Summer Reads to Enjoy, Learn and Grow With …

Summer is  grand reading time …


Print sales continue to improve in the book market. It’s summertime, and a common “to do” on many lists is to read a good book. Here are several suggested reads before the summer ends:

In Childrens’ and the Chapter book offerings, I love the pure fun and delight (and fabulous illustrations) in Julie Griffin’s Cristina Gradina-The Girl with Ten Busy Toes  and Bella the Baker Street Baker . If you have kids ages 5 to 8 (especially girls) in your life, they will love these books. Julie has Jack and the Bean Chair popping this fall—a chapter book perfect for boys 8-10. Get them all.

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As kids read more, Chapter books start popping in their hands–my grandkids jump on them. Both Robert Martin and Cheryl Carpinello integrate their extensive personal travels as additional “characters” in their books. Robert Martin’s  debut, The Case of the Missing Crown Jewels  is a perfect chapter to get into the hands of kids who are beginning their solo reading journey. I love the interaction of Papa and Keira as they sleuth trough this young who-done-it. If you were a Nancy Drew reader, think of this as a beginning of a young Nancy–ideal for girls 7-10.

Author Cheryl Carpinello delivers a series of adventures that land the young reader in lands and legends of old. A lot of fun and history is at their fingertips. Share Sons of the Sphinx, Tutankhamen Speaks and The King’s Ransom are her latest books.

What if numbers came alive? In Charles Fischer’s Beyond Infinity, they do when Matthew Forsythe discovers a weird computer and a secret door in the boy’s bathroom at school that leads to a series of events that he and his friends solve using mathematical puzzles. Great read for kids 12 and up.

ANY of Dom Testa’s YA series–The Comet’s Curse, The Web of Titan, The Cassini Code, The Darth Zone, The Galahad Legacy, The Cosmic Storm –get them all. I you asked Dom what his books are about, he sums in up in one word, “Relationships.” Dom’s The Comet’s Curse was selected as the “book to read ” in CO in 2015. How cool is that!

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For adults, if Mystery and Suspense is your thing (it’s mine—and I get tired of the repetition I find in so many of the formulas of the big names), Mark Stevens’ Trapline is getting lots of kudos and is on my hit list for this weekend:

This summer, a sometimes OMG #suspense and #thriller reading is just what I’m looking for. Harry MacLean’s latest, The Joy of Killing, has arrived in book stores. A few years ago, I had Harry on my radio show, AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing. You can listen in here to what he shared. I loved the way he tracked down his stories, even putting himself at jeopardy at times to “get the rest of story.” The Joy of Killing is his latest and it awaits my eyes.

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For the History or Military buff, Steve Synder’s  Shot Down! The True Story of the Captain Howard Snyder and the crew of the B17 Susan Ruth.shot down cover A true American Hero—for the first time, the delivery of the full and complete story of the B-17 Flying Fortress in unbelievable detail pulled from crew members’ personal letters and journals and letters from the villagers who hid and supported them in Belgium.

Women’s fiction is always fun—the perfect beach or mountain read. Mara Purl’s What the Heart Knows and Where the Heart Lives should be purchased at the same time—they are intertwined with plots and inpatient readers are going to want to know what happens with Miranda.

Author Gail Mencini debuted her first novel,  To Tuscany with Love to much acclaim—who doesn’t like the ideal of a Tuscany escape, coupled with a little romance and getting your life in order? 

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If you want some Action and Adventure, The Bootlegger ’40 Ford by Charles  Clark will fill the bill.
The Ford Standard coupe is the main character and star, each time selling/reselling for $500 (all true) and landing in a variety of adventures including the famous race with a high performance Mercedes on the Autobahn (all true). Six wonderful stories—it’s a great “guy” read … and yes, Charles does take a few liberties with “the truth”—great fun. Great car illustrations.

And if star and Moon Gazing is your idea of a great summer evening, get What’s Hot on the Moon Tonight? by Andrew Planck. This is the ultimate guide to lunar observing—a combo workbook to record observations and a day-to-day what to look for and see each day of the lunar cycle (who knew that days 6 and 7 were the best to see all detail on the moon?). This book is hot off the printing press—I’m giving to my daughter, a sky-voyeur, for Christmas.

