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Results 7,951 - 7,975 of 236,272
7951. Monsters!

Look for my Monster Triptych in the Monster Arts Project exhibit. Opens in Eastworks in Easthampton, MA on Saturday from 5-8 PM.

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7952. Comics

If you had stopped me as a teenager and asked if I was an avid reader, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said, "Nah, not really." Sure, I read the required texts for school, but for pleasure? Pfft! Yet here I am unpacking huge storage bins filled to the brim with the comic books that I collected as a teen. At least once a month, I would find a way to Fabulous Fiction Book Store on Main St in Worcester. It was filled from wall to wall with comics. More often than not, my grandfather Joe would give me a ride. But when I couldn't get a lift, I would walk—and it was a mile and a half each way! Imagine walking three miles for reading material, but you don't really think you're much of a reader...
I saved each comic in plastic sleeves with special archival backing with expectations that these would all be worth a ton of money someday. And in a way I was right—these comics are priceless. They put me on the path to where I am today, and I look at them as a symbol of my grandfather's unconditional love. He'd patiently sit in his car smoking his Camels while I perused the aisles looking for the latest issues. Most adults didn't think much of comics as reading in those days, but Joe...he knew something good was happening.

The magic of social media. Within 30 minutes of posting this, my pal Chris Eliopoulos (illustrator of the Ordinary People Change the World picture books) pointed out that he likely lettered many of the comics in my bin. And it turns out he did! It didn't take me long to find his name.

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7953. Surround Youself with Writing Buddies

Writing is no different than anything else that we enjoy, it's always better with a partner. Someone to share the ups and downs with because anyone who has tried to get a book published knows there are tons of obstacles to cross.

And some of those obstacles are really difficult to deal with by yourself. Especially rejections, which are a plenty for most writers.

When I was early into my writing career, a very wise person told me to make sure I join a critique group. I was very skeptical about that because I just wasn't sure I could even write, let alone ready to let anyone else see what I'd written. But being in a critique group has really been beneficial. It definitely opened my eyes and proved to me that I wasn't so bad at this afterall! Plus, I've learned so much from them.

I thank God for my critique group, my writer's group, all my writing friends especially Courtney Rene who helps me everyday in some way, my book signing partner in crime, Deborah Lynne but most of all my mom/sis who are also writers. Having them to discuss my stories, their stories and the struggles we are facing in this industry, has helped me tremendously. I don't think I'd have four books published today if it weren't for all those people.

Let's face it, authors like to talk about our writing and nothing helps or inspires us more than when we talk to someone who is as interested in the written word as we are. So if you're an author or an aspiring author, next time you attend a book signing, a writer's group, a conference or some other kind of event, don't be shy - make the extra effort to talk to another author. You never know what kind of relationship will form from it. That's exactly how Deborah Lynne and I met and we have both thanked our lucky stars that we did.

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7954. Interview with Sheri Rabinowitz for Entering My Second Half

Come and join me as I talk with author Sherri Rabinowitz about her memoir Entering My Second Half on Stories From Unknown Authors http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1pm EST today.

Entering My Second Half

  • File Size: 1081 KB
  • Print Length: 76 pages
  • Publication Date: September 24, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015T985JO

From the Back Cover

Turning fifty was the first time I really felt my age. I always felt and looked younger then I actually am chronologically. I still do look younger then I am but feel it, no not quite. I have aches and pains that I never felt before. Also I have not in my opinion reached my full potential yet.

As I watch young celebrities panicking about reaching thirty years old and getting botox, I shake my head. At thirty I was still being carded. I was still asked if I was old enough to work in this office. Thirty? They are children!

Believe me kids, Thirty is nothing. Now Fifty that is a brick wall that you have to watch out for. All of the sudden you ache in places you have never even thought of before. You have problems with parts of your body that worked perfectly the year before.You gain weight easier, and it is harder to get it off.

Fifty is what they should be worried about.This is what I learned.

About the Author

Sherri has been writing since she was a small child. She was inspired by Ray Bradbury and Agatha Christie. She had always loved writing but has had to make a living in a varied number of ways. She worked as an actress, a travel agent and in several forms of customer service. Her passion though has always been writing. She loves and enjoys both reading and writing fan fiction.Her first book Murder Inc. was a fan favorite, Fantasy Time Inc. was nominated for a Global Ebook Award. Her brand new book; Different Is Beautiful is already a best seller. It has been #2 in hot releases, #2 in Early Childhood Education and #3 in Preschool & Kindergarten on Amazon! And it won the Gold (First Place) for Global Ebook Awards for Children Picture Books Fiction category! 

Sherri was nominated for the Shorty Award!Sherri is the host of Blogtalk Radio's Chatting With Sherri. Sherri is the producer of Sherri's Playhouse. 

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7955. Pumpkins

A behind-the-scenes pic of the pumpkin photo shoot for FamilyFun magazine's October issue!

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7956. Character Design with a Charcoal Prelim

Every evil mastermind needs an assistant. His pale eyes are wide open, and his long, bony fingers timidly hold the magic lantern. 

I planned this character first in red Nupastel and charcoal on a separate piece of tracing paper. I then sealed the drawing with workable fixatif and transferred it down to the primed board, using transfer paper I made with graphite on another piece of tracing paper. 

The charcoal step allows me to solve a lot of problems early on when things are easy to change. It's the storytelling stage of picture-making.

I shot some photo reference of a timid, creepy looking model, and also built a little maquette.

Fun fact #1: The painting Birdman was one of the candidates for the cover of Color and Light, but lost out to a crowd-sourced blog poll for the final cover image of the sleeping dinosaur.

Fun fact #2: The oil painting was a revision of a paperback cover illustration called The Fleet: Counterattack. I gave him a mane of feathers like a harpy eagle, an embroidered jacket, and a little Quasimodo assistant to carry out his dark designs.

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7957. Nancy Day's WHAT IN THE WORLD - Guest Post

Concept Picture Books:
What in the World? Numbers in Nature
by Nancy Raines Day

      First, the Concept
      I like to set myself mental challenges. For instance, to pass the time when stuck in a traffic jam, I started counting wheels on the big rig in front of me. A bicycle passed us by, and it struck me funny that it was going faster than my car with half as many wheels. My son had been a big fan of vehicle books at age 2, which bored my 6-year-old daughter silly. I’d long wanted to write a vehicle book with extra layers to it. Then a refrain popped into my head—“Double those wheels and you’ve got….” What kind of vehicles had 1 wheel? 2 and 4 were easy. How about 8? 16? 32? My mind explored possibilities for filling these categories. When Double Those Wheels was published by Dutton years later, I was grateful for getting stuck in that traffic jam!
      More recently, I was walking on my hometown pier, thinking about an upcoming reunion concert of the community youth orchestra I played in as a teenager—all the people I remembered and the different instruments they played. Suddenly, some tourists shouted, “Look, an alligator!” Scanning the water for an alligator and still thinking about instruments, the word alliguitar popped into my mind. I had been casting about for a different sort of alphabet book idea—and that was an A! Could I think of a musical alphabeast for every letter of the alphabet? In the next few days, with some help from google, I could. Hmmm, I wondered, could I put that in rhyme? A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts (Pelican, 2012) was my answer.

      The Magic Formula
      A successful concept book has the same secret formula as creativity itself—it simply involves putting at least two existing concepts together in a new and different way. Vehicles meet math concept of doubling. Animals A to Z meet musical instruments. (In both cases, the fact that I was already thinking about the categories of vehicle, math, music, and alphabet books prepared me for the sparks to my imagination when they came along.)
      But don’t stop there. The more layers a picture book has, the more “hooks” for potential readers. All of my concept books have been either in rhyme or, like A Kitten’s Year (HarperCollins, 2001), in poetic language.
      Even for concept books, characters and story are needed ingredients as well. In Double Those Wheels, I picked a monkey, the only animal I could visualize driving a car, truck, or train. And, as my editor kindly pointed out, the monkey needed a mission to drive the story’s action. That’s when he became a pizza delivery monkey on his way to a birthday party.

      What in the World?
      My newest concept picture book, What in the World? Numbers in Nature, came out September 1 from Beach Lane Books. But I started thinking about the concept ten years ago. While immersed in writing second- and third-grade units for California’s groundbreaking Education and the Environment Initiative, I was scouting for a trade book idea that would help connect kids with nature. I’d already made several attempts at writing 1-10 counting books, but also wanted to introduce the idea of sets.
      My research unearthed a wealth of plants and animals with various numbers of leaves, petals, legs, etc. I filled the slots for the even numbers easily, but the odd numbers were much harder. For 9, hardest of all, I had the nine planets—until astronomers cut out Pluto in 2006. After combing nature books and their indexes, I turned to google, typing in any likely combination I could think of. (What in the world does come in nines, I wondered!) It took me two years to find the stickleback fish with its nine spines—and that even rhymed!
      As for characters, I had envisioned a dialog between a parent and child. Moreover, I imagined the illustrations for each number as an artful collage of disparate elements, as did my editor. What Kurt Cyrus did with the illustrations blew us both away. His little boy explores the world of nature on his own, and not only is each spread of a piece, but also the art flows from morning through the day, ending with contemplating the starry sky—with a “constellation” countdown. He took my original concept and extended its story—beautifully and cosmically. Seeing Kurt’s art made me realize for the first time that this is a bedtime book as well. What a concept!
     CLICK HERE to learn more about Nancy.

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7958. on learning to live with less

I have never been interested in living large. I'm a one-credit-card, pay-off-the-mortgage, don't-buy-the-new-car-until-the-old-one-won't-budge, bake-your-own-desserts, use-points-to-travel kind of person. We have a two-bedroom house, because that is all we needed (when our son was home). I wear clothes from fifteen years ago and shoes until the soles fall off.

Still, over the past many months, I've had a few lessons to learn about further right sizing my life. I've had to make decisions. Stepping away from dance (which I loved), using fewer herbs and fancy kitchen things, keeping my book library in relative stasis (an admitted sadness), staying in more often, rarely having wine with dinner. I've bought fewer gifts than is my style. Traveled fewer miles. Focused on family and next chapters. Thought about a different future.

I've had to get creative, is what I'm saying, and I have discovered this: Less and less is a form of freer and more free. With fewer acquisitions of things I once thought I needed, the tiny house is a roomier house. Each considered meal is a new kind of triumph. The little luxuries are savored as enormous ones. When we do go out, it's a night to remember. The outfits I come up with are (shall I say this?) inspired. The gifts I give are, increasingly, the gifts I make, and I think that elevates them with meaning.

The other day, talking with a friend I'll name E., I learned a little more about her history. She was fabulously wealthy and fabulously feted; she flew across the seas to get her hair done. And then something happened, and then something else happened, and today her luxuries all revolve around clay and dusty smocks and adorable shoes, and she says, to herself, to others, "I've never been happier."

I believe her.

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7959. Another weekend, another event with Don Tate (and, soon, another book!)

This Sunday at 3 p.m., attendees of the Texas Book Festival here in Austin can find Don and me sharing The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch in the Read Me a Story tent. It will be terrific seeing Don again, since we haven’t shared a stage since … well, last Saturday, when he and […]

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7960. Four Agents on Querying Your NaNo Manuscript

Today we continue our exploration of agents' views on NaNoWriMo with two more questions, both on querying when it comes to NaNo.

Q. What querying mistakes do you most commonly see after NaNo?

Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary

Natalie: Mentioning it’s a NaNo book! NaNo is a great accomplishment for a writer; but it isn’t something that pulls in an agent.

Sara Megibow of KT Literary

Sara: The biggest query mistake I see after NaNo is submissions from writers who have done a great job finishing their books but not a great job of researching agents.

It’s an amazing thing to write a book in a month - all writers should be given a huge high five for this accomplishment! Next up is, of course, editing and polishing the book to make it really ready. And then there’s the research step:

#1 = Know your genre

#2 = Make a list of agents who represent books in your genre (research at www.agentquery.com or Writers Digest Guide to Literary Agents to find agents-by-genre)

#3 = Vet the agents before preparing your final submissions list. Three great places to research legitimate agents:

#4 = Each agent has a different submissions policy. Take your list of legitimate agents and go to the agency website for each and every one of them. First, look at the agency’s books and clients to triple check they are currently selling and representing books in your genre. Then, read the submission guidelines carefully and be prepared to follow them.

#5 = Craft a meticulous query letter. Need query help?

#6 = NOW start submitting query letters.

Write the Book. Edit the Book. Research.
These three steps will decrease mistakes and rejections.

Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary

Jaida: Over-editing. It's just as bad as under-editing!

Q. Is it an automatic turnoff to mention NaNo in a query even if the manuscript was extensively revised and from a previous year?

Sara:  Nope - to me it’s not a turnoff at all. I adore NaNo and think it’s a wonderful way to support writers. THE DARWIN ELEVATOR - New York Times bestselling epic science fiction from debut author Jason M. Hough was a NaNo book. When submitting to me, feel free to mention NaNo in any query - whether it is 2015 NaNo book or NaNo book from years ago.

Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content

Melissa: Not for me. But it's not necessarily a "turn-on," either. What matters to me is the quality of the writing and story, however the manuscript came to be written. 

Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary

Jaida: Nope. But if the revisions aren't really extensive and are more like line edits, then that's a turn-off for sure.

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7961. Halloween Costumes

One of the biggest treats for me every year is seeing people dressing up as my characters for Halloween. (And you know how serious we take our costumes here in the Kroso house...) If you are dressing up, I would love to see the pictures!
I've archived a bunch of photos of costumes from Halloweens past here: https://www.pinterest.com/…/character-costumes-story-pumpk…/

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7962. Stories for all: book industry guru Calvin Crosby

Miss Young, my kindergarten teacher, chose Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary as our story time book on the first day of school. Ramona Quimby hooked me on reading and on finding adventure in the ordinary. I could not wait to read the book on my own and I felt great delight when I discovered that there was an entire series about the kids on Klickitat Street. Beezus, Henry and Ribsy, Ellen and Otis, and Runaway Ralph became my world. 

I was so obsessed that I barely noticed the sideways glances or even the overt teasing from my peers as I checked Ramona Quimby Age 8 for the second or third time. I eventually moved on to…drum roll…Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew was amazing as she boldly went through out New England solving crime, driving her boyfriend around and hanging out with her quintessentially butch cousin George. As I walked around reading every book in sequential order with my favorite girl detective, the teasing from school mates and the lectures from librarians, teachers, and my friends' parents was so overt that I felt forced to read the Hardy Boys too, since I discovered they were originally written by the same person thus giving a rationalization as to why I would read a book with a girl on the cover. 

