Excerpt: Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

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Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

320 Pages

Published May 21, 2019 by Algonquin Books

Each morning, Lorena and Elise ride together to school on the family horse, reciting articles from their small town newspaper along the way.  Elise imagines a world of adventure, while Lorena, logical and pragmatic, charts her path towards higher education to become a school teacher.  When Elise ends up trapped in a blizzard, the newly arrived schoolteacher, Gus McQueen, helps Lorena find and rescue her sister. But as the sisters both immediately fall for the schoolteacher, the balance of their bond is forever changed, and the choices that follow will haunt their relationship for years.

Although set in the early 1900s, the story of the Stewart sisters is timeless.  Parker describes Prairie Fever as “about the sacrifices and settlements we make with ourselves and others as we attempt to navigate romantic and familial relationships.  And … on some level it’s about the discrepancy between our private and public selves, and the ragged attempt we make-daily, hourly-to reconcile the two.”


Praise for PRAIRIE FEVER:

“In the tradition of Katherine Ann Porter, Parker’s exceptional tale explores the power and strength of kinship on the harsh American frontier.”

      – Publishers Weekly

“A frontier tale of sibling rivalry…Parker’s novel isn’t as much about sisterhood as love, as the two struggle to recon with their estrangement head-on.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Michael Parker has captured a time, place, and sisterhood so perfectly it hurts to turn the last page.  Prairie Fever is a riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.”

– Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

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Prairie Fever is officially available today! To help celebrate release day, I get to share an excerpt with you here.  Below the excerpt you can find information about the author and links to purchase the book.


     PRAIRIE FEVER Excerpt

     “Something is in his belfry,” said Anton.

“Well, I should hope so,” said Elise. “I would think they made sure of that before they hired him.”

     She learned from the Bulgarian brothers that  none of the boys at school cared for Mr. McQueen. But none could say why. If only they had said why.

     That night, as always, she whispered to her sister in the dark. They had always slept in the same room with their brothers, and she and Lorena had shared a bed. After her brothers died, they got separate cots. Her mother insisted upon it. Elise was aware that her brothers had died of prairie fever so that she could whisper across the narrow space between the cots to her sister in the night. Their room was in the attic and mostly slanting, shadowy eave. They were so close that her sister heard her whispering and said, What? But it was so cold up there, with only thin board and shingle separating them from icy, snow-belching clouds, that her words froze sometimes before they bridged the gap. Having turned to ice, her sentence shattered into letters, and each letter tinkled like chimes onto the floorboard.

     “It has come to my attention that the boy half of the schoolhouse is not enamored of Mr. McQueen,” said Elise.

“Which of your Bulgarians told you so?”

“Damyan,” she said and then added, “also Anton.”

“What else did they tell you?”

“That when they first came to Lone Wolf they burned cow pies to stay warm.”

“I am not, as you know, enamored of your Bulgarians, but you may have noticed that we burn coal? That is because there are so few trees in this place.”

“Father might get the idea to plant some.”

“You will need to plant the idea in his head.”

     It was a curious phrase, “plant an idea.” It suggested that ideas grew in the manner of, say, cotton. Her father’s ideas did not seem to reach maturity before he harvested them.

     “You are making fun of me,” said Elise.

“I am making fun of Father,” said Lorena.

“Do you care much for Mr. McQueen?”

Lorena was silent for some seconds. Elise could hear the wind of her thoughts.

“I feel that, like all of us, he has his limitations.”

“Which are?”

“The point of life is to know your limitations,” said Lorena.

     Elise thought about this. Her first thought was that Lorena’s recent tendency to state the point of life was irritating. Her second and subsequent thoughts concerned her own limitations. She was not attentive to the world around her if and when the world around her turned to dirty dishwater that her mother asked her to dump in the side yard. If the world sent her on an errand and the errand was as dull as dishwater, she came hard up against her limitations.

My own limitations, A list. By Elise Stewart.

