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Results 16,176 - 16,200 of 223,566
16176. Spotlight – Entangled Scandalous May Releases!

Today is release day for two amazing Entangled Scandalous titles and we are excited to share them with you!

All digital books are on sale for just $.99 for a limited time so be sure to pick up your copy today before they go back to full price!

About the Book
Title: The Duke’s Obsession
Author: Frances Fowlkes
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pub. Date: May 12, 2014
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

London 1818
An American Heiress Who Must Swallow Her Pride
Miss Daphne Farrington despises three things: England’s dreary weather, the grimy streets of London, and most especially the English aristocracy. Despite her misgivings, she must persuade the very English Duke of Waverly to save her family shipping business. If only she could ignore the way he makes her pulse race whenever she’s near him.
A Duke Who Must Overcome Her Prejudice
Edward Lacey, the Duke of Waverly, is convinced that the lovely Miss Farrington, with her penchant for numbers, is the woman he’d like to make his Duchess. But unless he can convince her that not all English lords are callous, calculating rakes, a dark secret will ruin his chance at happiness.
Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 5/12)
Find Frances Online:

About the Book
Title: Blood Blade Sisters Series
Author: Michelle McLean
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pub. Date: May 12, 2014
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

The Wild West just got a little wilder…

In a time when justice is hard to come by, three unconventional sisters become one notorious bandit—The Blood Blade—robbing from the corrupt lawmen to give back to the innocent.

A Bandit’s Stolen Heart
Under the persona of the bandit, Blood Blade, Cilla Richardson robs from the corrupt and gives to the poor. But an accidental kidnapping leaves her with a very handsome captive named Leo Forrester…and an idea to save her town.
A Bandit’s Broken Heart
Determined to make a fresh start with her daughter, widow Brynne Richardson gives up her bandit activities and leaves California for Boston. Working for a handsome doctor fulfills her need to be useful and independent, but he creates another yearning she can’t deny. But will he understand when she has to resurrect the Blood Blade?

A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart
Lucy Richardson’s bandit sisters may have taught her to sling a gun and pick a stubborn lock, but nothing prepared her for the agony of her first heartbreak. Her sisters taught her to fight like hell for what she wants… and she wants Finn.

All three books in the Blood Blade Series on sale for the price of two. Now that’s a steal…


Find Michelle Online:



The post Spotlight – Entangled Scandalous May Releases! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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16177. MAKING OUR OWN MARKET: Creating Our Own Publishing Houses

Wade Hudson QuoteThe kidlit world is currently abuzz with many loud, strong, and unified voices crying out, “WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS!” The cry has been made before, but this time there appears to be an organized activism accompanying the noise.

In that same activist spirit, we at The Brown Bookshelf reached out to a variety of experienced individuals involved in the creation of children’s books written and/or illustrated by African Americans and asked them to share the wisdom they have attained as they’ve worked to make sure these books not only make it to publication, but also reach the widest audience possible.

Today, on the first day of Children’s Book Week, The Brown Bookshelf adds our contribution to the movement via a series called MAKING OUR OWN MARKET. We begin with the voices of Wade and Cheryl Hudson, founders and publishers of Just Us Books, in a guest post entitled, Making A Difference Through Publishing.


Wade and Cheryl Pic

Making a Difference Through Publishing
by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson

From May1-3, 2014 in response to the #WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS campaign, Wade Hudson posted this:

“The lack of diversity in children’s books is a problem that has been around for decades. Every few years or so, someone issues a clarion call for change. But too often, very little happens other than a few weeks of heated discussions and written exchanges. Then it’s back to business as usual. Perhaps now, we will REALLY do something about the problem. Not only does the industry need to publish more children’s books that reflect our nation’s diversity, the diverse books that ARE being published need to be supported. We all must be involved in this important cause—book creators, educators, librarians, booksellers, reviewers, and of course, parents.”

We founded Just Us Books, Inc., in 1988 because we recognized how crucial it was to have books in the body of literature for children that reflected our nation’s diversity. We had already begun to address this need by writing stories and working as an art editor and art director for educational publishers. But this need became more personal when we became parents.

Just Us Books really began as a self-publishing effort. We were the authors of the first few titles. But early on we began to be recognized as a viable children’s publishing company and important to institution building in the Black community. Not only could we tell and share our own stories, but we owned and operated an institution, a business that would bring more diverse titles to the marketplace—from acquiring manuscripts, publishing them as books, getting the books to the marketplace to lifting up the importance reading.
In 2004, we started the imprint SANKOFA Books to bring classic Black-interest children’s books back into print. In 2009, with our children, Katura and Stephan, we introduced MARIMBA Books, a multicultural press.

just us books logo

marimab books logo

After more than 25 years of operating Just Us Books, we remain resolute in continuing our mission to publish books for children that are more representative of who we are as a nation. But it is also clear that after 25 years of publishing (along with the efforts of other independent publishers such as Lee & Low, Arte Publico, Cinco Puntos Press, Polychrome Press and others which are no longer in operation, as well as larger publishers) that much more still needs to be done.

From a publisher’s perspective, we know how important these books are! We have seen the faces of African-American children light up when they see the African-American children on the cover of Bright Eyes, Brown Skin. We know that there are black youngsters who have become more interested in reading after having been introduced to books in the Kid Caramel series or the NEATE series. Many children have been engaged by the relatable story and characters in The Secret Olivia Told Me.

bright eyes coverkid caramel cover

The Secret Cover


Children of color need books that offer them the opportunity to see themselves reflected in books. White children—all children really—need to be exposed to books that help them see the world as it really is, peopled by different ethnic, gendered, cultural and racial groups, people with whom they must interact. Children’s books are great vehicles for helping children understand their communities and their world. And they can be fun and entertaining.

Here are a few other reasons why diverse books are important:

1. A more diverse body of children’s literature confirms that we live in a global village and that the world is pluralistic and made up of many different kinds of people.

2. They help to develop self-esteem in all children through inclusion rather than exclusion.

3. They provide knowledge and information about people from all parts of the world.

4. Diverse books can change the way children and young people look at their own particular society and the world by offering varying perspectives or different ways of viewing the same situations.

5. They can promote/develop an appreciation for diversity in all of its facets.

6. They can help children think critically and to ask questions.

7. Like all literature, multicultural titles can provide enjoyment and appreciation for unity and variety in the human experience.

8. They can reflect the cultural diversity within the classroom and community

9. They can provide positive role models.

10. They can create a bridge between student’s real-life experiences and intellectual learning.

Conrad CoverWhat did abuela say coverPlaces I love to go cover







The #WENEEDMOREDIVERSEBOOKS social media buzz has been great for creating awareness. But creating awareness has happened before. In a September 11, 1965 edition of the Saturday Review, librarian Nancy Larrick highlighted the issue in an article titled “The All-White World of Children’s Books.” Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, a professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, addressed it in “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” originally published in Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom. Vol. 6, no. 3. Summer 1990. Walter Dean Myers, whose recent article in the New York Times has generated heated discussion, wrote about the lack of diversity in children’s books in a November 9, 1986 article titled, “I Actually Thought We Would Revolutionize the Industry,” also published in the New York Times. Many others have added their voices to the clarion call for more books that reflect our diversity.


It is crucial that these discussions translate into concrete actions that really make a difference in advancing the cause of a more diverse offering of books for children and young adults. We believe this time that will happen.

We would like to share a few things that all of us can do to help advance the cause of equity and inclusion in our body of children’s literature.

“Imagine if we all made a year-round commitment to:

1. Each year, introduce 10 different children’s books that reflect our nation’s diversity to educators, librarians, bookstore managers, and parents—anyone who has the influence and/or power to help increase the number of these diverse books within the body of children’s literature.

2. Purchase at least 5 of these books to share with children other than our own— whether they are our neighbors’, friends’ or co-workers’ children; children at our places of worship or local youth organizations; or for donation to other organizations in our communities.

3. Give at least 2 or 3 of these books to children who might not normally have diverse books in their homes.

4. Make a special effort to buy some of these books from independent publishers, bookstores and vendors—particularly those operated by people of color.

5. Lift up the importance of having books that reflect our nation’s diversity at every opportunity we have—not just within our circles but outside our ‘diverse circles’ too.”


Together, we can produce and get more diverse books into the hands of as many people as possible. They are sorely needed in a country that has become more polarized and whose schools, in too many cities and towns, remain extremely segregated.



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16178. SEVEN Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 5/12 - 5/18


* * * *

by Debra Driza
Signed Full Series Giveaway
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/13/2014

There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

Purchase Renegade at Amazon
Purchase Renegade at IndieBound
View Renegade on Goodreads

* * * *

Free to Fall
by Lauren Miller
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Harper Teen
Released 5/13/2014

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Free to Fall?

I think my favorite thing about this story is how philosophical it is! On one level, it's this really fast-paced, conspiracies everywhere techno thriller. But just beneath that are deeply philosophical questions about free will and the human spirit and the nature of happiness. When the story opens, Rory, my main character, has just been accepted into Theden Academy, a boarding school modeled after the Platonic Academies of Ancient Greece. Theden is this really cool mix of the future and the past. The technology in the classrooms is all crazy cutting-edge, but the substance of the education is very old-school, and what Rory learns in the classroom -- Socratic-style lessons about rationality and logic and happiness -- begins to have deeper meaning as her life begins to unravel. Her worldview is shaped by what she's been learning, and that worldview colors the narrative for the reader. The result, I think, is that we experience Rory's journey as a sort-of microcosm of humanity's journey down a road that will eventually fork, forcing the journeyman -- whether that's society as a whole, Rory, each reader -- to choose which path to take. I love this deeper layer. The substance beneath the surface. And really, that's what Free to Fall is all about. Asking difficult questions and questioning the answers.

Purchase Free to Fall at Amazon
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View Free to Fall on Goodreads

* * * *

Searching for Sky
by Jillian Cantor
Hardcover Giveaway
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/13/2014

Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Searching for Sky?

What I enjoyed most about writing Searching for Sky was thinking about the world from my main character Sky’s point of view. In the book Sky has grown up on a deserted island, so she knows about survival: fishing and hunting and starting fires, but she has no sense of the modern world. When she’s rescued in the beginning of the book and taken to California to live with a grandmother she has never met, she’s seeing everything in our modern world for the first time: cell phones, cars, light switches, even toilets. I enjoyed thinking about and describing what our world would look like through her eyes and thinking about how scary and foreign modern technology (and even the concept of Google!) would appear to someone like Sky.

Purchase Searching for Sky at Amazon
Purchase Searching for Sky at IndieBound
View Searching for Sky on Goodreads

* * * *

The Lovely and the Lost
by Page Morgan
Hardcover Giveaway
Delacorte Press
Released 5/13/2014

Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city's bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.

Purchase The Lovely and the Lost at Amazon
Purchase The Lovely and the Lost at IndieBound
View The Lovely and the Lost on Goodreads

* * * *

The Secrets of Tree Taylor
by Dandi Daley Mackall
Hardcover Giveaway
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 5/13/2014

Thirteen-year-old Tree Taylor has two goals for the summer of '63:

1. Experience her first real kiss. A kiss delivered by a boy. A boy who is not related to her. A kiss worth writing about.
2. Become a famous writer. (Or, at least, write an investigative article that will land her the freshman spot on the Blue and Gold staff.)

So when a gunshot is fired right across the street, Tree knows this is the big story she's been waiting for. But the more she goes digging, the more secrets she uncovers, and soon she begins to wonder: When is it important to expose the truth? And when is it right to keep a secret?

Purchase The Secrets of Tree Taylor at Amazon
Purchase The Secrets of Tree Taylor at IndieBound
View The Secrets of Tree Taylor on Goodreads

* * * *

The Sound
by Sarah Alderson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 5/13/2014

A British nanny looking for a low-key summer finds buried secrets, murderous attention, and unexpected romance when she visits the Nantucket Sound.

The Nantucket Sound is a beachfront playground for the privileged and elite, where the sunny days are filled with scenic bike rides, backyard picnics, and bonfire parties.

But all Ren Kingston—a visiting Brit still reeling from heartbreak—really wants is a quiet summer as a nanny for one of Nantucket’s wealthy families. Getting acquainted with handsome Jeremy and his young group of trust fund, private school kids was not part of the plan. Neither was befriending the local bad boy whose reputation is more dangerous than charming.

After a dead body is found next to The Sound’s postcard-perfect view, Ren starts to wonder where the real threat lies. Because it’s becoming clear that her newfound “friends” are much more than they seem. They’re hiding secrets. Secrets that Ren wants no part of.

But once The Sound has you in its current, it won’t want to let you go…

Purchase The Sound at Amazon
Purchase The Sound at IndieBound
View The Sound on Goodreads

* * * *

There Will Come a Time
by Carrie Arcos
Paperback Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 5/13/2014

Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.

Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.

As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.

Purchase There Will Come a Time at Amazon
Purchase There Will Come a Time at IndieBound
View There Will Come a Time on Goodreads


* * * *

Chantress Alchemy
by Amy Butler Greenfield
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 5/6/2014

Winner - Marlene Moss

Since defeating Lord Scargrave with her music, Lucy, the last Chantress, has lived by the sea, mastering the intricacies of Wild Magic. But now her quiet life is about to end: the wheat crop has failed, the people are rebelling, and Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry IX’s court. There she finds the Inner Council planning to save England by making gold through alchemy. But the golden crucible — the critical element in the alchemical process — has been stolen, its guards murdered. Lucy is charged with finding the traitor behind the attack.

Meanwhile, enemies old and new are gathering. Scargrave's brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry's closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Worst of all, something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart — a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all.

Amy Butler Greenfield returns to the beguiling world of Chantress for a suspenseful tale of courtly intrigue, music, and magic in Chantress Alchemy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Chantress Alchemy?

I knew it would be fun to write about characters I’d loved from the first book, especially Lucy and Nat. But I was completely taken by surprise by how wonderful it was to write about brand new characters! Three in particular stand out for me. The first is Lord Gabriel, a striking young courtier with an elegant air, a gift for alchemy, and a fine line in heart-tugging flirtation. The second is Sybil, an amiable young beauty who claims to be Lucy’s long-lost friend; she was raised by a half-mad mother with Chantress connections. Finally, there’s Margery, a servant girl with a chilly air who’s hiding a few secrets of her own.
Sometimes it takes a while to make a character come alive, but I’d have sworn these were real people right from the start. Often I felt I was taking dictation from them, rather than writing – and as any writer will tell you, that is truly a gift!

Purchase Chantress Alchemy at Amazon
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View Chantress Alchemy on Goodreads

* * * *

Killer Instinct
by Shannon Green
Simon Pulse
Released 5/6/2014

Winner - Rachel Bostick

She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Killer Instinct?

When I wrote Killer Instinct, I wrote with a freedom I’ve never experienced. I wrote with a total lack of restriction. I went into the project knowing I wanted to create, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, and I wanted to take a chance. It was a liberating process.

Before Killer Instinct I never imagined I would write a torture scene or a castration scene (albeit both justified, I never imagined!).

So what is my favorite thing about Killer Instinct? The writing progression itself. Definitely. It opened this valve in me and now I don’t want to close it. I’m ready to take more chances!

Purchase Killer Instinct at Amazon
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View Killer Instinct on Goodreads

* * * *

Only Everything
by Kieran Scott
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 5/6/2014

Winner - Alice Atorly

High school romance is tough—even for a bona fide love goddess. Can Cupid succeed as a mortal matchmaker?

When Eros (aka Cupid) is expelled from Olympus for defying Zeus after falling in love with Orion, she is banished to what she believes to be hell. We call it New Jersey. If she ever wants to go back to the comforts of her old life, she will have to find love for three couples—without using her powers.

Eros, now calling herself True, immediately identifies her first project in Charlie and believes finding him love will be a piece of cake. Charlie is new at school and eager to break out of his old image of band geek, so it’s lucky for him when he falls in with the right crowd on his first day. But music is still his passion. That is, until he meets Katrina...

Katrina is floundering after the death of her father and takes refuge with a boy who, while not entirely supportive, will be there when she needs him, unlike her mother. Too bad True thinks any girl Charlie talks to is perfect for him. Can she get out of her own way and help Charlie and Katrina connect, or will she be stuck in New Jersey forever?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Only Everything?

My favorite thing about Only Everything is the protagonist, True Olympia, who is one of the coolest, quirkiest, funniest and most headstrong characters I’ve ever written. She’s actually, Eros, the Goddess of Love, but has been banished to Earth as punishment for ignoring her duties and falling in love with a human, Orion. In order to get back to Mount Olympus and to save Orion’s life, she must match three couples without her powers. At first, she thinks it’s going to be no problem—she’s been doing this since the dawn of time—but it turns out that being mortal is trickier than she imagined. I had so much fun coming up with the aspects of mortal life that might trip up a Goddess, like the concept of ownership. Usually she can conjure whatever she wants, so she goes around school taking people’s food off their plates and their sunglasses from their lockers, thinking it’s no big deal. She also doesn’t know how to dress or groom herself (Oh my Gods! Is that a zit?), and alcohol and food have negative affects on her body for the first time ever. Girl is a train-wreck, basically, when she’s used to being a flawless, all-mighty Goddess. Plus matching couples without being able to read their hearts and minds proves to be a big challenge. Hopefully readers will enjoy watching the formerly powerful True falter and trip up and learn a few things about life.

Purchase Only Everything at Amazon
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View Only Everything on Goodreads


* * * *

Life by Committee
by Corey Ann Haydu
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/13/2014

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Life by Committee?

My favorite part of my second novel is the character Sasha Cotton. I wanted to capture a very specific type of girl to be my main character, Tabitha's foil. I didn't want your average enemy-- the kind that has hurt you and is mean to you and that you hate for those reasons. I wanted a character for Tabitha to be jealous of and pained by even though Sasha never actually does anything to her. I wanted to capture something more complicated and, in my experience at least, common. Obsessing about someone and hating someone who you desperately wish you could be more like. Mistaking truly deep envy for distaste or anger.

Sasha Cotton feels full and real to me, and I don't feel that I've seen many characters like her in YA fiction. She's spacey and sexy and unusual and sad and needy and dreamy. She's everything Tabitha could never be. And she exposes something ugly in Tabitha, which makes her even more exciting to me. Some people are catalysts-- not necessarily of actions, but of feelings. Some of them bring out the very best of us and some bring out our very worst. I wanted to write a character who would stir of the very worst in Tabitha. And I wanted her to be somewhat unassuming. Not cruel. Not flashy. Just quirky enough to drive someone crazy.

Purchase Life by Committee at Amazon
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View Life by Committee on Goodreads

* * * *

Nantucket Red
by Leila Howland
Released 5/13/2014

Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Nantucket Red?

My favorite thing about NANTUCKET RED is how much Cricket grows over the course of the book. She starts out believing that a certain path is the only path. As she encounters a series of challenges and makes mistakes, however, she begins to see that life and love are a lot less black and white than she'd thought. As a writer, I loved creating obstacles for Cricket. She's so determined and full of heart that I knew she could handle whatever I threw at her, and I wasn't gentle. That's the thing about genuine growth; it's never easy. Of course, I had to sweeten the deal for my dear girl by providing a gorgeous summer backdrop, idyllic New England beaches, moments of pure joy, and some really, really good kissing!

Purchase Nantucket Red at Amazon
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View Nantucket Red on Goodreads

* * * *

Signed, Skye Harper
by Carol Lynch Williams
Simon & Schuster
Released 5/13/2014

In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping."

Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn't even make her old. But a "just fine" life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a "borrowed" motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Signed, Skye Harper?

My favorite thing about Signed, Skye Harper is: It's a little quirky, it's all about true love and it was fun to write. I have my best dog in there (she died almost two years ago), my best agent (he is alive and well), a mom who left, a one-legged rooster and a stolen vehicle.

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* * * *

by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Delacorte Press
Released 5/13/2014

Vance Ehecatl was raised with every luxury he could imagine in a beautiful greenhouse within the powerful empire of Midnight. Vampires are the only guardians Vance has ever known since he was abandoned by his shapeshifter family as a baby quetzal, and he is grateful to them for generously providing for all of his needs. When an act of violence forces Vance from his sheltered home, he is startled to meet Malachi Obsidian, a fellow shapeshifter with conflicting ideas about Midnight and its leader, Mistress Jeshickah.

Malachi claims Vance is a bloodwitch, who Jeshickah and her trainers, Jaguar and Taro, are trying to control. Vance doesn't know anything about the rare and destructive magic Malachi says he possesses, and he can't believe Jeshickah would use it to hurt others. But when his friends begin falling ill, Vance starts to realize his perfect world may not be as flawless as it seems. Now Vance must decide who to trust—the vampires he's always relied upon, or the shapeshifters who despise them.

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* * * *

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend
by Katie Finn
Feiwel & Friends
Released 5/13/2014

Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

Purchase Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend at Amazon
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View Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend on Goodreads

* * * *

Everything Leads to You
by Nina Lacour
Dutton Juvenile
Released 5/15/2014

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic?. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Purchase Everything Leads to You at Amazon
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View Everything Leads to You on Goodreads

* * * *

Girl in Reverse
by Barbara Stuber
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 5/13/2014

When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so Lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and fear of “commies” everywhere, Lily’s Asian heritage makes her a target. She is sick of the racism she faces, a fact her adoptive parents won’t take seriously. For Lily, war is everywhere—the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin.

Then her brainy little brother, Ralph, finds a box hidden in the attic. In it are a baffling jumble of broken antiques—clues to her past left by her “Gone Mom.” Lily and Ralph attempt to match these fragments with rare Chinese artifacts at the art museum. She encounters the artistic genius Elliot James, who attracts and infuriates Lily as he tries to draw out the beauty of her golden heritage. Will Lily summon the courage to confront her own remarkable creation story? The real story, and one she can know only by coming face-to-face with the truth long buried within the people she thought she knew best.

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* * * *

Of Neptune
by Anna Banks
Feiwel & Friends
Released 5/13/2014

Emma and Galen s kingdom and their love is threatened by long-lost Syrena in the brilliant conclusion to Anna Banks bestselling trilogy.

Emma, half human and half Syrena, and her Syrena love, Galen, need time together alone. Away from the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. Emma s grandfather, the Poseidon king, suggests the two visit a small town called Neptune.

Neptune is home to both Syrena and Half-Breeds alike. But Emma and Galen didn t sign up to be peacemakers between the ocean and the land-dwelling, freshwater Syrena. They didn t bargain for meeting a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. And they especially didn t expect to find themselves in the middle of a power struggle that threatens not only their love but their ocean kingdoms.

In this stunning conclusion to her bestselling Syrena Legacy, Anna Banks thrills fans with more action and romance than ever.

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View Of Neptune on Goodreads

* * * *

by Amy Tintera
Harper Teen
Released 5/13/2014

The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can't-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

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* * * *

Second Star
by Alyssa B. Scheinmel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 5/13/2014

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Purchase Second Star at Amazon
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View Second Star on Goodreads

* * * *

Second Star
by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Farrar, Straus and Girroux
Released 5/13/2014

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Purchase Second Star at Amazon
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View Second Star on Goodreads

* * * *

Subway Love
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Released 5/13/2014

What if destiny leads you to your soul mate, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart?

If her parents had never divorced, Laura wouldn’t have to live in the shadow of Bruce, her mom’s unpredictable boyfriend. Her mom wouldn’t say things like "Be groovy," and Laura wouldn’t panic every weekend on the way to Dad’s Manhattan apartment. But when Laura spots a boy on a facing platform, lifting a camera to his face, looking right at her, Laura feels anything but afraid, and she can’t forget him. Jonas, meanwhile, thinks nonstop about the pretty hippie girl he glimpsed on the platform — trying to comprehend how she vanished, but mostly wondering whether he will see her again in a city of millions — and whether if he searches, he would have any chance of finding her. In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason.

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* * * *

The A-Word
by Joy Preble
Soho Teen
Released 5/13/2014

Jenna Samuels is about to turn fifteen. It's been almost a year since her stoner brother, Casey, bit the dust. Almost a year since he returned as her guardian angel, along with his "angel boss," Amber Velasco, the hot twenty-something former EMT. Almost a year since Casey and Amber used up their one-time-only angel power of flight to save Jenna from the evil Dr. Renfroe, swooping down to catch her as she tumbled off the balcony at the Houston Galleria. In short, a lot of A-word shenanigans and a mostly happy ending.

Except now Casey's begun to wonder why he's still hanging around—not that he minds protecting Jenna. She's a handful, but there's got to be a bigger picture, right? Something to distract him from his on again/off again, doomed relationship with cheerleader Lanie Phelps, who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead. After all, he can't use his angel wings anymore. Neither can Amber.

Enter Bo Shivers, Amber's "angel boss"a mysterious A-word guy Jenna and Casey didn't even know existed. Whiskey-guzzling. Handsome in a grizzled way. Unpredictable. Okay, make that crazy. Bo lost his angel wings in an earthly flight a long, long, long time back—and he's been a thorn in Angel Management's side ever since. But Bo knows something is coming. Something big. Something that was worth forfeiting wings for Jenna... something that might just change everything for everyone.

Purchase The A-Word at Amazon
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* * * *

The Secrets of Lily Graves
by Sarah Strohmeyer
Balzer + Bray
Released 5/13/2014

With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

Purchase The Secrets of Lily Graves at Amazon
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View The Secrets of Lily Graves on Goodreads

* * * *

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Released 5/13/2014

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Purchase We Were Liars at Amazon
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16179. Meet Caroline Graves from To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain and Giveaway!


[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Caroline!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Caroline] Seems to have it all.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in your life?

[Caroline] Since my cousin/companion/friend, Frances, married last year, my typical day has changed. I used to laze about while she handled my correspondence. Callers would visit in the afternoon, and Frannie would make sure everyone was comfortable while I chatted. In the evening, a ball during the season or a card party during the quieter months. I did not, and do not, care to be alone.

Without Frannie, I’m alone far more than I would wish. Would you expect that of me, one of the ton’s most popular widows? But I think—I know—they care more for my money than me.

Never mind that. I should not have said that. A typical day? Why—one with a party, of course! And many callers, and flowers, and a new gown to wear in the evening if I am fortunate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Michael?

[Caroline] Stubborn. SO Stubborn.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Why is the idea of marrying again so disagreeable to you?

[Caroline] Whyever would I wish to marry again? I have control over my own fortune, and any suitor would wish to take that from me. Indeed, it’s the reason they all court me. I smile at them and accept their flowers, but I would much prefer they be honest about what they were after.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Caroline] I would not change anything. Some parts of my life have been difficult: I shouldered into society with no fortune; I’ve survived a scandal featuring a Duke Who Shall Not Be Named; I married for gain. Everything I have, I scraped through and won with my wits and charm and the good fortune of a pretty face. I would not take away from the present by changing my past.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Caroline] I used never to leave home without Frannie, who was the one person I could always count on for honesty and frankness. I’ve no one to trust now but myself, so I suppose I never leave home without taking a long and searching look in the glass first. I have a reputation to maintain, and that includes keeping up the right appearance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Caroline] More of the same…maybe?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Caroline] It’s my pleasure, Julie. And might I say, your electrical page’s purple touches are lovely. One of my favorite shades! So flattering to the complexion.

Can a reclusive duke…

Brilliant but rumored mad, Michael Layward, the impoverished Duke of Wyverne, has no success courting heiresses until widowed Lady Stratton takes up his cause—after first refusing his suit.

