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Random Cat Videos III

The thing about being a cat person is that you can't go very long without a cat. So when our beloved Pablo passed away earlier this year, it wasn't too long before we went to the local rescue.

These are the new kittens, Jake and Elwood. Pretty cute, huh?

And if that's not enough cuteness, here are some random cat videos for you:

Cat Man Do:



Sad Cat Diary:


Trololo Cat:


Happy New Year, everyone!

Mayday Book Review

Title:Mayday
Author: Jonathan Friesen
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
ISBN-13:

320 pp.

ARC provided by author

The premise for Jonathan Friesen'sMayday is pretty intriguing. Eighteen-year-old Crow tries to protect her sister Addy, but ends up in a coma. During that coma, she has the chance to go on a "walkabout," an opportunity to go back in the past and change things. Except she doesn't go back as herself. She goes back in a loaner body known as Shane. The first time Crow goes back, Shane is a 13 year old girl, the second time, Shane is a 19 year old guy. Shane is able to interact with Crow and begins to see situations and people in new ways.

Intriguing, right?

Except the execution wasn't quite there for me. The first time Crow goes back as Shane, there is a slow burn of a reveal about what happened to Addy, but it was pretty heavily foreshadowed and not much of a surprise.

The second time Crow goes back as Shane, what's supposed to happen to Add…

Just Don't

I've written before about stop words, those words which are so common we don't notice them.  These words can clog up your story and they're insidious because you don't realize they're there. There's a bunch of them, including "really," "very," and "even."

But the worst is "just."

I was reading an ARC recently and there was a "just" on almost every page. One page had six ... Six!

Since it was an ARC, I hope that these were caught by the author, the editor, or the copy editor before the book hit publication.

But overuse of "just" is not that unusual. I've seen published books with too many just's. "Just," for some reason, seems to be invisible.

I don't know why that is. It just is. *sigh*

So I am asking, pleading, beseeching, begging that you writers out there take responsibility for your just's. Use the word search function. Chances are you can cut 90% of them. Chances are you…

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Audiobook Review

Title: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 26, 2013

Listening copy via local library

I know I'm not the first to call this a mash-up of Umberto Eco and Doug Coupland because that's exactly what Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is.

It's a mystery about manuscripts and codes, it's a humorous social commentary on Silicon Valley, it's Old World technology meets New Media crowdsourcing. It's a delightful journey on all these levels.

It starts with Clay, a victim of Silicon Valley lay-offs, who finds a job working at a quirky bookstore in San Francisco. What's even more interesting than the odd books are the odd customers, people who come in all hours of day and borrow the books rather than purchase them.

Clay gets his friends to help him figure out the mystery of bookstore, which uncovers a secret world of codes and codex, and maybe even the secre…

Days of Blood & Starlight Book Review

Title:Days of Blood & Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0316133975

528 pp.

Reading copy via public library

I didn't do a review for the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which introduces the reader to Karou. Karou is an art student in Prague. She has blue hair and portfolios full of drawings of monsters. Not that out of the ordinary for an art student. Except Karou's hair really is blue and the monsters are her family.

Laini Taylor establishes some first-class worldbuilding with the first book on how Karou's family of monsters are chimera, creatures from another world, locked in a interminable battle with the seraphim, who are angel-like in appearance only.

Karou finds herself attracted to Akiva, a soldier in the seraphim army, as the portal between their worlds is discovered.

So go and read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I'll wait.

Wow, that was fast. It's…

Rotters Audiobook Review

Title: Rotters
Author: Daniel Kraus
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0449014950

Listening copy via Sync

I know it's past Halloween, but seriously, Rotters by Daniel Kraus is pretty much the perfect Halloween read (or in this case, listen).

Joey Crouch lives in Chicago with his mom. He's somewhere on the autistic spectrum, he's probably a little too dependent on his mom, and they live a somewhat isolated life. But he's got one good friend and he's got his trumpet and life is fairly normal for Joey.

Then his mom dies.

Joey is shipped off to a small town in Iowa to live with his dad, a man he's never met or given much thought to. Ken Harnett is known to the locals as "The Garbageman" and the squalid living conditions Joey now calls home seems to validate that name.

Except what his dad really does is so much worse than anything Joey could ever imagine. Harnett is a Digger, a graverobber, par…

When to Abandon a Book

Now I'm not talking about abandoning a book that you're writing. There's a time for that, sometimes, and that's for another post. I'm talking about when to abandon a book that you're reading.

