Friday, September 30, 2011

Bonus TC Tidbit: A Google Map Showing Where Books Were Banned

Check it out HERE.

A Memoir of Love, Family, Farming and Poison

The Orchard is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.

Jackie says:
"Theresa Weir is a best selling author, both under her own name and under the nom de plume Anne Frasier. however, this book is very, very different from all of her others.  This time, she's telling us about her early life, her marriage and the apple farm she raised her family on.  This book is unvarnished and honest, and from what some interviews I've read, I'd say that it was almost as difficult to write as it was to live.  There were certainly happy moments, but there were plenty of horrifying ones as well.  Can you imagine living somewhere where every day you had the garlicky taste of herbicide in your mouth from the breeze coming through the window, or brushing off the dust of pesticide from your clothes after walking through the orchard with your children?  Weir tells the tale of her family, but also of the large family run apple based business that her husband's family had been sustained by for generations.  She makes the point again and again that farming isn't what your grandparents or great grandparents did anymore--now it's big business, big competition and plenty of politics.   She admits that at the writing of this book, she had not stepped foot on the farm in 15 years, so she can't say what has changed, but knowing what she knows, it is extremely unlikely that anything has swung toward the better.  This is an engrossing book on many levels, and a brave one.  It sheds a bright and unwavering light on the secrets of culture, family, relationships and farming that will be impossible to forget."

Neil Stephenson's Coming to the Historic Lodo Store TONIGHT!!!

Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe—and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story—an entertaining and epic page-turner from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.

Free numbered tickets for a place in the signing line will be handed out beginning at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

Banned Books Week: A Student Reading from Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm
As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As readers witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, they begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization--and in the most charismatic leaders, the souls of the cruelest oppressors.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bonus Tidbit: The Five Best Banned Books Turned Films

from the folks at

If You Loved The Hunger Games, Give Glow A Shot

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Pulse-pounding and addictive, Glow begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

Jackie says:
"They are calling this series 'the next Hunger Games', and I can see why.  It's action packed, alternating chapters between the 15 year old female lead, Waverly, and the 16 year old male lead, Kiernan.  I read this in about 24 hours, unable to put it down (it would have been faster if I could have managed to not sleep or go to work).

The premise is that the Earth is toast, so it has sent out two HUGE ships (HUGE--many levels with the ability to do anything--grow orchards, farm, etc).  They left a year apart and they are staffed with the planned progenitors of New Earth.  42 years into the mission, the second ship catches sight of the first ship (which wasn't supposed to happen--they left a year apart and they should be light years away from each other).  It seems they have a fertility problem on the first ship--no babies can be conceived there.  They need help, and are willing to use force to get it.  It is, after all, all about survival of the species.  But things are not what they seem, or what they were meant to be, on either ship, and things turn bloody fast.

This is a fast paced, edge of your seat, violent, intense book, clearly at the beginning of a series because the climax leaves you desperate for more.  I really do think this is going to be

Measuring Emotional Reactions Monetarily

Why is marriage worth -200,000 a year? Why will having children make you unhappy? Why does happiness from winning the lottery take two years to arrive? Why does time heal the pain of divorce of the death of a loved one - but not unemployment? Everybody wants to be happy. But how much happiness - precisely - will each life choice bring? Should I get married? Am I really going to feel happy about the career that I picked? How can we decide not only which choice is better for us, but how much better it is for us?

The Happiness Equation describes how we can measure emotional reactions to different life experiences and presents them in ways to which we can relate. How, for instance, monetary values can be put on things that can't be bought or sold in the marketplace - such as marriage, friendship, even death - so that we can objectively rank them in order of preference. It also explains why some things matter more to our happiness than others (e.g. why seeing friends is worth more than a Ferrari) while others are worth almost nothing (like sunny weather). Nick Powdthavee - whose work on happiness has been discussed on both the Undercover Economist and Freakanomics blogs - brings the reader cutting-edge research on how we value our happiness in a witty and engaging style.

Read this article to get a taste of what is in the book. 

Banned Books Week: A Student Reading from The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life...offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Are Not Alone

Dear Bully
Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.

Listen to a pod cast of a panel made up of four of the contributors: Ellen Hopkins, Megan Kelley Hall,  Mo Willems and Maryrose Wood.

Jackie says:
"70 authors came together to tell their stories.  Most are about being bullied.  Some are about being the bully.  Some are about not stopping a bully or helping the bullied.  These are painful memories to be sure, but they all come to the conclusion--it get's better and you do survive and can thrive.  In the wake of so many child/teen suicides that have their roots in bullying, these authors chose to make their stand.  Here are some of the statistics that the book starts out with:

--Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on a school playground, with more than 85% of those
instances occurring without any intervention.

--On a daily average 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied
if they attend classes.

--On a monthly average 282,000 are phsically attacked by a bully

--A child commit suicide as a direct result of being bullied once very half hour, with
19,000 bullied children attempting to commit suicide over the course of one year.


These writers have taken a stand.  It's time for all of us to do so as well. "

Enviromental Preservation Through Diet--This Book Shows You How

Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too). Where does your food come from, and is it healthy? How can you be sure that you are receiving the nutrients you need? In Thrive Foods, Brazier clearly explains how nutrient-dense, plant-based foods are the best form of proactive health insurance and environmental sustainability rolled into one. And that's not all. Thrive Foods also features 200 nutritionally complete, easy-to-make recipes that utilize the power of super- foods such as maca, chia, hemp, and chlorella, and that avoid common allergens, such as wheat, yeast, gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.
With recipes from celebrated chefs (Tal Ronnen, Chad Sarno, and others) and award-winning restaurants (such as Millennium and Candle 79), the healthy and delicious dishes include:
Pumpkin Gnocchi | Italian Garden Stir Fry | Spicy Black Bean Chili | Quinoa Falafels | Chocolate Goodness Smoothie | Cool Coconut Orange Squares | Indian-Spiced Lentil Hemp Burgers | Banana Cream Pie | Summertime Chef Salad | as well as Brazier's signature energy bars and gels and many more . . .
If you're looking for sustainable energy, high-quality sleep, physical strength, and mental sharpness to meet modern-day demands, Thrive Foods is the resource for you.

Banned Books Week: Judy Blume on Censorship

There's a first for everything.
When you build up something in your mind -- really imagine it, wish for it -- sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn't live up to your expectations.

True love is nothing like that.

Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can't get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven't been together all that long, they know it's serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom.
But it's senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead.

Michael and Katherine are destined for another big "first": a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

Forever is on of several of Blume's books to be challenged or banned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

After a Few Pages, Lynn Knew "this was a book that belonged in my library ."

"This book is a collection of twelve incredible essays by some of the finest writers to call Colorado their home. I have compiled and edited four or five of these kinds of books. All were enjoyable in more ways than I can describe, but this one was the most fulfilling and satisfying. Much if this had to do with all of the fine writers involved. They included David Mason (Poet Laureate of Colorado), Mara Purl (author, publisher, actress, musician). Susan Tweit, Joe Stone, Larry Meredith, Mark and Kym Todd, Margaret Coel, Mario Acevedo, Laurie Wagner Buyer, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Kathy Brandt, and Dan Guenther. This is one of the most impressive line-ups of writing talent anywhere."---W.C Jameson, editor

Editor W.C. Jameson has long been interested in why writers do what they do. Why do they write? What obstacles do they encounter, and how do they overcome inevitable bumps in the road? He also wondered how living in Colorado specifically influences the writing experience. So he asked authors, with no rules or boundaries, to share whatever they wanted about their art and lives. This eclectic collection is a peek inside the minds of Colorado authors as they reflect on topics like the writing process, identity as shaped by place, and the stronghold of Colorado's history as a catalyst for creativity.

Lynn says:
"Having (sadly) missed the Tattered Cover event for this book, I'd forgotten about it until a customer was enthusing about it to the point that I agreed to read the essay he named as his favorite at my next opportunity.  That was Joe Stone's' The Writer as Shaman' and indeed it gave me an unexpected jump-start for my own (LONG dormant!) journaling because of the case Stone makes for writing's incredibly cathartic process for both writer and reader.

Going on to read from page one, the essays by Margaret Coel ('Anatomy of a Story'; revealing her compelling motivation for especially her nonfiction work, 'Chief Left Hand' on the Sand Creek Massacre) and David Mason('Opening a Town'; an essay exploring his inspiration and experiences around writing his verse novel about the Ludlow Massacre, 'Ludlow') were fascinating and convinced me this was a book that belonged in my library as I'd want to refer to it again and again.  'From Pretty Pink Bows to Chicken Manure: Embracing Poetry as Practice' by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer is a testament to the magic and power of words and to the process of crafting them in a life affirming way.  Each additional author in this book has something uniquely perceptive to say about how place, character and imagination figure in to inform and vivify one's writing.

Whether you've ever belonged to a writing (or reading!) group or owned a blank journal, this group of regional authors may well have you occasionally, if not daily, moving your pen or typing on your keyboard with a refreshed sense of play, wonder or even urgency."

Meet the Author Tonight!!!

The young Blue Bloods of Manhattan descend upon Egypt in Lost in Time, the epic sixth book in Melissa de la Cruz's New York Times and USA Today best-selling Blue Bloods series.

After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong.

Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. But instead of a bitter reunion, he is faced with a choice for which there is no good option. Mimi, with a most unexpected travel companion in Oliver Hazard-Perry, jets off to Egypt, too, to search for Kingsley Martin, her long lost love. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. But she'll have to put her own feelings aside if she's going to save her crumbling Coven. Packed with heartache, twists, and vampiric folklore, Lost in Time is sure to satisfy hungry fans' cravings for more Blue Bloods adventure.

de la Cruz will be reading from and signing her new book at  7:00pm this evening at our Highlands Ranch Store.

Banned Books Week:Chris Crutcher Reading from Deadline

Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?

First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list.

Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

This Book Was "one of the most unique reading experiences I've ever had", says Jackie

Lamb traces the self-discovery of David Lamb, a narcissistic middle aged man with a tendency toward dishonesty, in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and unpopular eleven-year-old girl. Lamb is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness, and even comes to believe that his devotion to Tommie is in her best interest. But when Lamb decides to abduct a willing Tommie for a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies, planning to initiate her into the beauty of the mountain wilderness, they are both shaken in ways neither of them expects.

