WTF is $1.99!

Hear ye, hear ye, everyone who spent copious amounts of time yesterday following everything Apple, Apple Watch, iPhone, little iPhone, medium iPhone, big iPhone, iPad super, iPad mini, iPad mini mini, iPad super mini yesterday. All you Apple devotees, we are betting if you read ten articles about the Apple Watch, you probably already own an Apple product- meaning you can take advantage of today’s one-day-only deal for WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (Mulholland Books) by David Shafer. The book is on sale now for $1.99! Buy it in the iTunes store.

Dwight Garner said thatWhiskey Tango Foxtrot just may be the novel of the summer”. Your move, Apple Watch.


One new Apple iPhone 6 at $199 = 100 copies of WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT!

Publication Day for RARE BIRD

Sometimes, you find a book that moves you to your core, that makes you question how and why the world works, and how we go on in the face of tragedy. Anna Whiston-Donaldson has written that book: her brave, honest, and heartbreaking memoir about losing her son Jack is a mother’s gift and prayer to the world in the face of the darkest days. How do we deal with grief? How do we mourn and still feel hope? What does life look like after loss? Where is God, and where was God? Anna’s rich, true voice and the portrait of her life with her family will move you, and it can help you in your grief, or learn to help others’ in theirs.

rare bird

RARE BIRD: A Memoir of Loss and Love (Convergent Books), is out in the world today. The response has been overwhelming. Glennon Doyle-Melton of the blog Momastery and author of Carry On, Warrior, is helping to introduce the book online today in this post. She writes, “We’ve never launched another author’s book here at Momastery. Today is a first, which is fitting because Rare Bird is a one-of-a-kind book.” 

Glennon writes: “The magic of Rare Bird is that- ANNA BUILDS A BRIDGE FOR US- a bridge from our heart into the heart of the griever. Anyone committed to becoming a better friend or a wiser human being should read this book.”

Please, please –  let us not say: I can’t. I won’t read it. It’s too much. That pain is too much. That is not what we say to someone in grief.  And it’s simply not true. We can bear each other’s grief and joy. That is what we’re here for, in fact. And so please remember that loss is not contagious but it is inevitable. Loss visits us all.” 

“One of the gifts of Rare Bird is the glimpse into how to help a friend in crisis…Anna shares her wisdom with us.”


How you can help to launch the book:

“Like” the An Inch of Gray Facebook Page so you won’t miss out on launch events/news.

If you are on Goodreads, mark Rare Bird as “To Read”

Ask your local library and/or church to order the book.

Once you have read the book, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

Read the book with your book club, Sunday School, or grief group (Discussion guide is coming soon)

Hold loosely to your copy of Rare Bird– keep an eye open for opportunities to give it away to someone who would benefit from it.

Let Anna know if your organization would like to learn about Rare Bird or have her come speak.

If you refer to Rare Bird on social media, use the hastag #rarebird  (Anna’s twitter handle is @aninchofgray)

One Teen Story Winner!

We’re so happy to congratulate Lily Dodd on winning the One Teen Story writing contest!

This year the contest had almost 600 entries, which is nearly double the number of teen writers (ages 14-19) sending in their stories from around the country. 

(Congrats too to Lily’s proud mom, Leslie Berlin, who authored The Man Behind the Microchip; good writing genes run in the family!).

Here’s what judge the contest’s judge Tara Altebrando had to say about Lily’s story:

WINNER: “A Eulogy for Pretzel” by Lily Dodd

“Truth is, I killed your hamster.” Truth is, Lily Dodd’s story completely hooked me from that killer first line. I generally hate the word “edgy” but the voice and language and characters here are undeniably sharp. And the narrator’s frequent return to that haunting “Truth is…” leaves you feeling off kilter in the best possible way. How reliable is this girl? How much is she lying to herself in this supposedly confessional letter she’s writing to Pretzel’s former owner and her former friend? The result is a story about love and jealously and cruelty that feels like the kind of story someone like Megan Abbott might have written when she was young. It’s my choice as this year’s winning story.

[Sorry, but since we're on the topic of hamsters here we can't help but remind everyone of this video...]

If you’re a teen writer, or a fan of One Teen Story, you should come out this weekend, Saturday, September 13 to the Lit Crawl New York event: “An Evening with One Teen Story”. Author Ted Thompson will be reading with other OTS authors Julie Buntin and Martin Wilson. Think Coffee, 1 Bleecker St., 6pm. (Congrats to Ted on making the short-list for this year’s Center for Fiction first novel prize!)

You can subscribe to One Teen Story for just $12 a YEAR! 

Weekend Longread: Don Van Natta’s Instant-Classic ‘Jerry Football’

Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett


The Internet has been abuzz this week about a profile by ESPN senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. The subject? The one and only Jerry Jones, who Van Natta writes is–since the passing of George Steinbrenner–the most famous and infamous, revered and reviled, of all team owners in the country. 

This weekend, pull up a chair, get comfortable, pour yourself some Johnny Walker Blue in a plastic cup, and read the epic, instant-classic profile. We won’t spoil too much, but here are some of our favorite lines:

“I bought this painting in 1989 right after buying the Cowboys,” Jones says, admiring it late one night in June. “I had no money left — I mean, nothing. … But Ross Perot collects Rockwells — he told me this one was too good to pass up … so I somehow scraped together $1.1 million.


During our initial conversation at the Ritz-Carlton several weeks earlier, Jones spoke longingly about Manziel’s potential benefits to the Cowboys long term. “If we had picked Manziel, he’d guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” Jones says.


At 23, Jones said of buying an NFL team:

“This is my lifelong dream,” Jones told his father.

“You aren’t old enough to have a lifelong dream,” Pat Jones replied.


Trying to buy the Cowboys from then-owner Bum Bright:

Jones returned home on the next plane and quickly became the team’s top suitor. A fierce negotiator, Bright decided the final $300,000 separating him and Jones on a price would be decided by a coin flip. (Jones called tails and lost.)


Folow Van Natta Jr on Twitter for news on his stories, books, and more. Forbes has a great interview with him on the process to write the Jerry Football profile.

George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures Acquires HACK ATTACK for Film


George Clooney will direct an adaptation of the Nick Davies ‘book HACK ATTACK: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch (Faber and Faber), for Sony Pictures. HACK ATTACK is a riveting dissection of the British phone-hacking scandal that became a commonplace news gathering technique within Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov will produce the film.

Deadline reports: 

“This has all the elements — lying, corruption, blackmail — at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said in a statement. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.” 

HACK ATTACK was long-listed for the 2014 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, and was named one of the 5 best books about journalism by Esquire (UK) 

More on the project as it develops; the film will start production next year. Visit Nick Davies’ Guardian archive page to get to know his early work breaking the hacking scandal.


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