THE GIRLS OF SUMMER: Fiction on Sale

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FAST FURIOUS FICTION ON SALE
TO FUEL THOSE POOLSIDE AFTERNOONS

 

The only time we get to read for pleasure is a long-haul plane flight or a summer weekend when the world is just a little bit slower. Oh, and those 8 minutes before we fall asleep at night, exhausted but determined to read a page or two to keep our heads alive. Below we offer the reader a range of rapid reads, all meant to entertain at a really low cost – say $2.99 – or less than the price of an iced latte. Lasts longer too.

Happy summer.

 

All she wanted was some donuts…a sugar rush to drown out her loveless suburban life and cheating bald husband. What she got was her true self back, with the help of two really young, really hot gang bangers. You’ll be done reading in 2 hours and you won’t know what hit you. But you’ll be smiling, that we can promise.

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Kindle is on sale for 2.99, paperback is 12.99

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“This is the most insane fun I’ve ever had reading a book in my life.

I called in sick so I could finish it.”

– T. Beckett Scotland, Film Producer, The Devil of Blue Mountain

 

If you like a Quentin Tarantino movie crossed with aliens and drug cartels, this is your book.  It’s so much fun, you just might snort out loud, alarming your seat mates.

KINDLE ON SALE 2.99

Paperback    10.00

 

 

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White Deer of Autumn, author Gabriel Horn, has created an beautiful portrait of a young girl coming to grips with her heritage, her community, and a world where her highest ideals – those of the natural world – are being destroyed by seemingly unstoppable evil – the British Petroleum oil spill.

This beautiful young adult novel won the 2016 International Book Award winner, 2016 Indie Excellence Book Award winner, 2016 Paris Book Festival Award winner, the 2016 Award for Literary Excellence from the Friends of the Florida Library and a winner of the 2015 Florida Book Award.

 

 

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41sJGzMvtlL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg“Johanna Baldwin is a magical and original writer whose unique voice has a gift for making allegory and fantasy surprising and emotionally plausible. Her delicate touch brings freshness to unexpected themes and opens a door to worlds hidden within the every day world.”

— Naomi Wolf,
The Beauty Myth

Kindle:  2.99    Paperback  15.00

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3 Simple Ways to Choose a Book

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All writers and editors and publishers are people who read and read a lot. I am no exception. In my constant need for comparative titles, new ideas, before-bed reading and the like, I spend a lot of money on books each month.  I finally put myself on a “book budget” and it was harder to stick to than buying clothes, eating out and likker.

Right now, the world feels like a pile of books. Millions dance around on the templates of amazon and landing pages of New York publishing – God love them – who keeps publishing into a void of fewer readers, no retailers, and a press so locked into election coverage,  only a political book can make it on air or even have a chance at a mention in articles and blogs.

So how is a reader to navigate this black hole? With three simple ideas:

  1. Read all the descriptive material on amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever you are buying the book. How is the writing on the exterior? Since all writers – even those with large publishing companies – now write just about everything on the book, it gives you a sense of their style and what they think the book is about.
  2. Do not pay $30 for a hardcover. You are paying for the office rent of the publisher and usually an overly large advance to the writer.  (My favorite was Mrs. Clinton’s high priced autobiography that name-dropped for hundreds of pages. She’s lucky I’m still voting for her name-dropping ass.) Books simply aren’t that expensive to make.  (Publishers publish hardcovers because the New York Times, New Yorker, et al still will not accept a paperback for review. Another sad circumstance.) Invest in a kindle as books are considerably less pricey in that form. You should now, with books, adopt the old adage NEVER PAY RETAIL.
  3. Don’t be a lemming. In book publishing, everyone seems to be reading and reviewing the same book at the same moment: You Before Me, The Fault is in Our Stars, Gone, Girl and on and on. Get out of the herd and start exploring the rising number of Indies and their ground-breaking books that are winning awards worldwide. This is where the next great voice will probably rise from….and you’ll be there to hear it.

You are in the middle of a revolution and renaissance in the art of writing and distributing words. Use it to your advantage. The prices are low, the world complex, and more information is going to make you smarter, faster, and stronger than virtually any activity on Earth.

It’s your brain. Feed it and grow strong.

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A Mother and Child Reunion. At Auschwitz.

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Reparations: A Novel of War and Rebirth was written by 85-year-old writer Ruth Sidransky. It is based loosely on her years in post-World War II Germany and Austria, smuggling for the Jews rising up out of the sewers and coming in from the woods where they spent the war.

Sidransky started the book in 1950 and worked on and off on it for a decade. It then spent 65 years with little attention until now. Published along with two of the author’s other works, Reparations resonates with a master’s control of language and, given the dates it was written, rings with fresh horror at events that were then recent.

In her travels in Vienna, Sidransky teaches English to Viennese hoping to emigrate out of Austria. A silent woman sits in front of her during each class, watching her every move. One day, an anti-Semitic shout rises from the back of the room and the silent woman makes herself known: She is Clara. She is Jewish and she will stand between her Jewish teacher and the room of Austrians. She will protect her.

Sidransky and Clara become friends and slowly, Clara tells her story. She was experimented on by Mengele but allowed to live. She will never be able to have children. Her entire family is dead.

Her mother had a pin, a round simple pin that disappeared with her the day Clara’s mother was taken. Their mother and daughter reunion would not be joyous: As Clara arrived at Auschwitz, she found her mother in the mud, drinking out of a rain puddle.

Clara’s mother did not survive. Her pin did. She gave it to her daughter who then gave it to Sidransky asking that “someone, remember us. Just one person, please.”

Remember her. Whisper “Clara” from time to time, like a little prayer. She deserves it.

To order <a href=" ” target=”_blank”>Reparations: A Novel of War and Rebirth, click on the title.

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Cured of Hoarding in One Purchase

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/Beth Wareham

I have heard a lot of reasons why humans love books. The love of story is probably the best one. I also like the philosophical idea that a book represents time as it will take you time to read it. The more books you have, the more time you have. Have a lot of books, live forever.

We build special shelves for them, stack them atop one another in a column that reaches the ceiling, pile them beside the bed. They shout, “we’re smart! We read!” to all visitors. We may have read some or all of them. The real answer is probably more like one or two.

Humans love to hoard books. It is more acceptable than gathering large numbers of say, cats or ironing boards, in the same room. It is acceptable stock-piling. It’s kinda weird.

41DjGgGH-5L._AA160_I, too, was once a hoarder of books. I have bought and not read so many of them, I should be on a booksellers’ Hall of Fame list somewhere. I would squat in dingy corners of Half-Priced Books trying to find the 20 I needed that week to live. I would read three or four and feed off the paper molecules of the rest. I was hungry and young and my brain was so needful.

A year ago, I approached one of my piles and pulled up an old favorite. I held it in my hands lovingly, remembering when I bought it. I ran my hand across the cover, smiled, opened the book slowly and a big fat centipede fell out. In New York City. Technology and nature had reached a tipping point in my life.

Kindle Paper whiteWith centipede disgust, I ordered my first e-reader. It arrived and I loaded it with a couple of books, tentatively, like they might explode. I put the reader in my bag. Now, what I loved to hoard – books – could be taken with me EVERYWHERE. It was like I had a Sears shed for my own special hobby and no one could come in and bother me. This e-reader was an anti-boredom machine that would make any journey bearable. The world can do what it wants: I’m gonna read.

Much of the dust-centipede breeding ground has been removed from my house. My allergies are better and I found my first husband, dead, under a pile of coffee table books. It was expected, but still sad.

On your reader, you create your own library, your secret world where your brain can play out of sight. On your reader, you can go anywhere and do anything without the paralyzing fear of not having the RIGHT book to read. On your reader, you have the tools to journey further and further into the world, taking your essentials with you. Sometimes with e-reader in hand, I feel like I’m a rocket ship, able to travel a long long way.

On your reader, you

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build a part of your life and take it with you, drawing on its strength as needed. Sure, I’ve got 237 titles on my Kindle – all stock-piled with glee – but the difference is no one can see and I, like all hoarders, feel better just knowing Euripides is there.

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All purchases at The ST Store go to Ebook Africa.

It’s Not ISIS: It’s the Golden Age of Books

Uber-Agent Andrew Wylie sees amazon employees going to work.

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by Beth Wareham

When Andrew Wylie, literary agent to the stars, declared amazon an “ISIS-LIKE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM” at the Toronto Book Fair, it was the metaphorical gunshot that alerted the world that publishing had indeed gone around the bend, was no longer the sharpest knife in the drawer, or even had all its lightbulbs in the chandelier. And just months before, Mr. Wylie wanted amazon to be his buddy, selling all the ebooks that unfortunately, Random House owned. A judge – more and more an important person in publishing – said The Jackal couldn’t do that. He’s called “The Jackal” in the industry for just such moves. After the ISIS-LIKE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM comment, though, I call him The Loon.

This one man has so bullied the publishing elite it is laughable. Whole careers have been built and destroyed based on whether or not Andrew Wylie will sell you a book. But “The Jackal,” as he was known to those shy folk in sensible shoes, was always wily in the right way: he hired the best editors on Earth to work his clients books BEFORE he let a publishing company touch them. Smart man. He knows quality and he knows it sells. Watching arrogant publishers bend to his will was fine sport.

So, as I work with amazon, I dress more and more like ISIS. It just seems to happen. A headscarf to keep out dust as I post a blog. An ammo belt to wear as I upload a book on Kindle Direct Publishing.  Dirty boots to run to the photocopy shop.

What a stupid metaphor, Andrew. As if your life and your problems and your slow down of massive income had a thing to do with a terrible war on the other side of the world.

Come on, fancy commercial publishing, get your metaphors right. The world of books has blown open. The 60 (80?) million bucks you spent on lawyers and price-fixing is gone, pissed away on anything but the art of writing.  Hundreds of books did not get published: You built an empty library and to your surprise big publishing, the world went right on writing and reading.

We found a way.

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10 NO-FAIL GIFTS FOR FOODIES

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10 NO-FAIL FOODIE GIFTS  by Beth Wareham

My business partner and I share a background heavy in food preparation. She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. Not some soft U.S. outpost; she trained in Paris. Huge Frenchmen screamed at her and her pastry. She got butter in her hair.

Hey, everybody has to scratch an itch and, if your hands are smeared with flour and fat, you have little recourse but to smear some around. At night, she’d wash it off and call the States, enraged: “I’m gonna get that Frenchman,” she’d tell her little brother. No tears. No trembling behind the door of the walk-in larder. Just thoughts and plots of revenge.

My experience in food preparation covered 20 years as a cookbook editor, with three editions of the Joy of Cooking notched into my pencil plus chefs Daniel Boulud and Bobby Flay. (I LOVE Bobby Flay. I fought off endless urges to buy him fleece. I thought the warm kitchens would take care of it.) Al Roker was in there somewhere with barbecue and, when I think of recipes from The Herb Farm outside Seattle, my taste glands activate.

I’m forgetting at least 25 other chefs and cookbook authors I edited, perhaps on purpose. I know what makes a great recipe and I know one that won’t work within 3 seconds of looking at it. Food and bullshit often go hand in hand.

My partner and I rarely cook now. I’ll do a steak over an open fire and she’ll throw lobsters into boiling water, but that’s about it. Maybe this is our revenge: Simplicity. But if we do host a party or take food to someone, we’ll strut our stuff like the high-stepping, high-achieving women we are. Tell me, kid, ever de-boned a chicken? That’s hot Cougar talk.

Below is a list of cookbooks that, should my partner and I ever encounter them in your kitchen, we’d lean in to each other and whisper “real deal,” as we moved past on the tour of your house. These books are cornerstones of the world’s great cuisines. These books will, if you let them, explore a whole culture through the entryway of their food, a place where family, society and spirituality often meet.

These books are the equivalent of a cooking school course and look into a culture, without the screaming Frenchman and the butter:

1. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

This book is so famous it seems silly to write about it. It blew into the American consciousness in the 1960s and had housewives preparing 7-course French meals for the boss and his wife. Julia trained an entire generation of magnificent chefs as they sat in front of the television in their diapers, watching her magic and dreaming of future meals.

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2. The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean by Paula Wolfort

Twenty years or so ago, America discovered the Mediterranean diet and the books haven’t stopped coming since. A particularly healthy cuisine – tomatoes, fish,olive oil, citrus, raw garlic, vegetables, grains – the flavors are sunny, timeless, and satisfying and no one has ever done it better than Paula Wolfort.

 

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3. Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni

I get a lot of phone calls looking for writers to do new Indian cookbooks for the expanding Indian culture in the United States. I always say the same thing: “Why do you need something more than Julie Sahni?” Many don’t know who she is and I suggest if you love Indian food, you get to know her. These complex ancient dishes are brought to life in a simple, vibrant style any cook can master.

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4. The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy

I stand by this statement until the grave: Most Mexican cookbooks steal wildly from Diana Kennedy. Part Indiana Jones, part Julia Child, Diana took to Mexico, learning food ways and breaking that cuisine’s code for the North American cook. Her Lifetime Achievement Award for the James Beard Foundation proved that flashy organizations can promote an authentic intellectual on a quest to understand a culture: that’s Diana.

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5. The Taste of Country Cooking: The 30th Anniversary Edition by Edna Lewis

When Virginia-born Edna Lewis operated the Café Nicholson in New York City, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote were frequent diners. You think Edna knew something about Southern food? Edna was snatched up by Julia Child’s editor for a book the New York Times said “may well be the most entertaining regional cookbook in America.”

 

 

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6. How to Cook Everything: 30th Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman

He’s Mr. Minimalist in the New York Times, a persona that matches Mark’s no-nonsense approach to food. This is a big, all-purpose cookbook, much beloved by younger generations, and a perfect gift for those starting a new home. Heavily-branded,there are several versions of How to Cook Everything, including , one to vegetables, and one to just the basics, all good.

 

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7. Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Home cooks in the United States haven’t taken to Chinese home cooking as they have other cuisines. Two reasons explain this: Chinese food is extremely heavy on prep work and, our Chinese restaurants are so good. Shopping for and cooking with these exotic ingredients is a rush. So is learning Chinese techniques.

 

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8. The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

After a horrific childhood in wartime Italy, Marcella immigrated to the United States and and later published the go-to book for classic Italian cooking. Now, more than 30 years later, this is still the go-to book for classic Italian cooking. In fact Marcella was to Italy what Julia was to France. Marcella was just grumpier and drank more whisky. This book is full of the simple transcendent food of the Italians. Don’t miss the pork braised in milk.

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9. Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia Completely Revised and Updated by Librarie LaRousse

The first edition of this kitchen titan was written in 1938 with a preface by the revered Escoffier. Repeatedly revised, it no longer just covers the deepest secrets of French food: world cuisines have now made it’s pages It was Julia Child’s “desert island book” and any cook that has an inquiring mind will want this reference by his or her side. Weighing in a 8 pounds, Larousse can be used to tone your arms as things bake.

 

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10. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook:
2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine

Another all-purpose cookbook, Cook’s Illustrated always reminds me of the “anal retentive chef” from Saturday Night Live. Recipes are perfect. Hints come at you like tennis balls: Did you know vodka makes your crust more tender WITHOUT adding flavor? But throughout, the recipes work perfectly, are delicious and you learn the “why”of it all, an important thing to learn.

