Saturday, February 28, 2015

Auston Habershaw's "The Iron Ring," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Iron Ring by Auston Habershaw.

The entry begins:
The Iron Ring was just released by Harper Voyager Impulse early this month, so perhaps discussions of who will play whom in the movie are premature, but, hell, this is the Internet, dammit! Why shouldn’t I indulge in delusions of grandeur?

Tyvian Reldamar—played by Damian Lewis

Lewis has the right look, the right charm, and I have no doubt he can sport a devilish grin if he needs to. Whoever plays Tyvian needs a certain arrogance about him—he’s a guy who is supremely confident in himself and supremely disdainful of everyone else. I’m pretty sure Lewis could pull this off.

Artus—played by Currently Unknown

Tyvian’s sidekick/constant annoyance should be played be a newcomer—a fresh faced kid with a lot of potential, just like Artus. I want the next Daniel Radcliffe or...[read on]
Visit Auston Habershaw's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Iron Ring.

Writers Read: Auston Habershaw.

My Book, The Movie: The Iron Ring.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Tracy Weber reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Tracy Weber, author of A Killer Retreat: A Downward Dog Mystery #2.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been burying myself in cozy mysteries lately, both because I love cozies and because I’m trying to improve my writing technique. What better way to learn than by reading my fellow (and I must say, awesome) writers?

Right now I’m particularly excited, because my first book, Murder Strikes a Pose, has been nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel. So, of course, I have to read the competition. Of the other four books nominated, I’m currently reading two: Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris and Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien.

These two novels are great representations of the genre. Although crime takes center stage (in one, a disappearance; the other, a murder) we also learn...[read on]
About A Killer Retreat, from the publisher:
When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity—even if it means enduring the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers. But avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she teams up with her boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. They must solve the crime before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.
Visit Tracy Weber's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Coffee with a Canine: Tracy Weber and Tasha.

The Page 69 Test: Murder Strikes a Pose.

The Page 69 Test: A Killer Retreat.

Writers Read: Tracy Weber.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six of the best SF/F novels with non-white protagonists

Lauren Naturale likes literary fantasy, the gothic, historical fiction, and sensational things to read on trains; she writes in and about all of these genres.

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog she tagged six SF/F novels with non-white protagonists that aren’t by Octavia Butler, including:
Adaptation and Inheritance, by Malinda Lo

After a car crash, David Li and Reese Holloway learn the truth: they’ve been “adapted” with alien DNA. Malinda Lo says she had The X-Files in mind when she wrote these linked YA novels, but what makes them truly stand out is her handling of the love triangle, in which Reese struggles to choose between David and her alien ex-girlfriend. I’m including Adaptation and Inheritance for David’s sake; for YA fantasy about Asian girls in love, consider Lo’s previous book, Huntress.
Read about another book on the list.

Writers Read: Malinda Lo (September 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Kate Riordan's "Fiercombe Manor"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this haunting and richly imagined dual-narrative tale that echoes the eerie mystery of Rebecca and The Little Stranger, two women of very different eras are united by the secrets hidden within the walls of an English manor house.

In 1933, naive twenty-two year-old Alice—pregnant and unmarried—is in disgrace. Her mother banishes her from London to secluded Fiercombe Manor in rural Gloucestershire, where she can hide under the watchful eye of her mother’s old friend, the housekeeper Mrs. Jelphs. The manor’s owners, the Stantons, live abroad, and with her cover story of a recently-deceased husband Alice can have her baby there before giving it up for adoption and returning home. But as Alice endures the long, hot summer at Fiercombe awaiting the baby’s birth, she senses that something is amiss with the house and its absentee owners.

Thirty years earlier, pregnant Lady Elizabeth Stanton desperately hopes for the heir her husband desires. Tormented by the memory of what happened after the birth of her first child, a daughter, she grows increasingly terrified that history will repeat itself, with devastating consequences.

After meeting Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice becomes determined to uncover the clan’s tragic past and exorcise the ghosts of this idyllic, isolated house. But nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Soon it is her turn to fear: can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley...
Visit Kate Riordan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fiercombe Manor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ten top bad boys with good(ish) hearts in YA fiction

Catherine Doyle lives in the west of Ireland. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in English from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Vendetta, her debut novel, is the first part of the Blood for Blood series.

For the Guardian she tagged her top ten bad boys with good(ish) hearts in YA fiction, including:
Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith

"Damon, leather and silk and fine chiseled features. Mercurial and devastating."
―LJ Smith, The Vampire Diaries.

