Powerful Reads: 2017 Book Reviews

By Julie Simpson –

Every once in a while, you find a book that changes you. In turning the pages, you open your eyes to a different way of thinking. Sometimes books encourage, sometimes they enlighten, sometimes they sadden or enrage, but no matter what, books like these have the power to stick with you long after you close the cover.

This year’s review issue includes many powerful stories. Whether true or fiction, these books contain the ability to inspire and inform through their brave, broken, heroic, unique and overall human characters. We hope you find your next unforgettable read in our featured books:


Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot
By Sarah Byrn Rickman

Though they demonstrated significant talent, worked long hours and sacrificed much, some even their lives, to transfer vital equipment across the United States, the female ferry pilots of World War II have been mostly unsung heroes until recent years. One of those heroes was the brave and vibrant Dorothy Scott.Though they demonstrated significant talent, worked long hours and sacrificed much, some even their lives, to transfer vital equipment across the United States, the female ferry pilots of World War II have been mostly unsung heroes until recent years. One of those heroes was the brave and vibrant Dorothy Scott.

Dorothy, obsessed with flying from a young age, joined, in 1942, what was then known as the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), later the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), as a young woman barely out of her teens. Though she and her fellow female pilots faced discrimination and doubt, she proved her talent and skill in ferrying different types of complicated war aircraft all over America. She also became an expert in instrument flying and taught many other men and women the skills they needed serve their country as pilots. Unfortunately, Dorothy was the third fatality of her squadron, losing her life in a training accident when she was only 23 years old.

In Finding Dorothy Scott, author Sarah Byrn Rickman provides an interesting and detailed history of the WAFS and WASP as well as a vivid glimpse into the amazing, tragically short life of Dorothy Scott. Through excerpted letters from Dorothy to her family during her service, readers have a chance to get to know the vivacious, funny, intelligent young woman she was. Winner of a Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY book award, this inspiring true story can be found at ttupress.org or other retail and online stores.

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Blood on the Tracks
By Barbara Nickless

Sydney Rose Parnell is haunted. She sees the ghosts of former fellow Marines; she sees the Sir, her old commander. Her dog Clyde, also a veteran, sees them as well. And when a young woman, a family friend, is found sliced up in her apartment, Sydney Rose starts seeing her ghost everywhere, too.

As a railroad cop, Sydney Rose doesn’t have much in terms of jurisdiction over the investigation, but Elise’s ghost makes it impossible for her to let it go. Everyone thinks Elise was killed by her boyfriend, Tucker Rhodes, the Burned Man, but Sydney Rose isn’t sure. She has to believe the horrible visible and invisible wounds Rhodes brought back from Iraq didn’t turn him into a monster, because if they did, what would that mean for her? And there’s the connection to a violent neo-Nazi gang of train-hoppers, who may also be responsible for the disappearance of a little girl 10 years ago. Sydney Rose will need all her skills as a soldier to track the dangerous killers. But will she have the strength to fight both her inner demons and the ones she meets face to face?

Colorado author Barbara Nickless has crafted a dark and riveting thriller with a tragically compelling main character whose struggle with the traumas of war is insightful and informative. Find this well-written read in bookstores and at online retailers.

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The San Clemente Bait Shop & Telephony
By Patti Hill

When Jenna’s brother Brian disappeared 17 years ago, the Archer family descended into misery. Her mother became a prisoner in her own home, refusing to leave in case Brian returned. Her father began filling their bait shop with old telephones. And Jenna became a slave to her guilt, attempting to atone by destroying any chance at normalcy and happiness that came her way.When Jenna’s brother Brian disappeared 17 years ago, the Archer family descended into misery. Her mother became a prisoner in her own home, refusing to leave in case Brian returned. Her father began filling their bait shop with old telephones. And Jenna became a slave to her guilt, attempting to atone by destroying any chance at normalcy and happiness that came her way.

Now 34-year-old Jenna is stuck sleeping behind the bait shop and tethered to caring for a mentally unstable mother and a failing business. And there’s the telephony, her father’s room of antique telephones that magically ring with calls from the past. Jenna sees others receive calls, but never hears from the one person she most wants to talk to: Brian. That is until one night, when she gets a mysterious call from someone who claims he was the last person to see Brian before he disappeared. Spurred by the new lead and her mother’s decline, Jenna embarks on a mission to find her brother and bring him home. But will what she finds be enough to cure her mother and help Jenna finally find some peace?