 

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The New York Times Will Never Cover Publishing without their Dreams of Bestsellers

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/public-editor/publishing-battle-should-be-covered-not-joined.html?_r=1

The New York Times is simply not the place to look for publishing insights. First, everyone that writes for the paper has a dream that looks like the one above. That’s right, that old white guy is receiving his Nobel Prize. Folks at the Times also get riled up over such words as Pulitzer, National Book Critics Association, huge advance, Andrew Wiley, multiple book deal and of course, lunch with my agent.

The New York Times is also full of reporter/writers who do not necessarily make a huge amount of money. Their platform – The New York Times – gave many a chance to add  $50,000, $100,000, $500,000 – to their annual income, if they could sell a book proposal to a large publishing company. Many could. Publishers scooped them up like chocolate almond ice cream: They bought houses and sent kids to college on publishing advances.

Alternatively, The New York Times was hugely disrupted by the digital revolution. The New York Times has done a magnificent job of wrapping their heads around what must be done. But that doesn’t mean their hearts are there yet.

So, get your publishing information from somewhere else for awhile. Or, better yet, go write a great book while the whole thing blows over.

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ANTI-INDENTITES: Traditional Publishing and UFO Believers

You hear it all the time: I like a book. I like to feel that paper in my hands. Great, I always say. There is no other answer. It’s what they say they like and I believe them.

Then there are people in and around the trade publishing world that say weird things about content all the time: like there isn’t a bear eating their drapes. They say things like “I’m writing the flap copy in my head now!” or “I’m writing a book about Silicon Valley but they don’t want to talk to me until I say I have a deal with a traditional publisher.” Whaaaa……? Did you just climb out of the crater in Roswell? Some of the coolest publishing on Earth comes out of Silicon Valley, the great disrupters of the Universe.

Within 2 -3 years, most reading will be done on a cellphone. It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s the next logical step. Everything will be on the cell or the home computer. People won’t carry an iPad and iPhone or Galaxy and Kindle or whatever combo they cary. They will want just one thing to carry and just one thing that is possible to lose. And if you don’t believe me, WHY DO YOU THINK AMAZON PUT OUT A CELLPHONE?

I’d like to read on the Glass, but I can’t afford it. A wristwatch might be fun if someone gave me special wizard glasses with long thick lenses. Hmmmmm… business idea? I just don’t know. But all of it is blowing wide open and to think otherwise is to see UFOs in the skies over Cleveland.

ANTI-INDENTIES: “Traditional” Publishing Lovers Are True UFO Believers

You hear it all the time: I like a book. I like to feel that paper in my hands. Great, I always say. There is no other answer. It’s what they say they like and I believe them.

Then there are people in and around the trade publishing world that say weird things about content all the time: like there isn’t a bear eating their drapes. They say things like “I’m writing the flap copy in my head now!” or “I’m writing a book about Silicon Valley but they don’t want to talk to me until I say I have a deal with a traditional publisher.” Whaaaa……? Did you just climb out of the crater in Roswell? Some of the coolest publishing on Earth comes out of Silicon Valley, the great disrupters of the Universe.

Within 2 -3 years, most reading will be done on a cellphone. It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s the next logical step. Everything will be on the cell or the home computer. People won’t carry an iPad and iPhone or Galaxy and Kindle or whatever combo they cary. They will want just one thing to carry and just one thing that is possible to lose. And if you don’t believe me, WHY DO YOU THINK AMAZON PUT OUT A CELLPHONE?

I’d like to read on the Glass, but I can’t afford it. A wristwatch might be fun if someone gave me special wizard glasses with long thick lenses. Hmmmmm… business idea? I just don’t know. But all of it is blowing wide open and to think otherwise is to see UFOs in the skies over Cleveland.