Kate-Book, the website for Kates, by Kates, and about Kates http://kate-book.com The only website for Kates, by Kates, and about Kates Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Kate’s Book Club: Q&A with WereLover Kate Thomashttp://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-qa-with-werelover-kate-thomas/ http://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-qa-with-werelover-kate-thomas/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:30:24 +0000 Kate E. Stephenson http://kate-book.com/?p=9568 Resounding Truth by Kate Thomas

On this last Wednesday of March 2015, I hereby call to order the 38th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every meeting, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate or (c) that this Kate liked a whole lot and thinks you will too. If you missed our last meeting, you want to get caught up.

We met her last week, and this week, club members, we quiz Kate Thomas! (Then scroll to the bottom for your chance to win Thomas’ hot off the press new werewolf release Resounding Truth – a yummy novella bite.)

Kate answers all your questions:

Who named you Kate and why?

I named me Kate. My real name is Laurie and my oldest girl is named Katelyn, quite simply because it’s beautiful. As I needed a pen name I realized quickly that “Kate” was everything that described me as who I was and who I wanted to be. It’s strong and bold, demanding and sexy. You know there might be more to the name, but the shortened version is so “punch-you-in-the-face” powerful that I snagged it. I’d be a Kate if I could without offending my preacher mother.  :P

How did you become an author?

I stumbled into it! I’m a reader first and foremost. I have more books than I should (don’t we all!) and I won several awards in grade school for reading like my life depended on it. I just love the idea that something might lay beyond what we could expect or hope for. I’m a dreamer. Soooo… in 2010 I was sitting in my living room and had just finished a book and thought to myself, “I could do this.”

I knew the pattern, the importance of pace and characterization, the need for strong setting and world building. So I put the pen to paper and wrote my 100,000 word debut YA Deceived in a few weeks. I joined a few editing groups and got rejected by a million agents and threw it in a drawer. I was a successful CPA after building my career for 10 years, so no one needed all that drama!

A friend begged me to pull it out last year in June. I did and haven’t stopped pushing since then. Only thing better than reading – creating an experience for my reader.

What was the muse for your first completed/published book?

My muse was the determination to see if I could actually write a novel. I’m a CPA – math is my game, but something pushed at my need to seeeeeee. I studied Greek Myth for a few weeks and let my mind wonder. My first novel was Deceived, a YA paranormal. My muse is a mixture of life and watching the people around me, too. So after I worked through the “prophecy” that would set the stage for the background, I knew I needed to define the characters by the people in my life. Everyone in the book is named after someone I love or closely resembles them.

I have one brother (9 years younger) and we have a very playful relationship. He’s a meathead and would rather walk over razor wire barefoot than read, so I make sure to put him in all of my books. He’s Ken in my Soul Keeper Series – the playboy jerk. He’s a bully in my Middle Grade, Howl at the Moon and he’s Jake, Ellie’s brother in The Core. He knows I splash crap all over my books about him and that’s always a great laugh too. He promises to bring a sign to the movie debut (I wish…) that says, “I’m the REAL BRENT!”

I’m inspired by life – my family – and great stories I’ve read.

What are you currently working on?

I’m actually working on several things all at once. I have a handful of pen names. So I just wrapped up the YA trilogy under L.A. Starkey and put the box set out. I have both my Equilibrium Series and my Resounding Series coming out this year for Kate Thomas. The Core: Equilibrium I is already released and The Light is coming by May 27th at the latest. Resounding’s first full length novel is scheduled for June 30th and I’m about 1/6 of the way through writing it now.

I’m actually turning to another pen name to work on a few serials for contemporary romance. Just want to test the market for those, so I have 6 installments (2 different series) coming out in April, I believe.

Other than that, I’m working to build up Good Tales Book Tours as it’s my newest baby and drinking LOADS of Mountain Dew!

What is your greatest accomplishment to date?

Have two teenagers who run to the door when I get home, pile in my bed to laugh and talk about kisses and bullies, who remind me how loved I am and how beautiful they think I am. They are great girls and along with my little man, they are the crowning jewel of this life for me. I’ve done A LOT and have accomplished so much that my family makes fun of me and my accomplishments, but it would be nothing without love.

What’s your favorite word?

Ridiculous (though I can’t spell it – like EVER)

What’s your least favorite word?

Ummmmm

Who’s your favorite literary character?

Dorian Gray

What’s your favorite quote?

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”  —Michelangelo

If you weren’t an author, what profession would you like to try?

None. I’m a business owner (several businesses) and a CPA. I’d love to JUST be an author!

If you could do one thing in your life over, what would it be?

Not get married to my first hubby at 18. He was hot and that’s not exactly the best criteria for marriage. Current hubby is HAWT too – but so much more.

Check out Kate Thomas’ new release!

Resounding Truth E-Book CoverTitle: Resounding Truth (Novella)
Series: The Resounding Series
Author: Kate Thomas
Publication Date: March 30, 2015

Resounding Truth is number 2.5 in The Resounding Series, a novella to give the readers a glimpse into the world of the Resounding Lycans. The prequel that started it all will release late spring 2015 and kick off the 8 book (plus multiple novellas) series.

Derik has been the Alpha of the Graybacks since the death of Drucilia’s father, his murder still weighing heavy upon Dru. With fierce determination and an iron fist, the new Alpha has successfully kept them alive and fed, but the threat of Hunters and Vampires creeps ever so close. With his eye on Dru as a prime candidate for his mate, he demands more than she’s willing to give and blazes a trail of rage across the pack at her denial.

They have waited for a savior, for someone to come and take power from Derik and the time draws near. Dru’s sister Karis can see deep into the future and makes it known that a white wolf will be their redeemer, but will he be too late? With the Queen of the vampires thirsty for an accord in blood and the head Huntress of the Circle of Elders seeking the white wolf with fever, things get tense and complicated far before the resounding truth is uncovered.

GIVEAWAY
This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

Resounding Novella Large Banner

 

Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com Wednesdays, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.

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Adventures in Greening: Coffee Breakhttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-coffee-break/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-coffee-break/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:02:28 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9557 tumblr_n3mdccUpQY1sm3vxwo1_500

By Catherine Moran

Ages and ages ago, I wrote about my penchant for cold-brewing coffee. This weekend, I took my cold brew process a step further: I ground my own beans!

I was in Nicaragua on a yoga retreat last month (such a beautiful country, I must say!), and, coffee lover that I am, I had to pick up a bag of beans. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use this bag right away, so I took home beans in order to better preserve them until I could grind them for fresh use.

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My mum passed along a Krups grinder that is about 10 years old, and still in fine working condition. (Back in the day, things were built to last, and look at it now!)

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Granted, I can’t do an entire bag at once, but it’s no trouble to do a few rounds. Plus, in doing smaller rounds of beans, I can see how finely ground my beans are. For cold brew coffee, the coarser the better, which means that grinding the beans takes even less time!

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This post doesn’t feel like an especially green commentary, but I’m lauding the appliance that I used. It is possible to buy beans that aren’t already ground, but if you do so in the grocery store, you’ll need to find a way to grind at home. Most local coffee shops (and, indeed, grocery stores that have bean dispensers) have machines to grind your coffee in-store. A home coffee grinder isn’t a necessity, but I’m certainly glad to have it for home grinding and subsequent brewing and drinking. Cheers to caffeine!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Kate’s Book Club: A Review of Billie Morton’s How to Un-Marry a Millionairehttp://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-a-review-of-billie-mortons-how-to-un-marry-a-millionaire/ http://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-a-review-of-billie-mortons-how-to-un-marry-a-millionaire/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:30:55 +0000 Kate E. Stephenson http://kate-book.com/?p=9375 How to Un-Marry a Millionaire (bookclub)In this fourth week of March 2015, I hereby call to order the 36th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every meeting, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate or (c) that this Kate liked a whole lot and thinks you will too. If you missed our last meeting, you want to get caught up.

This week we review Billie Morton’s How to Un-Marry a Millionaire. (No there is no Kate author or character here, but this Kate read the book and felt the need to put in her two cents.)

