Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fresh Fiction On Our Shelves

From "a top-notch emerging writer with a crisp and often poetic voice and wily, intelligent humor" (The Boston Globe): a collection of stories that explores the lives of talented, gutsy women throughout history.

The fascinating lives of the characters in Almost Famous Women have mostly been forgotten, but their stories are burning to be told. Now Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise, resurrects these women, lets them live in the reader's imagination, so we can explore their difficult choices. Nearly every story in this dazzling collection is based on a woman who attained some celebrity--she raced speed boats or was a conjoined twin in show business; a reclusive painter of renown; a member of the first all-female, integrated swing band. We see Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde's troubled niece, Dolly; West With the Night author Beryl Markham; Edna St. Vincent Millay's sister, Norma. These extraordinary stories travel the world, explore the past (and delve into the future), and portray fiercely independent women defined by their acts of bravery, creative impulses, and sometimes reckless decisions.

The world hasn't always been kind to unusual women, but through Megan Mayhew Bergman's alluring depictions they finally receive the attention they deserve. Almost Famous Women is a gorgeous collection from an "accomplished writer of short fiction" (Booklist).

In this harrowing and thrilling work of historical fiction, two enemies become the unlikeliest of allies as they fight to save their own lives aboard a hell ship headed into the dangerous unknown.The Civil War is over, though for Jupiter Smith, a former slave and Union soldier, many battles still lie ahead. He returns to the plantation he worked on before the war in search of his woman, but rather finds his old master gone mad, haunting the ruins like a ghost. Out of pity for the now mentally ill Colonel, Jupiter strangles him and heads west to seek a new life in San Francisco. When the Colonels son, Confederate soldier Archer Smith, arrives at home and finds his father murdered, he vows revenge upon Jupiter for all he has lost following his former slave to the far reaches of the continent. But things take a new turn as Archers desire for retribution is overwhelmed by his dependency on opium, and he ends up the target of a gang of crimpers ,the very gang that Jupiter works for in San Francisco. When Jupiter fails in an attempt to save Archer, they both end up shanghaied aboard a ship headed on a dangerous mission and ruled by a merciless captain. Will the two Smiths work together to stay alive and return home, or will they become victims of the sea, the crew, and their mad captain?

The internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel--a tale of class, love, and freedom--in which a young woman must fnd her place in a world forever changed

After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boardinghouse.

Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One is from a radical young newspaper editor who offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.

Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte's dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland--and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?

As Britain seethes with unrest and postwar euphoria fattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.

24 year-old Janice Itwaru is an "Uncle"—NYPD lingo for an undercover narcotics officer—and the heroine of the most exuberant and original cop novel in years.

On any given day, Janice Itwaru might be found trolling the streets of Queens for drugs. Janice is an "uncle"—an undercover narcotics officer—trying to meet the impossibly high quota of drug busts needed to make detective, or be sent back down to uniformed patrol. So Janice is out there in her secondhand hoochie skirt, trying to get potential drug dealers—criminals, addicts, dumb kids, whomever—to commit a felony on her behalf. Other days are spent in the "Rumpus Room" at the precinct, trying to keep up with the bantering lies and inventively cruel pranks of her fellow uncles while coping with the insane demands of the big bosses. 
With an ailing mother at home, her cover nearly blown, four more buys to get her gold shield and rumors circulating that Internal Affairs has her unit under surveillance, Janice is running very short on luck as her quota deadline approaches. Now she has to decide which evil to confront: the faceless bureaucrats at One Police Plaza, or the violent drug dealers who may already be onto her identity. 
Bursting with the glorious chaos of the streets of New York, Uncle Janice is an uproariously funny portrait of how undercover cops really talk and act, and a compelling story of their crazy, dangerous and often nonsensical lives.

No comments: