SHELF UNBOUND WRITING COMPETITION
2015 INDIE BEST AWARD WINNERS
1 what to read next in independent publishing SEPTEMBER 2010
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 Morgan Siem c on su l ta n t , soc i a l me d i a
What to read next? Sign up for a
to Shelf Unbound at www.shelfmediagroup.com.
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 Hooked by Michael Hetherington
what to read next in independent publishing
On the cover: Artwork by Jerry Brem www.jabrem.com
winner: Sin Walks Into the Desert interview with Matt Ingwalson
Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book
finalist: Last Stop: Paris interview with John Pearce
Editorâ€™s Award for Literature
finalist: Blue Karma by J.K. Ullrich
finalist: Inspector Dewey interview with Kristen Heimerl
Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015
finalist: The Second Mourning interview with Stephen G. Yanoff
finalist: Pedal Zombies interview with Elly Blue
Artwork: Echoes by Laura Tisdall, When Will Things Start Looking Up? by Jim Cermak
a note from the publisher
shelf media podcast
134 last words
MICHAEL PHILLIP CASH WITCHES PROTECTION PROGRAM “A fast-paced, lighthearted piece of crime fiction with a supernatural twist.” —Foreword Reviews
“Cash proves to be highly capable of juxtaposing the absurd and the mundane, creating a thoroughly enjoyable ghost story along the lines of The Canterville Ghost (1891) and Topper (1926)” —Kirkus Review
“Cash makes the pain of a man who lost the love of his life palpable in this supernatural thriller with a genuinely surprising resolution.”
THE AFTER HOUSE
Cash delivers another emotionally rich haunted-house tale, filled with tantalizing history and Long Island color...
“Five Stars! It’s Goonies meets Jurassic Park.”
THE HANGING TREE
“This spine tingling test of the human spirit quite literally takes on the ghosts of our ancestors in an attempt to neutralize their mistakes”
“Part creature-feature with all of the traditional elements of the great 50s films...part homage to the fairly recent genre of found-footage horror films--Brood X is a quick, fun read”
“Cash (Stillwell) again succeeds in setting an engaging supernatural thriller in the world of Long Island real estate.”
THE BATTLE FOR DARRACIA
“...nonstop action, jaw-dropping plot twists and some powerful, profound themes (including ‘equality for all’)...”
—Publisher’s Weekly —Kirkus Review
a word from the
bout a decade ago I wrote a novel. Some of it was great, some of it was not great, and it remains the proverbial “first novel in the drawer.” When I retire I plan to write another one. I mention this because I know first-hand how hard it is to write a book—how much time, commitment, courage, failure, heart and soul, and rewriting it requires. It’s an epic endeavor. My hat is off to each of the thousand or so authors who entered our annual Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Indie Book. By writing and publishing your book you have achieved an accomplishment that many people only dream of. You can stop wondering if you are a writer or if you can be a writer: You are one. Claim that title and keep on writing. The field of entries was very competitive; I have recommended a number of books that did not make it into this awards issue to friends and family. Our overall winner this year is Sin Walks Into the Desert by Matt Ingwalson, whose inventive modern Western noir style thrilled our judges. You can read an excerpt in this issue. We also feature the five finalists; the winners of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports-Related Book, Best Series, and Editor’s Award for Literature; and the Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015. There’s a book for every reader in this issue, and I hope you enjoy making new discoveries as much as we did in judging our competition. Margaret Brown publisher
Photograph: Belinda Baldwin
BRINGS YOU CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FOR ALL AGES!
Captain No Beard—An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life Captain No Beard and his pirate ship The Flying Dragon set sail for a voyage of the imagination with his fearless crew of four: First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the loudmouthed lion, and Fribbet the floppy frog. Once on board, their world is transformed into a magical vessel sailing the seven seas on dangerous and exciting adventures!
The first in the series of nine Captain No Beard books! Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012!
Also available by Carole P. Roman “If You Were me and Lived In... ” A groundbreaking new nonfiction series for children about culture around the world Countries featured include: Mexico, France, South Korea, Norway, Turkey, Kenya, Australia, Peru, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Hungary, Scotland, India ...and coming soon China and Italy!
ABOUT CAROLE P. ROMAN Award-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. She is currently working on the groundbreaking new nonfiction series about culture around the world. “If You Were Me and Lived in...” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us.
ALL TITLES AVAILABLE NOW ON
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 Bellâ€™s most recent novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods.
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 w.johncrawleybooks.com Available at Amazon, iBooks, BarnesandNoble, and Lulu
WINNER & FINALISTS of the Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
WINNER of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
Sin Walks Into the Desert by Matt Ingwalson ingwalson.blogspot.com
El Viejo saved Sin’s life back when the boy was a 12-year-old punk hellbent on shooting up the school bus with his daddy’s .357. And now the old man’s gone missing. So Sin straps on his guns, grabs his go-bag, and hikes into the desert to find him, only to uncover a nest of killers with ancient vendettas waiting out there with the king snakes and coyotes. —MW 10
WINNER Shelf Unbound: You’ve created a modern minimalist Western noir style, with a Breaking Bad kind of cool bad guy protagonist. How did you develop your style and what influenced it? Matt Ingwalson: My characters tell me how to write their stories. The Owl & Raccoon books are all clipped cop talk. Regret Things was as unrestrained and ambitious as its heroine, Nicki. And Sin Walks Into the Desert is empty and haunting because the main character is an empty, haunted human being. There are Western plains where the horizon is so far away it’s meaningless. The world is a flat surface without any walls to hold you. That sense of infiniteness, that’s what I wanted to achieve with the language in Sin Walks Into the Desert. It’s a story about scary men searching vast spaces, trying to decide what their humanity is worth.
send him off to live with his uncle, who teaches him an old school “law of the West” good guy/bad guy moral code. What is the reader to make of Sin’s obsession with guns? Ingwalson: It’s a good question. I purposefully resisted giving easy answers in the book. On the one hand Sin just has a lot of normal teenage angst but without any buddies to help him through. But on the other hand, something is seriously broken inside him. His idolization of his big sister borders on obsession. And he was born with a homicidal urge he doesn’t have the social skills to repress or the mental dexterity to understand. He’s constantly suppressing his nature, and as a result he’s a bit of a shadow, living right on the edge of something terrifying. Guns are the only things that give Sin a sense of control. And he’s not just good with them. He’s a natural killer.
Shelf Unbound: The young Sin is similar to the archetypal shooters we see in the news today—a bullied, disaffected kid who gains access to a gun. But his parents take action and
Shelf Unbound: In addition to Sin Walks Into the Desert and its prequel Regret Things, you’ve written a series of police procedurals. What interests you about crime?
WINNER Ingwalson: David Byrne once said singing is a trick to get people to spend more time with music. And I think that’s part of it. The crime genre is a trick to get people to spend more time with characters, more time in uncomfortable situations. But part of it is that genre fiction is just cool. The real world is artificial and stupid. I’ve seen enough genuine tragedy that trumped-up literary drama makes me want to go around punching people. I write crime, noir and horror because they’re fucking cool. Sue me. Shelf Unbound: By day you’re a copywriter for an agency. How has being a copywriter influenced your fiction writing? Ingwalson: I wrote three novels when I was in college. They were awful—navel gazing and whiny. So I shoved them in a drawer and spent the next 15 years working as a copywriter. But as I got promoted to creative director and then executive creative director, I found myself writing less and less. So I went back to fiction as a creative outlet, and my style had changed without me even realizing it.
he voice on the other end of the phone sounded like sandpaper would sound if it whispered and was a woman. Every other word, she had to pause and breathe, shallow breaths that took forever to happen. Sin was used to it, waited patiently for her to get the words out. “Thanks.” Wait. “For calling.” Wait. “Kiddo.” To which Sin said nothing. “Seen el Viejo recently?” “About a week.” When Sin spoke, it was at some volume
just barely above silent. Catrina waited a bit to make sure he’d actually finished before she went on. “Not since he went to the place?” “No.” “He’s AWOL.” “No, he’s at that Denzhone place for a few days still.” “He’s got a situation.” Anybody else, Sin would’ve laughed. El Viejo didn’t have situations, except the arthritis that kept him in his rocking chair and off the streets where he belonged. But the voice on the other end of the phone, the voice that talked instead of texted, it belonged to la Calavera. Catrina Limon. Special Agent Catrina Limon. Special Agent is one of those titles like Senator. Once you have it, you get to keep it forever. El Viejo’d met Catrina when she moved out to do border security with the ATF many years ago. He’d consulted with her unit on strategy, tactics and local customs, and eventually they got around to pulling triggers. Anybody el Viejo pulled triggers with didn’t screw
around much. That went double for la Calavera, even if she, like el Viejo, was stuck in a chair these days. She was one of the first and best female agents the federal government ever had training anti-terrorist units along the Mexican border. She was old even then, older than el Viejo, but they both had family in the same area of Wyoming so they shared that in common. Or maybe el Viejo fell in love with the idea of an elderly female out in the desert commanding a tactical team. He’d taken her under his wing, taken her drinking, taken her out to the desert to show her how the cartels set up mobile staging sites to get guns, drugs, workers and slaves across the border. Turned out she’d chalked up three kills as a sniper back in her time someplace she couldn’t really talk about or maybe didn’t want to. Nicaragua? Cambodia? She wouldn’t say. But three. No shit. Most guys couldn’t say that, could they? El Viejo could say it a few times over, but he was a different topic altogether.
“Why do you say that?” Sin said. “We got.” Wait. “A photo.” “OK,” he said and he hung up his phone. No need to be polite or say goodbye. You couldn’t offend someone like la Calavera. Sin stood up and slipped his phone back in his pocket. Even though it was just about fall, it was still seventy degrees at night and he had no jacket. He shook his shoulders a bit and let his t-shirt arrange itself over his belt. “You going?” Sindy asked. He nodded. “You coming back?” Sin didn’t know how to say goodbye, especially since he’d just got there. Finally he leaned down and kissed Sindy where she’d kissed him, on the skin up underneath her ear. She had a little rose there that trailed down the back of her neck, the stem ending somewhere near her spine. He didn’t really make eye contact with her as he slouched towards the door. From Sin Walks Into the Desert by Matt Ingwalson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
WINNER I actually wrote a blog post about what authors can learn from copywriters and I’m going to crib from that here:
of published authors whose dialogue wouldn’t survive the first creative review in any agency in America.
Shelf Unbound: You recently 1. Know the end. When you write published the third book in the an ad, it only ends one way. The Sin & Nicki series, To Guns. reader buys what you’re selling. You What’s it about, and what do work backwards from that point you like about writing books as to build gripping copy. This is the a series? opposite of the inverted pyramid Ingwalson: A reviewer called Sin technique journalists are trained in. Walks Into The Desert a neo-Western and I thought, “Yeah, that sounds 2. Inhabit a voice. Writing is not cool. I’m going to write another the linear assembly of grammatically one of those!” To Guns was all correct and accurately spelled about getting Nicki and Sin stuck sentences. The best ad writers are in a showdown in the middle of method actors, slipping completely the mountains and watching them inside a brand and effortlessly Bonnie-and-Clyde their way out. adopting its tone. To Guns is a fun book, but like Sin Walks Into the Desert, it has some pretty 3. Have an idea. People hate edgy themes. Nicki’s flaw is narcissism; advertising. So to be noticed, no matter how much attention she copywriters have to grasp for big, gets, it’s never enough. And Sin original ideas. (Or if not completely doesn’t have the skills to get out of original, at least charmingly anything without resorting to violence. unexpected.) And copywriters learn Neither one of these characters is to communicate those ideas fast. finished, either. The fourth book will be mostly Sin and it will massacre 4. Learn to write dialogue. You anything else I’ve published. The want to write how people talk, go bust fifth book, if I get there, is going to out a few dozen radio spots. Your skip a decade and involve Nicki’s ears will guide you. There are a lot daughters. Get stoked.
UP S . WW
E Y L F
M O .C s5 e g a For
Here is the book that so many early readers are going crazy over. It is the TRUE story of the REAL American hero who risked his life in 1947 to fly the X-1 rocket plane through the sound barrier and take the world of aviation into the modern age. The risks were great with some scary ups and downs, but Chuck Yeager was steady and determined and he did it. What is the sound barrier? This book gives a careful explanation. You and your children will never forget this story. See the movie at www.supersonicflyer.com.
FINALIST of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
Last Stop: Paris by John Pearce parttimeparisian.com
Eddie Grant has solved life’s puzzle—almost. He has the love of beautiful Aurélie and the romance and charm of life in Paris. But the final piece eludes him—he desperately wants to avenge the murder of his family ten years before. Without warning, a golden opportunity falls into his lap, if he’s brave enough to put his own life on the line. And Aurélie’s. —JP 16
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: Last Stop: Paris is the sequel to your novel Treasure of Saint-Lazare. Had you always planned on a sequel? John Pearce: Yes, almost from the beginning. I’d only written a few chapters before it became obvious that I couldn’t tell the whole story in 80,000 words, so I ended the first book at the point where Eddie Grant and Aurélie Cabillaud crack the code of the treasure’s location. Then I picked up the story in Last Stop: Paris and took it much farther than would have been possible in one book. Like a lot of us who’ve let time go by since a serious trauma, Eddie thought he’d put the whole thing behind him during the three years between the end of Treasure and the action of Last Stop. He’s getting on with his new life when the old one comes roaring back, starting with a failed-but-barely attempt to kill him, followed by a particularly nasty murder, an unexpected reunion that warns him he is still in danger, and a kidnapping—all pointing him toward the mastermind who orchestrated the deaths of his wife, young son, and father years before. It takes him a while, but eventually he recognizes he’s been given the
opportunity of a lifetime. He grabs it and struggles to stay in control as it mushrooms far beyond the search for an old painting into something much more sinister that threatens the lives of hundreds of people. I like stories that are topical, with a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. You wouldn’t think a painting stolen during World War II would fit that description, but Treasure of SaintLazare came to market at about the same time the movie The Monuments Men came to the screen. They seemed to fit together well, especially since Eddie Grant’s father was a Monuments Man. The public seemed to agree, because the novel climbed to #39 on the Kindle best-seller list and was picked as the top historical mystery of 2014 by a big review site. Last Stop: Paris is another topical story. It’s about the thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles called MANPADS that went missing in Libya after Khadafy was overthrown and killed. They’re the terror of civil aviation. When the Russian Airbus crashed in the Sinai Desert at the end of October, the first thing the airlines did was re-route their flights away from that area for fear the Islamic State was using MANPADS. We’ll see.
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: You’ve lived in Paris and Frankfurt, and these places are part of your novels. What other research or experience went into creating these stories? Pearce: I like to hang stories on things I know well, in which I’ve had some experience. That’s not to say I’ve been stalked by killers or kidnapped and thrown into a root cellar, but I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe and I’m especially at home in Paris, where my wife and I live for part of each year. As a result, writing about Paris, Frankfurt, or Munich is like writing about Sarasota, our permanent home. Of course, imagination plays a big part as well. I have visited almost every major site I’ve written about, sometimes several times. I walk through them at different times of day and imagine how they might change if, for example, I set the action in the early morning instead of late afternoon, or in the Marais instead of Montparnasse. I take a lot of pictures, and I’ve become good friends with Google Earth for those places I can’t easily visit or have to leave before I’ve thought through all the possibilities.
Shelf Unbound: Eddie Grant is a great character. How did you go about creating him? Pearce: Thank you. Eddie is full of contradictions. He’s confident but at the same time has an abundance of self-doubt. I wanted to create a character who should have everything he could ever want, but whose perfect life is derailed by something over which he has no control, in this case something that was part of his father’s military service 60 years before. He’s rich, but his fortune really doesn’t matter to him. He’s loved by the perfect woman but can’t handle it and spurns her (don’t panic; he rectifies that). He falls into bed with the wrong woman, who turns out to be totally unlike his first image of her, or so he thinks. In other words, he’s like most of us—screwed up, incomplete, unhappy at least some of the time. It’s odd, but to me Eddie wasn’t the most appealing character in Treasure of Saint-Lazare. Most of the men I talked to were attracted to Jen, the bad girl. Aurélie appeared almost too perfect, but she turns out to have a depth of character that surprised me.
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
second before the métro train passed, she planted her foot behind Max’s ankle and pushed him with the last of her strength. He dropped the knife so he could hold her with both hands, but it was too late—by then she had tipped him beyond the point of no return. She released her death grip on his right wrist and he tumbled headlong in front of the hundred-ton train. His anguished scream died abruptly as the first car rolled over him. The young man grabbed Aurélie tightly around the waist to pull her out of the way, but even with his help they bounced a dozen feet along the side of the slowing train. Aurélie caught a glimpse of passengers holding tight to their seats to avoid joining the standees who had been thrown like dominoes to the floor. And then she and the young man found themselves side
by side on the platform, bruised and exhausted but alive. She turned to look at him. “You are a brave man. Thank you.” “I am a soldier, or at least I was. Where did you learn to fight like that?” She picked one of the blue plastic chairs lining the station wall and sat down. “It’s the second time I’ve been threatened by a man with a knife,” she said. “After the first I swore I’d never be the victim again, so I made my fiancé teach me. He was also a soldier.” “It worked. What did you say to that man just as you pushed him in front of the train?” “I told him to tell his friends in hell that I sent him.” From Last Stop: Paris by John Pearce. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
FINALIST On the other hand, several of the reviewers who’ve looked at advance copies of Last Stop: Paris share your view: They like Eddie. And they want more of him. Maybe he’s Everyman. He and I are still negotiating the plot of the next book, and he’ll definitely be back.
initial story planning. Tree lets me isolate parts of the plot on separate tabs, which makes it easier focus on the section at hand. When I have a reasonably firm grasp of the first act, I start work in Scrivener, where the final outlining and most of the writing is done. I find Scrivener’s index-card view a Shelf Unbound: With different critically important tool in the final locales and various plotlines, organization, especially halfway how do you go about mapping through when I’m moving scenes out your novels? and snippets of action around in the Pearce: I work very hard to simplify book. plots and put them in linear form Most of the long writing is done that readers can grasp and enjoy, in Scrivener, although I do parts in but the fact is that some stories, like longhand. I buy paper by the case so life, are messy and complicated and I can print the manuscript frequently require a certain investment of effort for editing (longhand, on paper of to understand. Treasure of Saint-Lazare a different color). Rinse and repeat. is like that. The manuscript of Last Stop: Paris Many of my plot and character still sits on the cabinet above my ideas spring up during my morning desk, a stack of paper two feet high. walks, and I dictate them to a small When I have something I can live recorder. Dragon Dictate transcribes with, I send it off to my editor, who them and I file them in Evernote, goes through it three times, each the go-to database for everything in followed by extensive discussions my life. By the time I sat down to and corrections. The cover designer write Last Stop, I had an immense starts her work at about the time the amount of data and a huge number manuscript goes to the editor. of pictures on my Macbook Pro. Tree, a Mac app that creates horizontal outlines, is where I do the
THE HERO OF HUCKLEBUCK DRIVE ANOTHER PADDY PEST MYSTERY
no rest for the
wicked WWW. GERRYBURKE.NET UNBOUND
FINALIST of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
Blue Karma by J.K. Ullrich jkullrich.com
In a future where water is Earthâ€™s most coveted resource, three young lives collide in a tempest of choices and consequences: Amaya, an environmental refugee who survives by poaching Arctic ice; Logan, an AWOL polar soldier who discovers a mysterious lake in his drought-stricken hometown; and Paul, the heir to a powerful hydrology corporation. Against the forces of climate and conspiracy, they fight to save what matters most. â€”JKU
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: Blue Karma is a “cli-fi” novel in which water is in very short supply. What interested you in writing about the climate? J.K. Ullrich: I’ve always felt strongly about environmental issues, but I started writing cli-fi by accident. As a teenager in the early 2000s, news of the terrible Australian droughts made me wonder how people lived in a place where water was a rare commodity. Then I got a glimpse for myself: A hurricane temporarily cut off the running water in my neighborhood. For the first time in my life, nothing happened when I turned on the tap. The experience transformed my perspective on water as a finite resource. Soon after that, I came up with the idea for Blue Karma. At the time I considered it science fiction, a near-future story with ecological themes. In the decade it took me to finally write the manuscript, climate change surged to the fore of public consciousness. Fiction became a form of activism for me. Books like Blue Karma give readers an opportunity to consider how the future might unfold, but I don’t write with a political agenda in mind. My goal is always to tell a good
story, and climate scenarios provide fertile ground for conflict, drama, and adventure. Shelf Unbound: Tell us about your main characters and how you developed them. Ullrich: I didn’t strive to make Blue Karma’s protagonists likable so much as interesting. Their world is broken and flawed, so why should they be any different? Each of the three main characters occupies a position where the cli-fi landscape impacts their daily lives; however, I let their simple human motives drive the plot. Amaya steals water to provide for herself and her sister, the only family she has left after a freak weather event destroyed her country. Logan’s deployment to guard water reserves seems wasted when he discovers his hometown on the verge of desertification. Paul, whose water company controls the fate of millions, feels torn between winning his mother’s approval and acting ethically. I like working with adolescent characters because they have tremendous capacity for both drama and development. Many of their experiences—from their first kiss to their first betrayal—are firsts, so reactions are more extreme. They can
FINALIST be impulsive and sometimes make poor decisions. But the consequences help them grow as the story’s crucible forges their true adult natures. Blue Karma’s protagonists are all products of their relationships with water. Logan and Amaya mirror one another: Lack of water defined his youth, while too much water destroyed hers. They survive at opposite ends of the hydrological spectrum. Together they’re volatile, shifting between allegiance and antipathy. But both are stubborn and would sacrifice nearly anything for their families. Paul brings a very different perspective, grasping the scope of the water crisis and its dire implications. While the other two must focus on their immediate survival, his privileged position allows him the luxury of morality. This made him a much more dynamic character than I expected. I thought Amaya would end up my favorite character for several reasons: I adore tough, smart heroines, especially in sci-fi, and I drew inspiration for her relationship with Sayuri from experiences with my own sister. But Paul turned out to be the most interesting to write. He’s caught between two identities: the executive
who supports his company even in ethically ambiguous territory, and the uncertain young man struggling to define his values. The winner of that battle ultimately decides the fate of all three characters. Shelf Unbound: What appeals to you about writing science fiction? Ullrich: Science fiction offers me unique intellectual challenges. It asks me to look at the world as it exists now and extrapolate what it might become, building a new reality upon plausible foundations. No other genre invites such informed creativity. In The Language of The Night, a marvelous collection of essays on science fiction craft, Ursula LeGuin writes, “at this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence.” With our knowledge and technology evolving almost daily, today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact. How can we explore such rapidly expanding frontiers, save with imagination? Part thought experiment and part social examination, science fiction reflects our fears about the future but also lets us find hope within it.
