All posts by Boyle & Dalton

NEW AUTHOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Julie Smith, author of The Beast Keepers

We’re thrilled to add Julie Smith to our author list! Julie is the author of The Beast Keepers, to be released spring of 2023.

The Beast Keepers is the story of Jonathan F. St. Roche, a young veterinarian who takes a job in the rural Ohio town of Carrollton. He soon discovers it is a safe haven for a menagerie of mythical creatures (including a pregnant pegasus, a flying monkey with a sprained wing, a centaur with Cushing’s disease, and a unicorn with a sweet tooth) who rely on him for their medical care and shelter from the outside world. When a deadly basilisk threatens the town, Jonathan, along with his new friends wrestle with balancing the dangerous creature’s needs against the risk to the community.

Julie Smith is a writer and an extensively credentialed Certified Professional Dog Trainer living in Granville, Ohio. The idea for The Beast Keepers was born from a visit to the vet:

Several years ago while my flat-coated retriever, Mr. Bingley, and I waited at the holistic vet for a chiropractic adjustment, I studied the poster showing the acupuncture points for dogs. I wondered if animals such as turtles, frogs, snakes, porcupines, etc., had acupuncture points as well.

While the vet worked on Bingley, I asked him whether he learned acupuncture for animals besides dogs, cats, horses, etc. He replied that there were classes for “other” animals. Although I think he probably meant animals such as goats or sheep, there was something about the way he said “other” that caused me to think:

“You meant griffins? Centaurs? Fauns?” Showing a modicum of restraint, I did not ask that aloud. I did, however, spend the remainder of the day contemplating how you would treat medical issues in mythological animals. If a griffin had a lung infection, would you be treating bird lungs or mammalian lungs? Can centaurs get gout, and if so, how would it manifest? Can unicorns get laminitis?

Thus was born the idea of The Beast Keepers, an adult literary novel with a twist.

Learn more about Julie Smith on her website here.

Follow our blog and social media to keep up with release developments for The Beast Keepers, including a cover reveal next month!

Book Release: IN HERSCHEL’S WAKE

Happiest of release days to Michael Wohl, author of In Herschel’s Wake.

Nab your copy of In Herschel’s Wake here, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

Like father like son… Like it or not!

HERSCHEL WOHL WAS MANY THINGS: twice-divorced astrologer, pharmacology professor, failed novelist, on-the-lam drug-runner, manual typewriter thief, Aikido white belt, possible communist, and temporary resident of the little-known island of Statia. He was also a father.

When Herschel dies unexpectedly just before his 71st birthday, his adult son Michael has to travel four thousand miles and overcome four decades of filial resentment to pick up Herschel’s pieces. Along the way Michael must reconnect with a forgotten half-brother, reconcile with an overeducated, underachieving sister, and reckon with his ambivalence about religion.

With no modern funerary services available on the tiny island, the three estranged siblings are left to bury their enigmatic patriarch by themselves, and by hand. As one day stretches into three and they wonder if they’ll ever get the bastard in the ground, they are forced to confront their complicated relationships, not only with their charismatic but irresponsible father, but also—and perhaps more importantly—with each other.

In Herschel’s Wake is a darkly funny examination of faith, funerals, family, and f*cked up fathers, but most of all, it’s about forgiveness.

Book Release: STOP THE ROAD

Happy release day to Evans Paull, author of Stop the Road: Stories from the Trenches of Baltimore’s Road Wars. Stop the Road is an up-close-and-personal account of Baltimore’s 40-year battle over expressway plans. Meet the unsung heroes, a ragtag band of neighborhood activists, preservationists, and environmentalists who saved Baltimore from its own leadership, thereby protecting Baltimore’s historic waterfront communities of Federal Hill, Fell’s Point, and Canton. But that glorious and unlikely win must be tempered with the equally compelling but inglorious story behind the disastrous Highway to Nowhere. This is Baltimore unmasked and laid threadbare for the most momentous decisions since the building of the B&O Railroad.

Stop the Road is available worldwide! Click here to snag your copy, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore.

Stop the Road has already hit #1 bestseller status in THREE categories on Amazon, and reviewer feedback is pouring in:

“Paull’s surgical dissection of the 40-year battle produces a book that is essential for understanding today’s Baltimore.”

Antero Pietila, author, Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City

“It was people, not politicians, who stood up and saved Baltimore from the ravages of the East-West Expressway. Evans Paull has found many of these courageous people, the folks who resisted, persisted, and finally prevailed. He has made their ‘highway stories’ a compelling human history of the challenges that faced post-war urban America.” 

Mark Reutter, Senior Editor, Baltimore Brew

“If you think about the things that have really changed the face of Baltimore as we know it today, to me there is nothing more important than the road wars.”

C. William Struever, Baltimore developer and urban strategist

PRAISE FOR BIKE RIDING IN KABUL

Bike Riding in Kabul by Jamie Bowman was released less than a month ago, but already praise has been pouring in from reviewers. Bike Riding in Kabul held the #1 bestseller spot in International Law on Amazon for three weeks steady, and it’s incredible to see such a quick and positive response from these first readers.

Grab your copy of Bike Riding in Kabul here, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore!

I received an ARC of Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner, and as soon as it was published, I bought copies for my sister, nephew, and niece. Then, I wrote to my cousin, who bought her own copy. What can I say? I enjoyed the book that much. Sparing us the confusing alphabet soup of agency anacronyms, Jamie Bowman’s book gives us a peek into the workings of the US’s international development efforts in post-conflict and emerging markets. Her stories are informative, well-written, and most of all, entertaining. As a bonus, we get a glimpse of countries most of us will never visit. Through Ms. Bowman’s telling, I can almost see the crush of traffic in Moscow, the red dirt roads of Juba, South Sudan, and the breathtaking beauty of Panjshir, Afghanistan. Well done, Ms. Bowman. I hope you are writing a sequel.

–Amazon reviewer

Bike Riding in Kabul is a wonderfully unique book. An intelligent memoir written to be as enjoyable and fast-paced as a novel, the author worked for government foreign aid organizations in developing countries. For those who like to travel, to read about travel, are interested in world affairs or who are just curious, it is interesting and sometimes, yes, troubling. These are countries most people will never visit. Cultural and political challenges are highlighted and explained, as are personal relationships, good and not as good. Through it all, author Jamie Bowman shows an enjoyable sense of humor, a human side and her love of country. I highly recommend!

–Amazon Reviewer

I have an insatiable need to learn and explore but am now limited by age, time, and resources so I appease my desires by reading the travails of others. From the safety and comfort of my home, I can vicariously live the lives of others. I don’t have to arrange flights and hotels, pack, rub elbows with other passengers, hunt for transport, or do anything else that goes with foreign travel, which in my elder years, have become more daunting than exciting.

Jamie’s writing not only takes me with her, I also feel her emotions as she conveys humor, angst, love, fear, confusion, and sometimes frustration in response to events, places, and people. Plus she explains her role and some of the challenges she faces in a manner I can easily understand.

Jamie has provided me with the excitement of exploration and insight in revealing a world I didn’t realize existed — helping other countries with their growth and humanity through home and business ownership — something so many of us take for granted or simply dismiss.

Jamie’s telling of her escapades leave me wanting more — more about the people she meets, the towns she explores, the accommodations she endures, the food and drink she consumes, the weather she endures, the bugs — all of it. Her writing pulled me from one page to the next, from one chapter to the next, and from one country to the next. I so look forward to her next book.

–Amazon reviewer

What a pleasure to read a book by a literate and intelligent author writing on a topic that I knew little about. This account of a lawyer skilled in finance and government who lends her expertise to countries establishing themselves as democracies on the international stage was a clear-eyed story of risk and rewards.

I was impressed with the author’s ability to handle complex legal issues in countries without a background in Western law. It was fascinating to read about the challenges she faced in Kabul, Kosovo, Rwanda and Ukraine and how gracefully she handled them. Some of the difficulties were as a result of culture clash, some due to poverty and some came from facing corruption. Her descriptions were entertaining but not at the expense of her associates and never just to provide a few laughs. Wherever she went, she was open to new experiences and was always guided by high moral principals inculcated by her parents… I loved everything about this book but I was especially touched by how she kept her enthusiasm, her love for her country and her contribution in making the world a better place.

–Amazon Reviewer

Book Release: BIKE RIDING IN KABUL

Happy publication day to Jamie Bowman, author of Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner.

Getting roughed up by Islamic fundamentalists, the weekly “feline sex-fest” in Kyiv, bribing Russian police to avoid jail in Moscow, sheltering under the sink (with the lizards) when the ammo dump exploded in Juba, automatic weapons training in Indiana, and that ill-fated morning bike ride in Kabul. It was a great job!

Bike Riding in Kabul follows the professional and personal adventures of international legal consultant Jamie Bowman, an attorney from California, as she endeavors to update the laws of Kosovo, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Moscow, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.

As seen through Ms. Bowman’s good humor and unique perspective, Bike Riding in Kabul moves with effortless charm through a fascinating array of personalities and events. It is full of exotic locations, difficult work challenges, strong female role models, and quirky characters, and explores a wide range of themes, including the important role of reform, endemic corruption, post-Cold War sentiments, and how other countries view the United States. Throughout the book, Jamie is supported by an Argentine boyfriend who helps her make sense of the crazy situations she finds herself in.

Fast-paced, funny, occasionally heartbreaking, but always wholly original, Bike Riding in Kabul captures the challenges of an American working overseas and is a story of finding the strength necessary to do the right thing, even when the consequences may be personally damaging.

Bike Riding in Kabul is available worldwide at Amazon (currently the #1 new release in foreign and international law!) and all major retailers as a paperback and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore!)

PRAISE FOR BIKE RIDING IN KABUL

“Bowman thoughtfully recounts her experiences in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Bangladesh, among others, furnishing perceptive commentary on the various cultures and histories of these nations ravaged by war and impoverishment. She writes with great lucidity and a breezy, anecdotal charm and harbors no idealistic pretensions about the work she does, however important… A splendid and intelligent recollection of an eventful law career.” 
—Kirkus reviews 

“In Bike Riding in KabulJamie Bowman takes the reader on an even wilder ride where only the bravest travelers would venture. From an explosive assignment in turbulent South Sudan to a narrow escape from an anti-American mob in Bangladesh, to life in a shipping container in terrorist-plagued Kabul with an irrepressible Argentinian boyfriend, her global odyssey is a page turner that lays bare the real life of a resolute and resourceful foreign aid practitioner.” 
—Olivia Ward, East-West News Service 

“…Bike Riding in Kabul is a thing apart. It is a beautifully written account of a lawyer’s determination to provide authentic, quality advice to fledgling democracies grappling with legal frameworks in post-conflict settings. The book is one part history and one part development—its stories told with large doses humor and personal reflection. 

Bike Riding in Kabul enjoys high scores for its nuanced presentation of large pol- icy issues, but just as importantly for its precise depiction of all the little musings that make up an aid advisor’s experience. Cringy colleagues, neglected locals, and misgivings about the brash assumptions of a superpower all feature in the book. It now belongs on my special shelf, the one reserved forbooks that really plumb the depths of memoir while surfacing the larger issues of international policy.” 

—Kimberley Wilson, Sr. Lecturer, International Business and Human Security, The Fletcher School, Tufts University 

“Bike Riding in Kabul…is a unique take on the travel memoir genre… Unlike many [other] travel memoirs, there is a heavy focus on helping others through the author’s travels instead of personal enlightenment. Of course, there were enlightening moments for Bowman as she learns about the world outside of the United States, but that wasn’t the focal point. It was a nice change and made me feel like I wasn’t reading the same stories from memoirs past. 

Bike Riding in Kabul by Jamie Bowman was a delightful read…that I highly recommend. If you’re looking for a unique travel memoir or just a profound story, then this is a book you must pick up. 

—Thomas Anderson, Editor In Chief, Literary Titan 

Jamie Bowman’s Bike Riding in Kabul is the story of an intrepid, courageous, and endlessly adventurous Western rule of law advisor. She contributes her unrelenting best in confusing and often dangerous settings to support strengthening or rebuilding societies edging themselves away from political earthquakes, war, and conflict.

Bowman, unlike the odd author who tries to describe this kind of work with technical descriptions, introduces us to the complexity of her work and how to succeed in navigating the world of both inspired and cynical consultants, international agencies, and the endless cast of heroes and villains in the countries she has served. In doing so, she lays her own life bare and reveals in compel- ling vignettes how her patience, resilience, empathy, and respect for the people she is really there to serve help to overcome her misgivings, to push for what is right and to preserve her optimism.

This is a wholly human story with many les- sons for those interested in what happens on the front lines of the development and post-conflict work our countries sponsor, as well as for those of us directly involved in the same kind of efforts. A book that has been a long time in coming. 

