This week at The Quivering Pen book blog: Eric Roberts, Stephen King, Benjamin Percy, the Friday Freebie giveaway, and more.

The Quivering Pen
a blog about books

Half in Shade

Friday Freebie
This week's book giveaway is another two-fer deal. One lucky reader has the chance to win a copy of both Half In Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate by Judith Kitchen and Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady by Kate Summerscale. Both non-fiction books center around the value of family, focusing on lives in the two centuries we've just left in our rearview mirror. Both books come highly recommended by yours truly.
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J. R. Angelella

My First Time: J. R. Angelella
The idea of the Drive-By Truckers as storytellers surprised me, encouraged me, and opened me up to a new way of approaching my own work. It sounded like they were having so much fun on each record and fun was the very thing that I was missing in my work. The foggy doubt hanging over my own writing began to lift as this new idea sank in, burning away the creative barriers.
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New story in Salamander
One of my short stories, "The Bridge," appears in the latest issue of the literary magazine Salamander.  It's a Waiting for Godot account of two soldiers pulling a hot, lonely shift at a checkpoint on the edge of an Iraqi marsh.
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Book Radar

Book Radar
New books on the horizon include novels from Stephen King, Benjamin Percy, and Ian Rankin.  We can also look forward to "newly-discovered" erotica from Louisa May Alcott.  Yep, you heard me right: Fifty Shades of Louisa May is coming.
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From Quivering Pen HQ:  Happy Belated Father's Day!  I'd meant to get this newsletter out to you yesterday, but I was busy doing fatherly activities (which, since we're now empty-nesters, means spending quality time with my, in a sense, I guess I had a Happy Husband's Day).  I also sat down and wrote one of the most personal essays I've ever posted to the blog.  "Father's Day: A Triptych" (linked above) is a love letter to my three children and my wife.  I hope you enjoy it.  I was also privileged to have another Father's Day essay posted elsewhere on the web earlier this week.  Maria Shriver runs an outstanding inspiration blog and she graciously agreed to publish my essay "The Summer I Discovered Narnia."  That story starts out like this:  "If you'd been camping near Alaska's Portage Lake in the summer of 1993, you might have heard a lion's roar shattering the arctic stillness, bouncing between trees, skimming across glaciers, skip-hopping across the lake.  That was me, sitting in my tent, reading C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles aloud to my three children who were zipped up tight in their sleeping bags."  You can read the full essay by clicking HERE.  Thanks again for hanging in there with me.  Hope your week ahead is full of beautiful, read-aloud moments.
Your Pen Pal,
David Abrams
Father's Day

Father's Day: a triptych
Sept. 22, 1984:  I have moved from my night-long position next to my wife's ear, where I've counted and sympathy-panted and encouraged, to the place between her legs where the drama is unfolding. And so I can see it happen: my son's entrance into this world. For nine months, he has been this mystery--identity unknown, a shifting shape behind the barrier of my wife's skin. To us, he's been only pieces and parts--a kicking foot here, the knob of an elbow there--but now here he is, pink and wet and complete. He comes out of my wife's body and his arms spring open wide, as if he's at the end of a dream about falling from a skyscraper.
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The Whipping Club

Trailer Park Tuesday
“Welcome to the Whipping Club.” And with those five words, actor Eric Roberts--as a cane-wielding priest--closes out the haunting trailer for Deborah Henry's debut novel The Whipping Club. While you may or may not be convinced that Roberts is a slimy man of the cloth, there is no denying the power of Henry's story about the guilt which plagues a young mother in 1960s Dublin after she delivers her baby in secret, gives him up for what she believes is adoption to an American couple, then discovers--after ten years--that her son has been institutionalized in a notorious Catholic orphanage and his life is now in danger.
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Visit Fobbit on the web

"Fobbit is fast, razor sharp, and seven kinds of hilarious.  Thank you, Mr. Abrams, for the much needed salve--it feels good to finally laugh about Iraq.  Fobbit deserves a place alongside Slaughterhouse Five and Catch-22 as one of our great comic novels about the absurdity of war."
--Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here
Morality Play

Morality Play: The Mud, The Muck, The Monk
If a National Enquirer headline were to pop up in the midst of Barry Unsworth’s novel Morality Play, it might read: “Chaucer Catches Child Killer!”  Okay, maybe the author of The Canterbury Tales never appears in this 1995 novel, but the spirit of his medieval storytelling frames every chapter like an ornately illustrated border. God, Sin, Death—it’s all here in these 206 pages.
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