It’s Alive!

Julian David Stone

THE BOOK: It’s Alive!

PUBLISHED IN
: 2022

THE AUTHOR:
  Julian David Stone

THE PUBLISHER
: Greenleaf Book Group

SUMMARY: Thrill to the story inspired by true events of how Universal Pictures launched the classic monster movie phenomenon with the 1931 production of Frankenstein in a new historical novel It’s Alive! This is an exciting and vibrant portrait of 1930s Hollywood centered around the chaotic and exciting days just before the filming of the beloved cult-classic film, Frankenstein. Woven with hopeful passion, emotional vulnerability, staunch determination, and creative fulfillment, readers will be swept along with breathless cinematic pace through events that will not only change the lives of everyone involved, but Hollywood itself.

THE BACK STORY: For me, this particular story took a bit longer than usual to write. I first got the idea back in 2013 and then worked on it on and off for the next 8 years before finally completing it in early 2021. I have always been a fan of the classic horror films of the 1930s and when I started reading more and more about their history, I realized there was a fascinating story in the production of Frankenstein that was not just a simple story about a film being produced, but about a much larger one about what drive us as human beings, and how that effected a pivotal moment in Hollywood history.

WHY THIS TITLE?: It’s Alive! seemed to be the perfect title as it one of the most famous lines from the 1931 Frankenstein, as well as one of the most famous in movie history. And the story is also about bringing “to life” the film itself.
Historical Fiction would really enjoy the story, and in particular fans of the Classic Horror films of the thirties and the Golden Age of Hollywood would be swept along with the novel’s breathless cinematic pace through the fun and chaotic events that not only change the lives of everyone involved, but Hollywood itself.

REVIEW COMMENTS
: “A new book is taking a look back at Frankenstein and the changes it brought to film and to one studio in particular. It’s Alive! is an informative celebration of the film that really kicked off monsters in cinema. The fictionalized story captures all of the on-set and behind-the-scenes drama that surrounded the Frankenstein’s production and showcases the story to a new generation.” – Film Daily

AUTHOR PROFILE
: Julian David Stone is the author of the award-winning novel: The Strange BirthShort life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl, which is about the world of the 1950s live television. It is currently being turned into a TV series. Julian is also the author of the best-selling coffee table book, No Cameras Allowed: My Career As An Outlaw Rock & Roll Photographer, detailing in words and photos his wild adventures photographing rock and roll concerts in the 1980s. Stone grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, eventually relocating to Los Angeles to study filmmaking and then enter the entertainment business. His previous work include screenplays for Disney, Paramount, Sony, and MGM; the full-length play, The Elvis Test; and several short-form documentaries on Frank Sinatra for Warner Bros. He is also the writer and director of the hit cult comedy feature film, Follow the Bitch, which has played to packed houses all around the country and received numerous awards.

SAMPLEhttps://www.amazon.com/Its-Alive-Julian-David-Stone/dp/1626349312LOCAL OUTLETSDark Delicacies Horror Bookstore in Burbank, CA

WHERE TO BUY IThttps://www.amazon.com/Its-Alive-Julian-David-Stone/dp/1626349312

PRICE: $22.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Connect with Stone at JulianDavidStone.com, on Facebook.com/julian.stone.7Twitter.com/JulianDStone and Instagram @JulianDavidStone.

Daughters

THE BOOK: Daughters

PUBLISHED IN
: 2021.

THE AUTHOR:  Brittney Corrigan

THE PUBLISHER
Airlie Press: a nonprofit publisher run by writers, dedicated to cultivating and sustaining fine contemporary poetry and to promoting poets from the Pacific Northwest.

SUMMARY: This collection reimagines characters from mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and pop culture from the perspective of their daughters—daughters we don’t expect such individuals to have, as we don’t usually think of Bigfoot, the Mad Hatter, or Medusa as parents. The persona poems in Daughters give voice to the guilt, resentment, and anger that may come with raising a child as well as explore the intertwining of these shameful feelings with pride and love. These figures are a new visioning, from the daughters’ perspective, of what it means to shape another human being. Taking on such topics as aging, rebellion, loss, domestic violence, homelessness, and gender identity, the voices of Daughters aim to upend the reader’s conceptions of the characters and throw light upon what it means for a girl to come out from under her parents as a woman of her own making.

Brittney Corrigan

THE BACK STORY: I’ve long had an interest in persona poems. My senior thesis at Reed College was a series of poems that re-envisioned animal transformation stories from folklore, fairy tales, and mythology, and many of the poems ended up in the persona form. Then, for two decades after I graduated, I wrote solely confessional poetry. The weekend of my 40th birthday in 2011, I attended a writing workshop in which we were asked to bring a poem we’d written about a difficult subject. We were then asked to take that same subject matter and try it as a persona poem. My interest in the genre was immediately rekindled.

The idea for the book began by accident. I wrote the first poem, “Scarecrow’s Daughter,” after turning again to the persona form. Around the same time, I was trying to write a poem from the perspective of Bigfoot. It wasn’t working at all, so I decided to rewrite it from the perspective of his imagined daughter, which was much more successful. When I finished that poem, it just happened to be the exact same length and format (six stanzas of six lines each) as Scarecrow’s Daughter. At that point, I decided I was on to something, and I began writing persona poems from the perspective of a wide variety of characters—all in the 6×6 form—until there were enough for a complete collection.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Definitely self-evident! 🙂

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?  These poems explore the persona form from a variety of different angles within the same collection. Those with an interest in revisioning mythology and folklore would find this collection interesting, as would women (and others) coming of age and into their own identities, parents wrestling with relationships with their young adult/adult children, and folks interested in feminist poetry.

REVIEW COMMENTS
:

“Brittney Corrigan is a sorceress of voices. Never have I read persona poems as deeply true and wholly convincing as the ones gathered in this stunning collection. In poem after poem, Corrigan shape-shifts—now the daughter of a magician’s assistant, a surgeon, a seismologist, the Medusa, the Yeti, and more—mining history, myth, fairy tales, and the professions to explore the conceit of daughterhood. By the time I got to the end of this gorgeous book, with all its richly imagined lives, I felt in the presence of a great daughterly chorus, one that tells us ‘the story of [our] own longing.’ Revelatory, authentic, and moving, Daughters tears off the masks, taking us to the heart of what it means to be female, human, and alive.” —Alison Townsend, author of Persephone in America

“Before we are women, we are daughters, clothed in the superstitions of others and shaped by beliefs, talents, interests, and traumas that are not our own. Brittney Corrigan knows this. She knows how much the present depends upon the past and knows, too, that the truest work of growing up for a girl lies in sloughing off that which does not belong to you in pursuit of that which does. The poems in this stunning collection delve deeply into the highly empathetic gesture of persona, embodying the daughters of characters from history, the headlines, and mythology to trace how we are formed and how we, in turn, shed and gather into our own unique selves. With luminous language, arresting imagery, surprising form, and a marrow-deep knowledge of love and loss, the poet shines in this excavation of context and identity, this praise song for the stretching of limbs toward the light—and for the irrepressible essence of girls becoming. A beautiful, unforgettable work of artful love.” — Stacey Lynn Brown, author of The Shallows and editor of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

“Beyond the cleverness of these vividly specific, playfully imagined persona poems—which draw from the language of professions like taxidermy to time travel to the Minotaur—are Corrigan’s deft insights into human emotions, and the array of ways we understand ourselves and who we come from. ‘We sing / for the same reason cranes sing, / or the deepening whales, / or a whole fierce chorus of wolves,’ Siren’s Daughter says, correcting male hubris, in one of my favorites. Corrigan creates an original and brilliantly fierce chorus.” —Alexandra Teague, author of The Wise and Foolish Builders

AUTHOR PROFIL
E:  Brittney Corrigan is the author of the poetry collections DaughtersBreakingNavigation, and 40 WeeksSolastalgia, a collection of poems about climate change, extinction, and the Anthropocene Age, is forthcoming from JackLeg Press in 2023. Brittney was raised in Colorado and has lived in Portland, Oregon for the past three decades, where she is an alumna and employee of Reed College. She is currently at work on her first short story collection, also exploring Anthropocene themes. In addition to writing, Brittney enjoys the outdoors (particularly the Oregon coast), is covered in a zoo of tattoos, and has a passion for all things Halloween and macabre. She collects artwork involving rabbits and York ghosts.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Daughters is about rethinking stereotypes and gender roles and considering why certain familiar stories resonate with us. I wanted to question gender roles and the stories that we tell ourselves and that are passed down to our daughters, exploring how we might tell these stories differently. As the project developed, I wanted it to be inclusive of many different kinds of daughters, and of how all kinds of women define themselves as daughters. The book was originally going to be dedicated to my younger child. Then, in the last year before the book came out, my kiddo came out as trans and didn’t want the book to be dedicated to them anymore. So the poem “Not {Daughter}” was written for them (and included with their permission). In that process, I began to rethink the binary of daughterhood. I was glad to have “Not {Daughter}” included, to expand the relevance of the collection to folks who may have been born female but don’t consider themselves daughters anymore. Or those who were not born female but also consider themselves daughters. It made me look at the whole concept of daughterhood differently, questioning what daughterhood means within a society and who it includes.