What makes a human human?
Josephine deBois “An intriguing script inspired by the greatest conductor of all times: Carlos Kleiber”
Explore the phantasmagorical world of Josephine deBois’ fourth novel, amadeus! A brilliant interplay of art and emotion that blurs the bounds between love and destruction.
“An exciting script at the edge of the modern biological sciences and mysticism.”
WWW.JOSEPHINEDEBOIS.COM AVAILABLE AT:
amadeus! What makes a human human?
In her authorships Josephine deBois explores the edge between the real and the unreal which she approaches in captivating stories developed from her exceptional imagination and deep psychological insight. She constantly explores the deep, fundamental questions of being and not being a human being as she brings the fundamentals of science, art and religion face-toface in stunning encounters of life, death and love. She also writes children books and is columnist covering scientific subjects. Josephine deBois lives in Europe.
his latest novel of Josephine deBois, is about outstanding “human beings” and characters intertwined in a stunning series of events: it is about Tiﬀany Yun, a young, beautiful and stellar female Asian pianist conﬂicted between culture and love; it is about Ludwig Mann, the greatest conductor ever, his passions, his woes, his love, his deep dark desires, and his endless struggle at the edge of music to always go beyond whatever stellar interpretations he delivered just moments ago, and not least his struggle with what he is; it is about Josephine deBois, an unbelievable beautiful woman driven to the edge of her life by deep, dark, irresistible desires; it is about Duilio Paioni, an outstanding, brilliant, Nobel-Laureate-Ready truth seeking scientist who has revolutionized the technologies to the edge where synthesis of human life is possible; it is about Giovanni Landini, a high ranking, ruthless church oﬃcial at endless conﬂict with his faith and deep sexual desires; it is about Marchetto Caccini, a top-ranking church oﬃcial ruthlessly defending his institution and faith at any price; it is about Sargent Samuel, an honest and truth seeking New York police Sargent “sandwiched” between power, corruption and pursuit of the truth in a mysterious case leading him to the edge of truth at the epicenter of a case so unbelievable that nobody believes even the truth; it is about Sora, a mysterious woman living at the edge to the world beyond and supernaturally manages the natural; and it is about Chujin, shaped in disaster at the edge to the world beyond, who seeks the souls to answer the fundamental question of what makes a human human. At the end of the stunning story, beauty and cruelty stand face-to-face in terrible moments of death and destruction. Love appears extinct but does it survive in disguise?
Watch the YouTube link HERE. UNBOUND
hey drove in wordless discomfort, listening to the truck rattle. Miles of baked, cracking asphalt spread out in front of them like a dark scar across the land. Mel fiddled with the satellite radio until she found a popular tune. The empty lyrics and catchy beat melted into the next song, one after another until they saw the ridged white line of the Vein etched against the sky like a giant serpent’s spine. The massive pipeline ran to the horizon in front of them and vanished in the eroding hills behind, carrying processed ice water from the Arctic into America’s farmland. The discontent seething in Logan’s brain all day suddenly coalesced into a plan. He jerked the wheel and swerved off the road. 28
“What are you doing?” Mel yelped as the movement threw her into her brother’s lap. “Getting some water.” She stared from the pipeline to Logan and back again. “What about the patrols?” “They can’t guard the whole four thousand miles.” Reckless determination bubbled in Logan’s blood. Plumes of dust spewed behind the tires. In a few minutes, the Vein was almost over their heads. “Damn,” Mel breathed. She stretched across Logan to stare out the window at the massive structure. “I can’t believe they originally built this for oil.” Warning signs flashed by every few yards: AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. A FACILITY OF NILAK HYDROLOGY, INC. TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.
They parked and piled out in the pipeline’s shadow.... ...Climbing the service ladder, Logan knocked on the bottom of the pipe. The vast metal shell absorbed the sound. He imagined thousands of liters of fresh water churning over his head every second. “Get the toolbox,” he ordered. From Blue Karma by J.K. Ullrich. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
the Rumor and Cancer is the Answer
Oncologist/cancer survivor, Dr Kevin Ryan MD FACP COL USAF (ret), Professor of Medicine understands the intense experience of having cancer and impact on family, friends, loved ones as well as concerns of death, suffering, and loss of control and dignity. No diagnosis causes more anxiety. The questions are overwhelming. The unparalleled comprehensive book “When Tumor Is The Rumor and Cancer Is The Answer” covers the entire journey: suspicion until final outcome.
All reviews have been 5/5 and it is endorsed by a former Surgeon General and the head Of Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. They concur a book for cancer patients and loved ones must teach how to marshal internal resources, conquer natural fears and ultimately learn to become cancer survivors.
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: You’ve traveled all over the world; would you travel to outer space if you had the opportunity? Ullrich: Yes, with a caveat. If space tourism becomes a reality, I’d jump at the chance to ride a “space elevator” to geosynchronous orbit. A jaunt to the moon, or even a few months aboard the International Space Station, would be a breathtaking experience. I wouldn’t turn it down. But if the opportunity demanded an extended trip—a multi-year mission to Mars, for example, or decades in stasis to reach a distant star—I don’t think I’d be brave enough to leave my family behind. Time dilation is the toughest science fiction meme for me to read: The thought of returning from a space journey to find all my loved ones gone tears my heart. But if I could bring them along, then pass me a spacesuit. My husband and I are hunting for our first house; what’s the real estate market like on Kepler-452b? Shelf Unbound: Your next novel, Book 1 of the Darksider Trilogy, comes out next year. What’s it about? Ullrich: The Darksider Trilogy embraces more classic science
fiction tropes than Blue Karma, although environmental undertones remain strong. After an ecological disaster reduces the human race to a few hundred lunar colonists, teenaged “divers” scavenge Earth’s ruined biomes for species to use in terraforming. Book One introduces Ash, the most successful diver of his generation. When Skye—a captive girl from the secessionist “Darksider” group inhabiting moon’s far hemisphere—offers the location of a lost gene bank on Earth, Ash can’t ignore the opportunity to advance his colony’s project. But nor can he trust Skye, who is pursuing a secret agenda of her own. Their mission to Earth quickly turns disastrous. Forced to work together, Ash and Skye make a discovery that raises questions about the past and frightening possibilities for the future. Book One is a twist on the “first contact” narrative: Instead of exploring an alien planet, humans rediscover their own and find it very different than they expected. The sequel deals with the consequences of this revelation, and the conclusion finds the characters fighting for the fate of their species. So far it’s a lot of fun.
EVERY MYTH HAS A BEGINNING WWW.MCNULTYJANET.COM After escaping the destruction of her home planet, Lanyr, with the help of the mysterious Solaris, Rynah must put her faith in an ancient legend. Never one to believe in stories and legends, she is forced to follow the ancient tales of her people: tales that also seem to predict her current situation.
BY JANET MCNULTY
Forced to unite with four unlikely heroes from an unknown planet (the philosopher, the warrior, the lover, the inventor) in order to save the Lanyran people, Rynah and Solaris embark on an adventure that will shatter everything Rynah once believed. “Janet McNulty grabs you right from the beginning of her new book series: Solaris Saga. This is a great book in the adventure/sci-fi genre that will keep you interested from beginning to end…you are taken to exotic worlds and planets with creatures that are stunning and deadly and all have some aspect of the animals and history of Earth...” —Billie K, Amazon Customer
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Kobo, Google Play, iBookstore, and Smashwords
READING Take a bite from your next favorite book.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 32
Lady of the Lake by Jennifer Wherrett www.thelady.com.au
ou see destiny as a place of arrival, Niniane.” She closed her mouth, all thought of chastisement forgotten. One simple statement and, in typical Merlin fashion, he had her full attention. “But,” he continued, “you are forgetting that destiny is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Without the journey, there is, in fact, no destination. So stop seeing destiny as something up ahead, in the future— as something you are working towards or moving towards. See it, instead, as something you are living right here, right now. Do not be impatient to arrive, Niniane. Instead, realise that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” Merlin paused, allowing his words to impact her, and then, he continued, “In this place, the temple, I
mean, you are not allowed to express who you are, but that does not stop you being who you are. The temple does not, and cannot, contain you, nor does it dictate who you are, nor does it define who you are.” “Ah,” she breathed. “You are right. That is my fear, and in fearing, I have made it so.” Leaning forward in his chair, he put his hand on her hair and said quietly, “This time, when I leave here, I would take you with me, if you will come. Will you come with me, Niniane?” “Yes,” she whispered urgently and without hesitation. “I will come.” “Good,” he said as he sat back, drew on his pipe, and closed his eyes. A good day’s work, he thought with satisfaction. How he’d waited for this time, patiently preparing the way
and watching over her, and now his wait was nearly at an end. “Why now?” she asked hoarsely. “For so many years I’ve wanted you to take me with you. But you always left me here. Why now?” “Because, my beautiful girl,” he said without opening his eyes, “it is time. You are ready. And a good thing it is too because you are needed, more than you can possibly know.”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 33
The Sorrow’s Garden: A Novel by Anthony Carinhas
Autonomous Publications | www.goodreads.com/author/show/6481406.Anthony_Carinhas
everal months had passed and Emeric was in the windowsill drawing in blue underwear. I stepped out from the shower and stared in the mirror while drying off. The drawer was pulled open. “Any plans for the weekend?” I asked. “I was thinking about staying in.” “Didn’t you agree to go to Vienna with me today?” “I changed my mind.” The towel was thrown at him. “When someone gives their word. I expect them to follow through.” He peeled the towel from his face. “Why the restlessness? Christmas break is next week.” “All the more to take the trip.” He closed his portfolio and tossed it on the bed. “Will you at least give me time to pack?” “Yes. Because I still need
to talk with Gropius.” He became heated. “You still haven’t asked for permission!” “Just pack. I’ll be back.” The door was closed and I moved downstairs. A blue cashmere sweater clung to me as I crossed campus and felt the sun on my shoulders. As I pushed into another building, I ran into one of the students from third period. His curly brown hair was neatly combed to the side and his hazel-gray eyes looked eager. His portfolio was in his arms when he saw me. “Just the person I was looking for.” I exhaled loudly, “I’m not surprised.” Koloman was having difficulty balancing himself as he gathered his things. “I need your opinion on something.” “I’m in a hurry, Koloman. Can it wait?” “No,” as he pointed at the page. “What do you
make of this?” The metal chair looked promising. “Maybe you could add some leather around the back… and thin the arm area. There’s too much leverage in the seat and not enough back support.” “Alright.” “Is this for Professor Breuer?” “Yeah. He’s assigned a new project.” “His class is difficult. Be sure not to rush anything. He doesn’t like laziness.”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 34
Closest to the Fire: A Writer’s Guide to Law and Lawyers by Karen A. Wyle for a divorce, it became common to put on a fictional performance in court, with most often the wife hrough the 1960s, testifying that the husband married couples had been physically abusive in the U.S. could only or unfaithful. Sometimes, obtain a divorce based on the couple would arrange “fault,” usually meaning misconduct of one (and only for the wife to come home and find the husband with one) of the spouses. The a supposed lover hired for grounds included adultery; the occasion, but the wife’s abandonment; deliberate testimony would still contain infliction of physical or some falsehoods as to the emotional pain (“cruelty”); context of this “discovery.” and commission of a felony If the court decided to that landed a spouse in notice the staged nature prison. Sometimes, the hardly intentional or culpable of the event, that would constitute “collusion,” and ground of “impotence” also the couple would have the sufficed. A separation of choice of staying married or residences provided another trying a more convincing relatively neutral ground for performance later on. Or divorce in some states. they could bite the proverbial Defenses to an action bullet and arrange for one of for divorce included the them actually to commit an “them too” defense, known action that would justify the as recrimination. Success resulted in a Pyrrhic victory: divorce. **Either approach could make for colorful the mutually misbehaving fiction, with anything couple remained married. from a farcical to a tragic In cases where both tone depending on your spouses wanted out of the preference.** marriage, but neither had Since another name for committed acts necessary DIVORCE From Fault to No-Fault
false testimony is “perjury,” this situation was quite unsatisfactory. In January 1970, the governor of California signed the country’s first “no-fault divorce” statute into law. This statute made divorce available to couples who both desired a divorce as well as spouses who were alone in wishing to end the marriage. The trend took off from there, with all but South Dakota and New York offering some form of no-fault divorce by 1983. New York, the last holdout, accepted no-fault divorce in 2010.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 35
Opal Ridge by Victoria Capper www.victoriacapper.com
rack! Crash! Ethel lay quite still in the darkness, every sense alert. What was that? What on Earth was that? There was another loud ‘crack’ followed by strange grunts and a crunch. What was that? Long years of living in the bush had attuned Ethel’s ear and mind to all the regular sounds of the night—familiar sounds, easily identified and accepted. This was different, definitely different. The old woman strained to hear more, but the sound of her beating heart and racing pulse roared in her ears, and distorted everything else. Gradually, her initial fright was wearing off, she was calmer now, her pulse less dominant. She listened carefully. Oddly, it was starting to sound like cattle milling around, with a few extra sounds, cracks and
bangs, thrown in as well. Well it’s no good lying here wondering. Time to act. Ethel grabbed a flashlight and tip-toed out to the verandah to investigate. Cautiously Ethel swept her hand from left to right; the beam of light showed that there were cattle everywhere. There was no sign of anything else, no people, not even a dog. Strange. Turning on the front light dissolved any lingering fear into a mixture of sorrow and rage, as she registered that the cattle were inside the fence—not outside as they ought to be. Bullocks, spooked by the sudden light, jostled and pushed to get away as fast as they could, effectively smashing and destroying everything in their path. Ethel stood still and watched as the last of the cattle disappeared into the darkness. She could have wept. Her garden was
virtually destroyed. It had been one of her chief joys in life lately. There was nothing to be done now. She wasn’t going to achieve anything stumbling around in the dark. Sunrise wasn’t far off. When it was daylight she could have a good look around. For now, she would have to content herself by making a cup of tea and planning a particularly painful death for whoever was responsible for those cattle in her garden.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 36
Making a Living Making a Life by Daniel Rose www.danielrose.org
he ancient Greeks loved words, and one of their best was “oxymoron,” a contradiction in terms, such as a hot ice cube or a tiny giant. At times, it seems that my subject today, “business ethics,” qualifies perfectly as an oxymoron. This year’s headline stories about the atmosphere of corruption that prevailed at General Dynamics, the nation’s third largest defense contractor, recall the bribery stories at Lockheed in the 1970’s, the General Electric scandals of the decade before, and so on. In the broader society, municipal corruption seem so widespread; shabby influence-peddling even at the level of the White House staff; insider trading accepted matter-of-factly on Wall Street; the casual indifference with which our country’s largest and most respected banks laundered huge amounts of what was obviously criminal
cash—all of these (and the other scandals that will undoubtedly be revealed in next week’s or next month’s headlines) pose fearful problems for those leaving university and entering the business world. The public today seems to believe that throughout the business world sharp practice is admired, duplicity and deliberate misrepresentation are the norm, and the only crime involved in outright fraud is getting caught. The average businessman is seen as echoing Mark Twain’s view that while he believed in honesty, he didn’t “make a fetish of it.” Worst of all is a widelyheld perception that such a low standard is expected of you, and that you cannot succeed in business without it. Perhaps even your family and friends are nervously wondering if, for business success, you must make some Faust-like pact with Mephistopheles.
Relax; your souls are safe. That is, that are safe if you want them to be. For that is what history tells us. Morality and worldly success are not now and never have been, necessarily incompatible. Just as every society contains some people with larceny in their hearts, so every society known to man has had people who conducted themselves honorably and who led satisfying and fulfilling lives in the process.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 37
Murder at the Ocean Forest by Digger Cartwright
www.diggercartwright.com | www.mysterydigger.com
he chandelier shook roughly and gave the impression that it would surely be yanked from the ceiling by the incessant rattling, which threatened to crack and shatter the crystals that somehow managed to survive the onslaught by the supernatural. The tension among the participants in the room had reached the pinnacle of their endurance, suggesting that any further dramatics could push one of them over the edge of psychological endurance. Feltus perceptively noticed this in the generally apprehensive, uncertain expressions on their faces from the position in his chair in which he leaned back so that his face was still concealed in the darkness even though his hands lay motionless on the tabletop where the others could plainly see them. His thoughts and observations were abruptly interrupted by the dull sound of heavy breathing that seemed to be at quite a distance even though
it was evidently coming from the room in which they had gathered along with the spirits. Elizabeth turned her head from side to side almost frantically as she searched for the direction from which the sound originated. “Terence!” she cried out as though relieved by the indication. “Is that you, Terence?” The breathing became heavier though still remained at a distance and echoed slightly, obviously due to the interference at traveling from the next realm to this mortal world. The chandelier stopped suddenly but swung back and forth with the crystals still clinking a dissonant tune, and the candles burned perfectly motionless, the flames smaller but unwavering. There was a distinct rasp to the breathing that had become more forced as if gasping for air that apparently was not there. There could be no doubt about what the gesture signified—Terence Underwood’s grueling, slow suffocation and those
final moments when Death approached the unwilling soul that hysterically attempted to escape the end. There was a faint, incomprehensible mumbling from a deep voice that came from the beyond after the struggled breathing ceased, signifying the conclusion of the spirit’s mortal demise. After several more quiet repetitions, the voice said clearly and loudly, with a sternness that suggested an accusation directed towards one of the occupants of the room, “Murderer!”
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 38
The Hero of Hucklebuck Drive by Gerry Burke www.authorgburke.authorsxpress.com
hat do you think of these disappearances in Toorak, Paddy? All pizza delivery boys. The newspapers are talking about a serial killer.” *** I awoke the next morning to the ringing of the doorbell. I slipped into my silk robe and slicked-back my hair. If my visitor turned out to be a Seventh Day Adventist, there would be blood on the ground. Her name was Mrs. Smith and she looked like the booby prize in a vanity raffle. I guessed the lady was all of forty and then some. Her bedraggled appearance was in some way due to the rain but she had sad eyes and there appeared to be red marks on both of her cheeks. Her hair was damp and discolored and her good bits were discreetly covered by a tight-fitting overcoat. The woman was clutching a mustard-colored umbrella that was dripping like an Irish faucet, so I invited her
in. I was dead keen to learn whether her husband might be John Smith. This was a name that people in law enforcement heard quite often. “You are Mr. Pest aren’t you, the famous detective? I was told you were the best person to find my Henry. He’s gone missing.” “I am more than happy to try and help you find your husband, especially if he was the one who gave you those ugly bruises on your cheeks.” “What bruises? That’s my rouge. We can’t all afford French cosmetics and my husband, John, is not missing. Henry is my son.” Although I was certainly chastened by this rebuke, I had a warm feeling about Mrs. Smith, and this was exacerbated when she removed her overcoat to reveal a well-rounded, taut figure that belied her years. She was some kind of gal for an old boiler. “OK then, tell me all about it. How long has he
been missing? How old is he? Could he be involved with a femme fatale?” “He is fourteen years of age, likes video games, skateboarding, and his mom’s cooking.” “In that case he probably hasn’t run away. I presume Henry is at school but does he do any part-time work?” “Why yes, he’s a pizza delivery boy.” The Hero of Hucklebuck Drive. Copyright © 2015 by Gerry Burke. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, iUniverse.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 39
1918: The Great Pandemic, A Novel by David Cornish, MD www.davidcornishbooks.com
ll the men were as they were when you left them, until about 11:00 PM last night. Suddenly, within less than thirty minutes of each other, five of the men displayed a marked rise in their respiratory rates. They began to struggle with breathing, which increased with each passing minute. We applied O2 by masks, but it had no effect. Soon, bloody froth gushed from their nostrils and mouths in huge quantities. Then, Edward, something happened that I have never seen before. It was horrible. The men’s faces first turned cherry-red. But, later their faces gradually turned a cyanotic indigo-blue color that I will never ever forget. It was so deep, so profound… it looked unearthly. The men fought for every breath, struggling to clear themselves of the seemingly endless amount of red fluid that flowed from their respiratory
passages. Suddenly, they became very quiet, and showed no further struggle. They breathed as if their bodies knew it was the end. Quietly, one by one, they died. Edward, they all died a horrible hideous death. The staff is very shaken on the quarantine ward. They were all just young men.” Noble was motionless, and speechless. He had heard a similar clinical description of a few patients six months earlier. That account came from Dr. Loring Minor. Since then, no similar signs and symptoms had been described in the United States. Until now. But, this time it was much worse. After a long pause, Rosenau continued. “Edward, the situation appears to be critical. Four more men are now beginning to show similar signs as the five who died. What is even worse is the fact that ambulances brought us fifty two more
patients with influenza from Commonwealth Pier. The Chelsea Naval Hospital is already beyond full capacity.” Noble thought for several moments before he responded to his friend. Finally, he said slowly, “Milton, I will contact army brass to see if some of the sailors can be taken to Devens. We’re preparing an influenza quarantine pavilion at Boston City, and perhaps we can take some of the ill there.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 40
Andy Alligator’s Bayou Adventure: A Grandmother’s Tale by Peachie T, Illustrated by Carolyn Watson Dubisch www.peachtbooks.com
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 41
FINALIST of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
Inspector Dewey by Kristen Heimerl a three norwegians book inspectordewey.com
Meet Inspector Dewey and his beloved, bumbling buddies in this silly, page-turning tale of mystery and adventure, daring and determination, and the comfort of home and family, all told by master marketer and first-time author, Kristen Heimerl. â€”KW
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: Why did you decide to write a children’s book? Kristen Heimerl: A real experience inspired me—in fact, the defining moment is captured as an illustration in Inspector Dewey. I was crawling on the maple floor of my creaky, old home to the telephone in the kitchen. It was 2:00 a.m., a bad guy was on the street outside, and I had left my lights on and my windows open. I needed to call the police—without being witnessed. Urgency and silence were imperative, but my cats, well...being cats, had other intentions. Dewey was charging ahead, head low and cantering on the prowl. Lily was by my side, thumping and squiggling, jumping and wriggling—delirious with delight. And Thumper was trotting behind—clip clop, clip clop— his great girth skimming the ground with every step, and doing his gentle, sweet part to keep the family together. I stopped halfway down the hall, took in the hilarity of the moment, and made a mental note to start writing a children’s book the next week. And so I did. I honestly can’t imagine creating anything other than picture books—I love the creative marriage
of words and visuals too much. Moreover, picture books played an important role in my development as a child. I was the “stupid” kid— younger than my peers, slower to develop, and awkwardly shy. But picture books transformed my life; they showed me the beauty of illustration and the power of language. My early books set the foundation for a love of reading and a life of learning. Inspector Dewey is meaningful to me in so many ways—not the least of which is the opportunity to influence a new generation of readers and learners. Shelf Unbound: Dewey and your other cat characters each have their own distinct personalities. Did you base them on actual cats that you have had? Heimerl: I live with three beautiful, beloved, bratty, silly, sweet, selfcentered siblings. And, yes, they are cats. And an endless source of inspiration for characters and stories. When an unexpected intruder stumbled into our lives two years ago, I knew immediately that if one of my cats was to tell our heartstopping story, it had to be Dewey.
