YA Series Recommendation: HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins

You know how sometimes you start reading a book and you can tell from the first page that you’re going to not just like it but love it? That’s how I felt when I started reading HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins. I was cracking up on page two and devoured the first book in an…

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How I Tackle Revisions: Crutch Words

So I’ve written about crutch words before. On my last manuscript, weeding out crutch words was my final step before querying agents. I decided to address them much earlier in the process this time, while I was waiting for feedback from my first round of readers. I realize that I’ll be making significant changes to…

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YA Review: IGNITE ME by Tahereh Mafi

Eventually I’ll get back to middle grade, but there have been a string of YA books in series I’m already reading that have come out in the last few weeks, and I have another one today. I originally picked up SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi because of Twitter buzz. Although I didn’t fall in love…

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MMGM: FAIREST OF ALL and IF THE SHOE FITS by Sarah Mlynowski

I love it when agents give away books on Twitter–especially when I win! A few weeks ago I won Tamar Rydzinski’s contest for the first two books in Sarah Mlynowski’s middle grade Whatever After series. Often when I win a book (or books) I will pass them along to my readers, but my three and…

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How I Tackle Revisions, Steps 1 & 2

It’s been over a month since my last writing post and for very good reason–I’ve been taking the first step toward revising my work-in-progress: letting it sit. I’ve learned to set a first draft aside for at least a month. Often that’s hard to do, but with the holiday season, it was much easier. I…

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YA Review: THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater

I read the first book in this series–THE RAVEN BOYS–earlier this year, but when I finished it, I had a hard time putting into words what I liked about it. I think I’ve figured it out, so I’m ready to review the most recent book, THE DREAM THIEVES. While you should read THE RAVEN BOYS…

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It’s Just a First Draft, Part 3

I finished my first draft! It ended up at approximately 68,000 words. I always let a first draft sit for a few weeks before I look at it again, although I already have a number of ideas about what I need to do with it when I start revising. In any case, here are my…

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Make Your Pitches Specific and Other WriteOnCon Takeaways

Another WriteOnCon is over, and once again I feel energized and ready to get back out there with my manuscript. It’s amazing to me how different the conference is from one year to the next. The organizers do a great job coming up with new topics and presenters. In case you missed it, here is…

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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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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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