Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Dame Interviews:
Mary, I have to say this is one of the most pleasurable interviews I've been priviledged to do. I simply adored your book and will be reviewing it below, but first I have lots of questions. Thanks for indulging me!
When did you decide you wanted to be an author and when did you know you were one?
I wrote for a number of years—virtually every day—before I was comfortable calling myself a writer. Because I love books so much, the claim seemed audacious, like calling myself a princess or a movie star. But the urge to write came to me very early. When I was in the third grade, I remember finding a slim red volume in the library titled “Someday You Will Be a Writer.” It was like I had found a genie who knew my wish before I did. Until I read that little children’s essay, I don’t think I knew it was possible for an ordinary person to create something as amazing as a book. Of course now I know that writing is mostly hard work—even writing terrible prose is difficult. When the words come out exactly right (on the very rare day), it’s magic. I don’t know how else to describe it.
It is a company proud to provide e-publication and book promotion for writers with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Nicole Langan says, "Publishing a book takes guts. An author needs to possess the courage to share his or her voice with the world. It is an investment of time, money and energy to transform a rough manuscript into a polished work. I applaud risk takers and strive to provide them with an outlet for their creations."
At this time, I don't foresee a complete overhaul of the overall look of http://www.tribute-books.com but it will be updated in the near future outlining our new strategy. Most likely, we will have a separate author page and online storefront for our young adult ebook division.
3) What are your criteria for the writers you'll be choosing?
Our preference is for damn good writing, the particular YA topic is secondary in importance. However, books written with a series in mind or those that delve into the paranormal will have a slight edge.
Manuscripts that have already been professionally edited will receive greater consideration. Our preference is to work with authors who have already been published through a royalty-paying press and who know the ins and outs of book promotion. An established social media platform is a must, and we will not consider writers who do not have a well-followed blog, Facebook page or Twitter account.
Interested authors can submit their manuscripts via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be no charge for the authors we select to work with, and they will receive 50% of the net profits of their ebook sales in quarterly royalty payments. We're looking for Microsoft Word documents with a maximum of 350 pages of text with no photos, charts, illustrations, graphs, etc.
My guess would be that the majority of our submissions will come from adult writers in the YA genre. Will we consider submissions from teenagers? If teens can demonstrate their commitment to marketing their material and have an established fan base, we would certainly take a look at what they have to offer.
5) What was your inspiration in choosing this new direction for Tribute, Nicole?
Over the course of 2011, we've watched our ebook sales outpace our print sales by 2 to 1 due to the explosion in popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad. The under $5 price point of most of our e-titles and the ease of purchase and delivery surely facilitated this rapid change. I can only see this trend increasing in momentum as the price of e-readers continues to lower and more and more people start using this new technology. The industry shift is similar to what occurred in terms of music buying habits when iTunes downloads became more popular that CD purchases. There will always be a market for print books, but I think the majority of book sales will soon be electronic. People want the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to obtain their reading material.
My hope is that we are able to recruit some talented writers of well-written, well-crafted stories in order to develop an eager fan base for the titles we publish. We want readers to be excited about the ebooks we produce. Young adult authors have the most devoted fan followings out there, and we'd like to introduce that audience to a whole new host of talent.
We'd love to have anyone who loves young adult literature to join us for the ride.
Thank you, Nicole! I appreciate your taking the time to share your new direction with Tribute Books. I know my readers appreciate quality in YA fiction, which I'm certain you are dedicated to bringing to their attention.We try to keep an active online presence with our web site (http://www.tribute-books.com/), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/171628704176), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/TributeBooks) and blog (http://tributebooks.blogspot.com/).
We will all look forward to seeing what comes from Tribute in 2012. I'm looking forward to reviewing for your new authors!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Book Snob Bels
Review the Book
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sponsored by: I'm a Reader Not a Writer and All-Consuming Books
This is a "thank you" to all of you who have visited my blog over the past year. I appreciate each of you and want to offer this Thanksgiving Giveaway to you.
I'm giving the following:
After the turkey and trimmings~
|A dystopian novel|
|Ghostly and gothic!|
To enter simply: Follow me on GFC on my sidebar and then leave a comment with your email address so I can notify you if you win!
You can add your link, too!
Thank you so much for coming by this year and visiting me...following me and leaving comments. It's so appreciated.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
He might be young, but Colm already recognizes the truth: that he’s sick and not getting better. His mother, Cathleen, fiercely believes her faith will protect her ailing son, but Colm is not so sure. With a wisdom far beyond his years, Colm has come to terms with his probable fate, but he does have one special wish. He wants to meet his father who abandoned his beloved mother before Colm was born.
But the quest to find the dying boy’s missing parent soon becomes a powerful journey of emotional discovery—a test of belief and an anxious search for proof of heaven.
A magnificent debut novel, Mary Curran Hackett’s Proof of Heaven is a beautiful and unforgettable exploration of the power of love and the monumental questions of life, death, and the afterlife.
The Dame's Review:
Mary Curran Hackett has written a novel that is utterly exceptional. And, it is relentlessly heart-wrenching in beauty. Through her ability to convey the troubles of womens' hearts, we understand how profoundly blessed and, yet, somehow bereft we've been not to have known the mind of a child with recurrent dying episodes. If you are a mother who has experienced this heart-crushing thing, I can only shake my head and cry for you.
This story is profound in the content, and it's moving in the story-telling. I loved the book and urge you to take the time to travel the road discovering eloquent, but sometimes simple answers to the deepest questions and wounds of our hearts. Is there proof of heaven?
Colm Magee, like many children who live with life-threatening illnesses, has the mind and emotions far beyond his age. His mother, Cathleen, bears the larger burdens of feeling her child's pain/illness, helping him carry the unknown rejection of his abandoning father, and the consistent questions Colm has about "proof" of heaven. If you're a mother, you know exactly what bearing your child's pain means, so Ms Hackett digs deep in the telling...
It's through their emotions that "Proof of Heaven" takes us along with these beautiful characters: learning how to cope (or trying to) with Colm's near death experiences and the aftermaths, learning to bridge love, losses and friendships with doctors, learning to "come home" to rejecting husband and lost family, and healing the hurts that come with all of that; then, ultimately having Colm's knowledge that only comes at the end of life.
I was very moved, yet stricken with the magnitude of Ms Hackett's ability to express the feelings of her characters that I had to sit back and catch my breath. I cried and I was introspective. It was a wonder to me that this is her first book.
This book is what I'm talking about when I ask, "Where are some authors taking us these days in their writing?" Here was where I found some goodness and truth about living and dying. Here is where you'll find some honesty and reality about life and souls reaching out for each other.
I highly recommend this unforgettable novel to you. It's the other side of "Room"...it's the answer that some children and parents may have questions about. And, it's a story that will inspire you to think about the proof of heaven.
At the end of her book, Mary Curran Hackett has a section kindly giving more answers with special dedications for her book, why she wrote it, an interview and a book group guide. I rarely take the time to go over these sections in other books, frankly. In this book...I took the time. You should, too.
Have any of you read a similar book lately??
5 stars wrapped in love
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
For those of you who'd like to follow along with this Challenge, please click on the links below. I failed to mention that you can link up~there are giveaways~and you'll find some interesting books listed that you haven't heard of (for your new "I haven't read these" pile). So much fun!
Good luck to everyone!
Evie from Bookish – http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com/ @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read – http://www.nicoleabouttown.com// @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home – http://www.handsandhome.ca// @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life – http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com// @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading – http://whatchyareading.net/ @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read – http://missiontoread.com// @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com// @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books – http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com/ @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction – http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com// @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision – http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com/ @mermaidvisions
You'll have to just follow that horrible linkything above because God knows I don't know how else to get it to you in a more presentable way. Perhaps one of my good friends can tell me how in the comments below?
At any rate, if you do follow the link you'll find that this is a challenge other devout bloggers and I have imposed upon ourselves because of the wonderful, worthwhile and gorgeous books we have that we weren't able to get read this year....but wanted desperately to read. We were off reading and writing reviews and didn't have enough time to get these books listed read, too.
Like fine china and silver sitting on the shelves of my china cabinet and side board, these perfectly delicious books below have been killing me with dagger-eyed stares every time I pick up a book I need to read for a review! I go to bed worrying myself to death about not having a chance to read them. I try not to feel guilty about taking time away from them that I give to others. It's not unlike a working mother, who has to provide food for the table, must feel about the children she only gets to kiss goodnight when she comes home late, I guess.
I love my books, even those I haven't had a chance to read, yet! I chose them, I bought them and I love them.
So, here's my list of those neglected but beloved ones that must be treated properly in 2012 to make up for the neglect of 2011: (and, as an aside from this...I see a few of them in the challenge pic above that must be on somebody else's list ...hmmm)
3. Tiger's Curse
5. The Map of Time
6. The Witch's Daughter
8. The Biography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
9. America Pacifica
10. A Question of Death: Phryne Fisher Treasury
Well, there you have it. I feel like "True Confessions" and a sort of cleansing of the soul, but the books are still staring at me. I'm going to segregate them and put them in a neat little pile of their own. I may cover them with a pretty little cloth. Ahemm
Then, on Sundays, I'll take one out and read it until I've done the right thing by them. Poor slighted books, it's not their faults...they're wonderful books or they wouldn't even be in my house to begin with. They have gorgeous stories to tell.
If you're a book slammer, or a book thrasher, or a book stacker who takes the Scarlett O'Hara way out like I have, then you may want to join us in the 2011 Challenge. Click above if you dare.
I'm exhausted now from confessing. This stuff might be good for the soul, but it gives you the munchies... Good-night.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
"Jane Austen Made Me Do It..." Compiled by Laurel Ann Nattress ~ These Short Stories Are To Die For!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Current trends in YA fiction which include more specific sexual content, demonology and in dwellings of fallen angels concern me. When young adult fiction was first identified, it seemed to be separated from other genre. Its content had to do with teen aged "coming-of-age" and angst stories, friendship cliques, family dynamics, mild fantasy, syfy, and boys' sports conundrums, just to name a few fairly harmless plots.
*It must be said up-front that I do not mean to include these series': "Harry Potter," the "Twilight" series and lighter YA fiction in my discussion but use them only as examples of the evolution of YA fiction toward fantasy in a non-threatening way.
Upon the debut of the "Harry Potter" series, YA fiction took a greater leap into the fantasy world, drawing adult readers as well as young adults and children whose parents readily read the books to them. While this series drew some controversay from conservative groups, it was massively received and marked a new trend toward the magical and mystical we'd not seen in children's literature in recent times.
Then came the vampire series topped by "Twilight" and its copycats. A seemingly harmless group of novels that soft-peddled beautiful, teen aged vampires who were for the greatest part, sad they had to drink blood to survive and wanted to be part of an ordinary high school. No explicit sex and no demonology with succubi and incubus's, werewolves included, at the beginning of this trend. But, not your old-fashioned vampires in the long-run ...
Suddenly, or perhaps insidiously, I'm not sure which, some authors have turned a corner seeming to draw unwitting YAs who seek a little more darkness, and are led by gorgeous book covers. Why have writers begun to lose their sense of what is appropriate for young adults to read? Their sense of direction has become strange.
Some books have begun to tell occult stories, easily drawing the darker sides of teen aged minds and troubled/drug-exposed lives or worse. They're writing stories featuring beautifully etched spirits and angels from the dark side, demonology, losing one's soul, humans selling one's soul forever, in dwellings of angels of darkness, fallen angels who are minions of Satan, sexually explicit scenes and the like.
What has happened to a sense of concern and awareness of young adult audiences? Where are these stories leading them, anyway?
I'm afraid, but I'm compelled to speak out and to take a stand about this trend.
When things began to deteriorate in some countries of Europe in the 1920's, no one spoke up about the "mythologically-based" trends of the Nazi regime. Were you aware that their symbols, their beliefs and rules of order were taken from ancient occultism and mysticism? Were you aware that Wagner's music and opera were mythologically based and were the favorites of Hitler and his staff? Beautiful stage settings..gorgeous program covers..stunning performers...
Hitler's justification for the murder of Jews and other "undesireables" was based on mythology and beautiful gods and goddesses who came down to fraternize with humans. These stories birthed his compulsion to create the pure Aryan race, which is based on a mythological people.
The symbol for the "SS," Hitler's most feared secret police, is from the mythological symbol for Vril or the "god" Odin. The Swastika is also.
In an article by Dr. Danny Penman called "Hitler and the Secret Satanic Cult at the Heart of Nazi Germany," he writes:
"Historians have tended to downplay the occult foundations of Nazism for fear of trivialising its heinous war crimes, but a recent documentary on the Discovery Channel laid bare the untold story of the secretive religion at the heart of fascist Germany. And bizarrely, it is thought to have been based on a 19th Century science fiction novel that predicted flying saucers, an alien race at the centre of the earth, and a mysterious force known as Vril.
“Occult myths played a central role in Nazism,” says Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, head of the Centre for the Study of Esotericism at Exeter University. “When we look at these ideas today, we think of them as crazy, but they were central to the early Nazi Party and through them played a critical role in 20th century history.”
“The Vril society was dedicated to evil,” says historian Michael Fitzgerald. “Through their control of the Nazi party they committed the greatest acts of evil in the 20th Century.
“Vril occultists worked in complete secrecy doing anything that would promote Aryan power. This ranged from straightforward political assassinations, through to evoking the spirits of the dead, human sacrifice and summoning mysterious energies – or Vril - through sexual orgies.”
“They began by indoctrinating the Hitler Youth with Satanic ideologies,” says Michael Fitzgerald. “Children and the future leaders of the SS were taught that compassion was weakness. They were encouraged to celebrate pagan festivals and to carry out occult ceremonies..."
I'm hoping you will add your comments to this post. I'm hoping I won't be alone in my worries about this trend. I really don't know what else to do but share my concerns.