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  1. Dear Brown Bookshelf:

    Betsy Bird, a children’s book reviewer who works in the Children’s Center of the New York Public Library, referred me to you.

    I’m an author with a new YA book coming out this October. Ugly To Start With is a collection of short stories being published by West Virginia University Press. The 13 stories–about growing up in The Mountain State–have all been published in good literary journals, including The Iowa Review.

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story “The Scratchboard Project” received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY for Black History Month. Rave reviews include Kirkus Reviews, The Boston Globe, The Buffalo News, and BookPage, along with award-winning literary magazines Mid-American Review, Black Warrior Review, and The Texas Review.

    Can I talk you into reviewing my collection, Ugly To Start With? I’d be very grateful. If you email me back, I’ll send you a professional-grade PDF of my collection for your consideration.

    I’m confident you’ll enjoy my stories.

    Thank you, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Kindly,

    John Michael Cummings

  2. terreecemclarke says:

    I would like to nominate “Legend of the Mantamaji, Book One” by critically-acclaimed television director Eric Dean Seaton, released October 8th.

    His graphic novel series is timely, compelling and important. Children of all races need to see people of color in the role of ‘superhero.’ It does children a disservice to see that only white males can save the world and it is particularly egregious that people of color are written out of the future in science fiction. What Seaton does in book one and throughout the LOTM series is create characters that are engaging and a story line that leaves readers on the edge of their seats.

    Seaton’s work has been rated ‘ON!’ by Common Sense Media, was the only independent publisher featured as a 2014 San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive and was the only black superhero graphic novel at New York Comic Con.

    From the website:

    Television director Eric Dean Seaton’s first graphic novel series is a tale exploding with brilliant art, action-packed adventure, true-to-life
    characters and a smart and twisting plotline. Published by “And…Action!” Entertainment, Legend of the Mantamaji tells the story of Elijah Alexander, a rising Assistant District Attorney in New York who learns he is the last of a race of mystical knights called the Mantamaji, who once protected mankind.

    When an ancient evil is resurrected, Elijah has to turn his back on everything he’s worked for, accept his birthright and learn how to use his magical warrior abilities to defeat the greatest threat the Mantamaji ever faced.

    The books features artwork by Brandon Palas, colorist Andrew
    Dalhouse who has worked with From Boom, Dark Horse, Image,
    Marvel and DC and lettering by Deron Bennett, who was nominated
    for an Eisner Award two years ago for his work on titles like Jim
    Henson’s Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Helldorado,
    among others.

    Book One is set for release on October 8th, with release dates for book two and three scheduled for December 10, 2014 and February 11, 2015, respectively.

    About Eric Dean Seaton:

    As an episodic director, Eric Dean Seaton is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee and has helmed over 38 different shows, 195 episodes of television, 18 music videos, two pilots for Nickelodeon, “Bad Fairy,” and “Sketch,” as well as two pilots for Disney XD, “Mighty Med,” which currently shooting its second season and “Kickin’ It,” which has completed its four year run.

    Eric has also directed episodes of NBC/Warner Bros. comedy
    “Undateable,” BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” as well as direct the pilot
    and co-executive produce the Starz Kids and Family Channel and
    international hit, “The Wannabes Starring Savvy.”

    He is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee for Best Directing in a Comedy Series and the 2014 winner of the Samella Lewis Award for Professional Achievement from The Ohio State University.

    http://LegendoftheMantamaji.com

    http://EricDeanSeaton.com

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