OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS ARE “OKLAHOMA GHOST DANCE,” BY JEFF WILSON AND “WHISPERS IN THE ATTIC,” BY CHERYL ALSIPPI. THEY CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD …
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8:
“BANANA SANDWICH,” BY STEVE BARGDILL
Christmas Carol Madison lives in a van, delivers pizzas, and is bipolar schizophrenic. She’s in love with her coworker and decides maybe he’s worth getting her life together. She takes her medication. She visits regularly with her probation officer and therapist alike. Carol’s new path suggests normality and hope, a college degree, a career, a family. But when she decides to be better, it is the city that goes insane: her ex-boyfriend murders her roommate. To fight back, she must decide how she is to live her life.
Writes Steve: “The novel was very different for me to write than anything else I had written before. I meticulously plan everything. Carol was complete seat of my pants, waking up in the middle of the night to write down a phrase or two. Additionally, I have no first-hand experience with bipolarism, homelessness, schizophrenia, anorexia, or domestic violence. I’ve known people that have had these issues though, and I really wanted to speak to those specific problems.”
“THE BURGUNDY BRIEFCASE,” BY ROBERTA BURTON
After the death of her husband, Lee moves forward with her life—or, so she thinks. Instead, she finds herself repeating the same mistakes with Frank that she made in past relationships.
While working on her doctorate, she learns about those old patterns and begins to understand her relationship is a sham. Her progression through the doctoral program is threatened by double messages and false promises. She must respond by confronting her professor and Frank’s bizarre behavior. Are they connected? What does it all mean? Will she get what she wants or what she needs?
Writes Roberta: “While still in graduate school, my friends kept telling me I needed to write a self-help book. Since I don’t learn very well when someone tells me what’s wrong with me, I decided to write a novel and show the reader how life can change when we change our thoughts and our behavior. My doctoral program and the clients and patients I have seen over the years provided my research. I began writing bits and pieces in 2008 and completed the book in 2014.”
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11:
“ECHOES FROM ANOTHER LAND,” BY AVA HOMA.
Writes Ava: “Life in a strictly patriarchal culture can be suffocating but so is being misrepresented in the national and international media. Kurdish and Iranian women are more than just victims. I wanted to portray an in-depth and honest image.”
These haunting stories beautifully evoke the oppressive lives of modern women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Anis, a computer programmer, is at the end of her rope, putting up with the bullying criticism of a no-good, unemployed lout of a husband; Azar is a young divorcee, and the only person she can talk to is Reza; but she can see him only late at night when “they” are not around; Sharmin has Down’s syndrome and hopelessly loves Azad; he loves Kazhal, beautiful and blessed; but Kazhal is married off and is divorced at twenty and now awaits a hopeless future . . . For these and other characters the weight of traditional attitudes, the harassment of the religious establishment make for a frustrating, confining, and sometimes unlivable existence.
Echoes from the Other Land was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Award. The collection was also placed 6th in the top ten winners of the CBC Reader’s Choice Contest for Giller Prize.
“INTO SHADOW,” BY TARA SHIELDS.
Into Shadow looks at what the world could be like in another 200 years. There are high points (incredible advances in technology)… and low points (cities in ruins after years of world wars and climate change). It’s 2259 and the entire planet has been changed by the melting of the polar ice sheets. As the land was overrun by water, countries ran out of room for their populace. The need for more land eventually led to the 3rd World War – a global conflict that lasted thirty years and drastically changed the political landscape and the physical environment. Many countries banded together for protection and power, including the former countries of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America, which are now collectively known as the North American Alliance.
The North American Alliance is led by President Walker: a war hero, a widower and a father. His nineteen-year-old daughter Poppy serves as First Lady until she finds herself caught in the middle of a government takeover and dodging assasins and robotic soldiers. Not just dystopian fiction, “Into Shadow” is also a coming of age story that examines social issues from a future perspective.
NEWS AND NOTES
In case you read and enjoyed Joshua Samuel Brown’s “How Not to Avoid Jet Lag” (Snowflakes feature, June 19) and would like to get to know him better, he’ll be leading a cycling tour of Taiwan this fall , The 11-day tour will begin in Taipei with a high-speed train ride to the city of Kaohsiung at the southern end of the island.
The itinerary features rides along the rugged eastern coastline, through pineapple fields and rice paddies and into the Taroko and Jinshan national parks. Pit stops include culturally significant sites, aboriginal villages and night markets.
See the most-read stories in Life & Style this hour >>
The tour is suitable for both beginning and experienced cyclists; the average distance is about 45 miles a day.
Dates: Oct. 24 and Nov. 7
Price: $4,850 per person, double occupancy. Includes accommodations, most meals and bicycle rental. International airfare not included.
Info: Bicycle Adventures, (800) 443-6060.
Andrea Brunais‘ novel “Mercedes Wore Black” (featured on Snowflakes on July 24) recently won a silver medal in the President’s Book Awards contest sponsored by the Florida Author’s and Publisher’s Association. Congrats!
Joe Broadmeadow, whose “Collision Course” was featured on Snowflakes July 14, has a new police procedural novel out, “Silenced Justice.”
Here’s the Amazon blurb: “Lieutenant Josh Williams is back in this latest thriller from Joe Broadmeadow, Silenced Justice. When his former boss, retired Lieutenant Chris Hamlin, asks him to reopen an old case, Josh uncovers the shocking truth behind an innocent man’s death in prison. In 1972, Darnell Grey, accused of a series of rapes and a homicide, is beaten to death in the prison while awaiting trial.
A truth that unveils hollowness and corruption at the very core of government and our Justice System.