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1. Book of Numbers review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Joshua Cohen's Book of Numbers -- one of the bigger summer books, with Cohen, after publishing with Twisted Spoon, Dalkey Archive Press, and Graywolf (among others) now coming out Random House-mainstream.

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2. DESIGNER - jocelyn proust

Jocelyn Proust is a designer who we last saw on P&P in 2009. After seeing her work featured on Print and Pattern Jocelyn was approached by Annabel Trends (a company manufacturing all sorts of products in Australia) who wanted one of her designs for lovely tea-towels and aprons. At the time Jocelyn wasn’t a pattern designer as such, and continued to work as a graphic designer and to hand paint

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3. Freedom


Stranded mind is more dangerous,
Than stranded body,
A curse for the humanity,
Living continuously in the mist,
Stupendous attempts,
Are required to free the soul,
From lusty deeds and gutsy demons,
From solemn nights,
From dreadful dreams,
To paint the altruistic waves,
To color the emphatic heaven,
That sweeps the heart,
That instills hope in hope,
Then this world will shine,
With creativity of the mind,
Those who are independent,
Those who are affluent,
With positivity and peace

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4. Would You Read It Wednesday #176 - Barnabas The Noisy Ninja (PB)

Avast, me hearties!

We've got a piratically fun pitch up today.  But first, a word from our sponsors...

For anyone who is interested (well, and I guess even if you're not interested... :)), Graduation Weekend was a success.  Everyone from our family who was supposed to graduate did - quite impressively, I might add :)  And some family members were in attendance in all necessary locations.  We took "divide and conquer" to a new level.  After all that planning, agonizing, traveling, etc, I can't believe it's over!

In other news, I'm heartbroken to report I found out yesterday that Punxsutawney Phyllis is going out of print :(  After a ten year run, apparently her time is up :(  I will have to horde as many copies as I can find!

I most definitely feel the need for Something Chocolate after such news, as I'm sure you all do too!   And I have recently heard (much to my delight) that eating chocolate cake for breakfast can help you maintain (or regain) a healthy weight.  I don't know who thought this plan up, but I'm all for it!  I have long suspected this to be the case.  So let's have cake!


I feel slimmer and healthier already, don't you? :)

Today's pitch comes to us from Jason who says, "My inspiration came in part from the many students with Autism I have taught during my 14 years as a special education teacher. I am a member of SCBWI along with a few critique groups out here in Western Massachusetts, where I live with my wife and 5 year old daughter.  When it's not below freezing outside, I love to grill.  (My new favorite is bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, which is as incredible as it sounds.)"   

Here is his pitch:

Working Title: Barnabas The Noisy Ninja
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Barnabas has pirate fever.  He loves to wear buccaneer boots, sing sea shanties, and shout avast at passing strangers.  Unfortunately, he lives in Ninjaville, where silence is golden and pirates are most certainly not welcome.  Exasperated by his piratical nature, his parents enroll him in Ninjagarten, hoping Sensei can tame his ruckus raising ways.  Barnabas, however, has other plans.  After enlisting his fellow ninjalings during recess, Barnabas leads them in a mutiny.  But when the things get out of hand, Barnabas must reign in his ruckus crew.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Jason improve his pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

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 October 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!

Jason is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing how that chocolate cake eating plan works and figuring out how many copies of Phyllis I can grab before they're gone forever!  For which I will no doubt need chocolate sustenance.  It's the Circle of Chocolate.  A lot like the Circle of Life, but yummier :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)



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5. What Books Should You Read?

Scholastic Summer Reading ChallengeIt’s practically summer, and that means you can read all the books you want! YAY! But how do you decide which books to choose? Well, STACKS Staffer Sandy created this helpful graphic. Take a look and find out which books you should read this summer.

And don’t forget to log your minutes in the Summer Reading Challenge!

What books should you read this summer?

