Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Library Journal August 2012 Reviews

Reviews of Jaden Terrell's "A Cup Full of Midnight" and Chris Knopf's "Dead Anyway" have offered high praise in the August 2012 issue of Library Journal

"Saddle up for PI Jared McKean's welcome second appearance. While successfully juggling a complex cast with numerous minidramas, Terrell never loses focus on a case about troubled teens, which he writes with sympathy"

"Knopf's tale is suspenseful from the get-go, with an intellectual, yet visceral, vigilantism coursing through the pages. In a major change in direction, the author of the "Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mysteries" (Black Swan; Hard Stop) never misses an angle and manages to weave a bit of humor into a storyline that could have been purely dark. This bodes well for a really good series"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Death in a Wine Dark Sea by Lisa King in LL Book Review

The LL Book Review has recently praised Lisa King's debut novel  calling it a " can't put it down, classic mystery".

"The pace of DEATH IN A WINE DARK SEA by Lisa King is fast; the plot, pleasingly intricate, the storyline surprising from the start, the suspects numerous and humorous. Reading the book, I could feel, see, and smell the damp San Francisco fog rolling in over the hills."

"DEATH IN A WINE DARK SEA by Lisa King is for mystery lovers who choose a book because it conforms to the conventions of classic mystery but who want something more than a great puzzle. It is for readers who like surprises, who delight in characters well drawn, who relish stories told in transparent prose with a consistent style. If you are one, you won’t want to miss this book."

Read the full review at www.llbookreview.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Senior Writer's Thoughts #7

Seventh in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: "Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From K.C. (Chet) Fredericks:  I’m flattered to be in the company of such eloquent, passionate witnesses to the hard and immensely satisfying craft of writing, no  matter what their ages. Doing this stuff for so long, I never thought  of myself as an older writer, or older person, for that matter; but somehow, story came after story, novel followed novel, and suddenly, it seemed, I was over seventy. Funny how that happens.
       It’s always been a miracle, looking back at my earliest notes for a fiction, that already latent in those obscure scratchings was a  complex entity that would some day breathe and move. To make it happen, though, meant using every tool in the tool box as well as every instrument in my little orchestra. When the fiction’s done a sense of ending goes along with the feeling of achievement: this thing is finished, it doesn’t have to be done again, let’s try something new. But then there’s the blank page. Next time around you have to start as a baby, learning to speak all over. Each novel can be a lifetime—doesn't that complicate how writers calculate their ages?
       There’s something bittersweet about a life of writing. Faulkner said it as well as anyone. I can’t find the quote but somewhere he talks about his career as a series of partial satisfactions: OK, he’d think, that novel was pretty good, but it could have been stronger, that one had its moments, I think I can do better; until one day he looked at the whole bunch and realized that what he had was a pretty fair achievement.  At the same moment, though, he saw that the years he’d spent calling into being this wonderful fictive universe had only brought him closer to the point of final silence. Typical Faulkner, right?  Turning even his astonishing accomplishment into an occasion 
for brooding.
       He may have got that right. There’s no way to fake that ending. But fiction writers philosophize mostly when they’re not writing. Caught up in the heat of yet another fiction, we acknowledge only the clock that controls narrative time. As for those other clocks and calendars, the philosopher who put it best was Lawrence Berra with his yogic declaration that “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

K.C. Frederick lives in the Boston area with his wife. Born in Detroit, he’s taught at Michigan, Cornell and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. His novel, Inland, won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Prize for Fiction in 2007.

Look for his next novel Looking for Przybylski coming October 2012 from The Permanent Press!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A review of Oregon Hill in Small Press Reviews

     ..... While the narrative is certainly compelling, what gives Oregon Hill a degree of heft is its commentary on the fate of print journalism in the digital age. To an extent, the novel decries the sad state of affairs created by the dwindling readership for traditional newspapers. At the same time, however, Owen is careful not to indulge in too much hand-wringing, as his protagonist is quick to recognize the value of so-called "new media" even if he's somewhat reluctant to embrace it. In this sense, Oregon Hill looks forward as much as it looks back, and offers a fairly complex look at our culture's current relationship with journalism.

   Oregon Hill reviewed in The New York Journal of Books

 ........ Having worked as a newspaper reporter, Mr. Owen writes in a captivating voice, his acute observations granting authenticity to the bullet-speed pace of the story. Newspaperman Willie Black is masterfully created, ink and dark humor coursing through his hardboiled veins. It is hoped that this is the beginning of a series of books staring Willie and crew. Bring on the sequel!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oregon Hill Book Signings!

