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1. Fusenews: Gravel in the bed

“If kids like a picture book, they’re going to read it at least 50 times, and their parents are going to have to read it with them. Read anything that often, and even minor imperfections start to feel like gravel in the bed.” – Mark Haddon

I’ve just returned from speaking at a magnificent writing retreat weekend at Bethany Hegedus’s Writing Barn in Austin, Texas.  That quote was one that Bethany read before Alexandra Penfold’s presentation and I like it quite a lot.  Someone should start a picture book blog called “Gravel In the Bed”.  If you need a good treat, I do recommend The Writing Barn wholeheartedly.  The deer alone are worth the price of admission.  And if you’ve other children’s book writing retreats you like, let me know what they are.  I’m trying to pull together a list.

  • I just want to give a shout out to my girl Kate Milford. I don’t always agree with the ultimate winners of The Edgar Award (given for the best mysteries) in the young person’s category but this year they knocked it out of the park. Greenglass House for the win!
  • As you know, I’m working on the funny girl anthology FUNNY GIRL and one of my contributors is the illustrious Shannon Hale.  She’s my personal hero most of the time and the recent post Boos for girls just nails down why that is.  Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the link.

Not too long ago I was part of a rather large gathering based on one of my blog posts.  The artist Etienne Delessert saw a piece I’d written on international picture books and how they’re perceived here in the States.  So what did he do?  He grabbed local consulates, flew in scholars, invited friends (like David Macaulay) and created an amazing free day that was hugely edifying and wonderful.  You can read the SLJ report We need more international picture books, kid lit experts say or the PW piece Where the Wild Books Are: A Day of Celebrating Foreign Picture Books or the Monica Edinger recap International Children’s Books Considered.  Very interesting look at these three different perspectives.  And, naturally, I must thank Etienne for taking my little post so very far.  This is, in a very real way, every literary blogger’s dream come true.  Merci, Etienne!

  • There’s a lot of joy that can come when when a British expert discusses their nation’s “forgotten children’s classics“.  The delightful Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature is out and its editor Daniel Hahn has recapped the books that he feels don’t get sufficient attention in Britain.  Very funny to see one of our American classics on this list (I won’t ruin which one for you).
  • How do we instill a sense of empathy in our kids?  Have ‘em read Harry Potter.  Apparently there’s now research to back that statement up.  NPR has the story.
  • Ooo. Wish I lived in L.A. for this upcoming talk.  At UCLA there’s going to be a discussion of Oscar Wilde and the Culture of Childhood that looks at his fairytales.  It ain’t a lot of money.  See what they have to say.
  • Because of I have ample time on my hands (hee hee hee hee . . . whooo) I also wrote an article for Horn Book Magazine recently.  If you’ve ever wondered why we’re seeing so many refugees from the animation industry creating picture books, this may provide some of the answers.
  • Over at the blog Views From the Tesseract, Stephanie Whelan has located a picture book so magnificent that it should be reprinted now now now.  Imagine, if you will, a science fiction picture book starring an African-American girl . . . illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.  Do you remember Blast Off?

Of course you don’t.  No one does.  Stephanie has the interiors on her site.  And since the number of books that show African-American girls as astronauts are . . . um . . . okay, I’ve never seen one.  Plus it’s gorgeous and fun.  REPRINT REPRINT REPRINT!

  • Speaking of girls in space, I’ve never so regretted that a section was cut from a classic book.  But this missing section from A Wrinkle in Time practically makes me weep for its lack.  I WISH it had been included.  It’s so very horribly horribly timely.
  • As you’ll recall, the new math award for children’s books was established.  So how do you submit your own?  Well, new submissions for 2015 (and looking back an additional five years) will begin to be received starting June 1st. So FYI, kiddos.
  • Daily Image:

Know a librarian getting married?  Or an editor?  Or an author?  Gently suggest to them these for their registry.


Thanks to Stephanie Whelan for the link.

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2. Spotlight and Giveaway: Breaking Noah by Missy Johnson and Ashley Suzanne

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Breaking Noah.  Enjoy!

Breaking Noah

By: Missy Johnson & Ashley Suzanne

Releasing May 12, 2015

Loveswept

Blurb

What happens when you start falling for your worst enemy? Fans of Abbi Glines and Monica Murphy will relish this addictive novel of smoking-hot seduction—and revenge gone so wrong, it’s right.

I wasn’t always this jaded. I had a clear head, things I wanted out of life, and a concise plan on how to get there. For being only twenty-one, I pretty much had it all figured out. Until the day my cousin died.


I spent months going over all the details surrounding her death, trying to figure out how I missed the signs, and the only thing I could come up with was she would still be alive if it wasn’t for one person: her professor. So I transferred to his college, enrolled in his class, and set my new plan in motion.

First I’ll seduce him. Then I’ll ruin him. I’ve just got to stay strong and not let his charm and my emotions get the best of me. Because someone has to pay for her death. If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to break Noah.


Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/02/breaking-noah-by-missy-johnson-and.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23636584-breaking-noah?from_search=true

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

Author Info: Missy Johnson
Missy Johnson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat who thinks he is a dog . . . you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Author Info: Ashley Suzanne

Ashley Suzanne has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a youngster, she was always creating stories and talking to her imaginary friends. Thankfully, her parents also carried this love of fiction, and helped her grow into the bestselling author she is today. When Ashley isn’t coming up with her next story, you’ll most likely find her on the couch, telling her husband all about her new book boyfriend, or spending quality time with her two gremlins . . . er, adorable children.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter| Goodreads

EXCERPT:

He’s flustered.

I suppose if I’d been caught stalking a student, I’d be flustered, too. I stand there with my hand on my hip, my eyebrows raised, waiting for him to say something. Containing my smirk is harder than I’d imagined. I really couldn’t have planned this any better if I’d tried. Oh, Karly, justice is so close, I can taste it.

I don’t even think he’s aware he’s glanced at my chest three times already. Noah’s already putty in my hands.

“Mr. Bain? Would you like to tell me why you’re at my home, of all places? You couldn’t be stalking me, could you?” The cool, sarcastic tone of my voice surprises even me. I had no idea I had it in me—so Karly-like. It’s as if her attitude’s flowing through me.

He’s so uncomfortable that it’s a real effort for me not to laugh. What the hell is he doing here, outside my apartment? This guy really is the definition of creep. The way he looked at me today, and now this? I shiver and run my hands over my arms. He might be the worst kind of predator—attractive, intelligent, with a smile that could charm the pants off a nun. It would have been easy for Karly to fall for him and never be able to see the disastrous results coming.

“I was in the area . . .” His voice trails off as his face resigns to the fact that there is nothing he can say to get him out of this. I don’t think watching him squirm will ever get old. How’s that hot seat feel? It’s only going to get worse.

“Dammit,” he curses, slamming his hands down on the steering wheel in frustration.

“Language, Professor Bain,” I chide softly. I lean forward so my arms are resting on the door frame of his car.

He runs a hand through his dark, unruly hair, his pale blue eyes darting around, and I can see the effort he’s putting forth to not look at me. Maybe he’s expecting me to be angrier than I am? That I’d be making more of a scene? But how can I be? This is perfect.

I never expected to have this kind of effect on him this early, and as creepy as he’s being right now, this is exactly what I want. I really thought I’d at least have to put in some sort of effort.

He finally speaks. “I wanted to check that you were okay.” His voice is quiet, and I’m confronted by how much I actually believe his words.

Don’t get dragged in, Zara. This is probably how he lured Karly, too. Acting allconcerned and gentlemanlike. I want to pull his heart straight out of his chest, but there’s much better ways to handle men like him.

“Why wouldn’t I be okay?” I laugh. I pretend his words don’t affect me, but they do. I’m not used to anyone outside of my family actually caring about me. I’m usually referred to as the lone wolf. With the exception of Karly and my brother, nobody knows me. I’ve never given anyone the chance. Not even Dillon. He’s seen glimpses of who I really am, but allowing anyone that close gives them the opportunity to hurt me.

“I had a feeling.” He shrugs, shaking his head as if he can’t put into words exactly what he’s doing. The sweat beading on his forehead and the slight tremor in his hands have me wondering if this really is out of character for him. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come here, and you obviously weren’t meant to see . . .”

“That you were spying on me?” I supply. “I can assure you, Professor Bain, I’m quite all right, and not in need of saving, or whatever it is that you’re doing here,” I protest. “I can only imagine what the dean would say if she found out about this. I’m not exactly sure, but I would think that showing up at a student’s home in the middle of the night with some sort of feeling could land even the most trusted professor in some serious hot water.” Start begging, Noah. The unintentional trap I’ve laid for him: It’s pure genius. I only wish I’d thought of it myself.

“Please, Zara. Can we keep this between us? I’m sorry . . .” He curses again, gripping the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turn a ghostly white. I know the color well. I’m sure if I uncoiled my tightly wrapped hands, they’d match his perfectly.

I bite back a smile. I can’t help it; I’m amused, yet angered at the same time. How is it possible to feel both of these emotions simultaneously? Wanting to giggle and punch him in the face? I wish there were some manual to tell me which feeling I should have.

I’ve never seen a grown man so worked up before. His embarrassment is obvious, yet there’s something else I can’t put my finger on. Maybe genuine concern? But that can’t be the case. He hasn’t known me long enough to feel that way. He starts the engine and I step back, cross my arms over my chest and attempt to keep my fists hidden from sight. I bite my lip and watch him shift the gearshift into drive.

“Sure, Professor Bain,” I whisper, biting my lip. Releasing balled hands, my finger toys with the necklace that hangs around my neck, drawing his gaze once again to my breasts—a trick Karly taught me when we were teenagers trying to buy beer. Give a man an excuse to ogle your goodies and you’ve won without even having to try. I tilt my head and smile at him. “This will be our little secret, okay?” A secret that I’m going to use against you anytime I wish, I think to myself, inwardly rubbing my hands and cackling like a mad scientist.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Ms. Hamilton,” he says nervously. He checks his blind spot, or to see if anyone else is watching our interaction, and sheepishly smiles.

I watch as he drives off, the car disappearing into the night. I stand on the road for a moment, trying to gather my thoughts before I head inside. The last thing I need is Dillon poking his nose around where it doesn’t belong. This is my fight.

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3. Hunting Finches



Paul Finch's latest Heck novel, Hunted, is released this week and you can meet Paul in Waterstones Liverpool One store on Wednesday 6th May 2015 at 18:30 where he'll be in conversation with Luca Veste.

Paul and his wife Cathy are awesome folk so if you're in the local area, come give Paul your support. The Bestwick and I will either be cheering from the front row (him) or the back row (me).

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4. Best Selling Young Adult Books | May 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, a lot remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list.

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5. Celebrating my Fourth Blog Anniversary…Then and Now…

May the Fourth be with You...
THEN:
ALL SYSTEMS GO! (First posted May 4th, 2011)

May the ‘Fourth’ Be With You!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.

First, let me introduce myself—my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication—stuff like that.

My intention of this blog is to:

#1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.

#2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.

In a nutshell—market myself and promote my work.

That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth—the next generation—through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.

NOW:
Wow! To be honest, I was so afraid when I started blogging and putting myself out in cyber-space. Reading my first post over again, I realize that I’ve come a long way in my writing journey. Back in 2011, I didn’t have a publisher and was still querying agents and publishers. This blog and my Facebook account was the beginning of my online presence, and I really felt like a fish out of water. But I kept blogging and posting on Facebook. I learned to share interesting and helpful posts for other authors as a way of connection. I figured out what works for me and what doesn’t—still an ongoing process, I must admit! And I continue to work on my author brand and platform through blogging and networking with other authors, readers, publishers, and bloggers.

I’ve also gotten better with time. Go figure. My intention has changed a lot since that first blog post. I’m much more confident and tech savvy then I was. Now I’m a published author, and represented by a literary agency. I’ve also learned to adapt to my environment, and go with the flow through the ups and downs of the publishing industry. So what have I learned in the last four years? In grand Oprah-like fashion, I’d like to share with you what I know for sure:

·         I’ve realized that I do NOT want to be an indie publisher, but rather be part of a publishing company. I’m more of a team player and had to figure that out for myself. I like having the support of a publisher behind me. Plus I didn’t have to look for, and invest in an editor, cover artist, and book formatter.
·         I’d rather write blogs that uplift or help authors and readers.
·         I love showcasing middle grade and young adult authors and their books and/or series on my blog for readers to find.
·         I enjoy doing Goodreads Giveaways. I’ve connected with so many readers this way!
·         Book blog tours are exhausting. I’ve learned to delegate blog tours to the professionals whenever possible!
·         Trying to fit into other authors’ shoes is painful and unproductive. Stand in your truth.
·         I can only be one place at a time. Too many social media accounts = too many distractions and not enough writing time. I decided to stick with Facebook, get on Twitter, join Google+ and Goodreads, and occasionally share on LinkedIn. That’s it!
·         I blog every Monday. I used to do it twice a week, but couldn’t keep up. I’ve learned being consistent keeps you out there and creates an audience.
·         I’ve learned to develop a positive mental attitude. Trust me, a PMA will keep you afloat on the days you just want to throw in the towel.
·         I’ve learned from other authors. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
·         Finally, I’ve learned that writing is both a business and a passion. It requires wearing two different hats. You need to juggle these hats if you want to be a successful author.


Where the Magic Happens...
I still believe writing is all about the reader. And I still hope to influence, uplift, and empower through my books. My personal motto is: I write to make people’s lives better, create something of value to make them smile. May the fourth be with you, everyone! Cheers! 

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6. Blog Series: A Peek Inside Conferring Toolkits

This week my friends and I at Two Writing Teachers will take you on a tour of our writing toolkits. You won't want to miss a single post this week!

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7. Admiralty Islands, 1944

Pete Hurley, WWII, 1944

Pete Hurley, WWII, 1944


This is my grandfather, Pete Hurley, during WWII in the Pacific. He was a member of the SeaBees – the USN Construction Battalion who built and maintained airports, runways, etc. on the islands during the war. He’s about 28 in this picture.

My grandfather died a few days before my 5th birthday but I have some huge memories of him. He was not a big man, but had a very big personalty. More than anything, he embodied all the classic characteristics of the Irish Mick – fair skinned, fair haired, blue-eyed, a great dancer and storyteller, talented in a thousand different ways. He wasn’t perfect – he had the Irish demons as well – but he was unforgettable.

This is one of my favorite photos of him – if you follow me on twitter (@chasingray), my grandfather & grandmother are in my profile pic.

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8. Boost Your Optin Rate Today - It’s All About the Lead Magnets (Offers)

Being a marketer is a never-ending learning process. You’re always reading the heavy-hitters and doing research as to what’s working ‘now’ and what’s not. The reason? The rules to the game are always changing. Well, in my research I came upon an amazing article at Matthew Woodard’s site, “How I Increased Email Conversion By 469% Instantly.” It’s one of those articles that makes you say, “Ahhhh.

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9. Segrelles Exhibition in Spain

via Gurney Journey http://ift.tt/1JYV0AI

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10. Math Monday! I See A Pattern Here by Bruce Goldstone

It's MATH MONDAY! Join Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for the Math Monday Link Up!

I am a huge Bruce Goldstone fan and was thrilled to see his new book I SEE A PATTERN at Cover to Cover last week. I bought it, figuring it might be a bit primary for my kids but that we definitely needed to add it to our Bruce Goldstone collection.  If you are not familiar with this author/photographer, we've reviewed several of his books on the blog!

WOW! Was I surprised. I should have know that Goldstone would teach us more about patterns than I expected. I should have realized that he would take the book in directions I hadn't considered.  The one thing I love about his books is that there are so many places for readers to enter and engage.

As always the photos in this book are fabulous. The size and color draw you in immediately. For young students the visuals will be plenty to learn from and talk about.  For older readers, Goldstone includes options.

He begins the book talking about pattern, what makes a pattern, where we find patterns.  In the bottom corner of the first spread, there is a bright box with the heading "MathSpeak". In it he says, "Mathematicians use special words to describe patterns. Check out these speech balloons if you want to talk MathSpeak, too. Then on pages throughout the book, Goldstone introduces math words that go along with what he is sharing on the page.

Goldstone starts with simple patterns with beads and explains how they are made using slides. He continues on with ideas around rotation and symmetry, scale and tessellations.  There are some activities for kids at try at the end of the book.

This book, as with all of Goldstone's, is one that I am excited to bring to the classroom. Lots of ideas about patterns for kids to explore over time!


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11. Cullman Fellows

       They've announced the 2015-2016 Fellows at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers -- a nine-month gig that includes "a stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources".
       Always an interesting group of writers and projects, but most eye-catching this time around are:

  • Two-time Best Translated Book Award-winner Krasznahorkai László, who: "will be working on a novel about Melville after the publication of Moby Dick". Awesome !

  • Bonsai-author Alejandro Zambra, who: "will be working on a book about personal libraries".

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12. Article- Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

किसी बात पर मन बहुत उदास था . कुछ करने को दिल नही था इसलिए टीवी के चैनल बदलने शुरु किए. चैनल बदलते समय अचानक  मेरा ध्यान गया कि अरे !!चार्ली चैपलिन की मूवी आ रही है… मैं उसे देखती रही और मेरा उदासीपना उडन छू हो गया. हां,  पर हंसते हंसते  पेट दर्द जरुर हो गया.

16 अप्रैल 1889 को जन्में सर चार्ल्स स्पेन्सर चैप्लिन, जिन्हे सब  Charlie Chaplin के नाम से जानते है विश्व सिनेमा के आज तक के सबसे बड़े मजाकिया माने जाते है ।  हालांकि उनका शुरूआती जीवन बड़ी ही कठिनाइयों और अभावों में बिता था लेकिन उन्होंने परदे पर सदैव हास्य भूमिका अदा की और लोगो को भरपूर हसाया 88 वर्ष की उम्र में 25 दिसंबर 1977 को उनकी मृत्यु हुई लेकिन वे अपनी मृत्यु को अपनी फिल्मों से पराजित करते हुए हमेशा-हमेशा के लिए अमर हो गए और आज भी वे स्क्रीन पर अपनी खास अदा , अपनी खास वेशभूषा तथा  खास हँसी से हमारे दिल मे बसे रहेग़ें

cartoon Chaplin by monica gupta

 

चार्ली चैपलिन के कुछ विचार जो मुझे बहुत अच्छे लगे …

यदि आप केवल मुस्कुराएंगे तो आप पाएंगे की ज़िन्दगी अभी भी मूल्यवान है ।

मेरी ज़िन्दगी में कई तकलीफे है पर मेरे होठ उनको नहीं जानते है।  वो हमेशा मुस्कुराते है।

शीशा मेरा सबसे अच्छा मित्र है क्योंकि जब मै रोता हूं तो वह कभी नहीं हँसता

मेरा दर्द किसी के लिए हंसने की वजह हो सकता है। पर मेरी हंसी कभी भी किसी के दर्द की वजह नहीं होनी चाहिए

मैंने सोचा कि मैं बैगी पैंट, बड़े जूते, एक छड़ी और एक डर्बी टोपी पहन कर तैयार होऊंगा . सब कुछ उल्टा :पैंट  बैगी , कोट तंग, छोटी टोपी और बड़े जूते.

चार्ली चैपलिन की ज़िंदगी में बहुत दुख थे लेकिन उन दुखों को अपने भीतर छिपाए  जिस तरह से वो हंसी बांटते चले गये, वो हमारे लिए सीख है और सदियों तक रहेगी

उन्हे सादर नमन और श्रधांजलि

 

 

The post Article- Charlie Chaplin appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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13. 10 Things...Painting Priorities

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14. Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I decided to borrow The Great Zoo of China from the library because it has dragons in a modern setting.  The Chinese discovered a cave filled with dragon eggs 40 years before, and they have been secretly studying their new treasures, in addition to building a zoo to showcase them.  In their intense competition with the US, the Chinese are seeking to create a vacation and pop culture behemoth to rival Disney World.  If there are occasion setbacks, like when the dragons attack and eat their caregivers, well, that’s just an acceptable price to pay to finally bump the United States out of their position as the number one world leader.

This is a very fast, exciting read.  I couldn’t help but compare it to Jurassic Park, which I read, oh, a gabillion years ago.  Jurassic Park, like so many of Michael Crichton’s works, is heavy on the science in an effort to make his world more believable.  The Great Zoo of China is like Jurassic Park lite.  Not so much science, but the action more than makes up for it.  The first 22% or so is set up for making the zoo believable, but it comes across as a huge info dump.  Once the dragons go on their bloody rampage, the pace picks up, the info dumping is left largely behind, and protagonist CJ Cameron falls into one hair-raising predicament after another.  While at times I echoed CJ’s “You’ve got to be kidding me!” the dragon battles and desperate attempts to escape a painful end gobbled up in their massive jaws kept me turning the pages.  Rapidly.  I couldn’t put it down and finished in just a few hours.

The overabundance of exclamation points was jarring, and I thought they took away from the tension of the action.  After the first few, I wished I could replace them all with nice, sentence ending periods.  Alas, I suffered through many, many exclamation points, which soon had me cringing each time I saw one.  I thought they over emphasized the dragons’ actions, and instead of making the moment more exciting, just made me think, “oh, brother.” 

If you need a book for lounging around the pool, The Great Zoo of China is a great choice for your summer reading list.  It’s pure popcorn, with a kick ass heroine with nerves of steel.  The dragons are frightening death machines that easily match the might and power of the most advanced military helicopter, and evil villains who want to protect the zoo, and their country’s reputation, no matter the cost, just add to the chaos after the dragons revolt.

Rated F for FUN

Review copy borrowed from my local library

From Amazon:

In the blockbuster and bestselling tradition of Jurassic Park comes the breakneck new adventure from the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Matthew Reilly whose imaginative, cinematic thrillers “make you feel like a kid again; [they’re] a blast” (Booklist).

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have proven the existence of dragons—a landmark discovery no one could ever believe is real, and a scientific revelation that will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing findings within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see these fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane “CJ” Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that the dragons are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…

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15. {Excerpt & Giveaway} TRACKED by Jenny Martin

Today we have the privilege of being the next stop on the TRACKED blog tour. This book is a lot of fun, and is one of the most anticipated books of the season. Below we have an excerpt, to give you a taste of what's to come, and don't miss the awesome giveaway at the end of the post! Enjoy! ~Andye TRACKED  Author: Jenny Martin Pub. Date: May 5, 2015 Publisher: Dial Books Pages: 400

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16. मां – प्यार का दूसरा नाम

कुछ देर पहले नेट पर कुछ सर्च कर  रही थी कि तभी एक लेख  पढने को मिला कि मां के हाथ के खाने जैसा दुनिया में और कुछ नही हो सकता… उसमे बहुत सारी बाते बताई हुई थी कि मां के हाथ मे ये है  मां के हाथ में वो है… कुछ बातें बहुत अच्छी भी लगी पर जब भी मां के हाथों से बने खाने की बात होती है तो मुझे बस एक ही बात याद आती है और वो है ..पेट भरने के बाद, मना करने के बावजूद , एक फुल्का और लो ना बस ये बिल्कुल छोटा सा है … यानि मना करने के बाद भी आखिरी फुल्का तो खिलाना ही होता है…

बात उन दिनों की है जब मैं कुरुक्षेत्र से एम ए (संगीत) कर रही थी. होस्टल मे खाना खा रही थी. उस दिन मेरे पसंदीदा राजमा चावल बने थे. पेट भर गया था पर नियत नही भरी थी. मैस वाला भाई प्लेट में फुल्का डाल गया और मैने कहा कि और नही चाहिए. फिर मैं बहुत देर तक इंतजार करती रही कि वो फुल्का ले कर आएगा… असल में, वो क्या है ना कि जब मम्मी को मना करती तो बाद मे एक चपाती तो आनी ही आनी होती थी . होता वही साईज था पर कहने  को पतली सी छोटी सी होती. वही आदत पडी हुई थी और याद भी नही रहा कि मैं घर नही होस्टल मे हूं और ये मैस वाला भईया है मेरी मम्मी नही. मैने जब उसे बुला कर पूछा कि चपाती क्यो नही दी इतनी देर से इंतजार कर रही हूं  तो वो बोला कि आपने ही तो मना किया था.

उस रात मैं अपने कमरे मे जाकर  मम्मी को याद करके बहुत रोई… फिर धीरे धीरे आदत पड गई.

ये जो प्यार है न कि बस एक आखिरी , छोटी सी और … ये हमेशा बहुत याद आता है मां का  ऐसा प्यार और कही भी नही देखने को मिल सकता… cartoon -mother love

 

The post मां – प्यार का दूसरा नाम appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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17. Best New Stars Wars Books: May the 4th Be with You

The Children's Book Review strikes back with the return of the Star Wars book list. Grab your favorite little droid and treat them to a galactic read—the force is strong in these books.

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18. The Mural is Being Installed This Week!


I just heard the really exciting news that my new mural in Castleford Library is going up on the walls this week! 


That doesn't mean I am taking my paints and brushes to Castleford. No, just like with the one in Wakefield Library, I designed and created the artwork digitally, rather than painting onto the actual walls, which would have been way too disruptive for the library and taken me far longer. 

This technique has proved a great idea (though I say so myself). It worked really well last time anyway. My design has already been printed onto rolls of special, heavy-duty wallpaper, which is then going to be pasted onto the walls of the library. Clever eh? This was the taken during the installation of the last one, a couple of years ago (goodness - it seems like yesterday):


Of course, this time things are much, much more complicated. the Wakefield mural was very big, but it was one panel, running the length of a single wall:


This time, the illustrations wrap around all four walls, weaving around various features and bits of furniture as they go. The design stretches from the ceiling right down to the floor. Which was great fun for me, but is going to be a bit of a nightmare for the installers. Thanks goodness I don't have to do that job...


The problems will come if the corners of the room and the ceiling joins are not exactly square. Anyone who has done any wallpapering at home will know what I mean. As the paper turns the corner, any anomalies will change the angle of things and could make the illustrations for the adjacent wall travel up over the ceiling! When you are wallpapering round the corner with a normal, patterned wallpaper, you stop at the corner to create an overlap, levelling things up anew, to make the paper continue straight. But overlaps and changes of angle could mean tigers with lumps missing, headless librarians and all sorts - Aaaargggggggh!

It is an old building, so you can see why, 
as well as being excited, I am a little anxious, and why I am very, very, very glad that a professional is doing the installation, not me!


I have asked the librarians to see if they can get photos of things in progress, which I will of course share with you, my gentle readers. There's going to be a big opening event at the beginning of June anyway, so there will be lots more photos then. 

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19. Sunday Sketching

2-3 minute heads in the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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20. 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
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


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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21. Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi by Jack and Holman Wang

Of course there is a specific market for Star Wars: Epic Yarns, the trilogy of books by twins Jack and Holman Wang, creators of Cozy Classics. However, this happens to be a very large market - one that has raised their children and grandchildren with these movies as part of their lives. Why am I reviewing these books? I was one of those people who stood in line, more than once, as a child to

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22. Cartoon- Women Empowerment

cartoon-monica gupta - upबेशक, मंजिल दूर है हमसे पर हम मंजिल से दूर नही :)

इस बात में कोई दो राय नही कि हम महिलाओं का समय ठीक नही चल रहा … महिला असुरक्षा, रेप, मानसिक तनाव… पर ऐसे में नकारात्मक होने की बजाय हिम्मत रखनी पडेगी खुद को बोल्ड होना पडेगा फिर देखिए …

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23. Eye Candy for Today: Dürer’s St. Eustace

via Lines and Colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts http://ift.tt/1DQLuw3

St Eustace, Albrecht Dürer Engraving, roughly 14 x 10 inches (35 x 26 cm). Link is to zoomable version on Google Art project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original of this impression is in the National Gallery of Victoria, which also has a zoomable image. In this tour-de-force engraving — created at the dawn of […]

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24. Conferring Toolkits: Class Stories, Shared Writing and Interactive Writing

Whether it's storytelling, or shared writing, or interactive writing, any piece of writing that your whole class created together is going to be extremely helpful to have at your fingertips while you are moving about the classroom conferring.

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25. Fearsome Fairytales From France by Adele Geras. Illustrated Fiona McDonald. Christmas Press 2015


                                      

Here is another one of Christmas Press's delightful series of folk and fairytale retellings. This time the focus is on France, with the stories Beauty And The Beast and Bluebeard, retold by veteran children's historical novelist Adele Geras, once more lavishly illustrated by the talented Fiona McDonald.

Beauty And The Beast has been charming us since Lucius Apuleius's Cupid And Psyche in which the girl is to be sacrificed to a scary beast and instead finds herself married to the beautiful love god. (C.S Lewis used that one as the basis for his novel Till We Have Faces.) It tells us not to judge a book by its cover; the Beast can only be redeemed when a woman loves him for himself instead of for his looks, and Adele Geras does a little more than retell. She shows the reader just why Beauty might fall in love with a scary-looking man. She loves his "low, musical voice". He is intelligent. They talk about a wide variety of subjects every night, till she looks forward to their conversations. In the end, she, like Robin McKinley's Beauty, demands of the handsome young man what he has done with her Beast. 

Bluebeard is the truly scary story of a serial killer husband, but kids like gruesome. In this version, the mother urges her daughter to agree to the marriage because he's rich. He's old and much-married, but so what? Older men, she argues, tend to be indulgent to young wives. 

I often wonder what would have happened if the wife had not opened that room. I suspect the husband would have found another excuse for murder. There are plenty of Bluebeards in real life (Frederick Deeming, anyone?) who don't need an excuse.

The story is told well, anyway. And it's interesting to think that there's very little of the fantastical in this particular story, except the notion that the blood would still be on the floor or that the key couldn't be cleaned if it was. 

I think this book might suit children from about seven to ten. Any younger is too young. Any older and they might have abandoned fairytales for novels. 

Another excellent publication to add to your fairytale library!

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