April Book News

 


LESLIE BUDEWITZ
: Oh, how true those pictures are! With spring, I’ve made an effort to clean my office, but you know how that goes—every file and pile is a day’s worth of projects, aTreblend while I’m busy with those, more pile up. Writing and revising, and talking about books, are much more fun than cleaning! I’m getting ready for the launch of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, the fourth Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, coming June 8 from Midnight Ink—you can pre-order it now. And I’m finishing up the fifth installment, set at the magical time of Christmas in the lakeside resort community of Jewel Bay, Montana. Meanwhile, there’s a terrific ebook sale, for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other formats! Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers’ Village series, is 2.99, and Crime Rib, the second is 5.99. My first two Spice Shop Mysteries are also on sale, Assault & Pepper for 2.99 and Guilty as Cinnamon for 5.99. And the audio book of Death al Dente will be out April 30!

Later in April, I’ll be at Malice Domestic, the annual fan convention celebrating the traditional mystery, in Washington, D.C. It’s great fun—five hundred readers and writers, including book bloggers, booksellers, and librarians, plus some agents and editors, attending panel discussions and interviews, teas and charity auctions, and constantly chatting about reading and writing.

I hope spring is blooming with books for you!

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MORE APRIL BOOK NEWS:   Deborah Epperson

It’s true what they say. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel.  For me, that light is FINALLY finishing up a novel I started over a decade ago. SHADOWS OF HOME will be available on Amazon later this month. It is a southern romantic-suspense set in the bayous around Caddo Lake in NW Louisiana in 1970.

After five years of city life, Elita Pearl Dupree is going home to the mystical land of her birth, the mysterious waters of Indian lore called Caddo Lake.

She’s determined to find out the truth about her father’s mysterious death, and while she’s at it, hopes to rekindle her relationship with her first love, Royce Sutton. Elita soon discovers that things and people can change a lot in five years, and not necessarily for the better.

SHADOWS OF HOME

A woman with questions. A man with secrets. A bayou without mercy.

eBook cover - Shadows of Home - Deborah Epperson

 

Allhallowtide

Capture

by Janice McCaffrey

Today is Halloween, the evening vigil before All Hallows Day. The day set aside to honor Saints, known and unknown, who have gone before us. November 2nd is All Soul’s Day said to be the commemoration of all the faithful departed. These three days together are  known as Allhallowtide. As lovers of reading this week we’d think of authors we revere. Depending on our favorite genre: Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, Austen, Poe, the Bronte sisters, Agatha Christie, Jules Verne, Shelly and Byron, just to name a few.

But this month’s book club selection is Gutenberg’s Apprentice a novel by Alix Christie. 

Yes, I remember learning about Gutenberg and his Bible back in some high school history class, but I didn’t understand the genius of the accomplishment or its implications.

 

By fifty-seven years of age, Johannes Gutenberg, a German merchant 

 turned black smith and gold smith, figured out how to forge combinations of metals that could be carved into letters.

Then he built a contraption that used those metal letters smeared with thick ink to print an entire page of words. 

Until then scribes wrote by hand with quill whatever written word folks had.

Then with a grandiose or inspired idea he decided to print the entire Bible. It took three years (1452-1455) of intense, arduous work, but introduced the printing press to the world. The following year his partner/investor won a lawsuit which took Gutenberg’s workshop and printing press from him and left him bankrupt.

Gutenberg’s greatest accomplishment the beginning of equality in reading led to versions of smaller printers; typewriters like this Underwood of 1895.

 

Our universal keyboard of today was created in 1873 by Christopher L. Sholes, a Milwaukee newspaperman, poet, and part time inventor. He called it the QWERTY keyboard.

Guilty of taking my computer and keyboard for granted and complaining about slow internet connections, this Allhallowtide I will venerate Master Gutenberg for his vision and determination. Along with Peter Schoeffer, his apprentice, who went on to become a master printer and the first publisher. And I won’t forget all those imaginative, innovative folks who followed to bring the gift of mass-produced books to the world and me.

 

Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl

ImageKaren Wills  

As a teenager, I read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Anne’s writing about coming of age (thirteen to fifteen) while her family and four others hid in a secret annex of the building where her father had worked, was to captivate postwar readers. We can’t resist that eloquent, idealistic adolescent, caught in what she describes as “crazy circumstances,” i.e., the Jewish plight in Amsterdam in WWII. She experiences human nature at its most petty, its most noble, and fears it at its most brutal. She encounters first love. Sensitive Anne confesses to her confidante, the diary, that she feels isolated. She is the universal young girl with a diary, only more gifted than most in her ability to convey details, express insights, narrate events, and joke with a wicked sense of humor while not sparing herself.

     I loved Anne from the start. I loved that she began writing stories and dreamed of becoming a writer. I loved her reasons: to contribute to the record of Dutch people who lived through the war, to live the life she chooses, to have her work survive her death. Even though she died in a concentration camp before her sixteenth birthday, she met two of those goals,

      At eighteen, I visited Amsterdam and the secret annex, now a museum. I wasn’t prepared for how tiny the rooms were where Anne lived for over two years, crammed in with seven others whom her diary describes loving, infuriating, celebrating, and nursing each other. Because of her, they live on, too. The pictures of movie stars less remembered than Anne remain on the walls where she glued them. She had been, after all, in some ways a typical teen.

     In some ways, she wasn’t typical at all.