“Midlife Happy Hour” by Elaine Ambrose (Eagle); Brown Books ($16.95)
More than 40 million middle-aged women are tumbling over the hill laughing all the way because the kids are grown, their menstrual periods stopped, and they survived at least four decades of arbitrary rules dictated by a crabby universe. They went to work with varying degrees of success and they brought home the bacon but threw it in the freezer and ordered pizza. Now they’re ready to celebrate the freedom of pending retirement because they know it’s more fun to laugh hysterically than to stab someone with a fork and deal with the messy court case and jail time.
With her irreverent kiss-my-attitude, Elaine Ambrose shares her life experiences through a series of amusing anecdotes created to show women over age 50 that life is worth living out loud. Readers will learn how to remain relevant when the world ignores them, why their children are cute but should grow up and move out, how to cope when their aging parents forget their names, and why it’s never too late to get serious about a passionate love life. She even throws in a few hints for fabulous fashion and decorating ideas for lazy people. This creative collection of humorous, gluten-free and non-fattening stories will encourage midlife friends to grab an adult beverage and order two laughs for the price of one as the appropriate reward for surviving careers, kids and chaos.
“The Wild World of Buck Bray: The Missing Grizzly Cubs, Book 1” by Judy Young (Idaho); Sleeping Bear Press ($16.99)
When 11-year-old Buck Bray travels to Denali National Park in Alaska to shoot the first episode of a new kid-oriented wilderness show, he’s not only excited to be the star, he hopes to see a grizzly! Expecting to have wild adventures with his director father, he’s annoyed that Dad is all work and little play. And to make matters worse, Buck is stuck with the cameraman’s daughter, Toni, who unexpectedly shows up and seems to challenge every move Buck makes. But when two grizzly cubs mysteriously vanish into thin air, Buck and Toni work together, uncovering clues to explain the animals’ disappearance. As they try to solve the mystery, Buck and Toni soon realize it’s not the animal world they need to worry about.
“Unlocked” by Margo Kelly (Idaho); Merit Press ($17.99)
17-year-old Hannah is losing her grip on reality, which is affecting not only her but her friends and family, too. She wrecked the car when bugs crawled over her hands, but were the creepy things even real? Now someone is moving Hannah’s possessions around in her room, or is she imagining that also? Why does she feel like she isn’t in control of her own brain anymore? Hannah is terrified she’s headed for a horrible life in and out of the mental institution, just like her dad.
When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Her boyfriend, Manny, doesn’t believe her wild stories, and new girl Chelsea is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah discover the truth, but even he can’t help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever is taking over. She’ll have to do that on her own, especially if she wants to save her friends, her mom — and herself
From the publisher