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5 Social Media Tips to Meet Your Marketing Goals

When it comes to scrolling through social media, you’re a pro. But using social media to promote your book is a different story. Social media is a beautiful thing, but it can be difficult to know where to start when promoting your book. We listed some tips to help get you on the path to achieving your social media and marketing goals.


Know when and how much to post


Your visibility can be just as important as perfecting your content. Posting every few minutes isn’t going to get you more followers or make your current followers any happier. Most studies suggest posting once a day on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, fear not, because Facebook and Instagram have “stories” that give you the option to go live or post visuals. With stories, there is no limit to posting. People actually like to click through stories, no matter how many there are. Twitter is also a place where you can go crazy and post as much as you want without affecting your visibility. 

The timing of your post is also important for visibility. You won’t get your optimal crowd at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Stick to the business week and hours to avoid 1) your post disappearing into the void of other posts and 2) your post going unseen while people are not on their phones. 

The last point to knowing how much to post is not about timing but rather about word count.  Long-form posts are in nobody’s favor, especially considering our 8-second attention spans. Be concise with every post and remove any redundant or unnecessary word, especially for Instagram captions. If you have more to say, LinkedIn is the only channel that really encourages long-form content. But hey, this could also be your opportunity to create a blog, which you can link to on your social media.



The apple of a follower’s eye


Perhaps even more important than content is the visual component of your post. People are more likely to stop scrolling upon seeing an appealing visual than a bunch of words. So give them both! Hook them with the visual and reel them in for the words. That said, if you can, try to include some kind of image with every post. 

And to do this, there’s no website you’ll love more than Canva. Canva is an easy, free platform where you can design anything in just seconds. And we mean anything business cards, posters, flyers, presentations, cards, and social media images (and more). As you design, you can create backgrounds, upload images, add text, music, videos, and stickers. Canva also provides a range of different design sizes, including Instagram and Facebook posts.



Choose your favorite platform or love all of them differently


Remember, all social media channels serve different purposes and audiences. If you can’t keep up with them all, don’t! You don’t need them all. Focus on the channel that best fits your audience. If your book is more for professionals and takes a more serious tone, give your rose to LinkedIn. If you’re promoting a Young Adult book, Instagram is where you’ll find teenagers avoiding their homework. And lastly, if your book is for children, we know that parents love Facebook.

Each social media also has its own style of writing. The scale of most to least formal goes: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and then Twitter. Abbreviations, humor, and slang are fun for Twitter, but not very appropriate for LinkedIn. Alter your posts depending or choose one wisely!


Interaction is a two-way street


Don’t expect your followers to engage with your posts if you don’t have their backs too! Comment and like your follower’s posts as much as you can. If you don’t follow them back, respond to any of their comments or direct messages. Get a conversation going by asking questions and posting polls. Let your readers know how much you value them and want to interact with them. It’s a treat for both the reader and the author when they can communicate with each other. 



All about the analytics (not as scary as it sounds) 


Every so often, check your past posts and see which ones worked and which didn’t. Which are getting the most likes and responses and which are getting the least? Why? What did your visual look like (i.e., was it too busy)? How long was your post? Did you overload it with hashtags and tags? What time and day did you post it? 

You don’t want to waste your time creating posts that aren’t engaging your followers. Follow other authors and investigate how and why their posts are succeeding (or not). Do some detective work (and yes, that includes some snooping).


There are endless ways to improve your social channels but there is no better place to spend your time promoting your book. If you’re creative, genuine, and dedicated, you’re bound to succeed.


Want more suggestions? Head over to our previous blog to reach thousands of potential readers all over the world. Let us know if you have any other tips at @MascotBooks on:


Facebook


Twitter


Instagram


LinkedIn

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October Book Releases

Put your pumpkin spice latte down because you’re going to want to see these new October reads.

October’s Featured Title: Finding Cover














By Rebecca Lombardo

Having met only days before, the young, doe-eyed Crystal Vargas elopes with a dashing Brit named Duncan Douglas who appears to be everything she’s ever wanted. Without realizing it, her desperation to be loved plays well into the hands of her new husband, a cunning sociopath in need of an American bride to help him maintain appearances. 

When Crystal’s sister, Lyssa, notices suspicious changes in her sibling’s behavior and her application for her security clearance is denied, Lyssa hires a private investigator to look into her mysterious brother-in-law. While the truth might prove her right, it might also cost Crystal her life. 

 

Boca Juniors: A History and Appreciation of Buenos Aires’ Most Successful Futbol Team














By Stephen Brandt

Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez, and Juan Román Riquelme are some of the greatest athletes to ever play association football, and all former members of Buenos Aires’ most successful football club, Boca Juniors. Whether at the beginning, end, or middle of their careers, they all wore the blue and gold at some point, and will always be considered part of the Boca Junior family. 

Boca Juniors: A History and Appreciation of Buenos Aires’ Most Successful Fútbol Team explores the history of this illustrious football club detailing how they have shaped a national and international pastime.




Evolution















By JM Patterson

If you could give your life to save someone you loved, would you do it? Or would you let them die to save yourself? 

Amanda Bishop is no ordinary high schooler—she’s a hunter who puts spirits to rest in her free time. Then the captain of the football team, Baran Messenger, catches her interest. As she begins to piece together that Baran isn’t all he appears to be, Amanda quickly finds herself caught up trying to juggle her supernatural hunting; her relationship with her friend, Oliver; and her normal school life all while trying to keep her feelings for the mysterious, otherworldly football captain in check.

When Baran reveals that he has been sent to Earth on a mission to locate a book that, in the wrong hands, would bring about a war to wipe humanity off the planet, it’ll fall on Baran and a small band of paranormal friends to destroy the book before it can be discovered.




Better Than Best: Be Honest















By Jim Waite

Be honest in all that you say and all that you do.
Saying and doing right things will reflect back on you.
Try to be honest at home, work, and play,
So everyone feels better each and every day.




Green Haven















By Luca DiMatteo

Guilt-ridden owner, Oscar Green’s vision is simple: create a place where wealthy senior citizens can live their final days in the comfort to which they have become accustomed. On the outside, the ultra-luxury of Green Haven seems like heaven on Earth, but Green Haven is not the idyllic nursing home it appears to be. 

Director of Nursing, Cathy Arden’s complacent life is about to change as she discovers Green Haven’s residents are suddenly dying at an alarming rate. She is determined to prove something is wrong, and her efforts have inadvertently placed her in the crosshairs. Who can she trust as the killer may be working right beside her? 

Detective Oaks sets his sights on Cathy as all the evidence points to her. He is intent on bringing her to justice. Desperate, but unwilling to give up, Cathy is forced to place others at risk to find out who the real killer is and point detective Oaks in the right direction. If she fails, more will die and Cathy’s new long-term home will be a prison cell. 

Green Haven is the perfect place for the wealthy and forgotten. Perhaps it’s also the perfect place for murder.




Backpacks and Baguettes: Coloring the World Through Young Eyes















By Sam Morrison and Angus Morrison

You’re only a child once. Capturing the world through young eyes is difficult. Backpacks and Baguettes attempts to better understand what children think, see, feel, and smell when they are traveling. Everything is new, and everyone is a possible friend. 

Your guide is Sam, a half-American/half British boy who so far in his young life has been lucky to grow up in Paris and Washington, D.C. Sam loves soccer and food and is curious about how people in other countries lead their lives. He thinks graffiti and street art are better than postcards to truly understand a place. He’s even included some authentic global graffiti in the book for you to color. He’s also left space on the back of each image for you to draw your own graffiti or take notes. 

Sam’s stories are about asking questions until you’re exhausted. They’re about not caring what people think. They’re about smiling and laughing until it hurts and playing until you scrape your knees. They’re about letting your imagination run wild. They’re about realizing in one breath that children are different, but ultimately the same all around the world. They’re about being a kid once.




The Battle in the Mirror















By Frederica Mercado

Our thoughts, feelings, and emotions have the ability to crowd out what’s most important in our lives. If you’ve ever struggled with thoughts of self-doubt and emotions of insecurity, fear, anxiety that seem to weigh you down, you’re not alone. Many deal with those normal feelings daily, but what makes them ineffective is when we let them overwhelm and control us. Thus that negative self-talk we give ourselves when we’re in front of the mirror can be completely changed when we view ourselves the way God views us. 

The Battle in the Mirror is an honest but empowering 30-day challenge guide to help you focus on the value that God gives rather than the devalue others give. With applicable and personal examples, thoughts to consider, and Scriptures to lean on, this book gives answer to the questions we all face about what we truly see in the mirror.




Camilla Rai and the Chocolate Mystery















By Amar Parikh 

Camilla (Cami) Rai and her classmates are on a first-grade field trip to a real chocolate factory, but chaos soon erupts when the cocoa beans are stolen! Cami leads a group of her peers-turned-sleuths in the hopes of uncovering the secrets of the thief and finding the missing beans. Join our heroine and her friends on the mystery of a lifetime!




Ruling the Roost from the Hen House















By Arvey Krise

Do you feel like the tail is wagging the dog? It’s time to take control. Get the results you want by helping your team achieve the results they want.

With this fun, down-to-earth guide, it’s easier than ever. Focus on results – effectively becoming a better manager while also building your dream team!

Packed with amusing anecdotes, Ruling the Roost from the Henhouse shares Arvey’s secrets for winning, along with valuable lessons learned on her road to success. Not only will you add valuable lifelong skills to your management toolbox; you’ll learn to be a great leader in every aspect of life.

Guiding you to define your strengths and weaknesses, Ruling the Roost from the Henhouse helps you create your personal management style that will garner respect and build a confident loyal team envied by your peers.

Learn to conduct the perfect interview yielding great hires, build a strong team while professionally maintaining delicate boss-friend relationships, and proven skills still the most effective among the latest management ideas.

This engaging and vital workplace commentary will benefit anyone in management whether it be the corporate world, organizations—or your own kids!

Master the modern world of management now—Ruling the Roost in your own Henhouse.




The Letter Critters Talent Show















By Chase Taylor 

Welcome to The Letter Critters Town! The Letter Critter H is planning a fun day in Letter Critters Town by organizing and hosting a talent show.  The Letter Critters A-Z are invited to show off their talents or be part of the audience to enjoy the show.  There are all kinds of acts performed by these cute little creatures! Letter Critter T does his terrific tap dance! Letter Critter H walks across hot coals! Letter Critter V does a very nice ventriloquist act!

But one Letter Critter is being negative about the talent show. Which Letter Critter could it be?




Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog: Gameday in Dallas
















By Marnie Schneider

There’s only one thing that Freddie loves as much as football: sightseeing! Every time she and her trusty companion Fumble the Dog visit a new city, they set out to learn all about the location and its history before cheering on the home team!

It’s game day in Dallas! Football Freddie and Fumble are on their way to AT&T Stadium to cheer for the Cowboys. But first, they’ll stop at the Katy Trail, Pioneer Plaza, the Dallas Zoo, and other historic locations to learn everything they can about the Big D. Come along and cheer with Freddie and Fumble for Dallas!




What Makes Trump Tick: My Years with Donald Trump from New York Military Academy to the Present 















By Peter Ticktin

What makes President Donald Trump tick? There’s no better person to ask than Peter Ticktin, Donald Trump’s former platoon sergeant who ran Company A for him at New York Military Academy, and lifelong friend. In What Makes Trump Tick: My Years with Donald Trump from New York Military Academy to the Present, Peter Ticktin outlines why he always has and always will stand behind 45. Including never-before-told stories of Donald Trump and their lives at New York Military Academy, What Makes Trump Tick is an eye-opening, firsthand account of the experiences that made Donald Trump the businessman, president, and simply the man he is today.  

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September Book Releases

We have seven new books just for you! Make some of these (or all of them) the last of your summer reads.

September’s Featured Title: I Love You More Than Coffee 














By Melissa Face 

Are you trying to balance raising a family with maintaining your own identity? Have you ever been so exhausted that you showed up to a meeting carrying your baby’s diaper bag instead of your briefcase?

In her debut collection, I Love You More Than Coffee, Melissa Face writes about the emotions we all experience as parents: anticipation, joy, fear, guilt, and worry. Whether you are a new or seasoned parent, you will find common ground in Melissa’s heartfelt, humorous, and authentic stories of her life with two young children.

If you love coffee a lot and your kids (a little) more, this book is for you. Fill your mug with your favorite brew and settle in with I Love You More Than Coffee.



18 Things College Students Need to Know 














By Renée Bailey

Getting ready for college can be so exciting. You’re putting in applications and getting responses. You’re talking to your friends, making plans. Maybe you’re the first person in your family to go off to college and that amps up the thrill of the process. But here’s the thing: college itself is stressful. It can leave you emotionally spent, financially broke, and completely disillusioned with educating yourself, if you’re not careful.

You’re going to have stress. 38% of female college students and 27% of male college students report that their stress level is so high that it negatively affects their academic performance. The goal of 18 Things College Students Need to Know is to give you the tricks, hacks, and tools to handle your college stresses in a proactive way and make the best of the educational opportunity that college is.



Can You See My Scars?














By Samuel Moore-Sobel

Can You See My Scars? is a story of trauma, adversity, healing, and recovery. Samuel, a young man about to begin his sophomore year of high school, accepts a job that culminates in a chemical explosion—leaving Samuel with severe burns on his face, neck, and arms. The tragic and sudden accident sets Samuel on an unpredictable journey of healing, recovery, and acceptance.

In the wake of the accident, Samuel endures grief, pain, and numerous surgical procedures for the scars on his body. He grapples with his appearance, faith, and the loss of friends. Through it all, he comes to view his scars as an unavoidable part of the human experience. Whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, we all carry scars—and it is simply what we choose to do with them that defines us. Samuel’s story allows us to see him for who he truly is, while also turning a mirror on ourselves.

Can You See My Scars? explores questions about identity, suffering, purpose, and ultimately, what it means to be uniquely human.



#ImpactMyLife: Being the Change















By Eric Godwin

This is a call to individuals who want to make a social change. The goal is to spread kindness and service across cities, towns, and communities around the world one social media post at a time. Join the movement to make a difference in the lives of others by doing tasks such as designing a kindness rock, donating seeds to an agriculture program, or reading to children at your local public library. Each week after you complete your task, you have the opportunity to reflect on the experience and share your adventure on your favorite social media platform.

Be the person who wants to give back to society. Be a role model for your friends, family, and community. Be a mentor to someone who needs it—that’s what the foundation of #IMPACTMYLIFE is constructed on. Be the change you want to see in the world and #IMPACTMYLIFE!



Yuri Was Very Brave















By Jason Cranford Teague

Yuri Was Very Brave is the tale of Yuri Gagarin, the first person to ever leave the earth. We follow Yuri from the launch pad, into space, around Earth, and back to the ground. Along the way, we hear what he thinks about the earth and space.



A Boy Named Penguin: Different is the New Perfect














By Aaron LaPedis

Logan and his friends find themselves in a fix when their classroom zoo is let loose and the hallway are jammed with hopping and fluttering critters. Even the powers of Super Penguin may not be enough to save the day—unless Logan and his friends can prove that “Different” truly IS the “New Perfect!”



A Boy Named Penguin: Finding Happy















By Aaron LaPedis

Logan (also known as Super Penguin) is on his toughest and most important mission of all. A little boy named Nick is feeling the pressures of life and runs away. Super Penguin needs to find him and then help him understand, through the love of his parents and friends, how Finding Happy is just around the corner.

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August Book Releases

Check out our new August releases just in time for the dog days of summer! Enjoy one of these titles while soaking up the last of the summer sunshine.


August’s Featured Title: Helping Them














By Yashavi Upasani

As his life seemed to grow more boring, Mr. DeRenzo gets thrown into a plot that gives him more excitement than he ever dreamed of. Dominic Frost, the cousin of Charles Markson, has been pronounced missing and Charles, as well as his friends Antonio, Samantha, and Emily, are worried sick about the poor boy. Hearing about the kids’ plans of taking action to find Dominic, Mr. DeRenzo offers his assistance in the search. From daily lunch meetings to breaking into hotels, the five of them go to extraordinary lengths to find the missing child. As the kids and Mr. DeRenzo strive to find Dominic, they realize that they might learn a little bit about friendship along the way as well.



The Adventures of Kiko and Pez













By  Jane Jimenez  

Raising twins is not easy by any stretch of the imagination—and raising Kiko and Pez, two super competitive boys, is even harder when you’re a single mom. Their mom made sure they were raised to be best friends so they would always have each other (and a built-in friend). As close as they are, they grew to be very competitive and challenged each other at every turn. The Adventures of Kiko and Pez relates a series of challenges which spill into every activity they encounter. Oscar, their best friend, adds to their daily adventures and provides them with constant material to egg them on.

This book is published in memory of author Jane (Cookie) Jimenez, whose family felt it was important to finish what she started. We hope you like the characters—they are loosely based on her children and other family members. Half of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be made in Jane’s memory to the American Cancer Society, and the other half will be shared equally between her twin boys, Josh and Randy, for their education and well-being.



Euphrates Yield 













By David H. Hanks

The third and final installment in David H. Hanks’ Carson Griffin series takes Griffin outside of the INWA’s jurisdiction to investigate a hidden nuclear reactor site along the banks of Syria’s Euphrates River. The Jihad Terrorist Symbol joins forces with Doku Umarov, a well-known Chechen terrorist, to smuggle parts and nuclear material into the region supplied by a rogue North Korean general with the goal of creating the most powerful weapons of mass destruction on Earth.

To save the world from nuclear annihilation, Griffin has to stop the technology from falling into JTS’s hands—all while battling the grief of losing his wife. Can he put his need for vengeance aside and stop the radical terrorist cell before it’s too late?



Freckle-Faced Foodie: Journey of a Young Chef













By Marlin Adams with Ariel Fox

Fourth-grader Ariel’s weekend is turning out to be a disaster. Her friends are coming over for a sleepover on Saturday night and a movie on Sunday, but she can’t get it together to write her homework essay about heritage and cultural traditions that is due on Monday. Her two best friends know everything about their cultures, but Ariel knows nothing about her own. As she reflects on the maze of changes surrounding her after her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage, she reminisces about her early years in Colombia, her summers spent in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, and her current life in the Monterey Bay beach town where she now lives with her mom and her new dad. From her Caribbean grandma’s patacones to her Pacific Northwest grandma’s blackberry pie, Ariel discovers that food keeps emerging as a theme in her life. It’s a theme that helps her gain a stronger sense of self, and one that just might save her before the Monday morning deadline.



The Leader Launchpad: Five Steps to Fuel Your Business and Lift Your Profits













By Howard M. Shore

“Howard has distilled his vast experience, identified the key levers for acceleration, and conveyed them through real-life stories that are interesting and illuminating.” Brad Smart, author; president and CEO, Topgrading™️ Inc.

Sooner or later, every business owner finds themselves working too much “in” the business rather than “on” the business. Despite working harder than ever, they know their organization could be growing faster and generating greater profits. To stimulate the traction and significant growth that leaders seek, they need strategies to create and sustain a successful business as well as ways to break through the invisible barriers that prevent forward movement.

In The Leader Launchpad, growth expert and master business accelerator Howard M. Shore offers a five-step, clear-cut, actionable plan to help leaders feel in control of their professional destiny. Packed with practical information, The Leader Launchpad includes profit-actualizing and scale-enhancing systems for:
• Identifying mindsets essential to creating great companies
• Recognizing the crucial steps to increase employee engagement
• Developing a strategy that leads to faster growth and higher profitability
• Aligning teams with priorities to significantly impact results
• Ensuring the right people are in the right seats doing the right thing
• Building a culture of accountability

Engaging and compelling, The Leader Launchpad is a must-read for any leadership team looking to create a massively successful and enjoyable business.



My Hair Went on Vacation













By Paula Quinn

This story is about Rosie, who lives in Chicago.

Within three weeks she lost all of her hair and asked, “Where did it go?”

Rosie loved to rock the bald, without even skipping a beat.

She happily wore sunscreen—not even a hat!—in the summer heat.

At bedtime, Rosie would tell her own stories with a smile on her face.

She’d imagine her hair going on magical adventures all over the place.

From a young age, Rosie loved herself and was not phased by her look,

So her mother decided to share her spirit to teach others through this book.

Come on this adventure with a confident bald girl,

Who tells us ”Bald is beautiful!” as she smiles with a twirl.

We hope this book can inspire you to love others as they are,

And to love yourself every day, whether your hair is near or far.



Pivot & Go: The 29-Day Blueprint to Redefine and Achieve YOUR Success













By David Nurse

PIVOT PERSPECTIVE. CHANGE YOUR LIFE. 

Most of us run on an endless string of vague goals and should-haves, with true, empowering change always just out of reach. Many of us feel stuck in our day-to-day routine, without the proper tools to break the mold and live our best lives every single day. David Nurse, a renowned life optimization coach of more than 150 NBA players and CEOs, knows it doesn’t have to be that way.

Pivot & Go is a compelling, hands-on blueprint to changing course and leading the life you want to live—today. In this energizing, adventurous, and actionable guide, David outlines a clear 29-day plan—not to living the life, but to living your absolute best life. His key is to make mindful mindset pivots that allow you to shift your perspective by incremental yet powerful degrees. Focusing on success, failure, passion, joy, and confidence, Pivot & Go is here to help you find your genuine rhythm—one that will carry you through each chapter of life with the energy and ability to make the most of every day.

Punctuated with stories from his own journey to leading a full and rewarding lifestyle, as well as featuring never-before-told stories of triumph from some of the top NBA athletes in the world, David has delivered a book like no other. Not only will it give you the power to change your life, it will give you the strength to do so. Get ready to banish negative thoughts, live to the max, and become energized and ready to tackle each and every day.



The Opportunity Agenda: A Bold Democratic Plan to Grow the Middle Class
opportunity agenda












By Winston Fisher and Sly James

On paper, New York business and civic leader Winston Fisher and former Kansas City mayor Sly James seem to have nothing in common. They come from different generations, backgrounds, geographies, and professions. Despite their apparent differences, they share one central belief: the Democratic Party is overdue for major disruption.

In The Opportunity Agenda, Fisher and James propose a new path forward that focuses on what really matters: appealing to the people. The 2016 presidential election revealed the extent of the deep economic anxieties felt by working- and middle-class Americans across the country—an insecurity that reshaped American history with the election of Donald Trump. Democrats failed to make a compelling case to promote their vision for the future. Equipped with a refreshing arsenal of bold ideas to expand the middle class, Fisher and James offer a plan to grow the party’s base, win over moderates and independents, and explain in no uncertain terms what Democrats will do for you, the American voter.

In this era of increasing political turmoil, old habits, stale messaging, and a “get even” mentality, any momentum the Democratic Party once had has stalled. It will take innovative solutions to shake up the Democratic establishment and energize voters across the political spectrum. That’s where The Opportunity Agenda comes in. Insightful, accessible, and compelling, it outlines tangible strategies the Democratic Party needs for long-term success. This is a must-read for anyone invested in the future of our country and the forgotten middle class.



Voices of LGBTQ+: A Conversation Starter for Understanding, Supporting, and Protecting Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer People













By Lynda Wolters

Why do so many in our modern society reject those who are different?

Though the mainstream acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Queer community has made leaps and bounds over the past few years, many pivotal groups within our modern society still respond to the LGBTQ+ community with an overwhelming, knee-jerk reaction of “us” vs. “them.” Despite the progress that has been made, misunderstanding, hatred, animosity, aggression, and violence still affect this community on a deep level. Lynda Wolters knows firsthand: a strong ally, she has come to know, understand, and have a deep respect for the community through her son, who is gay.

Including highly personal, real-world anecdotes, Voices of LGBTQ+ helps outline some of the most critical challenges the community faces today, with topical insights into:

  • Homelessness
  • Hate crimes
  • Suicide
  • Economic challenges
  • Discrimination and lack of equality
  • Religious and biblical conflicts

Though judgment and divisiveness still run deep in our society, Wolters highlights the first key distinction, among many others, that will help eradicate bigotry: those who are different are not choosing to be, they simply are, and it’s our differences that make us stronger. Voices of LGBTQ+ helps educate, dispel fears, and start positive conversations about what knowing, loving, or simply peacefully and positively coexisting with someone in the LGBTQ+ community really means. After all, there is no “us” vs. “them.” We are all human.



What Color is Love?













By Lou Spaventa

Does love have a color? That’s what Katie the chameleon wants to know. She asks her mother, and together the two chameleons explore the many colors of love we find in the beauty of nature. Can you guess all the colors that Katie and her mother find?



The Secret of Sondra Byer’s Second Grade Class













By Susan Schwartz 

Everyone knows the legend of Ms. Sondra Byer, the enigmatic teacher who returns to Cory Hall every five years to teach one group of second grade students, and then disappears again, leaving magic and mystery in her wake. When the longed-for letter arrives on crisp, white school stationary announcing their placement in Ms. Byer’s class, her students think they know what lies ahead, but none of them could have anticipated the enchantment that awaited…

The Secret of Sondra Byer’s Second Grade Class follows the adventures of a group of  second grade students as they discover parts of the world, and parts of themselves, they never could have imagined. 



When the Day Ends and Dreams Begin #3













By Don Rose & Javier Lopez

When the Day Ends…and Dreams Begin 3 is the final book in the When the Day Ends…and Dreams Begin trilogy. Books 1 and 2 have been Amazon Books best sellers. Continue the journey with Rocky the Rock. Two Sides to a Story 3, is back. Uncle Frank, the red headed dog, is back having more adventures. Meet Willy, a very interesting guy. The Best Job will have you laughing. Who is The Boss? We’ll let you decide. My Culture, a poem we all fit into. Meet Barry the Brick: what a life he has! Grandparents are the best.



Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door













By Nadine Haruni

In Freeda the Frog and the Two Mommas Next Door, Freeda and her family meet some new friends: Jessica and her two mommas, Morgan and Irene. The tadpoles have never had a friend with two mommas before, but they soon learn that it makes no difference. By getting to know Jessica’s parents, the tadpoles discover that families do not have to all look the same, and that all you need is love.



The Spinner Sagas: The Heir 













By KJ Moullen

She did not understand where she was, who she was, or why she was a prisoner. However, there was one thing she had discovered: she could do magic.

Entrusted with the safekeeping of the Book and the wickedness contained in it, Blaine and Elian embark on a journey filled with unusual creatures and a looming prophecy in the unfamiliar and ancient land of Vestia. First, they have to find their way back to each other, trusting new allies and befriending old foes along the way.

With time running out and the fate of the universe resting squarely upon their shoulders, Blaine and Elian face an unknown foe who will stop at nothing to unleash the evil soul trapped in the Book. But Elian knows a secret about Blaine’s destiny. Will the secret prophecy divide their pathways, letting doubt and fear sabotage all they have accomplished?

The Spinner Sagas: The Heir is the second book in The Spinner Sagas series.

Please note this title will be released on August 25th 2020.


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July Featured Title: Stillwater

Our July featured title is Stillwater by Mary Jo Hazard! Since the novel’s release on July 7, it has been regarded highly. Stillwater debuted as a number one new best seller on Amazon in the category of Young Adult books about suicide and it has received glowing reviews. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “this tightly written coming of age story reminded me of To Kill A Mockingbird… On some levels, it’s an easy read and appropriate for the beach, but it will definitely make you think about your own life and how you’ve had to balance love with letting go.”

A coming-of-age story set in an idyllic village in upstate New York in the 1950s. Stillwater is the perfect summer read. Though written for young adults, the book also appeals to adult readers. Stillwater doesn’t hold back from important topics; it deals with mental illness and the devastating effects that it causes for the person, their family and friends. The protagonist, twelve- year-old Grace,  and her two best friends cope with these challenges during one hot summer filled with surprises, heartache, and fun under the watchful eyes of the townspeople. 

We asked author Mary Jo some questions about her writing process, inspiration, and more! 


Stillwater is a “coming of age” novel. Is the character of Grace in any way autobiographical?
Grace is her own person, but I’m sure there’s a bit of me in her. My friends and I would dash out of the house after breakfast, grab our bikes, and take off. We’d build forts in the woods, swim in the river, play pickup baseball games, and drag ourselves home at dinnertime. Grace lives this idyllic life, at least on the surface. Like me, she also grapples with her father’s mental illness and the way it affects her life.

A central theme in Stillwater is mental health awareness. Why do you believe that encouraging discussion around mental health in children and young adults is so important?
Discussions about mental health save lives. The suicide rate among children and young adults has skyrocketed. According to the Center for Disease Control, from 2007 to 2017 the suicide rate of 10 to 14-year-olds, the youngest group, almost tripled. According to the 2019 statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34. Nearly 90 percent of the people who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition when they took their lives. Encouraging children and young adults to share their feelings and concerns is helpful. Honest and direct communication can prevent suicides.


The setting of Stillwater is rich and atmospheric. How did the town of Stillwater come to be? 
I grew up in Stillwater—a small town on the Hudson River in upstate New York. Historically, Stillwater was the site of the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, which took place in the northern part of the town during the Revolutionary War. It was a factory town at one time with factories lining the river banks, but over the years most of the factories burnt down.





Stillwater is available for purchase now! To learn more about Mary Jo, visit https://maryjo-hazard.squarespace.com/ 


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July Book Releases

A new month means new releases! Check out our July releases below and maybe find your new favorite book.


July’s Featured Title: Stillwater

By Mary Jo Hazard

UNDER THE SURFACE, DANGER LURKS…

Twelve-year-old Grace believes that all adults are trustworthy and good. So begins a coming-of-age story full of laughter and tears that takes place one hot summer in upstate New York in the 1950s.

On the surface, Stillwater seems an idyllic place, but danger lurks underneath. Grace and her best friends, Maggie and Louanne, grapple with divorce, domestic violence, and mental illness. Grace is devastated when she finds out her father committed suicide when she was eight. Several suspicious fires break out in the area, and Louanne’s schizophrenic uncle Tony, the town bogeyman, is accused of setting them. Grace believes he’s unfairly targeted because he’s mentally ill and convinces her friends to help her find the real arsonist.

Hazard weaves themes of loss and recovery in a story filled with quirky characters and invaluable lessons about love, life, and survival.



Buffalo Football: A Game-by-Game Summary of the Glory Years

By Chris Stucchio

Buffalo Football includes interesting statistics, facts, and scoring information for every meaningful game the Buffalo Bills played from the beginning of the 1988 NFL regular season until the day they lost their fourth consecutive Super Bowl in January 1994. Additionally, it contains insightful postgame quotes from some of the coaches and players involved in those contests, including Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Marv Levy, Bill Parcells, Steve Tasker, and Don Shula. Other than a Super Bowl victory, what more could a Buffalo Bills fan want?


Emily and Lucy to the Rescue

By Phyllis Ershowsky

Emily and her dog Lucy are one unstoppable duo, but when a loved one faces a serious illness, their lives are turned upside down. The best friends soon become worried, unsure of what to do. Will they be strong enough to save the day?

A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Extra Innings: Fred Claire’s Journey to City of Hope and Finding a World Championship Team

By Tim Madigan

Fred Claire served 30 years as an executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the team’s Executive Vice President and general manager from 1987 until 1998. During his tenure, Claire earned a reputation for his integrity and for his fighting spirit that built what ultimately led to the team’s last World Series championship in 1988. His drive and determination in the face of opposition and doubt from all sides became a defining trait not just of his time with the Dodgers, but of who he is as an individual. In the spring of 2015, Fred would again tap into his fighting spirit after being diagnosed with skin cancer that later migrated to his jaw. Again, the odds were against his survival, but Fred was determined. This time, he found his championship team at City of Hope National Medical center in Duarte, California. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, frontline research, and staffed by top oncologists, City of Hope was the perfect home base for Claire’s treatment. Extra Innings highlights how both the landmark career of Fred Claire and the remarkable rise of City of Hope exhibit mutual endurance and give promise to those facing cancer diagnoses.


Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life (Second Edition)

By Merril Hoge

When Merril Hoge talked about his dream of playing in the NFL, he was constantly told it was impossible, he’d never beat the odds, but he refused to be discouraged. As a twelve-year-old, inspired to overcome the challenges ahead, he wrote, ‘Find a Way’ and put it on the wall above his goals. This mantra would become a life-long philosophy that helped him cope with the near loss of his hand as a you boy, the untimely death of his mother, being diagnosed with and defeating cancer, and ultimately achieve his dream of playing in the NFL.

In this Second Edition of Find a Way, Hoge candidly discusses the obstacles he has faced and how he has consistently found a way to move forward. This updated edition includes three new chapters with information on where Hoge is now, and how he continues to ‘Find a Way’ a decade after the original release.


Finding Om

By Rashmi S. Bismark, MD, MPH

Finding Om is an illustrated children’s book that shares the story of Anu, an Indian African girl who explores the mantra Om with her beloved grandfather, Appuppa. Through this story, she begins to uncover techniques of mindfulness that readers can explore along with her. This wonderful multicultural, inter-generational story is sure to become a staple in classrooms and homes across the world.


Guess This Ginger Cat’s Name

By Carroll Lutz

All cats have nine lives, but this ginger cat has even more names. Follow along on his adventurous travels. Each stop along the way suggests a new name for him. Try to guess other rhyming names that fit the story!


