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STAR

LIT SARAH GERARD SANDRA NEWMAN LAURA PRITCHETT TONY DANIEL LEONARD NIMOY

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SEPTEMBER 2010

what to read next in independent publishing


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ear the top of Mount Everest, on 10 May 1996, eight climbers died. It was the worst tragedy in the mountain’s history.

Lou Kasischke was there. Now he tells the harrowing story of what went wrong, as it has never been told before—including why the climbers were desperately late and out of time. His personal story, captured in the title After The Wind, tells about intense moments near the top. The moments that revealed the love story that saved his life.

“A vivid, intimate memoir that, with great clarity and attention to detail, tells an unforgettable survival story.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Kirkus’Indie Books of the Month Selection

“A thorough analysis of the 1996 Everest disaster…and the best preparation for my Everest ascent.” Jean Pavillard, IFMGA Swiss Mountain Guide

“After The Wind is a thoughtful, well-written love story of Kasischke’s dedication to his wife and anchor Sandy and his passion for climbing. It delivers an edge-ofyour-seat description of navigating and mountaineering Everest and is punctuated with beautiful illustrations nestled in each chapter. Those new to the story, as well as anyone hooked on Krakauer’s original tale, will find After The Wind an engrossing read.” BlueInk Reviews (starred review)

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at local bookstores in hardcover, ebook, and soft cover (international edition only) formats.

WWW.AFTERTHEWIND.COM


staff

Margaret Brown fo u n d e r a n d p u b l i sh e r Anna Nair edito r i n ch i e f Christina Davidson c re a t i ve d i re c tor Ben Minton circ u l a t i on ma n a g e r Patricia McClain c o py e d i to r Marc Schuster c o n t r i b u t i n g e d i tor Morgan Siem c on su l ta n t , soc i a l me d i a

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Kasia Piasecka so c i a l me d i a ma n a g e r Jane Miller ac c o u n t i n g ma n a g e r For a dve r tising inqu ir ie s: c al l 2 14.704.4182 or e- mail m a rga ret@ s he l fm e di agrou p.c om For editor ial inqu ir ie s: e- mail m a rga ret@ s he l fm e di agrou p.c om or write to Shelf U nbou nd, P O B ox 852321 R ich ard s on, TX 75085

Artwork: Origins by Lucy West from The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller

what to read next in independent publishing


april/may

contents

DEPARTMENTS 4

a note from the publisher

6

shelf media podcast

44 short story stars 52 starred attractions 62 gallery: the art of space 76 my self-publishing journey 80 dystopian fangirl 8

binary star interview with Sarah Gerard

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the country of ice cream star interview with Sandra Newman

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stars go blue interview with Laura Pritchett

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being leonard nimoy essay by Neil Shurley

34 40

star trek: savage trade interview with Tony Daniel the science of shakespeare a new look at the playwright’s universe

84

indie author

88

poetry and photos

90

on our shelf

92

small press reviews

94

last words

95 contributors On the cover: Image by Gary Hogben, cocksoupart.co.uk

Artwork: by Alan Bean from The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller


TO THE SURVIVORS One Man’s Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

“A moving series of survivor stories…This book is both informative for the general public and supportive for those who have suffered sexual abuse. It is hard to imagine that members of either group will not gain from reading it.” —Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

“To the Survivors weaves together many candid accounts to form a brave and alarming exposé of assault. It is a worthwhile, eyeopening project.” —Foreword Clarion Reviews

“An engaging examination of a painful subject, with a focus on healing and forgiveness.” —Kirkus Reviews

Print $12.95 | e-Book $0.99 AVAILABLE AT

WWW.ROBERTUTTARO.COM


a word from the

publisher

W

TREK STAR

e had planned this star-themed issue for a while. Interviews with the authors of the novels Binary Star, The Country of Ice Cream Star, and Stars Go Blue. A look at the role of astronomy in Shakespeare’s plays. A presentation of the book The Art of Space, which shows the evolution of artists’ interpretations of outer space. And I was wanting to include something having to do with Star Trek When Leonard Nimoy passed away in February, I knew a little about him as a casual fan of his Mr. Spock: the signature ears, the Vulcan salute, the mind melds, Live Long and Prosper. I did not learn until after his death that he was quite handsome— sexy, actually—and that he was a published poet and a fine art photographer. One thing I knew for sure, though, was the perfect fan to write a memorial tribute to Nimoy in this issue. Neil Shurley, a writer whom I’ve been friends with on social media for a few years, posted on Facebook of his sadness at losing Nimoy. Having observed Neil’s occasional postings stating his desire for a particular Star Trek shirt or mug or book or whatever, I knew he was an ardent fan. When I asked him to contribute an essay, he readily agreed, and it’s a great piece. I also talked to noted sci-fi author Tony Daniel, who penned the latest Star Trek novel, Savage Trade, about Nimoy. “Of course it’s a blast to write Spock,” he said. We also talked Trekkies and tribbles. The character of Mr. Spock is interested in literature and poetry from all around the solar system. I like to think he would be a fan of this issue. Margaret Brown publisher In the first Shelf Media Podcast, publisher Margaret Brown talks to author Matt Bell about his three books and about writing, teaching the craft of writing, and his forthcoming novel. She also talks to book reviewers David Rice and Michele Filgate about Bell’s most recent novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods. 4

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Photograph: Belinda Baldwin


A ROAD TRIP THAT WOULD CHANGE HIS LIFE...

www.TomWascoe.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore.

Michael’s freshman year of college has not gone well either socially or academically. In 1969 failure from college or dropping out of school means the draft and possibly Vietnam. Michael desperately wants success, acceptance and popularity. He believes pledging a campus fraternity can help put him on the right path. As the final hurdle to get into the fraternity he must hitchhike 1500 miles over a weekend; a road trip which could save his freshman year and possibly change his life. The rides he gets, the people he meets and the obstacles he overcomes on his journey do change his lifebut in an unexpected way.


In the first Shelf Media Podcast, publisher

Margaret Brown talks to author Matt Bell about his three books and about writing, teaching the craft of writing, and his

forthcoming novel. She also talks to book reviewers David Rice and Michele Filgate about Bell’s most recent novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods.

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, M O D A E L F D N A S A OF FLE F TWO VERMIN A TALE ORAPHIC NOVEL

ldstein o G s i w e L Story by rianna Grinager yA Artwork b

AG

“This is a thoroughly entertaining read! I’d just read another book by this author, and although this one is different, it still has the razor-sharp wit and humor. In fact I was impressed by his ability to tell a cohesive tale in a poetic way, and in shorter space. No easy task by any stretch. He’s a natural and I look forward to reading anything he may write in the future. (5 stars). “ —April Dawn- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble “Unusually clever, really funny and emotionally stirring. Highly recommended!” —The Columbia Review “Awwwwww… what a great story. I’m sorry, but if you can actually make me feel SORRY for a FLEA than you are GIFTED!! Haha, I hate those guys. But I LOVED Finnegan! He had quite the adventurous life for a flea, and now I’ll never look at them the same way again! (Okay, that might not be totally true). But seriously the drawings were terrific and the storyboard was clever and well written. (5 stars). “ —Stacy Decker- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble

Available from

WWW.BAABLE-ONBOOKS.COM WWW.LEWISGOLDSTEINBOOKS.COM

Also available at

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feature

interview

Sarah Gerard’s voice is intense and lyrical, her story of an anorexic young woman and her alcoholic boyfriend gripping and heartbreaking.

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Two Dollar Radio twodollarradio.com


Shelf Unbound: Your main character says, “A binary star is a system containing two stars that orbit their common center of mass.” In this case, the anorexic/bulimic unnamed main character and her alcoholic boyfriend are orbiting their addictions. You use the solar system as a metaphor throughout the novel—how did that idea come about? Sarah Gerard: I started reading about stars when I was writing an essay for BOMB Magazine about Charles Yu’s novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Originally, black holes interested me—how they warp space time, how objects crossing the event horizon change in shape and appearance. Then I learned that black holes are often unseen binary companions, and this led me to reading about binary stars, and stars in general. I’ve also always loved science fiction, especially sci-fi movies, and Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris. Writing a novel set at least partially in outer space, even if figuratively, felt natural.

Shelf Unbound: Your 2012 essay in the New York Times, “On Hunger,” candidly details your own struggles with anorexia and bulimia. Why did you choose fiction over memoir to tell your story in Binary Star? Gerard: I was drawing heavily from a particular period of my life but didn’t necessarily want the responsibility of a memoir; I felt that I should save others from possible embarrassment and, for my own sake, also give myself the freedom to fictionalize. I wrote the bulk of Binary Star very quickly—in about four weeks—so researching my own life was not really an option. I was much more interested in reading about stars than reading old journals and digging up details of my past. I also found it much easier to write the story as someone other than myself. This is not my story, but the narrator’s.    Shelf Unbound: The main character is obsessed with physical beauty and is constantly comparing her body

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A

giant turns red late in its life, when it exhausts the hydrogen fuel in its core. Its surface is cool but its radius expands; it is luminous but has low mass. The outer layers of the red giant are convective, bringing material exposed to nuclear burning to the surface for the first time. This is the first dredge-up. Last winter, we spent a month driving around the country’s perimeter. John’s parents paid for everything: hotels, food, and gas. Our job was to drive and come back in January: to find something new. At first we didn’t know what. To step out of time, place ourselves entirely in the present, which is also eternity. The week before we’re set to leave, I spent the night at a friend’s house on Jones Beach, cramming for a final. I call John at two in the morning,

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speeding on Adderall, and tell him that I weigh 98 pounds, which is true at that time. I had weighed myself several times during the night. Then I’d become afraid. I tell him that I’m bulimic, which is also true, but not the whole truth. You can’t purge when we’re away. Then you can’t drink, I say Okay. We’ll find equilibrium. We make a pact for balance. We’ll shed our lives in order to see ourselves clearly. As long as we’re together, we’ll be fine. I agree. This will bring us closer, I say. I’m here for you, he says. And I’m here for you. From Binary Star by Sarah Gerard, Two Dollar Radio, twodollarradio.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


View the Book Trailer HERE

#1 amazon bestseller “Butler evokes a sweeping sense of souls entwined by fate” —Publisher’s Weekly

A slow-building romantic novel that focuses on the vital bond between lovers. —Kirkus

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THE LAST ENCORE, (Adult Literary Fiction), is a tale of unspeakable passion, excruciating pain and heartwarming hope, a sophisticated contemporary romance laced with mysterious interconnections of love, conspiracy, and fate. Inspired by true events, this controversial novel exposes a fascinating psychological phenomenon which has been kept secret until now. www. julia-butler.com | On Amazon and other retailers UNBOUND

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to those she sees in celebrity magazines. You describe yourself doing the same thing in the NYT piece. What triggers this kind of obsession? Gerard: Speaking for myself, I wanted to be everything I felt that they were and I wasn’t: beautiful, affluent, admired. In short, happy. Shelf Unbound: I was moved by the end of your NYT essay: “I was going to be a writer, and writing was more important than being beautiful. Rather, I found, being beautiful was writing.”  Was writing Binary Star cathartic for you, and are you truly able today to see your own beauty? Gerard: I don’t think much today about whether or not I’m beautiful in the physical sense; I’m much more concerned with being a good person by my own measure. I haven’t owned a full-length mirror or a scale since I began my recovery, and I have a completely different beauty regimen than I used to—now it’s basically

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nonexistent. I brush my teeth and my hair, and that’s it. I rarely go shopping for clothes. I don’t neglect myself; I feel good the way I am. This isn’t only a result of writing the novel, though. This is years of hard work and support from people who love me. Shelf Unbound: Unlike you, your main character fails to move on from or recover from her eating disorders. Why did you choose to give her life a different trajectory than your own? Gerard: Well, I actually don’t know whether or not she recovers. The story ends on a rather bleak note, but who knows what happens after that? To answer your question about trajectory, though: 1 in 5 people suffering from anorexia die from the disease. And though I think it’s valuable to write accounts of anorexia that end well, I think it’s equally valuable to write books that speak to the real suffering of an anorexic person and accurately portray the possible outcome if someone doesn’t seek help. 
  


Will Mike overcome his fears and violent nightmares before he loses the wife he loves!

“Iron” Mike McGann, plagued by fear and violent nightmares, has refused to honor his promise to his wife to quit the ring and start a family. In despair, his wife, Madge, is leaving him. Rufus “Hurricane” Hilliard, Mike’s next opponent, is the most menacing presence in prizefighting. Forced to move to a ghetto when his father died, Rufus refused to join a gang until he was told either you do or your sister will be sexually assaulted. He joined and soon was in prison. Left alone before his bout, Hilliard is forced to confront the past that haunts him and the future he dreads.

A novel about love and courage, sin and redemption. ALSO available in Spanish: El cordero al matadero

Charles “Charliehorse” O’Connell, Rufus’s corner man has been ordered by a mob kingpin to sabotage Hilliard. O’Connell, an alcoholic and compulsive gambler already blames himself for the deaths of two prizefighters. Trapped in a moral crisis, will O’Connell finally confront his “Cardinal Sin?” 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.

“Pete Delohery’s boxing saga Lamb to the Slaughter is a highlight of the self-publishing revolution.” Shelf Unbound publisher Margaret Brown.

See Amazon Customer Reviews

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feature

interview

Just long-listed for the prestigious Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Newman’s novel is an inventive wonder.

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Ecco harpercollins.com


Shelf Unbound: You’ve written an extraordinarily literary dystopian novel. What drew you to a dystopian theme?
 Sandra Newman: Well, technically, The Country of Ice Cream Star isn’t a dystopian novel. There is no one government in it, and thus no opportunity for a truly dystopian situation to develop. I mean, if you can just walk out and go to a society you like better, it’s not much of a dystopia. There are a lot of features that my book shares with popular dystopias like The Hunger Games. It’s an adventure story that takes place in a forbidding world, with a heroine who fights a war against all odds. But that war isn’t a rebellion, and in fact, Ice Cream Star grows up in a little clan that lives in almost perfect anarchy. Of course, my book isn’t alone in being classified as a dystopia when it really isn’t. Any post-apocalyptic novel is now often called dystopian, even if it takes place in a world without any governments at all. As far as the post-apocalyptic

setting goes, I’ve been drawn to post-apocalyptic stories since I was a child. The end of the world as we know it, however depressing, also involves a certain awe. Postapocalyptic settings are also calculated to appeal to anyone who finds contemporary life a little suffocating. They’re for everyone who dreamed as a child about running away from home. Shelf Unbound: You invented a language/dialect in which to tell this story. How did you create this language, and was it constraining to write in it?
 Newman: When I invented the language, I was trying to imagine how English might change if left in the hands of teenagers and children, without any schools or mass media as a homogenizing influence, for generations. So I started by thinking about the kind of informal language teenagers use now. That led me to African-American Vernacular English, because it struck me (this is all in the first minute I was

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considering the problem) that a lot of teen slang comes from AAVE, even among non-black kids. And there’s just something about AAVE that seems more vital and poetic to me than other versions of 21st century teenspeak do. From this point, I just started writing the language. It ended up drawing on a lot of other models that happened to be knocking around in my brain—I studied Russian at university, for instance, and patterns and idioms from Russian kept cropping up—but the process of creating it was mostly the same as the process of writing it. It came incredibly quickly and naturally, as if there was an Invented Dialect Generator in my brain that had been lying disused all these years. Writing in it was very timeconsuming at first, but it was never constraining. Really, I’d say it was liberating. It gave me the freedom to use poetic language without it seeming like the author doing an interpretive dance. So Ice Cream

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could use the phrase “before the sun be woken” to mean the hour before daybreak, and it would be clear it was just meant to be a common expression of her people. When I try to go back to writing in contemporary English, it feels constraining now, because you can’t just invent new words and expressions; you have to work within the boundaries of the English you’ve been given. Shelf Unbound: I like that Ice Cream Star is much more empowered than the typical pop culture female dystopian main character; she carries and uses a rifle, she smokes, she has sex, she chooses bravery rather than having it forced on her. How did her character emerge for you?
 Newman: Some of her character is just how I imagine teenagers would be in the absence of adults. Clearly they would all smoke and drink. They would ride horses at a gallop and burn down houses. They would


M

y name be Ice Cream Fifteen Star. My brother be Driver Eighteen Star, and my ghost brother Mo-Jacques Five Star, dead when I myself was only six years old. Still my heart is rain for him, my brother dead of posies little. My mother and my grands and my great-grands been Sengle pure. Our people be a tarry night sort, and we skinny and long. My brother Driver climb a tree with only hands, because our bones so light, our muscles fortey strong. We flee like a dragonfly over water, we fight like ten guns, and we be bell to see. Other children go deranged and unpredictable for our love. We Sengles be a wandering sort. We never grown nothing from anything, never had no tato patch nor cornfield. Be thieves, and brave to hunt. A Sengle hungry even when he eat, even when he rich, he still want to grab and rob, he hungry for something he

ain’t never seen nor thought of. We was so proud, we was ridiculous as wild animals, but we was bell and strong. In my greats’ time, we come up from Chespea Water; was living peaceful by Two Towns until the neckface murderers come. Then we flee onward to these Massa woods. Here we thieve well. We live as long as Lowells—sometimes twenty years or twenty-one years. Every Sengle have a knife, and we together possess two guns. Driver got a gun that shoot, and Crow Sixteen a broken shotgun, still is good for scaring. This day my story start, we been out scratching in the evacs. These evacs be house after house that face each other in twin lines. Houses shambledown and rotten; ya, the road between is broken through with pushing weeds. From The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman, Ecco, harpercollins.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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absolutely have sex—in fact, they would have to have sex at an early age in order for the human race to survive. But I’d also conceived Ice Cream as a hero. I’ve been interested for years in the existence of real heroes —people who are capable of pulling history in a different direction. I’d initially thought of her as Genghis Khan, but good. That is, she’s a child growing up in the tiniest, most impoverished community of her time and place, who manages to become a world leader through sheer courage and brilliance. Of course, apart from not being sociopathic, she’s also different from Genghis Khan in that she’s a girl. But she’s never aware of this as a limitation. She’s aware of being physically small, she’s aware of herself as a potential target of sexual violence, but because she has a heroic personality, she doesn’t conceive of these facts as fundamental limitations. Sometimes they become a problem, so she solves them however she can.

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Shelf Unbound: The story takes place in a future America, yet there are still racial divides and homosexuality is, in some factions, still considered taboo. Why did you choose to bring these elements into the story, and do they reflect a pessimism on your part about America ever having real social justice and equality?
 Newman: Actually, in my future America there aren’t any racial divides, per se, because there’s only one race. When they appear, white people are invaders from another country, so naturally they aren’t very welcome. It’s not about their skin color; it’s about the fact that they’re murdering people and taking slaves. There is some racial prejudice in Marias city, but it’s only very distantly related to racism as we know it. So really the novel doesn’t express an opinion on whether America could ever have real social justice. For the record, I’m a great optimist on this issue, and I think that (assuming we can avoid any apocalyptic


Emma Willis is ten years old and has a secret. She not only inherited her grandmother’s power of sight, she can accomplish much more. Like most children without siblings growing up amongst adults, she is precocious yet at times lonely. When a murderer is loose in Newark, a maniac with a thirst for killing little girls, she begins to understand why her Granny Dottie called her sight a curse. She will need all her powers to catch a killer and help the people in her life: Detective Hank Apple, her teacher Christina Tyler, and her little family of three. Her love will help the people in her life.

Joss Landry has worked as a

consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. Blessed with four children and five grandchildren, she resides in Montreal with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.

josslandry.com

“Ten year old Emma Willis is only beginning to discover her clairvoyant talents when she becomes involved in the hunt for a serial kidnapper/ murderer. I Can See You is a page-turner thriller that will keep you up late!” ~ Connie Shelton, author of the Charlie Parker and Samantha Sweet mystery series

Landry’s characters are beautifully written, full of subtleties and complications. Emma in particular is superbly drawn—stoic, clever, yet still a child who will curl up with a teddy bear for comfort ...” ~ Kirkus Reviews “I was on the edge of my seat riding the twists and turns to the very end.” ~ Marie Dunn, Author of Bradford Place.

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breakdowns) it’s completely possible to achieve social justice. As far as the homosexuality goes, I was mainly trying to be realistic. I don’t find it possible to write a novel without any gay characters, because it just doesn’t correspond to any world I know. In the context of the world of The Country of Ice Cream Star, it seemed too good to be true that there would be no homophobia at all. Shelf Unbound:
To what do you attribute the current popularity of dystopian fiction? Newman: We live in a world that’s very regimented. From an early age, we’re herded into schools where we’re told what to do at every hour. Then we get jobs where we continue to obey orders through the day, at the risk of losing our livelihoods. This regimentation has given us a degree of safety and wealth which is unachievable in a system where people don’t show up to work on time and obey laws. But we still can’t help feeling a little suffocated by it. In the meantime, economic

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inequality is rising throughout the developed world, so that feeling of suffocation begins to combine with a sense of injustice. And yet, we’re not at a point where violent revolution makes sense. Even if you’re working at a minimum-wage job, your life would almost certainly get dramatically worse if a civil war broke out. That doesn’t stop us from dreaming about revolution. You might believe intellectually that change has to be accomplished gradually through elections, but there is nothing fun or emotionally satisfying about that as a fantasy. In a fantasy, you take up arms against your enemies, you don’t vote against their policies. So dystopian novels magnify the oppression and injustice to a point that revolution makes sense. Then the forces of revolution are embodied in an ordinary person we can all identify with. Throw in a love triangle, and you have an unstoppable wish-fulfillment machine. 
  


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feature

interview

An elderly ranching couple faces dementia and other trials in this rich, luminous and quite moving novel.

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Counterpoint Press counterpointpress.com


Shelf Unbound: You first wrote about Colorado ranchers Ben and Renny in Hell’s Bottom, Colorado, in which they were dealing with the immediate aftermath of their daughter’s murder. Stars Go Blue is set many years later, with the couple having been living estranged from each other on opposite sides of the ranch but now being brought back into proximity as Ben is suffering from Alzheimer’s. How did you decide to put the couple in this particular situation? Laura Pritchett: The characters who inhabit my books inhabit my mind as well. I can’t get rid of them. I knew I wasn’t done with Renny and Ben Cross—they simply had another story to tell. Meanwhile, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and while walking with him across the family ranch, I simply just knew that the next novel would be about a man with this disease. Thus the idea was born: Ben and Renny would have to come

together one last time, not only to deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s, but because they had to seek and find justice for their daughter’s killer (the thing that tore them apart), as well as face their own history with one another (and perhaps fall in love once again). I’m also interested in unique relationships—what do you do, for instance, when you fall out of love but you’re still running a ranch together? Why, live on opposite ends of the ranch, of course. I suppose that like all other fiction writers, I fall in love with imaginary people and then do mean things to them and watch them crawl their way out (towards wisdom and grace, in this case). Shelf Unbound: Your new novel Red Lightning, which comes out in June, is similarly a follow up with the characters you wrote about in Sky Bridge. What interests you about continuing to explore the lives of characters you’ve written about previously?

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Pritchett: This makes me sound a little nutty, but I just listen. There was a woman named Tess (a character who appeared minimally in Sky Bridge) who just kept talking to me. She wanted her story told. I knew she had some things to say about redemption, about illegal immigration, about the West and its wildfires and changing landscape, and so I just sat down at my computer and started writing what it was that she wanted to say. (I’m not crazy, I swear!) Meanwhile, I became fascinated by the ways people who suffered PTSD view themselves, how specifically they disassociate, and how that could be rendered on the page. Around the same time, I was reading The Bone People by Keri Hume, and I saw how one author managed such a difficult task. All this came together in my mind as I listened to Tess yak away. To answer the question more fully: I remember reading Carol Shield’s work—she’s a Canadian writer most famous for her Pulitzer prize-winning book The Stone

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Diaries and her books are loosely connected—one character from one book shows up in another and so on. Many writers do this, of course, but the way Shields did it really expanded the understanding of the others. Each novel was a bit of an expanding universe, and the universes ran into each other and informed one another. I fell in love with that, and I’m certain that influence has been guiding me. Shelf Unbound: I cried at the end of this book, which is a rare occurrence for me as a reader. I was moved by the way you had Ben and Renny simultaneously struggling at the end – he with trying to hang onto what little mental capacity he has left and she close to freezing to death after wrecking her car in a snowstorm. But what really got me was how after those scenes, young Jess picks up as the narrator and puts an unexpected spin on the whole novel. Had you planned


T

he fields are poured ice, rippled and waved as if a frozen lake. Ben considers the way the sun has melted—and the earth absorbed—the snow that fell months ago, which is how such strange patterns got created. But he also entertains the idea that his pastures have reverted in time to the great sea they once were. Ben has been partial to water, always, which is why life gets measured in terms of irrigation and rainfall and acre-feet and even the dry rainless days needed for baling hay. Even now he considers the watersheds in his brain, how water moves through tissue, how rivers of electricity pulse in stops and starts. The pastures have never been this way, so icy, and it makes walking hard. There are no cattle to check, no fields to irrigate, nothing to doctor or wean or birth, and yet he wants

to walk anyway, down the iced-over dirt road to the back of his ranch even though the walking is tough because this year the snow has not melted as it should. He has that memory thing—he can’t remember the name—and he knows it’s normal to be able to remember his childhood but not yesterday and not, on occasion, his wife’s name. Or the name of this daughter walking beside him. He’s not supposed to feel bad about the things he can’t remember, although he is allowed to feel bad about the fact that this disease only gets worse. Deeper still, he has clarified that he’s allowed the terror and claustrophobia of wanting to say words that are dammed up inside. From Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett, Counterpoint Press, counterpointpress.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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all of this from the start, or did it develop as you were writing the novel? Pritchett: I suppose I should apologize for making you cry, but I’m not. I like crying when I read. Those tears are evidence of our shared humanity—that’s what art does for us, no? Connects us? But yes, I think the introduction of Jess as narrator is the wisest decision (and perhaps most risky) that I made in the writing of this novel. Jess steps in like a Shakespearean chorus, and the reader realizes she’s been present and observant and telling the story all along. When the book sold to Counterpoint, it was twice as long, and Jess and Billy narrated the last half of the book. Then my wise editor told me to chop off the last half, believing (correctly so) that the book was really meant to be short, tight, and focused. But Jess survived that cutting. As I revised, I just was taken with the strange and sure knowledge that she’d briefly narrate the ending. As is probably evident,

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my writing process involves a lot of gut-level decision making. I honestly feel as if I’m just listening to my instinct. All I have to do is get quiet, pay attention, and write what I hear. Shelf Unbound: You have lived in Colorado for your whole life, I believe, and the state is a central part of most of your writing. Do you think your writing or characters would be significantly different if you lived in and intimately knew another region? Pritchett: I only moved away for a few years--long enough to realize my mistake. This place is enormously important in all my writing, both fiction and nonfiction. I’m sure that’s because place is important to me as a human being. I find my solace, my center, and my ideas while outside, engaging in the natural world. I hike or walk every day. While I’m walking, I’m writing in my head. Walking, outdoors, words, books— they’re all linked. Since my center is so tied up to place—and this place in


GRETTA CURRAN

BROWNE WWW.GRETTACURRANBROWNE.COM

BY EASTERN WINDOWS “Fabulous, exotic, engrossing … fresh and authentic in every detail … it has to be the best book I have read about the British in India since ‘The Far Pavilions’” —Dr. Aileen Keegan Available only on Amazon sites.

FIRE ON THE HILL

TREAD SOFTLY ON MY DREAMS

“FIRE ON THE HILL is a magnificent historical novel and a passionate and poignant love story.”

“A compelling mix of political thriller and love story, beautifully written, meticulously researched, immensely enjoyable and, by turns, heartbreaking and uplifting.”

—Irish News

—The Sunday Independent

Available on all Amazon sites and Smashwords.

Available on all Amazon sites and Smashwords.

UNTIL THE HEART BREAKS `Half love story, half thriller, it’s hard to resist turning the pages.’ —Belfast Telegraph Available only on Amazon sites. UNBOUND

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particular—it’s probably impossible for me to write about characters who are plunked elsewhere. I’m just not interested in writing about another locale. I doubt very much that I’ll ever write about New York, although the place is lovely. Shelf Unbound: Where does the title Stars Go Blue come from? Pritchett: Oh, I suppose several things were roiling around in my mind. One: Stars that burn blue are burning the brightest. Like Ben’s final weeks, they have a short burst of life – very intense and very bright. I was trying to capture a human soul in that very small moment of burning out, of being extinguished. Two: Water is a huge metaphor in the book, and the idea of frozen water, of the sky, of frozen chunks of stars, of the way memory freezes (and then sometimes melts, becomes fluid) all feed into the imagery of the book. But I didn’t want all this imagery static—like a memory, I wanted it to be going and moving and turning. Music is the other

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major metaphor in the book, and of course there’s that song of the same title. I’m not sure I had that on the mind so much as I did the idea of the movement of music. Who knows. Like everything else, it just came to me, and I listened. I do like it, though. It has intrigue and movement and image and color and texture.

Available in June 2015


S

My

Mothers

S

Dreams of

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS AND REAL LIVES, THIS NOVEL IS THE ULTIMATE STORY OF FINDING IDENTITY AND THE DREAMS, REDEMPTION, AND LOVE OF TWO WOMEN – MOTHERS FROM THE OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE WORLD.

A Story of Love Transcendent

Joel L. A. Peterson “I was so impressed with this book we are awarding it to our Luce Leaders at a Leadership Reception at the Sri Lankan Mission to the United Nations. Congratulations to author Joel L. A. Peterson!”

–Jim Luce Founder of Orphans International Worldwide and The J. Luce Foundation

NomiNated for multiple

AWARDS AVAILABLE ONLINE & IN ANY BOOKSTORE. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to charity.

Find us on your favorite network!

WWW. D REA M S OFM YM OTH ER S. CO29M UNBOUND


feature

in memorium

Being Leonard Nimoy by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy startrekking.com

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omewhere around third grade, I developed a habit of clasping my hands behind my back, “at ease”-style. I took to saying “Fascinating” whenever the situation even vaguely warranted it. And if I squinted one eye and tilted my head, I could just about fake raising a single eyebrow. Armchair psychology tells me I identified with Spock because I, too, was the “other,” the outsider, the new kid. But come on—the logic, the dry humor, the ears. What’s not to love? As I watched Star Trek reruns after school, my loyalties sometimes shifted. Kirk was the best. Scotty was the best. I even underwent a long stretch of naming the seldom seen transporter chief Lt. Kyle as my favorite. But I always came back to Spock, the science officer, the emotionless, super-competent alien.


Eventually, the show itself was not enough. So I bought books. Armed, for the first time, with money that was actually my own—earned by cashing out a savings bond given to me by my grandfather—I begged my mother to drive me to the mall. I made a beeline for Waldenbooks (or was it B. Dalton?) and left with three precious volumes that remain on my shelf today—The Making of Star Trek, The World of Star Trek, and The Trouble With Tribbles. I devoured them, relishing the reprinted memos, the stories of backstage pranks, and the myriad details that emerged from inside the production. The life I read about on the soundstage was almost as interesting as life depicted on the Enterprise. Pretty soon, though, I started reading boy detective novels and my imaginative adventures began to change. Yet Leonard Nimoy remained. As an obsession with bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster and Chariots of the Gods took root, Nimoy appeared on TV to fuel it. In Search Of… provided an infuriatingly catchy theme song as well as frightening speculation behind mysteries that, when looked at now, don’t seem all that mysterious. Yet it pushed me to read even more, to explore, to weigh the evidence for myself. I discovered Nimoy’s memoir, I Am Not Spock. Inside were photos of the actor in other roles. I was particularly taken by his appearance as King Arthur in Camelot, and vowed that I, too, would one day play that role. Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two years, including the single most memorable—to me—episode of the entire series, “Submarine.” He wrote and starred in an acclaimed one-man play about the brothers Vincent and Theo Van Gogh. I followed news of it and could not wait to see the videotaped version run on HBO. He recorded albums that I both treasured as cheese and fully enjoyed. One song, “You Are Not Alone,” from his debut album, Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, became one UNBOUND

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that I introduced to college friends. They found it hilarious while also joining me in singalongs. After watching the first several episodes, I gave up on William Shatner’s cop show, T.J. Hooker. But I tuned back in for Nimoy’s guest appearance. I memorized a poem from one of Nimoy’s numerous poetry collections. Common wisdom says everyone should know one poem by heart, and mine is titled “Rocket Ships Are Exciting.” I once shouted it aloud, over and over again, from the back of a parade float we titled “Trailer Full o’ Poets.” When I spotted a memoir by Adam Nimoy, Leonard’s son, I instantly bought it and read it, heartened to learn that Nimoy was fully human, a good if sometimes too career-driven father. I still find myself clasping my hands behind my back, Spock-style. If someone flashes me a peace sign, I respond with the Vulcan salute. One of my very few pieces of original art is a framed line drawing of Spock. I guess all of these things, taken together, begin to explain why, for the first time in my life, I cried at the death of a celebrity. Though I’ve yet to play King Arthur, I did get to perform another role that was, in the long run, much more memorable for me. While still in high school, I put together a cutting from the book I Am Not Spock that encompassed several imagined dialogues Nimoy devised between himself and his alter ego. I performed the piece for a statewide “solo acting” competition. For those few minutes on stage I became, quite literally, both sides of my hero. It ended with this: NIMOY: Don’t forget that I’m real and you’re only a fictitious character. SPOCK: Are you sure? Neil Shurley is a freelance writer whose work will be included in the forthcoming anthology Spockology, which will be available in print and Kindle editions at Amazon in May. More info at facebook.com/UndiscoveredCountryProject. 32

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hat if the Mayans got the start of the end correct because they had survived it once before? What if our written history was just as accurate as the old tale about three blind men describing an elephant? What if classic science fiction writing and television shows each got a piece of it correct, would you know which ones? If your eyes can only see a tiny portion of a collage do you know it is a collage?

“Mr. Hughes’ book reminds me of reading Plato’s books Phaedo and Meno. When you first start it is not what you are expecting and you kind of question why you are reading it. Just like those books once you do read a few pages you realize that you are getting much more out of the page than you though possible. Just as Plato sometimes confused his students before they would gleam the lessons he was teaching them, John Smith would some times confuse Susan Krowley with the answers to her questions.” —Jeff Wallace

LAST KNOWN SURVIVOR OF THE MICROSOFT WARS “George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ is referenced. I believe that Roland Hughes’ novel should be considered as important as ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. Highly recommended as a thought provoking and fascinating read.” —Susan Parkinson

WWW.JOHNSMITH-BOOK.COM

From the dinosaurs to King Aurthor, Roman times and microwaves, Roland Hughes has written a story that will entertain and educate. You’ll find it interesting and thought provoking. It will also leave you wondering if maybe, just maybe, this book is NOT fiction at all. —Nanci Arvizu

“What Hughes has written down in this fictional work is a colorful and engaging futuristic dystopian tale that also doubles as an allegorical reflection upon, chiding of, and metaphorical roadmap for, modern society.” —Mike Mcgee, Goodreads Reviewer


interview

sci-fi

Noted sci-fi author Tony Daniel penned the latest Star Trek novel, Savage Trade. We talked to him about aliens, Trekkies, and Leonard Nimoy.

Simon and Schuster simonandschuster.com

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Shelf Unbound: Star Trek: The Original Series: Savage Trade reintroduces the Excalbians, first seen on television in 1969 in season 3. Describe the Excalbians and why you chose to focus your novel on them. Tony Daniel: The episode is called “The Savage Curtain.” The Excalbians were the aliens who turned themselves into Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, and others, both evil and good. They are originally sort of, well, thinking rocky extrusions, I guess you might call them. The idea of the episode was that their species was highly advanced—more so than the Federation—yet had never needed a concept of good and evil. When the Enterprise passes by, they read the crew’s minds and become intrigued with the concept of morality. So they snag Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise crew (who are held hostage) to enact a rather barbaric drama pitting good against evil in a battle to the death.   My favorite aliens in Star Trek, any version, have been the ones who are not humanoid, but are something weird and wonderfully strange. My first Star Trek novel, Devil’s Bargain, featured the rocky, silicon-based Horta from the “Devil in the Dark” episode. I guess I like aliens that rock... or that are rocks!

