Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: The Poor Man's Guide to Suicide by Andrew Armacost


Available in May, THE POOR MAN’S GUIDE TO SUICIDE is lyrical black comedy, a literary novel about losing your will to live—and possibly getting it back.
"A beautiful portrait of a decent man at the end of his rope."
--Scott Phillips, award-winning and bestselling author of THE ICE HARVEST
"Funny and well-conceived."
--Dan Fante, author of CHUMP CHANGE and MOOCH
“A somber yet hopeful walk along the ledge.”
--Kirkus
"... a powerful read that will satisfy any who like dark, gritty noir writing ..."
   --D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
***Read more about THE POOR MAN'S GUIDE TO SUICIDE today on Goodreads.


More Title Details

  • ISBN 9781937327446
  • Price $12.95 USD
  • Paperback
  • Publishing Date: 10 May 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mailbox Monday (4/21/14 edition)

 Image licensed from bigstockphoto.com
Copyright stands

Mailbox Monday is hosted by a different blog each month. See the official list here. I've received a few new books recently:

The Conditions of Love by Dale M. Kushner 
Reviewing for TLC Book Tours

Dale M. Kushner's novel The Conditions of Love traces the journey of a girl from childhood to adulthood as she reckons with her parents' abandonment, her need to break from society's limitations, and her overwhelming desire for spiritual and erotic love. In 1953, ten-year-old Eunice lives in the backwaters of Wisconsin with her outrageously narcissistic mother, a manicureeste and movie star worshipper. Abandoned by her father as an infant, Eunice worries that she will become a misfit like her mother. When her mother's lover, the devoted Sam, moves in, Eunice imagines her life will finally become normal. But her hope dissolves when Sam gets kicked out, and she is again alone with her mother. A freak storm sends Eunice away from all things familiar. Rescued by the shaman-like Rose, Eunice's odyssey continues with a stay in a hermit's shack and ends with a passionate love affair with an older man. Through her capacity to redefine herself, reject bitterness and keep her heart open, she survives and flourishes. In this, she is both ordinary and heroic. At once fable and realistic story, The Conditions of Love is a book about emotional and physical survival. Through sheer force of will, Eunice saves herself from a doomed life.

This engaging examination of a mother and daughter's relationship will appeal to the same audience that embraced Mona Simpson's acclaimed classic Anywhere But Here and Elizabeth Strout's bestselling Amy and Isabelle.



Kicking the Sky by Anthony De Sa 
Won from LibraryThing

In 1977, a shoeshine boy, Emanuel Jacques, was brutally raped and murdered in Toronto. In the aftermath of the crime, Antonio Rebelo, the twelve-year-old narrator of this story, explores his Portuguese neighborhood s dark garages and labyrinthine back alleys, along with his rapscallion friends. The boys develop a curious relationship with a charismatic, modern-day Fagin, a fledgling master over an amoral world of young hustlers, theft, and drugs.

As the media unravels the truth behind the shoeshine-boy murder, Antonio starts to see his family and his neighborhood as never before. He becomes aware of the dashed hopes of immigrants, of the influence of faith and the role of church, and of the frightening reality that no one is really taking care of him. So intent are his parents and his neighbors on keeping the old traditions alive that they act as if they still live in a small Portuguese village, not in a big city that puts their kids in the kind of danger they would not dare imagine.

Antonio learns about bravery and cowardice, life and death, and the heart s capacity for love and for unremitting hatred in this stunning coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a true crime that shook an entire city.



The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker
From the publisher 

An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world—and deep connection with humanity.

Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatross, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature.

Noah Strycker is a birder and naturalist who has traveled the world in pursuit of his flighty subjects. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, he spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and reveals the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds.

Beautiful and wise, funny and insightful, The Thing with Feathers is a gripping and enlightening journey into the lives of birds.



Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
Reviewing for TLC Book Tours

#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated book yet, and his first in five years – Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy that weaves crimes, lies, and secret past and present into a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern mayor and former prosecutor Penn Cage.






Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
From the publisher

On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.

Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty--rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.
 



The Untold by Courtney Collins 
Through Netgalley

Originally titled The Burial when published in Australia in 2012.

With shades of Water for Elephants and True Grit, a stunning debut novel set in the Australian outback about a female horse thief, her bid for freedom, and the two men trying to capture her.

It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run.
Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her.
Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law.
But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her—her own child, who awaits her.



Close Reach by Jonathan Moore 
Through Netgalley

In a riveting tale of suspense and terror on the high seas, Jonathan Moore pits human beings against nature—and something far deadlier: one another.

Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms—and their cracked marriage. A British girl shrieking across a short-range VHF frequency ends that illusion. It’s coming, she screams. It saw us and it’s coming back! Her voice is drowned by a tide of signal-jamming static, and Kelly sees a target on the radar screen: A ship is coming for them.

Thus begins an unforgettable cat-and-mouse game across stormy polar seas and dire landfalls. Kelly’s pursuers will test her to the limits of her endurance—and beyond. For the ship in her wake is crewed by pirates, with a young leader trained to use the most sadistic tortures in pursuit of his ultimate objective . . . a goal as shocking as it is horrific.



The Orenda by Joseph Boyden 
Through Netgalley

From the Scotiabank Giller Prize-Winning author of Through Black Spruce comes a literary masterpiece steeped in the natural beauty and blood-soaked brutality of our country’s formative years

A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, The Orenda opens with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen. It has been years since the murder of his family and yet they are never far from his mind. In Snow Falls, Bird recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter and sees the girl possesses powerful magic that will be useful to him on the troubled road ahead. Bird’s people have battled the Iroquois for as long as he can remember, but both tribes now face a new, more dangerous threat from afar.

Christophe, a charismatic Jesuit missionary, has found his calling amongst the Huron and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language in order to lead them to Christ. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to the new world.

As these three souls dance each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, small battles erupt into bigger wars and a nation emerges from worlds in flux.



Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith
Through Netgalley

What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Introducing... Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

Introducing books through the first chapter or so...

Prologue

"If a man is forced to choose between the truth and his father, only a fool chooses the truth." A great writer said that, and for a long time I agreed with him. But put into practice, this adage could cloak almost any sin. My mother would agree with it, but I doubt my older sister would, and my fiancee would scoff at the idea. Perhaps we expect too much of our fathers. Nothing frightens me more than the faith in my daughter's eyes. How many men deserve that kind of trust? One by one, the mentors I've most admired eventually revealed chinks in their armor, cracks in their facades, and tired feet of clay-- or worse.

But not my father.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EXCERPT: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson


CHAPTER 8 
PULLED TOWARDS THE EDGE
 
While he was coming to quick terms with the idea that he’d finally found an attractive woman who cared about his world of nonstop news and gossip, right away, I knew that I too certainly liked the idea of this Wade Crawford man before me. He fit a need. His enthusiasm for life and work would soften my losses: my father in a plane to the ravages of an untimely blizzard and James to a burning obsession to save every child on the other side of the world.
New York glimmered around us that night, the way it can when spontaneity falls perfectly into place. After dinner, Wade escorted me to two downtown parties filled with cigarette smoke and writers. Someday I hoped to be like his writer friends who wrote long magazine stories and books that they’d mined from their souls. It was clear from every angle that Wade’s non-stop joie-de-vivre was more than contagious. He was sheer fun, and full of the possibility of escape, of renewal even.
He dropped me at my stoop at dawn, kissing me tenderly on the lips and disappearing into the early morning glow. As I watched him bounce down the street, all I could think was that he had Daddy’s electricity and confidence. And that suited me just fine.  

 Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by William Morrow & Company

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson

Have you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you’d overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford – the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter. With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband. Until she realized he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNY, THE IDEA OF HIM (William Morrow | April 1, 2014 | Paperback Original | $14.99 | ISBN: 9780062283108) explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford is a once-aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, with a marriage that feels more like a hostessing gig than it does a relationship.  At thirty four, she is at a crossroads. Then she meets a head-turning, traffic-stopping beauty at the bar of the famed New York City Tudor Room. When Allie finds her husband Wade locked in their laundry room with this same stunning blonde, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, Allie starts to think her marriage is more of a fa├žade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

This intriguing blonde is Jackie Malone, a business school student at Wharton who appears unannounced in Allie Crawford’s world with an uncomfortable degree of information about her personal and professional life. Showing up at all the same parties, lunches, and with a seemingly quite intimate relationship with Allie’s husband, Jackie is a feisty, gorgeous, leggy fashionista that just might have the key to Allie’s future. If she can only learn to trust her.

As Allie and Jackie search for truth, they uncover scandals, betrayals, and financial crimes worthy of front page headline news. Swiftly-paced and electrifying, THE IDEA OF HIM follows their fast-growing friendship and the intimate, sexy conversations they have as Allie takes command of her life and learns to live on new terms that are alternately exciting and terrifying.

Set in present-day Manhattan among the city’s established and up-and-coming power brokers, many of them struggling to regain their equilibrium in a post 2008 crash world, all working various angles—legal and not—in an effort to either get ahead or simply keep up. Smack in the middle of New York’s upwardly mobile meritocracy is the hard-working Allie, refusing to let her working-class past cloud her fabulous present. Her story offers a ringside seat at the lunch-time haunts featured in the pages of Vanity Fair, and is a ticket to the exclusive media cocktail parties posted on Guest of a Guest. But as Allie’s world starts closing in on her and she can no longer deny who her husband actually is, she must figure out how to do it all – without him.

THE IDEA OF HIM shows a woman determined to pick herself back up and reclaim her life, even as the fear of being alone threatens to lure her down the wrong path. As Allie struggles to care for her children, tend to her demanding boss, and navigate the high jinx in the psychological and financial game-playing happening all around her, we fall in love with her determination to root out the truth, and in doing so, finally put her own interests and needs front and center. Most of all, we see the power of female friendship as an unlikely ally – in the form of the mysteriously seductive Jackie Malone – helps Allie to finally see the truth about her husband. And it sets them both free.


about the author:

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.






Twitter: @HollyPetersonNY


PRAISE FOR
THE IDEA OF HIM
BY HOLLY PETERSON

“THE IDEA OF HIM is a coming-of-age book for grownups. It's fast-paced and intriguing, glamorous and real -- not only a great, great read but a tutorial in how to be your own best friend.”
—Elin Hilderbrand, author of BEAUTIFUL DAY

“Holly Peterson has written a gripping, sophisticated story of high life suspense that kept me riveted till I’d finished. THE IDEA OF HIM is hugely enjoyable and vividly satisfying.” —Tina Brown of Tina Brown Live Media

“Holly Peterson’s THE IDEA OF HIM is the perfect novel if you want to plunge into great dialogue, a twisting and unexpected plot, shady Wall Street schemes, betrayal, girlfriends… and sex.  It is unputdownable.”  —Lesley Stahl, CBS News 60 Minutes Anchor

“THE IDEA OF HIM takes off like a rocket and doesn’t stop until the last page. In this day and age where we are all so distracted, I relished a book that held my attention with laser focus on sexy topics that we all relate to: why we obsess over love, why we can’t leave when we should, and how we find our strength through friendship and characters we can’t help but adore.” —Katie Lee, TV Host, The Kitchen and Author of GROUNDSWELL

“THE IDEA OF HIM is a deeply intriguing book filled with hilarious social satire and sexy longing. This book explores falling in love with the idea of someone rather than the person themselves…and how we cope with reality once we wake up!”  —Kelly Bensimon, Author and TV Personality


Stay tuned tomorrow for an excerpt from the book!