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    It’s no secret that Oscar-winning actress and food writer Gwyneth Paltrow knows a great deal about healthy living. Below she tells readers why the advice in Withinby her friend and doctor, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, can change your life.

    Gwyneth Paltrow, photo by Georges Biard

    When my latest cookbook, It's All Good, was nearly complete, I was still searching for someone to write the foreword. Because the book included amazing recipes based on a particular healing diet I had been prescribed by my physician, I immediately thought of Dr. Habib Sadeghi. Not only did he understand the medicinal qualities of whole foods, but also the spiritual partnership we have with the earth that provides them to us. I was extremely grateful when Dr. Sadeghi agreed, and even more so when I recently received the opportunity to return the favor and write the foreword to his incredible new book, Within.

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    What struck me immediately about Within is that it’s so universal. Yes, it focuses on the goal of losing weight, but it does so with principles that can be applied to anything we want to achieve. It’s really a life map instead of a diet. In fact, it isn’t a diet at all because he never mentions food or even exercise. The world doesn’t need another carb counting lecture. It’s really a healing workout for the soul, and that seems only fitting since people often call him the Old Soul Doctor.

     They say that over a lifetime, everyone has at least one story or experience that will break your heart. If that’s true, then Dr. Sadeghi has enough for three lifetimes. He’s an old soul not because of what he’s been through, but because of how he survived and thrived on the other side of those difficulties. In Within, he shares the tools he used to get through those experiences and the wisdom he earned in the process.

    That’s why I was so proud to write the foreword to Within. Who hasn’t wanted to change their life in some significant way and felt totally lost as to how to make that happen? Dr. Sadeghi isn’t a motivational guru. Even better; he’s somebody who’s “been there.” If direct experience is the only real teacher in life, then Dr. Sadeghi has a PhD in getting your life off life support. You’ll feel his compassion on every page and he never talks down to the reader. Instead, he approaches every subject with the same intuitive empathy that makes him so successful as a physician.

    I highly recommend Within, no matter what kind of change you’re seeking in your life. Just be prepared for a paradigm shift in the way you think and feel that only comes from fearlessly “stepping into your loving”.
    —Gwyneth Paltrow

    As part of Open Road's Surviving the Holidays promotion, Within is available for $3.99 through the month of December.

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    Veteran romance author Sandra Kitt is the author of more than twenty romance novels and a groundbreaking author of African American and interracial romance. Today she shares her inspiration to begin writing multicultural romances and the opposition she faced being such a trailblazer in the field. 

    Sandra KittI was young when I first began reading romance novels. At the time, the stories were mostly historical with foreign, exotic settings. As an impressionable teen—a dreamy, imaginative, romantic one at that—I was drawn to the personalities of the heroes and heroines, and where and how they lived. But I also realized I was getting an education in the dynamics that developed: the attraction between men and women. I anticipated the happily-ever-after ending. It was a long time before it seriously resonated with me that none of the stories had characters that looked like me: brown skin, African American. In the books I read, the heroines were all under 25 and the heroes 30 or slightly older. Men were richSignificant Others by Sandra Kitt and educated; women were innocent, beautiful, and in need of rescue.      

    Once I began to look for books with people of color, it quickly became apparent that there were none. I read hundreds and hundreds of novels, and every single character was white. It was simply a sign of the times, but it was time things changed.

    When I finally began writing novels myself, I had it in mind to write stories with African American men and women. I was asked, however, what made a “black romance” different from one with white characters? Fair question, if we all believe that love and romance are universal. The difference then, in which these elements are expressed, is Fearless Men by Sandra Kittcultural. But there was no question that the mere idea of introducing a “new” concept called “ethnic romances” threw the publishing world into a panic. They said they didn’t know how to identify the audience. They weren’t sure there was an audience for love stories with people of color. They were afraid of offending their white readership (seriously!) and that the books would not sell. 

    As a long-time reader of romances, I knew I could prove them wrong, but the changes did not come about without having a few publishing doors slammed in my face.Between Friends by Sandra Kitt

    From the very beginning, I challenged the industry. Not only did I immediately begin writing stories with black and Latino, characters, I also wrote stories that introduced interracial relationships. I discovered that black romances made the industry uncomfortable, and even bolder experimentation in story concepts compounded the affront. 

    I also proved to be adept at never taking no for an answer. For example, the very first book I published had white main characters, proving that as a writer I was a switch-hitter. I could write from many different racial points of view—the benefit of having been raised in the multicultural society that is New York. If you look at my works published ovThe Color of Love by Sandra Kitter the course of my career, you’ll see that I don’t fall into any single category. This makes if hard for publishers to easily identify and market what I do.  

    I like being different, even as I recognize that writing “out of the box” can work against me, in terms of building a brand and growing a career. And although I was raised African American, my multiracial background provides an endless array of story possibilities, as does the changing face of our nation and how we define being American.

    I’m only just getting started with writing about love and romance in the real world that I live in.

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    Everyone needs to take a little time for themselves during the season of giving. Find out which ebook will soothe your soul, and get a great deal, too! These picks are $4.99 until the holiday madness ends.

    chicken soup for the soul

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    Gyles Brandreth is a British writer, broadcaster, and former member of Parliament and government whip, best known these days as a reporter on BBC1’s The One Show.


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    A book is a friend—a friend that never lets you down. A book is always there, 24/7. And the joy of a book is that it delivers mind-altering substances without harmful side-effects. Writing my book, The 7 Secrets of Happiness, I have been on a journey looking for contentment and here are some of the books I have found helpful along the way.





    Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers. Yes, it's a children's classic. It's innocent and it's fun and it never fails to make me smile and feel good about the world.

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Yes, it's another classic, and a love story, but it's one that can be read again and again because it never lets you down. It's full of wit and wisdom; intelligence and heart. Who could ask for anything more?

    The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations (Dover Edition). This is my favourite bedside book from my favourite bedside philosopher. Twain had something pithy, witty and wise to say about everything under the sun. When your spirit needs lifting, open the book to any page and you'll be glad to be alive.

