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Monday, November 23, 2015

Seeing Off the Johns

People in the small town of Greenton mark their lives from that day in late summer when crowds lined the streets to see off high school athletic stars John Robison and John Mijias. That was the day the Johns, as they were known by adoring fans in Greenton, left for state college, and never made it thereor back. The Johns had spent their high school years putting that nowhere losing town on the map with playoff runs in football and state championship bids in baseball. For Concepcion "Chon" Gonzales, the days that the Johns headed out and didn't return was the first day of his new life. He had waited all his growing up years for a shot at Araceli when one of the Johns, John Mejia, stole her away. Now, while Greenton mourns, while the Johns' families become actors in a spectacle of grief, while Johns memorabilia is sold in every gas station and convenience store in town, while Araceli has to endure a senior year in the watchful gaze of the whole town, Chon Gonzales makes his slow methodical move on the only girl he's ever loved, hoping maybe that she won't notice what he wants.
Rene S. Perez II was born in Kingsville, Texas, and raised in Corpus Christi. He received a BA from the University of Texas and an MFA from Texas State University. He is the winner of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation Award and lives in Austin. His first book, Along These Highways, was released in 2012.

Monday, November 9, 2015


In Anne M. Pillsworth's Fathomless, Sean dips even further into his magical destiny, but will blood prove thicker than the mysteries of Innsmouth's briny depths?
Sean Wyndham has tried to stay away from the lure of magic-the last time he tried to dabble in the dark studies, he inadvertently summoned a blood familiar, wreaking havoc on his town, and calling the attention of the Elder Gods. But now Sean has been offered the chance to study magic with a proper teacher, overseen by Helen Arkwright, a friend of Sean's father and heir to ancient order of much power, who protects New England from that which lurks in the coastline's unseen depths. But will learning theory be enough, when there is a much greater magical secret hidden in Helen's vaulted library?
Accompanied by his best friend, Eddy, and their enigmatic new friend Daniel, Sean wades out deeper into mystical legend and shadow. With hints and secrets buried long in family lore, they turn to the suspicious Reverend Orne once more for assistance. But as Sean deepens his understanding of his power, a darkness is waking...

Anne is a local author.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance

In Mistletoe and Mr. Right, Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least.
The holiday hijinks continue in "Sleigh Bells and Second Chances," when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake doesnot want to be away at Christmas, but it's her duty to babysit one of London's hottest bands at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve . . . even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss--at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?
Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator

Ally Carter’s megabestselling Gallagher Girls series meets Veronica Mars with a paranormal twist when Jillian Cade’s (fake!) private eye service unearths far more than she bargained for.
Jillian Cade doesn’t believe in the paranormal, unlike her famous father, a professor and expert on the occult. Ever since he abandoned her to travel the world for “research,” she’s milked his reputation—and all the suckers who believe in the stuff—by taking over his private investigation firm. After all, a high school junior has to take care of herself, especially when she’s on her own.
Ironically, it’s when she takes on a case that might involve a totally non-paranormal missing person that things get strange. Particularly when Sky Ramsey—a new boy at school who insists on becoming her partner—won’t shut up about succubi, of all things.
As they investigate, Jillian is surprised by her feelings for Sky, which threaten to derail the investigation. But that surprise is no match for the shock of learning that there may be something to Sky’s succubi obsession after all.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story

When I was twenty-five years old, it came to my attention that I had never had a girlfriend. At the time, I was actually under the impression that I was in a relationship, so this bit of news came as something of a shock.

Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down each of the girls he had tried to date since middle school and asked them straight up: What went wrong?

The results of Josh's semiscientific investigation are in your hands. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), and a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.

Poignant, relatable, and totally hilarious, this memoir is for anyone who has ever wondered, "Is there something wrong with me?"

(Spoiler Alert: the answer is no.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Half a creature from the sea: A Life in Stories

Master storyteller David Almond presents a beautiful collection of short fiction, interwoven with pieces that illuminate the inspiration behind the stories.

May Malone is said to have a monster in her house, but what Norman finds there may just be the angel he needs. Joe Quinn’s house is noisy with poltergeists, or could it be Davie’s raging causing the disturbance? Fragile Annie learns the truth about herself in a photograph taken by a traveling man near the sea. Set in the northern English Tyneside country of the author’s childhood, these eight short stories by the incomparable David Almond evoke gritty realities and ineffable longings, experiences both ordinary and magical. In autobiographical preludes to each story, the writer shows how all things can be turned into tales, reflecting on a time of wonder, tenderness, and joy.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015


They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.


Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it's taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities,behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.

Joy soon realizes that the city's powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers,and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they're in-to them, Joy and her corp of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.

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