Authors In Our Midst: Horror, YA and A Work In Progress

I picked three works today. They are diverse, so a little something for everyone. If you want to be featured, send me your information and I’ll include you. Also, you can add your work in the comment section.

I have two playwrights that I’m going to feature next, so if you are a playwright and want to be included, now is the time to shoot me an email.

The previous Authors In Our Midst can be found here. I had a request from Tissue Thin Pseudonym, he’d love it if anyone would review his book Becoming Phoebe (featured in the first author’s post) and post it on Amazon.

Now on to our featured works:

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Read about all of them below the fold…

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For A Good Time In Tucson…And Then Tn Charlottesville.

[Obligatory sound track]

Way late with this post, but if any of y’all happen to be in the Tucson, AZ area this weekend, I’ll be doing a bunch of stuff at the excellent Tucson Festival of Books.  It’s truly an all-in event; just an outrageous amount of book love crammed into two days.

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My own motes in this maelstrom come at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days.  On Saturday, I’ll be participating in a couple of panels, “Genius: Lives in Science” in the morning and “How We Got Here: Histories of Science” in the afternoon.  Sunday morning I’ll be doing a workshop/Q & A on science writing — how that will go will depend on who shows up and what they want to talk about — and in the afternoon we’ll be on to “Our Nearest Neighbors In The Solar System,” a chance to talk Planet Nine, Kuiper Belt Objects, those funky moons that orbit the Pluto-Charon system…and maybe just a bit about our should-be, could-be, never-was friend, Vulcan.

Some come by if you can.  And check out everything else going on — or rather, as that’s more than any one person could manage, check out what you like.

Also — an author’s plea.  If you happen to have read The Hunt for Vulcan (so nice I linked it twice) do tell your friends, and if you’re feeling extra generous, pop up a review on Amazon, or whatever social media venue floats your boat.

Also, also:  for anyone in the Charlottesville, VA vicinity next week, I’ll be talking at the Virginia Festival of the Book as part of a panel on “Mysteries of the Cosmos.”  That’ll be on Friday, March 18 at 4 p.m.  That’s another great celebration of writing, reading and the wondrousness of words; it too has an amazing line up of authors, with only yours-truly mucking up the joint; and a spring weekend spent in sight of the Blue Ridge is never wasted.

And just to broaden out the thread — how about talking about what you’re reading now.  For me, I just finished work in a genre I don’t usually read much: N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogywhich I enjoyed a lot, and to which I turned after being truly wowed by her The Fifth Season — a novel of geophysics, race, love and vengeance. I’m not sure what the next novel will be just yet.

My non-fiction jones is being fed by a dual read of Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature:  Alexander Humboldt’s New World and Humboldt’s own Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of Americaand a nightly, just-before-bed dip into Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson — which is just wonderful, a poet diving into another poet’s life and work in a bravura demonstration of criticism as high art.

What’s on your pile?

Image: Simon Luttichuijs, Vanitas still life with skull, books, prints and paintings by Rembrandt and Jan Lievens, with a reflection of the painter at workbetw. 1635-1640.



Authors in Our Midst: Bullets

I see if I want an afternoon distraction I’m going to have to post it myself.

BULLETS e-cover

This is a quick Authors in Our Midst. I received an email this week reminding me that one of our authors is offering a free download this week.

BULLETS – mystery thriller by Elijah Drive

Professional poker player Jon “Big Slick” Elder was minding his own business in a diner when an Arizona sheriff walked in and killed the man sitting next to him, a Mexican day laborer accused of murder. The law officer then arrested Slick simply because the sheriff didn’t like the color of Slick’s skin.

Slick knew that the stranger who had been sitting next to him at the diner was no murderer because, in addition to cards, Slick also kills people for money. The poor man didn’t have the look, but Slick does, and with the help of a beautiful assistant district attorney, a Navajo state trooper and a homegrown federal agent, Slick sets out to prove the dead man’s innocence. What he discovers, as he digs deeper, is a deadly mystery that threatens not only him, but his newfound friends as well. But Slick hates to have anyone… ANYONE… toss him his shoes and tell him to get out of town.

If you need something to read this week, there you have it! Again if you missed it, here are the first three posts: ONE, TWO and THREE

Consider this a book and open thread. See if we can avoid any hint of politics. Unless it’s a political thriller.



The God’s Eye View with Barry Eisler

Long time “Friend of the Blog” Barry Eisler has a new book out called The God’s Eye View:

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He’s agreed to host a Q&A with you all, and all we need to do is set up a time that is best for every one!








Authors In Our Midst: The Dog Thief and Unreasonable Doubt

I am very excited about the response to my request for submissions from authors in our midst. If you missed it, here are the first and second installments. There was enough of a response that I think I’ll do two authors in each post, for variety – if one genre doesn’t appeal to you, another might. I’ll probably post twice a month, more if I have time.

I’ve asked the authors to chime in, in the comments, to give a bit of their journey, how they came to write their works, what inspires them. I hope you’ll play along and ask them questions. Think of it as your very own writer’s workshop/author meet and greet.

First up: Jill Kearney, The Dog Thief (available here)*

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This book seriously sounds like it could be a Balloon-Juicer’s favorite:  Read more



Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Happy News

… Michelle and I have known Dr. Hayden for a long time since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and her dedication to learning and education is unparalleled.

More recently, she’s devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture. She’s been hard at work revitalizing Baltimore’s library system as the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library, updating its technology and raising money to fund essential improvements. Under her leadership, the Pratt library has become the largest provider of public-access computers in Maryland.

As Librarian of Congress, she’ll work in close partnership with Congress, support the copyright office that serves our nation’s creative communities, and explore new ways to share the information housed within our library through innovative technologies.

And I know she’ll be a good steward for the important role that libraries play in our communities. Last year, during the unrest in Baltimore, Dr. Hayden and the library’s staff kept the doors of the Pratt open as a beacon for the community…

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Apart from bibliophilia (which is always on topic), what’s on the agenda for the evening?

And speaking of libraries, here’s a glimpse of a private paradise:



Authors In Our Midst: The Cabin

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I thought the first post of Balloon-Juice writers was successful enough to do another. I think after taking suggestions, a weekly or twice monthly post will be manageable and fun. I’ll only post one or two authors in each post. If you’d like to be featured, please email me and I’ll post on a first come basis.

Just to avoid any complications, I’ll only post at the author’s request.

So hit comments, ask questions, share favorite reads and if you’re an author share your work, talk about your publishing adventures, share any tips or advice, answer questions.

The week’s submission is from Munira – The Cabin, by Judith Munira

Building the cabin Photo by Hédi Mizouni

Building the cabin
Photo by Hédi Mizouni

When Judith Avinger drove out of Bellingham, Washington, in her white Honda, on her way to a new life in Quebec, Canada, she knew, of course, that she was going to a different country, and to a province with a different language, but she also felt she was looking for something else, something elusive, something she couldn’t define. What she found was a new family, a spiritual path, a new name (Munira) and the vision of a cabin in the forest, a cabin she eventually built in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

The Cabin is the story of how she dreamed that cabin into existence. But it’s also the story of her deep connection to the people and places she left behind and her trips back and forth between the east and the west coasts. She began writing this memoir the day she left Bellingham, recording each day’s adventures in her journal. Nearly 20 years later, it is finally finished.

To see the original authors in the first authors in our midst post, click here. Also check out the comments are there were quite a few author links there, too.