Sunday, February 28, 2010

March book releases

There are a ton of fabulous books coming out in March that beginning tomorrow I'm going to start buzzin' about. I'm also going to post about the wonderful ANWA writers conference I was able to attend. There were authors such as Aprilynne Pike (Wings) and J. Scott Savage (Farworld)there that had wonderful things to share in their classes. Those are going to start coming too. I'm really excited about it all!

Book Review

Fablehaven Brandon Mull

I have always enjoyed this book and decided to read the series again since the final book is coming out in March. It is always interesting to go back and read books from the beginning. They aren’t always what you remember and since I’ve been working on writing I enjoy seeing the growth of an author through a series like this. The story is wonderful. I love Kendra and Seth. It’s a good reminder of where they began and helps me see how much they grow over the series. If you like magical creatures good and evil alike, this is a wonderful series for you. I can’t wait for the fifth book!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Buzzin'

Here's a good one for you. L. C. Lewis's Dawn's Early Light. It's the third book in a series about the War of 1812. The fourth on in the saga is expected to be released in July, just in time for Bicentennial celebrations of the Star Spangled Banner. Here's the back cover for it.

In the spring of 1814, a temporary calm settles along the Patuxent. While the British Navy skulks in the Chesapeake Bay, the Willows' families and their neighbors enjoy a brief season of peace.

That is until Napoleon is subdued.

Britain's navy re-enters the Patuxent, prepared to loose her triumphant European conquerors on America, even as peace negotiations commence in Belgium.
(Click the cover to read the first three chapters.)
But weeks of relentless British attacks along the waterfront soften the will of the American militia and citizenry, leaving the voracious British military confident that victory is within their grasp. And their primary target? Washington D.C.!

While attentions turn to the defense of the Capital, Sebastian Dupree and his band of mercenaries strike the Willows. Not everyone survives, despite former enemies becoming allies, with the Willows' freed slaves to defend their homes and families.

Mere miles away, the Capital lies in peril, its defense now resting primarily upon citizen soldiers like Jed Pearson, and a most unlikely Naval force--Commodore Joshua Barney's rag-tag fleet of barges called the Chesapeake Flotilla--and the courage of Markus O'Malley and the men who built it.

But Britain's house is also divided over the war, and as the cost mounts in blood and money, rifts widen in her families and government, wearying the mind of the Earl Of Whittingham, and threatening to destroy Arthur Ramsey.

Experience the pain and passion of five families--American, slave and British--as they endure three of the darkest days in American history--the week Washington burned!Take a look at her website for sample chapters and more.

She also has a romance novel debuting in April. Here's a blurb about it.

It's a story of a recently widowed LDS woman named Avery, from Baltimore, and an anti-religion widower from Anna Maria Island named Gabriel. Both of them see trouble brewing in their respective families, and they each seek a change of scenery in which to heal themselves and their children. But Avery's new neighbors are an ex-rodeo couple from Texas who run a real estate company. When Rider and Teddie arrange for the pair to "swap" homes for the summer, Avery's and Gabriel's tidy, private lives are invaded by a host of quirky characters who teach them to laugh and love again, and most importantly, they discover what things truly last.

There are several blogs that have featured L.C. Lewis. Take a look at these ones:

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I've been thinking about ideas lately. In trying to remember where I've come up with my ideas for stories and it really has been a little thought or an experience. For example something will cross my mind and I find myself saying "That would make and interesting story." From there I think on it for awhile and it develops from there.

There are some who say to always write down your ideas. Others say just let the ideas simmer and the best ones will stay. Personally I've done a combination of both. I've written ideas down and found they've fizzled out while others stay put. Then there are thoughts that develop and I never write them down but they continue to grow.

So I believe it is something that is an individual choice. Experiment. Find what works for you and stick too it. Ideas are wonderful, even those that don't really work. You just never know when something will.

Now where to get ideas. Prompts are fabulous. There is a wonderful podcast called Writing Excuses that ends each session with a writing prompt. ( They have crazy, wacky prompts but sometimes those are the best ones. (They also have wonderful writing tips.) Pick random words and figure out how to work them together. Grab a postcard or picture and write a story about it. Take different situations and play with those. Take a look around you, something is bound to jump out of you. Just take a chance and see what happens from there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

kid writing/spelling

Kid writing tip. DON'T spell the word out for a child, especially if they know all of their letters and sounds. They will want you to tell them. They will whine, plead, beg, coerce, get mad, scream, throw a tantrum but don't give in. It actually hurts them. Make them think about the sounds they hear in the word. Make them write what they hear (even if it is not how the word is really spelled or even remotely close) and continue on. If we continually tell them how to spell things or even give them the individual sounds they become dependent on someone else to figure out how to spell things.

I know as an adult it is very difficult to watch a child spell a word wrong but it is for their benefit. We think we are helping them but we are not. They will never learn how to work on their own if they never have to do anything on their own. Let them experiment with the spelling, if a silent letter is not there, it's alright. They will get it. In fact they will be better off if they make that discovery themselves.

This is coming from someone who has spent a lot of time in many different kindergarten classrooms where too many kids are wanting their hands held in sounding out words. It doesn't matter if it is just a random bunch of letters just as long as they have spent the time to sound out the word. The connections will be made and they will be better off if they are allowed to experiment. It is part of the developmental process. They are capable of it too, but as adults we contribute to them thinking they are incapable of doing it. There are always excepts to the rule, but they are very few in comparison to the vast majority (and even then the exceptions need the chance to experiment and grow too).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Reviews

hush, hush Becca Fitzpatrick

WOW! I devoured this book. It was totally worth the wait at the
library and is now on my list of books to buy. I absolutely loved it.
The characters were wonderful, the story fantastic and intriguing
and I got lost in it. There were lots of innuendos but if you love a
good urban fantasy, this is it. It was full of twists and turns that
I didn't see coming and I'm ready to read it again. I can't wait for
the second book in the series to come out.

