Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Freebie: 4 for Sept. 4: Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck, Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel, The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos, On a Farther Shore by William Souder

Congratulations to Rhonda Lomazow, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields.

This week's book giveaway is a very special one in honor of Books-Other-Than-Fobbit which will be published on September 4.  The day after Labor Day is a red-letter day for many writers whose books officially launch like rockets, arcing across the sky into the hands of readers.  This week's Friday Freebie celebrates the accomplishments of my fellow authors who--if they're like me--will be standing in front of a bookstore on Tuesday, marveling at the miraculous sight of their book on display in the front window.  I'll have more to say in a later blog post regarding my feelings about Fobbit's “Pub Day,” but for now I want to let you know about at least four other books which deserve your attention: Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel, The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos, Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck, and On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder.  The publishers and authors of these fine books have generously donated a copy of each book for one lucky winner of this week's contest.

Love Slave (from Unbridled Books) will tickle the fancy of anyone (like me!) who's been sitting around waiting for a modern Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West.  Here's the jacket copy on Spiegel's debut novel:  It's 1995.  When she can, Sybil Weatherfield works as an office temp.  But in her jobless hours she may be her generation’s Dorothy Parker, writing a confessional column for the alternative weekly, New York Shock, a chatty rag in which she writes a column called “Abscess”—a wound that never heals.  “I can write the pants off any man,” Sybil declaresLove Slave follows Weatherfield and her strange friends as they frustrate chick-lit expectations (though they’re unaware that they’re doing so) in this uproarious, genre-breaking spree.  Her friends include a paper-pusher for a human rights organization, and the lead singer of a local rock band called Glass Half Empty.  Together, they try to find a path from their own wry inactivity to something real and lasting that can matter to them.  Richly funny and wincingly specific, this cunning debut novel is a bittersweet and ironic look at what it means to be enthralled by an idea—by even the most ragged possibility of love.  Publishers Weekly praised it thusly: “Spiegel’s novel evokes the psychic angst of Manhattanites presumptuous enough to describe themselves as struggling artistes, yet entitled enough to melt down when they can’t order breakfast in a diner after 11 am...the writing is fresh and witty, and Sybil is a sympathetic character worthy of rooting for as she searches for something to believe in.”

The Three-Day Affair (from The Mysterious Press, an imprint at my own beloved Grove/Atlantic) is a thriller in the tradition of Scott Smith’s classic A Simple Plan.  Here's the jacket copy:  Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan are lifelong friends.  Each have gone their separate ways as adults, living their own lives while forging their own careers.  They have no reason to believe anything extraordinary will befall them.  Until one shocking moment changes everything…Will is a part-time drummer who spends the rest of his time in recording studios.  He has lived a sheltered existence.  Then one night Jeffrey attempts to rob a convenience store, drags a young woman into Will’s car, and shouts a single word: “Drive!”  Shaken and confused, Will obeys.  Suddenly three ordinary men find themselves completely out of their element, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next.  They are already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it is only a matter of time before they find out just what else they’re capable of.  For these four people, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt…and life and death.  Michael Koryta, author of The Prophet, raved: “A wonderful piece of literary suspense craftsmanship.  Line by line, Michael Kardos dazzles with prose strength and style, and the bad-day-gone-worse story does not let up... A fascinating character study and engaging thriller.”

Erika Robuck breathes fresh life into one of the past century's greatest writers in Hemingway's Girl (from New American Library).  Here's what the publisher had to say about the novel which re-imagines Ernest Hemingway's Key West years:  In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger.  Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match...and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.  When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarefied world of lavish, celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions.  As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation...even as straightforward Gavin Murray draws her back to what matters most.   Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway, or find a way to claim her own dreams?  As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths...and the possibility of losing everything she loves.  Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look, praised the novel by saying, “I fell in love with Robuck's Hemingway and with the fiery Mariella Bennet, but what I loved most was the novel's message: that we can inspire each other to be better human beings.”

A biography of famed environmentalist Rachel Carson, On a Farther Shore (from Crown) will be published on the 50th anniversary of Carson's landmark Silent Spring.  Here's the publisher's blurb for Souder's new biography:  Rachel Carson loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us.  But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world.  Rachel Carson began work on Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use.  Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery.  Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe.  But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife.  Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.  Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry.  Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her.  William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson's romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964.  And here's what Publishers Weekly said about the book: “In this expansive, nuanced biography, Souder portrays Carson as a woman passionate in friendship, poetic and innovative in her books about the sea, gentle but ambitious, assiduously keeping tabs on her publisher's promotion of her work.... [and explores] cold war anxiety about nuclear annihilation, the chemistry of pesticides like DDT and their flagrant postwar use, and an emerging understanding of ecology.  Carson, under severe stress and exhaustion from a cancer that took her life, synthesized these issues in Silent Spring, a meticulously researched, policy-changing picture of an earth poisoned by humanity.  Fifty years later, her insights are surprisingly relevant.”

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of all four books, all you have to do is email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Sept. 6at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Sept. 7.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for my win! !congrats on Fobbit loving it!!