Monday, March 19, 2012

New Pow Wow Highway

Wounded Knee... Leonard Peltier... The poorest people in America with a chronic 80% unemployment rate... Descendants of Crazy Horse, Sacajawea, Geronimo, Pocahontas, Ira Hayes, Jim Thorpe...

These are some of the historic and modern names, places, ideas, and epochal events in America covered in "The New Powwow Highway" (in paperback and kindle on Amazon), by David Seals, the author and producer of the underground classic film "Powwow Highway," produced by George Harrison for Handmade Films in 1989. Widely known and even beloved by Native Peoples, the film received rave reviews when it opened to a limited release, spawning other successors like "Dances With Wolves" and "Incident at Oglala."

"Irresistible ... inspired ... Deeply satisfying," wrote the Los Angeles Times.

"The book is a comic masterpiece," wrote Edward Hower in the New York Times, Nov. 1992, about the sequel novel "Sweet Medicine" (Crown/Random House, NY, 1992).

"Seals gives readers a rare glimpse of some genuine Indian humor while presenting issues important to Indian America today... lots of fun to read... highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Seals takes us into places where Indians live. Not yesterday, but today." - Denver Post

"Outrageous, imaginative, and very funny." - Leslie Marmon Silko, Native author of "Almanac of the Dead," and "Storyteller"

"The New Powwow Highway" supplements the rollicking comedy and adventures of the first novel with a more factual, non-fiction journey with the author who personally experienced some of the most important historical events in the history of the American West from 1971 to the present, as a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

He helped run supplies and supporters into the Wounded Knee encampment in 1973, and was there when the police tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed peaceful marches for religious indigenous rights in Colorado, Mexico, Hawaii, and Canada. His friends numbered the genius Kiowa artist T.C.Cannon, actors John Trudell and Irene Bedard, legendary activists Steve Robideau, Nilak Butler, Winona LaDuke, Wolverine, Pedro Bissonette, and many others.

As an actor he played Sitting Bull at the Third Eye Theatre in Denver, and met great spiritual elders like Chief Frank Fools Crow who came to see the play 5 times, with many Lakota elders and spiritual leaders, who invited him to Sweat Lodge and Sundance and Pipe Ceremonies on many Reservations around the country. He was welcomed into Native Councils as a descendant of the Huron Nation in Quebec.

StagePeaks is proud to announce the development of this phenomenal book into an open-ended TV mini-series, with chapters at famous AIM Conferences in Chihuahua, Mexico, dealing with border disputes and druglords assaulting peaceful Native communities; AIM urban patrols in Minneapolis and Santa Fe protecting women from abuse; esoteric Apache dances to Spirits in Texas and Oklahoma, and Arizona; the jubilant reaction of Wounded Knee warriors when Marlon Brando refused his 1973 Oscar because of the hundreds of racist Hollywood movies; and so many other hilarious and tragic episodes in Nebraska, Wyoming, Nicaragua (where Ward Churchill and Russell Means betrayed the Native peoples), and the shootout with the RCMP at Lake Gustafson in British Columbia in 1995.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Victor and the Sun Orb, by Amy Nielson

Victor and the Sun Orb, by Amy Nielson, introduces the story of Prince Victor of Solandia, born to the king and queen of the sun fairies; however, long before the prince is born, a terrible thing happens in Solandia—the sun orb is stolen. The culprit is caught and imprisoned, and the matter is thought to be resolved. Prince Victor is born years later; but on the day of his baptism a spell is put on him that will transform him into a mortal on his thirteenth birthday. At that time, he'll be forced to leave Solandia and join the human world.

Not long after Victor becomes human, the sun orb is stolen again. War begins in the fairy world. Mysterious events take place. Victor must embark on a quest to get back the sun orb, his mortality, and his human friend, Annika. On this quest, he finds himself up against enemies and mythical creatures, but with the help of friends and others he meets along the way, he defeats them all.

Written specifically for older children, they should enjoy this story quite a bit. There's some lessons in it, as Victor goes through his education and his quest, that Nielson's young audience may benefit from, along with briefly touching on some bigger questions that older children will just be starting to discover. On the other hand, the story seemed a little detached from its characters, even Victor. It was a little difficult to try and care for the cast and whether or not they completed their goals and saved their people. The story does have elements of slightly more traditional fairytales and has some of that style and tone, and is overall a good story of courage and strength.

Victor and the Sun Orb is intended for children ages 8-12 but those somewhat older than this might enjoy it as well, and any child that enjoys fantasy should enjoy this book.

This book is available in print edition from

Review by Diana Reed

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Hardline Self Help Handbook by Paula Renaye

The Hardline Self Help Handbook teaches the reader how to apply tough love to him/herself. It's full of lists of hard-to-aswer questions that penetrate right to the heart of the matter. As the reader confronts him/herself and forces himself to answer the questions honestly, confusion clears and clarity begins to take hold.