When you're in school, you're required to read books that you wouldn't normally choose on your own. And that's what school is for. To challenge you, to get you to think critically about things you wouldn't normally think about.

Even after college, I felt that if I started reading a book, I was making a commitment to finish it. No matter how boring, awful, or predictable it was. I sloughed through some real stinkers, just because I felt it was my obligation as a reader to finish it. And maybe, I had some small hope that it would get better.

But you know what? Life is too short for bad books.

That's not to say that sometimes you don't take a chance on a complex book. But when you're reading for pleasure, you should be reading things that y…

Dangerous Book Review

Title:Dangerous
Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1599901688

416 pp.

ARC provided by publisher


I hadn't read any Shannon Hale novels before (although I did enjoy the Austenland movie), but I knew she was a writer who used humor and girl power in her work.

And Dangerous did not disappoint. In fact, I freaking loved Dangerous. The heroine is Maisie Danger Brown (Danger really is her middle name) and she goes to space camp where she meets a cute boy and gets infected with alien technology. It only gets wilder from there (That's a pun; the cute boy's name is Wilder. I crack myself up.).

In fact, four other teens are also infected with alien technology and they're supposed to do save the earth ... from what exactly or how exactly they're not entirely clear on. But things go horribly, horribly wrong as the changes in the teens lead them to make some very bad decisions.

Dangerous is a sci-fi/superhero romp with plenty of acti…

Panic Book Review

Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HaperCollins
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0062014559

416 pp.

ARC provided by publisher


Panic by Lauren Oliver is a YA contemporary about a group of teens in a high-stakes game of dares. They live in a crappy town and the money that seniors are forced to pony up throughout the school year goes to the winner of Panic. Because, apparently, in this town, no one is smart enough or athletic enough to get a scholarship. Or, you know, a part-time job.

I know that sounds harsh, but if you're willing to buy into the premise, Panic is a fast read. It's told from the POV of Heather, a girl who's trying to protect her sister from their druggie mom, and Dodge, a guy who's out for revenge.

There are secrets among the players, most of them obvious. But there is also action, as the players have to go through contests that test their fearlessness. These are probably the best parts of the book, as I caught myself holding my breath th…

Before My Eyes Book Review

Title:Before My Eyes
Author: Caroline Bock
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1250045584

304 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Caroline Bock has written a compelling YA contemporary that hits a lot of hot button issues -- gun violence, pill popping, mental illness -- as well as personal issues -- loneliness, loss, identity -- in a way that brings its well-rounded characters together in a believable climax.

She does this by alternating chapters between the three main characters: Claire, an aspiring poet who must take on more family responsibilities after her mom has a stroke; Max, a state senator's son who's forced to play a role he never asked for; Barkley, a loner who believes the voice in his head that tells him he needs to buy a gun if he wants to make the world a better place.

The chapters alternate the POV's, but they also countdown over a Labor Day weekend to the moment Barkley fires that gun. During these chapters we learn abo…

Summertime!

Yes, it's that time of the year where I take some time off from the blog.

ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway books have been mailed to the winners, so if you received an email from me that you were a winner, check your mailboxes soon!

I hope you enjoy the last days of summer.

Happy reading!

ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway Winners:
Erin D. Tracy B. Devera N. Look for an email from me requesting your address so I can mail your prize to you!

Thanks to everyone else who entered! I hope you'll come by the blog often for book reviews and librarian writer musings.

The Boys in the Boat Book Review

Title: The Boys in the Boat
Author: Daniel James Brown
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0670025817

416 pp.

Reading copy via local library

If you're looking for a historical nonfiction title that will appeal to teens as well as adults, then The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is the one.

Don't let the subtitle, "Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" fool you too much. The Olympics is the climax, but certainly not the whole book. The heart and soul of the book is the story of Joe Rantz, a mechanic's son who was abandoned by his family during The Great Depression.

Joe is forced to survive in the rough-and-tumble backwoods of the Pacific Northwest, finally finding his way to the University of Washington. He tries out for crew only because it'll help him get a job on campus. But rowing ends up being so much more for him, and for the other boys in the boat.

The book has plenty of action-packed rowing…

The Lost Planet Book Review

Title:The Lost Planet
Author: Rachel Searles
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
ISBN- 13: 978-1250038791

384 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

The Lost Planet by Rachel Searles is a rollicking sci-fi adventure for middle grade readers.

A boy wakes up with a blaster wound to the back of his head and no memory except the phrase, "Guide the star." He's told that his name is Chase and he's on the planet Trucon. Chase begins a search for who he is and what "Guide the star" means. Helping him are an orphan named Parker and his caretaker, Mina, who have secrets of their own.

The action is virtually non-stop as the trio make their way across space, making friends and enemies along the way as an interstellar war looms. The stakes are high and the pacing keeps the reader turner pages.

However, there is a lack of character development, especially in Chase. A lack of memory also makes him without much of personality. In fact, his lack of memory s…

Pretty Deadly Volume 1 Book Review

Title:Pretty Deadly Volume 1
Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by: Emma Rios
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1607069621

120 pp.

ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Pretty Deadly Volume 1 collects the first five issues of the Pretty Deadly comic, which is an Eisner Award nominee. Kudos to Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios for creating such a complex series with intriguing, badass female characters.

The framing device is a butterfly telling a story to a skeleton bunny (and we see the bunny getting killed very graphically) about a little girl named Sissy, who has two different colored eyes and wears a vulture costume. She and her guardian, a man named Fox, are being hunted by Death's handmaiden, Alice. So they end up joining forces with Death's daughter, Ginny, to try to conquer Death himself.

To be honest, I found the beginning very confusing. But the mythology of this world is slowly teased out throughout the issues and came to a satisfyi…

ALA Amazing ARC Giveaway

I was fortunate enough to go to the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas this year. Loved the Printz Awards where Marcus Sedgwick became my new author crush. Loved the sessions, especially this one on reinventing summer reading programs. And, of course, loved the ARCs that publishers so willingly hand out to eager librarians.

I have some of the bounty to share with you! I am giving away Advance Reading Copies to three lucky readers. The titles available are:

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Kiem

If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy

The Fire Artistby Daisy Whitney

I'm trying out Rafflecopter, and it looks pretty simple.You can enter simply by telling me your first and second choice in the comments, and don't forget to leave your email. If you want additional entries, you can follow me on Twitter (3 entries), tweet about the contest (3 entries), and subscribe to the blog (10 entrie…

The Leftovers Audiobook Review

Title: The Leftovers
Author: Tom Perrotta
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: August 30, 2011

Listening copy via library

This isn't YA by any means, although older teens might be interested in it because of the upcoming HBO television series.

I was interested in it because I grew up in a house where the Rapture was a given and I wanted to see what Tom Perrotta did with it.

What he did with it was to make it clear right away that it isn't the Rapture. Some people, readers as well as characters, may argue otherwise, but I think Perrotta wants this to be SOMETHING ELSE.

SOMETHINGE ELSE is more challenging than the Rapture because there's no Biblical guideposts for what happens next, no Mark of the Beast, no Anti-Christ, no Apocalpyse.

SOMETHING ELSE means life will go on, pretty much as before, if you can get over the loss.

And that's what the story is really about. Loss. How people cope, or don't cope, with losing something. Could…

Save the Enemy Book Review

Title: Save the Enemy
Author: Arin Greenwood
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1616952594

288 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

I think the marketing department got this one wrong. If you look at the cover, you'd think it's an intense thriller. But, really, it's a comedy.

Zoey Trask is a senior at a private school in Washington, D.C., but she's the New Girl, and she's also the Tragedy Girl, since her mom was recently murdered during a mugging. She has a younger brother who's a somewhat high-functioning autistic and a kooky libertarian dad. She's crushing on cute boy Pete and wondering if she'll get into Berkeley when her dad is kidnapped. The kidnappers are demanding the J-File, although Zoey has no idea what that is. Except her brother has been getting messages in his dreams from their dead mother that help might explain what and where the J-File is.

That synopsis sounds like a thriller, right? But Zoey has an oddly snarky to…

Peanut Book Review

Title:Peanut
Author: Ayun Halliday
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0375865909

216 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Peanut by Ayun Halliday is a graphic novel about a girl transferring to a new high school and who decides to fake a peanut allergy.

Why? Because she's the new girl. Again. And a lie gives Sadie a chance to create a persona that fits in. Really, the lie could have been anything, but Sadie thought a peanut allergy would be easy enough to fake. Except it's not.

Sadie uses the lie as an opening to talk to others at her new school and finds a group of friends, including cute boy Zoo. She's fitting in and getting comfortable. And that's when the problems start.

Her friends are more vigilant about protecting her from her allergy than she is and the school's nurse hounds her for medical information. Sadie wants to come clean, but she's afraid she'll lose everything.

