Stow author writes sequel
with kidnappings, murders
In Stow author Terry Sykes-Bradshaw’s 2009 witty caper The Awful Truth About Dead Men, Kate Kelly and four Jazzercise girlfriends ditch icy Ohio and go for a January cruise, where they encounter murder and rum drinks in the Florida keys.
In Sykes-Bradshaw’s winning sequel, Sibling Revelry, Kate and her twin sister, Chrissie, faced with an impending birthday (the kind that ends in a zero), decide to celebrate with a European vacation: “No husbands. No kids. Wine, culture, shopping.” They get their wine and shopping, but they also get their tagalong twentysomething daughters and their 75-year-old mother, whose nickname isn’t “Hot Rod Nonny” for nothing.
On the plane, Nonny meets a Scottish baron of questionable provenance, and Kate’s daughter Casey meets a second-rate magician with a bad comb-over.
When the ladies arrive at their Paris hotel, Chrissie finds that her suitcase has been switched with an identical bag containing stacks and stacks of money, which can’t mean anything but trouble. Trying to return the cash to its rightful smugglers leads to a romp that includes handsome Frenchmen, handsome Spaniards and stargazing at the Cannes Film Festival.
Dead bodies and kidnappings certainly shouldn’t keep the ladies from hitting every boutique from Nice to Barcelona, or from consuming a continent’s worth of pommes frites.
Sibling Revelry (424 pages, softcover) costs $17.95 through the author’s site, http://terrysykes-bradshaw.com.
Strips recall Crankshaft’s baseball career
Cantankerous school bus driver Ed Crankshaft, the comic strip character introduced in 1987 by Kent State University alumni Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers, has faced tough subjects like adult illiteracy, and enjoyed hobbies like guerrilla gardening and explosive barbecuing.
Batiuk and Ayers’ new compilation Strike Four! The Crankshaft Baseball Book features strips that recall Ed’s career as a minor league baseball player for the Toledo Mud Hens. The strips follow Ed’s life on the field, and his later life as he constantly reminisces about that “hot, muggy night in the summer of 1940” — the temperature goes up every time Ed tells the story — when he struck out Rudy York, Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg in an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers.
Memorable storylines include the time Ed became a coach and mentor to struggling Aeros pitcher Smokey Williams, and a flashback to Ed’s support for his team’s first black player, who took some harassment from both the public and other players.
The book’s foreword is by actor and Toledo native Jamie Farr, whose character Max Klinger on the sitcom M*A*S*H was an avid Mud Hens fan. Strike Four! (240 pages, softcover) costs $24.95 from Kent State University Press. Tom Batiuk lives in Medina, and Chuck Ayers in Kent.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Brad Ricca talks about and signs Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster: Creators of Superman, just nominated for a 2014 Ohioana Book Award in the nonfiction category, 2 p.m. today.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Gates Mills branch, 1491 Chagrin River Road) — Winner of the Mark Twain Award for short fiction, Maine writer CB Anderson reads from and signs her debut story collection River Talk, 3 to 4:45 p.m. today.
Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights) — Charles Ramsey recalls his part in the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and signs his book (with Randy Nyerges) Dead Giveaway, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the “Tuesdays on Coventry” summer vendor village across the street from the bookstore.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.) — Lily King signs her novel Euphoria, loosely based on the work and life of Margaret Mead in 1930s New Guinea, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday; Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which was on the shortlist in the biography category for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, appears from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Warrensville Heights branch, 4415 Northfield Road) — Mitchell S. Jackson signs his debut autobiographical novel The Residue Years, about a black family trying to stay together in a drug-affected Portland, Ore., neighborhood, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Barnes & Noble (198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake) — Dawn Clark reads from her storybook Squiggly Gets Glasses, 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Medina County District Library (Buckeye branch, 6625 Wolff Road, Medina) — Authors Sharon Short (My One Square Inch of Alaska), Kristi Avalon (the Billionaire Bodyguard romance series), Kristine Mason (CORE Shadow romantic suspense series) and former Berkeley editor Emily Rapoport take part in a panel discussion on “How to Publish Your Book,” 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Barnes & Noble (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere) — Robert L. Prevost signs Mallast: A Historical Novel, based on his family’s emigration from Prussia to rural Michigan in the 19th century, noon Saturday.
Barnes & Noble (4015 Medina Road, Bath Township) — Authors George Christian Pappas (A Tribe Reborn: How the Cleveland Indians of the ’90s Went from Cellar Dwellers to Playoff Contenders), Vince McKee (Jacobs Field: History and Tradition at the Jake) and Scott H. Longert (The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians Became the Kings of Baseball, 1916-1920) sign their books at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.) — Kent author Angela Johnson discusses and signs her new children’s book All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, 2 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or email@example.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.