Juvenile Fiction – Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures

Rennefarre: Dott’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures
Author: Malve von Hassell (translation)
Tamara Ramsay (German original)
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
ISBN: 978-1938690389
Published: December 2012
Pages: 298
Genre: Children, Juvenile Fiction

Imagine riding on the back of a blue heron across time and space. Imagine befriending crows, being kidnapped by magpies, and being given a lift on the back of a kindly stag. Imagine experiencing life as an outcast from human society, encountering spirits and mythical creatures from the world of legends, experiencing the plague in Dresden, and being chased through Berlin by Frederick the Great.

Dott is a twelve-year old girl. She lives in the countryside east of Berlin in an unspecified time between the two world wars. When Dott sneaks out to see the bonfire at the edge of her village on the evening of the midsummer night festival, she has no idea what will happen next. In the dark of night, the magical Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe. It not only makes her invisible, but also allows her to see things no one else could see. No longer able to stay with her parents and her young brother and sister, she begins her search to find a way out of her predicament. Her quest to return home to her family winds its way through the cities and countryside of 20th century Germany—and beyond. As she befriends the local animals, they help her on her way with gifts of food, shelter, and—through the help of a kind spirit—a magical cup which allows her to become small and ride on the backs of the birds. Flying across the country on the backs of crows and herons, Dott finds herself seeing the country not only as it is, but also as it used to be. She lives through moments in history others can only read about—meeting historical kings and fanciful spirits along the way. But, even with all of the excitement of her travels, she always has one goal in mind: returning home to her family.

Part coming-of-age story, part fantasy, and part social-cultural portrait of Eastern Germany in the early part of the 20th century, the book covers real ground. That is, one could follow Dott’s travels on a map of the area. Seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and history, the book contains a fascinating array of details of day-to-day life in rural and urban areas in eastern Germany. Dott’s adventures are interwoven with folklore and myths as well as vivid accounts of different eras and the diverse cultural and ethnic strains that have formed the basis for a rich and complex history of Germany and Eastern Europe.

Written on the eve of World War II, the book offers a sobering perspective on the human potential for causing devastation. At the same time it is filled with hope. In one scene, Dott gets a glimpse of the future–an utterly destroyed cityscape; it inspires her to look to her own responsibilities and actions in life.

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Children’s Book – Letters from the Tooth Fairy

Letters from the Tooth Fairy
Author: Malve von Hassell
Publisher: Mill City Press
ISBN: 978-1938223242
Published: June 2012
Pages: 24

Would you like to know what the Tooth Fairy does with the teeth she collects?

Were you ever curious about the place where the Tooth Fairy lives?

Did you ever wonder how the Tooth Fairy travels around?

Would you like to know what the Tooth Fairy looks like or what she does when she needs a rest?

Read these letters, and you will find out. These letters from the Tooth Fairy, written in response to an eight year-old boy’s letters, are to incite the imagination of children and to entertain those who read the letters aloud at bedtime.

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Memoir – Behind the Laughter, Hidden Tears

Behind the Laughter, Hidden Tears
By Sal Richards
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing
ISBN: 978-1609112400
Pages: 170
Genre: Memoir

True laughter produces genuine tears. For entertainer Sal Richards, each tear is a lesson learned about facing life’s adversity with grace and courage.

Comedian and actor Sal Richards plans to keep working until his audiences stop laughing. But how does he persist in making people laugh year after year for 50 years?

Behind the Laughter, Hidden Tears is an honest examination of how Sal Richards does it—how he relates so effectively to his audiences. The explanation may sound simple, but it is insightful and sincere: Sal Richards’ struggles are our struggles. His pain has been felt by all of us. And his joy is celebrated by us every time we laugh.

Through it all, Sal Richards has kept laughing, connecting, and teaching. His book is an inspirational story of hard-won triumph and optimism over episodes of tragedy.

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Humor – Table Talk: Memoirs of a Bikini Waxer

Table Talk: Memoirs of a Bikini Waxer
By Caren A. Stein
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1432798130
Published: September 2012Humor – Table Talk: Memoirs of a Bikini Waxer
Pages: 204
Genre: Humor

Brutally Honest & Ridiculously Funny…Table Talk: Memoirs of a Bikini Waxer is a hilarious collection of stories, opinions, rantings and ravings that will leave you laughing your hairless ass OFF!

Each chapter represents a different hat worn by Caren on any given day as a hair removal specialist. The Bikini Waxer — The Love Doctor — The Bearded Lady — The Belle of the Balls- no subject is off limits. Not only funny but sincere and uplifting, this book will leave any female reader with a sense of womanly pride and dynamism.

“As a woman who knows women, I have found that no issue is too big or too small to discuss. We are passionate conversationalists regardless of the subject matter. Whatever the issue may be from finding a new wrinkle or a gray hair to buying a new outfit, dating a jerk, getting a divorce or not knowing what color to paint the damn powder room, it’s all important to us – at least for the time it’s on the table. Some women look to me for answers. I can only tell them what I would do in certain situations but it’s important to tread lightly with some subjects. After all, despite what some may think, I don’t have all the answers. Who on this planet does?” ~ Caren A. Stein

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Fast Paced Thriller – Scrolls of Darkness

Scrolls of Darkness
By Paul Johnson
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1432795313
Published: August 2012
Pages: 210
Genre: Thriller

Face to Face With the Spirit of Evil … Corporate attorney Brent Michaels has a good life in Century City: he’s successful, good-looking, and well-respected. But he’s getting a little bored with the same old routine, and after a recent breakup, his personal life is in transition. Little does he know how completely his life will change when he receives a letter from David Baumann, an old friend of Brent’s deceased – and estranged – father, who had been engaged in a mysterious and urgent archeological search at the time of his death. From Baumann, Brent learns about the Scrolls of Darkness – ancient satanic scripts written thousands of years ago, and now sought by the Sons of Darkness, an organization controlled by Evil itself. Along with the beautiful Melauni, an archeologist familiar with the area where the scrolls are hidden, Brent is drawn into a deadly game that takes him from the streets of Paris to the beaches of New Zealand and Rio de Janeiro, and finally to the desert of the Middle East, where Brent will have a final showdown to determine who will get the ancient texts. Smart, fast-paced, and full of memorable characters, The Scrolls of Darkness will keep you enthralled and leave you wanting more!

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Self-Help Memoir – The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Child-free

The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Child-free
By Eleanore Wells
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1469968520
Published: March 2012
Pages: 132
Genre: Self-Help/Memoir

Part memoir, part self-help, The Spinsterlicious Life chronicles the life, adventures, joys, and realities of a happily single woman in a “married-is-normal” world. It’s a funny, clever, and insightful read for any woman who is single…for the time being or for a lifetime.

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