Category Archives: Book Release

BOOK RELEASE: The Night Owl Sings

We’re thrilled to release The Night Owl Sings by Judy McConnell, available today worldwide as a paperback, hardback, and e-book. Ask for it at your favorite local bookstore, or support local and order it from Bookshop.org here.

Too often in literature, and American society, the old person is a trope: they are only a grandparent, or only an ailing body, or only an inability to keep up. In The Night Owl Sings, Judy McConnell’s protagonists–all of them old–bust the stereotype of old age as a reductive experience.

As time tapers, love, relationships, disappointments, change, and everyday life sharpen. As each character lives their final years, a deep, literary complexity emerges, and the sum of a long life is totaled as it nears its conclusion.

Praise for The Night Owl Sings

“In her short story collection The Night Owl Sings, Judy McConnell gives us the tales of older women caught in pivotal moments of their lives, finding a path forward. These are generous stories about caring—how we care for each other, how we care for ourselves. A lovely collection.”

—Mary Logue, award-winning poet and author of over 30 books, including the acclaimed Claire Watkins mystery series

“Judy McConnell has created vivid characters and revealing plots full of human frailties and self-discoveries, nuanced and rich with emotion. These are unusual, vivid stories.”

—Mary Stewart Swanson, lifestyle editor for Sun Newspapers and author of the books Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny How You Can Love and Memories of My Childhood

About Judy McConnell

Judy McConnell was born in Charleston, West Virginia. As a young child, she moved with her family to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she grew up and now resides. She wrote short stories and poetry during her youthful years and graduated with a BA degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s in Education from the University of Minnesota.

But it wasn’t until retirement from a career as a secondary school teacher and training specialist that she took up writing full time. The Night Owl Sings is her fourth published book, and her first book of short stories. Her favorite activities are bridge, hiking, the theater, her lake cabin, singing in a community chorale, and most of all, writing down the bones. She also likes to spend time with her two children and five grandchildren.

BOOK RELEASE: The Clearing

Happy pub day to Cassandra J. Kelly! The Clearing is available today at all major retailers as a paperback, hardback, and e-book. Ask for it at your favorite local bookstore, or support local and order it through Bookshop.org here.

About The Clearing

Set in rural Ohio, The Clearing tells the story of twelve-year-old Sadie Watkins, whose world is being uprooted by her mother’s disease: a severe form of multiple sclerosis.

As Sadie faces the impending grief of losing her mother, she also feels the fading of her childhood and longs for her imagination to return. She seeks solace in the woods behind her house, where she processes her overwhelming home life through traditional Appalachian herbology, pressing and cataloging flowers and plants like a budding scientist.

When Sadie meets Cali, a barefoot wild child who seems to come from nowhere, the two become instant friends. Cali re-introduces Sadie to the wonders of the forest and gives her the courage she needs to face the future—the one without her mom.

This novel intertwines grief, love, nature, and wonder. It also acts as a time capsule of the Healthcare Crisis in the early 2000s, and the many American families like Sadie’s who had to make great sacrifices when illness struck.

About Cassandra J. Kelly

Cassandra J. Kelly holds degrees in journalism and environmental science from Ohio University. She continues to call Ohio home and loves spending time in nature with her Australian Shepherds, Bonnie and Eva. The Clearing is her debut novel. Learn more about her and her most recent work at cassandrajkelly.com.

BOOK RELEASE: Pocket Dog

We’re delighted to release Pocket Dog by Jim Garland today. This is one of our most anticipated books of 2023, and it’s a pleasure to share it with the world!

Pocket Dog is available as a paperback, hardback, and e-book wherever books are sold. Find it here, or ask for it at your favorite local bookstore!

Pocket Dog is a smart, upmarket rom-com about Ollie Allyinphree, a hapless and perpetually single (if charmingly nerdy) research librarian in Boston. When Ollie comes into a sizeable fortune, he begins to receive marriage proposals from women all over the world. One relationship after another falls through until, with the help of a long-lost twin brother and a mysterious tiny rescue dog, Ollie learns how to overcome his passivity and take the risks that lead him to find and name what he truly wants.

Pocket Dog explores themes of taking risks in relationships and decision-making, the limits of knowledge and logic, and the meaning of love.

PRAISE

“… extremely clever, deft, learned, really funny in many places, but above all has a deep sense of tenderness and heart that to my mind carries the day.” — Frank Huyler, author of White Hot Light, The Blood of Strangers, The Right of Thirst

“… an original and stunning tour de force, laughing out loud more times than I can count…the wit, the satire of contemporary culture, the detailed knowledge…” — Minrose Gwin, author of The Accidentals and Promise, plus many non-fiction books and essays.

“… probably the best novel ever written, and I’m not just saying that.” — Mrs. Marcelle Garland, the author’s mother

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Garland grew up in Kansas City and graduated from Princeton (AB) and Cornell (PhD). He was professor of physics and executive dean of arts and sciences at Ohio State and for ten years president of Miami U. of Ohio. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Jim is the author of more than a hundred scientific papers, essays, and opinion pieces. His humorous debut novel, Pocket Dog, started life as a classroom exercise in a course he audited at Ohio State. His 2010 non-fiction tome, Saving Alma Mater (U of Chicago Press), has been described as hilariously unfunny.

Jim lives and writes in Santa Fe, on a hundred cactus-ridden acres, accompanied by three dogs, six chickens, a very tolerant spouse, and a courtyard bull snake named Beatrice.

Learn more about Jim at his website: www.jimgarlandauthor.com.

BOOK RELEASE: Warehouse H

Warehouse H: The Story of Blanton’s Bourbon, America’s Most Influential Whiskey by Dominic Guglielmi is available NOW! Order it from Amazon here, or better yet, get it straight from the author on the Warehouse H website here.

Warehouse H unveils the history and secrets of Blanton’s—the most polarizing bourbon brand—in a remarkable story of perseverance, the power of marketing, and the allure of novelty, along with an entertaining take on what many consider to be irrational exuberance.  Guglielmi brings a fresh perspective from a position of true admiration, making the case for why Blanton’s is America’s most influential whiskey.”
—Brian Haara, author of Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon isn’t just a popular brand of whiskey; its launch in 1984 was historic. As the first single-barrel bourbon, it helped define a new “super-premium” category of spirit, and only the choicest barrels are selected and bottled. Together with other super-premium brands launched in the years following Blanton’s debut, its release sowed the seeds of a twenty-first-century bourbon boom that saved the American whiskey industry from near collapse. 

Along with its historic rise, Blanton’s is now one of the world’s most sought-after whiskeys. While it maintains legions of loyal fans who line up to deplete liquor store shelves, the hype surrounding the brand is often the subject of debate, as is the quality of the bourbon itself. 

Warehouse H dives deep into the story behind the brand, explores its origins, and documents the unlikely rise and contribution of the first single-barrel bourbon. In addition, it is a catalog of all known Blanton’s releases, some exceptionally rare, with insights and anecdotes capturing all things Blanton’s, from its inception to its present-day popularity.

Warehouse H is a gorgeous, full-color hardcover book. Here’s a sneak peek at the design!

About the author

Dominic Guglielmi is widely considered one of the most prolific and knowledgeable collectors of Blanton’s bourbon. He has amassed a nearly unrivaled collection of known Blanton’s releases, including nearly all extremely rare and limited bottles that have been produced. He has worked to document the brand’s history through his website, warehouseh.com. Guglielmi’s interest in the whiskey doesn’t stop at rare Blanton’s collecting. It starts there.

Follow Guglielmi on Instagram: @WarehouseHinfo

BOOK RELEASE: Call Me Sonny

Happy release day to Steve Lazarus, author of Call Me Sonny!

Call Me Sonny is available everywhere as a paperback, hardback, or e-book. Find it here, or request it at your favorite bookstore!

“Bryce Chandler is a compelling addition to the pantheon of hard-boiled fictional detectives. Lazarus puts his experience as an FBI agent to good use in Call Me Sonny, and the book feels more realistic than most detective novels. Impossible to put down!”

—Joe Weisberg, Emmy Award-winning writer and creator of The Americans

Shortly after a corrupt attorney pays a visit to an inmate serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison, people from the inmate’s past start to die. Bryce Chandler, a retired FBI agent eking out a living as a private investigator in the Florida Keys, ties the string of killings to a shadowy murder-for-hire organization operating on the dark web. As Bryce digs into the murders, he discovers the final name on the hit list is his own.

Meanwhile, a simple divorce case turns out to be much more than meets the eye, as Bryce’s investigation of the defendant leads him down a path of international drug smuggling, money laundering, and violent henchmen bent on keeping him silent. The two storylines run parallel to one another until they eventually converge in a final bloody outcome.

About the author

Steve Lazarus is an author, retired FBI Special Agent, and United States Air Force veteran. He served twenty-two years in the FBI, spending the first half of his career investigating drug trafficking organizations and violent street gangs. Later, he became a full-time bomb technician, an assignment that led him to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan as part of the Global War on Terror.  After retiring from the Bureau, he spent several years as a national security instructor in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Steve lives outside Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with his wife, Susan, and their amazing wonder dog, Aspen.

Keep up with Steve on his website here: stevelazarusbooks.com.

BOOK RELEASE: The Beast Keepers

Happy release day to Julie Fudge Smith, author of The Beast Keepers!

The Beast Keepers is available everywhere as a paperback and e-book. Find it here, or request it at your favorite local bookstore.

We’ve been taken with the premise of this book from the moment we met Julie. Think C.S. Lewis meets James Herriot!

Jonathan F. St. Roche, a young veterinarian jaded by the wealthy horse world, answers an ad for a job as a small-town veterinarian in rural Carrollton, Ohio. Once there, he soon discovers the town 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 and his new friends must balance the dangerous creature’s needs against the grave risk to the community.

“With a cast of beastly characters, this is a playful consideration of what kindness to animals really means. Fun, inventive, and charming, The Beast Keepers is a delight for animal lovers. I loved it!”

—Zazie Todd, PhD, author of Wag and Purr

“If you love the bond between animals and their guardians, you’re going to love this book. Not only do you meet some fun domestic animals, but you’ll also be captivated by the mythical creatures. A thoroughly enjoyable, well-written story. As a dog trainer, I especially enjoyed the sections about how animals think and learn! Well done!”

—Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, Co-founder, The Dog Gurus, former president of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers

About the Author

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

Several years ago while I waited with my flat-coated retriever Mr. Bingley 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.

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BOOK RELEASE: Finding the Place Where Everything Lives

Happy book release day to Andy Kalan, author of Finding the Place Where Everything Lives!

Finding the Place Where Everything Lives is available here as a paperback, hardback, and e-book.

Daniel and Claire Morrow are newlyweds with different pasts–Daniel lived a life of privilege while Claire was born into poverty. But yet, they fell in love. When they move to Manhattan from their Midwestern college in the days leading up to the Great Recession, the disparities in their background become more prevalent. Daniel struggles to succeed in the financial arena as the economy implodes, and Claire questions her ambitions as a dancer. As the foundation of their marriage and the romanticized ideas they brought to the city erode under the pressure, they’re forced to question who they are becoming, both as individuals and to each other.

EXCERPT FROM FINDING THE PLACE WHERE EVERYTHING LIVES

She took my hand, leading me out from the cover and onto the ground. I lay beside her as the flakes tumbled down, piling up around the outline of our bodies.

“If you could give one line to the world,” she said, “what would it be?”

“I don’t know. That’s a hard question.”

“Come on, if someone handed you a megaphone, and it could reach every person in the world, what would you say?”

My mind was blank. I hadn’t ever been asked that before.

On the other side of the street, her friends had emerged from the car. Some of them danced and spun around aimlessly while others threw handfuls of snowy powder into the air.

“You know what I would say,” she said. “I would say that when you love people, you make them human. I once heard Maya Angelou say that forgiveness restores humanity. It breathes life back into what is damaged. That’s what I’d want the whole world to know: how to love.”

The snow continued to fall, but it seemed to be gentler as it kissed our faces and the ground next to us. I closed my eyes and thought about her question. I couldn’t stop thinking about her friends and how unbridled they were in their enjoyment of the snow. And that’s when it hit me. I said, “I think I would say that we were meant to be free.”

She turned her head toward me.

“I like that,” she whispered, “I like that a lot.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ANDY KALAN was born in upstate New York, grew up in the Midwest, and returned to New York with his wife and two kids. His work has been published in a handful of local publications. This is his debut novel.

Learn more about Andy here: www.andykalan.com.

BOOK RELEASE: The Return of Jason Foxx

It’s release day for The Return of Jason Foxx by Kevin Lavey!

Nab your copy of The Return of Jason Foxx here!

AN ADULT COMING-OF-AGE NOVEL

THIRTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD JASON FOXX FINALLY–FINALLY–KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS.

He wants to get his damaged brother, Brian, back on his feet. He wants to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend Adele and be a dad to her son, Stephen. And after nine years of teaching, he wants at last to set aside his own traumas-his imprisoned conman father, a mother who abandoned the family years before she died-and become a principal at a high school for troubled kids. Kids he can save, like his teachers saved him.

But things don’t always work out the way you want.

When his observation lesson is sabotaged by Mr. Rastik, a fellow teacher with his own agenda, Jason finds his plans slipping from his grasp. With a number of teachers due to be excessed next year, Rastik is ruthless, ready to do whatever it takes-manipulation, even blackmail-to keep himself at Central South High School.

Then there’s Jason’s father, locked away in West Virginia, holding onto the power of attorney Jason needs should something go wrong with Brian. He’ll give it up, he says, if Jason will fl y to Florida into a life he never knew his father lived.

If Jason is to build the home he wants with Adele and Stephen–if he’s to maneuver past Rastik’s machinations and at last step out from the shadow of childhood–he’ll need to understand that things are not always as they seem. Maybe he’s not the only one struggling. He’s not the only one growing. And whether brother, son, father, partner, principal, or teacher, he still has quite a lot to learn.

Praise for The Return of Jason Foxx

What William Kennedy did for Albany, Kevin Lavey is doing for Baltimore. Mr. Lavey’s characters are not the down-and-out denizens that Kennedy serves up, but they are no less searching in their attempt to bring meaning to their troubled lives. The Return of Jason Foxx is a marvelous tale, and spiritual, that points us toward a path of success that comes through compassion, education, persistence, and self-awareness. May Mr. Lavey continue to reveal his immense talent to the world. Baltimore has fostered another writer of significance. —T J EDWARDS, TWO-TIME HELEN HAYES AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT AND FOUNDER OF THE WASHINGTON SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Jason Foxx reveals the hidden details of all the small tragedies and victories that are real life in education. Any teacher will recognize the satire and hilarity of the school scenes depicted. —JENNIFER M., VETERAN PUBLIC EDUCATION TEACHER

Dedicated social studies teacher Jason Foxx is beleaguered by a reckless brother, unknown saboteurs inside of his school plotting his demise, and a fragile romance that seems impossible for him to enjoy, given the odds. Lavey’s writing elevates the machinations of Foxx’s complicated life into Shakespearian tragicomedy. His writing is distinguished by economy of expression, insightful probing into the human psyche, and deft touches of refreshing humor. —KIM ZANTI, CREATIVITY SPECIALIST

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Lavey is the author of Rat and numerous short stories published in literary magazines. He has been recognized for his writing including awards from the Maryland Writers Association and the Maryland State Arts Council.

