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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 2 February 2015 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Biography Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Poetry Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Relationship Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Self-Help Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

A Presentist Path to World Peace
M. G. Person
Houdini Publishing
3797 Prosperity Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89147
Word Slinger Publicity
9781936759361, $15.00, 102pp,

Synopsis: Presentism is the belief that the present, the now is the only reality. "A Presentist Path to World Peace" presents an interpretation of experience which reconciles science and religion through recognition of 'Presentism' as a valid, comprehensive world view. The author M.G. Person is concerned about religious-based violence occurring worldwide and convinced that the first step to begin meaningful dialogue to resolve legitimate differences is to first resolve religious differences.

Critique: "A Presentist Path to World Peace" is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read that is strongly recommended to the attention of anyone concerned with the impact of destructive religious beliefs is having upon humanity. Articulate, inspired and inspiring, "A Presentist Path to World Peace" deserves as wide a readership as possible in these troubled times. It should be noted that "A Presentist Path to World Peace" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Leaning into Love
Elaine Mansfield
Larson Publications
4936 NYS Route 414, Burdett, NY 14818
9781936012725, $14.95, 176pp,

Synopsis: "I'll find a way to be all right", Elaine promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. "Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief" is her uplifting and personal story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year. "Leaning into Love" showcases the extraordinary closeness of Elaine's marriage, how she and Vic transform their struggle with cancer and despair into a conscious relationship with mortality. After Vic's death, Elaine leans into her ongoing love as grief leads her through overwhelming emotional and spiritual depths on a journey beyond their time together into her new life.

Critique: "Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief" is as candidly articulate and engaging as it is inspired and inspiring. A rewarding read from beginning to end, "Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief" is highly recommended for community library collections and especially the personal reading lists of anyone having to struggle with the issues of personal loss resulting from the death of a loved one. It should be noted that "Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.89).

Seeking The Face Of Love
Hadrian Bradley
Bradley House
9780692301272, $13.95, 260pp,

Synopsis: Humanity is connected by the energy of light and love - a connection often broken by learned cultural norms and personal attitudes. When light energy diminishes, the energy of darkness naturally gravitates to the space once inhabited by the light. What causes the light of love to falter and weaken against the dark? Restrictive religious doctrines, bullying, environment destruction, poverty, homophobia, and prejudice strengthen spiritual darkness in both oppressors and their victims. In "Seeking the Face of Love", Hadrian Bradley offers opportunities for humanity to replenish its light, countering our natural inclination for dark thinking. Combining inspiring purpose with matter-of-fact logic, Bradley explains the karmic danger of operating from a mindset of superiority, the very antithesis of spirituality. Bradley's most controversial claim (that Christ came to earth to replace religion with love) will shock many who rely on religious dogma to justify their darker thoughts and actions. Heterosexual supremacists, conservative male masters and their willing female subordinates, and the economically powerful will find Bradley's philosophy deeply bewildering. Perhaps they can now push through the darkness to understand that their actions hurt themselves as much as those they oppress.

Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, iconoclastic and inspiring, "Seeking The Face Of Love" is an invaluable reading experience that is enthusiastically recommended -- especially to members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliation. Very highly recommended for community library collections and personal reading lists, it should be noted that "Seeking The Face Of Love" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).

The Photography Shelf

Bridges of Paris
Michael Saint James
Citron Bay Press
Smith Publicity
9781928595502, $85.00, 280pp,

Synopsis: Thirty-seven bridges cross the Seine River in Paris. Collectively they weave a unique and remarkable tale of the city's history. "Bridges of Paris" is a large-format "coffee table" book featuring over 350 original photographs, including stunning portraits of each bridge, which cast new illumination on the City of Light in all seasons. "Bridges of Paris" creates a kaleidoscopic collage that shifts focus from the monumental to the intimate riverside moments that make up the quotidienne (daily life) of the beloved French capital.

Critique: "Bridges of Paris" showcases not only the exquisite beauty of the Parisian bridges, but documents Michael Saint James complete mastery of travel photography. Superb reproduction values make "Bridges of Paris" a pure delight to browse through and is especially recommended as a Memorial Fund acquisition selection for community and academic libraries.

The Biography Shelf

What It Looks Like
Marta Maranda
Alchemadhi Publishing
638 N. US Hwy 1, #156, Tequesta, FL 33469
News & Experts
9780985781408, $19.95, 432pp,

Synopsis: Marta Maranda doesn't drink, smoke, use drugs, or have destructive sexual patterns. She is committed to exercise, eats healthfully, and has never had a cup of coffee in her life. But despite not having the substance or behavioral addictions widely associated with rehab, she checked herself into a five-week program, one week after a family member checked out, to discover her part in the dysfunction of her life. ''What It Looks Like'' tells the story of the events that led to her decision to enter rehab voluntarily and sober, her five weeks in the clinic alongside nearly 70 addicts, and the changes in her life after she left. Her journey takes her inward on a quest of self-exploration and healing, out into a world of war, politics, history, sports, and spirituality, and finally home as she rebuilds her life piece by piece. And this is what it looks like.

Critique: Informed and informative, "What It Looks Like" is written with an extraordinary candor and accessibility. Offering a unique 'window' into a rehab center's operations and the kinds of men and women serviced there, "What It Looks Like" is an exceptional read and very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections. Certain to be of particular relevance to non-specialist general readers with an interest in rehab center activities and resources for drug and alcohol addiction treatments, it should be noted that "What It Looks Like" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

For The Record
Eric Focht
c/o F-Clef Publishing
P.O. Box, Wharton, NJ 07885
9781618637918, $19.95, 326pp,

Synopsis: At the height of his musical career, Eric Focht was in contract discussions with record producers of such famous musicians as and David Bowie, Trent Reznor, and U2. "For The Record" is Eric's autobiographical story of his difficult attempt at fame and stardom - and so much more. His memoir is a deeply moving cautionary tale, from his earliest days as an adopted child, all the way through to his darkest hour of personal anguish four decades later. Eric talks candidly about the odyssey of his unorthodox life; of his pressures as a preachers' son in a small town; of his sexual adventures at an alarmingly young age; of his unique musical education in college; of his distressing, difficult days in the rock band EGO; of his emotionally empty marriage; of his misguided misogyny in his 30's; and of his near fatal battle with alcohol and depression. "For The Record" weaves in Eric's own personal anecdotes, perspectives from his friends and family members, but also offers a scathing indictment of society and a call to action for a divided nation currently subject to scrutiny. "For The Record" is also a piercing social commentary on his generation and a gripping account of how he survived.

