Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
Not everyone lives in the desert, but everyone needs to be aware of the importance of good skin care. There are several reasons I became hypersensitive to skin care. First, I moved to the desert from the Midwest. The dry climate and hot sun sucked the moisture from my skin, hair, and nails. Next, I had skin cancer on my face. The doctor informed me it was from sun exposure in my teens and twenties (in the Midwest). Finally, I got older.
Over 5 1/5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Pretty surprising, I know. The sun can really damage your skin. That includes sunshine that’s reflected off snow or water, because both heat and cold are hard on your skin. The cold winter winds or hot, dusty summer breezes can also damage the sensitive skin of your face and hands, your neck, or any skin that’s exposed.
Although many adults pay more attention to skin care as they age, many young people don’t notice the abuse they subject their skin to, but that’s when proper skin care should begin, in our youth. Teens are more likely to use skin care products for acne, and often experience oily skin so don’t consider using moisturizers with sunscreen or even using sunscreen itself, in either the summer or winter months.
Year-round skin care is essential for a more youthful, bright-looking skin, whatever your age. I know most people know this, but they sure don’t take good care of their skin. Several skin care products are available and carry different formulas for different skin types, such as sensitive, oily, dry and aging. Just a few choices include: CeraVe, Aveeno, Eucerin, Gold Bond, OGY, Neocurtis and Jergens. These are all over body lotions. Special care should be taken with the delicate skin of face, neck and chest areas. Some of the most affordable skin creams with SPF protection are Oil of Olay, Loreal, Ponds, Jergens, and Kiehl’s, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique and others. The point is to do your research, find the skin care products that best fits your needs and budget, and use them every day for the rest of your life. The sooner the better!
Enjoy that summer glow!
My contribution to this year's anthology is Bride of Bazel. Linnea is a new bride, and she's on her honeymoon, but her husband's name is Mehmet. She has a Siamese cat named Sabrina, too. You'll have to read her story to discover why the title is appropriate.
Also contained in perhaps the best ever anthology are:
The grey-suit guys portray a great rat race, but if you think that’s scary get to know the burbs. They’re a real jungle.
Prepare to look at your modern home a little closer and be sure you’re wearing protective eye gear.
This year’s anthology will take you back to to the Wild Wild West and the Salem that nightmares are made of.
It'll teach you some white magic learned by children at their mother’s knee from the time of the Celts.
You can travel through time but be careful not to become a sacrifice in a secret ritual or a player in a not-so-fun game in which only the jinn know the rules.
"Now in its fifth incarnation, Tell-Tale's horror anthologies have become an annual benchmark of emerging talent and well-told stories. The select seven featured here will yank you backward and forward again in time, visiting the exotic and the seemingly mundane, at a pace and a pulse calibrated for Halloween chills. Beware of a cat named Sabrina and a Celtic goddess with a passport to Salem – yes, that Salem. An old farmhouse could hold more vivid memories than just its mortal foundations, and think twice about rescuing the sister of a young boy if you find yourself in a desert. Twins may not be what they seem, so hang onto your hat (and your head). For that matter, hang on to your whole body unless you want to risk permanent eviction. Also, you may never use steak knives again. Trick or treat! " –Thomas Sullivan--USA Today best-selling novelist (https://thomassullivanauthor.com)
Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!
He’s the Promised One
A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.
She’s the Protector
A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.
They have a Problem
Walking a marital tightrope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!
“Every delicious word on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.” – NYT bestselling author, Darynda Jones
Elizabeth, thanks for hosting a stop on my new release, RISE BY MOONLIGHT’s blog tour!!
I also have to thank you for that shared love of the otherworldly that’s taken us several times to New Orleans, the city that inspired my “By Moonlight” series, and for my fascination with Tarot which found its way into the series via one of its heroines, a French Quarter psychic.
Being on sites where my books take place helped add an incomparable depth to the stories. While on our week-long visit to NOLA back in 2010, what fun to have written my promo articles for Book 1, MASKED BY MOONLIGHT, in the Quarter House where Silas and Nica will later reside. To take swamp boat tours on Max’s bayous, ride the street cars, enjoy Haunted History tours through the Bradys’ Garden District and Colin and Mia’s Quarter, take plantation visits to homes like Kip and Ophelia’s, and embark on an enthusiastic quest to sample all the authentic cuisine we could find along the way. Then be lucky enough to return last year for a special event (Happy Anniversary to you and Kenton!) for another chance to explore more settings for RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the final book in the series.
We soaked it all up, from Court of the Two Sisters and the Old Absinthe House to taking an hour-long post-vow renewal carriage tour through the neighborhoods and having fortunes told in Chartres Street shops and on the Square while serenaded by the sounds of my favorite city. How else could I have incorporated those tiny details like the broken sidewalks (banquettes!) CeeCee and Babineau travel that are still wet after being swept clean of party debris every morning, the fortuneteller tables like Phe’s surrounding the Square, the Sunday bells from the cathedral, the constant movement of cargo along the Mississippi, and awe of that epic view CeeCee and Max must share from their penthouse high above the rooftops? Add the scent of the city—old and worn, rich and spicy, damp and soul-deep hot. And the sounds—music from every doorway and street corner, accents from every corner of the globe, the jingle of carriage harnesses and honks from the steady stream of cabs and tour buses. The taste—powdered sugar beignets, sweet crawfish, tangy BBQ, rich gumbo, right from the Gulf to the table seafood, and Hurricanes in plastic cups while walking. The sights—exotic dancers through open doorways in the middle of the day, mimes and living statues, streetcars and lines of weary carriage horses and mules flicking off flies while they doze by the square.
Those things are the heart of this unique place called home to my shapeshifter outcasts who search for the promised leader who’ll save them from surrounding threat. Max Savoie’s city. My favorite city for you to enjoy as you travel the pages of RISE BY MOONLIGHT.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 68 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. She recently retired after 20 years as a legal assistant and, when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy on the web.
Nancy’s Media Links: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter
- Rise by Moonlight: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | iBooks
It’s hot out, just about everywhere in the country right now. Really hot! So, I thought it might be a good idea to offer some ideas on how to stay safe and have fun while cooling off. Safety? Hydrate, and don’t let yourself get overheated, even if a shower is all you have to cool down. With that in mind, you might want to try one or more of the following.
You Can Use a Real Disaster to Create a Disaster in Your Story, or My Neighborhood has Literally Gone to Hell!
During the Coronavirus Pandemic we've all heard a lot of information (and misinformation) about face masks. One fact seems indisputable: medical personnel are in dire need of face masks. There is such a shortage, nurses are making face guards from pop bottles, and asking citizens who sew to make masks.
Seniors are at such risk they are on lockdown, not allowing visitors in nursing homes. Living in a senior community that's right next door to another one that is condos rather than single family homes, it's something I have paid a lot of attention to. I have also noted that the virus has spread from those with no symptons who are carriers, and that it is highly, highly contagious and can be spread by sneazing, coughing or even breathing and talking from one person to another, whether contact is commuted via the air through the eyes, nose or mouth, or from touching a surface upon which the virus has settled and then touching your mouth, nose, or rubbing your eyes, etc.
Now at first they said, and still in some cases still do say that citizens don't need face masks unless they are sick. [Recall that carriers may have no symptoms for up to 2 weeks if at all, so who is sick?] They were trying to keep the t.p. hoarders from siphoning all remaining face masks that could be used by front line responders and medical personnel, and rightly so. However, they are claiming that Korea was able to keep their infection rate down because many citizens were wearing face masks and blocking the virus and preventing themselves from touching their faces. Best defense against that? Wash your hands, right? Washing hands removes germs. Hand sanitizers only kill some of the germs. Better than nothing when a sink isn't handy, but never as good as a good scrub as soon as you get home. [Fastest spread right now, according to the experts? Gas pumps.]
