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Reading the North

Zamimolo's Story: 50,000 B.C. by Anchorage resident Bonnye Matthews

Zamimolo's Story: 50,000 B.C.

Anchorage resident Bonnye Matthews (Publication Consultants, $19.95)

The blurb: The third book in the Winds of Change series continues the story of the peopling of the Americas prior to the Clovis people 11,700 years ago. It follows the migration of some of the People from China/Mongolia to Central and South America. The People face much warmer temperatures, an unending season of summer and animals unlike anything they've ever seen, along with other human migrants from Africa and Aboriginal Australia and the Pacific Islands with their varied cultural differences.

Because the People don't know how to read the signs of the wildlife in the area, they fail to realize they have an intruder the first night in their new land. An intruder abducts Olomaru-mia, a young woman who is about to join with a young man of the People. Zamimolo, the young man with whom she was to join, searches desperately for her. The story is about that search and what occurs as a result.

Excerpt: The old woman began a singsong chant and then announced, "You will listen carefully to the story of the Fountain of Life and the Sacred Hor Springs." She reached for a small hide-covered drum. She beat the drum with a stick and timed her words to the rhythm of the drum. "Long ago before we traveled to this new land, there was a huge storm in our old land. A large bird that could not fly saw a glowing form before it. The form slowly placed a small white rock on the ground and then another. 'Eat the rocks, for they are seeds,' the glowing form said, 'Follow me.' The large bird was fascinated. He began to eat the white rocks. He followed along watching the glowing form and then looking at the ground. His craw was filling and he slowed down. After following the rocks and eating every one, he came to the sacred hot springs. He inserted his beak and drank from the hot spring. He began to tingle all over. His form changed. He was man. The form he'd followed changed into woman. Then he saw the sacred hot springs had also changed. It was part of the woman. He also saw the change in himself. The seeds had transformed into a white fountain of life. The woman smiled at him. Knowledge filled his mind web. The fountain of life must enter the sacred hot springs to create life. They joined and from their joining, life of people began." Her words stopped but the drum and humming continued for a while.

Dog Diaries: Togo

Kate Klimo (Random House, $6.99)

The blurb: Each book in the Dog Diaries series stars a different dog who narrates a story about his or her breed, training and experience. From modern stories about puppy mill survivors -- like Ginger -- to historical stories about the first guide dogs -- like Buddy -- the series combines compelling fact-driven canine drama with the one thing kids most want to know about dogs: their inner-doggie dreams and desires.

Excerpt: Uh-oh, I thought. I'm in for it now.

"Let us hitch you up to the sled and harness some of that energy."

I was one happy little mutt. At last! The moment I had been waiting for all my life!

Sepp buckled me in next to Ivan, right in front of the sled. This is what is known as the wheel position. The wheel dogs provide the power. I'd show Sepp that I had muscles made of iron, even though I was only eight months old and had a bandage on my leg.

Sepp stepped onto the back of the sled. He made a clucking noise with his tongue. It was our signal to go.

Up ahead, Suggen leaned into his harness and pulled the gang line taut. The rest of us followed. And off we went. We ran mile after mile of snowy track, following Suggen's lead. My paw pads warmed up and my claws dug into the snow.

My legs churned. For the first time in my life, I was filled with a sense of purpose. I was a part of the team now. There were eight of us dogs running like one big dog with many legs, whipping the sled along behind us. I was born to do this.

Against the Wild

Kat Martin (Kensington Publishing, $7.99)

The blurb: In the new installment of her Against series, New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin combines strong alpha males, romantic tension and suspense as she takes readers to Alaska. The 10th book in the Against series also marks the first of three set-in-Alaska romantic suspense novels revolving around the Brodie brothers.

Excerpt: It had been another long day and yet Lane felt exhilarated in a way she hadn't in a very long time. Maybe never. As a child in rural Illinois, she had loved the open spaces, the clear skies, the green fields stretching along the highway. She'd been living in L.A. so long, fighting the traffic and smog, she had forgotten how good it felt to breathe fresh, clean air.

At night she was exhausted, but also excited to be working on such an amazing project. And there was Dylan.

Her attraction to him seemed to grow every day, more so perhaps, now that he was giving her the time she needed to know him. He had walked her to her room and given her one of those mind-blowing, world-rocking kisses, but he hadn't pressed for more.

Lane almost wished he would. Almost.

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily News