October 2013

A guide to what’s new in selfpublishing Full reviews of 27 self-published books Listings for 177 new titles

Plus:
◗ Rolling with Jim Carrey, actor and author ◗ A preview of NYC’s SelfPublishing Book Expo ◗ The successes of Gail McHugh ◗ Betty Sargent on video promotion

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SELF-PUBLISHING EXPO

Shifting Sands
The Self-Publishing Book Expo and the changing indie publishing landscape
By Ryan Joe

Brittany Geragotelis had every mark of the aspiring author: a will to write, six unpublished novels, and nine years’ worth of rejection letters.

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hen her agent—who hadn’t been able to sell her books—dropped her, she had a minor crisis of faith that resulted in putting her dream on hiatus. Six months later, when Geragotelis felt the compulsion to write again, she had a different understanding of herself: she would write simply because she wanted to. Around 2009, Geragotelis volunteered with a friend at the Self-Publishing Book Expo, a nascent exhibition founded by two women who had more than 50 years combined experience in the traditional publishing industry. Geragotelis spent much of the time guiding audience members into rooms where panels were held, giving her the opportunity to listen in. “It was so inspiring to me, for someone who’d just been told No and You’re not for us, to see other people who’d taken their dreams and their career into their own hands,” she recalls. When Geragotelis returned to the SPBE last year, much had changed. Her YA novel Life’s a Witch, self-published through an online author platform and reader community called Wattpad, had garnered 13 million readers. Off the strength of that book, she’d signed a three-book six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster. And Geragotelis returned not as a volunteer but as a speaker.

She enlisted the help of her former co-worker Karen Mender, whom she knew from their time in the 1980s at St. Martin’s Press. Mender had also served as assistant publisher at Dell and HarperCollins, and had helped found the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. Both women had noticed the numerous self-published authors that got no attention whatsoever, in part because they lacked basic information on marketing and publicity. “That was our vision,” Mender says, “to have a learning center where people could gather and mingle.” Since the SPBE’s inauspicious beginnings, the self-publishing industry has nearly trebled, according to research released late last year from Bowker. Writers like Geragotelis who’d initially struggled attracting publishers’ interest have thrived as this explosion has changed the rules for distributing their work and finding an audience.

Pride and Prejudice

Planting the Seed

On November 9, the SPBE will host its fifth show, this time at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. The show is the brainchild of Diane Mancher, a 20-year veteran of the PR departments of traditional publishing houses. Mancher was freelancing herself when she thought of the conference as a way to publicize photography books. “Then I thought, why limit it? It could also include cookbooks,” she recalls. “The more I thought about it, the more I thought I could broaden it out, include fiction. And the idea got bigger in my head. I thought about it on and off, but then I realized self-publishing is getting a lot bigger—it’d be great to have something big.”

The fortunes of the self-publishing industry coincide with the misfortunes of the traditional houses. “It’s the last industry to go digital,” says Miral Sittar, CEO and founder of BiblioCrunch, an exhibitor at the SPBE. “Because of that it’s going through the quickest transition. There were overnight new companies popping up with new solutions while legacy publishers tried to hold onto the processes they were the original gatekeepers to.” One of these new companies is Sittar’s own, an online network that links indie authors with editors, designers, and other service providers. Mancher felt the industry quake in 2009 as friends began to lose their jobs. Many publishing pros—particularly editors— went independent. At the same time, self-published authors began to seek out those people. “The two kind of met up,” Mancher says. “The smarter authors were availing themselves of help, and suddenly there was help.” Nevertheless, the stigma against self-publishing was still pretty strong. Mancher and Mender noticed it when they tried
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to attract agents and representatives from traditional houses to speak at various SPBE panels. Many they solicited didn’t want to be associated in any capacity with self-publishing. The common refrain from Mancher’s friends and colleagues was that indie authors were simply failed writers who couldn’t get book deals. These prejudices weren’t entirely unjustified. As a freelance publicist, Mancher had herself been approached by self-published authors in need of assistance. “I’d get the books, and they weren’t very good,” she recalls. “The covers were bad and they were poorly edited. I never took any of them on.” The only exception was If I Knew Then in 2004 by Amy Fisher aka the Long Island Lolita, which Mancher helped get onto Oprah. Since then, the perception around self-publishing has shifted, and traditional houses have created their own divisions specifically devoted to self-publishing. Simon & Schuster has Archway Publishing. HarperCollins’s Christian division Thomas Nelson adapted its WestBow Press imprint into a self-publishing arm in 2009. And Penguin Random House launched Book Country in 2011. Underscoring this shift, the keynote at the upcoming SPBE— which has doubled in size from 200 registrants when it started to 400 registrants today—will focus on how traditional houses view the rise of self-publishing, and will be delivered by Judith Curr, president and publisher of Atria. “Now we have people coming to us, asking us if they can speak,” Mancher says. “If we say speaking slots are full, they ask about next year. And it’s people from traditional publishing.” business they were about to go into,” Mender says. “They didn’t know how important it was to have editorial consultation, design, and a plan.” That may still be true today for some; Mender has found her fair share of self-published authors who don’t define their goals. But goal defining played a large part in Geragotelis’s success. “The concern with self-publishing comes when people aren’t looking at it as a business in the same way traditional publishers do,” she says. “I look at my writing as a business. My brands that I’m creating—this is my business. I’m treating it the same way as if I were starting a restaurant.” Half of the advance Geragotelis received from Simon & Schuster as part of her three-book deal has already gone back into her business. She’s hired an outside PR company and has funded some marketing efforts out of pocket. “Self-published authors have to continue to keep the same level of professionalism that traditional authors want to have,” she says. Even the process by which Geragotelis wrote Life’s a Witch, the novel she published on Wattpad, demonstrates the intersection of writing as a passion and as a business pursuit. At the time, she’d been through enough frustrations with the traditional publishing industry and the constant stream of rejections. She wrote Life’s a Witch with the idea that she simply wanted to put her work directly into the hands of her audience, whoever and wherever they might be. “I had been told traditional authors would never give away anything for free,” she says. “But I knew that if I adhered to those rules, I wouldn’t be hitting my goals. That wasn’t where I wanted to be, so what did I have to lose?” She looked at what people were reading online and saw that it was paranormal romance—a genre that by happy coincidence she personally enjoyed. She published Life’s a Witch—a high school drama with parallels to the Salem witch trials— incrementally, uploading a couple of chapters at a time with two or three more always in the hopper. “Writing and posting at the same time forced me to adhere to a schedule,” Geragotelis says. “When you have a day job, you have to carve out that time. I would write one chapter a week and post it up there every Saturday.”The comments from readers allowed her to focus the story and make modifications if something she wrote didn’t have the effect on her audience she was trying to create. “It was a very interesting process because my main character is pretty and popular, but I didn’t want her to be a bitchy character,” Geragotelis says. “I had goals with characters. [The comments were] instant feedback on whether I was reaching my goals as a writer and hitting my mark on what I was hoping to create.” In six months, she got six million reads. And in 18 months, she had 11 million and people began asking where they could purchase the entire book. Geragotelis chose Amazon’s CreateSpace for official publication in November 2011—and last July, after a multihouse bidding war, Simon & Schuster’s version of the book hit store shelves.

The Business End

Numerous factors have diminished self-publishing’s inferiority complex. On the one hand, the rise of digital channels like Amazon and social media have alleviated distribution and marketing headaches, creating more opportunity for readers to find what they like, and for authors to cultivate fans. And a large audience garners respect. Explosively popular writers like Stephenie Meyer, William P. Young, and Hugh Howey were picked up by traditional houses after self-publishing. Furthermore, major authors and personalities like Stephen King, Guy Kawasaki, and David Mamet have, for select projects, published independently. As more authors choose indie publishing, it’s increasingly difficult to fall back on the common refrain that it’s all about vanity. But ultimately, the audience for indie books exists because the quality of those books has improved tremendously. While the influx of freelance, professional-quality services have helped indie authors turn out a premium product, there’s also a growing community of indie authors who tend to their work—which includes marketing, publicity, and sales as well as writing— with the attentiveness of someone building a viable career. And this seriousness generates respect. “In the early days, [indie authors] had little idea this was a
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Future Proof

The maturation of self-publishing as a multidisciplinary practice, one that encompasses writing, editing, design, PR, and marketing, has created a need for know-how that’s more in-depth than the basics of, say, setting up a Goodreads profile. “There’s still a need for basic information,” Mender says, “but many more authors have become very sophisticated. They talk and mingle online, and lots have experimented with different marketing tools. They want more sophisticated information.”

One can see it in the types of panels now offered by the SPBE, which cover the gamut from legal matters to metadata. As authors take up more responsibilities, they’re quickly becoming publishing companies in their own right. “The idea of calling this self-publishing after a while might not stick,” Mancher says. The SPBE will be held Saturday, November 9, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., at the Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Ave. at 33rd Street, in New York City.  ■

TIPS FOR SELF-PUBLISHING

Seeing Is Believing
By Betty Kelly Sargent

How indie authors can promote books with video

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ere are a few eye-opening facts for anyone who has ever wanted to self-publish or who has actually jumped into the ring and self-published a book or two. Did you know that:

percent of us use social media. What this means, it seems to me, is that if you combine video promotion with social media exposure you are probably going to sell a lot more books than if you don’t.

1. Web sites that include videos rank significantly higher in Google’s search engine algorithm than those with no video component? 2. Videos are much more likely than text to go viral in social media? 3. If you post your videos on YouTube it saves bandwidth, and visitors can download them quickly from your website or wherever else you have posted them? The fact is, according to a recent study by ROI Research, “users interact with content that incorporates heavy use of images or video at twice the rate of other forms of content, and 44 percent of respondents are more likely to engage with a brand if they post a picture.” That’s a pretty impressive conversion rate, don’t you think? Why is this happening? Apparently, it is because so many of us are now using smart phones and tablets for updates on everything from who won last night’s game to how to transplant a hibiscus, and our overloaded brains tend to absorb and retain visual information much more easily than a big block of text. In case you’re interested, the Pew Research Center reports that over half of all Americans now own smart phones and 34 percent of us own a tablet. And, what’s more, Pew also reports that 72

How to Create Your Own, Cool Videos
Okay, you’re sold. But how do you go about creating a video about your self-published book that is going to make readers stumble over each other to get their hands (or eyes) on it? There are two things to consider: quality and content. Quality: Of course you want your videos to be the best they can be—just as you worked hard to make your manuscript the best it could be—but don’t get hung up on fancy, expensive equipment. All you really need is a small video camera—an iPad or even an iPhone will do—a tripod to help with stability, and a quiet spot with decent, natural light. Make sure you are not sitting in front of a window with strong backlight behind you, and that there is not a lot of clutter behind you or anywhere in the frame. Try not to sit right in the middle of the frame but a little to the left or right of center. Get yourself set up, get comfortable, and you are ready to go. Content: This is the biggie. Everyone says content is king and they are right. Spend some time on this. Know exactly what you want to say, to whom you want to say it, and what you want to achieve. I’d suggest you write a script, read it through a couple
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of times, and then read it aloud. Keep track of how much time it takes, and do your best to keep it under three minutes if you want to encourage online traffic. People tend to have short attention spans these days, and anything over three minutes could discourage many potential viewers. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to content.
1. Sell Benefits: let your viewer know whom this video is for and what they can hope to get out of it. Think of this as a video version of your elevator speech. 2. Tell a Story: everyone loves a story, what’s yours? 3. Behind-the-Scenes: invite the viewer back stage. Show her what went in to the creation of your book. One author we know took a video camera and drove through the streets of L.A. where his novel was set. It was a huge success on YouTube. 4. What to Video: your speeches, personal appearances, trips to the market to buy ingredients for your lemon soufflé recipe. 5. Show, Don’t Tell: this is the mantra of developmental editors, and it works with videos, too. If you are describing how to change a tire, or put on silver-green eye shadow, let the viewer see how you do it. If you are describing how your protagonist felt when she knew the killer was right behind her on the bridge, that’s more difficult. Just try to look scared when you talk about it. 6. Offer Something: perhaps announce that the first 20 people to order your book will receive an autographed copy, free. You might not feel comfortable with this, but it is something to think about. 7. Make It Fun: entertain your viewer as much as you can. Keep it lively, upbeat, clear, and engaging. 8. Tag It: by including hash tags, which are a form of meta data that can be used to organize tweets for Twitter searches. Place a “#” in front of a term to create a hash tag. For example #BookWorks or #PWSelect can be hash tags. Before making your own, research Twitter and popular blogging sites for pre-existing hash tags used to denote certain areas of interest or online subcultures such as: #selfpub, #amwriting and #epub. Include appropriate hash tags in the description of your video. 9. Keep It Short: three minutes max, if possible. Leave them wanting more. 10. Just Do It: it is a lot easier than you think. Ask for help if you need it. Leap right in. Make some videos. Post them on YouTube and your website and everywhere your niche audience looks for information. You may have a big surprise waiting for you.

Also, please check out our blog at BookWorks.com. We are planning several more detailed blogs on how to make videos in the coming weeks, and we would love to hear from you about your videos, your questions, and your whole self-publishing adventure. ■ Betty Kelly Sargent is founder and CEO of BookWorks.

