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Open Books author James Hitt discusses his most recent novel, The Courage of Others and recaps his career as an author.
Jim says, "To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader."
Stories, Poems, Articles, Excerpts, Videos, Interviews, Fine Arts Expo
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Cultural Journal
Open Books author Sid Gustafson reads his short story, "Seals"Listen now on SoundCloud.
Free For Your Enjoyment... Since 2002!   

Open Books author Alan Ramon Clinton talks about his love life (and reads from his letters to women on the web site
Return to Mameluke Bath
A twenty-minute documentary by Eleanor Bowen-Jones about Andrew Asibong's novel Mameluke Bath. Like the book, the film explores in alternately comic, serious and horrific modes, the themes of stigma, trauma and zombification in contemporary and futuristic provincial England. 
An Open Books Event
Book Launch Celebration in Toronto, Canada for As a Thief in the Night by Chuck Crabbe.
Open Books author Miha Mazzini
Author of 28 books published in 9 languages
Winner of the Pushcart & Golden Palm for best film of 2012 and Best Director at Highgate Film Festival, London
discusses the writing of his novel, Paloma Negra
This video chronicles author Donald O'Donovan's colorful history as well as the characters that populate his fiction. 
O'Donovan talks about his lifelong writing career, his love of great literature, his devotion to Southern California and his current indulgence, chicken farming.
Authors (click photos for full bios)
Adele Elliott
Alan Clinton
Andrew Asibong
Christy Fearn
Chuck Crabbe
David Rat
David A. Ross
Donald O'Donovan
Gregory Heath
James E. Tatooles
John Leahy
Keith Ainsworth
Kelly Huddleston
Linda Sands
Melissa Palmer
Miha Mazzini
Omoruyi Uwuigiaren
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
Roy Sexton
Susie Sexton
Sandra Cuza
Teri Louise Kelly
Tim Cole
Amy McLean
Kathleen Curtin
Bobby Williams
James Hitt
Recent Recognition for
OB Authors & Titles
Brett Busang
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Upcoming Titles for Fall 2016
Alan 2 by Bruce Forciea (Science Fiction)
From the author of The X-Cure comes Alan 2!

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2,  can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation. 

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam. 

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin. 

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.  

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?

Norman Abrahamson grew up in the Boston area in the 1960s and 70s. He quickly learned that a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but also the most boring. After graduating from law school in 1982, he worked as an attorney in private practice for 20 years before switching careers. 

In 2008, Norman became a history teacher in a public high school. He enjoys the give-and-take environment of the classroom and working with students from all walks of life.

Over the years, writing has been a constant in Norm’s life. In 2010, he became involved in the National Writing Project, helping other teachers with their personal writing as well as using innovative methods to teach writing skills to students across all grades, subjects and skill levels. 

Norman married his college sweetheart in 1986, and they had two boys, both now grown. In addition to working as an attorney and teacher, he worked the counter for several years at the venerable Elsie’s Lunch of Harvard Square, and briefly, during law school, worked as the world’s smallest bouncer. He enjoys martial arts and still teaches Judo as well as acoustic guitar.

Open Books will publish Norman's debut novel, Hodge, in January 2017.
Open Books Welcomes Author 
Norman Abrahamson
Open Books Welcomes Author Hans Wink 

Learn more about The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans by David A. Ross
The Discount Detectives by Ben Unglesbee
In 2009, airline Captain Hans Wink accepted a three-year contract with the United Nations to fly political officials to the hot spots of Africa and Asia. Having firsthand knowledge of political situations and closely observing UN operations in war zones—even in Libya and Afghanistan—compelled Hans to write about his encounters. He chose autobiographical narrative nonfiction to combine the dramas of his personal life with his experiences traveling the world.

In Mid-Air by Hans Wink (Memoir)

Born in East Germany under the communist regime, Hans Wink sacrificed the love of his life for freedom in the West, finally landing in America. 

But his approach was full of turbulence and his landing was anything but smooth.

As a young man in Miami, Hans ran the gamut of the American experience, from tumultuous relationships to drugs and vice.

Yet Hans was destined to soar, eventually becoming a commercial pilot.

In 2009, Captain Wink accepted a three-year contract with the United Nations to fly political officials to the hot spots of Africa and Asia. Gaining firsthand knowledge of political situations and closely observing UN operations in war zones in Libya and Afghanistan compelled Hans to write about his encounters. 

His story is, to say the least, full of ups and downs. 

