ThComing Soon!is month we are ramping up for a very busy publishing season, with six (yes, 6!) titles confirmed and under contract to publish over the next year. Several more are under contract negotiations to expand our catalog well into 2017.

Here is a sampling:

Acropolis, by Howard Winn
After fighting the “Good War,” a small group of soldiers enters Vassar College, previously a women-only institution, courtesy of the GI Bill and each attempts to settle in to civilian life. The clash of cultures between privileged and working classes combined with personal struggles with PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and simple readjustment battles amid the creative intellectual world of higher education makes for an engaging tale, as young men struggling to recapture lives disrupted by war encounter the beginnings of the McCarthy red hunt years. The response of the students and the Vassar administration to politically-motivated attacks upon academic freedom, free speech and freedom of thought blur long-held beliefs of patriotism and service, as the men are exposed through their college studies to the thinking of Rheinhold Niebuhr and others who question the nature of war, nationalism and aggression.

Parade of Shades, by Jewel Hopson
All her life Karen Baker reacts to people who either praise or resent her tawny complexion. When her mother abandons the family, a biracial (Arab/White) woman from the Big Brothers-Big Sisters’ mentor program briefly steps into place and the encounter begins a change in Karen. She quickly learns that everything has a price. For instance, her entertainment choices are even more unpopular among her classmates than her vocabulary. Lacking a sense of belonging, Karen feels misunderstood in high school and defensive in college. Her failed romances with men of various ethnic groups make her life worse. Her problems follow her into the business world as Karen leaves Homewood, Pittsburgh’s largest ghetto. As she journeys through her life, she gives up the idea that light skin and long hair are the main definitions of beauty. She also stops believing college graduates are better than people who do not have an advanced education. As in Passin’ by Karen E. Quinones Miller and Good Hair by Benilde Little, this coming-of-age novel explores African-Americans’ internal color and cultural discrimination.

The Fortunate and the Damned, by Susannah Eanes
“A continuation of acquaintances begun in Lucky Southern Women…” Here Phoebe still is learning that secrets can and will out, that Sophie has a lot of fight left, and that the nicest of people can harbor the darkest of intentions. Kenyon Marks has by no means forgotten her, no matter what his Mama thinks. He shows up at the most inopportune times to firmly but respectfully show her her own shortcomings, addressing racism and ignorance at its core – where Phoebe (the realist) struggles to accept reality for the first time in her life. Sophie’s husband and soulmate Aaron, meanwhile, is off fighting a war half a world away, and has his own reckonings to resolve, culminating in an horrific and dangerous manhunt through the sultry, reeking, mosquito-infested swamps near Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

This short list is the partial result of over two years of consistent, careful work between our editors, graphics team, and the authors themselves. Congratulations to all of you! Here’s to the best year yet.

Happy Reading!