"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

A 5 star (or heart) review for Forecast was posted on The Romance Reader last week

You may have to hunt for this one since the publishing date was November 2007, but it is worth the search. Forecast is a delightful spoof on weathermen, love and psychic phenomena.

(The rather-long book synopsis bit can be found here)

This book made me laugh. There is no greater compliment I can give to a book that is written in this tongue-in-cheek manner. The characters jump off the pages and the scenarios are unique. Yes, you have to suspend belief and accept that these people think they talk to dead people and see auras and have powers that most normal folks would laugh at. But they are believable. There are a few secondary story lines about Gwen, Lilia and Rowie’s best friend Angel. Angel is an Aussie who can only be described as a hoot.

Forecast is one of those books that I didn’t think I would like when I read the cover and kept putting off reading. Now that I have, I can only hope that I will go back to it when I need a chuckle. I also hope you can still find it. I would hate to think you missed out on the fun.

--Shirley Lyons

DEMONKEEPER on Audible.com kids’ site

DEMONKEEPER is among the first titles that will go live on Audible.com Kids’ site launch on 3/31.

About Audible Kids:

For years, Audible.com has quietly been helping thousands of kids to enjoy great stories and become better readers through offering children's books for download. We're now getting ready to take this effort to the next level with Audible Kids.

Audible Kids is a new website where parents and their children will discover, listen to and share thousands of great audio-books from scores of publishers. It's a place where people can find great new titles recommended by experts as well as their peers.

Most important of all, since listening to books can be a great bridge to loving books and developing core literacy skills, Audible Kids will help thousands of children get turned on to reading, and help them become better readers in the years to come.

The site will be accessible at here on 3/31.

Shauna Fay
Editorial Assistant

G.P. Putnam's Sons

DEMONKEEPER has been selected as a 2008 IRA/CBC Children’s Choice title!

Children’s Choices is a recommended reading list that has been a joint project of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the Children's Book Council (CBC) since 1974. Publishers submit a total of nearly 1,000 titles, published in the previous year, to be evaluated and voted on by 10,000 children. Throughout the school year, five review teams across the country work with teachers and school librarians to incorporate the books into classroom activities. The children in those classes vote for their top titles. A bookmark of the Children’s Choices selections will be to be distributed at the 2008 IRA Convention in early May. All 2008 Children’s Choices selections will also be displayed in the CBC booth at IRA.

The complete list of 2008 Children’s Choices selections will be published in April, just before IRA’s annual convention and posted at the International Reading Association The complete, annotated Children’s Choices list will also be published in the October issue of The Reading Teacher.

Jeanne Marie Spicuzza

Jeanne Marie Spicuzza's surprising little collection is a delightful combination of classical motifs and contemporary "admittedly confused" feminism. One of my favorites: "Helen (if she were a Jewish American Princess living in Brooklyn)" begins: "It's not my fault./I was framed./I may be pretty,/but I'm not that pretty./I didn't fashion the tanks/build the guns/forge swords that slashed--and I didn't think Paris or Achilles/were very good lucking either." Other favories: "Why I am afraid of the dark," "Of you," "Intersubjective" which ends, "because/you and you and you and me/we/make it/be/Confused?/Don't be./Listen./I am not in sales..." and one more: "What an obsessive-compulsive disorder/would say if it could speak." If you're one of those rare souls who still buy and read poetry, don't miss this one. It's worth much more than the price.
It’s gratifying to see that Larry Thompson’s So Help Me God is about to appear from Tom Doherty Books, as a lead title in April. Take a look at the ad that will start showing up throughout the country and click through to amazon.com to buy the book. It’s been a long road for Larry, to whom I was introduced by my Houston director Fred Griffin, and he deserves the kind of advance orders his book is enjoying—especially from Levy Distributors. I knew his brother Tommy (Blood and Money, Serpentine) years ago in Los Angeles P.E.N. Larry, a trial lawyer, is every bit as talented as a writer and I know this book is the first of many ideological thrillers we’ll see from him. His second, Insanity, is already penned and in the hands of the publisher.

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DEMONKEEPER has been named to the New York Public Library’s Best Books for the Teen Age 2008 list! This list of recommended reading is published by the New York Public Library each year – and we’re excited that they’ve put DEMONKEEPER among the best where it belongs!

To mark the publication of this year’s edition of Books for the Teen Age, a reception will be held in the Celeste Bartos Forum, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, The New York Public Library, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, on Saturday, March 22 from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm. At 2:00 pm there will be a brief introduction and welcome with celebratory remarks by Robert Lipsyte, the author of Yellow Flag (Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins).

It is an afternoon to celebrate the authors who have new books on the list and good reading in general. All of the titles will be displayed. In addition to our guest authors, others who attend include public and school librarians, teenagers, parents, and publishing representatives. Last year over 400 guests attended.

Each author will receive a name tag at the reception desk. Authors will be asked to stand for recognition and applause. They will not need to make a speech. Awards will also be presented to the teenage winners of the Books for the Teen Age Cover Design Contest. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation. This will be an afternoon for meeting friends, making new ones and talking about books.

Shauna Fay
Editorial Assistant
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Great news about DEMONKEEPER

DEMONKEEPER has been named to the Kansas State Reading Circle 2008 Recommended Reading List: Junior High/Middle School Level!

The Kansas National Education Association creates an annual recommended reading list for children in grades K-12. Selected titles are placed on one of five lists: Kansas Titles, Primary, Intermediate, Junior High/Middle School, and Senior High/Young Adult. The lists are distributed and promoted throughout the state of Kansas during the current year. Click here for more information and to view an online listing of all titles.

Taj Mahal inspires another Hollywood film

Wed, Mar 12 05:36 PM

By Prithwish Ganguly

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The makers of a new film about the Taj Mahal hope to have an edge over previous attempts with an epic romance that appeals to both Indian and Western audiences.

At least three Bollywood films over the years and British actor Sir Ben Kingsley's upcoming project pay tribute to the 17th-century monument of love built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz.

"Taj", a $25 million project that will cast both Indian and Western actors, is the most recent addition to the list.

Scriptwriter Krishna Shah's narrative caught the fancy of Hollywood filmmakers who said it reminded them of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

"Taj is a mysterious icon to the world outside India and this movie would be pre-sold by its mystical image," said Ken Atchity, one of the producers of the film.

"Then audiences worldwide would be moved by the power of the love that led to its building," Atchity told Reuters in an e-mail interview.

"Yes, there are song and dance scenes, but not in the wonderfully delightful Bollywood fashion."

Shooting for the film, to be directed by Michael Radford, is slated to begin in India later this year.

Shah said that though "Taj" would be set against the backdrop of 17th-century politics, it would focus on how the emperor's love "survives all upheavals and was immortalized in the monument".

"You cannot deny historical pageantry and court intrigues but basically "Taj" is a pure love story," Shah told Reuters via email.

The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by an army of 20,000 stone masons, gem cutters, marble fitters and labourers who toiled for 22 years. It attracts millions of tourists every year.

"I'd never seen a movie about Taj that translated to the non-Indian audience and I believe, with the resurgence of Indian culture and economy, its time has come," said Atchity.

Tourists walk in front of the historic Taj Mahal in Agra July 8, 2007. REUTERS

TAJ Movie Touted in Indian Headlines

Hollywood laps up Taj script for Rs 2 crore

MUMBAI: Hollywood clearly has a yen for the Taj. Months after Sir Ben Kingsley made his announcement about a film based on the celebrated mausoleum of love, Krishna Shah has sold the rights of his script Taj for a mind-boggling Rs 2 crore.

Ben Kingsley's version will reportedly cover the death of Mumtaz Mahal and then go on to the construction of the Taj (TOI Photo)

GenNow may not have a clue about who Shah is, but the Hollywood-based film-maker created a flutter way back in 1978 when he brought Hollywood stars Rex Harrison, John Saxon and Sylvia Miles together with Bollywood stud Dharmendra and sex siren Zeenat Aman in one of India's most expensive films, Shalimar . Continue reading…


I was privileged to be invited again this year by my friend Rick Frishman to Mark Victor Hansen's MEGA BOOK MARKETING UNIVERSITY at the LAX Westin Hotel. I served on the Story Panel, was introduced by MVH to say a few words to the VIP luncheon, and listened to one on one pitches from prospective writers who want to tell their stories to the world. For the third year in a row, I came away with at least 3 very commercial stories that deserve being sold and told to the world--one novel, one young adult novel, and one nonfiction book. More than anything I--and the others who attended--came away with a sense of energy and re-determination for being able to take part in a story marketplace where the world's desire for stories results in careers being made before our eyes. I'm already looking forward to the next one, where story merchants like myself get a chance to assist writers-en route-to-their-audiences with advice and an attentive ear.

KJA being introduced by Mark Victor Hansen at the VIP Luncheon for MEGA

KJA on Experts Panel at the MEGA Book Marketing University 2008