Library Journal gives the BLACK SWAN RISING audio book a starred review! Since it’s subscription only, here’s the whole thing:
Brackmann’s timely political thriller is a cautionary tale about the intersection of extremism, social media, and access to firearms. It is also filled with insider information about how political campaigns operate. Set in San Diego, parallel stories revolve around the congressional election of Matt Cason. Casey Cheng, Channel 9 reporter, is shot in the back at a mass shooting. She returns to work, perhaps too soon, to pursue the story of her assailant Alan Chastain. She finds he is connected to #TrueMen, who continue to troll her. Meanwhile, Sarah Price works on social media for the Cason campaign. But Sarah has a secret. She was the victim of a horrific sexual assault that was filmed and released to the Internet. After the trial, she changed her name, moved away, and started over. Now someone who knows about her past is sending her graphic, threatening emails, and she is terrified. When an assassination attempt is made on Matt Cason’s life, Casey’s and Sarah’s stories intersect. Christina Delaine expertly captures the vocal nuances of the many personalities. VERDICT: Listeners will enjoy this story of smart, capable women standing up for themselves. It’s thrilling, suspenseful, and thought provoking. Highly recommended.—Judy Murray, Monroe City Lib. Syst., Temperance, MI.
Todd wanted to play this next time so I pulled it out to listen. One of those tunes that was so much fun to play, and I am gratified that the bass part came back to me so quickly!
Well, it is too late for me to post about the fabulous book launch party we had at Mysterious Galaxy for BLACK SWAN RISING. But it is not too late to post about some other stuff I have coming up!
Sept. 25: TODAY! The amazing and awesome Steph Cha hosts me at the equally awesome Chevalier’s Books, 7 pm, 126 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 Find out more here!
Sept. 26: I’m appearing with the wonderful David Corbett at the amazing Janet Rudolph’s salon! Berkeley CA! Details and RSVP here!
Sept. 29: Okay, I am out of superlatives. ALL of them apply to this next event: Me! Dana Fredsti! At Borderlands Books, San Francisco! 1:00 PM! 866 Valencia St., San Francisco CA 94110
Nov. 10: INSERT ALL THE SUPERLATIVES! I’m appearing with none other than Tim Hallinan! At Book Carnival! 2 pm! 348 S. Tustin Street, Orange, CA 92866!
More events as I continue to book them, including another San Diego appearance in October!
So as I’ve been re-embarking on this whole playing in a band thing (which is a head trip in many ways), I’m rediscovering tunes that I wrote that I barely remember. Here’s one of them. It had been sitting on a cassette and I hadn’t heard it in 18 years or so (thanks to Dan Westrick for ripping it to digital so I could listen. Who has a cassette player any more? Not me).
Strange for me to hear it again. The musicianship was really solid–hearing Tony and Todd just made me happy. I don’t think Dana was on this tune for some reason — it sounds like me doing the backups (which is too bad, because I always liked the way our voices blended and balanced).
As for the song, it made me sad because it was about sad stuff, and it’s a sad song.
On the other hand, it’s very…musical. Like what’s the next TV show that wants to do a musical episode? Call me.
Always happy to get a review from International Noir Fiction—Glenn Harper’s analyses are so thoughtful and smart!
Brackmann’s novel isn’t only dark and foreboding, it’s also human and humane. The characters take us along this difficult journey through their compelling personal engagement with what’s going on. And the action of the novel doesn’t indulge in the cliches of the genre: The twists and turns of the plot are uniquely Brackmann’s.
Brackmann’s previous two series, one set in the gaming and art worlds of China, the other a more straightforward pair of noir novels set in the drug trade of Mexico, the southern and western U.S., establish the writer’s conversational narrative voice, which continues in Black Swan, but the new novel has more urgency and more contemporary impact, as if this is a novel that Brackmann had to write. I don’t know of any other book that captures the actual social and cyber threats to democracy in the U.S. so effectively. We can hope for more, whether a sequel or a new angle on our times in future books.
I’m very pleased to share this review of BLACK SWAN RISING from BOOKLIST!
I’m happy to report that BLACK SWAN RISING has its first review, from PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY. It’s a good one:
San Diego, Calif., newswoman Casey Cheng, the heroine of this riveting thriller from Brackmann (Go-Between), researches an article exploring the effects of a mass shooting, perpetrated by Alan Chastain, on his victims. She was one of them, shot in the back. Once she recovers from her wounds, Casey interviews Alan’s mother, who allows her to inspect Alan’s bedroom. She finds a graphic novel there that leads her to Lucas Derry, who later attempts to assassinate Matt Cason, a local Congressman up for reelection. When a photo taken at the scene of the shooting showing Matt’s campaign worker Sarah Price attempting to save a collateral victim later goes viral, Sarah is devastated, afraid her secret past will be revealed. That outcome threatens to disrupt the life and career she has created, and possibly to derail Matt’s campaign. A vicious series of posts on social media, spurred by online provocateurs of violence named the True Men Movement, call for the disruption of the upcoming national elections. Despite threats to their safety, Sarah and Casey carry on. Readers will furiously turn the pages to see how it all ends.
On to blurbs…Blurbs are one of those difficult asks for a lot of authors, including me. You want your peers to like your book. You don’t want to put them out. Writers have a lot of demands on their time, and you don’t want to hand them a novel they aren’t going to enjoy and that wastes it.
I like to think from the responses I got back that I didn’t waste anyone’s time. Here’s a sample:
“Fierce, fearsome, and distressingly relevant, with three compelling female leads and a storyline straight out of your very worst Twitter mentions, Black Swan Rising is a showcase for Brackmann’s sharp prose and dry, trademark wit.”
— Elizabeth Little, Los Angeles Times–bestselling author of Dear Daughter
You can read the rest here.