Enter to win an autographed advance reader copy of An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, April 28, 2015), by Sabaa Tahir, and a T-shirt. Giveaway begins March 26, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 16, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.Add a Comment
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Blog: The Children's Book Review (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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It was the last time I would go to Finn, I swore to myself as I searched for him in the Elmdale Tavern. He was around one of the regular spots. I needed to see him fast. At the Carleton Tavern I found Finn with a quart and money coming out of every pocket. I sat down with him, ordered a pint. It was still early in the day. I hit Finn up for fifty bucks to pay Murphy. Finn charged a fee for even handing you the loan. It cost sixty to borrow fifty for a week, but it would be worth it. Finn copied phone numbers and odds as he readied himself for a busy day ahead. Sunday, of course, was his big day because of the NFL betting. This was Saturday when college football and pro baseball took most gamblers’ attention. I finished my pint, said goodbye to Finn, caught Murphy at the Prescott Tavern, gave him a lift to Mary’s. Murphy and Mary had been engaged for twenty years. He still visited her little flower shop every morning. We stopped so he could pick a bouquet of flowers for her in a city park. Murphy didn’t believe in paying for flowers. When they were in season, he helped himself. It was a bone of contention between them. Murphy believed that flowers were given to man by the good Lord, shouldn’t be bought and sold. Mary believed that people gladly paid for the little ray of sunshine they purchased with a nice bouquet of flowers. Murphy had a friend named Calhoun in Montreal who could, for a price, buy a block of tickets in a provincial lottery which would produce winners. All I had to do was give fifty dollars to Murphy. I didn’t follow the whole scam back to the actual score, but I questioned Murphy enough to know that it felt like a winner. He assured me that fifty dollars would produce five thousand for me. Added to some others and passed through the right hands, it would yield twice as much, for him. This guy, Calhoun, had an in, was sharing the wealth. Murphy did it for me out of the kindness of his heart and good business sense. He didn’t have to include me, but he saw me as a good luck charm. I dropped Murphy off, went home to a weekend of sports on t.v. and too much beer. It didn’t cheer me up, to hear, on Monday morning, that Murphy had died on the weekend from a heart attack. I drove to Mary’s which was above her flower shop. It isn’t decent and polite to speak ill of the deceased, but getting lottery tickets was another matter. He always wore the same suit, his best, for giving and taking payments, more taking than giving, it always seemed with Murphy as he did his weekend rounds, careful not to exceed his booze limit. The lottery tickets had to be in his suit. Mary was in her shop with a short, dark, Scottish lawyer named Jack Scullion. She introduced us without mentioning if the man even knew Murphy. I listened with polite sadness, shook my head regretfully. Mary described Murphy’s last moments. It seemed that he died in her arms. Just after they had named a date. They had been engaged now for twenty years, so they were celebrating the twentieth year by marriage. She was as good as his wife anyway, Mary said. I agreed and inquired about Murphy’s “effects” as diplomatically as possible. Perhaps it was a little too vaguely phrased. Mary didn’t respond. Jack Scullion walked around the shop like he was looking for something suspicious. He kept an ear cocked in our direction though. He was trying to figure out who I was, where I fit in. Margaret, Murphy’s sister, appeared with her husband, Ralph, a used car lot owner. It was safe to say that the vultures were circling. I managed to find out that Murphy would be dressed in his best suit tomorrow at Ralph’s showroom. They were having the wake there. Ralph told me, in confidence, that it was his idea. It seemed a bit greedy for Ralph to take advantage of the crowd of potential customers which would gather to send Murphy off, but I wasn’t one to judge. There didn’t seem to be much of a chance of getting at Murphy’s suit pockets until the next day so I drove home and waited. I joined the line of people entering Ralph’s showroom. The place had a western theme, the staff were dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. They wore black armbands while Ralph himself was resplendent in a black western suit with tie and boots to match. He had probably considered wearing his black, ten gallon Stetson, but decided against it in case of misinterpretation by the mourners. There was a good mixture at Murphy’s wake. A crowd of children were the offspring of Murphy’s family. The older ones were Murphy’s cousins, uncles and aunts. When Murphy had mentioned his family at poker games or at the end of late night pub crawls, he gave the impression that he was the black sheep. His own opinion was that the family disliked him because they were jealous of his money and freedom. The people grew noisier as the booze flowed freely. Their presence was welcome. I needed as much attention diverted as possible while I sought the tickets. Most of the sniffling and crying came from Mary and Margaret. As I shuffled along toward them in the line, I could hear Margaret declaring that Murphy looked like himself. Mary’s voice rose over Margaret’s, in grief stricken tones, to tell someone that her brother had called to extend his condolences. He added that it was nice to think about old Murphy finally laying quiet with his big yap shut. People in the line who heard it at first looked puzzled, then made clucking noises. They agreed that it was a down to earth, honest assessment of the deceased, rest his soul. I eyed the coffin, snuck a peek at Murphy within. He did look like himself, I will say that. The dark, pinstriped suit, Murphy’s best, with the vest done up, decorated his body. His face was pinker than normal, but I only saw him in bars or restaurants so maybe this was what he really looked like. He had his hands folded peacefully over his pot belly and, all in all, looked like he had just exhaled and forgotten to inhale. There was no doubt about it, the life had gone out of Murphy. I could smell the gin on Margaret when she hugged me and the rye on Mary’s breath as she looked at me with red rimmed eyes and running mascara I managed to nod sadly and escape her while giving Murphy another quick, visual once over. Jack Scullion hovered in the background, watching everyone, especially me. There was plenty of drink and some sandwiches which the ladies had made. I helped myself to the food, found the coffee. It would take a clear head, whatever I did. Ralph was giving a sales pitch to a couple beside a beat up old clunker which looked like it had recently been retired from delivering pizza. He made the mistake of leaning a little too hard on the front bumper when he pushed it to demonstrate the shocks. The bumper fell off, barely missing his cowboy boots. Ralph never lost a beat. He made a note to see the mechanic about “bodywork problems”, kicked the offending bumper under the car. The pile of sawdust beneath it was turning black, absorbing oil. Jack Scullion approached me with a beer in one hand and a smoke in the other. He had jet black hair, scars on his nose and around his eyes. He bore all the signs of a fighter feeling no pain. He stood spread legged in front of me and asked if I was in Murphy’s will. When I told him I didn’t think so, he seemed to relax. As much as a short, Glaswegian lawyer can relax. His shifty eyes wondered how I could benefit from Murphy’s death. He turned and stood by my side with a wide stance. He gestured alternately with the beer and the smoke while he surveyed the room. “Ach, it’s a right shower here, just noo, Jimmy” I nodded, but I didn’t really know what he meant. He didn’t notice, went on with his monologue, sometimes addressing the room, sometimes confiding to me. “Aye, they’re aw here noo. The vultures’re here. Look at em circlin, look at yersels, ach. See em? They’re after his money. The poor old boy isn’t even cauld yet. See em? They’re a right shower a bastards” No doubt, like most of his race, the Scottish lawyer was a little crazy and extremely violent. Rather than point out that he, too, was in attendance for strictly financial reasons, I managed to escape back to Margaret and Mary. I was getting desperate. Mary and Margaret had been absorbing the alcohol at a rapid rate. They had run out of tears. Their mutual hostility emerged with each drink. I addressed them with an eye on the coffin. “Well, ladies, it must be tense waiting for the will to be read. To see who gets what of Murphy’s. I understand that Mary here was just about to tie the knot with poor Murphy” Margaret frowned and produced many heretofore unseen lines in her face. “Hah” She blurted out with a laugh. “Tie the knot. He’s been engaged to her for twenty years” Mary reacted with bug eyed indignation. Her truthfulness about Murphy’s last moments was being questioned. “We were like man and wife. He didn’t spend time with his other family” she said before she found another glass of rye. Ralph had finished his pitch, but had no takers. He threw regretful glances at the bumper as he approached us, beer in hand. “Anyone got a few words to say?” he asked with a kindly smile. “Ha. Family’s family. It’s his blood in my veins” Margaret asserted. Jack Scullion had joined us. He had a fresh beer, stood spread legged with shoulders back. It was as though he was bracing himself on a heaving deck. “The will overrides everything” said Mary pugnaciously in Margaret’s direction. This hostility caught Jack’s attention, it was right up his alley. He looked around for an opponent, saw Ralph about to speak. I sidled toward the casket as Ralph began what he thought was sort of a eulogy for Murphy, but which he never finished. He never really got it started. Mary took offence at the look which Margaret gave her, hit the dead man’s sister with her purse. Jack saw his opportunity, gave Ralph a Glaswegian handshake which could be heard all over the showroom. There was evidence of Jack’s nutting ability the next day in the taverns; quite a few black eyes and bandaids sported by the mourners who clashed with him He made up for his lack of height by jumping straight at the other man’s face, applying the head, around the hairline, into whatever features were available. With Ralph sitting in a pool of the blood which was spouting from his nose, the women shrieking as they rolled around in front of him, I made it to the casket. Jack was taking on all comers. He seemed to be enjoying himself. I searched Murphy’s vest and trouser pockets with one hand, the other still holding my coffee cup. I was about to try his jacket when the lights went out. It wasn’t dark, but it turned everything in the showroom shadowy. The struggling figures in the brawl were being joined by others, the children shooed to the office. Maybe it was one of them who was responsible for the half light. I checked one side of Murphy’s jacket pockets and found nothing. The noise of fighting and breaking glass became louder. I tried the other pocket, felt cardboard. I pulled the lottery tickets out of Murphy’s pocket, squinted at them. They were the right ones. I was saying a prayer of thanks to my dead chum and the good Lord when I dropped the tickets. They slid down on the other side of Murphy. I panicked for a moment. Placing my cup between Murphy’s folded hands, I used one of my hands to shift his weight, the other to feel for the tickets. I grasped them just as a bottle crashed against the casket and a sliding body took my feet out from under me. Ralph had provided a fold out table from the lunch room upon which to place Murphy’s casket. As my weight shifted, the casket slid off the table. Murphy sat up with my coffee cup in his hands. Crawling toward the door, tickets in my hand, I glanced back. Murphy’s sudden rise from the prone to the sitting position, had caused a pause in the fighting. I heard various opinions of this phenomenon. “It’s a sign” The words “miracle” and “resurrection”were mentioned several times.. When I joined Finn, the next day, at the Carleton Tavern and paid him back, cheerfully, he gave me a curious look. He was totalling up the weekend’s action over a quart, asked me if I’d been to Murphy’s funeral after the donnybrook at his wake. I confirmed that I’d attended the burial. It was a sad and solemn affair for all involved including Murphy’s family and everyone’s legal representatives. We drank a memorial toast to Murphy that day before I bought everyone a round and placed a few bets.Add a Comment
Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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You and your students are on the home stretch! You can do it!Add a Comment
Blog: Kelly Hashway's Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors! We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamGold! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.
If you've never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. During the hunt, I'll be sharing an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of THE DARKNESS WITHIN.
You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days. And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up.)
Blog: How to Write a Book Now RSS Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Question: I have a plot regarding a protagonist with an abused past. When her mother dies and she is left alone, she takes an exotic vacation as a lastAdd a Comment
Blog: Reading Teen (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Review by Krista All That Burns by Ryan GraudinPaperback: 464 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen (February 10, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon All That Glows author Ryan Graudin returns with the fantasy novel's sequel, rife with intense romance and riveting action. As this alluring mortal-prince-meets-immortal-fairy love story continues, this urban London tale serves up irresistible chemistryAdd a Comment
Blog: ALSC Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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“Where should we go to eat?” In San Francisco, that question can have a myriad of answers. Never fear, whatever you decide will be delicious. Considered to be mecca for foodies everywhere, be prepared for your taste buds to dance in gastronomical delight!
Here are my top three reasons San Francisco offers the best culinary experience.
First, we have a diverse menu to choose from for your palette. From Japanese to Vegan to Brazilian and Pakistani, there isn’t much that’s missing. In addition to the diversity in food, we also like to offer yummy cuisine Off the Grid style or in a food court like the Hall SF.
Second, food is just a hop, skip, or even a jump away in many of our neighborhoods. The Mission District is the first that comes to mind when it comes to door to door food options. When people think of the Mission District the Mission Burrito usually comes to mind, and yes it’s good, but there’s also so much more!
Third, and my final point although I could go on and on, you will always find traditional and long standing establishments such as the House of Prime Rib, The Cliff House, and Farallon among the new and innovative restaurants that pop up around the city.
The only downside to being in such a great place to find delicious food is deciding where to go. For your viewing and tasting pleasure, we’ve provided you with some of our favorite restaurants that are easily accessible by BART, MUNI, or within walking distance of the San Francisco Main Library, the Moscone Center, and the ALA hotels. Click here for some delicious dining options courtesy of the ALSC Local Arrangements team.
After a great meal, I love to walk around the city to do some shopping. Near the Powell Street BART station, you’ll encounter numerous shoppers walking up and down Powell Street as well as around Union Square. You can also spend a fair amount of time shopping in the Westfield San Francisco Centre which is also conveniently located at the Powell Street BART station. Fairly close and within walking distance is Chinatown. Take a picture on Bush Street at the entrance and then have fun visiting all of the shops and eateries. Another tourist must see for shopping is Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. You can find plenty of San Francisco themed gifts in both locations including one shop dedicated to Alcatraz. Don’t forget to take a picture with the famous sun bathing sea lions also known as the “Sea Lebrities while you walk around.
Welcome to San Francisco! Have fun and eat lots!
Today’s blog post was written Rebecca Alcalá-Veraflor, the Early Literacy Coordinator at the San Francisco Public Library, for the ALSC Local Arrangements Committee.Add a Comment
Maud reminded me of this advice today. It remains excellent! Add a Comment
Donna Tartt at Congregation Beth Elohim, 10/29/13
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor is wonderful.
The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman is very heartwarming and homey.
Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander was a great historical fiction with strong female characters.
Reviews are in the titles.
What about your books?
They've announced this year's winner of the biennial Hohenemser Literaturpreis, a prize for German-writing authors whose mother tongue is not German, and this year the €10,000 prize will go to Que Du Luu; she will pick up her prize on 27 June.
Her (still unpublished) text 'Das Fest des ersten Morgens' was selected from 75 entries -- neat to see so many writers with other mother tongues writing in German.
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At The Millions Barclay Bram Shoemaker writes on Literary Prowess Lost: On Mo Yan's 'Frog' and the Trouble with Translation -- well worth a look.
Get your copy of Frog at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Frustrated? Write about it!Add a Comment
What not to do when using social media.
Blog: andrea joseph's sketchblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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At Music & Literature translator Jason Grunebaum has A Conversation with Uday Prakash.
The two Grunebaum-translated works available in English are under review at the complete review: The Girl with the Golden Parasol and The Walls of Delhi.
Still frantically reading and working on reviews for other venues but I thought I’d pop in and say hi because I miss you all even though it has only been two days. Seems silly, but there it is.
I have a couple links to share because links can be fun!
I first saw the article about someone photocopying their cat at a Wisconsin university library in my library news feed. It linked to an article about it at Time Magazine. Time linked to the original news story from the Badger Herald (Wisconsin’s mascot is Bucky Badger). The photos are hilarious. But now it turns out no one has actually been bringing their cat to the library and photocopying it. The copies found around the library were photocopies of photocopies that students were leaving trying to inject some levity and stress relief during midterms. Is it bad of me to say I am disappointed there wasn’t actually cat smuggling and copying going on?
Few things are as entertaining as an author insulting another author. After Pepys saw Midsummer Night’s Dream he wrote in his diary that it was “the most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life.” Stephen King said of Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame, “The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” Ouch. More at the link.
Ever wonder what the English spoken by Shakespeare really sounded like? Or Chaucer? What about the English in Beowulf? And how might King Arthur have sounded? The curious can find out here. I can recognize Shakespeare as still being English, Chaucer, only a few words. After Chaucer no one is speaking any kind of recognizable English but it sure does sound pretty.
Finally, my geeky science fiction heart is absolutely thrilled that the Large Hadron Collider is going to be used next week for an experiment to try and discover a parallel universe. Scientists have no specific parallel universe in mind, any one will do, they are just trying to prove they exist at the moment. How totally awesome is that?
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Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Day 27 of the March SOLSC: Write, Share, GiveAdd a Comment
Blog: Finding Wonderland: The WritingYA Weblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Summary: Happy book birthday—two days ago—to Nova Ren Suma's latest YA offering, The Walls Around Us! This title shares a lot with Imaginary Girls, most noticeably the atmosphere of strangeness and the slow unfolding of past and present events;... Read the rest of this postAdd a Comment
Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element.
Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices.
An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.
I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.
Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.
Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."
- Jamie McGuire
- Jessica Park
- Tammara Webber
- Steph Campbell
- Liz Reinhardt
- Abbi Glines
- Colleen Hoover
- Sherry Soule
Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)?
Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen?
Blog: prime time rhyme (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: The Miss Rumphius Effect (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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To say I'm exhausted is putting it mildly. Work is overwhelming at the moment, but I know all this will pass and the semester will end far too soon. Before I know it I will be bemoaning the dearth of students on campus.
While I work to catch up, I will dream of sleep. Those dreams and a strong desire to see my mother have brought me to this poem today.
Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Akers Allen
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother, – rock me to sleep!
Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
Rock me to sleep, mother – rock me to sleep!
Read the poem in its entirety.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone of Check It Out. Happy poetry Friday friends!
Blog: JZ ArtBlog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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