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APRIL /MAY 2018

SHELF   UNBOUND WRITING  COMPETITION

2018 INDIE BEST AWARD WINNERS

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SEPTEMBER 2010

what to read next in independent publishing


Who is Titus? A chicken farmer at 12 years of age, US Army Paratrooper in Japan at 17, All-Scholastic Football player, Football Coach, Biology Teacher, Professional Photographer, Bank Incorporator, Presidential Confidant, Chiropractor and a critic’s quote,

“TITUS OUT GUMPS FORREST!!” The story of a young mill town sports hero. Grit, focus and an ability to weave through all obstacles dominated his life game on the field .......... and off !!!!! Ensuing years finds the sports hero hanging up the cleats and one day dining with a US president and going on to professional brilliance and international acclaim. Never far from hometown yet lightyears from his humble beginnings. This engaging tale will inspire others in pursuit of their own distant personal goal posts!!!! Available at

Titus & Senator Marco Rubio, exchanging books, two great examples of the “American Dream”


staff

Margaret Brown fo u n d e r a n d p u b l i sh e r Anna Nair edito r i n ch i e f Christina Davidson c re a t i ve d i re c tor Ben Minton circ u l a t i on ma n a g e r Patricia McClain c o py e d i to r Marc Schuster c o n t r i b u t i n g e d i tor Sarah Kloth s o c i a l me d i a st ra te g i st

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Jane Miller ac c o u n t i n g ma n a g e r

For a dve r tising inqu ir ie s: c al l 2 14.704.4182 or e- mail m a rga ret@ s he l fm e di agrou p.c om For editor ial inqu ir ie s: e- mail m a rga ret@ s he l fm e di agrou p.c om or write to Shelf U nbou nd, P O B ox 852321 R ich ard s on, TX 75085

Photograph: Israela by Batya Casper

what to read next in independent publishing


april/may

contents

56

Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book Titus by Titus Plomaritis

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Outstanding Photography

Finalist Wealth by Virtue by Chad Gordon

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Editor’s Choice: Best Series Ranch Rescue by Mark Albini

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Finalist In the Foam of the Blue Waves by Kathleen Wakefield

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Recommended Reading

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Shelf Unbound Notables

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Finalist Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

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Finalist Rocket-Bye by Carole P. Roman

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Winner The Last Train by Michael Pronko

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Finalist Israela by Batya Casper

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Above Photography: (top) In the Foam of the Blue Waves by Kathleen Wakefield (bottom) Dying to Live by Michael Stanley.

DEPARTMENTS 8 a note from the publisher 124 small press reviews 125 last words


To purchase, contact mary@motolocation.co.uk

SPLIT SECONDS

HAVANA BY ABE KOGAN

A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE EVERDAY LIFE IN HAVANA, CUBA. These captured shots within Split Seconds Havana occur smack in the midst of the pre-normalization of Cuban/US relations followed by the signing of the accord between the 2 nations, President Obama’s visit, and Fidel Castro’s death. This collection of black and white photos situates Havana inside of the dying embers of its 57 year relationship with orthodox communism. But now with its feet firmly planted in the pre-post Castro dance of modernity and change, bets are on that Havana is set to change and in a big way. The author is not sure how much change is in the cards. Nor how quickly it will manifest. Havana will reinvent itself regardless of change, rates of change, confluences or conflicts of influences he says. The shots presented here cut through the politics and the gossip of endless predictions spun by the international and local rumor mills. They portray a timeless face of Havana. A captivating and repeating humanity. “Generational Generalities” as he likes to say. Devoid of its powerful tropical flavors via his cancelation of color, landscapes and seascapes, Havana is stripped bare and reveals its inner city urban pulse. The metronome of its Habaneros.


Introducing a present-day La Bohème—a must-read novel for all opera lovers.

by Yorker Keith The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts a group of four opera singers, named the Dolci Quattro, who are to perform the nearlyforgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo, also known as “the other La Bohème.” Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future.


The

Series

ROMANCE IN A FASCINATING SETTING

Book 1 OPAL RIDGE “A modern romance with shades of Pride and Prejudice set in the Australian outback.” —Jill Allen Forword Clarion Review

Book 2 THE GOVERNESS “I don’t often review books, because I am not a writer.
This story deserves someone to say some thing good about it though.
I really loved reading the whole book.” —Kindle customer  

WWW.VICTORIACAPPER.COM

Book 3 COURTING TROUBLE

Coming Soon!

This book is about Tony, the most dashing, colourful, exciting of the three friends.

Look out for it!


www.chroniclesofthestone.com

N O T E S E H T F O S E L C I N O R H THE C

“Fiona Ingram’s middle-grade series is dead-on: the plot is crisp, the characters are relatable, and they leave the reader wanting more.” Terry Doherty, CEO, The Reading Tub, Inc. (USA) THE SECRET OF THE SACRED SCARAB BOOK I A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. The cousins are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when the evil Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!

AVAILABLE AT

THE SEARCH FOR THE STONE OF EXCALIBUR BOOK II Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their longstanding enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

THE TEMPLE OF THE CRYSTAL TIMEKEEPER

BOOK III

Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair, with their friend Kim Maleka, are now hunting for the third Stone of Power, one of seven mysterious stones lost centuries ago. The third stone might be located in an ancient city, hidden in the depths of the Mexican jungle. When their small plane crashes in the jungle, Adam, Justin, Kim, and James are rescued by an uncontacted tribe. James, who is wounded, must stay behind as the kids, with only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the city. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task.


In a small sleepy town in North Carolina, thirteen year old Jake Winston discovered he carries a unique genetic trait; one that a covert government agency will stop at nothing to obtain. After the tragic death of his father, a local firefighting hero, Jake’s absent grandfather returns and sends the boy off on a journey into the gated forest at the edge of town, bringing him face-to-face with a family of dragons thought long extinct. Determined to grasp the power of the blood flowing through Jake’s veins, an agent from the secret ONX facility begins killing every dragon in his path. This forces Jake in the middle of a battle between the government and the dragons of Asheville, where the true potential of his power is revealed.

“Wonderfully descriptive, delightfully quirky. Reminds me of the movie Super 8!” BlueInk Review

“Finely wrought, well-crafted with wonderful humor...anyone can get easily wrapped up in Jake’s improbable quest.” Publishers Daily Reviews

“Inventive and never predictable. I was immersed.” Paula Stewart sweetsouthernsavings.com

www.dragonsofasheville.com

Available at


a word from the

publisher

A

WINNERS

highlight each year for the editors of Shelf Unbound is our annual Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition. You can find the winners, finalists, and our top “notable” books in this issue. The overall winner this year is The Last Train by Michael Pronko, which our judges couldn’t put down. Says Pronko: “Tokyo is always provoking my curiosity. Japanese culture, and Tokyo life, too, has this respect for what is concealed or veiled from quick and easy view. Of course, Tokyo has an exciting surface life with huge numbers of people and diverse places, all in constant motion, that is hard not to see. But the unnoticed currents below the surface are more thrilling, more elusive. There’s layers of the accepted and forbidden for just about everything. Mystery novels reveal, gradually, what we usually avoid or keep out of sight— past mistakes, dangerous desires, corruption, fears—and Tokyo has a lot of all of those. So, that background seemed a good place to set the novel. I’ve written three works of non-fiction about Tokyo life, and I realized that a lot of what I wrote about was the mystery of life here. So, it seemed the next step was to write that response into larger fictional narratives. I’m still enchanted and amazed by Tokyo, and at times repelled and confused. Because of everything roiling under the surface, Tokyo seems an intriguing setting for these Hiroshi mysteries. Tokyo is a huge, fast-paced city that can feel endless and exhausting, but I’m fascinated by all the complexities of life here, so it seemed natural to write it in Tokyo.” There are many books to discover in this issue—I hope you find your next favorite read here. Margaret Brown publisher

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Photograph: Debra Pandak


Lamb to the

Slaughter by Pete Delohery A novel about love and cour age, sin and redemption “Iron” Mike McGann is facing the twilight of his prizefighting career. Desperate for his future, he has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. But behind his menacing ring presence lives a man nobody knows, a complex man who despises his own image. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard vs. “Iron” Mike McGann, just another fight shown on The Continuous Sports Network, but by the time it is over the lives of these and many others will be forever different.

“This heartfelt tale makes a powerful emotional impact.” —Blue Ink Starred Review Also in Spanish: El Cordero al matadero Available in print and e-book at Amazon, xlibris, and Barnes & Noble.

w w w. p e t e d e l o h e r y. c o m


From Bestselling Author

MICHELE PARIZA WACEK

As a child, Kit’s twin sister Cat disappeared, never to be heard from again. Until one dark, twisted Halloween night. But is it really Cat? Or is it someone else playing a sinister and deadly game? “Well-written and gripping from beginning to end, The Stolen Twin is a must read mystery.” —US Review of Books

It’s taken six months, but Linda has finally gotten her life back together after her sister, Elizabeth, killed herself. Or has she? There’s a killer on the loose—a killer who resembles Elizabeth. But, it can’t be her. Could it? “Best psychological thriller since Gone Girl.” —Confessions of the Perfect Mom

www.MicheleParizaWacek.com


Right after Mark’s next-door neighbor is murdered, he gets a new neighbor—the beautiful but mysterious Sylvia, who has just arrived from London. Mark is drawn into a mutually obsessive relationship with Sylvia. She is secretive regarding her past and Mark’s friends caution him that she can’t be trusted. But Mark won’t listen to his friends or to the priest who later claims that Sylvia is a deadly threat. Mark is enchanted by Sylvia’s beauty and charm, even though dating her has its challenges. Whether it’s performing gymnastics on the ledge of the Golden Gate Bridge, creating an embarrassing scene at the wedding of Mark’s best friend, or shocking Mark with her unusual sexual proclivities, Sylvia never misses an opportunity to make a bad first impression. When Mark first meets Sylvia, he tells her, “You’re the girl of my dreams!” Sylvia smiles and responds with a warning—“Be careful what you wish for.”

“The Vampire Girl Next Door

is a choice pick for one looking for a romance with a supernatural twist, highly recommended.” John Burroughs Midwest Book Review

In The Vampire Girl Next Door, Mark fell in love with Sylvia, the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she was a vampire who killed his last neighbor. Now, in The Vampire Girl in London, they fly from Mark’s San Francisco to Sylvia’s London. They tangle with terrorists, are shadowed by a CIA agent, and are pursued by a vampirehunting cult. Even more challenging, they must cope with living in a mansion full of Sylvia’s vampire friends—some of whom she can’t really trust. And Mark still has to deal with Sylvia’s sexual hijinks. Will Mark and Sylvia’s love be enough to survive it all?

“The Vampire Girl in London

would satisfy supernatural fans and I’m once again entertained by Arbib’s fascinating couple, Sylvia and Mark.” Lit Amri, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews www.thevampiregirlnextdoor.com Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Paperback and all e-book formats available on author’s website.


interview

WINNER of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

The Last Train: A Tokyo Mystery by Michael Pronko

A flawless, dark, atmospheric mystery set in Tokyo. Our judges couldn’t put this novel down.

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WINNER Shelf Unound: You’ve lived in Tokyo for two decades—what interested you about Tokyo as the setting for The Last Train? Michael Pronko: Tokyo is always provoking my curiosity. Japanese culture, and Tokyo life, too, has this respect for what is concealed or veiled from quick and easy view. Of course, Tokyo has an exciting surface life with huge numbers of people and diverse places, all in constant motion, that is hard not to see. But the unnoticed currents below the surface are more thrilling, more elusive. There’s layers of the accepted and forbidden for just about everything. Mystery novels reveal, gradually, what we usually avoid or keep out of sight—past mistakes, dangerous desires, corruption, fears—and Tokyo has a lot of all of those. So, that background seemed a good place to set the novel. I’ve written three works of non-fiction about Tokyo life, and I realized that a lot of what I wrote about was the mystery of life here. So, it seemed the next step was to write that response into larger fictional narratives. I’m still enchanted and amazed by Tokyo, and at times repelled and confused. Because of everything

roiling under the surface, Tokyo seems an intriguing setting for these Hiroshi mysteries. Tokyo is a huge, fast-paced city that can feel endless and exhausting, but I’m fascinated by all the complexities of life here, so it seemed natural to write it in Tokyo. Shelf Unbound: Your three main characters are fascinating and enigmatic—white collar crime Detective Hiroshi Shimizu, his mentor Takamatsu, and the spellbinding Michiko Suzuki. How did you develop these characters? Are they based at all on real people? Pronko: The characters come from my interacting with a lot of people over the years. Over twenty years, you meet and see a lot of people in Tokyo. Michiko is a composite of women I saw when I was going out a lot covering jazz. I wondered what their life was like. I was startled by the dignity and inner strength of women working in the night trade. Michiko is a powerful, perplexing character who lives her life in her way on her own terms. That’s rare. Though violent, she acts based on some of the best qualities of Japanese character, though she has a thing about revenge. Takamatsu is probably the most

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WINNER fictional of all the characters in the novel. He’s Hiroshi’s mentor, and is unapologetically unrestrained, but still ethical, though his ethics depend on the situation. I think that’s a distinct type of person in Japan, but he’s not based on a real person. Hiroshi is the character I can sympathize with most. I used to teach students who had lived overseas for many years and returned to Japan. Their re-entry was not always smooth, since Japan can be very rigid in many ways. After years of working with those students, I got a strong sense of what it is like to be trapped between cultures. Later, I realized that’s been my experience, too. Takamatsu and Sakaguchi, the sumo wrestler, are more purely Japanese characters. Hiroshi always stays a bit removed from Japanese customs and ways of thinking. Those characters developed on their own from the seeds of observation and interaction over the years here.

intriguing what students like, and don’t like, and it’s always a bit of a challenge to find that sweet spot when they can be swept away with a work but still move out of their comfort zone. I’ve taught a lot of novels over the years, but a few stand out. Modernist novels like The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and The Great Gatsby are based around conflicts and characters, as well as symbolism, that always clicks with students. Novels like The Joy Luck Club and Slaughterhouse-Five mean working with a more challenging structure, but once they figure out the jumbledup time and place, they sink into these novels of ideas and of culture and get into interesting readings and discussions. Recently, students have come up with strong papers on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. There are so many universals packed into the novel’s rather simple framework, they can connect with it in an individual way. As for films, The Graduate transfers easily to a Japanese context, especially Shelf Unbound: You are a the search for identity and meaning. professor of American Literature The inertia and apathy of Benjamin is at Meiji Gakuin University. What something they resonate with perhaps American novels resonate with your too well. To Kill a Mockingbird (I often Japanese students? read novels and film adaptations side Pronko: I teach contemporary novels, by side) always sweeps them away. and American film, art and music. It’s Other films seem to consistently

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The Last Train by Michael Pronko

S

he pulled him toward the entrance of Tamachi Station away from the nearby warren of bars, eateries and allnight clubs filled with bar hoppers and boozers. She checked her watch, barely noticing the drizzle. The trains would stop running soon. Drunken, red-faced Japanese men in groups, or alone with a woman

peeled off from one of the hostess bars, ambled along the streets with liquoredup gracefulness. Drunk together at night, they talked loudly and coarsely, acting boisterous and loose, though in the morning they’d return to quiet, meek company mode. Under the glaring lights of the station’s vaulted entrance, she appeared even younger and prettier than out in the dark and drizzle. Her face, shrouded by thick hair, was a classic oval. Straight-cut eyelids arched over her strongboned cheeks and her lips curved deliciously. As they entered the station, she took in the times of departing trains and gauged the distance from ticket machine to platform. The man’s red cheeks, shiny brow and comb-over did not match his chic, European suit. His broad chest and full belly strained against his tie-less, widecollared shirt, one shirttail flopping out in front. He lurched after her toward

the wall of ticket machines, missing a step, then another. Neat, bright colors rendered the immense circulatory system of the city into one readable grid, a maze of connections that led everywhere, or nowhere. The man looked back and forth for a minute, and then twisted toward her in stuttering confusion. She brushed back her hair with her hand and dropped coins in for two tickets. It didn’t matter if she got the right price. He tried to make a joke, but she checked the departure board and hurried him through the gate toward the escalator for the silent ride down to the platform. At the bottom, she steered him around a kiosk shuttered for the night. With his arm clamped in her grip, she walked him down the empty platform toward the end. From The Last Train by Michael Pronko. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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WINNER connect, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Some Like It Hot, and Boyhood. But these are just generalizations, really. Students are very individual in their tastes, picky and eclectic, at times too. So, in any class, students will respond to very different works, and very different parts of the works. It’s always an adventure to hear their reactions. Shelf Unbound: You run the site jazzinjapan.com. What is Japanese jazz like and what are a few groups we should be listening to? Pronko: With over 100 clubs featuring live jazz every night in Tokyo and Yokohama, there’s a lot to choose from. Some aspects of jazz here stem from Japanese culture and style, but jazz is jazz. I mean, there’s a spirit of improvisation and freedom that flows from the heart of the music that seems largely the same. But of course, jazz is created by the individual sense and experience of musicians, so it’s inevitable it sounds Japanese. I like a lot of different styles of jazz, almost all of which are present here. I am a fan of Yosuke Yamashita, who continues to make fascinating music, everything from big band to free jazz, often blending Japanese

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and western instruments. I also like Takeshi Shibuya, but he’s never been one to pursue fame. He’s hardly known here, even, but like his cohort, Isao Suzuki, he really cooks. Pianist Hiroshi Minami has stretched outside of Japan, mostly in Europe. Over the past ten years or so, women have become much more common, and that’s a huge, welcome change. Junko Moriya runs a traditional big band, as does Satoko Fujii in a more avantgarde style. Both women have received acclaim overseas, and rightly so, they are simply amazing. I also like Hikari Ichihara, Hitomi Nishiyama and Ayumi Koketsu. Saxophonist Erena Terakubo spends as much time in New York as in Tokyo. It’s great that women are contributing much, much more to the jazz scene than in the past. The jazz scene is thriving and the level of musicianship, already high, continues rising. I go out as often as I can, as it’s a real pleasure to sink into a few hours of music to unwind and decompress from the pressures of life in Tokyo. Shelf Unbound: Tell us about the next books in your series. Pronko: The next novel in the Hiroshi series will come out this spring. It’s called The Moving Blade. Through the


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WINNER story of a murdered diplomat, it focuses on U.S.-Japan relations, the military bases and a bit of Asian history. The main character, a half Japanese, half American woman named Jamie, learns about her father’s past after his murder. As she learns more, and Hiroshi digs deeper (and falls for her), they stumble on more corruption than they expected. For this novel, Takamatsu has been put on leave, though he’s not completely gone, so Sakaguchi, the sumo wrestler-turned-detective takes over and works with Hiroshi. The novel explores bigger social and historical issues than The Last Train, but it has the same forward momentum and Tokyo setting. The next novel after that will be Thai Girl in Tokyo, which follows a teenage Thai girl on the run for her life on the streets of Tokyo. She’s rescued by a young, streetwise Japanese woman in Shibuya. They hole up in an internet café and stumble through Tokyo’s youth culture—good and bad—trying to get her back home. That novel is drafted, but I think it will not be done done until later this year or early next. I’ll do a standalone mystery after that set at an English school, which will include Sakaguchi, the ex-sumo wrestler, who secretly started English lessons. I’ve got two more in the Hiroshi series planned after that, since Hiroshi has so much more to learn. After that, we’ll see what evolves.

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A fictional journey into a future America. This series examines the human condition by exploring society’s intersecting dichotomies: politics and organized crime, technology and nature, and medicine and mysticism.

“A myriad of possible culprits crops up, from environmental catastrophes to homegrown terrorism to simple negligence. The story highlights issues prevalent in modern society but thankfully never sermonizes.” —Foreword Review for Manufractured, Book 1

PAULTRINETTI.COM

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interview

FINALIST of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

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FINALIST

Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your book. Batya Casper: Israela is a novel about Israel: its history and its complex social-structure. It is about people who send their children off to war from generation to generation with no end in sight—their traditions, the fears they live with on a daily basis, the power of family and love. A 3,000-year-old rift has existed between cousin nations. A mammoth effort, a fight for the good life, is going to have to take place in order for these peoples to live at peace with their neighbors. What will happen if they won’t fight the good fight? Will they remain forever a life-loving people living with war—or will they change? Ratiba is an Israeli journalist

who relinquishes family and friends to marry an Arab and move to his village. For 30 years, she hides her Jewish identity from her husband and children. Her sister, Orit, is an actor who feels betrayed by Ratiba and exacts revenge on her with repercussions that exceed her worst nightmares. Their cousin Elisheva dedicates her life to healing the wounded and the dying of the Second Israeli Intifada. As they mature, these women are forced to make choices they would never have imagined. Shelf Unbound: How did you go about developing this book? Casper: In 2002, during the Second Arab Intifada in Israel, I began, without realizing it, to worry this book into being. At first, my intention was simply to trace the history of modern Israel up to that moment in time in order to understand why peace was so elusive and how, after all those years, Israel was still mired in such a violent reality. I was writing for the many people I meet who are ignorant of the complexity and the richness of Israeli life; ignorant of the temerity that all of Israel’s citizens demonstrate, and of the excruciating

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FINALIST concerns that tear them apart on a constant basis. But, as I wrote, fictional characters and actions kept popping into my head, forcing me to follow them. Conflicts, secrets, lies, tender moments, and moments of betrayal grew into Israela. Shelf Unbound: What was the experience of writing this book like for you? Casper: I was going through a difficult period in my personal life, at that time, and Israela became my refuge. I loved every moment of it. I have always felt most deeply quiet and centered while writing. Shelf Unbound: What writing advice do you have for other Indie authors? Casper: We all have our different ways of writing. Some love to plan everything out ahead of time, to have the characters and the plot set before writing begins. That method works well for many serious, wonderful authors, but it isn’t a good fit for me. I need to write and write till I have flushed the story out— and then go back and edit. For me the editing is an extremely creative aspect of writing; it means shaping

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and reshaping the movement and the characters until I have them in (what is for me) perfect focus. The rhythm and music of the language are also important to me. My advice, if any, for other Indie authors, is to state the obvious: Follow your instincts. Don’t go where you think you “should,” but where your feelings, the rhythm of the language, and the pull of the story lead you. Shelf Unbound: What are you working on next? Casper: Since Israela, I have published Hidden: Nistar, comprised of two novellas, Hidden and Hanover Gardens, in a single volume. Hidden, set in Israel, moves backward in time, covering three generations of a single family shrouded in secrecy and pain. Hanover Gardens is set in WW11 England. It is about refugees waiting out the war. You can find Hidden: Nistar on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am currently working on a second edition of my first book (none fiction), Electra: A Gender Sensitive Study of Plays Based on the Myth, McFarland &Co. publishers, 1995.


... as Daifa was coming out of her room, before she’d even combed her hair, Ibrahim told her that a Palestinian friend of his had been in our home looking for her. “He wants to bring his son to see you this evening.” my... feisty, strong-willed daughter who has always refused to be “matched up” ... mumbled, “Sure, why not?” “’Why not?’ That’s it? Daifa, this will be no casual acquaintance,” I squawked. “The man wants you to marry his son.” “Yes, Ommy. I’ve met his son. Abee introduced me to him last month when you were collecting your paycheck in Jerusalem.” “Daifa, it’s not you this man wants. He’s a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. He has an agenda. He doesn’t have citizenship.” “If I marry him, he will. If I were to marry him I could work with him. Be part of something larger than myself.” Wadha was standing in the doorway sewing a button on her shirt, watching our scene play itself out. Ibrahim was hiding behind the newspaper, my newspaper, the one I write for. Bastard, I thought, he’s not going to help me here, not say a word. He’s simply going to eat his omelet while I breakfast on heartburn. “Can you hear what you are saying?” trampling the feta cheese over my bread with my

fingers, forcing my voice to remain in a regular key. “These men are angry, dangerous even. You are a woman, Daifa, with human being needs, women’s needs, not a political pawn.” “Ommy, why are you so worked up? I know what I’m doing. I told you, I’ve met him. He’s nice. Besides, where is the ‘think for yourselves, make your own decisions’ mother that brought us up? The one we’ve always been so proud of ? Just words, right? When push comes to shove, parents never mean what they say.” “I always mean what I say, Daifa. I want you to choose a life of love, of joy, not violence, not danger.” “Other mothers would be proud to have a daughter who wants to help our people. If I marry that man, that’s what I’ll be doing. Helping.” I pulled my shawl from the hall closet, banged the door behind me, picked my way through the early morning mist to Adiva, our sweet, aging mama goat. I sat on a rock near her as she lay in her stall, as she ruminated on her straw. What have I done? I paced the stubble ’round and ’round my mamma goat’s bed till I was sure I’d made her dizzy. I tried to force my brain to work out what it was I’d done, but I couldn’t. What have I done to my children?— My brain, like an automaton, refusing to punch out its message. I tried to think what I

should do from that point on, but no, nothing would come out of me but, What have I done to my children? Adiva was no help. She’d given up on me way back, when I gave away her first litter; when I first started stealing her milk for cheese. Despite my efforts to be different from the way my mother parented me, despite the pride I’d taken in the example I thought I was setting, I’d failed my children, had guided them to the brink of disaster. I can’t appeal to Ibrahim, I thought. So much I can’t tell him. A giant mound of desert sand has grown between us, a Middle Eastern Becket play. Huge. Smelling of feuds, daggers, camels. There’s no way I can move around it, I told myself. Sand in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the food I eat, invisible, but there just the same. Taboo. Observed by both of us, like vultures hunched on a tree, waiting. I couldn’t hold another thought in my aching head. I fell in love with Ibrahim while discussing politics, challenging differences. Now, I thought, all we have to talk about is the weather, or what time he’ll come home at night. God or Allah or Pan or whoever it is that supplies married couples with words, didn’t give us enough, not the right kind, not the gentle, wise kind. All I could think of was my absent son and the dark secret in the shed. Orit hardly pops into my head anymore. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. UNBOUND

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www.codenamearcangelbrucejarvis.com


PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT

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interview

FINALIST of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

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FINALIST

Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your book. Chad Gordon: In my observation, most people share a central fear: that at some point in their lives, they will need money and not have it. Wealth is the absence of that fear. Wealth by Virtue is a comprehensive explanation of our financial world. The book is structured around The Six Areas of Finance: banking, investments, real estate, insurance, legal planning, and tax planning. Everything in your personal finances fits into these categories. By recognizing this structure, you make them all work together and put yourself on the path to wealth-optimized decisions. Modesty aside, my book paints a picture that, as far as I can tell, has never been painted before.

The book itself experiments with some publishing innovations that I feel make the concepts easier to understand. The entire book is in full color which I use liberally to present ideas that are ordinarily complex, into approachable and “friendly” explanations. It is made with the best materials: cloth quarter bound hardcover with an embossed dust jacket, the highest quality paper, and first rate graphic design. I wrote it as a lifelong financial guide, and it is constructed in a way that will last a lifetime. Beyond the physical product, the writing is engaging, clear, and concise – it has gone through three professional edits and multiple nonprofessional ones. As I wrote it, I wasn’t worried about the profitability of the book, but only on how to teach the information in the clearest way possible. I’m confident than anyone reading this will find it to be a page turner and very interesting no matter what you already know about finances. There are many things that I talk about that have never been published before. Readers will learn a great deal, and I have peppered it with humor and personal experiences from my career in financial advising.

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FINALIST I’ve highlighted some case studies from my experience as an advisor, where small mistakes cost people lots of money.

literary batteries recharge. However, this is easy to say in hindsight. Whilst in the trenches of creation, it was a constant experience of frustration and overcoming it to find yet Shelf Unbound: How did you go another frustration. At times, it felt about developing this book? like screaming in a large dark empty Gordon: Initially my goal was to room. What really helped is having create a small paperback book that a very strong vision for the book simply explained what I think people and knowing what you wanted and should know about my financial knowing when you’ve arrived at your advising philosophies if they were vision. going to work with me as a client. As far as a timeline, the whole But as I wrote and researched, I process took about two years. Most realized that there wasn’t a personal of the text was written in about finance book that painted the big six months and the remaining 18 picture in a clear conceptual way. months were a mix of multiple Even though the project expanded rounds of editing, graphic design, into what you see now, I didn’t different delays (some that were imagine it as a mass market book. I outside my control and some always thought I would personally because of my ignorance of the know 90% of the people who ever process), and waiting for my read it. I think that because of this, production slot with the printer. the book has a very personal tone to it—like a letter from a friend giving Shelf Unbound: What writing you financial advice. advice do you have for other indie authors? Shelf Unbound: What was the Gordon: Just do it. If you have experience of writing this book like the burning within you, my belief for you? is that it’s your calling in life and Gordon: I really enjoyed almost that your soul will remain unsettled every aspect of it and hope to write until you fulfill that calling. We are more books in the future once my lucky to live in today’s world where

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E

arly in my career I worked at an old fashioned savings and loan bank. We offered the best rates in town, and this attracted a certain kind of customer. One emblematic individual was Mr. Tonlin. He was meticulous in his management of his $4,000,000, which was divided among fifty or so accounts with different maturity dates. He would come in every week with his list on a clipboard held proudly to his chest and carefully make decisions about which ones to get, haggling with management for better rates. He carried the air of a business magnate from the Industrial Revolution. This was his pride and joy. Then, after years of this

routine, his wife passed away. Mr. Tonlin came in the afternoon after the funeral—perhaps to get some grounding in his routines. He seemed like he had lost six inches of height. He came into the bank lobby expressionless, posture limp, disoriented. Various staff came up to him, expressing their condolences. He ambled to the counter holding his clipboard, which now seemed to be very heavy to him. We waited for him to say something as he looked at the list. Then quietly, looking down at his clipboard, his chin quivered and his eyes welled up, “I should have spent this money with her. What am I going to do with it?” It’s been over a decade since this happened. I would bet that a week hasn’t gone by that I haven’t thought of that man and this single phrase. I believe that those who have saved up deserve the reward of minimizing their fears about money while maximizing their energy for the real things

of life. Ask yourself: what is the point? This is not a rhetorical question. If you and I optimize your financial life, leaving no stone unturned, what’s the point? What would change? What should change? To me, the point is this: you should have the luxury of diverting your emotional energy away from worrying about money. Spend that same energy on more important things like family and friends, pursuing goals and experiences, enjoying life, or giving back to the world. The emotional cost of financial chaos is profoundly impoverishing. Bringing order to chaos will enable you to divert your energy to the things that enrich your life. Financial strength is not about having a lot of money. The ancient Romans had a saying, “Money is like seawater. The more you drink, the thirstier you become.” As you grow in wealth, you must also grow in wisdom. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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FINALIST you can bring a book fully to life with very little resources and without the blessing and bankrolling of a publishing company. I think that many aspiring authors should come to terms with how the world has changed in their favor. The flipside of this is that no creative process should happen in a vacuum. It’s important to surround yourself with advisors both paid and unpaid. Everybody needs an editor—consciously or unconsciously, everyone knows when they are reading unrefined material. The blessings of independence are a double-edged sword and it’s up to you to mitigate it. Speaking from experience, I never would have bothered writing my book if I thought I had to spend time begging publishing companies to turn their heads my direction. For me, once I knew that I wanted to write a book, I just started writing my book without much thought to profitability and sell-ability. In the end, readers will experience something that would never have been created through a traditional publishing company. It is a better book because I retained creative control and the final word.

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Shelf Unbound: What are you working on next? Gordon: I’m still in the early stages of publicity for Wealth by Virtue. One of the downsides of self-publishing is self-promoting. Long gone are the days of putting on a tweed blazer, doing book signings and speaking tours. A traditional marketing plan would be to print a book ahead of time, spend 3-4 months doing publicity, mailing out thousands of free copies to generate buzz leading up to a publication date— part of this is the hope to sandbag sales to make the NYT bestseller list. My approach is quite different. As soon as my books were printed, I allowed them to be for sale (which was in early December). I’m now in that 3-4 month publicity phase sending out free copies to influential people and setting up interviews. Very time consuming, but so far so good, I’m glad I did it this way, and thankfully I’ve been able to manufacture my own buzz. This is all to say that in my mind, under a normal publication model, I’m still in the pre-publication phase of it and “my next book” is quite far from my mind. But I have about five different ideas that I have begun to explore, but none with much intent at this point.


A LEGAL THRILLER BY CHRISTOPHER LEIBIG

“The Verdict is in—

THREE BRUTAL MURDERS ONE MYSTERIOUS JOURNAL

Attorney Christopher Leibig offers a legal thriller for the ages. Realistic yet unpredictable, with a clever metaphysical twist, Almost Mortal is a thrilling roller coaster ride.”

Can Sam solve the “Rosslyn Ripper” case before the killer strikes again?

Robert Dugoni, New York Times and Amazon number one bestselling author of “My Sister’s Grave.” “A poised protagonist leads this serpentine but engaging legal tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A page-turner that you’ll probably want to read twice.” – Patricia McCardle, author of Amazon’s awardwinning novel, Farishta.

Camille shares an old journal anonymously mailed to the Church, which she believes may have been authored by the killer/confessor. The journal purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be a descendant of the fallen angels cast of out Heaven by God. As he learns more about the murders, the mystery author, and Camille, Sam begins to realize the so called “Rosslyn Ripper” case may have implications beyond his imagination—including his own past.

Christopher Leibig is a novelist and criminal defense lawyer who lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia. His first two published books, Saving Saddam (2008), and Montanamo (2010) were published by Artnik Books in London. Saving Saddam was released in 2014 in the United States under the title Black Rabbit. Chris also has several published short stories – Secret Admirer (The Cynic on-line magazine 2004) Coldcocked (Skyline magazine FICTION: Thrillers/Legal 2004), Fly (The Cynic on-line magazine 2009), Intervention (Traveller’s Playground Press 2014), and Paradise City (Traveller’s Playground Press 2014). Chris has also published numerous articles on criminal defense and related topics – including in the Huffington Post and The Examiner – and appeared as a legal expert regularly since 2009 in print and television media – including Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, $15.95 The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. He and his colleagues regularly lecture at law schools throughout Europe and the Caribbean.

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“The verdict is in–Attorney Christopher Leibig offers a legal thriller for the ages. Realistic yet unpredictable, with a clever metaphysical twist, Almost Mortal is a thrilling roller coaster ride!” —Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of My Sister’s Grave

christopher Leibig

emerging criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. He thinks of them as minor psychic abilities. When Sam is hired by an attractive young nun named Camille Paradisi, he agrees to help discover the identity of a serial killer in order to prevent Camille’s pastor from being exposed for not reporting the man after a confession – thereby allowing another murder to occur. While Sam’s psychic abilities increase as he investigates the case and gets closer to Camille, he realizes that the enigmatic nun is not revealing the complete truth. Camille shares an old journal anonymously mailed to the church, which she believes may have been authored by the killer/ confessor. The journal, which begins in Argentina in the 1940’s, purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be a descendant of the fallen angels cast out of heaven by God. As Sam learns more about the murders, the journal author, and Camille, he begins to realize the so called “Rosslyn Ripper” case may have ancient implications beyond his imagination.

ALMOST MORTAL

Emerging criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. He thinks of them as just minor psychic abilities. When Sam is hired by an attractive young nun named Camille Paradisi, he must discover the identity of a serial killer. Otherwise Camille’s Pastor will be exposed for not having turned in the man after a confession—thereby allowing another murder to occur. While Sam’s psychic abilities increase as he investigates the case, he quickly learns that the enigmatic Camille is not revealing the complete truth.

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Winner 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award

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Christopher Leibig is a novelist and criminal defense lawyer who lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia.

www.chrisleibig.com

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This book offers hope and inspiration to:

The Way I See IT

People who are visually impaired People who have other bodily impairments

Parents who have a physically challenged child People who ponder about the purpose of life Born with not one, but two rather restrictive birth defects, Joseph Chan faced multiple challenges in coping as a little child. In addition to the stress of keeping up in school, the stigma of being different experienced in both his family and school was a burden in building self-esteem. These challenges permeate his life as a young adult. Trying to start a career in accounting and building a social life was a long and difficult learning process.

JOSEPH K. CHAN

s e . n y

THE WAY I SEE IT

f h a n t y e , l o s

“In a book filled with wisdom, one of the most remarkable lessons is the way in which the author views his physical limitations.” By Foreword Reviews

Despite a disadvantaged beginning, this is a story of love, faith, and personal triumph over fate. The Way I See It is Joseph Chan’s spiritual journey in finding his purpose in life and to share the hope and inspiration that he has found with those who may also benefit from it.

4 stars out of 5

by Foreword Reviews

WWW.JOSEPHKCHAN.COM


by Margaret Dexter

Margaret Dexter invites readers to accompany her on a journey that not only encompasses MALTA, but also several stopping places along the way. Each mark on the map brings new vision all represented in elegant and effervescent prose. As the loving voice of a daughter, wife, and mother, she and her family immerse themselves in a voyage of experience and growth. In this memoir, Margaret pens a loving tribute to not only the island of Malta and its special inhabitants, but also to her family’s remarkable peregrination. Malta Remembered is an inspiring story of how one couple blessed and united by good fortune braved waves of adversity with hard work and love.


LINDA COLLISON Fifteen-year-old James McCafferty is an unwilling sailor aboard a traditional Chinese junk operated as adventure-therapy for troubled teens. Once at sea, James believes the ship is being taken over by the spirits of courtiers who fled the Imperial palace during the Ming Dynasty, more than 600 years ago, and sailing to its doom. WWW.LINDACOLLISON.COM

“A witty YA voyage with plenty of narrative power” —Kirkus Reviews

“An ancient Chinese junk packed with delinquent teens and ghosts alike sets off on a dangerous voyage in this fantastic book” —Susan Waggoner, Foreword Reviews


A vital novel of love in Provence. EROTIC LOVE. FAMILY LOVE. LOVE OF PLACE AND BEAUTY.

“ A STANDOUT. ... RENDERED VIVIDLY.

What emerges is a moving account of the necessary compromises people make in their lives.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Fred Misurella writes in the clearest, precise prose, and has as his special strength the joining of shining intelligence with deep emotion.” —Kent Haruf, author of Our Souls at Night

FREDMISURELLA.COM Available at


interview

FINALIST of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

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FINALIST

Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your book. Kathleen Wakefield: I began writing In the Foam of the Blue Waves from a distant unfulfilled desire to walk from Oregon to Mexico. I walked, in my mind, watching the seagulls, the waves, the blue skies— the skaters, surfers, and bodybuilders on the sand. Being a writer and songwriter, I put the idea away for a while, to continue, as Joni Mitchel writes: ”stoking the starmaker machinery behind the popular song,” and then—after having my first novella, “Snaketown,” published, I picked it up again, haunted by the recurring thought of ‘the walk.’ Shelf Unbound: How did you go about developing the book?

Wakefield: We, as a family, lived in California off and on, my father always one step ahead of us, California was the edge of the world to him, and then to me, and I learned somehow, that there’s not a time in California, you don’t consider the edge. I come from a Mormon background, my grandmother as a baby, crossing the plains to the “promised land” in the West. Her book, The Handcart Trail, speaks of that journey. My father at a young age became a missionary, beginning his own search for something to believe in. In the Foam of the Blue Waves was, at first, imagined as a short story, but the search for father, as I began to see these pilgrimages, all of the became a larger and more complicated journey than I had anticipated, and though inventing my own narrative, I was compelled to follow. Shelf Unbound: What was the experience of writing this book like for you? Wakefield: California shakes, burns, floods, tosses, acclaims and diminishes all in one breath. Writing In In the Foam of the Blue Waves reminded me of that, and frightened me all over again.

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FINALIST Shelf Unbound: What writing advice do you have to offer for other indie writers? Wakefield: Write. Sit down and write. Send in, join, read, study all possibilities of getting published. I remember reading about a famous NY author who, in trying to get her first book published, wrapped her manuscript in brown paper and twine, went to a small Midwestern town and mailed it to publishers from there. Writing my first book, Snaketown, I considered that as a possibility. Shelf Unbound: What are you working on next? Wakefield: I’m working on a mystery, Rosalie on the Mountain, a story I thought would follow the usual mystery format, but doesn’t seem to want to. There are, however, ‘the usual suspects”—a body, a best friend angry detective; a blistering, foreboding, high-desert sierra landscape—mining, opium, and enough of a shady citizenry to worry about, so I’m going back over pages, to let Rosalie be my guide. She’s on the mountain now—windows and doors closed on streets below—silent as a prayer.

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e lived in the part of California that would be Central Coast if you were to divide the upper half of the state in two, bring a knife down and cleave it like you would a side of beef, the pieces rocking away from each other. It was the part of California where, in the low hills, up from the beach, grasses caught fire by spontaneous combustion. I’m walking on Pecho Coast, Oceana Dunes, Guadalupe Dunes, across Santa Monica River, Nipomo Dunes, past the lupine and manzanita. I am walking The Big Sur Trail west of the Ventana wilderness, fragments of the Salinas valley, the Sierra Crest, the mountain

named for one of the early Spanish missionaries: Father Junipero Serra. There is missionary cactus the Spanish left behind—the conquistadors and vaqueros; there are baptismal pools, stations of the cross, grasses the missionaries sowed, hawks, owls, bald eagles: el paseo. Sometimes I see Nicholas in the yellow grass above the road. Then I look again and he isn’t there, and I realize I’ve gone in my mind past the fields where he used to work with the migrant workers from Guerrero or Jalisco. Nicholas was colorblind, he couldn’t see the blue of the sky as we see it, or the color of the ocean, the yellow of the grass,

but he saw his own lovely versions of them, I believe, different and infinitely more complex, the way flowers and the variants of greens in the trees appear to insects and birds. Nicholas’s scars were long and cross-like, or cross-roads-like, small intersections like Salona Beach Road and the cut-off to Trianfro. Or like a barbed wire fence you encounter trying to get to the waterline on an agate scattered beach glinting in the sun. On the side of the fence there, you can find blackberries, salmonberries, wild strawberries, see the sleek shining backs of dolphins. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Available at

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UP S . WW

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Here is the book that so many early readers are going crazy over. It is the TRUE story of the REAL American hero who risked his life in 1947 to fly the X-1 rocket plane through the sound barrier and take the world of aviation into the modern age. The risks were great with some scary ups and downs, but Chuck Yeager was steady and determined and he did it. What is the sound barrier? This book gives a careful explanation. You and your children will never forget this story. See the movie at www.supersonicflyer.com.


The story is about Digit, the Robot dog, who helps to stop bullying at the Zipper Elementary School. Digit is a special dog because he teaches children not to bully each other in school. Digit carries a red toolbox kit that teaches children about positive behavior, positive role models, positive rules, being kind to one another, being helpful to each other, and teaches children how to deal with problems about bullying in school. Digit teaches the children how to be friendly, to share, to say please and thank you but most of all he teaches them to have positive behavior. Digit says, “Bullying Hurts! It hurts us all. Stop Bullying now!


interview

FINALIST of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

by Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip)

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FINALIST

Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your book. Michael Stanley: Dying to Live is a story about what would happen if a plant were found that enabled people to live longer. It is a story of avarice and greed. When an old Bushman is found dead at the side of a Kalahari road, the police are suspicious he may have been murdered. An autopsy reveals that his internal organs are those of a young man, and a bullet found embedded in an abdominal muscle not only was typical of one used a hundred years earlier, but also had no entry wound. Word gets out, and the Bushman’s body is stolen from the morgue. Also, a local witch doctor, famous for purveying a tonic to extend life to wealthy clients, disappears, as does an American academic who

is close friends with the CEO of a pharmaceutical company. Both the Bushman and the witch doctor were thought to have found a plant in the Kalahari that prolonged life. With the promise of enormous profits to whoever found the plant, the search was on. And any obstacle was quickly pushed aside. Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu and his colleague Detective Samantha Khama are called on to investigate. At the same time, Kubu and his wife are wrestling with the deteriorating health of their adopted, HIV-positive daughter. As she deteriorates, they are faced with the temptation to find the plant and use it on their daughter. This results in a huge disagreement, and Kubu leaves home. Eventually, Kubu and Samantha are sure they know who is responsible for the murders, but have little concrete evidence to convict him. Kubu devises a dangerous deceit to get the proof they need. Shelf Unbound: How did you go about developing this book? Stanley: The idea for the book came from a case of biopiracy. For

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FINALIST hundreds of years, Bushmen have used the hoodia plant to suppress their appetites when running after antelope they have shot with a poisoned arrow. Sometimes, a large antelope may run for several days before collapsing. About twenty years ago, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) isolated the chemical it believed to be responsible. It then sold the rights to a European pharmaceutical company for commercialization. There was an outcry that both the CSIR and the company had stolen indigenous intellectual property—that is, the knowledge of the Bushmen about the properties of hoodia—without compensation. Eventually, an agreement was made whereby the Bushmen would get a percentage of any profits made. It was an easy step for us to imagine the existence of a similar plant that would extend life. After all, the Kalahari is huge, and there are doubtless hundreds of plant species that have yet to be discovered. We then thought about the frenzy that would result if such a plant became known. The profit potential would be almost unlimited,

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and people would go to great lengths to control the market. With that back story, we were left with devising an entertaining murder mystery around it. Shelf Unbound: What was the experience of writing this book like for you? Stanley: Dying to Live is the sixth Detective Kubu mystery, and the experience mirrored the earlier ones. Once we had settled on the back story, we did a lot of research on biopiracy, as well as on the remarkable abilities of Bushmen as botanists. We then wove this into a story about human frailty—a theme of all our stories. In this case, the frailty was closer to home for Kubu and his family than in previous books. At the end of the story, Kubu has to resolve a huge, personal, moral dilemma. Shelf Unbound: What writing advice do you have for indie authors? Stanley: Don’t give up your day job! Don’t isolate yourself—join a writing group or write with someone. Find the style that suits you—do you like to plot the story before writing (a


‘H

e’s old, all right,’ Ian, the forensic pathologist, continued. ‘Bushmen always have faces like walnuts from all that sun. But look at the hair. Pure white. And his bones are showing signs of severe osteoporosis. That’s leaching of the calcium. It happens in old people and makes the bones brittle. That may be why that blow snapped his neck, and the radius cracked under a rough grip.’ Kubu nodded. So, the man was old. That was no surprise either. Now doubt entered Ian’s voice. ‘And yet, look at this.’ He offered Kubu an unidentified organ in a glass jar filled with clear liquid. ‘Go on, take it. Look closely.’ Kubu did,

then handed it back none the wiser. ‘That’s the liver of a young man, Kubu. Maybe a forty-year old who didn’t drink. And then there’s this.’ He handed Kubu a container with what was clearly a heart. ‘That ticker would’ve gone on pumping for years. All the internal organs are like that. It’s only the skin, the bones, and the hair that belong to a seventy or eighty-year old.’ Kubu frowned. ‘How can he be forty inside and seventy outside? Could it be just genetics? He chose his parents well?’ ‘I’ve never read of anything like this,’ Ian replied. ‘And here’s something else.’ He passed Kubu a

Petri dish containing a blackened lump of what Kubu took for metal. ‘That’s a bullet, no doubt about it. I found it by chance when I got intrigued by the young organs.’ Ian paused and corrected himself. ‘The young-looking organs, I should say. It was lodged in one of the rectus abdominus muscles, a couple of centimetres below the skin. Probably pretty spent when it hit him, or it would’ve killed him. I was surprised.’ ‘Surprised? Was it recent?’ ‘Not recent at all. I was surprised because there was no scar.“ Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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FINALIST plotter)? Or do you prefer to make it up as you write (a pantser—writing by the seat of your pants)? Listen to your inner voice—don’t ignore it when it tells you something isn’t quite right, even if it means a major rewrite. Have your manuscript professionally edited before submitting it to an agent or publisher. Shelf Unbound: What are you working on next? Stanley: We have just finished the manuscript of a stand-alone thriller, Dead of Night, that has as its back story the poaching of rhinos and the smuggling of rhino horn. It features a Minnesota woman of Vietnamese descent as its protagonist. It will be first released in mid-2018 in the UK by Orenda Books.

