For girls 11 to 14—well, women of all ages!
Don’t miss it this time!
For girls 11 to 14—well, women of all ages!
Don’t miss it this time!
I’m excited to tell you about some new middle-grade and young adult releases for summer reading. There’s a variety here in realism, both contemporary and historical. And lots of real-life drama for both girls and boys.
Life-changing Love by Theresa Linden releases tomorrow! I recommend this novel about dating to the older female teen rather than a middle-schooler, but if you are a middle-school parent know that it addresses some serious issues.
Caitlyn Summer, soon to be fifteen, must practice old-fashioned courtship with high parental involvement, but she has a terrible crush on shy Roland West and she has competition from a girl with no restrictions. As Caitlyn struggles to remain faithful to God, her parents, and herself, her best friend gets pregnant and might get an abortion. When Caitlyn discovers her mother’s past mistakes, she begins to resent all the guidelines her parents expect her to follow. The characters in Life-Changing Love face the questions: Who am I? Where am I headed? How am I going to get there?
Theresa Linden is also the author of the dystopian Chasing Liberty trilogy. Find out more about her and her work at www.theresalinden.com
Available now, Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams, is a story that takes place in the 1960s, so it is considered historical. Boy, am I old.
The setting is rural northern California, and I particularly enjoyed the main character’s descriptions of the people and things around her. I think you will, too.
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
Jean Ann Williams comes from a large family, and Just Claire is her first novel! Visit the author at her blog to learn more.
If you love Chicago and its architecture or, like me, have always wanted to visit the windy city, pick up Seven Riddles to Nowhere. A seventh-grader and his friends go on a quest that takes them through Chicago’s historic Catholic churches and cathedrals. Maybe there’s one cathedral and the rest churches, but anyway the reader is taken on a learning adventure. It would be equally entertaining for girls and boys. I thoroughly enjoyed the advanced reader copy of this book I received from author A.J. Cattapan. Look for its release this coming August.
A.J. Cattapan is a bestselling author, speaker, and middle school English teacher living in the Chicago area. You can follow her writing and travel adventures at www.ajcattapan.com.
You poets will love this one! The author of The Rose and the Sword, Gina Marinello-Sweeney has a beautiful way with language, and her novels include poetry. ( Her name is rather poetic too, don’t you think?)
Rebecca Veritas is a new college graduate, eager to pursue her dreams as a clinical psychologist. After receiving a full scholarship for an internship recommended by her old professor and friend Dr. Everson, she leaves the quiet suburban town of Cedar Heights for the big city of Los Angeles. As she adjusts to her new surroundings, beginning to work with her assigned mentor and a wide variety of clients with all the enthusiasm of a fresh intern, she finds solace in a mysterious antique bookstore. Yet, as her thoughts still linger on someone from her past, she is unaware that the present has the potential to haunt her the most.
Although the main character is out of high school, this is romantic suspense that is suitable for high school teens, in my opionion.
Gina lives in southern California, where she is at work on the next volume in The Veritas Chronicles, as well as a short story collection. Visit www.ginamarinellosweeney.com for more information.
If you pick up one of these, let me know how you like it!
Meet my friend Hanna. She’s 16 years old and lives in Texas.
If you thought home-schooled teens might be out of touch or uninvolved with what’s going on outside, you don’t know Hanna!
Here’s your chance to get to know her.
Welcome, Hanna. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I was born in Washington, but we moved to Texas when I was a year old. I learned to read when I was three and started writing when I was eight. My mother had started writing her novel, Moonfall around that time, and I guess she was one of the initial reasons I got into it.
I think one of the biggest parts of my life, one that’s affected me as a person, would be the complications of my health. When I was five, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and when I was 14, I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, as well as peraformis syndrome.
It’s important for anyone with a disease or a disorder to remember that you are not your disease/disorder, it does not define you. What defines you is how you react to it. And I like to try and live by that, because this is something I have to live with every day and it can be more than just hard, but I’m doing it. I guess that’s what makes me, me.
Do you read a lot? Which kinds of books do you like to read?
I try to read as often as I can; most recently I read Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: the Sword of Summer. I’ll read more often and faster if it’s something I find compelling or interesting. That goes for both fiction and non-fiction.
Would you like to write a book like any of those someday? Or if you’re writing one now, what is it about?
I love writing just as much as I love reading, if not more so. I mainly write sci-fi and contemporary fantasy and I have a huge folder on my laptop just for book-y stuff. It’s kind of overflowing actually.
I do have a couple I’ve put most of my focus into though. The main one I’m working on is about a soon-to-be 16 year-old girl, named Valentine Arzela. Her mother disappeared when she was very young and ever since then, a string of related disappearances have occurred. At least until the day she kinda accidentally blows up a supermarket parking lot and two winged teens pay a visit, both with very different agendas and both wanting her to join their cause.
Which character in the Bird Face series of books did you like the most? Is that because she (or he) reminds you of yourself or because you’d like her (or him) as a friend?
I think I liked Wendy the most. I liked being inside her head. She was cute and funny in her own way and reminds me of myself at a younger age, haha. She’s relatable.
What are your hobbies?
Outside of reading and writing, I love dancing, hanging out with my friends, listening to music, and singing. Mostly dancing though; I love ballet, pointe, and contemporary.