Since I'm the head of our community's Neighborhood Watch Patrol, and all our patrol volunteers are seniors, I felt I needed to do something. They spend a lot of selfless hours (especially once the snowbirds leave and nearly half our neighborhood is vacant), keeping our community safe, so I felt I needed to do something to keep them safe. I also worried about my hubby who's a senior and works in a service industry job and is still working. Decision made: I don't want to take masks from the medical personnel, but I feel my hubby (who sees clients every day) and patrol folk needed masks when they are so often approached by neighbors who are out exercising and getting some air--and especially when they have to go to the store.
So I went on the search for the perfect, most protective mask I could make at home, knowing even then they wouldn't be N95 professsional masks. There were masks that accordian like the 'real' surgical masks, some that tied with fabric ties or had elastic straps. There were more conelike masks that provided space for the nose without accordian folds. They were also made from a variety of materials from simple cotton to flannel, to interfacing and even bras or maxi pads. Here's an interesting link: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/homemade-masks-coronavirus-do-they-work-how-to-make-them-20200324.html
After extensive research, several sample trial and error attempts, more research from government sites to medical sites and youtube how-to videos, I came up with the following conclusions. Keep in mind that it's my personal opinion, gleaned from the information of experts and home diy folks.
I decided to go with the face-contoured cone-shaped pattern. I used cotton (mostly remnents from quilts and other projects I had made) material for the mask. I incorporated a filter slot in the back, and that pocket was lined with non-woven fusible interfacing, which is a fairly good filter itself, similar to the material of medical masks (washable, which is why they are washing/disinfecting and reusing hospital masks). I also, and this seems to be very, very important, add a piece of wire at the top so air can't escape above, at the bridge of the nose, which makes the mask pretty much useless when you consider breathing in contaminants, though it would still block fairly large mucus-laden globules. People have used bag ties, pipe cleaners and many other 'wire' alternatives. I used florist wire. I tried to keep the ends protected by adding a dab of hot glue to seal the end. Some used duct tape, but I'm not sure if that would wash off or not. The glue gob could come off in the wash too, I suppose.
So what filter to put in the filter pocket? It seems most sites that actually did any research on diy masks agreed that vacuum bags are best. Why? Well the ones I had were double-layered and have microbial stopping power. So I sewed the two layers together in the oval shape I needed for the pocket. This gives my masks 3 layers of cotton, 1 layer of fusible interface, and a 2 layers of microbial filter, so 6 layers of protection in total. Breathable? Yup. And that's important. Flannel, BTW, seemed rather difficult to breath through when double layered, though it's comfy against the face. Personal choices.
I decided that sewing ties takes much longer so played around with the elastic ties and moved from the over the ears, one loop of elastic on each side of the mask to one piece of elastic that loops through each side and behind the head. It takes the same amount of elastic. The behind the head types seem to fit more securely, and make the mask fit the face better, as well as being more comfortable to wear.
So I have made masks for all my neighborhood watch, family members (some who life in Cali and are very high risk), and a few requested by a doctor my husband knows. Now I am going to make some to donate to the front-liners. No matter what you think of the pandemic, these are handy. One of the watch people told me they immediately used it to use bug spray so wanted to make sure they could wash it for reuse! And let's not forget they said we need to prepare for a second wave.... If you want to try some for your family and friends this is the pattern for sewing I used: https://ithinksew.com/FreePatterns/2781_FACIALMASKWITHFILTERPOCKET_UTB.pdf
Who else thinks my mask choice is better protection, even without the hepa filter? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnVk12sFRkY
Why do I add a hepa filter layer from a vacuum bag? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6d3twpHwis&feature=emb_rel_pause
And here's the video I watched to learn how, though I alter it a bit, by making the pocket interface layer the size of the pattern, and the other 2 cotton layers about 1/2 inch longer so as the last step I can fold them over and make a casing for the elastic (I use 28" of 1/4" elastic). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlrSNFC4DLs
Need to Help a Youngster Fill Their New Kindle, Nook or Other EReader? Book Ideas for Every Age Group!
Need a last minute stocking stuffer or want to help fill your youngster's ereader for Christmas break? Of course I recommend books, for every occassion. It's a very affordable vacation! As an expert in the areas of emerging, struggling, and developing readers, I have tried to include those that will appeal to all levels of readers in every age group. You know best which of these great books is best for your reader.
Ages 3-5 (and younger, as you will be reading to them)
Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit series, to introduce a child in your life to the misadventures of Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGreggor’s garden. Classics are classics for a reason.
Tom Fletcher’s There’s an Elf in Your Book, and it’s a bossy elf, who may be trying to trick you or get you into trouble, so you may have to outwit him. A fun addition to the whole Elf on a Shelf craze.
Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings Will and Grace's Sean Hayes and composer Scott Icenogle fill in the oft-wondered-about backstory of how the Sugar Plum Fairy came to be.
National Geographic’s First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields, to help with all those why’s in that sometimes confusing (how do you explain things that are complex in simple terms) why stage.
Jessika von Innerebner’s Kevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows, is especially good when your child may not be having a perfect day, or may be a bit cranky (not that the child in your life would ever be cranky).
All Aboard! The Christmas Train by Nichole Mara. Folding out car by car, this accordion-style board book takes readers on a tour of Santa’s Christmas train. Each car has lots to see—elves making toys, penguins playing, reindeer preparing for the big day—as Santa searches for his missing boot. With a running landscape dotted with objects for children to find and count on the back of the book, All Aboard! The Christmas Train is a fun, interactive ride from beginning to end.
Jan Britt’s The Tale of the Tiger Slippers, is based on an Indian folktale and reminding little ones to persevere, work hard for what they get and to remember where they came from.
Dragons Love Tacos 2 by Adam Rubin, comes in as box set with two plush dragons. A funny tale about how the dragons save their favorite food.
Paul McCartney has written a book called Hey Grandude! For adventure-loving kids, you can’t go wrong with this action-packed picture book from one of the most celebrated musicians in history. With help from his magic compass, Grandude takes his grandchildren on a globe-trotting expedition. Celebrate imagination and adventure with this delightful story.
Who doesn’t love the Bernstein Bears by Jan and Stan Berenstain? Everyone’s favorite bear family is celebrating Christmas in Bear Country, in The Bernstein Bears’ Merry Christmas. With two books in one, Berenstain Bears fans will get to enjoy both The Mad, Mad, Mad Toy Craze and Meet Santa Bear. Join the family as they experience the spirit of giving and learn what matters most during the holiday season.
Grumpy Monkey Party Time by Suzanne Lang. Everyone's favorite grumpy monkey is back in a new story! Jim Panzee is nervous about going to a party. He doesn’t know how to dance. In fact, he doesn’t even like to dance. Kids that get nervous in new situations will appreciate this funny picture book. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and expressive illustrations, this book shows kids how to manage their anxiety.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess. Sure, there’s a movie, but why not read the original book first? Teach your youngster the skill or compare and contrast from word to screen (said the retired English teacher), and increase their literacy skills!
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is great for younger kids too. Again, book versus movie opportunity here! 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin The title illustrates the delightful and uplifting message in this beautifully illustrated book.
Runny Babbit Returns by Shel Silverstein Fun and quirky! The mixed-up language in this hilarious book will get your kids laughing and inspire their imaginations.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: 20th Anniversary Edition. I just love this and think it’s a fun keepsake for kids of all ages (including adults). In this beloved picture book that could only come from the visionary mind of author and illustrator TIM BURTON, we meet Jack Skellington-- a well-intentioned inhabitant of Halloweenland. Jack is bored of "the scaring, the terror, the fright....tired of being something that goes bump in the night". And so, in an effort to bring joy to his town, Jack kidnaps Santa and takes his place as the jolly old elf. But instead of bringing joy to the world Jack, who is a little more than a grinning skeleton, brings fear by delivering creepy toys and riding a sleigh carried by skeletal reindeer. Only through a number of things going horribly wrong does Jack learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dave Pilkey For kids beginning to explore the world of chapter books, the Dog Man series is a favorite. A Tale of Two Kitties is the newest book in the series and is perfect for Captain Underpants groupies and kids that enjoy goofy humor.
