Order From the Brain Lair Bookstore

3 ways you can buy from me right now - 


Go to http://www.thebrainlairbookstore.com/ these are items I have “in store”. You pay online and I will ship to you within 2 days - depending on when you ordered.

Go to https://www.brainlairbooks.com/landing-page/ these are items I can order from warehouse. I will invoice you, and you pay through the invoice. I will ship to you within 7 days - depending on what you ordered. I place orders once a week.

Go to https://brainlairbooks.mybooksandmore.com these items come directly from the warehouse to you! You pay online and your items usually ship within 24 hours. You can also order gift items like bookmarks, toys, 

In the next month, we will add our main website, that will be connected to our bricks and mortar store. It will include gifts as well as clothing, cards, and other things that will be available in our physical store!

Once the main site is ready, the first 2 methods will disappear. You will still be able to order from us directly. We are just hoping to make it easier!

Happy Reading!

Kathy Burnette
What if you could ACTUALLY stop time? The Story Behind The Story: Rewind by Carolyn O'Doherty - Guest Post
REWIND blog tour graphic.jpg

O'Doherty, Carolyn. Rewind Boyds Mills Press, 2018. 256 pages. $17.95. 9781629798141.

Description from Indiebound: In this unique, fast-paced twist on the time-travel genre and the first book in a trilogy, sixteen-year-old Alex is a Spinner--one of a rare few who can rewind time to review past events. Alex's society uses Spinners to help solve crimes, but their powers come with a price: no Spinner ever lives past the age of twenty. This title is perfect for fans of author Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals; Killer Instinct) and Vivian Vande Velde (23 Minutes).

If I was a "spinner" ,ie I could stop time but still do things while everyone was frozen, I would probably use some of the time to just read books and have bottomless cups of coffee. I would want to bring some people along with me otherwise it would get boring after a couple of months...:)

Read on and find out the evolution of the book Rewind, how one idea led to another and eventually the beginning of a new series!

rewind medium.jpg

I first daydreamed about freezing time when I was a kid. I thought about how, if I could stop time, I’d pause in the middle of a test and check for the right answer. Or stop the world until a particularly flaming blush faded from my cheeks. If I saw someone falling off a tall building, I could stop time, get a ladder, pluck them from the air, and set them safely back down on the earth. I dreamed up simple fantasies, focused on trickery and good deeds. They were the kinds of things a nice kid would do with a fun, magical skill.

When I grew up and decided to write a story about freezing time, my take on how the whole thing might play out got more complicated. I started to think about less nice ways to use time freezing skills. Spying, for example. Spinners (this is what I’ve named the people in my book who can manipulate time) would make ideal spies. They can freeze time, walk into any building, and dig through people’s files, read their diaries, or search their homes. No one can stop them. No one can prove they were there. Spinners can do worse things without getting detected, too. Like take things. Or kill someone.

In an early draft of what became REWIND, my main character worked for the mob and committed a lot crimes. That could have been a good book, but it wasn’t the one I decided I wanted to write. What interests me isn’t thinking up clever ways to break the law, what interests me is people. I wanted to write about how an individual might cope with the knowledge they had the power to do these incredible things and I also wanted to explore how society would react to people who possessed this awesome skill. If Spiderman was real, would you trust him? What if he turned out instead to be Doc Ock? What if you knew what he could do, but had no idea how he would turn out, because he was still a child?

The main character in REWIND, Alexandra Manning, struggles to come to terms with the abilities she is given. As her powers expand through the course of the novel, she is faced with a number of moral decisions about the right and wrong ways to use her skills. When is it OK to break the law? Do the ends justify the means? What is justice? The rest of the world has choices to make, too. How should a society treat people who have powers that in some ways make them invincible? How much should an individual be expected to sacrifice to support the common good?

My ideas about freezing time have come a long way since their seeds as imaginary school pranks. Those changes are part of the beauty of writing a book – I get to play with ideas, watch them grow and change, and shape them into a story. For all the moral complexity I’ve ended up with, REWIND is still, at its heart, a thriller. In a lot of ways Alex is the nice girl I was who just wants to do fun things with a magical skill. The world, however, is rarely that simple, which is what makes life, and books, so very interesting. And after all, where is the fun in reading a novel about a girl with incredible power who only uses it to cheat on tests?

REWIND blog tour

Sunday, April 15

Unleashing Readers

Guest post, giveaway

Monday, April 16

Linda K. Sienkiewicz blog

Guest post, giveaway

Tuesday, April 17

Books by Pamela Thompson blog
Review, Q&A, giveaway

Wednesday, April 18

YA Books Central

Excerpt, giveaway

Thursday, April 19

The Brain Lair

Guest post, giveaway

 Carolyn O'Doherty |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Carolyn O'Doherty | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The Story Behind the Story: Appalachian Folklore in Bone's Gift by Angie Smibert - Guest Post

Smibert, Angie. Bone's Gift. Boyds Mills Press, 2018. 256 pages. $17.95. 978-1-62979-850-9.

