A|U Authors

Peter Heller's THE RIVER Tops Forbes List for 10 Summer Books Recommendations!

Courtesy of Forbes
Posted July 2, 2019

The River by Peter Heller (Knopf)


Hillary Taylor, bookseller at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi: “The River by Peter Heller is a fantastic book by an amazing author. It has all of the elements you need for a great summer read: friendship, adventure, outdoor, survival, canoeing. Set against a Canadian backdrop, it has a great mystery element that keeps it fast paced. I couldn't put it down.”

We’re currently adding dates to Peter’s Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 schedule, so if you’re interested in hosting him for an event, be in touch with us soon!

Boys and Girls Club of Tupelo Gear up for GINNY MOON this Fall!

Courtesy of WCBI News
Posted June 28, 2019

Ginny Moon alt cover 2 high res.jpg

Boys and Girls Club members in Tupelo are taking part in a city wide initiative that promotes reading and literacy. “Tupelo Reads” is an annual program that encourages residents to read the same book, and come together for activities promoting literacy.

This year’s book is Ginny Moon  the story of an autistic teenager.  Volunteers with “Tupelo Reads” have spent the past few days at the Haven Acres Boys and Girls Club, talking about key themes of the book with the young people. One of the most important is compassion.

“That was a big takeaway that they may encounter people who are different , not just with autism spectrum, but many other things and to deal with people that might be different in a compassionate way,” said Lisa Reed, chairperson of “Tupelo Reads.”

The book’s author, Benjamin Ludwig will visit Tupelo in September for “Tupelo Reads” community events.

Melanie Benjamin Wows Readers in Orlando!

Courtesy of Southwest Orlando Bulletin
Posted June 21, 2019


Melanie Benjamin took to the podium for the 14th annual Southwest Author Series and infused laughter with wisdom. She shared how she first wanted to be an actress and dreamed of playing other people on stage. But then she married, joking that marriage is where dreams go to die.

“Melanie Benjamin was incredibly engaging with a great sense of humor,” Colin Galloway (president of the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips) said. “It was fun. We all enjoyed it.”

Benjamin has two children. At a school event, she saw a poster her son had made indicating the stay-at-home mom was a “cleaning lady.” That set her off on a journey to become more. She decided to try her hand at writing and soon was hired to write a parenting column and short stories for a local magazine. But she said that her writing meant authoring a book.

Then she came across a photograph of a little girl dressed in rags and learned she was Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the inspiration for Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Benjamin wanted to know more about the girl’s life and wrote her first historical fiction book — Alice I Have Been — under a pen name.

Benjamin captivated the audience with tales of how she came up with the ideas for her subsequent books and teased some of the storylines. She encouraged would-be writers to get out, see things and read, read, read.

Writer’s Block Bookstore, an independent bookseller in Winter Park, sold copies of Benjamin’s books, which she autographed while chatting with participants after the presentation. The bookstore sold out of most of her titles.

A|U Monthly Muse - June 2019 (Beach Reads)


June 2019: Beach Reads

As the days warm and spring shifts into summer, you might find yourself with an open afternoon and a beckoning chaise lounge. Whether you’re poolside, lakeside, or languishing on a beach, the longer days call for losing yourself in a good read. Beach reads come in all stripes and those written by this month’s featured writers, though different in topic and tone, all deliver engaging storytelling. In other words, you won’t want to put them down. Complete with intrigue and intelligence, these books prove that with deft treatment, powerful material can see the bright of day.

A|U Authors Team Up on Nonfiction Follow-Up to BEFORE WE WERE YOURS

Courtesy of Shreveport Times
Posted May 29. 2019

Before and After_Final.jpeg

NYT Bestselling Author Lisa Wingate wrote Before We Were Yours, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies and just came out in paperback last week. Two years ago, when author Judy Christie read an early copy of that novel, she felt it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time – in part because it was inspired by a piece of little-known and gripping Southern history and Lisa had written such a compelling fictionalized account.

In Before and After (due from Ballantine Books on Oct 22, 2019) Lisa and Judy write of first family meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed, and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace brothers, sisters and cousins. In a culmination of art-meets-life, long silent victims of the corrupt system returned to Memphis with Lisa and Judy to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion…with what were startling and emotional results. The book is available for pre-order from your favorite booksellers, including at Amazon and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Before and After makes a great companion book to Before We Were Yours One Book One Community selections - and it’s a powerful book for stand alone events as well! Both Lisa and Judy are available for speaking engagements - and if you’d like to explore further, be in touch with us today!

FALL AND RISE - Limited TV Series Planned for 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Courtesy of Deadline
Posted April 3, 2019

Lionsgate Television Group/3 Arts will mount an event limited series about 9/11. They have acquired exclusive television rights to Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11, based on the Mitchell Zuckoff book that HarperCollins published April 30, 2019. The book is a comprehensive character-driven nonfiction narrative account of the worst terrorist attacks in American history.

The aim is to have a limited series ready for the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. The series, which will soon be shopped to broadcasters and streamers, with a showrunner to be set shortly after, will focus on a group of cross-section of people who found themselves at the center of unimaginable events. It will cover the events that brought them in proximity of terror attacks that destroyed the Twin Towers and D.C. government buildings, and the lasting impact it had on their lives. It will likely be eight hours in length.

Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 is the perfect One Book One Community, and All Campus Reads title! Be in touch with us today to schedule an event with this award winning and talented author.

A|U Monthly Muse - May 2019 (Dark Worlds)


May 2019: Dark Worlds

From Grimm’s Tales to Game of Thrones, humankind have long been obsessed with the particular intrigue found in dark tales. Though these kinds of stories can be based on historical events, they also seem to reside on the edge of two worlds: the world of what might be and the world as we know it. Casting light into dark recesses, this month’s featured authors travel to this space between worlds to create new, vibrant ones. You’ll lose yourself entirely to these stories, willingly treading along in these dark, but transformative, worlds.

Cumberland County College Announces One Book Title - GINNY MOON

Courtesy of: The Daily Journal
Posted May 2, 2019

Cumberland County College’s “One Book, One College” 2019-20 reading campaign has launched with the selection of Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig. Now in its 16th year, CCC’s successful One Book, One College concept was designed to get the campus and the community to bond by discussing relevant themes covered in a single book. A recommended read on CCC’s campus, members of the community are also urged to read the book.

Ginny Moon is a poignant and inspirational story of an autistic teenager who is searching for a place to call home. Ginny has been in foster care for years after being taken from her abusive birth mother and moved around to different homes. She is finally in a place where she’ll be safe and protected, with a family who will love and nurture her. But Ginny has no intention of belonging. She is determined to get back to her birth mother and make things right…even if it means going back to a place that was extremely dangerous.

A lifelong teacher of English and writing, Ludwig lives in New Hampshire with his family. He holds a master’s in English education and a Masters in Fine Arts in writing. Shortly after he and his wife married, they became foster parents and adopted an autistic teenager. Ginny Moon is Ludwig’s debut novel and was inspired in part by his conversations with other parents at Special Olympics basketball practices.

Cumberland’s One Book, One College program is highlighted each year with an on-campus visit by the author. The public is invited to meet Ludwig during his presentation and book signing on Oct. 16.

2019 Indies Choice Book Award Winners Announced!

Courtesy of BookWeb
Posted May 1, 2019

Indie Choice Book Award.png

Today, the American Booksellers Association announces the winners of the 2019 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as voted on by independent booksellers nationwide.

Earning yet another accolade is our very own Madeline Miller, and her breath-taking novel, Circe, which was named the Adult Fiction Book of the Year - and the Audiobook of the year!

Also recognized this year:

Thrity Umrigar for The Secrets Between Us - Audiobook Honor
Jarrett J. Krosoczka for Hey, Kiddo - Young Adult Honor Book

HeyKiddo - YALSA seal.jpg

Madeline Miller's CIRCE Shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction!

Courtesy of: The Gaurdian
Posted April 28, 2019

Big Congrats to Madeline Miller, who’s Circe, a twist on the story of the witch who seduces Homer’s Odysseus, has been named to the shortlist for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction - the most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honoring Women’s fiction. Founded in 1996, the Prize was set up to celebrate the originality, accessibility and excellence in writing by women and to connect world-class writers with readers everywhere. Madeline won the prize for her first novel, The Song of Achilles, in 2012.

Circe UK.jpg

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Heather Armstrong Details How She 'Died 10 Times' to Cure Depression


Courtesy of The New York Post
Posted April 20, 2019

Heather B. Armstrong was never a mommy blogger who presented an idyllic picture of parenthood. Her Dooce.com — which began in 2001 — is full of candid posts about her postpartum depression, divorce and struggles as a single mother.

But in 2016, Armstrong reached a nadir: She woke up every day wishing she were dead.

“I had this demon in my head saying, ‘You’re never going to feel better,’ ” the 43-year-old told The Post.

So she decided to take part in a clinical trial that would temporarily leave her brain-dead — 10 times.

That experience is the subject of her book “The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times in Order to Live,” out Tuesday. In it, Armstrong details her brutal 18 months of treatment-resistant depression, as well as the medical experiment, in which doctors used propofol anesthesia to flatline her brain ­activity for 15 minutes.

Armstrong, a Salt Lake City resident, has suffered depression since high school and had her first nervous breakdown while at Brigham Young University. After she gave birth to her daughter Leta 15 years ago, she checked herself into a psych ward for postpartum depression. (She also has daughter Marlo, 9.)

Yet the 18 months before she began the clinical trial were the worst she had ever experienced. It started in 2015, when she signed up to run a marathon. The intense training proved too much, with travels, work and family. Armstrong felt so overwhelmed that she stopped showering and brushing her hair. She also stopped taking her medications, which weren’t working. Keep reading…

Elizabeth Rush's RISING Named a Finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize!


Courtesy of Pulitzer.org
Posted Apr 16, 2019

Elizabeth’s Rush’s Rising was named a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction along with In a Day’s Work by Bernice Yeung; Eliza Griswold’s Amity and Prosperity was named the prize winner this year.

Hailed as “deeply felt” (New York Times), “a revelation” (Pacific Standard), and “the book on climate change and sea levels that was missing” (Chicago Tribune), Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love.

With every passing day, and every record-breaking hurricane, it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant—and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways. In Rising, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place.

Weaving firsthand testimonials from those facing this choice—a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago—with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of these vulnerable communities, Rising privileges the voices of those too often kept at the margins.

Congrats Elizabeth!!

Barnes & Noble Announces Martha Hall Kelly's LOST ROSES as the April 2019 National Book Club Selection!

Courtesy of Finger Lakes Times
Posted April 9, 2019


Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, today announced Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly as the April 2019 selection for the Barnes & Noble Book Club, a monthly book club designed to bring readers in communities across the country together to discuss the most compelling books. Barnes & Noble is selling a special Exclusive Book Club Edition of Lost Roses as well as hosting a free Book Club night for customers to discuss the novel in stores across the country on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 PM local time. Customers can buy the book starting today and sign up for the Book Club in their local store or online at BN.com.

Martha Hall Kelly’s bestselling Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

Lost Roses is a thought-provoking, page-turning story of political and personal revolution that will have readers everywhere talking about the lengths people will go to protect others, family and strangers alike,” said Liz Harwell, Senior Director of Merchandising, Trade Books at Barnes & Noble.

This B&N Exclusive Edition contains a special afterword from Martha Hall Kelly, featuring a deeply personal look at the many travels and journeys she took researching the history and the characters for Lost Roses and Lilac Girls. Customers can buy the book now on BN.com, or at their local Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble will hold the Book Club discussions on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 PM, about one month after the book goes on sale. Customers can sign up to attend the discussion online at: bn.com/bnbookclub.

Previous Barnes & Noble Book Club selections include: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, Clock Dance by Anne Tyler, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, and The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

A|U Monthly Muse - April 2019 (Get Real)


April 2019: Get Real

Nonfiction titles range widely in topics and form, though all invite the reader to take a deep dive into true stories. From research to memoir to pithy essays about lived experienced, it’s easy to see why nonfiction is a favorite genre. Whether writing about the body, motherhood, or growing up in a polygamist family, this month’s highlighted authors write with a most refreshing type of frankness. There stories may differ from yours, but there’s definitely a universality in getting real.

A|U Monthly Muse - March 2019 (Spring into Action)


March 2019: Spring into Action

The shorter days of winter now behind us, the hustle and bustle of spring brings with it an innate sense of activity. Seize this momentum -- add books to your reading list that invoke a similar call to action. Writing from a range of experience, these three authors write about topics as relevant and diverse as immigration, vaccine-preventable diseases, and the art of listening.

