Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best job in the world

I know I've seemed a tad stressed in my posts lately (and my emails and tweets and phone calls and IMs and half loopy mumblings in the middle of the night...). And I AM stressed. I definitely have a lot on my plate at the moment, and a big part of me is afraid I'm not going to have time to get everything done.

But I was talking to another author over the weekend--one with an even crazier schedule than me--and she reminded me that yes, it's stressful, and it's hard, and sometimes you have to force your butt into that chair and make yourself get things done, even when you're tired and overwhelmed and desperate for a break. BUT, it's also truly amazing that we get to have this job. 

And she's absolutely right. 

I hadn't forgotten that, but I also don't know that I really think about it enough, either. 

Yes, it's stressful. Yes, it's intense. But it's also the dream. A dream I spent YEARS working toward. 

And the funny thing is, the more I remind myself of how grateful I am to be where I'm at, the more I feel like this:



I'm still tired. I'm still buried. I'm still not going to be able to be online as much as I'd like. But I'm hanging in.

In fact, I've crossed one thing of my endless To Do List. Copyedits for LET THE SKY FALL are officially done and shipped off to S&S!

One deadline down--two more to go! 

Onward!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Shiny Links of Awesome!!!

Sorry guys--once again I have no MMGM for you this week. #Shannonfail

I know, I know. I didn't even get a guest post organized to cover it because I THOUGHT I'd have time. But alas--the LET THE SKY FALL copyedits are taking longer than I thought--especially since I am still juggling Book 2 and 1st Pass AND I had an author event this weekend (seriously, can some one slow down life?).

So I'm moving my feature to next week and this week I'm letting the rest of you awesome MMGMers carry the torch for me. Luckily, you all do an awesome job. Look at these amazing features going on:
- The Mundie Moms are now part of the MMGM fun (eee!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week! 
- Natalie Aguirre is hooked onTHE PRINCESS CURSE, with an author interview AND A GIVEAWAY!  Click HERE for all the details. 
- Andrea Mack is crushing on THAT BOY RED. Click HERE to see why 
- Gabrielle Prendergast reminds us about SILVERWING. Click HERE to see why she loves it.  
- Pam Torres is spreading the love for BREADCRUMBS. Click HERE to see what she thinks. 
- Karen Yingling has a feature on THE TRAITOR AND THE TUNNEL. Click HERE to learn more about it.  
- Barbara Watson is gushing about MAY B. Click HERE to read her review.  
- Myrna Foster is recommending THREE TIMES LUCKY--with an ARC GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to enter.  
- Akossiwa Ketoglo is also giving a shout out to MAY B. Click HERE to see why she loved it.    
- Tricia Conway is back for some serious gushing and raving about CORALINE. Click HERE to read her review.    
- Andrea Mack is featuring THAT BOY RED. Click HERE to learn why she thinks you need to read it.
- Gina Carey is cheering for ALVIN HO. Click HERE to see why she thinks you should be too. 
- Michael Gettel Gilmarten has an interview, a feature, AND A GIVEAWAY of MAY B. Click HERE for details. 
- Sheila Calderon Blankemeier is championingRobin Brande's new middle grade series, SECRET SECURITY SQUAD. Click HERE to see why she thinks you should be too. 
- Deb Marshall is breathless over BREATHE. Click HERE to see why.
- Michelle Isenhoff is back with another MMGM, this time on KEEPER OF THE GRAIL. Click HERE to learn more about it!   
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy--two actual middle grade bloggers (how awesome is that???) discover that HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE is just as great in book form as it was in a movie. Click HERE to see why they love it so much. 


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

**NOTE**
I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. I'll TRY, but it might not happen. I know that  makes it less convenient for everyone, but the constant updating of the post is a big time suck and I just can't keep up with it right now. SORRY!

**Also: Thanks to a boatload of spam--and my missing a bunch of important emails because of it--I'm now using a new email address. So make sure you update your records because I'm slowly phasing the other address out. New email is: SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. Hopefully now I won't miss some of your MMGMs, like I have been.**

Sunday, February 26, 2012

WINTERLING winner

Ugh--once again I'm posting this later than I meant to (can someone please slow down time????). But, at least I didn't completely forget, right?

Anyway, the random winner of WINTERLING, by Sarah Prineas is...

...


Yay!

*tosses confetti*

If that's you, please email me at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com and I will send off your prize.

For everyone else--keep checking back. I tend to have new contests pop up around here. You never know what I'll give away next. ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

This is my life right now...

I could write a post trying to explain the insanity of what I'm currently juggling--but I think this picture pretty much sums it up. This is my desk at the moment ...


And yes--the cat is typically there. It's why I'm not often able to WORK at my desk, and instead use it simply as The Place To Keep All The Important Things!

So basically, what you're seeing (in addition to my P&P desktop--hee) is three things with three very tight deadlines.

That pile on the left? Yeah, that's KEEPER 1st pass, which is due VERY soon.

That pile in the middle? Copyedits for LET THE SKY FALL. Due EVEN SOONER.

Oh, and that chaos to the right? That's all my brainstorming notes for KEEPER book 2, which is ALSO due very SCARILY SOON.

(There's also some other *fun* stuff on there you might be noticing...)

So... yeah. That is my life right now. Deadline upon deadline upon deadline. Now I know why my agent had a very serious conversation with me about "can I really handle this?" when we sold the second series. It is INTENSE.

But I am not complaining--AT ALL. I could not be happier or prouder to get to work on my books every day. It is truly an honor and I would not change it for a second. BUT, if I'm not blogging or tweeting or commenting on FB or replying to your emails (FYI guys, I'm about 2 months behind on email. My inbox has 464 unread messages. So if you are waiting to hear from me--that is why, and it's probably gonna be a while. SORRY!)

One of these days I WILL catch up. One stack of papers at a time. One day at a time. Until it's all finally done. In the meantime--you know where to find me!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I... will be working. (Well, mostly. I have an AWESOME author event on Sat night I will try to post pics from. But yeah... my deadlines demand the rest of my time)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Drafting

For those of you who haven't had the privilege of getting one of my MANY book 2 related emails and/or IMs, I thought I'd put together this visual representation--via lolcat (yes, really!)--of some of the roller coaster highs and lows I've been riding as I battle through this bad boy. 

Most days start out like this:


I love my job--and I'm VERY lucky to have it. But yeah... it's also WORK. And no matter how much I may wish I could leave cupcakes out and the magic writing elves would finish the book for me:


So I grab some caffeine....



(and for the record, no, I am NOT taking caffeine pills. Those would make me bounce off the walls)

And then I get to work. 


(Um... I couldn't find a work related lolcat, so...BATMAN!)

And I work. And work some more. Until the plot takes yet another unexpected turn and I realize:


So I track down one of my CPs:


And say:


Or sometimes...


and they SOMEHOW talk me through
(and then probably email each other making fun of me)

And then...all of a sudden the pieces come together (usually right before bed and/or in the shower) and...


All of which leads to those moments where even though...



Threads and plotlines and ideas come together and I reread my words at the end of the day and it's just...


So I'm powering through. It's hard and I can't WAIT to be done. But bring it on Book 2!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Winterling, by Sarah Prineas--and a GIVEAWAY!

Once again, I'm doing things a bit differently for MMGM this week. I'm still SO buried with Book 2 deadlines that I'm just not reading enough to do a feature of my own every week. BUT, the ever-fabulous Deb Marshall, was awesome enough to agree to cover the week and introduce all of you to a book I've never featured before: WINTERLING, by Sarah Prineas.


Here's how the publisher describes it:

“We live here, my girl, because it is close to the Way, and echoes of its magic are felt in our world. The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land.”

With her boundless curiosity and wild spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn’t belong. Not when the forest is calling to her, when the rush of wind through branches feels more real than school or the quiet farms near her house. Then she saves an injured creature—he looks like a boy, but he’s really something else. He knows who Fer truly is, and invites her through the Way, a passage to a strange, dangerous land.

Fer feels an instant attachment to this realm, where magic is real and oaths forge bonds stronger than iron. But a powerful huntress named the Mór rules here, and Fer can sense that the land is perilously out of balance. Fer must unlock the secrets about the parents she never knew and claim her true place before the worlds on both sides of the Way descend into endless winter.

Sarah Prineas captivates in this fantasy-adventure about a girl who must find within herself the power to set right a terrible evil.
And just like last time, I'm going to let Deb explain for herself why all of us need to read this one. Take it away Deb!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Fer, short for Jennifer, is one powerful, brave, do or die kind of character and I loved her for it. It’s clear from page one that she is strong willed, too. That turns out to be a very good thing because that is what drives her to run into the night when she just cannot stand the thought of being cooped up in Grand-Jane’s house doing a laundry list of chores.

As she is running through the forest feeling free and right she comes upon a shimmering pool that responds to her touch in a most startling manner. It opens “The Way”, a portal between Fer’s world and another, one of magic and great turmoil because of its new ruler, The Lady. Falling from the portal is a dog and three wolves who attack it. Fer, not one to stand aside when she sees an injustice, grabs a fallen branch and drives the three wolves off.  Anyone else doing this might come as a surprise. Not Fer. You expect it of her. With the wolves dealt with she turns to the dog to see to his injuries and much to her surprise there is no dog. A boy lies wounded at her feet.  A boy named Rook who is bound to The Lady by a thrice made oath. An oath that will force him to choose between friendship (whether he wants to admit he likes Fer or not) and betrayal.

From there, the mystery, adventure and fantasy flies across the page pulling you into a world overtaken by some serious evil that bleeds into the fantasy and real worlds. And it is up to Fer to them both. Something she can do because of who she is, a child of  two worlds. Take that and combine it with Fer’s own natural bravery and strength of will you have a heroine you’ll cheer and love. Not only that, the story is set against  a fantasy  world that lives and breaths along side a cast of characters that, though drawn from folklore and fairy , are unique and wonderfully individual. Will admit I even liked the crazy wolf guards who serve nasty bad Lady.  Fer manages to befriend them and many others because they realize she is something special, a healer and a warrior. 

Finally, there some breathtaking (or should I say breath holding) Wild Hunts and moments when you are sure that Fer will succumb to The Lady and her evil. Highly recommending this one for fans of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven  to name just two!

Check out the author’s website and her other books, including the fabulous Magic Thief (which you should also add to your "to read" list if you have not already. http://sarah-prineas.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Sounds AMAZING, right??????

THANK YOU, Deb, for introducing us to such an amazing middle grade book. I'll definitely be ordering myself a copy.

And I want one of you to have the chance to discover it too. So I'm giving away a copy of WINTERLING to one lucky winner. To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, February 25th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, February 26th. International entries welcome.

For more awesome middle-grade recommendations, check out the other MMGM's floating around the blogosphere today:

- The Mundie Moms are now part of the MMGM fun (eee!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, better get over THERE and check out all the awesome!  
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!   
- Barbara Watson is cheering for THE LAST MUSKETEER! Click HERE to see why you should be too. 
- Susan Olson joins the MMGM fun with a feature on 15 MINUTES and THE POWER OF UN. Click HERE to see why she loves them.
- Pam Torres is digging the QUEST FOR THE SCORPION'S CURSE. Click HERE to see why.
- Akossiwa Ketoglo is spreading the love for EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE CASTLE IN THE MIST. Click HERE to see why you should love it too.  
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy--two actual middle grade bloggers (how awesome is that???) have a feature on VIOLET IN BLOOM. Click HERE to see why they love it so much.
 Susan Uhlig has two recommendations for you: OKAY FOR NOW and THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG. Click HERE to see what she thinks of them.  
- Gabrielle Prendergast gives a standing ovation to THE SILVER CHAIR. Click HERE to learn more about this fabulous read.  
- Deb Marshall's doing double duty, with an MMGM on her own blog as well. Click HERE to see her feature on MEAL WORM DIARIES.     
- Michelle Isenhoff joins the MMGM gang with her first feature, on SABOTAGED (The Missing, book 3). Click HERE to welcome her to the group! 
- Isaiah Campbell is gushing about FANGBONE! THIRD GRADE BARBARIAN--Click HERE to see his review.  
- Jennifer Rumberger features A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT--with a signed hardcover GIVEAWAY!!!!!! Click HERE to enter. 

