New releases from Dagmar Miura
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The Artisanal Grifter
Don’t mess with the hothead—or he might just mess with you. Slater Ibáñez is only interested in two kinds of guys: the ones he wants to punch, and the ones he sleeps with. Things get interesting when they start to overlap. A freelance investigator, Slater trolls the dark side of Los Angeles, rooting out insurance fraud, not afraid to use whatever means necessary to get things done, and not about to hold back with his fists. A queer antihero for a new age, Slater walks the line between ordinary life and the frayed fringes of society, keeping his balance with the back-channel support he gets from his idiot cop ex-boyfriend, Conrad, and regular squeeze Andy.
Pulled into negotiating with a blackmailer as a favor to his mother, Slater soon finds there’s more going on than just her old friend’s inability to keep it in his pants. More victims of the grift turn up, including Etta, an educator with secrets of her own who teams up with Slater to run a con on one of the key players. Unraveling the mystery leads Slater into an old-school photo lab, a late-night stakeout in a bar wearing disguise drag, and pugilistic encounters with a button man and a sleazy property developer. Zeroing in on the extent of the grift, Slater’s plan to plant evidence—the only way to make sure the right person gets arrested—inevitably goes awry, leaving him with a dilemma that strikes to the heart of his already tenuous ethics.
“With Slater I waffle between concern for his bad habits and getting turned on by his raunchiness. Rarely do we meet a character … so in touch with his id.”
Abandoning a life she herself terms “thrown away,” Ana Masaryk, a Purple Heart Army vet of the Iraq war, begins anew in a small northern New England town, where she finds refuge with the gay illustrator of children’s books in an abandoned church he has transformed. A necessary job covering local social functions and writing obits for The Chronicle, the town’s newspaper, leads Ana into an impassioned whole new life of consuming work as the paper’s publisher and editor, and to her defiant defense of it, at the risk of losing everything, when the paper’s independence is threatened by a big-city news chain owned by a politically ambitious billionaire, who always gets whatever he wants through lies, distortions, and sowing dissension.
“Breathless introduction to the inner workings of big business …”
Stalking the Scratch Man
Hired to figure out whether his client’s husband, Ray, has been sleepwalking or just faking it, Truman pulls his best friend, Celeste, into the mystery. The duo digs deep—rifling medical files, running late-night stakeouts, stalking witnesses in bars—to find there’s more to it than Ray’s secretive trips to Chinatown and his habit of macking on women. Truman tries to stay objective with his new crush, Larry, not sure how much he knows about the boss’s lowlife activities, while Celeste contends with her own man troubles in the stalwart but suspicious Alejo. Celeste uses her stealthy instincts to interview the players without showing her hand as Truman, relying on his 1930s-era detective handbook, delves into the dark side of the import business.
Join the bar-hopping, booze-swilling duo as their digging pushes things right to the edge, where Truman and Celeste have to figure out whether to do what’s easy or do what’s right.
“Truman is like that twinkie who slipped through your fingers that time—sweet and a little naive but whip-smart. And every man should have a reliable friend like Celeste. With these two booze hounds running around, the city promises to be a little wilder, and a whole lot more exciting.”
Camera Ready offers a compelling version of a love triangle at its center, as L.A. executive Jane Mercer follows a tortuous path toward her version of the American dream.
Jane finally has her life together. She is vice president of accounts at the advertising agency Warren Mitchell & Partners. She has a stable long-term relationship with classical violinist Derek Lowell and a bright future full of family, close friends, and success. But a surprise encounter with Craig Keller—managing partner of Keller Whitman Group and a powerful advertising magnate—stirs up emotions from her disastrous liaison with him two years earlier. This meeting and an unexpected photo of the two in a popular tabloid topples her secure world, threatening to destroy everything she’s worked to gain.
As Jane anxiously watches, Keller Whitman Group buys out her employer, resulting in the savagely handsome Craig becoming Jane’s new boss. In addition to his alluring yet reprehensible behavior, he now has authority and control over her. Jane feels her autonomy stripped away as Craig ties her promotion to a consensual relationship with him. Worse still, Jane’s visceral attraction to him still burns, despite her wishes to keep him in her past. Forced to face up to her emotional bondage to Craig, Jane must find inner strength to live with integrity—or risk sinking into the morass of decadence and greed that is Keller Whitman Group.
“Riveting, vulnerable, wicked—the Truth, Lies and Love in Advertising series is fun, Fendi, and all the other f-words in between.”
On sale January 5, 2021
Lili aimerait te raconter sa vie dans la ruche. C’est une très vaillante petite abeille qui habite avec sa maman et ses milliers de sœurs et frères. La vie n’est pas facile pour Lili et sa famille. Elle se demande ce que leur réserve le futur. Sa maman lui a dit qu’ils partiront en vacances mais elle ne sait ni quand ni comment. La seule chose qu’elle a entendu dire par deux vieilles abeilles c’est qu’il y aurait un essaim en effervescence. Tu découvras la vie de Lili l’abeille et de sa famille au fil des saisons dans l’attente des vacances.
“L’histoire est charmante ! Elle nous fait découvrir la vie de nos amies les abeilles. Lili l’abeille est un livre qui est non seulement un vrai plaisir pour les enfants mais aussi c’est aussi un livre éducatif qui permet de mieux comprendre qui elles sont. Que l’on soit jeune ou moins jeune, il est important que nous soutenions ces petites créatures exceptionnelles.”
The Landers Mystique
On sale January 5, 2021
On a weekend break in the Mojave, psychic investigator Mason stumbles across the story of a bygone journalist, Geraldine, who expired in the desert on her way to one of the early flying saucer meet-ups. Unable to shake the pointlessness of the tragic tale, Mason trades a favor with his psychic-world mentor, Hanh, who sends him to the East Coast to attend a wedding where he doesn’t know anyone. Wracked with guilt about his role in disrupting the event, Mason grapples with the cost of intervening in Geraldine’s life, and gains new resolve to change the outcome.
With help from his mid-century friends Billy and Flattop, and with the unflagging support of his boyfriend, Ned, and their roommate, Peggy, Mason shifts to Geraldine’s era, and on a long road trip to Landers, manages to rearrange things enough to shake the foundations of his own timeline.
“Every foray by Church’s wonderful psychic detective Mason Braithwaite is a truly suspenseful page-turner in the most unusual crime series ever, and certainly one that no aficionado of crime fiction should miss.”
Words to Lift By
On sale Saturday, December 5
Amid the disruption of the pandemic shutdown, Bob Gold sought a way to connect with people amidst the separation, isolation, and growing uncertainty. Teaming up with poet Ryan Ashley, the duo created a series of poems to celebrate family and friends. The works in Words to Lift By capture the spirit of its subjects in poignant and heartfelt language.
With artwork by Bonnie Lee Holland and photographs by Marcia Gold, Words to Lift By transcends the dysfunction of our era. Take a moment to explore this volume and savor the power of uplifting words.
“A delightful project in what is definitely a strange time. Ashley’s poems … manage to capture the best qualities of their subjects, and a close read through this tome definitely … lifts one’s spirits.”
Night on the Water
A chance encounter on an airplane with the woolly academic Rovski leads psychic investigator Mason onto a college campus, where he works to figure out why math professor Emily is hassling the guy. As he digs into the mystery, his psychic mentor Hanh instructs him to connect with his client in the dream world. Mason works to get lucid in his dreams and struggles to understand the symbolism and the meaning of his experiences in that realm, and how it intersects waking life. It soon becomes clear that he’s seeing things that other people don’t, and the plucky redhead has to grapple with the classic psychic’s dilemma: how to relate paranormal experiences back to mundane reality. His boyfriend, Ned, and their roommate, Peggy, help Mason keep his feet on the ground, and old friend Gilbert shows up in ways that transcend helpful and dive into annoying. As Rovski gets more rattled by Emily’s behavior, Mason gets closer to the truth, sailing across a mountain lake in the dead of night, chasing his quarry on his trusty bicycle, and ultimately unfolding a hidden part of reality.
“Church vividly constructs a world peopled with characters I did not want to leave behind when I finished the book.”
The Psychic Vegan Cookbook
It has never been easier to cook vegan, and you don’t even need to be psychic to do it. This all-plant-based cookbook is a tie-in with the Mason Braithwaite paranormal mystery series and contains some of the plucky LA psychic’s favorite dishes.
The sixty recipes are straightforward and focus on everyday Southwestern cooking. Simple and whole foods are the rule, and few nonstandard ingredients are involved—and when they do appear, they’re explained in detail. You won’t need to make a special trip to esoteric grocery suppliers, however, as this book is ideal for cooks just diving into plant-based home cooking.
Whether your motivation is eating healthier or the welfare of other sentient creatures, Henrietta Flores guides you through some plant-based versions of familiar dishes as well as some that might be new. Many are sure to become household favorites.
“Thank you, Henrietta, for pulling together an amazing collection of vegan grub from Mason’s world. Bon appétit!”
Raph and Hawk are two birds of a different feather. Raph can’t fly. Hawk soars high. Together, they build a boat and journey up-river. Raph comes ashore and meets two new friends, Dog and Turtle. Dog runs too fast. Turtle moves too slow. Raph, balancing in between, rides a unicycle. They set off on an excursion. But a mountain blocks their path. For the love of Tambalacoque fruit, what to do? Follow the tails of Raph, Hawk, Dog, and Turtle as they learn important lessons about diversity, friendship, and resilience.
The author and illustrator are also two birds of a different feather. Dr. Dan is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician. John Watkins-Chow is a math teacher–artist. Combining stories from their first two books, Raph’s Tale is an inspiring and richly illustrated adventure.
Bonus: Make your own coloring book! The last two pages of the book provide black-and-white pictures for children to fill in as they like. Go to ParentChildJourney.com/raphcolors to download all the original drawings and create your own Raph’s Tale Coloring Book.Amazon Kindle Bookshop.org Barnes & Noble Nook Reader Kobo Google Play Books