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1. Bluecrowne - a new novella by Kate Milford

cover art for "Bluecrowne" by Kate Milford

Amazing author Kate Milfordstarted a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish a new companion short novel to her Young Adult novel series.

I was very honored to illustrate the cover for this novella, entitled „Bluecrowne“, fantastic designer Miwako Feuer designed the title font.

And: a group of young artists will be hired to illustrate a special digital edition! (For the last companion book "The Kairos Mechanism", 15 young artists between the ages of 11 and 20 created 18 works of art.) Please check it out!

back vignette for the cover of "Bluecrowne"



0 Comments on Bluecrowne - a new novella by Kate Milford as of 4/19/2014 6:13:00 AM
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2. Illustrator Saturday – Dana Martin

danapicturesm

Dana Martin is an illustrator and designer who was born in New Mexico and has been roaming ever since. A recent graduate of Montserrat College of Art, her work has appeared in several local shows and was recently featured in CMYK’s Top New 100 Creatives.

Her clients include the Peabody Essex Museum, Hendrickson Publishers, Chrysler, ABDO, ArtThrob Magazine, and Ploughshares. The Johnstown Flood, scheduled for release this fall, will be her first illustrated chapter book.

Here is Dana showing and discussing her process:

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Once I’ve worked out my composition in thumbnails and sketches, I make a preliminary drawing.

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Then I transfer it to watercolor paper.

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I ink the drawing, but I keep it pretty light, sticking to a color I know will blend well with the paint and feathering my edges. Once it’s dry, I add masking fluid to any light areas I want to preserve.

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I wet the paper and paint my first coat, adding a little ink wherever I need the color to be bolder.  Once that’s dry I add more masking fluid to the flower stems.

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I do a second coat with darker red, and this time I really soak the paper to float the paint.

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After that, it’s just about adding detail and building up a tonal range.

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As a final step, I add a little splatter around the corners for texture.

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Above: The Cover of Dana’s First Illustrated Book. Below: A few back and white interior illustrations. 

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How long have you been illustrating?

3 years professionally.

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How did you decide to attend Montserrat College of Art?

Because I knew so little then about how to choose an art school, I started my search with two lists. One was of all the schools in the AICAD (Association of Independent Schools of Art and Design) and the other was of those in the NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design). I wanted to go to a private college and I figured any school that made both the lists was probably pretty good (now that I know more about accreditation processes, this seems amazingly naïve). After that I just started investigating every school that was in both associations. Most of them didn’t offer illustration programs, so they were easy to cross off. Others I could tell just weren’t the right fit. I eventually applied to RISD, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Montserrat, and was accepted into all three. At that point, the smart thing would have been to visit the campuses, but since I was in the middle of gen. ed. classes at a state university on the other side of the country, I couldn’t get away. I kept calling and emailing the admissions offices with more questions, and they all did their best to get me the info I needed. Montserrat was always the pleasantest to deal with, though, and I just started to get the sense that it was a place where I would really feel at home. This turned out to be true.

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Can you tell us a bit about that school?

Montserrat is a quirky little school slightly north of Boston. They offer all the standard art school concentrations, but the illustration department is particularly strong. There’s an emphasis on building foundational skills rather than chasing the latest trends, and the learning atmosphere is great because the students and instructors are serious about their work, but not their self-image. It’s a down-to-earth and unpretentious community, something that’s not always easy to find in the art world.

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What were you favorite classes?

That’s a hard choice, I had a lot of great ones. I really enjoyed the natural science illustration class, because we learned a lot about botany and insects, and there was a whole closet full of butterflies, dried flowers, stuffed birds, and other treasures that we were free to borrow for sketching. My thesis class was also amazing, because I got to plan my own assignments but was supported by everyone’s feedback. Even the classes I wasn’t enthusiastic about, though, such as typography and web design, have proven invaluable since graduation.

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Did the school help you get work?

No, not directly. If there is one downside to a small college, it’s that the career department is also small and just doesn’t have the resources to place students in jobs right after they graduate. But the school did give me the skills I needed to get work for myself, as well as a wealth of friends and colleagues to help me on the way.

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What did you do right after you graduated?

I continued with some of the things I’d already been doing in college – working at a library and helping with Montserrat’s summer program – but I did manage to get some small illustration jobs almost as soon as I graduated.

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Do you feel that the classes you took in college have influenced your style?

One thing I appreciated about my instructors was that they didn’t steer students toward one style or another, but instead worked to help each of us sort out the voices we already had. I’ve always had an eye for detail, but when I started school, it was out of hand. My compositions were cramped and everything in the picture was competing for elbow room, so nothing could flow. The instructors helped me recognize the problem and find ways to open up the page.

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What was the first thing you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

I did some architectural illustrations for an organization that taught adults with developmental disabilities. They were planning to renovate a veterans memorial park, with the idea that their students would maintain it once it was finished and the whole community could enjoy it. But first they needed to raise the money, so my illustrations of the future park were designed for the fundraising brochures. It was the kind of obscure job that you only find through the friend of a friend; I heard about it because the assistant director of the organization was friends with a Montserrat alum, who kindly posted the job on one of the school’s social network pages.

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What was the first illustration work you did for children?

It was for Clubhouse Magazine. I was nine years old. So actually, come to think of it, that was my first paid work. I got ten dollars.

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How did that come about?

Clubhouse used to put out one issue a year that was exclusively written and illustrated by children. Amazingly, the process hardly varied from what I now do professionally. I sent them a sample of my work (a horse, because to my nine-year-old self, horses were the supreme challenge, so drawing one was proof that I was a master artist). Someone from Clubhouse wrote back to say they liked it and would I care to illustrate the story they’d enclosed? It was a mystery story written by another child about a ticking bomb and a school band (it wasn’t really a bomb, just a metronome, and this was before bombs in schools had become such a fraught issue). I did a top-notch job on the metronome, because I’d just started piano lessons and knew exactly what it looked like. I did a derivative job on the bomb, because the only ones I’d seen were in Bugs Bunny cartoons. They also wanted a drawing of a trumpet, and I did a really terrible job on that. I couldn’t figure out all the twists and turns in the brass tubing, let alone where the trumpet player’s hands were supposed to go. The big difference between this project and all the subsequent ones was that I had no contact with the art director and nobody looked at my sketches; I was just supposed to mail everything in when I was finished. I’m pretty sure, though, that the art director felt the same way about the pictures as I did, because the story, the metronome, and the bomb made the first page of the magazine and the trumpet picture disappeared quietly into the night. They never printed it and I never saw it again, thank God.

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How did you get to be featured in CMYK’s Top New 100 Creatives?

I did have to submit work to be considered, but unlike most competitions, the judging was based on the whole portfolio rather than any one piece.

