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1. 31 Days of Halloween: Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s wraparound cover by Steve Morris

B0pmkUsIUAAjk2V.jpg large 31 Days of Halloween: Buffy The Vampire Slayers wraparound cover by Steve Morris
Okay can you say instant classic? HALLOWEEN JUST GOT REAL, people.

This wraparound cover by Steve Morris is for Buffy The Vampire Slayer  Season 10 #8 and I’m told it’s a great jumping on point.

No, that is not OUR Steve Morris.

The issue is on sale this week.

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2. 31 Days of Halloween: Diamond’s Comicfest and Boom! Studos Halloween Frightfest

stk650211 31 Days of Halloween: Diamonds Comicfest and Boom! Studos Halloween Frightfest

Comics biggest distributor Diamond has slowly been working to make Halloween a huge promotional day for comics shops, with special comics, contests and more. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take too much to get in the Halloween mood, and the promotion has been a big success. You can see a list of special Halloween comcis on the Halloween Comicfest website, such as this one spotlighting Boom! Studios spooky anthology with seasonal stories from Adventure Time, Fraggle Rock and more. This particular story features writing by Bryce Carlson and art by Frazer IRving in a VERY DIFFERENT Adventure Time story.

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2 Comments on 31 Days of Halloween: Diamond’s Comicfest and Boom! Studos Halloween Frightfest, last added: 10/22/2014
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3. Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Special Price for October!

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I’ve arranged a special hardcover book price for October. You can order an autographed book for $12.99 + shipping.

Stock up for the perfect holiday gift for that little loved one in your life.

Cheers!

Tonia Allen Gould


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4. 31 Days of Halloween: Chris Schweizer’s Monster Month

swamp ape 31 Days of Halloween: Chris Schweizers Monster Month

As you can imagine, we’re not the only website counting down Halloween month. Chris Schweizer, comics educator and the man behind the delightful Crogan’s Adventures series from Oni, is posting a mostly daily monster picture  and here’s today’s the Florida Swamp Ape. You can see the rest in the link like this Ghost Rider in the Sky:

ghost rider 31 Days of Halloween: Chris Schweizers Monster Month

 

 

 

 

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5. 31 Days of Halloween: Junji Ito does Pokemon

pokemon junji ito full.0 31 Days of Halloween: Junji Ito does Pokemon

I know we’ve been slacking a bit with 31 Days due to the horrors of New York Comic-Con, but it’s full sped ahead to the pumpkins now. And here is the best thing you will hear today, tomorrow or possibly in a lifetime: Japanese Horror master Junji Ito Is doing a Pokemon collaboration.

Yeah that’s right. The creator of Uzumaki, Museum of Terror, the Long Hair in the Attic and much more, is doing POKEMON.

The news was announced in Japan as a “Collaboration,” you know, like Tokidoki doing Marvel, except terrifying and unspeakable. It’s called “Kowapoke,” which means “Scarypoke” and a single phone wallpaper image has been released thus far. That’s Banette, cute little Banette, admittedly not the nicest Pokemon, now all Kowapoke’d up. T-shirts are being given away in Japan now because life is unknowable and terrifying.

Ito is one of the greatest, most unsettling cartoonists alive. We’ve spotlighted him several times before. This is only the creepy icing on the scary cake!

If you’d like to read some Ito, or just get into his weird world, we strongly recommend Uzumaki, published in one volume late last year, the story of a town obsessed with spirals and the terror they bring. Connie C has a good round-up of his work here.

Source, via Tiny Cartridge

1 Comments on 31 Days of Halloween: Junji Ito does Pokemon, last added: 10/20/2014
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6. Counting the days 'till Halloween: two books to share (ages 3-8)

Young kids love Halloween, but some find scary costumes and stories too frightening. So I'm always on the lookout for books that are a little bit creepy, but are still playful and fun. Two new favorites have lots of kid appeal and throw in practice with counting that's just right for preschoolers and kindergartners.

Ten Orange Pumpkins
A Counting Book
by Stephen Savage
Dial / Penguin, 2013
Your local library
Amazon
ages 3-6
Ten pumpkins start the night neatly stacked outside a farmer's house, but they disappear one by one as they night progresses. Savage combines bold illustrations with rhythmic rhyming text, giving young readers just enough clues so they can figure out what happens to each pumpkin. I especially love his striking use of silhouettes--they are creepy and dramatic, yet also simple and straightforward.

Look how effectively Savage uses the page turn to hook young readers (see the first two pages below). Children will love counting the pumpkins and figuring out where the missing one went. Here's a great example of a book that has so many details in the illustrations that kids can add many layers to the story beyond the text--use this to talk with kids as you read, with prompts like "So what do you notice?" and "Oh, so what happened here?"
"Ten orange pumpkins,
fresh off the vine.
Tonight will be a spooky night."
"Yikes! There are 9."
from Ten Orange Pumpkins, by Stephen Savage
Another new favorite with our kindergarten teachers is Not Very Scary. They love this cumulative story not only for its counting practice, but also for its message. While we all might get a little bit scared at Halloween, it's really just all our friends having fun.
Not Very Scary
by Carol Brendler
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Farrar Straus Giroux / Macmillan, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 4-8
Melly, a cute litte monster, is excited to walk over to her cousin Malberta's house for a Halloween party. Sure it's a gloomy night, but Melly isn't scared--even when she sees "a coal-black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail." She tells herself how brave she is, but readers can tell that she's actually getting scared. Turn the page, and Melly sees "two skittish skeletons" dancing along after the cat.
from Not Very Scary, by Carol Brendler & Greg Pizzoli
Young children know just how Melly feels, getting more and more frightened as each ghoulish creature turns up. This makes the final resolution all the more enjoyable, as Melly realizes that they are all just Malberta's friends coming along to the Halloween party.

Brendler uses wonderfully descriptive language, full of alliteration (grimy goblins, spindly spiders) that makes reading it aloud a joy. Pizzoli's illustrations strike just the right balance, emphasizing the silly fun each creature brings, but never making them too scary. I had a great time reading about his illustration process on his blog and over at his interview at Seven Impossible Things.

The review copy of Not Very Scary was kindly sent by the publishers, Macmillan Books. The review copy of Ten Orange Pumpkins came from our school library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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7. Scary stories for beginning readers (ages 5-8)

Kids get so excited about Halloween -- and I love tapping into that excitement in the library, especially if I can hook more kids into reading. Writing for beginning readers must be one of the most difficult tasks. Here are two books that are goofy-scary, funny but with enough creepiness to keep young kids reading.

illustrated by Michael Emberly
Little, Brown, 2007
ages 5-8
These stories, part of a favorite series with 1st and 2nd graders, are ideal for reading aloud. Each poem is meant to be read by two voices, alternating back and forth. Hoberman uses the spooky settings creating delightful fun and celebrating joy in reading.

Here's the beginning of "The Mummy" as two kids go exploring and discover a mummy. "Let's explore inside this tomb, / I'm afraid we'll meet our doom." I love the rhythm and rhyme of Hoberman's text, and Emberly's pictures reach just the right balance between goofy and creepy.
sample from Mary Ann Hoberman's website
Hoberman's poems focus on thirteen different Halloween mainstays, ranging from "The Skeleton" to "The Witch and the Broomstick." Seek out all the titles in this terrific series.
Monster School
The Spooky Sleepover
I Can Read! #2
by Dave Keane
Harper Collins, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 5-8
Norm is a nervous about his first sleepover--it's going to be at school, and it's his first time sleeping away from home. "I miss my bed already," worried Norm. Kids will relate to Norm's worries, but they'll laugh at all the word play in this story.

Norm's friends at school are all monsters, from Gary the ghost to Harry the werewolf who turns hairy. Keane does a great job creating funny interplay between the words and pictures. Below, you can see that Isaac, the purple monster in the blue PJs, is literally crying his eyes out -- and they're bouncing all around him. 2nd graders love this play on words, plus the silly gross-out factor.
sample from iTunes preview
Keane's Monster School series works well for kids who can read longer sentences on their own, but still want short, high-interest stories to keep them engaged.

Are there other monster or ghost stories that work well for your developing readers? Our superhero beginning readers are also in high demand right now, especially with kindergartners and first graders.

The review copy of Monster School was kindly sent by the publishers, HarperCollins Publishers. The review copy of You Read to Me, I'll Read to You came from our school library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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8. This is Halloween

mummy_poem-robertabaird

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9. 31 Days of Halloween: Bobby Timony’s Monster Pin Up Girl Playing Cards

d99a71ec6353ff0ee9e0ebd5380e52e4 large 31 Days of Halloween: Bobby Timonys Monster Pin Up Girl Playing Cards
Kickstarter alert! Bobby Timony (The Night Owls, The Horror Lovers, Detectobot and Goblin Hood) is Kickstarting a deck of playing cards adorned with cute monster girl pin-ups.
That says it all right?
Timony’s cartoon-esque art is just right to present monsters girls who are sexy without being over the top, and just the right sense of humor as well. If the Kickstarter succeeds (only $8000, so let’s do it!) it’ll also be presented as a hardcover with a foreword by Molly Crabapple. Timony’s doing 54 different illustrations for the set, which is perfect for playing all your scary Halloween card games like Go Monster Fish and 21 Devils on Horseback.
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10. 31 Days of Halloween: Mike Mignola’s Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland

WFUL CVR  31 Days of Halloween: Mike Mignolas Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland

It seems we’re not the only ones obsessed with Halloween—Mike Mignola and Dark Hose have been running a 13 Days of Hellboy festival, celebrating all kinds of artwork and story reveals in the Hellboy.

And we’re officially crossing over with this exclusive reveal of Mignola’s cover for the trade paperback Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland. This is the latest book in a Hellboy spin-off series that centers on Sir Edward Grey, a Victorian detective of the occult who figures in the past of the Hellboy timeline.

This mini-series features art by Tyler Crook and colorist Dave Stewart and a script by acclaimed horror writer Kim Newman, best known for ANNO DRACULA, a take on the historic bloodsucker much admired by authors including Neil Gaiman; and British Fantasy Award nominee Maura McHugh (Jennifer Wilde). 

The story involves Grey investigating a swamp called the Unlands which happens to be full of  giant eels—and let’s face it, nothing says Halloween like a swamp full of giant eels.

 

Here’s all the 13 days of Hellboy announcements thus far:

Wednesday, October 1 – New Frankenstein Underground mini series

Thursday October 2 – Baltimore: The Wolf and the Apostle #1 preview

Friday October 3 – HELLBOY & THE BPRD  preview

Saturday October 4 – BPRD 1946-1948 new cover by Laurence Campbell

2 Comments on 31 Days of Halloween: Mike Mignola’s Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland, last added: 10/6/2014
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11. Happy 24-Hour Comic Day!

by Pamela Auditore

By the time some of you read this, weary artists across the country will be putting down their pencil’s as time is called  on 24-Hour Comic Day.

Could you make a Comic in 24 hours?

That’s the challenge artists took up at local Comic Shops like Galaxy of Comics in Van Nuys,CA, Saturday through Sunday morning.

image1 1000x750 Happy 24 Hour Comic Day!

Beginning at 8am artists were busily drawing, inking, writing, painting, and eating boxes of pizza in an effort to complete a 24 page story in 24 hours.  Forcing themselves to stretch the limit of their stamina, hoping to string comic panels into a coherent narrative without the benefit of preparation, pre-planning or a script.

If the artists complete their projects, they’ll earn the satisfaction of achieving something neither Neil Gaiman or  Kevin Eastman (Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles) could in the 24 hour continuous time frame.  Additionally, if they finish, they are given cover letters and invited to send a copy of their comic to the national 24-Hour Comic Book Day archive, which is hosted by the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

The 24-Hour Comic Day event began simply as an exercise in 1990 by Understanding Comics cartoonist, Scott McCloud, to challenge himself and his friend Stephen R. Bissette.  With comic industry big names taking part and spreading the word, metamorphosising into an annual  event in 2004.  (You can read the history here).  Meant to help artists shake off cob-webs, push through blocks, limber up their story telling abilities and push creativity.  Examples Scott McCloud and friend’s  own attempts at a 24-Hour Comics (including Eastman’s and Gaiman’sare archived here.

But what’s in it for the Comic Shop Retailer who hosts the event? I asked Warren Jaycox, owner of Galaxy of Comics.

“We’ve been doing it for a few years now. Its a great event to do, getting very artistic people in to do a 24 page comic is really cool. It’s an event and I can run a sale, make a big t0-doo of it and eat pizza!”

Why put yourself through a sleepless 24-Hours when you don’t have to? (Participants are allowed naps.)

I asked one artist, Andrew, while applying red marker to his sketchpad,”To see if I can make a comic in 24 hours. Normally, I do collage and other artwork. This is my first attempt at doing a comic.”

Another artist, Daphne, told me while taking a break and bite of dessert, “I work in a creative field. sI always need to be doing something creative. Normally, its being creative for other people and I enjoy that. But sometimes its nice to be pushed to be creative entirely for you.”

You can check out more participant’s work here.

In addition, to Galaxy of Comics, two other Comic Shops hosted 24-hour Comic Events in Southern California: The Comic Bug in Torrance https://www.facebook.com/thecomicbug and Four Color Fantasy in Rancho Cucamonga https://www.facebook.com/4cfrancho

Also, if you go to Twitter and look at #24CD, you will see more examples of artwork.

For those interested in participating next year, it will be on the First Saturday in October, regardless of date. For more information and resources http://www.24hourcomicsday.com.

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12. 31 Days of Halloween: Under the Apple Tree by Sarah Winifred Searle

utat 31 Days of Halloween: Under the Apple Tree by Sarah Winifred Searle

Want to read a 96 graphic novel about a young woman and a time travelling ghost for FREE? You can read about the making of the book at the  Under the Apple Tree webpage and download it here.  Cartoonist Sarah Winifred Searle created it as part of a Children’s Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library. here’s the logline:

When sixteen year old Rosie and her mother leave the Boston suburbs and move to a little tourist town in Maine, she is understandably upset. Unfortunately for her, rural life turns out to be more exciting than expected. A bit too exciting, actually.

Rosie must deal with a fate forced upon her by events nearly a century past: she needs to solve the mystery behind the Civil War era soldier who haunts her new home. “Discover the truth,” he pleads, “so I may rest.” Plagued by strange dreams, she digs into the past and discovers secrets about the town. Her mission hits obstacles, however, as she struggles to make friends, find independence, and make it to graduation.

A little mystery, a little magic, a little New England…yep, Halloween is on its way.

 

1 Comments on 31 Days of Halloween: Under the Apple Tree by Sarah Winifred Searle, last added: 10/2/2014
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13. 31 Days of Halloween: Menton3 and 44Flood

monocyte cover1b 31 Days of Halloween: Menton3 and 44Flood

Fall is in the air, bringing a crisp step and the crunch of leaves under foot, and the inevitable—perhaps inescapable—presence of Pumpkin Spice everything all around us! Yes, it’s time for 31 Days of Halloween, The Beat’s annual tribute to our MOST FAVORITEST TIME OF YEAR. And let’s get things going with probably the most obvious link possible…but I have ever written about painter/cartoonist/musician Menton3 on The Beat before so here goes!

Based in Chicago, Menton3—aka Menton J Matthews III—is a painter of atmospheric and disturbing images. While you can find a lot of his work at his website, he’s probably best known these days as a partner in 44Flood, a publishing company that has teamed with IDW to put out art books and comics. Along with fellow artists Kasra Ghanbari, Ben Templesmith and Nick Idell, 44Flood has put out Tome, an artbook which was mostly Kickstarted, Templesmith’s The Squidder, the comic Monocyte, which you see on this page, and Libretto, an anthology of eerieness centering on vampirism. A new volume of Tome is on its way or already here (I couldn’t find a lot of solid news about the bunch.)

Collectively they also do a thing called Monster Mondays, available on the 44Flood webstore, but I’m warning once you start poking around there you’re gonna want to buy something from Menton, Templesmith, Jonathan Wayshack or any number of talented spooky colleagues.

Yep, Halloween is on its way.

Rebis Blur pic 31 Days of Halloween: Menton3 and 44Flood page6 31 Days of Halloween: Menton3 and 44Flood

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14. Holiday Heat Week Release Blitz and Giveaway!

Wow! I can’t believe that the holidays are just around the corner!  I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas because everyone is just so happy!  And there’s a slew of Christmas themed books releasing between now and the end of December, just to make sure you are in the right frame of mind for Santa’s visit.  To get a jump on the season, I have a bundle of holiday themed books up for grabs, thanks to Hachette Books, so settle down with a cup of coffee, read the excerpts, and make sure to enter the giveaway (US/CAN addresses only)!

