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Real Books

book 1
Jody Harvey

While reading will never go out of style, ebooks are fast replacing tried and true real books. I have mixed feelings about this since I love the weight of a real book, the sound of the pages turning, the smell of the paper. I love seeing the cover on my bedside table, and I love a wall covered with bookcases. I especially enjoy seeing my four novels there. Holding your own book in your hand gives new meaning to the concept of delight. My Flying Horse Trilogy (On a Wing and a Dare, In the Winds of Danger, Under a Wild and Darkening Sky) and my historical fiction novel (Under the Almond Trees) are accomplishments I am proud of.

Thomas Wightman
Thomas Wightman

On the other hand, I love that my Kindle will carry hundreds of books everywhere I go. Never will I be without reading material! Ebooks save paper, so they are better for the environment. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that thousands of books have already been printed. After they’ve been loved and read, what should be done with them?

Artists have a way of repurposing old things, and I’m thrilled to share several artists who are repurposing real books, you know, the kind with pages. These beautiful works of art ease a used book’s pain of abandonment a bit. They inspire in me the same sort of wonder that a new book does. An ebook may be more convenient, but I’ve never felt wonder looking at a

Justin Rowe
Justin Rowe

title in a list of titles. These book sculptures are filled with creativity and whimsy. They inspire awe. Someday maybe I’ll see one of these sculptors create a winged horse out of one of my books. I would be thrilled, as long as they had the ebook version on their Kindles.

Since I appreciate when people give me credit for my creations, I’ve listed the artist’s name below each picture. Search them for more examples of breathtaking book sculpture. And if you still enjoy curling up with a real book, grab one of mine! The Flying Horse books are set in Medieval Wales, in a remote town hidden in the mountains. The town is home to people who care for a herd of flying horses—the only flying horses in the world. Every year the Aerial

book 4
Sue BlackwellAnd the next time you read an ebook, don’t feel bad. Somewhere one of these artists is creating a masterpiece from the paperback version.

Games is held, pitting one barn of horses against another in aerial feats of racing and dancing. ON A WING AND A DARE center around characters like Davyd, who dreads following his family tradition and becoming a rider of the winged horses. And Emma, torn between her love two brothers, one the bad boy and one the dependable kind. IN THE WINDS OF DANGER begins with a Barn Leader trying something new—aerial jousting. Nia is disgusted with the idea and looks for something else to try. UNDER A WILD AND DARKENING SKY follows siblings Ralf and Alyna as they move into the town. Alyna tries to fit into barn life while her brother is more interested in the beautiful and dangerous Branwen.

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Favorite Children

threecovers0I am often asked which of my books is my favorite, yet I’ve never had anyone ask which of my sons is my favorite. My books are like my children: they took a lot of effort to ‘raise.’ If I am distracted from them sales decrease, like children acting out to get attention. I’m proud of them, books and children, but I see their faults. Each book has its own personality and strengths.

My first book, ON A WING AND A DARE, has a love triangle. Emma loves both Davyd and Evan, who are brothers. I admire Emma’s strength, and enjoy reviews on Amazon or Goodreads where readers say they are rooting for Evan…or Davyd.

The middle child, IN THE WINDS OF DANGER, has a young but fiercely strong female character. Nia absolutely will not let anyone push her around, and it’s not always obvious who is trying to do so. Any parent would be proud of her independent fire.

The last in the Flying Horse trilogy is UNDER A WILD AND DARKENING SKY, which has a wonderful brother/sister relationship. Alyna and Ralf support each other even as they make choices that set

UAT front

them in opposition to each other.

My most recent book is UNDER THE ALMOND TREES, which is not about flying horses. The three main characters here are strong women who helped settle California and happen to be related to me. Ellen fights for women’s right to vote, Emily wants to be an architect, and Eva opens her own photography studio. All of this is taken for granted today, but for them it was a difficult road.

So each of my books are loved for different reasons. You can see my favorite love triangle, favorite strong female character, favorite siblings, and favorite inspirational women. But a favorite overall book? I can’t pick. Summer is under way now, so why don’t you read them all and tell me which is your favorite? Don’t forget to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Thanks!

Authors, Reviews

Back to School Blog Hop

Microsoft Word - Document4Happy September! If your local school district is like mine, you’ve already been in school for two weeks. Nonetheless, I’ve always thought of September as Back to School month. This September, my books will be featured all month on a blog hop. Listed below are the bloggers who will be participating. Links to their blogs will be live once their Blog Hop post goes live. So put away those math books and click over to some interviews, book excerpts, guest posts, and other goodies.

Welcome to my Back to School Blog Hop!

