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Featured Books

 

Rhythm in Verse

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Bejeweled Poetry: Revelations Sensations Creations
by M. Jewel H.
Trafford Publishing


"Sensations romanticizing every tenuous extended fingertip to the endearing touch enough to grasp the entire beings embodiment."

In Bejeweled, the speaker has a knack for tackling one of the most difficult aspects of writing poetry: transferring the wave of emotion and feeling from the mind and the heart into words that will stir the individual. Filled with strong, sensuous details, each poem in the compilation takes on a life of its own. Jewel H's collection uses short, crisp stanzas that flow well. The reader is rarely trying to figure out what the speaker means; instead, he or she is able to enjoy the potent word choice and vivid imagery that infuse the poem with energy. ... (read more)

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Danger Journey

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Aegis Rising
by S.S. Segran
Inkmagination


"He found the wolf's eyes unnerving, more so with the flames reflected in them."

What starts with a simple plane ride among teenage friends ends in disaster when a storm sends the aircraft crashing down in the Canadian wilderness. Miraculously, the five youths are brought to a hidden village of a mysterious people who tend to their wounds. Much to the surprise of the teens—Jag, Kody, Aari, Tegan, and Mariah—the village Elders eventually reveal to them that they are likely a part of an ancient prophecy that includes dark times for the world that only they can overcome. All this is a lot for the kids to take in, especially when they're preoccupied with wanting to get home and search for their missing pilot, Kody's father. When a mysterious illness begins claiming the lives of the villagers, the five teenagers and their new allies are thrust into a dangerous position where they must learn new skills and cooperate to even have a chance of making it home. ... (read more)

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The Right Road

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The Fourth Demand
by Andy Solomon
BookBaby


"Find your own lane on the open road."

How does any father know if he has done all he could in raising a son? Andy Solomon, English and writing professor at the University of Tampa, became the single parent of his two-year-old son, Marty, long before "Dad-moms" were common. He did many things right, but made one mistake more serious than others. He rode everywhere with Marty on his motorcycle, from the time the boy wore diapers until the day Solomon crashed his bike. Father and nine-year-old son survived. A wiser Solomon promised Marty's mother that he would never let their son on a motorcycle again. A month later though, Solomon also promised his son that one day they would ride together across America. ... (read more)

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Hard Choices, Bad Choices

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Lottie's Lot
by Nancy O'Connor
La Mariposa Press


"The Hastings family was like a flock of migratory birds. They all flocked together as if guided by some unseen force."

No family is exempted from life crises, and with all the challenges they bring, it is the women who disproportionately bear the impact of crisis. According to an AARP study, in the case of divorce, 74 percent of women lessened their expenses, while only 59 percent of men did. For those who had properties, 56 percent of women sold their homes while 44 percent of men did the same. There were also around 42 percent of women who took a job or a second job, while only 21 percent of men did the same. The women in O'Connor's Lottie's Lot are no different. ... (read more)

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Two Girls Learning

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Redcliffe: The Adventures of Two Southern Girls
by Kathryn B. Hauer
Redcliffe Management


"I would rather be free and poor than owned and living in comfort."

On the exterior, one might think Hauer's novel revolves around racism. More specifically, however, it is a refreshing narrative of two best friends and their numerous childhood adventures in the 1840's American South. While Caroline and Cassie, the two female protagonists, are enveloped by slavery around them, their friendship remains unaffected and pure. Overall, the text is both entertaining and educational for kids, and ultimately delivers a meaningful message: Embrace each other—and their differences—and live life being happy and positive. ... (read more)

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A Poet's Introspection

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Low Growth
by Christian Thompson
Word Poetry


"Hope—
drained from his body,
opened him
to the dark
spotted with stars
that,
in its lack of intention
had been a brother all along"

Poetry comes in a myriad of shapes and flavors. Bawdy limericks, nursery rhymes, rap lyrics, and the works of Dr. Seuss all qualify. But what most people consider true poetry is verse with more substance to it, a depth of feeling and expression that startles the reader into seeing the world differently. Thompson's poems, with their thought-provoking themes and carefully crafted images, fit solidly into this latter category. ... (read more)

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A Life Worth Remembering

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Loving Andrew: A Fifty-Two-Year Story of Down Syndrome
by Romy Wyllie
CreateSpace


"...Andrew touched the lives of many, helping them in his special way become better people."

In today's world of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it can be unfathomable to imagine a time in which babies born with disabilities were routinely separated from their parents. Yet, a mere five decades ago, it was commonplace. Often, mothers were not even told that their babies had survived the delivery. Instead of reconnecting mother and child, the doctors would whisk the child away to an institution, where he would live a grim existence and would often be sterilized against his will. Andrew Wyllie, the subject of this book, would have suffered the same fate had it not been for the love, determination, and perseverance of his parents. ... (read more)

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Getting it Write

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Write Everything Right!
by Denny Hatch
Direct Marketing IQ


"And the greatest challenge to a writer is capturing the reader's attention and holding it."

An experienced advertising copywriter focuses on writing from the practical viewpoint of grabbing a potential reader's eye through effective design, content, clarity, and interest. Through a series of forty short chapters, subjects ranging from the importance of background research to how to write effective résumés are covered. The approach is unabashedly commercial. Writing is equated with the art of selling, and how to do this efficiently is the book's theme and content. Citing several famous advertising copywriters, examples of how to keep the reader's eye moving down the page, the importance of the first ten words, and the art of composing easily read sentences are given. The changing influence of the Internet on research, publishing, and even how the "lede," or first ten words, are composed is also discussed. ... (read more)

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Beauty Wrought

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Art & Inspiration
by Souther
Souther Group Publications


"The act of creating may be balm."

Music history reveals that Ludwig van Beethoven struggled with deafness, yet went on to become one of the world's greatest composers. Now consider the equally challenging scenario of a contemporary jewelry artist and architect dealing with failing eyesight. Such is the fate of Souther, diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that will rob her of central visual acuity. Never the quitter, Souther is determined in her remaining sighted years, to create as much art as possible. This is a beautifully crafted book that responds to the age-old question of what spurs an artist's imagination. Souther's cross-country road trip with her mother, a talented writer, became the impetus for this artful memoir that harmonizes personal narrative and handcrafted design. From childhood memories, to family and timeless friendships; architectural study to dreams, travel, and nature, Souther taps into a wellspring of life components that provided fuel for her creative process. ... (read more)

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Tagging Mystery

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Graffiti
by Patricia D. Benke
Amazon


"She'd wanted to be a judge for as long as she had been an attorney. She knew full well what she was up against. The old-boy network was too loose a term."

As any psychologist can attest to, people tend to be complicated. To truly understand someone's actions requires not only the knowledge of what has been done but also the reason behind it. Determining the motive of a criminal is sometimes a key element investigators use in solving a case, and most mystery novelists justifiably capitalize on this. However, more accomplished writers often probe deeper into the lives of other characters in their books, giving readers insight into the various motives of some if not all of the major players in the drama. This is what Benke accomplishes in her rich and satisfying tale. ... (read more)

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Unraveling the Past

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Letters
by Buz Sawyers
Aignos Publishing, Inc.


"It's sort of ironic that the color of a bean can determine a man's fate... you know, living or dying in the next hour."

For dedicated family historians, the fruits of their labor often take the form of scrapbooks or carefully penned family trees, lovingly passed down through the generations. For Sawyers, honoring the memories of his ancestor required no less than a masterpiece of a book. Letters, previously released under the title No Point in Dying Now, is the author's debut novel, yet Sawyers writes with a confidence that any first-time author would envy. While his robust, yet polished style may be attributable to his background as a professor of creative writing, the fact that he is writing about his ancestor certainly lends itself to his well-developed characters and knowledge of the time period. ... (read more)

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Fighting the Machines

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Future Prometheus II: Revolution, Successions & Resurrections
by J.M. Erickson
Outskirts Press


"Just as she smiled, she heard a series of short, controlled bursts of gunfire—both from Pre-Fall, gas-propelled rifles and from electromagnetic assault rifles."

In these continued tales of the unfrozen Lieutenant Jose Melendez and his Omega Platoon of outcasts and misfits, the threat of Nemericana forces loom in the distance while a more sinister force rises in the artificial troops led by Aurora Prime. The fugitive Mare Sade Singh, former Nemericana soldier and an ally of Melendez, help him and his loyal APs avoid detection and maintain their independence while caught between two massive armies both determined to wipe them out. When the war escalates to unthinkable levels, Melendez, Singh, and the rest of Omega Platoon form an uneasy alliance with Nemericana to fight back against inhuman atrocities. ... (read more)

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The Trials of War

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Shattered by the Wars
by Hi-Dong Chai
Inspiring Voices


"Some people are born to be apple trees and some to be willow trees... Hi-Dong, you are going to be a big, big oak tree."

