Inks and Bindings Presents a Rich Tapestry of Themes from Diverse Genres at the LA Times Festival of Books 2024

Chasing the Daylight: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer

Among Red Poppies in the Sand

Thresholds to Greater Glory: Becoming a Vessel of Honor

WWII + VI: A Kid’ S Memories of War and Postwar

Inks and Bindings offers a collection of four books that explore themes ranging from spiritual growth to the pursuit of dreams and contemporary global issues.

YORBA LINDA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, April 18, 2024 / — With the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2024 just around the corner, the excitement is palpable as literary enthusiasts eagerly await the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of words. At the forefront of this celebration of literature stands Inks and Bindings, a dynamic self-publishing company nestled in the heart of California.

Set to unfold on April 20–21, 2024, at the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books ranks among the largest literary gatherings in the United States. Out of the 70 book titles Inks and Bindings will be bringing this literary weekend, four books will steal the limelight, each offering a unique and captivating narrative that reflects the diverse range of voices and stories present at the festival.

Transitioning from being a ballerina to a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer represents an out-of-the-box career leap. Yet, “Chasing the Daylight: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer” opens a narrative emphasizing the boundless possibilities when one remains steadfast in pursuit of one’s dreams.

Fueled by a dream to serve in military intelligence, this 412-page book traces Joanna Rakowski’s transformation from a delicate ballerina to a determined U.S. Army Intelligence Officer. Joanna Rakowski, a Ph.D. holder born and raised in Poland, immigrated to the US in 1995. Despite her background in the arts and academia, she embarked on a new trajectory following a painful parting with a cherished friend and mentor. Through her memoir, readers are immersed in her arduous four-year journey, navigating rigorous army training and the realities known to less than one percent of the U.S. population. Beyond her military service, Joanna’s story reflects her belief in continuous self-improvement, drawn from diverse experiences in both the private sector and the federal government. From interrogator to linguist to all-source intelligence analyst, she embodies resilience and adaptability, echoing her passion for life’s varied pursuits. Her book “Chasing the Daylight: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer” stands as Rakowski’s literary debut, offering a poignant testament to strength, courage, and the pursuit of personal growth.

Marcia Levitz’s journey to Israel recounted with a blend of historical narrative and poetic reflection, bears the emotional weight of a lifelong connection sparked by her childhood discovery of Anne Frank’s story. Visiting Frank’s hiding place at the age of ten profoundly impacted Levitz, inspiring her to share her experiences in her 23-page book, “Among the Red Poppies in the Sand”.

Set against the backdrop of the harsh Israeli desert, a landscape marked not only by environmental hostility but also by the ongoing military conflict between divergent cultures, Levitz’s “Among the Red Poppies in the Sand” embodies a fervent aspiration for a future where peace and mutual respect prevail. Through her narrative, she articulates a hopeful vision for the fourth generation to live free from the burdens of past strife. The cover of her book showcases three vibrant red poppies, symbolizing the intricate tapestry of three generations of Jews that author Marcia Levitz intimately understands and portrays. These generations include grandparents who endured the Diaspora and the horrors of the Holocaust, their children who toiled in fields and raised families in the fledgling democracy of Israel and across the United States, and their grandchildren, now serving in the modern Israeli military or resting in cemeteries worldwide. With its blend of prose and poetry, “Among the Red Poppies in the Sand” serves as an ideal companion for first-time travelers to Israel and a valuable resource for high school history classes. Furthermore, Levitz envisions her work as a tool for fundraising efforts supporting Jewish causes and as a means to counteract misinformation perpetuated by propagandists.

Dr. Frances Houston Cuffi, an empowerment specialist with over fifty years of ministry experience, presents her debut book, “Thresholds to Greater Glory”. This 158-page treasure trove of wisdom and encouragement draws upon her vast reservoir of insights and learnings from diverse philosophical and spiritual traditions. Through practical guidance gleaned from her own journey and those of others, Dr. Cuffi illuminates the timeless truth that the Spirit of the Lord provides continual teaching and guidance to those willing to listen and respond.

Addressing trials across all facets of life—be it family, friendships, employment, education, or health—her book equips readers with the tools and perspectives needed to find strength and solace amidst adversity. With poignant anecdotes, reflections, and profound insights, Dr. Cuffi beckons readers to draw nearer to the divine, unveiling the path to spiritual fulfillment and enlightenment. Beyond a mere philosophical discourse, “Thresholds to Greater Glory” serves as a practical handbook for daily living, offering a beacon of hope for those navigating dark times, reassuring them that they are not alone on their journey towards spiritual enlightenment. In addition to her extensive ministry work, Dr. Frances Houston Cuffi serves as prelate for the United Church Fellowship International Conference and pastors Temple United Church in the District of Columbia. Her academic journey includes earning a B.A. in business administration, an M.A. in law, a J.D., and a Ph.D. in cheology. Prior to her ministry, she spent twenty-three years as a government employee and four years in private law practice before establishing her own general practice law firm nearly two decades ago.

Written in 2019, seventy-five years after a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945, “WWII + VI: A Kid’s Memories of War and Postwar” offers unique insights into the post-war era through the eyes of a young boy, detailing the events and challenges faced during that tumultuous period. It is a poignant 98-page historical memoir penned by Dr. Johan Zwaan, recounting his childhood experiences in Holland during World War II. Born in Gorinchem in 1934, Zwaan vividly portrays his life from ages 5 to 10, living under Nazi occupation. Despite the grim backdrop of war, Zwaan injects humor into his narrative, offering a refreshing perspective that avoids overwhelming emotional weight.

Johan Zwaan’s journey extends beyond his wartime experiences, encompassing a remarkable career in medicine and academia. Graduating from the University of Amsterdam, Zwaan’s studies were momentarily interrupted by his service in the Royal Dutch Army. Upon completing his military duty, he pursued further education, eventually obtaining his MD and Ph.D. degrees. His academic pursuits led him to prestigious institutions such as Harvard Medical School and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Throughout his career, Zwaan made significant contributions to the field of ophthalmology, publishing numerous scientific papers and even co-authoring a textbook. Despite his professional achievements, Zwaan’s passion for storytelling emerged in his later years, leading him to pen his memoir. Retiring in 2017, Zwaan continues to share his wealth of experiences, both medical and personal, with the world through his writing. “WWII + VI: A Kid’s Memories of War and Postwar” is now available in various formats, including an audiobook version.

As these four literary gems converge at the 2024 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, they invite attendees to embark on a collective journey of exploration and discovery where the power of storytelling transcends boundaries and ignites the imagination. Readers of these genres can check out these books being featured at Inks and Bindings booth number 182, located at Gold Zone. For a glimpse of the other titles that Inks and Bindings will showcase at this year’s festival, visit their website at

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