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1. Fragments of Lichtenberg review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pierre Senges' quite remarkable Fragments of Lichtenberg, due out shortly from Dalkey Archive Press (and, yes, this is a very 'Dalkey' title -- all for the best, to my mind).

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2. A Visit with Artist Keith Mallett


“And let’s say one day when you were a little older,
you sat right down at a black piano and you commenced to play …”


 

There’s a new picture book biography on shelves, Jonah Winter’s How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, June 2015), illustrated by Keith Mallett (pictured right). The book opens in a tremendously inviting way:

Here’s what could’ve happened if you were born a way down south in New Orleans, in the Land of Dreams a long, long time ago.

Let’s say you had a godmother, and she put a spell on you because she was a voodoo queen. …

Voodoo queen? Hoo boy, my attention is piqued.

Author and illustrator go on to lay out the musician’s early life and rise to fame, as well as his contributions to jazz. They address the whole who-invented-jazz conundrum—“And, to tell the truth of it, maybe Mister Jelly Roll didn’t invent jazz, not exactly, ’cause it took a lot of cooks to make that stew … but he sure did spread it around the towns”—and in an informative closing author’s note [“How Jelly Roll Morton (Might Have) Invented Jazz”], Winter goes into more detail about this and what distinguished Morton from his fellow musicians. Robin Smith captured the book well in the Horn Book’s review: “Much like jazz itself, Winter has created a book filled with ebbs and flows, rhythm and rhyme, darkness and light, shadow and sunshine.”

This is Mallett’s first picture book, though he’s been an artist and designer for more than thirty years. His acrylic paintings in this bio, bustling with energy and filled with beguiling shadows, are rich and reverent. He’s visiting today with some art (sans text) and early sketches from the book — and to talk a bit about his work. He even shares a bit of other art (not from this biography). I thank him for visiting.

* * *

Keith: From the time that I first saw Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, I dreamed of illustrating a children’s book. But my career took me in a different direction. I became an artist working mainly in the fine art print industry. About ten years ago I was asked to illustrate a children’s book, but I realized the time it would take, so due to my busy schedule I had to decline.

Once I retired, I had plenty of time, so when Neal [Porter] reached out to me to illustrate Jonah Winter’s new book, I was thrilled.

 


“And let’s say that when you were a baby, your godmother brought you to an old saloon and set you down on top of the bar, which is not a place for a little baby. Let’s say that some trouble broke out, and she got arrested and thrown in jail,
and you got tossed in the can as well.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


 

When I first read Jonah’s unconventional manuscript, I felt a little intimidated. The script was beautifully written, kind of like a jazz riff with some linear storytelling, some rhyming, and even a bit of stream-of-consciousness thrown in. Both Neal and Jennifer [the art director] pointed out that, because the story was so unusual, I would have a lot more freedom with my interpretation. So I dove in.


“And let’s say you just wouldn’t stop crying unless all the roughnecks sharing your cell commenced to singing—’cause music was the only thing that calmed you down.”


 


Early sketch
(Click to enlarge)


 

Doing the research for Jelly Roll was fun. I loved reading about early New Orleans and the dawn of the Jazz Age. The Library of Congress was a great resource for the architecture of New Orleans at the turn of the century; I also scoured the Internet in search of the clothing styles of the late 1800s. Jennifer helped me understand the importance of accuracy in interpreting details, even as small as the style of an early New Orleans police badge.

 



Early sketch and final art: “… and you learned to play so well that soon you were playing with grown-ups, sneaking out when the evening sun went down, playing in bars, surrounded by lowlifes and dangerous people and folks who loved to hear you play,
and making more dollars a night than you knew what to do with.”

(Click each to enlarge)


 

I chose to do the book using acrylic paints because of their fast drying time. They allow you to quickly do numerous glazes and easily build up texture. I also like printing aquatint etchings on my press.

I’d love to do another book. It was fun illustrating this one.

 


“… and only one thing, just one thing in the world, could make the crying stop: And this is why and this is how a thing called JAZZ got invented by a man named Jelly Roll Morton. Leastwise, that’s what I thought I heard Mister Jelly Roll say. Sing it …”
(Click to enlarge spread)


 



Early sketch and final art: “If you’d been Jelly Roll Morton you would’ve known that the only way to rise up and fly away was one piano at a time. One piano note at a time you’d show the folks in New Orleans who was the best. You’d show the folks in
New Orleans how it was done—jazz, that is.”

(Click sketch to enlarge)


 



 


Above: One of Keith’s aquatint etchings


 


Above: One of Keith’s open edition fine art prints


 



 

* * * * * * *

HOW JELLY ROLL MORTON INVENTED JAZZ. Copyright © 2015 by Jonah Winter. Illustrations © 2015 by Keith Mallett. Published by Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of Keith Mallett and the publisher.

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3. Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read

From Becca's Shelves... Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.  This week's topic is Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want to Read (or fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love). Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer - I actually can't remember if I read this one this year or last (I'm getting old, okay?), but I remember really being blown away by what happens in Belzhar!

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4. Guest Post: A Lady’s Guide to Skirting Scandal by Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen dropped by this morning with a top 5 in celebration of the release of A Lady’s Guide to Skirting Scandal. 

Lady Viola’s Top 5 list of things to NOT DO while at sea by Kelly Bowen

This would have been her list at the beginning of the voyage.  By the end, however, it will be quite different!  Actually, I suspect she wouldn’t have a list at all..

1)do not fall in love with a surgeon

2)do not find yourself in dreadfully dull conversation with your chaperones anymore than required

3)do not hate your brother for banishing you to a place called New York

4)do not dwell on the fact that the duke you tried to catch had to extract you from a hedge after you tipped over a terrace at a ball

5)do not abandon hope that one day you will be a duchess

   5a) to ensure #5, do not fall in love with a surgeon

About Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.  But it was Kelly’s infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields. Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

http://www.kellybowen.net/

https://twitter.com/kellybowen09

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelly-Bowen/636626389706813


About A LADY’S GUIDE TO SKIRTING SCANDAL

Lady Viola Hextall is bored – of the sea, her chaperones, and the woeful lack of available dukes on the ocean voyage from London to New York. Scrambling for any diversion short of jumping overboard, Viola strikes up a conversation with the ship’s rough-hewn, blue-eyed surgeon – and discovers an immediate cure for what ails her…
To Nathaniel Shaw, Viola has the bearing of a lady and the spirit of an adventurer – an unlikely combination that he finds utterly irresistible. So he’s hoping to convince Viola to leave the stifling ballrooms of London high society behind because there is a big, wide world just waiting for them to explore – together.

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-lady-s-guide-to-skirting-scandal

http://www.amazon.com/Ladys-Guide-Skirting-Scandal-short-ebook/dp/B011J4H45Y

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-ladys-guide-to-skirting-scandal-kelly-bowen/1122292235?ean=9781455592630

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25873107-a-lady-s-guide-to-skirting-scandal

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ladys-guide-to-skirting-scandal/id1018886759?mt=11

EXCERPT:

“To make a good duchess. No matter what you think, Mr. Shaw, I will be a duchess one day. I deserve to be a duchess one day.”

Nate made a disparaging noise. “And is this how you’ve decided to measure your value – your worth in life, Lady Viola? By whether or not you become a duchess?”

“What else is there?” She put her hands on her hips.

Nate felt his own rush of resentment, along with another pang of scathing disappointment. “This is exactly why I am leaving England,” he said.

“What? Why?” Viola looked puzzled.

“This antiquated viewpoint that some of us are better than others based not on merit or intelligence or courage, but based only on an accident of birth.”

“But—”

“Do you know how they select officers for the army, Lady Viola?”

“I’m not sure if—”

“They are selected based on their titles and their purchase of a commission.”

“Well, of course—”

“Do you know what happens when officers are given command of men not because they are qualified in the art of war, but because their names were preceded by a title?”

She was looking up at him now, startled, no doubt, by the bitterness that even he could hear in his words.

“Surgeons like me deal with the casualties resulting from inexperience and incompetence.” He leaned forward. “And it is such a shameful waste.”

“Why are you telling me this?” she demanded a little defensively.

“What happens if the duke you choose is a simpleton?” he asked her. “Or perhaps he is given to sloth, or drink, or another vice that might make him cruel. To you or to others around him. Will you disregard this to attain the title that marriage to such a man will give you?”

Viola blinked at him.

“I would have thought that a woman such as you would want a husband who would admire her. Respect her. Maybe even love her.”

“I do,” she said, a little uncertain now.

“But yet those things do not count if they don’t come with a title?”

“You can’t have everything, Mr. Shaw.”

“So that is what you would choose? Title over happiness? Title over love?” He was provoking her deliberately.

She was twisting the ribbons of her bonnet in her fingers now. “You must choose what is more important, don’t you agree, Mr. Shaw? And in my world, it isn’t a choice.”

“Then I suggest you consider leaving your world behind.”

“One cannot simply leave a titled position, Mr. Shaw.”

Perhaps it was the powerlessness Nate had felt on the battlefield, his inability to challenge or change such thinking. Perhaps it was the catch of hesitation he heard in her answer. Either way, an edgy recklessness gripped him, and he found himself closing the distance between them, catching her chin in his fingers and tipping her head up to meet his gaze.

“And what would happen, Lady Viola, if you found a man who did not have a title, but a man who would worship the ground upon which you walked?” he asked, his voice barely a whisper. “A man who would trade his life for yours without a second’s thought. A man who would give anything he owned just for the opportunity to kiss you? Would you turn away from such a man and live the rest of your life wondering how things might have been if you had chosen happiness and love?”

“I don’t know.” Her breath was coming in shallow gasps, and her color was high.

He had proven his point, he knew. He had made her uncomfortable and had dared her to think. He should step away from her now and leave her to consider his words, if she was wont to do so. But he couldn’t.

Aside from the recklessness that had clouded his judgment, there was a woman he had glimpsed within her, one who sat cross-legged and spoke of frogs and muck. A woman who he feared he might like very much, should she ever be allowed to be completely free of the woman who spoke of dukes and parties.

His hand slid from her chin to the back of her neck, his fingers caressing the silk of her hair. She was watching him now, her beautiful blue eyes wide. But not afraid. As if she was challenging him to do his worst.

So he kissed her.

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5. Creating Classroom Environments: Paper Choices

Kids do need room to grow. Not only do they outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye, they also grow as readers and writers. This is why we need classroom libraries stocked with a wide range of levels, and it's why we need writing centers stocked with paper choices.

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6. Alyson Waters Q & A

       At the Asymptote blog Katrine Øgaard Jensen has a Q & A with translator Alyson Waters.

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7. Cartoon – Justice

cartoon justice by monica gupta

Cartoon – Justice

जिस तरह से संसद नही चलने दी जा रही और हर रोज लाखों रुपयों का नुकसान हो रहा है ऐसे मे न्याय इन लोगो को नही न्याय मुझे चाहिए !!! I WANT JUSTICE !!!!

 

The post Cartoon – Justice appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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8. Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons

Enter to win a copy of Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons, by Margaret Wise Brown! Giveaway begins August 4, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 3, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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9. I have the best job!

Meet Brooke W., who chose The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die for her school project. She had to analyze the book, write a journal entry (which she did on a napkin which is what the character Cady did in McDonalds) and deliver a monolog while dressed as Cady, among many other things. Do you know how amazing that something I wrote alone day after day is inspiring people I've never met who live halfway across the country!?!

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10. PAPERCHASE - card snaps part 1

Whilst we are on the subject of greetings cards I thought I would share some snapshots from my visit to Paperchase in London. I was there for the press show so it gave me the perfect excuse to snap some shots of the store as well. I particularly loved the new card showcase on the first floor which had bold cactus wallpaper teamed with vivid blue paneling and white wooden shelves. This new white

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11. Our free e-book for August: Traveling in Place

C-Stiegler_Traveling_9780226774671_jkt_IFT

Our free e-book for August:

Bernd Stiegler’s Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel

Armchair travel may seem like an oxymoron. Doesn’t travel require us to leave the house? And yet, anyone who has lost herself for hours in the descriptive pages of a novel or the absorbing images of a film knows the very real feeling of having explored and experienced a different place or time without ever leaving her seat. No passport, no currency, no security screening required—the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to us all. In Traveling in Place, Bernd Stiegler celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.
Organized into twenty-one “legs”—or short chapters—Traveling in Place begins with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 Voyage autour de ma chambre,an account of the forty-two-day “journey around his room” Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest. Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that traveling at home have manifested themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of the Internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
Reminiscent of the pictorial meditations of Sebald, but possessed of the intellectual playfulness of Calvino, Traveling in Place offers an entertaining and creative Baedeker to journeying at home.
Download your copy here.

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12. On Debriefing the Summer Reading Club

Maybe you are lucky like me and your Summer Reading Club is finished or winding down, or maybe you still have some weeks to go. Either way, let’s talk about debriefing after the Summer Reading Club is over.

I always dedicate our early August/late July department meeting to discussing the Summer Reading Club. We talk about what worked and what didn’t. We make notes for what we should change or keep for next year. We go ahead and pencil in dates so that we’re all clear about our schedule.

Here are some things we did this summer that we had discussed last summer:

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Our prize cart was decorated and we always pushed it out on one side of our desk (the side without shelving carts) because last year we had some confusion about which books were prize books. This worked really well for us this summer and having a special, decorated cart got the kids even more excited about choosing a free book.

Last year, we had a huge issue with registration for programs. We decided to try out having NO REGISTERED PROGRAMS this summer and it went smashingly. The only programs we had capacity issues with were our large performers where we give out tickets to ensure we’re staying within the fire code. And it was amazing the amount of work it saved us in not having to sign up kids for all those programs. That was a benefit we hadn’t even really considered, but it was huge.

And here are some things we discussed this year and that you should consider as you’re winding down your program and making notes for next year:

  • Is the registration and/or logging process easy for patrons and staff? If not, how can we make it easier?
  • Do the prizes given out encourage kids to read and are they easy for staff to manage?
  • How was your program attendance? If it was low, how could you bolster it? If it was unmanageable, how can you make it easier for staff to handle?
  • What great programs did you offer that you might like to repeat? What programs would be good to repeat with some changes?
  • How did you feel at the end of the summer? If you felt like you wanted to die, what made the summer so hard? Is there anything you can change to make it easier?
  • How did your Summer Reading Club affect other departments? Is there anything you can change to make it easier for Circulation, Pages, IT, Marketing, etc.?

Do you meet to debrief about the Summer Reading Club? What items do you make sure to discuss?

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://www.abbythelibrarian.com

The post On Debriefing the Summer Reading Club appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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13. PAPERCHASE - greetings cards

And we end today with a few more Paperchase cards - with some fresh new arrivals just landed online... And snapped in Paperchase London a bright selection of cards by the Archivist Gallery.

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14. Thank You And We'll See You In New York For #NY16SCBWI

From left to right: Lee Wind, Martha Brockenbrough, Jolie Stekly, Jaime Temairik and Don Tate

From all of us at SCBWI Team Blog, thanks for following along!

We hope you'll join us for the 17th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, February 12-14, 2016.

Featuring:

Full-day intensives for both writers and illustrators,
The juried portfolio showcase with Grand Prize,
The opportunity to network with top editors, agents and publishers
Workshops,
Keynotes
and much more!

Craft. Business. Inspiration. Opportunity. Community.
We're your SCBWI.



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15. NEW SEASON - caroline gardner

We have been looking at new season designs recently so it was great to see what we can expect from Caroline Gardner for AW2015. They have a fab new collection called Pina Collada has recently been seen at the trade shows. The design features the on-trend motif of a pineapple which is mixed with sketchy flowers and grey painterly roses. Grey spot designs make for complimentary prints and the

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16. Front Door

Visit a place where you’ve not been before
And the first thing you face is the sturdy front door.
Of fiberglass, oak, tempered glass, even steel,
The entryway should have a certain appeal.

My country home door, though, was streaky with rust.
The paint was all puckered, the cracks filled with dust.
The glass in the windows no longer got clean;
My husband was tired of changing the screen.

So I finally gave in and we got a new door,
A portal to spiff up the entry décor.
It isn’t embellished, just simple and plain
But it’s neat, a condition I hope to maintain.

When visitors come, they may notice or not
For most likely, the old one was one they forgot
But I’ll welcome them all with the door opened wide
And embrace every one that I usher inside.

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17. Amusement Park Ride Personality Quiz

amusement parkWhat Amusement Park Ride Are You?

Going to amusement parks is my most favorite summertime activity (aside from reading a billion books by the beach). So our next quiz for y’all is an Amusement Park Ride Personality Quiz! Are you a wild upside down roller coaster, a hot-headed bumper car, or a silly Tilt-a-Whirl? Take the quiz to find out!

  1. Your amusement park treat of choice is a) cotton candy. b) nachos. c) churros. d) hot dogs. e) a slushie.
  2. Your amusement park must-have is a a) cute outfit. b) backpack. c) bottle of sunscreen. d) baseball hat. e) cool sunglasses.
  3. Your favorite animal of the following is the a) koala. b) shark. c) giraffe. d) otter. e) tiger.
  4. You are most afraid of a) heights. b) clowns. c) gross bugs. d) the dark. e) zombies.
  5. Your favorite summertime outdoor activity is a) freeze tag. b) jungle gym acrobatics. c) tennis. d) swimming. e) water balloon fight.
  6. Your favorite rainy day summertime activity is a) learning a new craft. b) bowling. c) reading indoors. d) watching movies with your friends. e) napping.
  7. You most enjoy the color a) yellow. b) silver. c) blue. d) purple. e) red.
  8. Your favorite video game involves a) dancing or singing. b) racing cars. c) solving puzzles. d) building or creating something. e) combat fighting.
  9. Your dream ride would be a a) unicycle. b) really, really fast sports car. c) hot air balloon. d) sailboat. e) motorcycle.

Read on for your results!

If you picked mostly A’s, you are a TILT-A-WHIRL.
Your imagination has no limit! You are a free-spirited soul who never has to look far to find adventure. You are not only great at expressing yourself, you are also able to understand other people’s feelings well and be a great source of support. You’re usually able to find something to smile about—and you’re great at making other people smile, too!

If you picked mostly B’s, you are an UPSIDE-DOWN ROLLER COASTER.
You’re a daredevil!  You have never been afraid to speak your mind or try weird, new things. Even people you’re not friends with yet admire how brave you are! You are loud, you are proud, and you can never sit still. You don’t follow trends; you start them.

If you picked mostly C’s, you are a FERRIS WHEEL.
You aren’t flashy or noisy, and sometimes you can be overshadowed by louder people, but you are a steady and true friend. What’s more perfect than that? You are thoughtful and find joy in the little things, like first snowfall or a great hug from your best friend. You are calm, strong, and wise. Your levelheadedness will get you really, really far in life. You go, Ferris Wheel!

If you picked mostly D’s, you are the LOG FLUME.
Like the Log Flume, you’re popular because people think you’re lovable and fun. You don’t put on airs or try to be trendy. You’re just yourself, and people love inviting you to things because you’re so easy to get along with. You are reliable and know how to have a lot of fun without breaking any rules! Now that’s skill.

If you picked mostly E’s, you are BUMPER CARS.
You know what you like, and you stick to it! Nobody is as tough as you, but your friends all know that you are the most loyal person ever and will stand up for them no matter what. You always have something interesting to say, and your lively personality inspires people around you to believe in themselves, too. Bravo, Bumper Cars!

What amusement park ride personality are you? Share your result in the Comments below!

