Category Archives: Active Blog Tours

The Belle of Two Arbors by Paul Dimond (Summer 2017)

bellearborsOur latest tour this will be for summer is The Belle of Two Arbors by Paul Dimond, with poetry from Martha Buhr Grimes, published by Cedar Forge Press in April 2017.

Born at the turn of the twentieth century in Glen Arbor, near the dunes of Northern Michigan, young Belle is the first child of a gruff stove works boss and a crippled mother who weaned Belle on the verse of Emily Dickenson. When a natural disaster results in her mother’s death and nearly takes the life of her younger brother Pip, Belle creates a fierce, almost ecstatic farewell song. Thus begins her journey to compose a perfect Goodbye to Mama.

At 21, Belle ventures south to Ann Arbor for university, with teenaged Pip in tow. There, she befriends Robert Frost, Ted Roethke and Wystan Auden and finds that her poetry stands alongside theirs, and even with that of her hero, Dickinson. Her lyrics capture the sounds, sights, and rhythms of the changing seasons in the northern forests, amidst the rolling dunes by the shores of the Great Lake.

Despite the peace she finds, Belle also struggles in both homes. Up north, she battles her father who thinks a woman can’t run the family business; and clashes against developers who would scar the natural landscape. In Ann Arbor, she challenges the status quo of academic pedants and chauvinists.

Belle’s narrative brings these two places to life in their historic context: a growing Midwestern town driven by a public university, striving for greatness; and a rural peninsula seeking prosperity while preserving its natural heritage. Through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Post-War Boom, Belle’s story is hard to put down. Her voice and songs will be even harder to forget.

Advance Praise:

“The Belle of Two Arbors is a beguiling story about a talented woman from the back of beyond who dares to establish her own identity. Capturing the upper reaches of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Dimond creates a new American fable that, like the great novels of Willa Cather, both lacerates and heals: An ingenious feat of fictional biography.” –Theodore Rosengarten, National Book Award All God’s Children: The Life of Nate Shaw and MacArthur Fellow

“Paul Dimond’s Belle of Two Arbors is historical fiction at its most informative and engaging. Belle is poet, protectress, matriarch and muse, whether advocating for a more inclusive University in Ann Arbor or promoting the preservation of America’s premier national lakeshore in Glen Arbor. Fans of the poets Frost, Roethke, Auden and Dickinson are in for a treat: Belle weaves their histories in Michigan and the legacies of Dickinson and Frost in Amherst expertly with the fictional characters. A treasure of a read!” –Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of award-winning historical novel, Even in Darkness

“Dimond imagines the intertwined lives of literary giants in a saga as evocative as Faulkner, with plot lines as cracking as Hemingway’s short stories in Michigan’s northern woods. Belle’s bravery and artistic consciousness are an inspiration.” –John Dempsey, Chair Michigan Historical Commission and co-author Michigan Notable Book Award Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors

“In the company of Paul Dimond’s extraordinary Belle, we witness the turbulence of a rapidly changing America in the first half of the 20th century. In her roles as poet, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and conservation leader, Belle interacts with a well-realized cast of characters, both imagined and real, most notably the poet Robert Frost. In this full and searching ‘portrait of a lady,’ Dimond renders the opportunities and obstacles that shape Belle’s story in such a way as to remind us that her world is also ours in the making.” –Donald Sheehy, Ed. The Letters of Robert Frost. Vols. 1–2

About the Author:

Since birth Paul Dimond has shared his time between Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, and Glen Arbor amidst Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan.

Prior to researching and writing The Belle of Two Arbors, Paul Dimond served as the Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, tried several major race case that divided the U.S. Supreme Court and served as the Special Assistant to President Clinton for Economic Policy. He has also practiced law, chaired a national real estate firm and continues to spend his time between the two Arbors. He is an alumni of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School. Visit his Website.

Add to GoodReads:

The Belle of Two Arbors

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Open.

Tour Schedule:

June 1: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
June 2: Teddy Rose Book Reviews (Guest Post)
June 6: 100 Pages A Day Stephanie’s Book Reviews (Review)
June 8: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
June 13: A Literary Vacation (Book Spotlight)
June 19: Tea Leaves (Review)
June 21: Black Sheep Reader (Review)
June 22: Readaholic Zone (Review)
June 26: Diary of an Eccentric (Review)
June 30: Kritter’s Ramblings (Review)
July 11: Booklove (Review)
July 14: CelticLady’s Reviews (Review)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #BelleTwoArbors

WTF by Laura Foley (Spring 2017)

Our latest tour this spring will be for WTF by Laura Foley, published by CW Books in February 2017.

WTFFoleyLaura Foley’s “WTF” refers to her father’s initials and, slyly, to the abbreviated colloquial exclamation, in a pun that laughs and cuts, in this reckoning with a fraught father-daughter relationship. These spare poems communicate more like snapshots than narrative lyrics, beginning with sympathy and gratitude, moving through disappointment, anger and resentment, without ever losing compassion, as Foley examines her father’s formative WWII experiences and, consequently, how he shaped her experience and character, ending with a positive recognition of her father in herself.

