Monday, May 3, 2010


by Linda Houle
Wisdom Trends
Spring, Texas
ISBN: 9781603188036 (Ebook)
ISBN: 9781603188029 (Print)
Who better to offer a guide to publishing than someone who, after extensively researching the field, has actually entered the fray? Linda Houle, co-owner of L&L Dreamspell Publishing Company, has written an informative, easy-to-understand handbook about book publishing and the choices available to authors. Respecting the direction a writer takes with regard to publishing their book lies with the writer, Houle presents the facts about the publishing industry and its evolving changes in a clear, concise manner without sugarcoating or denigration.

Houle explains the different publishing options now available to authors and clarifies diverse modes of publishing, such as offset printing; POD, or print-on-demand; and ebooks, or electronic books. Explaining the pros and cons with each one, she takes the reader on a publishing journey with a hypothetical author who uses each of the publishing methods, including traditionally published with a large press, traditionally published with a small or indie press, subsidy published, and self or author published.

A step-by-step checklist for authors who wish to self-publish print and/or ebooks is included. Tips on promoting are offered, as well as red flags to be aware of concerning publishers and agents who are not the real deal. She offers an informative Q&A section, glossary explaining publishing lingo, and extensive list of resources for authors at the end of the book.

Without a doubt, this highly recommended handbook should be a major resource for writers across the board, from those thinking about publishing to those who have established themselves as authors.


by J.T. Ellison
MIRA Books
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9
ISBN: 9780778324430

Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson is called to the scene of a homicide, where the body of a young woman, sans hands, has been discovered. When a hand is found near the crime scene, DNA proves it doesn’t belong to the murdered woman but to another woman, whose body was found in another state. This brings the FBI into play, via Taylor’s lover, profiler Dr. John Baldwin. The Southern Strangler, as the killer comes to be known, goes on a killing spree throughout the South, crossing state lines, leaving the bodies of young women behind, all missing their hands, but with another woman’s hand nearby. And his kills are escalating at a fast rate. Baldwin and Taylor team up to catch him although Taylor gets temporarily sidetracked pursuing a serial rapist named the Rainman while Baldwin travels in the killer’s footsteps. But soon the two are back together, hot on the heels of the killer.

Taylor Jackson is not your archetypical Southern Belle. A woman from a wealthy family, she chose the life of a cop over that of a privileged soccer mom. She’s well-educated, intelligent and tough mentally and physically, but her one weakness is Baldwin. The two are a winning combo and their personas complement one another. Peripheral characters are nicely developed, as is the chemistry between Taylor and Baldwin. The plot moves at a fast pace, with gut-wrenching suspense and plenty of action. Ellison’s smart writing places this one apart from other mystery series and is sure to garner a plethora of fans eager for the next book.


by Anne White
Hilliard and Harris
P.O. Box 275
Boonsboro, MD 21713
ISBN: 1591332982

Emerald Point, NY Mayor Loren Graham is looking forward to enjoying the holiday season with her fiancĂ© and friends. The festivities have just begun when the body of well-respected nurse Denise McNaughton is found, beaten to death. Graham’s friend, Deputy Sheriff Jim Thompson, in charge of the investigation and aware of Loren’s propensity for amateur sleuthing, warns her to stay out of the case. Rumors are flying about McNaughton’s social life and Loren, fearing for her town’s safety, takes it upon herself to question those who knew McNaughton well. There are plenty of suspects, including a homeless vagrant and the ex-husband of Loren’s best friend, both of whom reach out to Loren for help in proving their innocence. It isn’t long before Loren’s efforts to help these men turn the killer’s eyes on her.

In this fifth installment of her Lake George Mystery series, White thrusts the reader into a thrilling whodunit, weaving into the story popular Lake George festivities, such as the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge. Loren is an interesting character, a strong woman who feels protective of her town and job as mayor. Secondary characters continue to evolve and are heartwarming and entertaining. This cozy whodunit will prove a challenging read for those trying to solve the mystery for themselves.


by Curtis R. Blanton
Illustrated by James C. Sellers
P.O. Box 811
Norris, TN 37828
ISBN: 0978556003

Author Curtis Blanton has penned a humorous collection of “tall tales and short stories” about his childhood in the mountains of North Carolina. Utilizing realistic mountain vernacular, the book is filled with humorous stories and colorful characters surrounding events Blanton experienced growing up. This reviewer particularly enjoyed the stories about the formation of numerous churches due to warring congregants, the prank played on the owner of a virgin mule, frantic reaction to and cause of black snow, the wampuscat and “cats-purr fever”, along with a multitude of others. Blanton is a true storyteller and holds his readers’ interest regaling stories about the entertaining and endearing mountain folks he knew growing up, some of whom have names that are as colorful as the characters. Readers will also appreciate that Blanton maintains the dialect of the mountain people throughout, adding an extra dimension to some really good storytelling.


by Garth Stein
Harper Collins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
ISBN: 9780061537936

Enzo loves nothing more than racing around a racetrack with his master, up-and-coming race car driver Denny Swift. Enzo has been with Denny since puppyhood and the two share a heartwarming relationship. Enzo is Denny’s best friend and confidante and Enzo dreams of one day returning to Earth as a human with hopes of meeting Denny in that form.

The book begins on the eve of Enzo’s death, and from that point backtracks to the life shared by a caring man and his dog. We read about the changes in their lives as Denny marries, has a daughter, loses his wife to an early death, then his daughter to her grandparents. We’re part of Denny’s angst and frustration as he determinedly tries to regain custody of his daughter, whom he lost due to unjust allegations. And through it all, his dog Enzo, by his side, grieving with him, rejoicing with him, ready to help his master any way he can. The plot moves like life: up and down, filled with intense pain and great happiness.

Enzo’s take on life is refreshing and insightful and the analogies he makes between life and race car driving are poignant and eye-opening. Be sure to keep plenty of tissues handy, because this is a book that, although heart-crushingly sad, is at the same time uplifting and touching.