See ya around,

En-Szu

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18. Carol Brown Janeway

       Longtime Alfred A. Knopf editor and translator Carol Brown Janeway has passed away -- apparently rather suddenly; see Sonny Mehta's company-memo (warning ! dreaded pdf format !).
       The fact that she was the first recipient of the annual Friedrich Ulfers Prize (for the promotion of German-language literature) in 2013, and the second recipient of the Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature (2014) should give you some idea of the significance of her role in fostering foreign literature in the US.
       Among her translations are also several works by Daniel Kehlmann, Thomas Bernhard's My Prizes -- and, in a near-unforgivable misstep, Márai Sándor's Embers.

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19. Monday Review: ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers

Summary: I finished reading this one today…and I just started reading it last night, right before bed. When I picked it up again this morning to enjoy with my coffee, it turned out to be basically un-put-down-able. It's easy to see how this... Read the rest of this post

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20. Piper Green and the Fairy Tree AND Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: TOO MUCH GOOD LUCK by Ellen Potter, 95 pp, RL 2

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree marks the sixth book I have reviewed by the wonderful Ellen Potter and I absolutely ADORE it! I reviewed the first book in Potter's Olivia Kidney series, which would make the PERFECT step up for readers after finishing the Piper Green and the Fairy Tree series, back in 2008! It has been such a treat to continue reading her books over the last seven years and

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21. Do not get mad - write it down!


Whenever someone has upset me, and I felt pretty stressed anything, I did not let me finish, and it drives me crazy because it just ends up not more problems in the long run!

Instead, I take a piece of paper and a pencil and write down everything I pretend that I'm writing a letter to someone (no matter who), as a rule, try someone I know I can rely on choice and have a good talk not disappointed with them because they do not hear (this person may also be imaginary, not real).

Source : nwlug

I write down everything I feel and write as if it were a discussion with them about everything that was bothering me, if mom and dad are always complaining about the side listening, in this letter, I want to say I was the problem, brothers and sisters try to fight, people at school, friends who had an argument with. By the time you write a letter to the person who actually trust (or invent) their own quiet now even read the letters and read what you have finished writing.

When I think about the letter to him, the argument was really her fault, or that part of the blame? If I'm a little homework Mom and Dad give me a break? etc., and use it to improve.

It is also good practice to control your temper and instead write angry at someone.

It also helps children and young people who feel lonely and feel that they have someone to talk to when she had to understand, to confront their problems, not really anyone.

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22. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Great Estate by Sherri Browning

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Sherri Browning’s The Great Estate.  I love the cover!

Title: The Great Estate

Author: Sherri Browning

Series: Thornbrook Park, #3

Pubdate: August 4th, 2015

ISBN: 9781402286858

Pulled apart by past mistakes. Driven by a passion neither could deny.

Sophia Thorne was young and inexperienced when she married the dashing Earl of Averford…and through dark and troubled times, their relationship nearly came to an end. Now she’s determined to transform herself into the fiery, ardent lover she always wanted to be, giving them a second chance at love… before they’re lost to each other forever.

It took nearly losing Sophia for Gabriel to realize he had allowed his love for his great estate to distract him from his beautiful wife. But that time is over. Despite all the obstacles standing in their way, Gabriel vows to teach Sophia what it is to truly love…and to be loved by a husband devoted heart and soul to her every desire.

Sherri Browning writes historical and contemporary romance fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She is the author of critically acclaimed classic mash-ups Jane Slayre and Grave Expectations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri has lived in western Massachusetts and Greater Detroit Michigan, but is now settled with her family in Simsbury, Connecticut. Find her online at www.sherribrowningerwin.com.

An Excerpt:

Agatha closed the distance between them, switching on lights as she approached. Even before Sophia’s eyes could adjust to the light, she had a clear image of Agatha in her fire-orange and aubergine ensemble. Her aunt settled on the sofa beside Sophia.

“I’ve had a letter from your mother.”

It wasn’t unusual for the sisters to be in communication, but something in her aunt’s tone told Sophia that unexpected information was to follow. She straightened up a bit. “Yes? And how is everyone at Delaney Square?”

“They’re all well. Even your father.” Agatha didn’t hide her disappointment with that bit of news. She’d never gotten on with Sophia’s father. Sophia had done her best to keep them apart at Alice’s wedding to avoid any unpleasantness. “It seems that she wrote with news that concerns you. She always was such a gossip, you know.”

Sophia waved her hand dismissively. “I know. Her intricate web of tittering busybodies could rival the king’s own network of spies.”

Brow furrowed, Agatha placed a hand on Sophia’s knee. “Gabriel’s back.”

Sophia looked left and right. Agatha considered herself in communication with the spirit world and liked to read fortunes, but she probably didn’t mean her comment in the literal sense. Sophia assumed she meant that Gabriel’s essence was in the air, or some such nonsense. “Where?”

“In London, dear.”

“At Averford House?” Sophia tried to contain her surprise. She hated London. Their house in town stood empty most of the time, unless Gabriel went to London to tend to parliamentary affairs. “In London? Now?”

Agatha nodded. “Lady Levesque told your mother that he has been there this past month. A fortnight at least. I’m not certain exactly when he arrived.”

“But he’s there. And he didn’t see fit to inform me that he’d returned to England?” Her heart dropped like a lead ball to the pit of her stomach. She rose and began to pace, no longer bothering to hide her distress at the news. “Not a word to me. Not a word to Mr. Kenner? Or do you think he knows? Kenner knows. And who else? Have they been instructed not to tell me? Or do they pity me too much to say a word?”

Agatha stood and came to her side. “Don’t become agitated. I don’t think anyone knows. Of course, the people in London know. Or so it seems. He has been carrying on as usual.”

“As usual?” Sophia cocked a brow. Only now did it occur to her to ask what her husband did in London when she did not go with him. “Carrying on?”

Dread cold as ice snaked up her spine.

Agatha shrugged. “Attending dinners. Musicales. Perhaps the theater? He’s a respected man, an earl. There are always invitations and the responsibility for a man to attend such things.”

“Of course.” Sophia gripped the back of a Chippendale chair. “Responsibilities. He must have come back for a vote. Parliament. How long could he stay away, after all? A man in his position.”

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23. Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

"Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often." -Susan Statham

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24. Hollywood is Developing Pez Dispensers, The Animated Feature

The Pez feature will "touch the hearts of many," claim its producers.

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25. Sordid Taglines: Doing Children’s Lit Classics a Wrong

Moving house, home, and family does something to a woman’s brain. If that woman is me, it makes her ponder great intricacies of life, to say nothing of ballsy marketing plans. And today it all began with this book:

LittlePrincess5

I suspect that we Americans are generally more familiar with The Secret Garden as our preferred Frances Hodgson Burnett classic than this little number. Still, it shows up on the occasional Summer Reading List and occasionally gets adapted into films, for good or for ill. As long as you can bust through the child reader’s expectation that the book is going to be about an actual princess, you’re generally in the clear.

Still and all, it got me to thinking. Originally published in 1905 the book is technically in the public domain. And so I wondered what an enterprising soul might do with it if they wanted to hock it to the masses. How could you sell it to 21st century child readers in the most blatant, shameless manner possible? The answer? Kooky taglines, my friend.

With that in mind, here is a crazy conglomeration of famous children’s books with brassy, ridiculous taglines, possibly more likely to cause perturbation amongst the adult masses than interest with child readers. It’s the B-movieazation of classic children’s literature. And I love it.  Here they are, along with some of the odder images I’ve found over the years of these books.

A Little Princess: One orphan has the power to conjure up magic in an attic. But is any of her spellcasting true?

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The Little Prince: In the desert, no one can draw you a sheep.

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Holes: Treasure, blood, revenge and more.

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Half Magic: Be careful what you wish AND WISH for.

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When You Reach Me: Sometimes the life you save is your own.

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One Crazy Summer: Fight the power.

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A Wrinkle in Time: Science, God, Magic and one crazy pulsating brain.

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The Secret Garden: You only THINK you’re alone.

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Harriet the Spy: You only THINK you’re alone.

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Charlotte’s Web: You only THINK . . . oh, fine fine. The idea’s played itself out.

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Any you’d care to come up with as well?

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