In 1998, a board book version of one of the 22 Elmer stories that have been published since the original debuted in 1989 made a road trip with a 9 month old infinitely more bearable. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is now 25 years old and I am very happy to revisit this book and call attention to what I think can safely be called a classic at this point. McKee's story of acceptance - selfAdd a Comment
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Blog: Children's Book Reviews and Then Some (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: Carrie Jones (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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- Wed, 00:57: A singer on #thevoice just said, "I was the best pepper shaker that I could be." Some day, I shall be a pepper shaker. Just so I say that.
- Wed, 01:44: I don't care who it is that's doing the hating, the labeling, the hurting; I want them to stop the hating, the labeling, the hurting.
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I have written about the dangers of making economic policy on the basis of ideology rather than cold, hard economic analysis. Ideologically-based economic policy has laid the groundwork for many of the worst economic disasters of the last 200 years.
- The decision to abandon the first and second central banks in the United States in the early 19th century led to chronic financial instability for much of the next three quarters of a century.
- Britain’s re-establishment of the gold standard in 1925, which encouraged other countries to do likewise, contributed to the spread and intensification of the Great Depression.
- Europe’s decision to adopt the euro, despite the fact that economic theory and history suggested that it was a mistake, contributed to the European sovereign debt crisis.
- President George W. Bush’s decision to cut taxes three times during his first term while embarking on substantial spending connected to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was an important driver of the macroeconomic boom-bust cycle that led to the subprime crisis.
In each of these four cases, a policy was adopted for primarily ideological, rather than economic reasons. In each case, prominent thinkers and policy makers argued forcefully against adoption, but were ignored. In each case, the consequences of the policy were severe.
So how do we avoid excessively ideological economic policy?
One way is by making sure that policy-makers are exposed to a wide range of opinions during their deliberations. This method has been taken on board by a number central banks, where many important officials are either foreign-born or have considerable policy experience outside of their home institution and/or country. Mark Carney, a Canadian who formerly ran that that country’s central bank, is not the first non-British governor of the Bank of England in its 320-year history. Stanley Fischer, who was born in southern Africa and has been governor of the Bank of Israel, is now the vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve. The widely respected governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Patrick Honohan, spent nearly a decade at the World Bank in Washington, DC. One of Honohan’s deputies is a Swede with experience at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; the other is a Frenchman.
But isn’t it unreasonable to expect politicians to come to the policy making process without any ideological bent whatsoever? After all, don’t citizens deserve to see a grand contest of ideas between those who propose higher taxes and greater public spending with those who argue for less of both?
In fact, we do expect—and want–our politicians to come to the table with differing views. Nonetheless, politicians often support their arguments with unfounded assertions that their policies will lead to widespread prosperity, while those of their adversaries will lead to doom. The public needs to be able to subject those competing claims to cold, hard economic analysis.
Fortunately, the United States and a growing number of other countries have established institutions that are mandated to provide high quality, professional, non-partisan economic analysis. Typically, these institutions are tasked with forecasting the budgetary effects of legislation, making it difficult for one side or the other to tout the economic benefits of their favorite policies without subjecting them to a reality check by a disinterested party.
In the United States, this job is undertaken by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which offers well-regarded forecasts of the budgetary effects of legislation under consideration by Congress. [Disclaimer: The current director of the CBO is a graduate school classmate of mine.]
The CBO is not always the most popular agency in Washington. When the CBO calculates that that the cost of a congressman’s pet project is excessive, that congressman can be counted on to take the agency to task in the most public manner possible.
According to the New York Times, the CBO’s “…analyses of the Clinton-era legislation were so unpopular among Democrats that [then-CBO Director Robert Reischauer] was referred to as the ‘skunk at the garden party.’ It has since become a budget office tradition for the new director to be presented with a stuffed toy skunk.”
For the most part, however, congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle hold the CBO and its work in high regard, as do observers of the economic scene from the government, academia, journalism, and the private sector.
The CBO, founded in 1974, is one of the oldest of such agencies, predated only by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (1945) and the Danish Economic Council (1962). More recent additions to the growing ranks of these agencies include Australia’s Parliamentary Budget Office (2012), Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer (2006), South Korea’s National Assembly Budget Office (2003), and the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility (2010).
These organizations each have their own institutional history and slightly different responsibilities. For the most part, however, they are constituted to be non-partisan, independent agencies of the legislative branch of government. We should be grateful for their existence.
The post On the importance of independent, objective policy analysis appeared first on OUPblog.
Blog: The Children's Book Review (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Here are some awesome books for your "Little Humans." As usual, we've picked five kids books that we feel represent some of the best new kids storiesAdd a Comment
Blog: inspiration from vintage kids books and timeless modern graphic design (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Brilliant work from Italian designer and illustrator Francesco Muzzi.
Also worth viewing:
——————–RetroSupply Co.: A library of vintage inspired design resources for Photoshop and Illustrator.