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HANDS Shelf Unbound: I’ve read that you were a big fan of the original Star Trek show. What’s one of your favorite episodes? Daniel: Well, lots of writers will name the Harlan Ellisonpenned “City on the Edge of Forever” as their choice for best. That one is great, but my true favorite is “The Paradise Syndrome,” the American Indian planet one, as goofy as it is in places. It has great stuff for Kirk and Spock to do that brings out their essential characters nicely. I also have a fondness for the episode featuring the traveling Shakespeare troop that contains a war criminal playing King Lear, “The Conscience of the King.” But there are so many great episodes. “Amok Time,” where Spock enters into his Vulcan rutting season, is a classic, too, and one of my favorites. Shelf Unbound: With all the Trekkies out there analyzing and assessing everything Star Trek in person and on the Internet, is it intimidating to write a Star Trek novel, knowing that it will receive the fans’ rigorous scrutiny? Daniel: Heck, yes. But it is my job to tell a great story and bring those characters to life, not to become a historian of the series in every particular. I do, however, have an incred-

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ific ing on the Pac cessful artist liv a David is a suc But he hides a. rni lifo Ca thern s coastline of nor umatized by thi Tra ch. tou by heal secret--he can d by loss. nte hau is he , age gift at an early ls in surgeon, and fal Sara, a trauma ce with Then he meets in to make pea beg he s doe n love. Only the what he can do. who he is, and

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912469 ISBN 978-14

948 9 781491 246


The Books of Author

M.A. STREET

M. A. Street

M. A. Street

Follow henry, Flossie, and their growing family from 1930 to 1956 in this humorous and touching saga set deep in impoverished Appalachian coal country.

the hill

Mules have nothing on henry Van Boorean, owner of the hill, an 80-acre farm in eastern Kentucky. though the only crops his property produces are turnip wine and fertilizer, henry will not give up his piece of the American Dream. With his staunch wife Flossie at his side, henry weathers Prohibition, the Depression, a pernicious rooster, gossiping Baptists, stampeding goats, a scheming neighbor, and a pre-dawn milk route run by a percheron named Major.

A NOVEL

M A Street is the author of hands, a novel, and Keys to a Spiritually-Based life. he lives in the upper Midwest with his wife, Donna.

a n ove l

M A Street

HANDS

An affectionate look at an Appalachian family during the mid-twentieth century. More genuine than The Waltons, and funnier, too.

t h e

HANDS

M A Street One man’s life-and-death struggle with an awesome power.

Available at

The hardscrabble lives of an Appalachian family in the mid-twentieth century.

A primer for the new millennium.

Buy the paperback & get the Kindle version Free. Kindle lending programs available


ibly knowledgeable editor in Margaret Clark who has forgotten more Trek data than I will ever know. Shelf Unbound: You also write your own science fiction. How does your process differ in writing your own work versus writing a Star Trek piece? Daniel: My aim is to entertain in whatever I write, so that’s the big picture. Writing a Star Trek novel is, in a way, like writing a traditional poem. There are certain structures you have to use or you’re simply not writing a sonnet or a sestina or whatever.  I think having those restrictions for a story opens up new avenues of creativity—at least it does for me.   Shelf Unbound: Given that we’ve just lost Leonard Nimoy, let’s talk about Mr. Spock. What’s it like to write Spock? I imagine it would be kind of fun.  Daniel: Of course it’s a blast to write Spock, to imagine your way into that character, and to come up with ways to use Spock’s talents and limitations to tell a good story. Nimoy created the character as much with a raised eyebrow here, an acerbic intonation there, as did the writers of the series. He’ll live on in those performances, and in all his other excellent work.

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THE

WEAVER SERIES

BOOK ONE

CHIMERA Released 7-14 BOOK TWO

CHANGELING Released 9-14 BOOK THREE

VECTOR Released 12-14 BOOK FOUR

PHOENIX To Be Released Spring 2015

A secret society of evolved human beings travel an alternate plane with their minds to explore the universe and encounter other sentient life.

www.VaunMurphrey.com

Ebooks on Amazon.com Print on B&N.com and Amazon.com


star bard

Thomas Dunne Books thomasdunnebooks.com

S

hakespeare’s audience did not have to look far to see the stars: A wooden canopy projected out over the stage, and its underside—known as “the heavens,” was decorated with brightly painted stars and constellations. It served its purpose in Hamlet, for example, when the prince refers to “this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire” (2.2.283-5) or when Caesar declares that “the skies are

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painted with unnumbered sparks” (Julius Caesar 3.1.63). The view of the universe engendered by this simple theatrical device wasn’t so far off from how our ancestors had envisioned the cosmos for thousands of years: We look up at night, and we see an uncountable number of stars, brilliant pinpoints of light, seemingly painted on the vast dark canvas of the night sky. And back then, before the light pollution brought by electrical lighting, the sky really was black. In Antony and Cleopatra, when Lepidus says to Caesar, “Let all the number of the stars give light/To thy fair way!,” we might imagine that the stars truly shone brightly enough for the purpose (3.2.6566). (In practice, a bit of moonlight would probably help.) The stars were intimately familiar, yet at the same time deeply mysterious. They were certainly far away—climbing the highest hills did not seem to bring them any closer—but how far away, one couldn’t say. Perhaps they


"DOUBT THOU THE STARS ARE FIRE. DOUBT THAT THE SUN DOTH MOVE. DOUBT TRUTH TO BE A LIAR. BUT NEVER DOUBT I LOVE." lay just out of reach; a little farther, perhaps, than the great oceans or the highest mountain peaks. The sun was more familiar, its presence more intimate: the brightest of lights; the giver of life. Everyone knew that it rose in the east and set in the west, but they also knew the subtle variation in that pattern

over the course of a year: In the winter, the sun makes only a low arc across the southern sky, while summer brings longer days in which the sun takes a much higher path across the sky. The cycle repeats, with perfect dependability, year after year. A farmer had to know the sun’s movement—but so, too,

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did a playwright; for the action to be visible, one had to content with the harsh sunlight of midsummer as well as the long shadows of autumn and the all-too-early darkness of the winter months. Sophisticated stagecraft and spectacular costumes mean nothing if audience members have to squint to see them. As Peter Ackroyd writes, Shakespeare was “aware of the passage of time and of daylight across the open stage, so that he wrote shadowy scenes for the hour when the shadows begin to deepen across London itself.” Stage directions calling for a character to enter “with a torch” or “with a light” tend to come in a play’s final act. (There is also some evidence that the Globe was constructed in

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alignment with the position of the rising sun on the summer solstice.) Of course, one might misread a signal: In Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers famously quibble over the signs of the coming dawn. A bird cries—but was it the lark, or the nightingale? “Night’s candles are burnt out,” Romeo declares, “and jocund day/Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.” Juliet has heard and seen the same signals, but her wishful thinking interprets them quite differently: “Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I: / It is some meteor that the sun exhales.” (The physics of meteors was not yet understood; a common guess was that they were vapors “exhaled” by the earth under the sun’s influence.) Eventually, Romeo gives in: if Juliet says it is night, so be it: I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye, ‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow. Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat The vaulty heaven so high above our heads. (3.5.19-22) From The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe by Dan Falk, Thomas Dunne Books, thomasdunnebooks.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


The book traces a Hungarian family through three generations, linking their lives to the everchanging historical events of the country through the troubled 20th century. The focus is on the courage of the women in the family when confronted with problems beyond individual control, be it the Great War, WWII, or a bloody revolt against the terror-driven Communist regime.

Degrees

BY SHARI VESTER

A

s a young woman, the author fled her native Hungary in 1956 after the defeat of a patriotic nationwide uprising against the country’s totalitarian Soviet-dictated regime. She was granted asylum in the United States to begin a new life free of oppression. Recently retired, she finally found time to write. This is her first novel, which clearly reflects her admiration for her adopted country and everything it stands for. She lives near Palm Springs, California, with her husband, Roger.

WWW.SHARIVESTER.COM Available in print and Kindle at Amazon and in print at Barnes and Noble.


short story

stars

Dzanc Books | dzancbooks.org

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Shelf Unbound: What’s a typical starting point for you in writing a story, for example the sisters who think their older brother keeps a girl tied up in the woods in “Rope”? Joshua Harmon: My stories typically begin with an image or incident (drawn from life or imagined) or sometimes a phrase. “Rope,” however, began more with the memories of “the woods” at the edges of the city neighborhood where I grew up: thin rinds of trees separating the houses on one street from the houses on another, a place where adults—at least, responsible adults—rarely went, but where we kids retreated all the time, even though (or because) there was something slightly creepy about the woods. Also, years ago, a young girl knocked on the door of my apartment and mumbled something about looking for a missing bicycle, and that too has always stuck with me. Shelf Unbound: How do you develop your characters, such as the woodcarver waiting for his wife to come to him in “The Fisherman and His Wife?” Harmon: Is it a cop-out to say that my characters often surprise me with their actions, just like Flannery O’Connor’s did to her? I doubt this is because my characters are as well-drawn as hers; they aren’t. In the case of the narrator in that story, I was interested in the fairy tale of the same title, of course, and its concerns with dissatisfaction and unfulfilled (or unfulfillable) desire: like the wife, I wanted to be elsewhere during the time I wrote this story—that is, I too felt marooned on a small, inhospitable island; like the husband, I understand stubbornness. At a certain point as I was writing, I realized what a woodcarver would do with those pine trees, if the person they were planted for was long gone. Shelf Unbound: Do you have a favorite story in this book, and if so which one and why? Harmon: I like all of these stories for different reasons, but if I had to choose a favorite, I might pick the title story, because it’s the oldest in the book, and because it pointed me in a certain direction as a writer.

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short story

stars

Shelf Unbound: How do you find the entry point for your short stories, such as the first line of “History of Cold Seasons”: “Where we live: brown weeds lifting from unbroken snow, blown snow rising like smoke.” Harmon: In New England, on really cold days in January or February, winds will lift fresh, light snow off the edge of a peaked roof and swirl it up into the air. Put that next to a chimney breathing white woodsmoke, and me in a car waiting at a traffic light, and there you go. The entry point for most of my writing simply involves observing the world as it happens.   Shelf Unbound: What appeals to you in writing short stories? Harmon: I get bored, as a writer, which is part of the reason I started writing poetry and nonfiction years ago. Stories feel long enough to explore something interesting and short enough for me not to get bored in the process of writing them. I’ve never been particularly interested in plot as such (I’m always amazed by writers who can stack up events on events and give them the air of inevitability: I don’t have this talent, and probably never will), so brevity allows me to focus more on those aspects of writing I do find interesting. Shelf Unbound: If you were teaching a course on short story writing, what is the primary piece of advice you would offer? Harmon: I do teach courses on short story writing, and my students are probably really tired of my emphasis on concrete details, or of the way I circle instances of the verb “to be” when it starts appearing too often in their work. But most importantly I ask them to have faith in their readers, and to resist the urge to explain. Shelf Unbound: Any books you’re looking forward to in 2015? Harmon: Some of the books in my to-be-read pile at the moment include Allison Titus’s The Arsonist’s Song Has Nothing to Do with Fire, Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd, Jonathan Crary’s 24/7, Alice Echols’s Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture, Kristin Hersh’s Rat Girl, and Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

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Approaching Twi-Night By M. Thomas Apple

J

ourneyman relief pitcher Jonathan “Ditch” Klein is all set to be a replacement player as the 1995 baseball season begins, but instead finds himself once again relegated to a lower level of the minor leagues. Desperate not to fail again, struggling with an overbearing manager, squabbling teammates, and family problems, Klein confronts his own sense of worth as a player and burdgeoning sportswriter. In the twilight of his career, there lies one final challenge…if he can find it.

“This is baseball as personal quest, without an emphasis on glamour or personal wealth.” — IndieReader “An overall solid effort...worth sticking around for the last pitch.” — Kirkus Reviews “…the story of this pitcher and his teammates totally drew me in; it was just so compelling and real…” — Readers’ Favorite “ Approaching Twi-Night isn’t just a fine literary baseball novel, it’s a lyrically rich novel about life, work, and family by a writer in command of his craft.” — Self-Publishing Review

www.mthomasapple.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Alibris, and Abe Books. UNBOUND

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short story

stars

McSweeney’s | mcsweeneys.net

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Shelf Unbound: What’s a typical starting point for you in writing a story, for example the boy coming of age in the title story, with typewriter and computer metaphors throughout? Alejandro Zambra: I think that literary genres are like shirts you can put on, but they always feel a little uncomfortable. In a certain way, writing is reaching the point where that shirt takes on the shape of your body. I never think to myself, “I’m going to write a story,” or a novel or a poem. I just take note of the images that interest me, and then I start to “observe” them, to try to penetrate into the secret that always appears when we look at things up close. More than methodical, I’m very obsessive. In the case of that story, the image came to my mind of my mother typing on the typewriter, very concentrated, using all her fingers. And the rest came from there, trying to situate that image, to focus on it. Now, after having written it, I can see that the whole story revolves around writing, especially the writing of those who don’t write literature, like my father and my mother. Shelf Unbound: How do you develop your characters, such as the man trying to quit smoking in “I Smoked Very Well”? Zambra: Oh, I’ve been that character who tries to quit smoking many times. Right now, for example, I’ve gone seventeen minutes without smoking. Shelf Unbound: Do you have a favorite story in this book, and if so which one and why? Zambra: Yes and no. It’s a question of affection, really. I couldn’t say which story is the best of the book; I’m the worst person to comment on that. I have a fondness for “Family Life,” but that’s because I remember the time when I was writing it—a horrible time, when the only good thing was to open that file and read it and add or take out some sentences. Or maybe it’s because lately I’ve been “rewriting” it—or tinkering with it— for the screenplay of the film of the same name, which we will be shooting soon with the directors Cristián Jiménez and Alicia Scherson. The story “True or False” also provokes that feeling of closeness in me. But all the stories are children I love.