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!



**Note: Thanks to a boatload of spam--and my missing a bunch of important emails because of it--I'm now using a new email address. So make sure you update your records because I'm slowly phasing the other address out. New email is: SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. Hopefully now I won't miss some of your MMGMs, like I have been.**

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BEYONDERS Winners!

Eeeek--where has most of the day gone???????

Sorry, I've been so busy with drafting I *almost* forgot to post the winner from Monday's contest. (oops). But hey, better late than never, right?

So without further ado, the winner of a paperback of BEYONDERS: A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES and an ARC of BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION is...

*drumroll please*


Yay!

*tosses confetti*

If that's you, please email me at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com with your mailing address so I can get you your prize. 

And for everyone else, I HIGHLY recommend you pick yourself up a copy of these books (or check them out from your library). A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES is now out in paperback, and SEEDS OF REBELLION will be available 3/13/12. Such great reads!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Seeds of Rebellion--and an ARC GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited for this week's MMGM, you guys. SO EXCITED!!!! (In fact, I'm showing TREMENDOUS restraint with my exclamation mark usage). (Oh... who are we kidding--this is me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I FINALLY get to gush about a book I read a few months ago and have been waiting oh so patiently to talk about until we were a little closer to its release. But it's coming out next month (3/13/12) so the time has finally come for me to tell you just how much I loved (LOVED) BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION, by the always amazing Brandon Mull.


Here's how the publisher describes it:

The second epic installment of Brandon Mull’s #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy series! After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.

Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are gripping.

So... if you've been following my blog for a while I'm pretty sure you know that I'm a big Brandon Mull fan. BIG. HUGE. And I LOVED the first book in this series (A World Without Heroes). So I had no doubt I was going to love this book from the very first page.

BUT, I had no idea just how insanely much I was going to love it. We're talking serious, SERIOUS love. Which is saying a lot because honestly, I'm not always as big of a fan of high fantasy. I like it. But I tend to prefer books where the fantasy is a *tiny* bit more grounded in our own reality. So for me to make my next statement is a huge, HUGE thing: I personally think SEEDS OF REBELLION is the best thing Brandon's written yet. I don't know how he manages to keep topping himself (and the writer in me is SUPER jealous that he does) but SEEDS OF REBELLION is absolutely amazing, and I think it is going to blow a lot of people away. It certainly blew my mind. *kapow*

It's hard to get into specifics of why I loved it so much without giving spoilers away (especially since I don't want to ruin book 1 for anyone who hasn't read it yet.) But I will say this: the world Brandon has created here is just... stunning. The Amar Kabal are some of the coolest fantasy creatures I've ever read--and you get to see so much more about who they are and how they work in book 2. Not to mention the scene depicted on the cover? WHOA. Such major coolness going on there.

The series is a bit more "tween" than middle grade--but I have no doubt that kids (and grown-ups) of every age will fall in love with it. And while the cover has more of a boyish feel to it, do NOT think girls won't love it just as much. Not only is Rachel an incredibly strong female character (who really starts to come into her own in book 2) but Brandon's trademark humor channeled through the adorable Jason is far too lovable to ignore. I really think this is one of those series for everyone, and I'm so happy to help introduce it to one of you.

Which is why I'm giving away, not only an ARC of SEEDS OF REBELLION, but also one of the shiny new paperbacks of A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES (which come out tomorrow--if you haven't read it yet get thee to the bookstore!). And yes--you're reading that right. TWO awesome books--one of which won't be released for another month--for one lucky winner. One of YOU!

To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, February 18th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, February 19th. That's it, that's all there is to it! (though I *recommend* you also follow my blog in some way/shape/form, because how else will you see the post to know you're the winner?) International entries are welcome.

For more awesome middle-grade recommendations, check out the other MMGM's floating around the blogosphere today:
- The Mundie Moms are now part of the MMGM fun (eee!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, better get over THERE and check out all the awesome!  
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!   
- Barbara Watson is spotlighting OKAY FOR NOW--with a SIGNED book giveaway! Click HERE for details. 
- Kelly Polark joins the MMGM fun with a feature on COLD CEREAL--and a SIGNED book giveaway! Click HERE to learn more. 
- Pam Torres has fallen for SAME SUN HERE. Click HERE to see why.
- Akossiwa Ketoglo is giving a shout out for THE CABINET OF EARTHS. Click HERE to see why you should be too.  
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy--two actual middle grade bloggers (how awesome is that???) have a feature on THE LIGHTNING THIEF. Click HERE to see how Percy Jackson made them love reading.
 Karen Yingling is spreading the love for OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN. Click HERE to learn more about it.  
- Deb Marshall is having a blast with ZEKE BARTHOLOMEW: SUPER SPY. Click HERE to read why you should be too.    
- Gina Carey is spotlighting THE PENDERWICKS. Click HERE to learn why she thinks you should read it.   
- Tricia Conway is swept away by THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT. Click HERE to welcome her to the group.  
- Gabrielle Prendergast is getting SCHOOLED. Click HERE to learn more about this fabulous read.
- Danica Dinsmore gets a week bit self indulgent (her words--not mine) talking about her own book. Click HERE to see more.
- Isaiah Campbell spreads more love for BREADCRUMBS--with a Giveaway! Click HERE to enter.

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!



**Note: Thanks to a boatload of spam--and my missing a bunch of important emails because of it--I'm now using a new email address. So make sure you update your records because I'm slowly phasing the other address out. New email is: SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. Hopefully now I won't miss some of your MMGMs, like I have been.**

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So...THIS happened!

OMG YOU GUYS--LOOK WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY!!!!


Yes--KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES is now OFFICIALLY in ARC form.
ITS A REAL BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Nope--that's still not enough exclamation marks:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Better!

And of course I HAD to take a bunch of dorky pictures of myself, celebrating:

(oh, you'd do the same thing--you know it!)





(I have QUITE a lot more of these--but I think you guys get the idea)

(and yes--yes I AM wearing my: I am a SERIOUS ARTIST black turtleneck sweater, but... that's mainly because it was FREEZING yesterday)

(FREEZING to a Native SoCalian = anything overcast and below 65 degrees F--just FYI)

I honestly can't even begin to describe what it feels like to hold my book--MY BOOK--for the first time, and flip through the pages and see my words in print and my name on every page and the font they chose and the chapter headings and... *sniffles*

Just trust me when I say it's AMAZING. 

And it makes me even more grateful and excited that someday I get to share it with all of you. I PROMISE I will have an ARC contest and give one of the Preciousssssssssss away--but not quite yet (SORRY!). The thing is, I realized something else when I saw my baby in print.

It's ... thick.


Which I LOVE. 

I love nothing more than a book that lets you sink into it for more than a few quick hours. But it's also a very good visual representation for the gauntlet I'm currently running trying to get through Book 2. 

Thick books = A WHOLE LOTTA WORK

That's not to say that thin books AREN'T a lot of work. But trust me--thick books are beasts. And I'm currently at a point in the draft for Book 2 where sadly, if I wrote shorter books, I'd be done by now. But I'm not. I have a LOT of work ahead of me. And... not a lot of time to do it in, thanks to needing to get started very very soon on LET THE SKY FALL BOOK 2. 

So I don't have time at the moment to organize an epic ARC giveaway--and my blogging may be a bit sporadic for a bit (in fact, I'm taking the rest of the week off). I'll do the best I can to be as regular as possible--so PLEASE don't stop coming by--but I can't promise I'll be posting every day. At least not until I get to "The end."

*rolls up sleeves and dives back in*

(Well... after a little more time doing THIS:)

*is--arguably--THE BIGGEST NERD EVER*

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

If you like Shannon Shame...

Boy do I have a heaping helping of it for you. But it's not here.

No, today I have put on my "I am a YA Author" hat (no really, I even have a whole other "YA Author" look--see?)


(It says ooo, I wear BLACK and am tilted at an ARTSY ANGLE with a FANCY NECKLACE--I am a SERIOUS author)

And I'm carrying out my first official dare over at the Friday the Thirteeners blog (which, if you guys aren't following that, you're missing out. YA authors humiliating themselves every week? Who doesn't love that???). Today I've been dared to vlog about my unrequited high school crush. And um... I even have illustrations. 

It. is. HUMILIATING. 

Which means you will probably love it. So I strongly suggest you head over THERE and check it out. It features Shannon Shame aplenty. And we all know how much you enjoy that. Le sigh... 

:)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--Seriously Awesome Linky Love

Okay, I fail. 

I am soooooooooooooooooooo slammed at the moment that I am WAY behind on my reading--but at least now you guys know why. They whole owing TWO Book 2s thing--not to mention gearing up to launch TWO series in TWO different age categories--is... beyond intense

I'm not complaining--not even a little bit (though I *might* be whining), but I hope you guys won't hate me for occasionally having to let some balls drop. Like this week's MMGM. But I PROMISE I'm going to do my best to support the meme, by linking you guys (and I do still have a couple features coming up this month--and they have AWESOME giveaways with them so stay tuned). 

But for today, you guys are carrying the torch--and boy are you doing it proudly. Check out all this awesome middle grade love. 
- The Mundie Moms are now part of the MMGM fun (eee!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week! 
- Joanne Fritz is digging BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE. Click HERE to see some love for this classic. 
- Andrea Mack has some hockey love going on with UNDERGROUNDERS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Gabrielle Prendergast is sweet on THE BELGIAN TWINS. Click HERE for her review 
- Jennifer Rumberger is sharing her thoughts on HILL HAWK HATTIE. Click HERE to see what they are.  
- Pam Torres is gushing about BITTERSWEET SUMMER. Click HERE to see what she thinks
- Akossiwa Ketoglo is spreading the love for BREADCRUMBS. Click HERE to see why you should be too.
- Gina Carey is spotlighting MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE. Click HERE to learn why she thinks its awesome 
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy--two actual middle grade bloggers (how awesome is that???) are back with another MMGM, this time for A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. (and *whispers* THEY HAVE A GIVEAWAY) Click HERE to enter! 
- Susan Olson is sharing two favorites, VOICES AFTER MIDNIGHT and THE MAGIC HALF. Click HERE to learn more about them. 
- Deb Marshall is raving about QUEST FOR THE SECRET KEEPER. Click HERE to read why she thinks you'll love it too.  
- Michael Gettel Gilmarten is loving THE FOURTH STALL (Part 2)--and giving away an ARC!!!! Click HERE for details.  
- Danica Dinsmore is reminiscing about one of her childhood favorites, I, TRISSY. Click HERE to see why.  
- Tricia Conway joins the MMGM fun with her first feature on THE SHADOWS. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Charlotte Taylor has a fabulous feature on THE WHISPER. Click HERE to read more about it.

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!



**Note: Thanks to a boatload of spam--and my missing a bunch of important emails because of it--I'm now using a new email address. So make sure you update your records because I'm slowly phasing the other address out. New email is: SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. Hopefully now I won't miss some of your MMGMs, like I have been.**