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Results 1,001 - 1,025 of 658,687
1001. Featured Review: Resurgence (Silver Blackthorn #3) by Kerry Wilkinson

About this book: "Can I ask you one thing...why does it have to be you?" My throat is dry but I manage to say the words clearly enough: "If I don't do it, who else will?" An entire country has been lied to. Silver Blackthorn was supposed to be one of...

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1002. Heroes Beneath the Waves - Book Signing June 4th

I will be at Gassville in the Park Festival, June 4th, Booth 27 from 8 am -7 pm.
I will be signing and selling my books, Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century. Looking forward to visit with you.

https://www.facebook.com/gassville

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1003. THE OCEAN DEEP

one of twelve blanket designs from Atelier Choux

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1004. Harts Pass No. 301


Amazingly enough, it's graduation week again in Harts Pass country. Another year has flown the coop, and the world is wild with possibility. Intuition kiddos. Go fourth with your gut and be good!

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1005. Review: The Anatomy of Jane

The Anatomy of Jane The Anatomy of Jane by Amelia LeFay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all I'm a huge fan! But there were so many issues with this (I got arc, but with typos was unreadable. So I bought finished copy). The typo issue was mainly fixed, but still lots of other issues. Transition from different pov problems. line editing was a major problem. It felt sloppy and rushed. It needs to be cleaned up still.

I was disappointed. I know the writer can do much much much better.

View all my reviews


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1006. UnPlanned by Abby Johnson

Most of the stories I write about on this blog are fictional, but this is a story you couldn't make up. Abby Johnson, as an idealistic young college student, pursued her passion for women's health care by getting involved with Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming  manager at a Texas clinic. Her exit from the organization was set in motion the day she was asked to actually assist at an abortion guided by ultrasound. This dramatic scene opens unPlanned, but the full story begins much earlier,  in the flashback to her own unwanted pregnancies and her experiences with 'both sides of the fence' at the clinic leading up to her decision to depart the organization. Believe PP's intent to make abortion 'safe, legal, and rare?' So did Abby Johnson. What she learned from the inside out about Planned Parenthood and its activities, including changes made in recent years, explodes that myth. But there is no demonizing of her fellow clinic workers, many of whom like herself were sincerely working to provide various needed health care services for women.

Johnson now works with an organization that helps other health care workers get out of the abortion business. Read the book for her inside view and the dramatic events that followed her fateful participation in the ultrasound abortion.  

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1007. Review: Bidding on the Billionaire

Bidding on the Billionaire Bidding on the Billionaire by J.M. Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute, short hot story! I loved Hannah and Cade and their relationship growing was great to read. JM Stewart is a new author to watch!

View all my reviews


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1008. Matthew Lewis is…a Hufflepuff!

Fair or not, the sorting quiz created by Pottermore is nothing if not in depth in an odd sort of way. Matthew Lewis who marvelously portrayed the often clumsy, but always-there-when-you-needed-him, Neville Longbottom, a Gryffindor, took J.K. Rowling’s sorting quiz today.

Watch as he gets a taste of this first hand when he sat down with Pottermore recently to discover his house. Unlike yesterday’s Bonnie Wright video, or Mondays Rupert Grint interview, this was less of a question and answer and more of a let’s just watch Matthew Lewis neurotically answer these questions.

 

It does seem, however that as more of the younger cast sits down to be sorted, the Hufflepuff’s have grabbed themselves some real big names. Gone, it would seem, are the days of Cedric Diggory being the best Hufflepuff.

 

Could the Hufflepuffs take one more star tomorrow? Be sure to check in and see if Evanna Lynch gets to follow Luna in the Ravenclaw house.

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1009. Baby Penguins Sketch

 

Baby-Penguins-by-Mariana-BlackDay 15: Baby Penguins

Baby-Penguins-sketch-by-Mariana-Black

 

Still working on catching up with #The100DayProject animals ... so here's a few baby penguins for it! If you'd like to see the rest of them, click HERE. I've a lot of catching up to do, so off I go to pick another animal, though I may concentrate on panda bears for the next few days as practice for my book illustrations.

Drawn with Derwent water-soluble sketching pencils, painted with Winsor and Newton watercolours, in a Stillman & Birn zeta sketchbook. Cheers.

 

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1010. 30 Days of Books: Day 10

I saw this at The Written World--a blog I've been following for most of the time I've been blogging--and I thought I'd join in the fun. I believe the most recent recurrence of this is from Jenni Elyse's blog.