He began his lifelong love of writing while at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. Now a retired teacher from Baltimore County Public Schools, he has other novels and short stories in the works.

He is inspired to write stories that help him make sense of the world. He believes writing provides a singular way to explore what it means to be a human being. As a writer, he finds resonance in a judgment from the I Ching, “Perseverance Furthers.” Write with enough devotion and authenticity and you just might get to the heart of things.

He taught in Baltimore City public schools for ten years and in an alternative school in Baltimore County for fourteen years, during which time he became a national board-certified English teacher. 

He is a trained mediator and a practitioner of that elusive martial art, aikido.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, a Master’s of Arts in Reading from Towson University, and a Master’s of Arts in Leadership in Teaching from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Learn more about Kevin here: www.kevinlavey.com.

BOOK RELEASE: Let Your Heart Be Broken

Happiest of release days to Tina Davidson, author of Let Your Heart Be Broken: Life and Music from a Classical Composer.

Tina Davidson is three-and-a-half when she is adopted from her foster home in Sweden by a visiting American professor. Soon she is the oldest of five children, living with her mother and stepfather in Turkey, Germany, and Israel. She studies music and becomes a prolific pianist and composer. But something about her birth remains unnamed and hidden. When she returns to Sweden, she contacts the Swedish adoption agency. “Come,” says the voice on the phone, “I have information for you.”

In Let Your Heart Be Broken, Tina Davidson juxtaposes memories, journal entries, and insight into the life of an artist and a mother-at work. Along the way, Davidson meets Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg, survives an attack by nomads in Turkey, and learns her birth father is a world-famous scientist. And throughout, there is the thread of music, an ebb and a crescendo of a journey out of the past and into the present, through darkness and into the light.

Order your copy of Let Your Heart Be Broken here!

TINA DAVIDSON, a highly regarded American composer, creates music that stands out for its emotional depth and lyrical dignity.  Lauded for her authentic voice, the New York Times praised her “vivid ear for harmony and colors.”  Philadelphia Inquirer writes that she composes “real music, with structure, mood, novelty and harmonic sophistication – with haunting melodies that grow out of complex, repetitive rhythms.”

Over her forty-five-year career, she has been commissioned and performed by well-known ensembles such as National Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, OperaDelaware, VocalEssence, Kronos Quartet, Cassatt Quartet and Grammy award winner, Hilary Hahn. 

Long-term residencies play a major role in Davidson’s career. She was composer-in-residence as part of the innovative Meet The Composer “New Residencies” and with the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.  Championing composing in public schools, she created the city-wide Young Composers program to children how to write music through instrument building, improvisation, and graphic notation.

Tina Davidson was born in Stockholm, Sweden and grew up in Oneonta, NY and Pittsburgh, PA.  She currently resides in Lancaster PA.

Learn more about Tina here: tinadavidson.com.

Praise for Let Your Heart Be Broken

“Rarely does a composer tie together life events and inner creative propulsion in a narrative that speaks directly to their audience. Ms. Davidson’s music is lyrical and vulnerable, as is her voice in words. Her book will allow listeners and musicians alike to build their own connections to Ms. Davidson’s work in all of its forms.” –Hilary Hahn, violinist and Grammy winner

“Let Your Heart Be Broken is a poignant telling of a life inextricably entwined in the art of making music. It is a rare peek into the inner workings of the mind and its desires, joys, and fears, and how that affects the process of wrestling notes onto a page; a memoir filled with the twists and turns of the soul, it is a rewarding read.”  –Jennifer Higdon, Pulitzer Prize composer

“Whether she is writing about the hauntings of childhood or the day-to-day practical work of a leading American composer, Tina Davidson writes with precision and poetry, bringing us into her remarkable life.”  –Tim Page, author and  former New York Times music critic

Listen to an exclusive Spotify playlist with music from the book here!

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.