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“An uplifting tale about family, second chances, and the complexity of making fine Texas wine.” Kirkus Reviews

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Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy Lark’s lost her husband, and the expiration date has come and gone on her fake-it-till-you-make-it “Happy Mommy Show.” Healing her broken family requires drastic measures—like returning to her hometown in the Texas Hill Country. But she’s going to need more than clean air and a pastoral landscape to rebuild a life for her and her young sons. After years of putting off her dream of becoming a winemaker, Lark puts every cent into a failing vineyard, determined to work through her grief and make a brighter future for her children. The last thing she expects is to fall in love again. Especially not with Wyatt Gifford, an injured Army vet with a past of his own to conquer. Coming home may not be the reset Lark imagined, but it does take her on a journey filled with humor and reconciliation—one that prepares her for a courageous comeback.

Visit Kris Clink here.

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

Welcome back! The first issue was a hit, so at the request of several of our authors and readers, the READING NATION MAGAZINE will be a monthly magazine. I’m excited to share so many of our authors and their books with you. Please have a seat, relax, and find your next must read. Some of the authors in this issue have been Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys for years and have a list of award winning books in their portfolio, but some of the authors in this issue are brand new and sharing their debut novels - but what we have in common is that we’re all members of the International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Reading Nation. I hope you have fun getting to know us and learning more about who we are - one of the largest meeting and discussing book clubs in the country. We have eight hundred chapters in all, with chapters in twenty foreign countries, thanks to THE Pulpwood Queen Kathy L. Murphy, and her love for stories everywhere. Mandy Haynes, Editor-in-chief & Publisher Pulpwood Queen Author Executive Director of The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Reading Nation

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Inside this issue: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN/TIMBER GUY? ………………………………….……………………6 STEPHANIE CHANCE…………………………………..14 TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST…………………..16 LISTEN UP…………………………………………….…..32 IF OUR PETS COULD TALK…………………………....40 IMPORTANT INFORMATION……………………………42 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS …………………………....44 ADDED BONUS (thanks Melissa Conroy!)…….…….48

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Published by Brother Mockingbird, this collection of essays by authors, book club members, and supporters of the Pulpwood Queens, is a love letter to the founder and director, Kathy L. Murphy, and an ode to the written word and the place that literature and reading play in all of our lives. 6 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN/TIMBER GUY?

Here’s the introduction taken from THE PULPWOOD QUEENS CELEBRATE 20 YEARS, written by Kathy L. Murphy herself. It will give you an idea of what it means to be a Pulpwood Queen or Timber Guy, and you’ll understand why we’re so proud to wear our crowns. On January 18, 2000, I opened the only hair salon/bookstore in the country, Beauty and the Book. That previous October, I was downsized from my job as a book publisher’s representative. I was devastated since that had been my dream job. I loved traveling and calling on all my independent bookstores, college bookstores, museum and gift shops in four states—Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. I got to travel to New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles for sales conferences. I was living a book lover’s dream. You can read all about that story in the first chapter of my first book, The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life, titled “If Life Hands You a Lemon, Make Margaritas.” I soon realized that was not the plan God had for me; He redirected me to another route on my journey. I enthusiastically forged ahead and opened my new dream job, Beauty and the Book. Mere months after I opened my shop, I was invited by the local book club to come join their meeting. I believe they were discussing a book I had already read. I was so excited to be invited to join this club. We had a four-course luncheon prepared by the host in her incredibly beautiful southern plantation home. The conversation was lively, and I thought I was in my ultimate world. I was wrong. At the end of the meeting the hostess served us cordials in the front parlor of her lovely home. I was charmed. As the conversation turned to one of a 7 ISSUE NO. 2


THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

more personal nature, I blurted out in my typical Kansas upbringing way, “So what are we reading for next month?” There was a pause in all conversation as everyone looked to the hostess. The petite hostess jumped up off the settee and grabbed me by the elbow to lead me determinedly out into the galley of her historic home. “Kathy,” she whispered and continued, “I am so sorry but I think you have misunderstood our invitation. We did not ask you to join our book club, as there can only be eight in our book club. That is all that will fit around our table. We just invited you as a guest, you see? Unless someone dies or moves away that is all that can be in our book club.” I was horrified and embarrassed. I had invited myself into an exclusive book club, one in which all of the members were already selected. I realized I had been invited as perhaps a curiosity, but still truly an outsider. I was from Kansas. I had once been asked at a social coffee given for me when I first moved to Jefferson by the good ladies of the community, “Where are you originally from, my dear?” and then when I answered, “Kansas,” grasping their handkerchiefs to their chests, they exclaimed, “You mean you are a Yankee!” I started to laugh then I realized they were serious, Champion of the Underdogs, those who were never invited to join the club. I also would work very hard at challenging long-held misconceived stereotypes, like all Kansans are Yankees. This story did not make my first book because twenty years ago I did not have the courage to say anything to this book club, but I would now for sure. 8 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN/TIMBER GUY?

I have been empowered by the stories of the books we have read. They have not only saved me, they have given me my true voice. That was twenty years ago, and nearly every one of those book club members has since joined my book club. Funny how that works, welcoming everyone. I took the high road; God told me to do so. One thing I have learned in my life is that when something awful happens to you that you never saw coming—something that prevents you from pursing a dream—it was not meant to be. Something else would be put in your path, and for me it has been this amazing opportunity. I would never have started my Pulpwood Queens Book Club and I would never have met some of the best friends I have ever had in my life. For our 20th anniversary of the Pulpwood Queens and our annual book club convention that we call Girlfriend Weekend here are the stories and poems that celebrate the power of sharing the written word and the power of building a community, our tribe of readers and writers. To read a book is one step towards understanding, to share it with others, more of the picture comes into light, but to bring the authors and readers together as I do brings the entire picture into true focus. We are the only book club that involves all our authors in everything we do from teleconference, Skype, Facetime, and actual visits by the authors to various book clubs to having our official authors participate in person in all we do at our annual book club convention. We even have our authors wait our tables during the Author Dinner and take them with us on our literary tours, too! I know now in my heart of hearts that God has had a big plan and mission 9 ISSUE NO. 2


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for me. My life has been like a roller coaster, and I often think of the late great Buddy Holly song, “Everyday,” which was one of my father’s favorites Everyday it’s a-gettin’ closer Goin’ faster than a rollercoaster Love like yours will surely come my way A-hey,a-hey-hey I thank all who have joined me in this journey, the hundreds and hundreds of Pulpwood Queens and their leaders, the Timber Guys Book Club embers, our beloved authors, my family, and all the magnificent supporters we have met along the way. We are making the world a better place one book, one reader, one chapter at a time to connect all of us with real conversations, sharing our authors’ stories and our own. Life is all about the story and we are living it large. Nothing stands in our way. One thing I know for true, my whole life has found purpose and meaning because of all of you. For as long as I walk this path on this planet Earth, I devote my God-given gifts and talents to promoting my authors, their books, literacy, and reading.

Tiara Wearing and Book Sharing, Kathy L. Murphy Founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs and author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life (2008) and The Pulpwood Queen Goes Back to School (2020), 10 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PULPWOOD QUEEN/TIMBER GUY?

the continuing story of being a life-long learner and reader

*This is just a sample of some of the books to be read for consideration for the 2022 list.

Look forward to excerpts from The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate Twenty Years will be featured in upcoming issues!

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12 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE WELCOME BACK

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Stephanie Chance Italy Tour Guide, International Bestselling Author, owner of Decorate Ornate, and long standing Pulpwood Queen! Stephanie Chance takes fun groups of Americans on ‘fairytale’ tours twice a year. The ‘hairraising’ situations the Americans

get in is absolutely unbelievable. You can read all about them in her Mamma Mia trilogy - the third in the series will be out soon! Shopping at Stephanie’s store, Decorate Ornate is an like going on adventure! Bringing the Old World to East Texas, 14 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE STEPHANIE CHANCE

it’s a one-of-a-kind store that’s filled from floor to ceiling with fabulous home decor from all over Europe.

Find out more about Stephanie, book an adventure to Italy, or go on a virtual shopping trip in her beautiful store here.

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Despite their cultural differences, Qasim and Dianna share a keen intellect, ambition, and a world philosophy. Their attraction is immediate, and after a time, their connection offers intimations of love. Dianna wants to trust Qasim. Yet Qasim’s mentor Jamal, who maintains a steadfast loyalty to a corrupt political power back home, will do anything he can to ensure the two do not act on their love. Dianna’s globetrotting, brash housemate Leah enjoys fueling Dianna’s doubts, for she too has eyes on Qasim for what he can get her. Yet it’s the secrets they carry within that keep the lovers from opening their hearts. The Shores Of Our Souls chronicles a love that attempts to rise above cultural boundaries and societal judgment. Will love be enough for the two lovers to sidestep history to make peace with each other and themselves? As relevant today as it was in the Eighties, this timeless story of star-crossed lovers defies all social norms in an entanglement of passion, politics, and religion. Kathryn Brown Ramsperger is the author of the award-winning The Shores of Our Souls, published by traditional publisher TouchPoint Press. Shores, her debut novel, received two America’s Book Awards (one for debut, the other for cover). It was also recognized by Foreword Indies for multicultural fiction, and was a five-star book for its depiction of social issues by Reader’s Favorites. It was also a librarian’s pick by the DC Public Libraries in 2019. Kathryn has been named a Pulpwood Queens’ Featured Author for 2022. 16 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