Join Hans in his cockpit seat as he soars above the clouds!
His outcry for freedom started when he fled communist East Germany in 1985. By 1988 he’d fallen in love with the United States, and after several setbacks he found a new homeland, resulting in his US citizenship in 2014.

October is Memoir Month at Open Books! Preview seven titles
Open Books Welcomes Author Marisa T. Cohen

Open Books Summer 2016 Catalog
Open Books Welcomes Author Paul Breen
Paul Breen is an acclaimed author of literary fiction, academic works, and news articles particularly in the areas of language, culture, sport and identity. He has published works in both the United Kingdom and the United States, including a series of video lectures on the use of social media in the 21st century. 

Born in Ireland, Paul now lives in London’s historic Greenwich area, renowned as being the home of time. Most of his own time is taken up with teaching various language and writing courses in The University of Westminster, located in the heart of London and famous for hosting one of the world’s most prestigious Media departments. Prior to this, he has worked in other British universities and overseas in Korea, Japan, and Australia where the adventures he had and the people he met along the way proved that life indeed can be crazier than fiction! 

Paul is also an active freelance contributor to many newspapers and magazines in Britain, Ireland and beyond. He has written poetry for the former Irish President, Mary McAleese, has worked on film scripts,
Click images to read article
Review of Swift Dam in 
Outside Bozeman Magazine
An audience of 110 attend book launch event for Remember For Me 
by Diana Tarant Schmidt
Click image to watch full video
Digital Riot spotlights
Black Sails, Disco Inferno
by Andrez Bergen
  Open Books Author Tamara Pearson 
Writes Commentary in
the New York Times
 Sterling review of Swift Dam
by OB Author Sid Gustafson
in Last Best News
The Bones of a Season by Paul Breen (Psychological Thriller)

Fergus Sharkey has come from Ireland to London and settled in the historic surroundings of Greenwich, fabled home and birthplace of time. There the Irish immigrant falls in love with a northern English rose named Katy Prunty and soon begins to follow the fortunes of the local football team, Charlton Athletic. 

To affirm the love of his team, Fergus decides to get a tattoo of the club badge, but this causes friction between Fergus and Katy and sets in motion the gradual decaying of their romance during the course of the football season. When Katy leaves for the coast, Fergus becomes embroiled in a relationship with the tattoo artist Dyana, whose young friend, a grime musician, has recently been gunned down in the street in broad daylight. 

Set against the backdrop of Charlton Athletic's football fortunes, and a crime network that lurks on the horizon, Fergus begins to uncover the answers to the musician’s murder as well as the layers of his decaying romance.

One day Paul hopes to write a children’s book on the lives of London’s cats! But until that day he will spend his time writing, roaming, and serving his mistress. 

Open Books will publish Paul's second novel, The Bones of a Season, in September 2016.
Hans Wink holds airline certifications for Europe and the US, and has 
flown both VIP and medical emergency response teams on a worldwide 
scale. The cultural and social differences he encountered and the pain and suffering he observed has helped to form his personality, his philosophy and his approach toward living.
Open Books Welcomes Author David M. Hamlin

David M. Hamlin was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Bethesda, Maryland and educated in Montgomery County public schools. He is a former VISTA volunteer and a cum laude graduate of Nasson College in Maine. He has enjoyed two careers, first as an executive with the American Civil Liberties Union and then as a partner in a successful Los Angles public relations and marketing agency which he co-founded with his wife, Sydney Weisman. He lives, writes and plays tennis in Palm Springs, California. 

David M. Hamlin is the author of a first-hand account of one of the most controversial free speech cases of the twentieth century, The Nazi/Skokie Conflict (Beacon Press, 1980). In 2009, he wrote Los Angeles’s Original Farmers Market (Arcadia Press, photos curated by Brett Arena). He has also written countless opinion page commentaries, freelance news and professional journal articles, a political satire column and the box copy for the Hot Wheels™ 40th Anniversary Edition Gilmore Oil White 3000 Truck and Agajanian Special midget racer.

Open Books will publish David's debut novel, Winter in Chicago, in Fall 2016.

The X-Cure by Open Books Author 
Bruce Forciea reviewed in 
I Heart Reading

Ishmael Crosses the River
WINTER IN CHICAGO by David M. Hamlin
Winter in Chicago by David M. Hamlin (Contemporary Mystery)
Drugs, death and rock and roll on Chicago's AM radio dial...

​Before dawn in January, 1975, Emily detours from her normal route to work in the newsroom of Chicago’s top pop rock station to investigate a crime scene. The police believe the body on the street is a suicide. Emily is stunned to discover that the dead woman is a dear friend since high school. Unable to fathom why Beni Steinart would take her own life, Emily begins an investigation that leads to a trunk-load of cocaine, Federal narcotics charges, abuse of power and a perplexing mystery – suicide or murder?

Emily’s reporting triggers an explosive battle between two men who tower over their city. Cary Chase is Chicago’s most prominent bachelor, a wealthy entrepreneur whose mansion is the epicenter of Chicago’s elite society. United States Attorney Tommy “Tommy Terrific” Jameson is ambitiously determined to rid his city of corruption on his way up to the Governor’s office and perhaps even higher.

Drawing on an eclectic roster of news sources and WEL colleagues and her own considerable talent and determination, Emily uncovers the full story of her friend’s death in a remarkable confrontation which produces front page headlines and restores one life as it ruins another.

First published at age 13, Kerry Arquette went on to write articles for dozens of national magazines and her work was featured in Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. She is the author of two picture books including What Did You Do Today? (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), which won the Colorado Book Award, and was later selected for inclusion in the compilation, Sweet Dreams: Five Minute Bedtime Stories. Her picture book, Daddy Promises was released by Concordia Publishing. 

Arquette was also Executive Editor of Memory Makers Books, an imprint of F+W Publishing specializing in scrapbooking and paper crafts. With business partner, Andrea Zocchi, she founded Cantata Books Inc., a publishing company responsible for dozens of popular art and crafting titles. Arquette is, herself, a prolific multi-media artist. 

Kerry also holds a Masters degree in criminology and has worked with crime victims as part of the Denver Colorado Police Department. She is married to Denver attorney, Mark Senn, and has three children, Erin, Brittan, and Ryan. She is the daughter of well-known author, Lois Duncan.

Open Books will publish Kerry's latest book, War Cries, in Fall 2016. 

Open Books Welcomes Author Kerry Arquette

When she is not teaching or researching, Marisa enjoys wine tasting with her husband, walks with her dog Bisbee, and laugh-filled brunches with her friends. 

Open Books will publish From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love in Fall 2016.
Gregory Heath
Featured Title
War Cries by Kerry Arquette (Poetry / Social Conscience)

​Germany, post WWI, was a country in crises. Shortages of food, energy, and the deflation of German currency demoralized the population. Seeking scapegoats for their misery, many Germans pointed fingers at German Jews, blaming them for business practices believed to have led to their war defeat and current situation.

Wielding a wand of power, Hitler instigated a plan that would lead to the largest act of genocide in history. Propelled by his belief that German Aryans were superior and therefore destined to rule the world, he plotted to expand German lands so the offspring of these Aryans would have room to expand. Hitler also believed that Jews, Slavs, southern Europeans and all non-white people were sub-humans, fit only to serve his Aryan elite. Using newspapers, books, billboards, posters and impassioned speeches, he launched a campaign to rally the population to embrace his views and support his cause. 

Hitler also instigated laws mandating abortion and sterilization for the chronically ill, handicapped, alcoholics and drug addicts. By 1939, many “incurables” were being killed outright. Laws were also passed that allowed “dangerous criminals” such as beggars, alcoholics, and the homeless and unemployed to be imprisoned.

Even as Hitler pursued his military goals, the persecution of German Jews was mounting. Increasing numbers were being sent to concentration camps along with political prisoners, homosexuals and Gypsies. Encouraged by the German government, many Jews fled the country, leaving behind money and possessions. Others dragged their feet, organizing their affairs and making extensive plans for relocation. By the time they were prepared to depart, both transportation and the documentation necessary for immigration were difficult to obtain.

In 1941, Hitler ratcheted up his persecution of Europe’s Jewish population by ordering “The final solution of the Jewish question.” That “solution” was the mass murder of millions of Jews. Many of the Jewish men, women and children that died over the following years were shot by German murder squads made up of soldiers and enthusiastic civilians. Mobile gassing vans were used to murder dozens of Jews at a time. Then larger gas chambers, disguised as shower facilities, were installed in prison camps. Jews, already corralled in sealed ghettos and internment camps, were shipped to these killing centers for extermination.

The war lasted six long years. The toll on human lives was astronomical - more than 60 million people died.