Description from Indiebound : In this supernatural historical mystery, twelve-year-old Bone possesses a Gift that allows her to see the stories in everyday objects. When she receives a note that says her mother's Gift killed her, Bone seeks to unravel the mysteries of her mother's death, the schisms in her family, and the Gifts themselves.

I'd suspected that the Virginia Writers Project was true but didn't know the scope of it. These stories would be wonderful to study in school and have students collect stories from their family members.

Read on to find out more about the government sponsored Writing Project and the research Angie Smibert did for Bones Ghost!

Bone's Gift Cover Image

Spirit dogs that bring justice. A good natured trickster who captures Death. An Appalachian
Cinderella who doesn’t need a prince. The main character of my middle grade novel, Bone’s
Gift, and I (very conveniently) love Appalachian and other folklore. Twelve-year Bone Phillips
knows just about every folktale, ghost story, and legend from Southwest Virginia. So, in
September 1942, she’s delighted when the Virginia Writers Project woman comes to stay at the
boardinghouse in the Big Vein coal camp. Miss Spencer is there to collect stories, and Bone is
the perfect guide, at least until her aunt puts a stop to it. Together Miss Spencer and Bone collect
a number of Jack Tales, spirit dog stories, folktales such as Ashpet, and even a Cherokee legend
called “Forever Boy.” Each of the stories used in the book are based on real folktales.

Miss Spencer is fictitious, but the VWP certainly wasn’t. During the Depression, President
Franklin Roosevelt started the Works Progress Administration to put people back to work. The
Federal Writers project was part of that effort. Beginning in 1935, writers were sent out to gather
local information and stories in each state. In Florida, for instance, one notable writer who
participated was Zora Neale Hurston. In Virginia, the VWP put out two books in 1940. One was
a travel guide to the Old Dominion, and the other was a collection of stories from African
Americans, primarily in Eastern Virginia. Writers continued to collect stories in Southwestern
Virginia until 1942-3; however, the stories were boxed up and sent back to the Library of
Virginia. (World War II put an end to the program!) And they sat there for decades. In the 1970s,
a graduate student at the University Virginia discovered the stories and eventually turned them
into a book called Virginia Folk Legends in 1991.

Virginia Folk Legends was one of the sources I used for the stories in Bone’s Gift. VWP workers
collected an amazing range of stories, from stories of ghosts, devil dogs, and witches to those of
legendary frontiersmen, treasure, and the Civil War. Of course, my favorite stories are the devil
or spirit dog ones. The VWP collected 21 different stories of spirit dogs. Usually a black dog,
they can appear as a portent of death, come to save someone from death, or bring it to a wicked
person. (BTW, I have a weakness for black dogs, but mine are more bringers of mud and sticks.)

Some of the other sources I used included Richard Chase’s books, The Jack Tales and The
Grandfather Tales. He was a noted folklorist who collected stories in Western North Carolina
and Southwestern Virginia in the 1930s. Most people are familiar with the English folktale, Jack
and the Beanstalk. In Appalachia, though, Jack had many, many more adventures. He’s good-
natured trickster (of sorts) who triumphs through cleverness and kindness. Jack’s not the only
hero, though. The Grandfather Tales is filled with tales of Ashpet, Mutsmag, and many others.

Another great source of info is Ferrum College’s Appalachian Literature (AppLit) site. In fact,
Dr. Tina Hanlon has put together a handy study guide for Bone’s Gift that includes links to
information on all of the folklore and mythology used in the book.
And if your students would like to try their hands at storytelling, I’ve put together a free printable
cooperative card game (http://www.angiesmibert.com/blog/?mbdb_book=bones-gift). I’d love to
get feedback from any teachers, librarians, or gamers who try it out!

BONE’S GIFT (9781629798509) blog tour

Monday, April 9 YA Books Central 

Tuesday, April 10 Ms. Yingling Reads

Wednesday, April 11 Unleashing Readers

Thursday, April 12 The Brain Lair AND Genrefluent

Friday, April 13 Always in the Middle

Kathy Burnette
ALA Recap and Some News

Woo Hoo!

I had a great time in Denver for the recent ALA Midwinter Conference. It was time to finish up my yearlong commitment, THE PRINTZ AWARD COMMITTEE! This had been a dream of mine since I was a wee baby librarian! For the first days of the conference we were locked in a conference room! And I'm forever sworn to secrecy about that. 


 2018 Printz Awards: Gold - We Are Okay Honors - Long Way Down, The Hate U Give, Strange The Dreamer, and Vincent and Theo

2018 Printz Awards: Gold - We Are Okay Honors - Long Way Down, The Hate U Give, Strange The Dreamer, and Vincent and Theo

I recommend ANY of these books to ALL of you!


Top Shelf: Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), screening of Every Day (it was awesome), SK Ali (Saints and Misfits), The signs that bugged me (it's 500s not 500's)

Middle Shelf: Katie Lawrence (KDL youth librarian), Junot Diaz (Islandborn), Tae Keller (Science of Unbreakable Things), Sara Saedi (Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

Bottom Shelf: Minh Le!! (Let Me Finish), Angie Thomas, ME, and Nic Stone!!!! (Dear Martin)

Also, I crazily picked up a few books...do not tell anyone. I am trusting you.

Kathy Burnette