AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Melissa Broder

June 11, 2018

 

So now that you’re interested…

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THE PISCES by Melissa Broder

“Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter 

Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.

Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

About the Author

Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections, including LAST SEXT (Tin House, 2016), and the essay collection SO SAD TODAY (Grand Central, 2016). Her first novel, THE PISCES, was published by Hogarth/Crown in May 2018.

Broder writes the So Sad Today column for VICE, the horoscopes for Lenny Letter, and the Beauty and Death column at Elle.com.

Poems appear in POETRY, The Iowa ReviewTin House, Guernica, FenceThe Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, et al. You can read the online ones HERE. She is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry.

Broder received her BA from Tufts University and her MFA from City College of New York. She lives in Los Angeles.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Louise Pentlandd

May 28, 2018

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for WILDE LIKE ME by Louise Pentland! A huge bestseller across the pond and now taking the U.S. by storm!

THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER!
Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk will love Wilde Like Me!

‘Warm and engaging’ Sophie Kinsella

 ‘Hilarious, moving and extremely well written’ Style Magazine

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“One of this year’s hottest beach reads” MTV.com

You’ll never forget the day you meet Robin Wilde…

Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make-up artist’s assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back.

But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel … grey. And lonely.  She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.

Take a peek…here is a short excerpt!

‘I resisted this for too long,’ I think as I step out of my black cab, bubbling with excitement. After a long call and an intense exchange of messages I’d finally agreed to meet him. He invited me to a rather exclusive bar at the top of the OXO Tower, one of London’s most iconic buildings on the River Thames with wrap-around views of the city from its terrace and, apparently, cocktails to die for. I was secretly pleased that the job I’d assisted Natalie, my boss, on today – make-up for a shoot in a trendy loft studio in Shoreditch – had finished early. With an entire afternoon to spare, I’d taken the time to pamper myself and really enjoy getting ready for this night.

Stepping onto the pavement and gliding down the pathway to the riverfront, I feel like a peacock parading its feathers. As I approach the red-brick old factory building, I catch my reflection in the gleaming windows. For the first time in a bloody long time, I feel beautiful. I’ve always thought that my 5′ 6″ frame, conker-brown hair and brown eyes were the dullest of all the potential ‘beauty stats’. They’re not exactly exotic or outstanding, are they? And they’re certainly not hailed as the epitome of perfection in the magazines, but today something feels special. My eyes seem softer and my hair bouncier, as I glimpse myself walking along with my head held high. I don’t think, ‘slummy mummy’ but, instead, ‘lovely woman, out on a special date’. Feeling this worthwhile makes me stand a little taller and, oh my God, am I sashaying my bum about?

Happily, my make-up looks sultry and glowing. I’ve gone all out on the contour and highlight, but managed to pull it back before I gave my face actual corners (I still don’t regret that luxury make-up binge last month), and I’m in love with my outfit. I’m wearing a knee-skimming black layered lace skirt that I picked up for pennies in a tuckedaway vintage shop. In between the light layers of lace and tulle are tiny stars embroidered with gold thread. You can barely see them until the street lights catch them, and then they look like the night sky swirling past. I’ve tucked a deep V wrap top into the satin waistband and paired it with black-patent heels passed down from my best friend’s sister, Piper, before she moved away. If I were deep-down ballsy enough to ask a stranger to take a full-length picture, I’d put it on Instagram with an #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day, for those not as obsessed with social media as I am) and pretend to be a blogger.

Taking a deep breath and reminding myself of everything I am, I pull open the grand glass door, walk confidently to the lift and push the ‘up’ button.

It’s going to be perfect.

 It’s going to be everything I want it to be.

SPEND YOUR EVENINGS WITH ROBIN WILDE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS YEAR’S HOTTEST DEBUT! Can’t wait to read more Robin Wilde? Pre-order the sequel,  Wilde About the Girl. It will be out August 9!

About the Author

  • Louise Pentland has 2.6 million YouTube followers, 2.3 million Twitter followers and 2.4 million Instagram followers
  • Hers is one of the fastest growing international social talent platforms.
  • Louise is the fresh voice contemporary women’s fiction has been waiting for. She is sharp, funny, a natural storyteller and
  • completely relatable

Award-winning lifestyle and beauty blogger, fashion designer and number one bestselling author Louise Pentland had long dreamed of publishing her first novel. Her dream came true in June 2017 when Wilde Like Me was published in hardback by Zaffre.

As well as a hugely popular YouTuber, Louise is a UN Global Ambassador for Gender Equality,  was shortlisted for 2016’s Glamour Woman of The Year and recently won InStyle ‘Best High-Street Fashion YouTuber’ and the Shorty Award for ‘Best YouTube Guru’.  In 2016, she released her second collection for fashion retailer SIMPLY BE (sizes 10-32) and her second LOUISE LIVE UK tour was a sell-out this summer. Her non-fiction book Life With A Sprinkle of Glitter hit the Sunday Times number one bestseller slot in summer 2015.

Join the conversation: #WILDELIKEME

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sprinkleofglitter

Twitter: @LouisePentland


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Paula McLain

May 7, 2018

Paula McLain (author of LOVE AND RUIN) | What I’m Reading

 

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The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It’s the adventure she’s been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.

Heralded by Ann Patchett as “the new star of historical fiction,” Paula McLain brings Gellhorn’s story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.

Advance praise for Love and Ruin

“Wonderfully evocative . . . [Paula] McLain’s fans will not be disappointed; this is historical fiction at its best, and today’s female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty’s ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain’s fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration.”—Booklist (starred review)

“If you loved McLain’s 2011 blockbuster The Paris Wife, you’re sure to adore her new novel, which is just as good, if not better.”—AARP

“Romance, infidelity, war—Paula McLain’s powerhouse novel has it all.”—Glamour


Meet the Author: Imbolo Mbue

April 22, 2018

BEHOLD THE DREAMERS

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A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

Oprah’s Book Club selection • New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The New York Times Book Review • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Refinery29 • Kirkus Reviews 

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Praise for Behold the Dreamers

“A debut novel by a young woman from Cameroon that illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse . . . Mbue is a bright and captivating storyteller.”The Washington Post

“A capacious, big-hearted novel.”The New York Times Book Review

“Behold the Dreamers’ heart . . . belongs to the struggles and small triumphs of the Jongas, which Mbue traces in clean, quick-moving paragraphs.”Entertainment Weekly

“Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating.”People (book of the week)

“[Mbue’s] book isn’t the first work of fiction to grapple with the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, but it’s surely one of the best. . . . It’s a novel that depicts a country both blessed and doomed, on top of the world, but always at risk of losing its balance. It is, in other words, quintessentially American.”—NPR

“This story is one that needs to be told.”Bust 

Behold the Dreamers challenges us all to consider what it takes to make us genuinely content, and how long is too long to live with our dreams deferred.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“[A] beautiful, empathetic novel.”The Boston Globe

“A witty, compassionate, swiftly paced novel that takes on race, immigration, family and the dangers of capitalist excess.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Mbue [is] a deft, often lyrical observer. . . . [Her] meticulous storytelling announces a writer in command of her gifts.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune


Tamora Pierce: How I Started Writing Female Heroes

March 13, 2018

Fantasy author Tamora Pierce on how she started writing female heroes


Author Spotlight: Chanel Cleeton

February 19, 2018

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: CHLOE BENJAMIN

February 10, 2018


Author Spotlight: Jeff Wilser

October 30, 2017

Researching Joe Biden for my book | Author Jeff Wilser (THE BOOK OF JOE)

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THE BOOK OF JOE: The Life, Wit, and (Sometimes Accidental) Wisdom of Joe Biden by Jeff Wilser

The ultimate guide to America’s favorite vice president, filled with all of the key moments, all of the lessons, and none of the malarkey.

The aviators. The Amtrak. The ice cream cones. The memes. Few politicians are as iconic, or as beloved, as Joe Biden. Now, in The Book of Joe, Biden fans will finally have the definitive look at America’s favorite vice president—and what he can teach us.

Structured around key moments in Biden’s life and career—and filled with Biden-isms like “That’s a bunch of malarkey” and “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid”—this blend of biography, advice, and humor will reveal the experiences that forged Joe Biden, and the lessons we can use in our own lives. Along the way, readers will also encounter fun sidebars on his love of muscle cars, his most endearing gaffes, his bromance with President Obama, and much more.

Yet beneath the memorable Biden-isms, the book will reveal an inspirational story of a man who keeps “getting back up.” We need this right now. Much as Biden has come back from both professional missteps and personal heartbreaks, sometimes we all have to get back up and fight. Given Biden’s reputation as a decent, plainspoken, patriotic statesman of integrity, this entertaining and practical book will be both a celebration of great political figure and an essential guide to creating the America he believes in so dearly.

 


Guest Blogger: Neil Plakcy returns!

October 25, 2017

I am so happy to welcome back author Neil Plakcy!

The Dark Web

Many years ago, at the dawn of the Internet, I picked up a book called Teach Yourself HTML in Seven Days, and I proceeded to do just that. Since then, I’ve been fascinated with internet programming – and hacking. The protagonist of my golden retriever mysteries is a somewhat reformed hacker, and it’s great fun for me to figure out how he can use those skills in his amateur sleuthing.