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WHEN 16-YEAR-OLD ANNA HOLLOWAY LEARNS MORE ABOUT HER FATHER'S MURDER, SHE UNCOVERS A MAP TO AN ANCIENT BURIED TREASURE. BUT NOW SHE MUST OUTRUN A FAMOUS OUTLAW WHO WOULD KILL TO GET TO IT FIRST.

CARRIE MERRILL

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON 47 UNBOUND


Love them or hate them, they'll get under your skin. Five Star Reviews for this year’s Sci Fi sensation.

by GERRY BURKE These creatures are smart, inventive and very athletic and, when their intentions become obvious, even President Daphne Doolittle is at a loss. She doesn’t know what to do. This fast-moving humorous narrative pits the superior intellect of the aliens against the gritty determination of Homeland Security agent Calvin Swift and his girl-friend, the alluring Alicia Angelico. It’s tense, terrifying and totally enjoyable satire.

www.gerryburke.net

“Burke has a well-furnished mind, an ingenious intellect, and a prodigious vocabulary dedicated to making readers laugh.” Joe Kilgore (US Review)

“I was completely absorbed in the narrative, in the author’s unique, inimitable style, and the writing that conjures up powerful images in the minds of readers. I read this novel from cover to cover, and was utterly immersed in the action.” Christian Sia (Readers’ Favorite)


a cowb g n i m o c e B can't be that hard, oy

can it?

It certainly looks easy to Franklyn “Frank” Ellington Seton IV. Smothered by both his overbearing mother and stuffy Maryland Society, Frank escapes to the vistas of his childhood. He will soon learn, however, that the one thing the movies left out was the smell. And the dirt. And the horses. As Frank makes his way through mid-twentieth century America, he searches for a place he truly belongs. And if being an actual cowboy is too difficult, why not try Hollywood?

“With a mixture of nostalgia, melancholy, and heaps of humor, The True Life of a Singing Cowboy will lasso you from the first note.”

AVAILABLE AT


interview

FINALIST of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

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FINALIST Roman: This was highly personal and special. I wrote a companion book for my granddaughters. I completed them both in one evening. I honestly didn’t care if people bought it—it’s a favorite in my grandchildren’s libraries. Shelf Unbound: What writing advice do you have for other indie authors? Roman: Get onto a Goodreads threads Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your book.  with other authors. Talk to them. Write all Carole P. Roman: I wrote Rocket-Bye the time, not just your book—but articles. as a ‘love letter’ to my grandchildren. Get in magazines, build your brand. Write We love the night sky and the words just reviews. Write noteworthy articles that flowed out in one take. The two boys will draw people to check out your books. Make yourself  interesting and don’t only are my grandsons-they are cousins. I especially love the ending. When I read it talk about your books.  to them the first time both their parents and the kids got teary. It’s a keeper. Shelf Unbound: What are you working on next? Shelf Unbound: How did you go about Roman: Right now I am writing developing this book?  on Medium and Indie Author’s Monthly Roman: I wrote the poem in an hour, Magazine. I just published my first adult maybe less. I worked my way from the work (paranormal suspense)—Bulwark under the pen name Brit Lunden. I have earth through the cosmos, thinking three radio podcasts that keep me very about the things my kids would enjoy busy: Let’s Say Hello to Our Neighbors, where on a midnight ride in the sky. I wrote I introduce new children’s indie book Mati, described the kids, and we talked about the dreamy quality of the authors to our community; Navigating illustrations. She got it so right!! Indieworld, where we interview new indie authors and finally Indie Author’s Roundtable, Shelf Unbound: What was the experience where we discuss topics that are important to indie authors.  of writing this book like for you?

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2016 eLit Book Awards GOLD WINNER

Jackals lurk in our probate courts, growing fat at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens and fully supported by widespread legal corruption. This is the world of professional guardianship fraud, where the rights of the elderly hinge on the decisions of callous profiteers. Guardianship warns of this epidemic of abuse, providing a guide for the many concerned relatives who find themselves punished for the crime of trying to protect a loved one’s estate, health, and even life. www.GuardianAbuseCases.com

by M Larsen Michael Larsen is a businessman who witnessed the corruption of professional guardianship fraud firsthand. He hopes Guardianship will raise awareness of this callous predation on our most vulnerable citizens.

Available through AMAZON, CREATESPACE, KINDLE, and BAKER & TAYLOR.


Can you be a good parent and “not know” what goes into your children’s educational material? Or, can you be a better parent if you did know what goes into it?...

Some say that love, nurturing, and the ability to nurture, religion, and education all start at home. Parenting, education, and nurturing are some of the most important aspects of family life that a family with school-aged children can experience. We as parents spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours teaching our children; yet, many still do not know what goes into our children’s educational make-up. ...MIND GAMES is far ahead of even our presidential candidates; as they are just now bringing-up the subject for a campaign issue, when we are trying to inform parents of how to improve their children’s educational abilities. How much wiser can you be as a parent if you had this information to aid your child with in their educational quest?

“COMMON CORE”

WWW.ALTAIRBEY.TATEAUTHOR.COM


“A rare example of inspirational fiction that will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike.” Kirkus Review

One day Max, a young idler who drifts along his tedious and uneventful life, meets Bill, an angel on an undisclosed assignment. They start a series of conversations covering a variety of issues. Gradually, these sessions develop into a friendship. Being an angel, Bill is capable of analyzing intricate situations and offering infallible solutions, but his talents are greatly limited when it comes to love…

Available at


FROM AUTHOR MITCHEL STREET

P

iper Walker, a high school senior, is unknowingly standing on the precipice of a monumental transformation in her life. She has always been offbeat, relating to nature and animals more than people. She grew up fast after her mom died from cancer at a young age, weeks after her brother was born. With a wrecked home life and a baby brother to raise, Piper is adopted by friends, a kind elderly neighbor named Esther and her cat Jazz, as her family and suppressed and strangled the world she is now part of. Somehow, she a nearby forest as her solace. A plays a crucial role in freeing the near death experience causes an captive races of this ancient realm. awakening inside her, prematurely Amongst the unspeakable beauty, opening her eyes to her destiny. A the unknown danger, and the desire world of magic and light she never dreamt of lay hidden in the shadows to find out who she really is, Piper discovers an unexplainable, first-time of what she thought was real. However, trouble brews in paradise. love that becomes the only thing that A long-standing tyrannical rule has she can cling to in her stormy life.

WWW.MITCHELSTREET.COM

“Street’s plot-heavy tale promises a number of sequels; indeed, with the accumulation of characters, settings, and magical occurrences, one book is insufficient to contain his imagination.” —Kirkus Reviews

“What makes this work truly special is in the author’s ability to intricately weave components of art, science, and nature into a fantastical and engaging read.” —US review

“Street is a master of description, and the reader will be swept up in Piper’s new life, carried forward by the strange and wonderful world which Piper must master—or die.” —San Francisco book review


sports

WINNER of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports-Related Book

The story of a young mill town sports hero. Grit, focus and an ability to weave through all obstacles dominated his life on the field ..... and off ! Titus Pomaritis is a 5’5” powerhouse of a human being—and his inspiring memoir covers everything from his early days delivering chickens to a small grocer, to his still-talked-about high school football career, to his romance and long marriage. Through it all, he expresses gratitude and wonder to the people along the way. Titus

Immigrant Son, Football Legend, Presidential Confidant, Highly Honored Chiropractor

The Life of Dr. Titus Plomaritis by Dr. Titus Plomaritis 56

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THE PETE DELOHERY AWARD We created the Pete Delohery Award in honor of the late indie author of the boxing-themed novel Lamb to the Slaughter. We’re proud to honor Pete’s creativity and passion for writing with this award. We talked to his wife Pat Delohery about Pete and his writing. Shelf Unbound: Tell us a little bit about Pete Delohery. Pat Delohery: Pete Delohery was born in Washington, D.C. in 1942. He received a B.S. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech; taught at Virginia Tech; was Town Engineer of Blacksburg, Virginia (home of Virginia Tech) and an engineering consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though he was successful in engineering, his passion was always writing. Pete’s writing style immediately involves you in the story and the life of all his characters. Shelf Unbound: And how about his novel Lamb to the Slaughter. Delohery: Lamb to the Slaughter is a novel about love and courage, sin and redemption. “Iron” Mike McGann, 32 years old, is facing the twilight of his prizefighting career. Desperate for his future, he has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. In despair, his wife, Madge, is leaving him. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard, Mike’s next opponent, is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. He has won all 22 of his fights by knockout and is said to be a former enforcer for something called The Black Mafia. But behind Rufus Hilliard’s menacing ring presence lives a man nobody knows, a complex man who despises his own image. Unexpectedly left alone before his bout with McGann, Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard is forced to confront the past that haunts him and the future he dreads. Charles “Charliehorse” O’Connell, Rufus’s cornerman, has been terrorized by a mob kingpin to sabotage him. O’Connell, who is an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler, blames

himself for the ring deaths of two prizefighters. Trapped in a moral crisis, O’Connell must finally confront his “Cardinal Sin.” Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard vs “Iron” Mike McGann, just another fight shown on The Continuous Sports Network, but by the time it is over the lives of these and many others will be forever different. Shelf Unbound: How did the idea for the book come to him? How long did it take him to write it? What was his writing routine? Delohery: Pete was very interested in boxing. We attended matches and/or watched boxing on TV. He also was very interested in people and how they handled problems. The two combined to create Lamb to the Slaughter, where three men connected by a championship match were all at a major crossroad in their lives. The novel is about love and courage, sin and redemption. Pete took a sabbatical for one year and wrote two novels as well as short stories. The second novel was Lamb to the Slaughter. He would write all morning and work out with weights three days a week. Sometimes he would write after dinner and on the weekends. Shelf Unbound: You have devoted yourself to promoting Pete’s book following his death in 2011. What does promoting his book mean to you?  Delohery: Pete dedicated one year of his life to create this novel. There was a near miss but the novel was not published. One of my last promises to Pete was that I would get his novel published. The publication, translation of the novel into Spanish, and promotion reflect my belief in his novel and his dream. UNBOUND

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photography

OUTSTANDING PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK of the 2018 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

“Split Seconds Havana features the people, the architecture and, of course, the iconic ‘50s era cars of Cuba’s capital city. The presentation is candid, direct and thoughtprovoking but never unkind or judgmental. The images tell the story. Kogan is an International Independent Publishers Gold Award winner for his photography.” —splitsecondsphotos.com

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“Tense, timely, and terrific!”

The Bottom Line:

Fresh, fast and furious. The Amendment Killer is one of the year’s best legal thrillers.

Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels

BestThrillers.com

“We have your granddaughter. Here’s what you need to do.”

SPECIAL $3.99 R EBOOK PRICE FO SHELF UNBOUND SUBSCRIBERS

That’s the text message Supreme Court Justice Arnold Hirschfeld receives as hearings commence in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the 28th Amendment—enacted to criminalize abuse of power on the part of our political representatives. In court to defend the amendment, retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks observes his old friend and law school classmate Hirschfeld acting strangely and dispatches veteran D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello to find out why. In the meantime, Hirschfeld’s precocious and feisty 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter Cassie, brutally kidnapped to control her grandfather’s swing vote upholding or invalidating the amendment, watches her insulin pump running dry and wonders which poses her greatest threat, the kidnappers or the clock. As Brooks is forced to choose between saving our nation or saving the girl.

Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States. Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes and has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.

Available wherever fine books are sold, including

More information at

RONALDSBARAK.COM

AVAILABLE JULY 2018


best series

The Rescue Ranch Children’s Book series by Mark Albini

About the Series This series is one long rhyming adventure broken into separate books. Each adventure will teach a lesson, have a moral, offer advice or show good manners. In book #1 Jimmy the Giraffe learns that the grass is not always greener on the other side. In Book #2 Ricky and Bobo make the mistake of sneaking out of their homes to forage for food and then they barely escape with their lives. In Book #3 Freddie the Fish plays hooky from school and learns that there are consequences when you disobey. In Book #4 Sammy the Snake learns how important it is to be as smart as he can be and then to use all of those skills to be successful. Books #5 through #19 tell similar stories but the lessons, characters, adventures and advice continue to change and surprise the reader. 60

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Developing the Series As I wrote the first book entitled Jimmy the Giraffe, I introduced 2 new characters named Howie the Horse and Bobo the Mouse. It gave me the opportunity to teach another lesson in my next book or to possibly give some advice as it would be seen through the eyes of another Rescue Ranch animal. I’ve continued to use this same method to introduce all 35 animal characters, with more to come, to the series. What was the experience like? I was surprised. I never thought about writing or even planned for this to happen. It started by me trying to help a friend of my wife’s who is an artist. I would write a book, she was going to draw the illustrations and we’d see if we could make some money. She moved away and it didn’t work out but I kept on writing and developing the

Rescue Ranch Children’s Book Series. I have now completed 19 stories to the series and a special edition book A Rescue Ranch Christmas. Advice My advice to anyone who is thinking of writing a book would be this: Follow your passion in life. If it’s writing then you should write. Be patient and enjoy the process because when you capture the imagination of an audience with words, or if you have something important to say, it should be expressed with the passion you felt when you had the thought. If you do that then you will have brought joy to both yourself and your audience. What’s Next? Publish books #5 through #19 and begin writing books #20 through #25. The Rescue Ranch Children’s Book Series has a lot more to teach.


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READING Take a bite from your next favorite book.

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The Other La Bohème by Yorker Keith

Overture Begin your song, oh Muses. Let me join the zesty tune. My heart needs no more sorrow, Neither discord nor despair. Induce me to embrace love, Peace, and hope in harmony. Lift, lift me up, oh Muses. Let us sing a song of joy. Act I Scene 1

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uses were singing in glory in the fine October sky—the image Henry saw in the clouds as he strolled along Broadway near 72nd Street, several blocks from the Metropolitan Opera House. He even recognized the Muses’ sweet song. His chest swelled in anticipation as he continued a few blocks to the Café Momus, where his friend Stephanie was working as a waitress. The restaurant attracted a loyal clientele among connoisseurs of opera and classical music, who appreciated the authentic French cuisine at reasonable prices, especially before or

after a performance at one of the many nearby theaters. Henry paused outside the window and peered in. Since it was not yet five o’clock, patrons occupied fewer than half of the thirty-odd tables. Stephanie stood before the bar in her black uniform, casually watching the customers. Henry fished a digital pitch-maker from his pocket and found C-sharp. He cleared his throat and inhaled, assuming the role of Marcello. Then he burst through the door and began singing, extending his hand toward Stephanie. “O Musette, o gioconda sorridente!” (“Oh Musette, oh radiant smile!”) Stephanie broke into just such a smile as Henry continued his serenade in his burning tenor voice, praising her charms. His rich tones reverberated in the intimate restaurant. Stephanie immediately replied to his aria in her coloratura mezzosoprano, wagging her right index finger. “Badate! I miei difetti non

nascondo.” (“Mind you! I don’t hide my defects.”) She cautioned Marcello that she was a capricious vagrant, living day to day. When she completed her aria, both joined in a duet: Marcello, adoring her, and Musette, warning him. The music entwined to a dramatic climax with a soaring high A, then descended slowly, ending with their simultaneous murmur: “Musette!”…“Badate!” “Bravo!” Waiters and waitresses shouted their kudos while the patrons applauded. Henry bowed and Stephanie curtsied. As they rose, they met each other’s eyes and laughed. …

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The Governess by Victoria Capper www.victoriacapper.com

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ne night, Bruce walked in to the doorway of the room where Thea was curled up in a chair, quietly reading a book. She looked up. He didn’t say a word, just grinned at her and crooked his finger. Thea was puzzled, “What is it?” He just stood there for a moment just watching her, smiling all the while, then said. “Follow me.” Thea followed him into his office and there, along the window ledge outside the office was a python. It was a beautiful creature, blue and black and grey diamond pattern about as thick as your wrist and four or five feet long. Thea didn’t notice or appreciate its beauty. She just stared at it, horrified, frozen on the spot. Then she gasped and turned to Bruce and threw her arms around him and

buried her head into his chest. Bruce instinctively responded by folding his arms around her, cradling her protectively. How long they stood there wrapped in their embrace neither ever knew—a few moments— all the time in the world. She felt safe and comforted and strangely warm. Bruce, for his part wanted to deepen their engagement but he felt protective and knew he couldn’t take advantage of this wonderful woman who had turned to him for protection and care. Slowly Thea realized what she had just done and hesitantly turned to move out of his arms and looked at the window again. Bruce jolted out of his trance thought, Ooooops what had just happened here? Thea couldn’t believe she was now calmly looking at

the biggest snake she had ever seen. She’d come a long way in learning to live in the bush. Just the same she didn’t really want it to be around the house where she was living. Bruce couldn’t always be there to take her in his arms. She hoped big pythons had to be moved away for their own safety. “Yes” Bruce said, “I’ll take her straight down to the wool shed. She’ll be safe from the cats and can eat the mice down there.”

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Titus The Life Story of Dr. Titus Plomaritis by Titus Plomaritis http://amzn.to/2qljkNn

RIDE TO THE HOSPITAL (A short story on page 40)

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his would be the appropriate time to relate my one bad experience related to splitting wood. It was a hot summer day and I was home alone when I decided to surprise my brothers and split a pile of wood. I was 12 years of age at that time. As I was splitting the wood at a fairly good clip, the axe apparently was getting dull and needed sharpening, but I just ignored the warning and kept chopping away. This one time the axe got stuck and I was having a difficult time separating it from the block of wood. I pulled real hard on the long handle—and it released

suddenly. Losing my balance, I fell to the ground and landed on a broken bottle. Then I noticed blood squirting out of my left upper thigh.  I ran into the house and jumped into the bathtub with a bottle of peroxide and a towel. I kept pouring the peroxide on the wound until the bottle was empty, keeping the towel pressed on the wound. I then took one of my father’s neckties and tied it around my leg, ran down the stairs jumped on my bicycle and rode it to Lowell General Hospital, which was located one and a half miles from our house. I ran into someone’s office, and that someone in turn took me to the emergency room. After explaining the details

of the accident to the doctor, he cleaned up the messy necktie bandage ensemble, added a few stitches and sent me off. I don’t remember if the hospital ever sent my father a bill, if so I’m sure it was deducted from my shoe shine account, as was the necktie.

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Jake & the Dragons of Asheville by Brian Kacica

www.dragonsofasheville.com

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s the Krill wound their way through the ancient passages, getting closer to the earth’s surface, the quakes grew in strength. The state-of-the-art engineering that went into building the ONX facility was no match. The titanium welds were beginning to crack at their weaker points. The first Krill to break through the lower floor of the building, stopped abruptly when he slammed his head into the ceiling of a holding cage. Three soldiers were positioned outside the massive titanium bars. The men laughed, thinking it was trapped, but their chuckles quickly turned to screams of horror when the sinister looking beast bent back the bars, skewered the men on one talon and barbecued the three to a crisp. ~ Not too far from the ONX, Jake was maneuvering

Mort and the others to a large flat area at the top of a neighboring mountain. Once he felt safe, he stepped out of the orb and walked over to Mort, who was lying in a patch of tall dry grass overlooking the forest with Asheville in the distance. The old dragon looked weak from battle, his eyes bloodshot and skin horribly scarred. Jake placed his hand on the force field, changing its energy. It wasn’t long before Mort was on his feet and speaking again. “Jake Winston—” “Mortayvious, King of the Dragons.” There was a prolonged silence between the two. Jake’s eyes watered out of joy. Mort swung his right wing around him in a protective position. The winds kicked up, blowing Jake’s hair into his face and forcing a large sneeze from Mort. The two shared a laugh, before Jake returned to the business at hand.

Spread out in the open field, the other dragons were now healed. One after the other, they nodded their heads to the king, then took flight, heading in the direction of their cave. Instinctively they knew it was time to return to a safe haven and wait out the Krill. “The sepulchral stones,” Mort said, as he handed Jake the luminous green rocks, “You will use them to return the Krill.”

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DISCOVERIES

If you like these five books, you’re sure to like...

