Monday, June 23, 2014

A Winner, a Cover Reveal and the Writing Process Blog Hop

I have so much to share today, so let's get right to it. First, I have a winner of the ARC of Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey.  Congrats to

Rosi Hollinbeck!

Second, I have exciting news. Fellow Michigan author, Tracy Bilen, has a second YA novel coming out next spring. Today I'm able to share the amazing cover of the book:

Isn't this such a cool cover? Tracy gave me a bookmark with the picture and it is even better when you see it in person! The book will be released in April 2015 by Tulip Romance (a division of Spencer Hill Press). Here's a brief description: 

When sixteen-year-old Kate hears the boom that ends her parents’ life, she doesn’t even realize it has anything to do with her. Until the police arrive at her front door.
Sent to live with her aunt at a ski school in Vermont, Kate tries to adapt to her new life. But then Kate’s aunt is hit by a speeding car and a rogue FBI agent tries to force Kate into his car at gunpoint. She’s saved by Ryan, the risk-taking skier she’s only just met.

On the run, the two must unravel the truth about her parents’ murder in order to stop a terrorist plot and save their own lives.

To find out more about Tracy and her upcoming novel, stop by her website

Now on to the final part of my post. Last week I was tagged by Patti Richards as part of the writing process blog hop. Patti is fellow Michigan author who I greatly admire. I remember when we first met a few years ago at a Lisa Wheeler boot camp. Not only was that day full of learning with Lisa, I also met a great writing friend and mentor. A year ago, Patti and I also became co-coordinators of the SE-Mitten Meet Up here in Michigan, which has been another great part of my writing life. To find out more about Patti and her writing of picture books, middle grade novels and more, stop by her website at

Now I'll share a bit about my writing process.

What are you currently working on?
My big push this summer is to complete a major revision of my middle grade novel. I'm feeling confident in this final stretch and am so grateful to my fellow critique partners who have helped me make it the best novel I can write. I also have a handful of picture book manuscripts that I will go back to once the novel is finished.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm trying to set my middle grade novel apart from others by working on honing my own personal writing voice. That is something no one else can replicate and what I'm striving to make my own. As I get deeper into my writing career, I'm feeling more and more at ease in maintaining my voice and writing style so my works can stand out as unique in their own right.

Why do I write what I write? 
I've always been a huge reader and had so many favorite books and authors when I was young. To be able to have an impact on a child through my writing is such an amazing feeling. Having DUCKLINGS ON THE MOVE placed into the world in March was surreal. Children out in the world are reading my book and enjoying it. What an incredible gift to possess and share!

How does my individual writing process work?
This is a tough question, as I'm still feeling out different processes and what works for me. I definitely am a plotter, not a pantser. For my MG novel, I did a lot of background outlining, listing and plotting before even starting to write. Actually I did write the first chapter before doing any of that, but by now the first chapter has morphed into a completely different beginning.  Really getting into my characters and having a more detailed outline to use as I write helps keep me on track and motivated.

For picture books, I start with an idea (which I usually get from my PiBoIdMo journals), flesh it out a bit and get words down on paper. My picture books go through so much revising, I might try my detailed outlining process for my next idea and see how it goes.

So that's me and a bit about my writing process. I'm tagging my fellow MMGM blogger Deb Marshall (and also designer of our great logo!).  Deb is a children's librarian and lives to the north in Canada.  I also was able to get to know Deb better this past fall and winter as we were fellow judges for the middle grade fiction category of the Cybils awards. To find out about what Deb is currently writing click here and stop by her blog Read Write Tell on July 2 for her Writing Process Blog Hop post.

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Giveaway Reminder

I don't have a new book to share this week, but wanted to remind you that the giveaway of an ARC of BLUE SEA BURNING by Geoff Rodkey is still open. Click here for the rafflecopter entry form.

Have a great week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Blue Sea Burning and a GIVEAWAY!

Today's the day - I finally have a giveaway for you! Last spring I featured the first two books in the Chronicles of Egg series by Geoff Rodkey - DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE and NEW LANDS. My thoughts can be found here and here. Today, I'm featuring the conclusion to the series - BLUE SEA BURNING and giving away an ARC. 

by: Geoff Rodkey
G. P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group 2014

From Goodreads:
After narrowly escaping the New Lands, Egg is determined to take down ruthless slave trader Roger Pembroke. But war is brewing among the Blue Sea's pirate gangs—and Egg, Guts, and Kira are running out of time to find the Fire King’s treasure and free the Okalu slaves from the silver mine on Sunrise. Can they save Kira’s people before Sunrise is plundered by Ripper Jones’s pirates? Will Burn Healy save the day, or has the legendary captain finally met his match? And will Egg ever win back Millicent from the annoyingly handsome Cyril?

This explosive conclusion to Egg’s journey delivers the ultimate combination of humor, heart, and white-knuckle adventure.

What a great conclusion to this fun series! I love all the twists and turns and adventure.  This is a great series for both boys AND girls, probably grade 5 and up.

I was lucky enough to receive an arc to offer in a giveaway. Thank you Penguin! The Rafflecopter entry form is below. I will announce the winner on Monday, June 23. No international entries, please.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the list of other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday bloggers to the left. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 2, 2014

Next week GIVEAWAY!

Happy June!

Now that my family is really getting into the busy time of baseball season, I might not have a post every Monday.  But I'm sure you are all busy with summer just around the corner, so it shouldn't disappoint you too much! :)  I do have a few giveaways scheduled for this summer, though, so do stop by occasionally. Next Monday will be the first of the giveaways and it is for an ARC of a fantastic middle grade read that is perfect for summer!

See you next week!