FINALIST Quite simply, Dewey—the REAL cat—is a dork. When critters creep into our home, he doesn’t miss an opportunity to orchestrate a stakeout. Undeterred by the boredom and banality of staring at a fault in the floor, Dewey will press on for hours— days, in fact—just to rid his home of vermin. Despite his slender size, Dewey takes his responsibility as the “Big Cat” in the household seriously. His roles are plenty, extending beyond mere home protection and extermination services to that of housekeeping and more. Dewey was an easy character to create—the real cat is such an affable guy. Even his arrogance is adorable. Who doesn’t love a goofy, quirky noodle of a cat? Thumper and Lily were more of a challenge. I desperately wanted to avoid any cultural stereotyping. I know— deep, right? But I worry about the distorted taxonomies our culture imposes and their negative impact on children. I didn’t want any part of supporting the construct of ditzy blondes or troubled introverts to which Lily and Thumper could easily be reduced. I know it’s wrong to anthropomorphize animals (or so I’m
told), but with the Three Norwegians, it’s so darn easy! I just look at them— their expressions, their mannerisms— and their thoughts, ideas, and words pop into my head rather effortlessly … and hilariously. Okay, it is a little fun, too! But isn’t it just that way with all beloved pets? Shelf Unbound: Your illustrator lives in Spain. How did you find her and what was your process in working on this book together? Heimerl: My intent from the get-go was to leverage local creative talent to bring Inspector Dewey to life. I had three super-talents earmarked for the job, but the stars simply weren’t aligning. My grand plans fell apart. It was then that I got creative. The Internet makes the world a very small place, so I did what any seeker would do: I went online. I searched. And searched some more. I removed all boundaries and focused on one end goal: to find an illustrator with the raw talent to create really cute cats. My search spanned months and resulted in a collection of more than thirty different illustrators. I netted out at my favorite five and reached out to them with two requests:
Reimer’s book is true to its title, offering clear how-to tips on everything from mixing colors and stretching canvases, to experimenting with new methods and finding inspiration. —ForeWord Clarion Review
This is a book about art, but it’s far from abstract in its approach to creating your own masterpiece. —Hollywood Book Festival Critique An educational, eye-catching primer on how to look at art and “see as an artist. —Kirkus Review
hile many art how-to books offer explicit step-by-step instructions, Abstract Painting: A Practical Approach uses a less stringent strategy to teach you how to paint, which not only leaves ample room for your own creativity but also frees you to have plenty of fun with the process.
Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist 2012 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention 2012
Priming the canvas with a brief philosophy of art and overview of colors and the ways they relate, author and lifelong artist Hennie Reimer then invites you on a journey of observation and experimentation. As she presents different techniques and styles that are available, she shares examples from her own work to illustrate how a certain idea paired with a particular approach may appear in its final painted form. But this is only one possibility and rather than just copy it, she encourages you to discover your unique version.
Are you ready to sidestep formulas and search the depths of your own creativity?
a mind-boggling ride…
uproariously funny… brilliantly written… an exceptional… read!” San Francisco Book Review
Tightly paced, controlled, and written with a sure grasp of character and voice… A formidable debut.”
“…an engaging transcends genres… suspenseful… fascinating… an excellent novel… character study… Highly recommended!” intriguing…”
Available now on amazon
Ghost, Josephine a novel by
Free Kindled edition available Christmas Day
FINALIST Would you consider illustrating my children’s book? And, if so, would you consider creating a trial illustration using a snippet of my manuscript? All but one accepted the challenge. When the trial illustrations came in, Irene was an easy choice. Not only was she incredibly talented and kindhearted, but she was a fine arts student and her dream was to someday become a children’s book illustrator. How could I bypass an opportunity to help make another’s dream come true? Although I’ve never met Irene in person, I feel very close to her and would go the extra mile for her again and again. We connected via email nearly every day for months on end co-creating everything from storyboards to cat design to colors and everything in between. It was not an easy undertaking by any means. Years of marketing organization and creative-vision leadership gave me confidence to take on the role of art director. And while I can’t imagine not leading the creative direction for major business initiatives, for the next book, I will hire an art director. Without training, I lacked the technical language
required to translate my creative vision and consumer appeal into concise, tangible, actionable words and design suggestions that would resonate with Irene. Add the language barrier (English is her second language) and her design-student status, and disconnects were inevitable. We ended up in a great place, but we would have ended up in a better place if I had hired a seasoned children’s book art director. On the other hand, there’s something truly authentic and beautiful about Inspector Dewey. It’s real and raw and flawed—and stems from the heart of a (large) team of really passionate and talented people. I imagine that our next book will be unblemished, but I worry: Will it have the same character and quirk? Shelf Unbound: You have a marketing and brand building background. What has that experience brought to creating this book? Heimerl: I had the good fortune of bringing 25 years of corporate business experience to my book project. Through my experience leading marketing and innovation organizations across a variety of
Imagine if great minds from across the ages could congregate in one room to discuss their understanding of time and reality. In this ambitious work, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, among others, come together to do just this. To befit the nature of the symposium as a great Hellenic institution, the author gives each of the characters Greek names. Einstein is called “Miapetra,” meaning “one stone”; Hawking is referred to as “Geraki” or “hawk,” whereas Isaac Newton is “Neatono” or “new ton.” The men meet at Neatono’s house, where they begin a discussion about relativity theory, and specifically how the past, present, and future are relative. The author’s use of Socratic questioning proves to be a gentle introduction to complex ideas, particularly for the uninitiated. Yet, readers may still benefit from prior knowledge of quantum mechanics to truly grasp this discussion. The explorations of how perceptions of reality vary between individuals are particularly fascinating: “So two individuals of the same species with sensory equipment of unequal quality will experience differently the same reality, to all intents and purposes, would you agree?” The arguments are dazzlingly convincing, although there’s a certain arrogance in reanimating the world’s greatest thinkers simply to have them concur with one’s main thesis. However, the book is not without a wry humor—Max Planck talks of switching to a gluten-free diet and Newton speaks of getting his cataracts removed. Purists may contest the probability of each word the author drops into the mouths of these great men, but this controversy is part and parcel of this brilliantly daring piece of work.
A learned, bold journey to the limits of human perception and beyond. —Kirkus Reviews
“Are you ready to rethink everything you’ve learned about the universe around you?” “Kazden offers a mindexpanding debut novel about a symposium examining the core concepts of the universe.”
FINALIST industries and, separately, from my experience as a strategy consultant, I have a history of moving down a variety of industry learning curves swiftly. I knew that I could handle the challenges the publishing industry would present—provided that I approached my book project strategically. For example, I worked with consultants or outsourced tasks in low-experience/low-knowledge areas. This allowed me to mitigate the risk of errors and keep avoidable costs down as a result of being a “newbie.” In other words, if the task related to something I considered critical to the quality and/or success of the book and I did not have the skill or experience to execute at the quality level I required, I outsourced it. I also have a long history as a strategic marketer and brand builder. The beautiful thing about creating a children’s book for a professional marketer is just that: You get to create it and bring it to market. This has meant lots of different types of activities over the past two years, but what I really geek-out over is the super-silly, creative stuff—the stuff I left behind as a child. Case in point: Dewey’s Detective Kit. I’m a full-grown woman with
not a lot of patience. It never occurred to me that painstakingly compiling detective-themed activities into a downloadable kit for kids would bring so much joy. It was a zone-making moment. Sure, I included the standards: topsecret door signs, official name badges, Find-the-Fishy puzzles, Pin-the-Tunaon-the-Tree game, and the like. But the super fun? Creating stuff from scratch! Like Write a Mystery!, Feline Fun Facts, and Dewey’s signature: Create Your Own Fishy Phrases. Add in an invisible ink recipe, top-secret snack-making, a playlist of famous detective-themed tracks—and OMG! I thought my gut would explode with glee! I know I’m not alone in my seemingly immature interest because my (adult) illustrator and designer shared this funky fervor when I turned the content over to them to add their magic to the mix. Publishing Inspector Dewey has given me the opportunity to leverage all of the business skills I developed and honed over nearly three decades, and marketing it has given me complete creative freedom to engage in creative child’s play as an adult. I can’t think of anything more incredible—or joyous.
LONGEVITY Laurel Blossom
Advance Praise for Longevity
“Dreams are ways in which we can see what we sometimes don’t want to see, where in some brief truce we might work out our human conditions. Blossom’s book-length poem Longevity achieves such translation: bordering the longed-for and the illgotten, a speaker sorts out her survivorship: a sister, a mother, a dear one. This poem skirts 9/11, family, and the degradation of the body in time and illness, as ‘Memory catches on the sprockets of grief.’” —Sophie Cabot Black “…In Laurel Blossom’s Longevity, we share a survivor’s guilt for deaths both imagined and experienced—a falling away from love, a piecing-together of fragments of memory, a lyrical book-long dream-meditation on trauma, transgression—and how, in desire and empathy, we fashion from loss the shapes that sustain us.” —Carol Muske-Dukes
Excerpt from “The Longevity of Bone” Where it says I, it means me. Where it says she, it means Margaret or Lucy or my poor mother. Where it says she, it means said. It means dead. Not that she was such a good guide, but I miss my mother. The market had its worst week, points dropped, ever.
“… Longevity’s narrative arc possesses the range, density, and richness of a novel, but Blossom’s long poem is buoyed by an elegant lyricism that is wrenching in its musicality. The poem’s style and structure seem so inevitable, it would be easy to overlook the audacity of the book’s project, which is nothing less than to salvage our dead. In this wise, generous, heartbreaking book, ‘Everything is elegy.’” —Gary Young Laurel Blossom is also the author of Degrees of Latitude (Four Way Books), another book-length narrative prose poem telling the geography of a woman’s life from Pole to Pole. Earlier books of lyric poetry include, among others, Wednesday: New and Selected Poems and The Papers Said, selected as a Notable Book of Poetry by Shelf Unbound. Blossom is the editor of Splash! Great Writing About Swimming and Many Lights in Many Windows: Twenty Years of Great Fiction and Poetry from The Writers Community. She is the first Poet Laureate of Edgefield, SC, where she lives.
FINALIST of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
The Second Mourning by Stephen G. Yanoff stephengyanoff.com
The Second Mourning examines the remarkable life of James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. In so doing, it also uncovers the untold story of his assassin, Charles Guiteau, the lunatic who committed one of the most bizarre political murders in American history. The story, which reads like fiction, is set in the late 1800s, a time where fierce battles for power unfold against a backdrop of intrigue, treachery, and violence —SGY 52
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: What interested you in writing about President Garfield’s assassination? Stephen G. Yanoff: As a student of history, I was immediately interested in the remarkable life of James A. Garfield, and I had a hunch that there was a fascinating untold story behind his assassination. As it turned out, there were two fascinating stories. One dealt with President Garfield and the other with his assassin, Charles Guiteau. Shelf Unbound: What kind of research did you do for this book? Yanoff: I read the two or three books that were available in print, and then, by sheer luck, stumbled into an antique shop that had an entire collection of books about President Garfield. I purchased the entire set, which provided some incredible insights into the tragic encounter between Garfield and Guiteau.
Yanoff: Yes, I discovered that Charles Guiteau had been seriously scarred by his experience in the Oneida Community, where “free love” was practiced by virtually everyone but him. In fact, the ladies in the cult made fun of him and referred to him as Charles “Getout.” Shelf Unbound: You’ve written several novels. How did writing nonfiction differ for you? Yanoff: Nonfiction is much more detail oriented and requires a great deal of research and documentation. Unlike fiction, historical statements must be supported with endnotes, which are backed up with a long list of books, newspapers, and various journals.
Shelf Unbound: What project are you working on now? Yanoff: I am currently writing a book about William H. Seward, President Lincoln’s Secretary of State, and the man who engineered the purchase of Alaska. I’ve discovered that he is truly one of the Shelf Unbound: Did you uncover most fascinating—and important— any new information about the figures in American history. assassin Charles Guiteau?
t about 9:15 the White House carriages pulled up to the B Street entrance of the depot, causing some commotion among the bystanders on the sidewalk. Someone had recognized the President, and soon, a friendly crowd began to gather. Garfield and Blaine sat for a while, engaged in lively conversation, and then, about three minutes later, they climbed out of the carriage and strolled arm and arm toward the entrance. There was a single policeman on duty. Just before they entered the depot, the President turned to the policeman and asked, “How much time have I got?” The officer, a man named Patrick Kearney, replied, “About ten minutes, sir.” 54
Garfield shook a few hands, then was nudged forward by Blaine. Once inside, they walked briskly through the ladies’ waiting room, which at the time contained less than a dozen people. They were halfway through the room when the first shot rang out. The bullet, fired from six feet away, grazed the President’s left arm. “My God! What is this?” Garfield exclaimed. Blaine grabbed the President’s arm, intending to pull him out of harm’s way, but it was too late. There was another thunderous clap, and this time the bullet found its mark. The second bullet hit Garfield square in the back, entering his body four inches to the right of the spine, and as we now know, fracturing two ribs, chipping the first lumbar vertebra, penetrating a major artery, and finally coming to rest just behind the pancreas. A moment later, the President fell senseless to the floor, bleeding, vomiting, and barely conscious. Ignoring his own safety, Blaine spun around and ran after the assassin. “I immediately followed after the man instinctively and went, I suppose, the distance of eight feet,” he later testified. “I remember I stopped just outside the door which led from the ladies’ waiting-room.” In an instant the depot was
bedlam. Many of the passengers ran for cover, but a few brave souls dashed to the President’s side. “There he goes!” somebody shouted. “Stop him. He shot the President!” Officer Kearney heard the shots and began to run toward the entrance, but before he got inside, he ran into the assassin. “Hold up,” he said sternly, grabbing him by the arm. “There were two shots fired, and you are coming from the direction in which they were fired.” The assassin, a nervous little man, had just put his revolver into his pocket and seemed unfazed by his terrible deed. He was about forty years of age and stood five feet five inches tall. He had a sandy complexion and was slender, weighing not more than 125 pounds. He wore a mustache and a thin beard, slightly tinged with gray. His sunken cheeks and droopy eyes gave him a sullen appearance. Kearny was terribly excited and barely able to retrain himself. “You shot the President of the United States,” he said angrily. “Keep quiet, my friend,” the assassin said. “I want to go to jail.” From The Second Mourning by Stephen Yanoff. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
‘…A beautifully bound, impressive collection with language as evocative as its illustrations.’ —Kirkus Reviews ‘I adore these weird little poems. They are surreal and wild. The charcoal drawings are terrifyingly brilliant... I deem this a holy book—written in ecstasy and the madness of genius… It is the flaming center of the volcano that makes us create.’ —The Washington Independent Review of Books
The Antigone Poems, featuring poetry by Marie Slaight and drawings by Terrence Tasker, was created in the 1970’s, while the artists were living between Montreal and Toronto. A powerful invocation of the ancient Greek tale of defiance and justice, the illustrations and poetry capture the anguish and despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition. Passionate, brutal, and infused with extraordinary lyricism, The Antigone Poems provides a special expedition into the depths of the ancient Sophocles tragedy.
‘Haunting. …a disturbingly poignant and startlingly vivid portrait of one woman’s suffering in the face of pain and heartbreak. It will surely not be forgotten after the turn of the last page.’ —The San Francisco Book Review
FINALIST of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book
Pedal Zombies: Thirteen Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories edited by Elly Blue Microcosm Publishing microcosmpublishing.com
In the not-so-distant future, humans turn to two-wheeled vehicles to transport goods, seek glory, and defend their communities. In another version of the future, those with the zombie virus are able to escape persecution and feel almost alive again on two wheels. In another scenario, bicycles themselves are reanimated and roam the earth. An array of writers bring their diverse visions to this volume: sometimes scary, sometimes spooky, sometimes hilarious, always on two wheels. â€”EB 56
FINALIST Shelf Unbound: Zombies and bicycles and feminism. Where did you get the idea for that combination? Elly Blue: I had been planning for a long time to write a nonfiction essay about zombies and bicycling, and publish it as a zine. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me that this would be a fabulous topic to solicit short stories about, so I did. A very short version of that essay ended up being the introduction. I was worried that being so extremely specific would put off writers, but instead it seemed to inspire people—I received more submissions than I have for any other project. Shelf Unbound: What do you make of pop culture’s current obsession with zombies, and what do you think is behind it? Blue: I think it goes beyond just zombies—if you’ve been to many movies in the past couple of years, there’s a cultural obsession with the end of the world and the collapse of society into something infested with monsters. So the easy answer is that it’s a combination of anxiety about climate catastrophe and the stress and anger bubbling up in
modern life. The harder answer is that the globalized consumer society has created a situation where a relatively wealthy minority is more or less actively destroying the lives of the majority of workers through every single action we take, whether driving a car, buying chocolate, or working all day on computers that rely on unethically mined minerals, and, at least subconsciously, we tell ourselves stories to help us understand and live with ourselves. Shelf Unbound: Many women eschew labeling themselves as feminists. What does feminism mean to you and why assemble this collection of stories incorporating it as a theme? Blue: The two basic criteria for the stories in my feminist bicycle science fiction line are that they incorporate bicycling in some way, and that they not blindly conform to the bad old sexist stereotypes in science fiction— men as action heroes and women reduced to damsels in distress, or prizes for good conduct, or objects to look at. I also asked for stories that represent perspectives that aren’t standard in science fiction, in ways that go beyond just gender.
FINALIST The stories don’t have to be about feminism as a topic, and they don’t have to be written by women. It’s pretty straightforward, and it sometimes feels like overkill to put “feminism” on it, since it’s really just about not being sexist, but sadly that’s still needed. The dictionary definition of feminism is advocacy for women to have equal basic economic, social, and human rights as men. The fact that so many women and men feel that they can’t believe in that simple idea without being shunned by the people they live and work with is exactly proof that active feminism is needed from everyone, regardless of gender. In the bicycle industry, blatant sexism has long been the norm on every level, and I’m hoping to help change that culture. Shelf Unbound: How did you go about collecting these stories? Blue: Some of the stories came from contributors to the first two Bikes in Space volumes. I publicized the call for submissions in every way I could think of, in the science fiction industry, among bike people, and in feminist networks, and got a really
great variety of stories to choose from in response. It was hard to choose! Shelf Unbound: This is your third Bikes in Space collection. Have you determined the themes of the next one? Blue: The next one doesn’t have a name yet, but its theme is utopia and dystopia. And bicycles, of course.
“A book I would have liked to have had as a law student. A book that would also be of value to writers of legal fiction. ...I can recommend Wyle’s Closest to the Fire as an accessible, digestible, and useful guide. ...An ‘I get it now,’ sort of book.”
by Karen A. Wyle The world of law and lawyers, with its
suspense, its moral quandaries, and its ripped-fromthe-headlines subject matter, provides wonderful material for fiction. This guide will help writers explore these many story possibilities, while avoiding the pitfalls awaiting the unwary. It can also serve as a handy overall reference for law and prelaw students, or for anyone interested in understanding more about the American legal system.
—Jamie Campbell, author of Four Days “[Wyle’s] writing is as clear as glass. ...If you are a writer and you need a resource on law and lawyers, this is your go-to source.” —Danusha Goska, author of Save Send Delete
Included throughout the book are ideas for stories or story elements based on the content and available for the readers’ use.
ombie marches happen at least once a year in Portland. The idea is that dozens or hundreds of people dress as zombies, with elaborate makeup and ripped clothes, and march through the streets staring vacantly and jerking their arms around. Sometimes it’s a bike ride; often it culminates in a zombie prom or other kind of zombie party. Alcohol is a factor. My friend April has been participating in these since 2006. I asked her: Why? Why do all these people want to be zombies, rather than, say, heroic zombie hunters? “The makeup is really easy to do,” she said. “And it’s fun.” Pressed further, she divulged that the friend who got her into the zombie scene “definitely
felt like the world was turning him into a zombie.” And finally, “Zombies are scary because people are scary.” We are scary. Whether we’re more terrifying to ourselves or each other is an open question, but it’s obvious to anyone who’s been going to the movies lately that we are telling a lot of scary stories about the future of humanity. Zombie stories are by nature dystopian. Zombies signify failure—of political will and social cohesion, of technology and medicine, of the human body and soul. These are all topics that are being battled over right now, among people who care about all three worlds that this series occupies: science fiction, feminism, and bicycling. Questions permeate news and internet discussions like: Who has power and who ought to? What forms of social or personal control are desirable and which are anathema? What is the line between life and death, humanity and inhumanity? When it comes down to it, who will survive? From Pedal Zombies: Thirteen Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories, edited by Elly Blue. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
“Down Under romance with tinges of Austen.” —Jill Allen, Clarion Foreword Reviews
I love the setting, the story, and the characters!
Romance featuring Australian outback and two characters that really have kept me hooked reading it from the very start. —Amazon Review
WINNER of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports-Related Book
Season of Upsets: Farm Boys, City Kids, Hoosier Basketball and the Dawn of the 1950s by Matthew A. Werner seasonofupsets.com
This incredible untold story on Indiana basketball captures Hoosier hysteria in all its glory. But it is not just a sports storyâ€”the students were born into the Great Depression and grew up in the shadow of World War II, the coaches 62
were veterans of war, a fire destroyed a school, and a coal strike threatened everything. Hard times abounded, but in the end everyone shared one common love: basketball.
Obsessions by NEIL MAVRICK
How far would you go to save the woman you love? Beyond the known boundaries of established science? Perhaps—but what if you had never actually met her? “an ambitious amalgam of science fiction, mystery, and romance” ... “a shrewdly constructed page-turner and a highly entertaining, emotionally compelling read that will likely resonate stronger with romance readers than science fiction fans.” BlueInk Reviews
Teenager Richard Stevenson stumbles across the photo of a young actress taken at a Gala dinner in Los Angeles in 2014, and is intrigued by the haunted expression on her face. Subsequent research reveals that she killed herself following an assault a few years before the gala. This triggers an obsession with the girl. Richard is also frustrated. Studies to expand upon the theories of General Relativity, especially those concerning the flow of time and space, are ignored by all his contemporaries. Rachel Starr is a wannabe actress. She has been in Hollywood for two years but is not alone. There are hundreds like her, many facing dangers from those who would entice them into the world of pornography, prostitution, or simply into bed. One day, Rachel meets Paul Lander, an enigmatic character seemingly possessing an intimate knowledge of what the future holds for her—and, indeed, the rest of us—unless he can use his three obsessions to intercede on her behalf.
Three connecting obsessions.
PETE DELOHERY AWARD WINNER “Rummaging through my parents’ attic as a kid, I found the photograph featured on the front cover of Season of Upsets. My uncle—who died young in a farm accident—is in it. To me, that picture said that anything was possible. I carried it around for thirty years and always wanted to know more about the people and the circumstances that led up to the moment that photo had been taken. When I finally dug into the details, I discovered a story more amazing than anybody could have imagined and knew that somebody had to capture it.” —MAW
n 1891 James Naismith invented a new game to manage a “class of incorrigibles.” Three years later the firstknown scheduled basketball game in Indiana was played in the town of Crawfordsville when its YMCA team beat the Lafayette team. From there, Indiana changed forever and the game spread to industrial cities, hay lofts, border towns, and everywhere in between. The people of Indiana didn’t think of it as a game, but a part of life. And Hoosiers lived it. In 1910 a dispute erupted. The towns of Crawfordsville and Lebanon both declared their high school team the state champion of Indiana basketball. Both teams had assembled great records—Crawfordsville finished the season 13-1 and Lebanon finished 20-2. Crawfordsville’s only loss came against Lebanon and one of Lebanon’s two losses occurred in Crawfordsville. To settle the dispute, Lebanon proposed a third game on a neutral court to deter64
mine the true state champion once and for all. But Crawfordsville balked and pointed to their invitation to a Midwest tournament at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as evidence of its superiority. The dispute was never settled. The following year, the Indiana University Booster Club organized a state basketball tournament. The Club invited the high school basketball team with the best record from each U.S. Congressional district to participate. Conveniently, Crawfordsville and Lebanon were in separate Congressional districts and as fate would have it, they met in the championship game of that first state basketball tournament in 1911. When the official time keeper signaled the end of the game, the score said it all: Crawfordsville—24, Lebanon—17. From Season of Upsets by Matthew A. Werner, seasonofupsets.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
W W W. RO NMESSI ER. CO M
A dialog between Christians and Muslims
“Although a scholarly work, the book clearly desires to replace endless debate with fruitful conversation: ‘Praying together would carry with it a willingness to dialogue, to dialogue with self, to dialogue with the other, and possibly to dialogue with the Spirit of God.’ Messier’s writing will be impressively accessible to the layperson and tries to illuminate a theologically defensible path to détente between two rival faiths.”
“In a world aflame with religious misunderstanding and battling gods, Ron Messier offers a moving, insightful and potentially healing balm. His command of Christian and Islamic teachings is strong, and his ability to facilitate dialogue between these two faiths masterful. Read, share, and talk about this book.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Recovery, the Sacred Art
“With decades of experience studying and teaching both faiths, Messier is in a unique position to tell us how Islam and Christianity view the person of Jesus. And he does that beautifully, wisely, and evenhandedly. This book gives you a rich context to have interfaith dialog and fellowship with believers of two major world religions. It is an indispensable read for anyone interested in an ecumenical approach to matters of conscience and faith. It is a book to be read and shared widely.” Dr. Ranin Khazemi, PhD in Islamic History, Yale University Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History, Kansas State University
Available at TWIN OAKS PRESS and UNBOUND
THE PETE DELOHERY AWARD We created the Pete Delohery Award in honor of the late indie author of the boxing-themed novel Lamb to the Slaughter. We’re proud to honor Pete’s creativity and passion for writing with this award. We talked to his wife Pat Delohery about Pete and his writing. Shelf Unbound: Tell us a little bit about Pete Delohery. Pat Delohery: Pete Delohery was born in Washington, D.C. in 1942. He received a B.S. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech; taught at Virginia Tech; was Town Engineer of Blacksburg, Virginia (home of Virginia Tech) and an engineering consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though he was successful in engineering, his passion was always writing. Pete’s writing style immediately involves you in the story and the life of all his characters. Shelf Unbound: And how about his novel Lamb to the Slaughter. Delohery: Lamb to the Slaughter is a novel about love and courage, sin and redemption. “Iron” Mike McGann, 32 years old, is facing the twilight of his prizefighting career. Desperate for his future, he has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. In despair, his wife, Madge, is leaving him. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard, Mike’s next opponent, is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. He has won all 22 of his fights by knockout and is said to be a former enforcer for something called The Black Mafia. But behind Rufus Hilliard’s menacing ring presence lives a man nobody knows, a complex man who despises his own image. Unexpectedly left alone before his bout with McGann, Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard is forced to confront the past that haunts him and the future he dreads. Charles “Charliehorse” O’Connell, Rufus’s cornerman, has been terrorized by a mob kingpin to sabotage him. O’Connell, who is an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler, blames himself for the ring deaths of two prizefighters. Trapped 66
in a moral crisis, O’Connell must finally confront his “Cardinal Sin.” Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard vs “Iron” Mike McGann, just another fight shown on The Continuous Sports Network, but by the time it is over the lives of these and many others will be forever different. Shelf Unbound: How did the idea for the book come to him? How long did it take him to write it? What was his writing routine? Delohery: Pete was very interested in boxing. We attended matches and/or watched boxing on TV. He also was very interested in people and how they handled problems. The two combined to create Lamb to the Slaughter, where three men connected by a championship match were all at a major crossroad in their lives. The novel is about love and courage, sin and redemption. Pete took a sabbatical for one year and wrote two novels as well as short stories. The second novel was Lamb to the Slaughter. He would write all morning and work out with weights three days a week. Sometimes he would write after dinner and on the weekends. Shelf Unbound: You have devoted yourself to promoting Pete’s book following his death in 2011. What does promoting his book mean to you? Delohery: Pete dedicated one year of his life to create this novel. There was a near miss but the novel was not published. One of my last promises to Pete was that I would get his novel published. The publication, translation of the novel into Spanish, and promotion reflect my belief in his novel and his dream.
A ROAD TRIP THAT WOULD CHANGE HIS LIFE...
Michaelâ€™s freshman year of college has not gone well either socially or academically. In 1969 failure from college or dropping out of school means the draft and possibly Vietnam. Michael desperately wants success, acceptance and popularity. He believes pledging a campus fraternity can help put him on the right path. As the final hurdle to get into the fraternity he must hitchhike 1500 miles over a weekend; a road trip which could save his freshman year and possibly change his life. The rides he gets, the people he meets and the obstacles he overcomes on his journey do change his lifebut in an unexpected way.
www.TomWascoe.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore. UNBOUND
winner Editor’s Award for Literature
Black Lawrence Press | blacklawrence.com
“In beautifully rendered, deeply imaginative short stories, Carol Guess and Kelly Magee mine the depths of parenthood while also exploring gender and sexuality.” —The Editors of Shelf Unbound
Digger Cartwright WWW.DIGGERCARTWRIGHT.COM @MysteryDigger
THE HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS Mystery, intrigue, deceit, extortion and a romance that may not be what it seems...
THE VERSAILLES CONSPIRACY International intrigue, political high drama and death intertwined in a conspiracy where no one is above suspicion...
THE MAYNWARINGS A GAME OF CHANCE Politics, Scandal, Gold, and the biggest cattle ranch in the Old West...
MURDER AT THE OCEAN FOREST Murder, secrets, and deception shake up the opulent seaside resort where all guests have skeletons in their closets...
CONVERSATIONS ON THE BENCH Life lessons, wisdom, wine, women, and simple conversations...
All books available at
WITH HUMAN 1. When she learned that the baby was human, she felt disappointed. It rattled inside her, fearless and furless, alphabet of bones and thumbs. An animal pregnancy was all soft tongues, lapping; pink silk and decoration. Multiples, so they took care of themselves. They nested inside each other, fully formed at birth. It wasn’t her fault, her husband reminded her. His DNA decided things. He was the carrier; he was the mail. Still, she talked to the baby animals. Named them as if she might keep them. Of course mothers could only keep human infants. Baby animals were whisked away. Her first three pregnancies were bundled in yellow blankets and disappeared down the hall with the nurse. Of course they reassured her that her kittens, puppies, and pandas were loved; cuddled and coddled. Of course she didn’t look at the smoke that flew over the hospital, crooked gray birds. This time it was human, so she could keep it. Her husband would name it, reward her with gifts. She would be given a pink or blue blanket, press a heart to her chest, nurse a face when it cried. Where were her animals? Where had they gone? The little human baby snowballed inside her, colder and harder, collecting sharp stones.
2. Ivy covered the windows of the animal nursery. Night nurse, fox nurse, noon nurse, God. 3. Down the hall, human babies failed the APGAR. Neonatal German Shepherds twitched in sleep, hightailing sheep. 4. She winced when her husband stroked her stomach: Henry, Catherine, Leroy, Lee. Sit and Stay. He fed her cravings: dog food, cat food, worms, bamboo. 5. When the baby was born, she felt pleased. He dropped from her like an anvil, dense and singular. Dark hair curled down his back. He didn’t suck at her breast so much as gnaw. He lifted his head right away, arching away from her. She stroked his naked cheek until he turned and bit her finger. Her husband couldn’t swaddle him tight enough. The baby’s legs kicked free, bicycling air. Gymnast, her husband said. Escape artist. Strong man. Animal, she thought. Beloved. From With Animal by Carol Guess and Kelly Magee, Black Lawrence Press, blacklawrence.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Make Andy a part of your childrenâ€™ s book Collection!
9 780578 138473
9 780578 138473
If You Were Me and Lived In ...
If You Were Me and Lived In … by Carole P. Roman www.caroleproman.com
In her delightful series of books for children, Carole P. Roman introduces readers to the lives and languages of other cultures around the world. Here she tells Shelf Unbound how the series came to be.
hile on a family vacation in Las Vegas, the many different themes of the hotels were observed by my 4-year-old grandson. We discussed the pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum in Rome, and the Eiffel Tower. We walked the strip and sampled crepes and other specialties of that area. When we got home, we looked up these places on the computer and it started a wonderful journey around the world to observe the differences in our cultures. I wrote If You Were Me 72
and Lived In ... Mexico—A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World that evening. I wanted to keep it simple, just enough to whet an inquiring mind, but not bore the child or parent into rushing though a book. Each page was hard to edit, as I learned fascinating facts on places I’ve never been. The book’s purpose is to open the door and let the parent or educator decide how much they want to explore. Each page can be a topic or project, discussing the currency—
From Author William Diebold
A thrilling tale of love and devotion as four Chicago friends search for an ancient treasure. The exciting Sequel to Thap Cham
n ancient Queen from Southeast Asia, fleeing a falling empire leaves behind the remaining wealth and heritage of that kingdom hidden in a cave near Thap Cham (pronounced “Top Chom”), Vietnam. A Vietnam War photographer and three of his friends in Chicago become entangled in a story of intrigue, love and betrayal as they find a surprising connection to the ancient queen and her treasure. Their quest leads them straight into the arms of an evil despot who seeks to control and rule this ancient land and they discover that appearances are often deceiving. What happens next, and the love and loyalty between these friends is what this story is all about. “The detailed fictional characters made me care about their situations as well as their back stories, a rare experience in the suspense genre. However, this novel doesn’t really fit into any narrow genre - its wide ranging locations and time periods take it into “epic” territory. Recommended highly. ” —Dk Mercer
or thousands of years the earth has held a secret that promised prosperity and power to whom it is revealed. Civilizations have come and gone and mankind has contrived ever more intelligent ways to prey on each other. Yet the secret remained until recently. A professor of archeological studies discovered a link to that secret and it led him to Siem Kulea where Jack and Mai have settled. The bond of love between Jack and Mai is never tested but the peace of their valley is as evil adversaries seek the means to open the magnificent and mysterious door hidden below the White Palace. It becomes a surprising and thrilling contest that takes them around the world to see who finds the answer first in this all-or-nothing contest.
what does it tell us about that country? Is it rich or poor based on the weight of the money? Agricultural or industrial? What kind of government do you think it has? What have you tasted from this country? Do you think it’s rural? If they eat a lot of fish—what do you think that means? Are the names familiar? The holidays? Would you like to play with their games and toys? Where would you take a visitor in this country and why? Each subject is elastic enough to interest a wide variety of age groups and interests. The funny thing is that most parents have written that they have learned new information as well! We live in a global world and need to communicate with each other better. If children learn to appreciate our differences at a young age, 74
perhaps in some way it will promote tolerance. I stayed away from politics and religion in order to not press a hot button, but certainly parents can take it a step further if they are comfortable. I love this series and have enjoyed discovering so much information about the world. People have been wonderfully forthcoming when I ask them questions about their homeland, and I love their pride. Mexico, France, South Korea, Norway, Turkey, and Kenya are published. I tried to reach for the “four corners” of the earth and not pick countries that I am familiar with. I was asked by friends to include India and Australia, which are in production. I hope to keep going and try to do every country I can. Happy exploring! —Carole P. Roman
“Flip’s approach is accessible and practical and provides a number of simple practices that will help you maintain a high level of energy at work— and at home at the end of the day. This is a useful book for any professional interested in living a healthier, more productive life.”
“Flip Brown’s Balanced Effectiveness at Work is full of big reveals. One of the most important is how to replace perfectionism and judgment with empathy and engagement. This changes everything. You’ll find inspiration on every page!”
Bryan Welch Publisher & Editorial Director, Ogden Publications, and author of Beautiful and Abundant: Building the World We Want.
Marshall Goldsmith Author of the New York Times and global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
“An eminently practical guide to creating the self-awareness needed to make positive changes, along with fun-to-read ‘Flip’s Tips’ and down-toearth methods for taking action. You’d be bananas not to ingest this book.” Maren Showkeir Co-author of Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job.
“Flip shows that anyone can be a force for good at work, but only if they are balanced and effective. I wholeheartedly agree. Use this book as your roadmap to deeper success and satisfaction.”
Arnie Kozak, PhD. Author of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness.
Kevin Cashman Senior Partner, CEO and Executive Development, Korn Ferry and bestselling author, Leadership from the Inside Out.
“An easy-to-read format with numerous examples of those workplace people and events that make us crazy. It contains practical steps to regain control and the ‘action for traction’ section affords ongoing practice..” Eileen McDargh CEO (Chief Energy Officer), McDargh Communications and The Resiliency Group.
Ryan Honeyman Author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good.
“Flip translates research, self-help, and wisdom into approachable, practical, and easy to digest steps for increasing self-awareness and effectiveness at work. This book is an invitation to grow yourself or come back to being the self you know you can be.”
“‘Flip’ your conceptions about balance, with Flip Brown’s thoughtful, fun, insightful book “Balanced Effectiveness at Work.” It’s pragmatic, simple yet profound, and fosters moving from speed to significance to create a more meaningful life.”
For more information, sample chapters, and how to buy, see:
WWW.BALANCEDEFFECTIVENESS.COM ISBN: 978-0-9962860-0-8 (sc) ISBN: 978-0-9962860-2-2 (e)
“How refreshing to learn that work-life balance starts within you, rather than with your overdemanding situation. Flip really makes you realize that you have control over your life and you can balance it no matter what forces come at you.” Joanie Connell Author of Flying without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People NBOU N D Life. 75 for UWork and
BOOK SHELF The Vampire Girl Next Door 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.” “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 www.thevampiregirlnextdoor.com
Available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Paperback and all e-book formats available on author’s website.
Grog Wars by Anne Sweazy-Kulju
urke Kaufmann’s life changed forever when a brewing accident killed his brother. It fell to Burke to trek the dangerous journey to America and grow the family brewery. Set in a period of major world changes, Burke weathers one obstacle after another, including an arranged marriage, to safely arrive in Portland, Oregon—quite possibly the most dangerous place on earth. www.historical-horse-feathers.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s.
The Girl in Red Pajamas by Chris Birdy
he Girl in Red Pajamas begins when two lesbians have a fight in a restaurant. After one is found dead stuffed in the other’s SUV, their families point fingers and question religious beliefs while the police gather evidence to build a case against the survivor. Bogie McGruder becomes involved because one is his sister and the other, his old girlfriend. www.chrisbirdy.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. GOODREADS LINK
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.
BOOK SHELF Pearls from Many Seas by Herb Romero
ilitary oriented, Pearls from Many Seas is an eye opener and factual based, and active or inactive service readers will surely enjoy this thriller packed book. It contains vivid stories of action and adventure; from romantic and combat, to cold and hot war spying operations under a special intelligence national effort developed by a top national agency.
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Infinity Publishing. Available in print and e-book formats. Creole Moon The Betrayal by S.T. Holmes
The Humanist Society by Joseph Sassoon
hat accounts for the rise and fall of so many civilizations? Author Joseph Sassoon tackles this question and many others in this, his second volume of self-actualization. Joseph Sassoonâ€™s study describes a step-bystep social arrangement that could lead to selfactualization for the greatest number of people, a vital step in a humanist society.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Sound of One Horse Dancing by Tom Baker
.T. Holmes was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and began creative writing in high school. While growing up, she heard wild stories about people getting lost in the swamp. Using her vivid imagination, she took some of the highlights from those outrageous tales and decided to spin them into the more sophisticated story featured in this book.
wenty-seven-yearold Tim Halladay is a rising star in the three-martini lunch world of Madison Avenue in the 1970s. Follow the adventures of a closeted gay man in the Stonewall Era of Greenwich Villageâ€”his rise and fall and ultimate redemption in the cutthroat world of advertising.
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xulon Publishing. Available in print and e-book formats.
www.TomBakerBooks.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse.
BOOK SHELF The Care of Goats and Ghosts by Sharon Burch Toner
aggie and Allie McGill find more than leprechauns and shamrocks at an Irish castle and ancient monastery. The monastery island, peaceful and green, waits for the pure of heart to discover its secrets. They discover beauty, peace and, of all things, goats! It is idyllic until...Maggie must face a deep fear and mystery that deepens into even greater dangers. www.sharonburchtoner.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Available in both Kindle and print. The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer by Constance Corcoran Wilson Art by Gary McCluskey
ook Number four in “The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats” series is a Seussical rhyming tale with interactive maze and coloring book pages for readers aged 3 to 10 at book’s end. Parents and teachers will love the moral(s) of all 4 books, and the interactive pages are downloadable for free from the website. The Christmas Cats set out to save the lives of the deer that live in Scott County Park, thinking up a creative plan that allows the deer—with just a few modifications—to help Santa Claus. Get all 4 books on Amazon in paperback and e-book, or an autographed hardcover copy at
The Sweet Tooth Goblin by Heather Cain Wisenbaker
his whimsical journey brings to life the classic tooth fairy character and her tooth-goblin helpers. This story is sure to help every child ease the fear about losing a tooth. A wonderfully illustrated and imaginative spin on the tooth fairy, this book and pillow will create the perfect fantasy for your child to visit every time he or she hugs his or her very own Sweet Tooth Goblin. The Goblins have become the tooth fairy’s biggest helpers. They make it easy to locate the tooth and add a safe place to secure money or gifts for the child. Visit us at www.SweetToothGoblin.com and follow & share us on Facebook! Walter Plume and the Dehydrated Imagination by Rebecca Lynn Morales
alter’s summer looks downright boring. But before his imagination breathes its last breath, Walter stumbles into a mystical land—a land where he has a special power! He soon finds himself facing off against the evil Ickabod Von Snot-hook in a battle that will change everything. Funny, fast-paced, and full of surprises, this book is guaranteed to leave you laughing. www.rebeccalynnmorales.com www.walterplume.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
BOOK SHELF Street Light by R.L. Herron
n the electrifying and powerful final book of the award-winning “Reichold Street” trilogy, the characters Paul, Janice, Randy and their friends from Brickdale discover that even in the Vietnam War era not all evil is found in war. Some of it walks on the streets of home. Part of the “Shelf Unbound Notable 100” for 2015
www.ronaldherron.com Available at Amazon. DANCE An Illustrated History by Helene Andreu
Beyond the Floathouse, Gunhild’s Granddaughter by Myrtle Siebert
granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants, Myrtle’s story moves through bewildering and sometimes lonely experiences, with adjustments from home-schooling in a floathouse kitchen to a one-room land-based school, to the independence of high school in a world of strangers, when at age 13 she was on her own. To learn “the rest of her story” read, Beyond the Floathouse, People and Places in 2016. www.myrtlesiebert.com Available at the author’s website and Amazon. Holes in my Shoes by Alice Breon
his book highlights both verbally and visually the development of today’s dances— ballet, modern, jazz, modern—as well as the influence of peoples’ beliefs, cultures, and lifestyles, and the functions of dance in various societies. It is richly illustrated with 300 images related to dance—paintings, sculptures, sheet music covers, and photographs.
“I 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
www. authorhouse.com/bookstore Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
firstname.lastname@example.org Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Xlibris.
BOOK SHELF The Sorrow’s Garden by Anthony Carinhas
ell-known as an architect and writer in Leipzig, Germany. Radulf is repulsed by the nature of other people’s selfish living. Ironically, his own character is devoid of morals. Despite the destitution his schemes cause. The power turns obsessive and his appetite for lust gives way for a new motive. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iBooks. GOODREADS LINK Hooked by Bobbi JG Weiss
emon boy! If I could kill him a thousand times, I could not destroy him! Let me die, dear God I beseech Thee, let me die! —Jas. Hook “This revisionist fantasy with provocative philosophical verve and depth incites empathy for a most engaging anti-hero while revealing the primal maliciousness imbedded within the tale of Peter Pan.” —Publisher’s Weekly BobbiJGWeiss.com and Hookedthenovel.com Available at Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords.
Making A Living, Making A Life by Daniel Rose
ive decades of the best speeches of Daniel Rose, Chairman of Rose Associates. Winner of a number of national Cicero Speech awards, he has spoken at universities throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa on a broad variety of topics: economics, inner city education, racial problems, real estate, food & wine, and housing. “...a masterful debut collection of exceptionally cogent and timely speeches and essays...” —Kirkus Reviews Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Lady of the Lake by Jennifer Wherrett
ady of the Lake is simply exquisite in its approach to transformative events in one girl’s life, and is especially recommended for fantasy readers of Arthurian legend seeking something different, more well-rounded, multi-faceted and complex than many of its competitors.” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review www.thelady.com.au Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BookDepository (free shipping).
BOOK SHELF 1918: The Great Pandemic, A Novel by David Cornish, MD
inner of the Independent Publishers of New England Book Award, and the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award, “1918” is a rigorously researched historical novel about the influenza pandemic that killed 100 million people…humanity’s worst natural disaster. The actual medical literature and terminology of the time are used to put the reader in the mind of an early 20th century physician.
site provides a wide range of services for authors. We provide book reviews, free and paid campaigns, keyword analysis and much more.
www.davidcornishbooks.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IngramSpark.
Contact us for more information at: www.TheReadingSofa.com or send us an email to: TheReadingSofaSite@gmail.com
Killing Juggernaut by Jared Bernard
rmed with a mountain of scientific evidence and societal trends, Killing Juggernaut predicts a dire yet probable future. Three characters’ fates are linked by the Mission for Humanity, the lastditch effort to save humankind from the environmental destruction on Earth. “Mournful, prophetic power.”
“This could very well be the future of our planet… it is incredibly realistic.” —ReaderViews.com www.killingjuggernaut.com. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Copia, Gardners Books, Baker and Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Ciando, EBSCO, and Vearsa
The Reading Sofa
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.
CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S Hope TOP 100 NOTABLES Is a
and other humble thoughts on my cancer journey
Tara Anne Shuman
Keep Moving: Tokyo to Cape Town by Motorbike by Monica Joseph theworldonamotorbike.com
This book is a travel memoir about a yearlong motorcycle trip taking the author and her husband through some very farflung exotic destinations. The journey, written with verve and immediacy, takes the reader across different continents, through 30 different countries, and notching up to 50,000 kilometers. This remarkable feat by an inexperienced female motor biker delivers a powerful message that anyone can fulfill his or her dreams in a fun and rewarding way. “The inspiration came from the unexpected interest in my travel updates to friends and family. Initially I was under the impression that a limited number of people were reading my monthly installations but after some time the readership had grown exponentially. Serializing the trip didn’t do it justice, as there was so much more to share. More than just about the road, the book is about different cultures, people, history, architecture, landscapes, books, art and food. The book captured the spirit and stories experienced.” — MJ
by R.L. Herron ronaldlherron.com
The electrifying thriller Street Light is the final book of the Reichold Street trilogy: a powerful tale that deals with the tough issues of family dysfunction, bullying, alcoholism, madness, the war in Vietnam and its often-depressing aftermath. In Street Light, however, the characters discover not all evil is found in war. Some of it actually walks on the streets of home. “The characters in my novel Reichold Street, a 2012 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Winner that Kirkus Reviews called ‘skillfully written and emotionally charged,’ became so well defined and real they got to the point where they told me what they were doing next. So, the characters continued in the sequel One Way Street but had even more to say once the old neighborhood, and the war in Vietnam, were behind them. It seemed only natural to write about them in Street Light as their life experiences continued after the war. I even created a book trailer for the book: https://youtu.be/ nds_ifa9NEo.” — RLH UNBOUND
by Michael Phillip Cash michaelphillipcash.com
Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn’t have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch...Clutch is a ghost. Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas, learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships, and find redemption in this life and the hereafter. “The idea of Pokergeist actually came from my uncle. He was the person to instill the love of gambling in me at a very young age. He called me last year and said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a ghost that could see your cards?” One year later, Pokergeist is a best-seller on Amazon, and the screenplay recently won the Grand Jury Prize in Comedy in the 2015 New York Screenwriting Contest!” — MPC 84
Blood and Freedom
by Gordon Greenwood
Blood and Freedom is set in the CroatianSerbian war and throws together two unlikely people who have previously lost everything only to find love. But can Alina, daughter of the corrupt Croatian General Tomelsky, and the American sniper McNeill escape the clutches of her father’s private army as they are driven into the jaws of the waiting Serbian forces? And can they negotiate a safe path through to freedom? “I read a lot of books: Lee Child, David Baldacci, Harlem Corben, etc. They gave me the idea of the lone hero. At the time of writing Blood and Freedom I was going through a torrid and very messy divorce. Blood and Freedom became an escape, a passion, and a therapy for me. It is wonderful that something so creative can be borne out of something so destructive and in some ways lonely as divorce can be. My inspiration is my two lovely daughters, and every reader that enjoys the book.” — GG
by Connie Corcoran Wilson
Khaki=Killer is Book #3 in The Color of Evil series. It describes the adventures of Tad McGreevy, a young man with the power to detect auras around others (Tetrachromatic Super Vision) and, in his dreams, relive the crimes of those with “the color of evil.” Khaki = Killer picks up where Red Is for Rage left off, answering the question, “What happened to Melody (Harris) Carpenter?” Melody is hospitalized and fighting for her life as Khaki=Killer opens. “In the small town of Cedar Falls, Iowa, two Sky High cheerleaders disappear, one young couple faces opposition to their marriage, and Melody (Harris) Carpenter fights for life. In the background lurks escaped serial killer Michael Clay (aka Pogo), still searching for Tad McGreevy, still hoping to permanently silence ‘the boy who can see the future.’ Teen-aged characters and townsfolk from Books #1 and #2 re-appear. Says William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run; Living Legend in Dark Fantasy): ‘Wilson is a born storyteller! You’ll enjoy her latest. That’s a guarantee!’” — CCW
Murder Under the Microscope by Jane Bennett Munro janebennettmunro.com
A mystery featuring Dr. Toni Day, a pathologist whose career is threatened by a surgeon filling in for a colleague on medical leave. When the surgeon is conveniently murdered, Toni is the obvious suspect. Her efforts to clear herself by solving the murder lead her into a web of deception going back two decades and she soon realizes that it’s not just her freedom at stake but her life. “This was inspired by a similar event early in my own career. The doctor wasn’t a surgeon, and nobody murdered her, but she certainly did a number on my confidence in my ability to do my job. She was abusive to my techs and hostile to me. She was eventually fired. I was not.” — JBM
s of his daughter’s fate and hires retired United hristina. Desperate, Preston also implores help exert pressure on Colombian authorities. After her captors pay, he heads to Colombia, traveling omous snakes and other hazards. But just when s efforts to nd Christina are thwarted by radical helons of a key military establishment. While her e will tell if Bradley can overcome his obstacles uthless group of rebels. .
er of a Texas billionaire is kidnapped in Colombia, Navy Seal.
e student who has gone against the advice of attend a prestigious college in Santa Marta, the masked gunmen storm the university tour bus o on a cold October morning, she is kidnapped, rch scientist.
lbert was raised by his grandmother in a rural on the tiny Caribbean Island of Grenada. . A ader, Geoffrey won several writing competitions. for many years in the banking sector before career as an Author. . He currently lives in ere he works as a consultant.
G E O F F R E Y G ILB E R T
JUNGLE RESCUE Jungle Rescue
The Tears of San’Ferath
A gripping tale of adventure and high drama. Follow the unrelenting intrigue from the glitzy office of Texas billionaire Mike Preston to the treacherous jungles of Colombia. Preston’s daughter Christina is kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas. In utter desperation, Preston seeks help from Washington, and retired US Navy SEAL John Bradly enters the fray. A midnight rendezvous yields only an empty cabin—Christina is gone!
In a land that has lost its mage’ic, something has awakened—and an evil Nongéva Druid is pulling all the strings. “Allanoria is shifting into a new age—a world without mage’ic. For reasons unknown, I sense this is a passing phase and that one day the land’s mage’ic will return. San’Ferath readies to succumb to my final spell, The Undying Sleep. Invoking such power shall end my life, but I go willingly, as does he, for when the need is great...so shall he wake.” “When I was about 17 years old, I was given The Hobbit to read. It was my first fantasy book. I was instantly hooked. In the ensuing years, I learned all I could about world building and character development, and incorporated everything I loved about the genre, including dragons, mage’ic, and characters you root and care for and a few you’ll instantly despise, into the creation of The Tears of San’Ferath. This novel is a 20-year labor of love, and I hope readers enjoy it as much as I did writing it.” — DTJ
by Geoffrey Gilbert
“The idea came about because I wanted to show how good can triumph over evil. Also, I wanted to highlight the fact that many women are kidnapped, murdered, or sold into prostitution every year. Christina’s story is one of defiance and sheer courage. Women all over the world should read this book!” — GG
by D. Thomas Jerlo dthomasjerlo.com
Bandit, the Chubby Chihuahua
Bandit, The Chubby Chihuahua, is a story about an adorable little dog named Bandit and his new friend Malcolm. Children will be inspired and motivated by his tenacity as he navigates life’s challenges of moving from a shelter, adjusting to a new home and family, and making new friends. A touching story about true friendship, acceptance and love.
Filled with beautiful images, loving poetry, and gorgeous dreamscapes, Sometimes Sleep is a succession of illustrations and poetry that unlock imagination, guiding your child to wonderful dreams. Our goals for this book include arming children with bright, vivid images to bring to bed with them, soothing them with imaginative wording, and aiding parents in creating an inviting atmosphere for sleep. Created to inspire imagination, great dreams are bound to happen! “Sometimes Sleep was born from a dream and a tragedy. The dream was about a grandmother soothing children to sleep. A seed was planted. Time passed, and we lost our nephew, Nathan, in a car accident. I struggled to cope with his passing. Work as a firefighter was becoming harder, and my daughter had difficulty sleeping. To calm my nerves and help her sleep, I began illustrating at work. I concluded I needed to memorialize Nathan, and would do so with my book. One of my darkest hours has turned into a project of joy, love, and celebration of life.” — JCN
by Pat Postek wagamoreproductions.com
“I attribute the birth of my grandchildren as my inspiration to begin writing children’s books. I wanted to find a way to connect with my grandchildren that lived out of state and share my grandmother wisdom by offering them the tools they needed to navigate through life. A list of lessons began to form in my heart. Dogs have always been a source of comfort and joy for me. I believe that animals, especially dogs, are our greatest teachers. So it made perfect sense to bring together my grandmother wisdom and my special connection to dogs by conveying the chosen life lessons through the lives and stories of lovable canines.” — PP
by Jonathan C. Nordstrom sometimessleep.com
Gravity: The Alex Cave Series Book 4
The Duchess Quest – Jordinia: Book 1
A piece of advanced technology is stolen and activated but they cannot turn it off. It starts dragging satellites from the sky and threatens to bring down the International Space Station. When it begins changing the orbit of the moon, the extreme tidal effect could destroy the shorelines of every continent in the Northern Hemisphere, unless Geologist Alex Cave can find a way to shut it down. “The inspiration for this story came from a program on the Science Channel. It was about one place on the planet where the gravitational force is lower than average. All my stories are about the sudden discovery of advanced technology, and since I’ve always been an inventor, I decided to use science fiction to build a device capable of controlling gravity. I do extensive research for all my stories to ensure the science and engineering are as accurate as possible so the science fiction aspect of the story is believable.” — JMC
Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated 15 years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has set forth an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding assassins and spies at their tail. An original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.
by James M. Corkill jamescorkill.com
by C.K. Brooke ckbrooke.com
“I was inspired to write the novel because I’d long been intrigued by Anastasia Romanov, the last Grand Duchess of Russia, and envisioned a Princess Bridelike love story revolving around the rumored survival of her execution. That fanciful idea, coupled with a desire to write a sort of quest wherein the fellows journeying together were not friends but in fact rivals, created The Duchess Quest.” — CKB
Snaketown is drawn from the realm of what is normally swept under the rug. Snaketown begins with the disappearance of Caytas Buck, the youngest child of the Sibel clan, an allegedly inbred family scraping by in their own little corner of the universe. While the first two-thirds of the book linger largely (and poetically) on the Sibels and their history in relation to Snaketown, the last third of the book sees the narrative morph into a page-turner.
Faced with terminal cancer, Lucy Brooks decides to end her life with the assistance of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. Unfortunately for Lucy and for her partner Christine, the state of Oregon does not, at that time, recognize their union as an official marriage. Lucy must turn to her estranged brother, a pious Catholic priest, to represent her as next of kin. He doesn’t agree with her end of life decree.
by Kathleen Wakefield kathleenwakefield.com
“My grandmother used to sing a ballad about a little girl who went missing from a family picnic; a year later, her bones were found across the river. I could never forget it—yet I did, of course, until a dream forced itself back into my mind with the first paragraph of Snaketown: “They couldn’t find the child, and up, over by the barn, silhouetted against the sun, she could see the dogs tossing something around, ripping and tearing at, and having a tug-of-war with something limp and lifeless.” I put it together with the place that has always haunted me—an Arizona mining ghost town on the side of a mountain where my mother was born.” — KW
by John Crawley johncrawleybooks.com
“I watched how humane it was when the vet put down our cat, Sam. I wished my aunts had received the same gentle care in their final battle with cancer. Instead, they were kept alive with all manner of technology. Death with Dignity has long been a subject around my home. My father, a doctor, believed we spend far too many resources and too much energy holding onto the dying. And we are doing it for us and not for them because we don’t know how to let go. I hope this book will be a conversation starter about that process.” — JC
The End of All Things Beautiful
The Errant Flock
Campbell Forester has spent nine years trying to forget the tragic car accident that claimed the life of her friend Sam. When she and her friends left the scene, their lives quickly crumbled under the weight of the guilt they each carried. When her past resurfaces in the form of a letter she never expected to receive, Campbell is forced to confront her past and the one person she’s never been able to forget: Benji.
Spain, 1491: The ambitions of four men collide in a deadly game of intrigue. David Sanz, a young militiaman, is forced to carry out a heinous crime, and he becomes an unwitting pawn in a tense battle for power. The people of Sagrat, terrorized by a series of murders, face an even greater danger with the arrival of the Inquisition and the unimaginable horrors it brings.
by Nikki Young nikki-young.com
“When I began writing The End of All Things Beautiful, I wanted to try to write in the Young Adult genre but found it more difficult than I thought. The book evolved from there into how the choices we make in life ultimately shape who we are and how we live life, whether good or bad. The idea was something that came to me on one of my many sleepless nights and slowly grew from there. I wanted to create a flawed, somewhat unlikeable character, yet make her relatable. She struggles with her past choices and ultimately attempts to correct where she went wrong. I think in the end, she could be anyone’s friend or daughter, and that makes her relatable.” — NY 90
by Jana Petken janapetkenauthor.com
“I am fascinated by remnants of The Spanish Inquisition period, still visible today in the medieval towns, churches, castles, and Jewish quarters, dotted along Spain’s Eastern coastline. They sit, intact for the most part, as a constant reminder of one of the darkest periods in Spain’s long history. The Errant Flock delves into the lives and struggles of characters whose survival depends not on their breeding but on their ability to outwit a fanatical religious body which is ravaging their country and the very fabric of society.” — JP
The Far Horizon
The Land Below
A stand-alone novel, and also the second novel in The Macquarie Series As a young British officer, Lachlan Macquarie served his country in America, the West Indies, India and Egypt, but now he is being asked to go to a wilderness on the other side of the world where famine and strife amongst the inhabitants is flourishing. A firm hand is needed, but when he arrives Lachlan surprises the population by showing them he is not only firm, he is also fair. George Jarvis, now grown to a young man, travels with him, and it is there George meets Mary Neely, a young, embittered English girl, who falls in love with George and learns from him about the goodness of life. Set in the early nineteenth century, The Far Horizon is a story about the genesis of a nation, and the man who turned a convict colony into a country, and named it Australia.
When the mysterious engine keeping the last humans alive in an underground goldmine begins to falter, a young man uncovers the shocking truth about the apocalypse and tries to reach the surface in search of a better future. But in doing so he unleashes a deadly secret that threatens everyone’s life.
by Gretta Curran Browne grettacurranbrowne.com
by Stavros Halvatzis stavroshalvatzis.com
“I remember reading about the massive meteor crater in Parys, in the middle of South Africa’s mining belt, that is reportedly one of the largest in the world. There are theories that the impact created many of the special ores found in the vicinity. The spot seemed to me to be a suitable backdrop for a post-apocalyptic novel. I got to thinking: What if the crater was not caused by a meteor at all? A spaceship, perhaps? Or, if a meteor, could it have been purposefully directed there? Why? I could smell a story there!” — SH
The Lost Tribe
The Remains of War
In The Lost Tribe, Harry Pike gathers a group of baseball players—including his friend Abner—to take on the Germans in a true World Series just before the start of World War II. But Harry’s trip serves another purpose. He’s a zamler, member of a long line of Jewish luck collectors, and he knows that time is running out to save the European Jews before the Nazi war machine threatens to consume them all.
Written from the perspective of a tenyear-old girl, The Remains of War touches the core of human suffering caused by the senselessness of war. Sofia’s life is forever changed when the Japanese take over the islands of Indonesia in WWII. This is her journey—one told with eloquence, honesty and humor. Her characters both disappoint and inspire the reader as friends and family discover what mankind is truly capable of.
by Matthew Caldwell facebook.com/matthewcaldwellbooks
“This is my second book in the zamler universe, and both novels deal with baseball and friendship as a central theme. I’ve been a baseball fan all my life, and the bond that can exist between two people has always fascinated me as well.” — MC
by G. Pauline Kok-Schurgers gertrudpaulinekok.com
“The Remains of War is my childhood autobiography. Upon visiting The Dutch Embassy in Canada, the Consul General cautioned that nothing of what had taken place in those World War II Japanese prison camps would remain once my generation had passed. This insight provided me with the courage to finally end sixty-five years of silence and put my pen to paper. The poignant years ahead were very much an insular process, which in the end, gave me the strength to accept that I may never forget my past, but writing this book allowed some of those wounds to heal.” — GPKS
The Sum of His Worth by Ron Argo ronargo.com
A prize-winning writer goes back to his childhood in supremacist Alabama in this “profound, heartbreakingly real” novel set in the bloody Civil Rights era. When teenager Sonny Poe witnesses the gruesome lynching of a black boy, his life is irrevocably changed. Kirkus Reviews writes of this electrifying coming of age story of betrayal and corruption: “Argo successfully creates a profound, multilayered tapestry that’s full of nuance...Unpredictable and authentic...engrossing...[a] soliloquy.” “Since I grew up in the 1960s in an Alabama town, I pulled from my own experiences and memories for much of this story. The difficult part was getting into the trenches with those memories and realities to put together this story, coming to terms today with the hate and prejudices that were my environment back then. As a trained writer, I felt compelled to tell some of my story in fiction, or “non fiction,” form to commemorate on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. With my talent and experience, hopefully a sense of the reality that both blacks and whites suffered during those years.” —RA
The Body Market: A Leine Basso Thriller by DV Berkom dvberkom.com
Former assassin Leine Basso is hired by a wealthy Beverly Hills power couple to find their missing teenaged daughter who was last seen partying with her boyfriend at a club in Tijuana. When Leine finds the boyfriend’s missing vehicle with a mutilated body inside, and the local cartel warns her away, she knows if Elise isn’t already dead, she will be soon, or worse. “The idea for The Body Market was sparked by two news items. The first was an article regarding the arrest of a seventeen-yearold sicario for a Mexican drug cartel, who confessed to 800 murders. The other detailed the discovery of a refrigerated truck filled with children destined for a ‘body market’ of sorts, where they would ultimately be murdered for their organs. The main character, a former assassin named Leine Basso, had worked with an anti-trafficking organization in the previous book, so delving into the underbelly of both human and organ trafficking seemed a natural progression for the series.” —DVB UNBOUND
The Wrath – Book 1: The Adventures of Kien Aiyo by Star
Kien Aiyo is a young boy whose sole dream is to join the Great Heroes of Elter, just like every boy in his village. Unlike the other boys, he accidentally finds himself stuck in their luggage and dragged along for a fruitless quest that makes him question everything he knows. “In the still hours in between class and waiting, where countless day dreams were carelessly cast off at the sounding of bells, I captured one such dream. It was a memory of my past. It was on a little mesa overlooking the small reservation town, where all the promise of youth was yet unspoiled, and then it shattered. It was with this idea in mind to try to capture both the adventure and the despair of leaving those sanctuaries with the mold of my favorite genre that The Wrath was born.” — S
Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships by Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS lorianndavis.com
With just a few secrets, you can create a relationship you deserve, the one you have always dreamed of but weren’t sure was possible, one that is unstoppable! You will learn how to communicate effectively and why the way men and women think can be crucial to how you relate to one another day-to-day and in the bedroom. Relationships can be complicated but yours doesn’t have to be. “This book is a combination of years of research, hours spent working with clients as a counselor for over 28 years, and my own personal life journey. I was blessed to have my own unstoppable relationship and have dedicated my career to helping others find, keep, and renew love and passion in their lives. It is my hope that this book will help both singles and couples on their journey to a life that is better than they could have ever imagined.” — LAD
Wake Not the Hangman
When Will Things Start Looking Up?
