LEGENDS LEADERS PIONEERS edited by James S.T. Yao & Walter J. McCarthy

Vascular surgery is an extraordinary success story. The ability to reliably repair, modify or replace human blood vessels is very recent on the long timeline of surgical history. In this book an important part of the story is told through the interview recollections of more than 90 prominent vascular surgeons who helped to guide and pioneer the process.

A Ribbon of Sand

A Ribbon of Sand by Mike Shannon

In 1982 on an island off the coast of South Carolina, the racism and ostracism bubbling just beneath the surface of daily life make it feel more like the Jim Crow South of the 1950s. Cast into this setting is fifteen-year-old Ash Howe, a boy who appears counter to everything the locals consider “normal”: his hair is long, he loves heavy metal music, and he’s socially awkward. 

Across Unstill Waters

Across Unstill Waters by D.L. Andersen

Ben Stephenson dreams of building his fortune along the trade routes of America’s western rivers. But first, he must keep a promise to a dying friend whose younger sister has fallen prey to their unscrupulous stepfather’s greed and cruelty. When the little girl starts exhibiting strange behavior, Ben is forced to dredge up demons from his past he thought long buried, in order to keep his promise and ensure her safety. 

America’s Fool

America’s Fool by Jay Amberg

The most lethal poison ever concocted is about to be loosed on Las Vegas. TV reporter Andrew Wright is the only one who can stop the apocalypse. Confronted by madness on all sides, he stumbles into a conspiracy of racial, religious and military fanatics. His only allies are a beautiful Iranian doctor and a mysterious desert wanderer. But who can he really trust?…

Baby Moses

Baby Moses by John Cowlin

It’s the 1950s. The American South. And Moses is returning home. After years away, he’s visiting Miss Clio, the woman who found him as a baby in a basket on a creek mudbank.

Harve and Enos are a couple of hardscrabble losers making time at the local Grain & Feed. They need nineteen dollars to pay back the boys at the V.F.W. so they can get back in Friday night’s card game. They hatch a plan—grab a shotgun and rob a Black church during Sunday service.…

Back to Forest High

Back to Forest High by Bob Boone

Bob Boone returns to Forest High School in his new book. With his distinctive voice, he gives us another glimpse into the characters that people the school landscape. Back to Forest High tells of new beginnings, youthful mistakes, failed marriages, and uncertain retirements. Each story is told with humor and tenderness as the characters make their way through the rhythms of everyday life.

Bad Reputation

Bad Reputation by Matt Hader

John Caul has decided that it is finally time to wreak some havoc on the townspeople who’ve ostracized him for the past 20 years. When he was a 17-year-old kid, John did the inexcusable—he accidentally burned down the brand new high school gymnasium on the eve of its championship basketball team playing the first game of their season.…

Blackbird Singing

Blackbird Singing by Jay Amberg

Everyone thinks that Robert “Sky” Walker has it all. And they’re right. He’s the world’s most famous athlete and the darling of the Chicago Bulls; his wife is an internationally adored and beautiful anchorwoman; his nine-year-old daughter, Tonya, is the apple of his eye. He has money, fame, awards, and a picture-perfect family. Sky Walker has everything. And he loses it in a twinkling.

Sky Walker’s world comes crashing down when Tonya is kidnapped.…

Blood Moon: A Captive's Tale

Blood Moon by Ruth Hull Chatlien

Southern Minnesota, August 1862. Smoke fills the horizon and blood soaks the prairie as the Sioux fight to drive white settlers from their ancestral homeland. Sarah Wakefield and her young son and baby daughter are fleeing for their lives when two warriors capture them. One is Hapa, who intends to murder them. The other is Chaska, an old acquaintance who promises to protect the family.…

Bone Box

Bone Box by Jay Amberg

On a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea in Turkey, an international team of archeologists discovers a stone box that first-century Jews used to rebury their dead. The box’s Aramaic inscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Sophia Altay, the beautiful French-Turkish archeologist who heads the team, tries to keep the discovery secret until she can authenticate the ossuary. She knows that people will kill to obtain the relics—and to suppress the box’s other contents, documents that could alter Western history.

