Buzz

20 October, 2020

The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allan Poe and the City, by Scott Peeples with photographs by Michelle Van Parys

“Scott Peeples has plumbed the deep psychic landscape of Poe with passion and skill, bringing us back to his writing again and again with fresh insights. The Man of the Crowd is beautifully written and remarkably adroit. A major accomplishment.” — Jay Parini, author of Robert Frost and Empire of Self: A Life of Fore Vidal

How four American cities shaped Poe’s life and writings

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) changed residences about once a year throughout his life. Driven by a desire for literary success and the pressures of supporting his family, Poe sought work in American magazines, living in the cities that produced them. Scott Peeples chronicles Poe’s rootless life in the cities, neighborhoods, and rooms where he lived and worked, exploring how each new place left its enduring mark on the writer and his craft.

Poe wrote short stories, poems, journalism, and editorials with urban readers in mind. He witnessed urban slavery up close, living and working within a few blocks of slave jails and auction houses in Richmond and among enslaved workers in Baltimore. In Philadelphia, he saw an expanding city struggling to contain its own violent propensities. At a time when suburbs were just beginning to offer an alternative to crowded city dwellings, he tried living cheaply on the then-rural Upper West Side of Manhattan, and later in what is now the Bronx. Poe’s urban mysteries and claustrophobic tales of troubled minds and abused bodies reflect his experiences living among the soldiers, slaves, and immigrants of the American city.

Featuring evocative photographs by Michelle Van Parys, The Man of the Crowd challenges the popular conception of Poe as an isolated artist living in a world of his own imagination, detached from his physical surroundings. The Poe who emerges here is a man whose outlook and career were shaped by the cities where he lived, longing for a stable home.


15 October, 2020

CLOUDS – A Memoir, by Laura Sobiech

Originally published as Fly a Little Higher and now updated and revised to coincide with the film release of Clouds, Laura Sobiech tells the amazing, true story behind the song and the movie.

“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.” This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.

At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing goodbye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed lives, making him an international sensation.

This story is a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It shows how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the entertainment industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and schoolchildren across the globe. And above all, it’s an example of the amazing things that happen when someone shares the most precious thing he has—himself.

“I’m not a musician; I’m just a filmmaker, and my prayer is that you get an opportunity—both through the reading of this beautiful book and the watching of our film based on it—to experience what I will fail to put into words: the magic and inspiration of Zachary David Sobiech.”

—Justin Baldoni, filmmaker and director of Clouds


8 October, 2020

MAKE YOUR CASE: Finding Your Win in Civil Court, Tanya Acker

“Tanya Acker lays out a common sense approach to deciding when to go―or not to go―to court. Make Your Case is straightforward and an invaluable resource from someone with the legal insight to tell it like it is.”
―Judge Judy Sheindlin

Tanya Acker, co-star of the nationally syndicated and Emmy-nominated show Hot Bench, demystifies civil litigation―from common lawsuits to new cases emanating from Covid-19 and looting (tenant vs. landlord rent disputes, small business damage, and more)―and lays out an expert’s guide to legal proceedings inside the courtroom and out, giving readers professional insider information they need to find THEIR WIN in a lawsuit.

Millions of people end up in civil court each year. They assume going to court is the next logical step in their fight, but they often have little idea about how the court system works or what they can reasonably expect of it. They make poorly informed judgments about whether court is the best option for solving a problem, what kind of solutions it can provide, and why it proceeds in the (sometimes) counterintuitive way it does.

They think “winning” is only about the judgment or verdict rendered by judge or jury. Those “wins” are great―but if you don’t know what the process can exact from you or why it works as it does, that blind procession to victory can end up costing you your real win.

In Make Your Case, Tanya Acker cuts straight to the essentials, providing curated, targeted information based on her extensive experience regarding exactly what people want to know: what happens during court proceedings and why, and how to best prepare for it―or how to avoid court entirely and find a better way.

Be smart. Be ready. Make your case.

Tanya Acker received her B.A. at Howard University and graduated from Yale Law School in 1995. Straddling legal work in government and private practice, Acker has worked at the Office of the White House Counsel, the Civil Rights Division in the US Department of Justice, and also for some of the nation’s top tier private law firms. She served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals and has also maintained a commitment to pro bono work, receiving the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for championing the homeless. You can catch her every day on the Emmy-nominated CBS show Hot Bench. She lives with her husband and her dog, Max, in Los Angeles, California.


10 September, 2020

The Clouds movie trailer is finally here!!!

We couldn’t be more excited to share the trailer for CLOUDS, the movie based on on the memoir by LAURA SOBIECH. The gorgeous movie-tie-in edition will be out from Nelson Books on October 13th, and the movie hits Disney+ on October 16th!  This movie is sad, hopeful, inspiring, exciting, and full of love, just like the book, and just like the Sobiech family.

If you want to learn more about Laura, her amazing son Zach, and Zach’s movement to fight Osteosarcoma start here: Zach’s Movement Website

 


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).