A coming-of-age tale of fellowship and courage, Wake Not the Hangman tells the story of 15-year-old Thornton Guthrie, who works his father’s land at gunpoint and who dreams of plotting an escape with his father’s three slaves. Thornton’s desire to flee his wretched father leads to a much bigger quest: freedom for a band of newfound friends confined by servitude and the law. Includes Reader’s Guide. “I’m a former magazine editor who took a sharp turn into the world of law, which I have inhabited for over a decade. I enjoy including worries thought to be intrinsic to urban life in my rustic stories. In Wake Not the Hangman, I borrowed from my past and my love of Westerns and classic films to tell a tale of justice from a bygone time. The unexpected friendship at the center of the story was inspired by real-life bravery I witnessed in early childhood.” — DL
In a world that has more and different pressures than ever before, teens and young adults are constantly looking for hope. When Will Things Start Looking Up? is a guide to help this generation find a source of hope they can hold on to and begin to unlock the potential in their lives. Reading it is like talking to a good friend—sometimes deep, sometimes funny, and always real.
by Deborah Leigh darrowpublishing-losangeles.com
by Jim Cermak iwilllookup.com
“With two kids going through the teen and young adult years, I saw the pressures and stress they and their friends went through. Many didn’t know how to handle it and went down a dangerous spiral. I realized that people with hope don’t turn to cutting or drugs, don’t go to jail, and never commit suicide. The problem is that hope is in short supply these days. I wanted these kids to see how awesome they are, and that the world needs them. The book shows how through prayer, anyone can tap into hope, pull themselves through tough times, and begin to live out the potential for their lives.” — JC UNBOUND
When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything by Heidi Siefkas heidisiefkas.com
Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional—until a tree limb in New York struck her down, breaking her neck. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost everything: health, marriage, and career. Siefkas fought to rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity as to what it truly means to have it all. Siefkas shows how it’s possible to look up in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. “I wrote When All Balls Drop to inspire others to not only survive life’s obstacles, but to thrive in spite of them. We all can use life’s failures and losses as springboards for life change. Although society widely understands Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, there is also Post-Traumatic Growth. This story is a triumphant example of it.” — HS
Kwong’s First Two by Vic Warren vicwarren.com
The first two novellas in The Inspector Kwong Mysteries. The Quartz is the first and is a cat and mouse game between Inspector Lawrence Kwong and Xiao Mingyu, one of the most powerful men in the People’s Republic. The second, The River, is a tale of revenge. A powerful Triad, out for payback from Kwong, kidnap and beat him, then ridicule him on the Internet. “A couple of years before this series, I wrote the novel Hong Kong Blues, which featured Chief Inspector Lawrence Kwong and a street kid named Matson Tai. Readers liked them so much, I decided to do a spinoff series—Matson is now grown up and works as Kwong’s assistant. Since these first two, I’ve also finished The Fog, The Gift and The Shot. These will appear in paperback as Kwong’s Next Three by year’s end. All of the books are receiving excellent reviews, and I’m happy that your people like them, as well.” — VW
21st Century Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Carson Cunningham carsoncunningham.com
Frozen solid for decades, Huck Finn is discovered and thawed out by shady scientists. Escaping their clutches, he finds himself hunted by those who would love to exploit his story. Craftily, Huck flees to a small town near Lake Michigan, where he sets up camp in the forest, nice and hidden. Soon he meets a gang of boys, the Musketeers. Adventures ensue as his original personality is unleashed upon the 21st century. “While crafting a story about a group of boys growing up in the 21st century, I was thinking about the wonderful and wacky times in which we live. Then an idea struck me: what would the original, independentminded, and gutsy Huckleberry Finn think of today? How might he respond to our times, the newfangled technology, sports-mad parents, entertainment-based pop culture, and abundance? The more I pondered it, the more interested I became. Seeing as Mark Twain took a Connecticut Yankee and threw him into King Arthur’s Court, I reckoned what the heck and brought Huckleberry Finn to modern times.” —CC
Dingo the Dragon Slayer
by Michael Robb Mathias about.me/michaelrobbmathias
A dragon wants to nest in the air shaft Dingo guards for the dwarves, and it is his duty to stop it. The only problem is, a strange wizard named Master Zarvin is on the dragon’s side. Will Dingo become a dragon slayer, or will he get eaten? Or will he do something else that surprises him and the old wizard, both? The only way to find out is to start reading Dingo the Dragon Slayer now. “Dingo the Dragon Slayer is the first book of the Master Zarvin Action and Adventure Series. In the series, Dingo the dwarf and a feisty pixie chum named “Oonzil the Oathbreaker” go on “The Greatest Quest” to help Master Zarvin and a beautiful dragon rider named Clover. The success of their quest might determine the future, because Clover, and her mighty dragon Crimzon, need what Dingo and his crew are after, to prepare the world for the coming of the Dragoneers.” — MRM
by Forrest Boston esotericthebook.com
Four Ph.D. candidates in various fields of science discover a group of facts that society does not know about. When the group makes these facts known, however, this gets the attention of certain powers that are keeping society in the dark about these facts in order to control it. What happens when the power of knowledge comes against the powers of the world? “I taught school for several years. I noticed this one particular scientific theory kept popping up. Understandably it was in the science books but it was all over the place. We’d be studying math, reading, social studies, whatever, and it was there. A plot began forming in my mind. It was as if this theory was being forced upon the students. What if it was? What if there was some powerful organization that was trying to manipulate society with this theory. Adolf Hitler said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” From this soil, Esoteric grew.” — FB
Vietnam Memoirs by Don Bonsper
This simple, honest book by Don Bonsper takes readers on his journey from when he assumes command of a Marine infantry platoon in Vietnam in June 1967 until his reassignment to the Marine Advisory Unit in November 1967. This book is not full of glorified stories about war. Rather it is the author’s best recollection of the day-to-day reality of living in combat. “I completed my tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968. In the mid 1980s I wrote a series of articles for the Marine Corps Gazette which were short vignettes of selected events and experiences of my time as a platoon leader and an advisor. I later expanded the articles into two books but was unable to find a publisher. In late 2014 my wife convinced me to self publish the books with her help, which is what I did. Part 1 covers my time as a platoon leader and a second book, Part 2, covers my time as an advisor.” — DB
Mine, Not Hers
Simon, a black teen, leaves the farm, Marula Ridge, to join Nelson Mandela’s underground army attempting to overthrow Apartheid. Susannah, a 13-year-old from an affluent white family, travels to her uncle’s farm while her parents are overseas. These two young people meet by chance, and the events they experience as the country lurches towards democracy will redefine their values and, ultimately, change the course of their lives. “I grew up in South Africa, a white child sheltered from the suffering caused by Apartheid. Only as an adult did I comprehend the inequality between the races. I decided to tell the story of two young people from different backgrounds in a divided country. But I wanted to write a book that was entertaining as well as educational. Susannah’s family is affluent and white. It wasn’t difficult to find her voice. She is a lot like me. But Simon’s family is poor and black. It was a challenge to get into his head. I hope I’ve done him justice.” — AR
Katie and Jason have the perfect life. Soul mates since high school, nothing has ever threatened their happiness, until now. Katie’s strange, erotic dreams foretell an intrusion into their perfect world. A sex crazed stalker with her sights on Jason, or is he a willing participant? With her friends by her side, Katie tries to make sense of it all and discovers she is stronger than she ever imagined.
by Ann Robson annrobson-author.com
by Betsy Anne betsyannebooks.com
“This is my first book, and it sat in my head for a long time. So happy to have finally finished it! My inspiration for Mine, Not Hers came from books I enjoyed reading, such as Gone Girl, where the story unfolds from different points of view and keeps the reader guessing. I wanted to create characters that feel genuine and are likable. The type of people you would want to have in your life and spend time with.” — BA
Everyone’s a Genius
Leading Through Relationship First
There is no currency in circulation today that wasn’t first birthed by an idea. What would just one brilliant idea be worth to you in your lifetime? How about a dozen? Endorsed by Seth Godin and Piers Anthony, Fraser’s award-winning business reference book Everyone’s a Genius arms readers with innovative new ways to expand their imagination and bring quality ideas to life.
Leading Through Relationship First is a must read for leaders who want to build a great team, while positively impacting the careers and lives of those they lead. The book is a simple yet profound read that can have an immediate and positive impact on the performance of any work group or team. It offers practical lessons and examples leaders can apply immediately in their workplaces.
“An idea costs nothing, and yet the main problem most of us face when dreaming up BIG new ideas is not knowing how or where to get started. This book is an invaluable source of inspiration and tools to help people do just that. Too many books on innovation are written at a scholarly level, making them inaccessible to the average person on the street. Everyone’s a Genius not only shows readers how to think outside the box, it actually shifts their mental gears into inventor’s mode as they read it.” —JF
“I was fortunate to meet Sam Walton and observe firsthand his servant leadership style and caring attitude for people. Over the next 28 years, I built a successful leadership career based on treating people with respect and helping them to achieve their goals and objectives. Through focusing on trust, expectations, motivation, empowerment, and appreciation, I found that my team was always willing to step up and deliver great results. I hope to inspire leaders to invest in their people and realize that true success is defined by the difference you make in the lives of those around you every day.” —HJ
by Jen Fraser jen-fraser.com
100 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Henry Jordan henryjordanleadership.com
My Extraordinary Life
Paradise Drive links 80 sonnets that challenge the form in a narrative about a modern Pilgrim on a journey from rust-belt Pennsylvania to the tony suburbs of Marin County, California. About it, Tom Lux says, “Not since Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona.” Paradise Drive has earned 50+ reviews in venues including the Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Poet Lore, SF Chronicle, and Washington Review of Books.
True story of a congenital triple amputee told in a matter-of-fact way without melodrama. Monica overcomes incredible odds that will remind readers that nothing is impossible. It is an epic story of an ordinary and yet truly extraordinary life. Readers will absolutely never look at a “handicapped” person the same way again. Winner of multiple awards, this is an inspiring must-read book for both young and old alike. “When I was young, my grandmother often said to me, ‘You should write a book.’ I repeatedly asked, ‘About what?’ She would answer, ‘About your life. People should know.’ When I still didn’t understand, she simply said, ‘Some day you’ll know.’ She died when I was 44, but not before she again urged me to write my life story. I promised I would. Though still not sure what was so exciting about my life, I started writing at age 57. Unexpectedly, the more I wrote, the more I realized the importance of my story. My book is dedicated to my grandmother.” —MSV
by Rebecca Foust rebeccafoust.com
“Three suicides by women living in a place many view as ‘paradise’ was the triggering event for a book also preoccupied with the notion that poetry is for everyone, not just academics or other poets, and that what occupies people universally is story. I was inspired by Anne Bradstreet’s sonnets, by James Cummins’ darkly funny narratively linked sestinas, and by stories told in poems by John Berryman, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Tony Barnstone, Julie Kane and Vikram Seth. My classical sources of inspiration include Pushkin, Milton, Herbert, Donne, Shakespeare, Dante, and Juvenal.” —RF
by Monica Sucha Vickers myextraordinaryamputeelife.com
by Richard Smith timetrap.co.uk
Who was the mysterious Hector Lightfoot, and who were the two ghosts once seen in his house? Jamie and Todd are destined to find out when they are sent back in time to 1862, where they hold the world’s destiny in their hands. Only if they can find Hector will they have any chance of getting home again, but he’s gone into hiding. As Jamie and Todd struggle to find him, surrounded by danger and exposed to disease, they join a Victorian street gang in order to survive. Jamie then becomes convinced that the two ghosts in Hector’s house are following them... “It may be a cliché, but Time Trap really was a labor of love. It was 15 years in the making, and in that time, there were three plot changes before I got it right. Two of my passions are Victorian London and time-travel, so it was inevitable I’d write a story combining the two subjects. During the long time writing the story, my mum was always there, telling me never to give up, so I owe her a lot.” —RS 102 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Official State Flowers and Trees: Their Unique Stories by Glynda Joy Nord glyndajoynord.com
Official State Flowers and Trees: Their Unique Stories is an insightful excursion into the history of how the 50 states selected the flowers and/or the trees that are displayed on their emblems. The stories are riddled with political intrigue, legends, deception, war and conquest. Whether legislators adopted them due to the importance to their state’s history, economy, native or rare within the state, these symbols are honored by Americans. “As a retired florist, I was actually doing research on another book about the symbolism and the meaning of flowers during the Victorian Era. However, I discovered some interesting facts about the U.S. flower and tree symbols. I became so intrigued with the stories that I just couldn’t stop my research. Five years ago, I actually had a contract with a Texas publisher to print the book but the editor who liked the manuscript left the company and the new editor wasn’t interested. So, since the publisher broke the agreement, I decided to self publish and see what would happen!” — GJN
The Starlight Club by Joe Corso corosobooks.com
Caution: The names have not been changed to protect the guilty. ...The Starlight Club is jumping. They look just like the mob guys they are. They have that arrogance exuded by those who like to intimidate—proud purveyors of fear. Amidst the nightly gaiety is the back room, where business deals are made, hits are ordered, territories divided. Just remember: don’t mess with the “boys.” It could be hazardous to your health. “My father owned the bar that the Starlight Club was modeled after. Most of the names in this book were of real persons I met while growing into manhood. And many parts of the story are true. I did go to Big Red, a bookmaker and loan shark, which I write about it in the book. I was getting desperate because I had to get my wife and baby out of the hospital, but a check I was expecting hadn’t arrived and I had no one to go to for money. So I went to Big Red and I asked him for a $350 loan.” —JC
Dance: An Illustrated History by Helene Andreu
This book highlights both verbally and visually the development of dance through the ages. The influence of peoples’ beliefs, cultures, lifestyles, and the functions of dance in various societies are discussed. This book explores the history of today’s dances: tap, ballet, modern, and jazz, while also looking into the early dances of many countries. It is richly illustrated with images of dance in paintings, sculptures, sheet music covers, and photographs. “Writing DANCE—An Illustrated History seemed very appropriate to me after having had such an enjoyable life in dance. I started studying dance when I was 17, attended the School of American Ballet and other dance schools, and later received a Masters Degree in Dance. I taught, performed, and wrote about my favorite subject, dance. Upon retiring, I joined the IRPE (now called Brooklyn Lifelong Learning) at Brooklyn College, and volunteered to teach the history of dance. Preparing for this course and reading more and more on dance led me directly to writing this book with its sumptuous images.” —HA UNBOUND
The Russian Embassy Party by Cliff Adelman
When an ex-CIA agent convinces a bumbling law student to write a term paper on international rights on the high seas, the student and his roommates in Washington wind up with the whole Soviet Embassy coming to dinner. Out of this 1963 encounter spins a story of revenge, counterpoint, and rollicking foolishness on the edges of history, ending on a railroad platform by the Finnish border 30 years later. “Where did the idea come from? Personal experience in every scene, starting with the 1963 Georgetown apartment and the Embassy dinner itself through the Volvo tits ad that actually ran on Russian television in the mid-1990s. Inspiration?: Self-challenge. Could I put it together in a coherent story with developed characters, credible dialogue, natural inclusions of epithets and phrases from languages other than English, appropriate amusements, and a story line that yoked in the edges of history, and resolved itself? The challenge was on the bucket-list.Two other novels wait in the wings.” — CA 104 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
A Pyrrhic Victory Volume 1: The Shaping of Destiny by Ian Crouch
The Shaping of Destiny is the first volume in a trilogy about the life and times of King Pyrrhus of Epirus. He was part of the generation after Alexander the Great, and was a critically important figure in the Hellenistic World left behind by Alexander. Volume I begins with the fateful Battle of Ipsus, where Pyrrhus and his friend, Demetrius, have to flee to Greece, after Antigonus, Demetrius’ father, is defeated and killed. “My favourite reading since my early days in Medical School has been Greek and Roman history. The books are the next step in this journey. They gave me an opportunity to offer my own comments on, and representations of, a favourite time in history. Pyrrhus of Epirus is a great figure in history, but he has been ignored from the point of view of Historical Fiction. This gave me the opportunity to present a magnificent story that was fresh, and free of previous tellings. Pyrrhus was presented with the chance of being remembered as one of the great captains of history. He was also desirous of such fame, as were Alexander, Hannibal (one of Pyrrhus’ greatest admirers), Scipio and Napoleon.” — IC
John Pilate is stuck in a mutated Mayberry packed with guns, criminal hillbillies and an imaginary “friend” who won’t shut up. Broke, Pilate takes a job imbued with more authority than the dogcatcher but less respect, then reluctantly joins forces with a ragtag band of oddballs to survive. Sure, things could work out just fine. Or it may come down to spilling Pilate’s Blood... Thicker Than Water, Twice As Deadly.
Beats Me is an eternal love story about a poet who learns he has one year to live. Nightly he tells his wife his life story, his legacy, about some of the most controversial times in American Literature. He had championed new writers, Beats such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Wm. S. Burroughs, and he faced censorship from the Post Office. With the ACLU, he won. The trial made Big Table famous internationally.
by J. Alexander Greenwood pilatescross.com
by Maryrose Carroll bigtablebook.com
“After taking a two-year break from the John Pilate Mystery Series (Pilate’s Cross, Pilate’s Key, Pilate’s Ghost), I was inspired to write Pilate’s Blood by the memory of my late grandfather, Robert E. Trevathan, a noted author of Westerns. I liked bringing an updated cowboy aesthetic to my little world tucked away in Southeast Nebraska. Blood is also homage to one of my favorite Western films, Rio Bravo. I hope fans of John Wayne, cowboys and mysteries— perhaps Longmire fans are an ideal group— will enjoy it. I’m honored all four of my novels have been recognized by Shelf Unbound!”
“I believed I was the only person in the world who knew the complete story about my late husband, the poet, Paul Carroll. While I was not an author, I simply couldn’t let the information he had passed on to me die as he had died. There was historical information, but also touching moments in his life, and beautiful lines of poetry he had written, such as: ‘We walk inside the heart of God all day.’ There were dramatic moments, as when he threw a glass of whiskey at Allen Ginsberg, who was being tyrannical.” — MC
— JAG UNBOUND
Hope Is a
Good Breakfast and other humble thoughts on my cancer journey
Tara Anne Shuman
Hope Is a Good Breakfast...and other humble thoughts on my cancer journey by Tara Anne Shuman tarabeatscancer.com
Hope Is a Good Breakfast chronicles Tara Shuman’s journey facing cancer as a young wife, mother, and working professional. It is not simply a book about cancer, but rather an insightful story of strength and struggle, fear and failure, loss and love. Hope Is a Good Breakfast inspires us to live better and love more. It reminds us that remarkable stories come from regular people, and that, with hope, what we think is the end may actually be the beginning. “When I was 32 years old and newly diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, I learned the power of hope. I was married with two young children, a full-time job, and no family history of the disease when I began my cancer treatment. Over the next year, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and I received chemotherapy and biotherapy. Through all of it, I wrote— as a way to cope and to heal, as a way to communicate with my loved ones, and as a way to help those who faced similar life challenges. Hope Is a Good Breakfast is a memoir about this journey.” —TAS 106 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest. by Andrew L. Mack cassowaryconservation.com
A compelling and humorous account of the author’s 20 years in Papua New Guinea. He built a research station by hand in remote Pawai’ia country and spent years in isolation as the first biologist to study living dinosaurs, the secretive cassowaries of New Guinea. He evolved from researcher to conservationist and the story ends with an insider’s view of the frontline struggle to save one of Earth’s last pristine rainforests. “I wrote this book because no one gets to live in such a beautiful rainforest for years far from the outside world, only receiving mail once every three months. I wanted to share this unique and transformative experience. I also experienced the real situation for conservation of rainforests and discovered our own efforts at conservation are a large reason why conservation is failing. I could not remain silent when so much is at stake.” —ALM
Claims of Family
by Ezekiel Nieto Benzion
Vienna, 1803. The male brothel, The Riding Club, provides sanctuary for men with secrets. There, Antonio Nance performs as “Miss Nancy,” satirizing the forces of repression that rule their lives. Nance will sacrifice everything, including love, to achieve his own dreams. So when men from another hidden society promise to help, he doesn’t ask how or how much. But then the bill comes due. Is his freedom only an illusion? “My grandfather’s life and stories inspire my work. In his nineties, he finally described his life in Europe, where as a poor Jew he was victimized by prejudices that pitted poor people against each other. He handed me precious artifacts and stories of others who fought back, tales due to vanish if I did not tell them. Characters in each Tale, unlike in many ways, face the same questions: What should be done in the face of injustice, even when those affected are different from you? How much will you sacrifice for the just battle? What scars will you bear?” —ENB
The Fellowship of Elves Membership Kit by Edwin Lionel Flynn fellowshipofelves.com
The Fellowship of Elves Membership Kit is an interactive and educational toolkit that helps parents answer the question, “Is Santa real?” It provides a glimpse into Santa’s history and demystifies Santa’s magic by explaining that Santa’s real helpers are closer than your child may think. In exchange for this confidential information, your child must take the Elf Secret Oath and pledge not to share Santa’s secrets with younger siblings and friends. “While writing a letter to my son, it occurred to me that learning about Santa doesn’t have to be a disappointment; it is an honor for a child to possess the knowledge and history of how Santa’s magic really works. When a child is ready to understand the joy of giving, allowing them to participate in the process of keeping Santa’s magic alive, it signifies that he or she is maturing into a kind and generous individual. My letter changed from explaining a beloved childhood mystery to becoming a well-deserved invitation to —ELF become one of Santa’s real elves.” UNBOUND
Thread Slivers: The Golden Threads Trilogy Book 1
Death of a Guru
She desires fame. He wants freedom. When their worlds crumble, even survival may not be an option. Twenty thousand years into our future, trapped in the crossfire of a vast power game, Ticca and Lebuin must survive a battle between wizards, gods, and guilds. In a land of magic and technology, they’ll need to give everything to keep the world and themselves in one piece.
