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15 March, 2022

POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN: Deborah Read Franklin and The Other Women Behind the Founding Father, Nancy Rubin Stuart

A vivid portrait of the women who loved, nurtured, and defended America’s famous scientist and founding father.

“An engrossing look at the human side of Benjamin Franklin . . . Using a post-feminist lens that’s critical of gender essentialism, Stuart rescues these women from obscurity . . . This is a terrific read: poignant, provocative, and probing.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin—the thrifty inventor-statesman of the Revolutionary era—but not about his love life. Poor Richard’s Women (Beacon Press, March 2022)  reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. The most prominent among them was Deborah Read Franklin, his common-law wife and partner for forty-four years. Long dismissed by historians, she was an independent, politically savvy woman and devoted wife who raised their children, managed his finances, and fought off angry mobs at gunpoint while he traipsed about England.

Weaving detailed historical research with emotional intensity and personal testimony, Nancy Rubin Stuart traces Deborah’s life and those of Ben’s other romantic attachments through their personal correspondence. We are introduced to Margaret Stevenson, the widowed landlady who managed Ben’s life in London; Catherine Ray, the twenty-three-year-old New Englander with whom he traveled overnight and later exchanged passionate letters; Madame Brillon, the beautiful French musician who flirted shamelessly with him, and the witty Madame Helvetius, who befriended the philosophes of pre-Revolutionary France and brought Ben to his knees.

What emerges from Stuart’s pen is a colorful and poignant portrait of women in the age of revolution. Set two centuries before the rise of feminism, Poor Richard’s Women depicts the feisty, often-forgotten women dear to Ben’s heart who, despite obstacles, achieved an independence rarely enjoyed by their peers in that era.

“This readable, well-researched book will appeal to those interested in the unruly intimate life of archrationalist Franklin as well as students of the too-often-ignored roles of women in the historical record. A revealing document about early American history.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A fresh perspective on Benjamin Franklin in this revealing study of his relationships with women . . . Stuart paints a nuanced portrait of Deborah and the other women in Franklin’s life, briskly recounts the highlights of his long and varied career, and incisively analyzes the era’s gender dynamics. American history buffs will be fascinated.”
Publishers Weekly

“Stuart has an engaging style and weaves in significant historical context. Readers will encounter illegitimate offspring, broken engagements, long silences, suspicious gifts, eighteenth-century social conventions, and unique and compelling women.”
Booklist

“A delightful addition to biographies and bookshelves everywhere.”
Colonial Review

“Ben Franklin, our enigmatic founding father, continues to fascinate, and in Poor Richard’s Women, Nancy Rubin Stuart gives the women in his life their due, showing them as real persons, with both limitations and achievements, rather than the pathetic, laughable figures so often described in books about him. Poor Richard’s Women is a treat for anyone interested in women of his time or Ben himself.”
—Betty Boyd Caroli, author of Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President

“Nancy Rubin Stuart highlights a side of Ben Franklin too often ignored by historians. . . . Stuart uncovers a man often dependent upon women’s care and support, a man eager to be loved, and a man driven by passions as much as by politics and science. Poor Richard’s Women fills in the blanks of the life we’ve known this founding father to live and provides a necessary reminder that the women who came into his life are as deserving of our attention as Ben himself.”
—Carol Berkin, author of Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence

Poor Richard’s Women is narrative history at its best, as it offers compelling insights into the character of Benjamin Franklin. Nancy Rubin Stuart rescues Franklin’s women from the margins, making them central to our understanding of a man who fought a never-ending internal battle between ‘prudence and passion.’ Engaging and fascinating, Poor Richard’s Women is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the man they thought they knew.”
—Sheila Skemp, author of The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit

“[A] fascinating and fast-paced new look at the life of Benjamin Franklin, as told through the colorful prism of the women around him. Nancy Rubin Stuart explores his longest relationships, his fleeting infatuations, and everything in between. She shines a fresh light on old Ben while giving us a new appreciation for the women, who live and breathe in these pages as they haven’t since the eighteenth century. A refreshing read.”
—William Martin, author of Citizen Washington and December ’41

About the Author

Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist whose eight nonfiction books focus upon women and social history. Her most recently published works include Defiant BridesThe Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married and The Muse of the RevolutionThe Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation. A former journalist, Stuart has written for the New York TimesHuffington Post, the New England Quarterly, and national magazines. She serves as executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center. Connect with her at www.nancyrubinstuart.com.

10 March, 2022

THE PROMISE OF THE PELICAN, Roy Hoffman

For fans of Harper Lee and Rita Mae Brown, Roy Hoffman’s new novel is steeped in a sense of place–coastal Alabama–with its rich tapestry of characters caught in a web of justice not for all.

“Roy Hoffman has written a fast-paced, mesmerizing and incredibly moving contemporary novel about human and civil rights,”– bestselling author Lee Smith

At once a literary crime novel and an intergenerational family drama, The Promise of the Pelican (Arcade Crimewise, March 2022) is set in the multicultural South, where justice might depend on the color of your skin and your immigration status. Hank Weinberg is a modern day Atticus Finch, recently retired as a defense attorney in Mobile, Alabama, and a Holocaust survivor, who fled the Nazis as a young child. With his daughter in rehab, he’s now taking care of his special needs grandson. Mourning his dead wife, spending mornings fishing on the pier with other octogenarians, he passes the rest of his days watching over his sweet grandson with the help of Lupita, a young Honduran babysitter. When her brother Julio, an undocumented immigrant, is accused of murder, Hank must return to the courtroom to defend him while also trying to save his daughter and grandson’s life from spinning out of control. The Promise of the Pelican takes its title from the legend that a pelican will pierce its own breast for blood to feed its starving chicks, a metaphor for one old man who risks all to save the vulnerable.

In a crisp prose style Harper Lee called “lean and clean,” Hoffman writes from an enormous well of compassion. He fills his new novel with a cast of finely drawn characters of all ages and abilities facing life’s harshest challenges and rising to meet them with dignity.

“A thrilling novel, with characters as memorable as those of Shakespearean tragedy…I could not put it down.” –Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife  

“Though a murder is at the center of this masterly novel, Roy Hoffman is most interested in writing about people; the best of us and the worst of us, how we feel, how we think, how we act, how we react in a crisis. In The Promise of the Pelican, Hoffman weaves an extraordinary tale of heartache and pain, of people desperately trying to connect, trying to make sense out of the senseless, ultimately asking whether true justice is possible in an imperfect world.”–Charles Salzberg, twice Shamus nominated author of “Second Story Man” and the Henry Swann series

“With The Promise of the Pelican, Roy Hoffman secures his place alongside the great American writers from the Deep South — Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Lee Smith, and Harper Lee.  Our best novels transport and transform us, and The Promise of the Pelican does that and more. The story is compelling, the writing is elegant and economical, and every scene poignant and powerful. You can feel the heat of the Deep South, the tensions throughout, and the hope of a better world that gives meaning and life to his characters.” — Michael J. Gerhardt, distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School, and author of Lincoln’s Mentors:  The Education of a Leader.

Roy Hoffman is the award-winning author of the novels Come LandfallChicken Dreaming Corn, and Almost Family, and nonfiction Alabama Afternoons and Back Home. He has written essays for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal and was a journalist and speechwriter in New York before returning south. He has reviewed numerous works for the New York Times Book Review and is on the faculty of Spalding University’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing. A native of Mobile and Tulane University graduate, he resides in Fairhope, Alabama.

 


8 March, 2022

THE REBEL NUN, Marj Charlier

NOW IN PAPERBACK!

*#1 Amazon Bestseller
*A Library Hub Pick of Not-to-Miss-Books from March
*A Buzzfeed Books Pick of Most Anticipated Books of Winter

Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth-century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.

At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest-husbands.

Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face excommunication, possibly even death?

In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.

First published in hardcover in March 2021, the paperback release from Blackstone Publishing came out March 2022.  The Rebel Nun is also available in audio from Blackstone.


17 February, 2022

THRIVERS: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine, Michele Borba, Ed.D.

NOW IN PAPERBACK!

The bestselling author of UNSELFIE explains why the old markers of accomplishment (grades, test scores) are no longer reliable predictors of success in the 21st century — and offers 7 teachable traits that will safeguard our kids for the future.

People say, ‘I wish kids would come with a manual.’ Well now they do. If you want to get parenting right, pick up this book.” – Dr. Phil

“A must-read for parents and anyone who works with kids.” –Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Thrivers shows the urgency in updating current parenting and educational practices to follow science so children will have the potential to thrive and become their personal best.” —Psychology Today

“Practical guidance that parents urgently need today.”–Lisa Lamour, Ph.D., author of Untangled and Under Pressure

Michele Borba has been a teacher, educational consultant, and parent for 40 years — and she’s never been more worried than she is about this current generation of kids. The high-achieving students she talks with every day are more accomplished, better educated, and more privileged than ever before. They’re also more stressed, unhappier, and struggling with anxiety, depression, and burnout at younger and younger ages — “we’re like pretty packages with nothing inside,” said one young teen.

Thrivers are different: they flourish in our fast-paced, digital-driven, often uncertain world. Why? Dr. Borba combed scientific studies on resilience, spoke to dozens of researchers/experts in the field and interviewed more than 100 young people from all walks of life, and she found something surprising: the difference between those who struggle and those who succeed comes down not to grades or test scores, but to seven character traits that set Thrivers apart (and set them up for happiness and greater accomplishment later in life).

