Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
The Final Seven

Erica Spindler. Erica Spindler, $7.99 e-book (300p) ASIN B017WQV9OU

Set in New Orleans, this enthralling series launch from bestseller Spindler (The First Wife) introduces Det. Micki Dee Dare of the NOPD and Det. Zach Harris of the FBI’s experimental Sixers program, whose members possess senses beyond the usual five. The two join forces on an unusual missing person’s case. Micki is skeptical of her handsome new partner’s abilities at first, but she soon comes to believe in the psychic energy that assists them in their search for Gwen Miller and Patricia Putnam, who disappeared while celebrating their 21st birthdays. Eventually, Micki and Zach collect enough evidence to suggest that an evil entity known as the Dark Bearer abducted the young women. Fortunately, they can rely on the help of the benign Lightkeepers in their fight to prevent the Dark Bearer from claiming more victims. Those who like their romantic thrillers leavened with a healthy dose of the supernatural will be well satisfied. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 04/29/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Collar and the Cavvarach

Annie Douglass Lima. Annie Douglass Lima, $2.99 e-book (304p) ASIN B00WSB9W8K

What looks, at first blush, like a Hunger Games pastiche turns out to be anything but. First in the Krillonian Chronicles series, Lima’s novel is an uneven but gripping tale of loyalty, captivity, and redemption. In a world similar to ours technologically, but with notable differences that include emperors and the legal sale of humans, Bensin is a teenage slave whose only goal is buying freedom for his younger sister, Ellie. It’s no easy task, so Bensin hatches a series of plans that come to rather abrupt ends. After a few brushes with the law and trouble with his owner, Bensin realizes that cavvara shil, a style of martial art practiced with a specialized weapon, may be his ticket to a better life for Ellie. Though the dialogue and descriptions tend to be more functional than expressive, the multifaceted story winds through questions of social justice, ethics, and personal growth. Bensin begins the novel as a somewhat flat, single-minded everyman, but after he partners with his coach, Steene Mayvins, he develops into a more rounded, mature, and dynamic character. Ages 14–up. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 04/29/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Every Body’s Guide to Everyday Pain

Ya-Ling J. Liou. Return to Health Press, $23.95 (322p) ISBN 978-0-991-30940-5

In the first volume of a projected trilogy, Seattle chiropractor Liou presents a holistic approach to understanding, managing, and avoiding recurring pain. This veritable user’s manual for “every body” ably explains why we get hurt and what we can do about it. The book is divided into three sections. “Why Does It Hurt?” explains that inflammation, while generally “self-limiting and simply part and parcel of a healthy repair process,” produces chemicals that build up and “simmer” in the body until brought to a boil by one or more of three possible triggers: mechanical, chemical, and emotional. Mechanical triggers include compression or lengthening of the spine and supporting musculature; chemical triggers include low pH of lymphatic fluid, molecular repair of injured tissues, and cellular waste back-up; and emotional triggers include stress and self-image. “How Do I Make It Stop?” prescribes “stop, drop, and roll” floor exercises to put out the “fire” of inflammation, with illustrative photos and drawings. “How Do I Keep It from Happening Again?” includes over 50 pages of photos illustrating correct and incorrect posture. The conclusion caps off Liou’s many helpful suggestions by reminding readers that once the initial discomfort is gone, continuing efforts are needed to stay balanced and pain-free. (Booklife)

Reviewed on 04/29/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Woven Tale Press: Selected Works 2005 & The Empty Spaces Project Gallery Exhibit

Edited by Sandra Tyler and Michael Dickel. Woven Tale, $21.95 (138p) ISBN 978-0-9911-0-242-6

In collaboration with the Empty Spaces Project, a nonprofit art gallery in Putnam, Conn., the editors of Woven Tale Press compile favorite images and writings (including poems, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction) from Woven Tale’s online magazine. . This multimedia offering is part exhibit catalog and part (printed) e-zine, and it successfully conveys these interdisciplinary efforts in book form. For the most part, the colorful, often wacky artwork is more appealing than the writing. The mixed-media efforts are the most eye-catching. Highlights include Donald Kolberg’s steel mesh sculptures, which incorporate each figure’s own shadow as a design element; Boisali Biswas’s woven fiery fiber art entitled “Summer Has Passed”; and Daniel Wiener’s colorful hanging sculptures of plastic, wire, Sculpey, and acrylic paint. Another fine art standout is Joan Giordano’s “Fantasy Journey,” a collage of newspapers, lithography, graphite and paint, with archival images bleeding onto vintage wallpaper printed over with ghostly floral designs. Christine Kalafus’s short essay, “Confessions of a Makeup Addict,” is reassuringly honest and entertaining, and Kelly Garriott Waite’s similarly honest short story “Something Extraordinary” is also noteworthy. Color illus. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 04/29/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Rust Belt Boy

Paul Hertneky. Bauhan, $21.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-87233-222-5

Essayist Hertneky focuses his first book on his childhood in the steel town of Ambridge, Pa., “with its ethnic enclaves and round-the-clock factories.” He combines his memories with sections on the history of the town to produce a memoir that is both a coming-of-age story and a social history of the growth, death, and rebirth of a rust belt community. He talks lovingly about the strong role Catholicism played in his family during the 1960s, where he “felt embraced at the heart of this world where children were seen as divine gifts.” He also provides a fascinating look at how the town itself was founded in the spirit of communal millennialism embodied by the Harmony Society, a group with origins in Germany that existed in Pennsylvania from 1805 to 1905. He is honest, insightful, and empathetic about the rough life of many of the people who worked in nearby Aliquippa’s steel works, which “gobbled up mile and mile of shoreline.” Most successfully, Hertneky depicts his own trajectory from the town to college and beyond in parallel with the history of Ambridge’s “grand schemes and redemptive dreams.” (BookLife)

