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Authors Discussion & Signing with Michael Barsa and Michelle Falkoff

Date: June 23, 2018

Day: Saturday

Time: 2:00 PM

Theme: The Mysteries of Family Secrets

Authors: Michael Barsa & Michelle Falkoff


A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn't care. For the first time in his life, he's free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up. Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine--constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who's home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There's something odd about him--something eerily reminiscent of their father's most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He's not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family--and the supposed accident that claimed his parents' lives.

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Author: Michael Barsa  grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American "R" and a lifelong fascination with language. He's lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont. He's worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He's now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia. The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.




A mystery about family, secrets, and how to move forward when the past keeps pulling you back. Patrick "Pack" Walsh may not know where he's going in life, but he's happy where he is. Then, on his eighteenth birthday, a letter from his past changes everything. As Pack begins a journey to uncover the truth about the parents he thought he knew, the family he didn't know he had, and the future he never realized he wanted, he starts to have a whole different understanding of his life--and where he wants to go from here.

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Author: Michelle Falkoff is the author of Playlist for the Dead, Pushing Perfect, and Questions I Want to Ask You. Her fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. Michelle currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning and Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School and practiced intellectual property litigation in Silicon Valley for several years before going back to school to receive her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Event date: 
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Event address: 
7419 W. Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
The Garden of Blue Roses Cover Image
ISBN: 9781630230616
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Underland Press - April 17th, 2018

Questions I Want to Ask You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062680235
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - May 29th, 2018

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