I also make jewelry. I’ve been doing that for several years, probably since I was about 8 when my grandmother bought me some stretchy string and a small bead kit and asked me to make her a necklace, hehe. The next Christmas, my parents loaded me up with beads and tools. Now I’ve made quite a bit in bulk and I’m about to start an online store to sell everything I’ve made.
What is the best thing about being home-schooled? What is the worst thing?
Best thing? Well there are a lot of things I love about it. I like getting to sit on a couch instead of a hard chair and not having to work as long as my friends who go to the local public schools. I like getting to choose my curriculum and having my parents around to help me if I’m having trouble. It’s pretty cool, in my opinion, haha.
(I would’ve enjoyed that!)
The worst thing about it…either not having school clubs or having a harder time getting into, as well as finding information on, SAT/ACT tests and Dual Credit at local colleges. There are more forms to fill out and it can get very confusing.
Do you do things with teens who are homeschooled and/or with other teens?
I haven’t met many homeschooled teens, but last year I took dance with one and we starred in the Nutcracker ballet together. Most of the teens I know are from my dance classes, and they all go to public school.
As for what we do…we mainly just hang out at dance since we see each other there every week, haha, but sometimes we’ll go out to eat after competitions or weekend classes. With my two best friends though, we’ll go to each other’s houses and birthday parties. We’re actually planning a shopping trip soon.
Do you have a lot of friends or one or two close ones? Why?
I can count my friends on one hand and my closest friends with two fingers. I do love socializing and meeting new people, but I’m also really picky about who I consider a part of my inner circle. And, personally, I feel like having a small, tight group is better than having several ‘friends’ that you don’t really know and can’t rely on.
What makes a good friend for you?
Someone who will keep your secrets, give it to you straight, and voice their opinions, but won’t judge you for yours. A good friend is someone you can rely on and someone who won’t lie to you or go behind your back. And someone who’s quirky and funny and original is totally the bomb, in my more personal opinion.
Are you friends with any boys?
Yes, one, he’s my best friend actually. I’ve known him longer than any of my other friends and I’m closer to him than anyone else I know.
What is the best thing about friendship with a boy?
Well, being someone who always wanted a brother, it’s kind of like having one. That’s one of the best things to me, having a guy who will stick up for you and be that big brother figure even if he’s younger than you (by a year and a few months, HA) and also give you advice on guys if necessary.
(I always wanted a brother close to my age, too. Just like my character Wendy.)
If you’ve ever had a bad argument with a best friend, what was it about?
Yes…the details I would rather not talk about, but yes, I have fought with a best friend before. And because of what caused the fight and their actions since then, we are no longer friends.
What do you look forward to this summer? Next year? After you graduate high school?
For the summer, it’s having my school done, ha! Next year: SAT and PSAT tests and starting dual credit at the community college. After high school: I can’t wait to go to college and live in the dorms and have the big textbooks – I LOVE TEXTBOOKS…and now I probably sound like a nerd, ahaha.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Hanna. Visit her jewelry website, coming soon: http://handmadeeclectic.com
If you’ve followed this blog a while, you know I have great love and respect for poetry. To improve my fiction, I remind myself to tap into poetic description, and I encourage other prose writers to do the same.
In case you aren’t aware of it, April is National Poetry Month, and I’d like to honor all you poets out there.
Poets who write for their eyes only, to release their emotions and comfort themselves.
Poets who write to soothe or inspire readers like me.
Poets who address difficult subjects in a lovely way.
Poets who condense the world into a digestible, single-sitting format.
Poets who create verses and stanzas more memorable than prose.
Poets who write greeting cards.
Poets who write song lyrics.
Did I forget anyone?
If you are a poet, thank you.
If you are a classroom teacher, librarian, or bookstore owner, you can request (free) this year’s beautifully designed poster from the Academy of American Poets.
Let’s remind people we know–even those who claim to hate poetry–how it enriches our lives. Find your favorite poem and share it this month with someone you care about.
As a poet, what would you like to share with a prose writer? As a prose writer, what would you like to know about writing or appreciating poetry?
In the early months of the new year, good things have happened to me as an author.
The second book of the Bird Face series, 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, is a semi-finalist in a book contest and a finalist in another. A Florida book fair company has acquired copies of both books of the series to sell to schools. I have sorted out some of the problems with my third manuscript and gotten back to writing it.
And I’m celebrating!
Don’t you think the small steps accomplished on any entrepreneurial journey should be celebrated? If you do, I invite you to celebrate yours–with me.
To expand the positive atmosphere I’m breathing, I’m offering a chance for a commenter on this blog post to win an electronic copy of either 8 Notes to a Nobody or 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status.
All you need to do to enter for a chance to win:
The names of all approved commenters who subscribe to the newsletter will be placed in a hat, and a winning name will be drawn. The prize will be a mobi file of your choice of either of my books, to be read on a Kindle or other device where you have a Kindle app.
After the end of March, I’ll notify the winner at the email address used to subscribe to the newsletter.
So, how about your entrepreneurial successes–in writing (prose, poetry, fiction, nonfiction) or an altogether different endeavor? Was your poem or short story accepted for publication? Did you open a new online business? Sell your first painting? I’d love to hear about it.
Let’s celebrate those successes together!