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Last week our design team at Koehler Books won five awards for our book cover designs!

Three Silver American Advertising Awards go to…

Linda Oatman High’s As Far as Birds Can Fly, designed by Skyler Kratofil

Scott Gould’s Whereabouts, designed by Kellie Emery

Charles Gomez’s Cuban Son Rising, designed by Skyler Kratofil

And one Gold Award goes to…

Carol Van Den Hende’s Goodbye, Orchid, designed by Kellie Emery

Finalist for IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards:

Ray Carson Russell’s Philurius College Blues, designed by Skyler Kratofil


As Far as Birds Can Fly by Linda Oatman High

First there was Bird. Then there was Bird-Bird. And now, Third Bird. Magnolia’s daddy won the beloved cockatiel Third Bird at a carnival, just before he died in a car accident. Magnolia promised to always take good care of Third Bird . . . but then she loses him, when she accidentally allows the bird to fly from his cage at her mama’s beauty salon.

Magnolia’s grief,for her father and for her lost bird, opens up a whole new world of friends as they search not only for Third Bird, but for acceptance and healing for all. Helping her mama to see that physical beauty is not important (even in a family that comes from “a long line of beauty queens”), Magnolia becomes the star of her small Southern town as she finds hope and light in the healing of her grief and learns that sometimes when you go looking for one thing, you find what you really need.



Whereabouts by Scott Gould

Set in the deep South of the 1970s, Whereabouts is the powerful coming-of-age story of an independent teenager who desperately longs to flee her small, claustrophobic hometown following the unexpected death of her father and her mother’s sudden remarriage to the local funeral director.

As she attempts to map a new course for her young life, Missy’s search is constantly derailed by the men she encounters-the mortician stepfather with a penchant for chilly women, a much older third cousin who offers to drive her aimlessly in his dusty pickup (for a steep, perhaps tragic price), the quirky owner of an all-but-abandoned roadside motel, and a pair of mismatched AWOL Marines from Parris Island.

From cheap campgrounds to roadside bars, to the cracked Formica counter of a crumbling pancake house, Missy Belue wanders the back roads of a forgotten South, looking for a safe place to land, earning fresh scar tissue from the confusing, complicated world outside her hometown. In Whereabouts, award-winning writer Scott Gould lyrically weaves a tale of escape and redemption and, ultimately, of how love somehow survives, no matter the twisting paths it travels.



Cuban Son Rising by Charles Gomez

As a journalist he dug up the truth. But deep inside, he hid a life-shattering secret.

CBS News reporter Charles Gomez was fearless when facing down dictators. Earning an Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow Award, the Latin correspondent and son of a Cuban immigrant seemed on top of the world. But the terror of exposing his sexuality and AIDS diagnosis led him down a dark path of drugs and depression that nearly destroyed him. Cuban Son Rising is an honest and raw memoir detailing Gomez’s lifelong battle to overcome stigma and self-loathing. Meticulously researched, Gomez’s story takes you from interviews with despots and the front lines of civil wars to the silent struggles he faced seeking his father’s acceptance. And after a lifetime of anxiety and regret, Gomez embarks on an emotional journey with his father to his homeland. Will Gomez finally reconcile with the man he’s looked up to for his whole life? Or will disclosing his sexuality and the shame and stigma of AIDS cause his father to reject him? Cuban Son Rising is a testament to survival and the triumph of hope over fear.



Goodbye, Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende

Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder.

Thirty-two year-old Phoenix Walker is an entrepreneur who has built an agency with a heart almost as big as his own. To add to his good fortune, he’s falling for Orchid Paige, the beautiful half-Asian marketer who’s collaborated with him on a winning military campaign.

Until an accident changes him forever.

Now, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?



Philurius College Blues by Ray Carson Russell

Dr. Vic Sawyer, the newly appointed director of Academic Affairs for the Philurius College Programs for the Military in Europe, encounters a nemesis of the highest order in the persona of his dean, retired lieutenant colonel Gio Malfatto. Malfatto, aided by the alluring and ambitious Assistant Dean Doris Kink, intends to make Vic’s life miserable. Unfortunately for the two puppet masters, Vic joins the fray with abandon, and the normally staid college is embroiled in the ensuing battle, which fosters surprising alliances and strange bedfellows. Philurius College Blues explores a clash of cultures between an American academic subculture and a US military environment in Germany, and throws in some true love and indiscriminate erotic intrigue to boot. For those whose lives have touched this educational system, both military students and faculty, this satirical tale will bring both laughter and some head shaking, and perhaps a tear or two.



Good job, Koehler Books Team!


For more information about American Advertising Awards, click here.

For more information about IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, click here.