Saturday, March 31, 2012

And The Winners For The Kick-Butt Characters Giveaway...

...have been chosen!

Woohoo!  What a great turn-out for our inaugural Hop.

The 10 Winners of the FREE EBOOK copy of NEVERDARK have been chosen, as well as the (1) Winner of the PAPERBACK copy.

I'm busily sending 'Congratulations' emails as we speak.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who entered!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NEVERDARK in Public Schools!

 NEVERDARK in Public Schools!

Okay, so, this is a pretty cool event in my world. As my lovely British friends would say, I'm chuffed to bits about it.

Neverdark , my debut novel about Fiera, the kick-butt Faerie Princess who saves her world, has just been approved for the public school curriculum for the Province of PEI, Canada.

Very shortly, it will be in all the provincial school libraries AND all sixth grade classes.

Yes, there's a happy-dance underway at my house!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Ban Child Beauty Pageants?

So, The French (it’s always The FRENCH, innit?), want to BAN Child Beauty Pageants?  Well, that just seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it? 

Or, does it?

With pics like these floating around Paris Vogue, I think maybe we all need to give our collective heads a shake:

As the article in World News Reports (you can find it, here: 

“Chantal Jouanno, the senator who authored the report, told Le Figaro newspaper that young girls were being disguised as sexual candy and that it was “contrary to the dignity of the human being.” She called it "a step backward for gender equality.”

Bravo, Chantal Jouanno, damn straight.   Gift-wrapping pre-pubescent children and placing them in sexually provocative poses to be put on display for all the world’s perverts to enjoy is not okay.  I don’t care what legal release forms the parents or “guardians” signed, it’s not okay.

As a writer, I’m all for freedom-of-expression but when it comes to using children, there are limits.   As adults, protecting children is a big part of our job.  So, fashion industry, listen up:  If you won’t govern yourself in this regard, we’ll govern it for you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

FIVE STARS for WONDER by R.J. Palacio

A few weeks back, I ranted a bit (okay, a lot), about the absence of aspirational heroes in Middle-Grade fiction these days. For the most part, I’m still feeling tantram-y about the general state of things in this regard. 


WONDER , by  R.J. Palacio , goes a long way to correct this. 

Let’s face it: there are books and then, there are BOOKS! And, by the latter category, I mean those rare gems that not only captivate us but also change us—-for the better—-by us having had the good fortune to have read them. 

 WONDER is such a wonder. It tilted my orbit, just a touch, and here’s why: 

The story is about Auggie, a normal kid with a horrifying facial deformity. Yes, I said *deformity* although, like everyone else in the story, the impact of that word diminishes for the reader as we, too, get to know this remarkable little man. 

The story unfolds through the eyes of first, Auggie, then in sections devoted to the people who know and love him. It’s a study in perspective—-how each character views and copes with the daunting challenges of everyday life when you’re always the center of unwanted, and sometimes hostile, attention. 

The writing is sublime perfection. Simple, and yet, so, so powerful. Palacio’s voice carries the sophisticated eloquence needed to lift such a melancholy story into the realm of inspiration. 

One of my favorite passages: 

“Why do I have to be so ugly, Mommy?” I whispered. 
“No, baby, you’re not…” 
“I know I am.” 
She kissed me all over my face. She kissed my eyes that came down too far. She kissed my cheeks that looked punched in. She kissed my tortoise mouth. She said soft words that I know were meant to help me, but words can’t change my face.” 

My heart aches, just typing that. 

There is so much wisdom in this book. I’m in no way surprised that so many have plucked pearls from its text. I am particularly fond of this one: 

“I think that there should be rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” 

Wouldn’t we all be better people if we gave more of those and received at least one?