First Tuesday Replay, June 5

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 ONE OF THE BOOKS REVISITED HERE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.

“THE END OF MIRACLES, BY MONICA STARKMAN.

Margo Kerber has endured difficult years battling infertility while trying to sustain her good marriage and satisfying career. When a seemingly miraculous pregnancy ends in a late miscarriage, Margo is devastated. For a time, the unshakable yet false belief that she is pregnant again provides relief from all-consuming grief. When her fantasy inevitably clashes with reality, Margo falls into a deep depression requiring admission to a psychiatric unit. Uncertain if the sometimes chaotic environment there is helping or making her worse, she seizes an opportunity to flee. Alone on the city streets, new fantasies propel her to commit a crime with dangerous consequences for herself and others. Written by a prominent psychiatrist, this stirring portrait of one woman’s psychological unraveling takes readers on a journey across the blurred boundaries between sanity and depression, madness and healing.

“MOTEL OF THE STARS,” BY KAREN SALYER McELMURRAY.

Ten years is a long time to wait for anything. For Jason Sanderson and Lory Llewellyn, it’s how long they’ve each been searching for relief from the emotional paralysis of mourning the same man, Sam Sanderson, Jason’s son and Lory’s lover. For the rest of the world, or at least those fervent New Agers caught up in the hype and glory of the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the tenth anniversary spells a chance to gather at Grandfather Mountain, a vortex where, if anywhere, there’s a possibility to revisit the spiritual revelry promised by the rare strategic alignment of the planets. A troubled young man, Sam was once a seeker of such mystical wisdom, and his unexplained death a decade ago motivates both his father and former lover to undertake a coincidental journey, looking for an answer to the one question anyone who has ever lost a loved one asks: why? Melancholy yet expectant, McElmurray’s is a keenly sorrowful but plaintively lyrical examination of anguish and longing.

“THEFT: AND OTHER TALES OF LOSS AND THE WORKING CLASS,” BY JOHN ABBOTT.

Related imageWrites John: “My book is a short story collection featuring pieces that follow ordinary folks and the ordeals they face trying to live their lives. The events are sometimes commonplace (a boy trying to go trick or treating) and sometimes disturbing (a strange woman showing up in a man’s backyard claiming that she knows him). Some of the stories contain touches of the surreal, or what some call magical realism, but most of the stories dwell in the realm of literary fiction.”

“A DIFFERENT JESUS,” BY JAN LINN.

Christian commitment is about living and not just believing, but what Christians believe has always mattered, something that is especially true today. The world is growing more inter-religious and non-religious daily. At the moment there are a billion and a half Muslims worldwide, with that number increasing steadily. There are more and more people of no religious faith, and a growing number of others who engage in Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist practices. Conflict between these religious groups is not uncommon. Tensions between Christians and Muslims are intensifying in many nations. Unchecked this tension will evolve into open conflict that will contribute to a more unstable world order.

“TRUE STORIES AT THE SMOKY VIEW,” BY JILL McCROSKEY COUPE.

After attending the funeral of her estranged friend Skip in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vrai (short for Vraiment), a forty-something art history librarian with sons of her own, rescues ten-year-old Jonathan, who has been abandoned in the funeral home parking lot. The Blizzard of 1993 strands this unlikely duo at the Smoky View Motel, where they join forces in a very personal search for justice, eventually confronting the tyrant responsible for two deaths.

Containing elements of mystery and intrigue, True Stories at the Smoky View is a literary novel about family, friendship, tyranny, and the elusiveness of justice. For Vrai and Jonathan, it’s a story of mutual rescue, resulting in new lives for them both.

“THIS WAY UP,” BY PATTI CLARK.

This Way Up is a story of healing for women who yearn to lead a fuller life, accompanied by a workbook designed to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness their creative power…

Women spend so much of life nurturing and giving to others that when they find themselves alone—because of an empty nest, the end of a marriage, or the death of a partner—they often struggle with feeling purposeless. This Way Up provides a step-by-step way out of this sense of loss and into a life filled with enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.

The book centers on the essential wisdom of introspection and on the importance of following one’s dreams. This message of hope and transformation is then brought to life through an insightful, systematic and easily relatable twelve week program. Day-by-day journaling exercises, thought provoking questions and reader support are provided. For any woman who yearns to lead a fuller life but doesn’t know how to begin, this book is an ideal starting point.

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Weather Report, June 4

A woman working at a laptop near a half-open window(

(Photo by Thought Catalog)

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “YEAR OF THE POETS,” BY JON BALLARD, “YETI,” BY RICHARD EDDE AND “SICILIAN LOVES,”  BY BENEDICT J. DiSALVO, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.

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So often, in so many areas of life, the people who appear to be in charge are actually behind the curve.

Even as most American politicians continue to operate under the old liberal vs. conservative dynamic, there is increasing evidence that many of their constituents have moved beyond that. They’re sick of being flogged by one-dimensional attack ads, weary of cookie-cutter candidates who check off all the “right” (or left) boxes. Recent voting patterns have begun to show a tendency to vote for the person rather than the label.

Visit almost any art gallery now, and you’ll see paintings that marry landscapes with collage, combine abstract meanderings with rigid patterns, and show much less concern for what the critics might think or say. Similarly, popular music has become a vibrant soup in which the old classifications no longer apply.

Which brings us to books and writing, where so many publishers and editors still operate under the self-imposed tyranny of “genre.” If a book doesn’t seem to fit into one of the standard categories — no matter how readable it may be — it faces a skeptical array of gatekeepers.

But that, too, is beginning to erode, and I offer up this week’s Snowflakes in a Blizzard selections as examples.

This is how Tara Deal explains the thinking behind “That Night Alive,” which she describes as a “novel/memoir”:

“I decided to write this book because I had been telling people that I wanted to pick a death date (say, the day I turn 80) and stick to it. I love the idea of a deadline and getting things done, and this sounded like a great idea, assuming nothing happened to me before then. But then if something did happen, that could be interesting, too. And I (probably immediately) decided to write about these two colliding ideas: happily planning for death on a certain day but then being confronted with death on a day you didn’t choose. And once I had this format in place, I wanted to make sure the two stories (about one woman) were very different, so I decided to combine fiction and memoir.

“The style I used for the fiction is very clipped, short sentences, monosyllabic words. The style I used for the memoir pieces is more flowery, sensual, emotional. One story goes backward in time. One story goes forward. Until they intersect, and the distinct styles start to break down, and everything comes together in the end and makes sense (or so I imagine).”

Meanwhile, Don Tassone planned his collection of short-short stories, “Small Bites,” around today’s multi-tasking readers.

“We’re all busy these days,” he explains, “but we all love a good story. I created Small Bites with busy people in mind.”

As an aside, I often borrow library books through Amazon for my Kindle. I consider myself a fast reader, and I love to read. Yet more often than not, I fail to finish a book in the allotted 14 days and have to request it again. Too many things get in the way of  reading for pleasure.

This is a fact of life, and Don has decided to go with it.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 5-11.

“THAT NIGHT ALIVE,” BY TARA DEAL.

Writes Tara: “That Night Alive is half futuristic fiction and half meditative memoir. The book begins on the narrator’s last day alive and moves backward in time to tell her story. She traces her path as a successful crypto-reporter, navigating a life of secrecy and solitude and world travel. A counter-narrative intersects, told by the same woman, who starts at the beginning and describes her struggles to create a work of beauty. That Night Alive is a story that investigates art and failure, persistence and success.

“SMALL BITES,” BY DON TASSONE.

This is a collection of 40 short stories. Many can be read in about a minute. The longer ones might take half an hour. Stories are divided into three sections — appetizers, entrees and desserts — to fit all tastes and appetites.

Stories touch on a range of themes, including love, loss, generosity, renewal and the power of imagination. The subgenres are diverse — from romance and drama to science fiction and spirituality.

“In this book,” says Don, “I hope there’s something for everybody.”

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will revisit “Theft: And Other Tales of Loss and the Working Class,” by John Abbott; “This Way Up,” by Patti Clark; “The Motel of the Stars,” by Karen McElmurray;  “A Different Jesus,” by Jan Linn, “The End of Miracles,” by Monica Starkman and “True Stories at the Smoky View,” by Jill McCroskey Coupe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year of the Poets

Year of the Poets: A Novel by [Ballard, Jon]THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “YETI,” BY RICHARD EDDE AND “SICILIAN LOVES,” BY BENEDICT J. DiSALVO, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.

