December Lucky Stars – Week 3: Fiction

LuckyStars_1_72dpi.jpgWith the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, now is the time to take a break and escape into a new world — a world that only fiction can offer. As part of our expanded Lucky Stars e-book promotion in December, we’re featuring 12 fabulous works of fiction this week. Each of these e-books is just $2.99 until the end of the month. And two of them, Anthony De Sa’s Barnacle Love and Michael Parker’s Don’t Make Me Stop Now, include FREE previews of those authors’ upcoming novels. With so much value for the price, you’ll want to load up your e-reader for your holiday reading!

9781565129269-163x244Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa: Anthony De Sa makes his fiction debut with this stunning collection of interlinked stories that explore the innocent dreams and bitter disappointments of the immigrant experience. Hailed as “tender and raw, morbid and surprisingly gentle” by the Vancouver Sun, Barnacle Love was a finalist for Canada’s highly prestigious Giller Prize. Moving from a small Portuguese fishing village in the Azores to the shores of Newfoundland, Barnacle Love then takes us into the dark alleys of Toronto’s Portuguese community in the 1970s. The first half of the book is told by Manuel Rebelo, who has fled his homeland—and the crushing weight of his mother’s expectations—to build a future for himself in a new land. Manuel struggles hard to adjust, but fulfilling the promise of his adopted home is not as simple as he had hoped. The second half of the book is told with candor by Manuel’s son Antonio, who—along with his sister and mother—lives in the shadows cast by Manuel’s failures. With fantastic, sometimes magical details and passionate empathy, Anthony De Sa invites readers into the lives of the Rebelo family. The results are, in the words of writer Nino Ricci, “haunting and elegiac.”

Includes a FREE preview of Anthony De Sa’s upcoming novel, Kicking the Sky.

9781616202170-163x252Don’t Make Me Stop Now by Michael Parker: These eleven arresting, comic, and moving stories by acclaimed writer Michael Parker testify to the driving force of love, the lengths to which we’ll go to claim it and pursue it, the delusions we’ll float to keep it going, the torment that goes part and parcel with it. And despite all of the above, the absolute necessity of it, no matter its consequences.

Whether it’s a college student undone by the boy who leaves her, or the boyfriend intent on leveling old scores from high school for his lover, or the husband who discovers—in the grocery store—the woman he should have been with all along, every character, no matter how off track, wants to believe in debt and credit and payback and making the messy world—and the messy world of love—turn out neatly.

Includes a FREE preview of Michael Parker’s upcoming novel, All I Have in This World.

 

 

9781565127005-163x227A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons: Two unforgettable characters, Jack Ernest Stokes, known as Blinking Jack, and his wife, Ruby Pitt Woodrow Stokes, tell the story of their years together. Jack was forty and Ruby only twenty when they were married. For twenty-five years they lived together, man and wife, until Ruby died of lung cancer. A LITERARY GUILD AND DOUBLEDAY BOOK CLUB selection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaffner_WidowsOfEden_jkt_rgb_web_HR-163x251The Widows of Eden by George Shaffner: It hasn’t rained in a hundred days, it’s hotter than Beelzebub’s oven, and the ground is harder than a castiron skillet. The good folks of Ebb, Nebraska, could surely use a miracle. Lifelong residents are fleeing, and the town is on the verge of collapse. Wilma Porter, the plucky owner of the Come Again Bed and Breakfast, and her indomitable friends from the Quilting Circle need to do something to save Ebb, and fast. But short of praying for rain, there’s little even the powerful Quilting Circle can do. Enter Vernon L. Moore. The last time this mysterious traveling salesman came to stay at the Come Again B & B, he turned the town around in six days. When he left, he became a legend. Wilma and her friends have come to expect surprises from Mr. Moore, but this time they’re stunned when he brings help: three widows from the town of Eden with pasts as enigmatic as his. The Widows of Eden is an entertaining, inspiring novel about community, hope, and a new way of looking at the things that matter most.

 

 

9781616202071-163x243Body of Knowledge by Carol Dawson: Carol Dawson’s outrageous second novel chronicles the decline and fall of a strange dynasty–from post-frontier Texas to the present day. It’s the story of a secret war, of obsession, fear, loathing, and betrayal. But most of all, BODY OF KNOWLEDGE is the story of Victoria Grace Ransom, the story’s 600-pound narrator, whose engrossing secret gradually reveals itself in a novel as big as all Texas. “Gorgeously crafted, intelligent and wholly original.”–Los Angeles Times Book Review ; “The best novelist to emerge from Texas in years.”–Texas Monthly. A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB and QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOK CLUB SELECTION.

 

 

 

 

Iida_MiddleSon_jkt_rgb_web_HR-163x243Middle Son by Deborah Iida: When Spencer Fujii’s grandparents arrived in Hawaii at the turn of the century, they brought Japanese customs with them. Five decades later, those traditional expectations still shape the lives of the Fujii family. Spencer, the child of first generation Japanese-American (Nisei) sugarcane plantation workers, is the middle son of this exquisite first novel. He is haunted by the sacrifice of Taizo, not only Spencer’s big brother but his hero, who kept the tradition all too faithfully. While the Japanese traditions of responsibility, acceptance, and sacrifice form the structural backbone of this remarkable novel, it is the delicate evocation of Spencer’s family life, his childhood days with the much-loved Taizo, and the beauty of his final communion with his mother that displays Deborah Iida’s enormous talent. “Deborah Iida’s fine writing and her wonderful ear opened the window on the world of Japanese Americans in Hawaii, a world that captured this reader.”–Abraham Verghese, author of MY OWN COUNTRTY; “A small gem.”–Kirkus Reveiws; “Resonant. A tender tale of secrecy and obligation, introducing us to a Hawaii the tourists never see.”–Glamour.

 

in-land-of-second-chances-s-163x224In the Land of Second Chances by George Shaffner: Meet Wilma Porter, the plucky and kindhearted owner of the only bed and breakfast in Ebb, Nebraska. Wilma knows everybody in town and everybody is in a bit of trouble. No one more so than Calvin Millet, though. His wife has up and left him and their ailing daughter. His department store is close to bankruptcy. His house has been destroyed by a tornado. The folks of Ebb, including Wilma and her indomitable gang of friends, watch Calvin’s fortunes wane with great dismay, for in Ebb, everyone’s fate is connected to his.

When a handsome stranger named Vernon L. Moore comes to town selling games of chance, more than a few eyebrows are raised. A consummate salesman, he befriends the troubled townspeople one by one. He listens to their stories and asks them intriguing questions that make them see their situations differently. The father of a dying child, the reclusive widow who’s taken permanent board at the B & B, the banker with ulterior motives, and the outspoken Wilma Porter are all changed by their encounters with this mysterious man who seems not of this world. After all, no one has seen a traveling salesman in Ebb for more than thirty years. But wherever he’s from and whoever he is, he leaves behind a town where second chances are not only possible, they can—and do—happen.

meeting-luciano-siteMeeting Luciano by Anna Esaki-Smith: To Hanako Shimoda, recently divorced, Luciano Pavarotti is a god. To her daughter, Emily, this fixation on Pavarotti is a harmless fantasy, the byproduct of loneliness. Meeting Luciano is the story of what happens when Hanako acts on her fantasy and invites opera star Pavarotti to dinner in their Westchester County home. Emily, with no real career plan, has gone back after college to work at her old summer job – waiting tables at the local Japanese steakhouse. Even worse than wearing a fake kimono and obi is that she’s living at home with her mother. At first, her mom seems pretty much her old self – still reliving her Japanese childhood; still affecting the airs of a European sophisticate; still brewing espresso, cooking Italian, and singing arias from Rigoletto while she cleans; still idolizing Luciano Pavarotti. But when Hanako hires Alex, a handsome Greek, to renovate the kitchen, Emily begins to worry. And when Alex, who seems to be getting very cozy with her mother, spills the secret that the renovation is in preparation for a visit from Pavarotti, Emily is thrown into a wonderfully familiar quandary: how to deal with a parent who might be losing it. First-time novelist Anna Esaki-Smith has a wry, understated approach to the themes of assimilation, growing up, striking out on shaky ground, finding yourself – and loving your mother. Like a reflecting pool in a Japanese garden, Meeting Luciano gradually reveals the beauty of its subtle design.

Dawson_MeetingMinotaur_jkt_rgb_web_HR-163x242Meeting the Minotaur by Carol Dawson: An audacious modern-day retelling of an ancient Greek myth. “A sinister, slapstick thriller.”–USA Today; “An abundant feat of imagination deftly executed.”–The Dallas Morning News; “An exhilarating, self-assured novel with brains, muscle, and an eccentric beauty that keeps catching us by surprise.”–The Boston Globe; “Scenes that are as taut, gritty, and violent as those in the best noir thrillers.”–Publishers Weekly.

 

 

 

 

 

9781565127517-163x230Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits marks the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction. Laila Lalami evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain.What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger?

There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future.

Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.

 

lying-in-bed-ebook-siteLying in Bed by J.D. Landis: Lying in Bed begins with the voice of a strange, compelling speaker. The more we learn of his life and his most unusual marriage, the less we are sure of who he is and what he says. Lying in Bed first seduces us with its intense storytelling, then ensnares us in a dangerous psychological and erotic labyrinth we never want to leave. Winner of Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilkinson_OnThe7thDay_jkt_rgb_web_HR-163x259On the 7th Day God Created Chevrolet by Sylvia Wilkinson: Tom Pate can’t leave the family farm behind fast enough. Drag racing his candy-apple-red 1955 Chevy Bel Air is just the first step in a journey that will lead him far from home in his search for a bigger track, a better ride, and a better, faster future. Tom’s younger brother Zack tries desperately to keep up with this man whose talent involves leaving people behind. Set in the 1960s–with racial tensions running high and Vietnam War starting to make demands on the lives of young men–On the 7th Day God Created the Chevrolet is a story that pits the safe haven of farm and family against a young man’s best shot at glory.

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