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This is a feed for the Open Road Integrated Media Blog

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    One day Marty Lambert receives a shocking phone call: His brother, Perry, has committed suicide. What drove the successful composer to jump out a twenty-third-story window? The Music Room

    The Music Roomby Dennis McFarland weaves together flashbacks and present moments to reveal the fraught past of a family of musicians. Marty’s intense quest for answers unfolds with the lyricism of a literary work and the pacing and intrigue of a mystery novel.

    A bestselling author of novels and stories, McFarland received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and taught creative writing at Stanford GarfieldUniversity. The Music Room was his debut novel.The New York Times Book Review praises The Music Room as “remarkable from its beginning to its surprising, satisfying end.”

    Eager to discover The Music Room? Start out with an excerpt, available here.

    The Music Room by Dennis McFarland {Excerpt} by OpenRoadMedia


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  • 01/30/14--06:00: Batter Up, Nero Wolfe!
  • Murder in the Ball ParkFans of the Nero Wolfe Mysteries agree that the friendship between the title character and his sidekick, Archie Goodwin, is both unique and trying. Despite all their differences, Archie and Nero’s friendship is deep rooted and has led to their success in solving numerous cases. Never has this been more apparent than in Robert Goldsborough’s newest Nero Wolfe mystery, Murder in the Ball Park.

    Nero’s eccentricities are well documented throughout the series. A larger-than-life genius, Nero loves the finer things in life and spends his days lavishing hours of attention on his beloved orchids and indulging in delicious meals crafted by his private chef. His extravagant lifestyle is so consuming, he spends all his time in his brownstone and makes almost no exceptions to visit the outside world.

    In Murder in the Ball Park, he is interrupted as usual when Archie forces him to take a new case. Archie and his buddy Saul Panzer are at the Polo Grounds watching the Giants take on the Dodgers when a New York state senator is fatally shot. The senator’s gorgeous widow insists on enlisting Nero and Archie’s services, but Nero, as always, would rather be reading, eating, or tending to his orchids, much to the chagrin of Archie, who hates sitting around (and whose job it is to pay the bills). But soon enough, the duo takes the case. What began as a pleasant afternoon at the ball park quickly becomes a tour of corrupt New York politics—nothing that Archie and Nero haven’t dealt with before.

    The two quickly fall into their typical roles: Archie does the legwork, interviewing suspects and gathering information, which he then recites verbatim to Wolfe, who uses his exceptional problem-solving skills to crack the case.

    With a starred review from Publishers Weekly, Robert Goldsborough’s Murder in the Ball Park does a wonderful job of capturing the voice of the series’ original author, Rex Stout. This newest installmentis a much-awaited caper for fans missing the iconic team, and a great place to start for those just discovering the series. To read more about the Nero Wolfe Mysteries, visit Robert Goldsborough’s author page here.


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    Enter for a chance to win a copy of Murder in the Ball Park by Robert Goldsborough as part of our weekly Friday Tweetstakes.

    About the Book:

    Murder in the Ball ParkWolfe earns a big league call-up after a senator gets taken out at the ball game

    Archie Goodwin and Saul Panzer have ventured into the wilds of northern Manhattan to watch the Giants take on the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds. The national anthem is just winding down when Panzer spies a notable in the box seats: state senator Orson Milbank, a silver-haired scoundrel with enemies in every corner of upstate New York. In the fourth inning, a monstrous line drive brings every fan in the grandstand to his feet—every fan save for one silver-haired senator, who has been shot dead by a sniper in the upper deck.

    Archie’s employer—the rotund genius Nero Wolfe—has no interest in investigating the stadium slaying, but Archie is swayed by the senator’s suspiciously lovely widow. Her husband was mired hip-deep in corruption, and sorting out who killed him will be a task far less pleasant than an afternoon at the ball park.

    Learn more on the author's page and check out this video to get to know the characters more.

    Rules:

    THE OPEN ROAD MEDIA MURDER IN THE BALL PARK TWEETSTAKES OFFICIAL RULES

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

    SPONSOR: The “Murder in the Ball Park Tweetstakes” (“Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (“Sponsor”), Suite 6C, 345 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014

    HOW TO ENTER: To enter the Murder in the Ball Park Tweetstakes, follow @OpenRoadMedia using your Twitter account and retweet the specified message. The specified message, including the exact link and @reply, must be included to qualify.

    Limit one (1) entry per person/Twitter account. Multiple entries from a single Twitter account are automatically disqualified. No automated entry devices and/or programs permitted.

    Proof of entry will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor.

    ELIGIBILITY: The Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by 1/31/2014. Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, advertising and promotion agencies, manufacturers or distributors of Sweepstakes materials and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouses) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/officers/directors are not eligible to enter. Offer void outside the United States and wherever prohibited, taxed or restricted by law.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. 

    Each entrant in the Sweepstakes must be the rightful owner or have authorized use of the Twitter account used to enter the Sweepstakes. In the event of a dispute concerning the identity of entrant, entry will be declared to have been made by the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the Twitter account used to enter. Any potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that such winner is the authorized owner of the Twitter account associated with the winning entry.