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THE BOOK: Year of the Poets.

PUBLISHED IN: 2014

THE AUTHOR: Jon Ballard.

THE EDITOR: Jessica Knauss & Jan Holmes Frost.

THE PUBLISHER: Loose Leaves Publishing. From their website: “An independent publisher of quality fiction and non-fiction books, founded in 2012, and based in Tucson, Arizona.”

SUMMARY: From the back cover:

It’s the bicentennial year of 1976 at the Davenport Summer Retreat for Artists, and fifty-nine-year-old Arthur Honeyman—lothario, vagabond, carpenter and, above all, renowned versifier—has his hands full: carrying on simultaneous affairs with two poetesses, composing his first new manuscript of poems in years, and vacillating between making contact with his estranged adult son, Pablo, or just letting him be. Along the way, Honeyman’s conviction that there are two kinds of people—“those who hold onto things, and those who get on with things”—will be put to the test, and he’ll finally have to decide which kind of person he wants to be.

Jon BallardInhabited by restless, searching people, Year of the Poets segues between northern Michigan, Mexico City, and points beyond. Set in the not-so-distant past of Cold War politics, typewriters, rotary phones, and handwritten missives, it’s a story about the push and pull of kith and kin, as well as the burdens of sentimentality, memory, and denial that weigh upon us all.

THE BACK STORY: I decided to write what eventually became Year of the Poets while sitting beside a neighborhood pool, watching my two young girls frolic in ankle-deep water one scorching afternoon. I’d brought my laptop and a notepad, fussing over rough character sketches, lacking anything like a cohesive idea for a story. I only knew the main characters would be poets, nothing about the world they would inhabit. Suddenly the setting for the novel—an artist’s retreat—came to me. This quickly became the organizing principle of my would-be manuscript, and in that moment, with my daughters’ shouts and giggles and splashes like musical accompaniment, I began drafting. From that sudden beginning, the drafting process came in fits and starts over a two-year period. Much of that work was accomplished at coffee shops in Fort Mill, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. I always seemed to be searching for some combination of free Wi-Fi, a good cup of coffee, and my muse.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Year of the Poets came to me at the beginning of the drafting process—shortly after that day at the pool. There really never was another “working title” for the manuscript. Having the title in hand so early on not only helped to clarify my intentions, it established a literal time-line for the narrative.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? This question is hard for me to wrap my head around. It may seem counterintuitive, but while composing a work intended to be read by others, I can’t say I ever gave them a thought; I didn’t consciously consider the “reader,” only my own interests and intentions. (To be fair, just trying to imagine my manuscript getting published was enough heavy freight to bear, let alone presuming flesh-and-blood readers and what they might want!) In the end, you could say I wrote the sort of novel I would want to read: one that privileges the human element over plot theatrics, that explores the sideways nature of love and desire, and that ultimately (and hopefully) feels like a worthy use of time you’re never going to get back again. REVIEW COMMENTS: A review of Year of the Poets can be found at Kirkus Reviews via the following link: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jon-ballard/year-of-the-poets/

AUTHOR PROFILE: Here’s a poem I published in Cimarron Review a few years back that does as good a job as any of explaining who I am and where I come from:

FRESH AIR, 1971.

Monster’s heinous stride, thunder tracked us then.

Nerve, appetite, we braved raucous blocks, brown-

bagged salami and cheese heavy as rucksacks.

Slickers and black buckle-boots the lot. Rain

we tasted foundry in. Later, lunch scraps lured

crows our rocks scarcely hit. Windows could still open:

boys stuck their heads through to spit

whenever teachers stepped out of rooms. Gours

that school loved us. We pledged. Map of Michigan our mitten,

we pointed where we came from.

No money trees, adults chided, but the foundry

lasted fifty years and kept lunch pails in white

bread, pickled baloney, spam if men could bear it.

Good grades would get us in, or else a foreman
someone’s father’s uncle knew. Recess, we

watched those stacks spew what we’d tongue

later walking home. Our mothers barked weekends

to go outside and get fresh air: we hung on clotheslines,

hiked without permission to the old

asylum. Glad to gasp some danger. Lungful.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Thematically, I was interested in the borderline between self-delusion and self-discovery, as well as the damage nostalgia and selective memory can inflict on our ability to navigate the here and now. I decided I’d try to consider these ideas through a particular breed of flawed souls: poets. I also thought it important to set the story in a time (1976) untouched by cellphones and texting, when letter-writing was still an essential tool of communication. More importantly for the story, it was a time when women were still far more shackled by convention than they are today. I was also interested in exploring different modes of love: the familial love between father/son and brothers; romantic love, straight and gay/bi; and the less obvious but vital love between friends. It’s not all intended to be deadly serious, and I hope a sense of humor comes through in the reading throughout. Good intentions….

SAMPLE CHAPTER: The prologue and most of the first two chapters of Year of the Poets can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Year-Poets-Novel-Jon-Ballard-ebook/dp/B00KJO2D9I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526157062&sr=8-1&keywords=year+of+the+poets+Jon+ballard

LOCAL OUTLETS: Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan continues to carry Year of the Poets on their shelves. It may very well be the only bookstore in America that does… (It’s a great independent bookshop in a great American town!) If anyone out there reading this decides to give my novel a chance, please consider purchasing from Brilliant Books specifically, or through IndieBound in general, in support of independent booksellers.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: On-line at Amazon, Barnes & noble, and various independent bookstores through IndieBound.org.

PRICE: Brilliant Books: $18.95; IndieBound: $19.95; Amazon: $19.95 (trade), $0.99 (Kindle).

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Please feel free to contact me through my

Yeti

Yeti by [Edde, Richard]

TITLE: Yeti

PUBLISHED: 2015

AUTHOR: Richard Edde

PUBLISHER: Black Opal Books

SUMMARY: Deep within the remote mountains of Mongolia there exists a heinous mystery, one the locals have attempted to keep secret for generations. Now, Harry Olson, a paleoanthropologist, is in the area excavating for early human fossils. What his team discovers threatens to turn modern scientific knowledge on its head and disrupt the peaceful harmony of the largely superstitious country. It is a discovery so appalling, so sinister, that the lives of the expedition members are at risk from a determined fossil pirate who learns of their discovery and vows to make it his own. Harry and his research team fight to outwit the man who is out to kill them and steal their find but first they must escape the terrible evil they have uncovered…

Image result for Richard Edde + author + photosTHE BACK STORY: I have always been interested in science based novels in far off locales. In particular, the field of anthropology and our early human ancestors seemed like an interesting way to manage a suspense thriller plot into a novel that pushed one’s imagination into unique realms.

WHY THIS TITLE: I have always like one-word titles. I think they are more dramatic. It was descriptive of the plot without giving away the entire storyline.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT T READ IT: For one thing it is different. For another it is fast-paced. Finally, Yeti is a novel about average people overcoming incredible odds.

REVIEW COMMENTS: In Yeti by Richard Edde, Harry Olson is a disgraced and troubled scientist on an archeology dig in Mongolia, looking for signs of ancient humans. They uncover bones and teeth (from the wreckage of Soviet airplane from the late 1960s, of all things) a discovery that starts them on a journey of terror, danger, and death, taking us along with them through the beautiful and rugged mountains and steppes and monasteries, where they inadvertently discover a terror more terrifying and deadly than the wealthy pirate who wants to kill them and steal their find. The book is incredibly interesting and I learned a lot about both Mongolia and archeology. With a strong plot, lots of action, and plenty of heart-stopping suspense, it’s a hard book to put down once you pick it up. ~ Taylor Jones, Reviewer

Yeti by Richard Edde is a fascinating tale, set in the mountains and steppes of Mongolia. Our protagonist, Harry Olson, is in Mongolia digging for ancient human remains. Wanting to recoup both his self-respect and his mentor’s forgiveness after making a disastrous and unethical mistake, Harry is desperately hoping for an important find to cement his reputation. When they discover the remains of a plane crash, he is naturally disappointed – until they find ancient bones and teeth among the wreckage. Little does Harry realize the effect those bones will have in his life, on the lives of his associates and friends, or on science itself. Their quest for the truth takes Harry, his assistant Dixie, and their foreman Li, on a hazardous journey into the remote backcountry of Mongolia, where they stumble upon horrors they could never have imagined. Yeti is well written, with a solid plot, a number of smaller subplots, plenty of fast-paced action, and enough edge-of-your-seat tension to keep you turning pages well into the night. ~ Regan Murphy, Reviewer

A great read, that kept me turning the pages! Richard has given us a non-stop adventure that rolls towards the ending I (secretly) hoped for but could never be sure of as the action charges along, from different continents and across time zones, until it finally converges in remote Central Mongolian wilderness. Tons of interesting detail for those of us who want military realism and biological fact. And he makes a clever case for the fantastical; the presence of living yeti in unexplored mountains. Recommended!

AUTHOR PROFILE: Richard Edde was born and raised in Oklahoma. After graduating from Central State College, he attended the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree in 1971. After spending a few years in family practice in two rural Oklahoma towns, he completed a residency in anesthesiology. Following a long career in academia and private practice, he retired to devote time to writing. The first of his Yeti trilogy was released in 2015. Dr. Edde resides in eastern Oklahoma with his wife.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Yeti is the first book in my Yeti trilogy. It is followed by Yeti Unleashed and ends with Yeti Reborn.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: https://www.amazon.com/Yeti-1-Richard-Edde/dp/162694377X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526669876&sr=1-1&dpID=51X87bs8IVL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

WHERE TO BUY: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Black Opal Books

PRICE: Paperback $12.99; Kindle $3.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: http://www.richardedde.com; okierick@cimtel.net

Sicilian Loves

Sicilian LovesTHE BOOK: “Sicilian Loves”

PUBLISHED IN: July 2017

THE AUTHOR: Benedict J. Di Salvo

THE EDITOR: Michael Kennedy and Diane Di Salvo

THE PUBLISHER: Self-published; Vervante is printer

SUMMARY: Sicilian Loves is about a young boy, then a man and his world, whose love transcended time, who could mesh memories with the present, turn recollections into sharp images and, like food, transform ordinary ingredients into delicacies garnished with stories of “Years ago…”

Image result for Benedict J. DiSalvo + photoFive chapters – each is one day and decades apart – are life-altering events in Cosmo Di Salvo’s life. Sicilian Loves is a real-life story starting in the early 1900’s, with classic photographs, authentic Old World recipes and tedious traditions, immigrant heartaches and a few conflicts with contentious Sicilian “Families” – all converge to convey a powerful story of Sicilian loyalty, loves, deeds and misdeeds, values, and how food is both delightful and a teacher… all “Justa fo’ you!”

THE BACK STORY: My Dad wanted more than a book from me. I did not give him a grandson; I did not want to manage a rebuilt (post fire) restaurant; nor did I become a priest but I promised to write a book in lieu of his disappointments. After 28 years of disregarding diligence, finally Sicilian Loves became a promise fulfilled.

WHY THIS TITLE? Sicilian Loves. “Loves” is both a noun and a verb.” The nouns are people, foods, heritage, stories, photographs and other things of times past. The verb is the act or occurrence of loving those nouns.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“I’m loving it! You write really well, with a dry sense of humor throughout; you make the readers feel real sorrow and so very sad, on many levels. “Mr. Ben” sounds like a formidable man, but clearly Vicenza’s “Santa Flavia” influence tempered Cosmo to a great extent.” — Barbara C, WI

“I love the book! And wish you were here to cook for us.” — Carol S, FL

“As I read this wonderful book it brought back so many memories of my own family… reading your recipes encouraged me to dig out my mom’s collection… this book will allow others’ memories to be rekindled.” — Jim H, OH

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“It’s wonderful, truly pulls me right into your memories, I can relate! I’m going to be making some of those wonderful recipes in your book in the coming months, can wait!!” — Linda R, WI

“I truly liked your book, I think that I gained 10 pounds just reading it!” — Mike D, WI

“I devoured the book in one reading. Had the book been available years ago, my eyes would have been opened to the difficulties when an ‘outsider’ marries into a Sicilian family. Your descriptions of the culture gave to me the knowledge of its traditions and perceptions needed to help my daughter build a stronger relationship.” — Pat H, WI

“I will treasure this book for the rest of my life.” — Millie E, Scotland, GB

“A wonderful and terrific book… ‘time and love blended’ really hit home.” — Cathy B, NY

