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Gregory Funaro


Sean Penn


Cathy Cash Spellman

LARK'S LABYRINTH Official Nerd Blast

Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Heather Burch

ANGEL BRED Official Nerd Blast

William L. Myers Jr.


C.L. Gaber


E.E. KNight


Raymond Fleischmann


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


Jeff Wheeler

THE KILLING FOG Official Blog Tour

Susann Cokal

MERMAID MOON Official Blog Tour

Ed Ruggero

BLAME THE DEAD Official Blog Tour

Kelly Braffet


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Netflix: All the Bright Places - Elle Fanning & Justice Smith - Official Trailer

Based on the internationally bestselling novel by Jennifer Niven, All The Bright Places tells the story of Violet Markey (Elle Fanning) and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they come together, discovering that even the smallest places and moments can mean something. This compelling drama provides a refreshing and human take on the experience of mental illness, its impact on relationships, as well as the beauty and lasting impact of young love.

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Starring: Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Alexandra Shipp, Kelli O’Hara, Lamar Johnson, Virginia Gardner, Felix Mallard, Sofia Hasmik, with Keegan-Michael Key, and Luke Wilson
Directed by Brett Haley
Screenplay by Jennifer Niven and Liz Hannah
Based upon the novel by Jennifer Niven
Produced by Paula Mazar, Mitchell Kaplan, Elle Fanning, Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding

Pictured: Elle Fanning ("Violet"), Justice Smith ("Theodore Finch")
Photo Credit: Walter Thomson

Two teens facing personal struggles form a powerful bond as they embark on a cathartic journey chronicling the wonders of Indiana.

Coming February 28 - Elle Fanning and Justice Smith star as two lost souls in this heartfelt film based on Jennifer Niven's bestselling YA novel.

Dealing with the loss of her sister, introverted Violet Markey (Elle Fanning) rediscovers passion for living when she meets the eccentric and unpredictable Theodore Finch (Justice Smith). Based on the internationally bestselling novel by Jennifer Niven. Only on Netflix, February 28.

Pictured: Elle Fanning ("Violet"), Justice Smith ("Theodore Finch")
Photo Credit: Michele K. Short
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.
jbnfilms, jbnspotlights

Netflix: Feel Good Trailer - Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie & Lisa Kudrow

Feel Good stars Mae Martin as Mae, a rising talent on the stand-up circuit and recovering addict whose addictive behaviors and intense romanticism dominate every single part of her life. When she meets pragmatic - but so far heterosexual - George (Charlotte Ritchie) she’s smitten, and much to her surprise George feels the same. They embark on an intoxicating romance as Mae juggles relationships with her parents, fellow addicts in a drugs support group, her colleagues at the local stand up club, and most importantly tries to transform her relationship with George from an addictive one to a healthy one. But the real question is can Mae replace a toxic addiction to love with love itself. Feel Good is a deeply personal, dark but hilarious story about two young people navigating the modern-day landscape of love, addiction, and sexuality - and trying to form a meaningful and lasting connection.

“I'm beyond excited for people to finally see my semi-autobiographical show Feel Good. I really hope that people laugh, connect with the characters, and root for Mae and George as a couple. We tried to make a show that's funny, heartbreaking, and occasionally completely bizarre, because that's what life is like.”

FEEL GOOD premieres on Netflix on March 19th
Cast: Mae Martin as “Mae”, Charlotte Ritchie as “George”, Lisa Kudrow as Mae’s mom “Linda”, Adrian Lukis as Mae’s dad “Malcolm”, and Sophie Thompson as “Maggie”
Episodes: 6 x 30-minute episodes
Written and Created by: Mae Martin and Joe Hampson
Director: Ally Pankiw
Producer: Kelly McGolpin
Executive Producers: Ben Farrell, Ally Pankiw, Hannah Mackay, Toby Stevens
Production Company: Objective Fiction out of Objective Media Group Scotland

Pictured: Lisa Kudrow, Charlotte Ritchie, Adrian Lukis, Mae Martin
Photo Credit: Matt Squire/Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.
jbnfilms, jbnspotlights

Friday, February 21, 2020

Christine Hemp Author Interview

Photo Content from Christine Hemp 

CHRISTINE HEMP has been called a "poetry adventurer." She has aired her essays and poems on National Public Radio's Morning Edition; she has sent a poem of hers into space on a NASA mission to monitor the birth of stars; and her program Connecting Chord, has united cops and youth offenders--in Britain and the U.S.-- through poetry. Her memoir Wild Ride Home will be released in February, 2020. She has been appointed to the Speakers Bureau for Humanities Washington for her talk "From Homer to #hashtags: Our Changing Language." She's received, among other honors, a Harvard University Extension Conway Award for Teaching Writing, a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for Literature, and an Iowa Review award for literary nonfiction. She currently teaches at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival and lives on Washington's Olympic Peninsula with two horses, two cats, and one husband.