Kate’s Book Report:

How to Un-Marry a Millionaire sits quite comfortably in the humor section. From the very first page Billie Morton had me hooked. I read the whole book in almost one sitting because I had to know what happened next and how these disparate, desperate female characters would converge. Starting with rough-around-the-edges upstart Ricky Hart then jumping to elderly socialite Phillipa Carmel and middle aged gold digger Suzanne with the four last names, this novel takes you on a roller coaster ride from the very beginning.

Exquisitely written, Morton full embodies the unique and distinct voice of each character, at any point you could randomly turn to a page, and having been introduced to the characters, know who’s speaking without being told. You know Ricky by her seemingly hair-brained quips and Phillipa by her eccentricity and Suzanne by her clawing need for acknowledgment. And this reader isn’t ashamed to say that she found something to identify with in each of these fictional women. Morton weaves a masterful web! (With the exception of a few math issues in the review copy, that I hope are corrected in the final edition.)  Her screenwriting talents are clearly at work here, this reads like a movie, with wild action, crazy close-ups, and beautiful panoramics.

Puzzled by the title until the very last page, I found How to Un-Marry a Millionaire refreshing, funny, engaging and a fantastic twist on the rags to riches story. Anyone who loves revisionist fairytales will get a strong kick out of this. I certainly did.

* * * * * (5 Stars)

This week I offer you a quick synopsis (for excerpts check out the ebook tour HERE):

Ricky Hart wants to the get the hell out of small-town Arizona to escape the fate of generations of women in her family – a boring, nothing future.

Inspired by Basia Johnson, a penniless cook who married into the Johnson and Johnson fortune, Ricky sets in motion a plan to get inside a rich old man’s house. Once there, she will do the rest. She is twenty-two years old, blonde and unashamedly brazen.

And she is ready to make a deal with the Devil.

What she hasn’t counted on is seventy-year-old Sanford Keane, the Arizona Copper King, a notorious sonofabitch with an agenda of his own, and a family with a long history of other ambitious wives.

One of them is Suzanne Nelson-Drummoyne-Graff-Carmel, a serial marrier who has finally found love. Unfortunately it is not with her latest husband. At war with her mother-in-law, PHILIPPA, a legendary old viper and trophy wife of another era, Suzanne is thirty-seven and terrified that she is about to hit her “use-by” date.

From the richest enclaves of Connecticut and Manhattan to the wilds of the Arizona desert and New Mexico, the novel brings these women together on a raunchy, life-changing encounter that will make them question the roles they have chosen for themselves, and the high price they have all paid to live the pampered life of a rich man’s wife.

I received a copy of How to Un-Marry a Millionaire by Billie Morton in exchange for an honest review.

Other Awesome Kate’s Book Club Picks:

  • Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold (review to come)
  • Fractured, Kate Watterson’s newest Detective Ellie MacIntosh book

 

Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com Wednesdays, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns.

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Kate’s Book Club: Review of Kate Thomas’ 1st Equilibrium series book, The Corehttp://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-review-of-kate-thomas-1st-equilibrium-series-book-the-core/ http://kate-book.com/kates-book-club-review-of-kate-thomas-1st-equilibrium-series-book-the-core/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:02:32 +0000 Kate E. Stephenson http://kate-book.com/?p=9534 The Core by Kate Thomas

In this third Wednesday of March 2015, I hereby call to order the 35th meeting of Kate’s Book Club. Every meeting, we shall be reading a tome either (a) penned by an author named Kate or (b) that includes a character named Kate or (c) that this Kate liked a whole lot and thinks you will too. If you missed our last meeting, you want to get caught up.

Club members this week we meet Kate Thomas and review the first book in her Equilibrium series The Core.

The  Core blurb:

 There’s something strange about David, something that goes beyond the way he makes Ellie feel. He’s wealthy, poised, and a complete enigma. With nothing to lose but her heart, Ellie goes in search of the truth — a search that leads her down an eye-opening path that reveals secrets about the world she thought she knew.The world’s order is held in careful balance, the essence of good and evil tilting the scale. When the fabric of reality is stripped away, Ellie is forced to make a decision to follow the path David’s constructed before her or simply walk away. The Core is missing and someone must step up and stand between the light and darkness, holding each back and maintaining equilibrium.

