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Black Friday, Cyber Monday Poetry Shopping List

I’m sure many readers are like me and do not venture out on Black Friday, but if you do, I have a list of must haves from the poetry section.

And if you don’t venture out on Black Friday, you can always use this list for your Cyber Monday purchases.

 

  1. Story Problems by Charles Jensen (my review) was simply so creative I haven’t forgotten it.  It’s fresh and inventive in format and style.
  2. Home No Home by Naoko Fujimoto (my review) is devastating in how it uses silence.  It’s tragic and hopeful.
  3. Dear Almost: A Poem by Matthew Thorburn (my review) is another collection that’s hard to forget because it explores grief and the “what could have beens” after miscarriage.
  4. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty (my review) is for the younger readers in your house.  This book gets kids to love poetry and science at the same time.  Best combination ever.

What books would you recommend be on shoppers’ lists this season?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

Giveaway & Excerpt: A Very Austen Christmas

With the holidays approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to host an international giveaway for an e-book of A Very Austen Christmas by Laura Hile, Wendy Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, and Robin Helm.

Before we get to the giveaway, Laura Hile, author of Darcy By Any Other Name, wanted to share an excerpt from her story, The Matchmaker’s Christmas:

The library door banged closed, and Darcy found himself alone with Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet. Miss Woodhouse was busy examining the bookshelves. “Mr. Darcy,” she said, “do you know whether Mr. Bingley has a copy of Debrett’s?”

She looked over her shoulder at Elizabeth “It is a guidebook for the peerage. Surely Miss Bingley has one,” she said, before Darcy could answer. “Depend upon it, she means to marry well. Aha! Here we are.”

Emma removed the book from its shelf and brought it to a table.

“Something Mr. Hurst said interests me.” She smiled at Elizabeth. “He is a funny one, is he not? The sort of person my brother-in-law would call a rum’un.”

“A what?” The words were out before Darcy could stop them. Hurst certainly was, but—Elizabeth’s eyes met his; she gave a gurgle of laughter.

Emma was untroubled. “He seems to be a most peculiar person. My brother-in- law will talk like that, because he is fond of jests and wordplay. I daresay it is also because he is a barrister. Mind, he is quite well-to- do, being a Knightley of Donwell Abbey. But such is the lot of a gentleman’s younger son. He must have a profession.”

“My Uncle Gardiner,” said Elizabeth, “is in the same situation. He is in trade.” She said this with a lift of her chin and a glance in Darcy’s direction, as if it were a challenge. What did she mean by it?

Emma continued to turn pages. “But who is Sir Thomas Bertram? That is the question. Because young Tom is not a younger son. And so his presence becomes, shall we say, interesting?”

Darcy did not care for her implication. “In what way?” he said.

Emma gave him an ingenious smile. “I specialize in matchmaking.”

She specialized in what? Somehow Darcy managed to keep his countenance.

“It is a most amusing occupation,” continued Emma. “My first was ever so successful—my former governess and old Mr. Weston. They are happily settled at Randalls now.”

“How nice for your governess,” said Elizabeth.

“She is the dearest creature and quite the gentlewoman—as the best governesses always are. I have another match in progress, between my friend Harriet and our vicar. I do worry, however, because I am away. Matches, you see, need helping along.”

“So I am given to understand,” said Darcy dryly. A matchmaker in their midst. What next?

Then again, why should he object? Because dinner—without Caroline’s repressive formality—was refreshingly agreeable. Charles sat in his place, and the others chose seats as they wished. Jane shyly slipped into the chair at Bingley’s right, with Mr. Bertram beside her.
Elizabeth sat at Bingley’s left. Darcy could not help himself; he claimed the chair next to Elizabeth’s. This meant that he had Miss Bates on his other side, but she was content to talk across the table to Mr. Bertram and Emma.

Darcy hid a smile. Miss Bates could carry a conversation on her own, without stopping to draw breath.

And the wind and rain continued to beat against the house.

This meant that the bridge was still out. Darcy, imprisoned at Netherfield against his will, was forced to endure lovely, intelligent Elizabeth Bennet as his dinner partner. It was all he could do to keep a
foolish smile from his lips.

This time—this time!—he would speak without stiffness or pretension. If Emma Woodhouse meant to match Elizabeth with Tom Bertram, she would have a fight on her hands!

Enter the Giveaway:

Comment about whether you’ve been a matchmaker or have made a match for someone else. Leave the comment by Dec. 5, 2017, 11:59 PM EST. The giveaway is open internationally for those who want 1 ebook.