    How to Live by Sara Bakewell. Montaigne is the founder of the essay as we know it and I enjoyed studying him on my quest for happiness because he has plenty to teach about the human experience. His biography shows a man searching for answers on how best to live life, and his mediations have brought happiness to readers for hundreds of years.

    The Art of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. One of the 7 secrets of happiness is to learn to live in the moment, to relish the here and now, to savour the instant. Sometimes that's easier said that done. Here is a book that explores ways of doing it. You don't have to agree with it all to be intrigued by it.

    Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America by James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn. If you need role models, how about three from the same family? Theodore Roosevelt did more than give the teddy bear its name. He was one of the great leaders and so full of energy his life-force takes your breath away. His story and that of his distant cousin, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt inspire, exhilarate and remind us of the human potential. An engagement with life is a key to happiness—and these three were certainly engaged with life.

    Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth. It's a murder mystery and I wrote it. All it takes to write a book is application. As Mark Twain said, “Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” I love history mysteries and this is the first of six I have written featuring Oscar Wilde as my detective and his true-life friend Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, as his side-kick and companion. I love murder stories. They are part of the happiness trail for me. As Oscar himself said, “There is nothing quite like an unexpected death for lifting the spirits."

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    Known as “The Energy Guru” to her Los Angeles clients, Gurutej Khalsa, author of The 13th Month, is devoted to helping others find the tools to uplift and empower themselves.

    What is your biggest Holiday stressor? Or do you have more than one? Here I discuss 7 common stressors and give you very quick antidotes to have a more joyous, luscious holiday time.

    Stressor #1
    : You’re feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and too many places to go.

    Antidote: Meditate! Meditation helps stretch time and space. This simple technique can help you calm down: Roll your tongue like a straw and inhale through your tongue for as long as you can. Exhale through your nose. This will calm your parasympathetic nervous system. Practice for 3-11 minutes.

    I have worked with many business owners who swear that when they meditate for just 11-22 minutes a day, they get everything done and have extra time. When they don’t meditate, because they “don’t have the time,” they find they don’t get as much done and are much more stressed out by their workload.


    Stressor #2: You’re feeling overstretched financially.

    Antidote: Welcome to the Holidays, right? It doesn’t have to be this way. You do need someone you respect and trust to sit down with you and actually look at what you can afford to spend. Take that number then break that amount up with a percentage to each person you have been blessed to have on your list (of course this percentage doesn’t have to be equal!) You may be inspired to get creative in your gift-giving. Do this exercise with someone who will hold you accountable to your budget.


    Stressor #3: Eating too much, hating the weight gain and how hard it is to lose afterwards.

    Antidote: I call this the “Oh Damn Syndrome.” Standing, eating, and talking makes it difficult to eat mindfully. I have many solutions for this one but a good one is: Don’t go to parties hungry. Eat something filling before you go and drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or seltzer. Drink and talk and play = No regrets and no weight gain.


    Stressor #4: The sugar factor and what it does to both you and your children.

    Antidote: Don’t be a sugar slave: This drug of choice makes us crazy and cranky. To avoid overdoing it get selective: take your time and choose your treat carefully. Eat one sugar treat slowly with your non dominant hand and enjoy it. Remind yourself that you don’t need to try the entire dessert table.


    Stressor #5: The shorter and darker days have got you feeling down.

    Antidote:Darkness factor: This syndrome, referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is about your pituitary not getting the light it needs. Do you know what else stimulates your pituitary gland? Meditation. Sit with eyes closed and look between your two eyes at your pituitary gland. Take long, sipping breaths as if sipping a thick drink through a straw. Exhale out the nose. Do this everyday for 11-22 minutes. For an instant mood boost, try smelling uplifting essential oils with lots of citrus.


    Stressor #6: Family: too much of a good thing.

    Antidote: While family is a blessing, time together during the holidays can be challenging, particularly if there’s someone in your family you have difficulty with. The two best solutions: have a sense of humor and don’t go where this person is leading you. If they are taking you down an old well-worn path to destruction, change the subject, direct the conversation elsewhere, pull the bathroom card (“so sorry I have to go to the bathroom”) or say, “Let’s go outside,” (creates more space.)



    Stressor #7: Navigating all the holiday party invitations: where to say yes or feeling left out.

    Antidote: Prioritize. Make sure to have a balance between what you want and what is required of you. Events can fit so nicely into your calendar but they don’t fit into your life the same way. Create an out for yourself, make excuses: no one has to know you said no to your second cousin’s holiday bash to attend a party of one in your bathtub!

    If you wish you were invited to more gatherings, have something at your place very early in the season and get help making it really fun and memorable. Also ask yourself why you really want to go to these events. You might unveil some interesting insights.


    Remember, this holiday season you have to be clear about what you want. Embrace your desires, then take action.

    For more life tips and tools please visit

    For more tips on surviving the holidays, please visit:


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    As the holidays quickly approach, shopping lists grow longer and you may find yourself second-guessing your gift ideas. What can you possibly give to your loved ones to let them know how special they are to you? For the cherished people in your life, a gift card just won’t do. Instead, give them the gift of storytelling with a serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Our collection of Chicken Soup titles offers a heartwarming book for every relationship in your life.

     Chicken Sou pfor the Soul Mothers

    Instead of a new perfume, give Mom:Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates Mothers


    A mother’s face is a reflection of the world around her. When her children are hurt, she grimaces in pain. Hers is the first face we see as we enter the world and the one that stays with us long after she is gone. This celebration of the many faces of motherhood makes the perfect holiday gift.




    Chicken Soup for the Father's SoulInstead of another tie, give Dad: Chicken Soup for the Father’s Soul


    For new dads, granddads, single dads and dads-to-be, this book offers an entertaining and inspiring collection of stories on the triumphs and trials of the amazing journey called fatherhood. True experiences and insights reassure fathers, reminding them to cherish the special moments in life.





     Chicken Soup for the Soul Brothers and Sisters

    Instead of a scarf and gloves, give your siblings: Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating Brothers and Sisters


    There is no other family relationship quite like it! Rivalry, competition, camaraderie, love, and support—all are found in the bond between brothers and sisters. Filled with humorous, thoughtful, and heartfelt memories and experiences, this extraordinary book celebrates the power and strength of having a friend who will be there for you throughout your life.





     Chicken Soup for the Grandparen'ts Soul

    Instead of festive slippers, give Grandma and Grandpa: Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul


    In this latest addition to the Chicken Soup family, children and grandchildren will relive memories of their parents and grandparents as they read stories of love, humor, and wisdom. Each touching tale inspires readers to cherish time together with their families, while grandparents themselves learn the value of their contributions and realize what an honored position they hold within their circle of loved ones. A perfect gift to show grandparents how much they are loved.





     Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating People Who Make A Difference

    Instead of a Chipotle gift card, give your friends: Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates People Who Make a Difference


    This inspiring collection of stories chronicles the small kindnesses that make a huge difference, the ordinary experiences that have profound impact, and the defining moments that change the lives of everyday people.





     Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul

    Instead of a framed picture of the two of you, give your partner: Chicken Soup for the Couple’s Soul


    Whether single, separated, or someone’s spouse, everyone wants to find and keep this elusive thing called love. Whether you’re beginning a new relationship, hoping to work through a difficult one, or just trying to recognize extraordinary moments in your life, a sweet spoonful of this enchanting Chicken Soup collection will warm the hearts of the romantic readers everywhere.

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    “Charming and offbeat . . . an uplifting romance, in a kinky sort of way.”

    The Washington Post

    “Subtle and compelling . . . A sharp, witty and touching well-observed tale of friendship, sex, and love.”

    Time Out

    Open Road Media is proud to publish the ebook edition of the debut novel from beloved critic and writer Helen Eisenbach. 

    Eisenbach’s articles are a staple of the Huffington Post’s art section, and her work has previously appeared in publications such as Salon, the New York Times, and New York magazine. She is also known for her satirical how-to guide Lesbianism Made Easy.

    Originally published in 1989, Loonglow follows a cast of witty, young characters navigating life and love in New York City.

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    Through her main character Clay Lee, Eisenbach explores what it means to be young and adrift in New York: “No one cares if you act any special way. Or expects you to acknowledge anyone’s existence but your own . . . He’d never felt such complete freedom; it was exhilarating.”

    Clay, a fresh transport from Tennessee, wanders through city life living off family money and playing at being a writer. Only when he becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman after a chance encounter is he truly inspired to write and publish. Also tied up in the fate of the beautiful woman is Louisa “Louey” Mercer, a young book editor nursing a broken heart. When their paths inevitably cross, Louey and Clay begin a collaboration that changes them both. 

    Grab your copy of Loonglow here!

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    (New York, NY—December 10, 2014) – Six titles from the award-winning creator of hit TV show Luther will be released as ebooks on January 27, 2015, including the highly acclaimed memoir Heartland. Print editions will also be available.

    Known for his psychological thrillers and crime novels, Neil Cross has been called “Britain’s own Stephen King” by The Guardian and “fierce and poignant” by The Sunday Times. He is equally praised for his literary storytelling as for his modern gothic portrayal of individuals forced into extraordinary circumstances.

    In addition to Heartland, Open Road Media will release Captured, Natural History, Always the Sun, Holloway Falls, and his first novel, Mr. In-Between, in print and ebook editions.

    “We are so happy to bring Neil Cross’s work to an American audience who has so embraced the television series Luther,” says Charlotte Greig, Open Road’s Strategic Advisor in the UK.

    In addition to his nomination for the PEN/Ackerley Prize for Literary Autobiography, Neil Cross was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The author has penned episodes of Dr. Who and Spooks, and is the creator of the hit BBC series Luther. A US version of Luther is scheduled to pilot on Fox in 2015.

    About Open Road Media

    Open Road Integrated Media is a global digital publishing company that creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing ebooks through a proprietary online platform. Open Road has published ebooks from legendary authors, including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, Bette Greene, Jack Higgins, and Dorothy L. Sayers. 

    For more information, visit

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    You’ve slept through class, your notes look like chicken scratch, and now finals are banging at your door. We’ve all been there. Alleviate some of your anxiety with these useful subject guides that are short enough to get through in one sitting, yet powerful enough to catch up on all your basic course information.

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    A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought by George W. Carey

    Reading and analyzing the U.S. constitution can be the driest of tasks. A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought simplifies not only America’s most important document, but also the people and concepts that built the foundation of American political tradition.

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    A Student’s Guide to International Relations by Angelo M. Codevilla

    How can one country affect the decisions of many? What does the rise of China have to do with western countries? A Student’s Guide to International Relations makes sense of the international system and our complex world.

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    A Student’s Guide to US History by Wilfred M. McCray

    US history is convoluted and lengthy and it can be a tedious exercise to study all of it. A Student’s Guide to US History covers all the basics, making US history a breeze for when you take that advanced course next semester.

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    A Student’s Guide to Economics by Paul Heyne

    Economics can be a daunting subject. While it may seem like there’s a lot of ground to cover, A Student’s Guide to Economics provides a sweeping overview of fundamental principles.

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    A Student’s Guide to Psychology by Daniel Robinson

    Psychology is one of the most popular college majors, but it can also be one of the most difficult. A Student’s Guide to Psychology makes it easier by going through all the major schools and disciplines, navigating the human mind in less than eighty pages.

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    A Student’s Guide to Religious Studies by D. G. Hart

    Religious studies raises important questions about faith. As a result, students often have high expectations about what the course will offer them. A Student’s Guide to Religious Studies explores the best way to approach the subject and how to benefit from the study of religion in different contexts.

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    A Student’s Guide to the Study of Law by Gerard V. Bradley

    Courts and lawyers hold extraordinary power in our society, so it’s no surprise that the subject of law has always been a controversial one. A Student’s Guide to the Study of Law helps make sense of the concepts and cases that have shaped American law and prepares students for advanced studies and concepts.

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    A Student’s Guide to Music History by R. J. Stove

    Full of humor and trivia, A Student’s Guide to Music History is a concise account of music history written for the layperson. It packs centuries of music into less than 150 pages in a way that will read like a story and not a textbook.

    Don’t see your field of study here? Check out the ISI series page to discover guides for all of your academic interests.

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  • 12/10/14--06:00: Patrick O'Brian Centenary


    Labeled as some of the best historical fiction ever written, Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series, captured readers across the globe with its historical accuracy, period language, and beloved characters. In honor of the Patrick O’Brian’s centenary birthday on December 12, three titles by Dean King, award-winning author of narrative nonfiction, will be available for $3.99 for the month.

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    Little was known about Patrick O’Brian when fame came to him late in his seventies. His personal life had long been kept out of the spotlight, but Dean King uncovers his mysterious past in the stunning biography, Patrick O’Brian. Born in London as Richard Patrick Russ, O’Brian left his first life behind and emerged from World War II with a new identity. O’Brian’s biography reveals a fascinating and long-hidden life of a brilliant man.

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    For Patrick O’Brian fans,Harbors and High Seas, is an incomparable reference, packed with maps and illustrations. Dean King’s volume is a captivating portrait of life at sea and a fresh look into the world of Aubrey and Maturin.

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    A Sea of Words is an essential companion for any reader of Aubrey-Maturin novels. The extensive glossary also includes a number of enlightening essays on politics, naval medicine, and ships of the age, contributing to the understanding and appreciation of Patrick O’Brian’s historical dedication.

    Whether you are a first time reader, a maritime historian, or a Patrick O’Brian aficionado, Dean King’s books will be sure to heighten your adventures with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin on the high-sea.

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    The most successful covers are like love at first sight. Whether the cover needs to convey the adrenaline thrill of action, the seductive allure of romance, or the awe-inspiring worlds of sci-fi fantasy, a publisher has to make a cover that appeals to its audience.

    We can all remember a book that we bought for its cover—one that signaled to us that the book is exactly something we want to read. 

    Want to know how all that magic happens? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the fantastic new cover art for The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was made.

    Step 1: The Matchmaker

    Cover art starts with the people behind the scenes: The editor has a vision for how the cover should look, and the designer must come up with art that fits the editor’s vision. Sounds pretty simple, right? 

    It can be—except that sometimes neither the designer nor the editor knows the other beforehand. Often the designer is a freelancer and so interactions between the designer and the editor could end up being kind of like going on a blind date, hoping for the best.  


    Luckily, to avoid those awkward dates where each person spends more time twiddling thumbs than talking, there is a third crucial person involved in the process: a kind of matchmaker, the art director, who finds the perfect match between book editor and freelance artist.


    Step 2: The Blind Date

    The art director is given a cover brief from the editor—a list of qualities the editor wants expressed in the book cover. In the cover art for The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, for instance, the focus was on creating a cover with an epic, narrative feel that captured, but didn’t focus on, the fact that the book is military science fiction. Above all, the cover for this Hugo- and Nebula Award–winning book had to feel iconic.   

    Taking that information, the director can then look through her database of freelance artists to pick the one who she feels can best appropriate the editor’s requests. 

    Step 3: Puppy Love

    Once the freelancer is chosen, it’s time to start the actual design. The chosen artist is given a few weeks to come up with a few different cover designs based on the editor’s suggestions. These designs are sent to the art director who then vets them and, in turn, sends off the best of these designs to the editor. In the case of The Forever War, two designs were sent over to the editor for comment.

    The Forever War first drafts:

    Step 4: It’s Not You, It’s Me

    Of course, the first attempt is hardly ever the one the reader will see on the final front cover.  Anything and everything can be revamped again and again to find the cover that feels just right. As you can see in The Forever War, there are both drastic changes to the central image and slight changes to the size and color of the font. It’s a lot of hard work to find “the one!”

    Some of The Forever War’s revisions:


    Step 5: Love at First Sight

    Many drafts, back-and-forth emails, and brainstorming sessions (and perhaps a few gray hairs) later, that perfectly crafted cover becomes the one we eventually see in the stores and online. Once the editor loves the cover, the author takes a look too, and sometimes that can send a cover back to the drawing board! Luckily for The Forever War’s eager readers, this whole cover art process was completed in just five weeks.

    The end goal is always to make the reader feel something; to help the reader find love at first sight. What do you think of the new cover?

    The Forever War’s final cover art:


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    Craving a lively getaway in the dead of winter? Take a trip through the United States and Europe with globe-trotting romance novels. We’ll take you from the sandy shores of the Golden State to the rain-soaked roads of London, and all the exciting places in between! The romance titles listed below are not only positively cosmopolitan, but riddled with adventure, lust, seduction and betrayal. So grab a book (or ten), your passport and some sunglasses and get ready to hit the open road…

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    We begin our expedition right here in the States. Starting on the sun-drenched shores of the west coast, Eileen Goudge’s Stranger in Paradise transports readers to the California town of Carson Springs. Samantha Kiley has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself as her daughter prepares to marry Wes, a billionaire twice her age. Even worse at holding their tongues are the residents of the idyllic California town, as rumors begin to spread about both Samantha’s daughter and Sam herself - who’s fling with Wes’s son gets every tongue in town wagging. Soon, though, a town once only rocked with rumors gets hit with something much more vicious . . . murder.




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    Venturing southeast, our next stop is Alabama, where Janet Dailey’s Dangerous Masquerade tells the story of the soft-spoken Laurie and her impulsive celebrity cousin LaRaine. Although the two couldn’t be more different in personality, their physical resemblance is uncanny. When LaRaine lands a role in a brand new movie and is needed elsewhere, she asks her sweet and shy cousin to fill her shoes—literally. Laurie agrees to take on the role of LaRaine, but trouble ensues when LaRaine’s billionaire husband turns up unexpectedly. 




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    Heading up north, Gordon Merrick’s The Lord Won’t Mind takes us to a lavish estate in post-Depression New Jersey, the setting for a budding twenty-something romance between the dashing Charlie and the young, unassuming Peter. The two men must navigate their sexuality, their desires and society’s expectations in Merrick’s New York Times bestseller about a gay romance in the summer before the Second World War.





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    Continuing on our journey north, Canada is the next stop on our agenda. In Andrea Kane’s My Heart’s Desire, readers meet Alexandria Cassell, a lady with lucky lineage who’s destined to be situated amongst the top ranks of London’s high society. Much to the chagrin of her wealthy family, however, Alexandria despises the shallow mindlessness of high society. Desiring adventure and a new life, she boards a ship heading to Canada and falls for the boat’s captain, a man running from his identity, as well.




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    Buckle up, because we’re heading across the pond. Amanda Scott’s Dangerous Illusionsships us to London, where Lady Daintry finds herself engaged to a man she’s never met. Although our protagonist cherishes her independence, Daintry has no choice but to accept the offers made by returning war hero Lord Penthrope. Yet Penthrope, in all his glory and splendor, is not who he appears to be . . . and if he’s discovered, he could lose everything, including our lovely Lady.




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    Want to spend a little more time in England? Our trip doesn’t end in London! Philippa Carr’s The Miracle at St. Bruno’stransports readers back to sixteenth-century England to tell the coming-of-age story of a young woman, Damask, who falls for a mysterious orphan and experiences both fervid love and shattering betrayal. Set under the reign of Henry VIII, Carr’s romance is a treat for romantics and historians alike.





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    Nearby in Scotland, Maggie MacDrumin is fighting for her people’s independence. In Highland Fling, Amanda Scott tells the story of the fearless Maggie and her relationship with an aristocrat who’s her sworn enemy . . . and passionate lover. Maggie must navigate a dangerous romance with the man she can’t resist, while keeping her moral obligations uncompromised.






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    At this point, you’re probably more than ready to hop a flight to Europe’s more luxurious offerings, aren’t you? Well, Irene Cao has you covered. In I Watch You, readers will find themselves amongst the endlessly charming canals of Venice, Italy, where a young art restorer is caught in the middle of a dangerously sensual love triangle. Elena knows she would feel safe in Filippo’s comfortable, familiar embrace, but the seductive Leonardo’s tempestuous allure makes her unsure of everything she thinks she knows.





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    Your Mediterranean adventure doesn’t stop in Italy. Meredith Rich’s Bare Essencebegins at a lavish extravaganza on the beautiful islands of Greece and tells the story of the rise and fall of those behind the perfume industry. Apparently, some nasty betrayal, lust and greed are involved in the making of some very sweet scents.






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    The last stop on our international itinerary brings us to the lofty, luxurious beaches of the Caribbean. Anne Kemp’s All Fruits Ripetells the story of two sisters: one in need of help, the other in need of a tropical getaway. After a month of misfortune, Abby could use a vacation. Good thing her sister has beckoned her to the Caribbean in need of assistance with some mysterious personal business. Will Abby take a chance on adventure and leave her world behind?

    And even more importantly: will you?

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    It was one of those lucky breaks.

    I was doing research for a novel, the hero of which was an NYC mounted policeman, so I called the commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Kathy Ryan. I’ve always believed if you ask for the moon you might get what you need. So I asked the impossible: Could I be a fly on the wall so as to accurately capture the daily life of a mounted cop? Amazingly, she nPoliceot only said yes, she assigned me my very own cop.   

    Enter Officer Tom. My personal detail. He was to be at my disposal night and day, to answer questions, show me around, whatever. I was having visions of Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, minus the stalker. Officer Tom could easily have been cast in the Kevin Costner role. He was handsome, brave, and cut a fine figure on horseback. I was newly single and hot to trot. Literally. As an amateur horsewoman, I was itching to climb in the saddle. Officer Tom said that could be arranged. 

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    He was helpful in so many ways. He answered all of my questions and provided crucial background. He gave me his phone number so I could call on his off-duty hours if I had questions. Over time, we struck up a friendship as my novel, Trail of Secrets—and fictional cop, Tony Salvatore—took shape. I paid several visits to Troop B headquarters. On one occasion things got steamy—once again, literally—when I happened to arrive during a shift change. Men from the outgoing shift were emerging from the locker room amid clouds of steam, some naked from the waist up. And let me tell you, those guys are built. It was a “bodice ripper” romance come to life.

    Officer Tom suggested I learn to shoot if I was going to write about cops. He took me to the police firing range, where he let me use his off-duty revolver, a .38 Smith and Wesson. Turned out I was a pretty good shot. I nailed that paper silhouette, 10 slugs right in the heart. I also learned it’s harder than it looks on TV. The recoil on a .38 packs a punch. My hand was sore for days afterwards. I still have that paper silhouette full of holes, proof of my excellent hand-eye coordination and dedication to . . . ahem, research.

    Okay, I confess it was fun. I’m not a gun person. I don’t own gun. I will vote for gun-control legislation every time. But target practice brought out my inner Annie Oakley. It also tapped into the primitive part of my brain that says there’s something sexy about a man with a gun. When he’s on the right side of the law, that is. (I think I watched too many Westerns growing up). Needless to say, I didn’t hesitate when Officer Tom asked me out on a date. Newly single, I jumped on it.


    He also took me riding on patrol with him. I would’ve liked for it to have been on city streets, but I’m pretty sure that’s against regulation. Anyway, Pelham Park in the Bronx was close enough. The horse was very well-trained, I recall. The horses used by the Mounted Unit have to be “bomb proof” to make the grade. If one should spook at a loud noise or sudden movement, it could prove deadly. These animals are as skilled at their jobs as their police handlers. It was a pleasure and honor to ride one.

    The romance with me and Officer Tom was short-lived. Soon after we started dating, I met the man I would later marry. Officer Tom took his 20 and retired to Texas. We remained friendly and when Trail of Secrets was published, I sent him a copy. I describe him in the acknowledgments as “an officer and a gentleman.” He was thrilled. Our story had a happy ending.  

    But it wasn’t over yet. The book launch party for Trail of Secrets, at the Corner Bookstore on Madison Avenue, boasted a pair of NYC mounted Cops on horseback at the entrance, courtesy of DI Ryan. Like Cinderella’s coachmen, it was only for that brief, shining moment in time. But, oh, what a moment.


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    If you like your novels steeped both in factual evidence and gripping fiction, then the controversial tales by author Richard North Patterson are for you. Each of Patterson’s law-savvy novels covers a different contested topic in American history - all of which are still incredibly relevant - and contested - today. 

    Below are five controversial topics discussed and dissected unabashedly in Patterson’s novels.

    Women’s Rights

    Protect and Defend deals with the election of the first female chief justice and her involvement in a lawsuit regarding reproductive rights. Patterson’s decision to create a novel surrounding women’s rights and heavily-debated topics like parental consent and abortion earned him a Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood for his vast knowledge and excellent execution.

    Right to Arms

    Balance of Power confronts the political divide on the heated topic of gun violence in America. Patterson’s thrilling and highly informed take on an extremely tense issue provides readers with both insight and excitement.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    In the Name of Honor is the story of a lieutenant who turns against his fellow soldier and close friend, killing him and citing the trauma of war as his excuse. Has war truly broken the lieutenant’s soul, or is he taking advantage of countless other soldiers’ viable claims of PTSD?

    Terrorism Politics

    The Devil’s Light is an extraneously researched work delving deep into the world of espionage and depicting the potential for nuclear terrorism. Patterson’s story hits close to home: it focuses on an Al Qaeda plot to smuggle a nuclear bomb from Pakistan in an attempt to eradicate a densely populated Western city.

    Capital Punishment

    The Outside Man is a story of one man’s tireless quest to save a potentially innocent man from taking a seat in the electric chair. Will our protagonist be able to save the alleged innocent man in time to bring the real culprit to justice? Outside Man gets hearts pumping by the second page.

    More about Patterson:

    When he’s not at work on a new novel, Patterson can often be found speaking at rallies in Washington DC, raising awareness and speaking in support of women’s reproductive rights, speaking against gun violence and much, much more. The wide range of hot and heavily-debated topics taken on by the author has made him known as an established risk-taker - yet another reason why his books yield so much appeal, success and praise. Readers from People Magazine to President Clinton have heralded the unique blend of entertainment and insight found in the expertly-crafted novels of Patterson. Find out more here

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    Here at Open Road, we’re looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store! We’re so excited in fact that we enlisted the help of Soul Numbers author and celebrity numerologist Michelle Arbeau to give us a sneak peek at what 2015 will hold for a few Open Roaders.

    Jane Friedman, Cofounder and CEO
    Day of Birth: 9 /19
    Numerological Profile:
    Life Theme Number (sum of digits in DOB) = 38/11 (spiritual guide, global calling)
    Personal Year (theme for 2015) = 9 (high change)
    Peak Cycle (outer cycle lasting 9 years) = 10 (communication, mentor)

    Forecast for 2015: For Jane, it’s a save the best for last because 2015 is her time to finally reap the rewards of all that she’s strived for. The 38/11 is considered a Master Number in numerology meaning they are a “guide” of sorts, in particular the 11 is the “Spiritual Guide.” Whatever they do it has to have meaning and depth to help better something or someone, no materialism or superficial stuff.

    Jane is entering the highest change year, the 9. In numerology we go in cycles of 1-9. She is also entering an outer peak cycle (9 year cycle) of 10, the earth guide also called the mentor. The 10 is the number of communication which also happens to be not only Jane’s gift but how she shares that gift with the world. If you add your month/day of birth only and reduce, it shows you what your main purpose/gift to the world is all about. The sum of the year reduced is your “how.” Jane is all about communication with a double whammy 10. She’s definitely in the right business!

    Next year for Jane will be a whirlwind of change but in a good way because it’s all about coming into her own and finally fully embracing her path and purpose. It’s time step out into the spotlight in a big way, Jane!

    Hanna Lee, Digital Content Associate
    Day of Birth: 12/14
    Numerological Profile:
    Life Theme Number (sum of digits in DOB) = 33/6 (Master Teacher, global calling)
    Personal Year (theme for 2015) = 16/7 (profound inner change, start year one way, end it completely different way)
    Peak Cycle (outer cycle lasting 9 years) = 8 (independence, doubtless, self-confidence, going after goals)

    Forecast for 2015: Oh boy. This may prove to be a challenging year in many ways for Hanna because she’ll be entering the 16/7 year. The word HATE vibrates to the 16/7 (adds to 16, 1+6=7). It doesn’t mean she’ll have a hate-filled year at all but it does mean it will be a very truth-revealing year. When we say “I hate you” for example, there isn’t much left to say, the truth is laid out bluntly. Likewise, under the influence of the 16/7 year, it’s like the layers of the onion are peeled back, revealing the truth of the matter. Many of your current challenges will be put under the microscope and it’s a huge year of self-reflection. Think spiritual mountain kind of energy. Looking back to where you’ve gone/what you’ve done, looking ahead to where you want to go next.

    Hanna’s outer 9 year cycle is an 8 (entering 7th year of cycle of 8) which is the number of independence, wisdom and knowledge. It is often a doubtless and confident energy which will help you through this very self-reflective time. With the global year being an 8 also, Hanna’s year could be spent really pruning out the relationships and other elements in her life that no longer resonate with her.

    Ira Silverberg, Strategic Advisor
    Day of Birth: 12/9
    Numerological Profile:
    Life Theme Number (sum of digits in DOB) = 30/3 (inspiration, imagination, self-doubt, self-criticism)
    Personal Year (theme for 2015) = 11/2 (self-reflective but can also be a power year where things come together)
    Peak Cycle (outer cycle lasting 9 years) = 12/3 (12 is whole/complete number, 3 is number of unity)

    Forecast for 2015: Next year could prove to be make or break. The 11/2 year can be spiritual mountain energy, looking back to what you’ve done and looking ahead to where you want to go next. However, it is a Master Number and a guiding energy (the spiritual guide) so there is a global nature to this particular Personal Year. Considering your outer 9 year cycle is a 12/3, it very well could be a year when everything finally comes together for you in a big way. Interestingly, you just came from a 9 outer cycle which means you’ve probably spent the last couple (if not 3) seeing movement or change in all areas of your life. This coming year will be different though, in the sense that you’ll be able to make sense of it all and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Think of it as defragging your computer and putting everything where it goes to become whole and complete.

    Lindsey Robertson, Marketing Coordinator

    Day of Birth: 12/11
    Numerological Profile:
    Life Theme Number (sum of digits in DOB) = 24/6 (Creative genius, dot connector, creative expression)
    Personal Year (theme for 2015) = 4 (focus on restructuring foundation, cleaning out closet, literally and figuratively)
    Peak Cycle (outer cycle lasting 9 years) = 5 (5 is number of the heart/emotions, freedom of expression but as an outer cycle: career-focused)

    Forecast for 2015: Next year is all about career but more about restructuring that part of her life. She’s in a Personal Year of 4 which means the theme for her year will be about examining what fits and what doesn’t in her life. Cleaning out the closet, literally and figurative. Restructuring her foundation but with a highlight on career because her outer 9 year cycle is a 5 (I left corporate banking to doing what I do now under a double 5, Personal Year of 5/Peak Cycle of 5). The year isn’t big on outer change, more about shuffling, restructuring, reorganizing as a means of clearing the runway for the next year, which will be a 5 (then Lindsey will be in a double whammy 5 = career big time). She’ll start to feel that double whammy 5 career energy as soon as fall 2015 as the foundational 4 moves out.

    Whitney Jacoby, Marketing Manager 
    Day of Birth: 6/28
    Numerological Profile:
    Life Theme Number (sum of digits in DOB) = 39/12/3 (Intellectual Socialite, can be social butterfly)
    Personal Year (theme for 2015) = 6 (focus on relationships: starting, ending, changing them.)
    Peak Cycle (outer cycle lasting 9 years) = 7 (truth-seeking, hindsight learning, spiritual mountain energy,)

    Forecast for 2015: It’s a 6 year for Whitney meaning although it is called the number of creativity or creative expression, the main focus of the year will be relationships: starting, ending, changing them in some way. Lots of shifting on that front because not only is her Personal Year (theme for 2015) a 6 (relationships), her outer 9 year cycle is a 7, the number of truth (spiritual mountain). It’s all about getting to the raw, real truth about where you stand with the people in your life. Add to that the self-confident global year of 8 and you’ll soon realize respect from those in your life is a requirement not an option.

    Interested in learning more about numerology? Check out Michelle’s book Soul Numbers, available for $1.99 through December

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    Action stories of men on their own, fighting for what they believe in, avenging the deaths of those they love continue to gain popularity. Eric Van Lustbader, continuing author of the Jason Bourne series describes outsiders as lone wolves. Novels starring lone wolves are immensely popular—take the Presidential Agent series by W. E. B. Griffin or the First Team series by Larry Bond and Jim Felice. And of course, the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum and continuing author Eric Van Lustbader. There was one man who started it all, though, and that man is Don Pendleton. His enormously popular Executioner series, of which he wrote 38 original titles, were the first of the lone wolf action novels.

    In the Executioner Series, US Army sniper Mack Bolan has come home from Vietnam to find his family destroyed, victims of the Mafia. This brutal massacre launches an unending, one-man crusade against the mob bosses, raging across America and into Europe. Throughout the novels, although Mack Bolan gets help from old army buddies and police officers, he is virtually on his own, risking his life everyday to avenge his family. To the Mafia, he is known as the Executioner.

    Today all 38 books in the Executioner series are available as ebooks for the first time! So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the first five books in the Executioner series.

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    War Against the Mafia: After 12 years in Vietnam, with 95 confirmed kills, Mack Bolan comes home to the United States only to find that his father has gone berserk, slaughtering his family before taking his own life. But Mack knows his father was no killer. He was under pressure from a gang of Mafia thugs who were after his money and were willing to destroy his life to get it. For the sake of his old man, Bolan declares war on the men who drove him mad. Five loan sharks are getting into their car when a bullet slams one of them to the ground. Before the others can draw their guns, four more shots ring out, leaving them as the first casualties in the Executioner’s war. From his hometown to every city in America, Mack Bolan will deliver justice from the barrel of a gun.



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    Death Squad: Hunted by the police, the FBI, and every hood in America, Mack plans his next attack. In Los Angeles he crashes a swinger’s party and finds his old army buddy George Zitka tied to a chair, being tortured by a few Mafia heavies. Seconds later they are dead, and Mack and Zit are talking about getting the old gang back together. It’s time to form a death squad. Bolan wants sharpshooters and scouts, demo experts and hard-core killers—10 soldiers forged in the fires of Vietnam. With them he will escalate the war against the Mafia as the Death Squad lives up to its name.





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    Battle Mask: Mack Bolan has a $100,000 bounty on his head, and every cop in Los Angeles is on his tail. After narrowly escaping a Mafia assault on his hideout, Bolan decides to lose his greatest liability: his face. With the help of a former army surgeon, Bolan’s chiseled jaw and steely eyes are transformed into the features of someone unrecognizable—and decidedly Sicilian. With trademark cunning, Bolan infiltrates the syndicate that butchered his friends, cozying up to the boss’s daughter in search of vengeance. Soon his new face, like the one before it, will strike terror into the hearts of mafiosi everywhere.





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    Miami Massacre: At the home of the mob capo of Arizona, a silhouette slips across the yard, kills two guards with a silenced pistol, and eases inside the house. Mack Bolan, the ruthless sniper known as the Executioner, has come to cleanse Phoenix of Mafia rule, but the boss is not at home. He’s on a plane to Miami, to a meeting of every capo in the country, and his agenda has only one item: destroy the Executioner once and for all. Bolan had planned to fight his way across the country, taking out branches of the crime syndicate one by one, but the Miami summit presents a chance to destroy the Mafia with one single blow.





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    Continental Contract: While staking out Mafia activity at Dulles airport, the one-man army known as Mack Bolan gets caught in an ambush. He shoots his way past the first wave of mob guards, escaping onto the tarmac. As a cordon of police close in on the most wanted man in America, he is forced to fly or die. He chooses the former, hopping a ride on an airliner headed for France, where he will do battle with the most savage villains the Old World has to offer. On the flight he encounters a celebrity who could be his double—and who is kidnapped by the Paris mob as soon as he steps off the plane. To rescue this unsuspecting innocent, Bolan will bring the Paris underworld to its knees.

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    When Randy Shilts’s revealing book,Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military, was first published in 1994, the issue of gays and lesbians in the military was front and center. The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy was enacted the same year. During the 18 years DADT was in place, military personnel were prohibited from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexuals and openly gay homosexuals were forbidden from serving in the military.

    Conduct Unbecoming paints a portrait of two very different militaries—the Vietnam era military where homosexuality was accepted and the post-Vietnam era military where homosexuality was punishable. The enactment of DADT in 1994 played a significant role in perpetuating the hostile attitude towards homosexuality in the military. While DADT was repealed in 2010, allowing openly gay personnel to serve in the military, many obstacles still remain.

    Randy Shilts earned acclaim as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle and as an author with the success of his books And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic and The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. However, Conduct Unbecoming was published with no author tour or appearances, as Shilts was too ill from AIDS-related complications. The last paragraphs of his groundbreaking book were dictated from his hospital bed. In an interview with the New York Times, Shilts said,

    “It struck me that straight people are in tremendous denial about the existence of prejudice against gay people, even those supportive of gay rights don’t get it. They don’t realize what a despised minority we are in America. The military issue is a way of showing the extent to which prejudice shapes the lives of gay people.”

    Shilts knew that the effort involved in taking on a project like Conduct Unbecoming could shorten his life, but sharing the stories of gays in the military and bringing the issues to light was worth the risk. 

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    Prizewinning short story writer Mavis Gallant once wrote, “Like every other form of art, literature is no more and nothing less than a matter of life and death.”

    Gallant lived this out by giving each story the exact amount of space it needed in order to be told. Talking about her short story “Lena” (1983), the Guardian’s Christopher Hawtree wrote, “in lesser hands, its nine pages would be the stuff of a novel.”

    Gallant wrote two novels, but devoted most of her time to her preferred medium of short stories, publishing an astonishing 116 in the New Yorker alone. Open Road Media is honored to present the works of this prolific and distinguished author.

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    From the Fifteenth District

    In this collection of nine stories set in postwar Europe, Gallant relates the tales of those stranded in relationships, places, and even times in which they don’t belong. As an expatriate herself, Gallant expertly relates the universal sense of otherness felt by those outside their home cultures.

    Home Truths

    In Gallant’s ode to her home country, she explores the diversity of people and experiences in Canada. Gallant moves effortlessly through time and place, taking the reader from Depression-era Quebec to 1950s Paris to contemporary Vancouver while dealing with the universal themes of the innocence of youth, intrafamilial relations, and the expat’s growing feeling of distance from home.

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    The Pegnitz Junction

    This is Mavis Gallant’s look at how Europe handled the collective pain of World War II. In the title novella, one of Gallant’s longest short stories, a girl rides the train with her boyfriend and his son in postwar Europe. Onboard, she encounters all manner of personalities, each person burdened by the weight of what he or she has just experienced, openly bleeding from the emotional wounds of a terrifying global conflict.

    Check out Gallant’s other titles here!

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    So your shopping list is a mile long, your wallet is wincing, and deep inside, you’re wondering just how this ritual of riotous spending started anyway.

    While you’re checking off the list, why not give back to organizations and charities that really need some holiday cheer? You’ll be putting your money toward causes you can feel great about, and also putting smiles on your friends’ faces. Check it out:

    1.) Pet-Friendly Jewelry

    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals not only shelters and finds homes for animals in New York City, they also investigate crimes against animals and advocate for animal rights nationwide.

    For the person on your list with a heart of gold, consider these pewter paw print earrings. Three percent of the proceeds go to the ASPCA’s rescue and advocacy efforts.



    2.) An Inspirational Book

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    For the friend who’s tried every weight-loss tactic (maybe you’ve been trying them together), break the mold with a book that explains the missing ingredient in most weight-loss plans: self-love.

    All proceeds from Within by Dr. Habib Sadeghi are donated to Roots of Empathy, University of Santa Monica, and Healing Institute of Beings.





    3.) A Graphic Tee

    Sevenly donates $7 from every purchase to their current designated charity—which rotates between seven charities like Show Hope, Autism Speaks, Stand for the Silent, and more.

    Their trendy tees celebrate positive change and education, and are comfy to boot.







    4.) A New Kind of Christmas Carol

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    Think you’ve seen every retelling of A Christmas Carol imaginable? Think again. For the Dickens enthusiast, Christmas spirit–lover, or fantasy nerd on your list, check out this completely unique book:

    Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol was nominated for the World Fantasy Award and tells the story of the father of an autistic child dreaming of a Christmas miracle.

    The author Elizabeth Hand donates all proceeds to Autism Speaks in honor of special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy, who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.



    5.) A Fairly Traded Craft

    Handcrafted items sold through 7 Hopes United Fair Trade Gifts are made by artisans all over the world, and sold for a fair price. Their promise: “Your purchase of fair trade products ensures that our artisans are paid a living wage for their work, working conditions are safe, and no children are exploited.”

    Items like this “peace” bowl will delight the recipient, and fund the artists in India.

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