Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

September 18, 2014
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In a strange sort of coincidence I ended up reading two series of books with nearly the same name, Stranded --  Jeff Probst’s (host of Survivor) middle-grade novel series and an indie pub YA series by Theresa Shaver.

I can’t remember when and where I purchased the hardcover version of the first book in Jeff Probst’s series, but wanting a quick read the other night I grabbed it and was hooked on... Continue Reading

September 10, 2014
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I am so pleased that author KJ Klemme took the time during her debut week for this interview. KJ's novel Tourist Trapped is a fast-paced, mystery set in Cancun. Her engaging main character is a Chicago area divorce lawyer who turns into a sleuth in order to find her missing half-sister when she disappears on vacation. You're going to love the twists and turns in this story! KJ promises there's more to come from this cast of characters!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

... Continue Reading

August 12, 2014
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A big shout out to fellow writer Robin Korb who has included me in her writing process tour. I love the magical realism in Robin’s stories. You can check out her engaging novels on her blog Robin Writes or follow her on twitter @KorbRobin.

The idea behind the blog tour is that we writers share things informally during workshops and at conferences, but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the... Continue Reading

August 6, 2014
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I think that a fellow blogger has snuck into my house and tucked a note in my Stephen King paperback. No, I haven’t lost my mind. I swear. 

That is either true, or I am experiencing a very odd coincidence.

Okay, here’s the story.

On July 31st Jess Witkins wrote a wonderfully inspirational blog entitled “I’m Enough: Learning Lessons from a Mirror That Talks Back.”... Continue Reading

July 16, 2014
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This summer our family decided to take separate boys’ and girls’ vacations. We NEVER do this! But, when my husband and son decided to climb Devils Tower in Wyoming, my daughter and I decided to do something different and settled on Quebec City for our trip.

We were super excited when we realized we’d be in Quebec City during their big summer music festival – Festival D’ete de Quebec. Our pass included access to all shows all week for less than $100 per... Continue Reading

June 25, 2014
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I am so excited to interview Angie Stanton, bestselling YA author. Her books are great romantic fun with a serious twist that makes them stand out. I’ve read Rock and a Hard Place and Royally Lost so far and have the rest of her awesome books on my waiting-to-be read list.  (Rock and a Hard Place is part of a series about a trio of rock-star brothers. Her book Spotlight features these Jamieson brothers, too. I am assured there is more to come from this cast of characters.)   

... Continue Reading

June 21, 2014

In 2007, our family of five embarked on a month-long trip to Europe, kicking it off with a visit to Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice.  Our kids – age 17, 11, and 9 – thought this was a grand adventure. I would have to say that the Stonehenge visit was most definitely more educational than we expected! 

Here are photos of what the crowd is like around Stonehenge during the celebration.

This is one of four times during the year (solstices/equinoxes) when visitors do not have to stay behind a barrier and can walk freely around the stones, without paying for a special access tour. Unfortunately, it was overcast in 2007, so the epic sunrise I envisioned did not happen. But the years that it does, it is truly amazing.

Have a great longest day... Continue Reading

June 20, 2014
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Big week in reading for me – which means it was a big week in writing procrastination. But, oh well, at least I accomplished something!!

My four-book week started with new titles from two of my favorite authors; The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank and Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris.

The Hurricane Sisters is the first-person account of three generations of women, weaving their stories together in a richly told... Continue Reading

June 13, 2014
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Three weeks ago I had an awesome school visit with the fourth grade at St. Jerome School in Columbus, Wisconsin and am still totally impressed by how savvy these kids are.  As a writer for this middle-grade crowd, I was most definitely reminded that they want smart plots with engaging characters on subjects that they love.  Oh yeah, just like adults!

They re-energized my writing.  For me, spending time with this age group is like being in a battery charger.  I know a lot of people... Continue Reading

June 2, 2014
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Are you the kind of person who has to read the book before the movie comes out?  I AM! 

Friends have been telling me to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green for a while now.  I’ve owned the book for months, and it’s been sitting in my three-foot tall waiting-to-be-read stack. With the movie release this Friday, I had renewed urgency.

Oh my! Where to start?

This was a stellar novel – absolutely wonderful.  I bawled... Continue Reading

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