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4 August, 2020

Searching for the Messiah, Barrie Wilson

An award-winning historian of religion examines the role a “messiah” plays in Western culture, from its pre-Christian roots to modern interpretations of a savior.

” [Wilson] works through a careful, close reading of Hebrew scripture to explore how the idea of a messiah – an anointed leader with fairly specific characteristics – came about through the anointing of Hebrew kings and priests. In one of the meatiest sections, he examines how messiahship became a global rather than a local concept before ending with a discussion of modern messiah figures: superheroes. Historians and lay readers alike will appreciate Wilson’s ingenuity and deep scholarship.” — Publishers Weekly

Over the centuries, people have longed for a messiah, whether a religious figure such as Jesus, a political leader, or even in popular culture. The messianic quest emerges most acutely during difficult times when people experience a sense of powerlessness and desperation. But the concept of a messiah—a savior—has its root in the writings of ancient Judaism and early Christianity, evolving from an anointed leader to universal savior. Wilson turns to a little understood pre-Christian text, “The Psalms of Solomon,” which set the stage for messianic expectation just prior to the birth of Jesus.

Known today only to a handful of scholars—in marked contrast to the “Song of Solomon”—these important pslams were composed not by a King, but by a devout 1st century BCE Jew who witnessed terrible atrocities under brutal Roman rule. This crucial work encourages us to ask: what is a messiah? Who is a messiah? How would we recognized one should he or she appear? And what is a messiah supposed to do?

In his own lifetime, Jesus directed his followers to search for “the messiah within” in his parables.  Later, Paul changed the concept of “the messiah,” to “the Christ,” when presenting his message to Gentiles instead of Jews. Jesus was no longer a Jewish messiah but a Hellenistic divine avatar.

In Searching for the Messiah, Wilson reveals how this collective search for messiahs throughout modern human history has been fundamentally flawed. Jesus himself rejected the idea of an external fixer, instead formulating his teachings to focus on the role of the individual, their choices, and their actions.

Searching for the Messiah is revelatory and illuminating work of scholarship that will challenge and inspire.

 


31 July, 2020

Writers: Educated Yourselves About the Publishing Process

I sometimes receive cold calls or queries that begin:  “I don’t know anything about publishing but…” If that’s the case, you need to make a few stops before contacting a literary agent.  One great resource is Jane Friedman, a respected expert on the publishing industry who offers a myriad ways to access the information and process you need.

Here’s a link to her courses and book:  https://www.janefriedman.com/online-classes/

Take a class with Jane or another publishing expert that meets your needs: writing a book proposal or how to submit a manuscript.  It could make all the difference.  That way when you do reach out to literary agents, you’ll have a much better chance of getting a positive response.

–Joelle Delbourgo


17 July, 2020

Cover Reveal

Here’s Kathryn English’s stunning design for Marj Charlier’s THE REBEL NUN, due next Spring from Blackstone. Simultaneous release in hardcover, ebook and audio.

 


15 July, 2020

LET THEM EAT PANCAKES: One Man’s Personal Revolution in the City of Light, Craig Carlson

A second helping of tales on the joys and challenges of working, eating, and loving in France from the New York Times bestselling author of Pancakes in Paris.

Craig Carlson set out to do the impossible: open the first American diner in Paris. Despite never having owned his own business before—let alone a restaurant, the riskiest business of all—Craig chose to open his diner in a foreign country, with a foreign language that also happens to be the culinary capital of the world. While facing enormous obstacles, whether its finding cooks who can navigate the impossibly petite kitchen (and create delicious roast Turkey for their Thanksgiving Special to boot), finding “exotic” ingredients like bacon, breakfast sausage, and bagels, and dealing with  constant  strikes, demonstrations, and Kafkaesque French bureaucracy, Craig and his diner, Breakfast in America, went on to be a great success—especially with the French.