Called Out

Called Out by Floyd Sullivan

As 1907 becomes 1908, National Base Ball League President Harry Pulliam suspects that the owner of the New York Giants has hired detectives to spy on him and his lover, Ted Russell, with the goal of blackmailing him. The pressure tests the strength of his relationship and his ability to administer his league duties.


Campaign! by Peter Nolan

“In Campaign!, veteran newsman Peter Nolan, who covered all the players in the 1983 contest, has written a first-hand account of not only the key participants, the candidates and their top supporters, but also of relatively unknown election workers who invested their time and passions in a way not seen since in Chicago politics.…


Cycle by Jay Amberg

Redwoods thrive for centuries in the coastal regions of America’s Pacific Northwest. A monarch butterfly journeys from Northern meadows to the mountains of Central Mexico. The mother of four wolf pups leads her family through the Arctic’s stark terrain and bitter storms. One of the greatest seagoing mammals roams the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of Alaska to the Galapagos. These voices speak to us of the meaning we seek in our lives.

The Dark Side of the Moon

The Dark Side of the Moon by Anju Kanwar

In the aftermath of the prime minister’s assassination, another crime is committed. Amrita Chaddha, a rookie lecturer, is left lame. Her idyllic past with her brother shaken. Overcome by an onslaught of doubts about her future and the future of the country, she turns inward. Centered in Delhi over three summer months in 1985, the crisis is both psychological and real.…


Division by Patrick Creevy

Set in the late 1990s, Division opens with the physical barrier of Division Street on Chicago’s north side, exploring the street’s function as a north-south boundary between rival African American gangs and as a metaphor for the boundary between affluent whites and poverty-stricken minorities in the racially divided city: Division Street runs westward from the wealth of Chicago’s Gold Coast to the economic desperation of Cabrini-Green’s “Soul Coast.”…

Everything Solid has a Shadow

Everything Solid has a Shadow by Michael Antman

Charlie Alessandro is a musician and a marketing executive who ought to be happily satisfied. He is successful in his career, involved with a sleek and confident woman, and enjoying a fulfilling creative outlet with his guitar. Yet his seemingly complete life is troubled at every turn by something dark that happened to him when he was very young.…

Forest High

Forest High by Bob Boone

“In a time when the importance of teachers has been unfairly challenged, Bob Boone gives us a collection of simply told, hard-edged tales from the lives of educators and their students. These rich, multifaceted stories ring true with details gleaned over the course of a full life.…

God Loves a Madman

God Loves a Madman by Matt Hader

Jakub “Pies” Jakubowski is released from prison after doing a five-year jolt for manslaughter. There’s only one simple goal in mind for the parolee now that he’s free, and that’s to apologize, face-to-face, to the mother of the woman he killed. But Pies’s criminal associates have something else in mind for the newly sprung burglary expert.…

The Healer's Daughters

The Healer’s Daughters by Jay Amberg

A terrorist bombing in Bergama, Turkey kills twenty-three people including three children. Modern Bergama is built on the site of ancient Pergamon, a city whose art and wealth and culture rivaled Athens. It was also the home of the Aesklepion, the world’s greatest healing center, and the birthplace of Galen, the Roman Empire’s most famous doctor.

A History of Surgery at Cook County Hospital

A History of Surgery at Cook County Hospital edited by Patrick D. Guinan, Kenneth J. Printen, James L. Stone, & James S.T. Yao

From 1866 until the end of the 1950s, almost all of the attending staff at Cook County Hospital—and thus the instructors who prepared physicians for their life’s work—were unpaid volunteers. As was the case at all other large public teaching hospitals, appointment at County was an honor, public recognition of the doctor’s professional reputation.…


Jesusita by Ronald L. Ruiz

Jesusita is the story of immigrants—legal and illegal—trying to survive in California in the years after World War II. Jesusita, alone and impoverished, struggles to keep her four young children together. Though she finds support from Padre Montes at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, her faith won’t solve her problems, especially those with her daughter, Paulina.…

Justice Perverted

Justice Perverted by William B. Crawford

In 1983, Anthony Porter was convicted of the brutal double murder of Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard. While sitting in the bleachers near Chicago’s Washington Park swimming pool, the victims were shot multiple times at point-blank range. Porter was sentenced to death.

