Monday, June 29, 2015

Reading List for the Beach Update



Every time I am on the Outer Banks, retiring down here comes to mind. Not sure if it is in God's plan, but hopefully He will provide some direction in that regard.

Didn't get as much reading done on the drive down this year because I was really tired and needed sleep. I've been able to catch up since then, though, so I've read the following:
  • Dead Reckoning by Caitlin Rother (see my review here)
  • The Minimum Wage Millionaire by Bill Edgar
Moving on now to Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work...And What Will by Shefali Tsabary, PhD.

Hope you are having a great week.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Coming Soon: Then and Now by Marianne Evans


Aiden Balfour has always craved stability, independence and security. He's led a rocky life but always treasured his summers in Northern Michigan with his best summertime friend, Olivia Masters.

Olivia is dedicated to preserving the life she's known and always treasured at her grandparent's home high on a bluff overlooking the pristine waters of Avalon. With their blessing, she's turned the expansive piece of property into a quaint, restful bed and breakfast.

But developers are circling - and they're led by none other than Aiden Balfour.

Now an ambitious businessman, he's determined to turn the lake into a tourist mecca. A successful business owner, Olivia is equally determined to stop him...no matter what his hold on her heart.

Can the innocent joy and love of their youth be reclaimed? Can Then...and now...ever be reconciled to a future overflowing with love and hope?


A Pure Amore title from Pelican Book Group!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reading List for the Beach



Our annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina has started. I like to use this time to catch up on my reading. The past couple of years I haven't read much on vacation because we had family here. This year, it is just the four of us and a friend, so hopefully I'll get more done.

My list for the beach is to finish Dead Reckoning by Caitlin Rother and read the following:
  • Love You Husband Love Yourself by Jennifer Flanders
  • Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Won't Work...And What Will by Shefali Tsabary, PhD
  • '89 Walls by Katie Pierson
  • My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me by Ruxandra LeMay, Psy.D.
  • Guilt Free Motherhood by Amber Kahn
  • Candy's Chocolate Kingdom by Nirit Littany
  • Ben's School Daze by Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom 

What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wordless Wednesday


Kindle Freebie: Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton


Twenty-one-year-old Emma Matthews lost the song in her heart the same night she lost her dad. With an unfulfilled promise and an ultimatum shadowing her junior year of college, maybe it’s better that way. You can’t hurt if you can’t feel.

But when the reflection she sees in musician Riley Preston’s eyes borders dangerously close to the one she’s spent the last five years searching for, Emma discovers her walls can’t guard her heart from its fiercest desire. Terrified of what she’s experiencing, and even more afraid of what she might lose, Emma grapples for the courage to hold on to one dream without abandoning the promise of another.

Contemporary Inspirational Romance novel Eyes Unveiled lets you relive those heartfelt moments when you don’t know how you’d survive a day without your best friend, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you’re supposed to do with your life, and when falling in love changes everything.

Bonus Content: This book includes a sneak peek at Light Unshaken, the sequel to Eyes Unveiled.

File Size: 1472 KB
Print Length: 362 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Impact Editions, LLC; 1 edition (February 1, 2015)
Publication Date: February 1, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00R9MB8OY


Purchase here!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mailbox Monday & Giveaway - June 22

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Wow! Hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of school. Where did the year go? As I mentioned last week, I am glad it's over. I think we all need a vacation.

On a positive note, I've started reading a bit more and my last editing project for a client is done, so hopefully I will get some writing done soon.

This is a book I'll be reading for a book tour in August.


Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

I also recently picked up the second book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, on audio.


In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts has been his worst summer ever… the Dursleys more distant and horrible than ever before. But just as he’s packing his bags to return to school, a creature named Dobby the house-elf announces that if Harry goes back to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And it turns out, Dobby is right. Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express, so they fly to school in a blue Ford Anglia, crash landing in the notorious Whomping Willow. Soon other worries accumulate: the outrageously stuck-up new professor Gilderoy Lockhart; a ghost named Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girls' bathroom; the strange behavior of Ron's little sister, Ginny Weasley; rumors about the "Chamber of Secrets," a cavern buried deep below Hogwarts; and a magical diary owned by Tom Riddle, a Hogwarts student of long ago. Harry is also shocked to discover that he can speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes - a rare ability that Lord Voldemort also possessed - and that anti-Muggle prejudice exists in the Wizarding world, even affecting Harry's friend Hermione. But all of these seem like minor concerns when someone starts turning Hogwarts students to stone: an evildoer said to be the fearsome Heir of Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of the school. Could it be Draco Malfoy, Harry's most poisonous rival? Could it be Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one person everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

I posted a review of Bitter Bronx by Jerome Charyn last week at The Book Connection. Here's an excerpt from that review:

No stranger to Charyn's work, I eagerly signed up for this tour. His ability to evoke such strong emotions through his characters is second to none and his eloquent prose draws you in from the start.

