Author sets sights on hunting
As an editor-in-chief at the website Man of the House, former Avon Lake resident Craig Heimbuch wrote about being a modern man, husband and father. His new book And Now We Shall Do Manly Things further examines modern masculinity by investigating the sport of hunting.
From the outset, it appears that Heimbuch may be more enamored with the idea of hunting than the sport itself. He reveals an adolescent fascination with the offerings of retailers like Cabela’s and Gander Mountain: “I would have little debates with myself on the relative merits of waxed cotton outerwear versus Gore-Tex-coated nylon.” The allure continued into adulthood, beckoning Heimbuch to his North Star: Freeport, Maine, home of L.L. Bean, where he proposed to his wife in the furniture section.
So is Heimbuch a hunter, or a wannabe in nice boots? After his father gives him a favorite Winchester shotgun, he decides to become a hunter (in nice boots). In entertaining but thoughtful style, Heimbuch explains how he settles on his prey (pheasant), his trip to a Pittsburgh gun show with his father and uncle and the hunter’s safety course at which he is determined to beat his brother’s test score.
In his previous book, the enjoyable Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry: Travels in the Footsteps of the Commodore Who Saved America, Heimbuch laments his hesitant nature and indecision. He expands on that here, saying things like “I don’t know the thrill of the hunt” and “I am bland and predictable.” Hunting, a manly ritual, may help him be more assertive — if he can manage to unlock the trigger guard and actually shoot anything.
This isn’t a stunt book, like those of A.J. Jacobs (in The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs obeyed the Bible as closely as possible, going as far as stoning an adulterer in Central Park). Heimbuch considers gun culture, male bonding, and processed food. His self-deprecating humor keeps things lively.
And Now We Shall Do Manly Things (336 pages, softcover) costs $15.99 from William Morrow. Craig Heimbuch lives in Mason.
Love’s Secret Fire, an exciting contemporary romance thriller by former Clevelander Rena Koontz, features Valerie Daniels, a producer and part-time news reporter for a Pennsylvania radio morning show.
She’s itching for a big story and may have found it: Adam Michaels, a detective for an unspecified law enforcement agency, is undercover investigating a series of suspicious fires that have been escalating in intensity. They meet when Valerie is attacked in a restaurant parking lot by a potential news source who’d taken her to dinner; Adam, a fellow customer, gives the man an attitude adjustment.
Valerie is getting worrisome anonymous emails about the fires. At first, she’s taking them as news tips, but they could be more — like threats, or even bait. Can Valerie and Adam, working independently, solve the arsons, or can they work together without blowing his cover? And can they find romance, when part of that cover includes a faux fiancee for Adam? There’s an R-rated steamy scene, and some fairly graphic violence.
Love’s Secret Fire, $3.82 for the Kindle device, has just been released as a 238-page paperback for $14.95 by Crimson Romance. Rena Koontz, a former reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, now lives in Illinois.
Brothers in storybook
A Very Special Christmas Delivery, a storybook by Guerrino Thomas Rich of Stow, tells of brothers Anthony and Francis, who are making Christmas Eve deliveries for their father’s furniture store. Though it’s beginning to snow and they’re eager to make it home for their mother’s big dinner, there’s one more delivery to make — and then that customer asks for a special favor for a friend. It’s no coincidence that the friend’s name is Mrs. Gabriel.
The book is illustrated by retired art teacher Pat DeJacimo. The 36-page book has a card stock cover and sells for $16.75 from online retailers, but Rich offers discounts to those who email email@example.com.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.