  1. My mind, I never feel it and it is like a fly not satisfied with any surface upon which it lights, and abuzz always.
  2. Mother-of-pearl will never be to me what they say it is, which is a lie.
  3. I would marry a Bulgarian, why not if I took a notion, and I would not care if the marriage qualified as “well” on Lorena’s grand

But she realized that her limitations were many and it would be daylight if she kept up the list. She attempted to sleep, but she shiv­ered. Lorena felt her shivering and came and got into the cot with her. They were pinned inside, the blanket blocking out the wind and snow. She relaxed into her sister’s back. Sandy’s hooves in the surf. Now she could whisper. Her words would not ice up and break into chiming letters crashing against each other and then to the floor.

     “I don’t think I put much stock in pride,” said Elise.

“Well, that is certainly a limitation.”

“When people speak of it, it seems they mean very different things.”

“The same could be said for the word ‘Sandy,”‘ Lorena said.

“Sandy is a name, not a word.”

“My point has been proven. Rather perfectly, by you.”

     Sometimes Lorena was a bully. Elise stayed awake as her sister slept like Charlie Carter, across three states. She stayed awake to mourn the loss of her own Beulah girl, only she did not know what her own Beulah girl was. Just that she had one.

     On those frigid nights when they slept crammed into a single saggy cot, Lorena’s bossy sleep-breath attempted to corral her. It tried to plant ideas in her mind.

     What if, Elise wondered in the night, she passed her sister on the street one day and her sister did not even see her?

     “You’ve not said why it is that the boys dislike Mr. McQueen.”

     “Why don’t you ask them?” said Lorena, which is what she always said when Elise asked a question she could only ask Lorena about someone else.

     The next morning the pump was frozen. Where was Father to start the fire in the stove? Her mother had to do it. Her mother often moved around the house with one arm crooked as if she were carrying her baby boy. Almost every woman in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, and likely also Axtell, Kansas, had lost a child, but her mother seemed to take it the hardest. Elise wondered if she did not have a touch of prairie fever herself. Would this not explain why she always told Elise to leave for home when the sun began to slip behind the trees?


Michael Parker (c) Tasha Thomas colorAbout the Author

Michael Parker’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, the Oxford American, Runner’s World, Men’s Journal, and elsewhere.  His short stories have been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize.  He is the Nicholas and Nancy Vacc Distinguished Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and divides his time between Saxapahaw, North Carolina and Austin, Texas.

www.michaelfparker.com

www.algonquin.com

Follow Algonquin Books on Twitter @algonquinbooks or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlgonquinBooks

Purchase Prairie Fever:

Amazon     –     Barnes & Noble     –     Book Depository

Add to your Goodreads TBR!

 

Blog Tour: RENEGADE RED!

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Introducing RENEGADE RED, Sequel to Award-Winning SHATTERED BLUE

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ONLY A RENEGADE WILL SURVIVE

Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.

Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?

Collect all three of RENEGADE RED’s limited edition covers, revealed by USA TODAY

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“Poetry on every page. Horowitz paints pure beauty with her tangle of heart stopping words.
The Light Trilogy is magic typeset.”

– E.J Mellow (Author of The Dreamland Series)

“A vibrant blend of dystopian dysfunction and ethereal fantasy…a thrill ride.”
– J. Kowallis, Author of The Enertia Trials

“Beautifully written with a poetic soul…Renegade Red isn’t just a sequel. It is the continuation of a magical story that weaves itself into your heart, leaving you breathless.”
– Kristen Hunt, Author of Blonde Eskimo

“A must read”
– VOYA Magazine


Hardcover    Paperback    E-book


Hardcover    Paperback    E-book


Add to Goodreads

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Paperback    E-book    Audible


Paperback    Audible


Add to Goodreads

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“Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s
first, sexy kiss. . . . Hip. . . fast-moving. . . lyrically concise.”
—KIRKUS REVIEWS

“I guarantee you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.”
—USA TODAY, Must-read Romances of 2015

“A fantastical tale of love and betrayal
. . . more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager
glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly
anticipating the next book.”
—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“A book to fall for”
—BUZZFEED

“Not your average fairy tale . . .will have you clamoring for more of a story that
you didn’t see coming . . . new and surprising.”
—HYPABLE

“Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest . . .
what more could you want?”
—GLITTER MAGAZINE

“A love story you won’t soon forget . . .
a story of protection, sacrifice, and love.”
—SHEKNOWS.COM

“Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough.”
—BUSTLE

“A Book for All Ages”
—MARIASHRIVER.COM

“Fae, magic, elemental control . . . two hot, confused brothers . . .
LIKE YES PLEASE . . . WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR!”
– Benjamin Alderson,
Benjaminoftomes Book Tube

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CAN LOVE SPAN WORLDS?

For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?

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lbhLAUREN BIRD HOROWITZ, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today’s top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria Shriver.com, Bustle and others.

Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, winning several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America.picsart_01-26-08-52-21

Check out my 5 star review of Renegade Red!

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After reading Shattered Blue late in 2015 I was dying to get my hands on the sequel which now has a name and not one, not two, but three stunning covers!  AMAZING! Horowitz somehow, someway has topped Shattered Blue with a sequel even more mind-blowing.  Consider my heart ripped to shreds.  Don’t mind the puddle of me on the floor.  Bring on the conclusion!  After that crazy cliffhanger ending I definitely need the final book as soon as possible.  There was so much action and new poems as well, which I loved!  Horowitz continues to write beautifully and in such a way that makes it easy to visualize the story and setting in my mind.  I fell in love with the main characters even more in this sequel as well as one of the newly introduced characters.  I’m getting slightly worried about my SHIP but however Horowitz decides to end this trilogy in the next book, I will continue to ship Noa and Judah forever.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Shattered Blue yet, I suggest you get on that ASAP so you are fully prepared for the release of Renegade Red this coming March!

Renegade Red Blog Tour Sign-Ups

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Calling all book blogger Renegades!

YOU are the new face of the bookworld, and we want YOU to be a part of the big release for RENEGADE RED, the second book of the Award-Winning series, THE LIGHT TRILOGY, by Lauren Bird Horowitz!

We have some FANTASTIC bookish prizes for our participants, so please sign up for your special advanced access to RENEGADE RED, the sequel to SHATTERED BLUE, and join our Renegade Army!

HOW IT WORKS:
We will provide you with early, exclusive NetGalley access to this hotly anticipated sequel, as well as a ready-made post with the cover art, book summary, and background on the series. In return, you promise to post your honest review of the novel to your Blog and Goodreads between 2/1-3/14, and on publication day (March 14) to Amazon.com. We will also provide you ready-made graphics to use on social media—all that’s missing is you!

AND, by joining our RENEGADE blog tour and posting, you will be AUTOMATICALLY be entered in a special BLOGGER GIVEAWAY: for a gorgeous Renegade Red shattered light necklace (retail value: $124) and a signed Special Limited Edition hardcover copy of RENEGADE RED, featuring the rare Traveler Collector’s Cover.

Every post you do—your blog, your social media channels, goodreads, and amazon—gets you another entry for this very special prize!
Additionally, if you send us Proof of Preorder for any version of RENEGADE RED, you will also be entered into a special PREORDER BLOGGER GIVEAWAY, for a complete set of Renegade Red Bookmarks (4 in all) and a $150 giftcard to Amazon!


Please go to http://laurenbirdhorowitz.com/renedage-red/blog-tour/ to sign up today. We can’t wait to have you on #TeamRENEGADE, and we thank you all so much for your love and dedication to the Book World!

