Friday, December 14, 2012

The Bouncing Babies of 2012: Coming Soon to a Stocking Near You?

This was the year that Book Pregnant made its debut debuts. The first batch of babies was born, and how. We've published everything from literary fiction to historical thrillers to romantic tales to  coming of age stories to memoirs. We met bookstore owners and reviewers; we read our work before people who wanted to listen; we signed title pages and responded to readers. It was all pretty amazing. 

Now, as the year draws to a close, we're doing a group giveaway. We want you to share in what we've accomplished! Scroll through our books, and then sign up for a giveaway in the comments section. You can ask for a specific book (we can mail a book within the United States) and leave your email address so we know how to contact you. This giveaway commences Dec 14 and ends Dec 30.

Oh and watch this space for the babies of 2013. We've got some beauts. :)

Meet the class of 2012:

Fobbit, by David Abrams

In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*HFobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield – where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like an office job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy. 

"[T]his darkly comic novel is a slice of awesome. Like the best writing of M*A*S*H, it is true dark comedy in that it reinforces how unpleasant life can be for soldiers, and how ridiculous, funny, and stupid life can be. And it reminds us how cheap life is; how cheap American lives are."
--Library Journal

"[T]hese Dickensian characters are all so skillfully wrought that we quickly accept their idiosyncrasies....What’s most intriguing about this work is that, at its center, it is both a clever study in anxiety and an unsettling expose of how the military tells its truths. Fobbit traces how 'the Army story' is crafted, the dead washed of their blood, words scrutinized, and success applied to disasters."
--The Washington Post

At the Mercy of the Queen, by Anne Barnhill

A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN is a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

"An absolutely splendid read!" Diane Haeger, author of I, Jane.

"Fresh and absorbing." Sara Poole, author of Poison


The Crown, by Nancy Bilyeau

Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. When she defies the rule of enclosure, Joanna along with her father is arrested for interfering with the king's justice and imprisoned. While Joanna is in the Tower of London, the ruthless Bishop of Winchester forces her to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may possess the ability to end the Reformation. With Cromwell's troops threatening to close her priory, Joanna must decide who she can trust so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. 

"A stunning debut. This is one of the best historical novels I have ever read"-- bestselling historian and novelist Alison Weir

“Bilyeau deftly weaves extensive historical research throughout, but the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy, and betrayal.” – O, The Oprah Magazine


The Exceptionals, By Erin Cashman

In a famous family of exceptionally talented people, fifteen-year-old Claire Walker is ordinary . . . or so she leads everyone to believe. Yet the minute she steps out of line, her parents transfer her to Cambial Academy: the prestigious boarding school that her great-grandfather founded for students with supernatural abilities, or “specials”. Although Claire can’t see ghosts or move objects with her mind like the other students, she does have a special she considers too lame to admit: she can hear the thoughts of animals. Just as she is settling in, one by one the most talented students – the Exceptionals – go missing. In an attempt to find out what happened to them, Claire uncovers a dark prophecy involving a plot to destroy Cambial and a mysterious girl who can communicate with a hawk. Could she be that girl? Does the gorgeous but secretive boy she meets in the woods know more than he is letting on? After years of ignoring her special gift, Claire decides the time has come to embrace her ability . . . before it’s too late.

"From the first few paragraphs, I was hooked and read this page-turner in two sittings. Claire, the spunky and completely believable protagonist, engages the reader as she struggles to stay afloat in her new reality and make the most out of an unfortunate turn of events... Even though Cambial Academy and its extraordinary students are beyond normal, Cashman has created a completely believable supernatural world. I highly recommend this book because a wide range of ages (11 and up) and audiences could enjoy this read and relate to the story and characters. Its a fantastical coming of age story..."

"With it's varied and intriguing cast of characters, The Exceptionals will appeal to a wide range of readers, all of whom will be eager to see if there will be forthcoming adventures at Cambial Academy" -- School Library Journal


The Underside of Joy, by  Seré Prince Halverson

A stepmother fights for custody of her two young stepchildren after their father dies and their biological mother who abandoned them returns to claim them.

“Set aside a full evening to read Seré Prince Halverson’s first novel, the engrossing and keenly affecting The Underside of Joy; once you’ve started, you’ll be all in.” –Dallas Morning News

“There are no villains here; just two women who love these children dearly. The wonderful characters and beautiful writing make this debut novel a rewarding read.—Minneapolis Star Tribune


Monarch Beach, by Anita Hughes

Monarch Beach is the story of a young San Francisco heiress who discovers her French chef husband is cheating on her, and escapes to the St. Regis, Monarch Beach to chart a new road to happiness.

"Perfect summer reading" - Booklist

"Absolutely riveting and brimming with emotion. Monarch Beach charmed me from the very first page." - Jane Porter, Author of The Good Woman.


Night Swim, by Jessica Keener

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kunitz lives in a posh, suburban world of 1970 Boston. From the outside, her parents' lifestyle appears enviable - a world defined by cocktail parties, expensive cars, and live-in maids to care for their children - but inside their five-bedroom house, all is not well for the Kunitz family. Coming home from school, Sarah finds her well-dressed, pill-popping mother lying disheveled on their living room couch. At night, to escape their parents' arguments, Sarah and her oldest brother, Peter, find solace in music, while her two younger brothers retreat to their rooms and imaginary lives. Any vestige of decorum and stability drains away when tragedy hits one terrible winter day. Soon after, their father, a self-absorbed, bombastic professor begins an affair with a younger colleague. Sarah, aggrieved, dives into two summer romances that lead to unforeseen consequences. In a story that will make you laugh and cry, Night Swim shows how a family, bound by heartache, learns to love again.

"This gripping first novel announces the arrival of a strong, distinct and fully evolved new voice." 
--Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winner

"Keener's observations perfectly capture a certain kind of 1970s adolescence" 
--The Boston Globe


The Sister Queens, by Sophie Perinot

THE SISTER QUEENS weaves the tale of two 13th Century sisters separated by royal marriages—but never truly parted.  The eldest, Marguerite, becomes the Queen of France, marrying the greatest monarch of the age, Louis IX, and soon finds he is a better monarch than husband.  Her marriage will take her on a crusading adventure, but will it bring her happiness?  The second, Eleanor, becomes Queen of England with a marriage to Henry III, and quickly discovers he is a very good man but a very bad king.  She will have love but, competitive as she is, can she settle for that?

“What Philippa Gregory did for Anne and Mary Boleyn, Perinot has done for Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence. This is, without a doubt, one of the best novels I’ve read all year!” ~Michelle Moran, Author of MADAME TUSSAUD

“THE SISTER QUEENS has it all… court life, balls, rivalry, politics, love and lust; with the added element of seeming so real to the reader as though watching a film. A fantastic debut!” ~Peeking Between the Pages


Hemingway's Girl, by Erika Robuck

When a Cuban-American woman in Key West takes a job as a maid for Ernest Hemingway to support her family, her relationships with the famous writer and a WWI veteran and boxer reveal that she may be in over her head on all fronts.

“You’ll love this robust, tender story of love, grief, and survival on Key West in the 1930s…addictive.” ~New York Times Bestselling Author Jenna Blum

“Evokes a setting of the greatest fascination…This is assured and richly enjoyable storytelling.” ~Margaret Leroy, Author of The Soldier’s Wife


The Rules of Inheritance, by Clare Bidwell Smith

Every once in a while a memoir so striking and beautifully written comes along that people can’t stop talking about it long after they’ve finished it. On a wave of buzz and praise in advance of its hardcover publication, The Rules of Inheritance quickly became beloved as a courageous and honest blueprint for how to start over. Said Interview,Smith holds nothing back in her confessional memoir of devastation, but also of rebuilding.”

"A brave and intelligent book about big loss and even bigger love. The gritty truth and hard won grace in this beautiful memoir astonishes me." –Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of WILD

"Gritty, poetic, and illuminating." -Oprah Magazine


Hand me Down, by Melanie Thorne

A tough, tender, debut novel, in the tradition of Dorothy Allison and Janet Fitch, Hand Me Down is the unforgettable story of a girl who has never been loved best of all.

“A sad, compelling read.” –People

“Thorne populates her pages with characters who are fascinating and sharply drawn. . . . Liz is a wise, wry, wonderful heroine.” – (starred review) Kirkus, which recently named Hand Me Down one of the best books of 2012.



The Lost Saints of Tennessee, by Amy Franklin Willis

 The Lost Saints of Tennessee chronicles middle-aged Ezekiel Cooper's struggle to find his way back to his family and himself after the mysterious drowning of his twin brother."

“It is the natural voices of Franklin-Willis’s characters and the Southernsetting that carry this novel. The honest prose rises from the heart[and] . . . leaves the reader rooting for the charactersuntil the novel’s last page.”—The Boston Globe

“A riveting, hardscrabble book on the rough,hardscrabble south, which has rarely beenwritten about with such grace and compassion."—Pat Conroy


The Unfinished Garden, by Barbara Claypole White

Tilly Silverberg, an English nursery owner living in the forests of North Carolina, wants the world to bugger off and leave her alone with her son, her plants, and remorse for decisions she made three years earlier—as her husband was dying.
But James Nealy has other plans. An entrepreneur battling the obsessive-compulsive disorder that estranged him from his family, James speeds into Tilly’s life convinced that only she can help him face his greatest fear: dirt.
When a family emergency lures Tilly back to rural England, James follows—tapping and counting through aviophobia. Away from home, they forge an unlikely bond. And as they work to create a garden and unearth trust, Tilly realizes she too must confront her own secret terror: that love will always end in loss.

“A fabulous debut novel, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN easily earns Romance Junkies’ highest rating of five blue ribbons and a recommended status for its unpredictable originality! So good!” Romance Junkies

The Unfinished Garden is a powerful story of friendship and courage in the midst of frightening circumstances… I highly recommend this wonderful love story.” Bergers’ Book Reviews


The Plum Tree, by Ellen Marie Wiseman

THE PLUM TREE follows a young German woman through the chaos of World War II and its aftermath as she tries to save the love of her life, a Jewish man. “Bloom where you’re planted,” is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But seventeen-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It’s a world she’s begun to glimpse through music, books—and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for. Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler’s regime. Anti-Jewish posters are everywhere, dissenting talk is silenced, and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job—and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo’s wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive—and finally, to speak out. Set against the backdrop of the German home front, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake. 

"Stories of WWII rarely look at the lives of the average German; Wiseman eschews the genre’s usual military conflicts in favor of the slow, inexorable pressure of daily life during wartime, lending an intimate and compelling poignancy to this intriguing debut.”—Publisher’s Weekly

"The meticulous hand-crafted detail and emotional intensity of THE PLUM TREE immersed me in Germany during its darkest hours and the ordeals its citizens had to face. A must-read for WW2 fiction aficionados--and any reader who loves a transporting story."—Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and one of Oprah's Top 30 Women Writers


  1. Oh they all look so good! Congratulations to all these authors. I'd love to win any of these books. It's too hard for me to choose. nora [at] noralestermurad [dot] com.

  2. Wow, with a Conroy endorsement, I'd have to wish for The Lost Saints of Tennessee in my stocking!

    And I LOVED The Unfinished Garden! Anyone reading this who doesn't have it, pick it up!

    1. Laura: What is your email address? Can you post?

  3. Thanks of doing this Nancy! So honored to be part of this incredible batch to book babies!

    1. Good grief. Appalling mistakes in my comment. My New Year's resolution: I will no longer type a word before my first coffee of the day.

  4. This is such an awesome bounty of books! Good luck to all the entrants!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I have read The Crown, The Sister Queens, and At the Mercy of the Queen-All FABULOUS! I just saw Marie from The Burton Review included Hemingway's Girl on her best of 2012 list and would love to read it!

  7. I would love to read The Plum Tree! roseLZ18(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. All of this books sound good. I would love to read "The Sister Queens," "The Crown," or "The Plum Tree." krendfeld (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Gosh! They all sound sooo good! Hard to pick just one!

  10. Oh! I'd love to read any and all of those. Just so you know ... you missed a newborn - actually 2 ... my first two novels, "Under the Same Sky" and "Sound of the Heart" came out in 2012!

  11. Thank you for the giveaway! I would love to read Hemingway's Girl, by Erika Robuck.

  12. A good crop of first novels! I have read Lost Saints and liked it. Next I would like to try The Crown and The Unfinished Garden.

  13. What a great selection of books - would be honoroed to receive any one of them. Thanks for offering this.

    Ann Ellison

  14. What a wonderful giveaway for such an amazing list of books! I have read quite a few of them already but would love to be in the running for At the Mercy of the Queen or The Plum Tree.

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

  15. I would love to win Hemingway's Girl, Unfiniahed Garden, Shine, Shine, Shine.

  16. Oops! That should be UNFINISHED. Stupid keyboard!

  17. I'd love to read The Rules of Inheritance or Hemingway's Girl. I already read Hand Me Down and it was so, so, so good--VERY highly recommended!! Thanks!

  18. Awesome looking group! I've read David's (fabulously funny) Fobbit and have my signed copy already, so I'd have to choose between Night Swim and Hemingway's Girl. thanks!!


    kvignel @ aol . com

  19. I've read Fobbit (If you haven't, stop what you are doing and go get it. Now.) Would love to read any of the above, but top three are: The Rules of Inheritance, The Lost Saints of Tennessee and The Unfinished Garden.

  20. great list of books. I'd love to win "Fobbit." I saw Abrams at the Texas Book Festival and he was great. I can be reached at RZsantos1 AT gmail

  21. Congratulations to you all! It must be a unique and wonderful feeling to see something you've nurtured for so long become a reality. And thank you for the opportunity to win one of these titles. I particularly enjoy reading about people grappling with the complexities of life, so I would be most interested in reading The Underside of Joy, The Lost Saints of Tennessee, Hand Me Down, or Night Swim.


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  23. Would love to get any of these novels, but particularly Fobbit (who sent me over) and The Exceptionals...but they all look good. mail4stana at gmail dot com

  24. Thank you for this nice gesture. All of the books sound hard to narrow it down. (I love to read and joke that I have not met many a book I did not like.) :) So I would be happy with any of the following: The Rules of Inheritance (cause I love a good memoir), Hand Me Down (cause it just sounds good and I think my youngest daughter would enjoy reading it too), The Lost Saints of Tennessee (cause I'm a Southern "gal" and this appeals to me), The Underside of Joy (cause I'm a mom and it sounds good), The Plum Tree (cause I LOVE a good book set during WWII....seem to be hung up on those...just finished The Baker's Daughter), and last but not least Fobbit (cause it is sort of a modern day "dark Mash" which I think would be interesting). Again, thanks for the chance at "new" book....perfect timing....curl up by the fire and read, read, read. :) Happy holidays.

    1. So excited about the books, I forgot to leave my contact info. :)

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