This feature has a two-fold purpose: 1. To allow those recently added to our followers list to discover 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.
“BLUE COYOTE MOTEL,” BY DIANNE HARMAN.
Would you take an anti-aging hormone? What if you could keep your youth? If someone you knew was terrified of aging, and you’d invented the hormone, would you give it to them? Even if it meant discovery would cause you to lose your chance of winning the Nobel Prize?
Blue Coyote Motel is a suspense love story which begins in the barrios of Southern California and spans the globe in such diverse locations as Provence, South America, and the Himalayas. The beautiful Latina, Maria, and her husband, Jeffrey, a scientist fired from a prestigious laboratory, struggle to build a new life in a remote Southern California desert areas as owners of the motel.
Along with the anti-aging hormone, Jeffrey invents a “feel-good” wonder drug to help Maria with her depression. As Jeffrey becomes insane he begins to experiment with the wonder drug. Six wayward travelers, including an alcoholic priest, a couple who own gold mines in Brazil, a depressed widow, a struggling salesman, and a Native American pediatrician find themselves spending the night at the small motel. The next morning, they wake up feeling better than ever. Has Jeffrey’s miracle drug delivered? Or is the nightmare of addiction only beginning? Blue Coyote Motel presents an engaging look at the human frailties present in all of us.
“THE THUNDERING,” BY MEGAN DAVIDSON.
Megan writes: “I woke up one morning with the idea for this book in my mind. The central question was: What would happen if a human child acted like a horse? Which raises another question: What situation would have given rise to this predicament? The more I thought about these questions, the more the story grew and became a tale of a dedicated and insightful woman saving a teenage boy from a life of imprisonment and horror; in a way, she saves herself as well. Much online research concerning mental health treatments of the 1950s and ‘60s was needed to provide an authentic background for this story. In addition, my neighbor at the time was a psychologist, who was only too happy to fill me in on the gritty details of the plight of mental health care workers and patients during this period of American history. All in all, after many instances of stopping and restarting, it took me over four years to complete this novel.”
“SHIFTING BORDERS,” BY JESSIE KWAK
When Patricia Ramos-Waites’ sister asks for help resurrecting her dead boyfriend’s ghost, Patricia knows she should say no. But this may be her last chance to repair the fraying bond between herself and her sister. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. When the resurrection of Marco is interrupted by a gang of drug smugglers who are also after his ghost, Patricia accidentally becomes possessed by him. Now, she and Marco are stuck navigating the tricky relationship of Host and Hosted — all while trying to parent two difficult teenagers, dodge criminals, and heal the ever-growing rift between Patricia and her sister.
“WHAT YOU ARE NOW ENJOYING,” BY SARAH GERKENSMEYER.
Selected by novelist Stewart O’Nan as winner of the Autumn House Press fiction prize, What You Are Now Enjoying takes us into both the uncanny and the mundane. From Wonder Woman as an angst-ridden teenager to ghost twins to monster catfish to the secret relationships between polygamous wives, the stories in What You Are Now Enjoying approach the familiar in unfamiliar ways, allowing us to recognize and claim the unordinary moments in our own often ordinary lives. In particular, Gerkensmeyer crafts broken fairy tales that reimagine the life of women.
“RUNNING IN SILENCE,” BY RACHAEL STEIL
Rachael Steil clocked in as an All-American collegiate runner; she became a girl clawing for a comeback on a 30-bananas-a-day diet. This year-long struggle with raw food ended when she realized she had to find her self-respect beyond her identity as a successful runner on a perfect diet. Running in Silence opens the door on the secret world of eating disorders. It provides vital insights for those who don’t suffer from this disease and an honest and harrowing personal story for those who do. Steil challenges the stigma of eating disorders, looks past appearance, and dives into the heart of obsession.
THE ADVANCE MAN,” BY STEVEN JACQUES
“Advance Man” is an adventure, because just about every presidential campaign advance trip is one.
The novel, based on true events, follows the campaign’s top “lead” advance man, Bix, for three action-packed days (one advance trip), as he creates and produces a massive rally, a major endorsement and several side events — all in under 72 hours — for a fictional African-American candidate.
Set in and around Charleston, SC during the early days of the 2008 election, “Advance Man” pulls back the curtains on the invisible world of presidential advance. Advance teams work behind the scenes (they have been referred to as “secret agents” by the LA Times), sometimes with only a couple of days notice, to create and control every aspect of what is seen by America every night on national television, in newspapers and across social media.
We follow Bix from the moment he first hears about the trip, and its complexities, from the deputy campaign manager (who doesn’t have Bic’s best interests in mind), through the team’s creative process, coordination with Secret Service advance (all of which does not go easily), and the cast of characters who have their own personal agendas. Bix also reestablishes a relationship with a former love who is now working for the opposition.
“‘Advance Man’ explains a lot about what you see on TV, as well as why “advance” becomes so addictive to those who do it at the highest levels. It’s a high stakes, high adrenaline, immediate satisfaction, no room for errors job that tests the advance team’s skills in ways that very few human endeavors can. If you, the reader, aren’t amused and informed on nearly every page, the author will be happy to come to your home and explain why you should be.