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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 3 March 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Poetry Shelf Children's Shelf
Fiction Shelf Self-Help Shelf Biography Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Travel Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Science Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Dressing Nifty After Fifty
Corinne Richardson
Willcott & Corn Books
PO Box 9279, St. Louis, MO 63117
0978663608, $15.95 1-314-863-5875

Looking your best every day is just as important at 50 as it ever was in childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, or middle-age. Fashion, grooming, and looking lovely is good for one's self-esteem and confidence, socialization with others, and just plain getting the most out of what life has to offer us. In "Dressing Nifty After Fifty: The Definitive Guide To A Simple, Stylish Wardrobe", Corinne Richardson shows how anyone on any budget can look nice, build up their wardrobe based on three basic colors, add zest to their appearance through the use of color, look taller and thinner with the right kind of apparel, combine style and comfort with their footwear, get the most out of their clothing budget, and simply "stay gorgeous as time goes by". Practical, sensible, economy minded, 'reader friendly', and occasionally down right inspiring, "Dressing Nifty After Fifty" is enthusiastically recommended reading for women over 50 who want to look as good sartorially as they did when they were 25!

Everyday Traditions
Nava Atlas
Amberwood Press, Inc.
41 Hornbeck Ridge, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
096302437X, $18.95 1-845-486-0243

The 2006 Grand Prize Winner of the 14th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards, "Everyday Traditions: Simple Family Rituals for Connection And Comfort" by Nava Atlas was written for parents wanting to create within their own families those simple, meaningful familial traditions that once were commonplace, but in our increasingly industrialized, urbanized, technologized, fragmented lifestyles are becoming a thing of the past. In "Everyday Traditions", Nava draws upon illustrative personal stories of many women to show how even today, ordinary family routines can be embellished to create celebration, fun, and remembrance for all family members. These little traditions can include daily dinners and kitchen activities, activities preserving family history, ways of building family identity, and more. Of special note are the wonderful illustrations embedded throughout, the scores of simple and 'user friendly' ideas to apply to any family, as well as pages set aside for the reader to record and develop their own favorite family traditions. "Everyday Traditions" is especially recommended for those just beginning to be a family, and for those wanting to reestablish their family bonds weakened by the conflicting demands of modern society upon the various family members.

Oasis Of Stone
Bruce Berger, author; Miguel Angel de la Cueva, photographer
Sunbelt Publications, Inc.
1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020-1511
0916251764, $49.95

Enhanced with 160 superbly presented full color photographs by acclaimed photographer Miguel Angel de la Cueva which accompany an informative, almost lyrical text by Bruce Berger, "Oasis Of Stone: Visions Of Baja California Sur" presents a beautifully showcased survey of southern Baja California complete with its unique geology, as well as its coastal, desert and mountain ecosystems. Of special note is the succinct photo-essay on 'The Newcomers" providing a perspective on the contributions and impacts of humans that range on the positive side from cave painters to rancheros, the negative as illustrated by rivers poisoned by pollution and junked car heaps. An essential acquisition by California libraries, "Oasis Of Stone" will also have dramatic appeal for non-specialist general readers with an interest in nature and the environment, as well as armchair travelers seeking to explore the wonders and beauty of the relatively unknown and heretofore underappreciated Baja peninsula

The Poetry Shelf

A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O'ahu
Joseph Stanton
Time Being Books
10411 Clayton Road, Suites 201-203, St. Louis, MO 63131
1568091087 $15.95

Award-winning writer Joseph Stanton presents A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O'ahu, his latest free-verse poetic contribution inspired by the exotic and wondrous majesty of Hawaii. Created with equal reverence for elements of the natural world and constructs put together via the labor of Hawaii's human residents, A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O'ahu is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes lyrically beautiful, always a joy to read. "Rainbow over River Street": A rainbow sings low / over River Street's / bridge after bridge after bridge, / a chorus of curves. // The bright click-clack / of mahjong tiles / keeps time / in the key of light.

Four From Japan
Sawako Nakayasu
Litmus Press
PO Box 25526, Brooklyn, NY 11202-5526
1933959010, $14.00

Litmus Press is dedicated to publishing poetry in translation, as well as the innovative work of emerging and established writers. Their newest publication is "Four From Japan: Contemporary Poetry & Essays By Women", a bilingual anthology showcasing the writings of four Japanese women (Kiriu Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Takako Arai) working in modern and cross-cultural poetry milieus. Compiled, introduced, and translated into English by Sawako Nakayasu, "Four From Japan" showcases diverse and reflective body of Japanese verse and other writings that is strongly recommended reading, a seminal addition to academic library poetry collections, and a welcome contribution to Japanese Cultural Studies supplemental reading lists.

Poetical Relationships
Robert Tabor
Booksurge 1-8066-308-6235
1419617206, $12.99

Enthusiastically recommended reading, "Poetical Relationships" is a unique volume of impressive poetry whose substantial themes touch upon twenty diverse subjects ranging from aesthetics, to quantum mechanics, humanism, entropy, and more. A gifted writer and poet, Robert Tabor is able to express in verse reflective commentary about science, logic, philosophy, and the cosmos. 'Action at a Distance': Action at a distance, as newton's gravity proposed,/Einstein had not liked,/"Invisible Hands' reaching to pull objects to masses and the Earth.//Reductionism, action at a distance seems not support,/Where everything must be together linked by concepts known./The classical much can explain with reductionism as its path./Curved space, the linkages does preserve./The "falling object" to space is fastened,/And space to the other mass is linked.//Science could not the linkages of action at a distance see;/Perhaps hidden they may be,/but, if so, without proofs were accepted not./But the naive poet must ask, what about magnetism and static's cling,/Are there different curved spaces for them too?/Or have they been accounted for by other means?//But contrarily, though quantum mechanics a set of laws too obeys,/However, action at a distance seems allowed./thus, a dialogue ensues.//To some kind of force as the old gravity might we return?/Or does space need to be further yet defined?/Or will a new holism need developed be which the views can unify?/Perhaps another, yet hidden, linkage will clarify.

Liquid Mirror: Waiting On The New Moon
Michael Skinner
Liquid Mirror Press
10928 Audelia Road, Apt. 822, Dallas, TX 75243
0978962907, $14.95

Michael Skinner is a website developer and computer programmer who has turned his hand to the writing of poetry. Highly recommended for those who enjoy heartfelt poetry lyrically expressed, "Liquid Mirror: Waiting On The New Moon" is his debut collection of verse which is divided into four sections: Wanderlust (poems which speak to the restless travels of a wandering minstrel), Dawn Warriors (poetry in celebration of day break), Screaming Over the Liquid Mirror (verse referring to the cries of sea birds as they ply the intercoastal waterways of Eastern Florida), and Waiting on the New Year (a group of love poems). 'Rain': Cool, cloudy days./Bringing water to the sea./A storm coming from the west./The world is wet kissed by gentle rains./Gone are the noisy thunderstorms of summer./Here, now, a colder head prevails/and rain invites itself over for a little stay./It is a day to contemplate river mists from a lofty perch,/high in the mountains,/in the arms of a lover./Some time between hungry kisses/or just being together.

The Children's Shelf

The Garden Angel
Gail Penley Kunst, author; Michael T. Roe, illustrator
Hidden Treasures Publishing
PO Box 691, Port Perry, Ontario, Canada, L9L 1A6
0973410701, $7.95 (Canadian)

Imgainatively written by Gail Kunst and enhanced with the delightful illustrations of Michael Roe, "The Garden Angel" is a chapbook story that is intended to convey the message of God's infinite love and acceptance of each child. Wonderfully entertaining, the story featuring Adam, Eve, and Eggbert is a splendidly crafted and presented fable with Biblical characters set in a modern day setting (think Garden of Eden as a neighborhood gardening supplies store). Enthusiastically recommended reading, "The Garden Angel" is a 22-page entertainment enhanced with the inclusion of 'Discussion Questions' that will enable a parent or pre-school/day-care teacher to help children think about the lessons embedded in this engaging picturebook tale.

