Today a reader…

Please encourage your children to read.

Give them books they would enjoy for Christmas.

Take them to the public library to get their own library card.

If they are too young to read themselves, read them bedtime stories.

It’s never too early to inspire a love of good books. No, they won’t all become leaders, but research shows that reading to children and discussing the book is the best way to increase your child’s IQ and instill a love of reading.

10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

Blogger Bouquet #38

blogger bouquet spring

Tara of Tara Sparling writes is an established writer and award-winning blogger from Ireland.

From her About pages:

Tara writes fiction and screenplays. Originally from the west of Ireland, she now lives in Dublin. She spends all of her spare time with words. The writing of them and the reading of them…
…This blog offers a reader’s perspective on traditional and indie/self-publishing, book sales and genre trends, writing and publishing follies, marketing tips, author success stories and spectacular failures.

Tara raises an excellent point in this post from June, a topic I have also blogged about. Check it out:

We Were All Young Adults Once: Why Are We Not All Reading Young Adult Fiction?

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

I hope your week is going well, everyone!

Calmer Girls is Pre-Listed!

Quicker than I had anticipated, Calmer Girls has been prelisted and is now available to pre-order on Amazon

51ZMr-anY2L._AA324_PIkin4,BottomRight,-59,22_AA346_SH20_OU15_

After moving to the city of St. John’s, sixteen-year-old Samantha Cross meets a boy with beautiful brown eyes—eyes that focus on her sister, Veronica. As Samantha falls in love with her sister’s boyfriend, one
thing becomes clear: One of the Cross sisters is in for a broken heart.

Please note: At this time, the book is available for pre-order in e-book form only. When the book is officially released on March 24th, the paperback will then become available.

Some of you have expressed an interest in the origins of the cover art.
Award-winning Fiona Jayde Media did the beautiful artwork for Calmer Girls. I couldn’t be more pleased with my publisher for acquiring the artist, along with everything they’ve done and are still doing in working with me to bring my book to light.

And of course, many thanks again to all who gave me the moral support through this blog to continue on my writing journey. Before the book’s release, I’ll return to this topic to provide a bit more background to the setting of Calmer Girls.

Things are a little hectic here for me at the moment and I will be away from my blog for a few days, so I have closed comments for this post. And next time? There are a few new photos I’m looking forward to sharing with you. 🙂

Links where you can find the book:

Amazon Canada

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Calmer Girls

In Praise of Young Adult Fiction

I used to think I was a bit of a dork for liking Young Adult literature, even though my years as a young adult are long gone.

picblog4

Not so anymore. Although some may be too shy to admit to it or call it a guilty pleasure, YA fiction has a huge fan base among grownups; in fact, a recent study states that 55% of its readers are actually adults. And while I also choose from a variety of other genres and often crave the more literary and classic offerings as well, I particularly enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, as two of my upcoming novels will attest.

Why do I and so many others love reading YA novels? I don’t believe it implies immaturity, but rather suggests a more “young at heart” sensibility of the reader. And I am careful about not lumping all of them together; as in every genre there is great writing and not-so-great writing. With that in mind, here is what I find appealing about most of the YA and coming-of-age literature I have read:

  • It draws you in and hooks you on the first page.
  • It is usually light on the exposition and heavy on the action and dialogue.
  • The drama isn’t contrived. The teenage years, with all of its growing pains, can be filled with turmoil. Ordinary situations often feel emotional, and even catastrophic.
  • Teens are well-known to be impetuous and curious, therefore their actions are often unexpected. This opens up all sorts of drama which may include acting on violence, sexuality, and other previously uncharacteristic behaviours.
  • We’ve all been there, so we can identify with many of the common conflicts that arise. Other times, we might enjoy reading YA as an escape into wish-fulfillment: a way of righting the wrongs in our own experience.

Still not convinced to give Young Adult a try? Peruse these quotes taken from bestselling YA fiction:

recite-h0wfzl

recite-en8wqs

recite-19wy7zc

recite-13f8a3k
recite-1d5a996 recite-baznm3
recite-xdv7e1

recite-1di69t3

slide_337455_3428836_free

What do you think of the Young Adult genre?
Do you have any favourite YA quotes to share?

A Love Affair with Words

As far back as I can remember, I have had a penchant for words, especially the written word.  Whether that love was instilled in me by a father who had such an affinity for language and books, or it was inherited from him, I believe he deserves the credit.  I’m sure my brother, who shares that love, would agree.

Word games have always been my favourite.  Give me a competitive game of scrabble any day over other board games.  I delight in solving a difficult crossword puzzle, anagram, cryptogram, or jumble.  And if playing Jeopardy, what is my favourite category?  You guessed it:  Word Origins.

When I think of word origins, I fondly recall one particular book, recommended and owned by our dear father.   Our Marvelous Native Tongue – The Life and Times of the English Language by Robert Claiborne, is probably the best book ever written about the origins of our language.  Thorough in its examination and encompassing the first intonations of our caveman ancestors to the many dialects of today, I found it hard to put down, even on a second reading.  Particularly notable are the many words we ‘borrowed’, and then kept from other languages, making English a true amalgam, and the rich, colourful and ever-evolving tapestry of words and speech we know today.

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.”  – Truman Capote