New novel “Blues Jam” by Stephen Rice is released, a character driven story about growing up, relationships, struggles with addiction, and the power of music

June 18 12:10 2024
New novel "Blues Jam" by Stephen Rice is released, a character driven story about growing up, relationships, struggles with addiction, and the power of music

“Blues Jam” by Stephen Rice has been released worldwide. This 339-page novel follows a family’s journey from difficult times to finding stability and happiness through personal challenges, loss, and coming of age in an imperfect world. Readers follow Sarah from birth to early adulthood as she makes friends, navigates the loss of her mother to an accidental overdose, falls in love with playing the drums, excels on the basketball court, and grows into a vibrant young woman – yet struggles with the same opioid addiction that caused her mother’s untimely passing.

Alongside Sarah’s story, her father Art has his own journey of love and loss, personal growth, battles with alcoholism, and finding his footing as a father. Throughout the novel, Art and Sarah’s friends play prominent roles in the highs and lows of their lives, including Melissa, the sister of Art’s deceased wife, who builds a relationship with the father and daughter as they all learn to manage in the wake of a difficult loss.

Sarah’s family has a shared love of music, particularly the blues, and the names of prominent artists and songs in the genre create a soundtrack for the scenes of the novel. As Sarah shows promise as a budding drummer, the importance of the music she learned from her parents becomes an increasingly central part of the person she is growing into.

Driven by the broad cast of characters, the novel deftly deals with the nuances of life, portraying each individual as realistic, imperfect, and doing their best to understand their place in the world. It is truly a “coming of age” story, but not just for Sarah. Art, Melissa, and a range of other characters also learn and grow throughout the novel, all contending with doubts, ambitions, and life circumstances that will hit close to home for readers of all backgrounds.

Rooted in familiar reality and moments of surprising adventure, Rice’s writing addresses the delicate process of fighting addiction, the importance of relationships, and the range of experiences – from exciting to frightening – that define our lives. This story of tragedy and triumph is an ode to the beautiful music of the blues and the authentic humanity it represents.

Blues Jam (ISBN: 9781962987370) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The paperback retails for $24.95, and the ebook retails for $2.99. Review copies and interviews are available upon request.

From the back cover:

“I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to do it,” said Sarah.

“Oh yeah, what’s that?” asked Kelly.

“I want to be a real drummer,” replied Sarah without hesitation.

“Great! Why not? You already play drums, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I play with the school band. But I want to play with a real band. And I know you’ll laugh, but I want to play with a blues band.”

About the author:

Stephen was born and raised in Henderson, NY. He moved to Saint Paul, MN to attend Hamline University. After working a variety of jobs, he began a career as a computer programmer. An interest in writing words preceded his interest in writing code.

About Manhattan Book Group:

Manhattan Book Group (“MBG”), located on Broadway in New York City, is a registered trade name of Mindstir Media LLC. MBG is widely known as a premier hybrid book publisher. We have combined the best of traditional publishing with the best of self-publishing to provide authors with the “best of both worlds” in a sense. To learn more about MBG, visit

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Company Name: Manhattan Book Group
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