These characters are flawed in such a way that you wish to close the book and tuck it away; but like the scene of a horrific accident, you can't help but peer into these people's lives as they struggle against poverty, greed, perversions, and organized crime. This is a world of war widows and mobsters, of insanity and depression, of a Bronx forever divided into north and south.

You can read the entire review here.



I am giving away a second copy of the book that the publisher sent to me. Please use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to enter and win. Sorry, U.S. residents only. Good luck!

Hope you'll share what was in your mailbox too.


Giveaway Terms and Conditions:


* Winner must 18 years of age or older and reside in the United States.
* Winner will be notified by email and have 72 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be selected.
* Prize will be shipped by USPS.
* The Busy Mom's Daily is not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipment.
* VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CFBA: The Ticket by Debra Jeter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Ticket
Firefly Southern Fiction (May 20, 2015)
by
Debra Jeter




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A Vanderbilt University professor, Debra Coleman Jeter has published fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her story, "Recovery," won first prize in a Christian Woman short story competition, and her nonfiction book "Pshaw, It's Me Grandson": Tales of a Young Actor was a finalist in the 2007 USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband. She is currently working on a novel based on the life of her grandmother, Effie Shultz McClain (1900 to 1985).



ABOUT THE BOOK



Tray Dunaway longs to be part of the popular set at school but, she's growing too fast and her clothes no longer fit. The only person who understands Tray's need for acceptance is her grandmother, but when Tray wears Gram's hand-sewn clothes to school, the kids make fun of her tall, boney appearance. Tray's luck improves when Pee Wee Johnson, a down-and-out friend of her father's, buys two lottery tickets and gives one to Mr. Dunaway as a thank-you for driving him to Hazard, Illinois. When her father's ticket turns out to be the winner, Johnson demands his cut of the proceeds, but Tray's dad refuses. What seems like a stroke of good fortune suddenly becomes a disturbing turn of events as Johnson threatens to cause problems for the family and Tray.



If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Ticket, go HERE.



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bargain E-Book: The Path of Wisdom by John D. Hunt


You can have a rewarding life. Wisdom shows the way. Whether you're dealing with adversity, stress, failure or simply desire to better yourself, master Wisdom's way and garner strength in every hardship, composure with all people, and success with any endeavor.

The need for individuals and families to bring some degree of calm or triumph to their frenzied or troubled existence sends people searching for help. The Path of Wisdom is that help. You see, Wisdom is calling you, "Come, leave your simple ways. Eat and drink at my table, and you will know what it means to truly live."

Wisdom offers a satisfying and meaningful life. Anyone who comes will gain success, remove anxiety, build relationships, and posses "wealth.”

The Path of Wisdom draws on Wisdom's fullness, and with gentle, supportive and powerful suggestions, offers practices and principles that provide true wealth, real peace, and long life. This book will lead you down the satisfying path—The Path of Wisdom.

File Size: 547 KB
Print Length: 254 pages
Publisher: Upper Gate Publishing (March 12, 2012)
Publication Date: March 12, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B007JYOSHQ


Purchase here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As A Busy Mom Thinks - How Bullies Changed My Daughter



One of my daughters will graduate from middle school next week. It can't come soon enough. You hear how difficult these years can be on children--maybe even recall your own challenges at that age--but until your child is the victim of bullies, I'm not sure one can appreciate how much change happens at the middle school level. 

For years, my daughter held her head high. She believed in herself and her abilities. Her side of the refrigerator was covered in artwork she was proud of and notes stating, "I am awesome!" and "I rock!" 

A mere three years later, she's a totally different person. She believes she's ugly, overweight--though she's not, will never have a boyfriend, and is untalented. This is all thanks to the bullies who have convinced her their words, not mine, are true.

