wThe growth of DIY
wHow six authors made
their way from self-
publishing to big houses
wAn interview with Tim
Anderson, author of the
hilarious ‘Tune In Tokyo’
A quarterly guide
to what’s new in
Full reviews of 38
of 200 more titles
December 2010
Change in a hurry
By Jim Milliot and Michael Coffey
Writing, printing, and disseminating your own work has a
varied past. A century or two ago, it was a noble activity,
indulged in by such great figures as William Blake, Tom
Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, and James Joyce.
It endured a long period of indignity, branded as “vanity
publishing”—that is, self-publishing as a last resort for works
not viable in the marketplace. Perhaps it was the small press
movement that began rehabilitating the term, as the 1960s
and ’70s saw much self- and otherwise-subsidized publication
of beloved and none-too-commercial work by literary pio-
neers like Jonathan Williams and Len Fulton and publishing
pioneers like Dan Poynter. The desktop-publishing revolu-
tion in the 1980s lowered the barrier to book production.
Then came the Internet, and then Amazon. Of course, a com-
pany like Vantage Press has been around for more than half a
century, doing for citizen authors what is increasingly com-
monplace today—taking the means of production into one’s
own hands and becoming an author.
But there have never been changes as vast
and as fast as there are now. Indeed, the
self-publishing industry is growing up in
a hurry. Not only are more books than
ever before being published by a growing
number of self-publishing companies,
but authors are becoming more knowl-
edgeable about the publishing process
and demanding more services from ven-
dors. Self-publishing companies are
responding by widening their marketing
and distribution options, offering books
in digital formats, and treating authors
as business partners. “Whatever stigma
vanity publishing may have had has
diminished substantially for both readers
and authors,” notes Russ Grandinetti,
v-p of Kindle Content, who is also
involved with CreateSpace, Amazon’s
self-publishing arm. Indeed, Amazon has
introduced a whole set of services aimed
at drawing established authors to publish
with it. But as Grandinetti and others
note, the majority of people who sign up
with their companies are new authors
looking to publish a book as a commer-
cial enterprise or, as AuthorSolution’s
CEO Kevin Weiss says, “to get writing a
book off their bucket list.”
No matter what the goal, the demand
for self-publishing services continues to
grow, albeit not quite at the frenzied pace
before the recession. Weiss says he
expects the sale of author packages to
increase by about 23% in 2010 com-
pared to 2009. “I’ve been at this three
years and I’m still amazed at the growth,”
Weiss says. Bob Young, founder and
CEO of Lulu, says revenue at the com-
pany should be up by double digits this
year, and, for the first time in Lulu’s his-
tory, the company will turn a profit.
“Our core business is very, very healthy,”
Young says. He expects the company,
which withdrew plans for an initial pub-
lic offering earlier this year, to sell more
than three million units, which includes
books, e-books, and other content.
Similar to traditional publishers, the
sale of e-books and other digital products
has been a strong area for self-publishing
companies, both as a source of new busi-
ness for the company and as a format to
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
Self Publishing
Comes of Age
Vintage, Altered Dimensions, Trafford,
Windjammer, Hardbooks, Winepress
Inkwater Press, Green Elm Press,
Lifesource Publishing, Dog Ear Publishing
Nickelodeon Press, Iuniverse/Rising Star,
Xlibris, Petaluma River Press,
Second Blooming books,
Grey Swan Press,
Outskirts Press,
Peaceful Planet,
Lucky Dime Press,
Burgess Adams,
Tate, Cassio Books
Int’l, Yinspire Media,
Wayward Mamal Publishing
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 2
sell to the reading public. Many of the
larger self-publishing companies offer a
digital component to authors either as a
basic service or for a slight extra fee.
“Every time a new platform is intro-
duced, it’s a new service we can offer,”
says Brent Sampson, president of Out-
skirts Press, which recently added a Kin-
dle option to its offerings and will be
adding an iPad option in the first quarter
of 2011. CreateSpace’s Grandinetti notes
that self-publishing through Amazon’s
Kindle “continues to grow,” adding that
six of the top 100 Kindle bestsellers last
month were by self-published authors.
Infinity Publishing recently added an
audiobook option and, says CEO Arthur
Gutch, is preparing to introduce a “One-
Book” offering that will give authors a
print, digital, and audio book in one
package. Self-published authors realize
that it is easy, and not expensive, to pub-
lish digital editions, so those looking to
reach a wide audience tend to do both,
Grandinetti says. Vantage Press will add
e-books in the 2011 first quarter, says
CEO David Lamb.
Author Solutions has already moved
beyond e-books and is now offering an
apps package as well, aimed at children’s
book authors. Weiss says he expects the
app service to eventually rival that of its
e-book program.
The growth of digital is occurring so
fast it is causing a bit of a problem for
Sampson, who believes an increase in
digital-only titles is one reason the
growth in signing print book packages
for Outskirts has slowed. One of the chal-
lenges Sampson says he faces is letting
authors know that because of advances in
technology it is very easy to publish print
books. “Most [authors] don’t know that
they can get a paperback published with-
out any headaches,” Sampson says.
Along with other executives, Sampson
says that if the self-publishing industry
is to continue to expand, author educa-
tion must be a top priority. Sampson
says, “When a new technology is intro-
duced, there is more re-education.”
Author education will be a “major
thrust” for Author Solutions in 2011,
Weiss says. The company plans to create
educational sites for authors, and Weiss
hopes to facilitate more author-to-author
interaction through such things as pod-
casts and Webinars, while also working
with outside companies to develop more
educational platforms to reach authors.
More education is necessary not only to
draw new authors to a company’s service
but also to give those already publishing
the tools they need to successfully market
their titles. As distribution to traditional
and digital channels expands, authors
need to understand metadata and discount
terms, among other concepts. “We explain
the publishing math,” says Sampson.
Author Solutions will put more resources
into marketing, building on its existing
programs to help increase sales, says
Weiss. To that end, in early December the
company appointed Alan Bower to the
post of publisher and director of sales
channels. Weiss says Author Solutions is
committed to getting more exposure in
bookstores for books that merit it, conced-
ing that it won’t get all books into stores.
“Even traditional publishers don’t get
every book on shelves,” he observes. Cur-
rently, most self-publishers have packages
that include distribution through Baker
& Taylor and Ingram. CreateSpace’s Pro
Plan is one such example, and interest in
that is growing, says Grandinetti.
In addition to digital, partnerships are
seen as another growth area for self-pub-
lishing companies. Author Solutions has
partnered with four traditional publish-
ers to operate self-publishing arms, and
Weiss expects to announce more in 2011.
Lulu’s Young believes growth will come
from partnering with groups and organi-
zations that will use the Lulu platform to
market book publishing services to their
members. Under the program, Lulu will
handle all back-end operations, and its
partners will provide the content. “It will
be the equivalent of an imprint,” Young
says. Working with outside organizations
is a way to work with what Young calls
“the next generation of
publishers.” Outskirts
has launched a more
modest imprint effort. Authors who pub-
lish using its Diamond, Pearl, Ruby, or
Sapphire packages, which include a dis-
count for buying an ISBN, can list their
own imprint as the publisher of record on
the book. For authors that don’t take part
in the “Private Label” option, Outskirts
becomes the publisher of record.
CreateSpace also recently launched a
service through which authors can buy
an ISBN directly from the CreateSpace
Web site. The ISBN offer was part of a
range of enhancements Amazon made to
CreateSpace in November. Other new
features centered on services to help
authors write and produce more profes-
sional looking books. “Many authors are
looking to improve the quality of their
work and are willing to hire help,” Gran-
dinetti, says, adding that authors realize
that the better the book, the better the
sales. Grandinetti says he is also seeing
more small presses “who are looking for
bandwidth using CreateSpace.
In another sign of a maturing market,
several companies are expanding their
international businesses. Lulu recently
opened a printing facility in France to
serve the European market and plans to
open a new printing plant in Canada
soon. “International growth is outpacing
that in North America,” Young says.
Weiss says international sales growth has
been very strong at Author Solutions.
With self-publishing on the rise—and
competition in the space heightening—
companies are being as author friendly as
possible in order to put the days of vanity
publishing even further in the past.
“This isn’t like the old vanity publishing
where books sat in an author’s garage,”
stresses Weiss. “We treat authors as cus-
tomers,” Grandinetti adds. Infinity’s
Gutch says for small companies like his
that get a slice of book sales, working
with authors benefits everyone. “We
want our authors to know we are on the
same side of the table as them,” Gutch
says. “We make more money when
authors sell more books.” w
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
wElizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
What’s the difference between self-pub-
lishing and having a book handled by a
mainstream house? Elizabeth Cobbs
Hoffman, author of the April Ballantine
paperback Broken Promises,
says, “Well, it’s the difference
between crashing the party at
the castle and arriving in a
coach made by one’s fairy
Hoffman hastens to add
that iUniverse, the service
she used to self-publish Bro-
ken Promises (under the title
In the Lion’s Den), selected the
title for its Editor’s Choice
and Rising Star lists, and, she
says, “iUniverse was consistent, kind, and
encouraging, but working with Random
House is utterly different. The manu-
script is no longer just words on a page,
but something I am sharing with others
who feel as passionately about the charac-
ters as I do and are able to make the book
visible to a vast readership.”
Hoffman began writing the Civil War
novel while teaching in Ireland on a Ful-
bright, and she had two different agents
for the finished manuscript,
neither of whom managed to
place it with a publisher.
When Hoffman read a New
York Times article about self-
publishing, she says, “I
tamped down my pride (as a
Harvard University Press
nonf i cti on author) and
signed on for what I once
thought was the last refuge
of the vain.”
She continues, “I wrote to
a few authors asking for blurbs, and
Joseph Ellis replied that he agreed that
self-publishing was the ‘last refuge’ and
so, although he wished me well, he could
not write a blurb. I thanked him for his
kindness in responding and sent him a
Self-Publishing Payoffs
Six authors discuss making the leap to
traditional houses.
By Natalie Danford
With self-publishing increasingly accessible and publishers
always looking for a sure thing, the number of authors who
start out by publishing their own books is on the upswing.
Bowker reports that in 2009, non-traditional channels (includ-
ing self-publishers and micro-publishers) were responsible for
764,448 titles. Based on 2009 statistics, Bowker expects books
from nontraditional channels to outnumber those from main-
stream publishers by three to one in 2010. Yet the mainstream
still offers a few things that self-publishing cannot. Six authors
who have gone from self-publishing to a major house discuss
how they made the leap and the differences between the two.
few chapters anyway. I was astonished to
get another e-mail from him a week later
with a very enthusiastic endorsement.”
The novel also won a Director’s Mention
from the chair of the Langum Prize (as a
self-published book, it did not qualify for
the main prize) and the San Diego Book
Award for Best Historical Fiction.
Still, the author had all but given up on
finding a mainstream publisher when a
friend introduced her to agent Michele
Rubin at Writers House. Within a week,
Hoffman had signed with the agency, and
within a month signed with Ballantine.
Broken Promises isn’t the first self-pub-
lished book Ballantine senior editor Cait-
lin Alexander has acquired. Alexander
observes. “Self-publishing is not a substi-
tute for writers honing their craft,
though—they should be working with
critique groups and freelance editors and
attending writers conferences to get feed-
back on their work. But for writers who
have done all of that, and perhaps even
had agents shop around their projects
unsuccessfully, self-publishing can serve
as an effective test case to demonstrate
that there’s an audience for the book and
that the author is someone who can pro-
mote his or her work effectively—a skill
that’s increasingly crucial for all authors
in this age of social networking.”
wVince Flynn
Vince Flynn’s American Assassin, pub-
lished by Atria in October, is his 12th
book and his 11th featuring CIA super
agent Mitch Rapp. It comes with the full
publishing machinery behind it, as is
only appropriate for the work of an author
who has consistently hit national best-
seller lists (after debuting at #1, Assassin
as of December 13 had run for eight
weeks on PW’s Fiction list). But it wasn’t
always so.
Flynn says self-publishing was his
“backup plan” from the time he began to
write, not as an end to itself,but as a way
to draw attention to his work. His first
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 4
book received
r e j e c t i o n s
f r o m mo r e
than 60 publishers, agents,
and editors. Eventually, fed
up with the process, he fired
his agent, withdrew the
manuscript from the few
houses that still had it under consider-
ation, and began his writing career by
self-publishing Term Limits in 1997 and
selling the books himself.
“Look at how the music industry is
run, or professional baseball,” he says.
“Very few people go straight to the big
show. Most of them have to prove them-
selves in local markets first.” In three
weeks, he sold 2,400 copies.
Flynn recalls, “When the book was #1
on the local bestseller lists I started cold-
calling agents in New York. I narrowed
the list to four. One of them declined, and
three days later I decided Sloan Harris
was the clear-cut choice. He put the book
out for a weekend auction, and Emily
Bestler swept in and made three bids on
Friday. All of the publishers were in
Frankfurt, which added to the hectic feel-
ing, but Emily kept pressing. When she
raised her offer for the third time, she told
us the offer was good for 15 minutes. We
thought about letting it go till Monday,
but in the end wisely decided to go with
Emily.” Flynn has gone on to publish all
of his books with Atria and Pocket. Sales
have increased from book to book.
For her part, Bestler, Atria executive
editorial director, recalls, “Sloan Harris
at ICM sent me Vince’s first thriller, Term
Limits, after it had been turned down by
basically everyone else in town. I read it
and adored it and the rest is history.” She
notes that she currently has two other
previously self-published authors on her
list. “Self-publishing is a path a number
of writers take each year,” she says, “and
thank goodness, because otherwise we
might never hear of them.”
wCathie Beck
A book critic and columnist who has
published work in such magazines as
Glimmer Train and Zoetrope, Cathie Beck
wrote her sassy-yet-moving
memoir, Cheap Cabernet, a
decade ago. She wrote and
revised the book, and her
then agent submitted it to
publishers, who inevitably
made suggestions for Beck
to rework the manuscript. So
she did. But the sale that seemed so tan-
talizingly close never materialized. Beck
says the process was akin to “tearing your
skin off with no anesthesia.”
For 10 years the manuscript sat in the
proverbial drawer, and then Beck read an
article about an author who had self-
published and won a few awards. Beck
knew her book was publishable, and
sensed she could do a good job of pro-
moting it. (Indeed, she now estimates
that “2% of this book’s effort was in the
writing, editing, and rewriting; the
other 98% is what I’m doing right now.”)
Beck recalls she thought, ”What if I
treated it like a small business and just
did an exhaustive marketing campaign
online, and I got everybody
to buy the book one day on
Amazon so sales rankings
would go up, and I created
buzz around that and put
that buzz in front of agents
and publishers?”
Be c k de di c a t e d f i ve
months to the project and
finally settled on Amazon’s
pr i nt - on- demand ar m,
BookSurge (now called CreateSpace). In
October 2009, she published the book,
driving up Amazon sales as planned.
Flush with that success, she let the book
make the rounds of publishers one more
time, and an auction ensued. The victor,
Hyperion/Voice, published Cheap Caber-
net in paperback in July.
Barbara Jones, editorial director of
Hyperion and Voice, says, “When Dorian
Karchmar at WME sent Cathie’s Cheap
Cabernet, noting that it had been a ‘heat
seeker’ on Amazon, we noticed several fac-
tors that would make it a great book for
Voice. Not only was it a true, stirring,
spitfire of a story about female friendship
but her entrepreneurial chutzpah had
made it a success even in its self-published
form. In every way, in text and in entre-
preneurship, this is the story of a woman
who makes things happen for herself.”
wHilary Thayer Hamann
Unlike most self-published authors, Hil-
ary Thayer Hamann didn’t turn to self-
publishing after a round of rejections
from the traditional publishing industry.
Instead, after she finished writing Anthro-
pology of an American Girl, which she
describes as “a coming-of-age story set
against a broader cultural investigation,”
she and her former husband decided to
publish it themselves through his spe-
cialty print and design company.
“When the book was printed” in 2003,
Hamann says, “we got some interns and
sent it out—to everyone. It got excellent
reviews and great feedback from book-
sellers and readers. It quickly took on a
whole new weight, and demanded a staff
to meet demand, sell-through to stores,
build new relationships with the media.
In the meantime, I was try-
ing to write my own books
and publish other people’s
work. It was all beyond our
capacities, and eventually, we
had to close the [publishing]
company” set up to publish
her book and a couple of oth-
Finding backing from a
major house was almost acci-
dental, says Hamann: “A week after I
closed the company, I received an inquiry
from a major film company about the
rights to the book. I met with a producer
who’d read the novel and loved it. Though
nothing came of it, she encouraged me to
seek a second publishing life for the book,
which had never occurred to me.”
Hamann quickly acquired an agent,
Kirby Kim of WME, who equally quickly
sold the book to publisher Cindy Spiegel
at Spiegel & Grau. The house will publish
it in May.
Spiegel doesn’t see the number of self-
published books crossing over increasing
appreciably, but she does have another in
the pipeline, this one by the son of the
S E L F - P U B L I S H I N G
late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan,
John Moynihan, died from an allergic
reaction in his 40s. Spiegel explains,
“His mother, Elizabeth Moynihan, going
through his papers, found his senior proj-
ect from when he was a student at Wes-
leyan. Liz designed and printed 100 cop-
ies of the book as a tribute to her son’s life
and gave them to her friends. One of
them was the cousin of a friend of mine—
that’s how it happens.”
wStanley Gordon West
Stanley Gordon West was no neophyte in
the publishing world when he wrote the
book being published by Algonquin in
January under the title Blind Your Ponies.
Not only had his first novel, Amos, been
published by a New York publisher but
rights had sold to CBS and Kirk Doug-
las. But by the time West finished his
next manuscript, his agent had retired
from the business, and he could find nei-
ther representation nor a publisher that
was interested.
That second book was based on West’s
time at St. Paul Central High School in
Minnesota in 1949. One former class-
mate read it and passed it on to another,
and several of his fellow alumni encour-
aged West to publish the book himself.
He spent a year planning the launch. He
hired a graphic designer to create a cover,
and ordered 3,000 copies in May 1997.
The book went on to sell more than
40,000 copies.
Like many self-publishers, West did
back-breaking work, and his efforts had
a snowball effect. “I found a distributor
in Minneapolis, the Bookman,” recalls
West. “They liked it enough to stock it
for six months. I put a pile in the trunk
of my car and began hunting down every
bookstore in the Minneapolis/St. Paul
area. I met with some booksellers who
were ho-hum, but others who showed a
real enthusiasm, not the least of whom
was the regional buyer for Barnes &
West wrote two additional novels set
in St. Paul during the same era and two
others set in Montana, where he lived,
including Blind Your Ponies. In total, his
six books have sold 153,351 copies.
In the summer of 2009, West contin-
ues, “Amazon contacted me and wanted
to buy and feature one of my books
because so many Amazon readers were
reading it and raving. That started a
buzz, and several publishers got in on the
bidding for the rights. After 13 years,
Blind Your Ponies will be published by a
major house. I was as surprised as any-
Algonquin executive editor Chuck
Adams says, “Because Algonquin is one
of the few houses that still accepts and
reviews unagented material, we have
always gotten a fair number of self-pub-
lished books for consideration. Because
of the ease of self-publishing, I suspect
we are seeing more of them, and because
also of the improved quality of many of
these books, we probably give them
closer scrutiny than in the past.”
wPeter Merry
Wedding planner Peter Merry became
interested in writing a book about wed-
dings out of frustration with what was
available to him and to his clients. “Every
time I would go to the bookstore to see
what they were saying about my line of
work, I’d notice that everyone was telling
brides and grooms how to create an
image, but nobody talked about atmo-
Working from notes that he had writ-
ten for a 1999 seminar, Merry initially
created a fold-over booklet to send to cli-
ents. He sharpened the image by adding
a photo of a bride on the cover, and then
over the next seven years he occasionally
worked on the text. A Learning Annex
class with Dan Poynter motivated him to
finish it as a book, including chapters on
setting the pace and mak-
ing a grand entrance.
Merry self-published
The Best Wedding Recep-
tion... Ever!: Your Guide to
Creating an Unforgettably
Fun Celebration in paper-
back. He began wi th
1,500 copies, then ordered
10,000 copies and placed
the book on Amazon,
though most of his sales
continued to occur at his
speaking engagements and appearances
at bridal shows. A few wedding vendors
purchased caseloads of the book at a dis-
After selling the 10,000 copies, Merry
put together a press kit detailing what
he’d done with the book and what his
future plans were and mailed it to six
publishers that published wedding
In September, Sellers Publishing
launched a $22.95 hardcover edition of
Merry’s book. The transition has been “a
challenge,” according to Merry, but
extremely beneficial. He says, “They
made it a much better book: it’s full-color
and hardbound, and it’s got more profes-
sional, streamlined content. They also
encouraged me to update and revise it, so
it’s more current.”
Sellers senior editor Megan Hiller says,
“It was clear right away that Peter had an
original book idea for the wedding cat-
egory. There are many planners and
books that detail how to get the right
look for various parts of your wedding,
but there aren’t books that tell you how
to create a fun wedding. We already pub-
lish into the wedding category, so we
knew this was an original idea.”
“Even though the book is written spe-
cifically for brides and grooms,” she con-
tinues, “Peter didn’t have the contacts to
place the book in traditional book mar-
kets and other retail outlets.”
Hiller doesn’t see the number of self-
published titles coming in over the tran-
som exploding, however, though she
points out that self-publishing is “cer-
tainly easier now than it used to be,
whi c h me a ns mo r e
authors are going that
route.” Clearly not all
self-published volumes
are right for traditional
houses, she says, adding,
“Very few have the right
combination of ingredi-
ents to make them a book
we would take on.”
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P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 6
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D A N N O U N C E M E N T S
This, our frst PW Select supplement, received approximately 200 books for us to announce to the industry.
From among these submissions we committed to reviewing at least 25. Although these authors paid a fee to
be listed in print (and in an online database), we reserved the right to decide which books we would review,
and we vowed to review them with our customary standards. As is the case with the output from general
trade publishers, we do not (and cannot) review everything—38 titles get that treatment here (beginning
on page 23)—and we found some gems: Tim Anderson’s marvelous memoir-cum-travel tale, Tune In Tokyo;
Dorothy Dierk Hourihan’s sweet, sepia-toned portrait in 1919: A Kansas Tale; and William Bennett’s reso-
nant allegory for children, The Christmas Gift, among others.
The listing of all titles received, which begins on the following page, tells a story in itself. For one
thing, consider the publishers listed in the bibliography. You will fnd a generous representation of the
author services companies, large and small, that have been fourishing: AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford,
Xlibris; Book Locker, Dog Ear, RoseDog, Pleasant Word, and the Oliver and Open Press; not to mention
CreateSpace, Lulu, and the venerable Vantage Press. You will also see the sites that are ably serving as em-
poria for self-published books—Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon,—where these titles can be easily
Looking at the listings (and our reviews) is also instructive. What kinds of people telling what
kinds of stories are out there, investing their own time and money to be heard? There are profession-
als—whether in medicine, education, fnance, ftness, or nutrition—sharing what they have learned.
There are advocates for those victimized by fnancial turnarounds, spiritual crises, addictions, or just
mainstream mores who are intent on empowering the troubled or downtrodden. There are people
with memories of family to record and relate, or paeans to forgotten innovators they wish to record for
posterity and wider consumption. There are novelists and poets working in favored genres and styles,
where you can sense that the author is that enthusiast who believes he or she can tell a good story, too,
or turn a line with the best of them. All those things—the desire to help others, to instruct, to en-
lighten, to entertain, to express—are what have forever driven publishing at whatever level. And those
things are amply on display in the pages that follow.
This is just our frst PW Select supplement. The reading period is already underway for our second supple-
ment, to be published in late March. As we receive listings, they, too, will enter our database of self-pub-
lished titles, as the landscape changes.
Our decision to cover and assess the self-
publishing world’s output on a quarterly basis is an acknowledgment of the
burgeoning DIY field and the fact that technological advances and a widening
array of author services are making it easier and easier for everyman to tell his
own story, for everywoman to publish her own book. As barriers to publica-
tion are being removed, the landscape of publishing is radically changing, and
we want to reflect this new reality in our pages. We considered what role we
should play in this and decided that we would do as we have always done: eval-
uate books for their suitability and appeal to the book trade and, ultimately, to
the consumer.
By Michael Coffey
The Secret of Lies.
Barbara Forte Abate. Dog Ear Publishing.
$17.95 paper (304p), ISBN 978-1-60844-
Ingram; Amazon; www.barbaraforteabate
The year is 1957, and it’s the last sum-
mer for a family at an ancient house over-
looking the North Atlantic. It is a season
shattered by tragedy that splinters the
Tori Alexander. Cre-
ateSpace. $11.99 paper
(221p), ISBN 978-1-
What would strip
clubs be like if women had their way?
Lionesses and Their Colonel:
Operation Saint Domingue.
Manhattan Allen. $31.95 (368p), ISBN
978-1-60910-285-2; B&T
The ultra-secret team of beautiful and
powerful women (the lionesses of the title)
are taking back their army, one general at
a time, in this sexy romp in the jet-setting
world of military espionage.
Taste Everything: A Novel.
Julia Allenby. Tin Rose Publishing. $15
paper (208p), ISBN 978-0-557-45623-9
Clare O’Connell, a widowed administra-
tor, finally takes the plunge and enrolls in
her life’s dream: culinary school. During
the 15-month program, she manages to
quiet the voice of her dead husband and
find solace in the kitchen.
The Rut.
Bernard Amador. Hud-
s on Mohawk Pr es s .
$12.95 paper (242p),
ISBN 978-0-9843040-
A gay couple in upstate New York
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adopts a child headed for foster care; a
fateful encounter with a bull moose on a
mountain highway during the rut season
changes their lives forever in this inspira-
tional tale by a crime victim caseworker in
Albany County.
The Usurper.
Cliff Ball. CreateSpace. $8.99 paper (160p),
ISBN 978-1-4537-0272-7
B&T: Ingram; Amazon
Soviet Premier Khrushchev authorizes
the KGB to embark on an ambitious,
decades-long plan to destroy the United
States from within through the corruption
of American politicians, the American edu-
cation system, terrorism, and environmen-
tal disasters, culminating today, in this new
cold war thriller.
Daring Daughter of the Covenant:
A Historical Novel Based upon the
Life and Times of Beatrice Nasi
Mendes “Dona Gracia,” 1510–1569.
Emilie Barnett. Windjammer Adventure
Publishing. $24.95 paper (402p), ISBN
Amazon; Joseph-Beth; www.loganberry-
Mendes’s efforts to save fellow Jews dur-
ing the 16th-century Inquisition in Spain
are well-known in the Jewish community
but less so elsewhere; Barnett brings the
hero’s trials and tribulations to life in this
The Savannah Project.
Chuck Barrett. Switchback Publishing.
$16.95 trade paper (332p), ISBN 978-1-
From the tree-lined streets of Savannah
to the mossy stones of
an ancient Irish castle,
this tale of danger,
treachery, and action
kicks off in the wake
of a routine aircraft
accident during a St.
Patrick’s Day parade;
Barrett is a veteran air-
traffic controller.
A Civil Man.
Bruce Barsanti. $23.99 paper
(510p), ISBN 978-1-4515-5995-8
B&T; Amazon
An acti on-packed
adventure takes Cris
Reese through conflicts
with a Chicago mobster,
a training mission in the
OSS, and a heart-stop-
ping climax in South
Haven, Mich.
The Athletic Benchley: 105 Exercises
from The Detroit Athletic Club News.
Robert Benchley, edited by Thomas J.
Saunders. Glendower Media. $28.95 paper
(256p), ISBN 978-0-914303-02-2; Amazon
The Algonquin Round Table, Vanity
Fair, and Jazz Age New Yorker humorist
is in top form with pieces from the Detroit
Athletic Club News (an auto and advertising
club’s newsletter), many of
them never seen outside the
membership. Original illustrations pre-
sented in the original order of publication,
The Brass Compass.
Gerald Blumenthal. BlueTail Books.
$18.95 paper (471p), ISBN 978-1-4486-
2295-5; B&T; Amazon
A six-year-old Holocaust survivor grows
up to become a significant force in defeat-
ing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
Shadow Women.
Thérèse Bonvouloir Bayol. Éditions Dédi-
caces. $21.20 paper (220p), ISBN 978-1-
The McNulty clan
emigrated to Quebec to
escape British oppres-
sion. This story follows
the lives of four women
in smalltown St. Brigide
and tells a tale of Irish assimilation.
Outer Darkness.
Audrey Brice. Darkerwood Publishing
Group. $10.50 paper (236p), ISBN 978-
When socialite Chloe Brigid is mur-
dered and the crime has occult overtones,
an outed demon-worshipping congressman
is arrested. It’s up to magician Elizabeth
Tanner to solve the crime.
Sensible Shoes.
Sharon Garlough Brown. WestBow Press.
$24.95 paper (372p), ISBN 978-1-4497-
B&T; Amazon
In this story of heal-
ing, self-discovery,
and transformation,
four women explore
ancient paths of spiri-
tual disciplines to
travel deep into the
heart of their God.
A Crack in Everything.
Vanessa Carlisle. iUniverse. $14.95 paper
(208p), ISBN 978-1-4502-4392-6
B&T; Amazon
Tamina teaches sex
educati on to urban
teens, falls for a pseudo-
Buddhist, and suffers the
consequences of a violent
attack; an L.A. story.
Follow the Money.
Ross Cavins. RCG Publishing. $13.99
trade paper (266p), ISBN 978-0-9827720-
Ten interconnected stories follow cash
and bonds through the hands of recurring
characters in a Hiaasenesque American
South filled with televangelists and con
Kristie Cook. Ang’dora Productions.
$15.99 paper (366p), ISBN 978-0-
When Alexis Ames is attacked by
strange creatures, she enlists the help of
her mother in finding out who she really
is, only to discover that her mother is the
keeper of certain family secrets.
Dying on the Edge:
Romantic Voodoo Mystery.
Francine Craft. Wheatmark. $18.95
(242p), ISBN 978-1-60494-337-5;; Amazon
Film star Maggi French uses voodoo
to ensnare her married lover, who conve-
niently runs a movie studio. Will her hun-
ger push her over an emotional precipice
or launch her career into the stratosphere?
The Wayward Spy.
Roger Croft. CreateSpace. $14.95 paper
(394p), ISBN 978-1-4505-9020-4
Ingram; Amazon
Former newsman Michael Vaux heads to
England for an early retirement, but MI6
has other ideas when they discover his ties
to a Syrian arms dealer.
Dead Man Waking.
Peter C. Cropsey. CreateSpace. $12.95
(200p), ISBN 978-1-4538-0210-6; B&T
A drug-addicted, prison-bound pro-
tagonist wrestles with the consequences of
his life choices as he goes back to explore
his childhood. The author, who has served
time and now counsels others, aims his
message of hope and belief at the down-
Dean M. DeLuke. Grey
Swan Press. $28. 95
hardcover (272p), ISBN
High society and the horse-racing
elite, medical and veterinary special-
ists, mob figures, and Kentucky hill folk
become entangled in this twist on the
medical thriller.
Trespass into Eternity: Sister of Christ.
Fr. Joseph Diaz de Leon. Vantage Press.
$22.95 hardcover (164p), ISBN 978-0-
Ingram; B&T
An archeologist uses both artifacts and
faith to discover the truth about Jesus
Vampire Vacation
(The V V Inn #1)
C.J. Ellisson. RH Pub-
lishing. $12.95 paper
(296p), ISBN 978-0-
Vivian is a sexy 580-year-old vampire
with a talent for drama. She and her human
husband, Rafe, operate the V V Inn, a resort
for the undead.
The Silver Box.
Nikki Elst. Vantage Press. $22.95 hard-
cover (198p), ISBN 978-0-533-16274-1
B&T; Ingram
A magical story of a young woman in
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 8
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Sherrard C. Foster. Vantage Press. $23.95
hardcover (251p), ISBN 978-0-533-
B&T; Ingram
A woman flees her unfaithful husband
and heads for New England, only to find
herself in the middle of a murder inves-
After the Auction.
Linda Frank. $14.95
paper (170p), ISBN
The quest for a fam-
ily treasure—a seder
plate—looted by the Nazis leads to threats,
a murder, a diabolical plot, the discovery of
a cousin, and newfound romance.
Open Source.
Matthew M. Frick. CreateSpace. $12.95
paper (340p), ISBN 978-1-4537-1998-5
B&T; Ingram; Amazon
Vending route driver Casey Shenk blogs
about a ship hijacking and finds himself in
the center of a complicated plot to shape
world politics. Based on the actual hijack-
ing of the cargo ship Arctic Sea in the Baltic
in 2009.
Promised Valley Rebellion.
Ron Fritsch. Asymmetric Worlds. $10.79
paper (270p), ISBN 978-0-578-05778-1
Lulu; Ingram
The first of a four-
novel sequence set at
the end of prehistory,
asking whether civiliza-
tion, with its countless
heaven-sanctioned wars
and genocides, could’ve
begun differently.
Kimchee Days, or, Stoned-Cold
Timothy V. Gatto. The Oliver Arts &
Open Press. $19.95 (330p), ISBN 978-0-
Until recently, one of the army’s best-
kept secrets was that the men in the Nike-
Hercules system were in charge of nuclear
missiles ready to knock down fleets of
Soviet planes. An even better-kept secret
was about duty in Korea, where anything
Shall Never See So Much.
Gerald Gillis. $17.95
paper (328p), ISBN
A Marine and his
antiwar sister have a
deeply strained relation-
ship in 1968.
Rock Star’s Rainbow.
Kevin Glavin. Kevin Glavin Publishing.
$24.95 hardcover (500p), ISBN 978-0-
A reporter uncovers
the scandalous adven-
tures of a reclusive rock
star, only to be mur-
dered before publishing
them—thrown out of a
Swimming the Garda.
Audley Haffenden. CreateSpace. $19.95
paper (421p), ISBN 978-1-4392-6110-1; B&T;
A murder investigation sends the reader
on an odyssey through the daily lives of
people in Jamaica.
The Wrong Bus:
An Urban Christmas Story.
John Noel Hampton. CreateSpace. $9.99
paper (200p), ISBN 978-1-4536-4597-0
B&T; Amazon
Christmas in Los Angeles can bring out
the worst in some, but it can also spin mis-
ery into miracles and perhaps restore faith.
Dark Town Redemption:
A Novel Inspired by True Events.
Gary Hardwick. HardBooks. $12.95 paper
(260p), ISBN 978-0-9724804-1-3
During the height of the
turbulent 1960s, the civil rights move-
ment, and the Motown revolution, a mur-
der mystery threatens two men and the fate
of a nation.
Ring of Truth.
Hilary E. Harley. Booksurge/CreateSpace.
$17.99 paper (365p), ISBN 978-1-4392-
4501-9; B&T
Two soul mates cross
the ages and rediscover
each other i n 1860s
Paris. Living as artists
and lovers, they endeavor
to honor an ancient vow
to free themselves from
The Partnership.
Steven J. Harper. $12.99 paper (259p),
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Select Legal Topics
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By Andrew J. Schatkin
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A legal thriller by a
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O Why Be Proud?
Sally Tyndale Hartley. Vantage Press.
$14.95 paper (290p), ISBN 978-0-533-
B&T; Ingram
A historical novel about Southern plan-
tation life during the Civil War, written
by an 89-year-old retired realtor and book
David and Goliath: The Guardian
Angel Chronicles.
Bryan Hathaway. WinePress. $17.95 paper
(288p), ISBN 978-1-60615-015-3
An angel offers David Liberty, wasting
away in a nursing home, a miraculous sec-
ond chance. Liberty must help draw others
to God, despite his inability to speak.
The Hurricane Murders.
David Holmberg. Eloquent. $14.50 paper
(220p), ISBN 978-1-60911-334-6
B&T; Ingram; Amazon;
A somewhat cynical yet idealistic
reporter in Florida covers the brutal mur-
der of a mother and daughter—a story
requiring all the investigative skill and
compassion he can muster.
1919—A Kansas Tale.
Dorothy Dierks Hourihan. Vantage Press.
$11.95 paper (94p), ISBN 978-0-533-
B&T; Ingram
A lyrical novel offers an array of charac-
ters in early 20th-century America.
Twilight’s Ashes as Heaven Fades,
Book 1.
Auler Ivis. iUniverse. $25.95 paper (476p),
ISBN 978-1-4502-4549-4
B&T; Ingram; Amazon
The year is 635,039 A.D., and glaciers
blanket the planet. An emergent race is
bent on world domination as the remain-
ing humans cling to prophecy. Half the
author’s proceeds go to the Unitarian
Universalist Church.
Tales of Wonder from the Garden State.
Debbie Jones. Doramae. (172p), ISBN
Forget the New Jersey you think you
know. In Jones’s Jersey, the extraordinary
becomes ordinary—four towns, four sto-
ries, four secrets.
Brooklyn Valentine.
Rachel A. Levine. iUni-
verse. $15. 95 paper
(225p), ISBN 978-1-
B&T; iUniverse
A whirlwind tour of
Brooklyn and a near-sex
experience in a bakery—think cannolis.
The Bonus.
Georgia Lowe. Lucky Dime Press. $18.95
paper (398p), ISBN 978-0-615-37145-0
In 1932, with America in the grip of the
Depression, 22,000 WWI veterans march
on Washington to claim their wartime
bonuses. A tragic confrontation results.
The View.
Bryan J. Lyzer. CreateSpace. $14.99 (293p),
ISBN 978-1-4537-0220-8
In this romance mystery, collateral dam-
age after a mob hit places an innocent per-
son in the middle of the war against orga-
nized crime.
The Beads of Lapis Lazuli:
A Greek Mystery.
Doris Kenney Marcotte. Outskirts Press.
$12.95 paper (256p), ISBN 978-1-4327-
Ingram; Amazon
Part mystery, part psychological drama,
this tale mixes history, obsession, and the
The Drawing Lesson: The First in the
Trilogy of Remembrance.
Mary E. Martin. iUniverse. $19.95 paper
(327p), ISBN 978-1-4502-2936-4
Driven by a passionate and hungry
spirit, Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s
finest landscape artist, finds his inspiration
by facing a rival artist’s vengeance.
Doña Isidora: A Story of Love,
Romance, Betrayal and Repentance.
Dorila A. Marting. Vantage Press. $13.95
paper (256p), ISBN 978-0-533-16251-2
B&T; Ingram
In this coming-of-age novel set in Peru,
the 15-year-old heroine must find her path
amid disparate desires and through an
extraordinary rite of passage.
The Serial Lover:
An Annie March Novel.
Amanda Matetsky. CreateSpace. $14.98
paper (312p), ISBN 978-1-4392-6887-2
Amazon; B&T;
A twisted tale of love, lust, and literacy
on Long Island.

The Sword and the Dragon, The
Wardstone Trilogy, Book 1.
M.R. Mathias. CreateSpace. $19.69 paper
(536p), ISBN 978-1-4538-6274-2
Amazon; B&T; Ingram;
A young squire is
forced to run for his life
carrying the powerful
sword that his dying
monarch burdened him
with from his death bed.
The 41-year-old author
wrote much of the tril-
ogy while in prison in Texas.
The Royal Dragoneers, The
Dragoneers Saga,
Book 1.
M. R. Mathi as. Cre-
ateSpace. $11.88 paper
(302p), ISBN 978-1-
Amazon; B&T; www.
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Hold on to your dragon! Welcome to
a brave new world of hearty survivors,
dragon riders, and troll fighters; the first
installment in a new saga by Mathias.
Meeting Darkness.
Katy McDermott. Infinity Publishing. $17.95
(318p), ISBN 978-0-7414-6095-0
New Cape Cod resident Laurie Kilcannon
(and her maybe boyfriend Police Chief Tim
Riordan) investigate local residents to find
a vicious killer.
Cephrael’s Hand:
A Pattern of Shadow & Light, Book 1.
Melissa McPhail. Outskirts Press. $28.95
hardcover (634p), ISBN 978-1-4327-
Ingram; Amazon
In the kingdom of Dannym, the young
Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future
as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle
Throne. When his blood brother is slain,
Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the
man responsible.
Thirteen Years of Christmas.
Maria Elizabeth McVoy. Vantage Press.
$12.95 paper (102p), ISBN 978-0-533-
B&T; Ingram
A collection of short stories written over
the course of 13 Christmas seasons.
A Hint of Light.
David L. Meth. Writers’ Productions.
$14.95 paper (303p), ISBN 978-0-615-
Meth, an award-win-
ning playwright, tells
the story of a black-
Korean boy orphaned on
the streets of Seoul, who
makes his way, partly in
the company of a white-
Korean female compan-
ion, to Japan and New York.
The Triangle on the
Oregon Trail.
Jack A. Miller. Vantage Press. $13.95
paper (170p), ISBN 978-0-533-16298-7
B&T; Ingram
Adventure, love, and history are woven
together in this tale of the journey of a life-
time along the famed Oregon Trail in the
Mike Monahan. BookSurge/CreateSpace.
$10 (235p), ISBN 978-1-4196-8402-9
B&T; Amazon
A bloody mashup of Jaws, The Godfather,
and The Onion Field.
Moments of a Lifetime.
Victoria Sue Nellie. Vantage Press. $10.95
paper (111p), ISBN 978-0-533-16254-3
B&T; Ingram
A charming tale of a woman and her
beloved dog, based on the author’s own
childhood pet.
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Elizabeth O’Kane. iUniverse. $17.95 paper
(276p), ISBN 978-1-4502-4217-2
A young woman and
her dog stumble into a
world of oddballs and
dangerous characters in
this grown-up Through
the Looking-Glass tale.
Carpentier Falls:
A Kurt Maxxon
Jim Overturf. iUni-
verse. $17. 95 paper
(325p), ISBN 978-1-
Two homeless boys
lead race-car driver Kurt Maxxon to the
body of his friend, local restaurateur
Carlos Guerrero. A letter from Guerrero to
Maxxon surfaces, pointing to a local poli-
tician’s involvement. Meanwhile, Maxxon
has a race to win at River Flats.
On the Rails.
John Owens. iUniverse. $23 paper (648p),
ISBN 978-1-4502-3933-2
A young man escapes a bitter family
life during the Depression to ride the rails,
crossing the country and the paths of mem-
orable characters.
A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor.
Robert G. Pielke. Altered Dimensions
Press. $14.99 paper (207p), ISBN 978-1-
Edwin Blair enters the Lincoln White
House in 1863, opens his valise, and
projects a 3-D image of the Earth on the
wall. He then tells a fanciful tale about
time-traveling aliens preparing to land at
Day of Revenge.
Deanna Proach. Inkwater Press. $21.95
paper (299p), ISBN 978-1-59299-502-8; B&T; Amazon;
Samuel La Font and Emmanuel LeVasque
find themselves on the wrong side of the
French Revolution and plot a way out.
Tales from
Hank Quense. CreateSpace. $17.99 paper
(326p), ISBN 978-1-4528-7126-4
B&T; Ingram
Six stories and two
novellas are set in the
mythical country of
Gundarland, which is
inhabited by heroes,
thugs, inept wizards,
creepy bureaucrats, and
some of Shakespeare’s most famous char-
The Wolves of Pavlava.
Adriana Renescu. CreateSpace. $16.95
paper (402p), ISBN 978-1-4392-6472-0
B&T; Amazon
In 1989 Romania,
the secrets of a mystic
and a taste for treach-
ery foster an alliance
between a Communist
general and a Vatican
envoy, fueling a popular
Kabbalah of Stone.
Irene Reti. Juniper Lake Press. $15 paper
(290p), ISBN 978-0-9843196-0-2
Spain, 1492: a rabbi struggles to save a
birthplace of Jewish mysticism from the
Inquisition. Help comes from the spirit of
biblical prophet Huldah and a scribe who
discovers his hidden Jewish identity.
Sounds of Murder: A Pamela Barnes
Acoustic Mystery.
Patricia Rockwell. Cozy Cat Press. $14.95
paper (204p), ISBN
Ingram; Amazon
An academic acous-
tics expert specializing
in sound waves investi-
gates a colleague’s mur-
der in a school lab by using clues from an
accidental audio recording of the crime.
A Pointed Death.
Kath Russell. CreateSpace. $14.24 paper
(352p), ISBN 978-1-4505-6309-3
B&T; Amazon
A comic mystery thriller set in the world
of biotechnology features a feisty female
heroine and her short-haired pointer,
Alan Salant. The Oliver Arts & Open
Press. $12.95 paper (105p), ISBN 978-0-
9819891-8-1; B&T
The rudely irreverent Professor Wilson
Ablong—mathematical genius, Nobel lau-
reate, medical hero—remains lost and iso-
lated until a young man seeking a mentor
turns the professor’s world upside-down.
The Autobiography of Gaius
Petronius Merva, Soldier of Rome.
George Saqqal. Third Millennium Pub-
lishing. $17.95 paper (455p), ISBN 978-
1-934805-39-8; Amazon
The adventures of a legionnaire as the
Roman Empire disintegrates is presented
in the form of a memoir.
Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole:
Tales from Haunted Disney World.
Kristi Petersen Schoonover. Admit One
Literary Theme Park Press. $9.95 paper
(156p), ISBN 978-0-615-40280-2; Amazon
In these chilling ghost stories set in
Disney theme parks, a thief is haunted by
her criminal past, a woman struggles with
an angry spirit, and a teenager demands her
parents expel her wicked sibling.
The Originators.
Charles Schwartz. NoteWell Publish-
ers. $18.95 paper (440p), ISBN 978-0-
When free and abundant hydrogen
energy is given as a gift to the world, politi-
cal and scientific intrigue ensues in this
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 13
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historical thriller.
Blue Smoke Memoir.
Debra Shah. McQuinn Publishing. $22.99
hardcover (192p), IBSN 978-0-615-
B&T; Amazon; Borders
A young woman dealing with an
uncomfortable work environment encoun-
ters unexpected tragedy as she tries to leave
her employer.
Glass Halo: Glass and Love—How
Easily They Break.
Colleen Smith. Friday Jones Publishing.
$24.95 hardcover (352p), ISBN 978-0-
The story of the relationship between a
lapsed Catholic stained-glass artist and a
charismatic but wayward Catholic priest.
Together they confront the mysteries of life,
love, lust, and spirituality. The author is a
graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
The Planet Gazimbo in Galaxy Zams.
Frank Swift. Peace Power Press. $15.95
hardcover (28p), ISBN 978-0-9824601-
0-8; B&T
The Gazimbans find peace just as they
are on the brink of war and keep peace on
Gazimbo forever after; for all ages.
Blood, Money, Power.
Michele Marie Tate. $15.95 paper (362p),
ISBN 978-0-9826428-0-1
Inspired by a true story, this is an epic
political novel of wealth and greed that
leads to murder.
Time Will Tell: A Race Through
Time to Save the World.
Eddie Upnick. Eloquent Books. $14.95
paper (221p), ISBN 978-1-60911-097-0
B&T; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders
A time traveler returns to the past to try
and change a dystopian future.
Mission of Malice.
Renee Wetherill. $18.99 paper (309p),
ISBN 978-1-4392-4393-0; B&T; Amazon
A tale of suspense, terrorism, and
intrigue set against the dangerous Arizona-
Mexico border.
Four Nails in the Coffin.
Mark Wheaton. Lulu. $19.98 paper
(468p), ISBN 978-0-557-39211-7
A deputy sheriff on
the Texas-Mexico bor-
der gets more than she
bargained for when she
pursues three escaped
convicts into the high
desert—just one of the
four horror novellas in
this collection by screenwriter and graphic
novelist Wheaton.
Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries.
Tim Anderson. Wayward Mammal Pub-
lishing. $18.99 paper (272p), ISBN 978-
An American decides to escape to Asia
and make himself more employable. He
leaves behind his boyfriend, his cat, and his
homegrown ennui, and heads off to a city
where the future is now.
The Long Hello: The Other Side of
Cathie Borrie. Nightwing Press. $14.99
paper (308p), ISBN 978-0-9813786-0-2
Ingram; Amazon
Me mor y, a nd i t s
loss, serve as a powerful
force as Borrie follows
her mother’s eccentric
lead, transformed by the
unexpected beauty of the
elder woman’s shifting
Presbyterians in Zion: History of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Utah.
Frederick G. Burton. Vantage Press.
$36.95 hardcover (765p), ISBN 978-0-
B&T; Ingram
The story of the Presbyterian congrega-
tion and church in Utah.
The Rewritten Word: How to Sculpt
Literary Art No Matter the Genre.
Aggie Villanueva. Cielos Rojos Publish-
ing. $9.97 paper (60p), ISBN 978-0-
The only how-to-write book that has
nothing to do with writing: it’s all about
rewriting. By a two-time Thomas Nelson
Dickens, Drood, and Redemption:
Essays About Charles Dickens’s
Unfinished Novel.
Ray Dubberke. Vantage Press. $22.95
hardcover (169p), ISBN 978-0-533-
B&T; Ingram
A well-researched examination of
Dickens’s unfinished tale melds fact with
classic fiction.
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I Hope
My Corpse Gives You
the Plague: My Life
in the Bush Era of
Adam Engel. The Oli-
ver Arts & Open Press.
$17. 95 paper (267p), ISBN 978-0-
Sixty short satiric essays on the politics
and culture of the George W. Bush era.
Really!?! A Memoir and Other Obser-
vations from a Man Who’s Lived Life
‘Not Quite Enough.’
Marc Freden. Xlibris. $29.99 hardcover
(385p), ISBN 978-1-4500-7367-7
Ingram; Xlibris
Observations from a former Hollywood
correspondent for British television skewer
Hollywood, Catholicism, the British mon-
archy, and Barbra Streisand.
One Woman’s War.
Nancy Martin Graham. Vantage Press. $10
paper (61p), ISBN 978-0-533-16278-9
B&T; Ingram
The true story of a tough-minded and
courageous woman who fought to become
a pilot in WWII; the author is now a mem-
ber of the Whirly Girls, an organization of
helicopter enthusiasts.
The Adventurous Life of Reamus
Brownloe: From the Appalachians...
Phillip Bryan Hartsock. Lulu. $17.99
paper. (306p), ISBN 978-0-9826722-1-1
Lulu; (724) 748-5424 or (724) 866-2571
A story of survival and faith narrated by
a child born into poverty and violence.
Mortgaged and Armed: A Key to
Understanding Mortgage Industry
Peter Hébert. Freedom
House Press. $19.95
paper ( 372p) , ISBN
B&T; Amazon
Financial corporations
waged war on the house-
hold and investor, and they won. Mortgaged
and Armed details the war tactics used and
describes how to fight back, by an M.B.A.
who has worked for two decades in residen-
tial mortgage lending.
Unlocking PC Mysteries.
Janet Horton. Columbia County PC
Inc. $32.95 paper (138p), ISBN 978-0-
Are you brave enough to take your
computer through a recovery process?
He r e a r e t h e
secrets to setting
up, mai nt ai n-
ing, using—and
r e c ove r i ng—a
PC system.
Expect No Help: The Life and Times
of Jumpin’ Jack Flash: Common Sense
from an Uncommon Source.
C. Jones. RoseDog. $30 paper (372p),
ISBN 978-1-4349-9742-5; B&T
This “nonfiction novel” details the
author’s past through the third-person,
looking at all the changes America has
gone through, and comparing the U.S. to
the starship U.S.S. Enterprise.
Do You Really Know What Goes On
in Nursing Homes?: An Insider Tells
Shirley Ann Kraemer, Ph.D. Vantage
Press. $15.95 paper (300p), ISBN 978-0-
This examination of elder care is for
people contemplating nursing home care
for themselves or their loved ones.
The Tarnished Fed: Behind Closed
Doors: Forty Years of Successes, Fail-
ures, Mystique, and Humor.
Jim Kudlinski. Vantage Press. $16.95
paper (250p), ISBN 978-0-533-16318-2
B&T; Ingram
An accessible examination of the Federal
Reserve, by a former Fed director.
Life Is What You Make It: Seven Steps
to Moving Forward.
Carl Mathis. Tate Publishing. $9.99 paper
(104p), ISBN 978-1-61663-465-0
How to put your life back together by
accepting the situation, taking responsibil-
ity, conditioning your mind, and defining
the “new normal.”
Honest Eating: How to Love Food,
Love Yourself, and Love Life.
Jane McClaren. Chapel Hill Press. $13.95
(176p), ISBN 978-1-59715-069-9
Once a depressed overeater, the author
embarked on a 35-year study of food and
health, and shares her secret to merging a
love of food with a healthy body.
Summoning the Spirit of General
Gavril Popov. Vantage Press. $12.50 paper
(118p), ISBN 978-0-533-15987-1
B&T; Ingram
The controversial anti-Stalinist opposed
Stalin’s regime during WWII and was a
prisoner of war in a German war camp. This
analysis was written by the former mayor
of Moscow, now rector of the International
University of Moscow.
Please, God, Not Two: This Killer
Called Alcoholism.
Alberta H. Sequeira. Infinity Publishing.
$17.95 paper (343p), ISBN 978-0-7414-
www. b u y b o o k s o n -
A second book by
Sequeira, who lost both
her husband and daugh-
ter to the ravages of alco-
Moments of Mystery and Wonder.
John Garland Thayer. Vantage Press.
$21.95 hardcover (170p), ISBN 978-0-
B&T; Ingram
Stories and poems attest to the work of
divine grace in the author’s life.
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“A Commi tment
to Excel l ence”
Charismatic Charm.
Anthony Lawton. Vantage Press. $8.95
paper (44p), ISBN 978-0-533-16320-5
A collection of love poems by a martial
arts instructor and arts administrator.
I Am Not Dead.
Gregory Marszal. The Oliver Arts &
Open Press. $12.95 (88p), ISBN 978-0-
Everyday life closely scrutinized in the
manner of poet A.R. Ammons.
Separation and Return.
Cate McNider. Vantage Press. $15 paper
(82p), ISBN 978-0-533-16191-1
Ingram; B&T
A poignant collection of poetry about
recovering the self.
Roads of Bread: The Collected Poems
of Eugene Ruggles.
Eugene Ruggles; edited by Delia Moon.
Petaluma River Press. $22 paper (216p),
ISBN 978-0-9819725-2-7
Ingram; petalumariver-; Amazon
A well-known figure
in Sonoma County poetry
circles, Ruggles’s life-
time of work is collected
by editor Delia Moon,
with testimonials from
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, among others.
The Best Cat.
Marie Sheppard. Williams Infinity Pub-
lishing. $9.95 paper (92p), ISBN 978-0-
Amazon; B&T
A collection of humorous verses and
drawings about the shenanigans of a
very large orange tabby
named Albert Einstein.
Spun Gold—Poetic
Reflections of Pure
Mar en Spr i ngs t een.
Lulu. $8.95 paper (60p),
ISBN 978-0-557-61641-1
A mandala of poems that point to the
“Infinite Heart of Spirit.”
The Bridge Builders.
Richard Bell. Vantage Press. $16.95 paper
(312p), ISBN 978-0-533-16286-4
B&T; Ingram
The first part of the Raleigh, N.C.–
based master landscape architect’s planned
memoir trilogy.
The Other Side of Stardom.
Aimée Bratt. Vantage Press. $12.95 paper
(152p), ISBN 978-0-533-16402-8
B&T; Ingram
Alternately whimsical and serious
reflection on the film and TV world by a
Swedish-born model, flight attendant, and
bit-part player in Raging Bull and other
Destiny’s Waltz: In Step with Giants.
Robert de Warren. Eloquent Books.
$36.50 hardcover (402p), ISBN 978-1-
B&T; Amazon
De Warren, who spent his childhood in
Argentina under the Perón regime, recounts
his life and career as a ballet dancer, direc-
tor, choreographer, and designer.
Musings of a Depression-Era
Southern Farm Boy.
John W. Fuquay. Vantage Press. $12.95
paper (117p), ISBN 978-0-533-16282-6
B&T; Ingram
The author describes growing up as a
Quaker in rural North Carolina during the
Great Depression.
Oh, Beautiful: An American Family in
the 20th Century
John Paul Godges. Cre-
ateSpace. $19.99 paper
(532p), ISBN 978-1-
com; B&T
The true story of a
family of Italian and Polish
ancestry in America, from
Prohibition to the AIDS epidemic.
A Steep Climb.
Hoyt Clark Harris, M.D. Vantage Press.
$23.95 hardcover (233p), ISBN 978-0-
B&T; Ingram
Harris, an only child, raised on a
Tennessee farm, becomes a successful phy-
sician, starts a family, and loses his wife to
an auto accident in 1967. This is the story
of how he successfully raised his children
on his own.
Me, Myself, and I
Janet Horton. Colum-
bia County PC Inc.
$69.95 paper (232p),
ISBN 978-0-9844536-
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A written and pictorial
journey through the author’s life, as she
learned to survive a family legacy of dys-
The Father of Hollywood.
Gaelyn Whitley Keith. Tate Publishing.
$24.99 paper (345p), ISBN 978-1-61663-
The story of H. J.
Whitley, a Canadian-
born land developer,
who founded, by some
counts, 140 towns in
the U.S., including the
Hollywood subdivision
within Los Angeles.
Among Strangers: A Family Story.
Marietta Pritchard. The Impress Group.
$25 hardcover (277p), ISBN 978-1-4507-
This multistranded personal history
focuses on the author’s Austrian grandfa-
ther, a refugee in Occupied France, while
also following the “Americanization” of her
immediate family.
Laurel Saville. iUniverse. $16.95 paper
(178p), ISBN 978-1-4401-6107-0
B&T; Ingram; Amazon
Anne Ford was a model, artist, and fash-
ion designer in L.A. during the turbulent
1950s and ’60s; she was murdered in a
burned-out building. Her daughter unrav-
els the twin trajectories of this exceptional
life and death.
Elephants Have the Right of Way.
Dr. William D. Stewart. Vantage Press.
$23.95 hardcover (230p), ISBN 978-0-
B&T; Ingram
The captivating retelling of the surpris-
ingly humorous events of the author’s stint
teaching in Africa.
Magical Shrinking: Stumbling
Through Bipolar Disorder.
Christiane Wells. Lulu. $20.20 paper
(430p), ISBN 978-0-557-43353-7
This journey through severe mental ill-
ness and addiction offers insight into what
it’s like to hit bottom and come back.
L.D.: Rocketry, Race,
and a Colorful Journey.
Lee D. Young. Vantage Press. $24.95 hard-
cover (372p), ISBN 978-0-533-16246-8
B&T; Ingram
Young survi ved pre–ci vi l ri ghts
Southern bigotry to become part of the
team at North American Rockwell work-
ing on the Apollo.
The Yoga of Relationships:
A Practical Guide for Loving Yourself.
Yogi Amrit. Desai Red Elixir. $16 paper
(136p), ISBN 978-0-9719455-4-8
A spiritual guide to
understanding how com-
munication, gratitude,
forgiveness, awareness,
and love play pivotal
roles in creating lasting
In Search of the Miraculous Healing
into Consciousness.
Eliza Mada Dalian. Expanding Universe
Publishing. $19.97 paper (304p), ISBN
A step-by-step spiritual manual to heal
and transform fear, pain, and suffering.
Thrive Inside: Transformative Secrets of
Spiritual Masters, Gurus & Shamans.
Bill Eager. Systems. $14.96 paper (188p),
ISBN 978-1-4528-5211-9
B&T; Amazon
Stories and dialogue with great spiritual
masters include B.K.S. Iyengar, Ram Dass,
and the Dalai Lama.
Transforming Through 2012: Lead-
ing Perspectives on the New Global
Debra Giusti. Yinspire Media. $17.95
paper (190p), ISBN 978-0-9819708-1-3
Leading researchers, scientists, mystics,
futurists, indigenous elders, astrologers,
and visionaries offer views on the coming
of the year 2012 and its transformative
Endless Energy: The
Essential Guide to
Energy Health.
Debra Greene, Ph.D.
Me t a Comm Me di a .
$18.95 paper (307p),
I S BN 9 7 8 - 0 - 6 1 5 -
A former Esalen instructor offers a “new
home health guide for the 21st century.”
Opening the Gates of the Heart:
A Journey of Healing.
Carolyn CJ Jones. Gate Lady Publishing.
$29.95 hardcover (96p), ISBN 978-0-
9826352-0-9; (415) 883-8325
The author’s photographs of wrought-
iron gates along with her prose offer a por-
trait of how she surmounted her addictions
and other problems of the spirit.
Living with Certainty: Experience
Deep-Soul Joy.
Kristi LeBlanc. Thundersnow Publish-
ing. $24.95 paper (260p), ISBN 978-0-
A multifaceted approach to finding hap-
piness in your surroundings.
The Way of Forgiveness.
D. Patrick Miller. Fearless Books. $12.95
paper (120p), ISBN 978-0-9822799-0-8
A new version of a classic inspirational.
“What beautiful work... clearheaded, gen-
erous, and profound in its lush simplicity.”
—Wally Lamb, novelist
Don’t Read This Unless You Want
More Money: Subconscious Tactics of
the Truly Affluent.
S E L F - P U B L I S H E D A N N O U N C E M E N T S
Dov Baron. In-Phase Publishing. $21.77
paper (270p), ISBN 978-1-926768-03-8
Quanta USA Dist., (541) 488-3344
Exercises and strategies for transforming
your inner value into wealth.
Changing Careers in a Changing
World: Finding a Job That Fits You!
Carrell Chadwell. Coronado Publish-
ing. $21.95 paper (185p), ISBN 978-0-
9841413-1-9; Amazon; Ingram
A step-by-step guide and workbook to
help readers assess their job needs, identify
jobs that will satisfy those needs, and com-
pete successfully in the marketplace.
Headhunter Hiring Secrets:
The Rules of the Hiring Game Have
Changed... Forever.
Skip Freeman. CreateSpace. $24.95 paper
(348p), ISBN 978-0-615-34621-2
A comprehensive guide for today’s job
Coherent Strategy and Execution:
An Eye-opening Parable.
Ravi Kathuria. SeemaCorp. $29.75 hard-
cover (320p), ISBN 978-0-9821475-0-4
A parable about an
embattled CEO who
heads up a busi ness
transformation, and in
the process goes through
a difficult transforma-
tion of his own.
Financial Foreplay: Whip Your
Business into Shape & Take Home
More Cash.
Rhondalynn Korolak. Imagineering
Unlimited. $15.99 (206p), ISBN 978-0-
9805578-1-7; B&T;
Learn how to prevent the most common
causes of small-business failure, from a fre-
quent speaker on business strategies.
Driving with No Brakes: How a
Bunch of Hooligans Built the Best
Travel Agency in the World.
Alan and Harriet Lewis. Grand Circle
Corp. $19.95 paper (225p), ISBN 978-0-
The founders of Grand Circle, a travel
company that handles 125,000 travelers
a year, make a case for how leaders within
any industry can bring their businesses to
Eye Witness: Unknown God.
Robert James. Luedke Head Press Publish-
ing. $13.99 paper (120p), ISBN 978-0-
A time-traveling
action-thriller com-
bined with an adap-
tation of the bibli-
cal book of Acts,
the fifth book of the
New Testament. This is book
four in James’s Eye Witness
Getting Fit with Food: 101 Healthy
Eating Recipes.
Shana Lee Conradt. $19.99 paper (128p),
ISBN 978-0-615-37381-2
Debunks the myth that eating right
means eating boring.
Cooking on the Light Side: Smart Rec-
ipes for Bright Skin and Vitality.
Thienna Ho. Thienna Inc. $39.99 hard-
cover (320p), ISBN 978-
Discover how a sulfur-
rich diet can boost energy
and endurance while
beautifying the skin.
Locked Up with Success: A Prison
Teacher’s Guide to Closing the
Achievement Gap in Any Classroom.
Janice M. Chamberlin. CreateSpace.
$27.99 paper (82p), ISBN 978-1-4515-
5242-3; B&T
Stories from adult male inmates as
related to the author in prison classrooms.
September University: Summoning
Passion for an Unfinished Life.
Charles D. Hayes. Autodidactic Press.
$16. 95 paper (312p), ISBN 978-0-
9621979-7-0; B&T
September University is
named after a concept
that the author calls “a
metaphor for intellec-
tual maturity.” His book
advocates lifelong learn-
ing and a respect for the
wisdom of the elderly.
Compose Yourself! A Guide to Critical
Thinking & Analytical Writing in Sec-
ondary School.
Amy Rukea Stempel. Dog Ear Publishing.
$19.95 paper (180p), ISBN 978-1-60844-
(866) 823-9613
An easy guide to teaching analytical
thinking and writing in secondary school.
Fireworks! If the Government Ran the
Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very
Unauthorized Fantasy).
James Fernald. CreateSpace. $10.79 paper
(302p) ISBN 978-1-4515-3463-4
B&T; Amazon;
What if the govern-
ment ran Disneyland?
This unauthorized look
at what a federally con-
trolled Magic Kingdom
would look like offers
one answer.
Love, Laughter, & Mayhem: Caregiver
Survival Manual for Living with a Per-
son with Dementia.
Cindy Keith, R.N., B.S., C.D.P. Book- $16.95 paper (275p), ISBN
978-1-60910-090-2; B&T
Stories about people with dementia
teach family caregivers and friends how to
better care for their loved one. This book
answers the questions they don’t even know
to ask yet.