It’s 1992, and not all is paradise on the white sand beaches of Thailand. A strange series of events bring a young American face to face with a charismatic guru. A man with a tortured past is now the guru Dadaram, and his plan for spiritual redemption is brutal. It’s an epic odyssey of murder and revenge. “The moment of origin eludes me, but the idea had been in my head for many years. I’d written drama—but prose, the best format for this story, intimidated me. Finally, I manned up and dipped the quill in ink. The result is quite different from my early imaginings, but the original concept is in the essence of the plot and the mystery and is also a big part of the theme.” —DG
by Leeland Artra
“Thread Slivers is the result of a lifelong love of science-fiction and fantasy. With over twenty years of world building, character development, and research the book is the perfect introduction to a speculative future based on real science and a lot of imagination. Many of the characters are amalgams of people I’ve worked with and respected throughout my life.” —LA
108 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Doug Greenall guru.douggrenall.com
All the Skies I Will Not See: A Novella
It takes 7 seconds to crash. It takes 3 seconds to fall in love. It takes an infinite moment to let go. David Medwin’s life is fading away, and all he can think about is what it means to be alive. An intense story about life, death and, most of all, love.
Altitude Sickness is a wry and candid examination of the inanity of mountain climbing and the mainstream culture that venerates it. Dremousis tells what happens after her best friend and on-again-offagain love of 21 years falls 1,000 feet to his death in a climbing accident. Funny, wrenching, candid, and assiduously prosea level. From Instant Future, the new ebook division of Portland’s esteemed publisher Future Tense Books.
by Petra March authorpetramarch.weebly.com
“My writing is inspired by many things – books, journeys, friends. In this particular case my inspiration was the Cinema. When I was attending Film School, I discovered a Hollywood genre called “Film Noir.” In the movies that fall within this genre, there’s often a dead – or almost dead - character telling the audience about the cause of his death; this character is generally a private detective or a cop. In my book, there’s a teenage boy breathing his last breaths, and telling the readers about his most cherished memories and his most secret regrets.” —PM
by Litsa Dremousis litsadremousis.com
“Kevin Sampell and Matthew Simmons of Portland’s esteemed Future Tense Books approached me and said to commemorate FTB’s 20th year as an independent publisher, they were launching a new ebook book division, Instant Future. They asked if I had a memoir or long essay idea. My best friend had died mountain climbing four years prior. I’d been researching the neurobiological similarities between addicts and extreme sports enthusiasts. I even knew I wanted to call the eventual piece “Altitude Sickness.” It came together quickly and serendipitously. I wish my best friend were here to read it.” —LD UNBOUND
The Antigone Poems
Thap Cham (pronounced Top Chom). What happens when four loyal and loving Chicago friends get caught up in the agenda of an evil despot bent on controlling Asia? The story unfolds around the legend of an ancient Champa Queen and her lost treasure. It is a historically based tale of love, passion and betrayal that will keep you turning pages to the very end.
The Antigone Poems is a powerful retelling of the ancient Greek tale of defiance and justice, the illustrations and poetry capture the anguish and despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition. Passionate, brutal, and infused with extraordinary lyricism, The Antigone Poems provides a special expedition into the depths of the ancient Sophocles tragedy.
by William Diebold thapcham.com
“I have always enjoyed books with good character development and an engaging storyline. If there is a historical tie-in, all the better. Such books and those who write them have inspired me. I have now written two. I find that I am most excited and engaged in writing when the book is near completion the first time. I will eagerly return to it a dozen or more times working the plot and characters. Thus occupied I time travel both vicariously and actually. You may nod your head but unless you are a writer I doubt you will fully understand and I encourage you to try it sometime.” —WD 110 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Marie Slaight art by Terrence Tasker theantigonepoems.com
“I first came across Antigone in acting classes in Toronto, with Eli Rill. I worked on Jean Anouilh’s Antigone and became quite immersed. I met Terrence Tasker around the same time and we worked on a film adaptation of Antigone, while he was painting and I was writing. So The Antigone Poems themselves are a result of a synthesis of many elements. As to what triggered my interest, or ‘why Antigone,’ it is the essential questions it brings into play. What will we do for what we believe in? How far will we go to stand up for our convictions? What is the power of one individual voice? What is the price we pay?” —MS
A bloodstained note left for Chicago PI Georgia Davis reveals a half-sister Georgia never knew about. Her sister is pregnant and needs help. Determined to track her down, Georgia heads into the underworld of Chicago’s sex trafficking business. But trafficking is just a part of the situation in which her sister is caught up. Even worse, Georgia confronts an old enemy determined to make sure neither woman will escape alive.
Michael’s freshman year of college has not gone well either socially or academically. In 1969 failure from college or dropping out of school means the draft and possibly Vietnam. Michael believes pledging a fraternity can help put him on the right path. As the final hurdle to get into the fraternity he must hitchhike 1,500 miles over a weekend—which could save his freshman year and possibly change his life. The rides he gets, the people he meets and the obstacles he overcomes do change his life-but in an unexpected way.
by Libby Fischer Hellman libbyhellmann.com
“I took a break from my two mysterythriller series to write three stand-alone historical thrillers. After the third, I was ready to go back to my series. But which one? PI Georgia Davis kept telling me she wanted to get back on the page, so I went along. They say that crime fiction authors become darker as they write, and Nobody’s Child is the darkest crime thriller I’ve ever written—almost a Dante’s hell of obstacles and evil. In fact, I thought it might be too dark. Fortunately, it appears I was wrong.” —LFH
by Tom Wascoe tomwascoe.com
“I based the book on a real hitchhiking trip (much fictionalized) I took in college. The characters are real (though much exaggerated) and the basic trip outline is real. The character of Randy is new and the incident with the girl never really happened.” —TW
Before the Court of Heaven
Bullies in Love
Historical fiction about Ernst Techow, a fascist assassin responsible for the 1922 murder of the highest-ranking Jew in Weimar Germany, Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau. Rathenau’s mother’s letter, read at Ernst’s trial, offers her forgiveness if he confesses his guilt and repents before the court of heaven. Her letter becomes the fulcrum of Ernst’s redemption. Before the Court of Heaven is a thriller and the love story of Ernst and Lisa.
Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) is Jendi Reiter’s second full-length poetry collection, with fine art photography by Toni Pepe. These poems speak of gendered embodiment and its discontents, motherhood after trauma, and finding a spiritual narrative to heal from oppressions both familial and political. Works in this collection won prizes from Alligator Juniper, Atlanta Review, Descant, New Millennium Writings, Solstice Lit Mag, Wag’s Revue, and others.
“Before the Court of Heaven, based on a true story, was inspired by a rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon concerning the redemptive turning from evil of a fascist assassin, Ernst Techow. Three themes compelled me—understanding the rise of Nazism, unfathomable forgiveness, and redemption. It is a portrait of Weimar Germany, from revolution and unrest following World War I to the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust, a literary history of Germany through the eyes of ordinary people living in exceptional times. This history, animated as historical fiction, is an immunization against recurrence.” —JM
“The title poem, winner of the 2010 Anderbo. com Poetry Prize, was inspired by Sarah Schulman’s Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, and the episode of the TV series Glee where the flamboyant gay teen Kurt is unexpectedly kissed by the football player who has been tormenting him. The show repeats the trope that anti-gay bullies are really closeted gays who haven’t learned to love themselves. However, Schulman warns against using this trope to deceive ourselves that hate is merely unskillful affection—the same wishful thinking that keeps people in abusive relationships with parents, lovers, or faith communities.” —JR
by Jack Mayer longtrailpress.com
112 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Jendi Reiter littleredtree.com
Daniella the Dinosaur Has Dinomania
Through unusual circumstances, three uniquely different people come together in a small Arizona desert community. They are products of their turbulent pasts, yet all are real, believable characters with flaws as well as remarkable qualities. The bond they form is of the intensity most people rarely, if ever, experience. The plot evolves through current story line and flashbacks to an explosive, realistic ending replete with violence, unexpected murder and vengeance all merging into a satisfying conclusion.
by Jenna Caroline Maddix illustrated by Ashley Dawn Pate
Daniella loves to perform. She also loves to dance but NEVER in front of anyone. Daniella has a unique dancing style. Auditions are around the corner for Dinomania, The Musical. The musical is all about dancing. Will Daniella’s fear of dancing in front of others force her to sit this one out or will she overcome those fears and give it all she’s got—dancing and all? “I learned ‘Dinomania’ is an actual obsession that means ‘having an uncontrollable urge to dance when you hear music.’ I immediately began imagining a little girl dinosaur who couldn’t help but dance every time she heard music, and that’s how Daniella the Dinosaur was created. My son also faces many challenges, having a rare condition called Lowe Syndrome, and dances any way he feels like when he hears music. I want other kids to know they can do anything, as long as they try. It’s OK to try and just be yourself, dancing silly and all.” —JCM
by William T. Goodman williamtgoodman.com
“While traveling with my family through the southern Utah desert, we stopped at a rustic bar/restaurant in the middle of nowhere. An attractive thirty-somethingyear-old woman was playing guitar and singing for the local patrons within. She was personable, intelligent and obviously educated. I couldn’t imagine what she was doing in such a place. After we left, her image haunted my mind. I knew she had to have a story. She was the initial inspiration for Desert Sundays.” —WTG UNBOUND
Fire and Sword
A new cyber thriller, Echoes tells the story of volatile mathematical genius Mallory Park, a teenage computer hacker far more at ease among the codes and hidden identities of her online world than she has ever been in the real one. When other hackers start to go missing, however, Mallory is drawn out of hiding and finds herself caught up in a web of secrets with far-reaching repercussions.
A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
“I’m a big fan of ‘spy-fi’ TV shows like Alias and Fringe and with Echoes I wanted to try and write a novel with that kind of exciting and hi-tech—but also emotional—feel to it. A lot of the specifics then came out of the main character of Mallory; someone who’s extremely intelligent and powerful when she’s online, but who struggles in other ways day to day. The dichotomy between people’s on- and offline personas can be profound, and much of what Echoes came to be about was the question of who the real you actually is.” —LT
“Fire and Sword came to me while I was bedridden with West Nile virus in fall 2014. I was in a dark place, reading some psychedelic stuff from a wide range of genres. I read Neuromancer for the first time, “meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, a non-fiction book that describes the core ideas of the stoic school of philosophy, and my literary bread and butter—anything by Bernard Cornwell. Somehow the combination of what I was reading and the semi-delusional state I was in from my ailment led to the creation of Fire and Sword.” —DD
by Laura Tisdall lauratisdall.com
114 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Dylan Doose dylandoose.com
Heal Your Brain: Heal Your Body: How EMDR Therapy Can Heal Your Pain, Volume 2 by Esly Regina Carvalho, Ph.D. eslycarvalho.com
If you suffer with pain, have you considered EMDR therapy? This book shows how it can alleviate physical pain related to somatic issues, medical procedures, surgeries, high-risk diagnoses and living with chronic illnesses. In these case studies you will find how pain often has a traumatic origin, something that EMDR therapy is especially effective in healing. “Treating clients with physical ailments on a daily basis made me especially keen to share how EMDR psychotherapy can bring relief. I wanted to show not only what it does, but also how it can be done. I tell the stories, and I share the clinical strategies employed. Included is a review of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study that showed how childhood trauma contributes to serious diseases in adulthood. The epilogue is my own experience with thyroid cancer, a diagnosis that appeared after I had started writing this book. I share how EMDR therapy helped me face surgery and cancer and how that has changed my own life.” —ERC
by Bonnie Milani https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=r8H4B_MffWw
In the ruins of Waikiki, reluctant prince Jezekiah Van Buren must save Earth— Home World to her star-flung children— from yet another interstellar war. To do so he may have to sacrifice not just his life, but the only woman he’s ever loved. Unless, of course, she kills him first. “The core of the story started many years ago with a recurrent dream of a young woman in a highly decorated military uniform chained to a dungeon wall. Not being inclined to S&M, I was fascinated with just how she’d got there. The characters gradually took shape from there. Getting to know them—their wants, needs, goals—has been one of the most joyous and painful journeys of my life.” —BM
When Tumor is the Rumor and Cancer Is the Answer
by Michael Hetherington michaelhetherington.ca
by Kevin P. Ryan, MD FACP
Late one night when Adrian is 19, he risks climbing up into the green tower that operates the railway bridge spanning Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. There, he encounters a mysterious naked woman who will haunt him for years to come. A decade later, he catches his wrist on a fish hook while swimming at a Vancouver beach, and he meets Mandy. Soon, Adrian’s dreams of family bliss turn to nightmares. “For years I traveled to work back and forth across the Second Narrows Bridge from the North Shore to Vancouver. I would gaze over at the railway bridge that spanned the narrows just to the east. That bridge is supported by two towers that contain the hoisting mechanism to lift the bridge for freighter traffic. I wondered, ‘What might go on in the big enclosed space at the top of those towers?’ I let my imagination go to work, and Hooked was the result.” —MH
116 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Hematologist/Oncologist, cancer survivor, ret COL USAF and Professor Kevin Ryan MD MMM FACP understands the intense experience of cancer and its impact on family, friends and loved ones as well as concerns of death, suffering, and loss of control and dignity. Questions are overwhelming. The unparalleled comprehensive book, with Twitter, Facebook and Blog links, covers the entire journey: suspicion until final outcome. “A melanoma diagnosis and thirty years of medical students, residents, fellows, and thousands of patients and families/ loved ones revealed a desperate need for a therapeutic book of great depth and breadth. Proceeds go to ACS. Reviews are five star. Endorsed by a former Surgeon General and Foreword by Chief Of Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. A book for patients and loved ones must teach how to marshal internal resources, absorb new information, conquer natural fears and ultimately learn to become cancer heroes. Such a book exists. You’re about to read it.” —KR
Introducing Charlotte X by Charlotte Hains
When Charlotte bumps into her old friend Anthony she is at her lowest. Shocked by her escape from an abusive relationship, Anthony enlists the help of Nats and Lloyd to help Charlotte find the confidence she once had. Charlotte is unaware, however, of the darker side of her friends’ lifestyle. As Lloyd sets to work coming up with ideas to bring Charlotte back to life, she is introduced to an intimate world of secret passions and desire. “It is no secret that Fifty Shades of Grey was the inspiration for Introducing Charlotte X. In fact, I became so engrossed as to the reasons why people would choose to live in a world of control and dominance that I simply had to do some research into the subject. That is when I decided to demonstrate that perhaps this lifestyle is not as bad as many of us initially perceive, and that for some, it not only works but changes their lives for the better.” —CH
Just One Backyard: One Man’s Search for Food Sustainability by Dr. John Zahina-Ramos justonebackyard.com
Just One Backyard: One Man’s Search for Food Sustainability is a timeless, entertaining and enlightening tale about how a home food gardener’s curiosity evolved into a quest to measure the many environmental, ecological and economic benefits of urban agriculture. Through a tapestry of personal experiences, heartwarming storytelling and scientific facts, the urgent need for a sustainable urban food system is presented. This inspirational story is both globally relevant and empowering. “Looking into my backyard with its small vegetable garden, I marveled at how the garden was the only weedless spot there. I jokingly thought that if my backyard were one large food garden, the weed problem would be solved AND I wouldn’t have to cut grass anymore! Although this seemed an absurd idea in Florida, it wasn’t when I was a young child in Iowa. Then, I had an aunt that fed her family from her expansive backyard food garden. I wondered, could this still be done today and would it be worth the effort? And so, the journey began...” —JZR UNBOUND
King for a Night
by Ian Foutz illustrated by Teshura-Casil-Goodman
When Elliot’s teacher picks him to be the Emperor in the class play, he is excited, scared, and nervous. He’s never been the lead in anything before, and he wonders if he’s got what it takes. It doesn’t help that many people seem anxious for him to fail. When disaster strikes, can Elliot rise to the challenge and earn his crown, or is he doomed to suffer another royal embarrassment? “This book is very autobiographical. It is based on a similar experience I had in 8th grade when I was cast as the lead in the school play. The antagonistic characters are a conglomeration of several people in my life, as is the ‘sidekick’ Jackie.” —IF
118 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
The Liberty Chronicles: Rise of the Shadow by K.L. Poortvliet
Jaksen Liberty’s parents didn’t tell him his dad’s business secretly freed Ereshian citizens from captivity by the Federation or that his mom was a member of the secret Order of the Shield that protected the Alliance of Free Planets from the Federation’s obsession to enslave them. Then an assassin from the Shadow Syndicate guns him down, and when he awakes from a coma, he learns who he is and that the fate of the Outer Quadrant depends on him. “To me, science fiction is about possibilities. Looking back, reading books like Asimov’s Foundation series and Herbert’s Dune and seeing Lucas’ Star Wars showed me some of the possibilities of distant galaxies and worlds. I have also been a sucker for the good versus evil story that is at the heart of these great stories. So my book is about a small section of one such galaxy and their struggle between freedom and oppression. Is the protection of freedom left to the select few? Or does it ultimately fall on the everyday person to stand and fight for their freedom?” —KLP
The Care of Goats and Ghosts
Maggie McGill and daughter, Allie, stay at an Irish castle intending to check out family legends. All seems idyllic until a castle employee goes missing, followed by the disappearance of another. They join in the search for the missing staff, explore the island ruins of an ancient monastery and find, of all things, tiny wild goats. What happened to the monastery? How have the goats survived on this isolated island?
Rachel Lyons and her partner Chase Cohen accept a contract to recover a lost treasure in the Sea of Japan. However, upon arriving in Tokyo, they soon discover their mission is more dangerous than originally believed. In order to prevent a natural disaster from striking Japan and killing millions, they must form an alliance with yakuza members, dive into sharkinfested waters and recover three ancient swords before time runs out.
by Sharon Burch Toner sharonburchtoner.com
“The Care of Goats and Ghosts is set in Ireland. I have pleasant memories of visits there as well as stories from my Irish grandmother. A fictionalized legend from my own family was the basis for the 1850s’ Irish family that emigrated to the New World. Family stories and memories of the older people and places of my childhood provided much of the material for the 1800s’ Indiana portions. Once I determine the location and create the characters, those characters often create a plot, sometimes surprising me. I have only to do the research and write.” —SBT
by Kaylin McFarren kaylinmcfarren.com
“Thirty-nine years ago, I had the honor to meet a famous “mama-san” for the first time in Kyoto, Japan. To this day, this compassionate woman continues to oversee the operations of her eighth-generation teahouse as well as day-to-day activities for Gion geishas and maikos within her “adopted” family. Through her guidance, I was able to learn about the hidden world rarely discussed in Japanese society and develop personal relationships with these young women who have chosen a less popular lifestyle in order to maintain the culture and beauty of their country. Buried —KM Threads shares this passion.” UNBOUND
Problems of Translation
Murder at the Ocean Forest
Charles Abel Baker—short story writer and “a most unlikely middle-aged hero”—sets off around the world on a quest to see one of his stories translated successively into ten different languages and back again into English, a sort of literary version of the old party game “telephone.” Along the way he becomes involved, in one country after another, in adventures that are comical, romantic, and at times, hair-raising.
Murder at the Ocean Forest is an intricate mystery set at the elegant Ocean Forest Hotel. When a distraught young woman disappears from the hotel and her husband is found murdered inside their suite (with the door locked from the inside), the hotel detective is drawn into the emotional drama surrounding the guests/suspects— British aristocrats on holiday, a blind clairvoyant, and a devout preacher—and their secrets.
by Jim Story jimcstory.com
“I’ve always harbored a vague wish to see actually performed in real life that very task I conferred on my fictional hero. I thought it would be instructive as well as something of a lark. When I finally admitted I was never going to be able to see it accomplished in reality, I decided: I’ll do it in fiction! As I dove into the research, the character of Charles Abel Baker began to take shape and, as I soldiered on, all the other characters as well. No preordination: I was a blind man letting my characters lead me on.” —JS
120 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Robert “Digger” Cartwright diggercartwright.com
“My inspiration for Murder at the Ocean Forest was the desire to write a classic whodunit in the style of Agatha Christie. I also wanted to intertwine into the story line both the Grey Man, a local ghost legend, and the Ocean Forest Hotel, the famed resort which was demolished in 1974.” —RDC
This moving book is about life, resiliency, and surviving. Radical Survivor chronicles elementary school principal Nancy Saltzman’s extraordinary saga as a cancer survivor who lost her entire family in a small-plane crash. Told with honesty, insight, and laugh-out-loud flashes of humor, Radical Survivor traverses the full spectrum of human emotions. Despite the sadness of the book’s key circumstances, there is also a surprising amount of humor, joy and hope.
