Saturday, April 20, 2013

New eBooks


These are two covers of new e-books that have recently gone live. GITP created the covers for each, and also formatted the e-book layouts for Nook and Kindle.

I'm happy to welcome indie author Joe Pfeiler to the GITP family.
Also the acclaimed author, Patricia Nell Warren and her company, Wild Cat Press International. Read a recent interview with Warren here.

Visit their websites to learn more about them and their interesting titles.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Publishng Mergers & DNA Books

1. Lots of (bad?) news and possibly more monopolies. Shelf Awareness (SA) reported on the consolidation of American publishers into one mega company. This on the heels of approval of recent mergers by many international governments and the U.S.

2. The same SA issue had an article about DNA-books. Huh? Yes. Books to be injected into the need to read. Weird Science, but now an actuality. Don't dash off to get injected. It's still a speculative and new science, but think of the possibilities?

More information on this can be found in this MIT article.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Birmingham Revisited

I received a galley of Rosalie Turner's March with Me from her publicist who knew my interest in history.

March With Me
© 2013 Rosalie T. Turner
Cypress Creek Publishing
ISBN 978-0-979237553
~ 215 pages

The story and timeframe of March with Me could be called near history. It starts in 1963, 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Fifty years ago in May 1963 the city of Birmingham, Alabama became a focal point in the ongoing Civil Rights Movement. The Movement hoped to implement what were merely words on legislative papers into realities for the hundreds of thousand United States citizens who were still without equal rights. This is near history, because many of the people who were involved in the events, so meaningfully described by Turner, are still living.

Yet in the U.S., most people younger than sixty years old, no matter their ethnicity, are sorely lacking in knowledge of this pivotal time. Blacks and whites less than thirty years old quite often take for granted the social structures of today (still flawed, but immensely improved over 1963) without an inkling of what it took to reach this state. Rosalie Turner's book March with Me is a fine attempt to open eyes and minds to the realities.

Through the thoughts and activities of two Birmingham residents, the story begins in that volatile May of '63 and extends into the 1970s to show the long-term emotional affects of the Civil Rights Movement. Turner's writing is fluid and the language well thought out to portray the vitality, despair and hope of the times. The main protagonist is Letitia, idealistic and naive, as she becomes involved in the historic Children's March. She and her older brother are eager for confrontation, while their parents and most adults are fearful of repercussions from any overt action against white authority. At this time, bombings of black facilities—particularly churches--and lynchings of black citizens were still facts of life in Alabama.

While Letitia gets battered by fire hosing and the Birmingham Police riot squad, Martha Ann, her white, privileged contemporary, hears the news and wonders what it is all about. Her family doesn't live in the city, her father is a bigot, her mother doesn't work and has hired help...Letitia's mother who does day work for this family several times each week.

The aftermath of the Children's March, compounded by the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing a few months later in which four girls were killed, garnered national and international support for the Movement. But author Turner doesn't delve the politics; she continues her focus on the emotional element of the events: how Letitia's attitude changes, how Martha Ann harbors questions, how families proceed with their lives. This is one of many strengths of the book.

I would have liked more reaction from Letitia regarding the lackadaisical (unprofessional) medical care provided for her grandmother and most blacks. It is mentioned, but not explored in Letitia's thoughts. In the '50s and through the '70s, I was incensed by this discrimination, and I expected it to have more impact in this story than it did. I also wanted a bit more about Letitia's college years at a black institution; it is only mentioned in passing toward the end of the book. Likewise, I wanted to know Martha Ann's reasoning in her employment decisions; after showing the volatile reactions of her father in other parts of the book, I felt a lack of detail at this phase that could have expanded Martha Ann's character. It almost seemed as if Turner were rushing past these events to get to her very powerful ending.

For me, this 1975 ending to March with Me encompasses everything Rosalie Turner hoped to convey with this book. Letitia and Martha Ann are face-to-face and talk about those years gone by. To tell how it happens would be a spoiler, so I won't. :-) Suffice it to say the circumstance is dramatic and the interaction is poignant.

Of twelve Discussion Questions at the end of the book, I was particularly drawn to two: How do our attitudes toward race develop? and What can an individual do toward racial and ethnic understanding an reconciliation? These seem to be the questions that shaped Turner's story. They are profound and will be answered differently by nearly every person who takes time to contemplate them. After reading March with Me people will contemplate, and through Turner's insightful presentation, they just might come up with positive answers.

Rosalie Turner has published five previous books.
Turner and her husband have homes in Birmingham, Alabama and Angle Fire, New Mexico. Learn more about Turner and this title at her web site and her blog.

Historical information can be found at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.