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    gifts for grads

    Graduation season is in full swing and that means you probably have a gift or two to buy. Books have always been a go-to grad gift, and the rise of ebooks has made giving them even more convenient. They are also the perfect last-minute gift. (Not sure how to give an ebook as a gift? Check out our how-to videos for quick-and-easy, device-specific tutorials.)

    Need some inspiration? Peruse our gift guide below for ebooks that will inspire, motivate, and congratulate the recent grad in your life. 

    Graduation Gift Guide: Great Gifts for Grads at Every Age by OpenRoadMedia


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    book christmas tree

    Each May, Memorial Day reminds us to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom. In remembrance of these brave men and women—our fallen heroes—Open Road Media is offering a collection of bestselling and critically acclaimed ebooks now priced at $4.99 and less through Memorial Day.

    We've divided the collection into historic periods:





    Readers can also take a quick look at Open Road Media's Featured Titles:

    And be sure to check back daily for new features, exclusive videos, author guest posts and more!


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    This year’s Nebula Awards will be held May 16–19. Organized by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and first awarded in 1966, the Nebulas recognize the best science fiction and fantasy published annually. Each year, an award is given to the best novel, novella, novelette, and short story. Here at Open Road, we are proud to be home to several Nebula Award–winning authors. 

    Elizabeth Hand was awarded a Nebula in 1999 for her novella Last Summer at Mars Hill. Also a World Fantasy Award–winner, the story concerns a youth’s summer at a New England artists’ colony. In addition to the hippies that populate the colony, the group is surrounded by “Light Children,” who allow the residents to believe in the greater possibilities of life—despite being confronted with realities beyond their control. 

    Robert Silverberg is also no stranger to the Nebulas. He has won and been been  nominated numerous times, including a 1986 win for the title novella in his book Sailing to Byzantium, in which a man from the 1980s, is taken forward in time to the fiftieth century, where the wealthy live as tourists in the once-great cities of the past.

    Octavia E. Butler is also a multiple-time nominee and winner. Her first win was for the novelette “Bloodchild”in 1984. Although she was nominated in 1994 for her classic novel, Parable of the Sower, she wouldn’t win the award again until 1999, for the second book in the Parable series, Parable of the Talents.

    The great science-fiction advocate Theodore Sturgeon was awarded aNebula in 1970 for his novelette “Slow Sculpture,” a moving story about a breast-cancer patient and her encounter with a scientist who has the capabilities to change the future of humanity—only he chooses to hide his talents. “Slow Sculpture” can be found in his Selected Stories collection.

    To find out more about the Nebula Awards, click here. Visit our authors’ pages to discover more ebooks from our award-winners. 


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    book christmas treeAllen Clark, author of Valor in Vietnam, reflects on Memorial Day.

    In a war zone special days come and go. Candidly, I do not remember anything special from Memorial Day 1967, but I do know there were three important things on my mind. All three paled in significance with what transpired three weeks later.

    First, I was very disappointed that my covert intelligence operation against Cambodia had been unsuccessful for one obvious reason and one at the time not so obvious: The jungle through which my agents would have to enter Cambodia was triple-canopied and practically impenetrable. Later it was discovered the enemy had significant underground installations all over.

    Secondly, I was very proud that I was fulfilling my cover assignment as a Civic Action officer: I had established a functional school for the children of our Montagnard mercenary soldiers. I had personally scrounged the cement and building materials.

    Finally, and most importantly I was nearing the end of my twelve month tour in the war.

    My departure from the war, three weeks later, was under highly unfavorable circumstances. By mid-June a North Vietnamese regular army battalion had infiltrated our area. They placed an intense mortar barrage on my camp on June 17, 1967. I came inches away from occupying a grave at Arlington National Cemetery when one of the mortar rounds caused amputation of both my legs below my knees. Only by the grace of God is my family not placing flowers on my grave this coming Memorial Day.

    Paul Tillich, a WWI German Army Chaplain, and later American philosopher, wrote, "Body and soul are broken and can never be entirely repaired, but that is a small sacrifice in comparison with millions who have given their lives."

    My legs will never come back, but my soul is renewed, and, though wounded in body, I am strong in spirit and the knowledge that I lived to return home to America. I thank my God I was allowed to live.  Memorial Day each year is felt by me with great reverence and gratitude.

    Allen Clark's Valor in Vietnam is part of Open Road Media's Memorial Day Sale—the ebook is $4.99 for a limited time.

    Exclusive video: Allen Clark on why soldiers fight.



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    “I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.”

    —Pearl S. Buck

    Pearl S. Buck Courtesy of the Pearl S. Buck Estate
     

    We are thrilled to announce the addition of fifteen classic titles by the legendary Pearl S. Buck to the Open Road ebook collection on May 21, 2013. In celebration, we’re sharing this rare archival photo from 1964, when Buck addressed an audience on the issues of poverty and discrimination faced by children in Korea. 

    A bestselling and Nobel Prize–winning author of fiction and nonfiction, Buck was the daughter of missionaries and spent much of the first half of her life in the East, where many of her books are set. As an American who had been raised in China, and who had been affected by both the Boxer Rebellion and the 1927 Nanking Incident, Buck was able to give her western readers an intimate sense of a vastly misunderstood culture. Imperial WomanIn Imperial Woman, for example, Buck brings to life the incredible story of Tzu Hsi, a beautiful and charming woman who rose from the lowly status of concubine to become the working head of the Qing Dynasty and one of the most powerful figures in modern history. Much has been written about Tzu Hsi, but no other work recreates her life in such brilliant and vivid detail. 

    Buck, however, was not only interested in China, and set stories in Japan (A Bridge for Passing), India (Come, My Beloved), and America (The Angry Wife), too. Because of this, she was able to employ fiction as a means to explore the many differences between East and West, from tradition and modernity, as well as the hardships of impoverished people during times of social upheaval.

    Buck's fascinating life story is fully chronicled in her memoir, My Several Worldsa book that is not only an important reflection on China’s recent history, but also an account of her re-engagement with the US. The intense activity that characterized her life makes for a thrilling read—one that brilliantly explores many of the landmark themes of her story, including her prolific career as novelist, her loves and many friendships, and her work with Welcome House, which she founded in 1949 as the first international, interracial adoption agency in the United States.

    Though her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Good Earth, was a massive success in the US, the Chinese government objected to Buck’s stark portrayal of the country’s rural poverty and, in 1972, prohibited her from returning to the country. Despite this blow, as well as her death of lung cancer a year later, she was still considered, in the words of China’s first premier, Zhou Enlai, to have been such “a friend of the Chinese people,” that her former house in Zhenjiang is now a museum in honor of her legacy.


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  • 05/20/13--15:00: Tony Peluso's An Khe Pasta
  • Recognizing that c-ration-based meals are not always the most palatable, we asked some of our Vietnam-era veterans to share their most inventive wartime recipes.

    book christmas treeFrom Tony Peluso, author of Waggoners Gap, in his own words:
    Momma Peluso would send packages with cans of Hunt's tomato sauce, a small bottle of olive oil and dried herbs, like basil, oregano, bay leaf, garlic and onion salt. She would also send thin Italian spaghetti boxes and dried pepperoni sausages. Actually, these ingredients travelled well. The challenge was to find pots to cook them in, an adequate heat source, water that didn't taste like dog shit, and a relatively sanitary spot to cook.

    In January of 1969, I had three boxes of stuff and with the help of a buddy (Joe Monile) we found a hot plate, plugged it in to the one socket in our hootch and borrowed pots from the spoons at the Officer's mess.

    An Khe Pasta:
    1. Pour all the friggin' olive oil you've been hoarding into the sauce pot and bring to a nice simmer. 
    2. Add all of the dried herbs, except the garlic, which you save until later because Joe's mom in Buffalo always did it that way.
    3. Drink a warm beer. Then evacuate your bladder at the tube outside the hootch. Wash your hands, thoroughly.
    4. Add the pepperoni, which you have chopped up as finely as your Air Force Survival knife will permit.
    5. Drink another beer, and share stories of your manly conquests in the village (mostly imagined).
    6. Spoon off the greasy residue of the pepperoni from the top of the sauce.
    7. Remove the Sauce from the heat because you only have one burner. Set it off to the side, covered if possible.
    8. Heat the water and boil it for several minutes hoping to diminish the chlorine. If the water turns white from green, you are on the right track. No such thing as bottled water in that venue in those days.
    9. After the water is boiling and white, add as much pasta as possible. Lots of hungry paratroopers who are sick to death of C-rations and LRRPs.
    10. When the pasta is ready, drain and set aside.
    11. Reheat the Sauce. Scoop out any of the pepperoni grease that floated to the top and now Joe's mom won't be offended if you add the garlic powder. Keep Bob Gallagher from pouring too much McElhiney's into the sauce. Bribe him with a beer if necessary. Remember to be generous with the garlic because experience has shown that garlic is the enemy of chlorine.
    12. When the sauce is ready, scoop portions of pasta onto paper plates or into mess kits. Add sauce, unless you're Jeff Berg who would rather just have the noodles with Heinz Ketsup (Swear to God). Cheese would be nice, but never had any other than the squishy shit that came with Cs. We did without. There was a war on. 


    Tony Peluso's Waggoners Gap (ebook edition) is part of the Open Road Media Memorial Day sale — $3.99 for a limited time. 


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    Cliff Jumping

    What’s your ideal vacation? Rock-climbing in Colorado? Skiing in the Alps? Scuba-diving in the Bahamas? Going on safari in Kenya?

    Read your way into a weekend getaway this Memorial Day. No matter what you’re doing, these ebook collections make the perfect getaway for the thrill-seeker—whether you’re en route to your next adventure or gearing up for an expedition from the safety of your couch.

    Looking for something else? We’ve got beach reads, historical fiction and history, literary classics, science fiction and fantasy, children’s, cooking, and more. Go here for your perfect recommendation, or browse our ebook bundles.

    The Holland Taylor Trilogy The Holland Taylor Mysteries by David Housewright are an Edgar Award–winning trilogy about a Minneapolis P.I.

