Real Nice Books

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Real Nice Books is an independent publisher of quality fiction and nonfiction.

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Featured publications

By Thomas Keech

Real Nice Books announces the release of Mallory’s Manly Methods, a comic adventure story about a Customer Service Representative for a cable company who hates customers, looks down on women, and fears Blacks.  When his actual life experiences conflict with his prejudices, he makes his own unique attempts at self-improvement, but his efforts are complicated by the fact that he’s also a blundering idiot.
   This is the first book of the Mallory series.

“An exceedingly kooky protagonist drives this touching, silly adventure.”Kirkus Reviews

Available as a Soundcloud podcast or Spotify podcast

“I appreciated the humor in all of Mallory’s many flaws and bad decisions, and gave the book 4 out of 5 stars. It definitely needed to be approached in the right frame of mind, and I would recommend it for a reader who can dislike the main character, but still find humor in his misery and hilariously bad choices.” –  Becky Bailey,



Book 2 of the Red State/Blue State Confessions
In dystopian Kansas, women have lost all rights except the right to reproduce. Unmarried pregnant women are rounded up, given new names, and forcibly married as second and third wives to members of Reverend Ezekial’s congregation.
Stacey desperately searches for allies to stem the political tide, while Ruth must risk her life by going underground to rescue her sister.
More frightening than the The Handmaid’s Tale because more closely tied to actual current trends, this “powerful cautionary tale” (Kirkus Reviews) should remind us never to check our humanity and compassion at the door when making rules for others to follow.

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It is five years into the future in Kansas, and women are quickly losing almost all of their rights except the right to reproduce. Law student Stacey Davenport fights back on behalf of all the women in the state, but her struggle is complicated by the compromises she must make – and even more seriously by the deep-rooted family issues that she herself helped create.
“A powerful cautionary tale about the destructive effects of restrictive religious rule.” –  Kirkus Reviews

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Dr. Hartwicke Zeus sexually preys upon his women patients, including Diane, a suburban teenager who feels guilty and lost after having previously given away her baby girl. Zeus relishes the challenge of bending his intelligent and spirited young patient to his will. The Board of Medicine knows what Dr. Zeus is doing, but its young investigator is repeatedly thwarted in his attempt to bring Zeus to justice.

“With Zeus, Keech (Hot Box in the Pizza District, 2015, etc.) draws a remarkably accurate picture of an especially dangerous form of sociopath–not the serial killer of the public imagination but a white-coated, well-educated, and highly respected doctor. ….
The plot moves with energy, building toward a dramatic but believable conclusion. It’s hugely satisfying watching the efforts of Dave and his team as they try to expose Zeus’s lies. ….
A complex, multilayered, and psychologically acute tale about a predatory physician: well done.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Star Rating: 5/5 …. The split narrative is as exciting as the plot itself and keeps you hooked in the best possible way!”
Manhattan Book Review

“Star Rating: 4/5 …. Overall, it is a well put together crime drama that reads quickly and well ….”
San Francisco Book Review

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A box delivered to a twenty-year-old student stirs up bitter memories just as he encounters a passionate woman who shares similar secrets. Tim is a bike messenger, muscle builder and ace student who is proud that his life is exceptional and pretty much under his own control – until he learns that what he needs most is the same thing he most fears.

“This book touches on common life experiences such romance, complicated family dynamics, the death of a loved one, infidelity and depression.” — Portland Book Review

Hot Box is interesting and engaging.” — Manhattan Book Review

“Thomas Keech can write.” — San Francisco Book Review

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Teenagers fight back against neglect and abuse in this fast-moving novel set in contemporary suburban America. Kate’s mother moves out of the house to live with her boyfriend, the spoiled son of a well-respected neighborhood businessman. Kate’s father loves his daughter but pushes her away. Kate meets a charismatic boy, Lucky, and is drawn into his own twisted family situation. The school counselors who are supposed to help troubled students blindly put Kate into the path of a sexual predator. Suburban corruption relentlessly spreads even into the children’s family lives.

“… there is no lack of drama and intrigue.”     —  Kirkus Reviews

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Uncertain Luck is now available as an audiobook
read by the author himself.
Request a code to listen for free on Spotify.
(Send message: “Please send me a code to listen to Uncertain Luck on Spotify.)





