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what to read next in independent publishing


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bob Siqveland grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he earned the rank of Captain in the US Army and commanded a field artillery battery. He went on to become a venture capitalist, successfully funding thirty-three companies and serving as a corporate board member on a Twin Cities Bank. He currently works in the gaming industry. The author of two novels, The Immaculate Erection and The Wilderness of Time, Bob is inspired by writers Thomas Wolfe, James Lee Burke, and Nelson DeMille. He hopes to entertain his readers—and make them think. He’s currently working on a historical novel.


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 Hayley Whitehead e d i to r i a l i n te r n

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Morgan Siem c on su l ta n t , soc i a l me d i a Kasia Piasecka so c i a l me d i a ma n a g e r 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: from Rue by Melissa Bull.

what to read next in independent publishing




a note from the publisher


shelf media podcast


dystopian fangirl




on our shelf


small press reviews


last words


Six Poems interview with Julie Wade


Compartment No. 6 interview with Rosa Liksom


Six Million Trees interview with Kristel Derkowski


six award-winning novels


Picturing America’s National Parks photo essay celebrating the parks’ centennial

Above Photography: (top) Compartment No. 6 by Rosa Liksom. (bottom) Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

“Robert Williscroft once again delivers with this new SF novel.”

“I wish books like Slingshot were written when I was a teenager.” Keith Lofstrom Inventor of the Space Launch Loop

Martin Bloom Former President of the Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club

The Starchild Compact is an epic tale of beginnings, roots, what might have been, and what might be. It is an adventure of heroic proportions, commencing 500 light years away, arriving here just a few years from now, and ending in the distant expanses of the Universe.

Slingshot is a mystery—about a missing aviatrix, a conspiracy, a truebeliever. Slingshot is an adventure— about following a dream, the oceandeep, outer space. Slingshot is about constructing the first space launch-loop stretching 2,000 km between Baker and Jarvis Islands in the Equatorial Pacific. It’s about high finance, intrigue, unlimited ambition, heroism, fanaticism, betrayal…and about opening space to the common person. STARCHILDCOMPACT.COM





JONAS KIRK emerged from the sudden death of his parents as a bit of a wanderer, traveling widely but settling into his home town, Woodland Park. Uninterested in circulating with the movers and shakers of his community, he remained footloose until he became interested in murder. After studying forensic evidence at Hamline University, he courted the professional confidence of Lt. Chester Devlin and worked his way into the information loop of homicide investigations. In time, Kirk develops his own standards of justice, and while Devlin finds him increasingly irritating, somehow untrustworthy, he can’t complain much. Kirk is good for his career.







Nothing quite so exhilarating as a bike ride. Wind, road, freedom flood the senses until concrete shows up. Kirk prefers to walk this particular day after assessing justice in a cereal bowl. Devlin makes an arrest.

Unrequited passion in the Coven leaves one member staked to Mother Earth. Kirk finds a woman to love, then teaches Devlin something about witchcraft. Devlin tries to arrest a killer only to lose to the Devils Bite. Where was Kirk?

Kirk’s travels educate him to unpleasant realities. A Christmas card game among friends turns deadly. Kirk’s travels prove to be useful and he pricks Devlin’s comfort zone with an unusual solution.

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

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

a word from the




ix years. Thirty-eight issues. Hundreds of interviews. Thousands of books. We launched Shelf Unbound in September 2010 with the idea of being a curator of the best of independently published books, as small book stores and even some large ones were closing their doors and as Amazon was becoming the primary arbiter of what we should all be reading next. We had a vision of being part of a community of small presses and self-published authors and of championing their works, bringing them to the fore in a beautifully designed digital magazine that would reach readers around the world. That our vision came to fruition is thanks in large part to the support we have received from the authors and publishers and readers and advertisers who have been on our team from day one or have joined us along the way. We hope that you all can share with us pride in having made it to the Sixth Anniversary Issue of Shelf Unbound (and in Shelf Media being the 2015 and 2016 Maggie Award Winner for Best Digital Magazine). The heart of this magazine has, of course, always been great books, and you will find many in this issue. In keeping with the “sixth anniversary” theme, we present interviews with Julie Wade about her new poetry collection entitled Six, Kristel Derkowski about her memoir Six Million Trees, in which she recounts her seasons of being a tree planter in Canada, and Rosa Liksom about her novel Compartment No. 6, in which a young woman travels across Russia by train. Here’s to you, dear readers. Cheers! Margaret Brown publisher



Photograph: Debra Pandak

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?



Now Available on

In the first Shelf Media Podcast, publisher

Margaret Brown talks to author Matt Bell about his three books and about writing, teaching the craft of writing, and his

forthcoming novel. She also talks to book reviewers David Rice and Michele Filgate about Bell’s most recent novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods.





The town of Paradise was anything but that, or so Joe came to discover. Who could have known this seemingly idealistic life was little more than a facade? Who could have known that a common man like Joe McGowen would be called upon to act in uncommon ways to protect the town and the people he loved? People live in small, quiet towns because they enjoy the simple part of life. But sometimes these quiet, little communities are the perfect venue for those with much more sinister motives. In The Seduction of Paradise, Joe McGowen and his family run head on into the corruption and deceit one would only expect in the dark underworld of large cities. Joe discovers that not even his blissful town of Paradise is immune to the seductive nature of money and power. But Joe also discovers that there are some who will not be seduced at any price.



for Best Indie/Self-Published Books.

Any independently published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $50 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 December/January 2017 issue of Shelf Unbound. Five finalists will receive editorial coverage in the December/ January 2017 issue of Shelf Unbound. More than 100 books deemed by the editors as “notable” entries in the competition will also be featured in the December/January 2017 issue of Shelf Unbound. The winner of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book will receive $1,000.


You’ll rest in peace when we tell you, you can. The End

is John Crawley’s 15th novel: this one truly deals with life and death.

Your final act in life is to ask your estranged brother—your only next of kin—to do one last thing for you—let you die in peace. But he refuses. He can’t, fulfill your requests because God and the Catholic Church are standing in the way. He is a priest and his faith and duty to his calling won’t allow it. And you do not share his theology. And he doesn’t approve your lifestyle. After all, you are lesbian and he is God’s pious servant. You haven’t talked in twenty years. And here it is on your deathbed he holds all the power over you. Death with Dignity is the premise of John Crawley’s 15th novel, The End.

w w Available at Amazon, iBooks, BarnesandNoble, and Lulu



Six poems from the Lambda-award winning author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures and When I Was Straight




by Julie Marie Wade

Red Hen Press

Shelf Unbound: You have six poems with six points of view. Why choose this structure and why six? Julie Marie Wade: Oh, I’m so glad you asked! Years ago, in the fall of 2002, I took a graduate seminar at Western Washington University with the poet Bruce Beasley, who has also graciously blurbed this collection, SIX. What I remember vividly is Bruce telling us in class one day, “You only write about six things your whole life.” What I don’t recall now is whether he was passing on received wisdom from another poet, a mentor of his own perhaps, or whether Bruce himself determined this truth and this number. I wrote in my notebook “SIX THINGS” and underlined the phrase. It felt important, even oracular— something I would return to someday. The context for Bruce’s statement was that people are driven by relatively constant and enduring obsessions. We don’t always choose our content or even consciously change our content; often, our content chooses us, and it abides with us regardless of our

intentions. Bruce was advocating for all the young poets in the room to concentrate on form, to explore the ways we could innovate with structure in order to keep our content fresh and in order to probe our resident questions and obsessions more fully, for both ourselves and our readers. After I graduated from the Master’s program at Western, I went on to an MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh. Officially, I was working on a poetry thesis called Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems, which would one day become my first published full-length collection of poems. But unofficially and semi-secretly, I was working on the project I referred to as my “shadow thesis,” the project that would become SIX. I asked myself, “What are my six things?” What resident topics or themes or points of inquiry guide everything I undertake to write? In seeking to answer that question, I wrote six long poems, each reckoning with one side of my personal hexagon of obsessions. A reader might find any number of resident themes in this book,



but I think I am writing about art, language, sexuality, vocation, religion, and love. Of course I had to write my way through these poems in order to be sure.

college town in the Pacific Northwest all the way across the country to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city in a state where we knew no one. Back in Bellingham, when Angie and I referred to each other as “partners,” Shelf Unbound: I’m reading people knew immediately what we your lesbian narrator’s line meant. Life-partner. Domestic partner. “Does it really matter that no Many of the heterosexual couples one understands who we are?” in that community referred to just a few days after the Orlando their significant others, even their massacre of 49 gay and lesbian different-sex spouses, as partners. people and it is really resonating But in Pittsburgh, at least at that with me. What’s your answer to particular cultural moment, people the narrator’s question? kept misunderstanding what we Wade: I’m reading your question now were saying. They thought we meant at that same pained moment in our business partner or exercise partner or nation’s history in June 2016, and I’m some other kind of partner that was thinking back eleven years to when not only platonic but potentially I was writing the poem “Layover” replaceable, expendable. It was in which the line you referenced frustrating trying to communicate appears. It is the second poem in that I wasn’t “single” in a world that the collection but the first poem I insisted people were only “single” wrote as the book was beginning to or “married,” particularly during a take shape. At that time, in 2005, time when marriage for people like my partner and I were struggling me seemed unlikely to most and to find a clear and unmistakable incomprehensible to many. lexicon to describe our relationship. I’ve been haunted by this question We had moved in 2003 from a liberal for years: Does it matter that no one



understands who we are? I see now that it isn’t just a practical question of making the person in front of you understand that the person beside you is your true love, your partner in all things. It’s also an ideological question that queer people in this culture are constantly colliding with. We see ourselves depicted more and more often, but are we represented fully, represented well? Are we given the complexity of heterosexual characters in literature and film, the time and attention allotted to heterosexual people in the public space? On that front, I would say we have a long way to go before we are understood deeply by our culture—before we move beyond stereotypes, tropes, supporting roles, the punch lines of other people’s jokes. And in the brutal case of the recent Orlando massacre, it matters tremendously that so many people are reluctant to name the dead as members of the LGBT community. My friend, the poet James Allen Hall, talks about the dangers of “inning.” Even when queer people are trying their best to

be out in this world, they are often pushed back in, subsumed into the dominant heterosexual culture. I couldn’t agree with James more, and nothing makes me feel more helpless or more inflamed. When queer people talk about the nuances of our lives, we often face accusations of “flaunting.” Sometimes, when we talk about our lives at all—especially when we acknowledge the partnerships we have made with others of the same sex—we are accused of being “political,” as if that’s a bad thing, as if we should just simmer down and stop mentioning our identities and our relationships so that certain others won’t be offended or made to feel uncomfortable. But I still believe the personal is political, and I want to write always from the point of view that no one is likely to break the silences around my life and identity but me. If I want to be understood at all, and particularly as a gay woman in this culture, I have learned that I need to make the first move, and that first move for me is always through poems.