However, nothing would stop me from getting to book 64, which was the latest book in her series. Seriously, nothing could stop the centrifugal force of me getting from book 60 to book 64, not even my first Deer Hunting trip with my Dad and his friends. Nancy Drew did stop my having to participate in the annual Deer Hunt after I was discovered reading Nancy Drew and the Swami’s Ring instead of being the lookout for the herds of deer walking past me. My gratitude for Nancy and the she shift she created in my life experience has never ebbed. 

My reading was happily never curtailed by peers, grown ups or anyone that felt I should be reading something else or something more appropriate for boys. Today I still read across genres and look for strong characters—male, female, transgendered (read Real Man Adventures by T Cooper, a book that speaks of the trans experience from such an intimate, honest and humorous perspective.) 

I am glad that I didn’t listen to “what I should be reading” as a boy, and I know I am a better man for having been able to read books that appealed to me, because they are well written with intriguing characters and not because of my gender.


Calvin Crosby has worked in the book industry for the past twenty years, both as a bookseller and as the sales and marketing director for McSweeney's. He is the new Executive Director of NCIBA. He lives in San Fransisco bay area.

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7963. My tweets

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7964. Author Chat with Rachel Vincent

Contributed by Samantha Randolph 


Our extraordinary staff reviewer Samantha Randolph says: "Hi YABCers! Today, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Rachel Vincent, author of the popular Soul Screamers series, The Stars Never Rise, and more. Her new book, Menagerie, is unlike anything I've read before. It's deep, dark, complex, and twisty, and even days after finishing the story, I still find myself thinking about it. Rachel was wonderful to answer some questions for us about Menagerie!"


But first we'd like to introduce you to this literary duo. 




Meet Rachel. 


A native of the dust bowl, Rachel Vincent is the oldest of five siblings, and arguably the most outspoken of the bunch. She loves cats, devours chocolate and lives on flavored coffee. Rachel’s older than she looks—seriously—and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.



Now meet Rachel's book, Menagerie.


When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons, and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.



With introductions in order, it's time to CHAT! 


 Samantha Randolph: Delilah's treatment, from the police station to the Menagerie, is so brutal and horrifying. While reading, I was absolutely amazed at how strongly you captured her emotions and her general state of being. How did it feel writing those crucial scenes? 


Rachel Vincent: Frustrating. Challenging. Your question has actually hit upon part of what makes this book different from what I've written in the past. Unlike most of my previous books, MENAGERIE is not urban fantasy, which means that it isn't driven by action and a quick-witted, spunky, butt-kicking character. Not that Delilah isn't all of those things. In her own way, she is. But because the point of the book wasn't "look how awesome/strong my heroine is," I had to dig deeper than my initial writing of her reactions, which tended to be all spitfire and much less fear and shock, until I was able to capture a more realistic reaction. More of the devastation and brutal dehumanization that would truly accompany the realization that you're no longer considered human, or worthy of any civil rights. It would have been much easier to have her smart off and kick ass from the very beginning, but that wasn't realistic for the pretty normal woman she actually is, in the beginning.

SR: Delilah and Gallagher have such a complex and unique relationship. It isn't particularly a romance, or even a friendship, but something a bit older, maybe even with a bit more bite to it. Did you have any inspiration for their relationship or any concepts you hoped to highlight with them? 


RV: (At the risk of spoiling anything...) Chivalry. Like, old-world chivalry, wherein the knight served a lady who was not his romantic interest. Who was, in fact, married to his lord. Only without the whole married-to-the-lord aspect. He sees their relationship as being noble and above the physical trappings of most human relationships.


SR: Your knowledge of mythological creatures is incredibly impressive. Did you have a favorite kind to write about?


RV: The oracles were fun, but complicated. But I've always been fascinated by the minotaur, because unlike most of the hybrids, his head is not human, which completely cuts him off from most verbal communication, trapping him inside his own mind. And he's smart, which makes that fact both a blessing and a curse.

SR: The detail in Menagerie is exceptional, from the lifestyle of the carnival workers to various legal proceedings in civil rights law and in animal treatment. What was the strangest and/or most exciting element you researched? 


RV: Thank you! Researching carnivals was my favorite part. I took some liberties to adapt the lifestyle--and equipment--to sentient captives, but I stayed as true as I could in the other aspects. 

SR: There are a wide variety of families in this novel. We see sisters who are oracles, a werewolf father and daughter, shifters of all kinds who have been separated from their parents or siblings, and, of course, Delilah and her mother. Do you see the family bonds as being the most powerful, or perhaps the strongest, driving force for many of the characters? 


RV: Yes, I hope so. And that's something that Delilah failed to realize, at first. Her original attempt to free her fellow captives is shortsighted in that respect. Also, it was important for me to show that even when the world took away everything Delilah had, she found a new family in her fellow captives and that bond, too, becomes very strong.


SR:  Delilah tells Genni stories a few times to help sooth her or help her sleep. Did you have a favorite bedtime story that inspired this? 


RV: I actually don't. I can't remember being told stories as a kid, but my mother used to sing to us at bedtime, when my sisters and I were very small. 