SAMPLE

https://www.airliepress.org/brittney-corrigan-daughters

https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781950404063/daughters.aspx

LOCAL OUTLETSDirect from Airlie Press

https://www.annieblooms.com/book/9781950404063

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:

https://bookshop.org/books/daughters-9781950404063/9781950404063

https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781950404063/daughters.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughters-brittney-corrigan/1139811731?ean=9781950404063

PRICE: $18

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

brittneycm@gmail.com

https://www.instagram.com/brittneycm/

eycm/

https://www.facebook.com/brittneycorriganwriter/

The Monthly Replay

This feature has a two-fold purpose: 1. To allow those recently added to our followers list to discover books they might have missed and 2. To make sure previously featured authors and their work aren’t forgotten. If you’d like to learn more about any of the books revisited here, simply click on the “Authors” page, then on that author’s name.

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IN A FAMILY WAY,” BY ZEKE JARVIS.

Writes one reviewer: “In his brilliant collection of short stories, In a Family Way: Stories, Jarvis pulls no punches. These stories are just as much visceral as they are cerebral. These are rich stories which peel back the veneer of any semblance of a neatly ordered life and then grip us with their gut-wrenching honesty and darkness. In many ways, I was reminded of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Everything might seem normal on the surface; yet, once you get past the superficiality it’s anything but normal. The stories in this collection are not for the faint of heart. However, if you’re looking for something dark and thought-provoking, you are definitely going to enjoy this collection. “

“COLD MIDNIGHT,” BY BETH KANELL

Teens Claire Benedict and Ben Riley have been climbing the roofs of town at night — each for a different, and private, reason. When they meet, they realize they’ve seen something related to a recent murder of the Chinese laundry owner. Their struggle to work with the detective on the case, and stay out of major trouble, tosses them into danger from both fire and blizzard. Not to mention the criminal. Or is there more than one?

“AMERICAN SENTENCING,” BY JEN KARETNICK

American Sentencing is a book of poems about chronic and invisible illness in all its forms, both physical and mental. It looks at various autoimmune diseases, cancers, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, Alzheimer’s, and more. It investigates prognoses, symptoms, and complications from a variety of perspectives–not just from those who suffer from them, but from the caregivers’ point of view as well. The invisibly ill walk through life on a fraught path, and those who walk with them encounter the same obstacles but in a different manner. As someone who lives with several invisible illnesses, I wanted readers to be able to see what happens to us and to those who take care of us. Eventually, everyone suffers from a chronic condition. Unfortunately, it’s usually not real until it happens to you.

“WEST END,” BY NOREEN LACE.

From a review: “The novella has always been one of my favorite forms because it forces a kind of economy in the writer. It takes a good writer to master this form and I believe Noreen Lace has achieved that mastery. Her haunting portrayal of life in a dying mid-western city is spot on. The narrative character internalizes the decay of her environment to devastating consequences. A lovely little jewel of a book!” 

“WILDERNESS & RAZOR WIRE,” BY KEN LAMBERTON

From Ken: “Serving time in an Arizona state prison, I write about my crime, the effects of my incarceration on my wife and children, and the ways in which my observations of and reflections about the world of nature helped heal and instruct me, as well as pass the time. In a place where boredom can be refined to a new level, I write about insects and birds and weeds that trespass the prison yard or I can observe beyond the wire.

“Wilderness and Razor Wire grew out of a collection of essays I had been publishing in literary journals for almost a decade under the mentorship of Richard Shelton, who was leading the creative writing workshops in prison. “

“CAMILLE ABROAD,” BY JENNIFER LAGIER

In Camille Abroad, the audience returns to the wry, irreverent, sensual world of Jennifer Lagier’s existential anti-hero, Camille who was introduced in the first of three chapbooks, Camille Verite . As she matures, her adventures range from sultry to bemused senior citizen, from Big Sur to Paris, Spain, and back to her beloved California coast. These poems challenge readers to come along for a sometimes rueful, often humorous, frequently erotic ride. Volume three, Camille Mobilizes, will be published in December 2018.

Weather Report, May 16

New York Post

Our currently featured books, “Searching for Jimmy Page” by Christy Alexander Hallberg, “One Hundred Percent Me,” by Renee Macalino Rutledge, and “Bread Of,” by Gabrielle Jo Lessans, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors Page.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MAY 17-23

“IT’S ALIVE!” BY JULIAN DAVID STONE.

According to “Film Daily”: “A new book is taking a look back at Frankenstein and the changes it brought to film and to one studio in particular. It’s Alive! is an informative celebration of the film that really kicked off monsters in cinema. The fictionalized story captures all of the on-set and behind-the-scenes drama that surrounded the Frankenstein’s production and showcases the story to a new generation.”

“DAUGHTERS,” BY BRITTNEY CORRIGAN.

