Monday, January 31, 2011

Swag fun and Junior Musher Video Contest Launch

Next week is my first book signing event. I'll be at the Marmora SnoFest and sled dog races.

I'm sure it will be loads of fun, but I have to admit, I'm nervous. What if no one buys a book? What if I say something brilliantly inappropriate? What if the ink blobs in the pen and messes up someone's copy?

My man surprised me with these little cuties to help out. What could go wrong that a blue-eyed, stuffed husky can't fix?


I'd also like to announce that the JUNIOR MUSHER VIDEO CONTEST is up and running at the DOGSLED DREAMS website.

Contestants are invited to submit videos of their own 'dogsled dreams'.

I'll be posting the videos here, on the facebook page, and on the website. So exciting! Hope we get to see lots of awesome junior mushers with their gorgeous dogs!

You will get to vote for the winner in April!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Elevensies Library Book Feast

Breaking News:

You’re invited to the Elevensies Book Feast (All You Can Read)!

The Elevensies are a group of 2011 debut authors writing YA and MG books. We're offering librarians the chance to stock their shelves with the latest fiction for teen and tween readers, plus give young patrons the chance to win prize packages with tons of titles they’ll love!

What’s the Scoop?

We’re hosting a year-long giveaway, broken into three seasons. Each season offers books by debut authors that you AND your teen and tween patrons can win. We’ve got a cool poster advertising the giveaway, and random drawings take place at the end of each season.

Check out the BOOKFEAST website for details on how to enter and download the poster!

Here's what's on the menu:

Each season, we’ll offer a selection of books grouped into the following packages or “platters:”


Blue Plate Special: Contemporary and historical teen fiction that keeps it real

 Fusion Fare: Feast on fantasy, paranormal and dystopian teen fiction

Middle Grade Sampler: Dig in to debuts just for tweens, ages 8-12

Check out the WEBSITE for more details on how you can win!

I've already read some of these books and I can tell you they are AMAZING!

Note: Also, please check out Ink Spells today for a fantastic review of Dogsled Dreams!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Wow! I'm liking google alerts lately! Here's what some people are saying about Dogsled Dreams. It's such a strange feeling to know your book is out in the wild without you. Readers are keeping it alive now - it's out of my hands. I LOVE LOVE LOVE readers!

Just One More Chapter

The Writing Room

Just Jemi

Book Dreaming

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book readings

I have a burning question for you today.

I've been invited to do a reading of my novel, DOGSLED DREAMS, at the Cannington Public Library during their Sled Dog Races. This is something I have never imagined myself doing. Not even when I dreamed about one day having a book published.

Living in a small town, I haven't had too many opportunities to even attend a book reading. I've been to one - a memoir. The author read from a scene in the book, not the beginning. He read for a LONG time, and the only thing I know for my own reading is that I want to be sure to read a very SHORT passage. (especially since it will be a middle grade audience I hope to impress the most)

I've been stressing a little about this, but then I remembered I have a blog and an amazing group of blogging friends who probably have much more experience attending readings than I have.

So, what do you think about what part to read? Do you prefer when the author reads the first chapter, or part of it? Does it interest you more when the author reads part of an action scene from somewhere else in the story?

If anyone has read Dogsled Dreams, please chime in and tell me which parts you would suggest!

note: I also plan to do some dogsledding activities and fun things, so the reading will only be a very small part of the presentation.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Debut author challenge

Though I didn't quite finish the 100 book reading challenge last year, (read 76 books) I did enjoy keeping track of the books I read. All the books I've read in 2011 will be on my Goodreads page.This is the place for debut's from the fabulous list of authors at THE ELEVENSIES, I thought I'd join The Story Siren challenge!

