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JUNE / JULY 2019

J O N M CG R E G O R ' S

THE RESERVOIR TAPES J UL I A D I XO N E VAN ' S

HOW TO SET YOURSELF ON FIRE T H E CO U NT DOW N IS O N

MUST READS OF SUMMER

WHAT TO READ NEXT IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING


S H E LF OUR STORY

U N B O U N D

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

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Shelf Unbound Staff. PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF Sarah Kloth PARTNER, PUBLISHER Debra Pandak CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anna Trokan COPY EDITOR Molly Niklasch CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Megan Verway Sarah Grochowski Christian Brown D.L. Graser FINANCE MANAGER Jane Miller

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JUNE / JULY CONTENTS

I N TH IS

ISSUE

FEATURE SECTIONS 56 Summer Reads

The Must Reads of Summer Featuring: Joy: And 52 Other Very Short Stories, You Who Enter Here, Sea Monsters, If The Ice Had Held, Home Remedies, The Paper Wasp, Stolen Songs, The Cuban Comedy, and many more.

INTERVIEWS 10 The Reservoir Tapes

Interview with Jon McGregor

15 How To Set Yourself On Fire

Interview with Julia Dixon Evans

NEW TO SU! PG. 44

23 Bookstagram cityofdeja

32 Recommended Reading 47 Book Shelf COLUMNS 68 Book Moms

Megan Verway

71 Ellie's Kids Corner

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

89 Discoveries

72 Fit Lit

Christian Brown

86 From Within D.L. Graser

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Enter your book in Shelf Unbound’s Best Indie Book Competition! pg. 30


Lamb to the

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

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

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

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A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

Summer.

A Season to Catch-Up on Reading BY SARAH KLOTH, PUBLISHER

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis When I was a kid, summer meant books... well, and chore lists. Summers were filled with reading all kinds of books, even math and puzzle books. Every summer we would go to the bookstore weekly to get new books to

read—the Babysitters Club, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Ghostwriter, Goblins in the Castle, Among the Hidden. In fact, I distinctly remember laying on the steps upside down one afternoon (I was a weird child) and reading the entire third Harry Potter book. Which was then followed by me impatiently waiting for my mother to get home so I could beg her to take me to get a new book. Summers were also filled with library book sales where I would spend hours filling-up a box of books.

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We might not be kids anymore where we have the pleasure of sitting and reading all summer, but I hope you find your next summer read in this issue. A read that will make great memories like those from our childhood. Our main feature ‘Countdown to Summer Reads’ is filled with over twenty great new titles of all genres from small press and independent authors across the world. In this issue: Interviews with Jon McGregor, author of The Reservoir Tapes and Julia Dixon Evans, author of How To Set Yourself On Fire. Excerpts from new titles including Layla and the Lake, Alligator Zoo-Park Magic, Tornado Season, The Good Echo, and Something Like the End.


THE EMERGENCE OF HIV A NOVEL

DAVID CORNISH MD

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

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

Available at

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

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

Print ISBN: 9780692334805 eBook ISBN: 9780692334812

WWW.DAVIDCORNISHBOOKS.COM

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The Reservoir Tapes. BY JON MCGREGOR

Publisher: Catapult

A TEENAGE GIRL HAS GONE MISSING. THE WHOLE COMMUNITY HAS BEEN CALLED UPON TO JOIN THE SEARCH. AND NOW AN INTERVIEWER ARRIVES, INTENT ON CAPTURING THE COMMUNITY'S UNSTABLE STORIES ABOUT LIFE IN THE WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE BECKY SHAW VANISHED.


Tell us a little about The Reservoir Tapes and how it relates to your previous book, Reservoir 13. JM: I have no shame in calling The Reservoir

can't tell the difference between a llama and an alpaca. Do readers, or should they, first read Reservoir 13 or can they read this as a standalone piece?

Tapes a 'prequel' to Reservoir 13. Portmanteau words are the best words. These stories all JM: The stories in the Reservoir Tapes were take place in the days and months leading up originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and to the event with which Reservoir 13 opens, since the audience there is around 2 million and are clouded by a kind of pre-emptive I have to assume that a few of those had not awareness of that event: the disappearance in fact already read Reservoir 13. They were of a 13 year old girl from a small village in definitely conceived to stand alone, and I've the heart of England. I wrote these stories really enjoyed talking to immediately after readers who have only writing the novel, when The Reservoir Tapes read the Tapes, or who I was still immersed have come to the Tapes in that landscape and returns to the after Reservoir 13, or that community, and extraordinary territory who have read Reservoir when I still had lots of 13 afterwards... unanswered questions of Reservoir 13, leading about these people's lives. The stories fill in some of the gaps left by Reservoir 13, I think, but they also raise new questions, and complicate the storyline. There are also more jokes.

us deep into the heart of an English village that is trying to come to terms with what has happened on its watch.

Tell us something more, without spoilers, something that readers won’t get from reading the synopsis. JM: You probably shouldn't trust a man who

The Reservoir Tapes is told from 15 different perspectives, correct? Tell us a little about the process of basically retelling the book from different perspectives.

JM: Yes. In contrast to the novel, which skips

between characters and settings like a stone across the surface of the water, each of these

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A TEENAGE GIRL HAS GONE MISSING.

Each villager has a memory to share or a secret to conceal, a connection to Becky that they are trying to make or break. A young wife pushes against the boundaries of her marriage, and another seeks a means of surviving within hers. A group of teenagers dare one another to jump into a flooded quarry, the one weak swimmer still awaiting his turn. A laborer lies trapped under rocks and dry limestone dust as his fellow workers attempt a risky rescue. And meanwhile a fractured portrait of Becky emerges at the edges of our vision--a girl swimming, climbing, and smearing dirt onto a scared boy's face, images to be cherished and challenged as the search for her goes on.

Get Your Copy Of The Reservoir Tapes.

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CONTINUED

stories stays focused on a single character and gets under the skin of their perspective. There are numerous interconnections and overlaps between the stories, but each character has their own experience and I relished the opportunity to spend time dwelling on those experiences. After spending seven years working on the novel I knew most of these characters well, and so the process was simply one of developing ways of allowing the reader into that knowledge - finding the tone of voice, the quality of attention, the pace with which each character would understand the world around them. What was your favorite character’s story to write and why? JM: You can't make me pick a favorite!

Although I will concede that once I'd come up with the line, "It wasn't even a llama, for starters," Martin's story was a real pleasure to write; it was a combination of silly and threatening that I really took to. And I have a real fondness for Donna, whose story here is almost entirely about other people doing things she has no influence over. What was your biggest challenge writing this book? JM: Making this book work independently

of Reservoir 13, while also being intimately bound up with it; and making each story work individually (because the BBC Radio listeners

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might only ever hear one of them) while still making the collection work as a cohesive whole. That's kind of two challenges, but they relate: there was a lot of thinking about the different experiences different readers might have. Tell us a little bit about yourself, outside of being a writer. JM: I like riding bikes. I like watching football

(aka soccer) - my team, Norwich City, have just had the greatest season ever, playing intelligent and cultured football with a team of youth players and German imports - and I like dancing. There are children in my life and they are great. I think about the climate emergency a lot, and swing wildly between hope (we know how to meet the challenge, and doing so will by pleasant coincidence create a much better world to live in) and abject terror (nobody actually wants to do what is required, and it's so close to being too late). I'd like writers to do more in terms of articulating the challenge, and the hope; and I'd like the publishing industry to play their part. What do you have in the works next? JM: I am working on another novel. I can't

really tell you anything about it except that it's set in Antarctica, it's a novel about aphasia, and I keep getting distracted by thinking about the climate emergency.

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

CARRIE MERRILL

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON


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

How To Set Yourself On Fire. BY JULIA DIXON EVANS

Publisher: Dzanc Books

"IT’S NOT ROMANTIC," TORREY SAYS. "IT’S PHYSICS. FOR EVERY LETTER THERE IS AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE, YOU KNOW…LETTER."

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About How to Set Yourself On Fire

Sheila’s life is built of little thievings. Adrift in her midthirties, she sleeps in fragments, ditches her temp jobs, eavesdrops on her neighbor’s Skype calls, and keeps a stolen letter in her nightstand, penned by a UPS driver she barely knows. Her mother is stifling and her father is a bad memory. Her only friends are her mysterious, slovenly neighbor Vinnie and his daughter Torrey, a quirky twelveyear-old coping with a recent tragedy. When her grandmother Rosamond dies, Sheila inherits a box of secret love letters from Harold C. Carr—a man who is not her grandfather. In spite of herself, Sheila gets caught up in the legacy of the affair, piecing together her grandmother’s past and forging bonds with Torrey and Vinnie as intense and fragile as the crumbling pages in Rosamond’s shoebox. As they get closer to unraveling the truth, Sheila grows almost as obsessed with the letters as the man who wrote them. Somewhere, there’s an answering stack of letters— written in Rosamond’s hand—and Sheila can’t stop until she uncovers the rest of the story. Threaded with wry humor and the ache of love lost or left behind, How to Set Yourself on Fire establishes Julia Dixon Evans as a rising talent in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Lindsay Hunter. How to Set Yourself On Fire is your debut novel, tell us a little about it.

