I made the mistake of purchasing my summer reads in advance. Why is this a mistake? Because I've already devoured them!! Here are a few of the titles I read (and really enjoyed!) over the past month.
Euphoria by Lily King.
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Want to see more of what I like? Are you a member of Goodreads? I finally pulled it together and entered my home library onto the site. It's also where I keep track of books that are on my wish list.
I'll be hosting a giveway there in the upcoming months.
Back to my summer reading list....can you offer me any good recommendations?
I was thrilled to be featured all week long on Novel Novice! If you've never visited, this is an amazing site that reviews young adult literature as well as provides a variety of resources and tools for readers, students and teachers.
On Monday there was a book review. Click here for the review.
On Tuesday I wrote an original blog post on creative Inspiration. Click here to read it.
On Wednesday I offered additional classroom material in the form of a writing assignment. Click here to read it.
On Thursday I participated in a Q & A. Click here to see it.
And Friday was giveaway day! You can win a copy of my book, Strays. This one is open to international readers. The contest will be open until Friday, May 29th. Click here to enter and read more about it.
A special thank you to Sara Gundell for having me on her incredible site all week long!
Let's hear it for sisters! I think not since the book publishing bashes at the Bronte's home has a sisters publishing party been so much fun!
My parents were generous hosts and opened their home to about 50 guests who came to have books signed and hear my sister and I talk about books!
The spread was amazing! My mom has been collecting bookmarks from around the world since before I was born. She used them sprinkled throughout the food.
We gravitated back towards that amazing spread!
And we were even visited by a celebrity or two.
There was something about speaking about my book and the writing process in my parents' living room that gave the whole afternoon this wonderful literary saloon feeling. I loved it! And how nice that, unlike the Bronte sisters, we don't have to publish under pseudonyms!
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
After eagerly anticipating readers' responses to my forthcoming young adult novel, Strays, I received a lovely review from Midwest Book Review! It's always nice to read a favorable review and learn what other readers have gleaned from my work.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
"Strays tells what happens when two wandering creatures find one another, overcoming their fears to make friends and rise above their dark reputations...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
You can read the full book review here at Midwest Book Review.