    In Penance, Holland Taylor’s career with the Minneapolis police department ends after his wife and daughter are killed in a drunk-driving accident. But when the culprit is shot dead shortly after finishing his prison term, Taylor, now a private investigator, is called in as the obvious suspect. He didn’t kill Brown, but he will find out who did—even if it means tearing Minneapolis apart from the inside out. In Practice to Deceive, a real estate scam tips Taylor off to a widespread, deadly conspiracy with deep roots in city politics—and a vicious killer hired to protect the secret. In Dearly Departed, Taylor discovers a recording made by a woman named Alison Emerton explaining that if she is missing, it is because Raymond Fleck, a convicted rapist who lost his job after Alison accused him of sexual harassment, has killed her. But as Taylor digs into Alison’s past, he learns that Fleck was not the only person who wanted her dead.

    The Jack LeVine Trilogy The Jack LeVine Mysteries by Andrew Bergman are three devilishly witty and thrilling noir novels set in the 1940s

    Stocky, sweaty, and bald, Jack LeVine is a Jewish private detective who makes his living by being polite. But underneath his smile lies a bulldog. In The Big Kiss-Off of 1944, fledgling actress Kerry Lane comes to LeVine when a blackmailer demands a payoff to keep a series of stag films from her past out of the public eye—but LeVine finds that the heart of this case is even uglier than greed, lust, or murder. It’s politics. In Hollywood and LeVine, Jack heads to the West Coast to investigate a tangled Hollywood murder and a shadowy Cold War conspiracy. In Tender Is LeVine, Jack investigates the kidnapping of the famous conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The deeper LeVine digs, the more obvious it becomes that organized crime is playing the tune.

    The Tony Cassella Mysteries The Tony Cassella Mysteries by Larry Beinhart feature a dogged New York P.I. with a dappled past

    In No One Rides for Free, Tony Cassella is a private investigator whose past includes a year or so at Yale Law, a stint as a corrections officer, and a cocaine addiction. Though he’s recently gotten his life back on track, Cassella is drawn to trouble, and he can imagine no greater thrill than his latest case: tangling with the SEC in an investigation that leads deep into the federal government. In You Get What You Pay For and Foreign Exchange, Cassella’s unique talents land him in the crosshairs of the mob, the IRS, and a dangerous world of international intrigue.

    The Pig Trilogy The Pig Trilogy by Joseph Caldwell is a rollicking three-part contemporary tale of mystery and romance for an American in Ireland

    Aaron McCloud has come to Ireland from New York City to walk the beach and pity himself for the cold indifference of the young lady in his writing class whom he chose to be his love. The pig will have none of that. What the pig eventually does is uproot in Aunt Kitty’s vegetable garden evidence of a possible transgression that each of the novel’s three Irish characters is convinced one of the others probably benefited from. The resolution of this hilarious mystery in The Pig Did It—the first entry in Mr. Caldwell’s Pig Trilogy—inspires both comic eloquence and a theatrically colorful canvas depicting the brooding Irish land and seascape. And in The Pig Comes to Dinner and The Pig Goes to Hog Heaven, all of the charming characters of the first book return for more tragicomedy and hijinks, told in Caldwell’s uniquely theatrical style.

    The Aden Vanner Novels The Aden Vanner Novels by Jeff Gulvin follow a detective in his investigations through London’s gritty underbelly

    Sleep No More is an unflinching look at a detective’s fruitless search for answers. Despite all his years of experience, Detective Aden Vanner has never had a case that haunts him as much as the Watchman case. A creature of the alleyways and streets of London, unafraid to bend the law in order to get results, Vanner eventually snaps, violently beating a prisoner, and is suspended from the force. Now, in order to clear his name, Vanner must capture the elusive Watchman. In Sorted, Vanner investigates a group of violent thugs with connections to some very powerful people. In Close Quarters, a seemingly innocent young woman is murdered in a professional hit. Now the only question is, Why?



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    book christmas tree


    Hold history in your hands with Open Road Media's downloadable excerpt collection: The Early Wars. Spotlighting bestselling and critically acclaimed ebooks covering the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, these titles and more are $4.99 and less—through Memorial Day.  

    Explore our Memorial Day Sale.



    History in Your Hands: The Early Wars


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    Future World

    Who says Memorial Day is just for earthlings? An otherworldly experience bound only by the limits of your imagination is closer than you think. Open Road Media has selected a few spellbinding fantasy and science fiction ebook bundles that will surely take you on a journey unlike anything on this side of the galaxy; make this Memorial Day weekend an unforgettable one with these stellar reads!


    Winterlong Trilogy The Winterlong trilogy, an enthralling series written by renowned science fiction author Elizabeth Hand, provides the perfect excursion into a thrilling, dystopian world known as the City of Trees. The first in Hand’s celebrated trilogy, Winterlong details the adventures of twins in their journey to save the City’s inhabitants from a menacing ancient power before it’s too late. Æstival Tide, Winterlong’s sequel, is a swift-moving novel that introduces the domed and formerly stunning city of Araboth, and the quest of four individuals to defend the fortress, now on the edge of collapse, from the monstrous waters of the Æstival Tide. In Icarus Descending, the final novel of Hand’s trilogy, a ruthless rebellion plagues the City of Trees, and Wendy Wanders finds herself joining the rebel forces who hope the fabled asteroid Icarus will steer the rebellion onto a new course.


    Sun Wolf & Starhawk SeriesNew York Times bestselling author Barbara Hambly’sSun Wolf and Starhawkseries creates a magical escape into the captivating world of witchcraft and wizardry, where the clever mercenary Sun Wolf and his equally adept female lieutenant, Starhawk, reign supreme. Follow the dynamic duo as they attempt to wage war against a rabid wizard in The Ladies of Mandrigyn; venture across arid deserts in the face of evil to harness newfound supernatural abilities in The Witches of Wenshar; and set out to rescue their army from the grasp of a treacherous ancient wizard in The Dark Hand of Magic.


    Lilith's BroodLegendary science fiction author Octavia E. Butler devises the perfect time-travel vessel with Lilith’s Brood, a compelling trilogy light years in the future. Mankind struggles to survive, and on the brink of extinction, the Oankali—an alien breed that survives by combining its DNA with that of lesser species—comes to humanity’s rescue, but not without a few sinister stipulations. Immerse yourself in Butler’s suspenseful post-apocalyptic novels as Lilith Iyapo, one of the last remaining humans, and her offspring, battle to revive the human species in Dawn, attempt to redesign their ill-fated future in Adulthood Rites, and master new identities independent of the leeching Oankali alien race once and for all in Imago.


    The Lyra NovelsCritically acclaimed author Patricia C. Wrede’s impeccable world-building skills are on full display in the Lyra novels. Set in the magical universe of the series’ name, Wrede’s five-part series will take you on a slew of supernatural adventures. You can look forward to the riveting voyages of a princess’ determination to find her way home despite being caught in the hands of an ancient enemy in Shadow Magic; an indentured servant unleashing her magical powers to save others in Daughter of Witches; two men’s tenacity in keeping evildoers away from an enchanted harp with the power to create and destroy inThe Harp of Imach Thyssel; and a fearless daughter in pursuit of her mother’s prized possession with unknown yet deadly powers in The Raven Ring.


    The Justice TrilogySearching for a fantasy journey that’s out of this world? Look no further than the Justice trilogy by legendary children’s book authorVirginia Hamilton. Join four fearless children as they their discover magical powers in Justice and Her Brothers; telepathically travel to a bizarre future world in Dustland to fight for survival against the evil creature Mal; and band together as a unit to save the residents of Dustland from the venomous Mal for good in the series’ final installment, The Gathering


    Looking for more getaways? Browse our complete list of ebook "boxed" sets, including more science fiction & fantasy, classics, romance, mysteries & thrillers, children's, cooking, and historical.


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  • 05/22/13--07:00: Dystopian Fiction
  • dystopia

    “Utopias are boring. Dystopias, on the other hand, are interesting.” – Robert Silverberg

    The outside world has become unforgiving; your only hope for survival is to live deep underground. Those who long for a chance to experience the unknown are given the worst sentence: They are sent to experience the cruelties of the world outside. Hugh Howey makes the dangers of the outdoors a reality in his bestselling Wool series. The success of the series has inspired renewed interest in dystopian fiction, so we’ve gathered a collection of novels that we think you will enjoy as much as Wool.

    Gray MattersWritten nearly forty years before Howey’s series, William Hjortsberg’s Gray Matters explores similar themes to Wool, which even Hjortsberg noticed upon the book’s release. Gray Matters confronts the possibility of immortality in a future after the devastation of World War III. Here, dead brains are preserved for the possibility of a second life. Although the brains spend their time in relative peace, training for the day they can return to a body and a peaceful existence, the facility’s most famous resident, Skeets Kalbfleischer, is creating problems. Killed in a plane crash at twelve years old, Skeets still dreams of being a cowboy, disrupting plans for creating an enlightened, zen race.

    To Live Again and The Second TripRobert Silverberg takes mind control to new levels with his novels. To Live Again imagines a future in which humans are able to live forever—as part of someone else’s mind. These transplants never fully take over human bodies, but “consult” with their hosts, offering their personas and thoughts. But this harmonious arrangement takes a sinister turn when the mind of Paul Kaufmann, the richest and most powerful man on Earth, become available and the desire to have it results in a deadly race for those who want to make the most out of their mortal lives. The Second Trip details a future where capital punishment is foregone in favor of erasing a criminal’s personality—and replacing it with an artificially constructed personality that can be useful to society. Just released from therapy, Paul Macy quickly realizes that his old personality, rapist Nat Hamlins, has not been successfully repressed. Despite Paul’s best efforts to block out Nat, he continues to emerge, and is intent on erasing Paul, even if it means killing both of them in the process.

    BloodchildEach story in Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild & Other Storiesrevolves around dystopian worlds, but the title story puts a twist in dealing with body possession. Rather than humans trying to extend their lives, their bodies are used as tools to extend the lives of their alien overlords. On a foreign planet, human children are raised to become hosts for the offspring of the Tlic alien species. They are led to believe it is a painless process, and it is presented as a privilege. When one human finally realizes the barbarity of becoming a host, he must decide whether to fight for all of humanity, or for his own well-being.

    Tekwar William Shatner’s TekWarseries takes drug dealing to new and futuristic heights. Jim Cardigan, one of Los Angeles’s toughest cops in the 22nd century, no longer gets a high from bringing justice to the streets. Instead he turns to Tek, an illegal computerized brain stimulant that allows his greatest fantasies to become his reality. He quickly becomes addicted—and falsely convicted of dealing the stimulant. He is sentenced to fifteen year of suspended animation and stripped of his badge, but he is awakened four years later and becomes entangled in the search for the real Tek lords.

    Alien SexIn Ellen Datlow’s Alien Sexanthology we find a raunchy dystopian story that doubles as social commentary. The story Passengers has both lust and tragedy. Humans exist under the threat of the “Passengers” beings that are able to temporarily take over bodies and wreak havoc on society. Because a person can be taken any time, people avoid relationships and when people are being “ridden,” the rest of society ignores them. When a victim is released, he has no memory of the incident and others never mention his antics. But as with all foolproof plans, there is always a hitch. The narrator of the story can remember being ridden, and he fights against the accepted norms to connect with a fellow victim he remembers during his ride.

    WinterlongLike Gray Matters, Elizabeth Hand’s Winterlong explores the dangers of human engineering for selfish reasons, and its disastrous results. Wendy Wanders has been augmented with the ability to tap into patients’ emotions and memories for the sake of “therapy.” Although she was autistic as a child, she has been “fixed” to the point where she is highly empathic—but not entirely cured. When the lab she is housed in is attacked, she escapes with a lab assistant, but finds the outside world is not much better.

    We hope that these ebooks will satisfy the craving for dystopian fiction that Wool has undoubtedly created. And while these classics may have imagined a world that still does not exist, who knows what will come in the next century . . .


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    “Like all literature on the frontier between two cultures, and within the marginal character of a genre, crime fiction, Hall’s work moves in the twilight area of social violence, in the moral ambiguity of the characters, though not of the author, in a shadow line full of disillusionment, fear, and lack of meaning.”

    —Paco Ignacio Taibo II, author of An Easy Thing and three-time winner of the Hammett Prize

    Check out an excerpt from David C. Hall’s snarling and sophisticated international thriller, Barcelona Skyline, which was released as an ebook for the first time in the US yesterday.

    A true master of suspense, Hall tells the page-turning epic of Elso Bari, a private investigator and restaurant owner in Chicago. When he is tasked with hunting down a stunningly beautiful contract killer, we are taken on an unforgettable ride through the seedy alleyways of Chicago to the sultry streets of Barcelona and beyond. Each of Hall’s seamlessly interrelated characters adds an element of intrigue and danger, resulting in a gripping novel on par with the best from even Michael Connelly and Sue Grafton.

    Hall’s diverse background easily lends itself to a novel this international in scope. Hall himself grew up in the Midwest and lived in different parts of the United States, working in an array of jobs (including cooking pancakes in Seattle) before moving to Barcelona in 1974. There, he got involved in the rush of political activity in opposition to the Franco regime before becoming an English teacher.

    Barcelona Skyline by David C. Hall {Excerpt} by OpenRoadMedia


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    book christmas treeToday's History in Your Hands downloadable excerpt collection from Open Road Media spotlights World War I and II —while adding a human face to the hard cold facts of history. 

    The five ebooks in this collection along with many more are part of our Memorial Day Sale showcasing the best in military history, specially priced for your reader at $4.99 and less. 



    View Open Road Media's extensive Memorial Day Sale collection.

    Download yesterday's History in Your Hands: The Early Wars



    History in Your Hands: The World Wars


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    Geek Pride Day

    For the Wizards and Witches

    Barbara Hambly is all about magic, from her hobbies (costumes, tarot, World of Warcraft) to her acclaimed writing. The Rainbow Abyss tells the story of an aging wizard and his apprentice who venture into a world where magic has died, hoping to save it before the same fate befalls their own.

    Spellsinger by Alan Dean FosterThe first in an eight-book series, Alan Dean Foster’sSpellsinger is about a young musician who ventures through a portal into a land of magic where he must use a mysterious multistring instrument called a duar to rescue the world into which he has fallen, a place where animals can talk and magic reigns.

    Shadow Magic is part of Patricia C. Wrede’s Lyra novels—five books about an alternate universe of witches, wizards, and enchanted forests. Shadow Magic takes place in the magical woods of Lyra, where a nobelwoman struggles to escape from a man of shadows who threatens to destroy her kingdom.

    For the Comic Book Geek

    A GI Joe fan favorite, Tales from the Cobra Warsis edited by Zombie geek Max Brooks. Accompanied by powerful illustrations, this anthology contains short stories and novellas written by top comic-book and thriller writers, starring the whole gang, including Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Hawk, Dial Tone, and more.Tales From the Cobra Wars

    Brak the Barbarian is an iconic figure in the sword and sorcery genre, along with his inspiration, Conan the Barbarian. John Jakes’s fast-paced stories of a lone brave, manly warrior searching for his El Dorado are classics. Try Brak the Barbarian and Mark of the Demons.

    After the overnight success of Go the F*ck to Sleep, Adam Mansbach created Nature of the Beast, a graphic novel that finds the world threatened by an alien force; a Florida gator wrestler is all that stands between survival and total annihilation.

    William Shatner’s (aka Captain Kirk’s) TekWar is about a private detective in twenty-second-century Los Angeles who fights to destroy the powerful new synthetic drug that nearly ruined him.

    For the Intergalactic Warrior

    Spinneret is by Star Wars author Timothy Zahn. Taking place in the future, a newly colonized planet holds many secrets in its seemingly barren depths. But will it lead to humanity’s salvation—or its destruction?

