Brain to Books Holiday Book Giveaway & CyCon Sampler

Mark Your Calendars For The Best Book Event this Season, and a Taste of B2B CyCon!

Hello lovelies at Our Write Side! We have been thrilled to share the B2B CyCon and Book Expo that is coming in April. A lot of authors new to the event are… overwhelmed. We totally understand. It is a huge event, and there isn’t really anything quite like it. So we are doing a mini-CyCon this weekend, to give authors a taste of what they will get at B2B CyCon 2017. It is a part of Angela B. Chrysler’s Brain Slush Holiday event that is done every year! This year we are adding a day to show off a little of what CyCon has to offer. Come join this awesome 3-day Facebook event.

Day #1 Launch the Holidays with the Slush Brain Crew

Where: Facebook

Description: Embrace the Debauchery

Two years ago, the zaniest, weirdest group of eccentrics collided in a drunken stupor. Brought together by the love of zombies, fleas, and drinking, these authors found sanctuary within their insanity. Today, we celebrate this imbroglio! We’re giving away stuff all in the name of…we really don’t know why we’re doing it. If you love Science Fiction, Fantasy, all things nerdy, and well…booze, join us for this one day on board the HMS Slush Brain!

***So not family friendly.***

$100.00 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY AND BOOK BASH!

Sign up is now open and ends 8:00 PM EST 18 December 2016. Winner is announced 8:30 PM EST 18 December 2016!

Enter for a chance to win at http://angelabchrysler.com/2016/11/hms-slush-brain-book-bash/

The Schedule for the HMS Slush Brain Book Bash!

  • 11:00 AM EST – Angela B. Chrysler
  • 12:00 PM EST – Kylie Jude
  • 1:00 PM EST – Cindy L Schneider
  • 2:00 PM EST – Adam Dreece
  • 3:00 PM EST – Matthew William Harrill
  • 4:00 PM EST – Jay Norry
  • 5:00 PM EST – Cindy L Schneider
  • 6:00 PM EST – MLS Weech
  • 7:00 PM EST – Ani Manjikian
  • 8:00 PM EST – ***HAPPY HOUR***

Zombies From Space…and Vampires

Day #2 Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler

Where: Facebook

Description: Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away!

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.
2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
3 – Holiday Book Giveaway
4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)
5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

Scheduled appearances

If you’ve stopped in, please take a moment to share this event with your followers. Every little bit helps.

Takeover Author Sign Up for 17 December 2016:

10:00 AM EST – ***WELCOME AND INTRO***
10:30 AM EST – Angela B. Chrysler
11:00 AM EST – Joshua Robertson
11:30 AM EST – Dove Winters
12:00 PM EST – Stephanie and Amanda present…
1:00 PM EST – Karina Kantas
1:30 PM EST – Dianna Wyles
2:00 PM EST – ***ABOUT THE CYCON***
2:30 PM EST – S. A. Hoag (AKA Sheila Hoag )
3:00 PM EST – Tabitha Barret
3:30 PM EST – Carol Ann King
4:00 PM EST – A.F. Stewart
4:30 PM EST – Joe Compton
5:00 PM EST – Connie Cockrell
5:30 PM EST – Devorah Fox
6:00 PM EST – ***OPEN TO ALL AUTHORS WHO MISSED SIGN UP***
6:30 PM EST – ***OPEN TO ALL AUTHORS WHO MISSED SIGN UP***
7:00 PM EST – Susanne Leist
7:30 PM EST – Ani Manjikian
8:00 PM EST – Kerry Alan Denney
8:30 PM EST – Tom Fallwell

Don’t forget to donate your giveaway here: https://braintobooks.com/brain-books-2016-holiday-giveaway-cycon-sampler/

Day #3 Release Parties and Winners Announced

Where: Facebook

Description: Ani Manjikian is preparing to release the 2nd book in her series “Stars of Heros” (Heros as in Thracian Heros from Greek mythology) is a Science Fiction novel.

Join us for Science Fiction fun and Mythological related books! Prizes, games, giveaways, and so much more!

TAKEOVER SIGN UP EVENT! Authors! Select your times below!

This is a mythology (Greek, Roman, and Thracian) Science Fiction and Fantasy!

