Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebie: Orion's Daughters by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

Congratulations to Jim Mastro and Lewis Parker, winners of last week's Friday Freebie: Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose.

This week's book giveaway is the freshly-published novel by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, Orion's Daughters.  The good folks at Engine Books have supplied me with a copy to send to one lucky reader.  Will it be you this week?

Here's the publisher's summary of the book's plot:
A postcard arrives straight out of her past, forcing Carrie to confront her commune upbringing alongside Amelia, the almost-sister she worshipped and lost. Desperate to keep her daughter close as her marriage disintegrates, Carrie must come to understand how the choices made by a well-meaning but misguided community have defined her life since, and threaten to forever.
Here's how the novel begins:
From the time we were small, Amelia had a knack for storytelling. She could string words together like the pastel candies on the necklace she wore as a bracelet, twisted four times around her skinny wrist. Like those candies, her words never split or cracked, they never fell off into the grass and were lost. I did not have her skill. Two days after her grandfather gave us those necklaces mine had been destroyed by my sweet tooth and my carelessness.
As I said earlier at the blog, "Orion's Daughters is told in a series of brief chapters, some only a page long, which have the short, sweet crunch of beads on a candy necklace." Pamela Erens, author of The Virgins, had these words of praise for the novel: "Lean, muscular, poetic, Orion’s Daughters explores the age-old hunger to re-invent Eden (in this case as a rural Ohio commune) and the marks left on two girls shaped by Edenic isolation and ideals.  The novel has the heartbeat of a mystery, and I turned pages rapidly, desperate to know the outcome yet at the same time holding back so as to drink in each precise, resonant phrase."  One last thing: Courtney is no stranger to The Quivering Pen; you should check out the stories about her "first time" and her library shelves.

If you’d like a chance at winning a copy of Orion's Daughters, simply 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 April 24, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on April 25.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week 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.

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