiction
The Ancient Realm
Sarah Leith Bahn. CreateSpace, $5.99 trade
paper (114p) ISBN 978-1-4681-2401-9
Launching a series, this briskly paced
though somewhat muddled fantasy cen-
ters on Agnes, an 11-year-old tomboy
who lives in a Nova Scotia village with
her twin brothers and widowed fisherman
father. The simplicity of her
life is shattered one night
when Octavia, a new babysit-
ter, gives Agnes a box of magical salt
crystals that, when scattered, create a
trapdoor leading to a castle floating in the
ocean. There Agnes learns that Octavia is
actually the Queen of the Pacific Ocean,
one of the Guardians of Nature who serve
in the Ancient Realm; Octavia recruits
Agnes to join their ranks as Princess of
the Bering Sea. Readers may have to work
a bit to sort out Bahn’s complex plotting,
as Agnes meets two rogue Guardians
(kings of mountain ranges) who both
want to destroy nature for different rea-
sons. Agnes joins forces with another
Guardian to thwart one king’s plan to
contaminate the Earth’s rivers, successful-
ly completing her first mission as prin-
cess. Though the roles of some of the nov-
el’s many ancillary characters are murky,
Agnes is a well-drawn, down-to-earth
heroine with a sharp sense of humor. Ages
6–12.
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble
D. Robert Pease. Walking Stick Books (www
.walkingstickbooks.com), $12.99 trade paper
(320p) ISBN 978-0-615-52499-3
The first book in Pease’s SF series is a
sprawling story that hurtles back and
forth in time and space, reaching as far
back as 8512 B.C., and as far into the fu-
ture as the 31st century. The premise is an
occasionally hokey but entertaining spin
on the tale of Noah’s ark: born a paraple-
gic on Mars, 12-year-old Noah Zarc now
lives on a massive spaceship called the
ARC (Animal Rescue Cruiser) with his
siblings and scientist parents. The vessel
is filled with thousands of animals that
the family has rescued by traveling back
hundreds of years to before the Cataclysm
destroyed life on Earth. Attempting to
quash their mission to repopulate a re-
vived Earth with the animals is Haon
(“Noah” spelled backwards), who clashes
with the Zarcs in a theatrical showdown.
The story also includes a revelation about
Noah’s true parentage and explores his
friendship with a girl from the Ice Age.
Pease’s strength as a storyteller lies in his
ability to connect multiple time periods
imaginatively, as well as Noah’s excited,
fast-paced narration. Ages 6–12.
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The Rumor: And How
the Truth Sets You Free
DeShawn Snow, illus. by David
A. Perrin III. Carpenter’s Son Publishing (www
.christianbookservices.com), $6.99 trade
paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-9839876-8-0
One of three titles launching the Lil’
Shawnee series by television personality
Snow (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), this
slight novel introduces Shawnee, an
African-American fifth-grader who longs
to make friends at her new school. She’s
thrilled when she’s asked to a sleepover
hosted by classmate Rayna, but once
Shawnee arrives, she discovers she’s only
been invited because Rayna wants
Shawnee to do her science project for her,
and that Rayna is prepared to spread a ru-
mor that Shawnee has a contagious dis-
ease if she refuses. Fearing that the school
will “go crazy with worry about some dis-
ease,” Shawnee agrees to do the project,
then grapples with telling her parents the
truth. Guiding Shawnee is fairy god-
mother–like Nevaeh, who pops in to bol-
ster Shawnee’s confidence in dealing with
Rayna and encourage her to tell the truth.
There’s little subtlety to the story about
following one’s conscience and doing the
right thing: Nevaeh (“heaven” spelled
backwards) is prone to platitudes, and
Rayna is an over-the-top mean girl.
Perrin’s crisp, b&w cartoons reinforce
both Shawnee’s earnestness and Rayna’s
nastiness. Simultaneously available:
Keeping Up with the Joneses and Taking
Center Stage. Ages 7–12.
On the Bright Side
S.R. Johannes. Coleman & Stott (www.cole-
manandstott.com), $8.99 trade paper (256p)
ISBN 978-0-9847991-3-8
Johannes (Untraceable) kicks off the
Starlings series with this fresh novel
about an angel’s peripatetic path to earn-
ing her wings. Though the backstory is
sad—14-year-old Gabby is killed by a
drunk driver—humor prevails as Gabby
grapples with the task assigned her in
heaven: acting as guardian angel to
Angela, who is dating
Gabby’s former best
friend and secret
crush, Michael. Several
chapters are named for
the rules that Gabby,
as a “Bright in
Training,” breaks re-
peatedly and comically
as she humiliates Angela in hopes of sabo-
taging her relationship with Michael.
Along the way, Gabby risks banishment
from heaven to return to Earth and set
things right with Michael and Angela,
and has a charged encounter with the dev-
il and his henchmen. Gabby’s repartee
with her celestial best friend and fellow
BIT, Jessica, as well as with her cranky
mentor, is studded with puns: at the an-
gel induction ceremony, Gabby tells a
“paparazzi dude” that she’s wearing Dolce
& Nirvana, while her friend brags about
her Vera Wing dress. A humorous addi-
tion to the angel story genre. Ages 12–
up. ■
r e v i e w s
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during an awards ceremony in
New York City on March 11, 2013.

Visit us at books.MSnyc.org for
entryguidelines and to download
entry forms.
We will accept submissions
with a 2012 copyright date
in the following categories:

• Childcare/Parenting
• Cookbook*
• First Book
• Green
• Inspirational Memoir
• Motivational
• Psychology
• Relationships
• Spiritual
• Wellness
• Young Adult/Non-Fiction**
* New in 2012, the Cookbook category was created for
works that inspire us to lead healthier lifestyles
** New in 2012, the Young Adult Non-Fiction category
was created for works that inspire, guide and motivate
readers age 12 and up.
Books PW Submission Ad 2013_ForPrint.pdf 1 5/21/2012 5:24:34 PM
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