    Fool's War by Sarah Zettel Midshipman’s Hope by David Feintuch is military science fiction at its best. Feintuch’s acclaimed Seafort Saga begins as Nicholas Seafort sets off on an interstellar naval adventure he will never forget.

    Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel takes place on the starship Pasadena. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the story is about a strange new life form that threatens all of humanity—and the fool that would stand in its way.

    For the Literary Geek

    Robert Silverberg’s iconic Nightwings is about one man’s journey to find salvation for a planet on the brink of destruction, where mankind has lived under the threat of an alien invasion for thousands of years. Silverberg has won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards five times each.Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon

    Edited by award-winner Ellen Datlow, Alien Sex: 19 Tales by the Masters of Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy is a compelling psychological exploration of the many shades of love by some of the best science fiction writers around, including Harlan Ellison and Richard Christian Matheson.

    Known as the “godfather of contemporary science fiction,” grand master Theodore Sturgeon’sVenus Plus X is a visionary tale about a man who is sent into a utopian future where perfection has been achieved, but at a shocking cost—especially for our ideas about gender and sexuality.


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    Woman Reading

    For some of us, the perfect vacation isn't an exotic adventure or sweltering beach trip, but rather some uninterrupted reading time. With classic titles now available in convenient collections, we're got the ebook bundles you need to make your perfect literary getaway. Whether you're sitting out in the sun or curled up indoors, lose yourself in some wonderful reads this long weekend.  

    Looking for something else? We also have science fiction & fantasy, mysteries & thrillers, romance, children's, cooking, and historical ebook collections. To find your perfect getaway read, follow our Memorial Day blog series.

    The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence DurrellThe Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell

    Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most important works of our time," Durrell's masterpiece explores World War II–era Alexandria, Egypt, from the point of view of four different characters. Featuring Durrell's characteristically sensuous prose, these books offer an alternately strange and gorgeous portrait of life in a Mediterranean city. The Alexandria Quartet perfectly captures the ambiguity of experience and the limits of modern love.

    Five Volumes of Spiritual WisdomFive Volumes of Spiritual Wisdom

    Perhaps you were seeking a little spiritual insight this weekend? In Five Volumes of Spiritual Wisdom, discover the insights of some of the world's most important spiritual texts. Diverse and profound, these books offer multiple perspectives on spirituality throughout the world. Explore the Talmud, the Torah, the Koran, and the teachings of Muhammad and the Buddha.

    William Styron The Collected NovelsWilliam Styron: The Collected Novels

    Hailed for his beautiful prose and deep insight into the human mind and heart, William Styron is widely considered one of the most influential writers of his generation. Featuring Styron's stunning debut novel, Lie Down in Darkness, in addition to the well-known Sophie's Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron: The Collected Novelsoffers an artistic snapshot of one of the twentieth century's most important writers. Taken together, these four novels explore themes of good and evil, sin and atonement, and the deep bonds of place and family.

    Three James Herriot ClassicsThree James Herriot Classics

    Perhaps more adeptly than any other writer, James Herriot explores the connections that tie us to the natural world. In these three great works, Herriot documents his time as a young veterinarian making his way through the rugged English countryside. Featuring memorable stories about the places he’s visited and the people he’s met along the way, Three James Herriot Classicsisfunny, warm, and ultimately quite moving. This is perfect vacation reading, essential for any animal lover. 

    The Color Purple Collection by Alice WalkerThe Color Purple Collection

    In this stunning and powerful collection, Alice Walker follows strong African-American women as they navigate confrontations with their environment, culture, and history. Moving and uplifting, these women in The Color Purple Collectionfight courageously in the face of oppression to forge their own identities. Featuring characters introduced in Walker's Pulitzer Prize–winning The Color Purple, Walker's two later works, The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy, complete this crucial and unforgettable trilogy. 


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    Hot Ice by Gregg LoomisGregg Loomis has been writing thrillers for years, with his premiere character being the lawyer Lang Reilly, but his newest novels have him on a completely different side of the law. In his latest release, Hot Ice, Loomis details the adventures of Jason Peters, an international operative working for NARCOM, an organization that delivers its own brand of justice.

    Jason Peters’s appetite for vigilantism arises from his wife’s death in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon. A former Army man, Peters leaves the military in the wake of the loss of his wife to work for NARCOM. He excels as their best operative, but soon finds the dangers of the job getting to him and his relationship with his girlfriend, who disagrees with the use of violence in his job.

    But Peters’s retirement doesn’t last forever. When he is given the opportunity to exact revenge on one of the men who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, he can’t turn it down. When his identity is nationally revealed, he agrees to take one more job in Iceland in order to protect himself and his family. A contractor for NARCOM has been shot while on the job, and he refuses to answer to anyone except for Peters. While Peters is promised that this job will be free of violence, he soon stumbles upon a different type of treachery: ecoterrorism.

    Although he never directly disputes that global warming exists, Loomis questions whether what society is being told about the environment is part of a greater conspiracy in the global economy. Peters stumbles across information that suggests that global warming theories may simply be myths. If the evidence were to be leaked to the public, they could cause economies to collapse, reputations of the government and scientists to be ruined, and the end to well-known environmental organizations such as Peters’ new enemy: GrünWelt. Intent on furthering their agenda and maintaining their reputation, GrünWeltuses deadly force to keep opposing ideas out of their path. When Peters becomes their newest threat, he is in danger of meeting the same fate that has befallen other GrünWelt enemies.

    Loomis’s Hot Ice is an intricate—but not implausible—tale of ecoterrorism. Though most environmentalist groups deny their involvement in any sort of terrorist activities, acts committed by certain organizations have been condemned as ecoterrorism. Loomis pushes this idea further by creating a scenario in which ecoterrorists are fighting against causes they have created for their own benefit. The continuing controversy over global warming makes Hot Ice a relevant and fresh perspective on the issue.

    For more information on Gregg Loomis and Hot Ice, visit his author page here.


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  • 05/23/13--14:00: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • We love food. And recipes. And stories about breaking bread with family and friends in unexpected places—in ways that stay with us, and change us, forever. If you've been following along, you know we asked some of our armed forces authors to share a favorite wartime recipe or meal experience as part of our month-long Memorial Day commemoration.

    Earlier this week, Tony Peluso gave us his An Khe Pasta Recipe. Today Doug Bradley, author of DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle,shares with readers one of his most memorable Vietnam Wartime meals in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

    Miss Mai, our petite Vietnamese receptionist, was more than just window dressing in a drab Army office in the heart of sprawling Long Binh Post. She was a ray of sunshine, hope and promise to us scared and homesick GIs. During the most difficult days of our 365-day Vietnam tour, Miss Mai believed in us and what we were doing.

    Among the many happy moments my best friend George and I spent with Miss Mai in Vietnam, one stands out: being invited to have dinner at her home in Saigon just before our tour was up.

    George and I got lost trying to find her family’s house on Tran Quang Dieu Street in bustling, dangerous Saigon. When we finally arrived, Mai, though a little put out, presented us with a bountiful feast of, stunningly, steak and spaghetti! To this day, I don’t know how she was able to find such good American food to serve us, but it was the best meal I ate during my year in Vietnam.

    That night, as we dined by candlelight in Miss Mai’s home, her large, extended Vietnamese family relegated to huddling in the next room out of earshot, it was hard for me and George to remember that we were soldiers from a foreign country who’d been sent here to fight in a war. Even though the war was ubiquitous and all consuming, we never talked to Miss Mai about it. The war was our link, it was what had connected us and brought us together, but we’d never discuss it.

    George and I departed Vietnam within days of one another in November 1971. When I visited him and his family in D. C. later that year, we reminisced about that meal at Miss Mai’s house, her infectious enthusiasm and goodwill. Not knowing what would happen a few years hence, we feared for her and her safety.

    “She’ll never get out of Vietnam alive,” was our quiet consensus.

    But thank God we were wrong.

    If you'd like to read more from Doug Bradley, download an excerpt of DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle.


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    book christmas treeFor the past week, leading into Memorial Day weekend, Open Road Media has been sharing "History in Your Hands" digital excerpt collections spotlighting The Early Wars, The World Wars, and now The Vietnam War.

    Until now, each collection has included a selection of five titles. However, for the Vietnam War Years, we've expanded to include ten titles: five nonfiction and five fiction—think of it as "History in [both of] Your Hands". The truth is, it was just too hard to narrow the field to five. In fact, we have even more Vietnam War era titles, many of which may be found on our Memorial Day Sale landing page.

    Remember all 50+ ebooks in our Memorial Day Sale are $4.99 and less.

    History in Your Hands: The Vietnam War Years


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    “I wanted to have very strong female characters. I just thought it was always the way the world should be.”Elizabeth Hand

    WisCon is coming! Known as the world’s foremost event for feminist science fiction, this year’s Wisconsin Science Fiction Convention will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, from May 24 to 27. In addition to its main themes of feminism and science fiction, focal points of the convention will include discussions of class, race, sexual orientation, and gender issues.

    Although Mary Shelley, author of the canonical Frankenstein, is widely seen as a pioneer within the genre, historically, science fiction has largely been male-dominated. WisCon is an opportunity to celebrate early feminism pioneers in science fiction and new authors breaking down boundaries.

    “In the early ’80s, female writers became active in the field and started winning a lot of awards. Since I’ve been in science fiction, I think more and more women are coming into the field.”Ellen Datlow

    At Open Road Media, we’re proud to publish authors who are strong feminist role models, not only within the realm of science fiction, but in all of our genres. We publish ebooks from science fiction and fantasy greats such as Barbara Hambly, Sarah Zettel, Ellen Datlow, Patricia C. Wrede, Elizabeth Hand, and Octavia E. Butler. Butler and Hambly have been guests of honor at previous meetings of WisCon.

    “In a lot of ways I was a generation ahead of my generation; I had a working mother wheneveryone else’s mother was staying at home.” Patricia C. Wrede

    Watch our video of women in science fiction and celebrate WisCon with us this Memorial Day weekend.

    “I'm going to go out on a limb here. I've thought a lot about this one, as a feminist, and as an author. How should traditional roles be portrayed? In fantasy literature there is a school of thought that holds that women must be treated precisely like men. Only the traditional male sphere of power and means of wielding power count. If a woman is shown in a traditionally female role, then she must be being shown as inferior. After a lot of thought, and some real-life stabs at those traditional roles, I've come to firmly disagree with this idea. For an author to show that only traditional male power and place matter is to discount and belittle the hard and complex lives of our peers and our ancestresses.” - Sarah Zettel



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    beach

    Whether you're beach bound or hoping to turn up the heat while staying home, there's nothing like spending a long weekend with some great romance reads. Sure to stoke your passion, these books offer a wealth of choices, spanning the turbulent twelfth century in Europe to present-day New York. Perfect for beach vacations, ebook "boxed" sets allow you to read without lugging around heavy books that take up valuable space in your luggage. So settle into your beach chair, order a pina colada, and embark upon your choice of steamy affairs this Memorial Day!

