Monday, October 31, 2016


Lisa Sandlin’s Debut Novel The Do-Right 
Wins 2016 Hammett Award

Lisa Sandlin 
Trade Paper $16.95 / 978-1-941026-19-9 
E-Book $16.95 / 978-1-941026-24-3 

Lisa Sandlin’s novel The Do-Right won the prestigious 2016 Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers (North America). The Hammett honors literary excellence in the field of crime-writing. This great news comes on the heels of her Shamus Award win for Best Debut Novel given by the Private Eye Writers of America. Plus STARRED Reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and a Kirkus BEST BOOK, 2015!

“The Do-Right”—that’s old Southern talk for prison. Delpha Wade doesn’t want to go back there. Fourteen years is enough.

 “Lisa Sandlin blends pathos, humor, and poetic prose in a strong debut.” —KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW

“Sandlin’s clipped prose style is pleasingly eccentric, and can become downright Chandleresque.” —PW STARRED REVIEW

Lisa Sandlin holding the Hammett Award, "The Thin Man" designed by sculptor Peter Bolger. Joining Lisa in the celebration is novelist Vicki Hendricks.

Meet Delpha Wade

1973. That’s fourteen years of prison time after Delpha Wade killed a man who was raping her. She wanted to kill the other one too, but he got away. So it’s hard to find a decent job. But Delpha’s persistence pays off. She lands a secretarial job with Tom Phelan, a neophyte private eye. Delpha is smart and prison-wise to human nature. Phelan is a Vietnam vet and an ex-roughneck who lost a finger working the oil rigs out in the Gulf. Together Phelan and Delpha stumble into the dark side of Beaumont, a small blue-collar Cajun city dominated by Big Oil. A mysterious client plots mayhem against company men whose new oilfield product is set to rock the industry. Teenage boys are disappearing and Phelan, following his hunches, uncovers a menagerie of exotic animals and a serial killer. And Delpha—on a weekend outing—looks into the eyes of her rapist, the one who got away. The novel’s conclusion is classic noir, full of surprise, excitement, and karmic justice. Sandlin’s elegant prose, twisting through the dark thickets of human passion, allows Delpha to open her heart again to the wonders of friendship, compassion, and human sexuality.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

You've Been Warned: This Jammin' YA Voice is in Full Effect

Rani Patel In Full Effect Now Available

Congratulations to debut author Sonia Patel!

Starred Reviews for Rani Patel in Full Effect

“A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut.” Kirkus STARRED Review, July 15, 2016 And then Kirkus came back again with more great praise: “It hits on the long term effects of colonialism on culture and religion and economy; it deals with addiction in terms of how it affects people, families, and the larger culture; it deals with politics and protest and community action.” Kirkus, October 3, 2016.

“Sonia Patel sets her powerful debut novel in 1991, filling it with bygone rap references and an electric verbal blend of Gujarati, slang, Hawaiian pidgin, and the rhymes Rani crafts. Patel compassionately portrays Rani’s entangled emotions, lack of self-confidence, and burgeoning sense of empowerment as she moves forward from trauma.” Publishers Weekly STARRED Review, Aug 1, 2016

“…Rani's voice, oscillating from righteous anger to thrilling pride, swooning crushes, and heartbreaking insecurity, will resonate with many, even those with little to no familiarity with Rani’s background. Vivid, bold, and passionate.”  Booklist STARRED Review, September 1, 2016

“Her story will appeal to readers who prefer gritty, darker fiction without a pat, happy ending, and characters who don’t always overcome their challenges but must face them repeatedly. VERDICT A strong, unique choice for YA collections.” School Library Journal STARRED Review, October 11, 2016

Hip-Hop, Sexual Abuse, and Reconciliation: Sonia Patel on Rani in Full Effect:
School Library Journal’s Shelley Diaz interview with Sonia Patel, author of Rani Patel in Full Effect. Sept 26, 2016

What's Up With Rani Patel?

Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she's a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where "husband is God." Her parents' traditionally arranged marriage is a sham. Her dad turns to her for all his needs—even the intimate ones. When Rani catches him two-timing with a woman barely older than herself, she feels like a widow and, like widows in India are often made to do, she shaves off her hair. Her sexy bald head and hard-driving rhyming skills attract the attention of Mark, the hot older customer who frequents her parents' store and is closer in age to her dad than to her. Mark makes the moves on her and Rani goes with it. He leads Rani into 4eva Flowin', an underground hip hop crew—and into other things she's never done. Rani ignores the red flags. Her naive choices look like they will undo her but ultimately give her the chance to discover her strengths and restore the things she thought she'd lost, including her mother.

Rani Patel In Full Effect
Available in hardcover, paperback and digitally.

eBook 978-1-941026-51-9 $11.95
Available from your favorite eBook vendor.

WATCH: Sonia Patel Reads From Rani’s Point of View 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


50 YEARS AGO — October 17th, 1966 — an unknown assailant murdered the Reverend Robert W. Spike in Columbus, Ohio. His son Paul Spike celebrates his father's life, work and social impact while exploring his mysterious death in the memoir, PHOTOGRAPHS OF MY FATHER

Photographs of My Father: 
A Lost Narrative from the Civil Rights Era 
A Memoir By Paul Spike 

Paul Auster, On His Friend's Compelling Memoir:

“The way Paul Spike’s narrative sings and howls and spins around in a fury of raw emotion is likewise unforgettable. So unforgettable that I felt my heart was breaking when I came to the end.” 

LISTEN: Paul Spike talks with BBC Radios Libby Purveas about how his fathers fight for Civil Rights shaped his memoir. 

Who was the Reverend Robert W. Spike?

After Reverend Spike’s death, Martin Luther King said, “He was one of those rare individuals who sought at every point to make religion relevant to the social issues of our time. He lifted religion from the stagnant arena of pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities...We will always remember his unswerving devotion to the legitimate aspirations of oppressed people for freedom and human dignity. It was my personal pleasure and sacred privilege to work closely with him in various undertakings.”

Yet, the federal, state or local governments spent little effort to find Robert Spike’s murderer. Instead, the Columbus police spun a story about a homosexual liaison gone awry. It was an easy answer. Especially in 1966. But colleagues in the Civil Rights movement believed it was a political assassination. 

“We don’t believe these assassinations are an accident. We believe there is a conspiracy. Too many of our important leaders have been assassinated: John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, Dr. King, Robert Spike ... ” Hosea Williams, trusted member of Martin Luther King’s inner circle in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Robert Spike’s son Paul agrees. In the Afterword of this edition of Photographs of My Father, he cites new evidence about his father’s murder that he hopes will lead to a fresh investigation and a renewed effort to bring justice to one of the least known but most important American churchmen of the 20th century.

Now, 50 years after the murder of his father, Paul watches the police killings of black men in America and he wants to know what happened to the social conscience of the America​’s mainstream​ churches. “Why have so many of the mainstream churches​ run away from ​my father’s​ living sacrifice? I feel they have betrayed his legacy.”

A Celebration of Rev. Spike’s Life

On Sunday, October 16th, 2016, at their 11 a.m. service, New York City’s Judson Memorial Church will celebrate the legacy of Robert Spike, who served as minister there from 1949 to 1955. All are welcome to attend. Read more on Rev. Spike’s contribution to the community. 

Photographs of My Father

Available In Paperback, eBook and Audiobook