Katie, Bar the Door

Katie, Bar the Door by Ruth Hull Chatlien

A young woman’s harrowing emotional journey to save herself and her dreams.

From a childhood of parental loss, religious repression, and sexual shaming, Katie Thompson suffers deep wounds and persistent self-doubt. Her desire to find meaning through education and a career is threatened…

Life Long

Life Long by Ronald L. Ruiz

Ray Lopez is on the run with a duffel bag full of cash. Both drug dealers and the police are after him. But Ray is not a criminal. His last brush with the law was over traffic tickets. Recently released from the hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he is haunted by voices, auditory hallucinations, that frighten him and cause him to question his every move.

Loverless Love

Loverless Love by Christopher Guerin

In seventeen absorbing stories, Christopher Guerin explores American sexual mores over the past 50 years. The title novella is a vivid character study of a woman who sleeps next to but not with men. Satire, sex and sexual fantasy, and ironies abound—from campus genius to high mountain meadows, from sexy performance art to the dangerous sexuality of an ultra-intense workplace.

Monster City

Monster City by John Cowlin

Life ain’t easy for a regular guy in this town.

Just ask Vic Brahm, workaday investigator in a city of monsters. Vic’s new client? A three-thousand-year-old Egyptian who suspects his wife is messing around with a manwolf. Vic’s neighbor? A beautiful dame being stalked by some thing with claws. Vic’s partner Shelley? Murdered, with no suspects or leads. And the vampire syndicate? Breathing down Vic’s neck because who knows why.

My Name is Luke

My Name is Luke by Jim Ruddle

On a quiet day in 1858, two desperate men hijack a schooner from the Marblehead, Massachusetts harbor. Trapped aboard his grandfather’s boat is fifteen-year-old Luke Constance. He is a normal kid who plays pranks on the townsfolk and has a crush on Agatha, his classmate. But Luke is not ordinary—very well versed himself, he reads aloud to workers in small, local shoemaking shops. And he knows more about sailing schooners than most seasoned seamen.…

The Mystery at Black Partridge Woods

The Mystery at Black Partridge Woods by Pat Camalliere

Wawetseka, a Potawatomi woman, is shocked when a body washes up near her village, but events soon turn worse: her only son is arrested for murder. To free him she must track down the real killer. Her investigation takes her through the wilderness of 1817 northern Illinois and to Fort Dearborn as she races desperately, fighting the harsh terrain and the realities of vigilante justice. 

The Mystery at Mount Forest Island

The Mystery at Mount Forest Island by Pat Camalliere

Crime, deceit, love and the value of friendship set in the forests of Lemont, Illinois, in suburban Chicago. A woman whose family’s involvement in the Chicago Mob devastates lives throughout generations.

When an automobile accident leaves Valerie Pawlik totally blind, she masters the daily activities of a dark world, but due to painful mysteries…

The Mystery at Sag Bridge

The Mystery at Sag Bridge by Pat Camalliere

Cora Tozzi is a retired businesswoman who, after nursing her mother through her final illness, wishes only for a peaceful orderly world in her suburban Chicago home. When an angry spirit begins to leave cryptic messages on her computer and threatens those around her, Cora is forced to dig into the town’s notorious past to uncover secrets that will free the bonds that tie her and the spirit.…

Peace Breathing

Peace Breathing by Charles H.C. Kim

Through Peace Breathing you discover what you’re capable of—something beautiful.