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short story

stars

Originally there were twelve of them, but I wanted eleven, for a superstitious reason: I wanted eleven like Yates’ “Eleven Kinds,” and like Kafka’s “eleven sons.” Maybe the story I like the most is the one that was left out, but that later became Facsímil, the book that just came out in Spanish. Shelf Unbound: How do you find the entry point for your short stories, such as the first line of “Memories of a Personal Computer”: “It was bought on March 15, 2000, for four hundred thousand eight pesos, payable in thirty-six monthly installments.” Zambra: The image that gave birth to that story—an image that also appears in the story “My Documents”—was of someone warming their hands on a computer’s CPU to fight the cold. But when it became a story, that first sentence came to me immediately. Sorry, I’m bad with “how” questions. I’m more about trial and error, so it’s difficult to say precisely how I came to something; what I like is errancy. Shelf Unbound: A short story is like _______ Zambra: A shortcut you take without knowing where it leads. Shelf Unbound: What is the appeal for you of writing short stories? Zambra: Before this book, I had written stories only occasionally, and pretty few of them. I like to write books, that’s what I enjoy the most. And My Documents originated as a remembering of moments, of texts, but it changed along the way and in the end I wrote it as a book. Almost all the texts are, so to speak, simultaneous; I wrote them over the course of a year, basically. And they’re all half-siblings, step-brothers. They all share a mother, which is me. I’d say that what I like about stories is their extreme intensity, but I also look for that intensity in a novel or a poem. Shelf Unbound: If you were teaching a course on short story writing, what is the primary piece of advice you would offer? Zambra: That they not take the course, and instead invest that time reading Ana Blandiana, Kafka, Fogwill, Clarice Lispector and Hebe Uhart.

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JR CONWAY was born in Washington DC and raised on a Maryland farm. At the age of 18 he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He is a Vietnam era veteran with multiple tours as a helicopter pilot. Upon retiring, JR stepped out of one uniform into another and joined the El Paso County, Colorado Sheriff’s department. He owned a fixed base operation for a short time where he sold aircraft and taught people to fly. Not the best decision he ever made. JR moved from Colorado to Wyoming where he started, along with his wife Faride, a security and investigation company. 12 years after launching that venture, JR moved to New Mexico where he started another career as a business consultant and the manager of a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), at a community college, helping businesses do business with governments.

Author JR Conway has written a book called Greyhound Therapy, which is what this practice of dumping undesirables into neighboring countries is called. The novel follows a county sheriff with a jurisdiction along an interstate, which like an artery is pumping criminals and mentally ill strangers into his community. Undermanned and overwhelmed, the sheriff is faced with an exploding population, inadequate facilities and law enforcement from other counties all the while sending more difficulties his way. Having to solve a murder that occurred in his jail, a wife who has been diagnosed with cancer and a continuous flow of transients, the sheriff must use all his ingenuity and problem solving ability as he deals with crime, personal struggles in his own life and carrying out his responsibilities to care for the transients. This thrilling and touching novel shows that tragedy and adversity can bring people together in a common purpose of caring for what is truly important in our lives.


starred attractions

The Deep Zoo: Essays by Rikki Ducornet

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Coffee House Press coffeehousepress.org

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e are told that within the decade global warming will slap us silly, and that within forty years or so, one third of all living things will have perished irretrievably. A criminal lack of imagination is making of our fragile world a flatland. We are told that flat, like fear, is good for us, somehow suitable; fear and boredom fit us better, like those mass-produced and outgassing polyester that cover the nakedness of our presidents and latenight hosts and bankers with a doleful inevitability. But I will have none of it. And I decry the rise of plastic and the decline of fur; the confusion of capitalism and democracy; the tyranny of religion and the dereliction of moral vision; the lethally misguided notion that like suitable ideas, the creative impulse must know and keep its place; that art and literature, like trousers and radishes, are no more than commodities.

A world worth wanting cherishes the risks of wildness, and this includes not only the lavish elephants and meteoric crabs, but the stars we can no longer see; the whales hemorrhaging on our beaches, the serene mollusks and coral reaches; Gilgamesh as filmed by the Brothers Quay; the eroticized Martians imagined by Clarice Lispector; the Amazon’s poison frogs, the Sahara’s thick-coming locusts, the vociferous parrots; William Gass’s Omensetter; the worms in their legions and the yellow boas; [...] and, above all, the salutary tradition of a tusked and savage —and, need I say it: subversive storytelling in which the world is reinvented, reinvigorated, and restored to us in all its sprawling splendor, over and over again. Excerpt is reprinted by permission from The Deep Zoo (Coffee House Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Rikki Ducornet.


THE CANCER SOLUTION

Taking Charge of Your Life with Cancer by Jack C. Westman, M.D., M.S. The Cancer Solution: Taking Charge of Your Life with Cancer offers a usable handbook for cancer for both patients and health care professionals. Dr. Westman’s personal experience with cancer led him to extensively research the current state of cancer care. He found strategies and techniques outside of the mainstream cancer field that have shown promising results. His book empowers patients to take control of their life with cancer and to advocate for improving cancer research and treatment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Jack Westman is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is president of Wisconsin Cares, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization for families, and has been president of three professional organizations. He has written more than 150 professional publications and 12 books.

“This book should be read as a requirement for anyone diagnosed with cancer. It will serve as tremendous practical guide for cancer patients and their families.” —Thomas N. Seyfried, Professor of biology at Boston College and author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer.

“This book is a ‘must read” for every adult as cancer remains our greatest enemy. If you have experience with cancer, via a family member or friend, once you start reading this book, it will be hard to put down.” —Peter L. Pedersen, Professor of Biological Chemistry & Oncology, John Hopkins University

“Dr. Westman’s book is amazing, creative, innovative, different, stimulating and outstanding.” —Bharat B. Aggarwal, Professor of Cancer Research, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

www.jackwestman.com www.thecancersolution.net Available at


starred attractions

The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell

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Two Dollar Radio twodollarradio.com

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he hybrobus stopped right beside the river checkpoint, like Rauden said it will. The driver wore a mask. They generally check your Pass real good when you go out of state, but this guy didn’t even look—just took my bus coupon and off we go. I guess whatever bad thing someone from where I’m from could have, they already got it in New Jersey. I recognized the smell. Hygiene spray and smoke. It even stinks inside the bus. Outside, the regular stuff— barricades, caution tape. I think I saw some person look out a window at us, but that’s it. No one is on the street. Me, the driver, a couple passengers all the way in back, it’s like we are the only ones even alive out here. At least I’m out of Queens. Man! I am glad to be out of Queens.

We pass a bunch of houses burnt right to the ground. We got that in Queens too. I am glad to be on a trip. I never even been to this side of the river. I been to Pennsylvania. Once. Well, I think I been in Connecticut. But the van they took me in did not have windows. Pennsylvania was in a Dome. I did not see a single Dome here. Maybe they keep them in some other part of New Jersey. Here is just burnt houses and smoke. Then the smoke is gone. The houses are just empty. Then no houses. It is just a road, in Jersey, or I don’t know where. The road is in good shape. Snow is melting, and everything is wet. From The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell, Two Dollar Radio, twodollarradio.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


For purchase on

Readers of all ages and ethnic persuasions should find something to admire and/ or despise in this fast-paced, syncopated collection of funky poems with recondite themes, quirky rhythms and impressive illustrations” —William Danish Part sweet, part sorrow, part street—a poetry for today, as well as for tomorrow.” —Loretta Fortunate “The dirty secret of poetry is that it is loved by some, loathed by many, and bought by almost no one.” —William Logan


starred attractions

The Descartes Highlands by Eric Gamalinda

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Akashic Books akashicbooks.com

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other and I always sat out in the backyard whenever the moon was full. It seemed bigger and brighter in Westchester, where there was not much else to see. Among the dark patches of the moon were the peaks of the Descartes Highlands, where the Apollo 16 mission scooped samples of rock and soil. You could see the tracks left by the moon rover with a telescope. She told me they were left there in the year I was born. Man’s tracks on the moon, she said, were like my Bethlehem star. They were going to be visible for a million years, and a million years from now they would remind people that I was once on earth. I’m eight years old, and the school principal pulls me out of class one afternoon and says my mother has come to pick me up and take me home. Mother told them it was an emergency. They’re all nice to me, thinking someone died. My English

teacher slips a Hershey’s bar in my hands, nodding quietly as I accept her gift, tears welling in her eyes. Inside the car, Mother rolls the windows up, takes a deep breath, and tells me the truth: “Jordan, I am not your mother.” That’s when she begins telling me about the real Mr. Brezsky. “It was September, 1972. He was a very young man. He had no money. He sold you for thirty thousand dollars. Five months later, he wired the money back. Then he died. That was his story.” From then on she never stops talking about him. Now that she’s opened up the subject, it seems like everything is all right, and she’s never going to keep any secrets from me again. From The Descartes Highlands by Eric Gamalinda, Akashic Books, akashickbooks.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


Dadprovement by Patrick R. Riccards

Winner of 2015 Skygazer Literary Prize

www.dadprovement.com

Dadprovement is his raw and honest account of recognizing that he wasn’t the great father or husband he thought he was, that he had simply been going through the motions. Starting with the adoption of two children from Guatemala, Riccards writes of the vast obstacles faced in the international adoption process, the challenges of building a family, and the rollercoaster ride that follows as one tries to balance career and home life. Part adoption story, part career memoir, and a complete telling of one man’s path to personal and professional redemption, Dadprovement details some of the difficult truths to inspire and help other parents wrestling with how to live up to society’s expectations when it comes to career and family.

“Adopting our children was only the first step in understanding my true responsibility to them. Fatherhood wasn’t about the professional job I held. And it certainly wasn’t a pass/ fail class where you got the gold star and didn’t need to worry about it anymore. This journey has helped me see that I am just at the start of fatherhood. I still have much to do, much to learn, and much to improve.”


starred attractions

Broken Homes & Gardens by Rebecca Kelley

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Blank Slate Press blankslatepress.com

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oanna took a breath and dialed her mom’s number. “Joanna!” her mother screeched into the phone. The barrage of questions began: What happened? Why did you leave? What did the Czechs do to you? Why Portland? What are you going to do now? What were you thinking? Joanna couldn’t explain any of it. “I don’t know, Mom, okay? You know they say how going abroad changes your whole perspective? How you’ll have the time of your life and never be the same? Well … I didn’t. I wasn’t out there living it up. I was sitting inside my apartment watching American television dubbed over in Czech. Nothing really happened. I just decided to visit Laura for a while.” This was not the picture she’d painted earlier. She’d written home about how amazing everything was—the church made of bones, the crispy potato pancakes she bought from street carts, the

delightful children eager to learn how to conjugate English verbs. The reality of Joanna’s work experience abroad was something else entirely. The g ymnázium where she worked was somewhere in the middle of Moravia, hours away from Prague. She taught herself conversational English in the mornings and had most afternoons to herself. At the end of every day, she crossed off the square on the wall calendar, like a prisoner. The highlight of each week was going to the village’s tiny grocery store and choosing one of the five waxy, yellow peppers available. She taught Czech expressions she would never have the opportunity to use: Jak se jmenutete? Dáte si nĕco k pitĕ? Miluju tĕ! What’s your name? Would you like a drink? I love you! From Broken Homes & Gardens by Rebecca Kelley, Blank Slate Press, blankslatepress.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


THE

ROBUSTA

INCIDENT JENNIFER FALES

“ A unique take on the horror of a zombie apocalypse. The plot is somewhere between Mary Shelly and Mel Brooks.” —5-stars says IndieReader “A novel packed with humor and absurd plot twists that satirizes corporate scientists and soulless management. This book will appeal to anyone who’s ever endured petty bureaucracy.” —Kirkus Review

The Robusta Incident. Because office culture was just dying to be parodied and nothing says zombie apocalypse quite like a good cup of coffee: When Howard Danishefsky, a chemist at a soulless international coffee conglomerate, is pushed beyond his limits one time too many by mindless corporate culture and his boss and ex-lover, the tight skirted Office Mussolini Melinda Carpenter, he decides it’s finally time to live up to a lifelong evil genius complex. What better way to do it, than by adding a very special ingredient to the Robusta Corporation coffee he’s been given carte blanche to develop, and placing the stuff into every machine in the building? As higher powers including a voodoo queen with some serious mojo reveal themselves and his office zombie coworkers prove to be more of a problem than he’d anticipated, he begins to wonder: Can a man who doesn’t listen to his own dear, dead mother survive the fruits of his nefarious labor, or will it be curtains for Howard Danishefsky?

“It’s both a revenge fantasy and a worst nightmare for cubicle workers, and it rocks.” —Foreword Clarion Review “There are many layers to this black comedy and readers who enjoy satire, parody and dark humor will love it.” —5-stars says Readers’ Favorite


starred attractions

Alphabetical by Michael Rosen “e is for e. e. cummings�

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Counterpoint Press counterpointpress.com

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n about 1960, my father showed me some poems by e. e. cummings. (Note: not E. E. Cummings.) For a while, I felt dislocated, at a loose end. The point about our conventions of print is that they tell you where you are, without telling you. That simple little duo, the full stop and capital letter, not only tells us of initials, abbreviations and the beginning and end of sentences. Since their invention, they have been part of how we have invented continuous prose. In the history of writing as a whole, they are relative newcomers and their arrival was slow and inconsistent. Using capital letters to begin things started out as early as the fourth century where they were used at the start of a page. Take a look at the illuminated manuscripts in the great national libraries and you’ll see that

the scribes must have taken many hours creating these staggeringly ornate openers. By the fourteenth century, many scribes were using capitals to begin sentences, so by the time printing began with Johannes Gutenberg in Germany in the early 1450s, this was the convention that he was used to. He seems to have overreached himself a little though. On this first go, his plan was to typeset everything except the capital letters, leaving a gap for them to be added on the second run-through. Having used black ink the first time around, he now fixed the capitals in the frame, changed the ink to red and ran the sheet through for a second time. After a few goes at it, he decided to jack it in and do the capitals by hand. From Alphabetical by Michael Rosen, Counterpoint Press, counterpointpress.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


Available at

and


gallery

the art of our stars Zenith Press quaysidepub.com

The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller forewords by Carolyn Porce and Dan Durda

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efore the publication of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Around the Moon (1869), literary journeys to the moon and planets were almost exclusively limited to allegory, fantasy or satire. Two things were needed to change fantasy into reality. First, there needed to be solid, scientific knowledge about the actual conditions that existed beyond the earth’s atmosphere and on the moon and other planets. Second, there needed to be a realistic means of leaving the earth.

Today’s space artists are able to work with photographs and information gathered firsthand by space probes, orbiters, landers, and rovers—and in levels of detail that would have astonished the space artists of even half a century ago. Yet these artists fulfill the same functions as those of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They instruct, they inspire, and they amaze—while at the same time creating a visual record, frozen in time, of what humans knew of the universe, and their aspirations for the future.

Text images from The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller, Zenith Press, quaysidepub.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. 62

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UNBOUND

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JOHN BERKEY


MARILYNN FLYNN

JOHN BERKEY After creating the covers for Ballantine Books’ STAR series in the 1970s, John Berkey’s work was in great demand for science-fiction book covers. This painting, End of the Run, is typical of the work he did. Berkey was eventually inducted into the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame, where he was called the most influential and innovative futurist artist of his time 64

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MARILYNN FLYNN In Shamshu Sojourn, a painting created in 2011, Marilynn Flynn depicts a pair of astronauts exploring the Shamshu region of Jupiter’s volcanic moon, Io. The scene was inspired by a visit to the “Devil’s Kitchen” area near Greybull, Wyoming, a geologic oddity that appeared as the alien planet Klendathu in the 1997 film Starship Troopers. DAVID A. HARDY

Harking back to the hollowedout asteroids of Frank R. Paul and James Cutter, David Hardy takes the idea to a new level. Instead of just providing a habitat, the asteroid is an interstellar spacecraft. Here we see it, light-years from home, having arrived finally at a distant earthlike world. LYNETTE COOK Growing Planets is one of a series of surrealistic paintings


DAVID A. HARDY

LYNETTE COOK

MICHELLE ROUCH UNBOUND

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LUCY WEST

by Lynette Cook that bring to mind the work of René Magritte. Here she not only plays upon the evolutionary process by which our solar system was created—she indulges in a nice pun as well. MICHELLE ROUCH Michelle Rouch turns the splashdown of an Apollo Command Module into a near-abstract design. A fine artist with a master’s degree 66

APRIL/MAY 2015

in engineering, Rouch has not just a special appreciation of the technology of space flight, but also the ability to depict it with skill and imagination. LUCY WEST Lucy West was inspired by M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky. Although the Great Nebula is easily visible through even a small telescope, it took the

Hubble Space Telescope to reveal its full grandeur. LYNETTE COOK Here Lynette Cook imagines the future exploration of HD168443c, a giant Jupiterlike planet orbiting a sunlike star. Like Jupiter, this planet probably has no solid surface on which a spacecraft could land, so the only way to explore it would be to drift among its towering clouds.


UNBOUND

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LYNETTE COOK


BOOK SHELF Heaven Has No Regrets by Tessa Shaffer

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o matter what they lost, cousins Faith and Makenzie would always have each other ... until sickness set in, and time became its own disease. Hear each girl’s survival from their own point of view as they tell their true life story of love and letting go while past meets present on a journey of healing without regrets. www.HeavenHasNoRegrets.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Stop Your F#cking Whining by Kevin Jiggetts

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s a decorated U.S. Marine combat veteran (Purple Heart recipient), author, Kevin Jiggetts, is an ongoing student of self-development. He offers the opposite of the usual ‘soft handed’ approach. By putting a mirror to the faces of whiners and complainers, he hopes that they might see and boldly face the convenient lies they’ve hidden and held them back. NOW ONLY HAPPENS ONCE! Website orders will be signed. www.StopYourFckingWhining.com Available at Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble. Roll the Dice by Ardell

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his poetry book is about love, lost, and life. There is a poem in here for both men and women. Ardell writes poetry that evokes emotions from within, touching on issues about family, masculinity and femininity in the black community. Deep meanings will feel your heart when you read Ardell’s poetry.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182. Available at Amazon, and Blackbookplus.com.


BOOK SHELF Quackers Wants to Fly by Susan Wolff

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uackers is a loveable duckling who has a wish: He wants to fly. He wants to be like the big ducks at the pond. Quackers asks his friends for help. Along the way, Quackers learns about patience and the power of never giving up. Join Quackers on his exciting journey. At the end, children will cheer and adults will smile. www.friendsatthepond.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and High Hill Press. Across The Pond by Michael McCormick

Icejacked by Adrian L. Hawkes

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limbers are missing in the Tyrolean Mountains. The climbers are located, having returned by a different route. The rescue team heads down the mountain, en route they discover a body

frozen in a slab of ice. This is a discovery of archaeological significance. Amazingly the body is found to have a pulse. Swiss PhD student Gerhardt Shynder goes from university life to take charge of the ancient Roman, Leddicus Palantina. A global adventure changes lives beyond recognition. www.adrianhawkes.co.uk Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, and Good Book shops.

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Across The Pond by Michael McCormick is the story of a young American who fights for his country during the war in Vietnam, only to be rejected when he comes home. The author based the story on his personal experience as an infantry squad leader who served in combat. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal.

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 $375/quarter page as seen here.

www.facebook.com/mikemccormick2100 Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kindle.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.

Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.


BOOK SHELF The White Mouse by Jack DuArte

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he Gestapo called Nancy Wake Fiocca the White Mouse. The Australian woman set up escape networks from France during WWII. After fleeing to England, Fiocca joins the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and returns to occupied France around the time of the Normandy invasion in 1944. With the aid of a number of Maquis units in the Auvergne, TWM harasses and delays German reinforcements. The White Mouse is the fifth installment of Jack DuArte’s World War II Series. www.jackduarte.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. A Flight Without Wings by Brian A. McLaughlin

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ou have just been in a horrible accident and have been to, and seen places and things that you’ve never even imagined before. You ask yourself; Do I dare tell ANYONE? Am I supposed to tell EVERYONE ? Every word in this account is based on truth, written in a way that captures your attention and gives you something to comfortably relate to. It’s a quick “must read”. www.brianmclaughlinbooks.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Healing by His Spirit by Geraldine D. Bryant

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ealing by his Spirit is based on a true story which spans a period of more than forty years. It depicts the chain of events that befell a young woman faced with adversity. It is a heartfelt, emotional story of faith, trust, belief and the miracles God performed in her life which led her to her ultimate sacrifice and redemption. www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0E22CMNU Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xulon Press.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.


BOOK SHELF Blood and Freedom by Gordon Greenwood

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cNeill the sniper is on his way home but a horrific terrorist attack claims everything he holds dear. Plunged into the midst of the CroatSerb conflict, he is thrown together with Alina, daughter of the crooked General Tomelsky. What transpires is a roller coaster ride of thrills and suspense in their bid to escape.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182. Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. A Hard Decision by Westley Thomas

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illiam and Zera, childhood sweethearts, got married after high school. William went off to fight in Vietnam. Torn apart by the war, their lives were changed forever. News came of William’s death. Nothing could repair Zera’s pain, but time seems to heal all wounds. She met Steve and they were married. One day there was a phone call and a visit. When Zera opened the door, William was standing there. Available at AuthorHouse, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Otter and Arthur and the Sword in the Stone by Dave Whitaker

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ollow a mouse nicknamed Otter who soars over a castle on the back of a falcon, practices jousting with a squirrel as his horse, rummages through Merlin’s spell books, and storms the corridors of Camelot with a cat and dozens of knights chasing him. Most importantly, Otter befriends a boy named Arthur and helps him become literature’s most celebrated king. www.otterandarthur.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


BOOK SHELF Everyday Mercies by Evie Yoder Miller “Thoroughly entertaining” —Midwest Book Review

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n unsentimental, insider’s look at the clashes and connections of four generations of women coming from AmishMennonite roots. Ripples of change and surprise break through when a young woman wants to raise organic vegetables on her parents’ dairy farm. “Miller does an excellent job of showcasing the complicated motivations of these different characters.” —Kirkus Reviews www.evieyodermiller.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. The Vampire Girl Next Door by Richard Arbib

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ark falls in love with Sylvia, the beautiful, but quirky girl next door, not realizing that she’s a vampire who killed his last neighbor. When Mark first meets Sylvia, he tells her, “You’re the girl of my dreams!” Sylvia smiles and responds with a warning—“Be careful what you wish for.” “The Vampire Girl Next Door is a choice pick for one looking for a romance with a supernatural twist, highly recommended.” —John Burroughs, Midwest Book Review www.thevampiregirlnextdoor.com

Available at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Paperback and all e-book formats available on author’s website.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182. The Alibi Store by James J. Isaacs

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n May, 1965, Johnny Bidler helps set up booths for a carnival at his local fairgrounds. The last man for whom he works, Max Thompson, asks him to work as an agent in his milk-bottle joint. During the week, Max convinces him he’ll make all the college money he needs working the game through the summer. Johnny accepts Max’s offer.

www.jamesjisaacs.com Available at Amazon.


BOOK SHELF Fantastik by C.A. McGroarty Destiny...Charlie Boone’s will be found on a cross country trip with a complete stranger, but why? Jake Mott, an ex-con convicted of murder, and Charlie Boone, a city bus driver, are complete strangers; however when their worlds collide, both of their lives are forever changed. Together they embark on an epic journey, but only one will live to tell about it. “A well-told story of destiny and redemption set against a distinctly American backdrop.” —Kirkus Reviews www.camcgroarty.com Available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. She’s Not Herself by Linda Appleman Shapiro

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oung Linda grew up in the iconic community of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, in the 1950s. Unfortunately, her mother was depressed, often manic, and sometimes violent. As Linda’s father put it, “Your mother…she’s not herself.” Years later, as an adult psychotherapist, Linda looks back in an effort to make sense of multi-generational traumas. “An honest and compelling story by a brave and gifted writer.”