In my Angus Green thrillers, I’ve taken a different approach. Angus is a newly minted FBI Special Agent with a degree in accounting—a background common to many agents today, who need significant financial skills to track today’s sophisticated criminals. But Angus doesn’t have much experience with the dark side of the Internet, so I’m able to use his actions to teach my readers a bit about online villains.

An analogy that’s often used compares the Internet to an iceberg. Only about ten percent of all networked material is accessible through search engines and web crawlers. Techies call that the surface web.

Material like your bank account information, your email folders, corporate intranets and so on—anything that you need a password to access – is called the deep web. These don’t show up in a search engine, and you wouldn’t want them to. But there’s another part of that submerged iceberg, called the dark web. And that’s where criminals lurk, selling your information, trafficking in drugs, sharing pornographic videos.

When you make any request online – to visit a website or send an email– the internet uses a series of routers to complete your request. ISPs or government agencies can track the stops you make along the way, tracing you back to the unique web address assigned to the computer you’re using. But if you want to cover your tracks and dive into the dark web, all you need is an internet connection and a piece of software called the Tor Hidden Service Protocol.

Using Tor, your surfing requests stay within the network so you maintain anonymity. You don’t know where the server is you’re accessing, and they don’t know where you are. It’s perfect for political activists in repressive regimes, and for people who want to share and/or sell illegal materials – like drugs or kiddie porn.

The dark web is getting more visible these days, as investigators break into sites like Silk Road, an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs. Recently a France-based administrator of the site made the mistake of coming to the United States to participate in a beard-growing contest, and he was promptly arrested.

Angus is gradually building his arsenal of online skills. He’ll never be a true techie—the FBI has plenty of those. But I see him as an eager young Special Agent determined to bring a measure of justice to the world, and willing to learn everything he needs to know to carry out that mission.

You can enter to win this book and many others, all signed by the author!

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NOBODY RIDES FOR FREE by Neil S. Plakcy

The sharp and suspenseful new sequel to The Next One Will Kill You, perfect for fans of Joseph Hansen, Richard Stevenson, Randy Wayne White, and James W. Hall.

With less than a year of experience and only one big case behind him, FBI Special Agent Angus Green has joined the rarefied group of agents who have been wounded in the line of duty. Assigned to a desk job while he recovers, Angus wonders if he’s chosen the right career. He’s been following his late father’s dream for a life of adventure and travel―and instead encountered danger, pain, and heartbreak.

But when Angus discovers that gay teens are being sexually abused by a pornographer in the same neighborhood where he lives, he shoves aside his lingering doubts about his job and accepts his new assignment. The case takes him from Fort Lauderdale’s seamy underbelly to boisterous beachfront bars where big-fish Russian émigrés launder illegal cash. Angus is back in full effect, but with great power comes great responsibility, and he’ll soon find his stake in saving these trafficked teens is more personal than he could have anticipated. Every case leaves a lasting scar―some are just more difficult to see. In the end, Angus will learn the truth of a saying he learned as a boy―there is a price to pay for every decision we make. Nobody rides for free.


Denis Leary | What I’m Reading

October 24, 2017

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Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches by Dr. Denis Leary

From the author of the bestselling Why We Suck comes a searing comic look at these divisive times, skewering liberals and conservatives alike with a signature dose of sarcasm and common sense.

In an America so gluten-free that a box of jelly donuts is now a bigger threat than Vladimir Putin, where college kids are more afraid of Ann Coulter than HIV, it’s time for someone to stand up and make us all smell the covfefe.

Dr. Denis Leary is that guy.

With Why We DON’T Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches, Denis is on a devoted mission to #MakeAmericaLaughAgain. Using the clamorous political atmosphere as a starting point, he takes a bipartisan look at the topics we all hold so dear to our patriotic hearts—including family, freedom, and the seemingly endless search for fame and diet vodka.

Denis will answer important questions like: When will Hillary blame herself? Why does Beyoncé think he’s Bryan Adams? And why doesn’t he follow the millennial lead and post pictures of his food on social media? (Spoiler alert: He’s too busy actually eating it.)

Not that Denis has anything against millennials: “When it comes to science, math, and technological advances, this generation has done more in three and a half decades than any other age group in history. What did my generation do? Cocaine and quaaludes mostly. With a side order of really stupid haircuts.”

Dr. Leary is here to remind us of what truly makes America great, even though we’re #7 on the most recent list of Best Countries to Live In. Which may sound bad but means we still make the playoffs.

Why We Don’t Suck by Dr. Denis Leary. Crown Archetype (October 24, 2017). ISBN 978-1524762735. 320 p.