Mississippi Books and Writers

January 2003

Note: Prices listed below reflect the publisher's suggested list price. They are subject to change without notice.

The Briar KingThe Briar King

By Greg Keyes

Del Rey (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0345440668)

Publication date: January 2003

Description from Publishers Weekly:

The author of the bestselling Age of Unreason tetralogy (The Waterborn, etc.) inaugurates the Kingdoms of Throne and Bone quartet with this epic high fantasy. The inhabitants of this splendid and dauntingly complex parallel world, Everon, are mostly descended from folk magically transported from our world. This is not quite the land of Faerie, although the Briar King resembles the old Celtic horned god Cernunnos, while Keyes brings his expertise as a fencing teacher to the swordplay, here called dessrata. The Empire of Crotheny faces war with its arch-rival, the Hanzish, and magical intrigues aimed at preventing the land from having a born queen (as opposed to a king’s consort). By book’s end, Princess Anne, the daughter of the Crotheny king, is fleeing for her life with Austra, her maid, and Cazio, a young Vitellian nobleman, having earlier experienced the pains of discipline in a convent and the horrors of having her family butchered. With aplomb, the author employs one of the most classic fantasy plots: the heir(ess) with a destiny and a necessarily huge cast of supporters. Keyes mixes cultures, religions, institutions and languages with rare skill. The main theme may emerge with formidable slowness, but patient readers will find the rewards enormously worthwhile. —Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


By Beth Henley

Dramatists Play Service (Paperback, $5.95, ISBN: 0822218771)

Publication date: January 2003

Description from Dramatists Play Service:

Revelers [is] a powerhouse of poetic dialogue… This lighthearted comedy with undertones of despair is a frolic well worth taking.” —Southern Dutchess News.

THE STORY: The play takes place in a cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan where devotees of Dash Grey, the charismatic artistic director of Chicago’s Red Lantern Theatre, have come to commemorate his death. Jasper Dale (Dash’s ex-lover) is in charge of the elaborate proceedings. In a desperate attempt to save the struggling Red Lantern Theatre, Jasper taints the event by including Kate Spoon, a wealthy, talent-free matron, who insists on being regarded as an artist. As the play proceeds, Caroleena Lark, a psychic orphan, who has sacrificed her life for the theatre discovers that Kate Spoon is going to have her fired. Other complications occur when Eddy Canary, a middle-aged homeless playwright, shows up hoping to resurrect his love affair with Victor Lloyd. Victor, or Vickie, is a beautiful, modestly gifted protégé of the deceased who has become a success in Hollywood. She arrives in a state of nerves having nearly been blown to bits in a high-tech science-fiction adventure film written and directed by the young Hollywood genius Timothy Harold.


By Beth Henley

Dramatists Play Service (Paperback, $5.95, ISBN: 0822218763)

Publication date: January 2003

Description from Dramatists Play Service:

Signature makes a disturbing imprint with its impression of the future … to say we’d better take notice or we’re doomed.” —Poughkeepsie Journal.

THE STORY: Two brothers, Boswell and Maxwell, are living in Los Angeles in the year 2052. Knowing he is seriously ill, Boswell seeks to revive his fame as a once acclaimed art philosopher. In his obsession to leave a legacy, a signature, he pushes away the love of a young woman (named William) who is a dedicated worker on the Splat Out Crew. The younger brother, Maxwell, becomes so distraught when his wife, L-Tip, divorces him on video divorce that he calls up the Euthanasia Hot Line and requests to be “euthed” because of a broken heart. Max is thus transformed into an icon of twenty-first-century romantic love and suddenly discovers the wonders of glamour and the price of fame.

Zig Ziglar's Life LiftersZig Ziglar’s Life Lifters: Moments of Inspiration for Living Life Better

By Zig Ziglar

Broadman and Holman (Hardcover, $17.99, ISBN: 0805426892)

Publication date: January 2003

Description from Publishers Weekly:

Motivational and salesmanship guru Ziglar, author of See You at the Top, draws on parables, inspirational true-life stories, biblical injunctions neurological research and the aphorisms of thinkers from Hegel to Dr. Seuss in this usually commonsensical if none-too-profound self-help tract. Ziglar’s 56 brief chapters of advice cover a wide range of topics, including parenting (spank judiciously), education (consider home-schooling and vouchers), salesmanship (do little things for customers) and weight loss (when all else fails, trust in God.) Mostly, though, he reminds us that happiness lies in moving beyond self-centeredness and attending to the needs of others: “you can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.” Ziglar’s is a sober and incremental approach to self-improvement, with the emphasis on inculcating steady habits of thoughtfulness towards others, perseverance and positive thinking; he feels that cultivating the outward forms of good behavior can eventually work profound changes on inner attitudes. Civility is therefore a persistent theme: Ziglar exhorts Tiger Woods to clean up his language, extols a Louisiana law compelling schoolchildren to say “sir” and “ma’am” and opines that “a woman loses some of her femininity when she resorts to vulgar talk.” Ziglar’s genteel nostrums (like a “National Kindness Day”) can seem superficial. But compared to other bland and turgid self-help books, his sermons are well paced and pointed, and make his age-old nuggets of wisdom go down easy. —Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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