The Book Cellar
It's Local Author Night at The Book Cellar, featuring Bill Mathis (The Rooming House Diaries), Zachary Lindner (High School Queens), Melanie Weiss (Spoken), Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Revise the Psalm) and G.P. Gottlieb (Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery).
About Zachary Lindner:
Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.
About High School Queens:
They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other's secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen. Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they'll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principle, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag.What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity. Sex, Lies, and High School Queens explores the major theme of self-acceptance. Can they learn to accept all their flaws or pray victim to The Marked Queen? Each chapter continues to fill your sweet tooth until the climactic moment at the prom where you get to have that final bite of the bitch cake you’ve been dying to consume.
About Melanie Weiss:
Melanie Weiss lives and works in Oak Park, Illinois. This is her first novel.
High school freshman Roman Santi has everything -- good looks, great friends, a mansion with an Infinity swimming pool -- except the one thing he really wants. A relationship with his father.
When Roman's life gets turned upside down (thanks mom!?) he is forced to leave his pampered Hollywood lifestyle and move into his grandparents' Midwestern home. Sleeping on a lumpy pullout sofa and starting at a new high school is the WORST but Roman’s life starts to look up when his pink-haired friend Zuzu, and his crush, a classmate named Claire, introduce him to performance poetry through the high school's Spoken Word Club. While his mom is flying back and forth to L.A. to try to return them to the life they had, Roman becomes part of a diverse group of characters that challenge his rather privileged view of the world. Through Spoken Word, Roman recognizes the hole in his own life he needs to fill and discovers his voice. Spoken Word leads Roman on a journey of new friendships, first love, and finding the dad he never knew.
About G.P. Gottlieb:
G.P. Gottlieb holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano and voice (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and New England Conservatory). During her career as a cantor (Boston and Denver), a high school music teacher (Chicago), and the administrator of a law center (DePaul University College of Law), she wrote stories, songs, and several unwieldy book-length manuscripts.
Galit is honing the craft of writing with guidance from Chicago author and writing teacher, S.L. Wisenberg, and a Whipped and Sipped sequel, Smothered, is already underway. She serves as a host for New Books in Literature, a podcast of the New Books Network, which gets nearly 60,000 downloads each day. Also, she graduated from the French Pastry School’s Bread Boot Camp and will attend Chocolate Boot Camp this summer.
Alene Baron is 38 years old and over seven years divorced from her philandering husband. She lives in a Chicago lakefront high-rise with her 3 children and her 72-year-old father. She owns the nearby Whipped and Sipped Café, which serves decadent but healthful pastries and drinks. Alene’s pastry chef and best friend is Ruthie, the college roommate with whom she once developed code words to study for history exams.
Alene is also an avid reader of mysteries. When a neighbor is found dead she begins to compile a list of suspects. A week later, another neighbor is found battered, and one of Alene’s young employees is holding the gun.
A few days later, the murderer confronts Alene.
About Bill Mathis:
Bill Mathis is a preacher’s kid from a large family. He spent over 40 years in the Chicago area directing YMCA camps and working with foster children. Upon retirement, he moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, but can still see Illinois—enough that, so far, his novels are set in Chicago. The Rooming House Diaries is Bill’s second novel. A sequel will follow in 2020. His first novel, Face Your Fears, deals with disability, LGBTQ and family.
About The Rooming House Diaries - Life, Love & Secrets:
Six diaries are found in an old rooming house in the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood. Written by the owners, family members, and several boarders, the diaries span from the late 1800’s to 2000 and interweave with and through the ever changing history and demographics of Chicago. Polish immigrants build and operate the home, the wife has a secret that remains hidden for 115 years. A teen age boy appears from France in the middle of the depression and informs the owner that he is the result of the owner's love affair during World War I. An unmarried pregnant teen shows up in 1950 and, after several years, is given a certificate of adoption written on a brown paper bag to signify her and her daughter’s acceptance into the family. The first Mexican in the neighborhood, a gay man with a disability, is given a room and eventually inherits the place, his childhood story of living on the streets in Tijuana, Mexico is moving. Two brothers, the oldest and youngest sons, die in different wars 22 years apart, one is an angel, the other, well, definitely not an angel. The book resonates with deep, relate-able, complex characters who face the ups and downs, joys and tragedies of family life and prove that not all families carry the same DNA. Kirkus Reviews said it’s, "A story of secrecy, suffering, fortitude, and compassion that demonstrates an exceptional understanding of the human psyche.”
About Sandra Jackson-Opoku:
Sandra Jackson-Opoku is the author of two novels. The American Library Association Black Caucus award-winning The River Where Blood is Born was listed in Best Novels of the Nineties: A Readers Guide. Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him) was
an Essence Magazine Hardcover Fiction Bestseller. Her fiction, poetry, essays and dramatic works appear in Kweli Journal, Obsidian, Ms. Magazine, Octillo Review, Another Chicago Magazine, New Daughters of America (an anthology) and many other outlets. With Qurasyh Ali Lansana, she co-edited the anthology Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, a Chicago Review of Books Nonfiction Finalist.
Jackson-Opoku’s work has earned the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, a Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines Fiction Award for Younger Writers, a Ragdale Foundation US/Africa Fellowship, a William Randolph Hearst Research Visiting Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, a Roots Fellowship at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a Whiting Foundation Fellowship and awards from the Illinois Arts Council and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Jackson-Opoku has taught literature and writing at Columbia College Chicago, the University of Chicago, the University of Miami, and Chicago State University.