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1. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Perdita by Faith Gardner + Giveaway (US/Canada)

Welcome, everyone!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for PERDITA by Faith Gardner, releasing August 18, 2015 from Merit Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Faith:

Hello YABC readers! My name is Faith Gardner and I’m thrilled to be here for the cover reveal of my debut novel PERDITA. Truthfully, I had no idea what the cover was going to be like. The design process was left up to the smart people at Merit Press, who know a lot more about book covers than I do. But I have to say I was delighted with what they chose. The cover captures the book’s darkness and mystery perfectly, and I’m a fan of the emerald green in contrast to the black and the lovely lotus flower. Personally, I prefer book covers without stock photos of people in them so that was the big thing that I was relieved to see (or rather not see) here. The process of someone else interpreting my story into a visual format was so exciting, and I’m incredibly grateful to the designer and my editor at Merit Press for the work they put into this.
~ Faith Gardner (PERDITA, Merit Press)



Ready to see?

Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!


































Here it is!



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



by Faith Gardner
Release date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Merit Press
ISBN: 9781440588112
About the Book
Sure, Arielle won't deny that she has a vivid, even wild, imagination. Sure, it sometimes runs away with her. And yes, it's true that she never recovered from the drowning death of her older brother, Justin, ten years ago, when Arielle was a little child. She almost hopes that ghosts are real, so that she might see Justin again. But ever since the misty morning when Arielle stumbles on the macabre sight of the body of her sister Casey's best friend, Perdita, being lifted from a nearby pond, ghostly images begin to appear to Arielle. Can they be Perdita, reaching out as speculation about her death ramps up from suicide to foul play? Perdita's younger brother, Tex, is back from private school, and Arielle can't get him off her mind, although he's a beautiful boy with scary secrets. Worse yet, there's no one to tell: big sister Casey's off to college, and Arielle discovers her own sister's cache of secret writings, along with a bizarre note from Perdita. What's real? What's fantasy? In a compelling tale that hurtles toward a stunning conclusion, the imprint of grief and the boundaries of human imagination are.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE

b2ap3_thumbnail_Faith_Headshot.jpgAbout the Author

Faith's short fiction has been featured in literary journals, online magazines and anthologies. Her YA novel Perdita will be published by Merit Press in 2015. She lives in Berkeley, California and plays guitar and sings in the bad Dark Beach.

Twitter | Web | Goodreads | Facebook | Pre-order Amazon | Pre-order Barnes & Noble


Giveaway Details

3 winners will each receive a copy of PERDITA. 

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

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

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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2. Listen!

   I rarely - if ever - email authors.  Today, I emailed Thanha Lai with a suggestion for a spin-off from her book  Listen, Slowly.  Before we go any further, I must apologize for not using diacritical marks in this review.  Diacritical marks are VERY important in Viet Namese, as Lai's book shows.

First, the review.  All the reviews tell you that 12-year-old Mai is a California girl through and through.  When she is chosen to go with her grandmother, or Ba (there should be an accent on that "a", slanting down from left to right, I think.) to Viet Nam to learn what happened to Mai's grandfather in THE WAR, Mai is furious.  She has a life, right there in Laguna, with a BFF and possible boyfriend.  Middle school rants ensue.

But Ba, quiet, peaceful, fragile Ba, how can Mai say no to Ba?  She can't.  The two of them travel to the village where Ong and Ba grew up; where Ong and Ba were betrothed, he only 7, she just 5; where they married and started a family; where Mai finds strangers who think of her as family.  It is all so odd.

The description of village life in North Viet Nam is delightfully confusing, full of details of what people eat, how they socialize, their dress, their formal and consistent good manners, even their fulsome speech.  The village seems to operate with one mind. Everyone is very careful of each other and of the things they use.  And they are curious about the larger world and about strangers and customs. 

This description led to my suggestion.  Lai describes a facial treatment that one of the Aunts forces Mai through and how it restores Mai's skin to beauty.  Then there is the lice treatment; and a potion to thwart intestinal microbes that Mai accidentally swallows.   Although Lai describes what Mai sees as these concoctions are made, wouldn't it be awesome if there was a book about these remedies?  I'd buy it.

Back to the book.  Ba's search takes so much longer than Mai hoped.  Her infrequent forays on the Internet make Mai more homesick than ever. (Is BFF Montana really making a move on the boy that Mai likes????)  One of Mai's big lessons is to learn not to worry about things she can't change.

I want to tell someone the whole plot - the trip to Ha Noi, with her new friend, Ut.; the HUGE frog that Ut totes with her; Anh Minh, the serious, hard-working, teen translator - and the two girls who compete for Anh Minh's attention.  The wordy detective, the reluctant guard, and Ba, strong Ba, who can not be at peace until she knows.  And then... and then...the ending, heart-breaking, calming and true.

Yep.  This book goes on my Best of the Best list for 2015.  Cheers for Mai, who grows so much in this book.  Cheers for Ba, who never wavers in her search for acceptance.  Cheers for the guard and the detective, who did their very best.  Cheers for Mom and Dad.  Cheers for Anh Minh and Ut and the whole village.  And cheers for Thanha Lai for such a wonderful book.

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3. Box Brown Inks Graphic Novel Deal

Box BrownCartoonist Box Brown has landed a deal with First Second Books, a Macmillan imprint.

Brown plans to create a new graphic novel about video games. According to Nerdist.com, he intends to explore where games come from through “the lens of Tetris.”

At this point in time, no title or release date have been announced. Click here to view one page from Brown’s book. To help with the wait, follow this link to play a few rounds of this addictive puzzle game.

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4. Time Management Tuesday: Yes, Yes. Another May Days Project Is Coming Up

My May Days Facebook group is powering up again. You remember May Days? I've been talking about it here since 2012. Part of what I like about taking part in this event, as I've said before, is that it gives me an opportunity to indulge in obsession. Sort of the way I did this past month with the Annotated Saving the Planet & Stuff. I think of these blocks of time as set-aside time to work on specific projects. Like the An--you know.

I've written here before about the significance of the beginnings and endings of units of time. I'm really feeling that significance right now. I've been worn out from this STP&S promo month for a while. How much have I been looking forward to the end of this project? A little more than a week ago, I thought the month ended this past weekend, because it was the first weekend I didn't have any family commitments. Commitments done, month done, right? Imagine my disappointment when I realized I had another four days to go.

So while I'm anxious for this April set-aside time to end, I'm also looking forward to the beginning of the next set-aside time, May Days. As far as new work is concerned, this month I've mainly done revising. I'd really like to move forward. That's my plan for May Days.

What I want to move forward with is the mummy book that I worked on last May. And the May before.  I'm not foolish enough to think I can finish it next month. (Though I did meet a writer this weekend who can do a rough draft in six weeks, and I already have five chapters.) But it would be terrific to get it done by fall. Making some serious progress in the next few weeks would go a long way toward getting there.

Note that with both these monthly projects, the Annotated Saving the Planet & Stuff Earth Day Promo and  Mummy for May Days (a name!!), involve two of my six  goals for this year.  I am staying on task!

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5. Children’s Books for the Letter “X”

Note: Today’s post is for the letter “X” for the Blogging A to Z Challenge

Here are some wonderful books to use with young children to introduce them to the letter “x.”

The Sound of X

A Fox: The Sound of X by Alice K. Flanagan

About the Book
Simple text and repetition of the letter “x” helps readers learn how to use this sound.

Fox in Sox

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

About the Book
Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks has been troubling tongues—and garnering giggles—since 1965. Written specifically to be read aloud, it features a tricky fox in socks and the progressively more difficult tongue-twisting games he plays on his exasperated friend Mr. Knox. Now available for the first time in an abridged, sturdy, board book edition, this beloved classic will have babies of all ages laughing with—and at—their parents as they struggle, like Knox, to blab such blibber blubber as muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle!


Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox

About the Book
I can see a nose and two eyes in the bushes!” cries Hattie.
But nobody is listening.
“I can see a nose, two eyes, two ears, two legs, and a body in the bushes!” cries Hattie.
But no one is paying a bit of attention.
Not goose. Not pig. Not horse. Not cow.
She tries again and again to warn her friends of danger, but nobody listens to Hattie.
That is, until they all realize that what Hattie is saying is true!


The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca

About the Book
Maxi, a homeless mutt in New York City, has always fended for himself. Then one day a kind taxi driver named Jim offers him friendship, a home, and a place in the front seat! From that moment on, Maxi and Jim revel in the sights and sounds of the city, and share all sorts of wild adventures-from rushing two clowns and a chimp to the circus, to singing duets with an opera diva! These and other adventures are brilliantly depicted in Mark Buehner’s witty, detail-packed oil paintings.


The Taxi that Hurried a Golden Book

About the Book
The Taxi That Hurried is about a speedy taxi and its driver, Bill, who rush to get a mother and child to the train station.


The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf

About the Book
Yellow hates Red, so does Green, and no one likes Orange! Can these crayons quit arguing and learn to cooperate? Shane DeRolf’s deceptively simple poem celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. In combination with Michael Letzig’s vibrant illustrations, young readers will understand that when we all work together, the results are much more colorful and interesting.

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6. Here There Be Voices

My short story Too Delicate for Human Form, which appeared in the anthologies Fish (Dagan Books) and Best British Fantasy 2013 (Salt Publishing) is now available in audio over at Far Fetched Fables alongside The Island of Peter Pandora by Kim Lakin-Smith.

The story is narrated by Heidi Hotz.

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7. Check out the Chun-Li Artist Series Card I made for Fangamer:...

Check out the Chun-Li Artist Series Card I made for Fangamer: Also, don’t forget to take a peek at the other cards, they all turned out awesome!  goo.gl/0aUSNm

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8. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.

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9. It Was Back In The Day....but I've no idea which day...

 Here we go again.  "Back in the day", Amazing Heroes was the comics news publication from the United States.  And a lot -a lot- of creators tried to get a mention in it.  I never had to try -I think I was mentioned in three issues.

Once again I hear that...well, more BS from morons who I can only assume are jealous.  But I can only respond with this:


Anyway, in Amazing Heroes #179, May, 1990, Hal Hargit wrote in his Small Press World section, under The UK Invasion Part One, about a certain bearded human dynamo.

As I like to always show certain people up as total arses I am including the piece here.  Oddly, the, uh, "comic personality" spreading the muck was never once mentioned in Amazing Heroes. Ever.

Did you hear that bitch-slap?

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10. The Perfect Bookmark...

What do you use for a bookmark?
Do you grab any old thing, or do you try to find a bookmark to fit the book?
I have tons of bookmarks from being a librarian for years and years.  Someday I will actually give them to kids, but mostly I only do if someone asks.
I do try to match the book I am reading to the bookmark I chose to use--sometimes just matching the color of the cover, sometimes the feel of the book, sometimes the theme of the book.
This is one of my favorites lately because it makes me giggle each time I see it:

I used this one when I was reading READY PLAYER ONE--it has kind of an 80's feel, right?

For all the bookmarks I have to chose from my go-to bookmarks are these paint chips I collected from Home Depot years ago.  They are from a Disney inspired line of paint and the names on them are awesome.  So, for two of the books I am currently reading I picked the PERFECT bookmarks:
The first is for the fairy tale book DEAREST and the paint names are "Princess Tiara" and "Fairytale Pink."  Awesome.  The second is for THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING and the paints are called "Friendly Frog" and "Springtime Grass."  Perfect! 

What do you use for bookmarks?

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11. How to Be Your Own Primary Research Source

A month ago I made a rash decision. To shave my head to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "Bald For Bucks" sounded fun at the time (my husband was going to do it too), and I definitely wanted to "pay it forward" for the great care he received and continues to receive at Roswell. It seemed like the least I could do.

Now, I'm two days away from getting buzzed and I'm anxious. Not that I'd back out or anything. I'm ready. So what am I nervous about?  Those are the feelings I want to get down on paper before the clippers strip me of these emotions and I'm faced with new ones.

As a nonfiction writer, the greatest primary source you have is yourself. You may be going to do something foolish like I am, or maybe you witnessed sea turtles hatching, or you have great knitting tips for beginners.  All of your experiences are viable and valuable research materials -- especially if you document it. Being able to pull out a journal and read -- "Sunday, July 7 -- We climbed the guano-covered steps up to the cave entrance and the Buddha inside. Bats flapped overhead.... It smelled of old wine." -- is like finding gold. It's been three years since I was in that cave. I didn't remember what it smelled like and would not have been able to write about it accurately if I hadn't have written it down.

When you want to write about a personal experience, and you know a head of time, it is just as important to nail down your BEFORE as it is the event itself or what comes after. You can rely on memory, but as I just proved, memory doesn't capture everything. So, that is what I'm doing today. What is my before experience with hair?

I've never been in love with my hair. It's poker straight, and the length rises and falls to the whim of my hairdresser who I love, but (Sorry Tim) has good days and bad. Now that it is graying, I find myself contemplating color, although I swore I never would. A buzz cut should be, and in some respects is a welcome challenge. I already went out and bought two scarves. One is black so I can wear it to perform in a choral concert without the lights glinting off my naked bean like a giant spotlight announcing that the 2016 Hondas are in.

My big concern is that I don't want anyone to think I am mocking them, or diminishing the agony of cancer and chemo and its effects. Will people ask me if I have cancer?  What will they say when I tell them no?

In a way this is me getting as ugly as I can -- 54, overweight (although I'm working on it), and bald. Can I, will I, still love myself? Did I before? Hell, I'm still trying to wrangle woolly eyebrows!

The best I can hope for is that this experience will be freeing.  At the very least?  It gives me something to write about.

Lesson -- Write it down! What you did, what it looked like, what it smelled like, felt like, tasted like, and especially how you felt about it.

**If you want to donate to Bald for Bucks click here.

Thank You!!

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12. World Beneath Podcast, Episode 13

It's Tuesday, time for Episode 13 of the serialized audio dramatization of Dinotopia: The World Beneath. You can listen to the track by clicking on the play button below, or by following the direct link to SoundCloud.

Arthur and Oriana leave the comparative safety of Bonabba....
....into the wilds of The Rainy Basin, where they are met with two 
strange meateaters....

....and then they discover a secret held by Tyrannosaurus (left)
and Giganotosaurus.

This audio re-creation was produced by ZBS Productions.  Audio producer Tom Lopez and composer Tim Clark created many layers of sound to make Dinotopia come alive to the ears.

The Christian Science Monitor called this production "A dazzling soundscape that does full justice to Gurney’s wondrous lost world… perfect family listening.”

Episode 14 arrives in a week. Each short episode will only be live online for one week, and then it will disappear.

If you'd like to purchase the full two-hour World Beneath podcast right now and hear all fifteen episodes back to back in a feature-length production, check out The World Beneath at ZBS Foundation website for the MP3 download. It's also available as a CD.

The Book
You can also order the original printed book from my web store and I'll sign it for you. (It ships via Media Mail within 24 hours of your order. US orders only for the book, please). The book is also available from Amazon in a 20th Anniversary Edition with lots of extras.

The Museum Exhibition
Many of these paintings are now on view at the Dinotopia exhibition at the Stamford Art Museum and Nature Center through May 25.

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13. Our Five Favorite Books for April

Our five favorite books for April will help kids celebrate each other’s unique differences, process with the emotions of moving, learn about the culture of Haiti — even teach them a few magic tricks!

For Pre-K – K (Ages 3-6):

bad_bye_good_bye“Bad Bye, Good Bye”by Deborah Underwood

In very few words, this warm and reassuring picture book captures the emotions kids experience in the process of moving. Over the course of the story, a boy goes from sadness to joy as his family moves from the country to the city, saying goodbye to old friends and hello to new ones.

For  1st & 2nd grade (Ages 6-8):

not_typical_dragon_1“Not Your Typical Dragon” (First Book Marketplace Special Edition) by Dan Bar-el

Kids will laugh out loud at this funny, lovable story about a young dragon who can breathe everything but fire. A terrific lesson in recognizing and appreciating everyone’s unique talents!

For 3rd & 4th grade (Ages 8-10):

vanishing_coin“Magic Shop Series #1: The Vanishing Coin” by Kate Egan

This engaging chapter book series hooks kids with a fun plot and a great bonus – lessons for performing magic tricks! Kids with attention issues or those struggling with bullies will especially relate.

5th & 6th grade (Ages 10-12):

stella_by_starlight“Stella by Starlight” by Sharon Draper

Through the eyes of a quirky, relatable 12-year-old, readers are transported to 1932 when the Klu Klux Klan resurfaces and unsettles a close-knit community. Kids will root for Stella as they witness her inspiring determination to face her biggest fears head on.

7th & up (Ages 13+):

“Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go”hold_tight by Laura Rose Wagner

This deeply affecting novel provides a rich exploration of Haiti’s culture through the experiences of Magdalie, a teenage survivor of the 2010 earthquake. Magdalie’s resolve to make a better life for herself makes this an empowering story for anyone who is suffering a loss or coping with tragedy.



The post Our Five Favorite Books for April appeared first on First Book Blog.

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14. WordRates on Kickstarter

Author Scott Carney is hoping to raise $6,500 to build a publishing platform for journalists “to share payment structures, rate editors and sell pitches.”

The WordRates platform will give journalists to tools to assess the freelance writing market to identify magazines, blogs and online news sites based on how they work. WordRates users will be able to share Yelp-like ratings of editors and publications. In addition, the site’s Pitch Lab will allow writers to workshop pitches with seasoned journalists and to get agent-level insights into contract negotiations.

Here is more from the Kickstarter page:

Antitrust laws make it illegal for freelancers to unionize so the only practical solution is to rely on the principles of the free market. It is time for a disruptive website that will change the playing field for freelance writers and photographers. By sharing information and promoting a business model that has been successful in both the book publishing and film industries it will be possible to get a bigger piece of the overall publishing revenue.

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15. Crystal Kite Award nomination!

What a compliment to be in such company!

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16. 30 Days of Teen Programming: Delivering what the community wants & needs

One of my favorite sections of the Teen Programming Guidelines (is it nerdy to have favorite sections?) is "Align programs with community and library priorities." But you have to be deeply involved with community agencies and activities in order to be ready to act on the community's priorities as they arise. This sounds obvious (and it is!), but it's taken me a few years to figure it out.

Several years back my coworker and I began working with the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP). SYEP is a city agency that places youth with barriers in paid internships in a variety of environments in city government and the private sector. It also provides them with job training and academic support. We worked with SYEP staff to design a curriculum that would build the interns' digital and information literacy skills. We were sometimes surprised by the needs identified by SYEP staff and the interns' employers: touch typing, for example, and basic MS Word. We learned a lot about putting our own assumptions aside.

Over the years, we continually evaluated and adjusted the program. We dropped some pieces and added others to make it as relevant as possible to the youth's needs and the needs of their employers. Mayor YEP Logo

This year, Seattle's mayor put forth a huge Youth Employment Initiative in which he asked SYEP to more than double the number of youth placed in jobs over the summer. Suddenly, the community had spoken: youth employment was a major need. Because we already had an ongoing relationship with SYEP, the library was poised to expand the partnership to serve more youth with our trainings. We also helped in other ways, like providing meeting rooms for SYEP staff trainings. Next summer, the mayor intends to make the program five times larger than it is this year (eep!), which will present a huge opportunity for library involvement.

Of course, being in the right place at the time is always partly a matter of luck. But you can't be lucky if you're not out there.

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17. KidLit Author Events April 28-May 5


Independent Bookstore DayThis Saturday, May 2, we are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day all over the country, all day! If you live in or around Houston, stop by one of these local bookstores and see what’s happening. Tweet at @BookstoreDay

Houston shops participating in special events this day:

Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, 77079
Locally owned by Valerie Koehler (aka, Girl Boss). Here you’ll find an eclectic selection of books (fiction and nonfiction) for adults and children. There’s something for everyone, including puzzles, games, and gifts for the book lover. Join Blue Willow Bookshop’s Independent Bookstore Day with activities, great food, giveaways and some very cool limited edition merchandise!

Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet, Houston 77005
Locally owned by a group of twenty-seven Houstonians. Celebrate with Brazos Bookstore on Independent Bookstore Day all day, from the special edition story time at 10:00 AM to the Ultimate Literary Showdown at 6:30 PM.

Katy Budget Books
2450 Fry Rd, Houston, 77084
New and Used Books
On Independent Bookstore Day, Katy Budget Books will be celebrating with exclusive, one-day only merchandise.

If you aren’t near one of the bookstores listed above, you might find one of these locally owned shops closer to you:

Murder By The Book
2342 Bissonnet St., Houston, 77005
One of the nation’s oldest and largest mystery specialty bookstores, stocking new & used, hardbacks & paperbacks, first editions, collectibles, gift items, mystery magazines, and more.

River Oaks Bookstore
3270 Westheimer, Houston, 77098
Locally owned by Jeanne Jard.

Galveston Bookshop
317 23rd Street, Galveston, 77550
Locally owned by Sharan Zwick and Jack Schlossberg. Books Used & New, Vinyl LPs, Comics, with a monthly local authors meet and greet!

Copperfield’s Books
8220 Louetta Rd., Ste. 106, Spring,  77379
Locally owned. New and used books.

Glow Worm New and Used Books
311 Main, Spring, 77373
Locally owned by Nelda Monjure. New and used books and sundries.

Good Books in the Woods
25915 Oak Ridge Drive, Spring, 77380
Locally owned by Jay Rohfritch. New, Used, and Out of Print titles, Fine Bindings, and First Editions.

The Book Nook Sugarland
5022 Hwy 90-A, Sugar Land, 77498
Locally owned by Katrina Chapman. New and used books, plus gifts and gift cards.

The Book Nook Brenham
212 W. Alamo Street, Brenham, 77833
Locally owned by Stefani Snead Kelley. Mostly used, with a smattering of new books.


We also have a two-author YA event happening that day:

May 2, Saturday, 4:30 PMFINDING PARIS by Joy Preble
Murder By The Book
Joy Preble & Meredith Moore, YA Authors

Joy Preble will sign and discuss FINDING PARIS, and Meredith Moore will sign and discuss I AM HER REVENGE.

FINDING PARIS: Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind–going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn’t going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.

Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris–a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.

I AM HER REVENGE by Meredith MooreI AM HER REVENGE: She can be anyone you want her to be.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.
And she can destroy anyone.
When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago.
Anyone…except for the woman who created her.
With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.


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18. Boos for girls

I don’t know how many school assemblies I’ve done over the past 12 years. 200-300 is my best guess. Something I’ve found is that boys feel okay booing and mocking things they see as “for girls” but that girls never mock the “boy” things. Here’s an example. This exact scenario has repeated at every elementary and middle school assembly I’ve done in the past year and a half - at least 30, maybe more, in over a dozen states.

Me: I went to Mattel headquarters. Mattel is the largest toy maker in the world. They make Thomas the Train, Justice League Figures, Matchbox Cars–

Boys: Yay!

Me: Barbie–

Boys: BOO!!!

Me: I was going to write a book for their new toy line, but it was so secret, we had to put in a security code to go down a secret hallway, into a second locked door where on a table under a shroud they had the prototypes for the new toys. I lifted the shroud and this is what I saw: (switches to slide of Ever After High dolls)

Girls: Yay!

Boys: BOOO!!! BOOOO!!!

Notice the girls did not boo Thomas or Justice League or cars. Many cheered those things too. But the boys booed Barbe and EAH in unison, loudly, as if it was only natural, expected.

I’ve put up with it for awhile. And all this booing is after I’ve even talked with the kids about how unfair it is that people claim there are boy books and girl books. How untrue. Why can girls read anything but  boys are told that they can only read half the books? And we’ve talked frankly about this. Still, the loud, fearless, angry mocking of any mention of “girl” media.

I’ve stopped putting up with it. When they boo, I stop them now. I demand respect. “I don’t know who told you it was okay to boo anything that you think girls like, but it’s not okay with me. That will stop. Girls, you don’t have to put up with that. The things you like deserve respect. You deserve respect.” I don’t know if they listen. But I’m going to say it all the same.

