2016 Wrap-Up

2016 Wrap-Up

Well, we’ve made it to the end of 2016.

Maybe not quite in the same shape as when we started the year, but if you’re reading this, you’ve survived.

As we put 2016 to bed, I thought I’d share some of the things that were good in my world this year.

1.  I sold a second book!  It was a dream come true to see one book become real, but to be given the chance to do it again is overwhelming.
2.  I went to Las Vegas for the first time and celebrated 10 years of marriage.
3.  I retreated with some inspiring authors in the fall.

4.  I gave my first professional (not writing related) conference presentation.
5.  I held my words in my hands–it’s almost a real book!

I was also very entertained by the following books:

1.  Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
2.  My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
3.  Great Small Things by Jodi Picoult
4.  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
5.  Exit, Pursued By A Bear by E.K. Johnston
6.  Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood
7.  Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
8.  Frannie & Tru by Karen Hattrup
9.  Liars And Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath
10.  Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

2017 debuts to look forward to (these are the ones I’ve been privileged to read already):

1.  Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
2.  It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Suguira
3.  The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
4.  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
5.  After The Fall by Kate Hart
6.  How To Break A Boy by Laurie Devore
7.  In 27 Days by Alison Gervais
8.  Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
9.  The Girl With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

I’ll share more 2017 debuts as I make my way through them.

Favorite movies this year:  Moana, Ghostbusters, Sing Street, Love & Friendship, The Edge of Seventeen, How To Be Single, and Rogue One.

Things to look forward to in 2017:

1.  I feel like this goes without saying, but May 9, 2017 is going to be a pretty momentous day.  My debut novel IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE will officially be published and available for public consumption.
2.  My launch party will be May 13, 2017 at One More Page in Arlington, VA–I’d love to see you there!
3.  I’m signing copies of my ARC at the American Library Association’ Midwinter Conference AND I’m on a panel with some fabulous authors.

4.  I’m appearing at YABBAFest in Warrenton, VA in October.
5.  I’ve got a few more signings/readings ideas in the works, so stay tuned.

Whether you’re celebrating this time of year or not, I hope you’re ushering in the new year with loved ones and doing something that brings you joy.

Interested in preordering my book?  Here’s all the info.  AND!  There’s a bonus chapter in it for you.

Feel like asking your library to add my book to their collection?  Here’s how.

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Raising A Reader?

Raising A Reader?

My daughter doesn’t sit still.  Ever.  She’s never been one to sit quietly and flip through a picture book or color a bunch of pictures, until very very recently (like the last 3 weeks).  And even then her attention span is that of a gnat.  At bedtime, she would make it through the reading aloud of one relatively short picture book and wouldn’t tolerate books with minimal pictures or more than about 25 words on a page.

As a life-long obsessive reader who would rarely like be doing anything else, this distresses me.  I know everyone is different and if she turns out to only be a casual reader, she’ll be passionate about something else and that’s totally fine.  However, I can’t help but hold out hope that she’ll grow up to be like her mama and carry a book with her wherever she goes “just in case.”

Recently the lovely folks at Macmillan sent us a game-changer.



Find It On Goodreads


It’s listed as for ages 5-8, and as my wee one is 4 and change, but I took a chance.  I introduced it at bedtime last weekend as a “big girl chapter book” and she took the bait.  As a family we read a chapter a night this week.  The story is very engaging, pictures are sparse (but also adorable), and every chapter ends on a cliff hanger.  My kid, my always active hooligan, loved it.  She begged me to keep going every night.  Part of it was the wonderful story full of winged animals and adventure, and part of it was the thrill of being grown up, of doing something she might get to do next year in kindergarten.

Would I recommend this book to others?  Heck yeah.  It’s girly enough for the princesses, but also suspenseful and full of surprises for those who shun the pink.  And, bonus, there are more books in the series, which we will be buying immediately.  A big thanks to Lily Small and the lovelies at Macmillan for keeping my dream of raising a reader alive.

I would also welcome suggestions of more books guaranteed to hook reluctant young readers – please share if you know of some!