ABOUT RENEGADE RED:

RENEGADE RED’s three limited edition covers were revealed by USA TODAY, and fellow YA authors have already fallen in love:

“A vibrant blend of dystopian dysfunction and ethereal fantasy…a thrill ride.”
– J. Kowallis, author of The Enertia Trials

“Poetry on every page. Horowitz paints pure beauty with her tangle of heart stopping words. The Light Trilogy is magic typeset.”
– E.J Mellow, author of The Dreamland series

“Beautifully written with a poetic soul.  I found myself immersed in Horowitz’s words. Renegade Red isn’t just a sequel.  It is the continuation of a magical story that weaves itself into your heart, leaving you breathless as you wait for more.”
– Kristen Hunt, author of Blonde Eskimo

THE STORY:

ONLY A RENEGADE WILL SURVIVE

Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.

Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?

www.laurenbirdhorowitz.com
thelighttrilogy@yahoo.com
@birdaileen
@birdaileen
Lauren “Birdaileen” Hororwitz

Preorder your copy of RENEGADE RED today!

Kindle Deal! SHATTERED BLUE!

Hey everyone! Today is a fantastic Kindle deal on one of my all time favorite books, Shattered Blue by Lauren Bird Horowitz!

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What could be better than a deal on a great book???  Well how about a giveaway contest, too!  After you get your copy you can send proof of purchase  (confirmation number or screenshot) to thelighttrilogy@yahoo.com to be entered in the giveaway from author Lauren Bird Horowitz to win an ARC of the sequel RENEGADE RED way before it is available for anyone else!

Get your copy here today before the deal runs out!

SHATTERED BLUE BY LAUREN BIRD HOROWITZ

Blog Tour: Bury The Living by Jodi McIsaac

 

mcisaac-burytheliving-coverBury The Living by Jodi McIsaac

Published September 6th 2016 by 47North

285 Pages

Summary: Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, more than a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and vivid dreams of a man she has never met.

When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back eighty years—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war. Here she meets the alluring stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and agenda. Taken out of her own time, Nora has the chance to alter the fortunes of Ireland and maybe even save the ones she loves. In this captivating and adventurous novel from Jodi McIsaac, history belongs to those with the courage to change it.


Review: I received a copy of this book from Wunderkind PR in exchange for participation in the blog tour and an honest review.

I immediately knew I wanted to read this when I read that it is being presented as the Irish version of Outlander.  We all know I am obsessed with Outlander and what you may not know is that Ireland is my favorite country so this was a must read for me.  When I first started reading I was a little unsure if I would actually like the book or if it would live up to the Irish version of Outlander description.  The beginning has a lot about Irish politics in the late 80s-early 90s, and I’m not a big fan of reading about politics.  That was probably the hardest part for me to get through.  However, after finishing the book I can see that the beginning was necessary to set the stage for Nora’s character and background.

When Nora goes back in time, I immediately begin to get the Outlander vibe.  I thought it was really interesting blending the old Celtic legends with Catholicism in regards to Brigid.  I really enjoyed some of the characters that Nora becomes close to in the second half of the book.  Pidge was definitely a kindred spirit and I enjoyed seeing her and Nora bond.  One of the things I was most intrigued about was finding out who Thomas Heaney really was!  I loved that twist!  I was a little surprised that there wasn’t more romance in this book.  But that is definitely not a bad thing.  Sometimes books with this kind of story have too much romance and I think this one had just the right amount without turning the entire story into a romance.  As I got to the end of the book, I didn’t want it to end!  I can’t wait for the next book to come out so I can continue on this epic adventure with Nora and Thomas.

4 Stars


jodimcisaac_authorphotoAbout The Author: Jodi McIsaac is the author of the Irish contemporary fantasy series The Thin Veil (47North) the thriller A Cure for Madness (Thomas & Mercer) and the forthcoming historical Revolutionary series, starting with Bury the Living (47North).

She grew up in New Brunswick, on Canada’s east coast. After abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, volunteered in a refugee camp, waited tables in Belfast, earned a couple of university degrees, and started a boutique copywriting agency. She loves geek culture, running, and whisk(e)y.

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