Select Page

There is a secret hiding inside the remote Vermont farmhouse where eleven-year-old Becky and her family move after her father is fired from his job under mysterious circumstances.

A guardian emerges with an ominous warning that someone is coming through a mirror to take Becky from the safety of her new home, and leads her to the discovery of artifacts hidden under her bedroom floor. That same night she finds an abandoned puppy destined to protect her, and whose collar causes the artifacts to turn on. An ancient battle resumes for control over a secret once thought buried too deep to be uncovered. As more mysterious creatures arrive, how will she know who is there to help and who means her harm?

Becky and her new puppy must race to interpret the warnings, overcome their fear of sinister forces, and trust in new alliances to solve a compelling mystery that has been hidden from her family for generations. But is it too late?


Betty Fudge graduated from NC State University and has enjoyed a career in healthcare, sales, and consulting. Inspired by her childhood spent exploring the woods with a pack of neighborhood dogs by her side, she writes stories about adventure, friendships, and mysteries. Her debut middle-grade novel, Norm and Ginger Enter the Hidden, is the first book in the series and is based on stories she told her children when they were young. She loves a story that sparks imagination, has elements of danger, and involves animals. Her favorite place to find inspiration when writing is outdoors with a cup of hot Darjeeling tea and a pair of binoculars. She lives in Oxford, North Carolina, with her husband, Chip, and their English mastiff, Lilly. When their grown children, Kaitlyn and Jordan, come for visits their dog pack expands to include Harlow the standard poodle, Momo the mini-dachshund, and Vail the Saint Berdoodle. That’s when things get really fun!


MBR Bookwatch: August 2021

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief

Midwest Book Review


Norm & Ginger Enter the Hidden

Betty Fudge


Koehler Books


9781646634019, $28.95 Hardcover/$16.95 Softcover/ $7.99 Kindle


Fantasy readers ages 8-12 who look for stories about friendship, alliances, and adversity will find the first book in the series, Norm & Ginger Enter the Hidden, an adventure that grabs hold from the very first line: “When things go wrong, they go way wrong. That didn’t mean sixth-grader Becky Miller had to like it, but she did have to live with it. Later – and there’d be a lot of later, because that was how her life was about to reshape itself – she’d be able to think about all the things that had gone wrong. That wouldn’t make the result any better, wouldn’t even make it understandable. It would only clarify the picture. And her place in it.”

Eleven-year-old Becky and her family move into a remote Vermont farmhouse when her father loses his job.

But under her bedroom floor lies a secret and a strange alternate world in which artifacts, powerful puppy Ginger, and a strange series of events challenge her already-altered life, filling it with threatening creatures and a new mission.

Becky faces family changes, the arrival of Great Aunt Fiona from Scotland, and a strange dollhouse which holds the key to a life-changing experience. Readers will find Becky’s adventure riveting, filled with many unpredictable twists and turns.

An evil spell cast long ago involves Becky, Norm, guardian dog Ginger Miller, and others while Beira, the queen of deceit, trickery and confusion, challenges the few who hold the power to oppose her in The Hidden.

The epic story that evolves is filled with action and excitement, with a dose of wry humor sprinkled in for good measure: “Pan looked stunned and then agitated. “I thought I was in the dollhouse to guard it and the magic it contains. Now I discover I was changed from a warrior king into this . . . this . . . this candyscented cotton ball with giant kangaroo legs. I am going to kill her!”

Norm & Ginger Enter the Hidden is a vivid fantasy about friendships, alliances, mysteries and problem-solving that will intrigue and delight children looking for mystery and adventure. It’s a captivating leisure read that leaves the door open for more.


In his lustful haste, he stepped off the curb behind a parked minivan. Turning, Daniel caught movement out of his left eye as the brown truck struck him. The impact was like a bug being hit by a fly swatter. He could feel his chest breaking-being thrown backwards onto the street, the back of his head hitting the pavement with a deadly force. All he could hear were tires screeching and his girlfriend Devi’s scream: “NO!” 


Daniel St Croix is the beneficiary of his estranged grandfather’s estate-including a gold wedding band holding a powerful secret. The gold forming the band was originally given to a long-dead Egyptian Pharaoh from the gods who once walked the earth. Daniel must read Pierre St Croix’s well-kept journals to unravel the puzzle and imminent danger attached to his inheritance.

Christopher Bowron’s roots stretch back four generations in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, voted the prettiest town in Canada. Christopher is the owner of a successful real estate brokerage, Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty. He has a bachelor of arts from Brock University and is a lover of wine and all sports including salt water fishing, which usually finds its way into his writing. Thrillers, mystery and historical fiction top his reading list. He and his wife Carmen have a second residence in southwest Florida where he has spent a good part of his life since childhood. Southwest Florida and the Everglades is the backdrop for his first novel, Devil in the Grass, published by Köehler Books, which in 2016 became a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.


The Society of Necessities

Christopher Bowron


Koehler Books


9781646633937, $28.95 Hardcover/ $19.95 Paper/ $7.99 ebook


The Society of Necessities provides historical fiction that blends with a thriller story’s nonstop pace, and opens with Daniel St. Croix’s last act of industrial espionage before his death. All he has to do is elude the cleaning staff and make his getaway. Next on the to-do list is his second date with the exotic East Indian girl Devi. Little does he know that this might lead to a new introduction to previously unknown facets controlling his life in a strange resurrection that brings with it a renewed purpose.

The Society of Necessities adopts an exceptionally fast pace, but takes the time to build relationships, puzzles, and history surrounding a Canadian man’s initial underlying desire to exit the rat race of convention and live “a life without pretense.”

Be careful what you wish for. Since pretense has driven his life up to this turning point, Daniel is in for many changes. Readers should prepare for many big surprises along the way.

As shootings, kidnappings, and threats from different directions emerge, Daniel and Devi become lovers on a mission that supersedes romance and enters into a passion for survival and finding answers to difficult questions.

Christopher Bowron juxtaposes two lives – Daniel and his father, Pierre St. Criox – clarifying these characters’ experiences with the use of the third person and first person to outline their differing points of view, making for an easy segue between the two.

The action moves from a small-time operation to international waters as a mysterious ring and an inheritance of danger come to life.

Readers who like their puzzles compelling and fueled by a search through history and French heritage will find the action keeps them guessing as Daniel draws ever closer to a strange truth buried in both past and present events.

The history that supports this story weaves nicely into the thriller components. The action is fast-paced, but well drawn as Bowron takes time to capture changing relationships between all characters as well as past and present lives.

Who has the ring? Who is immortal, and who is invincible?

As Daniel and Devi are forced to change, then reconsider their relationship in the face of their new identies, the story becomes as compelling as that of The Di Vinci Code. Fans of this classic will find much to love in The Society of Necessities.

Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

Donovan’s Literary Services