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Duplicity

Description Dispatched by their mother to learn why his estranged twin brother Gregory (or “Brock Jones, PhD,” as he’s known to fans of his bestselling self-help book Coffee, Black) has disappeared, Stewart Detweiler drives 1,500 miles to find his twin hanging from a ceiling beam in their deceased father’s lakeside A-frame. But instead of reporting him dead, Stewart decides to become him. As he sees it, he’s not taking his brother’s life; he’s saving it. In turn he will at last gain an audience for his novel-in-perpetual-progress the plot of which bears an uncanny resemblance to this one. At first Stewart’s plan goes smoothly. But before long the motives behind his brother’s suicide emerge, pointing to intrigue, extortion, and desperate measures taken with disastrous results. The bonds of family; success and failure; philosophy and quantum mechanics; the ways in which we can — and cannot — rewrite our own lives: DUPLICITY weaves all of these together while vivisecting its own genre. DUPLICITY was a semi-finalist for this year’s Elixir Book Prize and has also been short-listed for the 2020 Steel Toe Book Books 2021 Prize. It was also a finalist for the 2019 Craft First Chapter Contest. About the Author Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has written a novel, three books on the craft of writing, two essay collections, plays, and several children’s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. His memoir, The Inventors, won the 2017 Housatonic Book Award. His essays have appeared in the Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. His illustrations and paintings have been featured in The New Yorker, Forbes, Gourmet, Outside, Boston Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he is nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters, the international journal of poetry and prose. Praise “Duplicity is a hall-of-mirrors metafictional masterpiece in which everything has its equal opposite and nothing is quite what it seems. Read more…

If Winter Comes

Description When Fanny Kemble, an acclaimed nineteenth-century British actress, marries Pierce Butler, a Philadelphia aristocrat, she is yoked to a philanderer, a liar, and, as she soon learns, a slaver. She must deal with a husband who expects her absolute obedience, as though she were one of his slaves. As an abolitionist, she feels compelled to go down to Georgia, to Butler Plantation, to witness, firsthand, her coerced complicity in this vile institution. An unwanted presence, Fanny soon becomes a force to be reckoned with not only for herself but for her husband’s mistreated slaves. About the Author Jack Smith has published five novels: Run (2020), Miss Manners for War Criminals (2017), Being (2016), Icon (2014), and Hog to Hog, which won the 2007 George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2008. He has published stories in a number of literary magazines, including Southern Review, North American Review, Texas Review, In Posse Review, Word Riot, and Night Train. His reviews have appeared widely in such publications as Ploughshares, Georgia Review, American Book Review, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, The Missouri Review, and Environment magazine. He has published numerous articles in Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market and is a regular contributor to The Writer magazine. He has published two books on creative writing: Write and Revise for Publication: A 6-Month Plan for Crafting an Exceptional Novel and Other Works of Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books, 2013; Penguin Random House) and Inventing the World: The Fiction Writer’s Guidebook to Craft and Process (Serving House Books, 2018). Besides his writing, Smith was fiction editor of The Green Hills Literary Lantern, an online literary magazine published by Truman State University, for 25 years. He presently teaches for Writers.com. Praise From the outset, the reader of this luminous novel becomes Fanny Kemble’s rapt audience-of-one, consciously attuned to how her marriage to Pierce Butler, a Philadelphia aristocrat, will fail. At her husband’s slave plantation, where she identifies with the plight of the slaves, it’s as if the utter depravity of what she encounters transforms the Fanny we knew up to this point. It is the rare reader who won’t find herself gripped by the pulse-quickening chapters of this beautifully written book. Read more…

The Hot Sauce Madness Love Burn Suite

Description ON SALE NOVEMBER 15, 2020 The Hot Sauce Madness Love Burn Suite is a book of poems that revolves around the beloved and sometimes notorious culture of hot sauce and hot peppers. Its 814 rhyming couplets delve deeply into that rich and addicting world, whether they focus on peppers’ flavor, pain, linguistics, or history. Come take a bite out of these verses, and see if you can handle the heat. About the Author Stephen Cramer’s first book of poems, Shiva’s Drum, was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by University of Illinois Press. Bone Music, his sixth, won the Louise Bogan Award and was published by Trio House Press. He is the editor of Turn It Up! Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop. His work has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, African American Review, The Yale Review, and Harvard Review. An Assistant Poetry Editor at Green Mountains Review, he teaches writing and literature at the University of Vermont and lives with his wife and daughter in Burlington. Praise Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine reading a poetry book solely devoted to chile peppers. Yet here it is, and the book is truly excellent — and funny. If fact, it’s so good that that I’m designating the author, Stephen Cramer, as The Official Poet Laureate of Peppers. — Dave DeWitt, aka The Pope of Peppers, author of Chili Peppers: A Global History and The Hot Sauce Bible Stephen Cramer has breathed fire and life into the story of hot sauce the way only a poet can. From his odes to beloved chiles (as, in one poem after the next, he climbs the Scoville scale), to verses extolling the virtues of dairy as an antidote to hot sauce overdose, or the perils of indulging too enthusiastically and finding oneself “fenced in by the stench of Cerberus’ breath,” Cramer has made a delightfully whimsical and truly unique contribution to the hot sauce canon. — Denver Nicks, author of Hot Sauce Nation: America’s Burning Obsession and a regular contributor to TIME and National Geographic Traveler A pepper poet? Who knew. Not only is Stephen funny, but he’s witty and wise as well. The book is an utter delight to savor. It’s not the least bit seedy, but has a nice bite, and a subtle after turn. Read more…

Mamaji: A Memoir

Description Elisheba Haqq, the youngest of seven children has lost her mother, Mamaji to cancer. She is living with a cold and unfeeling stepmother and searching for answers. The small-town Minnesotans believe the family members are the “perfect immigrants.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Haqq offers an honest and atypical perspective in her memoir Mamaji. She’s not the usual Indian immigration success story. She doesn’t attend an Ivy League college, have a Bollywood-inspired wedding or become a neurosurgeon. Instead, with humor and introspection, she shares how she and her siblings contend with a manipulative stepmother. Elisheba battles to salvage her father’s love while the fast-fading memory of her mother lingers in the background. Despite her absence, Mamaji gives her children grit and a deep devotion for each other enabling them to flourish despite their home life. Mamaji is a story about a daughter longing to connect with her lost mother. It’s about a mother’s bond to her children and how her love brings great strength and resilience. It’s a story of redemption and forgiveness despite blatant injustice and deceit. It proves a difficult past does not determine future love and happiness. About the Author Elisheba Haqq was born in Chandigarh, India, but was brought up in Minnesota, USA. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches writing at Rutgers University. Her work has appeared in A Letter for my Mother, Gateways, She.knows.com, and New Jersey Monthly. An RN by profession, she has also been published in Creative Nursing and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. She enjoys unplanned travel, black tea, and printed books. Elisheba lives in New Jersey with her family and can be found online at www.elishebahaqq.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Praise Elisheba Haqq deftly weaves the loss of her beloved mother throughout this coming of age memoir. It takes courage to tell as it is, and Haqq does not waver from the truth. Ultimately what comes across is the deep sense of loss and the longing for times bygone, yet forging ahead in the face of injustice and a yearning for love. The fierce attachment to her family gives Haqq strength and humor to get through life, and she infuses her writing with these. Read more…

A Guide of the Perplexed

Description J.R. Solonche’s new poetry collection, A Guide of the Perplexed, is his 20th to date and his third from Serving House Books. If you are perplexed when it comes to poetry, as many of us are, then here is your ideal guide to the richness of poetry as only Solonche can serve it up: wit, word-play, insight, artistry akin to magic, the transformation of philosophical treatises into Zen koans, all of which are, in the words of Kirkus Reviews, “sympathetic but never sentimental.” About the Author J.R. Solonche is the author of nineteen books of poetry and coauthor of another. He lives in the Hudson Valley. Praise J.R. Solonche can pack so much humor and linguistic playfulness into such tight bundles, it feels like 1,000 clowns issuing from a VW Bug. He can also fit a lot of darkness and mortality into them, which feels more like 1,000 clowns dressed like Marilyn Mason issuing from a VW Bug. Solonche can be crass the way only the truthful can be, mischievous as a child with his hands in the honey jar, or even aphoristic and proverbial like a modern day Martial. Though you never know which Solonche you’re going to encounter on the next page, he’s a great bunch of guys to get to know. — Stephen Cramer is the winner of the Louise Bogan Award and the National Poetry Series The history of book blurbs is littered with high falutin’ praise, whacky and wild metaphors, written to impress not to inform. All I need to say about J.R. Solonche’s poems is that they are good, really, really good. So much so that they have a high “I-wish-I’d-written-that” factor. That’s a compliment I hand out to very few poets writing today. You want wit? You want humor? You want erudition? You want them all mixed into poems? Try Solonche. You won’t be disappointed. Envious perhaps, but not disappointed. — John Murphy is editor of The Lake Contemporary Poetry Webzine In a style that favors brevity and pith, J.R. Solonche brings a richness of experience, observation, and wit into his poems. Here is the world! they exclaim. And here and here and here! Watched over by ancient lyric gods – Time, Death, and Desire— we find the quotidian here transformed. Read more…

Robert Day: The Collected Short Stories

Description The stories in this collection represent about six decades of writing. Over time some of them have grown the “claws and wings” of novels as Vladimir Nabokov put it. But they were stories first. At the University of Kansas I took a course titled “Narration and Description.” Not that I knew what those terms meant but I was curious to find out. It was taught by “Staff.”What I found out was that I could not contain myself with those two categories and in an early submission I branched out into scenes. My teacher (a Miss Staff) did not reprimand me for this, but pointed that “scenes” typically had two “unities”: one of time and one of place. I had no idea what she meant. But since I had not been scolded, in my next submission, I not only had a scene but I introduced two characters who talked. Meanwhile the other students were dutifully writing narration and description: We walked from our dorm to Strong Hall where our class met and along the way we saw the cars on Jayhawk boulevard. About the Author Robert Day’s novel The Last Cattle Drive was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. His short fiction has won a number of awards and citations, including two Seaton Prizes, a Pen Faulkner/NEA prize, and Best American Short Story and Pushcart citations. His fiction has been published by Tri-Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Kansas Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Summerset Review, and New Letters, among other belles-lettres magazines. He is the author of two novellas, In My Stead and The Four Wheel Drive Quartet, as well as three collections of short fiction: Speaking French in Kansas, Where I Am Now, and The Billion Dollar Dream. His nonfiction has been published in the Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes FYI, Modern Maturity, World Literature Today, American Scholar, and Numero Cinq. As a member of the Prairie Writers Circle, his essays have been reprinted in numerous newspapers and journals nationwide and on such Internet sites as Counterpunch and Arts and Letters Daily. Recent book publications include We Should Have Come by Water (poems), The Committee to Save the World (literary nonfiction), and Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind (memoir). Other publications include the novel Let Us Imagine Lost Love and Robert Day for President: An Embellished Campaign Autobiography. Read more…

Have a Heart

Description Have a Heart will be released on November 17, 2020 It is the month of May, the year, 1998, the place, Lincoln Center. Ali and his mother attend the premiere of the ballet Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House, where Anna, the Russian ballerina, is making her American Ballet Theatre debut as Odette/Odile. While dancing in the ballet, suddenly and unexpectedly, Anna, the Swan Queen, collapses, and the story begins. The next day, Dr. Ali is called to consult on Anna. He finds her in heart failure due to weakness of her heart muscle. Anna undergoes a barrage of tests and is crushed that her dancing days are over. During Anna’s hospital stay, and subsequently, Anna and Ali, take a liking to each other and when her heart condition improves, they became lovers. Several months later, Ali meets Nancy, an investment analyst who works at the World Trade Center. He remains torn for his concern for Anna’s health and his blossoming relationship with Nancy. In Have A Heart, Gomes explores the intertwined romantic and professional lives of three individuals, a torpid romance between a patient, Anna, and her doctor, Ali, the clash of cultures, the political upheavals of our times, the tribulations of waiting for a heart transplant, and the search for inner truth. About the Author António Gomes, also known as J. Anthony Gomes, is a Professor of Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC. He has published extensively in Medicine including two textbooks of Cardiology, Signal Averaged Electrocardiography: Basic Concepts Methods and Application (Kluwer Academic Press, London/Amsterdam, 1993) and Heart Rhythm Disorders: History, Mechanisms and Management Perspectives (Springer-Nature, 2020). He has also published articles in the humanities in anthologies, books, newspapers, and magazines; two books of poetry entitled Visions from Grymes Hill (Turn of River Press, Stanford, Connecticut, USA, 1994) and Mirrored Reflections (GOA 1556 and Fundacão Oriente, 2013); and a novel, The Sting of Peppercorns (GOA, 1556 & Broadway Books, 2010); 2nd edition, Amaryllis, New Delhi, India, 2017) and Nas Garras Do Destino, published in Portugal and Brazil in May 2019 by Chiado Editora, Brake Media, Lisbon, Portugal. Praise Have a Heart by Antonio Gomes is a dazzling story of Anna, an elegant ballerina who succumbs to a heart ailment, and of Ali, the young doctor who is smitten while treating her. Read more…

Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne

Description LOVING MODIGLIANI will be released on December 15, 2020 Amedeo Modigliani, embittered and unrecognized genius, dies of meningitis on a cold January day in Montparnasse in 1920, Jeanne Hébuterne, his young wife and muse, follows 24 hours later, falling backwards from a window. Now a ghost, Jeanne drifts about the studio she shared with Modigliani – for she was not only his favorite model, but also an artist whose works were later shut away from public view after her demise. Enraged, she watches as her belongings are removed from the studio and her identity as an artist seemingly effaced for posterity, carried off in a suitcase.Thus begins Linda Lappin’s new novel LOVING MODIGLIANI, retelling the story of Jeanne Hébuterne’s fate as a woman and artist through three timelines and three precious objects stolen from the studio: a diary, a bangle, and a self-portrait of Jeanne depicted together with Modi and her child. About the Author Linda Lappin is the prize-winning author of four novels: The Etruscan (Wynkin deWorde, 2004), Katherine’s Wish (Wordcraft, 2008), Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery (Pleasureboat Studio, 2013), and Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne (Serving House Books, 2020). Signatures in Stone was the overall winner of the Daphne DuMaurier prize for best mystery novel of 2013. She is also the author of The Soul of Place: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci (Travelers Tales, 2015), which won a Nautilus Award in the category of creativity in 2015. A former Fulbright scholar to Italy, she has lived mainly in Rome for over thirty years. Her websiteis www.lindalappin.net. Read more…

Piano Music

Description Piano Music, the new poetry collection from JR Solonche, presents him at his best. The wit, the insights, the playfulness, the craft, the profundity, and yes, at times the silliness, are all here on full display to the delight of the reader, whether that reader be new to the Solonche universe or one returning for more. About the Author J.R. Solonche is the author of nin Praise J.R.Solonche’s many books of poetry, one nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, reveal a wry and vivid wit, a sharp but sympathetic eye, and a respect for the homely but significant detail, all wedded to an acute social and cultural consciousness. In his imaginative progress through city streets and country roads, the commonplace becomes the extraordinary… In lines full of mischief or romance, gaiety or grief, he is the poet of the everyday, spent on earth or in an imaginary heaven. Judith Farr, author of What Lies Beyond: Poems and The Passion of Emily Dickinson. Solonche is productive and prolific, but that doesn’t water down his poetry… He can compress a philosophical treatise into three lines… His epigrammatic tidy poems are philosophic gems. Solonche sees humor and encapsulates it; he frames a thought in perfect verse… He’s playful and profound — the more he writes, the more he seems to know. Beneath the Solonche simplicity are significant social comments, and his goodwill reinforces the best in us.” — Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books “Solonche, an accomplished poet, employs various forms in this compilation, including haiku, prose poem, and free verse. The poems often imaginatively enter into the natural or material world via anthropomorphic similes… Many works have an aphoristic quality that recall Zen koans, and they can be playfully amusing or even silly… A strong set of sympathetic but never sentimental observations.” — Kirkus Reviews “The spirit of Horace, the melancholy of time slithering away and turning all to dust, tempered with art, wit, and good grace…” — Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of Offcourse: A Literary Journal “In a style that favors brevity and pith, J.R. Solonche brings a richness of experience, observation, and wit into his poems. Here is the world! they exclaim. And here, and here, and here! Watched over by ancient lyric gods – Time, Death, and Desire — we find the quotidian here transformed.” — Christopher Nelson, editor of Green Linden Press “J.R. Read more…

The Mussolini Diaries

Description [The book is available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble (Buy Now button) in advance its September 7, 2020 release date.] Moving at surprising angles between the personal and the public world, Gary Fincke’s poems lead to discoveries that are both exhilarating and unsettling. In long sequences and precisely observed shorter poems, he explores terrorism, mass hysteria, climate change, political calamity, and the necessity of sustaining belief. He references science and history as well as myth. He grounds his poems in experience. Gary Fincke’s poems speak to the reader with an urgency driven by the elusiveness of truth. About the Author Gary Fincke’s latest collection of poems, The Infinity Room, won the Wheelbarrow Books Prize for Established Poets (Michigan State, 2019). Winner of Poetry Magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and Ohio State’s Wheeler Prize, he has published fourteen collections of poetry. His fiction and nonfiction collections have won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction and the Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose. He recently retired after founding and then directing the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University for decades. Praise Gary Fincke’s The Mussolini Diaries is a masterful collection of poems, particularly relevant for these difficult times, but like all great poetry, timeless in its own way. Fincke drills home what so many of us feel about the current state of our country with sharp insights grounded in complex imagery and spiced with wit and anger, empathy and loss. You too may find yourself nodding as you read, thinking, “yes, yes, this is how it is.” Jim Daniels With an unflinching gaze, Gary Fincke’s The Mussolini Diaries grapples with our collective failure at good stewardship—of our planet, ourselves, and each other “…as if ruin were a handsome prince.” In poems with themes as disparate as trepanning, climate change, suicide bombers, pandemics, clever forgeries, or the theft of one hundred brains from a hospital lab, our iniquities are laid bare and we are refused easy answers or hollow consolation. But Fincke adamantly eschews condemnation. In work by turns solemn and humorous, he manages to master a seemingly impossible paradox: despite the knowledge that “the world ripens without us…and we are sorely unmissed,” though “we carry the memory of comfort like a congenital hump,” there is still a chance at ultimate redemption where our “futures will have beauty and flight. Read more…