The Reluctant Debutante, a debut romance ebook by Oberlin writer Becky Lower, is set in 1855, and features a heroine who would be at home in a modern-day story.
Ginger Fitzpatrick, who joins her friend Amelia Bloomer in making soapbox speeches about women’s rights, works in her father’s New York bank but dreams of joining her brother Basil in the “frontier” town of St. Louis. But her mother will not be moved in her demand that Ginger attend the Cotillion Ball and the full social season.
Basil arrives for a visit, bringing a friend to whom Ginger is immediately attracted: darkly handsome French Canadian Joseph Lafontaine. After Joseph is a hit with the society folk at the ball, the Fitzpatricks are presented with a dilemma: They learn that Joseph is half Ojibwa Indian, and there would be a scandal if it were learned they had welcomed him as a guest.
Joseph, not wishing to compromise Ginger’s reputation, goes home to Missouri. There will be plenty of heartache and excitement (including an account of a real-life train wreck) before the resolution.
The Reluctant Debutante (426KB), not extremely explicit but spicy enough, costs $3.82 for Kindle. Becky Lower’s website says that the next book in the Cotillion Series is tentatively titled The Abolitionist’s Secret.
Hostage crisis in ebook
Though he wrote his ebook three years ago, before the devastating school shootings in Chardon, Silent Classroom by Kenmore resident Doug Faris remains timely.
The book tells of dedicated Columbus teacher Evan Davis, whose arrival at school is delayed one morning by a traffic jam. Evan’s neighbor and friend, cop Travis Rommelton, has advised Evan of a coming confrontation between the Northside gang and their crosstown rivals, the ValleyBoyz: Northside leader Kellan “KC” Cooler is looking for revenge after some young Boyz recruits on an initiation assignment beat up his pregnant girlfriend, causing a miscarriage.
The ambitious principal is indifferent to the gang violence and dismisses Evan’s warnings. When KC and his gang invade the school to find the Boyz and intimidate them into revealing the names of the participants, things go bad, turning Evan’s classroom into a hostage crisis. Though the administrators quickly put the school into lockdown, the police still must rescue Evan and his students, while his wife, Sarah, waits anxiously for news. Spelling and punctuation errors are relieved by a gripping climax.
Silent Classroom (484KB) costs $3.99 for Kindle.
• Thursday is the deadline to register for the Medina Library’s Writers Live Author Luncheon, featuring South Carolina author Mary Alice Monroe (Time Is a River; The Beach House). The Nov. 1 event, from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Weymouth Country Club, 3946 Weymouth Road, costs $25; call 330-722-6235.
• Advance registration is needed to hear Jack Gantos, author of the Newbery Medalist Dead End in Norvelt, and National Book Award finalist Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, speak from 7 to 8:30 Oct. 29 at North Olmsted Middle School, 27351 Butternut Ridge Road. Register with the Cuyahoga County Public Library at 440-777-6211. Also, to meet Mark Dawidziak, author of Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula, at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the library’s North Royalton branch, call 440-237-3800, or at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in Orange, call 216-831-4282.
Dover Public Library (525 N. Walnut St.) — Dover native Sherene McHenry, author of Pick: Choose to Create a Life You Love, talks about and signs her book at 1 p.m. today.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Authors Mayra Porrata and Crystal Pirri, and illustrator Kaleb Rice, sign their storybook A Nighttime Trip to Planet Nuf, 2 p.m. today; Strongsville author Cinda Chima debuts The Crimson Crown, final volume in her Seven Realms teen fantasy series, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday; Miami University alumnus Nathan Kotecki signs his debut young adult novel The Suburban Strange, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Barberton Library (602 W. Park Ave.) — Conrad Storad signs his award-winning children’s books, including Rattlesnake Rules and Arizona Way Out West and Wacky, 6 p.m. Monday.
Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.) — Kent State University alumnus Patrick Hartory talks about brain health and signs Your Ageless Mind, 7 p.m. Monday.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Ellet branch, 2470 E. Market St.) — Beacon Journal food writer Lisa Abraham signs Famous Chefs and Fabulous Recipes, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights) — Eric Anderson, Laura Putre and Erick Trickey, who contributed to Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, will read from the book, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday; John Stark Bellamy, whose books include The Last Days of Cleveland: And More True Tales of Crime and Disaster from Cleveland’s Past, discusses and signs his work from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Otani (180 W. Streetsboro St., Hudson) — Cincinnati author Duffy Brown joins the Learned Owl’s Book Club in a Bar series with her Savannah-set mystery Iced Chiffon, 7 p.m. Thursday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere) — Huffington Post managing editor Jimmy Soni discusses and signs his book (with Congressional speechwriter Rob Goodman) Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar, 7 p.m. Thursday.
Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Steven B. Smith reads from and signs his autobiography Stations of the Lost & Found, and poet Wendy Shaffer reads from her book 22 Years, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; Nathan Kotecki signs The Suburban Strange, 7 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake) — Celebrity chef Michael Symon signs Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers, 7 p.m. Friday; Stow author Les Roberts signs Whiskey Island, 16th in the Milan Jacovich detective series, 2 p.m. Saturday.
College of Wooster (Florence Wilson Bookstore, 1189 Beall Ave.) — Ann Freedlander Hunt, great-granddaughter of the founder of Wooster’s former Freedlander’s Department Store, signs Gone But Not Forgotten: A Freedlander Legacy, 2 to 4 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.