“Some parts of the story made me cry…” — George A, WI

”It brought so many memories of my grandparents as immigrants and what they experienced. It is beautifully written and warm.” — Rae R, WI

“… there will be others like me that will look back to relive lost memories. I wish that I asked my parents questions as you did yours.” — Joe K, FL

AUTHOR PROFILE: Born a Leo in Madison’s (Wisconsin) “The Bush” – a neighborhood full of ethnic diversity and foods – raised Sicilian, Catholic and the only son (uh-oh). I visited many countries and, for a while, lived in Sicily with “famigghia.” I love to cook for others, concoct for me, to eat and sip, and I diligently try to keep promises – particularly to my Dad who wanted more than a book from me. After 28 years of disregarding diligence, finally SICILIAN LOVES is a promise fulfilled, and my joys of recognition and discovery are equal.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Thirty years ago, W.W. Norton & Company rejected the book because it was neither a novel nor a cookbook. The structure, recipes woven into each chapter of the story that were relative to events or traditions of each chapter, was “too new.” My father just died, the book rejected and so I stopped pursuing its publication. I had fear of another rejection, of criticism from relatives and the public, of “when it’s printed, there’s no correcting” and the fear of failure – again. My wife said, “You almost died in surgery, so finish the book and get it published NOW! If not, the book will continue to be a haunting albatross. Finish it before you cannot!” Had it not been for Diane, the book would be on a shelf all right, but only in my mind.

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SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). Chapter 1 Leaving Santa Flavia click on link: http://www.sicilianloves.com/buy-the-book/read-chapter-1/

LOCAL OUTLETS: Gino’s and Fraboni’s (both delicatessens) and Orange Tree Imports – all in Madison, WI.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Website http://www.sicilianloves.com via PayPal or mail check to home address, or amazon.com and type in “Sicilian Loves” or cut and paste this link to your browser https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Sicilian+Loves

PRICE: Website price $22 includes signed book and mailing costs in US; additional $20 for all other countries; price increases with added “benefits” (treasures from the ‘50’s) from $25 up to $1,000 (details on website under “Buy the Book”).

Amazon price is $22.50

Retail stores prices vary in Madison

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Mailing Address: Benedict J Di Salvo

1015 Mound St. #306

Madison, WI 537

Weather Report, May 28

Memorial Day Images Free Download

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “PARCHMENTS OF FIRE,” BY JOHN CHAPLICK, “BEAST,” BY MARA ADAMITZ SCRUPE AND “THE BREEDING TREE,” BY J. ANDERSEN, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR”S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.

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A yeti, a poet and some Sicilian food. No one can say we don’t offer variety.

Scientists still haven’t reached a consensus on whether the yeti — aka the “Abominable Snowman”  — actually exists. In this case, he’s just a figment of Richard Edde’s imagination, but that’s OK. Richard is, after all, a novelist.

A Yeti (not drawn from life, obviously) (Credit: dieKleinert/Alamy)“I have always been interested in science-based novels in far off locales,” the “Yeti” author writes. “In particular, the field of anthropology and our early human ancestors seemed like an interesting way to manage a suspense thriller plot into a novel that pushed one’s imagination into unique realms.”

As an anesthesiologist, the Oklahoma native made a career out of putting people to sleep.  Now, as a fiction writer, he hopes to wake them up.

Meanwhile, the main character in Jon Ballard’s novel “Year of the Poets” is equally enigmatic.

It’s the bicentennial year of 1976 at the Davenport Summer Retreat for Artists, and fifty-nine-year-old Arthur Honeyman—lothario, vagabond, carpenter and, above all, renowned versifier — has his hands full: carrying on simultaneous affairs with two poetesses, composing his first new manuscript of poems in years, and vacillating between making contact with his estranged adult son, Pablo, or just letting him be. Along the way, Honeyman’s conviction that there are two kinds of people—“those who hold onto things, and those who get on with things”—will be put to the test, and he’ll finally have to decide which kind of person he wants to be.

Finally, we have Benedict J. DiSalvo’s “Sicilian Loves,” which he describes this way: “Five chapters – each is one day and decades apart – are life-altering events in Cosmo Di Salvo’s life. Sicilian Loves is a real-life story starting in the early 1900’s, with classic photographs, authentic Old World recipes and tedious traditions, immigrant heartaches and a few conflicts with contentious Sicilian “Families” – all converge to convey a powerful story of Sicilian loyalty, loves, deeds and misdeeds, values, and how food is both delightful and a teacher… all ‘Justa fo’ you!’”