Shelf Unbound: In one poem, a lesbian looks out the window of her new home at the family across the street, a straight couple with three children, wondering about their lives and worrying what they will think of hers. How do you go about constructing a scene like this in your poetry? Wade: Well, you know, at the time I was working on that poem—the poem called “Layover,” the poem that inaugurated the collection for me—I was also thinking a lot about a class I had taken at Pitt on projective verse. In simplest terms, projective verse poetry focuses more on generation than revision, with the poet allowing the world into her poems in very immediate ways. So I had been mulling a lot on my six things, and then I knew my partner Angie was going out of town for the weekend visiting her sister in Atlanta. I knew I was going to be lonely, missing her, and I wanted to channel that loneliness into a poem that looked more broadly at other ways I



feel isolated. The limits of language are a major part of that isolation. When most people most of the time presume you are heterosexual, it can be difficult to strike up even the most basic kinds of conversations. There’s always the challenge of finding the right time and way to disclose your identity, knowing that most often another identity, an incorrect identity, has already been presumed. In the spirit of projective verse, then, I decided I was going to write the whole poem over that one weekend and that I was going to let whatever happened outside my window come into the poem. I was going to welcome distractions and not treat them as such. I was going to use the immediate vicinity to help me explore my larger questions. And it just so happened that our neighbors were having a birthday party for one of their children. I didn’t know those neighbors—we had never met—but it was almost impossible to go into our kitchen without seeing them, since our backyards were adjacent to each other. The neighbors were


When former naval intelligence officer Jack Steele opens a letter from his aunt, he makes an immediate decision to head to Nome, Alaska. Although he hasn’t seen Marie in twenty years, he’s concerned when she tells him her husband, Uncle Jimmy, is in trouble. From the moment Jack picks up that envelope, he knows he’s about to enter a situation better left alone. But loyalty to family is stronger than a gut feeling.


foil characters of Angie and me, in a sense—a heterosexual family with children, juxtaposed alongside a homosexual family without children. And the more I noticed the neighbors, the more I really paid attention to them, the more I realized that they were part of this story, too. They were already the face of a family to most people—no one would have any trouble recognizing them as husband and wife or as parents—and so they had a visibility I craved— maybe a visibility I also envied—but I also knew I didn’t want their life. It wouldn’t have been the right life for me. So much of my reckoning in that poem happened because I kept looking out the window and seeing them and going through a gamut of feelings about them, from anger to envy to pity to empathy to compassion—but also seeing my own reflection in the glass as a kind of visible, palpable point of contrast. We lived in the same neighborhood, in houses that were relatively identical, and we were probably roughly the same age, and yet, our



experiences of the world were so different. Shelf Unbound: Throughout these poems are thoughts and questions about identity and being “other.” What interests you in exploring these themes? Wade: Everyone is an other in some way, and I think when we become aware of the way(s) in which we are other, and when we begin to explore those ways, whether through a particular creative process or through reflecting upon our lives at large, something paradoxical happens: We discover more of what we have in common with other people. We become more aware of various aspects of our shared humanity. My friend, the poet Stacey Waite, cites a Japanese proverb in her stunning book, Butch Geography: “The reverse side also has a reverse side.” I think that second reverse side brings us back to what we share with others—love, hope, fear, longing. We feel separate, different, isolated, but if we learn how to fold again, we discover places of overlap.



“Echoes of Cormac McCarthy, whispers of Bukowski in a nascent Orwellian 1984-world, Off the Grid introduces Pan, a John Galt for the Everyman anarchist, in a near-future that’s frighteningly plausible.” —S.E. Whelan, Meson Media “To echo other reviewers, while others write in hopes of becoming a ‘writer’, this author is a writer already, awakening before our eyes in his debut novel. “ —St. Patty33

A man without a name who called himself Pan wanted something more, something better. Living the life and pursuing the happiness, Pan lived the “American Dream”. Like so many cheerleaders, Pan worked hard to climb the ladder and he bought almost everything that “they” sold. Avoiding the questions and numbing the pain, Pan turned to drink and did drugs, he listened to loud music and had meaningless sex. His dream was shattered and the cracks revealed. Now he waits and watches and fears for the future that he knows is so near.


Courtney is one of the brightest literary voices I have come across, particularly on the indie scene, and I am expecting big things from his future works. —Ebook Planet

When I finished my MFA at Pitt in 2006, I also completed a graduate certificate in women’s studies, and the only teaching work I could find initially after graduation was as an adjunct professor of women’s studies at Carlow University. I loved teaching those classes as much as I loved taking classes in the field as a graduate student, and I was particularly drawn to the concept of intersectionality, the ways our various subject positions complicate one another. The work I did in women’s studies taught me to examine my racial privilege and my class privilege, and at the same time, it helped me develop a lexicon for examining more marginal aspects of my identity in terms of gender and sexual orientation. I was taking those graduate classes in women’s studies and eventually teaching undergraduate classes in that discipline, and all the while, I was writing SIX, so that influence is undeniable. I care very deeply about all the forces at work on individual lives in this culture, and the more I write out of my own identity, the more



I hope I’m connecting with others, finding those places of common ground. Shelf Unbound: You include some pop culture references such as movies in these poems, which places them in a specific era. What is your intention there? Wade: Well, the book has a publication lag time of a full decade from when it was completed in 200607 to when it will enter the world in the fall of 2016. Some of the popular references in SIX were current at the time of writing but now are a bit dated. Others—the majority, I think—were already dated at the time I referenced them, and part of this is what my partner and I refer to as “the generic time warp.” I grew up in a family that cherished depictions of the 1950s in film, television, and radio for their “wholesomeness.” Some of the 1960s and a little bit of the 1970s made it into our family cosmology, but very little of the 1980s and 1990s in which I came of age

"An exciting,

thought-provoking, futuristic narrative that transcends its

Dickensian-mashup origins."


"... it is a fascinating, cerebral exploration into the meaning of freedom." BLUEINK REVIEW (STARRED REVIEW)

"The novel is in turn thrilling and thought-provoking, and has the makings of a powerful sci-fi franchise." FOREWORD REVIEWS (CLARION REVIEW, 5 STARS)


was included in my own popular culture education. My parents actively screened out—pun intended!— anything they felt was “racy” or “edgy” to them, anything that I might call now “liberal” or “progressive.” So I came of age listening to music and watching movies that were, for the most part, the music and movies of my parents’ youth. I still find that when I scan my own popular culture associations and references, they seem more like those of a person born in the 1940s or 1950s, not of someone born in 1979. So back to individual differences and idiosyncratic subject positions! Overall, I see SIX as both a personal poetic inventory of my middle twenties and as a zeitgeist project. The book explores what it’s like to be a particular person— woman—lesbian—lover – poet— moving into autonomous adulthood and domestic partnership in the first years of the new millennium. This book sits squarely between the passing of Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the passing of nationwide marriage equality in 2015. I wrote SIX



hoping it would be an artful project, formally innovative as Bruce Beasley inspired me to be. But because of the time lag in publication, SIX has also become an artifact of a particular cultural moment even before its publication. To that end, I hope it will resonate with readers who came of age during that era or readers who remember that era well and also with readers whose own coming of age (and perhaps also coming out) has happened since SIX was written— readers who may not have had reason to look back until now. Shelf Unbound: On page 24 you mention the line, “of actions unprovoked, of consequences unexpected.” Do you think that can apply to writing as a whole, or you when you finish writing a book? Wade: Yes! I think so much of what SIX is about is the process of trying to name myself and the communities to which I belong and also about trying to name or trace aspects of the creative process. It is a very meta-

Set within the framework of World War II, SHOT DOWN is about the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 crew after their plane (piloted by the author’s father) was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgian border on February 8, 1944 and about the courageous Belgian citizens who risked their lives trying to help them. The hardcover book has more than 200 time period photographs of the people who were involved and the places where their stories took place.

SHOT DOWN has a 4.9 Amazon reader review rating (92% 5 stars) and has received 19 national book awards.


volume, so thank you for noticing! I had no idea when I wrote SIX if it would ever get published. I’m sure I am not alone in this pervasive uncertainty. In fact, I thought my project was so experimental/ unconventional in its form that I shouldn’t make it my thesis project for fear that I would be denied my MFA if my committee did not appreciate my aesthetic choices. That’s the main reason why I kept it as my “shadow thesis” during my years in the MFA program at Pitt. Ultimately, I sent the book out for eight years before I received the good news that C.D. Wright had selected SIX as the winner of the 2014 AROHO/To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. This was extraordinarily serendipitous, since C.D. Wright was one of the poets I had begun reading back in Bruce Beasley’s class—one of the poets whose influence on the form of the book was most vivid in my mind as I wrote. All told, in terms of “consequences unexpected,” the book was outright rejected more than a hundred times, and it was a



finalist for 36 prizes. The challenge lay in persisting, not knowing if the book would ever be the winner or ever be the chosen manuscript for publication anywhere. Now, of course, in retrospect, the selection by C.D. Wright is so gratifying that it feels entirely worth waiting for. In light of C.D. Wright’s recent and untimely death, the book of SIX poems also contains a seventh—an elegy for the poet, written just a few months ago after I learned of her passing. That, too, was an unexpected consequence, and writing a poem for C.D. Wright was the best way—or at least the only way—I knew to honor her memory.



When 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena, she doesn’t count on falling for him. Once back in Ancient Egypt, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do and is not as easy as she thought it would be, even though she carries part of that lost queen in her soul. She must also keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb--who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

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. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

The fourth adventure in the Shadows from the Past series: Max, a cat unlike any other you might encounter, is terrified of Egyptian mummies. He is, therefore, extremely nervous to find himself transported back in time to ancient Egypt alongside his owners, Joe and Jemima Lancelot, and their friend, Charlie. The twins are still hoping to find their missing parents who are trapped somewhere in the past. Arriving at the court of Tutankhamun the children uncover a deadly plot to assassinate the young pharaoh. Can they save his life and will they make it back safely to their own time before the plotters discover their true identities?



Liksom, a painter and filmmaker, creates a cinematic travelogue of a woman traversing Russia by train.



Compartment No. 6

by Rosa Liksom translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers

Graywolf Press

Shelf Unbound: You tell the story of a young Finnish woman traveling by train from Moscow to Mongolia in the last years of the Soviet Union. I’ve read that you took this same train trip in the 1980s. What about the trip made you decide to use that as a setting for your book? Rosa Liksom: I took this journey twice during 1980. I used this train because a train itself is a fascinating setting. During Soviet times you just couldn’t hop off that train where you wanted. You had to plan your stops very carefully. So a foreigner traveling was like a prisoner on the train. The girl couldn’t escape. She was forced to share the cabin with that man and to listen his stories. So the train and the cabin are excellent places to investigate and follow what really begins to happen between these two people. They differ from each other in every way and still they have to share everyday life in the cabin. In the story there are three levels. The simple story is what happens

between the girl and the man, how the girl sees Siberian nature and how she experiences those cities in Siberia and the way of life. The second level describes through the girl and man what happened between Finland and the Soviet Union during the time of the Cold War. In this picture the man is the Soviet Union and the girl is Finland. The girl is trying to integrate the situation on the train. She can’t influence what happens around her. The third level is how I as an author bring in the Russian classics. That discussion is inside those stories that the man tells to the girl during their journey. Shelf Unbound: Her compartment-mate is a misogynistic, vulgar former soldier who boorishly recounts his sexual conquests and talks about hating his wife. His personality and behavior is in stark contrast to the young woman’s. Did you create this character as a contrast to her and/or as a contrast to the



changing personality of Russia and its people? Liksom: The man is a murderer. He killed his girlfriend when he was a young man. He spent 25 year in a labour camp. His language comes from camps. He is brutal, because as a young boy he lived on the streets of Moscow. His street credibility is strong. He is not an ordinary Russian man. Before, he was part of the Russian underworld, a criminal world called Blatnoi mir, and that’s why he is so cruel and also very smart. He has read all of the Russian classics in school and in the camp, and he is a great storyteller. He is a creative person and tells these classic Russian stories in his own way. The girl is intellectual; she knows only how the Russian intelligentsia lives but she hasn’t any idea how the Russian folk live. She lives in an ivory tower and it is very difficult for her to understand Russian common people. So the contrast on every level between the girl and the man is huge. But life brought them to the same cabin and, little by little, they get



closer to each other, because it’s the only possibility. They both are human beings. They have more things that unite them than things that divide them, just because they are human beings. We can see that education and training are just on the surface. Below that we all are the same. Shelf Unbound: You are a fine artist as well, and n your paintings you use bright colors. The palette of this book is grey and blue (“grey half moon, grey-bearded doorman, dachas faded grey, dusty blue sky, little blue record player, blue Chinese cabinet). Did you purposefully create a specific palette for this novel? Liksom: I was born in Lappland, the northernmost part of Finland. The landscape there is almost the same as in Siberia. For me Finnish Lapland is western Siberia. I have lived part of my life in the middle of the Arctic. I know it well. In this story I wanted to use my visual eye. How I feel as an artist and


“A Country Boy on the Camino,” is my account of my pilgrimage of 550 kilometers along the Camino de Santiago. It is written in a journal style to give insight and glimpses of my thoughts along my way. Everyone’s experience on a trip like this is different, this is my account of the fear, the pain, the joy, the charity, and the love that the Camino brought me.