Be prepared to shed a tear as Hi-Dong Chai leads readers from his nurtured childhood to his family's devastating downfall at the hands of two different wars and control-hungry rulers. Shattered by the Wars is a comprehensive portrayal of Chai's life. Many of the moments are sharp and vivid to the point that audiences will feel they are peering down the lens of a professional camera and are right there with Chai on his journey. ... (read more)

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The Battlefield of the Soul

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A Kick-Ass Fairy
by Linda Zercoe
Hidden Oak Press


"Every instinct is to hate the enemy, but when that enemy is your own body, the anger turns inward."

How would you cope with knowing that you have a rare genetic condition that predisposes to you to cancer because your tumor suppressor gene is defective? What if you passed that gene on to one of your children, knowing that you miraculously—if barely—survived five different types of cancer yourself? Meet Linda Zercoe, who has done all of the above, against all odds of survival. ... (read more)

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Man's Best Friend?

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Bringing Up Mike
by Mark Duncan
Askmar Publishing


"You can learn something useful from anybody if you listen closely enough."

Seventeen-year-old Joe Lawrence is a teen prodigy and the youngest person to receive a doctorate from Caltech. Intelligence aside, he is suspended from his Utah job because he's irresponsible, immature, and spends too much time with Mike, an artificial intelligent personal assistant that he created. Joe needs to move to an area "that is away from any university" where he might be recognized, if he wants to keep Mike running. Believing his relocation to Tennessee is a good choice, Joe has no idea that serendipitous people and events will bring him through a life-changing experience. ... (read more)

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Discovering Success

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The Big Wide Calm
by Rich Marcello
Langdon Street Press


"Some artists shrivel on stage; the light scares them, makes them all too aware of what they aren't. But I'm not like them. I bloom here."

Many musicians dream of making it big, of perhaps finding that next new sound that will land them a recording contract and propel them to the top of the charts. Few, though, truly have the right combination of talent and charisma to capture an audience on stage, and even some of them will never get the breaks to make it past the nightclub circuit. Marcello tells the story of a young woman who has both the ability and the right connections to possibly take her to the next level, but will being famous for music that is only popular in the short run really be enough for her? ... (read more)

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A Mystery Classic

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The Starlight Club
by Joe Corso
Black Horse Publishing


"The colt 45 caliber bullet did its deed, taking with it a sizeable portion of Rag's brain, forming a pink mist, mixed with bone and grey matte that puffed in front of Rag's head like a small mushroom."

Move over Michael Corleone! While Joe Corso depicts a dispassionate and cold-blooded side to the Italian mafia, he also shows how the members are viewed as family (and where loyalty and trust are traits held in high esteem) in his novel. ... The story starts with Robert "Bobby" Valentine, an old man revisiting his past. He takes his daughter to a deli store, a place formerly known as The Starlight Club. ... (read more)

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A Woman on Her Own

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Gray Girl
by Susan I. Spieth
CreateSpace


"A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do."

As a 1985 graduate of the prestigious West Point Military Academy, author Susan Spieth retained the indelible mark of becoming a member of the "Long Gray Line." With that lasting impression she now transports readers to an equally memorable experience in this fictional work that juxtaposes men and women in the military, against the longstanding traditions of honor. At the center of the novel is Jan Wishart, a first year cadet struggling within the regimented confines of an "old boys'" establishment, relatively new to admitting female candidates. Expectedly, several upperclassmen seem hell-bent on calling Wishart out on every infraction, often leaving her to question why she's there. ... (read more)

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A Soldier's Story

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A Necessary Warrior
by Robert M. Miller
Trafford Publishing


"I was determined that my children and grandchildren would enjoy an opportunity to experience some historic moments in my life."

Whether searching through the attic or rummaging inside a closet of antiques, most individuals have, at one time or another, encountered the precious belongings of their grandparents. Rarely would they be able to experience the story behind the memento or treasure. Labeling Robert M. Miller's A Necessary Warrior as comprehensive is an injustice to his effort. In fact, he leaves no stones unturned, providing every recorded detail or observation from his own recollections. More than anything else, this is a memoir that utilizes a journal entry type format where each break in the book represents a new day. Readers will know the who, the where, the when, and the why of this man's life—this fact is an honor in its own right and thoroughly overshadows the lack of stylistic creativity. Make no mistake, this is a recommended read for its valiant attempt at capturing many years and myriad experiences within the covers. ... (read more)

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