Author Howard Owen will be appearing on the following dates to sign and promote his newest novel Oregon Hill.

Aug. 11: Flyleaf Books: Jamie Fiocco. 2 p.m.; 752 MLK Jr Blvd,  Chapel Hill, NC 27514; Direct Tel: 919.942.7936, Fax: 919.942.7301; www.flyleafbooks.com

Aug. 12: Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.  Nancy Olsen. 3 p.m.  919 828-1588 rene.martin@quailridgebooks.com

Aug. 14: Fountain Books, Richmond, Kelly Justice, 6:30 p.m. 804/788-1594, fountain.bookstore@verizon.net

Aug. 18: Griffin Books, Fredericksburg, 2-4 p.m., Eileen Boyd, 899-8041


Early Reviews for Oregon Hill on LibraryThing

LibraryThing Early Reviewers have favorably praised Howard Owen's newest novel Oregon Hill

"This is pure classic noir in the best possible way...The plot moves along quickly with some interesting twists...to make every character three dimensional and to create a feel for the streets of Richmond."

"Owen creates a story that is both suspenseful and rich in character development and the feeling of small town life...I am left with the desire to read the past works of Howard Owen."

"Oregon Hill by Howard Owen is a character-driven mystery enhanced by the first-person observations of the very self-aware narrator, Willie Mays Black...It all makes for an entertaining and colorful mix of character, plot and setting."

Read the full reviews and more at LibraryThing.com

Early Reviews for A Cup Full of Midnight on LibraryThing

LibraryThing Early Reviewers have favorably praised Jaden Terrell's first novel A Cup Full of Midnight

"Terrell does not just tell a story, she plays with language to permit the story to take on its own life as you
 read. And her characters never lose their humanity, even as they struggle with pain that is almost more than an individual can bear."

"I loved this book. The character development was great, Terrell did a lot of research into the culture, including witchcraft and gaming. I can't wait to read [other] Jared McKean mysteries."

"Challenges traditional norms/values but through the process you come to admire Jared and wish more people were like him. Definitely glad I had the opportunity to read this book."

Read the full reviews and more at LibraryThing.com

Death in a Wine Dark Sea Reviews on LibraryThing

LibraryThing Early Reviewers have favorably praised Lisa King's first novel Death in a Wine Dark Sea

"Definitely a page-turner...There are all sorts of sub-plots that keep one's interest without detracting from the story line...I'd definitely like to read another of Lisa King's books."

"A fantastic mystery featuring an irrepressible female sleuth...King establishes her heroine as wildly different from the bland amateur-sleuth mystery heroines I'm used to, and Jean is a breath of fresh air in an often stale subgenre."

"If you like strong characterization, Death in a Wine Dark Sea, is the book for you. It's a page-turning mystery as well, with twists and turns to keep you wondering what's going on...I truly enjoyed this book."

Read the full reviews and more at LibraryThing.com

Senior Writer's Thoughts #6

Sixth in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: "Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Bill Eisner: A writer’s life is his working capital: the people he has known, the situations he has encountered, the places he has seen, the experiences he has had. Older folks simply have more to draw from. Much of my own writing  was inspired by the lives of the people I have known, but once a person is transposed to fiction and given the roundness and completeness that fiction demands, he or she is so changed as to be unrecognizable even to the person who inspired the character. When you are older, you have seen and done enough to provide sufficient material for a lifetime of writing.

Bill Eisner's first novel, The Sévigné Letters, was adapted for the stage and played at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. A collection of his short fiction, entitled Done In By Innocent Things, was published by GreyCore Press. Some forty of Eisner’s short stories have appeared in various literary magazines. His novels, Athena and Fault Line,  were published in 2009 and 2010 respectively. 

Look for his next novel, The Stone Lion, coming from The Permanent Press in February 2013! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Call Me When You Land by Michael Schiavone reviewed in Rain Taxi's Summer 2012 edition.

"Schiavone writes skillfully and with purpose. There is as much (if not more) meaning in what he doesn’t say as in what he does. The brusque exchanges between mother and son underscore the painfully vast distance between them. The author also often sets up a scene then immediately enriches it with flashbacks, the constant shifts in time is reflecting the pasts that pervasively haunt the characters’ presents. Schiavone’s attention to details in portraying ordinary events (a hockey match, a night of bartending) may seem merely practical, but such details serve to convey the searing realities...that underlie these events."

"Powerful in its subtleties, moving in its understatedness, the novel expresses the painful realities of a family and the quiet desperations that threaten to break it."

Read the full review at 

Senior Writer's Thoughts #5
Fifth in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: "Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Suzanne McNear: I write. Slowly. I also read a lot, most recently, for the second time, Paula Fox’s Desperate Characters, and there it was; an almost perfect novel. Or perfect.  She is 89, and I think we ought to start a prize in her name. A case of wine or a new book, maybe Philip Roth’s The American Trilogy which I have been reading between three and six in the morning.  The Human Stain has made up for the mild despair caused by sleeplessness. If I were 28 now instead of 78 would I take my life as a writer more seriously. I would appreciate and try to take advantage of help, encouragement extended, suggestions that might have made it easier for me to publish my work.  Now I have a sense of urgency, not unlike the woman in the story Words in my collection titled Drought, but more a practical approach. “Flea sat up there in the red dress she called her tent, her caftan, her last mobile home, and waited. She leaned forward over the table. She closed her eyes and breathed with her ribs. She never wrote anything down on paper. She sat at the table preparing. Once, after seven years, she said, I think there will be a word sometime soon. But I don’t know. She said it depended on the weather. It depended on magic. It depended on… Oh, who knows?”   

Susan McNear, a former editor and free lance journalist, now devotes herself to writing fiction, poetry and plays. Her essays have been published in The New York Times and Vogue. Like her protagonist, she was born in the Midwest, attended Vassar, had a horrific marriage, was an editor at Playboy, has three daughters, and a friendship with Saul Bellow. For the past fifteen years she's lived in Sag Harbor, New York.

Look for Suzanne's newest work "Knock Knock" coming from The Permanent Press in December!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Charles Holdefer Book Signings

Charles Holdefer will be signing copies of his latest novel Back in the Game on July 18th and 19th.

Wednesday, July 18 he will be at Beaverdale Books (Beaverdale Books, 2629 Beaver Ave., Suite 1, Des Moines, IA.) starting at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 19 he will be at The Next Chapter Bookstore (202 E. Robinson Street, Knoxville, IA.) Starting at 5:30 p.m.

Also, if you're in the Iowa area you can catch Charles speaking at "The Eleventh Hour" talks at the University of Iowa on July 23 at 11:00 a.m.


Senior Writer's Thoughts #4
Fourth in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: "Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Christopher (Kit) Davis (from WORKING WORDS, essays addressed to writing students): This is what everyone will tell you or should: The art of writing can be learned but can't be taught. It is learned by reading the best works of literature in your own language and the best translations of the best work written in languages you don’t know, by doing this regularly, and by writing, as nearly as possible, every day.
       What can be taught is how to read as a writer. You are already a constant reader of good work. You will have thought, with the hope we correctly call inspiration, that you might be able to do such a thing yourself, that it might be worth a try. If you do not read constantly with a passion for reading and have never felt the passionate hope to write, you shouldn't be trying. 
       Reading from this point of view is a job—still a pleasure but now of the kind associated with pain. (Parker, in Flannery O'Connor's story Parker's Back, has his first tattoo and feels just enough pain to make it appear worth having done: “This was peculiar too for before he had thought that only what did not hurt was worth doing.”) Such work is not to be confused with criticism, which is for other study. On your own or in the classroom, learning a new way to read, you will put your hand on James Joyce's and Leo Tolstoy's and O'Connor's as they write, and you will begin to ask yourself what they did to make you believe in the worlds that explode out of these marks on paper, to understand what happens to bring about such beautiful final drafts.
       The work is difficult, both the reading and the writing. People will say they love to write. Even good writers say so, but I think they are talking about desire and expectation. They mean they love good art and, because they have sometimes made it happen and because they love their creation, they hope (it is a desperate and pessimistic hope) to do it again. Since this creative work involves instinct and thought in a contest that is resolved by means of the manipulation of words (instead of paint or clay or sound), and since the language we use as a medium in the art is derived from the language we use in our ordinary lives and gives a false appearance of being the same thing, writing is one of the hardest jobs men and women do.
       “Career awards of significance: A Peep Into the 20th Century was a NBA nominee, and Dog in Dog Horse Rat was the novel the National Academy of Arts & Letters chose to represent my work in the lifetime award they gave me.”

Photograph of Christopher DavisChristopher Davis has taught creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania; at Bowling Green State University in Ohio; at Drexel University in Philadelphia; at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania; at Rider College in New Jersey; and, from 1977 to 1995, at Bryn Mawr College. He is Senior Lecturer in the Arts emeritus at Bryn Mawr College. 

He has published eleven novels, three books of non-fiction, a book for children, and numerous articles and short stories in magazines such as Esquire, Holiday, Travel & Leisure, and The Pennsylvania Gazette. His short story "A Man of Affairs" was an O'Henry prize story and was the basis for a play produced by the Actors Theater of Louisville. His novels have been published in England, Sweden, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Holland as well as the United States. His novel Lost Summer was adapted for the stage under the title "There was a little Girl" and produced on Broadway with Jane Fonda in the principal role. His adaptation to the stage of his novel A Peep Into the 20th Century was given staged readings at the Long Wharf Theater and at the Annenberg Theater, and was produced first by the Seattle Repertory Company, and later by the Philadelphia Festival of new plays. The text has been published by Plays in Process, Volume Ten Number Eight.
Look for Chris' next novel The Conduct of Saints coming from The Permanent Press in May 2013!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen to be featured at the 2012 Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle

The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC)  is the oldest continuous book club in America. Each summer, the CLSC chooses nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of readers.

Week six will feature Leonard Rosen discussing his novel All Cry Chaos chosen for its representation of the theme of "Digital Identity". 

The event will take place in the Chautauqua Institution on August 2nd, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy. 

For more information visit: http://www.ciweb.org/education-clsc/

Senior Writer's Thoughts #3

Third in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: 
"Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Daniel Klein: I happen to think a lot about how a person should spend the last chapter of his life.  It's the subject of my philosophy book, 'Travels with Epicurus', coming out in November.  At the risk of the ultimate hubris, I'll quote myself from that book: 
       Epicurus believed that old age was the pinnacle of life, the best it gets. In the collection known as the “Vatican Sayings”, he is recorded as stating: “It is not the young man who should be considered fortunate  but the old man who has lived well, because the young man in his prime wanders much by chance, vacillating in his beliefs, while the old man has docked in the harbor, having safeguarded his true happiness.”
       The idea of being an old man safe in the harbor buoys me up as I sit under an awning, pondering the best way to spend  this stage of my life. It is the notion of being free from vacillating beliefs that gets to me. My understanding from Epicurus’s other teachings is that he also is referring to the young man’s vacillating pursuits, the ones that follow from his vacillating beliefs. Epicurus is pointing to what the Zen Buddhists call the emptiness of “striving,” and in our culture striving is the hallmark of a man still in his prime.
       The same goes for those of us who embrace the “forever young” credo: we don’t give up setting ever new goals for ourselves, new ambitions to fulfill while we still can. Many forever youngsters are driven by the frustration of not having fully achieved the goals they dreamed of attaining when they were younger; they see their final years as a last chance to grab some elusive brass ring.
        I became particularly aware of this phenomenon recently when the fiftieth-anniversary report of my college class arrived in the mail. One classmate, a highly successful lawyer and part-time theater and culture reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wrote: “Every day I think about what I haven’t done and get anxious. That I remain in relatively good health is a great blessing, but it’s also part of why I’m not sufficiently driven to finish the novels, plays, and nonfiction stewing in my head . . .But there’s time, I hope. We all hope, don’t we?”
       This man drew inspiration from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s  “Morituri Salutamus,” the poem he wrote for the fiftieth anniversary of the class of 1825 of his alma mater, Bowdoin  College. In the poem Longfellow urges his elderly classmates to keep busy, very busy: 
Nothing is too late
Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.
Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,
When each had numbered more than fourscore years,
And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,
Had but begun his “Characters of Men.”
       That “nothing is too late” refrain certainly is tempting. We septuagenarians just might be at the top of our game, our creative juices overflowing. Would Epicurus have us dam them up? Would he have sacrificed the classical masterpiece Oedipus Rex just so Sophocles could sit happily in the harbor? That sounds like a terrible waste.
       Still, there is no rest for the striver. Just beyond the completion of each goal on our life-achievement “bucket list” looms another goal, and then another. Meanwhile, of course, the clock is ticking—quite loudly, in fact. We become breathless. And we have no time left for a calm and reflective appreciation of our twilight years, no deliciously long afternoons sitting with friends or listening to music or musing about the story of our lives. And we will never get another chance for that. 
       It is not an easy decision.