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Blog: Children's Book Reviews and Then Some (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Mythology for toddlers? No matter what your opinion on this subject, Joan Holub, prolific children's book author and creator of the Goddess Girls series of chapter books, the sixteenth book of which will be published soon and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli, creator of a hilarious, very fun series of board books (see below) are the perfect pair to have a go at this concept. Mini Myths, aAdd a Comment
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Folks, you know me. Half the time I forget to even mention these swell little events that happen, absolutely free I might add, in my library. But this Saturday’s panel . . . well, it’s special. It’s sort of a once in a lifetime panel. You’re not going to see this kind of thing pretty much anywhere else. So if you’re in the area in any way . . .
New York Public Library’s Children’s Literary Salon is pleased to announce our event on Saturday, October 4th at 2:00 p.m.
Native Fiction and the Editorial Process
Join editors Stacy Whitman (Tu Books/Lee & Low) and Cheryl Klein (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic), Onondaga author Eric Gansworth (IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE), and Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac (KILLER OF ENEMIES) for a discussion about writing, discovering, editing, and publishing Native fiction and what the editors and their authors learned along the way.
This event will be held in the South Court Auditorium in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St. & 5th Avenue). No reservations necessary.
For a complete listing of all upcoming Salons, you can find the calendar here.
Blog: ALSC Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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You guys. It is October. ALREADY. Which means you’re probably inundated with requests for fall-themed books and storytimes. I’m here to help. There are tons of resources for Fall Storytime available on the internet, whether you’re a storytime newbie or a seasoned storytimer looking to shake things up a bit. Here are some of my favorites:
- Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) – Animals are preparing for winter and Bear has a story to tell before he settles down to sleep.
- The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006) – How does a squirrel get ready for winter? This could be a great STEM conversation starter!
- Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley (Zino Press Children’s Books, 1998) – This hilarious book will get kids laughing as a tree tries its hardest to put on proper fall colors.
- I See Fall by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by Ag Jatkowska (Picture Window Books, 2011) – Make sure you include books featuring diverse children in your fall storytimes!
- Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press, 2010) – Mixed media art and simple rhyming text make this one a great one for sharing.
- Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans (Charlesbridge, 2004) – Rhyming text describes the different colored leaves we see on different trees in the fall.
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005) – Illustrations made of fall leaves make this a great one for talking about leaves changing with older preschoolers or early elementary kids.
- Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson (Simon & Schuster Books for Children, 2006) – Simple text makes this a winner for sharing with very young children.
- Poppleton in Fall by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Mark Teague (Blue Sky Press, 1999) – I love to read the story “The Geese” with older preschoolers and early elementary kids.
- Pumpkins by Ken Robbins (Square Fish, 2006) – The photo illustrations make this a great nonfiction choice for adding some STEM content to your storytime. Don’t be afraid to paraphrase.
- That Pup! by Lindsay Barrett George (Greenwillow Books, 2011) – A spunky puppy has been digging and finding treasures all over the yard – acorns!
- Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Holiday House, 1993) – After a pumpkin went SPLAT! in the garden, Rebecca Estelle has too many pumpkins!
- We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto (Cartwheel Books, 2005) – Using the familiar cadence of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, this trio is off to find some colorful fall leaves.
The Perfect Pumpkin. A felt pumpkin and a lot of black felt shapes lead to experimenting with jack-o-lantern creation. Use different shapes to create different faces – some scary, sad, or funny – and ask the kids what shapes you should use to create the perfect pumpkin!
Build a Pumpkin Patch. Pass out felt pumpkins and call kids up to put their pumpkins in the patch based on what color they’re wearing (e.g. “If you’re wearing red today, red today, red today, If you’re wearing red today, please bring up your pumpkin!”). An alternative if you have a large crowd would be to make felt pumpkins of different shapes and sizes (large, small, flat, skinny, triangular) and build a pumpkin patch together, asking for the kids’ help in describing the different shapes and colors they see.
Fall is Not Easy. The trim size of the above-mentioned book by Marty Kelley is a bit small for sharing with a big group. We’ve turned it into a felt story for hilarious fun!
Fall Leaves Felt. You can do a lot with some felt leaf shapes. We hand them out to the kids and call colors to bring up to the board. You can also talk about what colors they are, use them with the above-mentioned story We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, or use them with a “five little leaves” rhyme or song (try Five Little Leaves).
Bring in some real fall leaves to explore! You can make leaf rubbings, arrange the leaves to make pictures (a la Leaf Man), let kids sort by color or size, or put out some magnifying glasses to let kids take a closer look.
- Don’t miss Flannel Friday’s Pinterest boards for fall ideas: Fall Flannel Stories and Halloween Flannel Stories
- JBrary has a fantastic playlist of songs and rhymes for your Fall Storytime
- Break out your scarves and get moving to the song “What Falls in Fall?” by Laurie Berkner (available on her CD Whaddaya Think of That?)
You can find more Fall Storytime plans at the following sites:
- Awesome Storytime – Fall Leaves
- Mel’s Desk – Baby Storytime – Fall Colors
- Mel’s Desk – Baby Storytime – Fall Again
- Rain Makes Applesauce – Apples & Fall
- Storytime Katie – Fall
- Storytime Katie – Fall Animals
- Sunflower Storytime – Fall Leaves Fall
- SurLaLune Storytime – Fall, Leaves, Fall
- What Happens in Storytime – Fall is Here
What are your favorite readalouds and activities for Fall Storytime?
— Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
Blog: Manga Maniac Cafe (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Wow! I can’t believe that the holidays are just around the corner! I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas because everyone is just so happy! And there’s a slew of Christmas themed books releasing between now and the end of December, just to make sure you are in the right frame of mind for Santa’s visit. To get a jump on the season, I have a bundle of holiday themed books up for grabs, thanks to Hachette Books, so settle down with a cup of coffee, read the excerpts, and make sure to enter the giveaway (US/CAN addresses only)!
RING IN THE HOLIDAYS by Katie Lane
Psychologist Ellie Simpson is about to get a healthy dose of sex therapy. Leaving her cheating boyfriend behind, she has everything she needs for a quick rebound: Vegas, plenty of champagne, and a proposition from the sexiest man she’s ever seen. As her handsome stranger helps her ring in the New Year-over and over again-Ellie finds herself blissfully losing all of her inhibitions. Attorney Matthew McPherson is good at making women lose things, like their minds and underwear. With his athletic build and soulful eyes, he doesn’t need to use his powers of persuasion or famous last name to get a woman into bed. But when morning comes, Matthew finds Ellie is the only woman he can’t bear to leave-ever. It’s enough to make him wonder if what happens in Vegas really has to stay there.
About Katie Lane
Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.
Learn more about Katie Lane at:
Ellie looked like she struggled with a strong desire to beat him over the head with the gigantic purse she held in a stranglehold on her lap. “Then why did you show up at my office saying you needed help for sex addiction?”
He shrugged. “Because I was trying to get in your pants.” Her mouth fell open, and she stared at him in speechless shock. “What?” he said. “Did I shock the Virgin Queen? I guess honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy.”
It only took her a few seconds to regain her composure. “The only time I’ve ever heard anything remotely honest come out of your mouth was in Vegas. And even then, you weren’t completely honest.”
He leaned up until he was inches from her face. “Oh, I was honest that night. Completely. And did you like that, Dr. Simpson? Because there’s a lot more where that came from.” He pulled her onto his lap, knocking her purse to the floor as he pressed her back into the seat. “Here’s some honesty for you. I don’t like you, Dr. Simpson. I don’t like your height or your hair or the prudish clothes you wear.
And I especially don’t like your screwed up, narrow mind.” He slipped his hand up her rib cage, encasing her breast with his thumb and forefinger. “In fact, the only thing I do like is the way you fill out a sweater.” He knew he was being obnoxious and crass, but he didn’t care. He needed his own revenge, and he lowered his mouth to hers and took it out on her sweet flesh.
Even with anger still simmering beneath the surface, the kiss consumed him. Each sip and slide of lips and tongues was like a perfectly synchronized dance. And it was more than just physical perfection. It was an emotional connection. Like two souls who were reunited after being away from each other for too long.
Reunited souls? Good Lord, he had lost his mind. Matthew pulled back, wishing he could somehow start the entire evening over again. Or skip it entirely and go back to the day he’d seen her picture on the cover of that damned book. Or maybe before he met her in Vegas. No, he wasn’t ready to give up the night they had in Vegas. He just couldn’t survive a repeat.
A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER ANTHOLOGY:
by Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .
by Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .
by Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.
by Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
by Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?
“Which one of these ornaments is yours?” she asked.
He took a funny- looking Santa Claus from the tree. “I made this in my third grade art class.”
Santa was made out of paper plates and construction paper. His hat was folded and bent, his beard was shaped from the rippled edge of the plate, and his button nose was falling off. Linc studied it critically, thinking it was pretty good for third grade. “I do my best work in construction paper and glue.”
“It deserves a place of honor, for sure,” she said solemnly. She reached out to take it from him and her fingers brushed his. He stopped short. It was impossible to ignore the electrical charge that zipped between them. If she’d been any other woman he wouldn’t have hesitated. He would have pulled her into his arms, crushing the silly ornament between their bodies, and kissing her right then and there.
She smiled invitingly and her lips parted a bit, enough so he could feel her soft breath on his cheek. Her eyes softened to a leaf green, and he felt his caution crumble and transform into a maddening urgency. He let the ornament fall to the ground.
