Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slow and Steady

"Amazing friends; summer nights;
Chocolate ice cream; mud slide fights;
Half the summer is gone already
So let's spend the rest of it, slow and ready."
~ Unknown


It's summer, and that means no school, extra time with the kids, yardwork, vacations, laziness . . . So, can you guess what's missing? Writing. And blogging. And Facebooking. And Tweeting.

I'm still waiting to hear back on three fulls that are out there. While I wait (and wait and wait and wait) I should be more productive than I have been. I haven't written anything new all summer.  Soon . . .

Right after this road trip and a few more books in the backyard and another day or two at the pool!

How productive has your writing life been this summer?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Dragonbreath

 
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. 

Dragonbreath
by Ursula Vernon
 

Goodreads Blurb:
It's not easy for Danny Dragonbreath to be the sole mythical creature in a school for reptiles and amphibians - especially because he can't breathe fire like other dragons (as the school bully loves to remind him). But having a unique family comes in handy sometimes, like when his sea-serpent cousin takes Danny and his best iguana friend on a mindboggling underwater tour, complete with vomiting sea cucumbers and giant squid. It sure beats reading the encyclopedia to research his ocean report . . .

Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters with a penchant for getting themselves into sticky situations. It's perfect for both the classroom and the Wimpy Kid set.


This adorable series is on the younger side of MG, and is sure to be a hit with kids who love the Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The stories are a cross between chapters of text and graphic novel illustrations, which my kids LOVE. On our recent vacation to California, three Dragonbreath books made the trip with us, bouncing back and forth between my daughter and 9 y.o. son!  I highly recommend these!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Awesome ARC Giveaway!

Sara McClung at Babbling Flow is giving away a collection of ARCs from ALA. And they're SIGNED. And I want one. You will too, so hop over and enter!

Um... NOW!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blog Tour: The Last Archangel



 
 The Last Archangel
by Michael Young

Expected publication: 
July 14th 2011 by Bonneville Books


 
Goodreads Blurb:
Xandir has been exiled to earth until the end of time. But when his cherub trainee disappears, Xandir makes a deal with rogue angels and giants that could restore life to the mortal woman he loves and end his assignment as a destroying angel in exchange for helping them bring about the end of the world and all of mankind.
I can't say I love the blurb. This book is so much MORE than that. When I first decided to read it, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, the two paralleling storylines work well together. Each time I was ripped from one and deposited in another, I had a moment of "No! I'm not ready!" followed by "Oh, I've missed you guys."

The action and surprising developments kept me reading and guessing. The end caught me totally off-guard--and I loved it! There was only one section of the book when I found myself wishing I could hurry things along, probably because the rest of the book flew.

Michael has assured me there WILL be a sequel. And I can assure you that I will be begging for an ARC

You can learn more about The Last Archangel from the following links:
  • The Book Trailer:
This is a very different read, folks, but I really enjoyed it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

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. 
 
Lost Voices
by Sarah Porter

 
Released July 4th, 2011
 
Goodreads Blurb:
What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help? 

Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. 

Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again? 


Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.
 
I loved the original premise of this story and the world Sarah Porter created. The story flows like the water Luce swims in. There were a few spots I thought the descriptions were a bit confusing, but that did not take away from the overall powerful imagery. The "bad girl" is definitely not a likable character - a great villain. We see it coming, but I kept hoping Luce would find a way to best her. Though I really wish Luce's character had been a bit more social with the others (she's a bit of a loner/pouter), I understood why she wasn't.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and will read the sequel when it comes out.
 
*** Others who can be counted on for a great MMGM review each week: ***
 Happy Monday!
 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Faye's Contraption

 
THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF SECRETS by Eden Unger Bowditch was released in March, and I reviewed it as a Middle Grade Monday post HERE


Recently, as a creative way to promote the book, they invented a cool online game called Faye's Contraption. Not only can we hop over and try it out, but we can also win a free, SIGNED copy of the book. 

Bancroft Press is having a contest to see who can beat the high score by July 17th. Players should e-mail a screen shot of their score to Clara Roberts at "clrob002 at gmail dot goucher dot edu." The winner will receive a signed copy of the book.
"Faye's Contraption" can be found on 
www.younginventorsguild.com
or on 
Facebook's link http://apps.facebook.com/fayes_contraption/.

Give it a try!
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