MMGM: PLASTIC POLLY by Jenny Lundquist

It’s only been three weeks since my last MMGM post, and I’m back! Plus I have a few other middle grade books I just picked up, so I should be participating for several weeks. Some of you may recall that Jenny Lundquist’s debut book, SEEING CINDERELLA, was my favorite MG read of 2012. So of…

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Without CPs and Betas, I’d Never Get Past the Slushpile

This morning I finished up revisions from my second round of readers and sent my work-in-progress off to a third round. I’m always amazed at the things I miss when I’m editing my own work, and I came to a definite conclusion. If I didn’t use critique partners and beta readers, my manuscripts would never…

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GOING VINTAGE: Could You Do It?

I love it when a book makes me think. GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt definitely fits into that category. The premise is that the main character’s boyfriend has a cyber-affair, so she gives up modern technology. Her hypothesis is that life was simpler when her grandma was a teenager, so she will only use technology…

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The Benefits of Reading Your Work Aloud

Do you ever hear advice and discard it because you don’t understand why you would do that? For me, one of those pieces of seemingly pointless advice was to read your work aloud. I didn’t understand what I would gain from an exercise that would take much longer than just reading the way I usually…

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MMGM: LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead

Hi there, MMGMers! I was on a bit of a YA kick there for a while, but I’m finally back with an MMGM review this week. I’ve had LIAR & SPY on my TBR list for a while. I loved WHEN YOU REACH ME (who didn’t?), so I was anxious to see how Rebecca Stead…

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Some Stories Never Get Old

Last week I had some down time and decided to check out a phenomenon I’d heard about on Twitter: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I was immediately hooked. What an innovative way to retell this timeless story! I totally neglected my reading the past week, instead watching 10-12 episodes every night after my kids went to…

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The Stages of Waiting

I sent my work-in-progress, THE DEXELON TWINCIDENT, out to my first round of readers two weeks ago. I received comments from one of the readers on Friday, and I’ve been anxiously waiting for feedback from the other (don’t rush, if you’re reading this!). It’s made me muse on the different kinds of waiting we have…

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YA Review and Giveaway: THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab

Remember when I said there was another author at the event with Ally Carter? Well, it was Victoria Schwab, and although I’d heard of her, I’m not sure I would have picked up a copy of THE ARCHIVED anytime soon without the event. So, a note to authors: events work! And I’m so glad. I…

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YA Review: BAD HAIR DAY by Carrie Harris

BAD TASTE IN BOYS was the first zombie book I’ve ever read, and I loved it. I would have written a review, but it fell in that Christmas vacation window. Since the sequel was already out, I demanded that my library purchase it, so now I get to talk about BAD HAIR DAY instead. I…

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YA Review: LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger

I should have known I would love this book. After all, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES made my top 5 middle grade reads of 2012, but I confess the description for LET THE SKY FALL sounded like something I’d heard before. I was so wrong, and I think that’s part of Shannon Messenger’s charm. She…

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10 Tips for Titling a Manuscript

I posted once before about why titles are important, and agent Suzie Townsend also posted about titles here. What it comes down to is that for most agents, the title is your first impression. You include it in the subject line of your email, so even if it’s at the end of your query, it’s…

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The Challenge of Writing Multiple POVs

Janice Hardy had a great post Monday about handling cliffhanger endings with multiple POVs. She focused on scenes and how to keep up the tension, reader interest, and reader investment as you switch between points of view. My current WIP alternates between two POVs, so I’ve been dealing with this challenge myself. I thought I’d…

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