Offerings by Michael B. Kim

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Offerings is a beautifully wrought coming-of-age story of a young man torn between art and commerce, conscience and obligation, Korea and the United States. I loved it.“—Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of Talking to Strangers

“A potent combination of a financial thriller and a coming-of-age immigrant tale, Offerings is a great book. A thoughtful and engrossing read.”—Gary Shteyngart, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Lake Success

“Michael Kim writes with the authority of an insider on the intricate workings of Wall Street and the high stakes for Korea during the Asia Financial Crisis, but at its core Offerings is a moving love story—about a young man’s love for his home country, his father and his newfound soul mate. Offerings is an elegant poem on the redemptive power of love.”—Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup and bestselling author of The Real Deal

OFFERINGS
A Novel by Michael ByungJu Kim
Debut Novel Explores Conflicts for a Man Bridging East and West

Korea could be key to saving the world economy. With the rapidly cascading Asian Financial Crisis threatening to go global and Korea in imminent meltdown, investment banker Dae Joon finds himself back in his native Seoul as part of an international team brought in to rescue the country from sovereign default. Born in Korea and educated in the United States, Dae Joon, Shane to his American friends, is establishing himself on Wall Street. For his Korean family, however, Dae Joon – also known as jangnam, or first-born son – has much more to prove. In his debut novel Offerings (Arcade Publishing, April, 2020, 978-1-950691-62-3, $24.99), Korean financier and philanthropist Michael ByungJu Kim explores the depth of cultural and moral conflicts of a person raised with Western sensibilities but bound by Eastern family traditions.

As he and his fellow bankers work feverishly with Korean officials to execute a sovereign bond offering to raise critically needed capital, Dae Joon struggles with the knowledge that his own father is living on borrowed time, in the last stages of a degenerative disease known as the “family curse.” While trying to reconcile his career and moral traditions, Dae Joon meets a young woman from a prominent family who quietly shows him the way to a different future. And when his old friend Wayne, a scion of one of Korea’s largest chaebol, hires him for a mergers and acquisitions project that may save the conglomerate but also salvage a legacy of corruption, Dae Joon finds himself in personal crisis. He’s torn by conflicting loyalties, his identity tested. Whichever path he takes, Dae Joon knows that this choice will determine once and for all what kind of man he is destined to be.

About the Author
Michael ByungJu Kim is a financier, philanthropist, and author. He has more than thirty years of experience on Wall Street, in investment banking and private equity. Offerings is his first novel. He grew up in Seoul, Korea, was educated in the United States, and currently works in Seoul and Hong Kong. He has two sons working and studying in the US. He lives with his wife of twenty-eight years in Seoul.

OFFERINGS
A Novel
by Michael ByungJu Kim
Arcade Publishing
Publication Date: April, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-950691-62-3
Hardcover
Price:$24.99
Pages: 288

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The Insurrection by Chris Babu

FOR  IMMEDIATE RELEASE:      

THE INSURRECTION
By Chris Babu

“There is power in numbers. There is power in the will of people. And there is power in intelligence. All three are in your favor.”

New America rose from the apocalyptic ashes of deadly superbug Aeru and rampant cyber terrorism. Now, food rations are rapidly shrinking and desperation is growing just as fast among its citizens. The famous Initiation-surviving foursome, Drayden, Charlie, Catrice, and Sidney were barely able to taste the promised fruits of their victory before being ordered by the Bureau to leave New America’s walls. Beginning their expedition in search of deep-cycle windmill batteries and a possible signs of life in Boston, they bravely faced the perils outside to save fledgling civilization from total extinction.

This last assignment brings about events far beyond their goal.

Book three of the Initiation series, THE INSURRECTION (Permuted Press; ISBN: 9781682618837; $21.00; Hardcover; February 2020) challenges everything the pledges once knew about their homeland. After one conversation with Boston’s mayor that leaves the pledges reeling, they are tasked with digesting the harsh truth of New America’s corrupt government. Under compulsory orders, they trek to New America with wounds from their conquered mission; all of their efforts are for uncertain outcome. The home they once knew might not welcome them so warmly. Luckily, with the help of an old friend, they are able to secure the batteries required to survive in New America and even gain insights to the exile of Drayden’s mother. But are the batteries what the Bureau is really after?

“The possibilities were skewed sharply negative. Execution was much more likely than a homecoming party.”

In a final harrowing mission, book three calls the pledges to turn on even their most trusted allies and return authority to the people of New America. And there’s only one way to do so: bring down the Bureau.

“As much as Drayden believed in himself and his fellow citizens, who were they kidding? For unknown reasons, the Guardians had engaged in a rare display of humanity, an unprecedented concern for human lives.”

Brain-powered by his Mathematics degree from M.I.T., Babu presents THE INSURRECTION with the chess-like tactical challenges of war and revolution coupled with his signature fast-paced puzzling adventures. Readers will be immersed in following the strategy behind each mystifying operation while simultaneously empathizing with the team’s unique personal agendas. Most importantly, kids are reminded that they too can accomplish anything they set their minds to – just like Drayden and his friends.

About the Author
Chris Babu is a self-proclaimed science and math nerd who grew up playing soccer and the violin in North Haven, CT.  He was a bond trader on Wall Street for nineteen years, and his first novel, The Initiation, was published February 2018 and its sequel, The Expedition, made its debut December 2019. He lives on the east end of Long Island with his wife, daughter, and 130-pound Great Dane, Buddy.

THE INITIATION | Chris Babu | Permuted Press | 2020

ISBN: 9781682618837 | Hard Cover | Price: $21.00 | Hardcover pp

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The Contract by Sheila Grinell

“How do you encourage curiosity in a place where thoughts are policed?”

Joanna Dunhill knows just how difficult it can be working with family, and now that she has an opportunity to finally, in mid-life, achieve professional and financial success, family—and Saudi Arabian culture—stand in the way. Author Sheila Grinell flawlessly depicts female empowerment and cultural dissonance in this story about the difficulties of owning and growing a small business. Her new novel, THE CONTRACT (She Writes Press, October 2019, Original Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-63152-648-0, $16.95), explores the many “contracts” we enter in our lives, implicitly in marriage and with siblings, as well as explicitly on the job.

Joanna and her husband, Ev Dana, operate a museum design company to which Ev supplies brawn and creativity in an abstracted, laid-back way that irks Jo no end. Given her drive and management skills, though, she’s convinced they can win a much-prized deal with the Saudi Arabian government. The mission: to create a new children’s museum focused on renewable energy.

When Jo’s competitor and archrival, Phil Owen, becomes involved in the deal, Jo must find a way to look past their personal drama and join forces. Harder still, she must probe the limits of what she will be allowed to accomplish in Saudi Arabia as she seeks to expand opportunities for the mothers and daughters who will patronize the future museum. Meanwhile, it seems Ev would rather pass on the entire project and explore one of his own at a local art gallery. Will Joanna’s over-ambitiousness and Ev’s side-gig get in the way of both their business and their marriage?

“The test was about to begin. Not the presentation she and Ev would make to the review committee–they knew how to present their qualifications. No, the test would be learning the ropes of a society that repressed women yet where the potential client, the deputy director of the agency that had summoned them, was female.”

 In THE CONTRACT, Grinell draws complex characters who share many of the struggles Americans face in business, especially when confronted with gender and cultural differences. Even here, where we enjoy the freedom to choose our own paths, we are often unsure how to take the next step.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Grinell spent forty years developing science centers in the US and consulting on museum projects around the world, including in Saudi Arabia. She turned to literature in her sixties, publishing a debut novel, Appetite, in 2016. The Contract is her second work of fiction. Born in a taxi in Manhattan, she studied at The Bronx High School of Science, Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and their dog.