Poised to win the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing, Maui surf star Makoa Simmons washes up tragically dead. Detective Lei Texeira plunges into a high-profile case whose dark and tangled motives reach deep into the elite world of professional surfing on the North Shore of Oahu. Lei must follow her instincts into new territory even as husband Michael Stevens struggles with heartbreak of another kind.
by Dr. Nancy Saltzman nancysaltzman.com
“Writing my memoir, Radical Survivor, was a labor of love. It gave me an opportunity to honor my husband and my two sons and share our love story. It helped me answer the frequently asked question, “How did you survive?” The book is enriched by letters interwoven with narrative throughout which give the book added depth and poignancy. The pairing of my story and these letters offers hope to others and increases awareness of the power of the written word to help us heal and grow.” —NS
by Toby Neal tobyneal.net
“Surfing is close to my heart. I come from a surfing family, three generations of wave worshippers in Hawaii, and I married a surfer. I still take my boogie board out on occasion, and it was past time I came up with a way that I could use a mystery to share that world with a broader audience. Book research for Rip Tides took me back to the North Shore of Oahu where our family lived in a beach house from 196970. My father surfed the breaks there almost every day.” —TN
by Charlotte Abel charlotteabel.blogspot.com
River believes all outsiders are diseaseinfested idiots and a threat to her secret society of wolf shifters. The laws that keep her people safe are absolute. No outsider can ever know of their existence. But when a handsome stranger risks his life to save River from a mountain lion, she has two choices: Recruit him into her society as a servant, or kill him. “There are many factors that inspired River’s Recruit. I was moved by the stories of loss and injury among the wounded warriors returning home from Afghanistan. I wondered what it might be like for a strong, healthy young man to come home without a limb, already traumatized by the loss of people he loved. I also love the state of Colorado and there has been much debate over whether or not to reintroduce wolves into our forests. From those two social issues and my personal history with primitive archery, River and Jonathan were created.” —CA
122 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Sarah, Misty and Scribbles’ Journey to the House by the Sea by Jacqueline Johnson illustrated by Frances Español
The book is about Sarah the ragdoll, Misty the toy rabbit and Scribbles the teddy bear, who all have different eye problems. The story describes some of the difficulties the toys encountered in trying to adjust to their loss of sight in their new house by the sea. My book explains that with the right assistance, personal aids, adapting the physical environment, and social support, people with a vision impairment can lead successful contented lives as is shown in Sarah, Misty and Scribbles’ independence and confidence of movement. “The inspiration to write this story came from the vision-impaired clients that I work with in my current role as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor. It has also been a lifelong dream of mine to write a children’s book with a strong educational theme, written from a child’s perspective and in a format that appeals to the young reader. In my daily experiences, I have come to realise that there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding vision impairment in the wider community.” —JJ
The Eye of Shiva
Signs of Passing
A terrorist dreams of an Islamic Caliphate in India. A dying spy from India’s CIA seeks a legendary jewel and revenge for the murder of his wife and son. A secret global conspiracy works behind the scenes to start a nuclear war between Pakistan, India and China. The clock is ticking and the odds are stacked against the PROJECT. Can the team prevent the beginning of WWIII?
When do we know that the usual ways are no longer working, that it is time to set down one life and pick up another? Winner of the Pacific Book Award for short fiction, Signs of Passing presents ten stories told from the nearside of epiphany, a state of mind in which one can hear that voice beyond the veil of conscious understanding, singing of how life can be better.
“Ideas for all of my books are born out of real world events and possibilities. This particular theme is timely now, with Pakistan and India, currently, and with threatening war over Kashmir.” —AL
“I wanted to write a series of loosely connected stories devoted to that moment of waking up in the middle of life, realizing that we have allowed it to become something less than it should be. I wanted the characters of Signs of Passing to exist on the knife-edge of a new understanding about themselves and what the world holds for them if only they are willing to change course. Whether subtle or electrifying, quiet or violent, graceful or humiliating, that realization is the first sign of a passing from shadow back into the light of the living.” —OT
by Alex Lukeman alexlukeman.com
by Owen Thomas owenthomasfiction.com
The Pisces Affair
2022: Percipience Series – Book One
CIA operative Jordan Jakes, heroine of Daco’s Amazon #1 Bestseller, The Libra Affair, meets alien probe Prometheus when U.S. Secretary of State Mallory Hamilton becomes the target of a terrorist attack at a head-of-state dinner in Dubai. Posing as the fiancée of a top-ranking government official, Jordan must identify the assassin and stop an unimaginable act of evil. The Pisces Affair is a unique blend of spy thriller and sci-fi. “I am part of The Alvarium Experiment, twelve authors who contributed to The Prometheus Saga, an anthology of stories that explores how Prometheus, an alien probe that can cross genders and regenerate itself, might interact with humans from the dawn of time to the present. Each author in The Alvarium Experiment took a historical event and speculated how Prometheus’s presence might have affected the course of events. I decided to write a story set in modern times in which Prometheus is embroiled in a terrorist plot that Jordan Jakes, the heroine of my spy-thriller series, must stop at all costs.” —D
The first book in the “Percipience” series, 2022 revolves around a worldwide threat made by an eco-terrorist organization and the efforts to stop them while at the same time setting up a large-scale experiment for sustainable living. The book combines murder, espionage, romance, and revenge into the fictional story while exploring the urgency of global issues we face in real life.
by Daco authordaco.com
124 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Ken Kroes the2222book.com
“For a number of years, I have wanted to write a book related to the fears I have regarding the upcoming decades and the strains that we are putting both on the planet and society. While researching topics in these areas, however, I found many well-written non-fiction books already in print that are targeted to people already interested in this subject. I wanted to reach out to a broader audience and to write something that would hold their attention, raise awareness, and inspire action. The eco-fiction platform seemed perfect for this and is the basis for the ‘Percipience’ series.” —KK
Valentine’s Day: A Rick Valentine Mystery
“Trust me, I’m almost a detective.” He’s new at the game and he’s sometimes clueless, but Rick Valentine learns fast. When the newbie PI stumbles on information about his own father’s murder, he realizes it doesn’t jibe with the official story, so he doggedly follows the cold trail, uncovering secrets about those around him, as well as being forced to face the painful truth of his family’s past.
Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die. Epic dragon battles, awesome scenery and the power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price. This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend. “The trigger idea I had for this story was a dream, in which a girl is thrown off a cliff and turns into a dragon. For the topic, I chose a forbidden romance and the power of love to break taboo. From this, Dragonfriend arose from a natural progression in the timeline of my bestselling epic fantasy series, Shapeshifter Dragons. I wanted to write about a time of change and turmoil in the IslandWorld, when human power began to gain ascendancy over dragons. I’m inspired by spectacular natural landscapes and the power of volcanoes—a perfect setting for dragons!” —MS
by April Kelly
“I once worked for a private investigator who told fascinating stories of his early days as a detective, tales of hilarious failures and impressive successes. That inspired me to create a starting-out PI who is the antithesis of the classic loner with honed skills already in place. Rick Valentine occasionally misses what’s right under his nose, but at the heart of my novel is the tenacity and personal growth of a decent guy who tries to unravel the truth of his own father’s long-ago murder.” —AK
by Marc Secchia marcsecchia.com
The Song Journey by T.E. Scott
When singer Julia MacAllistair sits down at a piano to play music given to her from her great-grandmother, she doesn’t expect to wake up on the floor of a Chicago concert hall in the year 1906. How did she get there? And how can she return to her present day life? A novel of intrigue, danger, and romance spread across time and continents, as Julia discovers who she really is and what happens when the music stops... “I had left teaching in the US to move to New Zealand with my Kiwi husband. The sudden vacuum created by my change in employment pushed me into writing, idleness my keen motivator. As for inspiration, I come from a musical background , having studied voice and piano for much of my life. I’ve also always been fascinated with the idea of time travel...the potential to participate in time periods dead and gone. So, while it is music that leads Julia where to go, it so too led me...each piece inspiring a story.” —TES
126 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Hillary Rodham Clinton: On the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D. almabondauthor.com
Biographer and psychoanalyst Alma H. Bond has analyzed all available material about Hillary Clinton. Dr. Bond examines questions on Hillary’s background, marriage, religion, genuineness, strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments as First Lady and N.Y. Senator, and tenure as Secretary of State as differing from predecessors. Is she a hawk? At fault in the Benghazi tragedy? Why is it crucial to Hillary to advance the cause of women all over the world? “I admire Mrs. Clinton greatly and feel that as president she would change the course of world history. Her greatness was already apparent when she was 21 years old and valedictorian at her Wellesley graduation. Secondly, all my biographies are written about great women. I would love to be a Hillary Clinton, and change world history. Unfortunately, the best I can do is to put myself in her shoes, and identify with her. I can then help others to understand Hillary, as I believe my training and long experience as a psychoanalyst have enabled me to see her.” —AHB
Never Climbed His Mountain
The Hour of Parade
“Many people have secrets and we keep those secrets because no one will understand them... . He shares his story of being a lifelong heterosexual cross dresser...an intriguing and insightful tale of the secret lives of men who may be closer than you think.” —Midwest Book Review
One violent act draws three very different people together in Alan Bray’s haunting The Hour of Parade. In 1806 Munich, Russian cavalry officer Alexi Ruzhensky seeks the man responsible for murdering his brother in a duel. Obsessed by the heroine in Rousseau’s novel Julie, Alexi becomes romantically entangled with a beautiful Bavarian woman. But in the novel’s explosive conclusion, Alexi will learn that revenge cannot be forgotten so easily. “Some years ago, I came across The Cavalry Maiden by Natalya Durova, a memoir of a Russian woman who had dressed as a man and fought in the Napoleonic Wars. What struck me as fascinating was that her male comrades and officers appeared to know about the deception and accepted it. The time period fascinated me as well, and I began writing a novel about ordinary men and women struggling to live everyday lives while caught up in large, impersonal forces. The Hour of Parade is the result.” —AB
by Julian Gladstone neverclimbedhismountain.com
The added chapter: Myths, Misconceptions and Most Therapists without a Clue links to continuing blogs expanding on that misunderstood culture. “At age 25 I was packing my belongings preparing to join my Uncle in Montreal—an invitation to enter his manufacturing business. Rummaging through my remaining kid’s stuff from our mansion in Larchmont, my Army Air Force orders, University of Pennsylvania school records, and pictures taken while working in the motion picture industry in Mexico, Hollywood and finally at Columbia in Manhattan I thought to myself: ‘Damn Julian you’ve already put in a life’s worth of adventures. Why not keep all these reminders until you have time to put them into story form?’ And eventually I did.” —JG
by Alan Bray alanbrayfiction.com
The Second Tree
The secret lies hidden in Uganda, protected by guardians awaiting the fulfillment of a prophecy. Andrew and Martin think they’ve found the latest Manhattan culinary craze, but trouble begins when they uncover the truth. Martin hungers for profit—but if Andrew’s moralizing interferes, well, friendships can end. Sometimes violently. As they struggle to control their discovery, a hidden Ugandan tribe prepares to reclaim the power unleashed from The Second Tree. “I’ve always enjoyed learning something new while being entertained. So I wanted to create a story that plausibly combined my love of travel, food, history and science with just enough of the supernatural to spark the imagination. This meant lots of research for me, but realistic intrigue for the reader. I also wanted causality to be subject to interpretation. As The Second Tree and the whole trilogy unfolds, readers draw their own conclusions about the role of science and religion in the outcome. ” —JB
A young firefighter is injured rescuing a man from a hotel fire in Jackson, Wyoming, only to discover he’s saved his own father. Hearing the news from across the country, a boyhood schoolmate travels west both to visit his friend and escape his own troubles. The seemingly impulsive journey becomes a pilgrimage as they revisit the past to make sense of the present and future in this millennial coming-of-age story.
by John Butziger johnbutziger.com
128 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
by Paul Cumbo paulcumbo.com
“As a high school teacher, I get to know kids at a formative age, and often wonder who they’ll become. I’ve also been witness to their struggles as they grow older and stay in touch. Early adulthood is a fascinating, challenging period of selfdiscovery. We’re free from the constraints of childhood, and yet so many of us get lost without the guidance of parents and mentors. It can be lonely. I wanted to write a story about it. Much has been written about teenagers and thirty-something’s, but not as much about those tenuous years of the early twenties.” —PC
The Opposite of Love by T.A. Pace
When Melanie is challenged to find a mate by her overbearing mother, she finds herself in a relationship that pushes her sexual boundaries, and in a place like Sin City, that can be a precarious ride. “I originally started this book around eight years ago and abandoned it several times. I got the idea from a brief relationship with a man who was manipulative and insecure, and those two things were so intertwined in him that I wanted to explore the psychology of it a bit more.” —TAP
Do-It-Yourself Wedding Ceremony by Dayna Reid daynareid.com
In step-by-step, informative chapters, this book includes all the information needed to write and officiate a personalized and meaningful wedding ceremony. Reid describes the elements of a wedding ceremony from beginning to end, and the choices people can make with each element, including a wealth of wording and ceremony selections, to celebrate diverse styles, beliefs and traditions, from Christian to Zen, to the simple declarations of love that transcend tradition. “As an ordained officiant with more than a decade of experience, I discovered the few ceremony books available were written either in a particular style or from a specific religious view, offering limited variety. I believe the words spoken during the wedding ceremony declare promises and beliefs about marriage and every couple should have the option to design a ceremony which reflects their unique and personal perspective and intentions. I hope to bring the focus back to the real purpose of a wedding” —DR UNBOUND
Come and Take It: Search for the Treasure of the Alamo by Landon Wallace authorlandonwallace.com
High school football coach Nat Travis is devastated by the murder of his beloved 93-year-old grandfather, “Papa” Joe Travis. Nat leans heavily on his brother’s former wife, Renee Travis, to investigate leads surrounding the old man’s death and during their search uncover secrets, an ancestral tie between Nat’s family and the lone male survivor of the Alamo, and a lost treasure that ties them all together. “Every native Texan is raised on stories about the heroes of the Alamo. I am no different. And those stories have been told gloriously by authors many times over since that fateful day in 1836. Few, though, have examined the life of Joe, William Barret Travis’s slave, the only known man to survive Santa Anna’s attack. In researching Joe’s story, it was only natural to study the exploits of several of the Alamo’s most famous residents, including the legendary Jim Bowie. It was the intersection of the lives of these two men—Bowie and Joe the slave—at the Alamo that led to this novel.” —LW 130 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Saving Babe Ruth by Tom Swyers tomswyers.com
When Civil War buff and burned-out lawyer David Thompson fights to save a kids’ baseball league, he’s launched on a thrill ride that threatens his family, his team, and his life. Captivating characters lead double lives and keep secrets in this award-winning page-turner based on a true story. A cast of shady adults and the high school baseball coaches hate David for trying to save it. They’ll do anything to wreck the league so that their elite travel teams can take over its beautiful ball field, even if it means going after David and his family.
Gone Over is the story of the American Revolution seen through the reverse lens of British Intelligence—a view never quite seen before. Israel Potter is the best known private soldier of the Revolution, and his story takes the reader through the maelstrom of the war. From a beginning in captivity, Potter’s life touches every major figure of this secret war, starting with the underground Friends of America in England and continuing through Benjamin Franklin’s mission in Paris until it finally returns to the home front and the defection of Benedict Arnold.
After Guinevere’s death, Camelot has become a sad and quiet place. The appearance of the first proper knight stirs great excitement in Eric, a young working lad, who often daydreams about knights and the good old days of Camelot. When he overhears the stranger plotting to kill King Arthur he becomes greatly distressed. When he tries to warn the King, nobody takes him seriously so he takes the matter into his hands. Can Eric restore Camelot to its former glory and save the King and save Camelot?
by David Chacko
by Joshua E. James
by J.W. Brazier jwbrazier.com
by Charles A. Pomeroy
The Arrival weaves a mysterious and thrilling plot from 1948 Palestine, to 2019 in White River, Arkansas. The remains of a two thousand year old Jew, DNA medical experiments, and a covert military exercise all collide in this small southern town in northern Arkansas. Combine demons, angels, UN military and terrorist attacks, and you have the blueprint for a rousing page turning story. The cast of characters are convincing, the mysterious is thought provoking, and the conclusions are terrifying.
Tsunami Reflections, a memoir by a retired journalist who lost his home and family members to Japan’s horrific tsunami of March 2011, sets the scene with geographical and historical background of his retirement town, Otsuchi. The author then recreates a sense of place and local culture before describing the tsunami and its aftermath, loss of family members and home, mass funerals, humanitarian efforts, and town reconstruction plans.
—Pacific Book Reviews
What happens when you get the life you aim for and it hurts like hell?
By turns comical and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you are.
132 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
Th iso wit eve Da cap and blac care salac judg
The Johns family is unraveling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, isolates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation with a colleague’s daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks everything for a second chance at who she might have become. David, their eldest, thrashes to stay afloat as his teaching career capsizes in a storm of accusations involving a missing student and the legacy of Christopher Columbus. And young Tilly, the black sheep, having traded literary promise for an improbable career as a Hollywood starlet, struggles to define herself amidst salacious scandal, the demands of a powerful director, and the judgments of an uncompromising writer.
THE LION TREES
“The inspiration for Tsunami Reflections came on my first visit to Otsuchi—my wife’s hometown where we had retired in 2004—shortly after Japan’s horrific tsunami of 2011. While scanning the bare “ … a powerful, gripping and realistic foundations of what had been our home story. …Wonderful...Worth every minute…” and the vast wasteland stretching beyond, I was struck by the absolute stillness of a now dead town interrupted occasionally by the distant sound of backhoes moving debris. That eerie silence triggered an overwhelming desire to share with the world the story of Otsuchi and one family’s “…a powerful and promising debut.” travails as presented in this book.” —CAP
By tu towa ident
What if survival required you to unlearn who you are? How far would you fall to save yourself? Sometimes happiness is a long way down. The Johns family is unraveling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, isolates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation with a colleague’s daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks everything for a second chance at who she might have become. David, their eldest, thrashes to stay afloat as his teaching career capsizes in a storm of accusations involving a missing student and the legacy of Christopher Columbus. And young Tilly, the black sheep, having traded literary promise for an improbable career as a Hollywood starlet, struggles to define herself amid salacious scandal, the demands of a powerful director, and the judgments of an uncompromising writer. By turns comical and poignant, the Johns family is tumbling toward the discovery that sometimes you have to let go of your identity to find out who you are.
… a powerful, gripping and realistic tory. …Wonderful...Worth every minute…”
What happens when you get the life you aim for and it hurts ke hell?
a powe RT 1 rful and promising debut.”
THE LION TREES Owen Thomas
urns comical and poigna nt, the Johns family is tumbl ing ard the discovery that somet imes you have to let go of your tity to find out who you are.
The Johns family is unrave ling. Hollis, a retired Ohio banker, olates himself in esoteric hobbies and a dangerous flirtation th a colleague’s daughter. Susan, his wife of forty years, risks erything for a second chance at who she might have becom avid, their eldest, thrashes e. to stay afloat as his teachi ng career psizes in a storm of accusa tions involving a missing student d the legacy of Christopher Columbus. And young Tilly, the ck sheep, having traded literar y promise for an impro bable eer as a Hollywood starlet , struggles to define herself amidst cious scandal, the deman ds of a powerful director, and the gments of an uncompromi sing writer.
THE LION TREES
THE LION TREES
—Pacific Book Reviews
Part 1 Unraveling
Part 2 Awakening
“ ...highly addictive, spectacular, and mind blowing...Thomas is a wizard of fiction.” —US Review of Books “A sweeping literary saga in the tradition of ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘Gone with the Wind’, and ‘The Thorn Birds’, this book has it all...original and stirring...” —The Eric Hoffer Book Award “ ...Every now and then, seemingly out of nowhere, a new voice comes along and knocks your socks off. Owen Thomas owns that voice... .” —The Anchorage Press “ ...This is a powerful, gripping and realistic story... . The Lion Trees does what so very few great novels can: it will take a lot out of you, but leave you with much more than you had when you began.” —Pacific Book Review AWARDS: 13 International Book Awards, including The Eric Hoffer Book Award, The London Book Festival, The New York Book Festival, The Amsterdam Book Festival, and The Beverly Hills International Book Awards. Now a Semi-Finalist for the Amazon Kindle Book Award
Owen Thomas lives and writes in Anchorage, Alaska. His two-volume novel “The Lion Trees” is available in paper and electrons at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Reviews, excerpts, interviews, discussion guides, as well as other information about the author and his work, are available at
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. —William Wordsworth
134 D E C E M B E R / J A N U A R Y
SURF, SUN AND
what to read next in independent publishing
Poetry After 9/11
Orange Prize Finalist Kathleen Winter 68
what to read next in independent publishing
IRAQ THE RETURN OF STEPHEN STARK
what to read next in independent publishing
blows to the head
SAMANTHA BEE 68
what to read next in independent publishing
what to read next in independent publishing
portland, oregon slut lulla bies
THE ART OF CHARCUTERIE
THE GREAT FITNESS EXPERIMENT
BEFORE (DURING) AFTER
how they were found
what to read next in independent publishing
JOA N JETT
what to read next in independent publishing
Canal House Cooking
the end of baseball
Essays on Madonna
what to read next in independent publishing
TOWARDS ZERO ENERGY ARCHITECTURE
BOY SCOUT BOOKS
Portlandia’s Indie Bookstore
what to read next in independent publishing
Ed Ruscha The L Life
what to read next in independent publishing
máze MERIT BADGES
what to read next in independent publishing
what to read next in independent publishing
DORTHE NORS ELVIRA DONES CARMEN BOULLOSA
SHELF UNBOUND WRITING COMPETITION
what to read next in independent publishing
what to read next in independent publishing
APRIL /MAY 2011
APRIL /MAY 2012
KEVIN MORRIS JACK LONDON THE INSTAGRAM BOOK
what to read next in independent publishing
Check us out on Facebook and join the conversation!
JOH JOHNNY NNY CAS CASH H
create dangerously THE WARBLER ROAD
Chanel, Astaire, Lindbergh, and other Twenties somethings
what to read next in independent publishing
what to read next in independent publishing
Published on Dec 7, 2015
Find your next favorite book in Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine. In this issue: the winners of the annual Shelf Unbound Competition...