—William (Bill) Loris, Founder and Executive Director Emeritus, Rule of Law for Development Program, Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Co-Founder and former Director General, International Development Law Organization, Rome

Cover Reveal: IN HERSCHEL’S WAKE

Cover reveal! In Herschel’s Wake by Michael Wohl will be released worldwide on 10/04/22.

Like father like son… Like it or not!

HERSCHEL WOHL WAS MANY THINGS: twice-divorced astrologer, pharmacology professor, failed novelist, on-the-lam drug-runner, manual typewriter thief, Aikido white belt, possible communist, and temporary resident of the little-known island of Statia. He was also a father.

When Herschel dies unexpectedly just before his 71st birthday, his adult son Michael has to travel four thousand miles and overcome four decades of filial resentment to pick up Herschel’s pieces. Along the way Michael must reconnect with a forgotten half-brother, reconcile with an overeducated, underachieving sister, and reckon with his ambivalence about religion.

With no modern funerary services available on the tiny island, the three estranged siblings are left to bury their enigmatic patriarch by themselves, and by hand. As one day stretches into three and they wonder if they’ll ever get the bastard in the ground, they are forced to confront their complicated relationships, not only with their charismatic but irresponsible father, but also—and perhaps more importantly—with each other.

In Herschel’s Wake is a darkly funny examination of faith, funerals, family, and f*cked up fathers, but most of all, it’s about forgiveness.

Cover Reveal: STOP THE ROAD

COVER REVEAL! Stop the Road: Stories from the Trenches of Baltimore’s Road Wars will be released worldwide on 10/01/22.

Stop the Road is a microcosm of a clash over values and ideas about cities and the transportation systems that provide the lifeblood of the urban economy. That Baltimore avoided committing “urbanicide” (a term coined by Baltimore Sun news columnist James Dilts) was a testament to the astonishing victory of a ragtag band of community activists, environmentalists, and preservationists that turned the tables on the economic and political establishment. They won three major expressway battles, eliminating two highways and rerouting a third, thereby saving the waterfront that later became the bedrock of Baltimore’s late-1900s revival. However, the lasting impact of the highways that were built through the city’s African American communities (including Baltimore’s infamous “Highway to Nowhere”) tells quite a different story. Here we see highway plans that reflected racial inequities and discriminatory practices deeply embedded in Baltimore’s history. This is a storyline that still resonates today, as the country faces up to a long-overdue reckoning over racial issues.

Enlivened by the up-close-and-personal stories of the Road Warriors (much of it gained from 53 interviews of those involved), Stop the Road charts a course that is engaging on a human-interest level. This is a story of Baltimore at its best and at its worst all at the same time; a story of the mob retaking “Mobtown”; a story of monumental struggle for the “Monumental City.”

“Paull’s surgical dissection of the 40-year battle produces a book that is essential for understanding today’s Baltimore—and the many other American cities which experienced similar highway wars.”
Antero Pietila, author of Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City.

Stop the Road is an engrossing saga of Baltimore, not just because the events depicted are so significant for our city, but also because the history is enlivened by in person storytelling. You will marvel how this combination of community protectors, civil rights activists, preservationists, 1960’s idealists, and environmental advocates gained the upper hand over the road building establishment.”
M. J. (“Jay”) Brodie, former Baltimore Housing Commissioner and President of Baltimore Development Corporation.

“If you think about the things that have really changed the face of Baltimore as we know it today, to me there is nothing more important than the road wars.”
C. William Struever, Baltimore developer and urban strategist

Evans Paull is a retired city planner, living in northwest Baltimore with his wife, Rosemarie. He has three children and one grandchild. Paull’s career started in the Baltimore City Department of Planning where he worked with quite a few of the interviewees featured in this book (but he had no direct involvement in either transportation planning or the Road Wars). In mid-career he shifted from generalist planner to specializing in the redevelopment of brownfields (vacant former industrial or commercial properties, the reuse of which is complicated by contamination).  He started and managed Baltimore’s Brownfields Initiative; then went on to work on these same issues at a national level, working first for Northeast-Midwest Institute, later acting as Director of the National Brownfields Coalition, later still starting and running his consulting business, Redevelopment Economics. You can find previously published articles and papers on the Redevelopment Economics website. Paull has won a number of awards, including: Brownfields Leadership Award; Phoenix Award (for brownfields redevelopment); Governor’s Smart Growth Award; and Professional Achievement in Economic Development Award, Maryland Chapter American Planning Association.

Book Release: EDDY JOHNSON, BOOK DEALER

Happy publication day to John Wiley, author of Eddy Johnson, Book Dealer.

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS, A RARE BOOK IS STOLEN from wealthy Austin mayoral candidate Big Frank Miller, and Eddy Johnson—a local small-time book dealer—is hired to get it back. Eddy’s glad to have the work. He’s flat broke and desperately needs the money. But just as he thinks his luck is changing, he gets swept up in a perfect storm of corrupt politicians, dirty cops, and rival book wholesalers. Everyone thinks Eddy is expendable. He’s doing what he can to prove them wrong.

“A clever and entertaining hard-boiled detective spoof… refreshing and fun.”

Lone Star Literary Life

Move over Sam Spade. There a new hero in town. His name is Eddy. Eddy Johnson. Book Dealer. The slickest new character in pulp fiction dealing in Modern American Literature.
Who knew there was so much drama and intrigue in the world of used books?

This was an exciting, fast paced, joy of a read. Be sure to pick up a copy from your favorite dealer of books. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any shenanigans when closing the deal. 

Amazon reviewer

Excerpt from Eddy Johnson, Book Dealer

Before heading back to my room, I decide to drop by the Dusty Jacket for a couple drinks. It’s kind of become my go-to spot since my truck blew up. I park out front and go in. The place is more lively than usual. I feel lucky to find a place at the bar, and quickly go sit there.

“Bunch of librarians in town for a convention,” Jack says, putting a Shiner Bock in front of me.

Librarians, I think. Cheerfully defacing books for centuries.

Eddy Johnson, Book Dealer is available worldwide as a paperback and e-book. Find it wherever books are sold (we recommend asking your local book dealer to get you a copy!).

Book Release: LIES IN BONE

Happy publication day to Natalie Symons, author of Lies in Bone!

Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

Lies in Bone is available worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major retailers as a paperback, hardback, and e-book. (We recommend ordering it from your favorite local bookstore. Click here to order!)

Praise for LIES IN BONE

“The fantastic, fallible characters leap to life in these dialogue-filled pages and draw readers into an immersive world involving mysteries of missing children, mental illness and unsolved murders. A gripping tale of outcasts that keeps you guessing and, more importantly, caring how it will unspool. Mystic River meets Stranger Things in this engrossing debut novel.” —Lane DeGregory, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, The Girl in the Window

“A moody, hard-edged coming-of-age story that keeps the horrors coming until the very end.”—Kirkus Reviews

“…Fierce teen protagonist, Frances “Frank” Coolidge… impolite, foul-mouthed, self-mutilating and rebellious, and she’s loving, loyal and has backbone to spare; a female Steve McQueen, a young Sarah Conner; totally icon-worthy. A heart-stopping work of suspense fiction… a tour de force of friendship, love and redemption. Organically woven and expertly balanced, Lies in Bone lightens the load of its heavy subject matter with quirky northern town humor. Gritty, campy and dark wit and, especially, a keen grasp of family dysfunction and its many varieties, all add to Lies in Bone‘s hypnotically page-turning appeal…” —Julie Garisto, 83 Degrees Media

“Symons’s language crackles and sparks…”—Diane Chiddister, author of One More Day

“This extraordinary story…refused to leave my thoughts for even a moment until I reached its explosive conclusion. Lies in Bone is dark, tough and visceral, and it’s rich with twists, turns and breathless suspense—the very definition of a page-tuner.” —Bill DeYoung, St. Pete Catalyst

“Finally, a heroine of substance growing into her own magnificence, bearing witness to the unspeakable with bravery outpacing her years. A tale told with unapologetic realism and voice crafted with skill and humanity.” —Lori D. Shannon, author of Superwoman Died Tonight

“Dickensian in the best sense of the word, Lies in Bone is a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go.” —Paul Wilborn, author of Cigar City

“Gripping and dark, Lies in Bone so precisely captures the angst of long hidden secrets and dysfunction—the slow, corrosive descents and the hard-won triumphs. To me, the most disturbing thrillers are the ones that are all too plausible—almost familiar. Consider me disturbed.” —Cindy Stovall, Beauty & the ‘Burg Podcast

