Category: Link-n-Blogs

Need for Speed

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By , February 5, 2014 12:48 pm

The publishing industry, like all other capitalistic ones, is subject to the increasing demand for accessibility from the consumer. This translates into more information, faster. Thanks to technology more and more consumers can get what they want, now!

  1. Though there are still people who love the feel of a paperback in their hands, e-readers are encroaching on the territory of traditional books with the guarantees of speed, accessibility, and performance against which traditional books simply can’t compete. Writers, as a result, have discovered a way to personalize their digital copies.

    David Beckham takes his place as a pioneer of the “digital book signing.”

  2. Get in tune with your “dog-eat-dog” competitive side. Take the quiz to see where your reading and comprehension speeds stack up against the average 3rd grader, college student, and working adult. 
  3. Don’t have time to read a book?–Go see the movie! (Blasphemy!) The Fault in our Stars is definitely worth getting acquainted with before date-night. For Valentine’s Day ask for the novel; the movie debuts June 6 of this year.
  4. Writing a book may give you illusions of fame and success, but publishing is truly a marathon not a sprint. Deborah Plummer, author of both self-published and traditionally published works, offers candid and valuable insight into the realities of publishing today.

Link-N-Blogs: January 31, 2014

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By , January 31, 2014 12:15 pm

“Although only breath, words which I command are immortal.”–Sappho

  1. Blackboard Launching Online Bookstore: Blackboard, an online learning management system, now has plans to create a bookstore specifically for its platform.
  2. Two Poems By Sappho Discovered: “Parts of two previously unknown poems by the Greek lyric poet Sappho have been discovered on an ancient papyrus…” Read more about this discovery over at
  3. Loving Libraries: Gina Barreca writes about why she loves libraries for her blog on the Huffington Post website.
  4. The Book-Lover’s Guide to Covertly Reading During a Super Bowl Party: Football not your thing? Check out Quirk Books’ suggestions on how to get away with your bookwormishness.
  5. Literary Valentines: Valentine ’s Day is only two weeks away, and Buzzfeed has put together these author-inspired, animated valentines.

“Valentine’s Day is the poet’s holiday.”–Ted Kooser

Fact or Fiction: How “true” are the things we know? What about the things we read?

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By , January 27, 2014 1:34 pm

How much of what we’re told is true reality (not as redundant as it sounds)? Where is the line between speculation and evidence? In writing and living, where is the line between fiction and nonfiction? In light of Miley’s ongoing shenanigans, Justin Beiber’s arrest, and other events making tweens everywhere swoon for obviously altered images, I’ve gathered a few novels that will make you think about what separates reality from fiction and how writers toe that line to create riveting characters and story lines. They’re as good as the tabloids with a little more substance.

1. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer (biography)















You may be familiar with the story of Christopher McCandless (if you’re not you can go read the bio in the link above) and his complete rejection of the material world. The kicker with this story is that we can only know what Krakauer, the author, could uncover about the young man’s four month journey and, more interestingly, what made him do it. Fact or fiction, this book makes you think. And, for that, it’s one book worth reading and re-reading.


2. Lies we Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley (historical fiction)

No cover art available.

This book has yet to be published, so by definition it’s still fictitious, but the story is perfectly suited for this post and it’s on my “To Read” list. Set in the late 1950s amidst segregation, two girls of different races discover they’re more alike than they originally thought. History and tradition are important, but it takes education and courage to stand up to those precedents when they’ve become outdated. Once again, it makes the reader think about their circumstances, and realize that what is “reality” may not be “true.”


3.Ghost on Black Mountain, Ann Hite (regional fiction)















Ann Hite is a regionalist writer of Appalachia, if you believe in regionalism. Her novels and short stories (one, “Wiggle Room,” is featured in our publication Stonepile Writers Anthology Vol. 3) are all centered in mountain communities and draw on the culture, tradition, folk-lore, and even dialects of a region whose influence on the people is as strong as the people’s influence on the land. This novel may be hard to relate to if you’re not from the south, but, whether or not your roots took hold in red clay, the fantastic beauty in Hite’s language is the real deal, which is enough to make you believe in ghosts.


I could go on for days, but other honorable mentions who weave fantasy with reality include:

Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs (memoir/humor)











Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel (fantastic realism)


Beloved, Toni Morrison (post-modernist fiction)











Link-N-Blogs: January 24, 2014

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By , January 24, 2014 9:18 am

“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” –Albert Einstein

  1. Amazon’s New Christian Imprint: Amazon is launching Waterfall Press, a new a Christian imprint specializing in faith-based  fiction and non-fiction titles to be published by Brilliance Publishing.
  2. 28 Beautiful Quotes about Libraries: Because everyone should love their library.
  3. The Franz Kafka Video Game: No seriously–it exists, and Flavorwire has looked into it.
  4. Stonepile Anthology Launch: Volume three of this collection of poetry and prose from Southern Appalachian writers will be available next week.
  5. Billy Collins’s Papers Sold to The University Of Texas: The former U.S. poet laureate has sold his papers to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, which, according to The New York Times, include “dozens of notebooks containing observations, notes, doodles, clippings and extensive drafts of poems, published and unpublished.

 “The mind can be trained to relieve itself on paper.”–Billy Collins

Stonepile Cover


Link-N-Blogs: January 17, 2014

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By , January 17, 2014 12:07 pm

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”? J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


  1. Secret to Writing Unlocked by Scientists?: Computer scientists have developed an algorithm which can predict with 84 per cent accuracy whether a book will be a commercial success. Find out the secret here.
  2. Best-Selling Science Books: The New York Times gives us their list of top 10 science books.
  3. Graphic Novels in School: Check out why author Michael Cavna believes that graphic novels are legitimate reading material for students.
  4. Tips for Turning Kids into Readers: Here are seven tips to help turn your video-game, obsessed child into a reader.
  5. 2013 in Review: The Washington Post gives us their list of the most significant events that transpired in 2013.


“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.”? Jane Yolen, Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood


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