Thursday, April 29, 2010

Current Reads

It occurs to me that I don't share enough of my personal reads with you. In all honesty, as silly as it sounds, working in books doesn't leave you with as much extra reading time as you would think!

I spend a lot of time reading books for potential projects. Many of those don't make it past that stage. Not necessarily because they're 'bad' books, but other items factor in. If it's a memoir and I just finished working on a memoir, I might pass on it so I'm better able to offer a variety of genres to reviewers. Sometimes timelines or p
ub dates will interfere with other projects. Sometimes I just manage a really small campaign with a scope so narrow that it doesn't even make it onto the blog.

As far as projects are concerned, I just finished reading an upcoming YA title. MANIFEST, A Mystyx Novel is the first in a series that will be pubbed by the Harlequin imprint, KimaniTru this fall. It features an ethnically diverse cast of characters with a paranormal twist. It will please every fan of YA literature looking for a fresh take on the genre.

With great enthusiasm, I signed on to represent it for it's internet campaign. Keep an eye out for that launch announcement!

But all that aside, I do squeeze in other reading now and again and here's what I currently have:

I'm finishing up Bram Stoker's Dracula and I'm pretty jazzed about it. I'm a huge fan of the film
and thought it was about time I actually read it. (I couldn't find the cover for my particular edition, so I used the movie poster image instead.)

This book is kind of a chunkster for me, so I've put it down a couple of times and gone to other reading, but I'm almost finished! And my reward for that accomplishment? We're going to watch the movie! lol.

I've discovered recently that I need to give up gluten. Ack! I enjoy craft beer, love all things bread and bakery, and this change has caused me a lot of anxiety, but the Living Gluten Free for Dummies book has been helping me out immensely! I now carry around a tiny little pink Moleskine with all of my gluten dos and don'ts. Does anyone else have gluten issues?

I also just received 3 new sewing books. Woo-hoo! I have really been holding off on making
these purchases because they're pretty expensive. I've been checking different books out of the library to find the ones that are the most comprehensive and so far like these the best. My little sewing library is really growing! Do you have any sewing book recommendations?

Nat'l Poetry Month Blog Tour

April is National Poetry Month and in case you missed it, Serena over at Savvy Verse & Wit has been hosting a blog tour in honor of it.

I was interested in taking part, but I've never much fancied poetry and didn't know how to ap
proach it. So I asked Serena if she would take part in a little poetry Q&A with me. I wanted to learn something from it and hope you will too!

On a side note: after visiting all of the stops on the Poetry Month blog tour, I have to say that my poetry fear is much alleviated! If you currently possess the same poetry apprehension as me, I highly encourage you to visit some of the stops on the tour.

And's the Q&A with Serena!

*How do you define poetry? What is it to you?

Poetry is any short piece with lyrical beat, rhyme, or other musicality with a reliance on imagery and narrative to express an over-arching emotion or truth about the human condition or to tell a story. Now that was a long answer that could also describe a piece of prose, though in general I would say that poetry has lines and stanzas rather than paragraphs. Or you can go with this definition.

*As a fan of poetry, do you find you gravitate towards similar types, or do you dabble?

I actually dabble. I really love reading new poetry, and all kinds. After reading it, though I sometimes find that I don't like certain poems or poets, though I recently discovered through Rhapsody in Books' National Poetry Month Blog Tour stop that I had missed out on some enjoyable poems by Yeats.

*Do you think there is an enjoyment that comes about from being able to create your own

The enjoyment of poetry stems from its unique use of images to create a story or emotion, etc., but by showing rather than telling in the strictest sense. In a way, these short verses and images provide readers with a greater opportunity to interpret, riff off of, and extrapolate their own experiences and previous experiences in connection with that of the poet. I often find that poetry reminds me to see the similarities in all of us and provides me with a deeper understanding of humanity.

*Remember those shoebox dioramas we made as kids? They are small and intimate, requiring the viewer to get close in order to actively engage the scene. What poem would transform well into that type of 3D representation?

"Facing It" by Yusef Komunyakaa :

My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't,
dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night

slanted against morning. I turn

this way -- the stone lets me go.
I turn that way -- I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find

my own letters like smoke.

I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.

All you would need is to create a reflective black granite wall with Vietnam wall memorial names (not sure what material you could use; I haven't done these in ages) and a cloud with raindrops (probably a cotton ball), a cotton ball that is stretched into a smoke, etc.

*How were you introduced to poetry?

I received my first book of poetry from my grandmother many years ago after she found me looking through a poetry book in the library. I think it was Silverstein, and then I bought my own book of love poems. I was hooked ever since.

*What poet best reflects who you are?

I'm not sure there is a particular poet that reflects me. I really do enjoy William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Kay Ryan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Ted Kooser, and this list could go on and on...

*You previously stated: "The enjoyment of poetry stems from its unique use of images to create a story or emotion, etc., but by showing rather than telling in the strictest sense." I love this idea! If you were to choose one of your favorite poems and represent it with images instead of words, what would it look like?

"Screen Porch" by Fred Marchant from Full Moon Boat (which I reviewed here. Photo courtesy of Cris Agusto-Cox)

Summer nights I loved the cool pillow
as it settled into dampness,

the city noise as it dwindled,

the smell of plants, lights in the apartment

across the street going out. Crickets.
First light had to be inferred from shadows

slipping off locusts, and tall wild sumacs,
from wet sparkles in the mesh,

a daddy longlegs looking right at you.

*What are some of the terms used to discuss poetry?

Many terms related to poetry forms, whether the poem is free verse, sonnet, haiku, villanelle, or limerick, etc. Other terms are similar to those in prose, such as simile, metaphor, etc. But then there are enjambed lines, verse, stanza, couplet, etc., which are all specific to poetry for the most part. Check some of these terms at Word Lilly.

*As a beginner delving into the world of poetry, what poet would you recommend checking out first?

Some of the poets I recommend to beginners are Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, and Kay Ryan.

*It's Halloween! Your plan is to dress up like a certain poet and spend the evening wandering around muttering lines indicative of their work. Who do you portray?

I would dress up as Edgar Allan Poe...who better to portray for Halloween -- he's creepy looking and his poetry is equally creepy.

Serena, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer my questions!

A Place for Delta

“Award-Winner in Children's Fiction category of the 2010 International Book Awards”

A Place for Delta
by Melissa Walker
Reading level:
Ages 9-12
270 pages
Whale Tale Press
(June 1, 2010)


From farmhouses to research stations, Georgia to Alaska, 1800s to the present, A Place for Delta incorporates a variety of elements that captivate, entertain, and educate young readers.

When eleven-year-old Joseph Morse is invited to visit his aunt Kate in the northern most town in the US, Barrow, Alaska, he’s thrilled. But the real icing on the cake is the polar bear cub named Delta that he will be taking care of while there!

After arriving, Joseph adjusts to his new surroundings and falls into a pattern of care for Delta. He even makes a new friend, an Eskimo girl named Ada. But there’s something funny going on at the research station. Something that aunt Kate, Dr. Yu, Max, and Chipic don’t want to share, but that Ada and Joseph learn has something to do with a Delta's missing mother.

The curious twosome is determined to help solve the mystery and save Delta. But what can two kids do? Well as it turns out, a lot! And if that isn’t enough for the adventurers, a whole new mystery awaits the group back in Georgia…

The first in a series that is committed to concern and care for the natural world and everything in it, A Place for Delta is a must read for the adventurer in every child.

Melissa Walker
has been a Professor of English at the University of New Orleans and Mercer University and a Fellow in Women’s Studies at Emory University. She’s a vocal advocate for civil rights and for wilderness. Her previous books include Reading the Environment (W.W.Norton, 1994) and Living on Wilderness Time: 200 Days Alone in America’s Wild Places (Univ. of Va. Press, 2002). She lives with her husband Jerome in Atlanta and spends much of the summer in Alaska.


This book will be right at home on sites/blogs with an interest in middle grade fiction, caring for the environment, homeschooling, and general readers. If you have a child who would enjoy reviewing the book on your outlet, let me know! The author will sign a review copy to them. :-)

To request a review copy for coverage on your online outlet, please email me at onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Do not forget to include your URL and use 'DELTA' as the subject of the email. Mailing is available to US and Canadian addresses only.

Guest Post:
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Middle Grade Ninja
In Between the Lines

Review Links:
Readingjunky's Reading Roost
Boys Read
A Few More Pages
Reading Vacation
Suko's Notebook
The Reading Tub
The O.W.L. Review
Bookfoolery and Babble
Allison's Attic of Books
There's a Book (reviewed by Andrew Kennett)
A Patchwork of Books
A Musing Reviews
Stiletto Storytime
Mrs. V's Reviews
Jenny loves to read
In Between The Lines
Beth Fish Reads
Libby's Library News
A Moment with Mystee
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time: This is not just a cute animal story for kids. It has several layers that has appeal for adults as well.

: a great story for ANY age, with a little something for everyone!

Reading Frenzy: This children’s book was an absolute delight to read.

LeesyKnits: I would definitely recommend this for the younger reader interested in a bit of suspense, or who has an interest in animal rescue stories.

Peaceful Reader: Melissa Walker has created a timeless tale using current issues, interesting cause and effect, problem-solving and makes it all very mysterious.

I enjoyed the smooth flow of dialogue; the book is easy to read and totally wraps you up in the plot–a real page turner.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blog Button!

I finally got around to making a button for my blog! And since I see us as more than just reviewer/publicist, I borrowed the title of my Book Blogs group to remind you that we're friends who share a love of books.

The code box is on the right sidebar. I would be oh so honored if my button found a little home on each of your blogs!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thanks, Delta winner, & Poetry!

Thank you so much to all who sent over birthday well wishes. I had the best birthday: weather was perfect and warm (which never happens in April!), wonderful friends joined us for dinner and we played arcade games for hours. Then we traded in our hard won tickets for coffee mugs and a remote control 'Stunt Granny'. (Don't ask.) And on Saturday, I slept in. Oh, the luxury! :-P

And to further extend the joy of April, I would like to announce the 2 winners of the A Place for Delta giveaway! And they are: carolsnotebook & Amy J - Book Addict! Email me to claim your prize and I will have it sent out right away. onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com. I have more coming up for this title in the future. Keep an eye out for it!

Also, please join myself and several other bloggers taking part in the National Poetry Month Tour being hosted by Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit. I've always shied away from poetry, but this tour is bringing me around! Check it out.

Friday, April 2, 2010

fuzzy corners and blue/gray backdrops

How awesome is this?? Check out my mom's Farrah hair. Hot curlers were magic! And the surly look on my face? Well, I had an unfortunate set of front teeth. They were shy and chose to move away from one another and forward in some attempt of total mouth defection. Smiling wasn't recommended for posterity's sake.

But I love this picture and since I know my mom stops by here to visit now and again (read: checks up to make sure I'm still working), I thought she would get a kick out of it!

I'm sharing this in honor of my birthday today. And now I will give my mom a call and thank her, get a haircut, play arcade games with friends, and wonder if this is the year to start lying...