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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, dated 11/8/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 161
1. WALLPAPER - new at isak

isak are expert in creating stylish graphic feature walls for children's rooms as this colourful oak tree design (above & below) demonstrates. designer sandra isaksson has been inspired for her latest release by the classic story 'the owl & the pussy cat'. the designs are custom sized. customers just measure their wall, type in the dimensions in centimetres and isak will re-size, print and send

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2. VINTAGE - vintage fabric trays

winter's moon have created a new range of swedish birchwood trays using their collectable vintage fabrics. there are two pattern collections available which can be purchased online at the winter's moon vintage shop.

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3. ILLUSTRATION - bird bingo

illustrator christine berrie has teamed up with magma and laurence king to publish bird bingo. 'bird bingo' is a colourful and informative version of the classic game featuring 64 illustrations of bird species. the game includes 64 tokens in a cloth bag, a quality board, 12 bingo cards and bright red counters. if you think it would make a great christmas gift for bird fans or illustrators find

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4. 'Towards a Global Literature'

       They held a conference as part of IULM's Towards a Global Literature project, and at the New York Review blog Tim Parks reports on it, in A Game Without Rules.
       Among the observations (this one by Francesca Orsini):

Translation, she remarked, could make a novel available, but the real exoticism of the truly foreign text remained a barrier to most readers.
       And Milan-based literary agent Marco Vigevani noted:
the situation of Arab language writers such as the Lebanese Hassan Daoud and the Egyptian Makkawi Said who work in traditional genres that mix poetry and prose that have no Western corollary. Prominent in the Arab world, these writers get almost no attention in the West because nobody has any idea how to read them even when they are translated.
       Parks' own perspective -- wondering, to put it a bit simply, about the emphasis on transcending borders (national, linguistic) as opposed to just being satisfied with engaging on a local level -- also deserves more attention.

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5. Orhan Pamuk Q & A

       In The New York Times Book Review this weekend they have Orhan Pamuk: By the Book.
       He plays it a bit safe (why does no one ever blurt out the titles of those terrible books they've read ?) but a few answers are of interest.
       Good to see he's reading Dick Davis' translation of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk). And interesting to note that he'd take three encyclopaediae to the hypothetical desert island.

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6. Her Not All Her review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek's Her Not All Her: on/with Robert Walser, now available in The Cahiers Series.

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7. Complimentary Takes on Arizona: Meeting Jeff Biggers at the Texas Book Festival

Melinda Palacio
Melinda Palacio and Jeff Biggers 

I had the pleasure of being on an immigration panel with Jeff Biggers at the Texas Book Festival last month. The panel, moderated by Erica Grieger of the Texas Monthly, felt more like conversation pulled in two different directions since I was representing the truth as fiction in Ocotillo Dreams, my novel on the INS sweeps of 1997 Chandler, Arizona, and Jeff Biggers was representing the stories that make up Arizona in his non-fiction book, State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream. Ultimately, both takes on Arizona, fiction and non-fiction, are about story. Of Jeff's Book, Luis Alberto Urrea writes:

"Jeff Biggers has the unblinking gaze of the honed journalist, a novelist's sense of image and story, and a prophet's cache of outrage. He stands in my very short list of American literary heroes. With State Out of the Union, Biggers shows us he can write anything-and do it well. His aim is true."

Erica Grieger, Melinda Palacio, and Jeff Biggers before the panel on immigration in Arizona.
Biggers is prepared to take on the good fight in his non-fiction books. The award-winning writer has authored three books, including Author of State Out of the Union, Reckoning at Eagle Creek, The United States of Appalachia and In the Sierra Madre, and numerous articles in venues such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation, Atlantic Monthly and Salon. He has worked as a writer and educator across the United States, Europe, India, and Mexico.

Growing up in the 1970s in Tucson, Biggers witnessed the state's first and only Mexican American governor, the leadership of Cesar Chavez, and the music of Linda Ronstadt.

Biggers' State out of the Union: Arizona and the Final showdown over the American Dream offers an account of the stories that have shaped Arizona, both facts and the myths that Governor Brewer, a California transplant, who ascended to power when President Obama plucked Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland Security, and Sheriff Arpaio, the son of Italian immigrants, have used their own shortcomings to create the state's xenophobic hysteria and suppress the story of Mexican and Native people of Arizona.

The important take away in Biggers's bellweather book is its optimism for Arizona's future. What's even more powerful is Jeff's presentation of the book. His performance monologues veer from the scripted page as Biggers animates stories from his book in an impressive read that left me with a desire to offer a stronger aural performance of my work.

"As a cultural historian, I try to cross boundaries and that's the beauty of History," he said in an recent chat with La Bloga. "It comes down to our stories, the ones that have influenced us."
Jeff Biggers performing scenes from State Out of the Union.

Jeff's book tells the story of immigration in Arizona and the law HB2281 which shuts down Mexican-American Studies in schools and bans our books in Tucson's Unified School District. His personal story as an Arizonan invests itself in optimism for a state ruled by extremist politicians in a book that was named Publisher's Weekly, Top Ten Social Science Titles, 2012, State of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream. "Their actions would give rise to a game-changing shift in Latino activism to reclaim the state from its extremist interlopers-or, rather, to bring Arizona back as a state in the union."

Jeff will be doing an epic event in Athens, GA on Wednesday, Nov. 14th, on behalf of Freedom U. Georgia, uniting the immigrant/civil rights and environmental justice movements: https://www.facebook.com/events/113588158801402/. Visit Jeff's website for future books, articles, and tour dates.

For those in California, Tia Chucha Centro Cultural has a great weekend coming up with Xanath on Saturday and Reyna Grande and Pilar Marerro on Sunday
When:  Saturday, November 10, 2012
What:  Writing Workshop led by Xánath Caraza
Where:  Tia Chuca's Centro Cultural Bookstore
Time:  12:30-3:30p.m.

What:  Xánath Caraza reading from her book, Conjuro
When: (same day--Saturday, November 10th)
Time:  5p.m.
Where:  Tia Chuca's Centro Cultural Bookstore

News from the Fire Tour

After a ten day pause, Melinda Palacio will resume the Fire Tour.
While I am away, listen to a pre-recorded interview on KUNM's Espejos de Aztlan, November 12 at 7pm.

Melinda is going to Cuba, but will be back in time for Lalo's interview on the Pocho Power Hour.

November 16, Pocho Hour of Power Radio Show, Live, 4pm.

November 17, National Hispanic Cultural Center, History & Literary Arts series, 2pm, Albuquerque, NM.

November 18, LA Palabra, Avenue 50 Studio, Highland Park,
131 North Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042, 2pm.

November 20, How Fire Is A Story, Waiting book signing at Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, 7 p.m., 3321 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

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8. An open letter to my story - from Liz Kessler

Dear Story,

We first got together a few months ago, in a flurry of excitement. I remember the day well. The first signs of daylight had barely begun to creep through the window when you came into my mind. I grabbed a notebook and began to write. I think we both thought this was the start of something good.

Those heady early days

And then, with no warning, I wasn’t around any more. I didn’t explain – I just left you hanging there. I hadn’t told you at the time, but I think you suspected. So, yes, I'll admit it. There was another story in my life. You see, we weren’t through yet, and I couldn’t begin something with you until I had properly finished with the other one. I thought you’d understand, but how could you when I hadn’t explained?

Even so, when I came back to you a few weeks later, you were there for me. We hung out together for a blissful week. I wrote every day. We were happy. 

And then I let other things get in the way – again. It wasn’t your fault, it was mine. It was a busy summer and I neglected you. I’m sorry. And in between everything else, the other stories still hadn’t let go. ‘Please can you just edit me one more time?’ begged the story I had left for you. Always insisting it would be the last time – but it never was, was it? 

A page of demanding editing notes

And even the story before that was still there, still wanting things from me. ‘Please tell the world about me. Write a blog, visit some bookshops, come to a book festival with me.’ 

A trip to Bath Festival with the 'other' book
It's true. I still loved those stories. I still do - but it's different now. I'm ready to let them go and give you all my attention. I’ve told them that we're done and that they have to manage on their own for a while, because I want to spend time with you. But I can feel your uncertainty, and I don’t blame you. We’ve been here before. I’ve told you that you're the one, and then I’ve gone off with others. I understand your reticence about trusting me. So I’m making this public commitment to you, and I hope you know I mean it.

I promise that from now on, we’ll spend much more time together. Every day if possible - although I might get nagged into switching off my computer at the weekends, so if you don’t see me for a day or two here and there, please don’t think I’ve abandoned you. You will always be on my mind – you have been for weeks, actually. I just haven’t told you that. But you’re in my thoughts a lot. And from now on, it’s all going to change. We’ll sit down together every day and I’ll give you my full attention, I promise. I’ll buy you magazines and rip out pictures for you. 

Cutting and Sticking - one of the best parts of the planning stage

I’ll get really big pieces of paper and write words all over them – words that I hope you’ll like. I'll even use lots of different colours when I do this. 

Colour coded brainstorming = another excuse to spend an afternoon in a stationery shop
I’ll find the perfect gift for you, an object that reminds me of you, and I'll keep it nearby whenever I think about you.

Objects from previous books. They rarely leave my side (or my computer's side) once I've started writing
But most of all, we'll have some 'you and me' time. Lots of it. Just us. I'll give you as much time as you want and need. I won't let anything or anyone stop that from happening.

So that is my promise. And if I do all this, could I ask one thing of you?

Please could you open up and tell me all your secrets?

Your loving and humble

Author xx

Follow Liz on Twitter
Join Liz's Facebook page
Check out Liz's Website

8 Comments on An open letter to my story - from Liz Kessler, last added: 12/2/2012
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9. Poetry panel at upcoming NCTE conference


Are you heading to the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Las Vegas next week? It's one of my favorite events and I haven't missed it in nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, I have to miss this one. Darn it! So my illustrious presentation panel is moving on without me. But as you can see (above) our session is in excellent hands with an amazing group of talented poets. Note the day and time: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 4:15-5:30pm. And just in case you cannot attend-- just like me-- we're hoping to have some video snippets of the session to share with you later on this blog, so stay tuned. 

Meanwhile, head on over to Think, Kid, Think for the weekly Poetry Friday get-together.


8 Comments on Poetry panel at upcoming NCTE conference, last added: 11/30/2012
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10. Test Straightforward iPad Movie Converter At No Cost

Effortless apple ipad Video clip Ripping tools is a great apple ipad online video structure alteration application, it’s made for the Ipad online video watching and music converting. It might convert any structure of High-definition online video and basic online video to 720P High-definition online video for apple ipad.
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11. Good Things

Tonight I had one of those moments here standing here at my desk (yes, standing), where the feeling overcame me with how much I love my job. 

I have been so wound up with politics of various sorts, keeping up a household and general business, that my energies have been really scattered.  

But tonight I'm feeling really pleased with my work. Today I received another 2 book offer as well as having a something I wrote as well as illustrated make it to an acquisitions meeting and I'm in a groove with the picture book and the chapter book I'm working on right now. It's a very satisfying feeling. 

Here is a little fox study I did tonight.

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12. New book from Duck Creek Press

Yucky Mucky by Melanie Drewery, illus. Trevor Pye, Duck Creek Press

A father and his daughter play a game of make-believe as bathtime approaches. She pretends to be a variety of animals, and paints herself accordingly. Towards the end of the book she’s got a black nose, a tangled mane of hair, green-painted skin, sticky fingers, pink ears, dusty knees and frog legs. But none of the “animals” is allowed to participate in the final surprise until they all come together and get dumped into – the bath! An extra dimension is given to the story by frequent mention of the surprise waiting at the end of the book (ie. the bath). Trevor Pye’s crisp pastel-coloured cartoon illustrations have a slightly retro feel to them, especially the round-eyed, solid-teethed faces. Preschoolers will enjoy the juxtaposition of pictures of real animals (puppy, lion, snake, money, pig, camel, frog) with pictures of the girl pretending. This cute story should appeal to littlies who like make-believe – and to parents who have trouble getting their offspring into the bath! The hardback version has patterned end papers and feels nice to touch; note that it’s also available in paperback.

ISBN 978 1 877378 71 3 RRP $29.99 Hb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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13. Encouraging Creativity: 5th Commandment

Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother

I handed over the pancake squirt bottles this week to my kids and let them have fun and be creative. They LOVE making pancake art, so they were excited to make their own! Anyhow, we are working on the 5th Commandment in the Bible and they made a snowman Mom and a snowman Dad to represent it.

If you want to follow along with us and make snowman pancakes also, I used:
 2cups + 3-4Tbsp of Krusteaz pancake mi 
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1Tbsp sugar
four squirt bottles
4 colors (blue, red, black and white-the white squirt bottle had the most pancake batter)
Cooking spray or oil

If you have young children, keep the griddle between Warm-200 degrees (depending on their age). If you have a child between 4-5 years old, you can keep your griddle turned off until it's time to cook the pancakes.

This is my daughter's artistic creation. The black small pancake dots are her snow. The square shape on the first snowman is a colorful blanket.

This is my son's snowman version. 

I made up the batter 1 1/2 hours before my kids came home from school and I refrigerated it.  Then when it was time to pick them up, I took the batter out of the fridge and let it warm up some.

Did you know that you can have a pancake "art style?"  I think so really.  It's funny, my kids have their own artistic pancake styles. My daughter likes to create really big "scenes" with a lot of little pancakes involved and my son has a drippy batter pancake style.  He often makes a really giant pancake.


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14. PiBoIdMo Day 9: Kelly Light Drives Through Roadblocks

“This person has no business being in children’s books.”

Read that again.

Imagine it being said in front of a crowd of over a hundred of your peers and various industry editors and art directors… at the NY SCBWI conference.

Your work is up in front of a big auditorium on a video screen with a panel with loud microphones when these words are spoken…

Imagine that person that it was said about was YOU.

DON”T WORRY! It wasn’t.

It was ME.

In 2009.

Yes. An art director declared me as a person who has NO BUSINESS being in children’s books … in front of the entire world of children’s books.

It felt worse than the worst college art critique I could have ever imagined. I was a grown woman. I had already had a hot career as a hot shot in cartoon merchandise. I shrunk in my seat. I wanted to run out of the room. My heart pounded.

I went home that night on the train back to Long Island… and cried. Crying on The Long Island Rail Road is like visiting Dante’s bonus level of hell. Those words echoing in my head…

The Art Director who said it—we shall call: “The A.D. WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED”—but that name was burned into my mind. Branded onto my frontal lobe. I went home to google the crap out of this person. Bleary and blood-shot-eyed hours later…I knew everything they had ever worked on. I was sure some day… I’d encounter this A.D…

Now, I wasn’t automatically like Scarlet O’Hara shaking my fist in the air against the sunset vowing that “Tomorrow is another day!” No… I hit rock bottom. I questioned it all. Why? Why children’s books? Was I nuts to think I was good enough? Was I certifiably insane to think that I had the talent and ideas and stories to share with kids?

I went down, down, down into a pit of self doubt. I spent the good part of the next six months doing nothing. Hanging on to those words for a good long while…. but…

You just can’t keep a good pencil down… so eventually, I found myself, drawing myself out of that hole. I drew for myself. I made all kinds of silly art. Whatever I wanted to draw and paint, I made. I allowed myself to indulge in my imaginative whims. Whatever floated my boat, floated out of my pencil. This was new. The feeling of having nothing to lose, so why not? I was no longer thinking about what I thought the publishing industry wanted to see. I was drawing what I wanted to see for myself. I told myself stories as I drew. I wrote them down in messy notebooks.

Funny thing about this… I liked what I was drawing. So, I put it into my portfolio.

Then I had two important people enter my life. One a successful illustrator, who told me I WAS good. The other, my first agent. Who—obviously thought I was good enough to sign. That was the first time I thought of The A.D. Who Must Not be Named… and thought “…one day…you are gonna eat your words…!”

A year went by. I showed my portfolio a lot. The more I showed it—the better I got at reading the reviewer’s body language and interpreting the feedback. I listened at critiques but I chewed up the feedback and spit out what did not taste right.

I started to trust my own vision. The vision of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be as an illustrator and maybe just maybe, a writer too.

I got my first books as an illustrator. One was a novelty book and some early readers. They were for small publishers and I found the work to be not what I wanted for myself. I wanted a picture book with a big publisher.

I went back to the 2011 SCBWI NY Winter Conference. I entered a piece in the art showcase and won an honor award. I got up on the same stage where “A.D. Gate “ went down and got hugs and recognition. Talk about a weird moment. I thought of that Art Director then… and those words. This time—those words felt like a dare.

“Oh yeah, A.D. Who Must Not be Named? I have no business in children’s books? You just watch me…” I was hoping that person would be there. I found out who was on the jury for the show. (The Art Director Who Must Not Be Named was not one of them.) I decided to find each one of the judges and meet them.

I did that for the next six months. I was like a bounty hunter. I crossed each one of the judges of a list as I met them. I made some amazing connections. I got my all of my work and myself in front of the eyes that already had a good feeling about what I do.

Some time went by. I did a lot of work on story ideas and characters. Still no bites from big publishers… so I did something way out of my comfort zone. I applied to give a character design workshop at the NE SCBWI Spring 2012 conference. While I was there… I got my first offer.

Donna Mark, Art Director at Bloomsbury wanted me to illustrate a middle grade chapter book called “The Quirks – Welcome to Normal”.


Take that Art Director Who Must Not be named.

Then I got a call from Alison Donalty, Art Director ay Balzer and Bray, and imprint at Harper Collins. Another middle grade chapter book.


Those words from The A.D. Who Must Not be Named were barely audible any longer. Now I HAD business in children’s books!

Next—an un-ending amount of calls about a character on a postcard that I mailed out… all from Art Directors and Agents from all of the major publishing houses…

My first picture book as author/illustrator will be from Balzer and Bray as well , “Louise Loves Art”.

Those words in my head? Silenced.

“Who were you again? Oh, an art director? Oh yeah… that one who said something cruel…I think I remember your name… wait… I may have to google you…”

TWO more picture books with Harper Collins.

You, A.D. Who Must Not Be Named, have been (almost entirely) wiped from my memory.

You see, it’s kind of fabulous to have revenge—validation—someone to point to as a huge road block that I decided to drive through. I defied his label of me because only I can define myself. Don’t tell me I can’t – cause I will show you – not just that I can- but I will—and I will do it big.

Maybe… just maybe… I should be a tad grateful. That person forced me to grow. They could have been a hell of a lot more tactful in their choice of words in front of all of those people!!!! BUT—they don’t call these things “growing pains” for nothing….

I want everyone to take away from this, REJECTION is not a done deal. Critiques are not the end of the world. Public humiliation is tough—but if you know yourself—you can shed it. IF you hold on to who you are and what you do that is uniquely you and do it to the best of your ability. Do not stop! Keep getting better through the work. Follow your own heart—your own head—the beat of your own drum. Show those people in publishing—YOU are here.

These days, I am contacted, happily, by many art directors.

Last week, The A.D. Who Must Not Be Named contacted me. “Just wanted to drop a line to say that I love your work.”

One day—I will shake that hand and be gracious—cause that is what professionals do, but in my head… I will hear… BAZINGA!!!!

Kelly Light’s pencil is sharpened and she’s not afraid to use it.. She is currently working hard on her first three books. All due out Spring 2014: ,THE QUIRKS – WELCOME TO NORMAL, written by Erin Soderberg (Bloomsbury), ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS, written by Jenny Lee (Balzer and Bray), LOUISE LOVES ART, by Kelly Light (Balzer and Bray). Spring 2015 brings LOLA KNOWS A LOT, by Jenna McCarthy (Harper Collins).

Kelly lives in Long Island and currently has power!! She is right now, drawing in her attic studio surrounded by old radios, books, cartoon collectibles and is usually singing very loudly. Head over to Kelly’s website and read her blog all the way back to 2009 and maybe you can figure out who The Art Director Who Must Not Be Named is! Sketch along with her on Twitter @kellylight.

I love Kelly’s art, and Louise loves art period, and now you can love both Kelly *and* Louise because you can win a Louise sketch by Kelly! Just comment on this post to enter (one comment per person). A winner will be randomly selected one week from today. Good luck!

10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 9: Kelly Light Drives Through Roadblocks, last added: 11/9/2012
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15. Writing Space

I don't have an office in my house, though one day I hope to change that. For now, I write in one of two locations. The first is on my couch, which is terrible for my back. So, recently, I've been writing from my dining room table. I sit on a wooden chair, which is much better for my back and not as uncomfortable as it sounds. I wrap a blanket around me to cushion certain areas that may lack padding. (I have no butt. Yes, I just went there.)

Here it is:

Nothing glamorous, I know. I dream of one of those oversized chairs and a gorgeous desk, but for now, this will do. And in case anyone is trying to read what it says on that flower pot of flash drives, it says, "Toe of Frog." My sister painted it for me, and since I kill every flower I go near, I used it for my flash drives, because I have a lot of them. :) 

I know dining room tables are for eating, but in my house, they are for writing. How about you? Where do you write? Do you have an office?

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Artie’s poem Ceiling to the Stars was published in the November print edition of California Kids! To read the poem online, please click on the illustration below.

Artie’s children’s story The Hummingbird Who Chewed Bubblegum is being published in a book collection by the Oxford University Press in India. More to come.


Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law

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17. SkADaMo ~ Day 8

“Sometimes the smallest things, take up the most space in your heart.”

~ Winnie the Pooh




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18. Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden

Body of Evidence Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden

Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden broke my heart the first time I read it. And the second. And the third. Why? Oh, I can't tell you why. That would spoil it for you, and I want you to read this book.

Or maybe I can tell you something:

Christopher Golden knows how to create characters that readers will care about, and he isn't afraid to make them a little tattered and torn. What happens to Jenna Blake in this novel changes her. Forever.

This is the second book in my favorite series of contemporary medical thrillers. Known collectively as Body of Evidence, these fast-paced medical mysteries are detailed and delightful, inventive and intelligent. The stories of the murder victims are handled with care, and autopsy scenes are intriguing, not gruesome. Plot twists may shock you, but this isn't a gore fest with nameless people being picked off simply for shock value. Life is valued, and Jenna's quest to seek justice for the victims is commendable.

...and now it's available as an e-Book!

Get Thief of Hearts from Amazon.com
Get Thief of Hearts from Amazon.co.uk

As I wrote in an earlier post, I highly recommend this series. Both adults and teenagers will discover plenty to relate to and enjoy in this line. Readers will find Jenna visiting crime scenes and autopsy rooms nearly as often as she's in her dorm. Her relatives, friends, and studies factor into the books just as much as serial killers and detectives. There's just as much here for a fifty-year-old as for a fifteen-year-old. Throughout the series, Christopher Golden - and, later, collaborator Rick Hautala - created characters who are believable but anything but cookie-cutter. They are all adults, though some are younger than others. Some are parents, some are students, some are detectives, some are doctors, but all are vital to the progress of the stories and of each other. Instead of being full of teen angst or taking on the obvious issue of the week/episode/book, the younger characters are simply dealing with life and getting through things both one day at a time and one leap at a time.

The quality of the first book, Body Bags, is above and beyond most suspense novels - and it continues throughout the series, versus other series which lose the momentum after a few books, or series in which the books become carbon copies. If you enjoy medical thrillers with great characters, especially if you watch(ed) television series such as CSI or Profiler, or read or watch Rizzoli & Isles, then you need to read these books right now. You won't be sorry.

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

Amazon.com Widgets

Here's the official book flap summary:

"Why would anyone want to tear out someone's heart..."

That's the very real question facing college freshman Jenna Blake, and it has nothing to do with romance and heartbreak. A second grisly murder-mystery is unfolding at Somerset University, and her job as a pathology assistant at the local hospital brings Jenna too close to the haunting crimes.

Everyone has a theory on the nature of the killings, including Jenna's older half-brother, Pierce Logan, who's new in town and has some odd ideas about why someone would want to steal a human heart.

Meanwhile, Jenna is working on her own heart, and starting to realize she's not as "guy-blind" as she thought, when she meets a fascinating older man.

But there's little time for dating when the Thief of Hearts declares Somerset the perfect hunting ground -- and someone very close to Jenna is the prey.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:

Body Bags by Christopher Golden

Radar Recommendations: The Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Where to Start: Reading Christopher Golden

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19. Happy 80th, Ben Bova! (Sci-fi writer)

The author of more than 100 books, he was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Naples, Florida.


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Thank You Ohio Voters Many of the public libraries in  my Ohio won funding in this last election. This doesn’t replace all the funds lost in the budget cuts of the past couple of years, but it sure helps. Here are the winners: NEW Funds Cuyahoga Falls                                         0.6 mill NEW   plus  1.3 mill replacement Dayton [...]

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21. Animated Fragments #21

There is a mind-boggling breadth of expression and experimentation across the contemporary global animation scene. The short animation clips and exercises that I offer in Animated Fragments represent just a glimpse of the fresh ideas being explored by today’s animators:

“QQQ” Trailer by YungSung Song (South Korea/Japan)

“Feuerwerk” by Joshua Catalano (France)

“More Than A Feeling” by Matt Reynolds (US)

“CVTV” by Saigo No Shudan (Japan)

“Feminine Flow” by Rickard Bengtsson (Sweden): “This animation, except the subtle background texture, is created 100% in After Effects. All of the animation is created and keyframed by hand using lots of masks and layers.”

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22. Christmas Starts Earlier Every Year

I’ve always found it to be depressing to see Christmas decorations in stores this early. But for some reason, it’s not bothering me this year. I wrote an article about all the indoor shopping malls in my area, and as I studied all the mall websites and saw all the holiday gifts and deorations, I began to get excited about the holidays.

Last year, my family bought gifts and provided dinner for a very needy single mother and her 8 children.  This year, I’d like to help a US veteran’s family. There are so many ways we can all reach out in our communities at Christmas time.

If you have any ideas about ways to get involved helping in your community this holiday season, please share them with us.

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23. A framed art print of sweet circus dog Bella

A few weeks ago, I received an order for my Circus Bichon Frise art print. I came to learn that the buyer's dog, Bella the adorable Bichon Frise, is actually taking an activity class called - yup - Circus Dog! (Click here and scroll all the way down for the class description).

Bella's mom had the print framed up all nice. She then she shared these lovely photos of Bella with the art. I think Bella the Circus Bichon Frise and my own Circus Bichon Frise do bear a striking resemblance to each other! Don't you? Do you think I could I have been "channeling" Bella when I created the art? Who really knows... Life is full of surprises! :D

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"Birds fly, fish swim, and children play." -Garry Landreth

1. Children are not miniature adults, and the therapist does not respond to them as if they are.
2. Children are people. They are capable of experiencing deep emotional pain and joy.
3. Children are unique and worthy of respect. The therapist prizes the uniqueness of each child and respects the person the child is.
4. Children are resilient. Children possess a tremendous capacity to overcome obstacles and circumstances in their lives,
5.Children have an inherent tendency toward growth and maturity. They posses an inner intuitive wisdom.

6.Children are capable of positive self-direction. They are capable of dealing with their world in creative ways.
7. Children 's natural language is play and this is the medium of self-expression with which they are most comfortable.
8. Children have a right to remain silent. The therapist respects a child's decision not to talk.
9. Children will take the therapeutic experience to where they need to be. The therapist does not attempt to determine when or how a child should play.
10. Children's growth cannot be speeded up. The therapist recognizes this and is patient with the child's developmental process.

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Thank you so much.

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you.

It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time.

By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

  I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom.

And I’m so proud of you guys.

But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.
To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family.

No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley.

You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.
I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests.

But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.
You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.

You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big.
It’s important.

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions.

Each of us has deeply held beliefs.

And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t.

These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty.

We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president — that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share.

That’s where we need to go — forward.

That’s where we need to go. Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead. Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code.

Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.

The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.
I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States

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