Then he was kissing her. She tasted like peppermint tea and smelled like cinnamon and pine needles. Her body melded against his, her breasts pressing against his chest. He wrapped both arms around her like he was claiming something rare and long lost. His fingers tangled in her hair, pulling it from that infernal ponytail. Her mouth opened under his and while their tongues dueled, her hands roamed across his back. It wasn’t enough. Without another thought, he picked her up and headed down
From Molly Cannon’s A MESSY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
About the authors
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
You can learn more at:
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
You can learn more at:
Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
You can learn more at:
Molly lives a charmed life in Texas with hernearly perfect husband and extremely large cat Nelson. When she’s not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with the hubby and watching all kinds of sports.
You can learn more at:
Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.
You can learn more at:
IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS by Debbie Mason
Free-spirited activist Skylar Davis is out of money and out of options. After using up her trust fund trying to save the world, she hides out in Christmas, hoping the kindness of friends will help her forget the reckless actions of her past. All goes well . . . until she comes face-to-face with one of her mistakes: the town’s gorgeous young mayor. Ethan O’Connor likes his life drama-free and predictable now that he’s about to make the move from small-town politics to the Colorado State Senate. Then Skye blows back into town, as impulsive and passionate as he remembers. If word ever got out about their night together-the night he’s never been able to forget-the scandal could cripple his career. Yet as he starts his campaign, Ethan finds that, like the town of Christmas itself, he can’t get Skye out of his head . . . or his heart.
Later that evening, Ethan sat at a table in the local sports bar, the Penalty Box, with Gage and their mutual friend Jack Flaherty. Brandi, wearing her waitress uniform—a black-and-white-striped jersey and a short black skirt—approached with a tray of drinks. “Compliments of the house. Sawyer named the drink after you, Mr. Senator-to-be. It’s a Prince Charming. Bourbon, cinnamon schnapps, Goldschläger, and root beer rimmed with coarse salt,” she explained as she set the drinks on the table. “Sawyer suggested you have a couple of them before you speak to your baby mama again.”
Gage and Jack laughed. “Har har,” Ethan muttered, slanting a look to where the owner, Sawyer Anderson, stood behind the bar taking orders. The tall, broad-shouldered ex-captain of the Colorado Flurries, a professional hockey team, gave Ethan a two-fingered salute and grinned. “Your friend’s a real comedian,” Ethan said to Jack.
“Yeah, he likes to think so,” Jack said, “but maybe this time he’s right. From what Grace said, you could use all the help you can get.”
“At least your wife’s talking to you. Thanks to him”—Gage jerked a thumb at Ethan—“mine isn’t.”
“She was until I defended him. Now I’m in the same boat as you,” Jack said, taking a long pull on his beer.
“Would someone like to explain how I’m the bad guy in this? She had no intention of telling me about the baby. As far as she’s concerned, I’m a sperm donor and have no rights.” And once his initial shock had passed, he started to get excited about the baby. He’d always hoped to be a father one day, and he was not about to let Skylar Davis take that away from him. “I asked her to marry me.”
He didn’t realize Brandi had hung around until she said, “No, you didn’t ask her. You told her you were getting married. At the courthouse. On Friday.”
“Yeah, and you also told her she was irresponsible and flighty and threw losing her trust fund in her face,” Gage said.
Brandi gasped. “You didn’t?”
“Come on, I didn’t say anything that any of you haven’t said or thought. Besides, I was pissed off. And I had good reason to be.” He might’ve had good reason to be angry, but he shouldn’t have let his temper get the best of him. The temper he didn’t have until he met Skylar Davis. “I sent her flowers and an apology, okay?”
“What? You don’t think she’ll like them? The florist told me any woman would love them. I sent her three dozen roses.” Who knew flowers could be that expensive? But even Ethan realized he had to make some kind of gesture after what he’d said to Skye.
“Most women would, just not the one you sent them to,” Gage said.
Nell McBride, Evelyn Tate, and Stella Wright ambled over, dragging chairs to the table.
Evelyn beamed at him. “Don’t you worry, Ethan. We’re the love experts. And, dear, those roses you sent me were beautiful.” She fluttered her lashes.
“Yes, Ethan, that was very sweet of you to send them to us. But a little extravagant, don’t you think? I hope you didn’t send them to all your female supporters. Their husband’s might not be as understanding as mine,” Stella said.
Ethan rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, ignoring Gage’s I-told-you-so look. “Did all three of you get a dozen roses?” he asked in hopes he misunderstood them and that Skye hadn’t sent his peace offering to the three older women.
“Yep, me, Stella, and Evelyn. But you didn’t have to bribe us. We’d vote for you anyhow. We want one of our own in the state senate, don’t we, girls?” Nell said as she pulled out a pad and pen. “And just as an FYI, when you put from a secret admirer, you’re not supposed to sign your name.”
IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS excerpt #3
“Hey.” He gently tugged on her hair. “Thanks for doing this,” he said when she looked up at him. “We can take another picture of us when we get to the ranch.”
“No, this one’s good. I look like a Republican.”
He shook his head. “You’ve got a warped perception of Republicans, cupcake. We’re going to have to work on that.”
“Don’t waste your energy. My dad’s been trying to convert me since I was ten.”
