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Leigh T. Moore (or LTM as many of us call her) is one of my favorite new authors. I read two of her books last year and loved them, and lucky me (and lucky you!), her next book comes out today! I read this in three days so I have three questions for lovely Leigh.
1. What are three adjectives that would best describe your main character, Ashley?
Ashley's sort of a contradiction. She's very laid back and "live and let live," but she's also a fighter. She has a strong sense of justice. The bulk of the story is her acting out in a rebellious and self-destructive way, but it's all fueled by her grief and anger over this bad thing that happened to her family. In her mind, they always did everything "right," so she thinks it's unfair and unjust. And she's mad.
Rebellious is right. You won't believe what illicit prank she pulls at school!
2. I was excited that I was able to read a companion to The Truth About Faking the following year after it debuted. How long did it take you to write (from first draft to last revision) The Truth About Letting Go?
I actually started writing Letting Go right after I finished Faking back in Spring 2010. I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, but when I got about 15K words in, I stalled. I couldn't figure out what to do next, and I was too distracted by this other story in my head. (That other story became my book Rouge.) So Letting Go just sat on my computer for a few years. Then the popularity of Faking prompted me to go back to it, read it, and start thinking about how I could finish it. I finished writing it in November 2012, then I spent Dec-Jan revising. So I guess 2.5 years? I'm so happy with how it turned out, I'm really kind of glad I put it away until I had a clear vision of the ending.
And I thank you for revisiting this story! I love the realistic teen romance, but also that it deals with serious real life issues.
3. What would your main characters' favorite song (or band) be?
Here are the deets on LTM's fab new YA novel. Thanks, Leigh!
I don't know if this is cheesy, but I kind of pictured Ashley as having a Ryan Adams moment, or even Fall Out Boy--Thnks Fr Th Mmrs and Sugar, We're Going Down. Colt's probably more into AC/DC... He's just having fun, whereas Ashley's got a vendetta. Jordan's probably a Fun. guy. LOL!
I could totally see Jordan turning up the Fun (but not too loud). :)
A companion to The Truth About Faking (link)
(not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go (link)
takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about friendship, love, and letting go.
The Truth About Letting Go (link)
by Leigh Talbert Moore Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life. Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes. Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side. Jordan wants to follow his heart--but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make. Up until now, Ashley Lockett has followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. And then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly. Now she's miserable and furious, and she decides to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan. Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, he's a great kisser... but he's also safe. Enter Colt. He is not
safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley follow her plans. Get it today on Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo
Add it on Goodreads
. About the Author:
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former journalist and editor, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps. -The Truth About Faking
is her debut young adult romance (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
, and Kobo
is her first New Adult romantic suspense novel (on Amazon
). Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello! Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr
I love music, so I had to watch the Grammys last night. Here are my random thoughts while watching...
And if you want to know the winners, check here
. (Who do I look like, KK Cool P?)
1. Grammys intro featured many animated hands in the crowd throwing the devil horns Though the Grammy awards doesn't feature much rock 'n' roll. Duuuude! More rock 'n' roll, please!!
2. Taylor Swift's white outfit and boots look ever so cute. Like ever. Though the creepy guy on the tricycle has the maniacal laugh of Tom Cruise.
3. I cannot stand that Rihanna is back with Chris Brown, but she looks gorgeous in her red lips and dress!
4. LL Cool J is cute, but a bit dry. Need a funnier host!
5. JLo is Jolieing!
6. Adele, of course! She is amazing. I wanted Kelly Clarkson to win, but Adele is pretty amazing.
7. NPH! Love him! He's legen...wait for it...dary!
8. Random fact: When I first heard FUN. on the radio, I thought it was Tracy Chapman singing.
9. John Mayer's head is twice the size of Bonnie Rait's.
10. Not a country fan, but Tim McGraw and Faith Hill make a super hot couple.
11. Three words: Johnny Depp's cheekbones!
12. I love me some JT, but "Suit and Tie" is not my fave song of his...
13. Dave Freaking Grohl!!!!!!
14. Why aren't any of the Best Rock Performance nominees real ROCK bands?!!!!
15. Lose the shirt, Adam!!! (Great duet with Alicia Keys.)
16. This Kelly was rooting for Kelly! Woot! Great acceptance speech. What a voice!
17. Did you know that Bruno Mars is 5'5'? The crowd was loving his song with Sting!
18. PRINCE! (He's 5'2".) One of the most talented musicians ever!
19. I see that Halestorm won best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, but it wasn't aired. What the H?!
20. Can you tell that I'd love to see more rock 'n' roll on this awards show?
What did you think of the Grammys?
But I read some amazing books and listened to some awesome music.
Here's the roundup.BOOKS
I generally read YA and MG, but books for adults dominated my nightstand this year, as well as some amazing indie titles. So many great novels. My fave book of the year? GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Fave new author of the year? Leigh T. Moore. And yes, I even read the Fifty Shades
trilogy. In the words of Anastasia, "Holy crap!"
Here's what I read, yo.
Dance on Fire by James Garcia Jr
Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park
On the Bright Side by SR Johannes
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Fourth Stall Part 2Pearl
by Chris Rylander
by Jo KnowlesDefinitely Dead
by Charlaine HarrisAll Together Dead
by Charlaine HarrisFifty Shades of Grey
by EL JamesFifty Shades Darker
by EL JamesFifty Shades Freed
by EL JamesThe Color of Bones
by Tracy Edward WymerDarth Paper Strikes Back
by Tom AnglebergerHourglass
by Myra McEntireThe Classroom
by Robin Mellom
The Truth About FakingThe Raven Boys
by Leigh T. Moore
by Maggie StiefvaterMy Very UnFairy Tale Life
by Anna StaniszewskiRouge
by Leigh T. MooreGone Girl
by Gillian FlynnSean Griswold's Head
by Lindsey LeavittHow To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings
by Laura PaulingString Bridge
by Jessica BellMOVIES
On to movies. I'm not a huge movie watcher due to lack of time, but I noticed I rewatched a lot of classics this year, and of course, movies with my kiddos.
Phantom Menace 3D
The Amazing Spiderman
The Three Stooges
Dumb and Dumber
Breaking Dawn 2
This is 40
A Christmas Story
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog DaysMUSIC
I love me some rock 'n' roll, so my top three rock songs of 2012 are these.
"Gluttony" by BUCKCHERRY (Got to hear this live a few weeks ago! Rated R btw.)
"You Waste Your Time" by TREMONTI (Awesome guitar riffs, and I won a signed guitar from this guy last year, too.)
"Still Swingin'" by PAPA ROACH (I get see hear this song live in a few weeks! If you lika da zombies, this video reminds me of the last book of Carrie Ryan's zombie trilogy!)What are your favorite books, movies or songs of 2012?
When Bianca and Melvin brave the jungle to rescue their grandfather, they stumble upon the ancient Maya city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. They must learn to work together as they face loincloth-wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy that says in three days the city will be destroyed. No problem. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.
Interview with my blog buddy Laura Pauling1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while researching or writing your book?
I learned that in some respects, the Maya culture wasn’t too different from ours as far as taking care of family, reacting in fear to climate changes, loyalty, troubles with government. They experienced seasons of recession after drought, which led to panic and battle with other city-states. They might’ve sacrificed prisoners in order to have rain for crops and good fortune with the gods, but we can go to extremes too for financial peace and good fortune. 2. What are three adjectives that would best describe your main character?
Impulsive. Loyal. Adventurous. 3. What would your main character's favorite song (or songs) be? :)
Bianca adores her grandfather, Zeb. Enough to brave the Ancient Maya to rescue him. He’s smart and collects artifacts that are extremely appealing to her. Ever since Bianca stumbled on Zeb’s collection of jazz records in the attic, she’s a total fan. Of course, when she’s alone in her room, she likes a little Taylor Swift too. She just doesn’t tell her cousin, Melvin. Thanks, Kelly!
~*~How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings
released last week. Pugalicious Press
did a fantastic job, and I’m extremely happy with the results. This book would make a fantastic gift for boys or girls who enjoy adventure stories with lots of excitement! You can purchase it on Amazon
or Barnes and Noble
. You can read the first chapter here
. Thankfully, my journey is just beginning and I’m excited to see where it leads. Click here for the list of blog tour stops!
Enter to win these prize packages!
Prize Package One (signed paperbacks)
Prize Package Two (signed paperbacks)
Prize Package Three Refresh the page if you can't see the Rafflecopter form! a Rafflecopter giveaway
I recently finished reading HOW TO SURVIVE & enjoyed it. Check it out! Thank you for stopping by the blog, Laura! Have a great week, everyone!
This month I was fortunate enough to attend the SCBWI-IL yearly conference, Prairie Writer's Day
. Not only was it fun to mingle with other writers, but the speakers were phenomenal.
Guest speakers included Dianne Hess (Scholastic Press editor), Beverly Horowitz (VP/Publisher of Delacorte), Meredith Mundy (Sterling Executive Editor), Elizabeth Parisi (Creative Director at Scholastic Trade), Lisa Yoskowitz (Disney-Hyperion Editor), and Marietta Zacker (Nancy Gallt Literary agent). Most of these professionals were greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy, so we were even more thankful that they were still able to attend.Favorite quotes of the day
"It's not publishing that makes you a writer; it's writing that makes you a writer." - I forgot to write down who said this (I want to say it was Susan...) so my apologies to the wonderful speaker who said this! Anyone there remember?
"Our lives are a daily improvisation." - Diane Hess
"I am who I am because of where I was when." - Susan Campbell Baroletti
"Every decision you make counts." - Beverly Horowitz
Agent Marietta Zacker was a delight, too. She was informative and funny. She and Susan staged an Editor/Agent negotiation which was very interesting.
The packed day included a workshop and two breakout sessions so the conference definitely tailored to individual needs, (though I would suggest a marketing breakout at the next conference). I was also lucky enough to have a manuscript critiqued by the Sterling editor and have lunch with her, Lisa of Disney/Hyperion, Marietta (who is Hilary Wagner's fab agent) and my picture book pals, Lori and Laura. I cannot say enough how wonderful it was to talk with and learn from leaders in the publishing industry.
Have you attended any writing conferences or events lately? Which ones do you recommend?
Have you seen this beautiful cover for Leigh T. Moore's newest book? Amazing! I started reading Leigh's book this week, and I CANNOT put it down. Thanks to Leigh's descriptive writing and compelling story, I have bags under my eyes, and I am not getting enough sleep. Thanks a lot, Leigh! Seriously, Leigh's YA/new adult novel pairs memorable, likable characters with a unique story. I love it! It's not a light hearted, fun romance like her first novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKING (which also kept me up late reading at night), but both books include Leigh's excellent writing and characters you truly care about. I can see this being a movie one day with gorgeous costumes and a steamy New Orleans setting.
ROUGE will be released on NOVEMBER 11! Visit Leigh (or LTM as she is known in blogland) at her blog "That's Write
Happy Halloween to you!
Halloween is big in the Polark household. In the photo above, we are battling over the Reese's peanut butter cups.
My 15 yr old blind dog Goofy and my 3 year old dog Daisy love getting dressed up. Can't you see the excitement in their eyes? (Leia is thinking, "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi. You are my only hope.")
Other exciting Halloween happenings...I got to meet one of my teen heartthrobs last night. I attended a John Taylor book signing in Chicago with my friend Sue. John is the bassist of Duran Duran, and now author of In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran
. John read some excerpts from his book, told some entertaining stories, and even had a brief Q&A. John is quite charming and that British accent had everyone swooning.
I meet him for the first time. (big smile!)
He signs my book!
Enjoy the spooktacular, wolfmantastic festivities today. May the force be with you.
Are you dressing up today?
I am thrilled to announce that Meegenius has published my picture book app titled, BIG SISTER, BABY BROTHER. You can get the Meegenius app for free (it's the number one picture book app), and then you are able purchase my book for only $2.99! Go to Meegenius
to check it out!
You can preview the book here!
A little background information about my picture book. This was the second picture book that I ever wrote. I met author (now author/agent) Tina P. Schwartz at a local SCBWI meeting. I then took an online writing class from her, and the assignment was to write a story about the first time of doing something. I first titled the book, "THE FIRST TIME I SAW MY BABY," and the story is about a little girl who holds her little baby brother for the first time in the hospital. Many revisions later, it is now available for all to read, and I couldn't be more excited!
Thank you for sharing in the excitement with me! Please spread the word about my picture book! It's a great idea to have a book on the go for busy parents and grandparents, and could also be a great baby shower gift!
Cassastar Ninja Alex Cavanaugh
is hosting today's spectacular GENRE FAVORITES BLOGFEST! Fun, right? I didn't plan on blogging here this week, but I had to join the partay!MOVIE
My go-to movie is a comedy. I love to laugh. Some of my all-time favorites include Old School
, and Elf
. Some of the more recent movies that made me giggle are Bridesmaids
and The Change Up
. I want to see Ted
. I heard that was a funny one.BOOKS
I am all over the place with books. I love picture books, middle grade, young adult, and adult novels in all different genres. The only genre I generally do not read is non-fiction. I love a great story! Some of my all time favorite books are The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein, Guess Again
by Mac Barnett, The Hunger Games
, The Outsiders
, and A Time to Kill
If you know me at all, you know that my favorite genre of music is ROCK! My last four concerts over the summer included
Daughtry and opener, new fave musician, Mike SanchezNew Medicine
(this is the bassist, Brady)Buckcherry
and Motley Crue.Rock 'n' Roll, baby!GUILTY PLEASURE
I subscribe to Us Weekly
and look forward to every issue. It's just my little slice of pure mindless entertainment. I sit outside on the patio or couch and zone out for an hour. I also read it to get celebrity book recommendations for my other site, Book Recs of the Rock & Famous
Also, my guilty pleasure TV show is True Blood
(Eric Northman, need I say more?)How about you? What are your favorite genres?
HURRAY! HURRAY! SHERI LARSON IS HERE TODAY WITH SOME SUPERCOOL GIVEAWAYS!!Take it away, Sheri...Today, I invite you to celebrate with me!! I've signed with Literary Agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary! And because our literary community is so freaking fabulous and generous, I'm having a Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall GIVEAWAY!! The giveaway consists of:
There's only one mandatory entry. Everything else is up to you!! I know Rafflecopters can be a pain, but it was the only way to organize such a huge giveaway. The giveaway is open until September 27th. WINNERS will be announced on September 28th. (Entrants may win more than one prize!)
- two separate Rafflecopters with multiple giveaways
- and one grand prize Rafflecopter giveaway - to enter for the grand prize, you must enter either giveaway #1, #2, or both.
Thank you so much for entering, spreading the word, and celebrating with me!!
List of Rocking Participants: Lenny Lee
, Colene Murphy
, LM Preston
, Darby Karchut
, Joanne Brothwell
, Patti Larsen
, Christine Fonseca
, Catherine Stine
, Jessica Bell
, Kelly Hashway
, Leigh Moore
, Christine Danek, Alex Cavanaugh
, Katie Mills
, Matthew MacNish
, Beverly McClure
, Marcy Hatch
, Jennifer Million
, Nicole Zoltack
, Christina Lee
, Kris Yankee
, JL Spelbring
, Sharon Mayhew
, Candice Granger
, Dianne Salerni
, Lisa & Laura Roecker, Elana Johnson
, Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
, Susan Kaye Quinn
, Lydia Kang
, Julie Musil
, Natalie Agurrie
, Talli Roland
, Medeia Sharif
, Kelly Polark
, Angela Brown
, Sarah Fine
, Stina Lindenblatt
, Lynda Young
, Susan Fields
, PK Hrezo
, Shannon O'Donnell
, Shelli Johannes-Wells
, Theresa Brown Milstein
Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grand Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveawayCongrats, Sheri! I'm proud of you, girl. I'm so happy to be part of your celebration!
And while we are talking about awesomeness in the literary world, I want to congratulate these wonderful people on their new releases!
The Storyqueen herself, Shelley Moore Thomas
, released her TENTH book last week! Check out her new middle grade novel, THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET
One of my favorite poets, Douglas Florian
, recently released his pirate book of poems, SHIVER ME TIMBERS
And also congrats to Leigh Talbert Moore
! Her new young adult novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKING
, is available now!
So there you have it, something for everyone: a picture book, a middle grade, and a young adult novel to read! Check these reads out! :)
Please help me welcome the very funny author and blogger, Jenny Baranick to my blog today. Jenny regularly blogs at "Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares" and the book of the same name was recently released. Congrats Jenny! Her book is a great way to learn about the do's and don't's of grammar in a no snooze way!Today Jenny is going to educate us on the correct usage of the word, "lay."Have at it, Jenny!
In Bob Dylan’s autobiography Chronicles, Vol. 1 he wrote, “All I'd ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities, I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of." Basically, Dylan just wanted to sing folk music; he never wanted to be heralded as the voice of his generation. So, in order to dispel his reputation as a guru, he confessed to doing things like pouring whiskey on his head (what a waste of whiskey!) and walking into department stores and acting drunk. But I think Dylan went beyond trying to negate his guru status; I think he did something very subtle to get revenge on the citizens who made his life a living hell by stalking him in hopes that he’d bestow upon them the meaning of life. And I think the revenge was grammatical. You may have heard of the song “Lay Lady Lay.” The first line says, “Lay Lady Lay. Lay across my big brass bed.” Thanks to the fact that many considered Dylan the trusted voice of their generation, they must have trusted he used “lay” correctly in his song. Well, he didn’t. And I believe he did this on purpose to mislead the generation. I bet he laughs himself to sleep every night when he thinks about how he tricked an entire nation into misusing the word “lay.” In hopes of being the grammatical voice of this generation, I am here to tell you when to use “lay” and when to use “lie.”
On second thought, buy my newly released grammar guide Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares. You can find the answer on page 7!
You can purchase Jenny's book HERE!! Thank you for gracing my blog with your grammatically correct presence today, Jenny! You rock!