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MAY 29-JUNE 4

“YETI,” BY RICHARD EDDE

Deep within the remote mountains of Mongolia there exists a heinous mystery, one the locals have attempted to keep secret for generations. Now, Harry Olson, a paleoanthropologist, is in the area excavating for early human fossils. What his team discovers threatens to turn modern scientific knowledge on its head and disrupt the peaceful harmony of the largely superstitious country. It is a discovery so appalling, so sinister, that the lives of the expedition members are at risk from a determined fossil pirate who learns of their discovery and vows to make it his own. Harry and his research team fight to outwit the man who is out to kill them and steal their find but first they must escape the terrible evil they have uncovered.

“YEAR OF THE POET,” BY JON BALLARD.

Inhabited by restless, searching people, Year of the Poets segues between northern Michigan, Mexico City, and points beyond. Set in the not-so-distant past of Cold War politics, typewriters, rotary phones, and handwritten missives, it’s a story about the push and pull of kith and kin, as well as the burdens of sentimentality, memory, and denial that weigh upon us all.

“SICILIAN LOVES,” BY BENEDICT J. DiSALVO

Benedict writes: “My Dad wanted more than a book from me. I did not give him a grandson; I did not want to manage a rebuilt (post fire) restaurant; nor did I become a priest, but I promised to write a book in lieu of his disappointments. After 28 years of disregarding diligence, finally Sicilian Loves became a promise fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parchments of Fire

THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “BEAST,” BY MARA ADAMITZ SCRUPE AND “THE BREEDING TREE,” BY J. ANDERSEN, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.

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THE BOOK: Parchments of Fire.

PUBLISHED IN: 2018.

THE AUTHOR: John Chaplick.

THE PUBLISHER: Cricket Cottage Publishing LLC.

SUMMARY: Near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, sponge divers discover a 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck that harbors a secret, potentially catastrophic to the public image of Greece. The Greek government and two criminal organizations will stop at nothing to seize the damaging documents…the criminals to sell them, the government to destroy them. Visiting Harvard classics professor Tobias Romulus Finch becomes the unwilling guardian of the ancient papers, his life now dependent upon finding a solution acceptable to both opposing forces.

THE BACK STORY: I decided to write it because the Antikythera mechanism is a clock-like device that represents the equivalent of the world’s first computer and the sponge divers’ discovery of it represents an actual find, which is now stored in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, where I lived for a few years. The gripping story that I built around this phenomenon took two years to write and will be a book the readers will not be able to put down.

John ChaplickWHY THIS TITLE?:  Two reasons: one, the title captures the essence of a plot in which the horrendous parchments recovered from the Roman shipwreck set off an explosive and inflammatory adventure that takes the reader deep into the heart of Greece and threatens to destroy the international reputation of that country at a time when its government is struggling for financial recovery. Two, it grabs the prospective reader’s attention and the cover design reflects the intensity of the plot.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?: The readership appeal will likely come from the exciting and adventurous nature of the book as suggested on the back flap, and from the unusual geographic setting (Antikythera) of the story.\

REVIEW COMMENTS: The book is too new yet for that because the first copies were sold last Sunday, too recent to receive reader comments.

AUTHOR PROFILE: What may be the strongest author appeal is the fact that Parchments of Fire  takes place in Greece where I lived for awhile, and it reflects little-known facts about that country, such as the actual Antikythera mechanism discovery, which has recently garnered more world- wide publicity. My writing style, as you’ve seen, is concise and hard-hitting in a way that holds the reader’s attention throughout.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Parchments of Fire, like all of my books, is specifically designed to combine an unusual geographic setting with a unique plot that presents a brand new dimension to some historic fact or event.

HOW TO BUY IT: The book is, of course, always available through my website @ EngagingBooksBlog.com, but also via amazon, nook, kindle, and through any Barnes & Noble outlet by specific request.

PRICE: Parchments of Fire sells for $14.95.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: My email address is jpchaplick@gmail.com, and I am on  Facebook under my own name