May 24, 2017

Picture Books 2017 #1: Too School for Cool

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

This is a simple little story with a refreshing stroke of creativity. In the story, a little boy on his way to his grandmother's birthday party badgers his parents with the age-old car trip question: "Are we there yet?" And as he grows increasingly bored, his mind starts to wander... and before he knows it, he and his parents are off on a crazy trip through time and space. The book itself gets in on the act, with the story flipping over entirely, so that the reader must turn his or her upside-down to go on. There's everything from cowboys and pirates to dinosaurs and flying cars--all the stuff kids in the target audience are expected to like at that age. And there's even a cute little moral (delivered via pun!) at the end.

It's not going to be the most riveting read for any adults who pick it up, but children still in the picture book range might just get a kick out of it.

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Here we have another of those picture books devoted to celebrating books themselves. In the story, the titular "child of books" comes crashing in on a wave of words (excerpts from works like Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels) and takes another child off on a journey through the world of literature and imagination. They climb mountains, search for treasure, escape monsters, and more, and it's all meant to impress upon the reader the value of imagination (and of reading to stoke one's imagination).

Honestly, this is a book that's more likely to be appreciated by adult readers than children.

Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle

This is an interactive, wordless picture book about a little girl (the titular Flora) who's trying to dance with a pair of peacocks who just aren't having it... until they realize they've hurt her feelings. According to the interior book flap, the moral is intended to be, "...that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance together," but it could definitely be taken as a bit of a subtle anti-bullying story if that's what your looking for.

As with the previous Flora book I read, I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. I just don't think I'm the wordless picture book type, myself, and so I think this is the last Flora book I'll be picking up. They just don't have much appeal for an adult reader; the art is nice, but that's about it.

Otter Goes to School by Sam Garton

This is another in the Otter series of children's books, and unlike the last Otter book I tried, I found this one to be a very charming, adorable standalone. The reader needs no background knowledge of the author's blog (I Am Otter: The Unheard Ramblings of a Modern Day Domestic Otter) to follow the story; there's no missing context here whatsoever. All we've got is an adorable story about an otter who, upon learning about the existence of a place called "school", decides to play classroom with her toys. It's a really cute little read perfect for a child who's getting close to the age of going to school for the first time. I actually recommend it!

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex

In this story, an elementary school called Frederick Douglas Elementary (which is a real school, by the way) is anthropomorphized. It's actually a very interesting idea! Adam Rex supplies the reader with a unique twist on the concept of a "first day of school" book, as here we get to see the first day of school from the perspective of the school itself. And oddly enough, it's actually a fairly touching story; the school has to deal with the reality that most of the children hate being there (at least at first), and its emotional journey in coming to terms with that fact quite nicely parallels a young child's coming to terms with being a student.

It's really surprising, sweet, and charming, and I definitely recommend it to any children who might be struggling with the fact that they have to go to school now (or children who will soon be going to school for the first time).

Want to buy one of these books, or a related book? Refused by the Call is an Amazon Affiliate; support the blog by buying from one of the links below!

April 8, 2017

50harlequins | Parabellum - Sparrow/Frost

Found here.

01. Pirate King and Captive 02. Arabian Sheik 03. Master and Slave 04. Barbarian Warrior and Captive 05. Stranded in the Storm
06. Cop and a victim or witness he's protecting 07. Spy v Spy 08. Vampire and Human 09. Witch and non-Witch 10. Boss and Employee
11. Unexpected baby [a] 12. Master of the Manor and Governess 13. Rich Lord and a Poor Orphan trying to save her Home or Family 14. Prim Frontier Schoolmistress and a Civil War Veteran trying to escape his Past 15. On Opposite sides [b]
16. Indian Brave and Settler 17. Teacher and Single Parent 18. Investigator and Client [c] 19. Frontier Doctor and a Patient who is a Wanted Man 20. At the Rodeo
21. Rugged Rancher/Cowboy and a City Girl 22. Cop and an Amnesiac Accident Victim 23. Spoiled Rich Girl and a Poor Boy 24. Grieving Widower and his Neighbour/Workmate 25. Fleeing an Unwanted Suitor
26. Escaped Prisoner and his Hostage 27. Bachelor Auction 28. Wake up Married 29. Mail Order Bride 30. Mistaken Identity
31. Hooker and Wealthy Client 32. Fireman and Rescued Victim 33. Long-Separated Lovers 34. Ski Instructor and Snow Bunny 35. Cop and Suspect
36. Playboy and his more serious Neighbour or Employee 37. Willing to do Anything for Money 38. Secret Royalty 39. Divorcee and a Mysterious Stranger 40. Must Marry to Inherit
41. Trophy Wife and Chauffeur/Pool Boy [d] 42. Nobleman and Penniless Orphaned Relative 43. Highwayman 44. Princess and Bodyguard 45. Running from an Arranged Marriage and Falling for a Stranger who turns out to be the Groom
46. Blackmailed into Marriage 47. Indecent Proposal 48. He swore off women after being hurt, they're all deceitful. Then he met her, but what is she hiding? 49. Marriage as a Business Arrangement 50. Revenge

April 5, 2017

[Dear Writer] Night on Fic Mountain 2017

General Stuff

[Dear Writer] Soul Exchange 2017

General Stuff

March 28, 2017

[Dear Writer] Jukebox 2017


March 22, 2017

[Dear Writer] All in the Family 2017

General Stuff

I Adore:

March 20, 2017

[Icons] The Nanny S01E07 - Imaginary Friend

Solo Characters | Fran (2) - CC - Maggie - Grace


Groups of Characters | Grace & Brighton - Fran & Brighton - Fran, Grace, & Brighton - Fran & Grace (2) - Maxwell, Fran, & Grace - Maxwell/Fran - CC & Fran


Bonus | Grace's Therapist

March 18, 2017

[Icons] The Nanny S01E06 - The Butler, The Husband, The Wife, And Her Mother

Feel free to use and adapt/modify these icons wherever and however you choose. Credit, with or without a link back here, is appreciated but not required.

March 14, 2017

[Icons] The Nanny S01E05 - Here Comes the Brood

Feel free to use and adapt/modify these icons wherever and however you choose. Credit, with or without a link back here, is appreciated but not required.

[Icons] The Nanny S01E01 - S01E04

Feel free to use and adapt/modify these icons wherever and however you choose. Credit, with or without a link back here, is appreciated but not required.

March 6, 2017

[Icons] Riverdale S01E06 - Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!

Feel free to use and adapt/modify these icons wherever and however you choose. Credit, with or without a link back here, is appreciated but not required.

February 19, 2017

Dear Writer: SmutSwap 2017

General Stuff

I Adore:

February 17, 2017

Dear Writer: fandom5k 2017

General Stuff

I Adore:

February 1, 2017

Valentines Bingo Fest

This bingo card was created with prompts posted at allbingo. Check 'em out here.

fire and ice wedding ring love at first sight first kiss harems
long-distance relationship adultery fantasies naked in public 69
our song strap-ons ethical sluts interracial or interspecies love secret crush
morning-after regrets orgy sex on the beach wet dream dramatic proposal
spin the bottle human pet ménage à trois uniform kink oral sex

January 31, 2017

[Writing Challenge] 1sentence Gamma Table

Found here. Claim must be a pairing.
...all you have to do for your pairing of choice is to complete one sentence for each theme—only one sentence.


January 26, 2017

Dear Writer: Het Swap 2017

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January 14, 2017

genprompt_bingo Round Eleven

You can join in here.


  • Fic fills should be at least 100 words long. Non-fic fill rules can be found here.
  • Wild Card square can be swapped with any (one) other square on the card.
  • Though the prompts are "gen", the fills need not be.
  • Posting and tagging guidelines can be found here.
  • There is no deadline; you can post your bingo for any round no matter what round is currently running.

Team Mates Pain Superpowers Tragedy Poetry
Biography / Autobiography Dinosaurs and Pre-historic Creatures Victorious Character Study Terrible
Priceless Mutation / Transformation Wild Card Compare and Contrast The way we were: Pre-canon
Best Friends Infiltration Worst case scenario Spells and Geases Things that go Bump in the Night
Manipulation Sphinxes and Chimerae Dreams and Nightmares Chaos and Order Truth serums, Truth spells, and Truth drugs

January 3, 2017

Dear Writer: Purimgifts 2017

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January 2, 2017

allbingo | Dark Fantasy Bingo 2017

Found here.

Nightmares Fairy tales Betrayal Life Mystery
Possession Time Binding Haunting Haunted
Stranger Spell-bound Gods/goddesses Greed Sea
Wilderness Earth Visionary Experiment Apparition
Primal Primitive Shadows Pyrokinesis Warlocks

Trope Bingo Round Eight | Amnesty Round

Found here. All fic should be 500 words or more.

huddle for warmth poor communication skills meet the parents/family bets/wagers reunion
road trip mind games celebratory kiss hurt/comfort food and cooking
fluff locked in free space chosen family role reversal
amnesia language/
presumed dead unexpected friendship future fic
power dynamics epistolary first time /
last time
in vino veritas / drunk fic in another man's shoes

January 1, 2017

Dear Writer: Chocolate Box 2017

General Stuff

I Adore: