OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “SIX MONTHS IN THE MIDWEST,” BY DARCI SCHUMMER, “REPTILE WINES,” BY JOHN HEWITT AND “CODA,” BY ARTHUR LEVY, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR “AUTHOR” PAGE.
Welcome to fall. Up here in the Adirondack North Country, we are preparing for the annual onslaught of fallen leaves, then of fallen snow.
Still, there are two ways of looking at everything. Winter may not always be friendly north of the Mason-Dixon line (or, for that matter, in northern Europe and parts of Asia), but it is a wonderful time to focus on reading.
Moreover, I’d like reiterate how much I appreciate everyone who has signed on to follow this blog, and I have two favors to ask of you.
First, I’m always looking for books and authors to feature. If you know of work that could benefit from having a little more light focused on it, feel free to pass it along to me. And if you’ve purchased one of the books listed on this site — or even borrowed it from the library — please consider posting a review on Amazon. Books rise and fall on that site according to the number of outside comments.
Finally, I always love to talk about books and writing, if you’d care to chat sometime. Let me know that you’re out there, and what you like to read.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPCOMING IN SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, OCT. 4-10.
“BULL AND OTHER STORIES, ” BY KATHY ANDERSON.
Kathy writes: “Bull and Other Stories is a collection of thirteen short stories, many set in Philadelphia, Delaware, and southern New Jersey – places where I’ve lived and worked. The people in Bull and Other Stories are varied: a teenage boy coming to grips with a transgender parent; two elderly squabbling sisters on their last trip; a middle-aged lesbian bartender falling in love for the first time; a funeral home driver; a female rabbit farmer with a son on the autism spectrum; a rich lesbian couple driving their realtor crazy. What the stories have in common is that they are about real people dealing with the dramas of everyday life that we all face – love, sex, death, divorce, working – and all are funny in some way.”
“THE LIES THAT BIND,” BY ED PROTZEL.
In 1859, Durksen (Durk) Hurst, aka Dark Horse, a visionary charlatan on the run, encounters a dozen hungry slaves stranded in the Mississippi wilds, led by Big Josh. Two desperate people in need of one another, they agree to build an egalitarian plantation, with Hurst acting as figurehead “master” to deceive the town. Big Josh is the group’s natural leader, but Durk’s ambitious schemes imperil the tenuous brotherhood’s survival.
On the adjacent property live the Frenches: Missus Marie Brussard French, a controlling matriarch who manipulates the region’s bankers and cotton brokers, and her frail, rebellious heir-apparent, Devereau. They “legally” adopt a child from New Orleans to carry on their legacy, but the child dies mysteriously. Now Cassandra-like Antoinette, the mother, has come for her son and gets more than she expected.
Durk “wins” a large tract of land from a Chickasaw chief, the actual deed holder. Seeing Durk as a threat, Missus French orders Devereau to kill him. But Devereau, strangely ambivalent about Durk, refuses, and the conflict between the Frenches comes to a searing boil. Devereau uncovers family secrets, threatening to expose the French’s own vulnerable façade.
Durk’s diatribe against the war causes the town to brand him a traitor, a deadly offense. The war blows the cotton market asunder, convincing Durk and Devereau they’re each losing everything to the other. Devereau makes a fatal move, while Durk risks his life to free Antoinette. All the conflicts reach a climax, leaving both mansions ablaze—and everyone’s destiny determined.
As the story’s myriad deceptions unravel, each startling plot twist and cathartic revelation shines a fresh light on what it means to be a man, a woman, free or enslaved—indeed, what it means to be human.
“FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY”
This month, we will revisit “Fail,” by Rick Skwiot; “Your Boss Is Not Your Mother,” by Debra Mandel, PhD; “Sputnik Summer,” by Paul Castellani; “Convert This,” by D.W. Finton, “Embracing the Spirit of Nature,” by Linda Shaylor Cooper, and “Dead in a Ditch” by Heather Osting.
NEWS & NOTES
A new book from Andi Cumbo-Floyd — whose novel “Steele Secrets,” was featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard April 5, 2016 — is now available. It’s called “Discover Your Writing Self,” and Andi calls it “a book designed to help individual writers think through the why, when, what, where, and how of our writing lives.
“The book is broken up into 31 lessons that you can take in the order that they are given, or move through in whatever way seems best to you. Each lesson that explores one topic such as fear of failure or writing times or how we measure success and then asks the reader some questions to help her explore her writing goals, practices, and habits. My entire aim here is to help writers understand how they operate as writers in this world at this time in their lives.”.
She adds: “Until next Sunday, October 9, I have two special offers in place. The ebook is only $0.99 everywhere. If you order this week and email your receipt to me at email@example.com, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of two $25 gift cards to a bookstore of the winner’s choice.”
And this, from Katie Andraski, whose “The River Caught Sunlight” was a Snowflakes feature on June 5, 2015:
“I wanted to let you know that I’ll be on Blogtalk Radio with Richard Rossi at 1:00 Central time on Monday, October 3. You can listen through the internet and you’ll be able to listen later. I am honored. His headline is catchy, “Katie Andraski Discusses her Controversial Novel: The River Caught Sunlight.” He told a friend on Facebook to listen in to find out how controversial it is.
“Richard Rossi Live reaches over two million listeners. It’s one of the most popular shows on Blog Talk radio, with guest like Michael Jackson’s lawyer and Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister as well as actors Lindsey Wagner and Richard Adams,
“Click here if you want to call in during that time or listen later. And you can call in at (347) 637-2379. I’d love to visit with you.