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SOUTHERN FICTION – THRILLER
A fisherman’s murder in Mississippi unwinds the dark truth from Vietnam and exposes unfathomable guilt.
Rex Thompson has not spoken of the felony he committed in Vietnam for over two decades. When his ne’er-do-well sons scuttle a shrimp boat in the Biloxi Bay and drown an immigrant fisherman who had witnessed this crime, Rex is flooded with remorse but remains silent.
His secrets seem to wash away in the muddy tide until the fisherman’s daughter, Anh Truong, stumbles upon a wartime journal and confronts Rex with a tale her murdered father never told. As a dragnet encircles his sons, Rex’s life of poor choices unravels, and he must decide to continue his charade or seek mercy from those he harmed.
Bycatch is a story soaked with greed and forgiveness while Southern and Vietnamese cultures tangle on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
by Author Alexander Blevens
Katherine Pearl Baker—“Kip” for short—is the only child on her family’s rural peach farm. She longs for a pet to ease the loneliness. Unfortunately, her father has an angry opposition to all animals—horses in particular. Why he dislikes them is a confounding mystery.
Hiding in the woods on the Fourth of July, Kip encounters a bedraggled donkey with one eye and a floppy ear. Immediately smitten and compelled to protect him, she feeds him biscuits and takes him home. When it is discovered the donkey fled an abusive owner, Kip’s father finally relents, reluctantly allowing him to stay.
Kip is elated when her grandfather agrees to help her foster the donkey, who she names “Liberty Biscuit,” along with two emaciated horses removed by the local sheriff from the same home, as the cruelty case goes to court. While caring for the animals, Kip’s happiness is overshadowed by a shocking discovery in a trunk in the family farm’s hayloft—a faded photograph of her father as a boy that reveals secrets long kept.
A court order to return the horses, and even worse, Kip’s beloved Liberty Biscuit, to the owner who had starved and beaten them, throws Kip’s world into turmoil. She knows she must find a way to keep them, or she will have betrayed the best friend she has ever had. But saving the animals means risking the complete unraveling of her family as she exposes the long-buried truth about a tragic accident and a hurt like she’s never known before.
by Author Melanie Sue Bowles
Seizing the Good Life
Living on high alert drains your energy and steals your joy. There is a better way and Seizing the Good Life will help you find it as it takes you through the Gospel of John.
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson believes we really can have a growing faith and know a surprising, sustaining joy despite the chaos of breaking news and a culture bent on erasing the Everlasting God. Seizing the Good Life takes the Gospel of John and teaches the reader how to believe and keep believing in our post-Christian world. We’re not meant to hold onto a dry faith with chewed- up fingernails. We can know peace and joy in the middle of our anxious and angry culture, and Seizing the Good Life is ready to lead the way! With the Gospel of John as her roadmap, Shellie invites readers to join her in a faith-building Bible study. Using personal stories, insights, relevant Scripture, and a sprinkling of humor, Seizing the Good Life will help the reader discover the peace and joy found in the friendship of Jesus, lover of their soul
by Author Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
What Ben Franklin Would Have Told Me
My novel pairs Lee, a 13-year-old boy who has Progeria (a premature aging disease) with his caretaker, Tomás, a survivor of Argentina’s Dirty War. Together, they go on a journey to find Tomás’s missing family. The story is set during the Regan Era, and moves between Newark, NJ, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Ocean City, Maryland. Lee is an American history buff whose invisible confidante and inspiration is Ben Franklin. When Lee’s in trouble or at odds with himself, he’ll sometimes ask, “What would Ben Franklin do?” Lee lives with his single mom, Cass, a makeup artist for off-Broadway, and his Vietnamese potbellied pig, Patrick.
Two seemingly disparate experiences came together to create the story. I had volunteered at Camp Sunshine in Sebago, Maine—a camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families. There, I met a boy who had Progeria. I had also done a project with Amnesty International, “Putting Faces on the Unimaginable: Portraits and Interviews with Former Prisoners of Conscience,” for which I photographed and interviewed 15 people from all over the world who were on their speakers’ list. I met two people who had survived the Dirty War under the dictatorship of Jorge Videla. The portraits with captions were exhibited at Harvard’s Fogg Museum.
I graduated from Brown, was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, a PEN Discovery, and Ploughshares Discovery. I received the New Letters Publication Prize and have published short fiction and nonfiction in Tin House, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe Magazine, Post Road, the Quarterly, Poetry Northwest, Solstice, and others.
