children's writer

Recreate a Cover Contest

Sep 29, 2011
Princess Bookie is having a recreate a cover contest. I chose to recreate Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr.

Here's the original:

And my entry:

It isn't perfect, but I tried.

New to My Bookshelf

Sep 28, 2011
I took a trip to my local Barnes and Noble yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised by how much upgrading they had done to the YA section. Now instead of two shelves we have several. There were tons of books to choose from, tons.

I ended up picking up three new contemporary reads. Seriously guys, I am on a mission to read more contemporary novels. Which is weird because contemporary fiction is what I write, but when it comes to reading I usually head to the fantasy, paranormal novels first.

This time around I spent an ample amount of time combing through a slew of contemporary novels. But the books that caught my eye were Cracked Up to Be by Courtney summers, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I also picked up Anna and the French kiss from Target the other day.

I really hope I can go back soon because there were a lot of other books I wanted to snatch up. Including Anna Dressed in Blood and Personal Demons, both of which I’ve heard amazing things about. I also would love to get my hands on Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. 

I can't wait until I have a bookshelf that's overflowing with books. I'm still doing the reading challenge. Right now, I'm reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. 

Happy reading and writing.

Novel Set During The 90s

Sep 20, 2011
It seems like I've written myself into somewhat of a hole. When I began writing Summer Spell I decided to set it during the early 90s because I wanted the town which my characters live in to be sort of old fashioned. And I felt like if the story took place today it just wouldn't be as believable.

Now, although I still love the story, I'm hearing that the 90s is a horrible time period to set your novel because it might just end up feeling dated.

Before anybody asks, no I was not a teen during the 90s. But it was my childhood. From what I hear, setting your story doing the 90s or the 80s to avoid technology is a bad Idea, and like the lack of cell phones and computers might be a major issue. 

The 90s is also considered a historical time period, but since my novel isn't tied to an event that actually happened, would it still be considered historical?

To you writing experts out there, what would you do? Should I scrap it or keep on chugging

I know there are a number of books out today that are set during the 80s and 90s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower being one of them, and Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal being another.

Top 5 2012 YA Releases

Sep 17, 2011
2012 will be a great year for books. Here are 5 novels that I can't wait to get my hands on.

Graffiti Moon is the book I'm looking forward to most. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I hear that it's a truly beautiful, well crafted novel. Australian authors rock hard.

In Honor was one of the books I came across on Goodreads while reading reviews, and I really like the premise. It's about a girl who goes on an epic road trip to fulfill her brothers last wishes. It sounds really charming.

Another one of my Goodreads finds. A novel about family, summer, love, and friendships. Second Chance Summer is my kind of book.

I already reviewed Wanderlove. It's one of those books I believe that everyone should read at least once. I really would like my own hard copy.

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Okay, so I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss yet. Bad I know. But the title of this one alone sounds so dreamy.

What 2012 YA novel are you dying to read?

Thursday Love: My Favorite Childhood Book

Sep 8, 2011
Hey guys, so I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with some blog post ideas. And I finally have, thanks to Inkcrush, Assortments, and My Girl Friday, which are all marvelous blogs by the way. You should pay them a visit if you haven’t already.

Welcome to the very first Thursday Love post. Thursday Love is a blog meme hosted by me, Books & Nooks, which highlights some of my favorite things this week from movies to blogs to books, websites…

Today, I wanted to talk about my favorite childhood book because we all have one. 

That one book that I read over and over again because it was just that special was The Little Sea Pony by Helen Cresswell. Reading about a magical, miniature pony was just exciting to me back then. I loved the world that Ms. Cresswell created. The scene where Molly had to let the sea pony go was the saddest thing I'd ever read. I must have read that book more than twice. I’ll always remember skimming its pages when I wanted to escape. Although, what I really wanted, and I still do, were friends like Molly and Peter.

Two of my other favorites were Alice in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time. Both are awesome books, which I’m sure most of you have probably read and enjoyed. I don't know, I guess I really love books that paint colorful worlds, books that have great characters that I'll even remember years from now, and most importantly, makes me want to read them over and over again.   

What about you? What's your favorite childhood book?

First Campaigner Challenge

Sep 5, 2011
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!


I managed to write exactly 200 hundred words. This is a flash fiction piece titled, THE STORM. 

The door swung open, letting in that cold winter’s draft. I wrapped my shawl tighter around my shoulders as the storm blew in a dust of snow, making the floor slippery wet as Tommy got up to close it for the hundredth time.

His boots slipped on the tile, but he caught himself, cursing under his breath like a drunken sailor. “Dammit, Val, can you help me with this thing?” He shook and rattled it like it was going to help one bit.

We might as well have been as good as dead because that door wasn’t closing for anyone. I watched him struggle with it as I sipped from my mug some steaming hot cocoa. “Leave it alone,” I said. “There’s no use messing with it.”

Tommy gave it one last push with his shoulder and it slammed against the opening, creaking as it sprung back towards him, again. And even though I was freezing cold, I couldn’t help but giggle at Tommy.

Then bam he gave that door once last good shove that almost made the whole place tremble, snow sprinkled from the door onto his boots. And my breath caught in my throat from his ill temper.

Seven Random Facts About Me

Sep 3, 2011
I received the The Versatile Blogger Award and The Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award from Lyla Lee. Thanks Lyla. So, I guess I have to share seven random facts about myself, and pass these two awesome awards on to five other bloggers. Easy enough.

1. I am completely horrible at math. I suspect the right side of my brain is more active than my left.
2. I've been afraid of the dark ever since I was two, and I slept with a teddy bear until middle school because of it.
3. I love horror movies, which may or may not contribute to my fear of the dark. 
4. Seeing other people cry makes me tear up. This is something I have no control over, it just happens.
5. I am a junk food fanatic. In fact, right now I'm craving some funnel cake.
6. I've only been out of the country once, and that was only to visit some relatives in Canada. 
7. I know the entire Pok√©mon theme song by heart. catch them is my real train them is my cause...
Bonus fact
I am the biggest Supernatural fan you'll ever meet. I love those guys. 

Okay, so now that you know a little about me. Tell me something about you. Anyone who follows is welcome to join in since I can't seem to decide on five bloggers. Have fun.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Sep 1, 2011

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. 


You know that ache in your heart you get after reading a really good book? Well, that’s exactly how I felt after reading Wanderlove. At 4:05 in the morning, when I’d finally finished it, I knew for a fact that it was one of the best books I’d read in a long time.

I really don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book.  I really did, the beautiful Central American backdrop, Rowan, Starling, and Bria, really made this book special. I was rooting for them, all of them, the entire time. I wanted Rowan to finally come to terms with his past, and Bria with hers. I wanted them to experience a Wanderlove that was so good, they couldn't stand it.

The entire time I kept asking myself how Kirsten Hubbard managed to do it, capture so much light, sadness, and awe-striking beauty in just one book. It felt surreal. I felt like I knew these characters even the minor ones. And the prose was just as beautiful. There were sentences that I wished I'd bookmarked, written down somewhere.

Wanderlove is one of those books that you just can't put down. And for someone like me, who's hardly ever been out of her bedroom, it was a refreshing read. If I ever decide to backpack across Central America I'll bring Wanderlove with me. It would be my own little travel companion.

I loved the art, too. 

Expected publication: March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

Review copy from Netgalley.
Image and summary from Goodreads