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Book Titles to De-stress

There is plenty going on right now. Politics are turbulent, international news is depressing, plus tax season and Easter are culminating in the next few days. Time for a break.

Some of the funniest things I’ve seen online lately are nostalgic about the 1980s politics. And we’ve seen a sales bump with our own 1980s nostalgia, Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob. Though the eighties were, in reality, filled with anxiety for many people about the global situation particularly the nuclear proliferation, looking back on them can feel relaxing compared to staying up with current affairs.

Siberiak takes the reader back in time to a peace mission where American High School students travel to Russia. The illustrations are cute and wry, and the text is the wandering of a teenage mind in a new setting. The pace is just right for a short back porch journey to an almost reassuring past.

Another Raincloud book that seems particularly appropriate for the current political climate, is the award-winning From Ashes Into Light, a Visionary novel about overcoming fascism (which as of this posting is heavily discounted on Amazon). Ultimately the message is about how dark times can also instigate triumphs and personal growth. This intense but uplifting read delivers us through several personal and cultural tragedies in a poetic and lyrical narrative.

Detailed Descriptions

Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure in the River Ob

In 1988, two years before the end of the Cold War, the US and the USSR held the world at nuclear ransom. Meanwhile, grassroots organizing is bringing American and Soviet youth together in missions of peace. What can a group of teenagers, on a raft on Siberia’s Ob River, hope to accomplish? With sensitivity and humor, SIBERIAK tells the tale of one young person’s journey of discovery and cultural immersion. A lovely coming-of-age story that takes place during a unique historical moment. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY calls Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob “…a kaleidoscope of impressions and perceptions,…facinating.”

From Ashes Into Light

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the hauntingly tragic story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and a East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times saving herself and family members from atrocities. With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with the reverberations of trauma. Friede is unable to find inner freedom until she meets her spiritual guide, a Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from the past are teachers and the horrors of history are also beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

In addition to the 2016 International Book Awards, From Ashes Into Light won the Living Now Awards Silver Medal for Inspirational Fiction, was a finalist in the 2016 Best Book Awards in New Age and Visionary Fiction, and was the winner of the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards in New Age and Visionary Fiction. 

Buy either Raincloud book from your local bookstore (if it’s not in stock you can order them), by calling this number and order directly from our warehouse in Chicago: 800-888-4741, or from your favorite online retailer.

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2017: Here We Go

Winter has come. In Northern California, there continues to be more rain and snow than we’ve had in a long time. The weather is a blessing, and hints of a lush, green spring.

To my friends and family, the New Year seems to bring excitement and foreboding in equal measure, as 2017 rings in uncertainty. At Raincloud Press, our authors have been busy sharing on their blogs, and I’ll put some links to the highlights here:

I am enjoying the cold and slower pace of winter, and the goal of taking time and not rush. It feels like an important gestation period for the various projects happening at Raincloud. I can feel the potential building for our first mainstream novel, House of Rougeaux (to be published most likely a year from now). The design team and the editors are gearing up and by April we should have the first physical copies and artwork to share.

If you haven’t already, please check out our currently available titles which are available everywhere.  Or order by phone directly from our distributor in Chicago (800)888-4741.

 

Happy New Year,

Erika Lunder

Publisher, Raincloud Press

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Raincloud Press Titles Receive the 2016 Best Book Awards

best_book_award_badgeThis is an especially good day at Raincloud Press. All three books that we published this year became finalists in the 2016 Best Book Awards! From Ashes Into Light is a finalist in both Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories is a finalist for Fiction: Short Stories. And Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU is a finalist in Comics: Graphic Novel.

From_Ashes_Into_Light_Award_Cover_90This is a huge honor for us! It’s great to have the talent of our authors, Gudrun Mouw and Jenny Jaeckel, acknowledged in this way. For Gudrun Mouw and her debut novel From Ashes Into Light, this is her third award. Although her reviews on Goodreads have been mixed, the award judges are picking this book again and again. There really is nothing like From Ashes Into Light: spiritual fiction about some of the world’s biggest tragedies and a soul who reincarnates through the ages. The narrative is poetic and shifts between four main characters, making it perhaps a little complicated for those used to genre fiction.

Our lead title for Fall of 2016 is Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU. The Best Book Award is the first award for this title and we are thrilled. Spot 12 is an adult comic book about the author Jenny Jaeckel’s time in the NICU with her newborn who was born with a genetic condition. The baby Asa survives a harrowing first five months. Spot 12 is getting great reviews and by word of mouth is transforming how friends, families and strangers are viewing the NICU experience.

For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories by Jenny Jaeckel got squeezed out of it’s summer publication spot so that Raincloud Press could transfer all our titles to a new distributor (Small Press United). For the Love of Meat was published in October alongside Spot 12, but without the same media attention. That wasn’t the original plan. But some books gain notice after slowly building fans, and this is what For the Love of Meat will probably do. Some of the biggest fans of this collection of short stories are librarians, who can appreciate the Latin flavor of this multicultural and multinational collection.

meat_front_3_small-copyWhat’s Next

We had a few titles scheduled for 2017, but I’ve pulled those to make room for House of Rougeaux, Jenny Jaeckel’s debut novel now scheduled for the beginning of 2018. This is a novel of a lifetime and we need a whole year to midwife our precious manuscript. Thanks go out to our test readers who are bouncing up and down with excitement over this title, and also managing to give insightful and helpful feedback. Next step, professional editing and cover mock-ups. Advance copies should be ready by June 2017.

