Once in a Blue Moon Lodge
A Novel by Lorna Landvik
April 18, 2017
University of Minnesota Press
Lorna Landvik returns to the characters she made famous in the bestselling Patty Jane's House of Curl.
"At long last! Patty Jane and her irresistible band of big-hearted merry-makers return to us. Lorna Landvik’s humor is wrapped around a core of love, common sense, and good cooking. Pull up an easy chair, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy this grand family reunion."—Faith Sullivan, author of Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse
"Lorna Landvik creates characters and places so warm and real that reading Once in a Blue Moon Lodge feels like coming home (if you're lucky enough to be surrounded by people and places as weird and wonderful as Lorna's—I think I am)."—Nora McInerny Purmort, author of It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too)
Set adrift when her mother sells the salon that has been a neighborhood institution for decades, Nora Rolvaag takes a camping trip, intending to do nothing more than roast marshmallows over an open fire and under a starry sky.
Two chance encounters, however, will have enormous consequences, and her getaway turns out to be more of a retreat from her daily life than she ever imagined. But Nora is the do-or-die-trying daughter of Patty Jane, who now must embrace the House of Curl’s slogan: “Expect the Unexpected.”
With her trademark wit and warmth, Lorna Landvik follows Nora and an ever-growing cast of characters between city and wooded retreat, Minnesota and Norway, a past that’s secret and a future that’s promising, but uncertain. Responding to a mysterious letter with a Norwegian postmark, Nora’s grandmother Ione travels to her native land to tend to a dying cousin and her husband—two people who played a painful, pivotal role in her past. Nora accompanies her and is surprised by her grandmother’s long-ago love story—but even more surprised by the beginning of her own.
A book about making new beginnings out of old endings, Once in a Blue Moon Lodge invites readers to check in, set down their baggage, and spend time with the kind of people who understand that while they can’t control all that life throws at them, they can at least control how they catch it.
And as anyone who has stopped in at Patty Jane’s House of Curl will tell you: you’re in for a rollicking good time with characters whose strengths, foibles, and choices will have you laughing and crying. Hankerings for coffee and gingerbread cookies may also be experienced.
Lorna Landvik is the author of ten novels including the best-selling Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating BonBons, Oh My Stars, and most recently Best to Laugh (Minnesota, 2014). She has performed stand-up and improvisational comedy around the country and is also a public speaker, playwright, and actor who gets much pleasure from mixing up margaritas on stage in her one-woman all-improvised show, Party in the Rec Room.
The Good Byline
A Riley Ellison Mystery by Jill Orr
April 11, 2017
Prospect Park Books/Consortium
Paperback Original, $16
Riley just wants to write obituaries, but when her first assignment is the death of a childhood friend, mystery ensues.
"What a fun, quirky, mystery! This was exactly what I needed to comfort me during these uncertain times. I can't wait to give this to all my girlfriends for their beach vacations.” — Whitney Berger at The King's English in Salt Lake City -- "Highly recommended" and submitted for IndieNext
“Jill Orr’s delightful, laugh-out-loud debut is the perfect mix of mystery, humor, and romance, anchored by an endearing heroine you can't help but root for. A fun, fast-paced read with a satisfying mystery at its heart. Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich.” — Laura McHugh, award-winning author of Arrowood and The Weight of Blood
“An extremely fun read! Regina H., Personal Romance Concierge, may be my favorite new literary character of the decade." — Anne Flett-Giordano, author of Marry, Kiss, Kill and Emmy-winning writer of the TV shows Mom, Frasier, and Desperate Housewive
Meet Riley Ellison, a quirky young library assistant who has become known in her hometown of Tuttle Corner, Virginia, as Riley Bless-Her-Heart. Riley’s odd habit of living vicariously through people she reads about in the obituary pages hits a little too close to home when she is asked to write one for her childhood best friend, Jordan James. Jordan's unexpected suicide has left Riley desperate to understand why a young woman with so much to live for would suddenly opt out, so she steps out of her comfort zone and into the role of obituary writer.
Things get messy, however, when Jordan’s co-worker, a paranoid reporter with a penchant for conspiracy theories, convinces Riley that Jordan’s death was no suicide. He leads her down a dangerous path toward organized crime, secret lovers, and suspicious taco trucks.
Eventually, Riley’s serpentine hunt for the truth leads to a discovery that puts everything she holds dear—her job, the people she loves, and even her life—in danger. Will writing this obituary be the death of her?
Jill Orr has written features and a parenting column for COMO Living Magazine (formerly Columbia Home) in her hometown of Columbia, Missouri, for more than ten years, and her humor essays are found on her blog, An Exercise in Narcissism. The Good Byline is her first book.
To invite Jill to your store, contact Caitlin Ek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The End of the Wild
A Middle-Grade Novel by Nicole Helget
April 11, 2017
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
A modern, beautifully written story set against the backdrop of the controversial issue of fracking that explores the timely themes of poverty, environmental protection, what makes a family, and finding your place in the world.
"This nuanced take on a pressing issue is an important one. Middle-grade readers will find much to think about in this beautifully written story." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A stunning take on the environment, broken families, poverty, forgiveness, and death. Helget writes with grace, elegance, and humor about coming of age in a flawed world filled with beauty and peril. A poignant, uplifting, and entirely gripping read." — Pete Hautman, National Book Award winning author of Godless
"An excellent book for readers interested in exploring a complex contemporary environmental issue.... A strong addition on a timely and important topic." — School Library Journal
Eleven-year-old Fern's rundown home borders a pristine forest, where her impoverished family hunts and forages for food. It's also her refuge from the crushing responsibility of caring for her wild younger brothers and PTSD-stricken stepfather. But when a fracking company rolls into town, Fern realizes that her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care.
Her stepfather thinks a job with the frackers could help pull the family out of poverty. Her wealthy grandfather--who wants to take custody of Fern and her brothers--likes the business it brings to his manufacturing company. Facing adversity from all sides, can one young girl make a difference in the fate of her family and their way of life?
Nicole Helget is the acclaimed author of the middle grade novel Wonder at the Edge of the World and The End of the Wild, as well as three adult novels, The Turtle Catcher, The Summer of Ordinary Ways, and Stillwater. She has also co-authored a middle grade novel, Horse Camp. She lives in St. Peter, Minnesota.
Lake Fish: Modern Cooking with Freshwater Fish
A Cookbook by Keane Amdahl
Minnesota Historical Society Press
May 1, 2017
Paperback, $24.95. ISBN: 9781681340289
Casts a wide net to gather up tips for purchasing, substituting, and preparing midwestern fish, from whitefish to perch, walleye to ciscoes, in tasty and often surprising ways.
The Midwest is home to streams and lakes and even inland seas, and these assorted freshwater sources offer up much bounty, from classic panfish and trout to world-famous walleye to Lake Superior ciscoes. Whether you’ve anglers among your family and friends or you’ve got a line on specialty markets that are expanding all the time, freshwater fish offer an excellent and varied way to savor “seafood” locally and sustainably.
Creative home cook Keane Amdahl takes the mystery out of this versatile protein source and brings its preparation into the twenty-first century with inspired ingredient combinations and ample advice on how to make the most of what’s at hand. Arranged by fish type, recipes include appetizers like Sunfish Pot Stickers and Harissa Grilled Smelt with Mint and Cilantro Yogurt; new interpretations of soup and salad standbys like Midwestern Fisherman’s Stew and Smoked Trout Kale Niçoise; and flavorful mains like BBQ Northern with Cajun Fried Rice and Walleye with Morels and Brown Butter. Drawing on all things local—from purveyors of smoked and fresh fish to aquaculture farms to farmers’ markets—Amdahl encourages readers to experiment along with him as they seek to thoroughly enjoy their catch of the day.
Keane Amdahl (@FoodStoned) is a social media specialist, food writer, and blogger. His work has appeared in Thrillist, City Pages, Lavender, and Twin Cities Food Finds. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where "the next culinary revolution is taking place (probably)."