5 min read

Stone Soup Digest 01.28.22

substack, muhlenbrink, cat purrs

Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.

As you’ve probably heard, Barnes & Noble is currently running a promotion that takes 25% off pre-orders! You can pre-order my upcoming horror novel, Just Like Home, and the collected volume of my original comic series, Eat the Rich, at a steep discount. In this age of supply chain nightmares, pre-orders mean more than ever. Reserve your copy now to guarantee that you’ll be able to get your hands on the books when they release!

Ty Schalter regarding Substack’s latest announcement

Ty Schalter is an excellent journalist and consistently brings a clear eye to complex situations. In the wake of Substack’s most recent announcement that they don’t intend to do anything about anything so long as they’re making money, Schalter wrote an insightful analysis of the way language can be used to manipulate readers and obfuscate a company’s intentions. This is vital reading for anyone who is interested in taking a closer look between the lines of one company’s attempt to dodge accountability for their business plan.

The art of Jochen Mühlenbrink

This extraordinary painter uses oils and canvas to create landscape scenes as viewed through fogged-over windows. I have never seen anything like his work before; each piece is uniquely transporting.

Applications are open for Alpha

The Alpha workshop is now accepting applications! Alpha is a small annual workshop for teens from around the world. If you or a teen you know are passionate about writing, this is an excellent opportunity to grow in your craft.

“Learn about writing and publishing. Meet other teens who share your interests. Talk about short stories, novels, and films. Have your application story critiqued. Brainstorm new ideas, write a first draft, receive feedback, and rewrite. Attend readings by the authors. Give your own public reading. Learn about submitting for publication, and send off your story at our submission party.”

Cats purr on purpose

On twitter this week, Dr. Raffaela Lesch discussed the fact that a cat’s purr is done with intention. When your cat is purring at you, it’s really purring at you.

Cover reveals

This week saw two stunning cover reveals:

You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro

Middle school is the worst, especially for David Bravo. He doesn’t have a single class with his best (and only) friend, Antoine. He has to give a presentation about his heritage, but he’s not sure how—or even if—he wants to explain to his new classmates that he’s adopted. And after he freezes up at his first cross-country race, causing an accident that leaves Antoine with a busted ankle, he’s 100 percent sure he’s cursed.
David wishes he could do it all over. He doesn’t expect his wish to summon a pushy, annoying talking dog who claims to be his new timeline guide. According to Fea, somewhere in his past, David made a choice that put his life on the wrong track. And she can take him back to fix it.
David knows exactly what he wants to undo: the accident that hurt Antoine. But when his first try (and the second, and the third) is a total disaster, he and Fea are left scrambling through timeline after timeline, trying to figure out what she’s really here to fix—a quest that may lead them to answers in the most unexpected places.

Available September 20. Pre-order here!

Number One Fan by Meg Elison

On her way to a speaking engagement, bestselling novelist Eli Grey gets into a cab and accepts a drink from the driver, trusting that everything is fine. She wakes up chained in the stranger's basement. With no close family or friends expecting her to check in, Eli knows she needs to save herself. She soon realizes that her abduction wasn't random, and though she thinks she might recognize her captor, she can't figure out what he wants. Her only clues are that he's very familiar with her books and deeply invested in the fantastical world she creates. What follows is a test of wills as Eli pits herself against a man who believes she owes him everything--and is determined to take it from her.

Available August 30. Pre-order here!

I’m Reading

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef's Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying — not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she's focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They're there to prove the trolls — including a fellow contestant and their dad — wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.

A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives--a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth's crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping--into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

Add GOLIATH to your tbr here. Order it from your local independent bookseller, or order it via Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers throughout the US and the UK. For international shipping, you can try Barnes & Noble. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a Libro.fm link. You can also request GOLIATH from your local library — here’s how to get in touch with them. And if you need to order from the Bad River Website, here’s a link that will leverage your order for good.

Kitten Update

Bert lost a baby tooth this week! If you didn’t know that cats lose baby teeth, welcome to this bright new landscape of facts about cat mouths. Normally, cats eat their baby teeth, but apparently this one didn’t make the cut. It is very, very, very tiny. (I am not including a photo here because some people might not “enjoy” looking at a bloody kitten tooth.) Also, this morning the kittens discovered that they can open my bedroom door by slamming into it in unison! What a bracing way to start the morning.

That’s it for this week! If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing.