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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

New For The Reading Nook


New books cover a variety of topics

Elaine Hodge Marze’s newly released “Widowhood, I Didn’t Ask For This” features an in-depth look into the sudden, unwanted shift of becoming a widow.

Combining faith with humor, Marze allows her readers to feel seen – and understood.

“I was inspired to write this because so many friends gave me grief books after my husband died and none answered my need,” Marze said. “They were about the stages of grief, which I could have cared less about, or they were books of faith that said we should be happy whatever state we are in. You will never hear a woman who has lost her lover, her companion, her friend, her heart, give that kind of advice.”

Marze, who was married for 40 years, didn’t simply write about her experience but interviewed other widows to contribute. ‘After reading ‘Widowhood, I Didn’t Ask For This,’ readers gain a confidence that they are not bad Christians or weak just because they have to grieve,” Marze said. “I have had women tell me the book changed their lives, and several now give the book as a ministry instead of funeral flowers.”

“Widowhood, I Didn’t Ask For This” is available in both ebook and paperback on Amazon.

Paul Savage Jr., the local author of “Chemo Containment,” shares his personal experience with cancer via a fictional structure. “I pray readers are thrilled to join my character Brady throughout this journey, while also gaining a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be cancer survivor,” Savage said.

“Chemo Containment” was inspired by Savage’s journey battling testicular cancer during a worldwide pandemic. He began treatments in 2020.

“I vividly remember the nurses bringing IV bags with warning labels plastered on them and the extensive checks they conducted before administering the drugs,” Savage said.

“The process was a little terrifying, but mostly intriguing. I placed all my trust in this clear drug in a bag and prayed that it would cure me. But, what if it didn’t? What if something was altered along the way?”

And so the idea for the novel was born.

“Chemo Containment” is a sci-fi story about a boy whose chemotherapy was altered, creat ing a life-changing ability that soon affects the entire world.

“Chemo Containment” is the first book in a trilogy titled “The Containment Series.” The sequel, “Chemo Compound,” is scheduled to be published in spring 2023, while the series’ final book should be released in late 2023. You can find this series on Amazon.

Gary D. Joiner, Ph.D., just released his latest historical nonfiction title, “Shreveport’s Historic Greenwood Cemetery,” featuring fascinating stories of those buried in the beautiful local graveyard. From the comfort of their couch, readers can enjoy an excursion through the rows of tombstones, some of which hold North Louisiana’s most interesting tales.

“Shreveport’d Historic Greenwood Cemetary” consists of tours through the cemetery and contains biographies, illustrations, maps and the longitude and latitude for each grave referenced.

“I want readers to understand more about Shreveport,” Joiner said. “After all, we have to know where we came from in order to figure out where we’re going. In this case, the Greenwood Cemetery is a social laboratory that can tell us so much about ourselves.”

But good intentions don’t always come easily. “This book took a while,” Joiner said. “Gathering the data was not a fast endeavor. I was dealing with people that have been buried since the 1890s and trying to do them justice.”

Joiner, who has a master’s degree in history from La. Tech and a Ph.D. from St. Martin’s College of Lancaster University, is thankfully just the author to do just that. He has another similarly exciting book from 2015, “Shreveport’s Historic Oakland Cemetery.” Both titles are available now on Amazon.

Ardie Cesario recently released “We Have Secrets: Were We Rotten?” This unique collection of short stories explores the real lives behind the obituary.

“I had no obituary planned when I handled my mother’s funeral,” Cesario said. “The funeral director whipped out a form, but this didn’t tell the whole story. Although my mother was saintly, she was also a chocaholic and never met a slot machine she didn’t like.”

Cesario likens his writing to a fish swimming – it’s necessary. He’s been writing since the eighth grade, when he first composed a story recounting the day he learned his father passed. “I wrote about the priest coming to tell me my dad had died. I read the story aloud, and all the girls, including the nun, was crying. … It got me hooked on writing because you can create something which draws out people’s emotions,” Cesario said.

“What makes my book unique is the person who died gets to explain how they came about their secret, and someone who knew them gets to discuss the peccadillo and say, “But they were good, and we worked around the peccadillo,” or even “I am glad the sorry, pitiful person is dead.”

“We Have Secrets: Were We Rotten?” is available on Amazon.


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