Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Event post! David Krugler on Wednesday, Dave Madden, Tyrone Jaeger, and Theodore Wheeler on Friday, Tina Kügler on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 6, 7 pm, at Boswell:
David Krugler, author of The Dead Don't Bleed.

Washington D.C., 1945. Victory in the war looms, but a new fear transfixes the wartime capital. Fear of communist spies and the atomic secrets they covet. When the corpse of Logan Skerrill, a Navy Intelligence officer is found on a cobblestone back alley, Lt. Ellis Voigt is called in to investigate. It’s his first murder, but in the plot that he quickly begins unraveling, it won’t be his last. Publishers Weekly notes: “Before his death, Skerrill was looking into the background of some new employees of the Soviet Union’s trading company in the U.S., but his work was (atypically for him) subpar. He gave the new hires a clean bill of health despite evidence that they were Russian spies. Might Skerrill may have been a blackmail victim?”

Pursuing crosses and double-crosses, Voigt goes undercover and the fragments he discovers (a defecting German physicist, a top secret lab in New Mexico, and Uranium-235) suggest something far larger than the usual spy v. spy shenanigans. Soon enough he’s in a race to identify the killer, to keep the bomb away from the Russians—and to keep ahead of his own secrets.

David Krugler, who grew up in Wauwatosa, is a Professor of History at UW Platteville, who teaches American history and African American History. He is also the author of 1919, the Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back. Krugler has served as a faculty leader for teacher education programs at Chicago’s Newberry and the Master of American History and Government program at Ashland University.

Want a recommendation? Here's David Strafford in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Krugler, the author of several works of nonfiction, brings expertise and authenticity to his first thriller, as well as a penetrating portrait of wartime Washington. And Voigt — a man with secrets of his own — stands out as one of the most intriguing characters in espionage fiction. Expect the unexpected in this thumping good read."

And check out this interview on Southwest Ohio's WYSO for The Book Nook program, Krugler discusses how his work as a historian helped shape the novel. In particular, a book called This Is Only a Test: How Washington D.C. Prepared for Nuclear War from 2006 provided a good amount of background information.

Friday, July 8, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Short Story Summer with Dave Madden, author of If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There, Tyrone Jaeger, author of So Many True Believers, and Theodore Wheeler, author of Bad Faith. That last link should be working soon!

We had quite the close call on this one. With more smaller presses moving to print on demand for distribution, it seems like that buffer period is shrinking. The ability to purchase one of these titles went live only last Friday, giving us a very small window to order books in time and no time to display them. It's my feeling that unless your a big name or this is your family/friends/colleagues launch, a little more of a window si a good idea! Here's some info about the books and the readers on Friday.

After the Plains queered him, Dave Madden decided to return the favor. His new collection of short stories, If You Need Me, I’ll Be Over There tells the tale of a different kind of difference one not set in the glittering lights of New York or Los Angeles, but in the grand and wide American Midwest. For Madden’s characters, their queerness is part of the environment, like the soil, the sky, and the supermarket: an HIV-positive chemist uses football to connect with his brothers; a 17-year-old girl tussles with a cartoon cobra to avoid thinking about the mother who abandoned her; and a hotel concierge starts attending Mass even though his partner was molested by a priest. In seeking out the ordinary struggles of extraordinary people trying to figure out their place within families and communities, Madden masterfully explores what it means to be an outsider always looking in.

Dave Madden is also author of The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy. His shorter work has appeared in Harper’s, Prairie Schooner, and The Rumpus, and he’s the recipient of the Sherwood Anderson Award in fiction and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Tyrone Jaeger’s So Many True Believers gives voice to the wanton, the restless, and those hellbent on self-destruction. The Nat Mota School for at-risk youth is the nexus of Tyrone Jaeger's spiraling narrative; loosed from it is an array of characters yearning, raging, and chasing down their misguided dreams. There is Jeremy, mourning the loss of his girlfriend to a UFO cult; Harold, the betrayed husband exploring intimacy in unfamiliar waters; and Ginny, the teenage runaway hiding out with a band of video-obsessed squatters. Mystery, magic, and gritty realism are coiled against a backdrop of failed relationships and addictions in this darkly humorous debut collection depicting the frayed edges of the American psyche.

Tyrone Jaeger is also author of the cross-genre novella The Runaway Note. His first novel, Radio Eldorado, is forthcoming with Queen’s Ferry Press in 2017. His work has appeared in the Oxford American, Southern Humanities Review, and The Literary Review,. He is the recipient of the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award. He lives in Conway, Arkasnsas with his family.

And finally, with results both liberating and disastrous, the characters of Theodore Wheeler’s Bad Faith flee the trappings of contemporary domestic life. A father visits a college friend in El Salvador rather than face difficulties with the birth of his third child. A boy comes to terms with his fractured family and the disabled father responsible for his care after his soldier mother is stationed overseas. A biracial man journeys across Nebraska for the funeral of his white mother and strikes up an improbable if dishonest relationship with a centenarian Irish woman. And in the collection’s title story, the running narrative of a pathetic yet oddly compelling ladies man culminates in an unexpected and deadly confrontation. In Theodore Wheeler’s collection of prize-winning stories, the herd can’t always outpace the predator.

Theodore Wheeler is a fiction writer and legal reporter living in Omaha, Nebraska. His short stories have been collected in Best New American Voices, The Kenyon Review, and The Southern Review. He is also the author of a novel-in-progress titled Kings of Broken Thing which won the Tarcher/Penguin Top Artist Writing Contest. I suspect Wheeler is collecting material for his writing as we speak. It's surely been a very exciting process.

Saturday, July 9, 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
Tina Kügler, author and of Snail and Worm.

Combining deceptively simple art with clever wordplay, Snail and Worm, told in three comical, episodic shorts and ranging in topic from adventuring to having pets, will have both girls and boys delighting in the friends' silly antics, making it a perfect book for readers transitioning between picture books and chapter books. Boswell will host a storytime, activities, and a possible guest appearance by either Snail, Worm, or both. We’re still negotiating.

Boswell’s proprietor Daniel Goldin writes: “Snail and Worm are two pals who just get each other. In the story “Meet My Friend,” Snail introduces Worm to Bob the Rock and Worm returns the favor by bringing Ann the Stick into the circle. In “Snail’s Adventure,” our hero attempts to scale…a flower. I’m not going to tell you what happens in “Meet My Pet” because I don’t want to give everything away. Charming illustrations collide with goofy humor. If you long for the adorable absurdity of James Marshall, rejoice, as his spirit lives on in Tina Kügler.”

Don't trust me? Here's Publishers Weekly: "Snail and Worm’s direct, simplified dialogue is perfect for beginning readers, and their unabashed dopiness—equally evident in their conversations and in Kügler’s mixed-media cartoons—delivers a steady stream of laughs."

Author-illustrator Tina Kügler grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and now lives in the Los Angeles area with her artist husband, three sons, and an enormous hairy dog named Harryhausen. When she is not making picture books, she can be found trying to befriend snails and worms in her backyard. She is also the author of In Mary’s Garden, written and illustrated with Carson Kügler.

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