Buzz

16 April, 2018

Pudelek

Rachel Pudelek is a dog-hugger and tree-lover. Growing up with three sisters sparked her passion for both women’s history and women’s advocacy, which led to her career as a birth doula and childbirth educator. These days she channels those passions into researching and writing fiction. The idea for her debut novel, FREYJA’S DAUGHTER, book #1 in the Wild Women series to be published by City Owl Press, came about while researching ancient goddess-worshiping cultures. Rachel noticed how mythology about goddesses and folkloric female shifted from a place of strength and power to a place of subservience and wickedness as women became more oppressed due to political/and or religious changes.

She discovered Norse tales about the huldra, women who were said to have bark patches on their backs and live amongst the trees as powerful protectors of the forest. The folklore surrounding the huldra had changed over the years turning them into evil forest women who seduced men and could only be saved by marrying a man. Rachel saw an opportunity to create a similar story about folkloric women who used to be wild and free and powerful, who were told lies about their very existence, that their wildness must be contained due to its evil and uncontrollable nature. Until one huldra stumbles upon the truth when her own containment cracks open and her wildness flows freely.

When she’s not writing, Rachel enjoys hiking, attempting to grow her own food, or reading. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, a cat, and two well-fed guinea pigs. FREYJA’S DAUGHTER, the first book in the WILD WOMEN series, is her debut novel publishing from City Owls Press.

Learn more about Rachel and her Wild Women series at her website.

 You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


12 April, 2018

Orr

Elaine Neil Orr is a writer of fiction, memoir, and literary criticism. With stories set in Nigeria and the American South, she delves into themes of home, country, and spiritual longing. Swimming Between Worlds (Berkley/April 2018) is described by Charles Frazier as, “a perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace.” Anna Jean Mayhew writes, “the riveting plot and real-life characters would not let me go.” In a starred review, Library Journal said of Orr’s first novel, A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa (Berkley/2013), “this extraordinary novel shines with light and depth.”

Her memoir, Gods of Noonday (University of Virginia, 2003), was a Top-20 Book Sense selection and a nominee for the Old North State Award. She is associate editor of a collection of essays on international childhoods, Writing Out of Limbo, and the author of two scholarly books.

In 2016, she was Kathryn Stripling Byer Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.

Orr has published extensively in literary magazines including The Missouri Review, Blackbird,
Shenandoah, and Image Journal, and her short stories and short memoirs have won several Pushcart Prize nominations and competition prizes. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Orr was born in Nigeria to medical missionary parents and spent her growing-up years in the savannahs and rain forests of that country. Her family remained in Nigeria during its civil war. She left West Africa at age sixteen and attended college in Kentucky. She studied creative writing and literature at the University of Louisville before taking her Ph.D. in Literature and Theology at Emory University. She is an award-winning Professor of English at North Carolina State University and serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University. She reads and lectures widely at universities and conferences from Atlanta to Austin to San Francisco to Vancouver to New York to Washington D.C., and in Nigeria.

For more, go to www.elaineneilorr.com, facebook.com/ElaineNeilOrr/, and follow her on Twitter@ElaineNeilOrr


5 April, 2018

Quail Ridge Bookstore launches SWIMMING BETWEEN WORLDS, by Elaine Neil Orr

Over a hundred people attended the book launch for Elaine Orr’s powerful novel about the civil rights era in the 1960s.  For Orr, a professor at North Carolina State University, Quail Ridge Bookstore was the perfect place for a send-off of this long-awaited work of fiction. Here are some images that capture this dynamic event.

 


5 April, 2018

The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life, Thomas Armstrong

Award-winning educator Thomas Armstrong presents a nuanced, cross-cultural view of life’s journey–the human odyssey–from before birth to death.  For each of twelve stages, he explores myths and challenges.  Originally published in 2008, this important work will find new life with a new publisher. (Xia Press/Dover Publications, Spring 2019, World English)


3 April, 2018

Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted

by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

“Brown’s latest is brimming with passion and suspense as Emmie and Max fight their demons of emotional abuse and anger management and become closer romantically. Reminiscent of Katie McGarry’s Say You’ll Remember Me (2018), the book reveals Emmie’s emotional abuse from Nick that she has to overcome as she tries to open her heart to Max. With a gripping plot from the beginning, Brown’s enticing novel reads from both Max’s and Emmie’s perspectives as they both slowly reveal their pasts.” — Booklist 

Anne Greenwood Brown is an attorney by day and young adult novelist by night. Her works include the Lies Beneath trilogy and Girl Last Seen, which she coauthored with Heather Anastasiu. Anne lives in Minnesota.


