Open Books Newsletter
Summer/Fall 2023

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Chip Wars on the Horizon
Big things often have small beginnings.

As National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, Jane Stewart shepherds an act through congress to subsidize manufacturing of silicon chips on American soil.

Argon Zhi, an executive at one of the world’s best semiconductor foundries, accepts the responsibility to craft a plan for ensuring the competitiveness of Taiwan's technology companies and ensure the continued independence of his country.

Cedric Dyson's job as a Failure Analysis engineer is to figure out why some chips do not work the way they are supposed to. When he notices a pattern among the failing chips sent to his FA lab, he uncovers a shocking truth.

Jane, Argon and Cedric, each operating within their professional domains, make a series of decisions that lead to an international blame game which could escalate into an open conflict between the world’s powers. 

Will a new silicon chip factory subsidized by the US government, an act of sabotage compromising a multi-billion dollar fab, and a Failure Analysis expert on the case lead the world to a brink of WWIII?
Featured Fiction for 2023

Debut Author Arthur Kevin Rein 
Offers a Late Summer Mystery  
Rolling in the Deep 
Arthur Kevin Rein

Seventeen-year-old Sam Robel knows about loss. After the death of his older brother, his family bought Noquebay Resort in Northern Wisconsin to escape their grief.

Sam's friends Max and Diane also know about loss. Max's mother died long ago and his father's mysterious wealth and trophy wife are the talk of Walnut Creek; and six years ago, Diane's sister Jean disappeared without a trace.

One day while fishing with Max, Sam's line snags something from the bottom of Red Wolf Lake, and the discovery sets off a series of events that not only involves the three teenagers but also their friends and families, the sheriff's department, the other citizens of Walnut Creek, and, last but not least, a ruthlessly powerful small-town family, the Manticores, who seem intent on taking Noquebay Resort from Sam's family, no matter what the cost.

How far will Sam and his friends go to discover what secrets lay at the bottom of the lake?
Debut Novelist Micah Thorp
Tapped for Next Generation Indie Book Award  
Uncle Joe's Muse 
Micah Thorp

A down-and-out band, a girl searching for her father, and Jerry’s guitar.

The members of Uncle Joe’s Band have spent years playing any venue that will pay for their unintelligible metal band performances while their rock and roll lifestyle has left them with bad livers, multiple divorces, and living in a squalid house in Vallejo, California. 

Then one morning everything changes when an assertive twelve-year-old girl named Allison appears on their front porch and announces that she has been sent to stay with her father for the summer.

Meanwhile, years ago, the band’s namesake and inspiration, Uncle Joe, takes a long strange trip as a vagabond hippie through the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s that includes brushes with Ken Kesey’s bus, Watergate, the Pet Rock, Iran Contra, and Jerry Garcia.

Inspired by their experience with Allison and their budding paternal instincts, recollections of Uncle Joe, and a well-played Stratocaster with the initials “JG”, the members of Uncle Joe’s Band begin to play a new tune in a major key.
By the Author of Art Attack and Going, Going, Gone...
All's Fair
David L. Gersh

Why would Pamela Knorrington claim a painting was stolen from a museum that had never heard of it? Is she crazy? Or can a thief make works of art disappear?

In desperation Pamela calls her friend, Mimi Aaron, the billionaire, Simon Aaron’s ex-wife. Her tale arouses Mimi’s curiosity. The weather in New York has been lousy and Mimi is bored silly. Los Angeles looks pretty tempting.

She recruits a reluctant Jonathan Benjamin Franklin to assist her. Jonathan’s wife, Nicole DeSant, is seven months pregnant and Jonathan isn’t about to leave. But Mimi Aaron can be very persuasive indeed. Besides, Nicole has Rufus, her beloved pug, to watch over her. And while Jonathan is a dear, he does tend to hover a bit too much.

In the wilds of Bel Air, working night and day, Mimi and Jonathan seek to unravel the mystery. And they discover … nothing. Then Pamela Knorrington disappears.

Jonathan is once again in over his head. Maybe he just should stop digging. Particularly since a Columbian drug lord would like to bury him.

Arthur Kevin Rein Will Be Back This Fall with a Sequel to His Largely Popular 2022 Debut Novel. 
A Flame Worth The Candle is scheduled for release in September 2023!  

Don't Look Now but The Band is Back!
Instead of playing in rundown bars, Uncle Joe’s Band now sell out concert halls.

Prior to a tour in Japan, a letter arrives claiming one of the band members, Ian, is the father of an unnamed young woman, who coincidentally is the member of another band, Stygian Teal. In the hopes of identifying Ian’s daughter, Uncle Joe’s Band attends a Stygian Teal concert. Much to their surprise, they find not one, but four Stygian Teal band members, any of which could be Ian’s daughter.