Killer Cure: Why Health Care Is the
Second Leading Cause of Death in
America and How to Ensure That It’s
Not Yours.
Elizabeth L. Bewley. Dog Ear Publishing.
$19.95 paper (248p), ISBN 978-1-60844-
Why health care is the second-leading
cause of death in America and how to pro-
tect oneself from it, by the founder of the
Pario Health Institute.
Vital Yoga: A Sourcebook for Students
and Teachers.
Meta Chaya. Hirschl Prajna Publishing.
$35 paper (300p), ISBN 978-0-9823055-
Yoga poses for all ages and body types,
off-the-mat practices, history, and philoso-
phy, breath practices, therapy, and medita-
Bod-E-Nomics: Your
Body Is Your Busi-
ness & You Are CEO.
Viki Goldberg,. R.N.,
M. A. $14. 97 paper
(187p), ISBN 978-0-
Presents self-care as a business model—
invest in your body’s business and get a
good return..
Six Simple Truths to Fat Release:
How I Let Go of Over 100 Pounds the
Easy Way.
Nealon K. Hightower. mPower Press.
$14.95 paper (180p), ISBN 978-1-
How to easily release unwanted weight
forever from an expert who has himself
shed more than 100 pounds.
Nature’s Diet: Heal Your Body and
Stay Healthy by Following Nature’s
Simple 21-Day Plan.
Dr. Andrew Iverson. Trilium Health Press.
$24.95 hardcover (312p), ISBN 978-0-
Learn how healing can be aided by fol-
lowing “nature’s diet.”
Whole Health Healing: The Budget-
Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for
All Ages.
Dr. Thomas Potisk. MavenMark Books.
$24.95 paper (367p), ISBN 978-1-59598-
069-4; B&T
How to solve health problems and slash
health-care expenses with this holistic self-
help book by a doctor-craftsman.
Treasures: Gold, Oil and Wives.
M. “Cal” Calvache. CreateSpace. $14.77
paper (305p), ISBN 978-1-4515-0407-1
B&T; Ingram; Amazon
Two young men seeking security become
whalers and marry each other’s sisters. One
retires wealthy at 28. The other survives a
ship wreck.
Revenge of the Dorkoids: The Secret
Club Begins.
Holly Beck. Skyscraper Press. $8.99 paper
(135p), ISBN 978-0-9819505-7-0
Amazon;; Ingram
The adventures of
Aaron Walton and his
two buddies, Trevor
and Ryan, as t hey
deal creatively with
Jake and his friend’s
at t empt s t o bul l y
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The Christmas Gift.
R. William Bennett. Burgess Adams.
$14.95 hardcover (152p), ISBN 978-0-
B&T; Amazon
The inspirational story of how two
young men begin as enemies but discover
the power of apology, compassion, and for-
Shade: A Story About a Very
Smart Raven.
Diane Phelps Budden. Red Rock Moun-
tain Press. $9.95 paper (32p), ISBN 978-
Shade is a raven in training to be a
search-and-rescue team member. Inspired
by a true story, the tale shows the strong
bond possible between a human and a wild
Destiny’s Purpose.
Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau. Dragon Pen-
cil. $19.95 hardcover (32p), ISBN 978-1-
Destiny, an alpaca with alopecia, must
find a place in his herd despite being dif-
Juggler in the Wind.
Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin. Chiron-
Books. $8.95 paper (224p), ISBN 978-1-
B&T; Amazon
When he runs away
with a ragtag circus,
14- ye a r- ol d Ra ndy
Carmichael begins a
magical, often terrifying
quest to learn his iden-
tity and destiny.
A Diamond in the Rough: A Bedtime
Story, Vol. 1.
George Anthony Fleming. Vantage Press.
$10.95 paper (154p), ISBN 978-0-533-
A children’s story featuring the quintes-
sential prince and princess.
Even Superheroes Get Diabetes.
Sue Ganz-Schmitt. Wild Indigo. $15.95
paper (36p), ISBN 978-1-59858-302-1
B&T; Amazon
A young boy who loves all things
“Superhero” finds his fantasy world inter-
rupted by the reality of getting diabetes—
and discovering he is a superhero.
Bellyache: A Delicious Tale.
Crystal Marcos. Cat Marcs Publish-
ing. $9.95 paper (154p), ISBN 978-0-
www. Crystal Marcos.
com; B&T
A whirlwind fantasy
adventure f eaturi ng
plenty of sweet aromas
and a lesson in forgive-
Otherworld Tales: Irish the Demon
Charles Markee. Moonview Press. $11.95
paper (244p), ISBN 978-0-9828987-0-3
This action-adventure-fantasy for mid-
dle-grade children follows three boys to the
mystic Celtic Otherworld, where they save
the world from a demon invasion.
The Talisman of Elam Children of
Hathor: Book I.
Jim Mastro. New Paradigm Publications.
$19.95 hardcover (313p), ISBN 978-0-
This science fiction adventure tells the
story of one boy’s quest to rescue his parents
and save his planet.
The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob:
Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose.
Brooks Olbrys. Children’s Success Unlim-
ited. $16.99 hardcover (32p), ISBN 978-
With guidance from an elderly turtle,
a young island boy accompanied by an
overly cautious hummingbird discovers
his purpose: to become a marine biolo-
Hurricane Mia: A Carib-
bean Adventure.
Donna Marie Seim. Pea Pod Press. $12.95
paper (157p), ISBN 978-0-9826911-0-6
Mia sails the high seas, meets wild don-
keys, explores uninhabited islands, and
searches for a magical tea.
Year of the Beloved Animal: Story of
the Chinese Zodiac Animals.
Noriko Senshu. Studio Cherry Publish-
ing. $15.45 paper (34p), ISBN 978-0-
9793360-3-4; Ingram
Naomi wonders why there is no Year of
the Cat in the Chinese zodiac and decides
to make her own celebration.
The Seal Pup.
James Otis Thach. Bowrider Press. $24.95
hardcover (128p), ISBN 978-0-9825663-
A seal pup, separated from his herd,
must find his way through worlds of peril
and beauty to face his greatest fear.
Tim and Sally’s Year in Poems.
Grady Thrasher. Jonquil Books. $18.95
hardcover (60p), ISBN 978-0-9827614-
B&T; Ingram
Tim and Sally lead readers on a romp
through the holidays and the seasons in
poems; illus. by Elaine Hearn Rabon.
The Chronicles of a Hip-Hop Legend:
Paths of Grand Wizardry.
D.D. Turner. Turner Scribe Publishing.
$19.99 paper (196p), ISBN 978-1-4257-
A family-friendly tale that uses both the
tonal influence of hip-hop and the literary
genre of fantasy fiction.
A Spy Is Not a Spy.
Mary F. Blehl. iUniverse. $12.95 paper
(148p), ISBN 978-1-4502-3111-4
B&T; Amazon;
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Revolutionary War in New
Jersey shows the conflict from a young
man’s perspective and reflects real events.
God Comes to Us like a Caterpillar:
Jesus’ Stories Retold for Kids.
Kent Chadwick. Wisdom Press. $10 paper
(118p), ISBN 978-1-4528-8922-1; B&T
A retelling of all 78 of Jesus’ stories
using examples from children’s lives today.
The Legacy of Lord Baden Powell:
Young Men of Honor series, Book 1.
Eleanor Clark. WinePress. $15.99 hard-
cover (192p), ISBN 978-1-57921-987-1
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the
Boy Scouts while delving into the history
and legacy of Scout founder Baden-Powell,
the man behind the movement.
The Peacocks of Palos Verdes.
Mary Jo Hazard. $14.99 hardcover (24p),
ISBN 978-0-9788128-3-6
An educational photo essay about the
peacocks on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The ABCs of Yoga
for Kids.
Teresa Anne Power.
Stafford House. $19.95
hardcover (32p), ISBN
com; B&T
Alphabet rhyming vignettes and col-
orful illustrations introduce simple yoga
postures to children.
Writing Fiction: A Hands-On
Guide for Teens.
Heather Wright. iUniverse. $13.95 paper
( 72p) , ISBN 978-1-
A roadmap for teens
who love to write fic-
tion and are looking for
answers to their writing
Medical Uproot U.S. Health Care to
Reform U.S. Health Care.
Deane Waldman, M.D. ADM Books. $20
paper (194p), ISBN 978-0-9827268-0-8; B&T
This book shows people how to fix
health care so they can get the health care
they need.
The Dogtown Chronicles: Our Life &
Times with Sheep, Goats, Llamas and
Other Creatures.
Doris Ober. Villca Qutu. $18 paper (210p),
ISBN 978-1-883843-00-7
A middle-aged couple
escape New York, become
shepherds in the rural out-
post of West Marin, Calif.,
and learn much about
life—and death—from
the experience.
End of All Things—God’s Shocking
New Revelations: The Most Powerful
Book of Our Time.
Frederick May. Trafford Publishing.
$32.95 paper (612p), ISBN 978-1-4251-
6777-6; $44.95 hardcover ISBN 978-1-
Amazon; B&T;
Accor di ng t o t he
author: “Cause and Cure
for Cancer. Vatican’s Evil
Secret. What Happens
Af t er Deat h. When
Rapture and End of the
World Began. UFOs
Confirmed and More.
The Internet Financing Illusion: A
Diary of Global Scams.
Vincent Panettiere. iUniverse. $29.95
paper (451p), ISBN 978-0-595-38567-6; B&T; Amazon;
One businessman’s personal journey
through the dark world of cyberspace,
profiling the scam artists lurking behind
keyboards and computer screens.
The Centurion Chronicle: 2001–2008.
W.R. Taylor. Trafford Publishing. $31.41
paper (500p), ISBN 978-1-4269-0088-4
B&T; Amazon
A collection of e-column commentary
covering events, people, and issues in the
first decade of the 21st century.
Psychotherapy for the 21st Century:
Quantum Physics and the Law of
Tracie L. Hammelman, L.C.S.W. $24.95
hardcover (104p), ISBN 978-1-4327-
The author integrates quantum phys-
ics and the law of attraction to form a new
treatment called Quantum Psychotherapy.
Crazy: My Seven Years at Bruno
Bettelheim’s Orthogenic School.
Roberta Carly Redford. Trafford Publish-
ing. $20.33 paper (348p), ISBN 978-1-
4251-9175-7; B&T;
Redford was a patient
of world-renowned child
ps ychol ogi s t Br uno
Bettelheim for seven
years. This is her story of
how his approach failed
her and many others.
A Natural History of Scripture:
How the Bible Evolved.
Keith H. Adkins. CreateSpace. $16 paper
(302p), ISBN 978-1-4537-0883-5; B&T; Ingram
A synthesis of science and religion that
speaks to the agnostic as well as the estab-
lished believer.
Money Management
by the Book.
Judy Woodward Bates.
Bargainomics Publica-
tions. $12.99 paper
(256p), ISBN 978-0-
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Dollar-stretching tips for everything
from groceries to travel, plus biblical prin-
ciples to help readers understand their
opportunities and responsibilities.
JOY-spirations for Caregivers.
Annetta Dellinger & Karen Boerger. Wine-
Press. $19.99 paper (304p), ISBN 978-1-
Thirty-six targeted topics provide a hug
for the overwhelmed caregiver. Includes
conversational prayers, poignant stories,
humorous anecdotes, and JOYtoons.
A Mentor’s Fingerprint: Leave a Mark.
Make a Difference.
Ann Griffiths and Donna Inglis. Pleasant
Word. $16.99 paper (184p), ISBN 978-1-
(877) 421-7323
Principles and tools to help a person
grow as a mentor and leave a long-lasting
positive mark on others.
The Original Sin: Correcting the Per-
ception of Separation from God.
Mushtaq H. Jaafri. Mushtaq Publishing.
$9.95 paper (118p), ISBN 978-1-892189-
Amazon; Ingram
A message for all Christians and
Muslims, Original Sin tells the true mean-
ing of the story of Adam and Eve and the
role of the serpent.
The Mythology of Scripture: Recog-
nizing Scripture as Religious Myth.
Robert D. Onsted. Xlibris. $20 hardcover
(357p), ISBN 978-1-4500-3258-2
B&T; Amazon;
For theologians and laypersons who
lament the demise of religious practice,
this book proposes a postmodern overhaul
for belief.
Beyond the Rapids: One Family’s Tri-
umph over Religious Persecution in
Communist Ukraine.
Evelyn Puerto. Pleasant Word. $19.99
paper (348p), ISBN 978-1-4141-1605-1
(877) 421-7323
In the midst of eroding religious free-
doms and intense Communist persecution,
a Christian Ukrainian pastor and his wife
find strength in answered prayers.
Letters to the Lord: Learning to Live
in My World of Wars.
Don Reeves. Chaplain/Colonel. $13.99
paper (165p), ISBN 978-1-4392-4557-6
A retired U.S.A.F. chaplain, colonel, and
college teacher of philosophy and world
religions plunges the reader into 21st-cen-
tury ”frontiers of thought” on the “mind-
lessness of modern warring.”
Trembling at the Threshold: Encoun-
tering the Divine in Daily Life.
Vicky M. Semones. Xlibris. $15 paper
(80p), ISBN 978-1-4500-0775-7
Moments of pure connection with the
Infinite come alive in the poetry and prose
of the author’s experiences of the divine
mystery in daily life.
Voice of Many Waters: Irrefutable Evi-
dence of Life After Death.
Alan Youngblood. WinePress. $15.99
paper (288p), ISBN 978-1-60615-047-4
Within the pages of these stories lies the
answer to the most sought-after question of
the ages—is there life after death?
Double Bubble Universe in a New
Katya Walter. Kairos Center. $14.95 paper
(160p), ISBN 978-1-884178-00-9
Current information about quantum
physics presented in a conversational style
is meaningful for both scientists and spir-
So Grows the Tree: Creating an Ethical
Will: The Legacy of Your Beliefs and
Values, Life Lessons and Hopes for the
Jo Kline Cebuhar. J.D. Murphy Publish-
ing. $29.95 paper (160p),
ISBN 978-0-9661851-3-3; B&T
A how-to guide for creating and sharing
an ethical will.
Live Happily, Ever After... Now!
9 Simple Steps to Create the Life You
Terry M. Drake. $15.95 paper (210p),
ISBN 978-0-615-36086-7
Ti me - t e s t e d
secrets to help people
control their lives and
find happiness.
The Sobering Truth: What You Don’t
Know Can Kill You.
Jeff Herten, M.D. Sobering Truth Press.
$22.95 paper (342p), ISBN 978-0-615-
37846-6; Amazon;
The health risks of alcohol approach
those of tobacco. The Sobering Truth depicts
the medical and societal price of drinking
through case studies, research, and the
author’s life story.
The Body Love Manual: How to Love
the Body You Have as You Create the
Body You Want.
Elizabeth “Lily” Hills. Peaceful Planet
Publishing. $17.95 paper (204p), ISBN
978-0-9819388-0-6; B&T
An inspirational manual that offers
a nondiet approach to releasing excess
weight permanently by tapping into the
wisdom of your body.
Second Blooming for Women: Grow-
ing a Life That Matters After Fifty.
Kathleen Vestal Logan and Betsy Smith.
Wyatt-MacKenzie Imprint. $16 paper
(179p), ISBN 978-0-9743832-5-5
Provides a step-by-step process for
women over 50 to rediscover their talents,
strengths, passions, and dreams.
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Got the POWER: 7 Tools
to Produce the Work Life
You Want.
Cie Murray. Got the Power. $21.95 hard-
cover (128p), ISBN 978-0-9841550-4-0
Offers today’s workers a clear road map
using seven simple tools on how to have an
engaging, fulfilling, productive work life.
Silent M.a.g.i.c. and Other Remedies:
A Journey of Transformation, a Spiri-
tual Journey.
Kim O’Kelley-Leigh. Lulu. $14 paper
(104p), ISBN 978-0-557-17890-2
Lulu; Ingram; Amazon
Practical tools to living our most fulfill-
ing lives.
Journey to You: A Step-by-Step Guide
to Becoming Who You Were Born to
Steve Olsher. Bold Press. $17.95 paper
(248p), ISBN 978-0-9844796-0-3
What Color Is Your Parachute? meets The
Secret in this 21st-century transformative
book that empowers readers to identify and
pursue the one thing they were born to do.
Because You’ve Never Died Before:
Spiritual Issues at the End of Life.
Kathleen J. Rusnak. The Brick Wall 2.
$23.95 hardcover (267p), ISBN 978-0-
Receiving a terminal prognosis auto-
matically triggers
an unexpected jour-
ney into a previ-
ously unimaginable
spiritual terrain.
The meaning of life,
the essence of the
self, the other, and
God, emerge.
Surviving Your Career: A Roadmap to
Guide You During Your Career.
Steven Sakofsky. $18.95 paper (165p),
ISBN 978-1-4499-7836-5
B&T; Amazon;
An appraisal of potential hazards plus
advice for mitigating risks throughout a
working life.
Shift: Change Your
Words, Change Your
Janet Smith. Warfield
Word Sculptures. $15.95
paper (208p), ISBN 978-
Smith, a lawyer, grandmother, mediator,
and poet, uncovers new meanings, percep-
tions, emotions, actions by exploring new
Dreaming of the Majors: Living in the
Bus— A Life’s Journey through the
Negro League.
Dick “Lefty” O’Neal. Pleasant Word.
$14.99 paper (136p), ISBN 978-1-4141-
Dreaming of the Majors recounts O’Neal’s
childhood dream of playing baseball and
how that landed him as a white player in
the Negro Leagues.
Points of View: A Tribute to Alan Kay.
Edited by Ian Piumarta and Kimberly
Rose. Viewpoints Research. $55 hardcover
(272p), ISBN 978-0-9743131-1-5
A collection of pre-
viously unpublished
essays by 29 luminaries
from diverse disciplines,
who contributed origi-
nal material to celebrate
computer visionary Alan
Kay, an earl y Appl e
engineer and now a professor at UCLA.
Waltzing Australia.
Cynthia Clampitt. BookSurge/CreateSpace.
$19.99 (508p), ISBN 978-1-4196-6306-2
B&T; Amazon
A captivating tale of adventure and
personal discovery, and
a vivid portrayal of
Australia, its people, its
history, and its endur-
ing beauty.
Letters to Zerky: A
Father’s Legacy to a
Lost Son and a Road Trip Around the
Bill Raney. Nickelodeon Press. $27 hard-
cover (436p), ISBN 978-0-9821384-0-3; B&T
A memoir about driving a VW bus from
Europe to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and
onwards, with one-year-old Zerky and his
Exoneration: The Trial of Julius and
Ethel Rosenberg.
Emily Arnow-Alman and David Alman.
Green Elms Press. $24.95 paper (516p),
ISBN 978-0-9779058-3-6
Up-to-date analysis and documentation
that the Rosenbergs and Sobell never com-
mitted treason or trafficked in spying as
charged in the courtroom argues for their
Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain
and Courage.
Cynthia Brown. American Police Beat
Publishing Group. $19.95 (381p), ISBN
978-0-578-06589-2; B&T
A voyage into the
trenches of the l aw
enforcement world, with
a foreword by New York
City Police Commissioner
Raymond Kelly.
Die in Paris.
Marilyn Z. Tomkins. Raider Publishing
International. $14.99 paper (494p), ISBN
B&T; Amazon
The story of the WWII French serial
killer, Dr. Marcel Petiot. Guillotined in
1946, he remains France’s most prolific
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Daring Daughter of the Covenant:
A Historical Novel Based upon the
Life and Times of Beatrice Nasi
Mendes “Dona Gracia,” 1510–
Emilie M. Barnett. Windjammer Adventure,
$24.95 trade paper (402p) ISBN 978-0-615-
Beatrice Nasi Mendes, a 16th-century
Jewish leader, receives a deservedly epic
treatment in Barnett’s solid historical
novel. While not a household name today,
even within the Jewish community,
Mendes’s accomplishments are impres-
sive. At 17, she was living in Lisbon when
she discovered her late parents were Jews
who had concealed their faith to protect
their family. That shock led Mendes to
Judaism, propelling her to a leadership
position among Jews in
many countries, using
diplomacy, her intellect,
and family financial re-
sources to rescue her co-
religionists from the In-
quisition. The author
somehow manages to
make too-good-to-be-true Mendes human
and fallible. And while Barnett’s prose
isn’t particularly sophisticated, the overall
effect of the heroine’s trials and tribula-
tions is impressive. Many readers will be
inspired to seek out Cecil Roth’s biography
of Mendes.
The Wayward Spy
Roger Croft.,$14.95 trade
paper (398p) ISBN 978-1-4505-9020-4
Croft’s leisurely approach to storytelling
is antithetical to advancing the plot in
this spy thriller; by the time anything re-
ally starts to happen, many readers will
have already lost interest. In 1992, veteran
journalist Michael Vaux returns to his na-
tive England, hoping to use his generous
retirement package to fund the purchase
of a house across the street from his child-
hood home. Unknown to Vaux, he is drawn
into a bidding war for the house by British
intelligence, which hopes to use his desire
for the property to enlist him on a covert
assignment. Vaux’s value to MI6 stems
from his past relation-
ship with Ahmed Kadri,
a fellow student at uni-
versity. Kadri now has a
high-level position with
the Syrian government,
responsible for purchas-
ing weapons. With
President Bush’s efforts to achieve a com-
prehensive Middle East peace accord step-
ping up, the British expect that Vaux’s
connection with Kadri will enable them
to learn the truth about Syria’s military
intentions. Croft deserves credit for build-
ing his story line on an unusual founda-
tion, but his pacing and lackluster begin-
ning are a drawback.
Dean M. DeLuke. Grey Swan (www.shedrow1.
com), $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-9800377-6-0
In DeLuke’s lackluster debut, success-
ful Manhattan surgeon Anthony Gianni
teams up with a new business partner,
gangster Chester Pawlak. Their promis-
ing race horse, Chiefly Endeavor, dies un-
der mysterious circumstances, and Gi-
anni realizes he’s in over his head. With
the young colt dead and a multimillion-
dollar insurance policy on the line, every-
one from Gianni to veterinarian Steven
Highet becomes a sus-
pect. But when the Ma-
fia comes calling,
Highet and Gianni
must move quickly to
protect their families
and uncover the truth
about Chiefly Endeavor’s
death. DeLuke takes readers from rural
Kentucky through ritzy Manhattan to the
poorest hospitals of St. Lucia, demonstrat-
ing significant knowledge of surgery and
horse racing along the way. However, his
characters are often stereotypical and eas-
ily recognized—the brutal gangster, the
materialistic wife, the menacing hillbilly.
While DeLuke’s prose is solid and quickly
paced, a lack of narrative depth precludes
readers from engaging with the story and
will most likely leave them feeling
vaguely dissatisfied.
The Silver Box
Nikki Elst. Vantage,
$22.95 (198p) ISBN
This second novel from Elst (The Mouse
Oracle), about the life of Minnie Baume, is
an oddity that will likely fail to resonate
with readers. As an infant in Turkey in
1887, Baume is purchased by an affluent
family in Zanzibar. Eleven years later, she
returns to Constantino-
ple and meets her birth-
mother, who gives her a
silver box that may
have magical healing
powers. Many readers
won’t make it this far,
discouraged by the tur-
gid prose and lengthy one-sentence para-
graphs: “Showing great pride in them-
selves, which may be described as deriv-
ing from the pride of being Masai, the
warriors leaned on their spears and stared
at the white woman as if she were a bat
that had just emerged from a cave or hol-
low log, ready to engage in blind attacks
on them.” Elst tosses in encounters with
angels, descriptions of male genitalia con-
sidered exciting by Baume, and a litany of
wild animals to which her heroine becomes
attached. The result is a bizarre mishmash.
Dark Town Redemption:
A Novel of Suspense
Gary Hardwick. HardBooks (www.garyhard-, $12.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN
This latest novel from Hardwick (The
Executioner’s Game) is a fairly heavy-hand-
ed, stereotypical take on race relations in
the late 1960s. After combat in Vietnam,
African-American Robert Jackson returns
home to Detroit in 1967 to discover racial
unrest. His family reunion sours when he
realizes his younger brother, Marcus, has
joined a radical group
fighting for civil rights.
Meanwhile, rookie cop
Thomas Riley is pound-
ing his beat, maintain-
ing family traditions,
and trying to come to
terms with the police
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department’s rampant racism
and brutality. Riley’s and
Jackson’s paths inevitably
collide when Marcus is mur-
dered under circumstances that suggest
the fatal shot was fired by the police and
without justification. Jackson instantly
turns radical himself and sets out to find
the truth about his brother’s death. The
plot lacks the ragged edges that would be
more consistent with an honest portrayal
of the turmoil of the times, and a cloying
epilogue does much to vitiate any realism
previously attained.
David and Goliath
Bryan Hathaway. WinePress (www.winepress-, $17.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN
Hathaway inaugurates the Guardian
Angel Chronicles series with the tale of
David Liberty, an old man in a nursing
home who cannot speak but whose mind
is lively. An angel, Joelle, appears to him in
the guise of a physical therapist, offering
him a new chance at life if he can success-
fully complete a series
of trials that make him
his brother’s keeper. Da-
vid is sent into three
different settings, un-
able to speak but able to
act, in an attempt to
save lives and souls.
This is a classic plot, almost allegorical
(David’s last name is one obvious device),
and reminiscent of The Shack. The novel has
imaginative promise but is flawed in exe-
cution: characterization is spotty, with
some minor characters a bit too far beyond
suspension-of-disbelief boundaries,
though David is generally engaging and
well-developed as he undergoes his trials.
Sometimes the author’s need to be spiritu-
ally edifying produces clunkers (“Sue and
John were no longer in a healthy union”),
though the dialogue is more surefooted.
This will appeal to Christian fiction fans
who like spiritual warfare stories.
1919: A Kansas Tale
Dorothy Dierks Hourihan. Vantage, $11.95
(95p) ISBN 978-0-533-16311-3
A family endures and flourishes in
Hourihan’s poignant, if all too brief, fic-
tional portrait of Flat Rock Kansas, circa
1919. When teenager Nan Heath is out
with boyfriend Ned
Cane, her entire family
(mother Bess, father
and Mormon preacher
Tom, and little sister
Katie) dies in a house
fire. Maiden aunt Ella
Quinn refuses to take Nan in, but pays for
the funerals and eventually establishes a
closer bond with her orphaned niece. Ella
also pays for Nan’s wedding dress when
she marries faithful Ned. The young cou-
ple embark on a life together, replete with
challenges and rewards, and eventually
Ella surprises them with the revelation of
a family secret and a bequest. Hourihan
tells Nan’s story with insightful period
observations and flashbacks about Nan’s
grandparents and Ned’s parents. Like a
sepia-toned photograph of a long-lost
family member, Hourihan’s sweet testa-
ment to family is a treasure.
The Bonus
Georgia Lowe. Lucky Dime (www.luckydime-, $18.95 (398p) ISBN 978-0-615-
Lowe’s debut is a well-done historical
epic that captures an undeservedly obscure
episode from the Great Depression. In
1932, veterans from across the country
converged on Washington, D.C., to de-
mand payment of bonuses earned during
WWI. Despite rampant unemployment
and hunger, President Herbert Hoover
vows to veto any legisla-
tion to move up the
payment date—the bo-
nuses aren’t due for more
than a decade—leaving
the suffering veterans
little recourse but to
rally public support for
their cause by marching on the Capitol.
The vicissitudes of their efforts are nicely il-
lumined through a diverse cast of charac-
ters, including L.A. reporter Will Har-
dy—whose coverage of actor Royal Rob-
ertson, who issued one of the calls to
march leads him to follow the story across
the country—and Col. Pelham Glassford,
who uses his position as D.C. police super-
intendent to both maintain public order
and treat the marchers humanely. The au-
thor makes good use of her material, some
of which is derived from stories from her
parents, themselves Bonus Marchers.
The Beads of Lapis
Doris Kenney Marcotte.
Outskirts Press (outskirt-, $12.95
trade paper (266p) ISBN
A housewife with an active interest in
Minoan civilization travels to Greece,
where she discovers clandestine societies,
a treasure trove, and a secret beyond her
wildest dreams in this somewhat predict-
able adventure novel. After acquiring
some beads of lapis lazuli in Crete, Kath-
ryn Marshall’s connection to the culture
intensifies—particularly her relationship
to the legendary story of Theseus and
Ariadne. But when she decides to return
to Greece, her husband, used to steering
the marriage, resists. Undeterred, Kath-
ryn goes without him, in the company of
psychic treasure hunter Jake Deupree—a
man with whom she shares a mysterious
connection. Marcotte clearly possesses
significant knowledge of Minoan civiliza-
tion and demonstrates a fluent under-
standing of the ancient culture. However,
her command of characterization is a bit
weaker; most of the characters—and plot
points—are drawn from other sources
and the book offers little conflict or ten-
sion. Still, Marcotte’s writing is clear and
the imagery strong. Readers interested in
Minoan and Greek history may be will-
ing to overlook the shortcomings for the
significant historical data.
The Serial Lover: An Annie March
Amanda Matetsky. www.amandamatetsky.
com/annie.html,$14.98 trade paper (312p)
ISBN 978-1-4392-6887-2
In this sequel to her first romantic mys-
tery featuring Long Island freelance writer
Annie March, Matetsky (The Perfect Body)
offers a light story that will appeal to read-
ers with a penchant for plucky amateur
heroines who heedlessly plunge into dan-
gerous situations. When March is honored
by the mayor of Rock-
ville Center for her role
in tracking down a kill-
er, the resulting publici-
ty reunites her with
Georgina Lake, an old
friend now soap opera
star, who invites March
to an engagement party. At the party,
Lake’s fiancé, Grant Woods, hits on
March. But before March can warn her
friend about Woods, he turns up dead.
Rejecting the advice of her boyfriend,
Nassau County detective Eddie Lincoln,
March works to exonerate Lake, who’s
been arrested for the crime. Almost every-
one will spot the truth about the killing
long before March does, but Matetsky
tosses in a few sex scenes to satisfy readers
for whom the whodunit plot is secondary.
A New Birth of Freedom:
The Visitor
Robert G. Pielke. Altered Dimensions (www., $14.95 trade
paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-936021-23-9
Pielke draws in the reader with an in-
triguing opening section—in which a
mysterious figure seeks out Abraham
Lincoln in 1849 with a very unusual re-
quest—before this historical sci-fi novel
goes off the rails. Edwin Blair encounters
the future president on a train and pays
him $100 to agree to meet with him
again in 14 years. In need of cash, Lin-
coln agrees, and in 1863, while in the
White House dealing with the Civil War,
Lincoln grants Blair an
audience at a turning
point in the conflict.
Blair reveals himself as
a visitor from the dis-
tant future, 2163, who
needs the help of both
the Union and Confed-
eracy to save Earth from alien invaders
known as the Pests. While the story will
continue in at least one additional vol-
ume, Blair’s indifference to how his inter-
vention in a seminal event in U.S. history
would change the future evidences a fail-
ure of imagination that will disappoint
sci-fi fans. Civil War buffs will find bet-
ter fictional depictions of the major fig-
ures elsewhere.
Day of Revenge
Deanna Proach. Inkwater (www.inkwater-, $21.95 trade paper (308p) ISBN
The French Revolution provides a viv-
id backdrop for Proach’s passionate, fast-
paced anti-”Vive le Republique!” histori-
cal romance debut. More than four years
have passed since the 1789 Bastille riots,
and the summer of 1793 finds a counter-
revolutionary plot brewing against the
bloodthirsty Citoyen Robespierre and his
red caps. Young Lyon nobleman Emman-
uel d’ LeVasque and his
family, along with oth-
er deposed aristocrats
like Samuel La Font,
fear Robespierre’s next
move after Jacobin
Capt. Citoyen Henri
Varennesh arrests their
friend Pierre La Metz for possessing a
counter-revolutionary letter. Varennes
becomes disenchanted with Robespierre
and eventually joins the counter-revolu-
tionaries. After Metz is guillotined, a
prison rescue of young Dauphin Louis is
launched. Proach makes a valid point
about Robespierre’s fanaticism, and she
also includes feverish romance: Emmanu-
el’s brother Emil pursues a relationship
with orphaned vineyard worker Elle,
while Emmanuel is tempted by La Font’s
cousin Lisabetta. Featuring a well-devel-
oped cast of characters, this is a sympa-
thetic portrait of imperiled French aris-
Roads of Bread: The Collected
Poems of Eugene Ruggles
Eugene Ruggles. Petaluma River (petalumariv-, $22 trade paper (234p) ISBN
This moving collection of poems in-
cludes work from the late Ruggles’s vari-
ous collections (The Lifeguard in the Snow;
Spending the Sun; Enough) as well as a
handful of unpublished and stirring love
poems. Ruggles’s oeuvre is shaped by his
deeply felt, evolving experience, with po-
ems ranging from the explosive “Eros” of
the late 1960s to the more recent “In-
scription for the Door,” in which he ac-
knowledges no enemies, only “some
friends who are late.” Ruggles was a poet
of the people, and his early work set in
the Michigan farmland of his youth re-
flects a deep pathos. In “An Old Man on
the Bum Sitting in an
All-Night Detroit Din-
er,” he writes, “He lets
the counter drift high-
er/ around his shoul-
ders,/ and then raises
with care/ completely
with both hands/ the
white warm cup/ like a
breast and drinks.” Impres-
sions meld into epiphanies
concerning war, the masses
(“Who will speak/ for the simple and
dumb/ with their voices/ in shoes and
gloves/ all their lives/ hanging onto their
homes”), and small, lovely moments be-
tween men and women. Ruggles possess-
es a compelling social vision and work-
ingman’s sensibility.
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 25
Many self-published authors cre-
ate their own publishing compa-
ny names and Web sites, but
many simply refer to their POD
printers as their publishers.
Whenever possible, we have in-
cluded the author’s Web site as
the source for acquiring the book.
If no publisher is listed, the book
can be found at online book-
Spring Announcements
P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y ®
February 21, 2011
Promote your titles in print & online
Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries
Tim Anderson. Wayward Mammal, $18.99
trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-615-36582-4
When Anderson decides his life in
North Carolina is in a rut, he chooses to
make a dramatic change and moves to Ja-
pan to teach English, as
he chronicles in this hi-
larious, enlightening,
and insightful memoir.
Anderson is tall, white,
and extremely gay—all
things that distinguish
him from the average
person in Japan. His various adventures—
accidentally stumbling into the adult area
of Tokyo and learning that Japanese porn
cuts out all the good parts; discovering
the hard way the low standards some
English academies have for their teachers;
experiencing the joys of karaoke and ex-
perimental music—help Anderson begin
to understand the differences between
American and Japanese culture. A gifted
writer, Anderson is sensitive to cultural
differences, delightful in his irreverence,
and astutely aware of himself and his par-
ticular perspective. His observations are
often laugh-out-loud funny and will leave
readers with the desire to travel and to
keep turning the pages, wondering, by
the end, where Anderson will travel to
Exoneration: The Trial of Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton
Sobell—Prosecutorial Deceptions,
Suborned Perjuries, Anti-Semi-
tism, and Precedent for Today’s
Unconstitutional Trials
Emily Arnow-Alman and David Alman. Green
Elms (, $24.95 trade
paper (516p) ISBN 978-0-9779058-3-6
As cofounders of the National Com-
mittee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg
Case, the authors led the failed fight to
save Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. That ex-
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 26
perience translates into
a sometimes compelling
read about a controver-
sial case that has largely
faded from public con-
sciousness. Even with
recent revelations
that—counter to the beliefs of the Rosen-
bergs’ supporters—Julius did spy for
Russia, the Almans manage to demon-
strate convincingly that the couple was
not killed for what Julius actually did but
for an improperly added charge of treason.
They paint a powerful picture of prosecu-
torial and judicial abuse, and describe the
chilling atmosphere of government-in-
spired fear in the 1950s that prevented
many decent people from speaking up.
The wealth of their information is not al-
ways best served by its presentation,
which veers between the polemical and
the academic. Still, the account of how
the news of the Rosenbergs’ deaths
reached thousands of supporters, after all
avenues of appeal were exhausted, is a
moving one.
Killer Cure
Elizabeth L. Bewley. Dog Ear (,
$19.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-60844-
In this call for change, Bewley advo-
cates converting the health care system
from one that venerates doctors as infalli-
ble sources of knowledge to one in which
patients are legitimate partners in recov-
ery. She outlines nu-
merous changes doc-
tors can make to im-
prove patient care,
from truly listening
to patients who have
nonstandard symp-
toms to considering
drug choices more carefully and promptly
returning phone calls. With a genuine
commitment to improving health care,
Bewley, who includes useful statistics, ref-
erences, and a guide for further reading,
also offers excellent suggestions to pa-
tients: keep your own health records, ask
questions, don’t revere your doctor. In
this well-written if slightly repetitive po-
lemic, the task of reforming the health
care system falls primarily to medical pro-
fessionals, which may be problematic, as
doctors will be far less inclined to read
Bewley’s book. As Bewley points out,
health care reform isn’t just about con-
trolling costs, it’s also about improving
overall care.
Really!?!: A Memoir and Other
Observations from a Man Who’s
Lived Life ‘Not Quite Famous
Marc Freden. Xlibris, $19.99 trade paper
(386p) ISBN 978-1-4500-7366-0; $29.99 hard-
cover ISBN 978-1-4500-7367-7
With this witty, conversational, but
uneven collection of essays, Freden charts
his life, exploring everything from his
Catholic upbringing to his work as a
dancer and his career as a producer and
television personality in Hollywood and
the U.K. And while all Freden’s essays
have merit, the book
would have benefited
from some careful ed-
iting. Readers may
find it jarring as the
memoir shifts from in-
sightful pieces about
world travel to gossipy
ones about nightclub lust and celebrities.
Additionally, Freden often ends more se-
rious essays with simplistic conclusions
that sabotage their impact. Still, his tales
of being “not quite famous enough”
should resonate in this era of celebrity
obsession. Freden’s energy, charisma, and
honesty are admirable; readers will come
away rooting for him to become “famous
Transforming Through 2012:
Leading Perspectives on the New
Global Paradigm
Debra Giusti, edited by Anjanette Harper.
Yinspire Media (,
$17.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-
In this collection of essays, futurists
offer predictions about what will occur
on December 21, 2012, with specula-
tions ranging from a global conscious-
ness shift to cataclysmic geographic
events. While many authors hold the
moderate view that, as global resources
dwindle, it would be in the best inter-
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 27
ests of humanity to
focus on more holis-
tic, natural, and col-
lectivist behaviors,
others make wilder
claims—some invok-
ing Atlantis and hu-
manity’s origins in
outer space—that compromise the au-
thority of the collection. The quality
of these essays also varies widely. It
seems unlikely that casual readers will
be persuaded by this collection; the
authors will most likely be preaching
to the converted.
The Body Love Manual: How to
Love the Body You Have as You
Create the Body You Want
Elizabeth Lily Hills. Peaceful Planet (www., $17.95 trade pa-
per (201p) ISBN 978-0-9819388-0-6
Hills, a life coach and self-empower-
ment workshop leader, shares her philos-
ophy in this ode to mindful eating and
cultivating a healthy body image. Hills
encourages readers to come to terms with
their bodies and engage in some serious
self-love via affirmations, meditation,
and other introspective exercises. She also
urges readers to examine their relation-
ships with food, long-held beliefs about
eating, and practices
like binging out of fear
or avoidance and diet-
ing to lose weight and
feel more attractive.
Hills’s admission that
she was once a yo-yo di-
eter obsessed with body
image, along with pertinent statistics,
gives her credibility, while her calm, re-
assuring tone should help readers tackle
tough issues (though some, like the lin-
gering effects of sexual abuse, are deftly
sidestepped). While Hills’s messages—
examine why you eat, develop healthy
eating habits, and accept your body for
what it is instead of what it isn’t—aren’t
particularly new, they aren’t particularly
harmful either, those interested in culti-
vating healthier habits through intro-
spection will find this a helpful work-
Cooking on the
Light Side
Thienna Ho. Thienna (www.
com), $39.99 (320p) ISBN
Nutritional scientist
and physical endurance athlete Ho sums
up her theory of well-being as follows:
“You are what you consume and what
consumes you.” In this book of advice and
food selections for “bright skin and vitali-
ty,” Ho introduces nutrients to remove
bodily toxins and reverse chronic skin
problems, and advocates sulfur-rich vege-
tables, oats, quinoa, shiitake mushrooms,
brazil nuts, black walnuts, sea vegetables,
white beans, and the Asian foods konny-
aku, agar-agar, and seitan. She also in-
cludes sections on beverages and nontoxic
cookware. Atypically, Ho recommends
light-colored vegetables and fruits rather
than dark-colored ones. She provides reci-
pes for easy-to-prepare meals for breakfast
(spicy pineapple-banana shake, creamy
coconut porridge) and soups (potato–
brussels sprout–carrot soup, Swiss chard
and seitan soup); main courses that in-
clude meat and fish (lamb chops with
mashed turnip-potato, halibut with man-
go salsa and brown rice); and steamed
breads and desserts. The book offers invit-
ing photos and step-by-step instructions
and uses creative combinations of ingredi-
ents with an Asian twist.
The Father of Hollywood
Gaelyn Whitley Keith. Tate (www., $24.99 trade pa-
per (348p) ISBN 978-1-61663-475-9
This biography of early Hollywood de-
veloper H.J. Whitley by his adoring
great-granddaughter, Keith, paints a rosy,
selective portrait of the man who named
the Hollywood Hills.
Told primarily through
the imagined eyes of
Whitley’s second wife,
Gigi Ross, we follow
Whitley from his birth in
1847 Canada, through the
death of his six siblings
(from cholera) and his parents (a buggy
accident), to the United States, where he
worked his way west from Chicago to
California. Honeymooning in
L.A. with Ross—his first
wife and infant died in a fire—Whitley
resolved to develop the fertile farming
area and surrounding Cahuenga and San
Fernando valleys. The couple gradually
galvanized interest in Hollywood, attract-
ing railroads, street cars, electricity, and
an all-important cultural life, epitomized
by the first movie studios. As a civil engi-
neer, Whitley created Sunset Boulevard,
Ridge Route, the Whitley Heights, and
other iconic locales. Keith drops scarcely
a critical remark and includes much
imagined dialogue; readers may want to
consult a history of the era in the interests
of objectivity.
Financial Foreplay: Whip Your
Business into Shape & Take Home
More Cash
Rhondalynn Korolak. Imagineering Unlimited
(, $15.99
trade paper (206p) ISBN 978-0-9805578-1-7
Mercifully, business consultant and
psychotherapist Korolak abandons her
titillating titular premise early in this in-
formative and accessible
financial guide for
small-business owners.
With a plainspoken ap-
proach, Korolak walks
readers through business
basics, breaking down
concepts (e.g., cash flow,
variable and fixed costs) and explaining
relevant subjects in plain English. Using
a litany of examples from various fields
(an electrical contractor, a photographer, a
book store franchisee, a veterinarian, etc.),
Korolak shows how understanding basic
business maxims is crucial to profitability.
This primer on Business 101 will instill
confidence in small-business owners and
enable them to better deal with accoun-
tants, investors, lawyers, as well as assist
them in making better informed (and
possibly painful) strategic decisions. Al-
though Korolak’s incessant plugging of
her own business—a subscription-based
online resource that business owners can
use to track key performance and financial
metrics—can become grating and lessen
the impact of her suggestions, her advice
is sound.
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 28
The Tarnished Fed:
Behind Closed Doors:
Forty Years of Suc-
cesses, Failures, Mys-
tique, and Humor
Jim Kudlinski. Vantage, $16.95 trade paper
(250p) ISBN 978-0-533-16318-2
A former director of Federal Reserve
Operations, Kudlinski attempts to de-
mystify the Fed, and explain what it’s do-
ing wrong today and how those mistakes
might be put right. In
prose peppered with
charts and tables, Kud-
linski—also former
CEO of five commercial
and two mortgage
banks—details changes
within the system from
1970 to the present day. The most in-
triguing chapters include an explanation
of how the Fed makes decisions, defini-
tions of national and world gross domes-
tic product, and a terse summary of the
subprime mortgage mess. Kudlinski’s ex-
perience shines through in this tight, en-
lightening overview of the Fed that will
dispel confusion for both lay people and
professionals. While Kudlinski is upfront
about escalating problems confronting
the Fed after former chairman Alan
Greenspan resigned in 2006, he reveals a
cautious optimism that the economy will
improve as long as those in power learn
from their mistakes.
Second Blooming for Women:
Growing a Life That Matters After
Kathleen Vestal Logan and E.L. (Betsy) Smith.
Second Blooming Books/Wyatt-MacKenzie
(, $16
trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-0-9743832-5-5
Logan and Smith know life’s a series of
new beginnings, and when a woman turns
50, she can either put her head in the
sand or plant new seeds in better soil. The
latter requires hard work, and these cheer-
ful authors offer some sound suggestions
in this no-nonsense
guide. Using a refresh-
ing, sometimes humor-
ous gardening theme
(e.g., Women’s Grow-
ing Zones: Zone 1
Baby/Child, Selfish, “I
want to”; Zone 2 Adult
Woman, Responsible, “I have to”; and
Zone 3 Women After 50, Purposeful, “I
choose to”) Smith and Logan offer advice,
including online and print resources with
additional information baby boomers will
savor as they reach 50 and beyond.
Among the practical tips: listen to music,
keep a gratitude journal à la Oprah, speak
positively, give and accept compliments
graciously, and develop affirmations.
Ideas for activities that most self-help fans
will enjoy are included, most notably how
to create an “action plan.”
Got the Power: Seven Tools to
Produce the Work Life You Want
Cie Murray. Lifesource (,
$21.95 (125p) ISBN 978-0-9841550-4-0
In this punchy and straightforward
business plan, empowerment coach Mur-
ray advocates determining one’s best at-
tributes as the path to work-life fulfill-
ment and satisfaction. Murray stresses the
importance of finding the work you do
best, rather than doing the work others
expect of you. To this end, she offers a
Thinker Locator Profile—a questionnaire
to help determine which “innate” physi-
cal orientation readers
excel in: hands, brain,
mouth, arms, feet, or
heart. A list of profes-
sions is suggested for
each orientation. A per-
son scoring highest in
the hands category
might consider being a dock worker or a
radiologist, whereas a person with high
heart scores might be suited to a career as
an artist or nurse. Murray provides tips—
such as not holding grudges—to help
readers make smart, dignified choices in
various sticky workplace scenarios. She
also suggests turning work into play—
looking at it with fresh eyes—as a way to
unleash imagination, and she challenges
readers to redefine “motivators” and re-
kindle a sense of gratitude for employment.
Despite some platitudinous corporate-
speak, Murray delivers an upbeat mes-
The Dogtown Chronicles: Our Life
and Time with Sheep, Goats, Lla-
mas and Other Creatures
Doris Ober. Villca Qutu (www.dogtownchroni-, $18 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-
After former New Yorker and San Fran-
ciscan Ober meets Richard Kirschman at a
party, she moves to Dogtown—his 10-acre
property in West Marin County, Calif.—
for a temporary house-sitting job that
morphs into a lifelong
passion for animals, in
this charming memoir.
Kirschman’s enclave—
built in 1976 and located
within Point Reyes Na-
tional Seashore, north of
San Francisco—is home
to a wide variety of animals and wildlife
that have found shelter there over the years.
Enhanced by Kirschman’s gorgeous color
photographs and line drawings by Connie
Mery, Ober’s book explores how wildlife
and domesticated pets enrich our lives by
teaching us about the natural world and
how to care for our fellow creatures. Crit-
ters include cat Lucky; Scottish Highland
steers Moe and Curly; roosters Buck and
McGurk; Lakeland terrier Woody; llama
Lloyd; sheep Jacob, Lulu, Blanche, Leah;
goats Mephisto, Isabella, Slaus; Arabian
gelding Sharif; geese Alger Hiss and
Mother Goose; and many more. Ober’s
observations are delightful and sometimes
heart-wrenching—particularly sections
about the elderly, mistreated, and mal-
nourished Sharif, whom the couple rescue
and nurse back to health.
Dreaming of the Majors, Living
in the Bush: A Life’s Journey
Through the Negro League with
His Guardian Angels
Dick “Lefty” O’Neal. WinePress/Pleasant Word
(, $14.99 trade
paper (116p) ISBN 978-1-4141-1243-5
O’Neal wanted to become a major league
baseball player. He got as far as still exist-
ing semipro Negro Leagues, pitching for
two different teams in the 1970s, the only
white baseball player to do so. His story,
more folksy reminiscence than memoir,
spans more than that period alone, how-
ever, as he begins at the
beginning, with his Little
League days. The author
has a pleasant and affable
narrative voice, but the
lack of narrative focus un-
dermines what is other-
wise a potentially inter-
WWW. P U B L I S H E R S WE E K LY. C O M 29
esting yarn. His experience in the Negro
League is genuinely historically fascinat-
ing and much underdeveloped. He does
succeed in conveying a lifelong love of
baseball, and his reliance on his faith is
also front and center.