Read some sample poems here: https://www.readcwbooks.com/foley_poems.html

Advance Praise:

“I liked ‘The Long View’ (in the collection ‘WTF’) for its abundance of precise and effective details: an exact location, many poignant indicators of the subject’s confined and increasingly lonely life. The tone is restrained (no pleading for sympathy) but the lines move urgently, and the pity grows with them. Many years and much sadness in the spacious apartment are made palpable in the confines of verse.”-David Constantine

Laura Foley, a master of memory as poem, brings us a portrait of tragedy, loss and longing. For those of us whose fathers were strangers, Foley‘s ‘WTF’ provides a perfect commiseration through the ‘survivor’s eyes’ in her beautifully understated language.”-John O’Connor

About the Poet:

Laura Foley is an internationally published, award-winning LauraBeachpoet, author of six collections. She won the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; and the National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poetry collections include: WTF, Night Ringing, The Glass Tree and Joy Street. The Glass Tree won a Foreword Book of the Year Award; Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review, in the British Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, and many other journals.

A certified Yoga Instructor and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, she is the mother of three grown children, grandmother to two granddaughters. She and her partner Clara Gimenez live among the hills of Vermont with their three big dogs.

Follow her on GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Add to GoodReads:

WTF

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Open.

Tour Schedule:

March 28: The Modern Creative Life (Guest Post)
April 5: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
April 12: the bookworm (Review)
April 13: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 18: Celticlady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
April 25: Soapy Violinist (Review)
May 4: The Book Connection (Interview)
May 11: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Review)
May 15: Katherine & Books (Review)
May 19: Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
May 24: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
June 1: Readaholic Zone (Review)
June 5: Patricia’s Wisdom (Review)
TBD: The Modern Creative Life (Guest Post)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #LauraFoley

Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol (April 2017)

Our latest tour this April will be for Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol, published by Red Hen Press in April 2017.

kinshipcloverHe was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction. But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants.

As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists devotion to activism might have him and those closest to him tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face. With the help of a determined, differently abled flame from his childhood, Zoe; her deteriorating, once rabble-rousing grandmother; and some shocking and illuminating revelations from the past, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the ones he loves, and confront the most critical question of all: how do you stay true to the people you care about while trying to change the world?

Advance Praise:

“Ellen Meeropol has an uncanny knack for examining the big topics of our contemporary world and putting a human face on them. In Kinship of Clover, she does this with intelligence and a big generous heart. An important book by a unique writer, it’s a must read.” —Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

“Midway through this wonderful novel, you will find a woman dancing in her wheelchair. That scene is one of many memorable moments in a story about young people organizing for a sustainable future, even as their once-radical elders try to hold on to a gradually disappearing past. This is a book about time and love, politics and family, and it is sharply observant and deeply compassionate.” —Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“Ellen Meeropol brings her keen political sense and psychological understanding to this story of family secrets and family trauma. Kinship of Clover is compelling and the characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.” —Nancy Felton, co-owner, Broadside Bookshop (Northampton, MA)

About the Author:

Ellen Meeropol is fascinated by characters on the fault lines of political upheaval. Previous work includes a dramatic script telling the story of the Rosenberg Fund for Children which has been produced in four U.S cities, most recently in Boston. Elli is the wife of Robert Meeropol, youngest son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Elli is a former nurse and independent bookstore event coordinator and the author of two previous novels, House Arrest and On Hurricane Island. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild. Short fiction and essays have appeared in Bridges, DoveTales, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, and the Writer’s Chronicle.  Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

Add to GoodReads:

Kinship of Clover

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

April 3: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)
April 4: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 6: Lovely Bookshelf (Review)
April 7: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (Guest Post)
April 7: Samw00w (Review)
April 13: Angel M. B. Chadwick (Interview)
April 18: Bookfan (Guest Post)
April 18: The Book Connection (Interview)
April 20: A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
April 21: Book-ilicious (Review)
April 26: Readaholic Zone (Review)
May 4: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
May 23: True Book Addict (Review)
TBD: Sportochick’s Musings (Review)
TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #KinshipofClover

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013 by M.K. Brown (March 2017)

h 16Our latest tour this March 2017 will be for Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013 by M.K. Brown, published by Fantagraphics in March 2014.

strangerM.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics.

M.K. Brown’s comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors.

In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine” introduces Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “Dr. Janice N!Godatu,” Brown’s series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

About the Author:

M.K. Brown grew up in Darien, Connecticut and New Brunswick, Canada. Her cartoons have been in all sorts of publications, above- and under-ground. She is naturally a bit selfish, maybe a little self-conscious, and self-centered, yet has an enlightened self-interest and a healthy curiosity about any new technology which happens to coincide with her trajectory at the time. She lives in northern California and her cartoons are about that process.

Add to GoodReads:

Stranger Than Life

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

March 13: A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
March 16: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)
March 16: Katherine & Books (Review)
March 18: Readaholic Zone (Review)
March 30: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
June 1: Donna Book Reviews (Review)
TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #StrangerThanLife

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