Meet Kate Thomas:

Bookclubbers don’t feel bamboozled, but Kate Thomas is not in fact a Kate at all. Rather Kate Thomas is the awesome pen name of L.A. Starkey, the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

She is also known as:

L.A. Starkey – YA/MG Paranormal
Kate Thomas – NA/Adult Paranormal
Isabella James – Sci-fi/Fantasy
Lauren Elizabeth – Adult Contemporary Romance

L.A. Starkey loves to chat with fans so friend her on Goodreads and tweet her on  Twitter.

And the review:

So, I don’t know about you, but if you skip down to the excerpt below I think you will find a much more convincing reason to pick up The Core than the blurb. Yes, Ellie does have to make a decision and yes there is a precarious balance to be upheld, but the so much more compelling issue here is the amazing chemistry between Ellie and her boss Mr. Kelley, David that is. And that magnetic chemistry makes this book well worth picking up. Thomas sets up intrigue and drama seductively in this first installment in what could be a very long series (please please please).

This reader was not always a fan of Thomas’ prose, the in-between moments are blah. But when there is action (and there is quite a lot of it) the narrative moves swiftly, tension is built to perfection and you can fall right into this alternate world that Thomas has created. My hope is that Thomas tightens her transitions in books to come, but I’ll still read them even if she doesn’t because the meat of this is so delicious that I don’t mind the less than sturdy tendons. I hate spoilers, so I won’t be one. The most I will say is that if you aren’t good with cliffhangers, you might want to wait until the sequel to The Core is released this summer to pick this up. But if you are like me and believe anticipation is a feeling to be relished, then go get this book today!

The narrative structure is different as Thomas doesn’t pretend that this is a story in and of itself; she sets us up neatly for the long run. But The Core is still a quick, yummy read that fans of paranormal romance will enjoy.

Rating: * * * * (4 out of 5 stars)

I leave you with a tantalizing taste of Kate Thomas’ new book The Core. From Chapter One:

The silence greeted her as she walked into her house. A large, white fluff ball meowed and rubbed itself along her legs as she worked to get the door closed behind her; the cold front had utilized a strong wind to bring itself into town. She reached down and picked up her baby, kissing the side of his head and murmuring to him.

“Did you miss me, Marx? Was it a long day without Mommy?” She walked through the darkness while holding her cat to her chest, turning on lights as she made her way to the kitchen. Her home was small, the living room barely fitting a couch and TV , and the kitchen being made for one medium-sized rear to move around in it. Sundays with her mom and Jacob crowding around her were warm and full of fun, but a tight fit.

The sound of a voice caused her to jolt, scream softly and drop the cat.

“Did you find what you were looking for tonight, Ellie?”

She turned on the kitchen light, her hand shaking a little as her eyes fell upon her employer. His body was comfortably positioned in one of her small wooden chairs, his eyes questioning and yet not filled with malice. She couldn’t speak for a few moments. The mere fact that he filled up the kitchen with his presence should’ve scared her to death , but all she could do was breathe in deeply, enjoying the dark hues of his cologne.

Play it cool … play it cool, Ellie.

“I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but finding you in my kitchen is creepy.” She stood shocked for a moment, her face flushing from anger at the idea of him thinking that it was okay to break into her house.

“You’re angry.”

“Just a little. Why would you think that breaking into my house was a good course of action?” She touched her fingers to the side of her head, trying not to enjoy the smile that lifted his lips.

“Why would you think it would be wise to trail me half the night? What if I wasn’t the upstanding guy you thought me to be, or wait… perhaps you didn’t think me such a good guy or you’d not be interested in watching me from the shadows.”

She was pissed, but he had a point, sort of.

Ellie walked toward him, pulled out a chair and sat down a little ways from him, the small, round wooden table between them. She pinched her forefinger and thumb together in front of her face, a soft smile touching her lips as she said, “You have a point, but I’m still disturbed.”

Her heart was beating painfully in her chest; the thought of dying at twenty-four was a bit overwhelming, and the truth of the matter was that her boss was probably up to something quite nefarious. She’d only given Jacob half the story. Whatever he was doing in her kitchen, he wasn’t offering secrets or planning parties, but most likely giving her a stern warning.

A smile touched his beautiful mouth, and his full lips spread to show stark-white teeth, the gesture reaching his eyes and softening his expression. He laughed quietly, leaning forward to lay his leather-covered arms on the table before looking up at her, his dark green eyes full of self-assurance. “Do you find me that interesting?”

She felt the weight of his stare, a shiver starting in her stomach and rushing upward, until her arms were covered in goose pimples. “I have a few questions. I followed you, yes, but you’re in my place in the dark.”

He shrugged nonchalantly, “I’m not upset by your actions, though I can see how you feel about mine. I understand the situation.”

“You do?” she asked, confused by his admission. Her own sense of reason was slipping from her grasp as her eyes moved toward his large hands, which were clasped together, one thumb rubbing along the other.

“I do. You have questions, so ask me.” He stopped speaking and sat back, placing his hands in his lap, his dark slacks barely showing from her vantage point. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world and she’d yet to ask what he was really doing here and how he’d gotten into her house when she was more than certain that she’d locked it up tight when she left with Jacob for the evening.

She swallowed hard, leaning forward and placing her arms on the table, knowing that her crimson fleece jacket looked professional and slimming on her feminine form. “What are you doing here, David?”

If he thought himself bold to be in her home uninvited, she was ten times more so for using his first name. He’d never, ever given her his name, always referring to himself as Mr. Kelley to everyone he encountered. It took her a whole year to figure out what his first name was, and to use it was a no-no, or so she imagined. Tonight seemed to be the night to put everything out on the table, seeing that she was most likely going to die.

A smile tugged at the side of his mouth, his strong cheekbones and defined jaw leaving no question of his dominance. “I am here to give you a few of the answers you seek, but first you get to confess.”

She scoffed, quickly forgetting his appeal and remembering how very dominant she herself could be. “I get to confess? What would you have me confess, exactly?”

“You know, it’s not every day I have an attractive younger female following me around town as if I’m a wayward lover and she’s in need of answers. What exactly did you and your male friend hope to find tonight?” His gaze moved from holding her own to traveling down the front of her body, her reaction causing his smirk to widen. “Do I make you uncomfortable, Miss Martin?”

“That male is my twin brother, and I was trying to figure out if you’re a mass murderer.” She wrapped her arms around her torso, one hand coming up to allow her to bite her fingernail. “Attractive younger woman, hmm?”

He laughed, and the sound warmed the whole room. For a moment, his overbearing disposition was discarded before he locked back into his façade, the persona that David Kelley wore in front of all who interacted with him. “Yes. You are quite attractive, but you know that.”

He stood and walked toward the back door, opening it and smiling over his shoulder. “Strike one for not asking for what you wanted, Ellie. I offered and you decided not to bite.” He walked out the back door as she stood, turning only to put the key back above the doorstop in the back of the house. “You should really be more conspicuous in all areas of your life, hmmm?”

She wanted to respond, but could do nothing more than stand and watch him leave. A soft sigh of frustration left her as the door closed.

Whew… Read on my lovely, Bookclubbers, read on… until next time.

I received a copy of The Core by Kate Thomas in exchange for an honest review.

Other great Kate books:

Kate’s Book Club is a column on Kate-book.com featuring interviews with authors named Kate, as well as reviews of books starring Kate characters. It runs on Kate-book.com Wednesdays, and is written by the self-admitted bibliophile Kate E. Stephenson, who you should follow on Twitter here. Oh, and write to Kate to suggest authors and books we should read for future columns. If you are a Kate’s Book Club fan and want to see more Kate books regularly featured, please send me your book ideas, recent book releases, and favorite Kate author suggestions!

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Adventures in Greening: Taking out the Leftovershttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-taking-out-the-leftovers/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-taking-out-the-leftovers/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 18:50:18 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9524 Document

By Catherine Moran

After three years of writing bi-weekly posts, it sometimes feels like I’m out of new things to try to Go Green, if only because writing a green blog isn’t my day job (who knows, maybe one day!), and I don’t always have the time I’d like to research and experiment. In that case where there’s a time crunch, I try to bring you news tidbits. Friends often aid me in this endeavor by sending links my way, so thank you to people who keep my green inclinations in mind! This piece is the result of one such instance.

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This news is coming out of Seattle (the west coast continues setting the trend for green endeavors!) Seattle is saying “no more mister nice guy” to residents throwing out food scraps: a new law, currently in effect on a trial basis, makes it illegal for there to be an excess of 10% of food waste in one trash bin. This trial period seems to be more focused on drawing awareness to how much food people throw away, only flagging violations for now. Starting in July, households will be charged $1 per infraction. It’s not much of a fine, true, but perhaps the biggest hurdle in getting people to change their habits will be to make them aware of how much waste they are producing that could be turned into something useful, such as compost. This is sad news for the local animals, who enjoying scavenging the trash:

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Have a great week, greenies!

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Greening the Afterlifehttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-greening-the-afterlife/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-greening-the-afterlife/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:04:25 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9513 biodegradable-burial-pod-memory-forest-capsula-mundi-6

By Catherine Moran

Is there such a thing as being too green? You may think so, after reading this post. I, on the other hand, think that what I’m about to share with you is really neat (big surprise, right?) So what is the topic of today, you ask? Organic Burial Pods! Two Italian designers have come up with an alternative for people to consider when deciding on their final resting place.

Cremation and being interred underground are the two ways that we care for the remains of our loved ones after death. But what if their bodies could contribute to the earth even after death? That’s the idea behind Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel’s burial capsule.

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These burial pods are organic and biodegradable (as are we!), and would provide nutrition for a tree seed or tree that would be planted above it. Then, instead of a tombstone, families and friends could visit and care for their loved one’s tree. This seems like a gentle way of reminding us that we can still celebrate life and beauty, even in the depths of sadness and despair.

What do you think? Is this just a bit too “Circle of Life” to become a valid burial option? Would this option only make us further vulnerable to the zombie apocalypse?

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Sweatshophttp://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-sweatshop/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-sweatshop/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:05:57 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9501 10932119_1539264656326097_612140947_n

By Catherine Moran

This link popped up on my Facebook feed a few times last week, so you may have already seen it, too. I linked to a piece about fast fashion a few posts back; living in New York City, a fashion capital of the world, I see a lot of fast fashion. You can actually see trends being born when you live here. As Heidi Klum says on Project Runway: “One day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out.” That’s fashion, apparently. But how can we chuck out clothes every “season” and get on board with new trends? How is such clothing made so rapidly?

Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion follows three young Norwegian fashion lovers who travel to Cambodia to learn about where the clothes they buy and discard come from. The idea behind Sweatshop is a good one, and is worth the watch (especially given that all five webisodes are no longer than one hour altogether). Talking about sweatshops is one thing, but seeing the reality of it is another; even though, as Ludvig remarks, the sweatshop they work in for a day is one that actually allowed them access. Those that denied the production team are probably much, much worse than what they experience here.

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The three fashionistas hear stories about why some of these people have to work in sweatshops, and they are given such tasks as trying to make a meal for multiple people and buy three toothbrushes and toothpaste for only $9 ($3 a day is the average living wage for a sweatshop garment worker in Cambodia). They even see some of the protests that workers are staging, demanding to be paid a living wage. This is important stuff for us to see; fast fashion is not just a problem in Norway: we have H&M here, too. It’s a cheap go-to for clothes that will wear out after awhile, but people don’t shop at H&M thinking their blouse will last them for more than a few months. The clothes just aren’t made that way.

There are a few issues with watching Sweatshop: the English translation is a bit off, which can be distracting, and the opening credits make it feel like this is some version of an upbeat British teen drama. But stick with it! Seeing these three people with their perceptions about fashion (and, to be honest, their sense of entitlement), and the effect the truth has on them, is pretty interesting. This isn’t a hard-hitting documentary, but if you’ve wondered about who makes your clothes, and what that her everyday life is like, this is a quick glimpse, and may make you think twice about where you are spending your dollars.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: See Ya, Styrofoam!http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-see-ya-styrofoam/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-see-ya-styrofoam/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:09:31 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9493 recycle_styrofoam

By Catherine Moran

I read some exciting news about my neighborhood last week: starting this summer, New York City is banning foam food packaging. Additionally, foam packing peanuts will no longer be sold in the city. This means that food cart vendors (of which there are many) will have to find a different way of sending you off with your food. This is exciting news for the treehuggers, but city officials have been fair to those who oppose the initiative, giving supporters of foam packaging a year (in 2013) to prove that the material could be recycled. Their findings? Foam cannot be recycled.

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This is, on the whole, great news. However, nonprofits and smaller businesses can apply for exemptions if they can prove that purchasing other containers would be a financial hardship. It’s not difficult to imagine that cart vendors will receive this exemption; thus, the ban will not completely eliminate the use of foam containers in the city. But, hey, it’s a pretty good start! A step forward, no matter how small, is still a step forward.

This leads to another interesting idea: alternatives to foam packaging. Many restaurants in NYC use #5 plastics, which can now be recycled in the city’s recycling program (or brought to Whole Foods—or other participating stores—to be recycled as part of Preserve’s Gimme 5 Program). #5 packaging is the most sensible packaging alternative for vendors, but! What if, in the future, foods (although maybe not hot to-go food) could be purchased in…edible packaging? Yes, the future is here. At this date in time, Wikipearl is still in development, and working to overcome challenges, but you can buy yogurt and ice cream in edible packaging in some Whole Foods stores. Whoa!

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The idea behind Wikipearl is that we buy produce, such as grapes or apples, that’s in edible packaging, meaning that there is no waste associated with the item. What if most of the food we buy was sold in packaging that could be consumed or composted? We’d cut down on so much waste! There’s a ways to go with the idea of edible packaging, but it’s an idea that may prove fruitful in future.

2015 is shaping up to be a good year for green enterprising. Let’s hope the trend continues!

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: New Year, Same Me…http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-new-year-same-me/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-new-year-same-me/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:11:22 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9482 new-years-resolutions

By Catherine Moran

…with new goals, that is! I’m not one to ascribe to new resolutions at the start of the year (I make ‘em throughout the year!) But here’s a list of things I hope to have accomplished by the end of the year. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, and I don’t want to make the list unrealistic. We’ll see how things are going at the end of the year, which, given how quickly this year went, might just fly by.

• Say goodbye to my plastic razor with throw-away heads, and invest in a safety razor and real blades.

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• Successfully use aforementioned razor.

• Get back to making lunches for the week on the weekend prior.

• Donate, donate, donate.

• Utilize Craigslist for moving Stuff to a new home.

• Minimize.

• Buy less Stuff, and continue using my dollars to purchase more tickets to shows, faraway places, and athletic and creative classes. There’s a lot to DO in the world!

Photo by Catherine Moran

Jason Mraz and Raining Jane
(Photo by Catherine Moran)

 

What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?

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Adventures in Greening: Happy End of the Year!http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-happy-end-of-the-year/ http://kate-book.com/adventures-in-greening-happy-end-of-the-year/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 19:11:32 +0000 Catherine Moran http://kate-book.com/?p=9470 calendar-2014-2015-300x200

By Catherine Moran

It’s been a relatively good year in environmentally-friendly news. California became the first state to ban the use of plastic bags in grocery stores, a design for a mobile personal printer was revealed, and Illinois banned the use of microbeads in cosmetics. This list could go on with things that happened on a more grassroots level, or with things that I just plumb missed out on hearing about (enlighten me in the comments!)

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the past before leaving it behind and gazing ahead to what could in store in the coming year. In looking back on my actions this year, I realized that I was able to maintain a good number of green habits I’ve adopted over the past two years, but I slipped backwards in other habits (the big culprit? Pre-packaged food.) But even though I wasn’t as green as I’d hoped to be this year, I’m heartened by the fact that I haven been able to stick to the majority of these lifestyle changes. I’ve acknowledged it before, but change is hard. And changing habits, as we know, is particularly tough. So sticking to better habits while acquiring more good habits (even if they don’t stick right off the bat), is a plus in my book. If you’ve made even one good change in your life this year, I applaud you!

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Here’s to a safe and healthy holiday season, and a bright start to the new year.

Be well, greenies! See you in 2015.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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