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1. Breastfeeding and infant sleep

By David Haig

A woman who gives birth to six children each with a 75% chance of survival has the same expected number of surviving offspring as a woman who gives birth to five children each with a 90% chance of survival. In both cases, 4.5 offspring are expected to survive. Because the large fitness gain from an additional child can compensate for a substantially increased risk of childhood mortality, women’s bodies will have evolved to produce children closer together than is best for child fitness.

Sleeping baby by Minoru Nitta. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

Sleeping baby by Minoru Nitta. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

Offspring will benefit from greater birth-spacing than maximizes maternal fitness. Therefore, infants would benefit from adaptations for delaying the birth of a younger sib. The increased risk of mortality from close spacing of births is experienced by both the older and younger child whose births bracket the interbirth interval. Although a younger sib can do nothing to cause the earlier birth of an older sib, an older sib could potentially enhance its own survival by delaying the birth of a younger brother or sister.

The major determinant of birth-spacing, in the absence of contraception, is the duration of post-partum infertility (i.e., how long after a birth before a woman resumes ovulation). A woman’s return to fertility appears to be determined by her energy status. Lactation is energetically demanding and more intense suckling by an infant is one way that an infant could potentially influence the timing of its mother’s return to fertility. In 1987, Blurton Jones and da Costa proposed that night-waking by infants enhanced child survival not only because of the nutritional benefits of suckling but also because of suckling’s contraceptive effects of delaying the birth of a younger sib.

Blurton Jones and da Costa’s hypothesis receives unanticipated support from the behavior of infants with deletions of a cluster of imprinted genes on human chromosome 15. The deletion occurs on the paternally-derived chromosome in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Infants with PWS have weak cries, a weak or absent suckling reflex, and sleep a lot. The deletion occurs on the maternally-derived chromosome in Angelman syndrome (AS). Infants with AS wake frequently during the night.

The contrasting behaviors of infants with PWS and AS suggest that maternal and paternal genes from this chromosome region have antagonistic effects on infant sleep with genes of paternal origin (absent in PWS) promoting suckling and night waking whereas genes of maternal origin (absent in AS) promote infant sleep. Antagonistic effects of imprinted genes are expected when a behavior benefits the infant’s fitness at a cost to its mother’s fitness with genes of paternal origin favoring greater benefits to infants than genes of maternal origin. Thus, the phenotypes of PWS and AS suggest that night waking enhances infant fitness at a cost to maternal fitness. The most plausible interpretation is that these costs and benefits are mediated by effects on the interbirth interval.

Postnatal conflict between mothers and offspring has been traditionally assumed to involve behavioral interactions such as weaning conflicts. However, we now know that a mother’s body is colonized by fetal cells during pregnancy and that these cells can persist for the remainder of the mother’s life. These cells could potentially influence interbirth intervals in more direct ways. Two possibilities suggest themselves. First, offspring cells could directly influence the supply of milk to their child, perhaps by promoting greater differentiation of milk-producing cells (mammary epithelium). Second, offspring cells could interfere with the implantation of subsequent embryos. Both of these possibilities remain hypothetical but cells containing Y chromosomes (presumably derived from male fetuses) have been found in breast tissue and in the uterine lining of non-pregnant women.

David Haig is Professor of Biology at Harvard University. he is the author of “Troubled sleep: Night waking, breastfeeding and parent–offspring conflict” (available to read for free for a limited time) in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. The arguments summarized above are presented in greater detail in two papers that recently appeared in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health is an open access journal, published by Oxford University Press, which publishes original, rigorous applications of evolutionary thought to issues in medicine and public health. It aims to connect evolutionary biology with the health sciences to produce insights that may reduce suffering and save lives. Because evolutionary biology is a basic science that reaches across many disciplines, this journal is open to contributions on a broad range of topics, including relevant work on non-model organisms and insights that arise from both research and practice.

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The post Breastfeeding and infant sleep appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Illustrator Interview – Lita Judge

This interview arose from one of those serendipitous moments. I had been liking all Lita’s posts on FB about her new picture book FLIGHT SCHOOL for several weeks and had been thinking that I must see if she would like … Continue reading

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3. The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain - a review

Angleberger, Tom. 2014. The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain! New York: Abrams.

(Advance Reader Copy supplied by publisher)

A bi-racial, Jehovah's Witness girl; a poor boy from the trailer park; a nerdy Jewish boyall victims of school bullying.

Sounds like a perfect trio of protagonists for a serious book of realistic fiction, doesn't it? But it's notnot really. These are the founding members of Tom Angleberger's hilarious new creation, the QwikPick Adventure Society, which makes its debut in a new series, The QwikPick Papers.

So, what do this Jehovah's Witness, Jew, and very poor kid have in common? At first, only that each has nothing to do on Christmas Day.  Marilla and Dave don't celebrate Christmas and don't enjoy spending time at home.  Lyle's parents have to work at the QwikPick convenience store all day. But don't feel sorry for them.  It's the perfect day for a secret mission to visit the Poop Fountain, an antiquated aeration device at the town's waste water treatment plant.

Written as an illustrated "report" by the QwikPick Adventure Society, this novel of only 135 pages, Poop Fountain! is stomach-churning disgusting at times, and hilariously funny at others.  That's why kids will love it, but it's not why you should.

You should love it because Angleberger has proved again (as in the Origami Yoda series) that he can tackle sensitive subjects with charm and  a good deal of humor.

     Everybody else was talking about the Super Bowl coming up that weekend, but we all agreed that it was stupid and football was stupid and the Redskins' mascot was stupid.
     Unfortunately, Jeremy heard me saying something and hollered down the table, "Hey, if we wanted any of your crap, I'd beat it out of you."
     "Shove it, Jeremy," said Dave, which was the nicest thing anyone had ever said in my honor.
     When it was time to go, Marilla said, "Hey, if you want, I'll save this seat for you tomorrow."
     That was when, without them even knowing it, Marilla and Dave became my best friends.

Other reasons for you to love Poop Fountain!, "shout-outs" to
  • The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
  • Fred Astaire
  • The Princess Bride (the movie)
  • the BBC
Coming to a bookshelf near you in May, 2014.  Can't wait 'til May?  It's on NetGalley now.

0 Comments on The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain - a review as of 4/16/2014 8:27:00 AM
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Here's some good advice about bad advice in writing that is sometimes good and sometimes bad---depending. And that could be all I have to say on the matter because it does, in a way, say it all. OK--not really but sort of. Your way has to be your way. A lot of the bad advice that you'll see in the "ten worst pieces of writing advice" is good for some, especially inexperienced writers. BUT people repeat it as gospel to others who it is harmful to. My advice is to listen to everything you hear about writing, read everything you can about writing,   experience everything you can, but first and foremost write. Write every day. Write different things. Push yourself. Find what you do well and not so well. Learn from doing. You'll find your way.


0 Comments on as of 4/16/2014 8:59:00 AM
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5. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

I can’t help it. Days 15 and 16 of these challenges always gets a certain song stuck in my head. You know, this song by an American rock band from New Jersey that used to be kinda cool in the ’80s. You know, that song, “bada, bada, whoooaaaahhh, we’re half-way theeeerreee; ooooooo, livin’ on a prayer; take my hand and we’ll make it I sweeaaarrrr; oooooo, livin’ on a prayer (livin’ on a prayer).” If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry; it just means you’re either older or younger than me and haven’t fully enjoyed Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” yet. Click here to watch the video on YouTube


For today’s prompt, write an elegy. An elegy doesn’t have specific formal rules. Rather, it’s a poem for someone who has died. In fact, elegies are defined as “love poems for the dead” in John Drury’s The Poetry Dictionary. Of course, we’re all poets here, which means everything can be bent. So yes, it’s perfectly fine if you take this another direction–for instance, I once wrote an elegy for card catalogs. Have at it!


Workshop your poetry!

Click here to learn more



Here’s my attempt at an Elegy:


i began collecting things
foil and pizza boxes and
country western vhs tapes
and lighthouses and native
american figurines and i
piled them up beside your
grave that grew less fresh
every day and still i ran
out into the street asking
for donations at red lights
and bringing treasures to pile
up in the elements and then
i climbed to the top of this
massive mound to proclaim
myself king and to pray and
to sacrifice and to feel winds
weather me but i’ve come
to realize the days begin and
end the same the trees still
blossom and birds arrive and
depart and nothing i can do
will bring you back to me


Today’s guest judge is…

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob is the author of several poetry collections, including This Clumsy Living, Words for Empty and Words for Full, and most recently Elegy Owed

. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech and before teaching owned and ran a successful automotive die design business.

His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, and Best American Poetry. His collections Elegy Owed and Animal Soul have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Learn more here: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1126




Poem 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

. That book includes a poem titled “betty,” which is about the same person, but it’s a different poem (or Robert’s discovered the secret of time travel and has just kick-started a complete unraveling of the time space continuum). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


Console yourselves with these poetic posts:

  • Sara Tracey: Poet Interview
  • .
  • Triversen: Poetic Form
  • .

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    6. #540 – Beneath the Sun by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum


    Beneath the Sun

    by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum, illustrator

    Peachtree Publishers         4/1/2014


    Age 4 to 8         32 pages


    “When the sun is scorching, you put on sunscreen and run under the sprinkler to stay cool. But how do wild animals survive in the heat? Journey from your neighborhood to a field where an earthworm loops its long body into a ball underground, to a desert where a jackrabbit loses heat through its oversized ears, to a wetland where a siren salamander burrows into the mud, and to a seashore where sea stars hide in the shade of a seaweed mat—and learn of the many ways animals carry on in spite the sun’s sizzling rays.”


    “On the hottest days of the year, the sun rises early. Its bright light shines down on us, hour after hour.”


    Beneath the Sun explains what some of the earth’s creatures do to beat the heat when temperatures rise to unbearable levels. We humans, we get wet. Children enjoy sprinklers, swimming pools, and fire hydrants as three ways to keep cool in the heat of summer day. We also can use sunscreen to avoid burns and air conditioners to keep cool indoors.

    Animals are not so lucky. They need to rely on instinctive measures and Mother Nature to survive the blast of the sun’s rays. Divided into four ecosysems, the book gives examples of animals defeating the sun’s effects in a field, on a seashore, in a wetland, and in the desert. For example, in a field, the woodchuck takes advantage of the cooler morning to munch on grass and then beats the heat of the open field’s sunrays by staying in a cool underground cave during the worst of the day’s hot weather. In the wetlands live the osprey. The male osprey stays cool by soaking his feathers in water, and then upon returning to his nest, his children soak the water from his feathers.


    The herring gull, who lives on a seashore, fans its wings to protects its young from the sun and then pants like a dog to keep itself cool. Kids will love reading that, as they will the turkey vulture who must protects itself from the treacherous desert sun and harsh heat. It accomplishes this by spraying urine on its legs. The author is good at presenting—in two or three sentences—these odd heat beaters kids will enjoy learning.

    The illustrations are realistic, as one would expect in a nature book such as Beneath the Sun. The images take children to each ecosystem with enough detail to be able to turn a page and know where the featured animal lives. The illustrations also frame the animals inside one complete day. Bergum did this by her watercolor end pages. The front depicts the sun rising and the back depicts the cooler end of the day. Returning to children at the end of their day completes a circle of time even the youngest can understand.

    Beginning each book with the things children do when it gets too hot and sunny to play outdoors, framing the entire animal kingdom so kids can relate to the other species. The same holds true in When Rain Falls (2008) and Under the Snow (2009),the two former editions of a series comparing children’s activities to those of other species. Similar to At the Same Moment, Around the World (Perrin, Clotilde, 2014), the different environments simultaneously occur during the span of one day, an easy concept children can grasp from this well-written picture book.