Too often, when confronted with devastation of this magnitude, we tend to view the dead as a statistic - a solid block of entangled nonentities. This approach allows us to maintain a comfortable feeling of emotional detachment so we feel less horrified, frightened and threatened. But to truly understand WWII, we must step into the painting and view the events through the eyes of those who participated. The individual brush strokes that make up the macabre picture are dipped in the blood of men, women and children no different from us.

In the end, the sound of war isn’t heard in the rattle of machine gun fire or the bellowing of bombs. It is in the voices of those who lived and died and the stories they have to share.

Open your heart and listen …

Open Books will publish War Cries in Fall 2016

From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love 
by Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D. (Nonfiction)

From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love is a fun and humorous, yet scientific, book about relationships. This book introduces the reader to relationship science. The chapters examine how people meet, select their mates, and fall in and out of love. 

Readers need not be a scientists to understand the information presented. Each chapter relates present-day research to everyday experiences and real relationship issues confronted by couples every day. And each ends with take home tips/questions to help the reader apply the lessons in his/her own life.

Do you want to understand the science behind finding a mate, maintaining long-lasting relationships, or even what makes some relationships doomed to fail? Help your relationships grow and flourish, and have a few hearty laughs along the way. 

Open Books will publish From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love in Fall 2016.

Open Books Spring 2016 Catalog
managed writing groups, and taken part in the writing and production of amateur theatre performances. He has also appeared on radio and television broadcasts, and given conference presentations across the world from South Korea to the United States.  

Outside of work and writing he still manages to find time for theatre, travel, music, sports, and roaming the countryside, especially his beloved west of Ireland to where he sometimes retreats in search of literary inspiration. In another world, indeed another life, he is also a faithful servant to a wife called Sarah and a feline mistress of their house named Gobbolino (from a character in a 1940’s children’s book about a witch’s cat). 

More Whine &Cheese
Cozy Mysteries

From the author of 
Asiago and the Accomplice
Judy Volhart, comes 
Ice Whine 
Irish Cheddar
Open Books Authors in their own words...
Surely the answer to that intriguing question would be different for each author. But for Open Books author Fergus MacRoich the answer is that he writes to save his life!
Dr. Marisa T. Cohen obtained a B.S. in Biology and Society with a minor in Education from Cornell University. She then went on to receive her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with a concentration in Learning, Development, and Instruction from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 

Dr. Cohen is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. She teaches experimental, educational, developmental, and general psychology courses.

She is also the Director of the Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab (SABL). This lab centers on the subfields of relationship science and social psychology. Dr. Cohen’s main research interests are gender differences in dating and relationship behaviors, peoples’ perceptions of love and infidelity, and consensual non-monogamy. For more information, please visit the website at 

Dr. Cohen actively presents her research from the field at both local and regional conferences. In addition to her research, Dr. Cohen enjoys giving guest lectures on the application of this science to everyday life.  

Hodge by Norman Abrahamson (Fiction)

As a retired Professor of Literature, George Hodge knows that if life were art, his story would be over. He has outlived his wife, his children and finally his money. With little more than his wits, his thumb, and a resignation to serendipity, Hodge sets out on a journey of discovery. Along the way he acquires two travelling companions, a single mother and her precocious daughter who have reasons of their own for hitting the road. For three damaged individuals between the ages of ten and seventy-eight, the line between the American Dream and the American Nightmare is a delicate thread not easily seen until it breaks, and the difference between a tragic end and a new beginning is sometimes seen only in hindsight.

Open Books will publish Hodge in January 2017.

Sid Gustafson will read from his novel SWIFT DAM at 
This House of Books in Billings, Montana 
on Tuesday, 
Nov 22,  5:30 pm
Sunday, September 4, 2016
National Librarian Reviews Literary Fiction

Title: The Butterfly Prison
Author: Tamara Pearson
Reviewed by National librarian Alison Dellit 

"Monarchs with business suits instead of crowns spent four thousand American dollars per day on accommodation at the APEC Summit in Busan, South Korea, in December 2005. The luxury banquet for summit participants cost 1.5 million dollars. It surely must have been Rollsroycefood, swan toilet paper, musical champagne.

Meanwhile the city government closed the street stalls near the venue and walled off the poor quarters. Thirty-five thousand police kept protesters away. If they could, the government would have gathered up the sun too and put it inside a crystal cage in the centre of the summit, leaving just the crumbs of yellow light scattered about for the rest."

"Sitting on the fence, he imagined/remembered a photo of his mum's eyes when she slept. A close up of one eye that was still, but not peaceful. The skin eyelid skin was pulled tightly, as though it was toiling. Paz gave the photo detail; skin lines crossing, the eyelashes dark and gentle."

