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Exclusive Excerpt: "Pretty Baby" by Mary Kubica

51RDgDf0JuL._UX300_[1]A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica. Find out more about Pretty Baby in an exclusive excerpt.

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Light and Cathartic: Books to take on your next road trip

 Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost and Never Always Sometimes, discusses his all-time favorite road trip novels.

NeveralwayssometimesTraveling and book-loving are not always compatible. The former calls for lightness and mobility, the latter begs for weight and stillness. Both, however, love that cinematic sigh. You know the one.

When you finish a chapter and look up from the page—however slightly changed by what you’ve just read—suddenly noticing the breeze and the faces of passersby, and it escapes your lungs before you can even think to call it a cliché. Or when you park the car and step outside and the world looks so much different than it did just a few hours ago when you started driving, and the varied beauties of the world and your ability to witness them just squeezes the sigh out of you.

My goal for this list is to tell you about the books that can cause that sigh and yet are compatible with the schedule and mobility of a road trip. Something you can read in a couple sittings while exploring the coffee shops in a new city, perhaps. Or something to read in the car, if you’re one of those blessed people who can (please don’t read while driving). Something light, yet cathartic.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan - For such a short book with such short chapters, this one packs an astounding emotional punch. Perfect if your road trip is taken with a significant other, or due to a breakup. Yes, it’s entirely applicable to both. Levithan masterfully gives heart and honesty to the highs and the lows of relationships.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton - It’s set in the real world, but it transports you to some other universe. Not at all about travel, this favorite of mine from 2014 is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, charming story. Read if you’re stuck on a family trip to somewhere commonplace and you want to escape to somewhere magical.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed - Strayed’s beautiful writing is possibly overshadowed here by her wise, down-to-earth voice. You want catharsis? Every bit of advice she offers people in this book comes with its own sigh of wonder and admiration. Easy to read a little at a time, and perfect to do so if you’re feeling a little lost (shameless self-plug).

Mosquitoland by David Arnold - Get a little meta and read a story about a road trip on your road trip. I just finished this one on a flight, and it definitely causes the aforementioned sigh. Riddled with humor, warmth and wisdom, this is a feel-good story about a complex character who does not feel so good. Read if you’re running both from something and steadfastly toward something else.

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang - Another favorite from last year, and one I myself read while on a road trip from San Francisco to Seattle. Not the lightest of books, if we’re speaking subject matter, but it’s a book you want to keep devouring. Gorgeous writing, and emotionally powerful. Definitely a book to read in one sitting, in a new city, surrounded by strangers.

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Do You Believe in Ghosts?

As a former animator at Pixar, illustrator Christian Robinson couldn’t resist creating an animated book trailer for Leo: A Ghost Story. To make it interesting, he teamed up with students from an elementary school and asked, “Do you believe in ghosts?”

  

 

Q&A with writer Dan Jurgens and "Bat-Mite" artist Corin Howell

Kindle Daily Post spent some time at San Diego Comic-Con with DC Comics writer Dan Jurgens and artist Corin Howell.  The two are currently collaborating on the six-issue "Bat-Mite" series, and Jurgens is writing the new "Batman Beyond" title, as well.  Both "BAT-MITE #3" and "BATMAN BEYOND #3" are available today.

617JOaWriIL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_BAT-MITE is a very different comic book, tonally, than much of the DC Comics line.  Was that what drew you to the project, and is it something you’re having fun with?

DAN JURGENS:  Well, prior to this I had been writing FUTURE’S END, which was an intense weekly, and some of the CONVERGENCE story, which was also very layered and very intense.  I kept telling our co-publisher, Dan DiDio, that I wanted to try something different. I just needed to do something totally different from what I had been doing.

We were talking about themes and at one point I said, what if we did it with Bat-Mite? So we were off and running at that point and, for me, after spending the last two years in that really intensive stuff, to do something loose and crazy has really been a lot of fun. 

Is there a freedom that comes from knowing it’s a six-issue mini-series, versus having to craft it as an ongoing?  Or would you like to see it become an ongoing title?

JURGENS:  If people want to see more BAT-MITE, it would be fun to do, certainly.  In the meantime, it really has been enjoyable to know that it’s something that has a beginning, middle, and end.  What I envision one day is a nice little trade paperback, Corin will have drawn every page in it, here’s BAT-MITE.  It’s a great presentation of the character.

51tBUz4Zw-L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Corin, BAT-MITE is your first work for DC.  How have you found the experience?

CORIN HOWELL:  It was a little intimidating, especially working with big names like Dan here. But it’s actually turned out to be very informative. I’m learning a lot, especially with Dan, but it’s really fun, too.  I’m getting like, “I can do all these expressions!” and make it incredibly animated, so it’s really a lot of fun.

Are you interested in doing more with Bat-Mite specifically, or the DC Universe in general?

HOWELL: I really do want to do more with Bat-Mite.  I keep thinking, who can we pair him up with next? The other day I was thinking, what if he teamed up with Bizarro? What if he went with Green Arrow? Or what if he did this?  I’ve been watching a ton of Justice League cartoons lately, and getting that idea in my head like, “I want to do this. I want to do more.”  But I definitely want to do more BAT-MITE down the line.

Switching gears for just a second, Dan, you’re also writing BATMAN BEYOND.  As you mentioned, you worked on CONVERGENCE and FUTURE’S END.  So how far out did you know who was going “back to the future”?  And what is it like, writing the canonical future of the DC Universe?

JURGENS: When we were in the early planning stages of FUTURE’S END, we knew we were going to have Terry McGinnis come into the story, and that he was not going to make it out the end of the story, and that it was going to be Tim Drake.  That was the loose plan, right from the beginning. 

A previously-seen future, or something brand new?

