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1. EATER 2015 - primark

Not long now until the Easter holidays and one of the key design motifs of the season is the cute rabbit. These Easter bunnies in lovely sugary colours were spotted on lounge/nightwear in Primark last week.

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2. New group of Equihominids discovered



Scientists who exhumed the original skeleton of Equihominid aprilis near Volos, Greece in 1980 report that they have uncovered more than a dozen new individuals in the exposed shoreline sediments near Samsun in northern Turkey.



"The preservation of these fossils is extraordinary," said Project Director Manolis Ipponikos, who led a team from the Istanbul University of Turkey. "Having a larger sample size of these rare specimens allows us to better understand the variability of this species."



According to Professor Ipponikos, fish bones were found in the stomach contents of the centaurines, along with spearpoints nearby, which points to a pescetarian diet. "Some of the male skeletons exhibited healed postcranial injuries," he said, "suggesting that they had previously engaged in some form of violent conflict."

However, the creatures appear to have perished from a mass drowning event, most likely when the Black Sea was inundated from the Bosphorus, as suggested by Walter Pitman's Black Sea deluge hypothesis. Radiocarbon evidence from the skeletons confirms the  6500BC date for the flooding event.

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3. EASTER 2015 - paperchase

One of my key destinations whenever I need a greeting card is Paperchase. This Easter they have some fab painterly designs from Sooshichacha (above & below) as well as their own exclusive designs. Their main theme features 'Easter Tweets' with a selection of colourful birds, some wearing glasses, A complimentary print of multicoloured diagonal gingham is used for packaging, gift wrap etc.

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4. EASTER 2015 - tesco

We end today with a few designs spotted in supermarket Tesco who had a mixture of exclusive designs and Hallmark cards.

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5. April Fools' Day Trivia Quiz Answers

question marksHappy April Fools’ Day!

Yesterday, we posted an April Fools’ Day Trivia Quiz. Were you fooled, or did you guess the answers?

  1. What date is April Fools’ Day?
    ANSWER: April 1st.
  2. According to one belief, April Fools’ Day is said to have started in which country? (Hint: Eiffel Tower)
    ANSWER: France. According to one story, in 1582 Pope Gregory XIII changed New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. People weren’t happy with this, and kept celebrating on April 1. The January people made fun of the April people, and tricked them into running “fools’ errands” and playing tricks on them. Hmm . . . sounds complicated. I’ll just stick to putting rubber bugs in my family’s beds!
  3. In 1998, which restaurant published a fake advertisement for a hamburger for left-handed people? (McDonald’s or Burger King)
    ANSWER: Burger King! They put an ad in the newspaper announcing a new menu item: the Left-Handed Whopper. It had the same ingredients as the original Whopper, but rotated the condiments 180 degrees. Thousands of customers went into BK requesting the new sandwich which was not real!
  4. Back in 2011, which celebrity teen heartthrob singer pretended to let talk show host Jimmy Kimmel shave off his hair?
    ANSWER: Justin Bieber! Luckily, it was all a joke.
  5. TRUE or APRIL FOOL: In 2005, NASA posted on their website that water had been found on Mars. Was water really found on Mars?
    ANSWER: APRIL FOOL! Well . . . actually yes and no. When readers scrolled down, they saw a picture of a glass of water placed on a Mars candy bar. (Good one!)
  6. What would YOU rather do: put Vaseline on your parents’ toilet seat OR a mustache tattoo on your sister while she’s sleeping?
    ANSWER: No wrong answer, you sneaky trickster, you!
  7. TRUE or APRIL FOOL: In 1957, Swiss farmers enjoyed a surprise “spaghetti crop” when spaghetti grew on trees.
    ANSWER: APRIL FOOL! It was a BBC prank.

Did you pull any good pranks for April Fools’ Day? I’m looking for some good ideas for next year, so let me know in the Comments below!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer

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6. 30 Days of Teen Programming!

prog guideAs the chair of YALSA's Programming Guidelines taskforce, I'm excited to announce that the Teen Programming Guidelines are now available! The guidelines cover all aspects of programming, from idea to evaluation. They were developed in alignment with The Future of Library Services For and With Teens: A Call to Action, and with input from YALSA members. Our hope is that these guidelines will be a valuable tool for you in your library work with teens, both as how-to guide and as an advocacy tool.

To celebrate, YALSAblog is hosting 30 Days of Teen Programming, a month-long series of posts to help get us all started thinking about the guidelines in concrete terms. Each post will tie into one of the ten guidelines with examples, ideas, best practices, or problem-solving.

We'd love to hear from you as well. How do the guidelines reflect the work you're already doing? How do you hope to use the guidelines in your library?

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7. Walking The Game Beat: Mighty Marvel Heroes, Arkham Knight, Halo, Star Wars: Battlefront, Mortal Kombat X

Over the last few days even more Batman: Arkham Knight tidbits have dropped, Mortal Kombat builds towards its launch, Halo 5 announced a release date, and Marvel delivers a new mobile game.

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Playstation Blog delivered the announcement of a limited edition PS4 console that comes with a limited edition Steel Grey PS4 system chassis with a custom Batman: Arkham Knight faceplate, a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller in Steel Grey and the disc based version of the game. This special bundle will be available for $449.99.

In addition, Sony is also doing a regular PS4 console that comes with the standard black system, controller, and Batman: Arkham Knight game for $399.99.

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The bundles will be available when the game launches on June 23, 2015; currently the consoles are available for preorder at most major retailers.


 

It was obvious Electronic Arts, Star Wars: Battlefront would have a presence at the upcoming Celebration in Anaheim. Today it was revealed when exactly that will take place. DICE, developer of the Battlefield game series, will debut the Star Wars: Battlefront official reveal trailer during its Star Wars Celebration panel on April 17th, starting at 10:30 am PT. Those who can’t make it out to the show can catch the reveal trailer on EA’s website and official Star Wars channels during the convention, which itself runs from April 16-19 in Anaheim California.

Though a sliver of the game was shown at E3, this will be the first time actual gameplay will be on display for the public to enjoy. Star Wars: Battlefront is expected to arrive in stores later this year and what better place for a release date announcement than Star Wars Celebration.


 

 

IGN has the first 25 minutes of Mortal Kombat X gameplay. There’s a lot of information in this extended video for fans to digest, including an opening cinematic that sets the story going forward. Outside of the exciting helicopter fight between Scorpion, Sub Zero, Kenshi, and Johnny Cage, players will get a good look at the undead army of Quan Chi and Shinnok as they take on the Earthrealm Special Forces.

So far the digital comic series from DC has almost caught up to the events of the opening. As in the book Sub-Zero and Scorpion are set to be possessed and do battle with Earth’s champions while Kenshi has yet to join Cage and Sonya Blade. The footage looks impressive as the game seamlessly transitions from interactive moments to cut scenes and then to the actual fights themselves.

The Story looks as amibtious and cohesive as their previous entry Injustice: Gods Among Us was. Netherrealm, the game’s developer, has up’ed the ante for this one. Mortal Kombat X releases on PS4, PC and Xbox One this coming April 14 while the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will follow in the Summer.


 

Today, DeNA and Marvel Entertainment today launched Marvel Mighty Heroes, a real-time co-op brawler written by Fred Van Lente. For the first time on mobile devices players must defend the world by assembling a dream team of Marvel Super Heroes including Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Star-Lord, Hulk, Hawkeye as well as dozens of Super Villains yet to be announced. In game events will be available to download such as today’s “Infinity” series were players will team up to battle Thanos.

The game feels like a compact version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, we’ll give you some more thoughts on it as we spend a little more time with it. Mighty Marvel Heroes is currently available as a free download on the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. Plus if you download the game this week you get a free special in-game Hulk as a reward.


 

 

During Sunday’s season finale of The Walking Dead on AMC, two new TV spots revealed the worldwide release date for the highly anticipated Halo 5: Guardians. The commercial showed the same events from both of the game’s main characters: Master Chief and Agent Locke. You can see it for yourself, there’s a lot of tension and drama that was missing from Halo 4.

Although with the game being an October release, it leaves Microsoft with no big exclusive for November. It could be that this spot will go to Rise of The Tomb Raider, a game that was announced during E3 but has not been talked about much since.

So what games are you excited for? Have the problems of the Mortal Kombat X digital series wavered your excitement for the game? Are you getting the Arkham Knight edition PS4?

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8. Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes collected by Elizabeth Hammill and illustrated by more than 70 celebrated artists

As Elizabeth Hammill says in her introduction to Over the Hills and Far Away, nursery rhymes are "borderless - migrating with ease, begetting intriguing cultural variants along the way." With Over the Hills and Far Away, Hammill has collected 150 nursery rhymes from all over the world and invited 77 contemporary, award-winning illustrators like Eric Carle, Jerry Pinkney, Jon Klassen, Mo

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9. NPM Project: Jumping Into Form - Sijo

Originating in Korea, sijo (pronounced she-zho) are poems divided into three or six lines. These poems frequently use word play in the form of metaphors, symbols and puns. Here is a description from AHApoetry.
More ancient than haiku, the Korean SIJO shares a common ancestry with haiku, tanka and similar Japanese genres. All evolved from more ancient Chinese patterns.

Sijo is traditionally composed in three lines of 14-16 syllables each, totaling between 44-46 syllables. A pause breaks each line approximately in the middle; it resembles a caesura but is not based on metrics.
I'm quite fond of the poems in Linda Sue Park's book Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo Poems. This book provides a wonderful overview and introduction to the form. Park's poems will have kids laughing and thinking at the same time. As the form demands, they are full of little surprises. Here are two of my favorites from the book.

Summer Storm

Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash!
Which draws grumbling complaints or even crashing tantrums from thunder--

He hates having his picture taken, so he always gets there late.


Breakfast

For this meal, people like what they like, the same every morning.
Toast and coffee. Bagel and juice. Cornflakes and milk in a white bowl.

Or -- warm, soft, and delicious -- a few extra minutes in bed.

Poems ©Linda Sue Park, 2008. All rights reserved.

How do you write a sijo? Here is a brief summary of the advice Park gives at the end of her book.
Three line poems should contain about 14 to 16 syllables per line. Six line poems should contain 7 or 8 syllables per line.

The first line should contain a single image or idea. The second line should develop this further. The last line should contain the twist. 
In his sijo primer, poet Poet Larry Gross writes:
Remember the three characteristics that make the sijo unique — its basic structure, musical/rhythmic elements, and the twist. It is shorter and more lyrical than the ghazal. It is more roomy than the haiku, and it welcomes feelings and emotions which haiku either discourage or disguise. It should please lovers of ballads, sonnets and lyrics, and the downplay of regular meter and rhyme should appeal to writers of free verse. 
Before introducing sijo in the classroom, you may want to try writing some sijo yourself! Here's a video primer to get you started.
While there are more familiar Asian forms of poetry read and written in the classroom (we'll get to those this month too!), I love the challenge that this form presents.

Once you are ready to begin, here are some resources that will help you tackle introducing and writing sijo in your classroom.
I hope this little introduction to sijo has piqued your interest in the form. Come back tomorrow to learn about another Asian poetic form.

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10. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.


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11. Review: Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker

Title: Becoming Rain
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria
Publication date: March 3, 2015

Summary: Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it—the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set—one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of a gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game—at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington, DC, major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the West coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year-old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to. 

Review: I absolutely loved this book! It is the first book in a really long time I've been able to just jump into. At first I will admit I wasn't quite sure I would be able to read it. For me it started out kind of dull and slow. But soon enough I was hooked and hoping to not have to go to work so I could just keep reading. I fell in love with Rain and Luke quickly and always hoped for the best. Books like this always renew my belief in Love. The best part about this is that the whole focus is not romance. Yet it feels like that's all that matters. I absolutely will be looking for more books by this author. As always I wish the story would never end! 4 stars

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12. Romance-writing in India

       Snigdha Poonam's look at how: 'India's male and female romance writers follow opposing codes', Terms Of Endearment, is now freely accessible at The Caravan -- maybe not many authors familiar to non-Indian readers, but still of some interest.

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13. THE WICKED WILL RISE . . . and Then Fall

Review by Sara THE WICKED WILL RISEDorthy Must Die #2Series: Dorothy Must Die (Book 2)Hardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: HarperCollins (March 31, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, who is good—and who is actually Wicked?My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz.But

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14. PO-EMotion -- Anticipation


Flickr Creative Commons photo by eric lynch

ANTICIPATION

The end of the very last day of school,
standing poised on the edge of the pool,

smell of curry as I'm opening the door,
excitement of Christmas on the night before,

next in line for the roller coaster,
when will the toast come out of the toaster?

jitters, dread, a lack of patience,
waiting and waiting...anticipation.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015







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15. Purposeful Play Programming

Ever envy those fabulous, expensive play spaces some libraries have? You can create a temporary, educational play environment within your existing library space that promotes adult interaction, is highly inclusive, and creates opportunities for outreach to the underserved.

Introducing, SMART STARTS!

Smart Starts (2) Smart Starts (5)

Three years ago, we founded Smart Starts, a hands-on, interactive environment where adults help children develop early reading, writing, math and science skills through fun play activities. This drop-in program is offered several times over the course of a few days during weeks we are not holding storytimes. Patrons can come anytime during the posted hours and stay as long as they wish.

The goal of Smart Starts is to provide a richer, more meaningful library experience where adults can play side-by-side with their children, enhancing learning experiences. Dad John Witte observed, “The chance to interact with other kids in a learning environment is valuable both for the kids and the parents.”

Each Smart Starts program has a theme, developed around an educational focus. Six to eight stations are created for each theme. PowerPoint slideshows display scrolling instructional slides featuring the various stations.

Smart Starts has allowed us to embrace the community’s educational initiatives as well as reach out to the underserved. We encourage community groups to schedule special sessions just for their members.

CREATE YOUR OWN LEARNING THROUGH PLAY PROGRAM

Wanted: Head Coach. Find a staff member who will lead others in choosing activities and gathering supplies. You could then recruit one person to find science experiments, another to work on crafts and a third to handle parent tips and extension activities, etc. Once planned, various individuals can run the program while it is open. Their role is to help visitors get started and model conversation and play behavior.

Themes

Brainstorm themes. These can be derived from educational initiatives in your community or staff interest and expertise. Many of our themes have been STEAM-related. For instance, we have created programs featuring air, measurement, plant growth, patterning and weather. After you have selected themes, search preschool curriculum books and websites for ideas for the activity stations. These might include . . .

Science Experiments

Smart Starts (9)Kids love to experiment with hands-on science. We have explored how polar bears stay warm in the arctic, compared the speed of objects traveling down ramps and practiced using all five senses. Imagine a child’s face when they smell cotton balls soaked in vanilla, mint, lemon or garlic!

Crafts

Offer crafts that can be used to explore the subject further. A kaleidoscope promotes discussions of light. A feeder allows children to observe backyard birds. A texture collage may prompt additional investigation of the five senses at grandma’s house. These crafts should be accessible to a wide range of developmental levels. The emphasis is process, not product. I always say, “If it looks too much like the sample, something is wrong!”

Mini Library

Gather a collection of your library’s books, puzzles, and other resources related to your theme ready for check-out. We set out a couple of beanbag chairs for those who want to curl up with a book. We also provide a sheet explaining the educational research and suggesting extension activities. These materials promote further learning and exploration of the topic at home.

Games

“Go Fish!” Games are a fun way to encourage learning and repeatedly practice skills. Create and laminate your own matching games and sequencing cards. Ask for donations of educational games and puzzles or scout for them at garage sales and re-sale stores. Kids also love to play with real objects made into a game. Sort small, medium and large kitchen items. Match socks or mittens. Make sets of 2, 5 and 10 blocks.

Other Activities

Here’s where you can get creative and courageous! Here are some ideas we have tried – with success!

  • Build walls with stones and play-dough
  • “Mess-free” fingerpaint using instant pudding in a sealed plastic bag
  • Bubblewrap hopscotch
  • Climb in various moving boxes
  • Guess the object based on its shadow
  • “Paint” a chalkboard with water
  • String cereal, beads, dry pasta and straw pieces on chenille wires and bending them into letter shapes
  • Create iSpy games with stickers, beads and sequins
  • Pretend to be a gardener with a shovel, rake, watering can, spray nozzle, silk flowers, etc.
  • Make up narrative stories with puppets or dollhouse figures

Tips for Success

Patrons are delighted that such an enriching program is not only available at the library, but free. Many intentionally add Smart Starts to their weekly schedule and arrange to meet friends. Mom Melissa Drechsel remarked, “I am homeschooling my kindergarten-aged daughters this year and Smart Starts has been the perfect complement to reinforce some of the things we are learning about at home. We have enjoyed the many activities at Smart Starts and I have recommended the program to many other mothers with little ones at home.”

Smart Starts (8) Smart Starts (7) Smart Starts (4) Smart Starts (3)

This program has also allowed us to interact with our patrons and attract previous non-users in a whole new way. Adults feel more comfortable to ask questions, and children enjoy playing with the library staff in this informal setting. The variety of activities and levels of engagement allows all children to participate, including those with special needs and beginning English language learners. We even host special sessions of Smart Starts for at-risk preschool classes, the local Newcomers chapter and young moms groups from area churches.

Once set-up, we offer the space at various times over the course of a few days. Themes may be repeated every year. This type of program is also be easily modified to a smaller scale or for outreach at local community events.

Author Diane Ackerman wrote, “Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” Through activity programs such as Smart Starts, we can provide a fun, educational environment at our libraries to help equip our local children for a life of learning.

(All photos courtesy Glen Ellyn Public Library)

****************************************************************

Photo by Stephanie Blackwell/GEPL

Photo by Stephanie Blackwell/GEPL

Our guest blogger today is Bari Ericson, Youth Programming Associate at the Glen Ellyn Public LibraryBari enjoys combining her experience as an art student, corporate paralegal, law firm librarian, preschool teacher and mom to serve local families at GEPL.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post Purposeful Play Programming appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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16. rational bird housings


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17. Progress

One of the earliest lessons of having a special-needs child was learning to recognize his progress not by comparing him to typically-developing children of the same age, but by comparing him to his own earlier self. I say ‘lesson’ and ‘learn’ but in truth this was something that happened naturally and almost instantaneously after his multiple diagnoses and the beginning of various therapies—physical, occupational, speech. As soon as I had an understanding of his developmental challenges, I was able to rejoice over each increment of progress, each small accomplishment along with the big ones. It was like my brain was wiped free of comparisons to other babies, including my first three, and all that existed was this baby, making these tremendous (even when tiny) strides.

That mental shift keeps popping into my mind lately as I keep working (and working and working) on drawing. Only here, it isn’t natural and instantaneous. Here, I have to keep relearning the lesson; some days I practically have to shout it at myself. The trouble, of course, is that I have so many friends who are spectacularly good artists. Years of training, years of dedication and work. Hundreds or thousands of pages of finished art under their belts. If I compare my drawings—or my slow progress—to them, I feel bleak. I don’t have it, that thing they have. Vision, natural talent, hand-eye coordination, vast knowledge of technique—you name it, I don’t have it. All I have is…earnestness. A belief that everyone can learn to draw, and that includes me. And this long-simmering desire to learn, kindled last fall into a full-boil determination.

So I keep reminding myself, baby artist, to compare myself to the even babier artist I was a few months ago. I remember when my son was finally able to climb up stairs on his own. He was well past a year old. He had motor planning issues, and we spent hours and hours over a period of several months, moving his limbs for him up stair by stair by stair. Hand, knee, hand, knee. Or was it hand, hand, knee, knee, I don’t remember now. Either way, it took so much practice. Until one day his brain figured it out. The pattern was learned. The pathways were formed. Soon after that we could hardly remember what it was like before he learned to climb stairs. We had to scramble to help him learn how to climb down.

Stair by stair, I’m making progress. For every ten drawings I hate, I make one that I like. But I like looking at the bad ones, too, because I know that the fact that I can see what’s wrong with them is another sign of my progress. My eye is improving along with my hand. (“Your taste is killer. Your taste is why your work disappoints you.”)

Today I looked at something I’d done, a couple of quick, surreptitious gesture sketches of some women in a meeting, and realized I’d attempted people—in complex postures, no less—without even thinking about it. Six months ago, I wouldn’t have done that. It’s nice to know I’ve made it up a stair or two.

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18. Spotlight and Giveaway: The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor by Paula Quinn

This morning I have a guest post and giveaway for Paula Quinn’s latest, The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor.

Top 5 distractions while working on a deadline by Paula Quinn

Everything is a distraction when I’m working on a deadline. The worst are:

1. Shopping

2. Arrow (The T.V. show. Have you seen it? Have you seen Stephen Amell?)

3. My dogs. The seem to know when I’m on a deadline and want all my attention.

4. Journaling—I love to write!

5. Reading

About THE SCANDALOUS SECRET OF ABIGAIL MACGREGOR:

A LADY’S MISSION . . . 