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When did you decide you wanted to illustrate a children’s book?

I expect from the moment I first saw a children’s book. Even before I could read them I never went anywhere without one. Come to think of it, I still don’t.

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How did you get the contract to illustrate the chapter book titled The Johnstown Flood?

I had sent a black-and-white postcard to the publisher, ABDO, and one of their editors contacted me shortly after that because she had some black-and-white interior work. I’m thankful that she liked the card enough to comb through my blog, because the medium we went with was not at all what I’d sent her. She liked my preliminary drawings, which were all done in graphite. I’d never considered marketing them, because to me they seemed unfinished. I did push the drawings a bit for the book, using darker pencils and some Photoshop to get a wider tonal range, but the style was basically the same.

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How long did it take you to illustrate that book?

I did the whole thing in a month. I could tell the editor was anxious to get it done; I think because it was part of a new line, the Up2U adventures, she needed some artwork to show the rest of her team.

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I know Lisa Mullarkey, but I didn’t know that her husband was writing with her now. Have you met Lisa?

No, sadly I have not had the pleasure. It’s so cool that you know her, though! I hope she and Mr. Mullarkey like the illustrations.

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Do you have any other work planned with ABDO Publishing?

At the moment, no. As far as I can tell, the majority of the work they use is digital. The editor I worked with also left shortly after that book was finished.

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Do you plan on marketing your illustrations to other educational publishers?

I have, yes, and will continue to do so.

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What was your first illustration success?

I did a t-shirt project for Ploughshares, and I was happy both with how the project turned out and how it was conducted, so I guess that was my first big success. Technically it was a design contest, but I and the other two artists were paid for our participation, and we all got to work with the wonderful editor Andrea Martucci to come up with designs that fit the magazine. The contest entries got so many online votes that Ploughshares decided to produce all three designs. So everybody won. Later that year I ran into Andrea at the Boston Book Festival, and she was just as nice in person as she’d been in her emails.

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Do you think you will ever try to write and illustrate a picture book?

Oh yes, I already have and will continue to write more. I just haven’t gotten them published yet.

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Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines?

Yes, the main one has been Spellbound magazine. The editor and art director are both really great to work with and the magazine always has interesting, fantasy-related themes, so I always enjoy their assignments.

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Do you have an artist rep or an agent? If so, could you tell us how the two of you connected? If not, would you like to get representation?

No, I don’t have one. I’ve heard some agent horror stories that made me wary of pursuing the matter. Obviously there are some amazing agents out there, but you are giving them a lot of power over the direction of your career. I can’t say I’d never be interested, but I would need to be confident that we were on the same page about where my work was going and how it would be represented.

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What types of things do you do to find illustration work?

I send out a lot of postcards and emails, meet people at conferences and events, and try to maintain a strong internet presence.

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What is your favorite medium to use?

Watercolor

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Has that changed over time?

No, but I’ve upgraded from the Crayola set. Now I use Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith watercolors.

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What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

A cup of tea.

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Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I track the time I’m spending, but it’s usually not my goal to spend a specific number of hours. Instead, I review my time records now and then to help me evaluate things such as: how long did this project take and which part took longest, was the time well-spent, is there anything I’m repeatedly struggling over, when was I most productive, etc. This helps me figure out whether there’s anything I need to adjust in my routine.

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Are you open to working with self-published authors?

Yes, cautiously open. Self-publishing has come a long way in the last decade, and there are some interesting projects out there that are too specialized for traditional publishing but can be successful as self-published books. I have worked with self-published authors in the past, and sometimes it was a great experience. Other times it was anything but.

Sometimes when authors pitch their projects to me, they say something along the lines of, “I have the whole book pictured in my head, and I know you’ll be able to paint it the way I see it.” But that is exactly what I cannot do, as I was born without mind-reading powers. I almost always turn these authors down, because I know they’re going to be disappointed once they figure out I’m not telepathic. (I wish I was joking about this, but it’s all too true.) Another problem I’ve run into is that authors may not realize just how massive an undertaking a book is. I’ve had authors offer me a few hundred dollars to do all the art and design work on a picture book, with no royalties, and they wanted me to sign away all rights into the bargain. They actually seemed to think it was a fair price.

Of course, there are also lots of brilliant authors who have done their research and have more realistic expectations. All in all, though, I am generally more willing to take on smaller self-publishing projects, such as novel and chapter-book covers, than I am self-published picture books. It’s simply less of a risk.

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Do you take pictures or do any types of research before you start a project?

Yes, I do lots of research; in fact, I’m particularly drawn to projects where research is required. Investigating historic fashion, rare plants, and obscure legends is all part of the fun.

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Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Without a doubt. My whole business is conducted online.

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Do you use Photoshop with your illustrations?

I do use Photoshop, but just for minimal editing, such as adjusting for contrast or stitching a piece together if it was too large for the scanner bed.

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Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet in your illustrating?

I’ve used them, but so far I don’t need a tablet enough to invest in one.

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Do you find exhibiting your artwork gets you jobs?

No, because most of the shows I’ve been in have not been the sort that would attract editors and art directors.

Rather, the shows are their own experience. They’re an opportunity to interact with my audience and hear their thoughts on my work. I never know what to expect, but people have actually been extraordinarily positive and encouraging, and I always come back from a show energized to make more art.

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Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

Yes, so many! Bringing out my own picture book is the one I’m focused on at the moment.

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What are you working on now?

I have some small magazine assignments, but the projects I’m most excited about right now are actually personal ones. I’m working on a picture book manuscript set in Venice, and I’ve also started a new series of paintings. I’ve recently become fascinated with really limited palettes, so each of the paintings (which are based on some old stories) has a different dominant color. They’re also all set in different decades, because I wanted to explore some of the ways fashion has changed in the last hundred years.

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Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

My painting methods can be hard on the paper, so I need something sturdy. Arches cold press is the paper for me. It stands up to washes, doesn’t tear from tape or masking fluid, has enough texture to get interesting effects with the paint, but not so much that it interferes with pen work.

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 Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Everyone knows they have to work hard, but I don’t think everyone realizes how long they’ll be working hard. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s easy to neglect everything else in the pursuit of your craft, but over time that undermines you. Art has to be about something. If you cut yourself off from your friends, your hobbies, and whatever else fuels you as a person, you eventually will have nothing to say artistically. In the words of Gore Vidal, the unfed mind devours itself.

So keep an eye out for all the wonderful and interesting things that are happening around you and cultivate an agile mind. That, rather than any technical skill, is an artist’s greatest asset.

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Thank you Dana for sharing your illustrations, journey, and process with us this week. We look forward to following your career, so please let us know of all your future successes. 

You can visit Dana at www.dana-martin.com or find out what’s new with her on her blog at http://danamartinillustration.tumblr.com/

Please take a minute to leave Dana a comment. I am sure she would love to hear from you and I would appreciate it, too.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Book, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Process, Tips Tagged: ABDO Publishing, Dana Martin, Liza Mullarkey, Montserrat College of Art

1 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Dana Martin, last added: 4/19/2014
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3. Spotlight and Giveaway –Seals of Summer Superbundle

SEALS OF SUMMER

Military Romance Superbundle

Print Length: 1300 pages

Publisher: SOS Ladies

Publication Date: April 21, 2014

ASIN: B00J436CN8

Military Super-bundle of ten novellas and novels by New York Times, USA Today and award-winning bestselling authors: Delilah Devlin, Sharon Hamilton, Anne Marsh, Cora Seton, Zoe York, Roxie Riviera, S.M. Butler, Kimberley Troutte, Jennifer Lowery, Elle James.

IT TAKES A SEAL by USA Today Bestselling author Delilah Devlin:

When Susan heads to the Bahamas, she thinks the sexiest part of the trip is that she can count it as a tax deduction. After all, her agency has new offices in the Bahamas, and she needs face-time with her employees, who also just happen to be her best friends. However, things go quickly awry when their island benefactor comes under threat. After a night of partying on his yacht, she awakens to discover she’s stumbled into a sting operation to lure the bad guys into the open. She’s got to pretend she’s the billionaire’s trophy girlfriend, which isn’t hard when the man taking his place is a sexy ex-SEAL. When the bad guys kidnap the couple and imprison them on a deserted island, it’s up to ex-SEAL Justin to orchestrate an escape.

SEAL MY HEART by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Hamilton:

Kate Livingstone’s engagement is at risk the instant she sets eyes on the handsome elite warrior sitting next to her on a plane trip to visit her sister. Navy SEAL Tyler Gray had thought he knew what he wanted in life, until he meets Kate and their obvious attraction for each other sparks something deep in his soul. What starts out as innocent letters between friends turns out to be much more. Can someone fall in love deeply just with words and letters exchanged, or is this just a pleasant fantasy that will ruin their lives forever?

SMOKING HOT by National Bestselling author Anne Marsh:

When an ambush kills his teammate, Navy SEAL Tye Callahan steps in to fulfill the fallen man’s obligations. He vows to spend the summer in Strong, California, fighting fires with the smoke jumper team and looking out for Katie Lawson, his teammate’s fiancée. Now, as the summer heats up, they must decide if the chemistry burning between them might just be their second chance at living their own lives… together.

THE NAVY SEAL’s E-MAIL ORDER BRIDE by National Bestselling author Cora Seton:

Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, has fought insurgents, drug lords and terrorists, but his current mission is one for the records. Not only must he find a wife—and get her pregnant—or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for over a hundred years, he also must convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up.  Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight? 

FALL OUT by Zoe York:

Drew Castle is a Navy SEAL with a bad case of indifference. Until Annie Martin shows up on his doorstep, scared out of her mind, and all of a sudden, keeping her safe becomes the most important mission of his life. And this time, he’s on his own. Annie knows that letting Drew whisk her away under the guise of protection is a recipe for disaster, but he’s the only person she can trust. Drew’s strange mix of laid-back bossiness takes some getting used to, but as they escape to a Caribbean hideaway, she finds herself wondering what it would be like if they came together at a different time. As the threat is resolved, a new danger arises: one of passion, heat and desire so overwhelming neither can resist, no matter the cost.

CLOSE QUARTERS by Bestselling author Roxie Rivera:

When Navy SEAL Leland Gates runs off to his family’s secluded cabin to lick his wounds, he never expects to find makeup heiress Jamie Pearson hiding out there. His sister’s best friend swears she’s only there for a weekend of relaxation, but his well-honed instincts tell him that she’s in big trouble. Getting tangled up in Jamie’s latest hot mess—or her sheets—is the very last thing he needs, but in close quarters like these, there’s no denying the white-hot passion blazing between them.

KILLING HONOR by International Bestselling author S.M. Butler:

Returning home after a disastrous extended deployment, Navy SEAL Brody Battles struggles with nightmares and government secrets building a wall between him and his wife, Devyn, especially when a security breach compromises his identity. While they’re adjusting to being a family again, an old enemy waits in the shadows, salivating for the sweet taste of revenge.

COMING IN HOT by Award-winning author Kimberley Troutte:

For Navy SEAL Mack Riley, rescuing a family in Colombia is not as hard as seeing the admiral’s daughter again. He’d sworn a vow to steer clear of that heartbreaker. But since the family was taken hostage on Jenna’s watch, she’s determined to join the rescue team. When the admiral orders him to protect Jenna, Mack is forced to keep her as close as body armor. In the heat of battle, love Mack and Jenna deny breaches their defenses. With missiles locked onto their coordinates…can they save the family and get out alive?

A SEAL’s SONG by Golden Heart Finalist Jennifer Lowery:

Navy SEAL Jack Taggart’s plans to catch some much-needed downtime between deployments are demolished when he risks everything to rescue beautiful wedding singer, Darci O’Shea, from a band of thieves. Will the battle between their inner demons be the hardest one to fight, or will they find rescue in each other’s arms?

SEALS’s EMBRACE by USA Today Bestseller Elle James:

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man. Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers. Transferred to the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar undergoes surgery, restoring movement to his legs in time to stop a hostage takeover of the ICU where Erin is in charge of the Taliban leader’s care. Together they fight to save lives and halt a Terrorist attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.

Available April 21 – Preorder Now:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1eAQNsy

 

SEAL’S EMBRACE

by Elle James

SEAL’S EMBRACE

Injured Navy SEAL and the critical care nurse he’s attempting to woo join forces to stop a terrorist attack at a military hospital

Navy SEAL, Ceasar Sanchez has it bad for Army Lt. McGee, a nurse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. When a rescue mission goes bad and he ends up being medically evacuated, she’s there. Not sure whether he’ll walk again, he’s afraid to pursue the pretty nurse, not wanting to shackle her with half a man.

Lt. Erin McGee is a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, responsible for ensuring her patients arrive alive at the next level of health care. Fighting an attraction to a sexy Navy SEAL she outranks, she resists the risk of losing her commission for fraternization. But one sensual tryst behind a supply building isn’t enough and the SEALs determination to see her wear at her resolve. Ceasar and Erin share a medevac plane ride to Germany with a critically wounded Taliban leader who could provide information to the whereabouts of four missing soldiers.

In the hospital at Landstuhl, Caesar and Erin fight their attraction for each other while a terrorist plot is underfoot to rescue the Taliban leader. Together they struggle to save lives and halt the an attack, while finding that love trumps rank every time.

Excerpt:

“Sanchez,” a firm voice called out.

Caesar spun, his pulse ratcheting up as he faced the woman he couldn’t get out of his system.

Irish backhanded him in the chest. “I think you’ve met your match in that one.”

By the way Lt. McGee was shaking her pretty red head, Irish might have it right. What Irish didn’t realize was just how much Caesar had been working to break down the lady’s defenses. “Trust me, at this very moment, she’s on the brink of raising the white flag.”

“And her skirt?” Irish snorted. “I seriously doubt it. Wanna lay down another bet?”

“Sorry, I have to go. My future awaits.” Caesar took off across the floor, his focus on the petite nurse with deep auburn hair and emerald green eyes.

With her full, luscious lips pressed into a thin line, she led him deeper into the clinic to an examination room. All the way down the aisle, Caesar couldn’t help but notice the way her hips swayed beneath the flight suit that hugged her body like a tailored glove.

His groin tightened along with his resolve to have this beauty.

“Sit,” she ordered, pointing to the examination table.

Caesar hopped up on the table and spread his knees wide. The only way she was getting to that cut finger was to step between them. Still wearing his PT shorts, he realized the mistake that was. With nothing much to hold him back, he tented the shorts in an instant when the door closed to the room and they were alone.

“You really have to stop cutting yourself. This camp is full of all kinds of germs. Keep this up and you might lose that finger altogether.” She pulled a gauze pad out of a drawer, alcohol pads and a bandage before she turned and met his gaze, her own green eyes dancing with humor. “And the answer is no.” She pressed her lips together.

“How did you know I was about to ask a question? I might really be here to seek aid for my cut finger.”

“Uh huh.” She shook her head and stepped between his knees. “Two times in the same week is suspicious. Three times cutting the same finger, and that the injuries just happen to be on the same days as I’m volunteering at the clinic, is proof. You’re stalking me.” She bumped the inside of his thighs with her hips and sucked in a sharp breath, moving back quickly, her cheeks turning a rosy shade of pink.

So, she wasn’t immune to his presence. She just needed a little persuasion.

“Lt. McGee, mi amor, I’m crushed.” He pressed his uninjured hand to his chest. “Can I help the fact that I’m clumsy and deeply in love? Have coffee with me just once, and I won’t bother you again.”

“What do you know about love?” She pushed a loose strand of red hair behind her ear, twin flags of pink flying high on her cheekbones. “And I only have two words for you: fraternization and sexual harassment.”

Crooking an eyebrow, he grinned. “That’s four.”

“Yeah, I know, but with you, they all go together.” She swiped the alcohol pad across his finger, careful not to sway sideways and touch his thighs.

At the sting, Caesar bit down on his tongue to keep from hissing.

Two seconds later, she had the wound cleaned, and a bandage plastered over it. “There. Your booboo is all better.”

Before she could move away, Caesar hopped off the table and captured her wrist. “What do I have to do for you to look at me as other than a patient?” They stood so close, he could feel the heat of her body through the flight suit.

Her free hand rose to his chest, her eyes widened and her breathing grew more ragged. “An act of God?” She wet her lips.

That simple act sent Caesar over the edge of reason and he swooped in to steal a kiss. “Rules be damned.” He captured the back of her head, and bent to crush his lips against hers.

For a moment her hand pressed against his chest, then her fingers curled into his T-shirt and her mouth opened on a gasp.

Caesar thrust his tongue through, sliding it along hers in a long, wet caress. She tasted even sweeter than he’d imagined. When he lifted his head, he whispered against her mouth, “Muy precioso.

The lieutenant gazed up into his face, her eyes glazed, her lips parted. Then she blinked and the spell was broken. She glanced down at his hand on her wrist, and her gaze narrowed. “Do you know how wrong this is? Let go.”

Immediately, he released her. “For now. I still want to have coffee with you.”

“No. It’s a bad idea.” She eased back a step.

“Are you afraid of me?”

“No. I’m not afraid of you.” She turned back to the cabinet, fished something out of a drawer and a bottle out of the cabinet above. “Drop your drawers.”

“What?” He frowned. Had he read her wrong? Surely she wasn’t going to…not here…anyone could walk in. His heartbeat quickened.

“You heard me.” She turned toward him, syringe in hand and fire in her eyes. “Drop ‘em.”

He held up his hand. “Seriously? You’re giving me a shot for a little cut on my finger?”

“No, for three little cuts on your finger.” She tilted her head, her brows rising in challenge. “Are you afraid of me?”

He stared at the syringe she wielded like a weapon. “Frankly, yes.”

About the Author

Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, out snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

You can reach Elle James at www.ellejames.com or email her at

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway –Seals of Summer Superbundle appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. In the Light of What We Know review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Zia Haider Rahman's In the Light of What We Know -- apparently one of this year's 'big' debuts.

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5. Can You Identify These Legendary Animators?

Tonight, just for fun, I posted a series of photos of legendary animators from the Golden Age of theatrical animation. We owe them a great deal. Without the pioneering efforts of these artists (and hundreds of others like them), animation would not be nearly so advanced as it is today. How many of these animators can you identify? You can click through to Instagram for the identifications.

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6. Meet a New YA Star, Tora From “Burn Out”

Seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds is one of the last survivors on Earth when the sun starts to burn out way ahead of schedule. She is tough and sarcastic which has helped her to survive, yet she also has a vulnerable side that comes out when she comes across fellow survivors.

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7. I'm Re-reading... The Potter's Field by Ellis Peters


I haven't read this book in some time, though the Brother Cadfael books are among my favourites and I had read and re-read them. Last night I stayed with my mother and on an impulse picked it up from the pile by her bed. (She's reading library books and has read this one anyway).

It's really this week's random read. And I'm pleased to say I have forgotten whodunnit.                   

It has proven to be easy to get back into this world. For those unfamiliar with this series, ie too young or have been hiding under a rock, it's set in earlyish/mid-twelfth century, in the town of Shrewsbury, on the border of England and Wales. Brother Cadfael is a monk in the Abbey of St Peter and St Paul, a herbalist who has strong forensic skills due to his powers of observation. His closest friend is Hugh Beringar the deputy sheriff - later Sheriff - of Shropshire, whose duties include crime investigation in his area. In other words, the amateur sleuth and his buddy the cop. ;-). Cadfael is not some naive man who's been in the abbey from his youth; he had been a soldier and Crusader who had thrown it all away to retire into a quiet life. This means he can work out motivations that help solve mysteries. And the author can bring in people from his past - a former girlfriend he had dumped to go on Crusade,for  example(she thinks he went into a monastery because of her and he doesn't enlighten her), even his son by a woman he met in the east.

I had read some of this author's historical novels, written under her real name, Edith Pargeter,before discovering Brother Cadfael, but she had also written contemporary crime fiction as Ellis Peters before. She combined her crime and historical fiction skills and behold! Mediaeval crime fiction! 

I love the series, which is gentle, though I'd wince at calling the novels cosies. They're not. They're historical fiction set in a violent era when King Stephen and Empress Maud were battling it out for the crown of England, and though the folk of Shrewsbury seem to mostly live in peace, they are still affected by the war going on around them - in fact, the first novel, One Corpse Too Many,  is set immediately after Stephen has besieged Shrewsbury and executed a large number of men he considers traitors. The crime is woven into the history. It goes over a number of years - this one is set in 1143, when Geoffrey De Mandeville was looting and burning in the Fen country.

The BBC TV series with Derek Jacobi was pretty faithful to the books, as far as a telemovie could be faithful to a novel and Derek Jacobi perfect for the   role. The author herself said she would always imagine him as Cadfael from then on.

There were 20 books in the series before Edith Pargeter's death. Reading the final one I knew that it was intended to be the last. She could have written more, nobody died, but it felt like the last. Loose ends were tied up and the story was a personal one, about Cadfael and his son. It was sad to now there would be no more, but as the author died not long after, it was probably just as well. No frustrating unfinished novels or cliffhangers. 

I may just go back and re-read the lot! 


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8. Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Sewing

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 

SEWING

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Courtesy : Lori Branham @ Creative Commons

Description: sewing encompasses a variety of forms: dressmaking, embroidery, millinery (hat making), quilting, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, and other activities involving needle and thread. Sewing can be a practical endeavor (as a means of producing a needed product) or a leisurely activity that is more craft-like or entertaining in nature.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: dexterity, good hand-eye coordination, sharp eyesight, a basic knowledge of mathematics, being able to communicate clearly with others

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: patience, meticulousness, creativity, organization, dependability

Required Resources and Training: The basics of sewing can be self-taught but many sewers choose to train through an apprenticeship or via trade or fashion schools.

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Sewers are usually portrayed as females; it would be nice to see other people groups represented in this field. Closely related to sewing, fashion design is a popular skill or hobby that is quickly becoming cliché among female protagonists, particularly in YA books.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful: when extra income is needed; as a means of artistic expression; when money is scarce and clothing/cloth has to be recycled or repurposed; when an article of clothing needs repairing at an important, high-profile event

Resources for Further Information:

Hand Sewing Basics

Choosing Fabrics for a Sewing Project

A Sewing How-To

 

You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

http://www.fabricsandbuttons.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=WSS&Screen=Choosing-Fabrics

The post Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Sewing appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS.

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9. Burn Out, by Kristi Helvig | YA Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Burn Out, by Kristi Helvig. Giveaway begins April 19, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 18, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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10. 5 BookBuzzr Widget Installations to Inspire You in April 2014

1. Barb Drozdowich – The Author’s Guide To Working With Book Bloggers (Building Blocks to Author Success Series)

 
 

2. P. O. Dixon - A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy and Elizabeth (A Pride and Prejudice Variation)

 
 

3. Valerie Twombly - Eternal Flame (Guardians, Book One)

 
 

4. Rebekah Pierce - Sex, Lies & Shoeboxes

 
 

5. Maxine Douglas - Blood Ties

 
 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


 

Naveen manages the social media marketing at BookBuzzr.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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11. Call for Submissions: The Ofi Press Literary Magazine

The Ofi Press, a cultural ezine with a real international flavour, is looking for fiction, poetry, visual arts, and interviews for possible publication in issue 36. So far, for this issue we have work lined up from top and emerging writers from Mexico, Canada, the USA, the UK, Sierra Leone, Slovakia and Nigeria.

Visit our website

Our response time is from 2-14 days and we have around a 5% acceptance rate. We are not able to provide payment for works published on our site but we offer assistance with the promotion of books and projects via our facebook and twitter feeds for all of our collaborators.

Submissions are open year-round for our bimonthly issues but to be considered for our next edition, please submit your work by the 9th of May 2014. All submissions will be read and responded to by the editor Jack Little.

While the edition has no specific theme, issues of identity, gender, colonialism are o particular interest to the editor. The most important thing though is that we love your work, that it moves us, or even better, excites us.

For our full submission guidelines, please check here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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12. Journal Page: Dad's kitchen

Still going strong, with A Selfie A Day!
Hated the one I did on April 4 here in the left corner of the page. I had a sketch date with my dad the day after and decided to ignore the ugly face and draw half through it. I now really love the page, as I took a lot of time to draw my father's kitchen and get all those details and colours in too.


As you can see in the selfie in the bottom right corner, dinner was great.

Today is the second official World Wide Sketchcrawl of this year! I will be sketching with a group of like minded people in Amsterdam this afternoon, and looking forward to it.
You can find out more about the Sketchcrawl I am hosting in this earlier post or find a sketchcrawl group to join in your area by clicking here and type your town or city in the search bar.



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13. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

At the beginning of the challenge, there’s a lot of excitement about starting; at the end of the challenge, there’s excitement (and sadness) over finishing the challenge; but in the middle, it’s kind of like the dog days of summer–at least for some. For me, each day is a new challenge. And speaking of challenges, don’t forget to check out my poetic challenge with a $500 grand prize (deadline: May 15). Click here for more details.

For today’s prompt, pick a color, make the color the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. You can make your poem black, white, red, purple, turquoise, puce, or whatever your heart desires. And the subject of your poem can cover any topic–as long as you’ve plugged a color into the title. Let’s do this!

*****

Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Color in the Title Poem:

“onyx”

my father would cover the windows
with heavy blankets the only light

a digital clock that counted slow
the minutes i didn’t have patience

but i knew how to listen and keep
silent i often wonder if he

knew i wouldn’t tell years later when
i did he said he could remember

nothing but admitted it could’ve
happened a decade keeping secrets

and keeping them alone that hurt most
father asking if i loved him and

saying to not tell a secret we
must keep and me wanting to escape

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Thomas_Lux_poetThomas Lux

Thomas Lux’s most recent book of poems is Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). Selected Poems is due from Bloodaxe Books this fall.

He is also the author of several other books, including The Cradle Place and God Particles. In addition to poetry collections, Tom is the author of From the Southland, a book of literary nonfiction.

He holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded multiple NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award and is a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Click here to learn more.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The title poem from that collection is about the relationship mentioned in the poem above. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Color your life with these poetic posts:

 

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14. A Story before Easter

I wrote this story a few years ago for something called a Monthly Write off at a writing forum I am part of.  The writing prompt specified the story had to be about a villain, and the overall theme had to be on the side of horror.  For some reason this story wrote itself in my head at the prompt, and while I think it is well written, it gives me a sort of shudder whenever I read it.  A good, somber kind of shudder.  I hope you enjoy it.


 THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

I sat before the fire, hiding myself amongst the other folk in the courtyard.  I swallowed wine in an effort to warm away the coldness in my heart, but it could not be thawed.  I weighed the purse in my hands, hefted the silver I'd gained for the price of a kiss.  Such a bargain.

Why did I feel so dark inside?

"They say he's to die."

I looked across the fire toward the speaker, a young girl with features obscured by conflicting shadows of flame and night.

"They say he's to die.  How can they commit such a sin?  He is no criminal!"

My fingers curled so tightly that the coins within the purse bit into my skin.  I recognized her.  I'd seen her long ago when she lay defeated on the sands before her accusers, and he had bent down to write her defense into the sand.

Who was she, to speak the words that gnawed into my very soul?  I shook away the voice that reminded me, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me, and rubbed away the cramp that stiffened the fingers of that hand.

Her eyes burned in the flames to the murmuring of voices.  "He is my lord," she said, "and he was betrayed."

She wept, faded into the crowd, and became no more than a formless shape amongst so many other formless shapes of men.  I brushed my fingertips together, the red fury that her words had kindled gradually fading to a black horror.  Woe to that man, memory whispered, by whom the son of man shall be betrayed:  it were better for him, if that man had not been born.  I shook the bag of coins until they rattled in the cloth, trying to blot out his face.

he night was suddenly very cold.  Not even the fire could warm me.  I touched my mouth with my fingers and my lips burned with the acidity of my traitor's kiss.
Dost thou betray the son of man with a kiss?

Were the words memory, or did the fire speak them to mock me?


I rose, wrapped my cloak about me, and left the fire and courtyard and the mass of staring men.  I lost myself in the night, but I could not lose myself from myself.

"He is no king," I told the wind.  "He is a liar and a blasphemer!  He is worthy of death."  But my own heart revealed the lie.  I remembered his eyes, those eyes that had looked deep into my own with love and pleading.  Dost thou betray the son of man?

I walked faster, the clinking of the coins becoming tin rattles of death within the smothering folds of leather.  The gnawing loss in my heart was growing, becoming something worse,  something awful and devouring.  It was as though my inner darkness were changing into a monster that opened a flaming mouth to reveal a far-off pit of fire.  As the monster grew, so did my horror.


What had I done?

Clink, clink, clink, clink.  The coins chattered in my purse.  Trai-tor, trai-tor, they whispered as they jingled.  Had I betrayed him for this, these thirty pieces of silver?

You are not all clean.  Ah, that whispering voice of memory!  Would it not leave me be?  "He saw the temptation in me!"  I shouted to the stars.  "I was the treasurer!  Money is my desire.  How could I not put him aside?"  I stopped in the darkness, plunged my hand into my purse and held the silver to the night.  "The chief priests do not want him either.  They gave me this in exchange for him.  He is a blasphemer!  Death is his just reward."

The monster inside me laughed and the night turned a pitiless eye to me.  Friend, dost thou betray the son of man?

I choked, dropped to my knees in the darkness.  The silver fell about me, each coin striking off the cobbles with the sound of a sharply-tuned bell.  Their thirty separate chimes beat at me, played in counter melody to the laughter of the devil in my soul.

I had betrayed him.  Now he was to die.  Remorse painted my soul black.  I'd known.  Of course I'd known!  Did I not exchange him for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a dead slave?  I knew the priests' hatred of him.  I shared it.

But now... now...

On my knees I gathered the coins into my hands and made my way to the hall where I knew the chief priests and the elders would be gathered.

I burst in on them and didn't recognize my voice as I said, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood."

For a moment there was a silence, and then one of the priests said, "What is that to us?  You see to it!"

The devil within me chortled louder, and it seemed the flames in his smile rose up and devoured me.  There was no thought in my mind, no sense of action.  There was only a choking well of guilt as I flung the silver from my hand.  The coins rang out again, but colder this time as they clashed upon the marble floor.

Then I turned and went out.

There was no point in going on.  I had sinned.  I had betrayed him, my lord and my God.  For love of money, for earthly power, for avarice, greed, and selfishness, I had betrayed him.

There was no way to atone. 

Beneath the shadows of a tree, I bound the halter around my neck.

---
Katrina DeLallo, 2012 

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15. Our Wonderful World.19

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.






Dominating the North Platform of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan (a Maya feathered serpent deity similar to the Aztec Quetzalcoatl)...On the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase, which some scholars have suggested is a representation of the feathered-serpent god Kukulkan. --Wikipedia



What To Do If You Are a Feathered Serpent Deity


Wear plumage to mitigate your fangs
to imply flight
suggest softness


Wear scales to camouflage your tenderness
to announce might
define dominance


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014


Kevin has an amazing interactive poem today at Kevin's Meandering Mind.




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16. PFAS: “Teacher’s Look” by Shirley Smith Duke

Cara S. uses images of hands and pens and a frowning teacher along with fun background sound effects to tell the story behind Shirley Smith Duke’s poem, “Teacher’s Look.”

Check it out here (below).


You’ll find this engaging poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 13: Light & Sound.


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17. Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo and Albertine

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - JUMPING JACK -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> Germano Zullo and Albertine are the duo who created Little Bird and Line 135 and now the very funny, kind of weird Jumping Jack. Jumping Jack and Roger Trotter are

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18. Reinventing rites of passage in contemporary America

By David Yamane

“It has often been said that one of the characteristics of the modern world is the disappearance of any meaningful rites of initiation.”

Mircea Eliade made this comment in his 1956 Haskell Lectures on the History of Religions at the University of Chicago (subsequently published as Rites and Symbols of Initiation). The qualifier meaningful in Eliade’s statement is significant, because something so fundamental to human societies (across cultures and over time) as rites of initiation do not simply melt into air, modernity notwithstanding.

An initiation near the Sepik River

Initiation ritual along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea in 1975. Photo by Franz Luthi. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporary ritual studies luminary, Ronald Grimes, highlights a unique and contradictory aspect of Western industrialized societies when it comes to initiation, one perhaps implied by Eliade. “Initiation goes on all the time,” Grimes writes in his book, Deeply Into the Bone: Re-inventing Rites of Passage. But we lack “explicit or compelling initiation ceremonies.”