“I’ve been told I can be pretty persuasive.”
“Republican women are easy,” she said, ignoring the effect his swoon-inducing voice had on her.
“Yeah? I seem to remember a certain Democrat who was pretty easy.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
Jerk. But who was she trying to kid? She had been easy. “What was her name?” She ignored his laughter. “Stop talking so I can get this done.”
He grinned as he fiddled with the sound system. The Rolling Stones’ “Midnight Rambler” came through the speakers. His fingers tapping on the steering wheel, Ethan moved to the beat. Her lips twitched, and she struggled to focus on typing up the release. When he started singing, she started laughing.
“Hey, I’ve been told I have a good voice.”
“No, it’s not that. I like the Stones, too. We finally found something we agree on.”
“There’s hope for us yet, cupcake.”
The smile she gave him was forced. Once Jimmy was behind bars and Ethan won the election, their marriage would be over. A fluttery sensation in her stomach distracted her, and she gasped. It was stronger than before.
“It’s the baby. She’s moving. Here.” Skye took his hand and placed it on her stomach. When there wasn’t any movement a few minutes later, she said. “Sorry, looks like she got her exercise for the day.”
“Never know, he might do it again.” Her husband’s hand felt heavy and warm and far too good where it was. He glanced at her, his thumb moving in a slow up-and-down caress.
“Maybe,” she agreed, her voice breathy, but then she realized what he said. “Peanut’s a she.”
“Peanut?” His lips twitched. “I thought it was Willow.”
“It was, but I like Peanut better. And don’t try to distract me. Our baby’s a girl.”
“A boy. But Peanut works.” He returned his hand to the steering wheel. “I’ve got to stop for gas. You need anything?”
“You should buy a hybrid.”
He gave her a look and turned up the radio, singing as he pulled into the station. Skye was about to roll her eyes when she felt the now-familiar movement. “She kicked again. I think you like your daddy’s voice, don’t you, Peanut?”
Pulling up beside the tanks, Ethan took off his seat belt. But instead of getting out, he placed a hand on her upper thigh and leaned over, bringing his mouth to her stomach. He started to sing one of Skye’s favorite songs, “Wild Horses.” She pressed her lips together to hold back a moan. She really needed to think before she spoke.
“Do you feel anything?” he asked, turning his head to look up at her. Skye swallowed and croaked, “No.”
His eyes darkened, and he brushed his lips over her stomach, the muscles clenching in response. “You sure?” he asked, his voice a seductive rasp.
About Debbie Mason
Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.
You can learn more at:
MISTLETOE ON MAIN STREET by Olivia Miles
Briar Creek’s quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of–for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father’s death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter’s night. Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life? Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it’s time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.
When he glanced over at her, she was staring into the fireplace, the dancing flames painting a warm glow on her porcelain complexion. Her eyes looked flat and far away.
“Everything okay?” Doubt ate at him, leaving him with the twisting feeling of dread. Had she changed her mind about staying in town?
“I was just thinking of how things played out between us, the effects they had on everything else. I—I wish I had handled it differently. I wish that I had been able to come back here.”
He swallowed the knot in his throat, refusing to feel any more guilt. She was a big girl, she had made her choice. Besides, she had been the one to leave him first. She had set all this in motion.
“If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few days, it’s that regret is the worst type of emotion.” He met her eyes. “You can’t change the past, Grace, and you have to tell yourself that everything that happened led us to this moment.”
“This moment?” she repeated.
He held her gaze, managing a nod.
“You’re right, I know.” She gave a sad smile. “I miss my father sometimes. I wish I could have seen him more often than his visits to New York. I wish…I’d never left.”
Luke leaned over and tucked a strand of her hair back from her face, his fingertips tracing the smooth silk of her neck. Arousal burned deep inside him, and his pulse quickened. He reached over and took her wineglass from her hands, setting it on the coffee table. She stared into his eyes, expectation parting her mouth. He met her lips with his, their contact so light it was almost imperceptible, save the shiver that zipped down his spine at the sensation.
He grazed her mouth, slowly bringing her full lips to his. His hand came around her slim waist, his fingers warming at the softness of her sweater, itching to slide the material away and experience the even softer skin beneath.
She sighed into him and he parted her lips with his tongue, slowly lacing his tongue with hers and then pulling away to gaze into her eyes. The green of her irises shone in the firelight, the flames reflecting in the flecks of gold around her pupils. She lowered her eyes, smiling shyly, and her long, black lashes dusted the apples of her cheeks. He leaned in again as arousal burned deep and pressed her into his chest. He could feel every curve of her body as her ripe, firm breasts rose and fell with heavy breaths. He lowered his hand, caressing her waist, her hips, and then higher, to trace the contours of her breast and the swanlike arch of her neck. He kissed her lips, her neck, her ear, breathing deep into her skin, memorizing every taste of her skin, every touch.
The buzzing from the timer on the oven stirred his attention from her, and he groaned. He pulled away, throwing her a bashful grin. “We’re being chaperoned,” he said.
