“Darkroom” by Joshua Graham~A Thriller Not to be Missed!

Dark, deceptive, political intrigue and ghostly images…all this and more await the eager reader who loves a thriller and a mystery in “Darkroom.”  I lived through the Viet Nam War era, but don’t recall having read a single suspense novel that has its focus around the Vietnam cross-culture that made its way to the US. This book is unique in many ways. It has a bit of everything to recommend it:  love, mystery, conspiracy, family connections to ancient times and places, politics, terrorism and murder; not to mention the Viet Nam War and the vets that brought home not only images, but other baggage, and loved ones.  A must read, this book is fast moving, intriguing and beautifully written to tantalize!  Joshua Graham is a fantastic writer who knows when to dangle the carrot and when to pull it back.  I loved the whole reading process!  His characters are rich in detail, lovable, sad, frightening and strangely familiar.  I was literally up all night reading “Darkroom” having such a good time in the process.  I couldn’t put it down…   If you’ve ever been placed in the moral dilemma of wondering whether you should tell the truth and risk it all, you’ll love this book.  If you’ve ever wondered if there are conspiracies and cover ups in political arenas we aren’t privy to, you’ll love this book…  I have to give it a solid…              5 stars!!

Published by:  Howard Books/Simon and Schuster

Visit Mr. Graham’s website here:  http://joshua-graham.com

Also see his blog at:  http://joshua-graham.com/blog/

Quick Overview of “Darkroom”:

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept–one that has devastated their family.

Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United   States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

Click here to see the exciting book trailer:                                      Darkroom by Joshua Graham~The Trailer

About Joshua Graham :

WINNER OF 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s novel BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.

His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)

Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as: “A riveting legal thriller…breaking new ground with a vengeance…demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”

Joshua Graham grew up in Brooklyn,  NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins  University. During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western  Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Southern  California. Several of Graham’s short fiction works have been published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press.

Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham debuted with his first Epic Fantasy novel ONCE WE WERE KINGS, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories and Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, as well as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, and an Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is available in ebook and hardcover editions.

Look for his next Suspense/Thriller DARKROOM (Simon & Schuster/Howard Books) to be released May 1, 2012!

For Film Rights Josh is represented by UNITED TALENT AGENCY.   Please use the CONTACT button on this website for all inquiries.

You can visit his website at www.joshua-graham.com.

A Bookish Libraria is pleased to be on the virtual book publicity tour for Mr. Graham sponsored by Pump Up Your Books.  To find out more about the GIVEAWAY, please go to this site:  http://pumpupyourbooks.com

                                     and search for “Darkroom” on your upper righthand “Search” section.

 

You can purchase “Darkroom” at http://amazon.com or http://barnesandnoble.com

Thanks for stopping by!   Deborah/TheBookishDame

Good-night, dear Mr. Sendak, we’ll miss you…

Maurice Sendak, author of the children's book,...

Maurice Sendak, author of the children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Sendak was instrumental in the creation of Sesame Street, and attended Lesser’s curriculum seminars in 1968. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our beloved “Wild Thing” has gone back to his island in his little boat where he will undoubtedly be greeted by many a beastie and wild thing who has loved and missed him over many years.  It will be such a loss for those of us still left over here in The Night Kitchen…sleeping in our restless beds, waiting for the bread to be baked and our milk to be poured.
He died yesterday at age 83.
When my children were old enough to sit and listen to music and to my reading to them, I bought Carol King’s rendition of “I’m Really Rosie” and all the other Maurice Sendak books and poems to music.  “Rosie” was a favorite of my daughter’s.  But, I have sung “Chicken Soup” to my children hundreds of times, as well as to my grandchildren and other children, over the course of nearly 40 years. I’ve sung it with passion and acted it out because
I know it by heart.
I most recently bought a set of Mr. Sendak’s tiny library for my youngest grandsons.  One of whom was pictured hiding under a table with a little red one in his tiny hands.
  His dad did the same thing 30 years prior.
Maurice doesn’t age, you see.
“I Don’t Care” kept my grandson, Kellan, on the sofa and quiet when he had a blazing ear infection last year.  He loves to hear me sing it to him whenever we get a chance.
Kellan is sometimes a petulant child, and that poem suits him just fine.  :]
It and he are adorable!
And, “One Was Johnny” used to give us all a run for our money.  I remember all my children and me during the years trying to keep up with that song!
I know all the songs/poems by heart.
I’ve read “Where the Wild Things Are” hundreds of times, have you?  I’ve purchased “wild thing” paraphernalia for my children and grands over the past 40 years, and wished I was young enough to wear them and play with them myself.  Even now, I’d take a Wild Thing stuffed animal, thank you.
So, here’s to you, Mr. Sendak….and, actually,
Hail, to the Chief!
Good-night, dear friend.
My little family and I love you and  will really miss you.

A Small Note About Him from Galley Cat:  (mediabistro.com)
Brooklyn-born children’s writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Sendak grew up in Bensonhurst and graduated Lafayette High School before going on to create wildly popular works—often dark and with an edge—like Where the Wild Things Are, which won him the prestigious Caldecott Medal. Even before his passing, the Brooklyn Book Festival had planned to honor Mr. Sendak with a special bookmark given to attendees at this year’s festival on September 23, a fitting tribute from Brooklyn—the Creative Capital of New York City and home to more writers per square inch than anywhere—to one of its native sons. On behalf of literary lovers throughout Brooklyn and beyond, I extend our thoughts and prayers to Maurice Sendak’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Please take time to read about him in this long,  dedicated article on Mr. Sendak  by The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/books/maurice-sendak-childrens-author-dies-at-83.html?_r=1

Deborah/TheBookishDame

Please leave your comments.    Do you  have a favorite memory of Mr. Sendak’s works?

New Steampunk Series Slated: “Nightshade” Author Andrea Cremer Strikes Big Deal with Penguin

Published by:  Penguin Group
Pages: 480
Genre:  YA fiction
Released:  June 2010
Summary:
“Nightshade” ~ Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack’s alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything – her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?
 
  1. NOTE from the Dame:
Media Bistro’s,”Galley Cat,” newsreporter Maryann Yin has released yet another scoop detailing author, Andrea Cremer’s deal with Penguin for a steampunk series!  Given Cremer’s success with “Nightshade,” I can only grit my teeth and yearn for the release of the first book!
But, first, here’s one of Yin’s interviews with Ms Cremer, who’s just a young adult, herself talking about “Nightshade”~
 
Interview with Andrea :  October 22, 2010
 
Andrea Cremer (pictured) did that in her debut novel, Nightshade. She used her scholarship and research to incorporate social issues about gender, power struggles, and sexuality into her book. We caught up with Andrea to find out a little bit more.
 
 
Q: Nightshadeis about a werewolf. How do you stick to conventional werewolf canon and mythology and how do you deviate?A: One of the things about Nightshadethat I think is really different is that it’s described as a werewolf book, but I often tell people it’s not a werewolf book because it does break so much from werewolf convention. I grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin. I’m literally right on Lake Superior and in the middle of a national forest, so the wilderness to me was something that was really wonderful. I spent most of my days as a young girl out making up imaginary worlds and imaginary people with my brother and my best friend in the forest. That was the way we liked to spend our days.Wolves and other wild animals to me were always fascinating; they weren’t something that were scary or monstrous, they were just cool. And so, I never pictured myself actually liking werewolves in terms of people picking teams for either vampires or werewolves. In all my reading, I had always firmly been in the vampire camp. I couldn’t figure out why it was that I didn’t like werewolves.

So when I got the idea for Nightshade and it was inspired by the main character, Calla [Tor] who is the alpha female wolf of the pack, I knew she was a girl and I knew she was a wolf. I felt just stuck because ‘Well, I don’t like werewolves so how am I going to write a book about a girl who’s a werewolf?’ And I realized what I needed to do was to create a new mythology of wolves that matched the way I felt about them.

That wasn’t wolves who were half-man/half-beast and its hideous mutations where it took an awful amount of time to change that involved the cracking of bones and lengthening of snouts and left you with something that was just awful to look at. But, was actually a creature that was fully wolf and fully human; Calla and her pack love their ability to change into wolves. That it was an instantaneous change and something they considered to be a gift; that it wasn’t a disease or a curse the way so many werewolf mythologies have been portrayed.

Q: How do you handle writing about touchy subject matters like the violence, gender issues, power struggles, and sexuality featured in Nightshade?

A: I have a “day job.” It’s definitely more than a day job; I’m a history professor. I have a PhD in early modern history and my research specialization is the history of sexuality and violence, particularly the way it ties into warfare and religion. So just in studying the history of gender politics and sexuality for the last ten years, it was what I wrote my PhD on. It’s something that I have just been aware of in all the historical research I’ve done as a major under-fitting of the construction of human society. To write a story that was largely about power and struggles for power. It’s a coming-of-age story about this girl’s sexual awakening and her struggle to maintain her identity despite external forces that are trying to limit her strength.It was so important for me to have those issues at the forefront because I think books offer a really important safe space for people of all ages, teens especially because they really need those spaces but I think adults as well. To be able to reflect on the way society puts expectations for sexuality and gender out there and try over and over again to thwart them. Sometimes it’s in very subtle ways through media and pop culture. Other ways it’s very overt in actual forms violence for people who step out what are considered to be societal norms. I really wanted to not be afraid to touch on those issues, not just even touch on them but really explore them.In the book, I really wanted to address sexual double standards for young men and young women. It’s such a huge, huge problem that’s infuriating. More and more women are strong and in positions of power in society, yet still we have an attitude of girls have to be responsible for their sexuality but boys will be boys. I just feel like that happens over and over again. The recent slew of stories about texting scandals and bullying in schools towards LGBT students, but also straight students, the blame is almost always put on the girls for not being sexually responsible and not acting like good girls. And for boys it’s just, ‘Oh, boys will be boys. Of course, they’re going to spread around this scandal because they’re boys.’ I feel like that is something that hurts our society so much and sends a terrible message to girls about trying to figure out who they are and what their place can be in the world. I just really wanted to hit on those issues without fear.

Q: What courses do you teach at Macalester College?

A: I teach courses on violence in early American history (colonial through the Civil War), gender and sexuality, Native American history, historical philosophy and methodology, and religion in early modern history (1500-1800).Q: Describe your writing process.A: My writing process is really chaotic. I don’t write chronologically. I write scenes as they come into my mind. So what I do is, the key conflicts and key points tend jump into my head as I’m thinking about the story. I just write them down as I feel them. I feel like I almost go into a trance when I write; it takes over my entire life. When I’m in the middle of writing a first draft it happens very quickly. I wrote the first draft of Nightshade between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There’s a lot of revising that happens after that, but the initial process is just all consuming. I’ll do things like pour orange juice on my cereal, throw clothes into the trash instead of the laundry hamper, or get into the shower and get right out again having totally forgotten to wash my hair because I’m just so lost in the story. When I write, I basically create those major scenes and then it’s almost like a web of thinking about how they’re connected. I refer to myself as jigsaw puzzle-writer because I end up with all these pieces and then it’s fitting them together to make the story.

Q: What are the differences between writing academic papers and fiction novels?

A: In academic writing you make an argument and defend it using evidence that other scholars can track, vis a vis footnotes. When writing a novel I’ve found that my process is much more about being carried away by the story rather than deconstructing its content.Q: What plans do you have for future projects?A: Nightshade is a trilogy. The second book Wolfsbane will be published in July 2011 and book three, Bloodrose, is due out spring 2012. The fourth book is a prequel to the series that chronicles the origins of the Witches War in the 1400s. I’m working on a steampunk trilogy that I describe as historical dystopia about an alternate 19th century where the American Revolution failed. The steampunk is not as yet under contract.

Full Disclosure: This GalleyCat Correspondent has been an intern at Penguin Group (USA) in the past
Now:  Maryann Lin’s Newest Article:  September 27, 2011Nightshade trilogy author Andrea Creamer has inked a deal with Penguin Group (USA)’s Philomel imprint for a new YA steampunk series.

The first book, titled The Inventor’s Secret, is slated for publication in fall 2013. Executive editor Jill Santopolo negotiated the deal with InkWell Management literary agents Richard Pine and Charlie Olsen.

Here’s more from the release: “The series is set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery…As part of the deal, Philomel has also acquired a second prequel to Nightshade entitled RISE, which is scheduled for publication in summer 2013. The first prequel to Nightshade,entitled RIFT, is scheduled for publication in fall 2012.” (Photo Credit: Gina Monroe)
 
In addition to the Nightshade prequels, Cremer will wrap up the trilogy with Bloodrose which will be released in January 2012. She also has a collaborative book project with Will Grayson, Will Grayson author David Levithan in the works; this project is called The Invisibility Curse and will be published in 2013.

The Dame’s Final Word:My thanks to Maryann Lin and Andrea Cremer for sharing this great news with those of us who love her books!  Meanwhile, any of my readers who’ve missed reading “Nightshade,” need to catch the wave!

I saw her final book in this series at the bookstore yesterday. The covers are going to look gorgeous on library shelves, y’all!

You really have to go to Amazon to see the book write-up.

Deborah/TheBookishDame