In Pursuit of Science and Technology

By John Kim

In this robust, thoughtful memoir, John Kim shares his life’s pursuit of science and technology, and expands outwards by diving into his personal thoughts on his faith, personal economy, problems with race issues as a minority, discrimination in the workplace and in the world at large, and his medical odysseys. In this straightforward narrative, John elucidates his formative years in Tokyo, Japan until the 1940s, when the dark cloud of World War II began amassing in East Asia. John’s father chose to move the family to Pyongyang, North Korea. This put his family on a potentially disastrous path as the family was unable to leave the country for four years. But, John Kim and his relatives fled from North to South Korea and avoided the yoke of a dictatorship. In 1950, he became embroiled in the Korean War, and in 1958, his parents sent him to the United States to receive a college degree in North America. He completed a doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Michigan State University. His autobiography maps out Kim’s journeys in the U.S., and all of the wonderful accomplishments he achieved while there.


Jurni

By Nikos Cox

In this heartfelt story, the readers discover that lessons about life and death can be found in the unlikeliest of people. In Jurni, a young girl with a love for all things math, science, and space shows us how we can all deal with grief and death.

The pain and fear of tragedy affects us all, no matter our age. After losing her mom, Jurni’s dad encourages her to look up at the night sky, and explains that her mom will always be with the stars above. From that time, Jurni’s goal is to become an astronaut so that she can be close to her mom again. The only obstacle in Jurni’s way is a regional NASA space competition that could clear the way for her most important dream.

Join Jurni as she journeys on a quest that will give her a closer knowledge of her own capacity to get through the pain of loss.


Kibby the Space Dog

By Andrea Cassell

This delightful tale is told about a dog named Kibby, who looks different from other animals. Young and old alike will be warmed by the important things that Kibby learns on his journey. Kibby’s adventures, and emotions brought to life, is told to show how dogs experience the famed “cone of shame.”


Kibby Gets a Little Sister

By Andrea Cassell

This lush and imaginative children’s story is a whimsical tale that delves into Kibby’s thoughts and reactions to getting a new, younger sister. Kibby’s sweet demeanor will be amusing and special for readers of all ages. Watch how Kibby changes his life to accommodate his brand new sibling.


Kibby and Olive Move to Georgia

By Andrea Cassell

Kibby goes on a new and unanticipated journey when his owners move away to a different home and removes him from his best friends. Join him as he learns to cope with these life changes. Kibby’s tale is a new classic!


No Such Thing As Off the Record: A Survival Guide for Media Interviews and Appearances

By Andrea Devaux

From the boardroom to the newsroom, nearly every job requires speaking in front of a group. In this age of political correctness and viral social media moments, “winging it” can be a risky business. It’s no wonder that three out of four people suffer from speech anxiety.

No Such Thing as OFF the Record is your survival guide for effective public speaking. It will arm you with the skills to navigate tricky Q&A scenarios and avoid unexpected pitfalls—like commenting off the record to a trusted source.

Whether you’re just looking to improve your elevator pitch or preparing for a national media campaign, No Such Thing as OFF the Record’s step-by-step coaching provides a complete checklist for how to say what you came to say and not be led off-topic…even under fire.


O is for Oil: The ABCs of Odessa

By Adrian Vega

Odessa, Texas lies in the heart of the oil patch of West Texas. In O is for Oil, learn about how one community’s art, culture, education, energy, and more contributes to their spirit. Featuring well known images, places, and activities, you’ll see why Odessa is a great place to live.


Objects in the Mirror: Thoughts on a perfect life from an imperfect person

By Stephen Kellogg

Life—if you’ve ever thought you might be doing it wrong, you’re not alone.

Objects in the Mirror: Thoughts on a Perfect Life from an Imperfect Person is a collection of essays that explores what it means to be alive. Like Polaroids framing the experiences of a troubadour and family man with an excess of self-awareness, these are stories without any clear good guys or bad guys. Instead, in each of these vignettes you will find dysfunctional, imperfect humans trying to do their best and bouncing off each other in the process.


Pearl River Mansion

By Richard Schwartz

Detective Jack Kendall and his assistant, Stacy Young, receive a disturbing call that opens the door to an infamous missing persons case. Jack and Stacy now hold the key to the most complex, shocking, and emotional case of their careers, and they are all in!

As the only heir of Joan Chandler, Tyler stands to inherit everything one person could want, including Pearl River Mansion—a sweeping post-Civil War estate that sits at the end of one of the many fingers of the Pearl River. Tyler’s mother controls people by trading on her wealth, but Tyler refuses her money—which always comes at a price—and struggles to make it on his own, trading instead on his intelligence and good looks. But he’s not as good at the game as she is and finds himself trapped in a marriage that infuriates his mother.

Just when Tyler believes he’s winning in the destructive battle of wills with his mother, fate intercedes… And for the second time in her life, Joan finds a purpose for the alligators that have kept her well away from the water’s edge—and the stakes keep rising.


Philip T. Basher is Imperfectphil

By Sue Steinhardt

Hi! My name is Philip T. Basher, and I love life!
In book one which you are holding in your hands, you will learn the story behind how I came to be known as Imperfectphil. I won’t let you down because I’m perfect…I’mperfect…imperfect. (I’ll tell you more about this later.)

Imperfect. Just. Like. You.


Plant a Seed

By Maritza Oliver

Have you ever wondered about the journey our food takes to get to our dinner tables? What about how our eating habits affect the environment?

As stewards of the Earth, it’s important to challenge ourselves to become more aware of our food choices and why they matter. It’s time for us all to understand that we have the power to make changes in our life to protect the health and well-being of our planet and its many inhabitants. The future of all life on Earth is in our hands!


Santa Fe Tom

By Rachel Bate

Desert Box Turtle Tom is as shy as can be / Even when his critter friends plan a surprise birthday party full of glee.

Poor Tom yearns to sing his heart out / But he has to learn to outshine his doubt.

When Tom begins to sing in a nervous voice / All of his friends are enamored and rejoice!

Could standing in the spotlight / Help Tom conquer his stage fright?

Join Tom and the rest of the desert critters / In facing fears and overcoming jitters!


Sophia

By AJ DeMarest

Sophia’s life started pretty regularly: she grew up happy and liked to help others. She loved her family and had many friends. Living in New York City, she always got to visit her favorite location—the Statue of Liberty!

But one day, something unbelievable happened to Sophia. She grew and grew until she was as tall as the skyscrapers around her! Suddenly, the entire city was scared of her.

What people couldn’t understand was that Sophia was just as afraid of her new body as everyone else. Sophia quickly realizes that she has to accept herself even though the entire city is terrified of her. Ultimately, she becomes an unlikely hero, teaching everyone that good deeds come in any size.


The Adventures of Veggieman: Book I Food Fight

By Karla Farach

When Niko starts a new school,
he has no idea that he’s going to find
himself in the middle of an epic battle
between the forces of good and evil.
Good, nourishing food and evil junk
food, that is.

Things are looking chaotic until
Niko gets help from Veggieman,
a super-cool superhero. Together
with his awesome army of fruits
and veggies, he helps save the
school and all the kids in it. But
the most important thing he
does is show kids that they each
have their own superpower—
one we all have and can all use.


The Last Christmas Tree

By Deborah Hoffman

How could anyone know that a simple tree farm would be the home of a miraculous event? Only one person knew: Mr. B… With a plan rooted deeply in his heart and mind, he plants a scrawny little tree amid all the other trees (the residents of Mr. B’s Famous Tree Farm). The trees and the birds all wonder who this “stranger” is — the one who is so unlike them. The traditional trees nickname him Twig. This little tree, with almost zero chance of survival, is encouraged by messages carried in the wind and sometimes repeated by the birds. The soft words and caresses of the gentle tree farmer always bring strength to Twig. One day, Mr. B shares two secrets with Twig. The wind overheard the first secret and carried it throughout the entire tree farm. Only Twig heard the second secret. Twig makes the decision to stand tall and honor the second secret. This simple decision eventually brings Mr. B’s plan into full view for the whole world to see. Twig becomes a revelation of the impossible and belief in things not seen, but hoped for! A TRUE MIRACLE!


The Vanishing Trial

By Robert Katzberg

Trial by jury has historically been the citizenry’s protection against prosecutorial and judicial overreach. However, jury trials have been disappearing as criminal defendants in federal court are more often than not pleading guilty instead of testing the legal system.

In The Vanishing Trial, accomplished lawyer Robert Katzberg explores why trials have become rarities in today’s federal courtrooms, and examines the consequences of a justice system without juries.

With reflections from his four-decade courtroom career—first prosecuting federal criminal cases in New York, and then defending high-profile cases across the country—Katzberg recreates a time when trials were commonplace, when average citizens played a key role in the administration of justice, when young lawyers honed significant trial skills, and when veteran courtroom stars performed their craft at the highest level.

Precise, thorough, and compellingly honest, The Vanishing Trial describes the realities of a courtroom world known only to insiders, one that cannot exist without jury trials. Finally, it provides readers with a roadmap to reclaim their role in preserving justice in America.


Without Excuses: Big Gifts for Little Gamecocks

By Neka Alston and Jon Alston

Selecting a few of the University of South Carolina’s most-loved sites and locales, this delightful children’s story is filled to the brim with a mixture of vibrant illustrations and whimsical rhyming, dispensed through the use of lyrical text. Without Excuses promotes positive emotional development and underscores the fundamentality of partnership for young people to practice with.


The Ruth Adventures: Life on the Farm

By Nancy Youngdahl

Ruth, raised on a rural farm in North Carolina, speaks like any girl from the South—you can almost hear her accent as she voices her story, as only a true Southern child would speak. Ruth’s life growing up on a farm is described in her own special way: being tucked into bed every night, playing with and feeding some of the farm animals, and getting to ride on her dad’s big tractor. Ruth loves her father for all the ways he shows his love, even with calm discipline. Read the story of how Ruth learns to be truthful to keep others from being wrongly punished, as well as discovering that she can be whatever she wants to be!


White People Really Love Salad

By Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler

Everyone has a story and those stories are worthy of being revisited as insight into who we are today. If you can revisit even one childhood story, good or bad, it is likely to provide valuable information about your thinking, your ideology and even your behavior today. “If you care to fully understand your world view as you move forward in your life, take some time to look backwards,” states Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler. Our childhood experiences give us valuable clues about ourselves. Using her own childhood experiences, Dr. Mosby Tyler discusses the imprint that social climates, race relations, stereotypes, education systems and parenting had in shaping her perspectives. Ultimately, she shares, “those perspectives have been the source and muse for many of my adult successes…and missteps.” No matter what your childhood story is, it is an important ingredient in the formation of the very best you! White People Really Love Salad will inspire you to learn, laugh and leverage your key experiences as a part of a journey in understanding how you got to be who you are today.


Precious Boy, No Matter What

By Katie Didit

Sometimes, boys need to be reminded of how precious they are–no matter how different they feel, where they are from, or what unique things might make them happy. This book was written so that every Precious Boy could find joy and comfort in who they are, no matter what.


Precious Family, No Matter What

By Katie Didit

No matter where your family comes from, or what it may look like, it is special and perfect just the way it is. This book was written to let children know that there is more than one way for a family to look and be. May each and every family, regardless of its origin or form, receive comfort and joy from this book.


Secrets of the Tally

By Halie Fewkes

Meet Allie: she’s just woken up in an empty forest with blood on her hands and everything she’s ever known wiped from her mind. In her survival-oriented world, people are hunted by vicious predators, and it quickly becomes clear that they are specifically hunting her.

Allie quickly finds a list of tally marks detailing all the lives she once saved and the deaths that were her fault, which must be the reason she’s now a target. When she discovers that flashes of her past will resurface to save her from life threatening danger, she realizes she has an opportunity to recover her missing identity.

Allie will have to risk narrow brushes with death to recover who she used to be and discover why she was so important. Fortunately for her, an attractive new stranger shows up who’s both charming and eager to help her. Between him, the monsters, and the list of lives and deaths, can Allie survive long enough to figure out which is most dangerous?


Catching Epics

By Halie Fewkes

Ebby didn’t know she was the new Human Epic until the day she was captured, stuck with the new Escali Epic, Vack, and told to be friends with him. They’re the two most powerful kids in the world, destined to be enemy combatants like every Epic before them, but they’ve been imprisoned together in hopes they might resolve some of their differences. Unfortunately, Vack would rather push Ebby out a window than befriend her, while Ebby thinks Vack is a barbarian who might eat her, and the result is chaos.

Allie and Archie are thrown into the fray when they’re asked to help a team of brutal hunters find and rescue Ebby. Archie makes recovering the Epic a priority, but Allie couldn’t be pulled any harder in the opposite direction. Rescuing a little girl sounds like the right thing to do, but leaving Ebby in the hands of the Escalis has a different appeal. If Ebby and Vack existed to do more than fight one another, they could change the course of the entire Human Escali war.


A Deal for Three

By Halie Fewkes

People say it’s impossible to find an Epic in hiding, which is why Ratuan has hired the cruel Zhauri Brotherhood to catch Allie, Ebby, and Vack, who have all but vanished. They’re the three most elusive individuals on the continent, but the Zhauri haven’t let a target escape in the brotherhood’s history – and they’re not about to start.

To pay for a hunt of this magnitude, Ratuan has promised Maverick far more than money. He’s brought the Zhauri a three way deal that will wreck the Escalis, declare independence from Tekada, and crown Maverick as ruler of their new kingdom. All Maverick has to do is capture his three targets, and Ratuan will take care of the rest.

Unfortunately, the Zhauri know Archie has ties to all three runners, and he is not only coerced into joining the team, but given great motivation to take part in their hunt. Because while Allie is slowly dying from the curse that now plagues her, Maverick holds the key to breaking it. To save his best friend, Archie will have to lead the effort to find and catch her, all while trying not to become one of the Zhauri himself.


To Wear the Cloak

By Halie Fewkes

On the newly-named continent of Ria, the Human-Escali war is about to reach its thousand year conclusion. Tekada is preparing to join the fight in retaliation for Ratuan’s recent uprising, and Humanity can’t possibly survive a war against the Escalis and Tekada at the same time. Since peace with the Escalis can’t be negotiated, the impossible task of keeping Humanity alive falls to those with the best record of accomplishing the impossible – Maverick and the Zhauri.

With only a short window of time, the king announces their one hope of survival. A united force of Humans and Escalis might be able to fend off the foreign invaders, but Humanity would have to defeat the Escalis in mere months to stand a chance of uniting in time. The war will either conclude in a joining of the nations, or it will end as Tekada arrives and decimates Humanity.

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June Featured Title: Hart and Seoul

Every month we feature a title we think really shines. This month’s featured title is Hart & Seoul by Kristen Burnham which releases today!

Cover image of Hart & Seoul.


Why We Love It

Hart & Seoul is a stunning YA romance that’s both modern and current, drawing inspiration and arriving just in time for the buzz that’s been building around American pop culture’s latest sensation: Korean Pop (also known as K-pop). Even if you’re not caught up with K-pop groups like BTS and EXO, you’ll still enjoy the characters’ journey as they navigate complicated issues to which most of us can relate: tumultuous friendships, uncertain futures, broken hearts, chasing dreams, and finding purpose. Up-and-coming author and youth services librarian extraordinaire Kristen Burnham took some time to share her thoughts on the creation of this fresh new take on the YA genre.


From Librarian to Author: Writing Hart & Seoul

From author Kristen Burnham 

“Oh honey, you can do better than that.”

I was in seventh grade, and the teacher had asked each of us to stand up, introduce ourselves, and say what we wanted to be when we grew up. I had proudly jumped from my seat and proclaimed to one and all that I, Kristen Mary Margaret Mary (it’s a long story) Burnham, was going to be a librarian…and got that response. No wonder I quickly moved on to the next dream of being a nurse, even though I hate needles and the sight of blood. Fast forward about eleven years, and I was facing graduation with no clue as to what I was going to do (spoiler alert: I had changed my major from nursing to English), until a chance encounter with a friend who had just gotten accepted into grad school set me on the path of becoming a librarian. A year later, I had earned my M.L.S.; six months later, I landed my first job, and I’ve never regretted it.  

I have always known that I wanted to be a published author, but the trick was that I would actually have to sit down and write a book. I tried—boy, oh boy, did I try—but I could never get beyond the first three chapters; I would run out of ideas, get discouraged, take a break for a few months, and then get all excited and start all over again. Looking back, I realize that the idea I was trying to force into a story just wasn’t ready yet, and that I needed the experience of being a librarian in order to not only write a complete book but also successfully publish it.

Being a librarian has given me the perfect look inside the genre of YA Fiction: I have a front row seat to all the latest books being purchased, I know which books are being checked out more than others, and I can say with 100 percent certainty which book covers work. I’ve watched teens light up when I hand them a book (my greatest moment was when one kid enthusiastically dabbed in the stacks when I found his favorite book), talked to parents about how to have conversations with their teens about their reading interests, and watched as the paranormal subgenre morphed into dystopian, then fantasy, then contemporary, and then into sci-fi. So when I finally approached Mascot Books, I knew exactly what I was looking for—from cover design to the book layout to the book description. And they listened! After a year of querying agents and being told that my book just wasn’t the right fit, I stumbled across Mascot Books and finally found people who read Hart & Seoul (which, by the way, is not the idea that I’d struggled with years earlier) and loved it almost as much as I do. And, just as with obtaining my M.L.S., I’ve never regretted my choice.

I think the greatest thing about being both an author and a librarian is that you are right there in the thick of things. Publishers see things through the lens of marketing and selling, and authors see through the lens of the story—I see both. More importantly, I am often the one that helps connect those two elements: I help market the books that I love by putting them in the hands of those who I think will appreciate the story. Librarians work tirelessly to help people discover their passions—from the programs we plan to the hours spent working with customers to find the one book that we just know they’ll love. It’s a fantastic, albeit exhausting profession, and I’m so grateful that I’m a part of it, both as a librarian and an author. As my main character discovers, life is filled with choices, and you have to decide how you are going to not only handle the consequences of your actions, but also the actions of others. My choices ultimately led to this exciting new journey, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

So, in a way, my teacher was right. I could do better than just being a librarian, and I did. I became a passionate librarian. Oh, and author… got to remember that part now!


About Kristen Burnham

Headshot of author Kristen BurnhamKristen Burnham knew that she was destined to be either a world-famous paleontologist or a writer. The dinosaur gig never took off, so it’s a good thing she had a back-up plan. When she’s not writing, she is hunting around for the best Korean BBQ food, reading, watching dramas (Korean, Chinese, British…if it’s dramatic, she’ll watch it), listening to music in foreign languages, and having arguments with her menagerie of imaginary friends (a.k.a. book characters). Find her at seoulofawriter.home.blog or on Instagram and Twitter at @seoulofawriter. 

Read more about Hart & Seoul in new interviews and review from blogs Cover to Cover and 

Check out these other titles releasing in June:

Cover Image for Beyond the Finish  Cover image for Power & Ore 

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New Releases for June!

Summer is finally here, and there’s no better time to pick up a great book! It’s time to celebrate our newest releases, and there’s something for everybody this June from a touching YA romance to a personal finance guide to a children’s book about a regional cuisine. Check out the full list below! 


June’s Featured Title




Hart & Seoul

By Kristen Burnham

Merilee Hart has been doing her best to keep things together since her mother left, her art a welcome escape from her depressing new reality. But things seem to go even more awry the moment her next door neighbor’s enigmatic and mysterious nephew arrives from South Korea. Lee is moody, cocky, and utterly infuriating.

But when Merri’s closest friends betray her and her father crushes her dream of going to art school, Merri finds herself drawn to Lee, who seems to live within even greater shadows than her own. And just when she thought things couldn’t get crazier, Merri’s world is upended when she discovers Lee’s big and bizarre secret…he is none other than a runaway member of the K-pop mega-group Thunder.

It’s not long before Thunder’s fans, the Storm Chasers, begin to close in on Lee, ready to do whatever it takes to return their favorite idol to his rightful place in the band. Faced with the prospect of even more heartbreak and caught up in an international whirlwind that has a life of its own, Merri realizes that she must find a way to mend herself, gain control of her life, and pursue her dreams—her heart and soul depend on it.


Fiction



Power & Ore

By David H. Hanks


A nuclear pulse driven explosion in Turkey has caught the attention of the International Nuclear Weapons Agency and Carson Griffin has been assigned the challenge of determining its source. At the University of Bucharest, entrepreneurs have joined forces to create a mode of transport so powerful and unique that, once discovered, the world’s governments and terrorist organizations will all vie for control of its technology. The Jihad Terrorist Symbol will stop at nothing to get their hands on a discovered plutonium sphere and set to work allocating assassins and spies to locate a potential weapon. In this story of kidnapping, murder, double crossing, and high espionage, who would you believe or trust?

Memoir and Biographies




Beyond The Finish

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child, Kyle Pease had grown up supporting his athlete brothers Brent and Evan from the sidelines. While his condition limited his ability to play sports, it didn’t dampen Kyle’s passion for them, nor did it stop the Pease family from including Kyle in various excursions. From rolling his wheelchair up Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite National Park to zipping down Colorado snow slopes, there was never a dull moment with the Pease brothers. Where there was a wheel, there was a way to adventure.

Upon witnessing Brent complete his first IRONMAN competition, Kyle asked Brent a life-changing question: Can people in wheelchairs do IRONMAN? Brent never hesitated with his response. The answer was a resounding yes. Learning from others and through their own hard work, the brothers competed in IRONMAN competitions around the country and were ultimately awarded the opportunity to participate in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. In this memoir that interweaves both their perspectives, Kyle and Brent recount the experiences that shaped the strength, tenacity, and undying bond that has resonated between them since childhood.




Carpenters: An Illustrated Discography

By Randy L. Schmidt

With more than 100 million records sold worldwide, the Carpenters are among the most beloved and enduring musical acts of the last 50 years. Randy L. Schmidt, author of the acclaimed bestselling biography Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter has assembled a team of commentators—journalists, authors, musicians, and other entertainment industry figures—for a series of in-depth, insightful, and opinionated conversations on every release. Beautifully presented with more than 200 images, many never before seen, the result is a must-have for pop music lovers.


Self-Help



After the Cut: How to Prepare For and Recover From Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

By Nicole Psomas

Have you ever seen a picture of a celebrity who recently had liposuction? In the picture, their stomach is lumpy and rippled. The first thought is to blame it on the doctor or “bad plastic surgery.” Nicole Psomas, the author shows the reader that this is not because of bad plastic surgery, but rather, bad care after surgery.

After The Cut is a comprehensive how-to guide for preparation and recovery after cosmetic plastic surgery. The author begins by explaining how to determine if surgery is the right choice for you. She describes the realities of plastic surgery that many people do not know. The book goes on to teach you how to prepare your mind, body, and home for surgery; those best prepared for surgery have better results. A typical “surgery day” is described to the reader, so they know what to expect.

Once out of surgery, and recovery begins, the reader is given a detailed guide of the author’s innovative method on how exactly to recover after any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure. Some typical procedures she discusses are: liposuction, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, body lifts, face lifts, buttock lifts, and more. Her method will teach you how to prevent complications, reduce swelling, increase range of motion, decrease pain, increase sensation, decrease scar tissue, and ultimately maximize the results and appearance after cosmetic plastic surgery.

Like any surgery, plastic surgery should be made with serious consideration and not entered into lightly. The choice to have plastic surgery is a personal one that will have a significant impact on a person’s future. The steps illustrated in this book empower the patient to play a substantial role in their recovery. With this knowledge, the patient can feel confident about making one of the most personal decisions of their life.





Middle-class Millionaire: Surprisingly Simple Strategies to Grow and Enjoy Your Wealth

By Clark Kendall

The middle class makes up most of the population. Defined as a household that earns a yearly income that hits above the poverty line but falls shy of the upper class, people in the middle class come from all walks of life, hold various types of jobs, and lead vastly different lives. One aspect does tie them together: they work hard to live well, and without realizing it, may be on the path toward becoming a millionaire.

In this day and age, millionaires aren’t as rare as they used to be, with many individuals possessing at least one million dollars of amassed net worth by the time they retire—including the value of their home(s), cars, financials, and other assets. By living within their means, saving well, and spending wisely, members of the middle class can soon be part of a group that is growing by the day: the middle-class millionaire.

In this informative and comprehensive guide, Clark Kendall, CEO and founder of the successful investment management firm Kendall Capital, shows you just how to secure your financial future. Middle-Class Millionaire is full of applicable insight into the ins and outs of short- and long-term saving, spending, and investing, for those working toward a safe and comfortable retirement. Living well in the years up to retirement and beyond depends on your financial preparedness. Let Middle-Class Millionaire help get you there.