1. The Trouble With Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante (MG)
2. Warped by Maurissa Guibord (YA)
3. Vesper by Jeff Sampson (YA)
4. XVI by Julia Karr (YA)
5. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (YA)
6. Head Games by Keri Mikulski (YA)
7. Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner (YA)
8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis (YA)
9. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (YA)
10. So Shelly by Ty Roth (YA)
11. Haven by Kristi Cook (YA)
12. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney (YA)
13. Clarity by Kim Harrington (YA)
14. How Lamar's Bad Prank Won Him a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Chrystal Allen (MG)
15. Illegal by Bettina Restrepo (YA)
16. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (YA)
17. The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder (YA)
18. The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless by Allan Woodrow (MG)
19. OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (YA)
20. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (YA)
21. Memento Nora by Angie Smibert (YA)
22. Divergent by Veronica Roth (YA)
23. Possession by Elana Johnson (YA)
24. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton (YA)
25. Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. by Medeia Sherif (YA)
26. Dead Rules by Randy Russell (YA)
27. Wither by Lauren DeStafano (YA)
28. Vanished by Sheela Chari (MG)
29. End of the Line by Angela Cerrito (YA)
30. Popular by Alissa Grosso (YA)
31. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (YA)
32. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (YA)
33. With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo (MG)
34. My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski (MG)
35. Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough (YA)
36. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (YA)

Another Glorious Hike

The most popular posts on my blog are when I stop talking and just let the photos tell the story.

View from the top of Mount Arabella - the highest peak on the north shore.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Let sleeping deer lie

Little story of adventure today.

It's a testiment to how silent snowshoeing is that I could sneak up on a deer at all.

The soft "whoomp whoomp" on new snow doesn't make much of a sound, but my wheezy breath should have given some advanced warning of my approach. (yes, little out of shape lately)

Okay. so NORMALLY I do try to be very aware of my surroundings. The whole point to snowshoeing is being in the moment and drinking in the peace of nature. But in this instance, I was hurried, absent, mind racing ahead to everything I had to do when I got back.

And that's how I nearly tripped over a deer curled up asleep in the snow. I saw her just before I stepped on her. It startled me into a very awkward crash to the ground beside her. And when I say beside, I mean practically in her lap. The lap with long legs unfolding with wicked sharp hooves at the ends.

photo credit FlickerCC. I did not have time to take out my camera
What happened next I'm sure would have won a funniest home video contest. Neither of us could get away fast enough. I flailed and rolled in the deep snow like a turtle flipped over on its back, frantically trying to get up, she flailed trying to get her cold, stiff legs underneath her. It is a wonder I survived unscathed.

this is about how close I was. photo credit FlickerCC
The whole event reminds me of the day I nearly died by moose. (In fact - that story is being published by Wild Washington in the near future.) Or the sleeping bear I surprised during a rainstorm.

I'm thinking perhaps the deer might have been chased by wolves - they become exhausted and don't like to move once they've bedded down. Or maybe she had slipped on the ice and injured herself. I'm going again today to check on her.

Life Lesson #214 - Look up from your snowshoes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teachers Guide for DOGSLED DREAMS

The fabulous Natalie Lorenzi has completed the Teacher's Guide for my novel, DOGSLED DREAMS.

It is beyond amazing. Some of the creative ideas for activities to do with the class are brilliant and inspired. Really. I can't say enough good things about it.

Please check it out here.

Monday, January 3, 2011


My debut novel for middle grade readers is now out in the world! What a strange emotional mix of thrilling and terrifying!You can purchase copies at the links on the sidebar - Amazon or B & N.

You can also visit the Elevensies site today for a chance to win a copy. One day only!

Also, check out Paul Greci, my awesome critique partner's post about the book! I'm very lucky to have found such a great partner. (and I can't wait till the day I announce HIS book)

And Kathy Habel at I'm a Reader Not a Writer, is also giving away a copy!

And one more - OMG, please visit Just Jemi to read her review! I'm completely blown away!

Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey with me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy New Year! I can't believe 2011 is here!

And for my first post, I'm pleased to announce the winner of my contest for a signed copy of the new release DOGSLED DREAMS


Shannon O'Donnell!!  Of Book Dreaming

Yay, Shannon! 

If you entered but didn't win - good news. You still have a few chances to win a copy. Over the next few weeks you can win a copy at

The Elevensies
Dogsled Dreams Facebook Page

and  a few other surprise places that I'll announce shortly.

Thank you all for entering and helping out. I'm so thankful for my followers!