Tahoe author to read, sign latest mystery at Sundance

From a news release

TahoeGhostBoatFront 288 wideTahoe author Todd Borg will read from and sign Tahoe Ghost Boat (Thriller Press), the latest book in his Owen McKenna Mystery Series, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Sundance Books and Music.

Borg has written 10 previous acclaimed mysteries set in the Tahoe area. Featuring Tahoe detective Owen McKenna, Borg’s books have won the Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery of the Year and been chosen by Library Journal for its Top Mysteries of the Year list.

About the Book

Gertie O’Leary is a 15-year-old girl with a messy bird’s nest of red hair, a serious softball pitch, and a dream to be a movie director. She also has a $2 million price on her head.

When a gang led by a killer called Mikhailo The Monster takes Gertie as the centerpiece of an extortion plot, Gertie’s mother calls Tahoe detective Owen McKenna for help. McKenna finds out that Gertie’s stepfather has just died in what looks like a boating accident and that Gertie’s mother cares more about not losing money to blackmail than saving her daughter.

As the unwanted child of divorced, self-focused parents, Gertie has no defenders. So McKenna appoints himself her savior. But McKenna is one man up against a small army of twisted murderers whose orders are to kill the girl…

Special Offer from Blue Moon Pizza

Blue Moon Pizza (across the street from Sundance Books and Music) is offering a coupon to everyone who buys a copy of Tahoe Ghost Boat the day of the event. The coupon will be good for one free drink with a purchase of one slice of cheese pizza on the afternoon or evening of the event.

This event is made possible through a partnership with Nevada Humanities and with support from the Nightingale Family Foundation.

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Reno’s first literary crawl tomorrow

Excitement is building for “Choose Your Own Adventure – A Literary Crawl.” Guessing that a town that loves pub crawls would enjoy a book crawl, Nevada Humanities is presenting this inaugural Artown event from 5 to 9 tomorrow (Saturday, July 19).

The Trembling Leaves Twitter feed (@NorNVbooks) is filled with tweets about it. Many well-known and not-so-well-known Nevada authors will be appearing, reading and signing books at stops along a route through downtown and Midtown.

Authors scheduled to appear–

  • Jared Stanley
  • Angela Spires
  • Rebecca Eckland
  • Paul Hoppe
  • Alicia Barber
  • Scott Neuffer
  • Laura Newman
  • Tee Iseminger
  • Tracy Clark
  • Patty Cafferata
  • Holly Walton-Buchanan
  • Mark Maynard
  • Warren Lerude
  • Gailmarie Pahmeier
  • Shaunta Grimes
  • Cheyenne Underwood
  • April Kempler
  • David Michael Slater
  • Karen Terrey
  • Chris Coake

The crawl will begin with a “Prologue” at Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., at 5 p.m. and end with an “Epilogue” at Craft Wine & Beer, 22 Martin St., at 8 p.m. Other venues will be 1864 Tavern, 290 California Ave.; Great Basin Community Food Co-op, 240 Court St.; Liberty Fine Art Gallery, 100 West Liberty St., and St. James Infirmary, 445 California Ave. (Note that some of them are for 21 and over.) There will be an ongoing literary trivia game at the Liberty Fine Art Gallery.

Nevada Humanities has a full schedule and map on its site (scroll down). All the events in the crawl are free. See you there?

A quick look at ‘Minstrel’

minstrel_m_ames_cover-variation-bMinstrel: A Ballad of Lies, Deceit, and Redemption by Marissa Ames

Genre: Medieval fantasy

My Synopsis: This saga is related from the point of view of Liam, leader of a troupe of traveling performers. The king’s brother, Shamus, was in a distant territory when their father died and didn’t have a chance to take the throne. Liam and his troupe are summoned to be regular performers for the king. Liam becomes friends with Prince Shamus and with Maira, a poor young woman who keeps turning up. A drought and the king’s mistrust of his brother lead to a stay in a dungeon, hiding out in an old inn, underground rebellion, ship voyages, settling land, living in primitive conditions, and sword fights. There are a couple of love triangles, too.

Publisher: R. J. Reign Press, 2013

Format and Number of Pages: Trade paperback, 377 pages; e-book and audiobook

Where to Find: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

How Much Read: All

Comments: Minstrel is the first book in the Tir Athair series. The second, Vassal: A Tale of Loyalty and Loss, will be out this year. Darrion: A Story of the Athair is a prequel. You will not find graphic sex scenes in this book. I learned what ergot is/was!

Nevada professor wins Latino book award again

From a news release

Emma Sepulveda, a writer, University of Nevada, Reno professor and director of the University’s Latino Research Center, has won another International Latino Book Award from Latino Literacy Now. Emma Sepulveda

Sepulveda won two International Latino Book Awards in 2011 with her internationally acclaimed book Seventy Days of Night, a non-fiction account of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after a mining accident.

This year, she won a first-place award with a book that is somewhat the polar opposite: Gringosincrasias: cómo sobrevivir en Estados Unidos y entender su idiosincrasia (How to Survive in the U.S. and Understand its Idiosyncrasy), is a book of personal, humorous reflections from the viewpoint of a Latina immigrant living in the United States.

Emma Sepulveda“It’s a wonderful honor to receive another first place in the Latino Book Awards and be among so many great Latino leaders and writers this year—like Isabel Allende and Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, among so many others,” Sepulveda said.

The Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno serves as a nexus between the Latino community and the University. Its mission is to foster research, student achievement, faculty collaboration, advocacy and outreach in a manner that best meets the educational needs and goals of the state of Nevada and best honors the intellectual and cultural capital of the Latino presence in our state.

Can you cope with 2 used book sales at the same time?

somanybooksYou say you haven’t had time to read all the books you’ve been buying? You don’t have room for any more books?

Too bad. The Grassroots Books warehouse sale and Friends of Washoe County Library used book sale have aligned with each other this week, and you know you don’t dare miss either of them.

The Grassroots sale started this morning and will run through Sunday. Warehouse books, both paper and hardback, are 99 cents each; children’s books and “A/V media” such as CDs, DVDs, VHS and audiobooks are 25 cents. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can fill a grocery-size bag for $4.99.

The Friends sale starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. and runs to 7 p.m.—if you’re a member, that is. The sale will be open to the public Saturday, July 13, through Sunday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, July 20, you can fill a grocery-size bag for $5.

Generally hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents, but they sell collectibles and nearly new books at individual prices in a special section. They promise lots of summer beach reads in this sale.

Grassroots advertises 10,000+ items, and the Friends just say “thousands.” It’s hard to compare volume. Grassroots’ warehouse merchandise is presented unsorted in boxes, so you have to allow plenty of time and hope for serendipity. (For tips, see How to get the most out of Grassroots Books warehouse sales.) The Friends volunteers have their books and other merchandise meticulously sorted, shelved and displayed.

See you at one or both?

Write—if you live to get there

From a news release

writeifyouliveWrite, If You Live to Get There: Tracing Westward Expansion through 120 Years of Family Letters tells the true story of the Phillips family’s westward migration from Vermont to northern California. Mary K. Sonntag and Mary Jo Sonntag use their family’s collection of old letters to paint a rich and detailed portrait of American life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The letters date back to 1842, when the Phillips family traveled from Vermont to Western Pennsylvania in a wagon pulled by oxen. Between 1850 and 1868 the children left Pennsylvania for the western frontier. Soon letters were crisscrossing the country from Pennsylvania to Kansas, Illinois, Colorado and the Lake Tahoe region.

Through the letters we learn about the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and how they combined their business and hospitable instincts to build prominent Lake Tahoe resorts at Phillips Station, Rubicon Springs and Meeks Bay. The letters also tell of health and disease; marriages, births and deaths; adventures; simple pleasures and the strong desire to stay connected to family in poignant words like the following:

  • We are all so scattered it is hard to tell whether we will meet again.
  • I have come to the conclusion that you have forgotten your old Uncle Dan but he has not forgotten you. I will enclose a piece of gold that I found last winter so you will have some little token to remember me by.
  • I am still on the face of the earth & I find lots of work to do but little money for it but then there is lots in the same boat.
  • I have been mining for the last year but I spend more than I make so I am not gitting rich very fast but it may come yet. I still have hopes.

The Sonntags—mother Mary and daughter Mary Jo of Pittsburgh—write a fascinating narrative about their ancestors that illuminates these remarkable letters and the people who penned them. The letters are presented in the actual idiom and spelling of the times and the letter writers. The result is a vivid patchwork of this country’s history interwoven with family lore.

Highlights from the hundreds of letters include accounts of the following family members:

  • J. W. D. Phillips and Mehitable Jane Ball Phillips sailing on the Northern Light for the new gold fields of California, via the Nicaragua route crossing the Isthmus of Panama, and reaching San Francisco in 1852. (Mehitable Jane divorced her first husband because he took the “wrong” side in the Civil War).
  • J. W. D. Phillips building a resort known as Phillips Station at Lake Tahoe known for “its grand scenery and no rattlesnakes nor poisonous vines.”
  • The energetic and enterprising Sierra Nevada “Vade” Philllips establishing a mineral water spa in Tahoe, adding to her profits by marketing the water with the slogan “tastes better than whiskey!”
  • Great Uncle Dan Phillips, a bachelor miner, rancher, stage coach driver, and forest ranger—a rugged but gentle pioneer who was the bedrock of the Phillips family.

The book contains 47 family photographs depicting nearly all of the letter writers.

Mary Jo Sonntag will share stories from the book at various Northern Nevada locations in August. For places, times and more, visit the authors’ website.

Shaunta Grimes to read, sign just-released ‘Rebel Nation’ Sunday

From a news release

RebelNation (1)Rebel Nation, local author Shaunta Grimes’ latest novel, was released today. She will give a reading from and sign it from 3 to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 6, at  Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave.

The book is the second in Grimes’ young adult series. In the first, Viral Nation, a plague had wiped out nearly all of humanity 16 years earlier. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie….

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company. See more about Viral Nation in the Trembling Leaves “quick look” below.

In Rebel Nation, Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks.…

Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor and a vintage clothing seller, but she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada.

This event is made possible through a partnership with Nevada Humanities and with support from the Nightingale Family Foundation.