    BENEATH THE SUN. Text copyright © 2014 by Melissa Stewart. Illustrations © 2014 by Constance R. Bergum. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

    Learn more about Beneath the Sun HERE.

    Purchase Beneath the Sun at AmazonB&NPeachtree Publishersyour local bookstore.


    Meet the author, Melissa Stewart, at her website:   http://www.melissa-stewart.com/

    Meet the illustrator, Constance R. Bergum, at her jacketflap:   http://www.jacketflap.com/constance-rummel-bergum/30188

    Find other wonderful books at the Peachtree Publishers website:   http://peachtree-online.com/


    Also by Melissa Stewart & Constance R. Bergum

    When Rain Falls

    When Rain Falls

    Under the Snow

    Under the Snow







    New at Peachtree Publishers

    Claude at the Beach

    Claude at the Beach


    About Habitats: Forests

    About Habitats: Forests







    beneath the sun


    Peachtree Publishers Book Blog Tour

    Beneath the Sun

    Monday 4/14

    Jean Little Library 

    Blue Owl

    Tuesday 4/15

    Geo Librarian

    Wednesday 4/16

    Kid Lit Reviews

    Thursday 4/17

    Tolivers to Texas 

    Chat with Vera 

    Friday 4/18

    Sally’s Bookshelf



    Support your local Bookmobile.


    Filed under: 5stars, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Series Tagged: blasting heat, children's book reviews, Constance R. Bergum, environments, habitats, Melissa Stewart, nature, Peachtree Publishers, relief from the sun and the heat, the burning sun

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    7. Street scene with a cool underpainting

    Warm air from the south has arrived in the Hudson Valley. The last remnants of winter have nearly vanished, except for one small pile of snow at the end of my neighbor's driveway. 

    I'm thinking about fire devouring ice when I start this street scene. How can I convey that feeling?

    I open my sketchbook to a page that is pre-painted with blue tones. The blue color is casein: titanium white mixed with cerulean blue. I allow it to dry for a couple of days so the paint surface is closed. The blue will serve nicely as a complementary base for a picture in browns and oranges.

    Here's what the surface looks like when I start. I sketch in the lines with a reddish-brown water-soluble colored pencil.

    Now I dive in with gouache. I could have used casein or acrylic—anything opaque. Starting with the sky, I apply warm colors with a flat brush. I cover the surface, careful to leave some blue areas showing through, especially on that windshield. I want that car to be the focal point.

    I don't hesitate to cover up the lines of the underdrawing. I can find everything again with the brush.

    I add more reddish-brown darks on the car and the awning at left. I try to keep any extreme darks from intersecting the sky. I want achieve the feeling that the skylight is flaring across nearby forms and devouring them, as if the sticks and branches are tossed into the furnace.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson writes about "the fire, vital, consecrating, celestial, which burns until it shall dissolve all things into the waves and surges of an ocean of light."

    Here's a detail about as wide the "shift" key on your computer. Those highlights on the car were blinding. 

    See, I'm squinting! You can scroll back up to see the final painting.

    0 Comments on Street scene with a cool underpainting as of 4/16/2014 4:31:00 AM
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    8. Sharing Ideas with Julia Jarman

    Generally speaking, authors and illustrators don't get together to chat through new book projects. I get the text from the publisher, not the author and, as I work on my illustrations, I talk with the art director and designer, not the author, sending my ideas, roughs and eventually my artwork to the publisher, never once having had any contact with the author. It surprises people, but that's quite normal.

    It's a bit different though with Julia Jarman. When an author and illustrator team up for several books, they can become friends and often start to work more closely, certainly at the start of a project. Julia and I have done 5 books together now and are a good match - we think alike and we laugh at the same things. Which is why we work so easily together and why we get on so well too.

    Julia often emails me stories she is working on and would like me to illustrate, asking for my input. Julia's writing is very visual: as I read one of her texts, I can immediately see illustrations in my head. This gives me a slightly different perspective to Julia and my take on things can help her to fine-tune the wording, before she sends it to the publisher. 

    We were working on a new story last week and several drafts of it went back and forth between us by email. I'm not actually drawing anything at this stage, but Julia knows my work so well, it only takes a few words for me to paint a picture for her of what's in my head. 

    I can't tell you anything specific, but I think it's going to be a good one and am really crossing my fingers that the publisher takes it. 

    0 Comments on Sharing Ideas with Julia Jarman as of 4/16/2014 8:53:00 AM
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    9. Interview with Lauren Layne, Author of Just One Night and Giveaway


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

    [Lauren Layne] Snarky, yet hopelessly romantic.

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

    [Lauren Layne] Ten years of unfulfilled sexual tension are about combust into one very hot night — but will one night be enough?

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

    [Lauren Layne] Well it’s the third in the Stiletto series, and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to tell the story of a woman with a VERY sexy reputation but none of the actual sexual experience!

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

    [Lauren Layne] Sam and Riley have known each other for years, so it was fun getting to skip a lot of that “getting to know you” stuff and get straight to what draws these two together for an entire decade.

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

    [Lauren Layne] What made Sam tick. He’s SUPER secretive, so it took me awhile to figure out that his crappy home life totally did a number on him.

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

    [Lauren Layne] It changes pretty much every week, but right now I’m going with Pink’s “So What,” because it’s very power-anthemy, and reminds me that I’m in control of each day.

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

    [Lauren Layne] A hair band thingy. There’s always one on my wrist or in my hair, and if it’s missing, I get obsessed!

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

    [Lauren Layne] Notebook, laptop and water glass (I’m a minimalist!)

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

    [Lauren Layne] President Obama (“Nobody panic. I’ve got this.”)

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

    [Lauren Layne] I absolutely loved Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke. I couldn’t put it down.

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

    [Lauren Layne] You know, writing is pretty much always on my mind, but when I need a break, I love to have a glass of wine and cook with my husband.

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

    [Lauren Layne] I’m very slowly trying to get better at social media (GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter), but I LOVE email. Seriously, write to me about ANYTHING! Lauren (at) laurenlayne (dot) com


    JUST ONE NIGHT: Sex, Love and Stiletto Series
    Written by Lauren Layne
    Published by Loveswept
    ISBN: 978-0-34554727-9
    On sale: April 22nd, 2014


    New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest . . . all night long.

    Riley McKenna knows sex – good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

    Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed.  After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

    Buy Links

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-One-Night-Stiletto-Series-ebook/dp/B00F8F3JZK

    B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-one-night-lauren-layne/1116911372?ean=9780345547279

    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/just-one-night/id725293406?mt=11

    Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/10/now-booking-tasty-virtual-book-tour-for_29.html

    Author Info

    Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

    Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

    Author links




    Rafflecopter Giveaway (Lauren Layne Prize Pack with: Review Copies of Stiletto Series, Loveswept Tote and Mug or $15.00 E-Retailer Gift Card of Winner’s Choosing )

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Interview with Lauren Layne, Author of Just One Night and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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    10. WOW Wednesday: Rocking The Boat by Stacey Kade

    Stacey Kade is the author of the absolutely wonderful THE GHOST AND THE GOTH series which I absolutely LOVE! The second book in her PROJECT PAPER DOLLS series comes out April 22nd and is called THE HUNT. Don't forget to add this one to your shelves as the riveting sequel to THE RULES.

    Rocking The Boat by Stacey Kade

    To share with you the most recent lesson I've learned as a writer, I have to first share some advice someone else gave me and a certain amount of embarrassing naiveté on my part. :) So, bear with me.

    When I first started writing, years before I was published, someone told me to choose very carefully what genre/type of book I wanted to write as I'd likely be writing that a long time, if I were fortunate enough to be published. Publishers want you to build an audience of loyal readers and develop a reputation as a specific kind of writer. Romance, mystery, spine-tingling horror, what have you. Because of that, you need to pick a single genre/area that you're passionate about and focus on that. DON'T worry about what's popular now; don't attempt to write to the market. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of story ideas in your chosen genre; you can't be bouncing from mystery to contemporary romance to science fiction, from book to book.

    This sounded like good advice (and it was...to an extent), so I did as instructed. I've always loved all things paranormal/sci-fi/strange. It was an easy decision. The paranormal umbrella gave me access to all sorts of stories: time travel, ghosts, sentient cell phones. You know, the usual. ;)

    My first book was contracted in 2008, and I was over the moon. It hit shelves in 2010, followed by sequels in 2011 and 2012 and the start of a whole new series in 2013. Awesome.

    I did everything to be the best author I could be. I did NOT want to rock this amazing boat that I'd finally gotten into. I'd worked so hard to get to this point. I was thrilled to be doing the job I loved and writing the types of stories that had always fascinated me as a kid.

    This takes us up to the last year or so. I'd finished writing a draft of the last book in my second series, and I wanted to get started on something new. I had what I thought was a fun take on familiar idea that easily fit under the paranormal umbrella, although in an area that hadn't been explored much.

    I knew the market was changing. Paranormal continued to sell well in the stores, but publishers weren’t gobbling it up as they had been. They were now leaning more toward contemporary realistic fiction. But I knew there was no way paranormal would disappear completely, so I continued, stubbornly, foolishly, to follow that advice that I'd been given years ago.

    Yeah. I know. It all seems very clear now, but at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing.

    No one wanted my fun new take on this paranormal element...unless I could take the paranormal element out of it. (Which I couldn't without it falling apart.) They loved my writing, the characters, but not that thing that made it what it was.

    I was devastated. I'd done all the right things. I'd picked my genre and stuck within it. I'd done my best to not rock the boat. And yet, here I was, suddenly taking on water.

    After a few days (okay, weeks) of fretting, I took a step back and re-evaluated the situation. It was scary—terrifying, actually—but it was also an opportunity. Change is always an opportunity. 

I had other story ideas, of course. I'd written them down in my journal, taking notes on everything I knew about the characters and the story, just to get them out of my head and onto paper. Several of those ideas would fit within the contemporary realistic fiction category.

    So, I went back through my journals and found those ideas that I was most passionate about, the ones that repeatedly crept into my thoughts even once I'd written down the basics. I'd tried hard to banish those ideas, thinking I'd never get the chance to write them.

    But now, here was my chance. So, I started developing a couple of them. 

I was absolutely scared to death because it felt like re-inventing myself and what if I couldn't do it? I hadn't rewritten this kind of fiction since college. I didn't know what do without ghosts or aliens popping into the storyline. Plus, these stories were so dark, much darker than what I’d written before. They delved into emotional territory that frightened me.
    But I made myself keep going. Eventually, just like always, the love for the characters and the story grew stronger than my fear. (The fear didn't go away. It never does. But that's a separate blog post.)

    And I realized then: I'm a writer. Not a paranormal writer, not a contemporary writer, not a "things-blow-up-and-we-chase-the-bad-guys" writer. Just a writer. I'd gotten so hung up on that initial advice and identifying myself as a certain kind of writer that I almost missed the chance to tell these other stories that mean so much to me, stories that have been hanging around my brain for literally years. All because I'd gotten stubbornly fixed on being ONE thing. And because I was scared to try something new.

    The market changes; publishing folks change; you, as a writer, will change. And change is important to keep growing as a writer. 

It sounds very logical and basic, even. But I wish someone had told me that two years ago! So, that's why I'm telling you now: be open to change, be ready to rock the boat when the time is right...otherwise, someone or something else will rock it for you.

    About The Author

    As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

    She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and two retired racing greyhounds, Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television catching up on her favorite shows (Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock, among others.)

