Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Signing with Rhonda Hayter

Rhonda Hayter will be signing copies of The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams on Sunday April 11th from 1-3 pm.

Abbie Adams and her family come from a long line of witches, and she's having a tough time keeping it a secret from her best friend and the rest of her school. Especially the day her little brother morphs into a wolf and tries to eat his teacher.

That's also the day her father brings home a kitten. Abbie's been begging for a cat for months, and she falls in love with that fluffy fuzzball right away. But there's something peculiar about this kitten, and it just might take a witch like Abbie to figure out what it is.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Signing with Stephen Cubine

Stephen Cubine will be signing copies of Walking on Electric Air on Saturday March 27th from 1-3 pm.

When her fourth suicide attempt results in a disabled minivan rather than the peaceful farewell she'd planned in her carbon monoxide-filled garage, Dottie Westbrook, a depressed St. Louis housewife, takes the next step in getting her plan back on track; she calls Triple-A. But her plans take a drastic turn when Shelby Struthers, a boozy, auto-mechanic with dark demons, appears on her doorstep. Shelby tows Dottie and the minivan back to his garage. While waiting, Dottie and Shelby swap tragic stories in a drunken exchange. Dottie reveals that she is about to be institutionalized by a family unable to deal with her depression; and Shelby laments of Remy, the young daughter he lost years ago in a bitter custody battle.

Dottie, who never knew her own father, is appalled that Shelby let his daughter go without a fight, so she finds a cause in Shelby. She proceeds to steal a Mercedes from Shelby's garage and makes a dramatic escape, beckoning Shelby to come along so she can help him find his daughter. On the brink of personal and financial disaster, with nothing left to lose, Shelby jumps in and away they go.

Along the way, they encounter sassy Lynda Critchlow, a small-town rental clerk who unknowingly rents them a vehicle loaded down with undelivered drugs. Anxious for a one-way ticket out of Hicksville and away from her abusive boyfriend, she hitches a ride with them to Nashville to begin what she feels is her inevitable singing career. The three traveling companions become an unlikely family while searching for Shelby's daughter.

Along the bucolic highways of the South, Dottie and Shelby help each other find value in the wreckage of their several potentially dangerous adversaries: two bumbling drug lords who want to retrieve the drugs in their rental car; Lynda's violent boyfriend; and Dottie's bickering husband and mother.

Stephen Cubine, an award-winning feature film producer, holds a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Tennessee. His short story Tiny Tot Revue was published in 1995 and made into a short film. A native of Tennessee, he presently resides in Los Angeles.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Signing with Peter Birkenhead

Peter Birkenhead will be signing copies of Gonville: A Memoir on Saturday March 20th from 1-3 pm.

In powerful and spirited prose, Peter Birkenhead recounts a childhood spent trying to make sense of his father, a terrifying, charismatic presence who brutalized his family physically and emotionally at the same time that he enchanted them with his passion and whimsy. An avid gun collector yet an anti-war activist, a popular economics professor and a wife-swapping nudist, a leftist and a lifelong fan of the British Empire who would occasionally don an authentic pith helmet and imitate Michael Caine's performance as the heroic Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in the bloody war film Zulu, he was a man who could knock his young son down the stairs one day and the next cry about putting the family's aged dog to sleep.

Such is the contradictory figure at the center of this astonishingly candid and shocking memoir. As a young adult, Birkenhead reacted to his volatile childhood by forgetting its worst moments. He adopted all the trappings of normalcy, threw himself into a career as an actor, landing parts in Broadway plays like Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound, both by Neil Simon, and found himself often playing characters who were angry at their fathers. Yet he discovered that he was sleepwalking through life, on occasion falling into rages that reminded him of his father.

Then at thirty-one, eleven years after his parents' divorce, Birkenhead told his mother about his recurring dream of flying down the stairs of their house as a young boy. She revealed that it wasn't a dream, but a memory from his early childhood of being carried rapidly down the stairs by his mom after his father had pointed a gun at them. The revelation about the dream sparked the painful yet necessary process of examining his childhood and of ultimately moving beyond it, forcing Birkenhead to finally confront his father in a way that released him and his family from this complicated legacy. Combining the terror and wit of Running with Scissors, the poignancy and sense of place of The Tender Bar, with the sparkling prose of Oh the Glory of It All, Gonville is light on its feet even as it deals in the darkest of family tales. A harrowing and often humorous story of a son coming to terms with his alternately charming, cruel, generous, and violent father.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bookstore Poem

The Bookstore by Elizabeth Newstat

At work I get attached to strangers
Who are dying
Whose dogs are dying
Who have hot diamond engagement rings
Whose checks bounce
Whose cats are dying
Who bring in paper sacks
hiding whiskey bottles before the binge
Whose husbands are having quadruples
Who love Eat, Pray, Love
Who hate Eat, Pray, Love
Whose father-in-law loves Sarah Palin
Whose dog needs a wheelchair
Whose dog can’t eat wheat
(Good! No biscuit for you!)
Whose dog attacks me
Who show me their novels, scripts, poems
and make me happy
Who flirt with the beautiful young Lesbian bookseller
straight men
Who flirt with the handsome young gay bookseller
gay men
Who flirt with me for practice with the young and beautiful
Who forget the author
Who forget the title
“Begins with moon”
“Begins with the”
“Author is John”
“Author is Jane”
Who buy a book by the cover
Who buy a book by the weight
Who show me their Kindle
but buy my pick in solidarity
Who write books themselves and check shelves
and complain
“Where is my book?”
Who write books themselves and don’t check the shelves
Who are geniuses and don’t care if their book is here
Whose dogs are mellow, fat, lazy, crazy
Remember the baker in La Femme du Boulanger
I talk to the dog instead of the owner.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book signing with Eric Gudas

Author/Poet Eric Gudas will be signing copies of Best Western and Other Poems on Saturday, March 13th, from 1 - 3 p.m.

Eric Gudas was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1972. His poems, book reviews, and interviews with american poets have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Poetry Flash, The Southern Review, and other journals. Beautiful Monster, his chapbook of poems, was published by Swan Scythe Press in 2003. He and his wife, Alyssa Sherwood, live with their daughter in Los Angeles.