The September 2022 issues of the Midwest Book Review publications feature three Koehler Books titles: The Silence in the Sound, Balloon Dog, & H’Ilgraith
The Silence in the Sound is a dual timeline novel that vividly portrays the effects of addiction on families. George (short for Georgette) has an alcoholic father and a mother who enables his behavior. George’s fondest memory is of a weekend trip she and her father took to Martha’s Vineyard. When her father gives an impromptu speech at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting there, she begins to understand his character better.
She returns to Martha’s Vineyard after completing nursing school and eventually begins working for a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Mr. S. She also falls in love with an enigmatic man, Dock. She has conflicting emotions about him, particularly because she senses an inherent danger about him and because of his erratic behavior. Deciding love will conquer all, though, she marries him.
The dual timelines twist to form the DNA of George’s behavior. Later, a third component arises as George reads Mr. S’s novel about a woman in the Holocaust. I found the book difficult to put down and found myself dreading George’s inevitable return to behaviors she’s worked hard to overcome. The scenes showing Dock detoxing were particularly devastating. Dianne C. Braley has taken knowledge she derived from her own profession as a nurse and braided it with her own love of writing.
A brazen art heist pushes our protagonists to reflect on the choices they’ve made — and the ones that have been made for them. Set in the near- present, Balloon Dog by professional ghostwriter Daniel Paisner turns on the ill-conceived theft of a high-end Jeff Koons sculpture, lifted in plain sight from its perch beside a luxurious mountain home in Park City, Utah, and follows the musings, misadventures, and meeting of minds of a Long Island writer in midlife crisis and the art thief behind the ill conception.
What happens when the life you are living is no longer the life you imagined? When you are well and truly stuck? A darkly comic tale of longing and legacy, Balloon Dog, prompts the reader to consider what it means to leave a mark and what it takes to be swept up in the same currents that move almost everyone else.
Essentially, Balloon Dog poses two central questions: Is the transformative power of art enough to lift us from our days? And what is art, anyway? An original and deftly crafted novel that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Cozy Mysteries laced with humor, Balloon Dog is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Balloon Dog is also available in a paperback edition (9781646636976, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
Daniel Paisner is the author or co-author of more than seventy books. As a ghostwriter, he has written more than fifty books in collaboration with athletes, actors, politicians, business leaders, and ordinary individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. Seventeen of his collaborations have reached The New York Times best-seller list. The author of three previous novels (A Single Happened Thing, Mourning Wood
, and Obit
) he is also the host of the popular podcast As Told To: The Ghostwriting Podcast. He has a dedicated website at https://www.danielpaisner.com
A new species has emerged. When homo transformans, a species of human able to transform into animals, first appears, those affected do not know what is happening to them or how to control it. As the world becomes divided into factions seeking to either exploit or protect this new species, an orphaned girl named Ruwena finds a mentor in the mysterious old woman known only as H’Ilgraith. Young readers will love the magic and fantasy as well as the non-stop dangers and action. (Ages 8-12)