How cool is this? The Paw Report is doing a Read Along of my young adult novel, Strays! The read along will begin this Sunday, January 8th. Click here to join i the fun.
I was so happy to see my novel, Strays, on Book Riot's list of 10 heartwarming books for dog lovers! To see the complete list, click here.
I was recently interviewed about my novel, Strays, on Life Mastery Radio. You can click here to listen to the full interview!
Does anyone like listening to their own voice?? Why does it make me so uncomfotable??
It's been a crazy busy 2016 so far, so excuse the lack of blog posts.
I am a little over halfway through my tenure as writer in residence at the Annenberg Community Beach House. It has been a wonderful experience so far and you can read some of my blog entries on the City of Santa Monica's website. I'll be posting them to this blog over the next few weeks.
And, I've just returned from New York City where I was nominated for a DWAA Pat Santi Memorial Friends of Rescue Award. I didn't win, but I "won" in so many other ways on this trip!
The awards ceremony was being held at the Hotel Pennsylvania where all the dogs were gathered for the Westminster Dog Show. There were so many dogs in the lobby! This big cutie was my favorite:
My family took in some fabulous shows:
We watched the Kings beat the Rangers in a very dramatic hockey game at Madison Square Garden.
And enjoyed some rare snow for this Californian!
I came home inspired, exhausted and greeted by a very joyful blossoming peach tree!
Thrilled to have come across this article in the L.A. Times regarding the Book'd in Burbank event that I participated in back in October!
Not so thrilled with how the photo came out, but that's another story!
I received this lovely watercolor from a fan of Strays!
It made my day!
Doesn't it look pretty all gilded!
Strays received a gold medal for Best in Young Adult Health / Self-Esteem and a silver medal for Best in Young Adult Fiction.
Well this was a funny discovery! This photo recently cropped up on the #westinvallarta Instagram feed.
The woman in the hot tub happens to be reading a copy of Strays. How do I know this when you can barely see the words on the page? Because the vacationer happens to also be a friend of mine who was reading my book in the hot tub on vacation. Just funny to see it on the Westin's page!
So grab your copy and find the nearest hot tub! Everyone's doing it!
(My friend in the photo also happes to have the most mouth watering Instagram feed at salt_and_sage.)
I'm thrilled to be able to share with you today that my young adult novel, Strays, is a finalist in the Literary Classics International Book Awards.
The awards will be presented in Los Angeles in February at the AWP conference.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
To see a complete list of finalists, click here.
In my young adult novel, Strays, the main character, Iris, gets arrested for threatening her teacher, both physically and on paper. A question I've gotten from people has been, "Could that really happen?" "Are schools that strict about threats?"
Well, this week, I think the case against the 9th grader who was arrested for building a clock (no easy engineering feat!) answers that question. Like Iris, Ahmed, the maker of the clock (the school thought it was a bomb) was placed in handcuffs and taken to a juvenile detention center.
Ahmed's school eventually issued him an apology and invited him back, but he said no thanks. And I don't blame him.
So what do you think? Are schools too quick to assume the worst from their students?
This photo first appeared courtesy of the Dallas Morning News.
I am so excited for the SCBWI conference next weekend here in Los Angeles! SCBWI stands for the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators and their annual conference takes place each year in August. This conference is open to members and non-menbers of this amazing organization. I have been a member of SCBWI since 2009 when I attended my first conference.
For those of you attending, I will be selling and signing my latest novel, Strays, at the Friday Night reception until 8:30 p.m.
Come stop by and say hi!
Today, I am being interviewed on Writers and Other Animals - a wonderful blog that looks at people writing about animals!
Want to know why I shared my living space with bats for a summer? Curious about what movie soundtracks I sang in?
If you're feeling lucky, enter the book rat's book giveaway where you can win a signed copy of my novel, Strays.
I had the pleasure of participating in a Q & A with Midge Raymond, one of my amazing publishers at Ashland Creek Press. Ashland Creek Press is passionate about animal protection and the environment and I knew that ACP would be the perfect home for my novel, Strays.
Here's an exceprt from the interview:
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
A: I had been working as the dog columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger for about seven years. Over the course of my research, I wrote a column about K-9 connection, a program that pairs at-risk teens with shelter dogs. I absolutely loved this program and thought the premise would make a great young adult novel. I also had my own experience with a very challenging rescue pit bull. He was my inspiration for writing the character of Roman.
I am so lucky to have my work respresented by such wonderful, meticulous and supportive people!
Happy Book Birthday to me!!!!!
Today is the day my novel, Strays, is officially published! I'll be whooping it up on my end!
You can buy the novel at your local bookstore or order it online!
Or buy it here on Amazon.
Or though Ashland Creek Press.
It is also available in e-formats.
What do the critics have to say?
"One doesn't expect humor to evolve from such a serious theme; but, it does. One doesn't expect Strays to use the intersection of two fearful personalities to explore positive change and courage - yet, it does. And any who anticipate Strays to be a dog story alone may be disappointed only because it's so much more; it focuses equally on pet and person, and the situations that get them into trouble.
Young adults who want a story of more than an animal rescue or a sixteen-year-old's angst will find Strays a compelling saga."
- D. Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"...a source of comfort for angry teens."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Strays is so much more than a story about a young, angry girl who learns to trust others and accept their help. It’s about grief, compassion, understanding and forgiveness....Strays touched my heart and I would be willing to bet it will do the same for most people who read it."
- Susan Barton, eBook Review Gal (read the full review here)
"... the reader can see the human-animal bond grow and enjoy Iris’s growth and turning points as well…a well-written story and a very enjoyable read."
- Dianne Rich, Seattle pi (read the full review here)
"This is a sweet story about a girl and a dog and how hard it is to let go of the past in order to get on with the future. It’s a story about trust, redemption and acceptance [...] Readers young and old will appreciate this one.
- Book Chatter (read the full review here)
Today, I'm making a stop over at Coffee with a Canine. You can meet my two dogs and learn a little bit more about my young adult novel, Strays. Grab a cup of coffee and come on over!
I had a great turnout for my inaugural signing of Strays at Children's Book World! A big thank you to everyone who came out to buy my book! There were a lot of laughs:
My books looked so pretty all lined up in a row!
My friends...I mean... fans let me take photos of them:
And then they took photos of me:
I had quite a few children in the audience and when it came time for questions, these kids asked the best questions! What a way to kick off this publication!
My young adult novel, Strays, is mere weeks away from publication! If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area on May 9th, I'll be signing books at the amazing Children's Book World! This means that you can be one of the first people to own a copy of Strays before its official publication date!
Children's Book World is book heaven for kids, young adults and adults who love literature for kids! I can't tell you how many times I've gone there for a birthday present and all I have to do is describe the birthday child to the people who work there and they've found the perfect book!
So come say hi on Saturday, May 9th, 2:30 - 4:00. Children are welcome.
You can even RSVP to my Facebook invitation here!
Children's Book World
10580 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064