Known for her beauty and boldness, Abigail MacGregor must preserve her clan’s dangerous secret: that her mother is the true heir to the English Crown. If the wrong people find out, it will mean war for her beloved Scotland. To keep peace, she embarks for London, unprepared for the treachery that awaits-especially from her wickedly handsome escort. He is the enemy, but his slow, sensuous kisses entice her beyond reason . . . 

A WARRIOR’S TEMPTATION

General Daniel Marlow, loyal knight and the kingdom’s most desirable hero, would rather be on the battlefield than transporting a spoiled Highland lass. But Abby MacGregor is unlike any woman he’s ever met, in a ballroom or in his bedroom. Captivated by her daring spirit and seduced by her lovely innocence, Daniel must choose between betraying his queen or giving up the woman who would steal his country-and his traitorous heart.


About Paula Quinn:

New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven.  She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.


Paula’s SM:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/253272.Paula_Quinn?from_search=true

http://facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Paula-Quinn/336691429368

https://www.pinterest.com/quinnsromance/

http://www.paulaquinn.com/

@Paula_Quinn

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1IrFQEb

BAM – http://bit.ly/1FTJxCB

B&N – http://bit.ly/1u6Wkgl

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1sFMkb3

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1CnmAXk

iTunes – http://apple.co/1AHmJGd

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1FBNoWy

Excerpt:

“Aye, ye did say that,” she murmured. “Well, since we’re both awake, we might as well spend the night together again.”

The innocence in her voice struck him in the guts. She wanted nothing more from him than someone to be with outside in the night.

He, on the other hand, was not innocent at all. Her choice of words sent a little spark of heat to his groin. The way she turned on the pads of her feet and ended up pressed against his side and tucked neatly under his shoulder tilted him on his axis a little.

“I’m cold,” she whispered, her teeth chattering.

He put up no fight when she lifted his arm around her shoulder, then covered them both with her plaid. The desire to protect her overwhelmed him and sent tremors through his muscles. He knew little of her. Was she an innocent daughter of a Jacobite chief, or part of some secret scheme Anne was devising.

Hell. Anne didn’t devise schemes.

“I wasn’t certain if you were ever going to speak to me again,” he said, when what he should have said was, You should go sleep somewhere, lady, and not on me.

“I was verra’ angry with ye. But I’ve forgiven ye.” He heard the smile in her voice and made a mental note of how well it pleased him that she was no longer angry. He would decide what to do about his unwanted concerns for her tomorrow. Right now, he only wanted to sit with her just like this, with her beneath his arm and pressed snuggly into his side. Warmth swept over him like fine wine until he felt drunk on it.

How was it that she fit so neatly into him, now and earlier when she slept in his lap, like she belonged there, close to him?

Close to his heart.

Hell, it scared him, and after fighting for over a decade, not much scared him anymore.

“D’ye have a wife, General Marlow?” Came her sweet voice against his chest.

“No, lady.”

“Are ye betrothed?”

“I am not.”

“Is there a lass somewhere who has yer heart?”

“No.”

“Well,” she laughed softly, “are all the ladies in England fools?”

“They’re the opposite,” he told her. “They’re wise to set their interests in another direction.”

She shook her head then tilted her face up to his. In the filtered light of the moon, he could make her out enough to fall victim to the alluring curves of her mouth, her soft, sweet breath against his chin. “Nae, they are fools not to try to win yer affections.”

He knew every reason there was to stop what he was thinking, what he was feeling, and what he was about to do. But reason was a puny opponent compared to desire.

Slipping one hand behind her nape and the other to her throat, he tilted her chin another half-inch then covered her mouth with his. The instant after he did it, he regretted it, but then she coiled her arms around his neck and drew him closer, and he couldn’t stop. He never wanted to. She didn’t resist him, in fact, she melted in his arms. She groaned softly when he drew his tongue across the seam of her mouth. She bit his lip and ignited his blood to liquid fire. He swept his tongue in and out of her, holding her close to him while they kissed, wanting nothing more from her than what she gave him now. Making love to her could be dangerous if Charlotte found out. He’d have to make sure she didn’t find out, at least until he had proof of other crimes and could arrest her. If she hurt Abigail before that he’d hang her himself.