A|U Monthly Muse - February 2019 (Love Stories)


February 2019: Love Stories

Love, as they say, “makes the world go round.” Affection comes in many iterations — from friendship to familial love to romantic love and everything in between. Since February offers perhaps the sweetest of all holidays, we invite you and those you love to imbibe in stories that traverse the thresholds of the human heart this month. Whether inspired by true events or wrought into tales that seem truer than life, these books are intimate portraits of love, intimacy, and human connection.

Pam Jenoff Talks THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS on NPR's Weekend Edition!

Courtesy of NPR’s Weekend Edition
Posted Feb 2, 2019

The Lost Girls of Paris.jpg

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with author Pam Jenoff about her new novel, The Lost Girls of Paris. It's the story of a group of British female spies sent to France during World War II. Listen here!



Grace Healey is trying to cut through Grand Central Station, late again, on her way to work in 1946 when she stumbles over an abandoned suitcase. She looks inside. She cuts her finger and finds a packet with a dozen photos, each of a different woman, and becomes intrigued. What she discovers about those women and the woman whose name, Trigg, is engraved on the case is told in Pam Jenoff's new novel "The Lost Girls Of Paris." And Pam Jenoff, a former U.S. foreign service officer, now teaches law at Rutgers, and who's author of the previous bestseller "The Orphan's Tale," joins us from the studios of WHYY in Philadelphia. Thanks so much for being with us.

PAM JENOFF: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: So why doesn't she just leave the suitcase?

JENOFF: Well, Grace is at an interesting crossroads in her life. She is what I call not quite a war widow. She lost her husband during World War II but not to combat. And she's living in New York, trying to figure out what's next when she finds the suitcase. So I believe she's intrigued both with the photos for themselves but also with this journey that is a bit of an escape from her own problems.

SIMON: The stories of these women were inspired by the stories of real people, weren't they?

JENOFF: They were. I was researching for my next book idea, and I discovered the incredible tale of the British women who had served in Special Operations Executive, deployed behind enemy lines to engage in sabotage and subversion. And so this book is very much inspired by the real-life heroism of those women.

SIMON: They had discovered - maybe we should explain - that for a number of reasons, men were more vulnerable to being discovered.

JENOFF: Yes. It was the darkest days of the war for Britain when they started sending people over - first, men to engage in these activities. And the men were easily discovered because on the streets of France in the early 1940s, there simply weren't many young men. They had all been conscripted or imprisoned. And so British men trying to fit in were tagged quite easily. So someone said, there's lots of women, why don't we send some of those?

SIMON: You introduce us to a character named Eleanor Trigg, directly inspired by a real-life British character named Vera Atkins. Tell us about them both.

JENOFF: So in real life, Vera Atkins - an interesting woman. She was not British. She was of East European descent, from a Jewish family. And she had worked her way up through Special Operations Executive and, among other things, became in charge of the women's unit - the women who were to serve in SOE. So she was in charge of their recruitment and their deployment. And ultimately, when many of these women were captured and killed, she felt a great deal of guilt and went to find out what had happened to them.

SIMON: You worked at the Pentagon and State Department, including a stint in Poland, I gather. Do we see any of that in your novels?

JENOFF: All of my books are very much inspired by those experiences. I was first at the Pentagon. And that is a time that I refer to as seeing the world from the shoulders of giants, to paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton. I traveled all over the world with my boss, including to the 50th anniversary commemorations of World War II.

I then moved over to the State Department. And, myself, I was - I'm Jewish, and I was on the ground in Poland, became very close to the survivors. And the U.S. government gave me responsibility for the Holocaust issues. And so I emerged from both of those experiences really changed and moved. And I've been writing what I refer to as love songs to that period ever since.

SIMON: So much of this novel is taken up with the stories of people who are trying to do the right thing when it's the stealthy thing (laughter). Well, how do we get ahold of that in this time and place?

JENOFF: One of the themes that really emerged for me in writing this book is the trust that we place in our governments and whether or not such trust is warranted, which, you know, may or may not be a timely theme, as well.

But in this case, in the book, you know, these women just up and left their lives, and sometimes children, and were dropped into occupied Europe - you know, just dropped by a plane - and had to sort of fend for themselves. And they were very much doing what they believe was the right thing. But they were only one piece of a much larger puzzle. And often, you know, it's a question of whether sort of the ends justify the means, I think.

SIMON: Yeah. Do you hope that people who might read your novel might feel some debt to the real people after whom it's modeled?

