February Book Releases

This February, we’re bringing you children’s books about ocean pollution, memoirs about humorous travels, the first titles from Subplot, and more! 

Our new imprint of Mascot Books, Subplot Publishing is an independent hybrid publisher focusing on compelling and literary works of fiction. We publish titles with strong voices, intriguing plots, and dynamic characters in the adult fiction setting. All of our titles are hand-picked for this imprint during the submissions process based on theme, marketability, and overall tone.

Explore our new titles below to stock up on your reads this winter!

Children’s Books

Evelyn’s Wild Imagination

By Elizabeth Gephardt

Hi there! My name is Evelyn. What’s your name?

It’s very nice to meet you! Are you as curious as I am to know what this book is about . . . hmmm? Maybe it’s about . . .


Or, Halloween?

. . . nah.

Maybe it’s about cats or dogs, both big and small, or maybe it’s about going somewhere, like to Disney, Hershey, or Niagara Falls! We will have to wait and see, but in case I forgot to mention this—thank you for choosing me!

First, I want to get to know you. Tell me what you like the most about school. Is it your teachers? Classes? Lunch? RECESS? Who are your friends? For this story (are you ready?) . . . you get to be . . . MY FRIEND FOR THE DAY!

Come take a journey with me and see what a WILD day in school is like and what BIG ideas are in store. This isn’t just any sort of school day. What do I mean, you ask? Let’s check it out, explore, and so . . . much . . . MORE!

For the Love of Laxmi

By Bijal Shah

You know how your mom tells you to oil your hair, or you’ll go bald? Or no one is going to marry you because you can’t find the blouse she put away? This is a compilation of those everyday moments. Oh, and. . .hi! I’m Laxmi. You’ll get to know me soon.

Gordo Goo

By Ruth Neikirk

What is MAGIC POTION #2?
Well, that is the key for Gordo Goo!
Turn the pages to find out.
You will be the wiser, no doubt!

A portion of proceeds will be donated to the William R. Neikirk Scholarship Fund in the College of Communication and Information.

Guapo’s Giant Heart: The True Story of the Calf Who Kept Growing

By Janet Zappala and Wendy Perkins

Guapo’s Giant Heart is based on the true, heartwarming story of a baby calf with no place to live until a kind human adopts him and gives him a loving home. With a safe place to rest his head and plenty of food and love, Guapo keeps growing . . . and growing and growing!

Although Guapo is a sweet, friendly cow, not everyone is kind to him at first. While the animal friends who’ve known him since he was a baby calf love him, those who meet him later in life aren’t so sure—they find Guapo’s larger-than-life presence intimidating.

Towering over everyone he meets, can this gentle giant teach the other animals that being different is a good thing?

Esperanza y Pecas: huyendo hacia un bosque mejor

By Bill Kiley

Esperanza, una cierva de cola blanca, y su cervatillo moteado, Pecas, se enfrentan al hambre y al peligro en su bosque. Esperanza decide que deben abandonar su hogar e ir en busca de un lugar mejor donde estén a salvo. Cuando llegan a un nuevo bosque, Esperanza y Pecas se enfrentan a retos inesperados que les obligarán a separarse. ¿Podrán volver a estar juntos algún día?

Después de leer la historia de Esperanza y Pecas, sigue explorando las historias de personas de todo el mundo que tienen que abandonar sus hogares para escapar del peligro o del hambre. Deja que la historia de Esperanza y Pecas te enseñe sobre los millones de personas que se enfrentan a las mismas dificultades que esta madre cierva y su pequeño hijo enfrentan como refugiados.

How the Bay Was Saved

By Steve Gray

What can one little dolphin do to stop humans from littering and save the Chesapeake Bay? Join Donnie Dolphin on this exciting adventure as he formulates a plan with the help of a very wise seagull and his friends. Together, can they teach humans that polluting the bay is wrong?

I Can’t Wait till You Know

By Trey Little

What could be more inspiring than seeing the world once again through the eyes of a child? As parents, we can’t wait until our kids get to have some of the same experiences that we did growing up, especially when we can share them together. These pages follow a father and daughter on a journey through nature, using their senses to enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights of the beauty around them. There is anticipation for something new at every turn that will bring fresh joy to both the parent and the child as they make discoveries hand in hand.

If Puppies Had Backpacks

By Lyn Willy

If puppies had backpacks. . .what would they do? This charming board book is the perfect bedtime read for you and your little one.

Imperfectphil Is a Friend

By Sue Steinhardt

Hi! My name is Phil Basher, and I love life!

If you’re ever feeling down or starting to wonder what this journey is all about, read my stories. I promise to bring you all the happiness and joy I can pack into my giant puppy body. I won’t let you down because I’m perfect…I’m Perfect…imperfect. I’ll tell you more about this later.

Imperfect. Just. Like. You.

In book three which you are holding in your hands, you will learn what it means to be a friend.

Karis & Brook Stories: Lakeside Friends: A Story About Cancer

By A. B. Namy

Brook doesn’t know why his friend Joel can’t spend time with him at the lake, like they usually do. When he learns that the reason is Joel’s cancer diagnosis, he has even more questions. Thanks to some ants and his quick-thinking Mom, Brook comes to understand the situation in his own way, and he even comes up with a creative way to spend some lake time with Joel.

