Monday, January 31, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Magyk (Septimus Heap #1)

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.

Magyk
by Angie Sage

Magyk (Septimus Heap, #1)

Goodreads Blurb: 
The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus? 

The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.

This is a wonderful MG series. The characters are utterly lovable, the stories pull you in and hold you, and the tension continues to build from one book to the next. I'm sure most of you are familiar with this series, but it's been a while since we've had a new one, so I thought a reminder was a good thing.  If you have an MG reader, this is a five-star series!!

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

David Inside Out Blog Tour + Contest

Contest and Blog Tour
Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

David Inside Out
by Lee Bantle
Monday, January 17th to Friday, February 4th


To prevent this from being an outrageously long post, I will provide the links with yesterday's information. For additional blog tour info and to place your entry totals, go to Let's Get Beyond Tolerance here or check my post from yesterday here. This book is a powerful way of addressing real issues that are too often left unaddressed.

Goodreads Blurb:
David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems.

In this thoughtful yet searing coming-of-age novel, Lee Bantle offers a raw, honest, and incredibly compelling account of a teenager who learns to accept himself for who he is.

 
Thank you, Lee Bantle, for your powerful book 
and for your great letter-writing idea.

 *****
(this letter is not about David Inside Out)


Dear  Emily Rodda,

Choosing only one favorite author was not an easy task. After all, I had people like my beloved James Dashner and Brandon Mull and Cornelia Funke (who is beyond brilliant) and Patricia Polacco and William Steig (the reigning queen and king of picture books) to choose from. But no. I chose you.

Mommy love trumps all things, Emily, and I owe you truckloads and truckloads of thanks. Because of you—and you alone—my son is an avid reader. Because of you, he is a better speller and writer and reader. At the start of his 3rd grade year, he was behind in his reading skills. He HATED reading, and for this English teacher mom, it was pure heartache. And then came your Deltora Quest series.

You were brilliant to keep each book short. It was the “thickness” that first earned his reluctant agreement. Before the end of the first book, he was hooked.  He DEVOURED the series. I had never seen him read so willingly, so often, or so quickly! Then, he read Rowan of Rin. After that, he was hooked on reading. By the end of 5th grade that same boy was reading at an 11th grade level and getting A’s in spelling and writing. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Emily Rodda, for helping my child love to read; for showing him that stories can be magical; for convincing him that “thickness” isn’t important. Once he’d read all of your books, he went on to Artemis Fowl and then to The Edge Chronicles and then to the Septimus Heap stories… and he’s still going.

More than that, I teach lower lever high school students who are reluctant readers and writers. The Deltora Quest series has NEVER failed to hook my students. NOT ONCE. 

Your series is one-size-fits-all, and everyone loves it—especially this particular happy mom.

Sincerely,
Shannon O'Donnell

Be sure to leave a comment and then hop over to  Let's Get Beyond Tolerance and record your point.  
Good luck!!

*UPDATE: The deadline for commenting on tour-stop posts and adding them to the Let's Get Beyond Tolerance comment thread has been extended to Feb. 4th.That gives you more time to visit, read, comment, and earn points toward the prize package!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heads Up

 Contest and Blog Tour
Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

David Inside Out
Monday, January 17th to Friday, January 28th


I will be hosting the David Inside Out Blog Tour tomorrow, but I wanted to give you a heads-up today so you can visit other tour stops and earn more points toward prizes.

Here's the info:

At each stop, the blogger will have a letter posted to a favorite author. This relates to David Inside Out because David and his best friend Eddie write letters to their favorite romance authors. 
 
You'll definitely want to visit as many tour stops as possible, because there is a PRIZE PACK to win.

To enter the giveaway, you have to comment on this post at "Let's Get Beyond Tolerance" with your entry numbers.
You get ONE POINT for each letter you leave a comment for

You get TWO POINTS for each blog on the tour you follow (and Let's Get Beyond Tolerance counts...so follow!)

You get THREE POINTS if you post a letter to a favorite author on your own blog and link back to Let's Get Beyond Tolerance.

Here are the blog stops and the day they will be posting their letters:






PRIZE PACK (Open to U.S./Canada)- ENDS January 31st
Signed copy of David Inside Out by Lee Bantle (donated by the author)

I'll Get There...It Better Be Worth the Trip by John Donovan (donated by Adam from Roof Beam Reader)

Pre-Order of I Am J by Cris Beam (donated by Lizzy from http://cornucopiaofreviews.blogspot.com/)

Fun stationary/card set and postage stamps (donated by Cecilia from The Epic Rat)

Hardback copy of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (donated by Shannon)

Tomorrow, I will post my letter to a favorite author.  You'll have to come back to see who it is . . .  suspense and all that.  :-)

Anyone who wants to join me tomorrow is welcome to post a letter to one of your favorite authors, too.  We can never have too much author love!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happiness is . . .

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." 
~ Thomas Edison


Ten Rules for a Happy Life

* Rule Number 1
Believe in you, your strength, your capability, your commitment and your sincerity
* Rule Number 2
Understand that you have a very strong role to play

* Rule Number 3
Remember the heroes of real life will be zeroes when they start

* Rule Number 4
Remember that experience speaks more than ego

* Rule Number 5
Forget your age
* Rule Number 6
Always think before you ink

* Rule Number 7
Save the surplus - start this minute

* Rule Number 8
Be happy about THIS life

* Rule Number 9
Never hurt anyone

* Rule Number 10
Update yourself every second

Our happiness is in our own attitudes. 
Easier said than done, though, huh?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Bloggers


I recently received the "Happy Blogger Award" from Tyrean @ Tyrean's Writing Spot and Julie Dao @ Silver Lining. Isn't it lovely?

The Top Ten Bloggers Who Make Me Happy Award


Now the trick is to choose only ten blogs that make happy. Ugh! Only ten??? Before I list ten, I want to say that you ALL make me happy - every visit, every comment, every kind word of encouragement. Every day!

In no particular order, I am passing the award to the following ten bloggers, all of whom make me smile every day. 

1. Stephanie @ Hatshepsut - When I was a newbie-ish blogger, it became a tradition that any award I received, I passed to Stephanie. She is such a unique voice in our blogging circle. I love her tales of Hatshepsut the female pharaoh and weird disgusting foods - ALL things Egyptian. You make me happy, Stephanie!! (and so does your book! I love it!!!)

2. Lenny @ Lenny's World - I think Lenny makes us ALL happy. Just thinking about our raccoon-loving buddy brightens my day. Lenny, you are the brightest ray of sunshine in all of blog land!!
 
3. Candace @ The Misadventures in Candyland - Wow. Even on her darkest days, she makes the rest of us smile. Her ball juggling, and BR80 obsessing, and cat hating, and hubby teasing, and feel-me-upping are just too much fun for words. Candace, I love you girl!!

4. Jana @ Milk & Cookies - How could a blog called milk and cookies NOT make you happy?  Jana is a blogger I actually know in real life! She is the world's greatest librarian and an expert on MG books, especially for boys. If you're looking for good reads for MG, she is THE source. Jana, thanks for your friendship and for always making me laugh!

5. Shannon Messenger - Shannon is one of our blog royalty and has more awards than she has space for, but oh, does she make me happy! There are a handful of people--and we all know who they are (see #6)--who will go out of their way and around their busy schedules and through major headaches to help the rest of us. Shannon has done that for me. Many times. She makes every one of us feel special, like her bestest friend, and I love her to death for that. #1, you are amazing!!!

6. Elana J. - I can't list blogs that make me happy and not include Elana. Dude! That would just be wrong. Seriously. How could this bacon-loving blog queen not be included? Elana, thank you for your colorful personality, your tireless efforts to help others, and your overall total awesomesauce-ness!!!

7. Liz @ Cleverly Inked - Liz  is adorable! My favorite thing about her wonderful book review blog is Treasure Trove Tuesday. Every Tuesday she finds the most wonderful book-related treasures and shares the links with us. So cool!! And she has some of the most amazing contests EVER!  :-)

8. Angela and Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse - The usefulness of this blog is beyond words. When I was line editing my MS, I spent hours using their emotion, setting, and symbolism thesauri. For my new project, I finally just printed them all off so I could have them near me while I write. If you don't follow or use this blog, you are missing out on one of the web's best writing resources. More than that, Angela has been uber-kind to me throughout the past year, and I LOVE her for it!!

9. Juju @ Tales of Whimsy - This is such a fun blog! It's colorful and cheerful - just clicking the title in my sidebar makes me happy. Juju reviews books, but what I love is that I NEVER know what I'm going to find when I visit. The range of genres is amazing. Her reviews are short and to the point, and I have never disagreed with her yet! You rock, Juju!!

10. Tamika @ The Write Worship - *sigh* Tamika keeps me focused on what really matters. Her blog lifts my spirit - as a Christian AND as a writer. I love her focus. I admire her attitude and fortitude. I appreciate her willingness to share her walk with us. Tamika, you shine for God and I love it!  :-)

Phew! That's a lot of linkage. There are so many others I would love to have included: my bff's Robyn, Jennie, and Carolyn V; my CP Valerie; Jen and Sheri and Susan and Corey... I love you all!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - The Tail of Emily Windsnap

 
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.


The Tail of Emily Windsnap
by Liz Kessler


Goodreads Blurb:
For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep her away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery - about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. 

With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident - an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.
This is an example of MG lit. truly meant for MG readers. Junior high-aged girls (and younger) love this book.  They love Emily; they love it that she's a mermaid and can go back and forth between worlds if she wants to; they love it that she finds her father . . .   They just plain love it.

Adult readers tend to find it predictable. Emily takes too long to figure things out. We all know what's going on WAY before she does. It's a cute story, though, and perfect for its target audience.

I recommend this series for MG girls who love water and swimming and mermaids . . . oh, my!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And the winner is . . .

 
The winner of 

Michelle McLean's: 
Essays & Term Papers Blog Tour prize package

which looks like this:


 
is . . . 

and can I just say I'm a bit envious - cuz I am!

is . . . 

#8

Catherine Denton

Thanks to all who commented. I hope Michelle's book is a raging success. There is certainly a need for it out there.
Good luck, Michelle!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Significant Other Blogfest (a day late)

 
D.L. Hammons of Cruising Altitude and Talli Roland decided 
It takes a special person to put up with writers' idiosyncrasies…and we believe its time they had their say! That’s why I, along with my blogging buddy across the pond Talli Roland, are teaming up to host The Significant Other Blogfest."
Yesterday I was hosting the fabulous Michelle McLean and so I am posting a day late (with D.L.'s blessing, of course!). Here is my wonderful hubby's starstruck, full-of-love-towards-his-writer-wife post:

(Please forgive the poor writing today, as Shannon’s husband has been drafted into service. On Monday, Shannon will continue your regularly broadcast blogging.)

What one thing would you change about your others writing habits?  (I included this question because I wanted to see what his answer would be)

After starting school at 7 am and getting home around 4:30, I rush around getting dinner ready. After eating dinner and helping the kids get their chores started, I plop down in my big "man chair" preparing to do absolutely NOTHING. This, of course, is the moment that Shannon announces, "I need inspiration for Chapter 8, can you help?" Typically by that time, my brain feels like jello and all I am trying to figure out is if I want chocolate chip or double fudge ice cream for dessert.

The rest of the story:
 
When Shannon first asked me to write the post discussing the spousal reaction to the challenges and tribulations of trying to become a published author, my first thought was that if went on a long sojourn to Northern Alaska, I could get out of it. However, over time I have slightly warmed to idea after being offered significant bribes.
One of the great challenges with Shannon is trying to help her remember the tremendous gifts that have come from her writing, even if it hasn’t been published. One of my favorite memories over the past few years is watching our youngest son, who is the inspiration for her book, cuddle up to her and ask her to read to him from “his” book. He also proudly announces that his favorite book in the whole world is his mother's. No matter what happens with The Naughty Boy Factory, Scott will always have his mother’s writing to share with his children and grandchildren.  

Perhaps even more importantly, our children have seen their mother persevere and continue to challenge herself. Unlike the pithy posters in our classrooms and the “quote of the day” inspirations, there is nothing more powerful than living the traits that we want in our children. Finally, her writing has brought us together as a family. Sure, there have been moments where she asks us to listen to her book one more time and everyone scatters, but we are all deeply invested in her writing. 

I have no doubt that one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, Shannon will be a published author. When that day comes, we will have one heck of a party, but for now, we will celebrate the process and all that it brings to our family.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Michelle McLean Blog Tour + Giveaway


P.S. I'll be posting my Significant Other Blogfest Entry tomorrow due to today's special blog tour visit.
 
 Michelle McLean: Essays & Term Papers Blog Tour
 

Today I am honored to host Michelle McLean and her new book, Essays & Term Papers. You may have noticed that she was Elana J's featured review yesterday. If not, hop over and check it out, because Elana asked some awesome questions!


Michelle was kind enough to write a guest post for us today, sharing the story behind why she wrote this particular book.
  

Michelle's Journey of Discovery

I was one of those weird kids that didn’t cringe when we were given an assignment to write an essay or paper. I liked to hang out at libraries and thumb through books all day. It was sort of fun to research a particular topic and then write about it. And I was good at it. So as the years went along, I was always the one my family members and friends would turn to if they needed help with a writing assignment. Thanks in large part to my siblings, I got really good at breaking the process down into manageable steps and explaining things in really simple terms.

I didn’t intend to write a book on how to write essays and term papers. At first, all I wanted to do was write a few helpful posts on my blog. I looked through all my old papers and visited a lot of college websites and textbooks to refresh my memory on all the rules for the specific essays. It drove me nuts how many books and websites out there either list the rules with no real guide on what to do with them, or explained things in such a technical and confusing way, using as many huge, unutterable words as possible, that even I, with all my experience, degrees, and love of writing, was ready to reach through the computer and slap someone.

Why on earth did everyone have to make the process so confusing? Even the books that did a good job breaking things down either just listed the rules and moved on, or only discussed the process in general.

So in my posts, I focused not only on the rules, but on how to actually write the essay…from exactly what you needed to do to get going, to how you needed to finish it up – and I included examples to illustrate what I was talking about.

I got such a great response from my readers that I kept the posts going. Soon, my friends started encouraging me to expand those posts into a book. I finally did. I worked up a proposal and a query letter and started submitting. And I was very lucky to quickly find interest in my book, which was renamed Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers. It is my hope that all the confused and frustrated students and writers out there find what they are looking for in my book…a fun, easy to use and understand guide that walks them through every step of the essay writing process.



Essays & Term Papers is now available at your favorite bookstores:

  

You can find Michelle at the following online locations:



And now for the fun part . . . the giveaway!  Michelle has put together this great prize pack.

One lucky commenter will be selected by Random.Org and I will announce the winner on Saturday!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Homework

    “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”
    ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


    My shiny new project requires research. Much research. 

    This is the first book I've written that hasn't come entirely from my own head. It's new territory for me. In fact, if I manage to pull off this story, I may have a full-fledged middle grade on my hands. That's a pretty big deal for a PB and chapter book writer. My current MS is a grand total of 17,200 words (ish)!

    I'm excited. It's been a long time since I've been so excited about a project. But then, as people closest to me know, I've waited a long time for this shiny new idea! 

    The challenge:  How to effectively organize my information and fully develop the ideas.


    Do you do any research for your stories? 
    How do you manage all the info?

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Dogsled Dreams Blog Tour


    Today, I am excited to host Terry Johnson's awesome, fantastic, oh-so-good Dogsled Dreams. One of my all-time favorite MG reads is Julie of the Wolves. This story is as good--and I think that is high praise indeed! I loved this book. I have recommended we buy a class set for my school. I have shared the great teaching guide that was designed for classroom instruction. I will use it with some of my own classes. 
    Great, great story, Terry!!

     
     
    DOGSLED DREAMS

    Dogsled Dreams
    January, 2011
    4RV Publishing LLC
    $12.50
    ISBN-13: 978-0-9826423-4-4

    Distributor: Ingram
    Now available for order at any bookstore or Amazon (Terry says B&N is the cheapest)


     
    Twelve-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous dog sled racer. She's an inventive but self-doubting musher who tackles blinding blizzards, wild animal attacks, puppy training, and flying poo missiles. All of her challenges though, seem easier than living up to the dogs' trust in her abilities.

    Through the bond she shares with the dogs, Rebecca learns that hard work, dedication, and living in the moment bring their own rewards.