The Butterfly Prison is an absorbing, rewarding and challenging reading experience. Pearson's language, a rhythm of description and reflection, is punch-the-air, breathtakingly good when it soars, drawing you seductively in to the perspective of her two protagonists, and carrying the fury, the despair, the strength and finally the hope of the world's poor with it.

Poverty Pearson sees as the theft of not just resources, but of joy, of creativity, of a life with possibility and variety from most of the world. The novel is a long scream of protest at this theft, and unlike many overtly political books, never simplified, never superficial.

Pearson, who grew up in Sydney's west and then spent most of her adult life in Latin America, draws seamless lines between the experiences of the world's poor, whether in Mexico City or Redfern, Venezuela's Merida or Macquarie Fields. The portrait of the latter - "Every day in Macquarie Fields, police cars parked in groups of three outside the supermarket, the station and the park. Officers patrolled the quiet public housing streets, and their shadows stuck to the public housing walls, haunting people even when they weren't around" - is searing, indictatory, confronting an instantly recognisable. It would have been easy to set this tale of poverty and resistance in a country renowned for both, but by setting the tale in Australia, Pearson confronts the reader to understand the universality of poverty, of theft and of the war being hope and hopelessness. She refuses to allow a middle-class Australian to look away, to pretend the problem is elsewhere.

The main technique employed here - the use of interspersed paragraphs of world history, works particularly well, and serves to break up the lengthy and occasionally repetitive, narrative (and in a surprising connection, reminded me somewhat of comic writer Warren Ellis' integration of headlines and story, albeit with a more driven tone).

Which is not to say the novel is grim. Far from it. Pearson has such love for humanity - her protagonists' creativity shines, and their love for housemates and collaborators gives the novel bounce and energy. A key theme of the novel is the families we construct for ourselves, the importance of loving and being loved, of being part of we and not just I.

The book is uneven - not unusual for a first novel - with clunky constructions popping up and pacing issues, particularly in the first half which drags too much. The author has time and space to grow, to make the soaring heights of the book closer to the normal terrain. I was a little worried that I wouldn't love this book, but while the flaws are real, there's no question that this is one of those which creeps inside you and changes something.

Want to read a great book?
Ask a librarian...
There's Nothing funny about a
Heart Attack...
...unless you're reading the lighthearted memoirs of pioneer heart surgeon Constantine J. "Dino" Tatooles, M.D.
Heartbeats is the light-hearted memoirs 
of one of the pioneers in modern cardiac surgery, Constantine "Dino" Tatooles, M.D. Dino's stories, as told to his brother James E. Tatooles, will quite literally "warm your heart" as well as provide a background to the advances in cardiac surgery made over the past fifty years.

After Medical School, Dr. Tatooles interned at the University of Chicago and received a grant from the Heart Association to open his own medical laboratory. Later, the National Heart Institute selected Dr. Tatooles as one of five doctors to study at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

"That's where we started to perfect a lot of the new operative procedures that are used today," recounts Dr. Tatooles.

Ironically, Dr. Tatooles recently had some difficult medicine of his own to swallow when he discovered that he needed a quintuple bypass. As his brother James E. Tatooles relates in Heartbeats
a procedure that Dino helped to develop eventually saved his life.
James Tatooles,
Constantine 'Dino' Tatooles, M.D.
Author Sid Gustafson read from his novel 
Swift Dam 
at Cassiopeia Books in Great Falls, Montana on September 17, 2016. Special thanks to Andrew for hosting this fine and rewarding literary event. 
Listen to the reading in
Turning to face Matt, I leaned forward for a long kiss. When we came up for air, he angled his head to speak into my ear. 
  "You have an entire drawer full of thongs, and I want to see each and every one of them!"
  My cheeks blazed at the reminder. With a Mona Lisa smile, I whispered a suggestion: "My parents may be at my house, but that doesn't mean we can't go to your place for a little fashion show," I said with what was supposed to be a silky voice but came out more like a horny croak.
  If he took notice, he didn’t let on. Instead, his answer was a surprised smile coupled with a sharp intake of breath. Then, before either of us had time to come to our senses, he grabbed my hand and started to drag me in the direction of the door. Just as we got there, it burst open. There stood Nora.
  "We're moving in," she announced. "Where can I put my pig?"

Judy Volhart is 
the author of the Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series
Upcoming this fall from Open Books!
Upcoming Author Event!