About Olivia Miles
Olivia Miles is a Chicago-based romance writer. Having grown up in New England, Olivia attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before settling in Chicago where she lives with her husband, their daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.
When she is not chasing after her little ones, she is hard at work creating feisty heroines and alpha heroes with a heart. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories.
For more information on Olivia Miles, you can find her at:
Win a set of all the books included in the blitz! US/CAN addresses only, please.Add a Comment
Blog: An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Dorothea Brande, Nick Green, Penny Dolan, writers' block, writing, Add a tag
Ooops! I'm dashing on to today's ABBA page, half out of breath!
A rare and unexpected holiday has shoved the Things That Need Doing Right Now into a complex squidge of pages, people to contact and panic.
So this post - sorry! - is just about my computer's current post-it note.
Maybe a month ago,Nick Green - thank you, Nick! - mentioned a second book by Dorothea Brande. As I have always been curious about how artists and writers work, I investigated.
Brande, an American editor, was the author of "Becoming A Writer". Originally published in 1934, her first book gained extra popularity when the novelist John Braine claimed in his foreword to the 1983 edition that Brande's advice cured his writer's block. Maybe that was the moment when the whole modern genre of "writing about writing" toddled to its feet and started walking and talking?
What is the essence of this second book? Basically - in "Wake Up and Live" - Brande suggests that whenever we think and act in negative ways, we use up too much of the energy we could be putting into our art, our writing and living. Whenever we feel low or lack confidence, we slide into a constant cycle of giving time and attention to all those things that we can't do, all the failures and frets and fears.
We worry about all we haven't done or all that others seem to be succeeding at - and this was way before Facebook and Twitter! - and end up sapping the energy that we should be spending on the work itself. The book as a whole isn't one I'd recommend, but this particular point made sense to me.
Brande also went on to say that before going into an important interview, an awkward meeting or a scary party, people are advised to pause, present their best self and enter the room acting as if they have confidence. Yes, ACTING as they can do it.
So that's what you, the writer or artist, do. You go to your work acting as if you were the person you'd like to be, imagining you are your best version of yourself, giving your energy to the positive side of yourself.
Each morning, now the holiday laundry is done, I'm going to approach my work in progress, take a moment to push away all that sad energy-draining stuff and try imagining myself as the writer I might be.
This is how Brande puts it:
Eight words that might help. Eight words that inspire me more than the usual daily litany of self-doubt. The words are perfect for my desk right now.
Penny Dolan Add a Comment
Blog: Guide to Literary Agents (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New, Add a tag
If you live within striking distance of Columbus, Georgia, please consider coming out to a poetry reading on Saturday (October 4). I’ll be reading with Megan Volpert (yes, this Megan Volpert) starting around 5:30 p.m. at the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians. The event is free, and the first 10 folks to arrive will receive a free book (either a copy of Volpert’s Only Ride or my Solving the World’s Problems). Hope to see you there!
For this week’s prompt, write a broken down poem. Write about cars, lawn mowers, or the human spirit. So many possibilities for things and people to break down. Write one!
Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!
Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.
The early bird deadline is October 1 and costs $15 for the first poem, $10 for each additional poem. Enter as often as you’d like.
Here’s my attempt at a Broken Down poem:
not so much broken down
roll out the driver’s side
consider what was thought
before the sudden break
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.
He once worked third shift in a car factory and often had trouble with getting his body to fall and stay asleep during the daytime. This eventually caught up to him, and he crashed his first car, a Plymouth Horizon, into the back of a parked pickup truck as a result. He has not worked in a car factory since.
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
Find other poetic posts here:
- Solving the World’s Problems: Year One.
- WD Poetic Form Challenge: Madrigal Winner.
- Rosemary Rhodes Royston: Poet Interview.
Blog: Writing and Illustrating (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, Places to sumit, Young Adult Novel, Accepting Query Letters, Agent Building List, Brent Taylor, New Agent, TriadaUS Literary Agency, Uwe Stender, Add a tag
Uwe Stender, agent and owner of TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc. located northwest of Pittsburgh recently hired Brent Taylor who recently completed an Internship at The Bent Agency.
According to Publishers Marketplace, owner Uwe Stender has sold six books so far this year. Here is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a new agent, Brent Taylor (pictured on left), at a fairly new agency.
Here is what Brent says he is looking for: “My tastes are eclectic, but all of my favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing. I am seeking smart, fun, and exciting books for readers of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and select mystery/crime and women’s fiction.
Middle Grade: For younger readers I am on the hunt for a humorous, intelligent fantasy; a scare-the-pants-off-me ghost or haunting story; fast-paced literary writing similar in style to Jerry Spinelli and Cynthia Lord. I have soft spots for larger-than-life characters and atmospheric setting (creepy and/or quirky).
