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<<May 2015>>
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1. Meet the Unsung Star of ‘Kung Fury’: CGI

The lead star—Mr. VFX—appeared in 399 shots of the film.

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2. Cover Unveiled for New Veronica Rossi Book

Riders Cover (GalleyCat)

Author Veronica Rossi has unveiled the cover for her forthcoming book, Riders.

We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think? Tor Teen, an imprint at the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, has set the publication date for February 02, 2016.

Over on Twitter, Rossi shares this bit of advice for fellow writers: “Always write what’s in your heart. Don’t let anyone tell you you don’t deserve to be heard. You do.”

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3. Deborah Harkness: ‘I set out to write a story about Diana, Matthew, and Ashmole 782 in three parts and I stuck to that plan.’

Deborah Harkness (GalleyCat)Deborah Harkness has a number of different positions listed on her resume: historian, wine blogger, and novelist. The author concluded the All Souls trilogy with The Book of Life in 2014. We spoke with Harkness to pick her brain about research, the editing process, and her forthcoming new projects. (Photo CreditScarlett Freund)

Q: How did you land your deal for A Discovery of Witches?
A: My long-time agent, Sam Stoloff, took the book through the submission process. I was thrilled to work with Carole DeSanti at Viking.

Q: Can you describe your research process? Did you take a different approach with each installment or did you use the same method?
A: Much of the research for the books was done some time ago, and for another purpose entirely. As a professor of history, I’ve spent the best part of the past thirty years researching and writing about the sixteenth century and the history of science. Still there was work to be done, most notably visiting places I’d only read about previously.

As a historian, that’s not always vital, but as a novelist it is—or at least it is for this novelist! I had to figure out information that we don’t necessarily teach graduate students, like how fast a horse can travel on frozen ground in November. I also had to keep up with breaking developments in genetics as I wrote. That field moves very quickly, and the landscape looked very different in 2008 when I started the trilogy than it did five years later when I finished. Some of the hypotheses that my protagonists were working with in A Discovery of Witches were proven during that period.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the best way to self-edit?
A: For me, I have to step away from the manuscript for a day or so. Then I download it to my iPad and read it there, noting what needs work. I find that changing the way the manuscript is displayed really helps give me a sense of detachment from it.

Q: How do you feel now that you finished such a massive trilogy?
A: Tired. Satisfied, too, because I set out to write a story about Diana, Matthew, and Ashmole 782 in three parts and I stuck to that plan.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m honestly not sure yet. I’m still teaching at the University of Southern California. I’m involved with the BBC’s efforts to put the All Souls Trilogy on the small screen. I’m researching a work of academic history on 16th- and 17th-century scientific and medical miscellanies. And I’m playing around with a few ideas for novels. It’s an exciting time for me, full of brainstorming and possibilities.

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4. Mollie Whuppie, Unexpected Hero!

When I was a youngster, I remember reading Mollie Whuppie in one of the many fairytale collections at the public library.  I am a fairytale kind of person.  Mollie Whuppie is a little short on sparkles and ball gowns and a little long on violence and greed.

I don't know why I like the story so much.  It may be the archaic dialog between Mollie and the giant she torments.  It might be that Mollie is an unexpected hero - the runt of the family, and a girl to boot.
When I figure it out, I'll let you know.  I have to admit, I did not tell the original ending.  That ending is a bit too gruesome for my tastes.

Today, I decided to share Mollie Whuppie with the sixth graders at Nazareth Intermediate School.  My version has some (ahem) blood in it and there's lots of action.  I guessed, correctly, that the guys would like it.  What I didn't expect was all the questions the kids had during and after the story.  One question that cropped up in three of the four classes was this.  "How did the King know what the Giant had and where he kept it?"

Yeah!  How did he know that?  And why did he keep sending this tiny girl out to steal from the Giant?  And why did the parents abandon the three youngest children and not the three oldest children - who might have a better chance of surviving?