 

RING IN THE HOLIDAYS by Katie Lane

Psychologist Ellie Simpson is about to get a healthy dose of sex therapy. Leaving her cheating boyfriend behind, she has everything she needs for a quick rebound: Vegas, plenty of champagne, and a proposition from the sexiest man she’s ever seen. As her handsome stranger helps her ring in the New Year-over and over again-Ellie finds herself blissfully losing all of her inhibitions. Attorney Matthew McPherson is good at making women lose things, like their minds and underwear. With his athletic build and soulful eyes, he doesn’t need to use his powers of persuasion or famous last name to get a woman into bed.  But when morning comes, Matthew finds Ellie is the only woman he can’t bear to leave-ever.  It’s enough to make him wonder if what happens in Vegas really has to stay there.

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

Goodreads

About Katie Lane

Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series.  Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn’t writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.
Learn more about Katie Lane at:
www.katielanebooks.com
Facebook.com/katielaneauthor
Twitter, @ktlane3

Excerpt:

Ellie looked like she struggled with a strong desire to beat him over the head with the gigantic purse she held in a stranglehold on her lap. “Then why did you show up at my office saying you needed help for sex addiction?”

He shrugged. “Because I was trying to get in your pants.” Her mouth fell open, and she stared at him in speechless shock. “What?” he said. “Did I shock the Virgin Queen? I guess honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy.”

It only took her a few seconds to regain her composure. “The only time I’ve ever heard anything remotely honest come out of your mouth was in Vegas. And even then, you weren’t completely honest.”

He leaned up until he was inches from her face. “Oh, I was honest that night. Completely. And did you like that, Dr. Simpson? Because there’s a lot more where that came from.” He pulled her onto his lap, knocking her purse to the floor as he pressed her back into the seat. “Here’s some honesty for you. I don’t like you, Dr. Simpson. I don’t like your height or your hair or the prudish clothes you wear.

And I especially don’t like your screwed up, narrow mind.” He slipped his hand up her rib cage, encasing her breast with his thumb and forefinger. “In fact, the only thing I do like is the way you fill out a sweater.” He knew he was being obnoxious and crass, but he didn’t care. He needed his own revenge, and he lowered his mouth to hers and took it out on her sweet flesh.

Even with anger still simmering beneath the surface, the kiss consumed him. Each sip and slide of lips and tongues was like a perfectly synchronized dance. And it was more than just physical perfection. It was an emotional connection. Like two souls who were reunited after being away from each other for too long.

Reunited souls? Good Lord, he had lost his mind. Matthew pulled back, wishing he could somehow start the entire evening over again. Or skip it entirely and go back to the day he’d seen her picture on the cover of that damned book. Or maybe before he met her in Vegas. No, he wasn’t ready to give up the night they had in Vegas. He just couldn’t survive a repeat.

 

A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER ANTHOLOGY: 

by Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . . 

by Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . . 

by Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger. 

by Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . . 

by Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

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Excerpt:

“Which one of these ornaments is yours?” she asked.

He took a funny- looking Santa Claus from the tree. “I made this in my third grade art class.”

Santa was made out of paper plates and construction paper. His hat was folded and bent, his beard was shaped from the rippled edge of the plate, and his button nose was falling off. Linc studied it critically, thinking it was pretty good for third grade. “I do my best work in construction paper and glue.”

“It deserves a place of honor, for sure,” she said solemnly. She reached out to take it from him and her fingers brushed his. He stopped short. It was impossible to ignore the electrical charge that zipped between them. If she’d been any other woman he wouldn’t have hesitated. He would have pulled her into his arms, crushing the silly ornament between their bodies, and kissing her right then and there.

She smiled invitingly and her lips parted a bit, enough so he could feel her soft breath on his cheek. Her eyes softened to a leaf green, and he felt his caution crumble and transform into a maddening urgency. He let the ornament fall to the ground.

Then he was kissing her. She tasted like peppermint tea and smelled like cinnamon and pine needles. Her body melded against his, her breasts pressing against his chest. He wrapped both arms around her like he was claiming something rare and long lost. His fingers tangled in her hair, pulling it from that infernal ponytail. Her mouth opened under his and while their tongues dueled, her hands roamed across his back. It wasn’t enough. Without another thought, he picked her up and headed down

the hall.

From Molly Cannon’s A MESSY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

About the authors

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
You can learn more at:
JillShalvis.com
Twitter @jillshalvis
Facebook.com/jillshalvis

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
You can learn more at:
KristenAshley.net
Twitter @KristenAshley68
Facebook.com/kristenashleybooks 

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
You can learn more at:
HopeRamsay.com
Facebook, www.facebook.com/Hope.Ramsay
Twitter, @HopeRamsay.

Molly lives a charmed life in Texas with hernearly perfect husband and extremely large cat Nelson. When she’s not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with the hubby and watching all kinds of sports.
You can learn more at:
MollyCannon.com
Twitter, @cannonmolly

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.
You can learn more at:
MarilynPappano.com
Twitter, @MarilynPappano
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IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS by Debbie Mason

Free-spirited activist Skylar Davis is out of money and out of options. After using up her trust fund trying to save the world, she hides out in Christmas, hoping the kindness of friends will help her forget the reckless actions of her past. All goes well . . . until she comes face-to-face with one of her mistakes: the town’s gorgeous young mayor. Ethan O’Connor likes his life drama-free and predictable now that he’s about to make the move from small-town politics to the Colorado State Senate. Then Skye blows back into town, as impulsive and passionate as he remembers. If word ever got out about their night together-the night he’s never been able to forget-the scandal could cripple his career. Yet as he starts his campaign, Ethan finds that, like the town of Christmas itself, he can’t get Skye out of his head . . . or his heart.

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Excerpt:

Later that evening, Ethan sat at a table in the local sports bar, the Penalty Box, with Gage and their mutual friend Jack Flaherty. Brandi, wearing her waitress uniform—a black-and-white-striped jersey and a short black skirt—approached with a tray of drinks. “Compliments of the house. Sawyer named the drink after you, Mr. Senator-to-be. It’s a Prince Charming. Bourbon, cinnamon schnapps, Goldschläger, and root beer rimmed with coarse salt,” she explained as she set the drinks on the table. “Sawyer suggested you have a couple of them before you speak to your baby mama again.”

Gage and Jack laughed. “Har har,” Ethan muttered, slanting a look to where the owner, Sawyer Anderson, stood behind the bar taking orders. The tall, broad-shouldered ex-captain of the Colorado Flurries, a professional hockey team, gave Ethan a two-fingered salute and grinned. “Your friend’s a real comedian,” Ethan said to Jack.

“Yeah, he likes to think so,” Jack said, “but maybe this time he’s right. From what Grace said, you could use all the help you can get.”

“At least your wife’s talking to you. Thanks to him”—Gage jerked a thumb at Ethan—“mine isn’t.”

“She was until I defended him. Now I’m in the same boat as you,” Jack said, taking a long pull on his beer.

“Would someone like to explain how I’m the bad guy in this? She had no intention of telling me about the baby. As far as she’s concerned, I’m a sperm donor and have no rights.” And once his initial shock had passed, he started to get excited about the baby. He’d always hoped to be a father one day, and he was not about to let Skylar Davis take that away from him. “I asked her to marry me.”

He didn’t realize Brandi had hung around until she said, “No, you didn’t ask her. You told her you were getting married. At the courthouse. On Friday.”

“Yeah, and you also told her she was irresponsible and flighty and threw losing her trust fund in her face,” Gage said.

Brandi gasped. “You didn’t?”

“Come on, I didn’t say anything that any of you haven’t said or thought. Besides, I was pissed off. And I had good reason to be.” He might’ve had good reason to be angry, but he shouldn’t have let his temper get the best of him. The temper he didn’t have until he met Skylar Davis. “I sent her flowers and an apology, okay?”

Gage grimaced.

“What? You don’t think she’ll like them? The florist told me any woman would love them. I sent her three dozen roses.” Who knew flowers could be that expensive? But even Ethan realized he had to make some kind of gesture after what he’d said to Skye.

“Most women would, just not the one you sent them to,” Gage said.

Nell McBride, Evelyn Tate, and Stella Wright ambled over, dragging chairs to the table.