Synopsis: Exceptionally well written with considerable candor and impressive insight, "For The Record" is an informative and inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, making it very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library biography collections.

Fireflies at Twilight: Letters from Pat Adams
Cate Adams & Carole Milks Turner, editors
First Person Productions
9780984727650, $12.95, 184pp,

Synopsis: A true Aquarian-age woman, Pat Adams was equally as comfortable swinging a hammer on a building crew to gardening at home or working as a public school teacher's aide for children with autism and other special needs. Pat lived the last 15 years of her life with cancer and its repercussions. However, Pat was more annoyed and irritated by cancer than ever stopped or labeled by the disease. Pat writes letters, emails, and journal entries to her mother, husband, children, and her many relatives and friends, and highlights her daily life on a southern Wisconsin farm, her appreciation of the natural world, and her courage and vivacity to live fully each day.

Critique: Deftly compiled and co-edited by Cate Adams and Carole Milks Turner, "Fireflies at Twilight: Letters from Pat Adams" is a compelling and personal read. The candor is consistently impressive. The observations unusually insightful. Informative, intensely personal, thoughtful and thought-provoking. "Fireflies at Twilight: Letters from Pat Adams" is an extraordinary and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library American Biography collections. It should be noted that "Fireflies at Twilight: Letters from Pat Adams" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

Accidental Brownie: A Childhood Memoir
Paul Froiland
9789187751790, $20.60, 280pp,

Synopsis: Accidental Brownie comprises the tender, mostly factual, often very funny recollections of Paul Froiland who describes himself as being "an incredibly naive and honest kid" growing up in middle-class south Minneapolis during the fifties and sixties. His tales are populated by a memorable cast of exasperated parents, gimlet-eyed teachers, pretty but tragically inaccessible girls, and assorted mischief-makers, bullies, and oddballs.

Critique: Candid and articulate, Paul Froiland's memoir captures a time and an American culture that has passed and will never come again. Yet his stories are universal and read with recognition by new generations of readers who have similar 'coming of age' stories of their own youth. Exceptionally well written and presented, "Accidental Brownie: A Childhood Memoir" is an inherently fascinating and enjoyable read from beginning to end, making it very highly recommended for community library American Biography collections. It should be noted that "Accidental Brownie: A Childhood Memoir" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.59).

A Blessing Well Disguised
Lloyd Burlingame
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
MM Book Publicity
9781500190927, $33.99, 276pp,

Synopsis: Confronting the catastrophe of sight loss, Lloyd Burlingame is an artist who embarks on an inner odyssey attempting to find new meaning for his life. Discovering the reality of the powers of the psyche, he is guided by dreams, whose healing images he paints as his sight fails. This long journey takes him from blackest depths of despair to bright heights of hope. He seeks answers to profound questions: "What good is a blind man?" on his quest to find his true self. Looking back on his long road of transformation, he realizes his journey is unique as an individual but also one he has in common with all men and women... his story is our story.

Critique: Intimate, candid, inspired and inspiring, "A Blessing Well Disguised: A blinded artist's inner journey out of the dark" is exceptionally well written and presented. Informative and thoughtful, Lloyd Burlingame's personal story is an exceptional and highly recommended read that would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any personal reading list or community library American Biography collection. It should be noted that "A Blessing Well Disguised" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Prisoner of Belief
John Van Dixhorn
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478736318, $12.95, 212pp,

Synopsis: "Prisoner of Belief: One Man's Odyssey to Reclaim His Soul - From Evangelical Minister to Searching Psychologist" is the personal story of John Van Dixhorn, a man who fights for his soul against the crushing power of religious orthodoxy and evangelical zealotry to become a modern man in the modern world. Raised by rigid Calvinists, Van Dixhorn became an evangelical minister, a successful pastor with prosperous churches. But intellectual honesty and emotional longing led him to challenge his faith, his church, his family, his friends and his vocation...and to eventually leave the ministry and become a secular psychologist. To live this life and write this book takes courage. "Prisoner of Belief", then, is a memoir of a courageous man. Through the numerous sharp and painful (and sometimes very funny) anecdotes we begin to realize what it means to confront all the significant figures and forces in one's life, from self to mom, to brother, church, faith, ideology, Jesus, and finally to God...and the world-view that holds all this together in one neat theological package. Van Dixhorn provides enough historical background so that otherwise obscure theology may be understood. As a psychologist, Van Dixhorn takes us deeper to see how doctrine affects emotional life, how belief affects our psyche, our sexuality, and our sense of self. As Van Dixhorn leads us through his life, we learn so much from this honest and courageous story.

Critique: Told with extraordinary candor and unusual insight, "Prisoner of Belief: One Man's Odyssey to Reclaim His Soul - From Evangelical Minister to Searching Psychologist" is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. A fascinating reveal of the power of the human spirit to emancipate itself from the strictures of custom, tradition, orthodoxy, and repression, "Prisoner of Belief" is an informed and informative read, making it highly recommended and an enduringly valuable addition to community and academic library American Biography collections. It should be noted that "Prisoner of Belief" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Heraclix and Pomp
Forrest Aguirre
Underland Press
c/o Resurrection House
310 North Meridian, Suite 204, Puyallup, WA 98371
9781630230012, $24.95, 280pp,

Synopsis: Heraclix was dead and Pomp was immortal. That was before Heraclix's reanimation (along with the sewn-together pieces and parts of many other dead people) and Pomp's near murder at the hands of an evil necromancer. As they travel from Vienna to Prague to Istanbul and back again (with a side-trip to Hell), they struggle to understand who and what they are: Heraclix seeks to know the life he had before his death and rebirth, and Pomp wrestles with the language and meaning of mortality. As they journey across a land rife with revolution and unrest, they discover that the evil necromancer they thought dead might not be so dead after all. In fact, he might be making a pact to ensure his own immortality . . .

Critique: "Heraclix and Pomp: A Novel of the Fabricated and the Fey" is an especially well written and presented fantasy novel. Complex but integrated plot, memorably crafted characters, and a terrifically entertaining read from beginning to end, "Heraclix and Pomp" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "Heraclix and Pomp" is also available in paperback edition (9781630230296, $16.00); in Kindle edition ($10.49), and as an Audio Book Download ($14.95).