SR:  Can you give us a hint at what we might expect in the sequel? 


RV: Unless the revisions are...complicated, you'll see a new bad guy, a new setting--an aspect of the world building that has been mentioned, but not yet shown--and a plot that will both challenge and strengthen the characters' relationships.



A big thanks to both Rachel Vincent and Samantha Randolph for this enlightening interview! Now read on for the latest giveaway below!






  1. By: Rachel Vincent

  2. Release Date: September 29, 2015 





Two winners will receive a  copy of Menagerie, open to US and Canada.


Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. During this giveaway, Rachel has a question for readers. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What cryptid would you most want to be?


*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

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Samantha Randolph is a  Staff Reviewer for YABC. She absolutely loves children's, middle grade, and young adult literature. She currently attends a small university where she will soon graduate with a degree in English Literature. Samantha can also be found at The Forest of Words and Pages, Fresh Fiction, and most coffee shops that serve cinnamon roll lattes. 


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7965. Comment on Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Paula Roscoe by P.J Roscoe

Thank you so much for having me Lynne, it’s been a real pleasure x

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7966. It's live!! Cover Reveal: How It Feels To Fly by Kathryn Holmes + Giveaway (International)

Happy Thursday, YABCers!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for HOW IT FEELS TO FLY by Kathryn Holmes, releasing June 14, 2016 from HarperTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Kathryn:

Hi, YABC!  
I'm so excited to get to share the cover for my second novel, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, with you today. This book is very close to my heart, and I had no idea what kind of cover could possibly get across everything it is to me—until I opened my editor's email a few weeks ago. The more I look at this beautiful image, the more in love I am. The title font, the expression on the girl's face, the setting that is absolutely what I envisioned when writing certain scenes...and those balloons! (Pause for heart-eye emoji...) I hope you love it as much as I do! 
~ Kathryn Holmes (HOW IT FEELS TO FLY, HarperTeen) 



Ready to see?

Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!


































Here it is!



*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Kathryn's giveaway. Thank you! ***



by Kathryn Holmes
Release date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062387349
About the Book

The movement is all that matters.

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

The change was gradual. Stealthy.

Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. 

What I really need is a whole new body.

Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

For fans of Center Stage, and with shades of The Breakfast Club, this is a compelling novel about body, mind, and the courage that it takes to become who you’re meant to be.

To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.

b2ap3_thumbnail_KathrynHolmes_headshot_8x10_lores.png.jpgAbout the Author

Kathryn Holmes grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was an avid reader and an aspiring writer from an early age. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and piles upon piles of books. A graduate of the New School’s MFA in creative writing program, Kathryn works as a freelance dance journalist, among other writing gigs. She’s also a contemporary dancer—when she’s not in front of her computer, you can often find her in a dance studio. How It Feels to Fly is her second novel. Visit Kathryn online at www.kathrynholmes.com.

Twitter | Web | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pre-order Amazon


Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a signed ARC of HOW IT FEELS TO FLY (when available).

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

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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7967. चुनाव ए बिहार

चुनाव ए बिहार

चुनाव में खराब उम्मीदवारों को वो अच्छे नागरिक चुनते हैं जो वोट नही देते … !!

हर बार की तरह बिहार में चुनाव है और हर बार की तरह ये भी निबट जाएंगें. .. कोई बदलाव नही ,कोई नई बात नही … फिर वही लोगो को खुश करना ,वही लोगो को उम्मीदें … !!!

राजनीति होना राजनीति करना ही मुद्दा रहेगा…. फिर एक ही आदमी बहुत वोट देगा…. फिर बूथ कैपचर कर लिया जाएगा…..  फिर छुट पुट झगडे सुर्खियों में रहेंगें … फिर बहुत से लोग वोट इसलिए नही दे पाएगें क्योकि उनका नाम लिस्ट मे है ही नही…फिर  बहुत लोग वोट इसलिए नही देंगें क्योकि जितनी उम्मीद उन्हें उम्मीदवार से थी वो खरी नही उतरी… फिर कुछ लोग इसलिए ट्राली मे भर भर कर आएगें और आखें मूंद कर वोट देंगें क्योकि उन्हे उम्मीद से ज्यादा मिल गया है…!!! फिर  ….

कुल मिला कर चुनाव में खराब उम्मीदवारों को वो अच्छे नागरिक चुनते हैं जो वोट नही देते …… !!!!!

कार्टून ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

कार्टून ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

The post चुनाव ए बिहार appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7968. New Voice & Giveaway: Laurie Wallmark on Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Laurie Wallmark is the first-author of Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. 

When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world's first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities.

Could you describe both your pre-and-post contract revision process? What did you learn along the way? How did you feel at each stage? What advice do you have for other writers on the subject of revision?

Like everyone else, I did many, many revisions before I thought the manuscript ready to submit. In June 2013, I had a manuscript critique at the New Jersey SCBWI conference with Ginger Harris of the Liza Royce Agency. She and her partner, Liza Fleissig, both thought the manuscript showed promise and would be of interest to Marissa Moss of Creston Books.