The Gap

By Douglas Vigliotti

Meet the Gap: the little space between what you know and don’t know. It’s the thing sitting between you and what you want; it’s a small thing that amounts to everything. Are you stuck in your career, relationships, education, or business? Maybe you’re frozen by the same old habits and opinions or trapped in the story you’ve been telling yourself for the last 20, 30, or 50 years? That’s okay. It’s normal. We only know what we know. We’re all stuck on something.

In a world overflowing with competing information, knowing who to turn to, what to watch out for, and what to focus on has never been more difficult.
The Gap will help you turn obstacles into opportunities by identifying hidden forces and blind spots that prevent you from achieving your goals. Drawing on real world examples, Douglas Vigliotti empowers readers with thought-provoking questions and simple strategies to cut through the noise of the information age, challenging you to look at the world from a whole new perspective.


Sports



The Desert – A Dirtbag Climbing Book

By Luke Mehall

The Desert is Luke Mehall’s fifth and final offering in his series of dirtbag climbing books. The book begins with Mehall’s first trip to The Desert, a visit to Indian Creek in 1999, and chronicles nearly two decades of experience. Over time, the author grows from thinking that the red rock desert of the Colorado Plateau is just another stop along the way, to finding himself more and more at home there. Ultimately, the author’s passion for first ascents with his best friends fuels his desire to get to know the area in an intimate way. At the same time that this transformation occurs, the Bears Ears National Monument is created by the Obama administration and then ultimately dismantled by the Trump administration. While the final decision by the courts is awaited, Mehall contemplates the importance of public lands for the soul of America. He also pulls no punches with his thoughts on Trump’s decision. The Desert is a definitive, independently published account of a dirtbag climber searching for love, passion, fresh air, and an escape from the electronic hyper connectedness of the modern world.


Children’s


#JustaChickenLittle

By Preston Thorne & Langston Moore

The roof is swaying, and CJ thinks it has to do with a dreaded chicken curse that will destroy the coop! He rushes to warn his friends, but will he find some hidden strength along the way? Watch CJ as he learns that he can be more than #JustaChicken.




A Bean Named Red

By Dori Hernandez

Red beans and rice were meant to be, but how did they find each other? This New Orleans-based children’s book spills the beans!

Red is just a lonely little bean in a big old soaking pot. One Monday morning, she finds the courage to begin a journey to search for more. It’s a big world out there for a small bean, and Red meets a lot of silly friends. Join Red as she explores the world around her, finding love along the way.




B is for Bilingual

Leila Diaz

Learn the ABCs by identifying an object that starts with the same letter and sound in both languages! May this be your first step to mastering the building blocks of the English and Spanish language.

Aprende el abecedario identificando un objeto que comienza con la misma letra y sonido en ambos idiomas. Que éste sea su primer paso para dominar los componentes básicos del idioma inglés y el español.




Brains and Beauty

By Steve Wachtel

Brains and Beauty could not get along. If one was right, the other must be wrong! So Fox and Owl came up with a suggestion. There was to be a contest, a kind of election. They’d act as the judges, for they were wise. Would there be one winner, or might they share the prize?




Buster, The Delicate Doodle

By Jennifer Beland

Buster is a delicate Goldendoodle pup! After Buster’s mom gets fed up with his rigid tendencies, he begins to take walks with a supportive and encouraging dog walker named Kim, who encourages him to dig deeper into his quirkiness and pull out all his strengths and talents.

Can Buster find what he has to offer the world?




Chicken Girl

By Bonnie Rosario

Bonnie is a girl, a curious girl who loves reading and learning about animals, especially chickens. That’s how she got the nickname Chicken Girl. When her family goes on a trip to a nearby farm, Chicken Girl is in for quite the feathery treat! Join her—there are many chickens to meet! Chicken Girl proves that research, patience, and perseverance can help you achieve your dreams.

A portion of this book’s proceeds will be donated to Coops for Troops, which provides chickens, a coop, a starter pack of feed, and supplies to returning veterans, the families of deployed military personnel, military schools, VA hospitals, and retirement homes. Chickens have been shown to be great therapy animals.



Colonial Klaus

By Laura Macaluso

Klaus, a black-and-tan long-haired dachshund, is walking the grounds of historic Poplar Forest, where Thomas Jefferson lived more than 200 years ago. The little dog follows a scent into a rabbit hole and, when he pops out at the other end, finds himself wearing a tricorn hat. He meets Thomas Jefferson and his granddaughters, Ellen and Cornelia, and realizes he has been transported into the past. The book follows “Colonial” Klaus as he inspects the landscape and octagonal house at Poplar Forest, meeting members of the enslaved community of people who labor on the plantation to make Jefferson’s life and legacy possible. Intertwined with this story are Jefferson’s recollections of the special year 1776, when he wrote the Declaration of Independence and helped create a new country. The writing and illustrations evoke a historic sense of time and place that can still be found today at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.




Freeda the Frog Says Farewell to Her Fish

By Nadine Haruni

In this fourth book of the Freeda The Frog Children’s Book series, Freeda the Frog Says Farewell to Her Fish, Freeda and her family suffer the loss of their pet fish, Goldie. This book helps kids deal not only with the loss of a pet, but how to say goodbye to any beloved friend or family member.



Frogs in the Cistern

By Deirdre Potter

A strange noise becomes the subject of a mystery in this story about a family and their cistern! Written by Deirdre Potter and illustrated by Srimalie Bassani, this book is a great way to teach your child about frogs and the different uses for storage tanks.



Grandma and Me Go to Mill Mountain Zoo

By Alice Flora

Come along on a trip to Mill Mountain Zoo! Visit all the cool cats and other animals that live at the zoo and learn all sorts of fun facts along the way!



If The Moon

By Bernadette Drabek

Would you eat the moon if it was made out of your favorite food? This book invites children to look up at the night sky and use their imagination when it comes to eating! Written by B. Lombardo Drabek and illustrated by Jonathan Jones, If the Moon is sure to capture your child’s attention at bedtime, lunchtime, and any other time you can think of!



Keep Walking

By Will Mason

This beautiful poem teaches us when times are tough, just keep walking. In loving memory of Kamil Patel.




Mother Of Many

By Pamela M. Tuck

Judah Tuck has ten siblings, and he’s on a mission to give the old woman who lives in a shoe some advice on how to manage a large family! Although a typical day in the Tuck family may contain some chaos, Judah and his siblings find a way to pull things together before Daddy comes home. Join Mom, Judah, and his brothers and sisters as they work through the day. . .and learn what family is truly all about.



Sometimes With Ghosts

By Charlyn Wee

With kind words and charming illustrations, Sometimes With Ghosts… promotes key components of the Mindfulness Self-Compassion program. Young readers will learn that it’s okay to have uncomfortable feelings, which in the end aren’t so scary after all.




The Crowned Kids

By Terrence Terrell

The Crowned Kids at the School of Freedom come from different places and cultures, but they share the same feelings of self-love and respect for individuality. They are proud of who they are, and see their differences as unique qualities. But when bullies come around to bring them down, they have to stick together and show that diversity makes them stronger than negativity ever could, and that there’s nothing wrong with being different. An uplifting story about confidence and the importance of community, The Crowned Kids will encourage readers to learn the power of self-love and diversity to embrace the qualities that make them stand out.



The Yard: North Carolina A & T

By Latrice Collins

Come along as we explore North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. From being at the forefront of civil rights, politics, and space exploration to having the greatest homecoming on earth, learn about the rich heritage of this Historically Black College and University (HBCU) as you take a tour of the yard. Can I get an AGGIE PRIDE?




Too Many Raindrops

By Kylie Yapp

No matter how old you are, we all feel a little grey and have really bad days sometimes. It can be difficult to express unpleasant feelings, especially at a young age. Just like the little cloud in our story, learning to talk about these feelings is key to being healthy. Too Many Raindrops is the perfect chance to begin discussing a difficult topic. Read along with the little ones in your life and get the conversation started!



Twinkle Twinkle Little Mermaid

By Janet Beaulieu

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a mermaid? Do they twirl and sparkle or maybe splash and giggle? This delightful story based on a favorite nursery rhyme will ignite the imagination of young readers leaving a sense of curiosity and mystery.



The Squiggle Book

By Elizabeth Correll

Look up at the sky! Look down at the ground!

There’s always a squiggle dancing around!

Whenever you find one, draw what you see.

It can be whatever you want it to be.


Back by Popular Demand! 



Chicken Lips

By Kristy Hamby

Who’s ever heard of a cow named Chicken Lips?! Join this special, silly cow on his quest to discover the meaning behind his name and meet some farm friends along the way!

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