"This book follows Sheila, a woman in her thirties who is a bit of a deadbeat, obsessive, and filled with a sadness she has a hard time wrapping her mind around. She struggles to coexist with everything else around her."

JE: At its heart, I think this book is a love story. This

book follows Sheila, a woman in her thirties who is a bit of a deadbeat, obsessive, and filled with a sadness she has a hard time wrapping her mind around. She struggles to 14

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JE


coexist with everything else around her: She can’t hold down a job or friends, until she gets to know her neighbor and his brilliant 12-year-old daughter Torrey. After Sheila’s grandmother dies, she inherits (i.e. steals) a shoebox full of letters her grandmother kept a secret, and as the book unfolds, Sheila and Torrey unravel who this mysterious man was. Tell us a little about yourself and why you wrote How to Set Yourself On Fire. Where did you get the idea? JE: I started writing this book as a short

story, actually, revolving around a different character. But I instantly fell in love with Sheila and wanted to tell her story. I think it’s really important to let characters, particularly women, be unlikeable. I also loved that Sheila struggles with mental illness—depression, obsession—sort of in the background to the story but unavoidable. What influenced you to want to be a writer? JE: I often feel like I missed out on that

traditional writer origin story! I don’t really have a memory of always writing stories as a young child, and in fact what I do remember is always having diaries and journals with just a few pages filled out. I remember a total lack of discipline for writing! I think the first time I can remember wanting to be a writer was towards the end of my senior year of

high school, when I read Franny and Zooey by Salinger and loved this idea of something breaking the only fiction forms I had ever known: novels/long-form things or short stories. This was somehow neither and both? It inspired me to find innovative fiction and also want to write it. But I didn’t really take it seriously until I became a mother in my twenties and suddenly had this compulsive urgency to create, have creative agency, and probably also expel some of the darker things in my head. Is this a project you have been working on for some time? Tell us a little bit about the process. JE: I started writing this in 2013—feverously,

writing for hours a day at first—but didn’t really feel like it was much of anything until late 2015. I wrote so much of the story in one go, and then it felt like it took me a year and a half to write the ending. There’s a point with the plot where I as a writer needed to decide what to do about the other set of letters, the ones Sheila didn’t have, the ones her grandmother had written as replies to this man. And once I finally cracked that, I could write the ending. The process and the length of it, in hindsight, feels so prohibitive to creating new work. I used to wonder how people write a book in the first place. Now I only wonder how anyone ever writes another book.

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CONTINUED

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How much of yourself did you put in your book? Is there a connection to your life and the characters? JE: I think there’s some of me in Sheila. But she’s very measuredly different. Her

circumstances and childhood are nothing like mine but sometimes I think she’s like this version of me that’s stripped of social niceties or decorum. But the plot was inspired by finding a stack of letters an old boyfriend had sent me when I was a teenager, and I had zero recollection of what I must have written to him. The mystery of it, coupled with how nowadays we see the whole archives of correspondence in gmail threads, really fascinated me. What was the most challenge part of writing the book? JE: Finishing it.

What is your favorite part of the book? JE: There’s a quiet scene where Sheila and Torrey are in a church they snuck

into, and just kind of sitting there and Sheila is playing with the end of Torrey’s shoelace. I don’t know why that scene gets to me so much but every time I come across it, I feel it. No spoilers, but tell us something readers won’t find out by just reading the book jacket. JE: Sheila is pretty obsessed with PBS. I think there’s at least three scenes where

PBS plays a weirdly important role. What is the most important message behind your book that you want readers to understand? JE: Maybe that darkness is not always solvable and that’s okay. And that

friendship and companionship can be unexpected and unlikely and untidy. 

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Get Your Copy Of How To Set Yourself On Fire.


Who is Titus? A chicken farmer at 12 years of age, US Army Paratrooper in Japan at 17, All-Scholastic Football player, Football Coach, Biology Teacher, Professional Photographer, Bank Incorporator, Presidential Confidant, Chiropractor and a critic’s quote,  

“TITUS OUT GUMPS FORREST!!” The story of a young mill town sports hero. Grit, focus and an ability to weave through all obstacles dominated his life game on the field .......... and off !!!!! Ensuing years finds the sports hero hanging up the cleats and one day dining with a US president and going on to professional brilliance and international acclaim. Never far from hometown yet lightyears from his humble beginnings. This engaging tale will inspire others in pursuit of their own distant personal goal posts!!!! Available at 18

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Titus & Senator Marco Rubio, exchanging books, two great examples of the “American Dream”


Titus

Winner of the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book for the 2018 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Competition

Titus

Top read of 16 recommended books sent to our United States Service Men & Women from around the globe. http://www.fall-inmilitarynews.us/Books.html

Titus

Top choice from 100 Authors/Books at the Hollywood 2018 PitchFest https://bit.ly/2T5JOhv

Titus

WSJ honors Dr. Titus Plomaritis, on March 27, 2019 http://drtitusplomaritis.com/

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Available at

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


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@Cityofdeja TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BOOKSTAGRAM ACCOUNT? @Cityofdeja: My name is Deja. I’m a 19 year old college student from Texas with a knack for reading and collecting.

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Cityofdeja is my happy place on Instagram where I can talk about books all day and interact with other book lovers! I started my account in late 2014 when I got my first DSLR camera. I’d been following a few bookstagram accounts, and had spent the entire summer reading A LOT. Taking pictures of books just felt like the next step since I had just picked up photography as a hobby. And the rest is history. WHAT BOOKS ARE ON YOUR SUMMER READING LIST? @Cityofdeja: I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest, On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, and The Bride Test by Helen

BOOKSTAGRAM

Hoang. HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU READ IN A YEAR?

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

@Cityofdeja: On average, I read about 40 books a year. WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK? @Cityofdeja: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book for the first time when I was about 14 and it has stayed my favorite book since then. Anna and the French Kiss is a Young Adult contemporary romance set in Paris and Paris had

DEJA.

@CITYOFDEJA FAVORITE AUTHOR:

HELEN HOANG

FAVORITE GENRE:

ROMANCE

been my dream city forever, so this book was perfect for me. A few years back, I was actually able to visit Paris and some of the spots mentioned in the book, so it truly was a dream come true. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR? @Cityofdeja: Helen Hoang is a new favorite author of mine. She’s new to the scene, as she only published her first book, The Kiss Quotient, last year. The stories she writes are so authentic and heartwarming. Her books are romances and in her first two novels, both main characters have autism. I can’t wait to read more of her books in the future! 

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SEE MORE BOOK ADVENTURES ON INSTAGRAM

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www.codenamearcangelbrucejarvis.com


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

can it?

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

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

AVAILABLE


The Burning Girl. The Burning Girl is a story of two young girls, Julia, the narrator, and Cassie—best friends since kindergarten— on the verge of becoming teenagers. The story opens with Julia reflecting back on Cassie - who we are told has moved over two years ago now. But more than just a friend moving away, it is known through Julia's reflection that it is more than that - something tragic. "I can't lie in the sun on the boulders at the quarry's edge, or dangle my toes in the cold, clear water, or hear other girls singing, without being aware the whole time that Cassie is gone. And then I want to say something - but you can't,

BOOK REVIEW

you know. It's like she never existed." From the beginning you know something has happened, but you don't know what. The Burning Girl is so perfectly written and paced that you don't want to speed through and get to the end to figure out what that something is. Messud's writing makes you appreciate the journey more than the destination.

The Burning Girl BY CLAIRE MESSUD

The Burning Girl is an amazing story both engrossing and beautifully written. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Author of six works of fiction including her most recent novel, The Burning Girl, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

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BOOK REVIEW

Why Karen Carpenter Matters. A perfect blend memoir / autobiography and music / culture. Tongson's Why Karen Carpenter Matters is a perfect telling of influence and community.

WHY KAREN CARPENTER MATTERS

BY KAREN TONGSON

In Why Karen Carpenter Matters, Karen Tongson (whose parent named her after the pop icon) interweaves the story of the tiger's rise to fame in the 1960's and 70's with her own transPacific journey between the Philippines - where the imitations of the American pop styles flourished - and Karen Carpenter's home ground in Southern California. Tongson reveals why the Carpenter's chart-topping, seemingly white washed musical fantasies of 'normal love' have profound significance for her - as well as other people of color, LGBT+ communities, and anyone outside the mainstream culture usually associated with Karen Carpenter's legacy. This hybrid of memoir and biography excavates the destructive perfectionism at the root of the Carpenter's sound, while finding the beauty in the singer's alltoo-brief life.

"The image we have would be impossible for Mickey Mouse to maintain. We're just... normal people." - Karen Carpenter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Tongson is a Filipino-American cultural critic, writer and queer studies scholar. She is the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011), and Why Karen Carpenter Matters (2019). She has two books in progress: Empty Orchestra: Karaoke, Queer Performance, Queer Theory (Duke University Press) and NORMPORN: Television and the Spectacle of Normalcy (NYU Press). 26

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

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


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

BEST SHELF UNBOUND

INDIE BOOK

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

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

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RECOMMENDED READING

EXCERPTS

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

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Layla and the Lake. BY MARCIA D. ROSS

www.pelekinesis.com

"Soon the canoe entered a region where the force of the wind was reduced, and Layla heard the crashing of waves and breaking of branches on shore well before an obscure land mass was discernible on her right. Her relief was profound, and she gave a loud sob. But she must think, she must think! There was every indication that she had indeed arrived at that protected and uninhabited eastern end of the lake; and she understood that if she kept the land to her right, it would be possible to return to the Hunt cottage by traveling around the remaining periphery of the lake where she would be neither driven onto rocks nor in serious danger if she capsized. But. It would be four or five miles at least to reach the cottage that way, and she felt tired and dizzy—her biceps were shuddering with

exertion—and the trees and fauna on land as she drew closer appeared as ghostly, tossing, dream-like shapes, without hue, without ground. Though the entire object of her present existence was at hand, that queer sensation of being lost and nonexistent returned. Shapes or no shapes, it was all the same, a world without boundaries or definition. Even the place where land and water met, this threshold so close by, was creepy with ambiguity. Her hands and feet were chilled, and a terrible sense of isolation had come over her; all thrill and danger and relief were overtaken by emptiness. And now she knew: it was more than a shore she wanted. It was more than north, north to nothing but crawling cowardly back to a place where even her love for her children seemed out of place–she longed to find or be found, to have this vacancy of

loneliness filled with human company, the company of one other person, one only. Layla almost laughed at her easy self-deception. No doubt she had been looking for him from the start. “And why not?” she allowed. He was at least something definite and dry, something else than this blundering and flailing about, this reveling in nothingness, this mere athletic extension of visiting with people who hated her, who only tolerated her presence."

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RECOMMENDED READING

Alligator Zoo-Park Magic. BY C.H. HOOKS

www.bridgeeight.com

"Jeffers was looking like a ghost hanging upside down from that big old oak tree, the one we used to swing from out into the spring’s cool waters. That tree was there probably a few hundred years not thinking it would ever be used for magic. But there was Jeffers, his nice-guy eyes plugged deep, a sleight of spirit in a head full of hurt. He took in a lifetime of everybody’s bad, and made good. He hung by his ankles—all slithered up in rope coils—a bunny wrapped-up in a snake. “I don’t get the trick,” some city-boy was saying, still looking down to make sure they’d followed the right directions out into our woods and far out of feeling comfortable. I don’t know that anybody there was knowing what to make of Jeffers in the trees, rope creaking, hanging by

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his feet in the orangeypink twilight. People were swatting at their bodies and listening to the crickets and the frogs get their songs started. That little sliver of a moon was peeking through the trees, winking at everybody like it was in on the joke. There were probably about a few hundred people out in the woods—road leading there was lined with trucks, vans and big-tired trans, and folks were still walking up the road. They brought their beach chairs and picnic blankets. There sure wasn’t enough space, so they just stood around eating buckets of chicken and drinking out of rolling coolers. I cut my nerves with some smoke and hustled through my first couple beers. Jeffers cut me out. He cut his lady, Miriam, too. We tried asking separate, we tried

asking together, but he just shook us off. I don’t think he had a real reason other than the need to be alone. He wanted to go solo into the danger of this one, Miriam told me. The only people close to him, he blocked out. Instead, he got Judd. Didn’t say why, wouldn’t even talk about it, but it pissed me off plenty. Miriam tried to apologize for Jeffers, but didn’t even know what to say about it. She didn’t know a reason. Just knew I was hurt." 


RECOMMENDED READING

Oranges. BY GARY ELDON PETER

www.newriverspress.com

"It’s 3 a.m., but I’m wide awake. To make myself drowsy, I’m going back over the vocabulary words I missed in the last Law School Admissions practice test I took before we went to bed, trying to use them in a sentence. An oligarchy is a government of one. It isn’t working. I have another method I use when I can’t sleep: trying to remember past Academy Award winners. I started memorizing them after I correctly guessed that Midnight Cowboy would be named the best picture of 1969 and I won a book about the history of the Academy Awards in a contest sponsored by the local TV station. I had a hunch it would win even though I had heard on the news that an X-rated movie didn’t have a chance. Being eleven years old at the time, I couldn’t see it and judge for myself whether it really was

the best movie of the year. I studied the book constantly—at the breakfast table, after school, at night before I went to sleep. “Put down that blasted book and eat, Michael,” my father would say, looking at me over his newspaper in the morning. “If only you’d spend as much time on your math as you do on those stupid awards, think where you’d be.” I did think about that from time to time. Where were you supposed to be when you were eleven? But I loved the Academy Awards too much to stop now. I went to work on learning not just the winners but also the nominees. I wrote to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a list of the nominees in the non-acting categories (editing, music, cinematography, and so forth), but they never wrote back. So I stuck with the

book, and when it finally fell apart from so much handling, I taped it back up. From 1968 on, the last year included in the book, I’ve kept track of the winners by writing them down in a notebook while I watch the awards presentation on television. For my insomnia, I pick a category, start with a particular year, and go backwards in time to see how far I can go before I either can’t remember someone or I fall asleep." 

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RECOMMENDED READING

The Hypothetical Man. BY PAUL MALISZEWSKI AND RYAN WEIL www.trnsfrbooks.com

"B: It’s not every day one receives a mailer from a mortuary service seeking one’s business. “Preplanning.” They said. A: Sick bastards. B: Was also wondering how preplanning was different than planning. A: Preplanning is the planning we do before the planning. Preplanning should not be confused with planning proper. Planning proper uses a whole different aspect of the human brain and mind. And yes, the brain and mind are different, too. Just like the goat and the orange, or the candy and the girder, or the planning and the preplanning. In college, I majored in planning, thinking I would be a planning consultant, but I

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ended up being friends with a lot of people who were taking preplanning is how I know all this stuff. B: This clears up much. Thank you. One further question, if I may trouble you. Is there postplanning as well? A: There is a field called postplanning studies (which is something like preplanning, just with less pre- about it, if that makes sense), but many consider the field as “emerging.” Still, the better graduate schools offer coursework in postplanning, but the best you could do is get a degree in planning (or, for that matter, preplanning) with a concentration in postplanning studies, though some employers do wonder about how quote-unquote committed the postplanning studies students are to the

field of planning (or, for that matter, preplanning). It’s still early is the point with postplanning. Not that it isn’t too early to plan. Or preplan. B: So, if I’m hearing you right, there is an opportunity for pre-postplanning studies as well? To fill in that period when one is thinking about postplanning studies? A: It has been suggested in some quarters, yes." 


RECOMMENDED READING

Tornado Season.

BY COURTNEY CRAGGETT www.blacklawrence.com

"When we were very young the world spun with colors that other people did not see. It began in the nursery. You cried and your tears filled the room with a bruised sunset. I covered my ears at the parade we watched because the orange of the blaring trumpets was too bright. And at bedtime we fell asleep to the deep, midnight blue of the night train that drove through town. “Do you see it too?” I whispered with my hand in yours, and you nodded and we knew that we were not alone. You were not my brother, but we were children together. Nobody told us why, and we did not need to know. Our mother tucked us in and sang prayers to us with her voice of silvery purple, and we hugged her goodnight and breathed in her hues. I did not know that my colors

belonged to you. We had just graduated from high school when the tornado hit our house. It stole you from me, and you stole the colors. The doctors said I hit my head. They said that perhaps my hearing was damaged and that my ears would ring forever. They asked me if it hurt, and I nodded and said it is a knife. But I did not say that it took away the colors, that now the world no longer spins but is still and gray. They brought me into a booth and hooked wires to my ears and played sounds for me. “Can you hear it?” they asked me. I said yes, I can hear it. But I cannot see it, I thought. When we were children, you called my name one night and together we slipped out of our bedroom window. People say that the night is black, but they do not see like we see. We stood in

the golden night while the dew soaked up our feet. You pulled me to the pavement, and we ran, and our wet feet left our trail behind us. It did not matter where you were leading me because I trusted you. “Be very quiet,” you said, so we ran on tiptoe, fearing that our neighbors would wake up, old Mr. Snider with his army green bark, or Mrs. Lowenstein with her raspberry laugh. A mockingbird sang like it was morning." 

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RECOMMENDED READING

The Good Echo. BY SHENA MCAULIFFE

www.blacklawrence.com

"First, Cleveland. City of my birth, city of my death. City of brick and ice and buzzing streetcars. Sausages and perch, tornadoes and rain. City of the winding Cuyahoga, the long gray shore of Lake Erie, steel bridges pivoting. Factories purling steam into a white sky. I am—I was—Benjamin Donald Bell, child of Clifford and Frances Bell. I died of sepsis from an infected root canal. My father was my dentist. For now, I won’t muddle through the logic of language arranged by a ghost. For now, simply this: death has made a storyteller of me. Second, a lake named Mazinaw or Massanoga or Bon Echo, depending on who you ask. A few years before my birth, my parents built a lodge deep in the Ontario forest, looking north at The

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Narrows. Long before I was born in 1903, the Ojibwe and Algonkian had been corralled into reservations or dragged away to anywhere else. Their children were sent to schools near the cities, sent to be educated by Anglicans and Methodists, taught to believe in Jesus and English and arithmetic so they might forget their parents and grandparents, the ways of their people. But the lake remained a quiet place, inhabited by fishermen and vacationers and pilgrims who went to listen to the echo that bounces from the rock, a tremendous wall of granite that rises 100 meters from the surface of the water, marked with drawings in ochre and iron, its holes and divots stuffed with sap and scratched with stories. People have always gone to the lake to listen. Lake Mazinaw: home to

mosquitoes, blackflies, gnats, frogs, fish, muskrats, rabbits, deer, turtles, black bears, and wolves. It is still a wild place, and wildness is what my parents loved about it—what I loved about it. In summer, boys still jump from the rock—something I wasn’t allowed to do. When you’re thirteen, my mother said, but I was never thirteen. Girls, too, jump from the rock, in rubberized sandals and jeans cut short and fraying, their hair tangled with sun and lake water." 


RECOMMENDED READING

Something Like the End. BY ASHLEY MORROW HERMSMEIER www.blacklawrence.com

"Rayna used the last of the duct tape to seal up the kitchen window. She’d have to settle for packing tape on the font door. That is, if the handyman ever left—how long could it take to seal air vents? She wiped sweat fom her upper lip. He entered the kitchen. He wasn’t a large man, yet he managed to fill the narrow passage. “Welp, that’s the last of ’em. Fingers crossed, those little buggers won’t be bothering you. At least not fom the ducts.” “How much do I owe you?” “How ’bout a beer instead and we drink to life while we still got it,” he said and laughed. She forced a laugh, out of kindness, and opened the refigerator door between them. She’d have to make small talk now—why couldn’t he just go?

“I have Corona or IPA— which do you prefer?” she said, smiling even though he couldn’t see it. She thought of her mother: Let me hear the smile in your voice, she used to say. “I love a cold blonde,” he said. “Though a hot one like you’s even better.” She rolled her eyes then stood up with the Coronas and gave each one a crack against the kitchen counter. “Impressive,” he said. “I don’t have any limes.” “To all the buzz about the end of the world,” he said and laughed so hard the windows might have rattled if it weren’t for all the tape and boards. They clinked bottles. “You have anyone coming to sit with you when they pass through?” he asked.

“My family, all of them, lived—live—in Salinas. So...” “Ah, shit,” he said. “I’m sorry. Survivors?” “Haven’t heard yet”—she took a swig and blinked hard—“but you know...just want to get through the next twenty-four hours, then I’ll drive up there and deal with it. What about you?” “Aw, yeah. I’ll probably go to my mom’s house. I’ve got it all situated and sealed up. Haven’t touched my place yet, so...” 

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RECOMMENDED READING

The Shaman of Turtle Valley. BY CLIFFORD GARSTANG

www.braddockavenuebooks.com

"The drought has scorched the

had commanded it. That was an

hills, turning them the color

old story, too.

of the desert. Everything looks

At the time, Aiken thought their

thirsty and baked, worse than he’s

relationship might work out,

ever seen. Even the evergreens

impulsive or not, mistake or not.

that run the ridges are tinged

Unlike his older brother, who’d

with yellow. And in the middle

always seen gloom in every

distance, where the peaks of

obstacle, Aiken expected tough

Brother Mountain nestle shoulder

knots to unravel, locked doors to

to shoulder like a camel’s humps,

open. But he hadn’t considered

smoke rises from a fire that’s sure

what would be best for Soon-

to spread. It’s what he smelled

hee. He admits that now, and

before, and now he can taste the

it weighs on him. When her

bitterness.

father brought her to the inn

The load in the truck bed shifts

and left her with him, and when

again. In the rear-view mirror,

Aiken had abandoned the idea

Aiken sees something—a T-shirt,

of an abortion, he thought of no

he thinks—flap loose and take

other option but bringing Soon-

flight, settling on the highway

hee home to Virginia. It was

behind him. He doesn’t stop. He’s

honorable. But was that the right

not far from the farm now.

choice?

Aiken’s marriage has always

They’d lasted this long—four

been a struggle, as if he and

years, going on five—only

Soon-hee both knew from the

because of Henry. Henry is

beginning that it was a mistake.

everything. Aiken loves being

He’d married her because

a father, enjoys nothing more

she was pregnant—the Army

than sitting with his son, reading

chaplain in Seoul said he’d seen

to him or telling him tales,

it a thousand times—and she

folklore passed down from his

married him because her father

own parents, or listening to the

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boy babble and sing, as if he’s telling his own stories. Aiken knows Soon-hee loves Henry, too. She tries her best with him, even if she doesn’t always know exactly how to ease a fever or calm an upset stomach. Instead of children’s Tylenol and damp, soothing towels, she chants over him, bangs pots and pans, brandishes a knife in the air above his head—until Aiken puts a stop to her nonsense. He tells her it’s only superstition, from her backward country, but she doesn’t listen." 


RECOMMENDED READING

I Spy the Boy Next Door. BY SAMANTHA ARMSTRONG www.samantharmstrong.com

"I’ve had a crush on the same guy my whole life. Well, not quite the entire seventeen years, but ever since he moved in next door five years ago and smiled at me. It was the only smile I’ve ever gotten from him. And even then, it didn’t last long. When I’d handed him back his deflated football that had flown over our fence, the smile had quickly vanished. It wasn’t my fault that he’d practically enticed my dog to play fetch when his ball came barreling into our backyard. But even as he scowled at me, something about him completely sucked me in. Maybe it was his mysterious nature and innocent, deepblue eyes. All I know is that the attraction today is clear— his six-foot frame, unruly dark hair, and tattoos have me ogling him whenever I get the chance. But there’s no innocence captivating his eyes these days. They’re

harsh, focused, and completely oblivious of m ​ e​. I take the stairs two at a time, making a beeline for my bedroom. I know his routine like the back of my hand, and right now is one of the only times knowing his routine matters. “Mal, where did you put my—” “Get out of the way, Grieva!” I slam the door shut in my little brother’s face and dart to the window. Hiding behind a window frame, I peer down onto the street. The annoying OCD man in the house opposite ​ his​is mowing the lawn again. I silently scold him for ruining what is possibly the best forty-five seconds of my day. The man seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in his front yard. I glare at his back, but as he goes to turn around, I jerk my head out of the way so he can’t see me. I’ve caught him

looking up here a few times, and to say it's creepy is an understatement. Though, I guess I’m the last person who should pass that judgment. I move to the edge of the curtain and let out a breath when I see his attention has returned to his perfectly manicured grass. “Come on, come on, come on,” I whisper-chant, flicking my gaze to the wall clock, then back out to the street below. Any minute now." 

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RECOMMENDED READING

Sea Monsters. BY CHLOE ARIDJIS www.catapult.co

"Imprisoned on this island, I would say, imprisoned on this island. And yet I was no prisoner and this was no island. During the day I’d roam the shore, aimlessly, purposefully, and in search of digressions. The dogs. A hut. Boulders. Nude tourists. Scantily clad ones. Palm trees. Palapas. Sand sifting umber and adrenaline. The waves’ upward grasp. A boat in the distance, its throat flashing in the sun. The ancient Greeks created stories out of a simple juxtaposition of natural features, my father once told me, investing rocks and caves with meaning, but there in Zipolite I did not expect any myths to be born. Zipolite. People said the name meant “Beach of the Dead,” though the reason for this was debated — was it because of the number of visitors who met their end in the treacherous currents, or because the native Zapotecs would bring

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their dead from afar to bury in its sands? Beach of the Dead: it had an ancient ring, ancestral, commanding both dread and respect, and after hearing about the unfortunate souls who each year got caught in the riptide I decided I would never go in beyond where I could stand. Others said Zipolite meant “Lugar de Caracoles,” place of seashells, an attractive thought since spirals are such neat arrangements of space and time, and what are beaches if not a conversation between the elements, a constant movement inward and outward. My favorite explanation, which only one person put forward, was that Zipolite was a corruption of the word zopilote, and that every night a black vulture would envelop the beach in its dark wings and feed on whatever the waves tossed up. It’s easier to reconcile yourself with sunny places if you can imagine their nocturnal counterpart. Once dusk had fallen I would head

to the bar and spend hours under its thatched universe, a large palapa on the shores of the Pacific decked with stools, tables, and miniature palm trees. It was where all boats came to dock and refuel, syrup added to cocktails for maximum effect, and I’d imagine that everything was as artificial as the electric-blue drink; that the miniature palm trees grew fake after dusk, the chlorophyll struggling and the life force gone from the green, that the wooden stools had turned to laminate." 


MORE RECOMMENDED READS

An Illustrated Guide for a More Connected, Creative Life. BY JAYA NICELY

The Offline Journal is a creative workbook for anyone looking to express themselves phone-free, providing inspiration for a less Internet-y life. How would you spend a day offline?

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NEW TO SHELF UNBOUND!

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

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Meet Me in the Strange. BY LEANDER WATTS

“It was like she’d lost everything. Her name, her voice, any idea of who she was or what she looked like, who the people were around her. The only thing that mattered was right there in front of her on the stage,” observes Davi, the main character of Leander Watt’s Meet Me in the Strange, awestruck by Anna Z, the captivating girl whose passion and charisma will lead the fast friends on a magical, glam rock-fueled journey of self-discovery. Set in a futuristic city with parallels to Rome, Davi, whose gender is never specified, is a follower of androgynous glam rocker Django Conn, whose lyrics and presence are worshipped by profoundly devoted fans, Davi is drawn to the confidence and unapologetic authenticity of the musician. Davi finds a kindred spirit in Anna Z, who understands the power of Django Conn’s music and believes the rock god may be something more than human. Drawn into Anna Z’s confident theories about human evolution, aliens, and the transformative power of music, the two follow Django Conn’s tour in search of answers… and meaning.

WHAT TO READ IN YA FICTION BY SARA GROCHOWSKI

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

MEET ME IN THE STRANGE BY LEANDER WATTS

With a sensibility reminiscent of Andrew Smith, M.T. Anderson, and Francesca Lia Block, Watts’ writing is often dreamy, sometimes unsettling, and always weird and engaging. A coming of age story that celebrates the irresistible glister of glam rock, the importance of community and connection, and the fluidity of identity, Meet Me in the Strange fully immerses readers in its unforgettable world.  43


G+B RECOMMENDED READ

|

RECOMMENDED AS YO U R N EX T

YA READ

Meet Me in the Strange. ABOUT THE BOOK:

Meet Me in the Strange is an intoxicating adventure set in a glittery, retro-futuristic world of glam rock, spectral aliens, and gender-bendy teens. Davi is mesmerized by a girl at a concert, who appears to lose herself in the power of the otherworldy music of Django Conn. Later, through a chance meeting, Davi becomes friends with the girl, Anna Z. She is like no one Davi has ever met: she loves to talk, talk, talk and has grandiose theories of the next evolution of humans and a strange phenomenon she calls the “Alien Drift.� But danger lurks around every corner, because Anna Z is on the run, and her cruel and controlling older brother is determined to find her, at any cost. Davi faces a daunting decision, go on living a safe existence at the magical Angelus Hotel, which has been in the family for generations, or help Anna Z escape her troubled past. When the two take off to follow the concert tour of their glam-rock idol, Django Conn, Davi and Anna Z will face the biggest threat of their young lives. 44

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BOOK SHELF BS

SHELF UNBOUND’S

Book Shelf What to read next in independent publishing

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BOOK SHELF

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Moustache & Macintosh BY D.L. GRASER

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

THE WORDSMITH BY ALAN AYER

Every writer gets asked one question more than any other. Where do you get your ideas? For Walt Erickson, he never has to worry about where he will get his next great story idea. He only needs to worry about someone finding out his secret, that and how to get rid of the body. The Wordsmith is a horror tale that will make you wonder how much we ever know about the people around us, including the people we love.

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

www.alanayer.com Available at Amazon.

Move To Fire

The Shadow Reaper

Publishers Weekly starred review: “a taut legal drama reminiscent of Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action.” An accidental shooting by a defective gun paralyzes a boy, but he accomplishes what government, the firearms industry, and gun safety groups can’t - holds the defective gun’s manufacturer accountable for its dangerous junk guns. A true story that captivated the country, and reveals why defective guns remain on the streets.

A starship caught inside the mysterious GodStorm is flung over thirty parsecs. Slipping through a dimensional rift, the ship establishes a stable orbit around an ancient ringworld. Structures are discovered on one of the ringworld's moons. Soon after exploring them, a terrifying epidemic breaks out. On the ringworld below, a town is in the grips of a dragon, and a reluctant knight faces the biggest decision of his life.

BY MICHAEL W. HARKINS

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all online booksellers 46

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BY BOB WHITELY

Add to Goodreads.


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Two Tickets to Dubrovnik BY ANGUS KENNEDY

A View From The Languedoc BY ANGUS KENNEDY

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

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

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

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To The East

The Final Programme

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

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

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

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BY ANGUS KENNEDY

BY ANGUS KENNEDY

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

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

like a double-shot of Irish whiskey”

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Finding James

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It's been over eight years since Karen suffered the tragic loss of her brother, a death for which she still blames herself. Since then, she's managed to shove away the pain and guilt, somehow slowly building a new life far from Easley. But she always knew the time would come when she'd be forced to leave Southern California and go back to her hometown, staring truth in the face again. Could Karen have prevented James’ death? Was it truly her fault, and could she ever forgive herself, all the while living in the shadow of her mother's and father's own mistakes?

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

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BY LOUIS K. LOWY

Eddie Coyne loves playing the horses. Loves it so much it's ruining his relationship with his wife and six-yearold son. In a last ditch effort to prove he’s not a loser in their eyes, Eddie places a seemingly impossible bet on a long shot and hits pay dirt.


El Cordero Al

Matadero by Pete Delohery Una novela sobre el amor y el cor aje, el pecado y la redenciรณn. Situada contra el teln de fondo del vvidamente descrito boxeo profesional, esta novela de Pete Delohery, curtida aunque magnficamente llena de garra, se centra en tres hombres cuyas vidas se encuentran en una encrucijada. Mike McGann tiene 32 aos, ya est viejo para ser boxeador y le ha prometido demasiadas veces a su esposa, Madge, que, definitivamente, este es su ltimo combate. Por eso, cuando ella se entera de que planea pelear contra Rufus Hilliard, apodado Huracn por la fuerza de sus puetazos, Madge se marcha. El boxeo fue para Rufus el modo de huir de los barrios bajos de Brooklyn; aunque su corrupto representante lo hace actuar como un matn amenazador frente a los medios, l es mucho ms inteligente; sospecha que le han tendido una trampa para que pierda la pelea contra McGann. Est en lo cierto: un repugnante mafioso conocido como El Gordo est presionando al ayudante del preparador, Charlie OConell, un apostador y alcohlico empedernido, para que adultere el

Also in English: Lamb to the Slaughter

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

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

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Can a Kidnapper Stop Gene Therapy?

Betty Jean Craige is an award-winning mystery writer from Athens, Georgia.

Available at Amazon.com | Visit Author Website


SUMMER READS

Countdown to Summer Reads. MUST READS OF SUMMER

03

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HOME REMEDIES: STORIES BY XUAN JULIANA WANG

The twelve stories in Xuan Juliana Wang’s remarkable debut collection capture the unheard voices of a new generation of Chinese youth. A generation for whom the Cultural Revolution is a distant memory, WeChat is king, and life glitters with the possibility of love, travel, technology, and, above all, new identities. THE PAPER WASP BY LAUREN ACAMPORA

In small-town Michigan, Abby Graven leads a solitary life. Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, she now languishes in her childhood home, trudging to and from her job as a supermarket cashier. Each day she is taunted

from the magazine racks by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet whose life in pictures Abby obsessively scrapbooks. At night Abby escapes through the films of her favorite director, Auguste Perren, a cult figure known for his creative institute the Rhizome. Inspired by Perren, Abby draws fantastical storyboards based on her often premonitory dreams, a visionary gift she keeps hidden. SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE: A NOVEL BY JEAN KWOK

It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie?

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HOT COMB

BY EBONY FLOWERS

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perma doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself. “My Lil Sister Lena” shows the stress of being the only black player on a white softball team. Lena’s hair is the team curio, an object to be touched, a subject to be discussed and debated at the will of her teammates, leading Lena to develop an anxiety disorder of pulling her own hair out. Throughout Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. “Change your hair form to fit your life form” and “Kinks and Koils Forever” call customers from the page.

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BTTM FDRS BY EZRA CLAYTAN DANIELS

Once a thriving working class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side, the “Bottomyards” is now the definition of urban blight. When an aspiring fashion designer named Darla and her image-obsessed friend, Cynthia, descend upon the neighborhood in search of cheap rent, they soon discover something far more seductive and sinister lurking behind the walls of their new home. Like a cross between Jordan Peele’s Get Out and John Carpenter’s The Thing, Daniels and Passmore’s BTTM FDRS (pronounced “bottomfeeders”) offers a vision of horror that is gross and gory in all the right ways. At times funny, scary, and thought provoking, it unflinchingly confronts the monsters- both metaphoric and real- that are displacing cultures in urban neighborhoods today.


CONTINUED

VINTAGE 1954 BY ANTOINE LAURAIN

When Hubert Larnaudie invites some fellow residents of his Parisian apartment building to drink an exceptional bottle of 1954 Beaujolais, he has no idea of its special properties. The following morning, Hubert finds himself waking up in 1950s Paris, as do antique restorer Magalie, mixologist Julien, and Airbnb tenant Bob from Milwaukee, who's on his first trip to Europe. After their initial shock, the city of Edith Piaf and An American in Paris begins to work its charm on them. The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, whilst also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows. But, ultimately, they need to work out how to get back to 2017, and time is of the essence... THE OCTOBER MAN BY BEN AARONOVITCH

If you thought magic was confined to one country— think again. Trier: famous for wine, Romans and being Germany's oldest city. When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a

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fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth. But fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything. Enter Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the branch of the German Federal Criminal Police which handles the supernatural. His aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. Together with frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he quickly links the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men whose novel approach to their mid-life crisis may have reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. And to solve the case they'll have to unearth the secret magical history of a city that goes back two thousand years. Presuming that history doesn't kill them first. AURORA RISING BY AMIE KAUFMAN

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch.

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The Cuban Comedy

IF THE ICE HAD HELD

BY PABLO MEDINA

BY WENDY FOX

A love story steeped in political satire, poetry, and the lightest touches of magical realism, Medina has created a bold, funny narrative with an uncanny heroine at its core: Elena of Piedra Negra, Cuba. Piedra Negra is an isolated village, whose citizens consist mainly of soldiers injured in the revolution who pass the time drinking a firewater so intense, all hallucinate, and most never recover. The firewater distiller's daughter Elena longs to be a poet, and after a chance encounter with Daniel Arcilla, Cuba's most important poet, Elena wins a national poetry prize and leaves Piedra Negra behind for Havana. There she encounters a population adjusting to a new way of life, post-revolution: there are spies and secret meetings, black marketeers, and censorship. Full of outlandish humor and insights into an often contradictory and kafkaesque regime, Medina brings 1960s Cuba to life through the eyes of Elena.

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Melanie Henderson's life is a lie. The scandal of her birth and the identity of her true parents is kept from her family's small, conservative Colorado town. Not even she knows the truth: that her birth mother was just 14 and unmarried to her father, a local boy who drowned when he tried to take a shortcut across an icy river. Thirty-five years later, in Denver, Melanie dabbles in affairs with married men while clinging to a corporate job that gives her life order even as her tenuous relationships fall apart. She still hasn’t learned that the woman who raised her is actually her aunt—or that her birth mother visits her almost every day. This fiercely-guarded secret bonds the two most important women in her life, who hatched a plan to trade places and give Melanie a life unmarred by shame. Yet, as a forest fire rages through the Rocky Mountains and a car accident shakes the family, Melanie finds herself at the center of an unraveling tangle of tragedy and heartbreak.


CONTINUED

LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL BY RONAN HESSION

The story of two friends who ordinarily would remain uncelebrated. It finds a value and specialness in them that is not immediately apparent and prompts the idea that maybe we could learn from the people that we overlook in life. Leonard and Hungry Paul change the world differently to the rest of us: we try and change it by effort and force; they change it by discovering the small things they can do well and offering them to others. YOU WHO ENTER HERE BY ERIKA T. WURTH

Matthew has grown up in hell. His father is gone, and his mother drinks and hooks up with men who abuse Matthew and his sister. He finally decides to hit the streets of Farmington to get away and to drink himself to death, in

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his mind, his destiny. He meets Chris, who saves him, takes him home, cleans him up, gets him sober, and initiates Matthew into one of Albuquerque’s Native American gangs, the 505s. They now sell heroin, and it’s their subservience to the Mexican gangs that has allowed them to survive. However, Chris decides that his little Native American gang deserves to be as big as the Mexican gangs in Albuquerque, bringing in new business from Indigenous communities in Mexico. Then, Matthew falls in love with Chris’s girlfriend. Matthew’s story is one of terrible darkness, but also, unexpected beauty and tenderness. JOY: AND 52 OTHER VERY SHORT STORIES

BY ERIN MCGRAW

In these very short stories, narrators step out of themselves to explain their lives to us, sometimes defensively, sometimes regretfully, other times deceitfully. Voices include those of the impulsive firsttime murderer, the depressed pet sitter, the assistant of Patsy Cline, the anxiety-riddled new mother, the aged rock-and-roller, the girlfriend of your husband—human beings often (incredibly) unaware of the turning points staring them in the face.

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The Atlantis World

HER SISTER'S SHOES BY ASHLEY FARLEY

BY A.G. RIDDLE

A mysterious signal from deep space could be humanity's last chance of survival. And reveal the ultimate secret of our origins. Northern Morocco: Dr. Kate Warner cured a global pandemic, and she thought she could cure herself. She was wrong. And she was wrong about the scope of the Atlantis conspiracy. Humanity faces a new threat, an enemy beyond imagination. With her own time running out and the utter collapse of human civilization looming, a new hope arrives: a coded message from a potential ally. With Dorian in pursuit, Kate, David, and their team race through the ruins of the Atlantean ship left on Earth, across Atlantean science stations throughout the galaxy, and into the past of a mysterious culture whose secrets could save humanity in its darkest hour. With their own lives on the line and time slipping away, Kate, David, and Dorian are put to the ultimate test.

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Her Sister’s Shoes is the story of three sisters— Samantha, Jackie, and Faith— who struggle to balance the demands of career and family while remaining true to themselves. Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, their go-to girl for love and support. When an ATV accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness she needs to move forward. Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, placing all their lives at risk. In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.


CONTINUED

TEN DAYS IN PARADISE BY LINDA ABBOTT

Vacationing on beautiful Sanibel Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Ellen Bennett has never felt so guilty—or more alive. This wasn’t the way things were supposed to turn out. The 45-yearold successful career woman, wife and mother traveled to the island paradise for solitude and a much-needed break from her family. But a chance encounter with a fellow traveler sparks a powerful attraction, forcing Ellen to make a decision that could change her life forever. A compelling and heartfelt novel, Ten Days in Paradise masterfully explores the inner landscapes of marriage and family relationships. MIND MACHINES BY DIMA ZALES

With billions in the bank and my own venture capital firm, I’m living the American dream. My only problem? A car accident that leaves my mother with memory problems.

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Brainocytes, a new technology that can transform our brains, could be the answer to all of my problems—but I’m not the only one who sees its potential. Plunged into a criminal underworld darker than anything I could’ve imagined, my life-saving technology might be the death of me. My name is Mike Cohen, and this is how I became more than human. THE LAST EVERYTHING

BY FRANK KENNEDY

An edge-of-yourseat thrill ride across the multiverse begins in the deadend town of Albion, Alabama, where 17-year-old Jamie Sheridan is suffocating. Grief over his parents’ demise and his brother’s descent into the bottle leads Jamie to seek a way out. Yet the night he tries to escape, the final countdown on his life begins. In a matter of minutes, one of his mentors is killed, and people he trusted - neighbors, peers, even his English teacher - are coming after him, heavily armed. Jamie flees into the night, desperate and seeking hope from the two friends he believes he can count on - Samantha and Michael. Yet they become targets as well, for the stakes are too high, the clock ticking too fast. 61


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

Capital Books SACRAMENTO, CA

Capital Books is the newest venture from Ross and Heidi Rojek, who started a book review business back in 2008. Their love of — first and foremost — the Sacramento community, as well as books and the acknowledgment that there wasn't any good potions for new bookstores in downtown. Capital Books opened in April 2019. "We are super excited to be able to provide the Sacramento downtown community with their first new bookstore since Avid Reader moved from their L Street location to Broadway in 2008, says Heidi Rojek. "We sell brand-new books, with a smattering of pop-culturerelated sidelines. We provide a local alternative to ordering books online or having to drive to one of the malls to find a chain store. We feel the downtown community—both the workers who

commute in every day and those who live in downtown—will find value in having the latest books available on the shelf and not showing up two days later in a box."

www.capitalbooksonk.com

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END ILLITERACY,

P ROV I D E B O O KS

Conscious Step Conscious Step was created to bring more awareness to the problems faced by the world today and the organizations fighting these problems. Each pair of these socks show your commitment to education for all and provide one book to children in Asia through the work of Room to Read. Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, they develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. Learn more at www.consciousstep.com/pages/educate-kids 64

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INTERVEIW WITH CONSCIOUS STEP Tell us how the idea for Conscious Step came about. CS: Conscious Step was started on a simple

belief - that we can all do our part to make a positive impact on the world. We work to take an everyday product, a pair of socks, and give it an extraordinary purpose. One pair of socks can plant trees, give water, or provide books. We make our socks with organic, Fairtrade Certified cotton and use recycled packaging. Our goal is to give consumers better options for products they're spending their money on, and make a difference through their everyday purchases. We all have the ability to bring change to the world.

37,485

BOOKS PROVIDED FOR KIDS IN SCHOOL. THESE BOOKS ARE WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR THEM, IN THEIR LANGUAGE. Tell Us About Room to Read. CS: Room to Read was one of our first four partners! Room to Read recognizes that knowing how to read makes people safer, healthier and more self-sufficient. They collaborate with local governments and communities to transform schools into kidfriendly learning environments equipped with libraries full of engaging books. They're also fighting against gender inequality in education. Unfortunately, girls are still far behind boys in their completion of secondary school. Keeping a girl in school not only improves her life, but the quality of life for her future family as well. So far, we have been able to provide 37,485 for kids in school. These books are written specifically for them, in their language. This helps to make reading fun for kids and keep them engaged while learning. Tell us about the socks themself. CS: The blue and yellow colors used are all inspired by the Room to Read logo. Each pair is embroidered with a small book by the ankle, so that every time you wear them you remember the impact you've made in a child's life. For every pair of Socks that Give Books, one book is provided to children in Asia.

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WHEN MEMORIES BECOME CURRENCY – HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE? BY MEGAN LORD

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

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

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

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Review of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

This Momma was overdue for some serious reading, and WOW, this book delivered! The perfect vacation binge read. I started this book a day or two before we left on our trip, and got addicted quickly. I binge read the whole flight to Ecuador, and on every form of transportation we took once in the country, finishing half way through the trip! That means start to finish, I read this book in 1 week, and I’m a slow reader to be honest. I haven’t finished a book that fast since The Girl on the Train 2 or 3 years ago! That speaks volumes for how I felt about this in itself. “Hardly a minute goes by when I don’t think of him, but in a way, isn’t that a lovely thing… To be so loved that you’re always near one’s thoughts? I see him every day through the memories we made together, and the ones he gifted me…” The Memory Thief is a futuristic story in which memories become a society’s form of currency. There are “gifted” individuals that can transfer memories from one person to another or steal them for themselves. Memories are what form a human being. What make you actually you. The lower class, ungifted citizens, rely on selling their personal memories to pay rent and survive – but at what point do you give up so much that you no longer exist yourself? The rich take so many memories they overload their brains with false realities of not their own that they no longer exist themselves either and go mad. People do extreme things to


make memories that are worth a lot - but how far is too far just to imprint a memory for someone else? I’ve always been a strong believer that memories are extremely important, but fleeting and hard to hold onto as time goes by. I personally take A LOT of photos, and have no shame doing so because after losing my gramps I got a strong dose of how important photos really are when they’re all you have left. Would I sell any memories myself – good or bad? That’s a difficult one – if you have to in order to survive, what pieces of your life are you willing to give away? How will that change you as a person? What if someone could just steal your memories from you? As with every good YA book, there’s a strong love story, there’s rollercoasters of up and down emotions, there’s the best friendship, and there’s devotion to the parentals. I don’t want to give too much away, because I hope everyone reads this book – but here’s a strong quote to give a glimpse into one of the many heart tugging emotional rides of the story: “I bought my mother’s life with my father’s blood.” Honestly if it wasn’t for the fear of too many spoilers if I tell too much about this book I could go on and on… but I won’t do that to you. This is one of those books I would LOVE to see made into a movie. Hollywood – read this book and make it happen!

ABOUT

THE BOOK

THE MEMORY THIEF BY LAUREN MANSY

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please. Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city's asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a "criminal's" memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier. 

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HEADLINES

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Image from McDonalds.com

McDonald’s Replaces Toys With Books in New Zealand Happy Meals Instead of a toy, New Zealand's McDonald’s restaurants are giving out Roald Dahl books in Happy Meals to encourage kids to read more. Books include Wonderful Mr. Willy Wonka, Matilda, Fantabuluos BFG, Lucky Charlie Bucket, Brave Little Sophie, and Marvellous Miss Honey. McDonald's plans to hand out 800,000 booklets over the course of six weeks. Each book will feature extracts from the original books by Dahl and come with a selection of stickers and activities. Read the Full Story from the Independent 68

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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon. BY PATTY LOVELL

This is a story about young girl. She's barely taller than her dog, has teeth that stick out very far, has a weird voice, and is often quite clumsy. But with encouragement from her grandma, Molly stands tall. One day though, she moves away, far from friends and her grandma. Everything changes and at Molly's new school, she is teased on the first day. And the second, third and fourth. But Molly defends herself. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a good book, as well as a reminder to stand tall, even when we are not the biggest or the best.

Get The Book! 69


Workout to Word Count. BY CHRISTIAN ADRIAN BROWN

FIT LIT Body, Mind and Quill

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

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

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In my last piece, I discussed how fitness became a transformative force in my life and my career as an author, and this isn’t an isolated experience. Charles Dickens was famous for his long constitutionals; they helped to clear his mind and prepare himself for the state necessary for creative thought. Haruki Murakami’s regime is as rigid as mine, if not more so— as part of his writing ritual, he swims, does a tenkilometer run, or both. “The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. Writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.” I agree with his reasoning in every sense of the word. Our bodies are connected to our minds, and when that conduit is clogged with negative effluvia—sickness, worry, doubt— we are not operating at our full potential. “Yes, yes,” you’re saying. “Now get to the part that tells me what to do to write the next War and Peace!” Well, I can’t do that, though I can stress that being prolific begins with being regimented, and exercise itself is regime, which is why it lays the perfect foundation for discipline. Begin by setting up your ritual (and if you have already done so, then begin by modifying your ritual) to incorporate a physical component. Before you sit down, go for a walk, a jog, or do pushups to get your blood pumping and to clear the cobwebs from your mind. The endorphins and mental acuity we receive from even ten minutes of moderate physical activity are well documented and proven, and this is an ongoing and evolving


condition, a knock-on effect: the more often you participate in physical activity (within reason and without over exhaustion), the more benefits you receive. As writers, we can be afflicted with a myopic focus on our characters, on their stories and their lives. Do not forget yourself. Do not forget the human connection that fuels our stories, the basic beat and breath to existence, the same energy we connect with through exercise and mindfulness. (As an aside, check out the amazing Eileen Kramer and her thoughts on breath, beauty, and dancing—at 104!) Reconnecting to that energy, to the simple glory of life, is divine and inspirational. It’s the only real muse we need, and our imaginary realms are all abstractions of that wonder. Once connected, too, that poetry transcribes itself through our voices and into our creative consciousness.

and achieve (we can learn this through adversity, too, though for the purpose of this article we’ll focus on positive challenges). You are a better person if you are a healthier person. This adage is true of everything in life, so those of us with cerebral pursuits are no different. However, even this classification is a misnomer, as there is no great “cerebral” and “physical” divide. These things aren’t stark binaries. We are creatures of conflicting, fluctuating elements that we hold in harmony. To be our best selves we should be dancing between our contrary states as often as possible. In an ideal world, would a construction worker be reading Shakespeare on his lunch break? Hell, yeah! My challenge to you: do one hundred squats before you sit down at your desk, and let me know how that session goes. I can’t promise you the next Nobel Prize, though I can promise you greater clarity, concentration, and energy. It might just be what you need to work through that plot tangle you’ve been stuck in. If not, take a long stroll and see if that’s not the Dickensian release your soul needed.

You want to write with depth?

You have options and these incredible machines of meat and bone at your disposal. Use them before they’re gone, and you’ll find that healthy repetition is a key ingredient to success.

You want to write heroes?

—C 

First know what it is to struggle 71


ABOUT THE BOOK

Scheming immortal kings and antediluvian horrors meet their match in a handmaiden. ABOUT HIS BOOK:

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

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BOOK REVIEW

World-Mart. A New Dystopian novel where the world has become incorporated. A chilling vision of a future that is all too believableclass segregation, energy and food shortages, antibiotic resistance and a government controlling all choices and actions of society. WorldMart is a compelling new dystopian series where a family struggles to survive in a corporate-controlled society where resources are scarce in this climate-ravaged America. Those who loved 1984 or Brave New World will love World-Mart. George Irwin remembers a time before the Big Climate Change, back when the airlines were still in business,

back when people still drove their own cars and the bulk of humanity had not yet been driven underground. Back when all people were still people despite their eye color or which class they were born into. . . . The world has changed much over his lifetime, but George still believes in the American Dream. However, when an alleged terrorist act lands his wife in the hospital, George stumbles upon a secret that could mean the end of all civilization. World-Mart takes place in a not-too-distant future, one in which the collective and all-powerful entity known as “Corporate� owns and controls every aspect of society.

World-Mart

BY LEIGH M. LANE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leigh M. Lane has been writing dark sci-fi and horror for over twenty-five years. Although most of her works carry elements of dystopian and psychological horror, she's not averse to delving into the gritty and the extreme. Her biggest influences are Serling, Matheson, Vonnegut, Orwell, Wells, Bradbury, Poe, King, Rice, and Dahl.

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NEW TO SHELF UNBOUND!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BOOK REVIEW

The Fruithandler Time Engine. When it comes to humor, this book has it, and not just from Fruithandler and his crew. Brady added clever ways to incorporate pop culture references: Hollaback Girl, Chewbaca, Hakuna Matata, Kwanza Chalupa, and others. I think I snorted a few times. What kept me reading was the characters. I kept wanting to know if Deirdre was going to make it back home. Deirdre was remarkably calm most of the time when dealing with her situation. I know I would have cried in a corner if I somehow was brought back in time, especially if I was only in 8th grade. The cast of zany intellects cracked me up. Col. Fruithandler and his crew were hilarious. They were too smart for their

own good which provided some great dialogue between all of them. As the story progresses, you don’t see much of that crew, and I found myself actually missing them! You can tell Brady had fun writing this book. When you can see that oozing from the pages, what more can you ask of a writer? Deirdre was not surprised that her current predicament came courtesy of an old, dead white guy. It was Colonel Ellsworth Fruithandler’s miraculous Time Engine that had left her stranded two centuries before her birth. With both Fruithandler and his Engine gone, Deirdre was learning firsthand that Colonial America was a dangerous place for a young, friendless black girl. If she wants to go home again,

The Fruithandler Time Engine BY ALLEN R. BRADY

Deirdre has just one task to complete. Armed with an eighthgrade understanding of physics and whatever she can scavenge from an eighteenth century farm, she needs to build a working time machine. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allen R. Brady lives in New York’s Orange County. In addition to the TARBABIES novel series, he has written plays for the Air Pirates Radio Theater, which are performed in venues throughout the Hudson Valley.

