Laine Cunningham

Laine’s work has won multiple national awards, including the Hackney Literary Award for $5,000 and the James Jones Literary Society fellowship for $6,000. In past years, the Hackney Award was received by Horton Foote and William Styron, placing Laine in the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. Break the Bow was shortlisted for the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner novel award. Laine has received additional fellowships totaling $6,250 and residency slots from the Jerome Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the New York Mills Cultural Center, Wildacres Center for the Humanities, the ecumenical Blowing Rock Convention Center, and regional arts councils in different states. For several years she has chaired the advisory board for The Blotter, one of the few literary magazines to still have a monthly print circulation of 8,500 copies. The magazine will soon go to 10,000 copies as it enters new markets in the Midwest. The Blotter also administers The Laine Cunningham Novel Contest, now entering its fifth year. The competition accepts book-length fiction, including short story collections, and judges all entries according to genre, market worthiness, and writing quality. Cash prizes for first through third place total $1,750. Laine is the final judge. Her media engagements as an author and a publishing consultant include First for Women, CNN’s Money,,, Media Bistro, dozens of regional papers including Awareness in Southern California, The Sydney Morning Herald, Die Presse (Austria’s largest daily newspaper), and Insight (Australia’s largest spiritual magazine). During national and regional television and radio show bookings in three countries, she discussed the native perspective on the swine flu pandemic, the true secret of success based on the Hawaiian Huna minds, different cultural perspectives on love and relationships, and women’s issues like empowerment, stress reduction, and living a meaningful life. For twenty years she has worked as a publishing consultant. Through her company, Writer’s Resource, she helps fiction and nonfiction authors develop, write, revise and pitch their books to agents and publishers. In addition to ghostwriting, rewriting and editing services, she provides in-depth assistance with query letters and book proposals. Her opinion has been sought by national and international media on issues ranging from The Oprah Effect to the end of the Harry Potter series and Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter. She conducts writing and marketing sessions for authors through a variety of programs. She has presented for The Loft, the nation’s largest independent literary center; the National Writers Union; The Writer’s Workshop in Asheville, NC; the North Carolina Writer’s Network; regional writers’ conferences; elementary and high schools; and independent freelance organizations. Her spiritual and cultural programs have been booked by the City of Sacramento, CA, Guilford College, NC, First Woman Foundation at White Earth Reservation, ND, Cherokee Full Circle in NC, Oak Park Multicultural Festival in CA, regional libraries and conferences, interfaith churches, independent spiritual groups, and elementary and high schools in several states. All of Laine’s works utilize the core components of thrillers while keeping a strong focus on the elements that appeal to women. Their opening pace is strong enough to propel readers into the story while providing the character development that links readers to characters…and characters to each other. In Message Stick, a biracial Australian Aborigine is stalked across the outback by the shaman who killed his friend. The Hackney Literary Award committee called Message Stick “one of the best novels in ten years.” To boost the novel’s platform, Laine created a collection of essays that tie into traditional Aboriginal stories. Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia teaches readers that the dreaming is a timeless energy that can address modern issues with love and relationships, friendship and community, illness and joy. Her second novel, He Drinks Poison, pits FBI agent Priya Conlin-Kumar against a serial rapist and a serial killer working the same city. Visions from The Ramayana and a passionate love relationship provide her with the power of the goddess Kali. The justice Priya metes out satisfies both the laws of man and spiritual laws. Laine currently resides in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she is drafting a novel called Light and Purple Blooms.

Journal of a UFO Investigator

Journal of a UFO Investigator - David Halperin A coming of age story with a twist. At times funny and often pleasantly strange, this story still creates that heartache so familiar to fans of this kind of story.

Lessons In Stalking... Adjusting To Life With Cats

Lessons in Stalking... Adjusting to Life with Cats - Dena Harris If you're a cat person, you've got to check out this book. I'm actually a dog person...and yet I laughed out loud when I read parts of this! I've given it as gifts for cat friends who have also raved about it. Don't miss Harris' second cat humor book, either!

Dreaming Creek

Dreaming Creek - Edmund R. Schubert This is one of those fun books that actually has something deeper going on. Schubert takes an old idea, swapping bodies, and gives it a fresh spin that takes on gender roles, marriage, and the depth of love. If you've missed this one so far, take it to the beach this summer. You'll have a great time!

Cosette's Tribe

Cosette's Tribe - Leah Griffith I was the final judge for a novel contest the year this manuscript came in to be judged. Right from the first reading, I knew this book was going to be among the top finalists. When it came time to sort through the top ten, then the top five, and finally to rank the top four entries in order, Cosette's Tribe rose straight to the top.It was truly an honor to be able to read this work. The literary magazine that administers the prize still to this day talks about the author and this, her first novel. Don't miss this...and I'm waiting for the author's next book!

The Monsters of Templeton

The Monsters Of Templeton - Lauren Groff At times, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this novel. I enjoyed it a great deal, especially the parallel stories told from historic times and how they lined up with the present narrative. I wasn't always sure how the two connected, though...I wanted a bit more meaningful commentary from the protagonist on what she was learning about those past lives and how they resonated in her present. Overall, though, it was a very, very enjoyable read. Funny at times with a depth that really draws me.

Child 44 (The Child 44 Trilogy)

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith When I first found this on the shelf, it had just come out. I was interested in unique crime fiction and this fit the bill. I am not terribly much interested in historic Russia but the author sucked me into this world with his character. This is one of those books that you really should try. Give it 30 pages and see if you don't also get sucked in!My only dislike was the ending. The climax was over much too quickly. A technical flaw that hopefully the author will correct in future novels.

The Corrections

The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen What a romp! Lots of fun reading this one. This is the book that turned me on to Franzen.

The Secret Speech

The Secret Speech - Tom Rob Smith Strained my credibility at times yet was very enjoyable. Not as good as Child 44 I thought but it really is a wonderful read.

We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys - Joyce Carol Oates A subtly constructed work that should receive a national award. I compare her to Franzen yet she offers readers more meaningful fare than he does...and in my mind that makes Oates superior to Franzen.