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Finding Devo: A Novel Adventure by Seve Verdad – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

Escape from the system?

Sports journalist Russell Martell is on holiday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico .  His wife Rosalita has recently died and Russell feels lost and hurt, drifting through life.  Then his journalistic senses begin to come alive as he starts to get the hints of stories: not sports stories, but crime and current events, with a hint of politics.  What is the real story behind a body found in strange circumstances near the beach front?  Is the rumor of a police raid on a suburban house really connected to drug cartels?  Who is the colorful character Devon (Devo) that appears to be making a splash in town, at least according to the bar scuttlebutt?  All these questions seem to draw together, but only more questions emerge.  Soon Russell and his friend, Johnny Miles, will become caught up in an adventure where mystery and uncertainty abounds.  How will ordinary citizens survive, let alone take action in a world of gangs, police and government?  Seve Verdad’s Finding Devo: A Novel Adventure is a story of mystery and action which will intrigue and excite the reader as they follow Russell and Johnny in their desperate attempt to escape disaster.

 

Verdad writes well and he lifts his prose with colorful phrases, giving interesting atmospheric descriptions and character details.  Describing Devo, for example, Verdad writes: “But he is smooth.  Smooth as a pythons belly.  Smooth as a razor blade, a bullet, a warhead” (Ch. 83).  Much of the book varies between chapters in first person narrative, giving Russell’s point of view, and chapters in third person narrative, giving the perspective of various other characters.  This change in viewpoint works well to keep the story complex and interesting.  The text contains quite a liberal scattering of Mexican Spanish.  Sometimes an English translation is given and sometimes not.  The lack of translation is at first annoying, but the reader soon notices that these phrases are not of critical importance to the plot.  The book can certainly be enjoyed without knowledge of Spanish.  There is occasional offensive language, both in English and Spanish, but probably less than occurs in most people’s common language.  Only the most conservative will be offended.  Occasionally there are nice hints of irony.  For example Joaquín ‘Garras’ de Jesús, a brutal federal agent, is depicted “imagining his garras [claws] wrapped around the necks of those who might be responsible for such a barbaric massacre” (Ch. 48).  Who is the barbarian we wonder?  Similarly there is a nice contrast between Garras meditating in order to concentrate his powers of destruction (Ch. 48) and Russell meditating in order to survive pain (Ch. 50).  As a point of criticism it should be noted that the first half of the book is, in sections, a bit too wordy.  The party which Russell attends gets quite a few chapters allocated to it even though it is just one night.  Similarly the revelations from the computer disk, which the police find, go on chapter after chapter, even though we quickly get the basic idea of what they are saying and their relevance.  Also the bomb explosion gets several chapters, each one from a different character’s perspective, even though the basic response of all is shock.  These sections could have been condensed to make the plot move at a swifter pace.  After Chapter 50, however, the book really takes off and never slows until the very finish.  This point should not be overemphasized.  It would be wrong to say that the first half of the book is boring: it is just a little slow in some sections.

 

The novel is divided into three parts.  Book I Fiesta (Ch. 1 – 28) gives an overview of the circumstances in all its many complications, introducing the reader to the book’s many main characters.  This section is characterized by questions and mystery.  Book II Rain (Ch. 29 – 83) is a narration of disaster, then capture and escape.  It begins slowly but escalates midway into a high action and adventure narration.  Book III Camacho (Ch. 84 – 114) is a further story of escape in which questions are answered and resolution is given.  It should be noted, however, that even at the end of the book there are still some open questions, and indeed the reader wonders if Verdad plans a sequel.  This is not a book where everything is tied up neatly.

