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2014 Readers’ Choice Award nominee at BigAl’s Books and Pals

Different by Frank Mundo is nominated for 2014 Readers' Choice Award at BigAl's Books and Pals

Different by Frank Mundo

I’m pleased to announce that my book, Different, is up for the 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Fantasy books at BigAl’s Books and Pals.

Published on December 9th, 2013, Different tells the story of 12-year-old Gregory Gourde, a bright yet awkward kid who experiences certain physical changes one morning that even puberty can’t explain: his head has become a watermelon.

What follows is an audacious exploration of what it really means to be different in this dark yet humorous nod to Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”. Different also includes a dozen original woodcut-inspired black-and-white illustrations by Keith Draws.

Different was reviewed by BigAl’s Books and Pals on December 31, 2013, which you can read here.

If you’ve read and liked Different, please take a minute to vote for it in the Fantasy Category at BigAl’s using the Rafflecopter application/form. Just for voting you are entered to win prizes and free books. Check it out. And thank you for your support.

Different is now available in ebook and paperback versions on Amazon. Visit my Amazon author page for more info on all of my books.

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5 favorite coming-of-age books by Candi Sary

Five Favorite Books is a special feature at LA Books Examiner in which our favorite authors share their five favorite books within a category. In this edition, Los Angeles author Candi Sary discusses her five favorite Coming-of-Age Books. Candi is the author of Black Crow White Lie, an excellent coming-of-age novel set in Hollywood that releases on October 1 from Casperian Books. To learn more about Candi and her books, visit candisary.com.

Five Favorite Coming-of-Age Books by Candi Sary

#5: The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
While reading The Highest Tide, Miles O’Mally felt more like a kid who lived somewhere in my life than just the narrator of this exceptional novel. The story looks at life through the eyes of the bright thirteen-year-old who spends most of his time on the mud flats of Skookumchuck Bay in Washington, collecting sea creatures for money, and paying close attention to life in the water. He’s a young scientist trying to understand the natural world, while also trying to make sense of friendships, his first crush, his parents’ separation, and his own unique identity. Miles comes up with profound ideas while observing sea life — just little bits of wisdom that stuck in my mind for days after reading the passages. The novel plays with the opposing perspectives of science and magic, at times giving the feeling that science is magic. This is a novel about the challenges of growing up, and yet the author does a wonderful job of pointing out the magic and the beauty along that difficult journey. There is something so special about this book that even after the story ended, its ideas continue to make me wonder.

#4: White Oleander by Janet Fitch
White Oleander made me fall in love with fiction all over again. It came along when I hadn’t read anything in a while that blew me away. Then I met Astrid and Ingrid. Ingrid, the poet/murderess, is the intriguing bohemian who kills her boyfriend and leaves her daughter to a life of foster care. Astrid is the daughter on a journey of self-discovery. She tries to make sense of the world through the variety of foster families she has to live with, as well as through her mother who still influences her from jail. The Los Angeles setting comes alive with the Santa Ana winds and the intense heat, and it gives a haunting quality to the story. This is a powerful novel with some of the most stunning sentences I’ve ever come across. The detail put into this book makes it so complete and thorough and a one-of-a-kind literary experience.

Read the rest of Candi Sary’s Five Favorite books at LA Books Examiner.

 

Purchase Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary at Amazon.com or Casperian Books. Read the LA Books Examiner’s review of Black Crow White Lie.

Read more Five Favorite Books

For the latest updates to Frank Mundo, LA Books Examiner, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Twitter @LABooksExaminer.

Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories.

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Read Chapter One of One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

If you haven’t read Jonathan Tropper’s books, you’re in for a wickedly funny treat. USA Today calls Tropper “a more sincere, insightful version of Nick Hornby, that other master of the male psyche,” and Entertainment Weekly exclaimed “It’s amazing what can happen in the hands of a casually brilliant author.”

An acclaimed screenwriter, Tropper has also written for Steven Spielberg and is currently writing a new Cinemax series, Banshee, that will debut in January. Tropper’s last novel, This Is Where I Leave You, was a phenomenal success named one of the best books of 2009 by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Amazon, among others.

One Last Thing Before I Go demonstrates yet again Tropper’s deft touch with the darkest of materials and his ability to make readers laugh out loud in one paragraph and move them to tears in the next. You can meet Jonathan Tropper on Tuesday night at The Grove in LA where he’ll be reading and signing from his new novel. In the meantime, take a few minutes to read the first chapter of One Last Thing Before I Go, which the author has generously shared with readers at LA Books Examiner below. Enjoy!

When: Tuesday August 28 @ 7 pm
Where: Barnes & Noble (The Grove)
189 Grove Drive Suite K-30 Los Angeles
Get directions

Learn more about Jonathan Tropper and his work at his website: jonathantropper.com

About the book:
You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.

