Our currently featured books, “Slim Confessions,” by Sarah Minor, “True Teryn,” by S.G. Blaise, “Above the Bejeweled City,” by Jon Davis, “Watkins Glen,” by Eleanor Lerman and “The Drama Queen,” by Frank Billingsley, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.
We have a wide variety to offer you this week — two collections of short stories, a full-length narrative poem, a sci-fi novel and a book of photos taken from the vantage point of a rock n’ roll band’s tour bus. This includes a couple of extra books added for the sake of Christmas.One note about Max Abrams’ “On the Bus.” At this point, he’s promoting his book the old-fashioned way, offering to mail out signed copies — no Amazon yet. Ordinarily, I would shy away from featuring any book that requires sending money to an author, but I’m making an exception here because I’ve known Max personally for many years and am confident he can be trusted.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, DEC. 7-13.
“THIS DISTANCE WE CALL LOVE,” BY CAROL DINES.
The thirteen stories in this collection blend humor and insight to explore the complexities of contemporary relationships in a culture inundated by information and technology. Focusing on various constellations of marriage, lovers, family, and friends, This Distance We Call Love takes its title from the interwoven themes of connection and disconnection in our most intimate relationships: sisters battle issues of duty and obligation when one sister becomes homeless; a mother and daughter take a trip to Mexico, only to be followed by the daughter’s stalker; a family on sabbatical in Rome must contend with their daughter’s rape; parents navigate raising their only child in the age of climate change; a biracial adopted daughter whose mother is dying battles her own internet sex addiction. Told from the voices of sisters, wives, husbands, children, and friends, the stories delve deep into the relationships that impact and inform our lives, creating a cumulative portrait of relationships in America today.
“DOIZEMASTER: PHANTASM CREED,” BY TONY M. QUINTANA
Tony writes: “While most books in this genre tell the story of rebel/resistance groups, mine tells the story of a secret order that functions around the value of service. The Cobalt Phantasms appreciate and teach that helping those who have been cruelly marginalized and disenfranchised is the first step to a fairer world. We must serve others to understand our place in this world.
“Another aspect of my book that readers should look forward to are the characters in the story. Dashiel, my main character, is a hero that longs to explore the lands beyond the barrier, live a life of adventure and become stronger, but he is not afraid to show his innermost emotions and fear. I believe he will assist future generations in accepting their feelings and developing empathy towards others, especially those who are different.”
“ON THE BUS,” BY MAX ABRAMS
According to Max: “I started touring when I was 22. Like most musicians just starting out, we got where we were going in a van. The end of one gig meant hurtling towards the next gig as quickly as possible. Free time was spent sleeping, eating, or practicing. This went on for a few years.
“In those early days I truly resented the time it took to travel. There was no joy in getting from, say, New Orleans to LA. It was an obstacle to be overcome. A task. A burden.
“That changed when I joined a band with a bus. Someone else did the driving. Suddenly there was time to look out the window. I began to notice how the country was a million small places, each offering up something singular and beautiful. I started to take pictures.”
“INSIDE BALL LIGHTNING,” BY RAINIE OET.
Inside Ball Lightning is a book-length memoir in verse that follows changing relationships in the poet’s immigrant family around the years of their grandmother’s death. The book traces the childhoods of three siblings, full of competitive chess, Gameboys, ghosts, ESP, and ball lightning. The book looks back across generations, as parents’ childhoods merge with the poet’s, and looks forward into the continuing implications of the family’s immigrant experience. Inside Ball Lightning attempts to reconcile terror and love, nostalgia and pain.
“OCEANOGRAPHY,” BY JEREMY GRIFFIN.
Noted one reviewer: “The stories in Oceanography are peregrinations into unmapped territory: the survival of innocence. An elderly man who has outlived his wife seeks solace in building bird-feeders while noting the “surprising strength of his heart.” A failing businessman prays to a photograph of his grandsons on the beach, an adolescent girl begins to comprehend the consequences of her attraction to an older boy, and the survivors of a school shooting reconsider their homicidal classmate. This beautiful collection is distinguished by unvarnished honesty, depth of compassion, and an uncanny awareness of that liminal region between our knowledge of what is irretrievable and our hope for deliverance.”