 

The characters are nicely drawn and we immediately relate to them as real people.  We like Russell because of his inquisitiveness and initiative.  His background in sports makes him appealing to male readers.  His grief over Rosalita’s death shows him to be a man of some feeling, beyond his All-American bravado.  But as the plot progresses the reader begins to see some of Russell’s failings.  He is “egotistical” (Ch. 51) and “rash” (Ch. 7).  Also as we read further Russell evolves from an ‘ordinary’ man to one who deals decisively, if perhaps extremely, with extraordinary circumstances.  Devo, by contrast, remains throughout almost all the book a man of mystery.  He is rumored to be a “pot grower” (Prologue), but we never quite find out how he gets his money.  He is variously a “psycho” (Prologue), a “wildcard” (Ch. 52) or just a good guy engaged in “shenanigans” (Prologue).  Devo is quite a performer who carries off acts in which he appears to change height, change age, and even flawlessly change his voice.  He performs slight-of-hand (Ch. 25 & 72) and indeed Verdad manages to make Devo seem almost mystical and magical.  Devo of course has his limits.  At one point he comments “I don’ know everthin’” (Ch. 50), but he is certainly no ‘ordinary’ man.  By keeping this character an enigma Verdad instills in the readers a sense of intrigue which keeps him reading.  The book has quite a host of other characters which Verdad also successfully draws.  He even manages to sum up quite minor characters in just a few words.  Teachers’ union leader, Teodoro Viareal, for example, is described as having “the voice of an excitable Chihuahua” (Ch. 7).

 

Ambiguity is one of the novel’s chief themes.  As has just been noted Devo is a man of mystery.  We do not know exactly how to place him.  He could be a hero, but seen from other angles he is quite villainous.  Moral and political ambiguities are at a premium in the book.  Actions, circumstances and perspectives are described as having both good and bad points.  Government officials fight for good, against terrorism, yet they are themselves corrupt and inept.  Capitalism, Marxism and Anarchism are all made understandable, being both praised and criticized.  Verdad constantly poses the reader questions which are not easy to answer.  This is not a novel which teaches a ‘correct’ viewpoint: rather it opens up complexity.  Indeed isn’t the world just that: complex.  Aren’t different people, with different perspectives, able to interpret the same event in very different ways with very different conclusions?

 

Corruption is itself so central to this book that it must be considered as a theme in itself.  Vice impairs the function of institutions which could work to the good.  We all say about our little misdemeanors that ‘it doesn’t matter’.  We even say our ‘shadiness’ gives us ‘character’.  But when our dishonesty ends in real trouble we are left embarrassed, and even ashamed of our actions.  We immediately seek to emphasize what little good we can salvage and hide the bad.

 

The individual is a third important theme.  We are single units, yet we are also in systems.  Do our actions count or is the weight of the system too much for us to make a difference?  The individual struggles for survival, and yet so much that happens is a result of external circumstances which we cannot control.  As single people we have a certain ignorance of the system and even naivety.  Yet also as individuals we have our own talents which we can use to direct our future, and even contribute to the bigger picture.  Are we better off in a system or purely as individuals, or is a mix better?  Is anything other than a mix even possible?

 

Verdad’s novel is very much set in a male world of macho toughness and competition and so there are a scattering of anti-female descriptions.  Russell observes “a pair of bubble head dolls” (Ch. 2).  Police Lieutenant Benito Cuevas Romero thinks “Why stand women at all, but for one thing…?” (Ch. 8).  Women are reduced to body parts: “… breasts – important assets for a girl” (Ch. 7).  Gloria Infante Velázquez, however, stands out as a major female character who is capable, successful and dynamic.  Her husband would not be a successful mayor without her help, and he is completely guided by her strong political sense.  Indeed Gloria, if she had chosen so, “might have become mayor of Puerto Vallarta herself, or perhaps Guadalajara, her home town…” (Ch. 5).  Certainly Gloria has her failings, as any person does.  She is driven by power, money and prestige.  In the middle of one of her business negotiations we read: “Her eyes had darkened, become bland, almost dead.  Shark eyes’ (Ch. 7).   But Gloria regrets her part in the major disaster that occurs.  She has a strong sense of “guilt” (Ch. 43) and immediately sets about devoting all her energies to set things right.  When attacked by corrupt policemen Brenda, Russell’s new love interest, fights like a “wildcat” (Ch. 60) and her sister Araceli joins the fight by hurling a baseball at the attackers.  Feminist readers will be glad to find that, in this novel, women are not meekly subordinate adjuncts to men, but rather dynamic persons in their own right.

 

As has just been noted Finding Devo is, at least on the surface, a world of male machoism in line with 1950’s values.  Both Russell and Johnny live for sports, womanizing, drinking, cockfights and have dabbled in law breaking (minor for Russell’s part and major for Johnny’s part).  This comfortably male dominant world, however, is very much undercut when both men find themselves in real trouble.  Suddenly Russell and Johnny are victims who need to be rescued.  Their bravado wears thin as they find themselves in waters way beyond their depth.  Certainly it is a male who ‘saves’ them and certainly they are not completely helpless themselves, but the brash American male image takes a beating.  Quite a number of other male characters in positions of power are also undercut.  Their confident acceptance of corruption in various forms, as a bonus of their ‘tough-guy’ power, leads to their downfall and ineffectiveness.  Devo, as has been noted, remains an enigma.  He is certainly a ‘tough-guy’ hero, but we never quite know how to take him.  Is he to be admired or viewed with some doubt?  He ‘pulls the strings’, but to what end?  Rather than the traditional 1950’s ‘super-hero’ we have an ambiguous magician who even at the end leaves us with questions.  How much should we admire him?  Devo has intelligence, skill and charisma, but is hardly a New Age man of feeling.  Russell by contrast gains positive re-connection with his emotions and is able to associate with others in a mature way.

 

The indigenous people of Mexico are represented in the text, though not always in a positive light.  Those people in power in the novel do not view the Indians favorably.  They are described as “naco” a “pejorative word often used in Mexican Spanish to describe the bad-mannered and poorly educated people of lower social classes” (Wikipedia. Naco (slang):__ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naco_(slang)).  As early as Chapter 1 we read: “They have no respect.  Better to send them all north.  Let the gringos deal with them, fill their jails with them” (Ch. 1).  But the Anarchist Carlos Mansalva (Manco) takes up the cause for the Indians.  We read “The entire continent belongs to us, those of Indigenous blood” (Ch. 8).  Further we read of “Zapatistas” (Ch. 5 and following) the politically left Indigenous Mexican movement.  The indigenous are mentioned as demonstrating for their rights (Ch. 7).  Indigenous people are represented chiefly by two characters: Javier Menticlaro and Paulo Pepino Revueltas (Chimp).  Javier is an influential Zapatista leader, though he could be viewed as a ‘bad’ character.  Similarly Chimp holds the respected occupation of police officer, but is certainly not represented positively.  It must be remembered that ambiguity is strong in the novel and so both the good and the bad of indigenous people is discussed.  Javier is a particularly ambiguous character.  We can understand him as an indigenous person, but do not necessarily agree with his actions.

 

In turn with the macho atmosphere of the book LBTIQ characters are absent.  There are indeed a couple of anti-Queer comments made in Chapter 2.  Perhaps one positive character could have been included in the party, at the beginning of the book, and we know that police are not exclusively heterosexual.  In an novel which so emphasizes ambiguity, and which asks so many questions, it is perhaps a missed opportunity that LGBTIQ characters were passed over.

 

The Aged, a much ignored group, are also absent.  They perhaps would have been inappropriate in the heavy partying, high action world of the novel.

 

As has been mentioned ambiguity is prevalent in this novel and peaks when it is viewed from the Marxist / Capitalist debate.  The Capitalist U.S. is viewed as a very safe place compared to the Socialist Mexico, yet the Capitalist desire for money and prestige is a very major contributing factor in the crisis of the novel.  Indeed Gloria’s Capitalist ventures end in defeat, not triumph.  But similarly Marxism is represented as being falsely hollow. Media Minister Lazarito Charlado is an appointee of the Socialist Reform Party, but is interested in the “advance … [of his] … fortunes” (Ch. 3), that is, in the personal moneys he can amass and the power and prestige he can gain.  Even more the Socialist influenced Zapatista movement is depicted as violent and aggressive.  At the heart of both Capitalism and Marxism corruption can lead to a political culture where power, authority and legitimacy are undermined.  Anarchism, a political ideology more left than Marxism, is partially represented in the text by the activist Carlos Mansalva (Manco).  Manco makes quite good arguments against Capitalism and for the advancement of the indigenous Mexican people, but he has quite violent tendencies. Even more Maco is depicted as being falsely hollow, like Lazarito, being motivated by the large amounts of money he can earn for his dubious dealings with Chimp (Ch. 58). Despite this criticism, though, Anarchism has a prominent place in the novel.  The actions of private citizens are seen as being more effective than those of organizations.  But can even individuals be trusted to act for the ‘good’?  The questions abound.

 

Finding Devo is very much a postmodern novel in the sense that there are no hard edges or categories anywhere.  As Brenda observes: “People are brutal, Russell.  The whole lot of us” (Ch. 18).  Even the ‘good’ are capable of doing ‘bad’ given the right circumstances, and indeed what is good and what is bad depends on the observer’s perspective.  Even the ‘bad’ character Masked Apocalypse, who by his nom de plume is associated with the devil, is given human motivation.

 

Verdad has written an action adventure, rather than a more poetic book, and so there is not much imagery and symbolism in it.  There are, however, a few elements of the symbolic.  Devo’s nickname hints at the word devolution, suggesting escape from a system, but once again questions, rather than answers, arise.  Which system is being escaped from?  Is it good or bad, or perhaps both, to escape a system?  Is to devolve to go backwards, or is there still a creative forwards motion in it?  Where exactly is Devo taking Russell?  Similarly, through much of the novel unusual weather hangs over Puerto Vallarta.  Light rain hangs over the city like a “mist” (Ch. 60) obscuring the view, making people feel slightly at odds.  This is symbolic of the crisis of the novel where for most of the characters, the action remains a mystery.  Confusion abounds and truth is obscured.  People think they have the answer, but are deluded.

 

Looking deeper into symbolism and myth it should be noted that Devo is a magician.  He uses metaphoric smoke and mirrors to trick, to obscure, when it suits him.  We never quite know where exactly he stands.  He uses electronic ‘trickery’ to help him pull off his ‘secret agent’ stunts.  This element of the novel draws upon the cultural mythology represented by the Tarot card The Magician.  Sally Annett and Rowena Shepherd observe that this card implies both “rules … [and] .. cheating” (The Atavist Tarot:__ London: Quantum, c2003, p. 47), and both Arthur Edward Waite (The Pictorial Key To The Tarot:­­__ Stamford, CT: U.S. Games Systems, c1971, p. 72)  and Giordano Berti and Tiberio Gonard (Tarot Of The New Vision:__ Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, c2005, p. 19) note that the card implies both virtue and trickery.  Indeed going further Annett and Shepherd note that, when thinking of the card, “we must be aware that man’s ability to manipulate the elements can be used for evil as well as good” (Atavist Tarot, p. 49).  Berti and Gonard particularly emphasis that “ambiguity” (New Vision, p. 19) is the key to the card, and as has been noted this is a major theme in the novel.  Where exactly does Devo stand in the novel?  Is he a force for evil or good?  Karen Hamaker-Zondag notes of the card: “He has a vision or ideal to which he is devoted, and on which he expands his energies. [ … ] Hence The Magician possesses both flexibility and courage, and his vitality makes him want to do something worthwhile.” (Tarot As A Way Of Life: A Jungian Approach To The Tarot:__ York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1997, p. 132)  Devo is certainly heroic and his mind and actions are definitely set on a particular problem or project.  Sallie Nichols writes: “The Magician will include us in his plans.  He welcomes us on stage as his accomplice.  Some degree of cooperation on our part is necessary for the success of his magic.” (Jung And Tarot: An Archetypal Journey:__ York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weisner, 1980, p. 46)  Russell and Johnny certainly become caught up in Devo’s plans and in a sense he needs them to work his magic.

 

Seve Verdad’s Finding Devo is an exciting adventure / mystery novel with interesting characterization and generally good writing style.  The plot revolves around the main themes of ambiguity, corruption and the individual.  There is a fairly strong political emphasis, though no one system is favored as being ‘right’.  Men and women are depicted realistically, and in terms that would be viewed positively by those interested in modern Gender Studies.  Indigenous Mexicans are depicted, partially favorably, partially unfavorably.  At 565 pages the novel is probably not a weekend read, though it can certainly be read enjoyably over a longer period of time.  I am happy to rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars.

http://goo.gl/LWIZdd  Finding Devo (Book ed.)

 

http://goo.gl/S9h4QJ  Finding Devo (Kindle ed.)

 

http://goo.gl/WlAAv1  Seve Verdad’s Facebook Page

 

http://goo.gl/i2Fgl9      Seve Verdad’s Web Site

 

Views: 59

Tags: corruption, politics, terrorism

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Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers Farmington, ME
Longfellow Books Portland, ME
Maine Coast Book Shop Damariscotta, ME
Michigan
Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co. Mason, MI
Blue Frog Books Howell, MI
Book Nook & Java Shop Montague, MI
Bookbug Kalamazoo, MI
Brilliant Books Traverse City, MI
Cottage Book Shop Glen Arbor , MI
Crazy Wisdom Bookstore Ann Arbor, MI
Fenton's Open Book Fenton, MI
Forever Books Saint Joseph, MI
Great Lakes Book & Supply Inc. Big Rapids, MI
Great Northern Books and Hobbies Oscoda, MI
Horizon Books Traverse City, MI
Island Bookstore Mackinaw Island, MI
Lowry's Books Three Rivers, MI
McLean & Eakin Booksellers Petoskey, MI
Saturn Booksellers Gaylord, MI
Schuler Books, Inc. Grand Rapids, MI 
Lansing, MI 
Okemos, MI 
Walker, MI
Snowbound Books Marquette, MI
The Book Nook Monroe, MI
Minnesota
An Open Book Wadena, MN
Buffalo Books, Inc. Buffalo, MN
Carleton College Bookstore Northfield, MN
Cherry Street Books Alexandria, MN
Common Good Books Saint Paul, MN
Excelsior Bay Books Excelsior, MN
Little Professor Book Center Owatonna, MN
Moon Palace Books Minneapolis, MN
Paperbacks & Pieces Winona, MN
Sister Wolf Books / Beagle Books & Bindery Park Rapids, MN (Multiple Locations)
The Book Mark Saint Peter, MN
The Book Shelf Winona, MN
The Bookcase Wayzata, MN
The Red Balloon Bookshop Saint Paul, MN
The Village Bookstore,Inc. Grand Rapids, MN
Turtle Town Books & Gifts Nisswa, MN
Valley Bookseller Stillwater, MN
Wild Rumpus Minneapolis, MN
Missouri
Dog Eared Half-Price Books Independence, MO
Left Bank Books Saint Louis, MO
Main Street Books Saint Charles, MO
Rose's Bookhouse O'Fallon, MO
Subterranean Books Saint Louis, MO
Village Books Columbia, MO
Mississippi
Square Books Oxford, MS
Montana
Chapter One Book Store, Inc. Hamilton, MT
Country Bookshelf Bozeman, MT
Fact and Fiction Missoula, MT
Montana Book Company Helena, MT
The Bookstore Dillon, MT
North Carolina
Books Unlimited Franklin, NC
Buxton Village Books Buxton, NC
City Lights Bookstore Sylva, NC
Duck's Cottage Downtown Manteo, NC
Flyleaf Books Chapel Hill, NC
Harris Used Books Raleigh, NC
Island Bookstore Duck, NC
Literary Book Post Salisbury, NC
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe Asheville, NC
McIntyre's Books Pittsboro, NC
Page 158 Books Wake Forest, NC
Park Road Books Charlotte, NC
Pomegranate Books Wilmington, NC
Quail Ridge Books & Music Raleigh, NC
Regulator Bookshop Durham, NC
The Country Bookshop Southern Pines, NC
Nebraska
Chapters Books & Gifts Seward, NE
Indigo Bridge Books Lincoln, NE
Newsstand Solutions Scottsbluff, NE
The Bookworm Omaha, NE
The Plains Trading Co. Valentine, NE
New Hampshire
Gibson's Bookstore Concord, NH
MainStreet BookEnd of Warner Warner, NH
Morgan Hill Bookstore New London, NH
The Toadstool Bookshop Keene, NH 
Milford, NH 
Peterborough, NH
Water Street Bookstore Exeter, NH
White Birch Books North Conway, NH
New Jersey
A N T Bookstore Clifton, NJ
Bibliolotry South Orange, NJ
BookTowne Manasquan, NJ
Booktrader of Hamilton Mercerville, NJ
Clinton Bookshop Clinton, NJ
Hudson Booksellers East Rutherford, NJ
Mendham Books Mendham, NJ
River Road Books Fair Haven, NJ
Sparta Books Sparta, NJ
Watchung Booksellers Montclair, NJ
Well Read Hawthorne, NJ
Words Maplewood, NJ
New Mexico
Books Etcetera Ruidoso, NM
Bookworks Albuquerque, NM
Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse Santa Fe, NM
Moby Dickens Taos, NM
Tome on the Range Books Las Vegas, NM
Nevada
BOOKSTORE Elko, NV
Sundance Bookstore Reno, NV
New York
Another Time Books Syracuse, NY
Bank Street Bookstore New York, NY
Battenkill Books Cambridge, NY
Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza Albany, NY
BookHampton East Hampton, NY
Books & Books Westhampton Beach Westhampton Beach, NY
Bookstore Plus Lake Placid, NY
Burlingham Books Perry, NY
Colgate Bookstore Hamilton, NY
Cornell Store Ithaca, NY
Creekside Books & Coffee Skaneatdes, NY
Dolphin Bookshop Port Washington, NY
Drama Book Shop New York, NY
Flights of Fantasy Books & Games Albany, NY
Greenlight Bookstore Brooklyn, NY
Harbor Books Sag Harbor, NY (Multiple Locations)
Holy Trinity Bookstore Jordanville, NY
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe New York, NY
Hue-Man Bookstore New York, NY
Lift Bridge Book Shop Brockport, NY
McNally Jackson Books New York, NY
Mysteries On Main Street Johnstown, NY
Oblong Books And Music Millerton, NY 
Rhinebeck, NY
Posman Books New York, NY
RiverRead Binghamton, NY
Running Brook Bookstore Cicero, NY
S. L. U. Bookstore Canton, NY
Talking Leaves Buffalo, NY
The Astoria Bookshop Astoria, NY
The BookMark Shoppe Brooklyn, NY
The Golden Notebook Woodstock, NY
The Open Door Bookstore Schenectady, NY
The River's End Bookstore Oswego, NY
The Village Bookstore Pleasantville, NY
The Voracious Reader Larchmont, NY
WORD Brooklyn, NY
Ohio
Books 'N' More Wilmington, OH
Kenyon College Book Store Gambier, OH
Mac's Backs Cleveland Heights, OH
Main Street Books Mansfield, OH
MindFair Books Oberlin, OH
Paragraphs Bookstore Mount Vernon, OH
The Bookshelf Cincinnati, OH
The Learned Owl Book Shop Hudson, OH
Oklahoma
Brace Books & More Ponca City, OK
Oregon
Annie Bloom's Books Portland, OR
Beach Books Inc. Seaside, OR
Bloomsbury Books Ashland, OR
Broadway Books Portland, OR
Grass Roots Books & Music Corvallis, OR
Jacobsen's Books & More, LLC Hillsboro, OR
Jan's Paperbacks Aloha, OR
Klindt's Booksellers The Dalles, OR
Oregon Books & Games Grants Pass, OR
Paulina Springs Books Redmond, OR 
Sisters, OR
Powell's Books, Inc Portland, OR
Sunriver Books & Music Sunriver, OR
University of Oregon Bookstore Eugene, OR
VJ Books Tualatin, OR
Waucoma Bookstore Hood River, OR
Winter River Books Bandon, OR
Pennsylvania
Aaron's Books Lititz, PA
Chester County Book Company West Chester, PA
Doylestown Bookshop Doylestown, PA
Firefly Bookstore Kutztown, PA
From My Shelf Wellsboro, PA
Gettysburg College Bookstore Gettysburg, PA
Giovanni's Room Philadelphia, PA
Harleysville Books Harleysville, PA
Head House Books Philadelphia, PA
Main Point Books Bryn Mawr, PA
Moravian Book Shop Bethlehem, PA
Mystery Lovers Bookshop Oakmont, PA
Newtown Bookshop Newtown, PA
Otto's, A Booklover's Paradise Williamsport, PA
Penguin Bookshop Sewickley, PA
The Quiet Man Bookshop, LLC Mountainhome, PA
Towne Book Center Collegeville, PA
Wellington Square Bookshop Exton, PA
La Maison Anglaise Quebec City, Qu
Rhode Island
Barrington Books Barrington, RI
Island Books Middletown, RI 
Newport, RI
Island Bound Block Island, RI
South Carolina
Books on Broad Camden, SC
Booksmith Seneca, SC
Burry Bookstore Hartsville, SC
Fiction Addiction Greenville, SC
South Dakota
Mitzi's Books Rapid City, SD
Prairie Pages Bookseller Pierre, SD
Tennessee
Applegarth Books Millington, TN
Parnassus Books Nashville, TN
Reading Rock Books Dickson, TN
The Booksellers at Laurelwood Memphis, TN
Union Avenue Books Knoxville, TN
Texas
Blue Willow Bookshop Houston, TX
Book Spot Round Rock, TX
BookPeople Austin, TX
BookWoman Austin, TX
Brazos Bookstore, LLC Houston, TX
Katy Budget Books Houston, TX
Murder By The Book Houston, TX
Paragraphs on Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX
The Dock Bookshop Fort Worth, TX
The Twig Book Shop San Antonio, TX
Utah
Back of Beyond Books Moab, UT
Braun Books Cedar City, UT
BYU Bookstore Provo, UT
The King's English Bookshop Salt Lake City, UT
Weller Book Works Salt Lake City, UT
Virginia
One More Page, LLC Arlington, VA
Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery Crozet, VA
Prince Books Norfolk, VA
Scrawl Books Reston, VA
Sundial Books Chincoteague, VA
The Fountain Bookstore Richmond, VA
Winchester Book Gallery Winchester, VA
Virgin Islands
Reader's Nook St. Thomas, VI
Undercover Books & Gifts Christiansted, VI
Vermont
Bartleby's Books Wilmington, VT
Book Nook Ludlow, VT
Northshire Bookstore Manchester Center, VT (Multiple Locations)
Norwich Bookstore Norwich, VT
Phoenix Books Burlington, VT 
Essex Junction, VT
The Flying Pig Bookstore Shelburne, VT
The Galaxy Bookshop Hardwick, VT
Vermont Book Shop Middlebury, VT
Village Square Booksellers Bellows Falls, VT
Washington
...and Books, Too! Clarkston, WA
A Book For All Seasons Leavenworth, WA
Ada's Technical Books and Cafe Seattle, WA
Auntie's Bookstore Spokane, WA
Book 'n' Brush Chehalis, WA
Eagle Harbor Book Company Bainbridge Island, WA
Edmonds Bookshop Edmonds, WA
Elliott Bay Book Company Seattle, WA
Garfield Book Company at PLU Tacoma, WA
Inklings Bookshop Yakima, WA
Island Books Mercer Island, WA
King's Books Tacoma, WA
Liberty Bay Books Poulsbo, WA
Lopez Bookshop Lopez Island, WA
Mockingbird Books Seattle, WA
Mostly Books Gig Harbor, WA
Orca Books Inc. Olympia, WA
Port Book and News Port Angeles, WA
Queen Anne Book Company Seattle, WA
Riverwalk Books Limited Chelan, WA
Seattle Mystery Bookshop Seattle, WA
The Secret Garden Bookshop Seattle, WA
The Traveler Bainbridge Island, WA
Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, WA 
Seattle, WA
University Book Store Seattle, WA
Uppercase Bookshop Snohomish, WA
Village Books Bellingham, WA
Vintage Books Vancouver, WA
Watermark Book Company Anacortes, WA
Wisconsin
A Room Of One's Own Bookstore Madison, WI
Apple Blossom Books Oshkosh, WI
Arcadia Books Spring Green, WI
Books & Company Oconomowoc, WI
Boswell Book Company Milwaukee, WI
Chapter 2 Books Hudson, WI
Dragonwings Bookstore Waupaca, WI
Northwind Book & Fiber Spooner, WI
Redbery Books Cable, WI
The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop Fort Atkinson, WI
TribecaGalleryCafe & Books Watertown, WI
West Virginia
Kerri's Korner Bookstore Fairmont, WV
Wyoming
City News & Pipe Shop Cheyenne, WY
Cody Newsstand Cody, WY
Second Story Laramie, WY
Sheridan Stationery Books & Gallery Sheridan, WY
Whistle-Stop Mercantile Douglas, WY
Wind City Books Casper, WY


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New Member

Started by Nicole Kegler in INTRODUCTIONS & WELCOMES on Friday. 0 Replies

Hi all! Looking forward to joining the discussions. Continue

My Amazon Author Page

Started by Naomi Chapman in AUTHOR'S BOARD Mar 1. 0 Replies

amazon.com/author/naomichapmanContinue

Two of my books

Started by Naomi Chapman in AUTHOR'S BOARD Mar 1. 0 Replies

Two of my books available on Amazon.  Adventures of Josh and Kevin and Dying to Feel BetterContinue

I'm new here

Started by Kenneth Teicher in INTRODUCTIONS & WELCOMES. Last reply by Christopher Pena Feb 24. 1 Reply

I began writing about fifteen years ago. After going through the process of attempting to find an agent/publisher for several years I decided to begin self-publishing my work. My wife and I have taken many vacation during many vacations over the…Continue

Poetry In Motion On Goodreads Reviews

Started by Abdua Kkkyha in INTRODUCTIONS & WELCOMES Jan 29. 0 Replies

How would you like it if you can be taught how to be pure, loving and profound all in ONE BOOK? This piece by Abdua points out a lot of good feeling emotions and deep thoughts about life, love, and romance! Abdua is a very good writer because  he…Continue

How to Secure a Book Deal with a Publisher

Started by Randy Peyser in WRITING PROFESSIONALS Dec 21, 2019. 0 Replies

In the past two months alone I've secured book deals for 6 authors. This past April, one of my authors secured a six-figure deal. Her book was sold in a bidding war and was bought by Simon & Schuster. I've discovered that there are two basic…Continue

Tags: sell, book, my, an, agent

Aussie romance

Started by Karen Cogan in BOOKS AND READING Jul 23, 2019. 0 Replies

On 13th May 1787, 11 ships and 1300 people left England to found a penal colony in Australia. They landed in January 1788. The Naval officers and their families and the convicts worked to establish the first European settlement of Australia. The…Continue

Tags: clean, and, sweet, romance, Historical

When did that happen?

Started by Karen Cogan in FREE DOWNLOADS Jul 23, 2019. 0 Replies

Ever wonder in what time period was the victory at Waterloo? Or when Mary Shelly published Frankenstein? What about a toxic paint color called “Emerald Green" made with arsenic and verdigris that subjected citizens to a chronic exposure to…Continue

Tags: historical, mystery, sweet, and, clean

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