    ENTRY PERIOD: Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on January 31, 2014, and ends at 11:50 PM ET on January 31, 2014.

    SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: The winners will be selected by a random drawing from all the eligible entries Tweeted on or about January 31, 2014. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to be bound by these rules and the decisions of Sponsor which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Sweepstakes. Potential winner will be notified by Direct Message via Twitter on or about February 3, 2014, and will be required to sign and return, where legal, a Declaration of Eligibility and Release within seven (7) days of prize notification. If potential winner is considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Declaration and Release must be signed by his/her parent or legal guardian and such prize will be delivered to minor’s parent/legal guardian and awarded in the name of parent/legal guardian. If winner cannot be contacted within five (5) calendar days of first notification attempt, if prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if potential winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these Sweepstakes rules and requirements, such prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining eligible entries. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.

    If due to a printing, production or other error, more prizes are claimed than are intended to be awarded, the intended prize will be awarded in a random drawing from among all verified and validated prize claims received. In no event will more than the stated number of prizes be awarded.

    PRIZE

    One (1) winner will receive a paperback copy of Murder in the Ball Park by Robert Goldsborough.

    This prize is provided to you by Sponsor.

    Approximate retail value of prize: $14.99.

    All prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. In the case of unavailability of prize, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

    CONDITIONS

    By participating, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the results of the random selection of the winners, which shall be final, and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Sweepstakes and/or these Official Rules. All federal, state and local tax liabilities and unspecified expenses arising from this Sweepstakes will be the sole responsibility of the winner. Acceptance of prizes constitutes permission to use the winner’s name, likeness, picture, portrait, voice, biography, address (city and state), statements and prize won for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional notice or compensation, except where prohibited and/or restricted by law. 

    Each entrant shall release, discharge, and hold harmless Sponsor and its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, attorneys, representatives and agents, including advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies, employees, officers and directors (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Entities”) from any and all liabilities, loss, harm, injury, cost expense, and damages arising from the administration of the Sweepstakes, entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes and/or the use or misuse of any prize received in this Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, the following: (i) late, lost, incomplete, delayed, misdirected, technically corrupted or unintelligible entries, (ii) any printing, typographical, administrative or technological errors in any materials associated with the Sweepstakes, (iii) any damage to the entrant’s computer, related equipment, data files, and software resulting from the entrant’s downloading of information regarding the Sweepstakes or participation in the Sweepstakes, (iv) any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or other electronic communication or entry to be received by Sponsor on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web site, any combination thereof, or otherwise, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person’s computer, website, blog site, or other Internet or computer site related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in connection with the Sweepstakes; (v) unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, garbled, jumbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one’s ability to enter the Sweepstakes; (vi) property damage, personal injury and/or death; and (vii) any claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery.

    Sponsor is not responsible if Sweepstakes cannot take place or if the prize cannot be awarded due to cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, acts of war, natural disasters, weather or acts of terrorism. Entrants who do not comply with these Official Rules, or attempt to interfere with this Sweepstakes in any way shall be disqualified.

    Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, cancel, extend or suspend this Sweepstakes should a virus, bug, computer problem, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond Sponsor's control corrupt the administration, security or proper operation of the Sweepstakes. In such case, Sponsor may select the winner(s) from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Sponsor. Sponsor may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Sweepstakes or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes by cheating, hacking or employing other unfair practices or by abusing other entrants or the representatives of Sponsor.

    ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND, IN SUCH EVENT, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PURSUE ITS REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING COSTS AND ATTORNEY’S FEES) TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.

    IN NO EVENT WILL THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF SPONSOR’s WEBSITE AND/OR THE SWEEPSTAKES, DOWNLOADING FROM AND/OR PRINTING MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM ANY WEBSITES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SWEEPSTAKES. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, THIS SWEEPSTAKES AND ALL PRIZES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS"  WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.

    Any dispute arising from the Sweepstakes will be determined according to the laws of the State of New York, without reference to its conflict of laws, principles, and the entrants consent to the personal jurisdiction of the State and Federal Courts located in the State and County of New York and agree that such courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all such disputes.

    USE OF DATA: Sponsor will be collecting personal data about entrants online, in accordance with its privacy policy.  Please review the Sponsor’s privacy policy at http://www.openroadmedia.com/privacy-policy.aspx By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants hereby agree to Sponsor’s collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted Sponsor’s privacy policy.

    LIST OF WINNERS: To obtain a list of winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by March 15, 2014, to: Murder in the Ball Park Tweetstakes, Open Road Integrated Media, Inc., 345 Hudson St., New York, New York 10014

    If you have any problems entering this Sweepstakes or have questions about this Sweepstakes, please e-mail marketing@openroadmedia.com

     


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    It’s that time of the year again, an unofficial national holiday—Super Bowl Sunday (weather permitting). Depending on your interests, you’ll spend your Sunday getting ready to eat as much food as possible and waiting for another Richard Sherman interview, or you’ll be trying to avoid football altogether. To the mark occasion, here are five books that should satisfy both the football fanatic and the heretic.

    Working-class Pittsburgh is one of the great football cities. Roy Blount Jr.’s About Three Bricks Shy of a Load is an account of the 1973 Pittsburgh Steelers, a team on the cusp of greatness. The Steelers would go on to win an unprecedented four Super Bowls in six years. Blount’s book was named one of the Top 100 Sports Books of All Time by Sports Illustrated.

    If you like Pittsburgh but not football, Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is the book for you. The novel follows Art Bechstein, who spends the summer after his graduation from a Pittsburgh university searching for his future and finding his own sort of trouble with brilliant and seductive new friends—erudite, unscrupulous Arthur Lecomte, mercurial Phlox, and Cleveland, a poetry-reciting biker. The Steelers aren’t mentioned once.

    Before Friday Night Lights, Peter Gent’s novels The Franchise and North Dallas Forty took readers inside the heart of Texas football. Both novels delve into the hedonistic lifestyles of NFL teams of that era. As Deadspin.com wrote in 2011, “The experience of playing professional football—the pain and fear, but also the exhilaration—that is at the heart of North Dallas Forty rings as true today, for all the story’s excesses, as it did in the 1970s.”

    If you like the sound of corruption and Texas, but aren’t so keen on football, then Jerome Charyn’s Under the Eye of God is the book for you. This thriller follows Isaac Sidel, a politician who threatens to overshadow his running mate’s election campaign. He is dispatched to a place from which politicians seldom return: Texas.


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  • 02/01/14--05:00: February Deals: $1.99 Each

  • Scoop up the ebooks below on sale for $1.99 from participating retailers during February. Click on each cover to learn more about the title. 

    The Norman ConquestThe Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England by Marc Morris

    This is a tale of powerful drama, repression, and seismic social change: the Battle of Hastings itself; the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church; the total destruction of an ancient ruling class. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself were altered forever by the coming of the Normans.



    City of MirrorsCity of Mirrors by Melodie Johnson Howe

    An actress should never get her hopes up, especially when she discovers a fellow cast member’s murdered body. When her own life and career are threatened, Diana decides to fight back and find the killer. But unmasking the surprising murderer isn’t that easy, especially when she uncovers what’s real—and unreal—in her own life.




    The Republic of LoveThe Republic of Love by Carol Shields

    As Tom and Fay forge bravely ahead into a romantic minefield, they make startling discoveries about each other and themselves. With her trademark wit and irony, and a deep compassion for her hero and heroine, Carol Shields gives us a celebration of love in all its guises. 




    When the Messenger is HotWhen the Messenger Is Hot by Elizabeth Crane

    Through the female protagonists in When the Messenger Is Hot, Elizabeth Crane examines life, often through slightly off-kilter situations, leading her reader through a series of witty happenings, often close to monologues, and quirky events.




    Sons of LibertySons of Liberty by Adele Griffin

    When Cliff and Rock Kindle’s friend Liza decides to run away from her abusive stepfather, they help her escape. As life in the Kindle house becomes unbearable, Rock wonders if he should run away as well. But would leaving be an act of treason?


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    In the video Honoring the Storytelling Tradition, Rudine Sims Bishop, scholar of multicultural children’s literature, says, “Fiction allows people to live through [the past] in a very different kind of way.” Books provide a portal to understanding major events in African American history and the African American experience.   

    In honor of Black History Month, here is a list of novels in which storytelling plays a key role:

    Confessions of Nat TurnerThe Confessionsof Nat Turner by William Styron

    Winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize, The Confessions of Nat Turner was groundbreaking when it was first published. Nat Turner’s confessions are a unique type of story, giving insight into the bloodiest slave revolt in America’s history. The powerful narrative, steeped in the brutal and tragic history of American slavery, reveals a Turner who is neither a hero nor a demon, but rather a man driven to exact vengeance for the centuries of injustice inflicted upon his people. 

    Temple of My FamiliarThe Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

    In the sequel to The Color Purple, characters grapple with the legacy of the African experience in America by sharing stories of their ancestors and weaving old fables into a new mythology. Storytelling functions on two levels in Walker’s novel: It allows characters ranging from recent African immigrants to a young woman in modern-day San Francisco to cope with a shared history, and it invites readers to access the emotions of these characters whose experiences might be different from their own.

    ZeelyZeelyby Virginia Hamilton

    During a summer spent on her uncle’s farm, Elizabeth invents stories. First she dreams up new names for herself and her brother—“Geeder” and “Toeboy”—and then her imagination leads her to create a history for their exotic neighbor, who reminds Elizabeth of an African queen. Elizabeth spins tales about the people and places around her, but she comes to realize that sometimes the truth is more interesting than make-believe.  

    In what ways does storytelling help you make sense of the past?


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    The video Black History Month: The Legacy of African American Literature reveals the impact of authors from Ishmael Reed to Alice Walker on African American literature. Not only are these authors groundbreaking in their own right, winning awards and forging ahead in their respective genres, but they also highlight monumental events and movements in African American history through their writing.

    Here is a timeline of the settings of important works by our featured authors and the historical events they highlight:  Civil Rights

    The 1920sMumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed is an allegorical novel set during the ragtime era that draws on the Harlem Renaissance, the Back to Africa movement, and America’s occupation of Haiti.

    The 1930s—An epistolary novel, The Color Purple by Alice Walker illuminates the hardships and brutalities suffered by a young girl named Celie living in rural Georgia.

    1960The Childrenby David Halberstam, rooted in the author’s coverage of the civil rights movement for Nashville’s Tennessean, chronicles the sit-ins at Nashville lunch counters and the Freedom Rides across the South.

    1968—In The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton, thirteen-year-old Thomas Small moves with his family into a Civil War–era house. To find out all there is to know about the House of Dies Drear, Thomas must explore secret rooms—and the secrets of lives lived centuries before, lives that tell the story of America’s troubled early years.

    2025Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, set in a dystopian future, encourages us to contemplate the past and ask: How far has society really progressed?


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    In the video Authors Remember the Civil Rights Movement, Alice Walker, Virginia Hamilton, and William Styron observe the injustices inherent in society during the civil rights era. How did the civil rights movement impact the lives of these authors?hamilton

    Alice Walker—In 1959, just a few years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Alice Walker was a student. While she participated in the movement, she had to be conscious of the fact that she could lose her scholarship for voicing her opinions.

    Virginia Hamilton—Even though Hamilton (pictured right) graduated at the top of her class, she was denied the scholarship typically awarded to the valedictorian on the grounds that she was African American.

    styronWilliam Styron—When The Confessions of Nat Turner was published, there was a startling reaction to the book. Even though it was expected that people would see Styron (pictured left) as helping the civil rights cause, as Henry Louis Gates explains, “People were outraged that a white man from the South would write about African American history.”

    When one reflects on these experiences, progress becomes evident; for example, Alice Walker had a chance to visit her former school, which is now integrated. It’s clear that the movement impacted these authors, but how, in turn, do you think that they, and literature at large, have helped contribute to progressive thinking?

     


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    Retro ReadsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year—for romance fans, that is! Valentine’s Day is once again upon us, and love is most certainly in the air (no matter how cold it may be). Store shelves are stocked with candy hearts, secret admirers abound, and hopeless romantics like us couldn’t be happier.

    So, we thought, what better way to kick off the month of February than cuddling up with an ebook that celebrates the power of love?

    The Bleeding Heart

    This month’s pick, Marilyn French’s The Bleeding Heart, does just that. When divorced professor Dolores accepts a one-year position in England, she is at the end of her romance rope. A series of failed relationships has left her disenchanted by love. But when she meets Victor on a train, the connection is undeniable.

    Dolores and Victor, both aware of their affair’s strict one-year limit, find themselves in the throes of passion neither ever found in marriage—and faced with the harsh reality that it must soon come to an end. Difficult, tumultuous, and ardent, what happens between Victor and Dolores in their year in England renews their faith in romance and exposes the amazingly transformative power of true love.

    Check back throughout the month for updates from our Retro Readers on this month’s pick and find us on Goodreads in the Retro Readers Group. Or, sign up for our romance newsletter and we’ll send you a monthly roundup of everything romance at Open Road, including Retro Reads updates and info on new releases, bonus content, giveaways, special offers, and more.

    Interested in downloading a review copy of The Bleeding Heart? Request one here on NetGalley.


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    For this week’s Military Monday post, we hear from J. W. Stone, author of Duty to Investigate (which takes place during the Second Battle of Fallujah) on the current situation in Fallujah, Iraq.


    Last month, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that he would not order a military assault in order to retake control of Fallujah. He said that he wants to take people out of harm’s way and give Sunni Muslims more time to drive out the terrorist insurgents. He says he doesn’t care how much time it takes. Are you kidding me?

    The first time insurgents seized Fallujah was in April 2004. The marines were ordered to attack immediately. The operation, sometimes called the First Battle of Fallujah, resulted in intense fighting. The fighting ended when an agreement was made to turn over control of the city to militia. There was no deadline, but at some point the militia was supposed to expel the insurgents.

    It never happened. Instead, the terrorists intimidated or assassinated the leaders of the Sunni militia. Members of the police force quit, the courts closed, and local government ended. By November 2004, Fallujah had become the most heavily fortified and dangerous place on earth. There were more than five thousand armed insurgents, five hundred weapon caches, and twenty-seven factories building improvised explosive devices.

    Finally, on November 7, 2004, the First Marine Expeditionary Force, reinforced by two army brigades, launched the Second Battle of Fallujah. Soldiers and marines faced the most intense urban fighting since the battle of Huế City, Vietnam. As a result, more Americans died in Fallujah, and the surrounding Anbar Province, than any other place in Iraq. 