Tommy Ray was born in Zama, Mississippi with a population of 36 people in 1973. No matter what he achieved, he always had a voice inside of him telling him he wanted to live his life through his creative voice. For many years he ignored the voice to follow other endeavors like so many do, but that voice was always there and increasing in volume, so he took the leap of faith. He is also a songwriter. Check out his music at www. and on Facebook at Tommy Ray Music. My first EP, “Crossroads,” was released in 2015.

see the Arctic nature. For me it is very dear. I love it. Shelf Unbound: The relationship between mentally ill Mitka and his mother Irina and the young woman on the train is complex. How did you come up with the idea for these characters? Liksom: During Soviet time it was illegal to have homosexual relationships but there was of course a homosexual world. I began to know that world when I lived in Moscow in 1981. That world had the same problems that we had in the western world. Human beings are the same all over, though the systems can be very different. I wanted to describe that homosexual world in Soviet. Just a little bit.   Shelf Unbound: You mention a number of Russian writers and composers throughout the book. What was your purpose in doing so? 



Liksom: I wanted to put those names there with whom I as a writer discuss within the story. A woman at the Petrosavodsk State University is writing her doctoral thesis about how I use Russian classics in my writing. I met that woman and helped her to learn about how I work.


elcome to an age of men in an era that flaunted society reputation where wealth and namesake granted one stature held beyond the fabrics of common men. Add to this a woman in disgrace, a family shamed. Include an unspeakable crime owed to human history to build a woven tale so realistic it becomes a virtual life story dramatization of one woman known Emalia.




Derkowski’s memoir of working as a tree planter in the clear-cut forests of Canada is a riveting piece of literature.



Six Million Trees

by Kristel Derkowski

Rocks Mills Press

Shelf Unbound: Six Million Trees chronicles a few seasons you spent working as a tree planter in Canada. You were required to plant hundreds of trees per day and it was quite physically and mentally challenging. Why did you choose this job? Kristel Derkowski: I have to say I didn’t really choose it—or at least, I didn’t seek it out. A friend offered me the job, and the money was supposed to be good, and the timing was certainly good, so the choice was pretty convenient. I’d heard that the work would be hard, but to me that just seemed like a bonus. For someone very young and very bored, the whole experience looked intriguing—I wanted to see what would happen, and maybe I wanted to test myself. Thing is, I underestimated the test. We weren’t required to plant hundreds of trees per day, but rather hundreds of trees per hour; a good planter would put in three to five thousand trees in a single day, every day. So, for an uninitiated teenage

girl with a tendency to daydream, the hard labour was a bit of a shock to say the least. I’d thought I was interested in a challenge, but I really had no idea what I was getting myself into until I was already there. Then I had no choice but to figure it out. Shelf Unbound: You note that your employer was a paper company required to replace trees they had clear-cut and that the trees you were planting would be cut down when they reached maturity in 60 or 80 years. How did you reconcile the ultimate futility of your great effort? Derkowski: An interesting question, because I think the same could be asked about a lot of different jobs and different tasks and goals in general. Why plant trees just to cut them down later? Why sweep the floor when it only gets dirty again? There are different answers out there. In the case of tree planting specifically, maybe the work isn’t futile at all; maybe it’s important to serve future generations by renewing access to a



crucial natural resource. But a more interesting response, for me, is that a person’s sense of fulfillment in their work can exist independently from the end result. Planting trees is difficult, and because of that it’s engaging. It’s a high-speed obstacle course, it’s a game, it’s a puzzle and a competition, and there are all sorts of factors involved—there’s the land, the weather, the people around you. What a really good planter learns to do is to focus on nothing but the task at hand. That’s what makes them good. And I think that if a person can lose themselves in nothing but the task at hand, they can find a very real sense of fulfillment in that alone. And after that, maybe the trees get cut down, but maybe that doesn’t matter so much. Maybe you write a whole book and it never gets published—but maybe that doesn’t make it futile. I think that it’s possible to find satisfaction in the actual work, in the actual experience of planting, or writing, or whatever it is—and then, no matter what happens next, it’s already been worthwhile.



Shelf Unbound: In between planting seasons, you suffered a bad break to your leg, and yet you returned to the rigors of planting. Why did you not choose a desk job or something less physically demanding? Derkowski: In hindsight that’s a very reasonable question...but at the time, I don’t think I even considered another option. There was a kind of magnetism about tree planting, an emotional appeal that couldn’t be rivaled by the prospect of a desk job. And partly because of that, the leg wasn’t a good enough reason to quit. If I decided to retire, at the age of 20, from the physical challenge and the sense of adventure that came with the job—then how much of my life, exactly, would this accident be allowed to affect? Would I also stop running? Hiking, biking, backpacking? I think I saw the injury as something to overcome, and not something to give into. I didn’t want to be left wondering about what I’d missed out on.

Shelf Unbound: Late in the book, you describe an epiphany. “My production almost doubled, very suddenly. Something snapped into place. Suddenly everything was motion, and all of the obstacles disappeared. It was an incredible place to be.” And you write, “I think that changed my life.” Do you still feel changed by that moment, and how so? Derkowski: Sure, I do. I think what happened there was a very intense moment of grounding. I hesitate to use the words “rock bottom,” because things certainly could have been worse, but I have heard the experience of “rock bottom” being described in a similar manner by other people. I guess it can be very clarifying to find yourself in a deep rut, because you’re forced to come to terms with what matters and what doesn’t. You’re forced to let go of certain things. For me, the isolation and the repetition of planting created a kind of meditative outlet, and it helped me process some personal confusion—some of which

is addressed in the memoir and some of which is not. Either way, the result of all that was a very intense moment of sheer clarity. It was this raw barebones sensation in which I felt really, really fully alive. And there was nothing else attached—no uncertainty, nothing to prove, no expectations. It was a moment in which I knew exactly where I stood, and despite everything I was grateful to be there. The sensation was strong enough that, yes, even now I find it possible to ground myself in the memory of it, and in the clarity and perspective of that moment. It was one experience that I’d describe as genuinely priceless. Shelf Unbound: After describing how very hard and intense the work is, you end your memoir with the line: “And then I’m going back to the bush.” Have you gone back, and what draws you to this lifestyle? Derkowski: I have indeed gone back. After writing the memoir I went back for another season of planting, and after that I went back again as a crew

boss. For starters, the financial freedom is nice, and the timeline is reliable and it’s comfortable to fall back on. Then there’s the nature of the job itself: the way that it tests you, as a person, and the way that it changes you, too. It’s a hyper-speed lifestyle, and the days are unpredictable—which is thrilling to begin with, and maybe becomes a bit of an addiction. You get used to a certain level of excitement, and then it’s hard to settle for less. Then on top of that, there’s the people who go through it with you. For those of us who’ve been at it all these years, it’s like we all grew up together. It’s hard to find that level of shared experience elsewhere. So in between planting seasons, we’re all scattered across the country living separate lives, and we all start thinking about each other again. After a couple of months, these chains of messages and phone calls start making their rounds—and then there’s a dozen people all saying to each other, “I’ll go back if you do.” Sure, the money’s not bad, the job’s pretty interesting, but I think a lot of it does come back to just that: “I’ll go back if you do.”



Part mystery, part fantasy with a twist of science fiction, Clues of Chaos is brimming with suspense and adventure that will have you racing to the end yourself.


“Mixing very well two solid genres of fantasy and mystery, ‘Clues of Chaos’ has a storyline that offers plenty of unique characters and world building.” —MOTERWRITER

“Author Gary Caplan boasts a masterful command of classic murder mystery tropes, and this fluency makes his book a refreshing entry into the canon.” —BLUEINK REVIEW

After the mysterious death of a senator’s sister in the country of Megalos, master wizard Leozanthicus is tasked with solving her heinous murder and retrieving weapons stolen from her estate. After recruiting loyal companions— including a Dawn Knight and a Mystic Knight—to join him, the group embarks on a quest to discover the truth behind the chilling attack. But their investigation only leads to more questions and takes a harrowing turn when they discover that the Chaos Warriors—an ancient enemy of more than just Megalos—are mounting a large-scale assault. As Leo closes in on the truth, more and more enemies surface as he uncovers a sinister conspiracy behind the planned invasion of the Chaos Warriors. Forging ahead with assistance from a race of star people known as the Quarran, Leo discovers shocking evidence that proves the Chaos Warrior attack is far more imminent—and far more dangerous—than previously believed. As treachery begets more treachery, Leo and his allies find themselves in a race against time to save their world against the Chaos Warriors and their evil horde.


Six Award Winners

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Ngyuen

Grove Press


2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

About: “The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics, and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a halfFrench, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.” —



Author: “Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the novel The Sympathizer (Grove Press, 2015). He also authored Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and co-edited Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field (University of Hawaii Press, 2014). An associate professor at the University of Southern California, he teaches in the departments of English and American Studies and Ethnicity. He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (20112012), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2008-2009) and the Fine Arts Work Center (2004-2005). He has also received residencies, fellowships, and grants from the Luce Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, the James Irvine Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation.”

Praise: “Extraordinary ... Surely a new classic of war fiction. ... [Nguyen] has wrapped a cerebral thriller around a desperate expat story that confronts the existential dilemmas of our age. ... Laced with insight on the ways nonwhite people are rendered invisible in the propaganda that passes for our pop culture. ... I haven’t read anything since Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that illustrates so palpably how a patient tyrant, unmoored from all humane constraint, can reduce a man’s mind to liquid.” —Washington Post

a memoir by

david black

FALLING OFF BROADWAY Falling off Broadway is a witty, entertaining memoir by Tony Award-winning producer David Black of his adventures on Broadway. “David Black is unabashed enough to own up to his life-lapses with a wry, dry humour. I enjoyed his show for the glimpses it gave of Broadway and one of its victims: himself.” —Benedict Nightingale, The Times, London

“A toast to Broadway! The

show’s humour revolves around the bombast both of Black’s successes and failures. Black is an amiable raconteur.

Stories are looped together like pearls on a superstar’s necklace.” —Evening Standard, London

“David Black draws in his audience with a lighthearted joie de vivre, like a Mr. Rogers with flair.” —Variety

“You couldn’t make this stuff up. Black is an

engaging performer ... a remarkable character ... he does it all with plenty of wit. The show is pure pleasure.” —Time Out, London UNBOUND


A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James Riverhead Books


2015 Man Book Prize

About:“On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven unnamed gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but rumors abounded regarding the assassins’ fates. A Brief History of Seven Killings is James’s fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, drug dealers, journalists, and even ghosts—James brings to life the people who walked the streets of 1970s Kingston, who dominated the crack houses of 1980s New York, and who reemerged into a radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s.” —Riverhead Books 40


Author: “Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. He is the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction as well as an NAACP Image Award. His first novel John Crow’s Devil was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.”

Praise: “An impressive feat of storytelling: raw, uncompromising, panoramic yet meticulously detailed. The Jamaica portrayed here is one many people have heard songs about but have never seen rendered in such arresting specificity— and if they have, only briefly.” —Chicago Tribune

“...You have written an impressive, fascinating, very moving book—gripping and suspenseful...a masterpiece—beautiful prose.” —Betsy King, Historian and Editor

“The one of the most amazing and impressive accounts of individual strength and determination that I have ever read. It is so inspiring to read of such individual valor and constant effort against tremendous odds.” —William B. Fuller, Sr., Lt., US Navy, 1964-1967, (Wilmington, NC)

A young Montagnard girl relates her struggle to escape persecution by the North Vietnamese Communists/ Viet Cong in 1975, after Saigon falls. The Government’s attempts to eradicate the ethnic tribes of Montagnards and their 2000-year-old culture in the Central Highlands continues throughout her 11-years of conflict. In her earliest days, when H’Yoanh is four months old, her mother dies. Uneducated relatives make an effort to raise her in and out of a Catholic orphanage/school. Education becomes her personal goal and drives her life. However, during her younger teen years, she experiences the horror of executions of family and friends. At 16, she leaves school to follow other oppressed Montagnards into the Highlands. She never could have imagined the hardships, the encounters with enemy gunfire, the near-death suffering, or the food that she is forced to eat to survive. At the same time, she is humbled by the protection that is afforded to her by the Grace of God. A terrifying race with 1500 Montagnards and Cambodians over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and the midnight crossing of the Mekong River, test her strength. A false accusation and the suicide of a young friend test her moral fortitude.

In 1986, along with 211 other Montagnards (who aided our American Army during the Viet Nam War), this pregnant young woman, with her husband and first child, are sent to the United States. They are welcomed to N. C. by American Special Forces, Lutheran Family Services and personal sponsors. Unexpected opportunities in the U.S. challenge them and fill their lives with determination and hope. UNBOUND



Six Award Winners

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

About: “A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the fatherson relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality―the black Chinese restaurant.” ―FSG Books



Author: “Paul Beatty is the author of three novels―Slumberland, Tuff, and The White Boy Shuffle―and two books of poetry: Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of AfricanAmerican Humor. He lives in New York City.”

Praise: “The first 100 pages of [Paul Beatty’s] new novel, The Sellout, are the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade. I gave up underlining the killer bits because my arm began to hurt...[They] read like the most concussive monologues and interviews of Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle wrapped in a satirical yet surprisingly delicate literary and historical sensibility...The jokes come up through your spleen...The riffs don’t stop coming in this landmark and deeply aware comic novel... [It] puts you down in a place that’s miles from where it picked you up.” ―Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Reminiscent of Hitchcock Thrillers! Fascinating read with wide audience appeal.” Five Star Rating by Pacific Book Review

By Gregory E. Seller

A wealthy Beverly Hills hedge fund manager and his wife become entangled in a deadly battle with China’s Red Nobility over control of billions of dollars in hidden assets. Like a Hitchcock thriller, the events ensnare a collection of interesting and unsuspecting characters in a battle for survival, revenge and redemption. An exciting story taken from actual current events!

“…sharply written, fast moving thriller.This is an involving and fun yarn that will keep you wanting to know what happens next. As one shock leads to another, readers won’t necessarily be sure where this runaway train is going, but they’ll be happy to be along for the ride. RECOMMENDED by US Review. US Review of Books

“Brimming with action, this intricate novel should attract followers of contemporary international affairs” Kirkus Reviews “This is a highly entertaining story that works well in part because of several interesting and layered characters.” Four Star Rating by Clarion Review “…an undeniable page turner...well-written and highly entertaining read.” Blue Ink Review


Available at UNBOUND


Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

Random House


2015 National Book Award Winner for Fiction

About: “In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. “Nirvana,” which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finding solace in a digital simulacrum of the president of the United States. In “Hurricanes Anonymous”—first included in the Best American Short Stories anthology—a young man searches for the mother of his son in a Louisiana devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine” follows a former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany who vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in packages to his door. And in the unforgettable title story, Johnson returns to his signature subject, North Korea, depicting two defectors from Pyongyang who are trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, while one cannot forget the woman he left behind.” ―Random House 44


Author: “Adam Johnson is the author of The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the California Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications. Johnson’s other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship; he was also a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.”

Praise: “Johnson packs more voice in his stories than most authors do in a novel.” —Esquire


Alexander Gray is an ex-Navy Seal with an impossible assignment. Air Force One is shot down over the Mediterranean Sea with no survivors. The new president secretly orders the U.S. Navy to prepare the Sigonella Naval Air Station on Sicily for a clandestine and experimental operation to save the life of the Russian president, the man most Americans believe responsible for the downing of Air Force One.

“A gripping story I did not want to put down!” —Judy W Murphy, Amazon

“Riveting Read!”

—Carleen Markivitch, Amazon

Antagonistic forces within the U.S. and Russian governments are determined to prevent that operation from taking place. From the U.S. to Sigonella, Gray must evade and outwit those working against the president. Will Gray survive to bring the traitors to justice and execute the daring operation?

Number 10 on the Goodreads Best Political Novels list. High on Goodreads Best Political Thrillers List. Available at



Six Award Winners

The Last Lover by Can Xue

Yale University Press


2015 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction

About: “In Can Xue’s extraordinary book, we encounter a full assemblage of husbands, wives, and lovers. Entwined in complicated, often tortuous relationships, these characters step into each other’s fantasies, carrying on conversations that are ‘forever guessing games.’ Their journeys reveal the deepest realms of human desire, figured in Can Xue’s vision of snakes and wasps, crows, cats, mice, earthquakes, and landslides. In dive bars and twisted city streets, on deserts and snowcapped mountains, the author creates an extreme world where every character ‘is driving death away with a singular performance.’ By the novel’s end, we have accompanied these characters on a long march, a naive, helpless, and forsaken search for love, because there are just some things that can’t be stopped—or helped.” —Yale University Press

Author: “Can Xue, pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua, is the author of many novels, volumes of literary criticism, and short works of fiction. Formerly a tailor, she began writing fiction in 1983. The Last Lover is her second novel to appear in English. She lives in Beijing. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, an editor and literary translator, is pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University, St. Louis.”

Praise: “A maverick outsider, the Chinese writer Can Xue described herself in a recent interview as ‘an experimental novelist with a strongly philosophical temperament.’ True enough, but nothing in that bland label would prepare you for the mindstretching enchantments of The Last Lover, one of the first of her largescale works to appear in English. … Translated by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen with all the hallucinatory clarity that her prose demands, Can Xue guides us through that bewitching place.” —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent




In order to enter the Kingdom of God, you must pass through the Blood Doorway, in order to stay in the Kingdom of God, you must continuously honor the Blood Doorway, Christ’s Cross.

In the book “God Is Not Complicated,”we will find out how we should approach God and how to operate in His Kingdom so that we can receive His blessings and promises.


This book will help believers receive healing from the lord.


Six Award Winners

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar



2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

About: “These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere— and, sometimes, turning back again. A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and ’80s.” —Knopf 48


Author: “Mia Alvar lives in New York City. Mia’s work has been cited for distinction in The Best American Short Stories and published in One Story, The Missouri Review, the Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. Born in the Philippines and raised in Bahrain and the United States, she graduated from Harvard College and the School of the Arts at Columbia University.”

Praise: “Remarkable. … Each of these nine stories is superb.” —The New York Times







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READING Take a bite from your next favorite book.



The End

by John Crawley


an you describe for me your relationship with Christine?” Asked Carlsberg. Lucy made a face, for she thought the question strange at this juncture of the interview but she pushed on. “We are in love. Deep love. Abiding love. She is the most important person in my life. Period. I gain from her happiness and strength and humor and courage and all kinds of things. I trust her and I want to spend every moment I can with her.”… “Lucy, if we could bring a doctor or a priest or a medicine man in here who with one touch of his or her hand could save you from your disease, would you do it?” “Would I let him or her cure me? Damn straight I would. Who wouldn’t? I

have a wonderful life with Christine. I do not want to leave it. But those are not the cards I have been dealt. The deck is stacked against me. I have a losing hand. You bring me a miracle cure in here and I’d take it in a New York second. Done. But you do not have a miracle. Science does not have a miracle. The church does not have a miracle. Not for me. Not in this stage of the cancer. Not now. Got it?” “So,” said Fowler, “we can assume you are truly ready to end your life?” “I don’t know what the magic phrase is you are looking for. I don’t know where this is headed, but no, I do not want to kill myself if that question is isolated by itself. I would much rather live. I would love to live. But I am not going to live. I have faced

that and I am ready to move on. But I would prefer to do it on my timetable rather than cancer’s cruel and painful schedule.” The interview ended and the two doctors thanked Lucy for her time… Lucy…could pin-point a few places inside her that were blooming with a growing, but dull pain. It would be nice to beat this bastard, she thought, Nice to win on my terms.



Vanquish of the Dragon Shroud by Gregory E. Seller


s she left her cabin and came back upstairs, she heard the others out on deck. At first, it sounded like laughter, very loud and raucous. As she climbed the stairs, she could hear that it was not laughter but yelling. The stairs took her to the salon, where she heard her companions arguing even more loudly. She opened the salon door to join the others on deck, when suddenly there was an explosion. It knocked her to the floor, and the boat listed sharply to the port side. Her husband Logan burst into the salon. His face was bleeding from a deep gash in his cheek. He pulled Maxine up off the floor. “Oh my God, Logan! Your cheek! What happened?” Picking her up in his arms, blood dripping from his face onto her dress, Logan simply said, “You’ll forgive me.” He rushed her outside to the deck, but the others

were gone. Before she knew what was happening, her husband lifted her up and threw her over the railing into the dark ocean. She hit the water headfirst and went under. When she came to the surface, she screamed and looked back at the boat. “My God, Logan, what are you doing?” Logan was leaning over the railing and looking at her, but he did not jump in to save her. He had a pained look on his face and stared right at her. Blood was running down his face to his neck, and over his white tuxedo shirt. Max, struggling to stay afloat, yelled again for Logan. “For God’s sake, Logan, please, help me!” The boat was on fire and the horn was sounding a distress call. The current was strong, and she could feel herself rapidly drifting away from the boat.

Logan stood at the railing for a moment. He then said something to her that she could not hear. He turned and ran back inside the burning boat. Maxine screamed, “Logan! Logan!” but no one was on deck. She tried to swim back to the boat, but the current was too strong. A second explosion forced Maxine underwater. When she came to the surface, the ship was gone.