10:00 AM EST –
11:00 AM EST –
12:00 PM EST –
1:00 PM EST –
2:00 PM EST –
3:00 PM EST
4:00 PM EST
5:00 PM EST
6:00 PM EST
7:00 PM EST
8:00 PM EST – WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

We are still taking sign ups! Authors! Jump in and grab yours here!

Heidi Angell works with Angela B. Chrysler to organize and coordinate these events. Once a month we will share these reminders with you. Sign up NOW for some of the best publicity an author could ask for!

Join the Holiday Sampler for a taste of what's to come with #B2BCyCon in April! Reserve your place… Click To Tweet

Need more information or wonder what B2BCyCon can do for you? Heidi’s got a great article on this very topic on her site here.

B2B CyCon

cycon2017-horror-themeHello, Our Write Side dark fiction and horror authors! Are you looking for a way to get in front of the right readers at the right time, but feel lost and frustrated with marketing? Well, then you definitely want to learn more about Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo.

This is a virtual book convention, allowing dark fiction and horror authors to connect with readers from the comfort of  home. (Because we know that as fun as traditional conventions are, it is just WAY too peopley out there!)

The B2B CyCon is a wonderful way to meet authors and readers. Last year, we had nearly 800 attendees and this year we are anticipating well over 2,000.

We have a great genre leader for dark fiction and horror, A.F. Stewart, and she has some wonderful fun planned around the theme of Blood Spring. There will be a genre tour, a genre-themed blog hop, and several genre-inspired events around the Blood Spring theme.

Getting in front of all those readers is a great opportunity, but the best part of the convention for authors is all the before-the-events interaction that allows you to network with other authors, learn great marketing skills, get great tips, and have lots of time to plan and put those skills and tips into action to promote your involvement in the convention! The CyCon is put on by the wonderful volunteers of Angela B. Chysler’s Brain to Books, which is a great group of indie authors who work together to help each other succeed.

The excitement is already starting with the Facebook group of nearly 300 authors getting the action rolling! Come and join us in Brain to Books closed Facebook group, and get a feel for what the convention is all about. Share this with other authors you know and get networking and learning today! Ready to dive on in? Here is a great article on how to do CyCon for $15 or less.

Look forward to seeing you at the CyCon!

Heidi Angell

Author of The Hunters Series,
Learn more at HeidiAngell.com

Open Call: Tales from the Time Capsule

Calling all horror and dark fiction writers! Here’s your chance to get published in OWS Ink: Literary Journal’s Fall issue! Read the introduction, submerge your muse into the darkest corners of your imagination, and write a short story between 1,500 and 4,000 words.

#openCall #horror #dark #fiction #writers Tales from the Time Capsule. Submit now! #owsink… Click To Tweet

Follow the submission guidelines and enter now, BEFORE the deadline of September 25, 2016. Click on the image below to read the full description:

Open Call LJ

The Official OWS Summer Reading List 2016

Our team’s taste is as vast as their minds are creative. We have book lovers of all genres scattered among us, and between the thirteen of us, we have compiled our very first summer reading recommendation list. Below we share 25 titles in no particular order.

beach_reading_1466086678

  1. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

TriggerTrigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story—a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year—stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe. Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale The Case of Death and Honey. And Click-Clack the Rattlebag explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness.

2. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

onceThe whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlin and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.

 

 

 

3. The BFG by Roald Dahl

BFGThe BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

 

 

4. Seaside Heartbeats by Stacy Claflin

SeasideSometimes love shows up when you least expect it.

After years of hard work, architect Lana Summers just wants a relaxing vacation in the beach town of Kittle Falls. Instead, she suffers unexpected heart problems, and finds herself in the office of a gorgeous cardiologist—who only makes her heart work harder.

Brayden Hunter left his successful cardiology practice in Dallas to be closer to his aging parents. Focused on building a health care clinic in his hometown, he doesn’t want any distractions. However, the beautiful Lana is one he can’t seem to avoid.

As their attraction grows, they stumble upon a 160-year-old mystery. Brayden catches her adventurous spirit as they chase after answers, and he can’t help falling for her. But can he convince her to stay in the small beach town and with him?

5. The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

ShepherdsA SHIVERING OF WORLDS

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning. . . .

THE FINAL DISCWORLD® NOVEL

6. Til Death Do Us Part by Stephanie Ayers

Til DeathWhen Ian buys Elizabeth a Tiffany’s engagement ring, he unwittingly sets off a series of deadly events as the ring goes full circle — passing through the hands of a hopeful co-worker, a young delivery boy, a beloved daughter and her father, a drug-addicted twin brother, a drug dealer, and a pawn shop — to be reunited with its intended.

 

 

 

7. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

ForestIn the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger.

Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.

Until one day, he does….

As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be. But as she’s swept up in new love, with shifting loyalties and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

8. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Looking GlassThe Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook. The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss? parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool, Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

 

 

9. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure by Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

DepartureWhen Natalie and Anna, sisters and life-long rivals, hide an abandoned child from the Nazis in Budapest Hungary, their struggle re-opens a star-crossed love triangle and inspirational romance, threatening their safety and testing the bonds of their loyalty.

Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany during World War Two insured that Natalie, a best-selling children’s book author, and her family would be safe as World War Two raged through Europe. The Holocaust that has only been whispered about until now becomes a terrible reality for every Jewish family or those who hide Jews.

Beautiful but troubled Anna, a poet and university professor is losing her tenuous hold on reality, re-igniting a dangerous sibling rivalry that began in childhood. She threatens not only Natalie’s inspirational romance, but both of their lives.

The streets of Budapest, Hungary echo with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers at the height World War Two. Danger creeps to the doorstep where the sisters’ disintegrating relationship threatens to expose the child they are trying to protect. In one night, Anna’s rash behavior destroys their carefully made plans of escape, and Natalie is presented with a desperate choice.

Interwoven with Natalie and Anna’s story, is Mila’s. The abandoned child whose future Natalie lovingly imagines in a story about an old woman named Mrs. Tuesday.

 

10. Crystal Unicorns by Nancy E. Miller

UnicornsAlexis made a fatal mistake. Her new book is about an act of evil and its aftermath, all true and graphically detailed. Now a psychopath wants his due and makes a game of the hunt. Her marriage is dying, and hubby is more than willing for her past love to protect her when Alexis arrives in her hometown. There are more secrets than answers and passion may prove reckless. Innocence is so very fragile. Protector, survivor, and hunter are all victims of shattered lives. They are–Crystal Unicorns.

 

 

11. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

LightMarie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

 

12. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

NightingaleFRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

 

13. The Machine (Blood and Destiny Series Book 1) by E.C. Jarvis

MachineLarissa Markus is a humble clerk in a clothing shop with a hidden past when she is swept off her feet by the charismatic Professor. Their whirlwind romance explodes in her face and leads her down a tumultuous path of adventure, intrigue, love, and violence. Airships, pirates, corsets, torture, murder, and more await in the first novel of the Blood and Destiny Series from E.C. Jarvis. The Machine is an adult steampunk fantasy book. Possible triggers are present within the book including but not limited to sex, murder, torture, and violence.

 

 

14. Mists of Avalon by Marian Zimmer Bradley

AvalonA Literary Guild Featured Alternate
Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come….

 

 

 

 

15. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins

Art of WorkThe path to your life’s work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life’s work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It’s about the task you were born to do.

As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try.

Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way.

 

16. End of Watch by Stephen King

End of WatchIn End of Watch, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves.

In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

 

17. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

meThey had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

 

18. Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid

JourneyThreatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come. Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow. With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator. She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.

 

19. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Her story begins on a train.

WolfThe year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele’s twin brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and stay true to her mission?

 

20. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlanderScottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

 

21. Splintered by A.G. Howard

SplinteredThis stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers–precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

 

22. Damselfly Inn by Cameron Garriepy

damselflyThe picturesque college town of Thornton, Vermont is the perfect place to open an inn. Or so Nan Grady thinks until a late summer storm drops a tree branch through her roof and local contractor Joss Fuller into her path.

Romance has been the last thing on her career-oriented mind, but Nan can’t deny the attraction between them. Nor can she deny the history between Joss and her most important guest: a sophisticated Manhattan academic.

And then there is the mysterious vandal targeting her home and livelihood.

As summer fades to autumn and Joss becomes a fixture around the Damselfly Inn, Nan navigates the joys and complications of life in her new hometown. But when the vandalism becomes increasingly upsetting, threatening Nan and her guests, as well as her budding relationship with Joss, Nan questions her place in the town, at the inn, and in Joss’s heart.

 

23. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

gardenA tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book — a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and with very little to go on, “Nell” sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. At Cliff Cottage, on the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, Cassandra discovers the forgotten garden of the book’s title and is able to unlock the secrets of the beautiful book of fairy tales.

 

24. Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

challengerCaden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.

 

25. Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood

shadowThe Hidden Truth (Episode 1)

A young shadow stalker is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles, and the Galvadi Empire want this child of prophecy dead. Auren Trasks perfectly normal life is disrupted when the Galvadi invade, and she learns a startling secret about her past. A secret that will change her life forever.

The Delohi-Saqu’s Fate (Episode 2)

Auren is being targeted by the Council of Elders, and the only one who could put an end to their corruption is her father. But leaving the Dark Isle would turn Kado against her.

Shadows’ Betrayal (Episode 3)

After seeing the monster she will become, Auren swears not to leave the Dark Isle. Despite that, the elders are conspiring against her. To escape their scheming, she and Kado decide to explore the Dark Isle. But worse things await them in the forests.

Forbidden Love (Episode 4)

Kado and Auren survive a deadly storm, but when Auren is forbidden from pursuing love with another young shadow stalker, will it be enough to drive a wedge between her and her foster father?

Destiny Reconciled Part 1 (Episode 5)

Auren and Kado accept that they may not be able to avoid her leaving the Dark Isle. Now they have to prepare for that eventuality. Will the training be more than Auren can handle?

Destiny Reconciled Part 2 (Episode 6)

Cathnor has been arrested and is facing a death sentence. The Dark Isle is out of control, and Kado is the only one who can help his people. So he prepares Auren for the possibility that she may have to leave the Dark Isle without him and face her destiny alone, but can she leave him and do what must be done?

You’ve got our top 25 picks for this summer. What’s on your reading list?

What's on your #summer #reading list? Here's our top 25! #ourwriteside #amreading Click To Tweet

Affiliate: Crab Apple Books

Interview conducted by: A.L. Mabry

Today we interview Brandon Soale, the owner of Crab Apple Books, a brick and mortar store we are proud to be affiliated with.

13281925_10209379439787842_346194402_nWhen did you decide you wanted to own a bookstore? What motivated that decision?

I have always had a passion for books and I always wanted to be a writer. When my book From Foggia to Freedom came out I had a terrible time finding independent bookstores who would carry my book. I contacted several stores in Dayton and Cincinnati offering to speak about my book and sign copies for them. None were interested so I decided I would create a place where local writers were welcome.

In what ways would you like your bookstore to serve our community?

My background is in education. I graduated from Miami University with a degree in history and social studies education. I have worked for the Butler County Historical Society as curator of the Heritage Hall Museum in Hamilton. My goal is to create a place in Middletown where like minded people can gather to share ideas and learn. I will be hosting writers workshops, historical exhibits, art programs, book clubs and local history lectures. All of which will be free and open to the public. Middletown needs a place where everyone is welcome and learning can be fun instead of frustrating.

What kind of books do you personally enjoy?

I read mostly nonfiction books about military history. However, I recently have been reading the classics. I am currently reading Moby Dick and I just reread Lord Of the Flies and Don Quixote. I am usually all over the place when it comes to reading because I always ask people what their favorite book is and when I see it used somewhere I always grab it. My next two books will be Cooper’s Pathfinder and then Calico Joe by Gresham.

If you could take any fictional character and rewrite their story, who would you choose?10955639_864966013574358_5030771329088987667_n

I would probably “rewrite” or perhaps add to The Sun Also Rises. I think Jake and Lady Brett Ashley should have attempted a relationship instead of just ending with “Yes, isn’t it pretty to think so” when they discuss what life together could have been. However, the nostalgic look back on the adventures in the book and the WWI experiences Jake had make Hemingway’s book feel genuine. He was portraying through those two characters what the whole world thought life would have been like without the war changing the world. So nevermind, I guess it is perfect the way it is, haha!


What kind of author involvement would you like to see in your store?

