Weather Report, June 12

Image result for father's day photos free

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “THE MAXIMUM SECURITY BOOK CLUB,” BY MIKITA BROTTMAN AND “SKATING FOR GRACE,” BY ANNE PERRAULT, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, ALONG WITH THE MONTHLY “FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY.” OR, YOU CAN CLICK ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.


First of all, happy Father’s Day. One of this week’s three featured books, Tim J. Myers’ “Glad to Be Dad” arrives on this site just in time for the holiday. You might consider getting it for Dad instead of another tie.

Lots of things that happen on this blog are gratifying, and finding a topical book to match with a major holiday or event is one of them. Doing my small part to help a talented but struggling self-published writer is another. And then there is getting the chance to feature writers who probably should be famous but aren’t — at least not in the mass media sense.

It’s true that Jacob M. Appel and Susan Hubbard have made it onto Wikipedia, which certainly denotes a higher-than-average author profile. Look them up. But really, how many still-living famous writers can you name? John Grisham? J.K. Rowling? Stephen King? Don DeLillo?

Of course, if you are fortunate enough to become a famous author, obscurity can be a side benefit. You probably won’t be mobbed by crowds of autograph seekers at the mall or annoyed in restaurants, because most likely only your family, your friends and your agent know what you look like.

Actors become famous by landing key roles in big movies. Singers become famous via MTV and YouTube. Athletes become famous by dominating their sport. Politicians become famous by winning elections, or by saying outrageous things when they don’t.

With writers, the only sure way to grab the world’s wandering attention is by winning a Pulitzer, or perhaps a National Book Award. Even at that, though, how many National Book Award winners can you name?

Beyond that, writing offers no objective criteria for who is “the best.” Many well-known authors are both loved and dismissed, depending upon who you ask. Others with huge Amazon sales are celebrated only within their niches.

And yet, in my humble opinion, I would put Jacob Appel’s wicked sense of humor up against anyone else on the printed page. Virtually everything he has written has won a prize of some kind.

Moreover, he happens to be a psychiatrist, bioethicist and attorney, pursuits that strongly inform his writing. His “The Mask of Sanity” is Poe-worthy, one of the creepiest depictions of a serial-killer-next-door I’ve ever read.

Meanwhile, Susan Hubbard got me past my general aversion to vampire novels. It’s always the same old fang, I maintain — except that in the case of Susan’s “Ethical Vampire” series, it isn’t. Come to think of it, maybe I could also consider her Snowflakes offering, “The Sanguinist’s Daughter,” a Father’s Day book of sorts.

Nor do I want to leave Tim Myers out of the conversation. According to his Snowflakes author profile, his children’s books “have won recognition from the New York Times, NPR, and the Smithsonian; he has 16 out and more on the way. He’s published over 130 poems, won a first prize in a poetry contest judged by John Updike, has three books of adult poetry out and a nonfiction book on fatherhood, and won a major prize in science fiction. He won the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year and the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.”

OK, then.

UPCOMING ON “SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD” FOR JUNE 12-19.

“THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T STAND UP,” BY JACOB M. APPEL.

No, Jacob Appel didn’t write this about Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback who achieved his own kind of fame by refusing to rise for the National Anthem last football season. Appel put his main character, Arnold Brinkman, in that (seated) position at a New York Yankees’ game several years before Kaepernick called national attention to himself.

Moreover, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up” puts a different spin on Brinkman’s situation, lampooning the often over-the-top nature of American patriotism.

According to Jacob, Kaepernick hasn’t contacted him yet.

“THE SANGUINIST’S DAUGHTER,” BY SUSAN HUBBARD.

What if everything you knew about yourself and your family was a lie?

What if, when the lies began to crack, beneath them lay a truth so dark and deep, yet so compelling, that it pulled you inside?

What price would you pay to live forever? These are the questions confronting Ariela Montero — half-vampire, half-human. The Sanguinist’s.Daughter — the first book in The Ethical Vampire Series — introduces Ari and her world, where ghosts and vampires commune with humans; where Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Kerouac are role models; where every time a puzzle seems solved, its last piece changes the entire picture.

When the last piece is murder, Ari goes on the road in search of her mother, who disappeared at the time of her birth. The hunt nearly costs Ari her life, and, in finding her mother, she loses her father. But gradually she uncovers the secrets that have kept the family apart, and she begins to come to terms with her own unique nature and her chances for survival.

“GLAD TO BE DAD,” BY TIM J. MYERS.

This very likable memoir focuses on how a couple deals with a “surprise” baby who arrives after their other two children had left the nest.

Tim writes: “I was a stay-at-home dad and lived this life, so I learned all this the hard way. My hope is that I can make it a little easier for you.”


SNOWFLAKES NEWS

  1. We featured Karen Dionne’s “Boiling Point,” a thriller novel about a volcanic eruption, back on June 30, 2015.  Her newest work of fiction, “The Marsh King’s Daughter,” will be published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on June 13,  and Karen reports that it has been selected as one of the “Summer’s Most Anticipated Reads” by iBooks and Publishers Weekly. It has also been reviewed in Cosmopolitan.

When a notorious child abductor known as the Marsh King escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger. No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer. And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the Michigan wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

2. For those of you in Northern California, I’ll share this from Eleanore Vincent (“Swimming With Maya,” Snowflakes 1/21/16): “Please help spread the word about my new writing class, “Plot and Theme: Foundations of Memoir.” Sessions will be held on Wednesdays starting June 21 to July 26, from 6:30 to 9 PM at the San Francisco Writers Grotto.

“The Grotto offers a variety of highly regarded writing classes, and I’m very proud to have mine added to the summer line up. Suitable for writers at all levels, the class combines in-class writing exercises, workshopping, and close reading of memoir excerpts.

“Over six weekly sessions, we will delve into the effective construction of memoir – whether personal essay or book-length manuscript. This class will give students the opportunity to share their work in a supportive environment and to read and comment on each other’s work.”

To share with friends, please forward this email and share this link on social media:
https://www.sfgrotto.org/events/plot-and-theme-foundations-of-memoir-with-eleanor-vincent/

 

 

 

 

 

The Maximum Security Book Club

The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison by [Brottman, Mikita]THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOK, “SKATING FOR GRACE,” BY ANNE PERRAULT, CAN BE FOUND, ALONG WITH THIS MONTH’S  “FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY,” BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST. OR, JUST CLICK ON ANNE’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

——————————————————————–

THIS BOOK: The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men’s Prison.

PUBLISHED: May 2016.

THE AUTHOR: Mikita Brottman.

THE EDITOR: Terry Karten.

THE PUBLISHER: HarperCollins. Terry Karten at HarperCollins had bought my previous book, The Great Grisby, a book about my French bulldog and the dogs owned by famous dog lovers, both real and fictional. So HarperCollins had rights of first refusal on my next book too, and luckily, Terry liked it.

SUMMARY: The book recounts the three years I spent running a reading group with nine male convicts in a maximum security prison in Jessup, about ten miles outside Baltimore. Since I’m a literature professor, I wanted to see what they would make of my favorite works of literature. We read Conrad, Melville, Nabokov, Shakespeare, Poe — a lot of heavy and serious books. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it was a struggle. But it was always fascinating — for me as much as for the men.

Image result for mikita brottman

THE BACK STORY: I started the book club when I was on sabbatical.  About six months in, I realized the men’s responses were so interesting and engaging and I was learning so much from them, I started to think that other people might also find this experience as compelling as I did. So I started making notes during our sessions and thinking about writing a book. I wrote the book during the process of the club, and showed the final draft to the men. For the most part, they loved it.

WHY THIS TITLE?: There were a lot of “Book Club” titles around at the time – The Jane Austen Book Club, The End of Your Life Book Club, The Bridesmaids’ Books Club, The Mother Daughter Book Club, and they all have this warm, domestic, feminine feel which the idea of the book club does tend to have. So I thought my title made a nice ironic contrast.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? I think my experience was unique. It’s a personal narrative. It’s very honest. I’m frank about how my expectations were upended, what I did wrong, what I would have done differently. I don’t think it’s so much a book for people interested in prisons and justice. I think it will resonate with people who read a lot, who love classic literature as well as other things, who are open-minded, and who like personal narratives.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“This memoir’s energy emanates from Brottman’s sharp understanding of group dynamics and her determination to avoid clichés. She delves into the personal stories of the men she met behind bars, and is clear-eyed both about literature’s powers and its limitations.” (Los Angeles Times).