Colorado author Patti Hill crafts a beautiful novel with a relatable, complex main character whose long path to redemption offers hope to any reader with a less-than-healthy family history. A great story about family, forgiveness and a little bit of magic, you can find this book at bookstores and online retailers, or visit pattihillauthor.com.

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Ayumi’s Violin
By Mariko Tatsumoto

Being half-Caucasian means life in Japan is not easy for 12-year-old Ayumi, but at least she has her mother and her violin. But then Mother dies, and Ayumi must take her violin across the ocean to meet her American father for the first time. Her father is overjoyed to see her, only having learned of her existence in a deathbed letter from her mother. But her new stepmother and half-sister are not so happy, especially when her arrival stirs up prejudice and scandal.

Ayumi manages to remain strong even through the death of her mother, the hatred of her stepmother and the bullying she receives at school. Through it all, her music continues to anchor her in the midst of pain and uncertainty. But when that music is threatened and the last thing she loves might be taken away, can Ayumi hold everything together?

A great read for both teenagers and adults by Pagosa Springs author Marika Tatsumoto, Ayumi’s Violin is a wonderful story of endurance and love that won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold award, earned an honorable mention for the 2016 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and was an award finalist for the Colorado Authors’ League. Learn more about this inspiring novel at marikotatsumoto.com.

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An Uninterrupted View of the Sky
By Melanie Crowder

In the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, Francisco and his family lead a normal middle class life. That is, until his father is arrested on false drug charges and imprisoned indefinitely and his mother abandons the family. Francisco and his sister, like many Bolivian children, are forced to live in the prison with their father.

Francisco always took his life for granted. His sister was annoying, his father was demanding and soccer was the most important thing in the world. But in prison, his priorities shift. Family is everything, food and cleanliness are luxuries. And instead of focusing on soccer, Francisco must put all of his energy into one goal: getting his father and sister out, safe and free.

A difficult book to read, An Uninterrupted View of the Sky is nevertheless an important story that needs to be told. Based on real stories heard and experienced by Colorado author Melanie Crowder during her travels to Bolivia, this book brings attention to the very real violations of civil rights committed against Bolivian citizens in the name of the war on drugs. For an emotional, educational read appropriate for both adults and older teens, find this book at bookstores and online retailers.

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The Silver Baron’s Wife
By Donna Baier Stein

Baby Doe Tabor is a name recognized by many Colorado residents, but few people know much about the woman behind the name. Author Donna Baier Stein gives readers a fictional view of what it might be like to get up close and personal with this dynamic, beautiful woman who was, for awhile, one of the richest, most influential and most controversial people in Colorado history.

Baby Doe began life in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as Elizabeth Bonduel McCourt and moved to Colorado to pursue silver mining interests with her first husband, Harvey Doe. When Harvey is lost to opium and brothels, she divorces him and eventually meets the much older, wealthy and very married Horace Tabor, owner of several successful Colorado silver mining operations. His divorce and subsequent marriage to Baby Doe sends shock waves through Colorado high society. Shunned socially, they live extravagantly until silver values plummet. Baby Doe eventually dies penniless and alone in a Leadville mining cabin.

Stein writes vividly and believably in the voice of Baby Doe, breathing life into a character mostly lost to history. A reader feels they do get to know this fascinating, controversial woman and put themselves in her shoes, a good reminder that the people of history were not so different from us today. Find this wonderful work of historical fiction in bookstores, online retailers or donnabaierstein.com.

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The Homeplace
By Kevin Wolf

The body of a high school basketball star is found in a field outside the eastern plains town of Brandon, Colorado. The timing couldn’t be worse for Chase Ford, former Brandon basketball star turned National Basketball Association player turned drug-using failure. He happens to come back to town the same night as the murder, and the sheriff thinks Chase killed the boy out of jealousy. It doesn’t help that Chase stole the sheriff’s girlfriend back in high school.

Chase thought he had escaped his past, but he quickly realizes that just because you leave your hometown doesn’t mean it forgets you. Everyone still sees him as he was back then: the state championship winner, the rival, the former lover, the one who made it to the big time. Brandon is a town wrapped up in the victories and feuds of the past, and as the murders start multiplying, the town splits between those who love Chase and those who hate him. Yet Chase has to find a way to fight through what everyone wants to believe of him in order to get to the truth: his innocence.

Kevin Wolf has crafted an intricate thriller that manages to be part murder mystery, part literary fiction about the inescapable past. For a riveting read that exceeds expectations, find The Homeplace in bookstores and online.

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Inherit the Bones
By Emily Littlejohn

The McKenzie boys disappeared in the summer of 1985. Since then, the cold case has haunted the small Colorado town of Cedar Valley. Detective Gemma Monroe was the one who found the boys’ bones in the woods a decade after their disappearance. No matter how unsolvable this case may be, she can’t seem to get it out of her head.

That’s why nobody believes her when she starts seeing connections between the McKenzie boys and the present-day murder of another young man, the son of a wealthy local family. Everyone thought that Nicky Bellington fell off a cliff to his death years ago, but he turns up in town, dead again, this time brutally murdered. Why did he fake his death and run away from Cedar Valley in the first place? Could his disappearance and murder have anything to do with his research into the McKenzie boys’ case? Gemma Monroe may be nearing the end of her pregnancy, but she won’t stop until she’s solved Nicky’s murder and figured out what he knew about that fateful summer of 1985.

Colorado author Emily Littlejohn’s debut novel is a true thriller full of interesting characters and page-turning plot twists. A pregnant detective as a main character is a creative inclusion that adds some unique complications. Find this great mystery in local bookstores and online retailers.

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
By Matthew Sullivan

For Lydia Smith, working at the Bright Ideas bookstore in downtown Denver feels more like a home than anywhere else she has been in many years. She enjoys helping customers find what they need, especially the BookFrogs, those lonely men who come to the store as much for some comfort as for books. But Lydia’s peace shatters when one BookFrog, Joey Molina, hangs himself upstairs and she inherits his meager possessions.

Among his belongings are books, books from which he cut hundreds of tiny rectangles to form some sort of secret message. Lydia wants to decode Joey’s last words and help fulfill his wishes, but doing so requires her to face a past she has tried to escape: that bloody night hiding under the sink as the Hammerman butchered the O’Toole family. Lydia has done her best to separate herself from that terrified Little Lydia, to ignore the fact that the Hammerman was never caught. But the further she unravels the mystery of Joey’s sad life, the further she must travel into the darkness of her past.

Original and engaging, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is author Matthew Sullivan’s first novel. Learn more about this great read online and at major retailers.

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Dark Matter
By Blake Crouch

Jason Dessen chose his family over a prestigious scientific career, but he doesn’t regret it. His wife and son mean everything to him, and they are more than worth taking a job as a boring professor. He loves his life. But when a kidnapper abducts him to an abandoned warehouse and injects him with a mystery drug, everything Jason thought he could hold onto is ripped away from him in a single night.

He wakes up strapped to a gurney in an unknown facility, introduced to supposed old friends he doesn’t recognize ­­­and questioned about scientific achievements he apparently pioneered, achievements beyond his wildest dreams. In this new world he is revered and esteemed, but all Jason cares about is getting back to his family. Will his love for them be enough to guide him home through the dangerous, devastating labyrinth some other version of himself has created?

Dark Matter draws on fascinating scientific theories while keeping at its heart the very accessible theme of unbreakable family love. Colorado author Blake Crouch’s story keeps readers on the edge of their seats till the last page. For a great sci-fi thriller, look up this book online or at major retailers.

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The Art of Vanishing
By Cynthia Kuhn

Dr. Lila Maclean has enough on her plate before being handed, or rather forced into, the job of wrangling an interview from Damon Von Tussel, the notoriously difficult author scheduled to speak at her university. Tenure review, back-stabbing colleagues and her role on the Arts Week committee mean her head is already barely above water. Then Von Tussel suddenly disappears, and her chaotic life becomes more like a war zone.

Lila has to track down the recalcitrant author before his speaking engagements scheduled during Arts Week. But the closer she gets to him, the more strange things start happening. It appears that someone is willing to resort to violence to keep him from speaking. But who? And what secret are they trying to keep hidden? Lila has to solve the mystery before someone, and her job, end up in the grave.

A classic whodunit with an academic twist, The Art of Vanishing is the latest entertaining installment in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series by author and Metropolitan State University of Denver professor Cynthia Kuhn. For more information, visit henerypress.com.

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My Bad: A Mile High Noir
By Manuel Ramos

Just out of prison, Gus Corral is ready for a new start. That means getting a good job, staying away from his old temptations and keeping his nose clean. Luis Montez, a mildly successful lawyer on the edge of retirement, offers Gus a job as an assistant and investigator. Both of them get more than they bargained for.

Around the same time Gus is hired, Luis takes on a strange case: a woman whose husband mysteriously died in a boating accident and is now being harassed for money that supposedly belonged to her husband’s former business partner. The further Gus and Luis investigate, the more complicated (and dangerous) the case becomes, and the more bodies begin to pile up. But Luis wants to get to the bottom of the mystery before he retires, and Gus feels obligated to help him, even if it means doing a risky dance around his parole. Both of them hope they will still be standing after the bullets inevitably start to fly.

Though terribly titled, My Bad offers a surprisingly well-written and exciting story with a cast of intriguing, believable characters. The many unexpected turns of the book’s story take place among Denver’s urban communities with a level of detail locals will appreciate. For a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the last page, look up this book at artepublicopress.com.

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Zomnibus: The Cases of Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.
By Kevin J. Anderson

About 10 years ago, the Big Uneasy turned the world into a place full of monsters, and now zombies, werewolves, vampires and ghosts have learned to coexist with the living … most of the time.

Dan Chambeaux used to be a human private investigator working to keep the peace, until he was shot in the back of the head and turned into a zombie. Now, “Shamble” works client cases while also trying to solve his own murder (and attempting to keep his body from falling apart). His investigations bring him up against werewolf hit men, a gigantic mystery monster and the shady human CEO of a “necroceuticals” company, among other disgusting and dangerous creatures. He’ll have to work hard to get to the bottom of his cases before his enemies can put him in the grave … again.

A funny and creative take on the traditional private investigator crime-solving caper, Zomnibus is actually two books in one, including the full-length novel Death Warmed Over and Working Stiff, a collection of Dan Shamble short stories. For a weird and witty read from a Colorado author, find this book online, at major retailers or at wordfirepress.com.

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Broken Slate
By John A. Daly

A call from the Pawleys Island, South Carolina, police department about a dead body is the first time Sean Coleman has heard about his father in over 30 years. Jack Hansen, now Jack Slate, left him, his sister and their mother when Sean was just a boy. The wounds of that abandonment turned Sean into a scarred man, though recently he has been keeping on the straight and narrow as a security guard and reformed alcoholic.

Going from Colorado to South Carolina threatens to land him back in trouble, however. Something smells fishy about Jack Slate’s death: the weapon used, the wealthy area where the body was found, the mysterious trunk of memories he left behind. Sean can’t help but dig a little deeper, no matter what laws he might break in the process. He needs to find the truth, even if that truth shatters everything he thought he knew about his father, his family, and himself.

Broken Slate is the latest installment in the Sean Coleman series by Colorado author John A. Daly. Find this book at major online retailers or bqbpublishing.com and join the unconventional, rough-around-the-edges main character for a crime-solving, car chase and explosions adventure.

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Sleeper Protocol
By Kevin Ikenberry

When the man comes to, he’s on a beach in Australia. He knows he has been here before, and that it looks different than it should, with flying cars and oddly shaped skyscrapers. But his family, his childhood, even his name … these he can’t seem to remember.

The people in the hospital tell him that he is a “sleeper”: a person from the 21st century who has been recreated as a clone to provide critical knowledge and skills to the future where he has awoken. The man remembers he is a soldier, and learns that he might just be the only person who can save mankind from a dangerous alien race. But in order to do that, he has to recover his full memory through a process called integration. He travels what used to be the United States, trying to remember and trying to stay alive. But in a futuristic society where government, military and digital forces are manipulating him with their different motives, staying alive is easier said than done.

Colorado author Kevin Ikenberry has created an imaginative future landscape that a reader can enjoy traversing along with the character. While the computer lingo and clunky dialogue bog down the plot a bit, the world of the story remains fascinating to the end. Learn more about this sci-fi novel at redadeptpublishing.com.

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Chasing Hindy
By Darin Gibby

To most people, a car that runs on water is just wishful thinking, science fiction fantasy. But for Addy, that fantasy inspires her entire career as a patent attorney. So when the handsome Quinn approaches her at a conference and tells her he has made fantasy reality, Addy feels she has no choice but to leave her new job as firm partner and join Quinn’s “water car” company. Addy believes that, together, she and Quinn will change the world.

But then Addy is attacked and threatened by parties unknown and realizes that by taking this job, she’s made a serious enemy. Is it Middle Eastern terrorists, trying to prevent technological advancements that threaten their oil monopoly? Is it the government, trying to steal Quinn’s ideas for their own profit? Or is it Quinn’s former partner, intent on destroying what his competitor has created? Whoever wants her dead, Addy must fight to get Quinn’s revolutionary technology to the public and change the world before someone manages to make it, and her, disappear.