Reviewed on 04/29/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Stone Circle

Anthony Tuck. Wheatmark, $12.95 paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-62787-307-9

Siblings fight ancient evil with help from mythological figures in Tuck’s engaging first novel. Telepathic 12-year-old twins Maisie and Jasper Tuck are spending the fall with Professor Winslop while their parents are away on an archeological dig. With nothing to do but listen to the Professor’s lectures on history and myth, the twins take to exploring the New Hampshire woods. After they find a circle of stones reminiscent of Stonehenge, the professor reveals that they are the Children of Gemini and they must use the stone circle to locate four jewels to complete the Crown of Seasons and defeat the Dark Ones. Tuck draws on a wealth of mythological elements from Norse, Greek, Native American, and other sources to create an appealing adventure, though the story can get bogged down in details and lore surrounding barrow wights, selkies, and other creatures and legends. While Maisie and Jasper are equally capable and important to the story, the characters as a whole are fairly one-note. Regardless, Tuck provides intriguing food for thought about the oral tradition of myths and the ways stories change as they’re told. Ages 9–up. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/19/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Song Birds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music

Heather Augustyn. Half Pint, $25 (423p) ISBN 978-1-5024-3604-7

In this engaging, well-researched book, Augustyn (Ska: An Oral History) states that women had almost no chance in the male-dominated Jamaican music industry in the 1940s–1980s; it was all “overt power and testosterone.” In the songs, women were “the playground for men” or “wrongdoers,” and the lyrics were “misogynistic and thus not very appropriate for female consumption, must less creation.” She shows that the women who pursued music careers in this setting were trailblazers. Augustyn profiles dozens of women who persevered through tough times, juggling child rearing, gender discrimination, and low pay. She includes Louise Bennett, who “brought the Jamaican patois, folklore, and culture to the stage [and] her talents to Harlem”; Millie Small, whose “bubbling” voice made her cover version of “My Boy Lollipop” an international hit; and Susan Cadogan, who went from “quiet library assistant to... superstar.” This is an exhaustive, if overlong, history of Jamaican music. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/19/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Sour Candy

Kealan Patrick Burke. Elderlemon, $2.99 e-book (66p) ASIN B017QCGW24

Horror author Burke (Kin) delivers an excellent terror-filled novella. Philip Pendleton is an unexceptional man, living a carefree life with his young son, Adam. No one who observes them has any idea that Philip has only known Adam for a short time, and this carefree life is really a living hell: after the two randomly meet at a store, Adam decides to make Philip his newest “parent,” using his terrible powers to completely rewrite Philip’s life so that everyone else thinks he’s always been there. Only Philip remembers the life he used to have, and those memories are no comfort as he becomes a prisoner in his own home, a slave to a demonic child. Bringing the evil-child trope to its devastating apex, Burke creates a horrific vision of what might happen if children utterly controlled their parents. Burke’s writing is visceral; Philip’s descent into madness is rendered in unnerving terms. Adding in a Lovecraftian pantheon of monsters, Burke creates a stomach-twisting ride through the depths of horror, breathing new life into an often-stagnant part of the genre. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/19/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Stay: Troubled Hearts, Book 1

Savannah Brooks. Amazon Digital, $2.99 ASIN B017EL0B24

This tender, uncomplicated love story has an old-fashioned happy ending, complete with a wedding—all the sweeter because it’s a pleasant 21st-century romance between two men who find love on an eastern Arizona ranch turned campground. When 23-year-old Blake Stevens wanders onto the grounds of Spirit Lake Camp, all he wants is a job, even if it’s temporary—maybe especially if it is. He just needs cash and a place to sleep. Ever since being thrown out of the house by a disapproving father, the former Marine has been trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Spirit Lake’s family scion Asher Collins decides the best thing Blake could do is share that life with him. The ensuing cat and mouse game comes with no earth-shattering surprises and few complications, but no matter. For fans of straightforward romance with a smattering of steamy lovemaking, this story will fit the bill nicely. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/19/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Nutcracker King: Coming from Darkness, Book 1

Eustacia Tan. Eustacia Tan, $0.99 e-book (115p) ASIN B018VK9132

Tan inexplicably morphs the joyful Nutcracker story into a gruesome, horrific rampage of a psychopathic prince turned doll who murders his family members and bathes in their blood, all for the sake of his quest to become human again and win the hand of his dear Marie. This unsettling alteration of the original story eschews the happy ending and takes place eight years later, with the love story between the Nutcracker and Marie unresolved. The plot of this sexist novella involves a kidnapping, forced marriage, torture, and a ditzy “heroine” who makes excuses for the evil the Nutcracker does in her name. The brutality rivals the original Grimm fairy tales and is certainly not appropriate for children. Tan mixes third-person and first-person points of view to the detriment of the narrative flow, abuses clichés, misplaces colloquialisms, and includes anachronisms that would have baffled E.T.A. Hoffmann. Those hoping for a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies–style bit of whimsy will be very disappointed. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 02/19/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.