Articles

New for April 2011!

Non-fiction-

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.  It's an exciting new world for crafters. Handmade is hip, creativity is what the market wants, and there are many profitable sales opportunities that didn't exist a few short years ago. For crafters who have more confidence running a sewing machine than setting up a Web site, The Handmade Marketplace breaks down and makes sense of the global possibilities for marketing and selling crafts. First, determine the right price for every item ' not too expensive and definitely not too cheap. Whether the product is beaded jewelry or felted slippers, illustrations or tote bags, author Kari Chapin helps crafters determine cost of goods, market competition, and the pros and cons of wholesale and retail sales. If the price is right, customers will buy. Then it's on to selling. The boom in indie craft fairs and sites such as Etsy ("Your place to buy & sell all things handmade") is providing artisans with an ever-expanding marketplace for handcrafted items. Chapin demystifies every venue. She explains the guidelines that craft fairs impose on exhibitors, the typical yearly calendar of shows, and how to start a new craft fair. For the crafter interested in online sales, there are tips on styling and propping crafts for photographs and technical explanations of how the most popular Web marketplaces run. Traditional brick and mortar consignment stores are still very good options for many crafters. Chapin explains how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships. Wrapping everything up with media advice and tips on how to get the word out, The Handmade Marketplace is the sales and marketing bible that today's crafters need.

 

Secrets of Dragon Gate: Ancient Taoist Practices for Health, Wealth, and the Art of Sexual Yoga by Steven Liu and Jonathan Blank.  From simple breathing exercises that make you feel healthier and more alive to advanced sexual yoga, The Secrets of Dragon Gate is the key to your unique path to health, wealth, and spiritual fulfillment. The Dragon Gate School is known for its singular combination of sexual yoga and dream yoga practices; mystical divination methods for choosing a wise and fruitful path; Chi-gung and martial arts practices for health and longevity; and profound philosophy, based on the I Ching (Book of Changes) and the five elements, that provides a deep insight into the nature of reality.  Incorporate the mysterious and ancient wisdom of the Dragon Gate School of Taoism into your daily life, and find answers to the question of how to live a long, prosperous, and happy life.

The Civil War: A Concise History by Louis P. Masur.   A masterful and eminently readable overview of the war’s multiple causes and catastrophic effects. Masur begins by examining the complex origins of the war, focusing on the pulsating tensions over states rights and slavery. The book then proceeds to cover, year by year, the major political, social, and military events, highlighting two important themes: how the war shifted from a limited conflict to restore the Union to an all-out war that would fundamentally transform Southern society, and the process by which the war ultimately became a battle to abolish slavery. Masur explains how the war turned what had been a loose collection of fiercely independent states into a nation, remaking its political, cultural, and social institutions. But he also focuses on the soldiers themselves, both Union and Confederate, whose stories constitute nothing less than America’s Iliad . In the final chapter Masur considers the aftermath of the South’s surrender at Appomattox and the clash over the policies of reconstruction that continued to divide President and Congress, conservatives and radicals, Southerners and Northerners for years to come. 

Fiction-

Sticky Fingers (A Roxy Abruzzo Mystery) by Nancy Martin.  Roxy Abruzzo barely escaped big trouble in her first adventure, "Foxy Roxy." Now Roxy is determined to stay on the straight and narrow--except that she gets in over her head doing a few jobs for her uncle Carmine, one of the last old time mob bosses in Pittsburgh.

Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman.  The closing of their favorite romantic rendezvous, the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills, is a sad occasion for longtime patrons Alex Delaware and Robin Castagna. And gathering one last time with their fellow faithful habitués for cocktails in the gracious old venue makes for a bittersweet evening. But even more poignant is a striking young woman—alone and enigmatic among the revelers—waiting in vain in elegant attire and dark glasses that do nothing to conceal her melancholy. Alex can’t help wondering what her story is, and whether she’s connected to the silent, black-suited bodyguard lingering outside the hotel.  Two days later, Alex has even more to contemplate when police detective Milo Sturgis comes seeking his psychologist comrade’s insights about a grisly homicide. To Alex’s shock, the brutalized victim is the same beautiful woman whose lonely hours sipping champagne at the Fauborg may have been her last.  But with a mutilated body and no DNA match, she remains as mysterious in death as she seemed in life. And even when a tipster’s sordid revelation finally cracks the case open, the dark secrets that spill out could make Alex and Milo’s best efforts to close this horrific crime not just impossible but fatal.  Though Not Dead: A Kate Shugak Novel by Dana Stabenow.  In the newest entry in Dana Stabenow’s New York Times bestselling Kate Shugak series, Kate and the rest of the Park rats are stunned by the death of Old Sam, Kate’s eighty-seven-year-old uncle and foster father. In his will, he leaves almost everything to Kate, including a homestead deep in gold mining country that no one knew he had and a letter that reads simply, “Find my father.” Easier said than done, since Sam’s father is something of a mystery: an outsider who disappeared shortly after learning about Sam’s existence, he took with him a priceless tribal artifact, a Russian icon. During the first three days of Kate’s search, she gets shot at, whacked in the head, and run off the road in deep snow and left for dead. Interspersed with flashbacks from Sam’s fascinating life, including scenes from major events in Alaskan history, Kate does her best to fulfill Sam’s last wish—as various people follow her every move, in search of the icon, Old Sam’s gold, or possibly some other secret remnant of his long, mysterious life.