Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Love Being Busy: Operas, New Covers, and Fifth Graders

Hey everyone! So, I've been extremely busy lately, but that is a good thing. As long as I have time to write, I enjoy being busy! 

Two weeks ago I had Spring Break. The weather was nice, and I had fun attending rehearsals for something called Words + Music, which was a collaboration between the Coterie Theatre, The University of Missouri-KC, and the Lyric Opera. Six writers from the Coterie wrote pieces that were turned into opera moments by UMKC composers, and performed by Lyric Opera performers. During Spring Break, I was able to attend rehearsals for this every day, and on Thursday, the pieces were performed in a Master Class led by opera professionals Mark Adamo and John Corigliano. My opera moment, which is inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, will be performed again several times in the future, including at the Coterie Theatre Young Playwrights Festival.
My composer and my performer for "It Was Only A Joke" after the performance!

Also this week, I got to see the cover for Carried Home (out April 28th). Oh. My. Goodness. The cover is spectacular!!!! I cannot wait to share it with you. Ahhh! :D

On Friday, I had the honor of speaking to a fifth grade class at Prairie Point Elementary. This was an amazing experience, and I would love to do it again. Those kids were really special, and they were so excited about me and about writing. I was greeted with huge smiles from the moment I entered the room, and I felt a little bit like a pop star. The kids asked me tons and tons of amazing questions about writing. Their questions were better than what most of the high-schoolers I go to school with would ask! I loved their inquisitiveness. And at the end, my hand was tired from signing so many bookmarks for every child and my cheeks hurt from grinning so much, but I was the happiest I had been all week. I left the school after getting a few hugs from the kids, and receiving a card that they had made me as a thank-you for coming that day. I'm going to keep that card forever as a token to remember that special day. 
Me speaking to the awesome class.
The card they made me! Everyone signed it on the inside, too.

I hope to have the opportunity to speak to many more school groups like this in the future!

So how have you all been? Are you excited to see the cover for Carried Home? What's new with you?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review:Thief of Glory

Hey everyone! I finished a book, so here's a book review. I didn't love Thief of Glory by Sigmud Brouwer very much, but maybe you would like it, so I suggest you check it out and give it a chance if you think you might enjoy it. 

Here's what I thought:

I have to admit that I was not completely in love with this book, while the general idea of it was interesting. I didn't like that I was made to believe that this was a romance, when it really was not. I hate to write a negative review, and I don't think the problem was with the book, but more so with the marketing involved with it.
I felt that the main character, Jeremiah, was able to do way more things than a ten year old should have been able to do. Since he was 10 for 2/3 of the novel, I had difficulty taking this book seriously.
However, the historical aspect of this novel was great. I never knew Dutch POW camps existed in Indonesia. I liked reading about the history here. All in all, this novel was very rich in historical ideas, but I didn't love the actual story.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm in the Library!!!!

So I have some pretty darn exciting news!!!
This Saturday, I found something very special at the library! SWEPT TO SEA!

I'm super super excited!!!!! (Can you tell from all of the exclamation points I am using?)

Anyway, besides that, I wanted to let you know that the first round of edits for Carried Home is complete. That means only a few rounds of edits left to go, and it will be ready for you lovely people! I'm so excited. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"How Do I Look?"

Most writers are procrastinators, and I have to admit that at times, I do my fair share of procrastinating.

So, as I'm working on edits for Carried Home, I've found many useful things that I absolutely have to do before I complete my edits. 

One of those useful things just happened to be redesigning my blog. What do you think? Do you like the look?

I hope you do!

So...another activity I chose to spend *ahem waste* my time was creating a brand new Swept to Sea quiz. (You've taken the old one, right? Right?)

Now, you can find out which character from Swept to Sea you look like! It's a lot of fun. I took it, and I look like Eden. (Surprise, surprise...)

Who do you look like? Take the quiz now. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Monday: Captured By Love, Jody Hedlund

Hello everyone! I haven't visited this blog in quite a bit. I'm afraid that life is catching up to me, and handling Swept to Sea AND the publication process of Carried Home AND writing Tossed Together AND handling senior year at high school with its ACT prep and scholarship applications AND all of my other activities make it too much to keep my old blog schedule. 

Please bear with me and follow my blog/FB page/Twitter to get the latest updates from me. 

Anyway, I finally finished a book! This review is of Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund. 

"Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.
Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.
As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love."

I really liked this book!

This is set on Michilimackinac Island, also known as Mackinac Island to modern-day people. (I've visited this island before, so that made it even more special!) But this book is set during 1814, almost 200 years before I went there.

It follows the story of Angelique, who lives on the island with her crazy-cruel stepfather, who strongly limits how she may live. She is reunited with her childhood friends, Pierre and Jean, during the course of this novel.

I felt that the characters were very well written, and I loved all of them. This story had enough action, romance, and history in it to make me love it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Win a Signed Copy of Swept to Sea

Say Happy New Years to yourself when you win a signed print copy of Swept to Sea!

My friend Jessica interviewed me on her blog and is giving away a signed copy of my book. How neat is that?
To enter, please head over to her blog or enter right below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway