Daily Archives: May 2, 2011

Mailbox Monday – May 2, 2011

This month’s Mailbox Monday is hosted by Mari at Mari Reads. Make sure you visit Mari’s blog today and add your link … you’ll also find links to other readers’ mailboxes there.

To see the schedule of this meme’s host, please visit the dedicated blog.

I am really, really late posting this today as I spent 18 hours traveling yesterday, got home here in California at 10:00 pm and had to be up early and into town for a variety of reasons this morning. Needless to say, I’m a little weary!!! But despite all of that, I have managed to create a post to share all the wonderful books which arrived at my home over the last week!

The Seasons of Second Chances by Diane Meier arrived from St. Martin’s Press (released in paperback on March 31st). This novel is described as “a witty, honest, and moving novel that captures the renovation not only of a house, but of a life…” The Seasons of Second Chances revolves around Joy Harkness, “an irascible, smart, sharply funny, guarded college professor of a certain age,” who takes on the daunting task of renovating a home in Amherst, Massachusetts. Diane Meier notes (on her website) that an important theme of the novel is found in “the element of redefining feminist ideals to embrace the gifts of home, family, sensitivity, trust and most of all, the expressive, textural and creative options we have for defining or reflecting our sense of ourselves.” Meier served as the Public Relations Director of the National Organization of Women in the early 1970s.

Diane Meier is a marketing guru, and president of MEIER, a NYC based marketing firm whose clients have helped define luxury marketing (from Neiman Marcus and DeBeers to Maximilan Furs, Kohler, Elizabeth Arden and Pierre Balmain). She is married to best selling author and BBC broadcaster, Frank Delaney. Listen to her speak about The Season of Second Chances on WNPR-Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. Learn more about Meier and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Author Jane Rowan sent me a review copy of her memoir, The River of Forgetting. This is a memoir which recounts the journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. The book details the process of discovery and of healing through long and deep therapy. It tracks the author’s process of learning to believe in herself and uncover the many consequences of abuse and secrecy, including the mistrust, dissociation, PTSD, hypervigilance, and difficulty with relationships. Read excerpts from the book.

Jane Rowan is a survivor of childhood trauma and betrayal and is passionate about sharing her healing experiences, including Inner Child work. She is a New England writer and poet. She taught science for three decades at a private college and retired in order to pursue the creative life. She has previously self-published a self-help booklet, Caring for the Child Within. Read more about Rowan and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Marissa at JKS Communications sent me two books:

Arms Wide Open by Patricia Harman (due for release this week from Beacon Press) is a memoir which draws heavily from personal journals, and is a prequel to Harman’s best-selling memoir, The Blue Cotton Gown. Harman takes readers back to a time of counterculture idealism when she taught herself to deliver babies. Midwifery started by accident for Harman (she coached a friend living on a commune through labor). She went on to deliver thousands of babies over the next 30 years of her life. Listen to Harman speak about her first book in 2008 on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Patricia Harman first cared for women as a lay-midwife, delivering babies in cabins and on communal farms in West Virginia, and later as a nurse-midwife in teaching hospitals and in a community hospital birthing center. She spent over a decade in the sixties and seventies in her youth living in rural communes in Washington (Tolstoy Farm), Connecticut (The Committee for Non-Violent Action) and Minnesota (Free Folk). In 1974, Harman and her husband purchased a farm with a group of like-minded friends on top of a ridge in Roane County, West Virginia. Here on the commune, they built log houses, dug a pond, grew and preserved their own food and started the Growing Tree Natural Foods Cooperative. It was also here that she attended her first home birth. She went on to become one of the founding members of The West Virginia Cooperative of Midwives. Harman has been a nurse-midwife on the faculty of The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University and most recently West Virginia University. In 1998 she went into private practice with her husband, Tom, an OB/Gyn, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Though she no longer attends births, she continues to work with her husband to provide care for women in early pregnancy and through-out the life span.  Learn more about Harman and her work by visiting the author’s website.

The Blossoming of the World by Brian Peterson (due for release in July 2011 from Tell Me Press) is a book of essays, journal entries and photographs where the author journeys “to the deep end of life. Along the way he confronts some painful contradictions–beauty and violence, love and grief–and reflects on illness, family, death, dreams, epiphanies, and the birth of self-awareness.” In this collection of essays and images, Peterson struggles to reconcile his Christian faith with his love of science, creativity, and spirituality in all its manifestations. Full-color reproductions of Peterson’s photographs accompany the text.

Brian H. Peterson is the Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator at the James A Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and has more than thirty years’ experience as an artist, curator, critic, and arts administrator in the Philadelphia area. His scholarly publications include Pennsylvania Impressionism (2002), The Cities, the Towns, the Crowds: The Paintings of Robert Spencer (2004), and Form Radiating Life: The Paintings of Charles Rosen (2006), all copublished by the Michener Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Press. His recent memoir, The Smile at the Heart of Things: Essays and Life Stories (2010), was copublished by the Michener Art Museum and Tell Me Press. Also a practicing photographer, Peterson has had more than thirty solo exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout the country since 1980. His work is in the collections of the Amon Cater Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about Peterson and his work by visiting the author’s website.

Dana from Kaye Publicity sent me a copy of Lost and Fondue by Avery AAmes (due for release May 3rd from Berkley/Penguin). This is the second book in the Cheese Shop Mystery Series and is set in the town of Providence. Featuring returning protagonist Charlotte, Aame’s latest cozy mystery centers around a long-abandoned winery and a dead art student.

Avery Aames is the pseudonym for Daryl Wood Gerber.  As Aames, she signed her first three-book publishing contract with Berkley Prime Crime and is writing A Cheese Shop Mystery Series. She won the 2010 Agatha Award for Best New Novel for The Long Quiche Goodbye (the first book in the series). Gerber has published short stories and created the format for the successful TV series Out of this World that ran for four years in first-run syndication. Podcasts of some of her suspense/thriller work can be found on the author’s website. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, its internet group Guppies, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers Association. Prior to becoming a published author, Gerber worked as an actress in Los Angeles and co-starred on the popular series, Murder, She Wrote and Matlock.

And last, but not least, Harper Perennial sent me a copy of Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay. This novel revolves around fictional, former Bolshoi Ballet star, Nina Revskaya who finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed her life half a century earlier. In Russia she discovered the magic of dance and fell in love, and where, faced with Stalinist aggression, a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape to the West. This debut novel has been described by the Washington Post as “a magnificent tale of love, loss, betrayal, and redemption.

Daphne Kalotay grew up in New Jersey. She attended Vassar College, majoring in psychology, before moving to Boston to attend Boston University’s graduate program in fiction writing. She stayed on at BU to study with Saul Bellow as part of the University Professors program, where she earned a PhD in Modern and Contemporary literature, writing her dissertation on one of her favorite writers, Mavis Gallant.  While at Boston University, Kalotay’s stories won the school’s Florence Engell Randall Fiction Prize and a Henfield Foundation Award. Her fiction collection Calamity and Other Stories, includes work first published in Agni, Good Housekeeping, The Literary Review, Missouri Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Prairie Schooner, and was short-listed for the Story Prize. Kalotay has taught literature and creative writing at Boston University, Skidmore College, and Middlebury College. She lives in the Boston area. Learn more about Kalotay and her work by visiting the author’s website.

What books found their way into YOUR home this week?