Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Gregg Sapp

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Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a librarian, academic administrator, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated author. Having written over 60 academic articles and some 300 reviews, Gregg published his first novel, Dollarapalooza (or “The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus”) in 2011 with Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press.

Since then, he has published humor, poetry, and short stories in various literary journals, including Defenestration, Imaginaire, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Marathon Review, and Writing Tomorrow, and he’s been a frequent contributor to Midwestern Gothic. His forthcoming book, Fresh News Straight from Heaven, about the life and folklore of Johnny Appleseed, will be published by Evolved Publishing in 2017.

Books

Coming Soon….

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Watch for Fresh News Straight from Heaven, a literary/historical novel, to come in the spring of 2017.

 
“I happen to believe that genius makes people weird,” the storyteller says, explaining how Johnny Appleseed could be at once so peculiar and so profound.

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Between 1801 and 1812, Ohio and the Old Northwest territory was a brutal place where peace was fragile, living conditions were savage, and the laws of civilization were far away. Still, settlers staked everything they owned on the chance that they could build better lives for themselves in this new frontier. John Chapman – aka, Johnny Appleseed – knew this land better than any white man. Everywhere he went, he shared the “Fresh News Straight from Heaven,” which he heard right from the voices of angels who chatted with him regularly, that God had promised him personally that peace was possible through growing fruit.

Convincing people of that vision, though, was no easy task. Most folks thought he was mad. This land was populated by a miscellaneous assemblage of soldiers, scoundrels, freebooters, runaway slaves, circuit riders, and religious cultists. Ambitious politicians, like Aaron Burr and William Henry Harrison, had dreams of creating a new empire. Meanwhile, a reformed drunkard emerged among the Shawnee as a Prophet, who spoke with the Great Spirit, Waashaa Monetoo. Along with his brother, the war chief Tecumseh, the Prophet began building an Indian coalition to take back their land.

Even while the tensions mount, Johnny, with angels urging him on, skates blithely through the crossfire and turmoil, spreading his message, impervious to the mockery and derision being heaped upon him. Throughout his mission, Johnny is dogged at every step by Colonel Frank Bantzer of the Ohio militia. The two men share history with a woman–Sister Mona Junkin of a schismatic, all-female sect of the Shakers–whom Johnny befriends after she’d been betrayed by Bantzer.

Finally, Johnny’s faith is challenged when war breaks out in the land, leading to the bloody battle of Tippecanoe between Harrison’s army and the Shawnee Prophet’s warriors, and ultimately to the declaration of the War of 1812. A violent massacre near the northern Ohio town of Mansfield leaves its citizens terrified and vulnerable. In a desperate act of faith, Johnny promises the people that he can save them.

And thus Johnny dashes off on a midnight run, seeking to spread peace across a land on the brink of war. But, on his way, he must face various demons from his own past, settle old scores, and make things right. Standing in his way is an enraged Colonel Frank Bantzer. With many lives at stake, including his and Sister Mona’s, Johnny has to confront the ultimate test of his convictions.

Great Stories, Dynamic Worlds, Compelling Characters: The Making of Cassia by Lanette Kauten

Lanette KautenIn this interview, author Lanette Kauten discusses some of what went into her creation of Cassia, a literary exploration of the art scene, perfect for fans of literary or women’s fiction: a lesbian “Anna Karenina” set in an art district at the end of the Cold War.

Available at the Following Retailers:

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Interview with the Author:

CassiaWhere does your story begin?
Cassia begins at a baseball game in the year 2010. My main character, Tanya, is there with her husband and a married couple he knows professionally. The woman peppers Tanya with questions about Cassia, insinuating she knows too much about Tanya’s past.
 
The next chapter starts twenty years in the past and details Tanya’s torrid relationship with the enigmatic Cassia.
 
Who are your main characters? What do they want? What will get in their way?
As a reporter living in Deep Ellum, all Tanya Falgoust wants is to be accepted as part of the underground arts district. But living among free thinkers and musicians doesn’t make her one of them. Then she meets the sensual, rebellious Cassia, a performance artist who struts onto the stage and into Tanya’s bed.
 
No one knows who Cassia is, but her beauty and talents as an actress and dancer captivate the local scene. Tanya is mesmerized, and they quickly form a relationship. A close friend warns Tanya about Cassia, but she brushes him off. But when Cassia refuses to divulge anything about herself, where she lives, or even her real name, Tanya starts to realize her friend was right. And the secrets her lover is hiding are deeper and more damaging than Tanya could imagine.
 
As the pull of their relationship deepens and becomes more volatile, Tanya must decide whether to break from her desire before she loses the one thing she wants most—connection to the musicians who have accepted her into their community.
 
