Sometimes, all a young kid wants to do is hone his sweet ninja skills and take his rightful place as the “Bruce Lee of New England.”

Things, however, are not always that easy. Throw in the pressures of high school, a shopaholic mother, a rap-loving therapist and an Asian cyber-girlfriend, and young Timothy Dimmick’s quest takes some un – expected turns.

Timothy’s path is at the heart of “Fair Weather Ninjas,” the first novel by Dr. Michael Howarth, associate professor of English and director of the Honors Pro – gram at Missouri Southern State University. “It has a humorous element, and there’s a lot in there for adults, too,” he said.

The novel was published this summer by Lamar University Literary Press. Andrew Geyer, author of “Dixie Fish” and “Meeting the Dead” said of the book: “If being a ninja means having the ability to overcome tragedy and to temper with grace the day-after-day awfulness that too often comes with being a teen, then Michael Howarth’s gorgeous coming-of-age novel is a must-read.”

The paperback is available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Dr. Patricia Murphy, a retired English professor, recently published “The New Woman Gothic: Reconfigurations of Distress.”

Published by the University of Missouri Press, the book adds to the study of the New Woman in British fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries. The “New Woman” was the term used at the end of the 19th century to describe women who resisted the limits which society imposed on women. (Today she might be called a liberated woman or a feminist.)

The book, designed for an academic audience, examines the New Woman as she appears in Gothic writing.

Buy Fair Weather Ninjas here!