    Al-Anbar is an Iraqi problem and an Iraqi failure. Of course, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki should negotiate with the local leaders to address their concerns. However, he should not abandon the people of Fallujah to the control of the insurgents. His recent action means that, probably sooner than later, Fallujah will again become a safe haven for insurgents to organize, train, and manufacture weapons. Those forces will be used against the people of Iraq.

    There are no easy solutions to problems in Anbar Province. But in the end, nothing Al-Qaeda or the Iraqis do, or fail to do, can diminish the courage and efforts of the soldiers, sailors, and marines in Fallujah and Al-Anbar.


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    Forget flowers and chocolate—we think that ebooks make the best valentines for the literary-minded object of your affection. Not sure how to give an ebook? Read on.


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    1. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America named him their 2013 Grand Master.

    This puts him in the company of writers like Ray Bradbury (1989 Grand Master) and Ursula K. Le Guin (2003 Grand Master).

    2. He’s won two Hugo Awards and four Nebula Awards.

    Fun fact: He didn’t even know he’d won his first Nebula Award for Babel-17 until the reception!

    3. His eleventh novel Dhalgren is one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.

    Clocking in at over one million copies sold.

    4. Junot Díaz considers Delany his favorite New Yorker.

                                                                            Junot Díaz considers Delany his favorite New Yorker.

    Díaz told Time Out New York that he considers Delany“an extraordinary individual man. He’s also the coolest, funniest motherfucker in the world.” Dhalgrenalso gets a shoutout in Díaz’s bestseller This Is How You Lose Her.

    5. He taught Octavia E. Butler.

    Yeah. THE Octavia E. Butler. She was twenty-three years old when she attended the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop where Delany was teaching, and he called brilliance right then and there.

    6. Despite dropping out of college after one semester, he’s been a professor at several universities.

    Since 1988, he’s taught at colleges including the University of Massachusetts Amherst; the University at Buffalo; and Temple University (currently). #genius #winning #revolutionary #boss #beatingthesystem

    7. He briefly wrote for Wonder Woman.

                                                                      He briefly wrote for Wonder Woman.

    Back when Wonder Woman was in a karate gi instead of her American flag get-up and the series had some social bite.

    8. Neil Gaiman is a fan.

    From the journal of the author of American Gods and The Sandman: “Writing as well as Chip Delany is a fine thing to aim for.” They’re on a nickname basis!

    9. His work is versatile and cross-genre.

    Dhalgren can be read with equal validity as science fiction, magical realism, metafiction, or some combination thereof. Novels aside, Delany also writes memoirs, literary criticism, and essays on sexuality and society.

    10. He has an awesome beard.                                                                               

    Because imagined futures and outsider narratives get even better when you picture Santa Claus as the author.

    Source:


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    To the layman, the legal system, with all its bureaucracy and jargon, can seem like a bit of a drag. That’s why legal thrillers are the perfect way to skip the closed doors and follow all the twists of a high-stakes case, with the added satisfaction of seeing justice served. Here, we’ve picked ten of our favorite legal thrillers so you can get an inside look without having to report to jury duty.

    Against the Wind by J. F. Freedman

    Forced out of his firm, Will Alexander, formerly the top criminal lawyer in Santa Fe, is left with one client: a gang of four rogue bikers accused of committing a gruesome murder. Despite the evidence, Will believes they are innocent. Against the Wind showcases a trial in which outlaws, by choice or design, must band together for a chance at redemption.

    The Hanging Judge by Michael Ponsor

    The Hanging Judge is based on the experience of the author, Michael Ponsor, who in 2000 presided as a federal judge over the first capital case in Massachusetts in over fifty years. When a gang member is arrested for a drive-by shooting that claimed the lives of a rival drug dealer and a hockey mom, the Honorable David S. Norcross must navigate community outrage, media pressure, gang retribution, and romantic entanglements as he presides over the first death penalty case in the state in decades.

    Primary Justice by William Bernhardt

    William Bernhardt’s eighteen-book series stars Ben Kincaid, Tulsa’s newest upstanding defense attorney. In Primary Justice, the first book in the series, Ben is working his first day as a lawyer, arranging an adoption for one of the firm’s biggest clients. But his grunt work takes a turn when the adopting father is found hacked to pieces in an alleyway, and Ben must venture down a fearsome path to investigate the killing.

    Bad Lawyer by Stephen Solomita

    In Stephen Solomita’s Bad Lawyer, Sid Kaplan, a down-and-out attorney, takes on a case defending a violent, drug-addicted battered wife, who may or may not have killed her husband in self-defense. Priscilla Sweet is far from being an easy client and comes with dangerous friends, but Sid knows that winning the case will make him famous again—either on the front page, or in the obituaries.

    The Saberdene Variations by Thomas Gifford

    A case isn’t necessarily over after a victory. A killer earns an early release and sets his sights on the family of the lawyer that jailed him. The Saberdene Variations follows the charismatic Victor Saberdene and international crime reporter Charlie Nichols as they face the repercussions of the fateful trial that set it all in motion.

