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Viewing Blog: Suzanne Crowley's Journal, Most Recent at Top
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1. The Stolen Things

When my second book, The Stolen One came out, I eagerly did google alerts on it, not knowing the daily surprises I'd get. The word "Stolen" apparently picks up on every article about anything stolen in the world. I probably get ten google alerts a day for "The Stolen One" and every now and then, it is something about my book. I could cancel the alert but actually there is some interesting reading in there.

Recent alerts yielded the usual - "Man in Court Over Stolen Vehicles" and "Police find Stolen Credit Cards" and "Woman arrested for Theft at Hastings." Some were seasonal: "Police find Stolen Utah Snowmobiles," and "More Than 50 Christmas Trees Reported Stolen from Tree Lot," and "Baby Jesus Stolen From Nativity Scenes." The later is reminsicent of one of the final scenes in my book, "The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous."

Many recall to mind the stupidity of thieves: "Stolen TV Left on Curb that Doesn't Fit in Getaway Car."

The absurd: "Stolen Helmut Alert" from an online Scuba Magaine, and "Stolen Rhinocerous Returned (a mascot from a high school).

Of course the famous are not immune: "Recovery of Stolen Trophy Leaves Sampras 'More Optimistic'."

There's lots of material for future writing: "Spanish Police Recover 34 Stolen Artworks" (including a Picasso) and "Stolen Gold Found; Cops Hunt for Pure Leader Being Transported from Delhi to Mumbai." This concerned 23 bars of gold stolen from an employer.

And the most heartwarming: "World War II Veteran Michael Demich Gets Replacement For Stolen Medals."

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/12/world_war_ii_veteran_gets_repl.html

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Lock Your Doors!

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2. Children's Books for Charity

I had the pleasure recently of participating in a charity event callede "Branded" which is put on by the Cariety Foundation and benefits Cooks Children's Hospitals in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It's a western themed event where we all put on our best boots and bling. The money raised goes to palliative care (easing the suffering) of children, many who have cancer. My friend Missy Hutton has been very involved in the event for several years, a would be receiving a humanitarian award at the event this year. She asked me if I would donate some of my signed books. They usually have some fabulous itmes in the silent auction and I really wanted to do more than just donate my two books. I asked my publisher Greenwillow if they could send me some signed books and they came through with two Kevin Henkes books including the Caldecott winning book, Kitten's First Full Moon. But the motherload of books came from my fabulous friend Rose Brock, librarian extraordinaire, and former Newbery award committee member. She put out the word with her author and publisher friends and they all came through with signed books. Among the publishers donating were: Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Simon & Shuster, Disney Hyperion, and Candlewick. Authors Jon Scieszka, Ally Carter, and Sonya Sones personally sent us their books. Myf riend Alex Flinn who I know from Florida when my daughter Caitlin and I attended a SWBWI workshop, signed a copy of Beastly for me (which has been made into a movie starring Vanessa Hudgins), and picture book author Melanie Hope Greenbery responded to my Facebook plea by sending her latest.



Kicking up our boots (and heels)at Branded: Me, Rose, and friends Doree, Missy, Connie (who is in my book club), Jill, Jill's friend, and Ditto

There were so many donated books, in fact, I decided to divide them in themed baskets, and if I had had more time, I would have divided them up even more, because there were so many wonderful, wonderful books.



Kevin Henkes basket Kitten's First Full Moon and Old Bear

I found an adorable plastic see saw and filled it with picture books, which included Jon Scieszka's Knucklehead and Stinky Cheese Man (my son wanted to pull this one of the basket and keep it for himself), Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo, God's Dream written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and signed by the illustrator, Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems, Our Children Can Soar - signed by all 13 illustrators, many of them Caldecott winners (this alone should have had it's own basket, Lightship by Brian Floca, Good Morning Digger by Melanie Hope Greenberg,and Fartiste by Kathleen Krull. I added little tags at the top of all the books with enticing notes like "Caldecott Winner" or "Newbery Award Winner," an idea I saw at a TLA convention.



Picture Book basket with books from Melanie Hope Greenberg, Lisa Moser, Archbishop Desmond TuTu, Kate Dicamillo, Florence Perry Heide, Jon Scieszka, Brian Floca, and Mo Willems

I was thrilled when when author Ally Carter sent us all of her Gallagher Girls books, her most recent Heist Society (all signed), and a T-shirt. I put them with Alex Flinn's Beastly, Libba Bray's popular The Sweet Far Thing, M.T. Anderson's The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing for which he won the National Book Award, my book The Stolen One, and two books by award winning Sonya Sones.


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3. Hyper-focussed Procrastinator - I admit it

It had been a gazillion years since I posted last. I've been working on another manuscript and I guess I have a one track mind, or I am hyper-focussed. Or both. And a procrastinator. Oh, and a busy mother too - that gets in the way also. I frequently post updates on Facebook, so that also makes me forget that I have a blog.

I don't like to talk to much about works in progress because you never know if they will come to fruition (also you should be writing not talking about writing), but I'll say that it's another young adult, this time with a paranormal theme. Dystopian too. Romance. The works. I finished a rough draft (VERY ROUGH) in two months and the last month have been fiddling with it. I hope to get back to researching for another historical I want to write and I have the very first glimmers of an idea for another Texas story.

Here's some recent news for The Stolen One:

It's was a featured read last month over at Readergirlz:

http://www.readergirlz.com/issue.html

I taught participated in the Highland Park Literary Festival where I got to teach two classes (on beginnings) and meet the featured author Tobias Wolff at a dinner for the authors.

I spoke last month at the Colleyville Public Library on my writing career and after was interviewed at Borders by Stacy and Shannan from a wonderful website called Girlsinthestacks. Here's the video interview:

http://girlsinthestacks.com/videos/2010/04/video-interview-with-author-suzanne-crowley/

Stacy and Shannan gave me a mini bundt cake from my favorite cake store, Nothing Bundt Cakes. Quickest way to my heart. They are great ladies - so funny and charming and have a wonderful enthusiasm for reading.

The other morning I was on Facebook and saw some of my friends had posted that their books was on the Banks Street Best Books list. I clicked on one of the links and found The Stolen One. A nice surprise:

http://www.bnkst.edu/bookcom/

I'm happy to report that The Stolen One has gone into a third printing!

It's also been selected for the Best Books for Young Adults list put out by the American Library Association:

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/bestbooksya/bbya2010.cfm

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4. Why Don't Socks Have Brakes?

Recently my nine year old son, shoeless, went careening across our wooden floor as he dashed to get his shoes, backpack, and coat. We were late for the bus. "Why don't socks have brakes?" he asked. "That would be a big help."

I could ask that myself with all that has been going on. Getting ready for the holidays and all that that entails, winding up book events - I did nine in November,and I've been wishing too that life would slow down.



I spoke recently in front of about 90 girl scouts about my path to publication.



That's me, the little red speck, speaking to a very crowded room of girl scouts!


In other news:

I'm very proud to announce that The Stolen One has made the 2010 Tayshas High School Reading List for the state of Texas! Here's a link to the site if you want to see what other books made the list:

http://www.txla.org/groups/yart/Assets/Files/tayshas/2010taylist.pdf

The Stolen One has also gone back to print!

And A Dallas Morning New Mom's Blog has chosen The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous as their book club selection. We will have an online chat in January. Here's a link to the announcement:

http://momsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/12/join-the-dallas-moms-book-club.html

Here's to a happy holiday to everyone and I hope your socks have brakes and you can slow down and enjoy your blessings.

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5. Cover Love



Reprinted here by permission of Lenore at http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com/2009/09/cover-interview-and-mega-prize-pack.html is an interview she did with me and the photographer for the cover of The Stolen One, Chris Borgman. It was so interesting to hear his take and I learned some things myself:
Cover Interview and Mega Prize Pack Giveaway: The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

The cover of Suzanne Crowley's THE STOLEN ONE really reached out and drew me in. The rich colors, especially the red hair were what I first noticed, and then I spent a good while just looking and marveling at all the details.


Here's what Suzanne has to say about the cover:

The Stolen One's cover, in my humble opinion, is incredibly beautiful and haunting. It captures the mood of the novel perfectly. The cover girl, the dress, the pose, her expression, even how she is tenderly holding the pear, are a perfect match to the story.

My editor sent me photos of every stage of the production of the cover, from the search for a model to the dress. And I actually found the necklace on the cover on a site called "Sapphire and Sage." I contacted my editor who ordered one from the artist and it arrived the night before the photo shoot. Later, my editor gave me the necklace, and I actually wore it to my first event on Saturday at a local library where I did a presentation.

I got to see takes from the photo shoot which was totally cool! And eventually, when I saw the final cover, I was more than thrilled. I'm still excited when I see it. It's like an old master painting, and a Vogue photo shoot in one - the richness, the color saturation, are so incredible, yet I think it also has a modern, approachable feel. Magnificant!

And then, I was privileged enough to get to ask the photographer, Chris Borgman, a few questions (thanks to Alea for helping me brainstorm):

Did you have the chance to talk with the author or read The Stolen One in preparation for the shoot?
I personally did not get a chance to talk to Suzanne during production of the cover, but I did read a pre-release copy of the book. That helped me to visualize what the model should look like and what her surroundings might look like.


Did you have a certain amount of artistic license or were the instructions from the publisher pretty strict?
When I met with Paul, the Art Director, he had a basic sketch of the cover. It was for the model's pose and angle of view. Our discussion was mostly about what she should be wearing which would represent apoint in time within the story. I got with my stylist, who has a lot of experience in theater, and she sketched out clothing options. I then sent these to Paul. Once a decision was made I sent the sketches to a costume rental house in Long Island. We selected the dress and it was FedExed to us. These dresses are exact replicas and were used on Broadway or in museum exhibitions. We were lucky to find such a wonderful dress, it was the only place in the New England that had this kind of authentic quality.

I did a small casting of models. Since the model had to fit an exact look, it was very difficult to find our girl. Many models look too model like. We wanted a beautiful young girl that looked like a real person, of course she also had to have the red hair. We photographed her in the studio on a green background. The studio background was removed and an ivy covered wall was added. I photographed the wall at The Cloisters. I went there thinking it would provide some interesting textures and was not disappointed.
What are some alternate poses you tried out or would have given the chance?
Originally I was thinking more of royal garden in the background. After discussing it with Paul, we thought the wall was better because it was more closed in and better represented her eventual feelings while working for the queen. The open garden would look too open and free. I did play around with a few different backgrounds but liked the ivy the most cause it was simple enough to allow the type over it but still looked like a castle wall.

Another option would have been that's she inside the castle, maybe in a small room. I imaged castle walls as pretty boring in color, and we all really liked the her red hair against the green ivy. Her hair and the ivy seem to flow in a similar pattern.

Thanks Lenore for letting me reprint!

In other news, I've been VERY busy with book events. Last week I spoke about Elizabethan fashion at my local Southlake Newcomers Club. I got talked into wearing a costume and I think I look as big as a house! It's the farthingale, I swear! It was a simple one layer dress and I was sweating the whole time. I don't know how Queen Elizabeth did it with all her many layers - undergarments, kirtle, petticoat, gown, sleeves, stomacher, etc.






And a couple of weeks ago I spoke at Keller Library. Here I am with Keller librarian Catherine Neel and Central High School librarian Janet Adams. I'll be speaking at Janet's school tomorrow.




And late last week I was invited to speak at Rowlett Public Library by librarian Cassie Wilson. Here I am with my fan Stephanie who had already read my book and loved it.


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6. Parties & Events

A couple of Sundays ago, a good friend of mine, Missy hosted a booksigning party for me at a nearby country club. Only Missy wasn't able to be there as one of her little ones had been diagnosed with the swine flu the day before. The champagne luncheon went on, on a beautiful, sunny day, and my friends and family came out to celebrate.



My mother Corinne, my sister Karen, friend Kim, and daughter Lauren



Friends Cynthia, Jay, and Ditto



My good friend Deni and Me


Tiffany who trains me, Deni, me, and Lauren



Ros, me, and Therese. I'm holding a beautiful cover of my book done in dark chocolate that they presented me with.



Friends Susan, Janet, and Tante




And last Saturday I was signing books at my local Barnes & Noble in Southlake with fellow authors Bettina Restrepo and Karen Ferrell. It was an Educator's Tea and we had a fabulous turnout. We all sold out of our stacks and they had to scramble and get more books off the shelves. Always a good thing.



Bettina Restrepo, Karen Ferrell and Me signing books at Barnes & Noble

There's a wonderful review of The Stolen One over at Alaine: Queen of Happy Endings:
http://alainereading.blogspot.com/2009/10/stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley.html

Her review by the way, is based on the audio which she said is brilliant. I've only heard snippets of the audio, can't wait to listen to the whole thing.

And speaking of audios, I was flipping through my November subscription copy of Vanity Fair and on page 149 there is a feature of Lily Rabe who did the audio for my first book, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous. Lily is the daughter of Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe.

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7. suzannecrowley @ 2009-09-14T15:05:00

"To say I was enthralled is an understatement. In fact, I wish it could have been even longer than its’ 416 pages because Kat was such an appealing character to hang out with – curious, bright, passionate, and unpredictable. I loved the vividly realized historical details of the court and fashions of the time. Oh and I loved the writing . . ."
From Presenting Lenore

Lenore is also sponsoring a mega giveaway pack (donated by me) of a signed copy of The Stolen One, $75 worth of MAC make up and a $25 gift certificate. She already has 192 comments! Here's the link:
http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com/2009/09/cover-interview-and-mega-prize-pack.html

And Kathy Erksine has an interview with my up at her website. Kathy is the author of the upcoming "Mockingbird" a fabulous book. I interviwed her for my article on "Voices in Autism" in School Library Journal.

http://kathyerskine.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/suzanne-crowley-interview/

Last Thursday night I had a booksigning at Borders and signed over 30 books. Borders said they presold 20 also. After, friends and family joined me at Gloria's, a nearby jummy mexican food place.



Signing copies



Me with librarian Rose Brock who brought two teacher friends



Me with my sister Karen



Me with my friend Connie





Good friends from my Newcomers Group


Librarians Janet, Lucy, me, and Jane from Keller ISD

And lately I've had some very glamorous things happening. 360West magazine came to my home and photographed me for an article about me and the book. It's coming out in the October issue and I hope to blog more about it when it comes out.

And last Tuesday I got to go with my friend Missy by invitation of our designer Adrian Wright to meet Earl Spencer where he was making an appearance at a showroom in Dallas. He was signing books about Althorp, his ancestral home and also signing pieces of furniture that are exact replicas of pieces from Althorp. He made a very warm and funny speech about growing up at Althorp and what it takes to keep a 500 year old house running. He told an anecdote of when Winston Churchill came to Althorp to do research in a special room with ancient and irreplacable documents. The earl's grandfather walked in to find Winston smoking a cigar so he quickly threw a glass of water on him.



Missy, Earl Spencer, and me with a double chin

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8. Adventures in Booksignings

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of having lunch with my good friend and librarian Rose Brock and her friend Sarah (Ally) Carter. Sarah was in town to sign stock of her books at local stores and to fit in a visit with Rose. Sarah writes the hugely popular Gallagher Girl Series. Her latest is Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover. I'd actually met Sarah before at the ALAN conference in San Antonio at an author's party. And she was so sweet to come over and introduce herself.



Rose Brock, Sary (Ally) Carter, and me

I was very curious to know how it works when an author walks in a bookstore and asks to sign their own books. Sarah said what she always does is she finds her books first in the store, then brings them up to the counter. She tells them she is the author of the book and asks politely if they would like her to sign them. They are usually more than grateful, especially if you are Ally Carter I would think!

So lately I've been following her advice with mixed results. I went into the Books-a-Million in Denison near where we have a vacation condo. I found they had one copy of The Stolen One. Hmmm. Did they order only one copy or did this mean they had sold sereral? I brought the one copy up to the counter where three of the employees were standing. I made my little speech. Silence. Pure silence and three sets of big eyes. "That's okay. I don't have to sign it if you don't want to," I mumbled in embarrassment. More silence. Then finally one of them said, "Do you mean you are really the author?" Apparently they really didn't believe I was the author, or maybe they had never had an author come in and do this. I signed the book and then they were very chatty and happy I had come in. About a week ago, we had a very fun family vacation in San Francisco. We used to live in San Jose for five years and San Francisco is one of our favorite cities. I happened upon a Border's at Union Square and mustered my courage to go in and look for my book. They had three copies! I quickly found a worker and did my speech and she was more than gracious if not thrilled I had come in. Success! The next day while shopping at a nearby mall, I found another Borders. Again three copies. I brought them up to the counter and asked the young man if I could sign them. Deer in t he headlights look again. Silence. "Umm, let me ask my manager," He said, looking at me suspiciously. He walked away, and carefully pulled his earpiece/microphone up and whispered something. I imagined that the phrase "crazy lady" was in there somewhere. But he came back a few moments later with a big relieved smile on his face and said I could sign them.

News Flash:

The Stolen One is an Indie Next List Pick for Fall! Hooray! This was formally called Book Sense and The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous was a Book Sense pick so I am two for two!




And there is a wonderful review up at Carrie's YA Bookshelf for The Stolen One:

http://carriesyabookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/08/stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley.html

Carrie says, "This book is beautifully written and captured me from the first page."

And lastly, I spoke about the publishing process and The Stolen One last Saturday at the Flower Mound Public Library. We had a wonderful turnout of thirty five people and I signed lots of books! There was even a long line and I really enjoyed talking to everyone who came, who all seemed to be aspiring writers. Thank you Jamie Pouster for inviting me! Afterward my sister Karen, and daughter Caitlin and I went out for celebratory Mexican food.






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9. Update Monday

It's blazing hot here in Texas. Humid too. We all hide in our air-conditioned spaces and only dare do out in the early morning or evening. Otherwise it's the mad dash from air-conditioned space to air-conditioned space. My husband and daughter are in London right now, meeting up with cousins and touring Buckingham palace today. I'm very jealous. But later in the month we are all going to San Francisco, where - hooray - it will be cooler! We used to live near SF for five years. We love the city.



Vintage pear pins I've been collecting from Ebay in honor of The Stolen One

A wonderful review of The Stolen One came out yesterday in School Library Journal. They said the Stolen One is "riveting," my writing is "sophisticated," readers "will not be able to put the book down" and I did a "terrific job of integrating historical detail." Can get much better than that. Here's the link:

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6674059.html?industryid=47067

Also, in the same August issue, I'm proud to report, is an article I wrote for School Library Journal, called The Voices of Autism. I worked really hard on this article, reading ten books who had characters with autism and then ultimately choosing five to focus on. I interviewed Cynthia Lord, Kathyrn Erksine, Francisco X. Stork, Blaze Ginsberg, Nora Baskin Raleigh. I especially enjoyed talking to Blaze, who is on the autism spectrum about his book, "Episodes" which comes out in September. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6673568.html?industryid=47087

In other news:

Harper has a reading guide out for The Stolen One. I love it!

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6673568.html?industryid=47087

Emily's Reading Room has a review up of TSO:

http://emilysreadingroom.blogspot.com/2009/07/stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley-review.html

As does The Hathor Legacy:

http://thehathorlegacy.com/the-stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley/

Carrie' YA Bookshelf has The Stolen One in her mailbox:

http://carriesyabookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/08/in-my-mailbox-24.html#comments






Very rare Vintage pin of Queen Elizabeth. Hope to wear this to some book events

And congrats to The Book Gobbler who won my contest on Myspace for a signed book and a B & N gift certificate. I let my eight year old son pick the winner.

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10. The Stolen One widget

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11. suzannecrowley @ 2009-07-01T21:53:00



My book was officially released yesterday! I have so much to report I had to make a long list to remember everything!

First of all the audio, read by British actress Sara Coomes is now available. The cover (so pretty) is above. You can listen to a snippet here:


http://www.audible.com/adbl/site/products/ProductDetail.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0066262392.1246502248@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccccadehjhkhikicefecekjdffidffj.0&productID=BK_HARP_001924




A good friend of mine, Kim Levine organized a luncheon to celebrate The Stolen One at Cheescake Factory yesterday. When we arrived, there were pears sitting on the table! Very cute! And my friends had copies for me to sign already!







Therese Deptula, Rose Brock, me, Suzi Spinks-Grimm, Kim Levine, Kristin Vivian, Debbie, Jodi Lash, and Wendy Porto



Signing The Stolen One!



Acting Silly with our Pears!

In other news, lots of websites have reviews, contests, and interviews up in the last few days.

Fantastic Book Review is doing a week long tribute with something different every day including some goodie bags donated by me.

Author Interview: http://fantasticbookreview.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley.html

My Review: http://fantasticbookreview.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-stolen-one-by-suzanne-crowley.html

Contest: http://fantasticbookreview.blogspot.com/2009/07/win-stolen-one-goodies-by-suzanne.html

Tina, of Fantasitc Book Review gave The Stolen One 5 stars! Thank you Tina!

I have post up today at HarperTeen on myspace titled, Four Things To Love About The Stolen


http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=72210576&blogId=497953812

Shooting Stars magazine has an interview up with me where I discuss the cover. They are also giving away a signed book with a box of Godiva. Last time I checked they had 37 comments:

http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/

The Dreamer Reader just posted an interview where I answer some quirky questions. If you want to learn something new about me, check it out:

http://thedreamereader.blogspot.com/2009/06/surprise-sunday-with-suzanne-crowley.html

Barnes & Noble has a Browse Inside feature up if anyone is curious:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Stolen-One/Suzanne-Crowley/e/9780061232008/?itm=1

Coffee Time Romance gives The Stolen One a five cup rating and says:

"
The Stolen One is a remarkable tale overflowing with mystery and drama. As a fan of English history, I was unable to put the book down until I read it cover to cover. The characters came to life through this story, bringing Queen Elizabeth to reality in my mind’s eye. I feel honored to be privy to the inner workings of the Queen’s inner circle, even if only through fiction."

And at Rebecca's Book Blog she has a contest to win a signed copy of my book. Rebecca has been one of my earliest supporters and wrote a lovely early review and posted it everywhere! Thanks Rebecca:

http://rebeccasbookblog.blogspot.com/

And I was thrilled to find out The Stolen One has been reviewed in the prestigious Horn Book magazine - they are very picky about who they review and only review if they really like the book. I remember as a teenager pawing through the Horn Book at the bookstore dreaming someday I would have a book in there:

"This novel offers romance readers (or fans of The Tudors) many sumptuous costumes, a parade of 'distinguished looking' fellows, and something of historical substance as well. Crowley's interest in her protagonist and Queen Elizabeth, and also in the physical aspects of the period, from "fawn colored silk jerkin(s) with embroidered guards of Belgian lace" to sugared strawberries, give the novel color and intrigue."



And lastly, after dinner my daughter son and I ran into Barnes & Noble and found there was one lone copy of The Stolen One (which is good!)




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12. Four days . . .



http://laurenscrammedbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Over at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf she has a piece I wrote for her "Inspired Friday" post on the inspiration for The Stolen One:

I grew up with fascinating stories of my ancestors. There was the bishop on my father’s side who came over to America from England three times in the seventeenth century, outlived several wives, and lived to be a ripe old age of 97! On my mother’s side we can boast of a relative who came over on the Mayflower, an American revolutionary war hero, James Gray, who fought along with his father and uncle for America’s Independence, and a great grandfather who was a rough rider with Teddy Roosevelt.

But it was James Gray’s ancestor, Lady Jane Grey, the tragic queen of nine days, who intrigued me the most as a girl. What little girl wouldn’t be fascinated with a young queen, a teenager, forced to take the throne and marry a boy she did not love? As a teenager myself, I toured the Tower of London and saw the spot where she was beheaded. This was something I didn’t soon forget.

It began a lifelong obsession with the Tudors. I read as many books as I could on the era including anything by Lady Antonia Fraser and Allison Weir. Henry the VIII and his poor wives and later Queen Elizabeth provided endless hours of entertainment. I loved the intrigue, the romance, the riches, the jewels, the heatrtbreak, and in some cases, the horror. It all made my heart go pitter-patter. Somewhere along the way I came across a little bit of mystery that never received more than a sentence or two. But it was enough to plant a seed.

When I received the contract for my first novel, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, my agent got me a two-book deal. “Do you have an idea for a second book?” she asked me on the phone when she called with the news. I was groggy from bone graft surgery on my gum. “Ummm, yea I thinks so,” I mumbled. But as soon as I got off the phone, I quickly forgot about the pain I was in and ran to the computer. I typed up a one paragraph synopsis of the mystery I had read about so many years ago. I sent it off to my agent to forward to my new editor.

A year and a half later when my first book came out, I finally sat down to write the story that had been simmering in my head for many years, inspired by a very distant relative who lived centuries ago. It became “The Stolen One.” Enjoy.

And here is the bookplate I designed for The Stolen One. My father drew the perfect pear for me. I received the finished bookplates today so if anyone wants a signed one let me know!


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13. We're Getting Closer




Too much excitement, that's all I can say but it's all good. Above is a painting I commissioned of the The Stolen One to take to book parties and signings. I think it's great - it captures Kat's haunted look beautifully.

Lots of great reviews appearing daily. Check out A Maze of Books who says The Stolen One is "fantastic":


http://amazeofbooks.blogspot.com/2009/06/stolen-one.html

And over at Steph Su Reads, she says "I haven't read such a delightful historical fiction read since probably Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy."

http://stephsureads.blogspot.com/

And then the best of all, this photo that Steph took at her local Borders:




Hooray, the first sighting - and a week early!

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14. suzannecrowley @ 2009-06-20T10:47:00



It's been a whirlwind lately preparing for my book to come out. Lots of wonderful things happening, but the best of the best, was getting my box of author copies this week. Hooray! They can't be more beautiful, I am thrilled. I still can't believe it.

Also this week, I got my first ever blurb from a famous author! Here's what Mary Pearson says about The Stolen One:

"Suzanne Crowley's prose entranced me--it was as delicate and magical as Katherine's needlework--transporting me to a world rich with mystery and romance."

If you haven't read her book, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, go out and get it. It's a great book and is being made into a movie. I met Mary at the ALAN Conference in San Antonio.

Also, Rebecca Herman has her review up of The Stolen One on her website Rebecca's Book Blog:

http://rebeccasbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-review-stolen-one-by-suzanne.html




Enjoying Texas food at The Cracker Barrel

And lastly, I want to say thank you to Rose Brock and Laura Sinton, my companions at our first ever "Reading and Relaxing" weekend. Rose is a librarian, Laura works in children's publishing, and of course I'm an author so we made a perfect trifecta. We didn't get much reading in, it was more in the relaxing and chatting category. But Rose gets the prize for reading one book, or rereading I should say - Twilight. Rose is going to be writing a curriculum guide for the series, lucky girl. We ate lots of wonderful food - including a night at a restaurant appropriately called "The Library," mexican food at Uncle Julios, down home food at The Cotton Patch, and even more down home food at The Cracker Barrel. We also managed to get some spa treatments in and lots of rest. Here's to next year - maybe in New York!

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15. I got it

This day has been so exciting I've barely been able to stand it. First, my book trailer for The Stolen One, got posted on youtube today! Hooray! I think Madison of M2 Productions did a great job:




I've been busy posting the trailer on my other networking sites, facebook and mypace, checking and responding to comments about it, and I discover my interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith about The Stolen One is up on her website:


http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/

Cynthia has been so supportive of me as she is with all new writers. She even stayed to listen to me and two other debut novelists at the ALAN convention when our panel was the very last of the convention and many people had already gone home.

In the midst of all this excitement, my son, enjoying one of his first days of summer was playing hide and seek with a friend and running in and out of the house slamming doors, tvs were running, I was making frequent trips to the breakfeast table to complete a few more bejewled bookmarks (I'm sending our another 400 in the next couple of days). I went out to the mailbox for some fresh air and discovered a package from Greenwillow. My first copy of The Stolen One! My heart stopped. Many deep breaths. I brought it inside and called my two girls downstairs to watch me open it. It was wrapped in beautiful gold paper with a bookplate on top.



Opening



In Awe



My daughter Caitlin, future published author, perusing the book for the first time



So much more gorgeous in real life




A great day for an author

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16. suzannecrowley @ 2009-06-08T12:10:00





I just got back from a wonderful visit to Chicago where I was on a YA panel at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit. Fest. I flew in late Friday afternoon, got settled at the Blake Hotel which was right in the center of things - they were setting up vender tents in front of the hotel as I checked in. After I got settled Claudia Martinez, author of The Smell of Old Lady's Perfume, came and picked me up and drove us to Greek Town, an area of Chicago with tons of Greek Restaurants. Yummy, yummy food. I don't think I've been to a Greek restaurant since we lived in San Diego ten years ago and happened to be dining next to Lorenzo Lamas and his then current wife. But back to Chicago - Claudia and I met at ALAN in San Antonio when we were on a debut authors panel together. And it was actually Claudia that got me into the Printer's Row festival. After dinner, Claudia drove me around downtown Chicago which is beautiful and pointed out the sites including the Rigley building where she works for a non-profit organization that gives grants to public schools.



Claudia and I at Greek Town

The next morning I woke up, went down stairs to the lobby, had a continental breakfast and wondered if anyone around me was a fellow author, but I was too shy to strike up a conversation. Then I was off to the University Center, a block over to check in, get my badge and free tote bag! Speaking of tote bags, over the weekend I heard a funny story of an author at a similiar lit festival, who snuck up to the room where the author's goody bags were waiting and drank the mini Jack Daniel's bottles in every tote bag. Apparently he had a drinking problem or was overly nervous about his upcoming panel. He had to be helped up to his hotel room. Anyway, back to the author's room - I got to meet Julia Keller, cultural critic for the Chicago Tribune and moderator of our panel, and the other two authors - Robin Palmer and Margaret McMullan.



Julia Keller, Robin Palmer, Me, Margaret McMullan

We chatted for awhile, which really put me at ease, because I totally forgot we would be speaking soon. We also got to meet Juliana, Julia's niece who had come in for the event from Ohio and obliged by taking our photo before we were escorted over to our event at the Harold Washington Library Center - which had beautiful, elaborate gargoyles at the rooftop corners. Anybody remember a really eerie, scary movie, I think called Gargoyles from the 1970's?




Our panel went very well - we each got to talk about our books and ourselves - what brought us to writing. Margaret's latest book is Cashay, about a young African American girl growing up in the projects who witnesses her little sister being shot and killed. A beautiful read. Robin, who used to be in charge of Lifetime movies (a great way to spend an afternoon in bed, I think), latest book is Geek Charming, a modern day, frog prince tale. A delightful read. I finished it the night before the trip. We learned it is going to be made into a movie soon. Julia, our moderator had to leave a little early - to moderate a panel with Elmore Leonard, no less, and somehow I was left to pick questions from the audience. The next thing I knew it was over and I was chatting with attendees and signing books. I was very aware that Neil Gaiman was speaking across the hall shortly so I slipped across with Cluadia (who had come to my panel) and we found seats in the second row (reserved for family & friends but we had been told by a volumteer we could sit there as authors). Neil was warm, funny, and oh so intelligent. And his reading from The Graveyard Book was a hoot. I was dying to take a photo of him, but no flash photography was allowed and I was afraid my flash would go off and I'd be escorted out the hall, suffering an indignity worse than the Jack Daniel's gulping author. So no photo even though I was so up close.

Shortly after Neil Gaiman's talk was Claudia's panel, right back across the hall where my panel took place. She was with Nnedi Okorafor, and Pamela Todd, fellow YA writers. Another really interesting panel. Three totally different authors with wonderful wisdom to impart.



Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

Then I headed back to my hotel room and planned to browse the booths, but it started to rain. So I went and took a nap. Ahh, nothing like a nap.



Printer's Row Lit. Festival

Later night I went down the street to a cocktail party at Bar Louie where I hooked up with Margaret McMullan and her friend Katie Crouch, who wrote Girls in Trucks. We hung out at the party for a while - where we got to meet Liz Taylor, magazine and books editor for the Chicago Tribune, and her young daughter, and then we went back out to dinner at Custom House, which was right next to my hotel. I had a really fun time chatting with them, as I rarely get to be around authors. We made much of Katie's dinner, which came in tiny Hobbit-like crockery. Then it was off to bed and a flight home in the morning.

Other news - The Stolen One was coincidentily reviewed in the Chicago Sun Times a week ago. They said "Crowley builds a world worth sinking into." Hooray!http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/books/1599531,SHO-Books-ya31.article

AND . . . I received word that my editor has the REAL book of The Stolen One in hand and they are putting a copy in the mail to me today. To say I will be on package watch is the understatement of the year. The front porch (the usual landing spot for packages) and I will be very good friends in the next couple of days.

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17. suzannecrowley @ 2009-05-22T20:36:00



As the debut of The Stolen One looms ahead (June 30th), I'm working on various projects, some semi-secret, other's I'll tell you about. Every hour or so, I check the front porch for packages for various elements that I'm expecting that have to do with my projects. Earlier today the doorbell rang and I sprinted to the door, but alas, nothing was there. Later, when some neighnbor girls rang the doorbell, and did a "Memorial Day" dance for me, I realized it was probably them - they rang the doorbell and then chickened out. After they did their little dance I rewarded them with Rollos and some leftover smiley face toys that I gave away at "Merilee" booksignings.

Anyway, back to projects. I asked my father to do a pen and ink of a pear for the bookplates I'm going to design for The Stolen One. He emailed it to me today. Sometimes nice surprises come by email and not snailmail (or UPS or Fedex). Isn't it beautiful? I have some samples on the way from Online Labels - cream, white, and gold labels that can be printed in the printer. I'm going to experiment with the colors, fonts for my name, and perhaps a simple border around it all? Fun, fun, fun. Just so you know I have a standing offer for free bookplates (when they are done) and the beautiful bejeweled brass bookmarks I've been making. I've had over 25 libraries request them on myspace and I've been making them in batches. I've sent out over 300 of them. A librarian friend has offered to come over and help me make them - I've bribed her with a glass of wine. I'm out of the base pieces - that's another package I've been waiting on. Back to my Dad - if you haven't already, check out his website at www.wildlifeartbyacree.com He's quite an inspiration. And I know of one famous children's author who also follows his blog.

Another fun thing today is I got a call from Lois Adams at Greenwillow with some questions. It seems they are going to do the audio of The Stolen One on Tuesday at Harper! Woohoo! Lois did most of the copyediting for the book so she is very close to it, so it was really neat talking to her. She needed to know pronunciations of certain words. We went through the list together, sometimes laughing because neither of us knew how to pronounce a couple of the words - obscure place names in England or no longer used embroidery terms. I learned the narrator is an English actress. Lois had the name so I googled her. I won't say the name yet because I'm not positive, but I think I found her and I even found a website of English voiceover actresses and was able to listen to a snippet of her reading. I brought my daughter Caitlin in and she declared that the actress was perfect! Another fun, fun, fun thing.

In other news, Teensreads has given The Stolen One a five star review! Yay! In July I'll be giving away 5 signed books on their site. Here's a link to the review:

http://www.teensreadtoo.com/StolenOneCrowley.html

Also, I'm giving away a signed copy at an auction for Bridget Zinn, an aspiring YA writer who is battling cancer. There are some great things to bid on:

http://bridgetzinnauction.wordpress.com/about/

I believe it ends at the end of this month so check it out - it is a great cause and I'm bidding on some things myself. Don't anyone dare bid on the Karen Cushman signed Catherine, called Birdy against me. Don't you dare.

Other things I'm looking forward to: The trailer for The Stolen One should be ready any day now. So excited.

The REAL book of The Stolen One should be on coming in the next couple of weeks! I'm going to do a major happy dance when I get it!

Cheers!

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18. suzannecrowley @ 2009-05-19T10:46:00



The other day I was complaining to my husband about the question. You know the one all us authors get. "When are you going to be on Oprah?"

"Um," I usually respond. "Very few authors make it on the Oprah show. Very few."

This is usually followed up with: "Well someone at your publisher should really send your book to her. I'm sure they can get you on."

"Um. Yes that's a great idea." Only response, otherwise they will keep insisting. You wouldn't guess how many times I've gotten the Oprah questions. Hundreds. Literally.

The very next day after complaining about the Oprah question, I went out to lunch with my friend Deni who is from Brazil. She brought along her cousin and his friend who were visiting from Brazil. They didn't speak English very well so Deni translated. She told them I was an author. A few second later her cousin's friend responded - and I know I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was - amongst the beautiful portuguese words I heard the word "Oprah" embedded in there.

He wants to know when you are going to be on Oprah," Deni translated.

"Soon," I respond. "Hopefully soon."

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19. Soul Enchilada

Hooray! Today is my fellow Stimolaite and Greenwillowite brother, David Gill's release day for his first novel Soul Enchilada!!!!!! It's a wonderfully fresh, unique, fast-paced read! I highly recommend it!

http://soulenchilada.com/

"Gill scores big in this action-packed, power-punch of a debut. His dialogue slam-dunks with sass and clever wit--"Kirkus (starred)
"[D]elightfully wacky" --Horn Book
"Hilarious moments as the story unfolds will grab you with chuckles, belly laughing and outright hysteria from beginning to end. --Wisteria Leigh
"Gill knows what will make teens laugh" --Publishers Weekly
"[W]arm, funny, and full of grace....Highly recommended." --Greg Leitich Smith
""Bug is a refreshingly gutsy female protagonist...that will win over readers." --Booklist
"This is a brilliant debut novel" --TeensReadToo



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20. suzannecrowley @ 2009-04-14T12:12:00




We had a wonderful Easter although the Easter bunny has to deliver the eggs on the back porch because it rained all night and was drizzly in the morning. My oldest was home from college so we had a full house. After mass we went to The Silver Fox and gorged ourselves on wonderful food.

Yesterday I went to Parkwood Hill Intermediate school in Keller for their Celebrity Author Day put on by their librarian Nan Sprestor. I read a different chapter than I usually do from Merilee Marvelous. This one concerns the Chilimpiad in Jumbo and lots on interesting chili recipes. I was delighted to see Nan had a poster of the Keller ISD's Trailblazer list of which Merilee is among. Cool. I asked Nan if she could acquire one for me. I think that's the first poster I've been on.




In other news, I received a big box from Harper (always fun to see the logo on the side) of the paperbacks of Merilee which come out April 28th! Woohoo!




Also, there's been a lot of blog love for "The Stolen One" and I can't thank everyone enough who have mentioned, showcased the cover, or reviewed it!


YAntheneum said:
"The Stolen One is a great novel for anyone in the mood for romance, mystery, and a glimpse into the past of Tudor England. This is a book that will make you want to crawl under your covers and read all night, it certainly kept me away from my family for hours."

Wendy's Minding Spot:
"THE STOLEN ONE is a bewitching novel set in Tudor England, rich in period detail, suspense, and romance. Kat is a spectacular character, who just wants to find out where she belongs. There are many interesting characters in THE STOLEN ONE that will intrigue you. I was mesmerized with this story, and thoroughly enjoyed it!"



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21. suzannecrowley @ 2009-04-16T10:35:00





Madison of M2 Productions will be doing a book trailer for "The Stolen One." She's crafted some really wonderful, compelling trailers you can find on youtube. I really enjoyed the one she did for A Curse As Dark as Gold. I took the above photo hoping it will work in the trailer. My daughter Cailtin was home for Easter so she was my hand model. She's holding the REAL necklace from the cover of the book. This is representing an eerie scene that's why it's creepy looking! Caitlin photoshopped all the shadows in for me.

More blog love!:

"Crowley has weaved a lush tale of love and intrigue as elaborate as the stitches on the dress, a personal gift for the Queen, that Kat is embellishing with creatures, both light and dark. The historical figures of Elizabethan England come to life on the pages of The Stolen One as real as the author-created characters - no history lesson here as often happens with an author less skilled - who come so vividly to life that the reader's mouth waters as Kat bites into a luscious pear from her beloved's orchard and noses wrinkle in disgust along with Kat's as she is bombarded by her first breath of the putrid air of London . . . Make sure you have a tall glass of iced tea next to you as you will lose track of time while wandering country lanes or castle hallways with Kat."
Dr. Ruth Cox Clark
Young Adult and Children's Literature Professor



A lovely historical novel for teens set in Elizabethan England . . . The author did a wonderful job at bringing to life the setting of Elizabethan England, and the very different ways of life in the countryside, the city, and at court. Although this book is written for teen readers, I think adults who love historical fiction will enjoy it is as well - it is a wonderful blend of history, romance, and the classic story of a young woman's search for her identity and where she belongs in the world. ( )
Rebecca Herman
Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer




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22. Hopes & Dreams



Yesterday I went to the Art in the Square art show up at our town center. I love walking around art shows, browsing the art, dreaming. When I was a little girl my father exhibited at art shows in Austin and I'd sit in his booth in a chair and watch all the people. Every now and then I'd go get us something to drink - an ice cold coke or a snow cone. When my father did his first art show in about thirty five years in Houston recently, I flew down to attend it. One of the artists I admired was sculpter Seth Vandable's work. When I attended the art show yesterday, he was there. I bought one of his pieces, pictured above. Isn't she grand? So majestic and etherial. She looks different from every angle.

It made me think about some of my hopes and dreams. Things I want to do someday. Someday, I'd like to do bigger sculpture - bigger than the miniatures I've been doing for years (and have put to the wayside as I work on my writing career). I'd like to take a class someday in sculpting and learn more about the human form. I was sitting on a bench one time outside a Park City art gallery and met a sculpter whose other career is a sugeon. Strange you think? No, I'm sure his study of anatomy comes in quite handy. Other dreams - jewelry making, learning to make beautiful cakes, cooking lessons, learning another language, and going on a Jane Austen tour in England. And I always wished I could sing. Just some of my dreams.

About ten years ago I had three very large goals. I wanted to have another child. He came along, but it took several years (and some fertility treatments). I wanted my miniature work to be on the cover of one of the miniature magazines. It eventually happened - I can now boast being on the cover of six - including one in Spain and one in England. This was not an overnight success. I've been working on miniatures for thirty years. My third goal was to have a novel published. That of course happened in August of 2007. I'd been writing since I was four. My dreams happend, but not overnight.

Looking at Seth's beautiful sculpture made me pull out some of my little sculptures.



Replica in bronze of Mythological Ewer made for Rudolph II (late 1500's). Notice the man riding the hippocamp on top.
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Replica of antique turned urn with tiny, tiny crane on top. I get asked often what my tools are - they are simply a dentist tool, straight pin, and a toothpick.





An assemblage of bronze pieces - mainly copies of majolica, painted to resemble porcelain. Notice the tiny salamander on the right side of the plate. I also made the table which is topped with real marble - cut to under an 1/8 inch thick.


I'm at work sculpting a bust of Queen Elizabeth in honor of The Stolen One. No sneak peeks. Sorry. I have grave doubts that she will turn out well. I worked on her ears today. It's hard to get a matched pair. Hairdo tonight perhaps. Maybe while I watch "The Tudors."

Another project in the works. Bejewelled book marks for The Stolen One. I already have requests from six libraries and I hope to hand these out at booksignings too. I was inspired by a book mark I bought at Anthropologie. I tracked down the brass piece online and was able to buy hundreds of them. Finding the odd size cabechon was not easy though. Finally found a wholesaler in Canada. Have different top pieces and unusual beads still coming. I'm going to experiment with different looks. I've suddenly developed a bead fascination.



Assembly of bookmarks




Finished bookmarks




Assemblage of my bronzes. Madonna is a copy of an old polychrome piece. She's my favorite piece I've ever done. Elizabethan man and cupid are antiques. I made the french chair; it's covered in antique petit point. The grape centerpiece is copied from a piece sitting on my kitchen counter. As is the rooster. The tiny finials on the blackamoor table (also sculpted by me) have tiny swans on top, and rams head swags.


I have hopes and dreams for that wished for son. His artwork was at the art show I attended yesterday shown in the courthouse with other selected kid's work from our schook district. He's very artistic and creative. He will probably be an engineer like his daddy because he has that in him too. But I hope his artistic side stays with him.



Little one's artwork. Artist in the making




Painting by Acree Carlisle


Above is one of my father's recent paintings. He's realized one of his dreams after thirty five years. It's never too late. What are your dreams?

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23. suzannecrowley @ 2009-04-28T12:00:00




A big shout out to Cindy Pon and the debut of her book The Silver Phoenix today! Hooray! Cindy and I share the same editor at Greenwillow. The Silver Phoenix is a great read and got a starred review in Booklist!


Check out the beautiful book trailer on youtube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihJ1xy009bk






Also having a birthday is the paperback edition of The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous! Woohoo! There's author extras in the back. I'm going to be giving away two copies on goodreads so check it out!



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24. suzannecrowley @ 2009-05-01T10:43:00





I couldn't be more excited. Yesterday I found out that in the June issue of Seventeen they proclaim The Stolen One is

"Impossible to put down!"

I'll leave the rest of the blurb as a surprise for when the issue hits the stands in a couple of weeks. My book is recommended with a Sarah Dessen and a Claudia Gray book! The Jonas brothers are on the cover. And in other news, I'm going to be on a YA panel at the Chicago Tribune's Printer's Row Literary Festival. And Neil Gaiman will be there! Here's the link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/events/printersrow/

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25. suzannecrowley @ 2009-05-06T09:40:00

The night before last my teenage daughter told me her friend had got her Seventeen issue in the mail that had my book. "Tell her to bring it over right now" I demanded. But alas, her friend was at work, so I figured I'd have to wait. But the next morning I was in line at the grocery store and there it was! I picked up four copies and couldn't wait to get to the car and open one up. It's on page 135, by the way.

Here's what it says about The Stolen One:

"Intense scandel, royal drama, and an insanely sexy love triangle makes this story set in Elizabethan times impossible to put down."

There's a three flame "On Fire" rating (the highest) and a photo of Jessica Biel on the beach with a book and a caption that reads - "Hey Jess, drop the snoozer and pick up one of these must reads!"

Very cool. I dragged the magazine around all yesterday to show friends.

In more news:

The Stolen One has been nominated to the BBYA list - Best Books for Young Adults -  put out by the ALA. There is still more voting before the final list, but it's extremely gratifying to be nominated!

And, Kirkus has a very well written and NICE review up for The Stolen One. You can read the whole review on Barnes & Noble on The Stolen One page (which they have titled "Stolen One" - I've emailed them to correct this):

"As [readers] revel in Kat's clear-as-a-bell, first-person observations of Tudor England's dangerous liaisons and fairy-tale gowns, teens will also relate to a girl who struggles not only to find her place but to know her heart."
Kirkus

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