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Showing posts from January, 2012

Pretty Crooked Book Review

Title: Pretty Crooked
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0062066060

236 pp.

ARC from publisher via Netgalley

What's weird is that as I'm writing this book review at a coffeehouse, two young white women are talking about their time in private school and how two Latino kids (the only two in the school!) spoke Spanish together in the cafeteria and how stigmatizing that was.

So Elisa Ludwig seems to have tapped into a certain private school zeitgeist in her debut novel (the first in a series), Pretty Crooked.

Willa Fox is the newbie at ultra-rich Valley Prep. After years of moving around the country with her bohemian mom, a big sale of her mom's artwork gives them the cash to live it up in fancy schmancy Paradise Valley, Arizona. Willa starts hanging out with the all-powerful Glitterati and moons over cute boy Aidan.

Except all is not well in her shiny new world. First of all, Willa learns that the Glitterati are cybe…

Research Tools for Writers

There are times when writing must take a backseat to research. Those writing historical novels or nonfiction usually need to do more research than other types of writers, but at some point, all writers need to pick up their mouse and do some research.

Sometimes it's at the beginning of the project, when you need to dig into another time or place or career or lifestyle that you're not familiar with. Then you can build characters and setting and plot from all the great research.

Sometimes the research comes at the end, when those gaps you've put off must be filled. (I tend to put a series of x's as a placeholder for a description or scene I'll fill in later because I don't want to do the research as I'm writing.)

Research has never been easier since the interwebs have come along and Google is a writer's best friend. But there are times when Google may not be good enough. A Google search may not find the primary sources you need. Or you come up against …

World Book Night

Attention all librarians, writers, and lovers of books! World Book Night is coming to the U.S. on April 23 and you can be a part of it!

What's World Book Night? It's where people spread some reading love by giving away books to people who may not normally pick up a book. The books are pre-selected and provided for FREE by publishers and include fiction, non-fiction, and children's titles. (You can see the 30 chosen titles here.)

But to make it work, a veritable army of booklovers are needed to pick up and distribute the books. You can apply to be a book-giver at and applications are due by February 1, 2012. They are looking for people to go out into the community to give the books away and as part of the application you need to be clear about where you will distribute the books. So think women's shelter or hospital or senior center, not friends at work.

In case you were wondering why April 23, that happens to be the day traditionally celebrat…

Looking Ahead to 2012

The great thing about a new year is that it's full of possibilities and hope. It's a time to try new things, set priorities, and start fresh.

In honor to all things new, there's a new look to the blog, with additional pages for book reviews, my book review policy, and a contact page.

My hope for the blog during the coming year is to share my thoughts and experiences as a writer and librarian to like-minded book lovers. And also share the occasional cat video.

I have several professional and personal goals this year. One is to attend the 2012 ALA summer conference. It's in Anaheim this year, just a couple of freeways away from where I am. It's a wonderful conference for professional development, to meet up with old friends, and snag a bunch of ARCs.

Another goal is to keep working on and (hopefully) finish the WIP. I'd like to have it sparkly enough to begin querying agents, but what I really want is the best possible manuscript. (I also have a sekrit screenpla…