Evelyn beamed at him. “Don’t you worry, Ethan. We’re the love experts. And, dear, those roses you sent me were beautiful.” She fluttered her lashes.

“Yes, Ethan, that was very sweet of you to send them to us. But a little extravagant, don’t you think? I hope you didn’t send them to all your female supporters. Their husband’s might not be as understanding as mine,” Stella said.

Ethan rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, ignoring Gage’s I-told-you-so look. “Did all three of you get a dozen roses?” he asked in hopes he misunderstood them and that Skye hadn’t sent his peace offering to the three older women.

“Yep, me, Stella, and Evelyn. But you didn’t have to bribe us. We’d vote for you anyhow. We want one of our own in the state senate, don’t we, girls?” Nell said as she pulled out a pad and pen. “And just as an FYI, when you put from a secret admirer, you’re not supposed to sign your name.”

IT HAPPENED AT CHRISTMAS excerpt #3

“Hey.” He gently tugged on her hair. “Thanks for doing this,” he said when she looked up at him. “We can take another picture of us when we get to the ranch.”

“No, this one’s good. I look like a Republican.”

He shook his head. “You’ve got a warped perception of Republicans, cupcake. We’re going to have to work on that.”

“Don’t waste your energy. My dad’s been trying to convert me since I was ten.”

“I’ve been told I can be pretty persuasive.”

“Republican women are easy,” she said, ignoring the effect his swoon-inducing voice had on her.

“Yeah? I seem to remember a certain Democrat who was pretty easy.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.

Jerk. But who was she trying to kid? She had been easy. “What was her name?” She ignored his laughter. “Stop talking so I can get this done.”

He grinned as he fiddled with the sound system. The Rolling Stones’ “Midnight Rambler” came through the speakers. His fingers tapping on the steering wheel, Ethan moved to the beat. Her lips twitched, and she struggled to focus on typing up the release. When he started singing, she started laughing.

“Hey, I’ve been told I have a good voice.”

“No, it’s not that. I like the Stones, too. We finally found something we agree on.”

“There’s hope for us yet, cupcake.”

The smile she gave him was forced. Once Jimmy was behind bars and Ethan won the election, their marriage would be over. A fluttery sensation in her stomach distracted her, and she gasped. It was stronger than before.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s the baby. She’s moving. Here.” Skye took his hand and placed it on her stomach. When there wasn’t any movement a few minutes later, she said. “Sorry, looks like she got her exercise for the day.”

“Never know, he might do it again.” Her husband’s hand felt heavy and warm and far too good where it was. He glanced at her, his thumb moving in a slow up-and-down caress.

“Maybe,” she agreed, her voice breathy, but then she realized what he said. “Peanut’s a she.”

“Peanut?” His lips twitched. “I thought it was Willow.”

“It was, but I like Peanut better. And don’t try to distract me. Our baby’s a girl.”

“A boy. But Peanut works.” He returned his hand to the steering wheel. “I’ve got to stop for gas. You need anything?”

“You should buy a hybrid.”

He gave her a look and turned up the radio, singing as he pulled into the station. Skye was about to roll her eyes when she felt the now-familiar movement. “She kicked again. I think you like your daddy’s voice, don’t you, Peanut?”

Pulling up beside the tanks, Ethan took off his seat belt. But instead of getting out, he placed a hand on her upper thigh and leaned over, bringing his mouth to her stomach. He started to sing one of Skye’s favorite songs, “Wild Horses.” She pressed her lips together to hold back a moan. She really needed to think before she spoke.

“Do you feel anything?” he asked, turning his head to look up at her. Skye swallowed and croaked, “No.”

His eyes darkened, and he brushed his lips over her stomach, the muscles clenching in response. “You sure?” he asked, his voice a seductive rasp.

About Debbie Mason

Debbie Mason is the bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). She also writes historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series has received several nominations for best paranormal as well as a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their four wonderful children, an adorable grandbaby, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.
You can learn more at:
AuthorDebbieMason.com
Twitter @AuthorDebMason

MISTLETOE ON MAIN STREET by Olivia Miles

Briar Creek’s quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of–for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father’s death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter’s night. Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life? Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it’s time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.

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Excerpt:

When he glanced over at her, she was staring into the fireplace, the dancing flames painting a warm glow on her porcelain complexion. Her eyes looked flat and far away.

“Everything okay?” Doubt ate at him, leaving him with the twisting feeling of dread. Had she changed her mind about staying in town?

“I was just thinking of how things played out between us, the effects they had on everything else. I—I wish I had handled it differently. I wish that I had been able to come back here.”

He swallowed the knot in his throat, refusing to feel any more guilt. She was a big girl, she had made her choice. Besides, she had been the one to leave him first. She had set all this in motion.

“If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past few days, it’s that regret is the worst type of emotion.” He met her eyes. “You can’t change the past, Grace, and you have to tell yourself that everything that happened led us to this moment.”

“This moment?” she repeated.

He held her gaze, managing a nod.

“You’re right, I know.” She gave a sad smile. “I miss my father sometimes. I wish I could have seen him more often than his visits to New York. I wish…I’d never left.”

Luke leaned over and tucked a strand of her hair back from her face, his fingertips tracing the smooth silk of her neck. Arousal burned deep inside him, and his pulse quickened. He reached over and took her wineglass from her hands, setting it on the coffee table. She stared into his eyes, expectation parting her mouth. He met her lips with his, their contact so light it was almost imperceptible, save the shiver that zipped down his spine at the sensation.

He grazed her mouth, slowly bringing her full lips to his. His hand came around her slim waist, his fingers warming at the softness of her sweater, itching to slide the material away and experience the even softer skin beneath.

She sighed into him and he parted her lips with his tongue, slowly lacing his tongue with hers and then pulling away to gaze into her eyes. The green of her irises shone in the firelight, the flames reflecting in the flecks of gold around her pupils. She lowered her eyes, smiling shyly, and her long, black lashes dusted the apples of her cheeks. He leaned in again as arousal burned deep and pressed her into his chest. He could feel every curve of her body as her ripe, firm breasts rose and fell with heavy breaths. He lowered his hand, caressing her waist, her hips, and then higher, to trace the contours of her breast and the swanlike arch of her neck. He kissed her lips, her neck, her ear, breathing deep into her skin, memorizing every taste of her skin, every touch.

The buzzing from the timer on the oven stirred his attention from her, and he groaned. He pulled away, throwing her a bashful grin. “We’re being chaperoned,” he said.

About Olivia Miles

Olivia Miles is a Chicago-based romance writer. Having grown up in New England, Olivia attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before settling in Chicago where she lives with her husband, their daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.
When she is not chasing after her little ones, she is hard at work creating feisty heroines and alpha heroes with a heart. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories.
For more information on Olivia Miles, you can find her at:
http://oliviamilesbooks.com/
Twitter: @MsOliviaMiles
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AuthorOliviaMiles

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15. Bookish Ways (for the Young-ish Set) to Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast, me hearties! International Talk Like a Pirate Day be soon upon us. Aye, very soon. Tomorrow, in fact.

If this oh-so-fun little-known holiday, celebrated annually on September 19th, has taken ye by surprise this year, never fear. We scalawags here at Bugs and Bunnies have some fun and bookish ways for teachers an' kids ta celebrate the day.




Since pirates are some of our favorite people, we've reviewed a fair number of fantastic piratical books. Below are summaries of all of 'em to date. If we've done a full review, clicking the titles will take ye to the full review posts for each one:



The Mousehunter 
Written and illustrated by Alex Milway
Ages 10 - 12

Twelve-year-old Emiline Orelia is mousekeeper for Isiah Lovelock, Old Town's most famous mouse collector and one of its wealthiest citizens. Emiline cares for her own Grey Mouse, named Portly, as well as all of the mice in Lovelock's vast collection. It's not a glamorous job, but Emiline is very good at it, and hopes one day to become a mousehunter, so she can go out and discover new and interesting mice.

In Emiline's world, collecting and trading mice is valued above all else - but these are no ordinary field mice. There is the Sharpclaw Mouse: a sneaky, mischievous mouse with huge, dagger-like claws on its front paws that can slice through even wood and metal with ease. Or the Magnetical Mouse: prized by sailors for their bulletlike nose that always points due north. Or the Howling Moon Mouse: best known of all the howler mice, it howls only on nights with a full moon. And this is only to name a few.

When Mousebeard, the most feared pirate on the Seventeen Seas, sinks Lovelock's merchant ship, Lovelock hires Captain Devlin Drewshank to hunt him down and capture him. Emiline overhears the deal and, seeing this as the chance of a lifetime, runs away and boards Drewshank's ship, excited to be on the adventure. The journey is a dangerous one, filled with pirates, and battles, and even sea monsters. And Emiline soon comes to realize that all is not exactly as she thought it was, and that no one she's met is exactly who she thought they were.




Fish
By Gregory Mone

Ages 8 and up

Maurice "Fish" Reidy is eleven years old when Shamrock dies. Without their horse, the family can't afford to feed itself, let alone farm their land. Someone has to go into the city to work and send money home. Since Fish is the worst at farming, it's agreed he should be the one to go.

His father arranges for Fish to work for his uncle as a courier. When Fish is entrusted with a mysterious package of coins, he's robbed before he can make the delivery. He tracks down the thief amongst a bunch of pirates, aboard their ship, the Scurvy Mistress. Determined to get that package back and to its rightful recipient, Fish sneaks aboard and joins the pirate crew. He soon learns the coins are more than what they seem, and some of the crew are not as loyal as they'd have their captain believe.

As the Scurvy Mistress sets sail, Fish finds himself on an adventure he never saw coming, with friends he never imagined making. It's a journey that promises to change his life - and that of his family - forever.




How I Became a Pirate
Written by Melinda Long
Illustrated by David Shannon

Ages 4 - 8

Jeremy Jacob was just a boy building a sandcastle on the beach - until the day the pirates came. The pirates were in need of a digger to help bury their treasure. And the captain couldn't help but notice that "He's a digger, he is, and a good one to boot!" The crew heartily agreed, "A good one to boot!" And that is how Jeremy Jacob became a pirate.



Here Be Monsters! The Ratbridge Chronicles, Volume 1
Written and illustrated by Alan Snow

Ages 9 - 12

Young Arthur is a resident of Ratbridge. Or, rather, a resident under Ratbridge. He's not sure why he lives below ground, except that his inventor grandfather says that they must. They share this underground world with curious creatures: boxtrolls, cabbageheads, rabbit women, and the rather fearsome trotting badgers.

One day, Arthur gets caught above-ground on one of his nightly forays to the surface world to gather food. The rather nasty Snatcher, his grandfather's old nemesis, has stolen the machine Arthur's grandfather built for him to be able to fly about, and he doesn't know how to get back home.

But Arthur is not without friends. He is helped by the kindly retired lawyer Willbury Nibble, and the underlings who live with him: the boxtrolls Fish, Egg, and Shoe, and the shy cabbagehead Titus. Then there's the pirates-turned-laundry-workers, talking rats and crows, and oh! we can't forget The Man in the Iron Socks. They are all determined to get Arthur back home safely.

Arthur and his friends soon discover that something stinks in Ratbridge, and it isn't just the cheese: Someone has begun hunting Wild English Cheeses again - an outlawed sport. And mysterious goings-on are afoot at the old Cheese Hall. And all the entrances to the underground world have been sealed up. And the boxtrolls and cabbageheads are all disappearing. And the underlings' tunnels are starting to flood. Grandfather is worried, and they all know Snatcher is the root of this mystery. Somehow. Whatever will they do?




Another Whole Nother Story
As told by (The Incomparable) Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Ages 8 and up 


Mr. Ethan Cheeseman and his three smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children are back in another adventure - with all-new names, of course. Now that they've got the LVR working (the supposedly secret, yet relentlessly sought-after time machine introduced in A Whole Nother Story), the family is all set to travel back in time to just before their beloved wife and mother Olivia Cheeseman meets her unfortunate end at the hands of those seeking to "acquire" the LVR.

But all does not go according to plan. First, they wind up not in the relatively recent past, as they'd planned, but way back in 1668. Worse, their crash landing has damaged the LVR, and unless they can find the proper parts to repair it, the family has no way to return to their own time in the 21st century. As if that weren't trouble enough, the family finds themselves facing suspicion of witchcraft, battling pirates, and navigating a haunted castle. Add to that their tangle with a dangerous nemesis from their present whom they believed they'd seen the last of, and things don't look good.

Despite these odds, the likeable Cheesemans are not without friends, meeting several helpful souls along the way. But is it enough to help them get out of the distant past, and into the nearer past, so they can save their beloved Olivia Cheeseman, and get back to their own time?



* * *


Well, land lubbers, that's all we got, and we ain't got no more. But keep a weather eye on the Bugs and Bunnies horizon – we've got our eyes on more'n a few other fantastic pirate-y books we'd love ta be postin' about in future.

But for now, mateys, we hope you enjoy what we've presented here today, and have a most fabulous International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th.

 

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16. Summertime Stories

           
I started this post hoping to be able to report on any kind of literary celebration that was to take place/has already taken place at some point throughout the month of July. Having missed both Read Across America Day (though respects should be paid to the late, great Dr. Seuss every day of every month of every year), as well as National Poetry Month (April, for those who are so inclined), I was disappointed to find that there wasn’t any nationally ordained celebration of books during the month of July. Sadly, the only celebrations that I could find for July were ones of national independence (fun fact: Canada Day is July 1st, and Bastille Day (France) is the 14th), food (Blueberries and Ice Cream, the foods of summer) and good manners (National Cell Phone Courtesy Month: take note, dinner-table occupants). To some of these I say, frankly but fondly, bah humbug.

In opposition, I propose that we use this month to appreciate all of the books that make us feel warm and welcome, like nice weather or a day at the beach. I propose that we use some of our down-time to experience the books, whether newly purchased or plucked from a dusty shelf, that stick out in our minds and make us feel inspired, moved, or fulfilled. For the parents of young children, these are the days that count; fill them with memories and love and beautiful words and stories. Pick up a book and hunker down with your little one, whether inside or outside, under the sun or by a fire, and help them as they embark on adventures that, while imaginary, are everlastingly valuable.


Here are some summer stories, courtesy of Star Bright, that would make a great start!


Harriet Can Carry It
                by Kirk Jay Mueller
               Art by Sarah Vonthron-Laver
  
Follow Harriet the Kangaroo as she goes on an adventure to the beach with her little Joey. Looking for some time off after a long week at work, Harriet packs her little boy in her humongous pouch and sets off looking for some rest and relaxation. But appearances by her many marsupial neighbors make Harriet's journey both difficult and troubling, as Harriet tries to accommodate all of their requests to carry their things until finally....

Beach Socks
by Michael J. Daley
Art by Estelle Corke

No more shoes! No more socks! shouts the young boy in Beach Socks, a book by Michael J. Daley and Estelle Corke that mixes beautiful illustrations and charming descriptions in a delightful story of one child's day at the beach.


Visit our website (starbrightbooks.org) for these titles and more!





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17. Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: Beaches!

Each week this summer, we are pairing Lee & Low titles to your favorite summer destinations with fun activities!

Our motto this summer: Love Books + Keep Cool + Learn Something New

Your summer outing: the BEACH

Book recommendations:

Surfer of the Century cover

Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku

Questions during reading:

  • What is this person’s relationship to the ocean? How does this person’s relationship to the ocean change from the beginning to the end of the story?
  • How does this person show appreciation for the ocean?
  • How is the ocean/beach a part of this person’s identity?
  • Look at a map of the world and locate the island this person is from. What is the capital? What ocean surrounds it? Infer what the climate is like based on the island’s location. What makes this island unique?
  • How does this person demonstrate pride in his/her culture?
  • How does this person remember home even when far away from home?

Seaside DreamActivity:

Create a beach ball collage!

Materials: poster paper, pencil, markers, colored pencils or crayons, assortment of magazines

  1. Using a pencil, draw a large circle on the poster paper.
  2. Inside the circle, draw a small circle about the size of a quarter somewhere off center.
  3. Draw a curved line from the small circle to the large circle. Repeat drawing lines until you have six lines and six spaces. Each curved line should face the same direction in a pinwheel formation. The lines will be different lengths and can be varying widths apart from each other (this will give it a 3-D effect).
  4. With a black marker, trace over the pencil so the beach ball stands out on the poster paper.
  5. Optional: lightly fill in each segment a different color using colored pencils or crayons.
  6. Select and cut out pictures and words from the assortment of magazines to answer the question: What makes the beach special to you?
  7. In each of the six beach ball segments, draw or glue pictures. In one section, think about what foods you eat while at the beach. What animals have you seen at the beach? What do you always make sure to pack before you head out? What activities do you like to do at the beach? Who do you play with while there?

For further reading:Seaside Dream

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 


Filed under: Educator Resources, Holidays and Celebrations, Summer Tagged: children's books, close reading, diversity, Educators, holidays, Reading Aloud, reading comprehension, summer, summer reading

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18. Happy Fourth of July!

We can now say we’ve been at the Outer Banks during a hurricane. Hurricane Arthur blew through here last night. It was windy, rainy, and loud. Didn’t lose power; just the front porch screen. Actually, I hear the weather at home has been wicked too. Hope you’re enjoying some sunshine and warmth.

Here’s wishing our readers a happy, healthy, and safe Fourth of July!


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19. What does Cinco de Mayo celebrate?

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for May Fifth) is a day celebrated in the United States and Mexico to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Army during the Battle of Puebla. In Puebla, Mexico, it is referred to as “El día de la batalla de Puebla” (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). This day was started by Mexican Americans in the days of the American Civil War as a day to commemorate democracy and freedom.

The Mexican Army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the French Army’s forces of 8000 men—then considered the strongest military in the world—with only 4500 men!

Though this day is commonly mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day in the US, Mexico celebrates its independence September 16.  Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Puebla, Mexico; most businesses are closed on this day.

Interestingly, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more widely in the United States than Mexico!  It’s a celebration started by Mexican Americans that later spread to Mexico. In the US, Cinco de Mayo has evolved beyond its origins to become a wider celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States.


Filed under: Celebrations, Holidays Tagged: History, holidays, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican

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20. Celebrating Mothers and Diversity

Happy Mother’s Day! Did you enjoy celebrating Día ? Don’t forget to share any pictures that you might have taken. I hope that you had a wonderful time observing Día at your library with local families and friends. Now that April 30th has come and gone, don’t think your opportunity to incorporate diversity into your programming and collection has passed! Día celebrates children and books while also encouraging families and children to connect with multicultural books, cultures and languages. To honor the special ladies we all treasure today, I’ve put together some of my favorite books about mothers that can expose children to different cultures and languages.

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse (Chronicle Books, 1998) is a great choice for a multicultural Mother’s Day read. This story tells of an Inuit mother and daughter and is set in the majestic wilderness of Alaska. The child seeks to find out whether her mother will love her no matter what she does. Children will learn about the native creatures of Alaska as the child imagines herself as a polar bear and musk ox.  Preschoolers will be delighted with Lavallee’s artwork depicting mother and daughter clad in Inuit garb. A Canadian historian even assisted in checking the manuscript to assure that the Inuit culture was portrayed accurately in this book.

Image courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Image courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Kindergarteners will enjoy My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me by Julianne Moore (Chronicle Books, 2013). This is a lovely picture book that explores the feelings some children may have when they have a parent from another country. Children can learn how to say, “I love you, Mom!” in a variety of languages such as German and French. So’s beautiful illustrations exhibit various ethnic clothing and foods.

For the remarkable grandmothers in your life, read All About Grandmas by Roni Schotter (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012). This charming book looks at grandmas of all shapes, sizes and colors! Children can learn how to say “grandma” in 50 languages thanks to a convenient list in the front of the book. Grandchildren will love reading this with their Lola (Philippine dialect) , Farmor (Swedish) or Oma (German).

Image courtesy of Vanita Books.

Image courtesy of Vanita Books.

My final selection for Mother’s Day, A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager (Vanita Books, 2011), follows a young boy at the beach as he discusses his two mothers with his friends. This is a fun choice for any same-sex couples who may have children with questions about their non-traditional family dynamic, as it shows that they are really not that different from other families at all.

What are some of your favorite titles to share on Mother’s Day?

______________________________________________________________

Nicole Lee Martin is a Children’s Librarian at the Grafton-Midview Public Library in Grafton, OH and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at nicolemartin@oplin.org.

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21. Happy Mother’s Day: Honoring the Mothers and Grandmothers in Our Lives

Today is Mother’s Day, a time when we tend to think happy thoughts about our mothers or other maternal figures in our lives. We might buy them cards and presents, or take them out to eat. There’s no right way to celebrate it, but we each have our own special ways or traditions.

anna jarvis

Anna Jarvis

While most people think of Mother’s Day as a joyous day, the founder of the holiday, Anna Jarvis would probably think we’re celebrating it all wrong. Jarvis originally created Mother’s Day as a way to honor her own mother after she died. She worked to get several states to recognize it as a holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday of every May would be Mother’s Day.  It was a day to honor your own mother, not mothers in general. Prior to this, Jarvis, who was a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War, tried to create Mother’s Day to honor women who had lost sons during the Civil War.  When Hallmark and other card companies latched onto the holiday, it became greatly commercialized, much to the chagrin of Jarvis.

Anna Jarvis spent the rest of her life fighting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

Despite this, we still believe that Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to show your mothers and grandmothers that they hold a special place in your heart!

Here are five titles we’ve rounded up that celebrate mothers and grandmothers:

  1. Abuela’s WeaveA girl in Guatemala learns about family tradition and trust from her grandmother.
  2. Goldfish and Chrysanthemums: A Chinese American girl helps preserve her grandmother’s childhood memories of China by creating a special garden for her in America.
  3. Love to MamáThirteen Latino poets celebrate their bonds with their mothers and grandmothers.
  4. Love Twelve Miles Long: Frederick’s mother walks twelve miles each way for a nighttime visit with her son, during which she recounts what each mile of the journey represents. Based on facts from the life of Frederick Douglass.
  5. Raymond’s Perfect Present: A Chinese American boy receives a nice surprise of his own when he tries to surprise his mother with flowers that he grew.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

love to mama

Image from Love to Mamá


Filed under: Holidays, Musings & Ponderings Tagged: grandmothers, History, mother's day, Mothers

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22. The Defenestration of Prague

May 23rd, 2014, marks the day, 396 years ago, that The Defenestration of Prague took place. Having learned a few years ago that defenestration is "the act of throwing a person or thing out a window," our curiosity here at Bugs and Bunnies about this Little Known Holiday was piqued.


For one thing, this particular defenestration involved not things flung from windows, but people(Eek!) For another, this wasn't the only such event to occur in Bohemia's history - nor was it even the first.

And so, into the rabbit hole of research we willingly dove. Dive with us, won't you?

* * *

The First Defenestration of Prague happened on July 30, 1419. It was a bloody and lethal affair, with a judge, a burgomaster, and about thirteen town council members heaved out of the windows of Prague's New Town Hall by an angry mob. None survived, and The Hussite Wars broke out soon after.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Second Defenestration of Prague is the one people generally mean when discussing *The* Defenestration of Prague. This incident was decidedly less fatal: Two Catholic regents and their secretary were thrown from the third floor window of the Bohemian Chancellory by an angry crowd of Protestants, yet all three survived the 50 foot (some sources say 70 foot) fall. Two years later, The Thirty Year's War began.




* * *

These defenestrations are not the only ones known to have happened in Bohemian history, but they are the most well-known ones. And so, despite the knowledge that there is more to find down our little rabbit hole of research, we propose climbing out here.

Why?

First, because we scouted ahead, and this particular rabbit hole gets pretty dark, and we don't do a lot of dark here on Bugs and Bunnies. (You're free to continue researching on your own, though, if you like.)

And second, because amidst all the seriousness and gruesomeness of Prague's defenestrations, there was just a little bit of some giggle-worthy stuff, and we do so like to delve into giggle-worthy stuff. Ready? Here we go:

Catholics of the time claimed the trio from The Second Defenestration of Prague in 1618 survived that three-story fall due to the intervention of angels. Protestants of the time, however, countered with a far less heavenly explanation: that the trio survived due to the dung heap they landed in. Translation? Saved by poop!

One last thing: Philip Fabricius, the secretary from that surviving trio, fled to Vienna to tell the Emperor what had happened. The Emperor later granted this secretary the title Baron von Hohenfall. Translation? Baron of Highfall.



* * *


Sources:

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23. Celebrate Torsten’s “Nerd Birthday” With His Crazy Party Favors!

Everyone has milestone events which they remember (or wish to forget).  Some are small memories, like a first kiss, while others can be momentous anniversaries marked each year.

May 25th is one such day for me.This Star Wars Day/International Towel Day marks thirty years of my actively reading, collecting, studying, proselytizing comics.  May 25, 1984, I walked into a grocery store, and was instantly seduced by a black-suited Spider-Man.It’s the day I became a nerd/geek.  Sure, there were things before which I geeked about, like most kids.  But comics…that set me on a crazy journey around the world, meeting some amazing people, sharing my passion with everyone who would listen!

But comics aren’t my only geek passion!

I’m a polymath, soaking up all sorts of crazy stuff!

Here are some of my crazy interestest, and some crazy links you might not have realized existed!  (Or blotted out in your youth to save on psychiatry bills!)

Comics

Geez…  so much is out there already… what can I find…?

Comics retailing!    The architects!  How to get there!

comic-book-display-system

LEGOs

The wiki.

lego_falcon_cov

The Lego Millennium Falcon graphic novel!

(Take THAT, Ikea!)

Adam Reed Tucker, the genius behind the Lego Architecture series!

MAD Magazine

Why MAD doesn’t release these digitally…?

And here’s the unaired 1974 pilot…

Video Games

If you want to really delve into the history of videogames, read:

Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984 By Van Burnham

Here’s a site for laserdisc arcade games, including one of early anime!

Reading

Go study and read everything by Ellen Raskin.  Had she not died at 56, she might have been the first author to win a Newbery and a Caldecott Medal.  She wrote, drew, and designed books, and all are worth a few hours escape.

Animation

Remember Saturday morning cartoons?  Remember when the networks would air a special the Friday night before, to introduce the new series?  Yeah, they were usually pretty cheesy… here are three samples…

Superman meeting Bugs Bunny and Yogi Bear, at a party thrown by Avery Schreiber and Jack Burns?

ALF playing detective?

Boss Hogg trying to swindle Scott Baio out of his discoteque?

Ah… to return to those innocent naive days when I hadn’t yet developed a critical eye.  (Yes, I thought the Star Wars Holiday Special was spectacular when it first aired.  Now, I think I can last five minutes before revealing the location of the  rebel base, Gilligan’s full name, and the lyrics to “Louie Louie”.)

If you’re really into pain, check out “Shirt Tails”, “Get Along Gang”, and/or “Care Bears”.

Cable Television

Weekend nights, USA would show “Night Flight”, an interesting mix of music videos, short films, and cult classics.  MTV might have been cool, but Night Flight was hep.  Here’s a memorial site.

And a playlist from YouTube:

Comedy

The comedy record to seek out: “Retail Comedy @ Wholesale Prices“!  Here’s a sample: “Mr. Wizard and Timmy”.  The entire album is comedy gold!

(Right, Don.)

Music

I’ve got a predilection for TV themes, especially the full versions which cut out stanzas so there would be more time for story and commercials.

I’ve made a series of posts over on Google Plus, with the tag #forgottentvlyrics.  Star Trek, Andy Griffith, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie…

Here’s one of my favorites, first heard during the end credits to the Buck Rogers movie!  If it was remixed, it would make a great graduation song!

That’s all for this year!  Hope you had a great time!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

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24. Trick-or-Treat! Diamond Reveals Halloween ComicFest Titles!

Yes, Summer officially started last Friday.  You’re probably haven’t even done your grocery shopping for the Fourth of July cookout!  Or started packing for San Diego!

halloween comicfest 2014But for retailers and publishers, they think months in advance!  Comics shipping in October must be ordered in August.  Publishers usually try to think six months in advance!

So here are the titles for the next Halloween ComicFest, scheduled for October 25th, the Saturday before Halloween.

The big surprise?  Twelve full-size comics, and seven minis!  Last year there were eleven regular sized issues, with 11 minis.  In the first HCF, there were 4 regular-sized issues and 11 minis.

So what’s being offered?  Lots of stuff I wouldn’t give to kids…

HCF 2014 AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #1

hcf archiePublisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
(W) Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (A/CA) Francesco Francavilla
Celebrate the most frightening day of the year with the most horrifying tale Archie has ever told! “Escape From Riverdale”: This is how the end of the world begins… Harvey Award-winning writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie, Archie meets Glee) and Eisner-winning artist Francesco Francavilla (Batman, Black Beetle) take Archie and the gang where they’ve never been before – to the grave and back! A horrific accident sets off a series of grim events and Sabrina the Teenage Witch must try to repair the unspeakable evil her spell has unleashed. Gasp in horror as Riverdale faces an impending zombie Arch-pocalypse in this reprint of the award-winning, sold-out first issue! But be warned, kiddies, this one’s not for the faint of heart! For TEEN readers.
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140027
hcf batmanPublisher: DC COMICS
Just in time for Halloween, fans can get this FREE excerpt from the first chapter of the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Batman: Haunted Knight, which features dark tales of horror and intrigue featuring Batman facing off against his most demented and wicked foes. Taking place on the most evil of holidays, Halloween, the Dark Knight Detective confronts his deepest fears as he tries to stop the madness and horror created by Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Joker.
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140031
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf avatarPublisher: AVATAR PRESS INC
(W) Max Brooks (A/CA) Raulo Caceres
Best-selling author Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z) takes the zombie genre to a whole new level with Extinction Parade, featuring the art of superstar Raulo Caceres (Crossed). As humans wage a losing fight against the hordes of the subdead, a frightening realization sets in with the secretive Vampire race: their “food” is dying off. This is the story of the Vampires’ decent into all-out war with the mindless hungry hordes of the zombie outbreak, with humanity caught in the middle. Extinction Parade introduces the “Vampires vs. Zombies” sub-genre with three species in mortal conflict. This is how a species dies…
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140029
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf grimmPublisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC
(W) Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco (A) Jean-Paul Deshong & Various (CA) Mike Debalfo
A special reprint of the first ever Grimm Halloween Special! A couple is granted one wish for their dreams to finally come true only to have that wish turn into a complete nightmare! Now Sela must try to stop Belinda’s act of evil before more lives are destroyed. From the original writers and creators of Grimm Fairy Tales, Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco, comes this re-telling of the classic story “The Monkey’s Paw”, retold with a terrifying Zenescope twist that readers have come to love!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140037
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf hero catsPublisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
(W) Kyle Puttkammer, Jeremy Whitley (A/CA) Marcus Williams
A Hero Cat’s life is exciting enough, but what happens when imaginations run wild after a scary movie marathon at the local drive-in?! Ace, Midnight, Cassie, Rocket, Rocco, and Belle will win your heart in this frightfully fun-filled tale! Plus, an exclusive preview of the highly anticipated new Princeless series!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140026
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf Marvel1Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Action! Mystery! Adventure! Reprinting the tale that started it all and sparked 75 years of storytelling in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Celebrate Marvel’s 75th Anniversary with the very first appearance of two titanic Marvel mainstays – android hero the original Human Torch, and aquatic anti-hero Namor, the Sub-Mariner! Reprinting material from Marvel Comics #1 (1939)!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140034
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf aspenPublisher: ASPEN MLT INC
(W) Vince Hernandez (A/CA) Agnes Garbowska
A completely brand new and unexpected Fathom tale for fans of all ages! Join none other than Fathom’s Ernie the Seahorse as the playful ocean dweller finds himself wrapped up in a magical Aspen-universes-spanning adventure that will test his limits! For the first time ever, Aspen Comics’ is excited to offer fans and readers a unique comic and coloring book that includes a crafted full length story geared for children to color, plus added puzzles, mazes and other fun-filled activities for kids of all ages! It’s the perfect treat for the Halloween holiday!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140028
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf mlpPublisher: IDW PUBLISHING
(W) Jeremy Whitley (A) Tony Fleecs (CA) Amy Mebberson
The Cutie Mark Crusaders go to the one creature that might just be crazy enough to help them get their cutie marks… Discord! Is he up to the task? Find out in this madcap adventure, perfect for all ages!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140033
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf rachelPublisher: ABSTRACT STUDIOS
(W/A/CA) Terry Moore
Halloween marks the return of a modern classic, Rachel Rising #1! Rachel wakes up dead in a shallow grave and climbs out to hunt for her killer. Seeking the help of Aunt Johnny and BFF Jet, Rachel encounters a mysterious woman and the scariest little girl in comics! This special reprint is just for Halloween Comicfest 2014 and features a unique cover variation to mark the occasion!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140025
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf vizPublisher: VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W/A/CA) Naoki Serizawa
The highly virulent C-virus became a global disaster, but where did the outbreak start? In this prequel to the hit Resident Evil 6 game, the terrifying origins are revealed! At the prestigious and elite Marhawa High School in Singapore, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called in to investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene, while behind it all a mysterious figure looms….
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
hcf scoobyPublisher: DC COMICS
Just in time for Halloween, fans of all ages can get this FREE special edition of the first issue of the fan-favorite, all-ages series that features teams-up with the Scooby-Doo gang and the greatest heroes of the DC Comics Universe! Rumors of a giant bat-creature bring Scooby and the gang on the run – but Batman and Robin are already on the trail of their old foe, the monstrous Man-Bat. Before long, the crooks behind a fake bat-creature will come face-to-face with the real thing… with the good guys caught in the middle!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140030
In Shops: 10/8/2014
hcf MSHSWPublisher: MARVEL COMICS
Experience the ground-breaking 1984 classic again – or for the very first time! Under the watchful eye of an all-powerful being, the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes and vilest villains are transported away to a mysterious planet known only as “Battleworld.” The only way to escape? Destroy their enemies! Now, Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine and more must battle to the death against Ultron, Galactus, Kang, Doctor Doom and many more! Don’t miss the first issue in the genre-defining crossover that changed the Marvel Universe forever!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140035
In Shops: 10/8/2014
The mini-comics:
hcf angry birdsPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W) Nathan Crosby (A) Ivan Portier (CA) David Baldeon
When Professor Pig mistakenly electrifies all the pigs in the graveyard, he unwittingly creates Zigs… zombie pigs with only one need – Eggs! Can Red and the rest of the Angry Birds stop this ghoulish grab at their precious unborn flock? An all-new, all-ages Angry Birds Comics tale just in time for Halloween!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140046
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf b&vPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W) Dan Parent (A) Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski (CA) Jeff Schultz, Tito Pena
It’s a dark and stormy night – a fitting night for Betty and Veronica to stay inside and have a scary movie festival! But things go from “reel” to real when Archie, Jughead and Reggie try to crash the girls’ private party – and come face-to-face with an axe-wielding maniac! Is everything as it seems, or is it just a case of the boys’ imaginations running wild? Find out in “An Axe to Grind!”
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140040
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf boomPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W) Bryce Carlson & Various (A) Nichol Ashworth & Various
No tricks here, just treats as BOOM! Studios imprints KaBOOM! and Archaia offer up spooky tales from Adventure Time, Peanuts, and Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock in this mini-comic collection arriving in time for Halloween!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140042
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf lbxPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
Welcome to the world of Little Battlers eXperience! In the near future, a boy named Van Yamano owns Achilles, a miniaturized robot made of a new super-strong industrial cardboard. But Achilles is no ordinary LBX. Hidden inside him is secret data that Van must keep out of the hands of evil at all costs!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140050
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf merminPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W/A/CA) Joey Weiser
Mermin, the Mer-Man from Mer, returns! In this special Halloween-themed one-shot, Mermin and his human friends introduce Halloween customs to Mer. How will the undersea inhabitants embrace the dry land holiday? What kind of treats will they exchange in place of tricks? And, most importantly, what costumes will everyone wear?
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140048
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf pvzPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W) Paul Tobin (A/CA) Ron Chan
Crazy Dave-the babbling-yet-brilliant inventor and top-notch neighborhood defender-helps his niece, Patrice, and young adventurer Nate Timely fend off Zomboss’s latest global attack in Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse! This new, standalone tale will tickle your funny bones and thrill . . . your brains! The hit video game continues its comic-book invasion!
Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140044
In Shops: 10/1/2014
hcf vampletsPublisher: DIAMOND PUBLICATIONS
(W) Gayle Middleton, Dave Dwonch (A) Amanda Coronado, Bill Blankenship (CA) Gayle Middleton, Bill Blankenship
Beware the Bitemares! Vampyres have always been obsessed with their pets, but now a new threat has arisen! Someone is releasing Bitemares all over Gloomvania, causing chaos in their wake. Who will be able to stop them, and what secret connection do they have to Cinder the Vampyre Kitten? The next chapter in the Vamplets saga starts HERE!Available for FREE* from most comic shops on Halloween ComicFest, October 25th.
Also available in a pack of 20 for you to purchase and hand out to your trick-or-treaters. Be the coolest house on the block-cause comics and the gift of reading lasts longer than candy!
(*Check with your local retailer on rules and availability.)
Item Code: JUL140038
In Shops: 10/1/2014
My opinions:
  1. I order the mini-packs ($4.99, about the same cost for candy) and have my siblings in the midwest hand them out to trick-or-treaters.  I know some librarians who do the same in their schools.  So we have seven titles.  Nothing by DC or Marvel, so no free advertising for them.  (Really, Marvel?  You couldn’t find a Marvel Age story from those digests you sold back in the mid-Aughts and reprint that?)  (Dame goes for DC.  I see the Scooby-Doo story above, but what about a story from the Showfcase reprints?  Those reduce nicely (as seen in the Blue Ribbon digests of the 70s and 80s).  Those Showcse volumes are great for young readers!  Comics Code approved (perfect for red states!) and a 25 stories in one volume for a cheap price!)  I guess I’ll order some of the “big boy” titles from my friendly neighborhood comics shop, but not as many, given the cost.  I guess those copies are for shops, like Free Comic book Day.
  2. Were I retailer, I wouldn’t order the mature titles at all.  Why risk a parent picking up “Aferlife With Archie” and reading it to their child at bedtime?  Add in the memory of a dearly-departed family pet, and you’ve got the makings of a media witch hunt. (For those who think this far-fetched, remember this?)
  3. Marvel, is the Secret Wars collection available for reorders?  Yeah, it’s cool that you’re making it available again, especially to new readers.  (It hooked me back in ’84, so maybe that’s not such a good idea…), but if retailers can’t meet demand from customers, then why bother?  As for Marvel Comics #1…?  I thought the Human Torch was verboten.  Or are there some horror stories in the first issue?  Will this be a 68-page reprint?  (Myself, I think Amazing Fantasy #15 would be better.  Some good Lee/Ditko horror stories in that issue!)
  4. Diamond, do you have digital review copies on your Bookshelf website?  Librarians and educators (and retailers) will want to review the material before ordering copies for distribution.  Publishers, why not do this as well?  Fans will still want to pick up the free comics at stores, so this won’t hurt store marketing.

If you want to order any of these comics to hand them out on Halloween, write down the Diamond order codes (JUL140xxx) and talk to the store manager as soon as possible!

Retailers, here is an old column to re-read: Halloween and the Holidays.  Also: The Return of Halloween Comics.

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25. Canada Day IS Family Day…


Canada Day officially kicks off holiday season for me here in the northern hemisphere. Kids have big smiles on their faces, and adults are gearing up for family getaways. Some families head for their cottages or vacation homes while others prefer to pack up the trailer or tent and venture into Provincial or State Parks armed with bug spray and bathing suits. Still others choose a stay-cation, opting to stay at home, hang by the pool, or go on day trips with their loved ones. Whatever method of holiday people decide on, the anticipation of being with family for one or two weeks is well worth the wait!

Since this will be our last summer at our lake home (cue the tears), we’re having a big family gathering to say good-bye and celebrate all the good times we’ve had here. I’m expecting a good size crowd, and have plenty of food on the menu. One such appetizer I’ll be preparing—Family Fiesta Dip—is popular at any summer bash, especially when family and friends drop by. So, juice up your taste buds and dive into my easy to make spicy dip at your pleasure.

What you Need:

250g package of cream cheese (soft)
1 tbsp. margarine
½ cup of mayonnaise
1 small jar of salsa (vegetable chunk style)
1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I prefer the nacho or tex-mex brand)
1 bag of Tortilla chips

What you Do:

MIX cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise until smooth. Spread in a medium-sized dish with edges to prevent spill over.

COVER with salsa – not too much so it’s not runny.

LAYER as follows: chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper, chopped tomato, chopped green onions, and then top with shredded cheese.

Keep refrigerated before serving. Serve with Tortilla chips (and napkins).

Family Fiesta Dip

 While you’re waiting for the Family Fiesta Dip to set, why not kick back on the beach or wherever you’ll be during your holidays and take a trip back into time with my Last Timekeepers MG/YA time travel series? Safe travels, everyone!

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