Prize-winning novel A Hundred Veils is now available as an audiobook
read by the author himself.
Request a code to listen for free on Spotify.
(Send message: “Please send me a code to listen to A Hundred Veils on Spotify.)




Nebulous Enemies, a suspenseful. story of love and intrigue in Afghanistan as aid workers fear the looming withdrawal of American forces protecting them from the Taliban.
Roger’s wife suddenly disappears, and although their relationship was never normal, he pursues her in Afghanistan, suspecting she has run off with Lyle, a U.S. contractor working there. In Kabul he is shocked to find out what his wife and Lyle have done. Lyle threatens him, and he meets Sophie, a Belgian aid worker who teaches Afghan women. She is also in danger from Lyle, and Roger’s goal is now to save Sophie and himself.

An idealistic teacher gets sucked into an unfamiliar world of war profiteering in this bracing thriller.
… Despite being out of their depth, Roger and Sophie attempt to right a raft of wrongs in a country at war…. Keech portrays Roger and Sophie as forces of good—moral but naive—and their journey toward finding each other amid danger is memorable. However, the true scene-stealer here is the country of Afghanistan, brought to life in this well-researched volume …. The chaos of war catalyzes key developments in the plot, and Afghanistan’s citizenry plays a strong supporting role.
This engaging, layered work proves to be both a love story and a cautionary tale.” — Kirkus Reviews

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 The Shuster Mission to Iran:
Leaving Something Worthwhile Behind
by Joan Gaughan

In 1911 a young American accountant named Morgan Shuster went with his family to Iran to put its chaotic finances on a sound footing. Less than eight months later, under Russian and British pressure, he was forced to make a decision that would affect not only his mission but the fate of the country for decades to come.
Joan Gaughan tells the exciting story of Iran’s early attempt to maintain its fledgling parliamentary democracy in the face of entrenched resistance, tribal rebellions, and pressure from Western powers who stood to benefit by restoring the royal Qajar dynasty despite its decadence.

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Her mother has died and her father is missing. In despair, twenty-year-old Emiko abandons her factory job to go searching for her father in Tokyo.
It is 1969, and her father has helped with student protests against the war in Vietnam. This gives Emiko a lead to start her search.

To survive in Tokyo, she stays at a hostel in the seedy Sanya neighborhood and takes a job as hostess in a bar where she’s required to “talk cute,” which goes against her grain.
She’s previously refused an offer to become the second wife of the rich Genji, twice her age, who had been in love with her mother, but when she’s fired and out of money, in desperation she goes to Genji’s office, hoping for a loan. Genji has something else in mind.
Emiko nearly gives up the idea of finding her father. And then she meets Juan, an American soldier recovering from a battle injury. Now she’s in love with a soldier in the war she and her father have been denouncing for years.

“Keech writes confidently and evocatively, conjuring an authentic setting both rich with detail and a sense of atmosphere. This coming-of-age story set against 1969 Tokyo, which touches both upon Japan post-World War II, and the Vietnam War, proves fertile ground for emotional drama with hints of intrigue and romance.” —BookLife Prize

Keech’s book presents a post–World War II Tokyo that is no longer in lockstep with America, with New Left, anti-war movements like the Beheiren offering readers a view of Japan in the 1970s many may not have considered. Emiko is a strong, independent, and clever protagonist, using her wits to try to find her father and outsmart the radicals and criminals on the edges of this new, harsher world outside Kitayama. … A vivid and unusual era and setting help this wartime love story stand out.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Uncertain Luck is also available in a Japanese translation by Fujita Iori.









Book 3 of The Shady Park Chronicles.
(Book 1 is First World Problems.
Book 2 is Shady Park Panic.)

Shady Park Secrets is the witty, compassionate, and suspenseful story of a woman seeking love and fighting small-town hypocrisy and corruption, by the prize-winning author of A Hundred Veils.

A teacher falls in love, then puts that love at risk when she begins a secret fight to expose a pedophile preying on her students.
Nicole is already in danger of being fired for objecting to the new alt-right textbooks required in her school. Now she steps up to defend a student who’s been receiving unwanted nude pictures on his phone from a girl he hardly knows. And then Nicole starts receiving nude pictures herself.
Nicole loses her job over this but meets Ralph, the editor of the Shady Park newspaper, who suspects that a member of the board of education has been confiscating nude pictures from students for his own pleasure and profit.
Nicole falls in love with Ralph, and their happiness seems secured, but the police call her in for questioning. She agrees to secretly wear a wire to try to entrap Rev. Blatchford, the board member, but the police insist that “the press,” meaning Ralph, not be told about it.
Without telling Ralph where she’s going , Nicole takes a flash drive the police have given her to a “soiree” at which Blatchford buys and sells child pornography. She doesn’t return to Ralph’s that night. And this is only the first of several secret missions she runs for the police, each more dangerous than the one before.
Keeping her undercover work for the police secret arouses Ralph’s suspicion, and Nicole knows she’s in danger of losing him, but she’s seen the harm Blatchford is causing her students and can’t refuse to help put him in jail.
Shady Park Secrets exposes problems in contemporary society, including political corruption and xenophobia, but the story is told with compassion and a wry sense of humor. It is a fast-paced, cleverly plotted, and satisfying conclusion to the Shady Park Chronicles series that began with First World Problems and Shady Park Panic.

“This third installment of a series maintains the author’s satirical take on modern American suburban life while dealing with some serious societal problems. …From ostentatious McMansions to crooked politicians and religious zealots, little escapes the author’s sharp eye for hypocrisy and amusing excess. … readers should find the story’s conclusion satisfying.”     —Kirkus Reviews

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Book 2 of The Shady Park Chronicles.
(Book 1 is First World Problems.)

A school shooting and groundswell of demand to arm teachers challenges a young reporter for the Shady Park Ledger to find out and report what really happened.

Everyone is sure the shooter was a terrorist. A woman who wears a hejab is arrested, but Anthony believes she’s not guilty and works to find out who is. Luckily he has the help of the beautiful Pari, who encourages him to keep reporting the facts despite the publisher’s threats to fire both of them.

“Keech’s prose style is charmingly companionable, and he depicts the romantic entanglements of Anthony’s personal life, including an involvement with his boss’s daughter, with a tone of sweetness and humor.”
Kirkus Reviews

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Book 1 of The Shady Park Chronicles.

Emma has lost her job but keeps her sense of humor as she struggles to keep her family going, even if they can’t match the pampered lifestyle of her friends from “the Estates.”
Her naïve, idealistic husband Charles is no help. His only concern is seeing that there are no preservatives, pesticides, or growth hormones in his food.
Their friend Andre, an unmarried, eccentric intellectual, is even less concerned with what he calls Emma’s first world problems. He’s content to live on pizza and donuts in his shack by the river. When Emma uncovers a conspiracy of real estate developers to get Charles away from her and get Andre’s property away from him, it is up to her to stop it.

“Keech (A Hundred Veils, 2015) takes on a literary classic in this novel, which follows the romantic and social trials and tribulations of Emma Bovant and her husband, Charles. . . . This tale should please readers who enjoy romantic drama, and may be of interest to fans of Flaubert.”   — Kirkus Reviews

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A young American teacher at the University of Tehran falls in love with a beautiful Iranian girl and gets caught up in the social, political, and religious turmoil of the times as forces opposing the Shah are gathering strength. This novel presents a heart-warming picture of the Iranian people who befriend, guide, love, and laugh at Marco, who naively assumes at first that U.S. help is wanted and appreciated by the Iranians, but soon comes to see himself–in the eyes of some–as an instrument of the West’s arrogant assertion of control.

“Set in the lead-up to the Iranian revolution, A Hundred Veils is a rich portrait of cultural and personal discovery and forbidden love. Keech uses both humor and drama, as well as finely chosen details and rich description, to bring the characters and their world to life.”
Eleanor Brown, New York bestselling author of The Weird Sisters

A Hundred Veils was the finalist in the BookLife Prize General Fiction category 2017
BookLife Prize review:
Prose: The writing is as economical and succinct as a film script. The narrative moves along swiftly, and yet it’s studded with evocative detail.
Originality: This gripping book is a romance with humor and cultural insights that readers will find original and intriguing.
Character Development: The characters here are well developed and fully formed. Marco in particular feels vivid and real.

Also Winner of Best Literary/Mainstream Novel Award 2017 by the Maryland Writers’ Association.

Now available as an audiobook. Free review copy on NetGalley, Or request a link to listen free on Spotify.

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