Sale-Holy Cow

February 19, 2010

Time to clean house.  Most of are hardcover mysteries are now $2.99.  That’s less than a pack of smokes or 1.3 gallons of gasoline or a latte(not really sure about this one since I don’t buy many lattes) or lots of other stuff that costs more than $2.99.  It’s a heckuva deal, so you better hurry, because these are going to move.

We’ve got another table of markdowns as well.  New books half price.  It’s a mixed bag of bargains.  Fiction, non-fiction, a little of this, a little of that.

Health and Fitness-We’ve marked down a healthy assortment of these 20% as well.

Now this isn’t Walmart so don’t trample anyone racing down here to score a great deal.  One person at a time and things will be okay.

Drew Weis & Scott King Poetry Reading March 17

February 19, 2010

April is National Poetry Month, but we plan to start the festivities early.  On Wednesday, March 17 Drew Weis and Scott King will read from their latest poetry collections.  The reading will begin at 7:30 pm.

Drew is the author of On the Way of Water.  On the Way of Water is a chapbook of verse celebrating the way and wisdom of water in the manner of the Chinese philosopher poet Lao Tzu.

Scott is the author of Lida Songs. This chapbook contains poems written for and about his daughter, poems that celebrate and praise the energies of childhood, that capture the wonder and awe of a child encountering nature.

Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter-Midwest Connections

February 17, 2010

WEEPING UNDERWATER jacket“I’d bet big money that this novel is about to become one of your favorite books…”
– Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Michael J. White

G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Penguin Book Group (USA)

This debut novel set in Des Moines is a smart, darkly funny coming-of-age tale of growing up and going under.

Read author Michael J. White’s comments on the creation of WEEPING UNDERWATER and sample this chapter from the book!

“I’d bet big money that this novel is about to become one of your favorite books. It’s a blood-red first-love story, a raw dealing of tragedy and its aftermath, and a wild spin throughthe lust- and grief-addled mind of one of the most honest and deliriously inventive narrators I’ve ever read….  WEEPING UNDERWATER will leave you hoarse from laughing, weak in the knees, possibly craving Iowa State Fair pickles, and helplessly in love.”
– Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves


George Flynn can’t help himself. He’s still haunted by the fallout from his first love, and keeps sneaking glances back to how it began. Uprooted after his family’s move to Des Moines, George is the new nobody on the block, with no friends and no clue. He soon finds his footing when he falls in with the enchanting Schell sisters. Emily, an aspiring actress and the mysterious star of St. Pius High School, becomes the object of his deep infatuation. But it’s the younger sister, Katie—with her crush, her quirks, and her scathing deadpan humor in the face of multiple sclerosis—who really gets George hooked on the Schells.

After a shocking accident destroys the delicate balance of their lives, George and Emily travel through anger, depression, and cheap motel rooms, searching for forgiveness yet losing each other. On this simultaneously hopeful and self-destructive journey, George struggles to win Emily back in order to save himself.

Told with razor-sharp wit and no-holds-barred honesty, this is a vivid, moving novel about friendship and first love—about dealing with grief and trying to come of age without coming undone. With this debut, Michael J. White proves himself to be one to watch: a writer with talent and imagination to spare.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael J  White author photo

Michael J. White was born and raised in St. Louis, though he also spent several years in Chicago and Des Moines. He has taught English in South Korea, Peru, Poland, and New York City. A Columbia MFA graduate, he lives in Denver.

Read author Michael J. White’s comments on the creation of WEEPING UNDERWATER.

In A Heartbeat-Midwest Connections

February 12, 2010

InaHeartbeatFINALI recommend this book to everyone who has a heart.”
– Rachel Hettrick, Book Mouse, Ottawa, IL

Loretta Ellsworth

Walker & Company / Macmillan

IN A HEARTBEAT by Loretta Ellsworth was an amazing book. It was given to me as a new unknown book that I could read and review, and I read it all in one sitting.  The story is told by Eagan and Amelia, two teenage girls connected by life and death.  The two different narratives make this story impossible to put down. I recommend this book to everyone who has a heart.”
Rachel Hettrick, Book Mouse, Ottawa, IL

“The writing is great! The issues faced by heart transplant donors and recipients are very well presented – explored from various perspectives. I don’t know what my friend who is 18 years out from her heart transplant would say, but from all I’ve learned from her over the years, this book tells the story better than most. And it is told in a way that keeps you turning the pages.”
– Kati Gallagher, Assistant Director, Midwest Booksellers Association

Loretta Ellsworth also has written two other YA novels:  IN SEARCH OF MOCKINGBIRD, a Midwest Connections Pick and the 2007 Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award Honor Book  for Children’s Literature, and THE SHROUDING WOMAN.


When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.

When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.

Expressed from the alternating viewpoints of these two special girls, IN A HEARTBEAT beautifully tells the emotional and compelling story of two young women sharing one heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHORauthorphoto_lorettaellsworth

LORETTA ELLSWORTH is the author of three novels for young readers, In a Heartbeat, The Shrouding Woman, and In Search of Mockingbird, which won the 2007 Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Award Honor Book for Children’s Literature, and was named to the 2008 New York Library List of Teenage Books. She lives in Minnesota.

The Cougar Club-Midwest Connections

February 11, 2010

CougarClub pb cA novel for women of a certain age who are hot and bothered by society’s double standards. Champagne happy hours mandatory. Cubs get in free.

A Novel
Susan McBride

Avon A / HarperCollins Publishers

“Susan McBride knows women and she knows cougars. This is more than evident in her newest book, THE COUGAR CLUB. McBride brings her humor and skill to women’s fiction in this book that reunites three 40-something friends in their hometown and shines a spotlight on their love lives — with younger men. The relationships between the women are a highlight, and as a bonus, McBride takes the reader on a wild ride through St Louis and some of its quirky customs. When I finished, I wanted to know when the sequel would be ready!”
Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO

If you think life and romance end at forty…think again!

Meet three women who aren’t about to run and hide, just because the world says they should be on the shelf and out of circulation:

Kat Maguire: her life seems perfect until she loses her high-powered advertising job and catches her live-in lover in a compromising position—with his computer!

Carla Moss: this sexy TV news anchor is in danger of being replaced by a twenty-something blond bimbo. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was the up and coming star?

Elise Randolph: a married dermatologist, Elise thinks her plastic surgeon husband is playing doctor with someone else.

Kat firmly believes that aging gracefully isn’t about giving up; it’s about living life with your engine on overdrive. So this unofficial “Cougar Club” quickly learns three things about survival of the fittest in today’s youth-obsessed society: true friendship never dies, the only way to live is real, and you’re never too old to follow your heart.


Susan McBride is the author of The Cougar Club. She has also written three books in The Debs young adult series (Random House/Delacorte) set in Houston, including The Debs; Love, Lies, and Texas Dips; and the forthcoming Gloves Off. In addition, she’s penned five Debutante Dropout Mysteries (HarperCollins/Avon) set in Dallas: Blue Blood, The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night of the Living Deb, and Too Pretty to Die (HarperCollins/Avon).

Once called “The Lou’s Whodunit Queen” by Sauce magazine in St. Louis, Susan was named one of the city’s “top singles” in 2005 by St. Louis magazine, but is single no more. She tied the knot in February of 2008. Susan was the cover girl for the February 2009 issue of St. Louis Woman magazine, where she was featured in the article “Paperback Princess.”

Susan has won a Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, a Romantic Times magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth Mystery, and was twice nominated for Anthony Awards for Best Paperback Original, and was one of three finalists for the William Rockhill Nelson Award for Literary Excellence (for Kansas and Missouri Authors). She lives in Brentwood, Missouri, with her husband.

A Reliable Wife-Midwest Connections

February 9, 2010

RELIABLE WIFE paperbackNow in paperback!
A Heartland Indie Bestseller
and  a National Indie Bestseller

A Novel
by Robert Goolrick

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Workman Publishing

“A secret garden, and three figures in a frozen, barren landscape, like a pure blank canvas, waiting for the first drop of crimson to fall.”
– Author Robert Goolrick,
from his essay about the writing of A RELIABLE WIFE

“With A RELIABLE WIFE, Robert Goolrick has given us a rare treat, a story so good we are loathe to start another book for fear it will fail utterly in comparison……Here is a skillfully told tale of lies and betrayals, of rampant passion and unchecked desires, and occasionally of hope and compassion. Fierce and original, sensual but never crass, Goolrick spins a remarkable tale that takes the reader from the sophistications of Chicago to a bitterly cold and barren Wisconsin winter to the opium dens of St. Louis.”
– Laura Hansen, Bookin’ It, Little Falls, MN

“Layers of deceit run deep in Robert Goolrick’s A RELIABLE WIFE. Set in a land where long winters drive residents to unthinkable acts, a wealthy Wisconsin foundry owner gets more than he bargains for when he orders a mail-order bride. Determined to quickly change from new bride to wealthy widow, his wife is as surprised as the reader to discover the sexual intensity of this quiet man. Many secrets. Many lies. Very sensual. A good book for a long winter.”
– Beth Golay, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

“After breaking through with a disquieting memoir . . . Goolrick applies his storytelling talents to a debut novel, set in 1909, about icy duplicity and heated vengeance. . . . A sublime murder ballad that doesn’t turn out at all the way one might expect.”
Kirkus, starred review

“I’ve read A RELIABLE WIFE and was blown away.  What a unique plot, so well written and fleshed out.  In short, I loved it.”
– Nancy Simpson, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt – a passionate man with his own dark secrets -has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.

With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick’s intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.

About the Author

goolrick_robert-smROBERT GOOLRICK lives in New York City.  His inspiration for A RELIABLE WIFE comes in part from the book Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy. Goolrick is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. Author’s website:

Out of the Northwoods-Midwest Connections

February 7, 2010

OUT OF THE NORTHWOODSBunyan_cover_small
The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan
Michael Edmonds

Wisconsin Historical Society Press

“Rooted in the ingenuity of the pioneer spirit, this book presents an unvarnished look at the culture of the late nineteenth century lumber industry, how it shaped our region, the country, and created the legend of Paul Bunyan.  Using the words of  lumberjacks and old camp pictures, Edmonds traces the ambiguous roots of Paul Bunyan while giving us a clearer picture of lumber camp life.  In addition, the book contains over 100 legends of Paul Bunyan and a fantastic list of references for further research!”
– Angie Grafstrom, Inspiration Hollow, Roseau, MN


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