#FitReaders Weekly Check-in

FitReaders2015

  • Sat:     5,788
  • Sun:  13,893
  • Mon:   7,107
  • Tue:     5,121
  • Wed:  16,157
  • Thu:  10,555
  • Fri:      6,685

Fitbit steps were inconsistent but I had a few good days that helped the average. It’s cold here in the upper midwest and we have about a foot of snow on the ground so no outdoor walking for me. Sending good thoughts to people in Boston and the rest of New England as they get another snow storm this weekend.

Read on the treadmill:

Never Too Late (Mar31)  Inside the O'Briens (Apr7)

How was your week?

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Novel by William Klaber

  • the rebellion of miss lucy ann lobell (Feb17)Title:  The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell: A Novel
  • Author:  William Klaber
  • Genre:  Historical Fiction
  • Published:  February 2014 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

From the synopsis:  The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is the fictionalized account of Lucy’s foray into the world of men and her inward journey to a new sexual identity. It is her promised memoir as heard and recorded a century later by William Klaber, an upstream neighbor. Meticulously researched and told with compassion and respect, this is historical fiction at its best.  (publisher)

My take:  Lucy’s husband left her seven months before their daughter was born. That was a good thing. For the next three years she lived with her parents and siblings. She had a couple of jobs that paid a fraction of what a man would be paid for the same work. That fact, coupled with her mother wanting her to marry a repugnant man with three children of his own, was the impetus behind Lucy’s decision to transform herself and leave her parents’ home in 1855 to find work. In doing so she had to leave her daughter with her parents. She wanted to make a new life for her daughter and could see no other way except to leave her behind. Thus began a courageous journey that took Lucy from New York state all the way to Minnesota and back.

Skip ahead to the 20th century when author William Klaber and his wife moved to the area of  Lucy’s early life. A local historian filled him in on Lucy and said he’d hoped to find her rumored memoir and then write her story. Instead he only had newspaper clippings and letters that he wanted to hand off to Klaber because he no longer felt up to writing the book. Klaber had some of the factual bones to Lucy’s story but there were wide sections of time, with no details to be found, that needed to be told. That’s when he decided to tell her story as a fictionalized memoir with imagined chapters to fill the gaps.

I found The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell to be a compelling look at what it was like to be a woman of the 1800s who didn’t fit normal standards and expectations. No spoilers here but I will say Klaber’s novel is heartbreaking yet inspiring and one I won’t soon forget.

I think book groups would find many aspects of the story worthy of discussion not the least being what it was like to be a woman in 19th century America. I appreciated the epilogue (The Apparent Widow) and the Afterward that explain the factual and fictional aspects of Lucy’s life as related by Klaber.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

An Appetite for Violets

 

Synopsis:

“That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you’re invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. Then you find something, something you should not have found.”

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets, and lies. Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, she documents her adventures and culinary discoveries in an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel. Biddy grows intrigued by her fellow travelers, but her secretive and unconventional mistress is the most intriguing of all. At last in Italy, Biddy becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, knowing the secrets she holds could be a key to a better life, or her downfall.

Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes and set at the time of the invention of the first restaurants, An Appetite for Violets is a literary feast for lovers of historical fiction. Like Jo Baker’s Longbourn, it opens a window into the fascinating lives of servants, while also delivering a suspenseful tale of obsession and betrayal.  (publisher)


 

Martine-for-Nurnberg-Site[1]About the author:

An amateur cook, MARTINE BAILEY won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Her recipes have appeared in many publications including Good HousekeepingOlive Magazineand Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes. Martine lives in Cheshire, England. This is her first novel.


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An Appetite for Violets

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

first time in forever (Puffin Island #1)  the time between by Karen White  the house on olive street  the coincidence of coconut cake (July21)

Last week on Bookfan:

Nightingale  Hero (Feb3)

Currently reading:

Never Too Late (Mar31)


As usual my blogiversary got past me. Bookfan turned 7 last Wednesday. I’d like to thank everyone who visits and leaves comments. It’s so much fun to be able to discuss books with so many great readers! A big thanks to authors, publicists and publishers who’ve introduced me to so many wonderful books.

#FitReaders Weekly Check-in

  • FitReaders2015Sat:   17,048
  • Sun:  10,770
  • Mon: 12,073
  • Tue:   10,468
  • Wed:  12,043
  • Thu:     9,437
  • Fri:     10,476

Last Saturday was a big day for steps because I was in TWO Fitbit challenges – one with bloggers and another with my relatives. Don’t think I can do that very often but it was fun :)  How was your week?

Read on the treadmill:

new uses for old boyfriends (Feb26)

Hero by Samantha Young

  • Hero (Feb3)Title:  Hero
  • Author:  Samantha Young
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  February 2015 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Alexa Holland’s father was her hero until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again….  (publisher)

My take:  Hero by Samantha Young (the first book of hers I’ve read) is the story of Alexa and Caine – two very wounded people who’ve survived on sheer determination.

Caine is motivated to be successful in spite of his history. Alexa wants to live her own life and hopefully one day apologize to the person whose life was changed forever because of her father. I really liked these two characters. Young’s story was as I would expect for the two made even more enjoyable by their constant push and pull at work and outside of the office. Everything went up a notch about 75% in the novel and moved the plot forward in a way I wondered what the heck would happen next.

The epilogue had me smiling as I turned the final page. Hero is a steamy and addictive read and I look forward to exploring Young’s backlist the next time I need to escape into a good contemporary romance.

Spotlight/Giveaway(US): The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Nightingale

Description

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France… but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can… completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war.  The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.  (publisher)


Hannah, Kristin_Credit Charles BushAbout the author:

KRISTIN HANNAH is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels. A former lawyer turned writer, she is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
Photo credit: Charles Bush

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Nightingale

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

new uses for old boyfriends (Feb26)  the rebellion of miss lucy ann lobell (Feb17)  Never Too Late (Mar31)

Last week on Bookfan:

the marriage charm (Jan27)   Girl Before a Mirror (Jan27)Vine   candle's christmas chair

Currently reading:

the rebellion of miss lucy ann lobell (Feb17)

#FitWalkers Weekly Check-in and a review: Candle’s Christmas Chair by Jude Knight

  • FitReaders2015Sat:   10,657
  • Sun:   6,463
  • Mon: 10,494
  • Tue:    11,935
  • Wed:   12,725
  • Thu:    12,576
  • Fri:      10,097

Another week of indoor walking. I try not to wish time away but Spring can’t arrive soon enough. Hoping all my New England friends are well and have dug out from the blizzard. You’ve been in my thoughts.

Read on the treadmill:

candle's christmas chair  Little Beach Street Bakery (3:31:15)


 

  • candle's christmas chairTitle:  Candle’s Christmas Chair
  • Author:  Jude Knight
  • Genre:  Historical Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  December 2014 – Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Source:  Author

Synopsis:  When Viscount Avery comes to see an invalid chair maker, he does not expect to find Min Bradshaw, the woman who rejected him 3 years earlier. Or did she? He wonders if there is more to the story. For 3 years, Min Bradshaw has remembered the handsome guardsman who courted her for her fortune. She didn’t expect to see him in her workshop, and she certainly doesn’t intend to let him fool her again.  (author)

My take:  When author Jude Knight let me know her novella was free on Amazon I checked it out and promptly downloaded it to my Kindle. I enjoy historical romances and love when there’s a Christmas theme.

Candle is a nickname for Viscount Randall Avery. He’s quite tall and has red hair, hence the nickname. He met Minerva at a house party three years ago and couldn’t forget her even though it seemed she wanted nothing more to do with him. Min had been told, by an unreliable source it turns out, he only wanted her for her money. She quickly left the party without saying goodbye. What a shock for both when they met again in Min’s workshop. Candle was there to order a wheelchair for his mother.

Min was determined not to get involved with Candle. The differences were too much to overcome – he a peer and she a shopkeeper’s daughter. Candle took that as a challenge and set to work at winning Min’s heart and trust. This part was so charming that I don’t want to spoil it for other readers except to say I learned quite a bit about the language of flowers. I also found the wheelchair aspect of the novella quite interesting.

Knight included a bit of drama that I was happy didn’t go down a predictable road. I enjoyed this novella and recommend it to fans of the author and historical romance.

Note:  Check Jude Knight’s website for buy links for various retailers and to read about her other books.


 

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

  • Girl Before a Mirror (Jan27)VineTitle:  Girl Before a Mirror
  • Author:  Liza Palmer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  January 27, 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book–Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero–that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign–and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life–she’ll win the account. 

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control. 

To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be–she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.  (publisher)

My take:  I so enjoyed this novel about a woman’s journey to accepting herself for who she really is – not the person she thought she should strive to be in order to be accepted by others (her parents, professors, boss, etc.). Liza Palmer’s story is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and ultimately uplifting. I think many women will relate to some aspect of Anna’s personal life or career issues. I found her likable and sympathized with her struggles.

I love the way Palmer tells a story and she didn’t disappoint with Girl Before a Mirror. I liked it all. From Anna’s cheerful colleague, Sasha, to Lincoln, the dashing hero, to Helen, the encouraging and inspiring mentor – they all combined to help Anna figure things out. It’s an entertaining novel that I’ll recommend to friends.

Spotlight Tour: Ignite Your Book Website – Get Amazing Deals on eBook Bestsellers!

Ignite Your Book is THE place for readers and authors to get amazing deals on fantastic eBooks!

 

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Ignite Your Book for readers showcases great deals on today’s top eBooks. View all the books on our site and sign up for a free newsletter to ensure you get notified as soon as the top books are discounted or made available for free.

 

These discounts are available for a limited time so we make sure you never miss a great deal! Plus, all our newsletters subscribers are automatically entered into regular drawings for Amazon gift cards!

 

 

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Ignite Your Book for authors is an easy to use platform that ensures your book gets noticed by avid readers and eBook fans. And while many eBook promotions sites have have raised their rates we’ve stayed very affordable. With both free and paid feature options there’s guaranteed to be something for every title. Plus there’s no limit on the number of titles you can submit and because we have such a big database, our quotas aren’t as strict as the other guys. We even give you free author tools to help you on your book promotion journey!

 

So whether you’re a reader, or an author, you can’t afford not to check out Ignite Your Book and sign up!

 

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For a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, write a post like this one about Ignite Your Book to help us spread the word, and then enter the link to your post’s URL in the giveaway.

 

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The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller

  • the marriage charm (Jan27)Title:  The Marriage Charm
  • Series:  The Brides of Bliss County #2
  • Author:  Linda Lael Miller
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pub. Date:  Jan. 27, 2015 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  The women of Bliss County have a pact—to find husbands. The right husbands. 

One already has: Hadleigh Stevens, who married rancher Tripp Galloway a few months ago. Now Melody Nolan thinks it’s her turn. Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She’s not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She’s always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she’s convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn’t what you’d call husband material. 

Spence is a good cop who isn’t scared of anything—except love. And he’s done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there’s something about Melody he can’t forget. Something his heart can’t ignore.  (publisher)

My take: It’s been a while since I’ve read one of Linda Lael Miller’s books. The Marriage Charm reminded me why I enjoy her romances.  The characters are regular people and they deal with fairly normal life situations.

You can tell Miller knows her setting – the descriptions of small towns and rural mountain areas made me feel like I was right there. There’s a bit of mystery and drama in the crime Spence is trying to solve that involves many of the town’s citizens.

It all added up to an enjoyable way to spend a few hours reading. I’ll probably go back and read the first book (The Marriage Pact) in the series and look forward to reading the next.


Praise for Linda Lael Miller

“Linda Lael Miller creates vibrant characters and stories I defy you to forget.”
—#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

“Miller’s name is synonymous with the finest in western romance.”
—RT Book Reviews

“Miller’s masterful ability to create living, breathing characters never flags….[The] romance won’t disappoint.”

THE MARRIAGE CHARM LINDA LAEL MILLER February 2015
$7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN. ISBN-13: 978-0373778928


Miller_Linda Lael_09

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, the self-confessed barn goddess now lives in Spokane, Washington. Linda hit a career high in 2011 when all three of her Creed Cowboys books—A Creed in Stone Creek, Creed’s Honor and The Creed Legacy—debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Linda has come a long way since leaving Washington to experience the world. “But growing up in that time and place has served me well,” she allows. “And I’m happy to be back home.” Dedicated to helping others, Linda personally finances her “Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women,” which she awards to those seeking to improve their lot in life through education.

More information about Linda and her novels is available at http://www.lindalaelmiller.com. She also loves to hear from readers by mail at P.O. Box 19461, Spokane, WA 99219.

Sunday Post

Book arrivals (linked to Mailbox Monday)

Spring Shadows #3  the sweetness of forgetting  candle's christmas chair

Last week on Bookfan:

PlusOneCvr1_Final  migratory animals  unfaded glory (Oct28)  The Gift

Currently reading:

Little Beach Street Bakery (3:31:15)  candle's christmas chair

#FitReaders Weekly Update and a review: The Gift by Margaret Mallory

FitReaders2015Fitbit steps:

  • Sat:   10,814
  • Sun:   7,967
  • Mon: 11,816
  • Tue:   9,820
  • Wed:  11,375
  • Thu:   6,838
  • Fri:    11,437

I was able to get a couple of walks outside last weekend. We had temps near 40°F – balmy :)


Read while on the treadmill:

The Wednesday Group (March3)   Hero (Feb3)


 

  • The GiftTitle:  The Gift: A Highland Novella
  • Author:  Margaret Mallory
  • Genre:  Historical Romance
  • Published:  December 2014 – Margaret Mallory
  • Source:  Author Newsletter win

My take:  Lily is a healer who flees London when the burning of witches is becoming commonplace. She trusts no one but herself and fears she’ll be mistaken for a witch so she disguises herself and heads north.

Roderick has been sent on an errand for his chieftain. On his way home he discovers a boy on the side of the road, almost frozen and near death. He then discovers the boy is a woman, Lily, and takes her with him to his home. Could it be she’s the one with “the gift” his grandmother predicted he’d find? And will he be able to convince Lily to stay?

I thoroughly enjoyed Margaret Mallory’s Highland novella. Her descriptions and well-paced plot made the characters and setting come to life and kept me turning the pages. This is a stand alone story but, as noted by the author at the end, has appearances of characters from past novels. Recommended.

Unfaded Glory by Sara Arden

  • unfaded glory (Oct28)Title:  Unfaded Glory
  • Series:  Home to Glory #2
  • Author:  Sara Arden
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  January 27, 2015 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  In Glory, Kansas, a fairy-tale wedding has local tongues wagging. But through this false engagement, can a wounded warrior and the woman he’s protecting find true love? 

Byron Hawkins doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone ever again. The former Black Ops soldier is better at taking lives than saving them. But on a mission in Tunisia to deliver a package to safety, Byron is dismayed to find that the precious cargo is actually a hostage rescue, and that his orders are to take Damara Petrakis back to U.S. soil and hide her in plain sight—as his newlywed wife. 

Back in Byron’s hometown of Glory, Kansas, petite, fierce Damara keeps surprising him; she may be royalty, but she’s fully trained in martial arts and will sacrifice anything for her country. As the town rallies around the returning hero and his bride-to-be, he’s finding that it’s way too easy to play the part, and after the hell he has seen, that terrifies him. Byron didn’t want another life to save, but the passionate beauty he’s sworn to protect might just turn the tables and save him instead.  (publisher)

My brief take:  Unfaded Glory started off at breakneck speed and kept up the pace for much of the book. The synopsis tells you what you need to know.

I thought Sara Arden did a terrific job with conveying Byron’s internal struggle to go on living when the rest of his special forces team didn’t. Little did he know that Damara would be able to make him want to live – and by doing so, he would save her.

Unfaded Glory is a story about love, trust and courage. Recommended to fans of the series and Sara Arden.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: Migratory Animals by Mary Helen Specht

migratory animals

When Flannery, a young scientist, is forced to return to Austin after five years of research in Nigeria, she becomes torn between her two homes. Having left behind her loving fiancé without knowing when she will return, Flannery learns that her sister, Molly, has begun to show signs of the genetic disease that slowly killed their mother.

As their close-knit circle of friends struggles with Molly’s diagnosis, Flannery must grapple with what her future will hold: love and the pursuit of scientific discovery in West Africa, or the pull of a life surrounded by old friends, the comfort of an old flame, family obligations, and the home she’s always known. But she is not the only one wrestling with uncertainty. Since their college days, all of her friends have faced unexpected challenges that make them reevaluate the lives they’d always planned for themselves.

A mesmerizing debut from an exciting young writer, Migratory Animals is a moving, thought-provoking novel, told from shifting viewpoints, about the meaning of home and what we owe each other—and ourselves. (publisher)


About the author:

Mary Helen Specht‘s work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Mary Helen Specht ap1York Times and Bookslut.  A winner of the Richard Yates Short Story Award, among other prizes, she is a former Fulbright scholar to Nigeria and Dobie Paisano writing fellow.  She earned a MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and now teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.


Praise for Mary Helen Specht and MIGRATORY ANIMALS

“A finely wrought first novel. . . . Specht weaves fascinating details on snowflakes, weaving, birding, genetics and engineering, plus a spot-on-portrait of Austin.”
— Kirkus

“Specht’s vivid debut probes the nature of family, the notion of home, and the tender burdens of both. . . . Specht’s distinctive prose — rich with sharp observations, nimble language, and lyrical imagery — makes the novel a quirky and memorable read.”
— Publishers Weekly 

“An ambitious, highly accomplished debut novel. . . . Specht moves among a deep cast of characters and corresponding perspectives with absolute mastery. This is the best kind of novel, one that’s filled with knowledge–about America, Africa, climate change, weaving, and snow, just to name a few of the core concerns of this fine book. But most important, and impressive, is Specht’s sure handling of the interior life, and the ways in which we help to make or break those around us.”
— Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“A novel of tremendous scope and insight that succeeds both as an exploration of larger global concerns and an acute examination of the most intimate parts of our lives. Mary Helen Specht is a terrific writer — passionate and generous, wry and insightful — and Migratory Animals is a wonderful and very moving debut.”
— Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

“Mary Helen Specht’s lyrical novel reminds me of the work of both Claire Messud and Barbara Kingsolver. Migratory Animals is a luminous debut about a group of young friends finding their place in the world. Rich with love and heartbreak, it’s the book I’ll be wanting to share with all my friends.”
— Amanda Eyre Ward, author of How To Be Lost

“This emotionally nuanced debut shimmers with all the intricate, singular beauty of the snow crystals that beguile Flannery, one of the novel’s many unforgettable characters. The men and women of Mary Helen Specht’s imagination inhabit a world of breathtaking vividness, where life’s pains and pleasures ripple through to marvelous effect. A heartbreaking, edifying, and resonant work of art.”
— Keija Parssinen, author of The Ruins of Us

“In prose as quirky and elegant as its characters, Specht proves that — after confusion, missteps, even denial — a village can embrace you. Each of these characters set on saving the world in his or her fine-tuned way is forced to face the bad news life inevitably delivers. One by one, they lower their sights and love each other fiercely, protectively, making a community more beautiful than the one they first envisioned because it’s real. This big, dreamy novel flies by as swift as time.”
— Debra Monroe, author of On the Outskirts of Normal

“A beautifully precise group portrait in which Mary Helen Specht manages to capture not just a particular set of characters but a generational mood and moment. Without forcing any answers, it asks a powerful, probing question: how should you behave when life suddenly gets real?”

— Stephen Harrigan, author of Remember Ben Clayton


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migratory animals

Spotlight/US Giveaway: Plus One by Christopher Noxon

PlusOneCvr1_Final About the book:  Alex Sherman-Zicklin, former punk ‘zine pioneer, is a mid-level marketing executive in Los Angeles whose wife Figgy’s fourteenth TV pilot attempt becomes a huge Emmy-winning hit. Overnight, she’s sucked into a mad show-business vortex, while Alex–who has quit his job to become the family’s domestic first responder–falls in with a posse of “plus ones,” a group of men uniquely able to school him in his new role. In this wickedly honest debut novel, Christopher Noxon taps into his own experience as the husband of an acclaimed Hollywood writer/producer to deliver a story about fatherhood, fame, marriage, and a modern family in the fast lane.


CN-headshotAbout the author:  Christopher Noxon is an author, journalist, and illustrator. His debut novel PLUS ONE grew out of his experience raising three children and managing a household after his wife, TV producer Jenji Kohan, created the programs Weeds and Orange Is the New Black. He’s also the author of the nonfiction book Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes and the Reinvention of the American Grown Up. As a journalist, he has written for the New Yorker, Details, New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and Salon. He has also covered the Democratic National Convention for Reuters; lived as a patient with recovering addicts for a Playboy feature about troubles with drug rehab; and was the first journalist to report on actor Mel Gibson’s ties to an ultraconservative Catholic splinter group in a feature for the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.


Advance Praise

“A funny, sharply observed novel about a guy with a first-world problem-a wife who’s a hugely successful TV writer and producer-and the identity crisis that goes along with it. Christopher Noxon has reimagined the Hollywood novel from a whole new perspective.”
–TOM PERROTTA, author of Election, Little Children, and The Leftovers
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 “Behind every great man there’s a great woman… and in Noxon’s telling, behind every great woman there’s a charming, deeply conflicted guy (sometimes holding a very expensive handbag). Hilarious and unflinching, PLUS ONE is a funny, sharply observed, heartbreaking look at love, power, and happily-ever-after in Hollywood.”
–JENNIFER WEINER, author of All Fall Down, The Next Best Thing, and Good in Bed
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 “A smart and funny novel about Hollywood, but where it truly shines is in Noxon’s stunning and painfully accurate depiction of the complex rhythms and growing pains of a marriage.” –JONATHAN TROPPER, author of This is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go
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 “Well observed, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny, PLUS ONE deftly tells a story from the inside of show business about being on the outside.” –MATTHEW WEINER, creator of Mad Men
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“A page-turning peek into the world of TV and families and money, this is Hollywood L.A. as seen from a newcomer’s ambivalent perspective. I found it both fun and fascinating and unsettling to delve into this world, built convincingly by Noxon’s gift with scenes and voices.” –AIMEE BENDER, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
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 “The emotional and socio-demographic details are so rich and hilarious, it’s almost as if Christopher Noxon himself had some kind of incredibly successful Hollywood wife.”
–JOEL STEIN, Time columnist and author of Man Made
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 “A sweet, savvy domestic comedy wrapped in Hollywood tinsel – Christopher Noxon captures, with humor and pathos, the plight of the ultimate red-carpet orphan.”
–GIGI LEVANGIE, author of The Starter Wife
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 “Welcome to the New Hollywood, where the women are in charge and their spouses are on the guest list. Christopher Noxon knows this world first-hand, and his novel is warm, funny, and, most importantly, honest.” –NEAL POLLACK, author of Alternadad
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“Hilarious and whip-smart, with a big beating heart at its center. I love this book, and so will you.” –DANA REINHARDT, author of We Are the Goldens and The Things a Brother Know
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“For fans of Rainbow Rowell and similar keenly insightful truth tellers, this fresh male take on modern relationships is too smart, focused, and funny to pass up.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL


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