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1.

Feck! Feck! Feck! Feck!

It's vampires you MUST NOT invite into your home NOT policemen!!!!!

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2. Shorter is Sweeter

When you write picture books, you need to pare the text to the bare minimum. 

http://picturebookbuilders.com/2014/09/shorter-really-is-sweeter/

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3. Meet Gourdon!

Come in and meet Gourdon, our friendly pumpkin mummy!   He doesn’t say much, but he’s reminding us that Halloween is just around the corner…..



Posted by Sue Ann

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4. A Brief (Not Really) Administrative Note

I've added this to my review policy, but also wanted to include a post here as well.  I've been getting a ton of requests lately for promo posts, book blitzes, cover reveals, and the like.  To be frank, I'm just not interested in those sorts of posts.  I don't like to read them on other people's blogs and I'm not going to have them on my blog.  I post only reviews of books that I've read in their entirety.  So if I don't finish a book or never get a chance to read it, you won't see it reviewed here.  You also won't see any purely promotional posts.  So please, do not keep emailing me requests to reveal your cover or feature your trailer.  I'm sure it's all amazing, but that's just not where my site is headed.

A lot is going on in the book blogging community that may affect the way I accept review requests in the future, but for now, I'm still open to all review requests from traditionally-published authors, publishers, publicists, and media types.  I'm not currently accepting any requests from self-published authors and I don't typically accept e-book submissions.

I try to respond briefly to all review requests, even if I choose not to accept the book for review, because I appreciate the time and effort put into sending these out and the hopes the author has for the book.  That said, and you can find this a bazillion other places, but for your convenience:

Do Not:

  • Address to the email "Dear blogger", "Dear site manager", or "Dear {insert name of some other blogger you are mass emailing}.  My personal favorite comes from a publicist who regularly addresses emails "Dear Dexter" (Dexter being my dog).  I don't mind that one too much because they send me fabulous books, but it's just an example of how very off some emails are.
  • Forget to BCC the other names of bloggers you are mass emailing, ensuring that I see you have put no time or thought into who you're sending to
  • Send the entire book as an attachment
  • Forget to include pertinent information about the book, like its title (yes, that happened in an email yesterday), the author's name, and a brief summary of the book
Do:
  • Address the email to me by name or mention the name of my blog.  Bonus points (and a guaranteed reply and thoughtful consideration) are awarded to those who mention what they like about my blog and why they think it's a good for fit for this book in particular.  It doesn't have to be an essay, but if you say "I saw you reviewed X and enjoyed it, my book is similar", I'm much more likely to sit up and notice.
  • Include all of the information relevant to your book without sending me the entire text or its equivalent.  At the very least, include a title and author name with a link to the Amazon or Goodreads page.  I also like to see cover photos and publication information, but I can find those myself if you include a link.
  • Feel free to talk books to me, or to include something more personal.  I recently had an interaction with an author who pitched a book that, due to a family loss similar to the plot of the book, I wasn't ready to review yet.  She replied to tell me that my family and I are in her thoughts and it meant the world to me.  Her book is now on my TBR list, despite the fact that I couldn't read it at the time, because she showed that she thought of me as a person and not just a publicity machine.
And that's the crux of it.  With all the turmoil going on in the blogging world,  I guess I just feel the need to reiterate, as many bloggers are, that I'm not a publicity machine.  If I agree to review your book, I'm not signing a contract.  My main goal is to tell other readers about books I read and whether or not I think they will enjoy those books.  I love giving amazing authors publicity, but that's not why I blog.  Please keep that in mind as you send me requests and I'll keep my reviews honest and focused on the books themselves and not on the authors.

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5. Plate-itudes

 

Plate painting is fun. And by fun, I mean I am now gripped with a desire to paint ALL THE PLATES.

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6. My visual summary re. musings about Life. There’s a bit...



My visual summary re. musings about Life. There’s a bit that could be noted about tango dancing & eating sorbet, but this covers the basics.



