A Publication Day Reading

Today is publication day for In Our Midst!  Alas, none of us can be in public spaces right now for anything like a reading, a Q&A, and a launch party–but I have a computer, a headset and a serviceable built-in voice recorder, so I have created a short reading you might enjoy.

What you’ll hear are the last two pages of the first chapter of In Our Midst.  The scene is set in the Aust Family Restaurant, during a midday St. Nikolas Day celebration on December 7, 1941.  Click here to listen.

If you’d like to read the first chapter, click here.

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Coming April 28, 2020

Only a few days more! 

Drawing upon a long-suppressed episode in American history, when thousands of German immigrants were rounded up and interned following the attack on Pearl Harbor, In Our Midst tells the story of one family’s fight to cling to the ideals of freedom and opportunity that brought them to America.

Nina and Otto Aust, along with their teenage sons, feel the foundation of their American lives crumbling when, in the middle of the annual St. Nikolas Day celebration in the Aust Family Restaurant, their most loyal customers, one after another, turn their faces away and leave without a word. The next morning, two FBI agents seize Nina by order of the president, and the restaurant is ransacked in a search for evidence of German collusion.

Ripped from their sons and from each other, Nina and Otto are forced to weigh increasingly bitter choices to stay together and stay alive. Recalling a forgotten chapter in history, In Our Midst illuminates a nation gripped by suspicion, fear, and hatred strong enough to threaten all bonds of love―for friends, family, community, and country.

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IN OUR MIDST on Instagram

My thanks go out to Sarah Blakeley-Cartwright, Publishing Director for Chicago Review of Books, for inviting me to be one of their Instagram resident authors, which means I’ll be sharing glimpses of In Our Midst on their Instagram each day, April 21-28.  Watch for an introduction of me and In Our Midst on April 21, followed each day for the next week by photos related to places, people, and historical artifacts that inspired my story and its characters.

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Chapter One, Anyone?

No need to wait until In Our Midst is released on April 28, 2020.  You can read the first chapter right now!  Click here.

 

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Reading Group Ready! Let’s Talk About IN OUR MIDST

Of all the things I do to share my work and engage with readers–book festivals, readings, talks, interviews, guest-blogging–the one I most enjoy is visiting with reading groups. Since the release of The Sisters, I’ve met with close to a hundred reading groups across the country, both in person, via Skype, and even a few times by speaker phone.

You’d think that after engaging with so many groups, ranging in size from three or four to more than fifty, I would instantly be able to list the most-frequently asked questions, but the joyful wonder of this experience for me has been that questions are almost never duplicated from one group to another. Even similar questions are reshaped by the concerns of the individual reader, the values of the group, and the developing conversation. Your ever-fresh perspectives keep me on my toes!

If you are part of a reading group, small or large–whether you have come together as friends, neighbors, co-workers, or through the sponsorship of a library, a bookstore, a school or university–I’d love to find a way to join you in a Q&A.

In Our Midst will be released on April 28, 2020, but you can read the first chapter right now!  Go ahead and have  look at the Reading Group Guide, too. 

You can pre-order In Our Midst from the publisher, Dzanc Books, from any of the links on my site’s home page, or from your favorite independent bookstore via IndieBound.

If your reading group decides to adopt In Our Midst and you’d like for me to join you, please contact me, and, if you’re outside my local area, we’ll figure out which technology will best bring us together.

I would also be delighted to talk with any group that might be interested in adopting The Sisters.  Just click to read the first chapter of The Sisters and get the reading group guide.

 

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