New books by Seattle-area authors: a Skagit Valley chaplain’s memoir, extraordinary female conservationists and a Mercer Island author’s trio of novels for children, based on his Southern childhood.

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New releases

“Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders”by Chris Hoke (HarperOne, $25.99). Hoke, a jail chaplain and pastor to Mexican gangs in the Skagit Valley, shares life-altering encounters that he has had while working with “the wanted and unwanted.” His publisher calls the book a tale about the redemptive power of belief.

“Fantastical Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia” by Marija Bulatovic (SOL, $14.99). The Seattle memoirist reflects on her Yugoslavian childhood through several stories. The characters include quirky family members, gypsies, unorthodox neighbors, “whores” and even bears.

“Extraordinary Women Conservationists of Washington” by Dee Arntz (History Press, $19.99). Author, conservationist and University of Washington grad Arntz recounts stories of women making important differences in Washington’s lands. The accounts include expanding national parks, creating an environmental council and fighting corporations when the environment is at stake.

“My Brother’s Story,” “A Nest of Snakes” and “The Dead House” by Allen Johnson Jr., illustrated by Kelley McMorris (Premium Press, $14.99 each). Johnson, a Mercer Island resident, drew on his Southern childhood in Alabama to create this trio of adventure novels, called “The Blackwater Novels,” for children. Two twin boys, separated in childhood, are reunited for several adventures, including confronting racial hatred in the segregated South