Jake & The Dragons of Asheville by Brian Kacica www.dragonofasheville.com

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A Summer of Good-Byes by Fred Misurella

www.fredmisurella.com

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hat was close to ten years ago, and I have no idea how much AnneMarie has changed or grown. She lives in the 14th Arrondissement now, near Porte Orleans, not far from my old apartment, and works for an internet journal— web and paper page layout and design, not writing. We email occasionally, usually Christmas and birthday greetings, little more, but there’s always the sense–at least on my part–that one of these days, in Paris, or maybe here in New York, I will turn a corner and involuntarily catch my breath. I can’t picture it, what I’ll say, or what we’ll do, but there is a frisson of inevitability about it that

keeps me on the alert after all this time–especially downtown New York, around Ground Zero. I feel it in other places too, I suppose, and before certain kinds of images, which probably says something about my time with AnneMarie. I feel it on clear, beautiful autumn days with just a hint of smoke in them, when the leaves on maple and oak begin to fade slightly before their final, colorful burst. In my mind at least, it is Tuesday, September 11th again, but in a blessedly different year, and now I sit in western New Jersey, reviewing my life, thinking more realistically about my sixties and trying to understand what all that

experience years ago has to say about beauty, along with horror, and the human delight I revel in when life unfurls its full potential. From A SUMMER OF GOODBYES, by Fred Misurella

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The Amendment Killer by Ronald S. Barak www.ronaldsbarak.com

Chapter 1 Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 am We have your granddaughter. Here’s what you need to do. Thomas T. Thomas III reviewed the language. Again. He closed the phone without hitting send. Yet. He stared through highpowered binoculars from atop the wooded knoll. As always, the girl hit one perfect shot after another. Cassie Webber. Age 11. He’d been tailing her for three months. It seemed longer. She was chaperoned everywhere she went. Two-aday practices before and after school. Her dad drove her in the morning. He watched her empty bucket after bucket and then dropped her off at school. Her mom picked her up after school, ferried her back to the practice range, and brought her home after daughter and coach finished. Mom and daughter sometimes ran errands on the way, but always together. Even on the occasional weekend outing to the mall or the movies, the girl was constantly in the company of family or friends. Having someone hovering over me all day would have driven me batshit. His childhood had been

different. When Thomas was her age, he walked to school on his own. And he lived a lot farther away than the girl. His daddy had never let his driver chauffeur him around. Wasn’t about to spoil him. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Didn’t spoil me that way either. He kept telling himself patience was the key. But his confidence was waning. And then, suddenly, he’d caught a break. The girl’s routine had changed. She started walking the few blocks between school and practice on her own. Dad dropped her off at morning practice and Mom met her at afternoon practice instead of school. Only a ten minute walk each way, but that was all the opening he needed. Everything was finally in place. He would be able to make amends. He would not let them down. This time. She completed her morning regimen, unaware of Thomas’s eyes trained on her from his tree-lined vantage point. No doubt about it, he thought to himself. She was incredibly good. Driven. Determined. And pretty. Very pretty.

He relieved himself, thinking about her. A long time...coming. Haha! As the girl disappeared into the locker room, he trekked back down the hill, and climbed into the passenger side of the van. He returned the binoculars to their case. He removed the cell from his pocket, and checked the pending text one more time. Moments later, the girl emerged from the locker room, golf bag exchanged for the backpack over her shoulders. She ambled down the winding pathway, waved to the uniformed watchman standing next to the guardhouse, and crossed through the buzzing security gate. She headed off to school. Without taking his eyes off her, Thomas barked at the man sitting next to him. “Go.”

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BOOK SHELF Desert Beach by Bob Gentry

The Weight of Living by Michael Stephen Daigle

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Satisfying...An involving thriller. —Kirkus Review

n the year 2015, Atascadero, California is the epicenter of a seismic event that will forever alter the course of U.S history. A 10.2 earthquake has sent much of the state into the Pacific Ocean. This is a story of prosperity despite what may appear to be an insurmountable event. DESERT BEACH offers a glimpse at the potential for human beings to thrive and the true meaning of living.

www.adesertbeach.com Available at Amazon. Shrouded: A Crispin Leads Mystery by Meredith Lee

“F

Ironton, NJ—In the third Frank Nagler Mystery, Detective Nagler must find the name and family of a young girl abandoned on a cold winter night. The search leads down a dark, dangerous path. Previous Nagler books: The Swamps of Jersey; A Game Called Dead (A 2016 Shelf-Unbound Runner-Up)

The Weight of Living is a 2018 Shelf-Unbound Notable 100 Book and a 2017 First Place winner in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards www.michaelstephendaigle.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Wal-Mart. Take a Byte Out of Murder by Millie Mack

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ascination with the Shroud of Turin has sparked scientific, literary, cinematic and religious intrigue. With so many disciplines focusing on the subject, some might consider its story appeal to be worn thin. But Meredith Lee (pen name for writers Dixie Lee Evatt and Sue Meredith Cleveland) has crafted an exceptionally engaging mystery with the Shroud at its center.” —*BlueInk Review

he New Year bells have barely finished tolling before Carrie and Charles Faraday discover a dead body on the beach near their vacation home in the quiet resort of Pear Cove. Murders, blackmail, computer espionage— there are lots of clues. Can the Faradays’ detecting skills put all the puzzle pieces together before the wrong person is charged with murder?

www.meredithlee.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book People.

www.milliemack.com Available in print and audio book at Amazon.


BOOK SHELF An Endless Quest for Spiritual Truth by Eric Chifunda

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n exploration of spiritual truth about life, love, and God beyond what is commonly known. Daily actions, successes, failures, relationships, accidents, though mundane in appearance, all have their attendant spiritual aspect. A deeper understanding of these aspects can lift one to greater spiritual heights of freedom, love, and joy which can improve one’s quality of life irrespective of one’s religion. Book Signing + Art Exhibit April 14, 2018, 3-7pm ONE ART SPACE, 23 Warren St., New York, NY 10007 www.ericchifundabooks.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Play. Seven Days to Goodbye by Sheri S. Levy

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rina, a trainer for service dogs, sadly, must return her first dog, Sydney, to be matched with his forever companion. Her best friend, Sarah, isn’t helping because of her new interest in guys. When Sydney connects with a young boy with autism, the girls meet his older brothers, and jealousy develops. Starting Over by Sheri S. Levy

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hile training a new service dog, Trina takes a job at her neighbor’s barn in exchange for riding the barn’s schooling horse. Before long, Trina butts heads with Morgan Hart, a skilled but ill-tempered rider. She decides to use her dog training skills to develop Morgan’s trust. Slowly Morgan’s angry shield cracks enough to share a troubling family secret.

www.sherislevy.com Available at Amazon, B&N, and Barking Rain Press.

The Tactical Heart by Mark S. Caronna

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he Tactical Heart is an in-depth look at spiritual warfare and the armor of God. Each chapter includes discussion questions and is designed to be used as either a personal, or small group study resource. The book calls readers to a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare, and the powerful weapons provided for our use. www.facebook.com/Taking-God-on-Patrol1433025496940444/?ref=bookmarks Availablein paperback and ebook at Amazon. The Tail Wags the Dog by Dr. Amy Beth Taublieb

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n contrast to the typical self-help books authored by professionals where the clinician attempts to impart his or her wisdom to the reading audience, “The Tail Wags the Dog” is comprised entirely of lessons learned by the author from her patients. Based on the premise that when done properly, therapy is a reciprocal learning experience, this book shares two hundred life lessons imparted to the author by her patients over a period of almost three decades. www.dramybeth.com Available at Amazon andBarnes & Noble.


BOOK SHELF Shopping for the Real You by Andrea Pflaumer “The chapter on the LBD (little black dress) alone is worth the price!” “I found this to be the best book for advice on color and style, easy to read and understand.” “It is loaded with information, all clearly explained. Definitely the best book I have read on the subject.” www.shoppingfortherealyou.com/purchasebooks-andrea-pflaumer Available at Amazon and the author’s website. Making a Living Making a Life by Daniel Rose

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real estate developer and philanthropist presents a masterful debut collection of exceptionally cogent and timely speeches and essays.

“Ever the stylist, his succinct, well-cadenced prose shows an engaged mind, sharply tuned wit, and compassion and intellect that provide a model for civic engagement.” “A wise, well-honed collection of speeches that address vital issues with fresh, penetrating insight.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Available at Amazon.

The Compilations of Foresta Gump by Donna Thompson

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he Compilations of Foresta Gump is unique in it’s perspective in it’s multi-genre in one book. It is not a novel, but a compelling desire will keep you reading to the end giving you more enlightenment to increase your fascination with it. Included in this read are multi-best selling authors Joe Vitale, Tracy Repchuk, and Marsha Friedman. Also, included are true short amazing stories you’ve never heard before—and Foresta Gump’s Perspectives and Foresta’s Friends— Humor—Tall Tales—News—Pieces of Tale—for my reader’s enjoyment. www.foresta-gump.ca Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris A Balm in Gilead by Marie Green McKeon

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iscover why Marie Green McKeon was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the IndieFab Awards. In A Balm in Gilead, a woman is stunned by a chillingly similar murder ten years after her college campus assault and reluctantly follows the path she most fears. “Fans of crime fiction, mysteries, and psychological thrillers will love this.” —Kirkus Reviews www.mgm-author.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble (e-book and paperback), and BooksAMillion.


BOOK SHELF Blood Lake By R.L. Herron

Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes

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ex and suffrage collide in Mistress Suffragette. At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton quickly draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women. During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love.

www.DianaForbesNovels.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords. A Bitter Wind by Anita Merrick

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hen Alexander ‘Ramses’ Smith is assigned to decipher hieroglyphs at Temple of Khnum—all heka breaks loose. A strange darkness cloaks everything: the temple, spirits and supernatural beings, all seemingly conspiring to reawaken his clairvoyance over logic/scholarship. Lex goes on an emotional rollercoaster ride where a time entanglement shatters all sense of reality, putting him dangerously susceptible to ancient secrets infused in stone; re-defining the lines between imagination and reality—or losing a battle for sanity.—Read: Kirkus Recommendation (Website) www.anitamerrickauthor.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Friesen Press, Google Play, iTunes, Kindle, and Kobo.

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ward-winning author R.L. Herron has created a spine-tingling modern horror thriller based on the curse of a Cherokee prophet executed for defying the forced migration of the Cherokee people in 1838 known as “The Trail of Tears.” As John Burnett is about to discover, Tsali’s bitter curse has followed the only sons of the Burnett family for eight generations. Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner ● ● Foreword INDIE Book-of-the-Year Finalist ● ● Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2016 ● ●

www.ronaldherron.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. The Rector: A Christian Murder Mystery by Michael Hicks Thompson “An engaging, high energy mystery novel.” —Publisher’s Weekly “The intrigue is well developed with wellplaced clues and cliffhangers. The characters are multidimensional and fascinating. The faith themes are so masterfully woven in that those who aren’t religious should simply find the novel to be top-notch suspense.” —Diane Gardner, ForeWord’s Clarion Review. Winner, Best Mystery Suspense, Selah Award. www.michaelthompsonauthor.com Available at Amazon, Draft2Digital, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


BOOK SHELF The Paloma Crossing by Randall Reneau

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heriff Hardin Steel’s old adversary, the Ochoa Cartel, has acquired a new weapon: Stinger Missiles. Originally supplied to the mujahideen by the CIA, twenty of the surface-to-air missiles are now in the hands of the deadliest drug lord in Mexico. And he wastes no time in putting them to good use . . .

www.randall-reneau.com Available at Amazon. ​The Centurion’s Woman B ​ ook I: Maiden by Amanda Flieder

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lex fell asleep at a work retreat and woke up in the wrong time. She’s rescued by a Roman Centurion, but that doesn’t help with the trouble that always finds her … Ixillius had been on a routine razing, but Alex—imprisoned and injured—is anything but typical. He claims her as his slave, but needs to know: who is she?

www.amandaflieder.ca Available at www.amandaflieder.ca/bookstore

Coltrane Corners A historical western romance by USA Today Bestselling Author, Teri Riggs.

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lizabeth Coltrane and Chase Cameron have both sworn off relationships until Elizabeth returns to Coltrane Corners and tragedy throws them together again. Will they continue to fight their attraction to each other, or will they finally give in to the passion and longing they have for each other?

www.teri-riggs.com Available at Amazon. It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey

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ath wants to make amends for a scandal—but accepting a ward isn’t easy. The last he saw Marlena, she was a spirited ruffian. Now she’s a lovely lady. Orphaned young, Marlena is fiercely independent. The duke is a challenge when he arouses her feminine desires. Marlena has her own scandalous secret. If the duke finds out, it will cost her his love? Release date May 29, 2018. Preorder now. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, IndieBound, Indigo Books, Google Play, Kobo, and iTunes.


BOOK SHELF Leah is Seen by Claudette Esmerelda

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eah Is Seen is about a little girl who is unsure of herself. Did someone tell Leah that she is not smart or talented or did she imagine this all on her own? This book was written to dispel all untruths that not only Leah but all children are smart, talented and purely unique. Each child born is a gift to the world because their contribution to humanity is priceless. Every child needs to know that being good at sports, art, dancing, etc., is not as important as knowing: I am unique, I have the power to choose, and I am loved because El Roi sees me. Available at Amazon. Mushy Plays Hide & Seek by Jane Miller

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hen Mushy finds that special hiding place, the Strawberry Children are unable to find him. Mushy falls asleep while hiding and the Strawberry Children grow tired of looking for him. As day turns to night, the Strawberry Children get sleepy and return to their home under the vines. Mushy finds his way home with the help of the moon.

Mushy’s Counting Book our child will develop learning skills with this repetitive counting book. Go with Mushy through the forest as he counts. Find new characters as your child searches the land of Moonvile.

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Available at Amazon.

Mr. Mouthful Learns His Lesson by Joseph Kimble Mr. Mouthful is a fancy talker who causes trouble and confusion for kids—until he has to respond to an emergency. Kids will learn lots of new words, like froufrou and blather and titter and chapeau. BlueInk calls the book “charming” and “amusing,” with “polished illustrations”; says “young readers will delight in the fun drawings, captivating characters, and silly situations.” Foreword Clarion calls it “a funny book.” www.mrmouthful.com Available at Amazon.

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Promote your book in Shelf Unbound in our Special Advertising Section for Authors. Each issue of Shelf Unbound is distributed to more than 125,000 people in the U.S. and 62 countries around the globe. Our introductory ad rate for this section is $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.


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TOP NOTABLES

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BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE

THE ASSASSIN BUG

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A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The recent success of the movie Black Panther shows undoubtedly, more than an interest in Black Stories and Culture. I was totally blessed by having access to certain historical and genealogical data, enabling me to write my memoir. Facts enhance the authenticity of the story. The Bethel Family Reunion of 2014 inspired me to write the memoir.

Raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area, Ken took to storytelling later in life, cultivating his experience and creative mind through writing. His love for the greater outdoors was fueled in becoming an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow and Green Bar. Later in life, he served in the USAF Intelligence in the Vietnam era which fueled his love for technology becoming a patent holding techno-geek.

BY TONY BETHEL

ethel writes a memoir examining the questions of Racism and what constitutes Blackness/Whiteness. The author also writes about being a descendant of a prominent mixed family of a Southern town, Covington, Tennessee. Bethel’s Odyssey encompasses such issues as heritage, racial identity and purpose. Initially there is a genealogical focus, driven by the author’s burning desire to find the origins of his enslaved great-greatgreat-grandmother, Nidra from West-Africa; and the curiosity of the origin of her Hindi name. Being born of an extramarital affair, the author concerns himself with how he will make his contribution and receive acceptance into this family...and society. The book examines present day questions as: Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? And achieving against all odds.

NOTABLE INDIE

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BY KEN BERQUIST

he third in the Collaborative series, having successfully battled the Peruvian drug cartel and thwarted a homeland ISIS attack, the Collaborative faces its most challenging operation yet when NSA’s network intrusion and surveillance program is stolen by terrorists. They can now take down any network — banks, governments, businesses, power, basic services … Clint Bear is called into action to stop the terrorists only to discover they are not who he had expected. President Covey balances the nation’s response to this act of war from a communist foreign government with the need to recover the stolen NSA program as the terrorists take down the U.S. eastern power grid leaving hundreds of millions of Americans without power. The manhunt takes Clint through the streets of NYC, Virginia, DC and ending on the high seas.

UNBOUND

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THE CAMERA’S EYE

SEEKING THE AMERICAN DREAM

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BY JUDITH KIRSCHT

rock through the window ends the peaceful existence photographer, Veronica Lorimore, and attorney, Charlotte McAllister, have sought on an island in the Puget Sound. The local police suspect a vagrant boy known to break into empty houses, but Charlotte and Veronica, searching on their own, find evidence of their own pasts emerging when their suspicion of a local church group leads to a long ago case of Charlotte’s and Veronica’s estranged children. The attacks continue and worsen, and as the pair get closer to the truth, a sudden discovery pitches their search toward tragedy. I have always found in writing fiction a way to understand the forces that drive my own life and those around me. Creating fictional characters frees them from my own reality and satisfies a persistent need to understand how people come to do the things they do. In the case of The Camera’s Eye, it allowed me to explore harassment. I do live with a good friend with whom I’ve shared a house for years, and we did find ourselves the victims of harassment over a property issue. We knew the harasser, but the effect of the attacks inspired the novel. My novels center on the issues of the times, and suspicion of lesbianism that often float around women who live together—from there the story took its own path.

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BY HEIDI M. THOMAS

he destruction and suffering of WWII frame Anna Schmidt’s existence as a nurse in Germany. When she meets Montana GI Neil Moser after WWII ends, his stories of ranch life in Montana, his quiet kindness and compassion, give her hope for a different life. Love blossoms, but Neil is suddenly shipped home. Anna is left with nothing but a yearning for what might have been. Then he writes to ask her to marry him. After endless paperwork over two years, Anna courageously faces a language barrier, prejudice, and a harsh Montana ranch life. Will she be able to overcome the obstacles of this new life to realize her dream? Based on the life of the author’s mother, this is Book One of the “American Dream” series.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

In the mid-90s I moved from Montana to Washington, and those minor changes made me think how difficult it must have been for my mother to move to a different country and learn a new language and customs. She moved from an urban setting to an extremely isolated rural ranch. She knew no one except her fiancé, whom she hadn’t seen for two years. And people still thought the Germans were the enemy. She fought hard to learn the language without an accent, and later was proud to become a citizen. She was a courageous, independent, hardworking woman. I’m proud of her legacy.


A TALL TALE ABOUT A DACHSHUND AND A PELICAN: How a Friendship Came to Be BY KIZZIE JONES

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little girl and her dachshund are walking on the beach. The mini long-haired dachshund, Goldie, becomes intrigued with a new creature. She thinks they look alike. They both have long muzzles and long bodies. Certainly, they can be best friends. As the story unfolds, Goldie learns the creature—a pelican—and she are not alike at all. Goldie is sad. She thinks if they are not alike, they can’t be friends and she should leave. What a delightful surprise when the pelican says, “Please stay. We can like each other without being alike. We just need to get to know each other better.” Author Kizzie Jones shows us that true friendship is not just about looking past each other’s differences … it’s about discovering and celebrating those differences.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I had my first dachshund at age 18 months and have loved them ever since. Recently, I marveled at pelicans as they plunged into the ocean for fish. I contemplated how I might pair up a pelican with a dachshund for a tall tale. Having dedicated my career as a chaplain to serving people of all backgrounds, it occurred to me that the dog and bird would be unlikely friends. Could I create a tall tale that honored the uniqueness of each animal, yet allowed them to become friends?

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THE RISE OF THE DAWNSTAR

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BY FARAH OOMERBHOY

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he seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world. With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through wartorn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop Morgana. Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun...

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I enjoyed every moment I spent creating the second book in The Avalonia Chronicles, The Rise of the Dawnstar. I think with this book I found it much easier to write than the first one, because I knew where I was going. The world is set up and so are the characters, everything is so real in my head that writing it just seems so much more comfortable. On the other hand, although I had a framework to work within, it was restricting because I could not deviate from the path I had set Aurora on. It took me about three months to write the first draft, and a lot longer to edit it and get it ready for publishing. UNBOUND

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THE VAMPIRE GIRL IN LONDON

TWISTED THREADS

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BY RICHARD ARBIB

n The Vampire Girl Next Door, Mark fell in love with Sylvia, the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she was a vampire who killed his last neighbor. Now, in The Vampire Girl in London, they fly from Mark’s San Francisco to Sylvia’s London. They tangle with terrorists, are shadowed by a CIA agent, and are pursued by a vampire-hunting cult. Even more challenging, they must cope with living in a mansion full of Sylvia’s vampire friends — some of whom she can’t really trust. And Mark still has to deal with Sylvia’s sexual hijinks. Will Mark and Sylvia’s love be enough to survive it all? A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

“I’ve liked female vampires since I was young. Years later, as a writer I wondered: What if the ideal woman also happened to be a vampire? The result was Sylvia, who is eternally beautiful, sexy, intelligent, loyal, and devoted to Mark, the protagonist of both novels. But she can also alienate his friends, cause embarrassing situations, and have unusual sexual demands. Mark falls for Sylvia in The Vampire Girl Next Door. Their adventures continue in The Vampire Girl in London.”

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BY KAYLIN MCFARREN

kira Hamada, a beautiful Japanese geisha, failed at killing Kaito Mitsui two years ago—the same yakuza gang leader who destroyed her lover and forced her to become an assassin. Now, with his sister’s murderer traveling to the Caribbean on a cruise ship, Akira has ten days at sea to identify her target and complete her assignment as her penance, or face her own death. But falling in love with her target’s nephew was never part of the plan and may prove to be her undoing.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

My travels to Japan and on cruise ships to exotic places contributed to the making of this unusual, character-driven story. I’ve also been privileged in witnessing my husband’s training as an 8th degree black belt in martial arts and skills as a master swordsman, allowing me to give an authentic flavor to the incidents that occur in Twisted Threads. Rather than plotting the outcome, I allowed my characters to move my story forward based on their development and history. In addition, every book in the Threads series was written to stand alone, however, I believe readers will enjoy reading them in sequence after finishing Twisted Threads, as each tale focuses on the deeds and disasters of characters in the series, which brings them to this final conclusion.


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THE WAR WITHIN, THE STORY OF JOSEF

THE CHOSEN ONES

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BY PATRICIA WALKOW

eenage, Catholic Josef is captured near his home in Poland and conscripted as a slave laborer for Nazi Germany. An accident nearly kills him. Despite rules forbidding German citizens to aid slave laborers, Willie, a young German man, saves Josef’s life. During months of recuperation at Willie’s house, Josef meets Ella, the German girl next door. A forbidden romance begins. Heart-to-heart, Willie, Ella, and Josef realize they aren’t enemies. Both love and friendship blossom during the war, the post-war years, and the rest of their lives. As Josef’s youth is shattered, a hidden holocaust against Slavic people is revealed. Experiencing cruelty and kindness, despair and hope, hatred and love, Josef lives a full life, despite the longlasting effects of his injuries. Set in Southern Germany and New York from 1943-1954. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing The War Within, the Story of Josef was a labor of love for me, as the main character, Josef, was my father-in-law. Having grown up on a diet of American-perspective WWII movies, my research exposed me to varied viewpoints of the war and enabled me to set the story within the right timing for World War II’s events. I enjoyed interviews, SKYPE sessions, and electronic correspondence with Josef’s relatives and acquaintances in Germany and Poland.

NOTABLE INDIE

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BY LISA LUCIANO

rody Yates has fallen on hard times. Fired from his job as a sports reporter for a major newspaper, he decides to masquerade as a trainer in order to infiltrate the backstage world of figure skating and stop a murder. He has one chance to save someone’s life and to turn his around by breaking the story of a lifetime. The Chosen Ones, though fictionalized, reveals the secrets behind the sequins against the backdrop of world class figure skating. In this non-stop thriller, only one person can win. Not everyone will survive. Written by a former New York Times figure skating reporter, The Chosen Ones is a darkly entertaining depiction of the scandal and social issues entrenched in high-profile Olympic sports. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The book actually was inspired by my work for the New York Times covering figure skating in the 1990’s when it was at its peak of popularity. I can’t explain it, but while working on it, time seemed to stand still. I would look up from my computer to discover hours had passed. To this day, there are parts of the book I don’t remember writing. It was almost as if the story wasn’t coming from me, but through me. Did I channel the spirit of a former skater or tap into some collective creative consciousness? I’ll never know. What I do know is that this will always be a very special chapter in my writing career. UNBOUND

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THE BONE WAR OF MCCURTAIN COUNTY

INTO A GOOD DAY

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BY RUSSELL FARRELL

he Bone War of McCurtain County is a true story about two backwoods naturalists, Arkansas hillbilly Cephis Hall and Choctaw Indian Sid Love, who discovered and excavated a world-class dinosaur specimen and were forced to battle the corporate landowner, major universities, elite scientists, and the Oklahoma State Legislature, all determined to sweep them out of the picture and confiscate their treasure. After securing permission and digging four years, they recovered the trophy from a toxic waste-holding pit in southeastern Oklahoma. Their dinosaur, worth millions if it could be saved, was an apex predator as big and ferocious as mighty T. rex, but lived 50 million years earlier. The discovery placed the two grizzled Okies at the crossroads of science, politics, and religion. A tale of mystery, adventure, nature— Indiana Jones Southern style. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

My son Thomas, while on vacation at Beaver’s Bend State Park, visited Hall’s rock shop and got a snippet of the adventurous tale. Intrigued, he convinced me to further investigate the subject for a book. I spent three years traveling back and forth from Texas to southeastern Oklahoma to interview Cephis and key witnesses and research the archives. Another three years of writing, editing, and revising the manuscript followed. The story is fantastic, almost unbelievable. 82

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BY EZEKIEL NIETO BENZION

n early spring,1805, the children in a small Jewish village in Bohemia are excitedly planning for Purim, a joyous festival featuring costumes, parades and silly contests. But Ezekiel Benzion, who leads the defenders of the small Jewish community, remains vigilant, alert for signs of the vicious libel that often comes in spring and brings with it threats against his people. His worst fears are realized when a dead infant is discovered. When suspicions become calls for revenge, Ezekiel and the defenders have only hours to learn the truth and avert violence. Just one day to save their community and their children. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

My grandparents’ stories of Eastern Europe haunt me with their poignant relevance for today. This novella is based on Bubbe’s story of fleeing pogroms each spring by finding sanctuary in towns where Jews fought back. Violent pogroms were often sparked by a “blood libel” accusation that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make Passover matzohs. My novella takes place in the early 19th century. But, as late as 1928, the blood libel was raised against Jews in a village…in upstate NY. Like the story’s Ezekiel, we must remain vigilant against racial “libels” that are used to justify genocide and violence even today.


BEYOND SURVIVING Cancer and Your Spiritual Journey BY DAVID MAGINLEY

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hat if you could use cancer to evolve more fully into love? In Beyond Surviving: Cancer and Your Spiritual Journey, four-time cancer survivor and spiritual counsellor, Rev. David Maginley explores how we can not only go through cancer, but grow through it as well. Weaving his experience facing the disease with that of his patients and reflections on how to work wisely with suffering, mortality and grief, he provides profound insights to harness this crisis for spiritual growth. Beyond Surviving also considers the latest understandings in modern physics, philosophy and consciousness research to present an ancient truth in modern terms: that our essential being is consciousness, not matter, and that we continue after our bodies do not. A stimulating and emotional read. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I procrastinated writing this book for a decade, until a difficult case resulted in me waking at 4AM to pour it out. That continued for four years, a profoundly therapeutic process which helped me honour my patients and all I have learned from them. Chief among these lessons is that beauty can be born though suffering when we apply compassion and tenderly deal with the unfinished love stories of our lives. This led to exploring how the love story continues, even when we do not.

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RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS

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BY NANCY CHRISTIE

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ut-Busting Book for Writers offers insights, information and tips for those who are pursuing the writing life, whether as a profession or for personal satisfaction, yet find themselves struggling to get out of creative or professional ruts. The book provides inspiring words and proactive suggestions from the author and more than 50 other industry professionals who have “been there and done that” and are now willing to share their knowledge about the creative and practical aspects of being a writer. From dealing with common issues such as “creative constipation” or the “procrastination predicament” to business topics such as client conundrums and project planning problems, Rut-Busting Book for Writers has the strategies to get writers out of their writing ruts so they can spend more time following their creative passion! A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing Rut-Busting Book for Writers was a unique experience for me. I had decided to produce a book as a companion to my “Rut-Busting” Workshop for Writers, and wanted to include not only material from my presentations but also input from other writers, authors and industry professionals. Each contributor brought a different perspective to being a working writer and living the writing life. UNBOUND

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REICHOLD STREET

PASSAGE TO THE PAST

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BY R.L. HERRON

et in a working-class American neighborhood in the turbulent 1960s, Reichold Street deals with tough issues: alcoholism, bullying, family dysfunction, criminal activity, suicide, murder and the horrors of wartime Vietnam. The Patton family arrives, and step-son Albert Parker brings with him the emotional scars of early parental loss, and all the aggressive attitude an abusive stepfather can create. The neighborhood where boys routinely played baseball in the street becomes a place they discover the sometimes-violent realities of life. Masterfully written in the manner of J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), William Golding (Lord of the Flies) and Stephen King (The Body), this Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner takes you from first introductions to the searing tragedy, yet remarkable redemption of war. “Skillfully written and emotionally charged.” —Kirkus Reviews A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Reichold Street started as short-stories and morphed into a novel. I decided to go indie, because I didn’t want to sit around for years, waiting for agents and publishers to notice me. And I certainly didn’t want to deal with their poor support. Being an indie, I can write the things I want, not things publishers think they can sell, and I’ve already received some fabulous reviews. 84

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BY HARRY CURRIE

t’s strange how the disparate, the improbable and the impossible sometimes interweave. A fresh dead body in a centuriesold military uniform which can’t be explained. A former USAF fighter pilot researching in Canada for his PhD at Columbia University. Historic Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, faithfully rebuilt in every detail, and staffed with re-enactors playing the parts of the original 1745 inhabitants. A beautiful but mysterious young lady from Saint-Malo, France, who speaks with ancient idioms — but disappears every night when the fortress closes. It all impacts in a hazardous time warp between eras when the 21st century collides with the 18th through an epoch-suspended doorway. Harrowing wartime Atlantic crossings in ancient sailing ships during a war between France and Britain; venerable Saint-Malo; modern medicine taken to the past; assassins; the revered philosopher Voltaire; a desperate need for an aircraft back in 1755, but everyone says that’s impossible. Is it really? All surrounded by a timeless love story. The past may give birth to the future, but the future holds her secrets from the past — until someone carries them back through a mystic doorway — the passage to the past.


w focuses exclusively on matrix organizations trix practitioners maxifectiveness and manage xity.

SUSAN Z. FINERTY

as held adjunct faculty Northwestern University ship & Change course as a Masters in Medical Incs) and currently teaches ersity Wisconsin-Madison of Business. She has a blog on matrix management w.MasterTheMatrixBlog. e has a BA from Central an University and an MA diana University. Ms. Findes in suburban Chicago.

MASTER THE 7

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ESSENTIALS

MATRIX DONE FOR

GETTING THINGS

BY

SUSAN Z. FINERTY AUTHOR OF THE CROSS-FUNCTIONAL INFLUENCE PLAYBOOK FOREWORD BY

HARRY M. JANSEN KRAEMER, JR. PROFESSOR, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY'S KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANANAGEMENT AND FORMER CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF BAXTER INTERNATIONAL

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COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS

MASTER THE MATRIX:

iDENTITY

BY SUSAN Z. FINERTY

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7 Essentials for Getting Things Done in Complex Organizations

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aster the Matrix: 7 Essentials for Getting Things Done in Complex Organizations is a how-to manual for anyone working in multi-divisional, multi-layered geographicallydispersed organizations. There was a time when a bit of expertise and a dash of authority was all that was required to get things done at work. Those days are gone. Increasingly we are called on to work across the organization, with colleagues we don’t know, don’t see, whom don’t share the same time zone, let alone the same set of priorities. Pragmatism and, at times, painfully realistic stories are the hallmark of Master the Matrix. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

This book had been percolating for years—I worked in complex organizations my entire career. Yet I found myself at a loss when a client would ask for help on how to navigate the complexity. I thought to myself: If no one has cracked this nut, some day I will. Until my computer hard drive crashed. I lost everything. It was a wake up call—I needed to reinvent myself. I researched, talked to people, wrote, talked to more people and wrote. In less than two years, I had a book and a consulting practice that was turned upside down. My advice: Write. And back-up your computer.

NOTABLE INDIE

nerty is the author of the Matrix: 7 Essential ing Things Done in x Organizations and unctional Influence Playn 2004, she established a ng practice focused on ational effectiveness— organizations design plement change, helping work effectively together ching individuals. Prior ding her consultancy, she in organization developositions at Baxter Healthd two small pharmaceutipanies.

MASTER THE MATRIX: 7 ESSENTIALS FOR GETTING THINGS DONE IN COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONS

T THE AUTHOR

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BY CYNTHIA KUMANCHIK

he not-so-distant future of 2040 is populated mostly by millennials and the robots to whom humanity has delegated menial labor. The government is all-powerful and all-intrusive; privacy is a thing of the past. Optimal, a biogenetics company, bucks the system with its hidden lab, but the founder’s good intentions have given way to dangerous experimentation. Optimal offers a “miracle” serum that can supposedly help citizens escape their miserable lives through a change of identity. Four women jump at the chance. Maggie seeks fame; Jasmine is desperate for beauty; Sydney’s heart’s desire is wealth; Lena just wants revenge. But getting what they’ve always wanted comes with rivalry, exploitation, and blackmail, and when they discover Optimal’s underground torture chamber, they learn why the lab was hidden so deep in the forest… A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

iDENTITY is a science fiction novel that takes place in the year 2040. I focused on four desperate women with different needs, but all with the same goal—to change their lives. The unique voices of my characters, ranging from twenty to late forties, will relate to women who struggle with job pressures, relationships, revenge, love and heartache. My goal was to explore the fate of each character in a not so distant future as they deal with their true identity. UNBOUND

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HOOK AND JILL

FEASIBLE PLANET

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BY ANDREA JONES

endy Darling learns what appears to be good may prove otherwise, and what seems to be evil...is irresistible. Hook & Jill lets grown-up readers indulge in Neverland. Author Andrea Jones poses the question: is it desirable to remain a child, or is it a greater adventure, after all, to grow up? Deepening the characters so artfully sketched by J.M. Barrie, Hook & Jill reveals the dark side of innocence at which Barrie hinted in the figure of Peter Pan. It brings alive a daring Wendy who asks questions and seeks truth; it delves into the man, Hook, the iconic villain. Striding from fairy-tale and thrusting into reality, Captain Hook becomes a frightening force indeed.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

J.M. Barrie’s most celebrated play, Peter Pan, was first performed in December 1904. Exactly 100 years later, Barrie’s story thrummed chords in my own life, compelling me to write my first novel, Hook & Jill. Within the Hook & Jill Saga, I illustrate some of the dilemmas of modern life. Shall we follow the leader, or take responsibility? Are our proclaimed heroes really the “good guys”? In my experience, individuals are called upon to examine the facts. Sometimes we must break the rules and assert independence. I can attest that the cost can be great, but, for any kind of happy ending—personal or global, growing up is not only natural, but necessary. 86

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BY KEN KROES

re we doing enough? Can we rely on governments and corporations to save our society and planet? Their motivators of popularity and shortterm profits are probably not the best drivers for coming up with long-term sustainable solutions. I think they need our help! Feasible Planet — A Guide to More Sustainable Living is targeted at things that individuals can do to help themselves, our society, and the planet. Going beyond the obvious of reducing consumption and pollution there are sections on economic, social, and political issues. Each of these areas contains practical suggestions on what individuals can do, why we should be doing them, and discussions on why we are not doing more already. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I have been passionate about the sustainability of our planet my entire life. The ground work for Feasible Planet started when I wrote the ecofiction series, “Percipience.” I wanted to make this series as realistic as possible which required deep investigation of the potential outcomes of our current social and environment activities. I did not realize how much research was needed, and by the time Feasible Planet was completed, I had gone through over a thousand scientific white papers and thousands of magazines, books and internet sites.


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BLYTHE

BESIDE THE MUSIC

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BY JOHN KRAMER

s I mention below, Blythe is an allegory on the spread of HIV/AIDS through our society and the search for a cure. That hidden theme animates the entire novel, and rises up here and there from beneath a story about love, infidelity and separation between two lovers. In subtle ways, Blythe calls into question the government’s inaction in the early days of the AIDS crisis—allowing this plague to spread because government officials didn’t approve of the lifestyles of those they saw most impacted: gay men. In this story (as in the real world), it isn’t until this crisis crosses gender lines that the broader public takes note. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The challenge I’m facing with the release of this novel is that I’m working with a REALLY small independent publisher, so all of the promotional efforts have been left up to me. And, although it is receiving rave reviews from readers on Amazon.com and Goodreads, we’ve earned next to no features in literary publications. I worked quietly over more than 15 years to create this lasting work of literary fiction; it is chock full of the kind of original, memorable and insightful quotable quotes you find in works of writers like Emerson and Franklin; as you know better than most, I’m sure, these kinds of insights into the human condition only come from years of careful reflection and painstaking writing.

NOTABLE INDIE

21

BY B.J. KNAPP

hat would happen if an ‘80s rock band like Def Leppard moved in to your house? Would that be your dream come true or ultimate nightmare? In Beside the Music Brenda and Tim Dunkirk host ‘80s sensation, Hydra, while the band records their comeback album. Brenda is swept up in the glamor and risks her already faltering marriage to play rock and roll muse. Tim walks out on her and the chaos, and to make matters worse her boss is threatening to fire her if she can’t get her act together at work. The band will not leave until the album is done—it could be another month or it could be another year. Is it possible to be one man’s wife and another man’s muse?

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

BJ Knapp is an ‘80s metal junkie. Not all bands had the staying power—what happened to them? She imagined the meeting where the guys in the band showed up in a conference room still wearing the eyeliner and the spandex and get told that the money they earned in their heyday is all gone. The band must then decide to make a go of it or quit and get office jobs. In Beside the Music, ‘80s metal band Hydra decides to go for the big comeback album and are committed to regaining the adoration from their fans. BJ is currently writing Before the Music, a prequel to Beside the Music which follows the story of Hydra bassist Keith Kutter through his rise and fall from fame. UNBOUND

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John Eric Vining

NOTABLE INDIE

The Zimmermann Affair and The Great Southwestern War of 1917

$15.95

23

CABLE of

FATE

The Zimmermann Affair and The Great Southwestern War of 1917

CABLE OF FATE

COMBAT BOY AND THE MONSTER TOKEN

C

W

BY JOHN ERIC VINING

able of Fate is set in the “Great War” of 1914-1918. At the height of the war on the Western Front, Germany’s top leadership realizes that they no longer possess the means to break the stalemate with Great Britain and France in the trenches of northern France. Germany attempts to engage Mexico (through the transmission of the infamous Zimmermann Telegram) to open a “second front” on America’s Southwestern border to even the odds. In a twist of history, Mexico decides to take the gamble. Thus begins a tangled web of plans, stratagems, conspiracies, and treachery as Mexico pursues its campaign. Can the various bickering political factions in Mexico unite to pursue a successful military venture against the United States? Can America successfully parry a Mexican thrust into its Southwestern frontier? A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

“Just beyond America’s Southwestern border is Mexico, from whom the United States took much land in the Nineteenth Century during its “Manifest Destiny” expansion phase. What if Mexico picked a time when the United States was militarily engaged somewhere else — like in Europe fighting World War I — to try to recover some of that land? In the historical novel, I tried to outline just how Mexico could have carved a state out of the American Southwest, and maybe gotten away with it.” 88

24

r i c

FAT E

might have been possible for the United States and stern War of 1917.

of

of this genre to look back into history and explore d taken Germany’s 1917 Zimmermann Telegram American Southwest at the height of World War I. rst glance, a further analysis is warranted. What you invasion of the American Southwest quite possible happen in the actual history of World War I!

CA BLE

Les Guerres Imaginaires

century, there emerged a style of writing that was a It was known as Les Guerres Imaginaires, which can War.” It was a literary device used to tell how future of novel was written by military authors who sought ntricate historical and political analyses. Examples ng,” a 1871 short story in Blackwood’s Magazine by Naval War of 1887, written in 1886 by Sir William Robinson; The Great War of 189-, A Forecast, by Rear The War Inevitable (1908), by Alan H. Burgoyne; The and two great novels of the 1920s, Sea Power in the 25), by Hector Bywater.

John E Vining

APRIL/MAY 2018

BY ANGELA JOWELL PURBAUGH

hile visiting San Diego’s ComicCon, twelve-year-old Tom Hock, aka Combat Boy, is thrilled to get an invitation to play Monster Realm, a real, live role-playing competition, battling monsters on the other side of an inter dimensional portal. Tom doesn’t take the contract’s blood-stained signatures and strange wording seriously. He should have. The game is a trap, cutting the players’ souls off from their bodies. Only those who win break free. Fighting hordes of monsters, Tom heads toward a confrontation with Tarbarous, the game’s final boss, but Tom is not alone as he tries to escape. Something within the game wants out. If it makes its escape, San Diego won’t host next year’s Comic-Con, because San Diego won’t exist.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing Combat Boy and the Monster Token was an adventure with tests to pass, trials to overcome, and beastly doubts of my writing skills to slay. Finishing the first draft was a victory. Publishing my story and reading the reviews, a thrill. But the best thing about writing it, finding myself in the realm of creation, the sweet spot, where hours pass like minutes and ideas stem from a river of infinite goodness that’s beyond my comprehension. It’s there, I feel like a kid in a candy store with a gift card that has no limit. It’s my happy place where I am free to be as creative as I want.


26

DON’T STOP THE MUSIC

HARDBARNED!

D

O

BY JOHN MCCARTY

on’t Stop the Music is an action/adventure novel of 80,000 words celebrating the Summer of Love in San Francisco. Jonah is a conflicted eighteen-year-old faced with the Vietnam draft of 1967. On an impulse, he steals his file during his military physical at the Oakland Induction Center. Knowing that the FBI would soon come knocking, Jonah plots his escape. He begins to gather a get-away stash, looting the safe at his father’s pawnshop. While saying a final goodbye to his friend Bill Graham, Jonah is swept up in a last-ditch effort to prevent downtown from shuttering the Fillmore Auditorium, a famed music venue. In possession of incriminating photos of a corrupt politician, Jonah seeks refuge at Morningstar Commune in rural Sonoma County while his past is in close pursuit. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

My family’s involvement in shaping San Francisco’s legacy has inspired me to write Don’t Stop the Music. As a former history instructor, I delved into the research of this novel not realizing where it would take me. The HaightAshbury District was my home between 1967-1971, offering the controlled chaos of the Fillmore Auditorium, the backroom jazz clubs, the experimental drug scene and so much more. The area became my private laboratory to study and absorb the anarchy of the times.

NOTABLE INDIE

25

BY CHRISTOPHER J. DRIVER

vereducated and underemployed? In love with learning but stumped on how to translate it into a paycheck? Desperately striving to make your seemingly useless liberal arts education work for you in any sort of satisfying or meaningful way? Trying to simultaneously engage your interests, skillset and values and still pay the bills? I feel your pain and have stories to share, but if you’re looking for inspirational uplift, self-help or a life coach, please look elsewhere. Hardbarned! One Man’s Quest for Meaning ful Work in the American South is a darkly comic, brutally honest and introspective memoir about working for a living—without being able to shake the feeling that there has got to be more to it than that.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

After earning a master’s degree in English, I didn’t want to teach. I wanted a foot in the door to a professional writing career, but I ended up driving a truck. This was the craziest job I’d had, and it lasted three years, as I constantly applied for writing jobs and got nowhere—something I never imagined would happen. The book doesn’t offer self-help, inspirational uplift or fix anyone’s problems, but it is packed with authentic, darkly comic stories that may resonate with others with a sense of humor who are trying to apply a liberal arts education to the modern workplace and still feel like a human being. UNBOUND

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NOTABLE INDIE

27

AGILE SCRUM

Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions BY SCOTT M. GRAFFIUS

S

hifting customer needs are common in today’s marketplace. Businesses need to be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive. Traditional development and delivery frameworks are often ineffective. In contrast, agile approaches incorporate adjustments based on continuous customer feedback. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to best meet their business needs and successfully manage projects. Agile Scrum provides those interested or involved in innovation, project management, product development, software development or technology management with an authoritative roadmap to implement the most popular agile framework—Scrum. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I founded and am CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions, a consultancy which helps our clients achieve their business needs through world-class project leadership. I had the privilege to work with a client in a division of a global entertainment business on their successful journey for improved responsiveness to business needs, rapid adaptation to change, faster delivery speed, higher satisfaction, and continuous improvement. That fantastic agile transformation experience was the inspiration for my book. 90

APRIL/MAY 2018

28

BARBRA STREISAND ON THE COUCH BY ALMA H. BOND, PHD

I

n the latest installment of my On the Couch series, Dr. Darcy Dale, a renowned, pioneering Manhattan psychiatrist, is confronted by Barbra, who is dismayed after thirty years of minimally successful therapy. Over the course of a year, Dr. Dale conducts an intimate psychoanalysis, breaking through Barbra’s defense mechanisms and repressions to delve deep into the heart and mind of one of America’s last remaining superstars. Published around the same time as Streisand’s own, long awaited memoir, Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is an essential companion, a sensitive, objective, pitch-perfect opportunity to look behind the voice and image, and to understand and fully appreciate Barbra Streisand, the human being. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I have written and had published many books (26) but none has given me as much pleasure in writing it as Barbra Streisand: On the Couch. When I write biographical material, I try to get inside of the subject’s head. To get inside of Barbra’s head is one big laugh. I seem to have picked up her terrific sense of humor and made it my own. The writing itself went very quickly, although the intensive research I did (I read 100 books, saw all her films, and watched her videos.) took over a year. It was a pleasure to leap out of bed in the morning and get to work on Barbra Streisand: On the Couch. It was a book I hated to finish.


MISTRESS SUFFRAGETTE

30

LETTERS LOST THEN FOUND

BY DIANA FORBES

BY AMY L. JOHNSON

A

L

young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton quickly draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Mr. Daggers. Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar Daggers is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Meanwhile a special talent of Penelope’s makes her the ideal candidate for a paying job in the Suffrage Movement. During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Readers always tell me that “New York is a character” in my novel, Mistress Suffragette. When I walk through the streets today, I imagine how it was back in the nineteenth century. Like a character, New York has layers. She is complex, ever evolving, and a bit secretive about her past. She has stories to tell if one will only stay long enough to listen. As a writer, I am an archaeologist, and it is my task to dig out New York’s past and reveal it in a way that is true to her identity.

NOTABLE INDIE

29

etters Lost Then Found features letters exchanged between 19-year-old Freddie, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces who flew over 120 combat missions, and his 30-year-old brother Willie, Circulation Manager of the Michigan-based Saginaw News. The letters reveal the drama of battle, the daily life that goes on for both brothers, and the vital importance of family connections. Includes a “Day in History” section on each page that provides a glimpse of what was happening in World War II at the time each letter was written. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

When my beloved grandmother passed away, I inherited the somber task of emptying my grandparent’s basement. It was there that I discovered the file cabinets where my grandfather, had kept a trove of handwritten letters, including every one he’d received from his brother, and copies of all the letters he had sent back in reply. As I read through the letters, I saw such a profoundly moving narrative emerge that I knew could not be suppressed any longer. Letters Lost Then Found is a heartfelt exchange between two brothers from the ‘greatest generation’ during the war; I used my graphic design talent to bring this drama to life, and the rest is left to the reader’s imagination. UNBOUND

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NOTABLE INDIE

31

VERONICA AND THE VOLCANO BY GEOFFREY COOK

V

eronica and the Volcano by Geoffrey Cook is an exciting adventure story for grades 3 - 5 about a brave, curious young girl named Veronica, who lives on the side of a volcano. Cook’s story blends science with science fiction, straddling the world of the believable and fantastical. The most important volcanoes in the book are all based on real-world ones like Krakatoa, Crater Lake, Mt. Pelee, and Tambora. Veronica complements STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum, providing up-to-date science on volcanoes, geysers, caves, and the wonders of physics. Includes a glossary of volcanic terms and dozens of full-color illustrations. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Geoffrey Cook is a serial entrepreneur and public company CEO. He is the CEO and co-founder of The Meet Group (NASDAQ: MEET) and previously founded EssayEdge and ResumeEdge from a Harvard dorm. He runs 5 mobile apps with 10 million monthly users, so he is always thinking of new ways to use technology to engage a global audience. Geoffrey started telling Veronica and the Volcano stories to pass the time with his daughter Madeline on the twenty-five-minute drive to school every morning. She enjoyed his stories, and so he wrote them down. 92

APRIL/MAY 2018

32

ELECTRIC ANCIENT EGYPTIANS BY JAMES ERNEST BROWN

E

lectric Ancient Egyptians: Manipulating Atomic Structure with Human Electricity boldly claims that the ancient Egyptians had an amazing understanding of natural forms of energy. They harnessed the energy of lightning, static electricity, and telluric currents to perform remarkable feats. What have been misinterpreted as ceremonies, or rituals on tomb and temple walls, were actually visual instructions for stimulating electrical and energetic pathways throughout the body and brain of the living pharaoh. Carved reliefs, paintings, and artifacts reveal that the ancient Egyptians could generate electricity and electrify specific parts of the human body. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I experienced a life-changing epiphany in 1977 that created a personal passion to comprehend the true purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza. A multi-decade research quest into the mysteries of ancient Egypt resulted in a radical re-interpretation of ancient Egyptian art and symbolism. As I accumulated more than 15,000 images patterns emerged. I saw relationships between modern science and ancient Egyptian images and artifacts. I realized that items that had electrical functions had been misunderstood and misidentified. After years of research and experimentation, I am convinced that reclaiming this ancient knowledge could result in unlimited free energy that wouldn’t harm the Earth.


CRASH LANE NEWS

C

rash Lane News is a self-help travel book for the new, and professional traveler in Texas. There are interviews with professional travel agencies and with United States Government Officials. Weather preparedness is a lifesaver in this book about travel in the 50 United States. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Crash Lane News was written using interviews with several different travel professionals, and Officials in Government Agencies. The writing process used several examples from different jobs in transportation. Interviews about the weather were based on travel routes previously traveled in the region. There was a clear reason to write the weather was a challenge. The book wrote itself after the interviews were completed about the weather. There are challenges when communicating at anytime. That communication challenge is also why it is called Crash Lane News. There are communication problems that exist affecting everyday life caused by fake news, defamation, libel, slander, and most importantly the reality of not reporting at all by News Agencies, and more importantly by the U.S. Government. The book used the First Amendment right to communicate respectfully, and to prevent accidents.

34

NAVIGATING INDIEWORLD

NOTABLE INDIE

33

BY JULIE A. GERBER AND CAROLE P. ROMAN

N

avigating Indieworld is the ultimate guide for those attempting a foray into the world of independent publishing. Chock-full of prudent advice, Julie A. Gerber and Carole P. Roman share their experiences with an easy can-do attitude. Gerber is a seasoned social media marketer as well as an author. Roman has published over fifty books and marketed close to 100. They explain the highs and lows, pitfalls, and shortcuts for any author to market their book successfully. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Julie and I wrote Navigating Indieworld over Google Docs in just a few short weeks. It was fun sharing our knowledge and reliving the exciting things we did marketing my books as well as my son’s. Julie’s savvy marketing tools are so easy anybody can promote their book, and my experiences can pave the way for an effortless campaign. Kirkus Review said, “A brisk, but informative guide for wouldbe self-publishers.” Foreword Review adds, “Ample and thoughtful advice will help those considering self-publishing to take the plunge without drowning.”

UNBOUND

93


NOTABLE INDIE

35

THE WEIGHT OF LIVING

HORIZON

A

C

BY MICHAEL STEPHEN DAIGLE

young girl is found in a grocery store dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top. What appears to be a routine search for the girl’s family turns into a generational hell that drags Nagler into an examination of a decadesold death of another young girl, and the multistate crime enterprise of the shadowy ringmaster. Nagler must also unravel lies told by both friends and victims before someone else dies. The deeper Nagler looks, the more he and his companions are endangered, until the shocking climax that leaves Nagler questioning his actions in solving the crimes and healing his damaged soul.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

“This is the third Frank Nagler Mystery, following “The Swamps of Jersey” (2014); and “A Game Called Dead” (2016), a Shelf Unbound Runner-Up in 2016. I like creating mysteries that are messy with plot twists and with surprising characters who are not what they seem. I tried to imagine the most evil villain I could, and Randolph Garrettson, dubbed “Tank,” by Nagler is manipulative, soulless and vicious. The result is one of the most damaged characters I have ever created. The battle creates what a reviewer called an “exquisite tension” between the search for healing and peace, and the dark evil caused by Tank. “Good” wins out, but the victors, especially Nagler, are bruised.” 94

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APRIL/MAY 2018

BY TABITHA LORD

aeli Crys isn’t living—she’s surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can’t help but risk discovery to save his life. Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His copilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he’s only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind. When Derek’s command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers, and soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I’m often asked whether it was easier or harder to write the second book in my series, and my honest answer is — it was both! I’ve grown so much as a writer that from a craft standpoint it was easier. I’m willing to take more risks, knowing that if something doesn’t work, I’ll have the opportunity to fix it. On the other hand, my first book, Horizon, received some prestigious indie awards including the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize in 2016. I definitely felt like I had a lot to live up to! When early reviews for Infinity started coming in, and they were actually better than Horizon’s, I was relieved!


THE MUSE

BY ARJAY LEWIS

F

amed novelist Jack Court has a secret: the wealthy writer is a serial killer. He also possesses another hidden treasure, a small antediluvian creature that dwells within him which gives him youth, strength and a superhuman ability to avoid capture. When the author is hit by a careless driver, the creature leaves him and through a series of events, ends up with lowly writer, Harold Godwine. Godwine begins to write faster and better, but is troubled by dreams of blood. However, Jack survived, and is devolving into something not quite human. Court seeks the young author, leaving a trail of destruction.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

In 1999, I had the desire to write a horror tale called The Dark. I had never written horror before, but I wrote the story which eventually sold. The next day, I read in the news that Stephen King had been hit by a truck in Maine. I thought to myself, “It was as if something needed that story to be written and since he couldn’t, it moved to me.” This was the height of ego as Mr. King is a far more adept a writer than I. But the thought stuck with me and I wondered what it would be like if there was something: an actual physical entity that could help people write, and not just write, but write best sellers. That concept became The Muse.

38

THE RETURN

NOTABLE INDIE

37

Northkill Amish Series, Book 2

BY BOB HOSTETLER AND J. M. HOCHSTETLER

J

akob Hochstetler’s refusal to take up arms against the Indians who attacked his Amish family’s home on the Pennsylvania frontier during the brutal raids of the French and Indian War cost the lives of his wife, a son, and a daughter. Carried away with his younger sons, Jakob is enslaved by the Seneca, while Joseph and Christian are adopted into different Lenape divisions. As the boys struggle to adapt to new lives, Jakob plots a perilous escape in spite of overwhelming odds against succeeding. Yet even if he gets away, can he survive a harrowing journey over the hundreds of miles of rugged terrain that lie between him and his Northkill community? A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

We’re fifth cousins, descendants of Jakob Hochstetler, the main character in the series. So coauthoring the story of the Hochstetler Massacre proved to be intensely personal and emotional not only because these are our ancestors but also because the attack and its aftermath greatly influenced our family’s subsequent history. We knew we needed to portray the people and historical events accurately, a task made easier by accounts handed down orally in the family and an astonishing number of archival documents we discovered and examined. It was a privilege to write this story. UNBOUND

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NOTABLE INDIE

39

THE LOST CELT

INVINCIBLE SUMMERS

F

I

BY A.E. CONRAN

ourth Graders Mikey and Kyler, are convinced they’ve seen a real live Celtic warrior just like the characters in their favorite video war game, Romanii: Northern Borders. How can this be? Was he transported through time as part of a secret defense project? Is he trapped in the present? Does he need help? If they can track him down, they’ll learn the secrets of time travel while writing the best Veterans Day report ever. Instead they discover a different secret: the invisible effects of war on veterans of all generations and their families, and the transcendent power of friendship. Awarded a Gold Medal by The Military Writers Society of America.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The Lost Celt was prompted by a conversation with emergency room doctors at a Veterans Affairs medical center. They mentioned how news reports covering war or natural disasters can trigger people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. Coming from a village in the UK, I was surrounded by people who’d served in or experienced war. Listening to news about Iraq and Afghanistan, however, I was struck by the gap between those serving, and their families, and the general population. In The Lost Celt I wanted to address this gap drawing on my interest in Roman and Celtic history, Irish myth and the power of story and community. 96

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APRIL/MAY 2018

BY ROBIN GAINES

nvincible Summers follows Claudia Goodwin through eleven summers, from the age of six through twenty-three, as she adjusts with varying degrees of success to what it means to be a daughter, a sister, friend, and lover in a world of loss, betrayal and bad judgment. Set in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, the novel shows Claudia’s pursuit to find a purpose as she struggles with feelings of rootlessness in a world torn apart by assassinations, riots, and the Vietnam War. It is a story of Claudia’s journey through the guilt and responsibility she feels for her father’s death, her mother’s career-altering disfiguration, and her brother’s downslide into addiction. Invincible Summers weaves a tale about grief and forgiveness and the indelible heartbreak of all the things left unsaid. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Invincible Summers came together as a novel after four of the chapters in the book were first published as standalone short stories. The stories explored a young girl’s loss of her father and the subsequent implosion of the Goodwin family. I decided to concentrate on what happens to my narrator over the course of eleven summers and structured the chapters accordingly. Invincible Summers sat in a drawer for a few years until I entered the manuscript in the Iowa Short Fiction Award & John Simmons Short Fiction Award and it was a semi-finalist in 2014.


THE SPACE BETWEEN BY SUSAN ROOKE

M

ellis is a young woman kidnapped from the human world to the Space Between by a tribe of faeries called the Penitents. Cursed because of an ancient sin their ancestors committed against the Maker, the Penitents need Mellis to help them find redemption, but she must surrender her former life to remain in the Space Between. As she struggles with this heart-wrenching decision, she becomes entangled in conflict when one Penitent commits a horrific crime, and takes Satan—the Maker’s greatest enemy—as his lover. Then, in a climactic revelation, what Mellis learns about her past changes her future forever. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Some years ago I gave myself a deadline for finally starting (and completing!) a novel. My start date was nearing, but I had no idea for the plot. Then the words “A young woman is taken by faeries” came into my head, perhaps because I’d recently learned of a folkloric belief that faeries are descended from fallen angels. A few days later I was walking on the treadmill while reading a fascinating book about the physical abnormalities documented in human beings. It hit me that the faeries who kidnap my heroine have forced themselves to bear such challenges because of guilt over their fallen angel forebears. I began writing on my start date and The Space Between grew from there.

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SAIL COWABUNGA!

NOTABLE INDIE

41

A Family’s Ten Years at Sea BY JANIS COUVREUX

S

ail Cowabunga! A Family’s Ten Years at Sea is an adventure memoir of a Franco-American couple and their two young sons on their tenyear sailing odyssey from Bordeaux, France, to San Francisco. Across four continents, the Atlantic Ocean and through the Panama Canal, Janis Couvreux chronicles adventures and misadventures, tragedies, and conquests in vivid and lively detail including chasing a midnight intruder, sailing to Brazil’s microscopic St. Peter and St. Paul rocks on the equator, exploring French Guiana’s jungles and Devil’s Island, and Cuba. All within Cowabunga’s 42 feet, the Couvreux family maintained normalcy— cooking and schooling routines, and sleeping at sea—while determined to turn their tide.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Sail Cowabunga! began as one vignette on my website blog. Over the years it grew to forty-four, and then I realized, it was my story. I thoroughly enjoyed plunging into each individual episode— the good, amusing, or harrowing—recalling the sentiments at the time. I garnered a lot of interested readers, all urging me to write the book. When my grandchildren came along, I had my motivation. This book had to be for them. They needed to know our story and understand why their fathers are unconventional. The story of Sail Cowabunga! is really my grandchildren’s story. UNBOUND

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NOTABLE INDIE

43

A GREATER MONSTER

THE COLOR OF EVIL SERIES

A

T

BY DAVID DAVID KATZMAN

psychedelic fairytale for the modern age, A Greater Monster is a mind-bending multimedia novel featuring illustrations, graphic design and links to original music and animation. This darkly poetic tale takes you on a trip into a radically twisted alternate reality that reflects civilization like a funhouse mirror. Along the way, you’ll encounter sphinxes, gods, living skeletons, witches, and quite possibly the strangest circus ever imagined. Described by the best-selling author of Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer as “...a really cool & unique read...and beautifully designed, too!” A Greater Monster received a Gold Medal as Outstanding Book of the Year in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Called 1 of 10 books every Chicagoan should read by Refinery29.com. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I wrote A Greater Monster in seven years. I spent the first half of that time generating the raw material of the story. I wrote in notebooks by hand until I could envision the entire story from start to finish. I then began mapping out the story and transferred all my material to the computer. I spent the second three to four years revising and went through fourteen drafts. I also spent six months parallel to the writing developing the original illustrations, graphic design, the music and animation. 98

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APRIL/MAY 2018

BY CONNIE (CORCORAN) WILSON

ad McGreevy has a secret power. His Tetrachromatic Super Vision allows him to know who is naughty or nice from the colored auras he sees around others. In the three novels (753 pp.) that comprise The Color of Evil series, these auras tell Tad who is evil and give him insight into the personalities of others. At night, Tad dreams of the crimes of the evildoers, reliving them in terrifyingly vivid detail. But Tad doesn’t know if these crimes are about to occur, have already occurred, or are happening now. It is an encounter with a hired clown, Michael Clay, at his 8th birthday party that shakes Tad to his core, as the clown is a serial killer. All of the nightmares which awaken Tad and his family in the dead of night are dismissed, until Michael Clay is arrested and his crimes come to light. And when Michael Clay escapes, he is determined to find and kill “the boy who can see the future.” A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I originally wrote the short story “Living in Hell” for the first book in my three-book short story series “Hellfire & Damnation.” I felt so bad at driving poor Tad McGreevy into a sanitarium and leaving him there that I re-visited the story, jumped forward to Tad’s entrance into his junior year of high school, and continued the story of Tad and his troupe of friends, who appear in all three books.


46

TRAIN WRECK EARTH

BIODIVINITY

T

W

BY DAVID H HARMAN AND DR. HARVARD G AYERS

rain Wreck Earth is a scientific novel set in a fictional modern college classroom teaching the settled science of climate change by two professors with the audacity to invite seven leading climate change experts to make guest appearances in this special class. The reader is treated to original material from Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Robert Howarth, Dr. Mark Jacobson, Dr. George Woodwell, Bill McKibben, Tim DeChristoper and Danna White, JD. In their private lives, these professors are fighting a damaging and unnecessary fracked gas pipeline that would condemn the planet to 40 more years of fossil fuels. Readers will learn the science behind the planet’s existential crisis of climate change while they keep turning pages to learn if the main characters’ surprising approach convinces a hard-nosed CEO to change.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The idea for this book came to co-author Harman, who wanted to impart his knowledge of science and climate change to his granddaughters. Harman visualized a fictional classroom as the innovative strategy to present established science within an appropriate context. The activist authors accumulated information and developed the comprehensive story, having even visited Arctic Alaska, the Yukon and Alberta Tar Sands to interview Native peoples affected by climate change.

NOTABLE INDIE

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BY CHARISSA NASRALLAH SOFUL

hen the world’s wilderness began to disappear, Artemis the Greek Goddess of the Wilds returned to earth to protect it. She began by recruiting the help of Barbara Jackson, the only girl brave enough to be friends with her in high school. Together, they left their home town in Ohio to travel the world, stopping poachers and picking up litter along the way while recruiting others to join them. Artemis then decides to destroy America’s farmlands to put an end to the aggressive agricultural practices that are destroying the natural world. Barbara realizes that in order to prevent millions of people from starving, she’ll have to stand against a Goddess.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I wrote Biodivinity over the course of five years, mostly during the summer since I am a high school Biology teacher. A lot of the story is set in Northeastern Ohio where I am from. The plot of the story was driven by my concerns over our disappearing biodiversity, which came about when I could no long hear the whip-o-wills cry at night. The characters in the book were named and fashioned after people I loved and lost. Writing about them has been an enjoyable way to keep their memories alive. I look forward to writing more in 2018. UNBOUND

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48

DEMONS IN GOOD INTENTIONS

THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

V

T

BY EZEKIEL NIETO BENZION

ienna, 1804. The young man called “Cat” has survived by working his way up from life as a boy kidnapped and sold into the sex trade to being the star courtesan in an exclusive male brothel. Every night, however, he is haunted by dreams of being reunited with his family. The mysterious Spanish Jewish doctor, Judah Halevi Nieto, offers to apply his considerable resources to the search for Cat’s family, if Cat agrees to be the bait in a trap for a traitorous Austrian aristocrat. When Judah Halevi finally unites the family, he unexpectedly destroys the young man’s dreams. The doctor must question all his values, unleashing demons that drive him into the dark abyss of his own nightmares.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

What happens to people forced to do the unthinkable to escape the unimaginable? This novel developed from the tales told to me by my grandparents at the end of their lives. They had submerged their better natures to do whatever was needed to escape the limitations their world imposed on them. Their struggles had left scars too painful to touch for years but finally they felt compelled to tell their stories. I am proud of what they accomplished. They had struggled in a new world to give their children freedom to follow their dreams. 100 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY FIZA PATHAN

his book is a collection of twenty-one original short stories, each centered on some aspect of the social, cultural, psychological, and emotional issues facing the LGBTQIA community. False prejudice has blighted much of society’s sensitivity to what is a human rights issue. Ignorance has compounded it. What if you, as a parent or a family member, are faced with this “coming out” issue? Are you aware of the emotional and psychological damage you do to a loved one when you fail to understand, and/or reject, their perspective of love, sex, and acceptance? The author has crafted these stories based on real-life conditions found in different countries around the world. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

While researching online for the book, I encountered the life stories shared by the LGBTQIA community around the world, and experienced a heartwrenching realization. I learned that, in addition to other things, homosexuals in Jamaica are forced to live in sewers. And in some countries, disclosure of the names of homosexuals results in their being lynched or murdered. This prompted me to pick up my pen to write their stories, albeit in a fictional setting, as best I could. For I believe that you can experience another person’s pain only when you live through it.


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FLASH POINT

THE GREAT SUGAR WAR

F

L

BY RONELLE ANTOINETTE

lash Point is the second installment in the Elemental Trials series and continues the journey of Jex Xander and Enari Alycon. Seven years have passed and much has changed in the kingdom of Egalion; it is, in fact, on the brink of war with Atromore...an outcome Jex has been tasked with stopping. But secrets abound in the beautiful, gilded capitol and the decisions of a small few will determine the course of realms. By the end of one tumultuous, passion-filled summer, hearts and lives will be irrevocably changed…but will it be for the better? A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I’d love to say that I learned everything I needed to know about being an indie author from the publication process of “Errant Spark”. I’d love to say that the birth of “Flash Point” was a breeze compared to its predecessor. I’d love to say a lot of things...but I’d be a liar. Still, I wouldn’t trade any of the work, tears, laughter, shining moments of epiphany, or time spent laboring over drafts for anything in this world or any other. While a labor of love is no less strenuous—and yes, I’ve come to understand the metaphor—I’ve learned, grown, and made connections just as much as Jex and Enari have. I’m excited about the continuation of their story and I hope my readers are, too!