    The Little Death by Michael Nava

    The first book of the acclaimed Henry Rios Mysteries, The Little Death chronicles a burnt-out public defender’s search for a wealthy drug addict’s killer. In his investigation, Rios finds himself knocking on San Francisco’s most gilded doors, where he discovers a family warped by a fortune that someone is willing to kill—and kill again—to possess.

    No Lesser Plea by Robert K. Tanenbaum

    When a vicious sociopath tries to dodge a brutal murder charge by claiming he is incompetent to stand trial, Manhattan Assistant DA Roger “Butch” Karp teams up with firecracker Marlene Ciampi to make sure justice is served, even in a dirty and cynical judicial system. No Lesser Plea is book one of Robert K. Tanenbaum’s bestselling Butch Karp legal thriller series.

    Deaken’s War by Brian Freemantle

    Deaken’s War takes the legal thriller to a new setting when Richard Deaken, a washed-up international trial lawyer, is hired by soldiers in a vicious African civil war on the brink of erupting into unprecedented bloodshed. Deaken must negotiate a ransom—$50 million worth of arms in exchange for the arms dealer’s son—a deal made more perilous by the fact that the guerillas have also kidnapped Deaken’s wife.

    Blood Echoes by Thomas H. Cook

    Based on court documents, police records, and interviews with surviving family members, Blood Echoes details the infamous Alday mass murder and the following trial. In 1973, four young men, three of them escapees from a Maryland prison, were arrested in Georgia on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. It begins with the bodies of Jerry Alday and his family over their cozy Sunday dinner; the horrors continue in the courtroom. 

    Death at Charity’s Point by William G. Tapply

    Death at Charity’s Point follows Boston lawyer Brady Coyne’s investigation into the suspicious suicide of a prep school teacher. The victim is the son of a previous client, Mrs. Gresham, who insists that George would never have taken his own life. What Brady uncovers as he digs deeper into George Gresham’s supposedly spotless past makes him more and more certain that Mrs. Gresham is right.


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     Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge as part of our weekly Friday Tweetstakes.

    About the Book:

    The Replacement WifeFrom New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge comes a poignant new novel that asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” For one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.

    Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.

    But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.

    At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.

    Learn more on the author's page and check out this video to get to know the characters more.

    Rules:


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    Each entrant in the Sweepstakes must be the rightful owner or have authorized use of the Twitter account used to enter the Sweepstakes. In the event of a dispute concerning the identity of entrant, entry will be declared to have been made by the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the Twitter account used to enter. Any potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that such winner is the authorized owner of the Twitter account associated with the winning entry.

    ENTRY PERIOD: Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on February 7, 2014, and ends at 11:50 PM ET on February 7, 2014.

    SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: The winners will be selected by a random drawing from all the eligible entries Tweeted on or about February 7, 2014. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to be bound by these rules and the decisions of Sponsor which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Sweepstakes. Potential winner will be notified by Direct Message via Twitter on or about February 10, 2014, and will be required to sign and return, where legal, a Declaration of Eligibility and Release within seven (7) days of prize notification. If potential winner is considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Declaration and Release must be signed by his/her parent or legal guardian and such prize will be delivered to minor’s parent/legal guardian and awarded in the name of parent/legal guardian. If winner cannot be contacted within five (5) calendar days of first notification attempt, if prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if potential winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these Sweepstakes rules and requirements, such prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining eligible entries. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.

    If due to a printing, production or other error, more prizes are claimed than are intended to be awarded, the intended prize will be awarded in a random drawing from among all verified and validated prize claims received. In no event will more than the stated number of prizes be awarded.

    PRIZE

    One (1) winner will receive a paperback copy of The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge.

    This prize is provided to you by Sponsor.

    Approximate retail value of prize: $16.99.

    All prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. In the case of unavailability of prize, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

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    LIST OF WINNERS: To obtain a list of winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by March 15, 2014, to: The Replacement Wife Tweetstakes, Open Road Integrated Media, Inc., 345 Hudson St., New York, New York 10014

    If you have any problems entering this Sweepstakes or have questions about this Sweepstakes, please e-mail marketing@openroadmedia.com

     



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    Open Road Media recently published Scott Ely’s Starlight, a startling novel set in the jungles of Vietnam. I spoke to Scott’s widow, the poet Susan Ludvigson, who lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, about her husband’s experience in Vietnam and how it shaped his life and writing.

    Scott Ely was drafted the day he graduated from the University of Mississippi, at the age of twenty-two. According to Ludvigson, “His first wife says he was a completely different person before the war and after.” Ely’s greatest fear before he was sent to Vietnam was that the war would make him deeply cynical, and sadly, it did, to a degree.

    Ely’s experiences in the Vietnam War led to a lifetime of PTSD. Night terrors were common, and that is reflected in his fiction. Starlight can be seen as an exploration of the idea of Vietnam as a nightmare. After his return, Ely had to sleep with a loaded gun close to the bed to feel safe, and would occasionally prowl the house with the shotgun. He thought the episodes were taking place once a year, but in reality, they happened weekly.

