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slayground August 1 2014, 00:32

Best Books of July 2014

July 2014: 43 books and scripts read

Middle Grade Fiction
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

Teen Fiction
Poison Ink by Christopher Golden (third time I've read it)

The Play's The Thing
The Bad Seed play adaptation by Maxwell Anderson, based on the novel by William March
(The novel came first, then the play, then the film. I like them all.)

professornana August 1 2014, 00:23

Sneaking a Peek

Want a hint about who is coming to the ALAN Workshop in November? I do not like to name drop, but here are some of the authors who will be in attendance. The entire program will be available at the ALAN web site next month (www.alan-ya.org), but perhaps this will suffice to entice.


Graham Salisbury
George O'Connor
Kekla Magoon
Cat Winters
Ying Cmpestine
Daniel Kraus
Kirby Heyborne
Lauren Oliver
G Neri
David Lubar
Christopher Paul Curtis
Brandon Sanderson
Jason Reynolds
Jenny Han
Scott Westerfeld
Susan Kuklin
M T Anderson
Kwame Alexander
Jennifer Donnelly E Lockhart
Andrew Smith
Len Vlahos
Libba Bray
Victoria Stapleton

There is more to come. Make plans now to attend. Save your spot! See you in November.
jessica_shea July 31 2014, 23:13

Two Weeks Till SISTERS’ FATE Giveaway!

Eep! It’s almost August!

SISTERS’ FATE comes out 2 weeks from today!!! I’ve gotten a finished copy and I WROTE A WHOLE TRILOGY, OMG.

We got a great review from Booklist which says, “Fans of the series will eat this one up—and will have much to discuss at the book’s conclusion.” 

And this is our second happy-making trade review, because Kirkus (known for being tough!) said, “…an explosive ending. Actions have real consequences…the fulfillment of the prophecy is dead on…The riveting, ambitious plot and strong, moral-yet-fallible heroine are a winning combination!”

If you’re in the DC area, I’ll be having a launch party at One More Page in Arlington, VA on Sat, Aug 16 at 6pm. If you’re not in the area and want to order a signed, personalized book, you can call them and we’ll do that! More info here.

I’ve been revealing a few excerpts, too:

At Ex Libris Kate, you can read a scene where Cate (understandably, I think!) loses her temper with Maura.

At Fic Fare, you can meet one of my favorite new characters in SISTERS’ FATE, newspaperman Alistair Merriweather (and an awesome review from Erin – thank you, Erin!).

At Adventures of a Book Junkie, you can see what happens when Cate sees Finn for the first time after…well, you know! And you can still enter to win an ARC!

There will be one more excerpt + ARC giveaway this week – I’ll post on Twitter, etc, when it’s up!

And here’s your last chance to win an ARC right here – along with an ARC of one of my favorite books this year, April Genevieve Tucholke’s BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN, which also comes out on August 14! It’s the sequel to BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, which I also loved – but if it’s possible, I loved this second book even MORE. I love the choices Violet makes – not always right, but always relatable. I love how the settings all function as characters, from Violet’s crumbling Maine mansion by the sea, the Citizen Kane, to a frightening town where the citizens are all glowed up and murderous, to the small island where they go hunting for a sea king, to a former bordello in the Colorado mountains. I love Neely, River’s hotheaded, laughing, sexy brother, and his relationship with River. Most of all, I love April’s wordsmithing. There are some authors that other authors fangirl over, and she’s one of mine. It seems like every word in this book has been chosen with such perfect care and fits just right to create the creepy-gorgeous atmosphere. There is a sense of lingering unease throughout – but mixed with a sort of cozy, bohemian, whimsical charm. I don’t know how she pulls it off, but I love it.

SF & SPARK

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below by next Thursday, Aug 7, at midnight EST. This contest is for US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Originally published at Jessica Shea Spotswood. You can comment here or there.

xanthe posted to little_details July 31 2014, 22:04

Questions About the British Military Police Arresting an Officer

I'm seeking some help on a few issues relating to the British military, and specifically the Military Police.

My story is set about 80 years in the future, so many things have changed, which gives me a certain leeway. However, I would like to start out from a position of as much accuracy as possible in terms of how it works now in order to have a feeling of realism about it. I have several questions as follows:

I have a character who is a sergeant in a special peacekeeping unit of the British Army, tasked with escorting humanitarian convoys to war torn areas overseas. He falls in love with his commanding officer, a captain. As a result of this, the sergeant asks for a transfer out of the Peacekeeping unit and into the Military Police, so that he's no longer under the captain's direct command, in order for them to have a relationship without being in breach of the Armed Forces' Code of Social Conduct, prohibiting personnel from having relationships with subordinates if they compromise operational effectiveness.

Is there a process for him to request this transfer? How long would it take? I presume it's possible!