This collection reimagines characters from mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and pop culture from the perspective of their daughters—daughters we don’t expect such individuals to have, as we don’t usually think of Bigfoot, the Mad Hatter, or Medusa as parents. The persona poems in Daughters give voice to the guilt, resentment, and anger that may come with raising a child as well as explore the intertwining of these shameful feelings with pride and love. These figures are a new visioning, from the daughters’ perspective, of what it means to shape another human being. Taking on such topics as aging, rebellion, loss, domestic violence, homelessness, and gender identity, the voices of Daughters aim to upend the reader’s conceptions of the characters and throw light upon what it means for a girl to come out from under her parents as a woman of her own making.

“THE MONTHLY REPLAY.”

This month, we will revisit “Cold Midnight,” by Beth Kanell, “In a Family Way,” by Zeke Jarvis, “American Sentencing,” by Jen Karetnick, “Wilderness & Razor Wire,” by Ken Lamberton, “Camille Abroad,” by Jennifer Lagier and “West End,” by Noreen Lace.

Searching for Jimmy Page

This week’s other featured books, “One Hundred Percent Me,” by Renee Macalino Rutledge and “Bread Of,” by Gabrille Joy Lessans, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK: Searching for Jimmy Page

PUBLISHED IN: October 2021

THE AUTHOR: Christy Alexander Hallberg

THE PUBLISHER: Livingston Press/University of West Alabama

SUMMARY: The unraveling of eighteen-year-old Luna Kane’s haunted past begins in the winter of 1988, when her dying great-grandfather, a self-proclaimed faith healer, claims he hears phantom owls crying in the night. “Them owls, like music. Can you hear the music?” he implores her in his final moments, triggering Luna’s repressed memory of her dead mother’s obsession with Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitar wizard. Desperate to learn the truth about her mother’s suicide, to tease fact from family lore to weave her own personal narrative, Luna embarks on a pilgrimage from her family’s farm in the pines of eastern North Carolina to England, to search for the man whose music her mother held sacred.

THE BACK STORY: I’ve been a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, especially Jimmy Page, since I was a teenager. The novel is a love song not only to that band/guitarist but also to my late mother and late husband, both of whom made me promise to finish writing it.

WHY THIS TITLE: The protagonist is on a mission to locate Jimmy Page, but she’s also searching for her own identity and sense of self. The title works on both a literal and metaphorical level.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: As Martha Southgate, author of Third Girl to the Left, said of Searching for Jimmy Page, “You don’t have to love Led Zeppelin to have a whole lotta love for Christy Alexander Hallberg’s gorgeous rock and roll fantasy. Searching for Jimmy Page will speak to anyone who has ever loved—truly loved—someone they know only from the posters on their walls and the music that speaks to their very soul.” This novel is about more than celebrity worship. Searching for Jimmy Page is a story about the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, grief, identity, and the power of art and music and how they connect us to others and ourselves.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Within this engrossing rockin’ tale, Hallberg captures the mysterious compelling enigma that is Jimmy Page.” —Pamela Des Barres, New York Times Bestselling author of I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

“In this debut novel, a young woman’s search for details about her dead mother leads her to a guitar hero. . . . The novel is strangely gripping, and fans of Led Zeppelin, in particular, will enjoy how the author has woven the band’s mythology through Luna’s odyssey. . . . An intriguing but brooding coming-of-age tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Readers seeking strong literary works that focus on a daughter’s journey to grasp the essence of family relationships through cultural icons and musical references will find Searching for Jimmy Page a powerful story. It is very highly recommended reading . . .” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Hallberg’s masterful storytelling skills are further elevated by her beautifully crafted prose. . . . Searching for Jimmy Page is woven through with Zeppelin mythology that fans of the band will love. But it’s Luna’s humanity and heartbreak that ultimately strikes a chord and resonates with readers.” —Rob Errera, IndieReader

“In her wondrous first novel, Christy Hallberg gives us a mystery, a mother-daughter love story, a paean to rock and roll, and a window into the culture of eastern North Carolina, all joined seamlessly by the elegance and poetry of her writing. It’s a book that begs to be read twice, first to find out the true story of Luna’s parentage, and then again, immediately but more slowly, to savor the beauty of the language.” —Liza Wieland, author of Paris, 7 A.M., named one of The Best Books by Women of Summer 2019 by O, the Oprah Magazine

“Searching for Jimmy Page is an intoxicating journey into the secret world that lies hidden inside certain songs, a place of illicit promises, shifting identities, and unlikely personal connections. Hallberg’s story unfolds with lyrical poise and thrums with the feral heart of the best rock and roll.” —Jeff Jackson, author of Destroy All Monsters: The Last Rock Novel

“Steeped in rock and roll lore, Searching for Jimmy Page is the coming-of-age tale of a motherless daughter making sense of her grief, and finding the strength to save herself from the flood of loss that threatens to wash her future away. Hallberg’s prose is sumptuous and rich with detail, and readers will fall in love with tenacious Luna. Searching for Jimmy Page is a heartbreaking and hopeful debut.” —Meagan Lucas, author of the award-winning novel Songbirds & Stray Dogs

“Multi-generational secrets, the semi-mystical music of Led Zeppelin, and the tidal pull of a Southern family combine to create literary magic in Christy Alexander Hallberg’s Searching for Jimmy Page. . . . A beautifully written and engaging first novel.” —Kim Wright, author of Last Ride to Graceland, winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

“Christy Hallberg’s Searching for Jimmy Page is a musical mystery where the author’s melodious writing throws her troubled teenage heroine, Luna Kane, headlong into the pulsing beat of a bygone Rock N Roll era. Luna’s search for the father she never knew begins in a trance and ends with enlightenment, and like any good coming of age tale, the story proves that the lyrics of life, like those of Rock N Roll, are sometimes unexplainable.” —Landis Wade, host of Charlotte Readers Podcast and author of The Christmas Courtroom Trilogy

“Searching for Jimmy Page explores the dangerous magic that arises when pop culture is mixed with traditional folkways in the rural South. From power chords to delicate noodling of our heart’s innermost strings, Hallberg’s debut demonstrates breathtaking range.”—George Hovis, author of The Skin Artist

“Searching for Jimmy Page is a powerful coming-of-age story in which an orphaned girl tries to make sense of her difficult circumstances.” —Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews

For more reviews, visit the author’s website: http://www.christyalexanderhallberg.com

AUTHOR PROFILE: Christy Alexander Hallberg is the author of the award-winning novel Searching for Jimmy Page (Livingston Press, 2021). She is a Teaching Professor of English at East Carolina University, where she also serves as Senior Associate Editor of North Carolina Literary Review. She received her BS and MA in English from East Carolina University and her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Goddard College. Her fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in such journals as NCLR, Main Street Rag, Eclectica, storySouth, Entropy, Litro, Concho River Review, Deep South Magazine, and Still: The Journal. Her creative nonfiction essay “The Ballad of Evermore” was a finalist for the Sequestrum 2020 Editor’s Reprint Award. Her flash story “Aperture,” originally published as Story of the Month in Fiction Southeast, was selected for the 2021 issue of Best Small Fictions. Find her at http://www.christyalexanderhallberg.com/ and on Twitter/Instagram @ChristyHallberg.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

Read the first chapter on the Livingston Press website: https://livingstonpress.uwa.edu/Serching%20for%20Jimmy%20Page.htm

Listen to various excerpts on the author’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfSnRmlL5moSQYi6EjSvqag

LOCAL OUTLETS: Malaprop’s, City Lights Bookstore, Quail Ridge Books, Scuppernong Books, Adventure Bound Books For purchasing links, visit the author’s website: http://www.christyalexanderhallberg.com

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Livingston Press, IndieBound, Target, Barnes & Noble

PRICE: $18.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: christyalexanderhallberg@gmail.com

One Hundred Percent Me

THE BOOK: One Hundred Percent Me

PUBLISHED IN: May 2022

THE AUTHOR: Renee Macalino Rutledge

THE PUBLISHER: Bloom Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Ulysses Press

SUMMARY: A little girl is used to hearing questions about her looks all the time. “Where are you from?” “What are you?” These questions are a constant reminder from others that she is different. As she embraces her identity and culture, she teaches others that she belongs, that the differences they notice are part of what make her unique, special, and herself.

THE BACK STORY: All my life, I’ve heard the questions the protagonist in the story hears. As a brown person, I’ve come to expect being exoticized, “othered” in habitual conversation. When I became a mother, I witnessed my daughters being asked the same questions. I also noticed, with their being multiracial, people constantly want to tell them who or which side they look like. This can be totally innocent and often stems from curiosity or affection. But One Hundred Percent Me turns those questions on their head, gives the child the agency to say, “I’m from here; this city is just as much mine as yours; and I am distinctive and beautiful.”