Daniel Klein is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller, "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar". He has also written many other non-fiction books, also several mysteries and thrillers, including the Elvis Presley mystery series ("Kill Me Tender", "Blue Suede Clues", etc.). THE HISTORY OF NOW is his first "literary" novel -- at the age of 70.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Senior Writer's Thoughts #2

Second in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: 
"Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Anne Bernays: The Lighter Side of Aging 
Writing now with a fountain pen I dip into a bottle of Waterman's ink and pump three times to fill and then wipe off with a scrap of paper towel. I'm reminded that when I was in grade school, each one of us was issued a chamois-cloth pen wiper. The other day I realized that my mother graduated from Barnard one year short of a hundred years ago. Around me I see and hear constant reminders of just how old I am. A collector of shoes, small porcelain bowls, kitchen gadgets, and books by and about Evelyn Waugh, I've just about stopped buying almost everything I don't absolutely need. This is sad but also liberating. I try to palm off assorted items on my children, who usually accept with a small grimace.
As for writing, the white-hotness has, like my lung capacity, diminished. I wish I could say "So What?" and it's about time," but a writer needs to write the way a crocodile needs to snap its jaws and my humiliation at walking away from the labor involved in transforming thoughts into words is sometimes terrible.
I suppose I'm half living in the 20th Century, rereading my favorites rather than entering the worlds of hot new writers. War and Peace, Washington Square, Memento Mori, Mrs. Dalloway, A Handful of Dust, the short story A Good Man is Hard to Find, along with scores of stories by Sumerset Maugham. I've read these and many more at least twice--with both intense pleasure and a twinge of guilt that I'm not reading David Foster Wallace or Jonathan Foer or Claire Messud. While my taste may be stuck in a groove fashioned fifty years ago my appetite for leftish ideas and movements is stronger than ever. I did not become more conservative as I aged, but went in the other direction and now would willingly become a member of today's equivalent of the Symbionese Liberation Army--if only my husband would let me.

Anne Bernays attended the Brearley School on New York's Upper East side, graduating in 1948. A graduate of Barnard College, she was managing editor of Discovery, a literary magazine, before moving from New York to Cambridge, MA in 1959, when she began her career as a novelist. Bernays has been published widely in national magazines and journals and is a long-time teacher of writing at Boston University, Boston College, Holy Cross, Harvard Extension, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, and MFA Program at Lesley University.

She is a founder of PEN/New England and a member of the Writer’s Union. She serves as chairman of the board of Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and co-president of Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.

Bernays is the recipient of the 1975 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for her novel Growing up Rich, the New York Times Notable Book of the Year for Professor Romeo and The Language of Names (co-written with Justin Kaplan) and a grandmother of six.

Look for her upcoming novel The Man on the Third Floor coming in November!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Senior Writer's Thoughts #1

First in a series of reflections from our writers aged 70 and up, The Permanent Press presents: "Senior Writer's Thoughts"

From Marc Davis: What muses or demons impel us writers to pursue tauntingly elusive goals, ever out of reach, even as we grow old and frail and our incapacities increase as our capabilities shrink? Our natures drive us, stoking our engines as always, but at sunset and twilight with ever diminishing light and energy. Yet we persist, knowing how it ends, and that it ends and knowing as the Buddha knew, that striving and desire is the source of all pain. But we are captive of our natures, condemned to be ourselves.
I've got loads of stories from my days as a newspaper reporter, here and on the Texas-Mexican. I also have tales of the commodity futures business, in which I made some bucks buying coffee options in the wake of the Big Brazilian Freeze of 1976. I also have tales of my career as an art teacher, and painter, with a fist full of prizes, and then my work in advertising, winning two Tempo Awards and one Echo, for my direct mail campaigns for the art of Norman Rockwell, and others, on collectors plates. And lots of etc., including a story about my Dad, a Chicago newspaper man during the Front Page era, who "shot" Dillinger exclusively, with a camera.

Marc Davis is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience reporting and writing on business, finance, corporate management and legal subjects. His writing has been published online and in print by Adweek, Arthur Andersen, The Chicago Tribune , Encyclopedia Britannica, Insight Magazine, The John Marshall Law School Magazine, The Journal of the American Bar Association, Rotarian, and numerous other national periodicals and websites.

Look for his upcoming novel Bottom Line coming next June!

Author Interviews Now Online!

Click on the new "Author Interviews" page to read interviews from six of The Permanent Press' writers:

K.C. Frederick - After Lyletown
Julie Mars - Rust
Michael Adelberg - A Thinking Man's Bully
David Freed - Flat Spin
Leonard Rosen - All Cry Chaos
Michael Schiavone - Call Me When You Land

Death in a Wine Dark Sea by Lisa King critiqued in Reviewing the Evidence

"Jean and Zeppo embark on a chase with enough twists to keep a pretzel factory in business for years...King has a wonderful sense of place. San Francisco and its environs emerge as a colorful character in the story, which she brings to both a sad and an appropriate conclusion."

Reviewed by Mary Elizabeth Devine, May 2012