The cure for cabin fever? More books, of course

Books & Buzz Magazine, June 2020, Volume 2 Issue 10

As I type this, many of us are still spending inordinate amounts of time indoors as the world continues to grapple with a pandemic affecting almost every aspect of daily life.

In my area, hair salons and barber shops have been closed since mid-March, so at this point, it’s impossible to tell, just by looking, the back of my head from the front. You’d need to hear my muffled voice—coming from under my thick cloth face mask—to know where to direct your attention.

The cure for the cabin fever so many of us are experiencing? Why, more books, of course.


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That’s why I’m inviting you to join us for our virtual book fair, the September Book Reading Party. From the comfort of your home, you’ll be able to read the books we’ve been working so hard to write and publish over the past year. RSVP now, and you might even discover your new favorite author this fall!

It’s all part of the Book of the Year Competition, which rages on over at ChapterBuzz, and if you’re the author of a published book, you’re invited to enter. Up for grabs is a valuable prize package that includes promotion for your book, a premium membership to ChapterBuzz, and credit toward a complete publishing package for your next book. Enter today to compete for the biggest award we’ve ever given!

Now, let’s open up this issue and see what we have, shall we?

In a poem called “Little Wolf,” author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes, in vivid language, a “brutal and beautiful” life. “I tend to think or feel that I should always be a good deal further ahead than I am,” Allison writes, “even though ‘ahead’ is an immeasurable illusion.” It’s a short poem, but one you’ll want to read over and over.

Then, award-winning novelist Jodé Millman, who is also an attorney, has plenty to teach us about publishing contracts. This month, she goes into detail about force majeure, a clause that can release a publisher from the original terms of an agreement—and as you’ll see, it’s especially relevant during a pandemic. With her ability to turn an otherwise dry topic into a fascinating read, the information Jodé shares could help you avoid costly misunderstandings.

Regular columnist Shirley Holder Platt, as the award-winning author of Mama Needs New Shoes, knows a thing or two about how to use language effectively to evoke a reader’s senses. “If what you write doesn’t excite you,” she asks, “why would it excite anyone else?” In her column this month, Shirley shares a simple 3-step method for finding the words to arouse the senses.

And on the cover is, well, the creative mind behind the cover herself: graphic designer, film producer, and Pushcart Prize–nominated author Bri Bruce. I’ve worked with Bri for many years on books and other projects, and these gorgeous magazine covers you’ve been seeing every month are made possible by her talent.

In her interview article, Bri discusses how she discovered her true calling in life, why she desperately needs a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her office door, and how she happened to get involved in documentary filmmaking on the side. “It’s hard for me to say no to any project—and it’s very rare that I do,” she tells me. Bri loves working with authors, and is available to help with the cover of your book.

There are plenty of tidbits in these virtual pages to delight your senses, so kick back in that old rocking chair with a tall glass of iced tea—spiked, if that’s your jam—and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Now if I could just get the hair out of my eyes long enough to send this off…

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz MagazineSubscribe now for free!

Weekend reading: “Angel Maker” by Barry B. Wright

"Angel Maker" by Barry B. Wright

This weekend, dive into Angel Maker, Barry B. Wright‘s award-winning mystery novel-in-progress at ChapterBuzz:

The gruesome murder of a young child, Rebecca Grynberg, sets Inspector Alexander Collier on a roller-coaster ride of events that directly endangers his family. Propelled into a world of spies, espionage and what appears to be a series of unconnected murders, he learns that the lives of his son (Richard), fiancée (Elsa) and her Jewish family in Nazi Germany hang in the balance because of his investigations. Reluctantly, he joins forces with an unlikely group: a psychic medium, a one-legged British agent and a NKVD Soviet agent. Read Angel Maker now!

Chapter One: Beelzebub

The heavy grey mist that blanketed Bournemouth provided him a degree of camouflage. Ahead, there was a slight shimmer of the air. It became warped and twisted before it transformed to a soft susurration of wind. The 10:45 trolleybus passed, the last along this route, on its way to dock for the night. An angry wind swooped up from the ocean side, its salty taste igniting unwelcomed memories. The small, limp body in his sack stirred. In the pub across the street the lights went on and movement within made him hesitate. Several minutes passed before the pub once again was plunged into darkness. Hands numbed with coldness, he adjusted the oversized potato sack slung over his shoulder and continued along Fisherman’s Walk.

Ahead, the marquee above the Palladium Cinema had been turned off, closed for more than an hour. He had been among the last to leave. His prey moved again. Damn! The chloroform must be wearing off. He quickened his pace. Newspaper wrappers that once housed fish and chips, swirled about in the wind, companion to other detritus carelessly tossed aside earlier that day. A grease-stained front page from The Guardian pasted against a wall by the wind captured his attention. He smiled at its headline:

Gangs Unhampered by the Police
Synagogues Burned Down in Many Cities

Then, lifting his boot, he sent it on its way, turned into the alley beside the cinema and continued to the rear of the building. The wind howled as it raced across rooftops and between buildings.

Enjoy the rest of Angel Maker now!

Self-published authors, do you have the Book of the Year?

Learn more about TimSelf-published authors, have you written the ChapterBuzz Book of the Year?

Find out when you enter this year’s competition!

You’ve published an excellent novel, now share it with the world.

At ChapterBuzz, our members are looking for some great summer reading, so whether this is your debut novel or you’re a self-publishing veteran, this is your chance to connect with new readers and become a standout star in our community.

At the end of September, we’ll be giving out the biggest award (and the most valuable prize package) we’ve ever given for the book that gets the best reviews and most Buzz: Book of the Year.

Give your writing career a huge boost! Enter the Competition today

Calling all writers! The race is on for Book of the Year

Learn more about TimIf you’re the proud author of a published book (or are about to publish a book), you could be the proud winner of our Book of the Year award at ChapterBuzz!

This is the first time we’ve given an award this prestigious, or a prize package this valuable.

It’s a great way to get your book in front of our entire community of thousands of readers—and also get professional book reviews to further build your reputation as a novelist.

As our big winner, you’ll also enjoy free book promotion for that extra boost of publicity.

It all takes place at ChapterBuzz—our reading and writing community—where we’ve been working hard all year to prepare our novels for this moment.

Does your novel have what it takes to be Book of the Year?

Learn more & enter here…and good luck to you!

Calling all book reviewers! It’s time to crown a Reviewer of the Year

Learn more about TimAs we prepare to select a Book of the Year at the end of the summer, we’re looking for skilled book reviewers to help us determine the winner.

But as much as we’re looking forward to reading Book of the Year contenders, we’re equally excited to read outstanding reviews of those books.

So to recognize excellence in book reviewing and all the hard work that goes into it, we are also handing out an award for Reviewer of the Year!

The Reviewer of the Year will be one of the expert reviewers who offers his or her professional review services in our ChapterBuzz Service Directory.

In other words…you?

This is a great way for you to get your reviews in front of thousands of book lovers…and even win our big prize!

Think you’ve got what it takes? The first step is to learn more & enter the Competition. I can’t wait to welcome you to our community—and see you become Reviewer of the Year!