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Catherine Treadgold

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Camel Press Releases the Bear in a Muddy Tutu, a Magical Novel About a Traveling Circus
Camel Press is proud to announce the release of The Bear in a Muddy Tutu, by Cole Alpaugh, a novel about lovable misfits, both animal and human, whose fates become intertwined in a ragtag circus., 2/21/2011 - Seattle, WA.—Camel Press is proud to announce the release of The Bear in a Muddy Tutu (278 pp, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-825-4), by Cole Alpaugh, a modern fable about lovable misfits, both animal and human, whose fates become intertwined in a ragtag circus troupe.

“From the first page to the last, Cole Alpaugh had my attention,” writes Michelle Hessling, Publisher of the Wayne Independent. “His zany and colorful characters and style of writing put me in mind of one of my favorite authors, John Irving. I suspect that I have found my next new favorite author.”

Lennon Bagg’s daughter has been stolen away by his ex-wife, and he’s just learned the newspaper he reports for is bankrupt. While on his final assignment, Bagg knocks a policeman unconscious to save the life of a runaway circus bear, and suddenly finds himself responsible for a band of stranded roustabouts who’ve pitched their tents on a small island along the New Jersey shore. Eight hundred miles away, a young girl searches for her dead father on the beaches of Bermuda. Dead people, after all, become birds—a theory she derived from her mother’s explanation that when you die, you grow wings and fly away. A hapless cult leader and the sulking newspaper reporter hatch a plan to save the circus, which includes a plane ride into the Bermuda Triangle accompanied by a man who holds the record for being struck by lightning. And it’s starting to cloud up ... In The Bear in a Muddy Tutu, hope is something vigorously avoided because it usually means someone is about to be run over by a speeding car.

“Graceful Gracie wasn’t always a dancing bear,” says Alpaugh. “Years ago, I’d taken my oldest daughter to see a traveling circus. It was an old, broken down troupe with license plates from down south, but they had an enormous African elephant with a headdress made of pink ostrich feathers. One of the circus workers walked up and, for no apparent reason, cracked the elephant across the side of its head with a long wood bullhook. The bird flew away, and the elephant began to cry, as did my daughter. It made me want to tell the story.”

Cole Alpaugh’s newspaper career began in the early 80s. His most recent job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey. Cole also did work for two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Thailand and Cambodia. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America, and won several national awards. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and writer living in Northeast Pennsylvania. Find Cole online at

The Bear in a Muddy Tutu is available in Kindle ($4.95) and print editions on,,, and Amazon Japan. Bookstores and libraries can order by contacting or through Ingram or Baker and Taylor. Other electronic versions can be purchased on Smashwords or at any of the major online ebook stores.

ABOUT Camel Press—Based in Seattle Washington, Camel Press is a new imprint owned by Coffeetown Press. Camel Press publishes genre fiction: romance, mystery/suspense, science fiction, horror … or any combination thereof. We publish the books that grab you and hold you in their grip long into the night.

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