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“Dirty Reader surfaces swear words in books,” explains the site. “You decide how dirty your books should appear and Dirty Reader does the rest.”
It could actually be a funny app to play around with, but alas, it is only an April Fool’s Day joke. “Sorry about that, we thought we would have a bit of fun,” reads the landing page you arrive at when clicking to download the app, followed by some links to critical pieces on the Clean Reader app.Add a Comment
Melissa Abramovitz will be the guest on Book Bites for Kids on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at 2:30 Central time.
She will talk about her new book, Helping Herbie Hedgehog.
To listen to the live show, on Tuesday April 7th at 2:30 central time, just go online to www.bookbitesforkids.com.Add a Comment
Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation
edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick
High School Viking 289 pp.
3/15 978-0-670-01479-8 $16.99 g
“Most poets begin writing poetry in secret.” Poet Carolyn Forché opens her introduction to this anthology of contemporary American poetry with a shout-out to young or burgeoning poets who likely do just that — an audience that won’t be disappointed with the volume’s one hundred poems, which meander through topics and styles and, for the most part, unabashedly ignore conventions of form. The best of these poets pack punches with raw handling of timely issues, such as Terrance Hayes with “Talk” (“…like a nigger is what my white friend, M, / asked me, the two of us alone and shirtless / in the locker room…M, where ever you are, / I’d just like to say I heard it, but let it go / because I was afraid to lose our friendship / or afraid we’d lose the game — which we did anyway”) and Patricia Lockwood with her uncomfortably humorous “Rape Joke,” one of the most powerful of the bunch (“Wine coolers! Who drinks wine coolers? People who get raped, according to the rape joke”). What will appeal to teens (and new adults) the most about this anthology, and what holds it all together, however loosely, is its gritty, unapologetic sensibility, and the feeling that many of these poems were perhaps, at one point, secrets. A lengthy “about the poets” section provides biographical details and answers to such prompts as “your idea of misery.”
From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.Add a Comment
Amazon’s contract with book publisher HarperCollins is almost up and according to a report in Business Insider, the big five publisher is not going to sign the contract as is.
The contract presented to HarperCollins was the same contract recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan, Amazon confirmed.
If HarperCollins and Amazon don’t come to an agreement, no print or digital HarperCollins books will be available on Amazon once its existing contract runs out “very soon,” our source says.
Last year Hachette fought for months with Amazon over contract terms. During that time, Amazon didn’t carry popular Hachette books and Hachette author Stephen Colbert urged readers to boycott Amazon.Add a Comment
It's the first day of April, people. April means...Earth Day! I will celebrate it all month with excerpts from Saving the Planet & Stuff and other STP&S-related material. The excerpts will include additional information, links, and sometimes pictures. Think of it as being like those DVD commentaries.
Don't like DVD commentaries? Original Content will be carrying other material this month, too.
We're getting started today with a piece from Chapter One. Our hero, Michael Peter Racine III, has just arrived in Vermont with two much older environmentalists he's known for less than twenty-four hours. They're not people he met on the street but friends from his grandmother and grandfather's (Poppy) youth. One of Michael's first acts upon arriving in Walt and Nora's 1970s-era solar house is to call home and voice his second thoughts to his mother.
"Somehow I got the impression that Walt was going to be a fun guy," he complained. "But believe me, it was not fun having to listen to him drone on and on about this solid-waste crisis that I'd never even heard of and the number of pollutants emitted by gas-powered lawn mowers. It was like being with Poppy, if Poppy cared about solid waste, which he doesn't. What is it with old men? Walt did flip off a bunch of truck drivers who were working for companies he doesn't approve of, though. ThatNora Blake and Walt Marcello, the two environmentalists Michael takes off with because they offer him a summer job, come out of 1970's Vermont counterculture. The Vermont Historical Society is presently doing a series of forums on the decade and its impact on Vermont. According to an article in a recent Seven Days (my favorite newspaper when visiting northern Vermont), VHS curator Jackie Calder "says the changes initiated in the '60s received institutional expression in the following decade." Meaning that the changes of the '60s actually were changes because they became part of the norm during the '70s. From things I've read elsewhere, that is probably generally true, not just in bobo Vermont. The '70s aren't remembered for great fashion or music, but they had an impact historically.
would have been fun if I hadn't had to concentrate so hard on staying on the road. And then Nora got going on fluoride for some reason. She says the Chinese believe it lowers IQ, and then there's been some kind of study with rats' brains …"
"Your grandmother says they live their values," Ms. Racine said. "Some people like to talk about saving the planet. This Walt and Nora supposedly live their lives in such a way as to actually do it. You did bring your own toothpaste, didn't you? You know your father believes fluoride was one of God's greatest gifts to mankind, and if they don't use it—"
Mark Coker, the CEO of self-publishing site Smashwords, has invented a pretty funny scenario for April Fool’s Day: Kindle Author, “Amazon’s new service that generates high-quality fiction using complex software algorithms.”
In a blog post on the site, he calls the service a “Build-A-Bear for ebooks” that lets readers write their own fiction with an Amazon algorithm. Check it out:
It won’t be long before we hear talk of Kindle Author millionaires – those readers who configure and create the new bestsellers of tomorrow. Or today. It’s already happening. At this very moment, ninety-eight of the top 100 bestselling books at Amazon are Kindle Author books, and the books are earning five star reviews on average.Add a Comment
Please join us for the 2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture, “A Pair of Jacks to Open,” with Jack Gantos. Friday May 1, Harold Washington Library in Chicago, 7:30PM. The lecture is free but tickets are required.Add a Comment
The editorial team plans to publish two to four titles for this series every year. The list kicks off with the release of Debra Monroe’s memoir My Unsentimental Education. The publication date has been scheduled for October 2015.
