Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Pg. 99: Benjamin L. Carp's "The Great New York Fire of 1776"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution by Benjamin L. Carp.

About the book, from the publisher:
Who set the mysterious fire that burned down much of New York City shortly after the British took the city during the Revolutionary War?

New York City, the strategic center of the Revolutionary War, was the most important place in North America in 1776. That summer, an unruly rebel army under George Washington repeatedly threatened to burn the city rather than let the British take it. Shortly after the Crown’s forces took New York City, much of it mysteriously burned to the ground.

This is the first book to fully explore the Great Fire of 1776 and why its origins remained a mystery even after the British investigated it in 1776 and 1783. Uncovering stories of espionage, terror, and radicalism, Benjamin L. Carp paints a vivid picture of the chaos, passions, and unresolved tragedies that define a historical moment we usually associate with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Visit Benjamin L. Carp's website.

The Page 99 Test: Defiance of the Patriots.

The Page 99 Test: The Great New York Fire of 1776.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Stephen Policoff's "Dangerous Blues"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Dangerous Blues by Stephen Policoff.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dangerous Blues explores a dark yet comic storm of family relationships laced with a buzz of the supernatural, where the fleeting light of the present must constantly contend with the shadows of the past.

Paul Brickner and his 12-year-old daughter Spring are subletting an apartment in New York City. They came to escape the sorrow of their empty house in upstate New York after Nadia, Paul’s wife and Spring’s mother, dies.

Spring quickly takes to her new Manhattan middle school life, including making a new friend, Irina. Through that connection, Paul meets Irina’s mother, Tara White, a blues singer, and perhaps just the spark Paul has been missing.

But Paul begins to fear that he is being haunted by Nadia, who appears to him in fleeting images. Is he imagining it, or is she real? Tara, who grew up in the inscrutable New England cult known as the Dream People, is haunted, too, hounded by her very real brothers to return to the family, and to give back the magical object—a shamanic Tibetan vessel—which they claim she stole from them.

Paul’s cousin Hank, a disreputable art dealer, becomes obsessed with this object. Meanwhile, Paul’s father-in-law, an expert on occult lore, tries to steer Paul toward resolution with Nadia’s ghost.

Driven by Paul’s new circle of odd and free spirited iconoclasts, Dangerous Blues asks the question: when do you let go, and what are you willing to let go of?
Visit Stephen Policoff's website.

The Page 69 Test: Come Away.

My Book, The Movie: Come Away.

Writers Read: Stephen Policoff.

Q&A with Stephen Policoff.

The Page 69 Test: Dangerous Blues.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 30, 2023

Eight books with happy endings to brighten dark January days

Eva Carter is the author of How to Save a Life. Carter is a pseudonym for internationally bestselling nonfiction and rom-com writer Kate Harrison, who worked as a BBC reporter before becoming an author. She lives in Brighton on the English coast and loves Grey’s Anatomy and walking her own scruffy terrier, who regularly volunteers as a therapy dog at the local hospital.

Carter's new novel is Owner of a Lonely Heart.

At Lit Hub she tagged eight books with happy endings to brighten up dark January days. One title on the list:
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

And if you’re a sucker for a castle and an eccentric, impoverished family, this vintage book by Dodie Smith (author of The 101 Dalmatians) will capture your imagination. The opening line—I write this sitting in the kitchen sink—draws you into a world you won’t want to leave.
Read about another entry on the list.

I Capture the Castle is among Claire Fuller's seven top uninhabitable houses in fiction, Sarah Driver's five best sibling stories for children, Gail Honeyman's five favorite idiosyncratic characters, Anna Wilson's top ten embarrassing parents in books, Rose Mannering’s top five books, Diane Johnson's six favorite books, and Sophia Bennett's top ten stylish reads.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Lauren Bialystok and Lisa M. F. Andersen's "Touchy Subject"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Touchy Subject: The History and Philosophy of Sex Education by Lauren Bialystok and Lisa M. F. Andersen.

About the book, from the publisher:
A case for sex education that puts it in historical and philosophical context.

In the United States, sex education is more than just an uncomfortable rite of passage: it's a political hobby horse that is increasingly out of touch with young people’s needs. In Touchy Subject, philosopher Lauren Bialystok and historian Lisa M. F. Andersen unpack debates over sex education, explaining why it’s worth fighting for, what points of consensus we can build upon, and what sort of sex education schools should pursue in the future.

Andersen surveys the history of school-based sex education in the United States, describing the key question driving reform in each era. In turn, Bialystok analyzes the controversies over sex education to make sense of the arguments and offer advice about how to make educational choices today. Together, Bialystok and Andersen argue for a novel framework, Democratic Humanistic Sexuality Education, which exceeds the current conception of “comprehensive sex education” while making room for contextual variation. More than giving an honest run-down of the birds and the bees, sex education should respond to the features of young people’s evolving worlds, especially the digital world, and the inequities that put some students at much higher risk of sexual harm than others. Throughout the book, the authors show how sex education has progressed and how the very concept of “progress” remains contestable.
Learn more about Touchy Subject at the University of Chicago Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Touchy Subject.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sarah Rayne's "Chalice of Darkness," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Chalice of Darkness by Sarah Rayne.

The entry begins:
It’s an intriguing idea to speculate on actors for a film of your latest book, and the term ‘dream- casting’ opened up a whole world of possibilities for me – most of all that of importing one or two players from the past.

And since Chalice of Darkness is set in the late 19th /early 20th century, and has at its heart a theatre family who also happen to be society thieves, the past offered itself as very rich hunting ground.

However, for the central player, the irrepressible Jack Fitzglen, I’m inclined to favour David Tennant – famous, of course, for his Dr Who years, but also for a great many other roles. I do think he could successfully portray the slightly raffish Jack, master-mind of the family’s various filches, and that he could charm a few ladies along the way.

As for Jack’s dresser and loyal, if sometimes reluctant, assistant – Augustus (Gus) Pocket – I came up with...[read on]
Visit Sarah Rayne's website.

Writers Read: Sarah Rayne (November 2017).

The Page 69 Test: Chord of Evil.

The Page 69 Test: The Murder Dance.

Q&A with Sarah Rayne.

My Book, The Movie: Chalice of Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Seven top acts of betrayal in literature

Gabrielle Bates is the author of Judas Goat (2023), named by Vulture and the Chicago Review of Books as a "must-read" book of 2023. A Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship finalist, her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review, among other journals and anthologies.

At Electric Lit Bates tagged seven "titles [that] contend with the ugly facts of betrayal as a way to investigate, ultimately, what it means to be human, and what it means to love." One entry on the list:
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

This novel depicts the childhood and early adolescence of Ruth Anne Boatwright, a fatherless girl in rural South Carolina, in the wake of her mother’s marriage to a volatile, increasingly abusive man. Allison’s prose brings to intense (at times terrifying and painful) life the difficulties of being a child at the mercy of adults and the ways people fail each other. Because the book grapples in a very real way with childhood sexual abuse and includes some racial slurs, readers should proceed, if they choose to do so, with care.
Read about another entry on the list.

Bastard Out of Carolina is among Amy Engel's five top novels in the complicated literature of daughters and mothers, six books that inspired Kristen Arnett's first novel, Stephen Graham Jones's twenty books as great today as they were in the 90s, and Hanna McGrath's five favorite child narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: James E. Cronin's "Fragile Victory"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Fragile Victory: The Making and Unmaking of Liberal Order by James E. Cronin.

About the book, from the publisher:
How the history of liberal order and democratic politics since the 1930s explains ongoing threats to democracy and international order

The liberal democratic order that seemed so stable in North America and Western Europe has become precarious. James E. Cronin argues that liberalism has never been secure and that since the 1930s the international order has had to be crafted, redeployed, and extended in response to both victories and setbacks.

Beginning with the German and Japanese efforts in the 1930s to establish a system based on empire, race, economic protectionism, and militant nationalism, Cronin shows how the postwar system, established out of a revulsion at the ideas of fascism, repeatedly reinvented itself in the face of the Cold War, anticolonial insurgencies, the economic and political crises of the 1970s, the collapse of communism, the rise of globalization, and the financial crisis of 2008. Cronin emphasizes the links between internal and external politics in sustaining liberal order internationally and the domestic origins and correlates of present difficulties. Fragile Victory provides the context necessary to understand such diverse challenges as the triumph of Brexit, the election of Trump, the rise of populism, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Learn more about Fragile Victory at the Yale University Press.

The Page 99 Test: Fragile Victory.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Craig DiLouie's "Episode Thirteen"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the macabre mind of a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author, this heart-pounding novel of horror and psychological suspense takes a ghost hunting reality TV crew into a world they could never have imagined.

Fade to Black
is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts.

Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high tech gear will prove it. But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might not be everything Matt dreamed of. A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, and correspondence, this is the story of Episode Thirteen—and how everything went terribly, horribly wrong.
Visit Craig DiLouie's website.

My Book, The Movie: One of Us.

The Page 69 Test: One of Us.

Writers Read: Craig DiLouie (August 2019).

The Page 69 Test: Our War.

The Page 69 Test: Episode Thirteen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Five mysteries and thrillers about returning to your hometown

Kate Alice Marshall is the author of multiple novels for younger readers. She lives outside of Seattle with her husband, a dog named Vonnegut, and her two kids.

What Lies in the Woods is her thriller debut.

At CrimeReads Marshall tagged five top mysteries and thrillers about returning to your hometown, including:
The Dry – Jane Harper

In Jane Harper’s atmospheric and brutal The Dry, Aaron Falk returns to his drought-plagued hometown after a horrific crime leads to the death of his friend—the same friend who was once Falk’s alibi for another crime long ago. Falk is faced with the daunting task of unraveling the truth of what happened to his friend, as well as what happened all those years ago. It is a masterpiece of small-town secrets and the inescapable weight of the past.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Dry is among Olivia Kiernan's seven modern classics of small town mystery, Sarah J. Harris's top eight mysteries with images that might stay with you forever and Fiona Barton's eight favorite cold-case mysteries.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Eleanor Janega's "The Once and Future Sex"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women's Roles in Society by Eleanor Janega.

About the book, from the publisher:
A vibrant and illuminating exploration of medieval thinking on women’s beauty, sexuality, and behavior.

What makes for the ideal woman? How should she look, love, and be? In this vibrant, high-spirited history, medievalist Eleanor Janega turns to the Middle Ages, the era that bridged the ancient world and modern society, to unfurl its suppositions about women and reveal what’s shifted over time—and what hasn’t.

Enshrined medieval thinkers, almost always male, subscribed to a blend of classical Greek and Roman philosophy and Christian theology for their concepts of the sexes. For the height of female attractiveness, they chose the mythical Helen of Troy, whose imagined pear shape, small breasts, and golden hair served as beauty’s epitome. Casting Eve’s shadow over medieval women, they derided them as oversexed sinners, inherently lustful, insatiable, and weak. And, unless a nun, a woman was to be the embodiment of perfect motherhood.

In contrast, drawing on accounts of remarkable and subversive medieval women like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Hildegard of Bingen, along with others hidden in documents and court cases, Janega shows us how real women of the era lived. While often mothers, they were industrious farmers, brewers, textile workers, artists, and artisans and paved the way for new ideas about women’s nature, intellect, and ability.

In The Once and Future Sex, Janega unravels the restricting expectations on medieval women and the ones on women today. She boldly questions why, if our ideas of women have changed drastically over time, we cannot reimagine them now to create a more equitable future.
Follow Eleanor Janega on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: The Once and Future Sex.

--Marshal Zeringue

Q&A with Stephen Policoff

From my Q&A with Stephen Policoff, author of Dangerous Blues:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Dangerous Blues was the title of this novel from the moment I first imagined writing it. (Full disclosure: it was originally The Dangerous Blues, because that is the title of the song which helped inspire the novel, but Bill Burleson, my editor at Flexible Press exhorted me to drop The, which he said was clunky and possibly pompous. I profoundly disagreed with him at the time, but now think he was right). Clearly, the title is imagistic rather than direct but I do think it conjures up a fitting picture of what Paul, the main character is going through, and what his eerie world seems to offer. My editor also added kind of a ghost story as a subtitle, which I love, and which I think helps cue a reader into the mysterious atmosphere of the novel. The song, “The Dangerous Blues” is a primal howl of the blues attributed to Mattie May Thomas, who wrote it while incarcerated some time in the 1930s. When the novel was a mere wisp of a thought, I heard that song in a Greenwich Village bar, and it...[read on]
Visit Stephen Policoff's website.

The Page 69 Test: Come Away.

My Book, The Movie: Come Away.

Writers Read: Stephen Policoff.

Q&A with Stephen Policoff.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 27, 2023

Ten essential works in American Indian history

Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, where he is the faculty coordinator for the Yale Group for the Study of Native America. He is the author of Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West.

Blackhawk's forthcoming book is The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History.

At Publishers Weekly he tagged ten essential works in American Indian history, including:
The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs by Joshua L. Reid

Reid explores the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest through the lens of the Makah Indian nation, whose reservation sits astride the tip of the Olympic Peninsula and has witnessed the only sanctioned whale hunts in modern U.S. history. As Reid outlines, whaling was enshrined into U.S. law in the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, a recognition of the essentialness of maritime economics and culture to Makah society and history. A detailed and suggestive study that includes beautiful artwork and an afterword by former Makah councilman and chairman Micah McCarty, this is Indigenous borderlands history at its best.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 99 Test: The Sea Is My Country.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Colin Summerhayes's "The Icy Planet"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Icy Planet: Saving Earth's Refrigerator by Colin Summerhayes.

About the book, from the publisher:
For most people, planet Earth's icy parts remain out of sight and out of mind. Yet it is the melting of ice that will both raise sea level and warm the climate further by reducing the white surfaces that reflect solar energy back into space. In effect, our icy places act as the world's refrigerator, helping to keep our climate relatively cool. The Icy Planet lays out carbon dioxide's role as the control knob of our climate over the past 1000 million years, then explores what is happening to ice and snow in Antarctica, the Arctic and the high mountains.

Colin Summerhayes takes readers to the world's icy places to see what is happening to its ice, snow, and permafrost. He recounts tales from his own visits to these frozen landscapes, shining a light on some of the wonders he has encountered in his travels. He also brings together pieces of the climate story from different scientific disciplines, and from the past and the present, to illustrate how Earth's climate system works. Utilizing geological records of climate change alongside new technologies in ice coring, Summerhayes crafts a detailed and compelling record of Earth's climate history and examines how that can be used as a window into our future.
Learn more about The Icy Planet at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Icy Planet.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Martha Freeman's "Trashed!"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Trashed! by Martha Freeman.

About the book, from the publisher:
From Edgar Award–nominated author Martha Freeman comes a compelling middle grade mystery following a young boy working at his family’s secondhand store that is a steal-your-heart story about family and friendship.

Arthur Popper helps out in his family’s Boulder, Colorado, junk store, Universal Trash, a place so full of cool stuff it inspires awe in first-time shoppers. When it comes to ukuleles, peppermills, and rhinestones, Arthur knows what’s what. But unlike his motorcycle-riding grandma and his namesake, King Arthur, he’s not brave or adventurous.