JENOFF: Absolutely. One of the most striking things is that - not just the scope of the heroism of these women and their exploits, but, you know, after the war, they really received very little recognition for a long time. And so there's a great joy in bringing these stories to life. And someone remarked that this is almost an appropriate story for this #MeToo moment that we're having because it really is a story about women finding their power and their voice.

SIMON: Pam Jenoff, her new novel, "The Lost Girls Of Paris" - thanks so much for being with us.

JENOFF: Thank you for having me.

Pierce County Reads to Welcome Kristin Hannah!

Courtesy of Tacoma Weekly News
Posted Feb 1, 2019


The Pierce County Library System launches a Year of Reading, starting with Pierce County READS showcasing bestselling author Kristin Hannah, author of “The Great Alone” and “The Nightingale.”

“In the past year we heard a lot from people in our communities – about what they wanted from their Pierce County Library. We heard very clearly that people here love to read, and they want their Library to offer them access to reading and lots and lots of books!” said Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax. “That’s why we are declaring 2019 A Year of Reading, with Pierce County READS kicking off a year of good stories and amazing authors.”

Pierce County READS is highlighted by a free author talk and book signing with Hannah Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at McGavick Conference Center on the Clover Park Technical College campus at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd. in Lakewood. Pierce County READS events will also include several book discussions.

Pierce County READS brings together Pierce County residents to engage, read and talk about great books. This winter’s selection, “The Great Alone,” explores the untamed and unpredictable world of 1974 Alaska while Hannah’s other award-winning novel, “The Nightingale,” tells of love and strength in the face of World War II. Both books are making the leap to the big screen as major motion pictures.

Hannah, a local author, with an international following, has a worldly view and talent for writing that takes readers to a different time and place. The Pacific Northwest native and former attorney, has written more than 20 books during her career including “Firefly Lane,” “Night Road” and “Winter Garden.”

Doors for the author event on Feb. 16 open at noon. Seating is first come, first served. People may purchase books at the event from King’s Books.

The Library System is declaring 2019 A Year of Reading, to help people offset the pressures of daily life and help them relax. A Year of Reading will include author visits, personal reading shoppers in libraries and online through the Library’s My Next Read service, e-newsletters with reading recommendations, Read with a Dog to build children’s reading skills, and other ways to engage and connect people with reading.

Pierce County READS events are free thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Pierce County Library Foundation.



Courtesy of Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Posted Feb 1, 2019


The seed of Great Falls author Jamie Ford’s latest novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, was a story of a baby raffled off at the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition, the world’s fair in Seattle in 1909. 

“Somebody Will Draw Baby As Prize,” proclaimed the Seattle Times. 

The fair itself, on the grounds of what is now the University of Washington, also held some fascination for Ford, who grew up in part in Seattle. He wanted to reclaim some of this history that appeared forgotten on the campus. 

“We pave over our history and forget,” Ford said. 

While Ford could have taken those histories and crafted a light love story, that is not his style. His goal in writing is to “give people’s empathy muscles a workout.” 

“I think that makes the world a better place,” he said. 

Ford’s characters are often destitute and overlooked by the upper-crust of society. They are immigrants and sex workers and often women. 

“I grew up really poor and I think, unfortunately, poor people have more stories,” Ford said. “I like characters that have had to fight and scrap to survive, or just be accepted and understood.”

The boy is a half-Chinese immigrant, sent by his mother on a ship bound for America.

“I write to explore what my own family went through,” explained Ford, who is also half-Chinese. 

In his first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Ford said he told a Japanese story through a Chinese lens. He was terrified of telling a story based in Chinese lore, or at least scared of the wrath of his “aunties” should he get it wrong. 

In Love and Other Consolation Prizes, the boy is given the name Ernest Young and after years of boarding school is raffled at the fair. The winning ticket is held by the madam of a brothel in the growing city. There, Ernest falls in love with two women in a twist Ford said was in part inspired by a teenage crush on a set of twins. 

“It didn’t work out,” he said with a laugh. 

The story alternates between Ernest’s story at the time of the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition, and his recollection of his youth as Seattle is set to host another world’s fair, the Century 21 Exhibition in 1962. It draws from a series of real people in Seattle’s history to craft a story that humanizes their experience. 

“I guess I like the stories that haven’t been told,” Ford said.