NOTABLE INDIE

49

BY BENJAMIN ELLEFSON

ost at sea alone, twelve year old Otto reaches shore on a strange land where all the color is missing and everything is gray. He soon finds himself in the middle of a great war between the Kingdom of Color and the Kingdom of Shapes. To end the war and return the color to the land, he must outsmart the war inspectors, battle the sugar soldiers, escape from the gnome factory, and teach the grasshoppers the importance of eating your vegetables. Discover the adventure that happened before Alvin floated into the Land Without Color in the second book of The Land Without Color series. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Ever since I imagined a young boy floating with a bubblegum bubble into a land without color, the ideas have kept flowing. Writing the second story in The Land Without Color saga was as exciting a journey as the characters had through this fantastic world. I let my imagination flow as I expanded the world the reader knew from the first book. Introducing new worlds and new lands led to increased conflicts on multiple fronts. The only thing more satisfying than writing this book is talking with young readers about it. UNBOUND

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52

THE AWAKENED COMPANY

ANGELS AND PATRIOTS

O

O

BY CATHERINE R. BELL

rganizations are a vehicle to waking up, the means to solve the world’s largest challenges. Yet the majority of businesses don’t survive past 10 years, people rate the worst time of the day as time with their bosses, and the majority of people are disengaged. There has to be a better way. The Awakened Company shows us this way. The Awakened Company is a new way of doing business that leads to better leaders, relationships, teams, organizations and communities. Developed and tested by wisdom traditions, best-practice business research, and some of the world’s most successful companies, the book lays out a deep and practical path to doing business that results in more meaning, purpose, connection with each other and the planet and, paradoxically, greater profitability and business sustainability.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing The Awakened Company was real — full of people who said NO and full of people who said YES to me. I have worked in an array of work settings, experienced anger, rage, fear, disengagement, boredom, and deep sadness over the status quo behavior of many organizations. Like many others, I have seen people suffer at work — suffering that is entirely unnecessary. What made writing so rewarding was showing how to end this suffering, resulting in higher performing, happier companies. 102 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY SALINA B. BAKER

n the eve of the Revolutionary War, American patriots are preparing to stand against the British. They are unaware that demons God created to kill a brotherhood of fallen angels are fanning the embers of war to draw the angels out of hiding. Archangel, Colm Bohannon, leads his brotherhood to Boston to track down the demon leader and to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, and the Sons of Liberty that the British army is not their only threat. The angels are road weary and struggling. Is faith a strong enough shield to fight off demons and protect the patriots? Angels and Patriots is the pursuit of liberty through loyalty, and the ultimate sacrifice.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The spark of Angels and Patriots was struck in Boston. Everywhere I looked, religion and revolution walked hand-in-hand along the church-lined historic streets. As I read about religious doctrines of the time period, I came across the bible story of the angels who created Nephilim, and the demons God created to kill the disobedient angels. Disobedient angels and disobedient patriots, both were running from oppression and toward freedom. It was the perfect alliance. The novel needed little world building. History had built it. Along the way, I met a forgotten but important patriot who needed his story told.


ILLEGAL

BY JOHN DENNEHY

I

llegal tells the true story of love and deception, revolutions and deportations as it chronicles the trials of John Dennehy. Naïve New Yorker, Dennehy refuses to be part of the feverish nationalism of post 9/11 America. His search for hope takes him to Ecuador, where he falls in love with firebrand Lucia, who perfects his broken Spanish while they find solidarity in the brewing social upheaval. Amid the unrest, Dennehy is arrested and deported to the United States but he has found something worth fighting for. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing Illegal was a slow torture, yet it was also something that made me jump out of bed every morning. The experiences that created the foundation for the book broke me—it broke my heart, my idealism and the concept I had of the world. And that’s a painful thing to continuously play back and re-live. But failure is our best teacher and I learned so much and was so eager to share. There is love and revolution, but that’s just an engaging backdrop, Illegal is really about crossing borders. Too often we view borders as political talking points and parrot clichéd stories that reinforce our preexisting point-of-view. My hope was to tell a story so far outside those bounds that it made the reader look at an old problem as if for the first time.

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HOLY CRAP! THE WORLD IS ENDING!:

NOTABLE INDIE

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How a Trip to the Bookstore Led to Sex with an Alien and the Destruction of Earth BY ANNA-MARIE ABELL

A

fter what she thought was a simple trip to her local bookstore, Autumn, a foodobsessed ad executive, is set on a path she never expected—she must become the savior of the human race. With the help of her sexy alien boyfriend and her kleptomaniac friend, she races to save her fellow humans before the Earth is destroyed. Chock-full of conspiracy theories, pop culture, Sumerian mythology, ancient aliens, and even a little sexy-time, this humorous chick-lit romantic sci-fi adventure will make you ponder the true origins of the human race. “An unexpected story that promises to be one of the most creative fictional discoveries of the year...a fun approach to the entire save-the-Earth-from-alien-invasion scenario which successfully turns traditional approaches upside down.” —D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I originally wrote this book to get the Sumerian texts into the mainstream. These are important because they describe how their gods created the human race. They’re often brushed off as “myths,” but the truth is, the cuneiform texts predate the Bible and have stories that parallel the Old Testament: including the flood story and Adam. If we can believe the Bible, why can’t we believe texts thousands of years older? UNBOUND

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WILD IDEAS

BY CATHY WILD

W

ild Ideas takes you on a soulful journey through the seven stages of the creative process. Counselor and artist Cathy Wild interweaves moving stories from her own life with timeless wisdom and practical advice that transcends the self-help genre. Discover your authentic voice while exploring captivating themes that compel creative expression— curiosity and imagination, mystery and mourning, chaos and clarity, suffering and gratitude and many more. All along the way, you will explore inner qualities and penetrating questions that empower you to brave challenges while focusing your creative power.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

In completing Wild Ideas more than a dozen years after I first conceived it, I have kept a difficult promise. I trusted when it seemed more prudent not to, and persevered when it seemed I had forgotten why I started. Sometimes the only thing that kept me going was my vow to finish. And I have learned things. I learned that letting go of a dream isn’t the same as abandoning it. Some dreams cycle around again and find you even when you aren’t looking for them. I learned that I am tougher than I knew. My soul feels nourished by the solitary, sometimes painful, process of simply sitting quietly in a chair and getting the job done. 104 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

56

WORKPLACE STABILITY BY RUTH K. WEIRICH

L

ow-wage workers can experience personal instability that leads to absenteeism, health problems, and violations of workplace expectations, all of which decreases morale, productivity, job performance, and net income. In this book you’ll learn to recognize the range of factors that create instability for your business; see how instability, employee performance, and profitability are related; and identify strategies for increasing workplace stability based on your company culture and employees. If you want to increase the stability of your productivity and bottom line, creating workplace stability by helping your employees build resources makes business sense. Use this concise but in-depth book to better understand how diversity of economic class impacts the success of your business.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Putting your thoughts in writing is an interesting process. The process of planning what the shell of the book would look like before I started writing was a key piece. It takes time, but it’s well worth it. Other challenges were: giving the reader the right amount of information and content, writer’s block, finding humor and stories to complement the research and content, and the amount of time the process took. On the flip side, I had a very supportive editorial team and a husband that kept the home going while I was writing.


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THE WASTAGE

WAYPOINT

A

S

BY DEAN HALLIDAY SMITH

t the end of 1862, with only two bloody stalemates at Shiloh and Antietam to show for the Union army’s efforts in the American civil war, Abraham Lincoln’s attempt at walking the civilian tightrope as commander in chief and putting the right generals in charge to carry the war into the Confederacy, led to disastrous fighting along the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, Virginia. One angry Northern governor cabled Lincoln, “It wasn’t war, it was murder.” The radicals in the Senate, convinced the bumpkin Illinois President was losing the war, began to conceive of a means of carrying on the war as a committee, excluding the President. The Wastage portrays the pivotal battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the congressional cabal Lincoln faced during the South’s best opportunity to win the civil war. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I was a Navy journalist in Vietnam in 1969. My love of 19th century history and the civil war was heightened in 1973 when I completed my American history degree in college, and in 1982 when looking through my late grandfather’s things. I found three small diaries of his grandfather’s three years with the Eleventh Iowa regiment, from Shiloh to Sherman’s March to the Sea. This got me writing again. The Wastage is as historically accurate as I can make it with, of course, a few slight departures a bit for dramatic effect.

NOTABLE INDIE

57

BY C.F. WALLER

tacy’s life is in free-fall, her daughter killed by a drunk driver, her husband taking his own life only months later. She finds herself clutching a handgun, searching for a sign that tomorrow will be any better than today. At this auspicious moment her cell phone rings, bringing an offer that may postpone her soul searching. The discovery of an airplane graveyard containing a dozen commercial airliners virtually undamaged under six-thousand feet of water is shocking. Who put them there? How are they still in one piece? What reason could there be? Stacy is about to learn the answers to those questions, as well things she’d prefer to forget. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Waypoint is the final result of two separate short stories written years earlier. At some point the two science fiction premises came together in my mind, demanding to be expanded on. Unfortunately, I found myself woefully lacking in actual aviation knowledge. I spent the summer of 2016 hitching rides on privately owned planes and crawling around hangars at the airport. Casual conversations with a people in the aviation industry ranging from commercial airline pilots to former Air Force mechanics, altered my perception of aviation in general. In doing so, the plotline of Waypoint banked 90 degrees and never looked back (pun intended). UNBOUND

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60

AN EYE FOR AN EYE

GREAT PEACEMAKERS

D

T

BY JOCELYN PEDERSEN

etective Izzy O’Donnell is on the trail of a serial killer who’s murdering victims and leaving behind body parts wrapped in Bible verses. Izzy tracks him down with the help of her two partners—a very enigmatic Moreno and a rather grumpy Cal—her injured dad’s former partner. Meanwhile, her wacky sidekick, Apple MacIntosh, totes her pet rabbit around in a baby sling, insisting he’s telepathic and can smell death on Izzy’s clothes. Unnerved by unexplained dreams, Izzy forges forth to solve the case. A homeless man, a philandering televangelist and a mentally challenged gardener are among the suspects who distract Izzy from seeing the killer, who has been getting to know her all along. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Writing An Eye for an Eye was a joyful challenge. Developing a world, burying clues while leading the reader to a solution alongside Izzy took lots of time, imagination, research, and hard work. Someone once asked me, “Research? What research? It’s all made up.” My response, “One, I’ve never been a serial killer, two…” Tons of research goes into any novel. I took a Forensics for Writers class, read numerous books, and spent time on the Internet researching seeds, real estate, poker, diseases, and more. This book is the fruit of my master’s degree in Professional Writing and I’m honored that readers are enjoying it. 106 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY KEN BELLER AND HEATHER CHASE

his book tells the inspiring true life stories of twenty of the most fascinating people of our time—great peacemakers. From a Vietnamese monk to a Brazilian musician, from a Swedish children’s author to an IranianAmerican architect, it introduces a wide range of luminaries and approaches to peacemaking. Concise, accessible, and illustrated with more than sixty photographs, the book is designed to appeal to general readers as well as students in middle school through graduate school. Great Peacemakers has won more than thirty awards and is endorsed by three Presidents and three Nobel Peace Prize winners. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Great Peacemakers represents five years of diligent research and writing that, for us, was a labor of love. What a gift it was to be able to study the lives and insights of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and other luminaries, and curate their wisdom for others to enjoy and benefit from. During this process, we were continually amazed by the passion and perseverance shown by these peacemakers as they created meaningful social change. To make the material more accessible, we condensed each peacemaker’s life story into just five pages to highlight the overall theme of each person’s life and not bury it in too much detail.


THE OTHER LA BOHÈME BY YORKER KEITH

T

his novel of romantic literary fiction represents a present-day version of La Bohème, that depicts the lives of four friends who are pursuing opera singers’ careers in New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzosoprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s well-known La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional efforts. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly-forgotten La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Opera has been my passion since my adolescent years. I have sung in workshops, at private lessons, and with opera companies, both in concert versions and, on many occasions, performing on stage with full costume and makeup. I have been living in Manhattan for many years. I know how challenging life is for opera singers, musicians, artists, actors, writers, and poets. In this novel, I have tried to portray the lives of present-day bohemians—hence The Other La Bohѐme—as I have lived among them. I am not only the author of the novel, but also part of it.

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A HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE WITH SLY THE FLY

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BY HAMILTON WILLIAMS

H

amilton Williams continues to put out Sly the Fly adventure books. It all started when he was a young boy sitting in the back seat of his parents’ car, and a fly just flew inside the car. Now as a boy I’m thinking how is the fly going to find his way back home. Maybe he was moving to a different area. This is how kids think, or at least I did. Just about every kid has had this happen to them. There will be more adventures to read in the future. Hamilton Williams has created a hero that kids can learn from, and relate to. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

A Halloween Adventure with Sly the Fly is all about a housefly who likes to go on adventures and one takes place on Halloween night. Sly goes trick or treating and learns all about Halloween. A great first read book or parents reading to their kids. There is a moral at the end of each adventure. See what Sly thinks he learned and have the person who read it come up with things he might have learned. Reading is a great outlet for the mind. Let your imagination just go.

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WHY THEY

63

64

STAY Sex scandals, deals, and hidden agendas of nine political wives ANNE MICHAUD

WHY THEY STAY

BY ANNE MICHAUD

W

hy They Stay answers the question, why do wives stay with their cheating politicianhusbands? Profiling nine fraught marriages across eight decades, from Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt to the Clintons to Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, this book argues that today’s political marriages are not so different from the dynastic maneuverings of England’s medieval queens. The women married to the “royalty” of our times, politicians, make similar cold calculations in order to hold onto their “thrones” and their family’s history-making potential. These spouses are destined to make the same sorts of compromises due to the unique set of standards and pressures they face.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I’m a longtime political news reporter who has covered some of the men — Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner — whose sex-related scandals inspired me to ask why their wives stayed married to them. To a woman, they were intelligent, accomplished and good-looking. In private life, I imagined, many of these women would have kicked these men quickly to the curb. What was it about a political partnership and ambition that changed the normal marital dynamic? I’ve been writing since I was 12, but this is my first book. I found that writing it took a determination I didn’t know I had in me. It also took finding portions of time here and there. 108 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

SENTINELS OF TZURAC: RETALIATION BY JAMES RAVEN

A

sinister rebel army of Treldarians is secretly gathering on the far side of the Universe. They have new-found powers acquired by infusing themselves using the long-lost Xytrinium formula which transformed their arch-rivals, the Tzuracian Sentinels, into super-soldiers. Yarron, the disgraced fugitive Sentinel who stole the precious formula in his youthful naiveté and traded it with the rebels is now on a mission to redeem himself and earn forgiveness. Disguised as a mercenary, he infiltrates the rebel army and discovers that the Second and Third Legions led by Generals Vark and Rokan are joining forces for a two-pronged attack on Earth and Planet Tzurac. An intergalactic war is imminent. Yarron is exposed but escapes with Rokan’s daughter emerging as the hero in a fierce and hard-fought battle for Universal peace. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Like an artist painting a portrait who begins with a simple brush stroke on a blank canvas, I started with a single word on an empty page. I had a vision of a futuristic world I wanted to create. Over the course of writing what became my sci-fi trilogy, I immersed myself in my characters. In this third book, Retaliation, I enjoyed enriching my readers’ understanding of familiar characters, introducing new players, and weaving novel story lines to build suspense.


SONG HEREAFTER:

1153 in Hispania and the Isles of Albion BY JEAN GILL

A

thrilling page-turner completes this awardwinning historical quartet. The troubadours fight their enemies, both on the battlefield and in the courts of Christendom, from the sophistication of Zaragossa to the wilds of Wales. Can they win through to song hereafter, together? Or have they broken one rule too many? Mystery, intrigue, romance and adventure fill the pages of this magnificent conclusion to an epic series sure to delight fans of Elizabeth Chadwick and Bernard Cornwell. Jean Gill captures the soul of the age and the characters who lived in it. Can be read as a stand-alone. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I was surprised when my fictional 12th century French troubadours insisted on travelling to Wales, the country I still call home although I’ve lived in Provence for fifteen years now. I researched each book for a year, in English, French and Occitan, to get the history of the troubadour world into my mind before I started writing the story, and, however much I resisted, all roads led to Wales. As the story unfolded, I knew that Dragonetz and Estela were right to seek answers in the land of song, in a place where I know every stone and sand-dune. One reader said, ‘Song Hereafter brings the story home’ and this is true on so many levels!

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NAKED WE CAME

NOTABLE INDIE

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BY ROBERT LANE

J

ake Travis searches for the man who abducted his older sister and only sibling over thirty years ago, when Jake was seven. His family was staying in a motel in Florida when she went to get her book, Matilda. She was never seen again. A man who was once the primary suspect washes up dead on a beach near Jake’s home. He left a confession. But Jake knows that he is innocent. Jake is confronted by powerful figures tied to current political events who have a vested interest in shielding the truth from him. His vengeful quest leads him to a cast of fascinating characters, each of whom is scarred by their own past. As Jake comes to face with his tragic past, he learns that the longest roads lead to the beginning. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The story stemmed from an article I read over a decade ago, about a young girl on vacation with her family in Florida. She went to her room to get a book. She was never seen again. The haunting imagery of her family’s experience that day never left me. I find stimulus by writing in different places. Part of Naked We Came is set in East Tennessee. I returned to those hills after many years to make certain I had it right. I believe the authenticity of the characters stems from being on the ground they walked and breathing the air they breathed. UNBOUND

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68

DARK LONGING

1918

“E

1

BY AJA JAMES

very story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know, for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.” This is a story of the Dark Ones, told from mostly their point of view. Dark Longing is the second book in the paranormal-fantasy series Pure/Dark Ones. It centers on Inanna, a vampire warrior, also known as the Angel of Death among her Kind, and Gabriel, the forbidden human, who has a mysterious past that is key to his and Inanna’s future together. While the story focuses on the love between the two central characters, we are also reacquainted with old friends, make new ones, and further delve into the Pure/Dark universe as it unfolds. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I started writing Dark Longing immediately after Pure Healing (Book 1), but my mother passed away from cancer as I was about a fourth of the way in. Some of the events around her last days fed into the book itself, and after she passed, my inspiration dried up for about 5 years. When I picked it back up, the story completely changed in my head—for the better. What I love about the writing process is the organic development of the characters, their interactions, and the story. 110 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY DAVID CORNISH, MD

918 is a rigorously researched and accurate historical novel about the world’s worst pandemic. The story is seen through the eyes of Dr. Edward Noble, an army major and infectious disease sub-specialist, whose unique position in Boston allows him to detect an emerging influenza strain. Noble desperately struggles against both medical and political obstacles, as the microbial horror advances. Eventually, up to 100 million people die from the infection. The actual medical literature and terminology of the time, plus real personal accounts of the pandemic, are used to put the reader in the mind of this early 20th century physician.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I wanted to write a novel about the Great Pandemic that would realistically represent the actions and thoughts of a physician in 1918. I studied actual medical journals from the era to accurately portray the practice of medicine in the early 20th century. I also reviewed papers from 1918 scientific journals to describe how researchers desperately sought a way to combat a disease that took 100 million lives in about 37 weeks. My editor cautioned me that my “talklike-a-doctor” approach in the book might not appeal to a wide audience. I knew that was a risk. However, this was to be a medical story about a physician, and I did not want to separate his professional language from him.


THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT EDGEFIELD: Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy & Genetic DNA

BY EDNA GAIL BUSH AND NATONNE ELAINE KEMP

I

n 1860, fifty-seven percent of South Carolina’s population was enslaved, the highest percentage of any state in the Union. South Carolinians feared the election of Abraham Lincoln, which threatened their pro-slavery based-economy, and the very structure of their society. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. Within South Carolina, the town of Edgefield was distinctive. Edgefield had a propensity of producing firebrands and slavery advocates. It is against this background that Edna Gail Bush and Natonne Elaine Kemp trace their Edgefield, South Carolina roots. The authors uncover the experiences of their ancestors through enslavement, land ownership, and church membership. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Gail and Natonne had a previous working relationship. Natonne was the editor of Homeplace, a genealogical newsletter focused on African Americans from Edgefield. During Natonne’s tenure, Gail was the most prolific contributor. Gail and Natonne shared a goal: to tell the untold stories of their ancestors and, when possible, the broader Black community. Both authors strove to make their stories engaging and compelling to the reader.

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CITY OF GODS II: HORSEMEN

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69

BY JONATHAN MAAS

C

ity of Gods II: Horsemen is the sequel to City of Gods: Hellenica, and it continues the adventures of the Four Horsemen — as teenagers — as they try to find their place in a world where all the gods have come back, from Zeus to Dagon, Loki and Lugh. In this installment, Kayana, Gunnar, Tommy and Saoirse return to face their second year at the Academy, and find that their problems are just beginning. The Manitou forest is growing out of control, their exams are ever more dangerous, and the world outside has fallen deeper into chaos. And finally, their teachers are sending them to four corners of the Conurbation, on deadly missions that might mean both their demise and the end of the world as they know it. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

City of Gods II: Horsemen is a big, expansive story, with four characters going to four different corners of this series’ world, which is called the Conurbation. I learned the power of outlining with this tale. Sometimes it is good to just start writing, but if you have a big, expansive tale where the storylines interweave, outlining is the way to go. I spent months outlining this before I began, and it made it a lot easier later. This was also my first experience writing a sequel — and it was a lot of fun. UNBOUND

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AT THE DAWN OF LEGEND: GUINEVERE BY CHERYL CARPINELLO

72

LEGENDS OF THE GRAIL Stories of Irish Goddesses BY AYN CATES SULLIVAN

H

er father warned her repeatedly to think before acting, but her heart has always ruled the Princess Guinevere. When her and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, the two find themselves embroiled in the life and death situation foretold by the wizard’s Goddess. When renegades seeking to capture the princess come up empty-handed, they take the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves in Gaul. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue them, but their plan quickly unravels. Cedwyn makes a choice that brings his dream of being a knight to reality, but may also cost him his life. As her friend moves beyond her help, Guinevere’s decisions come crashing down on her.

T

his book is a collection of ancient Irish myths and legends told in the traditional way with a twist. Each Goddess, generally demonized or misunderstood, has the chance to retell her story in a way that liberates her from centuries of misunderstanding. The stories begin in 1700BC as the ancient ones known as the Tuatha De Danann leave surface earth. In remembering the tales of our ancestors we are invited to embrace the depth and wisdom we need to navigate this current age. Each chapter includes “Healing with the Goddess” sections with practices, visualizations and blessings to help the reader get in touch with their own soulful qualities and capacities.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

In 2007, when I first conceived the story of Guinevere as a young girl (Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend), I just wanted to introduce young readers to this not-so-simple princess and gave them a glimpse of Arthurian Legend in one book. Through years since, a small voice kept bouncing around in my head. One day, I gave in and listened. As I suspected, it was Cedwyn, Guinevere’s friend. He insisted that I keep my promise—made in On the Eve of Legend—and make him a knight. Still I resisted, repeating that I never intended to write a book two. Finally, I gave in.

I collected myths and legends in Ireland while obtaining my doctorate from 1985-1993 from Kings College London. Stories are etched into the landscape. I wanted to discover this for myself, so I visited sacred sites and listened. If you listen carefully with the ears of your heart, the Earth speaks. As the years passed, I became busy as a mother and my journals became dusty on my shelves. Then a few years ago, dreams visited me in which Celtic mythological figures spoke. They were insistent that we remember the true essence of the feminine, for in doing so we heal and the Earth thrives.

112 A P R I L / M A Y

2018


FLOWER FROM CASTILE TRILOGY The Alhambra Decree BY LILIAN GAFNI

I

sabella Obrigon, a sixteen-year-old noble and beautiful young woman is kidnapped by a group of Conversos, (Spaniard Jews converted to Catholicism) when she finds out that she is the child of a Jewish woman that died giving birth to her. A chase for the culprits begins by the Inquisition to find Isabella amid a war led by the Spanish monarchs to conquer Granada and Columbus’s pressure to find a passage to the Indies. Isabella finds herself a prisoner in the Alhambra Palace, and fights the notion of having been adopted then relents to find the truth and her birth parents. Queen Isabella has to fulfill her vow to the Grand Inquisitor to rid Spain of all heretics. She issues the decree to send all Jews into exile.

74

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS

NOTABLE INDIE

73

BY MATTY DALRYMPLE

R

ock breaks scissors. Scissors cut paper. Paper covers rock. The rules are simple—except when it’s people’s lives at stake. By the time Charlotte and Patrick Ballard discover the damage their daughter, Lizzy, can do with her mind, it’s already too late for Charlotte. They hide Lizzy away, trying to save others from the same fate, and trying to save Lizzy from life as a human lab rat. Little do they know that respected Philadelphia businessman Gerard Bonnay is responsible for Lizzy’s ability. And Bonnay is willing to eliminate anyone who gets in the way of his turning that power to his own ends. As her protectors are picked off one by one, will Lizzy be able to escape from Bonnay’s deadly zero-sum game?

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

It was a moving experience for me to write this book, being a descendant of Spanish Jews. The subject of Jews being forced to leave Spain in 1492 always intrigued me. The characters, the families and the individuals directly responsible for that exodus became real and spoke in their own voices. They opened a door for me to peer inside as the story took on a life of its own. Some characters pleaded for their lives while some risked their lives to protect others. In the end, these characters fought for their livelihoods and the futures of their families.

Writing Rock Paper Scissors immersed me in the world of a young woman with an extraordinary and terrifying ability, and allowed me to explore how she might negotiate the challenges of ordinary life. Rock Paper Scissors enabled me to capitalize on my familiarity with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chester and Lancaster Counties to create a fully realized world of settings—factual and fictional—for Lizzy’s adventures. And it let me fall in love not only with Lizzy Ballard but also with the small band of allies who risk their livelihoods and their lives to protect her. UNBOUND

113


NOTABLE INDIE

75

SHADOW MOUNTAIN BY TESS COLLINS

A

t the peak of Shadow Mountain lives a woman who holds to the old ways of magic and conjuring. Delta Wade protects ancient mysteries for her son, Lafette, hoping he will grow up to wield those powers for the good of humankind. But the epoch of witch lore is giving way to an age of industrial titans greedy to control the mountains’ resources for material gain. As one man seeks to destroy Delta, another offers his love as salvation. Mother and son struggle with an enigmatic past only to find that true magic shows its power in its own way and in its own time.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Shadow Mountain is a story thirty years in the making. I created this world as a college short story, put the writing away, brought it out again, eventually typed it onto a computer. Years passed, and I forged a new identity far from home while life had its way with me, knocking me down more than a few times, sending me on Alice-in-Wonderland paths, and doing its best to mature me into a wise, ole crone. Through it all, Shadow Mountain was there waiting. Its characters never stopped whispering in my dreams, and I fell in love as strongly as I might have with any human. It may take me the remainder of my life to hear its magic, but I’ll wait. 114 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

76

ENCORE FOR A SPY BY HARRY CURRIE

1

963: An East German orchestral conductor is assassinated in Augsburg, West Germany. Only MI6 knows that the conductor’s son, a high member of the East German government, and his father, are British spies, and that they’ve stumbled on something top secret and lethal under Russian preparation. But the father is dead and the son has disappeared, so the plot is completely unknown. MI6 asks musician/vocalist/part-time secret agent David Baird to take the conductor’s place, hoping that something might turn up while he organizes a light music festival, A group in nearby Munich seems to be involved, but Baird knows that things are never that obscure. Desperate and deadly bits and pieces come together, but the answer is elusive. Baird is also in big trouble, for the KGB wants revenge for his previous activity against them. There’s also an unforeseen complication — Mikki, the lovely young widow of the East German conductor. But soon attempts on both their lives — bombs, kidnappers, assassins, snipers — and the imminent threat of World War 3 — imperils their existence. Can Baird survive all this?


78

FLOWERS IN THE SNOW

MONSTERLAND

F

W

BY DANIELLE STEWART

lowers in the Snow is a tale of displaying love in the face of systemic hate. When hypocrisy and bigotry comes calling, young Beatrice must decide if she’s brave enough to love even those who look nothing like her. Raised the daughter of a Klan member, the map her life is meant to follow should have been clear. Yet, new friends challenge everything she’s been taught. Years later, surrounded by her family, a captive audience hanging onto her every word, she weaves the tale of how an unlikely and controversial friendship shaped her into the woman she is today. Exposing her own mistakes, fears, and soul deep heartbreak, Betty shares the hard truth about growing up in the South in the 1960’s. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The research and creation of Flowers in the Snow was equal parts enlightening and daunting. Speakers who were gracious enough to engage audiences shaped this powerful story. They discussed their experiences integrating the schools of North Carolina and I was blessed to be invited to listen. People in my life who were directly shaped by Civil Rights and dug deep into their own past and shared freely the memories of their pain. History is not just made up of events, but the people who lived them. Telling their stories was an honor.

NOTABLE INDIE

77

BY MICHAEL OKON

yatt Baldwin’s senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade, but doesn’t think he has a chance. But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a ground breaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires, be chased by werewolves, and walk among the dead. With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I was binge watching a classic movie marathon. You know, the good ones, The Goonies, Gremlins, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, etc. ...It was while watching all these movies, that I came up with the idea, why isn’t there a theme park with zombies? I called my brother immediately and told him my idea. He said, no — it has to be a theme park with werewolves, vampires AND zombies. I started beating out the story that night. I love writing in Young Adult Thriller & Suspense, which is the genre for Monsterland. It keeps me fenced in from being too gory for the tweens, but it allows me to write just a bit of gore for the teens and adults. UNBOUND

115


NOTABLE INDIE

79

80

THE HUNTING GROUND

HOW I’M SPENDING MY AFTERLIFE

A

A

BY JEAN HELLER

mild mid-winter day draws Chicago newspaper columnist Deuce Mora to a South Side nature preserve where she plans to get some fresh air and exercise, but an unexpected discovery hurls her into a personal and professional train wreck. The horror she uncovers traps Deuce in a quagmire of international intrigue that will pit her against her own government. In the midst of her investigation, Deuce meets a street kid she knows only as Charles. He is a troubled boy, but Deuce falls in love with him. Can she save him before she loses him? As the twin pressures mount, so does the lethal danger to Deuce. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The Hunting Ground is mostly true and chronicles one of the most gut-wrenching events of my life. Early in our marriage, my husband and I met a street kid named Charles when he broke into our home. I caught him while he was still in the house and held him for the police. Over the next year, we had several additional encounters with this beautiful, totally charismatic young man and eventually decided to adopt him. We truly loved him. It would spoil the book to tell you how it turned out. In writing this part of the story, I recalled a lot of things that made me laugh and a few that made me cry. The telling was cathartic for me. Readers and reviewers said they loved it. 116 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY SPENCER FLEURY

ttorney Alton Carver has a problem: he’s under federal investigation for embezzling and securities fraud. Instead of spending the next three to five years behind bars, he’s got a plan: stage his own death, take the money he stole and head out for Central America, leaving behind wife Nicole and daughter Clara. But when he sticks around town long enough to watch his own funeral, he makes the unpleasant discovery that the life he’s leaving behind isn’t the life he thought he had. The shock of seeing Nicole in the arms of another man leads Alton to postpone his plan to run for the border and forces him to reconsider his self-image as a respected and admired pillar of the legal community. What comes next is a slow-burn train wreck, a tale of self-deception, revenge, and bad decisions.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I’d had the idea for this book for eight years or so before I actually started writing it. I kept getting stuck. I couldn’t come up with a clever ending, one that both surprised the reader and neatly wrapped up all the loose ends. It took me a long time to accept that I didn’t have to know the ending before I got started, and then even longer for me to find the courage to take the risk and just start. But Alton and Nicole showed me the way to the ending, which in retrospect is really the only way their story could end.


82

THE ADVENTURES OF MR. DISTRACTED

WHEN FATHER SUN MOVED TO THE SKY

I

T

BY TAMMI LANDRY-GILDER

t’s not easy being a ten-year-old kid with focusing issues, a bully always after you, a crush on a girl who thinks you’re a dork, a grumpy dad, a weird grandma, a smarter big brother, and a mom who wants to feed you healthy foods all the time. But I not only survive, I learn how to use my best qualities, and even some of my faults, to overcome obstacles, take down evil, rescue humanity, and basically, save the world. Most people don’t understand me, and nobody appreciates my efforts to save the world. As my dad always says, “It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.” That someone is me. I am Mr. Distracted, and I am ready to kick some butts. Wanna join me? Let’s go! A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

My son, a smart, energetic, and adventurous boy, has always been unique. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder when he was in the first grade. In this book, I wanted to show that being different is a good thing, and that children with focusing issues can do great things. After writing, editing, rewriting, and editing more times than I care to admit, I think this book turned out to be an important read for any child who feels “weird” or misunderstood, and who is trying, as best he/she can, to always do the right thing.

NOTABLE INDIE

81

BY DR. ANN KATHRYN ORSINGER-OLSON

his book can be read as a simple creation myth explaining how the world came to be as it is, with the sun high in the sky above the earth. However, for children whose parents are separating and whose families are changing the story holds a much deeper meaning: What if Mother Earth, Father Sun, and their flower children used to live together in the same house? What if this arrangement wasn’t for the best? And what if everyone was happier when Father Sun moved to a new house in the sky? Not only is this story a gift to children whose families are changing, it also provides a transformative, healing lesson for their parents. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

During our own divorces, we were both struggling to make sense of what seemed like a disaster for our families and children. Although we were struggling, we did not want to share our adult dread and worry with our children. We each instinctively knew that our kids needed something else entirely: something gentle that would speak to them in their own language, that of the imagination. This need to show our children another perspective gave birth to this story. Not only was the book a gift to our children, it also proved transformative and healing for each of us, allowing us to see our divorces in a new light, filled with hope, understanding, and forgiveness. UNBOUND

117


NOTABLE INDIE

83

84

THE GOVERNESS

FIRE IN MIDDLE

I

F

BY VICTORIA CAPPER

n Australia, love blossoms in the bush. Life in the far west is more challenging than Thea expects—men carrying guns, huge spiders, murky water, what will she find next? She finds Bruce, a very attractive single man who is in desperate need for a woman’s touch to help with his two young daughters. Attraction is immediate, but can it survive this harsh environment? A beautiful story told with gentle humour and an authenticity only possible from an author with an intimate knowledge of outback life.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Romance is part of life, one way or another, for every young person. For good or for bad once we have adequate food and shelter young people are interested in relationships. In fact, every age is interested in relationships. It’s as natural as breathing. It would be hard to write about life without taking romance into consideration. I lived with young people, on the property, for so many years and their relationships, with the attendant joys and hopes and heartaches were always on their minds.

118 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

BY JAMES ERNEST BROWN

ire in Middle: Mystery of the Great Pyramid Solved is a radical re-visioning of the orthodox view of Egyptology regarding the true purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Following the familiar architectural principle that form follows function, James Brown realized it was impossible to enter the so-called burial chamber due to the angle and size of the passages. These huge stone structures did not align with their supposed purpose, or with ancient Egyptian burial practices. After nearly four decades of research, and multiple trips to Egypt, James Brown has concluded that the Great Pyramid of Giza fits the profile of a type of closed cycle chemical laser. This ancient structure is a power house for creating electrified water, and the Giza Plateau functioned as a massive industrial complex. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I experienced a life-changing epiphany in 1977 that created a personal passion to comprehend the true purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza. I was compelled to gain first-hand evidence of the purpose of the pyramids. Six weeks later I was in Egypt with a team of seven researchers, photographing and documenting physical evidence to support my alternative theories and ongoing research. I am a practical thinker, so at each step along the way, I insisted the evidence had to make practical and logical sense.


SPACE FANDANGO BY HENRY MOSQUERA

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

The book is an ode to all the things I loved and inspired me when I was growing up: comic books, movies, role-playing games, anime, video games—even music. I put those things together in my mind’s blender and added my own spices: humor, complex characters, cool dialog, action, drama, social consciousness—even when I didn’t mean to— and a little hot sauce. It’s an adult, updated version of the things near and dear to me. As I mentioned before, I was surprised at how much social commentary seeped through me into the novel. I wanted to write something cool, fun, and imaginative. Yet, there it is, not as deep as in my other novels, but it’s certainly there. I guess that’s the trademark of a Latino creator. I always say I hope readers have half as much fun reading the book as I did writing it; it was such a treat for me. I think I’m at my best when I get to create a world from scratch—or a universe in this case. Improvising this kind of story felt like the literary equivalent of playing jazz—you know the structure, but you play around with it. Ultimately I’m a character-driven author, and it was them and their relationship that made the process feel so special. This was the first time I dealt with multiple protagonists and I really enjoyed it.

86

NAIL THE INTERVIEW: LAND THE JOB

NOTABLE INDIE

85

BY MICHELLE TILLIS LEDERMAN

N

ailing the interview is the most pivotal step in convincing any potential employer that you’re unequivocally the right candidate. Nail the Interview, Land the Job reveals exactly what you need to do to shine during the interview process and set yourself apart from the crowd. From detailed preparations to following up once the interview is through, the book drills down into every step along the path including; increasing confidence, building rapport, navigating difficult questions, knowing what not to ask, and managing unconventional interviews. Targeted help for the new graduate, returning parents, and the involuntarily unemployed plus bonus sections to leverage resources.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

After writing Heroes Get Hired, a resource for veterans to help them reintegrate into the civilian workplace, my mommy friends asked, “Where is our book?” I realized they are not the only ones with special circumstances so I wrote this book paying special attention to the returning parents, new graduates, and the out of work crowd. In every chapter, I sought to think beyond the stage of the interview to the big and small ways you can differentiate yourself. I explain it is what you do beyond the thank you note and possibly even beyond a rejection letter that may land you that next job. UNBOUND

119


NOTABLE INDIE

87

88

THE ADVENTURES OF GLEESON AND CORMAC

CHILDREN OF GOD:

G

R

BY MOLLY O’ROURKE

leeson and Cormac, two curious frogs who live in a lily pond in a park, and their friend Rachel, who lives in a pond nearby, like to explore the park and learn new things. They are watching a class that is learning about teasing and bullying and hearing stories told by students, who discuss what they could do if they saw someone being bullied. The three friends use their iPhones to learn about teasing and bullying. After the class Rachel had a story to tell her two friends about being bullied and what made her feel better. As they head toward Main Pond they see an older girl bullying a younger girl. What should they do? What would you do? Find out what lessons are learned! A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

As a nurse (now retired) I dealt with bullying issues over many years of my professional career. I wrote this story to provide parents, grandparents, family members, teachers and those who work with children a tool to start a discussion on bullying.

120 A P R I L / M A Y

2018

Finding Strength for the Journey BY NANCY FAGAN

aising a special-needs child requires willpower and physical strength, but most of all requires strength from the soul. For parents of special-needs children, there are anxious concerns that can blind you from joy and a truly meaningful life. This book will bring you in touch with powerful Bible verses that will give you courage and inspire the wisdom of your heart. The Bible verses are thoughtfully centered around five themes; Daily Bread, Always Choose Love, Ask for Wisdom, The Gift of the Holy Spirit, and Trust and Believe. Strengthening your faith will bring hope to your heart, and through greater hope you learn to find joy. With heartfelt joy, your soul will find peace!

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Over the years of my journey of specialneeds parenting, I highlighted the verses that gave me hope and strength in the Bible that my mother gave to me. I kept turning to them through the trying times, realizing that without faith there is no hope. As my son approached adulthood, I wanted to share the Bible verses with new parents just beginning the same journey of special-needs parenting. My hope is that the special verses in the book will be a reminder of God’s love, and a reminder that through Him we can find strength.


THE MOUSE AT 61 HOUSE

90

ARCHANGEL

BY JONATHAN C. NORDSTROM

BY ADAM ALEXANDER

F

T

ollow the tale of Jingles the mouse as he seeks to become a real fire fighting mouse. Engage in the crazy antics that he thinks will help his cause, but only get him into more trouble! Can he figure out a way to fit in? Or will The Mouse at 61 House be banished?

The Mouse at 61 House is an every child story of consistently striving to do the right thing, but sometimes with disastrous results. In the end, however, it all works out just fine!

NOTABLE INDIE

89

he Saviors appeared in the sky on Judgment Day and created the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth—by force. Now, no one starves and no one dies of disease and “angels” keep the peace. But when Yasmeen Robertson fishes a drowning boy out of the Chicago River, things are not peaceful. Yaz and the boy have stumbled upon a piece of Savior-tech that brings nothing but trouble. Demons, whose hatred of the Saviors is boundless, are determined to have it for themselves. The Saviors have dispatched an archangel to get it back. On the run, the two struggle to unravel the object’s mysteries. But Yaz has a deeper problem: whether to trust the boy, whose uncle is the archangel pursuing them. A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Perhaps because I grew up with two kickass sisters, I cannot resist writing stories with strong female characters. I had a blast writing Yaz, the book’s quick-tempered, somewhat violent heroine (who is not like my kid sister at all!), and playing her off against a male protagonist with more “feminine” characteristics. It was also fun to write a badguy antagonist who genuinely believes he’s doing the right thing. Set against the dystopian background of a semi-ruined Chicago 200 years in our future, the role-reversal and an almost-sympathetic enemy added a nice twist to this YA save-the-world drama. UNBOUND

121


NOTABLE INDIE

91

THE RISE AND FALL OF PARADISE BY I. K. FLEMING

T

wo major religious ideologies have dominated the human story to date, the patriarchal religion widespread today and the ancient religion of Paradise. Paradise is the ordered universe. It began when humans discovered that the universe functioned according to a set of laws. By 40,000 BCE, they had realized that these laws also governed the Earth—or that Paradise existed, too, on the Earth—and they devoted their efforts to promoting those laws and living in harmony with them. In 6,000 BCE a new ideology declared the Earth to be a separate entity governed by alternative laws revealed by God. The bitter conflict that ensued between these opposed legal systems is in focus once again as science endorses the ancient claim of the primacy of the laws of the universe.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

Paradise, as the earliest landscape symbol, seemed a place to begin the search. Its story proved to be unimaginably old. As it had long since been declared a heresy and its gods devils by the religion that succeeded it, its symbols lay deeply buried in myths, legends, folk traditions, and even fairytales. The task lay in peeling back these many layers to uncover the truths that had once empowered a worldview so unlike our own. 122 A P R I L / M A Y

2018


ANNOUNCING

COMPETITION

for Best Indie/Self-Published Books.

Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $75 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine. The author of the book named as the Best Independently Published book will receive $500 and editorial coverage in the April/May 2019 issue of Shelf Unbound. Five finalists will receive editorial coverage in the April/May 2019 issue of Shelf Unbound. More than 100 books deemed by the editors as “notable” entries in the competition will also be featured in the April/May 2019 issue of Shelf Unbound. The winner of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book will receive $1,000.

THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRY IS MIDNIGHT ON DECEMBER 31, 2018. DETAILS AND RULES CAN BE FOUND HERE


small press reviews Hero-A-Go-Go by Michael Eury

H

ero-A-Go-Go! is a loving and meticulously-researched tribute to the Camp Age, an all-too-brief bygone era when superheroes and other pop-culture phenoms didn’t take themselves so seriously. Eury’s study begins with a meditation on what may represent the pinnacle of 1960’s camp culture, the Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Arguing that Batman in particular and the camp movement more generally emerged at a time of great tumult and uncertainty in American history, Eury provides a convincing context for anyone wondering how heroes like Super LBJ and Fatman (The Human Flying Saucer) ever gained traction—even briefly—in the American imagination. Beyond the first few pages, Eury shifts from examining the social context of the camp movement to cataloging the wide range of characters that the movement spawned and offering the inside scoop on how many of these characters came into existence. In addition to Batman, Hero-A-Go-Go! examines a wide range of (relatively) well-known campy heroes like Plastic Man, Maxwell Smart of Get Smart, and the Mighty Heroes, but where the book especially shines is in Eury’s excavation of obscure camp figures like Captain Nice, Mr. Terrific, the Fighting American, and the Fat Fury (among many, many others). Eury also provides readers with a healthy selection of interviews with those most intimately involved in the creation of camp-age classics: Bill Mumy (Will Robinson of Lost in Space fame), legendary cartoonist Ralph Bakshi, and Dean Torrence (of Jan and Dean, regarding their album Jan and Dean Meet Batman) to name just a few. All told, Hero-A-Go-Go! offers an exhaustive compendium of all things camp from the 1960s, the perfect read for anyone who loves comic books or simply thrives on historic pop-culture arcana. —Marc Schuster, www.smallpressreviews.wordpress.com Shelf Unbound Contributing Editor Marc Schuster is the author of The Grievers, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl, Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum, and, with Tom Powers, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who. He is the editor of Small Press Reviews, and his work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals. Marc teaches writing and literature courses at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. 124 A P R I L / M A Y

2018


TALE

 A word

after a word after a word is power. ―Margaret Atwood

UNBOUND

125


THE LAST TRAIN

“An unrelenting portrayal of a strong female character driven to dark deeds in a foreign land— and the heart-pounding search to find her.” Publishers Daily Reviews

Tokyo—a great place to live, a frightening place to die Detective Hiroshi Shimizu investigates white collar crime in Tokyo. When an American businessman turns up dead, he’s called out to the site of a grisly murder—or is it just suicide? A slip or jump off the train platform? A security camera video suggests the killer was a woman, but in Japan, that seems unlikely. Hiroshi and ex-sumo wrestler-turned-detective Sakaguchi scour Tokyo’s sacred temples, skyscraper offices and industrial wastelands to find out what was in the past of one Tokyo woman that drove her to murder.

“An absorbing investigation and memorable backdrop put this series launch on the right track.” Kirkus Reviews “For anyone who loves crime and cop novels, or Japanophiles in general, this is a terrific thriller. Fans of Barry Eisler’s early novels will find the same satisfactions here.” BlueInk Starred Review

WWW.MICHAELPRONKO.COM

Shelf Unbound April-May 2018  

2018 Indie Best Award Winners

Shelf Unbound April-May 2018  

2018 Indie Best Award Winners