Using real-life analogies to explain complex circumstances, the Karis & Brook series seeks to assist adults in structuring conversations with children. By utilizing the principles of Encounter, Educate, and Encourage, these books facilitate memorable and lasting conversations that go beyond the pages of the story, while recognizing and inspiring others.

Nora’s Hockey Dream

By Ryan Minkoff

Nora has never attended or even played in a hockey game. When her parents take her to the Women’s Professional Hockey League Championship between the Booming Thunder and the hometown Wicked Waves, Nora discovers a newfound passion. However, chasing after her big hockey dream might be harder than she thinks.

Nora’s Hockey Dream is endorsed by Team Canada Captain and Hockey Night in Canada‘s Cassie Campbell-Pascall, USA Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Brandt, and Minnesota Whitecaps Captain Winny Brodt-Brown. Minkoff’s passion for giving back to the game of hockey inspired him to pen his first children’s book. 

Olive and the Valentine’s Spell

By Helen Millman

Olive is a sweet elementary school boy who is afraid to go to school on Valentine’s Day. . .because he thinks he’ll have to get married! Olive’s mom joins in his fight to defeat the “princess of love,” but along the way he learns an even bigger lesson, discovering the true meaning of love.

Olive and the Valentine’s Spell is an inspiring children’s book for all ages that shines a humorous light on Valentine’s Day and overcoming your fears.

Pen Pal Gals: Friends Forever

By Julie Thiessen

Meet Reese and Addie—two girls, one great friendship.

It’s summer break! Reese is on her way to vacation at Camp Lake Shore with her family. When Reese meets a new friend, Addie, the two immediately connect and form a lasting friendship. Swimming, boating, laughing, and soaking up the sun are just a few highlights of their summer vacation. The girls become best friends. When their vacation comes to an end, Reese realizes she may never see Addie again. Determined to stay in touch forever, can Reese and Addie find a way to continue their friendship and share their adventures?

Recess Magic

By Bonny Spence Dieterich

We are kind every day and in every way.

On Greyson’s first day at a new school, his excitement turns to embarrassment when a classmate asks about his disability. At first, Greyson wants to hide. Then, he learns that sometimes, it takes courage to speak up. With his help, Greyson’s class learns that it’s important to understand new perspectives. And with kindness, empathy, and a little magic, a special friendship begins.

Self-Care with Ted and Friends

By Najma Khorrami

Ted and his friends invite you to join them on their journey of self-care! Watch Ted fly his kite, share lessons, and so much more. Self-care starts with this book!

Simply Samrina: Marvelously Mixed

By Shamim Rupani

Hi, I’m Samrina, and I’m proud to be a mixed kid—a child of two unique cultures and traditions. Even though other people make fun of me for being different, I know these differences make me, me. I’m proud to be marvelously mixed. Come meet my family!

Starr’s Wonderful Discovery

By Trey Jeffries

Starr is a loving, talented panda who finds happiness in her uniqueness. She shares her uniqueness every day with her family and friends in the forest. One special morning, she ventures out of her valley and discovers a lonely panda named Shine, who is sad and lonely because he has not yet learned to embrace his uniqueness. Can Starr help Shine find happiness in himself?

The Magical Path Leading to the Glass Bottom Boat

By Candice Zafran

Meet Prince Blake and Princess Brooklyn, a brother-sister pair who love going on adventures together. In this first installment of The Adventures of the Glass Bottom Boat series, join the siblings on a magical journey to their destination. Along the way, you’ll meet talking animals, discover hidden waterfalls, and walk through every color of the rainbow. Hurry now, the glass bottom boat is waiting!

The Truth about the Tooth

By Mistie Psaledas

Do you ever wonder what children all over the world do with their lost teeth? Or what tooth fairies actually look like?

In this delightful, educational book, tooth fairies reveal their secrets and share what happens to children’s lost teeth around the world. The Truth about the Tooth is a story about the diversity, creativity, and imagination of different tooth fairy legends—one from which the entire family can take inspiration.


J.C. in the Kitchen

By John Contratti

Growing up, cooking and eating were ways to gather people together. With this cookbook, I hope to bring people back to the kitchen and the dining table to become close again. During hard times, we can find comfort in family and good food, and that is what I want to inspire in everyone who opens these pages.


Get Me Out of Here! Reflections of PD the Put-Upon Pug

By PD the Pug

More cookies than a Mrs. Fields’ warehouse, his own house constructed under the stairwell, too many toys to fit in his four beds, a veritable Life of Riley for dogs…yet PD the Pug is convinced that his life is a Ruff one, a life of penury, destitution, and want. He longs to be “OUT,” convinced that Out There is where happiness lies, where he can chase every squirrel, forage for more food than his pug belly can hold, and play until he passes out. But…does PD really have a lousy existence with Mommy? Or does he live the life of a Prince and is too silly and spoiled to know how good he has it? More important: Does PD find a way to escape Mommy and see what life on the outside truly is all about? Find out! Order Get Me Out Of Here! Reflections Of PD The Put-Upon Pug today!



Along For the Ride: Living My Fantasies as a Flight Attendant’s Husband

By C. J. Nicholas

From Europe to the Caribbean and back to the U.S.A., C. J. and Alejandra take you on their true and funny adventures of traveling the globe on standby and making the most out of their exploits. From traveling with severe food poisoning to their honeymoon destination, to listing their return flight plans in a marijuana bar in Amsterdam, to having an audience with the Pope in Italy—these are their stories.

How to Suck at Business Without Really Trying

By Marah Archer

As the World’s “Best” Boss puts it: I’ve never shied away from giving great advice— especially when free food or money is involved. Money is my lover, and boy, is she into bondage. I’ll show you how to master money’s rules to foreplay for navigating the business world. I’ll take you on a trip that teaches you all there is to know about starting a world-class business and to rubbing elbows (or even more) with the world’s elite.

Listen, I have an MBA from a top university (an American one, of course), no debt, millions in the bank, and an animation studio start-up that I can proudly say does a lot of stuff that I don’t quite understand. And that’s a good thing, because it keeps me focused on my money.

I’ll teach you how to run a business my way. A few of the things I’ll cover are:

• Human Resources

• Strategy

• Marketing & Business Development

• Leadership

• Tech & Big Data

I promise to give you a peek at my abundant life so that it drives you to be just as successful as I am. If you’re already a millionaire, you should pick up this book to validate what you already know to be true.

Legacy Culture

By Ronald Monack

Legacy Culture helps coaches establish their personal ethical values and bring themselves and their athletes in line with these goals. For any coach who desires to impact their athletes beyond the game they teach, this is their guide.

The Forbidden Fruit: A True Story of Sex, Drugs, and the Afterlife

By Tina Scott

My story is full of secrets. A twisted novel of my life’s journey—a failed marriage, death, sex, a touch of insanity, and an insatiable desire to believe there is a god. There are no more skeletons in my closet.

The Forbidden Fruit is a raw memoir told in an honest and resonating tone. It is the story of facing fears and finding ways to hurl through the unknown.

Young Adult 

Dr. Ford Freud: Skeletons Are Not Scary

By J. A. Ford

“So many questions. So many skeletons.”

Jered Barstow is only eight years old, but he’s burdened by serious concerns. Why does he suspect he’s being raised by people who aren’t his real parents? His family now seems preoccupied with skeletons. Paper Skeletons. Candy skeletons. Why so many skeletons? Skeletons are scary, right?



A Tangled Affair

By Anne C. Scardino

Clair Bondi makes the painful decision to divorce the only man she ever loved—Vince Bondi, her husband of twenty-five years. But Clair never gets the chance to tell Vince she is leaving him, because he is found fatally shot in his Porsche one night when driving home from his weekly tennis game. Haunted by his death, Clair is determined to help the Philadelphia police find the killer. Vince’s secret life, including an account in Turks and Caicos, forces Clair to realize that he wasn’t the man she thought he was. No longer the “good wife,” Clair’s strength and resilience take her from her darkest moment to a life unimagined—one with true love and purpose.

Sainted in Error

By Glenda Winders

What do you wear when you testify against your best friend as she goes on trial for murder?

As Maggie Patterson runs her hand over the clothes in her closet and muses about the prosaic details of preparing for a shockingly personal murder trial, she is catapulted into the memories that led her to this moment. Piece by piece, she assembles the fragments of her past to make sense of a violent crime, the echoes of which ripple through her recollections.

Maggie and Cynthia meet as college freshmen and are seemingly destined to be best friends for life. As the years pass, however, Maggie’s marriage and career lift her to success and wealth while Cynthia’s jealousy and untreated mental illness cause their relationship to disintegrate. As the stories of the two women’s lives unfold, Cynthia’s paranoia and anger sour every relationship she has and turn even the people who have loved her most against her, ultimately bubbling over into an event that Maggie never sees coming.

Not a murder mystery in the usual sense, and spanning time and space, Sainted in Error delves into the tenacity of friendship and the damage that the stigma still attached to mental illness can do.

The Art of Traveling Strangers

By Zoe Disigny

It’s the 1980s, and art historian Claire Markham reels from a series of heartbreaking losses. Desperate to escape her shattered reality, she becomes an art guide in Europe for quirky stranger Viv Chancey and embarks on a life-changing journey through the art-filled cities of Milan, Venice, Ravenna, Florence, Siena, Rome, and Paris.

Once abroad, Claire tries to hide her woes by focusing on Viv’s art education, but Viv—who is not who she seems—has a different learning experience in mind. Frustrated and wanting to reimagine her life, Claire embraces the idea of reality as illusion and finds herself slipping into the tales of art and history.

When threatened with one more crushing loss, Claire must learn from the spirit of her eccentric companion and the lessons from the art they encounter to take charge of her life or lose the most precious thing in it.

The Art of Traveling Strangers is a journey of self-discovery and personal empowerment inspired by the great art masterpieces of Italy and France. It’s a tale of female bonding and the amazing powers of perception. After all, reality, like art, is just an illusion.


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