I've now published fifty posts on my celebrity book recommendation site, BOOK RECS OF THE ROCK AND FAMOUS!
Woot! If you aren't familiar with it, I compile book recommendations from magazines and post what musicians, actors, or athletes are reading so fans might read what their favorite stars read. I am also pleasantly thrilled and surprised when celebs tweet or email me their favorite reads. Just promoting literacy in a unique way!
I looked at my stats, and I found out which celebrities got the most web hits in the past year.
Here are my top five most visited posts (click the name to read the post):
1. ANGIE HARMON
- actress on Rizzoli and Isles
2. TYSON RITTER
- lead singer of All American Rejects
3. NIKKI SIXX
- bassist of Motley Crue and Sixx:A.M. (plus author and radio show host)
4. JOSHUA MORROW
- actor on The Young and the Restless
5. DUFF MCKAGAN
- bassist of Velvet Revolver, Loaded, and formerly of Guns 'n RosesA beautiful actress/mom, three rockers, and a handsome soap star!
Who would you like to see on my site? I can't guarantee anyone (and not everyone is an avid reader), but I will do my darnedest to try and find out their book recommendation for you. Today's celebrity post is the incredibly hot Joe Manganiello from True Blood and Magic Mike. Thanks for checking out my other site!
On a writer's note, how awesome was WriteOnCon
last week?! Thank you to the authors, agents, editors, and writers who participated! I received great feedback on a new picture book in the message boards, and the events were amazing!
Have a great week, everyone! Back to school for the kiddos and me tomorrow!
over at The Writing Nut
site today. Nutschell Windsor is interviewing me about my writing and workspace. She's even sharing a photo of lil miss Kelly at age four. (Awwwww.) Please stop on by! I'll be answering questions and comments there today! Click HERE
to visit us.
Also, today's reading rocker is one of my fave musicians, Nikki Sixx. He's featured at Book Recs of the Rock and Famous
today with a photo of him and a pregnant me from a concert eight years ago! What book is he reading this week?
Thanks! Have a wonderful Wednesday!
I'm a pretty lucky gal. I'm participating in Elana Johnson's SURRENDER Blogfest that entails writing about a time that you never surrendered. Click HERE
to get the deets and see who else is participating (and there is still time to participate, too! Win great prizes, get some Surrender swag, and Elana is awesome so give that lovely author a shout out!).
I thought back on times that I never surrendered, and I first thought, "Dang. I'm pretty lucky. I haven't really been through terribly difficult times. I've had a pretty great life." As I said, I'm a lucky girl. But then I did some more thinking. Yeah, I guess I have had some hard times, but.... I stayed positive. I moved on. I fought on.
Even as a youth, I tried to make good choices. I worked hard in school and sports. I didn't do drugs. I was competitive in everything I did. I do believe that many times luck is the result of hard work plus good timing. But you can't control everything.
As an adult I realize I was faced with hard times (but thankfully more good times) as many of you did. My parents divorced. But I did see that it was best for them and moved on and got over it. I married young and have been with the same man for twenty years - through good times and bad. But we are still together. I've witnessed my child lose a kidney, have multiple convulsions from epilepsy, and watched our children cry and laugh over small and big losses and gains. But I became my children's advocate, researched medical problems, talked with their teachers, stayed ever present in their education and their lives. In these awful economic times, my hubby and my careers have been compromised, we almost moved to another state, lived apart due to a job, but yet we are still hanging on. Times are tough for everyone. But you can't dwell, you just do what you gotta do.
My point in all of this ramble? Stay positive. Don't give up.When life gives you lemons, throw that lemon in a tall glass of ice water. Honey, you are going to need it, because sometimes you have to work that much harder. Make some pink lemonade cupcakes to celebrate life's little joys. Mix some lemonade with a splash of vodka to deal with a bump in the road. Heck, make an Arnold Palmer, because it tastes so darn good!Do stay positive. Don't give up. Smile more. Frown less.
Congrats to Elana on her second novel, SURRENDER.
And since I love me some tunes. Listen to some Corey Hart. And never surrender.
Kris Asselin is hosting "Where Are the Gay Parents in YA?"
this week on her blog, and I'm happy to be part of it! Please visit Kris's blog
for her posts this week and links to other blogs (including to my buddy Jon Arntson's
) that are participating this week.
I usually don't "review" books, because I just don't think I do them justice as a reviewer. Yes, I am a writer, but for some reason, I cannot eloquently write a review well. Go figure. So here is my take on a book. Not necessarily a review (though it was excellent in my opinion), but my thoughts on it.
Last week I read PEARL by Jo Knowles
as I knew it featured a gay parent. As I started reading the story, I was so into the story that I forgot the reason why I chose this book in the first place: because I wanted to participate in this week's "Where Are the Gay Parents?" Okay, I had also heard it was a great book. But as I was reading the story, the mom has a close friend, and because I was so immersed in the storyline, I didn't realize that the "close friend" was more than that until further into the book (but before the main character realizes it). Jo Knowles wrote this book in first person from teenager, Pearl's (nickname, Bean) point of view. Since Bean didn't realize who this close friend of her mother's really was, neither did I as the reader, because I was inside Bean's head. (The realization that Bean's mother is gay may be considered a spoiler alert
, but due to the topic of the blog post, it does need to be addressed here.)
What is the story about? It's about two families: Bean's family and her best friend Henry's family. Both families have secrets of their own. Both families are a bit dysfunctional but in different ways. Bean and her mother don't get along, but not because of her mom's choice of lifestyle. Bean has no idea about that until further into the book, and I really like the way how Bean handles that. Three reasons I love this book:
1. Love the friendship between Henry and Bean. They are saviors for each other. Plus they are just regular kids. Not a hot vampire. Not the star of the swim team. Just two regular kids.
2. I do like the way the homosexuality is addressed in this book. Even though it is a plot twist, it isn't sensational. The female couple just seem like two people who love and care about each other. Best friends who are lovers, too. Very straight forward.
3. This book was a quick read, and there were many well written relationships within the book: Bean's close relationship with her grandfather, Bean's tumultous relationship with her mother, Bean's friendship with Henry, Bean's relationship with Henry's mom, and of course, Bean's mom and her partner. Each relationship was unique and interesting and added a twist to the story and interesting facets to the plotline.
Do I recommend this book? Yes
, very much! Don't forget to stop by Kris's blog for more posts!
with me today at Jill Kemerer's blog! Please stop on by HERE and say "HEY!" :) Thanks for having me, Jill!
Also, rocker Josh Todd tells us his current read at Book Recs of the Rock and Famous today!
Who is Josh Todd you ask? He's the sexay lead singer of Buckcherry. And that man can dance. He also has "Stay Gold" tattooed on his knuckles. And speaking of, The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton ebooks were released yesterday! Greasers go digital!
Okay, now check out JT and his bad boy moves.
A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.
Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.
So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums, make us laugh and spit on our keyboard, and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus
, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ
. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!
**I am randomly picking SHARON MAYHEW, who is so generous and kind to others, and she one of my fab critiquers. Sharon, for my RAOK gift, I'm offering to buy you coffee (or drink) when I finally meet up with you in Iowa one of these days and of course, a critique whenever you need one, Sharon! I really appreciate Sharon, who blogs at Random Thoughts. She is so sweet and is a cheerleader for her writer friends. If you have a minute, please stop in and tell her how awesome she is!
Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge?
Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)
Also a big thank you to Shannon O'Donnell
! I won a Mirror, Mirror book and a Fandango gift card on her blog last month! Another thank you also to Carrie Harris
! I won a critique and signed book at her blog recently, too. You ladies rock!!!
Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well
, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse
to pick it up. Congrats, Becca & Angela on your book release!!
Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?
Let me know in the comments!
No, this isn't about the movie Seven (the only Gwyneth Paltrow movie that I like), but a fun Meme award bouncing around the blogs. Thank you to Lori Degman, Kris Asselin, Susan Fields, Rena Jones, and one other lovely, kind person who tagged me (and I forgot to write down, I'm so sorry! Let me know if it's you and I'll add you to this post! :)
The Lucky 7 Meme award is for writers, and it's a chance to showcase your latest manuscript.
Here are the rules ...
1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy the next 7 sentences exactly how they're written. No cheating!
4. Tag 7 other writers to pass this meme on to.
Here is an excerpt from page 77 of my completed middle grade manuscript, Rock 'n' Roll Princesses Wear Black
. “Ewww, Dad,” I said handing him a cloth napkin. “Could you please keep the food in your mouth?” He wiped his mouth and threw the napkin at me. I started to yell at him, but he put his finger to his lips. Oh, yeah. I probably shouldn’t wake Gerard and Mom. “Gotta get movin’ so I can be home in time for band practice tonight,” he said as he crammed his dish in the last available space of the dishwasher. “Gabi’s sleeping over,” I reminded him. Then I wondered if she could still come after Gerard’s episode last night. “Do you think it’s okay if she still comes?”
There's my sneak peek! This Lucky 7 Meme has been passed around like Lindsay Lohan lately so if you want to share your excerpt from page 77, consider yourself tagged!
Also, today I have Ashley Judd at my other site BOOK RECS OF THE ROCK AND FAMOUS
today! Check out her current reads! Come follow me over there! I actually post more often at that site lately. Thanks, all! Have a fabulous day!
ROCK N ROLL
I finally got my concert fix Friday night (it's been 3+ months, people). My friend Sue and I ventured out to see Candyland favorite New Medicine with American Idol rocker, James Durbin. I've seen New Meds before, and yes, Candace is right, they do indeed rock. And yes, Brady is a sigh-worthy bassist. The girl don't lie! And he's as sweet as can be; he had just returned from Ghana a few days before the concert.
Here's James Durbin.
A couple of rock chicks
Okay, if you are one of the few who didn't see the Colbert Report with author Maurice Sendak, you must watch. It is flippin' hilarious! Love his candor. He even sings! And Stephen Colbert makes me laugh pretty easily anyway. Check it out here. Definitely worth your time.
OTHER DANG GOOD STUFF
Thank you again to Nutschell! I won a signed Ellen Degeneres book at her blog! Yes, I'm one lucky girl!
A poem of mine was accepted for a summer issue of Stories for Children magazine. I've switched gears for the last month (and next month) and have been concentrating on poetry and picture book writing instead of middle grade. I think it's good for my creativity to mix it up a bit!
Please check out Book Recs of the Rock & Famous at http://www.bookrecsthatrock.blogspot.com today. I have one of my favorite actors ever chatting books with me. He played my best loved literary character in a movie. Any guesses?? (Again, I'm one lucky girl!)
Have a fabulous week, you! Thank you for stopping by!
Ahhhh, the eighties. Good times. Like totally a fer sure awesome time to grow up. The purpose of today's blogfest is to meet new friends and show off the babes that adorned your walls in the eighties. Don't spaz. Just read on.
I was boy crazy in the eighties. Boy. Crazy.
And this boy had my heart.
Ponyboy Curtis. And C. Thomas Howell. Ponyboy is still my favorite literary character of all time. And Tommy Howell's photo is still on my bedroom wall (okay, maybe not, but his avatar is frequently on my computer screen. I follow him on Twitter! He's a hoot and a holler!).
This musician had my eardrums.
Ahhh, John Taylor of Duran Duran. Even though I'm a rocker girl now, I still go see Duran Duran in concert. I'm No-No-Notorious for that.
But then my pop loving eardrums turned to rock 'n' roll. And this guy was on my bedroom door in the late eighties. Remember the band Winger? Yes, Kip Winger. Don't judge me. I was only seventeen. Seventeeeeeen.
Lucky for me, two/three of my 80's babes have tweeted me their fave reads for my Book Recs of the Rock and Famous site. Read John Taylor's book recommendation's HERE and Tommy Howell's faves HERE. Listen here, Kip. I'll be askin' for your picks next.
Check out more hotties from the 80's at the blogfest list at Nicki's blog!
Who is your 80's babe?
No, not Lucky Charms! No, not Special K! It's an awesome, amazing book giveaway!
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a booksigning at Anderson's Bookstore for Adam Rex's
newest middle grade release, Cold Cereal
. I've loved Adam's work since I read Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
. Rex writes and illustrates picture books, middle grade, AND young adult, all of which I've read and loved. His wit that shines in his writing was clearly evident at the book signing. He answered funny questions by kids with clever retorts, and the audience enjoyed his reading of a chapter peppered with an Irish accent (you'll see why he needed it when you read the book). Yep, I'm a huge fan of his. HUGE.
So, I was pretty excited to be able to attend the booksigning and finally meet the man.
Here's a pic of a drawing he did at the event. He asked kids to tell him names of animals and he did a cool mashup. A young fan named this a "bearger."
And here's the author and me before I sort of forced a hug on him. You think I'm joking don't you.
Lastly, for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday I have a signed book of Cold Cereal to give away to YOU! All you need to do is be a follower and tell me your favorite kind of cereal in the comments. That is it. Contest closes at 9pm central time on Wednesday!
So, what's your favorite kind of cereal?
Thanks to all of you who entered my COLD CEREAL contest! I loved hearing all of your favorite breakfast choices.
Out of all the favorite cereals listed in the comments, Lucky Charms had the most votes (which is my favorite, but I only eat it a few times a year). Coincidentally, the next book in the Cold Cereal trilogy is titled Unlucky Charms!
Now let's get to the winner. I gave everyone a number, and random.org picked Nicole Zoltack's number! Congrats, Nicole!
Email me your address, and I will send some Cold Cereal
For those of you who didn't win, I'd be happy to send you a spoonful of cooked oatmeal in an envelope. I'm nice like that.
Listen to Adam Rex read a bit of Cold Cereal. (Note: The chapter is slightly interrupted in the middle as I spliced two video segments into one.) ENJOY!
Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! MWAH!
Did you watch the Oscars? Angelina's right leg stole the show. Forget Tebowing. Now the new thing is Angelina Jolie'ing. See here
for the goofiness. Plus her right leg is ending up in some crazy places (see here on E!online
So, I'm going to start a new craze. Kelly Polark-ing which will be so much cooler than planking. What would be something that Kelly Polark would do? Tell me in the comments, and I'll pick a pose to start our own photo sensation! Because we should all take ourselves seriously, right? I'm sure it wasn't Angelina's intention to be mocked the following week. But any publicity is good publicity!
While I've got your attention I want to give a few shout outs to some worthy authors.
Congrats to sci-fi writer Alex Cavanaugh! His CASSAFIRE book release was yesterday! This King of Bloggers has a blog
tour that runs from February 27 through March 9. Anyone who comments on his blog posts
during this time will be eligible to win a special package from his publisher: copy of CassaFire and CassaStar, a large tote bag, and a mug. Feel free to
spread the word about his out of this world news. Don't forget to use his Twitter hashtag #CatchFire.
Also, congrats to Rena Jones on the release of her third Critter series picture book. Check out PONY STRINGS AND CRITTER THINGS here !
Now strike a pose, people, and have a great day!
I'm thrilled to share my blog today with author Samuel Park.
Samuel is the author of THIS BURNS MY HEART
, which was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2011, a People magazine “Great Reads in Fiction,” and one of the Today Show’s “Favorite Things.” I read this book late into the night this weekend to finish it. I seriously could not put it down. An incredible story and so beautifully written.
Amazing, right? His novel is also the Starbucks Bookish Reading Club selection for this week. This promotion allows Starbucks customers to read the book for free when signed into the Starbucks Digital Network at the stores. Nothing better than Starbucks AND a great book!CRITIQUE PARTNERS
Sam is here to share some fun insight about critique partners!
Everyone knows how important a part of the process revision is—in some ways, that’s when the book actually comes together. And since it’s almost impossible to revise in the dark, everyone needs feedback from their writing teachers, writing group, or even their romantic partners. Here is my breakdown of the kinds of critics that writers often run into at this early stage:
LOVEY-DOVEY LAURA—this is the person in your writing circle who loves everything you write and usually offers very little to no feedback. It may be that she’s afraid of offending you, or values your friendship too much to risk being critical. Now, before you dismiss Lovey-dovey Laura and give her seat to someone else, I’d argue that she plays an essential purpose: she helps you rebuild your ego, keep faith in the manuscript, and she may be a valuable anti-dote to the next:
DESTROYER DEBBIE—Ah, this is a common one! Destroyer Debbie really doesn’t like your WIP. I mean, she really doesn’t. And she wants to make sure that you know that. And the better it is, the more threatened she feels and the more critical she becomes. The only manuscripts she likes are the really bad ones, so she can feel superior to them, and doesn’t have her own sense of self-importance destabilized. If you have a Destroyer Debbie in your writer’s group or your MFA class, better show up at the meetings with a shot of tequila in your purse. You may need it!
SCHOLARLY SUSAN—This is the one who was usually an English major back in the day and loves to find the themes and symbols in your work. One really helpful thing she’ll do is let you know what your story is about. That is actually very helpful, in the sense that it allows you to play that up (ideally, in an organic way) as you revise. Scholarly Susans, though, are tricky because they respond mostly intellectually, and you want an emotional response.
NARCISSISTIC NANCY—This is the partner who likes the parts of your manuscript that are the most like hers. She sees everything through the lens of her own work, and can’t really engage with your WIP on its own terms. If you make a choice that she disagrees with, however good that choice is, she won’t like it. But if you write the way she does, using similar style, or with similar characters, she will be your biggest fan!
EDITORIAL EDGAR—This is the partner who’s really more interested in being a copy-editor than a writer. He’s brilliant at correcting your usage mistakes, pointing out grammar errors, or checking your spelling. He is very useful in that way (free copy-editing, who doesn’t love that?), but just remember n
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to give away Samuel Park's novel THIS BURNS MY HEART today (care of Sam and his publisher). I used random.org to pick the lucky winner.
If you didn't win, believe me, you still want to read it. Buy it HERE
Thanks again, Sam, for being my guest blogger this week!
Have an amazing weekend, everyone!