    Looking for more getaways? Browse our complete list of ebook "boxed" sets, including science fiction & fantasy, romance, classics, mysteries & thrillers, children's, cooking, and historical. Or follow our literary getaways blog series to discover your perfect read.

    The Eighty Days Series by Vina JacksonThe Eighty Days Trilogy by Vina Jackson

    Irresistible and modern, Vina Jackson’s Eighty Days Trilogy follows the dark, sensual love story of flame-haired violinist Summer and professor Dominik. Beginning with a bargain over a new violin in Eighty Days Yellow, Summer and Dominik's passionate relationship reaches an intensity which threatens to overwhelm them both. We follow Summer from London to New York and finally back to London, where, through various romantic adventures, she finds it impossible to shake the thrilling allure of Dominik. But where there's pleasure, there must also be pain, and the reader will certainly find both in these exhilarating reads.

    Lizzie Searches for Love Trilogy by Linda BylerThe Lizzie Searches for Love Trilogy by Linda Byler

    Maybe you're more in the mood for lovely and warm than red hot. Perhaps you like your romances pure and sweet, filled with youthful tenderness and a simpler way of life. Enter a world of horse-drawn carriages and bonnets, household chores and deep respect for family. Based on bestselling author Linda Byler's real experiences growing up in an Amish community, the Lizzie Searches for Love Trilogy gives us an intimate portrait of a rarely-seen way of life. You’ll fall in love with the headstrong and hot-tempered Lizzie as she experiences the trials and tribulations of growing up.

    The Carson Springs Trilogy by Eileen GoudgeThe Carson Springs Trilogy by Eileen Goudge

    Filled with small-town charm, gorgeous settings, nuanced family dynamics, and gripping suspense, Eileen Goudge’s Carson Springs Trilogyis sure to please those in the mood for classic and complex romances. From a mother who's fallen for a younger man to a nun with a dark past to an envious sister who must protect herself from charges of murder, these stories feature well-drawn characters and unusual circumstances you’re not likely to forget. Read Goudge for thrilling stories set in the tranquil California town of Carson Springs.  

    The Queens of Love and War by Ellen JonesThe Queens of Love and War Trilogy by Ellen Jones

    Filled with fascinating history, fiercely strong heroines, political intrigue, and passion wild enough to threaten the entire kingdom, the Queens of Love and War Trilogyby Ellen Jones gives a taste of the best of what historical romance has to offer. In The Fatal Crown, the widow, Maud, covets the British throne while fighting a dangerous desire for her fiercest rival. In Beloved Enemy and Gilded Cages, we follow Eleanor of Aquitaine's stormy relationship with Henry Plantagenet as it alternately unites a kingdom and threatens to tear it apart. Follow the Queens of Love and War as they navigate the upheaval of their lands and the yearnings of their own hearts. 

    Western Romance by Nan RyanNan Ryan: Western Romance

    Do you dream of the rodeo, the promise of gold in the far reaches of California, dusty saloons, and rakish outlaws? Nan Ryan: Western Romance delivers all that and more. Containing bandits and sheriffs, danger and desire, the saloon and the open desert, these reads are full of adventure and exhilarating passion. With heroines from a Midwestern debutante eager to escape the confines of the city to a destitute European princess desperate to reestablish her fortune, these titles will transport you to the far reaches of the frontier. Giddy up!  

    Check out the entire ebook "boxed" set collection here


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    beach

    This Memorial Day take a moment to remember the U.S. Marines who fought in the War of 1812.

    The War of 1812 was largely a result of Great Britain attempting to restrict U.S. trade, coupled with the young nation's desire to expand their territory.

    Of the thirteen major battles during this bicentennial year, the Marines fought in four major engagements: the capture of Fort York (Toronto), the capture of Fort George (being reenacted this May 25-26), the defense of Sackets Harbor, NY (reenacted this Aug 2-4), and the battle of Lake Erie (reenacted this September 1-2 with American and British squadrons).

    Honor these brave Marines and experience a piece of history by attending one of the re-enacted battles from what is often called "The second American Revolution." From the very first Leathernecks to today’s modern Marines – they all had this resounding virtue – courage!

    Click any of the links below for more details on these historic, bicentennial re-enactments:

    The Battle of Fort George Re-enactment May 25-26, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

    The War of 1812 Weekend August 3-4, Sackets Harbor. New York

    The Battle of Lake Erie Re-enactment September 1-2, Put-In-Bay, Ohio

    A painting of the Niagara from author, Don Burzynski's personal collection.

    A Jim Parker painting of Sackets Harbor, NY from the author's personal collection.

    Re-enactment suggestions and artwork provided by Don Burzynski, author of The First Leathernecks, an exhilerating tale of the most formative years of the U.S. Marine Corps.  Download an excerpt from The First Leathernecks.


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