Friday, December 11, 2015

My Top 12 (mostly) Indie Books for EVERYONE on Your List!

For the holidays this year, I'm planning to give a lot of books. I want to support authors I've met and had be helpful to me over the past year or so, or books that I've found and loved or sometimes both.
Also, seriously... who needs more "stuff"? So buy a book.

Selling books is hard for many authors these days. Buying their books is a nice way to give a cool gift and support an artist.

Without further ado: My top 12 list of (mostly) Indie Books for EVERYONE on your list!
A link to buy each book is included. Happy Holidays!

12. Sci-Fi/Fantasy:
Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction

This book started as a group of gamers and has turned into the #1 selling anthology of speculative fiction on Amazon. Plus, this is one of my awesome editor's projects and I love her.

11. For the dude on your list who loves music:
Cross Dog Blues

 I met this author at a small business Saturday and loved his book. It's told with a blues voice that conveys a tone that follows exactly with the story.

10. For the dude on your list who likes humor books:
The Pequod's Coffin

This book is a great chance to laugh and be entertained by the idiocy of corporate America.

9. For girls age 9-12 on your list:
Flexible Wings

A compassionate and kind-hearted approach to the social topics: adjusting to moving and making new friends, struggling with trying something new (swimming), living in a military family, enjoying a rich cultural identity.
8. For the lover of New Adult books on your list:
The Language of Flowers

This book deals with a similar girl to Seffra (although older) and does an absolutely stunning job with the language. It's honest and accurate and I loved it.

7. Book Club/Literary Fiction:
Yellow Crocus

The intertwining life of a slave and the child she helps raise. Strong female characters, conflict, morals.. unflinching honesty and beautiful writing.

6. Book Club/Literary Fiction:
(If it gets a slash, it gets 2 suggestions!)
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

A cultural novel with unique women's stories of living in Kabul.

5. Nonfiction, Light-hearted:

I Work at a Public Library

A Light-hearted Wonderful Book by a Librarian who spends her days making the world a better place. No, really.

4. Memoir:
Hands of my father

I met this author at a small writing conference. The author is as fascinating, personable, and gregarious as any could be and his book reads so smoothly. A fascinating life!

3. Children's Picture Book:
Painting for Peace in Ferguson

Beautiful pictures with a rhythm to the words that follows the paintings that people did on boarded up windows amid the riots in Ferguson. I've read this approximately 1,000 times with my children and I love the words AND the pictures and the age-appropriate message that comes through.

2. Publishing:
Book Marketing is Dead

If you're interested in his book, you should totally check out his website. It's FULL of useful, nuts & bolts suggestions on improving your marketing.

1. Young Adult Memoir-style fiction:

Between Families

(obviously, it has to be my book, especially because I'm giving away all the rest of the old cover copies in preparation for the new cover. I'll be donating to child advocacy groups and individuals and colleges across the country until I run out.)

Check out the new cover! The new cover is only digital for now (and Derek Murphy made it for me,) but I'll post when a new cover is finalized after the 1st of the year.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kirkus Review is in & reposted here


Mitchell’s debut novel follows a young girl through abuse and abandonment, and eventually to a residential treatment center, where the act of confronting herself may be her most difficult challenge yet.

Seffra Morgan loves her glamorous, charismatic, and fun mother, Linda, despite the fact that she’s a criminally negligent, violently abusive addict, sometimes leaving Seffra alone for days without food. Hunger is one of the most poignant themes of the book, haunting Seffra as she thinks, “The chance of having to sleep on a dirty hotel room floor was totally worth my mom’s attention and some good food.” After Linda permanently leaves Seffra on her own, the 12-year-old begins making desperate choices. After she survives a horrendous attack, she ends up in Castlerock, a residential treatment center that readers soon realize houses only the most traumatized and debilitated children. Mitchell articulates the details of child welfare services very well, depicting a realistic, well-meaning system of teachers, social workers, nurses, and law enforcement officials. The Castlerock treatment center offers the author an opportunity to introduce other children into the narrative, providing context for Seffra’s behavior and emphasizing the scope of child abuse. However, the novel’s biggest accomplishment is how it assumes Seffra’s point of view as she internalizes her trauma. She’s an exceptionally complex character who seeks her mother’s love while simultaneously expressing destructive anger. The two impulses are entwined at one point when she thinks, “My anger pushed away for a few moments and I felt the rush of my mother’s smell, and how much I loved her and I was sad with need and longing.” Mitchell subtly allows the character to develop and readers’ empathy will grow as they accompany her out of childhood and into adolescence.

A heartbreaking story that gives voice to often overlooked children.