An epic fantasy by James Petrillo

The last Immortal King of Ashyer has fallen, bringing down the wrath of the dragons: fiery horrors from the sky who have subjugated the races of Ashyer for a thousand years. But there is a new way to cast off the shackles of dragon rule and free Ashyer from the terror of Dragonshade forever. Young Prince Frost possesses a forbidden weapon his father forged in secret, violating centuries-old treaties, and he is willing to wield it to free his people. To do so, he will have to unearth ancient secrets in lost kingdoms, fight his way through countless foes, and even travel to the world of the dragons, which circles Ashyer like a diseased moon.
Frost will first have to unite unlikely allies from across the known world into a team of brave rebels—
*A childhood friend who also happens to be the kingdom’s finest thief,
* An apprentice wizard who will soon command the fury of the storm,
* A strange woman who assumes the guise of a Black Knight,
* A wizened general whose sword can cut through space and whose ferociousness in battle belies his age,
* A waif with striped hair who commands more power than most adult wizards,
* A vigilante woman slinking in alleyways who harbors the greatest secret of all.
Ghosts from the past and even nature herself will rise up to aid Frost in his quest.
But will it be enough?
Here be dragons! You should never, ever cross a dragon unless you are very sure you won’t get burned.

Red Bricks

Love and treachery in the old southwest

by Anne Muccino

$17.95 – buy a print copy online

Red Bricks, the debut novel by Kansas City writer, Anne Muccino, is set in the desert southwest circa 1930. JT Swain is just seventeen when he loses everything that matters to him, his father and the ranch he grew up on. The young man sets out on horseback to find the connectedness suddenly gone from his life. He meets Dalia Jackson, the fifteen-year-old, half-Nahua Indian, half-white daughter of a wealthy New Mexico rancher, and quickly discovers that the rebellious young woman sees her place in the world as equal to that of any man. Strangely drawn to Dalia, when JT learns that she has disappeared, he sets out to find her, challenging the law when he must, tracking her into the barrios of Juárez, Mexico, where he witnesses firsthand the cruelty of human trafficking.

In prose reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, at once savage and tender, Red Bricks by Anne Muccino offers no easy outs, instead asking us to contemplate the paradoxical nature of loss and redemption, of the razor’s edge between life and death. Muccino’s stunning debut explores both what it means to be harmed beyond recognition and what it means, finally, to recognize one’s own strength. This is a riveting and deeply moving novel, one of the best I’ve read in a long while. Anne Muccino is a talent to be reckoned with.
—Abigail Dewitt, author of
News of Our Loved Ones

Anne Muccino’s debut novel is a literary gem. It is rich in detail and remarkably authentic. Catch up on your sleep. The time and place in Red Bricks are so vivid, with characters so real, so poignant, you will not want to put this book down. This is a beautiful, moving, absorbing experience, destined to become a classic.
—Dawn Shamp, author of
On Account of Conspicuous Women

Amazon reviews—

From Georgesreview: Work of Art! Triumphant debut into the literary world for Anne Muccino. Her character building is engrossing from beginning to end. A wonderful story of ones love for another and what the main character will do in his pursuit for justice and happiness, all in superb literary flair. Ms. Muccino is a talented author and I cannot wait for her next novel.

Deborah Cook says: Inspiring Novel. In a superb debut novel, Anne Muccino tells an endearing story of a young man suffering tragedy and loss as he battles his own inner turmoil. As he travels through locales described in vibrant and realistic detail, his character artfully unfolds and triumphs through courage and love. A compelling work of literature well worth reading.

Eileen Farley: Red Bricks was amazing! Great book! Loved the storyline and characters! Looking forward to reading more books from Anne Muccino.

From Amazon Customer: Excellent read. I received this moving book as a Christmas gift, and what a gift it is, indeed. The story kept me engrossed and the characters stayed with me long after I finished the last page. I immediately lent it to my sister whose response after reading it was to recommend it to her writing group. I can only hope this is the first of many such novels by Anne Muccino.

Magic and Tragic Rosebud

Nancy Palker
a memoir
Join Nancy Palker, a young woman from Connecticut who in 1973 goes to work for the U.S. Public Health Service and suddenly finds herself immersed in a culture very different from her own on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Magic and Tragic Rosebud revisits the days of unrest on the Dakota reservations—a time of turmoil, kidnapping, death threats and shootouts between the FBI and members of the American Indian Movement. Witness miracles of survival as well as poignant tragedies. Learn along with her about the rich Lakota Sioux traditions, hear the drums and flutes. Celebrate lasting friendships and the resilience of the human spirit.
Nancy Palker returned to Rosebud in September 2016. “Native history is still being written,” she says, “a history that still calls for public awareness. Rosebud is an isolated pocket of poverty. The hospital and community continue to struggle with inadequate funding and personnel.” Magic and Tragic Rosebud concludes with a reader guide for strategies and resources to offer support to Rosebud and its Native American neighbors.
Retired from nursing now, Nancy’s career in health care as an aide, registered nurse and nurse practitioner in gerontology, spanned more than forty-five years. She has organized nursing groups and successfully worked for changes in health care legislation and regulation in several states. From her home in Maryland, Nancy continues to advocate for improvements in Rosebud’s health care system.

Amazon reviews—

From Jane C: Historically Relevant Perspective of Rosebud, SD Sioux. Nancy Palker’s nursing account while working on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation reflects both an historical view and a current and compelling plea for change. Her author’s voice is authentic, professional and empathetic towards those whose voices are routinely dismissed. The author’s lists of resources present rich and varied avenues for advocacy. Kudos to Nancy for paying forward her proceeds to a sorely neglected group of Americans! Read and embrace her journey!

Merrilyn N. Cummings: Most Enlightening. I had the opportunity to visit Rosebud during the author’s work there in the ’70’s. The book provides history and current information on this Indian Reservation and its people. The author’s ability to bring the magic and tragic alive through her writing is most commendable. You feel like you are right there with her throughout the book. All legislators need to read this. Nice job, Nancy.

A Mark of Permanence

Justin Watkins

New and Selected Poems from Land and Water

by the author of the award winning chapbook Bottom Right Corner.
“Justin Watkins’ poems always surprise, and I have long admired them. They are imperial messages, and contain the secrets that arrive from close observation and the knowledge gleaned from it. The reader will see the world in a new way and be wealthier for reading them.” —Larry Gavin, author of Necessities, Least Resistance, Stone and Sky, and The Initiation of Praise.

“As he looks at corpses of muskrats – ‘puts some thought on porcupines,’ – or pauses while dragging out a deer on snow, thinks about how ticks wait out their prey, Justin Watkins’ poems take us into the heart of the Midwest as lived through its language.” —Jim Johnson is the former Poet Laureate of Duluth. His latest book, Text For Our Nomadic Future, came out in August 2018.


Photo by Dan Fraiser

I’ve always been a fan of the work of Justin Watkins. By Dan Frasier

His blog, Fishing and Thinking, where he writes under the pen name “Wendy Berrell”, is a truly special place to read the ruminations of a scientist who sees a value in living life close to the land. Beyond his blog, Justin’s book of poetry Bottom-Right Corner from Red Dragonfly Press is a brilliant work of outdoor poetry about life as an outdoorsman in South Eastern Minnesota. So I’ve been a fanboy for a long time.

In his newest book A Mark of Permanence published by Shipwreckt books, Justin takes his work to a new level; integrating poetry and his uniquely stark factual prose, Justin has created a series of vignettes into life being lived in modern Minnesota as it was lived centuries ago. His deep respect for the quarry in his tales along with the land and water they live in shines through like rays of sun through a dark grey cloudy ceiling. Yet Justin achieves this feat without flowery language or high-minded soliloquies. Instead, he tells you the facts like they are and lets the overwhelming reality of just how interconnected we are with the world around us speak for itself.

I think nothing better exemplifies this amazing talent of Justin’s than 2 stanzas in the poem

“The Hidden Flat”

Paleozoic Seas have come and gone here

Flooding and receding

Leaving shelved limestone

That our boot cleats bite and hold

We study the ceaseless hefting of water

For there is no other signature

Water rock two hunters and the fish:

Dark shapes deliberate in the shallows

Amazon reviews—

From Oliver: “Great read for anyone who loves being outdoors. This is a solid read and one I’ve enjoyed several times since it came in the mail. The poems and prose presented are thoughtful and make me long to be near a trout stream or hiking through the forest. I highly recommend this read.”

Dan Fraiser says: “Clear and real picture of the life of a Modern Day American Sportsman. Don’t open this book expecting some romantic tome about nature and harmony and good vibes. This is a stark and realistic look into the interconnectedness, harsh realities and oftentimes dissonant life of a modern-day outdoorsman. Fantastic read that I’ve gone back to more than a few times.”

K. Bartlett: “Thoughtful stuff by Justin Watkins. My copy arrived and I thought, “I will just read the first poem.” Then I sat down and read the entire book in one sitting. Fantastic writing for anyone who has an appreciation of life and the outdoors.”

These Humans

Steven Schild

the award-winning author of Eros in Autumn

When the poems in Steven Schild’s new collection are at their best (and his batting average is pretty darned good), they tackle our primary work: ‘being human,’ something that too often these days seems to be regarded as a sort of silliness. He writes, We kiss and commiserate / we cling without question to even our oddest others, / we comfort like angels, / like lower-case gods.  These poems celebrate at least as often as they mourn, soothe more than they fume. That the reader is allowed to participate in the journey is no small gift.—John Reinhard is the author of On the Road to Patsy Cline and Burning the Prairie.

These Humans is a symphonic presentation of us as a species. In parts 1-1V Schild examines us under the magnifying glass of the journalist he was and teacher he is—the images are clear, the language is crisp, and the lyricism is deft. There is a tone of disdain appropriate to the times in which we live; Schild presents the empirical evidence as he has witnessed it. In parts V and VI the voice of the poet takes over: the poems go much deeper to the soul of who we are. The responsible and articulate public witness becomes more personal, sharing (our) fears and vulnerabilities, our moments of joy and quiet delight. There is a balance in this book—of citizen and next-door-neighbor, of husband, son, grandson and father, of fellow traveler, of journalist and poet. And always the poetry exhibits an unerring ear. Thank you, Steve Schild for composing and sharing this orchestration!—Ken McCullough, Poet Laureate of Winona, Minnesota, is the author of Dark Stars and Broken Gates.