Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Freebie: High and Inside by Russell Rowland and The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden

Congratulations to Frank Larson, winner of last week's Friday Freebie.  Frank will soon be enjoying a bundle of books which includes Me and the Devil by Nick Tosches, The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy, Float by JoeAnn Hart, Pretty Much True... by Kristen J. Tsetsi, and Kingdom Come by J. G. Ballard.

This week's book giveaway is a nice duet of two new novels: High and Inside by Russell Rowland and The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden.  Both Russ and Don are personal acquaintances of mine and it's always heartening to see friends succeed.  I've known both for well over ten years--I met Russell through the now-defunct (RIP) and since moving to Montana we've bonded as Big Sky writers often do; Don was a fellow classmate during my graduate-study years at the University of Alaska Anchorage and we've kept in touch electronically ever since.  I haven't had the chance to read their new books, but knowing the authors behind the pens, I'm pretty sure they're outstanding.

High and Inside seems like the perfect summertime read since it has baseball at its core.  Here's the publisher's plot synopsis:
Pete Hurley is not the first person to have the idea that building his dream house in the country will bring him some kind of peace and happiness.  But he may be the first to arrive in Montana with a World Series ring, a three-legged dog, and a thirst for self-destruction.  High and Inside documents, with stark clarity, one man's struggle with the dark side of fame, as well as his internal battles with alcoholism and a crumbling sense of self-worth.  A community of people who love him and a generous inheritance aren't enough to counterbalance Pete's apparent determination to sabotage every healthy aspect of his life.  It's a downward spiral that won't end until he's forced to confront not only his own ugly past but his unfulfilled future as well.  With wit and compassion, sharp humor and startling insight, author Russell Rowland gives us not only a portrait of fame and addiction, but also an indispensable glimpse into the character of the modern West.
Alan Heathcock, author of Volt, called High and Inside “an elegant and potent investigation of community and home, of healing and forgiveness...this wonderful novel is a grand slam of indelible characters and infectious drama, and a flat-out great read.”

The Raven's Gift will also make a good read for the hot summer months since it's set in Alaska.  Here's more about what waits for readers on its pages:
John Morgan and his wife can barely contain their excitement upon arriving as the new teachers in a Yup'ik Eskimo village on the windswept Alaskan tundra.  But their move proves disastrous when a deadly epidemic strikes and the isolated community descends into total chaos.  When outside aid fails to arrive, John’s only hope lies in escaping the snow-covered tundra and the hunger of the other survivors—he must make the thousand-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness for help.  He encounters a blind Eskimo girl and an elderly woman who need his protection, and he needs their knowledge of the terrain to survive.  The harsh journey pushes him beyond his limits as he discovers a new sense of hope and the possibility of loving again.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Eoywyn Ivy (The Snow Child) said, "The book is fantastic, one of the best books about Alaska I have ever read.  It calls to mind Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King, but at the same time it is all its own.  The Raven's Gift is the story of a couple teaching in a remote Alaskan village when a epidemic sweeps through.  People are dying in isolation, and others descending into savage violence.  It is a survival story and an edge-of-the-seat thriller."

If you'd like a chance at winning both High and Inside and The Raven's Gift, 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 July 18, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on July 19.  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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the copy of High and Inside by Russell Rowland -- it arrived today - what a great surprise! Yay! I went to high school with Russ and am very excited to read this.