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<<May 2015>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Watch: Trailer for ‘Lion King’ Director Roger Allers’s New Film ‘The Prophet’

GKIDS will release the film in the U.S. in August.

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2. Take action with #VLLD 15, and let your voice be heard!

As most of us can’t physically travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in National Library Legislative Day (NLLD)ALSC’s Advocacy and Legislation Committee has developed resources so you can contact Congressional leaders from home!

Check out these easy-to-use resources for taking action from your library community during the week of May 4-8, 2015.

Creating a Better Future Button

Image courtesy of ALSC

Contact Your U.S. Senators and Representatives 

Talking Points to Use with Legislators 

Letter to Congress Template 

Sample VLLD 15 Tweets

The post Take action with #VLLD 15, and let your voice be heard! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. #687 – The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman & Deborah Zemke

Quick note: Not surprisingly, the motherboard died one last time, just days after arriving home from its last death. I am at the library and running out of time. Please excuse the unfinished post. I will get all images and links up as son as I can. I hope you enjoy the review, such as it is. ~Sue


The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake
Written by Robin Newman
Illustrated by Deborah Zemke
Creston Books          2015
40 pages            Age 7—9
“When food goes missing on Ed’s farm, Detectives Wilcox and Griswold do what it takes to track down the thieves. In this case, Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake has disappeared. Has it been stolen? Or eaten? Or both? Who dunnit?” [publisher]

Oh, my, a carrot cake has gone missing and Miss Rabbit, besides being crumbed by cake from head to toe (she did bake the now missing carrot cake), is hopping mad. Good thing the MFI’s are on the case, with Captain Griswold and Detective Wilcox as lead investigators. These two small Missing Food Investigator mice may have experience, but the layered Case of the Missing Carrot Cake just might be unsolvable.

I know detectives do not want to be viewed as cute, but cute is an apt word. From their gruff-looking MFI badge pictures, to their droll 1950’s cop-speech—think Friday of Dragnet—Griswold and Wilcox are all business, but adorable. The two made me laugh each time they spoke. Kids may not know who Sargent Friday was, but if a parent were to channel Sargent Friday while reading Detective Wilcox’s story, their children will at least get part of the joke.

“It was 10:00 Monday morning. The captain and I were working the day shift when we got our first call . . . Every day food goes missing from the farm. Sometimes it’s lost. Sometimes it’s stolen. Sometimes it just runs away.”

The first four chapters introduce the usual suspects: Fowler, the Owl (Alibi. He was picking up his dinner in the field); Porcini, the Pig (a convicted corn robber, he was with Miss Rabbit—she refused a refreshing hot cup of slop); Hot Dog, a dog (evidence is found! Hot Dog is, according to Wilcox, “in as pickle”); and . . . uh, oh. Where did suspect number four hide? I know there is a fourth, but, unlike Detective Wilcox, I am no missing food investigator.

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake will delight readers. Kids will love the goofy characters, the illustrations, and the oft-used humor. Adults will also laugh, and sometimes groan, but always appreciate the humor and Wilcox’s Dragnet performance.

“Just give us the facts and nothing but the facts . . . “

The illustrations enhance the story on every page. The short chapters, just right for readers learning to read on their own, and illustrations that make each page come alive, kids will begin viewing reading as entertainment, rather than something one only does in school. Each of the seven characters is well-developed with distinctive personalities. I love Hot Dog, who towers over the detectives, yet gives them all due respect. Twists do occur, so do not get cozy with your solution to this case.

Will the MFI solve The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake? Will the residents of Ed’s Farm ever be safe from bakery thieves? To find out, check out Newman’s debut chapter book. I hope there are more cases to solve. The MFI detectives can delight readers again and again . . . they just need missing food to find.

THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE. Text copyright © 2015 by Robin Newman. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Deborah Zemke. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books,

Purchase The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake at Amazon—Book Depository—iTunes—Creston Books.

Learn more about The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake HERE.
Meet the author, Robin Newman, at her website:
Meet the illustrator, Deborah Zemke, at her website:
Find more chapter books at publisher, Creston Books, website: http://www.crestonbooks.com

Review Section: word count = 473

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Chapter Book, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Reluctant Readers Tagged: beginning to read on your own, book for boys, Creston Books, Deborah Zemke, Dragnet, mystery, Robin Newman, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, whimsical, witty

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4. Richard Van Camp's THE BLUE RAVEN

New this year (2015) is Richard Van Camp's graphic novel, The Blue Raven. Illustrated by Steven Keewatin Sanderson, the story is about a stolen bicycle, and, healing. Here's the cover:

The bike, named Blue Raven, belongs to a kid named Benji. He comes out of the library (how cool is that?) and his bike is gone (not cool!). Trevor, the older brother of a kid in his class, sees Benji and offers to help him find the bike.

This isn't just any bike (no bike is, really), but this one? Benji's dad gave it to him when he moved out of their house.

When Benji was born, his dad called him Tatso because his eyes were the same blue color as a baby raven's eyes. Tatso is a Tlicho word. It means Blue Raven.  And--it is the name his dad called the bike, too.

As you might imagine, it is very special to Benji.

We learn all that--and more--as Benji and Trevor drive around on Trevor's four-wheeler, looking for the bike. Trevor is Metis, but wasn't raised with Native traditions in the same way that Benji was. Indeed, there is a moment when Trevor mocks Benji. Confident in what he knows and bolstered by memories of time with members of the community, Benji counters Trevor, who is taken aback and a bit snarky. By the end of this short graphic novel, though, Trevor is with Benji at a gathering where Trevor is invited to dance and the two have agreed to keep looking for the Blue Raven.

Steven Keewatin Sanderson's illustrations are terrific! From anger over his bike being stolen, to the tears Benji sheds in the flashback parts of the story, to the community scenes at the drum dance, they are a perfect match for Van Camp's story. Keep an eye out for his work!

The Blue Raven, published in 2015 by Pearson, is part of its Well Aware series and sold as a package. However, it can be purchased directly from Richard Van Camp at his site. I highly recommend it.

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5. Promotion Tip

A free, easy to implement, promotion tip is to call your book by its name where talking about it.


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6. Tomorrow, at Ryerss Museum and Library

I'll be talking about that river of ours—the great She, the Schuylkill—and selling copies of Flow. The facts are here, should you be in the neighborhood. I would love to see you.


May 3, 2015
1 PM
Schuylkill River/FLOW presentation
Ryerss Museum
7370 Central Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
(free and open to the public)

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7. Library Loot: First Trip in May

New Loot:
  • Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller 
Leftover Loot:
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear
  • Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, translated by Christine Donougher
  • Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
  • Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen
  • Indigo King by James A. Owen
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
  • The Infernal Device & Others by Michael Kurland 
  • The Empress of India by Michael Kurland
  • Who Thinks Evil by Michael Kurland
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  • Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC
  • Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
  • King's Cross by Timothy Keller
  • Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss
  • The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
  • Onion John by Joseph Krumgold  

      Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.  

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. The Greatest Gatsby

Literary editors of both The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers commented about words and grammar in their columns this weekend. The Greatest Gatsby: A Visual Book of Grammar (Viking, Penguin) is a very clever way to help everyone understand words and grammar. Tobhy Riddle is one of Australia’s notable picture book illustrators, with works […]

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9. HUNTERS OF CHAOS by Crystal Velasquez

Anytime someone writes a book--yes, even a work of fiction--that gets basic facts about Native people wrong, it is going to get a 'not recommended' from me.

It doesn't matter, to me, how well-written the story might be and it doesn't matter if the book itself has a protagonist or a cast of characters that are from a marginalized group or groups. Nobody in a marginalized group should be expected to endure the misrepresentation of their own people for the sake of another group. And, all readers who walk away with this misrepresentation as "knowledge" are not well served, either.

So, let's take a look at Hunters of Chaos. The synopsis, from Simon and Schuster:

Four girls at a southwestern boarding school discover they have amazing feline powers and must unite to stop an ancient evil in this riveting adventure.
Ana’s average, suburban life is turned upside down when she’s offered a place at the exclusive boarding school in New Mexico that both of her late parents attended. As she struggles to navigate the wealthy cliques of her new school, mysterious things begin to occur: sudden power failures, terrible storms, and even an earthquake!
Ana soon learns that she and three other girls—with Chinese, Navajo, and Egyptian heritages—harbor connections to priceless objects in the school’s museum, and the museum’s curator, Ms.Benitez, is adamant that the girls understand their ancestry. 
It turns out that the school sits on top of a mysterious temple, the ancient meeting place of the dangerous Brotherhood of Chaos. And when one of the priceless museum objects is shattered, the girls find out exactly why their heritage is so important: they have the power to turn into wild cats! Now in their powerful forms of jaguar, tiger, puma, and lion they must work together to fight the chaos spirits unleashed in the ensuing battle…and uncover the terrifying plans of those who would reconvene the Brotherhood of Chaos.

Intriguing? Yes. But... Soon after Ana arrives at the school, there's an earthquake that exposes the mysterious temple. Skipping ahead (for the moment), we learn that the school is (p. 110):
"...yards away from a thriving Native American community, descendants of the Anasazi people..."
For now, I am focusing on the word "Anasazi." For a very long time, that Navajo word was used to describe the people who lived in the cliff houses in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. The word is no longer in use. Today, "Ancestral Pueblo People" is the phrase people use, because it is the right one to use.

Mesa Verde, Bandelier, Chaco Canyon and others are part of the National Park Service. If you click on those links, you'll see they use "ancestral Pueblo/Pueblo People" rather than "Anasazi."

For a long time, literature associated with those sites said that the "Anasazi" people who lived there had vanished. They didn't. Like any people, anywhere in the world, they moved to other locations when conditions changed. In recognition of that fact, the National Park Service and other government sites stopped using Anasazi and started using Ancestral Pueblo People instead. Another good example is the Bureau of Land Management's page, Who were the Ancestral Pueblo People (Anasazi?).

The massive amounts of literature that used "Anasazi" is probably why Velasquez used it in her book. I wish she had actually looked up the sites I linked to... she'd have avoided the problems in Hunters of Chaos. 

In Hunters of Chaos, Doli is Navajo. Back on page 53 (after they've learned about the temple), Lin (she's the Chinese character) and Doli have an argument. Lin has an expensive purse. Doli makes a sarcastic remark about it, and Lin tells her she's just jealous because she's poor and therefore doesn't belong at the school. Doli says (p. 53):
"I don't belong here?" [...] "You must have been asleep during assembly today. That temple back there means I'm the only one who belongs here."
"Oh, give me a break," Lin said, then sucked her teeth and flicked her hand dismissively. "I was wide awake during Dr. Hottie's speech, and he said the temple was Anasazi, not Navajo." 
Doli, completely unfazed, sighed as if she were tired of explaining the obvious. "The Anasazi were an ancient people who lived on this land. In other words, they were my ancestors. Anasazi literally means 'ancient ones' in Navajo."
So. Doli is Navajo. Some people say Anasazi means "ancient ones" and some say it means "enemy people." Whether it meant ancient ones or enemy people, the key thing is that it definitely did not refer to Navajo people. Interestingly, there is a place in the book where we read that Anasazi means ancient pueblo peoples. At that point in the book, the kids have organized an exhibit to show people what the school's museum has--including artifacts from that temple.

Among the people who come to the exhibit is a family from Doli's reservation (the community that thrives a few yards away from the school). A woman speaks to Doli in Navajo. Ana asks her what the woman said. Here's from page 129:
"She said she was glad she could come. They heard about the temple and are excited about it. She didn't think that the ancient Pueblo peoples were active here, so they are very interested in seeing what was found."
See that "ancient Pueblo peoples"? Does the woman think it is her Navajo ancestors?

The confusion between Navajo and Pueblo is a big deal. We're talking about two distinct nations of people.

There are other problems. On page 64, the anthropologist (Dr. Logan) says that Ancient Egyptians, the Ashanti people of West Africa, and the Anasazi worshipped cats. That's the first I ever heard of that said about Pueblo people!

And when Doli starts talking about shape shifting, she doesn't sound like she really grew up there (p. 158):
"Navajo folklore is full of stories about shape-shifters, but I'm not even sure the people on the reservation would believe me."
When the girls first shape shift, Doli says (p. 169):
"I'm glad it happened that way, and not how the Navajo legends say people usually become shape-shifters." [...] "They perform all kinds of evil rites to get the power. I'm talking witchcraft and murder."
When they try to shift later on purpose, they chant Navajo words that Doli taught them. And on page 240, Doli says a few words in Navajo that, she tells us, is a saying amongst her people that means "When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, strike first." Is that a Navajo saying? I see it attributed to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but I also find it on a bunch of "Indian proverbs" page, with it being attributed to Navajos. I'll keep digging on that saying. Maybe it IS a Navajo one.

Velasquez is working on a sequel to this book. I hope this confusion between two nations does not continue. Published in 2015 by Simon and Schuster, I cannot recommend Hunters of Chaos. 

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via ILLUSTRATION ART http://ift.tt/1zn41Dm

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11. What?! No Auction?

It's May, the month the Brenda Novak Charity Auction always runs, except that Ms. Novak is taking this year off. As I normally spend my May and June editing stuff for auction winners, it looks like I have to auction off my own services and products.

I've noticed that most of the bidding in the Brenda Novak Auction takes place in the first few days and the last few days, so I figure one week is plenty of time.

I could run the auction on ebay or use fancy auction software, but there won't be enough items to make that worth the trouble. Besides, there are no queries or openings in the queues, so running the auction right here on my blog will give me something to post this week.

I've chosen Farm Sanctuary as the recipient of the auction proceeds. They work to prevent cruelty to farm animals and rescue abused farm animals, providing them with happy lives on three sanctuaries totaling 500 acres.

The winners of auction items will have the option of donating directly to Farm Sanctuary (possibly best if you need a receipt for tax purposes) or, if you don't trust them not to sell your info to other animal rescue organizations, paying me, in which case I will make the donation and back you up with my receipt if you get audited.

So far, the items up for bid are those I would have been offering in the BN Auction. Possibly the list will grow if any agents, editors or authors see this and decide to join in.

Donor of auction item (EE in all cases so far) will be responsible for shipping charges.

To bid, go to comments, give the item number, your maximum bid, and the name you which to be identified by on the blog. Also, tell me who you really are. No matter what your maximum bid is, your actual bid will be $5.00 more than the previous high bidder's maximum bid. So if the high bid is $100.00 and you bid $120.00, your actual bid will be $105.00. If someone else bids $115.00, that becomes your actual bid because you got there first. Someone would have to bid more than $120.00 to oust you from the high bidder position. If no one ousts you, you pay your actual bid, not your maximum bid.

Your comments and real name won't be posted. Only the current high bid and the fake name of the high bidder.

Officially this will begin in the next day or two, though if you want to bid now, I won't stop you.

Items up for bid:

Item # 1. Your complete book (up to 70,000 words) edited by Evil Editor, the world's most famous editor, and back to you by the end of May.

Because I would rather donate $300 to the cause than edit your novel for less than that, I'm starting the bidding at $200.  This item has never gone for less than $700 in the other auction, so basically I'm just saving us a lot of time.

Item # 2. Your complete book (up to 100,000 words) edited by Evil Editor, the world's most famous editor, and back to you by the end of June.

Again, I'm starting the bidding at $300.  This item has never gone for less than $1100 in the other auction, and twice went for more than 10 times $300.

Item # 3. Your book's first 10,000 words edited by Evil Editor, the world's most famous editor, and back to you by the end of June.

Bidding starts at $10.00.

Item # 4. Signed ARCs of both Evil Editor color comic strip collections. Bidding starts at $10.00.

Item # 5. Dear Literary Agent...   A collection of the funniest query critiques from nine years of the Evil Evil Editor blog. Illustrated, color, 8 by 10. Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 6. Signed ARC of Schliegelman Saves the Universe

Evil Editor's prize winning story now a graphic novel starring Evil Editor!

Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 7. Both volumes of Why You Don't Get Published, the only writing books anyone has ever read from start to finish. Autographed.

Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 8. All 3 Novel Deviations books, signed. Hundreds of novel openings and hilarious continuations provided by EE and his minions.

Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 9. Evil Editor Teaches School: The funniest of the writing exercises we used to do on this blog. Most of them by EE. Autographed.

Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 10. My autographed copy of Immodest Proposals, collected short stories by the late science fiction author/satirist William Tenn (1920 - 2010).

600+ pages. Hardcover.

Bidding starts at $5.00.

Item # 11. My signed copies of Katherine Neville's novels The Eight (trade paperback) and The Fire (hardcover).

Bidding starts at $5.00

Item # 12. Box of four trade paperback books that I edited, cover prices total over $60.00. Two story collections, two novels. Contemporary fantasy.

Bidding starts at $5.00.

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12. Tehran International Book Fair

       The Tehran International Book Fair opens Tuesday, with President to open 28th Intl. Book Fair, as Hassan Rouhani will be doing the honors. I look forward to hearing reports from the fair -- and wonder whether there has been an appreciable change in the local literary (atmo)sphere.
       And I am kind of curious about the guest of honor -- Oman. One doesn't hear much about, or see much Omani literature ..... (M.Lynx Qualey has a good introductory look at her Arabic Literature (in English) weblog, Where Are Oman's Authors ?)

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13. Artist of the Day: Zac Gorman

Discover the work of Zac Gorman, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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14. New Batman: Arkham Knight DLC Details Including Batgirl!

Fights and free comics weren’t the only things dropped Saturday night. WB Games, who are set to release the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight game responded to fan and media criticism about their recently announced season pass option by giving away a few more details on their forums.

We now know a few more things about what your $40 will get you:

Batgirl: A Matter of Family
An all new prequel story expansion in an entirely new location where you play as Batgirl for the very first time in the Arkham series – check out the first render of Batgirl.

The Season of Infamy
Play as Batman in all new story missions featuring legendary super-villains invading Gotham City, with new story arcs, missions and gameplay features.

Gotham City Stories
Play as Batman’s key allies in narrative missions extending their storylines, from both before and after the events in Batman: Arkham Knight.

Legendary Batmobiles with Themed Tracks
Drive the most iconic Batmobiles from Batman’s 75-year history, on custom-built race tracks, each themed to that Batmobile’s specific era. Every Batmobile will be drivable across every race track.

Crimefighter Challenge Maps
Engage in a series of new challenge maps utilizing the unique play styles of Batman and his allies.

Character Skins
A variety of skins from across the eras for Batman, Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman.

No word on how the content will be spread out over the 6 month period they previously announced. The game’s developer, Rocksteady, did mention that they’re still working on developing even more add-on for the game which will be announced as soon as the studio “ramp on” development of the content.

Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release June 23, 2105 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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15. Printable: Believe the Impossible



This is a fun one, and I do love the quote:

"Alice: This is Impossible.

Mad Hatter: Only if you Believe it is."

Enjoy it, no matter what you believe. As always, it's available as a free printable exclusively to subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. Click here to subscribe: Floating Lemons Newsletter.

Wishing you a week full of positive belief & energy. Cheers.



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16. Ruth Rendell (1930-2015)

       Crime writer Ruth Rendell (who also wrote as Barbara Vine) has passed away; see the overview at Literature Matters or, for example, obituaries in The Guardian and The Telegraph, or Val McDermid on No one can equal Ruth Rendell's range or accomplishment in The Guardian.

        While none of her books are under review at the complete review I've read about twenty or so; I have another half dozen in reserve -- I'll generally pick up any mass-market-paperback copy I haven't read that I stumble across at any used bookstore She is one of those reliable authors one can turn to if nothing else seems to fit the bill at a certain point, and it's always good to have a few spare still unread ones at hand should the need arise.

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17. Read all of Top Cow’s Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #1 right here FREE


It’s Free Comic Book Day worldwide, and even if you can’t get to a shop, here’s one free comic you can read right now, Top Cow’s Free Comic Book Day book Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #1 by Matt Hawkins and Linda Sejic. This issue is a zero issue for a new arc in the series, inspired by David Weber’s novels of the same name and done with his blessing.

The first issue of this second arc ships in June.

Hawkins is signing twice today:


Oak Grove Plaza Shopping Center
2980 Treat Blvd
Concord, CA 94518


5018 Mowry Ave.
Fremont, CA 94538

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18. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #430: Featuring Frank Viva (sorta)

Dear kickers, I’m battling an ugly stomach bug this weekend, and since it’s best to be horizontal, I’ve got a short post today. I was going to feature the work of another illustrator, but I’ll have to do that later this week, since it was a much longer post.

I reviewed Frank Viva’s Outstanding in the Rain (Little, Brown, April 2015) over at BookPage (that is here), and I had planned on securing some of the beautiful spreads from the book to show you all. But again … you know, dastardly bug.

Instead, to keep things short so that I can lie back down, I’ll point you to these recent and quite wonderful posts at other places, posts all about the book — and with lots of art.

* Post at 32 Pages
* Post at Brain Pickings
* Write-up at the New York Times

Please do tell me: What are YOUR kicks this week?

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19. I May Not Be Back For A Good While.

Completely washed out and exhausted so I may have been a bit snappy with some people of late.

I've written about comic book geek chic and how calling yourself a "nerd" is trendy -fashionable.  So, I have had three emails from companies addressing me as "Nerdblogger" to which my response WAS snappy and I pointed out I have read comics since I was about six years old and I'm now...58(?) so I was a comicker before their parents were probably born and I'm not jumping onto the comics bandwagon as a trendy.

I got one apology and an explanation that they throw the word around so much because they publish books that are quirky and nerdy.

I note a lot -a lot- more women are jumping onto this whole "nerdster" thing.  One in a blog stated that it was her way of trying to break into "pop culture and a media career". pfah! 

That is WHY I'll watch comicbookgirl19 vlogs because she has been into the whole thing before it became trendy.  You can check out her videos on You Tube -a link on the blog roll.

Now, I do apologise but THIS is the sort of thing I'm talking about and it is so OVER THE TOP it gave me a migraine. 

You see what I mean, right?  It's like an advert for "Geek Gear".

Women into comics, my mother used to read through them, I have never seen a problem with.  Women have always read comics but it is that Big Bang Theory syndrome AGAIN: "Girls do not go into comic shops!"  And if they do, even if they are "not pretty" (WTF???) they get stared at.  I actually pointed out to several regulars in the comic shops I used to go into (I've been dry three years now) that it was good to see women not just going for Manga books.  "What women?" I was asked.  "I've not seen any in here" I'm told. The last person said that I pointed to a group of three women buying comics and he seemed taken aback!

And they are women NOT "girls".  Sorry, I came from the time when women were fighting for equal rights and to not be called "girls" (basic biology -sorry, boys, hit puberty and you are an adult).

I know, I'm writing this and no one cares.  I'm sure women read this blog but why back the old man up, right?

I am a comicker.  I am NOT a "geek" or "nerd" -my name is on University and wildlife conference technical papers FFS.

I may not be back for a looooooooooooooong time.

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20. Ngũgĩ's early writing life

       At The Standard Ngũgĩ recalls his literary walk as Weep Not, Child turns 50.
       This is apparently: "an adaptation from Ngũgĩ's upcoming third memoir titled: The Making of a Dream Weaver: A Makerere Memoir".
       I can't find any record of it elsewhere (yet), but that's certainly something I am looking forward to. Meanwhile, I'm most excited to be able to hear the great author in person at the PEN World Voices opening night event tomorrow !

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21. Week in Review: April 26 - May 2

From May:

Lady Thief. A.C. Gaughen. 2014. Walker Books. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Green Eggs and Ham. Dr. Seuss. 1960. Random House. 62 pages. [Source: Library]
Ice Cream Summer. Peter Sis. 2015. [May] Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Completely Clementine. Sara Pennypacker. 2015. Disney-Hyperion. 192 pages. [Source: Library]
From April:
Scarlet. A.C. Gaughen. 2012. Walker. 292 pages. [Source: Library]
Charlotte's Web. E.B. White. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1952. HarperCollins. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Gone Away Lake. Elizabeth Enright. 1957. 256 pages. [Source: Library]
The Devil's Arithmetic. Jane Yolen. 1988. Penguin. 170 pages. [Source: Bought]
17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis, and the Biggest Cover-Up in History. Andrew Morton. 2015. 384 pages. [Source: Library]
Dragon Spear. Jessica Day George. 2009. Bloomsbury USA. 248 pages. [Source: Library]A Travelogue of the Interior: Finding Your Voice and God's Heart in the Psalms. Karen Dabaghian. 2015. David C. Cook. 274 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. 2015. Crossway. 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Prince Caspian. C.S. Lewis. 1951. HarperCollins. 240 pages. [Source: Bought]

This week's recommendation(s):

I loved rereading Scarlet and Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen. My review of the third book will be coming soon!

I loved rereading Charlotte's Web.

Devil's Arithmetic is a compelling read; I loved it more than Number the Stars. A lot more. So I definitely recommend it.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

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.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

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...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

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23. Diva Delight: In the Time of Dragon Moon

Be ready to soar with dragons as you fly a final time over and into the luscious world of Wilde Island and Dragon's Keep. Janet Lee Cary's word choice glimmers as beautifully as her will-o'-the-wisps, and her mystery deliciously taunts the reader through her pages. A gorgeous conclusion to the trilogy, ringing with sensitivity, compassion, and deep truth.

"You are too anxious for what you want, Uma. Begin by wanting what you have."
"Joy and sorrow are songs women have long known. For women are healers."


In the Time of Dragon Moon
Dragon's Keep
by Janet Lee Carey
Kathy Dawson Books, 2015

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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24. Portfolio Tips from Sanne Dufft, Europolitan Showcase Winner

via illonational http://ift.tt/1KDIqYH

I’d met Sanne Dufft before at the Bologna Book Fair and was surprised when I saw her show up at the Europolitan Conference with her foot in a brace and limping on a crutch. She said that she almost canceled her trip because of her injury, but convinced herself that she had to attend. How […]

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25. BLOOM: Addicted to Change

Hi, folks, yay for all the blooming flowers in my yard!  I feel like blooming too. Next Saturday is the release of Plumb Crazy by Cece Barlow aka me. :) If you have wanted a copy to tuck away in your backpack, purse or the floorboard of your car, that day is about to come for you.

This month my series is about how to make your work bloom. You have all seen it. Those roses by the back fence didn't bloom this year or those bearded irises just didn't show any color,or the dailies that languished with nary a bloom. What is going on?  Conditions just aren't right yet.

Blooming doesn't just happen.  Books don't happen either. If your works in progress keep on fizzling, you need to consider what you are cultivating. The soil of you just isn't allowing whatever you want.


What is the creative soul to do?  Hint, the solution requires you be addicted to change.

Here is an idea. Change what you are cultivating. You might not be literary heavy that you have sought to be and instead are really a genre mystery writer. This kind of change takes chutzpah. I mean it is tough to dig out a flowerbed and replant. It is hard to rip out all your grass and shrubbery and put something else in. And it is excruciating to toss all your WIPs out and take a new direction, but this may be the only way you will bloom.

Here is an idea. Listen to what  your counselors are telling you. If they love your work keep with it. If there is no critique love, it may be time to change to something else. This takes humility to adhere to. I mean it is tough to follow someone's advice.  We all have feet of clay and more than one person has steered you wrong before. I have some news for you, creative endeavors involve high risk. Try engineering or something like that if you want a sure thing.

Here is one last idea. You might have to transplant.  The nutrients flowing into your life.  The support, the love, the encouragement, might not be there. You may need less feedback or much more. You may need to rent a cabin in the woods and work as hard as you can for a few days. You may have to start working in a local coffee shop instead of at your house where you keep getting caught up in stuff.

Want to bloom?  Get real about your work to find good success. Let me know how it is going! I will be back next week with more blooming.

Here is a quote for your pocket.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy

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