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7. Gasp Part 2

Last Wednesday I came home to a package from Random House.  I hoped against hope that it would contain a copy of FIREFIGHT by Brandon Sanderson, a book I desperately wanted.  And it did!  I was so excited and kind of shocked.  I don't really have a contact at Random House but had emailed a few people hoping against hope that it would get to someone who could help me (or not).
Finally, I connected with Rachel who forwarded the email to someone who was able to help me and Viola!  I got myself a shiny new copy.

I am still buying a few copies for my library but I can't even have this copy here at school because there are a few readers who would happily pry it out of my hands--and I am not done yet!

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8. Survival reality TV shows

There's an excellent background article in the new TV Guide (Oct. 27-Nov. 9) about all those reality survival shows on TV now.  The only one I watch is Survivorman with Les Stroud, which is the most realistic one, I see, though the article doesn't mention the Bigfoot episodes...  Interesting info on Cody Lundin of Dual Survival--and the episode that dissed him after he left.  You may have guessed that the producers of some of these shows want to create more drama by faking it, making people naked, and putting them at risk...  And you may learn a little about survival by reading this article.

Note: I bought Cody Lundin's book, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes, when doing research for Strike Three, my post-apocalyptic novel. 

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9. werewolf

Halloween is a coming! #inktober day 21

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10. KidLit Book Review - Rude Dude's Book of Food by Tim J. Myers



Written by: Tim J. Myers
Illustrated by: Jess Smart Smiley

  • Grade Level: 6 - 8
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Familius (September 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939629217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939629210

  • Tim Myers engaging and humorous storytelling technique makes you feel like you are sitting in the audience at a one-man comedian show. Whoever thought food history could be so chuckling out loud fun?

    With world history, healthy eating and get moving tips, and food history sprinkled throughout with “penciled” illustrations, Myers storytelling is an adventure not to be missed. The added appeal to Myers, Rude Dude is the classroom friendly lesson ideas designed around the common core standards.

    I honestly did not know what to expect from Myers food book and was happily surprised of his one of a kind approach to such a broad topic. Applause, applause…all around.  Add Tim Myers unique book to your book collection today and you will find yourself devouring it as if it’s your favorite meal. I’m off to cook something yummy, now that the author has awakened the grumbling in my stomach!

    About the author: Tim J. Myers is a writer, songwriter, storyteller, and senior lecturer at Santa Clara University.  His children’s books--12 out and three on the way--have won recognition from the New York Times, NPR, and the Smithsonian.  He’s published over 130 poems, won a first prize in a poetry contest judged by John Updike, has two books of adult poetry out, and won a major prize in science fiction.  He won the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year and the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.  


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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11. if you want to know what Philadelphia school teachers do, meet Elaine Roseman, English Teacher

I am one of many writers who answered the call to spend some time getting to know a Philadelphia school teacher, so as to share that light and living.

The storytelling initiative—"WE Are Keeping the Contract"is not a form of vitriol. It is not a negative campaign. It is an honoring of people who get up each morning and, under increasingly difficult conditions, listen to and for young people.

I met Elaine Roseman by phone. She told me her remarkable stories. I wrote about some of them here. I invite you to scroll through the poetry and prose already written, and to return in days to come for more.

These teachers, I think you'll agree, matter.

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12. Itamonte




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13. Adding in the History




I’m writing a historical fiction novel, which was such a big, daunting thing to me when I started (and still kind of is sometimes), that I was tempted to make the storyline take place in an alternate universe just so I wouldn’t have to do the research to make it somewhat historically accurate.
Yes, that’s called laziness. I’d always written fantasy before, and the joy of fantasy is you can make up your own reality and no one can tell you it’s wrong. But, at some point I decided it had to be done. My novel wanted to take place in the real world. Still, I decided to write out a first draft before doing any historical research. I didn’t want my story to be defined by my research; I just wanted the research to make the story believable in the time period I was writing it.
What helped me about writing my draft before I researched is now I know exactly what I’m looking for. I made a lot of notes as I went along of things I was unsure about, questions I had about what technology existed at that time, what clothes were in style, what they did for fun, what people did for work, etc. I had vague ideas from things like A Room with a View and Downton Abbey, but sometimes you get really specific in a novel and you don’t want to get it horribly wrong. It’s kind of terrifying sometimes, that that one history expert one day will read what I’m writing and just be horrified at me. So I try.
Now that I’m closing in on finishing my first draft (I think my personal NaNoWriMo is going to be making myself just get that done!), I’ve started gathering some books. Wikipedia only got me so far. My time period is late 1890s-early 1900s England, so the very end of the Victorian era and the very beginning of the Edwardian. Turns out, not the most popular era to write educational books on. It’s been harder than I thought to find the material I want. I don’t know what people did before the days of Amazon and Goodreads, because the library and the bookstore did not come through like I thought they would. Thanks to the internet, I've found some good books and some of them got sent straight to my Kindle.
The Boer War also factors largely into the story line of my novel. It was actually amazing how well the Boer War fit into the story line I had already made up with knowing at all what I was doing beforehand. It’s like it was meant to be. The Boer War took place in Africa, most of the soldiers died of diseases, and it was just a badly planned disaster—perfect for my narrative purposes. Hurrah. But, I found a total of two books at the library on it. A little bit depressing, except that one of them was written by Winston Churchill. Did you know he was a journalist in the Boer War before he was prime minister of England? I sure didn’t.
Some of my history-related questions are getting so specific I may have to go find myself a history professor someday and bombard him with my author craziness. I wonder if he’ll even know everything I want to know. Probably by that point I should figure that no one will know and be satisfied. Then I will have to begin the task of deciding what needs to be included in my story and what will just be exhausting info-dump. I hope that having already written my first draft will help with that too. I’ll just be inserting the info I’ve found where I already know I need it. Wish me luck.

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14. WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka

You knew it was coming: another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the concise (but liberated) gogyohka this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the gogyohka.

Since it’s such a short form, I’m expecting a lot of submissions. Plus, I’m hoping I can fit in a runner-up or two this time around. So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on November 3, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many gogyohkas as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new gogyohka.
  • I will only consider gogyohkas shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

******

Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.

The deadline is October 31. Enter as often as you’d like; win as much as you can.

Important note: This is separate from the gogyohka challenge. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards is open to all forms, styles, subjects, etc. So enter your haiku, free verse, and so on.

Click here to learn more.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He loves learning new poetic forms, sharing them with the Poetic Asides poets, and then with the world (through Writer’s Digest magazine).

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic treats here:

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15. "I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds..."

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all... Read the rest of this post

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16. Amelia Calavera - Day of the Dead Sugar Skull




Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is a holiday celebration which is held from October 31 to November 2, not only observed throughout Mexico but also in other cultures around the world, including most Latin American countries. This popular tradition is all about the boundaries between life and death, and how people honour and celebrate their deceased loved ones as a way to reconnect with them.

Amelia Calavera was inspired by this colorful celebration and by the beautiful botanic imagery from early 1900’s. © Sandra Vargas

Prints, Clothing, Throw Pillows and more, available here.

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17. YABC Mailbox - October 2014 Book Haul

 

Hey guys! Check out the awesome loot we found in our mailbox this month:

 

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We are especially excited about these YA titles!!

 

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Can't forget the middle grade haul! 

 

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And how about these picture books?
 

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See anything you're dying to read? Let us know in the comments!

And don't forget to mark them down on your To-Read lists!

 

 

 

 


Read More

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18.

Sandyland is NOT #Hawaii but Snap by Carol Snow is a must read. http://buff.ly/1rmteZI #YAlit CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS - SNAP by Carol Snow

from Google+ RSS http://ift.tt/1yhoMLU

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19. Band Identity. Manhattan-based duo. Check it out here





Band Identity. Manhattan-based duo. Check it out here





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20. shark & unicorn: spooky



Here's my Shark & Unicorn comic strip that ran last weekend in The Funday Times section of The Sunday Times. The film theme for the issue was The Book of Life, but I was asked not to use the word 'ghost' or 'haunted'. (Thus the 'spookies'; I had to be a bit creative.)



Actually, The Book of Life looks interesting, I'll include the trailer:

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21. Ruff Life - Ground Breaking Comedic Spy Novels launched It's A Ruff Life, 2nd edition, Diamond in the Ruff, Ruff in Hollywood, It's A Ruff Life Dognapped! Ruff Resort

Things are really getting exciting around here.  We don't know if you're aware but... get this - we have launched our first 5 ground breaking comedic spy novels for ages 9-11. It's A Ruff Life, 2nd edition, Diamond in the Ruff, Ruff in Hollywood, It's A Ruff Life Dognapped! and Ruff Resort

The books are fast, furious, exciting, 'bellasome, bellatastic' and filled with pizazz, not to mention high class canine fashion.

Don't forget our Facebook like button at the top of this page

Click on the Amazon links at the side of this page and take a sneaky peek at what we've been up to.

Don't forget you can still enter the Goodreads competition.  The link is below and you have just 3 DAYS left to enter.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

It's a Ruff Life by B.R. Tracey

It's a Ruff Life

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends October 25, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

When you've done all that visit our website Ruff Life Online

0 Comments on Ruff Life - Ground Breaking Comedic Spy Novels launched It's A Ruff Life, 2nd edition, Diamond in the Ruff, Ruff in Hollywood, It's A Ruff Life Dognapped! Ruff Resort as of 10/21/2014 5:48:00 PM
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22. From Above

I often glance up at the clouds
From miles and miles below
And marvel at the shapes and wonder
Where they seem to go.

From gossamer to cotton ball,
They shift and drift on high
To pique our interest in
The giant canvas of the sky.

Yet looking down upon them
From the window of a plane,
They hardly seem to move at all,
But in their spots remain.

Suspended wisps or mountain groups
They float, so blinding white
And surely everyone should gawk
With absolute delight.

Still, jaded passengers refrain
From even one quick glance 
But oh, I love to watch the clouds
When I'm allowed the chance.

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23. Sparrow Photo - brand identity, logo, watermark. For an...





Sparrow Photo - brand identity, logo, watermark. For an exceedingly good time, peruse her work at: sparrowphoto





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24. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Time-lapse

I’m pleased to announce that our wildebeest time-lapse video has been commended in the new time-lapse category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

I have edited a new version of this footage, which you can view below:

The scenes shown in this footage are among the most awe-inspiring I have ever witnessed! We found that time-lapse was the only medium that allowed us to convey the magnitude of the migration. This footage was shot over five days in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. It shows the migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River while moving south into Tanzania from Kenya.

The Serengeti Ecosystem supports 1.5 million wildebeest. These wildebeest are forced to migrate around a 40,000 square kilometre area in order to find fresh grazing pastures. The migration is full of danger and hardship for these resilient creatures. Thirst, hunger, exhaustion, predation and the Mara River are just some of the challenges they must face.

Wildebeest pour down the banks before leaping into the Mara River.

You can read more about this project in my free ebook: My Top Ten Wildlife Experiences.

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25. Amazon Has Established a New Contract With Simon & Schuster

SimonSchusterAmazon and Simon & Schuster have established a new multi-year print and digital agreement. The previous contract was scheduled to expire in two months.

Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal: “Simon & Schuster, whose recently published works include Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators and Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster, will set the consumer prices of its digital books, and Amazon will be able to discount titles in certain situations, according to one person familiar with the agreement. Simon & Schuster titles also will be well promoted on Amazon’s website, the person said.”

Many speculate that this development will put more pressure on Hachette to wrap up the ongoing dispute. Several writers have publicly spoken about the situation including Stephen Colbert, John Green, and Malcolm Gladwell. Earlier this week, economist Paul Krugman wrote New York Times article criticizing Amazon’s business practices. How do you predict this will affect the conflict between Amazon and Hachette?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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