Originally given by Charles H.C. Kim at The Peace School, this book’s 31 talks offer practical yet profound insight into becoming a person of peace amid the challenges we face in today’s world. Peace Breathing combines the vital energy of breath with the powerful energy of thought to calm your mind, reduce stress, and open your heart to your true self.…

Peoria Stories

Peoria Stories by Ken Zurski

From the author of The Wreck of the Columbia comes a collection of stories about people and events which helped shape a city and region. Included are profiles of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Lindbergh and many other famous and not so famous figures who played a part in the rich history of Peoria and Central Illinois.…


Protector by Matt Hader

In 1990 and 1991, a criminal dubbed “the Bearded Bandit” went on a bank-robbing crime spree. The man who was arrested for the crimes was a former police officer. He and his wife were alleged to have robbed eight banks in the Chicago area. On the sixth day of the accused criminal’s federal trial, he slipped his restraints, battered a US marshal and grabbed her weapon, and murdered another federal marshal as he attempted to escape.…

Pushing the River

Pushing the River by Barbara Monier

In Barbara Monier’s third novel, a family crisis erupts when a fifteen-year-old becomes pregnant and decides to keep the baby.

Madeline describes her house as an empty shell inhabited by ghosts. She has been living alone for years, keeping to a few rooms, surrounded by the possessions of her ex-husband and grown children.…

The Reading

The Reading by Barbara Monier

An unexpected—and unrecognized—visitor attends veteran writer Esmé’s reading and brings events of forty years past squarely into her present. Struggling with writer’s block and uncertain about a future with her romantic partner, Esmé undertakes a journey through her own history.…

The Rocky Orchard

The Rocky Orchard by Barbara Monier

Why has Mazie returned to her old farm—her family’s summer home and a pivotal refuge throughout her life?

While there, Mazie meets and befriends an elderly woman. Mazie is adrift on a sea of memory as she gazes toward the rocky orchard above the farmhouse when movement in the far distance captures her attention.…

Ryan’s Woods

Ryan’s Woods by Patrick Creevy

The year is 1962. The family of fourteen-year-old Kevin Collins, caught in white flight, has moved from Beverly, its South Side of Chicago neighborhood, to the city’s northern suburbs. The field of Kevin’s most formative boyhood adventures was Ryan’s Woods, the great South Side forest preserve, mysterious, beautiful, running along the city’s western edge a full mile from 83rd Street to 91st. It now serves as the frame for his memories.…

Snag the Moon

Snag the Moon by Michele Fitzpatrick

In this offbeat contemporary romance, two middle-aged misfits are drawn together to rescue nursing home residents from a greedy CEO. Eloise Dewmore, the public relations director at Happy Meadows Assisted Living, meets physical therapist Lyman Forrester after a stroke lands her in the rehab ward of that very facility. He is determined to help. She is adamant to manage alone, as she has for fifty years.

Stalking Justice

Stalking Justice by John K. Manos

A woman. A stalker. And a retired cop who doesn’t know what to do.

Since he retired, former Chicago Police Department detective Larry Klinger has gradually discovered a deep well of unprocessed grief for his late son who died at the age of six. Now 66 years old, Klinger finally realizes that he needs help to deal with a trauma that occurred nearly 40 years earlier. He joins a group of men who, like him, are struggling to deal with the death of a child.

Stand Up For Bastards

Stand Up For Bastards by Caleb Mason

Marcus Heaton is an ex-cop working as an investigator for a high-end law firm. When a simple family-history case goes sideways and the bodies start to pile up, he learns that neither his employer nor his client are who they seem, that some wounds never heal, and that the law is no match for a cocktail of ambition, greed, and revenge, on the rocks.

The Story of My Universe

The Story of My Universe by Christopher Guerin

In seventeen powerful stories, Christopher Guerin pulls us into a multi-dimensional, ironic universe that slides seamlessly from a re-telling of Kafka’s Metamorphosis to the competitive politics and ego-driven amorality of symphony orchestras. These stories re-imagine Midwestern American lives in scenes ranging from dysfunctional realism to fantastical musings…

Two-Seven Remainder

Two-Seven Remainder by Matt Hader

Jakub “Pies” Jakubowski is an expert at what he does, so good that he maintains a clean criminal record. Twenty-eight-year-old Pies is a member of a Chicago Outfit-sanctioned burglary crew run by Northwest-Side-based boss Stan Zielinski and his son Sebastian, “Bast.” Because Pies is arrest-free, he’s ordered to take a position in a newly opened suburban 9-1-1 communications center.…


Unremembered by Ken Zurski

Ken Zurski, author of The Wreck of the Columbia and Peoria Stories, provides a fascinating collection of once famous people and events that are now all but forgotten by time. Using a backdrop of schemes and discoveries, adventures and tragedies, Zurski weaves these figures and the events that shaped them into a narrative that reveals history’s many coincidences, connections, and correlations.

Unremembered Book 2

Unremembered Book 2 by Ken Zurski

At the outset of the twentieth century, aspiring painters, sculptors, and photographers converge on Paris, the center of the art world, to hone their craft, while in New York and London theater managers and popular actors of the day present the latest stage productions to enthusiastic crowds. Meanwhile, the prospects of war in Europe loom menacingly just over the horizon.

Whale Song

Whale Song by Jay Amberg

Each of our lives is a voyage of discovery. In Whale Song, we hear the voice of a fellow traveler, an albino sperm whale. We hear of life in his words—the joys of family, the pain of loss, the confusion and frustrations of a changing environment—familiar aspects of life even in the ocean. His observations and insights give us much to consider. If we listen, we may better understand how we affect the global society, and what we now need to do.

Wilmette at 150

Wilmette at 150 by John Jacoby

Wilmette at 150 is a collection of illuminating stories that feature and celebrate the people, places, and events that have shaped the village and created its unique character over the last century and a half. These stories present the grandeur of the lakefront, the turmoil of No Man’s Land, the devastation wrought by a Palm Sunday tornado, the beauty of a tree memorial built for blind Judge Kolman, the final moments of notorious gangster Baby Face Nelson, the inspirational visit by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote racial justice and unity, and much more.

The Wreck of the Columbia

The Wreck of the Columbia by Ken Zurski

On the night of July 5, 1918, a steamboat named Columbia, returning from a moonlight excursion, collapsed and sank in the middle of the Illinois River. Of the nearly 500 passengers on board that night, most were from the town of Pekin. Eighty-seven people lost their lives in the disaster. The rest were left to tell their stories of fortitude and survival.

Write Through Chicago

Write Through Chicago by Mark Henry Larson & Bob Boone

Write Through Chicago offers both teachers and students a unique opportunity to connect with Chicago and its remarkable history. Young writers will mourn at Lincoln’s Chicago Funeral, marvel at the Columbian Exposition, gather with the crowd at the Haymarket Riot, drive to Riverview Amusement Park, chomp down on the first McDonald’s Burger, and celebrate at Grant Park as Barack Obama delivers his presidential acceptance speech.…

52 Poems for Men

52 Poems for Men compiled by Jay Amberg

Every poem in this collection speaks directly to men, capturing powerful moments, deep insights, and honest glimpses of life. The themes are universal: birth, death, love, loss, war, beauty, and family. Both classic and contemporary poetic masters are represented, including…

120 Days

120 Days by Ronald L. Ruiz

Barbara Blake is a bright, young, attractive, and ambitious defense attorney. Alejandro Soto, an inmate already serving two life sentences for the brutal murder of a drug dealer and the man’s mother, is on trial for a third murder, one he did not commit but that could well result in the Death Penalty.…

Gone to Earth

Gone to Earth by Mary Webb; Amika Press Classics

“Hazel stood alone–the single representative, in a callous world, of God. Or was the world His representative, and she something alien, a dissentient voice to be silenced?”

Daughter of a Welsh gypsy and a crazy bee-keeper, Hazel Woodus is happiest living in her forest cottage in the remote Shropshire hills, at one with the winds and seasons, protector and friend of the wild animals she loves. But Hazel’s beauty and innocence prove irresistible to the men in her orbit.

Rig Veda Americanus

Rig Veda Americanus by Daniel G Brinton; Amika Press Classics

The classic collection of Aztec hymns with extensive notes and a gloss in Nahuatl.