By turns hilarious and provocative, Craig takes us hunting for snails with his French mother-in-law and invites us to share the table when he treats his elegant non-agrarian neighbor to her first-ever cheeseburger. We encounter a customer at his diner who, as a self-proclaimed anarchist, tries to stiff his bill, saying it’s his right to “dine and dash.” We navigate Draconian labor laws where bad employees can’t be fired (even for theft) and battle antiquated French bureaucracy dating back to Napoleon.

When Craig finds love, he and his debonair French cheri find themselves battling the most unlikely of foes—the notorious Pigeon Man—for their sanity, never mind peace and romance, in their little corner of Paris. For all those who love stories of adventure, delicious food, and over-coming the odds, Let Them Eat Pancakes (Pegasus July 2020) will satisfy your appetite and leave you wanting even more.

Reviews:
“Like his first memoir, Pancakes in Paris this charming sequel explores Carlson’s unexpected success operating an American diner in the capital of France, with plenty of colorful anecdotes and personal detours.” New York Times Book Review, New & Notable:

“A pleasant, witty memoir from an American diner owner in France.”, Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Eat. Love. Paris. Craig Carlson shares his passion for food and France in this charming, thought-provoking collection of essays. With heart and humor, he shows us the best of America and France, and how we can learn from one another. Whether delving into cultural differences or the challenges and rewards of running a business, Craig is the perfect guide. Let Them Eat Pancakes is a delicious, satisfying dish about following your dreams.”

— Janet Skeslien Charles, author of The Paris Library

All the wit and heart of Pancakes in Paris, but even wittier and heartier. Craig Carlson serves up yet another delightful, dizzying account of life in the City of Light. He truly understands the imperfect yet inescapable love of expat life. You root for him on every page. — Lisa Anselmo, author of My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home

“This second helping of stories about the author’s life in Paris is as cheering as an all-day American breakfast.”  — Stephen Clarke, author of A Year in the Merde and 1000 Years of Annoying the French.

Funny, inspiring, and moving. , The Huffington Post (Praise for PANCAKES IN PARIS)

“If you are a foodie and Francophile, and if you like rags-to-riches stories, you should curl up on an armchair with a strong cup of coffee and a croissant and tuck into Crag Carlson’s memoir.  A quintessential American tale, big and brash and filled with charm.”
Powell’s Book Blog (Praise for PANCAKES IN PARIS)

“Hearty and delicious.”
— Jennifer Coburn, author of WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS (Praise for PANCAKES IN PARIS)

“Carlson tells his story with an openness and an ironic sense of humor.  A great success story and will inspire readers to never stop trying to achieve their goals.” — Roger S. Christiansen, Director, “Friends” and “Hannah Montana” (Praise for PANCAKES IN PARIS)

Craig Carlson’s  “Let Them Eat Pancakes” is a feast for your funny bone. It is clever, informative, and filled with outrageous characters that make up the intoxicating appeal of the cuisine and people of Paris. It’s also an authentic insight into the bureaucracy of living and working in France. — Nancy Lombardo, Whats The Buzz New York

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Craig Carlson first came to France as an exchange student in 1985 and instantly fell in love with the country. He never could have imagined that some thirty-five years later he’d be the owner of two American diners in Paris and be nicknamed “Le Pancake Kid” by the French. With a background in journalism, Craig studied cinema at the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts, using his experience as a screenwriter to pen his debut memoir, Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France. Craig and his husband Julien currently split their time between Paris and Los Angeles. Well, at least they try to. With two busy diners that can’t be left alone for too long, their lives lean heavily on the Paris side, which, of course, is not such a bad thing, n’est-ce pas?

 


26 June, 2020

HANNIBAL, Philip Freeman

Pepperdine University Fletcher Jones Chairman of Western Culture, classicist and translator Philip Freeman’s HANNIBAL, best known for his audacious crossing of the Alps with battle elephants to bring war to the heart of the Roman Empire, the author draws on the original texts and the latest archaeological investigations to reveal him as a skilled diplomat, politician, master of organization and leader of men.  (Pegasus, World English, Spring 2022)


17 June, 2020

MODERN MOM PROBS: A Survival Guide for 21st Century Moms, Tara Clark

Popular Instagram mom blogger Tara Clark’s survival guide for 21st-century moms, presenting advice on the 100 most common problems they face, from dealing with social media perfection to playground geopolitics and keeping your relationship spicy, illustrated with memorable memes, illustrated by Mary McConville. (Post Hill Press/April 2021/World English).

1 June, 2020

Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War: One Woman’s Journey to the Medal of Honor and the Fight for Women’s Rights, Theresa Kaminski, Ph.D.

“History has long neglected the inspiring and incredible tale of Dr. Mary Walker, a pioneering Civil War surgeon who overcame rampant prejudice to save countless soldiers’ lives. In Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War, Theresa Kaminski has finally given this American hero her due. With impeccable research and engaging prose, Kaminski captures Walker’s outsized bravery and delicious swagger. The result is a vivid, eloquent portrait sure to thrill history buffs and anyone fascinated by the lives of audacious, before-their-time women.” — Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park

“I will always be somebody.”  This assertion, a startling one from a nineteenth-century woman, drove the life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the only American woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor and the subject of Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War (Lyons Press). President Andrew Johnson issued the award in 1865 in recognition of the incomparable medical service Walker rendered during the Civil War. Yet few people today know anything about the woman so well-known–even notorious–in her own lifetime. Theresa Kaminski shares a different way of looking at the Civil War, through the eyes of a woman confident she could make a contribution equal to that of any man. She takes readers into the political cauldron of the nation’s capital in wartime, where Walker was a familiar if notorious figure. Mary Walker’s relentless pursuit of gender and racial equality is key to understanding her commitment to a Union victory in the Civil War. Her role in the women’s suffrage movement became controversial and the US Army stripped Walker of her medal, only to have the medal reinstated posthumously in 1977.

“Dr. Mary Walker, once spurned as “the famous man-woman” for her insistence on wearing pants in public, is a heroine not just of the Civil War, when her service as a doctor made her the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor, but of the unfinished revolution for equal rights and fair treatment women are still waging today. Theresa Kaminski’s compelling narrative, thoughtfully contextualized and filled with vibrant characters, brings a complicated reformer and nearly a century of movement history back into the light.”— Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

“Dr. Mary Walker is primarily remembered for one thing, when she is remembered at all: her work as a surgeon in the Civil War. In Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War, Theresa Kaminski gives us an engaging and impeccably researched portrait of Walker as a whole person: devotion to reform, prickly personality, and all. She also demonstrates how easily an important woman can be erased from history during her own lifetime. If you’re interested in Civil War medicine, the history of women’s rights or kick-ass historical women, you’ll want to read Dr. Mary Walker’s Civil War.” – Pamela D. Toler, author of Women Warriors

“Theresa Kaminski tells Dr. Mary Walker’s incredible story with an easy to read style and impeccable research. A must read for those interested in not only the Civil War, but also medical history and the history of women’s rights.” — Lori Handeland, New York Times bestselling author


20 May, 2020

Cannabis for Couples: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship, John Selby

CANNABIS FOR COUPLES: Enhance Intimacy and Elevate Your Relationship, by John Selby (Park Street Press, June, 2020) is step-by-step guide for using cannabis to deepen relationships emotionally, sexually, and spiritually

• Explains the difference between getting high alone and as a couple and explores what happens from a psychological and neurological perspective

• Offers techniques to maximize the effects of being high, facilitate bonding, and resolve relationship issues, plus how to use cannabis as an aphrodisiac

• Examines marijuana’s effects on the chakras, including its impact on the heart chakra, and how to harness these effects to expand consciousness

When couples enjoy cannabis together in the proper set and setting, the experience can deepen relationships through honest sharing and compassionate bonding, as well as boosting sexual pleasure, emotional growth, and spiritual togetherness.

In this step-by-step guide to harnessing the benefits of getting high together, psychologist John Selby explores how to use cannabis as a powerful and effective path to strengthen your relationship and nurture your intimate life. Drawing on his own NIH brain research on the emotional impact of psychoactive chemicals, he explains the difference between getting high alone and as a couple and examines from a psychological and neurological perspective what happens when you get high. Revealing the seven primary types of inner experience and outer behavior stimulated by THC, the author shares stories from his four decades of practice as a couple’s therapist, discussing the power of THC and other cannabinoids to help heal emotional wounds and boost intimacy–and how to determine if using cannabis together is right for you and your partner.
The author explains how to properly prepare for a cannabis session and how to use breath, meditation, and other focusing techniques to deepen the effects of being high and facilitate bonding. He reveals how cannabis-assisted relating can not only deepen relationships but also help to heal anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This book also explores the use of cannabis for sexual pleasure and how the “muse of marijuana” can serve as an inner therapist to work out relationship issues. Shared laughter and emotional freedom are likewise encouraged. Selby also explores cannabis’s energetic influence on the chakras and how to balance and integrate the seven energy centers together with your partner during a cannabis session.

Combining decades of counseling experience with scientific research, Selby encourages couples to enjoy recreational use and begin using cannabis as a unique tool for connecting as a couple and growing together emotionally, sexually, and spiritually.

A thorough examination of what it means to mindfully get high together. This daring book offers a road map to navigate grown-up cannabis experiences that may well be new to you. No matter where you are on the spectrum of smoking, it will help you discover, and rediscover, your world together.”, JULIE HOLLAND, M.D. & JEREMY WOLFF, contributors to The Pot Book

“If you’ve ever imagined that there might be a kind older person with decades of personal and professional experience on how to best use cannabis, who would share in depth a multitude of ways to improve your experiences, you’re going to want this book. John Selby is all of the above and a lot more. This book will lead you into more pleasure, more awareness, greater depths, more sensory excitement, more fun, and more wisdom. Spoiler alert: the last few chapters take what you’ve learned from the rest to a whole new level. Consider this book to be a gift to yourself, your partner, and your relationship.”, James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

“John Selby’s years of experience supporting couples on their journey of intentional cannabis use shines throughout this wonderful book. Sharing the cannabis space with a partner is a deeply meaningful experience–and rich with connection and depth. When used intentionally, cannabis can bring couples together in ways that are truly magical. John’s teachings are sincere, incredibly skillful, and pragmatic. He takes all of the trial and error out of the equation, and this allows couples to immediately benefit from safe and sacred cannabis use. He outlines a wonderful foundation that can support years of sacred intimacy between loving partners. I highly recommend this book.”, Daniel McQueen, executive director of the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness

About the Author

John Selby is a psychologist and author of 30 books in 14 languages, with a degree in family counseling and pastoral psychology from UC Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. A developer of numerous mindfulness programs, Selby researched psychedelics and meditation at the Bureau of Research in Neurology and Psychiatry. He has a private cannabis-assisted spiritual-counseling practice and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

7 May, 2020

INSIDE JOBS: Tales from a Time of Quarantine, Ben H. Winters (Audible Original)

Three offbeat stories of crime and conundrum, set in the present moment, from The New York Times best-selling, Edgar Award-winning author of Underground Airlines and The Last Policeman. (May 2020)

Inside Jobs: Tales from a Time of Quarantine includes:

The Crimson Parrot
It’s not easy masterminding the crime of the century when your whole gang is working from home. A high-stakes tale of larceny, deception, and teleconferencing.

The Cape House
As the world shifts around them, two estranged brothers end up in their childhood home. But it’s the memories they unearth that will change them forever.

Stop Motion
With endless time on her hands, an apartment-bound young woman gets to all the hobbies she’s neglected—martial arts, playing the sax, photography…and solving a murder?


15 April, 2020

INSIDE JOBS!

Author of the award-winning THE LAST POLICEMAN novels and bestselling UNDERGROUND AIRLINES Ben Winters’s INSIDE JOBS, a trio of crime stories set during the age of quarantine. (Audible Originals, World rights, Summer 2020).