Good luck!

Kin Types by Luanne Castle

Source: gift
Paperback, 30 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Kin Types by Luanne Castle, which is touring with Poetic Book Tours, is more than poetry. It is a breathing history of ancestors and how their lives impact the present long after they have left the earth. The poet opens the collection with “Advice from My Forebears,” in which readers are greeted with much the same advice they probably heard from grandparents and others about not spending what you do not have, etc. And much of this is advice about risks we may encounter in life and it sets the tone for the collection. It demonstrates how the past can inform the present and even guide it toward better decisions, but also too calls to the rebels within us who want to go against, even good advice.

Castle’s narrative poems leave the reader with a sense of the past, and through detailed accounts she places us where she wants us to bear witness to the hard lives of these ancestors. Many of these people are immigrants leaving their homes for a better life, or at least what they believe will be a better life. But not all that befalls these men and women is good, but not all of it is bad.

From "New Life, New Music" (pg. 15)

The boy in knee pants didn't notice
the many wrinkles
or if he did they created that comfortable
space between his own raw starch
and her eyes and smile that were only his.

Life us, there are dreams held close among these ancestors. They may have a sense of loss that these dreams were not achieved or even lost, but they never let that stop them from living their lives. In “What Lies Inside,” Castle asks how well we really know our closest family members and speaks to the secrets we hold unto ourselves, as a self that we protect from the outside hardships of our lives. It is one of my favorite poems in the collection, with this haunting line: “If I don’t have this one space, where can I go to protect this self/kept inside only by my thin twitching skin?”

Kin Types by Luanne Castle is haunting and deeply emotional, allowing readers to wander off and discover their own ancestral stories. Perhaps they too will re-create the past and see how it mirrors the present or has shaped who they are.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Poet:

Winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Doll God, Luanne Castle‘s first collection of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press. Luanne’s poetry and prose have appeared in Grist, Copper Nickel, River Teeth, Glass Poetry Press, Barnstorm Journal, Six Hens, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Published by Finishing Line Press, Kin Types was a semi-finalist in the Concrete Wolf chapbook contest.

Luanne has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside (Ph.D.); Western Michigan University (MFA); and the Stanford University writing certificate program. Her scholarly work has been published in academic journals, and she contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. For fifteen years, she taught college English. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina. Visit her website.

Guest Post: The Top Five Winter-Reads

The Top Five Winter-Reads

As we head into the cold days and nights of winter it’s only natural to have that urge to hunker down indoors, staying warm and cozy. What this means is that it’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading and get through all those books you’ve been too busy to pick up. Just think of it, you can curl up on the couch with a warm fuzzy blanket, have book scented candles going to help set the tone, and of course a warm and tasty beverage to sip on. Sounds pretty relaxing right?

So what looks good in terms of winter reading? We’ve got your top five reads right here, both old and new.

Emma by Jane Austen

Why not kick off the winter reading season with a true classic. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the newest releases that we forget to delve into the classics and show them the appreciation they deserve. Emma is one of those books that shows up on top reading lists over and over again, so you really can’t go wrong with it. This book has it all – bad behavior, intrigue, havoc, and more.

Origin by Dan Brown

For all the Robert Langdon series fans Origin is a book you won’t want to miss. This is a new release from Brown which takes Langdon on yet another incredible and eye-opening journey. It’s got all those ingredients that audiences loved in the previous books – Angels & Demons, The Da Vince Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno, so you can expect for this to be a real page-turner and nail-biter.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) by C.S. Lewis

While you may pass this one off as a children's book, nothing could be further from the truth. And because this is only book one in the series you know you’ve got plenty of reading ahead of you. With this book you will head out on an epic adventure in the land of Narnia along with the book’s main characters Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter.

The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin

If you’re still in denial that the Game of Thrones is on a break now possibly until 2018, then why not re-live all the drama, heart-break, backstabbing, torrid love affairs, and more by working your way through the entire Game of Thrones series. The books do differ from the television series and it will act as a refresher so you’ll be ready when it’s back on air.

The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey

Maybe you want to use the cold weather to feed your soul with inspiration, motivation, and some eye-opening revelations. That’s exactly what you’ll get with this brand new release from famed television personality Oprah Winfrey. This book is a collection of stories she has gathered from her television show The Wisdom of Sundays and is sure to leave an impact on you.

Pick Up a Book and Get Reading

Now that you’ve got a list in front of you, all that’s left to do is pick up your first book and get reading.

Mailbox Monday #454

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what we received:

Said Not Said by Fred Marchant, which I purchased.

In this important and formally inventive new poetry collection, Fred Marchant brings us into realms of the intractable and the unacceptable, those places where words seem to fail us and yet are all we have. In the process he affirms lyric poetry’s central role in the contemporary moral imagination. As the National Book Award winner David Ferry writes, “The poems in this beautiful new book by Fred Marchant are autobiographical, but, as is always the case with his poems, autobiographical of how he has witnessed, with faithfully exact and pitying observation, the sufferings in the lives of other people, for example the heartbreaking series of poems about the fatal mental suffering of his sister, and the poems about other peoples, in Vietnam, in the Middle East, written about with the noble generosity of feeling that has always characterized his work, here more impressively even than before.”

Said Not Said is a poet’s taking stock of conscience, his country’s and his own, and of poetry’s capacity to speak to what matters most.

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in 61 Haiku by James W. Gaynor for review.

The Power of the Perfect Pick-Up Line: Jane Austen Makes Her Move

Emily Dickinson once famously remarked that if she felt as though the top of her head were taken off, she knew she was reading poetry. And who among us did not read “It is a truth universally acknowledged, …” and feel our heads explode?

Pride and Prejudice’s opening sentence is also the perfect pick-up line. The narrator zeroes in on her reader and introduces herself with what has become one of English literature’s most quoted opening sentences.

Austen continues to flirt with her reader in the first sentences of each of the book’s 61 chapters. So, how better to acknowledge the power of her collective one-line poetry than by translating Pride and Prejudice’s opening-sentence poems into contemporary twists on the classic Japanese 17-syllable haiku?

And here you have it: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!).

It is my hope that readers will find themselves smiling knowingly from time to time as they travel in this redesigned Japanese vehicle across Austen’s familiar English landscape — and that they will forgive my star-struck attempt at this love-letter-poem to the extraordinary woman who still speaks to us in ways that can blast off the top of our heads.

President Darcy by Victoria Kincaid, a giveaway win.

A contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Billionaire President William Darcy has it all: wealth, intelligence, and the most powerful job in the country. Despite what his friends say, he is not lonely in the White House. He’s not. And he has vowed not to date while he’s in office. Nor is he interested in Elizabeth Bennet. She might be pretty and funny and smart, but her family is nouveau riche and unbearable. Unfortunately, he encounters her everywhere in Washington, D.C.—making her harder and harder to ignore. Why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Elizabeth Bennet enjoys her job with the Red Cross and loves her family, despite their tendency to embarrass her. At a White House state dinner, they cause her to make an unfavorable impression on the president, who labels her unattractive and uninteresting. Those words are immediately broadcast on Twitter, so the whole world now knows the president insulted her. Elizabeth just wants to avoid the man—who, let’s admit it, is proud and difficult. For some reason he acts all friendly when they keep running into each other, but she knows he’s judging her.

Eventually, circumstances force Darcy and Elizabeth to confront their true feelings for each other, with explosive results. But even if they can find common ground, Mr. Darcy is still the president—with limited privacy and unlimited responsibilities—and his enemies won’t hesitate to use his feelings for Elizabeth against him.

Can President Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet find their way to happily ever after?

Supernatural Psychology: Roads Less Traveled by Travis Langley and Lynn S. Zubernis, an unexpected surprise that will be passed along to another reader.

A fascinating analysis of the psychology behind the popular TV series Supernatural.

Following the adventures of two brothers who investigate deeply strange and paranormal mysteries in their never-ending road trip, the TV show Supernatural has many fans eager to better understand the psychology behind the series’ themes and characters. Through 20 essays, this collection examines such issues as

  • The role grief and trauma play in the protagonists’ lives
  • The importance of music to the narrative
  • What motivates someone to hunt monsters and why we want to believe in magic
  • The various archangels and archetypes depicted
  • How people can cope with tragedy, loss, addiction, and fear to become heroes who do the right thing
  • The dynamics of fandom: how fans relate to the narrative, characters, and actors, and continue to engage with series through fanfic, social media, and other practices

What did you receive?

Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 72 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott is a series of books for first and second graders that my daughter was not initially sure she wanted to read.  I bought her a couple books in the series at her book fair after she picked out two books she really wanted.  First, I picked these books because teachers had been talking about how engaging they were, and second, I picked this because it is written in diary form — something my daughter has started doing in her own notebook. It’s a format that she can easily recognize and connect with.

We read a chapter an evening before bed, and sometimes she would read along, and at other times, she sat back and let me read to her.  It was a good experience to see how Eva’s big idea for a festival came into being — not as a solo project but as a team effort from the entire class. Eva is like any kid my daughter’s age, she has best friends and sometimes friends, and there is the one kid that she thinks is mean.

Elliott has a vivid and childlike imagination that kids will immediately connect with, and there are even reading comprehension questions in the back to help young, developing readers think about what they’ve been reading in terms of plot and characterization. Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott is a wonderful series of books that will foster imagination, teamwork, and more. My daughter was eager to read each chapter and she cannot wait to start book 2.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

A school project from when Rebecca was 6 reads, ‘when I grow up I want to be an artist and a writer’. After a brief detour from this career plan involving a degree in philosophy and a dull office job she fulfilled her plan in 2001 when she became a full time children’s book illustrator and has since written and illustrated hundreds of picture books published worldwide including the award-winning Just Because, Zoo Girl, Naked Trevor, Mr Super Poopy Pants, Missing Jack and the very popular Owl Diaries series.

She lives in Suffolk in the UK with her husband, a history teacher and children, all professional monkeys.

As Close As I Can by Toni Stern

Source: publicist
Paperback, 85 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

As Close As I Can by Toni Stern looks deeply into what it means to live, presenting the reader with both the good and bad. She begins her collection with “Hwy 154-Between Two Fires” to demonstrate the in between, first calling to mind the adage that “a man alone is in bad company” and juxtaposing it with “hell is other people.” This initial set up allows Stern to call acute attention to appearance of the now versus the individual reality of now.  Like the “towhee” that tweets a song that is enjoyable to the listener, who may find it beautiful, but the listener is unaware that she is a widowed bird longing for someone who has left this life.

Stern has a wry wit, which appears in a number of her poems. I loved the wit on display in “Pine Sol.” Each poem showcases how our life experiences shape us as people, and how not all of these experiences necessarily are good. The title poem speaks of a mother making room for her child in her full life, carving out a space for this young person whose name is like music.  From our first moments, we are given a name, and even just this name and its sounds will shape us.

As Close As I Can by Toni Stern is a collection of life’s beauty, the tarnished and the shiny.  There is life in between those moments that is lived, and those in-between moments are just as precious as the others that are burned into our memories.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Poet:

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Toni Stern enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with singer-songwriter Carole King. Stern wrote the lyrics for several of King’s songs of the late ’60s and early ’70s, most notably “It’s Too Late,” for the album Tapestry. The album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and received numerous industry awards.  In 2012, Tapestry was honored with inclusion in the National Recording Registry to be preserved by the Library of Congress; in 2013, King played “It’s Too Late” at the White House. That song and Stern’s “Where You Lead” feature in the Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.  “Where You Lead” is also the theme song for the acclaimed television series Gilmore Girls.  Stern’s music has been recorded by numerous artists throughout the years.

As Close as I Can is her second volume of poetry.  She lives with her family in Santa Ynez, California.  Her website is https://www.tonistern.com.

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab

Source: the author
ebook, 238 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab is so much more than a book about writing and motivation, it’s about looking inside yourself to find what makes you happy and make it your center. Raab uses her plethora of writing experience and combines it with her knowledge of psychology and meditation to help writers create their own seven-step plan for writing not only about their own lives but other artistic projects too.  This is not a book about writing and selling your art, but about tapping into natural creativity and emotion to improve the whole body and psyche.

“Setting an intention involves focusing your thoughts in the particular direction of what you want to bring about or manifest in your life. … One thing to remember is that, even before you set an intention, you need to make sure you believe in it, .. ” (pg. 51 ARC)

Setting goals often is the easiest part for writers and others, it is the intention and believing in those goals that will ensure you reach them. Raab has fantastic advice about maintaining balance, how to find happiness and maintain it, and how this all falls in line with a writing life. However, those who are not in a place to commit will find it hard to begin, let alone sustain big changes. Raab’s advice is sound and writers who follow it are bound to reach the goals they set for themselves, especially after they have created a space where writing will be done (inside their own heads and in a physical space).

Meditation is a big part of her process, and while many may find this too “new-age” or “hokey”, it serves as a marker — a reminder to slow down and make time to think and reflect.  It does not have to be the standard meditation. It could simply be a walk that clears the mind of clutter or a few moments listening to classic music to relax.  It is about stepping away from the busyness of life to move forward with personal goals.

