Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And We Have a Deal — A Book Deal!!!

That’s right folks. After a long time of wishing, hoping, dreaming, striving, I’m so happy to report that this announcement appeared in Publishers Marketplace today:

Yes, not one book but 3 books! To say my head is spinning with how fast everything has happened and how excited and honored and humbled I am would be the understatement of the year. There’s a whole lot more I want to say and that probably should be said, but for now, I leave you with this:

 Yah baby!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Furry Friday — Just for Smiles

That’s right folks. I don’t have anything special or profound to write this week (I know, I know, like I ever do, right?). But nevertheless, it’s been a good, wonderful, happy week, the kind where you just want to smile and look eager, like my furry friends below (and no, they’re not all mine, at least not technically):

Have a great weekend. Happy reading and writing and everything else you might get up to!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

HUGE Recommendation For Divergent by Veronica Roth

I think this summarizes my feelings about this book best: Veronica Roth has found a permanent fan in me. I plan on reading everything this girl writes that I can get my hands on. I loved her debut novel Divergent, which I just finished reading this morning. I won’t give a review or even a summary here because it’s not really my thing and because there are far better reviews/summaries available elsewhere.

Divergent is a YA Dystopian in the same vein of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, a series I very much enjoyed as well. But I have to say, I like this one better. It’s not perfect, and I have lots of questions I hope will be answered in the next book, but whereas The Hunger Games is a blatantly political novel (which is pretty par for the course with Collins) Veronica’s novel is more of a morality tale. And Veronica’s message seems far more honest to me and far truer.
By the end of Divergent I didn’t feel as though I’d been manipulated into seeing the world from someone else’s point of view. It didn’t make me feel ashamed of who I am. Just the opposite. Now it may be that I feel so strongly about this novel because the morality of it is my morality, the things I believe in, but I can’t tell you for certain. In the end, it doesn’t matter.
All I know is that Divergent is a good story with a strong, fascinating female protagonist. And it’s the type of story that needs to be told more often, one about love and self-sacrifice and what it truly means to be brave.
And I also know that its author, Veronica Roth, is truly brave.
I need to say a huge thank you to my agent, Suzie Townsend, for recommending Divergent to me. Otherwise, I might have overlooked this fantastic story. And man of man, I can’t wait for the next one!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some Recommendations — Clarity, Dr. Who, and HP4 Writers

Okay folks, got some recommendations to throw your way. These are things that have brought me some laughs, chills, thrills, and deep thoughts this last week (Douglas Adam pun definitely intended), and I thought you might want to check them out, too.

Clarity by Kim Harrington was a fun, fast Young Adult novel of my favorite variety, the kind with plot. Don’t get me wrong, I really love YA, but a lot of it is pretty story-light. I like YA books with more of a Middle Grade sense of story — you know, where stuff happens — and this is one of them. Clarity is like Veronica Mars meets the Medium, and it’s a perfect summer/beach read.

I’m still digging me some Dr. Who. It’s so fun, so wacky, so British (totally in a good way). Unfortunately, however, even the cheesy, I’m-so-obviously-fake alien, zombie, and monster costumes are too scary for my 3 1/2-year-old. I’ve been forced to watch the episodes on the computer while cooking dinner or running on the treadmill, but that’s okay. They’re still fun. Speaking of satirical British fun, I think might have to consider reading some more Jasper Fforde in the near future…

And last but not least, I’m very happy to say how much I enjoy Susan Sipal’s blog Harry Potter for Writers. It’s fantastic. It’s brainy. It’s totally Harry Potter geeky and also immensely insightful into J.K. Rowling’s writing craftsmanship. If you’re a writer and even a tiny bit of a Harry Potter fan (is there really such a thing?) then you should check it out.

That’s all for now. I’m currently reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I feel a definite recommendation coming on for this one, too. Oh, and a little wonderful birdie told me today that I’ve got an advanced reader’s copy of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races on the way to me. Woohoo! Now my only trouble is going to be finding enough time for all this good stuff.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pop Culture Adventures — The Crazy World of Dr. Who (and a good luck to the sis)

Anybody besides me looooooooove Netflix? Go on, raise your hand. Or not, since I can’t see you anyways. But seriously. Netflix has become my pop cultural gateway to some old and not-so-old stories. Let’s see. In the past couple years, it’s introduced me to Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Alias, Supernatural (which I now DVR), and of course my beloved Veronica Mars.

But my latest Netflix escapade (and potential love affair?) is Dr. Who, specifically the 2005+ version. I’ve made it through two episodes and been enjoying myself so far, despite some major cheese going on (or maybe because of the cheese?) and the combination soap-opera/porno “look and feel” of the camera work. Still, the cleverness of the dialogue, the Douglas Adams sense of the absurd, and the genuine British accents are enough that I’m quite certain I’ll be sticking around for the duration. I have some issues with how heavy-handed the themes are—like a frying pan would be more subtle—but overall this seems like a lot of fun.

On a side note, I want to wish a big huge “GOOD LUCK” to my sister pictured below) who’s competing in her first Event this weekend (for you non-horse people, it’s like a triathlon, combing dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country). She’s riding a fabulous horse and has a fabulous trainer/coach, and I know she’s going to have a blast and kick butt!