In My Mailbox (12)

The most exciting thing I got in my mailbox: my Swoon At Your Own Risk ARCS! And I’m sending them on tour.

If you’re a blogger/reviewer, you can sign up to read a copy at 1 ARC Tours.

Here are the other books I received in the mail (I also read them this week):
Haven by Beverly Patt
A story about an unlikely friendship between a girl in a group home and a boy desperate for an ATV.
Why I’m excited:
Our last Class of 2k9 book has hit the shelves! I loved the authentic boy voice in this novel & I learned a lot about how the foster care system used to work (very sad!).
Shadow by Jenny Moss
A girl assigned to “shadow” her queen to protect her, finds herself on quite a journey in this story full of romance, mystery, and palace intrigue.
Why I’m excited:
I have to admit that I don’t read many princess books, so I reluctantly picked this one up, having really enjoyed Jenny’s first novel Winnie’s War. And I just got swept away! I loved all the romance and the twists and turns in the plot.
Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In My Mailbox (11)

Yesterday I took my 8th grader to buy her Halloween costume. Her choices? Slutty vampire, slutty Little Red Riding Hood, slutty GI Jane, slutty Leprechaun (that one came with “kiss my pot of gold” panties), slutty–well, you get the idea.

I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the one little gem that arrived in my mailbox this week:

Nothing Like You by Lauren Stasnick
A seventeen-year-old grieving the loss of her Mom lets a one night stand become an ongoing thing.

I loved this book. I’m grateful for this book. Lately, I’ve been disheartened to read some beautifully written YA novels that treat loss of virginity with the same emotional resonance as wart removal. Better just get rid of it!

I don’t want those kinds of sexual relationships for my daughters. The stakes are simply too high–pregnancy, diseases (rates are skyrocketing according my pediatrician friends), and the emotional consequences (my mom’s a psychologist with a client list full of teenage girls). I want my daughters to find old fashioned true love.

So I can talk–blah, blah, blah–forever about making good choices. But Lauren does it without preaching. Readers will love Holly and feel all that pain along with her. I can’t wait to hand this one to my daughter–who would have looked way too good in that slutty Leprechaun costume, by the way (after much searching, she found something that will cover her upper thighs). My mom is already planning to lend copies to her teenage clients (many of whom have gotten themselves into Holly’s situation).

Hope you check it out too!

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In My Mailbox (10)

I found myself in need of creative inspiration this week. Starting a new novel is so scary when you have books on the shelves getting public comments… And I’ve had trouble shutting out all that noise in my head.

So here’s what arrived in the mail:
Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland
This book “explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn’t get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way.”
Why I’m excited:
A fellow 2k9 classmate recommended this one & it really helped remind me what’s important: the writing.
Twyla Tharp: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
A book about developing creative habits by a renowned choreographer.
Why I’m excited:
I bought this one with the “buy them both” button on Amazon. Okay, so maybe my love for So You Think You Can Dance has interested me in a dancer’s point of view. She’s already convinced me to start getting up earlier to exercise first thing in the morning, so that’s a good thing, right?

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In My Mailbox (9)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

Reminder: You can still enter to win a signed copy of Jungle Crossing and Godiva chocolate if you make a comment here by midnight on October 12th.
The theme of the week: nothing pink!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Glades, mazes, mysteries, a boy and a girl…
Why I’m Excited:
I’ve heard so much great buzz about his one. And I love reading my fellow Utah authors’ books!
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Cusp of WWI, giant airships, a girl disguised as a boy…
Why I’m Excited:
I hadn’t even heard of the steam punk genre until a few months ago (I do gravitate toward those pink book covers). I loved the Uglies series so I’m excited to dive into this one. After my daughter steals it first.

In My Mailbox (8)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.
This week I traveled to Walla Walla, Washington to attend my college reunion. These are the books I purchased before politely asking the cute indie Book and Game store if they’d consider stocking my books (oh, how that makes me feel shy!).
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
A pastor’s daughter starts to have doubts as her family shows its imperfections
Why I’m Excited:
I’m a big fan of Sara’s writing. Plus, I missed her book signing in Salt Lake because I’m in Walla Walla, so I at least have the book now. And a long car ride ahead of me…
The Postcard by Tony Abbott
A boy discovers family secrets when his grandmother dies.
Why I’m Excited:
I will always be grateful for Tony Abbott’s Droon series because they turned my daughter into a voracious reader. And I loved Fire Girl. This one looks like a lot of fun!
Oh, and it’s not too late to enter my Jungle Crossing book and chocolate giveaway! Leave a comment here.

In My Mailbox (7)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

I only purchased 2009 Debutante books this week:

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner
A girl has less than a week to complete her leaf project.

Why I’m Excited:
The book takes place in Vermont–and I have many fond memories of gathering colorful leaves when I lived there as a young child. Plus, it’s just the kind of story my 10-year-old loves.

Candor by Pam Bachorz
About teens living in a town that makes them obedient through subliminal messages.

Why I’m Excited:
It just sound so good–and I have to admit it does intrigue me as the parent of a snarky teen (kidding, sort of). You love to clean the house.

Prophesy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
About a prophesy that turns sisters against each other.

Why I’m Excited:
I got to meet Michelle Zink in person this week when her book tour brought her to Salt Lake City!!! She’s so warm, intelligent, and thoughtful.

I also bought a signed copy to giveaway when I’m through with my Jungle Crossing chocolate giveaways next month. It’s not too late to enter this week’s contest!

In My Mailbox (6)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In My Mailbox:

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
An Indian-American teen coming to terms with her family heritage in the weeks following 9/11

Why I’m excited:
About 25 pages in, I already decided that I needed to buy a copy for my daughter’s English teacher, her school library, etc. Not only is this story beautifully written, it is important. It’s also a 2009 Debutante book!
Bought (I showed some restraint this week):
An Off Year by Claire Zukey
From the inside jacket: “After a lifetime of following the rules, Cecily Powell surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college…and turning around.”

Why I’m Excited:
I’ll admit that I mostly bought this book for shallow reasons: I couldn’t resist the cover! Bunny slippers! Pink shag carpeting. I’m in! (The story sounds good too.)

In My Mailbox (5)

Welcome to the Boise edition of In My Mailbox, dedicated to one of my favorite indie book stores Rediscovered Bookshop. One of my favorite things about attending SCBWI conferences in Boise is making a stop at Rediscovered Bookshop–they have such a fantastic selection of YA titles and an incredibly knowledgeable staff. 
Actually In My Mailbox:
Road to Tater Hill by Edith Hemingway
About a girl mourning the loss of her baby sister.
Why I’m Excited:
Edie is one of my 2k9 classmates & I’ve been looking forward to her story for a long time.
From Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise, Idaho:
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
A girl vanishes, and secrets & betrayal follow.
Why I’m Excited:
Laura, the owner of Rediscovered Bookshop, said that The Hollow had gotten a tremendous response from her teen reader panel. Yay for another awesome Deb! 
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
A verse novel about abuse.
Why I’m Excited:
I’ve heard so many good things about this book & I really enjoy novels told in verse (something I could never do well).
Madapple by Christina Meldrum
The inside cover says, “Thought-provoking and shocking.” 
Why I’m Excited:
I’ve been wanting this one for awhile so I was really excited to spot it on the shelf.
Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In My Mailbox (4)

Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.

In my mailbox:

Bedeviled by Shani Petroff
A thirteen year old girl discovers her absent father is the devil. All kinds of craziness ensues.

Why I’m excited:
Lara is another 2009 Debutante. I loved the quirky attitude in this book–lots of humor, so many unexpected situations, and really great characters. It’s so cute you want to pinch it’s cheeks! Tweens are going to love this book when it comes out in October. My daughter is still mad at me for not letting her read it now.

So it was a slow week for my bookshelf, giving me a chance to make progress on my rather tall to-read stack. But–I discovered an unused B&N gift certificate (from my birthday last December) in my bedside table drawer. How could I forget about something so important? Tricks (Ellen Hopkins) and Ash (Malinda Lo), here I come!

In My Mailbox (3)

Okay, here’s the post-SCBWI Conference version–much abridged–but if you want an idea of how many books I really acquired you can see a photo of me on the SCBWI blog here. (Much thanks to The Story Siren and Alea The Pop Culture Junkie for the this weekly feature.)

In My Mailbox:

Donut Days by Lara Zielin.
Emma’s parents are pastors enmeshed in troubles with their church. Emma who naturally questions things suffers through friendship loss, questions about her future, all in the unique setting of a Crispy Dream donut camp (people who gather before a store opening).

Why I’m excited:
I read this as part of the 2009 Debutante ARC Swap and couldn’t put it down–even to take a shower. This book would be fun to discuss in a book club, especially paired with Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande.

Signed (a mere selection of the books purchased–some were gifts):

Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins
A historical novel (1960s) about an underdog determined to start 7th grade right.

Why I’m excited:
This book won the Golden Kite Award and I’ve loved all the winners I’ve read in past years. Plus, Steve gave a really funny and charming acceptance speech at the conference luncheon.

The ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
About a soccer player whose life turns upside down and she attempts a kissing booth stunt.

Why I’m excited:
I’m a big Tina Ferraro fan and just hadn’t gotten to this one–so I happily picked it up at the SCBWI ProTrack book sale. Yay!

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
About a girl who runs off to Hollywood.

Why I’m excited:
I’ve loved Lisa Yee’s work (Milicent Min, Girl Genius) from the beginning. I once got lucky enough to have her critique one of my stories at SCBWI a couple of years ago and she’s as wonderful in person as her writing. I can’t wait to read her first YA.

Haunted The Ghost on The Stairs by Chris Eboch
Jon and Tania tag along with their mom and stepdad who produce a ghost hunter TV series. And Tania starts to see ghosts!

Why I’m excited:
Chris is one of my favorite SCBWI Regional Advisor friends. I’m also excited because I’m always looking for good books for my daughter–and this fast-paced book will delight her.


By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters (an ARC)
Looks like it’s about a girl who is determined to commit suicide.

Why I’m excited:
The morning after the conference, I stopped for tea at the hotel Starbucks and saw this ARC sitting all by itself on a nearby table. None of the business types there to attend the next conference seems interested, so I snagged it like a lucky penny.

Okay, I’m making myself another cup of tea and then I’ll be off and reading again.