Andre Dubus said: Behind this wonderfully evocative prose is a deeply compassionate writer who has created an unforgettable main character in Lee.\” —Andre Dubus III, #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Sand and Fog and Gone So Long
by Author Donna Gordon
How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies: Sweet & Savory Secrets for the Writing Life
As a novelist, memoirist, and teacher, Amy Wallen has quite a few
irreverent and informative things to say about the writing world. In
How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies (October 2022, $19.99), she shares
her secrets on how to survive the hard knocks of writing a book and
trying to get published—which (spoiler alert) include many obligatory
Throughout the book, Wallen demystifies the vagaries of the
publishing business, intermittently providing delicious recipes to
keep readers and writers going. With chapters like “Oh Agent, Where
Art Thou?” and “The Joy of Rejection,” Wallen balances out the
challenging stages of the writing process with both sweet and savory
goodness, featuring recipes for chocolate pecan pie, salmon and
portobello pie, and the best cherry pie ever.
Wallen’s writing advice is neatly paired with brilliant illustrations by
Emil Wilson, who shares her sharp wit, sardonic look at the demands
of the writing life, and mad love of pie. Combined, the stories, lessons,
images, and recipes will provide encouragement and camaraderie for
the writing journey, from putting pen to page, to finding an agent, to
celebrating publication—all with a piece of pie.
by Author Amy Wallen
WHEN WOMEN LEAD: What They Achieve, Why They Succeed, How We Can Learn From Them
A groundbreaking, deeply reported work from CNBC’s Julia Boorstin that reveals the key commonalities and characteristics that help top female leaders thrive as they innovate, grow businesses, and navigate crises—an essential resource for anyone in the workplace.
Julia Boorstin was thirteen when her mother told her that, by the time she grew up, women could be just as powerful as men, “captains of industry, running the biggest companies!” A decade later, working at a top business publication and seeing the dearth of women in positions of leadership, Boorstin assumed her mom had been wrong. But over the following two decades as a TV reporter and creator of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 franchise, interviewing, and studying thousands of executives, she realized that a gender-equity utopia shouldn’t be a pipe dream. Yes, women faced massive social and institutional headwinds, and struggled with double standards and what psychologists call “pattern matching.” Yet those who thrived, Boorstin found, shared key commonalities that made them uniquely equipped to lead, grow businesses, and navigate crises. They were highly adaptive to change, deeply empathetic in their management style, and much more likely to integrate diverse points of view into their business strategies, filling voids that their male counterparts had overlooked for generations. By utilizing those strengths, they had invented new business models, disrupted industries, and made massive profits along the way.
Now, in When Women Lead, Boorstin brings together the stories of over sixty of those female CEOs and leaders, and dozens of new studies. Her combination of narrative and research reveals how once-underestimated characteristics, from vulnerability and gratitude to divergent thinking, can be vital superpowers—and that anyone can work these approaches to their advantage. Featuring new interviews with Katrina Lake, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenn Hyman, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Lena Waithe, Shivani Siroya, Julia Collins, and more, When Women Lead is a radical blueprint for the future of business, and our world at large.
by Author Julia Boorstin
Ann of Sunflower Lane
Fifteen-year-old Ann doesn’t have much choice in the matter: It’s live with the maternal grandparents she’s never met in Kansas or go to a foster home when her father is found by the courts to be a neglectful parent. Still, she’s positive it’s only for the summer of 1989 and her father will make good on his promise to get a steady job and provide a stable home life for her. At Sunflower Lane, Ann discovers she strongly resembles the mother she never knew and that everyone from her strict grandmother to her more understanding grandfather avoids talking about her mother. Ann’s vivid imagination conjures up numerous explanations for this silence, fueled by her voracious reading and subtle clues that accumulate over the months. She finds herself torn between learning the answers to her questions and dreading what they might be. When Grandpa gifts her an old edition of Anne of Green Gables, Ann immediately identifies with the title character, especially when her father fails to make good on his promise to get her back. The weeks and months unfold at Sunflower Lane, and along the way, Ann makes a best friend for the first time in Corrie Addair and finds a temptingly handsome challenge to her grandmother’s “no boys” rule in Corrie’s brother, Cameron. As Ann integrates herself into the fabric of life at Sunflower Lane, she meets a community that broadens her notions of home, family, friendship, and love. When she uncovers a difficult truth about her past, the consequences could be life-altering.
Complete with a Book Club Kit containing discussion questions, recipes, and Cameron’s Mix Tape playlist, Ann of Sunflower Lane will be beloved by readers of all ages.
by Author Julie A. Sellers
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