A SUCCESS STORY

Colliding with Readers
Gail McHugh’s self-published novels Collide and Pulse have attracted readers even while frustrating their expectations
By Alex Palmer

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It might seem like pitting readers against a main character could hurt an indie author’s book sales. Try telling that to Gail McHugh, who, after selling almost half a million copies of her debut self-published romance novel, Collide, has seen the recent follow-up, Pulse, top the list of Amazon bestsellers—all while driving readers crazy over the relationship choices made by the series’ heroine.
omen out there, we love our book boyfriend, and we can’t stand it when the heroine is hurting him,” says McHugh of her novels’ central character, Emily Cooper, and her tall, dark love interest, Gavin Blake. “I was fully aware while writing that she wasn’t going to be liked.” The reason Emily is not liked is that despite the characters’ immediate attraction and Gavin’s seductive lines—like, “Every part of you was made for me”—she can’t bring herself to leave her abusive, narcissistic boyfriend, Dillon. This love triangle, and McHugh’s effort to honestly depict the dynamics of an abusive relationship, has drawn readers to her work while vexing them at the same time. By engaging with these frustrated readers over social media and other channels, sympathizing with them but standing by her vision of the characters, McHugh has earned hundreds of thousands of fans as well as a recent deal with Simon & Schuster’s imprint Atria Books. Her success in balancing these competing drives has helped her stand out in a crowded self-publishing field, writing books that readers both love and hate but can’t put down.

Finding Readers

McHugh is upfront about what readers should expect of Emily. “**Warning** If you do not like female leads who are severely flawed, human and find themselves weak during the most trying times of their lives... you will not like Collide,” she writes in the

Amazon description of Gail McHugh the book. But while McHugh almost dares people to not like her characters, reader reactions have been key to her writing and publishing process. When McHugh began Collide, she did not know if it would be a book. She conceived of the characters and began writing chapters at the end of June last year. “While I was writing it, I wanted to get more feedback than my friends and the people around me,” says McHugh. So she posted a chapter on the social writing platform FictionPress, which allowed her to see what a more general audience thought of it. Pleased with what she heard, McHugh continued to write and post chapters, each time seeing her following on the site grow, as well as receiving helpful and encouraging responses from users. She even conducted her own informal market research, contacting commenters to find out their age, location, and other reading interests. “At first I had no intention of publishing it as a book, but there was a certain point where I thought, ‘wow, maybe I do have something here,’ ” she says. She mapped out a full-length novel that would end in a cliffhanger sure to make readers eager for a sequel, and got to work. As she approached the finish line on her novel, McHugh shifted from posting serialized chapters on FictionPress to the mindset of an author promoting a book. She created an author Web site on which she posted an extended excerpt, promoting it through a Facebook page. It was picked up by Heather Gunter, an author who runs the erotica and romance book blog Into the Night Reviews. McHugh’s Facebook page gained 150 people that day. The online community of romance readers took it from there, enthusiastically sharing and discussing the excerpt and peppering McHugh with questions about when the full novel would be out. She also joined other authors in private chats set up on Facebook, where readers could ask about their writing or general topics about their books. By the time the book was ready to go, and McHugh had posted several more excerpts, some 30 bloggers had requested advance reading copies of Collide. The bloggers responded with plenty of praise and encomiums on Gavin’s attractiveness (“I tried to build a male character who was alpha when he had to be alpha, soft when he had to be soft, witty when he had to be witty,” McHugh explains), but with
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equally impassioned exasperation toward Emily. One representative review from the Book Boyfriends Blog reads, “I can’t tell you the last time that a book had me so irritated but dying to read the next page because I just had to know what happens next and how it will all play out.” But whether expressing feelings of anger or attraction, these bloggers were anything but uninterested in Collide, and together they created an immense buzz and anticipation among romance readers. By the time the book was about to come out in January 2013, McHugh had gained about 2,000 followers on Facebook and figured this would be her buying base—if a quarter of these followers bought the book, she would at least break even on her editing costs. The book sold a few orders better than that—about 500,000 at the time of this writing, according to McHugh. She had severely underestimated the enthusiasm of the romance-reading community and just a few months after first writing about Emily, Gavin, and Dillon, McHugh had a New York Times bestseller. “I’m blessed that it hit the way it hit, but it also scared me,” she says. All the efforts paid off. The morning after Pulse went live, a month earlier than originally slated, McHugh woke up to several texts from friends, telling her she was up to #2 on Amazon. By the end of the day she was at #1. Within its first month, it sold about 400,000 copies. After Pulse’s success, McHugh heard from Atria Books, which offered not only to help widen her distribution and connect her with new audiences but to help her with the day-to-day publicity and marketing that she had otherwise been doing on her own. In mid-August, she finalized the publishing agreement with them. “She has clearly resonated with readers and I think part of the reason is because she portrays a protagonist who is really struggling and coming to terms with who she is as a person and what kind of relationship she wants out of life,” says Jhanteigh Kupihea, McHugh’s editor who had spotted her when Collide rose up to the Amazon Top 100. “She’s also got great appeal for adult readers because her books are grittier, sexier, and edgier.” Kupihea, who came on board Atria earlier this year in order to oversee much of the publisher’s stable of indie authors, adds that McHugh’s book is “probably the darkest on our list.” E-book versions of Collide and Pulse will be released by Atria in September, with print due to follow in 2014, and Atria also acquired an original book from McHugh that is not part of the Collide series. McHugh’s signing is part of a larger program that the publisher has recently launched focused specifically on attracting and cultivating indie authors. A team of editors and marketing and publicity staff meets every Tuesday to go over how they are helping promote the authors, providing materials for author signings and events, coordinating cover reveals, and building up social media. This relates particularly to the speed with which indie authors tend to churn out their books, producing two to three titles a year, which requires a slightly different approach to managing and marketing. The eight authors who are part of Atria’s indie segment so far are slated to publish 18 books in 2013 and 17 books in 2014. “We’re trying as a publisher to say, this is a whole new area of publishing which requires a different set of skills by everybody involved,” says Judith Curr, Atria’s president and publisher. “The biggest thing that you have to deal with in publishing, and indie authors particularly, is success—it can really consume you so that you have no time for anything else.” For McHugh, the assistance is welcome. “I put this out never expecting it was going to do anything. Having a publisher come after me for my books has just been huge,” says McHugh. “I’m looking forward to gaining any kind of experience that I can have with them and having them in my corner to back me.” ■ Alex Palmer is a freelance journalist and the author of Weird-o-Pedia.

A Change of Pace

While the pieces of Collide came together almost by accident, the writing and publishing of Pulse was a much more deliberate affair. She announced early on a publishing date of August 10, 2013, but now wrote with an audience in mind that was far larger than the several hundred readers on FictionPress. “The writing process was much more stressful, but I’m realizing that will be my writing process from here on out, because now I do have books out and readers with expectations,” says McHugh. Knowing she “had to keep readers invested in my story,” McHugh continued to post extended excerpts. Instead of going through FictionPress, she went to Maryse’s Book Blog—which focuses on paranormal romance and enjoys a Facebook following of more than 27,000—with three exclusive excerpts. All the while she kept in touch with her muchenlarged online fanbase and author community, an effort that has expanded so much as to be more than any one person could manage in a day. “I’m trying to get back to readers who are posting on the author wall, get back to readers sending mail to my private message box, getting back to readers on Goodreads, on my private author account, on Gmail,” says McHugh. “People read your book and they’re talking about it, and now I’m in so many groups I can hardly keep up with who’s tagging me during the day.” She has also begun to do a few more live events, taking part in three events in the past few months with several more scheduled this year.
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ROLLING WITH JIM CARREY

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Jim Carrey may be best known as a movie star and comedian, but to him, his most meaningful roles are that of father to Jane and grandfather to her son, Jackson. This month he adds “first-time author” to his resume when his children’s book, How Roland Rolls (Some Kind of Garden Media, $16.95) is published on September 24. It is dedicated to his grandson.

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here’s more joy and fulfillment in this project than I could have dreamed,” Carrey told PW in a phone interview. He got the idea for the book about two years ago and shared it first with his film management team. “They were not excited,” he recalled with a laugh. But then he connected with mind/body/spirit media book consultant John Raatz of The Visioneering Group in Los Angeles, who helped bring How Roland Rolls to fruition. Raatz introduced Carrey to illustrator Rob Nason, whose artistic interpretation of Roland, a little wave in the ocean, fit well with the story. By coincidence Nason and Carrey both hail from the same small town: Burlington in Ontario, Canada. Carrey says his book is about understanding the “oneness of all life” through the metaphor of Roland, who realizes that he is part of the ocean and not simply a wave that’s separate from it. “I want the book to alleviate children’s fears about loss and what would happen to them if they were left alone,” said Carrey, whose favorite childhood authors were Dr. Seuss and Charles M. Schulz. “It’s an early existential crisis, one that I experienced as a child when I was afraid that my parents would die. But when we realize that beneath the surface of things – the activities of our lives – we are all connected, that fear of loss gets softened.” Carrey has long been attached to transformational ideas and practices, and Roland is a reflection of his spiritual beliefs. It is not a religious book, however. “It doesn’t alienate,” he said. With Roland, Carrey hopes to teach kids how to recognize their true identities, and how they can be individuals while being part of something larger at the same time. The inspiration for his book came when Carrey, who lives in Malibu, was watching the ocean one day and

realized that “the waves were all going in the same direction, just like us. With my book I want to share the joy of life as an eternal and internal experience.” When Carrey starred in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events in 2004, he was Jim Carrey delighted to meet Daniel Handler on the set. “I regret that there wasn’t more time to get to know him,” Carrey said, “but a film set is a very busy place. I’d read all of the Lemony Snicket books that existed at that point, and loved the series. I’d very much look forward to a film sequel.” Roland will be distributed by Perseus Distribution Client Services. Raatz, who has worked as a project manager and publicist for many authors and publishers for the last 25 years, contacted most of the key book distributors before settling on Perseus. “I found a unique rapport with them,” Raatz said. “Perseus is genuinely enthusiastic about Jim’s book, and they feel a personal connection with it.” The first printing of Roland is 110,000 copies. Despite filming Dumb and Dumber To this fall, Carrey said he plans to make time for a Roland book tour, which will take him to several cities in October. An enhanced e-book will be released the same day as the book; it will include four songs about Roland sung by Carrey and his daughter. “My grandson, Jackson, who’s 3 1/2, was in the recording studio with us too,” Carrey said. “I’m inspired by him.” One might assume that someone of Carrey’s fame would be a natural fit with a New York publisher, but he thought differently about that and decided to self-publish. “Movies are a communal experience, with lots of people involved at every stage of the production,” he said. “Things that seem to be in place get changed a lot. With the idea of Roland, I wanted the book to be exactly from its original source. I didn’t want other people to influence it, which is just the way of the world.” It’s possible that Some Kind of Garden, an entertainment and media company headed by Carrey, will publish other Roland titles, and a movie might also be in Roland’s future. Unlike his often manic on-screen persona, in conversation Carrey can be thoughtful and introspective. “I was always two people when I was growing up,” Carrey said. “I was the kid who made my family laugh by pretending to fall down a flight of stairs, but then I’d retreat to my bedroom to think. Kids don’t get enough credit for their deeper thoughts.” To that end, Carrey hopes that the children – and adults – who read How Roland Rolls will finish it with a sense of expanded self-awareness and inter■ connectedness with the world.
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Jim Carrey Rolls Out His First Children’s Book

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SELF-PUBLISHED LISTINGS

New Titles from Self-Publishers
The 177 titles submitted for our 14th PW Select

A historical novel by Charles Van Doren and

one of a series on harvesting rainwater for sustainable living; fiction about a novelist who becomes a bestseller with a fake self-help book; and a memoir about searching for lost treasure in a boat that sank in 1909 are among the titles booksellers, publishers, and agents are encouraged to take a look at in the following listings of self-published books.

ART
Beauty Everyday: A Year of Southern Beauty Rinne Allen, Kristen Bach, and Rebecca Wood. Rinne Allen, Kristen Bach, and Rebecca Wood. $98 hardcover (420p), ISBN 9780988370609 www.beautyeveryday.com/book A photographic document of a year of Southern beauty found in and around Athens, Ga., the 365 images, one for each day of the year, follow the cycle of the four seasons and show the beauty of everyday moments.

adventure that took him across America, photographing presidents, movie stars, tycoons, and artists. May the Spirit Be Unbroken: Search for the Mother Root Maxine Louise Michel De Felice. Authorhouse.com. $19.95 paper (291p), ISBN 9781477210789; $ e-book ISBN 9781472210796 Amazon; AuthorHouse; bn.com This is about the resilience of the human spirit, following three generations of activist families in the context of radical movements in the 20th century. Marlon Brando: A Memoir Nancy K. Peardon. The Falcon Press. $17.95 paper (320p), ISBN 978-09884557-1-9; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780988455702 www.marlonbrando-amemoir.com Nancy Peardon lovingly humanizes the Hollywood legend with anecdotes from their 28-year relationship, casting light on Brando’s notoriously private face.

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Lucky George: The Unforgettable Adventures of a Free-lance Photographer George Kufrin. American Studio Press. $15.95 paper (244p), ISBN 9781482764963 Amazon Packed with history and rare photographs, Kufrin’s autobiography chronicles the 50-year

Unquenchable Fire, Unequivocal Call: By Design and Determination: A Story of Uncommon Devotion to Country Flora Trebi-Ollennu. Amerley Treb Books. $49.95 hardcover (424p), ISBN 9781894718103 Amazon; bn.com Trebi Kuma Oliennu gave national development a local voice in Ghana. A man of faith and tenacity, augmented by a prodigious skill, he overcame amazing odds to leave behind an enduring legacy, earning the sobriquet Patriot of Community Development in Ghana. This biography is by his daughter, director of the La Mansaamo Kpee International development organization. Wild Plum Cafe Gretchen Butler. Gretchen Butler. $22 (146p), ISBN 9781450790604 www.booksbygretchenbutler.com After losing their home to a major wildfire, a retired couple pioneers a new life

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in the forest without shelter. Butler offers whimsical and humorous stories, poems, letters, and artwork in her encounters with living off the land, with wild pigs and rattlers part of the mix. Serenade: A Memoir of Music and Love from Vienna and Prague to Los Angeles C a r o l J e a n D e l m a r. Wi l l o w L a n e Press. $27.99 hardcover (516p), ISBN 9780986035906; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780986035920 SerenadetheMemoir.com; Amazon; bn.com; Ingram Delmar relates her parents’ story—from their roots in Vienna to their escape from the impending Holocaust to the U.S. via Panama and Cuba, and their eventual arrival in Hollywood and a new life, where her opera singer father, Franz Jung, became Hollywood costumer Frank Delmar—alongside her own account of retracing her parents’ steps. A Long Swim Upstream Mike Feder. Federfiles. $15 paper (294p), ISBN 9780989415408; $7.99 e-book Amazon A series of autobiographical stories, from childhood through age 40, tell of a troubled childhood, strange jobs, marriage, parenting, and show business. Me and Murder, She Wrote Peter S. Fischer. Grove Point Press. $12.95 paper (248p), ISBN 9780988657137 thegrovepointpress.com Fischer, a screenwriter and co-creator of Murder, She Wrote, relates his adventures in television on series both successful and less so, including his friendships with Angela Lansbury, Peter Falk, Jerry Orbach, and others. Long Journey Home: A Young Girl’s Memoir of Surviving the Holocaust Lucy Lipiner. iUniverse. $17.95 paper (210p), ISBN 9781475934939; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781475934946 Amazon; bn.com As WWII broke out, six-year-old Lipiner and her family escaped from the Nazi army invading Poland by traveling into the U.S.S.R., where they were sent first to a camp in Siberia, then allowed to go to Tajikistan, where the small Jewish community helped them survive. This memoir from a child’s perspective tells a little known story. The Motor City and Me: Our Story Mary Anne McMahon. CreateSpace. $16.95 paper (337p), ISBN 978140053182; $9.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com McMahon’s ancestors came to Detroit from Ireland, Germany, and France, and she charts four generations of her family along with the rise of the city they called home, and the lasting impact it had on her and her family. Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen Judith Newton. She Writes Press. $16.95 paper (311p), ISBN 9781938314032; $5.95 e-book Amazon; Books Inc.; AvidReaderBooks. com The history of a woman’s emotional education, a romantic tale of a marriage between a straight woman and a gay man, and an exploration of the ways in which cooking can lay the groundwork not only for personal relations but for political community. The Autobiography of a Granada Cat: As Told to Harley White Harley White. CreateSpace. $39.99 paper (178p), ISBN 9781491025123; $4.07 e-book ISBN 9781304204196 w w w. l u l u . com Mama cat was born in Andalusia, Granada, Spain, and relays her story and that of her city in this picaresque tale; photos and illustrations.

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT
The Power of Vow: Everyday Tools for Healing Darren Littlejohn. Rainbow Light Media. $14.99 paper (308p), ISBN 9780989526005; $3.99 e-book ASIN B00DP7FFKA Amazon Using tools from 12-step programs and Buddhism, Littlejohn offers everyone the ability to alleviate suffering and live a full life with tranquility.

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
The Insider’s Guide to Publishing Success Eric Kampmann and Margot Atwell. Beaufort Books. $12.95 paper (158p), ISBN 9780825306877; $3.96 e-book ISBN 9780825306235 The publishing industry is changing rapidly, and there are more options for authors than ever before. Should you find an agent and search for a traditional publishing deal or consider self-publishing? Should you print hardcover copies or opt only for an e-book? Should you hire a publicist? This easy-to-read, nuts-and-bolts guide covers everything from what to look for in a contract to how many copies to print. Get a Clue: 10 Steps to an Executive IQ Temeko Richardson. The RLC Group. $14.99 (204p), ISBN 9780988339415; $9.99 e-book ASIN B00B8XQ9QM Amazon For business leaders, entreW W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M

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preneurs, and nonprofit organizers, this guide presents the factors that can make or break a successful career or business. Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk for Patrons and Professionals Becki Saltzman. Oomau Media. $18.95 paper (299p), ISBN 9780989093507 www.ArousingTheBuyCurious.com This instructional romp of a real estate book is story filled, humorous, provocative, and entertaining; useful to both clients and professionals, it reveals industry secrets and best practices. Amazon; bn.com Even nonprofessional writers will learn how to preserve their life stories through personal legacy writing, using a variety of forms—anecdotes, epiphanies, paragraphs and poems, lessons learned, one-liners, lists, essays, letters, and more—in this easy-to-follow approach.. Raising Parents, Raising Kids: Handson Wisdom for the Next Generation Dawn Menken. Belly Song Press. $18.95 paper (264p), ISBN 9780985266745; $14.99 e-book ISBN 9780985266776 www.dawnmenken.com; 503-287-3969 Going beyond the conventional “howto” parenting book, Menken applies her experience as a psychotherapist and conflict-resolution facilitator to presenting the ultimate guide to nurturing the emotional, spiritual, and social lives of children. Mommy Had a Little Flask A.K. Turner. Fever Streak Press. $12 paper (p), ISBN 9780985583989 Amazon; bn.com In the hilarious sequel to the bestselling “momoir” This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store , A.K. Turner returns with the mayhem of motherhood. Jack D. Albrecht Jr. & Ashley Delay. CreateSpace. $8.99 (204p), ISBN Amazon; bn.com In a world of inherent magic, why wouldn’t animals speak? When tragedy strikes at a peace-treaty signing, the young leader Osric is thrust into the chaos and, with unlikely allies, strives to avert a world war. Under Fire Rachel Amphlett. Rachel Amphlett. $15.99 paper (410p), ISBN 9780992268503; $1.99 e-book ISBN 9780992268510 online shopping sites Explosives expert Dan Taylor must prevent a terrorist attack on the U.K.’s gas supplies during the worst winter on record. The Assassin and the Disciple Virginia Austin. Melting Salvation Press. $8.99 paper (186p), ISBN 9780979408533 Amazon] An apocalyptic tale rides like a roller-coaster through hell. Pitting brother against sister, God against Man, the death march begins. Fathers House C. Edward Baldwin. C. Edward Baldwin. $4.99 e-book ASIN B00DPUXZDG Amazon Ben Lovison discovers that citywide corruption is linked to his childhood, and that his story of perseverance and overcoming was really one of deceit and deception. Senlin Ascends: Book 1 of the Books of Babel Josiah Bancroft. CreateSpace. $13.99 paper (370p), ISBN 9781482590951; 99¢ e-book ISBN 9781482590951

EDUCATION
A Parent’s Playbook for Learning: Jen Lilienstein. Jen Lilienstein. $14.95 paper (266p), ISBN 9780988475793; $3.99 e-book Amazon Strategies that help parents and teachers understand how different personality types learn best were amassed from nearly 100 education and psychology reference texts.

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
A Journey Through Emotional Abuse: From Bondage to Freedom Caroline Abbott with Debbie Stafford. Carpenter’s Son Publishing. $13.99 paper (228p), ISBN 9780988593138 Amazon Many think abuse doesn’t happen in Christian homes. It does. The authors provide emotionally abused wives a practical, biblical guide for women in crisis. Elderwriters: Celebrate Your Life!: A Guide for Creating Your Own Personal Legacy Document Sue Barocas. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper (178p), ISBN 9781484825648

FICTION
The Russian Embassy Party Cliff Adelman. Archway. $24 paper (385p), ISBN 9781480800052; $9 e-book ISBN 9781480800045 Amazon; Barnes & Noble A rollicking ride on the edges of history, with all its unanticipated connections, from Washington in the summer of 1963 to the 1993 chaos of Yeltsin’s Russia. Osric’s Wand: The WandMaker’s Debate: Book One

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Amazon While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya, in the throng. To find her again, he must first discover himself. Graffiti Grandma Jo Barney. Encore Press. $13.95 paper (334p), ISBN 9780615726458; $2.99 e-book ASIN B007124QPO Amazon An old woman and a goth girl cleaning a graffiti-covered mailbox discover a body under the leaves and start their search for a serial killer. Source*Forged Armor Paul J. Bartusiak. CreateSpace. $8.97 paper (304p), ISBN 9780985916237; $2.99 e-book ASIN B00CM1N8XQ Amazon A CIA operative adjusts to a new life, and an unexpected mission may bring him redemption. On the Death Beat JS Bateman. CreateSpace. $15.99 paper (228p), ISBN 9781491043172; $9.99 e-book Amazon What happens when a smalltown obituary writer “breaks bad”? Young Jason Blair writes classic stories of local lives well lived, but he can’t wait for nature to take its course. As he cranks out obits and bodies, will Det. Holly Huff catch him? Twenty-One Steps of Courage: A Soldier’s Mission to Honor His Father Sarah Bates. Booklocker. $16.95 paper (262p), ISBN 9781614349570; $9.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com; Booklocker.com Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery is all Rod Strong wants until a devastating deployment to Afghanistan derails his plans. Thoreau in Love John Schuyler Bishop. CreateSpace. $14 paper (288p), ISBN 9781482059656; $4.99 e-book Amazon In 1843, Henry David Thoreau, 25, leaves Concord, Mass., with no thought of returning. His destination is New York, where the new America is bursting into life. But before he gets there, he falls in love with a young man. Immortality Kevin Bohacz. C Prompt. $14.95 paper (516p), ISBN 9780979181511; 99¢ e-book Amazon An apocalyptic technothriller about the near extinction of the human race pits science against humanity and humanity against machine and against religion. The Encounter Kirk Bonner. Infinity Publishing. $16.95 paper (296p), ISBN 9780741483577; $4.95 e-book www.theunknownbeyond.com Kat Thorsen has a sexual encounter with a mysterious stranger and begins having bizarre dreams. Soon an excop and a criminal gang are after the jewel she was given in one of those dreams. Slow Digonta Bordoloi. Digonta Bordoloi. $3 e-book (241p), ISBN 9780992285906 Amazon Baba is born in a remote corner of the world, sheltered from modern development. His father’s job takes the family to many towns, and Baba spends an idyllic childhood doing things at his own pace. But everything else is geared to running, and Baba, too, may have to change. The Reflecting Man: Vol. 1 D.K.R. Boyd. Wonderdog Press. $33.25 paper (772p), ISBN 9780992017477; $16.89 e-book ISBN 9780991935727 Amazon; bn.com The antic, ribald journey of a loquacious and unreliable narrator, Kurtis De’ath, whose unusual talents lead him into the innermost circles of Hitler’s Third Reich and Churchill’s government. Based on voluminous research, this historical novel observes the months leading up to WWII. The Adorations: A Novel in Double Time Roger Boylan. Olympiad Press. $3.99 e-book (463p) ASIN B008N361I6; BN ID 2940014978392 Amazon; bn.com In alternating chapters, we learn the contemporary story of Gustave Termi, an atheistic history professor recruited by the Archangel Michael into his legions of divine warriors, and a biography Termi reads of an early 20th-century Austrian aristocrat, teacher, and mystic, Stefanie von Rothenberg, who not only had steady visits from heaven and hell but was also pursued by Adolf Hitler. Recalled to Life Dan Burns. Eckhartz Press. $15.95 paper (255p), ISBN 9780989402903; $5.49 e-book ISBN 9780989402934 eckhartzpress.com After a extraordinary family incident, a successful Chicago architect is pushed to his limits and forced to re-evaluate everything he thought was important. The Mountain Place of Knowledge Marshall Chamberlain. The Grace Publishing Group. $21.99 paper (414p), ISBN 9780974098265; $9.99 e-book
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Amazon A U.N. official is killed while searching for an entrance into a mountain in Belize. Ancient technology discovered inside forces cooperation among Belize, the U.S., the U.N., and NATO, but one country decides the mountain poses a threat to world order and attempts to neutralize the danger. Professor Brown Shoes Teaches the Blues David Mutti Clark. David Mutti Clark. $3.99 e-book ISBN 9780615810553 www.professorbrownshoes.com Professor Brown Shoes‚ a mystical and mythical bluesman‚ helps his piano students listen for their melody, their tune, way deep inside. Shadows of Doubt Mell Corcoran. Mill City Press. $16.95 (442p), ISBN 9781935204787; $6.99 e-book bn.com A serial killer is hunting women, torturing and killing them, and leaving the same mysterious clue. Det. Lou Donovan is removed from the case, yet she can’t let it go.. Black Sheep Robert Covelli. Luna Court. $14.50 (356p), ISBN 9780984888207; $9 e-book Amazon; bn.com While idealists begin manufacturing hybrid cars in Buffalo, N.Y., a crime family interested in this new money in town is challenged by a young crew fresh out of prison. The protagonist is the first member of his crime family to give up that life as the city struggles for self-determination. The Last Good Halloween Giano Cromley. Tortoise Books. $11.99 paper (217p), ISBN 9780615872759 312-953-4674 A humorous comingof-age novel set in Ronald Reagan’s America travels an epic road trip as the foulmouthed narrator searches for his stepfather. Cried for No One Hubert Crouch. CreateSpace. $16.95 paper (388p), ISBN 9781481239479; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780615622231 Amazon; bn.com, iBook Flamboyant Fort Worth trial lawyer Cal Connors is hired by distraught parents after their daughter’s body is found on the altar of a rural church. Journalist Leah Rosen is closing in on the truth and willing to put her career on the line for justice. Defense attorney Jace Forman won’t rest until he finds out who could have committed this macabre crime and why. Touched with Fire Christopher Datta. CreateSpace. $13.02 paper (384p), ISBN 9781490498836; $2.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com Light-skinned Ellen Craft escapes slavery in the South disguised as a gentleman; to rescue her still-enslaved husband, she joins the Union Army as Elijah Craft. Based on a true story. Brain: The Man Who Wrote the Book That Changed the World Dermot Davis. Expression Unleashed Publishing. $9.59 paper (217p), ISBN 9780984418138; $2.99 e-book ASIN B00DF3ZFJA Amazon While trying to write the Great American Novel, Daniel takes a break and writes a self-help parody—which becomes a bestseller and turns his life upside down. Comrade Anna: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto Gary L. Dorion. CreateSpace. $11.99 paper (284p), ISBN 9781467923361; $2.99 e-book 917-374-2544 A fighter during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Anna is protected by a Treblinka death camp guard who, after the war, becomes marked for torture and execution by an Auschwitz survivor; includes archival photos from Yad Vashem. He Calls Me Harp Heather White Driscoll. Dog Ear Publishing. $19.95 paper (56p), ISBN 9781457520860; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9781457522529 dogearpublishing.net; Amazon Harper Whitmore starts high school sure she can take on the world, but her encounter with senior Scott Pierce leads her into a relationship that could be selfdestructive; a coming-ofage story. Inked: The Novel Everly Drummond. CreateSpace. $11.67 (246p), ISBN 978-1492244219; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781301020294 Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Kobo; iTunes A chance encounter brings Avery and Brody back together after the one and only steamy night they spent together almost five years ago. Transylvania Flying Squad of Detectives M.L. Dunn. CreateSpace. $11.99 paper (254p), ISBN 9781482639131; $3.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com A new detective races against time to stop one of history’s most notorious villains from returning from the grave by escaping Purgatory.

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Thirteen Days in Milan Jack Erickson. Jack Erickson. $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781301336371 Smashwords Sylvia de Matteo, an American photographer, is taken hostage by terrorists during a political assassination at Stazione Centrale, Milan’s train station. When her captors discover her father is a wealthy Wall Street investment banker, they demand a ransom for her release. Run Down the Wind Laurence Eubank. Wild Dog Press. $19.95 paper (563p), ISBN 9780989422307 www.laurenceeubank.com Two young men from families in Maine and Alabama work together on clipper ships in the decade b e f o r e t h e C i v i l Wa r breaks out. Their families are splintered by the war, yet not one of these four will surrender. Secret for a Song S.K. Falls. CreateSpace. $10.93 paper (206p), ISBN 9781490346014; $2.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com Saylor Grayson literally makes herself sick. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. When a group of terminally ill young people befriend her, Saylor can’t bring herself to tell them the truth, but secrets have a way of revealing themselves. The Friday Edition: A Samantha Church Mystery Betta Ferrendelli. CreateSpace. $10.99 paper (308p), ISBN 978-1480263185; $2.99 e-book ASIN B008IIFWYK Amazon; bn.com Samantha Church, a struggling newspaper reporter in Denver, maneuvers her way through a corrupt police department to discover that her assistant DA sister’s suicide was really murder. Pray for Us Sinners: The Hollywood Murder Mysteries Book 7 Peter S. Fischer. The Grove Point Press. $12.95 paper (250p), ISBN 9780988657144 Amazon; bn.com Publicist Joe Bernardi is in Quebec, where Alfred Hitchcock is shooting a thriller with Montgomery Clift. The two are feuding, which makes the papers, and the scandal threatens to shut down the filming. Add murder to the latest in this series. Has Anybody Here Seen Wyckham?: The Hollywood Murder Mysteries, Book 8 Peter S. Fischer. The Grove Point Press. $12.95 paper (222p), ISBN 9780984681976 909-496-9338 The latest installment in the Hollywood Murder Mysteries series, winner of IBPA’s Ben Franklin Award. The North Building Jefferson Flanders. Munroe Hill Press. $15.50 paper (430p), ISBN 9780988784086; $5.99 e-book ISBN 9780988784093 Amazon; bn.com In 1951, New York newspaperman Dennis Collins investigates a shadowy Washington spy ring leaking American military secrets to the Soviets, and quickly runs into danger. Prime Directive: Book One of the Ptolemaios Saga Alexander Geiger. Ptolemaios Publishing & Entertainment. $15.99 (430p), ISBN 9780989258401; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780989258418 Amazon A time-traveler with an interest in antiquity becomes tutor to the boy who will become Alexander the Great and witnesses the epic battles between Greeks and Persians in the fourth century B.C.E. The Time Keepers: A Vatican Novel Ronald Bruce Gies. CreateSpace. $12.99 paper (392p), ISBN 9781482587401; $5.99 e-book ISBN 9781301706440 www.giesbooks.com Literary fiction that asks challenging questions about why the Catholic Church faces the issues that it currently does. Eternidad: Cimmerian Rising B. Thomas Harwood. Herschel-Floyd Publications. $12.99 paper (250p), ISBN 9780989375009; $5.99 e-book www.facebook.com/WorldOfEternidad In the Caribbean 100 years after Columbus arrived, a terrifying creature of unknown origin is set loose to hunt for a Dutch settler’s infant son. The Thieves of Stonewood: Book I of the Stonewood Trilogy Jeremy Hayes. Northlord Publishing. $12.99 paper (312p), ISBN 9780991864201; $4.99 e-book ISBN 9780991864218 Amazon A fantasy tale follows Harcourt, a down-on-hisluck thief desperately trying to join the Thieves Guild so he can commit crimes in the dangerous streets of Stonewood. The Sixth Avery Hays. Diadema Press. $26.99 hardcover (384p), ISBN 9780985418243; $12.84 paper Ingram; Amazon; bn.com Paris 1910: the young and willful painter Florbela Sarmentos runs in the same wild, Left Bank circle as Diego Rivera, Amadeo Modigliani, and
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Marc Chagall. But when she falls under the shadow of her father, she becomes a target for assassination. In Spite of All JP Ishaq. Havoc Factory Publishing. $12.99 paper (354p), ISBN 9780615745329; $7.99 e-book www.jpishaq.com Follow exile Leon Victor and his crew of skilled, ruthless mercenaries on missions between warring galactic empires as Victor tries to make amends for his past. The Billionaire’s Gift: A Spiritual Business Parable Edward Iwata. CreateSpace. $4.99 paper (145p), ISBN 9781490916545; $2.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com A modern-day Scrooge finds that ill health challenges him to search for a higher purpose in life as he learns that corporate power and worldly goods will not bring him peace. Lily’s War, a Novel Kathi Jackson. CreateSpace. $12.15 paper (318p), ISBN 9781463773151; 99¢ e-book ASIN B005EM90XW Amazon; bn.com Inspired by the folksong “The Lily of the West,” this historical fiction tells the story of Lily, a prostitute, and David, a military officer—two people completely wrong for each other, yet whose love, and war, keep bringing them together. Prospice: A Novel Karen Kelly. Legitur Books. $28.95 hardcover (388p), ISBN 9780989320009 Amazon; bn.com Young people on the brink of adulthood face the stark realities of family life, including harrowing grief and the consequences of longburied secrets. Take the Pilgrim Road Frank T. Klus. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper (394p), ISBN 9781489511553; $2.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com At a time when a quarter of the American population is unemployed and corporatists have a death grip over the government, Redd Piper turns to a new business model based on the old concept of cooperatives. The poor, the hungry, and the unemployed make a pilgrimage to Piper’s cooperatives, shaking the foundation of the corporatist society, and prompting a struggle for the future of the American dream.
 Hearts of Strangers Jorja Lewis. CreateSpace. $15 paper (290p), ISBN 9781481136044 Amazon; bn.com In the Colorado Territory, the Bologna family take in two misfits, TJ and Peaches, who’ve run away from Louisiana and Peaches’s depraved brothers. Leather to the Corinthians Tom Lucas. Room 1331 Publishing and Media. $12.99 paper (284p), ISBN 9780988526105; 99¢ e-book Amazon; bn.com This dystopian satire features a young soldier fighting to keep his humanity while deep in the trenches of an insane war. Dialogues of a Crime John K. Manos. Amika Press. $15.95 paper (300p), ISBN 9781937484132; $4.95 e-book ASIN B00E63HDCK www.amikapress.com In 1994 CPD detective Larry Klinger becomes obsessed with a 22-year-old cold case, when the Chicago mob was unchallenged. Circling back to 1972 and forward to 2003, this novel relies on dialogue to examine questions of guilt, innocence, and justice, and the ramifications of crime and punishment. Through Their Strange Hours Kent McDaniel. Kent McDaniel. 99¢ e-book (62p) ISBN 9781301879304 Amazon; bn.com; Smashwords; Kobo Four stories set between 1958 and 1970 involve cats, famous monsters, Elvis, the Beatles, Mickey Mantle, and love. They also involve the Prophet of Doom, blight, brawls, drugs, Vietnam, busts, betrayal, and death. Buried Threads Kaylin McFarren. Creative Edge Publishing. $14.95 paper (330p), ISBN 9781492120469 www.kaylinmcfarren.com Rachel Lyons and her partner, Chase Cohen, accept a contract to recover a lost, priceless treasure in the Sea of Japan. Upon arriving in Tokyo, they discover their mission is more complicated and dangerous than they originally thought. A Life, Redefined Tracy Hewitt Meyer. Zummo Books. $9.95 paper (200p), ISBN 9780615837963; $4.99 e-book Amazon; For seven years her family has blamed Rowan Slone for the death of her baby brother. Now a senior in high school, she is aiming to graduate, go to college, and escape her loveless home. Then she discovers her mother’s long-held secret. Rich Boy Cries for Momma Ethan H. Minsker. Minsker & Lee Productions. $18.99 paper (336p), ISBN 9780615721200; $1.99 e-book ISBN 9781938008511 Amazon

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A dyslexic teenager in 1980s Washington, D.C., faces bullying from the offspring of the city’s elite and finds acceptance in the punk rock scene. For the Love of Honey C.G. Morgan. Outskirts Press. $29.95 paper (658p), ISBN 9781478706403; $3.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com Honey Giles grows up on the Mountain, shunned by townsfolk because of her mother’s choices. This coming-of-age Southern saga traces one girl’s struggle to find her place in family and community. A Farewell in Paris Paul A. Myers. Paul A. Myers Books. $10.99 paper (236p), ISBN 9781481100465; $2.99 e-book ISBN 978098259029 Amazon; bn.com On the Left Bank of Paris in 1928 an American veteran writes a novel about a brave war and a doomed romance in post-WWI Berlin. Gangsters of Shanghai: An International Mystery Thriller Gerry O’Sullivan. Rosetta No. 3 A/C Pty. Ltd. $2.99 e-book (331p), ISBN 9780987451712 Amazon The son of a rural Irish cop, Gallagher joins the Shanghai Police in 1927 to trace the aristocratic woman whose memory still haunts him. In a city of spies, refugees, gangsters, and revolutionaries, even an innocent Irish cop could be corrupted. It Doesn’t Stay in Vegas: The Saga of the Unorthodox Gentleman Joe Osborne. CreateSpace. $9.99 paper (222p), ISBN 9781480117068; $3.33 e-book ASIN: B00AARBUXY Amazon; bn.com Four degenerate friends travel to Vegas on a quest for booze- and drug-fueled sexual encounters. The delusional Unorthodox Gentleman narrates this full-throttle four-day adventure. Evangeline’s Ghost C.A. Pack. Artiqua Press. $7.99 paper (253p), ISBN 9780983572367; $7.99 e-book www.artiquapress.com A W W I I s p y d o e s n ’t let death get in the way of avenging her own murder. Dreamers and Their Shadows Douglas J. Penick. Mountain Treasury Press. $15.95 paper (219p), ISBN 9780974597447; $5.95 e-book ISBN 9780974597454 Amazon; bn.com Two 15th-century scrolls, attributed to a Japanese spiritual leader, are unmasked in the 1950s as forgeries, yet a retired professor and his student become obsessed with the world and culture they describe. Cooley & Rose Terry Perrel. A.V. Griffin Books of Virginia. $14.95 paper (264p), ISBN 9780989107716; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9780989107709 www.terryperrel.com In 1948, Rose leaves her husband, Cooley, of 19 years and heads west to Hollywood, leaving Cooley free to spend time with his aspiring singer girlfriend. That’s when the real trouble begins in this comic novel, as Cooley and Rose, both keepers of secrets, reluctantly confront their own shortcomings and foolish expectations of love. Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate Alexis Rankin Popik. Aucoot Press. $14 paper (190p), ISBN 9780985839505; $2.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com A literary mystery set in Los Angeles at the time of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, this novel examines the devastating effects of manic-depressive illness on family and friendships. Roxana’s Revolution Farin Powell. iUniverse. $24.95 paper (443p), ISBN 9781475980639; $1.99 e-book ISBN 9781475980646 Amazon; bn.com An Iranian woman faces personal and professional struggles as a lawyer in the U.S. at the time of the 1979 hostage crisis. Returning to Iran, she must deal with unexpected difficulties following the Iranian revolution. The Mothership Stephen Renneberg. Stephen Peter Renneberg. $21.95 paper (568p), ISBN 9780987434739; $8.99 e-book ISBN 9780987434746 Amazon A Special Forces team from Area 51 investigates the crash of an alien mothership in remote northern Australia. Poison Ivy Murder: A Martha’s Vineyard Mystery Cynthia Riggs. Cleaveland House Books. $16.95 paper (248p), ISBN 9780984444625 www.cynthiariggs.com; www.bunchofgrapes.com Adjunct professor Victoria Trumbull, 92, and Brownie, a cadaver-sniffing mongrel, team up to trap a serial killer. Reno Nevada Rides to Hell Flash Rivers. Richard D Garrison. $7.99 paper (210p), ISBN 9780989721813; $1.99 e-book ISBN 9780989721806 Amazon In this supernatural
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thriller, an unconventional gunfighter joins forces with a preacher and his daughter to travel to the netherworld and close the Gates of Hell. The Thousand Natural Shocks Michael Sáenz. TPC Pages. $7.99 paper (204p), ISBN 9781482577402; $5.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com Charles Siskin is not like other boys. At St. Ignatius Loyola High School his odd disposition leads him to a humiliating catastrophe. Fishing for Light Nathaniel Sewell. Bobby’s Socks Publishing. $2.99 e-book (347p), ISBN 9780615860497 Amazon When Professor Quan realized the government used his genetic starter to create Ms. Prosperina, he devoted his life to eradicating her by spreading the universal bond within humanity’s genetic code, pure love. Who Killed John F. Kennedy?: Lose Your Own Adventure #1 Justin Sewell. Despair, Inc. $18 paper (178p), ISBN 9781892503022 www.despair.com A brilliant kid detective attempts to solve the murder of JFK in this parody of Choose Your Own Adventure books and Encyclopedia Brown. Primordial David Shawn. CreateSpace. $17.96 paper (514p), ISBN 9781466445529; $1.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com No handsome, agonized, Victorian psychosexual dysfunction here, just lots of gun battles, harsh language, and breathless action. The Hobbyists Darryl Shelly. Bexley Press. $13.99 paper (281p), ISBN 9780615746524; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780615719290 Amazon; bn.com; iBooks A young sex addict invites readers into his private world of decadence in New York City; based upon true events. The Santa Claus Killer: FBI Serial Killer Task Force, Vol. 1 RJ Smith. Storyteller Entertainment. $14.99 paper (398p), ISBN 9780989675321; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9780989675314 Amazon; bn.com When Manhattan South Homicide Detectives Murphy and Rico come across a string of Santa Claus murders, it doesn’t take long for the FBI Serial Killer Task Force to figure out they’re hunting the same diabolical madman. Run Away on the Heavenly Express Stephen Spicehandler. Zeno. $14 paper (320p), ISBN 9780615849140; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9780615849812 Amazon; bn.com Jane Cantore, a onetime teenage runaway, is now dying of ovarian cancer. Hungering for yet another escape, she recalls the journey that led her to this point. Vámonos!: A Humorous Adventure Novel Bill Stephens. Franklin Scribes Publishers. $15.95 paper (333p), ISBN 9780988643307; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781301058297 Amazon; bn.com Two offbeat country and western musicians flee Austin, Tex., on their Harleys and find themselves in the Mexican desert on a comical and perilous journey of redemption. Deep into Dusk: A Gabriel McRay Novel Laurie Stevens. Follow Your Dreams Publishing. $13.99 paper (348p), ISBN 9780989163408; $3.99 e-book ASIN B00E8RWIFG Amazon In his search for a serial killer, Det. Gabriel McRay mistakenly thinks a beautiful female witness to murder is a fragile victim like himself; second in a series Dogs Aren’t Men Billi Tiner. CreateSpace. $10.50 paper (266p), ISBN 9781490412450; $2.99 e-book Amazon Veterinarian Rebecca Miller is happy with her life surrounded by dogs. Things change the day she literally runs into Derrick Peterson, a handsome ER doctor. Deadly Syndrome: A Medical/Political Thriller Arline Todd. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper (300p), ISBN 9781484044872; $3.99 e-book Amazon Powerful politicians use cancer research as a political tool, and a deadly syndrome is unleashed worldwide, resulting in chaos. But key scientists fight to salvage civilization. A Child’s Tear Leo Tracy. John Crawford. $16.72 paper (555p), ISBN 9780615819198; $9.99 e-book Amazon An educated schizophrenic courts his nurse through his journal while he describes past and present high-anxiety episodes along with writing about his beloved Uncle Bill, the victim of a hate crime. The Lion of Cortona: Exiles: A Novel of the Middle Ages Charles Van Doren. CreateSpace. $14 (262p), ISBN 9781484989647; $3 e-book

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www.charlesvandoren.net; Amazon; bn.com In the first volume of a trilogy, the 13thcentury Italian city of Cortona is invaded, and members of the exiled Torreoni family uncover secrets as they attempt to survive in that dangerous, stratified world. Van Doren was editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the author of the scholarly work A History of Knowledge and, with Mortimer Adler, How to Read a Book. On the Way to Pomona C h a r l e s Va n E m a n . Mud Puddle Dance. $12.95 paper (320p), ISBN 9780985645823; $4.99 e-book ISBN 9780985645830 Amazon Profoundly disillusioned by his relationship with his family and what he sees happening in America, Tom McInnes heads off on a quest to make sense of his life. The Mourning After Rochelle B. Weinstein. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper (294p), ISBN 9781484015582; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780615831596 www.rochelleweinstein.com In Miami Beach, 15-year-old Levon is blamed for the accident that kills his golden boy older brother. Meanwhile, his family must contend with his younger sister’s rare genetic disorder, glycogen storage disease; 50% of the proceeds from sale of this book will be donated to GSD research. Red Is for Rage Connie Corcoran Wil son. Quad Cities’ Press. $10.95 paper (254p), ISBN 9780982444818; $2.99 e-book ASIN B00B8W2G3S Amazon High school senior Tad McGreevy is threatened by a serial killer, and uses his ability to interpret auras and “see” the crimes of evildoers in his nightmares to save his own life and protect those he loves. The second in the Color of Evil series. The Hissing Tree A.M Winter. CreateSpace. $11.04 paper (348p), ISBN 9781463727970; $9.99 e-book ASIN B00DUEJS8I Amazon An 11-year-old girl witnesses the brutal beating of a bicycle thief by the local police and her life begins to unravel. The Count of Monte Cristo: As Retold by Sherlock Holmes Holy Ghost Writer. Illuminated Publications. $21.11 paper (566p), ISBN 9781490927305; $0.99 e-book ISBN B00DSUR8H2 www.mysteriousauthor.com The identity of the author is part of an international contest, and the first person to correctly name the Holy Ghost Writer from the clues found in the Count of Monte Cristo sequels will receive a reward of $2,500. Strum Nancy Young. Inkwater Press. $18.95 paper (380p), ISBN 9781592999378; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9781592999385 www.inkwaterbooks.com/strum Bernard, a deaf young woodworker of Iroquois and European descent, is drawn into an old-growth forest in rural Québec by mysterious and compelling music. In fashioning two classical guitars imbued with the spirits of his ancestors, he sets in motion a tale reaching across two centuries and four continents. D’mok Revival: Awakening Michael Zummo. Zummo Books. $8.50 paper (507p), ISBN 9780989004404; $2.99 e-book ISBN 9780989004411 dmokrevival.com Rhysus Mencari, sole survivor of a vicious Nukari attack, struggles with survivor’s guilt while mastering superhuman D’mok powers, seeking others like him, and hunting Nukari.

GARDENING
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape, Vol. 1 Brad Lancaster. RainSource Press. $29.95 paper (304p), ISBN 9780977246434 www.ChelseaGreen.com Lancaster (www.harvestingrainwater.com) harvests 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year in a dry climate and offers his landscape design expertise in this second edition of an accessible guide to harvesting and enhancing the abundant potential of rainwater, graywater, sun, wind, shade, soils, community, and more for sustainable living.

HISTORY
The Tsar’s Treasure: The Sunken White Star Liner with a Billion Dollar Secret Capt. Martin Bayerle and G.S. Payne. Barnburner Books. $28.95 hardcover (274p), ISBN 9780988876002 thetsarstreasure.com The RMS Republic, a sister ship of the Titanic, sank in 1909, rumored to have a cargo of gold and other valuables. Capt. Martin Bayerle reports on his quest to find the fabled treasure, discovering the wreck in 1981; while salvage is only just beginning. Shaken & Stirred: The Feminism of James Bond Robert A. Caplen. Robert A. Caplen. $35 hardcover (464p), ISBN 9780985996116 www.bondgirlbook.com Historian Caplen traces the evolution of the “Bond girl” in Ian Fleming’s novels and the James Bond films against the backdrop of the women’s liberation movement and second-wave feminism.
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The Men of the USS Arizona (BB-39) T.J. Cooper. CreateSpace. $29.95 paper (586p), ISBN 9781490964119 Amazon; bn.com This book memorializes the men who were on board the Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, telling the story of the deadly attack and what they experienced. America’s Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One Burton Yale Pines. RSD Press. $15.50 paper (440p), ISBN 9780989148702; $8.99 e-book ISBN 139780989148726 Amazon America’s entrance into WWI was a massive blunder, that set the 20th century on its course of horrendous violence, explains Pines. Degrees of Courage Shari Vester. Mill City Press. $19.95 paper (566p), ISBN 9781938223235; $5.99 e-book ISBN 9781938223235 Amazon; bn.com; www.sharivester.com A Hungarian family fights for survival during the wartorn decades of the 20th century, followed by life under Soviet oppression that led to a bloody revolt. Mary Baker and the Eye of the Tiger D.M. Cherubim. CreateSpace. $12.99 paper (230p), ISBN 978-1482659696; $5.99 e-book Amazon A girl, a cockatoo, and a magical stone that is stolen by an evil wizard, who could be her Dad. Ages 6–12. The Silver Sphere: The Kin Chronicles Michael Dadich. Evolved Publishing. $29.95 hardcover (274p), ISBN 9781622536023; $3.99 e-book ASIN B00AAJUSWQ thesilversphere.org Teleported to Azimuth, a sister planet to Earth, Shelby Pardow finds she is Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned on his way to becoming dictator. Winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the Wise Bear Books Gold Award. Ages 12–18. Shine Justine Edward. Balboa Press. $13.95 paper (28p), ISBN 9781452575315; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781452575308 Balboa Press; Amazon; bn.com A series of empowering affirmations written specifically for children is inspired and illustrated by seven-year-old Karl Gabriel, who has been diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder, with such messages as: You can overcome whatever is going on around you if you believe in the light that lives within. Ages 3–6. Bubblegum Princess Julie Gribble, illus. by Lori Hanson. NY Media Works. $16.99 hardcover (32p), ISBN 9780989091404 Amazon Katy delights in blowing bubblegum bubbles, a decidedly unladylike habit. Despite opposition, she teaches the kingdom to love bubblegum bubbles as much as she does. Ages 3–6. Destiny Gardens John Harrison. House Beanboy. $7.50 paper (350p), ISBN 9780615829715; $3.99 e-book Amazon A disparate group of abandoned kids in late ’50s Pittsburgh band together for survival in a vacant and derelict public meeting hall, crossing paths in their Dickensian world with Mafia godfathers and a New Orleans “Sportin’ Life,” who comes to claim what’s his. Ages 12–18. The Befana Drama Gianna Hartwright. Gianna Della Luna Publishing. $14 paper (346p), ISBN 9780957569768; $11 e-book ISBN 9780957569775 www.giannadellaluna.com A global adventure by broomstick through the world of Very Important Present Bringers (VIPBs), full of magic, mirth, and mayhem, and festive fun and fantasy. Ages 6–12. The Hollow Weens Carole King and E. Gregory King. Dog Ear Publishing. $16.95 hardcover (26p), ISBN 9781457512247; $10.56 paper ISBN 9781457514487 Amazon; bn.com; Ingram Halloween gremlins called Weens slink about on that scary night to snatch candy. Safety tips for trick-or-treaters are included in the prickly fun of its verse and illustrations. Ages 6–12. Zera and the Green Man Sandra Knauf. Greenwoman Publishing. $19.95 paper (373p), ISBN 9780989705608; $4.95 e-book ISBN 9780989705615

JUVENILE FICTION
The Saeshell Book of Time, Part 1: The Death of Innocents Rusty Biesele, illus. by Matt Curtis. CreateSpace. $14.99 paper (299p), ISBN 9781463726379 Amazon Magic is science you don’t understand. Stefan and Tova believe they are human, yet are immortals whose ages will be frozen on their 19th birthday. A Tibetan-American science wizard must teach them how to use their magic ethically. First of a four-part series. Ages 12–18.

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Amazon Zera Green’s mystical connection with the plant world becomes key in battling a corporate entity that is creating genetic monstrosities and endangering all of Nature. Ages 12–18. Lindsey: Love & Intrigue Kimberly Kolb. iUniverse. $32.95 hardcover (410p), ISBN 9781475987911; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9781475987928 Amazon; bn.com High school junior Lindsey, insecure and self-doubting, is still the new girl in Emit, Mich., facing pressure from school, gymnastics, and parents. While she’s stealing glances at her secret crush, who is watching her? Ages 12–18. Finding Favor Lana Long. CreateSpace. $10.99 paper (308p), ISBN 9781490367279; $2.99 e-book Amazon Seventeen-year-old Favor’s been waiting years to escape the guardianship of the Browns. When Mr. Brown offers college funding, but only if Favor gives up her friendship with his son Ethan, will she find the courage to make the right decision? Ages 12–18. Pegasus and the Purple Zippy GS: Book 1 of Rüya S.C. Maxwell. Second Star. $8.99 paper (242p), ISBN 9781484935552; $4.99 e-book Amazon This middle-grade novel features a disabled female protagonist. From her wheelchair, 13-year-old Maxine Wynnifer battles enemies to try and take over the kingdom of Rüya. Willow Wood Laurie Melrose. BookLocker. $15.95 paper (238p), ISBN 9781626463752; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9781626462182 www.lauriemelrose.com When 12-year-old Caitlin O’Toole learns that she’s part Fairy and royalty to boot, will she jump for joy or hide in bed for the rest of the summer? Ages 6–12. Rebels of the Kasbah Joe O’Neill. Black Ship Publishing. $12.95 paper (288p), ISBN 9780985196943; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780985196950 www.redhandadventures.com In 1912 Morocco, an orphan, Tariq, is captured and sold into slavery. He must rely on his wits and newfound friendships to survive. Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award. Ages 12–18. Gold in the Days of Summer: A Novella Susan Pogorzelski. Brown Beagle Books. $9.99 paper (176p), ISBN 9780988875104; $6.99 e-book ISBN 9780988875128 www.goldinthedaysofsummer.com As her 13th birthday approaches, Annie struggles to navigate 1979’s summer days with the help of a reclusive young veteran at war with his own past. Ages 12–18. Season’s Christmas Quest: The Dog’s Story Tara Pollard. iUniverse. $21.95 hardcover (131p), ISBN 9781475940084; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781475940077 Amazon; bn.com; iUniverse In this inspirational tale, Season, a bright-eyed, golden dog of mixed breed, must uncover the mystery of a strange darkness that has settled upon the land in order to save his master’s little girl, while encountering the ultimate battle of good and evil. Ages 12–18. I Cannot Sleep Ann Louise Ramsey. Crown Peak Publishing. $19.95 hardcover (40p), ISBN 9780964566378 www.crownpeakpublishing. com Celebrate the joy of life’s simple pleasures through the heart of a dog. Ages 3–6. Keeper of Reign, Book 1 Emma Right. Telemachus Press. $16.99 paper (340p), ISBN 9781939337696; $2.99 e-book ISBN 9780989267205 Amazon; bn.com Jules Blaze, 16-year-old heir of a Keeper, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It’s bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Jules hunts for the truth that could reverse the age-old curse. Ages 12–18. Chris Christmas Tree Ronald Skowronek, illus. by Kenn Yapsangco. Xlibris. $21.99 paper (31p), ISBN 9781483601786; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9781483601793 www.xlibris.com The story of a North Carolina Christmas tree begins on a tree farm and takes Chris to his final resting place on a North Carolina beach. Ages 6–12. The Department of Cautionary Tales Katy Stauber. Metasagas. $14.99 paper (388p), ISBN 9781939120021; $4.99 e-book Amazon; bn.com; Kobo; iBooks; A young adult science fiction novel about Juniper, a teenage mad scientist trapped in a secret government military laboratory prison. Ages 12–18. The Dreamcatcher Adventures: Greedy Jack Wallace Adam C. Veile, illus. by Sean Long. East Circle Publishing. $8.99 paper (180p), ISBN 9780988387409; $2.99
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e-book ISBN 9781301834464 www.thedreamcatcheradventures.com Seventh-grader Blake Monroe and the ghost of his Wild West ancestor battle the deadly outlaw Jack Wallace in the search for a hidden treasure. Ages 6–12.

NONFICTION
With the Stroke of a Pen: Claim Your life Jane Blaufus. The Blaufus Group. $24.95 paper (150p), ISBN 978-0-9878689-2-3 www.theblaufusgroup.com What would you do if a police officer walked up your driveway one sunny Sunday and, with tears in his eyes, delivered news that your husband had been killed? Saving Baby: How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption Jo Anne Normile and Lawrence Lindner. Powder Point Publishing. $15 paper (272p), ISBN 9780988878006; $7.99 e-book ISBN 9780988878013 Amazon Normile entered Thoroughbred horse racing, then pulled out and started the country’s most successful horse rescue when she learned of race horses’ true plight. Mission to Teach: The Life and Legacy of a Revolutionary Educator Dipak Basu. JBF Books. $19.95 paper (439p), ISBN 9780988838567; $6.99 e-book missiontoteach.org The author’s memoir of his daughter, Jhumki, a revolutionary educator who took on American science education reform while battling cancer. A Cry in the Night: The City of Lights’ Dark Side M a r y S u e B r o w n D u r r. O u t s k i r t s Press. $15.95 paper (96p), ISBN 9781478712275; $20 e-book Amazon; bn.com Based on the murder of a 17-year-old civil rights activist, this account provides a general background on the life of blacks in Canton, Miss., during the Jim Crow era.

JUVENILE NONFICTION
My Favorite Hugs: Debby Guddee & Melissa Rodrigues, illus. by Su Mon. Balboa. $13.95 paper (24p), ISBN 9781452510651; $3.49 e-book ISBN 9781452510668 Amazon; bn.com Hugging is a universal language and says so much to a child. These 12 fun action hugs will last a lifetime and make everyone smile. Ages 3–6.

Survival: A Moral Response to Global Warming Grace D. Cumming. Grace D. Cumming. $9.99 paper (160p), ISBN 9781490540139; $2.99 e-book Amazon A clear and concise look at the facts and a positive view of our abilities to deal with threatening changes to our warming global home. Evil Shadows Rick Hallock. Barringer Publishing. $14.95 paper (296p), ISBN 9780988203426; $9.95 e-book www.evilshadowsbook.com A terrifying true story of identity theft, cyber crimes, a botched U.S. Customs investigation, and destruction of the author’s publishing company, along with chapters on prevention, detection, and recovery from identity theft. The Joke’s on You: How to Write Comedy S t e p h e n H o o v e r. S t e p h e n H o o v e r. $ 1 1 . 1 7 paper (216p), ISBN 9780989746502; $5.99 e-book Amazon Along with a history of comedy and theories about what makes us laugh, this comprehensive guide covers comedy writing in all forms: sketches, jokes, sitcoms, and feature films. From Exile to Eden: A Family Journal Jadwiga Szelazek Morrison. Turning Stone Press. $23.95 paper (292p), ISBN 9781618520401; $10.34 e-book ISBN 9781618520418 1-800-423-7087, ext. 2 In February 1940, the Szelazek family was deported as prisoners of war from Poland to a Soviet labor camp in Siberia, beginning a 12-year journey that spanned continents.

LAW
Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts: Contract Law on How to Create Electronic Signatures and Contracts Charles H. Martin. Every1’s Guide Press. $9.99 e-book (458p), ISBN 9780989648813 Amazon Up-to-date information for consumers, businesses, professionals, and students about U.S. and international contract law rules, including electronic signatures and contracts.

NONCLASSIFIABLE
Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp Bill Kraft. Bill Kraft. $18.95 paper (256p), ISBN 9780615806884 Amazon; More than 80 endorsement letters from scientists, science fiction authors, and government officials chronicle the 13-year campaign to honor Star Trek on a U.S. postage stamp.

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SELF-PUBLISHED LISTINGS
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America Jane Allen Petrick. Informed Decisions Publishing. $18.95 (158p), ISBN 9780989260114; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9780989260107 Amazon; bn.com; Ingram Read the until now “hidden” story of Norman Rockwell’s multicultural America and the legendary artist’s clandestine portrayals of that America in his art. Are They Bad Girls or Brilliant? The Truths about the Fight for Independent Prostitutes’ Rights Aphrodite Phoenix. CreateSpace. $24.95 paper (743p), ISBN 9781480085343 Amazon Phoenix, who has worked as an escort, brings together a memoir and a collection of iconoclastic essays that detail the victories and challenges of the American sex workers’ rights movement, and highlight a “Holy Feminine Trinity: Nurturing, Healing, Erotic.” Behind the Smile: Sex, Humor, and Terror During the Glamour Years of Aviation B o b b i P h e l p s Wo l v e rt o n . Vi l l a g e C o n c e p t s . $14.95 paper (234p), ISBN 9780615827643 865-657-9560 A former international flight attendant relates her adventures in the 1960s and ’70s: harrowing landings, unruly passengers, sexual escapades, babies being born, and terrifying episodes in such war zones as Vietnam and Egypt. A memoir of one woman’s quest to become a successful concert pianist, and the setbacks and triumphs she meets along the way. 9780578109121; $9.99 e-book www.carlmckever.com The third volume of McKever’s poems has a foreword and afterword by Anna Maria Clark. Songs of Enlightened Society: Poems Expressive of Living in Enlightened Society P r e s t o n M c W h o r t e r. Outskirts Press. $13.95 paper (77p), ISBN 9781478705901 Amazon These poems tell of a humane society informed by the virtues of love, generosity, kindness , friendliness, decency, selfdiscipline, courage, and humor. Celestial Inferno: Poems of Another Realm Aaron Ozee. Lulu Publishing. $12 e-book (109p), ISBN 9781304103871 www.lulu.com/aaronozee Enter a world where Heaven and Hell are combined with love and greed into works of art. A Mental Meal of Magical Rhymes and Poems: The Very Best of Arthur Weil, Vol. I A r t h u r We i l . U n i t e d Graphics. $14.95 paper (360p), ISBN 9780978845681 www.poetrypearls.com A compilation of rhymes, poems, and short sayings that reflect the sounds of nature, ghosts of the past, the infinite universe, dreams, visions, and humanity.

PHILOSOPHY
Reflections on Fundamental Matters: Not for the Satisfied Mind John H.T. Francis. Lulu Publishing. $34.50 paper (470p), ISBN 9781483402352; $14.50 e-book ISBN 9781483402345 www.johnhtfrancis.com For minds unsatisfied with the prevailing understanding of things, Francis draws on a wide range of fields—science, epistemology, sociology, economics, politics, anthropology, and psychology—to approach many of humanity’s most important and difficult questions.

POETRY
The Light Changes Amy Billone. Hope Street Press. 99¢ e-book (64p), ISBN 9780989074018 www.amybillone.com; Amazon; bn.com This collection traces a journey from death to rebirth, guided by the spirits of Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, with a bit of Emily Dickinson thrown in. The author teaches English at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Journey On: Beauty and Grit Along the Way Anna Blake Godbout. Mountain Tapestry Press. $12.95 paper (p), ISBN 9781938859007 719-481-4352; Amazon A poetic dialogue, inspired by the mountains and seacoast, between writer and reader. Poetic Expressions, Vol. III: Carl McKever. Bowker Book Publishing Services. $9.99 hardcover (60p), ISBN

POLITICAL SCIENCE
Apocalypse Averted: Why There Was No Need to Fret Peter Calvet. CreateSpace. $10.50 paper (286p), ISBN 9781475189162 Amazon; bn.com Based on Calvet’s blog “Corporations Are People?,” this is a varied collection of essays chronicling the 2012
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Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland Robin Spielberg. Spobs Music. $18.99 paper (358p), ISBN 9780970563354; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9780970563378 www.robinspielberg.com

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presidential election, addressing such topics as the fears of many that Obama’s re-election would result in the collapse of civilization, and the fears of others that massive amounts of corporate campaign spending would result in the collapse of democracy. Essays for My Father: A Legacy of Passion, Politics, and Patriotism in Smalltown America Richard Muti. Richard Muti. $17.95 paper (216p), ISBN 9780989148207 www.richardmuti.com Essays about Chris Christie and Jersey-style politics, unnecessary wars, wrongheaded government, rare displays of political courage, and an Italian-American heritage shared by 17 million Americans. The Predicament: How Did It Happen? How Bad Is It? The Case for Radical Change Now! David L. Smith. Sic Itur Ad Astra Publishers. $9.95 paper (184p), ISBN 9780988872806; $4.95 e-book ISBN 9780988872813 Amazon Reveals the causes of America’s economic and political dysfunction and offers a revolutionary proposal to reorient government to the service of the people. Pamela Christian. West Bow Press. $16.99 paper (212p), ISBN 9781449799199 bookstore.westbowpress.com Exploring popular claims about truth and religion, the author provides a rational, deductive path that helps readers possess a confident faith conviction now into eternity. Heaven’s Better: A Jolly Look at Miracles and Entrepreneurship Henry S. Walter. CreateSpace. $9.99 paper (237p), ISBN 9781477498231 Amazon A memoir recounting the miracles experienced from childhood to becoming a newspaper publisher. Giving thanks to God took the author to a creative business life. The Missing Ingredient in Our Prayer Life J e r e m y G . Wo o d s . C r eateSpace. $7.88 paper (48p), ISBN 9781467980487; $3.99 e-book Amazon How many Christians can truly say that they have prayed this week? And how many of those can say that they sought after God while praying? It is sobering to think that something so important is missing in Christians’ lives. 9781491064092 Amazon; bn.com Using this guide to making models that zoom, kids can create models from common materials and learn science. Intended for teachers, homeschool parents, and kids.

SELF-HELP
How to Get a Job While in High School and Beyond Bob Striegel. Carpenter’s Son Publisher. $9.95 paper (96p), ISBN 9780989372213; $5.95 e-book Amazon Novice job seekers receive an inside track to landing a job through preparation, presentation, and perseverance. Addicted to Dysfunction: Released to Live Life Out Loud Benita Tyler. Beloved Daffodils Inspiration . $14.95 paper (215p), ISBN 9780985696412; $14.95 e-book ISBN 9780985696429 www.beloveddaffodilsinspirations.com Tyler analyzes her own life through five character sections—disappointment, the importance of relational choices, forgiveness, awareness, and our acceptance of others—to challenge readers to “let go and let God.”

