Monday, January 14, 2013

Upcoming Events--Elaine Schmidt, Magnus Flyte (Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch), Thomas Maltman with Lee Krecklow.

Monday, January 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Elaine Schmidt, author of The Travelers: Present in the Past.

Schmidt last appeared at Boswell for her book Hey Mom, Listen to This. We made it part of a fundraiser for the Shorewood SEED program, but then we were done in by a messy snowstorm. It happens in the winter.

No weather problems are expected for tonight's event with Schmidt, who has now written a kids' novel (8-12 reading level) called The Travelers: Present in the Past.  Jim Higgins interviewed Schmidt for the Journal Sentinel. He asked her about the origins of the book:

"Schmidt is also a quilter. The Travelers owes its life to a family quilt that Schmidt's grandmother-in-law gave her. It was crafted by her husband's ancestor, Winnie Longenecker, a teenager who died of diptheria in 1898. It came with Winnie's journal, written in fading pencil."

While she first considered telling Winnie's story, she eventually focused on a contemporary girl who finds the quilt allows her to travel back in time. Hey, this is a theme. See below.

Tuesday, January 15, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Magnus Flyte, author of City of Dark Magic.

I have mentioned before that City of Dark Magic has been selling like magic pills that might uncover a doorway to the past. I don't have any of those for sale, but I can assure you that they would sell well if we had them. Mel, Hannah, Sharon, and I all enjoyed the book a great deal, and for full disclosure, another Boswellian, who read the book more like a mystery, not as much.  So that's our social science experimental data for the day--read the book an adventure, a somewhat sexy bit of escapist fun, or an urban fantasy with a good amount of historical research into Prague, Beethoven, Tycho Brahe, and other notables.

Here's Hannah's recommendation: "Sarah Weston is a normal grad student in Boston studying Beethoven when she gets invited to Prague to pick up the work of her professor mentor who has mysteriously died. Quickly, she finds herself in the midst of a twisty, sexy, and spy-ish plot full of daring escapades and hot romance."

Daring, indeed. The book is sexy enough to sell to folks who sped through E.L. James but unlike the heroine in those novels, Sarah is a take charge gal. Here's a link to the Shepherd Express Book Preview from Jenni Herrick. And here's there not on the authors' (yes, there are two of them) credentials:

"City of Dark Magic is the debut novel for Magnus Flyte, the nom de plume from authors Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. Howrey is a winner of an Ovation Award, former dancer with the prestigious Joffrey II and author of the novels The Cranes Dance and Blind Sight. Lynch is a former Milan correspondent for W Magazine and current television writer."

We have copies of Howrey's two most recent novels in stock as well. Here's the Slate review for City of Dark MagicAnd here's Howrey's review in Entertainment Weekly. The novel also got a lot of attention on ballet blogs.

Thursday, January 17, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Thomas Maltman, author of  Little Wolves, with opening reader Lee Krecklow.

Thomas Maltman's new novel, Little Wolves, has won a number of admirers, from Leif Enger to Peter Geye to Benjamin Percy. Carole Barrowman is also a fan. Her review in  Sunday's Journal Sentinel begins:

"In the aftermath of so many mass shootings, it may seem too soon to recommend Minnesota writer and poet Thomas Maltman's Little Wolves, a novel seething with a disturbing darkness prompted from a monstrous act of violence, but it's not. Because when words fail us, it's our poets, writers like Maltman, who help us confront 'the Other,' whose stories like this one possess us, and whose language is 'large enough' to keep us in place when we contemplate 'madness or escape.'

Read the rest of the review here.

This is something that Stacie, who loved the novel, and I discussed in the weeks after the deadly shooting in Connecticut. Here's Stacie's rec:

"Maltman has penned a quiet, brooding novel that scratches at the hard, cracked surface of a topic that continues to play out all too regularly in American life these days. By threading Anglo-Saxon mythologies through the heart-wrenching mystery of why a young man does something so terrible, he turns a small-town drama into a ghostly epic. Little Wolves evokes an uncanny sense of ever-present danger stalking the characters, and the reader, at each turn of the page. And yet, the power of the heart continues to thrum through it all."

I think our point is that a novel like this tries to penetrate the why and the how of the roots of violence, and I think this kind of soul searching in these days is not a bad thing.

And here's the great Kirkus review.

Lee Krecklow is a customer who showed us his recent piece in a journal, and we knew he had to be part of our opening reader series. And now he is.

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