He wondered, as he held her in his arms and kissed her long into the night, how he could be so content with one he was supposed to hate.

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19. Writer Wednesday: Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon

Lately I've been wondering what drives people to Barnes and Noble as opposed to Amazon or vice versa. They both have books in paperback and ebook formats, so what prompts someone to pick one over the other?

I'm an Amazon girl, but oddly enough I used to purchase all my books through Barnes and Noble. I don't know why I changed. It sort of happened one day without me knowing it. But let me share something with you from an author's perspective—something that has me admittedly perplexed.

I released an Ashelyn Drake title (Looking For Love) this month. It's a new adult romance, and I mention the genre for a reason. I've heard (not that I know if this is true or not) that romance sells better on B&N than Amazon. Well, for this book, that's true. My B&N ranking continues to get better every day, while my Amazon ranking is going in the opposite direction. Checking my sales numbers, I see a drastic different between the two sites. Now here's why I'm baffled. I don't use the B&N link to promote. I always use the Amazon link. Sure I have the B&N link on my website, but I don't actively promote it.

That's not the only reason I'm confused. You see the other Campus Crush novellas, before they were packaged as one book—Campus Crush, all sold better on Amazon. Hmm… So what is making this book different? I have a clue!

So I'm asking you all, which site do you gravitate toward—Amazon or B&N—and why?

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20. Chinese fiction in ... Japan

       Okay, I'm a bit late with this .. but then most of you probably already knew and had celebrated that Yan Lianke receives Twitter Literary Prize.
       No ? Still ... an intriguing headline, right ? I kept my fingers crossed that at least it was an award for 'tweeted' fiction. Alas, not even that, apparently -- it seems to be this (and this), and Yan Lianke's Lenin's Kisses was the top vote-getter in the international category of this Japanese prize. Of a very limited number of votes -- thirty-four was enough to win: see the full run-down here. (It is an interesting list -- with Brian Evenson's Fugue State seventh (with sixteen votes) -- but not too many folks seem to have played along.)
       Okay, so this is not an award that can/should be taken too seriously. The China Daily article doesn't even bother trying to find the title the novel was published under in English, referring to it as The Joy of Living (but it is, indeed, Lenin's Kisses). But the article does provide some additional interesting information, claiming the Japanese edition of the winning title was:

published at the end of last year with a first run of 8,000 copies, which immediately sold out. As of right now, the book has been reprinted three times, with each run consisting of 3,000 copies.
       That's not bad -- probably more than it's sold in English. But the article claims that those numbers mean the novel: "has broken all records of sales of Chinese writers' works". So the bestselling Chinese work in nearby Japan has sold ... less than 20,000 copies ?
       We're still waiting for the big Chinese breakthrough in the English-speaking world, but I'm surprised that closer to home success seems also to have been limited, so far.

       Meanwhile, Yan's novel The Four Books has just come out in English; see the publicity pages from Grove Press and Chatto & Windus, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. I haven't seen it yet, but I'll probably have a look; I wonder whether it will sell more than 20,000 copies in the US/UK. Or Japan.

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21. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier + Giveaway (US/Canada)

 

Hi, everyone!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR by Leah Scheier, releasing September 1, 2015 from Sourcebooks. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Leah:

 

Welcome to the cover reveal for my second novel, YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR. I am so excited to share it with you!  Getting a cover mock-up is so nerve-wracking for an author. I tell people that I'm "graphically-challenged;" I know what looks good when I see it but I can't visualize or design anything, not even if my life depended on it.  So when people asked me what I wanted my cover to look like, all I could say was, "I don't know. Sad. But not too sad. Also hopeful? There should be a girl on it.  Or maybe a boy?"
 
A couple of months ago, I was in a deli ordering sandwiches when my phone beeped. My editor had just sent me the cover photo! I couldn't believe it was ready. I tapped on the message, holding my breath for the big reveal, as I bounced in place like a little kid on a sugar high. I waited. And waited. AND THE ATTACHMENT WOULDN'T OPEN ON MY PHONE. It was an awful moment. I gasped out, "Oh my god, oh my god! Extra pickles, please!" to the mystified deli waiter and frantically messaged my daughter. "Open my email," I begged her. "I can't see my cover! You have to tell me what you think." An eternity passed as she downloaded the picture. "Ohhhh, Mom," she replied. "Wow. You are so lucky!"
 
My daughter was right. It had turned out even better than I'd hoped for. When the snapchat popped up on my screen, I finally saw the girl I'd imagined for years, right there in front of me. Joanna Jankowska and her team had captured the mood of the book in one perfect photo.
 
"Hey, lady? Your sandwiches are ready." The waiter held them out nervously. "Extra pickles, just like you said, okay?"
 
"Thank you, that's just wonderful!" I exclaimed. "You're wonderful!"
 
He smiled and backed away slowly. I guess he wasn't used to seeing wild-eyed enthusiasm over pastrami on rye.  
 
Since then, whenever I go back to that deli, I always get a crap-load of pickles with my order.    
   
I want to thank the team at Sourcebooks for the beautiful cover design. And for the many pickles that have come into my life. 
 
 
~ Leah Scheier (YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR, Sourcebooks)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Leah's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR

by Leah Scheier
Release date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks
ISBN: 1492614416
 
 
About the Book

 

April won't let Jonah go without a fight. He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark depression, trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_leah-scheier.jpgAbout the Author

Leah Scheier is the author of Secret Letters, a historical mystery featuring the daughter of the Great Detective. After finishing up her adventures in Victorian England, Leah moved back to modern times, and currently writes about teens in her hometown of Baltimore. During the day she waves around a pink stethoscope and sheets of Smurf stickers; at night she bangs on her battered computer and drinks too much caffeine. You can visit her website at leahscheier.com or say hi to her on Twitter @leahscheier.

 

Twitter | Web | Goodreads | Facebook | Pre-order Amazon | Pre-order Barnes & Noble | Pre-order Book Depository | YABC Profile

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

Two winners will each receive a signed copy of YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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22. The Diary of a Chambermaid review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Octave Mirbeau's The Diary of a Chambermaid -- another in my preparation for Dalkey Archive Press' forthcoming 21 Days of a Neurasthenic (see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), after Torture Garden.
       This is probably his best-known work -- in no small part due to the two film-versions of it: few books have gotten such prominent double treatment (Lem's Solaris, filmed by Tarkovsky and Soderbergh is one of the few others), as this was filmed by Jean Renoir in 1946 (starring the husband-and-wife team of Paulette Goddard and Burgess Meredith !), and by Luis Buñuel in 1964 (starring Jeanne Moreau and Michel Piccoli).
       (Bonus Hollywood trivia reminder: Goddard's husbands before and after Meredith were Charlie Chaplin and Erich Maria Remarque, respectively.)

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23. Celebrate 25 Years of Valiant With an Anniversary Convention Tour

Ladies and Gentlemen we are officially in convention season! After celebrating Emerald City Comicon last weekend, it’s already time for WonderCon! Luckily Valiant is headed to the Anaheim Convention Center to take part in the festivities alongside comics fandom. The publisher is bringing along a few giveaways and prizes to the upcoming event. A tease at Bloodshot: Reborn #1 is going to be distributed in Valiant’s booth numbered #405.

Also shared is the following teaser image drawn by Tom Fowler celebrating the Valiant 25th Anniversary Convention Tour. The art features a group of heroes owned by the superhero company with Archer & Armstrong, X-O Manowar, Eternal Warrior, Bloodshot, Dr. Mirage, Faith, Livewire, Quantum and Woody, and Vincent Van Goat.

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Creators at the show include James Asmus, David Baron, Joshua Dysart, Ryann Winn, and Fred Van Lente. The first Valiant panel is for beginners labeled Valiant 101: The Story Starts Here. This gives new readers a chance to jump in on the fun in the Valiant Universe, and takes place on Friday April 3rd at 3:30pm at Room 208. The next panel is the Valiant 25th Anniversary Celebration where fans will hopefully learn more about the mysterious Book of Death down at the show. The panel takes place on April 4th at 12pm at room 211.

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24. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

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25. Editorial Submission :: Marcel George

Post by Natalie

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Marcel George is a freelance illustrator living in London. He studied Illustration at Brighton University and graduated in 2010 with first class honours. He specializes in creating hand painted, contemporary watercolour illustrations.

See more of his work on his website.

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