john-marcoAbout John Marco

I’ve always felt that I was a writer, even as a little boy. I can remember pecking away at an old portable typewriter, coming up with my first stories when I was around ten years old. I like to think I’ve gotten a lot better since then! And yet there’s still that little boy in me, the one who loves imagination and exploration, and loves to tell stories. Just like Peter Pan, writers never really grow up.

I was born in Long Island and live here still. For a long time I was a technical writer before making the transition to fiction. I worked in many different industries for a lot of different companies until my first book, The Jackal of Nar, was published in 1999. That book was a springboard into a whole new world for me, one that’s given me great and deep satisfaction. I’m also a husband and a father, and although I often define myself as a writer, nothing gives me more happiness than my wife and my son.

Besides my family and writing, my other two big interests are aviation and Disney World. When I’m not working, there’s a good chance you’ll find me with my nose in a flying magazine, or listening to one of the many Disney podcasts on the web.

For more information, visit John’s website. You can also read his blog here.

About Starfinder

starfinderWhat would life be like if you could fly? Young Moth of Calio wants to know. He’s obsessed with the airships around his mountain home and dreams of becoming a Skyknight one day, to take to the air like his heroes.

So begins Starfinder, the first book of The Skylords trilogy.  Not only is it a story of coming of age for the two main protagonists, Moth and his friend Fiona, but it’s also about mankind’s coming of age.  The world of Starfinder is very much like our own at the turn of the last century, with steam trains and electricity and budding technologies. And thanks to the inventive genius of Fiona’s grandfather Rendor, humans have finally taken to the sky, not only in giant airships but in small, ornithopter contraptions called dragonflies as well.  Not everyone is happy to see mankind’s progress, however. For thousands of years, the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords have jealously guarded their heavenly domain. In all this time, an uneasy peace has existed between humans and Skylords, but Moth and Fiona are about to breach the magical boundary between the two worlds.

Normally we post about upcoming tour stops for the coming week, but we have a down week this week, so instead I’d like to show you what we’ve got in store for the next few months!

Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly by Tom Wilson

zig-zaggingFor decades Ziggy has fostered a strong, personal connection with millions of readers, and now the man who has been the driving force behind Ziggy for more than two decades shares the dramatic and multidimensional story behind the enigmatic and complex world of cartooning. In this compelling narrative filled with humor, heartache, hope, original artwork, and family photos, Wilson shares his personal recollections as a boy who witnessed the whimsical creation of a future American icon, until adulthood thrusts him into the position of clandestine creative caretaker for Ziggy after his brilliant father, Tom Wilson Sr., becomes chronically ill. When his wife is taken by cancer and leaves him alone to raise two young sons, Wilson must reconcile his anger and paralyzing depression over his devastating loss, while continuing to bring smiles to others around the world in his daily comics. Read more.

The Mechanics of Falling by Catherine Brady

mechanics-of-fallingThis book presents eleven new stories that are set in and around San Francisco by an award-winning author. The stories in this collection explore those moments when the seemingly fixed coordinates of our lives abruptly give way – when mother love fractures, a faithful husband abandons his family, a conscientious middle-class life implodes, or loyalty demands an excruciating sacrifice. The characters share a fundamental predicament, the struggle to name and embrace some faith that can break their fall. In equal measure, they hunger for and resist this elusive possibility and what it demands of them. “The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories” deals with a range of circumstances and relationships, and with characters who must decide what they are willing to risk for the sake of transformation, or for the right to refuse it. The stories trace the effort to traverse the boundaries between one state and another – between conviction and self-doubt, recklessness and despair, resignation and rebellion. And each story propels the reader to imagine what will happen next, to register the unfinished and always precarious quality of every life. Read more.

Tea and Other Ayama Na Takes by Eleanor Bluestein

tea-and-other-ayama-na-talesThe ten stories in Tea and other Ayama Na Tales take place in the fictional country of Ayama Na, a small Southeast Asian nation recovering from a devastating internal coup and a long drought, both of which have left the population reeling.

During the coup and its aftermath, roughly a quarter of the population died, including (because they were targeted for extinction) almost all of the country’s artists, intellectuals, musicians, writers, poets and teachers. Land mines pock the countryside, amputees beg on the streets, and in this fledgling democracy, graft and corruption infect every level of government. Read more.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

19th wifeFaith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife. Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith. Read more.

ebersoffTo celebrate the paperback release of The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff will be on both a ‘real’ live book tour and a virtual TLC Book Tour!  His live book tour will take him to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Wichita, Asheville, Raleigh, and Des Moines.  We plan to seek out virtual tour hosts from all of these cities in the hope that they can see David “live” and blog about it!  Photos, please!!

About David

David Ebershoff is the author of three novels, the 19th Wife, Pasadena, and The Danish Girl, and a short story collection, The Rose City. His fiction has won a number of awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lambda Literary Award, and has been translated into ten languages to critical acclaim. Random House published his third novel, The 19th Wife, on August 5, 2008, to much acclaim. It immediately hit a number of bestseller lists including that of The New York Times. The novel is about one of Brigham Young’s plural wives, Ann Eliza young, as well as polygamy in the United States today. Publisher’s Weekly called it “an exquisite tour-de-force” and Kirkus Reviews said it was “reminiscent of Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose in scope and ambition”, while the Los Angeles Times praised it by saying “it does that thing all good novels do: it entertains us.” Ebershoff has taught creative writing at New York University and Princeton and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. For many years he was the publishing director of the Modern Library and now is an editor-at-large at Random House. He lives in New York City. For more information, visit David’s website.

9753ac5156cdaad7fae7d5fe27b03d63About The 19th Wife

Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife. Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith. Read an excerpt HERE.

Please stop by our tour stops this week and check out these great books and blogs!


breathing out the ghost

Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

Thursday, Feb. 12th: She is Too Fond of Books review and giveaway!

Read Kirk’s essay in Dawn’s Spotlight on Bookstores series HERE


vigorous mind

The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings

Thursday, February 12th: Reading, Writing, and Retirement


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The Memorist by MJ Rose

Monday, February 9th: A Reader’s Respite review and giveaway!

Please stop by our tour stops this week and check out these great books and blogs!

 

33927987-1 The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings

Monday, February 2nd: Simply Forties

Tuesday, February 3rd: life@work

Wednesday, February 4th: MidLifeBloggers.com

 

cover_memorist_sm1 The Memorist by MJ Rose

Monday, February 2nd:  Dolce Bellezza

Tuesday, February 3rd:  Lit Chick Cafe – The Read Feed

Please stop by our tour stops this week and check out these great books and blogs!

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The Memorist by MJ Rose

Monday, January 26th:  Savvy Verse and Wit- includes author interview!



img234724751a5bc2f800Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt

Monday, January 26th: Catootes

Author Guest Post “The Perils of Plot” on Catootes

Wednesday, January 28th: Bloody Hell, it’s a Book Barrage!


33927987-1

The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional, and Professional Boundaries by Ingrid Cummings

Monday, January 26th: A Novel Menagerie

Tuesday, January 27th: Anniegirl1138

Wednesday, January 28th: She is Too Fond of Books

Friday, January 30th: So Not Zen

eleanor-bluestein

About Eleanor Bluestein

Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction in 2007. “In the tradition of Robert Olen Butler and Bob Shacochis,” writes Marly Swick, O. Henry Award winner who selected this book for the prize, “Bluestein is a writer who illuminates our cultural differences, while exploring the intricacies of the human condition.”

Publisher’s Weekly calls Bluestein’s voice “captivating,” and Al Christman, author of Target Hiroshima writes, “These Ayama Na tales are sly, sensuous and sagacious-profoundly funny and profoundly serious.”

Eleanor Bluestein has worked as a science teacher, editor of science textbooks, and designer of multimedia educational materials for Internet delivery. For a decade she co-edited Crawl Out Your Window, a San Diego based literary journal featuring the work of local writers and artists. She wrote fiction and studied French language in Paris, France, in 1989-90. Currently, she lives with her husband in La Jolla, California, where she writes, tends a vegetable garden, and volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for foster children. She has a son and a daughter.

About Tea and other Ayama Na Tales

tea-and-other-ayama-na-tales

The ten stories in Tea and other Ayama Na Tales take place in the fictional country of Ayama Na, a small Southeast Asian nation recovering from a devastating internal coup and a long drought, both of which have left the population reeling.

During the coup and its aftermath, roughly a quarter of the population died, including (because they were targeted for extinction) almost all of the country’s artists, intellectuals, musicians, writers, poets and teachers. Land mines pock the countryside, amputees beg on the streets, and in this fledgling democracy, graft and corruption infect every level of government.

Against this backdrop of sorrow and loss, as the ordinary citizens of Ayama Na struggle to rebuild their nation and their personal lives, westernization and pop culture are rushing in, threatening whatever cultural traditions have survived. The characters pulsate with the tension between the modern and the traditional, between personal desire and the impulse to sacrifice for family or country.

Yet, with open hearts and minds, and a huge will to thrive, the gritty characters in these stories go about their daily lives. They cook burgers in McDonald’s, work the streets as prostitutes, run car dealerships, or compete for the Miss Universe title-just some of the circumstances in which the reader encounters them-and they yearn for, strive for, and ache for meaningful lives. Whether kind or cruel, resilient or crushed by their problems, the people of Ayama Na exhibit the tragic and comic elements of people everywhere.

The fictional country of Ayama Na is inspired by the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia.  A street of fortune tellers in Ayama Na borrows details from one in Singapore; royal palaces, Buddha shrines, and hill tribes echo their counterparts in Thailand; sidewalk cafes in Ayama Na’s capital roll up corrugated metal exteriors and blare music to the street as they do in Viet Nam. But in emotional content and historical detail, Ayama Na most closely resembles Cambodia, where a brave young population, still rebuilding both country and culture in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide, operates with a seriousness of purpose and good humor that fills the author of this collection with awe and admiration.

She could only imagine these people’s lives….