Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books Week 2008

From the American Library Association's website:

Children’s book on male penguins raising chick tops ALA's 2007 list of most challenged books

CHICAGO – For a second consecutive year, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning "And Tango Makes Three," a children’s book about two male penguins caring for an orphaned egg, tops the list of American Library Association’s (ALA) 10 Most Challenged Books of 2007.

Three books are new to the list “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes; “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman; and “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle.

“Free access to information is a core American value that should be protected,” said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Not every book is right for each reader, but an individual’s interpretation of a book should not take away my right to select reading materials for my family or myself."

For more than 15 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has received reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. In 2007 the OIF received 420 reports on efforts to abolish materials from school curriculum and library bookshelves.

Public libraries, schools and school libraries report challenges to OIF, but a majority of challenges go unreported.

The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2007" reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

4. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman

Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain

Reasons: Racism

6. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou

Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris

Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" and "Beloved," both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.

So, in honor of Banned Book Week, the Samhain Cafe will be hosting Theme Days! Character chats will abound, as will prizes, excerpts, and all-around fun. I'll be chatting from ten to noon on Friday, which is the Cafe's Paranormal Day! Other days include:

Monday: List Mom Day!

Tuesday: List Mom Day!

Wednesday: Historical and Mainstream!

Thursday: Contemporary and Fantasy!

Friday: Paranormal and Horror!

Saturday: Erotic!

Also, think about picking up a banned book this week. (Did you know Bridge to Terabithia, which my son just finished and loved, is on the list?!?) You just might find something new to love. =)

P.S.: A more comprehensive list of banned books (and authors!) can be found here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In Order To Be A Successful Blogger...

I read an article recently about how to become a successful blogger. The number one way? Write a post every day.

Um.

My life just isn't that exciting, and when it is, I'm too damn busy to blog. "Hours of boredom followed by moments of stark terror" would about sum it up.

So, here's what I would blog if I did it every day:

Monday
Ick. Nuff said.

Tuesday
New release day and No Boundaries refresh day! And M, put that down! You could put someone's eye out.

Wednesday

Cookies!

Thursday
Friday Eve and No Boundaries refresh day! (R, why oh why did you pick trombone? Flutes are nice, not girly!)

Friday
Wait... was I supposed to write this week?

Saturday
Quick, hide! The kids are home!

Sunday
Pajama Sunday/Ravioli day. Unless we're at Nana's. Then she expects odd things like "clothing" and "shoes".


Yeah. That about sums it up.

So I doubt I'll ever be a "successful" blogger, but at least when I post you know it's because I have something to say or share, right? Right?

C'mon, throw me a bone here, people!

Oh, all right. Would it help if I told you I was contemplating a "Free Read" entry once a week? Just not on Tuesdays and Thursdays; I'm busy reading TA Chase's blog that day...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Covers and Crap

I know I haven't been around a lot in the last week, but it's been, shall we say, a crappy week. Those of you who know me IRL (aka In Real Life) know exactly what I'm talking about. Those that don't, suffice it to say I lost my fourteen year old cat for no known reason and nearly had to take M, my four year old son, to the hospital. I've been something of a basket case for the last week, but thankfully it's over. Hopefully next week will be much better.

However, some good hath come from the crap. My cover for Cat of a Different Cover is official! Book 3 of the Halle Pumas looks great (thank you, Anne Cain)! You can see it on my sidebar here, or at my website, or over at Samhain.

The edits on Cat should start soon, and I'm looking forward to that. I'm also beginning to play around with Windows MovieMaker, so I'll have a book trailer for the Hunting Love anthology by the end of the year. The music JB and I picked absolutely freakin' rocks.

This weekend, I'm planning on getting some much-needed gardening done and playing with my kids, so I'll see you all on Monday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

AHHHHHHHHHGETITOFFGETITOFFGETITOFF!



Ahem.

Some of you may be aware, I'm not fond of bugs. At all.

So I'm sitting here, in front of my laptop, with my laptop tray, watching Hi-5 with my four year old, when I feel something tickle my breast. "Ah," I think, "That damn mosquito again. Gotcha!" And I lifted my shirt away...

...to find a little black spider crawling out of my bra.

"AHHHHHGETITOFFGETITOFFGETITOFF!"

My husband would be glad to know that I now hold the new record for "quickest divestment of clothing in a non-life-threatening situation".

I am now sitting here, scratching at every available surface of skin and trying to explain to my four year old that Mommy is okay. She's fine. She's just not happy a spider tried to build a condo in her undergarments.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eh, It Happens

It's a weird feeling, being a third of the way through a story you've been fighting the characters to tell... only to realize, nearly ten thousand words in that you're going to have to scrap pretty much the entire thing and rewrite it. But that's what happened this week with Kiss the Girl, Book 5 of the Halle Pumas.

The plot wasn't working. The characters were unhappy. I felt like I was pushing concrete through a straw, with the rule being that I wasn't allowed to damage the straw!

Eh. It happens. It's aggravating, but when I finally shut my "stubborn" up and listened to what Gabe and Sarah were trying to tell me, I got that feeling again. That excitement that I was on to something, something that would be good.

In one day I wrote three thousand words; I hope to be back up around ten thousand by the end of the week, if my kids cooperate, that is. So I'm not really behind, just annoyed that I almost didn't listen to my instincts. Luckily Gabe and Sarah kept at me with those Nerf swords until I was bugged enough to pay attention.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

YAY

Gabe and Sarah are talking to me again, only this time they're telling me a story they like, lol. So I shouldn't have any further trouble from them. I hope.

In other YAY! news, I have two new contracts! (Did I mention those here yet?) One is for Very Much Alive, Book 1 of True Destiny. The other is for Dare to Believe, Book 1 of The Gray Court.

I love both books, and both worlds. Gods and Elves; gotta love it.

VMA is currently scheduled for a February 2009 release; Dare, for April 2009.

Don't worry, though, I'm not abandoning the shifters. In fact, I plan on having some... interesting... characters join the Halle Pumas and Pocono Wolves, and I think you'll like them as much as I do.

But with all the new shifters moving into the area, I might need a new series title. Hmmm... Halle Shifters, maybe?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Work, Work, Work...

I'm supposed to be working on Kiss the Girl this week, having just finished Bella Luna. Instead, I find that the main characters of Blind Man's Bluff, Book 2 of True Destiny, are pushing out the Pumas.

Poetic justice? Possibly. Gabe and Sarah couldn't chatter enough the entire time I was in Florida; now, they refuse to speak at all. Sigh.

So, here's the inspiration photos I picked for the main characters of Kiss the Girl AND Blind Man's Bluff:

Kiss the Girl
Gabe














Sarah













Blind Man's Bluff
Travis




















Jamie















What do you think? (Yes, I just spent all day on this. That, and humming "We are the tiny ugly germs" along with my four year old.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guest Blog!

Thursday,September 4th: I'm guest blogging the Thursday Thirteen over at Beyond the Veil. Come see what a certain "Ms. Anonymous from Halle, PA" has written about why WereCats are better than WereDogs. (Gee, I wonder who that could be?)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day



Does it get better than Carter Oosterhouse without a shirt?!?

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert


"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford