Monday, October 22, 2012

In the Big Time Now!

I just received this pic today from my friend at Barnes and Noble! Made my day! (And you'd better hurry if you're tempted. Looks like there's only one left.) =)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Heart YA #23: School Time!

Welcome to the 23rd monthly I Heart YA Blog Carnival! I HEART YA is a Blog Carnival for readers, writers, and lovers of young adult fiction. Every 2nd Tuesday I’ll post a blogging prompt that celebrates the best reading genre possible--YA fiction.

Today's topic? School, of course! I happen to love, love, love school! Mostly now that I'm sending my kids instead of going there myself. But even back in the day I was a fan. (You have to be a bit of a school nerd to pick writing as a hobby, right?)

I happened to get an email this morning inviting me to a Q&A on Goodreads with Lois Lowry, which took me back a decade or so to a reading assignment for one of my daughters. She's a bright thing (my daughter that is. Lois is too, obviously) - has her master's degree even (daughter again). But sometimes assignments for great literature come at a time that we have more important things going on (like trying to figure out how to get #1 hottie-of-the-month to ask us to the dance) and we can't get past the fact that the book has a bazillion words and we only have a few hours to read it.

That's how it was with my daughter and The Giver.She came to me all frustrated because her teacher told her to find themes of "choice" and she couldn't find a single thing that had to do with choice. (ie. she was skimming for the word and hadn't found it.) I hadn't read it, but grabbed it up and was immediately immersed in the story. But it was lost on dear daughter.

For me it was The Hobbit. Great book, I know. But to me at that particular time in history it was this gigantic word count about some elves and magic. (I KNOW! They are NOT elves!) I never got past it, to me that's all it's about. Even when the fam wants to watch Lord of the Rings, I'm all - it's just a story about elves and magic! (YEAH, I KNOW! They're NOT elves. Enough already!)

So what about you, did you ever have a story that was ruined by being given as an assignment at the wrong time? Or better yet, were you introduced to something that opened a world you'd never imagined? (That is the point, right?)

Share your thoughts! (And don't forget to add your blog to the Linky Tool, and share the link in the comments!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And the (Title) Winner Is...

For a few months now I've had a file on my computer named 'ExtraNormal Title Ideas'. It's a Word document that looks like this:

ExtraNormal (ExtraNormal #1)
Lame Idea (ExtraNormal #2)
Another Lame Idea (ExtraNormal #3)

ExtraNormal (ExtraNormal #1)
Lamer Idea (ExtraNormal #2)
Another Lamer Idea (ExtraNormal #3)

Every week or so I would open the file and play with the list: adding, changing and subtracting. Eventually it filled a couple of pages. One lame idea after another, with nothing exactly right. Sometimes I'd even announce to my family that I'd picked a title. I'd say it proudly, and then watch them chew on their food and stare at me like disinterested cows. (Not that they look like cows. I happen to have very beautiful children. Just that the suggested title was apparently a big snore.)

But I am happy to announce that I've finally picked a couple of winners! They fit perfectly and I love them. Even the fam gave me thumbs up. So if you hate them please don't tell. I couldn't bear to open that file again.

And long last...books number two and three in the ExtraNormal series are as follows:

Extinction Order (ExtraNormal #2) AND Exhiled (ExtraNormal #3)

Woot! Woot! Doing virtual backflips here! And now I must get back to Extinction Order! It won't write itself you know!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Heart YA #22: Summer (Reading) Love

Welcome to the 22nd I Heart YA Blog Carnival! (Every 2nd Tuesday). I HEART YA is a Blog Carnival for readers, writers, and lovers of young adult fiction. Every month there will be a blogging prompt that celebrates my favorite reading genre --YA fiction. Bloggers are invited to write their own take on the topic and post a link in the comment section, or if you prefer just put your thoughts in the comments. Either way, if you own a blog, grab the button to show your pride, and add your link to the list below. If you're not sure what to do, go to the I HEART YA tab for more details.

And here we go! 

Summer is winding down (sadness) so the natural topic of the day is Summer Love! If you want to participate, I'll leave the rest to you and your fertile imagination. Did you love a book you read this summer? Was there one with a perfect love story? Did you have a summer romance? (If you did, that MUST be your topic. Seriously.) Did you get through your summer reading list? Did you just play instead? Just include summer and love in the topic and you're good to go!

As for me, my only summer romance is one that has been a spring, summer, fall, and winter romance for the last 30 years. Yep 30. Which I know makes me old, but it's also kind of a phenom in the romance department. Still, it doesn't make a juicy summer romance story, so I'll settle for a look at my reading list. 

I'm looking at the reading pile sitting next to my bed (Not to mention the one in my "cloud".) feeling a little bit like a failure. My plan was to put in solid writing time every day, interspersed with reading time while trotting around with the kids and grandkids. And while I did PLENTY of the said trotting around, the reading and writing part didn't happen nearly as much as I'd hoped. Though I have to say I don't regret for a minute spending time IN the pool instead of lounging next to it. Or playing miniature golf, or walking through a museum with "real" dinosaurs or...oh wait. We're talking books. Now you see how I get distracted?  

And back to books...My unread (but dying to get there) list includes Broken by C.K. Bryant. Become, by Ali Cross. SoulKeepers by G.P. Ching. And a book I picked up at Costco called The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler. I don't even think it's an ebook, but it has a beautiful cover and looks intriguing. And I did actual squeeze in quite a bit of reading. I'm on a big Megg Jensen kick. She got me hooked with Anathema (though I have to admit it took me a while to get into it, but the solid writing kept me going, and by the end I was hooked.) 

But (finally) to the meat of my thoughts - a surprise summer read recommendation! This is a book I have to admit I would have never picked up if the author hadn't asked. And I also have to admit my expectations were low. It's called "The Son of Rage and Love" by Thomas Raymond. This is a story of a 12-year-old boy who is the son of a larger-than-life celebrity. He spends his days drugged up on ADHD medication while his narcissistic grandmother controls every aspect of his life--which consists mostly of television and video games. That is until his mother decides to improve her tarnished image by adopting a Haitian boy, who turns all their lives upside down. 

The book only took a couple of hours to read, and was absolutely fun. I loved the little digs at some well-known celebrities, whether they were intended or not. And the big escape by the boys in a toy Jeep. My only problem with the book is that I'm not sure where to place it. Even though the main character is a 12-year-old boy, I didn't feel like handing it over to my 13-year-old son. Not that it was inappropriate (though it does deal with some heavy issues like drug addiction, child abuse, and child pornography), but because it isn't the type of thing he's in to. I may still put it on his nightstand and see what happens, but for older teens and adults I whole-heartedly recommend it. 

So what about you? What have you loved this summer? 

Share your thoughts! (And don't forget to add your blog to the Linky Tool, and share the link in the comments!)

Share your thoughts! (And don't forget to add your blog to the Linky Tool, and share the link in the comments!)