I long for those days when she confidently strolled through the house as if she owned it. I miss those days when I believed her opinion of herself was high enough to weather the storms of middle school with their mean girls and popular boys who don't talk to you unless you are a size two with perfect skin and hair. I never expected my child to be threatened and called names I didn't even know the meaning of when I was that age. And as parents in this age of technology, we know the bullying does not stop at school. It continues via text and social media.

Two major incidents this year brought it all to a head (one I can't talk about here). Then the consequences hit me this weekend when our family was supposed to attend a graduation party. My girls got there first. The minute my middle schooler caught sight of one of the guests--a bully from school--a panic attack seized her. She called me from her cell phone, but she was such a wreck she could barely speak. I thought she was having an asthma attack. What was supposed to be a nice day with friends ended up being a day where my daughter hid in her room watching NetFlix, because no amount of words from her parents could convince her she would be safe at the party.

As someone who was also bullied, I understand what she's going through. But I only felt fearful once that someone would truly act on their words. My daughter's bullies have been physical. They have been hurtful. And honestly, I don't know if there is a way I can help my child gain back what they stole from her: her confidence and her self-esteem.

Please pray for us.






Sunday, June 14, 2015

CFBA: The Midwife's Tale by Delia Parr

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Midwife’s Tale
Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)
by
Delia Parr




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including Hearts Awakening, Love's First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a long-time high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Midwife’s Tale, go HERE.



Monday, June 8, 2015

CFBA: London Tides bu Carla Laureano

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
London Tides
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
by
Carla Laureano




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




I studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to my work for corporate clients, I wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization.

I love the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of my work. I also enjoy incorporating my background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of my stories.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was selected as a finalist in ACFW’s 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. My debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013 and went on to win RWA’s 2014 RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. My three book young adult fantasy series, SONG OF SEARE, is being released from NavPress in 2014 and 2015.

I live with my husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.




ABOUT THE BOOK




Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace ... only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together ... or tear them apart for good this time?

If you would like to read the first chapter of London Tides, go HERE.






Friday, June 5, 2015

Kindle Free Preview: Fall From Grace by Kelsey MacBride


Fall From Grace is Book #1 of 2 Christian Romance books and offers a FREE Preview of the Glen Ellen Story. It begins with the story of Kevin Pierce, an ER doctor whose life falls apart when he fails to save a young girl who resembles his late niece, a niece who lost her life while he was behind the wheel. In order to escape his painful memories, he leaves LA for a small town by the ocean, hoping to rebuild his life and rediscover God’s purpose for his life. This story highlights Kevin’s journey from hopelessness, his hopes, his struggles, and his achievements as God shows him a different path to healing.


*This is a FREE Preview and not a stand-alone novel*

In this first book, Kevin, a resident ER doctor has his world turned upside down when he fails to save a teenage girl named Rachel injured from an auto accident. What complicates matters is Rachel resembles Sarah, his late niece who died while he was behind the wheel. While Kevin still blames himself for Sarah’s death, his failure to save Rachel causes his life to spiral downward. Unable to cope with the overwhelming guilt, he escapes to a small town in Northern California where he hopes to find God and a resolution to the devastation he feels. But the overwhelming emotional pain paralyzes him and just when he is at his limit, his life takes another unexpected twist when he accidentally meets Stephanie, Rachel’s mother who has also escaped to the same small town to live with her parents. Kevin is torn between feelings of guilt and indebtedness when he finds out Stephanie wants him to help her heal from the loss of Rachel. Can he come to grips with the painful events in his life and travel down the road to recovery with Stephanie by his side, or will he reject her help?

Stephanie Knight is a single mother who suffers the loss of her daughter Rachel to a tragic car accident. Even though she has a close relationship with her mother Valerie and a strong faith in God, she struggles with the question of why God would allow Rachel to be taken so early. She relocates to her parent’s home in Northern California to escape the depressing memories of her daughter and to take time to heal. With God’s help and her mother’s support, she manages to cope with the loss of Rachel. But to her surprise, she finds out that Kevin Pierce, the same doctor who couldn’t save Rachel, is also living there. When she notices that Kevin’s life has spiraled into a place darker than her own, her heart goes out to him and she proposes they work together to help each other heal. But will he accept her help and forge an unlikely relationship? Or will Kevin reject her and miss out on an opportunity to experience sacrificial love?

File Size: 2125 KB
Print Length: 144 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: New Prosperity Publishing, Inc. (February 24, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00U07GL3I

Purchase here!

Guest Blogger: Russ Colchamiro, Author of Genuis De Milo


Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy. But just as they envision a future without any more cosmic lunacy:

The Earth has started fluxing in and out of existence, Theo's twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can't tell which version of his life is real.

All because of Milo, the Universe's ultimate gremlin.

Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.

In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we've long suspected — that there’s no galactic Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.

• Genius De Milo is available at Amazon.
• Pick up your copy at Crazy 8 Press.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


    Why Should a Busy Mom Read Genius De Milo?

    In my humble if not biased opinion, there are many reasons why a busy mom should read Genius de Milo. Hey … I said my opinion was biased!

    Of course, you’ll have to enjoy wild and wacky sci-fi comedy adventures that take you places you’ve never been before. So assuming that sounds good to you … there’s a character in the series, Lilly, who starts off in the first book, Finders Keepers, in her mid-20s, running from herself, allowing others to use and manipulate her, trekking half-way around the globe to serve someone else’s bidding.

    But in my latest novel Genius de Milo, Lilly is almost 30, and a single mom, trying to put her life together, worried about being a role model for her three-year-old son, Benny.

    In particular there’s a sequence where Benny is at the playground, and he has a friend, who, even at their age, is already a bully. Lilly doesn’t like this kid, and wants to intervene when the two boys mix it up on the jungle gym, but she holds back. She gives Benny the space to negotiate with this bully.

     Here’s an excerpt:

    It’s the one thing they never tell you, Lilly thought. That as a parent you live in constant fear, on emergency room alert. That in every nanosecond the worst possible outcome for your child could be just another nanosecond away. I could be inches from Benny and still it might not be close enough to catch him. I can handle his bumps and bruises, but what about when it’s worse? When there’s real danger? When the damage could be permanent?
    But if I never let go, if I never let him roam, will he just run away from me, anyway?

    No spoilers here, but things go far better for Benny than Lilly feared might unfold. The sequence is telling for Lilly, because it reveals both who she is — as a woman and a mother — and who she is still striving to become.

    I’m a dad myself, so I can relate as a parent, at least. I often watch my wife as she relates to my children, and think about what that’s like for her, and how I can implement the best parts of her parenting into my own.

    Genius de Milo is not in any way a serious treatise on raising children, but this sequence — in the middle of all the crazy sci-fi shenanigans that take place throughout the novel — is one of my favorite in the series.

    To me, the humor and fun of Genius de Milo works best because there’s real life mixed in. And for a busy mom looking for a smile amongst her hectic life, what better distraction can you ask for than an adventure that both touches upon your own life while transporting you to another?



    Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure Crossline, the hilarious scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, and the outrageous sequel, Genius de Milo, all with Crazy 8 Press.

    Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy.

    As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

    His latest book is the science fiction novel, Genius De Milo.
    For More Information

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015

    As a Busy Mom Thinks: Review of Grace of Gratitude Journal by Deborah Perdue



    It's been a while since I've been able to write a review. Life is hectic. Time is short. I had a chance to sit down lately with this lovely journal I received from Deborah Perdue, though, and it brightened my day.


    This beautifully designed journal has glossy pages to help remind you what you are grateful for. Stunning artwork from Tara Thelen blends nicely with Perdue's inspiring text to create a lovely journal you will enjoy picking up over and again. The pages you can write on have a date line and plenty of space for you to jot down what you are grateful for on any given day. What a wonderful way to count your blessings. 

    Though the copy I received had its spiral-bound cover placed on backwards and upside down, I will definitely enjoy penning my thoughts on its pages. 

    Currently in stock at Amazon.

    I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

    Wordless Wednesday







    Monday, June 1, 2015

    CFBA: Justified by Varina Denman

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Justified
    David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)
    by
    Varina Denman




    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




    An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on the three-book Mended Heart Series. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

    Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

    Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.




    ABOUT THE BOOK



    In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

    Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.


    If you would like to read the first chapter of Justified, go HERE.



    Bargain E-Book: Kerry's Calling by Susan C. Foy


    Kerry is charmed by the beautiful South Pacific island as she arrives for her first long-awaited missionary assignment. Even though it's a less than glamorous secretarial position, she is enthusiastic about contributing to the work.

    She soon develops friendships with the other missionaries, especially with a young Bible translator who becomes her closest confidante. But as she gets to know them better, she is dismayed to find that many are struggling with frustrations and disappointments which make their lives and relationships stressful.

    She had prepared herself for a life of privation and sacrifice, but hadn’t expected the challenges that she faces in her teammates. At times it appears that they are more likely to be defeated by themselves than by any outside enemy. Can God accomplish his purposes in spite of all their failings?

    File Size: 1096 KB
    Print Length: 308 pages
    Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    Language: English
    ASIN: B00UNE9A5O


    Purchase at Amazon for only 99 cents!

    Mailbox Monday - June 1

    Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

    Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

    Oh, what a crazy life I live. Work is keeping me so busy, I rarely have time for anything else--even reading. That said, I read my favorite authors as often as I can.

    Recently, I received two copies of Jermone Charyn's Bitter Bronx short story collection. I became familiar with Charyn's work in The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson and Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil. Since then, I've read several of his titles.


    Brooklyn is dead. Long live the Bronx! In Bitter Bronx, Jerome Charyn returns to his roots and leads the literary renaissance of an oft-overlooked borough in this surprising new collection.

    In Bitter Bronx, one of our most gifted and original novelists depicts a world before and after modern urban renewal destroyed the gritty sanctity of a land made famous by Ruth, Gehrig, and Joltin' Joe.

    Bitter Bronx is suffused with the texture and nostalgia of a lost time and place, combining a keen eye for detail with Jerome Charyn's lived experience. These stories are informed by a childhood growing up near that middle-class mecca, the Grand Concourse; falling in love with three voluptuous librarians at a public library in the Lower Depths of the South Bronx; and eating at Mafia-owned restaurants along Arthur Avenue's restaurant row, amid a "land of deprivation…where fathers trundled home…with a monumental sadness on their shoulders."

    In "Lorelei," a lonely hearts grifter returns home and finds his childhood sweetheart still living in the same apartment house on the Concourse; in "Archy and Mehitabel" a high school romance blossoms around a newspaper comic strip; in "Major Leaguer" a former New York Yankee confronts both a gang of drug dealers and the wreckage that Robert Moses wrought in his old neighborhood; and in three interconnected stories—"Silk & Silk," "Little Sister," and "Marla"—Marla Silk, a successful Manhattan attorney, discovers her father's past in the Bronx and a mysterious younger sister who was hidden from her, kept in a fancy rest home near the Botanical Garden. In these stories and others, the past and present tumble together in Charyn's singular and distinctly "New York prose, street-smart, sly, and full of lurches" (John Leonard, New York Times).

    Throughout it all looms the "master builder" Robert Moses, a man who believed he could "save" the Bronx by building a highway through it, dynamiting whole neighborhoods in the process. Bitter Bronx stands as both a fictional eulogy for the people and places paved over by Moses' expressway and an affirmation of Charyn's "brilliant imagination" (Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune).

    Endorsements and Reviews:

    “[Jerome Charyn] is to the Bronx what Saul Bellow, early in his career, was to Upper Broadway—bard, celebrant, mythologizer.” — Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

    “Sharp-edged short stories…Charyn’s narrative sleight of hand is wonderfully at play…. Despite the hard edges, and there are many, a rich sweetness flows just below the surface of Bitter Bronx.” — Wendell Jamieson, New York Times Book Review

    “It is no small achievement to be the Babel of the Bronx.” — Leslie Epstein, New York Times Book Review

    “Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature.” — Michael Chabon

    “Jerome Charyn is merely one of our finest writers, with a polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing. Whatever milieu he chooses to inhabit, his characters sizzle with life, and his sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable.” — Jonathan Lethem

    “Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer—so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible.” — Tom Bissell

    “Jerome Charyn''s Bronx is a landscape of magic and passion. With…American yearning and a stage full of unforgettable characters.” — BookPage

    “Grifters, gangs, vamps, and lost souls pursue gritty lives in ‘the brick wilderness of the Bronx’ in this collection of tales by a veteran storyteller and native of the New York borough…. Charyn''s staccato style is full of jolts, surprising observations, and turns of phrase. It works well with the rough struggle for survival and success….” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

    “Tough on the outside but tender at heart, the 13 stories in this volume serve as a nostalgic elegy to the Bronx of the past…. Mixing equal parts grit and charm, there’s no need to have set foot in the Bronx to enjoy these stories.” — Publishers Weekly

    Look for a June 19 review of this book at http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/

    What did you receive in your mailbox?