Curse of the King
Omari Pye
iUniverse, Inc.
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
Bohlsen Group
9781491702215, $21.95, 140pp,

Synopsis: It is 1655, and King Dahon of the South African Hiandi tribe is a powerful leader with one flaw: an insatiable lust for power. Obsessed with his hunger for control, Dahon has been wiping out entire civilizations for years. Now, as he begins sacrificing his own people in order to appease his animal gods, the curse of an old woman changes his family's destiny for generations to come. As Dahon is cursed, his mind and body both transformed into a creature called a Vandara, he pays a million times for the lives he has destroyed. Worse, his sons are cursed as well, guided by an instinct to kill the king and carry on the curse. The Vandara kings would rule for centuries. In present-day Atlantic City, Eddrin Mather is the new king who has reigned since defeating his father and brothers. With his aging process slowed by the curse, Eddrin, who once used his demonic form to battle the mob, now uses his gifts to assist the police as a detective and bounty hunter who works in the shadows to capture criminals. But as the curse becomes stronger and shredded bodies begin showing up around town, Eddrin fears the worst: another Vandara king may be ready to reign. In this fantasy tale, a modern-day ruler must use all of his powers to fight for what he believes should be his -- to be the only Vandara king forever.

Critique: A superbly crafted action/adventure fantasy, "Curse Of The King" offers a unique twist on the history and nature of a malignant curse that afflicts generation after generation. A solid entertainment from beginning to end, "Curse Of The King" is enthusiastically recommended and will leave its readers looking eagerly toward author Omari Pye's next epic tale. It should ben noted that "Curse Of The King" is also available in a paperback edition (9781491702222, $11.95) and in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Implacable Absence
Henry E. Gorton & David J. Keffer
Poison Pie Publishing House
2207 Island Home Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37920-2744
9781502787453, $9.99, 212pp,

Synopsis: "The Implacable Absence: A Non-Idiomatic Improvisational Duet" is a post-existential fantasy in which a mushroom man, a talking bug and a doppelganger traverse Faerie, Nirvana, and other planes of existence in search of the Deadly Galerina, an ambiguous deity from the Kingdom of Fungi. The novel is a non-idiomatic improvisational duet because two authors engaged in a genre-defying, spontaneous (improvisational) creative process, rather than a preplanned (compositional) activity. To add intrigue to the process, one author opted not to commit to paper his passages, contributing instead an imaginative silence. Just as in a musical duet in which one participant decides not to perform, the duet becomes equally defined by the notes one musician plays as by the absence of the notes that the other musician does not play. The active musician still responds to the other, albeit now only to the other's silence. To call this half a novel is a misnomer. It is rather a complete novel, written by two authors, one of whom is expressed in silence.

Critique: Unique, engaging, superbly written and presented, "The Implacable Absence: A Non-Idiomatic Improvisational Duet" is a seminal reading experience from beginning to end. Erudite, complex, and solidly entertaining, "The Implacable Absence" is very highly recommended for community and academic Literary Fiction collections and personal reading lists. It should be noted that "The Implacable Absence" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Scent of Eternity
Alan T. McKean
Black Rose Writing
9781612963792, $15.95, 216pp,

Synopsis: The evil time travel organization PATCH seeks to change history to their agenda. Time traveler Drew Faulker attempts to counter their efforts while others try to end his life. Amidst a mix of adventure, kidnapping, and attempted weddings surfaces the realization that the fight against evil never ends.

Critique: "The Scent of Eternity" is the third installment of Alan T. McKean's 'The Scent' trilogy. The first two volumes in this outstanding science fiction series are "The Scent of Time" (9781612961286, $14.95 PB, $6.99 Kindle) and "The Scent of Home" (9781612962023, $17.95 PB, $6.99 Kindle). An exceptional final volume to an outstanding three volume series, "The Scent of Eternity" is a terrifically entertaining read from beginning to end and enthusiastically recommended to science fiction enthusiasts who appreciate a well crafted time-travel theme novel. Although helpful to be familiar with the first two books in the series, nonetheless, "The Scent of Eternity" is also a very satisfying 'stand alone' read in and of itself. The trilogy itself would make a very popular and highly recommended addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections.

The Poetry Shelf

Soul Splitting: Volume I
LeRoy Flemming
Xlibris Corporation
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
News & Experts
9781493180691, $19.99, 147pp,

"Soul Splitting" is the first of a proposed series showcasing the free verse poetry of LeRoy Flemming. Of special note is the construction and presentation of "Soul Splitting" with each page resembling lined stationary with the typeface being that of cursive printing. Each poem is dated at the end and given the time of day at the top. As distinctive as its presentation, the poetry of Leroy Flemming is an inherently fascinating and highly recommended read. 'At Ease': I'm trying to find my way through / this life but it all seems to be filled / with strife. People offer me advice / and that is nice but what is one to / do when they are confused. // Looking deep within I try to find the / line between joy and pain. is there / happiness to gain? The world of / man is always at war for our future / who knows that lies ahead. // Children walking the earth have no / working knowledge of how wars are / started. All they want at home is their /mother and father. // The mind is where it all begins. Maybe / the way we think is our biggest sin. If / we anted to make our world right, we / could do it without a physical fight.

To The House Of The Sun
Tim Miller
S4N Books
PO Box 312, Glenshaw, PA 15116
9780979870743, $24.99, 626pp,

Synopsis: "To the House of the Sun" is a long narrative poem presented in thirty-three books, culminating with a young man's experience of illumination in the summer of 1865 and his ascension into the air above California. It begins a few years earlier, on a beach in Savannah, as he broods over the death of his fiancee and the civil war just beginning to tear the United States apart.

In between, we journey with him through a panorama of America at war: from Georgia through the Deep South, he meets escaped and freed slaves, families facing hardship, and soldiers from the recent battles. In the North, he befriends a weary Walt Whitman, and together they tend to the wounded in Washington, before he leaves the poet and briefly joins the Union Army. After this, he walks West, shedding any identity he may have once had - as an immigrant Irishman, a Catholic, a Southerner, a son - so that what began as an epic of history has slowly become something like a new sutra or gospel, the hagiography of some strange man who appears in the American West teaching, healing, and even raising the dead.

More than a decade in the writing, To the House of the Sun is consciously dependent upon the sacred literature and poetry our own culture is heir to, and following the poem is a generous selection of notes detailing these borrowings, which itself constitutes an anthology of sacred literature and folklore. Built as it is upon the great inherited tradition of history and religion, in the end the entirety of the poem becomes one of those very stories itself, as well as a song of suffering and love, and finally of empathy.

Critique: An incredible well executed epic saga in a poetry format, "To The House Of The Sun" is complex, with manifold characters, plot developments, and internal rhythms. Simply stated, "To The House Of The Sun" is a literary phenomena on a scale with the Iliad or the Odyssey. A critical success, "To The House Of The Sun" is especially appropriate for academic library Literary Studies and Poetry Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "To The House Of The Sun" is scheduled for an official release date of April 15, 2015, and that those interested can go to for additional content, including four hours of readings by Tim Miller from eighteen of the poem's thirty-three books -- nine of which are in their entirety.

