Coyote Sunrise: a Shapeshifting Story
by Nikki Broadwell
(Airmid Publishing, $13.95)
Istaga has animal magnetism—literally, as his girlfriend Sara discovers watching him morph from man to coyote. Shocking, sure, but even more so when she drops to all fours and gallops after her mate. This is necessary because, after discovering a planned coyote kill, they must warn coyote packs to head to the hills.
Written in response to ongoing coyote hunts in Pima County, Coyote Sunrise is the second in a series by local author Broadwell.
Live Free or Die
by Duke Southard
Blinded by anger and paranoia, Brad Wallace stages his suicide in a spectacular boat explosion and soon resurfaces in his small Connecticut town intent on carrying out his vendetta. On the list is his ex-wife Josie, but her current husband Detective Parker Havenot has other ideas.
A sequel to Agent for Justice.
Sand Dune Daisy: a Pocket Mouse Tale
by Lili DeBarbieri; illustrated by Manuel Fred Barraza
(Westcliffe Publishing, $18.95)
Fleeing from a kit fox, Daisy — a small brown pocket mouse — finds aid from an unexpected friend. An entertaining and educational journey through sand dunes in the American Southwest complete with a glossary and “fun facts” about the animals Daisy encounters and the shifting sands she calls home. A travel writer, DeBarbieri includes information about four sand dunes parks located in the region — sure to inspire weekend field trips.
THE GOLDEN PEACOCK
by Lauren B. Grossman (Lauren B. Grossman, $14.95)
In this novel by Southern Arizonan Lauren B. Grossman, novelist Rainee Allen is suffering writer’s block. Expectations are high for her — as her debut book was a best-seller and a movie — so she’s hiding her block from her publisher. Fortunately, about the same time Allen gets invited to join a friend in London, she finds a Holocaust Museum Survivor’s ID/passport card she’d picked up years before, of a Jewish child transported to England. What happened to that child becomes Allen’s book. She manages to locate the woman, who’s in a nursing home and suffering from Alzheimer’s, and befriends her. In her semi-lucid moments, the woman raises some unsettling questions, and it becomes Allen’s job to find answers — some of which jeopardize the lives of people about whom she has come to care.
TAKING STEPS TOWARD MENTAL WELLNESS: A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND ADD, Vol 1; WHAT’S NEXT? Vol. 2
by Scott Shoemaker (Next Century Publishers, $14.95 each)
In these two volumes — the first two of the “Sharing Mental Illness” series — business development professional Scott Shoemaker demonstrates practicing what he preaches. A lifelong sufferer of mental illness (anxiety, depression, ADD, and possibly bipolar disorder), Shoemaker set out to reach out to others with similar afflictions and create a community by sharing his personal experience and observations. Reminding the reader that he’s not a psychiatrist, psychologist, nutritionist or trainer, Shoemaker suggests approaches that have worked for him to manage life successfully despite the challenges of his affliction.
by Kenney F. Hegland
(Kenney F. Hegland, $9.99)
Local law professor Kenney F. Hegland (who’s taught at Arizona, UCLA and Harvard) packs this slim novel with nuggets from the world of the law: theoretical arguments, precedents, strategies for opposing counsels, dealing with juries and fights within the academy about how best to train lawyers. In this book, a law professor takes time off from teaching to join his attorney daughter representing Marie, 13-year-old orphan in a wrongful death case. Getting out of the ivory tower gives him a chance to deal with the messy aspects of the law in action.
It’s an informative novel, particularly for the layperson. The next novel could be a bit lighter on talk, though, and heavier on action.
ANNE LEVY’S LAST CASE
by Barbara Sattler (Barbara Sattler, $9.99)
Dinner conversation in the Sattler-Hegland household (see above) must be lively—from court gossip and judicial proceedings to character development in fiction. Barbara Sattler is a retired criminal defense attorney and Pima County Superior Court judge. If we saw theory in Hegland’s novel, we see practice in Sattler’s. “Anne Levy’s Last Case” has successful public defender Anne Levy suddenly tripped up by a nit-picking new boss. Casual about everything but working for her clients (that’d be casual in dress, speech, email response and dealing with whining criminals), Levy is told to resign or be fired. As she continues to work regardless, issues from her past reappear, complicating both her professional and personal lives. Through office chat and politics and court prep and presentations, Sattler gives us an engaging behind-the-scenes look at the world of public defense. (Plus, an appealing potty-mouthed central character to cheer on.)