The sergeant is sent back to the UK and works in the military police for three years. He goes on various training courses and is highly regarded, conscientious and very good at his job. Would he be promoted in rank in that time? Would he be in charge of people? What rank would his CO be? The sergeant eventually marries the captain, who he has maintained a relationship with. The captain has been a good, if somewhat maverick officer during those three years - would he have moved up in rank in that time? If so, to what? Can he just request a transfer back home to marry the sergeant? Or at least request a transfer out of the Peacekeeping unit back into a regular army unit in the UK? He's put in far more than the usual time there, on his own request. Is 'unit' even the right word?!

My most important questions are these: For story reasons, it's crucial that the sergeant arrests his husband (who by this time is stationed in the same army camp as the sergeant and is not an MP himself) for refusing to obey an order. It's a very serious order with important repercussions, although it's possible he can use the Nuremberg defence in his trial. The captain is a few miles away from the camp when he refuses the order. What would the process be upon his refusal? Would he be arrested in the field? Or would he be relieved of command in the field and ordered back to camp and arrested there?  How would the military police receive the order to arrest the captain? I presume the MPs wouldn't be out in the field and on hand to arrest anyone, but is that correct? Would the sergeant be high enough in rank to arrest his husband, or would they send someone more important? It's important for story reasons that he is the one doing the arresting, so I basically need a scenario where it would be realistic.

Would handcuffs be used in the arrest? Who else would be present, if anyone? Would the captain be read some form of Miranda rights? Would the captain face a court martial for refusing to obey the order? Would the captain face mutiny charges? Prison time? Dishonourable discharge?

I've done several Google searches, but this is such a specific scenario that it's quite hard to get answers, and those I have managed to find have related to the US military, which has been useful in its own way as it's a good guide to the military mindset on these matters. Search terms used:
"armed forces arrest miranda rights" (it appears some form of words is used but no Miranda rights apply).
"rank of arresting officer in the military" (it says lower ranks can arrest higher ones, but I specifically want to know if it's realistic for the sergeant to be arresting the captain in this circumstance)
"handcuffs arresting officer military police" (I think so!)
"penalty for refusing to obey a direct order british army" (it seems serious but the answers varied a lot. Mutiny seemed to be one possible charge).
I have viewed this page: http://www.army.mod.uk/agc/provost/23207.aspx

Sorry, it's a long set of questions, but I'd be grateful for your assistance with any of them!

Cross posted to: military_beta
kellyrfineman July 31 2014, 21:33

The merits of little things

I keep thinking of the line from A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Though she be but little, she is fierce!" as I sit to write this post.

Part of my to-do list this week has been to write a minimum of two poems for children daily. In case you are curious, the process isn't seriously different than writing poems for adults, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling children short. If anything, you have to be still more careful with your word choice and imagery to be sure it is get-able. But I digress.

Some of the poems run to as many as 24 lines, many are more in the eight line range or so, but some are what can only be termed "short" poems. They are among the trickiest to write, since they use so few words and lines, but need to get all of the work done that any other poem does. Not just put down an idea or a rhyme, but make it something that matters somehow.

I've been rereading lots of poetry this week, and have just (again) enjoyed Betsy Snyder's I Haiku You and Michael P. Rosen's The Cuckoo's Haiku. I have his other collection, The Hound Dog's Haiku pulled to read a bit later, with Jack Prelutsky's If Not for the Cat. I'm hoping to come up with a few haiku of my own tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here's one from The Cuckoo's Haiku that is gobsmackingly good:

hunkered, plumped sparrow
each feather pockets the heat
a mitten-warmed fist

Happy sigh.





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jennifer_j_s July 31 2014, 19:59

In the city of angels

Last week, I was in Los Angeles for our daughter’s wedding. I thought I would give a shout out to some of the places and experiences I enjoyed.

First off, my daughter and I enjoyed hours of pampering at Wi Spa in Koreatown. This is a traditional Korean spa, and we got ourselves buffed and massaged on slippery pink vinyl covered tables. My skin was so soft after! Like baby butt soft! Then we were given relaxing facials (I nearly drifted off to sleep), and finally, long lasting manicures and pedicures. Mine are still going strong and they weren’t the gel type. If you go, expect to strip down to nothing but your locker wristband in the women’s area. The coed area has various sauna rooms, including one where you lie down on large crystals of salt. I was tempted to lick one, to see if it was really salt, but my daughter pointed out how many people had perspired all over the salt, and that stopped me. The restaurant is also very nice, particularly the kimchi and shave ice with fresh fruit, which aren’t eaten together. We saw many people enjoying a full day, napping, playing games, and we realized that with the price of rent in #DTLA, you could almost live there, since it’s open 24/7. It’s very quiet as people talk in hushed voices.

The Grand Central Market has been around for a long time, and if you can’t find something you want to eat there, there is clearly something wrong with you. Many of the wedding guests, who got in a day early, had breakfast and lunch at the market.

Another great place to eat is Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo. Wedding guests enjoyed visiting the Japanese American National Museum nearby. Currently it has a tattoo exhibit. The permanent exhibit, detailing the history of the internment camps during World War II is very moving.

Union Station's Fred Harvey room was the setting for the wedding. Designed by architect Mary Colter of Grand Canyon fame, it was perfect. Jennie Cooks catered the delicious vegan food, which was served family style.

And, if that’s not enough, there are cars with pink mustaches driving around! The bane of cabdrivers, because they underprice them, they are part of the Lyft service, and your first ride is free. All you need is an app for your smartphone. Alas, my phone is not clever enough, but maybe by my next visit.
sorceror posted to whatwasthatbook July 31 2014, 18:40

Looking for short story from a science-fiction anthology

Hi everyone,

For a while now I've been trying to find a short story I read many years ago. It was in a science-fiction anthology that included another story entitled "Freeze Frame" (not to be confused with any magazine or publishing company of the same name). I'm afraid I forget what the anthology was - some sort of "Best science fiction of the year" book, I think. I also forget the author, but I think she was a woman.

The main idea is that there is technology that lets knowledge be downloaded directly into a person's brain. It's the birthday of a child who has just reached the age at which this download becomes possible. His family leads him from his birthday party to the download center, where the operation is performed. It ends with a sad line about his mother knowing that when she looks in his eyes her youngest child will seem old and wise.

Can anyone tell me the name of the story, and/or the anthology?
shveta_thakrar July 31 2014, 17:38

July Recap: Bewinged and With a Good Tailwind!

Originally published at Author Shveta Thakrar. You can comment here or there.

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re having a good summer (or winter, depending on where you are). I am, though it’s flying by. I’ll tell you why below, but first, some news!

I recently had my first ever poem sale—“The Nagini’s Night Song,” to issue 1.3 of Mythic Delirium! I could not be more excited about this and am super grateful to C.S.E. Cooney, Julia Rios, and Mike Allen for their editorial guidance. I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Okay, on to the recap of July!

On the weekend of the fourth my friend and super-talented jeweler Meenoo Mishra and her husband came to visit, and I bought one of her gorgeous mythic necklaces. I’m modeling it in the picture! We baked cupcakes and ate and laughed a lot. Good times.

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Then it was off to Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts, to catch up with dear friends, make new ones, and give readings! I read from “Krishna Blue” during the Midnight Speakeasy reading, and even though I was the last one to go, I’d say it got quite a great reception. The other readers were wonderful, too, and one of them won the Shirley Jackson Award!

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Me, Patty Templeton, and Matt Kressel (Matt’s camera)

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Our haunted Midnight Speakeasy reading! (Marco’s camera)

I also spoke with a panel of smart people on horror for diverse audiences, and then my fellow car-mates A.C. Wise and A.T. Greenblatt and I headed off for home.

Then just a few days after returning from Boston, I boarded a train bound for New York City to attend the monthly KGB Bar Fantastic Fiction reading. (The readers were Sofia Samatar and Victor LaValle.) I got to see lots of wonderful people and meet one of my Viable Paradise roommates-to-be! And tour the offices of TOR, thanks to the always lovely Marco Palmieri.

10393741_10204565764763292_3139738164810376435_n

Tempest Bradford and me (Tempest’s camera)

Then I gave a talk to a group of kids at my local library. They all perked up when we talked about horror, I read them a bit of “Krishna Blue,” and they wrote the beginnings to their own (horror-inspired) stories. That was all a little nerve-wracking at first, but I did it, so yay! (And who knows; maybe I inspired some of them to give writing a try.) I also raffled off a copy of an Amar Chitra Katha comic.

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Asking what books this reader likes and why (Miss B’s camera)

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Reading from “Krishna Blue” (Miss B’s camera)

And then I went to my brother-in-law’s fifties-themed wedding. I wore a borrowed fascinator and a polka-dot dress and round-toe heels. We ate lots, and I danced with my nieces and nephews. Fun! (Meeting my newest niece and having her select me as her dancing partner was the best part.)

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Rocking the netting and polka dots (my camera)

And now I can collapse (or else return to work on Star Daughter). Whew! Well, until Friday, anyway, when I go see Mike Allen, Anita Devi Allen, and Nicole Kornher-Stace for Mike’s reading from his upcoming story collection Unseaming . . .

How’s your summer so far?

megancrewe July 31 2014, 17:22

Earth & Sky cover reveal + giveaway + new website!

Hurray! It is now time to share with you the beautiful cover for Earth & Sky (first book in my new trilogy, coming October 28, 2014):

I am so pleased with this cover, and so thankful to Skyscape for letting me be involved in the process as it evolved. :)

Want to enter to win a copy of the book? Head on over to the official cover reveal on YA Books Central.

You can also now read the first chapter of the book, listen to the unofficial soundtrack, and take in some behind the scenes photos, at the new Earth & Sky trilogy section of my website.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the cover, excerpt, soundtrack, whatever. Can’t wait to share the whole book with you all!

Originally published at another world, not quite ours - Megan Crewe's blog. You can comment here or there.

rosefiend July 31 2014, 14:20

Good news is on the way!

I'm always in favor of good news, but I won't report on what exactly this news is until I get some stuff signed. But once that's done, you will certainly hear about it!  :)

In the meantime, I'm still writing stories and scanning in family pics and generally trying to keep up with kids and housework and weeds. (Actually I gave up on the weeds -- my garden tends to go all to hell in July and August. The chickens love it, though.)

I've also sent in some of Dad's slides to ScanCafe to be digitized. They did an amazing job and when this batch comes back, I'll send 'em more. The pics look great, and ScanCafe will email you the digitized files so you get those quickly, while you're waiting for the pics and DVDs to show up in your mailbox.

Here's one of Dad's fellow soldiers in the 588th Engineers in Vietnam in 1967-1968.  I hope I can get his name one of these days.

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dawn_metcalf July 31 2014, 12:23

Talking YA Fantasy with Sarah J. Maas & Alexandra Bracken

The road to publication is paved with much weirdness and starry-eyed surprises, this is both of these things. I am honored/stunned/thrilled to be part of Odyssey Bookshop's panel series to talk about YA fantasy at Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Fire, Air, & Memory: A Young Adult Author Panel with Sarah J. Maas, Alexandra Bracken and Dawn Metcalf

Odyssey Lineup


This is me: O_O

Because this is real and happening with my favorite local indie bookstore with some pretty Big Deal people where we get to talk about fantasy, writing, book love and meet fans from all over New England! Wow. Pinch me. OW! Okay, stop pinching.

The truth is, I knew Alexandra Bracken back when we were both debuting novels back in 2010 as part of the Tenners with Brightly Woven and she's gone on to write tons of amazing books. This may be the first time we've seen each other in person since BEA back in 2011.

I haven't met Sarah J. Maas (yet) but we've been paired up before, most notably when BOTH our books were featured on USA Today! I have been following her and the Throne of Glass series ever since and am excited/nervous/fangirl-giddy to get the chance to meet her at last!

This will be an amazing event and I hope if you're within driving-at-the-speed-limit distance, you'll come join us for good food, good conversation and a great chat! Books will be available for signing & if you want to save a seat, RSVP by emailing kids@odysseybks.com, on facebook page or call the store directly at 413-534-7307.

Wow. W-O-W!
carriejones July 31 2014, 12:06

My tweets

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Mikala Owens posted to whatwasthatbook July 31 2014, 05:42

Ghost love story

I read this book about 3-5 years ago and I cannot not remeber the title of it to save my life.
A teenage girl meets a boy and he has a white streak in his hair and they never touch (because he is a ghost and he tries to avoid it because she cannot not feel her and he doesn't want her to know he is a ghost). She falls in love with him. For one day the ghost can become touchable so he plans a date for the at the library and they get a little touchy (kissing). She finds out he is a ghost flips out has a mental break down then moves to her aunts.

This is a very small portion I know of, any help finding this book would be lovely. This is a young adult book I had found it at my old school library.
kimmiepoppins July 31 2014, 04:16

Art Stimulates Art: Dancing with my Writer Sistahs

Originally published at Kimberly Sabatini. You can comment here or there.

Things I did besides finishing my packing for SCBWI LA…

-I got my hair done.

-Made homemade soup and zucchini crabbiless crab cakes for dinner.

-Read to the boys for an hour.

-And of course I caught up on the latest episode of SYTYCD where I saw an epic ton of dances that I’m over the moon about. But this one in particular reminded me of all my writer sistahs.

Whether it’s my critique partners, my SCBWI friends or the Binders–there always seems to be someone there for the highs and the lows. It’s a beautiful thing that rarely ceases to escape me. That dance illustrated the supportive group of women I’ve chosen to have in my life. It feels as if we are more invested in picking each other up than we are in stepping on one another. I love that. We aren’t perfect, but I always sense the desire to be more–be our best.

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Knowing I get to see some of these amazing sistahs (and my guy buds too) has me super excited to head to LA TODAY!!!!! I’ll be tweeting about the conference, so if you want to be an arm chair attendee–follow along using the hashtag #LA14SCBWI  And of course I’ll start my usual conference recaps after I get back and un-fry my brain. LOL! I get so inspired after attending the event. Stay tuned more to come…

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