First Tuesday Replay, July 5

THIS FEATURE HAS A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE: 1. TO ALLOW THOSE RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR FOLLOWER’S LIST TO LEARN ABOUT 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 “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.

“THE BIG WHEEL,” BY SCOTT ARCHER JONES.

Robko Zlata is careening across America, on the run with a call girl–his ex-wife– on a hot red racing bike. He stole the wrong thing, a device that can guarantee immortality. His wrathful target refuses to lose control of the world’s greatest piece of technology. Robko’s new worst enemy unlooses hundreds of his corporate security in pursuit, and asks his golden boy Thomas Steward to “follow the money” and turn up the thief by massive illegal surveillance. Thomas, morphing into his prey, becomes the most dangerous of hunters. But Thomas could die too: a gang of ex-mercenaries, mostly good at killing, torture, and rape, are hot on both Robko’s and Thomas’s heels. The thugs are ready to murder anyone who has ever touched the immortality device. Throw in the underground world of thieves and billionaires, drugs, punk clubs, five-star hotels and cheap motels, and you’ve got a hell of a ride.

“HEART, SOUL AND ROCK N’ ROLL,” BY JANET STAFFORD.

Heart, Soul and Rock n’ Roll is a romance. It is the story of the growing relationship between Lindsay Mitchell and Neil Gardner. Lindsay (“Lins”) serves as an assistant minister at Church of the Epiphany in central New Jersey. She loves where she works, but upon hitting the big 4-0 begins to wonder if perhaps she might need a change. Memories of her college days leading a rock band keep pestering her. “I just want to rock out one more time before I die,” she moans to friends Patti and Sue. Patti, her former bandmate, thinks she has the cure for Lins: spend three weeks’ vacation with her at Point Pleasant Beach. Lins agrees, but reluctantly – after all, Patti has a history of getting her into all manner of uncomfortable, if not out-and-out weird situations.

Their first night in Point, Patti is true to form. She takes Lins to a local dive called the Flying Fish Club. It is Karaoke Night and Patti convinces a hesitant Lins to get up and sing with her. When they do, they draw the attention of Neil Gardner, who just happens to have a real rock band and likes the sound of Lins’ voice. Impulsively he joins the two women at their table and asks Lins if she will sing with him. Although Patti practically shoves Lins onto the stage, once the music gets going, the two singers have at it like a couple of pros. Chemistry abounds to the point that Lins wonders if there is such a thing as “song sex.”

Hmmm … Chemistry on stage and off. This could be love, right? Maybe.

“SHARI’S SHOT,” BY JAMES ROSS.

Product DetailsMore excitement arrives at Prairie Winds Golf Course on the east side of St. Louis when former Mrs. Missouri, Shari Daniels-Donnelly, in a fluke twist of a bottle cap earns a chance to win $1 million at America’s greatest tournament, The Classic. Shari is among the fashionable nouveau-riche, a member of prestigious Old Blueblood Country Club and seeking excitement outside a stale union with real estate mogul, Tyler Cy Donnelly. After her high-powered and influential attorney, Leslie Potter, serves divorce papers it appears Shari is on the path to a luxurious lifestyle that includes young lovers, a multimillion dollar settlement and freedom from the balls and chains of a boring marriage. Events become complicated when a young Latin lover supplants a longtime friend who vies for Shari’s attention. Between threatening texts, arrest, jail time, confessions and a liaison with a U.S. Congresswoman, Shari’s pending divorce delivers chaos. When a lover is found shot to death in a carpool parking lot prior to a golf outing a detective duo is determined to find who fired the shot.

“DISCERNMENT,” BY LACY SEREDUK.

When the sun is up, Johanna Parks is no different than anyone else.  When the sun goes down, that other half of Johanna’s life can only be described as what it is: a living nightmare.

Johanna Parks has suffered from night terrors since she was a kid.  Hearing things go bump in the night is nothing new but, as her everyday life in the sun begins to spiral out of control, Johanna begins to lose grasp on the very things that let her know she is real.  From ghostly apparitions to violent nightmares to waking up with strangers in her bedroom, her life in the dark becomes a terrifying game of just trying to make it out alive.

The fear of being alone and the fear of hurting other people brings her sanity and emotional stability to its very breaking point.  Johanna must find a way to understand.  Before it’s too late.

Product Details“END OF MEN,” BY C.B. MURPHY

C. B. Murphy’s End of Men is a satiric tour de force about the ambiguity of identity where art intersects relationship. Inspired by The Magus, the book takes a successful Chicago couple through life-altering experiences ending on an Italian island run by a Warholian student of Aleister Crowley and his Iranian-feminist femme fatale. Adrift in midlife angst, financier Ben withholds the secrets of his wild past from his younger wife Kay. In horror at becoming a suburban “Beige,” Kay longs for her own walk on the wild side. As assistant curator of a feminist-themed outsider art exhibit, the End of Men, Kay contacts Ben’s estranged friends, the narcissistic Gordon and the exotic Shiraz, who run a film school on a Mediterranean island. Their secret is that it is a struggling place where underpaid Eurotrash produce factory art while working as grips and extras on Shiraz’s underfunded masterpieces of neo-feminist surrealism. When the self-styled enfants terribles premier their film at Kay’s museum, Ben’s past crashes through its barriers. Caught in the nether zone of grief and confusion, he accepts an invitation to “vacation” at the island described as an artists’ paradise. In Magus territory now, Ben and Kay become pawns in bizarre psychological games of erotic adventure with the promise of a renewed marriage through the reawakening of Ben’s wild heart. In this swirling circus of eccentricity, Ben’s ability to distinguish what is real quickly erodes as he and Kay become performers in Gordon and Shiraz’s final film, a reenactment of the immolation of Jacques de Molay, the last Knights Templar. As simmering violence threatens to become more than cinematic metaphor, Ben and Kay realize the manipulations have become dangerous.

“PATCHWORK MAN,” BY DEBRAH MARTIN

Patchwork Man tells the story of top English barrister Lawrence Juste and how his life unravels when his wife is killed in a hit and run accident, but not before she’s left him a blackmail letter. The reason? Lawrence isn’t quite who he says he is – in fact, his past is murky, to say the least; not exactly what you’d expect of a man of the courts. The letter is only the start of his problems. They gradually escalate to encompass incest, betrayal and murder, and an adversary determined to make him fall as far as a man can – maybe even into his own grave…

 

 

 

 

 

 


Weather Report, July 4

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS, “SHRAPNEL,” BY MARIE MANILLA, “SCORCHED EARTH, ALIEN WONDERS,” BY DELILAH JEAN WILLIAMS AND “THE UN-FAMILAR,” BY LYNNE HINKEY, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

HAPPY JULY 4th!

This blog is one of a small, select group of other blogs on the Internet — 152 million, at last count. Among those, it must be assumed, are thousands that deal with the art and business of writing in some form.

Given all that, it is essential for any blog — writing or otherwise — to declare and secure its own niche.

So what’s ours? Actually, we have several, and one of them is on display this week.

These days, book marketing is all about the new. Like debris in a swift-flowing river, just-published books are quickly swept along in front of the world’s readers, only to vanish in a matter of months — or even weeks — in favor of even newer books.

Moreover, the new technology has allowed serious authors today to be quite prolific, many churning out two or three books a year. That means they must constantly turn their efforts to promoting their latest, at the expense of what they’ve previously produced.

At some point, I realized that Snowflakes in a Blizzard was an ideal vehicle for resurrecting books that are still relevant and readable, yet have already been pushed aside by the tide. This week will feature two that I think are worth your attention — Diane Lefer’s “California Transit” (2007) and “The Gullwing Odyssey,” by Antonio Simon Jr.(2013).

This doesn’t mean I’m not still looking for — and am enthusiastic about — current releases. But let’s not forget our old friends, either.

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At the bottom of this post, as promised, are a dozen more books from the Snowflakes collection that I thought might be congenial fellow travelers on a vacation trip.

Note: This list is not a “best of” collection, but stems only from a gut feeling on my part that these books would be ideal for the purpose.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JULY 5-11

“CALIFORNIA TRANSIT,” BY DIANE LEFER

Southern California is a place of sunshine-noir unease in these stories and novellas. This isn’t the Los Angeles of movie stars and gangbangers but rather immigrants in detention facilities, a zoo employee running off with an antelope’s head, a young widow investing in a sex doll factory, people on a surreal search for new homes due to gentrification, and a traumatized New York transplant who rides buses all day and cannot avert the violence building inside her. Oh, and some of it is funny.

“THE GULLWING ODYSSEY,” BY ANTONIO SIMON JR.

Marco’s life as a messenger isn’t great, but the work is easy and he gets retirement pay in thirty years. Little does he know his life teeters on the cusp of change.

When an unusual assignment sends him overseas, he finds himself stranded in foreign lands. With no way home and no hope of making his delivery, he sees sour prospects for attaining his modest retirement dreams, much less getting out of the whole mess alive. Even that wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t constantly outrunning pirates, embroiled in international intrigue, and attacked by a hummingbird with an appetite for human brains – that’s just the start of his misadventures.

But lurking in the wings is a much greater threat than getting sacked from his job. The fate of an entire civilization may well rest upon his scrawny shoulders. In spite of himself and quite by accident, Marco may yet become the hero he strives not to be.

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will re-visit “Heart, Soul and Rock n’ Roll,” by Janet Stafford; “Discernment,” by Lacy Sereduk; “Shari’s Shot,” by James Ross, “Patchwork Man,” by Debrah Martin, “The End of Men,” by C.B. Murphy, and “The Big Wheel,” by Scott Archer Jones.

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A DOZEN MORE BOOKS TO PACK IN YOUR SUMMER SUITCASE:

“STEELE SECRETS,” BY ANDI CUMBO-FLOYD

When Mary Steele mysteriously finds herself in an old cemetery down the road from her house in a tiny mountain town, she’s not concerned. She’s not even frightened when a ghost named Moses approaches her, or when she has a standoff with a bulldozer. But when her inquiries into the history of the cemetery and the people buried there begin to draw out the worst in the members of her community, Mary begins to be afraid. Will she be able to recover history while keeping the people she loves safe?

“TANGO,” BY CAMILLE CUSAMANO.

Tango is a travel memoir, the story of a woman who loved, lost, got mad, and decided to dance. She went to Buenos Aires intending to stay three months and stayed for nearly four years. The book traces her fall from grace, hero’s journey, and ultimate transformation.

“FILL THE STADIUM,” BY KM DAUGHTERS.

Nikki Lambert’s husband purposely stalls his truck in the path of the midnight freight on the same day her eldest son, Jack, is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. 

Injured NFL quarterback, Ramsey Delaney is benched from his starting position leaving him ample time for more hands-on involvement in The Good Sports Club, a community center he established where Nikki’s sons, Jack and Rocky are enrolled. 

Jack’s deteriorating motor skills concern Ram’s employees who bar Jack from attending the club without Ram’s knowledge. Nikki wants nothing but normalcy for Jack and she heatedly confronts Ram for depriving her son of a beloved activity. Ram immediately reinstates Jack forging the fateful bond between Nikki and her boys’ number-one sports hero. Ram is instantly attracted to Nikki. He wants to win her heart more than he’s ever wanted to win a game. But after her husband’s terrible abandonment will Nikki trust Ram’s motives and open her heart to love again?

“REJECTION,” BY MARK DAVIS.

Perno Morris is desperate. After years of rejection letters and returned manuscripts, decades of frustration, disappointment and stacks of rejection letters, he decides to take matters into his own hands. After seeing super literary agent Susan McCarthy on a national talk show, where she mentioned her vacation home, and that she has a six year old daughter, Perno decides to kidnap her little girl to get his book published. Dressed as a catholic priest, Perno takes little Christine McCarthy from a McDonald’s restaurant when her babysitter went to the restroom. He is videotaped from an ATM machine camera across the street, but can only be identified as a man of clergy. The camera’s view of his car is blocked by a delivery truck, and images are not recorded. He holds her hostage in the basement of his farm house miles from town.

“THE FESTIVAL OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS,” BY MATT DOJNY.

What exactly is the “Festival of Taang Lôke Kwaam Banterng Sumitchanani“? It’s a 24-hour water balloon blitzkrieg, a ruthless talent competition, and an earth-scorching, take-no-prisoners bacchanalia. It’s the one day of the year when everyone has a shot at finding true love–even a rapacious, over-sexed turtle god. It’s a celebration of hobos and heartbreak, Lionel Richie impersonators and banana-brandy-flavored rice wine. It’s The Festival of Earthly Delights.

Boyd Darrow is a young American living in Puchai, a tiny Southeast Asian country that tourist brochures refer to as “The Kingdom of Winks.” In a series of letters written to a mysterious recipient, Boyd tells of the delights, humiliations and brain-bending misadventures he experiences while adjusting to life in the small college town of Mai Mor. He and his somewhat less-than-faithful girlfriend, Ulla, were hoping to start their lives over in Puchai, but Puchai has an agenda all its own.

“ADIRONDACK GOLD,” BY PERSIS GRANGER.

Hollis Ingraham, a young Adirondack boy of the 1890s is forced by his widowed mother’s poverty to go to live on the farm of grandparents he hardly knows, and who, he senses, do not like his mother. He strives to earn the approval of his seemingly angry grandfather by mastering chores on the farm, and, in the process, learns more about his deceased father and the cause of his grandfather’s bitterness.

“BIG IN JAPAN,” BY JENNIFER GRIFFITH.

Buck Cooper is a big, fat nobody at his statistician job in Dallas. The six-foot-six blond guy isn’t sure when he became socially invisible—probably about the time he passed the three hundred pound mark. But when his parents shanghai him to Tokyo for a business trip, he finds himself thrust into a whole new world—where his size still defines him but suddenly isn’t the liability it’s always been. Now, it could be his greatest asset—because this zero is about to become a sumo hero.

“CLOSE,” BY ERIKA RASKIN.

Close is a novel of family and suspense. Wry single-mom Kik Marcheson is dancing as hard as she can — teaching at the university, struggling with the family’s finances (which may soon include having to return the long-gone advance for her unfinished second novel), and coping with her increasingly challenging daughters.

Doone, the oldest, is swimming in the deep end of adolescence; Casey, the middle child-slash-good girl, is slowly coming undone and little Tess, the quirky kindergartner, has somewhat alarmingly introduced an invisible playmate into the family constellation.

When Doone’s activities can no longer be ignored, a TV therapist offers a hand. Caving to Casey, Kik sets aside serious misgivings and agrees to let the family participate.

And then things go from bad to terrifying.

“INDIVISIBLE,” BY RANDI SACHS.

The story of twin brothers, who at the age of 22 are orphaned and have no other family. Aaron has just graduated college, David has Down Syndrome. They now have to start their adult lives together, without the help from their parents or older sister.:

HOMETOWN HEARTACHE,” BY M.J. SCHILLER

Nash is trying to make a name for himself in the art world…

But when he meets a realtor to buy a gallery, he is stunned to find Chloe sitting at the table with the man. He has never stopped thinking about her since she disappeared from his life without a trace. Is it too late to win back her love?

“NOT ANOTHER SUPERHERO,” BY TARA LYNN THOMPSON

Samantha Addison remembers the mugger. And his gun. How he pointed it at her head. When he pulled the trigger. She remembers everything, except how she survived.

But it’s only Monday. She’s embarking on a week of near misses and a mystery growing with each attempt on her life.

Why would anyone want to kill the editor of a puff piece magazine? How could she be a threat to anyone? Will the attacks stop? Or will one finally succeed?

Through all the hair-raising events, a man in a black hood keeps saving the day before vanishing without telling her anything. Including his name.

Who is this guy? What is his connection to these events

“SWIMMING WITH MAYA,” BY ELEANOR VINCENT.

Swimming with Maya demonstrates the remarkable process of healing after the traumatic death of a loved one. Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent. Maya, the eldest, was a high-spirited and gifted young woman. As a teenager, Maya was energetic and independent – and often butted heads with her mother. But Eleanor and Maya were always close and connected, like best friends or sisters, but always also mother and daughter. Then at age 19, Maya mounts a horse bareback as a dare and, in a crushing cantilever fall, is left in a coma from which she will never recover. Eleanor’s life is turned upside down as she struggles to make the painful decision about Maya’s fate. Ultimately Eleanor chooses to donate Maya’s organs. Years later, in one of the most poignant moments you will ever read about, Eleanor has the opportunity to hear her daughter’s heart beat in the chest of the heart recipient. Along the way, Eleanor re-examines her relationship with her daughter, as well as the experiences that shaped Eleanor as a woman and as a mother to Maya. An inspirational/motivational true story recommended for anyone who has experienced tragedy, who is grappling with traumatic experiences of the past, or who wants to better understand the strength and healing power of the human spirit.

 

 


 

Shrapnel

THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “SCORCHED EARTH, ALIEN WONDERS,” BY DELILAH JEAN WILLIAMS AND “THE UN-FAMILIAR,” BY LYNNE HINKEY,
CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

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THE BOOK: Shrapnel

PUBLISHED IN: 2012

THE AUTHOR: Marie Manilla

THE EDITOR: Robin Hollamon Miura

THE PUBLISHER: River City Publishing. Shrapnel won the press’s Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. The judge was Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish.

SUMMARY: Shrapnel is a family saga exploring the legacy of war in three generations of men from the Butler family. Bing Butler, a seventy-seven-year-old, right-wing widower and World War II veteran from Texas, reluctantly moves in with his feminist, antiwar daughter in West Virginia. Here he is forced to bury painful family secrets and stifle his tendencies toward racism, classism, and homophobia. His post-9/11 anxieties equally force him to grapple with these psychological foibles, as his daughter’s only son rallies to enlist to serve overseas. Bing had once embraced such patriotic fervor, but after bullying his own son into going to Vietnam, he finds he must now muster a kind of emotional bravery he never knew he was capable of in order to keep the family together. At turns funny and at other turns frightening (and frighteningly honest), Shrapnel is surprising and ultimately greatly rewarding.

THMarie ManillaE BACK STORY: This novel began as a short story I wanted to include in a collection I was assembling (Still Life with Plums). I am a West Virginia native, but I lived in Houston for several years, so I wanted the collection to reflect my two geographic homes. Though initially I was stunned by the way some Texans (certainly not all) stereotyped me as an ignorant Appalachian, I eventually understood that Texans and West Virginians have much in common. We’re both fiercely independent and suspicious of outsiders. I wanted to write a story about a Texan whose head is filled with Appalachian stereotypes who moves to West Virginia. The story would be an opportunity to explode some of those worn-out preconceptions, but confirm others—since often stereotypes are rooted in fact. It was also a chance to show how Texans are also pigeonholed as good-old-boy galoots. After I wrote the story (called “Caving”) I understood that it was the first chapter of a novel.

WHY THIS TITLE? Though the cover and title might suggest that this will be a war novel filled with combat scenes, it’s actually a novel about how one family does (or doesn’t) deal with the loss of a son in Vietnam. The title refers to the emotional shrapnel the father and sister of the dead boy have carried all these years. They nurse other wounds, too, regarding their roles as husband, father, daughter. Their guilt and grief have caused them to inflict additional damage on each other. By the novel’s end, however, healing finally begins.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: This is a novel about healing, but it’s also about how gender roles can stunt relationships. Men like Bing Butler did not talk about feelings, did not openly grieve, did not console. These “suck it up” attitudes have caused much harm. Shrapnel shines a light on this, but it also shows the courage one man has to break through seven decades of societal training to offer grace to his family and to himself. This novel is also about tolerance; about understanding that often hate of “others” is fear-based. Once we connect with “others” as human beings, we often see that we are more alike than different.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Marie Manilla’s Shrapnel is a Fathers and Sons for our time. It’s a novel about generational, political, and geographical differences and what it takes to bridge them. It’s a novel about the past and the past’s refusal to remain safely buried. And it’s a novel about journeys—its protagonist’s certainly, but all of ours—toward discovery, humility, and wonder. Perhaps Shrapnel’s greatest pleasure is the way it’s told—vividly and with evocative portraits of people and places—and with wisdom—and with gentle and welcome humor.”
–Mark Brazaitis, author of The Incurables and River of Lost Voices.

“From the opening pages, where we find Bing Butler selling off the remnants of his life at a yard sale, Shrapnel takes us on a journey through the reshaping of the American family and American community. Texan, veteran, working man, husband—the life that Bing had imagined for himself has exploded, and he will have to assemble a new one from the shards, far across the country in West Virginia, a place known only through jokes and stereotypes. This crotchety Candide will be led astray and will experience terrible, ordinary betrayals on his way to a future he’d not imagined. This is a sensitively wrought first novel with characters you’ll long remember.”
–Val Neiman, author of Blood Clay

“Bing Butler is a man attempting to reconcile living between two worlds, and his is a life that illustrates beautifully the contradictions of living. How do we understand the actions of our lives? How do we come to terms with the tragedies of our historical eras? What are the secrets, the unknowable things about even those we are closest to, love the most? All these questions are skillfully threaded into this novel about a man forced by age and circumstance to leave one life and his attempts to live in harmony in a new world. Manilla gives us rich characters who populate the physical landscapes of Bing Butler: Texas and West Virginia. His worlds, both past and present, are infused with memories, and the author is masterful in her exploration of his inner landscapes of grief, guilt, and love.”
–Gail Galloway Adams, author of The Purchase of Order

“Bing’s attitude is one we initially want to scoff at in order to find a way to tolerate his ways…But life isn’t that simple, particularly for our war heroes who’ve seen and done things we citizens can’t imagine, all for our greater liberty. We must slow down, listen to each other, particularly when someone’s viewpoint differs from our own—that’s the only time we can truly learn from each other. Marie Manilla does a fantastic job in Shrapnel of reminding us of exactly that incredibly human activity.”
–Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish

AUTHOR PROFILE: Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her novel The Patron Saint of Ugly, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), won the Weatherford Award. Shrapnel (RCP, 2012), received the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Stories from her collection, Still Life with Plums (WVU Press, 2010) first appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Mississippi Review, Prairie Schooner, Calyx, and other journals. Marie teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: As a West Virginia native, I admit that I have a chip on my shoulder. I’m often waiting for someone to take a derogatory potshot at my home state. Yes, we have more than our share of problems, but what state doesn’t? I’m weary of West Virginians being the butt of so many worn-out jokes. I can’t help but use my fiction to paint a fuller portrait of who we are. It’s true that we have rich coal mining and timber cultures, and many fine writers have explored those woods. I, however, was born in Huntington, once the largest city in the state. Thus, my experiences were more urban than rural. I want to highlight that. I want to show readers college-educated, middle-income families, because that’s Appalachia too. In my newest novel, The Patron Saint of Ugly, I created a whole new mythology about West Virginia—a common device in magical realism (and Patron Saint if full of evil-eye magic and Sicilian lore) so that readers will see us in a new way.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: “Caving,” the first chapter of Shrapnel, appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of South Writ Large.

Caving

LOCAL OUTLETS: Inquire at your favorite bookstore

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Shrapnel-Marie-Manilla/dp/1579660843?ie=UTF8&keywords=Marie%20Manilla&qid=1465496820&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

PRICE:
Hardback: $26.00
Kindle: $9.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Email: manilla@live.marshall.edu
Website: mariemanilla.com

Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders

Product DetailsTHE BOOK: Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders

PUBLISHED IN
: 2015

THE AUTHOR:  Delilah Jean Williams

THE EDITOR: MaryannTobin, Jack Prather

THE PUBLISHER: American Serengeti Press

SUMMARY: Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders is a fun, futuristic, eco-adventure about an unlikely group of aliens, humans and other critters that join forces in a last-ditch effort to save environmentally ravaged Earth.

The story is told from a unique, non-human perspective in the narration of alien leader Captain Stanley Memphis, who heads a small, quirky group of aliens disguised as prairie dogs—the only remaining animals left on the dying planet after most of the human population has relocated to Mars.  Upon learning of plans by humans to move into the aliens’ quadrant of space, Memphis and his little team are sent to study how humans treat lower life forms and find out if they are savage bastards or a benevolent tribe. But the routine assignment soon turns into more than finding out what kind of creatures might be moving next door.

THE BACK STORY: My background is in environmental journalism and reporting on wildlife conservation.  Specifically, prairie dogs and that journey began in a pet store over 20 years ago.  They had baby PD’s in cages being sold as exotic pets.  I thought that didn’t seem right, so I called the local fish and wildlife services, and confirmed that, yes, indeed, prairie dogs were approved as pets in the state of Washington, along with most other states in the US. After all these years of advocating for PD protection, I was looking for a mechanism to educate the general population on the vital importance of this very misunderstood, keystone species, which has been decimated down to less than 2 percent of their original population.  My series of eBooks full of cute pictures, memes and scientific explanations didn’t accomplish the goal of reaching a broader audience. One day, I had an acquisitions editor say to me, “why don’t you just write a story?”

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Here’s one of my 5-star reviews on Amazon from Nancy Wagoner: “What a clever, fun and easy-to-read book this was! This eco-adventure held my attention right from the start and included plenty of plot twists and humor. Also has a load of pop culture references that made it even more fun when examined from the aliens’ point of view. I like that this wasn’t preachy, yet mentioned some true events that have taken place in prairie dog towns across the west. If you like wildlife, environmental issues and a futuristic viewpoint, this hits the spot!”

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“What a fun read! All the way through I imagined Disney doing this as a movie. The characters were well-cut and clear, and the storyline moved at a fast clip with twists in the plot that made me want to keep reading. Plus, the scientific concepts were easy to understand. There are three worlds involved in this story, and each one played an important part. I welcome our new alien friends.”

“The story is charmingly told through the eyes of the aliens morphed into prairie dogs to interact with one of the last surviving PD colonies on Earth. The reader is treated to a well paced story line with a clever mix of intrigue, betrayal, corporate greed, humor and unique plot twists that both entertain and educate about the benefits of eco friendly human and animal coexistence and cooperation. The reader will also come away with an appreciation of wildlife exemplified by the prairie dog as a keystone species and why they are so important to thriving ecosystems. The reader will also likely identify with the carefully woven references to modern Hollywood entertainment TV series and movies. This book has it all!”

“What can I say but, ‘I want more!’ This delightful and amazingly original book not only made me smile, it touched my heart. If you love animals, intelligence, and justice all wrapped up in a single read, this is a must read. Kudos to you, Delilah Jean Williams. You tell a beautiful story.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m an environmental journalist and political junkie and I live on a little, 2-acre piece of nature heaven in a remote area not too close to Seattle.  Writing is my passion.  Writing about nature and wildlife is my oxygen.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: The idea for this story, told from this approach, came to me after several trial and error plot lines, but when Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders began to take shape in my mind, I knew it was something unique and original. The entire process from book writing concept to published product was almost 2-years.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Sample chapters can be read on my Amazon preview page.  The book is for mass audiences of all ages, but it was written specifically for the Young Adult Sci-Fi genre.  It is set in a vastly different future and includes a lot of deeper messages about hope, betrayal, love and enlightenment.  It asks the question, “Can any evolved, intelligent race ever claim to be free of greed, cruelty and corruption?” At its core, the book has a powerful message on environmental responsibility and wildlife stewardship. One of the main antagonists is the over-heated, unstable Earth itself.

LOCAL OUTLETS: King County Library

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon

PRICE: Paperback $13 and eBook under $6

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: delilahjeanwilliams@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/EcoThrillers/

 Amazon book link: https://www.amazon.com/Scorched-Earth-Wonders-Delilah-Williams-ebook/dp/B011PMA1AA?ie=UTF8&qid=1437235620&ref_=tmm_kin_swatch_0&sr=1-1

The Un-Familiar

Lynne M. Hinkey

 

THE BOOK: The Un-Familiar: A Tale of Cats and Gods.

PUBLISHED IN: July, 2016.

THE AUTHOR: Lynne M. Hinkey.

THE EDITOR: Roberta Bender.

THE PUBLISHER: Casperian Books.

SUMMARY:  He’s back! The dog-god of Mercy, sometimes called the chupacabra, has returned, and Senora Milagros is ready to retire. But her apprentice, Carmen del Toro, is missing. Before she can curl up and enjoy her new life as Fifi, she’ll have to find and unite Carmen and the god.

Milagros knows the god is like a vortex, pulling people in to the events they must be part of, to fulfill a purpose that only He knows. With natural disasters occurring in a most unnatural manner, she suspects there’s a connection between Puerto Rico’s unusual weather, Carmen’s disappearance, and the god’s bigger plan.

Without his familiar, the god will remain weak and vulnerable to predation by other deities. Miagros needs to find and unite Carmen and the god before it’s too late. It’s not only her retirementat stake, but the whole world’s future.

THE BACK STORY:
The Un-Familiar is the second in the Chupacabra Trilogy (the final installment, Ye Goddess! A Tale of Girls and Gods, is in development. In The Un-Familiar, science, magic and myth collide when the chupacabra returns to Puetro Rico for a madcap, fast-paced chase around the island.

WHY THIS TITLE: As humans are wont to do, we messed up our words. Familiars aren’t helpers to witches, but to the gods. With one familiar retiring and another missing, they’re both in limbo, leavin the dog-god of mercy unprotected.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Caribbean islands, mythical monsters, gods, and climate change. What’s not to love?

REVIEW COMMENTS:  Although this is a sequel to ‘e Gods, A Tale of Dogs and Demons, I wrote it with the intent that it would stand alone. Beta readers and my publisher’s editor have confirmed that it does.

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Lynne is a marine scientist by training, a writer by passion, and a curmudgeon by nature. An Olympic-caliber procrastinator, she honed that skill through years of practice and dedication to life on “island time.” She uses her experiences living in the Caribbean to infuse her novels with tropical magic, from the siren call of the islands to the terror and hysteria caused by the mysterious chupacabra.

Her short stories and essays have appeared in the Constellation International Literary Review, Skylines, The Petigru Review, Infective Ink, Two Hawks Quarterly and other print and online publications. Lynne’s debut novel, Marina Melee, was released by Casperian Books in 2011.

When not busy writing or procrastinating, Lynne is an adjunct associate professor of biology. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, cat and two dogs.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Since this book won’t be released until July 1, it isn’t posted online yet. It should appear for pre-order in the next few weeks, including a “take a look inside” link to va sample chapter.

WHERE TO BUY IT: The publisher’s Website (www.casperianbooks.org), Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the online booksellers. It will be available in print beginning July 1, and in e-formats beginning Sept. 1, 2016.

PRICE:  $15 print, $2.99 electronic.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: lynne.hinkey@gmail.com.


	

Weather Report, June 27

 

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS, “SHARAVOGUE,” BY NANCY BLANTON, “BEAUTIFUL APE GIRL BABY,” BY HEATHER FOWLER AND “MAN BITES CLOUD,” BY BOB SCHOFIELD,” CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

Fiction writers sometimes find that their characters have begun to seem like real people. If that’s happened to you, you’re not crazy — just creative.

But Lynne Hinkey, whose novel “The Un-Familiar” will be featured this week on Snowflakes in a Blizzard, takes that little fantasy further than most.

Lynne explains: “For the ten days leading up to the JULY 1 release of THE UN-FAMILIAR: A TALE OF CATS AND GODS, I’ve been posting short interviews with different characters here (on my FB author page) and here (on my blog) each day (started on 6/22). On each of those days, I’m also giving away free books–one on each of those days.”

Here’s the schedule of interviews:

6/22 Señora Milagros Hernan — eccentric woman reputed to be a witch; she’s ready to retire from her real job as familiar to a god

6/23 Carmen del Toro — homeless woman with a tragic past and Milagros’ apprentice who will be taking her place

6/24  Kiki Cristatello — a college freshman at 16 with a much-coveted work-study position in the climate research center. She’s just gotten over her dog Muggle’s death and her belief that she’s a witch…or has she?

6/25  Captain Eddie Corredor — promoted to police captain for discovering that the mysterious chupacabra that had been terrorizing the island two years ago was really just the mayor in disguise

6/26  Rafi Bishop Soto — Eddie’s compañero/pareja, with a past as tragic as Carmen’s

6/27  Jack Halliman — best-selling author of the Franz Henle murder mystery series. His last novel ventured into the paranormal, specifically, the chupacabra, much to his fans’ dismay

6/28  Dr. Joe Raines — the new oceanography professor specializing in climate science with an uncanny ability to always be in the thick of the storm

6/29  Rev Aurelio Peña — a famous televangelist whose comforting prosperity theology has amassed him a wide following. He and Dr Raines have a long-running animosity, given their opposing world-views and goals. Oh, and that thing with that woman from their past…that, too

6/30 Chewy aka the dog-god of Mercy, aka the chupacabra — he’s back and up to more mischief. Or should I say SHE is up to no good? These damn pronouns…so confusing when dealing with a god who can be anything he-she-it wants to be.”

I’m just passing this along as another example of creative marketing.

Inspired, I tried to interview Eddie Fogarty, the newspaper editor who is the  main character in my book “The Kudzu Kid,” but all he would say was “No comment.”

————————————————————

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 28-JULY 4

“SHRAPNEL,” BY MARIE MANILLA

Shrapnel is a family saga exploring the legacy of war in three generations of men from the Butler family. Bing Butler, a seventy-seven-year-old, right-wing widower and World War II veteran from Texas, reluctantly moves in with his feminist, antiwar daughter in West Virginia. Here he is forced to bury painful family secrets and stifle his tendencies toward racism, classism, and homophobia. His post-9/11 anxieties equally force him to grapple with these psychological foibles, as his daughter’s only son rallies to enlist to serve overseas. Bing had once embraced such patriotic fervor, but after bullying his own son into going to Vietnam, he finds he must now muster a kind of emotional bravery he never knew he was capable of in order to keep the family together. At turns funny and at other turns frightening (and frighteningly honest), Shrapnel is surprising and ultimately greatly rewarding.

“SCORCHED EARTH, ALIEN WONDERS,” BY DELILAH JEAN WILLIAMS

Scorched Earth, Alien Wonders is a fun, futuristic, eco-adventure about an unlikely group of aliens, humans and other critters that join forces in a last-ditch effort to save environmentally ravaged Earth.

The story is told from a unique, non-human perspective in the narration of alien leader Captain Stanley Memphis, who heads a small, quirky group of aliens disguised as prairie dogs—the only remaining animals left on the dying planet after most of the human population has relocated to Mars.  Upon learning of plans by humans to move into the aliens’ quadrant of space, Memphis and his little team are sent to study how humans treat lower life forms and find out if they are savage bastards or a benevolent tribe. But the routine assignment soon turns into more than finding out what kind of creatures might be moving next door.

“THE UN-FAMILIAR,” BY LYNNE HICKEY.

He’s back! The dog-god of Mercy, sometimes called the chupacabra, has returned, and Senora Milagros is ready to retire. But her apprentice, Carmen del Toro, is missing. Before she can curl up and enjoy her new life as Fifi, she’ll have to find and unite Carmen and the god.

Milagros knows the god is like a vortex, pulling people in to the events they must be part of, to fulfill a purpose that only He knows. With natural disasters occurring in a most unnatural manner, she suspects there’s a connection between Puerto Rico’s unusual weather, Carmen’s disappearance, and the god’s bigger plan.

Without his familiar, the god will remain weak and vulnerable to predation by other deities. Miagros needs to find and unite Carmen and the god before it’s too late. It’s not only her retirement at stake, but the whole world’s future.

 

 

 

 

Sharavogue

THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “BEAUTIFUL APE GIRL BABY,” BY HEATHER FOWLER AND “MAN BITES CLOUD,” BY BOB SCHOFIELD, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

THE BOOK: Sharavogue

PUBLISHED IN: 2012

THE AUTHOR: Nancy Blanton

THE EDITOR: Anonymous editorial service through the publisher

THE PUBLISHER: iUniverse.

SUMMARY: It is December of 1649 as England’s uncrowned king, Oliver Cromwell, leads his brutal army across Ireland to crush a violent rebellion. Elvy Burke, daughter of a great warrior, wants one thing—to live her destiny as a leader and defender of her country. As the cavalry approaches, Elvy knows she will not give up easily.

When Cromwell cruelly beheads a village boy, Elvy vows to destroy him. After fleeing from his soldiers, she aligns with a Scottish outlaw whose schemes send them headlong into a tumultuous journey across the sea to the West Indies, where she is indentured on a sugar plantation. Here she must learn to survive, to discover the depth of her own strengths and emotions, and find a way back to Ireland to confront her sworn enemy.

Nancy BlantonSharavogue is the compelling story of one girl’s journey through the lawless lands of Ireland and the West Indies as she struggles claim her destiny.

292 pages, available in hard cover, soft cover or e-book

THE BACK STORY: Before my Irish father passed away, he asked me when I would start writing. This surprised me. I didn’t know he cared about that. Writing was my dream, and he’d urged me toward something more practical. I’d been writing bureaucratic corporate stuff so long I was not sure I could write creatively anymore. He simply said, you’ll write when you’re ready.

Almost a year to the day later, I heard the phrase “snow path to dingle” in my sleep. It woke me up and wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to research what that phrase meant. The research led me first to Ireland’s Dingle peninsula and the siege of Smerwick, 1580. Here, the great Earl Grey led a siege against 600 Spanish and Italian soldiers who had come to support Irish rebellion against the Protestant English. Grey starved them out and massacred the soldiers most brutally.

Then, I found a book of interviews with Irish people who witnessed Oliver Cromwell’s atrocities in Ireland from 1649 – 1652. One man said Cromwell’s march had followed a horrible omen, a full yellow moon encircled by blood red and cleaved in two. I was fascinated, I was hooked, and Sharavogue is the result.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The story in Ireland during Cromwell’s march naturally led to the West Indies where many Irish were shipped to work as slaves, and some relocated voluntarily to find work or property. A colony of Irish planters developed on the island of Montserrat, and they too owned slaves. The protagonist is swept away to the island and indentured for seven years on a sugar plantation named “Sharavogue,” which in Irish means “bitter place.” I liked the sound, the mystery and the irony of this word.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Winner of Florida’s Royal Palm Literary Award for historical fiction, this book captivates readers because it is fast-paced, exciting, covers a fascinating period in history that is not often covered in fiction, and is interwoven with actual historical events. It is a great opportunity for readers who love to learn as they read an entertaining book.

The story also is relevant because it focuses on issues we still struggle with today, such as oppression of ethnic groups, mistreatment of women, the struggle for survival and the struggle to achieve one’s dream. The reign of Oliver Cromwell remains controversial to this day, because he tried to eliminate England’s monarchy and create a commonwealth, an idea that continues to circulate.

Sharavogue is a story of revenge and self-actualization. It is about the obstacles that can confront you on your way to your goals. Ultimately, it is about the vast range of human emotion, from violence and hatred to love and mercy.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“This is more than a coming-of-age story set in a dystopian past, it is a fully rendered telling of peasant life in Ireland, slavery in Montserrat, and finally, the court of self appointed ‘Lord Protector’ Oliver Cromwell. What sets Sharavogue apart from other historical fiction is the authentic sense of place and voice that author Nancy Blanton has been able to conjure.”

“Blanton has accomplished what I think all writers of good historical fiction should. She has accurately portrayed a time in history with a real flare, serendipitously teaching her readers as she keeps them utterly captivated with her characters. Her descriptions of places and events is so vivid that it is easy to imagine being on the sugar plantation or sailing across the ocean.”

“I enjoyed the tumultuous ride with Elvy, a strong-spirited young Irish patriot who flees mortal danger at home only to find herself snatched into indentured servitude on a distant island plantation. The story’s language beautifully depicts the period and the predicaments she faced. The author paid particular attention to the complexity of the relationships that evolved among the slaves, servants and landowners of the plantation.”

“This particular era was new to me and I found it impossible to put down. From the opening line to the last, Ms. Blanton captures the imagination and fascination with beautifully written narrative, and a story about adventure, love, acceptance, and heroism. Her ability to join history with beautiful descriptions and equally imaginative prose left me wanting more and eagerly awaiting her next novel.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: Nancy Blanton has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate communications leader and brand manager. Her first historical novel, Sharavogue, won first place in Florida’s Royal Palm Literary Awards. Her second novel, The Prince of Glencurragh, publishes in August 2016.

She wrote and illustrated a children’s book, The Curious Adventure of Roodle Jones; co-authored the award-winning book Heaven on the Half Shell: the Story of the Pacific Northwest’s Love Affair with the Oyster; and spearheaded production of Rising Tides and Tailwinds, a corporate history book for the Port of Seattle centennial.

Her blog, My Lady’s Closet, focuses on writing, historical fiction, books, author branding and book promotion, research, and travel. She has a
bachelor’s degree in journalism, a master’s degree in mass communications, and has won numerous awards for professional leadership, writing, advertising and public relations products. She lives in Florida.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “My hope is that my books illuminate a time and place for readers, and bring to life a fascinating bit of history. The research and writing of historical fiction can be quite consuming, so I must thank my spouse, family and friends who have encouraged and supported my work.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER:  https://sharavogue.com/sharavogue-sample-chapter/

LOCAL OUTLETS: The Book Loft, 214 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, 904/261-8991

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, iTunes for iBooks

PRICE:

$28.95 hard cover

$18.95 soft cover

$3.99 ebook

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: http://www.nancyblanton.com

Blog: nancyblanton.com or blantonn.wordpress.com

Facebook: Nancy Blanton.Author

Twitter: @nancy_blanton

Beautiful Ape Girl Baby

Product DetailsTHE BOOK: Beautiful Ape Girl Baby

PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR: Heather Fowler.

THE EDITORS: Michael Takeda & Josie Brown.

THE PUBLISHER:  Pink Narcissus Press –a publisher of dark fantasy, urban fantasy, literary fantasy, magical realism, and crossovers with science fiction and horror.

SUMMARY: Heather Fowler’s debut novel is a frisky, rip-roaring ride of a magical realist, coming of age story that explores sex and gender in ways that will have you laughing out loud. Be prepared to travel light with a somewhat murderous female protagonist en route across the country–where it’s so hard to be a strong, violent, little ape girl, looking in all the wrong places for forever kinds of love.

Click for OptionsTHE BACK STORY:  This book was written based on a short story written in 2001. It took 15 years to go from concept invention to novel publication, but the time between made it a richer book. It’s a story about a girl born to rich parents, resembling an ape, who fights societal expectations about beauty at the same time as fighting her own idealistic nature. The nurture/nature argument informs this book as does a free-wheeling exploration of gender.

WHY THIS TITLE?:  The title is also the protagonist’s name. It’s her book and her title because it is her story.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?  Who wouldn’t want to read a book that makes readers laugh AND think? This book is funny, wild, and the kind of narrative so unique, many readers say it strikes them as totally fresh and exciting. It’s the book I’d want to read if I were starved for something that functioned both as entertainment and high literature. It is definitely a book that that defies easy classifications.

REVIEW COMMENTS: 

“Fowler spins classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, love, and protection in a dynamic plot. Beautiful’s gradual awakening to the truth about herself raises provocative questions on what it means to be animal or human.” –Foreword Reviews

“Heather Fowler is a magician—and she proves it once again with this rollicking and wonderfully subversive debut novel. Like her acclaimed short fiction, Beautiful Ape Girl Baby is bursting with energy and wit, humor and heart, cutting social commentary and evocative emotional depth. It’s the kind of book that burns, leaves a mark, and reminds you of the possibilities of fiction.” —Andrew Roe, author of The Miracle Girl. ”

“A dark gleaming star of a novel–wild, visceral, yet full of innocence. Fowler never fails to make the strange beautiful, and all that we’re told should be beautiful deliciously strange.” —Angela Readman, Winner of the Rubery Book Award.

“Fowler has written something impossible and brilliant: Confederacy of Dunces meets Mighty Joe Young meets Pantagruel meets Heathers. I have never read anything like this book, and I’m always thankful for the few times as a reader I get to say that. So thankful for the funny, fierce, feminist words of Heather Fowler.” —Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World and Other Short Stories and the collection May We Shed These Human Bodies

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m a magical realist and a poet who loves a good nature show and enjoys a good motivational mantra. Beautiful Ape Girl Baby is my 6th book, but first published novel. I live in San Diego, California, where the weather is endlessly beautiful. I’m also the proud parent of two children. My work is racy and smart, both dark and light. I love when readers message me after reading my books and/or post on social media about them. I’ll often retweet or repost. Same with GoodReads reviews.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: My book concerns itself with both a seventeen year old misfit girl’s coming of age and a larger deliberation on both loneliness and nature versus nurture It’s a book I’m hoping will speak to anyone who has ever felt strange in the world—and anyone who wants to laugh or commiserate about carrying that feeling like a cross.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Please visit my Amazon author page to read both an excerpt of this book and excerpts of my story collections if desired.

LOCAL OUTLETS: To be announced.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

PRICE: $15 trade paperback, e-book also available.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Stop by, anytime, and say hello at my website, Facebook, or Twitter. Readers are my favorite people.

Man Bites Cloud

Product Details

THE BOOK: Man Bites Cloud

PUBLISHED IN: 2015

THE AUTHOR:  Bob Schofield

THE EDITOR: The manuscript was published more or less as submitted.

THE PUBLISHER: Publishing Genius Press.

SUMMARY: It’s a collection of poems, mostly prose poetry. There’s not really a plot per se, though they’re all vaguely surreal. Little bite-sized chunks of weirdness. A lot of them heavily feature the moon.

THE BACK STORY: I had been doing a thing for a while where I would post little poems as images on Tumblr. They worked well in that context. Something about the text being formatted into neat little cubes was pleasing to the eye, or at least seemed that way to me. It was fun to me. I kept going with it. Eventually I had so many they filled an entire book, and Publishing Genius was starting a new imprint called Ebook Flights, in which three small books would be bundled together. Mine was part of the first set, in great company alongside Lily Hoang’s Invisible Women and Gabe Durham’s Locked Away.

WHY THIS TITLE?: It’s what poetry feels like to me, or writing in general, really. When it’s going well it feels like I’m tearing into something intangible. Something very wispy, and high above me.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?: If they have an open mind I think they’ll have fun with it. It’s not a big commitment. You can just pick it up and go. In fact you don’t even need to pick it up, since it’s an ebook. The world inside the book is strange, but at the same time I believe it goes down light and smooth.

REVIEW COMMENTS: “Delightfully weird, a collection of slightly connected flash pieces and poetry that use seemingly random images and emotions to create a satisfying, experimental collection,” James Yates, The Collagist.

“Amusing, cranky, and weird,” Goodreads user, Brooks.

“Think of it as a literary version of a wine or beer flight, enough to get you started, enough to get you thirsty for more,” Adam Robinson.

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m the author and illustrator of The Inevitable June and Moon Facts. I write words. I draw pictures. I recently got on a plane and flew across an ocean and moved to a city I’ve never been to. I’m learning my way around. I’m going back to school. I like change, but also quiet. I like to close my eyes and imagine a bunch of things that aren’t really happening. Then I like to write them down. I like technology and all that it has done for us. But I also enjoy a very green tree with lots of small things way up in it. I believe few things are as sacred as the combination of morning and hot coffee. I’m pretty sure I’m not getting nearly enough sleep.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I wanted to make something fun and light and weird. I want people to smile when they read it, and maybe go, “huh?” And maybe their whole world gets just 0.001% stranger.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: 

A FAMILY OF WOLVES

I took a family of wolves into the palm of my hand. I hurled them at the moon. They stuck there. One thousand furry darts. Their dumb fangs so pointy and stubborn. So absolutely white. Unable to do anything but shine brilliantly in their useless wolf mouths. I laughed long and deep into the warmth of my tea. The winter is such a great time of year, I thought. So much for us to do while we wait patiently to change sweaters.

LOCAL OUTLETS: It’s an ebook.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, http://www.publishinggenius.com/product/man-bites-cloud-by-bob-schofield/

PRICE: $2.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: bobschofield1@gmail.com, @anothertower, bobschofield.tumblr.com

Weather Report, June 20

 

THIS WEEK’S CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “FILL THE STADIUM,” BY K.M. DAUGHTERS, “THE BOMBER,” BY DAVID O’SULLIVAN AND “LOOKING @ LIFE,” BY POLLYESTHER, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.

———————————————————

And now, for something completely different …

That was the intro for a long-ago TV comedy whose name escapes me now, but it’s also appropriate for this week’s featured Snowflakes books.

Every once in awhile, I think it’s fun to stretch you a bit. That’s why I was attracted to Nancy Blanton’s novel “Sharavogue,” which offers some rare  insights into British and world history.

You’ve heard of Oliver Cromwell, I’m sure, but what do you know about him? After reading this book, you’ll never react to that name in the same way again.

Meanwhile, Bob Schofield’s “Man Bites Cloud” is a collection of short verse/prose snippets that even he admits are weird. But also fun, and it won’t take too much of your time to enjoy them.

Finally, how can you not pick up and peruse a book titled “Beautiful Ape Girl Baby”?

UPCOMING ON “SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, JUNE 21-27.

“SHARAVOGUE,” BY NANCY BLANTON

It is December of 1649 as England’s uncrowned king, Oliver Cromwell, leads his brutal army across Ireland to crush a violent rebellion. Elvy Burke, daughter of a great warrior, wants one thing—to live her destiny as a leader and defender of her country. As the cavalry approaches, Elvy knows she will not give up easily.

When Cromwell cruelly beheads a village boy, Elvy vows to destroy him. After fleeing from his soldiers, she aligns with a Scottish outlaw whose schemes send them headlong into a tumultuous journey across the sea to the West Indies, where she is indentured on a sugar plantation. Here she must learn to survive, to discover the depth of her own strengths and emotions, and find a way back to Ireland to confront her sworn enemy.

Sharavogue is the compelling story of one girl’s journey through the lawless lands of Ireland and the West Indies as she struggles claim her destiny.

“BEAUTIFUL APE GIRL BABY,” BY HEATHER FOWLER.

Writes Heather, who describes herself as a “magical realist”:

“This book was written based on a short story written in 2001. It took 15 years to go from concept invention to novel publication, but the time between made it a richer book. It’s a story about a girl born to rich parents, resembling an ape, who fights societal expectations about beauty at the same time as fighting her own idealistic nature. The nurture/nature argument informs this book as does a free-wheeling exploration of gender.”

“MAN BITES CLOUD,” BY BOB SCHOFIELD.

Again, from the author: “I had been doing a thing for a while where I would post little poems as images on Tumblr. They worked well in that context. Something about the text being formatted into neat little cubes was pleasing to the eye, or at least seemed that way to me. It was fun to me. I kept going with it. Eventually I had so many they filled an entire book, and Publishing Genius was starting a new imprint called Ebook Flights, in which three small books would be bundled together. Mine was part of the first set, in great company alongside Lily Hoang’s Invisible Women and Gabe Durham’s Locked Away.”

NOTE: As of last week, Snowflakes in a Blizzard crossed the 10,000 mark in Internet hits. That may not mean anything to anyone but me, but I think it’s kind of cool.