Monday, August 26, 2013

MMGM Links (8/26/13)

Still very much in the deadline cave (Dear Keeper #3--WILL YOU PLEASE COOPERATE???), so I still have no MMGM. But as promised, I have the links:*
Dorine White is spreading some love for.... KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES (I will never stop feeling shameless when I link these--but I LOVE it!!!). Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck has an interview with author Mark Goldblatt--with a giveaway of a writing-craft book. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Kim Aippersbach has chills for PALACE OF STONE. Click HERE to see the review. 
- Alex Baugh is raving about ESCAPE FROM MR. LIMONCELLO'S LIBRARY. Click HERE to see why.
- Jennifer Rumberger is rooting for THE FALSE PRINCE. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Medeia Sharif believes that ANASTASIA HAS THE ANSWERS. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Gina Carey is highlighting COUNTING 7s--with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details. 
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). 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!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!


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 at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (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. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bookanista Feature: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, by Kasie West


I realized it's been WAY too long since I've done a Bookanista feature, so I thought it was high time I correct that problem. And I've chosen one of my absolute favorite recent reads: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, by Kasie West.


Here's how the publisher describes it:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop. 
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company. 
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Any of you who've been reading this blog for a while probably know that Contemp isn't necessarily my favorite genre to read. It's not that I don't *like* it. It's just that I usually have to be in the *mood* for it, largely because a lot of Contemp books can be kind of... sad. Lots of teens with issues that make me need tissues--and that's definitely not a bad thing. But I have to be in the right mindset for it.

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you that is because what I love best about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is that it's like that at alll. It's actually one of the funniest, sweetest love stories I've read in a long time. Basically, it's a John Hughes movie (if you don't know what those are--get thee to Netflix and watch Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles--STAT) but without all the 80s hair and weird clothes. And I LOVED it. 

 Xander is so charming, and Caymen is so hilarious, and Kasie is seriously the master of the almost-OMG-just-kiss-already!!! It's a fun, swoony read that's so good, I couldn't put it down. And when I was done, I seriously wanted to turn back to page one and read it again (stupid deadlines wouldn't let me). So I highly, HIGHLY recommend you pick up a copy. And while you're at it pick up PIVOT POINT too. Same author, though it's not a Contemp. But it's equally awesome. I'll read pretty much anything Kasie writes.

And... I think that's enough rambling. But seriously, GO GET THIS BOOK.

For more awesome book recommendations, here's what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In which I go into cheerleader mode

Okay--don't go into shock, but I actually have a proper blog post for you guys today!

(well, I hope it's proper. I feel like I'm getting rusty at this whole blogging thing--but THAT is a topic for another day).

I've recently heard a number of people all say the same thing, and I'm betting it's something that some of you might be feeling as well. And it's something that makes me so sad to hear--even though I understand why they might feel it--because it's simply NOT true, and I hate to see anyone get down on themselves when what they're going through is totally normal. So I thought it was high time I clear the cobwebs and dust bunnies off this blog and step into cheerleader mode.

This is probably the point where I should tell you what it is we're even talking about (again, going back to the whole rusty-at-blogging thing...)

(ahem)

So basically, I've had a ton of friends say something along the lines of....

"I feel like a fraud."

And I realize that needs a little context, so let me explain. The people telling me this are all fellow writers. They're active in the blogosphere and writing forums and various social media outlets. They go to writer's conferences and trade shows and author signings. Most importantly, they read, read, read and write, write, write and revise, revise, revise. And they've been doing all of this for years.

Basically, they're checking off every box on the Things You Should Do If You're Trying To Get Published list. And yet, for whatever reason, they haven't sold a book yet. Maybe they're also still looking for an agent.

And because of that--and because they're so active in the writing community--they feel like a fraud. Like there's some ticking clock determining how long they're allowed to be "aspiring" before they must cross over to "published", and any second someone is going to realize they still don't have a book deal and show them to the door. 

I remember feeling the same way when I was struggling to get published. I worked with my agent for more than a year before selling a book, and I used to dread the inevitable moment when a fellow writer would ask me, "What do you write?" because then I'd have to tell them I'm not published yet and they'd of course immediately be disappointed in me and not want to talk to me anymore because I was a big old fraud.

But here's the thing: I wasn't a fraud

I was just on my journey to publication--and every single writer's journey is different. 

And I know you've probably heard that a billion times before, and that it's not all that comforting when your journey has you knee deep in the muck and mire of rejections, meanwhile tons of people you know are skipping past you to Published Authorville. I know it's frustrating and heartbreaking and how easy it is to worry that you're just not good enough and it's never going to happen and maybe you should just give up. And I remember projecting those feelings on everyone else and assuming they were all thinking: go away little wannabe, you're not one of us

But here's the other thing: No one thinks you're a fraud.

Those of us who are published remember very clearly how hard it is to get published (we all have our own war stories, trust me). And honestly, every day this business is getting tougher and tougher to break into, so those of you working at it right now have it even worse than we did. We also know how much timing and luck can play into getting an agent or a book deal, and that whether you have one is NOT a reflection of your talent. All it means is that you're still on your journey, and we are here to cheer you on as you get there.

I know that doesn't change anything, or make the discouraging part of the publishing journey any easier. But please, PLEASE don't tell yourself that you're a fraud. You are NOT a fraud. The only differences between a published author and an aspiring writer are time and perseverance. Be patient, don't give up, and you WILL get there.

And in the meantime: CUPCAKES! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

MMGM Links (8/19/13)

I've officially had to lock myself in the drafting cave to catch up a bit (I am SO behind on my Keeper #3 deadline--waaaaahhhhhh), so I probably won't have a proper MMGM for you guys for a few weeks (though you never know--sometimes procrastination is a powerful force!) :)

But I promise I will do my best to get the links put together every week. I'll also be sending the winners of the EXILE ARC/Swag giveaway their prizes either this week or next, so if you entered keep an eye on those mailboxes!

Okay, here's this week's links:*
- Michelle Mason is spreading the love for DESTINY, REWRITTEN. Click HERE for her review. 
- Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends THE WIG IN THE WINDOW. Click HERE to see what that's all about.    
- David Wiley is glowing with praise for LARKLIGHT. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- F.T. Bradley has chills for ENDER'S GAME. Click HERE to see why. 
- Medeia Sharif is taking sides in THE LEMONADE WAR. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Judith Robinson is cheering for SAVING ARMPIT. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Susan Olson is taken with SENT (The Missing, book 2). Click HERE to read her feature.
- Heidi Grange is talking about THE CLASSROOM: STUDENT COUNCIL SMACKDOWN with an author interview. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Annie McMahon is highlighting MOTHER HOLLE'S FAIRY TALE. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Mark Baker is championing RILEY MACK STIRS UP MORE TROUBLE. Click HERE for his review. 
- Dorine White has taken a shine to MIRAGE. Click HERE to see why.
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). 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!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!


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 at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (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. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time