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The Red Castle, by Noah Verhoeff

The year is 1410. While battles rage in far off lands, Manfred von Göttingen, a young German knight, is confined to his miniscule town of Adelebsen. Dedicated to his duty of protecting his people, Manfred is torn apart when his father sends him on a mission away from home.

His quest: to escort an old crusader and a scholar across Medieval Germany to the far-off land of Prussia – the Kingdom of the Teutonic Knights. Manfred and his knights are forced to battle their way through hordes of pagans, peasants, and Poles, only to find themselves questioning the validity of their entire mission. What good is chivalry when your enemies hate what you stand for with a burning passion? What mercy can a warrior expect?

Return to the age of chivalry to unearth the truth behind the region of Göttingen, follow the bold Sir. Manfred on his quest, and discover what sorcery brought five brave men of the sword to their most desperate hour.

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It’s Not About You, by Daniel Casey

It’s Not About You by Daniel Casey punches hard and heavy and pierces sharp and shrill an inconvenient but imperative truth some of us are gleefully unaware of, others choose to ignore, while the rest only see themselves as right and righteous. Casey confronts grueling realities in our society such as the effects of colonization, systemic oppression, privilege, entitlement, fears without facts, with grit and candor while also being demanded and demanding more of himself “than being among / a colorless, one-dimensional people.” This thought-provoking poetry collection is an urgent calling to challenge ourselves to “Be better, do better.” And hope our collective history will persevere and triumph as “white light suddenly wiping the slate clean” in time.

Nadia Gerassimenko, poet and founding editor of Moonchild Magazine

Daniel Casey’s It’s Not About You takes aim at the evils of our days – from Brock Turner to Donald Trump to the mealy-mouthed term “millennial” deployed to tone-police and silence. He employs “fucking” liberally for emphasis, uses tarot as a form, calls out Southern dogs, Kansas sunflowers, and white people. Moments of lyric beauty – “Let your throat warble / sounding some exquisite bliss / to the exclusion of all else” – are juxtaposed with fantastically honed anger: “The legacy / of the Baby Boom will be / a kind of aggressive myopia / like the not all men/all lives / matter.” The title is a lie – these poems are about us.

C. Kubasta, @CKubastathePoet, author of Of Covenants & This Business of the Flesh

In a 2007 essay, Robert Pinsky called for “difficult” poetry: poetry that pushes us to confront truths we don’t want to face. The poems in Daniel Casey’s It’s Not About You answer this call. In the spirit of Philip Larkin, Casey’s poems push us to examine the uncomfortable realities of human nature – apathy, rage, disdain – and what it means to live in a nation fueled by prejudice and greed, focused on the myriad ways we find “to destroy what you love.” And yet there is hope here that if we “know full well” our darker nature, we can resist it, and through this challenging work, we can “be better, do better.”

Emma Bolden, Associate Editor-in-Chief, Tupelo Quarterly www.emmabolden.com

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The Stargazers, by James McKee

“Truly fine poems….I love your work.”
~ X. J. Kennedy, author of In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems, 1955-2007

“Intelligent…handled with pleasure and confidence… beautifully executed….This fine poetry, lush with detail and rich with sound, can savor its thematic cake and still have it later, as far as I’m concerned. Don’t we, too, prefer the ‘impeccably impure’ in art over righteous dogmatism?”
~Ron Smith, Poet Laureate of Virginia, author of Its Ghostly Workshop

“Gorgeous, splendid, even magical…This is the book I wish I’d written.”
~Christophe Cayle, author of Forget You

Poems are emotionally fraught objects some of us like to have around because, like all art, they offer the most satisfying reconciliations between ourselves and the world. The poetry of James McKee’s debut collection The Stargazers invites readers to engage with personal intensities of love, grief and time’s passage as well as with the looming forces of climate change, entrenched oppression, and weaponized history. And so, amid the numbing cacophonous welter of 21st Century American life, McKee’s poems undertake serial acts of rescue and refusal, of commemoration and condemnation, of compelled lyric outburst and deliberative public engagement. If art, as Picasso said, is “a lie that shows us the truth,” these poems neither hide their status as objects of artifice, nor despair of offering their readers the mysterious pleasure of the clarifying word.

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The Unexpected Aneurysm of the Potato Blossom Queen, by Garrett Socol

With an offbeat sense of humor, Garrett Socol delves into the lives of seemingly ordinary women and the secrets that lurk beneath their pristine surfaces. Whether it’s a neglected wife seeking revenge on her cheating husband or a female electrician who deliberately causes power failures or an attorney confronting her childhood rapist thirty years later, each story is charged with vivid language, heartbreaking truth, and a touch of quirky, sometimes macabre humor.

The stories range from the deeply unsettling (“Looking For Last Year”) 

to the absurdly humorous (“Island Envy”) to everything in between. There’s a wonderfully warped yet entirely honest portrayal of the human condition on display. The female protagonists are anxiety-ridden, unpredictable and flawed, but they refuse to give in or give up. In her chaotic universe, each woman faces challenges that are fierce, funny and often traumatic. And yes, you’ll find a couple of male protagonists along for the ride, too.

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Love Your Vibe: Using the Power of Sound to Take Command of Your Life, by Matt Omo

If you are struggling with life in any way, it is within your grasp to take command and live a life of true harmony. We all have an innate wisdom to find this harmony and express it fully. Life is vibration, or, in essence, it is sound. We have just forgotten how to allow life to sing through us. We resist this sound of life and mute the strings of creation due to our past trauma, conditioning, experiences, fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs.

We blame the world around us for the way we are and beat our selves up for not living the life we desire. When we learn to love our vibe and the vibe of all life we can live in harmony with it. Through this seven-step process you will be guided to take command, embrace harmony, and become the conductor of your life’s symphony.

Matt Omo MA, aka The Gong Guru, is an international sound healer, breathworker, shamanic dude, visionary, and spiritual leader. His passion is to connect people to their authentic truth and help them to embrace their divine purpose. Learn more at www.omosoundjourneys.com.

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What We Stand For

Founded by author Nick Courtright in 2015, Atmosphere Press is dedicated to being the premier service for authors who want not just any publisher, but one who will be a true partner through the book-making process. As a Better Business Bureau accredited business, we are devoted both to excellent bookmaking and to excellent ethics.

Here’s what we stand for:

Honesty: because our mission is to be author-friendly, that means always giving the most straightforward and honest advice about the ins and outs of the authorial life. We pride ourselves on telling the truth, even when it’s not easy, and are dedicated to sticking by one of our founding precepts: “if I were the author, what would I want to know?”

Transparency: publishing is rife with dodgy behavior, from predatory vanity presses who promise the moon (if only you give them twenty grand) to traditional presses who mark up author copies and make book changes without the author’s permission. We’re dedicated to letting you see the wizard behind the curtain, so that you can rest easy that everything’s on the up and up.

Professionalism: with decades of combined years of writing, editing, designing, and publishing experience, our staff strives to be as professional as they come. We know the ins and outs of the industry, and will be responsive and helpful; in other words, we respond to emails in a timely fashion. And of course, we will only publish books that truly contribute something wonderful to the world.

Kindness: this might be our favorite tenet on this list. As an author-friendly press, we take the word “friendly” seriously, and will be positive and helpful every step of the way. A good publisher shouldn’t be just a business partner, but should be full of people you’d want to invite to dinner. Whether it be making a good joke, allaying your worries about being an author, or simply sending an encouraging note, kindness is our hallmark.

Making Your Book Awesome: this one is a no-brainer, but we really can’t settle for anything less. Whether it be a matter of editorial advice or design, we want our authors and their readers to be blown away when they first hold that book in their hands. It needs to look good inside and out, and feel good to the touch. And, of course, the words need to be top-notch, and our editors are devoted to making that the case.

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Atmosphere Press was founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome.

We hold true to those principles today.

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