Julia Burch is a typical fifty-year-old tired of her typical life. But that changes when she answers a mysterious phone call that takes her back thirty years. A series of inexplicable events leaves Julia searching for answers—and forces her to face the source of her unhappiness. But this is only the beginning; there are others who desperately need the vibrant faith and message of love Julia has rediscovered. Prisoners of the past, they have lost hope for anything better and, for some, time is running out. What follows is a journey that crosses social status, racial lines, and even time itself to unite a group of people called to an adventure that will surpass anything they could have imagined.
Anyone can be forgotten. No matter how wonderful they are, no matter how unlikely they brim with kindness and inner beauty, you can get over anyone. The only trick is really wanting to.
This is what Harold believes. He has no choice…
Severe introvert by day, misguided dating guru by night, Harold starts a Youtube channel to workshop his elaborate strategies for seducing Emma, the girl of his dreams. But when he finally works up the courage to ask her out, he discovers that Emma is only using him to get fodder for her own dating blog – the one she’s set up to test ways to seduce Leopold.
As it turns out, Leopold is actually one of Harold’s dedicated followers. When he savagely misunderstands and mis-applies Harold’s advice, he suddenly finds himself hugely successful with the ladies, Emma included.
Faced with this strange new problem, Harold comes up with what he believes to be the strategy to end all strategies.
Contradictory relationships within troubled families are nothing new, but the award-winning psychological novel written by well-known journalist Diane B. Saxton elevates these relationships and the mysterious heirloom painting that both exposes and unites them to an art form.
Peregrine Island interweaves the stories of three generations of women, one valuable painting, the artist who created it, and those who would do anything to possess it – including kill.
Lush with sensory details, this psychologically complex mystery novel is set on a private island in the middle of Long Island Sound. It begins when the family’s lives are turned upside-down one summer by so-called art experts, who appear on the doorstep of their isolated home to appraise a favorite heirloom painting. When incriminating papers along with two other paintings are discovered behind the painting in question, the appraisal turns into a full-fledged investigation and detectives are called into the case— but not by the family whose members grow increasingly antagonistic toward one another.
During the course of the inquiry and as the summer progresses, the family members discover new secrets about one another and new facts about their past. Above all, they learn that neither people nor paintings can be taken at face value.
What happens when a safety app isn’t enough to protect a child? Is there really such a thing as a Grechtzoar? What really is the nature of happiness? How do we quantify it? These questions and more are answered in the pages of breakout author Emily Eckart’s "Pale Hearts," a collection of short stories. Emily’s writing has something for everyone, and her heartfelt stories leave the reader with a sense of longing for a place and time they may never have known.
KILLING TIME is about a thirty-five-year-old female preppy turned fifteen, a desert football star turned FBI agent, a mob-connected chorine turned informant, a gang of shit kickers, a set of country clubbers, the Hopi Indians, and a twenty-year effort to make East meet West. It is also about love, loss, reconciliation, and hope.
KILLING TIME offers something for everyone: drama, humor, love, sex, mystery, murder--and woven throughout, the soul of the novel, The Hopi Way of Life.
Most every morning now, Tom found his way outside to the rocker to watch the sun rise. The first piercings of morning amethyst and pink inevitably brought joy, as did the frogs and birds chirping in the distance, chatting the morning news of coming winter. And the old broken chinaberry tree stared at Tom. It had been hit by lightning years earlier but stood still against the backdrop of the oaks and willows stretching down the riverbank. In the blue fog, the deformed old tree took the shape of a looming giant, a dark presence draped in Spanish moss reaching down as if a dutiful matron tasked to lift the cabin from darkness. And each morning, Tom studied the daily mystery that helped dispel the ugly shape of thought he did not want to know.
SECRETS… We attempt to conceal our own but are frustrated by those concealed from us. That is the crux of Eryn’s story as she seeks answers to the questions−the secrets−that have troubled her since her youth. Perhaps if she wasn’t so smart these questions wouldn’t bother her, but she is. Eryn’s new job is a further challenge to her own secret as she strives to protect it. Not only that, but when challenged concerning her sexuality she must ultimately decide whether that secret is worth withholding forever.
At this point you probably want to know Eryn’s secret. Well, here it is. She’s a transgender woman. Now only you, me, family members and a few trusted childhood acquaintances are aware. When confronted by her grandfather, unhappy with the cause of the secrecy, Eryn’s defenses and his words put a barrier between them that she feels helpless to resolve. She desires his acceptance again. But how will she regain it? Perhaps she could, if only she could find the answers to her troubling questions. But where would she even begin?
From the book title, you might think that the secret that lies deep is Eryn’s secret of her being transgender, but it is not. Or perhaps you might think that she desires to know the reason for why she was born a boy. That may be true, but there is another secret she wishes she could unveil – a deeper secret that Eryn is looking to solve. Her questions regarding it began nearly as early as her questions regarding the gender she was born into. And while there is research that seeks to discover the reason for the desire to be the opposite gender, and several theories have been offered, no one knows for sure what the answer is. A SECRET LIES DEEP will reveal a fanciful, yet possible explanation – an explanation that is true for Eryn. But what is true for Eryn may not universally be true. The truth for all may have a common thread or maybe not. Suffice it to say, the ultimate truth for each lies hidden. In the meantime, follow Eryn’s journey. Read, as serendipitously she discovers her answer as she simply tries to go through life attempting to meld into society as the woman she feels she is. Through her first job, working as a museum registrar, she and a co-worker are assigned the task of researching genealogies for a newly planned interactive exhibit. By merely setting out on this assignment, traveling by air from Texas to New York, a dramatic series of events ignites and transforms Eryn’s life. While not intentionally seeking her sexuality, she finds it, and in the process, finds her true love. While interested in the answer, but not truly seeking it, she finds out why she could no longer be Aaron. And in the process of those questions being answered she ultimately learns the answer to the question, the secret, that she has sought long to know. But will her answers come in time to heal the wounds amidst her family?
Menashe Everett is a tormented man. He's ruled by depression and addiction. He's haunted by his past. At 37, he barely holds onto his job and lives in a haze of blurred reality.
But to many in his life, he's their only hope.
For the past ten years, Menashe has been acting as a counselor to similarly afflicted clients who agree to his unorthodox brand of pseudo-therapy. After a grim but revelatory trip to Las Vegas in his late twenties, Menashe decided to open up a "glass museum," an underground safe place where clients can vent their anguish by destroying rooms filled with clear glass art. The museum brings hope to those who have not responded to traditional therapy, but also gives Menashe a sense of purpose he desperately needs.
Menashe's work is always challenging, but now he s taken on a particularly taxing caseload. Among others, he counsels Austin Gendron, a gruff Vietnam veteran prone to psychotic breaks; Murray Henderson, a timid college student trying to understand his episodes of anger and anxiety; and John Cook, Menashe's best friend. As he works tirelessly for his clients, Menashe must also handle his increasingly complex personal life, which constantly forces him to relive his past and question his abilities as a therapist.
Set in Cleveland in the late 1980s, Glass tests traditional ideas of interpersonal responsibility and what it means to struggle with mental illness.
A Captivating Exploration of Mourning and West Texas
Hunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder.
The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.
A theological clash threatens to mar the yearly Southern Decadence festival in New Orleans.
Reverend Jessie Ray Elder makes a point of annually protesting the LGBT festival. His dogmatic and rigid views have driven his wife, Madeline, away from their Evangelical church. But Elder ignores her advice and remains committed to his cause because he thinks he’s ridding the city of devilish influences.
This year, a rival—the homeless former English professor, Zarathustra the Second—publicly challenges Elder.
As befitting his name, Zarathustra the Second treats Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra as his personal bible. Like his idol, Zarathustra the Second believes God has disappeared and seeks to convince others of this fact.
Elder is outraged when Zarathustra’s antics divert media attention away from his own protest. To add insult to injury, Zarathustra names Elder’s son, Nicholas, as his first apostle. When Zarathustra the Second predicts that New Orleans will be destroyed by a hurricane, both his and Elder’s faith in their beliefs are put to the ultimate test.
In this wickedly funny, thought-provoking novel, no one, religious or secular, is safe from critique.
Sohrab Homi Fracis's debut novel Go Home is the story of a Parsi foreign student in Delaware, who in the turbulent wake of the Iran hostage crisis can't distinguish his redneck oppressors from his Deadhead neighbors. Fracis's first book, the story collection Ticket to Minto: Stories of India and America (University of Iowa Press) won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. About Go Home, National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis writes: "At the heart of Sohrab Homi Fracis’s poignant new novel, Go Home, is the question of one’s place in the world, the answer never more ambiguous or fragile than for the immigrant or exile, when a person’s condition of homelessness is in transition, neither here nor there. Given the cultural moment, I’m grateful to Fracis for his highly topical reexamination of the American Dream, a still reliable but never easy remedy for all those yearning to reinvent themselves beyond the constrictions of tribe and nation. And in Go Home, assimilation, sometimes a wretched exercise, can also be a hilarious and uplifting affair."
The Still Sad Music, resembling in style works by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a gripping novel about the erratic life of Jeffrey Killingsworth, a fascinating, tragic figure who essentially staggers through life victimized by misfortune, persecuted by mental illness, and ravaged by drug addiction. In a state of constant crisis, Jeffrey is forced to consider several different lifestyles that will all produce very different results. Will he escape the madness? Will he choose to live cleanly and learn to cope with his misfortunes or will he continue to numb the pain with drugs and ultimately die for his addiction?
Gripping, suspenseful, and unflinching, Tiger Pelt is a story of rebirth from the rubble of a savage time and a ravaged place: Korea during the Japanese occupation followed by the Korean War. A farm boy embarks on a quest that propels him on an odyssey spanning the Korean peninsula and crossing the Pacific. In a parallel life, a beautiful young girl is kidnapped and forced to work as a comfort woman for the Japanese military. During a raging monsoon, the two souls will collide in a near-death encounter that will alter the course of their lives.
When ten-year-old Genevieve Donovan's Nannie dies mysteriously in the Lowcountry river she's loved and lived near all her life, Genny and her family are heartbroken. In 1960s South Carolina, new industry is encroaching on old country, and Genny fears her grandmother may have gotten in the way of so-called progress. Even Daduh, Nannie's dearest friend and longtime housekeeper, doesn't know what to make of Nannie's death. Was it an accident, or did the drunkard son of a local businessman play a role? What's more, ever since Nannie passed, Genny has been hearing and seeing things she's not sure she can share with anyone except her mother, whose own grief is making it harder and harder to get through to her.
Seeking answers, longing for guidance, and unsure if Mama will ever be the same again, Genny gingerly forges a path out of childhood and into adolescence. As Genny struggles to understand justice, healing, and a world in which Nannie is gone but still present, The Truthful Story traces a family's difficult journey through the pain of loss and the survival of love.
This first novel tells the story of Alice and Tucker, the young stewards of Jasper Spring. Tucker's family has lived on the ranch for generations, and the two look forward to filling the homestead with children of their own. After two miscarriages, their hope of a family is fading quickly and they feel farther apart than ever before. The only living thing that either one of them feels truly connected with is their border collie, Tommie, a dog with an uncanny sense of their needs.
Enter Ray -- an ill dressed 11-year-old boy sorely neglected by his single mother. Ray stumbles across the gorgeous and isolated valley while out on an aimless spin with his dilapidated bicycle. When Tommie finds Ray, the boy is transfixed by the beautiful dog, and the collie's natural instinct to herd spurs him to drive the boy into Tucker and Alice's empty arms. The couple develops affection for the forsaken boy, and he feels truly at home for the first time in his young life. As their relationship deepens, shocking twists and turns are presented by the boy's peripheral mother--with one that leads to catastrophe. The the close trio is drawn into battle to preserve the land they love. Additional outside forces loom (drought and development). Though they have the help of two horses and a heroic dog, the struggle is intense and not without loss.
Jasper Spring is a heartwarming tale of a couple that experiences trials that would test any marriage, and the boy and dog that bring them back together again. A series of dramatic events renders Alice and Tucker's characters in a nuanced and sympathetic manner, with their plight moving the most hard hearted reader.
The author's experience in training border collies inspired his description of Tommie, Tucker and Alice's loyal and beloved companion.
While Sydney, Australia prepares for the 2000 Olympics with its brash Down Under flair, the neurotic psychologist, Dr. Peter Pinowski, attends a transformational retreat in the Blue Mountains. He hopes to "Find the Way Home," as the seminar's brochure promises. Instead, he hurtles headlong into his own personal Olympics when he takes the road less traveled and gets lost in the Australian bush. Terrified, he hears the eerie laughter of a kookaburra, which, according to Aboriginal tradition, wakes humans from their dreams. The laughing bird calls him to confront his personal demons, face his alcoholic father, and treat wacky clients in a counseling program, more psycho than therapy. All this, while establishing a relationship with Celeste, a massage therapist who desires Peter as well as the local rugby team. Can Peter stand tall like a champion and find the way home, or will the kookaburra have the last laugh?