What inspired you to pen your first memoir?
The book began as a story about my poet adventures (from facilitating a poetry workshop with cops and youth offenders in the highest crime-rate borough of London, to sending one of my poems on a NASA mission to monitor the prenatal activity of stars). But once I started, everything changed: My family would not stay out of the narrative. And then some gnarly things shouldered their way into my life, so I ended up having to accommodate those events and change the time frame of the book. But I was really struggling most with the structure—until Buddy, my little Arabian horse, galloped in and provided the thread which stitches the whole book together! I call it “telling one story to tell another.”

Tell us your latest news.
Well, February has been a wild and wonderful ride! My launch night reading and conversation sold out at our local theatre, so they had to book another event the following Saturday. Super fun. Also, the New York Times ran a condensed chapter from Wild Ride Home, as did And Psychology Today asked me to write a guest blog essay called “Love Lessons From My Horse.” Next week I’ll be doing readings and conversations in Seattle and then giving a TEDx talk with other artists. I’ll be reading in New York, Boston, and New Hampshire after that. It’s going to be a busy spring.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
My writing has been influenced by my whole life. I am a musician, a horsewoman, a fly fisherman, an artist, a teacher, a speaker, a traveler, a lover of family, friends, trees, animals, and stars. I am an adventurer. All these things inform my poetry and my prose.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Since Wild Ride Home came out on the 4th of February, in addition to strangers, I have heard from friends, colleagues, and students from many years back and from all over the world. They’ve taken pictures of themselves with my book – arriving in the mail or at their local bookshops-- and have posted them on Instagram and Facebook. It’s been so moving to hear from people from so long ago. Extremely rewarding and touching that a book can connect us across the miles.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your memoir?
I hope readers will find something of themselves in my book. For it is no longer my story, but theirs, too.

In your new book; WILD RIDE HOME: LOVE, LOSS, AND A LITTLE WHITE HORSE, A FAMILY MEMOIR, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
The story holds both joy and sorrow in the same cupped hand.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would say Marie Howe, the former New York State Poet Laureate. She was my teacher when I was in my 30’s, and the most important thing I learned from her) is not to lie. To go for the real truth, not the easy, predictable way out. She is going to be the host for my reading and conversation at Shakespeare & Company Bookshop in New York on April 22nd. I can’t wait.

How many books have you written?
Two. A small book of poems, That Fall, and Wild Ride Home.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Live a whole life, filled with people and passions that bring joy, even in the face of disappointment or grief. Then anything you do (jobs, relationships, all kinds of work) will be imbued with all that you live and breathe, Life becomes deeper, richer.

Which incident in your life totally changed the way you think today?
The day my horse Buddy came into my life.

What's your most missed memory? 
The huge birch tree in my childhood home on the shores of Puget Sound.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Have a real relationship with an animal of any kind.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
When I was diagnosed with cancer.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be? 
I would not have told my baby sister that the smallest grapes were the sweetest. She ate them and her faced twisted up in horror with the sourness.

How cute is this? Buddy who has “signed” the book with his hoof! 

  • 1. My Arabian horse Buddy picks up my gloves and hats for me – whether I’m riding him or on the ground.
  • 2. Cancer treatment can include unexpected sweetness and epiphanies of all kinds.
  • 3. I really did send a poem into space on a NASA mission to monitor the prenatal activity of stars. I witnessed the launch.
  • 4. In his 30’s my father climbed to the top of Seattle’s Space needle –the needle itself—for an ad campaign he wrote. In a suit and tie, no less. He also summited Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens (before it blew its top).
  • 5. Horses don’t talk with words; they talk with their bodies.
  • 6. It took well over a decade from the time I began this memoir to its publication. I was also working on and publishing poems, essays, art reviews and writing, producing, and hosting a radio show. But this memoir was a long haul, and I learned a ton.
  • 7. When I was a child, I believed witches lived in my bedroom closet.
  • 8. My mother taught me the delight and importance of identifying bird songs.
  • 9. Bad stuff happens; good stuff happens. It’s all part of the ride.
  • 10. I found the cover painting for Wild Ride Home when I was googling something else. When I saw the image, I said, “That’s Buddy!” I printed it out long before my agent sold my book. Since the painting was not visibly signed, it took a long time to track down the artist, but I did: She is a French painter of horses and her name is Bénédicte Gelé. My publisher loved the painting, Bénédicte and I have become long-distance friends, and the rest is horsestory.

