Two young adult/fantasy titles kick off this month's roundup of new releases by Hampton Roads authors. Judging by these descriptions, today's teens don't need video games to keep them hopping.
• "The Demon Conspiracy," by R. L. Gemmill. Young adult science-fiction fantasy. Self-published. Available from Amazon.com in paperback (370 pages) for about $12 and e-book for $3.99. Kelly Bishop and her brothers become trapped deep within Pandora's Cave where they witness a sinister pact between a powerful businessman and the demon world that promises to launch the greatest war in history. The good news is the kids made a video of the event. The bad news is the video may still be in the demon-infested cave and nobody believes their story. Gemmill taught biology and anatomy at Poquoson High School for 32 years. He retired this year to write full time. "Demon Conspiracy" is the first book in his new series.
• "Panterror! The Epic Babysitting Adventures of Rachel Pugsley," by York County's Gregory Saur. Fiction/young adult fantasy. Self-published. Hardcover (670 pages) and $29.99 at online retailers and by order at local bookstores. Teen Rachel Pugsley, sent to another state to babysit two rich kids for the summer, is kidnapped along with her two charges by a wizard from another world. Suddenly Rachel must not just save the world, but two worlds — all before the parents come home. This wasn't covered in babysitting training.
In nonfiction, personal experiences make for some interesting selections — from the hijinks of golf course greens to the muddied waters of romantic relationships.
• "Characters On The Green: Everyday Golfers are the Real Character of the Game," by J. Peter Hoyer of Newport News. Nonfiction/sports and recreation. Outskirts Press, Inc. Paperback for $13.95. Humorous accounts of real episodes with everyday golfers. A veteran of the U.S. Army and honored as a Distinguished Member of the Transportation Corps Regiment, Hoyer is a volunteer coach for high school baseball and golf teams — when he's not playing golf.
• "Gas Money," by Middlesex County native Troy Lewis. Nonfiction/Memoir. Self-published via Amazon CreateSpace/Kindle. Paperback (394 pages) $19.95. Kindle e-book $9.99. True story that captures how family, schoolteachers and the many others we meet can impact a life forever. Much of the book is devoted to the author's childhood experiences growing up in the Saluda and Christchurch areas.
• "Working Side by Side: Creating Alternative Breaks as Catalysts for Global Learning, Student Leadership, and Social Change," by Melody Christine Porter. Stylus Publishing. Nonfiction/Education. Available in hardcover (cloth) for $95, paperback for $32.50 and e-book for $25.99. Guide and practical advice for student and staff leaders in alternative break programs and other community engagement efforts. Porter is the Associate Director of Community Engagement at the College of William and Mary. Co-authored with Shoshanna Sumka and Jill Piacitelli.
• "Up The Creek Without A Paddle," by Sophie Seara James. Nonfiction/Humor. Self-published via Amazon CreateSpace/Kindle. Available in paperback (72 pages) for $6.99 and e-book for $2.99. The second in James' planned seven-book series, compiled from her Facebook statuses over the years, is made especially for time-strapped readers looking for a good laugh. The author wrote in an email that, "the name Sophie Seara James is a parody of names from the lives of three of her children." She lives on the east coast shoreline of Virginia.
• "Your Choice in Men: Why you seem to attract the wrong ones," by Curtis Jordan, of Chesapeake. Nonfiction/Family and Relationship. Self-published with AuthorHouse. Available in paperback (160 pages) for $14.95 and in e-book for $3.99. In this self-help book, the author asks: "Are some women contributing to their own emotional pain because they chose to be with a man that was never supposed to be in her life in the first place?" Jordan is a retired Army veteran with 20 years of military service.
Price can be reached by phone at 757-247-4745.
On the lookout for ghosts, goblins and other spooky stories.