Young Adult: I’m always looking for genre-bending books that can be an exciting puzzlement when thinking about how precisely to market; specifically mystery and crime for teens, the grittier the better; high-concept contemporary stories with addicting romantic tension. I’m a sucker for themes of finding your place in the world, new beginnings, and summer-before-college stories.
New Adult: My tastes in New Adult tend to be more darkly skewed but I would love a well-executed story that shares the same excitement, wonder, and invigoration of books like LOSING IT. Although I appreciate any story that’s told well in great language, in New Adult I’m more concerned with being entertained and gripped by the edge of my seat than in being stimulated.
Adult: I would love a psychological suspense based on actual events, i.e. CARTWHEEL by Jennifer Dubois which fictionalized the Amanda Knox trial and hooked me from beginning to end. Alternatively, I’d love high-concept women’s fiction; either an exquisitely told story huge in size and scope, or a less ambitious novel that simply warms my heart.”
How to submit: Send your query letter and first ten pages pasted in the body of the message to brent [at] triadaus.com. Or follow him on twitter: @NaughtyBrent
Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, Places to sumit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Accepting Query Letters, Agent Building List, Brent Taylor, New Agent, TriadaUS Literary Agency, Uwe Stender Add a Comment
Blog: Emilyreads (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: adult, bathroom reading, certain humiliation, dirty parts, fiction, haiku, liked it, lowbrow, Add a tag
Same old same old, but
I appreciate Steph's
tolerance of weirdos.
Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich. Bantam, 2014, 352 pages.
Blog: La Bloga (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: arte publico press, new book, The Little Devil and the Rose: Lotería Poems / El diablito y la rosa: Poemas de la lotería, Viola Canales, Add a tag
At Qantara.de Claudia Kramatschek has a Q & A with Syrian author Samar Yazbek, Divided society, divided souls.
The book they discuss, which has just come out in German, is available in English as Cinnamon; see the RAYA information page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Blog: print & pattern (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: KIDS DESIGN, STORE SNAPS, Add a tag
Our next post today features a different aspect of kids design from Merrilee's with these prints and placements snapped in Primark. These owls on scarves really stood out to me as great mix of an old fave (the owl motif) mixed with the latest trend for tribal style.Add a Comment
They've announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, with Kei Miller's The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion taking the £10,000 best collection prize; see the Carcanet publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Stephen Santus' 'In a Restaurant' -- third-place finisher in last year's Bridport Prize -- took the prize for 'best single poem'.
I spotted on the fabulous Mer Mag blog - created by Merilee Liddiard, that she has released a new book based on her wonderful kids design projects. Called 'Playful' it will feature lots of Merilee's ideas for things to make for children to play with. Largely made from cardboard, duck tape and paint there is sure to be something inspirational for everyone on her website and in the new PlayfulAdd a Comment
Blog: Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: content creation, content marketing, profitable content, write daily, Add a tag
Guest Post by Jeff Herring Profitable Content Creation is the foundation of being successful online over the long haul. And you do want to be successful online for a long time, right? Pay no attention to those who say the time of content creation is over. Think about it: while they are saying this, what are they doing? Creating content! At the same time, there are many practices onlineAdd a Comment
Blog: Ink Splot 26 (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Games, Reads, halloween book challenge, halloween reading challenge, Add a tag
Join Us for a Month-Long Reading Challenge!
Join your fellow STACKers and take the Halloween Book Challenge. Here’s how the challenge will work. You pledge to read at least 1 new book every week based on that week’s theme. So every week, it will be a different theme and you will choose a new book to read to match the theme for that week. Tell us in the Comments what book you are reading and then go to the Reading Buzz Message Board to tell us more about your book and chat with other participants in the Halloween Book Challenge.
Oct 1-7 Halloween Colors
Read a book with black or orange in the book cover.
Oct 8-14 Creepy Setting
Choose a book that takes place somewhere creepy like a cemetery, a dark forest, a haunted house, an abandoned amusement park, an old castle . . .
Oct 15-21 Supernatural Abilities
Read a book that has witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, zombie, ghosts, or a character who has special abilities.
Oct 22-31 Trick or Treat
This week’s book can be anything related to Halloween, costumes, candy, tricks, or treats.
If you are participating in the Halloween Book Challenge, let everyone know by changing your Avatar profile into the book t-shirt, and make it orange! And leave a Comment telling us which Halloween Colors book you will read for this week.
Sonja, STACKS StafferAdd a Comment
Blog: Susanna Leonard Hill (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: picture book, pitches, September pitch pick, Would You Read It, writing exercises, Add a tag
Happy OCTOBER everyone!
Holy smoke! How did we get to October already? The days are just flying by! (some might say like a witch on a broomstick!)
And you know what October means, right? Look for some exciting news on Monday!!! :)
Meanwhile, it's time for the September Pitch Pick!