Damon Salvatore bursts into character as the main antagonist and all-round snarky anti-hero in The Vampire Diaries. With his drop-dead good looks, rapier wit and struggle to get-good-to-get-the-girl, it’s hard not to be enthralled by the darker Salvatore brother, and the conflict that follows him. Playing Devil to brother Stefan’s Angel, Damon really comes into his own when his feelings for Elena Gilbert begin to chip away at his selfish, morally-unhinged behaviour. Damon’s latent humanity is brought to light when those he holds dear are threatened, showing precious glimpses of the person he is capable of becoming when he allows himself to love and care for those around him.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Leanna Renee Hieber's "The Eterna Files," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber.

About the book, from the publisher:
London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire's chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped—and has a sample of Eterna.

Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound—and the immortality it will convey—will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.
Visit Leanna Renee Hieber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Leanna Renee Hieber.

My Book, The Movie: The Eterna Files.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Auston Habershaw reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Auston Habershaw, author of The Iron Ring: Part I of the Saga of the Redeemed.

His entry begins:
So, my reading life is a complicated one. As a literature professor and a fantasy author, my reading time is split between three things: my love (fantasy and science fiction), my work (literary fiction), and my curse (student writing). In any given semester, I need to read between 6 and 12 novels for my classes and grade an additional 2400 pages or so of student writing. After that, I can squeeze in whatever reading for pleasure I can get. Because of this, my reading for pleasure list is way, waaaay longer than I have time for, unfortunately.

Nevertheless, here’s what I’m reading now:

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

This is a classic of hard-boiled detective fiction from the 1930s—one of the seminal works of the genre. I’m currently teaching it in my Modern American Writers class. If you haven’t read Chandler, you really should (even if you don’t care for detective fiction). What you’re learning here is style. Chandler’s voice is so unmistakable that...[read on]
About The Iron Ring, from the publisher:
Tyvian Reldamar—criminal mastermind, rogue mage, and smuggler of sorcerous goods—has just been betrayed by his longtime partner and left for dead in a freezing river. To add insult to injury, his mysterious rescuer took it upon himself to affix Tyvian with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing.

Revenge just got complicated.

On his quest to get even, Tyvian navigates dark international conspiracies, dodges midnight assassins, and uncovers the plans of the ruthless warlord Banric Sahand—all while running from a Mage-Defender determined to lock him up. Tyvian will need to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid a painful and ignominious end, even as he discovers that sometimes even the world's most devious man needs a shoulder to lean on.
Visit Auston Habershaw's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Iron Ring.

Writers Read: Auston Habershaw.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Tom Santopietro's "The Sound of Music Story"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time by Tom Santopietro.

About the book, from the publisher:
On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian’s critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film’s relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic.
Learn more about the book and author at Tom Santopietro's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Godfather Effect.

Writers Read: Tom Santopietro.

The Page 99 Test: The Sound of Music Story.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Seven books to celebrate the Chinese New Year

At B & N Reads Ginni Chen tagged seven books to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Sheep, including:
A Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami

It’s all about sheep this year, which makes this gripping thriller about an elusive, mutant sheep strangely appropriate. Only Murakami could write a mystical mystery about livestock. A young man uses a seemingly benign image of sheep in an ad campaign. Unbeknownst to him, one of the sheep pictured is more than it appears, and the subject of a menacing man’s search. Our narrator becomes ensnared in a quest to track down the sheep that becomes increasingly surreal.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Laura Lippman's "Hush Hush"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan Series #12) by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I’m Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother.

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves.

Now that’s she’s a mother herself—short on time, patience—Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well....
Visit Laura Lippman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hush Hush.

--Marshal Zeringue

Shari Goldhagen's "In Some Other World Maybe," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: In Some Other World Maybe by Shari Goldhagen.

The entry begins:
Several of the characters in In Some Other World, Maybe are themselves actors or writers, so I suspect that they would actually have thought about this quite a bit...even if they wouldn’t admit it.

Phoebe is someone whose early life is defined by the fact that she’s conventionally beautiful—something she uses to her advantage, even if she isn’t quite comfortable with that. There are several contemporary actresses who I think would work well—Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman, maybe Rachel Weisz (who is technically a little old for the character, but never seems to age). In my head though she kind of looks like a young...[read on]
Visit Shari Goldhagen's website and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: In Some Other World Maybe.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Laura Grace Weldon reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Laura Grace Weldon, author of the poetry collection, Tending, and a handbook of alternative education, Free Range Learning.

Her entry begins:
I usually have several books going at any one time. When I stumble on great ones I love to talk about them.

All the Light We Cannot See took author Anthony Doerr 10 years to write. His craftsmanship lifts this novel into the realm of art. The book's two main characters, who don’t meet until late in the novel, are entirely memorable. Maurie-Laure is a blind girl raised by her father. He has built her a perfect miniature replica of their neighborhood so she will never be lost. He takes her to work with him at the Museum of Natural History, where she learns eagerly. When the Nazis take over Paris, Marie-Laure and her father seek refuge in a...[read on]
Among the praise for Weldon's poetry collection, Tending:
“Laura Grace Weldon employs radical empathy to enter into the hidden lives of rutabaga, cows, the neighborhood bully, and the beating heart of life itself. Playful, curious, sensual, she aims to open the reader’s eyes and heart.”
--Alison Luterman, author of See How We Almost Fly and The Largest Possible Life.

“Laura Grace Weldon’s poems remind us that our world’s necessary brushes between nature and technology, human and animal, are not necessarily ones of friction. Instead, Weldon sees these moments as truly wondrous ones, available to us not only on the farm, but also in the back pocket of a window washer, swinging among the skyscrapers.”
--Brad Ricca, author of American Mastodon and Super Boys.
Learn more about Laura Grace Weldon's poetry collection, Tending, and her handbook of alternative education, Free Range Learning.

Visit the author's blog, website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Laura Grace Weldon & Winston and Cocoa Bean.

Writers Read: Laura Grace Weldon.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top fictional troublemakers

Matt Sumell's new book is Making Nice.

One of the author's top ten fictional troublemakers, as shared at the Guardian:
Bobby Allen Bird in Saguaro by Carson Mell

One day, down in New Orleans, I ended up at the apartment of one of my sister’s yogi friends where – in an idiotic attempt to bed her – I beelined straight for her bookshelf and ridiculed things I’d only half read. She eventually got tired of listening to me, grabbed a book off the bottom shelf, and said something like, “You probably haven’t read this – it’s self-published – but you might like it.” Self-published? I thought. This should be good. Thing is, it’s better-than-good. Way better, and from the very first sentence: “When I was twelve years old I was best friends with a baby.” Fun, fast and voice-driven, Saguaro chronicles the life of rock legend Bobby Allen Bird as he recounts his struggles with barbiturates, dangerous women, fist fights with Bob Dylan, a cruise for satanists and a comeback, often while wearing his favorite colour: pink. If you like your troublemakers to be of the expectation-confounding variety, Bobby Bird’s your man. As for that yogi girl, she didn’t sleep with me, but as consolation I got to keep the book. Putting that in the win column.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pg. 99: Todd Endelman's "Leaving the Jewish Fold"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Leaving the Jewish Fold: Conversion and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History by Todd Endelman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between the French Revolution and World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jews left the Jewish fold—by becoming Christians or, in liberal states, by intermarrying. Telling the stories of both famous and obscure individuals, Leaving the Jewish Fold explores the nature of this drift and defection from Judaism in Europe and America from the eighteenth century to today. Arguing that religious conviction was rarely a motive for Jews who became Christians, Todd Endelman shows that those who severed their Jewish ties were driven above all by pragmatic concerns—especially the desire to escape the stigma of Jewishness and its social, occupational, and emotional burdens.

Through a detailed and colorful narrative, Endelman considers the social settings, national contexts, and historical circumstances that encouraged Jews to abandon Judaism, and factors that worked to the opposite effect. Demonstrating that anti-Jewish prejudice weighed more heavily on the Jews of Germany and Austria than those living in France and other liberal states as early as the first half of the nineteenth century, he reexamines how Germany’s political and social development deviated from other European states. Endelman also reveals that liberal societies such as Great Britain and the United States, which tolerated Jewish integration, promoted radical assimilation and the dissolution of Jewish ties as often as hostile, illiberal societies such as Germany and Poland.

Bringing together extensive research across several languages, Leaving the Jewish Fold will be the essential work on conversion and assimilation in modern Jewish history for years to come.
Learn more about Leaving the Jewish Fold at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Leaving the Jewish Fold.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Auston Habershaw's "The Iron Ring"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Iron Ring: Part I of the Saga of the Redeemed by Auston Habershaw.

About the book, from the publisher:
Tyvian Reldamar—criminal mastermind, rogue mage, and smuggler of sorcerous goods—has just been betrayed by his longtime partner and left for dead in a freezing river. To add insult to injury, his mysterious rescuer took it upon himself to affix Tyvian with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing.

Revenge just got complicated.

On his quest to get even, Tyvian navigates dark international conspiracies, dodges midnight assassins, and uncovers the plans of the ruthless warlord Banric Sahand—all while running from a Mage-Defender determined to lock him up. Tyvian will need to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid a painful and ignominious end, even as he discovers that sometimes even the world's most devious man needs a shoulder to lean on.
Visit Auston Habershaw's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Iron Ring.

--Marshal Zeringue

Elliot Ackerman's "Green on Blue," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman.

The entry begins:
If Green on Blue were turned into a movie, I think, by definition, most of the actors would be relative unknowns. Nearly the entire cast would have to be of Afghan or at least of South Asian decent. For any writer, if you’re lucky enough to have your work adapted for film, you’re ceding your story to another’s interpretation of it. The possibilities for that interpretation are endless, but...[read on]
Visit Elliot Ackerman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Green on Blue.

Writers Read: Elliot Ackerman.

My Book, The Movie: Green on Blue.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top fictional evil geniuses

At B & N Reads Monique Alice tagged six great fictional evil geniuses, including:
The Dunnes (Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn)

Do you know evil when you see it? If you answered yes, Gone Girl will put you to the test. Fans of the book know just one Dunne is the mastermind here—but it takes you half the book to figure out which one. Is it Nick, the cavalier, potentially abusive, smarmy womanizer? Or is it Amy, the self-absorbed, spoiled, big-city rich girl? Both of their perspectives are so hauntingly earnest and genuine, it’s a slap in the reader’s face when the villain(-ess?) is finally unmasked. Clearly, hiding in plain sight is the hallmark of a true evil genius.
Read about another entry on the list.

Gone Girl made Jeff Somers's lists of six books that’ll make you glad you’re single and five books with an outstanding standalone scene that can be read on its own, Lucie Whitehouse's ten top list of psychological suspense novels with marriages at their heart and Kathryn Williams's list of eight of fiction’s craziest unreliable narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Tom Santopietro reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Tom Santopietro, author of The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing Von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time.

His entry begins:
Right now I’m reading Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins, written by Jenkins’s son Bruce, a sportswriter who has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer.

Gordon Jenkins was one of Frank Sinatra’s two greatest musical collaborators- the other being Nelson Riddle- and it’s fascinating to read both about Jenkins trying to understand his elusive father, and the nature of Jenkins’s art as composer, conductor, and arranger. It was Jenkins who wrote that 2 a.m. of the soul ballad “Goodbye” which became Benny Goodman’s theme song, and Chris Jenkins’s description of the real life events which inspired his father to write the song is heart rending. Having written a book on Sinatra (Sinatra in Hollywood) I’m really interested in learning how Jenkins and Sinatra came to...[read on]
About The Sound of Music Story, from the publisher:
On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian’s critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film’s relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic.
Learn more about the book and author at Tom Santopietro's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Godfather Effect.

Writers Read: Tom Santopietro.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pg. 99: Bryan R. Early's "Busted Sanctions"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Busted Sanctions: Explaining Why Economic Sanctions Fail by Bryan R. Early.

About the book, from the publisher:
Powerful countries like the United States regularly employ economic sanctions as a tool for promoting their foreign policy interests. Yet this foreign policy tool has an uninspiring track record of success, with economic sanctions achieving their goals less than a third of the time they are imposed. The costs of these failed sanctions policies can be significant for the states that impose them, their targets, and the other countries they affect. Explaining economic sanctions' high failure rate therefore constitutes a vital endeavor for academics and policy-makers alike.

Busted Sanctions seeks to provide this explanation, and reveals that the primary cause of this failure is third-party spoilers, or sanctions busters, who undercut sanctioning efforts by providing their targets with extensive foreign aid or sanctions-busting trade. In quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing over 60 years of U.S. economic sanctions, Bryan Early reveals that both types of third-party sanctions busters have played a major role in undermining U.S. economic sanctions. Surprisingly, his analysis also reveals that the United States' closest allies are often its sanctions' worst enemies. The book offers the first comprehensive explanation for why different types of sanctions busting occur and reveals the devastating effects it has on economic sanctions' chances of success.
Learn more about Busted Sanctions at the Stanford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Busted Sanctions.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ellen Meister's "Dorothy Parker Drank Here"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister.

About the book, from the publisher:
The acid-tongued Dorothy Parker is back and haunting the halls of the Algonquin with her piercing wit, audacious voice, and unexpectedly tender wisdom.

Heavenly peace? No, thank you. Dorothy Parker would rather wander the famous halls of the Algonquin Hotel, drink in hand, searching for someone, anyone, who will keep her company on this side of eternity.

After forty years she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. Now a prickly recluse, he hides away in the old hotel slowly dying of cancer, which he refuses to treat. If she can just convince him to sign the infamous guestbook of Percy Coates, Dorothy Parker might be able to persuade the jaded writer to spurn the white light with her. Ted, however, might be the only person living or dead who’s more stubborn than Parker, and he rejects her proposal outright.

When a young, ambitious TV producer, Norah Wolfe, enters the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, Parker sees another opportunity to get what she wants. Instead, she and Norah manage to uncover such startling secrets about Ted’s past that the future changes for all of them.
Visit Ellen Meister's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dorothy Parker Drank Here.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten contemporary novels inspired by Shakespeare's theatrics

At Flavorwire Alison Nastasi tagged ten contemporary novels inspired by Shakespeare, including:
My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare

Jess Winfield’s debauched debut, My Name is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare, besmirches the rep of the literary icon, pairing a historic, pseudo-biographical Shakespeare narrative with that of a latter-day namesake, one Willie Shakespeare Greenberg. Lackadaisical stoner Greenberg — also a scholar of the 16th-century laureate — finds himself embroiled in narcotic, and sometimes erotic escapades, which are spliced with the similarly dissolute misadventures of his time-twin back in 1580. Blending wordplay and humor with period detail, the author advances a provocative critical notion: that his playwright subject may have been a covert Catholic — and, hence, a religious heretic in his own epoch.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: My Name Is Will.

Also see: Sally O'Reilly's top ten novels inspired by Shakespeare, the greatest Shakespeare homages and cover versions in science fiction and fantasy and Matt Haig's top ten list of novels influenced by Shakespeare.

--Marshal Zeringue

William Klaber's "The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber.

The entry begins:
I was with Brenda, my future editor at St Martin’s. It was the first time we met and we were sitting down for lunch to discuss Rebellion, Lucy Lobdell’s purported memoir. Brenda was chirpy and out popped the question. Who should play Lucy? A good conversation starter, but not a role for just any actress. Sharp with a rifle, Lucy passed for three years as a man on the western frontier before she was discovered and put on trial for the crime of wearing men’s clothes. Back east she ran a dancing school, so convincing as a man that women started falling for this new guy, and Lucy started liking them back. Big trouble. And a challenging movie role.

Brenda proposed that for fun we each write down who should play Lucy, fold the paper and hand it across the table. We did this. We passed the ballots and laughed, because we had each picked...[read on]
Visit William Klaber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell.

My Book, The Movie: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 23, 2015

Seven top YA Hollywood novels

One title on Dahlia Adler's list of seven top YA Hollywood novels, as shared on the B & N Teen Blog:
Catch a Falling Star, by Kim Culbertson

Carter Moon is happy to be a small-town girl, which makes her less than thrilled when said town blows up in a big way with the arrival of teen star Adam Jakes. Her being totally unimpressed by the Hollywood bad boy, however, makes her the perfect choice for his next PR move: dating a “real” girl to bring his image back down to Earth. Carter agrees for the money, but soon finds she is indeed exactly what Adam needed, and that maybe the reverse is true, too.
Read about another entry on the list.

Coffee with a Canine: Kim Culbertson and Maya.

The Page 69 Test: Catch a Falling Star.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Elliot Ackerman reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Elliot Ackerman, author of Green on Blue: A Novel.

His entry begins:
I’ve got this blue backpack I lug around with me. It’s the type of thing you probably kept a Trapper Keeper in during high school and I carry my laptop, a couple of Moleskin notebooks, and whatever I’m reading in it. Looking into my blue back pack right now, I’ve got a few things: first, is the novel Munich Airport by Greg Baxter. In it, an unnamed American is stranded in Germany due to a thick fog as he tries to repatriate the remains of his sister who starved herself to death. While the protagonist navigates the byzantine German bureaucracy with his father alongside, a dark family history is revealed which is at times humorous, tragic, and a moving meditation on one man’s struggle to find...[read on]
About Green on Blue, from the publisher:
From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and White House Fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war.

Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine.

When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they sleep among other orphans. They learn to beg, and, eventually, they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa, but when US forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.

In the hospital, Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform. To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. No longer a boy, but not yet a man, he departs for the untamed border. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind, and risk placing his brother—and a young woman he comes to love—in jeopardy?

Having served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination about boys caught in a deadly conflict.
Visit Elliot Ackerman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Green on Blue.

Writers Read: Elliot Ackerman.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six notable books that warp reality

Kelly Link is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her latest book of stories is Get in Trouble.

One of the author's six favorite books that warp reality, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Not a collection for the squeamish, perhaps. You have the sense that Barron is peeling back the skin of the world so that you can see the terrible machinery that lies underneath.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All made Jeff Somers's list of five great under-the-radar reads of 2014.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Alexandra Witze & Jeff Kanipe's "Island on Fire"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World by Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe.

About the book, from the publisher:
Can a single explosion change the course of history? An eruption at the end of the 18th century led to years of climate change while igniting famine, disease, even perhaps revolution. Laki is one of Iceland’s most fearsome volcanoes.

Laki is Iceland’s largest volcano. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history’s great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and then a poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. It caused the deaths of people as far away as the Nile and created catastrophic conditions throughout Europe. Island on Fire is the story not only of a single eruption but the people whose lives it changed, the dawn of modern volcanology, as well as the history—and potential—of other super-volcanoes like Laki around the world. And perhaps most pertinently, in the wake of the eruption of another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallaj√∂kull, which closed European air space in 2010, acclaimed science writers Witze and Kanipe look at what might transpire should Laki erupt again in our lifetime.
Visit the Island on Fire website.

The Page 99 Test: Island on Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Wendy Lee's "Across a Green Ocean"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Across a Green Ocean by Wendy Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:
Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their parents’ adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a relationship or a career, or to come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father’s decisions, including one whose repercussions can be felt into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.
Visit Wendy Lee's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Across a Green Ocean.

Writers Read: Wendy Lee.

The Page 69 Test: Across a Green Ocean.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nine top novels about writers inspired by real-life events

At Bustle Jessica Ferri tagged nine novels about writers inspired by real-life events, including:
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Paula McLain tackles the literary giant Ernest Hemingway through the eyes of his first wife, Hadley, in this 2012 novel. Though Hadley can seem boring compared to some of the people that populate Hemingway’s life, her status amongst the literati makes her a keen observer of Hemingway’s vibrant time in Paris.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Paris Wife is among Nicole Hill's five books that are basically country and western songs and Wai Chee Dimock's five top books on Hemingway in Paris; it made Kirkus Reviews list of the best historical fiction titles of 2011.

The Page 69 Test: The Paris Wife.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Victoria Scott reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Victoria Scott, author of Salt & Stone.

Her entry begins:
I'm reading The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. It's my first read by her, and I'm really enjoying it. Though I write exclusively for teens, I love picking up the occasional adult title to study different voices and writing styles. This one is...[read on]
About Salt & Stone, from the publisher:
How far would you go to survive?

In FIRE & FLOOD, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and a terrifying march across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't stop - and in SALT & STONE, Tella will have to face the unseen dangers of the ocean, the breathless cold of a mountain, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know whom to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the beginning of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the fourth and final part of the race, just forty-one are left . . . and only one can win.

Victoria Scott's stunning thriller will leave readers' hearts racing!
Visit Victoria Scott's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Collector. 

Writers Read: Victoria Scott.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Mary Pilon's "The Monopolists"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins.

Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily--and richly--ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord's Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game--underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today--was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust.

A fascinating social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.
Visit Mary Pilon's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Monopolists.

--Marshal Zeringue

Kristen Ghodsee's "The Left Side of History," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe by Kristen Ghodsee.

The entry begins:
The Left Side of History has all of the ingredients for a big screen World War II political thriller. But it would be an unconventional film since all of the protagonists are left-wing guerillas fighting against the Nazi-allied Bulgarian monarchy in the Balkan theater of the War. The actors would have to work hard to challenge the pervasive cultural stereotypes of communists as deluded revolutionaries. The book revolves around two sets of leftist dreamers: one British and one Bulgarian.

On the British side, the hero is Major Frank Thompson, a British Special Operations Executive officer who parachuted deep behind enemy lines in January 1944 to organize and support the Bulgarian partisans. Frank Thompson was a young idealist who joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1938 at the urging of his Oxford classmate, the writer Iris Murdoch. He enlisted to fight against the Axis powers two days before the official British declaration of war, and spent 1939-1943 in North Africa, the Middle East, and Italy before his final mission in the Balkans. Frank Thompson was the older brother of the famous labor historian, E.P. Thompson, and the Winchester schoolmate of the mathematician Freeman Dyson, both who also fought in WWII (E.P. Thompson in Italy and Dyson at British Bomber Command in London). I’d feel compelled to cast British actors, and I’d want some Himalayan acting talent.

My first thought for the role of Major Frank Thompson was Benedict Cumberbatch, but as Frank Thompson smoked a pipe I think it would be impossible for audiences to look at Cumberbatch with a pipe in his mouth and not think “Sherlock.” So my second choice is Tom Hiddleston because Frank Thompson was also a poet and a polyglot (he spoke nine languages), and I think Hiddleston could play the perfect sensitive action hero. David Tenant could play Frank’s younger brother, Edward Palmer Thompson, and Eddie...[read on]
Learn more about The Left Side of History at the Duke University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: The Left Side of History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What is Leanna Renee Hieber reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Leanna Renee Hieber, author of The Eterna Files.

Her entry begins:
It grieves me that I don't get to read much for pleasure these days, it's really only research material I have time for between my book deadlines, theatrical and film projects and other contracts. But on the research front, I'm currently loving a book titled Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead by Christine Wicker, that I bought on a research trip to Lily Dale itself. ‎As my books deal with Spiritualism, psychic phenomena, mediums and clairvoyance of all kinds, this book was a must, and it's compellingly written, a wonderful modern supplement to...[read on]
About The Eterna Files, from the publisher:
London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire's chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped—and has a sample of Eterna.

Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound—and the immortality it will convey—will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.
Visit Leanna Renee Hieber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Leanna Renee Hieber.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Elliot Ackerman's "Green on Blue"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Green on Blue: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:
From a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and White House Fellow, a stirring debut novel about a young Afghan orphan and the harrowing, intractable nature of war.

Aziz and his older brother Ali are coming of age in a village amid the pine forests and endless mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There is no school, but their mother teaches them to read and write, and once a month sends the boys on a two-day journey to the bazaar. They are poor, but inside their mud-walled home, the family has stability, love, and routine.

When a convoy of armed men arrives in their village one day, their world crumbles. The boys survive and make their way to a small city, where they sleep among other orphans. They learn to beg, and, eventually, they earn work and trust from the local shopkeepers. Ali saves their money and sends Aziz to school at the madrassa, but when US forces invade the country, militants strike back. A bomb explodes in the market, and Ali is brutally injured.

In the hospital, Aziz meets an Afghan wearing an American uniform. To save his brother, Aziz must join the Special Lashkar, a US-funded militia. No longer a boy, but not yet a man, he departs for the untamed border. Trapped in a conflict both savage and entirely contrived, Aziz struggles to understand his place. Will he embrace the brutality of war or leave it behind, and risk placing his brother—and a young woman he comes to love—in jeopardy?

Having served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, Elliot Ackerman has written a gripping, morally complex debut novel, an astonishing feat of empathy and imagination about boys caught in a deadly conflict.
Visit Elliot Ackerman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Green on Blue.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top menaces in children’s fiction

Steven Butler is the author of The Diary of Dennis the Menace.

At the Guardian he tagged ten top menaces in children's fiction, including:
Long John Silver, in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

This classic, peg-legged rogue is as interchangeable as the sea wind he sails with. At any given part of Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Silver swings from loveable rascal to a seemingly cold-hearted villain. It’s his wealth of redeeming qualities that stop him from ever being so, however. His wicked sense of humour and fatherly compassion towards Jim Hawkins place him firmly on the Menace list.
Read about another entry on the list.

Treasure Island also appears on Emily St. John Mandel's list of the six books that influenced her most as a writer, David McCallum's six best books list, Bear Grylls's top ten list of adventure stories, Eoin Colfer's top 10 list of villains in fiction, Charlie Fletcher's top ten list of swashbuckling tales of derring-do, Robert McCrum's list of the ten best first lines in fiction, John Mullan's list of ten of the best pirates in fiction, and among Mal Peet's top ten books to read aloud, Philip Pullman's six best books, and Eoin Colfer's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Victoria Scott's "The Collector," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Collector by Victoria Scott.

The entry begins:
Out of all the books I've written, I most often imagine The Collector on the big screen. I think Zac Efron could do an outstanding job as the egotistical and sexy Dante Walker. Anybody playing Dante would need to...[read on]
Visit Victoria Scott's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Collector.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 20, 2015

What is David Handler reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David Handler, author of Phantom Angel: A Mystery.

His entry begins:
I love to comb through used bookstores. There’s a terrific one near my home on the Connecticut shoreline called the Book Barn. I was pawing around in the murder and mayhem section there recently when I came across an old 50-cent Dell paperback from the early 1960s entitled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 14 of My Favorites in Suspense. I grabbed it. The reason I did is because one of those 14 favorites of his happened to be "The Birds," the 1952 short story by the great Daphne du Maurier that was the basis for Hitchcock’s breathtakingly brilliant 1963 movie. I love the movie. I love Daphne du Maurier’s writing. And yet, for some reason, I’d never come across the story before.

I just read it this morning. Have you ever read it? Oh, you...[read on]
About Phantom Angel, from the publisher:
A wickedly funny private eye novel set in the dark underbelly of New York City, where the worlds of Broadway and organized crime meet

When it comes to tracking down teen runaways, there is no private investigator in New York City better than streetwise Benji Golden. But his newest client is Morrie Frankel, the last of the great Broadway showmen. Morrie’s current extravaganza, a lavish $65 million musical adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, is the biggest unfolding disaster the Great White Way has ever seen. Rumor has it, if he doesn’t find a deep-pocketed “angel,” or investor, soon, he might go down and take the production with him.

Morrie thought he had found such an investor in hedge fund billionaire R.J. Farnell, who promised to keep the teetering production afloat. But Farnell and his $12 million have vanished. Benji tracks Farnell to his girlfriend, Jonquil Beausoleil, who turns the investigation on its head. When Morrie is found gunned down on 42nd Street, Benji finds himself smack in the middle of a high-profile murder investigation, and he’ll have to pierce through a lot of Broadway gossip before he can find the killer.

Phantom Angel is the next entertaining installment in David Handler’s newest mystery series, sure to delight both old and new fans of this award--winning, unique voice in crime fiction.
Learn more about the book and author at David Handler's website.

Writers Read: David Handler (October 2011).

Writers Read: David Handler (October 2012).

Writers Read: David Handler (August 2013).

Writers Read: David Handler (March 2014).

Writers Read: David Handler.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: William Klaber's "The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell by William Klaber.

About the book, from the publisher:
At a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women, Lucy Lobdell boldly set forth to earn men's wages. Lucy Lobdell did all of these things in a personal quest to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. In this riveting historical novel, William Klaber captures the life of a brave woman who saw well beyond her era.

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is the fictionalized account of Lucy's foray into the world of men and her inward journey to a new sexual identity. It is her promised memoir as hear and recorded a century later by William Klaber, an upstream neighbor. Meticulously researched and told with compassion and respect, this is historical fiction at its best.
Visit William Klaber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Nancy McCabe's "From Little Houses to Little Women"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood by Nancy McCabe.

About the book, from the publisher:
A typical travel book takes readers along on a trip with the author, but a great travel book does much more than that, inviting readers along on a mental and spiritual journey as well. This distinction is what separates Nancy McCabe’s From Little Houses to Little Women from the typical and allows it to take its place not only as a great travel book but also as a memoir about the children’s books that have shaped all of our imaginations.

McCabe, who grew up in Kansas just a few hours from the Ingalls family’s home in Little House on the Prairie, always felt a deep connection with Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series. McCabe read Little House on the Prairie during her childhood and visited Wilder sites around the Midwest with her aunt when she was thirteen. But then she didn’t read the series again until she decided to revisit in adulthood the books that had so influenced her childhood. It was this decision that ultimately sparked her desire to visit the places that inspired many of her childhood favorites, taking her on a journey that included stops in the Missouri of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Minnesota of Maud Hart Lovelace, the Massachusetts of Louisa May Alcott, and even the Canada of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

From Little Houses to Little Women reveals McCabe’s powerful connection to the characters and authors who inspired many generations of readers. Traveling with McCabe as she rediscovers the books that shaped her and ultimately helped her to forge her own path, readers will enjoy revisiting their own childhood favorites as well.
Visit Nancy McCabe's website.

Writers Read: Nancy McCabe.

The Page 99 Test: From Little Houses to Little Women.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven of the best new YA novels that deal with death

At B & N Teen Blog, Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick tagged seven new YA novels that deal with death, including:
All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

A double-whammy tale about a girl named Violet grieving the death of sister and a suicidal boy named Finch. After they meet atop their high-school bell tower, where each is considering taking the plunge, they slowly start to fall for each other—and might eventually learn to heal from each other. Watching them grow closer and begin to take control of their lives and issues is life-affirming and sweet, but their journey remains complicated.
Read about another entry on the list.

Writers Read: Jennifer Niven.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What is Wendy Lee reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Wendy Lee, author of Across a Green Ocean.

Her entry begins:
I was walking through the neighborhood of Silver Lake in Los Angeles recently when I came across a Little Free Library and a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time: A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein. This novel is exquisitely plotted and reads like a psychological thriller. You just know that something monumental has happened to tear apart the protagonist’s seemingly well-ordered life, and Grodstein carefully sows the seeds until the very last page. I tried to pace myself but...[read on]
About Across a Green Ocean, from the publisher:
Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their parents’ adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a relationship or a career, or to come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father’s decisions, including one whose repercussions can be felt into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.
Visit Wendy Lee's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Across a Green Ocean.

Writers Read: Wendy Lee.

--Marshal Zeringue