Sorrow Hill

by Ken Donaldson


igh upon an icy mountain cliff alone inside an empty house; echoes windy haunts blown through broken windows. Whistling past my ears while I sit dwelling within the ghostly memories of my past. Demon’s they are now to my present, haunting each passing final hour. Day by day adding painful reflections to recall a time not so long ago, tho years have passed by stealing away my very youth upon this mountain. Which once brought forth pleasure’s along with rewards anyone would simply die for. Come with me as I take you on a journey to a time’s world in a world, where darkest of secret’s lie hidden under a cloaked mask, all for sake of family name. I give you now this, my tale to know. My Dearest Emalia If you are reading this than I am already passed beyond this life and I am truly sorry for not having told you

myself. What I have to say is just as difficult to write as it would have been had I told you. I do hope you can understand. In life we all do and act in ways which cause us to bare our own personal shadow. Tied to us like a ball and chain never releasing the guilt one brings upon one’s own self. Even I have done such acts which have left me haunted by the demons of the same guilt I just spoke about. None of which in my own eyes are any near as bad of the acts I have cast upon you. For a crime many others are guilty of. I have taken vengeance against many of them after learning the truth leaving just those few whose names you will find in this book. I leave their fate to you. Tho my life has been spent largely in a world of wine and song enjoying the fruits of my labour. It has been all for nothing when I choose my path. Failing to stand by the ones whose lives meant the most to

me. My wife and daughter, instead taking the side of society views above truth and justice for my own personal pride. Seeking the respect of others; who were not of my own bloodline. I can not forgive myself for the fool I have made of myself. Having turned my back walking away and left you to endure pain and suffering. A burren I am sure your mother shares to. All I ask is you forgive me and make a better life than I. In this, Hill Estate now belonging to you. Your Dad Donald Hill.



Games of Mind by Dennis Quiles


was caught between a rock and a hard place. I was still sitting down on the seat, my hands and legs bound, and my body felt like a high-speed train had run over me. I swallowed hard, knowing that my options for getting out of this one alive were becoming thinner by the minute. I never believed in giving up. As my trusted friend Andrew Connors said, however, “There are always possibilities.” There was a possibility that, when he said that, he was not tied down and sentenced to death. Everyone left the room, and I found myself alone. I looked to my right and then my left, and there was nothing I could use to

get myself out of this one. I knew that I was in bad shape; my uncle was going to kill the vice president of the United States, and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt worthless and noticed that my shirt was wet with my own sweat. The fear I had wasn’t about my pitiful situation but more about the good intelligence information I had in my possession, which if something happened to me, would go with me to the grave. I had to do something; the clock was ticking, and I was the only one who knew Mr. Lindberg and Dr. Harjo’s plan. It was my duty to escape. I had to use every ounce of my

mind and energy to stop this Machiavellian plan, but how? Think, Jack, think! I have to get out of here! I could not allow Mr. Lindberg’s plans to succeed; the thought of it consumed every inch of my mind and was driving me crazy.”



Falling Off Broadway

A witty, entertaining memoir by Tony Award-winning producer David Black of his adventures on Broadway.

by David Black


hen my new musical George M! opened on Broadway, the New York Times theater critic Clive Barnes wrote, “It’s too bad George M! was not allowed to compete in the Tonys, so I am giving it my personal Tony Award and Joel Grey can have two.” This review by Clive Barnes turned George M! into an instant hit. It was 1968, and the night before the presidential election, I wired $500 to Hubert Humphrey because I did not want to watch Richard Nixon on television for four years. Five days after the election, my secretary said, “President-elect Nixon is on the telephone!” “You’re joking!” “Get on the phone!” When I picked up the phone, it was Rose-Mary Woods, “Mr. Black, it’s an historic moment in the history of our country

when a President-elect first appears in public and President-elect Nixon has decided that his first public appearance will be at George M!” My first thought was that, since Lincoln, very few presidents have gone to the theater. If Nixon actually showed up, George M! would run forever! Nixon wanted seven free tickets—for himself, Pat, Julie, Tricia, and three gentlemen named Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Dean. I was alone with Nixon in a small room backstage during intermission. He told me how he used to sit in the balcony of our theater as a kid, and about his piano lessons. Nixon was sweating and trying to impress me and he had just been elected president of the United States. Nixon is nervous talking to me because I am a Broadway producer.

Nixon liked George M! and he invited me to bring it to the White House. He also invited me to produce his Inaugural Gala. Jack Kennedy had invited Frank Sinatra to produce his Inaugural Gala and Richard Nixon had invited me. I decided to accept. From Falling Off Broadway by David Black. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.



Return of the Convict by William Alan Thomas

Dec. 16, 2143 here were forty-five of us transports crammed into the space bus, and even though everyone was sedated, the two and a half day trip was arduous. After we docked there was a slight shaking. Our capsule shot backward, and stopped. With a hissing of air, the door slid open. “Welcome to Mir,” a man’s voice said. “Everybody out.” The artificial gravity here was less than the moon’s; I got up without much difficulty. Two uniformed guards checked us off as we came out. “You’re Dominic Tessier,” one said crisply, when she touched my ID tag with a scanner. My legs uncertain, I stepped onto a moving sidewalk that took us through a tunnel. In a few minutes the passageway curved, and the main terminus area of the


space station came into view. I held tight to the railing and stared. The people here arrived and departed from all over the solar system: personnel from the space ships, businessmen, and new-world workers. Some, while roughly dressed, had a special swagger. I thought they might be prospectors. Then a group of T-men walked through in unisex suits and skull caps. Although silent, their expressions and gestures showed communication. Thanks to their brain implants, they were telepathic. Only a few months earlier, I’d been a student at the Space Training Academy. My brain was being transformed through implants, and I looked forward myself, to a career in space as a T-man administrator. An awful injustice had been done to

me, and my dreams were trashed. Yet I felt no regret, resentment, or any emotion at all. A silver bracelet around my wrist created a chemically-induced docility, more powerful than chains. Our guards took us along a walkway above a large, brightly lit loading dock. Through the sidemesh I could see the Stellar Blossom. The ship’s blue hull seemed to stretch on forever; it dwarfed the men gathered to service her.



Escaping Viet Nam

H’Yoanh’s Story: A Memoir of Determination, Defiance and Deliverance

by Harriet Hill and H’Yoanh Buonya

“Chilling Reality”


bruptly, gunshots came from the field near the first gate closest to us. We were stunned and crawled to the opening of the hut, saw no one, and started running toward the campsite. Y-Nguan came in our direction. “Over here!” He pointed to a growth of bushes. “Stay down flat!” Gunfire went over us. And I put my hands over my head and cried for Ami. I thought that my heart would beat out of my body, which shook uncontrollably. We three were huddled so close that we breathed together. It stopped as suddenly as it started. Y-Nguan Nie

called to us, “Where are you?” We peeped through the bushes and then stood up. “Come over here by the haystack. We have to make plans.” He put his arm around me. “Were you scared?” There was one long, yes from three terrified small girls. “The Viet Cong have followed us and now know where our camp is. We must move immediately. I just pray that the other group saw them first and was able to go around them. No one in our camp was injured, but pack your things, make the camp look as unused as possible, and get ready to march.” Hurried preparations

began. Forty bodies scurrying in different directions looked like a disturbed anthill. We quickly followed the routine and were soon on our way before dark, the last men in the group covering our tracks and hoping that the next rain would finish the job.”



The Seduction of Paradise


by Kevin J. Ward

gonizingly he rolled over onto his stomach, blood flowing down into his eyes, and began crawling toward the hallway. Suddenly, a masked man appeared from around the corner with a pistol pointed directly at him. Ryan prepared to lunge at the man, not believing he would actually get the chance. His body jolted with startled alarm as he heard the deafening roar of a nearby explosion, sending the upper half of the man’s body across the floor, with his legs falling limp where they stood. Ryan turned toward the noise and saw a shocked and terrified Beth Wence holding a smoking shotgun. He pulled himself to his feet and ran to her, taking the gun from her trembling hands, “I…I thought he would kill you,” Beth stammered, her eyes fixed in horror on the bloody remains of the intruder.

“He would have, Beth,” Ryan said. “You saved my life. But we can’t let up now. There are more men out there somewhere.” More shots rang out, this time from outside. Ryan pumped the shotgun to chamber the next cartridge and ran back to the window, knowing he was no match for whoever was out there. What he saw drained what little hope he had left. Several men were running through the front yard and around into the back. Apparently, they were surrounding the house. He felt something touch his arm and turned to see Beth reaching for him, still in a state of shock. He put one arm around her and pulled her close to him. The house again erupted with the dreadful sound of shattering glass as masked men broke through almost every possible window and

door. Ryan and Beth stood helpless. Resistance would be suicide. Ryan dropped the gun to the floor and held Beth firmly with both arms as one of the men kicked the gun away. Then, for the first time in several minutes, there was silence. With the siege apparently over, two men approached them and abruptly removed their masks. Neither Ryan nor Beth recognized Special Agent Mueller, but they were sickened to see the face of Chief Byron Winfield.



Shot Down

by Steve Snyder

CHAPTER 1 February 8, 1944 he bursting of the Focke-Wulf ’s 20 mm cannons around our ship was the first indication that we had been singled out. Then the celestial dome blew up in front of me. After that I could hear 20 mm striking and exploding as they hit the ship. Pieces of equipment and parts of the ship were flying about, striking my feet and legs. When the oxygen cylinders exploded, I didn’t realize what had happened. The noise of the explosion was muffled by my helmet and headset, but the concussion stunned me for a few moments. Someone lighting a match in a gas-filled room would cause much the same effect as the explosion. Only, instead of flames decreasing immediately after the explosion, they seemed to


continue all around us with the same intensity. In a half-dazed state, I became slowly conscious that the entire cockpit was filled with smoke and flames. I must have been knocked unconscious for a period of time. It was difficult to see through the smoke and flames, but I could see the terrified face of Eike, his eyes almost out of his head, looking crazily around him as he tore frantically at his flaksuit and safety belt. I think Holbert had already jumped as I couldn’t see him at all. As I looked back at Eike, after trying to see Holbert, he seemed absolutely mad and out of his head. Then, as my mind seemed to clear a little more, I too became absolutely terrified. I had been frightened before but never completely lost my wits from terror. It was horrible.

I tried to yell or scream, but the sound died in my throat and my open mouth emitted no sound. I tried to jump out of my seat, but my safety belt held me there. My only thought was to get out of that terrible fire. I couldn’t think as I clawed wildly for my safety belt. The fact that I had buckled my safety belt under my flak suit on this raid, instead of over it in my usual way, was the only reason I was able to regain a semblance of sanity.



The Far Side of Silence

by Robert B. Marcus, Jr. and Kim Frank Richardson WWW.RBMARCUSJR.COM and smoke. A second missile followed quickly. The two missiles accelerated into the sky and slowly angled toward the northwest.

PROLOGUE May 15 SEA OF CRETE 2:53 A.M. Local Time; 7:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time With relentless determination, the ship taunted the storm sweeping across the Sea of Crete. Two large nuclear reactors struggled to push the twenty three thousand tons of metal through the angry waters. With every towering wave, the bow of the Russian rocket cruiser Kirov scooped up a wall of water, flung it into the air, and allowed it to crash down on the empty deck. Every loose object had long ago vanished into the sea. The crew was at general quarters stations. A vertical launch system hatch clanged open, unheard beneath the roar of the wind and sea. A SA-6b surface to-air missile leapt into the rain in an explosion of fire

Inside his quarters, a weary Admiral hung up the phone from the Combat Information Center, closed his eyes and wished he was on another ship, in another ocean.

THE WHITE HOUSE 9:26 A.M. Eastern Standard Time

agents and White House support staff. The site is being examined by the two fighter escorts of Air Force One. U.S. Naval vessels are on their way. “Initial reports from the fighter pilots indicate a foreign naval vessel fired at least two missiles. There is no evidence of survivors. “Vice-president Theodore Anderson is now on his way to the White House where he will be sworn in as President. He will address the nation as soon as possible.”

Announcement by the White House Press Secretary “It is my unfortunate duty to inform everyone we have reliable information that Air Force One has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Crete. President Kevin Douglas was on board, as was the Director of National Intelligence, many media personnel and at least fifty Secret Service



Mind Games

by Al tair Charron Bey’


an you be a good parent and not know what goes into your children’s educational material? Recently a group of past “Mom Congress Delegates” were able to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with the U.S. Department of Education staff, to discuss the importance of positive parent/family engagement in our schools, our children’s educational material, and how to support these initiatives. They found several things: * Having a family involved in a child’s educational opportunities and experiences is critical to long-term student success.

* It is important for parents to be knowledgeable of how student curriculum is being created and presented; and what the results from the new assessments will mean in the year ahead. (Many states have adopted “Common Core State Standards)

This book gives parents that information they are looking for; it provides the criteria which curriculum and standards are based upon, and much more, for their ability as parents to discuss with administrators what they would like to see as a part of their children’s education.

* As parents, they often feel that if they just had the “information” they are looking for; which provides the criteria used by school administrators who create curriculum and standards, it would help their ability as parents to discuss with school administrators what they would like to see become a part of their children’s education.



Athletes, Celebrities, Personal Moments The 60s and 70s by Walt Brown

A Personal Moment with Muhammad Ali


he station host introduced himself to the Muslim guard, and to Ali. I saw him gesture toward me and the leader of the guard shake his head “no.” Ali smiled and, in turn, shook his head at the guardians; nodding at me to come on over. I signaled my videographer to join us. As we approached, my videographer seemed scared by the guards, and held back. Ali noticed the girl, and walked to the bench. With a friendly smile, he asked the girl why she was there. I said

to Ali, “she’s a champ, too, Champ; national age group track champion.” Ali said to the girl, “You are? Let’s see how you run.” The girl got up and started jogging around the room. Ali joined her. I whispered to my videographer, “get them jogging!” He didn’t turn on his camera. And we missed out on what would have been one of the great Ali videos of all time; jogging in a reception room alongside a Junior Olympic Champion pre-teen white girl. It was joyful and warm.




You’ll see society/history repeat itself. Today is a reflection of the past: with shootings, riots, an overseas war (that one in Viet Nam,) effecting our lives then, as now. There was a fight for gender equality. Richard Nixon signed Title IX for equal rights in athletics. There was “Black Power,” and the “Battle of the Sexes.” Share private moments with your heroes from the past: Ali, Musial, Mays, Jesse Owens, Dan Marino, IndyCar... NasCar...F1...drivers, Billie Jean King, Cindy Potter, Wilt, Rod Laver, George C. Scott, Bob Hope, Jerry Rice, the Kennedy family, golf and hockey stars, most of the major names of the last half of the 20th Century.....

WALT BROWN is a retired radio and television broadcaster who did playby-play of more than 20 different sports. This began while he was a broadcast student at Stanford University and continued while he was a Naval Officer at the Armed Forces Radio Television Service in Hollywood. Professionally, he covered sports and news in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Nebraska during his 30 year career. UNBOUND




Living in the Wisdom of God’s Holy Word by Russell Young

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.


ould it just be that the key to human wisdom is the fact that we must realize we need it? What do we get when we seek wisdom? Well, most of the time we get more questions—lots of very hard questions, many more questions than answers. But these questions drive us back to God through His Holy Word. Dependence upon the Almighty God is the ultimate wisdom! In this book, you will learn that wisdom comes from unexpected places. This book will help you increase your faith in God. You will be instructed, encouraged, even stimulated to develop a deeper faith in God! The result—wisdom! Available at Amazon and Tate Publishing.

Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space. 214.704.4182.

Simple Simon by William Poe


inner! 2016 IndieReader Discovery Awards LGBT Fiction. Simon yearns to live openly as a gay man following a decade of leadership in a fringe religious group, eventual loss of faith, and painful decline into drug addiction. Simon must learn to love, allow himself to be loved, and establish a life with his lover, Thad. Available at Amazon.

Love’s Destiny, When Dreams and Visions Collide, and Love’s Legacy by Dr. Ngozi M. Obi


r. Ngozi M. Obi is an American author whose love for writing has evolved into 3 published novels to date. Love’s Destiny, her 1st novel, is an intriguing tale of love lost & found. Her 2nd novel, When Dreams & Visions Collide, is an uplifting tale of fulfilling dreams despite arduous challenges. Her 3rd novel, Love’s Legacy, continues the quest of true love in a riveting sequel to her first novel. Visit to learn more.

BOOK SHELF Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash


n awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, Telly becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost. Telly and Clutch navigate the Las Vegas gambling life learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered relationships and find redemption. FACEBOOK LINK | TWITTER LINK Available at Amazon. Falcon by Jack Remick


ack Remick’s Falcon is unique among fastpaced novels. Kress, the narrator, is so inspired that the reader is compelled to linger and reflect at numerous points in this suspense-driven work. —Dennis Must, Hush Now, Don’t Explain Falcon—a love story in blood and snow A dying poker King with one more game to play. A lovesick mechanic with Jesus issues. A mysterious black Madonna in gold chains. Money and sex, love and death, and a showdown in the Sierra Nevada. Available at Amazon.

A Shade of Darkness J.A. Klassen


ronwyn is a successful author who has just finished her second book. She is now thinking of her third one. She might as well enjoy herself while she is working, so she decides to go on a working holiday. She flies to all the old pirate haunts in the Caribbean to do some research. When she gets there she runs into a very unlikely character who just happens to be a pirate from the 16th century. But, of course, he has some baggage from living so long. Then she meets his maker and really finds out what kind of baggage he has. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iUniverse. Orianna’s Choice by Wendy HealyHindmarch


n uneasy truce between werewolves and vampires all rests on one girl and her decision. If Orianna doesn’t become the vampire queen she was born to be then both clans will perish at the hands of their deadly enemies. Will Orianna choose to follow her destiny and marry the werewolf king and unite the clans, or will she turn her back and let destruction reign? authorhealyhindmarch Available at Amazon and Createspace.

BOOK SHELF The Vampire Girl Next Door by Richard Arbib


The Vampire Girl in London by Richard Arbib


ark falls in love with Sylvia, the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she’s a vampire who killed his last neighbor. 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.”

n this sequel to The Vampire Girl Next Door, Mark and Sylvia must deal with terrorists, a CIA agent, a vampire-hunting cult, and a mansion full of Sylvia’s vampire friends— some of whom she can’t really trust. Will Mark and Sylvia’s love be enough to survive it all?

“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

“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

Available at in paperback and Kindle. Paperback and all e-book formats available on author’s website.

Available at in paperback and Kindle. Paperback and all e-book formats available on author’s website.

Daemon (Angel Blade, vol. 2) by Carrie Merrill


n the thrilling sequel to Angel Blade, Nikka receives a vision about the end of the world and must fight the demon horde again to stop the coming Apocalypse. “Dare I say it’s better than the last book? She’s done it again with the page turning suspense and the nail biting cliffhangers. One more page turned into several hours and chapters later.” —Amazon Review Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and

Woe for a Faerie by B. Brumley


ne spellbound night, nine award-winning and Amazon best-selling authors joined together to bring you a collection of tales featuring our favorite otherworldly creatures, fairies. This collection will seduce you into the wondrous world of the fae with magic, romance, fantasy, adventure, fairy tales, and folklore. Woe for a Faerie in Enchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF If You Were Me and Lived in... Colonial America by Carole P. Roman


oin Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history. Learn what Colonial American children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in... Colonial America does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So come and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you. FACEBOOK LINK | TWITTER LINK Available at Amazon.

Cole’s Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno


ole’s Perfect Puppy is the first in a series of “Perfect Puppy” novels filled with action, moral concepts, and, of course—puppies! Book one revolves around a boy named “Cole”, his brother “Caleb”, their friend “Rachel”, and a golden retriever puppy named “Scarlet”. As the story progresses, they learn about friendship, sacrifice, and God’s perfect love. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Book Depository.

Tales of Glarney by J. Liddell

The Wacky World of Wendy White! A Whopper of a Tale! by Barbara Ann Bonilla


ales of Glarney is a heartwarming story about a boy whose hobby of collecting insects leads him to discover a new world filled with life and wonder. While Immersed with the creatures he loves and the dangers he encounters, Simon discovers a confidence he never knew along with friendship that changes his life forever. An element of the fantastic, somewhat reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, this “kid friendly” story of adventure and growth is highly recommended for readers of all ages. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Trafford Book Store.


OME ONE, COME ALL! Well-Read Foodies Savor the Tasty Prose in this New Children’s Book, for eaters of ALL ages!

With over a hundred unexpected food references hidden in the rhyming prose, this fully illustrated, FAST-paced FOOD adventure will have you coming back for seconds. A very special treat for the eyes, ears and brain! Get Hungry! Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Outskirts Press.

BOOK SHELF The Face of a Nation by Ann P. Johnson


.F.K. once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” The answer lies within this non-fiction work. It compiles the answers of several different men who took the time to explore the policies and the demands of the people behind such a great country. The author, Ann P. Johnson, wrote this novel as a 21st century, neutral attempt to explore such subjects; much of which still affect us today. The Emergence of One American Nation by Donald J. Fraser


ivisiveness is the hallmark of American politics today. Sometimes it seems we are no longer one nation, but in fact we are. Division and argument have always been a part of the American scene, no more so than at our founding, as The Emergence of One American Nation explores.

Undermining the U.S. Constitution by Diane S. Vann A book about Extremist Socialism, also known as Communism, and its threat to the Constitution. From the book: ...In brief, the prescription is for Communists of the working class to first take over a political party, gain control of the government, and then bring the ruling middle class and government down with the help of trade unions and socialists. The desired outcome of the prescription is that no class will oppress another and everyone’s status will be equal, even though only the Communists will know the ultimate plan for the worldwide government. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Authorhouse.

In Lies We Trust by Ed Brodow


hat the establishment doesn’t want you to know about Islamic terrorism, climate change, healthcare, the economy, racial tension, immigration, welfare entitlements, and political correctness. The candor of In Lies We Trust will help you make voting decisions based on facts rather than misinformation.

Winner of the Discovery Award for History Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF The Compilations of Foresta Gump by Donna Thompson


he Compilations of Foresta Gump is unique in its 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. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris Holes in my Shoes by Alice Breon A heart-warming story of one family’s experiences during the Great Depression


highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning what life was like during this time period, but more so for every school age child to learn about what it means to live your life not dependent upon or for things, but for the relationships with family, your neighbors, and your closest friends.” —Amazon Reader’s Review Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Xlibris.

