THIS FEATURE HAS A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE: 1. TO ALLOW THOSE RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR FOLLOWER’S LIST TO LEARN ABOUT BOOKS THEY MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND 2. TO MAKE SURE PREVIOUSLY FEATURED AUTHORS AND THEIR WORK AREN’T FORGOTTEN. IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANY OF THE BOOKS REVISITED HERE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.
“THE SHARK CURTAIN,” BY CHRIS SCOFIELD
Set against the changing terrain of middle-class values and the siren calls of art and puberty, The Shark Curtain invites us into Lily Asher’s wonderful, terrible world. The older of two girls growing up in suburban Portland, Oregon, in the mid-1960s, her inner life stands in quirky contrast to the loving but dysfunctional world around her.
Often misunderstood by her flawed but well-intentioned parents, teenage Lily orbits their tumultuous love affair, embracing what embraces her back: the ghost of her drowned dog, a lost aunt, numbers, shoe boxes, werewolves, rituals, and stories she pens herself (including one about a miscarried sibling she dubs “Frog Boy”). With “regular” visits from a wisecracking Jesus, an affectionate but combative friendship is born—a friendship that strains Lily’s grasp of reality as much as her patience.
From the violence of a peeping tom and catching Mom in flagrante delicto with the neighbor to jungles in her closet, butlers under her bed, and barking in public, Lily struggles to balance her family’s expectations with the visions that continue to isolate her.
Dark, funny, and thoughtful, Chris Scofield’s debut novel, The Shark Curtain, details thirteen-to-sixteen-year-old Lily’s first steps on her strange but loving journey to self-acceptance and belonging.
“END OF MEN,” BY C.B. MURPHY
C. B. Murphy’s End of Men is a satiric tour de force about the ambiguity of identity where art intersects relationship. Inspired by The Magus, the book takes a successful Chicago couple through life-altering experiences ending on an Italian island run by a Warholian student of Aleister Crowley and his Iranian-feminist femme fatale. Adrift in midlife angst, financier Ben withholds the secrets of his wild past from his younger wife Kay.
In horror at becoming a suburban “Beige,” Kay longs for her own walk on the wild side. As assistant curator of a feminist-themed outsider art exhibit, the End of Men, Kay contacts Ben’s estranged friends, the narcissistic Gordon and the exotic Shiraz, who run a film school on a Mediterranean island. Their secret is that it is a struggling place where underpaid Eurotrash produce factory art while working as grips and extras on Shiraz’s underfunded masterpieces of neo-feminist surrealism. When the self-styled enfants terribles premier their film at Kay’s museum, Ben’s past crashes through its barriers. Caught in the nether zone of grief and confusion, he accepts an invitation to “vacation” at the island described as an artists’ paradise.
In Magus territory now, Ben and Kay become pawns in bizarre psychological games of erotic adventure with the promise of a renewed marriage through the reawakening of Ben’s wild heart. In this swirling circus of eccentricity, Ben’s ability to distinguish what is real quickly erodes as he and Kay become performers in Gordon and Shiraz’s final film, a reenactment of the immolation of Jacques de Molay, the last Knights Templar. As simmering violence threatens to become more than cinematic metaphor, Ben and Kay realize the manipulations have become dangerous.
“THE BIG WHEEL,” BY SCOTT ARCHER JONES
Robko Zlata is careening across America, on the run with a call girl–his ex-wife– on a hot red racing bike. He stole the wrong thing, a device that can guarantee immortality. His wrathful target refuses to lose control of the world’s greatest piece of technology. Robko’s new worst enemy unlooses hundreds of his corporate security in pursuit, and asks his golden boy Thomas Steward to “follow the money” and turn up the thief by massive illegal surveillance. Thomas, morphing into his prey, becomes the most dangerous of hunters. But Thomas could die too: a gang of ex-mercenaries, mostly good at killing, torture, and rape, are hot on both Robko’s and Thomas’s heels. The thugs are ready to murder anyone who has ever touched the immortality device. Throw in the underground world of thieves and billionaires, drugs, punk clubs, five-star hotels and cheap motels, and you’ve got a hell of a ride.\
“THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT,” BY KAREN RIVELLO.
One prophecy, two families, one moon, two worlds; who will survive? A curse has spread across the Elvin realm of Waters Edge and only the ‘chosen one’ from the human world can stop it.
One hundred years after the prophecy was foretold, on the night of the harvest moon, the small village celebrates its bountiful year never suspecting that their ancient lore was about to unfold. Though none believed, it could not stop the events from unfolding, and only a few who had been unwillingly drawn in could hope to stop the Elvin prince that had betrayed his own.
As the power of the Elvin king wanes, the shadow dragon has also returned to the human world, leaving the pools open for more evil and vile things to pass through, and unless the two worlds pull their armies together, none may survive. How many must perish before the prophecy can be fulfilled?
“ENCHANTING THE SWAN,” BY JOHN SCHWARTZ
Paul, classical pianist and MBA graduate student, meets cellist law student Fiona, at the College of William & Mary and starts playing beautiful music with her. When they perform The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns on the occasion of William & Mary’s Charter Day, their love is sealed forever and they agree to marry after graduation. But Fiona’s reactionary godparents object to her marrying Paul and command her to come back home to Brussels.
Paul visits her in Brussels, but Fiona feels obliged to break their relationship because of the wishes of her deceased parents she marry into her Belgian social circle, unaware of her godfather’s real intentions. Heartbroken, Paul leaves for Geneva to start his banking career, but gets entangled in a dramatic banking fraud and is forced to return to the USA. There he finds Fiona physically and psychologically abused and on the verge of utter despair.
“RARE ATMOSPHERE,” BY RACHELLE ROGERS
When, at age fifty-nine, Rachelle Rogers was told in a channeled conversation about a man she didn’t know, yet felt she’d been waiting for all her life, it initiated an extraordinary six year inter-dimensional affair of the heart. The rich tapestry of events, which unfolds through ongoing conversations with angelic beings affectionately called The Dead Guys, weaves through a world of classical music, poetic inspiration, synchronistic interludes, and unexpected landscapes including Paris, Provence, and the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. In an authentic and lyrical voice, Rare Atmosphere recounts a story of passion, vision, and the courage to quest for a grander truth.