    Reviews
    Exhilarating...It's very easy to get lost in the pages of Dogsled Dreams — Lisa Barker, BiblioReads.com
    Demonstrates the bond between mushers and their dogs, the devotion mushers feel for their dogs, and the lengths to which they will go to ensure their dog's health and well-being — Pam Flowers, Alone Across the Arctic: One Woman's Epic Journey by Dog Team 
    A warm, coming-of-age story about hopes and dreams, but most of all, finding the true meaning of family and friends, whether they have two legs or four! — Darcy Johns, Youth Services Librarian, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
    Johnson's intimate knowledge of the dogs she describes is real, heart-warming and often humorous. Both elementary and secondary teachers can use this in their classroom to engage at-risk readers — Teri Treftlin, Secondary School teacher, Geraldton, Ontario
    full of rich details and fascinating information about dog sled racing. Rebecca and her dogs not only came alive, but they brought me along on their adventures — Cynthia Chapman Willis, author of Dog Gone
    Rebecca's experiences are applicable to any young girl ready to emerge from the security of childhood to the freedom of adolescence. This is a captivating and exciting debut novel — Superior Outdoors Magazine
    I was charmed by Becca and her focus on achieving what she set out to do. A great book for moms and daughters to read together and talk about setting goals — Cindy Hudson, Mother-Daughter Book Clubs
    Terry's passion for the outdoors evolved while she paddled in Quetico Provincial Park as a Canoe Ranger. One winter she worked for a dogsledding company, and eighteen huskies followed her home. Terry's debut novel features those quirky dogs who entered her life and heart. 

    Terry is an award-winning member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada and Dog Writers' Association of America .
    • Selected by the Iditarod Education Department as a Recommended Read
    • For more information visit the website: www.terrylynnjohnson.com
    Any teacher using Gary Paulsen's WOODSONG would want Terry Johnson's DOGSLED DREAMS. Terry's realistic writing style and word choice bring the reader through experiences that bring emotions to the surface...emotions of real life living with sled dogs. -- Diane Johnson, Iditarod's Education Director

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    It's Time for Ugh!



    “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”
    ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

     

    It's time. I have done everything in my power to avoid starting a new project. I was afraid I didn't have another one in me. I was wrong, of course. 

    I now know what my next book will be. And I'm finally ready to begin it. My current MS is out on the front lines of query wars, battling bravely, so I need something to keep me company while its away.

    It's so darned hard to face a blank document, though, when you're used to seeing pages and pages of words! Ugh!

    Do you have a difficult time letting go of a project and starting over?

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - The Unicorn Secret Series

     
    Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

    The Unicorn Secret Series
    by Kathleen Duey
     
    Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.

    Moonsilver (book 1)
    old cover / new cover


     Goodreads Blurb:
    Heart Trilby has no family. She lives a hard and lonely life in the dusty village of Ash Grove — until she finds a scarred, skinny mare in the forest. Against the wishes of her guardian, mean-spirited Simon Pratt, Heart adopts the mare and names her Avamir. Heart is thrilled when she realizes Avamir is in foal. But when the colt is born weak and disfigured, Simon decides to sell Heart's beloved horses to be slaughtered by the town's soapmaker. Can Heart find a way to protect them — and the only love she has ever known?
     
    I've reviewed mostly boy books for MG Mondays. I love boy books! But not this week . . .

    I can't tell you how much I love this series. Even though it is probably more girl than boy book, there is a strong boy character that my sons loved. The first time I read these books was when my 13 year old was only six. We bought the first three at a school book fair, and we read them aloud. Oh. How. I. LOVED. Them!! And the best part is that he loved them too. We devoured them all and I mourned the end of the series.

    Then, I read them with my middle son. Yep! He loved them too.

    Now, I'm almost ready to read them with my daughter. She will love them too (whether she wants to or not!). They are just that good.

    Buy them! Read them! You, too, will LOVE them!  
    I do solemnly swear.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Hold on Tight

    "There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats."
      ~ Jeff Rennicke, River Days: Travels on Western Rivers
     
     
    This quote taught me something: a writer's journey is a river. Re-read the quote. I'll wait.

    Done?  Now, do you see what I mean? 
    There is no rushing a book or querying or editing or publishing or sales or the next book or its sales . . . 
     
    We have to go at the pace of the process and the people who are part of that process. 
     
    Acceptance of that pace--real, internal acceptance of and peace with that pace--prevents the "beat-head-against-wall-crying-why-why-why" moments and lets us focus comfortably on other things in our life, other rhythms.