JURGENS: We were able to build it more and more and get to the point where it’s the DCU classic sort of future – “Great Disaster Future,” we call it – along with the Batman Beyond animated timeline, and blend them into one cohesive storyline.  That’s really what it’s been all about, and it’s been a lot of fun doing it.

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Hundreds of Archie Comics Newly Available For Kindle

Archie Comics have been all-ages favorites for nearly 75 years.  Now, it's easier than ever before to keep up with the adventures of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the entire Riverdale gang.  The Kindle Comics store now features more than 1,700 Archie Comics titles, including the newly re-launched Archie comic by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, the upcoming New Riverdale titles as well as Archie Horror and Dark Circle comic series.

Archie Comics #1The expanded selection is part of an agreement between Archie Comics, comiXology and Amazon that was announced earlier today.

While Archie’s graphic novels have long been available in the Kindle Store, the hundreds of single issue titles debuting today include many popular series and characters from the Archie Comics catalog 

Kindle readers will also have same day as print access to new releases, including the new Archie series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples and the upcoming Jughead by Chip Zdarsky, Betty and Veronica by Adam Hughes and Life with Kevin by Dan Parent and J. Bone.

“As we look forward to celebrating our 75th anniversary, it’s an ongoing priority for us to engage our fans in new and innovative ways,” said Jon Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics.  “We are very pleased to continue serving our readers around the globe through the comiXology platform, and extremely excited to reach a brand new reading audience through the Kindle Store.”

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Humor in Crime

Authors S.G. Redling, Karen MacInerney, and Johnny Shaw discuss what it means to be funny in crime fiction.

  

 

Q&A: Bill Willingham on the "Fables" Finale

This week sees the publication of "Fables #150," the final chapter in the critically acclaimed, award winning Vertigo series.  Creator Bill Willingham shares his thoughts on the end of his 13-year storytelling odyssey, and what he hopes to accomplish with the final installment.

Fables_150How do you feel now that FABLES is coming to an end?

BILL WILLINGHAM: Well, it’s weird. Like anything else, it’s done in stages.

Has it come to end when the last issue is out? Because when that finally happens, I will have not been working on FABLES for almost two, two-and-and-a-half months or so. I mean, it came to an end when the decision was made to wrap it up. It came to an end when my part was done, but I’m still seeing wonderful pages of art for stories come in. It was very incremental. And I think, in one sense, I would have liked to have done that sudden plunge off the cliff all at once. No chance on changing my mind.

It was very much that falling off the cliff, but before that you’re sliding down some kind of slippery slope and so there’s many chances where you can almost kind of turn around and recover. And maybe that was a bit more anxiety-laden than the sudden version. But, yeah it happened in increments. I don’t know that it ever built up to the point where this was the moment where it was like, “Okay, that’s it. It’s over.”

What is it like to have your creations turned into things like the FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US video game and digital-first comic series of the same name?

BILL: It’s pretty cool. When we started the discussions on doing a comic adaptation of the game adaptation of the comic—which seemed a little bit odd—when that started, and I was flirting with the idea of do I really have time to do this myself, I would have probably done a much stricter, just straight adaptation using their lines of dialog and using only those scenes that occur in the game.

I don’t know that it would have occurred to me as it has to Matt [Sturges] and Dave Justus to expand on all of that. To do a little background on those things that occur in the game that lend themselves to, well here’s the backstory of this and here’s the backstory of that. So I’m delighted by it. For a couple of reasons: one, just like when the game came out—even though I had some advanced knowledge of it, sort of kind of knew where the story was going—it was nice and exciting to see and to be able to play the game and to be surprised by it. Because I’m just about the least surprised by any issue of FABLES person there probably is. That was nice, and now the comic adaptation of THE WOLF AMONG US is doing the same thing. They are doing a very wonderful, very fresh and faithful adaptation of the game, but still supplying new material. It comes as a pleasant surprise to me

In terms of FABLES and all the ancillary series, what’s been the most memorable moment for you over the last 13 years?

There was a gradual moment when it sort of dawned on me over a period of time that this series might actually have legs. That it might have found enough of a readership to keep going. And then it’s continuing to find new readers. I think that’s memorable in the sense that I don’t quite trust it. Even now that we’re wrapping it up, I’m still hoping that FABLES is going to catch on someday...So, yeah just that realization.

Before FABLES, I did quite a few things for Vertigo that would get some nice attention, but very uninspiring sales. So to see that we might have a successful book on our hands—was kind of nice. I wish I could pin that down to a moment, but it’s still dawning on me.

With all the storylines merging at the end of FABLES, what’s been the most challenging part of writing that kind of culmination?

Well the practical challenge was don’t forget anything important. And now every tiny, tiny little potential plot thread has not been neatly tied up. We’ve alluded to certain things but we couldn’t possibly take care of every single question any reader might have.

That said, I hope we got all the big stuff. That all the big stuff, the important stuff is resolved in some way.  Maybe not resolved in the way the readers hoped and expected, but at least resolved.

The less-practical and perhaps more important version of that is in each case where we’re tying up plotlines and storylines, there was a lot of pressure to say to myself, is this important enough for this character? Am I serving this character well enough by saying this is what happens to them? And multiply that times however many ridiculous number of characters we’ve had—that was a pretty big consideration.

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Exclusive Audio Excerpt: "The Price of Justice" by Marti Green

Best-selling author Marti Green shares an exclusive audio excerpt from The Price of Justice the newest book in her Innocent Prisoners Project series.

 

If You Like This You Should Try This | Suspense

Authors compare their newest books to other titles and television shows.

  

 

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Good Guys Gone Bad

Authors Reed Farrel Coleman, William Lashner, and Harry Hunsicker discuss their favorite dynamic characters and why good guys that go bad are so appealing.