—Wally Lamb

www.dreamofthings.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Life in a Jar The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

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he true story of a Holocaust hero who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto, but whose heroism was forgotten. Sixty years later, three Kansas teenagers, each carrying her own burden, “rescue the rescuer” and elevate Irena Sendler to an international hero, championing tolerance and respect for all people. 2014 Shelf Unbound Notable Book │ 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Award – Gold Medal - Education │ 2014 Benjamin Franklin Digital Award – Silver Honoree │ 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award - Biography │ 2011 Kansas Notable Book Award │ 2011 da Vinci Eye (Eric Hoffer Book Award)

www.longtrailpress.com

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.


BOOK SHELF THE 66 DEGREE CONSPIRACY

Black Ice: The 66 Degree Conspiracy by Max Morgan

n international conspiracy to gain control over vast Arctic oil and gas resources touches close to home in this riveting spy thriller. M A X M O R G A N As an intelligence officer with the Norwegian Police Security Service, Magnus Ose enjoys both personal and professional success. But as Magnus uncovers an elaborate network of spies and double agents stretching across the globe, the web of lies he’s trying to penetrate might have already infiltrated his work…and even his own family.

o you want to protect your future child’s health? Autism and ADHD rates are skyrocketing. This should be of great concern to anyone planning to have a child today. From reviewing hundreds of research studies of risk factors and years of successfully treating children with autism and ADHD, Dr. Debby Hamilton has developed a comprehensive plan for preventing autism and ADHD.

FACEBOOK LINK Available at Amazon.

www.holisticpediatric.com Available at Amazon.

A NOVEL

MAX MORGAN

A

Preventing Autism & ADHD by Dr. Debby Hamilton, MD, MSPH

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Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.

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The Sweetness by Sande Boritz Berger

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arly in The Sweetness, an inquisitive young girl asks her grandmother why she is carrying nothing but a jug of sliced lemons and water when they are forced by the Germans to evacuate their ghetto. “Something sour to remind me of the sweetness,” she tells her, setting the theme for what they must remember to survive. Set during World War II, the novel is the parallel tale of two Jewish girls, cousins, living on separate continents, whose strikingly different lives promise to converge. www.sandeboritzberger.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.


BOOK SHELF Ghost Mothers: Healing From the Pain of a Mother Who Wasn’t Really There by Kathryn Rudlin, LCSW HAVE YOU TRIED TO HUG A GHOST? YOU END UP HUGGING YOURSELF… If you had a difficult childhood and can’t move past it, this book provides a blueprint for how to do so. If you experience nagging feelings of discontent, but are unable to identify the core cause, this book will help you to understand and heal. www.ghostmothers.com www.facebook.com/ghostmothers Available at Amazon. Stepping Up To the Plate: A Family Affected by Alcoholism & Kept in the Game by Faith by Cindy Ruth Stuve

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family deeply affected by generations of alcoholism. The story holds the power to speak to family members of alcoholics and help them find courage, faith and strength to step up to the plate in their own lives. Learn ways to accept what you can and cannot change to gain the serenity of God as your most valuable player. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Authorhouse.

At the Crossroad by Olfet Agrama

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t the Crossroad is a fiction book filled with adventure, romance, joy and tragedy. Set in the steamy, smoldering Middle East during the 1950s and 1960s, four young people are vividly portrayed as their lives are intertwined by the political events occurring during this time. Their individual upbringing, ideals and cultural perspectives weave an unforgettable narrative of love and sacrifice. www.olfetagrama.com Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris.

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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 $375/quarter page as seen here. Contact publisher Margaret Brown to reserve your space.

Margaret@shelfmediagroup.com 214.704.4182.


Kindling
 by Jake Kerr

I my self-publishing journey

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t’s the question I am asked the most: “Why are you self-publishing?” One of the reasons I’m asked the question is that the road to a traditional publishing contract and agent representation is open to me. Of course there are no guarantees, but after being nominated for two of the most respected awards in fantasy and science fiction, the interest is definitely there. And for many writers, turning your back on that path makes no sense. But I did it, and I’m glad that I did. So the question, again, is—why? Well, there are a lot of reasons, from freedom to create and guide my career to the entrepreneurial assessment of greater reward against greater risk. Still, it is one thing to exchange the emails with New York publishers and agents, talk to your friends and family, assess the landscape, and then decide to self-publish. It is another thing entirely to actually go out and get it done. This series of essays will be about my journey to go out and get it done. As I write this, I’m still in the building stages, and the future is unclear. So this journey will be one that we both take together. At the end, I may not achieve anything like success, but we’ll both learn a lot in the process. So far I’ve written the first novel in my series, Tommy Black and the Staff of Light, and revised it through critique sessions, a development edit, and a line edit. I have friends who share critiques, and my wife is a talented line editor, so this step cost me nothing. With a finished document, I then created the print and ebook editions. I hired M.S. Corley to do the cover of both the ebook and paperbook. This was a significant but reasonable expense. I designed the ebook edition in Scrivener, and the paperback in Adobe Indesign, using a custom font I purchased. The paperback interior took


From Author

DAVID GRACE

DEATH

NEVER LIES

The federal bureaucrat charged with stopping the importation of dangerous materials vanishes only days before approving a new list of prohibited substances. Homicide detective turned Homeland Security Agent Greg Kane suspects that the HHS employee may have been killed to keep the new list from going into effect, but he has no idea who’s behind the crime, which chemical they are so desperate to import, and what they plan to do with it once they’ve gotten their hands on it. David Grace is the author of fifteen novels, two collections of crime short stories and five collections of Science Fiction Short Stories. Brief summaries of each of these volumes are contained on this site as well as links to E-Book sellers who sell these works as downloadable electronic books. Books are available in formats for Kindle, iPhone, Nook, iPad and other readers.

www.DavidGraceAuthor.com

Available at:

David Grace is the author of The Concrete Kiss, a Shelf Unbound Notable Indie Book for 2013


about Jake Kerr

After fifteen years as a music industry journalist Jake Kerr’s first published story, “The Old Equations,” was nominated for the Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America and was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon and StorySouth Million Writers awards. His stories have subsequently been published in magazines across the world, broadcast in multiple podcasts, and been published in multiple anthologies and year’s best collections. Tommy Black and the Staff of Light is his first novel, and is the first volume of the Tommy Black series. tommyblackseries.com.

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a long time to design, but I love the final look. So the only cost here was the font, which was a bit more than one hundred dollars, and the software costs. For paperback distribution, I decided on Createspace for Amazon, and IngramSpark everywhere else. This was purely a financial decision, as Ingram is better in non-Amazon markets. For the ebook I decided to go exclusive with Amazon for the first 90 days so I could take advantage of Kindle Unlimited and the holidays. I then used wix.com to create a series website for the books at www.tommyblackseries.com. I also updated my own website. And with those pieces I felt I had all of the core elements in place. All that is left is marketing. In the next issue I’ll give you a detailed overview of my marketing efforts, but for now let me leave you with my theory, which, perhaps depressingly, starts with luck. The concept of luck is often discussed in publishing circles. You hear it all the time: This best-selling author isn’t good; he or she’s lucky. If there is a kernel of truth in this (and I believe there is) then the primary goal of the self-publisher is to put him- or herself in as many positions to be lucky as possible. This is obviously extremely difficult, and it is harder when you are self-publishing, but it can be done. Which leads me to starting a fire. Have you ever seen someone try to start a fire with a flint? Luck is having the shavings catch fire because the spark lands in the right spot at the right time. There is no way to predict which stroke of the flint will catch. Despite the element of luck, you can still light a fire nearly every time through the persistence of creating as many sparks as possible. And this is the essence of my self-publishing journey that you will be reading this year: My attempt to use the flint to create a spark that will catch the fire. So far I have failed, and I will fail again, and again, and again. But I will keep working the flint in the hope that it will eventually catch fire. Pull out a stick and some marshmallows and join me.


JUNE/JULY 2012

BEACH READS

SURF, SUN AND

SUMMER

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SEPTEMBER 2010

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

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Poetry After 9/11

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Street Photographer

IRAQ THE RETURN OF STEPHEN STARK

GEEK MYTHOLOGY

OCTOBER 2010

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speed vegan

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portland, oregon slut lulla bies

FEBRUARY 2011

THE ART OF CHARCUTERIE

KATRINA

THE GREAT FITNESS EXPERIMENT

BEFORE (DURING) AFTER

how they were found

ULYSSES SEEN

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JOA N JETT

TAXI DRIVER

Kael Alford

MIGRATION

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sharon pomerantz

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PAM GRIER

the end of baseball

Essays on Madonna

DECEMBER 2010

RISING FROM

Detroit Disassembled

Laura Dern

RENAISSANCE READS

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TOWARDS ZERO ENERGY ARCHITECTURE

IDENTITY

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BOY SCOUT BOOKS

Portlandia’s Indie Bookstore

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Orange Prize Finalist Kathleen Winter 68

Novel ties Literary Tattoos

Ed Ruscha The L Life

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INSIDE

AUTO

MOBILE

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máze MERIT BADGES

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DECEMBER/JANUARY 2015

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DORTHE NORS ELVIRA DONES CARMEN BOULLOSA

SHELF UNBOUND WRITING COMPETITION

AWARD WINNERS

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create dangerously THE WARBLER ROAD

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Chanel, Astaire, Lindbergh, and other Twenties somethings

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dystopian fangirl Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer

“Even in the future the story begins with ‘Once Upon A Time’.”

What to read next in YA dystopian fiction? Our intrepid fangirl Sarah Kloth reviews some of her favorites.

A futuristic spin on the classic Cinderella story. Don’t be thrown off if the Disney princess stories are not your kind of read. Cinder is a brilliant retelling of the traditional princess fairy tale with the perfect combination of adventure, twists, and survival...and Cyborgs and Androids. Cinder, a cyborg stepdaughter and brilliant mechanic, is trapped in a life of servitude to her guardian and two stepsisters. Living in a world where a plague is running rampant throughout Earth, Cinder soon discovers a secret and is set on a life-changing mission to save the planet. You are bound to figure out the ‘plot twist’ early on, but let me tell you...if you only knew. Cinder is a character you will instantly fall in love with, cheering for her and her android companion at every turn along the way.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.” An epic battle for young love. The Selection is set in a world where society is divided into different castes from 1 (royalty) to 8 (servants). America, a 5, has her life figured out. She is in love with a boy from 6 and everything couldn’t be more perfect, until she is drafted for the Selection. 80

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COMPETITION DEADLINE

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June 1, 2015

FOR BEST INDEPENDENTLY PUBLISHED ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK Foreground art magazine announces the Foreground Competition for Best Independently Published Art or Photography Book, sponsored by Blurb. Any independently published/ self-published art or photography book is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $40 per book. The winning entry will be selected by the editors of Foreground magazine.

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Now America must choose between two paths: Stay with the boy from home where everything is familiar and comforting or leave everything, including her entire way of life, to start a new life in a place where she is slowly becoming attached to a boy who is nothing she expected him to be. The Selection is a perfect mix of a dystopian world and classic romance—the perfect read for both girly-girls and tomboys alike.

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman

“AWOL’s most valuable commodity: hope. It’s something in short supply for those who have been deemed worth the sum of their parts.” The unexpected curveball, highly anticipated fourth and final chapter of the Unwind “Dystology” by Neal Shusterman. From the very beginning all the way to the last words, Shusterman devours your attention, taking you on a mind-numbing adventure of physical and mental survival against scientific advancements, government operations, and human nature. When the world and even your family have given up on you, you must decide to save yourself. “Would you rather die, or be unwound?” Shusterman has created the rare, perfect ending to an even more amazing series. The Unwind Series is a gamechanger in the dystopian market. A redeemer for the dystopian non-believer. Pure ecstasy for the dystopian series fanatic. Simply brilliant. I will never stop recommending this series. —Sarah Kloth 82

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COOL READS FOR KIDS.