Lamb is a masterful exploration of the dynamics of love and dependency that challenges the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood, confronts preconceived notions about conventional morality, and exposes mankind’s eroded relationship with nature.

Jackie says:
"This is a very strange, mesmerizing book by a relatively local author.  She describes it as being told in "first-person, albeit a distant one."  It is the story of a middle aged man and an the eleven year old girl whom he adopts, though most would say abducts, for a cross country ride from Chicago to the very rural and mountainous west.  It's not nearly as "Lolitaish" as it sounds, though there is an element of innocence mixed with corruption to both the man and child.  You cannot make assumptions as you read this book--there are many blind alleys to the narrative.  Just when I'm sure something was going to transpire, the story line would shoot off in another direction I didn't anticipate at all.  It isn't a mystery, but it certainly is mysterious.  It is one of the most unique reading experiences I've ever had, and even now I'm hard pressed to explain to myself what the books was about, so I'm certainly not going to be able to do it for you.  My suggestion is that you read it for yourself.  I don't think you'll be disappointed."

Meet the author TONIGHT!!!
Bonnie Nadzam will be reading from and signing her book tonight at 7:30 at our Colfax Avenue Store.

The Acclaimed New Biography of Christopher Columbus

Columbus: The Four Voyages
From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer. 

Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a trading route to China, and his unexpected landfall in the Americas, is a watershed event in world history. Yet Columbus made three more voyages within the span of only a decade, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity. These later voyages were even more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, but they revealed Columbus's uncanny sense of the sea, his mingled brilliance and delusion, and his superb navigational skills. In all these exploits he almost never lost a sailor. By their conclusion, however, Columbus was broken in body and spirit. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs- political, moral, and economic.

In rich detail Laurence Bergreen re-creates each of these adventures as well as the historical background of Columbus's celebrated, controversial career. Written from the participants' vivid perspectives, this breathtakingly dramatic account will be embraced by readers of Bergreen's previous biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by fans of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.

Read an excerpt.

Banned Books Week: Lauren Myracle Reads from Shine

When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice. 

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Guest Blogger Tiernan McKay Talks With Author Lisa Tucker

Together for over a decade, Kyra and David Winter are happier than they ever thought they could be.  They have a comfortable home, stable careers, and a young son, Michael, who they love more than anything.  Yet because of their complicated histories, Kyra and David have always feared that this domestic bliss couldn’t last - that the life they created was destined to be disrupted.  And on one perfectly average summer day, it is: Michael disappears from his own backyard.

The only question is whose past has finally caught up with them: David feels sure that Michael was taken by his troubled ex-wife, while Kyra believes the kidnapper must be someone from her estranged family, someone she betrayed years ago.

As the Winters embark on a journey of time and memory to find Michael, they will be forced to admit these suspicions, revealing secrets about themselves they’ve always kept hidden.  But they will also have a chance to discover that it’s not too late to have the family they’ve dreamed of; that even if the world is full of risks, as long as they have hope, the future can bloom

Lyrical, wise, and witty, The Winters in Bloom is Lisa Tucker’s most optimistic work to date.  This enchanting, life-affirming story will charm readers and leave them full of wonder at the stubborn strength of the human heart.

Q&A With Lisa Tucker

Do you have a “complicated” past? I mean, who doesn’t? In The Winters in Bloom, bestselling author Lisa Tucker explores the reality of the Winters family, as two complicated histories collide. As Kyra and David Winters create a life for themselves and their son, Michael, they can’t seem to escape their pasts, which have somehow made them extremely overprotective parents. When Michael suddenly disappears, they are left to examine their experiences as they search for answers. This is a story about family drama at its best (or worst, depending on how you see it).

Tucker graciously answered some questions about her sixth novel on the cusp of its release:

Q: You skillfully developed the characters in The Winters in Bloom without sugar-coating them. They are real and, in a way, a bit dark. What about this plot convinced you to develop so many characters so fully? Speak to the challenge of doing so.

A: I always write about troubled families. In The Winters in Bloom, because the story moves back and forth in time over the last twenty years, we meet a number of people who influenced who David and Kyra are today. All of these people, I think, are part of the life in which five-year-old Michael finds himself. The first sentence of the novel is: “He was the only child in a house full of doubt.” Michael is reacting to his parents’ fears and doubts, but I was thinking of all the weight of the past on this little boy. The question is whether Michael and his family can find a way to free themselves.
Q: Having been on both sides of the page, what would you say is the key to creating an experience in which readers connect with characters even though they may not have much in common?
A: One of the things I love about the novel is that it’s essentially a psychological form. A book has the unique ability to take us inside someone else’s head, to allow us to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. I think that fosters a powerful connection between characters and readers.
Q: As a writer, is the amount of emotion in a book directly related to the level of emotion you experience upon its release? If so, what sorts of emotions are you going through with the release of Winters?
A: For me, the release of a book is always an emotional experience, but the release of The Winters in Bloom is proving to be far more emotional than usual, mainly, I think, because of the circumstances of my life while I was writing it. The Winters in Bloom is the book of my heart. It’s a little hard to send it out into the world, but I know it’s time. 

[Note: Tucker went through a major health crisis while writing this book. You can read about her experience  HERE.]

The True Story Behind the Ballad

A literary triumph—what began as a fictional re-telling of the historical account of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time became an astonishing revelation of the real culprit responsible for the murder of Laura Foster

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley…The folk song, made famous by the Kingston Trio, recounts a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains after the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and her lover Tom Dula was hanged for the crime. The sensational elements in the case attracted national attention: a man and his beautiful, married lover accused of murdering the other-woman; the former governor of North Carolina spearheading the defense; and a noble gesture from the prisoner on the eve of his execution, saving the woman he really loved.

With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, Sharyn McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened—and may also bring belated justice to an innocent man. What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. Tom Dula and Ann Melton had a profound romance spoiled by the machinations of their servant, Pauline Foster.

Bringing to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy, Sharyn McCrumb gifts understanding and compassion to her compelling tales of Appalachia, and solidifies her status as one of today's great Southern writers.

Top Ten Banned Books

Saturday, September 24, 2011

TC Bonus Tidbit: Twain's "Eve's Diary" Unbanned After 105 Years

Read an article about it here.

The Neighbors Aren't So Friendly In This Marvelous Debut Horror Novel

Those Across The River

Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.

A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...

Jackie says:
"This book is deeply creepy, and I only made it more so by reading it on a weekend as the moon was coming full.  And the moon definitely plays a role in this story, set in the rural south in 1936.  Frank and Eudora, posing as man and wife though they hadn't quite made it official yet, have come to live in the house bequeathed to him by his aunt.  It came with a curse, interestingly enough, and a dire warning from his aunt to just sell the house and not come to see it ever.  It seemed to stem from a great grandfather who had been a cruel slave master who refused to free his slaves after the State's War, so they ended up rising and killing him. The lawyers shuffled this off as an old lady's dying hysteria, though no one could deny that nasty piece of history. But the couple really needed a fresh start, having scandalized the northern world of academia by their relationship (she had been a prominent professor's wife at the same institution that Frank had been teaching).

At first things were fine.  The neighbors seemed decent, the town was sleepy but interesting, and the couple began to settle down.  For the first month,until the social, and the pigs.

Every month there was a ceremonial offering of a boar and a sow, taken over my ferry to the woods on the other side of the river--an covenant that had been kept for many years.  But times were very hard, and the town decides to stop giving up the pigs.  And the killing started.  There was evil across the river and it was coming for the town, and Frank and Dora found themselves bound to it's center with no way out.

This is a brilliantly written first novel that paints a vivid  and literate picture of the people, the town, and the horror.  There are graphic parts, but they are a deeply woven part of the plot, not gratuitous.  This novel is extremely well crafted, and scary as all hell.  Read it under a bright light in a warm and well secured house."

Preserving Appalachian Traditions For Nearly Half a Century

For almost half a century, Foxfire has brought the philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers, teaching creative self-sufficiency and preserving the stories, crafts, and customs of Appalachia. Inspiring and practical, this classic series has become an American institution.

The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book continues the beloved tradition of celebrating a simpler life, this time with a focus on Appalachian music, folk legends, and a history full of outsized personalities. We hear the encouraging life stories of banjo players, gospel singers, and bluegrass musicians who reminisce about their first time playing at the Grand Ole Opry; we shiver at the spine-tingling collection of tall tales, from ghosts born of long-ago crimes to rumors of giant catfish that lurk at the bottom of lakes and quarries; we recollect the Farm Family Program that sustained and educated Appalachian families for almost fifty years, through the Depression and beyond; and we learn the time-honored skills of those who came before, from building a sled to planting azaleas and braiding a leather bull-whip.

 Full of spirited narrative accounts and enduring knowledge, The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book is a piece of living history from a fascinating American culture.

Learn more about

Banned Book Week: Virtual Read-Out

Since 2000, the ALA hosts Read-outs—a continuous reading of banned and challenged books—in Chicago, IL. In lieu of a physical Read-Out this year, the ALA along with its fellow cosponsors of Banned Books Week will host a virtual one where readers from around the world will be able to participate.  All videos will be featured on the dedicated Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel. Any individual who would like to participate in the event can find instructions on the new Banned Books Week website under Virtual Read-Out.

The Banned Books Week Virtual Read-out also will feature YouTube videos of authors reading from their favorite banned/challenged book or talking about the importance of the freedom to read.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Book Grabbed Lynn From The Minute She Opened It Up

It’s a fact: individuals have the power to change the world. And in an age of rampant environmental devastation, nothing is as vital as saving our planet and the health of its inhabitants. Eco Amazons brings together the women leading the charge to create a sustainable future. They are individuals at the forefront of the global preservation movement, making a noticeable difference in all of our lives. Through intimate interviews conducted by journalist Dorka Keehn and arresting images by award-winning photographer Colin Finlay, Eco Amazons chronicles and illuminates the critical environmental issues of our time and shows how concern leads to passion, and how passion leads to action that can be emulated by all.

While many of the leaders of the modern environmental movement have consistently been women, most of their names, struggles, and successes have yet to achieve national recognition. A generation ago, conservation held the spotlight; but because of these women, the beam is now shining equally on health and urban issues like clean air and safe drinking water. As the movement has expanded, women continue to spearhead change in new areas of environmental focus such as art, design, economics, and food production.

With a forward by Julia Butterfly Hill—the internationally known activist who lived in a redwood tree affectionately know as “Luna” for 738 days—this seminal book brings to light the stories and lives of 20 American women making a difference. These eco-warriors include Majora Carter, who founded the environmental justice organization Sustainable South Bronx, which includes one of the nation’s first urban-farm training programs; Agnes Denes, a pioneer of the ecological art movement; Julia Bonds, a coal miner’s daughter and the director of Coal River Mountain Watch in the Appalachian Mountains who is fighting the highly destructive mining practice known as “mountaintop removal”; and Alice Waters, the chef and owner of the award-wining restaurant Chez Panisse, who has championed farmer’s markets and organic products.

Eco Amazons Book Flip from powerHouse Books on Vimeo.
Lynn says:
"Eco-Amazons grabbed me the minute I opened it, as this collection of short bios (with unforgettable photos of its subjects and the environments/work they're involved in) focuses on 20 remarkable American women who have dedicated their lives to working for solutions to often grave ecological problems in our society.  The book includes names I've already heard of and admired, but most were new to me and I wanted to find out more.

Julia Butterfly Hill writes a pithy introduction, in which she assures us that this is certainly not a book solely for women, but that passionately appeals to the ecologist and environmental justice-supporter in our brothers as well.  Each voice here is distinct in terms of where and how their life trajectories converge with particular issues, yet there's a unifying theme of speaking truth to power, defending the health and integrity of land, air, water & creatures in a place they care deeply about, and encouraging and empowering human communities to shift out of a business-as-usual mindset when it is detrimental to the current or future generations.

The youngest contributor, Vivian Chang, advocates for low-income immigrants in California who were falling ill as a result of trying to eke out a living by farming atop Superfund sites, and the oldest, octogenarian Dr. Theo Colborn (who works in Paonia) researches and informs the public and policy-makers of endocrine disruptors in the pollutants from the natural gas 'fracking' process.  Annie Leonard ("The Story of Stuff") awakens the  public's conscience to the realities of not only our carbon, but also our enormous waste
footprint in her films and writing, Judy Bonds stands up to coal mountaintop removal mining operations in Appalachia to protect her community, and Hazel Johnson calls out corporate polluters and government officials to reduce the toxic waste of over 100 industrial plants and landfills threatening the health of ecosystems in the South Side of Chicago.  This is just a brief sampling of the people profiled by author Dorka Keehn in a book I find inspiring with its stories of incredible determination, creative focus and a fierce love for life that recognizes our place in the web of life, and remembers to include future generations in deciding how to live more sustainably upon this gorgeous planet."

The Revolution in Local Investing

In the wake of the financial crisis, investors are faced with a stark choice: entrust their hard-earned dollars to the Wall Street casino, or settle for anemic interest rates on savings, bonds, and CDs. Meanwhile, small businesses are being starved for the credit and capital they need to grow. There's got to be a better way.

In Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It,"Amy Cortese takes us inside the local investing movement, where solutions to some of the nation's most pressing problems are taking shape. The idea is that, by investing in local businesses, rather than faceless conglomerates, investors can earn profits while building healthy, self-reliant communities.

--Introduces you to the ideas and pioneers behind the local investing movement
--Profiles the people and communities who are putting their money to work in their own backyards and taking control of their destinies
--Explores innovative investment strategies, from community capital and crowdfunding to local stock exchanges.

With confidence in Wall Street and the government badly shaken, Americans are looking for alternatives. "Local investing" offers a way to rebuild our nest eggs, communities, and, just perhaps, our country.

Banned Books Week Starts Tomorrow!

September 24−October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Get answers to FAQ about Banned Books Week by clicking here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook's Manifesto

Rare is the cookbook that redefines how we cook. And rare is the author who can do so with the ease and expertise of acclaimed writer and culinary authority Michael Ruhlman. Twenty distills Ruhlman s decades of cooking, writing, and working with the world s greatest chefs into twenty essential ideas from ingredients to processes to attitude that are guaranteed to make every cook more accomplished. Whether cooking a multi-course meal, the juiciest roast chicken, or just some really good scrambled eggs, Ruhlman reveals how a cook s success boils down to the same twenty concepts. With the illuminating expertise that has made him one of the most esteemed food journalists, Ruhlman explains the hows and whys of each concept and reinforces those discoveries through 100 recipes for everything from soups to desserts, all detailed in over 300 photographs. Cooks of all levels will revel in Ruhlman s game-changing Twenty.

Ruhlman’s Twenty: The Ideas and Techniques That Will Make You a Better Cook                                                            

Jackie says:
"This may be the cookbook I've been waiting for all my life.  The quality of the writing, the photos, the recipes--you really can't ask any more from a single volume.  Make room next to Bittman's How To Cook Everything, because this book is going to become a modern kitchen library staple."

Dan Abrams On Why Women Are Better

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, everyone is familiar with the tired clichés: women are bad drivers and are not good with money; only guys play video games and they give bad directions. Dan Abrams tackles the toughest case of his career in Man Down. Drawing on years of legal experience and research studies, Abrams explains step-by-step why women are better than men in just about every way imaginable, from managing money to flying planes to living longer. Abrams uses his trademark charm to get his point across without opining on the issue himself. Chock-full of fun facts and conversation starters, this book may not end the debate of men versus women, but it will definitely make it more interesting.