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BOOK REVIEW

Original Syn. “You’ll be surprised to see how quickly the world can change…” Tons of plot twists, strong female characters, diverse characters, messed up family dynamics, secrets, and lies. Without any spoilers, let’s dive in: 50 years before the story begins, there’s something called The Singularity, where the most powerful people merged their bodies with machines and became “enhanced” and possibly immortal; they stopped the aging process, and amassed all the wealth and power. They are the Synthetic Citizens, AKA Syns. Those who didn’t merge with machines are now called

Originals… and because the Syns don’t want them around, they came up with a slow but sure death sentence by tampering with the water systems and rendering all Original women infertile. Out in the wilderness, Ere and Cal are two of the last remaining young Originals. Ere is eighteen, his older cousin Cal is twenty-one, and otherwise their entire tribe is old and dying. Even Ere’s mother, the fierce warrior Ruth Fell, seems to be slowing down. Ere and Cal have no idea what the future will hold, but they both really hope it will involve someday meeting girls their own age.

Original Syn BY BETH KANDER

And then, Ere does meet a girl his own age. Sort of. He meets Ever, who appears to be his own age—but she’s a Syn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth Kander writes fiction, children's books, stage plays, screenplays, and more. Her dystopian trilogy Original Syn debuted in 2018. The first in the series, "Original Syn," electrified readers and is a finalist for the MIAL Fiction Award; the second book in the series, "Born in Syn," comes out fall 2019. Her other works of fiction include some delightful novels pending publication, the novel "Was" and the children's book "Glubbery Gray: The Knight-Eating Beast" (Pelican Publishing).

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Podster is a magazine for podcast listeners and serves as a curator for the best of known and unknown podcasts.

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F E AT U R E

THE TOP 10 LIST

The Summer 2019 Indie Next List

AMERICAN B OO K SE LLE R AS S OCI AT ION ' S

1.

An American Marriage: A Novel BY TAYARI JONES

Summer Reads List. 2.

There There: A Novel BY TOMMY ORANGE

The Summer 2019 Indie Next List for Reading Groups Preview.

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THE TOP 10 LIST

THE TOP 10 LIST

3.

7.

The Summer 2019 Indie Next List

The Summer 2019 Indie Next List

The Female Persuasion: A Novel

The Overstory: A Novel BY RICHARD POWERS

5.

BY MEG WOLITZER

The Immortalists: A Novel

9. Tin Man: A Novel BY SARAH WINMAN

BY CHLOE BENJAMIN

4.

8.

A Lucky Man: Stories

Florida: Stories BY​ ​LAUREN GROFF

BY JAMEL BRINKLEY

6.

Don’t Skip Out on Me: A Novel

10.

Welcome to Lagos: A Novel

BY CHIBUNDU ONUZO

BY WILLY VLAUTIN

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ON OUR SHELF

STOLEN SONGS

THE RULE OF MANY

THE CUBAN COMEDY

Maddison is a survivor. An unstable childhood has taught her to depend on no one but herself, which is exactly how she’s gotten to where she is today. With a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in the country, she’s finally able to settle into one location until she graduates. But with foster parents hooked on drugs, Maddison is forced to steal to make ends meet, not only for herself but her foster siblings. Kingsley is filthy rich. An only child, he lives with a mother who is dependent on alcohol, a father who doesn’t talk to him, and his chef, the only real family he has. His life changes when he overhears Maddison playing the cello.

Twins Ava and Mira Goodwin defy the Rule of One simply by existing. The single-child law, ruthlessly enforced by Texas’s Governor Roth, has made the sisters famous fugitives and inspirations for the resurgent rebellion known as the Common.

Piedra Negra is an isolated village, whose citizens consist mainly of soldiers injured in the revolution who pass the time drinking a firewater so intense, all hallucinate, and most never recover. The firewater distiller's daughter Elena longs to be a poet, and after a chance encounter with Daniel Arcilla, Cuba's most important poet, Elena wins a national poetry prize and leaves Piedra Negra behind for Havana. There she encounters a population adjusting to a new way of life, postrevolution: there are spies and secret meetings, black marketeers, and censorship. Full of outlandish humor and insights into an often contradictory and kafkaesque regime, Medina brings 1960s Cuba to life through the eyes of Elen.

by Samantha Armstrong

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by Ashley & Leslie Saunders

As Ava and Mira relinquish the relative safety of their Canadian haven to stand against Roth, new allies arise: Owen, a gifted young programmer, impulsively abandons his comfortable life in a moment of compassion, while Zee, an abused labor camp escapee, finds new purpose in resistance.

by Pablo Medina


ON OUR SHELF

THE STORY OF THE Y by Ben Arzate

In an attempt to interview forgotten outsider musician Y. Bhekhirst, Alex, an aspiring rock journalist, travels the backroads of Mexico along with his girlfriend, Primavera, his best friend/drug dealer Larry A.K.A Lobster, and the ghost of a singer trapped in his own record, John. Along the way they discover towns that disappear overnight, waiters without mouths, cartel bosses with mysterious powers, anarchist militias, and churches which contain infinite worlds. This surrealist road trip is the debut novel from the amazing mind of Ben Arzate.

FLOYD HARBOR: STORIES

THE LIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE UNIVERSE

by Joel Mowdy

by Kimi Eisele

A debut collection of linked stories, set largely in the 1990s. The twelve linked stories in Joel Mowdy's first book take place in and around Mastic Beach, a community on New York's Long Island that's close to the wealthy Hamptons but long afflicted by widespread poverty. Mostly in their teens and early twenties, the characters struggle to become independent in various ways, ranging from taking typical low-paying jobs—hotel laundry, janitorial, restaurant, and landscaping work—to highly ingenious schemes, to exchanging sexual favors for a place to stay.

After a global economic collapse and failure of the electrical grid, amid escalating chaos, Carson, a high school teacher of history who sees history bearing out its lessons all around him, heads west on foot toward Beatrix, a woman he met and fell hard for during a chance visit to his school. Working his way along a cross-country railroad line, he encounters lost souls, clever opportunists, and those who believe they’ll be delivered from hardship if they can find their way to the evangelical preacher Jonathan Blue, who is broadcasting on all the airwaves countrywide. 83


MY NEW BEGINNING. BY D.L. GRASER

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

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

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

Writing a second book about Moustache and Macintosh a memory from my seventh grade art class stirred within me recalling when my art teacher gave us a simple, but difficult assignment (if that makes any sense). We had to draw a picture using letters that make up the objects which we were creating in the composition of our drawing, but there was a catch…no one could use an eraser or get a new sheet of paper. If you mess up your drawing you keep going and make any mistakes part of the drawing. In my art world this was unheard of… no eraser, no new sheet of paper that was crazy! My drawing was a mess. I did the only thing I could do and that was to do as the teacher required. To make a long story short, the end result of my drawing turned out pretty good. I had worked hard on it and I learned a lot, even though I was frustrated at times. My art teacher taught me a valuable lesson that year and it was to think creatively, get out of the box and use my imagination and most of all finish. I never forgot this teacher or the lesson she instilled in me. I wonder if she intended for this to be a life lesson for us young teenagers at the time or just an art assignment. For me this was valuable lesson that went beyond art class. So what does that have to do with writing a book you ask? Unlike my first book I wasn’t awakened early in the morning to get up and write. I had to make much more of an effort to find the time. My imagination for some reason didn’t flow like it did before, I had to press in and make it expand and I couldn’t quit working and stay home and write all day. Everything was different with my second book.

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Being stuck one day a thought came to me and said “I have shown you how to do it,” meaning, I had been shown how to write a book. I just need to keep going. Amazed by these words I said to myself it’s true, I had been shown how to write a book. The Authority which flowed through me then still remains within me now. Heading to my laptop I was determined to finish what I had started. I write this to say don’t give up on your book; if it’s jiggling around in your brain start writing it down or if you have already started writing and feel like you’re stuck get out of the box, be creative and keep going. It may not be perfect, but keep going, perseverance pays off. Just as in seventh grade art class many decades ago struggling to create a drawing with letters, getting past the mistakes, stretching my imagination and working hard, I am using those same valuable tools today to create with letters once again. 

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

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And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.�

- F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, THE GREAT GATSBY

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JUNE / JULY 2019

SHELF UNBOUND WHAT TO READ NEXT IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING

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Shelf Unbound - June/July Issue: Summer Reads  

In this issue: Interviews with Jon McGregor, author of The Reservoir Tapes and Julia Dixon Evans, author of How To Set Yourself On Fire. Exc...

Shelf Unbound - June/July Issue: Summer Reads  

In this issue: Interviews with Jon McGregor, author of The Reservoir Tapes and Julia Dixon Evans, author of How To Set Yourself On Fire. Exc...