 

September 2: Charles Ray  **  Charlie Ray’s Ramblings         
September 3: Apryl Baker  **  My Crazy Corner
September 4: Victoriya Aliferchyk  **  Vik Tory Arch           
September 5: Connie Peck  **  Connie Peck       
September 6: Angela Fristoe  **  Turning the Pages
September 7: Karin Rita Gastreich  ** Eolyn Chronicles
September 8: Courtney Vail  ** Gotta Have YA                     
September 9: Keeley  ** Keeley Reads                               
September 10: Evelyn Ralph  **  Evelyn’s Blog    
September 11: Cheryl  ** Gwyneira’s Book Blog    
September 12: Vanessa Aere  **  Book Butterfly Reviews          
September 13: Tiana Lemons  **  Ethereal Book Reviews    
September 14: Linda Ulleseit ** Chicks Writing Rockin’ YA          
September 15: DelSheree Gladden  **  The Edible Bookshelf          
September 16: Judy Goodwin  **  My Writerly World       
September 17: Emily Thompson  **  Clockwork Twist            
September 18: Charles Ray  **  Charlie Ray’s Ramblings   
September 19: Mary Collins ** Good Books Never Die     
September 20: Lauralee  **  History From a Woman’s Perspective
September 21: Kira Tregoning  **  Fantastical Reads     
September 22: Susan Stec  **  The Grateful Undead
September 23: Cathy Dougherty  **  Catherine Dougherty                          
September 25:  Dianne Bylo  **  Tome Tender
September 26: Jeanne Bannon Repole ** Beyond Words  
September 27: J.L. Campbell ** Reader’s Suite
September 28: Audra Middleton  **  Audra Writes
September 29: Jonel  **  Pure Jonel Confessions of a Bibliophile                    
September 30: Linda Ulleseit  **  Books, Books, Books
Reviews

Under a Wild and Darkening Sky

coverA review of my book by Megan, one of my students!

Under a Wild and Darkening Sky, by Linda Ulleseit, portrays Alyna and Ralf adapting to their new home in, High Meadow while working in their father’s bakery. Their parents plan out their future, but Ralf and Alyna chose not to follow in that particular path. They must also make careful decisions, and one wrong step comes the fall of High Meadow. Whew! That’s intense.

Alyna easily adapts to life in the barn, with a little help from a friend. I found this quite nice, as Alyna was never able to make friends in Merioneth. Alyna’s change adds a nice touch to the story. Ralf, on the other hand, is very adventurous. I really don’t know what to say. I can’t describe what he’s like. If I could, the word would be mixed-up-torn-loyal-maker of decisions-helper all mashed up into one word. Other than that description, he is hopeful and courageous when he helps restore- oh! I can’t give too much away, now can I? I was doubtful he would be any good when he helped his new troublesome friend, but as the story progressed, my opinions changed. I was hooked on like a fish, I suppose.

Evan, one of my least favorite characters from the beginning of the series, becomes crazed with power. People lose themselves to power, which I think is what happened to Evan. An important lesson in this part of the story is not to lose yourself to power otherwise you will get hit by- Oh no! I can’t give the book away!  And it was an exciting part about Evan! Oh well. You’ll have to read the book yourself! Anyway, as I just said, it teaches you an important lesson.

This is an excellent ending to the trilogy, and you don’t have to start from the first book, it’s easy to understand the idea of the story. I never thought I would enjoy Historical Fantasy/ Young Adult Books, but this, THIS! is truly fantastic. On my best book list!  The tension and the grabbing plot caused me to keep reading to find out what happened when Ralf and Alyna- No! I can’t reveal it! Okay, never mind. I would DEFINITELY recommend this to everyone in the whole wide world! Only if they would listen…

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NaNoWriMo Winner!

2013 winnerIt’s not the first time I’ve become a National Novel Writing Month winner, but it’s no less intoxicating! Fifty thousand words in one month is something I can be proud of.

At school, the first trimester ends the first week of November. That means grading final projects, tests, and other work then doing report cards. Parent conferences are held the third week of November, plan twenty minutes for each of thirty parents. Then a week off work for Thanksgiving (yes, this is where I catch up), but I spend a lot of time cooking, cleaning, and being with family. If I can find time during this busy month to write 50,000 words, then surely I can find time to write more regularly all the time.

A lot of people who enjoy writing during NaNoWriMo readily admit that what comes out is junk. I’m actually pretty proud of my novel, Under the Wild and Darkening Sky. It’s definitely a rough draft that will have to be revised, polished, revised again, but the bare bones are there. I have all but three chapters of it completed, and I’m motivated to finish it.

As usual (for five years in a row), my students participated in NaNoWriMo with me. Always before we have come back from Thanksgiving vacation with a day or two still left in November to make sure everyone reaches their word count and validates their novel. As I write this, it’s November 30 at 1:15 in the afternoon and I still have eleven students who have not done this. Some are at 100% and haven’t validated for the win. Some aren’t even at 100% yet. I can email, send NaNo mail, and shout at my computer, but it’s basically out of my hands. I have to trust that they’ll remember! Everyone send mental vibes out to my students: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!