Meanwhile, as the band’s namesake Uncle Joe, an aged deadhead, makes his way across North America during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, another Uncle Jo, Joji Kinsara, makes his way across the Japanese archipelago. Everywhere he goes, Joji leaves large painted haiku poems, which become noted works of art. In his travels Joji visits the Nagano Winter Olympics, starts an environmental revitalization of Mt. Fuji, and helps ensure that a young Masako Owada becomes a future empress.

As they journey through Japan, Uncle Joe’s Band attempts to discern which young woman is Ian’s daughter, how to deal with newfound fame, and what it takes to formulate a family.
Mark Glassman does a surprisingly good job of feigning confidence, fooling everyone but himself.

Mark Glassman is twenty-five in 1979. Self-taught after dropping out of college, he devises a course of study that encompasses such varied works as The Sorrows of Young Werther, The Universal Baseball Association, and Portnoy's Complaint. But the amount of alcohol he consumes, the vast quantities of pot he smokes, and the other drugs he experiments with compromise the seriousness of this endeavor.

When Glassman falls in love with Teresa Devlin, he realizes that he is terrified of her sexually, and that his only recourse is to resume his pursuit of Sarah Sloane, one of his housemates in a shared living arrangement. Soon Glassman arrives at the neat psychological ploy of playing the two women off one another.

Eventually, Glassman packs his bags for Long Beach Island, where he spends the winter feeling sorry for himself. Will he ever fully recover from acting out to an extraordinary degree? Is happiness even possible for a person such as himself?
Open Books Welcomes New Authors
Pamela Gwyn Kripke is a journalist and author whose stories have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Huffington Post, Slate, Salon, Medium, New York Magazine, Parenting, Elle, D Magazine, Creators Syndicate, Gannett Newspapers and McClatchy. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published or are forthcoming in Folio, The Concrete Desert Review, The Barcelona Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Book of Matches, The MacGuffin, Meet Me At 19th, The Woven Tale Press, Underwired, Doubleback Review and Round Table Literary Journal.

Her novel, At the Seams, received the Arch Street Press First Chapter Award and was excerpted in Embark and West Trade Review.

Pamela holds an AB in English from Brown University and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University and was selected to attend the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop for Summer 2022. She began her career as a television reporter in Biloxi, Mississippi, covering shrimp fishing and the Dixie mafia, among other topics. Pamela has taught journalism at DePaul University and Columbia College in Chicago and has held various magazine editorships in New York and Dallas. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in the city’s northern suburbs and currently lives outside Philadelphia. She has two daughters and one rescued terrier.
Steve Oskie’s plays have been produced in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. He is the author of Mean Thoughts, a semi-finalist for the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, and is the ghostwriter of Jerry Blavat’s autobiography, You Only Rock Once, which has been published in hardcover, paperback, and audio book editions. Steve’s short fiction has appeared in Textures, Pierien Spring, and other literary journals.

Oskie’s screenplay, “Dead Meat,” was a finalist in a screenplay competition at the Terror Film Festival, and his additional screenwriting efforts include an adaptation of “Mean Thoughts,” a pair of short films that appeared in a screening series in Philadelphia, and a three-part teleplay based on the life of Jerry Blavat.

On a personal note, Oskie dropped out of college to “become a writer,” worked a series of odd jobs, and labored in obscurity like George Orwell in Down and Out in Paris and London. Whether his decisions were prudent or not, there’s nothing he can do about them now. 

Robert Klose teaches at the University of Maine and is the single father of sons adopted from Russia and Ukraine. He is a regular contributor of essays to The Christian Science Monitor. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, and various literary magazines. His books include the memoirs, Adopting Alyosha — A Single Man Finds a Son in Russia and Adopting Anton — A Single Man Seeks a Son in Ukraine; the essay collections Small Worlds — Adopted Sons, Pet Piranhas and Other Mortal Concerns and The Three-Legged Woman & Other Excursions in Teaching; and the novels, Long Live Grover Cleveland, which won a 2016 Ben Franklin Literary Award and a USA BookNews Award, and Life on Mars, which was a Finalist for a 2019 Best Book Award sponsored by American Book Fest and was also a Finalist in the International Book Awards and American Fiction Awards.

He is also a four-time winner of a Maine Press Association award for Opinion writing. 

Dr. Eileen Ryan has taught in a variety of educational environments from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northern Montana to the urban and suburban schools of Chicago. 

Developing resource programs at three private high schools motivated Dr. Ryan to pursue a PhD in special education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Throughout her career she also taught graduate and undergraduate level courses and provided professional development in special education to a variety of schools.

Dr. Ryan’s quick wit and wisdom are greatly admired by colleagues, friends and family, and her husband, children, and grandchildren will testify under oath that she makes the best Chritmas fudge anywhere.