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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1547 Blogs, since 4/24/2008 [Help]
Results 20,676 - 20,700 of 477,502
20676. THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E Pearson {Review}

Review by Elisa  THE KISS OF DECEPTIONby Mary E Pearson Series: Remnant Chronicles (Book 1)Hardcover: 496 pagesPublisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (July 8, 2014)Goodreads | Amazon In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a

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20677. Cause and Effect Scene by Scene

Cause and effect within and between scenes allows you to seamlessly lead the reader to each major turning point by linking the cause in one scene to the effect in the next scene. This sequencing allows the energy of the story to rise smoothly.

If the sequence breaks down, scenes come out of the blue, and your story turns episodic. The reader, in turn, becomes disconcerted.

A story is made up of scenes with a clear dependence on each other. Conflict in a scene represents the motivating cause that sets a series of events in motion. As you test for cause and effect notice how some features of your story are more important than others. Look for patterns and see what elements lead to the thematic significance and which do not.

Scenes with No Cause and Effect 
As important as it is to study how scenes are linked by cause and effect, it’s just as important to analyze scenes with no line(s) linking them to others. Note any unexpected objects, locations, and actions in and between scenes deserve foreshadowing and earlier mentions and hints.

The reader (and the protagonist) doesn’t have an outline of the story and thus can only anticipate what is coming by discerning the clues given along the way by the use of foreshadowing. The life of the story takes on its own particular shape, and its sequence seems inevitable to the reader and audience because of foreshadowing.

Emotional Cause and Effect 
Use cause and effect to convey emotion in the protagonist. In one scene, a character responds emotionally to an event. In the next scene, we see the outcome of that emotional response, which, in turn, becomes the cause for another emotional effect. Each scene is organic; seeds planted in the first scene create the effect in the next.

Your Turn
Once again, push aside the words of your story. This time, stand back from it to determine the causality between scenes and the overall coherence of your story. View your story as a whole. With such an insight, you are better able to turn scenes with emotionally rich characters who are experiencing conflict into the driving force behind an exceptional story. Link scenes by cause and effect and each scene becomes organic = from the seeds you plant in the first scene grow the fruit of the next scene.
(Taken from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories)

Need more help with your story? 
  • Looking for tips to prop up your middle with excitement? 
  • Wish you understood how to show don't tell what your character is feeling? 
  • Are even you sometimes bored with your own story?
  • Long to form your concept into words? 
We can help you with all of that and so much more! View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing.

1st video (43 minutes of direct instruction + exercises for your own individual story) FREE
PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month includes 8 videos  (5.5 hours)  + 30 exercises total

For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.

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20678. First rodents, now chickens

Here's a little somethin' somethin' I did for a buddy recently. It's Portland- chickens are required.

kid portrait

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20679. Walter Dean Myers

My Facebook wall lit up today with the news that Walter Dean Myers died yesterday.  He certainly deserves to have his passing, and everything else about him, noted. I was surprised to hear the news. Though I was aware he had adult children, I always thought of him as a youngish man, probably because he turned out highly regarded work on a regular basis. He was at the top of his game.

I've only read one of his books, Monster. It was an incredible piece of work. The subtlety of what was going on with that young man was amazing. And I was very taken with the book's format.  It was a definite influence on Saving the Planet & Stuff's structure, though I didn't get anywhere near as into it as Myers did.

Certainly I wish he could have stayed at the top of his game for a while longer. But since that couldn't be, how wonderful that he could leave such a large body of work. His next book, On a Clear Day, will be published this fall. Then he has Juba! coming out next spring.

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20680. More to the Core: Public Libraries’ Services, Resources, and Hacks for the Common Core

Public library professional literature abounds with writing on the Common Core – how are teachers responding, is it the right direction, what are the implications for libraries? As public library staff explore new approaches and pilot projects, there is a great opportunity to learn and share from and with each other. The 2015 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program will focus on the Common Core. This won’t be a debate on merits or flaws but rather a chance to look closer at how libraries are successfully integrating Common Core standards into collections, programs, and services.

In advance of that program, we’d like to hear from libraries across the country. What are you doing, testing, piloting to meet your students’ and educators’ needs related to the Core? What are you being asked for? What are you advocating for with your administrators?

Please take this short survey to help us identify 1) the themes most relevant to public libraries and the Common Core; 2) the successful collections, programs, and services you are providing related to the Common Core;  3) the partnerships and/or new possibilities presenting themselves because of the shift to the Common Core; and 4) the hacks or tricks you’ve tried on the front lines to best connect patrons with resources.

Thanks in advance! Your input will make for a deeper, richer program in 2015.

Your ALSC 2015 President Program Co-chairs,

Katie O’Dell & Christine Caputo

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20681. Good and Easy Granola

Good and Easy Granola
By Ferida Wolff

Here is a nice and easy way to perk up your breakfast. You need seven ingredients but it only takes two steps to make this great granola. You might like to add raisins to your cereal bowl or strawberries or blueberries in season but it tastes terrific plain, too. The recipe makes enough for a week of breakfasts!

Ingredients                                                                             Ingredients   006
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup puffed cereal
1 cup sliced almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
¼ cup oil
¼ cup maple syrup, Grade B

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then spread mixture on a baking sheet.
2. Bake at 300 degrees for twenty minutes, stirring once halfway through. Let cool, then put the granola in a covered container and store until ready to eat.

Ferida Wolff author photoNote: Parchment paper on the baking sheet helps keep the ingredients from sticking.
Ferida Wolff is the author of 17 books for children and three for adults. She also writes a nature blog http://www.feridasbackyard.blogspot.com . She loves to cook and discover new ways of combining ingredients. She can be reached at feridawolff@msn.com


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20682. #604 – Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

cover44101-mediumMaddy West and the Tongue Taker

Written by Brian Falkner

Illustrated by Donovan Bixley

Capstone Young Readers    9/01/2014


Age 9 to 13     256 pages


“Maddy West is a normal nine-year-old girl, except for one thing:  she can speak every language in the world. In this hilarious and heartwarming tale of fantasy, friendship, and adventure, Maddy is asked to translate some ancient scrolls. But the scrolls hide secrets, and Maddy is sent on a wild journey with a mischievous monkey, a stowaway ninja, a Bulgarian wrestler, and a fiendish witch. Will Maddy’s talent Maddie be enough to keep her safe from the evil magic she encounters?”

The Opening

.“When Maddy started speaking Japanese, her mom took her to the doctor.”

The Story

Maddie can understand and speak every language in the world, but how, she has no answer. She just can. Once she hears a language, she can speak it, fluently. Maddie’s mom thinks there is something wrong with her daughter but when a doctor calls Maddie’s ability, “very valuable,” Maddie’s mom begins searching for ways to capitalize with a capital dollar sign. One thousand-dollar signs leads Maddie to a talk show where language experts test her. Then a professor of the local university arrives wanting Maddie to translate some extremely old scrolls not read for thousands of years. The professor would like to study these scrolls. The catch? The scrolls are located in a monastery in Bulgaria, on an island in the Black Sea and the professor is not who she said she is. Maddie’s friend Kazuki sneaks on the plane to Bulgaria jeopardizing the trip. Two Goth teens kidnapped Maddie at the Bulgarian airport. The Goth teens take Maddie up a steep mountain to the home of their mother, a witch, who also wants to know what is on the scrolls. The scrolls? They contain dangerous dark magic spells.


Maddy West and the Tongue Taker went off in a direction I never expected. I knew mom was trouble. She is as cold as a morgue slab to Maddy, except when there are others around. Maddy’s ability scares mom, and mom, I think, expected the doctor to “cure” Maddy with a magic pill. Ironic, considering where mom eventually sells loans Maddy her linguistic talents.

There must be an underdog and Kazuki, Maddy’s shy Japanese friend fits that bill. He does not learn English easily and often cannot understand others and others do not understand him. This makes him shy and backwards. The opening scenes painfully show this. Kazuki is in the alley throwing his new baseball—a birthday present—against a wall, playing catch with himself. On the other side of the same wall is a group of kids is playing baseball. Playing solo-catch only a few feet from an actual game must be unbearable for a kid who, just a short time ago, was a star pitcher in Japan.

bully brother

Kazuki does not speak English, so no one knows of his talent except Maddie, the one person who understand Japanese. A bully brother makes things worse—until Maddy stands up to the kid. Kazuki thinks he can go invisible when wearing his ninja outfit. Kazuki really cannot go invisible, can he? His most endearing quality is his insistence on keeping Maddy, his only true friend, safe wherever she goes. Kazuki quietly slips onto planes, trains, and cars to keep watch over Maddy.

There also needs to be a superhero and no, it is not Maddy. This superhero is a small monkey named Mr. Chester. Mr. Chester is a capuchin monkey and an adorable, though stinky, hero. When you think he is gone, say, killed off by a larger animal, he’s back! Mr. Chester is definitely a superhero in a short money suit. The most dangerous person in Maddy’s life is her mother, who is willing to let her child traipse across the world with a stranger. Dad agrees without even one, “Is this a good idea? We don’t know this woman.”

capuchin monkeyThere is a definite fantasy element to the story, yet I found it more adventurous than mysterious. I enjoyed the story, reading it in two sittings. The terrific black and white illustrations, though sparse, enhance the story. I was disappointed how early and easy it is to detect the villain, (too many clues too soon), but kids might find it more difficult. Regardless, the story will kept kids riveted in several sections and laughing in several more. The most intriguing characters are Maddy and Mr. Chester. Kids will love these two, especially Mr. Chester and his superhero antics. Adventure or mystery, kids will enjoy every word in the well written Maddy West and the Tongue Taker.

MADDY WEST AND THE TONGUE TAKERS. Text copyright © 2014 by Brian Falkner. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Donovan Bixley. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Capstone Young Readers, North Mankato, MN.

Purchase Maddy West and the Tongue Taker at AmazonB&NBook Depository—Capstone—your local bookstore.


Learn more about Maddy West and the Tongue Taker HERE.

Meet the author, Brian Falkner, at his website:   http://www.brianfalkner.co.nz/

Meet the illustrator, Donovan Bixley, at his website:   http://www.donovanbixley.com/

Find more books at the Capstone Young Readers website:   http://www.capstoneyoungreaders.com/

an imprint of Capstone


Also releasing in 2014 by Brian Falkner

Ice War (Recon Team Angel #3)

Ice War (Recon Team Angel #3)








Also by Donovan Bixley


The Three Bears (Sort Of)





maddy west tongue taker

Filed under: 5stars, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade Tagged: ancient scrolls, Brian Falkner, Bulgaria, Capstone Young Readers, capuchin monkeys, children's book reviews, Donovan Bixley, Maddy West and the Tongue Taker, multilingual. black magic

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20683. IF "Beard"

Doodled this bearded fellow a bit ago, but now he can show off his whiskers in style.

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20685. Attacking A Conference


This illustration by Eric Sailer was in the NJSCBWI Art Show and was the winner of the Unpublished Illustrator award. Congratulations, Eric! eric.s.sailer@gmail.com

erikaphoto-45Hi there. Jersey Farm Scribe here on…

Attacking A Conference

This past weekend was the NJ SCBWI conference. It was my first. So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and experiences with you all.

First part of a conference that has to be attacked…

Actually Registering!

You can’t get anything out of a conference, if you don’t go.

Are they cheap? No. They’re not. And to be honest, as a simple farm girl, it wasn’t a small nut for me. But all jobs have their expenses. I buy feed for my piglets. This is feed for my writing. (And remember, even if you’re not published, talk to your accountant about deducting the conference cost, hotel and travel.)

So I was determined to go. A few days after registration opened, I looked at my husband and said, ”I’m going to stop THINKING about registering and just go register.” Then I said, “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

And three hours later, I had completed registration.

The conference had so many amazing options. On top of choosing which workshops to sign up for, we had the options of which of the amazing list of agents and editors to pitch to, eat with, various opportunities for one-on-ones and even peer critiques.

After researching which agents and editors I thought I was a good match to stalk – I mean be around, I was excited to have registered!

Then, a few days before the conference came the part I didn’t expect:

Feeling like I didn’t deserve to go.

Who do I think I am, going to a “writer’s conference”??? I’m not good enough to be a REAL writer.

To be painfully up front with you all, it’s a good thing it wasn’t something that you paid for at the door, because I may have chickened out.

I have tomatoes to plant anyway, and I have to get that sheep fence fixed!

The excuses were just FLYING out of me. I was nervous and antsy and felt like I had absolutely no business being there.

Putting on my big-girl boots and getting over it.

I got in the car early Saturday morning and told myself… this is one of those times you just have to act braver than you are. MANY writers, published or not, feel like they don’t deserve their acclaim.

But I knew I had to get past that in order to get the most of the weekend.

And walking down the ominous skywalk into the check-in area, I decided to officially leave the frightened, non-deserving part of me completely behind.

And within moments I was swept up into the whirlwind that is the NJ SCBWI conference, with amazingly friendly faces, positive encouragement and more information than you could possibly imagine.

Agent & Editor Interactions

This is my biggest take-away that I feel I can pass on. Here’s the big secret:

They’re people!

Who’d have thunk??

And while I’m not saying not to tell them the concept of your book or the super special twist on your novel, what I am saying is: be able to talk about other things as well.

(I’m not sure what the protocol would be to mention names here, so I’ll just say:) I had a great time chatting with an agent, an editor and a fellow author during a social time Saturday night after the comedian. I wasn’t pitching. And I wasn’t looking for an opportunity to pitch. We were just talking. It wasn’t an agent, an editor and two authors. It was four people.

I’m going to call myself out here:

Before this, I had seen agents and editors as these all-knowing, powerful beings that step in and make exciting things happen, or not happen.

While I’m still in awe of their wealth of knowledge, and grateful for all I learned from them, I think I broke down the mental wall in my mind. They’re people.

And (at least the ones I met) REALLY nice, laid back, fun people. They like books! So we have at least some similar interests.

And they have HARD jobs. A few of them confided in me that they don’t love the level of spotlight attention they’re given at conferences sometimes. But they all handle it with grace. When the editor sat down at our lunch table, people stopped mid-chew and all 14 eyeballs darted up towards her. But she introduced herself (even though we all knew who she was) sat down and seamlessly laughed at the length of the line for food.

I can honestly say that I had a wonderful time getting to know some of the agents and editors at the convention on a personal level. And I truly think that’s important.

But of course, when you are pitching…

Be honest. Be specific. Be READY!

Have the CONCEPT readily pitch-able. I learned a great way to think of concept in Jill Corcoran’s workshop. It’s not just the plot, the story, the characters. It’s why should someone read it? The same way you’d try to convince someone to go see a movie. People say, “what’s it about?” But really, what they mean is, “why do I want to see it?”

Cut the fluff.

Words like “adventurous” “mysterious” or “changes everything” (ALL of which were in my pitch on Saturday morning) don’t hold any real meaning.

I guess what it comes down to is that we need to be showing and not telling in our pitch, just as much as in our manuscript.

Everyone thinks their book is a “page-turner”. So that doesn’t give them any information. Tell them WHY. Use specifics. Use adjectives that matter. “Memorable” doesn’t cut it. Use an adjective that describes why she’s memorable instead.


I don’t just mean be ready to pitch. I mean be ready to hear the feedback, positive AND negative. And embrace them BOTH.

These are high-level professionals. I was very lucky to have their feedback. They’re not pointing out fault for their own sake. It doesn’t matter to them in the least. When they pointed out my faults, they were doing it for my sake, so I could improve.

And improve I did.

I had more “ah-ha!” and “I never thought of that” moments in those two days than I can count.

An example you ask? Well, I learned about the importance of drawling the reader in at the end of every chapter.

So I’ll give you a few examples of some of the most important, tangible things I learned in my next post. 

Erika, another great article, so glad you are on my team!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: article, Conferences and Workshops, illustrating, inspiration, Kudos Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Eric Sailer, Juried Art Show

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20686. 2014 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature

The South Asia Book Award (SABA) is given annually for up to two outstanding works of literature, from early childhood to secondary reading levels, which accurately and skillfully portrays South Asia or South Asians in the diaspora, that is the experience of individuals living in South Asia, or of South Asians living in other parts of the world. Up to five Honor Books and Highly Commended Books are also  recognized by the award committee.

 2014 Winners

A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury (Atheneum, 2013)

Before India was divided, three teens, each from wildly different backgrounds, cross paths. And then, in one moment, their futures become irrevocably intertwined. Tariq, Anupreet, Margaret are as different as their Muslim, Sikh, and British names. But in that one moment, their futures become entirely dependent on one another. (Grades 8 and up).

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby (Kids Can Press, 2013)

Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven’t been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls’ school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community. Based on the true stories of the students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside of Kabul (Grades 3-8).


2014 Honor Books

Bye, Bye, Motabhai! by Kala Sambasivan, illustrations by Ambika Sambasivan (Yali Books, 2013). Pavan, an over-worked camel in the city of Ahmedabad, India, hates his job. He often dreams of being a racing camel in Dubai. But hitched to a heavy vegetable cart and with his owner Motabhai around, how is this possible? (Grades pre-K-3).

Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty, illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez (Amazon Publishing, 2013). Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain (Grades 3 and up).

 The Garden of My Imaan by Farhana Zia (Peachtree, 2013). The arrival of a new student, Marwa, a fellow fifth-grader who is a strict Muslim, helps Aliya come to terms with her own lukewarm practice of the faith and her embarrassment of others’ reactions to their beliefs (Grades 4-7).

Mother Teresa: Angel of the Slums by Lewis Helfand, art by Sachin Nagar (Campfire, an imprint of Kalyani Navyug Media, 2013). Mother Teresa knew from a young age that she wanted to become a nun. What she could not envision was where that service to God would take her, until she was sent to Calcutta to teach (Grades 6 and up).

2014 Highly Commended Books


The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna written and illustrated by Demi (Wisdom Tales, 2013). Set in a peaceful kingdom in India more than 5000 years ago, this is the enchanting tale of the child Krishna, who is sent by the God Vishnu to aid humanity (Grades K and up).

Gobble You Up! by Gita Wolf, art by Sunita (Tara Books, 2013). In this adaptation of a traditional oral Rajasthani trickster tale, a wily jackal, who is too lazy to go hunting himself, challenges his best friend to catch 12 fish. The narrative unfolds in cumulative rhyme, accompanied by distinctive finger paintings created in the ancient Mandna style (Grades pre-K-3).

In Andal’s House by Gloria Whelan, illustrations by Amanda Hall (Sleeping Bear Press, 2013). As a young boy in Gujarat, Kumar sometimes feels like he lives in two worlds. The old world where people and their choices are determined by prejudice and bigotry; and the modern world: in this world Kumar can be friends with whomever he chooses and his future looks bright (Grades K-3).

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J Freedman (Harry N. Abrams, 2013). Tara’s not sure she wants to have a bat mitzvah. Even though she’s attended Hebrew school, her mother’s Indian heritage has a pull on her, and she wonders if she dishonors her Indian grandparents by declaring her Judaism (Grades 5-8).

Torn by David Massey (Chicken House, 2013). The story follows Ellie, a 19-year-old British medic, during her tour of duty in Afghanistan. Her squad is attached to a small troop of American SEALs who must find a hidden cache of arms and learn about a children’s army that is fighting both the Western Coalition and the Taliban (Grades 8 and up).

The 2014 South Asia Book Award Ceremony will be held in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

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20687. Sketch Dailies "cruela deville"

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20688. This Poster Glorifies Animation Artists As Movie Stars

Young ladies, put down that issue of "Tiger Beat" because this is the only poster you'll ever need to hang above your bed.

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20689. TOONs Thursday: Some Art fromFrédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès,Lorenzo Mattotti, and Yvan Pommaux

“And then, one morning, their father announced he was taking them with him to work.”
– From Neil Gaiman’s
Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
(Click to enlarge)


From Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur
(Click to see spread in its entirety)


From Fred’s Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure
(Click to enlarge)


Last week over at Kirkus, I chatted with designer and editor Françoise Mouly about TOON Graphics, the new imprint from TOON Books. That conversation is here, and today I follow up with some art from the imprint’s three debut titles — Neil Gaiman’s Hansel & Gretel, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti; Yvan Pommaux’s Theseus and the Minotaur; and Cast Away on the Letter A: A Philemon Adventure from Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès, who went simply by Fred.



From Neil Gaiman’s Hansel & Gretel,
illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti (October 2014)


“They went so deep into the old forest
that the sunlight was stained green by the leaves.”
(Click to enlarge)


From Yvon Pommaux’s
Theseus and the Minotaur
(August 2014)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)



From Cast Away on the Letter A:
A Philemon Adventure

(September 2014)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)



* * * * * * *

All images are posted here by permission of TOON Books.

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20690. Kweli & Lalo

Kweli Journal
3rd Annual Writer's Conference

Monday, July 7th at 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Readings and craft talk with Jennine Capó Crucet at La Casa Azul. Hear the backstory behind her novel, Magic City Relic, and story collection, How to Leave Hialeah. With this award winning writer and former sketch comedienne, we are in for a treat!

Tuesday, July 8th at 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Readings by and conversations with Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank and Morowa Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust. Allen's novel tells the story of "one of the 19th century’s most famous entertainers, the blind piano prodigy and autistic savant Thomas Wiggins" (Mitchell Jackson, New York Times book review). Yejidé's novel "is a fearless rendering of a family’s struggle to cope with single motherhood, fatherlessness, and a child’s autism" (Jonny Temple, publisher and editor in chief of Akashic Books). A. Naomi Jackson will moderate the discussion. Jackson is the 2013-2014 ArtsEdge resident at the University of Pennsylania's Kelly Writers House. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded the Maytag Fellowship for Excellence in Fiction to complete her first novel, Who Don't Hear Will Feel. 

Wednesday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m.

Participating Agents / Editors at Dumbo Sky 

Malaika Adero, Vice President and Senior Editor, Atria Publishing, Simon & Schuster

Seeking Fiction: African American, International, Literary, Commercial, Women's, Speculative, Historical, Erotic Nonfiction: Autobiography, Biography, Popular History, Mind/Body/Spirit, Inspiration, Popular Culture, Current Affairs, Fashion/Beauty, Health, Personal Finance

Dawn Davis, Vice President and Publisher, 37 Ink

Seeking a variety of genres including literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, history, memoir and pop culture

Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

Seeking middle grade novels and young adult fiction

Julia A. Masnik, Literary Agent at Watkins / Loomis Agency, Inc.

Seeking literary fiction, biography, memoir, and political journalism 

Michael Mejias, Literary Scout at Writers House

Seeking Latino/ Latin American authors

Latoya Smith, Editor at Grand Central Publishing

Seeking short and long form mainstream romance and erotica, as well as African American fiction and nonfiction

Steve Woodward, Associate Editor at Graywolf Press 

Seeking literary fiction and nonfiction     

Manuscript consultations will be provided off-site by Sulay Hernandez, Owner of Unveiled Ink Book Consulting

Participating Authors

Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank
Mitchell S. Jackson, author of The Residue Years
Sergio Troncoso, author of Our Lost Border
Neela Vaswani, author of You Have Given Me a Country
Morowa Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust

The conversation will be moderated by Bridgett M. Davis. Her forthcoming novel, Into the Go-Slow, will be released on September 16, 2014.

Si no conocen la alquimia del compatriota Eduardo Lalo, aquí tienen una pequeña muestra:


(Y de paso les recomiendo "80 grados" que tiene como lema "Prensa sin prisa").

Aviso para los amigos que viven en Colorado:  Eduardo Lalo estará en Denver del 23-26 de octubre con motivo del Congreso de la Asociación de Estudios Puertorriqueños que se llevará a cabo en la Universidad de Denver.  Más detalles, pronto...

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Presentation: How to Get Lucky: A Path to Publishing

July 12th, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the South Valleys Library -15650 Wedge Pkwy, Reno, NV 89511

Author David Michael Slater will be speaking and taking questions about the process of getting published through the traditional route.

Also: Query Workshop:

July 12th, 2014 from 12:30p.m. to 2p.m. at the South Valleys Library -15650 Wedge Pkwy, Reno, NV 89511-(Map). This workshop is $5 for members, and $10 dollars for general admission.

Thinking of going the traditional route, but having issues writing a query letter? David Michael Slater is offering a query letter workshop. Those that wish to attend need to bring their current query letter, so that they can work on them during the workshop.

See you there!


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20692. Scholastic News Kids Press Corps

Scholastic News Kids Press Corps

Apply to be a Scholastic News Kid Reporter!

I’ve said before how lucky the Scholastic News Kid Reporters are. The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie premiere

?  On the set at the Percy Jackson movie? Yeah, they were there.

Well, now is your chance to apply to join. I’m too old or I would totally apply, but I would be such a proud Mother Hen if one of our loyal STACKS readers is chosen! Then I could tell the world on Ink Splot 26 all the amazing things YOU are doing as a member of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

What is the Kids Press Corps?
It is a group of kid reporters nationwide who are selected by Scholastic to blog about their interests and report about the news that kids care about. They are real news reporters who go to live events to get the scoop and then write their stories. Some of their assignments include:

  • Interviews with popular authors
  • Book reviews
  • Red carpet premieres
  • Behind-the-scenes reports
  • Interviews with politicians, actors, musicians and artists

Just so you know, it’s not all glitterati and parties. There is a lot of work involved, too. But if you have good writing and interviewing skills, this could be the job for you.

How to apply? Kids aged 10-14 are eligible for the 2014-2015 school year. The deadline to apply is September 26, 2014, but you have to send a few writing samples so don’t wait until the last minute! All the application details can be found here.

Good luck!!

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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20693. heads up!

Tomorrow will be the start of a new regular feature: favorite book reviews. We will be profiling a favorite kids book every week, from picture book to young adult literature. 
Stop by and check out an exciting mystery series (with a strong female character), reviewed by Louisa (almost 12). We'd love to hear about your favorite books too, so leave us a note!

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20694. War Dogs: Churchill and Rufus written and illustrated by Kathryn Selbert

It isn't surprising that Winston Churchill was an animal lover, but you would expect he would have a larger dog than a little poodle as one of his beloved pets.  But during the darkest days of World War II, one of his great comforts and his constant companion was his little dog named Rufus, a spunky brown poodle.

War Dogs is written from the point of view of Rufus and introduces readers  Churchill when he was Prime Minister of Britain during World War II from 1940 to 1945.

In this vividly imagines picture of their life together, at times Rufus accompanies his master through the rubble of the bombed out streets of London, or sits nearby as Churchill writes his famous speeches delivered in the House of Commons and over the radio to the British citizens.  Other times, they go out for quiet walks, or spend time in the underground bunker, where Rufus likes to inspect every nook and cranny while Churchill works.

Rufus is privy to all the secret plans for the D-Day landings at Normandy long before most people, and he is by Churchill's side when victory finally comes and the two companions could retire to the country.  As readers go along, they learn not only about the special relationship between this great man and his dog, but also some important preliminary facts about the war and they will be able to read some of the more famous lines of Churchill's speeches scattered along the pages:
Source:Charlesbridge Publishing
The detailed, realistic acrylic and collage illustrations for War Dogs are done in a palate of earth tones,  emphasizing the different moods of the war years and moving the narrative along nicely.  Two of the most effective illustrations are two page spreads of London at night during the blackout where only the faint outlines of buildings, including St. Paul's Cathedral, can be seen and the last two pages showing Churchill and Rufus from the back, the two war dogs, sitting side by side on a grassy knoll, looking over the  tranquil grounds of Churchill's home after the war and a job well done.

War Dogs is Kathryn Selbert's debut work and it is an excellent beginning for this talented artist.   In addition, Selbert has also included back matter which includes a timeline, information about Churchill and poodles and about Churchill himself.  There are also websites, books and a bibliography for more in-depth information.

This is also an excellent book to use as a teaching aid in the classroom or for home schooling.

This book is recommended for readers age 6+
This book was bought for my personal library

The is a wonderful Discussion Guide available for use with War Dogs that can be downloaded HERE

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20695. Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: July part 1

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher or Netgalley for this honest review.

About the Book


Millionaire ad executive Landon Downey has a policy: no romantic relationships allowed. So when he's saddled with his six-year-old nephew for a week, he doesn't think twice about asking Kimber Reynolds to act as live-in nanny. What he doesn't expect is the undeniable attraction to the woman he hasn't seen since they were kids. And not only does she like him back-she suggests they work their way down a list of extracurricular activities in the bedroom. How can he resist?

Kimber wants to prove once and for all that she can love 'em and leave 'em with the best of them. All she has to do is keep her sixteen-year crush on Landon out of the equation. No problem . . . until she realizes she may not be the only one whose heart has gotten completely tangled up in their no-strings agreement.

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4 stars

Here's why:

I've been on a romance kick lately and reading books in the genre has been an interesting experience in variety. Some books I've enjoyed more than others and, since I'm venturing outside of just the paranormal/urban fantasy sub-genres of romance, I've found great little gems.

This story is one of them. Landon and Kimber are two very real and very vulnerable characters for different reasons. What they do have in common are pasts that continuously haunt their present and makes them both guarded and unsure of their futures.

Watching the two of them work through various small (and some major) issues kept me glued to this book which I finished in one sitting. I like this author and will gladly read other books in the "Love in the Balance" series.

Would I recommend? Yes!

0 Comments on Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: July part 1 as of 7/3/2014 2:41:00 AM
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20696. The World is So Wide, by Jess Rush | Dedicated Review

The World is So Wide is an exploration of career possibilities in a picture book format with colorful illustrations. The author, Jess Rush, uses rhyme and follows the alphabet from A to Z to provide a list of jobs (Analyst to Zoo vet) meant to inspire young children and broaden their ideas of what the future could hold.

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20697. What do Your Stories Say About You? - Heather Dyer

Last week I did an event at my local library to promote my new children's book The Flying Bedroom. A few children turned up - but a few adults came along as well - some of whom knew me and perhaps were there out of curiosity about the sort of thing I write.
After the event one of them came up to me and said he'd he loved the ideas in The Flying Bedroom- "so many metaphors!" he said, and looked at me knowingly.

"Yes," I said, self-consciously. "I know."

Perhaps this is why I always feel slightly awkward when reading my stories to adults. Like dreams, our stories are full of symbols – and symbols are the way our unconscious sends us messages. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to figure out the issues I’m still resolving – you just have to read my children’s books.
In fact, they say that the people in our dreams aren’t themselves at all – they just represent alternative versions of ourselves. Might the same be said of the characters in our stories? Might Elinor be me?
In one adventure in The Flying Bedroom, Elinor wakes up and is appalled to find herself in bed on centre stage, with an entire audience waiting for her to perform. Insecure? Moi?
In the next adventure, Elinor finds her bedroom stranded on the moon and longs to get back home again, to that blue-green marble on which resides 'everyone she knew and everyone who'd ever been'. Might she be trying to tell me that, despite the fact that I love living alone, I do need people after all?
Is it Elinor or me who says, 'the world is a big place; it seems a shame to stay in one place all your life when there's a world out there waiting to explore'? - then contradicts herself by saying: ‘it's only when you're far from home that you can see how beautiful it is'? And surely it is Elinor – not I – who speaks the line: "I don't want to kiss Prince Charming!"

The intention to reveal our innermost selves is never intentional - but when we make up stories from the heart, it happens regardless. If we try to deny that our stories reveal something about us,  we're like the psychiatrist's patient who is asked to 'write down his dream and bring it in next week to be analysed’. The patient thinks he'll pull the wool over his psychiatrist’s eyes by making something up from scratch, instead. Then, when the psychiatrist analyses the ‘dream’ the patient says, ‘Ha! But it wasn't a dream - I just made it all up.’
And the psychiatrist just smiles and says, 'same difference’.
Do your stories reveal something about you?

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20698. New piece I did as an assignment for Oakland’s...

New piece I did as an assignment for Oakland’s Illustration Intensive.

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20699. Comment on BOOK BLAST: Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy by Teddy O'Malley

Thank you so much for helping me out by participating in the book blast. – Teddy :)

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20700. Sensible

Huck proudly displaying his Tinkertoy windmill: “I followed the constructions.”

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