Weather Report, Feb. 29

 

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “THE GORGE,” BY DAVID ARMAND, “AN UNLIKELY ARRANGEMENT,” BY PATTY WISEMAN AND “HUSTLE HENRY & THE CUEBALL KID,” BY JACK STRANDBURG, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

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“UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MARCH 1-7.

“RESTING PLACES,” BY MICHAEL WHITE

The first time I ever saw a roadside memorial, it was on a bus trip from Guatemala City to Antigua, up a steep, twisting mountain road with no guardrails.

The man sitting next to me had a machete in his belt, but seemed amiable enough. Of course, I couldn’t speak Spanish and he didn’t speak English, so I pointed at one of the numerous small memorials along the way and made a questioning gesture. He promptly made a sign of the cross.

Since then, I have always been intrigued by these sad little shrines, and thought perhaps one might be a good jumping off point for a novel.

Now, Michael White has done it. His book “Resting Places” makes its debut today, and this is what Michael wrote on his Snowflakes template:

“Elizabeth, grieving the death of her son, meets a mysterious man along the side of the road who is placing flowers near a ‘roadside memorial.’ She stops and he tells her about ‘descansos,’ Spanish for “resting places”—those roadside memorials that were called resting places for people carrying their loved ones to their final resting place. With this she goes on a spiritual and physical journey cross country to the site of her son’s death … ”

Michael fits the profile of a number of Snowflakes authors — a college professor (Fairfield University in Connecticut) who writes during his off-time. And he apparently travels in fast literary company, because he has recommendations from a couple of other authors with bonafide bestsellers to their credit — Wally Lamb (“She’s Come Undone” and Jacqueline Mitchard (“The Deep End of the Ocean.”).

“THE HOLDOUTS,” BY SHERRY CLEMENTS

Sherry Clements, our other featured writer this week, has done some cross-country traveling of her own. A native of Arkansas, she attended college both in Oregon and Vermont.

A description of her novel, “The Holdouts,” promises a full cast of colorful characters:

“Martha lives in working class Arkansas of the late sixties and early seventies. Her father is a proud and brutal man who can’t always get enough work to keep pinto beans on the table. Her mother, Pixie, in the most creative moment of life, slips into her wedding dress, marches to the local storefront fundamentalist church and marries Jesus. The only redeeming thing about the church for Martha is that the middle Spoon daughter is also forced to attend, and she’s the toughest outlaw girl in town. Martha finds temporary respite through her friendship with Spoon and her strong independent grandmother. Girlfriends, however, get boyfriends and grandmothers get old, but the holdouts survive.”

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY.

This month we’ll revisit “A Reaper Made,” by Liz Long; “Gap Year Girl,” by Marianne Bohr; “Road Gang,” by H.V. Traywick; “Sophia’s Web,” by Burl and Mary Hall; “Two Ways to Sunday,” by Tom Starita and “Looking for Lydia, Looking for God,” by Dean Robertson.

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SPEAKING OF DEAN ROBERTSON ….

She is willing to review your book — in depth and at no charge. Really.

Dean writes:
“Here’s the deal: These are long, elaborate reviews, not like anything you’ll get anywhere else.  I am going to attach a few links here to reviews of an assortment of very different kinds of books but the basic format of all of them should give your authors a clear idea of what to expect.  As I work on each review I will be asking the author to do a little work: send me an author bio and several images to include in the review; if they read the ones I’m sending you they’ll see what other writers have sent.
“These reviews go out to Facebook (my timeline, my author page, several authors’ groups I’m in—some open, some closed—at least one of which has members who always ‘share’); Twitter; Goodreads; LinkedIn; Google+. As I share them to each these sites, I always put some little teaser at the top to entice people to read the book.  And I always remind my FB “Friends” to share.
“I also try to put a shorter version of the review directly onto Amazon and Goodreads (it is perfectly fine for them to remind me if I forget-which I have done a couple of times and been notified of my oversight right away 🙂
These reviews are FREE.
“I do want, however, a return favor.  I want every author I review to subscribe to my blog and to read and comment on as many of my posts as possible.  And I mean this.  I will nag them unmercifully if I don’t see their comments on some blog posts.  You may feel free to warn them that I’m a Meanie and a World Class Nag.”
Note: Dean was a long-time English teacher, so she’s good at what she does. Just don’t cross her.

 

 

 

 

 

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writersbridgebridgebuilder

Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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