Where does your setting fit with what we know, and where is it unique?
Cassia is set in an arts/bar district just east of downtown Dallas, which in itself makes the setting both familiar and unique. A lot of cities have a section that’s pretty much reserved for the boho lifestyle—East Village in New York, 6th Street in Austin, and pretty much all of Portland, to name a few. Dallas has such an area as well, called Deep Ellum.
 
The neighborhood started as a Freedman’s town and was a Blues and Jazz hotspot at one time. For decades, it sat nearly empty except for the few businesses that never moved from the area. In the 80s, a handful of people saw tremendous opportunity to make it into a place for local musicians and artists.
 
What books, movies, etc, might this story be similar to, and in what ways is it unique?
The first book to come to mind is Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, because of its structure, and because the main character is a woman looking back on a particular year of her life and how the events of that year changed the direction of the rest of her life. But 1939 New York (Rules of Civility) is very different from 1990 Dallas (Cassia).
 
A generational tie exists with the book Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, as both her book and mine deal with the struggles of a young crop of Gen-Xers. Outside of Wurtzel’s book being a memoir and mine being a work of fiction, there is a difference in writing style and focus. While Prozac Nation deals with depression in young adults, Cassia focuses on the postmodern view of art and sexuality.
 
Are more stories planned in this series?
I don’t write book series, but I am working on a new novel with Cassia as the protagonist. Tanya won’t even appear as a cameo in this new book.
 
Our thanks to Lanette Kauten for spending a little time with us, and we hope you enjoy her wonderful book, Cassia.

And if you love Cassia, you’ll also love:

JellicleGirlV2_600x900 WhiteChalkV3 YoursToKeepOrThrowAside RedOnTheRun CarryMeAway_600x900

#IAmWhiteChalk – Suicide and Today’s Teenagers

IAmWhiteChalk

#IAmWhiteChalk – Suicide and Today’s Teenagers — by Pavarti K. Tyler

Being a teenager is hard. It’s full of contradictory messages and constant confusion. To be a child and an adult in a single body was, as I remember it, a peculiar kind of hell. Compounding the normal difficulties is a culture obsessed with sexuality. It’s not surprising that so many teens mistake sex with power and confidence.

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week in the US. In White Chalk the main character, Chelle, exhibits so many of the risk factors, it can be frustrating to read her story. Why aren’t the adults paying more attention? Why isn’t anyone there for her? But the answer isn’t as easy as it seems. Chelle has resources and people who care for her, she just doesn’t know how to ask for help and consistently makes the worst choices.

Many people email me and ask if Chelle could have been saved. What actually happens at the end of the book? The answer is, Chelle could have been any of us. She could be any teen you know. Do you know what to look for?

Signs of Suicide Risk Include:

• Self-Harm (Cutting or Other Dangerous Activities)
• Substance Use (Alcohol or Drug)
• Feeling Purposelessness or Hopelessness
• Anxiety, Agitation
• Sleep Issues: Insomnia or Sleeping All of the Time
• Withdrawal from Friends, Family and Society
• Rage, Uncontrolled Anger, Seeking Revenge
• Acting Reckless or Engaging in Risky Activities, Seemingly without Thinking
• Increased or Risky Sexuality
• Dramatic Mood Changes

Watch the ones you love. Speak up. And never, ever be afraid to ask for help.

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Two of Evolved Publishing’s Titles Win the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Fall 2014

Two Big Winners: The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky and Shatter Point.

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We’re always thrilled when one of our books receives special recognition, but even more thrilled when it’s two books! And from a prestigious group like Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!

Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards – Fall 2014

We believed from the beginning that these two books deserved to be discovered by readers, and now that they’re racking up the individual awards, including this latest one, we hope more readers will discover these wonderful works. They’re very different works, one a literary saga (and light fantasy) and one a suspense thriller, but both are spectacular stories by talented authors.

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The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack

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After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.

Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.

These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself “The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.” A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.

But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ENTIRE TEAM:
David Litwack – Author
Lane Diamond – Editor
Mallory Rock – Cover Artist & Interior Designer

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Shatter Point by Jeff Altabef

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eBook On Sale for $0.99 in December (SAVE $3.00)

Maggie met Cooper at a young age, but even then she sensed something was wrong with him. His charm, good looks, and wealth could not hide the danger that burned in his sapphire eyes.

Some nightmares don’t go away. He’d been haunting her from a distance for as long as she could remember.

Now things have changed.

When her sons Jack and Tom discover she’s been taken, they set out to rescue her and uncover nefarious family secrets, explosive government conspiracies, and a series of horrific murders along the way. Only their colorful great aunt and a covert resistance group can help them navigate the dark underworld full of political subterfuge and class warfare.

All the while, Maggie struggles to outwit her tormentor in a life and death psychological battle of tense desperation. Will Jack and Tom arrive before Cooper reaches his shatter point?

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ENTIRE TEAM:
Jeff Altabef – Author
Megan Harris – Editor
Lane Diamond – Senior Editor
Mallory Rock – Cover Artist & Interior Design

Great Literary Fiction from Evolved Publishing

Strong writing is one of our greatest assets.

We at EP believe in the power of words, and that great writing, whatever the genre, is always a good thing. Indeed, we often lean toward the “literary,” as a matter of style, and many of our books can be classified as literary fiction, even if they cross over into other genres.

The following are just such books. Whatever other genres they occupy, we often think of them simply as literary fiction. You’ll find here great writing, exquisitely-drawn characters, deep inter-personal relationships – all the things great books have long offered to avid readers. We think you deserve the best, and while we think each and every one of our books stand up to any others within their genre, with quality always our first priority, the following books tend to fall more into a classical style of writing. We hope you enjoy them.

Just click on the cover or the title to go to the book’s main page, where you’ll find full descriptions, book details, retail links, and more.

Hannahs_Voice_300dpi_200x300Hannah’s Voice by Robb Grindstaff
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.7 Stars

When six-year-old Hannah’s brutal honesty is mistaken for lying, she stops speaking. Her family, her community, and eventually, the entire nation struggle to find meaning in her silence. Hannah stands at the intersection of anarchists and fundamentalists, between power politics and an FBI investigation. All she wants is to find her momma, a little peace and quiet, and maybe some pancakes.

Carry_Me_Away_300dpi_200x300Carry Me Away by Robb Grindstaff
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.7 Stars

Carrie Destin, a biracial military brat, learns the injuries she sustained in a car accident will prove fatal before she reaches adulthood. Facing an abbreviated life with a brash attitude and a biting, sometimes morbid sense of humor, Carrie races to experience life before it ends, but spirals out of control, leading to a physical and emotional collapse.

Desert_Rice_300dpi_200x300Desert Rice by Angela Scott
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.7 Stars

When Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. But Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.
 
Desert_Flower_300dpi_200x300Desert Flower by Angela Scott
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.8 Stars

Sam’s now a young woman of nineteen, trying to put the pieces of her life together, but the naked man in the desert spirals her world out of control, resurrecting past hurts and revealing old secrets. [Sequel to Desert Rice]
 
 
FMA_v3_300_DPI_200x300Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.6 Stars

…Now mortality, as it did seventeen years ago, lingers above me like the hangman’s noose. Yet it looms more ominous than ever, as if it will drop down around my neck at any moment. After all, I know the true Mitchell Norton. And whom shall I fear if not the devil, the grim torturer who conquered my aspirations and left me without a recognizable world of my own?….

Jellicle_Girl_300dpi_200x300Jellicle Girl by Stevie Mikayne
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.5 Stars

A young foster child with a wicked sense of humour and a devastating past reminds Beth that secrets seem powerful, but can destroy the person who holds them too close. Jellicle Girl is a powerful coming-of-age story about redemption, identity, and learning to let go of secrets that scar.
 
 
Weight_of_Earth_300dpi_200x300Weight of Earth by Stevie Mikayne
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.7 Stars

Ella’s mother refuses to talk about what happened—a secret Lydia also keeps tightly guarded, for reasons Ella doesn’t understand. A compelling story of how family loyalty entwines with personal secrecy, and what it means to be exceptional.
 
 
Torn_Together_v2_300dpi_200x300Torn Together by Emlyn Chand
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.3 Stars

Emlyn Chand’s first sojourn into Literary/New Adult fiction weaves a tale of friendship, dreams, and a lingering loss, while illustrating how our similarities often drive us apart.
 
 
 
White_Chalk_300dpi_200x300White Chalk by Pavarti K. Tyler
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.7 Stars

When Troy Christiansen walks into Chelle’s life, she’s desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.

The_Lone_Wolf_300dpi_200x298The Lone Wolf by E.D. Martin
Average Rating at Amazon = 4.6 Stars

After her husband’s infidelities are revealed, Kasey Sanford just wants to rediscover who she is. After an abusive childhood and years as a career soldier, Andrew Adams just wants someone to tell him that he’s doing the right thing with his life. When their paths cross, Kasey and Andrew embark on a tumultuous journey that demonstrates just what they’re willing to do to save the ones they love.

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Each of these books is bound to leave you with lasting images, and with characters you may not soon forget.

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