WHY THIS TITLE?: Identity can’t be placed in fractions. With multiracial kids, it’s widespread to say, I’m “half” this and “half” something else; or “a quarter” this and “three-quarters” that. But in reality, you can’t chop up DNA that way. It’s important to acknowledge our ancestors and our cultural heritage. But no matter our background, we are all one hundred percent ourselves. The book also speaks to the wisdom of children. They wouldn’t chop up identity in perfectly neat designations. They’re way of knowing is often right on point.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? It reminds us all that we are matchless, connected to generations of ancestors who helped to make us who we are.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Reading One Hundred Percent Me brought tears to my eyes as I followed the little girl through her encounters with people asking questions such as “what are you?,” and through her attempts to respond. Although my background is 100 percent European, I believe I could have used this book as a child to help me understand how I am unique and one of a kind, just as Renee Rutledge’s little girl finds a way to explain and be proud of her own heritage and uniqueness. The author’s simple yet poetic language and the beautiful illustrations by Anita Prades carry the story forward to its happy conclusion.” — Kevis Brownson, Organizer of the Alameda Authors Series 2017-2020

AUTHOR PROFILE: I was born in the Philippines and raised in California from the age of 4. My husband was born in New York, with family from New York and Puerto Rico. We both grew up multilingual then forgetting and having to relearn our mother tongues, Tagalog and Spanish. I wrote my first poem when I was six years old and believe in Ursula LeGuin’s quote: “The creative adult is the child who has survived.”

AUTHOR COMMENTS: My children did not grow up seeing themselves in books, nor did I, but this is changing as the literary landscape becomes more inclusive. The more we can identify with the characters we read about, the more inspired we are to be the change we wish to see in the world.

SAMPLE: https://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Percent-Renee-Macalino-Rutledge/dp/1646043480/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

LOCAL OUTLETS: Books Inc., Alameda; Barnes and Noble, Emeryville.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Bookshop.org, Indiebound.org, Powells.com, Walmart, your local bookstore, anywhere books are sold

PRICE: $17.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Instagram: @renee_rutledge; website: reneerutledge.com

Bread Of

THE BOOK: Bread Of

PUBLISHED IN
: July, 2021

THE AUTHOR:  Gabrielle Joy Lessans

THE EDITOR
: Mark Harris

THE PUBLISHER
: Ornithopter Press

SUMMARY: Gabrielle Joy Lessans’s debut poetry collection Bread Of revisits buried and often mortifying memories of self-mutilation, emotional abuse, drug use, sexual assault, social pressure, and misery as a means of self-excavation. In this way, the autobiographical Bread Of is a multilayered processing of shame that feeds on itself when left untended. The book’s vertical movement can be understood as a quest of sorts, a way of reckoning with and integrating a lost iteration of self. With tenderness and humor, Lessans invites us to share in a return that builds page by page—each centering a text that questions what a poem can be—into an unflinching exploration of what it means to occupy a body that simultaneously falls through and takes up space, a body that carries memory in its tissue, not only of lived experience, but also of an ancient and internal sense of Divinity. 

THE BACK STORY
: I wrote this manuscript as a means of healing from some tough experiences & reclaiming the narrative of my own past. 

WHY THIS TITLE?: There’s a saying in Judaism that had been fixed in my head as I was writing this book, a term called “bread of shame,” through the title here means something different than what the saying typically means. 

I view it as making something material, something substantial, something universal out of shame. Instead of letting the shame eat away at you, making it into something edible. 

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? 
It’s an interesting blend of genre. Poetic prose. Experimental form. Spiritual wriitng. 

REVIEW COMMENTS

“Gabrielle Lessans’s Bread Of is a powerful coming-of-age poetic memoir that reveals a self fighting for control over its identity in the throes of empty lust, shame, and gossip born of technology. From the womb of a mattress conformed to a body, to a city where everyone has “the ability to be a little bird,” warm wildness ensues: You open your eyes & the force of your lashes lays / a gust that spins outwards, through / umbral wheatgrass, a gentle / riptide. With the self’s inability to grasp an accepted reality, language fragments and others. Lessans’s phrases, like dinner plate pupils and galactic longitude, illuminate a strangeness that can accompany bodily abyss: a state of deep longing for a haven and for the body to belong. Bread Of, fearless and nonchalantly feminine so effortlessly chill, will leave you breathless.”
—Karolina Zapal, Author of Notes For Mid-Birth (Inside the Castle) and Polalka (Spuyten Duyvil)

AUTHOR PROFIL
E: Gabrielle Joy Lessans is a poet, yogi, and new mother. She lives, writes & teaches in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, son, dog & cat. Her collaborative chapbook [Re]Collection of the [Un]Likely is available through Trainwreck Press, and her second full-length poetry collection, [a go], is forthcoming this summer through Ornithopter Press. 
  

SAMPLEhttps://www.ornithopterpress.com/store/p13/BREAD_OF.html

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Ornithopter Press, Amazon

PRICE: $18.00

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Find Gabrielle at gabbyjoy019@gmail. http://www.gabbyjoy.yoga, or follow @smallnesses

Weather Report May 9

Jimmy Page (Morrison Hotel Collection)

Our currently featured books, “I Know You Love Me, Too,” by Amy Neswald, “Mouse,” by Scott Stedman and “Preternatural Reckoning,” by Peter Topside, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MAY 10-16

“SEARCHING FOR JIMMY PAGE,” BY CHRISTY ALEXANDER HALLBERG.

