Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm all about celebrating these days. More on that soon! Meanwhile, join me in congratulating the following authors whose debut novels were released last week:

Alexandra Diaz

Bree Despain

Jaclyn Dolamore

Lindsay Eland

If YOU have hard work to celebrate, I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, December 25, 2009


The kids have christened it "the best Christmas ever."

Who am I to argue??

Now off to eat more barely-done sugar cookies with pretty red sprinkles...

Friday, December 18, 2009


I've just discovered poetry on youtube. Who knew?

For Poetry Friday, I give you one of my faves: "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden. Find more great poetry today at Susan Writes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This week is was my good fortune to read three awesome books coming soon to booksellers and librarians near you.

First up, TORTILLA SUN by Jennifer Cervantes:

I love this book. It is pure tesoro, which, for the non-Spanish speaking means "treasure." I only know the word because it appears in this magical book, along with a bunch of other beautiful Spanish words. And there's a glossary at the end. AND a recipe for Nana's famous tortillas. Did I mention I love this book? Magic. Love. Enchantment. DON'T MISS.

And speaking of magic, here's MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore.

It's a love story! And a fantasy! And I was absolutely transported into the world of Nim and Erris. Really lovely. Check it out. NEXT WEEK!!! Release date is Dec. 22.

Finally, for something superfun THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea Campbell.

Oh, my, you are going to love Damien Locke! As if the cover wasn't enough of a sell, he's smart and witty and vulnerable. And needs a good girl to see him through all the madness that little X brings him. Really great dialogue and just a fun premise. Even for the non-comic-book junkies (like me).

What ARC will find its way to my mailbox next?? I'll let you know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Okay, this is it folks... the last giveaway of the year! Go to Class of 2k10 blog to win the following Class of 2k9 books:

WATERSMEET by Ellen Jensen Abbott
SHRINKING VIOLET by Danielle Joseph
CRASH INTO ME by Albert Borris
INITIATION by Susan Fine
GIVE UP THE GHOST by Megan Crewe
MY INVENTED LIFE by Lauren Bjorkman
NOTHING LIKE YOU by Lauren Strasnick

Good luck!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


You know those people they feature on tv every year -- the ones who suck up all the neighborhood electricity with all those twinkling Christmas lights, and we're all like, who has the time and energy to even turn all those lights on, much less set them up?

Well. Pat Weaver's house is like that on the INSIDE. And it's complete magic.

Seriously, you have never seen so many Santas or nativity sets from all corners of the globe. Pat's husband Ronnie said it's like moving twice a year, there's so many boxes to unpack and repack... and yes, Eric pretty much wanted to move in right then and there. The place radiates LOVE, and I was so happy to experience it.

There were also horses and kids and dogs and gifts and dirty Santa and countertops spilling homemade chocolate pie and coconut cake and chicken salad and those little party weenies. I always feel so at-home when I am at Pat's -- even though watching her boundless energy totally wears me out! And it got me thinking: THIS is what Christmas is about.

Hope all of you are feeling the love too!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Fellow Tenner Kody Keplinger, who is all of 18 and just AMAZING, had the great idea to share the agent love today. And Lisa and Laura graciously volunteered to round up the posts.

I should confess right up front that in the beginning, I didn't really want an agent. I am a do-it-yourself kind of gal, and I sort of had this dream of getting discovered off the slush pile. So, for the longest, I subbed to editors and didn't give agents another thought.

But then I got impatient. And the stars lined up and I got Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio.

There are lots of awesome things about Ro, and I've even blogged about a few of them here. But today I love her because she gives the most awesome greeting cards:

Cute puppies, huh? Thanks, Ro!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm not talking about those curly ribbons that won't curl or that cake I baked yesterday that didn't rise or even the traffic snarl I found myself caught in yesterday FOR THREE HOURS.

No, I'm talking about happy random and good madness.

Like the baby tea I am going to today with Rachel Hawkins (of the very cool covers) for about-to-bust Lindsey Leavitt, who is so cool and suave and amazing, she decided to have a baby for Christmas. And the meeting I have this morning at my son's new school. Also the run I am making to Wal-mart and the ARC I am excited to crack open -- THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea Campbell, who, speaking of cool, not only signed the ARC but imprinted it with a cool "X." Creative, creative writers. Love them.

Oh and Lauren's big Year's Worth of Books Giveaway contest is up, and yes, LEAVING GEE'S BEND joins lots of other great debut books in celebration. And I am dashing to Florence this weekend for a quilt show and barn party and Pat Weaver's chicken fingers and a SCBWI Schmooze where I will talk about writing what you don't know.

Also, Eric's elves is back. And those guys are so mischeivous -- yesterday morning candy was strewn all over the kitchen, and thanks to the rain, the ants had invaded for a late Thanksgiving feast. But still good! Because Eric believes in magic. And I do too.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Okay, book lovers... here's what available at the Class of 2k10 blog THIS week:

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman
My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter
Freaked by J.T. Dutton
Haven by Beverly Patt
Road to Tater Hill by Edith M. Hemingway
When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton
Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

I'd like any of these in my stocking. Santa, are you listening??

Meanwhile, I am reading A SEASON OF GIFTS by Richard Peck. Oh, that Grandma Dowdel. Love her!! And I'm not even CLOSE to writing. Oh, the holidays, how I love thee...

Monday, December 7, 2009


So I was lunching with Lindsey Leavitt one day, and we were talking about book trailers, about what works, what doesn't, and how to get one made for not too much money. And I had a brilliant idea to use a theme in the book -- "Mama always said..." and record kids giving their answers.

So I did that. For over one hundred kids. And it was so much fun to hear their answers!

Then I had to find someone willing to take on my project, as I don't know anything about making book trailers. (And no time to learn!) Enter Corey, who added his own artistic flair. I think it represents the book beautifully... hope you enjoy!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


For Poetry Friday, allow me to share with you a poem that has been with me all week. Have you ever had a moment like the one in the poem?

For other great poetry, roundup is at Wild Rose Reader.


She was all in black but for a yellow pony tail
that trailed from her cap, and bright blue gloves
that she held out wide, the feathery fingers spread,
as surely she stepped, click-clack, onto the frozen
top of the world. And there, with a clatter of blades,
she began to braid a loose path that broadened
into a meadow of curls. Across the ice she swooped
and then turned back and, halfway, bent her legs
and leapt into the air the way a crane leaps, blue gloves
lifting her lightly, and turned a snappy half-turn
there in the wind before coming down, arms wide,
skating backward right out of that moment, smiling back
at the woman she'd been just an instant before.

- Ted Kooser
from Delights & Shadows, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA 2004

Thursday, December 3, 2009


COMPLETING the Author ABCs...

Get some sleep. That's all I'm saying. Your subconscious writing brain requires it. And your physical self requires it too. So don't get so caught up in your writing and related activities that you neglect your most basic needs.

Eat. Exercise. Play. Dream. Love. SLEEP.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Meet the Class of 2k10!!

We're a group of fabulous debut authors who have banned together to help celebrate and market our books! (Not to be confused with the Tenners, another fabulous group I am also a member of, but which is a support group for debut authors, not a marketing cooperative.)

And since 2010 is mere days away now, we are making our entry with a Grad Party and Book Giveaway for our predecessors, the Class of 2k9.

Here's the books we'll be giving away this week:

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams

Jane in Bloom by Deborah Lytton

My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald

Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal

Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate by Donna St. Cyr

So-- GO to OUR BLOG! Comment! Win Books! And maybe even knock out some of that Christmas shopping. We'll be celebrating today and the next two Tuesdays (Dec. 8 and Dec. 15), with a different list of books each week.

Good luck!