Monday, April 20, 2015

Affair & Honor

Idgie Says:
Batt is just plain fun to read.  His sentences (and characters) ooze sarcasm and charm at the same time.  His use of combining certain phrases and wording create a lively flow of rambling and buoyant narrative that grabs from page one. Take a dash of Batt's word art and a pinch of a good story and you have a fine recipe to settle in with for a while. 

I have always admired John F. Kennedy.  After having him come to life in the pages of  this novel and reading about his time at sea, performing continued acts of heroism, I not only admire him, but I like him and want to hang out at a BBQ with him.  

This novel isn't just about how likable and wonderful JFK was.  It has the complete package to keep you going.  Intrigue, possible spies, strong women, WWII and it's heroes.  Newspaper reporters, Hoover and his antics (seriously, there are antics...), Hollywood stars, backstabbing, and any number of other fascinating events to keep you hanging on to the pages. 

This is a book filled with action and events, nary dry page to be found.  A great novel to lose yourself in for a while. 

Oh, and if you ever meet Batt in real life, I'm pretty sure Sam is him. ;) 


Yellow Dog Press
May 15, 2015

Book Description:
In the spring of 1942 the nation is at war. A young ensign is in trouble. He’s in Naval Intelligence and he’s been banished to a small southern base because of a scandalous affair with a suspected spy that has drawn the attention of the F.B.I. and the White House. She is a beautiful Dane who once knew Hitler. He is the son of an ousted ambassador. Jack Kennedy is caught between love, and a hard place.

Kennedy struggles between the conflicts of his affair and his drive to join the war in combat. Young, smitten, sick and sidelined he watches while his friends take the path to glory and his father conspires to keep him safe. Young Jack works his own schemes and lands in the South Pacific.

Based on the true story, Affair & Honor reprises one of the most incredible tales of battle, destruction and survival in World War Two. It also brings to a new audience the story of a young man, who risked life and fortune, to fight for his crew and his country.

Two Kennedy brothers went to war. Only one survived to become President of the United States.

Some Great Titles Releasing in April!

Idgie Says:
My mailbox has been very busy receiving books these days and while I adore each and every one, I don't always have time to read them all before they come out for release.  So in an effort to get the word out about these books in a timely manner, I'm short-cutting a bit and giving shout-out to the following books.  I am not saying I will not have a full review a bit later down the line, but if so, it will be after release date.  Meanwhile, take a few minutes, peruse the books I'm presenting and see if any grab your attention for purchase.  

The first two are from Algonquin and you know how I adore that Press - always fine quality novels from them and I fully intend to read both - as soon as I can come up for reading air.  

The last book is from USC Press, and they too have really moved strongly into pushing different, interesting and quality filled books into reader's hands.  

Below are book descriptions on all and all released in April. 


In her extraordinary debut, Aline Ohanesian has created two remarkable characters — a young man ignorant of his family’s and his country’s past, and an old woman haunted by the toll the past has taken on her life.

When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather Kema l— a man who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs — is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal’s will raises more questions than it answers. He has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan’s grandfather willed his home in Turkey to an unknown woman rather than to his own son or grandson.

Left with only Kemal’s ancient sketchbook and intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There he will not only unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards but discover that Seda’s past now threatens to unravel his future. Her story, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which his family has been built.

Moving back and forth in time, between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan’s Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that can haunt a family for generations.

No. 1 Indie Next Pick for April
Amazon Editors’ Featured Debut for April
A Summer 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection


Author Essay
A multi-faceted, multi-voiced debut novel that is at the same time personal and heartfelt-chronicling a family in flux, trying to find their individual and collective way-and also tells a larger, cultural story, one of our time, of how we live and hope and dream now.

A car accident has left young Anabelle Vincent in a coma-like state-unable to move or speak. Her mother spends her days and nights taking care of her frozen child, but Anabelle’s father has left: unable to cope, broken under the responsibility of having been the car’s driver. Then, one day, a visiting friend experiences what seems like a miracle. She thinks it’s because of Anabelle. Word spreads. There are more visitors. More miracles. But is there a connection? And does it matter? Will Anabelle ever wake up, and if she does, will the miracles cease?

Andrew Roe has crafted an intricate story, told by Anabelle, her parents, and the visitors, who include neighbors, a priest, the affluent and the downtrodden. What becomes clear is that life’s cruelties show no prejudice, but becoming a believer-in something, anything, even if you don’t understand it-can bring salvation.

More than a novel about a family in crisis, The Miracle Girl tells a larger cultural story, of how we live and hope and dream.

book jacket for Off the BooksOff the Books
On Literature and Culture
J. Peder Zane

An exploration of American culture and politics through the literary lens of a book review editor.

Head "off the books" in this collection of newspaper columns, where J. Peder Zane uses classic and contemporary literature to explore American culture and politics. The book review editor for the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer from 1996 to 2009, Zane demonstrates that good books are essential for understanding ourselves and the world around us. The columns gathered in Off the Books find that sweet spot where literature's eternal values meet the day's current events. Together they offer a literary overview of the ideas, issues, and events shaping our culture—from 9/11 and the struggle for gay rights to the decline of high culture and the rise of sensationalism and solipsism. As they plumb and draw from the work of leading writers—William Faulkner, Knut Hamsun, Eudora Welty, Don DeLillo, Lydia Millet, and Philip Roth among others—these columns make an argument not just about the pleasure of books, but about their very necessity in our lives and culture.

J. Peder Zane was the book review editor and books columnist for the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, for thirteen years. His writing has won numerous national honors, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Before joining the News & Observer, Zane worked at the New York Times. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle and current chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, Zane is the editor of and has contributed to Remarkable Reads:34 Writers and Their Adventures in Reading, and The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books and is coauthor of Design in Nature.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Win a ticket to a NYC Book Launch Party - transportation not provided


 I have an exciting offer for you and your blog readers.  A luxury flagship 5th Avenue retailer is hosting aexclusive launch party for Elyssa Friedland's debut novel Love and Miss Communication on May 12th in New York City.  See the book featured here in Cosmopolitan.  You or your readers could win a ticket to attend. Here's how!

1. Follow Elyssa on Twitter (@ElyssaFriedland)
2. Like Elyssa's Facebook page (/AuthorElyssaFriedland)
3. Ask Elyssa a question on Twitter using the hashtag #AskElyssa
4. Email and provide your Twitter handle and Facebook name in your email
5. Cross your fingers!

After you complete the above, you will be entered to win an exclusive ticket to a private book launch party and a free copy of Love and Miss Communication. You must be 21 years or older to enter. All tasks must be completed by May 4th, 2015. Transportation is not provided. Tickets may not be sold to the public. Winners will be notified by May 5th, 2015 via email.

Dress to impress for this swanky, sophisticated party!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Queen of the Tearling

Idgie says:
This novel appears to take place in the Medieval period of Earth but actually is 300 years after our way of life ended and the world has reverted back to the time before electricity.   It does have magic, political intrigue and The Court in it, so it's not apocalyptic but more King Author in nature.

Film rights have been grabbed and Emma Watson attached to said possible film. 

The next book in the series, The Invasion of the Tearling, will be out in June, 2015.


Now in Paperback
April 14, 2015
Harper Paperbacks

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.