Titles

Invictus Invictus

Invictus

Invictus

Invictus

L.L. Holt, forthcoming

 

How a young musician overcame prejudice to become an international phenomenon

The year was 1770, the place was Bonn, Germany. His drunken father took one look at the baby with the dark complexion and lost his temper. His mother insisted the child was his. This was the beginning of a childhood filled with anxiety, prejudice, and uncertainty for young Luis. We know him as Beethoven.

Was Beethoven black? Probably not, in terms of DNA. But there is little doubt that the child who grew up under the thumb of a domineering, alcoholic father did not look like other members of his family, or even his community. We may never know why. Descriptions of him by neighbors and friends often begin, “He was black,” meaning darker than others, and therefore subject to discrimination in the German north.

Invictus, a new novel by L.L. Holt published by Harvard Square Editions, takes Beethoven’s otherness as a point of departure as it explores the child’s journey from birth to a series of setbacks in his 16th year. But the obstacles and catastrophes that the resilient child navigates are not the final word: we know how this story will end.

Invictus is woven through with several other themes rooted in the revolutionary age in which the boy lived. This was an age in which European scientists were exploring the notion of race and reason. While young Beethoven (known as “Luis” in this story) was growing up, a scientific experiment was taking place in Kassel, less than 200 miles away, in which Africans were kept without their permission and subjected to tests. Most eventually died in the cold northern climate. Yet, at the same time, there were other scientists who asserted that race as we think of it did not exist, and that truly, as Beethoven was to declare through Schiller’s Ode to Joy late in his life, “All men are brothers.”

Another theme is the rise and fall of the Illuminati, which originated in Germany and spread north. Beethoven’s childhood teacher, Christian Neefe (NAY fuh), was the head of the local Illuminati chapter, soon to be outlawed, with death a penalty for membership. Many believe the great composer was a Mason and Illuminati member, a position this book upholds and explores in scenes filled with intrigue and adventure.

Luis falls in love, gains a champion, and is sent to Vienna to expand his gifts in this fictionalized view of his early life seldom previously explored, but must return to parochial Bonn when his mother, the only person who truly loved him, is on the brink of death. She dies, his sister dies, his father sinks further into alcoholism. Yet, something stirs within his heart. And from the other side of history, we know his dreams have not been in vain.

Pre-Order

Invictus


by L.L. Holt
Release date: April 10, 2019
Genre: Historical novel
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-64-6

Pre-Order

Praise for Invictus

 
 

“This book is spot on to the contemporary issues of today’s world. A blend of historic fact and fiction, Invictus tackles many of the big issues of our time: bigotry, bullying, and prejudice. The Beethoven we thought we knew is a pale shadow of the genius he became. Adversity helped ignite his extraordinary gifts, inspiring each of us to reach beyond obstacles to embrace our dreams. I loved this book and its message for today of courage, determination, perseverance, and hope.”

—Don Browne, Executive VP NBC Network News, ret., President of NBC’s Telemundo Network, ret.
 

“An absorbing novel about the young Beethoven and the circumstances that shaped his musical career. Especially interesting because it takes seriously the implications of 18th century racism and rumors about African ancestry in Beethoven’s family.”

—K.M. Reeds, historian of biology and medicine

 

“L.L. Holt captures an exciting time in history when revolution was in the air, and an intense debate about race and equality raged in universities, salons, and secret societies. Well-written and engaging.”

—Lina Genovesi, Ph.D., J.D.

 

“In Invictus, Holt makes precise references to Joseph Bologne, aka Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, whose life as an 18th century Black composer and swordsman in Western Europe is an important reminder that sometimes you have to excel in many different fields in order to survive. And still, the accomplishments can and will speak for themselves decades, centuries after the fact.”

—Le Chevalier de Saint Georges Facebook page administrator

 

“Invictus embodies the spirit of the Age of Revolution in this tale of a young boy breaking free from obstacles of poverty and prejudice.”

—Kairy Koshoeva, concert pianist

 

About The Black Spaniard by L.L. Holt:

 

In her wonderful new novel, L.L. Holt captures the dynamic magic of Beethoven and his music.  She is able to recreate the original sounds of Beethoven’s fingers on the piano as well as the nature of the characters who surrounded him in his climb to fame as one of the most original composers.

“This novel reimagines the surprising backstory behind Beethoven’s early years, bringing its scenes to life as only fiction can. The result makes for intriguing reading.”

—Winifred Hughes, author of The Maniac in the Cellar: Sensation Novels of the 1860’s

 

“Beethoven is a unique character and this book captures that quality. Great reading and informative background offer an experience that is both entertaining and educational. Ms. Holt deserves great accolades for this excellent novel on a highly engaging perspective of musical history.”

–Dr. David Ryback, author of Beethoven in Love

Top customer reviews from Amazon.com:

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for readers of all ages!

“A fresh, entertaining view of Beethoven for young readers and adults alike. Told in semifictional style, it focus largely on his early triumphs in his twenties as the champion piano virtuoso of Vienna’s music scene. The ‘black Spaniard’ refers to Beethoven himself for his dark complexion and black hair. He’s called “Luis” instead of the German “Ludwig,” and he’s fairly likeable, his famous tantrums are toned down. We follow him through the onset of his tragic deafness and the composing of his heroic Third Symphony. In this story, the black Spaniard is the real hero.”

–musiclady

 

 

5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping tale of arrogance, dissolution, and redemption

“A gripping tale that turns the tables on our expectations about Beethoven. What, if as so many believe, he was Black? What if he was a revolutionary in the Illuminati and Freemasonry? What if the Immortal Beloved was someone we never expected? The novel blends factual information with flights of imagination and fancy to present a compelling portrait of the composer during a dozen years in which he first arrived in Vienna and learned he was losing his hearing at an alarming rate. An inspiring story for all who seek to overcome prejudice and oppression and never to surrender their ideals.” 

–Amazon Customer

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the read and comes from a great small press

“Holt’s book envisions the life of Beethoven in a way that I couldn’t have imagined myself. Definitely worth the read and comes from a great small press.”

lilmisseditor

 

 

More Novels by L.L. Holt:

The Black Spaniard (2016)

Written as Simone Marnier:

White Tiger, Green Dragon (2000)

Black Tortoise, Red Raven (2006)

Tigre Blanco, Dragón Verde (2007)

 

About the Author

L.L. Holt is a Humanities professor and author of The Black Spaniard, a novel about music (Unsolicited Press, 2016). She has a doctorate in Arts and Letters from Drew University and is a classical music critic and writer for the Broad Street Review in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Princeton Packet. Following a successful career in communications, she is devoting herself to writing about the inspiring power of music as well as topics relating to the new fascism, religious tolerance, and spirituality. Holt lives in New Jersey.

 

Share Button
THE CIRCLE excerpt THE CIRCLE excerpt

THE CIRCLE excerpt

THE CIRCLE excerpt

You are cordially invited

to a book launch for

The Circle

A Brussels Anthology

7 p.m. on November 22, 2018 at Waterstones

Blvd Adolphe Max 71, Brussels

<< Read the excerpt!

 

Open this book, and you will enter a world refracted in a prism of thirty-four polished surfaces. A gem, cut in the technocratic diamond district, emitting multifarious literature through its many faces. Approaching a perfect circle with each new facet. Some reflect the wistful melancholy of the Brussels drizzle, some tear open the sky with a bolt of genius that will have you groping for your sunglasses. A brain drain of thirty-four emerging and prize-winning authors, itinerant and settled, shares and sharpens its largely expat outpourings of human love and beastly bombings, reassuring community and bewildering exile. The private explodes in public, the petty corrupts the grand, the funny elbows the dire—in the heart of the old world, lives and stories converge and drift apart. This collection portrays our troubled and exciting times through short story, poem, script and novel excerpt of both seasoned pros and promising hacks. Whether brutally marooned on the damp flatlands, or cosily embedded in red-brick ale houses, their dreams and nightmares shine from this beloved, accursed, ramshackle Europe of ours. Come inside.

Order

The Circle


By various authors
Edited by Patrick Ten Brink
Release date: October 14, 2018
Genre: Anthology of contemporary literature
Price: €15.88, $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-70-7

Order

 
 
 

“Several inclusions in this anthology are prize winners, including Colin Walsh’s ‘The Flare Carves Itself Through the Dark’…. Another prizewinning writer is Dimitris Politis, whose piece vividly-written ‘The Extraordinary Colours of an Ordinary Day’ is based on the 2016 bombing of Maalbeek metro station and brought to life with stunning detail….Now if you’ve ever joined a writers’ group, Andreas Bergsten’s “Poetic License, by Gilbert Jones” might strike a familiar note. In order to even the score after receiving unkind feedback on his writings, Gilbert composes a running tell-all limerick using the actual names of the group’s writers….and one of the most emotional pieces in the book allows Richard Boland, who refers to himself as a “coincidental survivor,” to pay tribute to friends who died of AIDS…. Poetry holds its own in this anthology. S. R. Harris, best known for her children’s book series about a sheep called Skye, departs from that genre in ‘Another Country,’ where she reflects on the country she left…. Reading an anthology is a great way to sample all types of writings, even those one might normally skip over. In the case of The Circle: A Brussels Anthology, if you read them all, you’ll get a taste of the works of thirty-four diverse authors, each expressing a unique version of life in Belgium’s capital city.”

NewPages

 

“This stunning anthology will not only appeal to those familiar with Brussels incognito, but also to those with an appreciation for divine inspiration, as international writers engage with a capital city and its unique way of life.”

Brussels Express

 

“This collection of short stories, poems, fairy tales and film scripts is proof of Brussels’s international talent. Entertaining takes on life, love and revenge are complemented by nuanced thoughts about everything that makes us human…. The collection of literature dives into topics like religion, minorities, grief and terrorism and does so in a respectful and reflective manner. Its unusual mix of topics and forms reveals a usually hidden face of Brussels.”

Midwest Book Review

 

“Over fifty contributions contain some real gems. Short film scripts, non-fiction pieces, fairy tales and poems are united in their unique portrayal of the surreal aspect of Brussels exploring different dimensions of the human condition. The anthology opens with Andreas Bergsten’s ‘Poetic license by Gilbert Jones’. This amusing short story evolves around revenge building on writers’ shortcomings. ‘So, this was it. I was leaving Brussels, hopefully never to return. Twelve dull years of pointless work, fickle friends, and fries with mayo.’ Colin Walsh’s ‘The Flare Carves Itself Through the Dark’, which won the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Short Story Prize in 2017, is an outstanding snippet out of the life of a young man in suburban Ireland…. ‘St. Roman the Melodist’ by Lida Papasokrati is a modern tale that intertwines mythology with the everyday and breathes life into a mischievous saint, who loves to eavesdrop on the practicing of the school orchestra. While generous with light and humorous everyday topics, The Circle also respectfully takes on complicated and controversial issues like terrorism, race, religion, diversity and grief across five emerging themes: terrorism, travel and immigration, life, love, and loss…. Ciprian Begu’s poem’s—‘To the City of Hopes and Steel’—deals with the challenges facing migrants, taking a dark, humorous look at their/our aspirations and efforts, reminding us of the need to maintain a sense of humor even in trying times…. Antoinette Naomi Reddick’s ‘Sliding Memories’ moves to the US and Lyric’s final hours in New York and the existential decision she needs to take. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching of all entries in this Brussels anthology is Richard Boland’s ‘Above and Beyond All Reason,’ a beautiful and deeply moving tribute to friends lost to AIDS….”

—Pleiades Book Review

 

“The Anthology is made up of fifty-five contributions by thirty-four authors (including award-winning Jeanie Keogh and Colin Walsh) from nineteen countries. It dabbles in poetry, prose and script; fiction and non-fiction, packing in a number of themes: fantasy, love, death, violence, humiliation, humour, devotion, grief, loss, history, memory…. The Anthology has something for everyone, and it is a tribute to this great city to read the beauty of English embraced by many nationalities and cultures.”

Together Magazine

 

Articles

The Bulletin

Brussels Writers Series

Brussels Writers Series VI

Brussels Writers’ Series V

Brussels Writers’ Series VIII
 

Authors in The Circle:

Andreas Bergsten
Jeanie Keogh
Colin Walsh
Junko Oikawa
Dimitris Politis
SR Harris
Aisling Henrard
Mimi Kunz
Mauricio Ruiz
Joost Hiltermann
Cynthia Huijgens
Shyam Sunder Gopalakrishnan
Antoinette Naomi Reddick
Richard Boland
Sarah Strange
Ross Noble
Andrea Rees
Nicholas Parrott
CS Begu
Lida Papasokrati
David Ellard
Alex Dampney
Océan Smets
Martin Jones
Claire Davenport
Genevieve Shapiro
Klavs Skovsholm
TD Arkenberg
Paul Speight
Barbara Mariani
Jay Harold
Patrick ten Brink
Hamed Mobasser
Kevin Dwyer

Share Button
Women Are Like Chickens, All Eggs, Breast & Thighs Women Are Like Chickens, All Eggs, Breast & Thighs

Women Are Like Chickens, All Eggs, Breast & Thighs

Women Are Like Chickens, All Eggs, Breast & Thighs

Women Are Like Chickens:
All Eggs, Breast and Thighs

by Annette Sandoval

Forthcoming

 

This is a story of food. Mexican food. It is also the tale of two sisters, their family restaurant, and their circle of friends. Set against the tapestry of San Francisco’s traditionally Latino Mission district, the novel weaves through the lives of a set of unlikely friends.

Alex has been running the family restaurant since her father’s fatal freak accident while still in her teens. Where Alex thrives in the restaurant’s front rooms, her sister, Leah, prefers to work in the kitchen. Far away from the loud and unpredictable public.

Tessa can’t wait to go to Stanford and disassociate herself from the people of the Mish and their notions, old-fashioned to insane. And then there’s Dulce, a precocious boy trapped in a woman’s body. She even buys most of her clothes at the boys’ department of K-mart. She claims they have the most durable socks.

Although subject to cultural expectations and limitations, misogyny, and racism — not to mention the fashion trends of puffy hair, fuchsia makeup, and parachute pants — Chickens encompasses all of the comical mishaps and unsettled mayhem of life in the early 80’s as each character defines her own unique identity.

Pre-order

Women Are Like Chickens: All Eggs, Breast and Thighs


by Annette Sandoval
Release date: February 1, 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-65-3

Pre-order

Praise for Women Are Like Chickens: All Eggs, Breast and Thighs

 

“Reading Women are like Chickens is like enjoying a mouth-watering plate of enchiladas with all the trimmings: guacamole, salsa and chips, hot tamales, chile colorado, albondiga soup, a green salad and a refreshing drink. The novel’s heart is a Mexican restaurant in the Mission Barrio of San Francisco. Around the café revolve four young women, whom I found to be some of the most interesting, well-drawn characters in contemporary Chicana literature. This rite of passage story explores the lives of these women as each grows into young womanhood. I recommend it highly. I am sure it will garner many awards. It shines.”

—Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima

“Annette Sandoval’s wise and whimsical novel of female friendship and empowerment strikes universal chords that will resonate with all readers.”

—Michael Nava, author of The City of Palaces

 

About the Author

 

Annette Sandoval’s writing is tightly bound to her experience as a Mexican-American. The youngest of five children, she began life in the barrio neighborhoods of Santa Ana, California. Annette‘s mother, Wanting one of her children to have an “American” name, named Annette after a Mouseketeer. Annette worked at Disneyland while in her teens. She was forced to wear a paper hat and a name tag. When people asked if Annette Funichello was her mother, she would say, “Yes.”

Her parents were both born in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Her father, Manuel, worked as a migrant worker and later as a janitor at a convent, where he was sponsored for green card status. After securing work and papers he sent for his fifteen-year-old bride, Felicitas.

At 21, Annette moved to San Francisco. She spent the next decade backpacking around the world, touring nearly every continent on her own.

She is the author of The Directory of Saints (Dutton/Penguin), which appeared in hardback in 1996. Her second book, Homegrown Healing: Traditional Home Remedies from Mexico (Putnam/Berkely), published in 1998, is one of the first modern works preserving this rich oral tradition. Her novel, Spitfire (Thomas & Mercer) 2012, is about an office drone who suspects her boss of being a serial killer. If that’s not scary enough, he’s got a crush on her! Her fourth child is named, Women Are Like Chickens: All Eggs, Breast and Thighs.

Annette lives in Newport, Rhode Island with Pip and their two rescue dogs.

Share Button
Transoceanic Lights Transoceanic Lights

Transoceanic Lights

Transoceanic Lights

award-seal-5-und-35

Transoceanic Lights

2016 National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35 Award’ Winner

Leapfrog Fiction Contest Semifinalist; Asheville Award Finalist; Willow Books Literature Award Finalist

Listen to S.Li reading an excerpt at the National Book Foundation Celebration

First published by Harvard Square Editions March 2, 2015

Read an excerpt on Electric Lit

Share Button
Clovis Clovis

Clovis

Clovis

Clovis

 

A debut eco-novel, by award-winning author Jack Clinton

 

Montana NPR interviews Jack Clinton on April 19, 2018.

Workshop and book signing with Jack Clinton at the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference, June 28, 2018; and at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference. 2-4 August, 2018

Trapped in the orbit of the buttes and a black obsidian Clovis, Hanna is sure there’s nothing romantic about her hot and dusty job as an archeologist in the cultural and real desert. As she negotiates the misogyny of this no-woman’s-land, she’s on the move to evade physical and spiritual abuse at the hands of oil-field boys, and guard the damaged and angelic Paul. She’s vegetarian in a fast food wasteland and a transcendentalist who can’t quite catch the wave of nothingness. Her clan of fellow archeologists tries to keep her from harm, but everything she truly needs lies outside the aegis of their reach.

Clovis casts an eye across the vast, empty lands of the Western American basins where the endless clamor of petroleum developments rings tirelessly. Told from the point of view of a working crew of archeological contractors who labor to save endangered artifacts from the churning machinations of the CanAm gas pipeline, Clovis bears witness to the quiet environmental usurpation of American public lands.

Clinton’s novel explores the possible history of the Clovis people and their apocalyptic demise at the hands of their own elegant invention, the Clovis Point. The relevance of the eclipsed culture to the precarious balance of our own clouds the intense joys the characters feel as they navigate the wealth of the natural world.

Clinton’s novel is an artful literary response to the unutterable and largely ignored decline of our collective natural wealth. Clinton mixes a sardonic misanthropy of our own current environmental course with jubilation, and the joy of love, the celebration of the human condition, and the intense passion of being immersed in the natural world.

Clovis will continue Harvard Square Editions’ tradition of promoting fiction that furthers civil and environmental causes in a market that would rather leave such voices unheard.

 

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Clovis by Jack Clinton

Clovis

by Jack Clinton

Giveaway ends January 20, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Order

Clovis

by Jack Clinton

Release date: January 12, 2018
Genre: LGBT; eco-Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-53-0

Order

 

Praise for Clovis

 

“Clinton’s novel is an artful literary response to the unutterable and largely ignored decline of our collective natural wealth. Clinton mixes a sardonic misanthropy of our own current environmental course with jubilation, and the joy of love, the celebration of the human condition, and the intense passion of being immersed in the natural world. Clovis will continue Harvard Square Editions’ tradition of promoting fiction that furthers civil and environmental causes in a market that would rather leave such voices unheard.”

Eco-Fiction.com

 

In “Clovis, Jack Clinton spins a wonder-filled tale poetically rendered in the Western landscape, ripe with classic, modern-day struggles, and inhabited by characters you grow to love.”

Jackson Hole Skier Magazine

“Clovis is a lyrical tale set in the New West where the interests of oil companies clash with the need to preserve and record the artifacts left by long gone inhabitants of the land. In this novel, Hanna and her archeological compatriots are hired by CanAm Oil Company to assess the impact of an oil line on historical native sites. The complex relationships between her and her co-workers fascinate. The lush descriptions of the natural beauty she encounters are seductive. This is truly a wonderful look into the unique personality of people who choose to make a living doing field work. They are a breed apart. An excellent read that keeps you engaged from the beginning.”

Big Sky Independent Press, 4.5/5 Stars

“Clovis is a wonder of a novel that will dazzle you with its impassioned understanding of archeology, Western landscapes, and human connection. Jack Clinton’s writing about hiking and climbing and seeking solace in the outdoors is among the best I’ve ever read. In Hanna, Clinton has created an unconventional heroine for all seasons, a humane and restless seeker who can master every terrain except that of her own heart.”

—Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto

 

About the Author

Jack Clinton is the winner of the The Neltje Blanchan Award, for which $1,000, is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world.

Share Button
That One Cigarette
That One Cigarette That One Cigarette

That One Cigarette

That One Cigarette

That One Cigarette
by Stu Krieger

 

A story of ordinary people making extraordinary ripples in the ocean of life

Stu Krieger is the winner of the
Riverside International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

 

That One Cigarette is a counterfactual history novel following four families from November of 1963 to January of 2009. In November ’63, Ed Callahan is an assistant manager at the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. His promise to his wife to quit smoking as soon as he finishes the pack in his pocket ends up changing the course of events on November 22. The fallout of this action alters the lives of the Scott family in Rochester, New York, the Kaufman/Goldman family in Los Angeles and the extended Kashat family in Baghdad, Iraq.

It’s not until the final chapters that all of these lives intersect, but along the way, That One Cigarette explores questions of fate, love, loyalty and the ability of each of us to make defining contributions to our world by simply being present in our own lives.

Order

That One Cigarette


by Stu Krieger
Release date: November 24, 2017
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-44-8

Order

Praise for That One Cigarette

“Epic in concept, direct in execution, the result is a 361-un-put-down-able pageturner that covers multiple families over several generations from birth to death. That One Cigarette is a well-researched alternative history of America woven into the daily lives of normal folk.”

NewPages

“That One Cigarette is a saga of ordinary people struggling to make it in the 20th century. A single promise to quit smoking snowballs into a chain of events far bigger than any individual person could have dreamed. A down-to-earth, poignant tale, That One Cigarette encourages the reader to think long and hard about the long-term consequences of the smallest of actions.”

Midwest Book Review

“THAT ONE CIGARETTE proves that the power of the Butterfly Effect is in all of us and even the most insignificant action can be felt around the world…it is a story of humanity, of flawed humans and how a seemingly normal action taken within these other families living their day to day lives would all become intertwined in the stream of history as lives are changed, lives are saved and the rest of the world goes on, completely unaware that somewhere, that ‘butterfly’ has just fluttered its wings again. Stu Krieger’s tale is well-written, almost like living a ‘day in the life’ with these characters who are very realistic, very human and very average. Witness the emotional struggles of these families, realize the changes Stu Krieger presented, none over the top, none overly drastic, but each actually quite fascinating to watch unfold from the safety and anonymity of our favorite reading chair.”

Tome Tender

Articles

“How One Word Transformed a Hollywood Screenwriter’s Career”

—Reedsy

About the Author

Stu Krieger is an acclaimed screen and television writer making his debut as a novelist with That One Cigarette. He is currently a professor of screen and television writing in the University of California, Riverside’s Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production and in the Creative Writing for the Performing Arts MFA Program at UCR. Each fall, he also teaches the Producing the Screenplay class at USC’s Peter Stark MFA Producing Program.

Krieger co-wrote the Emmy award winning mini-series A Year in the Life and was nominated for a Humanitas Prize for co-writing the Disney Channel original movie, Going to the Mat.

Among his more than 25 produced credits, Krieger wrote the animated classic The Land Before Time for producers Steven Spielberg & George Lucas and ten original movies for the Disney Channel, including Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and its two sequels, Tru Confessions, Smart House, Phantom of the Megaplex, and Cow Belles.

He has been a story editor and writer on Spielberg’s Amazing Stories and the supervising producer on the ABC Television series Jack’s Place. He served as the head writer and story editor of the animated preschool series Toot & Puddle on Nickelodeon in 2008-2009.

His first full-length play, Chasing Smoke, debuted in a staged reading at Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theatre in Burbank in July 2014. His short film script Bad Timing was produced by the UCR Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production in 2016. He is an Executive Producer on “The Binding,” a 2016 feature film written and directed by his son, Gus Krieger and also served as an Executive Producer on “My Name is Myeisha,” Gus’s second feature film which Gus co-wrote with UCR TFDP Professor Rickerby Hinds, based on Professor Hinds’ play, “Dreamscape.” “Myeisha” was shot on location in Riverside in October 2016.

Mr. Krieger’s TEDx Talk, “Choose Joy,” can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v02wrQ-OSA

On April 22, 2017, Stu Krieger will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in Screenwriting at the opening night gala of the 2017 Riverside International Film Festival.

Share Button
Tears Before Exaltation Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation

Tears Before Exaltation

National Indie Excellence Awards Gold Medalist 2018

Tears Before Exaltation

A diverse, medical novel by Fidelis O. Mkparu

At Barnes & Noble’s Summer 2018 Local Author Exhibition, Saturday, June 30, 1-3pm; 4015 Medina Road, Akron, OH 44333; Tel 330-665-5199

When Ben Ava, a struggling medical student facing insurmountable financial worries, receives a scholarship offer for a Medical Center in Memphis, he thinks that his tenuous future is finally secure. But Ben’s past will not leave him alone. His fellow scholarship winner is his old friend Brenda—a young medical student with extraordinary talent whose troubled past has made her self-destructive and dangerous. In Memphis, their lives become increasingly tangled as Ben is pulled into Brenda’s orbit. Soon, he finds himself risking his medical education, his new romance, and his entire future in the hopes of steering himself and Brenda through the tumult of their shared loneliness and trauma.

Tears Before Exaltation is a literary drama about coping with the past, surviving the present, and the blurred lines between courage and insanity, hate and love.

Pre-order

Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu
Release date: March 16, 2018
Genre: Fiction; Diverse Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-60-8

Pre-order

WDPN AM-1310 Interviews Fidelis O. Mkparu >>

“Tears Before Exaltation is a stunning literary drama that combines key elements such as romance, suspense, and psychological intrigue. The author immediately caught my attention by creating a likable, compassionate hero who rules his life by acting with integrity. He is surrounded by several key players who do not share his ethical standards. The writing is contemporary and compassionate, tackling highly relevant social issues such as mental illness, including alcoholism and depression. The story has an engaging pace that makes it hard to put down with twists and excitement that will leave you wanting more.”

Reader Views

“Fidelis O. Mkparu succeeds in making readers fall in love with his protagonist, making Ben very real and believable. I enjoyed the pacing, the gorgeous prose, and the exciting conversations. Tears Before Exaltation is one of those novels that explores the struggles of medical students, and it succinctly captures the drama that takes place behind closed doors in hospitals. A very engaging story!”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Arya Fomonyuy

“Tears before Exaltation is an engaging story that won’t leave you indifferent, a page-turner that will keep you reading eagerly until the end.”

Consuelo Murgia

“In his new novel Tears before Exaltation, Fidelis O. Mkparu’s literary growth is evident as he delves deeper into matters only touched on in his previous novel, Love’s Affliction. His characters are dealing with realistic issues that you and I can identify with, but with a twist of suspense, curiosity and intrigue. Packed with pathos, the impact of Fidelis O. Mkparu, Tears Before Exaltation, will stay with you long after you put it down. Fidelis O. Mkparu has written yet another worthwhile read.”

—Kayron El-Kildani, Michigan Book Club

“Tears Before Exaltation is a story that is filled with a lot of emotion, and the writing itself is compassionate. Fidelis O. Mkparu’s prose flows gracefully, adding a powerful ingredient to an already quickened pace. The author crafts dialogues that are real and engaging, using them to heighten the tension and build conflict as well as character. Ben is a character that the modern American student will easily empathize with, and they will love how he explores the medical system and brings to light the challenges that millions are going through. The story feels so real that one could imagine it happening just next door.”

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review, Romuald Dzemo

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Tears Before Exaltation

by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Giveaway ends March 29, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

“Tears before Exaltation is a suspenseful book that drives the readers in high gear sparking curiosity and a craving for more.”

—Patrick Achebe, Author of Whispering Waves

“Ben is the type of character that anyone can find ways to relate to. He’s overwhelmed, torn, emotionally wrung out, stressed and more, but at the same time he is kind, supportive, dedicated and a passionate friend. In this book, not only do you see all of that, but you see him grow and become even more developed as time goes on. You never know what’s going to happen to him or what’s going to happen to any of the characters throughout this book, but you’ll definitely want to. I loved the way the story unfolded and the way that each of the characters continued to become stronger because of each other. Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a story about overcoming obstacles and most certainly a story about friendship.”

—Samantha Dewitt (Rivera), Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“The story of the relationships between the doctor character and Brenda is captivating and easily draws the reader into a narrative that successfully blends social, economic, intercultural, and interracial issues. This book is part of a literary production which is very important and deserves both critical attention and analysis.”

—Babacar M’Baye, PhD, Professor, Kent State University, author of The Trickster Comes West

About the Author

Fidelis O. Mkparu is a Harvard-trained cardiologist who has written medical articles for both scientific and lay audiences. His previous novel, Love’s Affliction, was a 2016 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner for Fiction, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner for 2015/2016, and a finalist for the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Multicultural Fiction. He lives in Canton, Ohio. Web site: http://fidelismkparu.com

Share Button
How Fast Can You Run How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

How Fast Can You Run

IPPY medalist

Living Now Book Award medalist
INDIEFAB Finalist#1 Amazon bestseller in biographical fiction
Featured in Drexel Magazine

 

Harriet Levin Millan at

Split This Rock Social Change Book Fair | April 19-21, 2018 | 10 am to 3:30 pm in Washington D.C.

How Fast Can You Run at the New Delhi World Book Fair


Included in Reader’s Digest’s Best Books That Inspire You to Travel

A migrant novel based on the true story of Lost Boy of Sudan Michael Majok Kuch

 

“The best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective since Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird.” —Nyoul Lueth Tong, author of There is a Country: New Writing from the New Country of South Sudan

 

Set across a backdrop of refugee migration that spans Africa, America and Australia, How Fast Can You Run is the inspiring story of Michael Majok Kuch and his journey to find his mother. In 1988, Majok, as a five-year-old boy, fled his burning village in southern Sudan when the North systematically destroyed it, searching for John Garang, the South’s leader. Majok, along with thousands of other fleeing people, many of them unaccompanied minors, trekked through the wilderness in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya to arrive at a series of refugee camps where he would live for the next ten years. When the U.S. brokered an agreement, granting approximately 4,000 unaccompanied minors political asylum, Majok, now Michael, was given a new start in the U.S. Yet his new life was not without trauma. He faced prejudice once again, disrupting the promise of his new beginnings. This is a story of a survivor who in facing challenge after challenge summons the courageous spirit of millions of refugees throughout history and today.

Order

How Fast Can You Run


by Harriet Levin Millan
Release date: October 28, 2016
Genre: True Fiction, Migrant Fiction, Suspense
Price: $22.95 ISBN: 978-1-941861-20-2 paperback
$35.50 ISBN: 978-1-941861-41-7 hardback

Order

Harriet Levin Millan on Aspen, CO Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio interviews Harriet Levin Millan

Join “The Smart Set Read” book discussion on Goodreads, and get your free copy of How Fast Can You Run, as a download on Amazon.com from April 3-7.

Click here to accept the invitation.

WTOP Radio News Anchor Bruce Alan talks with author Harriet Levin Millan about her very real story of a young boy separated from his family at the age of 5 when his village was destroyed in Sudan’s civil war — how he survived — and what he’s up to now.


“Many people have heard of Africa’s lost boys, but none tell their story quite so well as Harriet Levin Millan, who shares her first-hand account, in this elegantly written book. As inspirational as it is lustrous, the book follows the journey of lost boy, Michael Majok Kuch, as he sets off to find his mother, after his village is burned down in Southern Sudan.”

Reader’s Digest

“…the strength here is in Millan’s ability to fully inhabit Majok’s consciousness; she has crafted a rich tale that authentically portrays—and doesn’t exploit—Majok’s refugee experience. A deeply felt novel of grace and intelligence.”

Kirkus

“For Majok, committing to a future in the U.S. feels like giving up on the prospect of resuming life with his family in Sudan. The novel brilliantly conveys how he carries the cumulative weight of his experiences, sometimes feeling most exhausted by it in quiet moments. Healing is not a straight trajectory, but a winding path through surprising places.”

Iowa Review

“Generosity and justice prevail in the storytelling . . . an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. ”

The Rumpus

“How Fast Can You Run is an insightful, gripping, and compassionate account of the second Sudanese Civil War and refugee life in America. Michael Majok Kuch’s observations, as the author has written them, about what happens to him over the course of his young life are heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. Refugees are individuals. They are not the faceless, nameless millions we in the West encounter only on the evening news. How Fast Can You Run is an important reminder of this.”

Consequence Magazine

“The circuitous journey in How Fast You Can Run is like a story that never ends. The main character Majok struggles with warfare and starvation even within the confines of refugee camps. When he comes to America, he deals with the terror of a new country and betrayal.”

Frederick News Post

“The un-imaginable journey of Sudanese refugee Michael Majok Kuch becomes an epic tale through the telling of Harriet Levin Millan’s How Fast Can You Run. Genre bursting, this part memoir, part bildunsroman, part adventure tale, and part heart-felt family reunion avoids the pitfalls of many of its predecessors. Full characterization from Sudan to Philadelphia, exacting detail from beginning to end, clearly visualized African landscapes in all their complexity; there are no broad brushstrokes of civil war, refugee plight and immigration here. A fuller story than How Fast Can You Run cannot have been told of the tragic events of war in Sudan that uproot the young boy from the Dinka plains of Southern Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi and Philadelphia and how he has to fight a different kind of war in America from which he emerges victorious. Epic.”

—Bill Kahora, Editor, Kwani

“…an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. A book like How Fast Can You Run is an eye-opening experience, awakening empathy for a much wider world.”

prickofthespindle.org

“In How Fast Can You Run Harriet Levin Millan turns novel-biography into a genre of its own and shows how empathy can turn into a true solidarity. This is a beautiful and crucial story told by two people, one Sudanese with dreams of independence, the other, an American poet who listens to Michael Majok Kuch through her imagination. For Mike in the United States, Halloween with strange fruit hanging triggers PTSD, ethnicity becomes race, soldiers become white police, tragedy there becomes tragedy here and in the end there is only one life for Mike to live. An enduring image for me – a refugee boy blowing up a discarded bloody surgical glove to make a soccer ball, this bio-novel reminds us that the most human of all activities, the one thing that binds us all is finding beauty even in impossible situations.”

—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat

“Harriet Levin Millan has transformed the story of one “lost boy” into an earthy, grittily told, highly affecting novel. With a poet’s piercing eye, attuned ear, and facility for recognizing resonant moments, Ms. Millan has written an emotionally rich-veined, dramatically moving and ultimately triumphant story. I emerged from this ingenious, fast-paced novel with the sensation of having been taken along by its protagonist on a poignant, heart-pounding journey, enlarged, and changed.”

—Okey Ndibe, author Foreign Gods, Inc.

“And an excellent wordsmith can bring everything together in a story line that’s completely accessible to newcomers to this history…. Few accounts can adequately capture such experiences, but where nonfiction may falter, How Fast Can You Run proves that an adept writer can step in and use the fiction format to capture the drama, psychology, and tension of civil war from a child’s eye (in this case, Michael Majok Kuch)….Because How Fast Can You Run is based on a true saga, the viewpoints and experiences of Kuch come to vivid life and weave a powerful saga of politics, struggle, and survival that’s hard to put down. Any reader interested in accounts of the Sudanese war will find this a compelling method of absorbing history at its most meaningful: through the eyes of a young eyewitness who didn’t just observe events, but lived through and survived them.”

—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“How Fast Can You Run is the story of the indomitable spirit of a boy who overcomes inconceivable loss and countless instances of physical and emotional danger, exiled from everything he had ever known. Millan’s telling of Kuch’s story is a refugee’s dark odyssey that witnesses the vicious realities of the Sudanese conflict and the power of a single human life to overcome impossible trauma with perseverance, hard-won wisdom, and an unyielding grace. Devastating, moving, full of magical grace.”

—Tyler Meier, Executive Director, University of Arizona Poetry Center

“In How Fast Can You Run, Harriet Levin Millan tells the story of one boy’s search for a mother’s love through almost unimaginable pain and suffering. After being separated from his family at the age of five during Sudan’s civil war, Majok and later Mike, the novel’s real-life South Sudanese protagonist, braved war, hunger, and desperate illness before arriving in the United States as a refugee. Millan, who met Michael Majok Kuch when her creative writing class interviewed Sudanese immigrants, brilliantly renders the contours of Dinka and refugee life as well as the internal life of a young refugee tormented by the loss of his family and his childhood. Congratulations to Millan. How Fast Can You Run is a marvelous achievement.”

—Deborah Scroggins, author, Emma’s War: A True Story of Love and Death in Sudan

Michael Majok Kuch returned to his homeland of South Sudan in 2010, after attending high school, college, and graduate school in Philadelphia. In 2005, he was featured in the PBS Documentary, Dinka Diaries, as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Department of Education Scholarship to Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. He currently works for the government of the Republic of South Sudan, where he is an advisor in Research and Policy in the Office of the President. He lives in Juba with his wife and daughter.

Readings & Presentations

Sept 13, 2016, 6:00 PM, Katz JCC, 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept. 27, 2016, 7:00 PM, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, Fairfield, Conn

October 13 2016, Merchantville Book Club, 7-9 PM

*October 28, 2016, 4:00-6:00 PM Book Launch, Drexel University, Pearlstein Gallery
(concurrent with Warp & Weft; work by Caroline Lathan Steifel), 3401 Filbert Street, October 28, 4:00-6:00 PM

*October 30, 2016, 10:30 AM, Har Zion Temple, Penn Valley, PA

*November 1, 2016, Live! Radio Times with Marty Moss Coane, WHYY 90.9 10-11 AM

*November 1, 2016, 6:00 PM, Philadelphia City Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1905 Locust Street

*November 2, 2016, 7:00 PM, Main Line Books, 116 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne PA

*November 3, 2016, Center for Africana Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Phila.

*November 9th, 2016, The Peace Center, featuring a talk by Michael Majok Kuch, 109 Maple Avenue, Langhorne PA

*November 15, 2016, 4 PM, Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA

*November 17, 2016, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven, PA

*November 18, 2016, 9:40 AM, Friends Central School, 1101 City Ave., Wynnewood, PA

*November 20, 2016, 3:00 PM Marcus Jewish Community Center, Atlanta Georgia

*November 22, 2016, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 500 W Willow Grove Ave, Phila., PA

*November 30, 2016, University of Pennsylvania, International Social Work Class, Fisher Bennet Hall Room 141, 5:00 PM

*December 1, 2016, University of Pittsburgh, African Studies Program, 4217 Posvar Hall, 2-3:30 PM

*December 1, 2016, 8 PM City of Asylum at Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave. – Pittsburgh, PA – 15212

*December 12, 2016, 7 PM, Amy and Anne’s Book Club, New York New York

*December 15, 2016, 7 PM, Kesher Israel, 4th and Lombard, Philadelphia PA

December 20th, 2016, Bryn Gweled Homesteads Book Club

*January 9, 2017, Australia Book Launch The Avid Reader, Brisbane, Australia

*Jan 19, 2017, 4:30 PM, LaSalle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA

*Jan 20th, 2017, 9:00 AM, Central High School, Philadelphia

*January 22, 2017, 2:00 PM, C. Burr Artz Public Library, sponsored by Curious Iguana Books, 10010 East Partick Street, Frederick MD

*January 24, 2017, 7 :00 PM, BookCulture, (with Jill Bialosky) 450 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York

*January 25, 2017, 4:30 PM, La Salle High School, 8605 Cheltenham Avenue, Glenside, PA

February 15, 2017, Merchantville Women’s Club, Merchantville, NJ

February 8-11, 2017, TBA, Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference, Washington D.C., “When Authors Move in and Out of Their Countries and Genres,” with Garth Greenwell, Dina Elenbogen and Fabienne Joshaphat.

Feb 16 or 21, 2017, 12:30 PM, Sheree’s Book Club, Bryn Mawr, PA

Feb 16, 2017, 7 PM, Wooden Shoe Books 704 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

*February 22, 2017, (Online) Charter for Compassion Global Read—Free, Register here. Charter for Compassion International is thrilled to be collaborating with Harriet Levin Millan for their Global Read Program! Charter members from all around the world have been reading Harriet’s novel How Fast Can You Run and will come together for an online conversation with Harriet (and the protagonist from the book itself!) on February 22nd at 9:00 am PST. This will be their kickoff Global Read Session of 2017!

March 1, 2017, 7 PM, SUNY Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program, Writers Speak Series with Omar Bah.

March 6, 2017, 7:00 PM, Poetry Reading, Free L library of Philadelphia (with Jill Bialosky), Philadelphia, PA

March 29, 2017, 5:00 PM Temple Beth Zion Israel, 300S 18th St. Philadelphia, PA

April 9, 2017, 10:00 AM, Beth El Men’s Club, 8215 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD

May 7, 2017, 9:30 AM, Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Willamette, IL

May 8, 2017, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, Iowa

June 8, 2017, Explorer Book Store, Aspen, CO

June 9-11, 2017, 3-4 PM, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Novel Writing Workshop – *appearing with Michael Majok Kuch

June 12, 7:30 PM, My Book Club, Huntingdon Valley, PA

June 23, 12 noon, PEN Haiti, (Poetry Workshop) Thomassin, Haiti

*September 8, 12-2 PM, South Sudan Flag Raising Ceremony, City Hall, Mayor’s Conversation Hall, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA—postponed to 2018

Sept 19, Janey’s Book Club, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sept 26, 7 PM, Gerri’s Book Club, Swarthmore, PA

*October 13, Mighty Writers West, 3861 Lancaster Avenue, Phila, PA workshop 4-5:30; reading and presentation, 6-8 PM

November 3, 7:30 PM, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA http://tickets.bucks.edu/event/b2673d8f4d475af733e199532c450346

November 8th, 7:00 PM, Temple Beth Zion – Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th Street https://bzbi.org/learn/adult-learning/sicha/

Miami Book Fair, November 18-19th, Miami Florida

Jan 31, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

March 8, AWP 2018, Tampa Florida, “Poets Who Write Prose,” with Gregory Pardlo, Marilyn Chin , Jill Bialosky and Joy Harjo

 

More news on the migrant crisis

Inside the World’s Biggest Refugee Camp‘—The BBC interviews refugees from Somalia in the largest refugee camp in the world

where 300 000 people live in Kenya.

Articles

Jewish Novelist Writes Inspirational Story of Sudanese Refugee’s Life

Refugees Run for Rio Olympic Dream Team

Article on Kakuma, the camp Mike lived in.

Malala Yousafzai Spends Her 19th Birthday in World’s Largest Refugee Camp

 

Poetry by Harriet Levin Millan

Harriet’s poetry in Ghost Town

 

About the Author

Harriet Levin Millan is a prize winning poet and writer. Her poetry collection, The Christmas Show, (Beacon Press) was selected for the Barnard New Women Poets Prize and The Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. She received a MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and has written for The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, PEN America, The Smart Set, among other publications. She and her family founded the Reunion Project and along with the participation of Philadelphia-area high school and college students, raised money to reunite several Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan with their mothers living abroad. She teaches creative writing in the English Department at Drexel University and directs the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing. She lives with her husband outside Philadelphia.

Share Button
Title 13 Title 13

Title 13

Title 13

TITLE 13, A Novel

by Michael A. Ferro

TITLE 13 is a Powell’s Staff Pick!

Selected in “Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2018!” by BIG OTHER lit journal

Michael A. Ferro will be on Ann Arbor’s “Living Writers” (WCBN) radio program, hosted by U-M professor, T. Wetzel live on June 7th from 5-6pm (EDT)!
On June 8th, he’ll be on the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Litfest; A new interview with Michael Ferro on Michigan Radio NPR, the No. 1 NPR station in Michigan with a listener base of 500,000 people

Michael Ferro will be on Chicago Tribune Radio WGN, Sunday evening, February 18th for a live interview with Tribune columnist Rick Kogan, 9 p.m. Central (10 p.m. Eastern)

Michigan Quarterly Review interviews Michael Ferro

Michael A. Ferro will discuss his published work and the upcoming release, TITLE 13. The reading/Q&A will take place at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan on August 21

 

A timely investigation into the heart of a despotic government, TITLE 13 is a darkly comic cautionary tale of mental illness and unconventional love. The novel deftly blends satirical comedy aimed at the hot-button issues of modern society with the gut-wrenching reality of an intensely personal descent into addiction.

Young Heald Brown might be responsible for the loss of highly classified TITLE 13 government documents—and may have hopelessly lost himself as well. Since leaving his home in Detroit for Chicago during the recession, Heald teeters anxiously between despondency and bombastic sarcasm, striving to understand a country gone mad while clinging to his quixotic roots. Trying to deny the frightening course of his alcoholism, Heald struggles with his mounting paranoia, and his relationships with concerned family and his dying grandmother while juggling a budding office romance at the US government’s Chicago Regional Census Center. Attempting to combat the devastating effects of his addiction, Heald’s reality digresses into farcical absurdity, fevered isolation, and arcane psychological revelation, hilarious though redoubtable in nature. Meanwhile the TITLE 13 secrets remain at large, haunting each character and tangling the interwoven threads of Heald’s life, as the real question looms: Is it the TITLE 13 information that Heald has lost, or his sanity?

 

Pre-order

TITLE 13


by Michael Ferro
Release date: February 1, 2018
Genre: Suspense, Literary Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-46-2

Pre-order

“A wonderful experience and a terribly compelling character study… sometimes fun, sometimes dark, and always knowledgeable about Chicago and about people. For a first-time novelist, (Ferro is) very knowing about the emotional territory of life. A very, very ambitious book.”

—Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune columnist and host of
“After Hours with Rick Kogan”

“Michael A. Ferro’s grand first novel churns fiction with a striking realism, and in his doing so, Ferro has successfully brought the Midwest back onto the literary map.”

—Hunger Mountain

“Even given the current political climate in Washington and its serious implications, it’s impossible for even the most concerned citizen not to find continuous insights, hilarious moments, and a resonating force within TITLE 13. Like a horrific accident, it draws spectators who might feel unwilling to observe, on one level; yet who are fascinated as events unfold, on another. It’s this ability to elicit that blend of concern, horror, and insight from his readers that keeps Michael A. Ferro’s story the perfect example of a individual and political catastrophe in the making, mirroring modern events from a delightfully fresh series of changing perspectives – especially from the perspective of the leaker himself, who is described as a ‘harbinger of doom’ and the ‘apogee of destruction’. The investigation will keep readers on their toes while Heald’s actions and reflections add a personal pivot point to cement events as they unfold. Readers who enjoy stories of political and individual blundering and irony should run, not walk, to TITLE 13: it’s a hard-hitting story wrapped in a unique voice that makes it nearly impossible to put down.”

Midwest Book Review

“The missing pages are only vaguely described in TITLE 13, though their disappearance maintains a grip on his colleagues who are quick to absolve themselves of blame and point the finger at others…. The novel’s focus drifts further away from the lost TITLE 13 documents and instead focuses on Heald’s loss of self, a broken man living in a broken world at the hands of a broken government. Rich in dialogue and description with a delicate balance of foreboding and satirical humor, TITLE 13 serves to caution all of us in the trust of our hearts, our memories, and the supposed security guaranteed by government and technology in the hands of fallible citizens.”

The Coil

“TITLE 13 is a darkly comic story for our time, a mélange of “Barton Fink,” “Office Space,” and Kafka, a novel that examines our alienation from one another and increasingly, our own country. Michael A. Ferro is a young writer on the rise.”

—Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and
The Hearts of Men

Goodreads Book Giveaway

TITLE 13 by Michael A. Ferro

TITLE 13

by Michael A. Ferro

Giveaway ends January 31, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


 

“Affecting and inventively funny… Ferro’s work is an eclectic mélange.”

Kirkus Reviews

“With fierce wit and precision, Ferro paints a riveting portrait of a mind unraveling—ravaged by addiction, and rattled by the paranoia lodged in the beating heart of our government and seeping out into society. The gripping mystery driving TITLE 13, and the deeply troubled yet often hilarious psychology of the novel’s protagonist, are mesmerizing and brilliantly rendered. Ferro is a writer in possession of rare and unique talent—wise, agile, and bold.”

—Emma Smith-Stevens, author of The Australian

 

“The absurd excess of the modern security state is on full display in Heald Brown’s anxious, pummeled persona. TITLE 13 is a meticulous portrait of an illaudable bureaucrat that calls to mind the quixotic wit of Lethem and the comically punished protagonists of Stanley Elkin. A fun, impressive debut . . . Michael A. Ferro is a writer to watch.”

—Jarret Middleton, author of Darkansas

 

“TITLE 13 blends a hilariously absurd world of white-collar bureaucracy with the intense emotional realities of loss and longing. At the heart of this energetic novel and its darkly painted Chicago skyline is the throb of addiction. Ferro bravely puts his finger on that pulse and never shies away from its pain, from the lies we tell ourselves so that we can keep reaching toward a distorted sense of normalcy.” ​

—Dustin M. Hoffman, author of One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist

 

“Ferro has given us an insightful, tightly-crafted, and wickedly cutting novel that forces us all to think about the things we don’t want to think about. But it’s just such a funny story, too. The only times I stopped laughing were to panic and cry a little.”

—Brian Boone, Splitsider

 

“TITLE 13 proves that even when society fractures, meaning can be drawn from the chaos. Michael A. Ferro writes with heart, tenderness, and wit. An impressive debut!”

—Davy Rothbart, Found Magazine

 

“TITLE 13 is a dive into a depraved and yet likeable mind more than it is a mystery. While the missing documents are always a looming concern, the novel is more a depiction of a troubled mind than a troubled governmental agency. We follow Heald through the city of Chicago and to his home in Detroit, painting a picture of a slow-moving, Midwestern region mostly devoid of the technological annoyances that dog us today. The story is not a thriller in which there is a prominent and clean conclusion; it is more satisfying than that. Instead, we follow a government employee who doesn’t trust the agency and yet more importantly, doesn’t trust himself…. I would especially recommend TITLE 13 to those who enjoy a tormented narrator.”

Windy City Reviews

 

“Picture some Kafkaesque bureaucratic fever dream set in quasi-contemporary Chicago and suburban Detroit. Then go drunkenly in search of something like love and something vaguely akin to those 28 conspiracy-inducing pages withheld from the original 9/11 Commission Report. Chase all this with a killer hangover worthy of Richard Yates and you’ll get a sense of Michael A. Ferro’s vivid and yearning debut novel, TITLE 13. But rest unassured. Any revelations you encounter — authoritatively written, funny as hell, wonderfully worthwhile — will be sadly, and suitably, short-lived. By turns earnest and ironic, also paranoiac, alcoholic, and elegiac, TITLE 13 is a critical excerpt pulled straight from the ailing heart of Middle America.” ​

—Jay Baron Nicorvo, author of The Standard Grand

“Michael Ferro writes about alcoholism in a way that mimics the disease. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, TITLE 13 is always a revelation: of our fears and anxieties, and the madness in which we might all get caught up if only a little something goes missing. Don’t misplace this impressive debut.”

—Stephan Eirik Clark, author of Sweetness #9

 

“Michael A. Ferro’s debut novel TITLE 13 is a stunning portrait of a man—Heald— trying to keep his personal and professional lives from unraveling. Like the Midwest city streets about which he writes, Ferro’s novel is tenacious, poignant, humorous, and always unpredictable. Sometimes fast-paced, other times deeply meditative, TITLE 13 is a timely literary thriller.”

—Keith Lesmeister, author of We Could’ve Been Happy Here

 

“If Joseph Heller had sat down to write And Then We Came To The End, he would’ve produced TITLE 13. Michael A. Ferro’s prose is fluid, his insights are sharp, and his humor is redeeming. This book is a required read.”

—Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich’s Ladder

 

“TITLE 13’s entertaining twists had me madly turning pages just to keep up. In his main character, Heald, Michael A. Ferro has drawn an alcoholic’s sneaky maneuverings and uneasy visions with enormous sympathy and refreshingly unironic humor. Heald’s quest to separate reality from imagination wraps him in a half-comic, half-tragic haze that challenges everything he thinks he knows, from his absurdly opaque workplace to the streets of Chicago to the familiar places Heald can never again call home. The novel’s break-out star is the Windy City. From a character whose medical condition causes him to superimpose faces on buildings to Heald’s unsteady view of his beloved city, no one in TITLE 13 lives in the same Chicago. Like Heald himself, TITLE 13 is both idealistic and despairing about the impossibility of reason and shared experience in a world where chaos is a strategy and secrecy a principle.”

—Laura Hulthen Thomas, author of States of Motion

 

“Ferro is a creative force to be reckoned with. TITLE 13 is a masterpiece of precision and vision, blended with a healthy dose of satire and wit. Echoes of Bradbury, Orwell and Huxley. As timely as it gets!”

—R.J. Fox, Author of Love & Vodka

 

Interviews

Crack the Spine literary journal

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Michael A. Ferro took part in Largehearted Boy’s “Book Notes” series about writing books and how music influences certain scenes and the story. There’s been many big name authors who have been a part of this series, like Jesmyn Ward, Stephen King, Lauren Groff, and Bret Easton Ellis, so he was really excited to be asked to participate!

 

About the Author

Born and bred in Detroit, Michael A. Ferro holds a degree in creative writing from Michigan State University. He has received an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train for their New Writers Award and won the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award for Fiction in 2008. TITLE 13 is his debut novel. Michael’s fiction and essays have been featured in numerous online and print publications. Michael has lived, worked, and written throughout the Midwest; he currently resides in rural Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Additional information and writing can be found at: www.michaelaferro.com and @MichaelFerro

Share Button
Leaving Kent State Leaving Kent State

Leaving Kent State

Leaving Kent State

 

Leaving Kent State

by Sabrina Fedel

Moombeam Gold medalist; Mother’s Choice Award Gold medalist; LitPick 5-Star Review Award winner; Finalist in the 2018 Literary Classics Book Awards

A young adult novel revealing the modern relevance of the first school shooting in the US, at Kent State University in 1970, by the National Guard

On May 4, 1970, the campus of Kent State University became the final turning point in Americans’ tolerance for the Vietnam War, as National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed student protestors, killing four and wounding nine. It was one of the first true school shootings in our nation’s history. A new young adult novel, Leaving Kent State (Harvard Square Editions), by debut author Sabrina Fedel, brings to life America’s political and social turmoil as it ushered in the new decade of the 1970s. Throughout the harsh winter of 1969-1970, Kent, Ohio, became a microcosm of the growing unrest that threatened the very nature of democracy.

Told from the viewpoint of seventeen-year-old Rachel Morelli, Leaving Kent State explores themes of the day that are strikingly similar to our own: terrorism, war, racial injustice, and gender inequality. As Rachel struggles to convince her dad that she should go to Pratt University in New York to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, Kent slips ever further off of its axis, in step with the growing discord across the nation. Caught between her love for her next door neighbor, Evan, a boy who has just returned from Vietnam, and her desire to escape Kent, Rachel must navigate a changing world to pursue her dreams.

“While our nation has largely forgotten what happened on May 4, 1970,” says the author, “it was a defining moment for the way in which Americans consider involvement in war. While popular sentiment initially blamed the students for the massacre, it became clear in the years immediately following that something had gone terribly wrong in our democracy for American troops to have opened fire on unarmed college students. In our own protest laden present, the shootings at Kent State remain a valuable lesson in the escalation of force during peaceful citizen protests.”

Leaving Kent State


by Sabrina Fedel
Release date: November 11, 2016
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-24-0

Praise for Leaving Kent State

“This story of an important and shocking moment in United States history is a solid addition to libraries and has a wide appeal.”

School Library Journal

“A love story that engagingly merges themes of art and anger.”

Kirkus

“The historical elements were intertwined with a love story, one so classic and swoon-worthy that you can’t help but become invested.”

LitPick 5-Star Review

“The writing here is strong, with evocative prose that gives us a great sense of time and place.”

Book Pipeline

“The simmering love of Rachel, a budding artist, for Evan, a maimed Vietnam vet, explodes beneath the thunderclouds of political tumult and student rebellion. You savor every sentence, but, knowing where it’s heading, you can’t turn the pages fast enough. Kent State is a spot-on historical drama and one visceral, thrilling debut!”

—Tony Abbott, award winning author of Firegirl

“A poignant and gripping tale of a young girl’s love for a Vietnam Vet played out against state-side resistance to an immoral war. The ensuing violence on a college campus is conveyed with stunning historical accuracy.”

—Pat Lowery Collins, acclaimed author of The Fattening Hut

“LEAVING KENT STATE does what excellent historical fiction is supposed to do–it breathes life into an era. Through the eyes of its young protagonist, this well-researched novel recreates the tensions in Kent, Ohio, during the Vietnam War years and the tragedy that resulted. Readers will love Sabrina Fedel’s masterfully drawn characters, her compelling plot, and her rich prose. This is the debut novel of a sensitive and accomplished writer.”

—Patricia Harrison Easton, author of the Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award winning Davey’s Blue-Eyed Frog

 

sabrina-small

About the Author

Sabrina Fedel’s fiction and poetry has appeared in online and print journals. In addition to winning LitPick 5-Star Review Award for her debut novel Leaving Kent State, she is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee, as well as a 2016 nominee for a storySouth Million Writers Award and a Sundress Publications Best of the Net ’16 Award. Sabrina holds her MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Writing for Young People, from Lesley University in Cambridge. You can often find her on twitter @writeawhile, or follow her blog at www.sabrinafedel.com, and she loves pictures so Instagram is a favorite hangout. She writes from Pittsburgh, where she lives in a small house with lots of people and animals, some of whom think she’s funny.

Share Button
Hot Season Hot Season

Hot Season

Hot Season

Hot Season, by Susan DeFreitas

2017 Gold IPPY Award

 

“One of 25 Oregon writers every Oregonian must read” –The Oregonian

Featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB Public Radio), with her writers group,The Guttery

One of the most-listened to interviews on ‘Today’s Best Writers in Conversation with Host David Naimon’, KBOO 90.7 FM Between the Covers podcast

Hot Season was recently featured on the Rose City Reader book blog 3-27-17: Mailbox Monday

More Features and Events

3-30-17: Book Beginning; 4-4-17: Teaser Tuesday; 4-8-17: Author Interview

Spillers interview, “The Voice of Phoenix Fiction”

She was recently interviewed by Portland public radio station, OPB, for a show called State of Wonder, with her writing group, The Guttery: Airtimes TBA.

She is presenting at book clubs this spring

2.23.17 at 5:30 pm Happy Hour with Indigo Editing at Zeus Cafe (303 SW 12th Ave,) Portland, OR

3.26.17 at 2:00 pm Author Appearance at Newport Public Library (35 NW Nye St.) Newport, OR

4.2.17 at 7:00 pm Presentation at Tsunami Books (2585 Willamette St) Eugene, OR

4.7–8.17 at (panel various times) IBPA’s Publishing University (Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway) Portland, OR

4.11.17 at 7 pm Author Appearance at Broadway Books (1714 NE Broadway St) Portland, OR

4.17.17 at 7:30 pm Group reading for City of Weird anthology at Post 134 (2104 NE Alberta St) Portland, OR

4.18.17 at 7 pm Reading at Annie Bloom’s (7834 SW Capitol Hwy) Portland, OR

4.20.17 at 7 pm Group Reading at Another Read Through (3932 N Mississippi Ave) Portland, OR

An outlaw activist on the run. A pipeline set to destroy a river. And three young women who must decide who to love, who to trust, and what to sacrifice for the greater good.

In the tinder-dry Southwest, three roommates—students at Deep Canyon College, known for its radical politics—are looking for love, adventure, and the promise of a bigger life that led them West.

Based in part on real events in the early nineties and mid-aughts—Hot Season explores what Oregon Book Award Winner Cari Luna called “the charged terrain where the youthful search for identity meets the romantic, illicit lure of direct action.”

Praise for Hot Season

order

Hot Season


by Susan DeFreitas
Release date: November 1, 2016
Genre: Eco-activist-fiction, Suspense
Price: $17.88
ISBN: 978-1-941861-28-8

order

“A stunning debut novel.”

Huffington Post Books

“DeFreitas oscillates between elegant description and coarse dialog, between cool river grove shade and damning desert sunshine. From the unforgiving arid land that baked it, HOT SEASON prospers in the heat.”

Snow Day

“Enjoy the gorgeous prose and thought-provoking narrative in HOT SEASON, and wait for the next novel from this talented writer.”

Ecolitbooks.com

“Magnificent. A stunning book.”

—Rene Denfeld, multi award-winning author of The Enchanted

“Steeped in a slow-boil sensuality, and the wide-eyed innocence of the young, but also with the suspicion of the status quo, this examination of current climate fears is a must-read.”

—Powell’s Books

“A true Prescott novel, Hot Season asks big questions — not only about water rights and the importance of riparian corridors in the West, but about what it means to fight for the natural world. Young and idealistic, the three protagonists, Katie, Jenna and Rell, attend Deep Canyon College (whose real life inspiration was our own Prescott College). These three roommates negotiate love and the lure of monkey-wrenching in the time of rumored undercover agents in the classroom. And heat — did I mention the heat? For much of the novel it is summer, the air scorched, the heat palpable. Beautifully written, “Hot Season” sizzles with nuanced friendships, passion, and the search for identity, so malleable during the college years. As DeFreitas eloquently puts it, “All these selves were turning into other selves, burning off in the heat of this strange summer.”

Peregrine Book Company

“That Hot Season remains universal while at the same time remaining centered on an all female cast of main characters speaks to the importance of diversity in fiction…. Reading Hot Season is a trip to who we all used to be and might provide some insight on just who exactly we are now.”

thecollagist.com

“Forsaking savvy precociousness in favor of off-putting credulity is a calculated risk that pays dividends as Katie incrementally transforms from a culturally expropriating green-horn to the mohawked eco-warrior known only as ‘K’….the reader can feel the electric thrum of the landscape, the region, and the natural world…she weaves an unconscious illusion into a dawning truth…that the land is alive and that it has reached us at last.”

Texas Books in Review

“She is carving a niche for herself among environmental novelists such as Margaret Atwood, Edward Abbey and Barbara Kingsolver.”

—Amazon review

“DeFreitas gives us a moment on the timeline of our lives–when, over a four-year span, we grow from someone in search of an identity into fully formed humans with ideas, opinions, true friends and a wisdom often gleaned from our own stupidity.”

Carmel Magazine

“Earth-shatteringly good…as if Donna Tartt had been edited by Gordon Lish. Hot Season is that wonderful mix of literary thoughtfulness and instinctual storytelling gifts.”

Read It Forward

“A brisk read with a potent mix of wit and edge.”

Arizona Daily Sun

“DeFreitas carries this laidback realism through Hot Season, from seemingly minor details that build her rich universe—the color of a sunset, the horrible white-people dreads of college manarchists, the yerba maté beside the soil science textbook—to the book’s complicated, relatable women characters. (The men of Hot Season are refreshingly peripheral.) From unhappily coupled Jenna’s fantasy of solo life on a ranch without men, to Rell’s levelheaded attempt to balance her political ideals with the practical demands of her life, to Katie’s dangerous attraction to self-mythologizing, Hot Season is really a book about women. It’s a sad fact that in many activist movements, women and other marginalized people are often drowned out by swaggering white-guy hypocrisy. Here, they’re given room to breathe, and watching their various sundry selves evolve is something I’m glad to have witnessed.

Portland Mercury

“Hot Season by Susan DeFreitas brings contemporary environmental activism into the literary vernacular at an interesting moment. ….the novel’s saga of political tension surrounding commercial development chimes intriguingly with current news.”

—Donna Miele, Rain Taxi

“Hot Season, Susan DeFreitas’s finely wrought debut novel, explores the charged terrain where the youthful search for identity meets environmental activism and the romantic, illicit lure of direct action. A compelling book.”

—Cari Luna, Oregon Book Award winner,
author of The Revolution of Every Day

 

“In Susan DeFreitas’s riveting debut, the desert looms large over the dreams and desires of three friends contending with big questions — such as who to love, who to trust, and what to sacrifice for the greater good. A tale of youth, lust, and activism, Hot Season is a beguiling college novel in the tradition of The Secret History.”

—Mo Daviau, author of Every Anxious Wave

 

“Susan DeFreitas’s powerful, timely novel asks big questions—not only about water rights and the importance of riparian corridors in the West, but about what it means to fight for the natural world.”

—Michaela Carter, author of Further
Out Than You Thought

 

“A beautiful book that asks the crucial question, is it worse to destroy a dam or to destroy a river? Which is to say, how do we live our conscience on a crowded, corrupted planet?”

—Monica Drake, author of The Stud Book

 

Prescott Arts Beat Interview

Prescott’s Daily Courier

Portland Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) Interview

Praise for Susan DeFreitas

“Terrific.”

—Jess Walter, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller
Beautiful Ruins

“Irresistible—funny and whip smart and dead-on.”

—David Long, author of The Inhabited World

OPB Radio on Susan’s writing group, The Guttery

About the Author

SusanDeFreitasPressPhoto72

Susan DeFreitas’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in The Utne Reader, Southwestern American Literature, The Nervous Breakdown, Story Magazine, and Fourth River, among other publications. DeFreitas lived in the high country of central Arizona, where Hot Season is set, for fourteen years, and covered topics related to the environment and green technology until 2009, when she moved to the Pacific Northwest. Melanie Bishop, writing for Huffington Post Books, called her “a spokesperson for our times.”
Web site: http://susandefreitas.com/books/

Share Button
Four Tales of Troubled Love Four Tales of Troubled Love

Four Tales of Troubled Love

Four Tales of Troubled Love

Four Tales of Troubled Love
by Matthew James Babcock

Forthcoming

Enter this tetrad of tangled love tales at the turn of the last millennium when what were then the latest technologies—personal computers, fax machines, and mobile phones—started to short-circuit pacemakers. This tour de four of realistic love stories operates operatically, like a piece of music in four movements, sometimes zany and tragic, at times surreal and sublime.

Help Phone Thirteen’ (scherzando con misterioso): A young father moves his family across the country to escape his oppressive in-laws and, when his job and marriage implode, gets guidance from a mystical voice on a “help phone” at the local mall and a professional clown masquerading as social savior.

‘Meer, Tarn, Water, Fell’ (marcia moderato con fuoco): A poetry-loathing Dutch tour bus driver on a stopover in The Lake District plots revenge on his German ex-wife, unaware that the daughter he never knew he had has followed him half way around the world for the love she was denied.

‘Impressions’ (appassionato): An ex-military pilot turned tech CEO finds his unconventional marriage and newfound faith at odds when he discovers the joys and dangers that come with waiting for answers from heaven and the heart.

‘The Seal’ (eroico non troppo): A young family, caught between the baby blues and the deep blue sea, battles professional and personal pressures, but thanks to a homeless benefactor and captive harbor seal, learns that loving the environment and loving each other are a matter of instinct.

T. S. Eliot had his Four Quartets of poetry, now comes a foursome of fiction. For beach readers, literature connoisseurs, and book club junkies alike, these tales will quadruple the pleasure in reflecting on how we live and love. Wherever you take them, they will find you once again, in love with trouble and troubled by love.

Pre-order

Four Tales of Troubled Love


by Matthew James Babcock
Release date: January 25, 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-62-2

Pre-order

Praise for Four Tales of Troubled Love

“Matthew James Babcock is charming with a poetic bent…. Throughout all the stories there is a push and pull for what love really means. For all those beach readers or book clubs looking for their next read — this is it.”

⎯J Bowen West, The Times News
 

“With sentences like, ‘His sick heart swings like a clapperless bell,’ Matthew James Babcock’s Four Tales of Troubled Love is a banquet of rich, abundant and wildly inventive language.  In these novellas, only oddly matched lovers survive, and the fantastic and hilarious are indistinguishable from the painful and dismal.  A unique and exceptional book.”

⎯John Vernon, Author of Lucky Billy

 

About the Author

A veteran presenter, professor, and reader, Babcock has traveled, studied, and written in Utah, New York, Pennsylvania, Great Britain, Germany, and has come home to roost in the great basins of the Rocky Mountain Northwest. He lurks online under the code name ‘Wordman’. Visit Matt’s web site.

Share Button