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Someone’s Always Watching Me Pee: And Other Realities of Motherhood

By MaryLynn St. Germaine.

CreateSpace ($13.99)

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the humorless, as MaryLynn St. Germaine ably demonstrates with her droll reflections on parenting and suburban life. These short essays channel comic mid-century mommy memoirists—think Jean Kerr of “Please don’t Eat the Daisies” fame and Erma Bombeck’s “Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession”—while offering an updated take on childrearing’s pitfalls, pressures, and palliatives. (Prozac, anyone?) ‘Hippie-sling moms’ and over-achievers who jar their own baby food should skip this book, advises St. Germaine.

It’s intended for overwhelmed mothers who long for powder room privacy, fantasize about cars that don’t smell like fugitive string-cheese, and sometimes find themselves preferring their child’s imaginary friend to their actual child. St. Germaine, a third-generation Tucsonan, is the mother of two small children and owns an organizing business.

Don’t Call Me Turtle

By Elaine A. Powers. Illustrations by Nicholas Thorpe.

Lyric Power Publishing, ($14.95)

To the casual observer, turtles and tortoises appear to share so many similarities that we often use the names “turtle” and “tortoise” interchangeably. But the fact is that they couldn’t be more different, says Elaine Powers, whose charming picture book employs clever rhymes and colorful illustrations to demonstrate why the two should never be confused. To begin with, while some turtles were built to paddle around in the water, she says, tortoises were not – throw a tortoise in the water, and he’ll drown. And that’s just the beginning of her lesson about these special — and very distinctive — reptiles, a lesson sure to fascinate junior naturalists and animal lovers. Powers, who is a biologist and a scriptwriter, lives in Tucson.

Uncle Big Rat, Rats & Snakes All Lie!

By “Skyler;” Illustrated by Bob Zaborsky.

Green Ivy Publishing ($19.99)

At Southern Arizona’s Squeaky Hospital the greedy rodent and reptile bureaucrats make lots of lettuce while they willfully abuse, ignore, and misdiagnose their beleaguered Mighty Mice patients. The Mighty Mice served their country and deserve better —but their problems are unnoticed by a nation of sleeping sheep who permit these outrages to exist. The anonymous author of this allegory clearly has issues with the VA. The illustrations—which are stark, disturbing, and plentiful—are by Tucsonan Bob Zaborsky.

Myth Rider

By Cynthia Kennedy Henzel

4RV Publishing ($15.99)

Born in the country of Georgia and raised under the watchful eyes of exiled Centaurs, young trick-rider Tamara leaves her homeland and journeys to fledging Oklahoma to perform in Wild West Shows. There she meets Mark Twain, Annie Oakley, Bill Pickett and other colorful characters of the frontier, but longs to return to her homeland and fulfill her legacy of restoring the Centaurs to the fertile fields of their birthplace. Tamara’s skills draw the attention of a Hollywood producer who offers her a chance to become a stunt rider. Now Tamara must choose between reclaiming her past and creating her future.

Horsey and historical, a fast read for middle-school ages.

Sedona Verde Valley Art:
A History from Red Rocks
to Plein-Air

By Lili DeBarbieri

The History Press ($21.99)

Tucson author Lili DeBarbieri chose to focus on the Verde Valley region in part, “because of the integration of art in virtually every part of the city,” and presents a valuable field guide of the artwork created and displayed throughout the district. This slim volume includes local history, artist profiles, and a listing of galleries with contact and product information.

An entertaining and informative companion on your next Central Arizona road trip.

Peril, Passion, Peru

By Eve Dew Crook

The Wild Rose Press ($16.95)

Newspaper editor Jill Flanders flies to Peru in search of her estranged husband reported missing from an archeology site. Well versed to his cheating, lying ways, Jill is not concerned for his safety but wants to hand him the divorce papers he neglected to sign before leaving. Danger looms, and a sexy archeologist who rekindles a passion Jill thought long lost.

Helene Woodhams

Helene Woodhams

Helene Woodhams

Vicki Ann Duraine

Vicki Ann Duraine

Vicki Ann Duraine

If you are a Southern Arizona author and would like your book to be considered for this column, please send a copy to: Inger Sandal, 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. Give the price and a contact name. Books will be donated to Pima Community College West Campus library. Most of the books are available locally at Mostly Books or Antigone’s. There is a backlog of submissions.