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Dear ExampleContactFirstName,

Okra Picks

Welcome to SIBA’s Galley Giveaway—our alert of review copies available to booksellers. To help you harvest a great crop of Southern literature, SIBA and participating publishers are giving away the galleys below to southern indie booksellers on a first-come, first serve basis. If you are interested in any of the books below simply email the publisher to request a copy. Supplies are limited, so act quickly!

Liked what you read? Let everyone know!
for the next season of SIBA's Okra Picks!

N.B. These are review copies only, and not for resale.
--Your friends at SIBA


Hell or HigBid Whist at Midnighth Water

Bid Whist at Midnight by Marva Washington
ISBN-13: 978-1-4502-7670-2 (soft cover)
978-1-4502-7671-9 (hard back)
$23.95 (paperback) | $33.95 (hardcover) | February 2012

In the midst of the turbulent 1960s, four girls enter college in Orangeburg, South Carolina. As Sardis, Grace, Dorcus and Taletha develop friendships, they find solace, support and laughter through a regular weekend card game that erases the harsh reality of the times. Unfortunately, the girls' worlds are about to be rocked with tragic results.

Twenty years after the tragedy, the girls secretly reunite in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina to finally finish the game interrupted on the worse night of their lives. After the old friends greet each other warmly, a strange atmosphere settles over the table. None of the women wants to step back into the dark place that will force them to relive their pasts and the horrible events that led up to the Orangeburg Massacre. But as the game marathon begins, Sardis, Grace and Dorcus soon realize that guilt still haunts them; until they can let go of the powerful emotions that have held them prisoner for so long, they will never be able to move forward.

Bid Whist at Midnight is a compelling tale that illustrates the power of friendship as three girls embark on a coming-of-age journey that will lead them to forgiveness, love, and a long-awaited farewell to a friend.

Contact to request a review copy

Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water by Joy Castro
Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-00457-4
$25.99 | hardcover | July 2012 | Mystery/Thriller

Dennis Lehane calls Hell or High Water “a terrific thriller.” Hell or High Water, by Joy Castro (Thomas Dunne Books, ISBN-13: 978-1-250-00457-4, $25.99, hardcover, July 2012, Mystery/Thriller) is a psychological thriller in the vein of Kate Atkinson and Tana French, vividly rendered in razor sharp prose, a riveting journey of trust betrayed—and the courageous struggle toward recovery.

Nola Céspedes, an ambitious young reporter at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, catches a break: An assignment to write her first full-length feature. While researching her story, she also becomes fixated on the search for a missing tourist in New Orleans. As Nola’s work leads her into darker corners of the city, a singular narrative voice emerges, and an even more compelling question surfaces: Who is Nola Céspedes?

Hell or High Waterhas garnered high praise from booksellers as well: Kim Coleman of Indigo Bridge Books says “The narrative is great fun to read and entertaining…Joy’s style is witty and fun and captivating. This is the kind of book we seek for our shelves!”

20 galley are available. Contact:

The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone
ISBN: 978-1891885-88-4
$24.95 | cloth | March 2012 | Fiction
Hub City Press | Distributed by John F. Blair

The Iguana TreeLibrary Journal says The Iguana Tree “recalls the work of John Steinbeck.” Kirkus Reviews calls it “exceptional … a haunting tale of hope and heartbreak.”

Michel Stone’s debut novel, set against the backdrop of illegal immigration, is one family’s story of fateful decisions, risky border crossings, and a struggle for humanity. With a dream of a more prosperous life for his family, Héctor crosses into America on a harrowing journey in a welded-shut metal compartment under a delivery truck, making his way to job on a tree farm on Edisto Island, SC. He tells Lilia, his young wife, to stay behind with their newborn until he can pay for her travel. Impulsive and impatient, Lilia abandons her village, hands off their baby to a smuggler who should not have been trusted, and swims the dark Rio Grande. The tragedy unfolds across the southern United States. As Michel Stone weaves her tale of hope and human dignity, of sorrow and suffering, we see not only the devastating consequences of Lilia’s and Héctor’s decisions, but the consequences of decisions we have made as a society and as a nation. With its themes of loss, betrayal, and redemption, The Iguana Tree has the resonance of myth.

The Iguana Tree, published by Hub City Press, is a spring SIBA Okra Pick.

For a review copy please contact Betsy Teter at

I've Had It Up to Here with TeenagersI’ve Had It Up to Here with Teenagers byMelinda Rainey Thompson
John F. Blair, Publisher
April 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-89587-569-3
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback, 166 pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Thompson’s three teenagers bury her under an Everest of laundry. They send her for groceries so often that she once heard a store employee cry, “Incoming!” They leave such a quantity of half-eaten sandwiches around their rooms as to provide a buffet for roaches. They complain for hours about 10-minute chores. They spend their parents’ money like it magically regenerates and hoard their own like it’s the last dose of the elixir of life.

To put it another way, they’re typical teens.

In her inimitable style, Thompson makes I’ve Had It Up to Here with Teenagers both a humorous rant against teens and a celebration of seeing them rise from the ashes of battle to become well-adjusted, responsible humans. I’ve Had It Up to Here with Teenagers is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

Melinda Rainey Thompson is the author of the best-selling SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully and The SWAG Life. Her most recent book, I Love You—Now Hush (cowritten with Morgan Murphy), was a 2010 ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year winner and a 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award finalist, both in the Humor category. She lives in Homewood, Alabama.

To request a galley, contact Angela Harwood at

The Magician's Secrets

The Magician's Secrets by JG Sauls

With the fierce swing of an iron re-bar, Gino Traynor, computer programmer, shatters the porch post of a Nags Head, North Carolina beach cottage. Two men he loves are showered with splinters. The first, FBI agent Rob Hanson, Traynor’s best friend for two decades, has just asked a seemingly innocuous question about a pair of shoes. The second, Toby Gray, a nineteen year-old waiter who’s sharing Traynor’s bed, falls wounded with a two-inch sliver in the white of one eye. Beneath the surface, like a shark in the surf, lurks a years-old killing in the hamlet of Bee Spring, Kentucky.

Lush Southern settings, richly drawn characters and intricate mystery make this a reliable recommendation. Quality production and the eye-catching cover complete the package.

Category: Fiction
ISBN-13: 978-1-937921-01-9
Format: Trade Paperback
Page Count: 296

Retail Price: $12.95

E-mail for a complementary preview copy.

The World in a SkilletThe World in a Skillet: A Food Lover's Tour of the New American South by Paul and Angela Knipple
Hardcover, 9780807835173, $35.00
296 pp., 7 x 10, 33 halftones, index
Pub Date: March 1, 2012
University of North Carolina Press 

"Let fastidious foodies whine that American food isn't what it used to be. Paul and Angela Knipple celebrate the delicious truth that the fare of our nation--in this case, the South--indeed is always changing and incalculably enriched by new dishes brought by immigrants from around the world."--Jane and Michael Stern

Sending finished books.  For a copy please contact Michael Donatelli at

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

Thank you to SIBA's Inkreadible Sponsors 2012:
Baker & Taylor

Trade Show #SIBA12: Sept 7-9, 2012  at  Naples Grande Beach Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Collection. Naples, Florida

Find your favorite authors at Authors 'Round the South
What I'm blogging: Wanda's Wonderful Book Blog
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