New Releases 2-2

What's new at Mill City Press this week? We've got five books making their grand entrances into the world today. Yes, five!

First up is...

What is “brand” and why should anyone care?

The idea of branding began as a simple solution for a person to know their cattle from the neighbor’s. Today it’s about evoking an emotion so strong that a customer wants to buy from you versus anyone else in your space. This book helps distill down the pieces necessary to create that one-of-a-kind, gotta-have-it brand.

Kelly Lucente is CEO of Re-Tool Marketing an expert brand and marketing strategist focused on helping companies differentiate themselves through strategic brand leadership and positioning. Her focus is on growing strong brands that help attract the right customer, gain market share, and increase revenue.

A 25+ year marketing and sales veteran, she has worked with Fortune 500 brands, most notably Ryland Homes, Pulte Group, RE/MAX, Pearle Vision, and Rollerblade. She has won both Gold and Silver NAHB of the Year Awards and is an active member of the Children’s Hospital and Clinics of MN Foundation, is an advisory board member for the Entrepreneurship Class at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and is a mentor for the MN Cup, a statewide, new venture competition for entrepreneurs.

Grab your copy of MOO-LAH-GY on Amazon.

Second is...

Al B.Tross in the City is a whimsical tale of a seabird who becomes bored with his life living by the sea. He decides to go on an adventure into the faraway city. The food is not the same, the animals are not as friendly, and the place does not look as inviting. In his travels he learns a very important lesson.

Read this delightful little tale and learn what all children learn at some point in their life: there is no place like home.

Pamela G. Bowers, author and teacher, lives in Greenville, S.C. with her husband and four dogs. She has three children and five grandchildren who love to visit and travel with her in the summer. She hopes to retire some day and commit to writing full time at the beach.

Connect with Pamela on her website, purchase a copy of Al B. Tross directly from her, or grab a copy on Amazon.

Third up is...

This book, Performance-Focused Smile Sheets, completely reimagines the smile sheet as an essential tool to drive performance improvement. Traditional smile sheets (i.e., learner response forms, student reaction forms) don’t work! Decades of practice shows them to have negligible benefits. Scientific studies prove that traditional smile sheets are not correlated with learning results! Yet still we rely on smile sheets to make critical decisions about our learning interventions. In this book, Dr. Will Thalheimer carefully builds the case for a new methodology in smile-sheet design. Based on the learning research, Performance-Focused Smile Sheets shows how to write better questions, more focused on performance. The book also shows how to deploy smile sheets to our learners to get valid feedback—feedback that can be used to help us as trainers, instructional designers, teachers, professors, eLearning developers, and chief learning officers build virtuous cycles of continuous improvement.

Will Thalheimer, PhD, has worked in the learning-and-performance field for almost 30 years—as a trainer, instructional designer, simulation architect, project manager, business product line manager, speaker, writer, researcher, and consultant. Forming Work-Learning Research in 1998 to build bridges between research and practical wisdom, Will works to provide the workplace learning-and-performance field with research-based information, simultaneously helping clients create and deploy radically more effective learning interventions.

Connect with Dr. Thalheimer at his webiste, purchase a copy of Performance-Focused Smile Sheets from him, or grab a copy on Amazon.

Fourth up is...

ER doctor Derek Mann is in desperate need of a vacation. He needs the time to reflect on the many questions that continue to plague him—questions about life, medicine, and a recurring dream from his past as a musician. 

Instead, his leisurely north woods trip to join friends starts out with a suspicious tire blow-out and quickly escalates into a series of events that spin his life out of control.

While wandering in the woods at camp, Derek experiences an altered state, entering a vortex that expands his understanding, but also makes him aware that someone seeks his demise.

After leaving camp, he realizes that the incident seems to have remarkably enhanced his skills.

Eager to see if the vortex can help him find the beautiful stranger haunting his dreams, and to answer the questions that trouble him, Derek knows he must go back.

Will Derek find the answers he seeks, or will someone else find him first?
Dr. Wayne Liebhard, a Minnesota native and family physician for twenty years, now practices in an emergency medicine clinic.

He has won numerous national awards as an author and songwriter, gaining special acclaim for his book Elephants in the Exam Room—The Big Picture Solution to Today’s Health Care “Crisis,” and music from the album Here—In Flyover Country.

Besides his doctorate, he holds undergraduate degrees in the natural and social sciences from Saint John’s University (MN), and his articles have appeared in numerous publications ranging from Minnesota Physician to Mustang Monthly.

He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Joy, dog, Oscar, and his Ford Mustangs. His classic rock band is still cranking out the tunes and releasing music videos.

Connect with Wayne at his website, purchase The Vortex Effect directly from him, or grab a copy on Amazon.

Last, but certainly not least...

Imagine finding out that your childhood memories were a lie told to you by your own mind to protect you from the daily horrors you faced.

Author Debra Roinestad always had an intuition about her life—a small voice that protected her and kept her as safe as possible—but it wasn’t until a near-death experience that she understood the importance of her spirit guide's voice.

Over time, Debra suffered violent tremors, during which new memories came to her in flashes: physical and emotional abuse by her family, being drugged into submission when her cries were too loud, pain—and light.

Debra learned she had “dissociative amnesia,” a condition she went through as a young girl, retreating into a safe place in her mind and forgetting about what was happening to her, only to have the memories come crashing back later in life.

Protected by the Light is Debra’s story of pain, but it is also her story of survival, and of finding the light—a light she hopes will one day lead each of us to find peace.

Debra Roinestad earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has designed covers and interior art for major book and magazine publishers, including Van Nostrand Reinhold, Penguin USA, Popular Photography and Consumer Reports. She has also studied psychology and gerontology and was awarded honors from the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society for her academic work. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Debra has numerous stage and television credits, and holds a degree in advanced Reiki as well.

After surviving a near-death experience, Debra followed her intuition and began creating photo collages based on the themes of healing and resiliency. Since beginning this phase of her life, she has been interviewed in print and on the radio about her artwork, which has been featured in galleries and museums across the United States.

Visit her at and

Connect with Debra at, buy Protected by the Light directly from her, or grab a copy on Amazon.

Happy book birthdays, authors!

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