1,000 lucy paper cranes
I did a revision for them, and then they sent it to Creston Books. Marissa like the story enough to send me a revise and resubmit letter—four times!

It was at this point that I began to lose hope. Would she ever think Ada’s story good enough to acquire?

Apparently she would, since at that point, Marissa offered a contract. But the revisions didn’t stop there. I did about ten more before she thought the text was ready to pass on to the illustrator, April Chu.

Of course, not all ten were major revisions, but every word had to be just right, since a picture book has so few of them.

The biggest thing I learned along the way is that no matter how good you think your manuscript is, it can always be made better. The second was a good editor is invaluable.

My biggest advice to other writers is to be open to changes.

No, you don’t have to take every suggestion offered, but you need to seriously consider each one. Remember, this takes time.

As a nonfiction writer, what first inspired you to take on your topic? What about it fascinated you? Why did you want to offer more information about it to young readers?

Laurie Wallmark
I love STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and wanted to share this love with young readers—not just with geeks like me, but with all children, no matter how STEM-phobic they may be.

Many children say they hate STEM or worse, they’re bad at it. As a society, we need to turn this perception around. Children are growing up in a high-tech world and need to feel comfortable in it.

But the question for me was, how could I make STEM interesting and fun for children through my writing while avoiding the dreaded “issues” book?

I realized a picture book biography is an ideal medium to introduce STEM concepts and facts to young readers. Instead of only offering STEM content through dry, boring textbooks, teachers could use picture book biographies to immerse children in the subject matter. They could enjoy a story while learning STEM along the way. I think of this as guerilla teaching.

Once I decided I’d write a biography, I had to choose a person to profile. I’m drawn to writing about strong, under-appreciated women in STEM. I feel it’s important for all children, not just girls, to realize the many extraordinary contributions of women in STEM. Ada was the world’s first computer programmer, yet few people have heard of her. And she did this in the 1800s!

In addition to showcasing a woman in STEM, I wanted to portray a person who had faced challenges in her life. Ada suffered from an assortment of health problems. As a child, a case of measles left her blind and paralyzed. Her sight soon returned, but Ada was bedridden for three years.

Laurie in third grade.
Many children have challenges of their own to overcome. Seeing how Ada succeeded in spite of her lifelong health problems might help them realize they can too.

When people hear I’ve written a picture book about Ada Byron Lovelace, often their first question is “Who’s that?” It makes me sad to realize most people have never heard of such an important person in STEM. Is this because she was a woman?

Because of Ada’s accomplishments and her overcoming of obstacles, I knew I had to write about her in my first picture book biography.

Additionally, in a previous career, I was a programmer, and I now teach computer science. How could I not write about Ada Byron Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer? Without a doubt, I had to share her story.

Wall of gear shapes from book launch!

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win one of two signed copies of Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark (Creston, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. only.

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7969. Spotlight and Giveaway: A Friendly Engagement by Christine Warner

Enter to Win a
$10.00 Amazon eGift Card

A Friends First Novel #1
Christine Warner
Released June 2015
Entangled Publishing

Omar Esterly is married to his job. But when Omar sets his sights on a potential, family-oriented client, his confirmed bachelorhood becomes a problem. Fortunately, his friend and employee, Devi Boss, has the perfect plan…
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Devi’s plan to become her friend’s fake fiancée. Lies aren’t her style. However, Omar offers her a big, beautiful raise—enough to track down the missing father she’s never known—and Devi reluctantly agrees to the whole engagement hoax…
This was supposed to be a no-strings-attached win-win for both Devi and Omar, but when they cross the line between friendship and…well, something more, Devi realizes she’s made a huge mistake that just might cost her both job and friend—falling for her fiancé.

ONLY $0.99

A Friendly Arrangement
A Friends First Novel #2
Christine Warner
Releasing Oct 26th, 2015
Entangled Publishing
What happens when your plus one becomes “the one”?

Holly Haggerty and Roth Esterly are two besties with everything in common—they’re neighbors, career-driven, and commitment-phobes. Tired of always being set up on dates by well-meaning friends and family, they take matters into their own hands: they will be the other’s plus one—a little friendly arrangement between friends.

Easy…until a steamy night where they cross the line. But that’s okay, they’ll add an addendum—one that includes a little action between the sheets…on top of the sheets…and without the sheets. But there are rules. Dating and sex are exclusive until one of them decides to terminate the agreement. No slumber parties. And if either party becomes emotionally involved they will break things off with no hard feelings.

When unexpected news changes their plans and turns their fun arrangement into something more serious, Holly and Roth must come to terms with what’s more important—what they thought they wanted, or what they really need.

Pre-Order Now

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Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, one laptop, and a much loved assortment of furry friends.
Besides laughing and a good dose of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing, but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes, and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines.
A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter and her website at christine-warner.com


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7970. Quick Cartoon for Math Teachers (and Dog Lovers, Sure, You Too)


Cartoon by Mark Parisi.

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7971. #KidLit Endorsements ~ Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters

What People Are Saying...

“Author Donna McDine has a delightful way of supporting children through life's challenges and transitions. Her stories are realistic and feature likable characters that kids can easily relate to. With this book, she has lifted 'kindergarten anxiety' in a light and humorous way - leaving children with a smile on their face and an eagerness for new beginnings.” ~ Tina M. Games, certified creativity coach and author of "Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother's Path to Self Discovery”  ~ http://moonlightmusepress.com 

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“In Donna McDine’s PB, Dee and Deb Off They Go—Kindergarten First Day Jitters, fraternal twins Dee and Deb face separation in Kindergarten. This adorable book shows what happens on their first day. Like all kinders, they worry:  who will they talk to and play with. Dee’s smart teacher has a super idea for first day fears—choose a buddy. Ms. McDine’s cute book will reassure nervous kinder kids and their parents. Jack Foster’s charming artwork adds to readers’ enjoyment.” ~ Penelope Anne Cole, Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew, Magical Mea, and Ten Little Tricksters. ~ http://www.penelopeannecole.com/ 

Thank you Tina and Penny for your heartwarming endorsements!

Pre-order today!

Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Historical Fiction 1st Place, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

0 Comments on #KidLit Endorsements ~ Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters as of 10/15/2015 6:38:00 AM
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7972. दाल के भाव

दाल कार्टून ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

दाल कार्टून ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

दाल के भाव

सुना है दाल बहुत भाव खा रही है…दाल मखनी, दाल  तडका या दाल फ्राई … हम सभी को किस्म किस्म के स्वाद वाली दाले बहुत पसंद है पर यहां दूसरी किस्म की दाल की बाते हो रही हैं… है वो दाल ही पर दाल नही है…

आज  दाल की ही चर्चा है कोई कह रहा है दाल नही गल रही, तो कोई कह रहा है ये मुंह और मसूर की दाल, कोई कह रहा है दाल ही काली है तो किसी को घर की मुर्गी दाल बराबर लग रही है, कोई दाल भात मे मूसलचंद है तो कोई दाल जूतियों में बांट रहा है.. तू दाल दाल तो मैं पात पात … मैं भी देखू ऐसी कैसी दाल है जो आसमान छू रही है.. इसलिए जा रही हूं …

दाल के भाव

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7973. Harts Pass No. 269

Reading the latest news on teens and social networking... and feeling older all the time.

0 Comments on Harts Pass No. 269 as of 10/15/2015 9:32:00 AM
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7974. As a Special Favor to Deedy (but we don't want to make a habit of this)

Deedy (that's Dorothea Jensen to you) has asked us to post something from her Other Blog that pertains to her Other Kind of Writing.

We took a vote and decided to allow this. We're hoping that if we do her this favor, she'll start paying us more attention.  After all, Bizzy, Quizzy, Fizzy, and Whizzy still need to have their stories told!

The Izzy Elves

* * *

Big News! A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE is available for pre-order!

Woo hoo!

My new historical novel for young readers, A Buss from Lafayette,  can now be pre-ordered.

It will be released on April 22, 2016.

Here's the link from the publisher, BQB, where it can be purchased at a discount at this time.  Eventually there will also be pre-order/order links on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Books,  iBooks, and Kobo.  Buss will also be available from Ingram and Baker & Taylor.



0 Comments on As a Special Favor to Deedy (but we don't want to make a habit of this) as of 10/15/2015 10:50:00 AM
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7975. Planning a Novel: Character Arc In A Nutshell

It’s NaNoWriMo Season, and that means a ton of writers are planning their novels. Or, at the very least (in the case of you pantsers) thinking about their novel.

Whether you plot or pants, if you don’t want to end up in No Man’s Land halfway to 50K, it is often helpful to have a solid foundation of ideas about your book. So, let’s look at the biggie of a novel: Character Arc. If you plot, make some notes, copious notes! If you pants, spend some time mulling these over in the shower leading up to November 1st. Your characters will thank you for it!

Are you excited? I hope so. You’re about to create a new reality!

Can you imagine it, that fresh page that’s full of potential? Your main character is going to…um, do things…in your novel. A great many things! Exciting things. Dangerous things. There might even be a giant penguin with lasers shooting out of its eyes, who knows?

But here’s a fact, my writing friend…if you don’t know WHY your protagonist is doing what he’s doing, readers may not care enough to read beyond a chapter or two.

The M word…Motivation

It doesn’t matter what cool and trippy things a protagonist does in a story. If readers don’t understand the WHY behind a character’s actions, they won’t connect to him. We’re talking about Motivation, something that wields a lot of power in any story. It is the thread that weaves through a protagonist’s every thought, decision, choice and action. It propels him forward in every scene.

Because of this, the question, What does my character want? should always be in the front of your mind as you write. More importantly, as the author, you should always know the answer.

Outer Motivation – THE BIG GOAL (What does your character want?)

ONE STOP Worthy GoalsYour character must have a goal of some kind, something they are aiming to achieve. It might be to win a prestigious award, to save one’s daughter from kidnappers, or to leave an abusive husband and start a new life. Whatever goal you choose, it should be WORTHY. The reader should understand why this goal is important to the hero or heroine, and believe they deserve to achieve it.

Inner Motivation – UNFULFILLED NEEDS (Why does the protagonist want to achieve this particular goal?)

ONE STOP Character MotivationFiction should be a mirror of real life, and in the real world, HUMAN NEEDS DRIVE BEHAVIOR. Yes, for you psychology majors, I am talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Physical needs, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization are all part of what it is to be human.

If you take one of these needs away, once the lack is felt strongly enough, a person will be DRIVEN to gain it back. The need becomes so acute it can no longer be ignored–it is a hole that must be filled.

If someone was threatening your family (safety and security) what might you do to keep loved ones safe? If each day you went to a workplace where you were treated poorly by your boss (esteem), how long until you decide to look for a new job? These needs are real for us, and so they should be real for our characters. Ask yourself what is missing from your character’s life. Why do they feel incomplete? The story becomes their journey to fill this lack.

One Stop Raise The StakesOuter Conflict – THE WHO or WHAT (that stands in the way of your hero achieving his goal)

If your story has an antagonist or villain, you want to spend some solid time thinking about who they are, why they’re standing in the hero’s way, and what motivates them to do what they do.

The reason is simple…the stronger your antagonist is, the harder your hero must work to defeat him. This also means the desire of achieving the goal must outweigh any hardship you throw at your hero, otherwise he’ll give up. Quit. And if he does, you’ll have a Tragedy on your hands, not the most popular ending.

Our job as authors is to challenge our heroes, and create stakes high enough that quitting isn’t an option. Often this means personalizing the stakes, because few people willingly put their head in an oven. So make failure not an option. Give failure a steep price.

The problem is that with most stories, to fight and win, your character must change. And change is hard. Change is something most people avoid, and why? Because it means taking an honest look within and seeing one’s own flaws. It means feeling vulnerable…something most of us seek to avoid. This leads us to one of the biggest cornerstones of Character Arc.

Inner Conflict – The STRUGGLE OVER CHANGE (an internal battle between fear and desire, of staying chained to the past or to seek the future)

To achieve a big goal, it makes sense that a person has to apply themselves and attack it from a place of strength, right? Getting to that high position is never easy, not in real life, or in the fictional world. In a novel, the protagonist has to see himself objectively, and then be willing to do a bit of housecleaning.

What do I mean by that?

Characters, like people, bury pain. Emotional wounds, fears, and vulnerability are all shoved down deep, and emotional armor donned. No one wants to feel weak, and when someone takes an emotional hit after a negative experience, this is exactly what happens. They feel WEAK. Vulnerable.

The Birth of Flaws

What is emotional armor? Character Flaws. Behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that a character adopts as a result of a wounding event. Why does this happen? Because flaws minimize expectations and keep people (and therefore their ability to cause further hurt) at a distance. But in doing so, flaws create dysfunction, damage the protagonist’s relationships and prevent his personal growth. And due to their negative nature, flaws also tend to get in the way, tripping the character up and prevent him from success.

Facing Down Fear

Fear, a deeply rooted one, is at the heart of any flaw. The character believes that the same painful experience (a wound or wounds) will happen again if unchecked. This belief is a deeply embedded fear that blinds them to all else, including what is holding them back from achievement and happiness.

To move forward, the protagonist must see his flaws for what they are: negative traits that harm, not help. He must choose to shed his flaws and face his fears. By doing this, he gains perspective, and views the past in a new light. Wounds no longer hold power. False beliefs are seen for the untruths they are. The character achieves insight, internal growth, and fortified by this new set of beliefs, is able to see what must be done to move forward. They finally are free from their fear, and are ready to make the changes necessary to achieve their goal.

Why Does Character Arc Hold Such Power Over Readers?

This evolution from “something missing” to “feeling complete” is known as achieving personal growth in real life, which is why readers find Character Arc so compelling to read about. As people, we are all on a path to becoming someone better, someone more whole and complete, but it is a journey of a million steps. Watching a character achieve the very thing we all hope to is very rewarding, don’t you think?

Need a bit more help with some of the pieces of Character Arc? Try these:

Why Is Your Character’s Emotional Wound So Important?

Emotional Wounds: A List Of Common Themes

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus

The Connection Between Wounds and Basic Human Needs

Flaws, Emotional Trauma and The Character’s Wound

Make Your Hero Complex By Choosing The Right Flaws

Explaining Fears, Wounds, False Beliefs and Basic Needs

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-mediumAnd did you know…

The bestselling books, The Emotion Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus are all part of One Stop For Writers, along with many other upgraded and enhanced description collections?

You can also access many workshops and templates to help with Character Arc, or take our Character Wound & Internal Growth Generators for a spin.

Are you NaNoing this year? How is your Character Arc coming along? Let me know in the comments!



The post Planning a Novel: Character Arc In A Nutshell appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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