An amazingly joyous memoir told with humor and brilliant irony that illuminates the beauty of the absurdity that is life.

Christine Hemp's debut work of nonfiction, Wild Ride Home, is a brilliant memoir, looping themes of finding love and losing love, of going away and coming home, of the wretched course of Alzheimer's, of cancer, of lost pregnancies, of fly fishing and horsemanship, of second chances, and, ultimately, of the triumph of love and family--all told within the framework of the training of a little white horse named Buddy.

Wild Ride Home invites the reader into the close Hemp family, which believes beauty and humor outshine the most devastating circumstances. Such optimism is challenged when the author suffers a series of blows: a dangerous fiancé, her mother’s dementia, unexpected death and illness. Buddy, a feisty, unforgettable little Arabian horse with his own history to overcome, offers her a chance to look back on her own life and learn to trust again, not only others, but more importantly, herself. Hemp skillfully guides us through a memoir that is, despite devastating loss, above all, an ode to joy.


"How is it possible to read a book with so much death in it and so much joy? Here is a family of people who look life straight in the eyes, a horse who runs circles around sorrow so that sorrow itself laughs out loud, and a writer who is such good company I never wanted the book to end."  —Marie Howe, New York State Poet Laureate 2012-2014 and author of The Good Thief, What the Living Do, and Kingdom of Ordinary Time, and Magdalene

"WILD RIDE HOME held me spellbound. I came out of this beautiful book really aware, in a visceral way, of all that life holds in store for us, both the wonderful and the tragic, and of how a melding of these inevitable experiences can (and should) make us stronger. There is joy if only we can see, taste, feel, and grasp it. I think of Christine Hemp’s poem in a rocket ship traveling millions of miles into outer space, and it would be wonderful if this memoir could travel around the earth helping us all to understand that, in the final analysis—no matter what—life is magical. This story gives me the sense that I, too, can deal with whatever when the time comes. At the end of WILD RIDE HOME my reaction is to say, “L’chaim.”  —John Nichols, author of “The Milagro Beanfield War

You can purchase Wild Ride Home at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHRISTINE HEMP for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Wild Ride Home: Love, Loss, 
and a Little White Horse, a Family Memoir by Christine Hemp.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Now, Then, and Everywhen by Rysa Walker

Print Length: 503 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612189199
Publisher: 47North (April 1, 2020)
Publication Date: April 1, 2020
Sold by: Services LLC
Language: English


“Walker (the CHRONOS Files series) opens the CHRONOS Origins series with this ambitious time-travel adventure…a twisty narrative that expertly blends the past and the future. Fans of intelligent time-travel stories will be rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fans of Walker’s (Courier to the Stars, 2019, etc.) CHRONOS Files series will enjoy seeing the pieces of that mythology falling into place here, but new readers can easily jump in to this origin story with no prior knowledge. An enjoyable, mind-bending time-travel adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews

From the bestselling author of the Chronos series comes a page-turning novel of time travel, fast-paced action, and history-changing events.

When two time-traveling historians cross paths during one of the most tumultuous decades of the twentieth century, history goes helter-skelter. But which one broke the timeline?

In 2136 Madison Grace uncovers a key to the origins of CHRONOS, a time-travel agency with ties to her family’s mysterious past. Just as she is starting to jump through history, she returns to her timeline to find millions of lives erased—and only the people inside her house realize anything has changed.

In 2304 CHRONOS historian Tyson Reyes is assigned to observe the crucial events that played out in America’s civil rights movement. But a massive time shift occurs while he’s in 1965, and suddenly the history he sees isn’t the history he knows.

As Madi’s and Tyson’s journeys collide, they must prevent the past from being erased forever. But strange forces are at work. Are Madi and Tyson in control or merely pawns in someone else’s game?

You can purchase Now, Then, and Everywhen at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Rysa Walker

RYSA WALKER is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The CHRONOS Files has sold nearly half a million copies since 2013 and has been translated into fourteen languages.

In addition to speculative fiction, she occasionally writes mysteries as C. Rysa Walker.