Darin Gibby is himself a renowned Denver patent attorney and writes with intimate detail about how the legal patent system works. The realism of his legal knowledge and the fantastical elements of his futuristic technology work together to create an original, creative thriller. Chase down this book online, at major retailers or at koehlerbooks.com.

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Declared Dead
By DJ Steele

All Julia Bagal wants is a quiet life, and besides the unpredictability of caring for her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother, she has one. A good job in a safe career keeps even the complications of romance from intruding on her peace. That is, until her grandmother escapes from her nursing home and tells Julia that she’s actually a spy. She believes Julia is in danger (from who, she refuses to say) and sends the very handsome, very enigmatic Derick Carver to protect her.

But then a mysterious hit man tries to kidnap Julia from her home. What if all this time her grandmother was telling the truth about being a spy? Questions begin to lead Julia deeper into her past and further away from the life she thought she wanted. But the quest for answers leads straight toward danger. Can Derick help her figure out who she really is, save her grandmother and get her out alive?

While this thriller could use some editing and refinement, Declared Dead keeps a reader interested with its exciting twists and turns and the occasional humorous moment. Learn more about the northern Colorado author and this novel at switchbackpress.com.

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Best Laid Plans and Other Disasters
By Amy Rivers

Gwen Marsh thinks she has her life in order. She manages to become the first female mayor of Cambria, runs a successful consulting business and has a good relationship with a dependable man. But then things get complicated. Her boyfriend Jason accepts a new job that means he more travel (and time with his beautiful female coworker). Her beloved cousin is getting married, which means Gwen is in charge of making sure the special event happens without a hiccup. The city manager has it out for her and tries to make her mayoral duties as difficult as possible. And on top of it all, Gwen finds out she’s unexpectedly pregnant. Oh boy.

But she has some things going for her, including family and friends who support her every step of the way. She also has her stubborn determination, the same strength that made her a successful woman in the first place. If she can only hold onto that toughness and yet also be soft enough to save her relationship with Jason, she might be able to pull this off.

The political knowledge of Colorado author Amy Rivers shows through in her interesting details about the inner workings of small town government. Though the cover and title make this book look like a comedy, the actual story is much more dramatic than expected. For a relatable read about a plucky Colorado heroine, find this book at amyrivers.com.

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Raining Love in Dove Creek
By Sharon McAnear

Violet Hendricks has more work than time or money as a single woman running her very own farm. She doesn’t have the luxury of wearing nice dresses or fixing her hair so she can catch some man. And she certainly has no time to wait for Jenky, that is, state Rep Jenkins Butler, her long-time crush and neighbor, to make a move. He seems interested, but the years keep passing without him stepping up and asking for her heart. Marrying Jenky could bring in the money the farm needs, but Violet is tired of waiting.

Jenky is not happy when he finds out that Violet has taken in a male boarder, and a big city photographer no less, but Violet cares more about the rent money than her reputation. Yet, the longer Reggie is around, the less confident Violet becomes. Will she swallow her pride and soften her heart toward Jenky? And will Jenky finally get up the gumption to tell her how he feels … before it’s too late?

A laugh-out-loud, heartwarming romance, Raining Love in Dove Creek also provides an interesting historical glimpse into farming life in rural Colorado in 1939, after President Roosevelt’s creation of the Rural Electrification Administration but before many farms had received access to life-changing electricity. Learn more about this sweet story at sharonmcanear.com.

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In the Shadow of Denali
By Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

The Curry Hotel of Curry, Alaska, is a bustling locale at the front door of the brand new Mount McKinley National Park, the perfect place for outdoor guide John Ivanoff and his daughter Cassidy to make a home. That is, until the son of the man who died on the mountain during an expedition led by John comes to Alaska, asking questions about his father’s death.

Allan Brennan wants answers, even if he needs to travel to Alaska to get them. After his father never made it down Mt. McKinley six years ago, his father’s business partner Frank has placed all the blame on a negligent guide, John Ivanoff. But when Allan arrives in Curry and starts working for John, a different story begins to emerge. John is an honest, hardworking man who is still haunted by Henry Brennan’s death. Could he really be responsible? Or could something else, something like murder, have happened on the mountain?

As for Cassidy Ivanoff, she would defend her father’s character to the end. Even as feelings begin to grow between herself and the handsome Allan Brennan, she refuses to love him until his issue with her father is fully resolved. Can Allan and Cassidy uncover the truth and remove this obstacle to their love in time? And can Allan and John survive the dangerous path they must travel to reveal that truth?

Authors Tracie Peterson of Montana and Kimberley Woodhouse of Colorado write an exciting story of faith, family and romance. Find In the Shadow of Denali at bookstores or online retailers.

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An Unlikely Mother
By Danica Favorite

Flora Montgomery used to be the queen bee of Denver high society. She was the woman who determined who was in and who was out, until the day she herself committed a social sin and found herself at the bottom of the pecking order.

Flora’s family and pastor send her to serve the less fortunate in the mining camps as her atonement, and she finds remorse and humility in her heart. So when an abandoned little boy is found in the camp, she takes on the task of caring for him and trying to find his missing father. It doesn’t hurt that the man helping her search, a miner named George, is handsome. Too bad her family would never allow her to marry someone so beneath her.

What Flora doesn’t know is that George the miner is actually George Bellington, her old childhood nemesis whose family owns the mine. He is undercover in an attempt to figure out why the mine is losing money, and why so many fatal accidents keep occurring. Can George find out who is destroying his family name and figure out what happened to the boy’s father? And when he finally tells her who he really is, can Flora find a place in her heart for forgiveness … or even love?

For a light historical romance set in the mining heyday of Leadville, Colorado, find An Unlikely Mother at LoveInspired.com.

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Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies
By Ian Neligh

Most people know that gold was once mined in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but few understand just how significant a role “gold fever” played in the creation and history of our beautiful state. Even fewer probably realize that the gold is not all gone, and that many determined, perhaps foolhardy men and women are still working hard to hit pay dirt.

Journalist Ian Neligh traveled Colorado to learn more about the history and the present-day reality of gold mining. During his research, he uncovered a centuries-long story of obsession that often included murder, gun fights, deadly accidents, overnight fortunes and even cannibalism.

Neligh is a practiced writer whose style mixes history and modern realities seamlessly. If you are a history buff or just enjoy a good true story, this book is for you and can be found at ianneligh.com.

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Immigrant in Peril: Carl Tangeman’s Heroic Journey Across America, 1847-1848
By Cheryl D. Clay

In the mid-1800s, many families from all over Europe were forced to choose between starvation and a new life in America. Carl Tangeman, his wife, and his two young children were one such family, deciding to leave everything they knew and loved behind in Germany to escape hunger and yet another war.

The Tangemans sailed for New York to find Carl’s brothers, but a terrible storm blew them off course and forced their arrival in New Orleans instead, where tragedy struck. Despite grief, not knowing the language, being the focus of hostility toward immigrants, having limited money and countless other disasters, Carl Tangeman made a heroic journey from New Orleans to New York and then to Ohio. Preserved by his faith and his stubborn will to live, Carl persevered and paved the way for his descendants to find the freedom and opportunity he gave up everything to find.

Bayfield author and La Plata Electric Association member Cheryl D. Clay is one of Carl Tangeman’s many existing descendants and has done extensive research into her family history. Though written in a novelistic format, this story includes excepts from original letters and relies on the historical details of Carl’s epic journey. To learn more about this book, visit the author’s website, adventuresix.com.

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Christmas in My Heart
By Leslee Breene

If you want a book that makes you feel warm and cozy, look no further than Leslee Breene’s holiday short story collection, Christmas in My Heart. With four sweet, romantic and heartwarming Christmas stories included, this book is sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

Colorado author Leslee Breene has been previously featured in our book review article for her uplifting novels, and these holiday stories demonstrate her same talent at touching readers’ hearts. Enjoy curling up next to a fire with a cup of cocoa and this book, which can be found at lesleebreene.com.

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Built to Thrill: More Classic Automobiles from Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt
By Clive Cussler

Though many know him as the famous author of the Dirk Pitt thrillers and a multitude other popular novels, few know that Clive Cussler also has an extensive collection of beautifully restored classic automobiles. A companion to the previously published Built for Adventure coffee table book, Built to Thrill offers an intimate guide to Cussler’s cars from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, including gorgeous, detailed photographs, astonishing historical facts about each make and model and personal anecdotes about Cussler’s discovery and restoration of each vehicle.

A beautiful, fascinating book for both classic automobile and Cussler enthusiasts alike, Built to Thrill would make a wonderful holiday gift, especially when paired with a trip to Cussler’s museum in Arvada, where a selection of his car collection is displayed. For information about museum hours and location, visit cusslermuseum.com, and to learn more about Built to Thrill, visit cusslerbooks.com.

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A Charming Forest
By Melanie Steen

Travel to forests, where you’ll find trees, wildlife and flowers to hand color in this delightful, relaxing adult coloring book by a Colorado author. Find it at amazon.com.
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