The Buddhist on Death Row by David Sheff

Jarvis Jay Masters’ early life was a horror story whose outlines we know too well, alas. Born in a hard part of Long Beach, CA, his home was filled with crack, alcohol, physical abuse, and the men who paid his mother for sex. He and his siblings were split up and sent into foster care when he was six, from whence he progressed quickly to juvenile detention, car theft, armed robbery, and ultimately San Quentin. While in prison, he was set up for the murder of a prison guard, a crime which landed him on death row, where he’s been since 1986.

At the time of his murder trial, he was also in solitary confinement, a 5’-by-11’ cell he would occupy for 22 years. He was by turns sullen and violent, an understandable combination given his circumstances, but also one that produced unbearable headaches, seizures, and panic attacks. A counselor repeatedly offered to teach him breathing exercises, but he insulted the offers again and again until desperation forced him to ask her how to do “that meditation shit.”

That’s where Masters’ life and this book take off. With uncanny clarity, Sheff describes the nuts and bolts of enlightenment. We discover each nut, each bolt as Masters does: how easy and how hard it is to just sit and breathe; how one minute of sitting can become five, then ten, then twenty; how those minutes spawn heightened perception and deepened compassion, the right way to remember one’s pain, and much more.

The Academy by C.J. Daly

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Academy by CJ Daly! KU fans have already racked up over 1 million pages read! A Readers' Favorite 5-STAR book.

Just seventeen, Kate Connelly already feels like she’s suffocating. Since her mother’s death, she’s stuck raising her brothers by herself out in the New Mexico scrub. All Kate wants is a little distraction from the same-ole, same-ole that is her life.

When two mysterious guys show up at her work, she thinks her wish has come true, until they start giving her a hard time. Like her life isn’t hard enough. Something about them niggles her, but she brushes it off. She’s never going to see them again anyway . . . right?

Then they appear in an alley one night to either rescue or kidnap her (she’s still not sure which) before disappearing like figments of her imagination.

Kate decides to put the bizarre encounters out of her mind to focus on that elite military academy that’s been pursuing her gifted little brother. When one of their cadets shows up at her high school, he creates instant pandemonium. And just happens to be one of those mysterious guys.

Coincidence? Mama said there’s no such thing. And to always trust her instinct. But that might be kind of hard, because every time she’s around Cadet Peter Davenport, her gut starts flip-flopping on her. And her heart.

Kate's about to find out, once again, how neatly life can be divided into the before and after.

Book Viral recommends "without reservation."

Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti

Can't make it to YALLWest? We've got you covered! Enter for a chance to win 1 of 25 advanced copies of GIRL, UNFRAMED!

A teen girl’s summer with her mother turns sinister in this gripping thriller from Printz Honor medal–winning and National Book Award finalist author Deb Caletti.

Sydney Reilly has a bad feeling about going home to San Francisco before she even gets on the plane. How could she not? Her mother is Lila Shore—the Lila Shore—a film star who prizes her beauty and male attention above all else…certainly above her daughter.

But Sydney’s worries multiply when she discovers that Lila is involved with the dangerous Jake, an art dealer with shady connections. Jake loves all beautiful objects, and Syndey can feel his eyes on her whenever he’s around. And he’s not the only one. Sydney is starting to attract attention—good and bad—wherever she goes: from sweet, handsome Nicco Ricci, from the unsettling construction worker next door, and even from Lila. Behaviors that once seemed like misunderstandings begin to feel like threats as the summer grows longer and hotter.

Real danger, crimes of passion, the kind of stuff where someone gets killed—it only mostly happens in the movies, Sydney is sure. Until the night something life-changing happens on the stairs that lead to the beach. A thrilling night that goes suddenly very wrong. When Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break.

Remember, evidence can be deceiving...

The City Where We Once Lived by Eric Barnes

Win a signed hardcover copy of THE CITY WHERE WE ONCE LIVED, a novel that STATION ELEVEN's Emily St. John Mandel said is "A rare and truly original work: a hard-edged fable, tender and unflinching, in which a man's descent and renewal is mirrored by his city. An eerie, beautifully written, and profoundly humane book.”