Win London’s most powerful countess?

Caroline Graves, the popular Countess of Statton, sits alone at the pinnacle of London society and has vowed never to remarry. When Michael—her counterpart in an old scandal—returns to town after a long absence, she finds herself as enthralled with him as ever. As she guides the anxiety-ridden duke through the trials of London society, Caroline realizes that she’s lost her heart. But if she gives herself to the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll lose the hard won independence she prizes above all.

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

US addresses only, please

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The post Meet Caroline Graves from To Charm a Naughty Countess by Theresa Romain and Giveaway! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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16180. Content Marketing – Take Blogging Up a Notch (It's More Than Just Writing Text)

A large part of your content marketing strategy should be blogging.  Marketing studies found that people trust bloggers more than companies, including social media sites, such as Facebook. This gives bloggers a great platform to inform, engage, and sell. It gives bloggers influence. Along with influence, blogging has five primary benefits: 1. If your content is ‘quality,’ it will catch the

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16181. 4 Classic School Visit Questions, by Piers Torday

I believe that children, especially primary school age children, are the most restlessly creative and imaginative human beings alive. Dragons who hate going to the dentist, parrots who have learned to fly underwater, and pandas who turn pineapples into hats are just a few of the recent inspiring creations from some of my creative writing workshops in schools.

Dana Fradon (New Yorker, 1953)

But they are also children, which means they are not always either aware of this huge imaginative potential, or equipped to access it on demand or under pressure. And of course, as children, they lack the emotional maturity, craft or life experience to do much with it - but that doesn't invalidate the strength of the imagination.

Left to their own devices, an arm curved round a piece of paper and a pen in their hand, endless improvised drawings and visualisations tumble forth with an unselfconscious energy that most adults - whether they are engaged in a creative industry or not - would envy. Every school visit for me proves Baudelaire right - "Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will."

Baudelaire looking at his most unchild friendly

However in school visits, this genius (quite understandably) often deserts children, when after forty minutes or so of authorial prancing round, they are asked to function like dull grown ups at a literary festival and "ask me a question".

Too often, this places the discourse no longer in the world of castle in the clouds world of make-believe and stories, but in the constant over-the-shoulder looking world of careers, worry, tested expectation and obsessive productivity that our current cultural system irrevocably steers most human beings towards. And so, they try to function accordingly, and I'm sure many of you will have heard the questions below.

I always answer them as truthfully and as honestly as I can, because it is impossible on such brief acquaintance to separate the earnest and authentic enquiry by the next J K Rowling from the unthinking auto-response nervously asked on rote. But here are some more alternative replies I dream of on the bus back.

1) How long did it take you to write your book?

I wrote this book in forty seconds while my demon wrapped a girdle around the world 


I have been labouring on this tome since the dawn of time, when beings as yet unknown to man appeared in the sacred flame, whispering the collective knowledge of the last great civilization, and bid me decode them for your permanent improvement.

2) Do you know any celebrities?

I wouldn't say I know that many celebrities, but put it this way - Harry Styles is my chauffeur.

Harry Styles
Harry Styles has recently abandoned a successful pop career to drive children's authors to school visits.

3) How much do you get paid?

Every week, the Aka Khan, the world's richest man no-one has heard of, sends me a private jet laden with jewels and treasure beyond your imagining from his vaults, such is the value he places on children's literature.

4) Are you going to write any more books?

I will write as the muse dictates. Whether it be a book a week, or a book every quarter of century, the volume is irrelevant - what counts is the power of the story and love for life, the world and all she has to offer contained within its pages.

But of course - every fifth question can be a gem. What's the most unexpected thing you've been asked on a school visit, and what did you reply?

I think my favourite is still the boy who said "Could you make your next book a bit shorter?"

Piers Torday

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16182. Weekend Links: Tons of Wonderful Children’s Reading Links!

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weekend links

Oh my! What a fun Weekend Links this will be! I don’t know if it’s because Spring is in the air and the flowers are a bloomin’ here in TN, but this week has been chocked full of amazing information concerning summer reading, multicultural books and great reading lists for kids. So exciting!

As always, I’ve combed through the hundreds of amazing articles out there and brought you the best of the best (in my opinion). So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some great kidlit-inspired reading ideas for kids!


The Multiracial Population Is Growing, But Kid Lit Isn’t Keeping Up: School Library Journal

2014 Books from Caldecott Winners: 100ScopeNotes


9780763658069 787a4 454x500 2014 Books from Caldecott Winners


Middle Reader Summer Reading List from PrettyOpinionated

Middle grade summer reading

22 Awesome Submissions From The #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign



@KCEdventures 15 Amazing Vintage Summer Reads for Kids -Encourage Learning with Kids

15 Vintage Summer Books for Kids

From My Backyard Summer Reading List: Reading Rockets

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss


Needs some summer reading ideas?  10 to Note: Summer Preview 2014 from 100 ScopeNotes

image 500x375 10 to Note: Summer Preview 2014

What great kid-reading inspired links did YOU find this week?

**Don’t Forget! Children’s Book Week starts May 12th!


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The post Weekend Links: Tons of Wonderful Children’s Reading Links! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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16183. Enhance Your Picture Book Writing With Poetry.

Picture Book Writer, and workshop presenter extraordinaire, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan is hosting a web-based workshop on using poetic techniques in Picture Book writing.   This 5 week, interactive and flexible e-Course is unlike anything else for enhancing the art of picture book writing.  The course begins on MAY 19, 2014.  To register and check out the details: Poetry Course Flyer.

Here’s the link to  the website and program: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-great-discounts-pleasures-and-craft-of-poetic-techniques.html

You can visit Sudipta at her website: http://www.sudipta.com


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16184. Review and Giveaway–Vampire’s Thirst by Cynthia Garner

Today I have a review of Vampire’s Thirst, as well as an ebook giveaway, and an awesome tourwide giveaway.  Check it out!

May Contain Spoilers

After reading Vampire’s Hunger, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Vampire’s Thirst.  I’m pleased to report that my harshest criticism of the book is reserved for the cover, which I can’t stand to look at, and  I was so glad I read this on my Kindle so I didn’t have to gaze at all.  Maybe I am jealous that the guy has bigger breasts than I do.  Maybe it’s the weird shadows that make me want to give this guy a support bra.  And what is up with the complete lack of chest hair on cover models?  Bleh!


Moving right along, Vampire’s Thirst did not suffer from the awkwardness that is the cover.  This book rocked!  Better still, I read part of it during a power outage, and was scared to death when Dean suddenly loomed out of the darkness in front of me.  Needless to say, even the neighbors heard my shriek of fright.  Sorry!

While the book isn’t really that frightening, the threat of a zombie horde lurking outside Duncan’s vampire enclave made for tense reading.  The story picks up shortly after the events in Vampire’s Hunger.  Duncan is the vampire king, Atticus is his second in command, and the vampires are sheltering a small band of human survivors.  There is dissention in the ranks, and some of the less intelligent humans are resentful that they aren’t allowed to go to the park to toss a ball around.  Instead, they are confined in the vampire enclave, where they are feed, given numerous outlets for entertainment, and have access to all of the comforts of home.  Their only expected payment – they have to give blood to an assigned vampire partner once a week.  Sounds like a deal to me!  The vampires are in charge of security, scavenging for food for their human guests, and even locating doctors just in case one of the humans gets sick.  Duncan is learning that being the vampire king is a huge headache, especially with the rebellious humans giving everyone a hard time.

Kimber is struggling to contain the darkness that has slipped inside her.  A malevolent thread of the Unseen is giving her no end of grief.  It thirsts for power, and she fears that she won’t be able to contain it.  After a near disastrous encounter with a group of zombies, where she leaches away some of Atticus’ power, she finds herself the object of fear as the vampires realize that she could quite possibly suck away their life essence.  Whoa!  I thought it was so cool that Kimber was so strong, and so unpredictable.   The Unseen wrecks havoc for her, and she finds it both empowering and frightening.  What if she accidently kills Duncan because she can’t control the hunger inside of her?

Despite her reservations, Kimber is certain that she can end the zombie apocalypse with her new power.  She just has to convince Duncan that she can keep herself and her ever increasing flares of aggression under control.  To test her theory, she’s going to need the help of other necromancers, as well as a someone to channel their powers.  Can she convince anyone to risk their lives to help her end the zombie apocalypse, a plague that she, and everyone else,  believes she started in the first place?  Ugh!  Poor Kimber!  The guilt was driving her just as crazy as the nasty bit of Unseen hitchhiking inside her.

While there is a lot of zombie fighting, most of the story is character driven.  The small group of survivors has to learn to get along, and more importantly, learn to trust each other.  After Kimber’s accident with Atticus, even Duncan is leery of her.  With a heavy heart, Kimber has to win back Duncan’s trust, as well as put an end to the zombies.  She doesn’t want to live her life trapped in the vampire enclave, constantly worrying about finding supplies or being overrun by the walking dead. She’s incredibly brave, always willing to put herself at risk to save everyone else.  I really liked Kimber, even when the Unseen was scrambling her emotions and making her act out of character.   I loved the tension her unpredictability created.

If you enjoy paranormal romances, Vampire’s Thirst might be right up your alley. I admit that I am biased because I love, love, love zombie apocalypse stories.  I don’t get sick of them, and constantly seek new ones out to read.  If I have one minor complaint about Vampire’s Thirst, it’s that the sexy times started to seem like filler, and I got tired of those scenes after a while.  I would have rather read more zombie battles than one more bedroom tango, but your mileage will vary.


VAMPIRE’S THIRST by Cynthia Garner (May 6, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99)

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, civilization no longer exists, and only the strongest survive. The few remaining humans must band together with supernatural beings to battle unspeakable evil-or all hope will be lost.

After accidentally starting the zombie apocalypse, Kimber Treat now lives with her vampire lover in a compound where humans and vampires live together peacefully. A gifted necromancer who can summon the dead, Kimber is beyond happy when she learns she’s pregnant. But as her body changes, Kimber fears that her powers are being influenced by evil, a fact she must keep from everyone, including Duncan . . .

Duncan MacDonnough is preoccupied with his new role as leader of the local vampire conclave, but not so preoccupied that he doesn’t notice that Kimber is acting strangely. She’s grown distant, and Duncan is convinced she’s hiding something. Duncan knows the key to stopping the apocalypse is Kimber’s powers, but using them puts her life at risk. With the threat from the Zombie outbreak looming, will Kimber and Duncan learn to trust each other once more to save themselves, their unborn child, and the rest of the world?

About the author:

Cynthia Garner discovered her love for writing when her sixth grade teacher told the class to write a story that began “It was a dark and stormy night…” With that Cynthia’s love for all things paranormal was born.  When she’s not working her day job as a mostly mild-mannered Human Resources Manager, she’s on her laptop writing or playing way too much Solitaire. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Cynthia now lives in the desert Southwest.

Social Media Links:





Buy Links:


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Duncan watched Kimber tend to the wounds she inflicted and wondered at her attitude. This was the second time they’d made love in the last few days, and both times he’d seen her struggle to contain a new level of aggression. She wouldn’t talk to him about it, though, and it was making him crazy. How could he be an effective leader if he couldn’t even help his own lover?

He waited until she’d capped the bottle of peroxide and set the first-aid kit on the bedside table before he said, “Talk to me, Kimber. Tell me what’s going on with you.”

She heaved a sigh and got to her feet. Going over to his dresser, she pulled out one of his T-shirts and slipped it over her head. She usually wasn’t uncomfortable being nude around him, so her action told him what they were about to deal with wasn’t going to be pleasant. Was she tired of being with him? Had he been too dominant in their lovemaking?

“Kimber?” The waiting was hell on his nerves.

“The day before yesterday, when we went out for tampons?” She glanced at him. When he nodded, she went on. “You know on our way back we were attacked by zombies.”

“Yes, Atticus told me. I came up here to see how you were doing, but you were already asleep. I didn’t want to wake you. Then you were gone later that night when I woke up.” He watched her to gauge her reaction.

She gave a slight wince. “Yes, well, I had things to do.” She waved one hand in the air. “That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that when we were fighting the zombies, I stumbled, and when I flung out my arm to try to keep my balance, I ended up grabbing hold of Atticus.” She looked at him. “Atticus didn’t tell you any of this?”

He frowned. “He told me you had to fight zombies, that you were successful, and everyone was all right. Was there more he should have told me?”

She shook her head. “No. I mean, there was more, but I asked him to let me tell you.” She blew out a breath. “When I grabbed him, I drew energy from him and it allowed me to push the Unseen out of the zombies. You should have seen them drop to the ground.”

“You did what?” He straightened from his slouched position against the headboard. He couldn’t have heard her right. She attacked his second-in-command?

“I didn’t do it on purpose,” she said. “He must have seen me stumble and reached out to help me at the same time I flung my hand out. Once I had hold of him and the power transfer started, I couldn’t let go. I tried, Duncan.” Her eyes went round and pleading, and her lower lip got a slight tremble to it. “It hurt, just like before, but it…” She clamped her jaw shut.

“It what?”

“It felt good, too. It was power, and it was mine.” She began to pace the room, her hands gesturing wildly. “This could be something big, Duncan. If all necromancers have this ability, we could end the apocalypse.”

He got off the bed and pulled on his jeans. “And just how many vampires do you propose we sacrifice?”

She came to a stop and stared at him. “It wouldn’t have to be a sacrifice. I didn’t kill Atticus.”

“But you came close, didn’t you? Or you could have,” he amended. At her stubborn expression, he said, “I know you, Kimber. I know the kind of power you have. Plus you have some of the Unseen in you. How did that affect what happened with Atticus? Or did it happen with Atticus because of the Unseen in you?”

Her shoulders slumped. “I don’t know.”

He studied her for a minute, then left the bedroom. He strode through the living room and yanked open the door to the hallway. “Find Atticus and bring him here,” he said to the guards. Without waiting for a response, he closed the door. When he turned around, he saw Kimber standing in front of the sofa, twisting her fingers together. She’d pulled on her jeans but still wore his T-shirt.

Her auburn hair, tousled and silky-looking, cascaded around her shoulders. “I didn’t do it on purpose, Duncan,” she whispered. Her teeth dug into her lower lip. “I wouldn’t do something like that. You have to believe me.”

“I’d like to believe you, sweetheart. I would.” He walked over and put his hands on her shoulders, giving them a slight squeeze. “But I’ve seen how you’ve changed. I’ve seen you fight whatever is rising in you. I think if a situation presented itself and you believed taking energy from a vampire was the only solution, I’m not sure you could stop yourself.”

A knock sounded on the door, and it swung open to reveal Atticus.

“Come in,” Duncan invited. When the door closed behind his second-in-command, Duncan said, “Kimber just told me what happened on your way back from the drugstore.”

Atticus shot a glance her way but said nothing.

“This is a serious development,” Duncan went on, “and poses a potential threat to all vampires. I want all necromancers under guard until further notice. Let everyone know they’re considered dangerous and should not be touched under any circumstances.”

Atticus inclined his head. “Understood and agreed.” With another glance at Kimber, he departed.

“Does that include me?” Kimber asked, her voice hard. “Am I to be kept under guard? Am I not to be touched?”

He clenched his teeth. “If you’re not with me, then, yes, you will have a guard. And anyone else will be advised not to touch you, but you and I will definitely be skin to skin, sweetheart. You can count on that.”

“Don’t be so sure,” she said. “I’m not just any other necromancer, Duncan. I’m the woman who loves you. The woman you claim to love.” Her fists clenched at her sides and he had the distinct impression she was fighting throwing a punch at him. After a few seconds she let out a little growl and headed back toward the bedroom. Over her shoulder she threw out, “You’re treating me like a monster. The way I’m feeling right now, that might be an accurate assessment. You might not be safe from me.”

Enter the giveaways below!

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The post Review and Giveaway–Vampire’s Thirst by Cynthia Garner appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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16185. Mailbox Monday - 5/12/14

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do).    

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday.

Every week Mailbox Monday will have a new linky posted for our Mailbox Monday links at Marcia's Mailbox Monday blog.

Here’s a shout out to the new administrators:

Leslie of Under My Apple Tree 
Vicki of I’d Rather Be at the Beach
Serena @ Savvy Verse And Wit 

THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive. 

Giveaway of THE ACCIDENTAL BOOK CLUB by Jennifer Scott.

Enter here until May 18.


Giveaway courtesy of Christopher Smith of Penguin Group


Enter here 

Contest ends May 19


I hope you had a good mailbox.  

I had a few books come in this week.


On Monday, May 5, I received:

1. THE NEVER NEVER SISTERS by L. Alison Heller, courtesy of Kayleigh Clark of Penguin Group.

This was an unsolicited book.

On Wednesday, May 7, I received:

1.  A LONG TIME GONE by Karen White, courtesy of Jessica Butler of Penguin Group.

I am looking forward to reading this book.  I loved her other book THE TIME BETWEEN.

On Saturday, May 10, I received:

1.  EMPIRE GIRLS by Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan, courtesy of Emer Flounders of Harlequin/MIRA.

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16186. MMGM Links (5/12/14)

As you probably know from my post last week, I'm out of the country right now, so I won't be putting together the links until the week of 5/26. (I'm not checking email, either, so if you sent me a link--or anything else--I haven't seen it, and won't until I get back).

But I didn't want to just abandon the meme completely, so below are links to the blogs that have participated the most regularly over the last few weeks. I know it probably won't be everyone, and some might not have new posts (since I put this together before I left, and there's always a few who join in more sporadically). But I figured it was better than nothing, and I promise I'll get back on track as soon as I'm home (side note: if you're a robber and thinking YAY Shannon's House is empty!!!: wrong! One of my husband's friends is staying there. And he's way tougher than we are. So yanno, bad idea.)

(And I know some of you might be wondering why I didn't post a widget and let you add your own links. Like I've said before, the reason is: spammers. Those widgets don't sort them out the way comment filters do, and I have to go with the safest option to protect my kid readers)

Okay, so here's the MMGM "pretty-regulars" who probably have something fun going on this week (and if I missed you, feel free to leave a link in the comments):

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

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16187. Release Day Launch Tempting the Bodyguard by Jennifer L Armentrout

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We are extremely excited to celebrate the release of J. Lynn’s TEMPTING THE BODYGUARD!!! TEMPTING THE BODYGUARD is an Adult category romance novel being published by Entangled Publishing’s Brazen imprint and is a part of Jennifer’s Gamble Brothers Series! Tempting The Bodyguard

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don’t protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he’s caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she’s at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…

  Amazon Barnes and Noble  

    Author Photo

Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn Bio:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Jennifer L. ArmentroutGoodreads

Novel Goodreads ** J.LynnGoodreads

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16188. Comic: Sometimes, You Just Have To Let Go

From the Will Write For Chocolate archives.

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16189. Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop…

Welcome and thank you for stopping by on your tour around the Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop hosted by Mother-Daughter Book Reviewsand Youth Literature Reviews.
What is Children’s Book Week?
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running literacy initiative in the United States. Each year, books for young people and the joy of reading are feted for a full week with author and illustrator appearances, storytelling, parties, and other book-related events at schools, libraries, bookstores, museums, and homes from coast-to-coast.
For more information please visit: http://www.bookweekonline.com/
Babel Necklace
Now for the party part —I’m giving away a signed limited edition paperback of each of my novels The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, the first book in my middle-grade/YA time travel series, and Legend of the Timekeepers, the prequel to the series. Also up for grabs are signed trading cards, rubber wrist bands, a custom-crafted Babel necklace and a ceramic Spiral pendant.
Spiral Pendant
 BTW – this Giveaway is opened internationally, so everyone is included in this hop! It’s just one of the ways I’m celebrating the 2nd Anniversary Book Release of The Last Timekeepers series during the month of May!

Tagline and blurb from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:
Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.
When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Tagline and blurb from Legend of the Timekeepers:

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.
Good luck, and don’t forget to visit all the other blogs on the hop and enjoy more giveaway fun!
Terms & Conditions
§  This Blog Hop begins May 12th and runs until midnight May 19th, 2014. The winner will be announced on my blog the next day.
§  The winner will chosen by Rafflecopter
§  I will contact the winner via email and give the winner 72 hours to accept his/her prize.
§  Prizes as stated in—no alternatives will be offered.

ADDED BONUS: Since I’m celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of my Book Release, I’m having a 2for1 book sale exclusively at my publisher Musa Publishing, so if you haven’t had a chance to read my series, this is a win-win deal! But act fast, the sale ends May 19th!  I also have two Goodreads giveaways happening, so please go to this link and enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16190. ASIM 60 On The Launch Pad!

I've just completed my very first issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I am so very excited as the final work is done to get this launched!

It's not that I've never edited anything before. I've done a number of media fanzines, back in the days before the Internet turned fan fiction into an industry and made it possible for anyone, however awful their writing, to be published. In fact, it was that experience which made it possible for me to do this. When I was putting together Tales From New Wales(Blake's 7) and Under The Greenwood Tree(Robin Of Sherwood) and other such zines, I was looking for stories, poetry and art. I wanted a combination of funny and serious. I wanted to be sure that my authors, while they were, admittedly, working within the constraints of a universe created by someone else, knew what they were writing about.  You could probably get away with things in Blake's 7 fan fiction while you had a story entirely set on the spaceship Liberator and about character relationships, but in the world of Robin Of Sherwood, you'd better have done your historical research about England of the twelfth and early thirteenth century if you wanted your story to appear in my fanzine.(Most other editors felt the same, though I remember reading some excruciating ROS fiction written by people who knew nothing whatever about the Middle Ages!)

So when I was reading for ASIM 60, I had similar requirements. I am only a layperson in the area of science, but if something sounded weird to me, I knew who to ask for an opinion. There was one utterly beautiful story which had a slight flaw in its physics. I wasn't sure, but suspected it, so I asked for advice from a scientist on the ASIM team and got it. The author did a small rewrite and his story is now as good as it deserves to be. Another writer gave me a lovely story which needed just a bit of a tweak in the geography and history - they were areas I did know enough about to discuss with the author. 

I needed a mix of humour and serious fiction, fantasy, SF and horror. I needed some poetry. I needed some art. In other words - not too different from editing a fanzine. I read and read and read. In the end, I probably chose more other-planet and  space-themed stories than I should have, but I love this kind of fiction, it's what drew me to SF in the first place, the "sensawunda" you just don't find in any other genre.  But there was wonderful fantasy too, and, interestingly, poetry that ranged from SF to fantasy to Steampunk - I took one of each and asked for them to be placed as near as possible to appropriate stories. One of them, by Darrell Schweitzer, I had illustrated, it gave me such a powerful image. Another was about a black hole, the third a story in its own right, with a female knight who reminded me of Martin's Brienne of Tarth.   

I'm not fond of horror fiction, but you have to have balance; I found one that was not overly gory, but presented a vision of vampires I hadn't come across before.  

When the time came for art decisions to be made, I wondered which should be the cover story and which should get an internal illustration. It was very hard to choose, let me tell you! I'd picked the stories in the first place because they were ones which had a strong visual sense; I could picture what was happening in my head. Should the cover story be the one set on a water world? The one set on an island where victims were thrown into the sea far below the cliffs? The story in which a man finds himself living his life as a movie?

In the end, the cover story was a space-themed one. I'd always wanted to edit a magazine with a space cover. And the artist actually liked the story enough to offer me a choice of three covers, one of them the one I went with, with a view of Mars in its first steps towards terraforming. I chose it even though another of the options was actually closer to what I'd originally had in mind.

Choosing artists wasn't easy either. When others from ASIM are choosing, they have the option of asking my advice, but hey, I'm the art director! And as art director, I know all of them. There are some wonderful space artists among them and some fine internal artists. How to choose?

I went for two artists I had worked with before and was comfortable with. There were others I was also comfortable with, but I had a limited time, as they, too, would have a deadline, so had to make up my mind.

 The cover artist is Eleanor Clarke, whom I've known all her life, admired since she was winning her first awards for photography and painting, and who fully justified my faith in her with a breathtakingly beautiful cover painting. The other was the amazing Lewis Morley, whom I've also known for years, who is utterly reliable as well as first-class, whether he's doing cover art or illustrations(he has his own graphic novel series, Peregrine Besset). Both have been shortlisted for Ditmar Awards - Eleanor is on this year's shortlist, by the way, and Lewis actually won for an ASIM cover, which turned out to have been his first go at a cover. This time I gave him all the internals. We can't pay much, so he might as well have all of what we can pay for internals.  

Again, like choosing for a fanzine, though I had an art budget for this - in a fanzine you can have as many illoes as you can persuade your chosen artist to do. One of my fanzine artists was Robert Jan, who has done a few pieces for ASIM over the years. 

The big difference from a fanzine, apart from having to pay the contributors with more than copies, is having a length "budget" - mine is slightly over, by about four pages because I have six first sales and we needed extra space for their blurbs. There will be some advertising in it , though it will be appropriate advertising, for speculative fiction books, publishers, etc.

Another major difference is that I can't do this on my own. I need a layout artist, who, this time, is Simon Petrie, our man of many hats and skills, including science - he's the one who helped me out with the physics in that story. Simon also has to deal with the printer and receive the copies and post them out. Someone has to organise the contracts and pay the contributors. And then sell the copies as orders come in. It's all hands to the pump for proofreading. 

I've come a long way from the days when I just had to type up my issue, literally cut and paste, then photocopy and bind it all and take the orders myself. Of course, things might be different now, with a computer instead of a typewriter and the Internet to promote and sell. But I would never have had the confidence to do this if not for my experience as a fanzine editor way back when. Mind you, back then there were not quite as many people to write rude reviews as there are now, but back then they could be even nastier than now, because they had all paid for their copies - no such thing as review copies of fanzines - so when they didn't like it, they got really pissed off! But people can be unpleasant all the same, as who should know better than I, with Goodreads ratings for my novel from 1 star to 5, so it's nerve racking.

Still, I am going to be so proud of myself, the ASIM team and the contributors when my issue comes out in only a few weeks! 

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16191. Spotlight and Giveaway–Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye

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We are thrilled to tell you that Laura Kaye’s DARE TO RESIST is now available!! DARE TO RESIST is being published by Entangled Publishing, and only $.99 right now!!


Dare to Resist

Dare to Resist

By New York Times Bestselling Author Laura Kaye

May 12, 2014

Trapped and tempted, this battle of wills rages all night long…

Kady Dresco and Colton Brooks click on a level that defies logic. There are only two problems. One, he’s her older brother’s irritating best friend, and two, they’re bidding on the same military security services contract.

When the competition heats up, Colton is torn between wanting to strangle Kady (and her annoying brilliance) and kissing her into submission. Which is a bad idea for a million reasons, because Kady’s submission is exactly what he craves. Being trapped in a tiny motel room with the object of his darkest fantasies will require every ounce of his restraint.

Kady doesn’t want his restraint, but Colton knows better. She deserves love, marriage, and a white picket fence—three things Colton can’t give her. But her proximity and the memory of their steamy near-miss three years ago slowly destroys his resolve. And he’s not sure how much longer he can keep his hands off…or his heart closed.

Purchase at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Dare to Resist on Goodreads

About the Wedding Dare Series: When four bridesmaids dare one another to find lust—or maybe even love—at the destination wedding event of the year, the groomsmen don’t stand a chance. But little do the women know, the men are onto their game, and sparks will fly alongside the bouquet. Four bridesmaids. Four groomsmen. Four New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors. Long-carried torches, sizzling new attractions, and forbidden conquests will ensure a wedding never to be forgotten.

Tessa Bailey, Baiting the Maid of Honor

Diane Alberts, Falling for the Groomsmen

Katee Robert, Seducing the Bridesmaid

Samanthe Beck, Best Man with Benefits

Coming June 9!

All Wedding Dare Series Books on Goodreads

     Author PhotoLaura Kaye Bio: Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.      

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

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16192. Sharing The Fun

Happy Monday, my favorite folks!

I hope you all had wonderful Mother's Day weekends!

Mine was very nice (thank you for asking).  The weather was gorgeous and perfect, and there was family and chocolate cake.  What could be better?  (Of course the cake was actually one I baked for my daughter's birthday - not a Mother's Day thing - but who cares?  Chocolate cake is chocolate cake no matter how you slice it :))

Also, did I tell you the hummingbirds are back?

Every year I am amazed by how punctual they are.  They show up the week of my daughter's birthday without fail.  And they're such cheerful little critters, it's lovely to have them around!

Okay.  So, you know how when you write a blog sometimes you do favors for friends and relations who don't have blogs?  This is one of those days.  But I'll be very brief.  I promise.  (Stop laughing!  I am exceptionally keen of hearing and I can HEAR you!)

Allow me to introduce you to my husband.

Cute little fellow, isn't he? :)

He's a little older and taller than this now (although his outfit hasn't changed much... his clothing of choice is still shorts and a tee shirt :))

Eric has been an elementary school teacher for a very long time.  He's incredibly good at it and the kids all love him because he's so much fun.  (If you happened to miss it a while back, he had the yearbook dedicated to him and I did a post about it HERE... which I believe has some pictures of him when he's older than 4 :))

So anyway, after years of regaling family and students with the outrageous escapades of his childhood, he finally decided to put his train commute time to good use and write a book.  It took him about a year, but he did it and here it is in all it's glory:

You really have to read this book to believe it.  Seriously, it's kind of amazing he survived his childhood given the escapades he was continually involved in!  My childhood was so incredibly tame by comparison that I am jealous.  I could be writing great MG novels if I'd grown up doing the kind of stuff he did! :)

A lot of the book is very funny, but it's more than that.  He managed in the end to learn some valuable lessons about life which come through beautifully in the telling.  The book has been available for about a month now, and a lot of the kids at his school have read it and loved it, so I think he hit the mark pretty well.  But I also know a lot of adults who have read it and loved it.  It really works equally well for both audiences.

Of course, I recognize that I could be a teensy bit biased :)  But I still think it's a very fun book.  So if you need something entertaining to read, or you know someone, child or adult, who would enjoy reading about making Viking toast on the space heater, sticking darts into the playroom ceiling tiles, and trimming the backyard grass with scissors after an unfortunate episode with rubber cement, please give it a try and spread the word!

The book is available
for Kindle HERE $4.99
for Nook HERE &4.99
in paperback HERE $7.99 (or $6.63 for Amazon prime members)
and will be on Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords soon.

Tweet: Fun for all ages! Read and share How To Stick A Dart In Your Head http://ctt.ec/qc0Pa+ @SusannaLHill @erichill_band

Thank you for your indulgence in letting me share Eric's book.  I hope some of you will get to enjoy it!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!!! :)

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16193. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 5/12/14

I hope you had a great reading week.  
This is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week. 


Giveaway of THE ACCIDENTAL BOOK CLUB by Jennifer Scott.

Enter here until May 18.


Giveaway courtesy of Christopher Smith of Penguin Group


Enter here 

Contest ends May 19


Books Completed Last Week:

CHATEAU OF SECRETS by Melanie Dobson

I really enjoyed this book.  

Review is in the book's title.


THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens

It took until page 200 to get interesting, but not bad.  

Not like her other books, but to me her main focus was making bullying awareness more out in the open which it should be.

Review won't be on my blog until June 16, but you can see my review on Goodreads.


Book Currently Reading: 

A LONG TIME GONE by Karen White

 I loved her other books.


Books Up Next:

EMPIRE GIRLS by Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan

Looks good, doesn't it?
DELICIOUS by Ruth Reichl 

WOMAN OF ILL FAME by Erika Mailman


PERFECT by Rachel Joyce



The books below are not necessarily in the order I have planned to read them.  

I normally read in order of publication or tour date.

And....these are not for reading in the upcoming week.  They are books into and including all of 2014.

The "list" is a means of keeping me organized.  A visual display helps a lot for organization along with my Excel lists.  :)


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16194. Screen-Free Week is Over (Whew!)


 last week was Screen-Free Week. 

Did I make it?

Well... let's just say, it was even harder than last year. Checking email three or four (or ten) times a day has become so ingrained that I found it super difficult not to. We research and we communicate electronically now, so it was downright weird to pull back.

(Yes, I'm guilty of multiple infractions; I allowed myself to check my email twice a day because, hey, I still need to communicate, right? And I did have to Google hotels in Boston for an upcoming long weekend. Mea culpa.)

But I also put off starting to query my third middle grade novel until now. It needed more revision anyway.

Plus I walked more.

I read more.

I wrote more.

Yes, of course I used the laptop, darn it all. It's my job to write, so I justified using a screen for that. And my fingers will no longer work on that old manual typewriter in my closet...

Surprisingly (or not, depending on your opinion of television), it wasn't that hard to stay away from TV, except for, you know, Jeopardy! Hey it was Battle of the Decades. I couldn't resist.

But in general, I avoided it. And like last year, I managed to resist Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and Tumblr by simply not logging in. (But I apologize to everyone whose posts I missed and to anyone who had a birthday recently. Happy Belated Birthday!)

What about you? Did you participate, even for part of the week? How did it go? Would you consider participating next year?

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16195. Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

I’m so excited to be part of the Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. Reading books with my kids has always been a special part of our time spent together. I hope WISH YOU WEREN’T will become one of those books that parents and kids enjoy reading together, that kids enjoy reading under the […]

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16196. Blue Ridge Reading of ABOWS - Wrap Up!

My "Southern Appalachian Book Tour" for A BIRD ON WATER STREET continued Saturday with an event at the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The weather was dismal, so I was flattered by the nice-sized crowd that showed up.
    Most of them were locals who had grown up in the area, so they really knew their stuff. And I don't mean just anybody... I mean a former Mayor of Copperhill, a Preacher, and Peggy Kilpatrick (a.k.a. "The Strike Baby" - who was the only baby born during the strike of 1936 because her mother made it to the hospital right before the picket line began). Even the Speaker of the House for the state of Georgia - David Ralston showed up for a photo op! (What a strange sensation to shake his hand and look up to see five cameras pointed at us!) This was trial by fire if there ever was one, and I'm happy to say, I think I passed!
    Actually, it might have been my favorite audience yet, because they did know their stuff. And many of them spoke up and added tidbits to what I shared - stuff I wish I'd known while I was still working on the book. For instance, all the miners wore red shirts when they went on strike! Most of the lamps miners used were carbide/acetylene fueled (the same stuff is used for explosives). And the river water was so polluted scientists said they'd never seen anything like it.
    Truly - research is a fickle dame to chase. You can never know enough!
    Photos were tough with this one, but Stan did his best...
Here's some of the crowd and me with my slide show this time...

Here is the former Mayor (somebody please remind me of his name!), Peggy, Dan Hood, and moi.

Peggy Kilpatrick - widely known as "The Strike Baby" and me.

One of the best things about this event was when I invited Richard Wagner to come up and tell the story of the title "A bird on Water Street." Because, it was his mother who saw that bird back in the 1920's/30's when she was about 9-years-old. He was perfect, and there will be more locals sharing their histories next weekend in Copperhill - I can't wait to hear them!
    (Check out the slide in the background - that's Grace Postelle and Doris Abernathy on her porch swing. The book is dedicated to them both, although sadly, Grace isn't with us anymore.)
I was so flattered Nichole Potzauf, Director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, who hosted my event and emailed about it and put up posters all over town about it. Thank you Nichole!! Here she is with Doris who looked lovely in PINK!

Jennifer Danner was also a huge help and actually designed the posters. She's also an historian who has created a series of video interviews with miners, which I'm dying to see.

Carol Crawford made it - she put on the Blue Ridge Writers Conference where I spoke a few weeks ago in the very same spot! Carol is awesome.

So did Kay Kendall, who is an all around amazing person too (the mountains tend to attract amazing people, if you hadn't noticed).
    I wish I had a picture of Ellen Ward of FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia (about an hour southwest of the area). You can see her in the background selling copies of ABOWS. She is amazingly handling sales of ABOWS throughout the Southern Appalachian Book Tour, and I am SO grateful!!!

One of the scenes from the book I read this time was about blackberry picking' in Devil's Den. It's based on a true story (mine) as I love to pick just enough to make two pies each year. Well, Hubbie's been getting better with his new camera and caught this lovely shot during a rare ray of sunshine. If this is any indication, the blackberry picking' is going to be fine this year - just fine!

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16197. Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

I'm so excited to be part of the Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. Reading books with my kids has always been a special part of our time spent together. I hope WISH YOU WEREN'T will become one of those books that parents and kids enjoy reading together, that kids enjoy reading under the covers and that people enjoy enough to share with each other. Want to check it out for yourself? You can enter to win a copy below!

Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. His parents ignore him, his little brother is a pain and his family is talking about moving to Texas. Not cool. So when he makes an impulsive wish during a meteor shower, he doesn't expect it to make any difference.

Until his annoying brother disappears.

With the present uncertain and his brother’s future in limbo, Marten finds himself stuck in his past. And if he runs out of time, even wishes might not be enough to save the ones he loves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a children's book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book?  Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen's books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes.  What better way to celebrate Children's Book Week?

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16198. Talking Diversity With Young Children

Betsy Bird has a fascinating post up, “We Need Diverse Books…But Are We Willing To Discuss Them With Our Kids.”  Having recently read Po Branson and  Ashley Merryman’s Nurture Shock, Betsy considers in particular their chapter  “Why White Parents Don’t Talk About Race: Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better of or worse?” and what books are available to help with this conversation for very young children.  

First of all, my general feeling about introducing difficult topics with very young children is uneasiness.  I’ve been on record as not being a fan of Holocaust stories for the very young as I think the topic requires an ability to grapple with history and information in a way they are not ready for developmentally. More recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it in terms of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  I wrote my book,  Africa is My Home, for many reasons, but one was to provide a way for children the age of my students, 9 and 10, to begin to consider this horrific time.  In addition to thinking about this for the book I’ve thought about it for years as I plan and teach a unit about this to my 4th graders.  How much information do they need, I wonder? How do I navigate one child’s readiness to know more and another child’s lack of readiness for the same?  I use a lot of picture books for the unit, poetry, and my own material. I ask children and parents to let me know if anyone is upset. So far, the children seem to know just how far they are ready to go. It seems a bit like sex — they know there is more to know, but they are not ready. Of course, each class responses differently as does each child. And Betsy is talking about parents taking these topics on, not classroom teachers. Yet we classroom teachers do take them on so her post spoke to me and made me wonder.

And a particular teacher came to mind as I thought about this, former kindergarten teacher, Vivian Paley, who often addresses race in her books. One in particular seems relevant to this topic, The Girl with the Brown Crayon, in which the books of Leo Lionni  become a springboard for the consideration of many important topics including race.  While I can’t say how much conversation my white students have with their parents about race, I can say they do come to my classroom having discussed it in school in previous years.  Of course they live (as does Betsy’s daughter) in a city where they see people of different races all the time and go to a school where they see it too. I wonder about this with very young white children in communities that are less diverse — if they aren’t seeing it in real life how do they consider it when they are seeing it just in the books Betsy suggests?

As a teacher, my interest is providing historical context for particularly difficult topics.  I think it is very difficult for all of us to understand the horrors of human behavior, but by learning the history that leads to it, we are helped I think. For one thing, it takes away the tendency to demonize and brings us to a place to think about how we can avoid more horror to happen. No doubt because of my personal history with the Holocaust and Sierra Leone, I feel it is very important to consider not just the facts of racism and other such horrors of human behavior, but to try to see what causes it and how we move past it. When children are ready to begin to do this, I’m not completely sure. I’m working my way through it and appreciate every opportunity to learn more on how to do it better.

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16199. Children's Book Week!

Happy Monday! My clippings all have to do with this being the start of Children's Book Week.

It's not too late to make it a big deal for your kids/students. How? Check out these websites:

What is Children's Book Week?  http://www.bookweekonline.com

From the Pennsylvania School Library Association – Top 10 Ideas for Celebrating Children's Book Week:  http://www.psla.org/assets/Documents/Advocacy/Top-Ten-List/Childrens-Book-Week.pdf

Fabulous ways to celebrate CBW from Smore.com:

My favorite from the site above? Take a pic of yourself with your favorite children's book, then share it on Twitter using the hashtags #plaea #cbw14. Fun!

From Colorado Parent, 5 ways to celebrate CBW:

And all the way from Australia, here are easy book-related costumes:


Also, if you happen to be in a bookstore this week, my newest picture book debuts Thursday (we'll have a book giveaway sometime this fall). Keep your eyes peeled for I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!

Or the Australia/New Zealand edition:

Jill Esbaum

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16200. spain book tour: final wrap-up

So I'm back from my first trip to Spain, and wow, was the experience a full one! With school visits every day - four asssemblies at a time, with book signings - it was incredibly hard work, but also loads of fun. I'd planned to make a travel comic, but I was doing so much drawing in the schools that I mostly just flopped about like a fish when I had time off. Or a mermaid. That sounds better than a fish.

In fact, there were plenty of mermaids to be had; I felt right at home in Benidorm.

One of the people who most made my visit a success was librarian Maria Jose Sanchez, at King's College in Alicante. She was a perfect example of the way a librarian can prepare kids for an Author Visit; a librarian's groundwork gets the kids excited, they pay way more attention because they know who I am, and they come away inspired. (I was in good company; other authors who'd come on this Spain Book Tour with Bookbox International included James Mayhew, Steve Cole, Nick Sharratt, Ali Sparkes, Shoo Rayner, Ian Beck, Korky Paul, Caroline Lawrence, Guy Parker-Rees, Tony Mitton, the 2 Steves, Steve Smallman, Savior Pirotta, Miriam Moss, Julia Golding, Paul Cookson, Brian Moses and Kay Umansky. Lucky schools!)

Sometimes great people come in small packages. Oh, and Maria Jose's son had great specs and loved to draw; I wanted to take him home with me.

I led the different year groups of kids in drawing different characters. Here are a couple sharks from There's a Shark in the Bath and Superhamster from Superkid. I started them off with the basic character and then they'd customise theirs.

Some more fab staff at British School La Cañada! I had lunch with Sarah, the school's head (in the centre), and wow, do they put on a good lunch for the kids and staff alike. I had shellfish paella, freshly squeezed orange juice from local trees, salad and fresh strawberries and cream. That's when I really knew I was not in Britain!

Ha ha... I can't even remember now which school I was at when I drew this comic, but it almost went terribly wrong. I was having the kids help me by telling me what to draw in each panel, and the competition for the best sea banana started to get more and more risqué. The teachers were howling, some of the older kids were grinning away, and the little kids had no idea what was going on. In the last panel, little kids were suggesting I make the Sea Monkey kiss the banana, hug the banana, and my eyes were streaming, trying not to lose it. I think I resolved it as well as could be hoped. It's hard to draw when you're silently shaking with laughter.

When I draw quickly in front of assemblies, my drawings tend to be terribly slapdash, so while the kids are coming into the hall, I try to draw something slightly more polished, that they can keep and remember the day.

One of my favourite things is when teachers draw along with us. They usually really enjoy it, and it gives a good signal to the kids, that drawing is something everyone does, not just a school exercise. Check out this teacher's Captain Waffle from You Can't Scare a Princess!:

I was drawing Captain Waffle with kids who were awfully young - kindergarten, I think. It stretched them, having to pay attention to each step, but they still managed some great results, and I loved all the variations.

Speaking of pirates, here's a lovely wordless pirate comic I found at a book fair in Castellón, Barbosa el Pirata by Jorge Gonzalez. The cover sticker suggested it was appropriate for kids 3+, and I hope I can find a version in English. It's published by Mamut, and the more I see of their comics for kids, the more I love them. (I first saw their books at Angoulême comics festival.)

And now for some sharks! I taught the assembly hall full of kids how to draw a shark, and then they customised to make them as SILLY as possible. We talked about one way to get an idea for a story: pick something kind of scary, then make it silly and see what happens. It's a great way to counter fear; if you're laughing at something, it can't be quite as scary anymore.

When I was signing books, I found out very quickly that I needed to have the kids write down their names; I had no idea how to spell a lot of them, names like Álvar, Jimena and Maritxell. Most of the kids were Spanish, but there were a fair few Brits, Russians and some Chinese.

While I did the last three days of school visits, I stayed in Benidorm. When I told people in England I was staying there, they tended to laugh and raise their eyebrows. Benidorm used to be THE package holiday destination for Brits, and there's more highrise buildings there - mostly hotels - than anywhere in Europe. But it's gotten quite chavvy; there's one area that's full of drunk, sunburnt Brits and the British-themed bars that cater to them. (There's even an ITV series now called Benidorm.)

But my hosts, Gary Carton and Ana, took me to the older part of Benidorm, which is rather charming.

There were lots of Spanish families there, and groups of elderly friends strolling around together.

This group was standing in the street listening to a guy singing a Paso Doble, it was very blood-stirring.

Our hotel was near this remarkable building:

And my hosts took me there on the last night, to the Benidorm Palace.

It's quite an experience, like going back 30 years in Spanish tourism. Gary said he thought the stage was the longest in Europe, and it was fascinating seeing the tables fill up for the cabaret show with people from all over the world.

I was rather sad to leave, there's still so much in Spain I want to see. I loved watching out the van windows while we drove from place to place; the landscape looked much like this, with lots of terraced hillsides and huge orange and lemon orchards.

A huge thanks for a brilliant visit to Gary, Ana and the five schools who hosted us. Muchísimas gracias!
(See earlier Spain Book Tour blog posts from Castellón and from Sitges.)

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