The Lost Keep of Kaywall
Charles Embrey Jr.
Bedside Books
PO Box 65624, Salt Lake City, UT 84165
1589823699 $22.00

Written by United States Air Force veteran (and Dungeons & Dragons veteran!) Charles Embrey Jr., The Lost Keep of Kaywall is a medieval fantasy adventure written especially for young adults yet enjoyable for readers of all ages. A classic good-versus-evil parable, The Lost Keep of Kaywall follows the training of a knight and would-be hero. For only twenty-four hours each century, the mysterious Keep of Kaywall appears; the knight must brave its depths and rescue the princess within that time, or be consigned to the keep's prison for eras unending. Yet a further malefic force lurks behind the surface challenge! A rousing quest, sure to keep the reader entertained from cover to cover.

You, Them and the Others
Ernesto Guerra Frontera, author; Daniel Frost, Ph.D. translator
Pasiteles Publishing Company
743 Belmont St., Belmont, MA 02478-1909
0978527089 $12.95

Written by Ernesto Guerra Frontera and skillfully translated into English by Daniel Frost, Ph.D., You, Them and the Others is an allegorical novel written for readers age eight and up. Told in second person ("You rolled out of bed, shook the sand off yourself, and noticed that your room was different: the pictures on the walls were gone, and so were the toys on the floor and the books on the desk"), You, Them and the Others is the story of you, the reader, waking up one day to discover your house occupied by Them, bizarre alien beings arming themselves for their war with the world of the Others. At times dramatic, at times lighthearted, You, Them and the Others discusses the fallout of war, the struggle to survive, and the search to better understand human existence with a unique blend of humor and metaphor. Enthusiastically recommended.

Like a Maccabee
Barbara Bietz, author; Anita White, artist
Yaldah Publishing
PO Box 18662, St. Paul, MN 55118
1592871364 $16.95

Written by education expert Barbara Bietz and award-winning artist Anita White, Like A Maccabee is a large-type novel for young adults about Ben, a young Jewish boy who loves soccer but has a fierce and intimidating rival - the other team's best defender, a bully who enjoys teasing and tormenting Ben. Ben feels humiliated at school and misunderstood by his family, and when his grandfather comes to live with them, Ben has to share his room. Just when Ben's life seems to be at its worst, his grandfather shows him wisdom about his own heritage dating back thousands of years, and ways to tap into steadfast strength in order to face not only the upcoming big soccer game, but also the many challenges of life that lay beyond. Highly recommended.

The Fiction Shelf

Stolen Heroes
Myriam N. Onyeabor, Ph. D.
Sage Publishing
1755 South 4490 ,West SLC, UT 84104
0977198901 $24.99

Written by social psychologist and award-winning academic Myriam N. Onyeabor, Ph. D., Stolen Heroes is a novel set in post-colonial Africa during the early sixties. Cynthia O'Leary, the Irish-American daughter of a World War II veteran, sets out on a Peace Corps mission to Africa determined to change the world for the better. Assigned to teach in a little college town in West Africa called Utofia, she discovers a rich, complex culture that belies popular myths and misconceptions. Written in first-person perspective, Stolen Heroes is an unusually captivating, multicultural drama that reveals the little-known socio-psychological world of a part of Africa, immersing the reader in the daily struggles of three-dimensional men and women.

Grace Falling Like Rain
Donna Van Cleve
Two Story Publishing House
PO Box 482, 225 Lakemont Dr., Hutto, TX 78634
0978793706 $22.95

The debut novel by public library director Donna Van Cleve, Grace Falling Like Rain is a saga set in the late 1800's, about a young woman who must cope with the ordeal of being kidnapped and separated from the love of her life. Held hostage by an individual, then later by a group of Indians, she must use all her courage and strength to mediate between deadly interpersonal conflicts, while holding fast to her faith in God. The concept of God's grace, which imperfect humans strive to be worthy of yet which encompasses all humans as unearned favor from God's limitless depths of mercy and forgiveness, is a powerful central theme to this dramatic story of hardship, survival, and trust.

Tiboli Taboo
Christopher Howard
Capricorn Publishing
706 E. Brewster Street, Appleton, WI 54911
0977475700 $16.00

Written by Christopher Howard, Tiboli Taboo is a grim novel set amid the modern-day war on terror. When an Army infantry team steals a Mohammedan artifact and provokes the vengeance of an ancient Moslem brotherhood, Spec-4 Maynard Byrne is caught in the center of building violence. Pursued from Afghanistan to the United States, Byrne gradually loses mental coherence as he fixates on the crime committed by the 9/11 hijackers and regrets the universal conflagration of war. A nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat suspenseful title, at times so gruesome and severe as to be emphatically for mature readers only, Tiboli Taboo leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Raising the Past
Jeremy Robinson
Breakneck Books
128 Wildcat Road, Barrington, NH 03825
0978655117 $14.99

Accomplished author Jeremy Robinson presents Raising the Past, a suspenseful novel about the discovery of an ancient artifact, entombed within ice and the carcass of an elephant for ten thousand years, left behind by an advanced civilization. When the device is activated by accident, it triggers forces seeking its destruction, for it is the lynchpin to mankind's freedom from hidden manipulators who have been guiding humanity toward collective annihilation. A gripping novel about a deadly pursuit with the fate of the planet and all who live on it in the balance.

Prejudice and Pride
Donald C. Austin, MD
Vantage Press
419 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
0533149428 $11.95

Written by Donald C. Austin, MD, Prejudice and Pride is a tense novel about anti-terrorist activities investigator Fred Castle, who has repeatedly succumbed to serious sickness under questionable circumstances. Castle suspects his neighbor, a Middle Eastern refugee turned American citizen; then he discovers his wife has been having an affair with an attending physician, and his rage peaks to a boiling point. The lives of four people intermesh in this suspense-ridden story of human emotion out of control, and relentless, driving fears and passions.

Say Ciao to Chow Mein
Cordell Parvin
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 North Dallas Pkwy, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
1933285605 $21.95 wwww.brown

Based on true success stories from lawyers that author Cordell Parvin has met and coached, Say Ciao to Chow Mein: Conquering Career Burnout is the first in a series of novels following frustrated first-year law firm associate Tony Caruso as mentor Jim Hardy teaches him (over many a cup of Starbucks coffee) how to organize his professional and personal life for maximum fulfillment. A motivated, upbeat parable about finding the determination to make one's dreams happen, Say Ciao to Chow Mein is filled cover to cover with wit, wisdom, and insight. Gusto and gumption abound in this inspirational story.

The King of Cups
James Quina
35 Industrial Drive, Suite 104, Martinsville, IN 46151
1413409253 $32.99

Set in New Orleans during the early twentieth century, The King of Cups is a dashing novel of sickness, political intrigue, blossoming true love, and dark occult power. After sixteen-year-old Marty McKinstry witnesses his father's harrowing death to yellow fever, he and his sister are sent to separate orphanages. As he struggles to bring his family together again, his adventures range from bare-knuckle prize fighting to voodoo baptism, serpent handling, and when he finds his true love, he gains the ruthless vengeance of her bitter, jilted rival. A dark, exciting adventure from start to finish.

Wings, Women & War
Benjamin F. Guiles, Col. USAF Ret.
Suite 6E, 2333 Government St., Victoria, BC V8T 4P4, Canada
1412009235 $29.95 1-888-232-4444

Written by Benjamin F. Guiles, Col. USAF Ret., Wings, Women & War is a novel set during and after World War II. Following a young pilot from rural America who learns how to fly the top secret B-29 Strategic Bomber. An exciting chronicle of war, the experience of flying, and unforgettable encounters with women while living life on the edge. Wings, Women & War doesn't end with the close of World War II, but rather follows the growth of the man; it is love, marriage, and the responsibilities of raising a family that bring completeness to his life. Written in first-person perspective, Wings, Women & War is a rousing story from start to finish, that reflects what truly made the Greatest Generation great.