Kathryn’s second novel, A Thousand Flying Things, which was a Faulkner Wisdom Literary finalist, is represented by Diane Nine of Nine Speakers, in Washington, DC. Diane also represented the late journalist Helen Thomas, the actor Cindy Williams, and many other renowned public figures and authors. Writing from a global perspective, Kathryn Ramsperger’s themes are universal yet intensely personal and authentic, touching on multicultural relationships, social justice, immigration, and the humanitarian world. Her literary voice is rooted in the Southern tradition of storytelling and is informed by her South Carolina lineage. A graduate of Hollins University (Roanoke, Va.), Kathryn studied under several esteemed writers including—Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Eudora Welty; her mentor Richard Henry Wilde Dillard and Pulitzer Prizewinning poet Henry Taylor. She holds a graduate degree from George Washington University. She began her career writing for The Roanoke Times and The Gazette newspapers and later managed publications for the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, Switzerland. She has contributed articles to National Geographic and Kiplinger magazines. A lifelong writer, having won her first (university) award at 16 for a short story, “The Gossamer Thread,” Kathryn’s continued to publish stories and poetry almost every year since. She also reviews multicultural and international books for The New York Journal of Books. She’s an intuitive and creative book coach with a trademarked process, Step Into Your Story! (TM). You can find out more about her coaching at groundonecoaching.com 17 ISSUE NO. 2


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TO SQUEEZE A PRAIRIE DOG by Scott Semeran This is the story of J. D. Wiswall, a sincere young man from a small town, who joins a state government agency in a data entry department comprised of quirky clerks. Quickly endearing himself to the diverse group in Unit 3, J. D. learns his coworkers have a pact to share the $10,000 prize if they win a cost-savings program for a suggestion that could save the government money, in turn helping them rise above their own personal struggles. A multimillion-dollar cost-savings suggestion is accidentally discovered by J. D.'s supervisor, the goof-off alcoholic Brent Baker. This lucrative discovery catches the attention of crotchety Governor Dwayne Bennett, a media-hungry demagogue, who turns the coworkers of Unit 3 into props for his selfish political reasons. The publicity surrounding the clerks piques the interest of a newspaper reporter, Esther Jean Stinson, whose investigative reporting threatens to reveal the governor's career-ending secret, as well as jeopardizes the prize that the clerks so desperately desire. Along with J. D. and Brent, the lives of the amiable coworkers in Unit 3 are revealed. There is Rita Jackson, the kind matriarch of her large brood, who spends her time outside of work caring for her five struggling children and thirteen wily grandchildren. Then there's Deborah Martinez, a single mother to a felonious son, who struggles to keep her head above her sinking financial woes. There's also Conchino Gonzalez, a quiescent giant of Mexican and Japanese descent, who street races at night to relieve worries about his ailing grandfather in Japan. Finally, J. D. has dreams 18 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

bigger than his small hometown can provide, and Brent wants nothing more than to drop the bureaucratic routine to become a rock star with his bar band. A few blocks away from the agency that houses Unit 3, Governor Bennett, a smarmy politician who whizzes around the Governor's Mansion on a gold-plated wheelchair, parades the unwitting clerks in front of the local media in an attempt to raise his sagging poll numbers. But reporter Esther Jean sees through the governor's bald-faced motives and uncovers secrets not meant to be revealed. Will her revelations keep Unit 3 from receiving their elusive prize? Scott Semegran is an award-winning writer of eight books. BlueInk Review described him best as “a gifted writer, with a wry sense of humor.” His latest novel, The Benevolent Lords of Sometimes Island, is about four middle school friends who sneak away to an abandoned lake house to evade the wrath of high school bullies, only to become stranded on the lake’s desolate island. His previous novel, To Squeeze a Prairie Dog: An American Novel, was the 2019 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Winner: Silver Medal for Fiction - Humor/Comedy, the 2019 Texas Author Project Winner for Adult Fiction, and the 2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Medal Winner for Humor. His book Sammie & Budgie was the first place winner for Fiction in the 2018 Texas Authors Book Awards. His book BOYS was the 2018 IndieReader Discovery Awards winner for Short Stories. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, four kids, two cats, and a dog. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English.Scott Semegran is one of the hosts of the web series Austin Liti Limits along with fellow award-winning writer Larry Brill. 19 ISSUE NO. 2


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MURDER IN DEVIL’S COVE by Melissa Bourbon Every book tells two stories— one written on the pages with pen and ink, and one woven into the paper, a story of the soul. The Lane women have the gift of bibliomancy. They can read both. But for Cassie Lane, it is a curse because the book magic comes with a price–the Lane women die young and the men are lost to the sea. As soon as she’s able, she leaves Laurel Point, Oregon, running from her past and her fate, ending up in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There she meets Leo Hawthorne and lives a perfect life with him in an old Sea Captain’s house. Perfect, that is, until an old book foretells the future, and the curse that has plagued the Lane women comes true for Cassie. Twenty years later, Cassie and Leo’s children, twins Pippin and Grey, are back in Devil’s Cove. Long forgotten secrets surface and an old crime comes to light. Now Pippin must 20 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

learn how to be a bibliomancer if she is to discover the truth about her father and continue his effort to stop the curse. "A magical blend of books, mystery, and smart sleuthing. Melissa Bourbon's Murder in Devil's Cove offers mystery readers everything they crave and stands out in the crowded cozy genre. This captivating new series will leave readers spellbound." ~NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, Ellery Adams “A combination of magic and mystery, “Murder In Devil’s Cove” by Melissa Bourbon is a deftly crafted and impressively original novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality. While certain to be an unusual, immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/ Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone who enjoys Women’s Friendship Fiction, Cozy Animal Mysteries, or Supernatural Mysteries…”Midwest Book Review “The unraveling of the mystery involves Pippin’s family history (it goes all the way back to Roman times in Ireland), hidden clues, a long-lost keepsake, and a secret room. For mystery fans who enjoy amateur detectives who rely on mystical insights rather than Holmesian deductions, Murder in Devil’s Cove will provide an entertaining read.” Seattle Book Review continued 21 ISSUE NO. 2


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Book Magic Mysteries: Traditional mysteries with a cozy twist. Two best-selling authors, one magical universe. In the Book Magic Mystery Series, best-selling authors Melissa Bourbon and Wendy Lyn Watson bring you the story of cousins Pippin Lane Hawthorne and Cora Lane. The cousins live on opposite coasts (Pippin in Devil’s Cove, North Carolina, and Cora in Laurel Point, Oregon), but they share the family gift of bibliomancy: the ability to foresee the future and unravel the past with the help of the books we love. Join Pippin and Cora as they use their otherworldly power to solve mysteries in their respective worlds. Every book tells two stories – one written on the pages with pen and ink, and one woven into the paper, a story of the soul. The Lane women have the gift of bibliomancy. They can read them both. 22 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

Melissa Bourbon is the author of the Book Magic Mysteries, a traditional mystery series, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, which are PI capers, and two cozy series: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series and the Bread Shop Mystery Series, written as Winnie Archer. She lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, and the youngest of their five children. Her dogs, Bean, the pug, Dobby, the chug keep her company while she writes.

Click here to find out more about Melissa. 23 ISSUE NO. 2


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Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-growing list of people who want to harm her, Calliope must set aside her reservations and turn to the one man she knows can trust. Back at her desk, Emma flipped through article after article on Nathan. He had so much media exposure, it was staggering; he deliberately wanted to put him- self in the spotlight, which was not like the boy she remembered. These articles painted a picture of a man she didn’t know and didn’t particularly care for. He was on the cover of Rolling Stone after Knightsgrove-Bishop funded a huge multiuse stadium in Dubai. In the photo, Selena Gomez was shining his shoes, and Taylor Swift was filing his nails as he sat reclined in a spa chair; both women wore white lab coats with neon lingerie peeking through. New York Magazine did a feature on his arrest record: two counts of public indecency, one count of assault, one count of public intoxication. Find out more about Debbi Baldwin here. Illicit Intent False Front

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READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

Carolyn Haines's Independent Bones is the next novel in the series that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney. When Dr. Alala Diakos, a visiting professor of Greek literature, comes to teach at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, it doesn't take long for controversy to follow. With her fervent feminist ideals and revolutionary leanings, she quickly earns the admiration of many―and the ire of others. During a speech in the park, in which Alala tries to organize the women of Zinnia to demand equal pay, the crowd gets unruly, with men heckling the professor. And when PI Sarah Booth Delaney finds a sniper rifle and scope in the bushes, she begins to worry that there are more than fighting words at stake. Sarah Booth calls her boyfriend, Sheriff Coleman Peters, who offers the protection of the Zinnia police department, but Alala rejects him, saying she has no use for the law or men. And when a notorious domestic abuser is found dead the next day, suspicions turn to Alala herself, who was overheard bragging that she would take him down. Tensions deepen when connections are drawn between Alala and two similar, previous deaths. But Sarah Booth doesn't want to believe Alala is a murderer, and when the professor shows up at Sarah Booth’s doorstep, asking her to find the real criminal, Sarah Booth embarks on a case stretching across the Delta. Yet Alala remains at the center of it all, and Sarah Booth can’t help but wonder if the killer has been with her all along... 25 ISSUE NO. 2


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Wayland is the story of a perfect

life interrupted by a chance encounter with pure evil. Eva and Andrew Nettles are a couple who found each other in the unlikeliest of circumstances and married in mid-life, now living a blissful country life with their adopted daughter—until one day a hobo happens by. Buddy Newman cannot believe his good fortune: this family has everything he needs, including the most beautiful little girl he’s ever seen or dreamed of. Newman sets his plan in motion to charm and deceive the family and possess the object of his desires. Can they see through his elaborate deceit in time to save their daughter? AVAILABLE NOW - the sequel to HIDING EZRA. Follow the characters you loved a decade later as the Great Depression bears down on them… “In Wayland Rita Quillen writes of a Depression-era Appalachian community with immense vividness and immense empathy, but like the best novelists, her characters transcend their geographical locale to evoke concerns that touch upon the lives of all people. Whether as poet or as novelist, Quillen is a writer to be revered.” Ron Rash, author of SERENA Found out more about about Rita Quillen here. 26 MAY, 2022


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ROOT THAT MOUNTAIN

by Evan Balkan In Sierra Leone, Africa, the civil war has finally ended while American Felix Laszlo's war has just begun. After Felix's father, a doctor volunteering in Sierra Leone, is murdered by Revolutionary United Front soldiers, he must go to Africa to retrieve his father's body. While there, Felix realizes how little he knew about his father...and Africa. Among the war-torn city, greed, corruption, and the illicit "blood diamond" trade, Felix finds an unlikely friend in a Nigerien renegade soldier, Issa Manzo. As his guide, Issa shows Felix the underbelly as well as the beauty of Africa. Soon, Felix discovers that his investigation into this land his father loved so much carries dark secrets, unforgettable heartbreak, and surprising joy.

www.brothermockingbird.net 27 ISSUE NO. 2


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Three years ago, a book and a song led Stella to the love of her life. Two years later, he shattered her heart. Determined to shake off the memories of the fateful day, Stella promises herself she'll move forward. Little does she know, when she accepts her best friend’s invitation to a week-long trip to France, that the ghosts of her past will come roaring back. David has reached the pinnacle of his career, but loneliness is a painful price to pay for being in the spotlight. When he catches a fleeting glimpse of Stella a year after their breakup, David realizes he has one chance to win her back. If he fails to earn Stella’s trust again, he'll be cursed to follow in the footsteps of one of literature’s most haunted and desolate characters—the one he brings to life night after night. What will it take for Stella and David to remember their dreams, and to believe in their future? TURN BACK TIME is a story about forgiveness, second chances—and believing in yourself. Find out more about Annette G. Anders here.

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READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

Goodbye, Orchid Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder. Thirty-two year-old Phoenix Walker is an entrepreneur who has built an agency with a heart almost as big as his own. To add to his good fortune, he’s falling for Orchid Paige, the beautiful half-Asian marketer who’s collaborated with him on a winning military campaign. Until an accident changes him forever. Now, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why? Find out more about Carol Van Denhende here. 29 MAY, 2022


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Laura McHale Holland has loved the musicality of language since she was a tot. It is this lifelong passion for words carefully crafted to enchant, evoke and entertain that drives her creative work. As a proud member of the independent-author revolution, Laura writes stories true and untrue in multiple forms—from flash fiction to novels, memoirs to short plays—and in all of her work she looks for hope in unlikely places. She has won gold medals in the National Indie Excellence Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and was a finalist for INDIES Book of the Year. In addition, four of her short plays have been produced in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two goofy little mutts. Laura's new story collection, Aunt Truly's Tales, was inspired by a storyteller in her novel, The Kiminee Dream.

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A dash of whimsy and a dose of wisdom for our times. If you like stories that call to mind a simpler era and words strung in lyrical ways, this collection will take you to a wondrous world where ordinary rules do not apply. Podcasts, blogs, movies, vlogs—people spin yarns in many ways. But nothing dazzles like a story told in person. In the right teller’s hands, a simple narrative has unfathomable power. Such is the case with Aunt Truly, a spellbinding character in Laura McHale Holland’s novel The Kiminee Dream. She is old, but no one knows her age; she travels, but where she goes is a mystery. One thing is certain: she collects stories. The ten tales in this book present traditional and original stories Aunt Truly might tell you if you happened by her home, Windy Wood, where snow falls from November through April, and reality is open to interpretation. In her tales, you’ll meet a determined frog, clever seamstress, wise handyman, stolen wife and more unlikely heroes who face daunting trials. Some succeed; others do not. In the process, they are all transformed.

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Let me introduce you to Lovelace Cook -

I’m Lovelace Cook. I'm a writer, traveler and storyteller. I want to share stories about my travels. Experiences I have, people I meet. Stories that touch my heart. And I want to hear stories about extraordinary and ordinary moments that touch your lives as well. My hope is, by sharing stories, I can encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, no matter your age. Through travel, and life’s extraordinary unpredictability, I learned to embrace uncertainty. Let’s welcome change in our lives by sharing stories and celebrating our individual differences. I began telling stories when I was five and I started writing little stories when I was eight. They were pretty awful. I love to read. I love books and I love hearing stories. During my career, I lived in NYC and Los Angeles where I worked in publishing and on movies. Then, when I was eligible for 32 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE LISTEN UP WITH LOVELACE COOK

Social Security, I challenged myself to change. I traveled through India and SE Asia like a 20-year-old on a gap year. Although not recommended for the faint-hearted, the challenge launched adventures. Experiences morphed into my novel Meet Me in Mumbai. Stay tuned. I’m revising it. Discovering books, authors and Indian cinema through the travel and from people I met became my podcast Bollywood and Books. Now I live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama in a little town on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. I like to think of home as fictional Mayberry with a Gothic twist. I also serve communities in need as disaster worker when I’m called to travel. When I’m not traveling and that’s not at all these days because of Coronavirus, I’m writing, reading, working on the next podcast, listening to music and dreaming of the next big adventure. 33 ISSUE NO. 2


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In the year of Covid-19, while working from home and in isolation, I adopted two mischievous tailless cats and a third cat with six toes adopted me. They are the Manx twins, Doc and Bess, and my mellow fellow, Six Toes. Life is not dull. Writing room in Varkala India

Lovelace at the Taj Mahal

Canals of Allepey

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READING NATION MAGAZINE LISTEN UP

Bollywood & Books A podcast for people who love travel, the written word, and words into pictures moving pictures. Join me on a literary romp through India. We’ll have conversations about books, writers and cinema as well as discussions with fellow travelers and authors. Learn more about India’s diverse culture and exotic destinations. Discover magic, miracles and myths … from the Gateway of India and Bollywood in Mumbai to the canals of Kerala, and from the burning ghats on the Ganges in Varanasi to the Dalai Lama’s residence in McLeod Ganj. Listen to the introduction of Bollywood & Books here. And to her first episode here. Dalai Lama Residence Mani Prayer Wheel

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It’s 1965, a small town in Georgia. Fifteen-year-old Callie Ingram is an “A" student, a churchgoer, a nice girl who does what she’s told. Her single-parent dad and rebellious older sister fight constantly, and Callie is all but ignored in the family. To escape loneliness and the poverty at home, Callie takes an after-school job as a waitress in a diner. And there she meets Nick Gamble, a wealthy married man twice her age. Nick leads Callie into a devastating love affair, with secrets that must be kept at all costs. When Callie's dad’s health fails and her sister runs away, Callie becomes his sole caretaker. Desperate not to shame her dad and torn with guilt, she is equally determined to hold onto the lover who has become her obsession. But the real Nick is not the man Callie dreams of. And when his own world explodes, Callie faces the most excruciating decision of her life. The link to order NICE GIRL is here.

36 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

Shadow Soldiers is a series of novellas focused on exploring the world of the soldier, especially how their code of ethics is affected by the challenges of real evil in the world today. More morality play than an action-adventure; these episodic stories ask the audience to judge their role in the world’s challenges. Uncovering each challenge to our society, Sarge finds the right mercenaries to fight the evil. Creating Warrior Cadre Management (WCM), he builds a diverse team of mercenaries, soldiers, and spies to take on the evil that festers in our world. Our mercenaries come from all walks of life, and as you meet them, you may begin to understand their choice of service. They are the new cowboy, fighting against evil where it exists. So sit down and turn a page or two. Each novella brings you something to excite the warrior in you. You may choose to join them after a few adventures! To find out more about Wrathe W Aceing click here. 37 ISSUE NO. 2


THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

The Memoir of the Minotaur by Tom Shachtman, from Madville Publishing, is the posthumous confessions of the half-man, half-bull of Crete as offered to an audience of recentlydeceased, 21st century fellow souls in Hades’ domain. The book is a satire for readers unafraid of a rollicking good tale involving anatomicallycomplex beings, unforgiveable puns, the champion serial killer of all times, scantily-clad Greek maidens and youths, articulate tyrants, and feminist proto-history leavened with theological impertinence. “A fine read. Exciting, entertaining, witty. Even more, a rare experience. Despite the blood and gore, the book resonates with wonder, and lingers in our minds for weeks afterward. Its conclusions are generous and thoughtful. A ‘classics’ challenge for readers that stuns us with its bravery and humor. I loved it.” -John Neufeld, author of international bestsellers Lisa, Bright and Dark, and Edgar Allen. Tom Shachtman holds a B. Sci. in animal behavior, an M.F.A. in playwriting, and has written dozens of non-fiction books, the latest being The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid For and Profited From America’s Revolution. Earlier books include Rumspringa: To Be or Not To Be Amish, and Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold, which became an award-winning two-part Nova documentary. His trilogy of short novels about sealions, Beachmaster, Wavebender, and Driftwhistler have been published in many languages, and his non-fiction children’s book, Growing Up Masai, is an oft-reprinted classic. He has also collaborated on many books, among them the international best-seller Whoever Fights Monsters (with Robert K. Ressler), considered the definitive study of serial killers. He has also written documentaries seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and on British, French, and German television. 38 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE TO BE ADDED TO YOUR TBR LIST

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READING NATION MAGAZINE

Charles Dickens had several Ravens named Grip, Flannery O'Connor loved her peacocks, Mark Twain adored his cat, Bambino, and Ernest Hemingway was like the crazy cat lady who lived in a house not far from where I grew up. If you visit his home you’ll still find lots of six-toed cats, descendants of his favorite kitten named Snow White. Kurt Vonnegut's little dog named Pumpkin,was his constant companion, John Steinbeck traveled with his poodle Charley, and Stephen King’s corgi Molly has quite a following on social media. So does George R.R. Martin's adorable little tortoises, Miss Morla and Gamora. I think all of us, authors especially, need the unconditional love that only our pets can give us. If it wasn’t for my dog Moe, I would never get enough sleep. He starts with a paw on my arm, then a whine, then an all out lecture in dog language to let me know it’s time for bed. His brother Curly will gently-but effectively-push me out of the chair and towards the door to remind me to take a walk. Little Pearl, well, she lays at my feet and listens to new stories and rewrites without ever complaining. Then there’s Albert, my yellow-bellied slider who splashes in his pond not far from my office window to remind me to come outside and get some sun on my face. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but my little rescues rescued me. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Every month I”ll introduce you to the pets that own the Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy authors. Let’s start with this little cutie, Templeton.

40 May, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE

IF OUR PETS COULD TALK

MEET TEMPLETON My name is Templeton, and I’m 10 years old. I know, I know, I’m named after that ridiculous rat from CHARLOTTE’S WEB. It is an indignity I have long suffered. So on occasion, when my fathers aren’t looking, I pee in their slippers. It’s the little things. When I’m not paraded around the neighborhood like a Royal Lippizanner Stallion by an overbearing father, I enjoy riding in cars with boys. Mostly, I’m trouble. On the topic of treats: Once I was mad for Beggin Strips. But through the years, my palate has matured, and I am a slave to vodka cocktails. Ketel One Cucumber Vodka with a zerocalorie citrus mixer. Refreshing and kind to my waistline. Templeton is the proud owner of author, Robert Gwaltney. 41 ISSUE NO. 2


THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

IMPORTANT INFORMATION Find our most recent Calendar Of Events with dates, times, and information on how to get links for future events by clicking here. To find the entire 2021 list of International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Official Picks click here. For membership information click here. If you’re a PQ/TG author and would like to be featured in the new Reading Nation Magazine, please contact me here. You can always reach Kathy L. Murphy, the original Pulpwood Queen by emailing her at thepulpwoodqueen@gmail.com and click here to read her blogs. Click here to go to the Kathy L. Murphy YouTube channel. When you join the International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Reading Nation - whether as a book club member, author, publisher, or publicist - you must read Kathy’s book. It will tell you everything you want to know about who 42 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE IMPORTANT INFORMATION

she is and why she started her book club. "The Pulpwood Queens', Tiara Wearing Guide to Life". Click here to find out more.

If you’d like to know more about me, Mandy Haynes, you can visit my website by clicking here.

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44 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Let’s have fun and share some stories! I came up with the idea for this collection because I had such positive responses from readers I shared my works in progress with when I was working on my first collection. I still get emails from some of them who want to know if I’m ready to share a few pages of one of my novels in progress. I’ve been saying I wasn’t…but maybe I am. And maybe we could do it together! I’ve never heard of a collection like this before but I think readers will love it and I think it will be a lot of fun to do. And y’all - I found the chapter I want to share, and just reading it made me want to get back on the novel. That alone would make this project worth doing - if it got us all excited about writing something we’ve been ignoring. Your submission doesn't have to be something you are working on at the moment. Maybe there were scenes that had to be deleted from your last manuscript, or there is something that you love, but haven't worked on in awhile... This book will be a great tool that not only tells who we are - proud Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys - BUT also shows the reader that we have a diverse group of authors that cover lots of genres. Submissions must read as a short story (DON’T OVERTHINK IT - IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEET A SPECIFIC STANDARD, IT JUST HAS TO BE ENJOYABLE AND PEAK THE READER’S INTEREST) length can be between 200 to 1500 words. Each submission must have the story behind the piece and a short bio in a seperate attachment. Only one submission per author please. If you’d like your work in progress to be considered, send it to mandy.pulpwoodqueen@gmail.com

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

Upcoming Events For Our Members *Taken from our Calendar of Events All events will be posted on The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Reading Nation Facebook page and on Kathy L. Murphy's YouTube Channel. We encourage everyone to join us live in 2021. Each event is an opportunity to show support, share stories, and make connections!

Join Kathy L. Murphy and Robert Gwaltney every Saturday at 6:30pm CST for The Pulpwood Queen Book to Film Club. Email Kathy L. Murphy at thepulpwoodqueen@gmail.com for the link up to one hour prior to the event. May 1st Join your hosts for a discussion on an Alfred Hitchcock classic, THE BIRDS. Guest Host schedule for Breathless Bubbles and Books: April 26th-May 2nd Michelle Cox - A Child Lost May 3rd-9th Leslie Lehr - A Boob's Life May 10th-16th

G Claire - Dreaming in a Time of Dragons

May 17th-23rd

R.J. Lee - Cold Reading Murder

May 24th-30th

Joe Palmer - A Mariner's Tale

Featured Author Schedule for Tuesday Night Online Book Club 46 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE

For Aril & May. Email Kathy L. Murphy thepulpwoodqueen@gmail.com for the link up to one hour prior to the event. May 4th

Leslie Lehr

May 11th

G Claire

May 18th

R.J. Lee

May 25th

Joe Palmer

Writing Workshop (2nd Saturday of each month at 10am CST) Email Kathy L. Murphy thepulpwoodqueen@gmail.com for the link up to one hour prior to the event. May 8th Mandy Haynes will talk about her self-publishing adventures - Why she chose to self-publish her two short story collections and how she made it work. June 12th Ruthie Landis Using the Enneagram for Character Development July 10th

Bobbi Kornblit TBA

August 14th Anju Gattani TBA

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

The Lowcountry Coloring Book by Melissa Conroy Charleston, Savannah, the Sea Islands, and Beyond Melissa Conroy takes us through the South’s lush, magical Lowcountry, capturing the stately mansions and intricate gardens, haunting statuary and monuments, and animals from both the land and sea, including: • Charleston garden • Historic downtown Charleston • Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah • Savannah’s River Street • South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park • The marshes and cabins of the Sea Islands • Gay Fish Company and Penn Center on St. Helena Island • Beaufort and its environs Gather your colors and experience the enchantment. As an added bonus, every four drawings can be easily pulled out and rearranged to make a larger 16-inch picture! Do y’all remember those paper dolls in the back of McCall’s magazines? Well, thanks to Melissa READING NATION has an added bonus too! You can download a page from her The Lowcountry Coloring Book and take a break. 48 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE ADDED BONUS - HAVE FUN!

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THE INTERNATIONAL PULPWOOD QUEEN & TIMBER GUY BOOK CLUB

See you next month with the Offi 50 MAY, 2022


READING NATION MAGAZINE

icial Summer Selection Edition! 51 ISSUE NO. 2


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Profile for readingnationmagazine

READING NATION MAGAZINE  

The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Reading Nation is the biggest meeting and discussing book club in the world - with...

READING NATION MAGAZINE  

The International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Book Club Reading Nation is the biggest meeting and discussing book club in the world - with...

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