When You Reach Me Rebecca Stead

This is 2010's Newberry Award Winner. I wasn't sure about this
book. It was confusing at first, but I think that is what made me
keep reading. I wanted to find out how it all ended. By the middle
I began to figure somethings out and the ending was incredible.
I was doubting why it won the award until I finished it. It is an
enjoyable read for anyone that I highly recommend.

Evermore Alyson Noel

At first I thought this book was going to be another Twilight
knock-off but it surprised me. It definitely began as that, but
didn't end up that way. I really enjoyed this story. I liked the
concept and the characters. There was a bit of language and
some more adult situations. Right now I can't remember exactly
what they were, I just remember being disappointed and not sure
I wanted to buy the book because of it, even though I loved the story.
It is a wonderful fantasy that if you don't mind those few things
anyone would enjoy. I wouldn't not recommend it to everyone, but
if I have a good feel for the type of books you like I might send it your way.
It is a series I will continue reading because I did like the story line so much.

Marked P.C. and Kristen Cast

This book was very disappointing. Within the first two pages I
was tired of the language and basically stopped reading it. I
skimmed through the rest of the book and was able to get the
gist of it just by doing that. I am not going to read any more in
this series but I will give it create for showing what can make
strong friendships and how you treat people will in time end up
helping or hurting you. This is not a book I would recommend.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I had the privilege of subbing yesterday at a valley high school. When I arrived things were a little more chaotic than usual. The secretary apologized and said that they had lost a teacher last night and everyone was still in shock. I knew it would be a hard day on that campus. For me the day went rather well but it did get me thinking about teachers and just how many lives they touch. Not only did this teacher leave behind his immediate and extended family, but his school family of teachers and his school children, students.

Think about it. In a high school setting there is what? A minimum of at least 40 teachers? Plus all the staff. Then this teacher has six classes of 30 or more students. That's 180 kids, give or take a few. Add to that the sports programs this particular teacher was involved in and those are just the contacts this year. Depending on how many years at a particular school the numbers get high pretty quickly.

I think of my parents teaching for 30 years and all of the lives they have touched. What an impact just one person has on so many people. My heart goes out to all those whose lives have been touched by this teacher. My heart goes out to the family. My heart goes out to all of those who are mourning this loss. My heart goes out to all teachers who sacrifice and care for so many others besides themselves. I know my life would not be the same without the many teachers that have helped guide me along the way.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been trying to think of the best way to run this blog. Since I'm into writing right now I definitely want to share what I learn as I go, but I also realized that I have a extensive knowledge in child development in regards to writing. It would be a good thing to share that information as well. So here's what I'm going to do. Both. It should make for a good time.

Tonight though I want to send kudos out to a few people. I had a concert with a small group I perform with and it went well despite some of the set backs that happened before we walked on stage. A couple of players weren't there. I don't know all the circumstances for those players but as a performers it's frustrating when you work so hard only to not have all the elements needed. The show must go on though and for those players who's section were short players they really stepped up to the plate and pulled it off. Kudos for picking up the slack at the last minutes.

One must recognize the right decision even though it may not be easy though. A player that wasn't there when we walked on stage joined us late. It couldn't have been easy to walk on late and kudos goes out to making the right decision even though it may be the hardest. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

It is always a wonderful feeling to come home and sleep in my own bed! The LTUE Conference was an amazing experience but there is nothing like home. My brain is still a little bit on overload. I'm still digesting all the information and I will share what I have learned, as soon as my head stops swimming!

There are a lot of new authors I had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with too. Everyone was amazing. I will buzz about all of them as I go along.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Well, I'm sitting in the LTUE writers conference and am amazed at the variety of panels, people, lighting, clothes, opinions, styles and authors that are here. My mind is a little numb but I've really enjoyed most of what has been said. The florescent lights seem to be the same color as the computer screen and my eyes are not liking that very much right now. It's time to take a break, but the show must go on!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Well, for some reason life just keeps getting more complicated. I have all these great ideas for books and now I've run out of time to work on them. It's rather frustrating but it just means I should take a look at what I'm doing that I could do without . . . like checking email and writing a blog post. Then again I still need to pack and clean the kitchen before rehearsal tonight. And the clock keeps ticking!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I did it!

I'm finally joining the blogging world after a year of people suggesting I do it. Now I just have to figure out how to use it and all that jazz, so if anyone has a suggestion, please let me know! Or if there's something you'd like to see me post, I won't know unless you tell me. :)

Now I'm going to do my weekly book buzzing and book reviews (although I don't believe I completed any books this week). Sometime in the near future I'll post all my reviews and buzzing from January and possible from 2009.

This week I'm buzzing about Donna Hatch's book The Stranger I Married. From the cover alone I want to read this book. Here's a blurb about it.

“The Stranger She Married” is Book of the Rogue Hearts Series. Torn between a disfigured war hero with the heart of a poet, and a handsome libertine who may not be all he seems, impoverished Alicia must marry by the end of the month. Despite a murder threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger of all … to her heart.

And looking at my list, I critiqued a book this week and finished revising a couple of chapters in my book that I haven't come up with a title for. Maybe I'll post the prologue and ask for suggestions. Mmmm. I'll have to think on that one!