Passing Heights
Leighton Mark, M.D.
Xlibris Corporation
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113-1513
141345920X $21.99

Passing Heights is an engaging novel based upon the inspirational true story of author Leighton Mark's parents. Encompassing the common experience and obstacles often encountered by Chinese American immigrants, Passing Heights chronicles the abiding, steadfast values of character, honor, duty, personal enrichment, and love. The struggle between cultural identity and pressures to conform, as well as coping with poverty and loss while striving to stay true to oneself and raise a family enrich this involving and highly recommended cover-to-cover read.

Identity Crisis
Erin R. Zweigart
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
1587366657 $20.95

Law school graduate Erin Zeigart presents Identity Crisis: How Much is an Identity Worth?, a fascinating novel about a uniquely twenty-first century dilemma. When talented law expert Courtney Alexendar encounters one failure after another in her life, during the depths of her poverty, she happens upon an unorthodox means to pay off her debts - selling her own identity on eBay! It seems like the perfect idea at first, yet complications inevitably arise - what will the auction winner, the new "Courtney Alexander", do with the identity she purchased? And where is the old Courtney Alexander to go from here? A fascinating, hard-hitting story about the pressures of poverty and the fallout from radical and questionable change.

The Self-Help Shelf

"Who Would I Be If I Weren't So Afraid?"
Ginger Grancagnolo, Ed.D.
Airleaf Publishing
35 Industrial Drive, Suite #104, Martinsville, IN 46151
1414006268, $14.95, 1-800-342-6068

In "Who Would I Be If I Weren't So Afraid?: A Pathway For Personal Victory", Ginger Grancagnolo presents a dynamic and 'reader friendly' instructional guide to achieving and maintaining genuine personal growth and problem solving skills based on her extensive training and many years of professional experiences as an educator. Using a four-point format (What Happened to Me; How You See It; What It Really Is; and Your Worksheet), this simply outstanding self-help book addresses the illusions, disillusions, typical complexities and common contentions that she and the rest of us are called upon to deal with in the course of our daily lives. "Who Would I Be If I Weren't So Afraid?" is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to personal self-help, self-improvement reading lists and reference collections. Also very highly recommended are two other self-help books by Ginger Grancagnolo: "The Mother Principle: Healing All Wounds - Nurturing All Needs" (Authorhouse, 1425950841) and "The Father Principle: Resolving The Influence - Restoring Your Truth" (Authorhouse, 1418413216).

The Biography Shelf

Boyhood With Gurdjieff
Fritz Peters
Arete Communications
773 Center Boulevard, Box 58, Fairfax, CA 94978-0058
1879514052 $27.95

Written by the nephew and ward of two of spiritual leader Gurdjieff's earliest American students, Fritz Peters (1913-1979), Boyhood With Gurdjieff is a long out-of-print classic revived in a new hardcover edition with an introduction, notes, black-and-white photographs, and index. Deftly relaying the experiences of the author's childhood as he lived and interacted with Gurdjieff for five years, Boyhood With Gurdjieff applies descriptive, flowery prose to make sensory images and unforgettable personalities come to life. A sound evocation of the author's remembered sense of community, told with candor, goodwill, and a sharp twist of wit.

There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet
Brendan Lynch
Currach Press
55A Spruce Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
1856079376 $23.95

Written by committed pacifist and award-winning author Brendan Lynch, There Might Be a Drop of Rain Yet: A Memoir of a Son and His Mother is the true story of Lynch's life from his adolescence amid turbulence in 1950s Ireland, growing up with his strictly orthodox and patriotic Catholic mother, to his personal involvement in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, his dreams of becoming a journalist and a racing driver, and the twilight of his mother's life when she falls ill. Before his mother passes away, they embrace one last chance to build upon their lifelong bond, and she confesses to him the long-hidden family secret that is the reason for her antipathy to all things British. An emotional and vivid memoir, offering a candid picture of daily life in twentieth-century Dublin, highly recommended.

Turning Grief Into Gratitude
Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka
Paper Spider
1821 Walkley Road, Suite 8, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 6X9
0973252367 $14.95

Turning Grief Into Gratitude: Reflections and Recommendations on Mourning and Condolence is the insightful memoir of Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, discussing how, after thirty-five years of consoling and counseling mourners, he had to confront the loss of his own parents. Offering a uniquely Jewish perspective of one man's efforts to cope, Turning Grief into Gratitude delves into absorbing the shock when the dreaded day arrives, the importance of appreciating past good times, reflections upon mourning itself, and also, practical advice on how to console others undergoing turbulent times - people mean well, but it is all to easy to say the wrong thing at the worst time. A thoughtful book that blends practical considerations with the harsh emotional impact of reality.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Sex, Lies, and the Bible
Francis D. "Frank" Ritter
Diverse Publications
5074 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
0970635117 $24.95

Written by Francis D. "Frank" Ritter, CLI, Sex, Lies, and the Bible: How Human Sexual Behavior is Controlled Through the Corruption of the Bible is a strident denouncement of the use of the Bible to condemn and restrict human sexual behavior. Dubbing those who would use sacred texts to instruct others in what is and is not appropriate sexually as "controllers", Sex, Lies, and the Bible takes the stance that neither masturbation, incest, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, nor bestiality are crimes prohibited by the Bible - that these acts were not denounced by the Old Testament, or in some cases, by Jesus Christ himself. It should be noted that despite the author's questioning of the taboos of incest and bestiality, Sex, Lies, and the Bible absolutely does not condone or justify any form of rape, and only defends consensual acts (in the case of animals, consent is implied by an animal's craving to mate, often seen during specific seasons for individual species). A serious-minded exploration of heated debate subjects, demanding that individuals justify their rules for governing sexual behavior properly and thoroughly, not just with the unthinking belief that they should behave in such a manner because the Bible says so.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

We've Got Feelings Too!
Carolyn B. Matlack, JD
Log Cabin Press
PO Box 2259, Davidson, NC 28036
0977647803 $19.95

We've Got Feelings Too! is a must-read book for pet lovers. The United States legal system has long classified pets as property, often to the animals' detriment; We've Got Feelings Too! offers a new legal solution to the conundrum - categorizing animal companions as "feeling property" in a new classification called "sentient property". We've Got Feelings Too! combines years of legal research and true events to offer new ways of dealing with unavoidable difficulties, and taking animals' emotions and well-being into account. Especially recommended for anyone concerned with making legal provisions for one's pet should one become suddenly unable to care for it in the future.

The Travel Shelf

Kate Savory
ASW Publishing
PO Box 1353, Chico, CA 95927
0977921603 $19.95

Written by flower lover and travel destination research business owner Kate Savory, Flowertripping: A Travelers Guide to What's Blooming When is a straightforward, international reference guide for travelers seeking to include flower sites in their itineraries. Organized in an easy-to-read format and featuring an "at-a-glance" chart with a compact list of nations, seasons, and flower types that world travelers can choose from, Flowertripping is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive quick-reference resource. Highly recommended for traveling flower lovers everywhere.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Healing Multiple Sclerosis
Ann Boroch
Yorwerth Associates
410 Fieldstone Drive, Bozeman, MN 59715
0977344606 $15.95

Written by certified nutritional consultant Ann Boroch, Healing Multiple Sclerosis: Diet, Detox & Nutritional Makeover for Total Recovery is a straightforward guide to using proper diet and a natural self-help treatment regimen to improve one's health and lessen the symptoms of MS, a progressively crippling autoimmune disease of the central immune system. Boroch cured her own MS by devising and following the regimen; Nutritional Makeover for Total Recovery walks the reader through how to create a regimen tailored to one's specific needs, including foods to avoid, nutritional supplements to take, breathing techniques and strengthening exercises, "stress-busting" methods, and much more. Enthusiastically recommended as a life-improving supplemental resource for any person suffering from MS and their loved ones.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Building God's Wall
Nevin Bass
On the Rock Publishing
PO Box 1624, Castle Rock, CO 80104
0978506723 $18.95

