Love Me a Good Librarian Review!

I developed my love of books and wrote some of my earliest stories at the library while I waited for my mom to pick me up after school (shout out to the Atlanta West End branch), so I love it when librarians give my books a good review.

Actually, I love librarians in general. When I was a kid, they were important guideposts on my road to becoming a writer. How, you ask? Let me count the ways.

Helped me find books they somehow knew I’d love.

Showed me the benefit of reading books I didn’t love but could learn something from.

Taught me how to research, lessons I used straight through grad school and even now as a writer, though I may not always use the library and Dewey Decimal system to do it.

If you have some good librarian stories, please share in comments.







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Freebie Friday: Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

ETA: This contest is closed

It’s Friday, time to give something away. I was looking over my ridiculously tall to-be-read pile and realized I have two copies of Sarah Dessen’s Lock and Key. My poor inventory control is your freebie — or at least for one of you. The winner will also get a copy of My Own Worst Enemy by yours truly.

How to win? Just leave a comment on this post — say hi, tell me what you’re reading, share your weekend plans — whatever moves you.

The Rules? My standard rules are posted at the link above, but the main things to know: I’ll only ship to a US address (sorry international peeps!) and the winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends 11 PM ET on Monday, March 12.


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Snow Day!

Like any kid, I loved snow days. Growing up in Atlanta, there weren’t too many of them, but the rare occasions a snow (or more likely, ice) storm was in the forecast, I woke up at the crack of way too early to watch the news, hoping to see my school listed as closed. Happily, Atlanta would shut down with just the threat of snow since there were no snow plows.

Then I moved to Colorado, where they treat snow like we treated rain back east. At my first job here, when I saw flakes beginning to fall outside the break room window, I asked my boss what time we were going home. I was pretty disappointed when she said “at the end of my shift,” apparently unaware I didn’t know how to drive in the snow and really needed to go home NOW.

Many years later, I still can’t drive in the snow and I still get up at the crack of way too early (well, I do that anyway to write) and watch the news any time a foot of snow is in the forecast. Yeah, that’s what it takes for Colorado schools to even THINK about a snow day. I used to work at a middle school and at a university here, so it wasn’t as though I was acting like a kid about it — it was necessary to check.

Now I don’t work at a school, or even outside my house, but this morning when I woke to a foot of snow and turned on the TV to learn just about everything is closed because another half foot is expected, I felt like a kid again. Squeeeee — a snow day!

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Contest: You Name the Character

** This contest is now closed. Winners will be announced next week. **

There are a couple of characters in the third book of the Langdon Prep series who are in need of a last name. I mention them both in My Own Worst Frenemy and in the upcoming second book of the series, but I never gave them a last name. Help me out!

The winner’s swag:

1. Characters’ last name will be used in Book 3 of the Langdon Prep series, which will be published early next year.

2. The winner’s actual name will be included the acknowledgements section of the book.

3. A signed copy of the book (entrants with US address only will receive book). I get copies before they hit the shelves, so you can show off your name early.

Please leave your suggested names in the comments of this blog entry, or you can send me an e-mail. This is not a random win contest — I’ll choose the one I think works best for the characters. Contest will run until February 17, 2012 at midnight EDT.

To help you come up with a name — you can even suggest your own last name — here’s a little backstory on the characters:

They are a mother and son. Mildred is the head custodian at Langdon Prep and our favorite girl detective’s source of information about the school. Mildred is married, in her late forties and has four kids. Her son Reginald is her youngest and was kicked out of Langdon Prep by Headmistress Smythe last year, but thanks to some detective work by Chanti, he’ll be returning to finish his senior year in a future book. While Marco is not all that excited about Chanti’s sleuthing, Reginald is impressed and thankful for her help in getting him back into Langdon. So he won’t be interested in just his studies when he returns to school — he may also give Marco a little competition.  I’ve posted a Target ad with a model in it who I think would be the perfect Reginald. Okay, send me names or post them here!






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Celebrating MLK Day with Books

Fitting for the day we celebrate Dr. King’s life and work, The Brown Bookshelf has announced their 2012 list of African-American writers and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Each day in February, they’ll spotlight a writer/illustrator as part of their 28 Days Later Initiative. Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite!

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Writing Rituals

On the last day of the blog tour, I share some of my writing secrets with The Readiacs. Have a fun, safe, and happy New Years weekend!

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Happy Holidays

I wish you and yours a merry Christmas, or a bountiful Kwanzaa, or a happy Hannukah season, or a just a week full of joy!

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Holiday Giveaway

Still need to find a gift for the YA reader on your list? Enter my Holiday Giveaway contest to win a copy of My Own Worst Frenemy. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post. Contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run until midnight Dec. 16, 2011. Winner will be chosen randomly. See complete contest rules at link above.

Blog tour stops:

My Reading Room shows Frenemy some love in a review.

Missy’s Reads & Reviews does a Q&A with me.

ETA: closed at midnight Dec. 16, 2011

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Me on Being a Writer & Lissa on Being Lissa

Today’s blog tour stops:

At Shades of Romance, I’m interviewed about being a writer.

Lissa, Chanti’s nemesis, is interviewed at Me, Myshelf, and I. Click the image below for the full blog tour schedule.

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Blog Tour Starts Next Week

Starting December 12, Langdon Prep is going on a round-the-blogosphere tour for the rest of December. There will be some interviews of me along with characters from the book, plus a few book reviews (that part’s always kinda scary for a writer). I’ll post the blog locations each day, so please check back here on Monday if you want to learn more about Chanti, Marco, and the whole series!

I’ll also post the locations on my Facebook page. If you drop by and feel so inclined, please Like the page!

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