The unraveling of eighteen-year-old Luna Kane’s haunted past begins in the winter of 1988, when her dying great-grandfather, a self-proclaimed faith healer, claims he hears phantom owls crying in the night. “Them owls, like music. Can you hear the music?” he implores her in his final moments, triggering Luna’s repressed memory of her dead mother’s obsession with Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitar wizard. Desperate to learn the truth about her mother’s suicide, to tease fact from family lore to weave her own personal narrative, Luna embarks on a pilgrimage from her family’s farm in the pines of eastern North Carolina to England, to search for the man whose music her mother held sacred.

“ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ME,” BY RENEE MACOLINO RUTLEDGE.

Writes one reviewer: “;Reading One Hundred Percent Me’ brought tears to my eyes as I followed the little girl through her encounters with people asking questions such as “what are you?,” and through her attempts to respond. Although my background is 100 percent European, I believe I could have used this book as a child to help me understand how I am unique and one of a kind, just as Renee Rutledge’s little girl finds a way to explain and be proud of her own heritage and uniqueness. The author’s simple yet poetic language and the beautiful illustrations by Anita Prades carry the story forward to its happy conclusion.”

“BREAD OF,” BY GABRIELLE JOY LESSANS

Gabrielle Joy Lessans’s debut poetry collection Bread Of revisits buried and often mortifying memories of self-mutilation, emotional abuse, drug use, sexual assault, social pressure, and misery as a means of self-excavation. In this way, the autobiographical Bread Of is a multilayered processing of shame that feeds on itself when left untended. The book’s vertical movement can be understood as a quest of sorts, a way of reckoning with and integrating a lost iteration of self. With tenderness and humor, Lessans invites us to share in a return that builds page by page—each centering a text that questions what a poem can be—into an unflinching exploration of what it means to occupy a body that simultaneously falls through and takes up space, a body that carries memory in its tissue, not only of lived experience, but also of an ancient and internal sense of Divinity. 

I Know You Love Me, Too

This week’s other featured books, “Mouse,” by N. Scott Stedman and “Preternatural: Reckoning,” by Peter Topside, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK: I Know You Love Me, Too

PUBLISHED IN: 2021

THE AUTHOR: Amy Neswald

THE PUBLISHER: New American Press

SUMMARY: I Know You Love Me, Too circles around two half-sisters, Ingrid and Kate, eight years apart, whose shared father dies when Ingrid is twenty and Kate, twelve. As Ingrid struggles with her artistic identity and love life, the hairline cracks in Kate’s seemingly perfect life widen. Told from varying perspectives, I Know You Love Me, Too follows Ingrid and Kate through their lives, loves, and their attempts to understand their inheritance of mysteries and memories left behind by their dead father. As Ingrid muses in Friday Harbor, the relationship between half-sisters should be half as complicated… but they’re not.

The novel-in-stories about sisterhood, grief, and discovering one’s true self through the accidents of life.

THE BACK STORY: This book started as a single story about two half-sisters on a kayak trip who are vying for the attention of their tour guide, who become proxy to their attempts to ‘own’ the memory of their shared, deceased father. Then, someone I deeply respect suggested I read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strouth and that was it – I started investing into the world of these two characters.

WHY THIS TITLE: In the collection, the characters live in families that don’t say “I love you,” but one character says at some point the she knows her older sister loves her, despite her awkwardness and unwillingness to admit her love.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I Know You Love Me, Too, is an examination of sisterhood and grief and the secrets left behind when a parent dies too young. This is a hopeful novel-in-stories that celebrates the subtleties of beauty.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“The language is compelling, both in terms of its descriptions and its apt observations. In “Forty-six”, repetition and figurative language engine the story, showing the near mania that drives Kate. In another story, a character remarks, ‘Love is like that: it is hard to get the measurements just right.’