Michael Patrick Collins
ELJ Publications LLC
PO Box 904, Washingtonville, NY 10922
9781942004066, $13.54, 84pp,

Synopsis: The poetry comprising Michael Patrick Collins anthology "Psalmandala" will have special appeal for students of Jungian psychology and those with an interest in esoteric religion. These are free verse poems that evoke primal yet reflective responses within the mind and soul of the reader. 'Don't get mad at me, Jesus': You Know how lots of people scream your name when they're angry. I don't do that. Well, not every time. And I listen to that thing you said about turning the other cheek. I just turned it again when this jackass kicked my bag halfway across the coffee shop. Then yelled at me for using it to trip him....

Critique: Every poem in this collection is a separate gem to be savored and distilled into a very kind of wisdom arising from the human experiences of us all. An exceptional collection of exceptional poetry, "Psalmandala" is very special and very highly recommended.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Honor Above All
J. Bard-Collins
Allium Press of Chicago
1530 Elgin Avenue, Forest Park, IL 60130
9780989053570, $17.99, 326pp,

Synopsis: Pinkerton agent Garrett Lyons arrives in Chicago in 1882, close on the trail of the person who murdered his partner. He encounters a vibrant city that is striving ever upwards, full of plans to construct new buildings that will "scrape the sky." In his quest for the truth Garrett stumbles across a complex plot involving counterfeit government bonds, fierce architectural competition, and painful reminders of his military past. Along the way he seeks the support and companionship of his friends - elegant Charlotte, who runs an upscale poker game for the city's elite, and up-and-coming architect Louis Sullivan.

Critique: "Honor Above All" is an historical novel embedded throughout with meticulously accurate details that bring early 1880s Chicago to life as a backdrop to a fascinating and engaging mystery/suspense story. Exceptionally entertaining from beginning to end, "Honor Above All" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "Honor Above All" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

Diamonds For Death
Gregory C. Randall
Windsor Hill Publishing
119 Poppy Court, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
9780965651066, $14.99, 298pp,

Synopsis: Sharon O'Mara's newest client doesn't need her help for what he's done, but rather for what he left behind. When baseball great, Toro Rodriquez, defected he had to leave his wife and child in Cuba. Now a ruthless government agent whose allegiance isn't to Castro, but only to herself, holds them prisoner. Since O'Mara's friend, Kevin Bryan, is off on a security gig in London to prevent the theft of diamonds worth a quarter of billion euros, she turns to old friends and comrade-in-arms to help rescue Toro's family. Her team's failure may mean vanishing into a Cuban prison or... worse. O'Mara and Bryan have no idea their client's paths will not only merge but crash bloodily into each other on the night of baseball's All-Star Game in San Francisco.

Critique: The fifth novel in author Gregory C. Randall's 'Sharon O'Mara' series, "Diamonds For Death" is a carefully crafted mystery adventure that continues to demonstrate and document Randall as a total master storyteller. Exceptionally well written, "Diamonds For Death" is a solid entertainment from beginning to end and highly recommended for mystery/suspense enthusiasts. It should be noted that "Diamonds For Death" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

Minister's Shoes
Celine Rose Mariotti
Cambridge Bppls
9781613862445, $18.95, 170pp,

Corning, Alabama is a small southern town rife with gossip, casino gaming, extramarital affairs, embezzlement, and the occasional murder. It is also has the Rev. Castle, a Baptist Minister, solving crimes. When Sada Sampson's husband, Trevor is missing, she asks Rev. Castle to find him. She promises to give him a new pair of shoes if he can find Trevor. The Lord appears to Rev. Castle and gives him clues that help him solve the case. Rev. Castle meets up with a lot of nefarious characters. His quest to solve the case takes him to the Florida Keys and Gulfport, Mississippi. He must prove Trevor's innocence when he is accused of murdering Cartwright, a partner in the Casino deal.

Critique: A deftly crafted and imaginative mystery/suspense, "Minister's Shoes" is a compelling and entertaining novel that holds the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. "Minister's Shoes" clearly documents author Celine Rose Mariotti as a major literary talent and master of the genre. "Minister's Shoes" will leave it's readers looking eagerly forward to her next Rev. Castle mystery! Very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "Minister's Shoes" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.50).

Beg For Mercy: The Sin City Chronicles
Miles Felony
Bottom To the Top Publishing
c/o Imagine Communications
11500 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 250, Henderson, NV 89052
9780615771441, $20.00, 338pp,

Synopsis: Have you ever heard stories of wickedly deranged individuals who commit heinous acts, such as Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, or John Wayne Gacy? After being shocked and utterly repulsed by what they've done, you probably wondered "what happened in that individual's life to cause him to become such a monster?" Something inside of you tried to rationalize their actions and find the algebraic formula that could add up to someone doing such horrible things. You argued "no one is born evil, right?" But maybe you were wrong. Maybe the universal law of yin and yang that guides us all allows for some to be born with a predisposition to being bad while others are predisposed to being good. It was with these thoughts in mind that the character Charlie Doyle was created. Beg 4 Mercy: The Reason is not meant to answer these questions, rather "Beg For Mercy: The Sin City Chronicles" walks you through Charlie's life and shows you his evolution from an introverted child raised in the church, to a disillusioned bi-polar Vietnam Vet who becomes a serial killer on the streets of Las Vegas. Decide for yourself; was Charlie born predisposed to kill or did he choose that life for himself?

Critique: A chilling but deftly written novel, "Beg For Mercy: The Sin City Chronicles" is a compelling read that is backgrounded against such contemporary social issues as homelessness, endemic poverty, abandoned veterans, mental illness, and a malfunctioning judicial system. Recommended and thought-provoking reading, "Beg For Mercy: The Sin City Chronicles" is recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Beg For Mercy: The Sin City Chronicles" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

Summer Shadows
Killarney Traynor
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781500751982, $14.95, 414pp,

Synopsis: When Julia Lamontaigne arrives in Franklin, New Hampshire, she's looking for an escape from the tragedies that have taken over her life. Haunted by the legacy of her beloved sister, and entrusted with her sister's three orphaned children, Julia hopes for a summer of peaceful healing... And hopefully, bonding. At first, the small New Hampshire town seems to be the perfect location. They quickly settle in and make friends with their eccentric neighbors, then begin work on their summer house - while Julia is drawn into a relationship with Robert Wilde, the handsome cop next door. But Franklin is haunted, too - by the decades-old murder of a beautiful young artist, killed in the house at the end of Julia's street. Even though everyone says that the case is solved, Julia can't escape the feeling that there's more to the story than she's being told. She's right. Someone doesn't want the murder case re-opened. And they're willing to kill again to stop it. The house at the end of the street hasn't begun to give up its secrets.

