Regal House Authors: Herman, Schlottman & Renhardt
Outside a rural Pennsylvania motel, nine-year-old Lulu smokes a cigarette while sitting on the lap of a trucker. Recent art grad Quinn is passing through town and captures it. The photograph, later titled “Lulu & the Trucker,” launches Quinn’s career, escalating her from a starving artist to a renowned photographer. In a parallel life, Lulu fights to survive a volatile home, growing up too quickly in an environment wrought with drug abuse and her mother’s prostitution. Decades later, when Quinn has a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art and “Lulu & the Trucker” has sold at auction for a record-breaking amount, Lulu is surprised to find the troubling image of her young self in the newspaper. She attends an artist talk for the exhibition with one question in mind for Quinn: Why didn’t you help me all those years ago? Tell Me One Thing is a portrait of two Americas, examining power, privilege, and the sacrifices one is willing to make to succeed. Traveling through the 1980s to present day, it delves into New York City’s free-for-all grittiness while exposing a neglected slice of the struggling rust belt.
Eighty-four seconds can change your life. Or destroy it. Josie Nickels is an Emmy-winning news anchor, poised to rise through the ranks of television journalism. But on a bitter March evening on live TV, the pressures and secrets burbling behind closed doors of her ridiculous Victorian mansion explode. And the overwhelmed journalist spills family secrets like a Baptist at altar call. The aftermath costs her much more than a career. It robs her of a beloved son—a preppy, educated millennial trapped in the deadly world of addiction. Desperate for a new start and a way to save her son, Josie packs up her pride, her young daughter, and accepts a new job slinging cosmetics at a department store make-up counter with other disgraced celebs. In the gorgeous mountains of Asheville N.C., known for hippies, healings, and Subarus, Josie is faced with a choice: Take a chance on a bold, out-of-the-ordinary treatment plan for her son. Or lose him forever. This heart-wrenching and, at times, hilarious novel, will delight fans of book-club women’s fiction. And inspire and give hope to those with addicted sons and daughters. The Beautiful Misfits is an emotional yet uplifting ride through a world of fierce love, store-bought beauty, and wonder.
Fifteen-year-old Mattie Lee Watson dreams of men, not boys. So when James T. Cullowee, the Kudzu King, arrives in Cooper County, North Carolina in 1941 to spread the gospel of kudzu—claiming that it will improve the soil, feed cattle at almost no cost, even cure headaches—Mattie is ready. Mr. Cullowee is determined to sell the entire county on the future of kudzu, and organizes a kudzu festival, complete with a beauty pageant. Mattie is determined to be crowned Kudzu Queen and capture the attentions of the Kudzu King. As she learns more about Cullowee, however, she discovers that he, like the kudzu he promotes, has a dark and predatory side. When she finds she is not the only one threatened, she devises a plan to bring him down. Anyone who knows—or has been—a fifteen-year-old girl will understand how a crush can sour, or even turn dangerous. And anyone who’s seen “southern topiary” will recognize how it swallows up whatever stands in its way. Based on historical facts, The Kudzu Queen unravels a tangle of sexuality, power, race, and kudzu through the voice of an irresistibly delightful (and mostly honest) narrator.