Posts tagged with: The Mingrelian

That Bookstore in Blytheville Hosts Ed Baldwin

Squeezed between Amazon and Walmart, mistreated by distributers, and taken for granted by the big multinational publishers, there remain some real independent bookstores where patrons can browse, ask a knowledgeable proprietor about recent releases, sit in a comfortable chair and read part of a book before making a decision to buy.  Such a place is That Bookstore in Blytheville.  An unlikely place, Blytheville, Arkansas.  It’s a small town in the Mississippi delta 65 miles north of Memphis, but there is one of the best bookstores in America there.

Started by MaryGay Shipley in 1977 That Bookstore in Blytheville helped launch the career of such luminaries as John Grisham, and Ed Baldwin.  John is from Jonesboro, AR, and I’m from Kennett, MO, just over the state line from Blytheville.  I signed copies of my first book, Bookman at That Bookstore in Blytheville in 1990.  Grisham has had a bit more success than I, but we both started there.

That Bookstore in Blytheville is owned by Chris Crawley now, and the tradition of service continues.  I’ll be signing copies of my latest book, The Mingrelian there on Saturday, June 28th in the afternoon.  Come on by.

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The Book Cover

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This is the draft of the cover art for my next novel, The Mingrelian.  Steve Meosky of Austin Texas created this design.  He is the designer of The Other Pilot and The Devil on Chardonnay covers as well.

He’s dapper, confident, mysterious, and he’s looking over his shoulder.  Well he should, because he’s been laundering Iranian oil money through the Republic of Georgia, and passing secrets about Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the Americans; triple agent espionage.  But, there’s the promise of action in this picture too.  What is that C-130 doing behind him, and which mountains are those?  Oh, this is going to be fun.

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The Mingrelian: Boyd Chailland’s next adventure

IMG_0264This is the Dadiani Palace, home to the last reigning Prince of Mingrelia, who abdicated to the Russian Czar in the late 19th century and moved to St. Petersburg while the Czar took the remaining western portion of Georgia and the warm water port of Batumi on the Black Sea.  The snow capped mountains in the background are the Caucasus, with Abkhazia in the foreground and Sochi, Russia just beyond.  That’s where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held.

We left Tbilisi, Georgia last weekend and drove 160 miles west to the Black Sea.  The Caucasus Mountains, 20,000 feet tall and snowcapped year round are on both sides of the valley.  The Dadiani Palace is in Zugdidi, just 25 miles from the Black Sea, so the climate is sub-tropical; they’re selling oranges, lemons, and gigantic persimmons all along the road.  Batumi is a destination resort long prized by the Russians and now popular with many from the Middle East because it’s warm in the summer, but not hot.  We stayed at the Radisson Blue in Batumi; 19 floors tall right on the Black Sea.  The highway from Tbilisi is lined by modest houses of people engaged in subsistence agriculture on small plots of land given them when the Soviet Union dissolved and Georgia became independent.  Though the land is fertile and water plentiful, there is no sign of modern large scale farming.

It’s from this background that The Mingrelian will emerge; Boyd Chailland’s next adventure.  Stay tuned for more.

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