Sequel Proves a Winner

WotCravenCoverTraverse City, Michigan–Forward Reviews has named Jerry Craven’s novel, Women of Thunder (TCU Press 2014), the 2014 Multicultural Fiction Book of the Year Winner. Women of Thunder is Craven’s sequel to The Wild Part, which was named 2013 Book of the Year Finalist.

According to the publisher:
In an attempt to regain a youthful innocence, Vietnam Veteran Tom Seal returns to El Tigrito, Venezuela hoping to find his childhood friend, Rosa Rojas, nearly two decades after Tom’s family returned to the United States. Tom longs to recreate an adventure he and Rosa shared when they were young and to return to the “Eden of their childhood.” But the ensuing eighteen years have changed not only the jungle but the two friends as well. Departing for the jungle in the rainy season, Tom and Rosa try to regain the same joy and happiness they had experienced so many years ago, but instead they are beset by howler monkeys, flesh-eating butterflies, the Jungle People, and perhaps most dangerous of all—the ghosts of their own painful pasts.

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Second Writer Selected for New Writer Spotlight

FourPeaceFrontCovSmall Press News is proud to announce the second writer named to the New Writer Spotlight, our ongoing feature that celebrates writers who have published their first book-length creative work with small independent presses. Kevin K. Casey and his novel Four-Peace (Lamar University Press) made the list for May 2015. Kevin has recently been interviewed by The Mimeograph.

Busy Little Press: Dozens In Print and More On the Way

LUPLogoColorBeaumont, TX–Lamar University Press calls itself a small university press, but a check of the books in print and those listed on the coming soon page reveals a more accurate description: busy university press. With the release of its next book, scheduled to be Kevin K. Casey’s novel Four-Peace, Lamar University Press will have published three novels, twenty-four books of poetry, and seven nonfiction books. From January through the end of April 2015, the press released ten books. In addition to the forty-plus books already published, the small press lists six books on its Coming Soon page. And according to press staff, there are another dozen books that have passed the selection process and in various stages of production. With this kind of impressive output for a small press, quality has not been compromised. Among the authors are many prize winners, including multiple past Texas poet laureates and one Canadian poet laureate.

For a look at many fine books crossing several genres, visit Lamar University Press.

Craven’s Women of Thunder Named INDIEFAB Finalist

WotCravenCoverTraverse City, Michigan–Forward Reviews has named Jerry Craven’s novel, Women of Thunder (TCU Press 2014), as a 2014 Multicultural Fiction finalist. Craven is no stranger to the nomination because his 2013 novel, The Wild Part, was also selected as a finalist. Women of Thunder is the sequel to The Wild Part.

Asked how he feels about having two consecutive novels named as finalists and the potential for a book of the year award, Craven answered, “It would be nice to win in the final judging, but being a finalist is a plenty flattering win of sorts.” Women of Thunder began accumulating awards even prior to its publication. The Deep South Writers Conference selected the book as Best Novel in their annual contest. The Conference of College Teachers of English gave their Creative Writing award to a chapter of the novel, and the North Texas Professional Writers Association selected the first chapter of Women of Thunder for their first place award.craven canoe 2

Jerry Craven is a retired professor of English who is originally from East Texas. He has lived in South America, southeast Asia, near the Caspian Sea, and traveled throughout much of the rest of the world. Since retirement he has returned to Texas where he lives in Jasper and spends many daylight hours canoeing and photographing the East Texas waterways.

Victorians Go Psychedelic

Beaumont, TX–Lamar University Press has announced the forthcoming publication of Four-Peace, a novel by Kevin K. Casey. The novel is based loosely on Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, one of the most loved poems of the Victorian era. According to the publisher’s description of the the book:

FourPeaceFrontCovJason Spearman is a lonesome cowboy from Isom, Texas, and he wants only to dodge entanglements and get on down the road. Or so he says. He is also frequently in trouble with the bottle, out of touch with the people around him, and haunted by idyllic memories of the Texas of his youth. Every deliberate effort to further separate himself from trouble leads Jason to magical places with unforgettable characters. Set to the rhythm of the Rubiayat of Omar Khayyam and against the striking beauty of San Francisco and Northern California, Four-Peace is an often humorous, always moving story about finding meaning amid the transitory nature of existence.

Born in Texas, Casey has worked as a California-based and later Colorado-based marketing writer. He has published two series of children’s books, and his short fiction has appeared in Amarillo Bay. Four-Peace is his first novel.