Episode 6: DL Andersen reads from Ben’s Christmas Treasury: An 1820 Christmas Carol

April 12, 2018

A delightful historical fantasy for the holidays, based on real events and inspired by two favorite holiday classics: A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life.

Link to the book on Amazon

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Episode 5: Andrew Meade reads from The Borrowed Faces

April 5, 2018

What if a reality show had real stakes?

Grayson Hartford needs a change in his life. A new documentary promises the adventure and riches he craves. All he needs to do is navigate a booby-trapped temple, collect treasure, and then escape a jungle. It seems easy enough.

Instead, he soon regrets not taking the Death and Dismemberment clause seriously. What starts as a friendly contest of skills quickly devolves into murder and no shortage of betrayals. Anything goes in the name of entertainment on "The Borrowed Faces".

Link to the book on Amazon

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Episode 4: Tanya Lisle reads from City Without Heroes

March 29, 2018

City Without Heroes by Tanya Lisle

There was a reason they called it the Speckled City Whitten was just what Indira hoped for. It was a city that had banned heroes and villains, which meant no more rebuilding her home after a disaster, no more texts from her mother about how her father had been kidnapped, and no more worrying that she might be forced to become a hero herself one day. Indira soon finds out that the city holds a dangerous secret. Keeping superheroes and supervillains out of the city comes at a cost and, if she isn’t careful, she may disappear with the others.

Link to the book on Amazon

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Episode 3: Manu Herbstein reads from The Boy Who Spat in Sangrenti’s Eye

March 22, 2018

Sargrenti is the name by which Major General Sir Garnet Wolseley, KCMG (1833 – 1913) is still known in the West African state of Ghana.

Kofi Gyan, the 15-year old boy who spits in Sargrenti’s eye, is the nephew of the chief of Elmina, a town on the Atlantic coast of Ghana. On Christmas Day, 1871, Kofi’s godfather gives him a diary as a Christmas present and charges him with the task of keeping a personal record of the momentous events through which they are living. This novel is a transcription of Kofi’s diary.

Elmina town has a long-standing relationship with the Castelo de São Jorge da Mina, known today as Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482 and captured from them by the Dutch in 1637.

In April, 1872, the Dutch hand over the unprofitable castle to the British. The people of Elmina have not been consulted and resist the change. On June 13, 1873 British forces punish them by bombarding the town and destroying it. (It has never been rebuilt. The flat open ground where it once stood serves as a constant reminder of the savage power of Imperial Britain.)

After the destruction of Elmina, Kofi moves to his mother’s family home in nearby Cape Coast, seat of the British colonial government, where Sargrenti is preparing to march inland and attack the independent Asante state. There Melton Prior, war artist of the London weekly news magazine, The Illustrated London News, offers Kofi a job as his assistant. This gives the lad an opportunity to observe at close quarters not only Prior but also the other war correspondents, Henry Morton Stanley and G. A. Henty. Kofi witnesses and experiences the trauma of a brutal war, a run-up to the formal colonialism which would be realized ten years later at the 1885 Berlin conference, where European powers drew lines on the map of Africa, dividing the territory up amongst themselves.

On February 6, 1874, Sargrenti’s troops loot the palace of the Asante king, Kofi Karikari, and then blow up the stone building and set the city of Kumase on fire, razing it to the ground.

Kofi’s story culminates in his angry response to the British auction of their loot in Cape Coast Castle. The loot includes the solid gold mask shown on the front cover of the novel. That mask continues to reside in the Wallace Collection in London.

The invasion of Asante met with the enthusiastic approval of the British public, which elevated Wolseley to the status of a national hero. All the war correspondents and several military officers hastened to cash in on public sentiment by publishing books telling the story of their victory. In all of these, without exception, the coastal Fante feature as feckless and cowardly and the Asante as ruthless savages.

The Boy who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye tells the story of these momentous events for the first time from an African point of view. It is told with irony and with occasional flashes of humor. The novel is illustrated with scans of seventy engravings first published in The Illustrated London News.

This book won a Burt Award for African Literature which included the donation by the Ghana Book Trust of 3000 copies to school libraries in Ghana. In 2016, at the annual conference of the African Literature Association held in Atlanta, GA, it received the ALA’s Creative Book of the Year Award.

Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah writes:“The Boy who Spat in Sargrenti’s War takes history out of the recesses of memory and obscurity, and expresses it in vivid and dazzling light.”

The Boy who Spat in Sargrenti’s Eye is a story for adults of all ages, both young adults and those no longer so young.

Link to The Boy Who Spat in Sangrenti's Eye on Amazon

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Episode 2: Charles Kelley Reads From Crossroads

March 20, 2018

"It was a dark and stormy night. Just kidding, who starts a story that way? I mean, other than that cartoon dog with the typewriter." 

 
Meet Will, the guy whose childhood was ruined by an outlaw motorcycle club. Now that he's grown, he's decided to do something about it. That something may allow the motorcycle club to ruin his adult life too. When the family member of a politician is found dead from a drug overdose, Will is recruited to run the investigation. Will returns to his tiny hometown of Rough River Falls, Kentucky to save it from itself and exact vengeance for his missed youth. Can he infiltrate a group of outlaws and keep his hidden agenda a secret, or will they find out what he's up to? Can one man actually make a difference when he faces off against a criminal organization? Is there anyone worth the hassle of saving in Rough River Falls, or is the whole town a lost cause? Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride!
 
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Episode 1: Lea Ryan Reads From Beneath Oceans of Sky

February 2, 2018

The population of the Near
Grows by one every year.
Oceans of sky, mountains of bone,
Take care, children,
Not to find yourself alone

Three days before Christmas, Aurora wakes up in a strange bed in a meadow, beneath a sky that looks like an ocean. She doesn’t know where she is, only that she fell asleep in her bed and woke up somewhere else.

A bobcat named Yule and a wolf named Woe appear nearby, and they offer to take her to their king and queen. They don’t seem trustworthy, but what other choice does she have? Along the way, Aurora learns that she’s a jundhela, a weaver of windows that offer a view of what’s happening back in her world. Yule and Woe insist that she ignore them and move on.

When they finally arrive at Lonesome Castle, Aurora discovers a battlefield of steam-powered robot soldiers fighting. The king and queen each want Aurora to join their side. 

Aurora’s only hope is to find a boy named Dusk and convince him to help. One way or another, she must find her way home.

Beneath Oceans of Sky on Amazon

Lea Ryan's Website

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