From the fictional to the seemingly fictional, these quirky-cool new finds are certainly deserved of a place on your bedside table.
Winner of the 2012 Reader Views Literary Award for the West-Pacific Region, Candi Sary’s Black Crow White Lie, published by Casperian Books, is set in a 13-year-old’s Hollywood world – and not the one of glamour and extravagance. As Carson and his fortune-telling, alcoholic mother Juliette hop from one motel to another, Juliette tells him stories of his past and encourages his unique healing power. Raised on his mother’s white lies, including that of the death of his father, Carson secretly gathers enough money from his healings to visit his war-hero dad’s grave before his mother’s lies are exposed. Now doubting his mothers truthfulness, Carson begins to look up to two characters – a tattoo shop owner and an albino from a head shop on Sunset Boulevard – who give him new direction and foster Carson’s independence.
Cool Facts: This Newport Beach surfing mother of two and finalist in several writing competitions, including first runner-up in the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Fiction, surrounds herself with, and is almost always wearing, the color turquoise.
Listen: You can hear Sary read from her novel September 21, noon-2 p.m. at Kean Coffee in Newport Beach and September 28, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at New and Recycled Reads Bookstore in Costa Mesa.
In The Wild Duck Chase published by Blomsbury, Martin J. Smith introduces us to the competitive, wacky, all-American world of the Federal Duck Stamp Program’s duck painting competition. The only juried art competition run by the U.S. government, the Federal Duck Stamp Program has raised over $750 million towards waterfowl habitat preservation and is considered by many to be the greatest conservation initiative in human history. Every year, several hundred ambitious – and many times quite eccentric artists compete – fueling tensions between competitors and judges alike. The Wild Duck Chase takes place during the 2010 contest and follows artists, fans, hunters, and collectors, drawing upon culture clashes between conservationists and hunters, and the rural vs. urban.
Cool Facts: Martin J. Smith, the editor in chief of Orange Coast, has been nominated for three prestigious awards for his crime novels. A former newspaper reporter, Smith wrote about the Federal Duck Stamp Program because in it, he sees “a living reminder of what the American federal government once was and could be again: visionary, idealistic and inarguably effective.”
See the Stamps: The funds have been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System
Written by Newport Beach-based musician and actress Hilary Shepard, Shesus is a self-published young adult novel about two sisters’ adventure to find their mother, who mysteriously disappears in the last protected forest in the Americas – a place the girls and their mom call home. TheRose and her sister Bugbee must leave the forest and enter a strange and foreign world poisoned by “The Big Sick,” relying only on the coded map on their mother’s necklace to guide them. Surrounded by mystery, being hunted down by the evil Govercorp, the girls depend on their will to survive to discover who Shesus really is and the truth behind their real father’s death.
Cool Facts: Before Shepard was an author, this mother of two co-created the board games LIEbrary, Famous Last Lines and Call It with her BFF the actress Daryl Hannah, was the lead singer and percussionist in the girl band American Girls, co-created the CBC sitcom, Material World, which won a Geni for Best New Show, and has had personal essays appear on the websites Fresh Yarn, CrazySexyLife and The Conversation. Shepard also developed evLOVE, a sultry aphrodisiac perfume blend of pheromones and essential oils available at Isla Boutique in Laguna Beach and Pilates Plus in Newport Beach.