Who doesn’t love a ninja princess? The Princess in Black: Three Smashing Adventures by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale Get the first three adventures in everyone's favorite ninja-princess series with this boxed set. Growing readers will devour these stories and enjoy the mask-wearing, pony-riding, monster-smashing fun.
Got an American Girl lover in your life? They need one of these! American Girl Character Encyclopedia by Carrie Anton and Erin Falligant They can learn more about their favorite dolls and the stories behind them, explore outfits, and discover facts every American Girl enthusiast should know.
Coding for 6-8 year old’s, really? My First Coding Book by Kiki Prottsman Coding is quickly becoming a life skill for the rising generation, and it's a high-interest topic for kids. With flaps to lift, puzzles to solve, and easy to digest information, this book makes coding accessible, interesting, and fun for young readers.
The Flower Fairy aficionado has developed a beautiful coloring book that’s perfect for this age all the way through adult! Color with your favorite youngster! The Flower Fairies Coloring Book by Cicely Mary Barker Young artists and Flower Fairies devotees will love coloring the stunning artwork on these pages. With beautiful illustrations of flowers and fairies, it's the perfect gift for the fanciful young artist.
Letters From Father Christmas J.R.R. Tolkien’s kids got a letter from Father Christmas every year, with detailed stories and illustrations to go with each. Here, his magical notes are remembered for all to enjoy.
This is a great age to get the youngster in your life started on journaling, and here’s a great first book to help them out. My Smile Diary by Raina Telgemeier Your youngster can document the details of their life, dreams, and big goals in this whimsical diary filled with blank pages and bordered with Telgemeier’s characteristic comic-style artwork, as well as handwritten prompts for deeper reflection.
Don’t think zombies are popular with this age group? Think again! The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate. This fifth book in the action-packed Last Kids on Earth series takes place after Jack and his friends survive the Monster Apocalypse. In this story, Jack uses his Louisville Slicer blade’s incredible powers to fight zombies and Vine-Thingies. Meanwhile, Dirk’s acting suspicious and a new villain arrives in town.
Have a kid in your life that’s getting a fur baby from Santa? Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Wats to Care for Your Furry Friend by Vanessa Estrada Marin For kids ready to become dog parents, this digestible guide book is a must-read. Easy-to-follow instructions allow kids to walk their pets through basic obedience training, essential commands, and clever tricks. Parents will also appreciate that kids are learning patience, compassion, and responsibility — all essential qualities in both dog training and life.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi During the summer of 1984, science fiction enthusiast Ebony-Grace leaves the comfort of her grandfather’s home in Huntsville, Alabama to visit her father in Harlem. Initially, she’s overwhelmed and retreats to her imagination, but soon she embraces the parallels between Harlem and the world of science fiction adventures.
White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio Written by the author of Wonder, this meaningful graphic novel about Julian’s Jewish Grandmère shows that kindness takes bravery. Despite the fact that Sara’s friends bullied him, when the Nazis come for Jewish children, a boy and his family hide Sara from the soldiers — saving her life and showing her the power of forgiveness.
The Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #9), by Jeff Kinney Everyone’s favorite wimpy kid, Greg Heffley, is heading off on a road trip with his family—and any reader who loves the Heffleys knows disaster can’t be far behind. Whether it’s a pack of rogue seagulls or a fender bender, this family trip will be full of exciting incidents…and it may well turn out to be an adventure they’ll never forget.
I recall that I had to fight to get this “witch” book into the hands of students when it was first released, some who had never read a chapter book before (but read and loved this one!). Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Read the first sentence of the book that kicked off worldwide Pottermania, and just try not to read on. If you know a young reader who hasn’t yet met Harry Potter, consider yourself lucky: you get to make the introduction. There are few stories so magical, few casts of characters so beloved, few fantasy worlds as soundly built and utterly compelling as Rowling’s.
The Web Paige Chronicles by Emilio Iasiello PRAISE FOR THE WEB PAIGE CHRONICLES: "Web Paige Chronicles offers a refreshing and empowering role model for young adults. By eschewing this iGeneration’s stereotypical malaise in favor of positive curiosity with technology, Iasiello folds practical cybersecurity guidance into a relatable story." -Scott Schober, author of Hacked Again
The Giver, by Lois Lowry This is a classic, winner of numerous awards. Another book to movie discussion opportunity. Perhaps a bit difficult for struggling readers, but used as curriculum in many middle schools, Lowry’s dystopian classic is the kind of timeless book that never gets outdated. Twelve-year-old Jonah is in training to take over as his community’s Receiver of Memory. Everyone else in his world is obsessed with “Sameness,” trading emotional depth for eternal calm. Released in 1993, this novel has been a staple of school reading lists for years, and belongs on the shelf of any child who loves The Hunger Games—and anyone who appreciates great storytelling that will stick with you for life.
Middle school can be brutal for kids. Help them see the humor with this Dork Diaries series. Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After (Dork Diaries #8), by Rachel Renée Russell
In the eighth installment of the wildly popular Dork Diaries series, bubbly heroine Nikki Maxwell gets a bump on the head in gym class after an April Fool’s Day prank goes awry. It knocks her right into a fairy-tale-inspired dreamland, in which she and her classmates each take the role of a classic character—but Dork Diaries fans will be glad to know Nikki is just as much her goofy self in her dreams as she is in everyday middle school.
Ages 13 Up
The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman is the story of three unlikely heroines, each with brilliant and diverse wishes, talents, and passions, who form an unlikely friendship despite their differences when they meet in unlikely circumstances.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene is a moving story about life, death, friendship, hope, and love, as a sixteen-year-old girl learns to deal with the fact that she will die and leave everyone she loves behind.
Another book and movie combo! Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling is a must-read installment for fans of Harry Potter. This prequel to the original series sees Dumbledore on a mission to stop Grindelwald from raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something.
How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow Here is what happens when your mother dies. It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart. That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, aloneHere is how you learn to make friends with the dark.
Enter the Grishaverse with the instant #1 New York Times-bestseller King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. "[Bardugo] touches on religion, class, family, love ― all organically, all effortlessly, all cloaked in the weight of a post-war reckoning with the cost (literal and figurative) of surviving the events that shape both people and nations." ―NPR
"The story exists at an intersection of past and future selves, and in the dawning understanding that what you most fear may be what you most need." ―Washington Post
Happy Reading to you and yours!
Being a former teacher, I love the use of this mnemonic device to help people remember how to be not only a goal setter, but an achiever. Teachers use these sorts of tools to help grade school kids all the time, but I found them almost more effective with my college kids, who needed to remember to simplify. (There's a pun in there somewhere.) As great as this is, though, I would like to add PLAN to that Goal Setting technique. I think you need to have a SMART PLAN. Find out why.
You can't hit a target you can't see. Work smarter, not harder. These are all great adages that can be applied to goals. But how?
Specific is perhaps the most ignored portion of goal setting. People frequently set goals like, I want to lose weight, or I want to quit smoking, or I want to write a novel, but they don't bother to break those gargantuan goals into more specific, smaller, and thus achievable goals. How much weight? By when? How much do you want to try to lose each week, each month, etc.? How are you planning to achieve that goal? Diet? Exercise? Both? What kind? How often? If you first set the specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound goal, in order to achieve it, you need a PLAN. Here's what I want, and this is how I'm going to get it.
Remember to be realistic too. For example, lots of folks, including me, have written a novel during National Novel Writing Month (November). Their goal, if they are part of the growing community of writers who participate in this activity nation-wide, is to write at least 50,000 words. That's actually a novella to most publishers, but it's still book length, and a darn good start for someone who wants to keep going. That's a specific goal to help them get it down on paper, so to speak.
What follows, however, is the more complex and time consuming revision and editing process, and that's why there are so many local chapters that continue on, encouraging each other and sharing progress, trying to then reach the goal of getting the book published. For folks who procrastinate, who never finish the book because they are so busy editing and revising each little section, that is a fabulous activity. For those who feel they regurgitated a pile of crap when they write that fast, not so much. They might do better setting smaller, more manageable goals, like writing so many words a week, then spending a day revising and editing, wash, rinse, repeat. That's the relevant part. The goal and the plan have to be relevant to you as an individual. Is it something you think you can do, or that you would even want to do? If there's no what's in it for me, it's not a very good goal for you in the first place.
But we all do have goals, things we want, or even things we need to accomplish. The best way to do this within a reasonable amount of time is goal setting using the SMART formula and creating a PLAN to achieve that goal.
Have a great new year!
Special! An audio clip from the upcoming audio book!
Genre: Nonfiction Reference
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Date of Publication: November 23, 3018
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 60,000
Tagline: An Encyclopedia for YA Writers
Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.
"The Young Adult Writer's Journey is a 'Must Have' at your fingertip reference for anyone who writes (or wants to write) for or about kids. Engaging text with topical and thought-provoking insights leading from idea to submission . . . and beyond to populate a story with believable characters young readers can relate to."—Nancy Gideon, Award-Winning author of the By Moonlight series
“The trouble with “how to” books on creativity is that they usurp creativity. Not so with this very insightful guide for YA writing. If it doesn’t become a standard or even a classic among reference books, it will be an oversight. Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds have all the marinated smarts and credentialed experience to pull this off, and they do! No dictated wisdom from on high here, no grafted creativity, THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY is accessible, motivational and a clear map that leaves plenty of room to discover for anyone wanting to explore their creative side.”-Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer-nominated author of THE PHASES OF HARRY MOON
When you talk about world-building, many writers think you’re talking about fantasy lands like Narnia, Westeros, Panam or Middle Earth. For most teens, school is their world. What kind of home life they have is their world and these worlds need to be just as complicated as Narnia. Well-developed teen worlds like Hogwarts, North Shore High School, home of the Mean Girls, Rydell High School of Grease, and Panem of Hunger Games are so well-developed they seem real, and you remember them as though they were a place you visited.
To create a real world for teens in our times, you really need to know them: what they do every day, what they like, what motivates them, the environment in high schools and many other details. Home life for kids is very different from twenty or even ten years ago. It takes two incomes now to support a growing family or to succeed, so both parents most likely work. This leaves kids as young as nine or ten at home alone for long periods of time (or even younger, unfortunately). The enemy of these parents is the school holiday, and it seem like there’s more than ever. These parents have no idea what to do with their children. Many can’t afford childcare, so the kids are home alone. It’s a thing you must think about when writing for them.
Children come from all levels of society. Poor kids will view the world through different eyes than kids who have well-off parents. Kids living with a single parent might have a different view of the world as well as different social structures. The kids with single parents or working parents might have to go hungry on weekends, on school holidays and especially during the summer. It’s hard to think about, but true. There are teenagers out there who eat breakfast and lunch at school and their families provide dinner. Sometimes all they get is their school meals some days. When school is out, they scavenge and fend for themselves or they don’t eat.
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.
Daughter of a Colonel, Janet lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.
I blog there the 18th of each month!
Elizabeth Alsobrooks's books on Goodreads
Illuminati - The Book of Life
ratings: 12 (avg rating 4.33)
Illuminati: The Book of Life
ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.80)
The Keeper's Secret: Tell-Tale Publishing's Annual Horror Anthology
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
2016 NaNoWriMo Winner!
My Newest Release
An Amazon Bestseller!
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