RELIGION
Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism: Turning Believers into Nonbelievers and Nonbelievers into Believers Swami Achuthananda. CreateSpace. $11.85 paper (218p), ISBN 9781481825528; $3.99 e-book ISBN 9780975788325 Amazon An introductory book on Hinduism touches the basics and plunges headlong into unpublished controversies, like the Aryan invasion theory and RISA scholarship. Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies

SCIENCE
In Search of Unity: The Greatest Puzzle of Science Spencer Scoular, Ph.D. CreateSpace. $15.95 paper (327p), ISBN 9781490548340;$9.99 e-book ISBN 9780987662224 www.insearchofunity.com/ order Introduces a new paradigm of science, a new unifying symmetry, and a new theory of biological evolution. Car Models That Zoom: Creativity in Motion Ed Sobey, Ph.D. Northwest Invention Center. $12.95 paper (110p), ISBN

TRUE CRIME
Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder Diana Staresinic-Deane. Aventine Books. $19.50 paper (340p), ISBN 9781593308155; $9.99 e-book ISBN 9781456614515 Amazon; bn.com; Ingram; iTunes A farmer’s wife is murdered and after several arrests, her husband is tried twice before being acquitted, leaving a Kansas community to struggle with the lack of justice. ■

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Reviews
Fiction
A Farewell in Paris
Paul A. Myers. Paul A. Myers Books, $10.99 paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-4811-0046-5

Kurt and Bill are expat Americans living in Paris after WWI. Kurt is working as a Berlin correspondent and Bill is a literary agent. Kurt is also writing a novel about his experiences as a soldier in the war. While Kurt works on his book, Bill falls for Kate, an American writer who is also living in Paris. Surrounding them are the intellectual lions of the time —Djuna Barnes, André Breton, Man Ray—as well as the lively lesbian enclave of the Left Bank. Kurt and Djuna fall in love, but as fascism starts to rise in Germany, he dies and his manuscript is incinerated with him, leaving friends broken on the edge of uncertain times. In this lively novel, Myers clearly demonstrates his familiarity with the intellectual culture of Paris in the 1920s. However, he seems less certain about the characters he’s created. Although they inhabit a detailed world full of richly portrayed geniuses, they do little more than flatly predict the failure of the armistice and the rise of fascism. While Myers has a consummate understanding of his setting, he hasn’t matched it with a compelling story.

knows it’s wrong, Daniel assumes the identity of his pen name—Charles Spectrum, self-help guru—finding it impossible to say no to the money and the prestige. He falls for a woman named Clare, who found his book helpful, but he remains disdainful of the rest of his fans until Clare takes him to meet some of the people he’s helped. As Daniel becomes overwhelmed by the guru business, Suzanne’s thug brother, Jack, tries to kill him and he realizes the only way he will ever be free is to reveal his hoax on national television. Daniel is an affable protagonist—a bit self-obsessed, but basically decent. Davis’s novel is an entertaining farce about modern society, a deft, fast-paced tale that will leave self-aware readers giggling. This is an entertaining book that will reward readers.

mance genre. While her male characters are basic romantic archetypes, readers will appreciate the book’s steady pace, wellconstructed story, and genial style.

Eternidad: Cimmerian Rising
B. Thomas Harwood. Herschel-Floyd, $12.99 paper (250p) ISBN 978-0-9893750-0-9

Dogs Aren’t Men
Billi Tiner. CreateSpace, $10.50 paper (266p) ISBN 978-1-4904-1245-0

★ Brain: The Man Who Wrote the
Book that Changed the World
Dermot Davis. Expression Unleashed, $9.59 paper (217p) ISBN 978-0-9844181-3-8

Daniel Waterstone is struggling to write the great American novel. While his agent, Suzanne, believes he has talent, his books have no commercial success. In a fit of despair at the state of modern literature, he decides to write a parody of a self-help book under a pseudonym. This is the book that becomes a bestseller. While he

Rebecca Miller is a veterinarian who is happy with her life and her animals. Her mother, however, would like to see her married sooner rather than later. Rebecca doesn’t think this is likely until she meets Derrick Peterson. While she and Derrick—who likes to keep his relationships casual—dance around their feelings for each other, Rebecca is threatened by Dalton, her secretary’s abusive boyfriend. Dalton is eventually arrested, but just when they think they’re safe, tragedy strikes and Derrick almost loses Rebecca, forcing him to confront his feelings and admit his love. Tiner— whose experience with veterinary medicine is clear—has written a quality entry in the ro-

The dark plans of a 2,500-year-old tyrant, Jeringas Mortifer, and his sinister assistant, the Soul Collector, kick off this new fantasy series set in the 12th century with a tone of dread. Captive clairvoyant Azura reports that recently discovered stone tablets foretell of a challenger to his rule, and Mortifer sends the Soul Collector in search of Peiman, the one seer who can properly decipher the tablets. Harwood skillfully keeps this tale of legend and myth grounded in reality. Simple fishermen Capt. Pieter Thomas and first mate Franklin Smit of Statia— who think the European imperial powers could easily smash Mortifer—provide another link to the real world. Meanwhile, the determination of the newly freed inhabitants of Camahogne to preserve their liberty and the Soul Collector’s solicitation of aid from a vampire colony suggest that a protracted struggle between the powers of light and darkness looms. Hardcore fantasy fans will relish this witch’s brew of the macabre and the fantastic.

★ Immortality
Kevin Bohacz. C Prompt, $14.95 paper (516p) ISBN 978-0-9791815-1-1

When human extinctions occur in South America and spread worldwide, paleobiologist and genetic researcher Mark Freedman senses a connection to the Chromatium Omri bacteria, the oldest known life form on Earth linked to previous extinctions. The growing virulence in the “kill zones” spurs Freedman to join forces with Kathy Morrison, expert on viral and bacterial pathogens with the
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Centers for Disease Control. Despite personal losses, Freedman and Morrison find romance and make discoveries about the devastation and what lies behind it. Other colorful characters include dedicated policewoman Sarah Mayfair, whose horrific dreams and improbable survival enable contact with the forces behind the outbreaks; cynical Gen. James McKafferty, committed to preserving the U.S. at whatever cost; and Artie Hartman, goaded by his wife’s death to wage war on gangs and government forces indiscriminately. The seemingly random attacks and emergence of chaos allow Bohacz to explore such themes as whether humanity deserves to survive, the meaning of being human, and the cost of perfect health and immortality. The originality of Bohacz’s ideas is nearly equaled by detailed descriptions of a decontamination lab, the frenzied search for answers, and the aftermath of destruction. His vision of a humanity that faces the need to evolve profoundly or face certain destruction is as timely as today’s news and as chilling a doomsday scenario as any ecological catastrophe can suggest. Slowly, they rebuild their life together and restore their trust in each other. Popik presents bipolar disorder without condescension or exploitation. While readers may find the appearance of an antagonistic ex-husband of a client of Richard’s distracting from the central story, they will forgive it for the intimacy of the rest of the tale. while Tru tries to do the right thing, the attraction proves irresistible. Kelly’s novel is well paced and features deftly drawn characters and a superb sense of setting that will immerse readers in Salem of the 1950s. While the eventual tragedy is a bit contrived, it serves to make readers more attached to Tru and Dinah, despite their unconventional relationship.

On the Death Beat
JS Bateman. CreateSpace, $11.99 paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-4910-4317-2

Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate
Alexis Rankin Popik. Aucoot, $14 paper (190p) ISBN 978-0-9858395-0-5

Clare Stone has been happily married to Richard for years. They have a wonderful home, and he is a powerful and charismatic attorney mid-1990s Los Angeles. When Richard disappears, Clare is terrified. Whe he reappears, in an emergency room, he is clearly manic. Together they learn that he suffers from bipolar disorder, which runs in his family and caused his mother to commit suicide.

This uninspired marriage of dark humor and criminal psychology robs suspense from a genre demanding sensationalism. Characters with petty motivations are stripped of believability in Bateman’s flimsily constructed narrative. Hoping for membership in the International Great Obituary Writer’s Hall of Fame, journalist Jason murders folks in Logan, Utah, for good copy. Graduating from elderly belly dancer Ina Golightly and war veteran Claude “Boots” Hopper to more challenging prey, Jason plays a game of wits with Det. Dan Sheets, leaving a bloody trail of corpses in his wake and then reporting on it. Will Jason make a fatal error as he spars with forensics specialists and frustrated police or will murder truly pay? Awkward point-ofview shifts between wooden characters further hamper the novel. Jason’s desires lack the passion or conviction required to emotionally justify his crimes. The result is a diluted thriller unable to arouse delight or dread.

Strum
Nancy Young. Inkwater, $18.95 paper (380p) ISBN 978-1-59299-937-8

Prospice
Karen Kelly. Legitur, $28.95 paper (388p) ISBN 978-0-9893200-0-9

Mysticism and natural beauty pervade Young’s novel as different generations of a family derive spiritual direction from music. Led by a dream of a melody, Bernard in 1954 visits a deserted Canadian lumber town and in an abandoned church discovers a venerable guitar similar to one from his dream. Bernard’s reference to “divine intervention” sets the tone as other family members find the events of their lives guided by the strum of fate and the redemptive powers of music. Young’s intense focus on the natural world provides imagery of glistening beauty, even as the narrative pace drags. But her scrutiny of the internal life of characters makes external incidents seem less relevant. Solid dialogue provides character development, but the overall atmosphere of hushed reverence and the author’s overwriting overwhelm the novel.

The North Building
Jefferson Flanders. Munroe Hill, $15.50 paper (430p) ISBN 978-0-9887840-8-6

After her husband dies in WWII, Caroline Hunt takes her daughters to her childhood home of Salem, Mass. There, she unexpectedly reconnects with Tom, an old love, and they are soon wed. Her daughters—teenage Dinah and young Jemima—gain a stepbrother in high school athlete Tru. Tru and Dinah are immediately attracted to each other, and

All the elements of an entertaining historical thriller are present in Flanders’s novel, as war-weary foreign correspondent Dennis Collins returns from Korea in 1951 to an increasingly paranoid America. Back in New York, where Collins finds his newspaper closed, an old friend advises

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him to tone down criticism of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s strategy in Korea to avoid getting swept up in the Red Scare. Unfortunately, Collins’s experiences are more often told than shown. Flanders sets scenes like a popular historian rather than a novelist, using dialogue to move plot in a manner that’s often leaden and obvious. It takes the author a long time to reach the book’s central conflict—Collins is caught up in Cold War espionage and intrigue—and the novel gets bogged down in a slow romantic subplot. A long-delayed confrontation and its aftermath demonstrate how all the right elements for a taut thriller can unravel without tight plotting. Muslim Communist” he once detested, and to reconcile with his politically active daughter, Jennifer. In his debut novel, Vesterberg’s portrait of an extremist pulls no punches and has a lingering power. continue the fight, Pines maintains that, had U.S. troops not entered the conflict, a negotiated peace would have ensued. The surrender terms imposed on Germany, he argues, led to a legacy of bitterness that helped foster subsequent Nazi rule. Pines’s re-examination of the atmosphere of those times is fascinating food for thought as we approach 2014, 100 years after the start of “The War to End All Wars.”

Poetry
The Light Changes
Amy Billone. Hope Street, $6.12 paper (78p) ISBN 978-0-9890740-0-1

The Roche Limit
Jonas Vesterberg. Exilio, $16.95 paper (244p) ISBN 978-0-615-80145-2

A dying agent’s cryptic disclosure leads U.S. Army Maj. Bob Faller to reconsider his patriotic philosophy and life’s work in this reflective if ultimately uneven espionage thriller. A humane man overwhelmed by American decline, Faller finds his world view challenged in a meeting with amputee billionaire Sheldon Orelson, who warns that the Roche Limit rule of the more powerful always prevailing applies to both Earthly power games and astronomy. Faller’s increasingly unsatisfactory encounters with a decaying, inequitable society engender an angst only heightened by injustice and corruption. As he seeks answers to the death of informant Mahmoud, who was part of the covert Rogue Traveler program, and uncovers the antics of elusive agent Bethany Black-Jones, death and the collapse of his marriage provide heavy-handed symbolic parallels to his transformed understanding of America. Confrontations with various forces spur Faller to fight for the “African

Billone’s book of poetry explores personal tragedy, recovery, and hope, but is ultimately a smattering of free verse that, at times, lacks stylistic and thematic cohesion. The major theme of the book centers on a failed suicide attempt and the emotional and psychological recovery from it. However, transitions from trauma to recovery are often haphazard. To push these transitions along, Billone utilizes the redemptive power of love and family and childhood memory. The hope-filled poems that deal with pregnancy and childbirth will likely appeal to mothers and mothers-to-be. Billone has produced a nascent work that draws its strength from the power of emotion.

A Long Swim Upstream
Mike Feder. Federfiles, $15 paper (294p) ISBN 978-0-9894154-0-8

Nonfiction
America’s Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One
Burton Yale Pines. RSD, $15.50 paper (440p) ISBN 978-0-9891487-0-2

Radio host Mike Feder plows through his neuroses and personal terrors in these autobiographical stories that cover the highest and lowest points of his life. “Mother” chronicles Feder’s long, strange relationship with his mother, her problems, and his own. The author’s issues often paralyze him, and reading about his constant life-changing missteps will make the reader want to shake him by the shoulders. But there is always a payoff. Feder’s real-life characters shine—particularly the would-be subway driver of “Here’s Herbie”—and when he becomes passionate (e.g., when trying to save the 12-year-old Sanford Brodsky) the results are masterful. Part sit-down conversation, part autobiographic poetry slam, Feder’s confessional stories may agitate and frustrate readers, but will keep them turning pages.

Pines provides an epic exercise in historical speculation in this detailed and thought-provoking review of the United States entry into WWI. His daring thesis, buttressed by a sweeping review of sentiment at the time, is that U.S. intervention into a war in which American interests were not threatened laid the basis for a disastrous peace agreement, a vengeful postwar spirit, and ultimately WWII and the Cold War. Contending that the Allies and Central Powers were too exhausted to

Me and Murder, She Wrote: My Adventures in Television with Angela Lansbury, Peter Falk, and Jerry Orbach... Among Others
Peter S. Fischer. Grove Point, $18.95 trade paper (254p) ISBN 978-0-9886571-3-7

Fischer spent more than 20 years writing scripts for TV movies and classic series like Columbo, but is best known as one of the creators of Murder, She Wrote. “In so many ways my career has been a fairy stoW W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M

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ry,” he writes in this account of his transformation from insurance investigator and trade magazine publisher to writer and producer at Universal Studios and now author of Hollywood-themed murder mysteries. Fischer’s humorous tone and comments addressed to readers create a sense of intimacy, but the insider’s view he offers is not a tell-all. For the most part, Fischer is generous with compliments for particular producers, directors, and actors, occasionally venting about big egos that sabotaged projects and industry executives. He seems stoical about the arbitrary, cutthroat nature of show businesses, attributing much of his success to lucky breaks and his ability to turn out a story quickly. Yet by pointing to creatively challenging projects and enduring friendships forged despite fears of missing deadlines, going over budget, and cancellations, he convincingly supports his argument that life becomes satisfying only when you follow a dream, however improbable. able to celebrate the couple’s happy times. Perhaps most touching is her realization that one’s view of any relationship—whether it be of Kirk’s famous friend H.P. Lovecraft or of her own—is necessarily partial and blinkered. The author’s concluding note that she will remember what she wishes to remember sustains her conviction that the truth is, indeed, whatever one wants it to be. conventional humor and why they are successful, and encourages readers to start pursuing comedy writing. However, to quote Mark Twain, “Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.” Despite his attempt to provide a survey of all aspects of modern humor, Hoover has gotten so close to his subject that at times it becomes stale. He never delves deep enough into societal and film criticism to make his exploration of the evolution of the sitcom compelling, and his understanding of humor psychologically— as well as its history—is broadly drawn. Still, aspiring comedians willing to study their craft may find a lot to learn from Hoover.

★ Tasting Home: Coming of Age
in the Kitchen
Judith Newton. She Writes, $16.95 paper (311p) ISBN 978-1-938314-03-2

So Many Lovely Days: The Greenwich Village Years
Mara Kirk Hart. Kirk, $15 paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-9890478-0-7

Hart (Lovecraft’s New York Circle) focuses on the struggles of her parents, George Kirk and Lucile Dvorak, to maintain both a small New York City bookstore and their marriage in the 1920s and ’30s. Her clear portrayal of a largely apathetic Kirk and energetic Dvorak suggests that their valiant effort to keep the Chelsea Book Shop afloat for 12 years may have collapsed even without their economic travails. Anecdotes about Prohibition and covertly stocking Joyce’s Ulysses, banned then for sale in the U.S., add luster to her account of bohemian life in 1930s Greenwich Village. Hart is more concerned with a history of her family than of the times, and documents her mother’s often contradictory feelings toward Kirk. Although Hart arrives at conclusions about her parents’ relationship, she is also

Judith Newton has spent her life searching for home and family while pursuing an academic career. From seeking affection from her mother and time spent in communal living to her involvement in civil rights struggles, her choice to have a child, and the death of her best friend, Newton has marked the many phases of her life with food. Each chapter of this engaging memoir includes a recipe that relates to a corresponding time in Newton’s life. Readers will find her story delightful and resonant—especially given the universal relationship between food and family. This is a well-paced coming-of-age story with all the right ingredients: honesty, well-drawn characters, and plenty of insight.

The Power of Vow: Everyday Tools for Healing
Darren Littlejohn. Rainbow Light, $14.99 paper (308p) ISBN 978-0-9895260-0-5

The Joke’s on You: How To Write Comedy
Stephen Hoover. Stephen Hoover. $12.95 paper (216p) ISBN 978-0-9897465-0-2

In this deconstruction of comedy, screenwriter and comedy writer Hoover attempts a broad survey of what makes things funny. He wants to show readers how to identify potentially amusing circumstances, relay those circumstances in humorous form, and possibly make a career out of it. He examines many forms of

Littlejohn (The 12-Step Buddhist) is clearly quite familiar with the worlds of both Buddhism and addiction. Like many people, he experienced frustration at the perceived Judeo-Christian bent of 12-step programs. But he didn’t want to abandon the program because it was working for him. Instead, he worked to incorporate into the program key Buddhist concepts that will keep addicts on a firmer path to sobriety, alleviate suffering, and provide deeper spirituality. Littlejohn offers a number of recommended texts that readers might look to for support and specific help. However, his book is sometimes scattered. Littlejohn’s writing is alternately serious and humorous—and that may prove difficult for some readers struggling with addiction. While Littlejohn offers many good points, his message is sometimes hampered by his lack of focus.

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★ The Tsar’s Treasure: The
Sunken White Star Liner with a Billion Dollar Secret
Martin Bayerle and G.S. Payne. Barnburner, $28.95 hardcover (274p) ISBN 978-0-9888760-0-2

Through meticulous research, contagious passion, and admirable candor, treasure hunter Bayerle explains why he’s spent much of his adult life digging for gold buried on a luxury ocean liner that sank in the Atlantic Ocean more than a century ago. The RMS Republic, part of the White Star Liner fleet (which also operated the Titanic), was struck in the early morning hours of January 23, 1909, after the S.S. Florida steamship veered 30 miles off course in heavy fog. While most of the Republic’s passengers and crew were transferred to other ships and survived, the Republic eventually sank while being towed to New York City. Soon, rumors spread that a reported million dollars in gold coins had been onboard the ship. After decades of research, legal battles, failed expeditions, and personal struggles, Bayerle insists those rumors are true and makes a compelling argument why. He suspects the involvement of Russian czar Nicholas II and estimates the treasure’s potential worth at $1.5 billion. Bayerle also claims to know exactly where the treasure lies and is planning a final expedition to the wreck. By reviving the story of a ship forgotten by history, he captures the political intrigue and human elements with the eye of a novelist.

casts an earlier British seafaring rogue, Sir Frances Drake, in a dramatic light. The opening sequence sets the scene for Drake’s lifelong personal vendetta against the Spanish. After a 1568 skirmish with a double-crossing Spanish viceroy in the New World, in which Drake lost ships and crew members, he “promised himself that he would never forgive or forget the Spanish treachery and one day he would enact his revenge.” Author/entrepreneur Croce, who founded the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum in Florida, focuses almost exclusively on Drake’s privateering (rather than other aspects of his life), detailing the brazen plundering on sea and land that earned him a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. The meandering narrative includes a great deal of reimagined dialogue, some of which has an anachronistic ring; as Drake triumphantly arrives home on a treasure-filled galleon he seized from the Spanish, his cousin announces that the queen “will be your best friend when her eyes alight on this plunder.” Elwell’s art—mostly sepia sketches, complemented by several dramatic, fullcolor paintings—energizes this swashbuckling adventure. Ages 6–12.

tury bounty hunter ancestor. Gray recruits Blake for a somewhat convoluted mission that involves recovering purportedly valuable ransom for the kidnapped daughter of a Chippewa medicine man who made magical dreamcatchers in the 1800s. The action ratchets up when Gray learns that outlaw Jack Wallace—his archenemy, who also has returned as a ghost—is hellbent on finding the long-lost ransom, too. Gray’s amiable cluelessness about 21stcentury life delivers some comedic punches throughout: he shoots up the TV when he feels threatened by an on-screen character and chops up utility poles for firewood. Despite the wild premise, Blake is a reallife kid whose grit and quick thinking save the day. Ages 6–12.

Gold in the Days of Summer: A Novella
Susan Pogorzelski. Brown Beagle Books (www.goldinthedaysofsummer.com), $9.99 paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-9888751-0-4

Fiction
Greedy Jack Wallace
Adam C. Veile. East Circle Publishing (www. TheDreamcatcherAdventures.com), $8.99 paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-9883874-0-9

Children’s Books
Picture Books
Sir Francis Drake
Pat Croce, illus. by Tristan Elwell. Pirate & Maritime Research Society (www.thepiratemuseum.com), $15.95 (56p) ISBN 978-0-98975330-2

This companion to Blackbeard (2011)

This mashup of contemporary tale/ high-stakes Wild West adventure/ghost story launches the Dreamcatcher Adventures series. On the last day of seventh grade, Blake Monroe is dissed by a girl he wants to date, has a run-in with his bullying nemesis, and learns that the bank is foreclosing on his family’s home. Riding his horse to escape his woes, the Montana boy encounters Galloping Gray Monroe, the roguish ghost of a 19th-cen-

It’s the summer of 1979, Annie’s 13th birthday is approaching, and change is in the sweltering air—none of it welcome. It’s Annie’s first summer without her best friend Ava, who is away at camp; the Vietnam veteran who lives next door, a confidante and adviser, is moving away; Connor, her neighborhood crush, seems smitten by the new girl moving into the vet’s house; and her grandmother is sinking into dementia, something her parents try to shield her from. Annie’s soulful attempts to sort things out are insightful and realistically muddled. Pogorzelski captures the sense of a girl holding onto the last days of a waning childhood— Annie prefers her memorystained old
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sneakers to a new back-toschool pair, and she pans for gold in the local creek, which holds only rocks (“maybe everything was gold if you just looked at it the right way”)—but who also recognizes that her life is at a turning point and that she’s growing up. Relatable family dynamics enrich this promising debut. Ages 12–18. doctors discover tumors in her brain, they schedule an operation to remove them, but at the cost of Charlotte’s hearing. With a month to go until the operation, she has a lifetime of music and sound to squeeze in, including judging a pair of bands for a local magazine. The stark yet emotional narrative flips between pre- and post-operation as Charlotte struggles with the life-altering event, along with family drama and the stirrings of a new relationship with a charming musician, Matthew. Abelson presents the story with complexity and delicacy, focusing more on the emotional aspect of Charlotte’s situation than on the medical details; the significance and consequences of Charlotte’s decisions are rendered in an almost poetic manner. While some moments and family interactions feel overwrought— Charlotte’s brother-in-law is almost criminally oblivious to her feelings—Abelson offers a powerful, honest story. Ages 12– 18. phobes and bullies, he explores his newfound gifts of creative writing and acting, winning a key role in a production of Hamlet. Likewise, he slowly explores his sexuality, leading to some awkward, even regrettable moments. When the bullies take things too far, Charles’s inner strength is sorely tested. Incorporating vocabulary footnotes and whimsical New Yorker–style spot cartoons, Charles’s story unfolds with sensitivity and humor, a wry tongue-in-cheek self-awareness letting his voice leap off the page. The book abruptly closes on a positive if inconclusive note, followed by an epilogue set eight years later. Ages 12–18.

Finding Favor
Lana Long. CreateSpace, $10.99 paper (308p) ISBN 978-1-4903-6727-9

Long debuts with a coming-of-age melodrama inspired by Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Seventeen-year-old Favor Miller has lived with the Browns ever since her father died, but the situation is anything but ideal. Save for the younger Brown son, Ethan, they’ve ignored, terrorized, or treated her like an unwanted guest. The final straw comes when the tyrannical Mr. Brown makes Favor sign a contract stipulating she’ll stay away from Ethan, on whom she has a crush, in exchange for college tuition. Favor must choose between her education and her heart, even as Ethan falls for another girl. Sadly, the majority of the narrative is fueled by Favor’s indecision and passivity, as she bounces emotionally between Ethan and his older brother, Tom, while caught up in the Brown family’s various problems. Favor acts as a spectator in her own story, devoid of action or agency, putting up with mental and emotional abuse and neglect; even Favor’s hobby of horticulture does little to redeem her. A shade of the original material, this overly dramatic story doesn’t distinguish itself. Ages 12–18.

Winter
Sarah Remy. Madison Place Press (www. themanhattanexiles.com), $11.99 paper (302p) ISBN 978-0-615-83021-6

The Thousand Natural Shocks
Michael Sáenz, illus. by Alex Fox. CreateSpace, $8.50 paper (204p) ISBN 978-14825-7740-2

Hear
Jacqueline Abelson. CreateSpace, $14.99 paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4752-7309-0

Music is 17-year-old Charlotte Goode’s life. Unfortunately, she’s also coping with neurofibromatosis type II, where tumors grow along the nervous system. When the

In a compelling debut, Sáenz offers a clever coming-of-age period piece primarily set in 1979. At 13, Charles Siskin already knows that he’s gay. Hoping to improve on “the daily tortures and humiliations of middle school,” he starts his freshman year of high school at St. Ignatius Loyola, an all-boys Catholic military institution. He soon becomes an outcast; his only friends are fellow misfits, like Stuart, who lisps, and Phaedre, a student from the girls’ school across the street. As Charles is tormented by homo-

In this intriguing urban fantasy, first in the Manhattan Exiles series, Remy offers up a world in which the Fae, exiled from their home realm and forced to dwell in New York City, struggle to survive while hiding in plain sight. Teenage Winter, one of the few to escape the city, acts as a consultant for the police in Washington, D.C., which is how he meets Aine, a new arrival from Faerie who was apparently kidnapped as part of a ritual. Investigating the mystery behind Aine, Winter and his allies soon discover a far more terrifying plan at work, one with deadly consequences for Fae and mortal alike. Remy’s world-building is substantial and her premise interesting, with memorable characters and some significant surprises along the way, including an unexpected last-minute game changer. Some readers may feel like they’re coming into a story already in progress, given how developed the characters and their situations are. That, coupled with a cliffhanger ending, gives this story an incomplete feel. Still, Remy’s take on the Fae is worth exploring. Ages 12–18. ■

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Urban Fantasy:
The New Horizons
Nov. 1, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Explore urban fantasy’s mean streets in October with the latest installment of Publishers Weekly’s live webcasts, hosted by PW reviews editor and PW Radio cohost Rose Fox. Urban fantasy is one of the hottest genres in publishing. Editors Tony Daniels of Baen and Sara Peed of Del Rey will examine its connection with other types of fiction—including paranormal romance, hard-boiled mystery, and stories of teen self-discovery—and its depiction of cities as both diverse and dangerous. They’ll also answer your questions about past, present, and future changes in this rapidly evolving genre. Plus, get a sneak peek of forthcoming titles from sponsors Baen and Del Rey.

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