Our currently featured book, “Percivious: Escape,” by A.J. and J.J. Cook, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the Monthly Replay, or by clicking the authors’ names on our Authors page.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, NOV. 15-21.
“BORN SLEEPING,” BY H.C. GILDFIND.
This story is written in response to witnessing many women and couples suffering in silence after losing a baby in miscarriage or stillbirth. I noticed how shame and silence seem to be attached to these common and (often) entirely natural experiences, and I wanted to write a story that would help break the subject’s taboo. Such taboos are not only detrimental for individuals, but also hamper research and public education into stillbirth.
Readers will gain insight into an experience that is often hidden by personal pain (and inexplicable shame) and by the nature of hospitals which have made death an alien (rather than natural) experience for humans. Furthermore, this story is told from the outside of the terrible experience of stillbirth and thus gives insight into the ambivalence and confusion people might feel when faced with others’ trauma – an ambivalence that is compounded when that pain is witnessed with the cool eye of the writer.
“ORPHANS OF CANLAND,” BY DANIEL VITALE.
At the end of the twenty-first century, in the wake of complete environmental collapse, society has been reconfigured by the eco-totalitarian organization WORLD. Twelve-year-old Tristan lives in the environmental-restoration community Canland with his mother and older brother, while his high-ranking father’s two-year-long departure on a classified WORLD research assignment has strained their family’s sense of duty to one another. Tristan’s rare and life-defining medical condition makes him unable to feel physical pain, leaving him in constant danger.
Amidst heatwaves, food shortages, and a refugee crisis, Tristan relies on the people closest to him to understand the boundaries of this new, dystopian reality. But as Tristan begins to think for himself, he discovers the worst secrets his family keeps – truths that would suggest his own entanglement with the horrors enacted by Canland and WORLD. If he chooses to face this reality, then he’ll have to decide whether to save himself, his family, or the orphans of Canland.
“A BROTHER’S PEACE,” BY JAN LINN.
The story of the Strange family of Castle Cove, North Carolina is about every family that has struggled to cope with one of its own caught in the jaws of addiction. No two members of the family confront the circumstances trying to tear them apart in the same way. Yet each plays an essential role in ensuring that the ineffable bond of love that connects them to one another remains intact. You will laugh and cry as you read about a likeable Sonny Strange heading down the rabbit hole of alcoholism while his clergy brother, Sydney, tries to save him from himself. The conflict between them is as subtle as it is real, hiding in plain sight until Sydney realizes the turmoil he feels is as much inside himself as it is between him and Sonny. In the midst of events leading the Strange family story to a tragic, albeit healing end, the reader encounters life in Castle Cove that serves as a reminder of the days when racial segregation dehumanized black Americans throughout the South while whites took it for granted. Sydney has a chance encounter with a childhood friend that awakens him to a stunning awareness of his own unconscious white privilege that makes him question why his African American colleague and closest friend would want to stay with their relationship. A Brother’s Peace is a portrayal of the demands of truth and the resilience of hope that allows its readers to experience the power of storytelling at its best. THE BACK STORY: I wrote this book because my goal throughout my writing life has been directed toward writing a novel. Nineteen non-fiction published books later, I finally achieved that goal. My wife and I being sheltered down during the pandemic offered time for me to pull out a manuscript draft I had written 25 years ago and A Brother’s Peace is the result.
“A FAMILY IS A HOUSE,” BY DUSTIN PEARSON
“Pearson’s debut introduced us to a master transmogrifier. In this surreal follow-up collection he investigates the architectural implications of inheritance—how the human body houses the violence of its forebears. A Family Is a House is a blueprint, a guide to the logical structures and spaces we build in our minds: sometimes to keep our secrets in, sometimes to keep the horrors out. Pearson offers us an answer to the toughest question: what happens when our secrets are our horrors? We build, compartmentalize, and quarantine. We refract, reflect, demolish, and burn. This is a book about the oldest partition—that thin wall between the dark and the light. This is a book about bravery, about severing oneself from a lineage of abuse. When the hands that feed us also beat us, we must beat them back with the gifts we’ve been given. Through Pearson, we relearn that language can be weaponized into a kind of magic that saves us.”