All posts tagged: books

Coming Up: Authors! Books! Give-a-ways! Interviews!

By Leslie Lindsay Don’t you just love, love, love a good book?  How about when that writer is equally cool? And she graciously offers a complimentary copy? Well, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that we will soon be meeting two wonderful authors who will be doing just that! Laura McHugh is a debut psychological/family saga thriller writer from the heartland. Missouri, that is–who will be sharing her book, THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD (March, 2014). Think gritty Ozark moutains, a missing girl, family secrets. Lacy Crawford writes with elegence and humor in her debut EARLY DECISION, based on the college admissions process, the elusive college essay, and the wealthy kiddos that don’t (always) have a clue. A must read for any parent about to send their kiddos off to the wild blue yonder,high school english teachers, and so many more! Wednesdays right here are the days to watch–that’s when you just might get to “meet” one of these lovely ladies and enter to WIN a complimentary copy of their books. Happy reading! Leslie : ) [cover images …

Write On, Wednesday: Author Kimberly McCreight of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA (2013) with GIVE-A-WAY!!

By Leslie Lindsay I am super-excited to spend some time chatting with NYT bestselling debut author, Kimberly McCreight of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA.  While this book was a Target Book Club pick and my local book discussion group selection, I am in awe as to how this literary wonder woman does it all.  She’s a mom to two young girls, runs marathons, and has several unpublished manuscripts just lying about. Oh, and she’s a former attorney. To accomplish all of that, you’d have to say the woman is driven, hands down. RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA appealed to me for several reasons: it’s been compared to Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, has a Jodi Picout-like quality in that it alternates between view points, and perhaps most importantly, the storyline is ripped right from current trends in mean girl behavior, also know as social aggression–a trend I am not proud to associate with the female culture. So, without futher ado…please welcome Kim McCreight. LL: Thank you, Kim for taking the time to chat with us about your book, RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA (Harper Perennial, 2013). …

Write On, Wednesday: Author Emily Liebert of YOU KNEW ME WHEN

By Leslie Lindsay Have I got a treat today!  Debut novelist Emily Liebert is here to talk about books, friendship, social media, agents, and nailpolish. Oh, and that includes a give-a-way! Not just one, but TWO lucky winners will receive a copy of her book, YOU KNEW ME WHEN (NAL Trade, 2013) and custom-designed nailpolish. LL: Emily, thank you so very much for agreeing to be on Write On, Wednesday!  The fun part of our connection is we found each other on Twitter.  In what ways has social media brought the world of books closer to readers, and do you ever consider social media to be a burden to book lovers? Emily Liebert: My pleasure! Love that we found each other via Twitter. 😉 I don’t consider social media to be a burden in any way! I think it’s opened up a worldwide conversation that’s truly revolutionary. My first book, FACEBOOK FAIRYTALES, which is narrative non-fiction is an anthology of 25 amazing stories that evolved from Facebook connections. So I’ve done a good deal of research in …

Write On, Wednesday: Interview with Author Deb Caletti

By Leslie Lindsay I am thrilled to feature National Book Award Finalist Deb Caletti to Write On, Wednesday!  When I came across her latest book, HE’S GONE (Bantam, 2013) it was quite honesty by accident.  Not the kind of accident that occurs between the covers of the book, but one in which you find yourself pleasantly surprised.  Having a long-standing career writing YA, this is Caletti’s first book intended for an adult audience.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. And now, I’d love to introduce Ms. Caletti and her world of fiction: Leslie Lindsay: Thank you for agreeing to be with us today, Deb.  HE’S GONE totally ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite books.  I fell in love the gritty manner you crafted sentences, the idea that things aren’t always what they seem, the interplay of memory versus reality and the mystery of what really happened.  Can you tell us how you came up with the premise for this book? Deb Caletti: “The idea for the book came much the same …

Fiction Friday: Better Late than Never

By Leslie Lindsay It’s Friday about one more hour here in the central part of the US and I best get my promised Fiction Friday post out.  If you’re on the West Coast, then I guess I am not so tardy… This one is something I’ve been working on lately to add a little dark edge to my novel-in-progress.  Let me know your thoughts when you get a second…a star, a comment, a like, a re-post to Twitter or Facebook is always a good way to let me know if you liked it. Enjoy…   “I used to imagine it sometimes, what would happen if I just didn’t come home.  The thought always came to me when I was feeling particularly unworthy, lacking confidence, seeking attention.  God, I hated how that sounded; like I was an attention-seeking borderline threatening to run off or take my own life.  I could never do that, not really anyway.  The thought was always more about sharing my pain with others, letting them know just how miserable I felt deep down.  My …

The Teacher is Talking: Getting Resourceful for Summer Break

By Leslie Lindsay It may be summer break in most areas of the country, so your classroom is bound to be shifting a bit.  Instead of neat rows of desks lined up in your neighborhood school, your child’s classroom is now the playground, the nature trail, the swimming pool, or perhaps a friendly day camp.  There are plenty of ways to “sneak” in summer learning without being overly teacher-ly.  Here are some ideas uncovered in just the last few days for little or no cost to you. Michaels Craft Stores have two summer tracks you may be interested in following.  Track One:  Kids Club. Meets every Saturday, starting June 1st and going thru July 6th.  For ages 3+, kids can benefit from a 30-minute hands-on crafting activity (all supplies included) with a Michaels staff member and bring home a craft. ($2/child). (Examples:  Father’s Day Card, Father’s Day Duck Tape Frame, Silly Shells,  4th of July Hat, and Summer Games).  All classes run every 30 minutes from 10-12noon.  Michaels Craft Stores Track Two: Passport to Imagination. Explore the 7 continents and their amazing landmarks and …

The Teacher is Talking: Word Strategies for Young Readers

By Leslie Lindsay   If you’ve been reading for awhile now, you’ll know I have two little girls, ages 6 and 8.  They are like little sponges, soaking up all of the new stuff they can.  And they are ripe for reading.  Just last evening, my 6 year old full-day precocious kindergartner brought home an advanced book, “My teacher says I’m ready, mom.  But she also said if it got too hard, I don’t have to read all of it.”  I nodded and looked at the book, Fancy Nancy and the 100th Day of School.  “Okay,” I said, “We’ll give it a whirl.”  We cracked open the book (it literally looked brand-new), and began reading.  (image source: Amazon.com 5.7.13) Now, if you know anything about Fancy Nancy, you’ll know she uses a lot of “big” words.  It’s all done in a cute, playful way to improve little vocabularies.  Plus, it’s just darn cute to hear your kiddo’s diminuative voice say something like, ‘dilemma,’ and ‘imaginative.’  So, when we came to those big words in the …

A Little Literacy, Please: Flit, Float, Fly.

By Leslie Lindsay April showers bring May flowers…and so does JoAnn Early Macken, author of Flip, Float, Fly…Seeds on the Move.  When I first came across this darling picture book for children, I was a participant in the Write-by-the-Lake Summer Retreat in Madison, Wisconsin.  Ms. Early-Macken was presenting a session on writing children’s storybooks–which all have 32 pages, and some kind of rhyme or lilt about them.  (Don’t ask me much more, as I didn’t take her workshop.  I was too busy with adult fiction.  But I did buy her book for my then 7-year old garden lover). I love the simple, heirloom-quality illustrations, paired with Early-Macken’s gently swaying prose, this book is hands-down a spring-time favorite at our house.  Readers–parents and children alike–will learn how seeds use ingenious methods to travel to new places to put down roots.  I abolutely adore her use of ontomonapeoas (that is, words that sound like the sound they make in real life), crunch, crackle, fling, pop!  Plop!  SWISH… A fun book to read this spring while teaching your kiddos …

Write On, Wednesday: Perfecting the Pitch

By Leslie Lindsay This past weekend, I packed my overnight bag and headed to  the University Wisconsin-Madison’s Continuing Ed Writer’s Workshop: Marketing Toolkit.   Besides the hotel room all to myself and the uninterrupted time in a coffee shop, it was a glorious–if mildly terrifying–time away from family and the hustle and bustle of”real-life.”  I got lost in my fiction world.  A little bit.   But I also got a good dose of reality.  Our instructor, Laurie Scheer started our three-hour workshop off with this statement: “There is no conspiracy against you as a writers.  You are all capable.  The publishing industry wants to hear from you.”  Wow.  Read that again if you have to.  They want you.  A wave of relief.  But still, it’s not easy.  For a writer to get noticed in the marketplace, this is what needs to happen before you pitch your book (we’re sticking mostly with the fiction model here, so if you’re a non-fiction writer, don’t take this to heart, although some of the elements do overlap).  #1  Your Logline.  Your what?!  …

Apraxia Monday: Gnoming for Words

By Leslie Lindsay Looking for some crafty things to do with your children during the winter months?  This one lends well to the spring season as you can make these Hobbit-inspired homes now, and then spray with that really great preservation stuff and place in a protected area of your yard/porch to attract little fairies and gnomes.  Perfect for that Irish-themed holiday right around the corner!    Now, don’t get wrong, this is not a how-to post on creating your own gnome homes, rather it’s a lesson on how to incorporate speech-language skills into your projects.            Rule #1:  You don’t have to be an artist.  Repeat that.  You don’t have to be an artist.                 Rule #2:  It’s about the process, and not the finished art piece           Rule #3:  Grab your child(ren).            Rule #4:  It’s okay to get messy, encouraged even.  (Wear old clothes or a smock)           Rule #5:  Have fun! Now for that part about how to incorporate speech work into your crafting.  For children of all ages and all skill levels, you can begin …