Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Hiatus and a New Schedule

Happy holidays again! Can you tell I like Christmas? I wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” from December 1st until the day itself. And so I can enjoy the holidays with my family, which I start today with a long weekend, I’m going to be taking a bit of a break with the blog. I’ll be back in January!

…but on a slightly new schedule. Lately I’ve been a little overwhelmingly busy and the amount of time I’ve been able to spend on this blog has decreased. I loved writing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…but I can’t keep it up! I’m tired and I’m not the only one suffering from blog fatigue. With those high expectations I was pressuring myself to always blog. I ended up writing about writing on the blog instead of writing my novel itself! That’s no good! And although I love this blog, there are better things to be doing than typing in front of a computer screen—I want to bake more. Cook more. Learn how to play the piano. My boyfriend and I want to take ballroom dancing classes. Get out. Enjoy the city. Learn things.

So I’ll still be here, and you can always reach me in the comments section or by email (, just a little less often!

Enjoy—and relax—this holiday season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giving the Gift of Reading

It’s that most wonderful time of the year. I’m fresh off a weekend of hosting a holiday party and attending a choir concert, so it’s definitely Christmas here!

Having trouble thinking of gifts to give? Of course, I recommend something literary! I love picking out titles to give to my two little cousins and it was fun acquainting myself with Harper’s adult titles as I picked out books for other family members. My younger sister, soon to be graduating with a degree in the early childhood education, is getting a slew of picture books to get her career started the right way. Don’t want to give a book? How about one of these wonderful literary-themed items?

Happy gifting and happy reading!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reading Roundup

The Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins
The basic premise to this realistic/paranormal/fantasy/mixed genre is that Mara Dyer wakes up from an accident that killed at her friends with no recollection as to what happened. The family decides that moving will help Mara get a new start—but strange accidents seem to follow Mara wherever she goes. As I read more and more of this novel I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I was at work, in the shower, reading other manuscripts. The question of whether what Mara is experiencing is real or her imagination is so compelling—is she a psychopath or are impossible things occurring? The truth is reveled about two thirds of the way through the novel and I lost interest a little bit…but then the cliffhanger at the very end caught me again. I can’t wait to read the sequel. A highly recommended read.

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire)Wings of the Wicked (ARC 2/14) by Courtney Allison Moulton
The second in the Angelfire trilogy, the stakes are even higher for Reaper killer Ellie and her guardian, Will. All Hell has broken lose and Ellie has to step up—while trying to balance family, prom, and her eternal love for Will. I’m just about to start working on the third and final book in the series and I can promise this—and the next book—have plenty of action and sultry romance!

BreadcrumbsBreadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
This middle-grade fantasy/fairytale retelling has made a lot of “Best of 2011” lists and as soon as I picked it up I could understand why. Hazel is such a compelling character, full of insecurities and flaws as she tries to understand and overcome the impossible when her best friend, Jack, is kidnapped by the White Witch (just like Narnia…). The fairytale rich world is beautifully incorporated and I loved the references to modern fantasy classics like His Dark Materials and Harry Potter. On top of all that, the writing is so lyrical and compelling. A highly recommended read.

Strawberry Girl 60th Anniversary Edition (Trophy Newbery)Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
This classic early reader was my Harper-award-winning-backlist for the month. I really love Lois Lenski; not only was her novel Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison a favorite growing up, but she also wrote from my tiny hometown! I had never read Strawberry Girl before but I can’t believe it because it definitely appeals to readers of Little House on the Prairie except set in Florida. From the foreword it’s clear that educating young readers about homesteading and different cultural practices throughout the United States was the goal of the series. I definitely learned a lot about early Florida settlers!

Full Manuscripts: 5 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Today’s interesting tidbit comes from wise writers on a variety of subjects:

On inspiration by Sarah Zarr

Were you inspired? Did you learn something? Enjoying musing on these ideas and more over the weekend!