29 March, 2018

The Gospel of Mary, Philip Freeman

A young Irish nun finds herself the guardian of a mysterious manuscript claiming to be the lost gospel of Mary, when she realizes that church authorities are willing to kill to get their hands on it . . .

An old and dying nun has turned up at Deirdre’s monastery in Ireland with an ancient manuscript on a papyrus roll. When Deirdre reads the first line, she realizes it claims to be a previously unknown gospel written by Mary, the mother of Jesus. The church authorities in Rome have been seeking to destroy this gospel for centuries, claiming it is a forgery that threatens the very foundations of the faith.

Deirdre begins to translate the gospel, but when a delegate of the pope arrives in Kildare searching for the text, she must set out across Ireland seeking safety as the church and its henchmen are hot on her trail. What does the gospel say? And why is the church so afraid of it?

This is the third mystery set in Celtic times, in the early days of Christianity, featuring Sister Deirdre, by Philip Freeman. The first is St. Brigid’s Bones followed by Sacrifice. All three titles are from Pegasus.

[The Gospel of Mary] moves at a crackling pace and is surprisingly packed with excitement, emotion, and colorful characters. This is as much a mother’s―and woman’s―story as it is a historical and religious adventure. Freeman does a very impressive job considering he is neither.”
Criminal Element

“This is a generous-spirited, gracefully written book. Sure it is a page-turning mystery story, but it is also a warm hearted look at what people need from religion. It is also a compelling, critical look at the structures and hierarchies that surround religion.”
Irish American News

“Freeman creates another atmospherically absorbing mystery fortified by biblical and historical fact. By unraveling the plot of the translated text alongside Sister Deirdre’s mission, this briskly paced narrative becomes even more dark and dangerous.”
Shelf Awareness

“Freeman’s command of life in the ancient world is impressive, and he has an admirably efficient way with a plot. An absorbing story.”
Historical Novels Review

“A strong atmosphere, absorbing, well-drawn characters, and a compelling plot. ”
Library Journal [Praise for the Sister Deirdre Mystery Series]

“This is a goodly yarn, complete with its fascinating and colorful historical and cultural context, not to mention its dangers and horrors. ”
The Providence Journal [Praise for the Sister Deirdre Mystery Series]

Philip Freeman is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Philology and Celtic Languages and Literature. His books have been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.


27 March, 2018

Bartkowski

Frances Bartkowski has published three books of literary criticism–Feminist Utopias,  Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates; and Kissing Cousins,  as well as essays and poetry.  An Afterlife (Apprentice House Press, Loyola University/October 2018) is her first novel.  Dr. Bartkowski teaches literature and culture at Rutgers University-Newark,  has participated in seminars at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in recent years, and has been a visiting writer at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
She is thrilled to be publishing her debut novel at 70!  She looks forward to sharing this novel with many readers in the coming year.  An Afterlife emerges from autobiographical material but is completely fiction. However, it is set in Landsberg, Germany, where she was born, and Passaic, New Jersey, the town where she grew up.

 


21 March, 2018

How to Grow Old, Cicero, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Translated by Philip Freeman

Worried that old age will inevitably mean losing your libido, your health, and possibly your marbles too? Well, Cicero has some good news for you. In How to Grow Old (Princeton University Press), the great Roman orator and statesman eloquently describes how you can make the second half of life the best part of all―and why you might discover that reading and gardening are actually far more pleasurable than sex ever was.

Filled with timeless wisdom and practical guidance, Cicero’s brief, charming classic―written in 44 BC and originally titled On Old Age―has delighted and inspired readers, from Saint Augustine to Thomas Jefferson, for more than two thousand years. Presented here in a lively new translation with an informative new introduction and the original Latin on facing pages, the book directly addresses the greatest fears of growing older and persuasively argues why these worries are greatly exaggerated―or altogether mistaken.

Montaigne said Cicero’s book “gives one an appetite for growing old.” The American founding father John Adams read it repeatedly in his later years. And today its lessons are more relevant than ever in a world obsessed with the futile pursuit of youth.

Philip Freeman is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Philology and Celtic Languages and Literature. His books have been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.


21 March, 2018

BERING SEA STRONG, Laura Hartema

Full of unusual characters, mischief, camaraderie, and testosterone-fueled man gossip.

“Laura Hartema is a woman made of steel navigating the rough waters of life on and off the Bering Sea. Good read.” ―Edgar Hansen from the Discovery channel documentary series, Deadliest Catch, co-captain, chief engineer, F/V Northwestern

Bering Sea Strong (Skyhorse, March 2018) is a tale of adventure and self-discovery. The story portrays a young woman on a solo journey, pushed to the edge of the earth and further from the weight of family―marked by divorce, death, disability, and depression―and a life she desires on land.

Locked at sea for ninety days as the lone female trying to tuck in tight alongside twenty-five rough-and-tumble commercial fishermen in Alaska, Laura Hartema offers a rare glimpse into the intertwining worlds of a fisheries observer and the crew she works beside. She graphically illustrates the challenges of daily life and relationships in a way few have seen before. Her story provides an unprecedented portrait of the bizarre and entertaining human dynamics aboard an at-sea catcher-processor vessel, where men battle dangerous working conditions, loneliness, and boredom while rivaling for the attention of the only woman.

Between trough and crest, Laura ponders the trauma and tragedies of her Midwest childhood as her capabilities and resilience are regularly tested. She is often left deciding when to “blow it off” and when to “blow a gasket.” In the end, the tumultuous Bering Sea is where she finds the strength to overcome the wounds of her past, embrace life’s uncertainty, and steam ahead into the unchartered waters of her future. Bering Sea Strong demonstrates one woman’s determination to overcome obstacles in pursuit of a satisfying career and a better life.

“Lock a beautiful, young woman up with a couple dozen of the most testosterone-burdened men on the planet for a few months and what could possibly go wrong? Apparently quite a lot. Over the years I’ve worked with a few female fishery observers, and I’ve often wondered what went through their heads; now I know. This book should be required reading for any woman thinking about shipping out to sea or living and working among a group of men.” ―Jonathan Allen, captain of F/Vs Arctic V, Glacier Enterprise, Lilli Ann, and Blue North, author of The Big Bucks Guide to Commercial Fishing in Alaska

Laura Hartema was born and raised in Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. The challenging work and adventures depicted in Bering Sea Strong led to Hartema’s present career as an ecologist focusing on stream and wetland restoration. Her passion for her work and love for nature spills into her community, where she leads volunteers in stream enhancement efforts. She encourages others to seek inspiration, beauty, and humor in her blog, Love This Day (www.LauraHartema.com). Hartema resides in the Seattle area and spends much of her time outdoors embracing Puget Sound and the Cascade and Olympic mountains.


8 March, 2018

END PEER CRUELTY, BUILD EMPATHY, Michele Borba, Ed.D.

A leading educator presents a proven plan to bully prevention that creates inclusive, safe and caring schools.

Based on a practical, six-part framework for reducing peer cruelty and increasing positive behavior support, End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy (Free Spirit, February 2018) utilizes the strongest pieces of best practices and current research for ways to stop bullying. The book includes guidelines for implementing strategies, collecting data, training staff, mobilizing students and parents, building social-emotional skills, and sustaining progress, and presents the “6Rs” of bullying prevention: Rules, Recognize, Report, Respond, Refuse, and Replace. This is not a program, but a comprehensive process for reducing bullying from the inside out, involving the entire school community. Bullying-prevention and character education expert Michele Borba, who’s worked with over 1 million parents and educators worldwide, offers realistic, research-based strategies and advice. Use the book on its own or to supplement an existing program. Digital content includes customizable forms from the book and a PDF presentation for use in professional development.

“Every book that Michele Borba writes, I’m reading it.”—Halle Berry, Academy Award–winning actress
“Michele Borba presents key evidence-based practices that have been shown to reduce the impact of bullying, giving educators practical and tested strategies that will assist their schools or districts to strengthen an existing program or build a new one.”—School Administrator magazine

“An important addition to any educator’s toolbox for breaking the cycle of bullying violence and creating a more deeply caring school environment.”—Barbara Coloroso, educator and author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander

“Dr. Borba compiles and succinctly summarizes the weight of available evidence about what works to prevent bullying at school. Building safe and bully-free schools is not easy and there are no shortcuts. It takes coordination and collaboration by all concerned community stakeholders. This book offers a potent and pragmatic roadmap to help schools achieve that goal.”—Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D., codirector, Cyberbullying Research Center