    Like the main character of Starlight—Jackson—Ely was a radio operator in Vietnam. He received an MA from the University of Mississippi and an MFA from the University of Arkansas, and taught writing at Winthrop University in South Carolina for twenty-five years. Starlight is a highly fictionalized account of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Tom Light, a mysterious sniper in the novel, is purely fictional, but at one point during the war it was suggested that Ely himself become a sniper. The mysterious character of Tom offers an escape for Jackson, but one that borders on insanity.

    For Ely, Vietnam was the central experience of his life, and that was borne out in his fiction, even when his subjects were ostensibly other things. Ludvigson recalls that Ely was reluctant to eat outside at the patio table in the backyard. One day he told her, as if he were joking (though he clearly was not), that the big trees surrounding the yard scared him, citing “snipers in the trees.”

    Scott Ely died in November 2013 of brain cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He experienced several Agent Orange–related cancers, and although the oncologist advised that it wasn’t provable, she was convinced that the tumor was a result of his exposure. Ludvigson notes that not every aspect of his experience in Vietnam was negative: “He valued every day in a way that most people don’t. He felt that surviving the war made every day a gift. He felt that way, too, through all his cancer treatments, and while he was fatalistic about the end result, he really did live every day to the fullest.”


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    Looking for a romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day? Open up a classic teen romance by Caroline B. Cooney or Emily Franklin and find yourself transported to a holiday getaway. Escape to the idyllic countryside of North Carolina or Connecticut in Cooney’s love stories or jet to the Alps or a tropical island in Franklin’s Chalet Girls series. Whether you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in a small town or an adventure abroad, teen novels provide the perfect vacation. Liven up your Valentine’s Day with friendship, laughs, and lots of love interests as you journey to Cooney and Franklin’s literary worlds.

    Caroline Cooney

    An April Love Story

    After her parents uproot her from the life she knows, Marnie finds an unlikely love with Lucas in an unexpected place: a farm in North Carolina.

    Nancy and Nick

    In a small Southern town, Nancy discovers her historical roots with the help of an incredibly handsome tour guide named Nick.

    The Personal Touch

    Sunny lives in Sea’s Edge, a town in New England where she spends each summer tormented by the terrible Tim—until the year when Tim transforms and everything changes.

    Chalet Girls

    Balancing Acts

    Harley, Melissa, and Lily become friends as they struggle to keep up with their new jobs, crushes, and past lives. Get ready for a wild ride at an exclusive European ski resort.

    Slippery Slopes

    Will the friendship between the girls turn into an icy descent? Boys, secrets, and snow all play a role in the second installment of this three-part series.

    Off the Trails

    The girls leave the Alps and find warmer weather on an island in the West Indies. Expect a change in temperature, as well as a change of heart, in the third and final book following the lives of these three dynamic friends.


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  • 02/10/14--13:23: Quirky Characters
  • Quirky characters

     

    Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth: Trevor Norton’s tales of intrepid scientists who have followed their own oddball instincts to execute experiments for the good of others.

    The Uninnocent: Bradford Morrow’s unique Gothic short stories featuring characters who are unlike any you’ve encountered before.

    I Cannot Get You Close Enough: Rhoda Manning is not your typical Southern belle: Her fiercely independent streak makes her a likable and original heroine, courtesy of author Ellen Gilchrist.

    White Like Milk, Red Like Blood: Quirky—Italian style. Leo sees the world in colors—white is the sadness that he fears, and red is the vitality of life. A very bittersweet love story.

    When the Messenger Is Hot: Elizabeth Crane’s short stories featuring funny and funky women who are trying to keep it together. Hilarious and slightly cringe-y.

    Flushboy: A teenage boy has the worst summer job ever: working in his family’s drive-thru urinal business. Stephen Graham Jones manages to make this novel painfully funny and full of relatable teen angst.

    Vintage Attraction: Peter and Izzy meet in true quirky fashion when he becomes smitten with her television show about wine. A heady mix of love, oenology, and oddball personalities from author Charles Blackstone.

    Tracks: What kind of quirky person would walk across the Australian outback? Meet Robyn Davidson, who sets out on a personal pilgrimage.

    The Pig Did It: A mischievous swine creates a ruckus for everyone it comes into contact with—a hilarious and wacky story from Irish author Joseph Caldwell!

    Magic Words: A quirky story, but a true one. A Jewish immigrant captured by the Ponca Indian tribe in 1860s Nebraska. Add in a murderous prostitute and a magician, and you’ve got Gerald Kolpan’s Magic Words.

     

     


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    Let’s be honest: Valentine’s Day can be hard on a single lady. No matter how much you love your life, it’s challenging to stay positive on a day that is dedicated to pairing up rather than going it alone.

    With that in mind, Love Rehab author Jo Piazza put together this nifty infographic to remind us of all the positive things about being single. Reference it as needed in the lead-up to the big day to stay focused on all the great things about being single. (Better sex! Less debt! Improved health!) And if you owe someone a “galentine,” send this her way!

    Love Rehab

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    Bleeding HeartValentine’s Day is not all chocolates and teddy bears. It’s a day of high expectations, expensive dinners, cheesy Hallmark cards, and major gifting anxiety. And for those who aren’t in a relationship? Who cares!

    Since we all know a blissful, perfect romance is a fantasy only possible in Disney movies (even The Notebook had its rough moments), we may as well get down to the nitty-gritty of things—and murder mysteries are the ideal place to explore all sorts of ways love can go wrong. Jealousy, obsession, stalking, lying, and even murder are daily occurrences in these novels. Love isn’t always pretty (we’re looking at you, Anna Karenina), and the sooner we learn this, the better.

    Below are nine tales of love gone wrong that promise to wipe that lovesick grin right off your face. And for the courageous few that think falling in love is still worth it? There arenine dating tips and life lessons to go along with these reads. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    If you’re in the mood for . . .

    Lonely Hearts1. A Craigslist killer lurking among the personal ads: Lonely Hearts by John Harvey

    A serial killer terrorizes the young women of Nottingham. Searching for love has never been so dangerous.

    Life lesson: Personal ads can lead to some really bad dates.

     

    Another Woman's House2. An extramarital affair and a murderous wife: Another Woman’s House by Mignon G. Eberhart

    A young girl is consumed by love for a tortured married man. The only thing in their way is his wife—a cold-blooded killer.

    Life lesson: Dating a married man is never a good idea.

     

    The Suitor3. A madman’s obsession turned fatal: The Suitor by Michael Allegretto

    Saved from a mugger, a young woman runs into the arms of a madman—to deadly results.

    Life lesson: Don’t rush into a new romance without getting to know the person first. (In this case, our “hero” drives a creepy van and lives with his controlling, religious-fanatic mother. Not a good sign.)  

     

    Married People4. A vision of married life that isn’t always pretty: Married People by Mary Roberts Rinehart

    Ten tales of married life—happy, sad, and blood soaked—by iconic author of mysteries Mary Roberts Rinehart.

    Life lesson: Marriage is hard. Really hard.

     

    Mrs. Million5. Revenge has never been sweeter: Mrs. Million by Pete Hautman

    A lottery jackpot winner decides to turn one of her millions into a bounty for the man who left her.

    Life lesson: William Congreve said it best—“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

     

    Cat and Mouse6. A murderous pen pal: Cat and Mouse by Christianna Brand

    A London writer falls into the trap of romance, lured by a false identity. When she travels to Wales in pursuit of her pen pal, she quickly realizes that no one is quite what they seem. 

    Life lesson: Never date a Welsh person.

     

    One for Our Baby7. Frank Sinatra dating your girlfriend: One for Our Baby by John Sandrolini

    For the sake of Ol’ Blue Eyes, a pilot searches California for the woman they both love.

    Life lesson: Anyone who is dating Frank Sinatra is probably way out of your league anyway.

     

    A Dram of Poison8. A deadly love triangle: A Dram of Poison by Charlotte Armstrong

    A longtime bachelor marries a beautiful but damaged girl—only to learn the corrosive power of jealousy.

    Life lesson: Even when you’re really mad, poison never solves anything—just ask Hamlet.

     

    9The Bridesmaid. Saying “I love you” with murder: The Bridesmaid by Ruth Rendell

    A man falls under the spell of a mysterious woman, a marble statue, and a lover’s promise—and must confront his role in the violence and death that follow.

    Life lesson: When your beloved asks you to prove your love—with blood—it’s probably time to end things. Be warned; see #5.



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  • 02/11/14--08:45: January Retro Reads Roundup
  • Retro Reads

    Ah, January. The holidays are long gone and the commitment to our resolutions is flagging. And for those of us lucky enough to live on the East Coast or in the Midwest, the pernicious polar vortex has meant dwindling temperatures, icy roads, and general malaise. To put it bluntly, there hasn’t been much to tempt us to go outside.


    The Dawning

    Luckily, we picked a Retro Read packed with enough adventure, romance, and dystopian weirdness to keep us sane. Judy Griffith Gill’sThe Dawningelicited a variety of responses among our Retro Readers. (Is it sci-fi? Or romance? Or somewhere in between?)


    Ruth noted that Gill “wove a really intriguing dystopian future into a compelling thriller” but found that “the romance between the hero and heroine really takes a backseat in this story.”  Andrea concurred and admitted that she is no fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, but liked venturing “outside [her] comfort zone every now and then.”


    Check out our Retro Reads Goodreads group to see these reviews, related videos, and our ongoing discussion.

    The Bleeding Heart

    In February, we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day wholeheartedly with The Bleeding Heart by Marilyn French, a wrenching love story about two American expats who meet on a train in England—forever altering the courses of their lives.


    Want to become a Retro Reader? Learn more about the programhere.



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