Rysa currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two youngest sons, and a hyperactive golden retriever. When not working on the next installment in her CHRONOS Files universe, she watches shows where travelers boldly go to galaxies far away, or reads about magical creatures and superheroes from alternate timelines. She has neither the time nor the patience for reality TV.

If you see her on social media, please tell her to get back into the writing cave.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

|Podcast| The Expanse - Cas Anvar

Photo Content from IMDB

Cas Anvar is an award-winning actor. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Anvar’s professional career began upon graduating from Canada’s prestigious National Theatre School. He is a true chameleon that has shone in dynamically diverse roles: from Oscar-winning best pictures to biopics to award-winning video game warriors. SyFy network took note of Anvar’s talents casting him in two recurring roles on two exciting series: “Olympus”, an action-packed mythological drama, and “The Expanse”, a futuristic thriller, in the vein of “Battlestar Galactica”.

Anvar’s big break came with his role in the Cruise/Wagner film ‘Shattered Glass’, alongside an A-list cast including Hayden Christiansen, Peter Sarsgaard and Chloe Sevigny. The film went on to be nominated for four Spirit Awards and a Golden Globe. Anvar is no stranger to working with Hollywood elite, showing his versatility on the big screen with roles opposite Ben Affleck in the Oscar-winning Best Picture ‘Argo’, Naomi Watts in the Princess Diana biopic ‘Diana’ (starring as Dodi Fayed), with Jake Gyllenhaal in the sci-fi adventure ‘Source Code’, and John Cusak in the suspense thriller ‘The Factory’. His film credits also include Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’ (with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta Jones), the feature comedy ‘Miss India America’ (with “New Girl”‘s Hannah Simone), and the upcoming horror thriller ‘The Vatican Tapes’ (starring Dougray Scott and Michael Pena).

The actor has been nominated for two ACTRA awards and two Gemini awards, and won the SAG award for Best Ensemble Cast for his role in ‘Argo’. Along with his film and television acting, Anvar’s other passion is voice work. He is well known for his roles in some of the world’s most popular video games: Call of Duty: BO2, Halo 4, and as Altair in Assassins Creed: Revelations.

On the small screen, Anvar has appeared on CBS’s “NCIS:LA”, USA network’s “In Plain Sight”, ABC’s “Boston Legal”, ABC’s “Castle”, CBS’s “Intelligence”, and the hit series “24” (with Keifer Sutherland).

When he’s not working, Anvar enjoys playing paintball with his team, The Suave Bastards, and buzzing around in their custom made tank called The Mighty Bastard.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast

A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter, and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.

Two hundred years in the future, in a fully colonized solar system, police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), who was born in the asteroid belt, is given the assignment to find a missing young woman; Julie Mao (Florence Faivre). Meanwhile, James Holden (Steven Strait), the first officer of an ice freighter, is witness to an unprovoked attack upon the ship, by craft believed to be from Mars (MCRN Federation). As news of the attack spreads throughout the system, the incident's flow-on threatens to destabilize already tenuous relations between Earth, Mars and The Belt. Far away from the struggles in deep space, on Earth, Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), a powerful United Nations executive and diplomat, works to prevent war between Earth and Mars by any means. Soon, the 3 find out the missing woman and the ice freighter's fate are part of a vast covert conspiracy which threatens all humanity.

jbnlatestinterviews, jbnmediainteriews, jbnpodcast, jbnfilms

Monday, February 17, 2020

|Podcast| Watch Hollow: The Alchemist's Shadow by Gregory Funaro

Photo Content from Gregory Funaro

Gregory Funaro grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and wrote his first story, The Ghost in the Window, in the fourth grade. He considers this to be his finest work, but unfortunately it has been lost to time. His first book for Disney-Hyperion, ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODDITORIUM (2015), was a New York Times best seller and an Amazon Best Book of the Month. His other works for children have received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and ALA Booklist. Check out WATCH HOLLOW, the first book in his series for HarperCollins, as well as its sequel, THE ALCHEMIST'S SHADOW, coming in 2020. Greg also teaches drama at East Carolina University, and is busy working on his next novel.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast
Praise for WATCH HOLLOW Series

“Filled with clever, magical, and instantly likable characters, Funaro’s excellent, fast-paced, and twisty mystery—packed with suspense, facts, magic, and an incredible, deeply thought-out world—will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“A well-wound tale of good versus evil.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The magically sentient house, creeping woods, and resident monster establish the story’s shivery Gothic feel, which will more than satisfy readers in search of a pleasantly scary read.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“There is magic, there is good and evil, and there is love all woven into a suspenseful and entertaining mystery. A well-crafted story that should be a hit with readers who enjoy a a good scare.” ―School Library Journal (starred review)

Only 10??? Okay, don’t hold me to this, but off the top of my head, these are some books that, for different reasons, made a huge impact on me at various points in my life:
  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

New York Times bestselling author Gregory Funaro brings us the second installment of the thrilling Watch Hollow series, where magic exists, monsters roam, and wooden animals come to life.

