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Cute Creature Comics

posted by: January 29, 2018 - 7:00am

 Cover Art for Spy Seal Volume 1: The Corten- Steel Phoenix Rich Tommaso is the creator of dark indie comics such as She-Wolf, which makes the turn he took for Spy Seal, Volume 1: The Corten Steel Phoenix all the more surprising. Stylistically similar to Tintin, this British animal adventure romp has added interest, given the author’s public plea for explanation when sales of the first floppy of the series tanked at comic shops last summer.

Cover Art for Silver Spoon Volume 1
 Silver Spoon, Volume 1, is a rare farming-oriented manga, written and drawn by Fullmetal Alchemist mangaka Hiromu Arakawa. Her usual eye for detail is present in this fish-out-of-water tale of a high school student who leaves the big city for an agricultural academy in rural Japan. Arakawa’s upbringing on a dairy farm on Hokkaido is evident by her knowledge of the land. And who can resist those adorable barnyard animals drawn manga-style?


For more Hot Teen Graphic Novel Titles, click here.


Cover Art for The Wedding DateBetween the Covers: The Wedding Date had me hooked from the first page. I love that Drew and Alexa meet in a stuck elevator during a power outage. Has this happened to you? Why did you choose for them to meet in such an intimate setting?


Jasmine Guillory: It's never happened to me, but a few people close to me have had this happen (though without the cute stranger in the opposite corner). As someone with a wild imagination who lives in earthquake country, I'm always thinking about what ifs for natural disasters and emergencies. Luckily, for Alexa and Drew, they only had to deal with a power outage!


BTC: Drew and Alexa are strong and engaging characters. Their chemistry is electric (and spicy!), but they are also smart and funny. Where did you draw on the inspiration for this couple? Was it important to you that they also be career-minded?


Jasmine Guillory

JG: It was very important to me that they be career minded. One of the reasons I wrote this book was because I wanted to write about people who felt familiar to me: People like me and my friends, who care about love and relationships, but are also devoted to our careers and have worked hard for them. Alexa and Drew (and their friends) have bits and pieces of me and many of my friends.


BTC: How did your legal education and background influence your writing?


JG: I only started writing fiction about seven years ago, but because I was a history major in college and then was a lawyer, I'm very used to writing things like research essays and memos, as well as opinions and briefs. In some ways I had to unlearn and relearn how to write, because writing as a lawyer is so different than writing fiction (fiction doesn't usually have footnotes!), but my legal writing background definitely taught me the importance of finding exactly the most precise word and in writing for the correct audience.


BTC: Did you always want to be a writer? As a debut novelist, can you tell us the process of getting your first book published? Do you have any advice for struggling writers?


JG: I've always been a huge reader, but I didn't start writing until later in my life. I realized I didn't have a creative outlet in my life and that my life was poorer for it. I decided — after talking to some friends who were writers — that I’d try writing to see if I liked it. I loved it! I had so much fun writing that I kept going. My biggest pieces of advice for struggling writers: 1) experiment with different ways of writing to see what works best for you (with an outline, without one, in order or out of order, different times of day); 2) keep writing, even through the rejections. They happen to all writers, and they're terrible every time, but keep going; and finally 3) read a lot, in your genre and in lots of different genres, to learn from other writers, and to get inspiration for what kinds of books you want to write, what kinds of stories you want to tell and what kind of writer you want to be.


BTC: I know you have a towering stack of books (and lipsticks!) waiting to be read. What’s on top of that pile? Any favorite lipstick to share with our readers?


JG: I can't wait to read An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which comes out just a week after my book, and I'm about to dive into Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai. A favorite recent lipstick is the Fenty Stunna in Undeclared, a fantastic red that looks good on everyone!


BTC: I love the cover of The Wedding Date. Did you have any influence in the cover design? Have you ever bought a book solely based on the cover?


JG: I got to talk to my editor in the early stages about the kinds of covers I loved, general ideas I had for the cover and things I felt strongly about. The cover designer did an AMAZING job, I was so impressed! I've definitely bought books just because of the cover, and have often ended up liking them a lot!


BTC: I was so excited to hear that your second novel, The Proposal, is coming in September. It sounds fabulous! Please share more about that book with our readers.


JG: At the beginning of The Proposal, Nik’s boyfriend proposes to her over the jumbotron at Dodger Stadium. She says no, and he storms off. Carlos, Drew's best friend from The Wedding Date, is sitting behind Nik and rescues her from the ensuing madness. It was fun to give Carlos his own love story, and I hope readers will love Nik!


Teen video programThe Woodlawn Branch is looking for high school students who are interested in media production for their upcoming Youth Speak Out program with Wide Angle Media.

Youth Speak Out is a free, intensive three-week digital media production program for 12 to 15 high school students. In this workshop, teens learn about filming and editing as well as working in teams to create projects about youth life and community. The program teaches youth to think critically about their communities and about their place in the world. 

Students should plan to attend from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the workshop schedule. Applications are available online or at the Woodlawn Branch. Applications must be returned with a parent or guardian signature and are due no later than February 6, 2018.

  • Tuesday, February 6
  • Thursday, February 8
  • Tuesday, February 13
  • Thursday, February 15
  • Tuesday, February 20
  • Thursday, February 22


Cover Art for The Hazel Wood The Hazel Wood is the debut novel by Melissa Albert. Already the recipient of four-starred reviews, this spooky homage to fairy tales is also a mystery wrapped in a timeless narrative filled with riveting characters. A film adaptation is already in the works, and the buzz about this one is deafening.


Cover Art for The Calculus of Change

Jessie Hilb’s debut novel The Calculus of Change is a meet cute story of Aden, a girl who one day spots Tate wearing a two-color yarmulke and his grin walking into her calculus class. Taking place over the course of their senior year, Aden explores her latent Jewish background, long suppressed grief and what her relationship with Tate can and will be.


For more hot teen titles, click here.


Librarian Leah Schley reviews some of the video games available for loan from Baltimore County Public Library. This episode covers Destiny 2, Portal Knights and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. They're all available in our catalog—reserve one today!



Reading Buddies Needed for Spring 2018!

posted by: December 19, 2017 - 9:42am

The Parkville-Carney Branch seeks volunteers and junior buddies for its Reading Buddies program, which pairs teen volunteers with kids in grades 1 to 4 who need extra practice to become proficient readers. Reading Buddies will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from February 5 through March 29. Volunteers will meet with their Junior Buddy one hour each week at the library.
If you are 12 to 17 years old, like working with younger students and would like to earn service learning hours as a Reading Buddies volunteer, please apply to volunteer by Wednesday, January 17. 
If your child is in grades 1 to 3 and is having trouble reading, please apply to be a Junior Buddy by Wednesday, January 17. 


Children's Books 2017

posted by: December 13, 2017 - 7:00am

Looking for some good books for kids to read over winter break? Or maybe you want to buy a book as a gift but you're not sure which to pick? Here are a few "Best of" lists for 2017.


Here are two more that are our favorites:

Cover Art for A Perfect Day


A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

Each outdoor animal has his own idea of fun and what makes a perfect day. This beautifully illustrated book introduces differences to the youngest of readers in a sweetly humorous way.

Cover Art for A Boy Called Bat


A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

When Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, brings home an orphaned skunk, Bat becomes determined to keep it. This novel for the younger elementary age group is a warm depiction of a family and a boy with autism.



New Cookbooks

posted by: December 11, 2017 - 7:00am

Cover art for The Perfect Cookie Cover art for Dining In Cover art for Smitten Kitchen Every Day Cover art for Dinner in an instant Cover art for The Home Cook

The Perfect Cookie
This collection of America’s Test Kitchen’s best cookies, brownies and bars is just in time for holiday baking. It’s also a great resource, sharing the cookie-baking knowledge ATK has amassed throughout their many years of baking.


Dining In by Alison Roman
This debut cookbook features 125 recipes for simple, of-the-moment dishes that are full of quickie techniques. Roman combines expertise with ease, aiming for those who are more comfortable Instagramming their food rather than making it in real life.


Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
No one delivers recipes inspired by equal parts curiosity and appetite quite like Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman, and in this follow-up to her popular The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, she celebrates the unfussy but triumphant recipes that make her really excited to cook and eat.


Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark
New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark is back with recipes for everyone's favorite fast cooking device - the Instant Pot.


Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli
Beyond just being a Food Network star herself, Guarnaschelli comes from good stock: Her mother edited the 1997 version of classic cookbook The Joy of Cooking. Included here are 300 recipes for updated classics. 



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