Book Publicity News

Thursday, September 03, 2009

September Update

I’ve launched a book blog today, Confessions of a Book Publicist, which takes you behind the scenes of the publishing business from the perspective of a book publicist.

Look for informative and entertaining stories about the book publicity business…anecdotes about the typical day in the life of a book publicist…the occasional book review or a favorite recipe or two… ruminations on my current reading…news about the books I am promoting…what really happens behind the scenes. The blog will be entertaining, filled with anecdotes, and will also shed light on what it’s like to work with the media. And, of course, it will be about books. So please take a look at Confessions of a Book Publicist.

It’s been a busy summer launching campaigns for two scrumptious and timely cookbooks: SEAFOOD ALLA SICILIANA: Recipes & Stories From a Living Tradition by Toni Lydecker (Lake Isle Press; September) and SIMPLY IN SEASON: Recipes that Celebrate Fresh, Local Foods in the Spirit of More-with-Less by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert (Herald Press; September).

SEAFOOD ALLA SICILIANA takes readers on a Sicilian odyssey. As much a travelogue as a cookbook, this gorgeous book is filled with wonderful, simple and healthy recipes that Toni collected from Sicilian home cooks and professional chefs, while some are her own creative riffs on classic Sicilian themes. And it is the first cookbook to explore in depth the rich culinary dimensions of Sicilian seafood.

SIMPLY IN SEASON, is, simply, about eating in harmony with the seasons. The authors advocate preparing your meals with fresh, locally-grown produce raised in or near your community, in sync with the seasons. SIMPLY IN SEASON features anecdotes and discussions as to why it does make a difference to eat locally grown food. Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and our First Lady have all been outspoken proponents about the importance of eating fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables. Now there is a cookbook that provides cooks with simple-to-prepare delicious recipes using fresh, seasonal produce. SIMPLY IN SEASON, at the vanguard of the locally-grown and seasonal food movement, couldn’t be more timely.

Just in time for the long, winter days comes a great mystery to curl up with: OVERKILL by Eugenia Lovett West (St. Martin’s Nov/Dec). If Jessica Fletcher from the TV hit series “Murder She Wrote” were a real-life character, she would be Eugenia Lovett West, who successfully launched her career as a mystery writer at the age of 81.

“This is a great and productive time of life,” says the 86-year-young West. OVERKILL is the second book in the Emma Streat series, following on the heels of Without Warning, which featured a 40-something attractive widow whose husband is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Determined to find his killer, Emma plunges into an international high-tech world—and into a brief affair with a sexy British spy in a suspenseful plot that the late Dominick Dunne praised as a “fast-paced page-turner.”

Stay tuned for more on OVERKILL in future postings, recipes from SEAFOOD ALLA SICILIANA and SIMPLY IN SEASON, media updates and more.

To briefly catch up on spring and summer news: I handled campaigns for two excellent mysteries, both of which received rave reviews.

For fans of Kyra Davis, the author who launched a chick-lit mystery series with Sex, Murder and a Double Latte, comes her latest in the series featuring the bi-racial, sassy Sophie Katz: LUST, LOATHING A LITTLE LIP GLOSS (MIRA Books). Davis cleverly uses the housing crisis as the backdrop for this hilarious, entertaining mystery, which is a blend of Mary Higgins Clark meets Bridget Jones. LUST, LOATHING AND A LITTLE LIP GLOSS is the novel that Sophie Katz fans have been waiting for, and the perfect introduction for new readers as well. It has everything a mystery fan could ask for: sex, murder, romance, a haunted house, suspense, lots of humor and just a little lip gloss for her chick lit fans.

THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU (Harper) by the writing team of Michael Stanley, follows on the heals of their successful debut novel, A Carrion Death, which the New York Times Book Review praised as “A first novel saturated with local color. . . . Happily, Kubu is also hugely appealing—big and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery. Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty.”

THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU is a murder mystery that takes readers into the heart of contemporary Africa. Set in Botswana and tied to a back story about the current turmoil in Zimbabwe and how the Rhodesian Bush War has forged strange relationships, both good and nefarious, this novel is haunted by the dissolution of these relationships.

A must-read for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri and all novels about the conflicts among the different generations of immigrant families is THE TRICKING OF FREYA, is a mesmerizing debut novel by Christina Sunley (St. Martin’s) about a family of Icelandic immigrants who settle in North America that More Magazine hailed as “an instant classic.” Three weeks on The San Francisco Chronicle’s bestseller list, THE TRICKING OF FREYA received many rave reviews. Scroll down to see what the critics have said about THE TRICKING OF FREYA.

I think I’m all caught up. Sorry for the lapse in postings. I will be blogging on a more regular basis from now on, writing chatty, entertaining stories on Confessions, and discussing in more depth the great books I’m promoting on my webblog.

I want to end here that reading books, writing about them and promoting books is a dream-come-true job for a book lover like myself. Happy reading to everyone this fall!


“Some novels, in addition to all else they accomplish, simply make great company: Christina Sunley's first novel is one, packed with delectable relationships and family secrets….Sunley has created much more to delight readers en route: characters we anticipate with curiosity and fondness, a deep reverence for the magic of language… In the character of Birdie, Sunley's made a marvel… Sunley's writing often enchants… I wish I had more room to quote from this ambitious work, packed with juicy events, dialogue and settings…”
—The San Francisco Chronicle

“An impressive debut novel by San Francisco writer Christina Sunley… This novel works on several levels: as a drama of family dynamics; as an immigrant story; and as a showcase for the author's broad and deep knowledge of Iceland.”
—The Seattle Times
“If all you know about Iceland is failed banks and Björk, The Tricking of Freya is a highly readable introduction…” —The Christian Science Monitor
“An instant classic…[a] luminous first novel…the story sparkles with the author’s love of language and of her own Icelandic culture. The book’s masterfully told final mysteries reveal themselves as magically as darkroom images appearing under the light.”
—More Magazine

"The author draws on her Icelandic heritage for this alluring and mystical story of a ... girl who discovers that family tragedies can haunt and shape many generations." —Good Housekeeping
“THE TRICKING OF FREYA is a fantastic story, full of myth and legend, family drama, epic landscapes, the search for identity, a sense of belonging and unconditional love… Sunley deftly weaves in real Icelandic and Norse history, Icelandic literature, culture and language into her tale, giving it a seriousness and depth that is compelling, romantic and readable… an accomplished debt.” —
“Sunley's debut novel is an intricate family travelogue, based in the present of Icelandic-Canadian life and the half-mythical world of her grandparents' Iceland… This grand coming-of-age-novel boasts a dynamic set of characters and a rich bank of cultural and personal lore, making this dark, cold family tale a surprisingly lush experience.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“An astonishingly accomplished debut…a bewitching tale of volcanic emotions, cultural inheritance, family sorrows, mental illness, and life-altering discoveries.”

“…Amazing debut… Sunley's writing is truly poetic. She brings here settings alive in a way that will make you believe that you have been there and experienced it all yourself.