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Showing posts from February, 2011

Contest Alert - And, Action!

As I've mentioned before, I love me a good contest. I recently found out about a new one on Twitter, and it's easy-peasy to enter. Georgia McBride, YA author and host of yalitchat, blogged about openings and what it means to start with action. She then threw down the gauntlet to writers. Using the parameters of a story she outlines, write four paragraphs and why you chose to start where you started.

This is the story Georgia describes: "Boy is only survivor on boat that washes ashore on strange island. Has no idea where he is and upon arrival is captured by natives tribe who raise them as their own for a few years and he falls in love with daughter of tribal leader. Once found, he must decide whether to return home or stay."

The writer's choice is where to start the story, but Georgia gives three options: A) before the voyage starts and we see the boy saying goodbye to his friends and family -including a sick mom- while learning why he's leaving; B) during …

Lost Voices Book Review

Title: Lost Voices
Author: Sarah Porter
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Publication Date: July 4, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0547482507

ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

This book isn't on my official Debut Author Challenge list, but I couldn't resist that cover. I mean, come on. It's gorgeous. Evocative. I had to read it.

Lost Voices is no princess mermaid book. If a reader who loves the Emily Windsnap books is looking for a read-alike, this isn't it. Lost Voices has dark, edgy mermaids who are more Siren than Little Mermaid.

The story centers on Luce, a 14-year-old girl who lives with her alcoholic uncle in a small Alaskan fishing village. Her mother died when she was young, but her father has just recently died in a shipwreck. Life with her uncle turns from horrible to horrific after one of his drunken rampages goes too far. Luce escapes him, only to inexplicably find that she has turned into a mermaid. She befriends a tribe of mermaids and learns that gir…

Why White People Should Write About People of Color

I've been thinking about this topic for awhile, and since it's Black History Month, it seems like a good time to blog about it.

First, my Person of Color cred. I'm Latino, third generation, non-Spanish speaker. Most of my friends are white, I married a white guy, and I'm often told that I'm white (including by the census).

But I've never felt "white." I'm olive-skinned with dark hair. Strangers have asked me if I'm Greek, Persian, Jewish, Pakistani, Indian, Eastern European, Turkish, Filipino, Italian, and, occasionally, Mexican. I obviously don't look white. I look "other," even though people have trouble figuring out what that "other" is.

I grew up feeling that "other" because there was no one on television who looked like me except Maria on Sesame Street. There were no books about girls like me. I read Wonder Woman comics because at least she was a brunette.

Yay, 21st century! Now there's Dora the Explorer …

Debut Author Challenge - January Update

My January pick for the Debut Author Challenge was Across the Universe by Beth Revis. And I'm still waiting to read it. I'm currently first on the hold list at my local library. No tsk, tsking me for not buying a copy. I'm a librarian. I use the library. I buy plenty of books as gifts, but I rarely buy books for myself. Because I'm a librarian. I use the library.

But I'm bummed because now I feel I'm falling behind on DAC. Enter NetGalley. I heard about this nifty service through my tweeps on Twitter. Those involved in publishing in some way (including librarians!), can sign up for free. Publishers offer online ARCs for upcoming titles that users can request. I wrote a short bio to introduce myself to publishers, who then approved my requests.

My first request, which will remain titleless, was a slow read for me. So slow that after 200 pages I finally gave up on it. When I was younger, I felt obliged to finish every book I started. I've since realized that li…