Inner Peace

On Wednesday, Kip Wilson Rechea tagged me with the Inner Peace Award. Thanks, Kip! I was going to respond next week, but then I decided to rearrange a few posts and figured I’d go ahead and do it today. The rules are to share seven things my blog readers don’t know about me. I had…

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Review: CABIN PRESSURE by Josh Wolk

When I posted about research last week I was in the midst of reading a memoir for the first time ever. I’m definitely a fiction girl, so I would never have picked up this book without a strong incentive. I’m so glad I did. There were enough things about this book I loved that I’m…

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MMGM: SECRETS FROM THE SLEEPING BAG by Rose Cooper

I came across this book as I was looking for stories set at camps, and I really enjoyed it. SECRETS FROM THE SLEEPING BAG is actually the third book in a series, but you don’t need to read the others first. Here’s a brief description: During four weeks at Camp Krakatow (pronounced Crack-A-Toe), Sofia Becker…

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Before the Draft: Research

It’s always interesting to me to read about other writers’ processes for getting ready to draft. Ever since I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2011, I’m firmly in the fast draft camp. I don’t necessarily finish a draft in a month, but I have set word goals every day, and I don’t revise anything until I’ve…

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MMGM: ONCE UPON THE END by James Riley

So, I usually wouldn’t review two books by the same author in the same series so close together, but I can’t help myself. It’s been a while since I read a book and just had to read the next, and the next right away. But that’s how I felt about the HALF UPON A TIME…

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Emails, Footnotes and Tweets: When Authors Experiment with Format

I’m always impressed when an author pulls off a unique format. I’ve read quite a few books lately that stray from the standard narrative format and thought I’d share. Maybe they will inspire you to try something new! The journal entry. The journal/diary entry is probably the most common detour I’ve seen from the expected…

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MMGM: VANISHED by Sheela Chari

Two weeks ago, I was intrigued by Akoss’ post on VANISHED by Sheela Chari. A middle grade book about a mysterious instrument? Plus, I love this cover. I had to read it! Here’s the blurb: Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular…

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The Power of a Well-Planned Twist

I’ve talked before about how much I love a good twist, and a book I read last week featured one that was so well done I wanted to give the author a slow clap. The few times I even entertained the thought that this twist might come, she cleverly misdirected me, the reader, so that…

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What I’ve Learned in Two Years of Querying

I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write this post, but here we are. It’s officially been two years since I sent my first round of queries. During that time, I’ve queried two manuscripts, one of which underwent a major revision before restarting the querying process. I posted last year on what I’d learned in…

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MMGM: HALF UPON A TIME by James Riley

I’m back! I took a couple of weeks off from Marvelous Middle Grade Monday to go on vacation and then catch up, but I do have a review this week. It’s a book I first heard about on Shannon Messenger’s blog. She recently reviewed the final installment in this series, and I had to check…

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When Is It Time to Query?

I’ve written posts on when it’s time to revise and when it’s time to wait, but I started this blog after I’d started querying DUET, so I didn’t have a reason to write about when it’s time to query. Until now. Because even though I still have a few DUET submissions out there, it’s time…

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Those Pesky Crutch Words …

I had this whole post written and WordPress deleted it–twice! Thank goodness I discovered you could retrieve a draft, although I’m still having to cut and paste it. Anyway, there’s a lot of advice out there telling you to eliminate words like: just very kind This rule is so ingrained, I don’t have an issue…

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