And why did Mollie carry the treasures back to the King?  Why not keep them for herself?

And why didn't those old time storytellers ask these questions themselves and answer them in the story? (My question.)

Perhaps Kings were such powerful people that listeners at the time thought Kings knew what everyone had and where they kept it.  I bet that they felt that way at tax time.

And powerless people always like stories about small powerless people who prevail.

Now, about keeping the loot for herself, Mollie had to protect her sisters who might suffer at the hands of the King if Mollie "cheated" him.

As to abandoning the youngest rather than the oldest, I invite you to offer reasons for that.

In the meantime, these questions make great writing prompts and I imagine a comic book series about The Adventures of Mollie Whuppie.  Although there are picture books out there starring Ms. Whuppie, she could be a superhero.

Mollie Whuppie, Unexpected Hero!!!

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5. Amazon Launches Kindle for Kids Bundle

Amazon is looking to get kids into eBooks with a new offer called the Kindle for Kids Bundle.

The bundle includes an ad-free Kindle device with a two-year extended warranty from SquareTrade to cover replacements against accidental spills and drops. The device is outfitted with Kindle Free Time, a tool to help kids, parents and teachers track reading progress and earn badges for meeting reading goals.

The device allows kids to check out books from the library. A parental password is required to purchase eBooks from the store. The bundle costs $99.

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6. Review: Old Man Logan #1 Discharges Apocalyptic Swagger


Brian Michael Bendis


Andrea Sorrentino


Marcelo Maiolo


VC’s Cory Petit

Wolverine is grizzled, dirty, and tired — but Old Man Logan is downright nasty. Logan’s resolve is killing now in the midst of Secret Wars, his motivations are questionable, his ‘costume’ is covered in blood — welcome to the new Old Man Logan #1.

Author Brian Michael Bendis has a knack for writing characters like this, likely affected by the heroes of his youth portrayed on the big screen. It’s impossible not to feel the vibes of characters like Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon burning off the pages of this issue. This incarnation of Old Man Logan doesn’t even pretend to care that it’s walking in the footsteps of the original series with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, the comic is devoted to getting down to the core of the Wolverine character and reminding us why he’s so damn cool in the first place.

Andrea Sorrentino’s art was always stylish — incorporating elements that pushed the medium further with really dynamic color flourishes and poses. Steve McNiven’s more polished pencil set is really hard to live up too from the previous series, and that’s where Sorrentino’s really shines as a creator — he forges his own path in this comic. In fact, the different tricks of the medium and elements of coloring and lettering that make this tale so organic is perfectly weaved within the narrative. I’m not sure where the talent of colorist Marcelo Maiolo and Sorrentino intersect, but I never ever want them to stop working together! When the story breaks free of the regular style of art and thrusts into the lush splash page, we’re introduced to the versatility that Sorrentino’s own art that has grown ever since his time spent on projects like Green Arrow. He’s become more bold since then, and is now unafraid to take even more risks as the story goes on with Maiolo.

One of the best parts of this issue is how the reader really isn’t sure if Logan has gone crazy or not in this story. He definitely seems to be pushing against some line of morality, seemingly now playing the role of The Punisher within his own story. It’s also great to see the character of Logan finally get a bit of a break. We’ve been living in a culture with a Logan on virtually every team within the Marvel Universe. When Charles Soule finally let wolverine die, the character may have found the solace that he needed. Now that we have Logan back in a different sort of capacity I can actually appreciate the character for who he is.

Old Man Logan isn’t a particularly nice dude, but with his family ripped apart and evil continuing to prevail, he doesn’t really have a lot to be happy about. Thankfully, this story isn’t a nuanced character study, it’s an exploration into the dark parts of Wolverine’s psyche that allows him to kill. It’s interesting to see how the Marvel Universe at large is integrated into this story, at the same time, the way that the greater Marvel world was developed within the original story was some of the greatest strengths of the original volume. We need to see the pieces of the Marvel Universe sparingly, but we still need to see them lightly developed within the story structure of Old Man Logan. The only gripe I have in this comic is that one scene in particular plays a little too close for comfort in how it adapts Emma Frost into the Wolverine mythos — other than that, it’s all peaches and cream.

The light ties to Secret Wars are standard at the moment, but effective. Just a slight mention of Secret Wars seems to legitimize whatever sort of tie-in currently inflected within the titles themselves. Sorrentino and Bendis have crafted a tale worthy of Millar and McNiven’s tenure on the title. If we had to have any sort of continuation of Old Man Logan, this is an excellent new path for the title to embark on. Through utilizing circumstance and really making use out of the little moments of mythology conducted in the Marvel Universe during Secret Wars, Old Man Logan #1 is a successful tie-in. Continuing the legacy of one of the grumpiest and oldest superheroes ever further utilizes the strength of Marvel’s flagship event that is dedicated to exploring the outcasts, rebels, and Sam Spades of the Marvel Universe.

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7. DC’s in-story ads only to destroy comics for a month…so far

The instant internet revulsion at DC’s new half-page ad placements united the people as few things can—perhaps only revulsion for Game of Thrones and love for #NationalBiscuitDay. We can now see that this throwback to an older, more popular time for comics, when sales in the six figures were average, may not jibe with today’s love for a smooth, unfettered artistic comics reading experience.

Fortunately, I’m told that thus far, the ghastly Twix ad is the only one booked for this “half page” placement. However that’s not to say that some enterprising salesperson at DC couldn’t sell it again—unless the internet revulsion sends up a big red flag that this is perhaps not that great an idea.

As many have pointed out on Twitter and beyond, in-page ads are nothing new in comics. Tom Spurgeon found a tiny thumbnail of a comics page from the 70s, and I seem to recall that TEXT ADS were common at the bottom of 70s Marvel comics. The nü West Coast DC with its battalions of branding experts may have decided that ad revenue is a good thing and maybe the product is strong enough to withstand a disruptive—and from the twitter photos, horrible looking—ad like this. I suspect that internet outrage will dissipate fairly quickly however.

If you don’t like this, vote with your wallet people!

5 Comments on DC’s in-story ads only to destroy comics for a month…so far, last added: 5/29/2015
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8. Lumberjanes is about to become a major motion picture


One of the big critical darlings of last year, Lumberjanes is a fabulous comic series written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, with art by Brooke Allen and co-created by BOOM! Studios editor Shannon Watters.

For those unfamiliar, it follows a group of young women spending the summer at scout camp, where they encounter supernatural phenomena like Yetis, giant falcons and the like. It started out as an eight issue mini-series, but demand proved so high, that BOOM! decided to make it an ongoing. Lumberjanes is great fun and, for my money, a terribly important and accessible all-ages comic.

It’s no surprise then that Hollywood would eventually come calling, and so via 20th Century Fox in a report from The Wrap, a movie adaptation is on the way with Boom’s Ross Richie, Stephen Christy, and Adam Yoelin teaming up with Fox’s Kira Goldberg and Ryan Jones to produce the film. Will Widger, who is best known for his 2014 “Black List” script, The Munchkin, will take on writing duties for the film.

It’s a bit of a bummer that an all female created series, that focuses on female characters, has a male screenwriter; but his script for The Munchkin (which is pitched as a Chinatown type thriller about the world of The Wizard of Oz) sounds idiosyncratic enough that he may have a good spin on the material.

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9. Jennifer Barnes Gives Talk at TEDxOU

Have you ever wished that any of your favorite literary characters were a real people?

Young adult author and psychologist Jennifer Barnes gave a talk on “Imaginary Friends and Real-World Consequences: Parasocial Relationships” at TEDxOU. We’ve embedded the full presentation in the video above.

This independently-organized TED conference focused on the topic of \"off the map\" ideas. For the coordinators behind this event, “off the map” is defined as “perspectives and ideas that have been overlooked, are out of our comfort zones, and break boundaries.”

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10. "Witch Castle Havoc!" KING BRONTY

King Bronty ruled in the days of the dinosaurs when there was a great deal of havoc. I believe we have much to learn from the great thunder lizards and their royal family!

 I hope you enjoy this blog. Though I truly enjoy making "King Bronty" please join in and  encourage it's continued creation by support for art supplies (yes, ink isn't free), coffee, etc.  JRY


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11. Social Book Platform Glose Now on Android

Glose, a social tool for e-book readers, has launched a new app for Android devices. Prior to the release, the tool was available on iOS devices and via web apps.

The app allows readers to sample, purchase and read eBooks and recommend them to friends. The service has more than 300,000 books in its library with titles from more than 600 publishers. The site also includes curated recommendations from its staff editors, as well as from authors.

Readers can highlight passages and make notes in eBooks and then share these in their social reading stream.

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12. Cinebook The 9th Art: The Survivors - Episode 2

Authors: LEO
Age: 15 years and up
Size: 18.4 x 25.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages

ISBN: 9781849182430
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Publication: March 2015

The small group of marooned humans, minus a few individuals who left after a difference of opinions, survived one group of aliens, received help from a second, and is now travelling towards what appears to be a town. But their adoptive planet is a truly peculiar place with many surprises in store: a wild and unknown nature, inhabitants with unpredictable attitudes and morals ... and other, even stranger phenomena well beyond their comprehension!

This "The Wolds Of Aldebaran" story is almost a "How The West Was Won" but set in space.  Leo has produced some great characters and art -some very imaginative art!- and never ceases to amaze.

In this story we see humans getting involved in "survival" -so you can guess they've taken their knack of using weapons (even if small weapons) to make a point into space.  I think Leo's opinion seems to fall on the side of "There is no reason why aliens are not going to be like us so we need to be careful" -as opposed to "They'll be our space Brothers and Sisters".

If you've not read at a copy of a book in this series then you really should.  Initially I was a little cold but sitting down and reading and looking at the art made me a fan.  Don't ask "why?" because I try never to question it these days!


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13. dinosaur police: hay festival 2015

I had my first Dinosaur Police event yesterday, at the Hay Festival in Wales! And I got to wear my brand-new dinosaur-inspired hat! My sculptor friend, Eddie Smith created it (the same guy who helped me build the giant Seawig and talking cake hat), and my local tailor, Esther Marfo, made the dress. (Oh, and I made the book!)

This photo's by Jay Williams for Telegraph Books, and I was awfully excited to be included in the gallery between Pam Ayres and Virginia McKenna, both of whom I got to meet in the Green Room. Here's a doodle of my awesome Scholastic UK publicist, Dave Sanger, bravely helping me on stage to lead the audience in a very rousing rendition of the Dinosaur Police SONG. It might not have been the most tuneful number on the day, but we all sang it with great gusto. (Thanks, Philip Reeve, for writing the lyrics, and Sarah Reeve, for teaching me some ace uke chords to play with it!)

Here's Dave, sheltering from the rain under the umbrella of my enormous hat. Oh... and I have some exciting news about David!

Not only is he a fab publicist, but he's signed a book deal with Quercus for a book for adults, All Their Minds in Tandem, coming out next spring. Yay, Dave! I can't wait to read it.

So for our event, we did some drawing, and some roaring, comics, and general mucking about.

I showed everyone my way of drawing Trevor the T-Rex, and here's one of the drawings from a girl in the audience named Grace. We discussed various possible dinosaur professions, and this one's a dinosaur astronaut. (Here are some guides on my website to drawing dinosaurs, if you want to have a try.)

And it wasn't just people in Wales drawing dinosaurs; here's a picture tweeted in from South America of Inspector Sarah Tops at the same time by Mercedes Ortiz!

And then I got to sign and draw in lots of books. Thanks so much, everyone who came along! (Photo tweeted by Steph Roundsmith at @kidsrwreview.)

Big thanks to the other Sarah, who managed our event, and Glyn Morgan (@GR_Morgan), who was working another event but made me feel very famous by pulling me aside for a photo to tweet.

Actually, a lot of us had fun with the hat. Here are authors Ed Vere, Holly Smale and Tom Moorhouse.

I only had time to go to one event, so I went to see Holly give a talk with Megan Farr and Arabella Weir. Holly and Arabella have both written stories about teenage girls very much like they were as teenagers, and it was kind of funny because I think it they'd met each other as teenagers, they would have loathed each other. Since they're both grown-ups now, they can talk about these things in a friendly sort of way, but I think the audience could still feel the undercurrent of their semi-fictional teenage selves at war. (Which made everything way more interesting than if they'd been very similar.)

The most surprising question actually came from a child in the audience, who said: "You're both obviously very intelligent women. So why are you writing books for children?" (Cue a big intake of breath from several people up front and in the audience who make books for children.) Holly and Arabella answered it well, saying that it can be even harder to write for children, because children don't let writers hide behind unnecessary literary nonsense: either a story works for them, or it doesn't. In fact, Holly didn't even set out to write for children. She made the Geek Girl protagonist 15 years old, and that's what made the editor decide it was a children's book. Both Arabella and Holly said they never dumb down allusions and jokes because they're writing for kids, and Holly pointed to Shakespeare references in her stories.

Both writers said it's harder to make people laugh than cry, which I very much agree with. It reminded me of a line tweeted recently by Ewa SR:

Being funny doesn't mean being dizzy or less talented, on the contrary, it takes more skill.

Another thing that takes a whole lot of skill is moderating talks. Big cheers to people who moderated MANY talks, including Daniel Hahn (who was compere for 18 talks during the festival!) and the Telegraph Book's Martin Chilton, who also had to read a whole lot of books and ask a lot of good questions. Here's Martin, looking lovely in the dino hat. (And yes, he DID suddenly sprout a lavish blond fringe.)

I was sad to miss illustrator Jamie Littler's event with Danny Wallace, but I hear it was a storming success. (Here he is, with the newspaper rose we were all given.)

One of the hardest things about this year has been not having enough time to catch up with friends. And this festival was wonderful for that. On the first morning, I came out of my bedroom at George House to find my great friend, writer Moira Young, also coming downstairs to breakfast. Yay! Here's Moira, with wonderful Shirley Smith, who lives in the house and turns it into a guesthouse once a year, just for the festival. I stayed with her in 2012 and was thrilled to be back.

And it was great to catch up with Moira and her architect husband Paul. Another big treat was getting to have a girly slumber party with Holly Smale, when she found she wouldn't be able to catch the last train home. After dinner, we stayed up WAY too late chatting in the pink bedroom, in our little twin beds, then came back together on the train. Good times.

And the other people who made it a fun visit was the group of Norwegians at the festival - a 'noggin' of Norwegians as I've decided they're called - and they took me out to dinner on the first night: Helga and John Rullestad (who hosted me in Norway for the SILK Festival) and their good friend Odd Henning Johannessen. (Thanks so much, Norwegians!)

Thanks so much to Mary Beard and Heather Salisbury at Hay Festival for inviting and looking after me, Shirley for putting me up, Dave for being my glamorous dinosaur assistant, the team at the Hay Festival bookshop, Dave and Harriet Bayly for the second night's dinner, drivers Darren and Mark, Sarah, the stewards and everyone who made the festival run so smoothly and be so much fun. And big thanks to Eddie and Esther for all the costume help!

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14. Bonus Scene: The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Córdova + Giveaway (US Only)

The Vast and Brutal Sea
Zoraida Córdova

Release Date: June 2, 2015


About the Book

This epic clash of sand and sea will pit brother against brother-and there can only be one winner

In two days, the race for the Sea Court throne will be over-but all the rules have changed. The sea witch, Nieve, has kidnapped Layla and is raising an army of mutant sea creatures to overthrow the crown. Kurt, the one person Tristan could depend on in the battle for the Sea King's throne, has betrayed him. Now Kurt wants the throne for himself. Tristan has the Scepter of the Earth, but it's not enough. He'll have to travel to the mysterious, lost Isle of Tears and unleash the magic that first created the king's powerful scepter. It's a brutal race to the finish, and there can only be one winner.



Are you ready to start reading?!





Before he was a champion for the crown, Dylan, son of Ammon, merman of the Western Seas, was in love. His name was Evan.


Evan, a merman of the southern coast had dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes. He was the opposite of every thing Dylan was. Brave, eager to fight for his king, and a ready friend to all.


Before the court of the Western Sea set off for Toliss, where their king announced he had a newly discovered grandson, a human grandson at that, Dylan was hopeful he could lead a very happy life. Let the human boy have the crown. This Tristan Hart didn't look like much from faraway, but he'd learn the way Dylan had learned to pick up a sword and say the right things to keep his corner of the seas at peace. But the other champions wouldn't stand back, and Dylan's father wouldn't have their family bow down to a halfbreed human boy.


So they set sail after the presentation of the champions when King Karanos broke his trident into three pieces and set them loose in the oceans. Lord Ammon's ship had their best men, a court of chattering princesses, and two ancient augurers. While the augurers dug their scaly fingers into the bellies of spotted sharks, Dylan leaned against the side of the ship and watched the waves toss around them. His legs itched where skin replaced the light blue of his scales. He wiggled his toes, just like they all did when they were in this form.


For a people who hated humans, they didn't mind the magic in their veins allowing them to use the convenience of legs. Dylan sighed at the open sea, and thought it was curious how dark the sky was already in this part of the world.


"Nasty surface weather," Evan said, coming up beside him.


Dylan felt his body do many things at once. His stomach fluttered, his heart expanded, and his tongue went dry. It was always this way when Evan was around. Evan with his lovely dark eyes. His armor gleamed in the soft light of the moon. His hand reached out for Dylan's, and rested there for a good long while.


"I don't like this," Dylan told him.


"Sorry, my Prince." Evan withdrew his hand instantly.


Dylan felt his face burn. "That's not what I meant." He loved when Evan touched him. He loved when Evan looked at him. He couldn't get enough of it, really.


"Never that," Dylan said, threading their fingers together. "I mean the championship. How are we supposed to get answers from the tribe? And even if I do find a piece of the trident, am I really supposed to...kill the others?"


Evan smiles at him. He loved it when Evan smiled, but there were few things about Evan that Dylan did not love. The only thing he could think of was Evan's duty to the guard, and worrying on whether or not he'd return to him or get cut into surf at the bottom of the ocean.


"You'd make a fine king," Evan said. "I know it in my bones. You're just. You're fiercely loyal. And you're brave."


"Brave?" Dylan shook his head. "You flatter me. Do you know the only thing stopping me from jumping into the sea and swimming far far away is you?"


"I'd follow you," Evan said.


"And bring me back?"


"No." Evan grabbed onto the leather sheath on Dylan's chest and pulls him close. He presses his lips to his and they kiss softly, but quickly. "And do that."


Somewhere on the ship an augurer shouted, "We're approaching the mist, my Lord Ammon!"


And a princess wanting to become Dylan's queen stormed away and landed into the arms of a member of the guard.


And a decrepit creature clawed its way up the side of the ship and on board. It's teeth ripped into the shoulder of the first guard it found. It's jagged claws ripped through the neck that followed.


It was not alone.


They moved too fast to draw screams, the shouts still lodged in the throat of their victims.


"We're under attack!" yelled Lord Ammon, trying to draw his long sword. But the ship heaved and he lost his footing, damn his legs. He shifted into his tail and slapped the vicious merrow that attacked him. If he were to die, it would be as his true self. He would die fighting. He could see Dylan running to his aid, but the creatures kept coming. Ammon grabbed one of the infernal merrows by the ankle and pulled him to the ground. He stared into its shark-like face, breathed the rot in its mouth, and twisted the creature's neck. It's decomposed in seconds, oozing black blood.


"Father!" Dylan shouted. He was covered in blood, black and red, and an angry gash cut his chest. "Evan!"


Dylan swung his sword left and right, and tried to reach for his father, who lay beaten and disarmed. He couldn't find Evan. When the shouting started Evan kissed him, fast and hard as a goodbye, and ran into the fray.


"The mist," Lord Ammon yelled. "Go, my son."


Dylan shook his head, surrounded by bodies torn in half and the deformed creatures he'd only heard about in stories of old. He couldn't get his feet, his stupid human feet, to move.


The merrow pushed Dylan to the ground. It's fists were ready to rip into him, but Ammon blocked the blow with his whole body. The spear-like nails dug into Ammon's chest. Even as Dylan screamed, his father, one of the ancients of the seas, petrified into coral, then crumbled into pieces.


Dylan didn't have time to scream. The merrows overran the ship. He took his father's sword a sliced through one, two, three wretched bodies at once. He broke the skin of his fists on the merrow's coarse hides. He screamed Evan's name and was answered by growling and the cry of the dying.


Then he felt the mist.


He grabbed a flaming torch and threw it on the ground. He knew he had to go now, go far, while he had the chance.


"Evan!" He screamed again. But no one answered. As the ship went up in flames and the merrows feasted on the bodies, Dylan jumped into the mist.


He never saw Evan again.



b2ap3_thumbnail_Author-photo-trilogy.jpgAbout the Author

Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. She studied English Lit at Hunter College, and The University of Montana. She is the author of The Vicious Deep Trilogy (YA) and the On the Verge Series (NA).


Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Facebook


Giveaway Details

Three winners will each receive a signed paperback copy of THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA plus swag (series button, bookmarks). 

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Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question you'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:
What were you in a past life?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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15. Feline Friday- A Nap Before Breakfast

A Nap Before Band Practice
Happy Feline Friday. Feline Friday is a fun meme my friend Sandee with Comedy Plus  posts every Friday. The meme was created by Steve from Burnt Food Dude. This meme provides us humans with the opportunity to publish our own, and view others bloggers photographs, drawings, and videos of cats in their finest moments.

Camera's, videos, and human talent has opened a gateway into the adventurous world of cats, and boy are they photogenic.

I think the kitten in this photograph is taking a nap before band practice. While my feline is running around my apartment, jumping over furniture, intentionally scratching the back of my sofa, (instead of his scratch board), because I am writing.

Have a great day, and click on Sandee and Steve's link for more Feline Friday posts, they're terrific.

Note in reference to Monday's Stories: 

Jean from The Misadventures of Widowhood guessed the true story, congratulations Jean!  I truly appreciate all of you who participated, especially since I had to quit blogging for awhile, and lost a lot of readers. Your loyalty means the world to me.

Plus, I'd like to add that when my mother told me the story about the puppies, I didn't believe it either, and I still have questions, although she remains adamant that it's the truth.

Forgive me for any mistakes I may have made in this post, I'm racing the Louisiana rain. I have a desktop, and I'm afraid I may lose power.

Again, have a wonderful day, and don't forget to leave or read a comment. It's fun!

Oh, and you can still read Monday's Stories in the post below, and see which story you would have chosen.    
Bye again :)


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16. Meet The Man Who’s Translated A Thousand Manga Chapters

27-year-old Dan Luffey essentially knew he would be going to Japan to translate works there since his days as a kid. Born in Pennsylvania but growing up in California, after going to Japan as a high school student he ended up loving his time in Japan. So much so that he attended Kyoto University. Yes, ... Read more

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17. Poetry Friday: Ida Frickey

Nothing in life is alien to you:
I was a penniless girl from Summum
Who stepped from the morning train in Spoon River.
All the houses stood before me with closed doors
And drawn shades- I was barred out;
I had no place or part in any of them.
And I walked past the old McNeely mansion,
A castle of stone 'mid walks and gardens,
With workmen about the place on guard,
And the County and State upholding it
For its lordly owner, full of pride.
I was so hungry I had a vision:
I saw a giant pair of scissors
Dip from the sky, like the beam of a dredge,
And cut the house in two like a curtain.
But at the "Commercial" I saw a man,
Who winked at me as I asked for work--
It was Wash McNeely's son.
He proved the link in the chain of title
To half my ownership of the mansion,
Through a breach of promise suit - the scissors.
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born,
Was only waiting for me.

- Ida Frickey in Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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18. MONSTER by Rita Kwong


Submitted by Rita Kwong for the Illustration Friday topic MONSTER.

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19. "Cartoons & Comics" documentary (Boston Comic Con)

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20. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e May 29th 2015

Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

Fun With Literary Allusions (Anne Greenwood Brown)

The Age-Old Cynicism Surrounding the Dream of Book Writing (Jane Friedman)

Owning Up to Our Writing…Locally (Elizabeth Spann Craig)

DIY Book Covers for the Self Publishing-Inclined (George Cotronis)

Getting Unstuck: pure craft (Jane Lebak)

Choices (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)

A Subtle Technique (Wendy Lawton)

25 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work (Kelly Gurnett)

The Trap of Your Comfort Zone (Dan Blank)

You Can Master Classic Story Structure (Jerry B. Jenkins)

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully—in Ten Minutes (Stephen King) Jon’s Pick of the Week

How Important is Your Book Title? (Rachelle Gardner)

False Summits–and How to Get to the Top Anyway (Harry Bingham)

Begin Your Novel with Action: A Good Rule? (Jeff Gerke)

Never Stop Learning (Alissa Grosso)

The 10 Keys to Writing Killer Fight Scenes (Bill Ferris)

If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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21. Welcome Moldova!

First appearance in the audience viewing CBO -and quite a few of you!


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22. A Cup full of Mindfulness

A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku Summer Classic White Coffee Mug

A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku Summer Classic White Coffee Mug
Inspirational Haiku Coffee Mug or Tea Cup for those of you who love haiku almost as much as you love your morning cup of java or tea. 

The poetic form of the Haiku and mindfulness goes hand in hand. Haiku is a way of showing mindful living. You will gain appreciation of the here-and-now when you closely read these haikus while drinking your favorite brew. 

A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku Spring Classic White Coffee Mug
Unique design and haikus by poet and illustrator, Sannel Larson. Choose between Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter seasonal haiku mugs. Or why not combine all the seasons with the mixed seasons haiku cup. Now you can enjoy coffee, tea, latte and hot chocolate any time of the day – and be mindful, too. 
A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku Fall Classic White Coffee Mug

Perfect Coffee Mug or Tea Cup for birthday, teacher, best friend, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas or Valentine's gift for a haiku fan or anyone who loves a mindful and inspirational read. 

A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku Winter Classic White Coffee Mug

Please visit my Zazzle store to check out my products: SannelDesign

A Cup full of Mindfulness – Haiku-Mixed Seasons Classic White Coffee Mug

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23. Peek-a-Boo

I'm part of the group Fanartica and we are about to have a group exhibition Dungeons and Dragons at fan*alley in LA!

The opening is Saturday, June 13th, from 6-10pm.

This is my piece for the show. It is titled "Peek-a-boo" after Babysitter Beholder's favorite game.

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24. David's Drawing Table episode 2

Did you ever want to be a storyteller? You probably already are! Join author/illustrator David Hyde Costello at the Drawing Table and help him figure out what to do about one scary lake monster. Is he friend or is he foe? Your ideas are needed!

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25. Trailer for Blender’s New Open Source Film ‘Cosmos Laundromat’

The movie and all its assets will be freely distributed to the public.

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