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  • Tuesday Top Ten -- Rita Gerlach

    Tue, 22 Dec 2009 01:27

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    Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts, in central Maryland. Surrender the Wind is her fourth inspirational historical romance.

    The True and Authentic History of Jenny Dorset by Philip Lee Williams

    Mr. Williams' story is filled with rollicking humor, wit, and wisdom. Vividly written, the reader is drawn into 18th century Charleston, and into the lives of two families, the Dorsets and the Symthes. Each and every character is memorable. You will laugh and cry reading this book. It has a permanent place in my personal library. I loved it so much, I rushed out and bought several copies to give to friends and family.

    The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

    Agnes is one of a kind. There is no one else like her in the small Pennsylvania town where she lives with her dutiful sister. A prayerful woman with a heart as big as her body, her prayers for others are answered causing the some of the leaders of the town to want to erect first a billboard, then a statue, all of which Agnes wants nothing of it. A stranger arrives and changes everything.

    Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler

    Set in 1775 Boston, twenty-year-old Elizabeth Howard lives a life shrouded in secrets as the American Revolution is peeking to a fevered pitch. Elizabeth is torn between her parent's loyalty to the King and her loyalty to America's Glorious Cause, when she meets and falls in love with a British Major. Lots of action and romance.

    The Red Siren by Marylu Tyndall

    Marylu Tyndall's novel is a fun and exciting read. It's not the same-ole-same-ole romance novel. A fiery redheaded heroine, a courageous hero. Pirates. The search for plunder. Sea battles. It has all the elements of a classic pirate tale, except the pirate our hero is pursuing is a woman! The Red Siren!

    In The Shadow of the Sun King by Golden Keyes Parsons

    An engaging debut novel, set in 17th century France. A story of intolerance and violence, hardship and despair, Ms. Parsons' heroine, Madeleine Clavell, portrays a brave and selfish woman who fights to save her family from religious persecution.

    Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkhard

    A novel written for the Jane Austen soul, Before the Season Ends is a charming Regency romance that draws you into a world of English high society. The heroine, Ariana Forsythe, is a typical English young lady, but one with strong religious devotion who will cannot wed her suitor, the man she loves, until he has given his heart and soul to another -- Ariana's Lord and Savior.

    Dream West by David Nevin

    Dream West is one of the best novels I have ever read. It is powerfully and skillfully written. The story is based on truth about the brave men and women who forged westward. Dream West will move you, inspire you, and enrich your knowledge of America's history.

    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

    Ms. Brooks' masterful story of heartbreak, death, and fear takes place in a time where life was far more fragile than today. Year of Wonder is a haunting, thought provoking tale of a woman's mental and physical survival against the plague after her husband and two children, succumb to it. I enjoyed that the book was written from a woman's perspective, and based on true historical facts. Vivid imagery.

    Smugglers Moon by Bruce Alexander

    I love the characters in Bruce Alexander's series. I could not put this book down. It draws you in from the start, and transports you back in time to a century filled with mystery, intrigue, and suspense. It is authentic in the dialogue and vivid in imagery.

    A Distant Flame by Philip Lee Williams

    A well-written novel about the life of a Tennessee sharpshooter. It is uniquely written in a style that takes the reader from the days of Charlie Merrill hardships to his old age. A good read with lots of history and characters that seem to live and breath off the pages.

  • Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I'm going to take a look at some of the news that has been dominating the book industry in the preceding week.

    The news, as usual, is mostly gathered thanks to the excellent resources that are the Publishers Weekly website and the GalleyCat blog.

    • in her annual end-of-the-year letter, "Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy praised her company for surviving in a 'lackluster' bookselling environment, but urged them to fight the pricing shift that comes with the eBook revolution. Here's an excerpt: 'We must do everything in our power to uphold the value of our content against the downward pressures exerted by the marketplace and the perception that "digital" means "cheap." We must work to defend the livelihoods of our authors at a time when instantaneous file transfer makes piracy easier than ever, and in a world in which many consider copyright irrelevant...'"
    • the AP reported "that a Paris court has convicted Google in a copyright infringement case over online publication of French books. A judge ruled Friday that Google must pay 300,000 euros ($430,000) in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere. Google was also ordered to pay 10,000 euros per day until it removes extracts of the French books from its online database"
    • Kirsty Melville "has been promoted to the newly created position of president of AMP's book division effective January 1. Melville, who joined AMP in 2005, is currently executive v-p and publisher. With her additional responsibilities, Melville will continue to report to Hugh Andrews, CEO and president of AMP"
    • Bob LiVolsi, "founder of independent e-book retailer Books On Board, grabbed the spotlight at the MediaBistro eBook Summit, charging Amazon.com with 'predatory Pricing' and lamented the lack of antitrust enforcement in today's marketplace"
    • Borders (BGP) CEO Ron Marshall rejected the idea of building a reading device like his competitors at Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Amazon.com (AMZN). Here is his quote, via Reuters: "I don't anticipate us doing our own e-reader for a whole variety of reasons, not least of which is that we're not a technology company. We're booksellers."
  • Bookseller redux banner

