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.

Meet the Bobs and Tweets: Scout Camp by Pepper Springfield

BOBS AND TWEETS

Book #4: Scout Camp!

by Pepper Springfield

Illustrated by Kristy Caldwell

The Bobs and Tweets are back for a whole new summer adventure. Their next destination: camp! In Pepper Springfield’s latest book BOBS AND TWEETS: Scout Camp! (Scholastic; August 1st, 2019; Original Trade Paperback; ISBN: 9781338355406) illustrated by Kristy Caldwell, readers join the Bonefish Scouts as Bus Driver Joan leads them on a trip filled with sing-songy hikes, breathtaking views, tippy canoes, smores, and more camp fun!

But when Scout Leader Mike splits the group in two for a “team-building” exercise that forces them into survival mode, the Bobs and Tweets must work together in order to overcome some serious challenges. Will the scouts be able to pitch a tent, build a fire, and boil water before the ominous storm clouds keep them from finding their way home?

 Scout Camp!  flawlessly demonstrates just how far a little teamwork and problem-solving can go when learning new skills and having fun along the way!

Mirador by James Jennings

Epic New Novel Set to Release with 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Revolt in Mexico  

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed by Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. in the early 1990s, was billed as a pathway to growtNew Book h and prosperity for the people of the member nations. Not so for Mexico’s indigenous people. Their agrarian way of life received a death sentence when their own government canceled land reforms, ended communal land holdings, and opened their homeland to multinational corporations. The day the treaty took effect an army of peasants rose up, calling themselves Zapatistas and demanding a voice in their own affairs. They refused to be forgotten. In his new novel MIRADOR (Greenpoint Press; August 1, 2019; Original Trade Paperback; ISBN: 978-0-9906194-4-4; $20.00), Oklahoma native James Jennings tells the story of Nate Hunter, an ordinary man unwillingly thrust into the heart of the Zapatista struggle.

Nate and Sarah Hunter are a golden couple. Nate is established in an upwardly mobile career; and Sarah is a nurse, determined to make a difference in the world by helping people in need.

When Pastor Tom, a Dallas minister, looks for volunteers to join a mission trip to the village of Mirador in Chiapas, Mexico, Sarah quickly decides she’s going. Nate won’t let her go alone. It is only supposed to be a simple two-week trip, but Nate and Sarah are oblivious to the unrest brewing below the surface calm. Nate soon discovers that the cost of choosing to accompany Sarah rather than trying to stop her from going will be high.

MIRADOR is written in the historic tradition, taking a relatively unknown event and enlarging it in human terms through the lives of its characters. Jennings has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, including Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Chiapas, where he has seen the poverty of the local people first-hand. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of NAFTA and the Zapatista uprising – a perfect time for an epic story depicting the passions of people fighting to protect their way of life and a man who joins their struggle and sees their heroism up-close.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Jennings is a writer and trial lawyer who practices in Oklahoma City and lives with his wife, Vicky, in Edmond. He is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. MIRADOR is Jim’s second novel. His first, The Light Most Favorable, was published in 2012. His third, Blue Wild Indigo, is nearing completion, and his fourth, Travertine Rim, is in progress.

The Don Con by Richard Armstrong

 

The Mafia comes to Comic-Con — and criminal hilarity ensues — in the new comic crime thriller The Don Con

“I loved this book! It could be my f*#%$@ autobiography!”

—Joe Gannascoli, “Vito Spatafore” on The Sopranos

“A clever, fast-paced, and bittersweet caper. The Don Con is to Fan-Cons as

Galaxy Quest is to Star Trek conventions.”

—Jonathan Frakes, “William T. Riker” on Star Trek: The Next Generation

About the Author

Richard Armstrong has been a freelance advertising copywriter for more than forty years. His previous books include Leaving the Nest: The Complete Guide to Living on Your Own; The Next Hurrah: The Communications Revolution in American Politics; and the world’s only novel about direct mail, God Doesn’t Shoot Craps. Armstrong’s articles have appeared in National Review, Washingtonian Magazine, Advertising Age and many other publications. He lives with his wife Sharon and his dachshund Stardust in Washington, DC.

The Expedition by Chris Babu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:      

 “They say you don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.”

 THE EXPEDITION

By CHRIS BABU

A generation after most of humanity was destroyed by the deadly superbug Aeru, a micro society rises from the ruins of what was formerly known as Manhattan. This miniature civilization of survivors is known as New America, a place where every citizen is supposedly considered equal. Yet, zones segregated by thick walls according to job and status suggest otherwise. Just two weeks prior, in order to earn a higher quality of life for their families, several young high school graduates signed up as pledges for the infamous Initiation test. Those who survived barely have the opportunity to enjoy their success.

In book two of the Initiation series, THE EXPEDITION (Permuted Press, ISBN: 978-1682618356, Hardcover, January 2019), author Chris Babu returns to New America where Drayden, Catrice, Charlie, and Sidney are targeted by their despot ruler, The Premiere, for another death-defying mission. They were promised a better life for their families, and after risking everything to get it, they now learn that there is just one more thing they need to do—save the world from its looming demise.

In THE EXPEDITION, the four pledges join forces with the elite security team, the Guardians, to leave the uncontaminated safety of New America.  They must venture beyond the walls into the unknown to find deep-cycle windmill batteries and search for signs of life. Without these batteries, all power in New America will cease and its citizens will die. In addition, Drayden harbors a personal agenda—finidng his mother, who was brutally exiled to live outside the city’s walls.

 Although Premiere Holst assured them that the Guardians would serve and protect them, the relationship between the two groups is contentious. Add to this the obvious hurdles of battling desperate post-Confluence creatures and deranged survivors, and the potential of contracting Aeru, and the journey seems like it is doomed to fail.

With a degree in Mathematics from M.I.T., Babu draws upon his knowledge to create increasingly difficult quandaries the pledges must solve to reach their goal.  Like Rick Riordan who imparted his love of mythology to middle-grade readers in the Percy Jackson series, Babu wants to encourage kids to find the fun in math and problem solving.

In a battle of brains versus brawn among ruins of the Aeru ravaged jungle beyond New America’s walls, Drayden, Catrice, Charlie, and Sidney face the most puzzling challenge of all time—how to survive.  A perfect triad of math, science, and harrowing adventure, THE EXPEDITION will have the heart and mind racing, cheering for a new generation of teenage heroes.

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 in 2018.  He lives on the east end of Long Island with his wife, daughter, and 130-pound Great Dane, Buddy.