The centrifugal forces of modernity have rendered the initiation that does take place in Western industrial societies more diffuse, haphazard, individualized, and even sometimes only imaginary. In the face of this, some communities are attempting to create or re-create rites of passage that are mindful and intentional.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, less than a decade after Eliade’s lectures, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church meeting at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) called for a restoration of the “catechumenate”—the ancient process for ritually initiating adults. As I noted yesterday, this culminated in the publication in 1972 of Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum, subsequently translated into English in 1988 as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

In his work on re-inventing rites of passage, Grimes does not mention the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), but he could have. In “returning to the sources” in the ancient church for an earlier model of initiation (what French theologians call ressourcement), the creators of the contemporary RCIA engaged in the very process of reinvention that Grimes calls for.

Anointing with Holy Oil

Anointing with Holy Oil. Photo by John Ragai. CC 2.0 via Flickr.

When fully implemented, the RCIA process takes those considering becoming Catholic on a journey through four distinct periods of formation which are demarcated by three ritual transitions.

Period 1: Evangelization and Precatechumenate

The opening stage of the RCIA process is intended to introduce individuals to the Catholic faith and to answer questions about it. Also during this period individuals are paired with sponsors, members of the church who will accompany the individual on their journal toward initiation.

Ritual Transition 1: Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens

Those who decide to continue in the RCIA process go through this first of three major ritual transitions. During a liturgy individuals are asked to affirm their acceptance of the Gospel of Christ and the assembly is asked to affirm their support of the candidates. The passage to the status of “catechumen” is then ritually enacted by the priest, catechist, or sponsor tracing the sign of the cross on the forehead (and often also the ears, eyes, lips, chest, shoulders, hands, and feet) of the candidate.

Period 2: Catechumenate

This is the main time of formation for those seeking initiation. The purpose of this period is to give catechumens “suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life” through catechesis, community, liturgy, and service (RCIA, no. 75). Once catechumens are ready to receive the sacraments of initiation they must publicly declare this and go through a ritual transition to become one of the “elect.”

Ritual Transition 2: Rite of Election

Typically held the first Sunday of Lent and presided over by the bishop, this ritual brings together individuals in the RCIA process from the entire diocese so that for the first time the candidates are able to see and experience the church writ large. In this rite, God “elects” those catechumens who are deemed ready to take part in the sacraments of initiation and who affirm their desire to do so. The candidates’ names are enrolled in the diocesan “Book of the Elect” which is countersigned by the bishop who declares them ready to begin their final period of preparation before initiation.

Period 3: Purification and Enlightenment

This period focuses on spiritual preparation for the rites of initiation and coincides with the 40 days preceding Easter, known as the season of Lent. As part of their spiritual cleansing, the elect undergo three public “scrutinies” which typically involve prayer over the elect and an “exorcism” enacted by a laying on of hands by the presider. The elect are also ritually presented the text of the Nicene Creed and Lord’s Prayer. At the conclusion of this period, the elect undergo the most significant ritual transition: the reception of the sacraments of initiation.

Ritual Transition 3: Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation

This moment of incorporation—literally becoming part of the body of the church—normatively and most often takes place during the Easter Vigil, what Augustine called “the mother of all holy vigils.” In and through this ritual, individuals receive the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and eucharist) and in doing so become Catholic.

Period 4: Mystagogy

This is sometimes called the period of “post-baptismal catechesis” because it seeks to lead the newly initiated more deeply into reflection on the experience of the sacraments and membership in the church. It is a springboard from the RCIA community to the broader church community.

By the turn of the 21st century, more than 80% of American parishes were using some version of this RCIA process to initiate adults. Although it is not yet fully implemented in every parish, the RCIA is the officially recognized liturgical and catechetical process by which adults become Catholic today.

As a reinvented rite of passage, the RCIA process has been very successful at bringing individuals into the Catholic Church in a mindful, intentional, and compelling way. As I noted in my first OUPblog entry, it is also helping to shape the process of ritual initiation in other churches. I will suggest in my third and final entry that the RCIA, therefore, represents a bit of good news amid a lot of bad news for the Roman Catholic Church in the contemporary United States.

David Yamane teaches sociology at Wake Forest University and is author of Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape. He is currently exploring the phenomenon of armed citizenship in America as part of what has been called “Gun Culture 2.0″—a new group of individuals (including an increasing number of women) who have entered American gun culture through concealed carry and the shooting sports. He blogs about this at Gun Culture 2.0. Follow him on Twitter @gunculture2pt0.

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19. The Midg-its...

From a picture book I'm writing called: "The Invasion"
I'll post the next color soon.


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20. Preparing for INTA 2014, the first annual meeting in Asia

By Christopher Wogan & Ruth Anderson


In their new book A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Law, authors Amanda Michaels and Andrew Norris observe that:

In the past, products and services would have been purchased over the counter or by a personal transaction, but today purchases may be made in a plethora of ways, many of which involve no personal contact between the vendor or supplier and his customer. In such circumstances, advertising, PR, and image become increasingly important, and as a corollary the power of a trade mark to act as a distinguishing sign, guaranteeing the source and quality of goods or services, is increasingly vital to business.

This observation highlights both the importance of trade marks and trade mark law in the 21st century, and underlines the relevance of the upcoming meeting of the International Trademark Association in Hong Kong. The first annual meeting held in Asia, INTA 2014 presents a unique opportunity for colleagues, practitioners, and trade mark specialists to meet each other face to face, many for the first time. Take a look at the list of attendees for this year’s INTA.

Around 8,500 delegates from all over the globe will convene at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 10-14 May 2014. The programme naturally features a special focus on Asia, with eight sessions focused on hot topics and substantive case law updates in the region.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. hotot by Edwin. CC BY 2.0. via Edwin.11 Flickr.

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Photo by Edwin. CC BY 2.0. via Edwin 11 Flickr.

The five-day conference is packed with informative panel discussions and networking events. Highlights include a session moderated by Karen Fong, from Rouse, UK entitled ‘What Role Will Trademarks Play in the Future of Asia?’, and ‘Trademarks at the Crossroads of Trade and Culture’ moderated by Irene Calboli, and including Oxford author Lionel Bently as a speaker. Both the Welcome Reception and INTA Gala are not to be missed.

Here are some of the conference events we’re excited about:

  • Saturday, 10 May, 4:00-5:00 p.m.: First-Time Attendee Annual Meeting Orientation
    First-time attendees and new members will find this orientation essential to surviving their first Annual Meeting. Learn from experienced Annual Meeting attendees about the many resources and opportunities for education and networking; also find out how to navigate the Exhibition Hall and make the best use of your time.
  • Monday, 12 May, 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Meet Oxford author Neil Wilkof
    Neil will be signing copies of Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights. at Oxford University Press booth #409.
  • Monday, 12 May, 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Meet Oxford author Amanda Michaels
    Amanda will be signing copies of the new fifth edition of A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Law at Oxford University Press booth #409.
  • Monday, 12 May, 5:15-7:00 p.m.: Academic and Young Practitioner Happy Hour
    Enjoy a cocktail with colleagues while discussing interesting new trademark law developments. Don’t miss this excellent networking opportunity for law and paralegal students, practitioners new to trademark law, as well as professors and adjunct professors.
  • Wednesday, 14 May, 7:00-11:00 p.m.: Grand Finale
    Enjoy your final night of the 2014 Annual Meeting at Hong Kong Disneyland.


But Hong Kong (香港) offers so much more. A gateway between East and West, Hong Kong is often at the intersection of trade, art, and culture. Located on China’s south coast, at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong (along with Macau) is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China.

Here are a few tips on what to expect when you get to Hong Kong:

  • The weather in Hong Kong in May will be warm. Expect temperatures to reach between 24-29 degrees Celsius, 75-84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • At the Convention and Exhibition Centre, free wi-fi is available for attendees with wi-fi-compliant devices in all exhibition halls and meeting rooms together with their foyers, all public areas, and the Centre’s restaurants.
  • There are seven restaurants at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, including Congress Restaurant which services extensive set lunch menus, and a dinner buffet with choice of savoury delicacies. The harbour view is a main attraction.
  • You find can find details of the floor plans of the Convention and Exhibition Centre on the web.
  • If you would like to try something different when you are in Hong Kong, why not visit Jumbo Kingdom, one of the world’s largest floating restaurants. It is situated in Aberdeen, and can seat up to 2,300 diners.

 

If you are lucky enough to be joining us in Hong Kong, don’t forget to visit Oxford University Press at booth number 409 where you can browse our award-winning books, pick up a sample copy of one of our intellectual property journals including Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice or Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases.

To follow the latest updates about the INTA Conference as it happens, follow us @OUPAcademic and the hashtag #INTA14. See you in Hong Kong!

Christopher Wogan is the Marketing Manager for Intellectual Property Law products at Oxford University Press. Ruth Anderson is Senior Commissioning Editor for Intellectual Property Law products at Oxford University Press.

Oxford University Press is a leading publisher in intellectual property law including the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, edited by Professor Jeremy Phillips, and Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases, as well as the latest titles from experts in the field, and a wide range of law journals and online products. We publish original works across key areas of study, from trade marks to patents, designs and copyrights, developing outstanding resources to support students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide.

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The post Preparing for INTA 2014, the first annual meeting in Asia appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Preparing for INTA 2014, the first annual meeting in Asia as of 4/19/2014 6:23:00 AM
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21. New Murakami (in Japan)

       A new volume of stories by Murakami Haruki is out in Japan, 女のいない男たち; see the 文藝春秋 publicity page.
       See, for example, The Japan Times report, Murakami's new book hits shelves amid fan frenzy; more ordered, as:

Publisher Bungei Shunju has already raised the first shipment of the book to 300,000 copies from 200,000 due to heavier-than-expected advance orders for the first compilation since 2005, local media said.
       You figure they'd have this figured out by now; I assume they just low-ball what they say the initial print run is so that they can report the 'heavier-than-expected' demand ..... (Of course, since this the publishing industry it's distinctly possible that they have nothing figured out .....)

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22. Lord Chumley's Kitten Chow

Something I came up with a few years ago for a video game company I used to work for. I had to stock an entire gas station environment with product art, and Warren Dotz's Ad Boy was my main inspiration for the items. It's an awesome resource, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store with his new titles!

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23. It's Our Turn Now! Celebrating Project #UKYA - Lucy Coats


If you haven't already heard about it, I'd like to introduce you to Project UKYA, set up in September 2013 by Lucy Powrie, a teenage Force for Good, and a manic bibliophile. Essentially, Lucy has come up with the brilliant idea of blowing the trumpet loudly and publicly for UK Young Adult authors and their books, with a different 'project' happening each month. Right now there's a marvellously wide-ranging series of chats going on on Twitter under the hashtag #ukyachat. People are sharing books they love, and talking about different aspects of UKYA. Next month a new longterm project launches - a monthly (to begin with) 'livechat' on YouTube, talking about the latest UKYA releases, discussing UKYA books and much more, including special guests and author Q and As.

Why does this matter? It matters because YA from the US has held the balance of power in the public perception of YA for far too long. While the likes of Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments have all sold millions of copies and had films made in a relatively short time after publication, UK YA authors have been lagging behind in terms both of sales and of international recognition. We need to try and change that, because the pool of UK writing talent is immense, and yes, I'm going to say it, just as good if not better than anything coming out of America. All of us who care about books and reading need to work together to get the word out there to YA readers about just how good British books are at the moment.



This is absolutely not to denigrate US writers - I'm very excited currently about Laini Taylor and Sarah J Maas's forthcoming titles, among others. It's just that I'm equally excited - or more so - about Clare Furniss's Year of the Rat, Keren David's Salvage, Teri Terry's Shattered, Claire McFall's Bombmaker, Ruth Warburton's Witchfinder, Gillian Philip's Icefall, Ellen Renner's Tribute, James Dawson's Cruel Summer, Candy Gourlay's Shine and the new film of Anthony McGowan's The Knife that Killed Me. And that's just touching the surface of what's out there right now. I could spend the rest of this post just making a list of great UKYA books and writers (don't worry, I won't).



So, really what I'm asking you to do here is to support Project UKYA. Follow it on Twitter and take part in the chat, join its Facebook page, read and comment on the blog - but above all, spread the word about its existence to everyone you know who loves good books. UKYA books and authors deserve to be known and celebrated all over the world - let's be the pebbles which start the avalanche.

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24. Turkish fiction

       In Daily Sabah Kaya Genç considers Turkish Masterpieces Unread by the World -- both some available in translation and some that have yet to make it into English.
       Maureen Freely weighs in with some suggestions:

So which Turkish authors would she like to see in English ? The first name that came to her mind was Sevgi Soysal. Freely had translated Soysal's Yıldırım Bölge Kadınlar Koğuşu in her twenties but said it had been impossible to place Turkish writing in English publishing houses in those days. "The book of hers I really love is Şafak," Freely wrote. "And I also wish that somebody could bring the best of Murathan Mungan into English."
       See also the Turkish fiction under review at the complete review.

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25. Peter Buwalda Q & A

       This week's Small Talk-column in the Financial Times has a Q & A with Peter Buwalda, whose Bonita Avenue is just out from Pushkin Press; see their publicity page and the Dutch Foundation for Literature information page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       I'm won over by this response:

Which book changed your life ?

The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans, one of the great 20th-century Dutch writers. It's a novel about resistance in the second world war but also about personal failure. I read the book when I was 18. I stopped studying physics immediately and started studying literature.
       Damn, that warms the heart.

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