Today's prompt: Favorite classic

I think I'll go with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. North and South is one of my comfort reads.

Read North and South

  • If you're a fan of the BBC Drama starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe (not to mention Brendan Coyle)
  • If you're a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell (Wives & Daughters; Cranford; etc.)
  • If you're a fan of Victorian literature 
  • If you're a fan of classics with strong romance and a bit of tragedy (this one is oh-so-bittersweet)
  • If you look for strong characterization and emotion


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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1011. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stacy Juba, Author of Fooling Around With Cinderella



Since my characters work at the Storybook Valley fairy tale theme park, they get to have lots of yummy park food like fried dough, caramel apples, popcorn, and best of all the baked gingerbread men and cinnamon doughnuts from the Little Red Hen Bakery. Jaine gets lots of perks from being the park’s marketing coordinator and temporary Cinderella.

Her sexy boss Dylan is a whiz at making homemade lemonade from his years of working at the park as a teenager. He likes to offer Jaine freshly squeezed lemonade when he needs a favor. But he does have a romantic side also, and arranged a private picnic in the woods for their first date. Jaine couldn’t believe the assortment of crispy breads wrapped in parchment paper, savory biscuits and homemade preserves, cold meats and cheeses, a container of Greek style pasta salad, plump green grapes, fruit skewers, and brownies.

For more about the Storybook Valley menu, check out Fooling Around With Cinderella!


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Stacy!




You can find Stacy here:








And find Cinderella here:

Amazon                    Barnes & Noble                    Google Play

   Kobo                         iBookstore                         Smashwords

What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom. First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun. 


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1012. Illustration Friday-Tribal

Today I had to remind myself of the many accomplishments I've made on my artistic journey though the years. I have a bad habit of beating myself up when I am not following this imaginary internal clock, that seems to forever tick, and point a finger of guilt for "not keeping up." I then start to question my creditability. (a pattern I should be use to by now) The voice continues…"You're not really an artist if you're not creating?" Or, "What gives you the right to call yourself an illustrator, when was the last time you illustrated?" It goes on an on hammering at me! I try to defend myself! I say "I've been working a lot of extra hours these past 2 months!" "I have way too many distractions at home!" "Didn't I just finish building that Jukebox in April, that was creative!" But it doesn't seem to appease the voice inside my head, my worst critic! And then there's the one that hits me at my core-- "You're not making money at it so where's your value?" This is how my internal struggle usually goes.  I've been going through this tug-of-war for the last 2 months, a self defeating pattern. So as I said I began to really look at my artistic journey though the years. I have all kinds of evidence of my worth. I go upstairs and I see the bulk of what I've created, I look at my computer files and see pieces that may no longer be here phyically but now resides in someone elses home. I see pieces I'm proud of and some that give me pure joy, work that have brought struggle and frustration, but in the end growth. I see value. I think of all the projects I've done, some paid and some not. All the art shows and exhibits, all the graphic projects I did. Invitations, business cards, promo pieces and so on. Then there was the six years of volunteer work for the Willoughby Historical Society, faithfully putting out a newsletter every 3 months. I think about all the artists and illustrators learned about and have come to admire, All the classes I've taken, and this blog that I began 7 years ago to help me stay in touch with my art. And I think of all the people I've connected with through being an artist.

I needed to write this post today, I needed to honor myself as an artist. To honor my value. It's so easy to beat ourselves up, to forget the accomplishments along the way. When we falter our mind really can be our worst enemy.

This piece above was created for a poster many moons ago for a local shop in my hometown. I thought it fitting for the word of the week, tribal.

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1013. Draco and Scorpius in Cursed Child Cast Photo

As promised Pottermore delivers their final cast photos for the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Tuesday we got a sneak peek at the Potter Clan, Wednesday we met the Granger-Weasley crew, and today we get our first look at the Malfoys.

HP_20196_Malfoy_FL-2

Alex Price will play the role of Draco and his son Scorpius will be played by Anthony Boyle.

As Scorpius Malfoy, Anthony looks the spitting image of his stage dad. J.K. Rowling said: ‘I love Draco and Scorpius – they actually look related!’

HP_20100_Scorpius_FL

Anthony Boyle is a long time stage actor. He is excited to play the role of Scorpius. He knew that it was really happening the day he died his hair blonde.

