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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: fiction, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,437
26. Middle-grade BFFs

The friends you make in childhood can be the best ones of your life. The following books highlight unlikely friendships that are made to last.

curtis madman of piney woods Middle grade BFFs   Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Madman of Piney Woods (companion to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton) takes place in 1901, with the American Civil War a not-so-distant memory for Buxton’s elders. For thirteen-year-old black Canadian Benji Alston, though, daily life involves coping with two irritatingly gifted younger siblings and dreaming of becoming a newspaper reporter. Benji befriends Alvin “Red” Stockard, an Irish Canadian boy who lives in nearby Chatham, and the two uncover the mystery and tragedy surrounding the supposedly mythical Madman of Piney Woods. A profoundly moving yet also at times very funny novel about family, friendship, community, and the power of words. (Scholastic, 9–13 years)

hahn where i belong Middle grade BFFs“How come some kids are lucky and others aren’t?” asks Brendan, the (unlucky) protagonist of Where I Belong by Mary Downing Hahn. Abandoned at birth by his mother and now, on the verge of failing sixth grade, living with an apparently unloving foster mom, Brendan finds refuge in a secret tree house he builds in the woods, and in tentative friendships with a girl named Shea and with an old man in the woods, whom Brendan initially believes is the “Green Man.” This is quintessential middle-grade realistic fiction, with an unvarnished depiction of the miseries that can be visited upon a quiet sixth grader and the succor that can be found in the hard-won friendship of peers and the attention of understanding elders. (Clarion, 8–11 years)

french my cousins keeper Middle grade BFFsWhen his cousin Bon comes to live at his house, eleven-year-old Kieran is mad: Bon is “weird.” He has a long braid and tattered clothing; smells of sweat and pee; and talks in an unnaturally precise manner, all of which make Bon a target of the cool-kid bullies at school (and ruining Kieran’s chance of hanging out with the cool kids himself). Bon’s only friend is another newcomer, Julia, and Kieran is jealous of their friendship: he wants to be friends with Julia. Bon keeps a notebook filled with fantastical drawings and tales of Bon the Crusader, Kieran the Brave, and Julia the Fair; as the protagonists grow into Bon’s roles for them, My Cousin’s Keeper by Simon French becomes a story of kids who dare to imagine worlds and become who they need to be. (Candlewick, 8–11 years)

turner circa now Middle grade BFFsIn Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner, main character Circa’s father is killed by a tornado while delivering an old photo he’s restored. Then Miles shows up on her family’s doorstep, a boy with amnesia whose only clue to his past is the photograph he’s holding — the very one Circa’s father was delivering when he died. As Circa and her mother care for Miles they uncover a strange series of coincidences, and Circa begins to think the digital changes she and her father made to photographs have come to exist in real life. Does this mean she can bring her father back? Gentle quirkiness and light humor appear throughout Turner’s tale of grief, healing, and friendship. (Disney-Hyperion, 9–13 years)

From the September 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

share save 171 16 Middle grade BFFs

The post Middle-grade BFFs appeared first on The Horn Book.

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27. Thunderstruck: Review Haiku

Love me some McCracken,
but I could NOT get
into this collection.

Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken. Dial, 2014, 240 pages.

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28. Call for Submissions: Sugar Mule

Sugar Mule, an online literary magazine open to all genres, invites submissions for Issue 47, guest edited by Alyse Knorr. Please send poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, book reviews, and hybrid works of all forms, themes, and subjects--we look forward to reading your work.
Please e-mail your submission of no more than 5 unpublished poems or no more than 7,000 words of unpublished prose, as one MSWord or RTF document, to:

alyse.knorr.sugarmuleATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

between September 1 and December 1. NOTE: do not send submissions after this date. Art and book reviews will also be considered.  

Please include a short bio and introductory note. Friends and former students of the editor should please refrain from submitting.  

Sugar Mule does not pay for accepted work(s) at this time. You retain all rights to your work; we retain none. 

About Sugar Mule:
Sugar Mule is a long-standing online literary magazine with more than 40 issues and extras like online books and anthology-sized special issues. Sugar Mule is published about three times a year and is open to all forms of poetry and prose. Recent contributors have included Deborah Poe, Ryan Eckes, Molly Gaudry, Travis Macdonald, j/j hastain, Duane Locke, Jessica Dyer, Tyler Mills, Sheila Black, and Laura Madeline Wiseman. Visit our website for more information.
 

About the guest editor:
Alyse Knorr is the author of Copper Mother (Switchback Books, 2015), Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books, 2013), and the chapbook Alternates (Dancing Girl Press 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Hayden's Ferry Review, Caketrain, Drunken Boat, ZYZZYVA, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University. She is a co-founding editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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29. Call for Submissions: Spry Literary Journal

September 30th, deadline

Spry Literary Journal features undiscovered and established writers' concise, experimental, hybrid, modern, vintage or just-plain-vulnerable writing. It's a journal for people who excel at taking risks, who thrive under pressure--for people whose words and rhythms are spry. We are currently open for submissions for our fifth issue.

We accept all short forms of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We also challenge you to write sparsely (under 750 words) and submit to our Flash category. Submissions are requested in all genres, and simultaneous submissions are welcome—though we ask that you make mention of any simultaneous submissions in your cover letter. We have a strict blind submissions policy, and only accept writing through our submissions manager. 


Our fourth issue is live at our website. Please head over to see what we've published, check out our archives and Briefs sections, and to start conversations with our authors, poets, and staff members. We’re proud to feature interviews from renowned writers such as Erica Dawson, Porochista Khakpour, and Michelle Disler.

Artists, too, are encouraged to submit unpublished pieces. We currently feature a variety of artistic works in our Briefs section. For an example of our art features, we invite you to review Ramiro Davaro-Comas’ interview and corresponding piece, entitled "9."

Please visit our submissions manager to submit your work to us.

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30. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e September 5th, 2014



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

I’d Know That Voice Anywhere (Katrina Kittle)
http://writerunboxed.com/2014/09/05/id-know-that-voice-anywhere/

How Not to Burn Your Critique Group to the Ground (Jim Heskett)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2014/09/critique-group.html

Making the Payoff Scene Count (Stina Lindenblatt)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2014/09/making-payoff-scene-count.html

Backstory with Bite (Diana Hurwitz)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2014/09/backstory-with-bite.html

10 Ways to Annoy a Literary Agent (Rachelle Gardner)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/ways-to-annoy-a-literary-agent/

Don't Belabor Your Prose (Clare Langley-Hawthorne)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/09/dont-belabor-your-prose.html

What I’m Looking For. . . (Wendy Lawton)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/im-looking/

Avoiding the Tar Pits of Fiction (James Scott Bell)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/08/avoiding-tar-pits-of-fiction.html

Beginning Over (Ellen Jensen Abbott) 
http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2014/08/beginning-over-by-ellen-jensen-abbott.html



If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2013, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.
 

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31. Tween Hobo: Off the Rails

Tween Hobo: Off the Rails Alena Smith, illustrated by Kate Harmer

Based on the twitter account, Tween Hobo documents the adventures of a modern 13-year-old riding the rails with depression-era hobo stereotypes.

Unlike the twitter account, there’s a basic plot-- Tween Hobo’s parents are pretty absent, her brother’s in California in some place called “rehab” and she needs to know what’s going on. When she learns that her teacher’s brother is a hobo, she’s inspired and off she goes to California to get answers about her brother. She live tweets/blogs her adventures and is adopted by a band of hobos who are what you think of when you think of Depression hobos. It all stays light and funny as they try to find work, perfect their bean recipes, and look for free wifi. It often mocks tween culture, but it’s obviously from a place of love and “I was totally like this when I was that age.” Lots of tweets, lots of pictures, lots of random other lists and things about life on the rails.

Although the joke occasionally wears thin, it was pretty enjoyable and funny. I liked tween hobo’s upbeat, can-do attitude and the way she never realized her adventures and life choice were bat-shit crazy insane. Plus, Hot Johnny Two-Cakes is just plain hottt.

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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32. Tell Me: Review Haiku

There is SO MUCH
going on in this book -- yet
it never feels cluttered.

Tell Me by Joan Bauer. Viking, 2014, 272 pages.

P.S. This jacket? What does this jacket have to do with the book? Purposeful bait-and-switch because HEY THIS BOOK IS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING might not fly off the shelves?

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33. Call for Submissions: Sou'wester

Sou'wester is now accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction submissions for its upcoming Fall and Spring issues. Writers who have not yet published a book are eligible for our annual Emerging Writer Awards and receive a prize of $100. 

For details and to submit, please visit our webpage.

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34. Call for Submissions: The Four Quarters Magazine

The Four Quarters Magazine 
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS : December, 2014.
Theme : NO MAN’S LAND
Deadline: 20th October, 2014
Guest Editor for the Issue : Dave Besseling

More than an excellent, absurdist 2001 film set during the Bosnian War, “No Man’s Land” is an idiom overused to in utility. It was a cliché long before I was born and learned what it meant or what a cliché was.
It’s one thing to dress-up a cliché, it’s another to reclaim it. So wax your mind clean, Mr. Miyagi-clean, and what does “No Man’s Land” come to reflect?

Is it that piece of geography where two gubernatorial borders don’t quite meet, or where they overlap?
The Age of Discovery was 400 years ago. You can barely outrun googlemaps lens these days. Is No Man’s Land somewhere unfound? A tribe brandishing spears on the beach as the motorboat approaches?

How rare and valuable are then these last pockets of “undiscovery”? And what does “discovery” mean in this digital age anyway?
Is it a “No Man’s Land”, that which lies outside the current boundaries of science?
Are we talking about a lesbian commune living off the grid somewhere in the mountains?
Is this void a philosophical concept to be appropriated by some kind of post-scientology or gone cult?
Something else entirely?
You tell us. In writing. And if we like your pitch we can all have fun with all the mindgames that result.
Eat a peach,

- Dave.

The deadline for submissions is 20th October, 2014. For submission guidelines, please refer to our submissions page.

contact email:
Only queries :

fourquartersmagazineATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )


Only submissions:

submissionsFQMATgmailDOTcom  (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Website
Facebook 
Twitter

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35. Call for Submissions from Community College Students: Painted Cave Literary Magazine

Painted Cave Literary Magazine is accepting submissions from community college students nationwide for its second issue November 2014. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
Painted Cave is the online student-run, faculty-guided literary journal of Santa Barbara City College. We publish the work of community college student writers in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Painted Cave reserves First North American Serial Rights. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Paste your submission in the body of the email to:


 paintedcavesubmissionsATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Also include a short biography and the community college attending.
In the subject line include the genre of the submission, title(s) and your name (Fiction, “Born Too Late,” Mary Mullins)

We accept the following genres:

Flash Fiction: 1-3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.

Fiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.

Poetry: 3-5 poems, no more then 50 lines each.

Creative Nonfiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.

Flash Creative Nonfiction: 1-3 pieces, no more than 750 words each.

Dr. Chella Courington, Literary Adviser
Santa Barbara City College


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36. Unwritten: The Wound

The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound Mike Carey and Peter Gross

We start with the Tinker and Pauly-Rabbit hanging out in a wasteland, encountering streams of fictional refugees, streaming from The Wave.

Then we switch to a detective in Australia, who partners up with Danny--the reader from the last issue in Tommy Taylor and the War of Words--to infiltrate the Tommy Taylor cult. Tom and Richie then go hide out and deal with some very real ghosts in Tom’s past.

This is a good “must set up next plot point” volume, but nothing spectacular. EXCEPT that it introduces us to Danny and Didge (the detective), and they are awesome and great additions. (Also, let’s give a shout to Didge, who’s Aboriginal and dyslexic. Turns out dyslexia is a pretty great defense against Pullman’s freaky fiction hand! Also, she’s generally awesome and literally kicks a lot of ass.)

Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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37. Two Awards and Apologies for the Long Silence

Inspiring Blogger Award from
Julia Hones

Liebster Award from Sandra Cox
See below the info that comes with
the Inspiring Blogger Award















First the apologies for not blogging. 
1.) I've been busy working on my mystery. My goal is to finish this draft by mid-September. There's 24-25 chapters in mind, and I'm on chapter 17 so far. 
2.) We've had company and made a couple of out-of-town trips to visit folks we hadn't seen for a long time, due to travels. 
And 3.) We are getting ready for another long trip to Spain and Portugal. (I haven't even finished blogging about the last trip, but that's how it goes sometimes. Oh, the stories I'd like to tell!)

Meanwhile, two very nice blog friends gave me awards that you can see at the top of this page and read about below. Thank you so much, ladies!

Julia Hones gave me the Inspiring Blogger Award, which I find quite an honor. Julia has a marvelous blog called My Writing Life that I love to read and find inspiring in its own right, and you will too, so do check it out. She's also had many short stories and poems published and is the poetry editor of Southern Pacific Review

As a recipient of the award, I'm supposed to reveal 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to others whose blogs I find inspiring. Hmm. 7 reveals . . . Okay, here we go.

1. In my junior year in college, after finals, I let a girlfriend talk me into bleaching my hair blonde. (She was bleaching her hair, and we were hyper from finals, so I thought, "Why not?") Because I have a lot of red in my hair, it went red instead of blonde. Because I have a few freckles, everyone who met me as a redhead thought I really was a redhead -- to the point that when I got tired of it and decided to dye it back to dark brown, I was told, "No, don't do that, it won't look natural."

2. My favorite dessert is a cookie. Forget pies, cakes, and rich creamy custards. Give me a cookie. Any cookie, although I like sugar, shortbread, oatmeal, or peanutbutter the best.

3. I am a crossword puzzle nut. I love the New York Times crossword puzzle. I can't always finish it (Fridays and Saturdays), but I usually start the day with it. For one thing, it wakes me up and gets the wheels turning for writing later in the day.

4. My husband and I met through a cat named Meathead. That is a ve-r-r-r-y long story, that only some of our friends know and would take up too much space here. But we have very fond feelings for our feline cat-alyst from long ago.

5. I used to write everything in longhand first, but the computer has spoiled me. Cut and paste is so convenient. Even so, I miss that feeling of connection between pen or pencil and heart, and I still write my poetry first in longhand.

6. This is probably a horrible confession for an author to make, particularly one who writes children's books, but . . . I never liked The Wind in the Willows. I know, I know, one of the world's great classics. What's wrong with me! But I never could get into it, no matter how many times I tried. 

7. I loved Edith Nesbit and Edgar Eavers, though. And they stand the test of time. I re-read a couple of their books recently and still found them so funny.

And now the nominees:
1. Keith Wynne has a truly inspiring blog called Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer . He'll also send a little blurb via email called Thought of the Day, if you sign up for it at his site. I bookmark nearly everyone of these blurbs, as they are quite pithy and inspiring.

2. Catherine Ensley is an author of inspirational romance novels and is writing a four-part series. On her blog she "shares her thoughts on country life, simple living, adventure, reading, writing and faith that transforms." I think you will find it very enjoyable. 

3. Victoria Lindstrom's Writ of Whimsy blog is rich with Middle Grage book reviews, poetry tidbits, thoughts on writing, and a section I love, "Whimsical Word of the Week." Check out her site; it's great fun.

4. Lynda Young has a wonderful blog called W.I.P. It: an Author's Journey in which she addresses many issues for writers with insights and reminders that are so helpful to all of us on this common journey. 

5. Check out Carol Riggs, a published YA author with a personable writing style. Her blog, Artzicarol Ramblings, is full of writing tips, YA book reviews, and shares of her own personal journey with agents and publishers. 

6. Renee Hand's The Crypto-Capers Review is a children's book review blog as well as a platform for her radio show, Stories from Unknown Authors. Renee also writes winning interactive mysteries. How cool is that? Check out her site, and you may find yourself being interviewed if you've written a children's book.

7. Mark Noce has a rather eclectic blog, sharing news about his flash fiction publications, gardening, music he likes, and news about other writers. It's always a feel-good experience to read one of his posts. 

On to the Liebster Award, which Sandra Cox kindly gave to me. Sandra's blog is called, not surprisingly, Sandra's Blog  . Sandra is a prolific blogger as well as a prolific author. Spend a little time at her site. Her pictures will make you smile. Meanwhile, the Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers, ferreting out blogs you think are worthy of more followers. (Thank you, Sandra!) The rules for accepting the award are to share 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions posed by the blogger who nominated me, nominate 11 bloggers who qualify, and pose 11 questions to them. Happily, Sandra modified the rules, asking 6 questions, and nominating 5 newbies. So I am following her lead:

The questions she asked:
1. If you were an animal, what would you be? Probably a dog. I love animals, but dogs have a special place in my heart. They are so loving and loyal.
2. What is your favorite genre? That's a hard one. Mysteries and historical novels are about equal.
3. When reading, do you prefer paper or a hand held device? Paper, for sure!
4. What's your favorite vacation spot? Galicia, Spain. 
5. What's your favorite charity? Another hard one. We contribute to a number. I suppose Southern Poverty Law Center, a remarkable organization that goes after hate groups in this country and prosecutes hate crimes.
6. If given the choice, where would you live? Right where we live now. As a runner up, Galicia would be next, but we are quite happy where we are.

Okay, my nominees are:
Richard Hughes at Writing and Living by Richard P. Hughes , is an eclectic blogger, sharing thoughts about writing, art, life in general, publishing issues. Right now he's running an interesting series of interviews with other bloggers, called, "Where I Live and Why I Like It.

Rosi Hollinbeck at The Write Stuff reviews children's books, interviews authors, and does a wonderful job of culling and sharing links to help writers in every sphere of writing. I always look forward to her posts, and you will too.

Kenda Turner at Words and Such post book reviews, interviews, and shares rich thoughts about the writer's journey. Always a good read.

Loretta Proctor at Books and Other Things blogs about books, art, and music, "and all things creative and beautiful." Her current post is about Seamus Heaney, one of my favorite poets.

Jeanmarie Anaya's delightful blog, Jeanmarie Anaya is definitely worth your while. Humorous, pithy, eloquent. She writes about a number of writing issues, and wrote a lovely tribute to Robin Williams. 

And here are my six questions for these worthy recipients:
1. Where is your favorite place to read a book?
2. When beginning a new W.I.P., do you write by hand or wordprocess?
3. What are three of your favorite books? 
4. If you could be a character in a novel you've read, who would you be?
5. Which author, living or dead, do you wish you had the opportunity to meet?
6. When did you begin to write for yourself (as opposed to doing early homework assignments)?

And that's it, folks. I look forward to your comments, (feel free to answer any of the questions I posed for the nominees), and I do hope you check out the blogs in both sections of this post.

Ciao for now . . .

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38. All Fall Down: Review Haiku

Yes, it's a bit cliched
and too easily solved.
But you'll still read it.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. Atria, 2014, 400 pages.

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39. 5th Blogiversary Celebration

Five years. That's right, I'm celebrating five years of my blog. Looking back at this year's posts, I see there aren't too many, but there's good reason for that. I'll get to that in a moment. There are lots of things to cover.

First, I want to say that Robin Williams made my day. Please don't take this the wrong way. I am not trying to make light of a tragic situation. I know both depression and addiction are powerful diseases. My point in saying he made my day is that it emphasizes no matter how successful or financially well off you are, you are still not immune. It reminds me that chasing every last dollar and stressing over bills is not the answer. We live in a beautiful world and need to focus on the truly important things.

Now, as soon as I can put my soap box away, let's get on with the party...


A little bit further down this post, you can find details on the blogiversary prizes. Some of you may have noticed that I have been a bit absent from the "writing world" coming close to a year now. At least, I hope you noticed. Well, there's good reason for that. I've actually been living a childhood dream.


I'm currently a Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot! Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to drive one of those things. Last November, an opportunity arose and I took it. Let me tell you, the actual drive training is one of the most challenging things I've done in a long time. Every minute has been worth it! I am having a blast and spend my days with some absolutely amazing cast members.

As for my writing, I have some plans and things are coming together. 



My friends at Helping Hands Press (www.myhelpinghandspress.com) are helping me celebrate this blogiversary for the next 25 days. I have two projects that I am working on for them. Quite a while ago, I started co-authoring a story called Amish Wonder. When finished, it will be a novella about a young Amish boy thrust out into the secular world. For fans of the Defective Amish Detective, I will be re-editing those stories into a complete novel with a nice surprise on the end.



I am also working with Dinosaur George Media on two different series. Ask DG is a question and answer picture book for young readers. Book 2 will feature illustrations from the very talented Victor Donahue. Both Ask DG and Dinosaur George and the Paleonauts book 2 are expected to be available by Christmas. You can find these books and more here: store.dinosaurgeorge.com



And the one that started it all - The Empyrical Tales. Book Four of the Empyrical Tales will continue the story of Zandria and Olena by telling the tale of The First Queen. The whole series will be revamped and re-introduced soon. Until then, I will keep those details under wraps. Please visit my official website for more details and the series and my other books - www.MillerWords.com

While you are there, please check out my new online store, where you can get autographed copies of all of my paperbacks at a special price with free shipping.

In five years of writing, blogging and social media, I have met some fantastic writers and been blessed with some great fans. I've received humbling reviews and inspiring emails. I've tried my hand (not always successfully) in many different genres and have something for most every type of reader. To celebrate, I am giving away the gifts. Here are the links to five of my paperbacks available through Goodreads.com:














In addition to the paperbacks, Helping Hands Press has put together a prize pack of selected eBooks (mine and some of my author-friends). Lazarus Filmworks, for whom I wrote the adaptation of Daniel's Lot, is also including some prizes. Please be sure to visit both of my sponsors. This part of the giveaway will be done through Rafflecopter exclusively on my blog. You can earn an unlimited amount of entries by using social media once a day for the next 25 days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In closing, I want to express my gratitude. That is one thing of which I have an abundance and can afford. I am full of thanks for all of my experiences over the past five years. I am thankful for the people, both real and virtual, that I have met. I am thankful for the opportunities I've had. In this time, I have also watched my family grow and change and I thank God for that gift. Please feel free to share this post and all of the prize links. And, as always, I appreciate any comments on my blog.


Thank you for the past five years,
and I look forward to the next five!
Mark

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40. Call for Submissions: Lunch Ticket

Submissions for Lunch Ticket’s Summer/Fall 2014 issue are now being accepted!

Lunch Ticket is accepting submissions for its Summer/Fall 214 issue.The following genres are encouraged to apply: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Young People, & Visual Art. 

The deadline is set for October 31, 2014. Send us your best work! For guidelines and submission manager, visit our website.

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41. Short Fiction Competition: Boston Review

Submit online.

Deadline: October 1, 2014
Judge: Ruth Ozeki


Prize: $1,500

 
Complete guidelines:
The winning author will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published in the July/August 2015 issue of Boston Review. Runners up may also be published. Stories should not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. Mailed manuscripts should be double-spaced and submitted with a cover note listing the author’s name, address, and phone number. No cover note is necessary for online submission. Names should not appear on the stories themselves. Any author writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge. Simultaneous submissions are not permitted, submissions will not be returned, and submissions may not be modified after entry. 


A non-refundable $20 entry fee, payable to Boston Review in the form of a check or money order or by credit card, must accompany each story entered. All submitters receive a complimentary half-year subscription (3 issues) to Boston Review. 

Submissions must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2014. The winner will be notified in the spring of 2015 and publicly announced by July on the Boston Review Web site.

Please enter online using our contest entry manager. This requires payment using a credit card.


Or mail submissions to:
Short Story Contest, Boston Review
PO Box 425786
Cambridge, MA 02142

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42. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e August 29th, 2014



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

Keeping Yourself Motivated to Write (Rachel Kent)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/keeping-motivated-write/

Keeping Our Books Current (Elizabeth Spann Craig)
http://elizabethspanncraig.com/2383/keeping-books-current/

Gatekeepers - you're one, too (Juliette Wade)
http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2014/08/gatekeepers-youre-one-too.html

Getting through a Creative Dry Spell (Mary Keeley)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/getting-creative-dry-spell/

The Basics of Starting a Writing Group (Daniel Hope)
http://litreactor.com/columns/the-basics-of-starting-a-writing-group

A sense of urgency: beginnings (Jennifer R. Hubbard)
http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-sense-of-urgency-beginnings-jennifer.html

Character Archetypes (Nancy J. Cohen)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/08/character-archetypes.html

The Year Of Trying (Natalie Whipple)
http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-year-of-trying-or-introverts-feeble.html

False Promises (Wendy Lawton)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/false-promises/

What to write about when it feels like everything has already been written (Nathan Bransford)
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2014/08/what-to-write-about-when-it-feels-like.html

Laying the Groundwork for a Series (Mary Kole)
http://kidlit.com/2014/08/25/laying-groundwork-for-series/

POV 101: Get into Your Protagonist’s Head and Stay There (Jodie Renner)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/08/pov-101-get-into-your-protagonists-head.html

How to Use Backstory to Keep Readers Reading (Elizabeth Spann Craig)
http://elizabethspanncraig.com/2375/use-backstory-keep-readers-reading/


If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2013, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.
 

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43. Spicing Up Your Prose Part 2 of 6

This week, we continue to add delicious rhetorical devices to your prose spice shelf.

Asyndeton omits conjunctions and speeds up the sentence using three or four beats.

Dick ran, laughing, hysterical, howlingfrom the library.

Balance offers two propositions of equal value joined by a comma or semicolon. The second half mirrors the first half but changes a few words.

Dick asked not what Jane could do for him1, but what he could do for her2.

Chiasmus repeats a sentence or clause but reverses the order in the second half.

When the water gets rough, the rough get in the water.

Chronicity moves the sentence backward or forward in time using connectors such as: after, before, during and until.

BeforeDick would agree to enter the library, before he would agree to read the book, he insisted that Jane go home.

Conduplicato repeats a key word from the base clause to start the next sentence or clause.
                
Dick was hard to love, hard tohate.

Consecutive clauses reveal a series of actions or thoughts.

Dick ran through the hall1, up the stairs2, skidding around the corner3, breaking into the library4 in time to hear Jane scream.

Epanelepsis repeats the same word or phrase at the beginning and end of a clause or sentence.

Dayfollowed day, week followed week, and Jane still had no answer.

Epistrophe repeats the same word or phrase at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. It carries emotion.

Jane charmed him, confused him, and consumed him.


Next week, we will contine adding spices to your prose shelf.

For the complete list of spices and other revision layers, pick up a copy of: 

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44. Call for Submissions: Blinders Literary Journal

Have you ever, as a new writer, felt intimidated by the contributor bios you read in the back of your favorite magazines? Have you ever, as a well-established writer, wondered how well your manuscripts would fare if they were separated from your name and list of previous publications?

We here at Blinders Literary Journal hope that we have found a solution for writers and poets, new and advanced. We are currently reading blind submissions only for our second issue. We never want to see your cover letter, only your fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Once we accept your work, we will display it professionally in a digital environment.

Please visit our website to review our submission guidelines and read our first issue.

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45. Call for Submissions: Crab Orchard Review

--POSTAL SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR THIS ISSUE ON OCTOBER 1, 2014. THE DEADLINE FOR POSTAL SUBMISSIONS IS NOVEMBER 10, 2014. THIS IS A POSTMARK DEADLINE, SO THERE IS NO NEED TO EXPRESS MAIL, OVERNIGHT, OR FAX ANY SUBMISSION. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL YOUR SUBMISSION. THANK YOU.--

Special Issue: 20 Years: Writing About 1995-2015

To celebrate twenty years of publication, CRAB ORCHARD REVIEW is seeking submissions for our Summer/Fall 2015 issue focusing on writing inspired or informed by the experiences, observations, and/or cultural and historical events of the following topic: "20 Years: Writing About 1995-2015." We are open to work that covers any of the ways our world and ourselves have changed due to the advancements, setbacks, tragedies, and triumphs of the last twenty years.

All submissions should be original, unpublished poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction in English. Please inquire before submitting any translations. For general information about submissions, click the following link for our regular submission guidelines and subscription and single copy orders.

The submission period by postal mail for this issue is October 1 through November 10, 2014. (There will be earlier dates, August 15 through October 1, 2014, for online submissions to our Special Issue Feature Awards. All submissions for the Special Issue Feature Awards are also considered for publication in the Summer/Fall 2015 issue). We will be reading submissions throughout and hope to complete the editorial work on the issue by the end of January 2015. Writers whose work is selected will receive $25 (US) per magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry; $100 minimum for prose) and two copies of the issue. Mail submissions to:

CRAB ORCHARD REVIEWThe 20 Years issue
Faner 2380, Mail Code 4503
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1000 Faner Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America

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46. Call for Submissions: Bizarro

Call for Bizarro
Closes September 15, 2014

Please send up to three unpublished 500-word or shorter pieces of bizarro or one that is over 500 words. Please send bizarro (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, genreless, unpublishable, etc.) as a doc, docx, rtf, jpeg, or pdf file. When sending a pdf file, please accompany it by a doc, docx, or rtf file when possible. All submissions should include a 100-word bio in third person and an author image for consideration. A single document is preferable. With no particular aesthetic, we are looking for interesting, engaging, challenging work, work that will make us laugh, cry, dance, discuss, or swear.

All authors are responsible for editing their own work before submitting. Unedited or sloppy work will not be considered.

We acquire first rights or one-time rights. Copyright reverts back to the author/artist after publication. We ask that whenever an author or artist republishes work that first appeared here at Festival Writer that we be given acknowledgement for that specific work or version of that work. If your work appears on your own website or blog, it is considered published.

Email submissions to:

festivaloflanguageATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

with bizarro, Yourlastname" as the subject line.


Authors will be notified by the end of October. Selected works will be published in a special issue.

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47. Susan Whitfield

Award-winning, multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is the author of five published mysteries and Killer Recipes, a real cookbook with mysterious names featuring recipes from mystery writers across the country. Her first women’s fiction novel, Slightly Cracked, was published in 2012.

Please tell everyone a little about yourself, Susan.

SusanWhitfieldSusan: A life-long native of North Carolina, I’ve lived in both the eastern and western parts of the state. I taught high school English for thirteen years before moving in high school administration for the remainder of my career. I retired and began my second career, writing. I have five published mystery novels: Genesis Beach, set along NC’s Crystal Coast;  Just North of Luck, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hell Swamp, set along Black River in Pender County, Sin Creek in Wilmington, and Sticking Point in Beaufort. I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, and North Carolina Writers Network. My husband and I live in Wayne County just a few miles from our two sons and their families.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

slightlycrackedSusan: I’ve been writing the Logan Hunter Mysteries, publishing the first novel back in 2007. As much as I have loved Logan, I knew as an author I wanted to write other stories and perhaps other genres. When I wrote Slightly Cracked, women’s fiction, I knew I wanted to write more in that genre, so I ended the Logan Hunter Mysteries with Sticking Point, published in February of this year. I think I left Logan in a good place after putting her through some horrible ordeals in Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, and especially Sin Creek. While I did enjoy the series, I also have a fondness for stand-alones like Slightly Cracked. I am currently trying my hand at historical fiction. More on that later.

What’s the hook for the book?

Susan: Tying this into the last question, in Sticking Point, Logan investigates the death of a fifteen-year-old bully whose death was ruled natural causes.

Who’s the most unusual/most likeable character?

sticking pointSusan: In Sticking Point, Logan must work with another investigator whom she thinks she despises. They are uncomfortable and it shows, but as the investigations rolls along, they begin to understand and appreciate how the tragic past has affected each of them. My favorite character in this book is the bed and breakfast owner, a British lady with strict rules and secrets of her own, but the novel moves from a mystery into a love story that I’m quite proud to have written.

Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Susan: I hate outlines so I start without one and then at some point I reach a roadblock and build an outline to get me straightened out. As much as I hate them, I have to admit they’ve fixed a multitude of problems for me.

Do you have a specific writing style? Preferred POV?

Susan: I call my own writing “elementary” because I don’t use big words. It’s just easy everyday writing. I prefer first person but I wrote the women’s fiction in third person because it’s important for the reader to get into the heads of four characters.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Susan: I grew up in North Carolina and have lived here all my life. It makes sense to set the books here. While I don’t exaggerate my Southern background, I try to use local and regional dialects and showcase different areas of the state. Setting is almost always a feature in my books.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Susan: 

“Sin Creek by Susan Whitfield, is an eye-opener and a heart-breaker, but with the sweetest redeeming ending.

Having had a long-standing friendship with a detective, when reading Sin Creek, I felt a sense of déjà vu about events I know to be true. These foul crimes do exist and are proliferating all over the world, both promoted by and brought to law enforcement attention by the Internet. Whitfield portrays the underpinnings of one man’s vile world of pornography with researched accuracy.

Though this story is fiction, the very same types of exploitation continue to happen and escalate. If you never understood how lewd and dangerous the world of porn is, read Sin Creek. It’s fiction but true to life. It’ll make you shudder.”

What are your current projects?

Susan: I am currently writing an historical mystery, titled Sprig of Broom, about an ancestor who was a Knight of the Bath. This is by far the most challenging project I’ve ever done because I’m traveling back to medieval times. Research is on-going and I want to represent my ancestor as accurately as possible while filling in the gaps with fiction that seems to be true. It’s a slow process and I anticipate a lengthy amount of time before it’s complete.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Susan:  I blog at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com
My web site is www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
I’m also on Facebook and a member of Booktown at www.booktown.ning.

Thanks for joining us today, Susan.

Susan: Thank you for the interview.

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48. Review of The Madman of Piney Woods

MadmanPineyWoods Review of The Madman of Piney Woodsstar2 Review of The Madman of Piney Woods The Madman of Piney Woods
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Intermediate, Middle School   Scholastic    370 pp.
9/14    978-0-545-15664-6    $16.99    g
e-book ed.  978-0-545-63376-5    $16.99

In this companion to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton (rev. 11/07), it is now 1901, and for thirteen-year-old Benji Alston of Buxton, Ontario, the American Civil War is ancient history — great material for war games, but tedious when the Buxton elders harp on it. Life for this African Canadian nature lover involves coping with two irritatingly gifted younger siblings, spending time with his best friend Spence, and dreaming of becoming a newspaper reporter. In nearby Chatham lives Alvin “Red” Stockard, a scientifically inclined Irish Canadian boy whose borderline-abusive grandmother tells horrific stories of the Potato Famine and coffin ships on the St. Lawrence River, tales that, in her mind, justify her inflexible hatred of Canadians and “anyone whose skin is darker than [hers].” The two boys eventually meet and become friends, discovering unexpected similarities in each other and their family histories. And then there is that supposedly mythical woodland monster — called the Madman of Piney Woods by Buxton residents and the South Woods Lion Man by Chatham folk — who tragically and irrevocably brings the past into the present for both boys. Curtis takes his young protagonists — and his readers — on a journey of revelation and insight. Woven throughout this profoundly moving yet also at times very funny novel are themes of family, friendship, community, compassion, and, fittingly, the power of words.

From the September/October 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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49. Duchessina

Here's a post that originally ran in the now-defunct Edge of the Forest

Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine de' Medici Carolyn Meyer

Catherine de’Medici is mostly known as the power behind the throne during the reigns of her ineffective sons, the kings of France. History has also placed her with the blame of the St. Bartholomew’s massacre in which over two thousand Huguenots were killed. Not much is known about the early life of Catherine de’Medici, beyond her use as a pawn in various Florentine power struggles.

In this latest installment in her Young Royals series, Carolyn Meyer’s imagination fills in the gaps in her story. Orphaned as an infant, she is known as Duchessina, the little Duchess after her duchy in Urbino. She grows up in Florence, in the Plaza de Medici under the watchful eye of her cardinal uncle, the future Pope Clement VII. After her guardian uncle assumes the pontificate, Italy is plunged into several wars against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Catherine is eight at the time and does not completely understand the political machinations at play as the citizens of Florence take the excuse to reassert their independence from Medici rule. Catherine is taken as a war hostage and sent to an anti-Medici convent. She then changes convents from time to time as the turmoil mounts and recedes. Eventually, Catherine is taken to Rome to be with the Pope as he arranges her marriage to the French dauphin.

Once in France, Catherine’s life does not become easier. It is obvious her new husband’s affections lie elsewhere. But, with the skills she has learned, she makes a place for herself.

This is an exciting tale with historic splendor, adventure, love, and true friendship. Unfortunately, the historical notes at the end act mainly as an epilogue to her life, not as illuminating background information to the events of the book. During the Italian Wars, the young Catherine does not fully understand the political maneuverings at play, and as she is the narrator, neither does the reader. Also, there is nothing to let the reader know which details of the story are fact, and which sprung from Meyer’s mind. It is also interesting to note that Catherine’s speaking voice is the same at the age of three as it is as an adult.

(note-- I did go an read an adult biography of her, Leonie Frieda's Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France, which I reviewed here in 2007)


Book Provided by... The Edge of the Forest, for review

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50. Smek for President: Review Haiku

Some prior knowledge
is helpful, but you'll still root
for Tip and J.Lo.

Smek for President by Adam Rex. Disney, 2014, 272 pages.

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