* Layton author Jennifer Nielsen's new book for young readers is "Elliot and the Pixie Plot" (Sourcebooks, $12.99). The book is due out in August and is the second in Nielsen's The Underworld Chronicles series.
The book, with illustrations by Gideon Kendall, continues the tale of 8-year-old Elliot Penster, who unwittingly set off a war between brownies and goblins in Nielsen's first book, "Elliott and the Goblin War." In the follow-up, Elliot is now king of the brownies.
While not normally a stubborn child, Elliot doesn't see a lot of room for bargaining on the issue of goblins eating his royal subjects. That's why he's holding a goblin hostage, much to the dismay of a pixie princess who wants his release. Elliot naturally refuses until the goblin promises to stop eating the brownies. And that's how Elliot ends up alone in the underworld, trying to steal a hair and a sock from a demon in order to appease the pixies and the fairies. Elliot discovers in this new adventure that being king of the brownies is no easy job.
"Oh dear. Funny names (Fudd Fartwick, Tubs Lawless) and unexpected events (almost being scared to death) tumble through the pages, and Nielsen writes about them with tongue in cheek," reports Booklist. Visit www.sourcebooks.com for more infortmation.
* Roy author Michael Zimmer's newest book is "Wild Side of the River" (Five Star Publishing, $25.95) and his next book "The Long Hitch" (Five Star Publishing, $25.95) is due out next month.
"Wild Side of the River" is the story of the Wilder family who settled in Montana in a time when the land was a territory still belonging to the Sioux and the buffalo. But now, times are changing. The buffalo are gone, the Sioux are confined to reservations, and the newer citizens are saying it's time for the likes of the Wilders to go, too. But the Wilders say differently in this Western-themed crime drama.
"It's darker, harder around the edges, a noir crime drama wearing western clothing," reports Booklist. "Ethan Wilder is a two-fisted 1940s antihero transported to the Wild West, and fans of both noir and westerns should give this book thumbs-up."
In "The Long Hitch," Zimmer takes his readers to the Utah territory in 1874, where the good guys ride mules and snap bullwhips in a story that explores the lives of crusty mule skinners and the perils of the Western freight wagon business.
In the action-packed adventure, young teamster Buck McCready becomes wagon boss for a Kavanaugh freight outfit after his mentor, old Mason Campbell is murdered. Buck vows to find his friend's killer, but first he must win a wagon train race that promises to land a lucrative freight-hauling contract for his outfit. That proves no easy task, as there is a saboteur on his crew, a hired gun out to take him down, and Campbell's killer may have his sights set on Buck as well.
"Add brawls, a wicked good bullwhip fight, harsh terrain, shifting alliances, mutiny, kidnapping, and Buck's distressing realization about Campbell, and Zimmer has put together a believable, gritty, and action-packed tale of the real Old West," reports Publisher's Weekly.
Zimmer is the author of several books, including "Johnny Montana," "Where The Buffalo Roam" and "Fandango." Visit www.michael-zimmer.com for more information.
* Sandy author Rod Miller has written a new historical novel, "The Assassination of Governor Boggs" (Bonneville Books, $14.99).
The book is based on Lilburn Boggs, the governor of Missouri who famously issued an "extermination order" against the Mormons in 1838. Boggs was shot at in his home in 1842 Independence, Mo., but the gunman was never found. Boggs could never prove who'd taken a shot at him and the identity of the assailant remained a mystery
Twenty-five years later and after the passing of Boggs, Miller's novel tells the story of a detective named Calvin Pogue who is hired by the Boggs family to open the cold case. From one end of the country to the other, Pogue follows clues that lead him relentlessly to the legendary Mormon gunman Porter Rockwell -- who still isn't making things easy for anyone.
Miller is author of two nonfiction books "Massacre at Bear River: First, Worst, Forgotten" and "John Muir: Magnificent Tramp." Visit www.cedarfort.com for more information.