Hello, you! Thanks for stopping in. Did you know that books are quite possibly the very best gift you could give or receive for the holidays?
It’s true! And books, signed by the author, are even better!
If you were hoping to give (or have for yourself) a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge, here’s how to get one:
If you happen to be in the Salem, Oregon area tomorrow, 11/29, come see me at the downtown location of the The Book Bin. I’ll be there, participating in Small Business Saturday, signing my books and recommending other great ones, from 1:00 – 4:00.
2. Call The Book Bin at 503-361-1235 and order a signed copy. They will ship it to your door!
3. If you already have a copy of Hook’s Revenge, I would be happy to mail you a personalized book plate. Please email me with who you would like it signed to and a shipping address (US and Canada only, please). As purchasing and shipping bookplates does come at a cost to me, please ask for one only if you have already purchased the book. Supplies are limited, but I will send as many as I can.
Want to win a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge? I’ll be giving a signed copy to a newsletter subscriber on December 1st. Sign up here.
I just returned from a bookish road trip with Robin Herrera, Miriam Forster, and our intern/my daughter, Hannah. We drove to Boise and did writerly things with YA author Sarah Tregay.
It was snowy and cold outside but the people were so incredibly warm. I’ll blog more about it next week. In the meantime, if you are in the area, go visit Rediscovered Books and tell them I said hi!
— Rediscovered Books (@RDBooks) November 15, 2014
I took Hannah to the dentist today and the hygienist said, “I’m so excited for next week, aren’t you?”
I said, “What’s next week?” and she gave me such a look of incredulity before reminding me that next week is Thanksgiving.
I’ve been busy, okay?
I’ve finished 50% of of my Christmas shopping. Three gifts have already been wrapped. My cards are ordered.
I know that kind of get-it-doneness is annoying, but there is a reason for it.
I want to get holiday prep finished early because in mid-December I am having surgery. Longtime blog readers may recognize this little fellow:
That is a poorly illustrated drawing of an ovarian cyst. He and his friends have plagued me off and on for years. It’s been irritating, but manageable. However, last year, a bigger, meaner set of jerks moved in. (Hello, fibroids. I hate you.) My doctor has advised we just go ahead and remove all the affected parts, and since I’m not using them, I agreed. I’ll be having a hysterectomy.
Please feel free to tell me surgery horror stories.
Three is taking up a lot of space.
I’ll be buying new pajamas and plan to be in, on, or near my bed for most of December. Perhaps I’ll catch up on my reading list? (Hahaha! If only.)
This has nothing to do with three. And it delights me.
Holiday season television is about to hit an all time low. We are talking about
lower than inside the belly of a snake low. In case you haven’t heard about it, here is the trailer for Discovery’s Eaten Alive:
Granted, I know nothing about the show other than what I saw in the trailer, but it seems like a cheap stunt—and one that I will likely watch.
Speaking of being eaten alive, who wants a Poorly Illustrated Adventures of Heidi story? All right, kids, gather round!
Once upon a time there was a Heidi. At the time of this telling Heidi was seven or eight and looked something like this:
This particular story took place during Heidi’s unfortunate haircut-like-a-boy-with-a-bad-haircut phase.
Heidi and her older brother liked to play under bridges and on highway overpasses and at nearby industrial ponds. These things were not forbidden because it was the nineteen eighties and no one knew what kids did all day.
If Bob Ross had painted the industrial pond near Heidi’s house, it might have looked like this:
See the happy trees?
Bob Ross would have been romanticizing something far muddier, but Heidi wasn’t one to be overly critical about art.
Heidi and her brother often brought new pets home from their explorations at the pond. Tadpoles and frogs, neat looking bugs, even once a tailless cat who promptly had kittens behind Heidi’s dad’s shed, but this story isn’t about any of those.
This story is about two pond critters Heidi and her brother brought home one day:
Snakey, the garner snake
and Sal the salamander.
Heidi and her brother loved their new pets and wanted them to love each other. They made a comfortable home for them from a large orange tupperware bowl, some grass, and a small tin of water. Then they left the two pals alone to get acquainted.
Dun dun DUN.
Heidi and her brother returned from eating dinner to check on the new best pals. Only… where was Sal?
They searched diligently for the little guy, but let’s be honest, there weren’t a lot of places to hide in that big orange bowl. There was really only one place he could be…
“Does Snakey look a lot fatter to you?” Heidi’s brother asked.
“He really does,” Heidi replied.
“SAL!” they cried in unison, but not really because crying in unison usually only happens in books.
Here’s what really happened: Heidi’s brother lifted Snakey from the bowl.
Heidi’s brother gave him a gentle upward, squeeze, like Snakey was a tube of toothpaste.
Snakey opened his mouth and…
Heidi was surprised.
Heidi’s brother was surprised.
Snakey was surprised.
But perhaps most surprised of all was Sal, who had survived his brief trip into the belly of a snake.
All parties involved felt it was best if Snakey and Sal did not become friends after all.
Heidi and her brother allowed them to vacate the orange bowl and relocate to separate areas of the backyard where they
were both likely eaten by birds lived happily ever after.
Halloween candy, specifically how much I have or have not eaten this year. My average is way down, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.
When I was a kid, my family would occasionally go to see dollar movies at The Elsinore. I was fascinated by the building, mostly because the gothic construction led me to believe it had once been a church. However, the giant mural of witches made me think it had been a church to Satan.
I was only mildly bothered by this, since it was no longer being used for dark purposes (other than showing some terrible movies).
I just sent out my November newsletter, which is always fun for me to write. If you haven’t subscribed, there’s a link right over there in my blog’s right sidebar. ——>
I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Hook’s Revenge to a subscriber at the end of the month.
Now I’m thinking about pie. I might need to go make some breakfast…
Someone found this blog after googling “greatest thing on internet.” I’m flattered, but must decline that honor, as it clearly belongs to this:
What’s on your mind?
The weekend after Hook’s Revenge hit shelves, I packed my bags and set off on tour. I started in Tacoma, Washington for a signing at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow. I loved meeting, chatting with, and signing books for some of the wonderful booksellers in the area.
From Tacoma, I took a train to Seattle where I spent the next 40 hours alone in my hotel room, completing revisions on Hook’s Revenge: The Pirate Code. It was just me, room service, and my laptop—with the occasional dance break to keep the blood flowing to my brain. I finished just in time to do my first school visit, meeting with sixty-five 5th graders at Olympic View Elementary.
You guys, these kids. They asked such smart questions and were so into books and reading. America, your future is in good hands.
They send me a bundle of letters and I absolutely treasure them.
That evening I had an event at the first of several amazing independent bookstores I would visit on my tour. Mockingbird Books is just as charming as its staff—a real treasure.
Martha Brockenbrough—grammar goddess, picture book and young adult author (I can’t wait to read her forthcoming The Game of Love and Death), and all around wonderful person—moderated and did such an awesome job I now want her to moderate my entire life. She prepared magic tricks and trivia and even forced audience members to walk the plank! It was such a great evening!
The next day, Martha kindly drove me to KOMO Plaza where I had my first ever tv news interview, live on KOMO News 4 Seattle. I complained to my husband that I looked so stiff and nervous but he assured me I simply looked like I have excellent posture. You can decide for yourself, if you like:
After saying goodbye to Seattle I boarded a plane and set my sights on Salt Lake City. The morning after I arrived I spoke with 400(!) wonderful 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Antelope Elementary School. It was such an amazing feeling to read a section of my book to such a large crowd of kids—kids that sat quietly, fully engaged in what I was saying!
That evening, I had an event at the incredibly charming The King’s English Bookshop, appearing with two fantastic middle grade authors: Matthew J. Kirby, author of excellent novels such as Icefall and The Quantum League, and Jennifer Neilsen, author of the NYT bestselling Ascendence Trilogy (The False Prince, etc.).
Between Matt and Jen’s fans and my very large Utah family, there was not even standing room left for our event. Many people stood in the next room over, listening through the doorway!
From there, I flew to Denver for an event at Tattered Cover with Lindsay Eland, author of Scones and Sensibility and a Summer of Sundays. We had such a great time playing Truth and Dare with the audience. Anyone asking a question was able to draw a Dare Card from our deck and force Lindsay and I to do ridiculous and hilarious things. (If you would like to know how many books I can balance on my head, the answer is eight.)
And Tattered Cover so kindly gave me this keepsake bookmark!
My last event was back in Portland, again playing Truth and Dare, at A Children’s Place Bookstore. Shelby Bach, author of the Ever Afters series was my partner in absurdity there, with our shenanigans moderated by whimsicologist Kari Luna, author of the YA novel The Theory of Everything.
I had such an amazing time meeting readers, writers, and booksellers throughout the west. If you attended any of these events and have photos I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram or twitter or send me an email.
So that was my tour. I loved it! Bye!
But wait, there’s more!
Though this wasn’t technically a part of my tour, I did get to do a live radio interview a couple weeks ago. If you are interested, you can listen to a recording of it here:
If you would like to see me in person and you will be in either Boise or Miami next month, you are in luck!
I will be appearing at the Miami Book Fair the very next weekend, 11/22-23, though I do not yet know exactly which day or what time. I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I know.
Can’t wait to see you, friends!