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6. CARDS - noi publishing

One of my favourite card companies Noi Publishing have launched a new range of  small cards. These little blank cards will be suitable for any occasion with a mixture of quirky, cute and botanical designs. Look out for them in shops soon or if you are a retailer you can go online now to order.

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7. ILLUSTRATION - erin blazer

Erin Balzer is an illustrator, printmaker and graphic designer living in Vancouver, B.C. Erin crafts her illustrations by hand using a woodcut technique. Erin has an education background in Graphic Design and Studio Art and recently participated in Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells course. Here are some examples of her work and style and Erin can be found online here.

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8. Leena Krohn's aesthetics

       Leena Krohn -- author of, for example, Datura (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) -- discusses her aesthetics at Books from Finland, in When the viewer vanishes.
       She suggests:

The foundations of my possible aesthetics -- like those of all aesthetics -- lie of course somewhere quite different from aesthetics itself. They lie in human consciousnesses and language, with all the associated indefiniteness.

It is my belief that we do not live in reality, but in metareality. The first virtual world, the simulated Pretend-land is inherent in us.
       A helpful introduction to her always interesting work.

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9. Artist of the Day: Inma Lorente

Discover the work of Inma Lorente, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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10. Trudy Ludwig: True Confessions of a Professional Writer

Trudy Ludwig is an award-winning author who specializes in writing children's books that explore the colorful and sometimes confusing world of children's social interactions. Today, we are honored to share Trudy's thoughts about the writing process.

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11. Writer Wednesday: The Common Thread


A while back, Beth Fred and I were talking about mission statements and the common theme in the books we write. Now, you all know I write across genres and age levels, so you can imagine my reaction when Beth said there must be a common theme in all my books.

Um… Yeah, that was me. I've always said I'm not one to write to trends. I write the stories I feel I need to tell. And that's led me to having a pen name for romance while I write speculative fiction under my own name. But after a while, I realized Beth was right. There IS a common theme in all my books. It's self-discovery.

In my Touch of Death series, Jodi finds out she's a special kind of necromancer descended from the Gorgon Medusa. She struggles with what this means for her and how she'll have to adapt her life now that she's poisonous to humans.

In The Monster Within books, Sam dies of cancer at seventeen and is brought back from the dead as a monster who has to kill to survive. She struggles to figure out where she fits into the world and whether or not she's willing to kill others in order to live.

In Perfect For You (Ashelyn Drake title), Meg is trying to find herself again after having her heart broken in a very public and humiliating way. As much as it's about her finding the right guy, it's about her finding herself.

In A Lion's Song (my most recent picture book), Amara is trying to figure out her place in the pride when she's the only lion who can't roar.

I could keep going with all my books, but I think you can see the common thread. All my MCs are struggling to figure out who they are in this world and what that means for them. So I do have a common theme after all, even if I didn't know I did at the time I wrote these books.

What common theme pops up in your work?

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12. Q &A: Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

       In the Irish Times Martin Doyle has a Q & A with Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, whose By Night the Mountain Burns (see the And Other Stories publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) is Independent Foreign Fiction Prize-shortlisted
       I like that he doesn't go for the 'Which writers, living or dead, would you invite to your dream dinner party ?' question -- answering: "Having their books is enough." And nice to see him mention Francisco de Quevedo's El Buscón (twice).

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13. 2015 Nesting Loons

Today, after teaching, and after starting a large order for the campground store, I grabbed my camera and headed to the lake.  No sooner had I pushed off shore, I spied a loon fishing halfway across the lake.

I drifted toward it, as I fiddled with my camera to get just the right settings for a slightly cloudy, slightly sunny day.  Suddenly, it popped up beside the kayak.

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It stretched, and dove and stretched again.

 

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And I must say, this is how I feel to finally feel the sun on my shoulders and the warm breezes on my face.

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It took quite awhile, but I spied the nest, too.  Our loons have chosen a new nesting spot, and I must admit to being a bit relieved.

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They haven’t had chicks in two years, and my fingers are crossed that this new nesting site will be a good one for them.

Only time will tell.

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14. Q &A: Jenny Erpenbeck

       Also in the Irish Times Martin Doyle has a Q & A with Jenny Erpenbeck, whose The End of Days (see the publicity pages at New Directions and Portobello, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) is also Independent Foreign Fiction Prize-shortlisted.
       A perhaps unexpected but nice choice:

What is the funniest book you've read ?

The Weather Fifteen Years Ago by Wolf Haas.
       (Best Translated Book Award shortlisted a few years ago, in 2010, I still don't understand why no UK publisher hasn't taken a chance on this.)

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15. WTGB: Ellie in Borderlands? Mad Max, Batman Beyond, and Who Wants to be a Cat?

A few days off, one day on, then we go back on the road for another show. Hope your Memorial Day was well spent. I’m Back from Punk Rock Bowling and now we get set for our next destination, Phoenix, for one of the best comic shows around.  Let’s talk about the recent news in gaming and give away some more Secret Wars books. On the rundown today; Ashley Johnson reunites with Troy Baker, Resident Evil gets yet another remake, Arkham adds some new duds, Mad Max, and have you ever wanted to be a cat? Let’s Go!

 

Ashley Johnson grew up for a bit in front of our eyes on the tail end of the ABC sit com Growing Pains. (RIP Boner!) Little did we know back then Chrissy Seaver would grow up to be a pop culture darling when she loaned her voice to the iconic Ellie in Naughty Dog’s masterpiece The Last of Us. Recently, Telltale Games announced the actress would reunite with her TLOU co-star Troy Baker for the latest episode of the Tales From the Borderlands series. She is reportedly voicing a “core” character and from all of the indication of the developers on twitter; she’s stolen the show. Not much else is known at this time but episode three of this series is expected in Fall 2015.

You can catch up on the Tales From the Borderlands games so far digitally through PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam. Find more about the game on Telltale’s website.

Our Thought:

If there’s one thing Telltale is the best at, it’s telling a story. If there’s two things they’re the best at, it’s working with the most talented voice actors in the industry. With Telltale’s biggest endeavor still a head of them, it’s almost a sure bet we’ll hear Ashley, Troy, Dave Fennoy, Melissa Hutchison, and most of the previous talent the studio has worked with again soon. Maybe it’s their Marvel project, maybe it’s their “supershow”, but expect news on this soon.

 


Capcom dropped news over the holiday weekend of a remaster to the Gamecube classic Resident Evil Zero. Earlier today at an event in Japan, Capcom confirmed Resident Evil 0a remastered version of the popular prequel to the original title in the Resident Evilseries, is currently in development. The game is planned for release on PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC in early 2016.

Here’s a video message from Director Koji Oda and Producer Tsukasa Takenaka about the project:

(If you don’t enable your subtitles, then it’s probably just a message about Japanese pot to you)

Our Thought:

Remaster! Remaster! Remasters!

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Enough with the remasters already. At the very least, Capcom, for the most part, have done them based on older games in their library versus other publishers who’ve brought back PS3 games probably still stuck in our disc drives. It’s the same angst I have towards local LA radio station Alt 98.7 about calling Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” a throwback song. Apparently human history didn’t exist before 1999 when Skynet took over. All mostly kidding aside, Resident Evil Zero was one of those things I bought a Gamecube for but never finished. There’s hope this will one will A) be a noticeable visual upgrade and B) be priced at a point that makes it appealing to pick up an old game with a new paint job. We won’t have to wait long to see something about this as it’s sure to be one of Capcom’s offerings on the E3 floor.


We’re less than a month away from FINALLY getting to play Batman: Arkham Knight. Rocksteady, the studio behind the game, are determined to keep dropping surprises along the way. A few days ago a new live action trailer for the game was released. It’s common to have such videos produced to hype a game. However what’s not typical is having one of the most influential voices in the music industry be a part of it. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor is credited as a music consultant for the video below:

 

As if that wasn’t enough, a new set of Bat-suits were announced as pre-order bonuses for he game. The Batman’s future theme skins include a hefty version of Batman Beyond and a nod to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns with the –built like a tank– old Batman.  These come in addition other previous announced skins and appear to be part of most retailers offerings along with the Harley Quinn pack.

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Batman: Arkham Knight releases on June 23, 2015 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Pre orders are available through the game’s website.

Our Thought:

Come on. Is there anyone out there not getting or excited for this game?


Shockingly the internet managed to, for the most part, agree on its love of the new Mad Max: Fury Road film. In a move that shocked no one, the Mad Max game long in development is back on everyone’s radar.

Avalanche Studios, the developer behind the action packed Just Cause games are behind this open world Mad Max game. You can see by the trailer much of the over-the-top blockbuster badassness is here. In the non-concrete timeline of Mad Max the game takes place before Fury Road. We only have to wait a few short months when the game is released in September for the PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. Find out more about Mad Max at the game’s website.

Our Thought:

With the heat from the astonishing response to Fury Road, it only makes sense WB would want to capitalize with both green lighting a film sequel and the release of the video game. Where most games based on movies fail is in not giving developers a proper cycle to make the game. It doesn’t have to mirror the film at all, but something that lives in that universe should speak to it as a whole. Most games never achieve this because they’re rushed to coincide with their counterpart movie. Avalanche have been at work on Mad Max for more than two years with next-gen hardware. They’ve got a great chance at being more a Riddick than a Bad Boys: Miami Takedown (I could barely type that without vomiting)


Finally to wrap things up something came into my inbox that just had to be shared with the world. It doesn’t have to do with games based on comics or vice versa, but it’s importance is no less diminished. Some time ago a game let you step into the hooves of being a goat. Chewing up everything insight, head butting objects out of spite, it was all there. Now cat lovers can rejoice!

Catlateral Damage is a first-person destructive cat simulator where you play as a cat on a rampage, knocking as much stuff onto the ground as possible. That’s the F**king description!

The game is available on PC download platforms. You can find out more about Catlateral Damage on the game’s website.

Our Thought:

Haven’t you ever wanted to wreck everything and blame it on the dog? As a society what’s left to conquer?

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Now let’s giveaway a bunch of Secret Wars books (digitally)

I won’t tell you what’s what because I’m an awful human being; but here’s a few of codes for last week’s Secret Wars offerings including Battleworld, Secret Secret Wars, Loki, Planet Hulk, and more… (First Come First Served) Marvel.com/redeem

FMC6RDN62A6P

FMC19QSFR5LU

FMCTHKXQBTPL

FMCSI3LPWUSA

FMC53APWGV7W

FMCG8V9PYIHN

FMDQL3E9RUJX

 

 

 

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: When Darkness Ends by Alexandra Ivy

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for When Darkness Ends by Alexandra Ivy

When Darkness Ends
Guardians of Eternity # 12

By: Alexandra Ivy

Releasing May 26, 2015

Zebra

Blurb

The Guardians of Eternity are facing a final battle to save their world—but battles of the heart may be the most difficult to fight…

Cyn, the vampire clan chief of Ireland, is an unabashed hedonist whose beauty is surpassed only by his insatiable appetite for pleasure. It’s no wonder he’s furious when he’s transported from the magical land of the pureblooded feys to his desolate private lair—only to have his very existence thrown into a chaos that even he cannot charm his way out of…

Most women may be all but powerless against Cyn, but Fallon, a sharp-witted fairy princess, is less than beguiled by the silver-tongued vampire. She’s a serious soul with no time for the sort of games he plays—especially when they learn that someone is trying to close the veil that separates the dimensions. But seduction may prove the most powerful force of all, as attraction ignites between the unlikely pair even as worlds are colliding around them…

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/03/when-darkness-ends-guardians-of.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22859817-when-darkness-ends?ac=1
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/40933-guardians-of-eternity

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

Author Info

ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

 

Excerpt

Laigin (Ireland), 1014 AD

The man woke with a blinding headache, stripped of his clothing as well as his memories.

With a groan, he sat up, shoving his tangled hair out of his face. It was immediately obvious he was in a damp cave. A strange place to wake. But not nearly as strange as the abrupt realization that something was terrifyingly wrong with him.

Despite the darkness he was able to see the limestone walls that had been chiseled by the water dripping from the low ceiling as clear as if it were day. And it was not only his sight that was unbearably acute.

He could smell the distant salt of the sea. And hear the faint scramble of a bug crossing the stone floor. He could even detect the warmth of two creatures that were rapidly approaching the cave.

What madness was this?

No man should have the senses of a god. Not unless he was a monster.

The dark thoughts barely had time to form before they were interrupted by a hunger that thundered through him. He groaned. It was as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Months. But it wasn’t the thought of food that made his stomach cramp, he realized with a flare of horror.

It was . . . blood.

His mouth watered, the pain of his fangs ripping through his gums startling him as the image of the red, intoxicatingly rich substance filled his mind.

He had to feed.

Aye. That was what he needed.

Disgusted with the knowledge, he slowly rose to his feet, a virile strength running through his massive body even as his head remained thick with confusion.

His instincts urged him to leave the cave, to hunt down his prey and bury his fangs deep in their throats, but the tantalizing scent of fresh strawberries kept him frozen in place.

It appeared that his prey was willingly coming to him.

And they smelled . . . delectable.

Like an animal, he warily shuffled to the deepest shadows. From his vantage point, he silently watched the two slender creatures enter the cave. His eyes widened at the sheer beauty of the strangers. The male had hair the color of rust with bold green eyes set in a lean face, while the female possessed long tawny hair with eyes the shade of spring grass.

They looked like angels.

His fangs ached, his muscles tensing as he prepared to strike.

Angels or not, they were about to become dinner.

But before he could charge, the male held up a slender hand, the scent of strawberries becoming overpowering.

“Hold, berserker,” he commanded, a tingle of magic in the air.

He frowned. “I am a berserker?”

“You were.”

The confusion only deepened. “Were?”

“Two nights ago you were attacked by a clan of vampires.”

He shook his head, his hand instinctively lifting to touch his neck.

“I survived?”

The pretty female grimaced. “Not as a human. The local villagers left you in this cave to see if you would rise as a vampire. Even now they are on their way to either witness your corpse or slaughter you.” She held out a slender hand. “Come with us in peace and we will harbor you until you are able to care for yourself.”

Vampire . . .

He went to his knees in shock.

Holy shite.

Rafflecopter Giveaway (three copies of WHEN DARKNESS ENDS )

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17. Bloomsbury’s Boldly Bookish Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Today we are so fortunate to be a part of the Boldly Bookish Blog Tour! There are so many awesome books coming out from Bloomsbury and we're excited to be hosting one of the authors, Tiffany Schmidt, author of HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH. Make sure you check out all the books and blogs on the tour, and don't miss the giveaway at the end of this post! Becca asked Tiffany: When I first got Hold

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18. International literature-prize day

       A big day for international literary prizes in the English-speaking world, as they'll be announcing:

       I'll be at the BTBA announcement -- I'm one of the fiction-judges -- and I'll report on all the winners/finalists tomorrow.

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19. क्या है मीनोपोज

मीनोपोज या प्री मीनोपोज के बारे मे जानकारी का अभाव महिलाओं को और ज्यादा तनाव ग्रस्त कर देता है. पर ये जानना बहुत जरुरी है कि बीमारी नही है मीनोपोज पर क्या है मीनोपोज  बेशक, ये भी एक कठिन दौर  होता है जब बेहद रक्तस्राव होने से कमजोरी आ जाती है और बहुत लक्षण महिलाए को तनाव मे डाल देते हैं.