    Each Monday, here on Editor's Corner, I run through the latest issue of the Bookseller magazine and pick out the bits and pieces of book industry news that catch my eye.

    This quick round-up of book stuff is culled from the pages of last Friday's 18th December issue and via the Bookseller website:

    • deferring publication "of e-books could play into the hands of Amazon, senior trade observers have warned. The warning comes as authors and publishers get ready to face off over e-book royalty rates, after the Society of Authors said digital royalty rates should be 'much higher' than the current 15%-25% level, rising to 75% or 85% of receipts in some circumstances"
    • publishers "could receive good cheer by Christmas Eve with the book market only 0.5% behind the previous year's figures"
    • Hachette UK appeared "in the high court [18th December] in a bid to stop Borders selling further books and obtain payment for stock that has already been sold"
    • the Publishers Association (PA) is "planning a number of improvements to the copyright infringement portal next year, which now has 52 publishers using it"
    • the number of "independents trading in the United Kingdom has dropped by more than 20% over the past decade"
    • TV producer and writer "Daisy Goodwin will chair the 15th Orange Prize for Fiction judging panel"
    • Random House "has launched a Facebook application enabling users to read free chapters and share their favourite books"
    • advances "for some literary fiction debuts have dropped to as little as £500, according to agents and publishers"
    • the "economic downturn, the stellar success of Dan Brown, and a particularly competitive fiction market have hit many of the autumn's big names, with authors showing sharp drops in sales of their new novels over comparable 2008 and earlier titles"
    • John Wiley & Sons "has signed a deal with Scribd to market and sell e-books, including the For Dummies series and Frommers travel guides"
  • Director Spike Jonze has, many critics argue, done something very special with his film-adaption of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. And Heads on and We Shoot: The Making of "Where the Wild Things Are" is a fantastic accompaniment to Jonze's film. A beautifully produced, double-spined hardback that fans of the film absolutely need to get hold of... Oh, and the book is edited by the McSweeney's crew and is as stylish as everything they produce. A lovely, lovely book:

    Maurice Sendak's classic book Where the Wild Things Are follows the adventures of Max, a headstrong young boy who leaves home after having a fight with his mother, only to find himself in a mysterious forest bordering a vast sea. Misunderstood and rebellious, Max sets sail to the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns. But how do you turn one of the world's favorite children's books into a movie?

    This film incorporates the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry, and computer animation into a live-action adventure story that captures the magic of the book -- and takes it to a new dimension. In order to preserve the realistic nature of the film, the Wild Things are not created digitally. Instead, Spike Jonze brings these characters to life in the form of physical suits built by the Jim Henson Company. These creatures, operated by a suit performer, interact with the live actor playing Max on set in front of the camera. After principal photography is finished, CGI is being used to make the creatures completely lifelike and convincing.

  • Director Spike Jonze has, many critics argue, done something very special with his film-adaption of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. And Heads on and We Shoot: The Making of "Where the Wild Things are" is a fantastic accompaniment to Jonze's film. A beautifully produced, double-spined hardback that fans of the film absolutely need to get hold of... Oh, and the book is edited by the McSweeney's crew and is as stylish as everything they produce. A lovely, lovely book:

    Maurice Sendak's classic book Where the Wild Things Are follows the adventures of Max, a headstrong young boy who leaves home after having a fight with his mother, only to find himself in a mysterious forest bordering a vast sea. Misunderstood and rebellious, Max sets sail to the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns. But how do you turn one of the world's favorite children's books into a movie?

    This film incorporates the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry, and computer animation into a live-action adventure story that captures the magic of the book -- and takes it to a new dimension. In order to preserve the realistic nature of the film, the Wild Things are not created digitally. Instead, Spike Jonze brings these characters to life in the form of physical suits built by the Jim Henson Company. These creatures, operated by a suit performer, interact with the live actor playing Max on set in front of the camera. After principal photography is finished, CGI is being used to make the creatures completely lifelike and convincing.

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