SHELF AWARENESS, starred reviewed - “Prescient . . . haunting . . . a cautionary tale about a world that feels a hair's-breadth away.”

CHRIS OFFUT, author of COUNTRY DARK - “Written in a gorgeously spare language that perfectly reflects the dystopic future this novel depicts, The City Where We Once Lived kept me enthralled throughout. At the core is a deep and admirable compassion for humanity.”

"Exceptional ... From the first pages all the way to the last, I was drawn in." - Seattle Book Review

"Barnes's violent, haunted and creepy novel about failing societies will attract readers of dark, post-apocalyptic fiction." - Library Journal

"A stunningly-written tale of loss and grief." - Lindsay Moran, BLOWING MY COVER

"Spare and elegant, Eric Barnes shows us what it means to inhabit - a building, a city, a life. And also what it means to be inhabited - by memories, by ghosts, and maybe, just maybe, by hope." - Elise Blackwell, author of THE LOWER QUARTER

“In bare-bones prose that is subtly affecting, the novel is a haunting portrait of why people form bonds and the many ways those bonds can be torn apart." (5 out 5 stars) - Foreward Magazine

A Child Lost by Michelle Cox

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of Book 5 of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series!

A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist's strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie implores Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.

Muscletruck and Mítu by Stanley Wright

When Trent Muscletruck, a young contractor, forces Ainara Mítu, an immigrant student, off the road, Robin Goodfellow a.k.a. Puck, a fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conjures a curse whereby Muscletruck must speak in iambic pentameter until he saves Mítu from a danger which draws near. All of this is a story Puck is telling to Shakespeare and his gathered characters in a limitless garden where they are spending eternity.

Speaking poetically upends Muscletruck’s life. His customers think he is mocking them with his new, elaborate speech, while his employees believe he is possessed by the devil. In an attempt to return his life to normal, he reluctantly tries to protect Mítu from this unspecified danger, but he only succeeds in making her life worse, as he inadvertently draws the attention of Immigration officers to her.

With both their lives in turmoil Muscletruck and Mítu are drawn together into an adventure. They flee to Sanctuary City, where new adventures populated by strange characters await…

My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles by Tani Adewumi

He learned chess while living in a homeless shelter. Now he teaches each of us about life.

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 final copies of "My Name Is Tani...And I Believe In Miracles" by Tani Adewumi—he didn't know what the Boko Haram was or why they had threatened his family. All he know was that his parents said they were moving to America. Tani and his parents tell us their incredible story of sacrificing everything for family—living with nothing bu hope.

Tani's triumphant spirit reminds us of the power of kindness as he shares his journey of going from refugee to chess champion

Almayer Station by Sean Danker

Enter to win an ebook copy of ALMAYER STATION, a new science-fiction horror novel from Sean Danker, author of ADMIRAL and FREE SPACE. ALMAYER STATION follows a disgraced military doctor on assignment to a remote station at the edge of space, where the unscrupulous crew is in over their heads. There's something out there that they can't even see, let alone explain--and the only way to survive is to find out what it really is.

The Age of Influence by Neal Schaffer

Enter to win 1 of 36 personally signed copies from the first shipment of the brand new book The Age of Influence.

This book explains why influencer marketing has become so popular today and provides proven case studies and a playbook to help you or your business cut through the hype and collaborate with influencers for maximum ROI regardless of industry or how big or small your company might be.

Readers will learn:

The why and how to leverage social media influencers for a brand or business

What having a "visual voice" means in today's social media—and why brands struggle

How to find and approach social media influencers

The varying categories of social media influencers and which you should choose

The 16 different ways to work with social media influencers

How much to pay social media influencers, and how that's calculated

How to measure influencer marketing success

The benefits of taking a longer-term view of influencer relationships

How a company or the reader themselves can become an influencer

Here's what other business authors are saying:

Mark Schaefer: "An exceptional book from a wise and trusted authority."

Martin Lindstrom: “’The Age of Influence’ is a highly informative book - and powerful addition to your marketing library.”

John Lee Dumas: "Neal has written the manifesto for influencer marketing. If you're trying to figure out how your business can IGNITE from the explosion of digital influencers, look no further."

Good luck!