Friday, February 24, 2012


On June 5, 2012, Venus will cross the face of the sun.  This event occurs only twice (eight years apart) every 120 years.  The last transit took place in 2004, and after June 5, another 120 years will pass before the next.  While the Venus transit may be mere spectacle these days, it was an event that carried a great deal of scientific, astronomical, and military significance in 1761 and 1769.  If eighteenth-century scientists could accurately time the transit of Venus, they could calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun and thus accurately measure longitude.  Without accurate longitude measurements, naval ships would continue being stranded or shipwrecked in areas of the sea to which they didn't intend to sail.  Finding this calculation was crucial for military might.

In THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN, journalist Mark Anderson spins a thrilling and extraordinary tale of the hopes, obsessions, accomplishments, and failures of the scientists across the globe who measured Venus's transit.  The book compiles their fascinating adventures as they traveled to Siberia, Mexico, Tahiti, and more in a race to unlock the mysteries of the universe and win themselves the glory of their nations. 

THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN will publish in early May, just ahead of Venus's June transit, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek of what to look forward to this summer!  The book has already received a glowing review below, and the cover (also below) is phenomenal.  To learn more about the book, follow it on Facebook here and/or Tumblr here

"THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN begins with a little dot--which we discover is the planet Venus.  But the dot signifies one of the most important events in the history of science--and it grows into a big, powerful story with colorful and obsessed characters and exotic vivid locales that fascinates and informs the reader from beginning to end." --Lee Gutkind, author of IN FACT

Da Capo Press, May 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Like a DOWNTON ABBEY set in Cairo

Jean Naggar, president of JVNLA, celebrated the release of her memoir, SIPPING FROM THE NILE: My Exodus from Egypt, this week!  The book appeared on Valentine's Day in print and digital from Amazon Encore and in audio (read by Jean herself) from Brilliance Audio.

Emily Rubin, author of STALINA, said of the book, "Jean Naggar's memoir SIPPING FROM THE NILE brings the world of Egypt's privileged class to us like a DOWNTON ABBEY set in Cairo.  This is history told with the fluidity of poetry, the sensuality of life, and with empathy that resonates from an extended family determined to survive upheaval."

Meanwhile, The US Review of Books praised the memoir with the following review: "Glamorous, exciting, filled with the sophisticated life of a Jewish family living in Europe and the Middle East, Naggar documents times of elegant lifestyles, to the tumultuous struggles of war...And like every family, there is passionate love and loss, but always there is the undercurrent of delight and an indomitable will to do more than just survive."

SIPPING FROM THE NILE is a coming-of-age narrative that also chronicles the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 and the resultant diaspora of Jean's family.  The book holds a fitting connection to today's Egypt and the Arab Spring, as Jean writes in a recent blog post:

My personal story now seems like a tiny grain of sand trapped in an undertow of post-colonial national fervor.  In 1956, religious freedom and the fertile brew of diversity encouraged by the Ottoman occupation of Egypt imploded and disappeared in one fell swoop.  Immediate expulsion of civic-minded, financially astute, cultured British, French, and Jewish communities following Suez threatened the socioeconomic infrastructure of the country and planted seeds for escalating economic woes, foreshadowing a new revolution decades later, fueling the energy and anger that filled Tahrir Square in 2011.

You can read the rest of the blog post at this link.

And for further discussion about SIPPING FROM THE NILE, view the reading group guide available at this link.

Amazon Encore, February 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012


Library Media Connection said of Kate Kae Myers's THE VANISHING GAME, "This book has twists and turns galore.  Part corporate espionage thriller, part paranormal horror story, there are also elements of mystery and romance...A suspenseful read."  The book releases on Tuesday, fitted with the amazing, creepy cover below. 

Included in the book are multiple clues to the mystery our main character Jocelyn attempts to solve, which you can solve yourself by visiting the author's website at this link!  Solve a cryptogram, decipher a message hidden via an ancient Spartan coding method, create an origami shuriken or Chinese throwing star, and see if you can uncover the mystery before Jocelyn.

Bloomsbury, February 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ellen Potter interviewed in Publishers Weekly for THE HUMMING ROOM

Ellen Potter (author of THE KNEEBONE BOY and the OLIVIA KIDNEY series) has refashioned Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic THE SECRET GARDEN into a contemporary tale in her new book out this February.  Publishers Weekly interviewed Potter about the unique process of writing the book, titled THE HUMMING ROOM.  You can read the whole article at this link, but to whet your appetite, here's a sampling below! 

Q: How did you tackle the actual writing of THE HUMMING ROOM?

A: The idea of writing a contemporary version of THE SECRET GARDEN was very exciting to me, yet at the same time it was very, very intimidating.  I knew I needed to follow the original story line--or that I wanted to--but I knew I had to make it different enough that it would be worthwhile for people to read my novel. 

The book has already gotten multiple astounding reviews.  Don't miss this one!

"Noteworthy...Potter, with classic and contemporary storytelling flair, deftly interweaves fantasy, mystery, suspense, and realism.  Beautifully wrought, elegant prose combines with vivid setting details and diversely-drawn characters to affectingly portray themes of loneliness and grief.  Roo is a memorable character--her experiences prove transformative in unexpected ways and, ultimately, her complexities and growth ring true.  Poignant without sentimentality, this is a compelling read that is certain to resonate--and linger--with young readers." --Booklist, starred review

"Potter pays graceful tribute to the spirit of [THE SECRET GARDEN].  The author borrows plot elements effectively, yet her strong characterizations, fluid dialogue, and evocative descriptions give the novel a vibrant life of its own...Potter lavishes attention on the gothic island setting and Roo's uncle's estate; it's a thrilling ghost story, but one that, like the story it's drawn from, has love and rebirth at its heart." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The author has created a fresh tale with a strong-willed heroine...An homage to a cherished classic that can work as a companion piece or stand alone." --Kirkus