Having defeated the Garr, a vicious tree monster who lived within the enchanted woods of Watch Hollow, Lucy and Oliver Tinker now have the home they’ve always dreamed of: Blackford House. Powered by a magical clock and full of curious rooms and improbable knickknacks, Blackford House brims with the promise of new adventures.

Yet when a strange governess arrives from England—bringing with her the Kojima twins, Agatha and Algernon—the Tinker children’s once bright future quickly begins to dim. The Kojimas claim to be the rightful heirs to Blackford House, and soon after their arrival, a great evil enters the Tinkers’ new home, cursing it and turning it into an ever-changing labyrinth.

As a result, Lucy and Oliver, along with their clock animal friends, must now join forces with the twins to escape this labyrinth and save Blackford House, all while a new monster lurks around the corner.
jbnlatestinterviews, jbnpodcast, 

Anne Charnock Author Interview

Photo Content from Anne Charnock

Anne Charnock's latest novel, DREAMS BEFORE THE START OF TIME, is the winner of the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award, and was shortlisted for the BSFA 2017 Best Novel Award. Her novella THE ENCLAVE has won the BSFA 2017 Best Short Fiction Award. This novella is written in the same world as her debut novel, A CALCULATED LIFE, which was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and The Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards.

SLEEPING EMBERS OF AN ORDINARY MIND, her second novel, was named by The Guardian as one of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015

Anne Charnock's journalism has appeared in New Scientist, The Guardian, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and Geographical. She was educated at the University of East Anglia, where she studied Environmental Sciences, and at The Manchester School of Art, England where she gained a Masters in Fine Art.

As a foreign correspondent, she travelled widely in Africa, the Middle East and India and spent a year overlanding through Egypt, Sudan and Kenya.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
It took courage to start, because my career in journalism taught me to write concisely. This led me to believe I couldn’t write anything as long as a novel. However, living in an area of England famous for its wet weather, I wanted to imagine a future where climate change made my home as sun-baked as Tuscany in Italy. This added a cheerful note (for me at least) while I drafted my first novel, A Calculated Life—a dystopia in which the gap between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have-nots’ is becoming ever greater.

Tell us your latest news.
My fourth novel, Bridge 108, is released this month. It is set in the same world as my first novel, though they can be read in any order!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
At school I never dreamed of becoming a novelist. I was more interested in seeing the world beyond my hometown, in having adventures. As a young child I devoured Hergé’s Adventures of Tintin. Looking back I realise that Tintin was a reporter, so maybe the idea of journalism lodged in my brain during my very first days as a reader. Today, I love novels with complex storylines and fragmented structures, as though navigating these novels is an adventure in itself. For example, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, Sara Taylor’s The Shore, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Being published means I can justify research trips! In 2018, I took a train journey from England to China, stopping off in Moscow, Astana (recently re-named Nur-Sultan) and Almaty in Kazakhstan, and crossing into China to stay in Ürümqi and Beijing. My prize money from winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Dreams Before the Start of Time helped to fund this journey. The experience will no doubt permeate my work.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I don’t like to spoon-feed my readers as I’m sure they prefer to follow their own trains of thought. But I’d be delighted if they read Bridge 108, a climate change novel, and reflect on their own relationship with the environment and with nature.

In your newest book, BRIDGE 108; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
Bridge 108 is the story of a young migrant who becomes separated from his mother as they escape drought and wildfires in Spain. He is trafficked to England where he is put to work in a textiles workshop making upcycled clothing. The story is told in multiple voices – Caleb’s and the voices of adults he meets along the way—and charts his passage into adulthood. He never loses hope of bettering himself and finding his parents.

For those who are unfamiliar with Caleb, how would you introduce him?
I’d say that Caleb has a remarkably positive disposition who nevertheless comes to see that his parents made some pretty bad choices for him. He wants to make his own way in the world rather than follow the path that his parents had mapped out for his future. He’s resilient and sometimes too trusting, but he does wise up as he grows older.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love Caleb to meet both Elena and Lila in Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. Caleb is enslaved in an enclave that feels similar to the poor Naples community that Elena and Lila are brought up in. I believe they’d help him to become more streetwise!

Which incident in your life totally changed the way you think today?
In my journalism days, I drove overland with my husband from London to Nairobi, though Egypt and Sudan. The journey, and the need for self-reliance, has helped me gain a sense of perspective, and to know what is important, and what is mere noise.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
Oddly enough, I have rarely felt scared when travelling, even when I find myself if potentially dangerous settings. But I am terrified when I stand at the top of a ski slope, knowing there’s only one way off the mountain and that’s to ski down it.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I wouldn’t have given away a box a matches to a fellow traveller. We were queuing to get off a barge, which had taken us down the Aswan High Dam Lake to Sudan. It was a chaotic scene, and I forgot that I’d placed my engagement ring in the matchbox for safety (not one of my best ideas). I didn’t see my engagement ring again. I now wear my late-grandmother’s engagement ring, so there is a happy ending to this sorry tale.


“I told Ma Lexie my documents were lost, but I still have them. Mother sewed them into the straps of my backpack. She made me sleep with my pack strapped with a belt to my arm, while she slept across the tent’s entrance.”

“Skylark offered to help me but warned me not to tell the other people in my group because she couldn’t help everyone. She had space in her sidecar for just one, and she thought I had—what did she say?— real grit. She chose me.”

“This job is perfect. It’s hard work, but I don’t miss school any more, only my friends. Yesterday, though, I nearly lost my nerve—pushing the needle through fur—it woke up memories, and the soles of my feet began to sweat.”

“If I were more calculating—which I need to be, according to the family—I’d be more guarded. There’s no doubt Caleb is a charmer, which can be a dangerous quality. It’s easy for a charmer to morph into something darker, a trickster, a con merchant.”

“My Ruben saw himself as the family strongman—keeping rival clans off our street. He patrolled after dark, checking every recycling bin from one end of our street, right across the market square, to the far end of the enclave. He said he needed eyes in the back of his head to stop other street clans from pinching our stuff. He knew every bin on our patch, had them all marked, and checked they were all positioned where they should be. I’ve pictured him so many times, totally pumped up when he caught them red-handed. I see him, ploughing into them with his baseball bat.”

“Within sixty seconds of her message hitting me, I’d jumped down the hostel stairwell three steps at a time and leapt on my bike, but I didn’t tear up the streets because the sidecar’s been rattling these last few days like it’s full of empty cans, and I really must check it out before it frikkin’ detaches, goes careering off and smashes. I took it slow, but I still made enough noise to wake the whole enclave.”

“I prefer a fleapit like this where I feel welcome and no one asks those awkward questions like: Where are you from? What’s your line of work? And mostly I don’t care where I sleep.”

“That Caleb is either smarter or more stupid than I first realised, and I can’t make up my mind which it is. He’s at the age where he could be both.”

“Until I started this job, I gave no thought to the enclaves. Occasionally glimpsed at a distance from a car, or from the air, they squat beyond the metropolitan centres and suburbs. Out there, literally.”

“See, it don’t seem right somehow, not that I’m going feeble in my middle age. These migrants do their indentures and then they’re set up to fail. One noisy birthday party and they’re dragged in for disturbing the peace.”

From the Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning author, a dystopian novel of oppression set in the climate-ravaged Europe of A Calculated Life, a finalist for the Kitschies award and Philip K. Dick Award.

Late in the twenty-first century, drought and wildfires prompt an exodus from southern Europe. When twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother during their trek north, he soon falls prey to traffickers. Enslaved in an enclave outside Manchester, the resourceful and determined Caleb never loses hope of bettering himself.

After Caleb is befriended by a fellow victim of trafficking, another road opens. Hiding in the woodlands by day, guided by the stars at night, he begins a new journey—to escape to a better life, to meet someone he can trust, and to find his family. For Caleb, only one thing is certain: making his way in the world will be far more difficult than his mother imagined.

Told through multiple voices and set against the backdrop of a haunting and frighteningly believable future, Bridge 108 charts the passage of a young boy into adulthood amid oppressive circumstances that are increasingly relevant to our present day.

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And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANNE CHARNOCK for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of BRIDGE 108 by Anne Charnock
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