These traits–confidence, empathy, self-control, integrity, curiosity, perseverance, and optimism–will allow kids to roll with the punches and succeed in life. And the even better news: these traits can be taught to children at any age…in fact, parents and educators must do so. In Thrivers, Dr. Borba offers practical, actionable ways to develop these traits in children from preschool through high school, showing how to teach kids how to cope today so they can thrive tomorrow.

THRIVERS was published in hardcover by Putnam in March 2021, and will be released in paperback in March 2022.


7 February, 2022

AALA Membership

Joelle Delbourgo is a proud member of the AALA, an organization of literary agents that advocates for authors and agents and upholds a code of ethical conduct. Members must be recommended and admitted and must agree to uphold the mission statement below.

–Joelle

Since its founding in 1991, the Association of American Literary Agents has been a leading force in furthering the interests of agents, authors and other rights holders. Through regular educational programming, community-building initiatives, and advocating for agents and authors alike, the volunteer-run organization is dedicated to helping our members maintain and broaden their professional skills in a fast-changing publishing environment. Recognizing the historically exclusive nature of publishing, the AALA is committed to engendering a more diverse, equitable, participatory and inclusive publishing community. Members of the AALA must agree to adhere to its widely-respected Canon of Ethics, thus ensuring that our membership maintains the highest standards of ethics and integrity in dealings with and on behalf of our clients and our publishing colleagues.


12 January, 2022

THE BABY WILL BE JUST FINE! The (Not So) Selfish Mom’s Guide to Surviving the First Year, Becky Viera

PR professional, writer for Scary Mommy and BabyCenter, and voice behind the Instagram account, Witty Otter Becky Vieira‘s realistic look at new motherhood with actionable, real-world advice focused on the health and welfare of moms. (Union Square & Co/World Rights/May 2023).

24 December, 2021

Thanks to our writers, editors and readers!


13 December, 2021

Follower Counts Are Unreliable Metric for Book Sales

Worth reading this article from the New York Times (December 23, 2021).  One lit agent sums it up:  “If we knew (what would work for a given book), publishers would make no mistakes.”


28 October, 2021

THE WIDEST NET: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You, Pamela Slim

Discover and create a dynamic new model for growing your business by connecting with customers outside your usual field of view

Do you think you know your ideal customer?  Think again. Many businesses create an ideal consumer profile―aiming all their sales and marketing efforts towards this single type of person―and end up missing out on endless opportunities to sell their services or products.

Award-winning business coach, speaker and author Pamela Slim has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world start, sustain, and scale their businesses. In The Widest Net (McGraw-Hill, November 2021), she explains how to build strong diverse relationships, identify and connect with new partners, expand markets, generate leads, and find new customers in places you may never have considered.

Social media is a valuable business tool, but it can often create a comfortable cocoon for entrepreneurs, marketers, and leaders who all need to understand the entirety of the marketplace, not just their own social graph. With this book as a guide, you’ll learn how to connect with potential clients and customers using the true breadth of the marketplace, which she calls an ecosystem of living connections.

The Widest Net shows how to:

  • Search outside your own lens/bias/routine/history to target ideal customers.
  • Attract the interest and attention of new leads by learning more about them authentically.
  • Develop products and services suited to these customers.
  • Sell through a trusted reciprocity framework where your customers become part of your ecosystem and you each help the other grow.
  • Build and sustain loyalty and trust with new customers.
  • Nurture a diverse and resilient customer base by identifying and adjusting to the ideal customer target over time.

The Widest Net is available in print, ebook and audio (the latter from Penguin Random House).

Pamela Slim from Mesa, Arizona has helped thousands of entrepreneurs around the world start, sustain, and scale their businesses for more than two decades. She is an award-winning business coach, speaker, and the author of Body of Work and Escape from Cubicle Nation.
“My experiences with Apple and Canva have taught me that an ecosystem is a beautiful thing. This book will help you build your ecosystem in a beautiful way. If you have a great product, you need Pam’s expertise to build your audience.”
—Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Canva, host of Remarkable People Podcast

“Pam Slim is every entrepreneur’s dream—a wise and compassionate advisor who will help you grow your enterprise while staying true to your values. The Widest Net is a powerful guide to finding new opportunities for your business and new possibilities in yourself.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human


12 October, 2021

Supply Chain Issues Disrupt and Delay Printing and Publication

We’re going through an unprecedented disruption. This article lays out the many factors that are causing book publication dates to slip, sometimes by months or even a whole season.
https://www.vox.com/culture/22687960/book-shortage-paper-ink-printing-labor-explained