Nevin Bass, a pastor of over two decades' experience, presents Building God's Wall: Reclaiming Your Spiritual High Ground, a spiritual self-help guide for Christians to maintaining personal stability in their search to live according to Jesus Christ's teachings. Drawing heavily upon the Old Testament story of Nehemiah, a man who dared to lead Jerusalem through spiritual revival, Building God's Wall speaks strongly against modern hedonistic tendencies to supplant God's will as expressed through the Bible and the Ten Commandments with personal pride - treating commandments from Scripture "like advice from their mothers-in-law instead of God's Word." Building God's Wall particularly exhorts the weaknesses of a divided heart and emphasizes mixed marriage - specifically defined as the marriage of believers to unbelievers in the present day, though in Nehemiah's era it referred to the marriage of Israelites to the peoples they had conquered - as a root of spreading faithlessness. "If ever there was an attitude that reverses spiritual progress, it is one that accepts the union of God's people with unbelievers. Truly, this is the fruit of a divided heart." Building God's Wall is very much a treatise about the separating the faithful from the faithless, and using isolation to maintain spiritual purity and development; it also emphasizes the importance of a desire for God that takes the practitioner beyond ritual, a ministry willing to embrace and proclaim all of the Word of God, and unity of purpose and practice in believers. An emphatic exhortation against complacency and "Christian conviction creep".

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Promised Land
Bob Adamov
Packard Island Publishing
665 Chart Road, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
0978618408 $24.95

The latest volume in the Island Mystery series by Bob Adamov, Promised Land is a haunting novel about secrets and repercussions rippling from the Vatican to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A gutsy Creole detective and her partner are thrust amid a web of deceit and murder, sparked by missing documents whose hidden secret just might undermine the legitimacy of the United States. Promised Land is a rush of nail-biting excitement, sure to keep the reader's attention glued to the last page. Also highly recommended are Adamov's previous Island Mystery novels, "Rainbow's End", "Pierce the Veil", and "When Rainbows Walk".

Dr. Joel Berman
PO Box 1385, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Juniper Springs Press
c/o SJ Miller Communications
10 Turning Mill Lane, Randolph, MA 02368
0977936015 $29.95

Dr. Joel Berman presents Scalpel, a gruesome murder mystery about a serial killer who sees his wife driven to suicide by a relentless malpractice case against her - and takes horrific revenge upon the attorneys who prosecuted it. One by one, the malpractice attorneys begin to turn up dead, each surgically altered in frightening ways. There are no fingerprints, no blood, and clues are sparse. Police detective Septimus "Mac" McClymonds must track down an unusually intelligent serial killer, taunted by the macabre and celebratory notes that the killer leaves with his victims. A pulse-pounding chase of hunter and hunted, up to the very end.

The Science Shelf

The Teeth of the Lion
Anita Sanchez
The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company
431-B East College Street, Granville, OH 43023
093992322X $14.95

Written by senior environmental educator Anita Sanchez, The Teeth of the Lion is the true story of the ubiquitous dandelion, a flower so ecologically adapted, flourishing in so many lawns, playgrounds, roadsides, and parking lots, that it is commonly perceived as a weed. Yet the dandelion has an extended history as medicine, food, and the focus of ritual and folklore. "...are dandelions bad? If forced to answer the question, I'd say that dandelions are a bad thing, an alien species, with many redeeming virtues. They're an unbelievably nutritious plant that heals the earth as well as people, they're medicine, and magic, and, yes, beauty... in the great scheme of the world's ecology, what's a few dandelions on a lawn?" An enchanting and fascinating read, highly recommended for plant lovers of all walks of life.

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

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