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In the feel better (or I want to) area, I loved Roxanne Hawn’s Heart Dog: Surviving the Loss of Your Canine Soul Mate which is hot off the pressIf you are a #dog lover, you will too. It’s wonderful–you will want to have a few extra copies to give to friends who have lost a much-loved dog.

My other favorite book of this type is The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer by Doug Koktavy. Since it’s publication, it’s picked up 14 book awards include the top prize from Writers Digest.

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Author Dr. Laurie Weiss is creating a series of short gems. In the Secrets of Happy Relationships series, she’s just delivered STOP (These Common Beliefs from) Poisoning Your Marriage  and in the Speak Your Mind series, Doesn’t Anyone Else See This? will get you thinking.











For inspiration and Motivation, look no farther than Lesia Cartelli’s book, Heart of Fire. Playing at her grandmother’s home at 9, Lesia was standing by the furnace in the basement when the house exploded—severally burned… she’s gone on touch the lives of millions and received accolades from Dr. Phil, Barbara Walters, the Mary Kay Foundation and countless others throughout the country. My “cold eye” editor said it was her favorite book of the year. It just might be yours as well.

Add Ashlee Bratton’s Life Before the Lottery to your list as well. The most successful people have failed—bombed—multiple times. Ashlee’s theme is that there is an amazing life before winning a lottery ticket (and we all know the odds of doing that!)—this is a fun book, tons of photos of what the she did before she hit the magic 30 mark—her question: what’s holding you back? Create your bucket list now—whether you are 20 or 70 plus. Live, Love and Laugh and have a great time and oh yes, stretch yourself. This is a book just off the press a great “gooser” and fun read.

If you know anyone dealing with autism in their family Living Autism ay by Day by Pamela Bryson Weaver is the new best friend. Welcome to the un-perfect world of autism … a world that has grown explosively over the past decade. As Temple Grandin said in her endorsement, “Living Autism Day-by-Day will help parents to persevere and meet the challenges of raising a child with severe autism.” And, I might add, anywhere on the autism spectrum. Beautifully done, four-color throughout, it’s a combo daily journal, inspiration thoughts and ideas, and like having a hot cup of tea on a cold day. Ideal for any parent who has an autistic child in their midst.

If you have lost a loved one, Disa Van Orman’s beautiful Your Loved One Shines On is filled with words that will touch your heart and soul–words that came to her as she was writing the Eulogy for her 6-year-old grandson. The photos that accompany each of the lines are wonderful and taken by the author from her backyard to Africa.

If you have a love of the Mountains, John Maling’s Have You Ever Held a Mountain is the perfect companion. A multi-award winning book, it’s a 32-line poem that flows through each page that includes a gorgeous photograph by also award-winning photographer Grant Collier. Have you ever held a mountain-cupped it gently in your hand-felt the texture of its ridges-sifted slow its granite sand-brushed its trees and touched its meadows-heard its glaciers grinding down-felt wet and rock muscle-under flesh of green and brown? Get this book for you and for others pronto.

If you love a great story with the wit of a Southern, you want Apron Strings by Mary Morony. Deep in the South, families attitudes and beliefs are challenged. It’s Ethel, the black maid, who brings life and bridging to reality for the family and one special little girl.

If you are an author and writer, you need “juice” … juice that inspires, motivates and is kickback fun. Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers by Judith Briles is a gem that supplies a pick-me-up, inspiration goose, even a little silliness. It’s 250 plus of my favorite quotes that I created over the

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 Have You Ever Held a Mountain by John Maling download Snappy, Sassy, Salty


 You get some fun, some fantasy, some whoa, and some heart. 

~Happy reading.~



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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 33 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers was published in June 2015.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th. Join Judith live on several shows on Authors on Fire (one-on-one interviews with authors and their books with Judith asking the questions on Tuesdays at 1 EST), Author YOU (the journey begins, retstarts or ignites to set the author on the road to success on Fridays at 1 EST) and AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing (book publishing today – over all strategies to your marketing and publishing success on Wednesdays at 1 EST).
You can also hear her on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

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