From the preface & foreword: “The desirability of preserving and publishing these texts seems to me to be manifest. They reveal to us the undoubtedly authentic spirit of the ancient religion; they show us the language in its most archaic form; they preserve references to various mythical cycli of importance to the historian…

Violets and Other Tales

Violets and Other Tales by Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar Nelson; Amika Press Classics

“Love, most potent, most tyrannical, and most gentle of the passions which sway the human mind, thou art the invisible agency which rules mens’ souls, which governs mens’ kingdoms, which controls the universe.”

A writer of exceptional sensitivity and skill, twenty-year-old Alice Ruth Moore burst onto the New Orleans literary scene in 1895 with her first book, Violets and Other Tales. The collection of poems, stories, and essays attracted widespread acclaim.

Chicago Sketches


Chicago Sketches by Richard Reeder

In Chicago Sketches, we visit places as diverse as Maxwell Street, Riverview, Wrigley Field, the old Clark Theater, and the National Bohemian Cemetery. We meet the famous—Nelson Algren and Yevgeny Yevtushenko—and the other people who have touched Reeder’s life—Bubbie Gussie, Rabbi Mendel, and the Big Klu.…

Malachy’s Gloriam


Malachy’s Gloriam by C.M. Martello

Malachy Madden, disbarred criminal defense lawyer and manager of the Shamrock bar, is well known throughout Chicago for successfully undertaking unusual projects. When John Bari, a handsome, charismatic, and immensely popular Italian-American priest, is accused of years of sexual abuse of a young boy, he is suspended from his role as pastor-rector of the Saint Shrine located in the heart of an old Italian neighborhood.

Object Permanence


Object Permanence by Jim Davis

“Jim Davis’ Object Permanence seems a life’s work, but one realizes that Davis is a poet who finds poetry in every second of his life—this collection is just the beginning. This is poetry of image and story that transcends the ordinary with extraordinary insight.…

The Stendhal Summer


The Stendhal Summer by Laurie Levy

In the summer of 1992, public relations writer Alison Miller takes her savings and flies from Chicago to Europe in search of information about Stendhal, the nineteenth-century French author of The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma. Traveling to the same cities, walking the same streets, and taking in the same vistas, Alison hopes to discover fresh material and gain an intimate perspective to write a new biography of Stendhal with whom she feels a deep affinity.

Broken Girls


Broken Girls by Tess Ballis

Eden Wright’s parents have both verbally and physically abused her for years. Her best friend, Lacey, is facing problems of her own. When Lacey’s boyfriend commits a horrible act, it is all too familiar to something Eden has suffered herself. Desperate to escape the memories that have been haunting her, she has to face the frightening truth that she has spent her whole life trying to forget.

Read more on Amazon…

Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls


Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls by John G. Butte

Bill and Daisy Dorgan ran the popular Dorgan’s Café on Main Street in Bradford, Illinois, for almost 50 years. Legend has it that Bill bought a six-year-old 1926 Ford Model T for his daughter Darlene, who immediately organized a summer vacation, inviting several girlfriends to join her camping in Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin. Seven more summer trips, from 1936 through 1942, took these “twenty-something” girls through 44 states, Canada, and Mexico in an era when such travel by a group of coeds was not common.

Read more on Amazon…

Girl in the Mirror


Girl in the Mirror by Natasha Tarpley

Girl in the Mirror is the story of the lives, loves and migrations of three generations of African-American women: a grandmother, mother and daughter—on a journey in search of self.

Read more on Amazon…

My Dad’s Best Day Fishing.…Ever!


My Dad’s Best Day Fishing.…Ever! by Dan Paschen

Based on a true story of a father and daughter fishing in the Northwoods.

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Notes of Valor


Notes of Valor by Bryan Meeker

In the relative calm before World War II, a young musician finds love and fulfillment. He is wounded by the war in every sense, and his long recovery is dealt a devastating blow, leaving him a broken man aged beyond his years. His despair is only abated by a chance event, one that reacquaints him with an old love, and leads him to find redemption through the greatest of humanity’s creations—music.

Read more on Amazon…

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