    Stacey is the author of the The Ghost and the Goth trilogy (THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and BODY & SOUL) and The Project Paper Doll Series (THE RULES and THE HUNT).

    Website | Twitter | Goodreads

    About The Book

    Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

    But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.

    Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

    Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

    0 Comments on WOW Wednesday: Rocking The Boat by Stacey Kade as of 4/16/2014 8:23:00 AM
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    11. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review Haiku

    A few obvious
    plot points, perhaps, but still,
    a marvelous story.

    Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Knopf, 2014, 240 pages.

    0 Comments on Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review Haiku as of 4/16/2014 6:07:00 AM
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    12. EVERBLAZE Cover Revealed!!!!!!

    I know I made you guys wait an EXTRA long time for this one--but once you scroll down and see the awesomeness I'm sure you'll agree that it was worth the wait.

    And I know there's now point in saying anything else because you've already skipped over this to see the shiny so....






    TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It might be a *little* hard to tell because he's upside down (and yanno, sorta falling from a burning tower...) but that boy, dear readers, is Fitz.


    *stares at the amazing teal eyes*

    So now we have all three boys represented on the covers. Words cannot explain how giddy this makes me. 

    And  I *know* showing you this cover is going to raise a bunch of questions, so I'm going to try to cover them here:

    When does EVERBLAZE come out???The current scheduled release date is 11/4/14. Less than six months to go--WOO!!!!!!! 
    Can you tell us something about the plot???Um... not yet. BUT SOON.  
    Is EVERBLAZE the last book in the series???Well .... this is another question I can't answer yet. But again: SOON.
    Does this mean there's a lot of Fitz scenes in the book????
    Yes! Though there are also lots of Dex scenes and Keefe scenes and even quite a few Biana scenes, plus all your other favorite characters. EVERBLAZE is a rather long book. I'm not entirely sure how many pages it will be once it's all typeset, but it's longer than EXILE, so... a lot! And I love it. And it's FINALLY DONE. I can't wait for you guys to read!!!!!

    Okay, I think that covers everything. I hope you guys love the cover as much as I do!

    And now, I'm going to scroll back up and KEEP STARING AT THE INCREDIBLENESS!!!!

    0 Comments on EVERBLAZE Cover Revealed!!!!!! as of 4/16/2014 9:01:00 AM
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    13. Novel Wisdom (22)

    This post is part of a series on the blog where I share some of the nuggets of wisdom and inspiration — related to writing and/or life — that I find steeped in the pages of novels that I’ve read.

    Last week, I finished this YA novel that touched a nerve with me. Bullying is taken on a whole other level with social media and technology, but the root of bullying hasn’t changed. Growing up working-class, I had several girls in my neighborhood who hated me for the basic reason that I loved books and got good grades. They tormented me all through middle school. It was an awful time. I became a different person as a defense mechanism and it took some years to find my way back to the girl I actually wanted to be. I was one of the luckier ones who had the support of a family who loved me and convinced me that I could have a better life. Now when I look back at those girls, I know it really wasn’t me that they hated.

    From Lila, the aunt of Piddy, the narrator of the novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina


    You know where this Yaqui girl is going to be in a few years if she doesn’t change? She’ll still be there — same as always in her old neighborhood — a nobody with nothing. And guess what? That’s her worst fear. And who knows? Maybe that’s what she’ll deserve for being a punk and making people feel bad just because she could.

    But you? You’re different. You’re going to be better than that, and that’s what kills her, Piddy. That’s what makes her burn with hate. She can already see you’re winning. You’re going to get an education and use your brain.

    0 Comments on Novel Wisdom (22) as of 4/16/2014 7:27:00 AM
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    14. Me And My Cat?

    Review by Ariadna Sánchez

    While waiting for the train at 7th Street/Metro Center station in Downtown Los Angeles, a young lady approached me for help. She was confused and worried at the same time; she needed to catch the train toward Long Beach. She was visiting Los Angeles for the first time to meet her nephew. Her words were filled with great expectation and excitement, but her spirit seemed intimidated by the speedy trains that passed by. Finally, we looked at the screen showing the Metro Blue Line schedule. The next departing train to Long Beach opened its doors welcoming all passengers aboard. When she got inside the train, it took only a few minutes before the train began moving. The young lady waved at me as the train vanished into the dark tunnel. I sat down for a moment in the waiting area for my train to arrive thinking about this experience. I put myself in this lady’s shoes and realized that life is a unique adventure full of amazing trips.

    Me And My Cat? written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura is a story that narrates the abruptly transformation of Nicholas and his cat Leonardo. Late one night, an old lady in a pointed hat climbs through the window into Nicholas’s bedroom. She brandishes her broom, fires out some weird words, and leaves. The following morning Nicholas is living “inside” his cat Leonardo and Leonardo is living “inside” Nicholas. Nicholas is shocked to look at himself in the mirror with long whiskers, sharp claws, and purring like a sweet little kitten, MEOW! Outside the house, Nicholas, who is inside Leonardo’s body, realizes that life is tough and complicated for a cat when he is chased by three mean cats and Mr. Stone’s furious dog. Hours later, Nicholas sees himself coming back from school and acting like Leonardo, the cat.  This behavior makes his mother very upset, so she decides to call the doctor. The doctor recommends sending Nicholas to bed early. That night, the old lady in the pointed hat pays Nicholas a second visit. She apologizes for throwing a spell at the wrong person. The old lady brandishes her broom and blurts out some mysterious words disappearing as quickly as a thunder. The next day everything is back to normal, Nicholas is ready for school and Leonardo is actively climbing over the shelf. At school Mr. Gough, Nicholas’ teacher sits on the table, scratches his back, licks his cheeks, and falls asleep.

    Can you guess who the old lady in the pointed hat visited last night? Be careful, you might be next!

    The story Me and my Cat? stimulates deep perceptions to the young readers. Thinking about others’ needs creates mature and responsible children. Teaching values like respect, tolerance, and acceptance are some ways to show sympathy to new generations for a better community and for a better world. Visit the local library today. Reading gives you wings! Purr

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    15. Five Tips for Writing A Memoir

    Guest Post by Joan Heartwell Be Fearless Fear is probably the number one obstacle that keeps popping up in front of would-be memoirists. What if so and so gets upset because I’ve written about her? What if I’ve misremembered that conversation about such and such? What if I say something happened in 1980 and it turns out it really happened in ‘81? Will someone try to sue me? You can imagine

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    16. Tropical Rain Forest Sky Ponds — Margarita Engle

    Here’s a poem by Margarita Engle from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

    engle tropical jpg

    Looking for more ways to connect science and poetry? Here’s a great place to start.

    The post Tropical Rain Forest Sky Ponds — Margarita Engle appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

    0 Comments on Tropical Rain Forest Sky Ponds — Margarita Engle as of 1/1/1900
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    17. Our Wonderful World.16

    Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.


    Snow is falling --
    a mid-April joke
    not meant to do real harm --
    just a jest,
    a parody of the pollen
    that will soon sneeze up the air.

    Bright green grass grins
    through the dusting of snow.
    Magnolia blooms chuckle
    under caps of white.
    Daffodils sigh,
    sorry to be gone so soon.

    Muffler and mittens snicker
    at shivering shorts-wearing Springsters.
    Forsythia half-heartedly bloomed
    only just last week.
    Everyone knows her punchline is
    one more snow.

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

    Yeah, I know. That poem has exactly nothing to do with the Panama Canal. But it's the poem I wanted to write, and it's the poem I wrote, and there aren't enough hours in the day to write another.

    Yesterday I didn't get Carol's poem in two voices for the Itaipu Dam linked in, nor Kevin's flowchart poem for the Delta Works. Be sure you check them out. Both are amazing in their own unique ways.

    Carol's poem for the Delta Works is here, and Kevin's Panama Canal poem is here.

    0 Comments on Our Wonderful World.16 as of 4/16/2014 7:31:00 AM
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    18. Review: Bang by Lisa McMann


    May Contain Spoilers


    I thought that Crash, the first book in the Visions trilogy, was a bit repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong – I still couldn’t put it down and read it in short order.  But the never ending replay of the vision haunting Jules became tedious about the 100th time through.  Bang never felt like a CD set on Replay, probably because the vision is Sawyer’s, and Jules does not have firsthand knowledge of it.  Instead, Sawyer’s nightmare is relayed to Jules in painstaking detail as he is forced to watch it over and over again.  That distance made all the difference.

    When Sawyer tells Jules that he’s suffering from a vision of an impending disaster, she wants to help him figure out what’s going on so they can stop it from happening.  Sawyer is haunted as the vision becomes ever more gruesome – a pile of bodies lie crumbled in a classroom, staining the floor red with blood.  All he can hear is the bang! bang! bang! of gunfire.  He’s desperate to find a way to make it stop, but if it’s anything like Jules’ vision of the crash, the only way to make it go away is to figure out when the shooting is going to happen and stop it, saving the lives of a bunch of people he doesn’t even know.

    Using her experience with her own vision as a guideline, Jules dives in and helps him sort out details of the upcoming tragedy.  Where are the victims?  What are they wearing? Can he tell what time of day the shooting will occur?  They slowly unravel snippets of details about the incident, which aid them as they race to solve the mystery before the shooting happens, or before Sawyer is driven insane by what’s he’s forced to watch all the time.

    To complicate matters, Jules and Sawyer have to deal with their families and their animosity towards each other.  The Demarco’s and the Angotti’s certainly know how to hold a grudge.  Neither of their fathers is ready to bury the hatchet on the feud that has simmered between them for years, and both Jules and Sawyer are punished when they are caught together.  Jules is having a terrible time showing any kind of respect for her father.  He’s a liar and a cheat, and she suspects that he’s a coward, as well.  I wonder if he suffers from the visions, too, but hasn’t been able to do anything about them.  Maybe that explains his odd behavior and probable mental illness?

    I enjoyed the book because I liked Jules, her siblings, and Sawyer so much.  They are just trying to do the right thing, and not get buried by the weirdness of their families.  They all start to show some independence and resistance to the status quo, though all of their parental relationships suffered for it. 

    I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery, so I’ll just sum things up by stating that Bang kept me on the edge of my seat, and I hated to put it down.  It’s a very fast read, with plenty of twists and turns, and enough parental conflict to keep any teenager distracted.  I felt so bad for Jules!  Her home is certainly not a haven for her, and neither is Sawyer’s. I can hardly wait to learn what secrets Jules’ father is hiding in Gasp, the last volume of the Visions trilogy.

    Grade:  B+

    Review copy provided by publisher

    From Amazon:

    What Sawyer’s seeing might mean murder. The second book in a series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

    Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

    Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

    Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

    The post Review: Bang by Lisa McMann appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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    19. Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry



    Plain Jayne  By Laura Drewry

    Publisher: Loveswept Contemporary Romance

    Publication Date: April 8, 2014

    ISBN: 978-0-8041-7773-3

    In Laura Drewry’s funny, heartwarming Loveswept debut, a man and a woman learn the hard way that a little bit of love makes staying friends a whole lot harder.

    Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.

    Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

    Available 4/08/14:

    Random House: http://www.randomhouse.ca/search/node/laura%20drewry

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Jayne-Laura-Drewry-ebook/dp/B00FUZQZZO/ref=la_B00J6PQ8EW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396072181&sr=1-1

    B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/plain-jayne-laura-drewry/1117135307?ean=9780804177733

    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/plain-jayne/id737586209?mt=11



    Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German Shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

    Website: http://www.lauradrewry.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry

    Excerpt from Chapter Two of PLAIN JAYNE by Laura Drewry

    “Well I’m sure as hell not staying in that apartment, Nick, so unless you’ve got a better idea . . .”

    “As a matter of fact . . .” Was he crazy to even suggest it? Probably. Would she agree to it? Probably not. “I know a great place with plenty of room, kitchen’s available 24/7, open bar, flat screen, free wireless, and easy access to laundry services.”

    A moment’s hesitation, a frown, then her blue eyes flew open. “No way.”

    “Why not? It’s perfect.”


    Nick ignored her and kept driving. What could she do—jump out?

    “To make up for being such a prick the last time he saw you, the owner’s offering free room and board for as long as you like.”

    He could hear the arguments building behind her open-mouthed gape. Best to cut her off before she started.

    “What’s the big deal? You need a room, and I’ve got one. Big one, too, with your own bathroom and a butt load of closet space.”

    “Seriously?” She lifted her hands, palms up, and exhaled a snort that pretty much covered how stupid she thought he was. “What’s the big deal? You mean besides the fact it’s just flat-out weird?”

    “Says who?” As far as he was concerned, it was a done deal. Hell, even if there were hotel rooms available, this made more sense.

    “Says me!” She made a sound like a wounded bear, which only made Nick laugh. “We haven’t seen each other in four years, Nick, and before that—”

    He rolled his eyes. “Before that you refused to stay with me because you thought Abby hated you.”

    “She did!” The growl sounded again, slower, longer. “There was no way she would’ve let me stay with you and there was no way in hell I’d even ask.”

    “Well, you’re not asking, and Abby’s not here to put up a fight, is she?”

    That shut her up for a second; but only a second. “What are people going to think?”

    “Who cares?” He followed the highway around past the ball field and over the bridge.

    “Hello!” she snorted. “Does the name Debra Scott ring a bell? Jeez, Nick—your mother has found a way to blame me for every breakup you ever had, so if it even looks like I’ve come back to shack up with her darling little Nicky, she’s going to have me strung up in town square faster than you can say ‘Holy flying axe throw, Batman.’”

    “Town square? Really?” He laughed, then pulled his arm out of reach when she made to smack him. “The gallows were dismantled a couple months back, so you’re probably pretty safe.”

    “Very funny.”

    From the corner of his eye, he could see she was shaking her head at him, but as he steered the truck into the exit lane, he caught the glimpse of a smile.

    “Didn’t you tell me you had a girlfriend?”

    Damn it. He’d been seeing Lisa for a couple months now, and even though he didn’t consider it anything serious, he knew Lisa did. He’d have to at least let her know what was going on.

    Jayne clicked her tongue. “I’ll take your silence as a yes.”


    “Oh my God, Nick, do you rent out that space in your head? No woman is going to be happy about her boyfriend inviting another woman to live with him.”

    “It’ll be fine.” It was more of a hope than a lie. “So unless you’ve got someone who’s going to kick my ass for even suggesting this . . .”

    He waited for her to answer, but when she didn’t, he laughed.

    “I’ll take your silence as a no. Any other excuses?”

    “I’m thinking.”

    “Think fast, because we’re almost there.”

    “This is crazy.”

    “No. Driving back and forth to Vancouver every day is crazy; this is nothing.” At the stop sign, he glanced over and watched her chew her bottom lip. “I’m not saying you should move in permanently, just stay until we get your place fixed up. And trust me, my place is a hell of a lot better than a hotel room we both know will never be clean enough, no matter how much you clean it yourself.”

    The second her nose wrinkled, he knew he had her.

    “How did you survive the hotel rooms on the trip out, anyway?” he asked.

    Her mouth twitched a little before she finally smiled. “I bought a sleeping bag.”

    “And how many tubs of Lysol wipes did you go through?”

    “Only two.” After a second, she sighed and lifted her left shoulder. “And a half.”

    Two and a half tubs of wipes. He could have pulled the I-told-you-so card, but didn’t. Instead, he just drove on, waiting for her to realize he’d won.

    “And what if your girlfriend freaks out?”

    “Her name’s Lisa, and she won’t.” At least he hoped she wouldn’t.

    “You don’t know that,” Jayne cried, fisting her hands against her knees. “What makes you think Linda’s going to feel any different than Abby did? I don’t want to screw this up for you.”

    “It’s Lisa.” Nick sighed quietly. “And no one’s going to screw anything up, Jayne. If she can’t handle you and me, that’s her problem.”

    “No, Nick, it usually ends up being my problem.” Jayne huffed so hard it was surprising she had any breath left to keep talking. “It’s not exactly normal that we’re . . . like this . . . and you can’t blame people for thinking the worst.”

    “What worst? If my best friend was a guy, there’d be no problem with him staying at my place, so I don’t get why it’s a problem to have you stay there.”

    “The problem,” she ground out, “is that I’m not a guy. In case you hadn’t noticed, you idiot, I’m a girl.”

    It was all Nick could do not to laugh out loud. They may have been best friends all these years, but he was still a guy. He noticed.

    Admitting it, though, would only prove her point.

    He wheeled the truck into the long driveway and threw it in park. “I’m telling you, Lisa won’t care. And if she does, that’s between her and me, it’s got nothing to do with you.”

    “Yeah, right. Until she goes crying to your mother and I end up on the top of the Debra Scott hit list again.”

    “Not gonna happen. Besides”—he pushed the button on his visor and the garage door jerked then started rolling up—“there’s someone else who wants you to stay.”

    A second later, his old basset hound came wobbling out from under the door, his tail swinging, his ears flapping along beside him.

    “Duke!” Jayne was out of the truck before Nick pulled the key out of the ignition. Cooing and laughing, she dropped to the driveway, arms outstretched.

    Nick climbed out of the truck and laughed as he walked over to where Duke had already climbed onto Jayne’s lap and was busy smothering her face in wet sloppy kisses.

    “Looks like we got us a houseguest, buddy.”

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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    20. Query Question: can I lie about the book in my query?

    How close must the query match the manuscript? I know this must seem like a stupid question, but I've been receiving query assistance from a literary intern (1), and he gave advice that I haven't seen elsewhere. I need to confirm it before I start sending out my query.

    My manuscript mostly stands alone, but is the first of a potential series. Because of this, the plot of the sequel is *vaguely* hinted at in the stakes of the query. I asked the intern if an agent would be PO'd if something I mention in the query doesn't show up in the manuscript. He told me that things can be fudged in a query,(2)  and mentioned that one thing in his own query was an outright lie(3). He had revised and didn't bother to fix the query to match (he was signed by an agent). He said if the query is good and clearly for the same book, and if the book is good and similar to the query, no one cares about specifics. I'm hoping his advice is correct.

    Can you "fudge" a few specifics in a query?

    you can do anything you want in a query up to and including query for a fiction novel. The real question is what's at stake when you do something idiotic like...lie?

    The purpose of a query is to entice the agent to read the manuscript. If an agent reads the manuscript thinking one thing is going to happen, and it doesn't, that's a pretty big thud.  Is that something you want to risk?

    On the other hand why are you vaguely hinting about anything in a query? The stakes in your query are the stakes in this novel, the one you're querying. Not any other.

    If you think you need to fudge a few specifics in your query, you need to fix the novel or the query or both. 

    And I've got a few questions for you:

    (1) what the hell is a literary intern? An intern at a literary agency?  This is the least informed and experienced person at an agency. I'm pretty sure it's the least right person to be asking for advice.

    (2) Unless he's making the decisons on what's signed to the agent's list, he's not in a positiion to tell you this.

    (3) oh great. Insert image of eye-roll here.  Even if this is true, it's absolutey TERRIBLE advice. He's mistaking HIS experience for the universal norm.  Well, that's typical of interns which is why (see #1)

    0 Comments on Query Question: can I lie about the book in my query? as of 4/16/2014 7:55:00 AM
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    21. Press Release Fun: Children’s Literary Salon – Podcasting Children’s Books

    I’m so pleased with this next Salon that I’m fit to burst.  Somehow I managed to wrangle THREE of our best children’s literary podcasters into one place at one time.  If I were a person prone to the term “squee” I would apply it here, now.

    New York Public Library is pleased to announce our next Children’s Literary Salon held this Saturday, April 19th at 2:00 p.m.:

    Podcasting Children’s Books: Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs


    Join podcasters Katie Davis (Brain Burps About Books), John Sellers (PW KidsCast), and Matthew Winner (Let’s Get Busy) in conversation about the world of children’s literary podcasting and their experiences with the form.

    Katie Davis is a children’s author/illustrator with titles ranging from picture books like Little Chicken’s Big Day to her latest, a young adult novel called Dancing With the Devil. She’s a video marketing maven and a “writerpreneur” with the #1 podcast in iTunes in the Children’s Publishing category Brain Burps About Books, and teaches tech-wary writers how to build and strengthen their platforms through video. She also coaches on social media and marketing, or as Katie calls it, “making friends and meeting people.”

    John A. Sellers is the children’s reviews editor at Publishers Weekly. He also hosts the magazine’s children’s books podcast,PW KidsCast, and edits its cookbooks e-newsletter, Cooking the Books.

    Elementary teacher and librarian Matthew Winner blogs at The Busy Librarian and is the creator of the Let’s Get Busypodcast.  In 2013 he was named one of SLJ’s Movers & Shakers.  Citing “his innovative ideas and boundless enthusiasm for student learning and engagement” SLJ also highlighted that Matthew is Maryland’s 2012 Outstanding User of Technology Educator, is a White House “Champion of Change,” and a published author.
    This event will take place in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (the main branch of New York Public Library) in the South Court Auditorium.

    share save 171 16 Press Release Fun: Childrens Literary Salon   Podcasting Childrens Books

    0 Comments on Press Release Fun: Children’s Literary Salon – Podcasting Children’s Books as of 4/16/2014 6:39:00 AM
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    22. App of the Week: FridgePoems by Color Monkey

    Title: FridgePoems by Color Monkey
    Platform: iOS
    Cost: Free (for basic vocabulary set)

    It’s National Poetry Month, and there’s no easier way to promote the creation of verse poetry than setting up a public access tablet with this fun app.


    When you launch the app, you get a “working” space with a handful of words, but you can zoom out to see more. Dragging the word boxes with your fingertips allows you to reorder things to create your verse.

    Writers are not strictly limited to the words on screen. You can draw for new words or invest in themed WordPacks ($1 each for hipster tragic, redneck, hip hop, etc. or $3 for all of them). The provision of verb endings and plurals can add some variety as well.

    You can save your poem to your camera roll, which inserts the App’s watermark, or share it using integrated social settings.
    photo (6)

    My students have been enjoying that special thrill that comes from creating something meaningful from a limited set of words and word endings. They only thing that could be better? Book- and technology-themed wordpacks!

    For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

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    23. The ‘New Yorker’ Discovers ‘Adventure Time’ After Five Seasons

    This week's issue of "The New Yorker" does something that they rarely ever do: review an animated TV series. The show they elected to discuss is "Adventure Time."

    0 Comments on The ‘New Yorker’ Discovers ‘Adventure Time’ After Five Seasons as of 4/16/2014 6:23:00 AM
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    24. Mervyn Morris: Poet Laureate of Jamaica

    Yesterday, Mervyn Morris was named the Poet Laureate of Jamaica by the National Library of Jamaica at a ceremony in downtown Kingston. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. 

    It speaks to the years of commitment to his craft and the guidance that he has given and continues to give to poets and to the people of Jamaica.

    In honor of Mervyn, here are the five most popular posts about him that have been published on my blog:

    Congratulations, Mervyn!

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    25. Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham

    <!-- START INTERCHANGE - SNUGGLE THE BABY -->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);} Sara Gillingham is yet another designer and art director who continues to bring her talents to the happily expanding world of quality board books. Her most most recent work as an

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