Bzff is a wonderful Moroccan word for “Plentiful,” or “More,” oft-used by our intrepid publisher, who was exiled to El Menzel, Morocco, during her stint in the Peace Corps.
The Big News is that John Hampel’s long-awaited next novel River of Fire, River of Light or Girlchild in the Promised Land, is soon to be published! The drop date is September 5, 2023!
River of Fire, River of Light
A riveting, sometimes shocking, coming-of-age tale like no other, 15-year-old Elizabeth reluctantly takes on the world—her father dead of an overdose, mother imprisoned for a terrible crime—and embarks on an odyssey taking her from the mean streets of St. Louis into the deep-recession heartland, living the gamut of malevolence and kindnesses, all the while seeking justice for her mother, whom she knows—well, thinks she knows—is innocent.
Packing a loaded .38, the immensely clever Elizabeth does all she must to survive, from becoming, along with her little brother, the foremost missing children in America, to slipping into, when necessary, her haute sensuelle alter ego. Whatever it takes.
With stability looming, she determines to leave her past behind, but is confronted with a huge legal obstacle blocking the way to obtaining justice for her mother. Resolving it is risky business indeed, and Elizabeth is the only one who can do it. But in doing so, she would have to revert to a notorious version of herself, jeopardizing everything she has accomplished, including her mother’s long-sought freedom, and, quite likely, her own.
Bzff Books is a small press dedicated to publishing the works of the acclaimed author, John Hampel. His first novel, Wherever You Go, There You Are, received very positive reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, ALA Booklist, to name a few, and had impressive sales for a first novel by a small press. The hardcover edition sold out and was reissued as a trade paperback in March 2000.
Then, twenty years after the publication of Wherever You Go, There You Are, Mr. Hampel returned from the Midwestern hinterlands, bearded, dusty, reeking of woodsmoke and perhaps a vestige of polecat with Glass House 51 under his arm, a sizzling novel about our dark descent into the endgame of technology, privacy, and the human spirit.
And now, with River of Fire, River of Light we dive into the marvelous story of the poor, but determined, brilliant. and indefatigable Elizabeth and her incredible odyssey to seek justice for her mother, imprisoned for twenty years for a terrible crime that Elizabeth thinks she might not have committed. . . .
In the meantime, feel free to check out the Wherever You Go, There You Are and Glass House 51 blurbs on this website and in the Akashic records, if they have found a place there, and on Amazon.com, where you can make them your own. . . .