कल एक पार्टी में मेरी पुरानी सहेली मिली. मिली क्या असल में मैने ही उसे ढूढा. एक किनारे पर चुपचाप बैठी थी. मुझे भी उसने सूखा सा हैलो बोला. यहां वहां की बात करने के बाद जब मैने उससे उसका हाल चाल पूछा तो उसने बताया कि कुछ समय से पता नही उसे क्या होता जा रहा है . कुछ करने का मन नही करता एक अजीब तरह की बेचैनी सी  महसूस होती है. उसे न भूख लगती न ही कहीं जाने की इच्‍छा होती है कई बार  आधी रात को पसीने से तर हो जाती हूं और नींद खुल जाती है कई बार सारी सारी रात नींद ही नही आती तो कई  बार दिन मे बहुत नींद आती है. कई बार दस दस दिन रक्तस्राव होता है तो कई बार तीन तीन महीने हो जाते हैं रक्तस्राव ही नही होता.  मैने इस बात को जरा भी गम्भीरता से नही लिया. उसे बताया कि यह भी एक तरह का चक्र है जिसमे हम महिलाओं को धर्य और संयम के साथ  दो चार होना पडता है अब इसे सहर्ष स्वीकार कर लें या तनाव बना कर रखें ये अपने हाथ मे है. उसने बताया कि डाक्टर भी उसे यही कह रही थी. अल्ट्रा सांऊड भी करवाया है वो भी ठीक है …

मैने जो नेट पर पढा था या जो अपने अनुभव थे उसे बताए कि उसे अपना ख्याल कैसे रखना चाहिए

Women in Menopause Need Foods With These Minerals and Vitamins

http://www.empowher.com/menopause/content/menopause-you-need-foods-these-vitamins-and-minerals

 

Plenty of things change as women approach menopause. Fortunately, some undesirable consequences like bone loss and hot flashes may be reduced with a few diet changes.

Menopause is a difficult time for many women. It can be a little reassuring to know that the foods you put on your shopping list can make a difference, and can help restore some sense of normalcy to your life. Read more…

मीनोपोज में सबसे ज्यादा जरुरी है कि खुद को व्यस्त रखें.. खुश रखे अपना ध्यान अच्छी बातों में लगाए और सबसे ज्यादा जरुरी खान पान पर ध्यान देना है आयरन और कैल्शियम का सही सेवन बहुत जरुरी है क्योकि कई बाद बहुत ब्लीडिंग होने से शरीर में कमजोरी आ जाती है सही मायनों में क्या है मीनोपोज प्रश्न आपको तंग नही करेगा और वैसे भी  जिंदगी को pause नही करता मीनोपोज …

 

महिलाओ की छोटी छोटी समस्याओं के बारे में गायनाकोलोजिस्ट रचना सांगवान से लिया मेरा एक इंटरव्यू एक वीडियों

 

 

The post क्या है मीनोपोज appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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20. Author Websites

What information should you include on your author website?

http://blog.leeandlow.com/2015/04/08/book-marketing-101-what-to-put-on-your-author-website/

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21.



Join us Saturday at Reno’s 2015 Lit Crawl for a reading from The Book of Nonsense alongside Heather Petty and Terri Farley (Lake Mansion, 250 Court St. at 5:00 p.m.) The Book of Nonsense reboots 5/28! The new Forbidden Books Series will also be published by the Modern Press, Co. in China. Film news shared Sat. night!  -Dms

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22. mad max fury road

Since everyone is busy drawing amazing pictures of Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max - Fury Road, I thought the world needed a very bad drawing of the Doof Warrior:



And here is an article about the actor who play the Doof Warrior. I saw the film last week and it's hilarious, I loved it.



Some Doof soundtrack for you (for ambiance) and here's Philip Reeve's film review.



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23. Halfway Mark: Favorite Books (So Far) for 2015

The calendar doesn’t lie; it’s nearly June, which means that summer reading programs are fast approaching. The looming of June also brings ALA Annual, during which awards committees will meet (many in secret, of course) to discuss their readings and thoughts (so far) for 2015.

Although the awards committee meetings are closed to non-members, you can attend meetings for Children’s Notable Books, Children’s Notable Recordings, and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults committees. If you have time during your packed Annual schedule, I recommend attending at least one meeting. It gives you great insight into how committees choose and discuss titles. If you can’t attend meetings in person, look for the committees to publish their nominations lists sometime after Annual (YALSA’s committees for Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks post their nominations lists here, and ALSC’s Notable Books committee usually publishes its first nominations lists here after Annual). They are great collection development tools, especially when it gets closer to Youth Media Awards time! (I check the sites every several months for updates and right before Midwinter). Check the Scheduler section on the conference site for more details on where/when the open committee meetings are held.

If you’re not a committee member and can freely discuss your favorites for the 2015 publication year, please discuss in the comments below! Here are several titles that I personally hope have a shot at making the committee lists and Youth Media Awards. (Did you know that you can nominate books for the Notable Children’s Books and even many awards committees? Check the individual pages for the committees for further detail.)

detective

(image taken from author’s website)

I’m a fan of historical fiction, but even I can admit that it can be heavy and sobering reading at times. If you’re in need of fun, fast-paced historical fiction with a great deal of heart (and mystery!), The Detective’s Assistant (based on the life of the first American female detective) should be in your collection.

finedessert

(image taken from publisher website)

I try not to attach too much hope on any particular book for the Newbery or Caldecott; at the end of the day, my main wish is that we have the titles in our collection on the day the Youth Media Awards are announced. Occasionally I can’t help it, and I get too invested in one book being the big winner.  If A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat is my #1 hopeful (at this point!) for the Caldecott, and I’m already way too invested in it winning, I’m afraid. This extraordinarily researched, written, and illustrated look at the evolution (social and technical) of food preparation through the creation of one dessert (blueberry fool) is one of a kind.

xanovel

 

(image taken from author’s website)

I believe ALSC ran an online poll (last year?) in which it asked readers to vote for their favorite Youth Media Award. While many chose Newbery or Caldecott, quite a few (including me) chose “all of them!” I look forward to each and every announcement of the awards. While X: A Novel is probably more mature than the audience for the Newbery, I’m quite hopeful for its chances for the Coretta Scott King Medal and the Printz Medal. Co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz (Malcolm X’s third oldest daughter) and Kekla Magoon, this is a moving and eye-opening fictionalized look at the childhood and early adulthood of the civil rights leader.

What have been your favorite reads for 2015 (2015 books only, please)? Tell us about them in the comments!

 

 

The post Halfway Mark: Favorite Books (So Far) for 2015 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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24. Refine and Broaden Your Keywords for Better Content Marketing Results

Keywords are what help search engines categorize and index your content. And, it’s what online searchers use to find what they’re looking for. Yes, search engines go by lots of other things to rank your content, but when it comes to searchers, they use keywords. I know I use them personally and for my writing research all the time. But, how do you come up with words or phrases that are what

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25. Sunday Sermon Series

Last Sunday our sermon was about the story of Ruth. Ruth is a story about how God redeems broken lives, brings light to the darkness.

One of the points Pastor Mike touched on was how Naomi's faith was highly visible to those around her. Naomi's faith made a big impact on her daughters-in-law, both of whom refused to leave her side even though their husbands (her sons) had died. Ruth went so far as to return to Naomi's homeland with her (a land that was a bitter enemy of Ruth's birthplace, Moab), and help provide for Naomi. Picture giving up your life here, moving to Iraq, or Iran for good to help your mother-in-law after your spouse has just died.

Rather than do what was easy or comfortable for herself, Ruth did what was best for Naomi. Ruth had seen something in Naomi that convinced her to do this. She had seen Jesus, she had seen "love one another" worked out day after day in Naomi's words and actions. It led me to think about how hard I try to "love one another", and how much harder I should be trying.

So as I listened to the sermon I drew this sketch. Jesus is seen directing Naomi. She is providing for a man, maybe a homeless man, I don't know, but a person in need. He definitely suffers from cartoony giant feet.

I hope you enjoyed this drawing, and thank you for stopping by.

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