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1. TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Doreen Rappaport - GIVEAWAY!

One of my relatives was a Rough Rider for Teddy Roosevelt, so I've always been fascinated by him from that point of view. Add to that our National Parks system was his doing, and he's just a fascinating guy. Then came Doreen Rappaport's TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT beautifully illustrated by C.F. Payne. I'm so hooked! And I'm happy to have Doreen here today to answer some questions about it!

Q. Doreen, Congratulations on this beautiful achievement! What was your initial draw to Teddy Roosevelt?
A.
My husband who collected political presidential memorabilia, has been after me to do Teddy as he was such an interesting, astounding man.

Q. You obviously did a ton of research to write TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS. Did you find it especially challenging to gather such in depth information?
A.
The research in some sense is the easiest part of doing a book. The hard part is finding the "hook" on which to tell the story. There are many important major biographies on Teddy. I started with them and then went to their "footnotes" to get to primary sources. I also ready Teddy's books and visited his home on Long Island.

Q. Did you learn anything that surprised you?
A.
I don't think I realized before I did the research what a fearless person he was. I don't necessarily agree with everything he did, but he stuck to what he believed in was best for the country and pursued it. He's one of the great founders of the conservation movement As much as he loved "the hunt," when he realized that hunting was destroying the Dakota territory, he jumped right in to do something about it.

Q. I love the way you structured the story with facts and quotes throughout. How did you come up with that?
A.
My first book which combined quotes and my narrative was Martin's Big Words and that gave me the idea to combine words by the people I decided to write about to give children a close, firsthand look and feel of what these people were really about.

Q. Indeed, MARTIN’S BIG WORDS blew away the children’s kid lit world and won several awards including the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, a Caldecott honor, a Coretta Scott King honor, and an ALA Notable Children’s Book Award - among others. I don’t think there was enough room on the cover for all the stickers it earned! What was it like when all those awards started coming in?
A.
It's wonderful to win awards, but the real award is to write a book that YOU think is a good book and contributes to children's literature.

Q. The story itself is written so beautifully - not at all like one might expect from a non-fiction story. How did you keep it sounding so fresh and lyrical?
A.
I work very hard on it.
Me: :)

Q. What was your reaction when you saw the luscious illustrations by C.F. Payne?
A.
I was bowled over by C. F. Payne's art and still am.

Q. One of the most interesting design decisions on this book is the lack of a title on the front cover - just that big close up of Roosevelt. (The title is on the back cover.) Did you love that straight out or did it have to grow on you?
A.
This idea came again from Martin's Big Words. The cover of that book is Dr. King with an enormous smile on his face--an unusual way to see Dr. King, to think about Dr. King, to gain another perspective about him, and so we decided as the books progressed to put only a face on the cover and the title of the book on the other side.

Q. There's a whole series of these now, yes? You must be so proud of these beautiful books!
A.
I am.

Q. I hope the books are being used like crazy in schools. How do you choose which ones to focus on when you do a school visit?
A.
I focus on all of them.

Q. So many people who dream of creating picture books, never think of non-fiction. Yet, that's your specialty. What are your thoughts about non-fiction?
A.
I absolutely adore fiction, but the amazing thing about real life is that it's as exciting and dramatic as ANY fiction writer could dream up.

Q. Doreen, thanks so much for stopping by and I look forward to more lovely books from you!

GIVEAWAY!
Disney has kindly agreed to offer a free copy of TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS: THE LIFE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT to one of my lucky winners. Must live in the US/Canada to win. Enter below:

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2. Newsletter Hamelin 2 ottobre 2014

bilbolbul
NEWSLETTER del 2/10/2014

LA SOTTILE LINEA SCURA
È andata benissimo, ci pare. Grazie a tutti per la grande partecipazione, davvero sorprendente. Contiamo di proseguire insieme il percorso iniziato.

Qui le foto della giornata.

Qui scaricabili gratuitamente materiali di approfondimento su lettura e adolescenza.

Stiamo lavorando agli atti del convegno, in uscita sul prossimo numero della rivista.

NUOVO XANADU
Da oggi, uno alla volta, gli 11 nuovi percorsi Xanadu, con i libri "titolari".
Il primo: le storie d'amore.
Romanzo di riferimento sarà Cime tempestose di Emily Brontë.
E da lì partiranno due strade, ognuna con altri libri, fumetti, film: il rapporto tra amore e morte e l'importanza del corpo.
Seguiteci su Facebook per scoprire gli altri percorsi nei prossimi giorni.

HAMELIN FA PARTE DI IBBY ITALIA
International Board on Books for Young People è una rete internazionale di persone, che provengono da 77 paesi e promuove la cooperazione internazionale attraverso i libri per bambini, creando ovunque per l'infanzia l'opportunità di avere accesso a libri di alto livello letterario e artistico e incoraggiando la pubblicazione e la distribuzione di libri di qualità per bambini specialmente nei Paesi in via di sviluppo.
www.bibliotecasalaborsa.it/ragazzi/ibby/

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3. ALSC Institute … Recap Online!

2014 Institute LogoIt was a mere two weeks ago that many of us gathered in Oakland CA for the 2014 ALSC Institute.  And thank goodness you all blogged about it! For those that couldn’t come, or missed a crucial session, here’s your chance to catch up online.

Amy "The Show Me Librarian" Koester at Children's Fairyland

Amy “The Show Me Librarian” Koester at Children’s Fairyland (photo by Kendra Jones)

From the Guerilla Storytime to the closing session, our live bloggers posted throughout the conference from different sessions, and many of you tweeted at #alsc14 …thanks to S. Bryce Kozla for this Storify version.

Many of you have provided wrap-ups at your own blogs: Penny Peck reports on the Institute at BayViews, Marge Loch-Wouters gives the low-down on the Instiute vs. ALA Conferences, and you can find reports on their programs from Amy Commers, Sylvia Vardell, Claudia Haines, and Amy Koester.  Who did I miss?  Tell us in the comments below.

There’s more to come, as our two Friends of ALSC-sponsored ALSC Institute Scholarship winners will be posting their thoughts soon: Gesse Stark-Smith on October 14th and Nicole Martin on October 21st. Stay tuned.

Nina Lindsay introducing Daniel Handler, Jenni Holm, and Mac Barnett at Children's Fairyland (photo by MaryAnn Scheuer)

Nina Lindsay introducing Daniel Handler, Jenni Holm, and Mac Barnett at Children’s Fairyland (photo by MaryAnn Scheuer)

Many of you have reported on the value of this conference in your surveys:

“I brought back wonderful program ideas, and a renewed passion for my profession.”

“I thought the Institute was excellent. The sessions were all very helpful and the speakers were great too. The best part was hearing about what other Children’s librarians are doing, and being given a space to hear about and share ideas.”

I hope you all made new connections, sparked new ideas, and are putting them into play with a renewed sense of purpose and fun.  The 2016 ALSC Institute will be held September 15-17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  See you there!

Nina Lindsay was the chair for the 2014 ALSC Institute, and is the Children’s Services Coordinator for the Oakland Public Library, CA.

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4. Eric Price Moves to Melville House

melville house logoEric Price has been named vice president of new business development at Melville House.

Price will be responsible for overseeing the growth of the publishing house. Prior to this move, he served as director of sales and marketing at Quercus and COO at Grove Atlantic.

Price had this statement in the press release: “I’m thrilled to work with Dennis, Valerie, and the entire Melville House staff. As the publishing landscape consolidates, it is exciting to be able to work for a publisher that continues to have a strong independent voice and has a growth strategy that is committed to publishing books that add to our cultural discourse.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. Rant: can agents be replaced by a service like Submittable



I've conquered the query hurdle and secured representation only to find that being on submission is ten times worse! After years of hard work, research, diligence, and above all, patience, I have to think there must be a better way for writers to find publishers that would be less frustrating and more transparent. It feels like the open waters out there and lots of talented writers are getting eaten alive! You've been very disparaging of some of the referral services that have popped up, perhaps rightfully so, but it seems to me that a service like Submittable could eventually replace the job of an agent.

So my question to you is, do you think the current agenting model is the pinnacle of publishing or is there a better way? What would that way look like?





You'll pardon me please if I get a little hot under the collar about the idea that you think I can be replaced by an Excel spread sheet.

For starters, even asking the question tells me you don't have a clue what an agent really does. The question implies that all we do is send manuscripts and wait for replies.

Here's a brief list of some of the OTHER things I do:

1. Make sure the author knows where to meet his editor at ComicCon to get his badge.  I do this because my author has never been to ComicCon, and never been to the Javits Center and didn't know that "I'll meet you there" is the same thing as saying "I'll meet you in Seattle."

2. Edit proposals

3. Re-edit proposals

4. Review books in a new category to prepare for submission of a project in 2015.

5. Review royalty statements.

6. Call royalty departments to get information on line items that are unclear.

7. Explain royalty statements to authors.

8. Call editor to nudge about getting publication date in a particular month because of client's career commitments.

9. Call editor to nudge about timely payment

10.  Call editor to follow up on manuscripts.

11. Call client to update on manuscript submission.

12. Reply to a "good news" email from client with suggestions on how to leverage that good news.

13. Consult with colleagues about contract language that isn't in author's best interest and determine strategy for negotiating.

14.  Nudge editor for information missing from royalty statement.

15. Update author on information missing from royalty statement.

16. Facilitate lunch meeting with client and colleague who solicits his work for anthologies.

17. Attend reading with client.

18. Answer email from fan about how to purchase client's books.

19. Follow up with client about expired website domain name.

20. Send submissions to editors.


And gentle readers, that's just what I can remember from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  And you'll notice that doesn't including writing this, or any other, blog post. Or reading submissions from queriers.


I'm not sure why you find the process of being on submission "frustrating" or why you think  it isn't "transparent."  I've said this before, I'll say it again now: you should be able to get a list of where your project is on submission from your agent in five minutes.  Ten if she's busy. A day if she's in the middle of follow ups.

And what's frustrating? The wait? Trust me, sending your work to someone via Submittable doesn't cut the wait time. I'm very familiar with Submittable because many of the lit mags I send my clients short stories to use it to manage submissions.

Do I think think the agenting model is perfect? No, of course not. Nothing but Our Risen Lord is perfect, and He doesn't work in publishing. Trust me, we've called for him enough.

Do I think it works pretty well? Yes I do. Not every agent is good at his/her job, and not every good agent is a good fit for every writer.

But if you think for one tiny second that what I can do can be replaced by some fucking spread sheet, well,  think again.

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6.


Inspired by this song. A tribute to all the tragedies that happened in the month of September.

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7. My tweets

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8. Guest Post: Anton Strout, Author of Incarnate

Please welcome Anton Strout back to the virtual offices!  Anton has a guest post to share, so check it out.

Name 5 things Lexi WOULD have in her purse

In THE SPELLMASON CHRONICLES Alexandra “Lexi” Belarus isn’t the sort of woman who finds herself with a purse in hand often.  Instead she prefers the fashionable roominess of a designer backpack as the life of Manhattan’s only practicing Spellmason is a hectic one where carrying capacity wins out over handbag cuteness every time.  Let’s peek inside, shall we?

1. A 40 lb. book made of solid stone

Spellmasonry—the art of wielding power and imbuing stonework with life—is a lost art, known only to Manhattan’s Belarus family with 24 year old Alexandra relearning it.  That means she is reliant on the secrets her great-great grandfather wrote centuries ago in a book that’s natural state is solid stone.  Only a Spellmason can open this tome, transforming it to paper, but it means it’s the number one thing Lexi has on her at all times.  While some arcana can be memorized and cast at will, there is much for Lexi to learn and practice in this voluminous and heavy tome.

2. One standard composition notebook (covered in various stains)

Lexi hasn’t quite achieved the prowess of her great-great grandfather at Spellmasonry, but she’s making do in this modern world.  Much of what isn’t spelled out in the stone book is scattered throughout two secret libraries, the content coded throughout multiple volumes, forcing Lexi to compile a spell book of her own.  The stains come from working with much of the alchemy that is involved in the trial and error of imbuing stone with the properties of the living.

3. 3 and 1/2 cell phones (broken screened)

The woman carries around a large stone book in her backpack, is on the run from witches and warlocks, and is fighting winged creatures made of stone.  There’s a lot of smashy smashy going on in all that, and technology does not react well to thinks that go bump in the night.

4. Bandages

Carrying on with the theme of #3, the human body also does not always play well with the resulting spells cast from the abovementioned witches and warlocks or the flick of a gargoyle’s wing that sends her and her friends flying into an alley wall.  As a fleshy, fleshy species, we don’t take to the smashy smashy too good.  Hence?  BANDAGES!

5. Bricksley

As if her backpack wasn’t heavy enough, let’s just throw one more brick in it, shall we?  But not just any brick, no!  We’re talking about Lexi’s first experimental attempt at imbuing stone with life, her humble, painted on smiling Bricksley.  Usually he can be found in one of the Spellmason libraries shelving books or returning alchemical supplies to their cabinets, but ever so often our happy little brick golem stows away for a little field work.  Sneaky little Bricksley!

INCARNATE

Anton Strout

Ace Mass Market

$7.99 | 320 pages

ISBN: 9780425273555

September 30, 2014

When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right.

But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished.

To save her city, Lexi must wield more power than ever before with the added hope of recovering a mysterious artifact that could change her world—and bring her closer to Stanis than she ever thought possible…

PRAISE FOR THE SPELLMASON CHRONICLES

“Excellent character development. The ending leaves this whole world open in a great way…My favorite part of this is the use of magic…It feels organic and interesting.”

Nerdist

“Thrilling…Skillful characterization enriches a story that is filled with peril, loss, treachery and sacrifice. Great stuff!”

RT Book Reviews

“High stakes, high tension, stark contrasts, well-rounded cast and dialogue complete with quips and banter.”

Urban Fantasy Land

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anton Strout is the author of the Spellmason Chronicles, including Stonecast and Alchemystic, and the Simon Canderous series including Dead Waters, Dead Matter, Deader Still, and Dead to Me. He was born in the Berkshire Hills mere miles from writing heavyweights Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. He currently lives in historic Jackson Heights, New York (where noting paranormal ever really happens, he assures you!). In his scant spare time, he is an always writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the world’s most casual and controller-smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds. Visit him online at www.antonstrout.com.

The post Guest Post: Anton Strout, Author of Incarnate appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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9. Do you have a vulgar tongue?

Slang is in a constant state of reinvention. The evolution of language is a testament to our world’s vast and complex history; words and their meanings undergo transformations that reflect a changing environment such as urbanization. In The Vulgar Tongue: Green’s History of Slang, Jonathon Green extensively explores the history of English language slang from the early British beggar books and traces it through to modernity. He defends the importance of a versatile vocabulary and convinces us that there is dose of history in every syllable of slang and that it is a necessary part of contemporary English, no matter how explicit or offensive the content may be. Test your knowledge…how well do you know your history of slang?

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Headline image credit: Explosion. CC0 via Pixabay.

The post Do you have a vulgar tongue? appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Visualizing a Plan

It has been a nice week of writing in kindergarten. I love these periods of growth that spike at different points in the year. We are still in our phase that is heavily… Continue reading

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11. The fifth wheel

Great horned owls have been hooting outside my bedroom window this fall. Amy Huntington. http://amysfieldnotes.wordpress.com

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12. This is 40.

You can't have him; he's mine.

(Happy birthday, darlin'.)


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13. Youth suicide and bullying: what’s the connection?

The role of bullying in suicide among our young people has been intensely scrutinized in both media and research. As the deleterious impacts on mental and physical health for both perpetrators and targets—suicide being the most severe—become more evident, calls for framing of the problem from a public health framework have increased. A scientifically grounded educational and public health approach to both bullying and suicide prevention is required.

So let’s look at the science regarding the connection between bullying and suicide. As with most highly emotional phenomena, there has been a tendency to both overstate and minimize the connection. As Jeffrey Duong and Catherine Bradshaw point out: while the prevalence of bullying is high (approximately 20% to 28%), “most children who are bullied do not become suicidal.” At the same time, children who have been bullied have an increased risk of mental and physical problems. Melissa Holt warns us that bullying should be considered one of several factors that increase a young persons risk for suicide. We must be careful, though, not to confuse correlation with causation. That is to say, that bullying most typically has an indirect effect on a young person taking their life, rather than being the sole cause. Finally, the suicide rate (both attempts and completions) among our young people is unacceptably high and requires systematic efforts for prevention and intervention.

Bullying is an abuse of power. By definition, bullying is seen as behavior that is intended to be hurtful and targets individuals perceived to be weaker and unable to defend themselves. Bully can be direct and face-to-face, or may be conducted through social media. Amanda Nickerson and Toni Orrange Trochia reviewed recent research showing that all children involved in bullying (targets, perpetrators, and those who are both) are at higher risk for mental health problems and subsequently higher risk for suicidal behavior. This risk increases with repeated involvement in bullying and, for targets, the belief that they are alone in their plight. At the same time, social environments (community, school, family, peer) that support differences and caring relationship provide greater protection from the harmful effects of bullying.

Excluded Sad Girl Is Looking The Group Talking
Excluded girl. © SimmiSimons via iStock.

While the question of who gets bullied and why is complicated, we know that some groups are more likely to be the target of bullying than others. Those children who present themselves as “different” are more likely targets than those who fit in comfortably to school norms. Children from stigmatized or marginalized groups, including those with psychiatric problems, physical disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, are at higher risk for being targets of bullying and for suicidal behavior. Again, individuals from stigmatized groups with higher community, school, and family support fare better than those who perceive themselves to face torment alone.

A cultural perspective is important to understand the connection between bullying and suicide. The research on the complexity of ethnic differences in bullying and suicide is sparse and in some cases contradictory. By paying attention to bullying behaviors that happen between people of different ethnic groups and those that exist within the same ethnic group, a clearer picture arises. Different cultural patterns related to aggression and emotion expression help to understand and decode what behaviors warrant being labeled “bullying” within different cultures. Differences between ethnic groups of youth need to be taken into consideration when trying to understand whether bullying and/or suicidal behavior are on the increase. Finally, specific care and attention must be paid to the risk of both suicide and bullying among sexual and gender minority youth. Both of these groups are among the highest at risk.

In conclusion, even one suicide death that is triggered by a recent torment of bullying is too many. As we move to better our responses to the threat of suicide due to bullying, we are assisted by the careful scientific exploration of differential risk and protective factors. By taking community oriented, culturally informed approaches, we believe that current interventions can be improved and new interventions can be created.

The post Youth suicide and bullying: what’s the connection? appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. Un-Retirement

After a month of what other people have been calling my "retirement" and I have been calling my transition to life as a full-time writer, I just made the decision to un-retire. I've accepted an offer to return to my visiting professorship at DePauw University for the spring semester.

When I set foot in Greencastle last week, I fell back in love, so hard, so fast. I kept thinking of the Dolly Parton song I used to listen to back when I had a complicated love life, many decades ago: "Here you come again, looking better than a body has a right to. And shaking me up so, that all I really know, is here you come again - and here I go...." The little town of Greencastle (pop. 10,000), the idyllic campus of DePauw (even under construction), the walk through the Nature Park to the pristine and peaceful Prindle Institute, hugs from colleagues, late night talks with my former housemate Julia. . . . it all looked better than any place on earth has a right to. It shook me up so, the intensity of the longing to be there again.

It all happened so fast. I went so quickly from "Gee, it's great to be back here," to "Wow, I really would like to teach here again some time," to "Do you think you might ever have a use for me in the future?" to "Next spring? Let me think for a second or two. . . why, YES!"

I'll be teaching children's literature in the English department, Rousseau in the philosophy department, and throwing myself once again into all Prindle Institute for Ethics activities. I'll reside with Julia and her darling kindergartner, Alex. And I'll be living in the same state as my sister for the first time since our childhood.

I already have pangs at the thought of leaving my sweet Boulder life yet again - my family, my friends, my church, my world. But I'll come back for Kataleya's first birthday in February, for spring break in March, for Gregory's graduation in May.

And I have to admit that so far I haven't liked being a full-time writer as much as I thought I would. A lifelong pattern of writing for only an hour a day (a pattern which allowed me to write and publish 50 books) is hard to break. I thought I might be able to make myself write at least two hours a day, but I just didn't seem to be able to. I wasn't completing any more pages than when I worked full time. And while I did fill the rest of my days with considerable fun, I had just as much fun before. It turns out that I'm happier when I'm busy.

Maybe a month wasn't a fair try of my new life. That's hardly time to get the opening scenes of Act III to be playing out as they should. In any case, I've said yes to DePauw, and I feel excited. I'll still need to figure out the full-time writing life someday, but I'll tackle that later.

For now, my new mantra for myself is: "Do not go gentle into that good pasture." With this decision to return to teaching for one last (?) semester, I'm feeling my oats.

I'm feeling downright frisky.



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15. Interview with Cecy Robson, Author of Once Perfect and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Cecy! Thanks for dropping by!

[Cecy Robson] Thank you to the good people at Manga Maniac Café for the lovely Q&A and feature.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Cecy Robson] Creative goof obsessed with Thor.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Cecy Robson] Evelyn (Evie) is a spunky waitress working at the exclusive Club Excess. Once she supposedly had everything, and now is just struggling to survive. Mateo (Teo) is the lead bouncer at the club and an underground mixed martial arts fighter. He’s had a rough upbringing and despite his efforts to better his life, everything he worked for is robbed from him. Both Teo and Evie have troubling pasts. Both lead hard lives. Both can’t fight their red-hot attraction to each other.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Cecy Robson] My agent told me to brainstorm a few blurbs for a potential new series. Since she wanted me to focus on the New Adult genre, I started to think about what twenty-something year-olds would be interested in. Back in the day, I loved dancing and hitting the clubs. I thought it would be fun to write a story where an exclusive club could serve as the background. What makes clubs hot? Well, sexy muscular bouncers of course! Enter Mateo, lead bouncer and alpha baddass male with protective instincts–the perfect hero for my very heartbroken heroine, Evelyn. Life hasn’t been good to either of my characters. As the story unfolds, readers will see how good they are to each other.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Cecy Robson] I really enjoyed the journey Evelyn and Mateo shared. They both grew and changed tremendously. During times of incredible weakness and pain, they were each other’s strengths. Their relationship while ultra steamy and laced with tremendous sexual attraction, is unique and beautiful. These are two people who genuinely care for each other and want to see the other happy?no matter what it costs them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Cecy Robson] Ha, ha. That would be the love scenes. I kept trying to fade to black. My agent, bless her heart, wouldn’t let me. I was worried readers would be too distracted by Evelyn and Mateo’s physical relationship and forget there was more to their story. In the end though, I think I managed to create both: a great love story with some equally great love scenes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Cecy Robson] Wild One by Flo Rida. It describes Mateo and also sets the tone for the club scene. It’s also a song I picture Mateo and Evie dancing to at a party. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Cecy Robson] My iPhone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Cecy Robson] Laptop, pens, and my iPhone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Cecy Robson] Jennifer Lawrence, but who wouldn’t? She seems happy and appears to be having a blast!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Cecy Robson] Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs and Deadly Chemistry by Teri Anne Stanley.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Cecy Robson] I love to read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Cecy Robson] I seem to be everywhere these days, but I’m primarily on Facebook and Twitter and also answer frequent emails from fans on my website. Drop me a line, readers and writers. I’d love to chat. :-)

<http://www.cecyrobson.com/> cecyrobson.com
<http://www.facebook.com/Cecy.Robson.Author>
facebook.com/Cecy.Robson.Author
<http://twitter.com/#!/cecyrobson> twitter.com/cecyrobson

Once Perfect

Shattered Past # 1

By: Cecy Robson

Releasing October 7th, 2014

Loveswept: Flirt

Blurb

His life was never easy. Hers wasn’t supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson’s raw, steamy series debut—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.

Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid.

As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/once-perfect-shattered-past-1-by-cecy.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20699759-once-perfect?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Once-Perfect-Shattered-Past-Robson-ebook/dp/B00JNQMLE0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409516722&sr=1-1&keywords=once+perfect

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-perfect-cecy-robson/1120019665?ean=9780553391169

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/once-perfect/id862226886?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/once-perfect

Author Info

Cecy Robson is the New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

Author Links

Website: http://www.cecyrobson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cecy.Robson.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cecyrobson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6177334.Cecy_Robson

 

Excerpt

“Malibu Barbie. We need more cocktail napkins!”

I stopped wiping the bar booth, torn between throwing my bucket at Sam or at the cluster of bouncers chuckling at his Barbie dig. I still had two more booths to clean before the doors to the Main Line’s infamous Club Excess opened and the real work began. A crowd of spoiled brats?offspring of Philly’s wealthiest families?with too much money and too much attitude already crowded the doors. I should know. I used to be one of them. Except they still had the money.

I had a screaming boss.

“Malibu!”

“Jesus, Sam, I’m going.” I tossed my towel on the table and stomped across the dance floor in my black, thigh-high boots. If it weren’t for the crazy tips the drunk idiots dropped like bowling balls, no way would I work at a place where I had to accessorize tiny black shorts and a skimpy tank with these hooker boots. The white dress shirt tied at my belly was Sam’s way of compromising when me and a few of the other waitresses complained about our new “uniforms.” The more desperate among us tied it closer to their cleavage. I didn’t. Even if it meant less money, I wanted to hang on to what little pride I had left.

My steps slowed as I neared the group of bouncers huddled around Mateo. He was young, younger than at least half of them, and still they looked up to him. ’’Considering Mateo was an ex-con who fought in fight clubs, you’d think the staff would avoid him’’. I sure did. Hell, I’d barely spoken to him in the six months I’d worked at Excess, using any excuse to keep my distance. That said, there was something about him that made people take notice. His burly arms crossed his chest. Power was inked on one forearm in bold Gothic lettering, Wrath on the other, and black flames crawled up both, disappearing beneath the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt.

My puny shoulders tensed as I drew closer. Mateo had served time for beating some poor guy so brutally the guy had spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from the bashes to his face and body. I watched Mateo, a lot. Every now and then, I’d catch him glancing my way, too. He’d offer me a brief nod or a small smile, but I never offered anything in return. His size, the depth of his voice, and his aptitude for violence scared me, despite his captivating looks. He moved like a panther staking out his turf, ready for anything, his steely hazel eyes taking everything in.

He spoke low and rough as the last of his crew arrived. “Listen up. Keep the drugs and the dealers out. They come in with that shit, you see anyone selling?send their asses out the door. Sam doesn’t want another OD in his place. If those rich pricks want to die, they can do it somewhere else.”

The others answered Mateo with stiff nods, except for Dale, who whistled as I walked by. “Nice ass, Evelyn . . .”

His voice trailed off. I turned to shoot him a dirty look over my shoulder only to catch the death glare Mateo was firing his way. “Leave Evie the fuck alone and pay attention, Dale,” Mateo told him. Dale immediately dropped his gaze, allowing Mateo to return his attention to the rest of the group. “With the first week of classes over, these fools are looking to party hard, and the dealers are ready to assist. ““Don’t go it alone. Call for backup if you need it, when you need it. I’ll take point near the bar. Ant’s my second. He’ll take point left of the floor. If I’m mixed up in some other shit, you call him. Got me?”

The bouncers collectively muttered in agreement. Even Dale.

My heart was thumping against my sternum and I lost my footing. I reached for my ponytail and tightened it fast, trying to pretend that was the reason I’d tripped and not, absolutely not, because ’Mateo had stuck up for me and shut Dale up on my behalf. Or because he’d called me “Evie.” Again. No one else had ever called me that.

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16. NaNoWriMo Prep Work: How to Fit Writing Into Your Busy Schedule

nanowrimoBY ABBY SCHREIBER Everyone has a different take on the writing process, from the classic rhythm of “Write, edit, revise, and repeat” to the scramble of mismatched scenes that eventually come together. As a young author, I find the writing process to be something stretchable, and easy to bend. The writer is the one who truly creates their own writing process out of the twenty-six letters that make up their basic materials.

At some point, though, you in your busy life might wonder, “How the heck am I going to fit this writing into my schedule?”

Well, there are two simple answers. The first is to become a hermit. The second, and possibly more effective solution, is proactive time management. NaNoWriMo, and its Camp NaNoWriMo events are all about managing time. How else could so many people write 50,000 words, or even more, in only a month? (For more great tips on National Novel Writing Month [NaNoWriMo], download the November/December issue of Writer’s Digest now!)

First of all: absolutely do not become a hermit, or remove yourself in any way from friends and family! They will play a major part in the things you achieve. Instead, daydream and seek inspiration whenever you have a moment where getting lost in your ideas won’t be a hazard (because planning a novel in your head during brain surgery doesn’t sound like a good idea, does it?).

Plan beforehand. Whether you write on your own, or solely during events like NaNoWriMo, planning makes things incredibly easier. I’ve found that planning can take many routes, too, but it boils down to this: you wrestle with what needs to happen to fulfill your story, then take note. Perhaps you are like me and string index cards all over your work area, or maybe you make a map of the world you have created.

T1255Get prepared to write an entire novel in November with
a little help for our October 9 webinar: How to Pre-Plot & Complete
a Novel or Memoir in a Month (comes with a bonus ebook).
Register here
.

When it comes to making the most of your writing time, there are ways to improve the amount you write, and still have time for your life. You sit down in your free time at your favorite place to write. Let’s say there is only one hour for you to get as much as you can done. What do you do?

First, shut off distractions. Tumblr, Facebook, it all has to go. Turn off the phone, hide away the book you’re reading (I know, it is hard). Once these things can’t be of distraction, you can get started, but with what? You have the characters and the world they belong to planned out, but where do you begin?

Well, with one word, followed by another. You begin writing with the words that may become the ending to the mystery or the introduction of a character. Steps turn to leaps. You leave this world behind to spend a small time somewhere else.

When it is time to get back to work, school, sleep, or whatever else you have to do, remember to never forget whatever it is you write with. Bring a notebook to continue in every spare moment, or your laptop to type during a lunch break. Wherever you go, inspiration follows, even if in the smallest ways.

Don’t write too long. Allow time to get snacks, and to give your mind a break. Writing, like anything, is a process that takes time to learn and improve upon.

nano_14_writers_digest_abby_schreiberDoing NaNo or anything similar is like entering a different world. Set the times when you can immerse yourself in the story that you have created. No one else can write the things you can. Even if you aren’t a writer, there are things that will never exist if you are not the one to create them. Embrace your ideas, establish goals to get where you want to go, and set off!

-
Abigail is a thirteen-year-old writer in Lafayette, Colorado, who has been told that she was practically an adult from birth. Over the past year, she’s written three novels, and hopes to eventually get at least one of them traditionally published. Most day she can be found tucked away in her room, watching Doctor Who, listening to her favorite music, and planning new books. Her first book, Millennium can be found here. Follow her on Twitter at @epikowl.

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17. all things space-themed

When Stuart and I were visiting the Reeve house on Dartmoor, we spotted two Poglite visitors perched on top of the piano, gently waving about their tentacles:



And then the Reeves notices that all their spoons had disappeared, and I know for certain that these two occurences were linked. Poglites have never managed to develop their own spoon technology, and they are always on the prowl for these treasures.

And just today, Zoe Toft pointed out this article that would have interested the Poglites very much:



Philip and I particularly admired the spoon for disposing of horrific soups:



If you've been following Zoe's Playing by the Book blog, you will have seen that she and her family have already made forays into the world of spoon valuation:





Perhaps some day Reeve & McIntyre will write a Poglite song - and play the spoons! - but in the meantime, you can hear our first Cakes in Space song, as performed at Budleigh Salterton:




But Cakes in Space is not the only new space book, there's an amazing one coming out next week! Kids, adults, librarians, everyone, go get a copy of James Turner's STAR CAT.



James is possibly the funniest writer of comics on the planet, and you can't go wrong with this book. His humour works on many levels; from slapstick to breath-takingly absurd metaphysics. ...Oh, and the London launch party at Gosh is NEXT THURSDAY! Do go along if you can, and get James to sign and doodle in your book:



Besides Gosh comics, another great place to buy STAR CAT online is from The Phoenix Comic's own shop (where you can get lots of other great comics, too. Hmm. I notice it's not there yet, but it should be there next week, after the launch). Check out James's website and you can follow him on Twitter as @eruditebaboon. If you love STAR CAT, be sure to check out his earlier amazing book, Super Animal Adventure Squad... and subscribe to get a weekly dose of comics from The Phoenix Comic!

Speaking of comics, be sure to check out Neill Cameron's blog: he's been writing up a storm about how to get kids reading using comics. I back him 100%, this is something I really believe in.



Comics And Literacy, Part 1: Why Reading Comics Matters

Part 2: The (New) Golden Age of Children's Comics

Part 3: Things You Can Do

Follow him on Twitter as @neillcameron and keep an eye on the #ComicsAndLiteracy hash tag.

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18. Bloomsbury UK to Publish Neil Gaiman Short Story as a Book

The Sleeper & The SpindleBloomsbury UK will publish Neil Gaiman’s short story, The Sleeper and the Spindle, as a book.

Gaiman drew inspiration for this piece from the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale. It was originally published in a 2013 anthology entitled Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales.

Artist Chris Riddell created illustrations for this project. The publication date has been scheduled for October 23, 2014. Earlier this year, HarperCollins released its own version of The Sleeper and the Spindle in the U.S.A. to celebrate California Bookstore Day. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. What is the most important issue in music education today?

Fall is upon us. The temperature is falling, the leaves are turning, and students are making their way back at school. To get a glimpse into the new school year, we asked some key music educators share their thoughts on the most important issues in music education today.

  *    *    *    *    *

“The history of music education in the United States is integrally linked to general educational policies and initiatives, as well as American culture and society. Rationales for why music is an important component of students’ education have utilized utilitarian, aesthetic, and praxial arguments, often attempting to connect the goals of music learning with the educational priorities of the day. In the “data driven,” high stakes testing milieu of today’s educational reform movement, music educators find themselves having to defend not only music programs, but also the teaching profession in general. Political rhetoric and shrinking budgets have too often resulted in the false choice of ‘basic subjects’ over other areas of study, such as music and art, that can provide meaningful ways of understanding the world and equipping individuals to live a ‘good life.’ In this environment it is important that music teachers remain strong, articulate advocates for the value of music in the complete education of children, and to not resort to superficial reasons for music’s inclusion in school curricula. All persons deserve the opportunity to experience a life enriched through active musical participation that includes creating, performing, and listening to music. Robust school music programs help to provide the foundational understandings to make that possible. As Karl Gehrkens, former president of the Music Supervisors National Conference, stated in 1923, ‘Music for every child; every child for music.’”

Dr. William I. Bauer, Associate Professor and Director of the Online Master of Music in Music Education program at the University of Florida, and author of Music Learning Today: Digital Pedagogy for Creating, Performing, and Responding to Music

  *    *    *    *    *

“Access to quality music instruction is the most important issue in music education today. Some American children have a daily opportunity to make music during school with a certified music teacher who assists them in creating music, performing music, and responding to music. However, many children do not have this opportunity. In some cases, children may have daily access to a music teacher, but that music teacher may not organize instruction in a way that offers the opportunity to create, perform, and respond to music. Many children have access to a music teacher only a few times per week and oftentimes the lack of resources for that music program leads to a subpar experience for students. Due to a lack of state level policy regarding music education, many children have no music teacher in their school building. Although there are rich opportunities for outside of school community music in the United States, many children cannot afford to pay for music instruction outside of the school setting. Citizens interested in making a difference in music education must advocate for a well-prepared, certified music teacher in every school building. Music needs to be mandated at least twice a week in a dedicated space at the elementary level and every secondary student should have the opportunity to participate in choral, instrumental, and general music.”

Colleen M. Conway, Professor of Music Education, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, University of Michigan, Editor-in-Chief of Arts Education Policy Review, and the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education

*    *    *    *    *

“The most important issue in music education today is one that has existed for as long as has formal music education: assessment. The term raises many eyebrows, and I believe in viewing assessment for both its positive attributes and for the dangers it can present. Assessment of student work is vital for accountability, curriculum development, and instructional planning, but assessment can be dangerous when it accounts only for standardized measures, when it is used punitively, and when it does not properly inform educational decision-making. Good assessment of student work in music should help students to understand their own progress, and allow them to explore music creatively. Assessment of music teachers’ work is just as crucial because music teachers must be outstanding musicians, pedagogical thinkers, and instructors. Similar to assessment of student work, assessment of teachers should help to inform teachers of their strengths and areas for growth. Good assessment of teachers should provide feedback for improvement of planning and instruction, and should encourage teachers to incorporate new ideas, technologies, and types of interaction with their students. Assessments of teachers should be based on their actual performance rather than on that of their students, as is the unfortunate case in many high-stakes testing scenarios. Thoughtful, positively focused assessment can be a powerful motivator for educational progress and change, and can help students and teachers alike to participate creatively in music.”

Jay Dorfman, Assistant Professor in Music Education at Boston University, and author of Theory and Practice of Technology-Based Music Instruction

*   *   *   *   *

“With the current trend towards turning student evaluations into teacher accountability measures, we risk narrowly focusing music education to those skills based elements that can be easily measured.  As music teacher educators we need to resist the urge to succumb to the standardized testing movement and broaden our students’ notions of what it means to be musical. We need to ensure a learner centered music education for all students that fosters creative thinking and divergent outcomes, such as composing, improvising and other forms of sonic exploration and expression through traditional and non-traditional approaches to music making.”

Gena R. Greher, Professor of Music Education at University of Massachusetts Lowell, and co-author of Computational Thinking in Sound: Teaching the Art and Science of Music and Technology

*    *    *    *    *

“The most important issue in music education today is the lack of understanding shown by policy makers, school leaders, local politicians, and governments of the value of systematic and successful music learning across the lifespan, especially for our children and young people. Engaging in active music learning over a sustained period generates measurable physical, psychological and social benefits (as well as cultural benefit) that are long-term for the individuals and groups involved. The scientific evidence of music’s value (from clinical science, neuroscience, and social science) is increasing every day. Although we don’t yet understand clearly all the mechanisms of how music learning can promote long-term benefit, there can be no doubt that music can make a powerful and positive difference to health (physical, emotional, cognitive), whilst supporting different aspects of intellectual functioning (such as literacy) and fostering social inclusion and cohesion amongst and across diverse groups. Investing in high quality music education should be a priority for all, not just the lucky few, because music can transform lives for the better, across the lifespan.”

Graham Welch, Professor, Institute of Education, University of London, and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1 and Volume 2

Headline Image: music-classical-sheet-music-piano. Creative Commons License via Pixabay

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20. Guest Post: P.J. Hoover on Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life

Cynthia & P.J. at Texas Book Festival
By P.J. Hoover
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life (Starscape/Macmillan, 2014) is my fifth novel, but given how long the publication road has been, it’s possibly the one I am the most excited about.

Tut follows the adventures of an immortal King Tut who is stuck at the age of thirteen and has to repeat eighth grade over and over again (talk about perpetual puberty!).

The first couple chapters are set in the past, in ancient Egypt, as we find out how and why Tut is immortal, but after that, we switch to present day Washington, D.C. where the remainder of the book takes place.

My last published novel was Solstice (Tor, 2013), a book solidly planted in the young adult market.

With Tut, I’ve gone back to the middle grade market. The book is aimed at those Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans out there, third-to-eighth-grade kids, people who adore King Tut, or anyone who enjoys fun fantasy.

It’s been a four years since my last middle grade title, and one thing I’ve discovered more than anything else is that marketing to this age group has changed!

Not only are kids online more, librarians and educators are, too.

I admit it. I love spending time online and playing computer games.

And maybe it makes me a slacker parent, but I often let my kids play longer on their games so I can play, too. (I’m a firm believer that one of the best family time activities is Mario Kart.) My kids never complain. And seeing how much time my kids want to spend on the computer or game consoles, I wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between gaming and reading.

There are a few exciting things I managed to pull together for Tut.

Why are they exciting? Because they are exactly the kind of book extras that I would have wanted if I were a kid. Heck, I’m an adult, and I am loving them. So get your gamer thumbs ready and read on!



MINECRAFT Server

The first thing I came up with (with the help of my kids and their friends) is a MINECRAFT server for Tut. If you don't know what MINECRAFT is, ask any later elementary school or middle school kid, and they will enthusiastically tell you.

The server for Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life has many locations used in the book. Not only can kids visit the world of Tut, they can interact in the same ways that Tut does. They can escape from his tomb. They can find secret tunnels under Washington, D.C. There is also be a place on my website where kids can “apply” to become builders on the server.

In addition, there is a MINECRAFT scavenger hunt. Kids can warp around from place to place on the server piecing out hidden words that can then be strung together to reveal a secret message.

Just a note: MINECRAFT is also starting to get more traction in the educational market. My daughter’s third grade class used it to learn about perimeter and area. You can read more about the educational version of MINECRAFT and the regular version.

Learn more about the TUT MINECRAFT WORLD.


Video Game (using SCRATCH)

The second thing I came up with is a video game for Tut. The video game itself is pretty cool (with ten levels, codes to decipher, patterns to recognize), but what really makes it exceptional is the platform where I designed it.

I used SCRATCH which is a website designed by MIT and used widely in schools to teach and encourage kids to computer program and write video games. Kids can play games written by others (such as my TUT game), they can remix games, or they can write games of their own.

SCRATCH has millions of users worldwide.

Learn more about the TUT SCRATCH video game.

Pick Your Own Quest

I have to mention first that my favorite books in elementary school (besides Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden) were those Choose Your Own Adventure books.

So the third thing I came up with for Tut is a Pick Your Own Quest adventure (which is similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure except done up King Tut style and on the computer).

The Pick Your Own Quest TUT adventure is a fun way for kids to immerse themselves in the world of TUT online and to try their hand at being pharaoh while seeing how their choices will affect their fate.

For starters . . .

You are about to embark on a great adventure as King Tut, Pharaoh of Egypt. Whatever you do, don't turn back. Once you make a choice, it cannot be changed! One path may lead to you saving the world. Another may lead to your end. Choose Wisely.

Learn more about the TUT Pick Your Own Quest adventure.

Yes, it’s all about gaming, but my goal is to encourage educators to get kids excited about reading by relating to things they know and love. I would love to see educators assign video game programming or MINECRAFT world development as possibly curriculum tie-ins when reading books in addition to (or instead of) traditional book reports.

I adore the idea of kids writing video games based on books they love. And I believe that encouraging creative writing in a fun form such as a Pick Your Own Quest adventure is a great thing for reluctant writers!

I leave you with the book trailer for Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life which pulls it all together.



Now it’s time for reading, writing, and gaming!

About P.J. Hoover

At Comic Con
After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer, P. J. Hoover started writing books for kids and teens.

When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.

Her middle grade novel, Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life (Starscape/Macmillan, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat.

Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own.

About Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life

From the promotional copy:
You’d think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he’ll mummify himself.

Granted the gift of immortality by the gods—or is it a curse?—Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages.

Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut’s father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him.

The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon—Set, the god of Chaos.

The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn’t find a way to keep out of their clutches, he’ll never make it to the afterworld alive.

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21. Are you ready for some football…books?

I love the fall. I do not love people asking me, “Hey, how about that [insert-local-football-team] game?” I have nothing against the sport; it’s just not my thing.

Working at an all-boys school, though, I am surrounded by a mass of gridiron fans. As stereotypical as it may be, I think any of my coworkers would agree that the vast majority of our guys live for sports. They play them. They watch them. They passionately debate about them. And in the fall that means football.

Being a sneaky English teacher, I try to capitalize upon this interest to trick kids into reading. Here’s a list of books about football I find myself recommending to students time and time again.

wallace Muckers 198x300 Are you ready for some football...books?   bradley CallMeByMyName 198x300 Are you ready for some football...books?   herbach StupidFast 200x300 Are you ready for some football...books?   bissinger FridayNightLights 197x300 Are you ready for some football...books?   smith winger 196x300 Are you ready for some football...books?

Muckers by Sandra Neill Wallace
Based on a true story, Muckers follows a 1950s quarterback from a struggling mining town as he tries to lead his team to a state championship in the final year before the high school closes. A great look at a town on the cusp of historical change and the spirit of determination found in athletes.

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley
Set in a slow-to-integrate Louisiana town, Bradley tells the story of two friends and teammates — one black, one white. It’s a well-told tale that explores the power and limitations of athletics to bridge the racial divide.

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
A growth spurt punts a once-runty kid into the world of the jocks. With a wonderful voice, Herbach tells a hilarious and real story about navigating sudden change. (My “reluctant” readers often tear through this one.)

Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
The source material for the movie (best soundtrack ever) and the TV series (one of the best TV shows ever), Bissinger spends a season with the Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas. It’s a great look at what happens when gifted high school athletes are treated like throwaway gods.

Winger by Andrew Smith
Winger tells the story of a 14-year-old high school junior and rugby player as he tries to navigate life and girls at a boarding school. Smith’s hilarious and soul-crushing novel perfectly captures both the real and tenuous bonds that exist between teammates. (Yes, I know that rugby is not football. But I don’t foresee myself making a “books about rugby list” anytime soon, so here it is.)

share save 171 16 Are you ready for some football...books?

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22. Little Leap Forward—A Boy in Bejing by Guy Yue and Clare Farrow {Guest Post by Hannah Rials}

{Guest post By Hannah Rials}

LittleLeapForward_HC_W
Little Leap Forward is the story of a young boy in Revolutionary China. He lives in the musician’s  quarter with his mother and sisters, where he is trying to find inspiration for the music. He hears music in everything—fish, silk worms, birds—and just like his father, he aspires to become a great musician. Little Leap as he is commonly called enjoys his life, his friends Little-Little and Blue, and most enjoys his times at the river. He skips stones, catches fish, and flies white kites as often as he can. Even through the hardships of his time—matching clothing, rationed food—he manages to find happiness.
leap
One day, Little-Little catches a little bird for Little Leap, which he decides to take home. He quickly builds a home for his new friend, planning to learn her, who he names Little Cloud, beautiful son. But no matter what he does, Little Cloud will not sing. His friends and family try to convince him that captivity is not the life for her. But he knows he just hasn’t found her inspiration yet. So to help her beloved son along, Little Leap’s mother buys him a bamboo flute and pays for his lessons with a little jar of soy sauce. Little Leap makes it his mission to become a wonderful flute player so that soon he will be able to hear Little Cloud’s song.
Then tragedy strikes. Chairman Mao becomes convinced that all intellectuals, books, and writers are against the revolution, and so the Red Guard is formed. They begin burning books, pictures—all memories of the old China. During this time, life becomes more restricted, his friend Blue moves to the country, and he slowly comes to the realization that Little Cloud really isn’t made for courtyard life. One day, he takes Little Cloud’s cage out to the river and opens the door. One moment, she’s in the cage; the next, she’s gone. But, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. One day, after a long time of not going to the river, Little Leap decides to take his flute down to practice. He practices his scales and a few melodies he memorized. Then suddenly, Little Cloud reappears, recognizes him, and allows him to hold her. He began to play for her and was thrilled when she replied. He didn’t even realize when she wasn’t there anymore. For the first time in a long time, Little Leap was happy.
This book is very special. Not only is it a beautiful story, but a true story. Guo Yue based Little Leap Forward on his own childhood in the musician’s courtyard during Revolutionary China. The story is meaningful and illustrates a lifestyle during a rough time in China. Like other Barefoot Books stories, Guy Yue and Clare Farrow tell an inspirational, educational story that will live on in our hearts.
Something To Do:
1. learn more about the Erhu (Chinese Violin)

2. Ever wondered How to Skip Stones? Here’s your chance to Learn!
1. Pick the right stone: flat, uniform thickness/thinness, fits in your palm, and no heavier than a tennis ball. Too heavy and the rock won’t skip off the water.  2. Hold the stone between your thumb and middle finger, with your thumb on top, and your index finger hooked along the edge.  3. Stand facing the water at a slight angle. With rock in hand, pull your arm back like you’re going to throw a sidearm pitch.  4. As you throw the rock, cock your wrist back. Right before the release, give your wrist a quick flick. This will create the spin needed for the stone to skip across the water.  5. Throw out and down at the same time. For maximum skips, the stone should enter the water at a 20 degree angle. Scientists have found this to be the optimal angle for stone skipping!  6. Have fun skipping stones with your kiddos!
3. Take The Silkworm Challenge!
silkworm
4. Make a Paper Kite:
-Cut a diamond out of white paper and decorate with symbols such as a dragon, phoenix, silk worm, or fish.
-Depending on where you live in the world, find some type of smooth sticks, and make a cross on one side the paper
-You can make the tails with streamers to make it colorful.
-Tie a string where the sticks intersect that you will use to control the kite.
- Wait for a windy day, then let it fly
5. Print off some Phoenix coloring pages:
2014-09-02_14-32-10

 

6. Create your own Bamboo Flute!

Enjoy!

Hannha rials

Born in the hills of Louisiana and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, Hannah Rials is a eighteen year-old aspiring author and editor. She’s been writing short stories since she was a little girl, but for the past several years, she has been writing, editing, and reediting a novel of her own that she hopes to publish in the near future.  Hannah has always loved reading and the world of books. With a librarian grandmother who can tell the most magical stories, how could she not fall in love with the written word. Her library collection and love for books grows every day.

 

 

The post Little Leap Forward—A Boy in Bejing by Guy Yue and Clare Farrow {Guest Post by Hannah Rials} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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23. Anthony Horowitz to write new James Bond novel

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider teenage spy novels, has been invited to write a new James Bond adventure by the Ian Fleming estate.

Currently dubbed Project One, the book will be set in the 1950s and contain previously unseen Fleming material.

Horowitz said Fleming’s hero had had “a profound influence” on his life adding: “This is a book I had to write.”

The material, an episode treatment for an unmade James Bond TV series, takes 007 into the world of motor racing.

Entitled Murder on Wheels, the treatment will serve as a starting point for Horowitz’s novel, to be published on 8 September 2015.

“When the estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse?” said the 59-year-old, who was made an OBE in the New Year Honours.

“It’s a huge challenge… but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration.”

“In the 1950s, Ian Fleming wrote several episode treatments for a James Bond television series,” said Jessie Grimond, the author’s great-niece.

“But it never came to be made and he ended up turning most of the plots into the short stories that are now in the collections For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights.

“However, there are a few plot outlines which he never used and which, till now, have never been published, or aired.

“Given that Anthony is as brilliant a screenwriter as he is a novelist, we thought it would be exciting to see what he would do with one of them.”

Read the full story on BBC News

0 Comments on Anthony Horowitz to write new James Bond novel as of 10/2/2014 7:13:00 AM
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24. Alison Bechdel to Create Third Graphic Novel Memoir

Alison BechdelCartoonist Alison Bechdel has become well-known for her graphic novel memoirs. Her first, Fun Home, came out in 2006 and her second, Are You My Mother?, followed in 2012.

Bechdel plans to create a third entitled The Secret to Superhuman Strength. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will release the finished book in 2017.

According to The New York Times, this project “chronicles her decades long obsession with various fitness and exercise fads, including downhill skiing, uphill skiing, rollerblading, martial arts, running, hiking, weight lifting and home workout videos and currently, yoga. The book will also explore the history of American fitness fads, and Ms. Bechdel’s efforts to rekindle her creativity through exercise, and it is shot through with her signature darkness.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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25. September Mosaic


























The first fourteen pictures this month are from the Casting for Recovery retreat. That will explain all of those splashes of pink. We had perfect weather and a fabulous group of ladies.

15-17 are my Equinox Amazement photos. The day after the equinox, the sun shone right down the middle of our East/West street. The next day, the sun was noticeably further south because its light was further north. The third day, you can barely see the light going down the sidewalk across the street. We are tracking how far the sun is shining in our south-facing window at school each afternoon when we gather for read aloud (where the sun-patch is on the floor before I lower the blinds).

#18 -- Bono Pizza. Locals, if you've never experienced Bono Pizza, you owe it to yourself and your tastebuds to give it a try. Click over to their website and look at the pictures. I promise you'll drool!


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