1 Book 2 Book Literary Festival hits Iowa City on 2/27. The words are waiting for ya. C’mon in!

All manner of books-and-comics-and-artists-and-authors stuff is slated to rear up and word-out in Iowa City on Feb. 27th as the One Book Two Book Lit Fest & Jr. High Writing Jam storm into town and touch down at the Hotel Vetro, the Mill and other lucky venues. Get the deets here…and mark yer calendars! See you there.writing jam images

From the festival HQ:

2016 festival set for Feb. 26-28

ceThe 2016 One Book Two Book Children’s Literature Festival will be held Feb. 26-28 in downtown Iowa City.

The festival, which celebrates writing for and by children, will feature three days of events designed to encourage young writers, share stories, and foster a love of reading.

The weekend begins with the Once Upon A Time banquet at the Hotel Vetro. This event celebrates writing by students at Iowa City-area elementary schools. One student from each of 22 schools will be recognized and will read his or her work. In addition, thanks to a sponsorship from Terry, Lockridge & Dunn/WorldTrend Financial, each participating school will receive a table of 10 for students, parents and educators.

The keynote presentation at that event will be presented by children’s book author Candace Fleming and author/illustrator Eric Rohmann.

The pair, who have many books between them, including the collaborative Oh, No! and Bulldozer’s Big Day, also will present as part of the second day of the Festival. Events will be held from 1o a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Hotel Vetro. This includes presentations by Fleming and Rohmann, a visit from IPTV’s Dan Wardell, costumed book characters, toy trains, a book fair and much more.

In addition, the annual Jr. High Writing Jam with the Iowa Youth Writing Project, and the Comic Book Confidential workshop, this year with artist Jonathan Sims, will be held. Check the website for signup details.

The festival ends on Sunday, Feb. 28, with the Write Out Loud award ceremony, 1-3 p.m. at Macbride Auditorium on the University of Iowa Campus. Students in grades 1-8 from throughout the Corridor submitted a page of original writing to be judged by our partners at Pearson. Two grade level winners will be chosen in each grade, one in each of the following categories:

  • “The Write Stuff”: For language, clarity, structure, and emotional impact.
  • “From the Heart”: For creativity, passion, and expressiveness.

Other students will be recognized with honorable mention awards.

All events on Saturday and Sunday are free and open to the public. A limited number of public tickets are available for the Friday banquet at $25. contact rachael@iowacityofliterature.org for details.

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Look what WE got for ChristmaKwanzaYulishPaganDay…

Just in time for the solstice holidays: here’s a quick vid of the six horses that IERAL recently rescued enjoying their new home in our south pasture. Thanks to Karla S. for capturing their excitement at having room to run and grass to munch. Gift idea prompt: all of these beauts (thoroughbreds & paints) will up be for adoption to qualified humans once ownership is officially transferred, which should be soon.

UPDATE: 1/13/17 – four of these six horses have now been adopted out to horse-savvy new owners. What an excellent kick off to the new year!


screen shot of jessup horses

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The nice humans at the Des Moines Register dropped by the ranchito for a chat. Zenn appreciates.

Click on the image to watch me bumble my way thru an interview with the Register’s Kyle Munson about the first Zenn Scarlett novel. Then, head outside to roam around the property with me, Kyle and the DMR’s indulgent video crew. You’ll have to sit thru an ad first but hey, somebody’s gotta pay the bills, right?

dm register video screen shot NEW

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This is really fun (for an author) to read: a review of “Under Nameless Stars” … Google-translated from a French review site.

Here’s the original on the French blog…


…which Google translates as “The Chronic Random Blog”  – which I hope the Google lingua-gnomes nailed, ’cause it’s a majorly fabulous name.

Zenn Scarlett (t2) : Under Nameless Stars

zennscarlett2Titre : Under Nameless Stars (VO)
Auteur(e) : Christian Schoon
Maison d’édition : inédit en France
Genre : Young Adult / Science-fiction
Parution : 2014 (USA)
Lu en anglais

UNDER NAMELESS STARS by Christian Schoon

The exovet of novitiate year Zenn Scarlett has not been easy and nothing went as planned …
Having barely survived the destruction of his school and home, things could they get worse? Yes, definitely! Zenn’s father goes missing, the young woman herself was kidnapped and ends up cheating to board the Helen of Troy to rescue his father. With the help of Liam Tucker, she will face many dangers and dismantle again a conspiracy.

Reviewed by Ash:
While the first volume of the saga led us in a universe filled with amazing creatures, aliens, Under Nameless Stars makes us travel and dream. Together Zenn we discover new races, new plots, new animals. From the first pages we find ourselves in action and not once the pace down, not once you get bored.

The story picks up right where it left off previously, that is to say, aboard the Space Helen of Troy vessels. Zenn is found once again embroiled in a plot the aim. We like to follow things from his point of view so sharp and innocent at the same time his youth gives a refreshing naivety touch his choice. Yet it is stubborn, confident and choices, especially sassy!

Liam is not much here now, but I still enjoy. He is a young man in love, anything to the woman he loves, desperate to make amends. Zenn’s new friend is the Jules dolphin that lives, thinks and acts like a human. It’s an original character, we immediately love. It’s the same for the groom Indra Treth which adds action and severity too. All these characters together form an excellent group of attack and make things more interesting.

The plot obviously revolves around the disappearance of the father of Zenn and his own removal. All this hides many things that encompass many more characters than the exovet think. She will arrive to make allies and enemies to advance are not always the ones we think. We understand still fast enough that it is its ability to interact with the animals is at the heart of everything.

Under Nameless Stars is a good digest of science fiction that I remember more than once Stargate-SG1. This is an excellent book that I greatly enjoyed reading, which I enjoyed and that really made me dream. The end is still a bit unsettling, I can not see if it is an end or there will be a sequel. Personally I would love this to be the case and I would jump on the book in question.

ANGRY ROBOT Ltd thank you to press for this service.

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Win a free copy of the sci fi adventure that’s “like Jurassic World… ON MARS!”

silhouette poster new jan 2014 jpegFor limited time (like, hours, probably….) the galaxy-bestriding goliath that is Amazon is offering up a giveaway to win your very own copy of ZENN SCARLETT. All you gotta do is follow the link and then follow @cjschoon on Twitter. Don’t miss out, Earther. Enter pronto and good luck! Clickety here:  http://tinyurl.com/n9pv8ux

Hosted by:

Christian Schoon (@cjschoon)

Win a chance for a FREE copy of Zenn Scarlett – sci fi adventure featuring a novice exoveterinarian. Just follow @cjschoon. Good luck!

Follow @cjschoon to continue.

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And now: Jules, in his walksuit. You’re welcome.

jules color w name

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So, another Iowa winter done. Coulda been worse. Now, spring… and all those pesky projects we’d been putting off until things thawed out…


A few of the ranch’s “residents” hanging out by the Big Hay Barn… gazing Spring-ward, ever hopeful.

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St. Stephen’s guest-list appears. Zenn is overwhelmed.

The guest author/artist list for the upcoming St. Stephen’s literary festival is now up over at their site. Headliners include Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America), Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried), Over the Hedge co-creator Michael Fry and over a dozen other literary and artistic luminaries and totally awesome folk. I’m basically agog to be in their company, and, not incidentally, glad to have some Texas weather in my not-too-distant future… Should be a fabulous time. Will report back.


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Headed for NewBo Con, Feb. 7? Drop by New Bo Books for a Reading from Zenn’s Latest Adventure!

new bo con poster rooster

The mighty New Bo Cyber-Roosterzilla demands: “Attend the Con, puny human-mammal-types. Or perish!” Image courtesy of Carter Allen (thanks again, Carter). Click the fowl to visit his FB page.

Are you one of the gazillion or so science fiction/fantasy/comic book groklings who are transporting in for the upcoming NewBo Con comics convention at NewBo City Market in CR on February 7? Well, y’all have an added attraction to shoe-horn into the schedule-y lobes of your wily, genre-seeking brains.  At 1 PM that afternoon, I’ll be reading from and signing copies of Zenn Scarlett’s latest science fiction/fantasy thrill-ride UNDER NAMELESS STARS at New Bo Books, across the street from the market at 1105 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids.

Newbie recap: Under Nameless Stars is the sequel to the debut book in the series,  Zenn Scarlett (first published by Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot Books; distributed in US and Canada by Random House, for those who care about that stuff).


The event is open to the public and is free; though the cost in unadulterated awesome is still being calculated. So, if you’re in town for the con and want to know what uncanny species of alien life form our favorite young exoveterinarian is  examining/ healing/running-like-Hell-from in her latest outing, drop by New Bo Books and grab an easy chair. It’ll be the most fun your ears and their attached neural matter will have all day. Hope to see some of ya there. Cheers!


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Don’t Mess with… this Texas Lit Festival.

Am honored to find myself on the list of authors and other creative types invited down to Austin, TX, for the 2015 St. Stephen’s Literary Festival in February.

st stepehens library pic

The St. Stephen’s Literary Festival. One of the premiere literary shin-digs in the known universe. Seriously. Big fun for the bookish.

All the deets from the St. Stephen’s announcement:

Another exciting event sponsored by the Friends of Becker Library is the biennial Literary Festival, which will take place on February 25, 2015.  On that day, a wide variety of notable writers will visit our campus to give presentations about their writing to our students.  Every student will have the opportunity to attend two presentations of his or her choice.  Additional events include a lunch for parents, followed by an author presentation for adults.

Their 2013 Festival featured names like Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Richard Linklater (School of Rock), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Lawrence Wright (The Looming Tower). I’m looking forward to a truly awesome event.

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