In addition the book has structured writing assignments, that once again take you deep within to find the answers, and along with the answers you will find solutions because these writing assignments are perfect ways to enlist our subconscious in the fight to help ourselves and make a better life. You can open the book randomly and find a helpful exercise on any page, such as suggestions for making a vision board and script, or examining your dreams for guidance.

Written by a professional coach and a regression hypnosis practitioner, the professionalism of the book is evident. Available at Amazon and the author's website at:, the book is priced at $19.95 for the paperback and $9.95 for the Kindle edition. This book is one of the books being offered in our subscribers drawings. So subscribe to one of our newsletters at the box on the right and be entered in our twice monthly drawing.

Review by Julia Widdop

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Double Your Creative Power by S. L. Stebel

Double Your Creative Power contains a number of useful exercises to discover what your subconscious feels passionate about, because as the author, Stebel points out your writing will be much stronger if you are passionate about your subject matter.

Stebel recommends that you write the book jacket material before you start the book. He also recommends writing a review of your book before starting to give your subconscious a target to aim for in the real writing of the book.

Double Your Creative Power is full of tips and exercises to access your subconscious and enlist its help in the creative process. I specialize in accessing the subconscious and I thought Stebel's methods were very useful.

For example he says watch for conflicting agendas between you and your characters. In bold type the author insists that the character's agenda always takes precedence over your agenda. The character's conflicting agenda is coming from the writer's own subconscious.

I had a hard time deciding on the most useful tip in the book, but finally decided it was the solo brainstorming technique he recommends. He recommends repeating the solo brainstorming process several times until you recognize that it is time to stop. Connections will have been made he says and a story will begin to emerge. I tried this exercise and I was impressed with the amount of targeted material I generated.

Available at Amazon, this hardcover book is priced at only $14. The solo-brainstorming exercise was worth that price alone.

Review by Julia Widdop

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review of Awakening Hope by Mary Crocker Cook

By Mary Crocker Cook, licensed therapist and public speaker, is Awakening Hope: A Developmental, Behavioral, and Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment. In the prologue, Cook explains her particular interest in codependency. She briefly tells the story of her personal experience as a codependent, which she refers back to throughout the book. Her purpose for writing this book is her determination to not only fill in the blanks that counselors have missed in attempting to treat codependency, but to also give guidance to codependency sufferers.

Awakening Hope is divided into four parts; in its two parts, Cook breaks down the psychological aspects of codependency, particularly Attachment Theory and codependency symptoms. Cook devotes the entirety of part three to describing the physical consequences of codependency, largely ignored by counselors, and to explaining their connection to what goes on in the mind.

In Part Four, the book comes full circle and ends with the treatment of codependency. Just as Cook discussed the individual symptoms in previous chapters, she returns to this outline and provides methods for recovery. These methods guide the codependent away from the self-destructive patterns in their relationships and give the sufferer a basis for forming healthy relationships. Cook also discusses the treatment of codependency—how it has changed, what has worked, and how codependency should be approached both clinically and by the sufferer.

Through this book, Cook seeks to educate and speak both to the codependent and to the therapist, and she balances this well. Cook relates her own experience and observations, as well as case studies, and matches it with her extensive research of the topic. In her book, Cook proclaims her wish to redefine codependency, and puts herself well on the road to doing so. While it may seem her target audience is mainly other professionals, her sights are set largely on codependency sufferers and giving them the knowledge and guidance to take control of their lives and their recovery.

Awakening Hope is available from in its print edition.

Review by Diana Reed

Friday, July 8, 2011

Your Health is Your Responsibility by Roya Wadtley

This densely packed book is so full of health information that it resembles an encyclopedia. The author says that she wrote the book to help others after she discovered that she had diabetes at the young age of 35. It's obvious that she took responsibility for her own health and learned everything she could, not only about her disease of diabetes, but about healthy eating and living in general.

The author discusses in depth the factors such as smoking and lack of exercise that adversely affect your health. She admits she had a tendency to develope diabetes because of her genetic makeup, but she doesn't let herself or her reader off the hook for taking responsibility of their health. The major area where the author calls upon the reader to take responsibility in in the area of food. She looks closely at the American diet and lifestyle choices, and makes recommendations to improve them. She also looks closely at the causes of several of the most common diseases in our world today such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

Available at Amazon Your Health is Your Responsibility is priced at $22.95, which is a bargain for this huge book. This book is one of the books being offered in our subscribers drawings. So subscribe to one of our newsletters at the box on the right and be entered in our twice monthly drawing.

Review by Julia Widdop