Peanut is a funny, savvy look at the extremes tee…

Once Audiobook Review

Title:Once
Author: Morris Gleitzman
Narrated by: Morris Gleitzman
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing
Publication Date: February 2, 2006

Listening copy via Sync


Once is the first in a series following Felix, a young Jewish boy, during World War II. But, of course, it's more than that.

Felix is living in a Catholic orphanage in Poland when the novel begins. His parents were booksellers and left him at the orphanage while they ... well, Felix isn't entirely sure about that. He makes up stories about how his parents are having adventures and trying to get back to him.

And he is positively, absolutely sure that they have sent him a sign that they are going to pick him up. Except that they don't. Instead, Nazi soldiers arrive at the orphanage and burn books that the nuns had been hiding. Now Felix is convinced that his parents are in danger because Nazis hate books so much. He runs away from the orphanage to save them.

As an adult, I know what Felix is heading into, even though he clearly …

Free YA Audiobooks! Yes, I Said Free.

The good people at Sync are at it again ... offering free YA audiobooks and pairing them with audiobooks of classic literature. A new pair is released once a week throughout summer.

Sign up and download free audiobooks all summer long. Sync will even send you a text or email reminder when the new audiobooks are available. Easy peasy, right? And, hells yeah, it's free!

This year's line up is pretty awesome:


May 15 – May 21
WARP: THE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN by Eoin Colfer, Narrated by Maxwell Caulfield (Listening Library)
THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells, Narrated by Derek Jacobi (Listening Library)

May 22 – May 28
CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge, Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden (Harper Audio)
OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles, Performed by Michael Sheen and a full cast (Naxos AudioBooks)

May 29 – June 4
CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, Narrated by Emma Galvin (Hachette Audio)
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Richard E. Grant (Harper A…

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales Book Review

Title:Rag & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Edited by: Melissa Marr & Tim Pratt
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316212946

368 pp.

ARC provided by publisher


This anthology of science fiction and fantasy tales is edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt. They challenged 10 other authors to create a short story based upon a classic story that influenced them. These authors included Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Carrie Ryan, and Rick Yancey.

As with any anthology, there are some hits and some misses. Neil Gaiman's fairy tale mash-up of Sleeping Beauty, "The Sleeper and the Spindle," and Melissa Marr's selkie interpretation of Kate Chopin's The Awakening, "Awakened," are among my favorites. I thought that these stories honored the originals while giving them completely original twists.

But you don't have to be familiar with the classic story to appreciate the interpretation. I never read Jos…

Jessica Darling's It List Book Review

Title:Jessica Darling's It List
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316244992

240 pp.

ARC provided by publisher


I haven't read the original Jessica Darling books, but this first in a prequel series is a sure-fire hit for tween girls.

Jessica Darling is about to start junior high when her older sister gives her list of things to do to be popular. Jessica wasn't worried about starting junior high until she reads the list because she has no idea how she's going to manage do any of it.

Further complicating matters is that Jessica's best friend has turned pretty over the summer and doesn't know it yet. But Jessica knows that is about to change and change everything about their friendship.

Jessica is tries her best to fit in, but often finds herself in the absolutely wrong place at the wrong time. Eventually she finds out that fitting in may not be as important and finding out who you really are.

Megan McCafferty wri…

The Infinite Moment of Us Book Review

Title: The Infinite Moment of Us
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1419707933

336 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Confession time here. This is the first Lauren Myracle book I've read. I know her books have been banned a gazillion times, and more power to her for not being afraid to write about things she knows will offend some readers in order to reach those readers who connect to the material.

The Infinite Moment of Us is a romance about a Wren, a sheltered good girl, and Charlie, a foster kid who had a rough start in life. The book starts with them just before high school graduation. They run in different crowds, but they have secret crushes on each other. An accident gets them together and they have a blissful summer romance.

But once fall comes, Wren will be off to Guatemala for a gap year and Charlie will be going to college. This is the biggest conflict in the book, and the ending was no surprise. (There is conflict betw…

Teens' Top Ten Nominees 2014 and Book Review Musings

Celebrate Teen Literature was on Thursday, and YALSA announced this year's nominees for Teens' Top Ten.

This is a teen choice list, selected by participating teen book groups throughout the country, and their top 25 titles are this year's nominees.

Starting in August, any teen can vote online for their favorite nominee and the final Top Ten will be announced during Teen Read Week in October.

I promote Teens' Top Ten nominees as much as I can in the library because I know these are books that teens already love. I already had most of the nominees on the shelves and only had to order a few to round out the list.