“The novel-in-stories I Know You Love Me, Too follows the evolution of a sisterhood—a troubled relationship covered via visceral descriptions and lush language.” — — Camille-Yvette Welsch, Foreword Reviews

“Enhanced with inventive observations – success ‘arrived too late and she doesn’t know how to care for it’; ‘Ingrid channels her obese aunt, her succulent swirls of fat’; ‘she’s run out of things to say. She blames this on contentment’ – Neswald effortlessly alchemizes the prosaic into something extraordinary.” — Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness

AUTHOR PROFILE: Amy Neswald is a fiction writer and screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Normal School, Bat City Review, and Green Mountain Review, among others. She is a recent recipient of the New American Fiction prize with her debut novel-in-stories I Know You Love Me, Too. Prior to moving to rural Maine, she had a long career as a wigmaster for Broadway shows. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maine in Farmington and continues working on her next novel and a collection of short films.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:

Keep writing.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Devany, Doak, and Garrett Booksellers

WHERE TO BUY IT:

Bookshop.org

Amazon

And other online vendors and independent bookstores

PRICE: $17

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

https://www.amyneswald.com/

https://www.instagram.com/amyneswald/

Mouse

THE BOOK: Mouse

PUBLISHED IN
: 2022

THE AUTHOR: Scott Stedman

THE PUBLISHER
: Greenleaf Book Group

SUMMARY: “There aren’t many coders like that, not that I’ve ever met. You just might find that the mouse is really a lion, and even worse, that the lion has your head in her mouth.”TWELVE-YEAR-OLD MOUSE GAMMA has spent her entire life struggling to communicate. She’s never understood how to stop the bullies and negligent foster parents without causing more trouble than it’s worth. That is until she discovers the magic of code—a language that’s more powerful than anything she’s ever imagined.

To everyone’s surprise, Mouse is anonymously chosen to attend the prestigious Rickum Academy—an incubator for the brightest and most promising young minds in tech. Her excitement is short-lived as the mystery of how she ended up at Rickum very quickly unravels around her, threatening the safety of her new life and the innocent lives of those around her. With the help of her new friends, Ada and Boone, Mouse is in a race against her classmates, her teachers, and the most powerful man in tech to not only uncover the truth about who she is, but who she is not.

THE BACK STORY: I wrote Mouse as my own daughter turned thirteen. As my daughter got older and began reading the stories I’d loved as a kid, I’d found that some of the things I’d felt were so disheartening were still embedded in the framework of the fantasy genre. I felt that code not only released the genre from the dated ‘aristocracy’ of sorcerers but also gave my daughter an inspiring role model who was passionate about STEM. I wanted her to have a character she could relate to who used tech in magical ways to give herself agency and strength in a world that was loaded against her.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Main character’s name

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? 
Mouse shows that even the smallest person can become the most powerful person when they are passionate and unrelenting – and STEM enables girls to create the change that they imagine.

REVIEW COMMENTS
:

“A creative, fast-paced tale that blends the magic and friendship of Harry Potter with the high-tech brilliance of Big Hero 6. A must for coders, hackers, and noobs alike.” —Henry Neff, bestselling author of The Tapestry series and Impyrium

“Stedman’s debut novel is an intricately plotted technological thriller with a big heart. Readers will keep turning pages and rooting for Mouse—an underdog coding prodigy out to prove her worth at an elite boarding school where she unexpectedly finds a family whole searching for her missing parents. A fun, engaging, and smart read!” —H.A. Swain, author of Hungry and Gifted

“Mouse is a Nancy Drew mystery for the WIRED-era that reminds us that coding isn’t just a STEM essential, but a path to creativity, self-discovery, and belonging.” —R. Michael Hendrix, co-author of Two Beats Ahead and partner at IDEO

“It takes a special writer to understand that computers are the most human things our species has ever built, and that the lines between making and magic and machines are the most porous of boundaries. A riveting, thrilling, and wildly imaginative novel.” —Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and contributing editor of WIRED magazine.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Scott Stedman is a serial entrepreneur, business leader, and an advisor to a diverse group of companies. He most recently served as Chief Growth and Product Officer for Havas + Arnold Worldwide, and the CMO of MDC Media Partners. Stedman also founded and ran Brooklyn’s Northside Media Group, and has hosted innovation and entrepreneurship events in New York, Miami, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles. In addition, he is a co-founder of TOURISTS, a luxury hotel resort that was named one of Fodor Magazine’s Top 100 Finest Hotels in the World, and Tablet Magazine’s #1 Boutique Hotel in the World. He also founded a curated community of creative leaders and poets called Saturnalia, and currently sits on the board of the Made in NY Media Center and the YMCA.

For more information, visit www.nscottstedman.com
  
AUTHOR COMMENTS:
 I found so much inspiration growing up from books like David Eddings series The Belgariad, Susan Cooper’s series The Dark is Rising, much as another generation have found great comfort in Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Still, there was always an undercurrent of disappointment that I knew I would not among that great aristocracy of magicians and sorcerers. Mouse flips the script to give agency to young people. Using the power of code and hacking, Mouse creates magic and harnesses the great power that comes with it – and she does so on her own terms without being invited into a special society. She blasts the doors open and creates her own.

SAMPLEhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60643741-mouse?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=0MUuqeg631&rank=3

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon

PRICE: $14.95

CONTACT THE AUTHORwww.nscottstedman.com.