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab will help writers and others focus their energy on their own happiness and show them the way toward fulfillment.  Writers often suffer from writer’s block, and there are a number of options in this book to help you break through.  For those who want to write about the past or the future or their emotional trauma, this guide will surely help them toward healing and toward embracing the truth of their lives. Too often we are busy with other things, but Raab reminds us that to be healthy and happy, we need to be busy with our own bliss.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, thought leader, and award-winning author of nine books and more than 1,000 articles and poems. She holds a PhD in psychology—with a concentration in transpersonal psychology—and her research focus is on the healing and transformative powers of personal writing. Her educational background also encompasses health administration, nursing, and creative writing.

During her 40-year career, Dr. Raab has published thousands of articles and poems and is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge. Her two memoirs are Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She has also written four collections of poetry, her latest collection is called, Lust. As an advocate of personal writing, Dr. Raab facilitates workshops in writing for transformation and empowerment, focusing on journaling, poetry, and memoir writing. She believes in the importance of writing to achieve wholeness and interconnectedness, which encourages the ability to unleash the true voice of your inner self. Dr. Raab serves on the board of Poets & Writers (Magazine Committee), and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. She is also a Trustee at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Visit her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Interview with Toni Stern, author of As Close as I Can

It’s been 2 years since I reviewed Toni Stern’s work when WET appeared on my blog. I cannot wait to read her new collection, As Close as I Can.

About her new collection:

The eagerly awaited new poems from the author of Wet. Toni Stern enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with the singer-songwriter Carole King. Stern wrote the lyrics for several of King’s songs, most notably “It’s Too Late” for the album Tapestry. Here, with affection and insight, she examines the breadth and boundaries of family, place, language, and self. As Close as I Can is her second volume of poetry.

Today, please give Toni a warm welcome as she answers questions about her poetry and her hobbies:

Tell us about your latest book, As Close as I Can.

These poems, written over the last three to four years, continue to explore the recurring themes of family, place, language, and self. There are stories in As Close as I Can that have followed me my entire life. It’s been a cathartic experience, examining, through poetry, the emotional and formative impact those experiences have had on me.

What are your favorite poems in As Close as I Can?

I’m fond of “State of Emergency” and “As Close as I Can.” They surprise me. I’m especially fond, too, of some of the shorter poems: “Self Portraits,” “Pyrolysis,” “The Paved Road,” “Everything is Singing.” I enjoy their directness and economy. My favorite poem though, is always the next one. The one I’ve yet to write.

Wet, your first volume of poetry was well received. What has been the most rewarding part of the publication process so far? The most challenging part?

Working with my editor, Trish Reynales, was divine. I loved the few readings I did. I especially loved the laughter. I discovered I’m an unapologetic ham. The most challenging part is explaining myself outside the medium of poetry.

What made you decide to release the poems in As Close as I Can and Wet in book formats? Will any of these poems become songs?

After having written a hundred or so poems, I decided I wanted to create a chapbook-size book; something that looked beautiful and fit happily in the hands. It was a very tactile desire. The poems were never intended as songs.

When did you begin writing? Did you initially decide to write “straight” poetry and transition into music, or was music always the goal?

Music was always the goal. Carole King was my very first reader. She was looking for a new writing partner after her divorce from lyricist Gerry Goffin. I’d recently written four lyrics and sent them to my friend and producer, Bert Schneider, who, during a meeting with Carole, showed her what I’d written. I was a complete unknown. You might say I started at the top. I didn’t even know if the lyrics I created could be fashioned into song. I think it speaks to Carole’s prescience that she chose to work only with me, an opportunity I am forever grateful for. I was twenty-three years old.

How do you structure your work day? Do you work in an office.

I work at the dining room table. I get down to it early, especially if I’m working on a poem I’ve already begun. I can’t sit still for long, so I also work standing at the banquette. Vera, my Jack Russell terrier, often lays on the table, beside my laptop, overseeing my efforts.

You are also an artist. When did you begin painting?

I began painting in the early nineties. I wanted to know, if possible, what it felt like to paint something wonderful. I painted myself off my feet for twenty years. I made pilgrimages to New York city twice a year, for several years, to work at the Art Students League with master Knox Martin. Painting has informed me more than any other art form about the creative process and the commitment it requires.

What advice do you have for aspiring poets and songwriters?

Read and listen to the best. Only the best. If you have something to say, say it. Keep your chops up. Art is noble and necessary. It is akin to love.

What are you working on now?

My next book. The poems are structured very differently. They’re story-poems, in paragraph form. The autobiographical “I,” evident in my last two books is absent. It’s very engaging territory.

Thanks, Toni.  I cannot wait to read the latest collection.

About the Poet:

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Toni Stern enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with singer-songwriter Carole King. Stern wrote the lyrics for several of King’s songs of the late ’60s and early ’70s, most notably “It’s Too Late,” for the album Tapestry. The album has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, and received numerous industry awards.  In 2012, Tapestry was honored with inclusion in the National Recording Registry to be preserved by the Library of Congress; in 2013, King played “It’s Too Late” at the White House. That song and Stern’s “Where You Lead” feature in the Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.  “Where You Lead” is also the theme song for the acclaimed television series Gilmore Girls.  Stern’s music has been recorded by numerous artists throughout the years.

As Close as I Can is her second volume of poetry.  She lives with her family in Santa Ynez, California.  Her website is https://www.tonistern.com.

 

Mailbox Monday #453

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what we received:

Veronica and the Volcano by Geoffrey Cook, illustrated by Gabrielle Shamsey for review.

Veronica and the Volcano by Geoffrey Cook is an exciting adventure story for grades 3 – 5 about a brave, curious young girl named Veronica, who lives on the side of a volcano. Eruptions are a part of life, as she watches from the protective shields of her home or from her family’s well-equipped Lava Car.
When Veronica leaves on a quest to find rare white volcano pearls on the far side of Mount Mystery, she leads her father, her best friend Maddy, and her friend’s dad, the blustering Captain John, into a series of incredible adventures. But when the colossal volcano erupts, fears wins an election, and Veronica must square off against a fear-mongering villain: the Man-in-White.
Cook’s story blends science with science fiction, straddling the world of the believable and fantastical and combining the latest earth science with incredible action. While writing, Cook extensively researched volcanoes, even visiting one. The most important volcanoes in the book are all based on real-world volcanoes like Krakatoa, Crater Lake, Mt. Pelee, and Tambora.

The Adventures of Taxi Dog: Maxi and the Bark in the Dark by Bill Kroyer, illustrated by Todd Dakins for review.

During another magical sunset in New York, Maxi the Taxi Dog and Jim are playing their “Guess what street we are on?” game. They’re soon interrupted by their first fare, Tupa. Tupa is in a hurry to get to his night custodian job at the Museum, but they quickly discover that Tupa has a problem. Tupa must clean dark galleries in the museum at nighttime but is afraid of the dark. Even being in the room long enough to turn on the light is making it very hard for him to do his job. Maxi jumps to the rescue and decides to sneak into the museum with Tupa to help Tupa overcome his fear. Maxi makes Tupa feel so confident by helping him throughout his shift, that when Tupa must go back into a room alone he has all the skills he needs to overcome his fears. Maxi and the Bark in the Dark is one of four stories in The Adventures of Taxi Dog series.

Maxi Taxi-Saurus by Melinda LaRose for review. (in Spanish)

As Close as I Can by Toni Stern for review.

The eagerly awaited new poems from the author of Wet. Toni Stern enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with the singer-songwriter Carole King. Stern wrote the lyrics for several of King’s songs, most notably “It’s Too Late” for the album Tapestry. Here, with affection and insight, she examines the breadth and boundaries of family, place, language, and self. As Close as I Can is her second volume of poetry.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues by Joana Starnes,‎ Amy D’Orazio, Katie Oliver, Karen M Cox, Jenetta James,‎ Beau North, J. Marie Croft, Christina Morland, Lona Manning, and Brooke West which I purchased.

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.
It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues” is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy … even temporarily … but heaven help us if we marry one.

What did you receive?

Join me at Better Than Starbucks!

I don’t talk much about my poetry writing on the blog, but I do post occasionally on Facebook about when I submit poems to magazines and contests and when I receive rejections.  I don’t let those rejections get me down … not too much.

I save the acceptances for the blog!  I love to announce what magazines have accepted my work, and I’m doubly happy that my urban haiku are beginning to find homes. I’m not a traditional haiku writer.  I’ve known this for a long time.  Like a modern woman, my subjects are bit more familiar to urbanites.

Hope you’ll check out the great poems at Better Than Starbucks!  I’m in the November issue (2nd column, midway down).

Thanks to Kevin McLaughlin for seeing merit in my little haiku.