Welcome to Issue 80 of the SUPERIOR BOOK PRODUCTIONS newsletter!
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
It’s that time of year again when books get wrapped and put under Christmas trees and become the gifts that keep giving because they not only can be read over and over again, but they can change a life. Below are some fabulous books that are perfect for the readers in your life, including a new Christmas book.
I wish you all a very merry holiday season and a Happy New Year!
This Month’s Great Book Quote:
“It is a great loss of time, sir, to travel without books.”
— Fanny Burney, Camilla (1796)
If you could have anything at all for Christmas, what would it be? What if, instead, you could give anything to anyone in need? Would your wish change then? In the stories in The Magical Moments of Christmas, the true meaning of Christmas is displayed in multiple ways. A group of orphan children offer to give up their presents to repay their blind friend’s kindness. A mouse offers up his home to a stranger. Friends band together to help a boy even Santa can’t help. Personal pride is sacrificed to make sure Santa’s sleigh can make its journey. Each of the seven magical stories in this collection reminds us that Christmas is a time of love, of giving, and of caring. When expensive gifts are hard to come by and fancy Christmas trees not possible, and even a visit from Santa Claus is doubtful, the characters in these stories find ways to celebrate Christmas in new and special ways. The Magical Moments of Christmas is a treat to read aloud to the whole family beside the Christmas tree on a December evening. It’s a book for the young and the young at heart. It’s an opportunity to remember past Christmases and create new Christmas memories. Perhaps after reading it, you’ll feel you’ve experienced your own magical Christmas moment.
For more information, visit The Magical Moments of Christmas.
Relapse: The Cost of War is the sequel to Andrew E. Coussens’ military war novel A Failed State. In that novel, readers met Damien Collins, a member of an elite intelligence-gathering team determined to stop the spread of ISIS, and they followed his adventures in Afghanistan, including what happened when his mission went wrong.
When Relapse opens, Damien is back in the United States dealing with his pending divorce and a protection order against him that keeps him from seeing his daughter. Meanwhile, his comrade and buddy, known as “Loki,” is in an Afghani prison as the result of their botched mission. Damien has plenty to worry about, including frequent bouts of anxiety that cause him to seek the help of a psychiatrist. He also is back to work, training in the US for his next mission.
Written in third person, the novel alternates between scenes with Damien and Loki’s experiences in prison. Loki’s wife and child are, of course, worried about him, so after intervention by the US government, it is a relief to them when Loki is finally released and able to return home. However, Loki’s problems don’t end there. He is dealing with his own bouts of PTSD.
To read more, visit Relapse: The Cost of War.
Lorie Yauney’s debut novel, Corbin’s Basement, is an entertaining rollercoaster ride through a world of suffering. I never would have imagined that reading about a serial killer could be so much fun.
The novel opens when Peyton Alexander moves to Atlanta from South Dakota to take on a new position as HR Director for a company named Blast. There she meets a young customer service representative, Corbin, whom she immediately falls for. Peyton wants to keep things professional, so at first she tries to avoid Corbin, but eventually, she agrees to go out for pizza with him and soon they are an item. However, Corbin has a secret—he is missing a thumb, and Peyton wants to know why.
Meanwhile, Corbin’s best friend, the nerdy Spencer, is jealous that Corbin is spending so much time with Peyton when he should be helping him build a toy train scene to win a contest. Spencer has never had luck with women, so he decides to take out his frustration on Peyton, digging into her past for ways to bring her down so Corbin will see what she is really like and dump her.
To read more, visit Corbin’s Basement.
James H. McCommons’ new biography, Camera Hunter: George Shiras III and the Birth of Wildlife Photography, is a stunning look at a man who helped to change the world through his use of photography and his belief in wildlife conservation. This biography is long overdue and has been splendidly assembled by McCommons, who looks at all aspects of Shiras’ life from his family background, to his personal and family life, his political efforts, his friendship with Theodore Roosevelt, his conservation efforts, and perhaps most importantly, his groundbreaking efforts to photograph wildlife, which eventually led to developing National Geographic into the magazine it is today.
While I felt I already knew a lot about Shiras from having read his biography of his father, George Shiras II, who was a US Supreme Court Justice, and his famous book Hunting Wild Life with Camera and Flashlight, I was impressed by McCommons’ extensive research into Shiras’ life. McCommons not only teaches us about Shiras but about the political and social climate of the time and how Shiras was both affected by it and was an influencer of it.
To read more, visit Camera Hunter.
Dave Jetson’s new book Setting True Boundaries is the kind of book everyone can benefit from. Life can be very messy when we let other people run our lives for us, when we do not learn to say no, when we spend our time worrying about others’ feelings or seeking to fulfill their wants, and when we give all our time to their needs or let them mistreat and take advantage of us. Unfortunately, most of us learn the hard way that not having boundaries results in a messy and usually not very happy life.
Jetson begins this book by using an example of a basketball game that has no rules or boundaries. The result is chaos for everyone involved. Even the fans have to move to the higher bleachers for safety. Without boundaries (the rules of the game), a game of basketball is truly impossible.
The same is true of our lives. Without boundaries, no one is happy. Even teenagers will tell you, as Jetson notes, that they want their parents to set boundaries so it’s clear what is expected of them and so they can feel safe knowing what the rules are.
To read more, visit Setting True Boundaries.
Cheryl Carpinello’s The Legend of Guinevere: Book Three completes her Guinevere trilogy and picks up right where the second book left off.
Guinevere is fifteen in this book, and she already knows she will one day be wedded to King Arthur. When the second book ended, Guinevere’s friend, eleven-year-old Cedwyn, had been kidnapped along with a group of younger children by a group of renegades. The renegades, led by Baard and Ulf, plan to sell the children into slavery.
Guinevere is following the renegades, planning to rescue them, although she doesn’t know how. Fortunately, Merlyn and Arthur learn of her plans and agree to help her, despite their displeasure at how she has gotten herself and Cedwyn into trouble in the first place. This will be a dangerous journey, forcing them to travel over the channel to Gaul to try to find Cedwyn and the children.
To read more, visit The Legend of Guinevere: Book Three.
Rev. Dr. Michael Gross’s new book The Spiritual Primer offers readers a fascinating look at how the universe operates, God’s role within the universe, and perhaps most importantly, their own purposes on earth.
Dr. Gross has spent years learning and teaching spiritual principles. One day, while in a deep meditation, he came in contact with a being that revealed itself to him as “The True Source.” When Dr. Gross asked this being whether it was God, it explained that some people call it God, but it does not like that word because of how it has been misused by so many people. As a result, for the sake of clarity, Dr. Gross calls it “God, the True Source” throughout the book. Dr. Gross shares his many personal experiences as well as information that God, the True Source has given him about how the universe operates. Dr. Gross is now offering this information to readers so they can reconnect with their spiritual natures to experience love, joy, happiness, and purpose in their lives.
To read more, visit The Spiritual Primer.