‘It was such a game changer,’ Anthony said of his new look. ‘As soon as I saw it, it was like, “Okay, I’m playing Scorpius Malfoy – this is real now.” That was such a big moment.’

Scorpius will be a big hit amongst the female students at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling added,

‘I’ve got a feeling Scorpius is going to do nothing to turn girls off the Malfoy men.’

HP_20274_Draco_FL

Alex Price has been in several notable television shows in the UK. He came to the character of Draco wanting to make it his own while still honoring Rowling and her characters. In discussing how he is bringing Draco to the stage he stated,

‘Jack Thorne’s script. Start right there,’ Alex said. ‘And there’s obviously a massive history of books to draw on. You could tie yourself in knots worrying about it. But our first job is to serve this play and J.K. Rowling’s characters as best we can.’

As previews begin soon for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Pottermore has revealed multiple cast members this week. Visit Pottermore to see how these actors are handling the pressure of bringing to life this play.

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1014. Happy Summer Reading

Happy Official Start of Summer (in the US, at least) and welcome back to the blog!

What are your goals for the summer? (If it’s summer where you are.)

Mine are to finish writing and illustrating the THIRD Princess Olivia of Genovia book (yes, I know the second book just came out last month, but that’s how publishing works – as soon as one book comes out, it’s time to hand in the next one!) and then to finish the pass pages for The Boy is Back, the manuscript I just handed in, which will be out in October.

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From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, Books 1 and 2, in stores now!

These goals are not so lofty. I feel as if they’re completely attainable. Not like past summer goals I’ve had, such as passing the Florida driver’s exam (written), or getting a dog, at which I failed miserably. I have faith that everything is going to work out this summer.

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Not my dog. Keeping it this way.

In the meantime, I had a great time on my Princess Tour! Thanks to all of you who came out to see me. I met a ton of fun new people, especially at Book Con, where I got to hang out with celebrities like the Property Brothers.

OK, lie, I never met the Property Brothers, but a lady popped her head into the Green Room and asked, frantically, “Are the Property Brothers in here? I can’t find them!”

“OMG,” I screamed. “YOU LOST THE PROPERTY BROTHERS?”

“I didn’t say that!” she cried, and ran out again.

HA HA HAHA!!!

But I DID get to hang out with a lot of fun readers and authors:image001

YA readers in Irving, TX!

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Marissa Meyer at BookCon!

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In the Escalade with Harper’s Pam Jaffee!

And more!

But ultimately I was happy to come home because as I think I’ve mentioned, the cat has feline dementia (50% of cats over the age of 10 do), so I have to keep an eye on her. There’s no telling what she’s going to get up to at any given time. Mostly it’s sleeping but it could be:

 

  • Meowing at her own reflection in the mirror.
  • Fighting with Carlos the iguana.
  • Sleeping on anything that remains still long enough for her to sit on, including tourists.

 

Mainly what I wanted to mention in today’s post is that a lot of you asked on tour what I’ll be working on next after the Princess Olivia books and the Boy is Back are turned in, and the truth is, I’m not allowed to tell.

FOR REAL. It’s a secret.

So instead, I’m going to tell you about the books I would put on a summer reading list for kids if I was in charge of designing one (and also if I had time to read anymore, which I do not, given my busy Netflix viewing schedule  busy writing schedule).

Anyway, a friend of mine told me what was on her kids’ summer reading list, and it was APPALLING, so I volunteered to make a new one for her.

She tried to say, “Uh, no thanks, Meg, you don’t have to,” and “That’s not how it works,” but I’m pleased to sacrifice my time for this cause. I do understand that a lot of careful scientific research goes into what kids are assigned to read over the summer, and also that parents complain a lot about what the kids get assigned to read (and the students do, too).

However, I really think my summer reading list is the best since I modeled it after the kinds of books I would have wanted to read if I were a kid who’d just seen Star Wars: Force Awakens, and then wanted to read some books that were in that vein (you know, adventure-y, or at least fun).

So here it is:

Princes and Princesses:

Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series

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This was my all time favorite series as a kid, particularly the books that included Princess Eilonwy, a kick-ass teen sorceress who was always showing up on the adventures that the hero, Taran, had warned her were “too dangerous” for her to take part in. Ha ha, that did not turn out well (for Taran).

Neither did the not-so-good Disney movie—The Black Cauldron—that was based on the series and released in 1985. They’re trying again, though, and this time around, they might actually get it right.

 

Shannon Hale’s Princess in Black (for younger readers) and Book of a Thousand Days (for older readers).

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These would be much better books to assign for summer reading than Of Mice and Men. Everyone already knows that people can be cruel and that unfair things happen, because they’ve seen Force Awakens. So let’s just read about the bravery of young royals instead, and forget about those damned rabbits.

Sarah Mlynowski’s Whatever After series

2015-04-01_whateverAfter

When a modern brother and sister find a magic mirror in their basement, it takes them on amazing adventures, and they end up improving the lives of characters in fairy tales in hilarious ways, helping Cinderella get a paying job, etc. While of course these books could lead naive kids (like I was) to constantly be looking for magic mirrors in basement, dreaming big is actually good thing. Look what happens to Rey!

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Going along with the sibling theme, let’s throw in  Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth.

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Only in this book instead of finding a magic mirror, Jarrett finds himself with a foster brother he doesn’t like, Kevon. If you’ve seen Force Awakens, you already know what happens when family members disagree (KIDDING), but this is the child friendly version, with crushes and farting instead of murder.  Anyone who’s ever had to live with a sibling (or a troublesome roommate at camp) can relate to this book, which is why it makes a perfect summer read that Booklist calls just plain “excellent.” Every kid will love you for putting this on their required reading list.

Blubber by Judy Blume

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This was my all time favorite book as a child because I could relate to the casual cruelty of the kids it depicted (in a much more realistic fashion than the kids in Lord of the Flies).

Whatever standardized test they give to 4th graders should be abandoned so that teachers have time to read this book out loud to them instead. Because Blubber will prepare them much more for whatever lies ahead. And yes, you know I’m talking about middle school and of course dating after college.

Unfriended by Rachel Vail

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I don’t have kids (for which many are grateful) but I do have a lot of nieces and nephews, and all I can say is that many of them seem to experience a lot of social media drama.  So this is a good book to give to any kid you know who might be having the same. And though Rachel is a friend of mine, I can say with total impartiality that because she actually has kids, she has a good grasp on this subject.

 

Do you know a reader who just wants to read about normal life? How about Alice McKinley?

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These books (over twenty in all!) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor follow a young girl named Alice who lives with her dad and annoying (at least sometimes) brother. These books describe the daily ups and downs of Alice and her friends from their pre-teens all the way to college. I got hooked on them in my thirties, and read them all. Look out, or it could happen to you (or a reader you know), too.

 

Disaster/Adventure

 

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Do the young readers in your life like disasters? What about survival stories? What about plagues? YES PLEASE. This is why The Living  and The Hunted by Matt de La Pena need to be on your summer reading list, because there’s nothing more fun that reading about a world in peril while you’re sitting in the sun on the beach. And Matt does disaster (and survival) like a pro.

 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

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I’ve never read this book, but I know a lot of young people who have, and they tend to give it raves. It’s the story of a sad young man who gets stuck in the woods and survives thanks to his lightcaber–what? Oh, sorry–hatchet.

Hey, if you get stuck in the woods and your kid gets you out of there thanks to his hatchet, you will owe me a martini for recommending this book.

 

Historicals

If your reader prefers historicals, I recommend Kathleen Baldwin’s Stranje House series.

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It’s a spy school for girls, but in the 1810s! A little something for everyone…danger, intrigue, history, hot guys, romance, fancy clothes, Napoleon, horses, and humor. Kathleen has got you covered.

 

If the younger reader you know is more into historical with bad guys but no kissing, then the Newberry award-winning Al Capone series by Gennifer Choldenko might be just the ticket.

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A young boy and his sister move with their parents to Alcatraz in the 1930s (the dad is working at Alcatraz, not imprisoned there. Duh, that would be creepy). Drama and hilarity ensues.

 

 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

It’s rare for me to read sic-fantasy these days because I read so much of it as a kid that I burned out on it almost entirely and now can only read books about serial killers, but these authors are so good, they have revived my love for it:

 

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You can’t go wrong with Tamora Pierce.  She is the original gangster when it comes to fantasy fiction, and she’s got something for readers of every age. If you haven’t tried Tamora, you’re in for a treat.

 

Cindy Pon

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Cindy’s writing is lyrical and breathtakingly entertaining at the same time. Plus, she makes drawing look so easy. Sometimes I look at Cindy’s website and get mad at myself for being so lazy.

Malinda Lo

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All of Malinda Lo’s books are good but Huntress in particular drew me in. (Full disclosure: I know Malinda and like her – and her writing– a lot so it’s hard for me to be impartial about her…and her great books!) I loved Adaptation and its creepy sci-fi sequel, Inheritance, as well.

 

Ellen OhUnknown-5

OK I haven’t read all of Ellen’s Prophecy series yet, but I have it on good authority that it’s great, so get on it.

And finally, for your more mature readers who are sneak reading the sex scenes in your books behind your back:

Ursula K Le Guin

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I honestly can’t remember which specific books by Ursula K Le Guin I loved. I’m pretty sure it was all of them. But I also remember thinking Le Guin’s books were quite racy (in a good way) back when I was 13, so these are good books for readers who are ready for something more adult, but not, say, more ADULT.

 

The Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne Mccaffrey

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A very kind lady gave me the Harper Hall series when I was 13 and sick in bed with raging poisoned oak (on my FACE) and it definitely distracted me from scratching. A teen girl on a far away planet feels like an outcast and runs away from her cruel parents only to find nine rare baby “fire lizards” that imprint on her and follow her around everywhere (including music school–it’s a long story, but it’s like the Jedi Academy for musicians).

This series (and then the more adult Dragon Riders of Pern) might be a bit dated but will definitely resonate with anyone who might have felt like an outcast too from time to time.

 

Well, I know I’ve left off a ton of great books, but that’s only because I’ve run out of time and have to get to work on my own books  or I won’t achieve my summer goals.

Have an excellent summer break (if I don’t talk to you before it ends, although I suspect I will) and remember:

 

Be safe! (Use sunscreen! Stay away from poison oak!)

Be happy! (Read books!)

But most of all

Be yourself!
More later.

Much love,

Meg

 

 

The post Happy Summer Reading appeared first on Meg Cabot.

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1015. Jena Malone Seen on Screen in Trailer for Extended Cut of BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice_still_3Because sitting through the nearly three hour film once certainly isn’t enough, right? You know you want to watch an extended version of Snyder’s magnus opium with over half an hour of additional footage, right? You know it’s cool that this “Ultimate Edition” is rated R, right? Oh, and did we mention that the ultimate edition […]

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1016. Preview: Awesome Con is going to be…awesome

Tomorrow Awesome Con in Washington DC kicks off, and The Beat will be there. In case you missed it, last year Awesome Con partnered up with Leftfield Media, the convention organization run by Greg Topalian, who founded New York Comic Con. Greg and I had a blast working on the very first NYCC together and […]

1 Comments on Preview: Awesome Con is going to be…awesome, last added: 6/2/2016
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1017. Certain Songs #554: Guided by Voices – “Closer You Are”

GBV Alien-Lanes Album: Alien Lanes
Year: 1995

After the electric shock recognition of Bee Thousand, I was way more prepared for the follow-up, 1995’s Alien Lanes, which crammed a completely ludicrous 28 songs into a 41-minute CD.

This kind of delicious overkill makes Alien Lanes if not the best Guided by Voices album, then definitely the most Guided by Voices album.

I seem to recall somebody somewhere comparing it to The Who Sell Out, and I like that comparison, but instead of mimicking a AM pirate radio station beaming the hits onshore, the experience of Alien Lanes is more like driving your car trying to tune in one of the local college radio stations, only you’re only able to get bits and pieces of each song, until you suddenly zero in on the greatest song you’ve never heard before that you might never hear again.

Like “Closer You Are,” where out of the murk comes super fuzzy guitars, and a couple of guys singing:

Chain smoke rings like a vapor snake kiss
She says, she don’t know why
The closer you are, the quicker it hits you
Closer you are, the quicker it hits you
Now you can see the boys dreaming, scheming

And you wonder, “where have I heard this before?” Because you’re already singing “the quicker it hits you” before you’ve even heard it the second time, but while you’re still trying to figure out if it’s some like mod band or something, the whole song stops for a second and one of the guys sings:

I get up at seven o’clock
And drive myself up to the Lookout Rock

And before you can go “wait, what?” they all dive back into the chorus.

The closer you are, the quicker it hits you
The closer you are, the quicker it hits you
Now you can see the boys dreaming, scheming

The closer you are, the quicker it hits you
The closer you are, the quicker it hits you

And then the song just ends, and something else starts — a slow droning thing — and you’re all “no, no, bring that back,” cos you’re worried that you’re never going to hear it again, because you’re going to lose the station before they back announce the songs, hell maybe you’ve already lost the station and you still have no idea who it even was.

And maybe you spend the rest of your life wondering what that song even was.

“Closer You Are”

“Closer You Are” performed live in 2010

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #554: Guided by Voices – “Closer You Are” appeared first on Booksquare.

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1018. Behind the Scenes of The ‘Cursed Child’ Character Portraits

Over the past week, Pottermore have been revealing portraits of characters in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Yesterday, they gave an exclusive look behind the scenes of the photoshoot, giving us a chance to hear from the actors portrayed.

Jamie Parker (who will be portraying Harry in the play) introduces the shoot – a ‘first glimpse of Harry, and the rest of the gang’. He later says that the nearing opening day for the play is ‘immeasurably exciting’.

The shoot really gives a feel for our new generation of Potter characters. Rose Weasley (Cherelle Skeete) looks shrewdly at the camera, giving off the same daring, intelligent vibes as her mother, Hermione (Noma Dumezweni). Draco Malfoy (Alex Price) and his son Scorpius (Anthony Boyle) are seen looking intensely at the camera for their shoot, whilst Albus and Ginny are constantly smiling on set.

Watch the video below to see more, and take a look at the portraits of the Potter family, the Weasleys and the Malfoys.

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1019. WB enlists Rick Famuyiwa to direct THE FLASH

B045---Flash-Rebirth-FLSREB_Cv1It was just a few weeks ago that WB had parted ways with first-time filmmaker Seth Grahame-Smith for their upcoming feature film version of The Flash. Some had thought perhaps the project was in a major tailspin, but in the wake of Geoff Johns and Jon Berg being named the co-leads of DC Films, more […]

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1020. Giveaway- THE UNICORNE FILES by CHRIS D'LACEY

Hey, it's been a long time since I had a giveaway for you...but here one is! To celebrate today's release of A Crown of Dragons, the last book in the series of The Unicorne Files by Chris d'Lacey, Laura from Chicken House has kindly offered the chance to win the whole trilogy!



A Dark Inheritance: When Michael Malone discovers his supernatural ability to alter reality, he is recruited by an organization dedicated to investigating strange and paranormal phenomena. He joins in hopes of finding his father, who mysteriously vanished three years earlier. Michael's first task is to solve the mystery of a dog he rescued from a precarious clifftop -- a mystery that leads him to a strange and sickly classmate and a young girl who was killed in a devastating accident. Stakes are high as Michael learns to harness his newfound ability and uncover the deadly truth about his father's disappearance.

Alexander's Army: After the success of his first assignment from the UNICORNE agency, fourteen-year-old Michael Malone is given another unexplained mystery to solve. When UNICORNE detect strange goings-on in a comic book shop, Michael is sent to investigate- a task which is made all the more difficult by allies he can no longer trust, and an enemy he can't actually see.

A Crown of Dragons: Michael, a special agent for the secretive UNICORNE agency, embarks on his most dangerous mission yet: investigating the artefact his father was researching before he disappeared. But the truth is darker than he could’ve imagined. His father is lost in an alternative reality, and Michael is the only one with the power to save him...


If you'd like to enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Entry is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and entry closes at 12am on Friday 10 June. Winner will be chosen some time on Friday.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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1021. MPC Tries The Ultimate Recruitment Strategy: VFX Will Get You Laid

MPC recruitment manager claims, "Getting to say you make THE BEST movies gets you friends with benefits."

The post MPC Tries The Ultimate Recruitment Strategy: VFX Will Get You Laid appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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1022. Toon Thursday: The Return of Psychobabble for Writers

That's right--last time's rerun was just a teaser for the real thing: a lovely new cartoon featuring everyone's favorite bummer topic, DYSTOPIAS. More precisely, the shiny happy people who write them. Any resemblance to existing writers, living or... Read the rest of this post

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1023. Dave Gibbons Was Not Consulted About the Watchmen’s Entrance Into the DC Universe

watchmen-coverThe comic book Watchmen, penned by Alan Moore and drawn by artist Dave Gibbons, is one of the most revered books in DC Comics’ nearly century-spanning catalogue.  However, their treatment of the work’s creators has always been more than a little murky.  Many people both within and outside the industry know that DC’s relationship with Moore […]

10 Comments on Dave Gibbons Was Not Consulted About the Watchmen’s Entrance Into the DC Universe, last added: 6/5/2016
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1024. Feedback Request



The author of the book featured in Face-Lift 1315 has submitted the following revision, and would like your input.


I am seeking representation for my fantasy/adventure novel, The Missing Traveller, aimed at high school readers. 

Ages have passed since a flood turned the world into a waste [Is the world covered with water? Or has the water subsided, leaving a wasteland?] and drove survivors up the immense Mount Era, and cities of the Union federation are perched across the cliffs. [That would be better as two sentences, with "are perched" changed to "have grown up (or "have formed").] [It sounds like Mount Era is the only place in the world where people live. Are there other mountains harboring survivors?] The Stone of Dominus, responsible for the flood and destruction,  [One could get the impression the Stone of Dominus is so huge that when it rolled into the ocean it caused the whole planet to flood. If it's a normal-sized stone with magical powers maybe it should be a crystal or jewel.] [Also, if you change Dominus to Dominos, as my auto-correct keeps doing, you can make it a pizza stone.] was buried in the centre of the mountain to prevent such a cataclysm from occurring again. [They somehow know that the Stone is harmless if it's inside a mountain?] [Does the Stone have to be in the possession of a human to cause a cataclysm? If so, they should sail to the other side of the planet and toss it under the ocean instead of burying in the one place on the planet where humans live.] 

For all the years Lark, the travelling merchant, told the sixteen-year-old Alister about the cities of the Union, he never imagined he'd be one of the few to leave home and explore them. [I feel certain he at least imagined it. Maybe he never believed it.] ["For all the years" bothers me. Maybe "Despite all the times"?But after his rash actions lead to a young girl's death, Alister sees no choice but to run away.

His guilt might have overwhelmed him if not for a message from Lark, who recently went missing. The message leads Alister to discover [reveals] that Lark's disappearance was no accident. Baudouin, the unnervingly charismatic king of the western side of the mountain, took Lark captive after the merchant learned of his plans to regain his "rightful" rule over the mountain, using the Stone of Dominus. [The Stone was buried to prevent this. If it's still accessible, my earlier warning that they should find a better hiding place is proven prophetic.]

With the rest of the Union oblivious to Baudouin's plans and fooled by the aid he's given them over the years, Alister needs to decide who to trust to free Lark, so the two of them can determine a way to stop Baudouin from destroying the Mount. [If the Mount is destroyed, what's left? I thought Baudouin wanted to regain his "rightful" rule over the mountain, not destroy it.] Along the way to Deemstun, Alister uncovers the mysteries of Lark's past, earns his funds from an illegal glider race, and finds himself wondering how far he should go to stop the ambitious king.

Thanks for your time and consideration. The full manuscript is complete at 108 000 words and is available upon request. As per your submission guidelines, attached are the first two chapters. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,


Notes

I think we should begin with Alister killing the girl and running away. Opening with a description of the world is okay if it's crucial to what you're about to tell us, but the plot points you include could take place anywhere. 

I see you've changed Hawk to Lark, but do we really need him in the query? All he does is disappear. He seems to be important to Alister, but not so much to us. It's still not clear how a merchant can be useful, and while Alister somehow seems better equipped now that he's not known exclusively as a whittler, he still doesn't have super powers If he beats Baudouin to the Stone of Dominus, can he use it to defeat him?.

Here's the story as far as I can tell: Alister accidentally kills a young girl and chooses to run away. While on the run he learns of a plot by Baudouin to either destroy the only habitable place in the world or to become the ruler of all he surveys, which, in either case, is Mt. Era. Despite having no useful skills and no allies, Alister sets out to stop Baudouin. Turn each of those sentences into a three-sentence paragraph. 


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1025. #28: Awkward Photos of Duran Duran

#28: Awkward Photos of Duran Duran:

vinylfromthevault:

A hilarious newsletter from one of my oldest and dearest,  @tinglealley 

The captions to the above photos, and others, are awesome. Also linked in the newsletter is an article for The Awl that Carrie wrote (with submissions from me and our friend Allyson) in celebration of Nick’s 50th birthday in 2012 (D2 tweeted and FB’d it. We were giddy for weeks!). You can link to it here as well.

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