BARBARA J. TAYLOR
ALL WAITING IS LONG
ALL WAITING IS LONG tells the stories of the Morgan sisters, a study in contrasts. In 1930, twenty-five-year-old Violet travels with her sixteen-year-old sister Lily from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to the Good Shepherd Infant Asylum in Philadelphia, so Lily can deliver her illegitimate child in secret. In doing so, Violet jeopardizes her engagement to her longtime sweetheart, Stanley Adamski. Meanwhile, Mother Mary Joseph, who runs the Good Shepherd, has no idea the asylum’s physician, Dr. Peters, is involved in eugenics and experimenting on the girls with various sterilization techniques.
Five years later, Lily and Violet are back home in Scranton, one married, one about to be, each finding her own way in a place where a woman’s worth is tied to her virtue. Against the backdrop of the sweeping eugenics movement and rogue coal mine strikes, the Morgan sisters must choose between duty and desire. Either way, they risk losing their marriages and each other.
The novel picks up sixteen years after the close of BARBARA J. TAYLOR’S debut novel, SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT—a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book of 2014—and continues her Dickensian exploration of the Morgan sisters and other characters of Scranton in the early twentieth century.
Priced out of their Manhattan neighborhood, Jessica and Aaron move with their young daughters to the one place Jessica swore she’d never go: the suburbs. But to Jessica’s surprise, life in the commuter belt makes a great first impression. She quickly falls in with a clique of helpful mom friends who welcome her with pitchers of margaritas, neighborhood secrets, and a pair of hot jeans that actually fit.
Still, it’s hard to keep up in a crowd where everyone competes for the most perfectly manicured home and latest backyard gadgets. And what’s worse, as the only working mom in her circle, Jessica sometimes feels disconnected and alone. So she’s thrilled when she’s invited to a moms-only weekend at the beach, which she assumes will mean new opportunities for real talk and bonding. Instead, the trip turns into a series of eye-opening lessons, and Jessica must decide if she’s strong enough to be honest with herself about the sort of life she really wants.
BY LAURIE LOEWENSTEIN, FORTHCOMING: OCTOBER 2018
DEATH OF A RAINMAKER: A DUST BOWL MYSTERY
When a rainmaker is bludgeoned to death in the pitch blackness of a colossal dust storm, small-town sheriff Temple Jennings shoulders yet another burden in the hard times of the 1930s Dust Bowl. The killing only magnifies Jennings’s ongoing troubles–a formidable opponent in the upcoming election, the repugnant burden of enforcing farm foreclosures, and his wife’s lingering grief over the loss of their young son.
As the sheriff and his young deputy investigate the murder, their suspicions focus on a teenager serving with the Civilian Conservation Corps. The deputy, himself a former CCCer, struggles with remaining loyal to the corps while pursuing his own aspirations as a lawman.
Meanwhile, the sheriff’s wife Etha is secretly bringing meals to the hobos camped outside of town. It has been fifteen years since her young son accidently drowned back east, and in the malleable adolescent faces of the young men around the campfire she imagines how her own Jack might have looked. As the evening wears on and Etha overstays her welcome, she is rescued by one of the teenagers, Carmine, who comes from the mean streets of Chicago.
When Temple arrests Carmine, the CCC suspect, he is housed in the county jail and Etha takes advantage of her position as prison cook to get to know him. While she sits outside his cell and he wolfs down her apple pies, he tells her his story. She quickly becomes convinced of his innocence and sets out to prove it. But Etha’s investigations soon reveal a darker web of secrets, which imperil Temple’s chances of reelection and cause the husband and wife to confront their long-standing differences about the nature of grief.
THE DEVIL’S SONG
Up-and-coming Mission County, Pennsylvania, prosecutor Kate Magda has been given the assignment of a lifetime: lead counsel on a string of murders rocking the community. As the privileged daughter of a powerful local judge, Kate views the case as her chance to show her boss, her family, and the public that she is more than just “the judge’s daughter.”
As Kate delves into the case, she becomes convinced that she shares a personal link with the killer, who seems to know intimate details about a tragic childhood event from Kate’s past—an event she’d long been trying to forget. Paranoia sets in, the night terrors return, and Kate has a strong sense that she’s the killer’s next victim. She no longer feels assigned to the case . . . she is the case, and solving it is her only chance for survival.
