Final Week of the Children's Book Event!

Hey gang! Sad but true--this is the last week of the Children's Book Event! So rounding out the lovely month of September with all things children's book-related, here is an important question:
                   Why do you think children should be encouraged to read? What is the importance of reading for young children?

Reading is important to children for many reasons. As a matter of fact, being encouraged to read has such a variety of reasons that I'm going to list them all and if I've missed any, feel free to add:

1. It improves the brain cells
2. It gives them something else to do besides playing video games
3. It gives insight into worlds and places that they otherwise would never know about
4. It puts them in situations that they might otherwise never know about
5. Do you really want your kids watching "Honey Boo Boo?"
6. Do you really want your kids watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians?"
7. Children will get a better education
8. It'll stop them from asking a dollar-store employee: "How much is this?"
9. It might even make them want to write books of their own
10. It provides a healthy escape
11. It gives them something to talk about
12. It gives them something to think about
13. It saves them from boredom on a rainy day
14. IT'S FUN!

Third Week of The Children's Book Event!

Good people! The third week of The Children's Book Event is now in session! Okay, I know I'm a little late. The third week is practically over but in my defense, I was at the beach. And you know what happens at the beach? A whole lot of vegging out, eating, drinking, dozing, reading, drinking some more and....yeah. Repeat cycle. Rinse. Repeat again.
So moving on! This week's question centers around memories of growing up and having my parents read to me; followed by: do you think it's important for parents to read to their children?
            So, okay, first things first. Do I recall my parents reading to me? Just barely. And not because they didn't but because I honestly don't remember. But they must've because how else did I become such a bookworm????
             Now the second question. My answer to that is H*** YES! If you'll pardon the language, I feel very strongly about this one. Reading is an integral part of just being. You have to know how to read and not just emails, text messages and status updates on Facebook. Reading is equal to learning. Reading is equal to escape. Reading is equal to experiencing different things by way of the page. Everything has a beginning, middle and an end and reading is first and foremost in that statement. As I sit here typing this and glancing around the room I'm currently sitting in, I am surrounded by books. Actual books, not e-books, not Kindles or Nooks. But rectangular-shaped things with pages inside. Now aside from my personal preference, I think it's very important for parents to read to their children. Not only does it help the children read themselves and use their imagination and brain-power but it offers parent and child a chance to bond. In this day and age, bonding is extremely hard to do with so many distractions. We have to make exceptions. We have to push away from our computers and put down our iPads and establish or re-establish human contact. Whether it's through conversation and a book. It must be done.
                  So quit reading this blog and go pick up a book!

Back from vacation!

Greetings citizens! I'm not sure if anyone here has noticed....possibly not...but that's okay although I would like to imagine that the internet was indeed a lonely place without my presence. However, I was on vacation this past week to Long Beach Island, NJ. As you can see from the above image that my awesome older sister, Cathy, took at the beach as the sun came up, it was pretty spectacular. The water was perfect, the sun was bright and warm every day and the sand flies were barely making a snack out of me. There was also a discovery of a little coffee shop a few blocks down from where I was staying. The name of the coffee shop is called, "How You Brewin'?" and holy good Lord, I don't know what they put in their coffee but it is heavenly! So if you're in that neighborhood, you'd be doing yourself a HUGE favor by stopping in and snagging a cup! I did...every day....and it never got old!
So fellow people, back to reality we go. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho....

Second Week of Children's Book Event!

Here we are, folks! The second week of the Children's Book Event has now commenced! So what is this week's question, you ask? It is as follows:
What was your favorite book as a child and why?
For those of you who know me, my answer to this question will probably come as no surprise. In fact, you'll probably say, "Well, that explains a lot." But okay, all joking aside, my favorite book was Phantoms by Dean Koontz. This was the first book I read by him---which made me an avid fan of his---and it was the one, out of all of his books, that I've always remembered the most and not just because I read it so many times. It was gruesome. It was gory. It unfolded in a way that gave you the impression that a piano was hanging over your head by a fraying rope. Koontz always had a way with the words he put down on the page. In just a few simple sentences, he could make a character leap off of a page. He could show you an isolated town. He could show you the bleak misery of what befell the town's inhabitants. And man, was it scary. That's what I liked most about the book. The ripple of fear that would travel through me during a particularly shadowy scene kept me coming back. Even to this day, I still love scary books but I find that most haven't lived up to Phantoms.
Although I am open to suggestions....

Work in Progress Blog Hop!

Work In Progress Blog Hop ~ The Next Best Thing

***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

It’s that simple.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?
Pleasant Dreams and it’s definitely a working title.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Back in college, I took an “Aztecs and Mayans” class and it was the most interesting class I ever had and I was in English major! But it was very interesting to learn about other civilizations and the professor didn’t just talk about the temples, etc. He’d actually been to see them in person—mostly the Yucatan Peninsula-- so he provided a very colorful insight towards what we were only seeing pictures of. Now of course, the Aztecs and the Mayans were known for their human sacrifices and such and I’d be lying to say that that wasn’t the reason why I signed up to take this class in the first place. But it certainly was a factor and by the time the semester was over, I had Pleasant Dreams rolling around in my head.
What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm. Probably Chris Hemsworth and Zachary Quinto. They’re both studly in their own right but I think they’d be able to pull off the emotional aspect of the story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“With no reason to think that he should live, Paul Holten runs for his life.” Which I have to say is kind of contradictory. This will probably go through several rounds of editing before I get it just right.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully represented by an agency,

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh man, the first draft isn’t even done. Recently I realized that I need to restructure the first half of the book and I have no idea where to start. The time frame, even as we speak, is wide open.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Honestly, none that I’ve ever read and I’ve read a lot.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration comes from so many things. For this book in particular, there is a very long list and I don’t think I have room here to list it all!
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  
It has an edge of something in it that’s not completely grounded in reality as we know it which adds to the urgency. Our lack of understanding something always seems to motivate us a lot more, don’t you think? But a bigger part of this story will make you question how the past shapes us into the people we are today. 


Book Review!

Hey gang! Guess what? I have the honor and privilege of reading and reviewing Kaitlin Bevis' novel, Persephone, Daughters of Zeus and I have to say, what a piece of work! Please see below for my "official" (pretty fancy, huh?) review of this great book. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy! It's available at Goodreads and also for your Kindle! Read on, citizens!

4 out of 5 stars

“The drive the living has to always do more, get more and conquer more dies with us.”

That’s just one of the many awesomely-stirring lines from Kaitlin Bevis’ debut novel, Persephone—Daughters of Zeus. Like most books, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading. I knew the name Persephone from mythology but that was as far as it went. And I’ll tell you what, I was not expecting Bevis to take Persephone’s back story and add such a fun, modern twist to it.
The plot centers around Kora (whose first name is Persephone but she goes by her middle name for reasons that you will find out as you read). She’s in high school, a vegan and for all intents and purposes seems to be your average, run-of-the-mill teenager. Until she and you, the reader, realizes that she isn’t.
I don’t want to give away the story line although I’m sure you can probably guess. But what I will tell you is that this story will completely suck you in. The character interaction and their dialogue absolutely sparkle and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. Although there were several times where I wished Bevis put in a little more detail, the unfolding of the story is paced well and the characters are leaping off the pages so boldly that you’re more interested in what they’re saying rather than the scenery. I can’t stress enough the excellent control Bevis has over the conversations, the beliefs and the inner workings of a world that are literally on a different plane of reality.

 This book is the first of a trilogy and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these amazing characters.


The Event Has Commenced!!

Hello, citizens! The Children's Book Event--hosted by the wonderful Megan McDade--has now officially begun! All through the month of September, there will be posts, interviews, giveaways and more from authors, bloggers and illustrators--all related and circulating around children's books and the memories they invoke! Now the magnificent Ms. McDade has posted her first questions (ahem): what are your first memories of reading?
Now, me personally? I remember constantly reading "Where the Sidewalk Ends." It was a book of poems that were so strange yet simple and man, was I hooked. I think in my young mind, I connected with the weirdness of it. I mean, there was stuff in there from flying shoes, to a girl waiting for the rain to come because she wants a drink of water and oh, let's not forget about another girl who ate an entire whale and by the time she was finished, she was an old lady! Talk about determination! As weird as the poems were, they made sense. They weren't cute or filled with hidden meaning and they didn't preach at you, either. They were blunt, telling you in the simplest of terms what would happen if you were determined to eat a whale.
The illustrations in that book always struck with me as just this side of creepy too....which when I think about it, is probably what led me to the world of Dean Koontz but that's another story...