Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Freebie: Above the Waterfall and Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash and Darkness the Color of Snow by Thomas Cobb

Congratulations to Barbara Aiello, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie: The Sweetheart Deal by Polly Dugan.

This week’s book giveaway is the triple crown of Above the Waterfall and Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories by Ron Rash and Darkness the Color of Snow by Thomas Cobb. Read on for more information about the novels and the short story collection.

In Above the Waterfall, a poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land. Les, a long-time sheriff just three weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town. Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina. Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond—and threaten to carry them over the edge. Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of “a gorgeous, brutal writer” (Richard Price) hailed as “one of the great American authors at work today” (Janet Maslin, New York Times).

And now a word about Something Rich and Strange: From the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, thirty of his finest short stories, collected in one volume. No one captures the complexities of Appalachia—a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty—as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives. Something Rich and Strange showcases this revered master’s artistry and craftsmanship in thirty stories culled from his previously published collections Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash’s dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people—men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, told in language that flows like “shimmering, liquid poetry” (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.

Like No Country for Old Men and Snow Falling on Cedars, Darkness the Color of Snow is a haunting, suspenseful, and dazzlingly written novel of secrets, corruption, tragedy, and vengeance from the author of Crazy Heart—the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film. Darkness the Color of Snow is an electrifying crime drama and psychological thriller in which a young cop becomes the focal point for a community’s grief and rage in the aftermath of a tragic accident. Out on a rural highway on a cold, icy night, Patrolman Ronny Forbert sits in his cruiser trying to keep warm and make time pass until his shift ends. Then a familiar beater Jeep Cherokee comes speeding over a hill, forcing the rookie cop to chase after it. The driver is his old friend turned nemesis, Matt Laferiere, the rogue son of a man as beaten down as the town itself. Within minutes, what begins as a clear-cut arrest for drunk driving spirals out of control into a heated argument between two young men with a troubled past and ends in a fatal hit and run on an icy stretch of blacktop. As the news spreads around town, Police Chief Gordy Hawkins remains certain that Ronny Forbert followed the rules, at least most of them, and he’s willing to stand by the young cop. But a few manipulative people in town see opportunity in the tragedy. As uneasy relationships, dark secrets, and old grievances reveal themselves, the people of this small, tightly woven community decide that a crime must have been committed, and someone—Officer Ronny Forbert—must pay a price, a choice that will hold devastating consequences for them all.

If you’d like a chance at winning all three 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 Aug. 27, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on Aug. 28.  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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