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APRIL / MAY 2019

A New Beginning.

F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W S

DA M E DAV O H N ' S

SONS OF SHEA R O YA L J O N G B L O E D &

THE NEW "FLIPBACK" LIZA WEIMER'S

HELLO? WHAT TO READ NEXT IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING


OUR STORY

S H E LF

U N B O U N D

M A G A Z I N E All we wanted was a really good magazine. About books. That was full of the really great stuff. So we made it. And we really like it. And we hope you do, too. Because we’re just getting started.

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Shelf Unbound Staff. PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF Sarah Kloth PARTNER, PUBLISHER Debra Pandak CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anna Trokan COPY EDITOR Sarah Pflaumer CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Marc Schuster Barbara Pflaumer Megan Lord Kristin Wroblewski Christian Brown

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For Advertising Inquiries: call 262.930.5994 or e-mail sarah@shelfmediagroup.com For editorial inquiries: e-mail sarah@shelfmediagroup.com

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APRIL / MAY CONTENTS

I N TH IS

ISSUE

FEATURE SECTIONS 28 Recommended Reading

A Maiden So Bewitching. Shelter. Float Plan. The Witness Tree. An Accidental Corps. The Orchard Lover. Gina And The Floating World.

INTERVIEWS 8

The Sons of Shea

Interview with Dame Davohn

41 Book Shelf

13 The Flipback Book

Interview with Royal Jongbloed

60 Hello? Interview with Liza Wiemer NEW TO SU! PG. 38

John Pilate Mysteries. Cannabis For Seniors. Feast of Fates. The Weight of Living. A Halloween Adventure with Sly the Fly. Omina-Uvorix. Two Tickets to Dubrovnik. To The East. A View From The Languedoc. The Final Programme.

74 Public Libraries

Most checked out books

81 Discoveries

Find your next recommendation

COLUMNS 56 From Within

83 Small Press Review Aetherchrist

D.L. Graser

64 Fit Lit

Christian Brown

76 Book Moms Megan Lord

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Enter your book in Shelf Unbound’s Best Indie Book Competition! pg. 26


Lamb to the

Slaughter by Pete Delohery A novel about love and cour age, sin and redemption “Iron” Mike McGann is facing the twilight of his prizefighting career. Desperate for his future, he has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. But behind his menacing ring presence lives a man nobody knows, a complex man who despises his own image. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard vs. “Iron” Mike McGann, just another fight shown on The Continuous Sports Network, but by the time it is over the lives of these and many others will be forever different.

“This heartfelt tale makes a powerful emotional impact.” —Blue Ink Starred Review Also in Spanish: El Cordero al matadero Available in print and e-book at Amazon, xlibris, and Barnes & Noble.

w w w. p e t e d e l o h e r y. c o m

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A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

A New Beginning. Our new beginning does not disregard our past. It is a continuation of the vision and values established by our founder. BY SARAH KLOTH, PUBLISHER What is a new beginning? A new year is a new beginning. A new relationship, a new inning in a baseball game, a new book. New beginnings are adventures. For many, not without some angst. Perhaps it is just the awkwardness of meeting a new social group - or - it could be the unbelievable loss that changes an entire life’s trajectory. Our new beginning does not disregard our past. It is a continuation of the vision and values established by its founder Margaret Brown, but it is a new beginning for all of us, including you. We journey together to continue bringing readers the best in independent and small press publishing, and a platform for authors to share their wondrous stories. Our new beginning starts with me taking the reigns as Editorin-Chief. It is filled with excitement and passion, and a little nervousness. Full disclosure, Margaret is my Aunt. We shared our passions for books and would often

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race to read a new release and text each other throughout the read about what page we were on, and share our assessment of the unfolding story. Aside from my love for books, I’ve been a contributor in Shelf Unbound, and independently created a Young Adult focused book blog, Girl+Book (G+B). This issue of Shelf Unbound is the debut of our inclusion of G+B under Shelf Media Group. I am honored to carry on Margaret’s passion for books and bringing the unexpected novel to readers that may never have found it on their own. All of us here at Shelf Media Group plan on bringing you exciting new adventures of reading on this new beginning we take together. This one is for you M. – Little Little


THE EMERGENCE OF HIV A NOVEL

DAVID CORNISH MD

Dr. Arthur Noble is a brilliant first-year medical resident in San Francisco, who has a stellar career ahead of him. However, all of Noble’s skills are put to the test when he encounters a strange new illness.  The ailment seemingly appears out of nowhere, and serves its victims a most horrible and brutal death.   Noble struggles to find answers to the medical mystery, even as many researchers and society refuse to believe it is a serious threat, or that it even exists.1980 is an authentic medical story about a disease that will eventually have an unimaginable impact on the entire world.

1980 is a fascinating read written with the medical professional in mind. It paints a complete picture of the early days of the crisis. …one of the most frightening mysteries of modern medicine. Medical professionals will find it fascinating and the general public, compelling.” - A&U Magazine, America’s AIDS Magazine

Available at

Print ISBN: 978-1-54392-803-7 eBook ISBN: 978-1-54392-804-4

Check out David Cornish’s first novel, 1918, about the influenza pandemic that killed 100 million people.

Print ISBN: 9780692334805 eBook ISBN: 9780692334812

WWW.DAVIDCORNISHBOOKS.COM

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F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W 01

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The Sons of Shea. BY DAME DAVOHN

Affinity Publishing


Your story depicts a neglected, poor Michigan neighborhood without hope except for one man, Bishop. It also has a hint of personal importance to you. Tell us how you developed the story.

There’s a parable within the story where the main character, Bishop, tells of a Princess Shea. I found myself caught up in the story of Shea as the characters were in your book. What was the inspiration?

DD: The Sons of Shea was a passion project for

DD: I made-up the parable of Princess Shea

me. It began as a hobby -- I had no strategy for on the fly one afternoon and liked it so much publishing it, I just wanted to write it. I think that I decided to make it a running theme and so many people have stories within them, the title of the story. The parable of course longing to get out, and that was me. I needed serves as a metaphor for the plight of black to get the story out of me . . . to give life to it. people in America, and Bishop can’t accurately It felt like I just had to, conclude the story, regardless of what came because, in his world as “At a time in which of the work after that. in ours, the ending is So I started pecking out still being decided - so the themes of hope one chapter at a time. he never definitively and change are In many of the U.S. shares an ending. inner cities during the Many stories and movies at the forefront of crack cocaine epidemic have been created American thinking, of the 80’s and 90’s, it surrounding kings and really was a fascinating queens because there’s a the tale of the Sons period in terms of the fascinating interest that impact it had on people surrounds such wealth of Shea will allow and communities in and power and position. you to believe in so many terrible ways. I felt the stark contrast There were countless of a noble princess heroes again. ” stories that depicted falling to the lowest the horrors of it all in depths, due to no fault graphic detail. I wanted to create something of her own, was a dark, but poignant telling of different. I created in Bishop, not just the story how easily power and position can shift. Then of a hero, but almost a superhero in a sense. comes the fight for dignity and for the survival Hopefully there’s inspiration to be found in of her sense of self. And that’s what The Sons of the midst of all of the fantasy and the fiction. Shea is all about.

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Set in the fictional city of Stonegate, MI, a community ravaged by the death of the auto industry, a group of young men and women vow to do whatever it takes to save their home from the drugs, crime, hopelessness, and despair. The Sons of Shea transcends race and culture and delivers a great American epic that is sure to inspire you.

Get Your Copy Of The Sons Of Shea.

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CONTINUED

Bishop has an influential power and wisdom that capture the young men and women who help him on his mission for the community. What was your source of inspiration for Bishop and how did you want to portray his character over the course of the story? DD: I’ve gotten a lot of questions asking who

exactly I’d modeled Bishop after, but the truth is there was no one person who fit that bill. He was purposely an aggrandized character. He was more like an action hero, or the goodguy gunslinger in an old western movie, than the type of hero typically portrayed in this genre. I say that because he was equally as strong and forceful and driven, if not more so, than any of the antagonists he had to face -- and yet he was good to his core. I wanted his pure heart to be both his greatest strength and his one true weakness. I liked the tension it created because I believe that the struggle to do the things we want to do, and perhaps even know that we should do, in the face of life’s challenges is the very fight that many of us face on a daily basis. I just felt that people could relate to his goodness and yet enjoy his ability to cast his righteousness aside if the raw laws of his particular jungle insisted he must.

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F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

this project. The main one was that writers write! I had to develop the habit of just sitting down and letting my fingers run freely on the keyboard whether or not I felt that what I’d written was any good. Eventually the story began to take shape and I learned that it’s far easier to edit something, even if it’s not great, than to create something out of nothing. Writers write, not just daydream, or pontificate, or sit unproductively in front of a keyboard spinning their wheels. Write something. That’s what I kept reminding myself.

What would you like readers take away from reading The Sons of Shea? DD: That our cities with challenges are still

peoples’ homes, many of them good people. Often times there might be a few bad elements bringing down entire areas or groups as a whole, but there are usually good people there deserving of help. Lastly, sometimes when you believe something is right, and good, and is deserving of a fair chance to succeed, you may be called upon by your conscience to stand up and defend whatever that thing is. If you believe in it, I hope you show up and fight for it. That’s it. 

As a independent author, what are some of the lessons you learned while writing your book? DD: I learned a lot of lessons while writing 11


WHEN 16-YEAR-OLD ANNA HOLLOWAY LEARNS MORE ABOUT HER FATHER'S MURDER, SHE UNCOVERS A MAP TO AN ANCIENT BURIED TREASURE.

CARRIE MERRILL

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON


F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

The Flipback. CHANGING THE WAY WE READ

BY SARAH KLOTH PUBLISHER, SHELF MEDIA

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CONTINUED

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F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

A new book format is making its way to the US as it looks to change the way we read in a digital era. The flipback book is a small, pocket-sized, hardcover book that you read vertically, much like swiping through your Facebook timeline on your cellphone. These tiny editions are about as thick than your finger, with pages thinner than traditional paperbacks. Plus, they are more environmentally friendly than traditional books given the reduced size and Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper. The best part though - these tiny books can be read with one hand.

History of the Flipback The flipback book is traditionally called the Dwarsligger. Internationally the name is often changed, such as to Flipback book and Mini’s. The idea for the Dwarsligger came from Royal Jongbloed publishing group. Finding normal books often too heavy and not easy to read, Royal Jongloed worked for three years on this concept to rbing life to the flipback book.

“Our idea is to make it possible to ‘Read anytime, anywhere’. It is seen as an interesting alternative to reading from a cellphone or ebook. Basically, we have reinvented the book.”

This year marks the 10 anniversary of the successful dwarsligger! The name ‘dwarsligger’ is typically Dutch. “Dwarsligger (from Dutch dwars –crossways, transverse; intractable, contrary and liggen to lie). A person unwilling to cooperate, who is stubbornly resistant to everything; obstructionist; troublemaker.” The flipback book was brought to the United States recently

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by publishing house Penguin Random House when it launched its first Penguin Minis series for young readers featuring four John Green novels — "Looking for Alaska," "An Abundance of Katherines," "Paper Towns" and "The Fault in Our Stars."

Hermen Veneberg of Royal Jongbloed comments, “Our first focus was on the Dutch market and then Europe. In the US, we work with Penguin Random House. We print and produce and Penguin publishes the books. From 2018, they began releasing their first batch of mini books. With four reissued novels by the best-selling young-adult novelist John Green. Many new titles will follow this year.”

So, What’s It Like To Read a Flipback? I had to find out.

biggest concern was the quality. So I took to the bookstore to test one of these bad boys out. The hardcover feels more brittle than a traditional one, but as you can imagine to stay thin it needs to be. But still, by no means did I feel it wasn’t going to protect the book. It definitely felt quality, and I had confidence it was going to keep this beast bound. The pages definitely felt thin. I tried to flip a bit fast and kind of sideways, like you might do with your thumb at an angle, and not a single page tore. Could they tear? Absolutely, but it would have to be intentional. That being said, it is hard to flip through with just one hand. Since the pages are very thin, they do stick together, so it’s pretty impossible to flip through in the same manner that you would a cellphone. Lastly, I started reading. Although the book itself is tiny, the print is not. I would say it’s pretty close to the same size print as the traditional paperback. As expected, the format took some getting used to. It was a bit hard to know how to hold it and flip comfortably, but I got the hang of it. I would have thought my hand would have gotten tired pretty fast or be straining on my thumb, but surprisingly it was quite comfortable and actually felt natural.

When I first found out about the flipback, my

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CONTINUED

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F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

What’s the Future Look Like For the Flipback? HERMEN VENEBERG OF ROYAL JONGBLOED: “Every country is different

and things are not going equally fast everywhere. Sometimes this way of reading takes longer to get used to. It is also important that you can print titles of wellknown writers.

The number of titles, as well as sales, is increasing enormously. People continue to be surprised that a complete book fits into such a small format. Some people can’t imagine that it contains the complete book because it’s such a compact design, but it does! The last few months there has been a lot of publicity about the flipback. Publishers from all over the world are asking about the possibility of publishing books in this small format. Basically, we have reinvented the book. We will, of course, continue to develop and use feedback from our readers. It is also seen as an interesting alternative to reading from a cellphone or ebook. Our idea is to make it possible to ‘Read anytime, anywhere’. In addition, there are many target groups for which this concept offers many possibilities. Think for example of travel guides, storybooks etc. In short, we believe that a book is never fully developed.”

Final Thoughts People want to disconnect from technology nowadays more than ever. They want to relax and enjoy the outdoors and simply live in the moment. And the flipback is the perfect solution for that - the convenience of reading on the go without being tied to technology. If nothing more, the flipback book is going to be a popular one for collectors. With that being said, I don’t think this is for everyone. For me, I’m too in love with my Kindle paperwhite to let go. However, I think they are interesting and will definitely be purchasing a few of these for my collection as they are released. 

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A LEGAL THRILLER BY CHRISTOPHER LEIBIG

FULL PAGE AD CHR IS LEIBIG “The Verdict is in—

THREE BRUTAL MURDERS ONE MYSTERIOUS JOURNAL

Attorney Christopher Leibig offers a legal thriller for the ages. Realistic yet unpredictable, with a clever metaphysical twist, Almost Mortal is a thrilling roller coaster ride.”

Can Sam solve the “Rosslyn Ripper” case before the killer strikes again?

Robert Dugoni, New York Times and Amazon number one bestselling author of “My Sister’s Grave.” “A poised protagonist leads this serpentine but engaging legal tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A page-turner that you’ll probably want to read twice.” – Patricia McCardle, author of Amazon’s awardwinning novel, Farishta.

Camille shares an old journal anonymously mailed to the Church, which she believes may have been authored by the killer/confessor. The journal purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be a descendant of the fallen angels cast of out Heaven by God. As he learns more about the murders, the mystery author, and Camille, Sam begins to realize the so called “Rosslyn Ripper” case may have implications beyond his imagination—including his own past.

Christopher Leibig is a novelist and criminal defense lawyer who lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia. His first two published books, Saving Saddam (2008), and Montanamo (2010) were published by Artnik Books in London. Saving Saddam was released in 2014 in the United States under the title Black Rabbit. Chris also has several published short stories – Secret Admirer (The Cynic on-line magazine 2004) Coldcocked (Skyline magazine FICTION: Thrillers/Legal 2004), Fly (The Cynic on-line magazine 2009), Intervention (Traveller’s Playground Press 2014), and Paradise City (Traveller’s Playground Press 2014). Chris has also published numerous articles on criminal defense and related topics – including in the Huffington Post and The Examiner – and appeared as a legal expert regularly since 2009 in print and television media – including Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, $15.95 The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. He and his colleagues regularly lecture at law schools throughout Europe and the Caribbean.

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“The verdict is in–Attorney Christopher Leibig offers a legal thriller for the ages. Realistic yet unpredictable, with a clever metaphysical twist, Almost Mortal is a thrilling roller coaster ride!” —Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of My Sister’s Grave

christopher Leibig

emerging criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. He thinks of them as minor psychic abilities. When Sam is hired by an attractive young nun named Camille Paradisi, he agrees to help discover the identity of a serial killer in order to prevent Camille’s pastor from being exposed for not reporting the man after a confession – thereby allowing another murder to occur. While Sam’s psychic abilities increase as he investigates the case and gets closer to Camille, he realizes that the enigmatic nun is not revealing the complete truth. Camille shares an old journal anonymously mailed to the church, which she believes may have been authored by the killer/ confessor. The journal, which begins in Argentina in the 1940’s, purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be a descendant of the fallen angels cast out of heaven by God. As Sam learns more about the murders, the journal author, and Camille, he begins to realize the so called “Rosslyn Ripper” case may have ancient implications beyond his imagination.

ALMOST MORTAL

Emerging criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. He thinks of them as just minor psychic abilities. When Sam is hired by an attractive young nun named Camille Paradisi, he must discover the identity of a serial killer. Otherwise Camille’s Pastor will be exposed for not having turned in the man after a confession—thereby allowing another murder to occur. While Sam’s psychic abilities increase as he investigates the case, he quickly learns that the enigmatic Camille is not revealing the complete truth.

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Winner 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award

köehlerbooks 2016 Chanticleer Grand Prize Winner—Fiction: Paranormal TM

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Christopher Leibig is a novelist and criminal defense lawyer who lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia.

www.chrisleibig.com


Available at

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Here is the book that so many early readers are going crazy over. It is the TRUE story of the REAL American hero who risked his life in 1947 to fly the X-1 rocket plane through the sound barrier and take the world of aviation into the modern age. The risks were great with some scary ups and downs, but Chuck Yeager was steady and determined and he did it. What is the sound barrier? This book gives a careful explanation. You and your children will never forget this story. See the movie at www.supersonicflyer.com.


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@Bookishreadhead TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR ACCOUNT? @Bookishreadhead: I started post-grad school as a way to share what I'm reading and engage with other readers in the

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virtual and real community. I have vibrant red hair IRL, so the name bookish(read)head seemed like the perfect play on words! HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO BOOKSTAGRAMMING? @Bookishreadhead: I'd been following bookstagrammers for several years, although never had the capacity to take it on while I was in graduate school. After graduation, I found myself with ample free time to read and create content. This coupled with living in an area with plenty of trendy coffee shops for pictures was the perfect mix!

BOOKSTAGRAM

HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU READ IN A YEAR? @Bookishreadhead: Most of my reading time has historically been concentrated on breaks & vacations where I

Each issue we feature a new bookstagrammer highlighting some of their amazing work.

probably read about 30 books a year. However, between last May for graduation & the end of 2018 I finished 50 books & currently have read 22 on track for my goal of reading 100 books this year! WHAT IS YOUR LIST OF TOP 5 MUST-READS? @Bookishreadhead: The Awakening by Kate Chopin, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Gone With the Wind by Margaret

LAUREN C.

Mitchell, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Everything I

@BOOKISHREADHEAD

Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

FAVORITE AUTHOR:

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

JODI PICOULT

@Bookishreadhead: There, There by Tommy Orange. An award-winning fiction novel following several self-identified

FAVORITE GENRE:

HISTORICALLY (HAH!), HISTORICAL FICTION

urban native-americans. It's set in Oakland in the East Bay where I lived for two years during graduate school. I've really been able to connect with the elements of place and power of storytelling and it's definitely shaping up to be one of my favorites this year. î – 19


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SEE MORE BOOK ADVENTURES ON INSTAGRAM

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www.codenamearcangelbrucejarvis.com


g a cowb n i m o c e B can't be that hard, oy

can it?

It certainly looks easy to Franklyn “Frank” Ellington Seton IV. Smothered by both his overbearing mother and stuffy Maryland Society, Frank escapes to the vistas of his childhood. He will soon learn, however, that the one thing the movies left out was the smell. And the dirt. And the horses. As Frank makes his way through mid-twentieth century America, he searches for a place he truly belongs. And if being an actual cowboy is too difficult, why not try Hollywood?

“With a mixture of nostalgia, melancholy, and heaps of humor, The True Life of a Singing Cowboy will lasso you from the first note.”

AVAILABLE


Vintage 1954. Four characters come together at a Paris apartment house. After a confluence of events including a magical bottle of wine and the appearance of a flying saucer, Antoine Laurain’s fable of romance and time travel transports protagonists and readers alike to postwar Paris, with all its wonders and distant charms. An American making a journey in honor of his comatose wife, a woman of a Goth persuasion who restores broken porcelain, the shy bartender who secretly loves her, and the last remaining member of

the original family who owned the building – Laurain intertwines these disparate individuals into a story of young love, enduring love and joie de vivre. Laurain’s books have been translated from the original French into 14 languages, this time by Janet Aitken and Emily Boyce. Vintage 1954 is a light read, but one that presents a captivating look into the world of yesterday. The characters try to solve the mystery of how to return to the present while delighting in a city they have never known. 

BOOK REVIEW

Vintage 1954 BY ANTOINE LAURAIN

A STORY OF YOUNG LOVE, ENDURING LOVE AND JOIE DE VIVRE.

“Discover and savor a Paris sans cell phones, the internet, and the other items that populate our contemporary existence.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Novelist, journalist, screenwriter and collector of antique keys Antoine Laurain was born in Paris in the early 1970s. After studying cinema, he began his career directing short films and writing screenplays. His passion for art led him to take a job assisting an antiques dealer in Paris, an experience which provided the inspiration for his prizewinning debut novel.

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BOOK REVIEW

The Creativity Project. Looking for a fun way to develop or jump-start your creativity? The Creativity Project began as an idea of author Colby Sharp’s to challenge writers and illustrators alike to a “crazy game of creativity”. This book is filled with concepts that help focus your imagination and get it moving. The first part of the book contains 44 prompts from Sharp’s favorite children's book authors and illustrators, and their responses.

THE CREATIVITY PROJECT BY COLBY SHARP

I found it an enticing read, so will be grabbing some colored pencils and using the prompts to create some fun stories. I can even include my nieces and nephews, as prompts are suitable for the whole family. Whether you're hoping to be roused to put pen to paper yourself, or just interested in enjoying these creators' fun and interesting creations, The Creativity Project is worth the read.

"Colby Sharp invited more than forty authors and illustrators to provide story starters for each other; photos, drawings, poems, prose, or anything they could dream up.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colby Sharp is a fifth grade teacher in Michigan. He is married to his best friend. They have 5 children. Colby is the co-founder of Nerdy Book Club and Nerd Camp Michigan. "Helping kids find the books that help them fall in love with reading brings me tremendous joy. I have a classroom teacher since 2006. In 2011, I started the Nerdy Book Club blog with my friend Donalyn Miller. I co-host The Yarn podcast with Teacher Librarian Travis Jonker."

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A VIETNAM JOURNEY AND LOVE STORY An American soldier (Richie) and a Vietnamese woman (Linh) fall in love and have a baby during the war in Vietnam. He attempts to marry Linh but fails to get permission from the Army and is then pulled out of Vietnam. Linh and her son make an incredible journey to potential safety and security in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Richie builds his career and raises a family in the United States. They meet again in Hong Kong two decades later and achieve their ultimate destiny.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback & Ebook at: www.tomwascoe.com


E N T E R YO U R B OO K! SHELF UNBOUND

BEST

INDIE BOOK

COMPETITION Shelf Media hosts the annual Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition for best selfpublished or independently published book, receiving entries from May 1 to October 1 each year. In addition to prizes, the winner, finalists, and more than 100 notable books from the competition are featured in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound.

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Call For Entries. Shelf Unbound book review magazine announces the Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Self-Published Book. Any self-published book in any genre is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $100 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Shelf Unbound magazine. To submit an entry, Apply Online or email a PDF of your entire book, including the cover, to contest@shelfmediagroup.com, subject line Contest Entry, and send a check for $100 made out to Shelf Media Group to Sarah Kloth, Shelf Media Group, 2234 Patrick Lane, Waukesha, WI 53188. All entries received (and entry fee paid) will be considered. THE TOP FIVE BOOKS, as determined by the editors of Shelf Media Group, will receive editorial coverage in the December / January issue of Shelf Unbound. The author of the book named as the Best Self-Published book will receive editorial coverage as well as a year’s worth of full-page ads in the magazine. The deadline for entry is midnight on October 1, 2019. The winners will be notified by October 31, 2019.

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RECOMMENDED READING

EXCERPTS

SHELF UNBOUND’S RECOMMENDED READING Take a bite from your next favorite book.

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A Maiden So Bewitching. BY COLM HERRON Find on Amazon

“I wanted to explain to you about my parents. None of the two of them wanted me. Momma was expecting a girl – expecting in the sense of expectation I should add – and Pappa didn’t want a child of any description. So I grew up feeling very unwelcome indeed. Therefore you won’t be surprised to be told that their deaths had little impact on me....” “Momma died not long after Henry and I tied the knot. I’m not sure of the date but I know we buried her on a Friday. I remember this because I had bacon, two fried eggs, black pudding, white pudding, three Denny’s pork sausages and fried bread when we got back home from the funeral and Henrietta told me that that was a mortal sin because it was a day of abstinence and this meant I shouldn’t be eating meat. I wasn’t on very good terms with her that

particular day because in bed the night before when we’d got finished and we were lying there looking up at the ceiling I turned to her and said “Was that OK?” and she said back to me “To tell you the truth Alexis I’d far rather have had a cup of tea and a piece of toast.” So when she started going on about the mortal sin thing I said “Do you really mean to say if I died now I’d go to hell for all eternity just for eating a fry? What’s the big deal about a Friday anyway?” and she said “Jesus was crucified on a Friday.” And I said “And?” And she said “Because Jesus was crucified for our salvation on a Friday.” And I said “And?” And she said “Because we should do penance for that.”

And I said “For what? Sure I didn’t crucify him.” And she said “Ah, but you did.” And I said “I wasn’t even there. I’ve got an alibi. I swear. I was in Dirty Nelly’s along with Johnny Pat McGroin’s brother Grip. But tell me this now Henry. What sort of a religion is it anyway that stitches you up for something that happened two thousand years ago?’

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Shelter. BY ERICA R. STINSON

www.ericarstinson.com

“Gabriel never actually heard the woman say a word to the other employee as they were unfairly judged from afar, but Anne had easily read their lips as the manager pondered on whether or not to ask them to leave the store if they were not buying anything. Typical shopping-while-black behavior from staff in shops located in predominately white areas. Anne signed to him what was going on and then she proceeded to slowly walk up and down every single aisle, picking up and examining every other item as she went. Of course, the manager immediately had security follow them throughout the store, but if they wanted to do it then that was their problem. Gabriel hadn’t been raised to steal and his mother, another Anne-Marie which is where their daughter got her name, made it clear to them all that

she would not be paying any visits to the jailhouse. Period. After their father died, Mama made sure they all stayed on the straight and narrow. Toed the line. Anne knew better than to provoke people, but sometimes she just couldn’t help herself. Gabriel could laugh about it now, but at the time he hadn’t wanted the manager to call the police which was something that was happening to black folks everywhere these days while doing harmless things. That girl was a trip! And she was also Ruth Warner’s daughter through and through. His Ruthie never put up with any nonsense either, and he knew that’s where Anne had gotten most of her spunk from. Right now, she was curled up on the couch watching one of her

television shows. Gabriel watched his daughter eat, her deep brown eyes moving back and forth rapidly as she read the closed-captioned sentences on whatever holiday show was now on. He did the dishes and then sat at the kitchen table with his laptop to research the company that he had the interview with.... A change was definitely in order and for once Gabriel was really starting to feel as if things would be okay.” 

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A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9


RECOMMENDED READING

Float Plan. BY ROB HIAASEN

www.apprenticehouse.com

The masked algebra teacher was drunk to the point of embalmment, as the blood orange machine dented his lap. Will Larkin bought the chainsaw online (“Choose the Best Chainsaw for You!”) and strummed its greasy fangs with his left index finger. A prick, ouch. He squeezed his finger to make blood, a drib. He drank again from a pitcher of mojitos infused with enough Myers’s dark rum to stoke a beach bonfire. Raising his pollen mask before each gust of drinking, the fall allergy sufferer knew he needed a posse of mojitos when the time came to act. Nursing his first injury involving lawn machinery, Will left the back deck of his rental townhouse and went inside for a Band-Aid, the baby ones. He hoped his wife left him that much when she moved out this morning,

hoped Terri at least left him Band-Aids and the biblical “Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker.” She left both – plus six coffee mugs from a fruitful litter of coffee mug parents. Baby bandaged, Will returned to his deck and mojitos. He needed an accomplice, but his network consisted of one dog, two friends, two parents, and Terri. He didn’t know any new people. He waited for the recessed light of dusk. A redshouldered hawk snagged a chickadee off their backyard A-framed feeder – a puff of dusty gray feathers parachuted to the ground. Will patted his Poulan 14-inch chainsaw. In time, partner, all in good time. ••• Last Sunday, omens. Will forgot to put on his

watch, a major breach in his morning routine. And when he reached for his off-white, un-lettered coffee mug, he sideswiped the cupboard’s corner and decapitated the ceramic handle. Will picked up the severed handle, light as a bird wing. Then, his Briggs & Stratton lawn mower that had never let him down wouldn’t start. Will pulled and pulled the starter rope until the handle snapped out of his grasp and whipped his hand. 

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The Witness Tree. BY AMY PENDINO

www.amypendino.com

“You go to the funeral?” the one they called Bud asked. “Nah, sent Barbara. It was her day to work the Guild, so she was there anyhow.” He took a quick sip. “She said not many came, other than the usual. Said it was a quick deal, over in less than half an hour.” Dani turned and watched Jacob place his cup back on the Formica- topped table with a flourish. He cleared his throat and picked up the threads of a conversation she’d overhead earlier but had not understood. “So, I’m planning to take that tree down this week. Old Swenson was the last one left, you know, so it’ll be safe now—” “Isn’t that tree supposed to have a curse on it?” Dani recognized her own voice as the one that interrupted.

Almost without being aware of it, she’d transitioned from her stool to the step that separated the counter seats from the dining area below. Jacob’s blackbird eyes turned and bored into her scarlet face. “What’s your name again?” “Uh, it’s Dani,” she gulped. “Dani Holden.” An older man at the round table coughed into his hanky. Dani felt her heart drop to hide down near the floor. “Dani, sure it is.” Jacob’s voice held no warmth. “You’re renting that lot off of 8, aren’t you?” She nodded and told herself to be brave.

around him. “You never farmed before, is that right?” Silence formed a barrier around his pack. Donna, carafe in hand, was a deer on the side of his high beams. The roses drained from Dani’s cheeks, but she kept her eyes fixed on Jacob’s and tried not to blink. “Well, I—” 

Jacob sat himself up to his full height, still an inch or two lower than the hat brims and shoulders of those

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A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9


RECOMMENDED READING

An Accidental Corpse. BY HELLEN A. HARRISON

www.dunemerebooks.com

“Damn, this road is dark,” observed Fitz. The night was clear, but with hardly any moon. “It’s black as your hat out there. Once you get away from the bar’s lights, there’s nothing. Not even house lights, all the good Christians must be in bed. I’m glad both headlights are working, and we know where we’re going.” They turned right off Fort Pond Road and headed south on Fireplace Road, passing Pollock’s house and Ashawagh Hall, with no lights on at either place. “When I mentioned to Mr. Bayley that we were driving to Springs for dinner, he told me to watch out for deer on the road after dark,” said Nita. “They can do a lot of damage to a car, he said.” “Keep your eyes peeled, then,” Fitz replied. “Can’t be too careful, and there’s no

rush to get back. TJ is sound asleep.” As they passed the Gardiner Avenue intersection and headed toward the road’s major curve, they saw headlights approaching, well to their left but coming up fast. “Looks like he’s not worried about hitting a deer,” said Fitz. Suddenly the oncoming car veered sharply into their lane, cut across in front of them, careened into the woods on their right and flipped end over end. His heart in his mouth, Fitz slammed on the brakes as Nita braced herself against the dashboard and TJ rolled off the backseat and onto the floor behind her. As they came to a stop, their lights showed the other car lying upside down among the trees, its horn blaring. It

was a green convertible, an Oldsmobile Rocket 88. “Jesus Christ,” blurted Fitz. “That’s Pollock’s car!” Fitz pulled off the road, and he and Nita jumped out. TJ, wide awake now, followed them. The body of a woman lay by the roadside, and as they approached they could hear her moaning. 

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The Orchard Lover. BY CHRISTIANNA MCCAUSLAND www.theorchardlover.com

Sleepwalking although awake, Alden walked until she found a place in the orchard where she could sit with her back against a tree trunk and still see the rising moon through the tree branches. It was too hot to wear her hair loose, but now she pulled it down and over one shoulder where it rippled in a russet curve. “Like the mane of a wild horse,” was what Charlie Payne had said the summer he was Alden’s lover. “Have you ever seen the mustangs, Alden?” he questioned her one night as he stroked her long hair. “You can hear them before you see them, because their hoofs are so loud, so loud it’s like, well, like thunder and you just want to throw yourself into that crazy, loud herd and get carried away. Do you know that feeling?”

When he looked at her then, she knew he was there with her but not. He was far away on a western plain with an excited glimmer in his eye that she imagined was the same one would see in one of those free roaming horses just living to protect its wildness. “You’d love it out there Alden,” he said, returning them both to the orchard. He buried his head in her hair. “I’ll take you there someday. You’ll see. You’ll see the ancestors to your pretty mane of hair.” It had gotten dark. She looked at the moon, high in the sky, at how it beamed through the leaf canopy and made shadowy fish on the grass whose schools moved in a breeze so delicate it was imperceptible. And yet, there was heat lightning, too, small explosive bursts of blue and

orange light. The world was dynamic and contrary, and she thought, if only I could catch this little bit of world in my hand and slow it down for a moment, I could see if from every angle and understand it and then I would be free. But her palms were empty and warm. 

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Gina in the Floating World. BY BELLE BRETT

www.bellebrett.com

“Miss Falwell?” Mr. Matsumoto asked with just a hint of an accent. He held out his hand to me, and I stood up to shake it. As I did so, he looked me up and down, not in a lascivious way, but as though he were buying a horse at market. He ordered a cup of coffee and cut to the chase. He explained that working conditions were “outstanding” and that my hours would be 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night but Sunday. The pay was 7000 yen a night plus bonuses. Less than $200 a week. I wasn’t sure whether that would cover my living expenses or not. “You got something else to wear?” he asked. “Just a long skirt.” “Not a problem. We have a couple of dresses at the Club fit you nice.” I opened my mouth to thank him, but he kept speaking. “Now your name. I

don’t like it. Dee Dee sounds like baby talk.” “How about Dorothy?” I suggested reluctantly. “Doloti?” He laughed, showing two gold teeth. “That’s how all my Japanese customers will say your name.” His brow wrinkled in thought. “Let’s call you Gina, like my favorite actress, Gina Lollobrigida, born on your country’s Independence Day. Easy to say. In Japanese, Gina means ‘silvery.’ Okeydoke?” I hadn’t even agreed to the job yet, and Mr. Matsumoto was already managing my life and hanging my name. Again, he stared at me, narrowing his eyes. “How old are you?” “Twenty-three. Almost twenty-four.” “Say you’re twenty. Japanese like young ladies. Makes them feel young, too.

You start tonight.” Four people who’d been sitting near me strolled past. One wore a Chicago Cubs baseball cap, except Chicago was spelled “Chickago.” She turned, caught my eye, and said something to her friends. As the headed toward the door, I heard their laughter. I shifted in my seat. “I need to think about your kind offer.” 

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Storm: It's A Curse To Remember. BY GURPREET KAUR SIDHU

www.gurpreetkaursidhu.com

His terrifying past identity is no longer confined to his dreams. Her fate is repeating itself. Together they can break free from this cycle. When Shadow and Evan meet, everything begins to make sense. He resolves to protect her in order to make up for his wrongdoings in their previous lifetime. But when he and Shadow grow close, the Secret Eye Agency intervenes, throwing their precarious relationship into turmoil.

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A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9


REASSESS YOUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE.

Socrates returns to counsel a respected, fearless warrior named Gita, who’s the commanding general of an unnamed city that’s preparing for war… Gita’s fortitude is challenged by the prospect of spilling family members’ blood, causing her to reach out to Socrates for guidance… Kazden demonstrates a rare ability to describe complex concepts with clarity and precision… The result is a thought-provoking intellectual journey that will encourage readers to reassess their own places in the universe. Imaginative and thoroughly stimulating.” -Kirkus Reviews

A BOLD JOURNEY TO THE LIMITS OF HUMAN PERCEPTION AND BEYOND.

Imagine if great minds from across the ages could congregate in one room to discuss their understanding of time and reality. In this ambitious work, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, among others, come together to do just this…[T]he arguments are dazzlingly convincing…[A] learned, bold journey to the limits of human perception and beyond.” -Kirkus Reviews WWW.WEBSITE.JJKAZDEN.COM


NEW TO SHELF UNBOUND!

Introducing Shelf Media Group's digital young adult community designed to connect readers with YA authors and books.

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Down in the Belly of the Whale. BY KELLEY KAY BOWLES

Down in the Belly of a Whale is sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, but always real. Down in the Belly of a Whale opens with Harper who believes she is something called a changeling - a creature switched at birth because someone wants the child more than the creature. She believes she is that creature. Why? Harper struggles to fit in with her family and fails to see the beauty in herself. Something that we all feel at one point - alone. Harper believes she can sense when people are going to get sick - her nose itches, she starts to sneeze, or her body reacts in some bizarre way. So why couldn't she sense her friend's depression or her mother's health crisis? Harper’s character is quirky and witty, yet still grounded and full of truth. Harper is navigating the bottle of emotions that comes with high school while also juggling major life changes with her family and friends. Through it all though, she is smart, funny, compassionate, and most of all loyal. Through her quirkiness and wit, she finds the strength to move forward.

WHAT TO READ IN YA FICTION Young adult fiction continues to become one of the most popular genres – mostly for adults. Join us each issue to find your next YA read.

DOWN IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE BY KELLEY BOWLES

Down in the Belly of a Whale is a must read for all. If you like cleverly sarcastic humor - the stuff no one else ever seems to think is freakin’ hilarious - you will love Harper and her story. 

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G+B RECOMMENDED READ

|

RECOMMENDED AS YOU R N EX T

YA R E A D

Down in the Belly of the Whale. ABOUT THE BOOK:

Harper Southwood is a teenage girl who can sense when people will get sick—but so what? She can’t predict her best friend’s depression or her mother’s impending health crisis. Being helpful is all Harper ever wanted, but she feels helpless in the face of real adversity. Now, she’s got a chance to summon her courage and use her wits to fight for justice. Laugh and cry along with this cute, high-spirited teen in her astonishing journey of self-discovery, as she learns that compassion and internal strength are her real gifts, her true superpower. www.kelleykaybowles.com

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BOOK SHELF BS

SHELF UNBOUND’S

Book Shelf What to read next in independent publishing

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BOOK SHELF

Moustache & Macintosh BY D L GRASER

The night was calm as we floated across the ocean. “Land's not too far away,” I heard the captain tell Short Leg Louie after dinner. I had not heard anymore cries from the princess in the last couple of nights. I wondered why. I just have a gut feeling that tonight is the night I take her off this ship with me. I have to leave because Short Leg Louie said he will make sure there are no witnesses and I am the only witness aboard this vessel.

The Legacy Series BY ELLERY A. KANE

Imagine a world where your emotions are entirely within your control. How do you want to feel today? Want to be fearless? Bold? Exhilarated? Blissfully happy? In 2041, the choice is yours. Changing your emotions is as easy as popping a pill. But, choose wisely. A quick fix always comes at a price. Available together for the first time--all four books in the award-winning Legacy Series.

www.pagepublishing.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Available at Amazon.

Omina-Uvorix

Tyed

BY GUY JONES

Time Travel Fantasy Spins an Intricate Web of Mystery Omina-Uvorix is the ultimate haven of peace and contentment, and some even call it paradise. The story follows characters in England who reincarnate into different time zones, spanning the years 1307 to 1982. For those who enjoy historical novels combined with a sci-fi twist, the book really is a paradise! www.SBPRA.net Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 42

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9

BY L.J. SHEN

Meet Blaire An underachieving college student with zero prospects and a ton of issues (hey, being the less-successful twin of a gorgeous supermodel would totally do that to you). She doesn’t do bad boys. Actually, she doesn’t do boys, like, at all. Not that she’s a lesbian. And not that there’s anything wrong with being one. It’s just that…well…she kind of needs to focus on graduating from college right now. And she needs something from Ty. Badly. Available at Amazon.


BOOK SHELF

Two Tickets to Dubrovnik BY ANGUS KENNEDY

A View From The Languedoc BY ANGUS KENNEDY

Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, goes to Dubrovnik to prepare an article for his editor on the wines and wineries of southern Rhône. He meets up with an old Bordelaise wine making acquaintance, Lucien Delasalles, and his step-sister, Niki Menčetić. He becomes embroiled in the murky affairs of Niki and her family and the local police, which leads to his sad departure from the ancient city.

Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, is again staying in Europe, this time with his brother, Adrian, for both work and a holiday. During an extensive new wine project from his publisher, he meets up again with a number of his old acquaintances from both France and Dubrovnik, including Niki Menčetić. Whether he can resolve his difficulties with Niki’s life is uncertain.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

To The East

The Final Programme

The book gives a composite picture of what heaven is like based on the eyewitness testimony of nineteen separate accounts. As a result it gives a more complete picture than any other single book does. All of Scripture’s testimony about heaven is confirmed and many more details God never revealed in His Word. Many readers say it’s a great blessing and have bought extra copies to give away.

In this final novel of the Out of Solitude tetralogy, Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, is comatose in hospital in Sydney, Australia after the events of Međjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His Croatian lover, Niki Menčetić, believes him gone, the victim of a cruel deception by Andrew’s brother, Adrian, and has returned to Dubrovnik. Andrew now has to try to re-establish the rest of his life.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

www.anguskennedybooks.com Available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

BY ANGUS KENNEDY

BY ANGUS KENNEDY

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The story is about Digit, the Robot dog, who helps to stop bullying at the Zipper Elementary School. Digit is a special dog because he teaches children not to bully each other in school. Digit carries a red toolbox kit that teaches children about positive behavior, positive role models, positive rules, being kind to one another, being helpful to each other, and teaches children how to deal with problems about bullying in school. Digit teaches the children how to be friendly, to share, to say please and thank you but most of all he teaches them to have positive behavior. Digit says, “Bullying Hurts! It hurts us all. Stop Bullying now!

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a book that brings Nabokov’s Lolita into the twenty-first century” From the highlyacclaimed Irish novelist, Colm Herron, comes this sad, sexy and beautiful story about a desperate Irishman called Lexie Cheddy, an only child. Lexie’s mother has always wanted a daughter so that’s how she brings him up. And she names him Alexis.

like a double-shot of Irish whiskey”

More Books By

Colm Herron 45


BOOK SHELF

The John Pilate Mystery Series BY J. ALEXANDER GREENWOOD

Meet John Pilate, your guide to a world of offbeat characters, bizarre mysteries, exotic settings, adventure, and quirky humor. Start today with Pilate's Cross and find out why so many readers have learned that washing your hands of murder (and John Pilate) isn't easy. “Greenwood offers a fresh take on the mystery thriller with his John Pilate Series." – Jason McIntyre, author of On The Gathering Storm

Cannabis For Seniors BY BEVERLY A. POTTER PH.D.

Cannabis for Seniors is for seniors who are curious about cannabis and how they might use it to better their lives. Cannabis for Seniors reviews research regarding the health effects of cannabis and the effectiveness of various strains for managing specific health conditions and improving quality of life. Cannabis for Seniors debunks myths and discusses concerns that seniors may have about cannabis use.

www.PilatesCross.com Available at Amazon.

ww.roninpub.com. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble..

Feast of Fates

The Weight of Living

BY CHRISTIAN A. BROWN

BY MICHAEL STEPHEN DAIGLE

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

A young girl is found in a grocery store dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top. She does not speak to either Ironton,. N.J. Detective Frank Nagler, the social worker called to the scene, or later to a nun, who is an old friend of Nagler’s. The search becomes a generational hell that drags Nagler into an examination of a decades old death of a young girl, and the multi-state crime enterprise of the shadowy ringmaster.

www.christianadrianbrown.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

www.michaelstephendaigle.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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BOOK SHELF

A Halloween Adventure with Sly the Fly BY HAMILTON WILLIAMS

A Halloween Adventure with Sly the fly is about Sly going trick or treating for the first time.He has some scary moments, but all in all has a blast on this Halloween night. The night where there is a lot of fright.There is a lesson that Sly learns at the end of each story, and Sly likes to get the children to think so he always asks if there is any other lesson they might have learned. www.dorrancepublishing.com Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Float Plan

BY ROB HIAASEN

When life throws you overboard, learn to float. Will Larkin teaches algebra and has been married 2.92 years (he never rounds off). He has no children, two friends and one dog. His life is perfectly routine until he loses his wife, job, dog, boat and even his freedom all in one spectacularly hard year. He also didn’t plan on falling in love with vet tech named Parker Cool. Available at Amazon.

Tiger Drive BY TERI CASE

One family. Too many secrets. Four people who want to matter. In Nevada, Sloan family matriarch, Janice, is tired of her white trash life—dealing with debt, kids, her son’s motorcycle gang, and Harry, her drunk of a husband. She can’t shake her lifelong dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. As Janice’s teen daughter, Carrie, plans her escape to college, Janice confronts the fact that she’s forty-eight and running out of time. Available at Amazon.

Introducing How We Are Different (HWAD): Read. Write. Reflect. Grow. Become a more disciplined reader and writer - become a better person! How We Are Different (HWAD) is a journaling app available exclusively on the App Store based on Thom Kudla’s award-winning book How I Am Different. This app is an interactive reading and writing experience the likes of which you’ve never seen. Visit www.hwadapp.com today and download the award-winning book-as-app 47


BOOK SHELF

Watching You

BY LISA JEWELL

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you. “Brace yourself as Jewell stacks up the secrets, then lights a long, slow fuse.” - People

Eat The Apple BY MATT YOUNG

Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels.

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

The River

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

BY PETER HELLER

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. The story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip--a tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence. Available at Amazon. 48

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9

BY ANISSA GRAY

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but H T T prepared P S : / /them for nothing M Ztrial Nthat . will theAliteral upend TO / 2 their F Dlives. YI2I They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened. Available at Amazon.


BOOK SHELF

Survivors of the Sun BY MIA KINGSLIE

Radioactive Evolution BY RICHARD HUMMEL

Georgia was not a survivalist and she did not have a bug out plan. She was a happily married woman, at home with three children and their Boston Terriers. In an instant everything changed. The power went off, and no-one knew why. By nightfall, Nathan, her husband had still not returned. In time, the water stopped running. With only three days of food left in the house and dwindling water supplies, she has no choice but to flee Kansas City.

Jared Cartwright grew up in a loving, caring community, completely isolated from the horrors of the outside world. When tragedy leaves him alone and untethered, Jared sets out to explore the unknown; a world where twisted, scarred creatures roam an earth ravaged by nuclear war while the rich fled to the skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to die.

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

CIRCE

The Leaving Year

BY MADELINE MILLER

To face his new reality, Jared must learn to survive in a cold, harsh world.

BY PAM MCGAFFIN

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

As the Summer of Love comes to an end, 15-yearold Ida Petrovich waits for a father who never comes home. While commercial fishing in Alaska, he is lost at sea, but with no body and no wreckage, Ida and her mother are forced to accept a “presumed� death that tests their already strained relationship. While still in shock over the loss of her father, Ida overhears an adult conversation that shatters everything she thought she knew about him.

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon. 49


BOOK SHELF

The Remainder

BY ALIA TRABUCCO ZERÁN

The Fire He Started BY SARAH CONNOR

Felipe and Iquela, two young friends in modern day Santiago, live in the legacy of Chile’s dictatorship. Felipe prowls the streets counting dead bodies real and imagined, aspiring to a perfect number that might offer closure. Iquela and Paloma, an old acquaintance from Iquela’s childhood, search for a way to reconcile their fragile lives with their parents’ violent militant past. The body of Paloma’s mother gets lost in transit, sending the three on a pisco-fueled journey up the cordillera.

Terra's on the run from many things in her life. Her psycho ex, three strangers-one of whom would try to win her heart. The nefarious preternatural beings these outsiders are at constant war with. Which will conquer her first?

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica

Blood

“One of two things is going to happen, Leon: Either I run, or all of us die.” “That can't be the only option,” he says, determined to persuade me. “There has to be another way.”

BY MAGGIE GEE

Could he get away with it?

Who attacked Dad? When a corrupt, brutal dentist, Albert Ludd, is found battered and bloody after failing to attend a memorial party for his youngest son, suspicion falls on the dentist’s other children. Especially on Dad’s middle daughter, 37-year-old buxom bruiser Monica Ludd, who was heard ‘uttering threats’ against her absent father. How come her car is found outside Dad’s house? Why did she buy a large axe? And yet, Monica’s a deputy head teacher…

Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

BY LAURIE GWEN SHAPIRO

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier?

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OK COULD BE H O B ER UR E! O Y Promote your book in Shelf Unbound in our Special Advertising Section for Authors.

Each issue of Shelf Unbound is distributed to more than 125,000 people in the U.S. and 62 countries around the globe. Our introductory ad rate for this section is $350/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Sarah Kloth to reserve your space. sarah@shelfmediagroup.com

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F E AT U R E D I N D I E B OO K S TO R E

Boswell Book Company MILWAUKEE, WI

Boswell Book Company is one of America’s great independent bookstores with deep historical roots dating back to 1927. In April 2009, Boswell Book Company opened in the former location of Harry Schwartz's Downer Avenue Casanova Booksellers and Importers.. Boswell is owned by Daniel Goldin, a 23-year Schwartz veteran and staffed by Milwaukee's best booksellers.

www.boswellbooks.com

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ON OUR SHELF

ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR

HIS IS HOW IT BEGINS by Joan Dempsey

by Carole Giangrande

In the morning fog of the North Atlantic, Valerie hears the frenetic ticking of clocks. She’s come from Toronto to hike on the French island of St. Pierre and to ponder her marriage to Gerard Lefèvre, a Montrealer and a broadcast journalist whose passion for justice was ignited in his youth by the death of his lover in an airline bombing. He’s a restless traveller (who she suspects is unfaithful) and she’s the opposite: quiet, with an inner life she nurtures as a horticulturalist.

ABOVE THE STAR: THE 8TH ISLAND TRILOGY by Alexis Marie Chute

In 2009, eighty-five-yearold art professor Ludka Zeilonka gets drawn into a political firestorm when her grandson, Tommy, is among a group of gay Massachusetts teachers fired for allegedly discriminating against Christian kids in high school classrooms. The ensuing battle to reinstate the teachers raises the specter of Ludka's World War II pasta past she's spent a lifetime trying to forget. The firings are the brainchild of Warren Meck, a deeply religious local radio host and father of three who is hoping to pass a religious freedom bill in Massachusetts.

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strongwilled mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

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MY NEW BEGINNING

BY DL GRASER

FROM WITHIN Life lessons from a firsttime children's book author.

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

D.L. Graser, was born and raised in the Midwest and has traveled worldwide with medical missions volunteering her time and talents for over twenty years. D.L. Graser has always dreamed of writing a fun book.

I always thought about writing a children’s book, but never stopped my busy life to begin the journey. As years passed by I wondered if I would ever take that first step to fulfill this dream. One night a few years ago I was awaken very early to a voice saying, “Get up and start writing.” Smiling, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Again, I was awakened as I heard the same voice say, “Get up and start writing.” Looking at the clock I thought, just a few more minutes and I will get up but, fell back asleep. When the voice spoke the third time I made my way to the kitchen with my laptop in hand, barely awake, making a cup of coffee then sitting back staring at my laptop thinking…now what. Just so you know I don’t consider myself a writer. I am an artist who loves to create art and fun things. To actually put something in print and have others read it; well let’s just say grammar and English were never my strong points. Seriously, when I finished my book and sent it off to the publisher I expected it to come back all covered in red pen and other expressive markings suggesting a total rewrite noting I should not give up my day job. Opening up my laptop that first morning and touching the keyboard my mind instantly flooded with ideas and words to write. Amazed I sat there for the next three hours typing excitedly, wondering where this would go. I honestly had no clue how to start a book or where to end it, but I was having fun. To use my creative imagination much differently than applying paint to a canvas was new to me. Then one morning I had a thought come to me saying to quit my job and sit in the quietness of the morning and write. The

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only problem was I had financial responsibilities and didn’t want to burden my husband with them. Yes, he would have helped me, but I didn’t want to ask him, he works hard enough to support us. Realizing I had a few dollars saved away I asked my husband if he minded if I quit my job to write this book. Out of the kindness of his heart he said “Go for it.” So I decided to step out in faith and devote all my time to writing. Three weeks later I was finally free to spend as much time with my little book each day. Joyfully I sat in the early morning hours typing and retyping as the sun arose and the birds chirped. Ideas poured in as each character came to life. I was amazed at all the twists and turns that grew. I was beginning to see a book within a book arise. After ten months of working on the manuscript I knew inside I needed to look for work because my little savings had grown even smaller and the following month I would have to turn to my husband for help. I decided to contact a recruiter and see if there were any jobs available anywhere for a receptionist. I did not expect to get hired right away because jobs at the time were very hard to come by. The recruiter did not promise me anything, but he would keep his eyes open and get back to me. Leaving their office I thought this is going nowhere, so I went home and continued writing and rewriting on my little book.

The next morning I sat at my laptop at two in the morning wondering how many more chapters would there be? Then at five thirty that morning the little book was finished. Not only finished, but left open at the end for a second book to be written. I sat back amazed. What an exciting experience I have been on, but now what? What do I do now? I needed to find a job, I need to find a publisher, but where, how? Ten thirty that same morning the phone rang and it was the job recruiter asking if I would be interested in a position at a major company. The recruiter said this job pays well and has great benefits. I of course said yes, I am interested! He gave me all the information for the interview for the following day. To make a long story short I was hired immediately by this company and it did have great benefits and payed more than my previous employment. I later learned their HR department drags their feet in getting people placed and could have taken several weeks before I would have earned a paycheck. I was amazed. What do I do now with this little book, where is a publisher? None of my friends or family could help me. I asked everyone I ran into if they knew anyone or anything about publishing and of course no one had. I looked online, but everything seemed so complicated. I seriously didn’t understand the process; it seemed to get more and more complicated as I researched more. One site suggested doing it this way while another suggested publishing a totally different way. I didn’t know what to do. I needed help!

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MAY IS GET CAUGHT READING MONTH Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to promote the fun of reading books for all ages. Get Caught Reading provides teachers and librarians with small posters of TV and sports stars, authors, and beloved book characters reading a book.

Hundreds of teachers and librarians across the U.S. have embraced the campaign. They are setting up "Get Caught Reading" corners, allocating a special time each day for leisure reading, and taking photos of students "caught reading" for classroom posters.

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So I waited and waited for that still small voice to speak to me once again as it had that very first morning and beyond leading me on this journey of faith and obedience. Sitting watching TV one day I caught an ad for a publishing company. Only catching part of the commercial I wondered if this is what I was waiting for. I have never seen commercials ever before on TV for book publishers. I sat hoping the commercial would run again, anxiously waiting for a phone number or website to contact them. Guess what… short time later it appeared again! I quickly wrote their information down to contact them next day. Funny thing is I have never seen this commercial run again. Remembering this still makes me giggle. My book is called Moustache and Macintosh. It is a book for tweens even though it’s a fun book for any age to enjoy. Two little girls Mattie and Gemma go on an adventure hunting treasure after finding their great, great, great grand Pappy’s journal. The journal is packed with adventure about a princess, pirates and treasure that’s waiting to be found. Finding treasure clues in Pappy’s journal, the girls need help moving about grandpa’s one hundred acre property in trying to locate the treasure within the journal. Not knowing the land very well, the girls enlist the help of two naughty boys who dislike girls greatly from down the road from Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Disguising themselves as Inspector Moustache and Macintosh the girls enlist the help of these two twin brothers into

their adventure while keeping their true identity a secret. Mattie, a very wise child shows her older sister Gemma how to find the good in people even though they don’t deserve it. The wisdom Mattie posses’ is beyond her years as she touches everyone she encounters. The story is like a book within a book because reading this story is a fun adventure, but if you look within the story you will see a deeper meaning. 

MOUSTACHE & MACINTOSH The night was calm as we floated across the ocean. "Lands not too far away," I heard the captain tell Short Leg Louie. I had not heard anymore cries from the princess in the last couple of nights. I wondered why. I just have a gut feeling that tonight is the night I take her off this ship with me.....

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F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

Hello? ONE HELLO CAN CHANGE A LIFE. ONE HELLO CAN SAVE A LIFE. BY LIZA WIEMER

Spencer Hill Press www.spencerhillpress.com

03

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So Hello? is your YA debut novel and the first to be published. Can you tell us a little bit about the experience and what Hello? is about?

LW: Hello? tested me in ways I could

never have expected. To be authentic to my characters and their voices, it meant learning new skills, including free verse poetry and screenplay format. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working on their skills. In addition, making sure that the characters’ stories wove together as seamlessly as possible created unexpected challenges. Just like in real life, each of my characters has his or her own struggles. I needed to show them, show how they impacted their lives and their choices while also exploring the concept of serendipity and the power of hope. When I went from six characters to five, I had to figure out how to piece the novel back together again, which was particularly difficult because a phone call or text clued the reader into whose chapter came next. Everyone was linked. In the end, solving each puzzle, reweaving the threads together was not only tremendously challenging, but satisfying. I was fortunate to work with an excellent editor at Spencer Hill, Patricia Riley. Our conversations helped make the novel so much better.

“HELLO IS ALSO ABOUT HOW KINDNESS AND COMPASSION CAN CAUSE A CHAIN REACTION. WE HAVE THE POWER TO TRANSFORM THIS WORLD IN THE VERY BEST WAYS AND IT ALL CAN START WITH A SIMPLE HELLO! Hello? tells five separate stories throughout and brings them all together at the end when the characters need each other the most. Tell us about your idea behind this style. LW: The idea of how one phone call could

cause a chain reaction and alter the lives of many people fascinated me. It’s how life works. We don’t live in a vacuum and I personally have experienced how a simple act of kindness can transform lives. After that, I realized I had to write this book.

Now the main concept of your novel is "One HELLO can change a life. One HELLO can save a life.” Tell a little bit about that idea. LW: Most of us have experienced how a

hello can alter our lives. How many of your friendships started with a hello? It’s powerful. 61


ABOUT

THE BOOK

HELLO? ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.

Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry. Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.

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www.lizawiemer.com


CONTINUED

03

F E AT U R E I N T E R V I E W

Here’s a recent example of how a hello altered two friends’ lives. A friend of our family’s was supposed to attend a party and he was driving two and a half hours to join us. I was worried because Mike (not his real name) was super late. As a matter of fact, the party was winding down and people were getting ready to leave. That’s when Mike showed up. I started to make introductions, but it was awkward because of the late hour. One of those introductions, however, ended up being a life-changing moment for our friend, Ben. Mike gave Ben a job, and not just any job, but one that Ben was born to do! It was a perfect match.

How much of yourself did you put into Hello? Is there a connection to one of the stories that inspired the book? LW: I definitely drew upon my own close relationship with my grandma

as inspiration for Tricia. I also have had numerous experiences of Divine Providence. There’s a scene at the end of the novel that inspired another a fun scene that came straight from my own life. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it has to do with a guy, a girl and a concert!

What is the most important message behind your book? What do you want readers to take away? LW: The cool thing about reading books is that every reader takes something

different away from a book. We read through our own lenses based on our experiences. I love that. Hello is also about how kindness and compassion can cause a chain reaction. We have the power to transform this world in the very best ways and it all can start with a simple HELLO! 

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One More Rep, One More Word. BY CHRISTIAN ADRIAN BROWN

How a Background in Health and Fitness Pushed Me to Become a Prolific and Successful Writer—and How A Holistic Approach Could Help You, Too

FIT LIT Body, Mind and Quill

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

Quadragenarian fitness model, lifestyle coach and bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Feast of Fates, Christian A. Brown received a Kirkus star in 2014 for the first novel in his genrechanging Four Feasts till Darkness series. He has appeared on Newstalk 1010, AM640, Daytime Rogers, and Get Bold Today with LeGrande Green. He actively writes and speaks about his mother’s journey with cancer and on gender issues in the media.

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In the fall of 2010 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 acute lymphoblastic leukaemia—with nary a warning sign except for a problematic and persistent lump on her inner thigh that she’d investigated a couple of times before finally insisting that a surgeon remove and biopsy the thing. Needless to say, her doctors and our family were thrown into chaos by the results. We scrambled. We became champions of her health and aggressive, educated advocates. Indeed, despite the darkness haunting us, my sister, my partner, my mom, and I bonded into a unit as familial and strong as the Three Sisters of Fate of which I would one day come to write. Although, the Sisters of Fate and their realm and troubles—which were, in hindsight, cleverly disguised mirrors of my own family’s struggles—were only whispers in my imagination when Mom’s therapy began. First I had to reevaluate my time, my work, and decide what was most meaningful: a profitable career as a fitness manager, or surrendering my time and most of that money so that I could become Mom’s primary caregiver. In reality, love makes that choice easy. I chose to be with Mom. Throughout this ordeal, it was my dedication to fitness that kept me sane. A doggedness possessed me: to wake up every day at “the crack of the morning’s arse,” as a nurse and I used to joke, so that I could be showered, fed, mentally prepared, and at the hospital with Mom for her treatments. For fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness tether us to life; they remind us that we’re not just thoughts and feelings, but reflexes and biochemistry, nerves and


muscles. Were it not for my understanding of the body, I wouldn’t have been able to push through the morass of terminology surrounding cancer. I would have run myself down and been a poorer advocate and caregiver. Without fitness, too, I wouldn’t have had the dedication to rediscover my passion for writing. That discovery was as simple as Mom asking me one day, “Whatever happened to that story you were writing?” I had to think, as it had been years. That story … One of a world ruled by fate and antediluvian forces capriciously manipulating people, life, and death. I hadn’t been of the mind or experience to pen a tale of that magnitude before, but now there was an existential saga unfolding before me, and so I wrote. I believe I was driven by the worry, the reality that mom could never recover—despite her unquenchable optimism. Armed with my iPad or laptop and cranking out thousands of words simply became another step in the daily ritual, another rep in the set, to a mind already conditioned to exercise and tenacity.

By the fall of 2011 the manuscript was completed, and to the chagrin of Mother Earth I’d printed off all five hundred pages for Mom to read (I’m now fully green and digital). At the time, she was out of induction therapy, chilling on our couch with a gypsy-style scarf upon her bald head. She’d read the whole novel in two sittings, and there hadn’t been a peep of feedback as I’d brought her mint tea or blankets. Truth is, I was afraid to ask. My mother was an accomplished civil rights lawyer and activist and had never shown me anything but the toughest and purest love. Her opinion could have broken me. Then she said, quietly, when she was done, “This is what you should be doing.” And so I have, for almost a decade now. And while so much of my work—and who I am—I owe to Mom and our journey together, I owe just as much to my mettle, tempered through physical and mental discipline, which allowed me to surmount these life obstacles. My hope with this column is that I can use my expertise to encourage my fellow wordsmiths into similar patterns of holistic belief and activity. I would like to share the elements that have made me successful, since self-harmony isn’t a treasure to be hoarded but a wealth to be spread. To that end, please reach out with your questions about ergonomic chairs, what kind of brain food to eat, or how to get your blood and imagination flowing with a ten-minute yoga-break from your desk. My vision is one where defeat and illness are battled not only in hospitals, but also in our minds, bodies, and spirits where so often the worst wars are waged. I’ll speak with you again soon. Till then, stay creative, kind, and most of all, healthy. —C I’d like to dedicate this piece to Cynthia, my mom, my eternal muse.  65


ABOUT

THE BOOK

Immortal kings and Lovecraftian horrors meet their match in a handmaiden. ABOUT HIS BOOK:

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land. With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive. www.christianadrianbrown.com

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BOOK REVIEW

If She Were Blind Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her "legal" service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed. For a price. Estlyn is not your typical lawyer. She has a way of getting justice that others can’t - and it will secretly make you feel kinda good about it!

Estlyn’s stellar reputation keeps her busy, but something from her past is threatening to catch up to her. Join her on this thrilling ride to get justice for her latest client and keep herself out of trouble. I read this book cover to cover within about a day. It was hard to put down! And yes, there’s a bit of a cliffhanger for the next book can’t wait to get my hands on that one! 

If She Were Blind BY LANEY WYLDE

If She Were Blind is an award finalist for the 2018 Romance Writers of America Contest

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California--the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it's the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her award-winning debut, Never Touched, and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

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NEW TO SHELF UNBOUND!

Introducing Shelf Media Group's digital young adult community designed to connect readers with YA authors and books.

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W H AT P E O P L E A R E S AY I N G A B O U T G I R L + B OO K

“2015 Best YA Blogs And Book Reviewers” - URBAN EPICS, 2015 BLOGGER AWARDS

“2016 Top 100 Book Review Blogs For Book Readers and Authors” - FEEDSPOT

“The awesome Girl+Book YA book review blog.....I smiled to see Blue Karma recommended for "tom-boys, tree climbers, adventure seekers, and backyard-campers" because I have answered (or still do) to all of these descriptions....The Girl+Book blog continues to make my day. ” - J.K. ULLRICH, AUTHOR OF BLUE KARMA

“I Just Read Girl Plus Book’s Review Of Revelation, And It Made My Night!” - ELLERY KANE, AUTHOR OF LEGEACY SERIES

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BOOK REVIEW

Daisy Jones & The Six From the very beginning, Daisy Jones and The Six brings you back to your adolescent years. A time where you stayed up all night, running off with no agenda but simply followed wherever the night took you. I was hooked. Now, I didn’t grow up during the rock ‘n’ roll era. And honestly, I haven’t had much care about it. I mean, yes, I grew up listening to Queen and The Beatles but who didn’t? I was more of a Green Day and The Ramones fan - more punk rock than the

hardcore rock ‘n’ roll. But that didn’t stop me from getting completely sucked into Daisy Jones and The Six. From the first few lines, it instantly reminded me of the movie Almost Famous - one of my favorite movies by the way - and I couldn’t stop reading. From Daisy telling her story about waiting outside with the groupies to get into the show to Billy’s telling of the bands beginning and struggles, I couldn’t look away.

Daisy Jones & The Six BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Daisy Jones & The Six is a story so truly capturing of a time and place brought to life by riveting characters both bold, strong, and sometimes funny. And let’s not downplay how amazingly beautiful the cover design is - truly a 10/10.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor Jenkins Reid lives in Los Angeles and is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and more. Her novels have been named best books of summer by People, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, PopSugar, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, and others.

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Pieces Like Pottery. Wow, what an emotional book. If you want a read that pulls on the heart strings and hits you with all the feels, read this book. Don’t get me wrong – it was an emotional and all those feels kind of book in all the right ways. Each sad story left me feeling either grateful for what I have, what I have overcome, or thinking deeply about life and the trivial sorrows I currently burden. It also gave new meaning to the saying “Don’t be quick to judge, everyone is going through battles you know nothing about”.

BOOK REVIEW

I loved the intricate nature the author pulled all the stories together. They interweaved and you would find yourself thinking “Holy Cow – Small World” – which is a common thought in everyday life. Pieces Like Pottery is a little bit of a slow read in the beginning, but I do highly recommend this one. It might not be most talked about book of the year – but it is going to make you feel, make you think, and change your perspective. 

Pieces Like Pottery BY DAN BURI

"A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Buri’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and has spent time at #1 on multiple bestseller lists, including for inspirational short stories and inspirational fiction. The writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.

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IF YOU LOVE PODCASTS, YOU’RE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY & WE’RE SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE.

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F E AT U R E

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY NYPL.ORG

PU BL IC LIB RARIE S’

Most CheckedOut Books.

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Manhattan Beach BY JENNIFER EGAN

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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel BY JESMYN WARD

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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House BY MICHAEL WOLFF

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Origin: A Novel BY DAN BROWN

6.

Little Fires Everywhere BY CELESTE NG

7.

A Gentleman in Moscow BY AMOR TOWLES

8. Looking for a few good books to read by the pool this summer? Or just curious to see which books were favorites in these states? Check out this list of most checked-out books.

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The Handmaid's Tale BY MARGARET ATWOOD

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis BY​​J. D. VANCE

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The Underground Railroad: A Novel BY COLSON WHITEHEAD

10.

Exit West: A Novel BY MOHSIN HAMID

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SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY

SPL.ORG

CHIPUBLIB.ORG

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Educated: A Memoir BY TARA WESTOVER

5. The Woman In The Window

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The Hate U Give

BY SUSAN ORLEAN

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Pachinko

BY ANGIE THOMAS

The Library Book

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BY MIN JIN LEE

MCNAMARA

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Girl, Wash your Face BY RACHEL HOLLIS

BY TARA WESTOVER

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Bad Blood BY JOHN CARREYROU

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Spark Joy BY MARIE KONDŌ

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BY MARIE KONDŌ

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Fear BY BOB WOODWARD

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Chasing Rainbows.

BY MEGAN LORD

“In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t”

BOOK MOM A little bit of everything from a scatter-brained, book-loving Mom.

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

I am the mother of an adventurous and exhausting but amazing toddler boy that runs my life. I spend a ridiculous amount of time reading mind numbing children’s books over and over again because he has his select favorites… But when I do get time to read (or listen) I love reading and listening to a variety of genres. I get the most time to indulge in books of my choice during what I like to call “wind-down baths” once a week.

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To be honest, I had a very hard time deciding what to write about for my first column. I put so much thought into how to captivate you, the audience, and I found myself struggling to think of what I could talk about that could be worthy. That’s when I finally came to the conclusion, I would open here in this awesome publication with a book I read about 4 years ago. I didn’t realize how impactful it was until I recently found myself thinking back to it more often then I ever thought I would: Chasing Rainbows by Kathleen Long. Having recently experienced a great loss, this book creeped out of my subconscious and I began remembering parts both sad and funny as I navigate the world of grief myself. “Bernie” loses her father unexpectedly which seems to cause a spiral of unfortunate events or chaos as she unravels while trying to cope. She begins to only see the negatives in the rollercoaster called life and misses the silver linings. It just seems like one bad thing after another and everything sucks – UNTIL she starts working through a book of cryptograms left by her father. He basically left her encoded “lessons in life” that help her to see the beauty in the things and people around her, to dwell less on the discouraging and hard parts of life. She takes us through the common struggles of the every day woman with weight, relationships, fertility and lack thereof, desire, passion, and one of the hardest parts of life, grief. I recently saw a meme that said “Adulthood is like looking both ways before your cross the road, and then getting hit by an airplane” … Kathleen helps us to see the rainbow around that airplane in this book.


ABOUT

THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK:

Chocolate. Tattered robe. Wedding video. Wine. Things aren’t looking so good for Bernadette Murphy. With the breakup of her marriage, the sudden death of her father, and the announcement of her best friend’s pregnancy, Bernadette finds herself careening toward rock bottom. So why stop short? She quits her job, gets herself banned—for life—from the mall, and goes on a late-night-infomercial spending spree. To top it all off, her dog gets kicked out of obedience school—again. Just when she thinks there’s nothing left for

the universe to throw at her, she discovers the one thing she needs the most: a reminder of her father’s love. In the book of cryptograms he left behind, Bernie’s father helps guide her through the pain that’s consuming her. With each solved puzzle, her father’s encoded lessons give Bernie the courage to face life head-on. And as her father always said, “In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.” For Bernie, the singing is about to begin. www.kathleenlong.com 77


ON OUR SHELF

QUEENIE

DAISY JONES & THE SIX

THE CAST

by Candice Carty-Williams

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

by Amy Blumenfeld

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-yearold Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her longterm white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Twenty-five years ago, a group of ninth graders produced a Saturday Night Live–style videotape to cheer up their ailing friend. The show’s running time was only ninety minutes, but it had a lasting impact: Becca laughed her way through recovery, and the group―Jordana, Seth, Holly, and Lex―became her supporting cast for life.

“Adorable, funny, fearless debut. A must add for your TBR list" - Sarah Kloth

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"Daisy Jones & The Six is capitiving cover to cover. It pulls you into a life of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" - Sarah Kloth

On the silver anniversary of Becca Night Live, the friends reunite over the Fourth of July to celebrate Becca’s good health but nothing goes as planned.


ON OUR SHELF

TANGIER by Stephen Holgate

A HANDBOOK FOR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

A LIFE UNEXPECTED by Alison Ragsdale

by Jennifer Spruit

Two parallel stories: one, a mystery, and the other a spy story set fifty years apart and told in a series of alternating sections. In the first, we follow Christopher Chaffee, a disgraced Washington power broker whose father, a French diplomat, died in a Vichy prison in 1944 or so he had always believed until a letter, received decades after it was posted, upends his life. The second is a tale of espionage and betrayal, set in Morocco during WWII.

When twenty-two-yearold Marla finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she wishes for a family, but faces precariousness: an uncertain future with her talented, exacting boyfriend, Liam; constant danger from her roommate, Dani, a sometime prostitute and entrenched drug addict; and the unannounced but overwhelming needs of her younger brother, Gavin, whom she has brought home for the first time from deaf school. Forcing her hand is Marla's fetal alcohol syndrome, which sets her apart but also carries her through.

Eve Carruthers is caught off guard when her newly married daughter, Jess, asks if the cystic fibrosis gene runs in the family. Eve must admit that she has kept the fact of her own adoption secret, from Jess. Eve asks her parents about the circumstances of her birth and a startling secret is unveiled. As she delves into her mysterious past, and becomes preoccupied by her discoveries, her over-protective husband, Ken, begins to feel excluded.

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WELCOME TO THE NEW SHELFMEDIAGROUP.COM

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DISCOVERIES

IF YOU

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THESE... YOU’RE SURE TO LIKE... The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls BY ANISSA GRAY

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DISCOVERIES

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THESE... YOU’RE SURE TO LIKE... Blue Karma BY J.K. ULLRICH WWW.JKULLRICH.COM

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Aetherchrist. BY KIRK JONES

In the final paragraph of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, Eric Packer catches a glimpse of his own death in the crystal screen of his smartwatch. It’s a haunting way to end a novel, and a frustrating one. How, we wonder, did Eric’s watch predict and display his untimely demise?

SMALL PRESS REVIEWS

APEX BOOK COMPANY APEXBOOKCOMPANY.COM

Aetherchrist, the latest novel from Kirk Jones, starts at least nominally where Cosmopolis left off. This time around, though, the protagonist who catches a glimpse of his own death is not a billionaire asset manager but a down-on-his luck knife salesman named Rey. Unlike Eric Packer, Rey sees his impending doom on an old analog television set rather than a digital screen. He has time to change his fate, yet every move Rey makes further entangles him in a bizarre plot to rewire the collective consciousness of a nation – ushering in what could either be a golden age of harmony or complete and utter chaos. Spoiler alert: This being a Kirk Jones novel, the smart money is on the latter. In many ways, Aetherchrist serves as a meditation on the personal isolation inherent in the digital age. Lamenting the cold nature of online relationships, Rey notes that he has to pretend that all he wants is sex when what he really wants is for someone to validate his existence. However, his only safeguard against this sense of isolation is also the unfolding plot to plunge the world into chaos. Hot on the heels of last year’s bizarre dance with death, Die Empty, Aetherchrist positions Jones as an author who’s clearly hitting his storytelling stride. His imaginary universes, though dark, allow for engaging plot twists and character development even as the characters

in question face certain doom. Indeed, perhaps it’s their proximity to death that makes them so compelling. In their struggle for survival, they cling to hope in the unlikeliest of ways.  —MARC SCHUSTER, WWW.SMALLPRESSREVIEWS.WORDPRESS.COM

Marc Schuster is the author of The Grievers, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl, Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum, and, with Tom Powers, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who. He is the editor of Small Press Reviews, and his work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals. Marc teaches writing and literature courses at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.

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Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us.”

- FROM OWLS AND OTHER FANTASIES: POEMS AND ESSAYS. BY MARY OLIVER.

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