This lyrically written novel gives you Frazier Pickett III--the “slumbering man.” He has taken up looking over the top of fake reading glasses. His dirty little secret: he’s desperately myopic, actually preferring not to clearly see what’s going on. Having penned three unpublished manuscripts, the slumbering man hasn’t written anything in over four years, nor has he been to a street protest to push back against endless warring, climate change, economic injustice, or just name any number of movements of which he used to be on the front lines. Margaret, his wife, tunes him out as much over his worsening condition as her angst in not being able to find the courage to pen the novel she dreams of writing. In need of muses, while Margaret distantly awaits him to be hers, the slumbering man falls for the beautiful French contemporary artist Anastasie Moreau. Letters To Alice also tells the story of Katya Ivashov, Boris Pasternak’s young writing protégé, who inspires Pasternak to get his manuscript for Doctor Zhivago smuggled out of Russia for publication in the West, risking their lives. What does this have to do with ending Frazier’s slumber or perpetuating it and, what’s more, who is Alice?
The 1980’s: it’s the time of Dungeons & Dragons, banana clips, and Atari. Jonathan Schwartz is growing up in a family like no other. His sisters, Nadia, the dark genius, and Olivia, the gorgeous tease and temptress, manipulate Jon and his friends for their own entertainment. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? Their coping techniques are beyond embarrassing. A disastrous visit to Jon’s class by his grandmother unhinges his famous father, setting off a chain of events that threatens to send the dysfunctional Schwartz clan up in flames once and for all. Fun & Games is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of faith, family secrets, betrayal, and loss—but it’s also a tale of friendship, love, and side-splitting shenanigans.
Seeking Father Khaliq is a modern allegory about one man's search for spiritual fulfillment. Set in the Middle East, Philosophy Professor Kareem al-Busiri teaches at a prestigious Egyptian university.
The professor is persuaded to undertake important pilgrimages. He falls in love with a colleague, while attempting to manage mortal conflicts of values and ideology between his two sons.
Carefully researched and constructed, this dynamic story reflects the current religious, political, and social turmoil of the region.
Seeking Father Khaliq is unique in its Middle East setting, and its focus on Islam, as well as elements of Christianity and Judaism. The use of the jihadist conflict in Egypt as a surrogate for larger regional conflicts, the religious pilgrimages, and the resolution of inter-faith marriage issues are also highlighted.
Iris Apple is like most young women in the 1950s except for two things: She's the granddaughter of Boston's most notorious bookie and she suspects her father murdered her mother. But how can she prove it?
The cat and mouse game with her father began on her tenth birthday--the day her mother was gunned down--and tension reigns through her teen years. They live in her family's Kenmore Square rooming house, a haven for Boston's down and outs and where her motherless drama plays out.When Iris turns eighteen, she defies her father and sets out to discover the truth about her mother's demise. Teaming up with Madame Charlemagne, a has-been cabaret singer who lives at the rooming house, Iris learns that a nearby innkeeper holds keys to the puzzle. Instead, she discovers a web of secrets and transgressions that are entangled with hers. Mustering all the courage she has, Iris must unravel the dark webs to bring truth and love into her life.
A contemporary American masterpiece about music, race, an unforgettable man, and an unreal America during the Civil War era
At the heart of this remarkable novel is Thomas Greene Wiggins, a nineteenth-century slave and improbable musical genius who performed under the name Blind Tom.
Song of the Shank opens in 1866 as Tom and his guardian, Eliza Bethune, struggle to adjust to their fashionable apartment in the city in the aftermath of riots that had driven them away a few years before. But soon a stranger arrives from the mysterious island of Edgemere—inhabited solely by African settlers and black refugees from the war and riots—who intends to reunite Tom with his now-liberated mother.
As the novel ranges from Tom’s boyhood to the heights of his performing career, the inscrutable savant is buffeted by opportunistic teachers and crooked managers, crackpot healers and militant prophets. In his symphonic novel, Jeffery Renard Allen blends history and fantastical invention to bring to life a radical cipher, a man who profoundly changes all who encounter him.
Beyond the skyline of Toledo stands the Toledo Institute of Astronomy, the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. One of these is George Dermont, a dreamer and a man of deep faith, who's trying to prove the scientific existence of a Gateway to God, and speaks to ancient gods and believes they speak back. Its newest star is Irene Sparks, a pragmatist and mathematician invited to lead the Institute's work on a massive superconductor being constructed below Toledo. This would be a scientist's dream come true, but it's particularly poignant for Irene who has been in self-imposed exile from Toledo and her estranged alcoholic mother, Bernice. When Bernice dies unexpectedly, Irene resolves to return to Toledo, and sets in motion a series of events which place George and Irene on a collision course with love, destiny and fate.
A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets
When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.
For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.