“Symons displays her adept playwrighting skills with earthy dialogue that flows effortlessly…I’m reminded of the way Joan Didion writes about similar themes…in The Year of Magical Thinking, but in this one, we have an intriguing mystery thriller on our hands…This small-town mystery with family ties is an engaging and at-times humorous literary thriller.” —Frank Pizzori, Independent Book Review

Lies in Bones is a spellbinder…The book just refuses to be put down..” —Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review

“You will want to read Lies in Bone all in one sitting – but don’t cheat yourself out of moving fully through the evolution of the story in its own time. An extraordinarily satisfying work.” —Roxanne Fay, author of Upon this Rock: The Magdalene Speaks

“A serious new novelist whose work cannot be ignored.” —Greg Fields, author of Through the Waters and the Wild

“The melancholic force of Lies in Bone will hold you hostage. The humor in this gritty, coming-of-age mystery is driven by a whip smart young heroine like none other.” —Hannah Benitez, author of Dike

Cover Reveal: LIES IN BONE

We are so incredibly excited to reveal the cover for LIES IN BONE by Natalie Symons, to be released in the fall of this year.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, LIES IN BONE culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale. 

Told by a sharp-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, LIES IN BONE is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and truths worth lying for. 

PRAISE FOR LIES IN BONE

A deadly smog washes over the rust belt town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania in the opening scene of Natalie Symons’ compelling debut novel, Lies in Bone. True to the title, the 1963 disaster lingers in the marrow of the survivors, like Chuck Coolidge, and in their descendants, including Chuck’s teen-age daughter, Frank, who refuses to surrender to the evanescence descending on her family and her father’s hometown. Dickensian in the best sense of the word, Lies in Bone is a novel that grabs the reader and does not let go.

—Paul Wilborn, author of Cigar City, 2019 Florida Book Awards fiction gold medal winner

The melancholic force of Lies in Bone will hold you hostage. The humor in this gritty, coming-of age mystery is driven by a whip smart young heroine like none other. Your appetite for answers will be satiated, but not before you’re tortured deliciously by author Natalie Symons.

—Hannah Benitez, author of GringoLandia and Dike

A taut, intense psychological investigation of trauma, loss and redemption, Lies in Bone draws the reader into a dense web of past sins and unresolved mysteries. Natalie Symons’ command of language allows this layered story to flow seamlessly around complex characters, actors in a drama seeking to reconcile the flotsam of very broken lives. With this book, Symons emerges as a serious new novelist whose work cannot be ignored.

—Greg Fields, author of Through the Waters and the Wild

Finally, a heroine of substance growing into her own magnificence, bearing witness to the unspeakable with bravery outpacing her years. A tale told with unapologetic realism and voice crafted with skill and humanity.

—Lori D. Shannon, author of Superwoman Died Tonight

Natalie Symons’ Lies in Bone vibrates within the reader. Following the intriguing, eerie first chapter, the story turns from its Stephen King-worthy opening into its own heart. As with her plays, Lark Eden and Naming True, Ms. Symons’ great strength as a writer lies in her achingly real characters. Lies in Bone resonates with a strong cast of characters, led by a young girl who fights to find her way out of the toxic fog of her past and answer the questions that have haunted her family and her town for decades. You will want to read Lies in Bone all in one sitting—but don’t cheat yourself out of moving fully through the evolution of the story in its own time. An extraordinarily satisfying work.

—Roxanne Fay, playwright, Thrice To Mine and Upon This Rock: The Magdalene Speaks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Symons is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been developed and produced at theatres around the country. Most recently, The People Downstairs received the Broadway World Regional Award for Original Script of the Decade and was the 2019 official selection of American Stage’s 21st Century Voices New Play Festival. Naming True was included in Ashland New Play Festival’s inaugural Play4Keeps podcast and was a finalist for the 2016 Bridge Initiative Women in Theatre Playwright of the Year Award. Among other honors, Natalie was the recipient of the 2018 Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Grant, the 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at American Stage, and three-time choice for Best Playwright by Creative Loafing. Her work has been featured in Smith & Kraus’ Best of 2019 and Smith & Kraus’ 30th Anniversary Edition Best of 2020. Originally from Buffalo, New York, she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband Jim and their rescue dog Chloe. Lies in Bone is her first novel.