Raincloud Press is publishing quality literature, inclusive literature and narratives that feed the best of what people have to offer: Community, love, overcoming oppression, humor, racial and spiritual tolerance and harmony, and an LGBTQ supportive environment. Something about that feels so radical right now. And I just can’t put my finger on why…

 

 

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Spot 12 ~ Published at Last

img_1254We have been very busy all summer getting ready for the publication of Jenny Jaeckel’s two latest books: Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU and For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories. Two very different books that ended up publishing in the same month because of delays over the summer.

If you need some recommendations for Spot 12, Jaeckel’s memoir about her baby who spent 5 months in the NICU because of a congenital condition, see this review from the blog tour: Lovely Bookshelf. Or you can go to www.spot12book.com for a list of about 12 reviews that went up during our blog tour that just ended today.

For the Love of Meat is Jaeckel’s first collection of short stories and reading it is like taking a mini-holiday around the globe. We did a review campaign on Amazon, getting advance copies in the hands of reviewer, and you can read the reviews if you want to hear what people are saying. Of course, both books are on Jaeckel’s Goodreads page, which is always a great place to go to decide whether you want to read a book or not.

As the publisher, October was very demanding. I’ll be glad to put my feet a little up in the coming months. But there’s not too much time for rest, because Jaeckel’s first novel is out to the first batch of test readers. After the next rewrite, I’ll be getting together with our editor, cover designer and publicist to begin to get House of Rougeaux in shape to be published in March 2018.

Yikes! That’s a long time from now! But the better the book, the longer it takes to come out because everything has to be just so. I won’t say anything more, except that this is an amazing full-length novel.

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Diversity at IBPA’s Publisher’s University

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Electric Bike for Borrowing in Salt Lake City, #PubU2016

Every year I consider going to IBPA’s conference Publisher’s University. This year, one of the reasons I chose to go was that IBPA brought in Newberry Award Winner Kwame Alexander to do the keynote speech. I live in a small college town where there’s is a great used bookstore, but never nationally renowned author events. I miss living in the Bay Area where there are so many events to chose from and a very diverse population. And as a publisher with multicultural titles, I was interested in learning more about success in the genre.

Kwame Alexander was an incredibly inspirational speaker. He appeared to have an endless amount of enthusiasm for the subject of publishing, and had such an awesome story about his own journey. Kwame encouraged us to tweet his hashtag #KwameRules which was fun. Then a huge gaggle of us went out to the hall to purchase one or more of his 12 books. I purchased “Surf’s Up” for my boys (aged 4 and 6). I came home yesterday and read it to them last night–they loved it!

I was happy to see a lot more diversity in the attendees than in the conference I attended two years ago and in the award winners in the Benjamin Franklin ceremony. It was heartening to me because I feel like the gaps that the big publisher’s leave is mainly in the non-white, non-male subjects like, for instance, Native American heroes (represented by In Search of Nampeyo by Steve Elmore, Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Winner). But I don’t want to fall into romanticizing diversity either. From a White person, that is unsavory.

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There is an edge I learn more about walking every day. How to be a thoughtful, engaged White person, who is not frightened by my own blind spots, but that goes out and tries to remedy them. I could not do it with out others pointing out privilege and sharing their personal stories about discrimination. And I’m grateful for the diverse stories out there.

In that vein, I talked to a lot of different folks at the IBPA conference about Raincloud Press’ forthcoming book that is in Spanish. This will be a big adventure learning how to get the graphic memoir Spot 12 (Spanish: Cunero 12) to an American Spanish-Speaking audience. I’m looking forward to what I will learn.

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Taking the TRAX to the airport, #PubU2016
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Ashes Free All This Week!

FlyingBks_AshesThe novel we published in February, From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, is free (Kindle version only) this week for the first time! It’s pretty fun giving a book away for free and seeing copies go out into the world and get into the hands of folks who wouldn’t otherwise have taken a look. As I write this, the book has been free only this morning and already about 60 people have downloaded it, and that makes me smile.

From Ashes Into Light is a special project for so many reasons. First and foremost because the subject matter is intensely relevant. This visionary and historical novel incorporates so many themes significant to right now, like:

  • War Refugees
  • Genocide
  • Overcoming Intolerance
  • Native American Issues
  • Spirituality
  • Judaism
  • Overcoming Sexual Abuse
  • Speaking Out Against Hate

From Ashes Into Light weaves a powerful, thrilling tale contributing to discussions on racism, anti-semitism, sexism, and sexual abuse. And this is the goal of publishing for us, at Raincloud Press, to be in the fray of helping boost consciousness and help where we can encourage greater harmony in the world. Now, of course, we do want to recoup our expenses eventually so we can keep doing this. And some of our authors need help with expenses, so we are interested in material success too. And in that vein, we ask for your help to review our books when you read them, because that helps us get the word out and sell more books. Review on Amazon, review on Barnes and Noble, review on Goodreads, or anywhere you may go for your reading information. Reviewing also helps contribute to this global and lively discussion, and whether you loved or hated the book, your review is valuable to us!

From Ashes Into Light will be free at the Kindle Store today through April 8th. But if you are reading this after, we will have another discounted window (where the Kindle version will be 99 cents) the week of April 18th (I don’t have the exact dates at this point).

From Ashes Into Light visits “Pimp That Character” today, check out the post!

And for the 6th week of our blog tour, there are some great stops this week. Stay tuned for another post with all the links! And thanks go out to all the bloggers that are making this happen.