Critique: With "Summer Shadows", author Killarney Traynor demonstrates a complete master of the romance/mystery genre with a riveting story that holds the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end. This is a true page-turner of an entertainment with Traynor's skillfully crafted characters deftly embedded in a complexly woven story replete with unexpected twists and turns. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, "Summer Shadows" will leave the reader looking eagerly toward Killarney Traynor's next novel! It should also be noted that "Summer Shadows" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Son Of A Son
Marilyn Amster Gould
Privately Published
News & Experts
9781939758842, $20.00, 492pp,

Synopsis: 1898-a spring day in Presov. Meyer, thirteen, dances down the cobblestone street balancing a tray of his father's freshly baked strudel to be delivered to Gereaud's Restaurant after which he will secretly meet Mary Catherine in front of the Church of St. Nicholas. But as he rounds the corner he's met with groups of angry men slinging rocks at windows, smashing doors of shops, overturning carts, wagons, baby carriages, slashing at the shocked onlookers with whips, and shouting, "Kill the Jews! Kill the Jews!" This is an organized uprising-a pogrom. Fearing the rise of anti-Semitism and rumors of compulsory conscription, Meyer is sent from the world he loves to the strange "golden land" of America. As history unfolds in the background, from the nineteenth century and the Belle Epoque, to the twentieth century and the Age of Aquarius, Meyer journeys you through success and defeat, love and loss, and unexpected obstacles and challenges from l'dor v'dor, generation to generation.

Critique: Written with a keen eye toward an historically accurate backdrop, "Son of a Son: Fathers and Sons Unconditional Love and Unintentional Misunderstandings" is a deftly crafted novel of impressive complexity and sophistication with respect to the creation of memorable characters embedded in an never-failing-to-engage multi-generational plot. A solidly entertaining reade, "Son Of A Son" is a very highly recommended addition to both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Son Of A Son" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Sleeping Truth
Martin Vesole
Shalom Rav Publications
News & Experts
9781937416027, $19.95, 362pp,

Synopsis: Rabbi Hertzel is being held for a murder everyone knows he did not commit. Could it be because of his support for a newly-discovered ancient scroll found in a cave in Israel that challenges the very underpinnings of Christianity? Are the rich and powerful out to get him? Will Mary be able to help him? Will God help save him? This book tells about the discovery of the ancient scroll, known as the Book of Emet, and what follows. A panel of experts is convened to evaluate the truthfulness of the Book of Emet, while a growing mob is threatening them from the outside. In this charged environment, a forbidden love story develops, there is a mysterious murder, and the fix is in to blame the Rabbi for it. As the Rabbi tries to escape his fate, he tries to find an understanding of God that works in the 21st Century.

Critique: An extraordinary and original mystery that will hold the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end, "Sleeping Truth" documents author Martin Vesole as a master storyteller who will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next novel. Strongly recommended for mystery/suspense enthusiasts and community library collections, it should be noted that "Sleeping Truth" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

Omari And The People
Stephen Whitfield
Shirley Castle Press
Ingram/Lightning Source (distribution)
9780964429031, $14.95, 366pp,

Synopsis: In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the African Sahara's Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari's involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead is jeopardized.

Critique: an extraordinarily entertaining read, "Omari And The People" documents author Stephen Whitfield as a truly skilled storyteller with an impressive ability to create memorable characters and then deftly embed them into a complexly woven and engaging novel from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for personal recreational reading lists and community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted that "Omari And The People" is also available in a Kindle edition ($0.99).

Carl Melanson
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive, Prospect, CT 06712-1493
0991352149, $19.99, 554pp,

Synopsis: "Amlethus" is a Metamodernist novel about a singer-songwriter, poet, and physicist from Greenwich Village by the name of Solomon Roy. He is also schizophrenic, with delusions of grandeur and great power. Is he crazy, or are these things really happening to him? Is there really a Revolution going on, or is it all in his mind? There is simply no way to tell -- such is the prowess of his disorder. Amlethus is a novel, whose poetics account for the prosody of man. All in all, it is a rhapsody about the effects of mental illness and solitude on the mind of a genius - a loner's sacristy; the thin line between genius and madness. And so we have the life and times of Solomon Roy, a young man's quest to join the Illuminati. It all begins with Solomon Roy's biography: "Illuminati." Then there is a dream about Lucifer in a lighthouse titled: "Apollo's Wake." This is followed by "The Principle of Equilibrium," a real-time physics book about the structure of the Universe. Then there is a poetry book titled "The Complete Works of Amlethus." And finally we have "!Okarma!" an acoustic album about the death of Postmodernism. All of these works have been written by Solomon Roy -- who is also known as the Antichrist.

Critique: Erudite, iconoclastic, and truly exceptional, "Amlethus" documents author Carl Melanson as an astutely gifted and imaginative novelist with an impressive command of language. As imaginative and unique, as it is entertaining and thought-provoking, "Amlethus" is a very highly recommended read with is principally available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

Everyday Mercies
Evie Yoder Miller
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781496152718, $15.00, 354pp,

Synopsis: Carrie's dad is a dairy farmer, but she has a different idea about working the land when she returns to her south central home in Wisconsin for four days. As a young adult, she needs her parents' support to move back north from Appalachia and grow organic vegetables. Carrie finds her mom, Charlotte, consumed with plans for the traditional Thanksgiving meal with extended family, while Carrie's dad, James, struggles whenever the thought of change comes to the fore. Her brother, Chad, lives in his own high school world of basketball, girls, and excuses to get out of the house. During the holiday meal and the days that follow, Carrie's grandmother, Martha, and other family members also provide surprises that propel events forward. There's an unexpected dinner guest, an extra dessert, and an unplanned trip to the family cemetery plot. Martha often retreats to her bedroom to read her mother's diaries that reveal a life lived in a vastly different world of patriarchal privilege and pietistic language. The tensions and humor of family living spill out in the most ordinary of interactions. Whether in everyday routine or in shocking revelation, this novel gives a lively look into four generations of women coming from conservative Mennonite and Amish backgrounds.

Critique: A thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end, ""Everyday Mercies" showcases author Evie Yoder Miller's impressive storytelling talents with its deftly crafted characters in a superbly woven novel that holds the reader's complete attention from first page to last. Very highly recommended for personal recreational reading lists and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections it should be noted that "Everyday Mercies" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.00).

Mark E. Prior
Lulu Publishing
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781483411613, $14.99, 234pp,

Synopsis: Two tours of Afghanistan have left Matt Graydon, 28, shattered by battle. Now he must return home to his family's farm to care for his estranged mother Shirley, who is fighting her own war of early-onset Alzheimer's. Yet while the struggle with their demons threatens to unravel them both, Matt and Shirley come to discover each other in a way they never could have imagined. A commanding and emotionally volatile novel of war, fear, and love, "Shadowlands" is an enthralling and touching exploration of a man and his mother's battle with their enemies, both known and unknown. Unpredictable and explosive, it is ultimately a story of strength and forgiveness.

Critique: An extraordinary and engaging novel from beginning to end, "Shadowlands" documents author Mark E. Prior has having an impressive set of storytelling skills. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted that "Shadowlands" is also available in a hardcover edition (9781483411637, $33.99) and a Kindle edition ($8.09).

The Other Shakespeare
Lea Rachel
Writer's Design Press
The Cadence Group
9780990861607, $9.95, 204pp,

Synopsis: Judith is talented, creative, and driven to accomplish great things. But, alas, she has one "shortcoming" that stands in her way of her professional success. She is female. Set in sixteenth-century England, "The Other Shakespeare" tells the tale of Judith Shakespeare, older sister to the famous William, as she struggles to develop her talent and gain acceptance in a world that won't recognize her because of her gender. Consistently denied her independence, she's forced to engage in extreme measures and difficult decisions to get what she wants out of life. The character of Judith Shakespeare was originally introduced in acclaimed author Virginia Woolf's masterpiece "A Room of One's Own". In "The Other Shakespeare" Judith's full story is told and in the telling answers the ultimate question, "What if Shakespeare had been born a woman?"

Critique: An extraordinary and imaginative novel, "The Other Shakespeare" is a solid entertainment of deftly crafted characters and a compelling plot. An extraordinary and unique entertainment, "The Other Shakespeare" is especially recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. Especially commended to William Shakespear and Virginia Wolf enthusiasts, it should be noted that "The Other Shakespeare" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Little Miss Sure Shot
Jeffrey Marshall
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
KamaTimbrell Communications
9781495450600, $8.95, 148pp,

Synopsis: "Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley's World" is a fictionalized account of the life of Annie Oakley, drawing heavily on the real timelines and events of her life. However, "Little Miss Sure Shot" is not a biography because it invents situations, people she meets, and a myriad of conversations. Moreover, while "Little Miss Sure Shot" is presented chronologically (apart from the prologue) and skips certain periods and in the attempt to focus on those that are especially vital, such as the early years Annie spent with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, including her tours through Europe. A special feature of "Little Miss Sure Shot" is the framing of Annie's loving marriage to fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler, whom she married at sixteen and remained married to for 50 years until her death. Frank was far more than just her husband -- he gave up his own shooting career to become her manager and her constant companion. "Little Miss Sure Shot" closes with an epilogue in Frank's voice, presenting an overview of their lives together and the circumstances of her death in 1926.

Critique: A superbly written historical novel, "Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley's World" is a solidly engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, it should be noted that "Little Miss Sure Shot: Annie Oakley's World" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.95).

The Puppet's Tattered Clothes
Alan Bray
Bartleby Snopes Literary Press
2219 Grimm Road, Minneapolis, MN 55318
9781312331495, $9.99, 46pp,

Synopsis: When Kevin meets a family of traveling puppeteers, he finds a glimmer of hope in his broken life. Intrigued by the inner workings of the complex and delicate puppets, Kevin accidentally breaks one while exploring the potential secrets that lie within. Will Kevin be able to repair it without the owners finding out, or will his careless mistake cost him the chance for a new future and the affection of a young woman?

Critique: Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction. "The Puppet's Tattered Clothes" is a flash fiction novel and author Alan Bray's first published effort (and the fourth flash novel to be published by Bartleby Snopes Press). An inherently interesting and distinctively entertaining effort, "The Puppet's Tattered Clothes" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

So What's Next!
G. J. Griffiths
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781497423992, $12.99, 308pp,

Synopsis: Molly Pearson is a young Biology teacher with two passions in her life: a strong commitment to protecting wildlife; and a desire to encourage the children in her classes to feel the same enthusiasm for Nature. When her class decide they would like to restore the school's neglected and vandalised nature corner her hopes are raised and challenged at the same time. The hurdles that she meets along the way will include bullied and bullying pupils, as well as the expected ones of finance and willing manpower. But leaping those fences does not prepare the ambitious Molly for a dramatic fire and the confusion of a new passion in her life, in the form of Oliver Shrimpton. Will he become that significant someone, or is he just another obstacle for her to overcome?

Critique: The sequel to G. J. Griffiths' "So What! Stories or Whatever!" (978-1484987100, $13.50, 372pp), "So What's Next!" continues the trials and tribulations of Molly Pearson and the students of Birch Green High School. Of special note is the helpful information on creating and maintaining 'wildlife friendly' gardens. Very well written and presented, "So What's Next!" is solidly entertaining from first page to last and clearly documents G. J. Griffiths as a master storyteller of the first order. It should be noted that "So What's Next!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($0.99).

Einstein's Beach House
Jacob M. Appel
4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46208
9780984940585, $15.95, 188pp,

Synopsis: A couple adopt a depressed hedgehog; a mother is seduced by the father of her daughter's imaginary friend; a man kidnap's his ex-wife's pet turtle. In eight tragicomic stories, "Einstein's Beach House" features ordinary men and women rising to life's extraordinary challenges.

Critique: An anthology of impressively well written and original tales, "Einstein's Beach House" clearly documents author Jacob M. Appel as a master of the short story format. Solidly entertaining, the short stories featured are Hue and Cry; La Tristesse Des Herissons; Strings; Limerence; The Rod of Asclepius; Sharing the Hostage; Paracosmos; and the title story Einstein's Beach House. Enthusiastically recommended and solidly entertaining, "Einstein's Beach House" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Einstein's Beach House" has a deliberately 'scuffed and worn' appearing front and back cover to give it a feeling of being a much used and beloved read.

Slave and Sister
Sabra Waldfogel
Privately Published
9780991396443, $14.99, 378pp,

Synopsis: Adelaide Mannheim and her slave Rachel have grown up with a shameful secret. Adelaide's father is Rachel's father, too. Their secret shadows their girlhood together and follows them into Adelaide's marriage. As the Civil War breaks out, Adelaide's husband falls in love with Rachel, and the lives of mistress and slave are torn apart. Slavery made them kin. Can the Civil War make them sisters?

Critique: An original and superbly written story, "Slave and Sister" establishes author Sabra Waldfogel as a skilled and talented storyteller. An engaging and solidly entertaining novel from first page to last, "Slave and Sisters" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library historical fiction collections. It should be noted that "Slave and Sister" is also available in a Kindle format.

Both of Me
Jonathan Friesen
Spark Point Studio
9780310731887, $16.99, 256pp,

Synopsis: It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn - a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years. When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias's identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias's dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias's lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she's beginning to love from ever disappearing again.

Critique: A riveting novel of complex storytelling and deftly crafted character dialogues, "Both Of Me" is a thoroughly entertaining read that is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections. Simply stated, Jonathan Friesen is a compellingly gifted novelist who will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next literary effort. It should be noted that "Both Of Me" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.78).

divine roosters and angry clowns
Frank Crimi
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781500906924, $15.95, 310pp,

Synopsis: Major league baseball scout Riley Knight is in search of a once-in-a-lifetime pitching prospect when he finds himself stranded at a remote mountain diner after a gigantic solar storm destroys electrical power grids worldwide. The gathered collection of eccentrics include a self-medicating man with a murderous new bride; a post-traumatic stress suffering senior on the lam; a world-class tap dancer and her psychoneurotic dog; a recovering science fiction memorabilia addict; a beautiful meteorite hunter; and a fry cook with several dark secrets. Cut off from the rest of the electricity-deprived world, the group finds themselves forced to rely on each other with laughingly absurd results. As their situation rapidly deteriorates, the town of Jericho becomes their only hope for survival. But the road to Jericho is fraught with peril that includes menacing fish farmers and a dangerous militia group. Complicating matters is that Jericho may not prove the refuge they hope as the town has been overthrown by its crazily disturbed sheriff. How Riley and his quirky companions survive is anyone's guess!

Critique: "divine roosters and angry clowns: an unexpected gathering" is an exceptional and original novel that holds the reader's fully entertained attention from beginning to end. An impressive and deftly crafted novel populated with memorable characters and unexpected plot twists and turns, "divine roosters and angry clowns: an unexpected gathering" is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections and individual reading lists. It should be noted that "divine roosters and angry clowns: an unexpected gathering" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

Wild Game
Blayne Davis
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
Smith Publicity
9781497354678, $22.95, 516pp,

Synopsis: Behind modern glass doors, high above the streets of Manhattan, an underground operation works around the clock. The Ivy League boys wearing pinstriped suits are discreetly siphoning off millions in the world's gambling markets. Their information is brilliant and their execution is flawless, as they plunder the world of sports betting. An unlikely betrayal sets off a chain reaction that puts the AQSR Group on the radar of the FBI and international police. Investigators and prosecutors start to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy that shocks to the core. They have the case of a lifetime and won't stop until they get what they want. But they've met their match with opponents equally determined not to get caught. A story with twists and turns that cut deep into the secret lives of men playing a game that none can afford to lose. This high-stakes thriller will keep you in suspense as you crisscross the globe in luxurious settings from Nassau to Macau.

Critique: Smoothly complex with deftly crafted plot twists and turns, memorable characters and superbly descriptive settings, "Wild Game" is an action/adventure novel of the first caliber. A solidly entertaining read from beginning to end "Wild Game" clearly establishes author Blayne Davis as a skilled and gifted novelist whose readers will be looking eagerly toward his next book. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted that "Wild Game" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Contacts With The Gods From Space
George King
Aetherius Society
757 Fulham Road, London, England, SW6 5UU
6202 Afton Place, Hollywood, California 90028
David Trimble
9780937249154, $14.95, 153pp,

Synopsis: "Contacts With The Gods From Space: Pathway to the New Age" contains the greatest series of close encounters on record. Among the myriad of claims of contacts with UFOs during the latter half of the 20th century, one man stands out: Dr. George King. For over 40 years he was in regular communication with extraterrestrial intelligences, bringing the most revealing glimpse of their science and religion ever recorded. "Contacts With The Gods From Space" will give the reader the key to a new way of life. UFO enthusiasts will be able to take advantage of Spiritual opportunities never dreamed possible and understand, as never before, the real meaning of the New Age.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Contacts With The Gods From Space: Pathway to the New Age" should be considered a "must read" for all UFO enthusiasts and students of Metaphysical Studies. A strongly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library UFO Studies and Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted that "Contacts With The Gods From Space" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Relationship Shelf

Basha Kaplan & Jeffrey S. Kaplan
Collage Books
4244 Corporate Square, Naples, FL 34104
9780938728306, $19.95, 352pp,

Synopsis: "SoulMating: The Secret to Finding Everlasting Love and Passion" recognizes the significance of a soulful connection by championing the development of intimate and enduring bonds built on romantic friendship. Fostering self-knowledge and authenticity over game-playing. "SoulMating" is a step-by-step guide that offers a unique and innovative way of looking at partnership, with tools and attitudes that not only guarantee a more fulfilling life, but that naturally lead to finding a nurturing and loving life partner. Among its 'Secrets Revealed": SoulMating is a journey, not a destination; Share your soul before you share your body; A great date does not make a great mate' Learn to search for love in all the right places; Rejection is not personal -- it is a gift; Usie online dating to represent who you truly are.

Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "SoulMating: The Secret to Finding Everlasting Love and Passion" is above all realistic its approach and practical in its application. Truly extraordinary, "SoulMating" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.

The Money/Finance Shelf

How To Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome
Lance Drucker
Drucker Wealth Management
2 Park Avenue, Suite 300, New York, NY 10016
9780692296578, $16.95, 168pp,

Synopsis: According to a study conducted by the National Center for Women and Retirement Research in 2007, 90 percent of married women will be solely responsible for handling finances at some point in their lives, either because of divorce or because of the simple fact that they outlive men. 100 percent of single women are responsible for handling their financial affairs. Furthermore, one USA Today study revealed that over 50 percent of women in the US-no matter what their current financial standing-fear becoming a "bag lady." "How to Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome (B.L.S.): A Strong Woman's Guide to Financial Peace of Mind" tackles women's unique financial concerns-in an engaging, witty, and matter-of-fact manner. Drawing on thirty years of experience with thousands of female clients, Lance Drucker provides you with the tools and information you need to feel confident that you can make smart decisions that will help you achieve peace of mind about your financial future. Whether you live close enough to actually meet with the premier team at Drucker Wealth Management, or on the other side of the country, when you put "How To Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome" down, you will be armed with new knowledge and practical advice that you can put into practice immediately to make your dreams a reality.

Critique: As practical and informative as it is 'user friendly' and instructive, "How To Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome" is especially recommended to the non-specialist general reader seeking to plan for her both her short term and long term financial future and fiscal security. It should be noted that all profits from the sale of "How To Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome" will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project.

The Jobs/Career Press

Handwriting Analysis: Discover Your Own Vocational/Career Potential
David J. DeWitt, GA
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478729396, $14.95, 148pp,

Synopsis: "Handwriting Analysis: Discover Your Own Vocational/Career Potential" offers a new perspective not found in conventional books on Graphology. David J. DeWitt links handwriting analysis with professional satisfaction and instructs the reader in the analysis of their own handwriting. It is not uncommon for individuals to labor a lifetime in an occupation that they truly dislike or to which they are, at best, indifferent. Or they might move from job to job multiple times, desperately seeking a 'career' that is edifying. Moreover, young people just entering a sparse job market might find that they have little idea of occupations that could be personally and professionally rewarding to them. "Handwriting Analysis: Discover Your Own Vocational/Career Potential" will help direct the reader to determine their own career potential in order that they may make the best career choice fit their personality.

Critique: A professional graphologist and certified graphoanalyst, David J. DeWitt draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to write "Handwriting Analysis: Discover Your Own Vocational/Career Potential". Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Handwriting Analysis: Discover Your Own Vocational/Career Potential" is very highly recommended to students and practitioners of handwriting analysis, and is ideal for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

Anne Frank 80 Years: A Memorial Tour in Current Images
Ronald Wilfred Jansen
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781505408744, $39.00, 164pp,

Synopsis: Compiled by Ronald Wilfred Jansen, "Anne Frank 80 Years A Memorial Tour in Current Images: Frankfurt am Main, Aachen, Amsterdam, Camp Westerbork, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen" is an impressive and timeless compendium of captioned photographs relating to Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Some of the images are black-white period photos, others are full color contemporary photos.

Critique: An important and strongly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Holocaust Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists, "Anne Frank 80 Years A Memorial Tour in Current Images: Frankfurt am Main, Aachen, Amsterdam, Camp Westerbork, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen" is a fitting memorial and a fulfillment of the exhortation to never forget what happened and why. Especially in the continued existence of antisemitism, and of ethnic cleansing -- still another euphemism for the kind of genocide that took the life of a young girl named Anne Frank.

The Business Shelf

Leadership In The Crucible of Work
Sandy Shugart
Florida Hospital Publishing
900 Winderley Place, Suite 1600, Maitland, FL 32751
The Cadence Group
9780983988199, $24.99, 240pp,

Synopsis: In "Leadership In The Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader", Sandy Shugart takes readers on an unforgettable journey to the heart of what it means to become an authentic leader. A leader who understands that work forms each of us more powerfully than we form it. A leader willing to be purified and shaped, like bronze, in the crucible of work. A leader who stands ready to do the first and most important work of a leader the interior work. "Leadership In The Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader" reveals the inner attitudes that lead to the outer actions of a great leader; the importance of asking good questions because every good question directs a leader to a better one; how an exceptional leader says, we are in this together, then demonstrates it to be true; why the greatest threat to a leader is their own ego, hubris, and blind spots and what to do about it; that the difficult experiences of work (i.e. the crucible) exist to consume the dross of self so the leader is humbly drawn into servant leadership; how to become the unique leader you were meant to be; the encouragement and guidance to shape your inward journey as you become an outwardly successful, authentic leader.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Leadership In The Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader" is as informative and practical as it is encouraging and 'reader friendly'. Of special interest and relevance to anyone charged with or aspiring to a leadership position within any corporate, governmental, or social situation, "Leadership In The Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader" will prove to be an invaluable read. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted that "Leadership In The Crucible of Work: Discovering the Interior Life of an Authentic Leader" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

From the Yoga Mat to the Corner Office
Yvonne James Furth & Molly Rudberg-Leshnock
Highpoint Executive Publishing
9780989105491, $19.99, 108pp,

Synopsis: The collaboration of corporate executive Yvonne James Furth and life coach Molly Rudberg-Leshnock, "From the Yoga Mat to the Corner Office: A Mindful Approach to Business Success" links yoga practices with the business environment. Using simple exercises, illuminating workplace survey results, and the perspectives of successful professionals at Google, Facebook, Walmart, and other cutting-edge global organizations, "Yvonne James Furth & Molly Rudberg-Leshnock" can help the reader to achieve lower stress, greater productivity, and more success!

Critique: Practical, innovative, informative, 'user friendly', well written organized and presented, "From the Yoga Mat to the Corner Office: A Mindful Approach to Business Success" is an exceptional do-it-yourself instructional guide that is highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library collections. Ideal for non-specialist general readers, it should be noted that "From the Yoga Mat to the Corner Office: A Mindful Approach to Business Success" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Self-Help Shelf

Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs)
Harold J. MacIntosh & Elizabeth M. MacIntosh
Privately Published
The Barrett Company Communications (publicity)
9780992429003, $28.95, 280pp,

Synopsis: Negative thoughts occur impulsively in every single one of us. They just pop up in our heads as part of our internal dialogue or mind chatter. How you deal with your Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs) will have huge effects on your physical health, success in life and emotional happiness - so your health, wealth and happiness are at stake! Everyone has experienced thoughts of self-doubt, self-criticism and lack of self-confidence. These NITs can also keep you awake at night, create unnecessary guilt, regret or just make you feel bad in general. Other people also generate negative thoughts and comments that can dramatically impact your emotional state. Therefore, controlling NITs in yourself and from others is critical to create your future happiness and maximize your full potential. This revolutionary new philosophy will transform every area of your life - personal, family, children, relationships, work, business and sport. You will be empowered and uplifted and be in the driver's seat on your journey to your ultimate successful life. Everyone around you will benefit as you will be an inspiration and they will learn from you these simple yet powerful techniques. The principles of positive thinking have been well recognised for many years. However, this is the first time that negative thoughts have been simply defined and encapsulated.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs): Secrets for a Longer, Happier Life!" is the collaborative effort of Harold and Elizabeth MacIntosh and will prove to be an exceptional and unique addition to personal and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collection. Practical, insightful, and occasionally inspiring, "Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs): Secrets for a Longer, Happier Life!" is especially commended to the attention of the non-specialist general reader seeking to live a more cognitively healthy and successful life. It should be noted that "Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts (NITs): Secrets for a Longer, Happier Life!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.95).

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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