Monday, February 24, 2020

"The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane"

New from Knopf Books for Young Readers: The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart–and true friends.

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn’t collect herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone’s voicemail. It’s the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him.

Until the day she hears that laugh–his laugh–pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy’s new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart?

But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride, too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they’re searching for things as well. And the journey will mold them into the best kind of family–the kind you choose for yourself.
Visit Kate O’Shaughnessy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Reasonable Doubt"

New from Minotaur Books: A Reasonable Doubt (Robin Lockwood Series #3) by Phillip Margolin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A magician linked to three murders and suspicious deaths years ago disappears in the middle of his new act in New York Times bestseller Phillip Margolin’s latest thriller featuring Robin Lockwood

Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer’s.

One of Regina’s former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd request—he’s seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion. Chesterfield is a professional magician of some reknown and he has a major new trick he’s about to debut. This is out of the scope of the law firm’s expertise, but when Robin Lockwood looks into his previous relationship with the firm, she learns that twenty years ago he was arrested for two murders, one attempted murder, and was involved in the potentially suspicious death of his very rich wife. At the time, Regina Barrister defended him with ease, after which he resumed his career as a magician in Las Vegas.

Now, decades later, he debuts his new trick—only to disappear at the end. He’s a man with more than one dark past and many enemies—is his disappearance tied to one of the many people who have good reason to hate him? Was he killed and his body disposed of, or did he use his considerable skills to engineer his own disappearance?

Robin Lockwood must unravel the tangled skein of murder and bloody mischief to learn how it all ties together.
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Woman with a Gun.

The Page 69 Test: Woman with a Gun.

The Page 69 Test: Violent Crimes.

My Book, The Movie: Violent Crimes.

My Book, The Movie: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Alibi.

Writers Read: Phillip Margolin (March 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 23, 2020

"Mermaid Moon"

New from Candlewick: Mermaid Moon by Susann Cokal.

About the book, from the publisher:

Blood calls to blood; charm calls to charm.
It is the way of the world.
Come close and tell us your dreams.


Sanna is a mermaid — but she is only half seavish. The night of her birth, a sea-witch cast a spell that made Sanna’s people, including her landish mother, forget how and where she was born. Now Sanna is sixteen and an outsider in the seavish matriarchy, and she is determined to find her mother and learn who she is. She apprentices herself to the witch to learn the magic of making and unmaking, and with a new pair of legs and a quest to complete for her teacher, she follows a clue that leads her ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands. There, as her fellow mermaids wait in the sea, Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses thirsty for blood, a hardscrabble people hungry for miracles, and a baroness who will do anything to live forever.

From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes a gorgeously told tale of belonging, sacrifice, fear, hope, and mortality.
Visit Susann Cokal's website.

Writers Read: Susann Cokal (October 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Henna Artist"

New from MIRA Books: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.

About the book, from the publisher:

Trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Escaping from an arranged and abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone from her 1950s rural village to the vibrant pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the henna artist—and confidante—most in demand to the wealthy women of the upper class.

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a younger sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those who surround her as she does.

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.
Visit Alka Joshi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Fly Back, Agnes"

New from Carolrhoda Books: Fly Back, Agnes by Elizabeth Atkinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A heartfelt story that sensitively tackles the everyday inner turmoil of growing up and staying true to oneself.

Twelve-year-old Agnes hates everything about her life: her name, her parents’ divorce, her best friend’s abandonment, her changing body .... So while staying with her dad over the summer, she decides to become someone else. She tells people she meets that her name is Chloe, she’s fourteen, her parents are married, and she’s a dancer and actor—just the life she wants.

But Agnes’s fibs quickly stack up and start to complicate her new friendships, especially with Fin, whose mysterious relative runs a local raptor rehab center that fascinates Agnes. The birds, given time and care, heal and fly back home. Agnes, too, wants to get back to wherever she truly belongs. But first she must come to see the good in her real life, however flawed and messy it is, and be honest with her friends, her family, and herself.
Visit Elizabeth Atkinson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 22, 2020

"In an Instant"

New from from Lake Union: In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn.

About the book, from the publisher:

A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.
Visit Suzanne Redfearn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Suzanne Redfearn and Cooper.

My Book, The Movie: Hush Little Baby.

The Page 69 Test: Hush Little Baby.

The Page 69 Test: No Ordinary Life.

Writers Read: Suzanne Redfearn (February 2016).

My Book, The Movie: No Ordinary Life.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Body Politic"

New from Atria Books: The Body Politic: A Novel by Brian Platzer.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York City is still regaining its balance in the years following 9/11, when four twenty-somethings—Tess, Tazio, David, and Angelica—meet in a bar, each yearning for something: connection, recognition, a place in the world, a cause to believe in. Nearly fifteen years later, as their city recalibrates in the wake of the 2016 election, their bond has endured—but almost everything else has changed.

As freshmen at Cooper Union, Tess and Tazio were the ambitious, talented future of the art world—but by thirty-six, Tess is married to David, the mother of two young boys, and working as an understudy on Broadway. Kind and steady, David is everything Tess lacked in her own childhood—but a recent freak accident has left him with befuddling symptoms, and she’s still adjusting to her new role as caretaker.

Meanwhile, Tazio—who once had a knack for earning the kind of attention that Cooper Union students long for—has left the art world for a career in creative branding and politics. But in December 2016, fresh off the astonishing loss of his candidate, Tazio is adrift, and not even his gorgeous and accomplished fiancĂ©e, Angelica, seems able to get through to him. With tensions rising on the national stage, the four friends are forced to face the reality of their shared histories, especially a long-ago betrayal that has shaped every aspect of their friendship.

Elegant and perceptive, The Body Politic explores the meaning of commitment, the nature of forgiveness, the way that buried secrets will always find their way to the surface, and how all of it can shift—and eventually erupt—over the course of a life.
Visit Brian Platzer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Blackwood"

New from Little, Brown and Company: Blackwood by Michael Farris Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this timeless, mythical tale of unforgiving justice and elusive grace, rural Mississippi townsfolk shoulder the pain of generations as something dangerous lurks in the enigmatic kudzu of the woods.

The town of Red Bluff, Mississippi, has seen better days, though those who’ve held on have little memory of when that was. Myer, the county’s aged, sardonic lawman, still thinks it can prove itself — when confronted by a strange family of drifters, the sheriff believes that the people of Red Bluff can be accepting, rational, even good.

The opposite is true: this is a landscape of fear and ghosts — of regret and violence — transformed by the kudzu vines that have enveloped the hills around it, swallowing homes, cars, rivers, and hiding a terrible secret deeper still.

Colburn, a junkyard sculptor who’s returned to Red Bluff, knows this pain all too well, though he too is willing to hope for more when he meets and falls in love with Celia, the local bar owner. The Deep South gives these noble, broken, and driven folks the gift of human connection while bestowing upon them the crippling weight of generations. With broken histories and vagabond hearts, the townsfolk wrestle with the evil in the woods — and the wickedness that lurks in each and every one of us.
Learn more about the book and author at Michael Farris Smith's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Rivers.

Writers Read: Michael Farris Smith (October 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 21, 2020

"A Shadowed Fate"

New from Severn House: A Shadowed Fate by Marty Ambrose.

About the book, from the publisher:

A shocking revelation from an old friend leads Claire Clairmont on a dangerous quest in this second in a fascinating historical trilogy based on the 'summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley group.

1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, determines to travel to Ravenna to learn the true fate of Allegra, her daughter by Lord Byron. But Claire soon finds herself shadowed at every turn and in increasing danger. Can Claire uncover what really happened in Ravenna so many years ago?
Visit Marty Ambrose's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Anecdotal Evidence"

New from Oxford University Press: Anecdotal Evidence: Ecocritiqe from Hollywood to the Mass Image by Sean Cubitt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ecocritique is a practice of radical questioning, as essential to the critical armoury as feminism and postcolonialism have become. Like them, it extends beyond judgements about texts with clear ecological themes, demonstrating the significance of ecocriticism for any advanced understanding of cultural forms. Anecdotal method is ecocritical because it focuses on encounters, concentrated moments of crisis when social ordering and ecological forces clash. The anecdote's power to produce events, meanings and history forms a methodological entry to aesthetic politics. Anecdotal Evidence provides an outline of the need for and principles of anecdotal method; a case study of eco-critical themes in Hollywood films shaped by the Global Financial Crisis; and a confrontation with mass image databases of social and streaming media that due to their scale and organisation appear at first immune to anecdotal method. Only because the environment has a history is it possible to intervene environmentally. Because we continually misrecognise the historical production of environments, the first task of ecocritique is to bring our formative concept of ecology into crisis. Its final task will be to achieve the good life for everything connected by the historical implication of humans in ecology, and ecology in humans. No politics can be undertaken in our times except through media: ecocritical humanities have a key role in rethinking ecopolitics in the 21st century.
--Marshal Zeringue