Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Freebie: Fallout by Sadie Jones, Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson, Secrecy by Rupert Thomson, The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton

Congratulations to Sheila Korman, winner of last week's Friday Freebie contest: The Home Place by Carrie La Seur.

This week's book giveaway is a terrific quartet of fiction which would make for some great beach reading (or lakeside reading, or sitting-in-my-sweltering-apartment-in-front-of-the-air-conditioner reading).  One lucky reader will win a copy of each of these titles: Fallout by Sadie Jones, Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson, Secrecy by Rupert Thomson, and The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton.  Fallout and The Wind Is Not a River are hardcovers; Someone Else's Love Story and Secrecy are trade paperbacks.  Here are more details on each of the books....

In Fallout, four young people in 1970s London race toward the future, fueled by love, betrayal, and creative ambition.  Luke Kanowski is a young playwright--intense, magnetic, and eager for life.  He escapes a disastrous upbringing in the northeast and, arriving in London, meets Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer, and the beautiful, fiery Leigh Radley, the woman Paul loves.  The three set up a radical theater company, living and working together; a romantic connection forged in candlelit rehearsal rooms during power cuts and smoky late-night parties in Chelsea's run-down flats.  The gritty rebellion of pub theater is fighting for its place against a West End dominated by racy revue shows and the giants of twentieth-century drama.  Nina Jacobs is a fragile actress, bullied by her mother and in thrall to a controlling producer.  When Luke meets Nina, he recognizes a soul in danger--but how much must he risk to save her?  Everything he has fought for--loyalty, friendship, art--is drawn into the heat of their collision.  As Luke ricochets between honesty and deceit, the promise of the future and his own painful past, the fallout threatens to be immense.

Someone Else's Love Story begins with this unforgettable line: "I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K."  For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act.  She's finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father.  She's got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger.  Shandi doesn't know that her blond god has his own baggage.  When he looked down the barrel of the gun in the gas station he believed it was destiny: it's been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe.  But William doesn't define destiny the way other people do.  A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.  Now, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.  Someone Else's Love Story is Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love and learning that things aren't always what they seem--or what we hope they will be.  It's a story about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need.

In Secrecy, Zummo, a Sicilian sculptor, is summoned by Cosimo III to join the Medici court.  Late seventeenth-century Florence is a hotbed of repression and hypocrisy.  All forms of pleasure are brutally punished, and the Grand Duke himself, a man for whom marriage has been an exquisite torture, hides his pain beneath a show of excessive piety.  The Grand Duke asks Zummo to produce a life-size woman out of wax, an antidote to the French wife who made him suffer so.  As Zummo wrestles with this unique commission, he falls under the spell of a woman whose elusiveness mirrors his own, but whose secrets are far more explosive.  Lurking in the wings is the poisonous Dominican priest, Stufa, who has it within his power to destroy Zummo’s livelihood, if not his life.  In this highly charged novel, Thomson brings Florence to life in all its vibrant sensuality, while remaining entirely contemporary in his exploration of the tensions between love and solitude, beauty and decay.  When reality becomes threatening, not to say unfathomable, survival strategies are tested to the limit.  Redemption is a possibility, but only if the agonies of death and separation can be transcended.

The Wind Is Not a River is a gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife--separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil--fight to reunite in Alaska's starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands.  Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss, to document some part of the growing war that claimed his own flesh and blood.  Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, after an argument they both regret, he heads north from Seattle to investigate the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government.  While John is accompanying a crew on a bombing run, his plane is shot down over the island of Attu.  He survives only to find himself exposed to a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, known as "the Birthplace of Winds."  There, John must battle the elements, starvation, and his own remorse while evading discovery by the Japanese.  Alone in their home three thousand miles to the south, Helen struggles with the burden of her husband's disappearance.  Caught in extraordinary circumstances, in this new world of the missing, she is forced to re-imagine who she is--and what she is capable of doing.  Somehow, she must find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows.

If you’d like a chance at winning ALL THE BOOKS, 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 July 31, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on Aug. 1.  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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