Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Spring in the Ozarks means it's now time to get rid of the ol' coat and hat pic on the sidebar and put up a brand spankin' new author photo. Besides, a new picture gives me yet another excuse to be outside. It's just gorgeous out here right now...Tulips (my fave flower) are popping up everywhere, and the redbuds are all in bloom. Speaking of gorgeous color, how about that fantastic green on the weeping willow I'm standing under in my new picture? I'm pretty sure Aura and Grace, the mother and daughter artists from A BLUE SO DARK, would be making the most of all the pastels we've got outside right now, challenging themselves to art showdowns every afternoon...

...Speaking of new pics (how 'bout them segues?), Joan Holub, one of the authors at my MG blog, Smack Dab in the Middle, recently put together a slideshow to celebrate the release of her new book, ZERO THE HERO. In the vid, she features pics of authors revealing their favorite numbers. My pic focuses on the cups of coffee it takes to get me through a page of drafting:

...Okay, maybe not quite that many cups. But it's close.

And now, my NEO and I are headed to the deck for a dose of outdoor writing. Ah, spring...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


A tulip made it just in time for the first day of spring yesterday:

And Jake got in the first good dig of the warm season…Too bad the dirt that gets licked off a guy’s nose doesn’t taste as good as the remnants of dinner!

In the midst of all things new, I also found this recent (and fantastic!) review of PLAYING HURT, which is now officially a year old (it just feels so good to know that long after the initial book release hoopla, my book continues to find new readers)! Check out the review at TEEN INK.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Okay, so I'm bending the rules of this #FF just a tiny bit: Rather than pointing out my favorite / least favorite reads of the past month, I'm going to twist this week's theme in order to provide a book recommendation.

One book I devoured during the past month is John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. As a writer, I consistently love the voices in Green's books and really admire the path his career has taken:

For those who have already read and enjoyed Green's latest, you really ought to grab a copy of Catherine Ryan Hyde's SECOND HAND HEART. I read the book several months ago, and it's still with me. Some of those passages about life and death (the tree / death analogy in particular) brought literal goose bumps to my arms. So good. Sincerely. And only three bucks at Amazon! Click to order.

If you're a new follower participating in #FF, please leave a comment so that I can follow your own blog!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


In honor of reaching the 200-mark on my Facebook author page, I'm running a new giveaway! I'll be giving out one PLAYING HURT swag pack, featuring a PLAYING HURT button, signed bookmark, and signed bookplate (below):

I'll also be giving two signed shelf talkers. I originally distributed these to booksellers and librarians when PLAYING HURT released, and have only a small number left (they feature the same graphic that's been running at my author website):

I've never given any shelf talkers to readers or bloggers before, but they'd make a great addition to your own bookshelves!

To enter, head on over to my Facebook author page and become a fan. Write "enter" on my wall, and you're in the running. Giveaway runs through this Sunday, March 11.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a music fanatic. So much so, I’ve never really been able to write to music. In the past, I always found it too much of a distraction. (I’d get so wrapped up in my favorite tunes, I’d find myself typing lyrics instead of my current WIP!) Slowly, though, I’m beginning to learn how to write to music—I’m beginning to learn how to let it fuel rather than distract me. And it’s just a complete joy…

Right now, my current soundtrack is Amos Lee…I discovered Lee over a year ago, while watching CMT Artists of the Year—he performed one of my favorite songs of all time, “Colder Weather,” with Zac Brown Band. (If you missed it, click here asap, and prepare to get covered in goose bumps.) I’ve had MISSION BELL since it released last year and have always loved it, but I’ve found myself suddenly obsessed with this album the past few days—and it's slowly started to dawn on me that the reason might be that Lee’s record provides the just-right tone for my current WIP.

…How about you? Do you write to music? Do you find yourself listening to different genres of music depending on what you’re drafting? How has listening to music fueled your own work?

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