    Writing is a whitewater raft ride down a major river - hold on tight!!
      
    Happy Friday!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    We are the Few

    “The Few”
    The easy roads are crowded,
    And the level roads are jammed;
    The pleasant little rivers
    With the drifting folks are crammed.
    But off yonder where it’s rocky,
    Where you get a better view,
    You will find the ranks are thinning
    And the travelers are few.

    Where the going’s smooth and pleasant
    You will always find the throng,
    For the man, more’s the pity,
    Seems to like to drift along.
    But the steeps that call for courage,
    And the task that’s hard to do,
    In the end result in glory
    For the never-wavering few
    -Edgar A Guest



    We may have a rocky climb in order to get where we're going, but the view and the company along the way are unbeatable.

    My favorite thing about being a blogging writer is that I am never alone. None of us are--we always have each other to lean on and to celebrate with. How wonderful is that?! 

    Thanks for the support this week. You all mean the world to me.

    "If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it." 
    -Lucy Larcom

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Life Melodies

    "There’s no music in rest, but there’s the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life melody, always talking of perseverance and courage and fortitude; but patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest, too."
    -John Ruskin


    Perseverance . . . Courage . . . Fortitude . . . all good qualities, all necessary to face a career in writing, all challenging.
     
    And then there's PATIENCE. Ah, for me that's the most difficult one of all.  

    I can persevere, because I'm stubborn and have all of you for support and encouragement. I can be brave, because it's who I am and I am not afraid of my dreams. I can have fortitude, because I have a loving family and our bloggy community. I have never, ever, had patience--and no one can give it to me.

    The worst part of it, though, is that a lack of patience can cause a lack of faith, of hope. That's when I fall into the blues. It's particularly disheartening in the query stage. Fortunately, God is my rock and my bff Robyn has her prayer power set to high. That is what I want my "life melody" to be. One day at a time . . . 

    How do you deal with the patience part of this writing journey?

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    The "Launch" of the Good Ship Godspeed!

    designed by Jeremy @ http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com/

     Welcome to:
    1/11/11




    The day we have all been waiting for is finally here! Beth Revis's book has left the warehouse and will soon be leaving bookstores everywhere in droves. Don't be the last one to read it! Go here:
    EXCITING NEWS: The full ATU website launches today with the good ship Godspeed. You won't believe how cool it is until you see it for yourself. here's the link...follow it!

    MORE EXCITING NEWS: io9 will be EXCLUSIVELY posting a 111 pg excerpt from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE on their website at 11:11 AM Eastern time. The excerpt will be live for 12 hours, until 11:11 PM Eastern time. Go here!

    EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS: Below is an exclusive author video, never seen before, in which Beth talks about ATU and explains the different levels of the ship Godspeed. It’s really fun!



    Useful links:

    Across the Universe 
    Beth Revis
    Penguin Teen
    I have read Across the Universe, and it is everything it's cracked up to be.This is a must-have, must-read book. Trust me!

      Monday, January 10, 2011

      Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Farworld Series by J. Scott Savage


      Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

      Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance.

      Water Keep (Farworld #1)
      Land Keep (Farworld #2)
      by J. Scott Savage
















        

      Goodreads Blurb (Farworld #1):
      Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place-Farworld.

      When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two worlds.

      But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass's secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld's only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elements-water, land, air, and fire-and convince them to open a drift between the worlds.

      As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them--Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S'Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers.
      The Farworld series is a good one. There are currently two titles available: Water Keep and Land Keep, both of which are amazing stories. My 13 year old and I have read and enjoyed them both (him, several times!). I love the worlds and creatures Savage has created here, as well as the depth of the storyline. Layers of plot keep us riveted and guessing all the way through. These are a wonderful MG choice for readers ready for longer, more deeply developed stories. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

      Happy Monday!

      Friday, January 7, 2011

      Across the Universe ARC Winner!


      It's Friday, and you know what that means! 

      Today, my Across the Universe ARC gets a new home. 

      This morning I visited Random.Org, and it whispered its secret to me. It answered the question of who should be the next owner of my ARC. And that answer was...



      #2


      Congratulations, Theresa! Please e-mail me your address and I'll put it in the mail today or tomorrow.

      Have a great weekend everyone!
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