The Night Is Young

In sixteen remarkable stories, the award-winning author of Elizabeth’s Field and other books captures the flavor of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. While her characters are tied to the reality of the moment, their stories are about the secret life of the heart’s yearning. Barbara Lockhart is known for her ability to mine the rich ore of Eastern Shore history and culture. Her 2013 historical novel, Elizabeth’s Field, tells of the story of a free woman of African American and Indian descent and her struggle to hold onto a piece of land in the 1850s. It was recognized with a silver medal from the Independent Book Publishers Awards. Lockhart has also been the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council for her short stories and Requiem for a Summer Cottage. A native of New York City, Barbara Lockhart lives on a nature preserve on the …

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Winter Rage

by Charles McRaven A bitter feud spirals out of control, bringing suspicion, accusations, and violent assault to members of two neighboring families in the Ozark Mountains. When a stand of oak trees is felled for their timber, questions of property lines come into play. A struggling family of hardscrabble farmers – consisting of an attractive young divorcée, Andy Millard; her ne’er do well brother Charlie; her teenage nephew Nate; and Nate’s crippled grandfather Elijah – find themselves fighting for their good names, their freedom, and even their very lives against their distant neighbors, a dynastic clan headed by Montgomery Mabry, the most powerful lawyer in the mountains, and his spoiled son Barry. As the attacks multiply and murder after murder ensues, it becomes clear that a cunning and remorseless killer is compounding the chaos. One by one, Charlie, Andy and Nate are driven off their small farm, fleeing the reach …

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The Life and Deaths of Blanche Nero

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By Ken Brigham At fifteen, Blanche Nero watches the electrocution of her Italian immigrant father, punishment for the inexplicable brutal murder of his recently acquired friend Old Man Flaherty. She resolves to do something with her life that values humanity over justice, mercy over sacrifice. But she is forever haunted by the mystery of her father. She is also drawn irresistibly to the bigger human mysteries of violence and death. After a grueling but successful academic career at some of the nation’s finest university hospitals, Blanche is almost sixty. Her long career as a trauma surgeon at Charity Hospital in New Orleans has been abruptly ended by Hurricane Katrina. She takes a year sabbatical from the medical school and leases a small flat in Venice, seeking an understanding of her father in the place where he lived his formative years—and of herself by reliving and recording her own remarkable life. …

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Build Me a Tower

By Charles McRaven Theo MacBain is known from coast to coast as a stonemason’s mason, master of the art of finding just the right rock at the right time. Word of mouth alone guarantees him all the high-end stonework he can handle. His face is weathered, his craftsman’s arms sinewed.Stones are easy, but people are hard. The pieces of Theo’s life are out of plumb. His ex-wife is estranged. His two grown children rarely call. When Hanson Blair, a troubled young woman with a sketchy past, apprentices herself to Theo, his solitude begins to show cracks. Young enough to be his daughter, Hannie works like a stevedore, hiding her vulnerability under a flinty veneer that matches his own. But when she smiles, her face lights up and her eyes are irresistible. In Theo, she unlocks a dawning capacity for tenderness, whose flip side is a stunning aptitude for violence. When …

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Shadow of Whimsy

By Ann Hymes Several generations of one family have lived, loved, and lied at Whimsy Towers, a unique oceanfront house in Chatham, Massachusetts. Strong women who refuse to be suffocated by marriage have found excitement and refuge in this house filled with artists and parties. Love surfaces in unexpected ways. The newest owner, Theresa Alston Crandall, has just inherited the property and leaves her too-predictable husband in Virginia to spend time on the Cape and unravel family secrets and history. She swims, reflects, explores, and watches dramatic cloud formations float high over the ocean as she sorts through the choices in her path forward. Romance arrives in the form of a young widower and landscape gardener with an awesome pickup truck, who likes Theresa’s dog and provides temptation to stay at Whimsy Towers. Tips of tree branches dance with the weight of birds that seem to scream warnings of danger, …

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Hard-Boiled Anxiety

Praise for Hard-Boiled Anxiety Named one of the Indie Best Books of the Month, August 2016, by Kirkus Reviews. “Curl up on the analyst’s couch with all your favorite mystery scribes, as Karen Huston Karydes sleuths out the neurotic, personal threads that make up the warp and the weft of their greatest fictions. A dark, yet illuminating read.” — Kim Cooper, author of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles and The Kept Girl “Karen Huston Karydes makes a major contribution to mystery-fiction scholarship with her bold and inventive work, Hard-Boiled Anxiety. Don’t be alarmed by its exotic subtitle: This swift-reading book is short on jargon and long on penetrating insight.  ‘An existential man in a nihilistic world’ is one definition of hard-boiled fiction; Ms. Karydes’s breakthrough move is to apply the same psycho-literary analysis to the biographies of hard-boiled’s ‘Holy Trinity’ of authors as she does to their private-eye protagonists — …

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Posthumously published novel by Gilbert Byron tells story of early Spanish exploration

A 49-year-old novel stored in the archives of Chesapeake College will be published on December 1, marking yet the latest book to issue from the fertile imagination of Eastern Shore author Gilbert Byron. Byron, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, was sometimes called the “Voice of the Chesapeake” because of his lifelong commitment to writing about the history and heritage of the Bay and those who worked its waters. Byron’s previously unpublished book, Mission Boy, tells the story of a Spanish Jesuit missionary expedition to the Chesapeake Bay (called by the Spanish, the Bay of Santa Maria) in 1570. The doomed mission was guided by a Native American convert to Christianity whom the Spanish knew as Don Luis. Soon after the missionaries’ landing, believed to be on the same Virginia Peninsula where Jamestown was to be founded 37 years later by the English, Don Luis slipped away …

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Mission Boy

Mission Boy tells a little known, true story of early American history. Nearly forty years before the English founded their first permanent colony in the New World, at Jamestown, a small group of Jesuit missionaries sailed north from Havana, Cuba to virtually the same location. Guided by a Native American convert to Christianity whom they called Don Luis, the Jesuits hoped to bring Christianity to the Algonquin Indians and to claim a new territory for King Phillip II of Spain. Their mission did not go according to plan. The Indian guide they depended on slipped back into the forests. Within half a year, only one of their number remained alive. And he had to wait more than another year for rescue, in a vast, beautiful, but treacherous land. In a manuscript written nearly 50 years ago, but not published until now, venerated Chesapeake Bay poet and novelist Gilbert Byron tells …

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The Lord’s Oysters

The Lord’s Oysters was nationally acclaimed when first published in 1957 by Atlantic/Little, Brown. While presented as a novel, it captures with vivid fidelity the life of the Chesapeake watermen and their families in the early 20th century. “This is literally a wonderful book. The wonder is that of a boy, Noah Marlin, growing up along the Chester River near the Chesapeake Bay. Inevitably there is something of Twain and Tarkington in his pranks, hooky-playing, and fishing. But other qualities distinctly Gilbert Byron’s make the novel more than a nostalgic re-creation of an American childhood….This isn’t childhood we’re reading about, it’s life.” — Gerald Walker, Saturday Review “Crabs, perch, terrapin and frogs enter the episodes, but they are the only things fishy about this very happy sequence of a boy’s growing.” — Phil Stong, The New York Times Book Review “It is unmistakably real. And it is unmistakably fine – …

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The Great Snapping Turtle Adventure

Poet and novelist Susan Yaruta-Young tells the always charming, sometimes spooky story of a family outing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When Fred takes stepsons Max and Charles to Elliott Island for a day of crabbing, none of them are expecting to encounter anything out of the ordinary. But all bets are off when you drive out that long narrow road to the End of the World. An old woman gives them a giant snapping turtle to sell, and their day gets weird. And when they stumble across the same woman’s gravestone–with her death date inscribed, but hidden in the ground–their trip becomes stranger still. As every answer leads to more questions, what starts as a “Boys’ Day Out” becomes an adventure that will not soon be forgotten. .