Points of View: A Tribute to Alan
Edited by Ian Piumarta and Kimberly Rose.
Viewpoints Research Institute (
pov), $55 (272p) ISBN 978-0-9743131-1-5
Pioneering computer scientist Alan
Kay, who in 1968 conceived laptop and
tablet PCs with his Dynabook idea, is
honored in this dynamic and fascinating
essay collection. During his illustrious ca-
reer, Kay—celebrated for his passion for
books, music, education, food, and life—
worked with the likes of Xerox PARC,
Atari, Apple, and Walt
Disney Imagineering; co-
founded the nonprofit
Viewpoints Research In-
stitute; and created the
programming language
Smalltalk. Contributing
essays to a collection origi-
nally compiled as a birthday present to
Kay are prominent computer scientists,
information technology professionals,
music producer Quincy Jones, artist and
author Betty Edwards, and master organ
builder Greg Harrold. Although in some
essays the authors are self-aggrandizing,
overtly lauding their own achievements,
and others are too technical to interest
anyone but computer scientists, heartfelt
adoration for Kay shines through. This is
a touching labor of love and celebration of
work, technology, and learning. Four
b&w and 35 color illus.
Letters to Zerky: A Father’s Leg-
acy to a Lost Son... and a Road
Trip Around the World
Bill Raney and Joanne Walker Raney.
Nickelodeon (, $27
(436p) ISBN 978-0-9821384-0-3
In this plodding memoir, Bill and
Joanne Raney recount a cross-continent
trip that began in 1967 with a flight from
San Francisco to Munich and took the
couple across Europe and Asia in a Volk-
swagen bus with infant son Xerxes (the
titular Zerky) and headstrong dachshund
Tarzan in tow. Written in two voices—
Joanne’s diary entries
and Bill’s letters to Xe-
rxes—the Raneys record
daily events and inter-
actions, from the epic
(visiting the Taj Majal,
witnessing a Hindu fu-
neral) to the mundane (exchanging money
in Iran, border crossings, gastrointestinal
illnesses) with equal zeal, often omitting
important historical, geopolitical, and re-
gional information. Not without its mo-
ments—some of them genuinely touch-
ing—the book remains an often banal ac-
count of an epic journey without the reve-
lations or insight one would expect from
two hippies in the tumultuous 1960s.
Crazy: My Seven Years at Bruno
Bettelheim’s Orthogenic School
Roberta Carly Redford. Trafford, $20.33 trade
paper (364p) ISBN 978-1-4251-9175-7
Redford seeks to expose and challenge
the myth surrounding the late Bruno Bet-
telheim, famed child psychologist and di-
rector of the Orthogenic School at the
University of Chicago. One of many chil-
dren placed by parents into Bettelheim’s
care, Redford was a student at the Ortho-
genic School—a residential facility for
emotionally disturbed youths—from age
16 to 23. While there,
she was, by her own ac-
count, beaten regularly,
emotionally abused, and
subjected to a variety of
humiliations. Bettelheim
himself was a key part of
this treatment. Redford
offers a detailed account of her time at the
Orthogenic School and includes records of
counselors’ minutes—complete with
commentary and interpretation. The au-
thor may have a legitimate grievance, but
her account is simplistic, repetitive, and
fraught with so much anger and resent-
ment that readers may become uncom-
fortable and unsympathetic.
Laurel Saville. Star,
$16.95 trade paper (196p) ISBN 978-1-4401-
In this thoughtful memoir about child-
hood idealism, the art world, and mental
illness, Saville documents her stormy rela-
tionship with her mother, gifted artist and
designer Ann Ford, who so-
cialized with the likes of Mar-
lon Brando and Claes Olden-
burg, but whose schizophrenia,
drinking, and drug use led to homelessness
and a tragic end. Saville spent years cop-
ing with Ford’s eccentricities and destruc-
tive behavior, grew estranged, and finally
moved away. But when she learned of her
mother’s murder at the hands of a tran-
sient, she began digging into the past and
questioning assumptions about her grand-
parents, her mother’s talents,
her parents’ breakup, and her
own upbringing. Saville creates
lovely imagery and writes with
introspection, but she holds
her most personal material at
arm’s length, preventing read-
ers from ever fully engaging
with the story. The book has all the right
pieces—mental illness, childhood trauma,
substance abuse, and celebrity—but it is
clumsily fashioned. While Saville is clear-
ly trying to come to terms with her own
story, readers will not find it as easy to
maintain interest.
Moments of Mystery and Wonder
John Garland Thayer. Vantage, $21.95 (170p)
ISBN 978-0-533-16293-2
Retired educator and United Methodist
pastor Thayer recalls moments of divine
grace throughout his life as a student,
husband, father, teacher, and minister.
His spiritual awakening occurred in
1934, when Thayer, then
an ill four-year-old, sensed
an angel at his hospital
bedside assuring him he
would recover because
“God had a purpose” for
him. Over the years,
Thayer continued to find
himself miraculously aided through trials
big and small—as in 2008, when a friend
donated money for a golf cart to help him
traverse his six acres of Tennessee land. A
few anecdotes may strike readers as merely
coincidental: Thayer appearing at the hos-
pital at the exact moment someone was
praying for a minister; Thayer receiving
the perfect evening jacket from a stranger.
However, episodes that feature voices or
visions urging the author into action cap-
ture brushes with divinity with clear lan-
guage and a homespun lyricism.
Picture Books
The Peacocks of Palos Verdes
Mary Jo Hazard, photos by Bryce Lowe-White.
Donegal (, $14.99
(28p) ISBN 978-0-9788128-3-6
Peacocks from California’s Palos Verdes
peninsula are the eye-catching stars of
this square-format paper-over-board vol-
ume. Somewhat stodgy in tone, Hazard’s
rhymed couplets are paired with photos of
feathered descen-
dants of a dozen
peafowl, which
were given as a
gift to an area
resident in 1916,
a foreword ex-
plains. Humans
and the semidomesticated peacocks now
share their community peaceably, as evi-
denced by images of peacocks sauntering
across roads and lawns in residential areas
(“They love Palos Verdes where they can
be found/ in canyons and neighborhoods
roaming around,/ marching through gar-
dens and strutting down streets,/ crying
‘Arrrondt! Arrrondt!’ to people they
meet”). Lowe-White’s most dramatic pic-
tures show the birds perched on tree
branches or displaying their exotic plum-
age at close range, but most seem casually
snapped rather than composed. The narra-
tive contains snippets of information
about the species’ appearance, diet, sleep-
ing habits, and courting and nesting
practices. Despite the verse’s occasionally
clunky rhythms and the varying quality
of the photos, it’s a cheering portrait of a
surprising peacock habitat and interspe-
cies coexistence. Ages 3–6.
Destiny’s Purpose
Shannon Cassidy-Rouleau, illus. by Dennis
Auth. Big Tent Books (,
P W S E L E C T ■ D E C E MB E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 0 30
$19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60131-064-4
In a palpably affectionate narrative,
Cassidy-Rouleau introduces a young al-
paca who’s the darling of Peter and Nora’s
herd. “I tell you, he’s destined for great
things,” Peter tells his wife after the ani-
born to an al-
paca known
for her fleece.
But when
Destiny con-
tracts alopecia and loses his fleece, his
owners’ dreams are dashed. Yet his pur-
pose becomes clear when he sounds an
alert that saves the other alpacas from
wolves and assumes the role of guardian
to “less than perfect” newcomers to the
herd. The author, who raises alpacas in
Ontario, can’t resist a couple of plugs for
alpaca fleece (“I’ve heard it’s softer than
wool and many times warmer,” says one
of Nora’s customers), but the theme of ac-
ceptance is delivered gently. Auth’s deli-
cately outlined full-bleed watercolors are
nicely suited to the bucolic setting, and
readers will identify both with Destiny’s
upset over being cast out from the herd
and his growing confidence. Back matter
includes details about alpacas and alope-
cia, as well as a glossary, making this an
intriguing insider’s look at the animals
and a reminder that some talents require
looking below the surface. Ages 6–12.
The Seal Pup
James Otis Thach, illus. by Warren Cutler.
Bowrider Press (,
$24.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-9825663-0-5
Based on a true story, Thach’s (The
Tickle Monster Is Coming!) extended narra-
tive poem, composed entirely of rhymed
couplets, has a pleasant lilt and an unfal-
tering rhythm. On an island in the Ber-
ing Sea, a seal pup’s mother contemplates
the annual mi-
gration south:
came, and then
it was his
mother’s turn
to fret,/ For
soon they
would be leav-
ing, and he wasn’t ready yet.” In the po-
em’s darkest passage, she sets out, carry-
ing the pup in her mouth, and falls prey
to a shark. Landing on an ice floe, the pup
is joined by penguins who’ve escaped
from the zoo—the first of several support-
ive creatures he encounters. Thach’s text
is superimposed on Cutler’s sprawling
paintings; his subtly shaded seascapes
outshine sometimes cartoonish depictions
of the animals themselves. The author
adds dashes of humor to the verse: when
the seal tries to befriend a rubber duck
that fell off a cargo ship, “The bird with-
drew and turned away, its smile quite un-
changed,/ As if too haughty—or too
dim—to join in the exchange.” The over-
long journey is likely to be tackled over
multiple readings. Ages 6–12.
The Christmas Gift
R. William Bennett. Burgess Adams (www.rwil-, $14.95 (152p) ISBN 978-0-
Bennett’s allegorical novel about
spreading goodwill toward men follows
the lives of two boys and charts the course
of their unlikely friendship. New sixth-
grader Scott makes an instant enemy in
troubled, oversized Ben, who bullies him
in the lunchroom and on the playground.
But when Scott tells Ben he’s hated by the
entire school, the bully is hurt, and this
surprising reaction
touches Scott. Feeling
sorry for the older boy,
Scott—at the advice of
his father—visits Ben
and apologizes, and the
two boys become
friends. By looking be-
yond first impressions, Scott sees Ben as a
gifted artist with dire health problems
who hides his weakness behind mean be-
havior. Bennett frames this moral tale
around a lawyer (the adult Scott, still in
possession of Ben’s drawings) who is visit-
ed by an irate and litigious client. The
lesson to pause and closely examine life
will resonate with readers of all ages.
Ages 12–18.
Juggler in the Wind
Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin. ChironBooks
(, $8.95 trade paper
(208p) ISBN 978-1-935178-07-1
Mystery, magic, and mythology collide
in this rambling novel, which launches
the Wand Bearer trilogy. Narrator Randy,
14, follows voices call-
ing him to the Circus
Olympus, which sets up
near his Kansas home-
town, despite his alco-
holic mother’s insis-
tence he stay away. De-
termined to learn the
secret of the circus and his mother’s aver-
sion to it, Randy joins the troupe—a rag-
tag bunch of performers who he later
learns are thousands of years old—when
they leave town, and acquires a sudden
talent for juggling. A cloaked stranger
with horns and a carved wooden wand ap-
pears to Randy on several occasions, ap-
parently in his dreams; eventually Randy
passes a life-changing test in a sequence
in which the stranger assumes the guises
of three threatening beasts. Randy discov-
ers long-buried secrets about his past and
his relationship to the stranger, but other
answers are left for later books. The com-
bination of a circus environment with ele-
ments of ever-popular Greek mythology
has potential, but heavy-handed imagery,
undue repetition, and extraneous minuti-
ae weigh down the story. Ages 12–18.
The Talisman of Elam
Jim Mastro. New Paradigm Publications (www., $19.95
(328p) ISBN 978-0-9827673-2-0
An unwary boy is
hurled into an ancient
intergalactic conflict in
this labyrinthine first
installment of the Chil-
dren of Hathor series.
In the woods near his
house, Jason and his
friends stumble upon a hid-
den spaceship belonging to
two aliens from the planet Elam, who in-
form Jason that their archenemies, the
Thothians, are scheming to take over
Earth and have abducted his parents and
replaced them with robots. The aliens
persuade Jason to come with them, as
only he can thwart the villains and rescue
his parents and the planet. This mission
entails a wild, danger-filled journey
through space in search of a magical talis-
man, located on a distant planet, which
will not only give him the power to ac-
complish these goals but also earn him a
place on the revered council that controls
intergalactic affairs. The quest brings the
travelers face-to-face with aliens both evil
and benign and involves some suspenseful
moments, especially as it winds to a close.
Yet the characters are one-dimensional and
the novel’s pacing is uneven, its action im-
peded by unwieldy details of the history of
interplanetary rivalries. Ages 12–18.
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Made in Japan
Self-exile in Tokyo, self-published now
By Adam Frank Boretz
“The self-publishing world is certainly changing,” Tim Ander-
son will tell you. “And it will continue to gain more respect
[if] more quality self-published books are out there getting
Anderson, 38, is a poster boy for self-
publishing. After years of working with
an agent and struggling to publish his
memoir, Tune In Tokyo: The Gaijin Dia-
ries, Anderson took matters into his own
hands. Earlier this year, he self-pub-
lished his book—a comic “new gay, left-
handed, diabetic travel memoir”—
through Amazon’s CreateSpace. We
called it “laugh-out-loud funny” in our
review (page 22).Without self-publish-
ing, you probably wouldn’t know any-
thing about Amderson.
”It’s kind of funny,” Anderson says.
“Even if I had gotten a book deal... who
knows if I would have been inter-
Back in 1999, Anderson—now a
project editor at book packager MTM
Publishing—was stuck in a rut in
hometown Raleigh, N.C. He was work-
ing three jobs and suffering from wan-
derlust. His solution was to move to
Japan. “I basically needed a kick in the
pants, which is what I gave myself by
seeking out a job in Tokyo and then
forcing myself onto that plane,” he says.
That kick in the pants was also the
seed of Tune In Tokyo. Although Ander-
son had planned to work on another
book in Japan, he soon realized that the
stories he needed to write were the ones
he was living. In Tokyo, Anderson—
who always wanted to be a writer—out-
lined and began writing Tune In. When
he returned to the U.S., he finished the
book, got an agent—Janet Reid of Fine-
Print Literary management—and
revised his manuscript three times. Tune
In began making the rounds of publish-
ers. Rejections followed.
“We got a l ot of encour agi ng
responses, but no deal,” Anderson says.
Eventually, Reid stopped sending
Tune In to editors. And while Anderson
started writing a new book, he couldn’t
shake the need to see his memoir in
print. “I absolutely knew there was an
audience for it,” he says.
So Ande r s on s i gne d on wi t h
CreateSpace, had the manuscri pt
proofed, handled the layout and design
himself, and—for less than $400—sent
his book out into the world. “I ulti-
mately decided, What the hell, screw
the gatekeepers, I’ll do it myself,”
Anderson says. “I guess it [was] a rene-
gade move in a way. Self-publishing is a
great way for authors... to take the bull
by the horns.”
Anderson is quick to point out that
self-publishing is not without its draw-
backs. Self-published books remain
marginalized. And if the
lines between publish-
ing and self-publishing
are beginning to blur,
the stigma of self-pub-
l i s h i n g r e ma i n s ,
although several self-
published books that
have sold respectably
have gone on to find tra-
ditional publishers.
“I’m not going to say
that I don’t care that Tune
In Tokyo wasn’t picked up by a pub-
lisher,” Anderson admits. “I’m still
really bummed about it.”
Additionally, without a distributor,
he adds that it’s been difficult to get his
memoir stocked in bookstores. “It’s
great to have the book available to buy
online, but there’s no beating the visi-
bility you get from having the book on
the shelves,” says Anderson, who has
become something of a guerrilla mar-
keter: he sneaks copies of Tune In Tokyo
onto bookstore shelves and inserts pro-
motional bookmarks into bestsellers.
To authors considering self-publish-
ing, Anderson—who is currently work-
ing on another memoir and also a novel
about drag queens in space—stresses
the importance of editing, layout, and
“One reason self-publishing gets such
a bad rap is because, besides not spend-
ing enough time and thought on good
design and layout, authors misguidedly
think their manuscripts are already per-
fect and need no further
input,” he says. “Good edit-
ing is part of the process. The
bottom line for any book is
s t i l l qual i t y. [ Aut hor s ]
shouldn’t forget that a self-
published book should do its
best to look like a profession-
ally published book.” w
Adam Frank Boretz is a freelance
journalist and fction writer. He
lives in Brooklyn.
City state ZiP
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