So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn’t destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more. One Last Thing Before I Go is Jonathan Tropper at his funny, insightful, heartbreaking best.

Read Chapter On at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner.

Read Chapter One” is a special feature at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner where authors, from emerging to bestsellers, share an excerpt of their newest books:

North of Hollywood by actor/playwright and local author Rick Lenz

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by Los Angeles author A.G.S. Johnson

33 Days by LA author and former 80′s indie rocker Bill See

Girl in Translation, the bestselling debut novel by Jean Kwok

The Heights, the bestselling book by novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Peter Hedges

The Omega Theory by international bestselling author Mark Alpert

Fatal Error by bestselling author J.A. Jance

The Dark Side of Innocence by LA writer and bestselling author Terri Cheney

Golden State, the fresh and entertaining debut novel by local author David Prybil, Barnes and Noble Rising Star Award Winner

A Discovery of Witches by professor of history at the University of Southern California and bestselling author Deborah Harkness

The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard, an activist and co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation

The Ark, the bestselling Internet sensation by Boyd Morrison

The Insider by Reece Hirsch

Changes by Jim Butcher, bestselling author of The Dresden Files

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne, former lead singer of The Talking Heads

Frank Mundo, LA Books Examiner, is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories (now available for Kindle and Nook). Don’t forget to subscribe to my emails and follow me on Twitter @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.

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A Coupla Shades of Taupe by Court Burback: Read Chapter One

Love it or hate it, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by former TV executive turned mega bestselling author E.L. James is a true publishing phenomenon. In fact, according to CBS News, these books are “among the fastest-selling series of all time” with more than 10 million copies sold and counting. Film versions of the books are almost certainly on the way, and so is the onslaught of copycats and parodies.

And that’s why we’re here. Before you’re inundated with Fifty Shades of Everything books, meet Court Burback, an LA writer and author of a new Fifty Shades parody A Coupla Shades of Taupe that’s been getting some buzz around town and some great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Court Burback has agreed to share the first chapter of A Coupla Shades of Taupe below, a wild and funny parody she describes as, “a romantic, tender tale of blossoming emotions and hardcore schtupping” for which “a Pulitzer is inevitable.” Enjoy!

About the author
Court Burback was a finalist for the Glass Woman Fiction Prize, and her nonfiction has appeared in publications that include Playgirl, Laguna Beach Magazine, and Hustler. A Coupla Shades of Taupe is available at Amazon, and you can learn more about Burback at her website onedumbbunny.com.

About the book:
Pagan Taupe is the wealthiest man in all of Arkansas. He’s got a home with a working refrigerator, a private rickshaw driver, and a respected empire of taxidermy/fro-yo chain stores. The only thing that’s missing is a whiny young codependent named Alexandra Aluminum. From the moment he sees her tripping over an angry raccoon, it’s clear that Alexandra dills his pickle. Pagan becomes obsessed with Alexandra at a level normally portrayed by Rob Lowe in Lifetime movies. But unlike Rob Lowe, Pagan doesn’t want to beat her with a tire iron and bury her beneath the town bridge—he wants to make her his live-in sex slave.

But if eager young Alexandra wants to feel the caress of Pagan’s ear hair against her cheek, she’s going to have to play by his rules. When Pagan reveals the special room he’s built to live out his sexual proclivities, Alexandra’s natural reaction is to cold cock him and call the police. But the clown chained to the wall assures Alexandra that Pagan is a stand-up guy, and if she gives him a chance he can introduce her to a world of unimaginable pleasure. Alexandra takes the leap and agrees to be Pagan’s unquestioning “submissive,” and the two embark on a sexual journey that would make Gloria Steinem put a loaded gun to her temple.

Read Chapter On at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner.

 

Read Chapter One” is a special feature at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner where authors, from emerging to bestsellers, share an excerpt of their newest books:

North of Hollywood by actor/playwright and local author Rick Lenz

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by Los Angeles author A.G.S. Johnson

33 Days by LA author and former 80′s indie rocker Bill See

Girl in Translation, the bestselling debut novel by Jean Kwok

The Heights, the bestselling book by novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Peter Hedges

The Omega Theory by international bestselling author Mark Alpert

Fatal Error by bestselling author J.A. Jance

The Dark Side of Innocence by LA writer and bestselling author Terri Cheney

Golden State, the fresh and entertaining debut novel by local author David Prybil, Barnes and Noble Rising Star Award Winner

A Discovery of Witches by professor of history at the University of Southern California and bestselling author Deborah Harkness

The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard, an activist and co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation

The Ark, the bestselling Internet sensation by Boyd Morrison

The Insider by Reece Hirsch

Changes by Jim Butcher, bestselling author of The Dresden Files

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne, former lead singer of The Talking Heads

Frank Mundo, LA Books Examiner, is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories (now available for Kindle and Nook). Don’t forget to subscribe to my emails and follow me on Twitter @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.

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Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts Poetry Series

According to Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts poetry series producer and creator Daniel Yaryan, the idea for SWBG was “to channel the spirits of the deceased Beats through back-to-back poems and songs that seemed to flow continuously and colorfully like the spontaneous thoughts of Jack Kerouac being typed upon his scroll of teletype paper.” And, in August of 2008, Yaryan hosted a six-hour, non-stop marathon of music and poetry at the Li Po Lounge in San Francisco (stomping grounds for Beats Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia and Philip Whalen) becoming the very first installment or Round One of this mystic poetry boxing match called Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts.

On Sunday, July 15, 2012, the SWBG poetry series comes to the LAst Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles for Round 37 of this exciting spoken-word poetry event that’s sure to knock you out! Hosted by local hero Mike “The Poet” Sonksen, author of I Am Alive in Los Angeles!, the bygone beatniks will throw down with some of the best spoken-word champs LA has to offer.

The scorecard for Round 37 includes: Steve Abee, Jason Brain, Chiwan Choi, Sean Hill, Armond Kinard, Terry McCarty, Amy Uyematsu, plus some mystery poets and surprise ringers to help stack the deck for the living bards.

When:
Sunday, July 15, 2012 – 3 p.m.

Where:
The Last Bookstore – Downtown Los Angeles
453 S. Spring St. (main entrance around the corner on 5th)

Who:
Mike “The Poet” Sonksen is a 3rd-generation LA native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles and legendary city tours. Poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, teacher, Sonksen graduated from U.C.L.A. and is the author of I Am Alive in Los Angeles, which is also available on iTunes and has been added to the curriculum of several universities. Mike has performed his poetry coast to coast at college campuses, museums, bookstores, nightclubs and just about any venue you can imagine. See Mike The Poet in action on YouTube.

Read about the rest of the contributors: Steve Abee, Jason Brain, Chiwan Choi, Sean Hill, Armond Kinard, Terry McCarty, Amy Uyematsu at Frank Mundo’s LA Books Examiner.

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Frank Mundo Reads from The Brubury Tales at Beyond Baroque Bookstore

Frank Mundo reads and signs The Brubury Tales, a modern version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Los Angeles, at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center and Bookstore.

Date: June 15, Friday, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center and Bookstore
681 Venice Bl. Venice, CA 90291
310-822-3006  Get directions
$7, $5 students, seniors & kids
www.beyondbaroque.org

About the Book
An ambitious homage to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Brubury Tales takes Chaucer’s story and frame to Los Angeles just after the riots, where seven security guards on the graveyard shift swap tales in a hilarious storytelling competition for Christmas vacation time. The tales themselves are “readable” updates of classic stories by Dostoevsky, Dickens, Boccaccio, O Henry, Poe, Twain, Gilman, Crane, Saki, Anderson, Bierce, and even Khayyam’s Rubaiyat.

The Brubury Tales, a bestselling Amazon.com poetry book in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, won a Poet Laureate Award nomination for UCLA and Berkeley, Reader Views 2011 Reviewers Choice Award for Poetry Book of the Year and the 2011 Bookhitch award for Most Innovative Poetry Book of the Year. The book has also won a Reason to Rhyme Award from Byline Magazine, was selected for Powell library’s month-long WORDS… exhibit, and an excerpt was published by Indiana University.

This unique novel-in-verse also contains a special foreword by California literary legend, Carolyn See, who says, “The Brubury Tales is a landmark book, in what is going to be — and already is — an exceptional, distinguished literary career.”

About the Author
Frank Mundo, the LA Books Examiner, is the author of The Brubury Tales and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories. Frank Mundo has been a writer and book reviewer in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, publishing hundreds of stories, poems, essays, book reviews and author interviews. Frank earned a BA in English from UCLA, where he completed the Creative Writing Program. Frank grew up in Los Angeles where he currently lives with his wife, Nancy, and their dogs, Jax and Rusty.

The Brubury Tales by Frank Mundo is available in paperback and eBook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Underground Heroes Feature: LA Poetry Scene

Wow, I was mentioned, along with my book The Brubury Tales, in this really great article by Mike Sonksen about the LA poetry scene called Underground Heroes on KCET’s page.

http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/landofsunshine/la-letters/underground-heroes-dispatch-1.html

Check it out if you have a minute and please like the page.

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