The Publisher’s Bundle
by Rose Solari
Rose Solari and James J. Patterson are the masterminds and master-craftspeople behind Alan Squire Publishing. Happily married intellectuals, they share a life-long love for writing and the literary arts in general. Collected in this bundle are the debut novels of both writers, Rose’s A Secret Woman and James’s Roughnecks. Though different in subject and style, both feature a central character forced to enter into an unfamiliar world, in search of re-invention and redemption. Together they present the spectrum of literary writing for which ASP is known
A Secret Woman
Louise Terry is the quintessential modern woman — a successful and independent artist, sexually confident and headstrong, she’s determined to carve out a life for herself where her painting comes first and where she can avoid messy romantic entanglements. But when her estranged mother, Margaret, dies, leaving a box of documents, photos, and journals, Louise discovers in its contents a new and very different woman from the difficult and enigmatic one who raised her. This Margaret was admired by Catholic priests and Wiccan priestesses alike for her spiritual gifts and was working, at the time of her death, on the life story of a twelfth -century girl saint of revolutionary and dangerous ideas. Determined to solve the mystery of her mother’s secret life, Louise travels to England, where she meets her mother’s former lover, the acclaimed playwright Lawrence Ware, who first helps and then tries to derail Louise’s search for the truth.
Blurring the boundaries between past and present, between the body and the spirit, between female and male, this page-turning mystery is a sexy romp through time and space, a profound meditation on the mother-daughter connection, and an enlightening exploration of what it means to make love, to make art, and to make a life worth living.
A Secret Woman is not only a pleasure to read, it is sneaky serious in a way I particularly like. Rose Solari explores the eternal literary theme of self — who we are, who are the ones we love, and how we invent and reinvent these people, trying always to paint ourselves into the vast canvas of life and history. A very promising fiction debut. — Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of Perfume River and Severance
To his fellow crewmembers on Bomac Drilling Company, rig number 34, twenty-seven-year-old newcomer Zachary Harper is a mystery. To Marty, the derrick hand, he’s a welcome working body. To Freddy, his chainhand, sees him as another newcomer trying to “break out” in the oil patch. To Jesse Lancaster, his driller, he’s a “worm” — a risk, taken of necessity, who just might make it as a roughneck.
We join Zachary Harper the day after he has left the East Coast, and its security, suits, and ties behind, and the day before he discovers the stark reality that a clean slate is just the cold empty space where the self struggles with the soul.
A tale of trial, risk, sacrifice, and self-discovery, Roughnecks takes its place in the tradition of American literary quest fiction. Is Zachary Harper an Ishmael or a Sal Paradise? A Jay Gatsby or a Huck Finn? Whoever he might be, he seeks self-knowledge, awareness, and authenticity. He will find it on an oil rig, in the Williston basin. Throwing chain.