“Swiftly and sensitively written…we should all strive to build book clubs with people whose days and life histories are quite different from our own, rather than discussing books mainly with our friends. Until then, there’s Mikita Brottman’s wonderfully witty and deeply honest report from just that sort of space.” (Sheila Heti).

“One of the best books about teaching I’ve ever read, it is not only lively and engaging from the first page to the last, but dazzles by virtue of its honesty, sympathy and humanity.” (Phillip Lopate).

“Steers clear of facile sentimentality. There is no transformation or redemption in Brottman’s story, only honest moments of encounter…made possible by the act of reading literature. Brottman gives us a candid, unillusioned account of her work behind bars. A brave and admirable book about a brave and admirable project.” (William Deresiewicz, author of EXCELLENT SHEEP: THE MISEDUCATION OF THE AMERICAN ELITE).

AUTHOR PROFILE: I was born and raised in England. I have a D.Phil from Oxford University in English Language and Literature, and I am a certified psychoanalyst (send me your dreams! I collect them at Vas Hermeticum). I’m a professor of humanities in an art college (MICA) in downtown Baltimore, were I teach courses on the uncanny; the history of true crime; and animal magic. I also do some independent forensic work. I live in the old Belvedere Hotel, with my partner, the movie critic David Sterritt, and our popular and charismatic French bulldog, Oliver. You can read a profile of me and my work published in the Baltimore Sun by Mary Carole McCauley; or check out at this article by Mark Dery at Boing Boing. My new book, a work of true crime about a mysterious unexplained death, is coming out from Henry Holt in September 2018.

If you live in the Baltimore / DC area, you can hear me read from The Maximum Security Book Club on June 11 along with lots of other great authors at Books in Bloom, The Chrysalis at Symphony Woods, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland. 12.15-1.00pm.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Read the Introduction Here

LOCAL OUTLETS: Baltimore has some fantastic independent bookstores. You can probably find a copy in Atomic Books, Red Emma’s, The Ivy Bookshop, or (used) in Normal’s Books and Records.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon. Any online bookstore.

PRICE: The hardback is $26.99, but the paperback will be out on June 6 for $15.99.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: mikita.brottman@gmail.com. My website is www.mikitabrottman.com

Skating For Grace

Skating For Grace (The Royal Skater Chronicles Book 1) by [Perreault, Anne]THE BOOK:  Skating for Grace, Book 1 of the Royal Skater Chronicles

PUBLISHED IN: 2015.

THE AUTHOR: Anne Perreault.

THE EDITOR: Annemarie E. Omilian, Steven Place.

THE PUBLISHER: Anne Perreault.

 

SUMMARY: Jacqueline Chevalier is an unusual teen. Not only is she an international figure skating champion, she is also… royalty. Her life is basically one huge press junket. Her only release from the demands on her her family is found on the ice. Not only does she try to conform to her family’s demands on her time, she is worn out with the need to look and act the part of a perfect princess. When she meets a set of twins, Jacqueline is shown a different world, one that she longs for. She finds herself in an unusual situation, where she has a decision to make. Will she chose freedom in Christ or will her life continue to be lonely and empty?

An image posted by the author.THE BACK STORY:  “This story originated in my head when I was lonely, missing home and all that I knew. It marinated and grew to become a crutch for me to go to in difficult times, until I found something much more powerful to get me through my trials. When I started writing it, I was shown the beauty of God’s character because of His love for me, individually, and us, as His creation. It became a love story toward me, written by God’s inspiration.”

WHY THIS TITLE? It’s twofold. The main character finds herself intrigued with her friend, Grace, who shows her something she doesn’t expect – God’s grace.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT? Teens today are all about themselves, and yet their lives really are empty. There are many who are struggling against their parents, against what is required of them. This book shows a teen in that stage of her life and also shows that she doesn’t have to continue with it. There are answers to her questions. They may not be easy and may require some major soul searching, but they are there for the taking.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“One must understand that there is a superbly crafted undercurrent to this piece of literature that many will not discover on their own. This is an easy read. Initially I thought it took off too slowly, however now I notice the Master behind the work. This is labeled as a Christian and romance book and every romance needs a relationship. Life without God may seem slow or empty at first such as something is missing or one existing day to day, and the book captures this very readily. In a day and age where there seems to be intensity and ‘sit on the edge of your seat’ woven within movies this book shows something else… something else that could be missing… a relationship with God. ..and this may cause some inner conflicts depending where we are and where He might want us. Brilliantly the readers focus is brought to that possible relationship with our creator and not on our sin. As the author brings in the twins they represent the author’s life in Dubai and yet she still had ties to her home country in Europe just as Jacqueline did. Another tidbit is that the Author planned on naming her first daughter Jacqueline around that time in her life. This is a fiction story, but with truths wrapped throughout… it ought to be peeled back gently to reveal the truth. For anyone that is struggling with who God is or whether if He exists: Darwin’s finches interbreed. They are not separate species… they did not evolve. This is not only a literary masterpiece, but also a work of art. I’m anxiously awaiting more of Ann’s novels since this is her first book.” —  Amazon Customer.

“Skating for Grace” is a tender story about a sixteen year old princess of Lichtenbourgh, who is overwhelmed by her responsibilities as a competitive ice skater, and living up to her family’s (and her own) expectations. She wants to study to be a veterinarian in the USA, but her parents have other ideas for her future. Mentally and physically exhausted she meets twin teenagers from Dubai who introduce her to their steamy environment, their culture, and to the source of their joy. It is then that Jacqueline Chevalier begins her transformation from young adult to young woman. A unique worthy read. Genre- Christian Young Adult Fiction. — Gloria Waldron Huckle, author of ‘Souls of the Soil’

AUTHOR PROFILE: Anne Perreault was born and raised in Germany. After living abroad in several different countries, she met her husband and settled down in Connecticut. They recently moved to Southern Vermont, where they are building their home, something that is a huge adventure. Besides writing, she is busy homeschooling her youngest son. Anne has a masters degree in secondary education. Writing is something God inspired her to do. It is a gift, one that she never expected to receive.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:

• Why do I write?

“I write not because it’s something I’ve trained for. I have studied writing all my life but not looking at it in a professional way. I seriously feel that I write because God’s gifted me to. I’m not an Agatha Christie, nor am I even close to being a Jane Austen. I feel that God reveals Himself to me in so many intimate ways when I put a story together. He shows me His true character and love. I pour myself into every story I write and, I suppose it is selfish, I learn something every time. For me writing is personal, painful, and very revealing.”

• Why romantic fiction?

“I feel that all of life is a relationship. I would love for people to see and feel that the most important relationship we can have is with God through Jesus Christ. Our human relations run parallel to our love for Christ and His love for us.”

• Why write about life?

“We all have to live it. There are so many stories out there that tell us, if it feels right, do it. I wish we would think about the consequences of the feel right-do it type of mentality. I present scenarios where my characters have hard choices to make, just like me from the moment I wake up ’till I go to sleep. I hope to give alternatives to sometimes very sad and difficult scenarios. It is my hope that persons reading my books will be filled with peace and a growing knowledge of God’s love for His people. Because that’s all it is about for me!”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: See Amazon page.

LOCAL OUTLETS:  The author has books available for sale at the Springfield Farmers Market, Springfield, VT, as well as the Ludlow Farmers Market, Ludlow, VT. She is also available for speaking engagements throughout New England. For further information, check out the website below.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: The book is available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble online. It is also available on the author’s Create Space sites.

PRICE: $13.99

AUTHOR CONTACT: Email: aperreault5@gmail.com

Facebook@ Into the Light Fiction

Website: intothelightfiction.weebly.com

First Tuesday Replay, June 6

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 GORGE,” BY DAVID ARMAND

In his latest literary thriller, David Armand weaves together the stories of an eccentric cast of dark, frighteningly realistic characters, each under suspicion of murdering a young girl, Amber Varnado, whose body is found hidden in a deep gorge at the opening of the novel. Set in southeast Louisiana in the small town of Franklinton, The Gorge follows the colliding lives of Tuller, the murdered girl’s boyfriend, whose suspicious past and his discovery of Amber’s body make him the prime suspect; John Varnado, Amber’s father, a Vietnam war veteran whose violent flashbacks cause brutal outbursts of rage and paranoia; Grady, a young man dwarfed by rickets who prowls the night to feed his strange desires; and Euwell, a man who lives in an old shack near the gorge and hunts for young girls to satisfy his lusts and quell his inner-demons. Armand’s spellbinding story explores the universal themes of desperate love and the pitfalls of false assumptions woven into the tenuous threads of coincidence that connect people in a small town. Masterful, profound, and full of spirit, The Gorge is literary entertainment of the highest order.


“HINENI,” BY JOSHUA MENDEL.

In Hineni: My Walk to Beautiful Life, the author chronicles his journey of healing and personal growth; learning to understand and accept himself as a gifted, hypersensitive, and gay mystic.

Mismatched to the norms and demands of his family, home religion, peers, and society, the author was a depressed, immature, and fearful recluse for 26 years of his life. Contemplating suicide at age 21, he heard a Voice. Learning to listen and follow that Voice, the author set upon a four-decade journey of recovery and healing, employing a range of traditional (and untraditional) religious and spiritual thought systems. In a Vision, this nontheist, birthright Jew realized to his surprise that The Voice guiding him on his journey was Jesus.

Hineni: My Walk Into Beautiful Life is an intensely personal and frank autobiography; an ethical will of how the author became a whole, human being, and what he learned and is still learning on his journey.


“ODD BEAUTY, STRANGE FRUIT,” BY SUSAN SWARTWOUT

A Southerner by birth, Susan Swartwout’s writing is steeped in the gothic elements of life in the Deep South, a celebration of difference and uncommoners—odd beauties who embellish our plain lives. These poems explore the lives of freaks—celebrities of Southern fairs’ sideshows—such as conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker’s married lives, the Fat Lady’s work schedule, Tom Thumb’s Barnum-warped ego, all parallel to the hidden desires and plots of the rest of us. Our exterior normality belies the internal twisted landscapes—how complicity and silence echo abuse, how depression infects entire families, how a five-year-old learns to use words as weapons, how human need dispels language’s boundaries. From circus oddities to real-life boogeymen, from Louisiana to a Central American village, earth has no dearth of the gothic’s strange fruit, illuminating the complexity of what it is to be human.


“SOPHRONIA L,” BY TIM BRIDWELL.

Sophronia Lambert, a schoolteacher on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, lives a quiet life—that is until Nantucket whaling captain James Folger comes ashore. Realizing he is the man who killed her deaf brother, she decides to pursue vengeance—first at home, then at sea—sailing to the far side of the world as his bride.

As she grapples with madness and morality, Sophronia’s quest mirrors that of her island community: to find a way forward amidst the pressures of a brutal industry, a nation mired in Civil War, and a past darker than the ocean’s abyss.


“BENEATH STILL WATERS,” BY CYNTHIA A. GRAHAM.

Hick Blackburn, a reluctant sheriff with a troubled past, is called to the scene of a gruesome murder. With nothing to go on except the victim’s race and sex, the task of discovering who she is and how she died challenges all of Hick’s investigative skills. But Hick faces a deeper challenge. The vision of the victim has left him shattered, a reminder of a war crime has tried to lock away, a crime that has begun to eat away at the edges of his life, destroying him one relationship at a time.

Set in the wake of World War II, Beneath Still Waters is a lyrical and haunting tale about the loss of innocence, the resilience of love, and the lengths to which people will go to survive.


“DOUBLE IDENTITY,” BY JAYE BLAKEMORE

Identical twins and secret lives…with deceit, murder, and revenge! A passionate romance between charismatic French vintner Cecile Cardin and elusive billionaire art collector Paul Allenwerth leads to the birth of beautiful twins Gillian and Julianne, who are separated at the age of three during a mysterious divorce, and raised in completely different environments: Julianne absorbs the life of a small French winery, and Gillian lives in lonely luxury in New York City. Cecile and Paul take their shocking secrets to their graves…but they also leave their daughters with great wealth, an empire to run, and a strongbox that reveals a legacy they could never have imagined. As Julianne and Gillian learn of their parents’ past, and a family history steeped in unimaginable courage and tragedy, they must come to terms with the gifts and challenges that their parents have bequeathed to them, while making their way as independent women in the changing world of the 1970s. Only one twin will have the perfect life…but both will skyrocket through incredible journeys. Double Identity is a richly characterized, inventive thrill ride with plenty of suspense and romance!

Weather Report, June 5

Related image

Image result for Heart of Darkness + cover photosOUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “THE MARTYR’S BROTHER,” BY RONA SIMMONS, “CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPERFECT CAREGIVER,” BY BOBBI CARDUCCI AND “RAINBOW GARDENS,” BY JAMES MALONE, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

————————————————————————-

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Mikita Brottman, author of “The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men’s Prison.”

If this sounds a bit like a feel-good tale of  redemption, Brottman might disagree.

From an article about her in the Baltimore Sun:

“In ‘The Maximum Security Book Club,’ Brottman introduces the inmates of the Jessup Correctional Institution to works by Shakespeare, Poe and Conrad. What makes the prison club poignant is that on some level, Brottman suspects she’s doomed to fail. After all, she had already written a book questioning the lasting social value of teaching great literature.

“‘The idea that someone who creates something beautiful has to be morally superior, and the idea that reading makes you a better person or even that it improves your life, isn’t necessarily true,'” Brottman says.

“But that’s what reading did for me. I wanted to go to men who were in restricted circumstances and open up their minds to different types of stories.”

This week’s other featured book, Anne Perrault’s novel “Skating for Grace,” works the other side of the street from the dark world of prison. Her main character, Jacqueline Chevalier, is not only a championship figure skater, but a member of a royal family — literally, a princess.

Yet is this case, “having it all” isn’t all she needs, and the book follows the skater on a spiritual journey in search of more than a gold medal.

Meanwhile, this month’s “First Tuesday Replay” will re-visit Susan Swartwout’s “Odd Beauty, Strange Fruit,” Cynthia Graham’s “Beneath Still Waters,” Jaye Blakemore’s  “Double Identity,” Tim Bridwell’s “Sophronia L,” Josh Mendel’s “Hineni” and David Armand’s “The Gorge.”

UPCOMING ON “SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD”

‘THE MAXIMUM SECURITY BOOK CLUB,” BY MIKITA BROTTMAN.

Mikita writes: “I started the book club when I was on sabbatical.  About six months in, I realized the men’s responses were so interesting and engaging and I was learning so much from them, I started to think that other people might also find this experience as compelling as I did. So I started making notes during our sessions and thinking about writing a book. I wrote the book during the process of the club, and showed the final draft to the men. For the most part, they loved it.

“I think my experience was unique. It’s a personal narrative. It’s very honest. I’m frank about how my expectations were upended, what I did wrong, what I would have done differently. I don’t think it’s so much a book for people interested in prisons and justice. I think it will resonate with people who read a lot, who love classic literature as well as other things, who are open-minded, and who like personal narratives.”

“SKATING FOR GRACE,” BY ANNE PERRAULT

Jacqueline Chevalier is an unusual teen. Not only is she an international figure skating champion, she is also… royalty. Her life is basically one huge press junket. Her only release from the demands on her her family is found on the ice. Not only does she try to conform to her family’s demands on her time, she is worn out with the need to look and act the part of a perfect princess. When she meets a set of twins, Jacqueline is shown a different world, one that she longs for. She finds herself in an unusual situation, where she has a decision to make. Will she chose freedom in Christ or will her life continue to be lonely and empty?

The Martyr’s Brother

The Martyr's Brother by [Simmons, Rona]

THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPERFECT CAREGIVER,” BY BOBBI CARDUCCI AND “RAINBOW GARDENS,” BY JAMES MALONE, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’s NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE

————————————————————–

THE BOOK: The Martyr’s Brother.

PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR:  Rona Simmons

THE EDITOR
:  Through Deeds Publishing.

THE PUBLISHER: Deeds Publishing, Athens, Georgia (deedspublishing.com)

Rona SimmonsSUMMARYThe Martyr’s Brother is a work of suspense featuring a contemporary theme and a female sleuth. Five years ago, a suicide-bomber named Nadheer detonated an explosive-filled Toyota outside a Middle East military checkpoint. The blast shattered more than those immediately around him—it forever changed two other lives. Shafra, his brother, who worshipped Nadheer and longs to follow in his footsteps, and Alicia Blake, whose husband’s violent end in the same terrorist attack haunts her and drives her overactive imagination. Now Shafra has arrived in America, with his sights set on Atlanta. Alicia holds the key to stopping him before he rips the world apart, but time is ticking away.

THE BACK STORY: Having completed two works of historical fiction, the genre where my heart is, I wanted to “stretch” and try something new, a work of suspense, set in the current day and in the city where I live. At the time, and unfortunately still today, terrorism was in the headlines, even if in major cities and most often abroad.  I began to speculate on what would happen if terrorists aimed their sights at a secondary target, a smaller, ordinary city where ordinary people live, like our own home towns and neighborhoods.  That’s the source, but the real story to me is how violence affects us regardless of the specific nature of the violence.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I must have considered two hundred titles before deciding on The Martyr’s Brother.  My first choice was Soft Targets, but I found later that had been taken and by then I was so attached to the title it was difficult to find a new one. Finally I asked myself what the book was really about and I decided it was not the terrorist but the person that the terrorist left behind. It fit well, I thought, as each of the central characters has been touched by someone who committed a terrible crime.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?
The story is fast paced and so I think people who are looking for a few hours of entertainment might consider reading The Martyr’s Brother.  But the story is also filled with research about what’s happening behind the scenes in “our own backyards,” things we might not want to think about but can’t ignore.  And finally, and maybe most importantly, the characters.  There’s someone to cheer for here, and I hope in the next in the series.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“…a story from today’s headlines. And when you’re done, you won’t look at the people around you or the places you go quite the same way again.” – Carole Townsend, Author of Blood in the Soil

An intriguing contemporary tale of our times depicting how these factions at war have faces and absolutely none of them is sure of what they are doing.” – Hope Clark, The Edisto Island Mysteries and The Carolina Slade Mysteries.

…a fast and engrossing story that carries us into a world of deception and terrorism…” – David Darracott, Georgia author of the year for Wasted.

AUTHOR PROFILE: One of the hardest things to write is your own profile, so, let me just say, I came to writing “late” in life, after a thirty plus year career in business, a childhood in a military family, and a mother gifted in the appreciation of beauty in the world around us — each gave me the experience on which to base my writing: from my mother imagination, from my father the itinerant military life with exposure to different places and people and cultures, and from my career the discipline and dedication to sitting down and writing.  I write because I enjoy the act of writing and because I hope others will find momentary pleasure in the finished product.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: While my intent in writing The Martyr’s Brother was to grab people by the collar and force them to look at the world beneath the veneer of everyday life and perhaps to experience a world they didn’t know existed but also to make them realize how fortunate they are to live where we do and how we do and to cherish their friends and family and country that much more.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: The first few chapters of The Martyr’s Brother can be read online at Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Martyrs-Brother-Rona-Simmons/dp/1944193618/

LOCAL OUTLETS:

Bookmiser, Roswell and East Cobb, Georgia (http://www.bookmiser.net/)

Humpus Bumpus, Cumming, Georgia (http://www.humpusbumpus.com/)

Tall Tales Books, Decatur, Georgia (http://www.talltalesatlanta.com/)

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: The Martyr’s Brother can be ordered through your favorite bookstore anywhere or purchased online at:

Amazon.com:https://www.amazon.com/Martyrs-Brother-Rona-Simmons/dp/1944193618/
or through Deeds Publishing:http://deedspublishing.goodsie.com/the-martyrs-brother.

PRICE: Various, depending on format and source.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: People can reach me directly through email (rona_simmons@bellsouth.net) and I encourage readers and fellow writers to do so.  I can also be reached or read through social media at:

website:  ronasimmons.com.

blog: Women@Word:  womenatword.wordpress.com.

blog: From Acworth to Zebulon: actworthtozebulon.wordpress.com.

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Rona-Simmons-Author.

Twitter: @rona_simmons

Pinterest: pinterest.com/rdsimmons and ronasimmonsauth

Instagram: instagram.com/ronasimmonsauth.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rona-simmons.

The Huffington Post: huffingtonpost.com/author/rona-simmons-735

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver by [Carducci, Bobbi]

Barbara Simpson CarducciTHE BOOK: Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver

PUBLISHED IN: 2014

THE AUTHOR:  Bobbi Carducci

THE EDITOR
: Sharon K.Garner

THE PUBLISHER
: Open Book Press,
An imprint of Pen & Publish, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana (812) 837-9226 info@PenandPublish.com www.PenandPublish.com

SUMMARY: Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is the true story of a family dealing with one of the most important and fastest growing issues of our day, caring for someone with dementia.

Bobbi Carducci’s life was about to change. Her ill father-in-law’s odd behavior was a mystery when he came to live with her and Mike. For the next seven years Bobbi did everything she could to save him from himself – while he tried to convince everyone that he didn’t need her and that she was crazy.

THE BACK STORY
: So many caregivers had posted on caregiver sites that they wished someone would write a book showing what it is really like to be a caregiver. I felt as a writer and a caregiver that I had the ability and the responsibility to write it. The research was in living it. The hard part was exposing so much information about my failings and the mistakes I made.  From start to finish it took about five years. However, that was not continuous writing. I started it when my father-in-law was still alive. Caring for him eventually took all of my time and I had to set it aside. I picked it up several months after he had passed away. I thought I was ready. I was not. Reliving it was too painful and emotionally draining. I had to set it aside again. In fact, I invented excuses to stay away from my keyboard.  Finally after about another year I decided it was time to carry on. It was still very hard and I cried a lot as I wrote but I feel that emotion helped rather than hindered the result. I wrote it to read like a novel so it would appeal to not only caregivers and their families but also to those who like to read books about real families dealing with difficult issues.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I chose the title because there is no perfect way to be a caregiver.  I call what I did, creative problem solving on the run. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?
It’s the story of a real family with all the drama, love, and misunderstanding people have in their own lives and it addresses a devastating illness and its effect on not just the caregiver and the one in care, but the entire family as well.  Rosalyn Carter states: “There are four kinds of people in this world. Caregivers, those who have been caregivers, those who will become caregivers and those who will need care.”

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver perfectly encapsulates the human experience, not just the caregiver’s. When we live in a world of worry, stress, and self-doubt, where do we go to get the strength to go on? Bobbi’s retelling of her caregiving years unfolds in a beautiful answer to the questions posed by sickness, health, care, and loss.” Alexandra Axel, Media Director, The Caregiver Space

“Brutally honest and written from the heart, Carducci’s intimate chronicle of caring for her father-in-law is a poignant story of strength, compassion, and humor that will linger long after you read the last page. Highly recommended for anyone caring for an elderly parent.” Jan Neuharth, author of the Hunt Country  Suspense novels.

“ … opens the door so others can get a glimpse of what goes on behind closed caregiving doors. … a testament to the poser of hope, faith, and love. There are driving forces that enable Bobbi to continue on her caregiving path despite the continuous challenges. Like the millions of caregivers across the globe, she is in my opinion a most amazing – and perfectly human – imperfect caregiver.” Lunn Greenblatt, CaregivingCafe.com.

AUTHOR PROFIL
E: Bobbi Carducci began writing at the age of eight filling notebooks with very bad poetry and fair to good short stories. After years of reading everything she could get her hands on her work began to improve. Eventually she began to like it and eventually  began to believe she had talent. After joining Pennwriters, a national writers group, and attending as many workshops as possible during the annual three day conferences she began to submit her articles and short stories for publication.  Bobbi is now published in newspapers, magazines, short story anthologies, childrens book and creative nonfiction/memoir.
For three years she wrote a monthly book review column for About Families Publications before resigning to concentrate on writing Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver and her blog, The Imperfect Caregiver.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:  Bobbi is now a caregiver advocate, caregiver support group leader and national speaker. She created and presents the program, “Prepare to Care – What Adult Children Need to Know About Alzheimer’s/Dementia” to educate as many people as possible about one of the most important and fastest growing issues of our day. Caring for one of the millions of men and women who will develop in the coming years.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://amzn.to/2rO9b9P Peek inside the book on Amazon

LOCAL OUTLETS: Second Chapter Books, Middleburg, VA , Books & Other Found Things in Leesburg, VA,  Winchester Book Gallery in Winchester, VA , One More Page Books in Arlington, VA

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Open Books Press, www.bobbicarducci.com, www.theimperfectcaregiver.com

PRICE: $15.95 Print $2.99 Kindle

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:  Email: bcarducci@comcast.net, https://www.facebook.com/bobbi.carducci, Twitter:  @BobbiCarducci