I think that by being “polite” and pretending to ignore the boos, I was actually reinforcing their opinion that this was okay. Tolerating something out of civility sure looks like complicity if you’re a girl in the audience. I won’t be complicit anymore. Which is “kinder”: ignoring the boos or calling them on it?

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19. Baking Day at Grandma's-some early character development

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20. Interview With Viz Manga Managing Editor Hope Donovan

Last week I was able to get in touch with Hope Donovan. As you’ll discover when reading this interview, she’s been editing manga for a long time. I mean long enough to have edited (or copy edited) works like Chibi Vampire, GTO Early Years for Tokyopop, and today edits Toriko and Seraph of The End ... Read more

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21. X is for Ex-Pats

from Kaleidoscope....

African Christmas in the bush near Bulawayo

The date’s the only recognisable fact for us ex-pats,
as we gather under corrugated roof on the crumbling, concrete stoep.
Pots of poinsettia droop at our feet as we sit under a wing-infested lamp, greeting each other, the compliments of the season, and attempt to make the best of it.

Sweating, we idly watch a small scaly lizard, pop-eyed, panting,
crawl from a crack in the wall, flick a sticky tongue, and scuttle in the dust.  
Someone treads on it, trapping it, breaking off the tail.
No one comments.  Ice clinks in glasses, and bored, we turn to see
a mountain of polished flesh in snowy caftan, his oiled face
beaming with pride, the pudding held aloft by one strong hand.

Half-heartedly we applaud, and through the brandy haze,
the shrivelled artificial holly, think of home. 

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 

An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

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23. Simon & Schuster to Launch Caitlyn Dlouhy Books Imprint

Simon & Schuster LogoThe executives at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will launch an eponymous imprint for editorial director and vice president Caitlyn Dlouhy. Caitlyn Dlouhy Books will be under the Atheneum Books for Young Readers division.

This new imprint will publish approximately 20 titles per year. The inaugural list will kick off in Spring 2016.

Dlouhy gave this statement in the press release: “The strength of voice in characters is what I believe most helps kids as they find their own voices. I’m thrilled and deeply grateful that Simon & Schuster continues to emphatically support my quest to find those voices, those stories that speak to the hearts of young readers.”

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24. May Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar

An active month. Not overwhelming, but plenty to do.

Fri., May 1, Joshua Jay, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 4:30 PM

Sun., May 3 Michaela MacColl, Barnes & Noble, Westport 4:00 PM

Sun., May 3, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Barnes & Noble, Glastonbury 2:00 PM 

Mon., May 4, Neal Shusterman, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 6:00 PM

Tues., May 5, Bob Shea, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 10:30 AM Story Time

Tues., May 5, Dave Barry, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 5:00 PM

Fri., May 8, Tommy Wallach, Westport Public Library event held at Toquet Hall Teen Center, Westport 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Sat. May 9, Janet Lawler, CT Authors and Publishers Association 12th Annual Conference on Writing, Publishing & Marketing, Hartford  11:00 AM Registration and fee

Sat. May 9, Katie Davis, CT Authors ad Publishers Association 12th Annual Conference on Writing, Publishing & Marketing Hartford 11:00 AM Registration and fee

Mon., May 18, Michaela MacColl, Westport Public Library, Westport 5:00 to 6:00 PM

Tues., May 19, Mac Barnett, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 4:00 PM

This calendar is available in a pdf suitable for copying and posting. 

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25. Cover Revealed For First Fight Club 2 Comic

Fight Club 2

Who says you can’t talk about Fight Club? Dark Horse Comics has unveiled the cover for the first issue of the Fight Club 2 series. Comics creator David Mack drew this piece.

We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think? Novelist Chuck Palahniuk wrote the story for this sequel project. In an interview with Maxim.com, Palaniuk revealed that he feels “it’s so much fun to be Tyler Durden, to think like that character.”

Artist Cameron Stewart and colorist Dave Stewart collaborated on the illustrations. The publication date has been set for May 27th. Click on these links to check out variant cover designed by Stewart and illustrator Lee Bermejo.

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