I want local authors and their books to be the center of attention. I also want writers to benefit from my store in ways other than money from sold books. I will be hosting a writers collaborative each month in the store starting this summer. I would like to see writers helping each other with everything from marketing and publishing to copyright laws and contracts. Each month we will have someone speak about a topic of interest for writers. It could be a beginners guide to poetry one month and a workshop on the layout and formatting of a photography book the next month. This should be community driven and based around teamwork.

Writers should not feel like they have to be alone when they set out to create something.… Click To Tweet


What impact do you feel digital books have had on brick and mortar stores? Does this intimidate you at all?

13278085_10209771927555769_303659563_nI know a great number of people who read ebooks and my friends all read ebooks. They have a time and a place. They are great for travel and wonderful for research. For instance there were tons of rare and expensive WWII books I needed to reference for my book. Instead of spending hundreds on out of print books I could not easily obtain I used digital copies to get what I needed. But most of my friends read an ebook to see if they like it enough to buy a hardcopy. Now when people read an ebook and realize they like it enough to add to their collection they can come to my store and buy a hardback that will look great on the shelf and will be there to pass along to others.

How long will a book remain on your shelves before it is returned to the distributor?

I buy all of my books on a non-returnable program for a greater discount. It makes the inventory less expensive but I cannot return what I order. It makes choosing books much more difficult but in the long run I research each book more and when customers come in with questions I can tell them more about each item on the shelf. The good thing about books is that they never go bad. Just because a book might sit on a shelf for a few months doesn’t mean the story gets stale.

What are some non-book items you have available?

We sell a line of literature related t-shirts from a New York Company called Out of Print. They produce shirts with the original cover art from classic novels such as Sherlock Holmes and children’s books like Where the Wild Things Are. We also have book related mugs and we always have gourmet coffee and tea available for customers to enjoy while they browse the store or relax with a book.

Do you encourage shoppers to stay and read in the store? Do you offer comfortable seating and lighting?

Brandon Soale

Brandon Soale

I want people to come in and read. I tried to set up the store with several places people could escape to and do what they want. I wanted to give people areas to read, study and meet but not have the different activities interrupt each other. So there are tables to work at and chairs in other rooms for individuals to relax. We will be opening two spaces in the basement where groups can go to have meetings or individuals can use to read quietly. It will be another opportunity to accommodate everyone.

Do you sell or rent eBooks? What about eReaders?

No, but we will probably start selling eReaders at the store in 2016 if there is enough demand for them.

How are you utilizing social media in your business model?

Social media is a huge chunk of any businesses marketing right now. People rely on their friends and strangers for information concerning places to go and things to do. I used social media to sell my books and I am still learning how to incorporate the tricks I learned self publishing into the business. Right now I am just trying to have an online presence while I work out the day to day problems a new business faces. I am really excited about some of the things I have planned for the interaction between customers and the store itself. I want the public to have a say in the authors we invite to sign, the programs we have and the books we sell. I also want people who can’t make it down to the store to be able to benefit from the things we do for free online. That will include posting videos of author interviews and programs as well as asking people to contribute to our newsletter. I want the newsletter to be printed as well as digital.

If you could choose any five writers (living or dead) to hold a presentation for your customers, who would you choose?

Hemingway, Stephen Crane, Voltaire, Robert McCloskey and General Erich von Manstein. I have so much to ask these guys about things other than their books.

What are your most and least favorite aspects of being a book seller?

The best part about running a bookstore is ordering books! I love books and sitting down to order new things for the store allows me to learn about authors, genres and topics I never would have researched for my personal collection. Everyone has a favorite book and when you talk to the customers they always have a favorite title or author they are passionate about. The worst part about selling books is that when I take their advice and order all of these interesting books my personal reading list gets out of control. I am going to need to find someone to read to me while I work or I will never get caught up!

FoggiaYou have written and published your own book, what was the most challenging part of the process for you?

The most challenging part was doing the editing work. The book is nonfiction and the stories came from interviewing more than 30 World War II veterans who flew with the 15th Air Force in Italy, many of which were shot down and held in German POW camps until the war’s end. The stories were being told to me and I actually had more information than I knew what to do with. I did not want to leave anyone’s interview out because these men were 88-94 years old and for many it was the only time or final time they could get their story into the historical record. I began the interviews in 2008 and today there are none of the original crew members I started with living today. That was a challenging burden I did not expect to deal with when I began.

Last question, what is your all time hands down favorite book?

That is a difficult question because I read both fiction and nonfiction, but my favorite fiction book is For Whom the Bell Tolls and my favorite nonfiction is EB Sledge’s WWII book With the Old Breed.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. 

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May Poet of the Month: Archana Kapoor

May brings a new poet of the month, selected by our poetry editor, Eric Keizer. Meet the talented Archana Kapoor, poet and travel writer.

Archana kapoorLife manifested in its complete liveliness is Archana. A Banker turned Blogger, she realized that writing and expression gave meaning to her life and soul. She loves recounting her travel tales and stories that she sees everywhere. When she feels deeply about something, her expression takes a poetic form. Looking at every aspect of life with a twinkle in her eye, she garnishes things around her with something special. Check out for yourself in her amazing writing.

Name: Archana Chaurasia Kapoor

Email: archanackapoor@gmail.com

Preferred Genre: Love, Haiku, Off beat

 

Hello. We are delighted to honor you as our Poet of the Month here on Our Write Side.

First, let’s discuss your writing…

What inspires you to write poetry?

  • Inspiration can come from anywhere and hit me real hard. When I step out of the house to walk my dog in the morning, the dew drops on the tree right outside my house inspire me, the sky in all its moods, especially with the sun creating drama with colors makes words just flow in my mind, sitting amidst my plants in my patio-garden, admiring the greens and the fragrance of the flowers can be heartening and it forces lyrics in my mind… and most of all while surfing the net if I come across any moving picture, I have this urge to put that image into words, and more often than not write a Haiku on it.

What does being creative mean to you?

  • Creativity is about painting a beautiful picture with words, one that talks to the readers, pulls them towards it and yet leaves a lot to their own imagination and interpretation. Leaving thoughts in people’s minds is the best part of being creative and that’s what excites me.  

Which do you enjoy more: the writing, revising, or sharing of a poem?

  • I love writing and sharing. I am a bit lazy when it comes to revising because I feel something written in the first attempt is the genuine thought behind that piece. Revising for me is a form of manipulation, which sometimes takes away from the original thought. Of course, I proof read all my work, but I make revisions only if there is a pressing need to.   

Can you describe the time when you first realized writing poetry was something you had to do?

  • I think it was sometime during school days. I don’t exactly remember when, but i was a little girl. I used to participate in inter-school elocution competitions, and when I spoke aloud, my teachers often told me that they could ‘feel’ the poem. That’s when I realized that I could feel what I was speaking too. Whether it was “ring out the old, ring in the new” or “I have miles to go before I sleep”, merely reading poetry aloud made me come alive. I knew I had to write someday.  

Do you have a ritual or routine you must complete or have while you are writing?

  • Not really. I don’t usually have time-lines, deadlines or any set routine. I just write when I have to, when I feel the need to.  

What are you trying to communicate with your writing?

  • My thoughts when I see a thing of beauty, grief when I feel someone has been wronged, excitement when I feel the caress of mother nature, love when I see it in the eyes of my beloved, inspiration when I feel moved by something, Many many elements. There’s so much to talk about if you have the ears to listen to everything that transpires around you. I love communicating how I feel.  

What are you currently working on?

  • My Haiku book which has been long pending now. My husband and I have a concept in mind, for the book and we are working on that.
  • I am also working on a love story set in Mumbai, my home town. It’s going a bit slow, but is exciting nonetheless.

Do you have any works published or coming soon?

  • As I mentioned above. 🙂 A book full of Haiku, coming soon!

What makes poetry “good?”

  • The thought behind it, the simplicity of the message conveyed and the passion of the poet.

Thanks for discussing your writing. Now, let’s talk a little bit about you…

When you aren’t writing, what do you do?

  • Lots of things. Reading, cooking, traveling, watching TV series, talking to family and friends and very often ‘thinking.’  

Archana C KapoorIf you could have a do-over, would you choose your “calling” or non-writing job again today?

  • I love writing. But honestly I have enjoyed my professional life thoroughly too, every bit of it. If the opportunity ever presents itself, I could do both. But writing will be my calling, something that was meant to be and will always remain close to my heart.

Tell us about a favorite childhood memory.

 

  • OMG! So many to choose from. But I’ll talk about one that brings a smile to my face even now. I had participated in an inter-school speaking competition. I had a reputation to maintain because I never lost any competition I participated in, which also meant that the pressure was always on. My topic was, ‘My Country, my school and I.’ The elimination round was done and while I was confident that I did very well, there were two other students who were excellent too, especially one boy who spoke about wanting to be a politician and hence moved the crowds with his hilarious words. I was wary but decided to put up a brave face and speak to the best of my abilities in the final round (I was confident that I would make it). And that’s what I did. My topic was serious, some thoughts in it profound; and I delivered the speech exactly as my teachers taught me – with emotion, feeling and a smile. But the politician boy kept playing on my mind. I won the first prize. Usually whenever I won a competition, I knew I would. But this time I wasn’t really sure and that made the moment even more special. Of course, back at home my siblings went berserk and kept dancing around the house. It was a beautiful day!

Name one poet most people don’t know about, but should.

 

  • Well, I really enjoy the work of John Keats. He is well known too, but I haven’t heard too many people refer to him.  

Where do you see yourself as a poet in five years?

  • I haven’t thought of this at all. I write because I need to. What the future beholds is something I want to wait and watch. I will walk my path sincerely – that’s my promise to myself, the rest can unfold in its own way.  

How about sharing your favorite poet? Author? Book? Song? Movie? Food?

  • I like Rudyard Kipling’s work.
  • Nicholas Sparks and his love stories.
  • The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
  • The Shawshank Redemption, Superman, My Fair Lady and the Indian movie – Kabhi Kabhi.
  • Indian cuisine

If you could pass along only one piece of advice to other poets, what would it be?

  • Don’t write for the sake of writing, write if you feel it within!

And in conclusion, would you please share your favorite poem penned by yourself and tell us why it is so special to you?

  • This is a tough one. Can I take the liberty of sharing a few?

Nature’s Bolt (Tanka) – This was my first attempt at writing Tanka and will always remain special.

Deafening din of

Colossal nebula clash

Changes the backdrop

Divine artistry for some

Wrath of nature to many

__________________________________

The White Lady (Poem) – This one was for my favorite mountain – Mont Blanc. Anyone who climbs Mont Blanc is sure to fall in love with her, just as I did.

She called out to me in my dreams

I could hear her speak my name

Her serene gaze and calm voice

Heightened my desires to meet her

She almost stretched her arms

In that very moment I knew

That’s the place I yearned to be in

That was what I was longing for all these years

I commenced my journey

I ran as fast as my feet could carry me

And as I she rose in front of me

I stopped in my tracks, awestruck!

Beauty is but a word

And to call her beautiful was injustice

She was a goddess

Archangelic and divine

A woman of immense strength and power

Who held tempests tight in her bosom

Without flinching at the sting

Without cringing with the pain

She gave me immense love

Tranquility and tenderness

Wrapped me in her white gown

And put me to rest!

__________________________________________

Moon About (Haiku) – A beautiful body I write about very often.

Moonlit starry nights

Mind wanders listlessly as

Sleep evades my eyes

___________________________________________

An Ode To You (Poem)  – This one was for my sweetheart, my husband!  

Tomorrow, if I were to leave

For places unknown

And return years later

I wonder what you would do

Would you still sip ginger tea

At least occasionally, out of my mug

Instead of the green tea

From your favourite tumbler

Would you still say

Yay! The weekend starts tomorrow

Saturdays are for work around the house

You know how much I hate going out on Sundays

They are only for you and me

To be at home

And cook together

Would you still say

Let’s have lunch at a fancy restaurant

On Wednesday

But before that

We need to go to Saks on Tuesday

I need to buy you a dress

For our lunch date

Would you still say

Please call me when you get late

I get worried when

You are out and about

On your fancy shopping trips

You lose track

Of time

And would you say

You ask too many questions

When there is no need

There are some parts of us

Which we will never know

Some things should remain implicit

Between a man and wife… forever

And I really wonder

If you would still do

All those sweet things

Which make you

You;

And say all the cherished things

Which make me love you…

______________________________

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today.

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