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1. The Fall review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps, Diogo Mainardi's The Fall.

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2. Interview with Sidney Halston, Author of Full Contact and Giveaway

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

[Sidney Halston] First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to interview me this morning. I’m so excited. Okay so, this is hard question, isn’t it. I guess I’d say: Mother, reader, daring, daydreamer, playful.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Sidney Halston] I can’t wait for you all to meet Slade Martin! FULL CONTACT is the 2nd novel from my WORTH THE FIGHT series. It is a stand-alone, however, you’ll get a better feel for the entire town and the sub-characters if you first read AGAINST THE CAGE (Book #1, WORTH THE FIGHT series).

FULL CONTACT takes place in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It begins when Jessica Cross is released from the hospital after being horribly beaten by her ex-boyfriend. Ultimate bad boy, Slade, the owner of Worth the Fight Academy, an MMA Training Academy, vows to protect Jessica from her ex. The book is funny and sexy but heartfelt and tender, especially when the dirty talking Slade becomes putty in Jessica’s hand. I hope you all read it love it as much as I loved writing it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Sidney Halston] My husband is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. I absolutely love the brotherhood between the men at his Academy, and noticed the same kind of camaraderie even with the opponents at matches. It gave me the idea of building this world based on Worth the Fight Academy, where the men have grown up together, and regardless of whether they are tearing each other apart in a cage or hugging it out after a grueling match, at the end, they can all go out and have a beer together. It’s the two sides of these strong males that I love. For this particular book, the plot stemmed from the first novel, AGAINST THE CAGE. It starts off where book #1 leaves off. She’s been beaten and feels broken. Slade’s guilt for not protecting her consumes him. Will she let him in—a bad boy to the core…

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Sidney Halston] Oh Slade has a dirty mouth. It was so fun writing it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Sidney Halston] The fight scenes always give me a hard time. They’ve become easier to write, but I’m so concerned about the accuracy of how to write them, that they take me a long time.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Sidney Halston] Talk Dirty to Me, by Jason Derulo. HEE HEE.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Sidney Halston] My Kindle. I take it everywhere. Hey…you never know when you’ll have a moment to read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Sidney Halston] A notepad, my cell phone, and photo of my kids and husband.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Sidney Halston] This is a tough question. I’m not really sure. I enjoy my life and it’s gotten so interesting with all the people I’ve met. I don’t think I’d trade with anyone. There are some characters in some of my favorite books, that make me want to jump into the book and be that character for a day, but that’s fiction.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Sidney Halston] I love to read and I read often. Kristen Ashley’s my favorite and I just adore her. I love Jessica Clare’s Hit Man series and Laura Kaye’s Hard Inked Series. I recently discovered Tammy Falkner’s The Reed Brother’s series, which I devoured in less than a week. I loved it. I really like anything Toni Aleo writes. She’s awesome and I also really like Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series. It’s hilarious!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Sidney Halston] Like I said, I love to read. But, I also love spending time with my husband and kids. During the weekend we are pretty much inseparable and we do everything from going grocery shopping together to the movies. I like spending time with them. There’s nothing better that hearing your kids say something silly or completely inappropriate to make your day brighter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Sidney Halston] WebSite: www.sidneyhalston.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sidneyhalston

Twitter: @sidneyhalston

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22469198-full-contact

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/shalston/

Thank you so much for chatting with me this morning. I hope you all pick up a copy of FULL CONTACT and let me know what you think. I love interacting with my readers! XOXO

 

Full Contact

Worth the Fight # 2

By: Sidney Halston

Releasing October 28th, 2014

Loveswept

Sidney Halston returns to steamy Tarpon Springs, Florida, where a hell-raising bad boy prepares to get down and dirty for the woman he loves.

How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?

Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he’s probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/full-contact-worth-fight-2-by-sidney.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22469198-full-contact?from_search=true

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/135224-worth-the-fight

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Full-Contact-Worth-Sidney-Halston-ebook/dp/B00K4C3RHC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410966326&sr=1-1&keywords=Full+Contact%3A+Worth+the+Fight+Series
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/full-contact-sidney-halston/1119434740?ean=9780553390971

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/full-contact/id889685362?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/full-contact-2

Author Info

Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.

Author Links

Website: http://sidneyhalston.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sidneyhalston
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SidneyHalston
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6916557.Sidney_Halston

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 Book Seller Gift Card and Loveswept Mug & Tote)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Sidney Halston, Author of Full Contact and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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3. Early blues and country music

Beginning in the early 1920s, and continuing through the mid 1940s, record companies separated vernacular music of the American South into two categories, divided along racial lines: the “race” series, aimed at a black audience, and the “hillbilly” series, aimed at a white audience. These series were the precursors to the also racially separated Rhythm & Blues and Country & Western charts, and arguably the source of the frequent racial divisions of today’s recording industry. But a closer examination reveals that the two populations rely heavily on many of the same musical resources, and that early blues and country music exhibit thorough interpenetration.

Many admirers of early blues and country music observe that black and white musicians from the 1920s to the 1940s share much with respect to repertoire and genre, and that the separation of the two on commercial recordings grew out of the prejudices of record companies. It becomes even more apparent how deeply intertwined the two traditions are when we examine blues and country musicians’ shared stock of schemes. Schemes are preexisting harmonic grounds and melodic structures that are common resources for the creation of songs. A scheme generates multiple distinct songs, with different lyrics and titles. Many schemes generated songs in both blues and country music.

There are several different types of blues and country schemes. One type is a harmonic progression that combines with one particular tune. The “Trouble In Mind” scheme, for example, generates both Bertha Chippie Hill’s “Trouble in Mind” (1) and the Hackberry Ramblers’ “Fais Pas Ça” (2). Both use the same harmonic progression, and the two melodies have relatively slight variation. Hill recorded for the “race” series, and the Hackberry Ramblers for the “hillbilly” series.

1. Bertha “Chippie” Hill, “Trouble in Mind” (Bertha “Chippie” Hill—Document Records)

2. Hackberry Ramblers, “Fais Pas Ça” (Jolie Blonde—Arhoolie Productions)

A second type of scheme is a preexisting harmonic progression that musicians associate primarily with a specific tune, which they set to lyrics about various subjects, but which they also use to support original melodies. In the “Frankie and Johnny” scheme, the same melody combines with lyrics about Frankie’s shooting of Johnny (or Albert) (3), the Boll Weevil infestation at the turn of the twentieth century (4), and the gambler Stack O’Lee, who shot and killed fellow gambler Billy Lyons (5). Singers also use the harmonic progression to support original melodies, with lyrics about Frankie (6), Stack O’Lee (7), or another subject (8).

In all of the examples, the same correspondence between lyrics and harmony is evident in the harmonic shift that accompanies the completion of the opening rhyming couplet, on the words “above” (3), “your home” (4), “road” (5), “beer” (6), the first “Stack O’Lee” (7), and “that line” (8), and in the harmonic shifts that accompany emphasized words in the refrain, on the words “man” and “wrong” (3, 5, and 6), “no home” and “no home” (4), “bad man” and “Stack O’Lee” (7), and “bad” and “bad” (8). Four of the recordings given here are from the “race” labels, and two are from the “hillbilly” labels, but the same scheme generates all of them.

Jimmie Rodgers. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Jimmie Rodgers. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

3. Jimmie Rodgers, “Frankie and Johnny” (The Essential Jimmie Rodgers—Sony)

4. W. A. Lindsey, “Boll Weevil” (People Take Warning—Tomkins Square)

5. Ma Rainey, “Stack O’Lee Blues” (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—Yazoo)

6. Charley Patton, “Frankie and Albert” (Charley Patton Complete Recordings—JSP Records)

7. Mississippi John Hurt, “Stack O’Lee” (Before the Blues—Yazoo)

8. Henry Thomas, “Bob McKinney” (Texas Worried Blues—Document Records)

A third type of scheme is a preexisting harmonic progression that musicians use primarily to support original melodies. This type of scheme is the most productive, and often supports countless melodies. The most well-known and productive of this type is the standard twelve-bar blues scheme. All seven of the following recordings (9–15)—four from the “race” series and three from the “hillbilly” series—contain original melodies combined with the standard twelve-bar blues harmonic progression, and all demonstrate the AAB poetic form that typically combines with the scheme, in which singers state the opening A line of a couplet twice and follow it with one statement of the rhyming B line.

9. Ida Cox, “Lonesome Blues” (Ida Cox Complete Recorded Works—Document Records)

10. Charley Patton, “Moon Going Down” (Charlie Patton Founder of the Delta Blues—Mastercopy Pty Ltd)

11. Jesse “Babyface” Thomas, “Down in Texas Blues” (The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of)

12. Lonnie Johnson, “Mr. Johnson’s Blues No. 2” (A Smithsonian Collection of Classic Blues Singers—Sony/Smithsonian)

13. W. Lee O’Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys, “Dirty Hangover Blues” (White Country Blues—Sony)

14. Jesse “Babyface” Thomas, “Down in Texas Blues” (The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of) (White Country Blues—Sony)

15. Carlisle & Ball, “Guitar Blues” (White Country Blues—Sony)

A fourth type of scheme is a preexisting melodic structure whose harmonizations display considerable variance and yet also certain requirements. The following four examples—two by black musicians and two by white musicians—are all realizations of the “Sitting on Top of the World” scheme, and use the same melodic structure. Their harmonizations are in some ways quite similar—for example, all four harmonize the beginning of the second, rhyming line with the same harmony, and accelerate the rate of harmonic change going into the cadence—but the harmonizations vary more than the melodic structure.

16. Tampa Red, “Things ‘Bout Coming My Way No. 2” (Tampa Red the Guitar Wizard—Sony)

17. Bill Broonzy, “Worrying You Off My Mind” (Big Bill Broonzy Good Time Tonight—Sony)

18. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, “Sittin’ on Top of the World” (Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys Anthology—Puzzle Productions)

19. The Carter Family, “I’m Sitting on Top of the World” (On Border Radio—Arhoolie)

Finally, a fifth type of scheme is a preexisting melodic structure for which performers have little shared conception of the harmonic progression. The last four examples—one by a black musician and three by white musicians—are all realizations of the “John Henry” scheme, and use the same melodic structure, but very different harmonic progressions. Riley Puckett, in his instrumental version, uses only one harmony throughout (20). Woody Guthrie uses two harmonies (21). The Williamson Brothers & Curry also use two harmonies, but arrive at a much different harmonization than Guthrie (22). Leadbelly uses three harmonies (23).

20. Riley Puckett, “A Darkey’s Wail” (White Country Blues—Sony)

21. Woody Guthrie, “John Henry” (Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs—Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)

22. Williamson Brothers & Curry, “Gonna Die with My Hammer in My Hand” (Anthology of American Folk Music—Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)

23. Leadbelly, “John Henry” (Lead Belly’s Last Sessions— Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)

Record companies presented American vernacular music in the context of a racial divide, but examining the common stock of schemes helps to reveal how extensively black and white musical traditions are intertwined. There are stylistic differences between blues and country music, but many differences lie on the surface, while on a deeper level the two populations frequently rely on the same musical foundations.

Headline image credit: Fiddlin’ Bill Hensley. Asheville, North Carolina. Public domain via Library of Congress.

The post Early blues and country music appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Nobel-effect on Modiano sales

       So far there have been few articles about the sales-effect of the announcement that Patrick Modiano is this year's Nobel laureate -- in part, in the US/UK, no doubt because almost none of his works are actually available or in print (a situation that will be changing in the coming weeks).
       Unsurprisingly, he got a nice boost in France -- though not enough of one for his new novel to top last week's (through 12 October) bestseller list (you can see how Le suicide français would be hard to top, regardless of international honors ...).
       Ahn Sung-mi reports, in The Korea Herald, that Nobel prize boosts Modiano's book sales in South Korea, as, for example:

Online book retailer Interpark said Missing Person recorded 300 books in sales over a four-day period since the announcement. "This is a drastic change from 2010 when the book was first published and total of 120 books were sold that year," said Jeong Ji-yeon from Interpark.
       And:
"Prior to the award announcement, less than 10 copies of his books were sold on average in a month at bookstores," said a representative of Munhakdonge, publisher of seven books of the author. Munhakdongne printed 13,000 Modiano books upon the Nobel Prize announcement, and plans to print 10,000 more copies as the demand is increasing.
       More surprisingly and impressively, the Tehran Times reports that Patrick Modiano's books soar to Tehran bestsellers list, with six Modinao titles among the top-five at various Tehran booksellers.
       Okay, so in South Korea there are apparently seven Modiano titles available, in Iran -- Iran ! -- there are six, in the US/UK ... less.
       Yes, the situation is changing/improving: Yale University Press' three-in-one collection, Suspended Sentences (see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), substantially increases what's available (from those two Godine titles, with one more reprint to follow soon), and the University of California Press has quickly resuscitated Dora Bruder -- a re-issue is due out next month (see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com; no Amazon.co.uk listing at this time). (The University of Nebraska Press seems also to be working on resuscitating Out of the Dark -- see their publicity page, or back-order at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.) Still, overall: a sad state of English-speaking affairs -- and surely yet another counter-example to all the supposed translation-enthusiasm that everyone is so excited about: the down-to-earth reality looks like this: a lot uglier, with even the Iranians managing to do a better job in at least some (and possibly many ?) cases.

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5. Halloween Poll

Happy HalloweenHalloween Poll

Moderator Katie on the Reading Buzz Message Board posted a poll-type quiz with questions contributed by Go-green-or-else, DreamtimeDetermined14, BreezeBrain39, WinterWonder9300, and DarkRising6.

MU HA HA HA! Let the fun begin!

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
  2. What’s your favorite type of candy?
  3. What are you being for Halloween this year?
  4. What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
  5. What do you usually do for Halloween (trick-or-treat, party, stay home)?
  6. What’s the most IDEAL Halloween costume?
  7. Do you have any Halloween traditions?
  8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like Halloween?
  9. Do you know the history of Halloween? Do you care?

There are lots more questions to answer in the Halloween Quiz post. Go check them out and tell Moderator Katie I said, “Hi!” Happy Halloween!!

image from kids.scholastic.com — Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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6. Augustpriset shortlists

       They've announced the shortlists for the Augustpriset, one of the leading Swedish literary prizes.

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7. The Mystery of the Missing Lion by Alexander McCall Smith, illustrated by Iain McIntosh, 90 pp, RL 2

The Mystery of the Missing Lion is the third book in Alexander McCall Smith's, brilliant chapter book series featuring the childhood incarnation of his adult novel heroine and owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Precious Ramotswe. The books are marvelously illustrated by Iain McIntosh and are unique when it comes to chapter books for so many reasons - girl detective, set in

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8. Celebrating Ballou Sr High School's library dynamo


We are often asked why we have chosen to stay with Ballou Senior High School for our annual book fair. Prior to Ballou, Guys Lit Wire worked with a group serving juvenile offenders in Los Angeles and two schools on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. While we certainly were happy to help those folks and felt that our book fairs did a lot of good and were appreciated, when we first teamed up with Ballou we quickly realized we had found a special situation.

Melissa Jackson, the Library Media Specialist, loves her job and her enthusiasm is quite infectious. A look at the library's facebook page shows the many events she plans there from poetry slams to club meetings to author readings and tons of visiting speakers. Melissa works tirelessly to get students excited about reading and has been key to the past success of the book fairs. She cares so much about the kids at Ballou and has shown us just how much one dedicated librarian can accomplish for a whole school. Melissa is a powerhouse whose dedication can not be denied. We are thus delighted to work with her, and help her, through the current book fair.

If you want to know how the world can be changed, then Melissa is a shining example of what a force for good looks like. Guys Lit Wire organizes these book fairs each year through her direct coordination and support; Melissa is the one who gets all these books you purchase off the list into the hands of teenagers eager to read them. Please know how much you making her job easier with every title you send to Washington DC and every effort you make to spread the word.

The Book Fair for Ballou Sr High School continues. Please check out the details and shop the Powells wish list.

[Post pic of Melissa Jackson with the Ballou mascot, the "Golden Knight".]

Cross posted from Guys Lit Wire.

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9. WALLPAPER - mini moderns

'Feathers' is the third wallpaper design in the Mini Moderns 'Hinterland' collection. This is a result of a repeat collaboration between Mini Moderns and artist, Matt Sewell. The design is based on Matt's feather watercolours, which feature in the design for the end papers of his book 'Our Songbirds'. The wallpaper design fits perfectly with the spirit of the 'Hinterland' collection, which

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10. Corporate short-termism, the media, and the self-fulfilling prophecy

The business press and general media often lament that firm executives are exhibiting “short-termism”, succumbing to the pressure by stock market investors to maximize quarterly earnings while sacrificing long-term investments and innovation. In our new article in the Socio-Economic Review, we suggest that this complaint is partly accurate, but partly not.

What seems accurate is that the maximization of short-term earnings by firms and their executives has become somewhat more prevalent in recent years, and that some of the roots of this phenomenon lead to stock market investors. What is inaccurate, though, is the assumption that investors – even if they were “short-term traders” – would inherently attend to short-term quarterly earnings when making trading decisions. Namely, even “short-term trading” (i.e. buying stocks with the aim to sell them after few minutes, days, or months) does not equal or necessitate “short-term earnings focus”, i.e., making trading decisions based on short-term earnings (let alone based on short-term earnings only). This means that in case the media observes – or executives perceive – that firms are pressured by stock market investors to focus on short-term earnings, such a pressure is illusionary, in part.

The illusion, in turn, is based on the phenomenon of “vociferous minority”: a minority of stock investors may be focusing on short-term earnings, causing some weak correlation between short-term earnings and stock price jumps / drops. But the illusion is born when this gets interpreted as if most or all investors (i.e., the majority) would be focusing on short-term earnings only. Alas, such an interpretation may, in the dynamic markets, lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy – whereby an increasing number of investors join the vociferous minority and focus increasingly on short-term earnings (even if still not the majority of investors would focus on short-term earnings only). And more importantly – or more unfortunately – firm executives may start to increasingly maximize short-term earnings, too, due to the (inaccurate) illusion that the majority of investors would prefer that.

rolls royce
Rolls Royce, by Christophe Verdier. CC-BY-2.0 vis Flickr.

A final paradox is the role of the media. Of course, the media have good intentions in lamenting about short-termism in the markets, trying to draw attention to an unsatisfactory state of affairs. However, such lamenting stories may actually contribute to the emergence of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Namely, despite the lamenting tone of the media articles, they are in any case emphasizing that the market participants are focusing just on short-term earnings. This contributes to the illusion that all investors are focusing on short-term earnings only – which in turn may lead a bigger majority of investors and firms to actually join the minority’s bandwagon, in the illusion that everyone else is doing that too.

Should the media do something different, then? Well, we suggest that in this case, the media should report more on “positive stories”, or cases whereby firms have managed to create great innovations with a patient, longer-term focus. The media could also report on an increasing number of investors looking at alternative, long-term measures (such as patents or innovation rates) instead of short-term earnings.

So, more stories like this one about Rolls-Royce – however, without claiming or lamenting that most investors are just wanting “quick results” (i.e., without portraying cases like Rolls-Royce just as rare exceptions). Such positive stories could, in the best scenario, contribute to a reverse, self-fulfilling prophecy – whereby more and more investors, and thereafter firm executives, would replace some of the excessive focus on short-term earnings that they might currently have.

The post Corporate short-termism, the media, and the self-fulfilling prophecy appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. International publishing statistics

       In The Bookseller Joshua Farrington reports that IPA: UK publishers 'published most in the world' in 2013, summarizing the new International Publishing Association Annual Report (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), as:

UK publishers released 2,875 new titles per million inhabitants, more than 1,000 titles ahead of the nearest nation, Taiwan. In absolute figures, 2013 saw the UK publish 184,000 new titles and re-editions, the highest figure in Europe, with only the US and China publishing more, with 304,912 and 444,000 titles respectively.
       I do note that Iceland is not included in the reckoning; the most recent statistics I could find, covering 2012, report 1349 published titles; with an Icelandic population at the end of 2012 of 321,857, that makes for 4,191 new titles per million inhabitants .....
       Nevertheless, the UK totals are impressive. Those from Georgia, too -- what the hell is that about ? On the other hand: South Africa only published 68 titles per million inhabitants ? (Okay, those are 2010 figures; not necessarily directly comparable -- but it's still shocking.)

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12. Danielle Ellison Takes Over the Blog! {FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS}

By Danielle Ellison My book releases today!!!! (I’m still trying to process that.) Giving birth to a book baby, creating something to put out there into the world, is a big deal. It’s not a feeling I can describe. Each book that you create comes with a new feeling. Follow Me Through Darkness is my third release this year. Third. Going from zero to three in a year has been a crazy journey. (

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13. Stalking Book Bloggers


Yesterday I tried to make a comment on a blog I enjoy, the cheerful YA Yeah Yeah, published by Jim Dean, a gentleman who likes YA mainstream fiction, though he does occasionally review genre fiction. (A blog I highly recommend, btw, check it out at www.yayeahyeah.com) I have always been able to comment on this blog, but I received a message saying that you could only comment if you were part of the "team". As Jim and I follow each other on Twitter I sent him a Direct Message, asking what was happening, and he explained that he had switched off comments because of a recent incident where an author upset over a bad review had actually stalked a reviewer! He seems to have even deleted his contact details on the blog.

Now, Jim doesn't do bad reviews; he only reviews books he likes, as "recommendations". But there are some scary people out there, who might take offence at the mildest criticism. I've had some strange folk submitting comments to this blog, though I don't publish them these days. My comments setting is on "moderation" so comments are published when I've had a look at them. So far, though, it's only been weird, not abusive, and I certainly haven't been stalked.  In some cases I even published the comments until they were just too much. There was one writer who complained and argued about some things I said in my review. It wasn't a bad review, because like Jim, I mostly stick to books I like - life is too short to finish books I hate and I'd have to do that to review them fairly. I just said what I thought about certain aspects of the book that made no sense to me. This wasn't good enough for that author, who argued with me. I published the comments, but I won't be reviewing anything by that author again. As she's a well known writer, she probably doesn't need my publicity, but it all helps, doesn't it? So not a good idea on her part.

At least she didn't  phone me up or turn up at my home, let alone write an article about it for the Guardian!

I'm a writer. I will admit to hating some of the reviews on Goodreads. My own books have been subject to extreme rudeness now and then from people who have read about eight pages. I've seen people giving five star ratings to books that haven't been published yet. Now, that is weird! So is giving a one star rating without reading a book. By all means, say you refuse to read something, but if you haven't read it, don't rate it.

I know at least one reviewer who said horrible things about a particular book, then read not one but both the sequels and was rude about those too - really, would you read a sequel to a book you hated? I wouldn't. I came to the conclusion that this particular reviewer enjoyed saying witty things about the books she hated and having around 1000 admiring comments from her followers.

But hey, you need a thick skin to survive in this occupation. As a slush reader, I have come across whinges and whines on author blogs and writer forums about those horrible people at ASIM who were rude about their babies when they rejected their works of genius. Get over it, guys! Grow a thicker skin and just submit somewhere else, or you might have an even harder time when you do have something published.

The thing is, when I was growing up, there was no Internet. Books were reviewed in newspapers and magazines by professionals. Now, anyone can be a reviewer, just as  anyone can be a published writer. It's a different world. We just have to live with it and hopefully we can do that while remaining civil to each other.

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14. DSC Prize for South Asian Literature longlist

       They've announced the ten-title strong longlist for the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
       A couple of real heavyweights on the list: books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Hosseini, and Kamila Shamsie. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's The Mirror of Beauty is apparently the only work in translation that made the cut (not that you could tell it's a translation from the Penguin India publicity page ...).

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15. The Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize – No Fee

NO FEE WRITING CONTEST:  PRIZE: $5,000.00. 

DEADLINE: 10-31-2014.

horat

Black Balloon Publishing will accept submissions for the 2014 annual Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize between October 1st and October 31st, 2014. The winning author receives $5,000 and a Black Balloon book deal.* There is no reading fee.

WRITING CONTEST WEBSITE

Black Balloon Publishing invites entries of finished, unpublished and original fiction manuscripts of over 50K words to The Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. The winning author receives a $5,000 cash prize and a book publishing deal with the company.Submit only unpublished fiction manuscripts (50,000 words and up) written in English. Short stories, previously published as collections, are still eligible. The initial entry process requires you to submit a partial manuscript of under 4,000 words.Black Balloon Publishing is a well-known author-friendly indie press based in New York, NY. The company publishes crossed genres of creative fiction, narrative, and nonfiction that showcase experimental forms of strong storytelling.

Black Balloon will announce a winner on Monday, February 2, 2015.**

Submission Guidelines:

  • Fiction manuscripts only, please (novels or short story collections)
  • Manuscripts must be complete, unpublished and original. Prior print or digital publication of individual stories from an unpublished collection is acceptable; please ensure your submission acknowledges all outlets in which individual stories have been previously published (if a work is discovered to have been posted or published elsewhere—and not openly acknowledged by the author in advance—we will remove the manuscript from consideration).
  • Self-published novels and story collections are ineligible, including work that has been published digitally.
  • Manuscripts must be over 50,000 words in length
  • International English-language submissions are welcome
  • Submissions must be received between October 1st and October 31st, 2014

DEADLINE: October 31, 2014

Use the link below to submit (scroll to the bottom of the page).

https://electricliterature.submittable.com/submit/35240

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book Contracts, Competition, Contest, earn money, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Black Balloon Publishing, Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize, No Fee Publishing Contract Contest

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16. Interview with Maya Banks, Author of Keep Me Safe and Giveaway

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

[Maya Banks] Introverted, cave-dweller, book-lover, LOVES-to-dish-romance!, SO grateful to my readers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Maya Banks] Keep Me Safe is a LONG awaited story for me. I’ve wanted to write this story and book 3 for SO long. I’ve had those two stories in my head for YEARS. But a concise peek (and I’m not very concise!) is that Ramie has psychic abilities, unique abilities, that enable her to track kidnapping victims by touching an object belonging to the victim. She makes a connection to them, but the downside is that she experiences every thing the victim does once she makes that connection. Everything. So it’s rather horrifying. She’s an empath who is only able to feel or detect the evil in people. Never the good. So her “gift” is more of a curse since she’s never able to feel the GOOD.

Caleb hunts her down when his sister is abducted and they’ve exhausted all leads. He knows he’s racing against the clock and when Ramie refuses because she’s at her breaking point, he “forces” her compliance by shoving his sister’s scarf into her hands and holding her hands around it. And promptly sends her to hell.

Horrified by what he’s done, he’s determined to make it up to her. But she disappears and no amount of searching on his part is able to unearth her. Until she contacts him a year later because she’s in terrible danger and doesn’t know who else to turn to.

And well, thus begins their journey :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Maya Banks] As stated above, this is a story I’ve literally had in my head for many years. And the first thing that came to me was a single scene where the hero forces the heroine’s compliance when she initially refuses his request for her to help find his kidnapped sister. The hero has no idea what hell he has just unleashed on the heroine and has no idea the toll it takes on her and is appalled when he discovers just what he’s done.

That scene, which is the opening scene of Keep Me Safe, was the basis for the entire story and subsequent series. Book 3 in the Slow Burn series, Safe At Last, is ALSO a story that I have had the idea living in my head for many years and I’m THRILLED not only to get to write Caleb and Ramie’s story, but Zack’s and Gracie’s story in book 3. (Finally!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Maya Banks] Everything! Every single word. After waiting so long to be able to bring this story to light I loved every scene.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Maya Banks] Honestly nothing. When you’ve had as long as I have to think about this story you don’t encounter many “bumps in the road” simply because you’ve had so long to go over the possibilities, arrange and rearrange constantly until you KNOW exactly what you want to do with the story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Maya Banks] Uh well I think it changes often or at least I can’t think of ONE song that would fit me all the time. I’m extremely eclectic and my music tastes range WIDELY.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Maya Banks] My laptop.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Maya Banks] While I DO have an office and a desk, I don’t always use it. I tend to switch places (writing spots) and currently my office isn’t it, so my desk is pretty clean!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Maya Banks] Ok as you’re no doubt discovering I’m a really boring person! I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d like to trade places with because I’m a FIRM believer in “the grass is always greener…until you get there”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Maya Banks] I’ve had VERY little reading time this year because I’ve been sidelines by health issues :( I’ve mostly been reading my OWN stories as I write them lol. BUT reading is ESSENTIAL for me. Especially after I come off an exhausting, stressful deadline. Reading helps me recharge the batteries and helps me rediscover my love of romance and it motivates me to go write another kickass book.

But at the same time, sometimes, especially when I DON’T have a lot of time, I don’t want to risk a new author or a new title that I’m unsure that I’ll LIKE. It’s at times like these that I fall back on my “comfort re-reads”  These are books that I love no matter HOW many times I re-read them. I’ve literally read them dozens and DOZENS of time because I KNOW they won’t disappoint me and the make me happy and motivate me to write something truly special.

So after coming off a VERY exhausting, DRAINING deadline a week ago, I was WASTED but I needed a “comfort re-read” so I chose three of Kresley Cole’s books in her IAD series and just went to bed and curled up with my super comfy pillows (I LOVE my down pillows and I LOVE my bed and down comforter and my AWESOME linens) Bed accessories are my one indulgence. So I took two days and just decompressed and read some Kresley Cole books just to give my brain a rest and make it “happy”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Maya Banks] I am VERY close to my family. I have an EXTREMELY close and open relationship with all thee of my teenage children. I know, I know! Shocking, right?? And my favorite thing in the WORLD is simply being able to put my work away after finishing a deadline and even if it’s just all crashing on the couch together and watching a movie, or gathering in the kitchen over a family meal and discussing what’s going on with them and school, these are the times I savor the most. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

I also love to travel and I am NOT a planner. If my husband and I actually try to sit down and plan out a trip down to the minutest detail months in advance, we become overwhelmed and frustrated and can never decide exactly what we want to do. We LOVE taking spur of the moment trips with no more than a day’s notice and we seem to be less frustrated with the “details” when we just GO instead of trying to plan it all out.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Maya Banks] I hang out on Facebook and Twitter quite frequently. And I’m always available via email and my website always contains the latest, up to date information on all my books and releases. Links are below

www.facebook.com/authormayabanks

twitter.com/@maya_banks

www.mayabanks.com

maya@mayabanks.com

Keep Me Safe

Slow Burn # 1

By: Maya Banks

Releasing October 7th, 2014

Avon

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie’s vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will do risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . . .

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/keep-me-safe-slow-burn-1-by-maya-banks.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20910177-keep-me-safe?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Me-Safe-Novel-Novels-ebook/dp/B00H20H5NG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408970888&sr=8-1&keywords=keep+me+safe

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keep-me-safe-maya-banks/1117650167?ean=9780062312464

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/keep-me-safe/id771083448?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/keep-me-safe-1

Author Info

Maya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Author Links

Website: http://mayabanks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMayaBanks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maya_banks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24978.Maya_Banks

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Caleb Devereaux turned out of the sharp switchback and onto the driveway leading up to the tiny mountain cabin, swearing when he hit pothole after pothole. Fury and impatience simmered in his blood but the anticipation of having finally found Ramie St. Claire after an exhaustive search kept his mood from being completely black.

Ramie was his sister, Tori’s, only hope.

The moment Tori was kidnapped, Caleb had begun his search for Ramie St. Claire. She certainly wasn’t the first person on most people’s go-to list when looking for a loved one. Ramie was psychic and had been helpful in locating victims in the past. While many would be skeptical, Caleb absolutely believed in Ramie’s abilities.

His own sister had psychic abilities.

He and his brothers, Beau and Quinn, had always been extremely overprotective of their baby sister. With good reason. Caleb was the head of a veritable empire. Security was always top priority. They’d always feared kidnapping for ransom, but in their worst nightmares they’d never imagined that Tori would simply disappear and be at the mercy of a madman.

There’d been no ransom demand. Simply a video of Tori bound hand and foot and the maniacal laughter of her captor as he told Caleb to kiss his sister goodbye.

He just prayed he wasn’t too late. God, don’t let it be too late for Tori.

It infuriated him that Ramie St. Claire had simply dropped off the map three months ago. No trace of her, no forwarding address. No evidence that she even existed. How could she simply disappear when she was such an invaluable aid in finding kidnap victims and missing persons? How selfish of her to simply refuse, by her actions, to help anyone?

He’d worked himself into a rage by the time he finally pulled up to the small cabin that looked as though it wouldn’t weather the upcoming winter at all. He wasn’t even certain there would be electricity. Only a person determined not to be found would live in a place like this.

He got out and strode to the ramshackle front door, his fist up and pounding. The door shook and rattled under the force of his knock. Only silence greeted him and it sent his blood pressure soaring.

“Miss St. Claire!” he roared. “Answer the goddamn door!”

He beat on the door again, shouting again for her to answer. He likely looked and sounded like the madman holding his sister, but at this point he didn’t care. He was beyond desperation. It had taken every resource available to him to finally track Ramie down. No way in hell he was leaving until he’d gotten the information he’d come for.

Then the door swung open and he was greeted by the sight of a petite woman with wary, gray eyes. He was momentarily taken aback, going silent as he stared at Ramie St. Claire for the first time in person.

The photos he’d seen of her didn’t do her justice. There was a delicate air to her as though she were recovering from an illness, but it in no way detracted from her beauty. She looked…fragile. He felt a brief moment of guilt for what he was about to ask her to do, but he brushed it away. There was no price too high to pay for his sister’s life.

“I can’t help you.”

Her softly spoken words slid like velvet over his ears, a direct contrast from the anger her refusal caused. He hadn’t even made his request yet and she was already giving him the brush-off.

“You don’t even know what it is I want,” he said in an icy tone that would wither most people.

“It’s rather obvious,” she said wearily, fatigue drooping her eyelids. “Why else would you come all this way? I don’t even want to know how you found me. It’s obvious I did a piss poor job of covering my tracks if you managed to find me here.”

Caleb frowned. Had she been ill? Was that why she’d dropped out of sight so she could recover? It didn’t matter why now that he’d found her. He didn’t care what her reasons were.

“With your abilities why would you purposely make yourself difficult to find?” he demanded. “My sister’s life is at stake here, Miss St. Claire. I’m not merely asking you to help me. I’m not leaving until you do.”

She shook her head adamantly, fear chasing the lethargy from her eyes. “I can’t.”

There was quiet desperation to her words that told him there was more to her refusal than what appeared on the surface. Something was wrong and yet he couldn’t summon any regret for forcing her compliance. Not when Tori’s life hung in the balance.

He reached inside his jacket and pulled out Tori’s scarf. The one item they’d found at the sight where she must have been taken. In the parking lot of a grocery store beside the open door of her car. He should have never let her go alone. He’d failed her. Failed to protect her. Failed to ensure proper security.

Ramie immediately backed away, a desperate cry on her lips. He shoved forward, forcing the scarf into her hands and holding her and the scarf so there was no escape. She emitted a broken sob and she looked up at him, stricken, her face going unnaturally pale. Her pupils flared and then clouded, pain and devastation clearly outlined on her features.

“No,” she whispered. “Not again. Oh God, not again. I won’t survive it.”

Her knees buckled and she would have gone down, but he caught her, ensuring the scarf never lost contact with her hands. He watched in horror as Ramie’s body sagged, slipping from his grasp despite his best effort to support her weight. She was simply lifeless, as limp as a rag doll. He quickly followed her down to the floor, determined that she not lose her grip on Tori’s scarf. But it didn’t seem to matter now. Ramie was somewhere else.

Her eyes glazed over and her body began to twitch spasmodically. She curled into a fetal position, the fragility of such a self-protective measure gutting him. She moaned softly and then began to weep.

“Please don’t hurt me again. Please, I’m begging you. I can’t take any more. If you’re going to kill me, just do it. Quit torturing me.”

Chill bumps spread rapidly up Caleb’s nape as Ramie’s voice, which sounded nearly identical to Tori’s, filled his ears. Dear God, was he witnessing what was happening to his sister through Ramie?

The scene Ramie was painting was horrifying. Not only for the fact that his sister was even now enduring the absolute worse. But from all appearances, Ramie was suffering with her.

He’d certainly done his research on Ramie St. Claire’s abilities but there was little information beyond her astonishing success record. No mention of how she managed to help victims or what it did to her. God help them all. What had he done?

Her body jerked and it took only a moment for Caleb to realize what was happening. It was too unmistakable. Bile rose in his throat and he had to suck in steadying breaths to keep from heaving the contents of his stomach on the floor. Tears burned his eyelids as he helplessly watched his sister being raped through the window of Ramie’s awareness.

Ramie’s weeping tore at his heart and he gathered her into his arms, not knowing what else to do but rock her gently. “Tori?” He whispered his sister’s name experimentally, not knowing if a link had been established through Ramie. “Can you hear me? It’s Caleb. Tell me where you are, honey. I’ll come for you. Hold on please. Don’t give up, no matter how bad it is.”

Ramie’s head jerked sideways and the imprint of a hand immediately appeared on her cheek. Caleb was horrified, unsure of what to do now that he’d crossed a line he couldn’t come back from. He tried to push back his guilt, telling himself that anything that helped him recover his sister was worth it. But was torturing an innocent woman worth it?

He hadn’t given her a choice. She’d told him no and yet he’d forced this on her not knowing the heavy toll it would take. He had no idea how her powers worked and now that he did he was sick to his soul. No wonder she’d been so resistant. No wonder she’d told him she couldn’t do it anymore.

“Ramie. Ramie!” he said in a more forceful voice. “Come back to me, Ramie. Come back so you can tell me how to find her.”

Ramie’s eyes were opened but so distant that he knew she wasn’t here. The imprint of the hand on her face was bright and vivid, red against deathly white skin. There was a look of such defeat and despair in her eyes that once again he found himself battling tears.

Suddenly she hunched inward, her entire body jolting as though absorbing a blow. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and he realized that she’d been kicked. Or rather Tori had been kicked. It was a horrific, helpless feeling to know that two women were being victimized, one because of him.

Then she simply rolled away, her cheek lying against the cold floor, her eyes fixed and vacant. She was completely still and terror gripped him. Was Tori dead? Oh dear God! Had he just witnessed his sister’s murder?

“Ramie! Wake up! God, please wake up. Tell me how to find her. Tell me that she’s still alive!”

He picked Ramie’s slight weight up, swearing because she was so thin and fragile, weighing nothing in his arms. He carried her to the worn sofa and carefully laid her down, not wanting to hurt her any more than she’d already been hurt.

He sat on the edge, gathering her icy hands in his, rubbing, trying to infuse warmth. He had no idea what to do. Should he take her to a hospital?

Then after several long moments, she blinked and seemed to come out of her trance. Pain immediately swamped her features and she began to silently weep again, each tear cutting him to ribbons.

“Is she still alive?” he asked anxiously. “Do you know how to find her?”

“Yes,” Ramie said dully.

Hope surged in his heart and he found himself nearly crushing her hands in his.

“Tell me where,” he urged.

Slowly and painfully she whispered the location down to the minutest detail. Chills once again slithered up his spine at the precision in which she described not only the location but the kidnapper. She even provided a license plate number.

He picked up his phone and immediately called his brother, relaying the information that Ramie had provided. When he was done, he stared helplessly down at Ramie, grateful and yet deeply regretful for what he’d just subjected her to.

“What do I need to do to help you?” he asked softly.

Resignation dulled her eyes even further. “There’s nothing you can do,” she said in a flat voice. “Just go.”

“The hell I’ll just leave you here!”

He was already calculating in his head that he could simply bring her with him. He could get her the care she so obviously needed at the same time Tori was receiving what she needed.

“Your sister needs you. Just go. I’ll be fine.”

The lie was so obvious, but it seemed to be all she could muster. He was torn between rushing to be with Tori and staying to ensure Ramie would be all right. But how could she be? Two women would live with this for the rest of their lives. His precious sister and the woman he’d forced to help him never knowing the price she’d pay.

“Please,” she begged, her voice breaking. “Just go and leave me be. I gave you what you wanted. I helped you, now go. It’s the least you can do.”

Caleb stood, wiping a hand over his hair and down the back of his neck in agitation. “I’ll go, but I’m coming back, Ramie. I’m going to make this up to you.”

“You can never take this back,” she whispered. “There’s no making up for what’s been done. Just go and take care of your sister. She needs you.”

She closed her eyes, tears seeping from her eyelids. How could he just leave her like she asked? And yet how could he not go and ensure that his sister was safely recovered? He’d never felt so torn in his life.

“If you have any humanity whatsoever, you’ll leave and never tell anyone where you found me,” Ramie said hoarsely. “Please, I’m begging you. Just go. He plans to kill her tomorrow. At dawn. You don’t have much time.”

Her words proved to be the impetus, driving him to action. But goddamn it, he would make this up to her. Somehow, someway.

Regret swamped him. Worse was the fact that even knowing now what he hadn’t known before, he couldn’t say he would have done anything differently. Not when it meant the difference between Tori’s life and death. But at least now he better understood Ramie’s resistance. No longer did he look at her and think she was selfish and cruel. Now he realized her disappearance had been self-preservation. He didn’t know she’d survived this in the past. He just prayed he wasn’t the tipping point in pushing her so far over the edge she’d never recover.

Caleb closed his eyes and then gently touched her cheek. “I’m so sorry. You’ll never know how much. My family and I owe you more than I can ever repay. I’ll go for now and pray to God I’m not too late. But I’m coming back, Ramie. Count on it. I’ll make this up to you if it’s the very last thing I do.”

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17. Questions surrounding open access licensing

Open access (OA) publishing stands at something of a crossroads. OA is now part of the mainstream. But with increasing success and increasing volume come increasing complexity, scrutiny, and demand. There are many facets of OA which will prove to be significant challenges for publishers over the next few years. Here I’m going to focus on one — licensing — and discuss how the arguments seen over licensing in recent months shine a light on the difference between OA as a movement, and OA as a reality.

Today’s authors face a number of conflicting pressures. Publish in a high impact journal. Publish in a journal with the correct OA options as mandated by your funder. Publish in a journal with the correct OA options as mandated by your institution. Publish your article in a way which complies with government requirements on research excellence. They are then met by a wide array of options, and it’s no wonder we at OUP sometimes receive queries from authors confused as to which OA option they should choose.

One of the most interesting aspects of the various surveys Taylor & Francis (T&F) have conducted on open access over the past year or two has been the divergence between what authors say they want, and what their funders/governments mandate. The T&F findings imply that, whilst there is generally a shared consensus as to what is meant by accessible, there are divergent positions and preferences between funders and researchers as to what constitutes reasonable reuse. T&F’s surveys always reveal the most restrictive licences in the Creative Commons (CC) suite such as Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivs (CC BY-NC-ND) to be the most popular, with the liberal Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence coming in last. This neither squares with the mandates of funders which are usually, but not always, pro CC BY, or author behaviour at OUP, where CC BY-NC-ND usually comes in a resounding third behind CC BY and CC BY-NC where it’s available. It’s not a dramatic logical step to think that proliferation may lead to confusion, but given the conflicting evidence and demand, and potential for change, it’s logical for publishers to offer myriad options. At the same time elsewhere in the OA space we have a recent example of pressure to remove choice.

Creative Commons. Image by Giulio Zannol. CC BY 2.0 via giuli-o Flickr.
Creative Commons. Image by Giulio Zannol. CC BY 2.0 via giuli-o Flickr.

In July 2014, the International Association of Science, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) released their ‘model licences’ for open access. These were at their core a series of alternatives for, and extensions to the terms of the established CC licences. STM’s new addition did not go down well in OA circles, as a ‘Global Coalition’ subsequently called for their withdrawal. One of the interesting elements of the Coalition’s call was that, in amongst some very valid points about interoperability, etc. it fell back on the kind of language more commonly associated with a sermon to make the STM actions seem incompatible with some fundamental precepts about the practice of science: “let us work together in a world where the whole sum of human knowledge… is accessible, usable, reusable, and interoperable.” At root, it could be interpreted that the Coalition was using positive terminology to frame an essentially negative action – barring a new entry to the market. Personally, I don’t have a strong opinion on the new STM licences. We don’t have any plans to adapt them at OUP (we use CC). But it was odd and striking that rather than letting a competitor to the CC status quo exist and in all likelihood fail, some serious OA players felt the need to call for that competitor’s withdrawal.

This illustrates one of the central challenges of the dichotomy of OA. On one hand you have OA as a political movement seeking to replace commercial interests with self-organized and self-governed communities of interest – a bottom-up aspiration for the common good, often suggested to be applied in quite restricted ways, usually adhering to the Berlin, Budapest, and Bethesda declarations. On the other you have OA as a top-down pragmatic means to an end, aiming to improve the flow of research and by extension, economic performance. The OA pragmatist might suggest that it’s fine for an author to be given the choice of liberal or less liberal OA licences, as long as they meet the basic criteria of being free to read and easy to re-use. The OA dogmatist might only be satisfied with the most liberal licence, and with OA along the terms they’ve come to believe is the correct interpretation of their core precepts. The danger of this approach is that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ and, as can be seen from the language of the Global Coalition in responding to the STM licences, that can very easily translate into; “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.”

Against this backdrop, publishers find themselves in a thorny position. Do you (a) respect author choice, but possibly at some expense of simplicity, or do you (b) offer fewer options, but potentially leave members of the scholarly community feeling dissatisfied or disenfranchised by your standard option?

Oxford University Press at the moment chooses option (a), as we feel this is the more inclusive way to proceed. To me at least it feels right to give your customers choice. But there is an argument for streamlining processes, avoiding confusion, and giving users consistent knowledge of what to expect. Nature Publishing Group (NPG), for example, recently announced that as part of their move to full OA for Nature Communications they would be making CC BY their default, and only allowing other options on request. This is notable in as much as it’s a very strong steer in a particular direction, while not ruling out everything else. NPG has done more than most to examine the choice issue – changing the order of their licences to see what authors select, sometimes varying charges, etc. Empirical evidence such as this is essential for a viable and credible resolution to the future of OA licensing. Perhaps the Global Coalition should have given a more considered and less emotional response to the STM licences. Was repudiation necessary in a broad OA community which should be able to recognise and accept different variants of OA? It would be a shame if all the positive impacts of open access for the consumer come hand in hand with a diminution of scholarly freedom for the producer.

The opinions and other information contained in this blog post and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.

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18. How Image Systems Can Supercharge a Novel

You know, after 5+ years, we’ve covered a lot of writing-related topics at this blog. At times, it’s a challenge to come up with meaningful material that hasn’t been done to death. So I was super excited to receive C.S. Lakin’s post on a topic that we’ve never discussed before at Writers Helping Writers—a topic that I’d never actually even heard of before: using image systems to improve your novel. What the heck is an image system? I’m so glad you asked….

C.S. Lakin

Filmmakers use a term called “image systems,” and novelists can benefit greatly by creating a similar kind of image system for their novel.

Just What is an Image System?

Think of the overall message coming through your novel. What themes are you honing in on? What controversial issues or moral dilemmas are you presenting? What is the “take-home” feeling you want to leave with your reader after she finishes reading the last page. Asking these questions can help you step back and look at the tone, mood, and intent of your story.

In a film, an image system might include repeating shot compositions—for example, a movie might use a certain shape or image in a landscape and repeat it throughout the film. An image system often uses specific colors—some which may not be easy at first to notice or that work on a subliminal level in some way.

Great novelists know the power of motif and symbolism, often using something like a repeated word or phrase, or an object of importance to the character, to bring a richness to the story and to enhance the theme of their novel. In effect, they are creating something similar to an image system. By taking a look at some of the ways filmmakers develop image systems for their films, novelists can learn much and expand their technique.

Get a Clear Vision of the Story You Are Telling

Filmmaker Gustav Mercado says, “If you want to become an effective storyteller, one of the most important things you can do is to have a clear vision of your story, so that it reflects your unique take on it, not somebody else’s. . . . Anything and everything that is included in the composition of a shot will be interpreted by an audience as being there for a specific purpose that is directly related and necessary to understand the story they are watching [or reading, in the case of a novel].”

Writers, as well as filmmakers, need to first identify the core ideas of their story in order to create an image system. Once that is determined, they can design a system that supports and brings out that core idea in either obvious or subtle ways consistently implemented throughout the book.

Ask these questions about each of your scenes:

• What are the main elements (or one main element) that should dominate the scene and be brought to the reader’s attention? Can these be an object or word/phrase or bit of setting that can be symbolic and repetitive in your novel?
• What should and shouldn’t be included in the scene that will help the reader focus on that element? (Think about all that unnecessary narrative or trivial dialog.)
• What meaning will be conveyed subconsciously by these elements you show?

Overlying all this is your main theme or core idea. You’ve perhaps been told you should be able to sum up your premise in a sentence or two (elevator pitch). In that premise lies your core idea for your book. You may have gotten a germ of an idea for your novel, and from that you developed characters with issues and goals, and you came up with settings and scene ideas to play out your storyline. But overlying all that is your core idea.

In Just a Few Words

See if you can encapsulate the main theme or idea of your story in one line or a few words. For example, the core idea behind the movie Rocky might be about gaining self-respect. That’s a simple summation. But if you can come up with a basic thematic concept, you can gear the elements in your scenes to bring out that theme.

Emblematic Shots to Highlight Theme

Think about including emblematic elements that reveal theme and motif.
• Is there a place your character keeps coming back to?
• An emotion she keeps struggling with that can be symbolized by a particular scene composition and “camera angle”?
• A place where she reflects and looks out on the world that can subliminally indicate her mood, self-image, or view of others?
• An object that she studies close up?

Emblematic shots are usually placed at the beginning and end of meaningful scenes, to emphasize them, make them stand out.

Sum It Up in One Picture

Here’s something you can try. Imagine taking one (only one) snapshot of your novel (not of the actual physical book). This picture needs to “tell” what the core idea or theme of your story is about. Think movie poster.

A movie poster has to somehow convey the feel and premise of the entire movie. Imagine showing this picture you took of your novel to a stranger and asking him what he thinks the theme or core idea is behind the photo. Ask him what symbolism comes through. Did you include symbolic elements? What colors did you choose?

Even without knowing the emotional power of each color, we all resonate similarly when it comes to colors. Can you come up with one image that can be the core of your image system? We’ve heard the cliché: a picture is worth a thousand words. If your picture can just speak a dozen key words to you, you can build an image system around it.

Try jotting down six key words that best “represent” your novel. Then think of emblematic images, places, objects, or phrases that will capture those succinctly.

Developing an image system is just one way to infuse your novel with cinematic technique. The more novelists can borrow great “tools” from filmmakers, the more visually powerful and dynamic their novels will be.

What about your novel? Can you come up with some elements to make up your image system? Share your “poster” concept in the comments. Do you have some emblematic objects, places, or phrases that help create an image system for your story? If so, share them!

Shoot your novel ebook cover final

C. S. Lakin is a multipublished best-selling novelist and writing coach. She works full-time as a copyeditor and critiques about two hundred manuscripts a year. She teaches writing workshops and gives instruction on her award-winning blog Live Write Thrive. Her new book—Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Technique to Supercharge Your Story—is designed to help writers learn the secrets of cinematic technique. You can buy it here in print and as an ebook. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How Image Systems Can Supercharge a Novel appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS.

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19. DESIGNER - circus boy band

Circus boy Band is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Seoul, South Korea. The collaborative studio takes on commissions in graphic design, illustration, product design, and also have their own label with stationery, bags, homewares, etc. This woodland design caught my eye along with lots of other interesting bits and pieces, As spotted online at Circus Boy Band.

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20. Dr Who: BAFTA Cymru, BBC Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales announce special Doctor Who events

Bfi Scifi Logo


20 October 14

An exciting series of events which will offer new access to the Doctor Who series, featuring episodes from episodes that have been filmed in Wales throughout its 50 year history.

The programme of six events, devised and coordinated by Film Hub Wales and BAFTA Cymru, and hosted in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and 6 key venues around the country, will offer fans of the series a chance to see monsters from key episodes of the cult classic on the big screen and hear from the creative team working on the series.

The events will be held between November 2014 and January 2015 and will be part of Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, the BFI’s landmark season dedicated to cinema’s most spectacular genre, presented together with 02. Tickets will be available to BAFTA members and the general public.

Hannah Raybould, BAFTA Cymru Director, said: “BAFTA Cymru exists to celebrate excellence in production in the moving art form and this new partnership with BBC Wales and venues around Wales – made possible by the funding received from Film Hub Wales, will allow us to offer new access to the amazing talent working on the Doctor Who series in Wales.”

“We are particularly pleased to be working with new venue partners – from Scala Cinema and Arts Centre in Prestatyn, Theatr Harlech in Gwynedd, Savoy Theatre in Monmouth and Y Ffwrnes in Llanelli, which expand the breadth of our offer, and add to our existing fruitful partnerships with the Film Hub lead organisation Chapter in Cardiff and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.”

The first event in the series, to be held in partnership with Chapter pop up cinema on 4 November at the landmark National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, will be a preview of Death in Heaven, the current season finale, which will be screened ahead of its broadcast on BBC One and will be attended by cast and crew.
The wider programme of events includes The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe at Ffwrnes in Llanelli on 1 December ; The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky at Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn on 12 December; The Unquiet Dead at the Savoy, in Monmouth on 12 January; ending with The Five Doctors on 27 January at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. An additional double bill screening of Mask of Mandragora and The Prisoner will be confirmed to take place in January at Theatr Harlech.

The events will each have a specific theme, focusing on one creative department within the Doctor Who production team.

“We are delighted to offer this unique opportunity to Film Hub Wales member venues, including our Film Hub Lead organisation Chapter, as part of our exciting BFI Sci-Fi programme. We couldn’t imagine a Wales-wide Sci-Fi season that didn’t explore our cultural connections to Doctor Who and are thrilled to work with BBC Cymru Wales and BAFTA Cymru to bring these events to life,” said Hana Lewis, Strategic Hub Manager, Film Hub Wales.

“We have a rich and diverse range of exhibitors developing audiences for film across Wales but many are divided by rural landscapes, limited capacity and lack of funding. Film Hub Wales exists to support a more sustainable independent film sector, bringing more film, to more people, in more places. We anticipate that special screenings of this cult classic can bring audiences together to experience the wondrous world of Doctor Who on the big screen.”

Tickets for these special events will cost £12 and £8 (concessions) and are available exclusively from the venue websites here:
 
Doctor Who: Death in Heaven
Tuesday 4th November 7pm
Reardon Smith Theatre, Cardiff
www.chapter.org/doctorwho
029 2030 4400


Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
Monday 1st December at 7pm
Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli
www.theatrausirgar.co.uk
0845 2263510


Doctor Who: The Sontaran; Stratagem & The Poison Sky
Tuesday 16th December 7pm
Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Denbighshire
www.scalaprestatyn.co.uk
01745 850197


Doctor Who: The Unquiet Dead
Monday 12th January 7pm
Monmouth Savoy Theatre, Monmouth
www.monmouth-savoy.co.uk
01600 772467


Doctor Who: Doctor Who Masque of Mandragora & The Prisoner
Saturday 17th January at 7pm
Theatr Harlech, Snowdonia
www.theatrharlech.com
01766 780667


Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
Tuesday 27th January at 7pm
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth
www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk
01970 623232


For further information, please contact:
Fiona Lynch, BAFTA Cymru
T 02920 223898
E fional@bafta.org



 

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21. Some Favorite New Books for 3rd Grade Transitional Readers

I have been on the lookout for short reads for my 3rd graders. I still have a handful of students who are struggling with finishing books.  Finding quality books for 3rd graders is always a struggle. So I am always thrilled when I find something with a little more to it than most.  And with a humor that is perfect for 8 and 9 year olds. I've found several great ones for kids pretty new to chapter books lately.   Here they are:













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22. STATIONERY - rebecca stoner

We last saw designer Rebecca Stoner on P&P with her first licensed fabric collection Prairie for Dashwood Studio. Since then Rebecca has decided to open an Etsy shop and create patterns and illustrations on Cards, Notebooks, Calendars and Art Prints. Also just in a Christmas cards. As well as being busy with freelance work and setting up her Etsy Shop Rebecca has also started work on her second

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23. Uncle John’s Totally Quacked Bathroom Reader for Kids Only! | Book Giveaway

Enter to win an Uncle John's Bathroom Readers prize pack! Giveaway begins October 20, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends November 19, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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24. Claude Ollier (1922-2014)

       At 91, French author Claude Ollier has passed away; he published his last book ... last year: Cinq contes fantastiques (see the P.O.L. publicity page). Surprisingly little notice of his death so far, even in the French press -- but see, for example, Sabine Audrerie's Mort de l'écrivain Claude Ollier.
       Several of his works have been translated; most of these were published by -- of course -- Dalkey Archive Press. (And, yes, Ollier's work fits the Dalkey-profile to a T.)
       Only one of his works is under review at the complete review: Wert and the Life Without End.
       See also Cecile Lindsay's 1988 A Conversation with Claude Ollier from the Review of Contemporary Fiction.

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25. Magulandia lands in Santa Paula • 10,000 Strong Veterans

Michael Sedano


Magu. When Magu died his many friends grieved his absence because he was so vital and so young and so alive. You can't miss him, though, because sabes que? Magu lives. There's Magu photo-bombing Eloy Torrez, resisting the urge to make rabbit ears. Always liked a good laugh, Magu did.

The legendary artist, Gilbert Magu Lujan, is all over the walls in Santa Paula's Art Museum where In Search of Magulandia, this year's 21st De Colores Art Show, opened last Saturday, October 18 and will run through February 22, 2015.

The Santa Paula Art Museum occupies a solidly built 1920's two-story building in the heart of a scenic valley where agriculture and oil helped form a town that is finding community through culture. The Limoneira Building was Union Oil Co's founding Hq.

Museum Executive Director Jennifer Heighton worked with Curators Xavier Montes and Vanessa Acosta to mount the dual shows. A companion exhibit opened at the city's Agricultural Museum, a restored railroad warehouse where Los Fabulocos performed and the Magu-painted Family Car was surrounded by superb exemplars of Magu's sculpture and paintings.

At the Art Museum, the 1950 Chevy coupe with the FAMCAR license, together with Mario Trillo’s delivery van, greeted visitors at the side entry, where shade added to the welcome on the open sky Spring-like afternoon. Danzantes opened the doors at two in the afternoon and the place soon rocked with gente taking in the tributes to el maestro.

Jennifer Heighton beamed as she passed among the throngs moving about the gallery, posing for fotos with artists and one another. Angel Guerrero and Sergio Hernandez showed portraiture while Paty Diaz (with daughter Leylany Rodriguez) and Manuel Unzueta created symbolic references to Magu's love for cars.



There are some precious gems among the work on display. All endeavor tributes to Magu’s iconography. Artists paint trokitas, pyramidal dogs, indigenous motifs, color, smiles. They attempt to capture Magu's attitude; he painted with disarming innocence that takes a big bite out of comfortable ideas and perspectives.

The show brings together dozens of Magu's friends and running mates, also in the show artists who knew Magu, artists who studied Chicano Art and knew of Magu. The work includes variety from pastiche to portrait to allusion to school-of tributes. The artists speak in acts of friendship and love for Magu, his art, and what Magu championed. It is an altogether invigorating and encouraging exhibition.

There's always something. I missed a knee-high wood sculpture set on the floor beside a support beam--a couple of times--and in the crowd couldn’t bend to study it when I noticed it.

Spirit-infused artists showed up to make the opening a distinguished gathering. This particular group knows how to have fun. Oscar Castillo and Mario Trillo captured images. Pola Lopez and Victoria Plata relaxed with the Family Car. David Botello shared fine points of the giclée Manuel Urrutia bought in the gift store. Urrutia did what visitors need to do more of when visiting museums, buy stuff. Mario Trillo photo bombs David and Manuel.


A museum visitor's friend captures a moment with J. Michael Walker, whose piece is obscured by the phone. Walker's stunning work merits such widespread acclaim that one day this visitor's relatives will want copies of the foto he's snapping. Be sure to click on the links to individual artist webpages, like this one for Michael's.



Pola Lopez tells a rich story of her first meeting Magu. They knew of one another by reputation and their work. Pola had constructed a work featuring the Family Car in a landscape populated by feminist symbology. Entitled Not a Hood Ornament. Magu was apprehensive she was calling him on the carpet.

Lopez'work is an appreciation. Magu learns this and Pola and he become lifelong friends. Pola's narrative of creating this tribute to her first Magu encounter will have visitors triply engaged with Pola's wonderful kiss, Magu's smile, and the artist's expressiveness. Peace Offering lettered down the left edge shares their history while also remembering her friend, qepd. 

Pola Lopez and her work


Museum Executive Director Jennifer Heighton beams delightedly when spotted circulating through the lively crowd who pack the gallery. The turn-out for the show is historic. Gente galore wander in and about the red-brick walls, enjoying the ambience, the food and beverage, the plein aire style found in side galleries where gulp-prices on large paintings give one pause. It's discover day for many, their first visit to town.

The large crowd mills about the big room until they begin claiming chairs for the presentations. Magu's son, Otoño, will be playing later with el Conjunto Los Pochos. All the Magu kids, and their mom, have come to celebrate Magulandia with his friends. 

Vanessa Acosta sparkles with excitement and indefatigable energy reserves. She and museum staff and Xavier Montes have worked months inviting, receiving, hanging, making arrangements. Here now, then gone in sixty microseconds, Acosta may have discovered teleportation. The museum publishes a beautiful full-color glossy commemorative pamphlet. Santa Paula Museum of Art does things first class for Magu and his friends.

Vanessa Acosta

Big X, as Montes is called, gives free music lessons to local kids--Jarocho to Beatles but mostly musica--through Strings of De Colores, a museum-sponsored non-profit. Details at the link on donations and mailing address for non-card donors.

Montes conducts the music with fervor and the musicians perform with puro ganas. Calling out the chord, he sings as well as coaches them through an able and extended performance. These kids are wonderful music makers. Performances like these will eventually coax out the dollars to help the museum wire the place for sound.

As X collapses in joy and exhaustion with the concluding notes, one of the Angels on Harps leaps from her instrument and claims victory of kids over loving music teacher. He challenged them to make all that practice pay off and it was Carnegie Hall day in their home town art museum. They all triumphed today.

Musicianship and heart





Museum Executive Director Jennifer Heighton, David Botello with Botello's Magulandia painting. Exquisite in detail and symbol, Botello's portrayal would be extra fabulous adorning one of those big walls downtown, or at the Smithsonian. Docents would spend hours pointing out the history and significance Botello places onto the canvas. It, along with Family Car, one day will be in the Smithsonian. Heighton can claim art world bragging rights on having launched the wall.


The Agricultural Museum waited after a pleasant stroll passing an old Moreton Bay fig, crossing the railroad tracks and a route step march along the tidy tracks to the pea gravel then the door.

Magu's own work hangs in a corner of the huge space. Collectors owing quintessential Magus shared freely with curators Montes and Acosta. Free-standing sculpture on display encourages 360 degree appreciation of Magu's clay and corrugated work. Seeing these seminal works together is seeing the beginnings of Chicana Chicano art.

Here In Search of Magulandia allows gente to get up close to Family Car unimpeded by barrier tape and stanchions. People were respectful of the finish and kept proper distance. It is a show of generosity and respect for this audience.

Paul Dunlap enjoys sharing the 1950 Chevy Coupe Magu painted. They were friends. Dunlap, back to camera, treats the car like the gem it is. He trucks Family Car to wherever he shows it. He drives it low and slow from the Art Museum to its place of honor in the museum. Sadly, La Bloga did not photograph the car wheeling on the street.

Santa Paula Art Museum hosts the main show through February. Travelers heading to El Lay from Fresno and parts north can detour from the 5 via Highway 126. Travelers to and from Santa Barbara will delight in the detour up the 126 from Ventura to Santa Paula, then the canyon road to Ojai, back to Ventura.

Leaving the Agricultural Museum and Magulandia, sharp-eyed witnesses watched a velocipede cruise past the Moreton Bay Fig tree, followed at a proper distance by a lass who didn't dare display any ankle  as she pedaled along the dusky road.

Getting to Santa Paula is its own adventure. Go. See the show. Add value to the journey by joining the museum. You can renew that membership every year; this trip through Magulandia happens only this once. Through February 2015.
c/s





Los Angeles
Veterans Job Hopes Gain 10,000 Possibilities

Magu was proud to be Veteran of the United States Air Force. Veterans everywhere welcome any effort with genuine possibilities for meaningful full time work.




Time runs short to apply for the October 28 deadline to get in on this Los Angeles program. Click this link for details.

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