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Viewing Blog: YA & MG Fantasy Author Rebecca Ryals Russell, Most Recent at Top
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Plotting Worlds and Dreaming Schemes Beneath the Writer's Hat
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1. For What It’s Worth Book Blast

For What It's Worth by Karey White Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending. Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most? Continue reading

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2. First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch by Samuel Ben White

He was about to drive the mules back over to the smithy when a voice asked him, "What was that?" He fairly jumped out of his skin as he turned and saw Sarah standing there in the moonlight. The blue beams of the world's lesser light added a strange but enchanting hue to her blonde hair and pale face. "What are you doing here?" he asked, when he had recovered his breath. "I could ask you the same thing." He got down off the wagon and came over to her. She backed up a step, but no further. "How much did you see?" Continue reading

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3. BOOK BLAST! First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch $50 Giveaway

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch "What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?" Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx. But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice. Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history? If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created? Continue reading

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4. My Current Nanowrimo Project: YA Dystopian Paranormal Romance

For the past three Nanowrimo events I've worked on a Dystopian but was unhappy with its progress until this year. This year I revamped the story almost completely using outlining techniques from K. M. Weiland's book Outlining Your Novel and the current story suddenly unfurled before my very eyes. If you haven't used this book and are having trouble "finding" your story... Continue reading

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5. More Reasons to Appreciate What You Have

It’s a new school year and students are getting to know their teachers – but one special teacher is receiving attention for her fancy footwork. Mary Gannon, a 24-year-old math tutor, was born without arms and teaches with her toes, amazing and inspiring students and staff at Harding Middle School in Lakewood, Ohio. She’s become a living example that anything is possible. Gannon drives, dresses, cooks, types emails and writes math problems on the board – all with her toes. Gannon is right-footed and jokes that she can’t read her writing with her left foot. Continue reading

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6. Don’t Wait for Tragedy to Appreciate Life

How often do you complain about daily chores like delivering the kids to or from school, making the afterschool activity run, commuting long distances to work, paying the rent or mortgage? How often do you take the time to appreciate the car in which you haul those kids? How often do you appreciate having the job to which you commute? How often do you enjoy the comforts of the house or apartment which you pay bills on? Too often it isn’t until we lose something we suddenly appreciate having had it. That was and still is, abundantly clear with the recent housing foreclosures and job loses. So have you taken stock lately in what you HAVE in your life? Have you considered how your life might change if a loved one became desperately ill or injured or even died? Read this news story and consider your life in a new light. Continue reading

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7. Evil in Our Children Is Worldwide

BEIJING — A teenager killed eight people with a knife and wounded five more in northeast China after falling out with his girlfriend, state media said Thursday. The teen killed two of her family members and six more people before fleeing, the state-run Legal Daily newspaper said. It reported he was caught but did not describe the circumstances. The official Xinhua News Agency said the attack took place Wednesday night in Liaoning province. Media said the 17-year-old suspect is from Fushun city and his surname is Li. The attack happened in Yongling town. Continue reading

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8. The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

en Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing: What is the working title of your book? Which one? For NaNoWriMo next month, I’ll be finishing my YA Dystopian Romance currently titled Avoid the Void. I’m also writing a younger MG series based on world mythologies. The series is called SageBorn Chronicles and Book One is Wyvern Uprising. Then there’s a redeux of the Seraphym Wars and Stardust Warriors series—I’m combining them into one series aimed at older MG readers. This new series is called Saving Innocence. I’ve already designed the unified covers for this series. Continue reading

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9. Are Our Children Becoming More Evil?

Second posting on this topic. Last week I started a discussion about the amount of evil I’m seeing expressed by our children. Here is another case that’s hard to stomach much less understand. What could possibly have been in this teen’s mind when he committed the following atrocity? Continue reading

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10. Is Evil Insidiously Usurping Our Children?

My children, now mostly adults, refuse to see it and have argued with me about it over the past ten years saying, “It’s just that we have more ways of knowing what is happening around the world.” “Technology is making it easier to report on these things, but they’ve always been happening.” I say POSH. Since growing up in the ‘60’s, I’ve watched the growing trend of evil involving younger and younger people on this earth. Obviously, we learn about it faster because of technology. But technology itself is causing some of it. How many times has the news reported on kids killing themselves over Facebook taunts or tweets on Twitter? How much porn is available over the internet, performed by younger and younger girls AND boys? How many times have kids performed stunts, usually stupid and dangerous ones, in front of their computer cameras in order to garner Internet viewership? Or committed suicide that way? Because my books deal with demons and evil, I have Google alerts for ‘weird news’ or ‘demonic’ and several times a day I receive alerts referring to what is happening to our kids. Somehow we have to make them see the insidious increase of evil in their lives. They don’t realize it because of its slow nature and the fact it’s always been part of their lives—which is the entire effect Satan wants. Continue reading

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11. Coffee-Toxic or Healthy?

10 Things to Know About Coffee Drinking Writers are notorious for drinking coffee as a means to staying energized and productive. But I’ve noticed several issues lately any time I drank coffee at night in order to work late or too much at any given time. I’ve also read several articles recently concerning the health benefits of coffee. So what does this mean for those of us who need its properties or enjoy its flavor? Continue reading

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12. How Many Challenged or Banned Books Have You Read and Why?

Does ALA (American Library Association) ban books? No. The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information. For more information on ALA's efforts to raise awareness of censorship and promote the freedom to read, please explore Banned Books Week. What's the difference between a challenge and a banning? A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection. Continue reading

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13. Variant by Robison Wells

Wow! I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book and to be honest I've started quite a few recently that I didn't finish...this was NOT one of those books. In fact, when I reached the last page I got angry because it had a sequel and now I can't wait to get it read. It's a mixture of Hunger Games and The Most Dangerous Game (both which I loved) but with a unique twist. Wish I'd thought of it. Continue reading

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14. Awesome New Resources for Writers

A couple of years ago I found a marketing company called Hubspot. Even though I don't officially use their services I attended a webinar and learned a lot about website marketing. Ever since then I have received offers of FREE eBooks the company produces, which I download and read. These have been quite useful in my writing career. While Hubspot is not really a marketing company for writers, today we all have to market our wares and selling is selling, right? I thought I would pass along two recent FREE eBooks from Hubspot for you to check out. Don't worry about giving them your email and such, they do not inundate with spam. Continue reading

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15. Halloween Scavenger Hunt for PRIZES

Night Owl Reviews is running another awesome Scavenger hunt. Full Moon Halloween Scavenger Hunt runs from Sept 1st through Oct 31th. Click on the banner then visit the blogs, find the information and plug it in to win. Tons of incredible prizes, free books, jewelry, and more. Continue reading

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16. Setara’s Genie by Marva Dasef

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie. As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back. Between stories, he questions the girl about her life. He discovers that she’s been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother’s life. The rich bridegroom will pay for the doctors the mother needs. Meanwhile, Najda sells spices in the market to earn enough money to keep her mother alive. He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who put him in a lamp; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom. Continue reading

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17. Movie Reviews: Brave and Ice Age 4

I took the family to an animated movie recently. I was excited by the previews months ago as I love anything Celtic and with all of the flaming red hair and accents I just knew this movie would be good. Brave, by Pixar Disney is a delightful way to spend 1 hour 40 minutes. But is it worth paying upwards of $10 for that honor? Probably not. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ice Age: Continental Drift with my youngest son. I’ve seen all of the Ice Age movies at theatres and each has been entertaining and clever. This movie was no exception. Ray Romano does an exceptional job as Manny as usual and of course Queen Latifah as Ellie is perfect. I Love Denis Leary as Diego and John Leguizamo as Sid is delightful. Continue reading

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18. One Million Kids Against the Ivory Trade Petition

As a 14-year-old, I produced and starred in the documentary "How I Became an Elephant," and I have continued speaking out for elephants ever since. As Born Free USA's youth elephant ambassador I now am gathering 1 million signatures of children who are opposed to the illegal ivory trade. This petition will be delivered to the March 2013 meeting of the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in Bangkok. Continue reading

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19. Comment on Newest Release & Reviews by jotirarin

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20. betWeen by Daniel Frost

Young Chance N. Counter thought her life was nothing more than a series of meaningless, random events. But when she finds some crinkly yellow pages from an old book, with the same drawing of a shadowy door in each one, this all suddenly changes. Pages in hand, and armed with only a flashlight, Chance finds one of the shadowy portals and steps into the place between night and day... it is the place where nightmares and fairytales and creatures that go bump in the night were created. It is the place of lore and legend and dreams, and the place where the Shadow King reigns supreme. But to leave, Chance, along with a new ally (who happens to be a talking fox) must summon all of her courage and use all of her wit to travel through this bizarre world and find her way home. Continue reading

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21. Starting a New MG Series

Well, the wedding is over and I survived--sort of. It's funny how lethargic and directionless I feel. It's been difficult forcing myself to do basic household chores. I feel as though a huge hole has opened up in my life and I can't find a way around it. This isn't because my daughter is married. She's been away at school for two years. I think it stems from the lack of a goal or deadline. I seem to function best under pressure of a deadline. After fourteen years of teaching that probably began to feel second nature and now I need that driving force to propel me forward at all. I also really missed writing and blogging during the past several months. But when I tried, all I could think about was what needed doing for the wedding or reception. In case you're confused, check out my blog at Robins in the Spring, Pecans in the Fall where I'm posting photos and blogging about the experience. Once most everything was made, ordered, organized, etc. I began to have some free time so a new Middle Grade series grew in my noggin. Since I couldn't concentrate on the actual planning of it, I began drawing the characters. This actually gives my mind time to work out the plot, the who-done-its and why, the main characters and sub-characters, settings, etc. Continue reading

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22. A Dragon? No way! Prove it

Awhile back I watched a great documentary about Dragons on the History Channel. It was different because it explored the scientific and historical findings that lead through civilizations. From Mesopotamia, Babylon, Egypt, Carthage, Scandinavia, China and Japan through the Middle Ages, across the ocean into Mexico with the Olmecs and Aztecs who performed human sacrifice to appease their dragon deity to Native North Americans and present day, the basic concept of the dragon has endured throughout millennia. The first evidence of dragons appeared in Mesopotamia 6000 years ago when the first written records were made. In this myth a good dragon, Marduk, slays the evil dragon, Tiamat, and uses the carcass to create all of the elements necessary for creation of the world. The question is why a dragon? Where did this concept originate? Why not a bear or wolf? Continue reading

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MuseItUp Publishing is hosting a Christmas in July Hunt from July 9 - 23, 2012. DETAILS: All you have to do is visit the participating authors websites/blogs (AUTHOR LINKS POSTED BELOW EACH COVER) and locate the hidden christmas tree in each of their sites. Then send me an email to: publisher AT museituppublishing DOT com *with the 15 authors' links where their trees were hidden (EX. AUTHOR'S PAGE, REVIEWS PAGE, BIO PAGE, ETC.) *and your name DURATION: Begins on July 9 and ends July 23...no exceptions. PRIZES: click on covers for more ebook details Package One: a $25.00 gift certificate to MuseItUp Publishing's bookstore Package Two: 10 EBOOKS Package Three: 8 EBOOKS Continue reading

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24. When the Writing Gets Tough, the Tough Get Writing

No writer is immune to getting stuck once in awhile. Whether it’s a plot problem, characterization issue, or actual writer’s block, there will be times while writing—or revising— when you want to either a) bang your head against a wall, b) ingest large quantities of chocolate, c) look for the solution at the bottom of your favorite beverage (did someone say wine?), or d) exercise. Totally kidding about d)—that’s crazy. Anyway, here are a few tips to bust through the tough times and get back on track. Source: Rainy of the Dark (http://s.tt/1eIH7) Continue reading

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25. Cursing or Cussing in YA Fiction

The characters doing the swearing tended to be of higher social status, better looking and have more money than their non-swearing counterparts. So what does that say to the preteens who are forming their ideas of who they are and who they will become as adults? Everyone knows kids who read, tend to do so about three to five years above their age level. I’ve seen Fourth Graders reading the Twilight series. None of MY children would ever have read something like that at age nine, but I saw it when I was teaching. And the kids who were allowed to read material years ahead of their maturational level, refused to read age-appropriate, excellent literature, thereby missing out of a whole world of good books. Continue reading

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