THEASA TUOHY, Released: May 1, 2018
People are doing all sorts of screwy things in 1929. It is a time of hope, boundless optimism, and prosperity. “Blue Skies” is the song on everyone’s lips. The tabloids are full of flagpole sitters, flappers, and marathon dancers. Ever since Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic solo, the entire world has gone nuts over flying. But everyone agrees that the stunt pilots take the cake.
Jenny Flynn defies the odds and conventions in her pursuit of the sky. She attracts the attention of Laura Bailey, a brash reporter crashing through her own glass ceiling at a New York City newspaper. Laura chases the pilot’s story—and the truth about her own mysterious father—on a barnstorming escapade from Manhattan to the Midwest.
FLYING JENNY is a vivid portrait of an earlier time when airplanes drew swarming crowds entranced by the pioneers—male and female—of flight.
Terminally diagnosed with Huntington’s disease as a child, Kade gave up on living a productive existence. He spent most of his time preparing for the Primal Age, even though he knew the end of the world wouldn’t happen in his shortened lifetime.
In Kade’s twenties, the United States is being ravaged by the Feline Flu. After the Flu hits pandemic levels, a vaccine is released to the public. Viewed as the last chance to stop the virus, over ninety percent of the population receives the vaccine within a single day.
The vaccine takes on a life of its own and deprives the recipients of their higher functions, leaving them with only their primal urges. These bloodthirsty monsters become known as foamers because of the red foam that forms around their mouths when they hunt.
As the world as he knows it descends into the Primal Age, Kade finds that he is not only useful, but is expected to lead other survivors. His group is constantly assaulted by foamers and a warmongering paramilitary unit. In an unrelenting fight for their lives, his group is forced to redefine humanity in a world without law.
Turnbull is a working-class town full of weary people who struggle to make ends meet. Evictions, alcoholism, and random violence are commonplace. In the heat of July 1983, when eight-year-olds James Illworth, Dallas Darwin, and Felix Cassidy leave their homes to play in the woods, they have to navigate between the potentially violent world of angry adults and even angrier teens. Little do they know that by the end of the summer, one of them will lay dead, after a bit of playful bullying from older teens escalates to tragedy.
Loosely based on a real crime that took place on Long Island in 1979, LITTLE BEASTS is a panorama of a poor, mostly white neighborhood surrounded by the affluent communities of the East End. After the murder, the novel’s main characters must come to grips with the aftermath, face down the decisions they’ve made, and reestablish their faith in the possibility of a better world.
THE LOVE BOOK
It all starts when four unsuspecting women on a singles’ bike trip through Normandy discover a mysterious red book about love. But did they discover it—or did the book bring them together? Magical words, spells, conjurations, and a little dose of synchronicity abound in THE LOVE BOOK, an anti–rom com about the misadventures of four women who embark on a soul mate–seeking journey. Somehow The Love Book insinuates itself into their lives and has its way with them. But there is more than matchmaking afoot. The four women—Emily, Beatrice, Max, and Cathy—are each nudged, cajoled, inspired—perhaps “guided”—despite themselves, to discover love, fulfillment, and the true nature of what being a soul mate really means. While on the surface a lighthearted romp, the novel is a serious exploration of the difficulties women routinely encounter when their lives do not turn out the way society, their families, and they themselves may have planned.
BARBARA J. TAYLOR
SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT
Almost everyone in town blames eight-year-old Violet Morgan for the death of her nine-year-old sister, Daisy. SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT opens on September 4, 1913, two months after the Fourth of July tragedy. Owen, the girls’ father, “turns to drink” and abandons his family. Their mother Grace falls victim to the seductive powers of Grief, an imagined figure who has seduced her off-and-on since childhood. Violet forms an unlikely friendship with Stanley Adamski, a motherless outcast who works in the mines as a breaker boy. During an unexpected blizzard, Grace goes into premature labor at home and is forced to rely on Violet, while Owen is “off being saved” at a Billy Sunday Revival. Inspired by a haunting family story, SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT blends real life incidents with fiction to show how grace can be found in the midst of tragedy.
J. PATRICK REDMOND
SOME GO HUNGRY
SOME GO HUNGRY is a fictional account drawn from the author’s own experiences working in his family’s provincial Indiana restaurant—and wrestling with his sexual orientation—in a town that was rocked by the scandalous murder of his gay high school classmate in the 1980s.
Now a young man who has embraced his sexuality, Grey Daniels returns from Miami Beach, Florida, to Fort Sackville, Indiana, to run Daniels’ Family Buffet for his ailing father. Understanding that knowledge of his sexuality may reap disastrous results on his family’s half-century-old restaurant legacy—a popular Sunday dinner spot for the after-church crowd—Grey struggles to live his authentic, openly gay life. He is put to the test when his former high school lover—and fellow classmate of the murdered student—returns to town as the youth pastor and choir director of the local fundamentalist Christian church.
SOME GO HUNGRY is the story of a man forced to choose between the happiness of others and his own joy, all the while realizing that compromising oneself—sacrificing your soul for the sake of others—is not living, but death.
STARVE THE VULTURE: A MEMOIR
A lyrical, mesmerizing debut from Jason Carney who overcomes his own racism, homophobia, drug addiction, and harrowing brushes with death to find redemption and unlikely fame on the national performance poetry circuit. Woven into Carney’s path to recovery is a powerful family story, depicting the roots of prejudice and dysfunction through several generations.
Kade and his group of survivors find out the hard way that the end of the world is more populated than they had previously assumed. When two of his friends are captured by a former National Guard detachment in DC, Kade is forced to turn to his greatest enemy for help. But help comes at a price as seeds of distrust are sown through the group, breaking some of the strongest bonds in the family dynamic and threatening to tear the group apart. With new external threats and internal jealousy—not to mention the growing pack of foamers living on the group’s doorstep—the question becomes not just will anyone survive without scars, but will anyone survive at all?
Marian Elliot Adams, an outspoken advocate for sensible undergarments for women, sweeps onto the Chautauqua stage under a brown canvas tent on a sweltering August night in 1917, and shocks the gathered town of Emporia with her speech: How can women compete with men in the work place and in life if they are confined by their undergarments? The crowd is further appalled when Marian falls off the stage and sprains her ankle, and is forced to remain among them for a week. As the week passes, she throws into turmoil the town’s unspoken rules governing social order, women, and Negroes. The recently widowed newspaper editor Deuce Garland, his lapels glittering with fraternal pins, has always been a community booster, his desire to conform rooted in a legacy of shame–his great-grandfather married a black woman, and the town will never let Deuce forget it, especially not his father-in-law, the owner of the newspaper and Deuce’s boss. Deuce and his father-in-law are already at odds, since the old man refuses to allow Deuce’s stepdaughter, Helen, to go to Chicago to fight for women’s suffrage.
But Marian’s arrival shatters Deuce’s notions of what is acceptable, versus what is right, and Deuce falls madly in love with the tall activist from New York. During Marian’s stay in Emporia, Marian pushes Deuce to become a greater, braver, and more dynamic man than he ever imagined was possible. He takes a stand against his father-in-law by helping Helen escape to Chicago; and he publishes an article exposing the county’s oldest farm family as the source of a recent typhoid outbreak, risking his livelihood and reputation. Marian’s journey takes her to the frozen mud of France’s Picardy region, just beyond the lines, to help destitute villagers as the Great War rages on. Helen, in Chicago, is hired as a streetcar conductor surrounded by bitter men who resent her taking a man’s job. Meanwhile, Deuce struggles to make a living and find his place in Emporia’s wider community after losing the newspaper.
Marian is a powerful catalyst that forces nineteenth-century Emporia into the twentieth century; but while she agitates for enlightenment and justice, she has little time to consider her own motives and her extreme loneliness. Marian, in the end, must decide if she has the courage to face small-town life, and be known, or continue to be a stranger always passing through.
WE ARE ALL CREW
Two fourteen-year-old runaways hell-bent on reaching California end up aboard the Tamzene, a mysterious riverboat that runs on alternative fuel. Piloted by the enigmatic Dr. Seabrook, the Tamzene travels the waterways of a bizarre, fun-house image of the US. This is a satire that questions the sanity of our basic principles, as Gulliver’s Travels did for eighteenth-century England.
PATRICIA A. SMITH
THE YEAR OF NEEDY GIRLS
Bradley, Massachusetts is in many ways a typical small New England town, but a river divides it in half—on one side, the East End: crowded triple-deckers, the Most Precious Blood parish, and a Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, and families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.
Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to their first house—and for the first time are open in their relationship—in the West End, where Deirdre teaches at Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students. But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything—for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.