Thumbs up from School Library Journal!

One of the (many, many) wonderful things about living in Colorado is being a full two hours behind the east coast–meaning that, even though I wake up at a pretty reasonable hour most days (around 7:20 or so), people in New York are at their desks by then, and have sometimes already sent me fun news by e-mail.

Today, such an e-mail was waiting from my editor, letting me know that All Four Stars had received its first industry review–and that it was a good one! Hooray!

The full text will be published in May, but here’s a fun excerpt:

The [restaurant-reviewing] plan goes disastrously and hilariously awry, but Gladys and fine food ultimately triumph. The characters are well drawn…Give this one to your young foodies.
-SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Also, last week, NYPL librarian Betsy Bird featured All Four Stars on her SLJ blog, Fuse #8, along with some other fabulous summer releases coming from Penguin Young Readers.

Many thanks to SLJ for the love–Gladys & I love librarians right back!

 

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It’s launch week for TALKER 25!

t25-coverOver at Emu’s Debuts, we’re all celebrating the launch of Joshua McCune’s fantastic debut YA novel, Talker 25. Here’s the blurb about this epic book:

It’s a high school prank gone horribly wrong: sneaking onto the rez to pose next to a sleeping dragon. Now senior Melissa Callahan has become an unsuspecting pawn in a war between Man and Monster, between family and friends and the dragons she has despised her whole life. Chilling, epic, and wholly original, this debut novel imagines a North America where dragons are kept on reservations, where strict blackout rules are obeyed no matter the cost, where the highly weaponized military operates in chilling secret, and where a gruesome television show called Kissing Dragons unites the population.

I read an advance copy of this book–the first in a trilogy–a couple of months ago, and it knocked my socks off. If you loved The Hunger Games, or are fascinated by dragons, or find reality TV to be twisted and scary, I think you’ll love this book.

Plus, you can win a free copy by commenting on any of our launch week posts at Emu’s Debuts. And extra copies are up for grabs if you enter the dragon-naming contest!

You can find Talker 25 online at IndieboundAmazonBN.com, or at your local bookstore.

My very first author event

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the great good fortune this past weekend of participating in the first-ever Longmont Public Library Teen Author Night, which culminated the weeklong Longmont Library Festival.

It also happened to be my first-ever official author event, and the organizers were kind enough to include me even though my first book won’t be published until July. Luckily, the panel also included the fabulous local MG & YA authors Jeannie MobleyMelanie CrowderJenny Goebel, and Todd Mitchell, so the panel’s attendees were not starved for wisdom and advice from actual published authors.

And oh, those attendees! The library did an absolutely incredible job bringing in teens and tweens, and there were more than 60 kids in the audience. Check out how deep that room goes!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We took questions from the audience for an hour, and it was amazing how quickly the time passed. (Left to right: Melanie, me, Todd, Jenny, Jeannie)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s my turn at the mike! What am I saying? Possibly telling the kids that I was working on my first book before some of them were born. That line got some gasps and a few laughs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Even better than the formal panel was the Q&A time after, when the teens were able to just come over and chat with us. They asked such fantastic questions, ranging from “What do you do when you have writers’ block?” to “Should I study creative writing in college if I want to be an author?” Longmont Library Teen NightOverall, it was an incredible event, and a very useful testing of the waters for me as a presenter. Special thanks to Jeannie Mobley (whose gorgeous first novel, Katerina’s Wish, you’ve heard me kvell about repeatedly on this blog) for roping me in. I hope to return to Longmont for more events in the future!

 

 

Author panel tomorrow!

Colorado is for writersHello, folks! If you’re in Colorado and are free tomorrow night (4/12), I’ll be on a teen author panel at the Longmont Public Library at 7pm along with fellow fabulous local authors Jeannie Mobley, Melanie Crowder, Jenny Goebel, and Todd Mitchell. There will be pizza, too!

Hoping to meet lots of teens and tweens and talk about writing and books in my very first official event as an author. 🙂

Here’s the flyer–click for larger version. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Longmont Library flyer