TC Tidbit: From Our Friends at Vintage and Anchor

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lynn's A Fan of the Fall 2011 Edition of Yes!

Take a look inside by clicking here.

You can pick up this issue at any Tattered Cover newsstand.

Lynn says:
"Initially attracted to the cover stories on 'The Upside of Downshifting' and an interview with Van Jones (not to mention the guy on the cover delivering soups on his bike!), I started out transfixed by (it being so close to 9/11/11) a book review by Valerie Trueblood of Transforming Terror by Carrington and Griffin that immediately led me to check out the book on our shelves and to bump it up to the head of an already long queue of must-reads.
Reading further into the magazine and having experimented some with 'cottage industry' ideas for a nonprofit and cooperative living in intentional community, the articles to do with creative DIY recycled clothing, laundry and solar-power worker coops and urban farms pulled me in.

I was truly hooked when I noticed the article on p.46 that is about the Bank of North Dakota, founded in 1919 as a populist response by farmers to the domination of big banks controlling credit availability and cost, much to the detriment of ND communities.  Having just been at a film screening of "Capitalism is the Crisis" at the Mercury Cafe here in Denver, with the truly fascinating in-depth discussions that followed, I was excited to find out more about North Dakota's state banking system that people were talking about.  At least a dozen states are seriously looking to the BND model as an alternative to a financial system that has shown itself to be so clearly out of touch with economic realities (or human potential) on Main Street.

This issue's interview by Sarah van Gelder with Van Jones on redefining the American Dream, 'Want Jobs? Rebuild the Dream' is a well-articulated distillation of our economic predicament that is too often lacking in mainstream media, and much of the issue is a breath of fresh air for navigating through these times of hyperbolic reactions to the tax/spending debates, poverty and wealth disparities, debt and military budget, austerity measures, 'security', 'patriotism',  Wall Street excess, Dow averages and political maneuvering seen in our local, national and international news. 

Yes! often is one voice in the crowd that chooses to focus on the stories behind the stories that get short shrift because they don't fit into neat ideological soundbites.  The current issue is a case in point that acts as a thoughtful jumpstart to my day and gives me practical ideas and useful information that can help me live in this city in a more sustainable, healthy way and to be energized rather than just daunted that, as Rebecca Solnit is quoted as saying on p.62, 'The world gets better. It also gets worse. The time it will take to address this is exactly equal to your lifetime.'"


Are You Saying What You Think You're Saying?

We spend our lives communicating. In the last fifty years, we've zoomed through radically different forms of communication, from typewriters to tablet computers, text messages to tweets. We generate more and more words with each passing day. Hiding in that deluge of language are amazing insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel.

In The Secret Life of Pronouns, social psychologist and language expert James W. Pennebaker uses his groundbreaking research in computational linguistics-in essence, counting the frequency of words we use-to show that our language carries secrets about our feelings, our self-concept, and our social intelligence. Our most forgettable words, such as pronouns and prepositions, can be the most revealing: their patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints.

Using innovative analytic techniques, Pennebaker X-rays everything from Craigslist advertisements to the Federalist Papers-or your own writing, in quizzes you can take yourself-to yield unexpected insights. Who would have predicted that the high school student who uses too many verbs in her college admissions essay is likely to make lower grades in college? Or that a world leader's use of pronouns could reliably presage whether he led his country into war? You'll learn why it's bad when politicians use "we" instead of "I," what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge's syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion. Barack Obama, Sylvia Plath, and King Lear are among the figures who make cameo appearances in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.

TC Tidbit: Back Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer In Their New Project

Learn about the project here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chet and Bernie Are On The Case Once Again!

The fourth entry in the irresistible New York Times bestselling mystery series featuring canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie—“the coolest human/pooch duo this side of Wallace and Gromit” (Kirkus Reviews).

Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn’s exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times bestselling debut, Dog on It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo’s triumphant return in a tale that’s full of surprises.

Bernie is invited to give the keynote speech at the Great Western Private Eye Convention, but it’s Chet that the bigshot P.I. in charge has secret plans for. Meanwhile Chet and Bernie are hired to find a kid who has gone missing from a wilderness camp in the high country. The boy’s mother thinks the boy’s father—her ex—has snatched the boy, but Chet makes a find that sends the case in a new and dangerous direction. As if that weren’t enough, matters get complicated at home when a stray puppy that looks suspiciously like Chet shows up. Affairs of the heart collide with a job that’s never been tougher, requiring our two intrepid sleuths to depend on each other as never before. The Dog Who Knew Too Much is classic Spencer Quinn, offering page-turning entertainment that’s not just for dog-lovers.

Jackie says:
"Chet and Bernie are back in action in the series' fourth book, this time they've accepted a lucrative bodyguarding gig that turns into the hunt for a missing little boy.  Add in a shady fellow trying to steal Chet and a much enhanced roll by the erstwhile reporter and girlfriend Suzy and you have yet another rollicking ride with The Little Detective Agency.  Then there's the question of a puppy from across the valley that looks like a perfect miniature version of Chet....  Another fun adventure from Quinn, and really, what's not to like about Chet and Bernie, right? "

A Very Special Friendship

After 13-year-old Charlie Hall’s mother dies and his father retreats into the silence of grief, Charlie finds himself drifting lost and alone through the brutal halls of junior high school.

But Charlie Hall is not entirely friendless.  In the woods behind his house, Charlie is saved from a mountain lion by a grizzly bear, thought to be extinct in northern Idaho.

And this very unusual bear will change Charlie’s life forever.

Deeply moving, and interwoven with hope and joy, Emory’s Gift is not only heartwarming and charming coming of age story, but also a page-turning insightful look at how faith, trust, and unconditional love can heal a broken family and bridge the gaps that divide us.

TC Tidbits: Les Mis With Jackman and Crow!

Universal has formalized plans and a December 7, 2012 release date for Les Miserables, the live-action adaptation of the Cameron Mackintosh-produced stage musical that will be helmed by The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper, with Hugh Jackman starring as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe playing Javert.
Read more at 

Les Miserables

Monday, September 19, 2011

Celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day With Laurie R. King!

In this latest adventure featuring the intrepid Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King takes readers into the frenetic world of silent films—where the pirates are real and the shooting isn’t all done with cameras.
In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation . . . or sink a boatload of careers.

Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.

Pirate King is a Laurie King treasure chest—thrilling, intelligent, romantic, a swiftly unreeling masterpiece of suspense.

Laurie R. King will be helping us celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day by reading and signing her new book  Pirate King tonight at 7:30 pm at our Colfax Avenue store.  Guests are invited to wear their best pirate gear, practice their pirate vocabulary, and enjoy a sing-a-long and pirate stories!

Robert Gleason Explores The Nuclear Terror Threat

Lydia Lozen Magruder—the great-granddaughter of a female Apache war-shaman—has seen visions of the End since childhood. She has constructed a massive ranch-fortress in the American Southwest, stocked with everything necessary to rebuild civilization.

Now her visions are coming true. John Stone, once a baseball star and now a famous gonzo journalist, stumbled across a plan to blast humanity back to the stone age. Then he vanished. Lydia’s only hope of tracking him down lies with her stubborn, globe-trotting daughter, Kate, Stone’s former lover.

Kate is about to step right into the plotters’ crosshairs. Stone has been captured by a pair of twin Middle Eastern princesses, hell-bent on torturing him until he reveals all he knows.

Meanwhile, a Russian general obsessed with nuclear Armageddon has also have eight or more of his Russian subs, armed with nuclear-tipped missiles.

The world is armed for self-destruction.

 Who will survive?

Read an excerpt here.

TC Tidbit: Can you name the book (or the series of books) from the name a fictional book or story referenced within it?

Take the quiz here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Did You Know...

-the term "hot dog" is believed to have been coined during a baseball game between the Yankees and the Giants in 1901?
-calzones get their name from their less-than-glamorous looks: calzone means "trouser leg" or "drooping sack" in Italian?
-the word "salary" comes from Roman soldiers being paid their wages in salt?
-shrimp cocktail became popular in the 1920s as a safe way of "having a cocktail" during Prohibition?
-the Cobb salad was invented by Robert H. Cobb-founder of the Brown Derby restaurant chains-who threw the salad together for Sidney Grauman-owner of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood-as a midnight snack based on ingredients in his refrigerator?

In What Caesar Did For My Salad, historian Albert Jack offers a fascinating look at the unexpected stories, creators, and bizarre origins behind the world's most beloved dishes. Who was Margherita, for instance, and why was the world's most famous pizza named after her?  Why do we call our favorite kinds of coffee espresso or cappuccino? Did medieval Turkish soldiers really invent the kebab by threading bits of meat on to their swords and balancing them on top of their campfires? What exactly does horseradish sauce have to do with our equine friends?

From your morning eggs to America's favorite pies, fries, and martinis, you'll never look at your kitchen pantry or refrigerator in the same light again.

Harold Bloom Finally Shares His Life's Work

The Shadow of the Great Rock

The King James Bible stands at "the sublime summit of literature in English," sharing the honor only with Shakespeare, Harold Bloom contends in the opening pages of this illuminating literary tour. Distilling the insights acquired from a significant portion of his career as a brilliant critic and teacher, he offers readers at last the book he has been writing "all my long life," a magisterial and intimately perceptive reading of the King James Bible as a literary masterpiece.

Bloom calls it an "inexplicable wonder" that a rather undistinguished group of writers could bring forth such a magnificent work of literature, and he credits William Tyndale as their fountainhead. Reading the King James Bible alongside Tyndale's Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the original Hebrew and Greek texts, Bloom highlights how the translators and editors improved upon—or, in some cases, diminished—the earlier versions. He invites readers to hear the baroque inventiveness in such sublime books as the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Job, and alerts us to the echoes of the King James Bible in works from the Romantic period to the present day. Throughout, Bloom makes an impassioned and convincing case for reading the King James Bible as literature, free from dogma and with an appreciation of its enduring aesthetic value.

Read this piece from the New York Times where Bloom is talking about his favorite book of the Bible.

TC Tidbit: Don't Forget to RSVP Soon!

Book Club Happy Hour

Wednesday, September 21 at 6pm at our Highlands Ranch Store.
There are so many great books being published, it can be difficult to decide what to read with your book club. We have the perfect solution for this admittedly good problem to have—Book Club Happy Hour! Join us as Tattered Cover staff members and a publisher’s sales representative offer their favorite choices for book club reading anddiscussing. Find out what other book clubs are reading and mingle while enjoying wine and light refreshments.

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. Please call 303-322-1965 ext. 2739 to make a reservation.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Timeless Love Story Of A Far Different Kind

Shortly before his wedding, the unnamed hero of this uncommon romance is visited by a man, claiming to be his future self, who ominously admonishes the protagonist that he must not marry the love of his life, Q. The author doubts this stranger, but in time becomes convinced of his authenticity and leaves his fiancée. The resulting void in his life is impossible to fill. One after the other, future selves arrive urging him to marry someone else, divorce, attend law school, leave law school, travel, join a running club, stop running, study the guitar, the cello, Proust, Buddhism, opera, and eliminate gluten from his diet. The only constants in this madcap quest for personal improvement are the author’s love for his New York City home and for his beloved Q. Q turns the classic story of transcendent love on its head, with an ending that will melt even the darkest heart.

Jackie says:
"This is a funny, poignant, timetraveling, somewhat cautionary love story told over one very chameleon like lifetime.  "Q' stands for Quentina Elizabeth Deveril, the passion of the protagonist's life (we never learn his name), his intended wife until he gets a visit from "a friend" who convinces him to leave her.  This is only the first of several visits that cause him to dramatically change his life over and over again.  I would argue that "Q" could possibly stand for "quantum physics" given that time travel plays a very big role in this story.  But no matter the names or the nameless, this is a fascinating tale with numerous twists and turns that will keep you captivated from the first paragraph until the very last, and very gratifying, line."

Colfer Tries His Hand At Adult Mysteries


The long-awaited crime caper so outlandish, so maniacal, so wickedly funny, it could have only come from the mind that brought you Artemis Fowl.

Lincoln McEvoy has a problem. Well, really, he has several, but for this Irish ex-pat bouncer at a seedy, small-time casino the fact that his girlfriend was just murdered in the parking lot is uppermost in his mind.

That is until lots of people around him start dying, and not of natural causes. Suddenly Linc's got half the New Jersey mob, dirty cops and his man-crazy upstairs neighbor after him and he still doesn't know what's going on. Bullets are flying, everybody's on the take and it all may be more than Linc's new hair plugs can handle.

And Linc's got to find the guy who put in those hair plugs--or at least his body--and fast, or else he'll never get that voice out of his head. Head-spinning plot twists, breakneck pacing and some of the best banter this side of Elmore Leonard's Detroit, will keep you on the edge of your seat and itching for more.

Click here to read an interview about the book with the author.

Listen to a bit of the audio book:

TC Tidbit: Poets Going Postal

In 2012, the United States Postal Service will be releasing 10 Forever stamps featuring 20th century poets.  Read more about that here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It Could Happen Tomorrow...

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Jackie says:
"This novel is dystopian to it's very core and creepy as all get out.  One random day, North America (at least) gets hit by a tremendous electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all electric things and immediately kills most of the population.  Only the very young (12 and less) and the very old (65+) seem to survive relatively intact.  Others survive too--mostly teenagers to early 20s--but they have changed into cannibalistic zombies and are very, very dangerous.  The story centers on 17 year old Alex, who was camping off-season in the Michigan woods alone.  She meets up with an old man and his 8 year old granddaughter shortly before the pulse, and finds herself the guardian of the little girl  when the EMP kills the old man via his pace maker.  Thus begins an adventure that just doesn't stop, and the surprises and violence are very nearly continuous.  Desperation and brutality seem to be the aftermath of the pulse as those who are left fight to survive the first winter after 'The Zap'.  It's a scary story with a LOT of graphic moments, but it's also impossible to put down.  There are plenty of unanswered questions by the end of  the book, making me wonder if there is going to be a sequel.  I certainly will be trying to figure things out for a long time, wondering what clues I may have missed, etc.  While it's a little choppy in places, I still call it a fine, if very, very dark, novel."

All Wars Have Rules

Rule Number One: No killing innocent bystanders.
Rule Number Two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.

Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause that he believes in but doesn't fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a rigid set of rules, and fought by two distinct sides-one good, one evil. The only unknown is which side is which. Soldiers in the War hide in plain sight, their deeds disguised as accidents or random acts of violence amidst an unsuspecting population ignorant of the brutality that is always inches away.

Killing people is the only life Joseph has ever known, and he's one of the best at it. But when a job goes wrong and he's sent away to complete a punishingly dangerous assignment, Joseph meets a girl named Maria, and for the first time in his life his singleminded, bloody purpose fades away.

Before Maria, Joseph's only responsibility was dealing death to the anonymous targets fingered by his superiors. Now he must run from the people who have fought by his side to save what he loves most in this world. As Children of Paranoia reaches its heart-in-throat climax, Joseph will learn that only one rule remains immutable: the only thing more dangerous than fighting the leaving it.