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indie author

Joel L.A. Peterson Dreams of My Mothers: A Story of Love Transcendent dreamsofmymothers.com Shelf Unbound: Tell us about the two mothers in this novel. Joel L.A. Peterson: I wrote Dreams of My Mothers to tell a remarkable story of the journey of two women—mothers—from the polar opposites of life; to share the story of their courage, sacrifice, and dreams. I have been privileged to bear witness to the lives of these amazing women, as well as some very unique circumstances and experiences, at extreme ends of the human condition and at the margins of the American saga. One mother is a young, destitute peasant woman in the 1960s who is struggling to raise her illegitimate infant, the son of an American GI, in an under-developed South Korea, barely recovering from a brutal civil war. She struggles with her pain from the abandonment by her son’s father and the shame of her poverty-driven prostitution.  Her infant son nearly loses his 84

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life in a tragic, horrific accident, making him not only illegitimate, poor, and foreign, but also crippled and disfigured—all the more ostracized and without hope. She wonders what future can there be for her and her son—a desperate, marginalized woman and a stateless, fatherless, racially mixed, crippled boy. In America, a different young mother—a classic blonde-haired and blue-eyed Midwestern All-American— gives birth prematurely to a son, with tragic results, leaving her soul and her faith shattered—and questioning all her beliefs. Years later, despite having four beautiful children of her own, she has never forgotten her lost son and is still silently dealing with her pain and anger at her God until she reads an appeal in a magazine article: a call to those who have love enough to save children—from the other side of the planet—who are without a future and without hope. In the tragedies and triumphs of two mothers from the opposite ends of the world is born a dream and a destiny that must overcome prejudice, racism, ignorance, and individual limitations. This novel is the ultimate story of identity, race, and family, bound up within the dreams, redemption, and love of two women.


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indie author Shelf Unbound: The boy in the story is marginalized in a number of ways—he is biracial, he has physical disabilities. What about him enabled him to persevere? Peterson: The boy inherited a resilience from his birthmother and felt duty bound to succeed so that her sacrifice of giving him up would not be for nothing. And he never doubted the love that his birth mother had for him. He further benefited from the example and lessons that his adoptive parents set for him and passed on to him. Knowing too intimately well the depravation of the destitute, the powerless, and the impoverished, he fully appreciated the richness, blessings, and opportunity that his American family and society offered and worked to maximize every opportunity and open door. Add to that a Godgiven gift of intelligence and curiosity and an unwillingness to hate those who perpetuated ignorance and bigotry. Shelf Unbound: This novel is partially based on your own life story. Why did you choose fiction over autobiography? Peterson: We all have lives that are fascinating and interesting to ourselves, but very few of us have lives that interest others. My life story is 86

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probably no exception, but for having a few rare events and experiences that most others may not have. So I used these rare events and situations to create the stage for a story that we all may be engaged by and find fascinating. We all have mothers, but few of us ever truly get to know them or understand them as the human person they are. Instead we too often only know them as the institution of “Mom.” I wanted to write a story that would allow the reader to get to know intimately two women who were mothers but also extraordinary humans—who had flaws and weaknesses, but nonetheless rose to successfully meet the highest challenges of their souls. I could not have created this story of these women in a way that would be most compelling and relatable if written as an autobiography. I would instead have been guilty of the hubris to think that, owing to some particular events and circumstances of my life, a wide audience would find it engaging or inspirational. It is the story of the journeys of two women and their paths through tragedy, redemption, and triumph that appears to resonate with readers and offer a broader, more universal message of hope and inspiration.


What we eat is killing us. The Perfect Food

The electrifying new novel from John Crawley A young man in Hebron, Nebraska mysteriously dies. Then another. And still another. Soon hundreds and then thousands are dying. And doctors do not know what is causing the epidemic, until one young research scientist becomes a whistle blower. His discovery threatens the entire food industry, the White House and even the halls of Congress.

The Perfect Food is about the ability of a very few individuals to buy their way to justice–to power and to opt out of accountability. It is what happens when we allow our government to be run by the rich and powerful with little to no voice for the common person.

w w w.johncrawleybooks.com Available at Amazon.com, iBooks.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Lulu.com


poetry & photos by Leonard Nimoy

Photo of Leonard by Seth Kaye/Courtesy of R. Michelson Galleries. All other photos by Leonard Nimoy

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You and I have Learned by Leonard Nimoy You and I have learned The song of love, and we sing it well The song is ageless Passed on

Pictures of You by Leonard Nimoy

Heart to heart By those Who have seen What we see And known What we know And lovers who have Sung before Our love is ours To have And To share The miracle is this The more we share… The more We have

You’re surrounded by pictures of you. Here you are so young and handsome Here you are with a wife or two Here you are, so happy and then some Surrounded by pictures of you. Your walls are covered No more space Too bad, you’re such a pretty face And so adored Do you ever get bored Looking at pictures of you ? You’re hit with a spotlight from above Your fans are screaming words of love You’re always so busy Don’t you get dizzy Looking at pictures of you ?

From leonardnimoypoetry.com. All rights reserved.

UNBOUND

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on our shelf

OF FLEAS AND FLEADOM: A TALE OF TWO VERMIN

S

CHICKEN SOUP FOR BETTY BOOP: A BOOK OF FUNKY POEMS

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om Clements had me at the title, and his clever rhymes and turns of phrase continue throughout this book of poems covering science, religion, and women. Describing Betty Boop, for example: “The sister / Had such rotation in her hips / No flatland romeo / Could long resist her.” You could almost hear Sinatra putting these catchy gems to music; Clements actually namechecks Sinatra in a romp titled “Broads.” Smart and fun. —Ben Minton Chicken Soup for Betty Boop by Tom Clements, Hit ‘Em Up Publishing, tctutoring.net. 90

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ubtitled “The Life and Times of Finnigan T. Flea,” this graphic novel is a tale, written in rhyme, of a tiny flea. It follows Finnigan’s adventures and turns of fortune as he leaps from one host to the next. The story turns dark as Finnigan suffers abusive treatment by humans. Finnigan and the worlds he inhabits are beautifully and compellingly illustrated by Arianna Grinager. —Ben Minton Of Fleas and Fleadom: A Tale of Two Vermin by Lewis Goldstein with artwork by Arianna Grinager, Baable-On Productions. www.baable-onbooks.com www.lewisgoldsteinbooks.com

STORIES FOR MY SISTERS: A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES

W

hat began as taking writing prompts from her sorority sisters and turning them into short stories that she would email out to the group has turned into a collection of short stories. As with her previous collection of short stories and poems written in her youth, Journey to Julissa, Watkins writes with an eye for detail, creating memorable characters that stay with the reader long after closing the book. —Anna Nair Stories for My Sisters by Jan Watkins, janwatkinsbooks. com.


The Association of Independent Authors (AiA) is a global not-for-profit membership organization representing, advancing, supporting and encouraging self-published (independent) authors. Our membership spans five continents, with directors based in the USA, Asia, Australia and South Africa. The role of the AiA is to guide, educate, support, encourage and unite authors who have chosen to self-publish. Our Body of Knowledge (BoK) is a comprehensive resource on all aspects of selfpublishing and running a small business—today’s authors must understand the business side of publishing (sales, marketing, promotion, legal and financial issues) and how to sell a book in a global marketplace.

Our vision is that independent publishing will be the preferred, first choice, for all authors.

Our mission is to create a culture of excellence, teamwork and professionalism in a community environment where sharing and collaboration benefits each individual member and independent authors as a whole. Annual membership subscription (Associate, Member) US$50. Affiliate level is free. Come join us! (Mention promo code SHELF to receive an additional three months membership for the annual subscription of US$50.)

www.independent-authors.org


small press reviews Broken Record Nostalgia: Stories by Caleb Michael Sarvis

T

benchpointsblog.com

he opening story of Broken Record Nostalgia reads like something out of Raymond Carver—or something Carver might have written if he’d been a twenty-something writer applying his craft in the twenty-somethingth century. It’s called “Click Click Harvey,” and it follows the adventures (or lack thereof) of three roommates who track down the man who sideswiped the car that belongs to one of them. Some mayhem ensues but, as is frequently the case in Carver’s no-frills fiction, what’s really front and center is the broken world in which the characters live: cars drive by, televisions churn out hours and hours of meaningless drivel, women and men struggle halfheartedly to understand each other, and a lot of drinking takes place. Many of the stories in the collection center on a character named Marcus, whose brother Noah’s suicide has left a hole in the center of his life. Early in the collection, in a story titled “Thoreau in a Phone Booth,” Marcus contemplates committing suicide himself, much to the dismay of Noah’s one-time girlfriend, Arella, who spends a phantasmagorical night trying to keep the seemingly inevitable from happening. Through it all, characters come and go, drifting beyond the boundaries of their own stories to appear in the margins of others, always searching for meaning, always coming up short. Indeed, if there is any meaning to be found in the chaos of life, Sarvis insists throughout Broken Record Nostalgia, it’s meaning we create from the scattered pieces of our lives. —Marc Schuster, www.smallpressreviews.wordpress.com Shelf Unbound Contributing Editor 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, Pennsylvania.

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Self-publishing made simple— with the partner that puts authors first We know how hard it is to take a book all the way from an idea in your mind to a finished product in your readers’ hands. Which is why we believe you should have access to free world-class design tools that make book creation and design accessible to everyone. We think you should be able to publish a print and ebook at the same time, from the same file. And we believe you deserve to have a choice of global distribution options—including one that lets you keep every net dollar you earn.

Make your next book with a partner that puts authors first. Make it with Blurb. blurb.com


STARSTRUCK

Not just beautiful, though—the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. —from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

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april/may TONY DANIEL is the author of five science fiction books, the latest of which is Guardian of Night, as well as an award-winning short story collection, The Robot’s Twilight Companion. He is a Hugo finalist for his story “Life on the Moon,” which also won the Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award.

contributors

Oregon College of Arts and Crafts. Kelley received her Masters of Arts in Writing from Portland State University and is fluent in German. She lives  in Portland, OR with her family.

CAROLA DIBBELL’s short stories have appeared in the Paris Review, The New Yorker, Fence, and Black Clock and her rock criticism, profiles, and reviews of books, films, and children’s media mostly in the Village Voice.

SANDRA NEWMAN is co-author of How Not To Write A Novel. She is the author of the novels The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done and Cake, as well as the forthcoming memoir Changeling. She has taught writing and literature at Temple University, Chapman University, and the University of Colorado.

RIKKI DUCORNET is the author of nine novels, three collections of short fiction, two books of essays and five books of poetry. She has received both a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award For Fiction. She has received the Bard College Arts and Letters award and, in 2008, an Academy Award in Literature. Her work is widely published abroad.

LAURA PRITCHETT is an American author and conservationist whose work is rooted in the American West, particularly the mountains of Colorado. She is the author of the novels Stars Go Blue, Sky Bridge (winner of the WILLA Fiction Award), and Hell’s Bottom, Colorado (winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the PEN USA Award), and has two novels forthcoming from Counterpoint Press.

DAN FALK is a Canadian science journalist, broadcaster, and author. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, The Walrus, Cottage Life, SkyNews, Astronomy and New Scientist, and has contributed to the CBC radio programs Ideas, Quirks and Quarks, Tapestry and Spark.

MICHAEL ROSEN is a former Children’s Laureate and the bestselling author of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (which won the Smarties Best Book of the Year Award) and many other books. He has also presented Word of Mouth on BBC Radio 4 since 1998. He has a Phd in Education, been awarded five extra honorary doctorates by various universities and made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the French government.

ERIC GAMALINDA is a poet, a fictionist and an essayist. He got a Rockefeller Foundation residency in Bellagio, Italy. He participated in the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Programme for the 21st century. He currently works with the Center for Investigative Journalism. SARAH GERARD’s work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine’s “The Cut,” Paris Review Daily, Slice Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Bookforum, and other journals. She is the author of the chapbook Things I Told My Mother and a graduate of The New School’s MFA program for fiction. JOSHUA HARMON is the author of the essay collection The Annotated Mixtape; the novel Quinnehtukqut; the short story collection History of Cold Seasons; and the poetry collections Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie and Scape. He lives in western Massachusetts. REBECCA KELLEY is a published author and co-editor of The Economical Baby Guide (Stewart Taboori and Chang) and an adjunct professor of general studies at The

NEIL SHURLEY is a freelance writer based in Greenville, SC. His work ranges from promotional video scripts and original theatre pieces to numerous web and print articles on real estate, music, religion, finance, and more. He has also worked as a professional actor, musician, and woodworker. Find him on Twitter at @thatneilguy. ALEJANDRO ZAMBRA was named as one of Granta’s “Best Young Spanish-language Novelists.” He is the author of several novels, including Bonsai, which was made into a film, and Ways of Going Home. Shelf Unbound is published bimonthly by Shelf Media Group LLC, 3322 Greenview Drive, Garland, TX 75044. Copyright 2015 by Shelf Media Group LLC. Subscriptions are FREE, go to www.shelfmediagroup.com to subscribe.

what to read next in independent publishing

Shelf Unbound April/May 2015  

Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine features the best of small press and independently published books. In this issue: Sarah Gerard, Sa...

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