Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bookcon Here I Come!

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BookCon_2014_logo_low-resSome of you may remember that I was able to attend BEA (Book Expo America) last year on their Power Reader day.  My lovely friend, Tiffany, and I got to attend a great panel with Mr. Neil Gaiman as well as book club speed dating.  We came back with tons of loot (I still have books to read!).

When I looked up the info this year, I found they decided to do away with the Power Reader idea in exchange for Bookcon, which is being run more like a convention. Of course I decided I had to be there!  There are tons of great panels going on as well as autograph sessions. We are hoping to get into the Epic Storytelling panel with Holly Black, Cassandra Clare and (extra squee!) Maggie Stiefvater as well as the Fault in Our Stars movie panel with the amazing John Green.

I’m planning on Tweeting and updating during the day (so long as I have a decent connection. Last yr it was spotty) so be sure follow along with me (MBMulhall) and I’ll be sure to post something about the experience next week as well!

 

Are you planning on attending this year?

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Tuesday Teaser – Driven

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared a teaser with you guys, so I thought I’d share a little of my current project with you. It’s slow going but it’s getting done. As usual, it’s unedited at this point, so be kind with any typos or grammatical issues.

Here’s a taste, just to whet your whistle!

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The quick rising, breath-stealing frigid water in the drainage tunnel should probably have concerned him, especially since he didn’t know how to swim, but Oliver felt it was karma finally coming to exact its revenge. Others would argue he didn’t deserve it, but he felt it was long overdue.  Sure he had suffered in different ways over the years, but not in any one way that lived up to his guilt or equaled the horrendousness of his crime.  They were just the precursor, the appetizer so to speak, to the main course.

Coldness, like he couldn’t have imagined, seeped into his bones, seemingly bypassing the barriers of his clothing and skin.  It wrapped itself around the calcium laced supports and settled in the very marrow, spreading from extremity to extremity.

Oliver tipped his head back until it rested on one of the metal wrinkles of the tube. There was no longer feeling in his feet and he knew it was only a matter of time before that numbness crept up his legs, over his stomach and into his chest to finally lay to rest his broken heart. His lids fluttered and sad eyes closed on their own cognizant as he welcomed his impending doom.

A lighthearted joy suddenly skidded through him as he realized that his ending would reunite him with those he lost.  Oliver only hoped that if they met him at the gates, they wouldn’t turn him away, making his afterlife as painful as the earthly existence he would be leaving behind.  How does one survive a tortured eternity?

Maybe it would be his ultimate penance.

Maybe he wouldn’t even get to go to the place he imagined they were.

His head dropped forward, chin meeting chest. It would be what he deserved.  There was no forgiveness, only pain.

Never-ending pain.

 

I read YA week!

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COLL014113-001-I_Read_YA-Spring_color_ways-02Thanks to the lovely ladies at I Heart Daily, I learned this week is I read YA week!  YAY!

As I’ve discussed in the past, I’m all for everyone of any age reading young adult books.  Teens can identify with many of the characters as well as learning about diversity and romance and different things that they may be sheltered from in their own lives.  Adults can reminisce about when they were teens and also learn how things might be different today for the young adults in their lives, allowing openings for discussions with their teens on topics that might otherwise be difficult to breech.

The writing is not dumbed down, it often deals with difficult topics and has an expansive vocabulary to challenge even advanced readers.  The stories spread through the genres of sci-fi, high fantasy, paranormal and more.  I promise, it’s not all romance.

I love seeing the diversity in young adult literature these days.  I grew up reading Nancy Drew, the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley books. They were fun reads and I devoured them at such a rate that my folks couldn’t keep me stocked with enough new stuff to read, but they were all pretty much happy ending books where everything worked out for the best, and everyone kissed and made up and went on with a good life. There were significantly less stories that touched on important and controversial topics.  Today is there a much wider range for teens to delve into, that will make them think and feel and possibly act after reading certain books.  I think that’s a great thing.  There is certainly still a place for the happy ending (and I still love them) but I can appreciate that there are stories out there that are more true to life as well.

Why do you read YA?

 

Be sure to follow along with Scholastic and join in on the daily topics and discussions on several social media platforms: Click here to see topics & how to participate!

Book Review: Spillworthy

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spillworthy
I’m excited to be able to review and release this book because not only is Johanna Harness an excellent author, but because she’s been a great force for authors all over the net.  If you have ever used the #amwriting hashtag, you’ve got Johanna to thank!  She’s made it possible for authors to connect, learn and hone their craft.  I even wrote several articles for the Amwriting website when it was still up and running. I met several others through the tag, as well as developed a relationship with Johanna herself.  I was very excited to be a part of her release and I hope you all will enjoy the book as much as I did!

TitleSpillworthy

Author:  Johanna Harness

Genre: Middle Grade

Source: Author

Goodreads Rating: 5

My Rating: 4 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

A Spillworthy is an idea so good, it has to be shared and ten-year-old Ulysses Finch doesn’t let being homeless get in his way. He scrawls his best thoughts on pizza boxes, releases them into the wild, and relishes every response. After moving to Idaho, Ulysses finds Gem Rost’s journal and dives into reading it. She must be a kindred spirit! Or is she?

Reaction:

Firstly, as an author myself, I love the idea of a Spillworthy.  To release your words unto the world, to share your art, even with just one person, is powerful and the idea of this ten-year-old homeless boy has so many hardships yet still wants to be able to touch the lives of others is a pretty amazing one.

The story is told via journal entries which allows the reader to really get to know the characters.  You get to join them as they have their adventures but the reader can see the bigger picture, the problems of these characters, how they deal with them and how other people see them.

Some of Ulysses’s actions and reactions contradict his large (for a homeless ten-year-old) vocabulary and more adult philosophies but I liked the character so much I could suspend disbelief and just go with the flow of the story.

It’s a powerful story about having a voice.  Even though it’s aimed towards a middle grade reader, adults will enjoy it and it can be a great read for parents and their children to read together and discuss.

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In addition: This review is a little different because not only did I want to share that this was a great read, I am going to release a paperback copy of Spillworthy into the world for someone else to catch and read and hopefully pass along after.  I had a hard time deciding where I was going to release my copy.  I wanted to work something out with a teacher friend, but the timing just wasn’t right.  I wanted to put it in a park, but the weather has been so up and down I wasn’t sure the sun would be out long enough for kids to get out there and find it.  I finally settled on releasing it in my favorite writing haunt, the local Starbucks.  It is packed with other writers and parents grabbing a drink with their kids before or after sports/activities.  Since the day is lovely and folks are outside enjoying their caffeinated beverages, I left it on a chair by a table in the sun.  I know someone will pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.