Here are the wonderful September pitches for you to choose from, revised and improved thanks to your generous feedback!:
#1 Hope - Cleo And Pinkie (PB ages 4-8)
Whether it is marker stains on the carpet or mud trails in the hall, Cleo blames her mischievous, imaginary friend, Pinkie, for everything. “Pinkie did it!” Soon Mommy can’t take it anymore and declares, “No more Pinkie!” But without Pinkie, the house is too quiet until Cleo makes another mess, this time, to everyone’s delight.
#2 Koren/Sue - Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel (PB ages 6-13)
Woofen-snoof was a happy snoof. Then one day she forgot to take her nap. She was cwabby. After causing a disaster in her house involving her brothers, Goofen and Zoofen, she decided she would never be cwabby again. And she wasn’t. That is, until the next time she forgot to take her nap. Uh-oh!
It's a tough choice as always, I know!, but please choose the one you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta and vote for it in the poll below by Sunday October 5 at 5 PM EDT. I will announce the winner on WYRI next week!
Golly! After all that voting we need a snack! Autumn is in the air, and that makes me think of cider donuts - the very best donuts on earth! So I'm cheating on Something Chocolate a little today by offering you these:
Is there anything better than fresh cider donuts and hot chocolate? I think not! :)
All right! Ready for today's pitch?
It comes to us from Tonia who says, "I have been writing children's stories since I could make words with a pen. I locked myself in my room and wrote and wrote. I now write for kids in my spare time and sharing and engaging them in stories. I blog at www.storytellertellsall.com. Most of the time, it is about my daughter "Goldi" who has autism but I mix in other writings as well."
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Eat At Antonio's
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 8+)
The Pitch: A strange looking restaurant pops up in a small ho hum farm town offering fine cuisine. A real stir is created as these plain Jane folks can't swallow much more than meat and potatoes and common sense. The Grand Opening announces a real eating adventure. Once inside, Master Chef Antonio will transform the taste buds that will take them to exotic places with just one bite.
So what do you think? Would You Read It? YES, MAYBE or NO?
Tonia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to sharing exciting things on Monday! I wonder what I'll be telling you? Aren't you just itching to find out? You're probably going to have a tough time sleeping or getting anything productive done for the next few days, what with all the waiting and wondering... Sorry about that :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)
Apparently it's big news that Netflix will be streaming the TV show Gilmore Girls starting today.
As someone who does not use/have Netflix I don't really know what this actually means, but I've been impressed/amused by the copious amounts of Gilmore Girls-coverage that has popped online up surrounding this.
For additional background reading, note that two show-related titles (aside from many of the books Rory reads ...) are under review at the complete review:
- Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest
- Gilmore Girls and the Politics of Identity: Essays on Family and Feminism in the Television Series
And just a few more children's designs to end with today - this time some web pics and store snaps from H&M kids. Key looks currently in store seem to be Pandas and cute animals wearing spectacles.Add a Comment
On October 23rd, the winners of the new Kirkus Prize will go home with $50,000. That is one big new prize indeed! Yesterday the finalists were announced and I am absolutely delighted with those in the young readers category. They are:
El Deafo by Cece Bell. I was waiting for the finished copy to post about this fantastic graphic memoir and so will soon. The more I think about it and read about the more I admire it, so much so that I’m now planning to use it with my 4th graders in a literature circle unit later this year. I have never done a whole class look at a graphic novel so it should be interesting.
The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryan, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I’ve raved here already about this one. It is my top choice for the Caldecott and I think it is a worthy contender for the Sibert as well.
The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos. My professional review for this is forthcoming, but I will say that I am absolutely delighted that the Kirkus jury is celebrating this finale to an original and complex series. Joey and Jack rule!
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E. K. Johnson. I read this ages ago thanks to the recommendation of a goodreads friend and thought it an extremely clever novel indeed. This honor should, for good reason, definitely kick up the buzz that is already building around this highly original title.
The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell. This is the only finalist I have not yet read, but the enthusiasm even before this honor has made me eager to rectify that as soon as possible.
Avian Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth. I took a quick look when I first received this and have been meaning to return to read it properly. I recall beautiful illustrations and n. Now must go back and figure it out.
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Blog: Christopher Denise (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: A Redwall Winters Tale, Autumn, Brian Jacques, Children's Books, Christopher Denise, Etsy, Fall, Redwall, Add a tag
|Autumn at Redwall Abbey|
A little autumn for The Redwall fans.
When I began work on A Redwall Winters Tale, I created a series of very small thumbnail sketches immediately after my first read through. This image came directly from one of those sketches.
I have included a jpeg of the image as it appears in the book with Brian's wonderful poem. I remember that he read that poem to me over the phone and I knew what he wanted-how he wanted the piece to feel. I think it came from a shared appreciation of this particular time of day and season.
The Thistledown troupe and stray travelers of Mossflower are making their inside the gates of Redwall Abbey where the lanterns are lit and the fires are already burning. The warmth and smell of cooking welcomes the weary travelers inside as the light slips up the mighty walls and great bell tower.
This original art is currently available, though probably not for long, at my Etsy shop.
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