'HENRY HARRIS', by Les Sweeney (Payette); self-published
In 1884, John Sparks brought a young black kid of about 19 to northeast Nevada from Georgetown, Texas, to work for the Cattle Empire of Sparks & Tinnin and later Sparks & Harrell. That black kid was Henry Harris. Within a few years, he was given a crew and made wagon boss. By 1900, except for his 2 brothers, Henry had an all-white crew. Cowboys would seek employment with the Cattle Empire just to work for the legendary Henry Harris. At the turn of the 19th century, Henry may have been the only black man in this country to supervise white men.
'SHAUNA'S CHANCE' by Freda Lawless (Middleton); PublishAmerica ($22.46)
Ten-year-old Shauna and her mother, both mourning the loss of their beloved Henry, set out one day to find their chance to love again. Unbeknownst to them, God has heard their prayers and is ready to answer them in ways they never imagined he could.
Editor's note: Lawless is an advocate for shelter dogs and wants to give 15 percent of her royalties to dogs in need.
'SECRETS BROUGHT HOME' by James Milton Smith (Oregon; former Idaho resident); CreateSpace Independent Publishing ($14.24)
"Secrets Brought Home" is a vivid story about a young man who discovers what really happens behind the scenes when he is thrust into a "secret war" in Laos by a government he trusted. Owen O'Brien is a newly minted second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He is involved in an unfortunate incident that leads him into service with the CIA as a paramilitary case officer during the years leading up to the Vietnam War. Owen is sworn to secrecy with the CIA, and he carries that order into his life. Upon his return home to the States, Owen seemingly has it together, but there are dark-side hauntings embedded in his psyche. Owen meets a psychologist he can trust, and dialogues between Owen and his psychologist reveal a story of deep introspection and an understanding into the resultant erratic behavior from a life held hidden. The story will shock the reader and simultaneously evoke an empathy we rarely allow ourselves in a stiff-upper-lip society.
'CASTE' by RaeLynn Fry (Idaho); Terebinth Tree Publishing ($13.99)
Seventeen-year-old Karis Singh's little brother is dying, and the Corporation's analysis has concluded that he's not worth saving. One thing is stopping her from going into the city and stealing the medicine herself - the tattooed Mark that physically bars her from entering. The only way around that is to get it altered in the Black Market - an act that carries the possibility of a horrific and slow death - but guaranteeing her the access she needs.
Willing to do whatever it takes, she accepts the help of the mysterious Ethan, a boy with an agenda of his own who knows too much about the enemy. As her time in the city passes, dark secrets are uncovered about the Corporation and what really happened to her brother.
When the tables turn and the stakes get higher, Karis is forced to align herself with the deadliest beast of all, risking everything in order to save her brother. Now, the most treacherous part of Karis' plan is staying alive long enough to make it back home.