Monday, December 23, 2013

Have a great holiday week!

I hope you spend this week with a great book, good food, and the people you love...

Happy holidays, and I'll see you in 2014!


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Wardrobe (my 2013 Advent Ghosts story contribution)

A short introduction to this post: my friend Loren Eaton runs an annual micro-flash challenge called Advent Ghosts on his blog, where he invites writers to post a spooky story of exactly 100 words. Fun, right?

Here's my (sort of) kid-friendly play on the theme--a bit of a creepy nod to a children's classic. Hope you enjoy!

The Wardrobe

The previous homeowners had left the wardrobe behind. Mom wasn’t happy.

“That monstrosity takes up half Emma’s room!”

But Emma loved the wardrobe. The floral carvings in the wood. The metal key in the lock even worked. Emma opened the door. Crawled inside.

Smiled as she closed the wardrobe.

Giggled when she saw the secret door in the back.

Held her breath when she turned the knob. Behind the door was no magical world. Only blackness darker than nightmares. Then a big hand pulled her wrist.


Until Emma was the darkness. And the secret door blew shut. 


Monday, December 9, 2013

Marvelous MG Monday book review: Fallout by Todd Strasser

From the publisher:

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will -- and won’t -- remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

My thoughts:

Fallout is very different from Strasser's Thrillogy novels, which is what I'd read before from this author. I was impressed by how he was able to bring the 1960s time period to life in a way that made me forget this happened more than fifty years ago. The writing has that same thriller feel as his other work, and the characters ring very true. 

I recommend Fallout as a classroom read to jump start conversation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and what might have been. 

How I found out about this book:

I can't even remember where (Publishers Weekly maybe?), but I read an online interview with the author that had me intrigued. I'm a fan of Todd Strasser's other YA novels, so this quickly made its way onto my book list.


Fallout is designated by the publisher for ages ten-and-up, so this is definitely an older MG read. I would argue it would fit best in the younger YA category.

For more MMGM reviews, visit Shannon Messenger's blog!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The power of the paperback: reports from the road (plus, a #giveaway)

I've been a bit quiet around here lately--apologies for that. After the release of Double Vision: Code Name 711, I spent a lot of time doing school visits, book signings, and telling everyone who would listen about the book, and how cool George Washington is.

It's been fun. I'm happy to say that the world has a few more Linc readers. And I learned lots of new things while on the road, like that should always bring extra books, a sweater (that airconditioning can be crankin', y'all), and a lot of bookmarks.

One surprise was how fast the paperback of the first book sold! And it makes sense: you want to start a series at the beginning, plus paperbacks are easy on the wallet. I had a lot of people buy Double Vision as a stockingstuffer (how cool, huh?).

Which made me think it might be fun to do one last giveaway for the year. I like to play Santa...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

U.S. only, please, because of postage.

Happy reading, all!

Follow along with the MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL blog tour!

I'm so excited for the Aug. 25th release if MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL...!  If you want to join the fun, follow along with the bl...