But what I found interesting is that the few I hadn't ordered had mixed or even bad reviews from the publications I use most to select books - Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and VOYA. The main complaint with the reviewers was that they couldn't connect with the main character, and therefore, couldn't connect to the story.

Yet thes…

Reality Boy Book Review

Title: Reality Boy
Author:A.S. King
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316222709

368 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

I've worked in "reality" television, so I know there's a lot of manipulation in creating what the audience sees.

Sometimes it happens during production by influencing what participants are doing or saying. Sometimes in happens in post-production by changing context during editing. It's usually done to build a narrative arc, to streamline the messiness of real life into a half-hour or hour format.

But at least on the shows I worked on, it was never done maliciously. Reality Boy, however, imagines a show that does. Gerald was on a Supernanny-like show when he was five years old and became known as The Crapper because he defecated all over the house, including the dining room table. Millions of television viewers think he's the problem child.

What the camera doesn't show is that Gerald'…

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Book Review

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316213103

432 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Tana wakes one morning to find that while she was passed out in the bathtub, everyone else at the party has died.

Horribly.

Well, not everyone has died. There's her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, tied to a bed. And a cute boy she doesn't recognize is chained up.

She decides to rescue them even though Aidan is clearly infected and the cute boy is clearly insane. She decides to rescue them because it gives her something to do instead of going insane herself. Because there's a pile of corpses who used to be her friends in the next room. Because there's a terror of vampires waiting for the sun to go down in the next room.

There's only one place Tana and the boys can go. That's Coldtown, a barricaded city where vampires, the infected, and the desperate go. Tana knows chances are she&#…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Audiobook Review

Title:The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0062263032

Listening copy via public library

I've written before about my love for Neil Gaiman (and Doctor Who) and fans will not be disappointed by Neil's latest work.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane has tropes familiar to both the author and the Doctor: a thing that is bigger in the inside, transformation of a harmless thing into a creature of terror, an offer to help that is spurned and will lead to the creature's ultimate demise.

And while it is not a groundbreaking work, it is still a delightful mix of the eerie and the everyday.

The unnamed protagonist remembers a time when he was seven years old and he meets a strange girl under strange circumstances who lives at the end of the lane. She has a pond on her farm that she calls an ocean, and the little boy almost believes her.

Together, they come across an ancient thing, a …

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Review

Title:Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0316221337

288 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Matthew Quick has had a lot of heat since the film adaptation of Silver Linings Playbooks came out, and I was as eager as anyone to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

It's Leonard Peacock's eighteenth birthday and he plans to go to school and kill his former best friend and then commit suicide.

As the day progresses, we learn why Leonard has decided this is the best way to escape the loneliness and hopelessness of his shitty life. His self-absorbed Mom doesn't even remember it's his birthday, so he knows he's not going to get any presents, but he gives presents to four people he thinks of as friends, although he doesn't really have any friends.

These four people react to Leonard's gifts in different ways, including anger and suspicion. But one person, a teacher, realize…

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling Audiobook Review

Title:The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling
Author: Maryrose Wood
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
Publisher: Books on Tape
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0307711229

Listening copy via Sync

I downloaded The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood last summer as part of Sync's audiobook promotion, and I finally got a chance to listen to this delightful novel.

The Mysterious Howling is the first in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, a rollicking good read for children through younger YA. Penelope Lumley is the fifteen year old governess from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and her first job is to teach three children who were literally raised by wolves until discovered by Lord Ashton and brought to Ashton Place. The children, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia, are given to howling at the moon, eating their food uncomfortably rare, and chasing squirrels.

But Miss Lumley has the pluck and good sense of a Swanburne girl to take on thi…

Looking Ahead to 2014

Happy New Year!

Here's to making the most of 2014!

I like that the New Year allows me to reboot my plans and think about what I want to achieve for the year.

This year, I'm looking forward to ALA Annual in Las Vegas this summer (Las Vegas in summer?!? Actually, I'm a desert girl, so I'm not fazed by that.) I'm anticipating some good professional development, networking, and freebies!

I'm also looking forward to becoming more active locally with other YA librarians.

In my writing life, I am revising my novel (again!). This is a pretty big rewrite as I decided I didn't need a supporting character after all. I realized that the tension and stakes are higher if she isn't around. So she's going.

I'm also looking into rewriting a couple of my screenplays into graphic novels. Inspired by my friend Kelli Bennett's philosophy of creating from what you have, I think it's worth a shot to see if I can make this happen.

And speaking of Kelli, here&#…