Magnolia Moonlight by Mary Ellis


hen a preacher takes his own life, the congregation is quick to believe rumors, but his widow knows this was no suicide. When Price Investigations scratch beneath the surface, they discover Reverend Dean was a victim, not a thief. They uncover an elaborate pyramid to bilk millions from nonprofits, thousands of miles from where no one is whom they appear to be. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book. Walking Away From Texas by Sharon Bradley


atie Mitchell and Alan Thomas have been best friends since kindergarten and are about to prepare for college and their future. Katie is struggling with conflicting feelings and is unsure about leaving her friends and family behind. She discovers that her feelings for Alan run deeper than platonic. Can Katie and Alan’s friendship survive the challenges that lie ahead?

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

BOOK SHELF A Witch in Time Saves Nine by Nikki Broadwell


hen Emeline Chase is transported into the past she hopes she can change history and save the unfortunate women who are being executed for practicing witchcraft. After all Emeline herself is a witch in the present and in the past—or at least that’s what her grandmother has told her. How else could she have suddenly moved backward in time? But when she becomes trapped in the Salem, Massachusetts of 1692, her focus changes into one of survival. The witch-hunters of the time are after her and to elude them she must discover her own magic and find a way home. Hidden So Deep by Stone Spicer


n adventure on an island off Oahu, Hawaii is shattered by a midnight theft of a boat. As Kensington Stone finds the search pointing in a probable direction, Stone’s partner learns that a close friend has disappeared while hiking on the slopes of Mauna Loa. A sudden, severe earthquake accosts the island raising fears his friend may be lost forever. Available at Amazon.

Ancient Illumination by Rod Van Blake


story about galactic civil war taking place in the Milky way. The mutated races have been oppressed into gathering much needed resources for society to thrive yet the un-mutated have reaped the benefits. At the center of influencing the differences and conflicts between this galaxies inhabitants is an ancient being. Finding him could shed light on how to make peace. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes, and Kobo. Beneath the Blue Flame by Jacqueline Mahan


ucky find or ancient curse? An artifact found in Romania leads Ben and Manda Florand on a search for Vlad Dracula’s legendary buried treasure. It also leads them to the reincarnated Prince himself, who vows to keep them from it. Also check out: The Courtyard Duck, The Courage of Violet Hue, and Ezrah’s Plateau: Legend of the Cemetery Witch Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF Before the Court of Heaven by Jack Mayer

The Olive Picker A Memoir by Kathryn Brettell



istorical fiction based on the true story of Ernst Techow, the 1922 fascist assassin of the highest-ranking Jew in Weimar Germany, Walther Rathenau. Rathenau’s mother’s letter, read at Techow’s trial, offering forgiveness becomes the fulcrum of his redemption. A vivid history of Germany from the beginning of the 20th Century to World War II, a thriller and tender love story. Available at Amazon, Ingram, and independent bookstores.

God comes to the man through the woman

One of the precepts of this book, A Journey of a New Person, is that women have natural characteristics that are more like God than men. I have found few honest men who don’t have to “ponder” when I say that to them. Most agree that it would seem to be true, with exceptions of course, but the exceptions are the minority in any shape or fashion. God sent woman to be the man’s companion. She was equal in every way and not subordinate, not a slave, not chattel, not inferior—just different in the way she processes things, making us, together, a wonderful image of God as we merge the two different natures into one no matter what the venue or circumstances. This is a journey of a lifetime explored within this book with prayer being the executor. The new person is the experiential of this new relationship between men and women. R obeRt (b ob ) S pRuce is a convert to Catholicism and a professed lay member of the Society of Mary, and an active member in the RCIA and ACTS movements at St Anthony of Padua. He is currently enrolled in the Spiritual Direction Institute at the Cenacle Retreat House in Houston, Texas.


SheRRi c. petRek is an active certified spiritual director at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in the Woodlands, Texas. She is involved in the Cornerstone Catholic Scripture Study and ACTS movement.

n Rosalind Brenner’s historical drama, “Kalisz: A Journey of Return,” Brenner takes readers on one Jewish family’s journey across three generations and two world wars, it is without intention that Rose turns up in Kalisz, Poland, her father’s ancestral home and realizes that modern day Kalisz has changed since World War II. The previously large Jewish population has since been erased by the Holocaust. Religion, General


Brenner was awarded the Trafford Publishing Gold Seal of Literary Excellence for her work. Available at Amazon and Trafford Publishing.


9 7 8 - 1 - 6 8 1 4 2 - 6 42 -6

Robert W. Spruce and Sherri C. Petrek

Piecing together the past Tradition, family and tragedy are discovered in the historical town of #Kalisz Available at Amazon. A Journey of a New Person

Kalisz, A Journey of Return by Rosalind Brenner

he Olive Picker grabs the reader by the scruff on the very first page and never lets go. Never a victim’s tale; it has an underlying theme far more powerful than any murder mystery. It is a poignant, powerful, story of resilience and survival. A haunting tale of strength and inspiration that will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Jouney of A New Person, Harden Not Your Heart by Robert Spruce and Sherri Petrek


f profound importance are “relationships” and influences on those relationships: one’s relationship with God, one’s relationships with fellow new persons, with others that are encountered, and with self. The book focuses both on the practical and the spiritual application of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. Also available in Spanish and eBook. Available at Amazon, eBay, and Tate Publishing.

BOOK SHELF Dearest Elizabeth— A Private Collection by Wayne Griffin


earest Elizabeth—A Private Collection tells not only the story of an extraordinary life of the last queen of Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor, it is also tells a remarkable story of celebrity connection made possible through the many items in this collection. See items once owned and worn by the legendary star, and hear the author’s captivating stories behind each piece. Find out how the private collection all began,what inspired the penfriendship between the star and the author, and how he collected each piece with loving precision and amassed such an intense volume of Elizabeth Taylor history. Available at Amazon and Xlibris. Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata


rudy, Cassie, Esther, and Harumi form a punk rock band in 1980s Columbia, South Carolina. Together they are The Screaming Divas. But will music heal them, or tear them apart? ALA Rainbow List “A novel for the Riot Grrrl in all of us!” — “Kamata’s sensitive prose shines.” —Kirkus Reviews Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s.

Hell Naw! by Allanah Dobson


renae’ has sass, beauty and brains. She has everything she wants except a loving relationship, one that involves more than just sex. Jamal, an old flame, continues to burn very brightly in her life until she meets Korry. Korry is the perfect man and her ideal soul mate. Everything seems fine until Trenae’s life is turned upside down, and she is forced to pick the man best suited for her life. Her best friend and family provide support and humor as she deals with love’s battlefield. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris. Toxic by Wix Diamond


lexa Mason discovers a young boy with severe lead poisoning and makes sure he gets treatment. Alexa has fallen in love with Jack, an attorney working for the city of Atlanta. When he goes missing, Alexa is angry but her anger turns to heartbreak when she realizes something must have happened. Then, more children turn up with lead poisoning. Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF Servant Queen by V.J.O. Gardner


Song of the Sending by Corinne O’Flynn


arriah escapes slavery as her father is beaten by their abusive master. Praying she will find refuge in the dark castle at the center of the forest she is guided by a mysterious voice. To fulfill her destiny she will need to master her fears, gain new skills, learn to trust others and how to defend herself.

im Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. His family’s been hiding him there since he was little, when someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim’s a scholar, able to manipulate energy using magic— and he has no idea.

Servant Queen is the latest fractured fairy tale by this award winning author.

“A rollicking series opener that will leave readers eager for more…” —Kirkus Reviews Available in paperback at eBooks: Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, IndieBound, and Kobo.

Death Unscripted by M.K. Graff


rudy Genova’s medical consultant job for a Manhattan movie studio seems carefree, until the actor whose overtures she’s refused dies taping a hospital scene—right after pointing his finger accusingly at Trudy. Annoying detectives, Trudy investigates to clear her name until a second death puts her in jeopardy. Based on the awardwinning author of the Nora Tierney Mysteries’ own experience. Available at Amazon and Bridle Path Press.

Take a Byte Out of Murder by Millie Mack


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? Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF The Circuitous Route by a Group of Novices to a New FDA Approved Cancer Therapy by Thomas J. Dougherty, PHD

The Consequences of Playing God: Tales from Lingor High School by Robert Joseph Foley


ow did I ever think that someone with no background in medicine or biology, let alone cancer, could possibly develop a new cancer treatment? Nonetheless, when I joined a cancer center in Buffalo following ten years in industry, I knew I could do this—NO DOUBT AT ALL! I had NO idea what I was getting in to!

arrowing! Compelling! A wicked satire of what is wrong with education in America. Both moving and hilarious, Tales from Lingor High treads the thin line between tragedy and farce. When all is done, it is the children who will be remembered. Impossible to forget, they will haunt you forever. A must read for every parent, educator and student in America.

Available at Amazon.

Available at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.

How Naive can you get?


A Man Who Lost His Wife and Other Stories by Bob Stockton ~A Sinatra song never to be forgotten~

~Driving through the Zambales mountains with a diapered pig~

~An Air Force sergeant who has a dark secret~ ~A very short story about a past alcoholic lover~ “Twenty-nine short stories from the mind of a Navy veteran with a flair for describing what’s really important in life.” Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Listening to Ghosts, Second Edition by Bob Stockton


n accounting of Bob Stockton’s coming of age in a Northeastern blue collar neighborhood, his escape into the United States Navy and twentyyear career as an enlisted man during the Cold War and Vietnam era. Bob chronicles the many adventures—and misadventures—of his Navy career in frank, candid and politically incorrect language. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

BOOK SHELF Black Inked Pearl, A Girl’s Quest by Ruth Finnegan A girl searches through time and space for her rejected love. A novel originating in dreams.


ward-winning epic romance by a noted anthropologist: ‘the best of classical literature combined with the highest mechanisms of Modernism…nothing else like it’, ‘classic’, ‘dreamlike’, ‘hints of Dante, Hopkins, and African story-telling’, ‘sinks into your unconscious’, ‘on the threshold of poetry’, ‘unique’. FACEBOOK LINK Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo Ray Man, a Sharecropper’s Memoirs by Dr. Andrew Motes Ray Man describes the extraordinary journey of transformation for Dr. Andrew Motes from a life of poverty in the backwoods of Arkansas to becoming one of the World’s leading experts for high-power fiber lasers—from studying by kerosene lamp to designing space-age technology. This book describes his journey of transformation through a series of entertaining stories about his life. Available in paperback at, Kindle format at Amazon, and PDF format at

East German Girl— Escape from East to West by Sigrid Jackson and Jacqualynn Bogle


n East German Girl, Jackson describes what is was like to live through bombings raids, food shortage, diphtheria, communism, being forced to leave home with her mother and brother when she was 12 years old. From an alcoholic, absentee father to an unsuspecting future husband. East German Girl narrates an inspirational story of war, communism, family betrayal, and finally resilience. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse, Goodreads, Shelfari, and Squidoo.


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. 214.704.4182.

BOOK SHELF Desires (A Legacy Novel) by Roxanna Rose


unted by the goddess of killing rage; Desired by an immortal that wants to possess her; Loved by the warriors that would die to protect her; Can Eléan stay alive to fulfill her destiny? Passion, betrayal, malevolence, and magic conjured from the depths of ancient Irish legends. Immortal desires bring deadly vengeance to destroy the mortal realm. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram. Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty Every myth has a beginning.


fter escaping the destruction of her home planet, Lanyr, with the help of the mysterious Solaris, Rynah is forced to unite with four unlikely heroes from an unknown planet (the philosopher, the warrior, the lover, the inventor) in order to save her people and embarks on an adventure that will shatter everything Rynah once believed. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo

Lei Crime Series by Toby Neal


awaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise. Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop, but often the cases she works activate wounds and complications from her tangled family history. Available at Amazon,Barnes & Noble, Audible, iBooks, Inktera, and Kobo. In the Land of Magnanthia by B.R. Maul Have you ever wondered, “Why am I here?” For Simon Whittaker the answer awaits on the other side of a magic portal…but so does the darkest, primal evil. In the Land of Magnanthia is book #1 in the teen, fantasy fiction series Portals, Passages & Pathways, and the recipient of the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy eBook. Available at Amazon.

BOOK SHELF Mommy’s Triathlete by Tia Brown


ommy’s Triathlete is the first in a three book series designed as facilitation tools for parents. The first, answers the question, how do babies come to be? Set in the middle of a Triathlon, the book is a creative approach that considers the science and spiritual nature of conception. Written by first time author Tia Brown, mother of Amanuel. Three Simple Questions: Being in the World, But Not of It by Charlie Horton, Ph.D.


everal readers have referred to the book as “inspired” and others have called the book “magical” because of its impact on their lives. This book provides guidance to enhance a person’s spiritual connection. It takes a non-denominational approach to spirituality. The book follows no particular religious tradition, though it borrows from many. The book‘s practices support all love-based traditions. Available at Amazon.

The Power of an Innocent Mind by Lillian Black


he Power of an Innocent Mind: Compelling New Novel Makes Clarion Call to Christians Everywhere; Empowering them to Grow Closer to their Faith Crafted with bold heart and soul by Lillian Black, ‘The Power of an Innocent Mind’ takes readers on an engrossing journey with one man and his daughters as they set out to change the world with the most “fierce and mighty weapon of all— their faith. In turn, Black hopes her work of fiction will uplift Christians everywhere and strengthen their faith with their almighty creator. Read on! Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tate Publishing. The Tail Wags the Dog by Dr. Amy Beth Taublieb


aving worked with folks as they plowed through their psychological struggles of varying severity taught Dr. Amy Beth Taublieb an enormous amount about the human condition. Her book, “The Tail Wags the Dog”, serves as a virtual guide to living life at an optimal level while navigating life’s inevitable struggles. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Author House.

BOOK SHELF Friendship: A True Story of Adventure, Goodwill, and Endurance by Francis Mandewah


n African boy from the region made famous by the Hollywood movie “Blood Diamond” is befriended by an American pilot who was employed to fly boxes of gems and alluvial diamonds in Sierra Leone two decades before the rebel war. This pilot met and befriended young Francis Mandewah, an impoverished Sierra Leonean boy, and gave him generous support which eventually took Francis to America. That friendship brings great opportunities and blessings that affirm the boy’s faith in a God of miracles. Available at Amazon. Ài’s Journal: Galaxy 22 - Book 1 by The Kite


his journal, is Ài’s exciting journey of her self-righteous mission to rescue beings from the city of sin. Her journey starts to peel layers off her socially induced self-righteousness and religious superiority to reveal her darker nature. In the menacing city of Xié she discovers previously dormant physical ability and uncovers illegal cross galactic alien and human trafficking. Available at Amazon.

An Extraordinary Year by Judy Woodall


n early September, 1956, Judy Woodall sailed off to Europe with a group of young women, all students at Tulane University’s Newcomb College about to experience their Junior Year Abroad. Starting that first night at sea, Judy kept an extraordinarily detailed journal recording her experiences living in Paris and Dijon and her many travels throughout Europe. Reading this journal gives a vivid dayto-day portrayal of a time worth remembering—a time now fading into history. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tate Publishing.


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. 214.704.4182.

BOOK SHELF The Messenger by Claude L. Chafin


ndrew Chafin, the author’s grandfather, was recruited at age nine by the infamous “Devil Anse” Hatfield, to act as a messenger between the Hatfield home and the hideouts of his two sons Cap and Johnse. The sons were hunted relentlessly by bounty hunters, for their part in the feud with the McCoy family of Kentucky. He rode on horseback through the mountains, at distances of forty miles or more, encountering wildcats, bears, and bounty hunters, and spending nights in the trees. But he always fulfilled his mission. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Inspirations: Poems, Songs & Reflections by Laith Biltaji


qual parts globetrotter and introspective thinker, Laith Biltaji captures the essence of a traveler’s spirit, a lover’s heart and man’s integrity in his book, “Inspirations”. “Inspirations” is a reflective and eclectic work. At its simplest, the collection of poems illustrates the growth of one man from adolescence to adulthood and then delves deeper to the existential questions that Biltaji struggles to grasp. GOODREADS LINK Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Forgotten Warriors by D. Ralph Young


his story is of the Amphibious March across the Pacific from the Aleutians to Okinawa by the USS J. Franklin Bell (Amphibious Personnel Assault Ship.) It brings attention to the many battles in the Pacific that have been forgotten, such as Tarawa, Tinian, Pelelliu, etc. Records show that Pacific soldiers were 5 times more likely to be killed than our European counterparts. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and


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. 214.704.4182.

photo essay

PICTURING AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS by Jamie M. Allen co-published with George Eastman Museum Aperture |


o celebrate the centennial of America’s National Park Service, Picturing America’s National Parks brings together some of the finest landscape photography in the history of the medium, from America’s most magnificent and sacred environments. Photography has played an integral role in both the formation of the National Parks and in the depiction of America itself, through this natural resource. From Yosemite to the most recent 2013 addition of Pinnacles National Park in California, America’s National Parks have been enjoyed through photographs for over 100 years. This book traces that history with stunning photographs of the best American landscapes.” —Aperture 80


Carleton Watkins, Merced River, View down the Valley, 1861. Image courtesy of George Eastman Museum, purchase.



Herbert Archer and John Hood, Cowboys in Grand Tetons, Wyoming, 1964. George Eastman Museum, gift of Eastman Kodak Company

Frank Jay Haynes, Giant Geyser, Bryant Profile, ca. 1900. Stereograph. Courtesy of George Eastman Museum, gift of Mrs. E.M. Hallowell



Michael Matthew Woodlee, Chris, Campground Ranger, Tuolumne Meadows Campground, 2014; from the series Yos-EMite. Courtesy the artist.

John Pfahl, 2 Balanced Rock Drive, Springdale, Utah, June 1980; from the series Picture Windows. © John Pfahl.

[FOLLOWING SPREAD] Len Jenshel, Cattle Guard, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, 1987. © Len Jenshel







dystopian fangirl Delirium by Lauren Oliver Harper Collins

What to read next in YA dystopian fiction? Our intrepid fangirl Sarah Kloth reviews some of her favorites.

“In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?” —Harper Collins I have the deliria! I am in love with this book. This is the book I have been looking for; ever since I finished the Legend series, I haven’t found another great dystopian series—until now. It’s a perfect mix of the Matched series and the Uglies series—the forbidden love of the Matched trilogy and the perfect friendship of the Uglies Series. This is the first book by Lauren Oliver I have read, and I will now be hunting out all her books, old and new, and binge them - she actually has a new one coming out next month call Replica. I made the mistake of only buying the first book in the series and had to wait to go get the next. Take my advice and buy all three right away—you won’t be sorry.  —Sarah Miller






Oh, Vancouver by Elee Kraljii Gardiner

The city is one big in-law suite, Crowded by natural beauty, and lonely. My friend feels bad about being depressed. A woman I met sends me one line: I’m lonely. Statuesque, articulate, she is the city, yet also the forest bruised by developments. Hear us tapping on the stucco too afraid of direct contact. From Serpentine Loop by Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Anvil Press, Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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on our shelf

SQUARE WAVE Art, climate, history, militarization, technology, power—and any number of other subjects are brought together in a highly engaging fashion in Mark de Silva’s debut novel. Square Wave is unlike anything I have ever read, and after finishing it I wanted to read it again, both to savor the intelligent prose and to delve deeper into the story. This is literary dystopia at its very best. —Ben Minton Square Wave by Mark de Silva, Two Dollar Radio, 90


DARK CORNERS I’ve been a big fan of Rendell’s psychological thrillers and have read dozens of them over the years. She died last year at 85 and left behind this final novel that has all the hallmarks of her best fiction – secrets, obsessions, well-crafted suspense, and creepy characters. Stephen King says it is “among the best” of her novels, and I concur. If you’ve never read Rendell, prepare to be addicted. —Margaret Brown Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell, Scribner,

THE STORYTELLERS I finally got around to reading The Storytellers, written by the editor of our beloved but now defunct Middle Shelf magazine. The Storytellers recently won the prestigious 2015 SCBWI Spark Award for best non-traditionally published children’s book of the year, and I can see why. It’s a riveting, moving story of a girl whose father has AIDS in the early ‘90s. I recommend it for kids and adults. —Margaret Brown The Storytellers by Laurisa White Reyes, Skyrocket Press,

The Association of Independent Authors (AiA) is a global not-for-profit membership organization representing, advancing, supporting and encouraging self-published (independent) authors. Our membership spans five continents, with directors based in the USA, Asia, Australia and South Africa. The role of the AiA is to guide, educate, support, encourage and unite authors who have chosen to self-publish. Our Body of Knowledge (BoK) is a comprehensive resource on all aspects of selfpublishing and running a small business—today’s authors must understand the business side of publishing (sales, marketing, promotion, legal and financial issues) and how to sell a book in a global marketplace.

Our vision is that independent publishing will be the preferred, first choice, for all authors.

Our mission is to create a culture of excellence, teamwork and professionalism in a community environment where sharing and collaboration benefits each individual member and independent authors as a whole. Annual membership subscription (Associate, Member) US$50. Affiliate level is free. Come join us! (Mention promo code SHELF to receive an additional three months membership for the annual subscription of US$50.)

small press reviews One More Day By Kelly Simmons


Sourcebooks Landmark

n her third novel, One More Day, Kelly Simmons deftly demonstrates that she is an author who is not afraid to take risks when it comes to the art of storytelling. The novel centers on a young mother whose child is snatched from his car seat while she’s tending to a particularly onerous parking meter. Roughly a year later, however, the child reappears for (as the title suggests) a single day before disappearing again. His reappearance and subsequent disappearance opens old wounds and forces the young mother to reflect on her marriage, her culpability in the disappearance of her child, and to come to grips with distant memories that continue to haunt her. In this respect, One More Day is similar to the author’s previous novels, Standing Still and The Bird House, both of which take memory and the tendency of the past to haunt the present as major themes. With One More Day, however, Simmons pushes into new territory, experimenting with unreliable narration and a healthy dose of magic realism. One also catches a very slight hint of Christian allegory a la William P. Young’s The Shack, particularly given the protagonist’s occasional reflections on faith in general and her relationship to her church in particular. Overall, One More Day is not only a mystery but an existential reflection on the frequently fraught relationships between the past and the present, not to mention the living and the dead. —Marc Schuster,

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.




Books are a uniquely portable magic. ―From On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King



Shelf Unbound August/September 2016  

Sixth Anniversary Issue, featuring Julie Wade, Rosa Liksom, Kristel Derkowski, Award-Winning Books, and more.

Shelf Unbound August/September 2016  

Sixth Anniversary Issue, featuring Julie Wade, Rosa Liksom, Kristel Derkowski, Award-Winning Books, and more.