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26. #621 – Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis

cover1Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be

by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis

Preliteracy Partners / Belly-Books          3/01/2014

978-0-9860511-0-4

14 page, 8 x 8 Board Book

Age:  last trimester to 3+

.

“Exciting results rom recent studies show the powerful effects of reading to babies in utero: a rhythmic, repetitive story read regularly during the last trimester will soothe your baby after he or she is born. It’s also been sown that sharing storied with pretern aies familiarizes them with the voices of their parents and other family members, and that babies can even absorb elements of language while in the womb. Such discoveries inspire the Belly Book Collection.”

Opening

“Hello in there, baby! I’m thinking of you

As you’re curled up inside me so small

Every joy we share

All my loving care

And I can’t wait to show you it all!”

Review

Can’t Wait to Show You consists of one poem of 10 5-line stanzas. The poem begins with one stanza on the first spread, two stanzas on the second spread, and alternates from there until the final one stanza spread. The rhyming scheme notation is a-b-c-c-b. If not for the first line standing alone, the 5-line stanzas are close to the limerick form.

The authors base their book on the idea that in the last trimester, the child can hear the voices outside of the womb and can remember those voices. This familiarity helps the child relax, find a happy mood, and may help the child at birth. Singing the poem will intensify this, as newborns can recognize repeated songs, which also has a calming effect. The process of reading to their yet-to-be-born child also helps the parents’ transition into parenthood and enjoy the nine-month gestation period.

1

The poem is event centered. Parents anxious to meet their child is the on-going theme consistently stated in the fifth line.

“Oh, I can’t wait to show you the . . . “

In the second stanza, they cannot wait to show their child the light of the sun through rainbows, suncatchers, and sunbeams. In the final stanza, the parents cannot wait to show the child their love. The poem is easy to find a nice consistent rhythm by which to sing the verses or simply read them aloud with ease. The meter is consistently perfect.

One of the most interesting features of Can’t Wait to Show You is the book’s shape. The edges and corners curve making the rounded book smooth and perfect for a baby-belly. The book is designed to comfortably sit atop the pregnant woman’s belly and, later, the child, as she or he sit in mom or dad’s lap listening to the now familiar poem.

22

The illustrations are beautiful. Each new spread advances the age of the child from third-trimester to toddler and then flows full-circle back to a newborn on the final spread. The babies and toddlers are happy bundles of baby fat and smiles; images that will be irresistible to most. The pages are thick, perfect for children’s grips. The weight of the book as a whole should help it stay in the given belly position.

I love the poem Can’t Wait to Show You. Here is my favorite spread; the fourth spread:

“If you try some bananas and peaches

Lick the spoon so they don’t go to waste

For your birthday I’ll make

Chocolate angelfood cake

Oh, I can’t wait to show you the taste!

 .

“Your blanky is warm, soft and snuggly

The splashy bath suds make you squeal

A kitten will purr

When you snuggle her fur

Oh, I can’t wait to show you the feel!”

The love of reading is acquired best when started early. Reading to your child in the womb is the best start, as long as reading to your child continues through the years. The beauty of the words and illustrations make Can’t Wait to Show You the perfect baby shower gift. It would also be a unique gift as unique as the poem inside the pages.

useCan’t Wait to Show You is not a novelty book. Nor is it just for mothers. Fathers can and should read to their baby; getting to know the one person who will wrap him around their finger for a lifetime. Can’t Wait to Show You is destined to become a family favorite that lasts many years, and then becomes a cherished heirloom passed down to succeeding generations.

CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW YOU:  A CELEBRATION FOR MOTHERS-TO-BE. Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Preliteracy Partners / Belly-Books.

Purchase Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be at AmazonBelly-Booksyour favorite bookstore.

Learn more about Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be and Belly-Button Bookss HERE.

Meet author Jacquelilne Boyle at her website:    http://jacquelineboyle.wordpress.com/

Meet author, Susan Lupone Stonis, at her website:   https://thereadingwomb.wordpress.com/

Find Belly-Books at the website:   http://belly-books.com/

.

Also by Jacqueline Boyle

Dead Drop

Dead Drop

 

 

 

cant wait to show you


Filed under: 5stars, Board Books, Book Excerpt, Children's Books, Debut Author, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Poetry Tagged: baby books, baby shower gifts, board book, children's book reviews, in utero book, Jacqueline Boyle, poetry, read to baby in utero, Susan Lupone Stonis

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27. summer reading challenge: draw a silly unicorn!

Check out The Guardian gallery today! It features one of the characters nearly a million children around the country will have on their Summer Reading Challenge mythical maze poster, Silly Unicorn!



Grab a piece of paper and something to draw with and click over to The Guardian website. And if you get the chance, tweet a photo of your drawing with the #SummerReadingChallenge hash tag. Grownups welcome, too!



It's been so fun seeing people dress up for the Summer Reading Challenge! Check out this Unicorn, tweeted by Cambridgeshire Libraries of staff member Jenna Lawrence. Love it!

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28. My Writing and Reading Life: Chris Grabenstein

Chris Grabenstein is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, he is also the co-author with James Patterson of The New York Times bestseller I FUNNY.

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29. Impromptu Sketch-Moment: Preparing for the Symposium


I was walking home across the centre of Sheffield the other day, when I was struck by this view. You mostly don't get such a broad open vista in the city centre, because there are usually buildings in front of you. 

It's not the sort of thing I would normally choose to sketch, but I was in the mood for experimentation, so I sat down on the pavement.


I decided to try out a technique I want to use for part of my workshop at the Urban Sketchers Symposium next month. I am trying to find unusual ways of using colour, so thought coloured line might be interesting. It's always a good idea to do the exercise yourself first though, to check how well it works. I allowed myself 3 coloured pencils to interpret the view and applied the 'negative space' in watercolour, at the end.


It's typical of me that I managed to draw everything just slightly too big, so I cropped off the top of the building and made it way too tight at the bottom too. Hey ho. That's the price of not planning anything out first!

0 Comments on Impromptu Sketch-Moment: Preparing for the Symposium as of 7/30/2014 5:58:00 AM
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30. Rereading for the wrong reasons? Lari Don

One of the most wonderful but most troubling things about being a writer is that books become work.

Not just writing books, but reading them too.

This can be wonderful, when I tell myself that wasting (spending, investing) a whole day reading a novel that I’m desperate to finish, is in fact legitimate work. But it can also be troubling, when I realise that something I used to love is now something I HAVE TO DO.

This changes my relationship with books. Having to read books, having to think about and talk about books, not because I want to, not because that’s the book I want to spend time with, but because I’ve committed myself to an event or an article or a blog post which makes reading that particular book right now a necessity.

I live in Edinburgh, and I’m doing various events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month, mostly in the children’s and schools programme. But I’m also leading a reading workshop on Diana Wynne Jones, a writer whose books inspired me as a child, whose books still inspire me now, whose books I love to read.

But this summer, I have HAD to read them. I have had to reread the ones I am committed to discussing. (Books that, to be fair, I suggested and wanted to discuss, but even so…)

And suddenly I found myself resisting rereading them. I love rereading my favourite books. Mostly because I enjoy them, and am happy to reenter their worlds. And partly because, especially with books by Diana Wynne Jones, Neil Gaiman and others who are inspired by tales of old magic, I recognise more references every time I read them. But that’s when I choose to reread. When a book calls to me and says, come on over here and visit me again…

This summer, there’s been a pile of DWJ books on my study floor, which I knew I had to reread, but which I kept stepping round. Even though The Power of Three is my favourite ever children’s book, and Howl’s Moving Castle is in the top five, and Fire And Hemlock radically changed my relationship with my favourite Scottish fairy tale, and Chrestmanci is the most perfect wizardly wizard ever created… I’ve been resisting. Because I felt that I had to read them, that it was my job, that it was homework.

a small fraction of the DWJ pile!
And this has made me consider how, to some extent, every book I read is work. That everything I read leaves something behind, like a wave on a beach, which changes and inspires and shapes everything I will subsequently write. That I learn from every book, whether I love it or not. That the reader I am creates the writer I am.

But I also know that if I am conscious of what I’m learning from a book, then I haven’t truly lost myself in it. And the books that I just thoroughly enjoy, that I don’t read as a writer, that I just read as a wide-eyed reader, desperate to find out what happens next (and not noticing how the writer is making me care) those are the books I love the most. Probably those are the books that influence me most. And certainly those are the books I happily and enthusiastically reread.

And so. I took a deep breath. I started with Dogsbody, and The Ogre Downstairs, and Howl and those castles. And I have had the most glorious weekend rereading Diana Wynne Jones. To be honest, most of the time, I forgot why I was rereading them (workshop, what workshop?) and just lost myself in the wonderful magical world of her imagination.

Lari Don is the award-winning author of 21 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers. Lari’s website 
Lari’s own blog 
Lari on Twitter 
Lari on Facebook 

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31. Meet Andrew Clifton From Elizabeth Michels How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less and Giveaway

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

[Andrew Clifton]  Good afternoon. I am Lord Amberstall, gentleman of the ton, horse breeder, and…out of words? Surely not. Well, I wouldn’t want to bend the rules of this fine establishment. It seems a nice place, although I believe the horse portrayed on that “button” just there should be seen to—she appears quite ill. As for describing myself I suppose I’ve done an adequate job of it. Lady Katie Moore called me, “Fastidious with old-maid tendencies,” only yesterday. I recall her words quite clearly, but you shouldn’t listen to a lady who wears breaches to tea with a duchess when discussing such a subject. She most likely thinks the same of the grooms in the stables who choose to wash before their dinner.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in your life?

[Andrew Clifton]  Recently, my life has taken quite the turn from what I would call typical. You see, my horse was injured on the road south from Scotland. And now, I’m stranded here at Ormesby Place and in the company of the most unusual lady, Lady Katie Moore. My days of late have been spent cooling my heels as I wait for Shadow’s Light to heal enough for the journey home. I’ve busied myself with some much needed repairs on the estate while I wait. But, soon I must be on my way home where danger lurks—or so my mother claims.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Katie?

[Andrew Clifton]  Maddening, intriguing…beautiful. I shouldn’t speak of her in such plain terms though. It isn’t proper.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s her most appealing quality?

[Andrew Clifton]  I know for a fact, her finest quality is not her artistic ability with pottery, nor her ability to play the bagpipes. She wears her hair in a wild braid, has the mouth of a sailor, and yet…Those are the very things that make her lovely. To her, a dungeon would be an ideal picnic location because it’s simply misunderstood. And, although I have no desire to dine in a dungeon, find the sentiment behind it quite refreshing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What just drives you nuts about her?

[Andrew Clifton]  Katie has the worst manners I have ever encountered. You know she only owns one fork. The daughter of an earl, can you imagine? During our dinners together in her cottage, we do manage though. *grins and falls silent*

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Andrew Clifton]  Inviting Devon Grey, the Mad Duke of Thornwood to my home two years ago and then having dinner with him two nights ago—both were dreadful occasions. Although, if I’m to be honest, the dinner was made bearable by Katie, even if she did find herself in a situation that required the entire dinner party to bounce between courses. Never mind that last part, it’s quite a long story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Andrew Clifton]  From this day forward, I will take more time when selecting my wardrobe for a journey. I arrived on this estate with only Shadow’s Light and the contents of my saddle bag. With my current borrowed ensemble resembling that of a pirate, I believe I have learned my lesson well. In the future, I shall pack more clothing.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less?

[Andrew Clifton]  I’ve been trying terribly not to think of life beyond my stay here. I know not what awaits me at home, or what I will strive for once there. I’ve spent my life working day and night toward a singular fate and now…I wonder if I’ve outgrown that fate like a pair of ill-fitting boots, binding my toes as I walk on through life. Therefore, in five small words, I’d like to choose happiness.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Andrew Clifton]  The pleasure is mine. *bows* I’ve had a very pleasant time here on Manga Maniac Café. I do hope we see one another again soon. Enjoy…what is the name of this book? Here it is, HOW TO LOSE A LORD IN 10 DAYS OR LESS. Lose a Lord? I’m not lost only stranded in the North Yorkshire moors, which is entirely Katie’s fault. Did Katie name this work? I shall go speak to her at once. Good day to you all.

“I want to know you, to understand anything at all about you, because you are the most maddening lady I have ever encountered.”

He’s the perfect gentleman…
After years hidden away from the mockery of the Ton, proud Andrew Clifton, Lord Amberstall, is finally ready to face Society again. But when his horse is injured on the road to London, Andrew finds himself literally thrown at the feet of the beautiful, infuriating, and undeniably eccentric Katie Moore.

…she’s anything but a lady.
Katie always preferred the stables to society, so when she was badly injured in a riding accident, she was more than happy to retreat to the countryside and give up the marriage mart for good. She never expected an infuriatingly proper lord to come tumbling into her life-and she certainly never expected to find herself wondering what it would be like to rejoin the world at his side. They couldn’t be more different, and soon Andrew and Katie find themselves at odds about everything but the growing passion between them…and a keen awareness of a threat that may end their unconventional romance before it has even begun.

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/VTHThF

BAM: http://bit.ly/1zu2l84

B&N: http://bit.ly/1qrD1cS

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1kdVJ3L

Indigo: http://bit.ly/1qIDmMO

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1rehIwM

US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Meet Andrew Clifton From Elizabeth Michels How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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32. ¡El Cucuy!


Review by Ariadna Sánchez
The Bogeyman is one of the most iconic figures in the Latin culture. In addition, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) and El Chupacabras are folkloric characters that seduce old and new generations into a mysterious and magical world. The legends, myths, and folk stories about these unique figures gave birth to a legacy that will last forever in Mexico’s villages and cities as well as the rest of Latin America.
¡El Cucuy! A Bogeyman Cuento in English and Spanish as told by Joe Hayes and phenomenally illustrated by Honorio Robledo is a must read during the summer break.
In Oaxaca, México El Cucuy is best known as el Coco. Hayes description of El Cucuy matches the one my abuelita used to tell me “a gigantic old man with a humped back and a large, red left ear that can hear everything. And he comes to town for lazy and disobedient girls and boys.”
The tale gives young readers a bittersweet experience as the two girls are carried by El Cucuy towards the mountain. The two sisters are afraid and sorry for their behavior with their father and younger sister. One day, a boy losses one of his goats. The goat starts to bleat louder and louder right above El Cucuy’s cave. The girls plea the boy for help. He takes his jacket and uses it as a rope to rescue the girls. The girls climb up. Once free and safe the three children walk to the valley. At last, the girls reunite with their father and sister. Since that day, the two sisters are the most helpful and polite girls in town. The good news is that El Cucuy never appears again.

Joe Hayes adds at the end of the book a special note to readers and storytellers about ¡El Cucuy! Visit your local library for more amazing stories. Reading gives you wings. Hasta Pronto 
Check the following link for more cool books by Joe Hayes: http://www.cincopuntos.com/products_detail.sstg?id=4
Joe Hayes Narrates El Cucuy! - YouTube



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33. How to Write Scary by Gretchen McNeil

Here's the thing about writing horror: it's all about the set up.

We're all scared of different things.

For some people, the idea of a giant spider lurking under the bed, is enough to paralyze them with fear. For others, it's the idea of being buried alive in a close, black coffin, utterly sightless in the dark. Still others fear the darkness. Or heights. Or being abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

So many different kinds of scary. The things we fear most come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the physical – like spiders and sharks – to the esoteric – like claustrophobia and paranoia – to the otherworldly – like demons and vampires and witches (oh my!). What scares one person might be unicorns and rainbows to someone else. But set up properly, even unicorns and rainbows can scare the crap out of you.

To me, conveying fear isn't just about describing a situation, object, or person that someone might find scary, but giving a blow-by-blow of the event and actually detailing the fear reaction in the characters.

We all know exactly what it feels like to be scared. First you have the anticipation: What's behind that closed door? What's making that scratching noise in the attic? What's lurking in the deep, dark waters? It's the tensing of muscles like you're expecting a blow, that stretching of all your senses, trying to see/feel/hear/smell danger before it pounces on you. The higher the tension is pitched, the bigger the wallop.

Next, the reveal. The door opens to expose a dead body that spills out on top of our poor heroine the moment she turns the doorknob. The scratching noise in the attic inexplicably moves through the ceiling, down the stairs and manifests in a dark, demonic entity. The dorsal fin of a great white shark breaks the surface of the water in which you're swimming. The terror has been revealed in one jarring, scream-inducing moment!

But that's not scary enough, not for the expectant reader. You need the next step in the process – experiencing the fear through the eyes of the main character. We need to feel their bodies tremble as they break out into a cold sweat. We need to hear the blood-curdling scream that explodes from their mouths. We need to internalize the sick, sinking feeling in their stomachs as death closes in around them.

And lastly, the action. Our heroine's panicked flee from the house, our hero's desperate attempt to out maneuver a man-eating shark. Will they survive? Will they escape? Hearts pound in anticipation with every turn of the page!!!!

Broken down, none of these steps in the process seems particularly scream-worthy, but strung together with pacing and tension? WHAM. Horror show.

* * *

About the Author




Gretchen McNeil's YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, and was nominated for "Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012" by Romantic Times. Gretchen's 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don't Get Mad (pitched as "John Hughes with a body count") about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school. The Don't Get Mad series begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. In her spare time, she blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and she was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels.

Gretchen is repped by the incomparable Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


About the Book


Follows the secretive exploits of four high school juniors - Kitty, Olivia, Margot and Bree - at an exclusive Catholic prep school.

To all outward appearances, the girls barely know each other. At best, they don't move in the same social circles; at worst, they're overtly hostile.

Margot Mejia – academically ranked number two in her class, Margot is a focused overachiever bound for the Ivy League.

Kitty Wei – captain of the California state and national champion varsity girls' volleyball team, she's been recruited by a dozen colleges and has dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Olivia Hayes – popular star of the drama program, she's been voted "most eligible bachelorette" two years running in the high school yearbook and has an almost lethal combination of beauty and charm.

Bree Deringer – outcast, misfit and the kind of girl you don't want to meet in a dark alley, the stop sign red-haired punk is a constant thorn in the side of teachers and school administrators alike.

Different goals, different friends, different lives, but the girls share a secret no one would ever guess. They are members of Don't Get Mad, a society specializing in seeking revenge for fellow students who have been silently victimized by their peers. Each girl has her own reason for joining the group, her own set of demons to assuage by evening the score for someone else. And though school administration is desperate to find out who is behind the DGM "events", the girls have managed to keep their secret well hidden.

That is until one of their targets – a douchebag senior who took advantage of a drunk underclassman during a house party, videotaped it on his phone, and posted it on YouTube – turns up dead, and DGM is implicated in the murder.

Now the girls don't know who to trust, and as their tenuous alliance begins to crumble, the secrets they've hidden for so long might be their ultimate undoing.

Preorder Get Even on Amazon
Find Get Even on Goodreads

** Please note: This is an updated repost. AYAP is on limited hiatus until August, with a mixture of old favorites, new posts, and new giveaways.

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34. Barack Obama Finally Honors America’s Greatest Animation Artist

On Monday, Jeffrey Katzenberg became just the second animation figure to receive the National Medal of Arts.

0 Comments on Barack Obama Finally Honors America’s Greatest Animation Artist as of 7/30/2014 5:34:00 AM
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35. Excerpt and Giveaway: Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen

I’m excited to be part of Shana Galen’s pre-pub tour for Love and Let Spy.  I have an exclusive excerpt from the book, as well as two giveaways for you to enter.  Check out the other excerpts by following the entire tour!

Excerpt:

As soon as they stepped into the supper room, the noise from the ball dimmed. Jane’s head throbbed in relief. What she would not give for a night of quiet and a good book on ancient weapons or deadly poisons. Out of habit, Jane scanned the room, taking quick note of her surroundings. Several tables had been laid with delicacies of every sort—-cold meats and thick sauces, glossy fruits, savory breads, and sumptuous sweets. The hot dishes would be set out right before the call to supper, but Jane would have been quite happy with the cold dishes alone. She thought she’d eaten a piece of cheese at some point this afternoon, but that might have been yesterday. She’d spent the better part of the day at the Barbican’s offices, and there was never anything to eat there.

“Now, Jane,” her aunt turned to her and whispered hurriedly, looking back at the door as she did so. Who was she expecting? “I want you to be polite.”

“I am always polite.”

“Yes, but sometimes you are polite in such a way as to actually be insulting. The person to whom you are speaking might not notice, but I do.” Her aunt’s large hazel eyes fastened on Jane’s face and held. Jane did not look away. Instead, she studied her aunt’s handsome features—-her glossy auburn hair, her high forehead, her pointed nose, and her firm mouth. She was barely forty, several years younger than her husband, and she had obviously been a beauty in her day. She was still a beautiful woman, intelligent as well. Jane felt a little sorry for her, because like most women of her station, there was little for her to do but sip tea, gossip, and marry off her sons and daughters.

But Lord and Lady Melbourne had no sons or daughters. That was a shame, because her aunt would have been a wonderful mother. She had taken in the broken daughter of her husband’s brother and raised her with affection and kindness. And even though Jane had been young when she’d come to live with her aunt and uncle, she had never thought of them as mother and father. There was a distance between them, a formality.

Lady Melbourne peered at the door again, and Jane followed her gaze. “Who is it I am to meet?”

“A Mr. Dominic Griffyn. His mother is the Marchioness of Edgeberry.”

Edgeberry… Jane had an image of a passel of attractive young men, all with blond hair and brown eyes. They might have been her brothers for all the resemblance they shared.

Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde…

A beautiful and eligible member of the ton, Jane has more than a few secrets: she’s one of the Crown’s most elite agents. She may be deadly, but she doesn’t know a thing about fashion, flirtation, or love…until Dominic Griffyn shakes up her carefully stirred world and asks her to be his bride. He’s exactly the kind of man she’s not looking for. And he’s dangerous, because falling into his arms is so much more satisfying than saving England from her enemies.

He’s an improper gentleman who needs a wife…

Tall, dark, and tortured, Dominic Griffyn is haunted by demons from his past. When his stepfather insists that he marry, Dominic allows himself to hope that the beautiful but mysterious Miss Bonde might help him forget his troubles. As they grow closer, it’s clear that there’s more to Jane than danger. She might be just what his neglected heart needs.

Pre-order Love and Let Spy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1r9gG4W

B&N: http://bit.ly/1kFuGOQ

Apple: http://bit.ly/1nfku4t

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1mgWs8Z

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/Wne0GR

BAM: http://bit.ly/Wnepcl

Indigo: http://bit.ly/1u08WqK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am giving away a copy of Lord and Lady Spy! US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the stops on the tour to read all of the excerpts.

21-Jul

From the TBR Pile

http://fromthetbrpile.blogspot.com/

Excerpt One

22-Jul

SOS Aloha

http://sosaloha.blogspot.com/

Excerpt Two

23-Jul

Bookhounds

http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/

Excerpt Three

24-Jul

Urban Girl Reader

http://urbangirlreader.com/

Excerpt Four

25-Jul

Long and Short Reviews

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/

Excerpt Five

28-Jul

The Book Vixen

http://www.thebookvixen.com/

Excerpt Six

29-Jul

Cocktails and Books

http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com/

Excerpt Seven

30-Jul

Manga Maniac Café

http://www.mangamaniaccafe.com/

Excerpt Eight

31-Jul

The Reading Café

http://www.thereadingcafe.com/

Excerpt Nine

1-Aug

Broken Teepee

http://www.brokenteepee.com/

Excerpt Ten

The post Excerpt and Giveaway: Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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36. The Kills review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Richard House's The Kills.
       Man Booker-longlisted last year in the UK, it is now coming out in the US; I'm curious how it will do. House does have his American connections, and the novel(s) feature many American characters and much of it deals with aspects of the American occupation of Iraq. But do US readers want to be reminded of the tremendous amount that was lost there ? (In terms of: lives, souls, cash, idealism, principles, credibility.)
       Interesting, too, that, after initially being released in a digital version in the UK -- 'digitally augmented' with a variety of video clips -- the US publishers have chosen to focus on The Kills-as-literary/printed-text (i.e. are pretty much ignoring the digital frills and not pointing readers towards them -- though they are available online).

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37. A Few Books to Read Aloud Just Because

I'm really hoping to read a picture book a day this year as part of our morning meeting. I want to read one that is just for fun. So often I find great fun books but books with no real connection to what we are doing. I read lots of books aloud each day to my kids but they all seem connected to a lesson. I know the power of reading lots of books and I know that giving myself time each day to share one book "just because" every day will be something that grows. I think the books will come back into conversations and we'll have more books to learn from. This is really a routine that gives me permission to take 5-10 minutes to share a fun book--not as part of a mini lesson, not because it teaches something important, but just because it is a great book.  I imagine these books that I read every morning will be read and reread during independent reading time, just because they are great books.

Of course I Want My Hat Back and Carnivores will be on my stack. (I would read those two aloud every day if I could justify it!) But, here are a few new books that I am excited to share because they are just great books.

Here Comes the Easter Cat is just HYSTERICAL. I laugh every time I read it. And no, I am not going to wait until Easter to read this book. It is way too good for that. It is funny any time of the year.


Elizabeth, Queen of the Seascity.  This is a great story and one I fell in love with immediately.  I wouldn't call this a "fun" book but definitely one that will go in my Morning Meeting Reads basket as one I want to share with kids just because it's a great story.


Pardon Me! is an almost wordless book and I do love those.  It is a great story with amazing illustrations. And there are a few surprises along the way. I love a book with a good surprise!


I read EVERYTHING Peter Brown writes to my class.  Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Awards)) was a definite favorite last year. Peter Brown's new book, My Teacher is a Monster is his newest and  one I'm sure they'll love. I'm counting on this one to starts some great conversations too.

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38. STORE SNAPS - royal festival hall

Also today sticking with The Southbank Centre in London, I have a selection of snapshots from the Royal Festival Hall shop. I was very pleased to see that they are stocking a full range of products by designer Kate Clarke whose work I love and who featured in the Print & Pattern 2 book. Scroll down for snapshots starting with a selection from design studio Rude and if you cannot visit the Royal

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39. Humanitarian protection for unaccompanied children from Central America

By Jennifer Moore


We are approaching World Humanitarian Day, an occasion to honor the talents, struggles, and sacrifices of tens of thousands of humanitarian workers serving around the world in situations of armed conflict, political repression, and natural disaster. The nineteenth of August is also a day to recognize the tens of millions of human beings living and dying in situations of violence and displacement in West Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and every corner of the globe.

The notion of humanitarianism is linked to humanitarian law, the law of armed conflict or jus in bello, which strives to lessen the brutality of war, guided by the customary principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality, and humanity. But humanitarian workers animate these humanitarian principles on the ground in situations of human catastrophe that span the continuum of human and natural causation and overwhelm our capacity to categorize human suffering.

Today, humanitarian workers are active in every country in the world: from International Committee of the Red Cross workers in Nigeria helping displaced persons from communities attacked by Boko Haram insurgents; to UN High Commissioner for Refugees staff in Jordan and Lebanon assisting refugees from the civil war in Syria and Iraq; to Catholic Charities volunteers and staff in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States sheltering women and children fleeing gang violence, human trafficking, and entrenched poverty in Central America.

US/Mexico border fence near Campo, California, USA. © PatrickPoendl via iStockphoto.

US/Mexico border fence near Campo, California, USA. © PatrickPoendl via iStockphoto.

Humanitarian emergencies, whether defined in military, political, economic or environmental terms, have certain basic commonalities: life and livelihood are threatened; communities and families are fractured; farms and food stores are destroyed; and people are forced to move — from village to village, from rural to urban area, from city to countryside, or from one country or continent to another.

Humanitarian workers who engage with communities in crisis are not limited to one legal toolkit. Rather, they stand on a common ground shared by humanitarian law, human rights law, and refugee law. Their life-affirming interventions remind us that all these frameworks are animated by the same fundamental concern for people in trouble. Whether we look to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the principle of protecting the civilian population; to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its norms of family unity and child welfare; to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its prohibition against the forced return or refoulement of individuals to threatened persecution; or to the enhanced protections accorded unaccompanied children in the United States under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, the essential rules are remarkably similar. Victims and survivors of war, repression, and other forms of violence are worthy of legal and social protection. It is humanitarian workers who strive to ensure that survivors of violence enjoy the safety, shelter, legal status, and economic opportunities that they require and deserve.

For the unaccompanied children from Central America seeking refuge in the United States, humanitarian protection signifies that they should have the opportunity to integrate into US communities, to have access to social services, to reunify with their families, and to be represented by legal counsel as they pursue valid claims to asylum and other humanitarian forms of relief from deportation. When the US Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980, it was in recognition of our humanitarian obligations under international refugee law. As a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the United States pledged not to penalize refugees for their lack of legal status, but rather to protect them from deportation to threatened persecution. These humanitarian obligations preexist, animate, and complement specific provisions of federal law, including those that facilitate the granting of T visas to trafficking victims, humanitarian parole to individuals in emergency situations, and asylum to refugees. When new emergencies arise, our Congress, our executive, and our courts fashion the appropriate remedies, not out of grace, but to ensure that as a nation we fulfill our obligations to people in peril.

As an American looking forward to World Humanitarian Day, I am thinking about the nearly 70,000 unaccompanied children from Central America apprehended by the US Customs and Border Protection agency over the past 10 months; the 200 Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan women and children who have stayed at the Project Oak Tree shelter in the border city of Las Cruces, New Mexico this month; and the over 400 children and families detained within the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in the small town of Artesia, New Mexico this very week. These kids and their families are survivors of poverty, targets of human trafficking, victims of gang brutality, and refugees from persecution. They have much in common with the displaced children of Northern Nigeria, Syria, and Iraq. Like their counterparts working with refugees and displaced persons throughout the world, the shelter volunteers, community residents, county social workers, immigration attorneys, and federal Homeland Security personnel who help unaccompanied children from Central America in the United States are all humanitarian workers. But so are our elected officials and legislators. And so are we. How will we honor World Humanitarian Day?

Jennifer Moore is on the faculty of the University of New Mexico School of Law. She is the author of Humanitarian Law in Action within Africa (Oxford University Press 2012). Read her previous blog posts.

Oxford University Press is a leading publisher in international law, including the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, latest titles from thought leaders in the field, and a wide range of law journals and online products. We publish original works across key areas of study, from humanitarian to international economic to environmental law, developing outstanding resources to support students, scholars, and practitioners worldwide. For the latest news, commentary, and insights follow the International Law team on Twitter @OUPIntLaw.

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40. DESIGNER - morag myerscough

This is wonderfully colourful work of Morag Myerscough. I discovered Morag through the current exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London where in front of the Royal Festival Hall the most unusual temple was being built from painted wood panels of colourful geometrics and bold typography. Below are my snap shots taken at the Temple of Agape which was commissioned by The

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41. Education and crime over the life cycle

By Giulio Fella and Giovanni Gallipoli


Crime is a hot issue on the policy agenda in the United States. Despite a significant fall in crime levels during the 1990s, the costs to taxpayers have soared together with the prison population. The US prison population has doubled since the early 1980s and currently stands at over 2 million inmates. According to the latest World Prison Population List (ICPS, 2013), the prison population rate in 2012 stood at 716 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, against about 480 in the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation – the two OECD countries with the next highest rates – and against a European average of 154. The rise in the prison population is not just a phenomenon in the United States. Over the last twenty years, prison population rates have grown by over 20% in almost all countries in the European Union and by at least 40% in one half of them. The pattern appears remarkably similar in other regions, with a growth of 50% in Australia, 38% in New Zealand and about 6% worldwide.

In many countries – such as the United States and Canada – this fast-paced growth has occurred against a backdrop of stable or decreasing crime rates and is mostly due to mandatory and longer prison sentencing for non-violent offenders. But how much does prison actually cost? And who goes to jail?

The average annual cost per prison inmate in the United States was close to 30,000 dollars in 2008. Costs are even higher in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada. Punishment is an expensive business. These figures have prompted a shift of interest, among both academics and policymakers, from tougher sentencing to other forms of intervention. Prison populations overwhelmingly consist of individuals with poor education and even poorer job prospects. Over 70% of US inmates in 1997 did not have a high school degree. In an influential paper, Lochner and Moretti (2004) establish a sizable negative effect of education, in particular of high school graduation, on crime. There is also a growing body of evidence on the positive effect of education subsidies on school completion rates. In light of this evidence, and given the monetary and human costs of crime, it is crucial to quantify the relative benefits of policies promoting incarceration vis-à-vis alternatives such as boosting educational attainment, and in particular high school graduation.

When it comes to reducing crime, prevention may be more efficient than punishment. Resources devoted to running jails could profitably be employed in productive activities if the same crime reduction could be achieved through prevention.

iStock_000012526327Small

Establishing which policies are more efficient requires a framework that accounts for individuals’ responses to alternative policies and can compare their costs and benefits. In other words, one needs a model of education and crime choices that allows for realistic heterogeneity in individuals’ labor market opportunities and propensity to engage in property crime. Crucially, this analysis must be empirically relevant and account for several features of the data, in particular for the crime response to changes in enrollment rates and the enrollment response to graduation subsidies.

The findings from this type of exercise are fairly clear and robust. For the same crime reduction, subsidizing high school graduation entails large output and efficiency gains that are absent in the case of tougher sentences. By improving the education composition of the labor force, education subsidies increase the differential between labor market and illegal returns for the average worker and reduce crime rates. The increase in average productivity is also reflected in higher aggregate output. The responses in crime rate and output are large. A subsidy equivalent to about 9% of average labor earnings during each of the last two years of high school induces almost a 10% drop in the property crime rate and a significant increase in aggregate output. The associated welfare gain for the average worker is even larger, as education subsidies weaken the link between family background and lifetime outcomes. In fact, one can show that the welfare gains are twice as large as the output gains. This compares to negligible output and welfare gains in the case of increased punishment. These results survive a variety of robustness checks and alternative assumptions about individual differences in crime propensity and labor market opportunities.

To sum up, the main message is that, although interventions which improve lifetime outcomes may take time to deliver results, given enough time they appear to be a superior way to reduce crime. We hope this research will advance the debate on the relative benefits of alternative policies.

Giulio Fella is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary University, United Kingdom. Giovanni Gallipoli is an Associate Professor at the Vancouver School of Economics (University of British Columbia) in Canada. They are the co-authors of the paper ‘Education and Crime over the Life Cycle‘ in the Review of Economic Studies.

Review of Economic Studies aims to encourage research in theoretical and applied economics, especially by young economists. It is widely recognised as one of the core top-five economics journal, with a reputation for publishing path-breaking papers, and is essential reading for economists.

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Image credit: Prison, © rook76, via iStock Photo.

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42. July Books of the Month

Recommend me!It’s time for Books of the Month!I asked you all what books you were reading

. Then I made a word cloud to show which titles are most popular. As he has been for some time now, Percy Jackson leads the pack in popularity, but some other titles have been steadily rising in rank over the months. (Percy had better watch his back! Dork Diaries is sneaking up there!) See for yourself:July books of the monthHarry Potter Readathon

!!!

Let’s keep this going. What books are you reading now? What books do you absolutely, positively love and think everyone in the whole wide world should read? Leave the title (or titles!) in the Comments below. I can’t wait to see what new books you recommend!

See ya,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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43. Boss


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44. SDCC 14: Neil Druckmann… For a Comic Book Writer, He Makes One Hell of a Video Game

By David Nieves

Few stories have truly transcended the bounds of their original media in meaningful ways. Sure movies have become games and vice versa, even we comic book faithful are no stranger to our favorite stories becoming cannon for Hollywood. The catch is few of these attempts ever delivered something that can truly be called an experience, or at least one we’d like to remember. In order for a multiple form story to thrive there has to be a unifying vision. Someone who can traverse the minefield of different studios or individuals trying to take something and change it beyond something fans can recognize, all in the name of mass consumption.

Dark Horse Comics figured out that being successful in bringing a story over from another part of the entertainment industry really only requires one thing, the person who knows it best. In short just call Naughty Dog creative lead Neil Druckmann and let him do anything he wants with whomever he pleases.

SDCC Friday, I got some one-on-one time with one of the best storytelling minds in any medium. We talked a bit about his initial story that would spawn one of the best games of all time, The Last of Us. Along the way he told us about his deeply rooted passion for comic books and revealed a new book coming this Fall. Of course we found time to rave about his collaborator on arguably one of Dark Horse’s best books The Last of Us: American Dreams, Faith Erin Hicks.

His new book, A Second Chance at Sarah will be in comic book stores this Fall through Dark Horse Comics. It’s an occult story involving time paradoxes, regret, and sacrificing for what you love most.

You can hear the full interview below.

After talking with Druckmann, it’s hard not to buy into his magnanimous amounts of  love for the comic book industry. Dude’s got legit comic cred, even before ever writing for Dark Horse.

Don’t count out The Last of Us as being done yet, according to Druckmann himself from our interview it was apparent there’s at least one more story to tell. Of course you can find The Last of Us Remastered out now for PlayStation 4, and the absolutely necessary The Last of Us: American Dreams can be found in comic shops and digitally through Dark Horse Comics.

Featured Image: Naughty Dog Twitter

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45. FLIP 2014

       The Brazilian literary festival, Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty, runs today through 3 August.
       Always a good line-up -- including what they're billing as their first Russian visitor (Vladimir Sorokin -- or, as it apparently is in Portuguese, Vladímir Sorókin). And I like how some of the local talent only goes, footballer-like, by a single name (Claudius, Hubert, Jaguar, Reinaldo).

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46. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 273

There are only a few constants in my life: One of them is that I know I’ll share a prompt and poem on Wednesdays. I hope everyone is ready to let loose this week.

For this week’s prompt, write an outside poem. And I encourage people to actually (physically) get outside if at all possible. Now, the poem itself can be about the great outdoors, but it can also be about other iterations of the outside concept. There’s, of course, thinking outside the box, but maybe just getting outside the cubicle or outside the bedroom, hospital room, depression, addiction, and our own heads. So like I said, I hope everyone’s ready to let loose and get outside their comfort zones. Let’s poem!

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

*****

Pre-order the Latest Poet’s Market!

The 2015 Poet’s Market is now available for pre-order at a discounted price. Get the most up-to-date information for publishing your poetry, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, magazines and journals, contests and awards, and more!

Plus, this edition includes information on poetic forms, poet interviews, articles on the craft and business of poetry, and so much more!

Click to continue.

******

Here’s my attempt at an Outside Poem:

“box”

everything i do must fit inside a box
whether it’s the pictures i download
words i write including my status updates

& then at the store i know the box
records my every movement to make sure
i’m not taking what i haven’t purchased yet

i feel my house wants to be a box
now that i’ve unpacked so many within
its walls releasing books dvds & paper

my poems don’t work well in a box
i tend to write them in notebooks & scribble
new stanzas line breaks & draw arrows

because it’s hard to move in a box

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He loves reading poetry, writing poetry, and studying poetry–but he especially loves sharing poetry and is happy that Poetic Asides is a place that accommodates just that.

Robert thinks Wednesdays, of course, rock, because they help him write at least one poem each week. Everything above and beyond that is gravy, icing, or whatever else floats your boat.

Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodness here:

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47. Would You Read It Wednesday - The July Pitch Pick! PLUS Straight From The Editor And Summer Vacation :)

Do you guys know what today is?

Well, yes, you're right, it is Would You Read It Wednesday.

It also happens to be the day before my granddaughter's 3rd birthday (which coincidentally falls on the same day as Harry Potter's, Neville Longbottom's, and J.K. Rowling's! :))

It also happens to be National Cheesecake Day, which I intend to honor in a moment...

But it is also the last day of posting here until September!

It's true.  In order not to be disowned by my family I am taking August off from blogging.  I promised I would, and so I shall.  But it's going to be hard and I'm going to miss you all terribly!

Let's have Something Chocolate to lift our spirits, shall we?  In honor of the day, I'm thinking Chocolate Cheesecake!

Death-By-Chocolate Cheesecake!
Recipe here: http://hotpolkadot.com/2013/02/10/death-by-chocolate-and-the-birth-of-a-blog/
I think I speak for all of us when I say I may not feel that much better about not seeing you for a month but boy is that good! :)

And now, how about Straight From The Editor for May?  Hearing from Erin Molta, our wonderful and helpful visiting editor, always perks us up, doesn't it?

You will recall that the May Pitch Pick was won by Todd with his pitch for Orville Wright's Final Flight.

Here is his winning pitch:

Orville Wright's Final Flight by Todd Burleson (NF PB ages 7-12)

Orville Wright may be best remembered for his first flight, but it was his final flight 41 years later would completely change the world of aviation.  

And here are Erin's thoughts:

This sounds somewhat intriguing but in the crowded nonfiction picture book market you need to give us a little bit more.. Is there any way you can give us a little hint about what made his last flight so special? 

That could make or break whether an editor will ask you for the whole manuscript.

As always, I find her thoughts insightful!  Thank you, Erin :)

And now, it's time for the July Pitch Pick, which is always so exciting :)  Here are our 4 fabulous pitches:

#1 Michelle - Escalators Don't Bite! -  Picture Book (ages 2-6)

Salim, world traveler, worries about whether he’s packed enough crayons. He worries his backpack will come unzipped. But with his whole family on its way to see Grandma and Grandpa, he’s worried most about his little sister Malika, who never does what she’s supposed to do. On her first trip to the airport, Salim knows that if it’s sticky, Malika will spill it. If there’s an escalator, Malika will get stuck on it. And if there’s a red button, Malika will push it. Desperate to ensure his family gets to the gate on time for their flight, Salim has started work on a Little Travelers’ Guide to Airports. But while he’s busy writing, the irrepressible Malika is busy exploring. When Salim’s sage travel advice comes up against Malika’s infectious sense of adventure, both siblings learn something important from each other about airport travel safety and fun.

(And Michelle adds: Many thanks to all who gave their revision advice. I hope I've gotten closer with this version!)

#2 Lavanya - How Not to Be a Monster Meal - Picture Book (K-3)
Posey has a brand new room. But something lurks within the gloom -- A monster with a riddle dare! And he's hungry as a bear. If Posey can't outwit the cretin, little Posey will be eaten...


#3  Brandie - The Trouble With Keeping Vikings - Picture Book (ages 4-6)
A boy opens his front door and comes face-to-face with a startling surprise. A Viking horde has come for a visit, and they REEK of mischief. From snot-snakes to clashing swords, the outrageous antics of these pesky pillagers are never-ending. That is until the boy makes a certain phone call that will leave these manner-less brutes quaking in their Viking-boots.

#4 Erin - Love, Emmett - Picture Book (ages 4-8)
Emmett loved books so much that he eventually loved them to pieces…literally. After his favorite one falls apart, Emmett saves the last remaining page, only he can’t remember the story quite right. When his teacher asks the class to share their favorite books, Emmett must decide how to tell the story. But his love for the book might just say everything.

Please vote for the one you think is best and deserves a read by editor Erin Molta by Sunday August 3 at 5 PM.

July Pitch Pick 2014
Thank you so much!

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in September so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

And now, my poppets, I bid you happy August.  I hope you all have tons of fun with your families and your writing and reading, swimming, sailing, sunning, hiking, biking, kayaking, riding, playing volleyball, tennis, baseball, or whatever floats your boat - generally enjoying all summer has to offer!

See you September 10 for the return of Would You Read It, and September 12 for the kick off of Perfect Picture Books Year 3!

xoxoxo :)



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48. The month that changed the world: Thursday, 30 July 1914

July 1914 was the month that changed the world. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and just five weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. But how did it all happen? Historian Gordon Martel, author of The Month That Changed The World: July 1914, is blogging regularly for us over the next few weeks, giving us a week-by-week and day-by-day account of the events that led up to the First World War.

By Gordon Martel


As the day began a diplomatic solution to the crisis appeared to be within sight at last. The German chancellor had insisted that Austria agree to negotiate directly with Russia. While Germany was prepared to fulfill the obligations of its alliance with Austria, it would decline ‘to be drawn wantonly into a world conflagration by Vienna’. Bethmann Hollweg was also promising to support Sir Edward Grey’s proposed conference to mediate the dispute. He told the Austrians that their political prestige and military honour could be satisfied by an occupation of Belgrade. They could enhance their status in the Balkans while strengthening themselves against the Russians through the humiliation of Serbia.

But a third initiative, the direct line of communication between the Kaiser and the Tsar, was running aground. Attempting to reassure Wilhelm, Nicholas explained that the military measures now being undertaken had been decided upon five days ago – and only as a defence against Austria’s preparations. ‘I hope from all my heart that these measures won’t in any way interfere with your part as mediator which I greatly value.’

Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, Chancellor of the German Empire, 1909-1917. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, Chancellor of the German Empire, 1909-1917. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Wilhelm erupted. He was shocked to discover first thing on Thursday morning that the ‘military measures which have now come into force were decided five days ago’. He would no longer put any pressure on Austria: ‘I cannot agree to any more mediation’; the Tsar, while requesting mediation, ‘has at the same time secretly mobilized behind my back’.

The German ambassador in Vienna presented Bethmann’s directive to a ‘pale and silent’ Berchtold over breakfast. Austria, with guarantees of Serbia’s good behaviour in the future as part of the mediation proposal, could attain its aims ‘without unleashing a world war’. To refuse mediation completely ‘was out of the question’.

Berchtold did as he was told. He explained to the Russians that his apparent rejection of mediation talks was an unfortunate misunderstanding and that he was now prepared to discuss ‘amicably and confidentially’ all questions directly affecting their relations. He warned, however, that he would not yield on any of points in the note to Serbia.

At noon, Russia announced that it was initiating a partial mobilization. But the Austrian ambassador assured Vienna that this was a bluff: Sazonov dreaded war ‘as much as his Imperial Master’ and was attempting ‘to deprive us of the fruits of our Serbian campaign without going to Serbia’s aid if possible’.

In Berlin, the chief of the German general staff began to panic. A few hours after the Russian announcement he pleaded with the Austrians to mobilize fully against Russia and to announce this in a public proclamation. The only way to preserve Austria-Hungary was to endure a European war. ‘Germany is with you unconditionally’. Moltke promised that a German mobilization would immediately follow Austria’s.

In St. Petersburg the war minister and the chief of the general staff tried to persuade Nicholas over the telephone that partial mobilization was a mistake. The Tsar refused to budge. When Sazonov met with the Tsar at Peterhof at 3 p.m. he argued that general mobilization was essential; war was almost inevitable because the Germans were resolved to bring it about. They could easily have made the Austrians see reason if they had desired peace. The Tsar gave way. At 5 p.m. the official decree announcing general mobilization was issued.

In Paris the French cabinet was also deciding to take military steps. They agreed that – for the sake of public opinion – they must take care that ‘the Germans put themselves in the wrong’. They would try to avoid the appearance of mobilizing while consenting to at least some of the requests being made by the army. Covering troops could take up their positions along the German frontier from Luxembourg to the Vosges mountains, but were not to approach closer than 10 kilometres. No train transport was to be used, no reservists were to be called up, no horses or vehicles were to be requisitioned. Joffre, the chief of the general staff, was displeased. These measures would make it difficult to execute the offensive thrust of his war plan. Nevertheless, the orders went out at 4.55 p.m.

In London Grey bluntly rejected Bethmann’s neutrality proposal of the day before: ‘that we should bind ourselves to neutrality on such terms cannot for a moment be entertained’. Germany was asking Britain to stand by while French colonies were taken and France was beaten in exchange for Germany’s promise to refrain from taking French territory in Europe. Such a proposal was unacceptable ‘for France could be so crushed as to lose her position as a Great Power, and become subordinate to German policy’. On the other hand, if the current crisis passed and the peace of Europe preserved, Grey promised to endeavour to promote an arrangement by which Germany could be assured ‘that no hostile or aggressive policy would be pursued against her or her allies by France, Russia, and ourselves, jointly or separately’.

Shortly before midnight a telegram from King George arrived at Potsdam. Responding to an earlier telegram from the Kaiser’s brother, the King assured him that the British government was doing its utmost to persuade Russia and France to suspend further military preparations. This seemed possible ‘if Austria will consent to be satisfied with [the] occupation of Belgrade and neighbouring Servian territory as a hostage for [the] satisfactory settlement of her demands’. He urged the Kaiser to use his great influence at Vienna to induce Austria to accept this proposal and prove that Germany and Britain were working together to prevent a catastrophe.

The Kaiser ordered his brother to drive into Berlin immediately to inform Bethmann Hollweg of the news. Heinrich delivered the message to the chancellor at 1.15 a.m. and had returned to Potsdam by 2.20. Wilhelm planned to answer the King on Friday morning. The Kaiser noted, happily, that the suggestions made by the King were the same as those he had proposed to Vienna that evening.

Surely a peaceful resolution was at hand?

Gordon Martel is a leading authority on war, empire, and diplomacy in the modern age. His numerous publications include studies of the origins of the first and second world wars, modern imperialism, and the nature of diplomacy. A founding editor of The International History Review, he has taught at a number of Canadian universities, and has been a visiting professor or fellow in England, Ireland and Australia. Editor-in-chief of the five-volume Encyclopedia of War, he is also joint editor of the longstanding Seminar Studies in History series. His new book is The Month That Changed The World: July 1914.

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49. Utter 2014

       Yeah, I'm not really sure about that name, but this initiative of the Singapore Writers Festival, Utter 2014, sounds reasonably interesting.
       As they explain:

Utter is a special SWF initiative which showcases the best of Singapore writing and celebrates its potential to be adapted into different media and across languages, giving audiences fresh perspectives and a deeper understanding of our home-grown authors.
       In this case it involves four works that have been adapted into short films, which are being screened today, as well as 3 and 6 August.
       Personally, I like writing best as ... writing, and figure if you have to sell an audience on it by presenting it in cinematic form something has gone slightly/terribly wrong. On the other hand ... alternate interpretations in alternate media ... sure, why not ?
       See also Genevieve Sarah Loh on the Best of Singapore literature - onscreen at Today.

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50. A Perfect Place for Ted by Leila Rudge

A Perfect Place for Ted is Leila Rudge's delightfuldebut as a picture book author and illustrator. She has worked, wonderfully, with Meg McKinlay on the fantastic No Bears and two illustrated chapter books (see below for links to my reviews.)On her own, Rudge's book exhibits a sense of humor and illustration style that reminds me of a favorite, Emily Gravett. Ted is a "smart dog with

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