Then Arthur finds a chipped teacup, of all things, and realizes it’s the key to solving the perfect crime—a crime only he knows about.

With help from a supernatural sidekick, his best friend, his annoying little sister, and a sad-faced police officer, Arthur embarks on the hard work of detecting. Everyone knows Arthur is good at customer service. Does he have what it takes to solve a mystery and confront a thief?
Visit Martha Freeman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Strudel's Forever Home.

The Page 69 Test: Strudel's Forever Home.

Writers Read: Martha Freeman (January 2018).

The Page 69 Test: Zap.

The Page 69 Test: Trashed!.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Top ten novels about office jobs

Caroline Corcoran’s first novel, Through The Wall, came out in October 2019. It was a Sunday Times top 20 bestseller and translated into numerous foreign languages. Her second book, The Baby Group, published in September 2020.

As well as writing books, Corcoran is a freelance lifestyle and popular culture journalist who has written and edited for most of the top magazines, newspapers and websites in the UK.

Her newest novel is What Happened on Floor 34?.

At the Guardian Corcoran tagged ten books that put "the workplace front and central to the action." One title on the list:
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

I was lucky enough not to have encountered a truly awful boss when I first read this, meaning that I could enjoy it solely as the sharp and funny novel it is, about a young woman who goes to work for tyrannical fashion editor Miranda Priestly. By the time I came back to it for a re-read, I had worked in more offices and the Miranda Priestlys of my own life made it resonate in a different way, Priestly stark in her reign of terror. I went freelance shortly afterwards.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Devil Wears Prada is among Jane L. Rosen's top ten books for fans of Sex and the City, Emma Glass's seven best books about burnout, Deborah Parker's ten of the biggest sycophants from literature and history, and Joseph Connolly's ten top novels about style.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Natalie Koch's "Arid Empire"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia by Natalie Koch.

About the book, from the publisher:
A revelatory new history of the colonization of the American West

The iconic deserts of the American southwest could not have been colonized and settled without the help of desert experts from the Middle East. For example: In 1856, a caravan of thirty-three camels arrived in Indianola, Texas, led by a Syrian cameleer the Americans called "Hi Jolly." This "camel corps," the US government hoped, could help the army secure the new southwest swath of the country just wrested from Mexico. Though the dream of the camel corps - and sadly, the camels - died, the idea of drawing on expertise, knowledge, and practices from the desert countries of the Middle East did not.

As Natalie Koch demonstrates in this evocative, narrative history, the exchange of colonial technologies between the Arabian Peninsula and United States over the past two centuries - from date palm farming and desert agriculture to the utopian sci-fi dreams of Biosphere 2 and Frank Herbert's Dune - bound the two regions together, solidifying the colonization of the US West and, eventually, the reach of American power into the Middle East. Koch teaches us to see deserts anew, not as mythic sites of romance or empty wastelands but as an "arid empire," a crucial political space where imperial dreams coalesce.
Visit Natalie Koch's website.

The Page 99 Test: Arid Empire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Q&A with Allison Brennan

From my Q&A with Allison Brennan:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

While Don’t Open the Door could be taken literally, and likely most suspense readers would see this as a teaser of the suspense (don’t open the door! There’s a bad guy outside!), the title is actually more figurative in the story itself. We all lie to ourselves at different times -- sometimes because we don’t want to see the truth about a friend or situation, sometimes because we don’t want to see what’s really in our heart or mind. Sometimes, we shut the proverbial door to our past in order to be able to survive, especially when we’re dealing with pain, grief, betrayal.

Regan Merritt could leave this door closed — the murder of her son a year ago, the betrayal of her husband when he blamed her, her grief and buried anger. She walked away from her career, moved cross- country, was rebuilding her life. Yet … can she really walk away, shut the door on her past? Because once you open the door, you...[read on]
Visit Allison Brennan's website.

My Book, The Movie: Don't Open the Door.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Open the Door.

Q&A with Allison Brennan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Five books with strong, spirited Southern ladies

Mimi Herman is the author of A Field Guide to Human Emotions and Logophilia. She codirects Writeaways writing workshops in the United States and abroad, and is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist. Herman lives in a 1925 bungalow in Durham, North Carolina.

Her new novel is The Kudzu Queen.

At Lit Hub Herman tagged five books with strong, spirited Southern ladies. One title on the list:
The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

Another member of Mattie’s family is Lily Owens, the narrator of Sue Monk Kidd’s beautiful book, The Secret Life of Bees. Lily, like Scout, is pragmatic, sometimes sassy and full of wonder. In The Secret Life of Bees, Lily runs away from an intolerable life of grief, guilt and Martha White grits to find a new home and, finally, family.

Like Lee, Kidd places her story in the uneasy racial crossroads that define the South to most of America, and America to most of the world. It is almost impossible to write a novel set in the South without trying to find an understanding of its complicated and ongoing racial history. And yet this involves risks for a writer: the dangers of stereotyping, of seeing characters and situations through the Vaseline-smeared lenses of sentimentality, and of perpetuating racism even while trying to eliminate it. If either of these books were published today, I think we’d see some changes, but I believe both Lee and Kidd did what every author has to do: They saw—and heard—their characters as clearly and carefully as they could, and were honest and thoughtful in every sentence.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Ewa Atanassow's "Tocqueville's Dilemmas, and Ours"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Tocqueville's Dilemmas, and Ours: Sovereignty, Nationalism, Globalization by Ewa Atanassow.

About the book, from the publisher:
How Tocqueville’s ideas can help us build resilient liberal democracies in a divided world

How can today’s liberal democracies withstand the illiberal wave sweeping the globe? What can revive our waning faith in constitutional democracy? Tocqueville’s Dilemmas, and Ours argues that Alexis de Tocqueville, one of democracy’s greatest champions and most incisive critics, can guide us forward.

Drawing on Tocqueville’s major works and lesser-known policy writings, Ewa Atanassow shines a bright light on the foundations of liberal democracy. She argues that its prospects depend on how we tackle three dilemmas that were as urgent in Tocqueville’s day as they are in ours: how to institutionalize popular sovereignty, how to define nationhood, and how to grasp the possibility and limits of global governance. These are pivotal but often neglected dimensions of Tocqueville’s work, and this fresh look at his writings provides a powerful framework for addressing the tensions between liberalism and democracy in the twenty-first century.

Recovering a richer liberalism capable of weathering today’s political storms, Tocqueville’s Dilemmas, and Ours explains how we can reclaim nationalism as a liberal force and reimagine sovereignty in a global age―and do so with one of democracy’s most discerning thinkers as our guide.
Learn more about Tocqueville's Dilemmas, and Ours at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Tocqueville's Dilemmas, and Ours.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Mary Baader Kaley's "Burrowed"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Burrowed by Mary Baader Kaley.

About the book, from the publisher:
If you had to endure a debilitating condition of body or mind, which would you choose? In this world, everyone suffers.

In the distant future, a genetic plague has separated humanity in two – Subterraneans who live in underground burrows to protect their health, and strong surface-dwelling Omniterraneans.

Zuzan Cayan, a brilliant Subter girl with “light blindness,” is about to leave the safety of her burrow and earn a living. With her low life expectancy, however, her options are slim. That is until she’s offered the chance of a lifetime to study the population’s broken genetic code, fix the divide and reunite the world once again.

But when a new virus turns fatal for the Omnits, Zuzan must find a cure or humanity won’t simply remain separate, it will become extinct.

With enemies on all sides, Zuzan must hold on to the light at the end of the tunnel – or risk the world falling into darkness.
Visit Mary Baader Kaley's website.

The Page 69 Test: Burrowed.

--Marshal Zeringue