Here’s more from the press release: “Named for intersections, and for the heart of the matter, this series will publish literary nonfiction by diverse writers working in a variety of modes, including personal and lyric essay, memoir, cultural meditation, and literary journalism. Books are intended for general readers, including writers, teachers of writing, and students, and will be both intelligent and accessible. Engagement with the world, dedication to craft, precision, and playfulness with form and language are valued. As the series develops, it will include non-American writers and experiences.”Add a Comment
What not to do when using social media.
Melissa Abramovitz has been a freelance writer for nearly 30 years and specializes in writing nonfiction magazine articles and books for all age groups. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles, more than 40 educational books for children and teenagers, numerous poems and short stories, several children’s picture books, and a book for writers titled, A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines.
Melissa also does freelance manuscript editing. She is a graduate of the University of California San Diego and the Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of SCBWI, Children’s Book Insider, and The Working Writer’s Club.
Visit her website at www.melissaabramovitz.comAdd a Comment
Executive editor Terry Karten handled the acquisition of these two manuscripts. Gawker.com reports Krauss signed a $4 million contract.
According to Bookforum Magazine, Krauss plans to write “a searching and metaphysical novel about transformation” entitled Late Wonder and “a book of stories” called How to Be a Man. This new projects mark Krauss’ departure from her longtime publisher, W. W. Norton & Company. (Photo Credit: Patric Shaw)Add a Comment
Melissa Abramovitz has a charming new picture book from Guardian Angel Publishing. It’s called Helping Herbie Hedgehog.
About the Book
Herbie has places to go and things to do. But he needs some help ’cause he hasn’t a clue! If you’ll help Herbie decide what’s right and wrong He’ll be busy and happy the whole day long! Herbie the clueless hedgehog needs help figuring out how to get places and go about his day. Amusing delightful rhymes invite kids to give helpful advice while learning about everyday things. Suggested age range for readers: 2-7
Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 15, 2015)
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of SIBA Book Award nominated Compulsion, book one in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island, which was a Fall ’14 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. The second book in the trilogy, Persuasion, will be published in October 2015.
She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, a lopsided cat, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
Writers seem to fall into two categories when it comes to music and writing. Some can listen to songs that inspire them as they write, but for me, hearing someone else's words interferes with getting my own words on the page. I do listen to music before I write to help set a mood or help me process an idea.
I've put all the 24 songs that remind me of different aspects of COMPULSION into a YouTube playlist, which is embedded at the bottom of this post, but you can also listen to a few of the important ones below.
The first song, “Truly Brave,” is the mashup between Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Sara Bareilles' “Brave” was released to raise awareness (and donations) for pediatric cancer long after I finished COMPULSION, but for me, it has become an anthem for Barrie and for every girl or person who needs to find her voice, her confidence, her strength--her brave. Even today, girls are too often dismissed or marginalized.
Having been sheltered all her life, Barrie starts off the book both determined to have a voice and scared that if she follows her heart and instincts, other people will love her less. It takes courage to believe your opinion and your voice counts. You’re not always going to be right, but you always deserve to be heard.
Sam Smith’s cover of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” is perfect for Barrie’s relationship with Eight Beaufort (Charles Beaufort, VIII). Since her mother’s death, Barrie’s gift is starting to expand a bit beyond her usual compulsion to find lost things. The gift draws Barrie to Eight, but she doesn’t understand why. At the same time, Eight’s gift for knowing what people want makes it easy for him to connect with her. She can't help wondering how much of that is a true connection and how much is a manipulation?
There are references to Carolina “beach music” throughout COMPULSION. It’s music that Barrie knows because her mother ran off with the bad boy across the river and spent her whole life regretting that choice and listening to the songs that reminded her of what she'd left behind.
Since at the turn of the 18th century, thirty to fifty percent of the slaves forced to work the lowcountry rice plantations of the Carolinas were Native American, the folk magic, healing knowledge, and mystical traditional practiced by the descendants of the plantation slaves is a blend of African, West Indian, Native American, and European beliefs. This is touched on lightly in COMPULSION and explored more deeply in the next two books, and I've been lucky to have an archeologist and professor of anthropology work with me on the research involved.
One of the songs I listened to most often as I was writing COMPULSION was the rastafarian version of “By the Rivers of Babylon,” sung by The Melodians, which is a beautiful song about exile and despair based on Psalm 137.
The Fire Carrier and the yunwi, the little people, are both from Cherokee mythology, so one of the songs I listened to as I tried to construct Barrie’s mystical connection to the land and to Watson’s Landing was the beautiful Cherokee “Morning Song.”
Songs like “You Raise Me Up,” and Bruno Mars' “Just the Way You Are” remind me of the way Barrie and Eight make each other “more,” which explains the friendship and growing potential between them.
And the gorgeous Cherokee version of “Amazing Grace” is for Mark. Because.
Finally, Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" reminds me of the Fire Carrier, who has his own journey in the series, but the song that speaks to me most for the Fire Carrier is an old Irish one, "Mo Ghile Mear," sung by Sting and the Chieftains. That's a bit of a spoiler for the series, but I couldn't resist including it.
You can listen to all 24 songs in the playlist here:
One winner will receive a $25 iTunes Gift Card and a “I have a compulsion for reading” tote bag. US & Canada only.
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question tyou'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What is the Watson gift? (Find the answer here)
The video embedded above offers glimpses of Jason Lewis as Christopher, Rachael Carpani as Cathy, and Heather Graham as Corrine. To learn more about this film series, check out this Flowers in the Attic video playlist. (via Entertainment Weekly)Add a Comment