Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shop Borders This Weekend

I'm switching to high school English teacher for this post.

Borders is giving customers a $15.00 gift card voucher for every purchase (books, music, even coffee or a bagel). This voucher will be used to make a donation to the public school of your choice through Donorschoose.org.

I urge you to go and make a purchase to donate to a school of your choice (and if you don't have one, e-mail me at rachelealpine@gmail.com and I'll hook you up with my school. We would greatly appreciate any donations).

It's soooooo important to get good books into our schools (especially YA literature) so kids want to keep reading.

Please consider going to Borders this weekend. You can check out the information here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Is For You?

Last night I talked my main squeeze into stopping at Borders. A trip to Borders usually entails me wandering the aisles and darting behind one every time I see him so we don't have to leave. It's a game of hide and seek just so I can stay in the bookstore longer!

He wised up and parked outside last night so I could just run in and grab a copy of The Mockingbird by Daisy Whitney. I've been dying to read it both for the story topic and the references to one of my all time favorite books To Kill a Mockingbird.

I went to the shelf and couldn't find it. I flagged down a worker who also looked at the shelf (uhm, I worked in a library in high school and practically lived in bookstores...I think I can tell if it's not there!). Of course, he couldn't find it either.

I was super bummed until he remembered that it was in a display for new books. I grabbed it and thanked him a bit enthusiastically (hey, good reading is good reading...I get excited when I have my hands on a great book).

He looked at me and goes, "This must be a last minute gift."

I shook my head no and was a bit confused.

"Oh, you're just so excited to have found it. I figured you needed it for someone."

"Nope, it's for me," I said.

"Really? You read young adult?"

Oh man, seriously? Do I read it? Uhm...yes! And write it, thank you very much.

He obviously doesn't know the wonderfulness that is young adult. What a sad sad life to go through oblivious to something so glorious!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Must Read Books

Gayle Forman (who wrote one of my favorite YA books, If I Stay, which is one of the top five books I highly recommend to my high school students) wrote an article about her favorite books for NPR (one of my Sirius radio addictions...I love NPR and my main squeeze makes fun of my excitement to have two choices on Sirius and one on regular radio of what to listen to at any given time).

She recommends her top five books of the year. Two I've read (Before I Fall and The Sky is Everywhere), one I'm dying to read but haven't had time (The Mockingbird) and one sounds like something I would love (The Things a Brother Knows).

Check out her recommendations and thoughts on each book here.

Have you read any of these books? Or Gayle's book? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

The Story Siren is holding a challenge where you sign up to read twelve books by twelve debut authors next year. Since three of the books coming out are from members of my super awesome Cleveland book club, I felt that it was completely necessary to sign up for the challenge.

The first three are to show my book club love:
1) A Touch Mortal (Leah Clifford)
2) Liar Society (Lisa and Laure Roecker)
3) Witch Eyes (Scott Tracey)

The rest are based off of blogs that I love or books hyped on blogs that I love. I have a feeling that there are a lot more books coming out that I have yet to discover.

4) XVI (Julia Karr)
5) Across the Universe (Beth Revis)
6) Like Mandarin (Kirsten Hubbar)
7) Bumped (Megan McCafferty)
8) Divergent (Veronica Roth)
9) Possession (Elana Johnson)
10) Bad Taste in Boys (Carrie Harris)
11) Audition (Stasia Ward Kehoe)
12) Paper Covers Rock (Jenny Hubbard)

What books are you looking forward to reading?

If you want to join the challenge...check it out here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lucky Reading

I have been so lucky in the last week and a half...

I love finding books that I can't put down. Books that I carry in my purse, read while my main squeeze is doing an errand and I sit in the car, hold in front of me during meals and fall asleep reading. I love books and read a lot of good ones, but books like these are rare.

My last two reads have been like that! Woo-hoo! Nothing makes a ay better like some amazing reading.

The first book was chosen by my book club (which I had to miss, because I'm in painting hell at my house right now...we're going on the third week straight of painting every single night).
It's REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly. Oh my gosh. I loved it so much. Like loved, loved, LOVED it! I already placed the school's copies in the hands of my students and told them to read fast so other people can read it!


The second book is HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT. I had heard a lot about it, but I hadn't gotten to read it until now. It's beautifully written and Standiford's voice reminds me of Laurie Halse Anderson's in SPEAK.


As fellow book clubbers, Lisa and Laura Roecker, like to say, the way these writers write "make us want to throw in the towel." They are so wonderfully done; I can only hope to write like them.

What are you waiting for???? Pick up the books and read them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Attention All Middle Grade Readers

I have to say that as much as I stressed over my edits for CANARY, I'm so glad that I had the time to do that. It mean that I put the book I had been working on all summer aside for almost three months.

I'm now able to focus on my current book again. I've been spending some time rereading and brainstorming about it this week, and it's been amazing to come back to something with a fresh eye. I don't think I would have had the patience to set it aside if my agent would have made me do another round of edits.

One of the things that keeps nagging me is the main character and her age. I keep wondering what the book would be like if she was younger (I'm think 12 instead of 16, the age she is now). I've always loved young adult literature and think of myself as a YA writer, but the more I think about my novel, the more I want to try writing it as a middle grade novel. I feel like it would be a lot stronger if I did.

I read a lot of middle grade when I was growing up (tons of Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, The Babysitters Club, Sleepover Friends and Sweet Valley Twins), but I haven't read any lately.

That's where I need your help. Are any of you Middle Grade readers? What's big right now? What books should I read? My book is comtemporary, so I'm looking at stuff that isn't paranormal/fantasy. I'm looking for current books (maybe published within the last three years). Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Save the Date!

I know I haven't talked about writing as much as I've wanted to lately, but other things have been taking over my life. Such as....my wedding!

I got my dress this weekend! Woo hoo! It was both exciting and scary at the same time. I can't show it to you, though, because my main squeeze reads this!

But...I can show you the Save the Dates that we sent out to our family and friends. We found an amazing artist on Etsy, who made Save the Dates! We gave her pictures of ourselves and they look a lot like the two of us (down to the Converse that my main squeeze loves to wear). We love them so much that she's going to do some more stuff for our wedding too, but that's a surprise!

You can check out her shop here!

And check out our Save the Dates below...



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting Angry

You know how when you read a book the last page is usually only about half a page? Or the book ends on the left side of the page?

Well, I just finished a book where the last sentences were at the bottom of the right hand page.

I was reading and reading and turned the page and found out THE BOOK WAS OVER!

Really? That's how you want to play this game?

I don't see anything cool about giving me no warning that the book is ending.

Shame on you, book publishers!

I don't know about you, but I slow down when a book is almost done and I almost always savor the last few sentences.

I have to admit that I was fuming when I turned the page and saw that there weren't any more words. Grrrrr!

What about you? What has been getting you angry lately?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life Hasn't Been All About Revising

Revising isn't the only thing I've been doing these last two months. I was able to have a little fun.

My main squeeze and I went on a mini-vacation to Salt Lake City Utah for a wedding.

I had never been to Utah and had no idea what to expect. I knew we were staying at a ski resort (Snowbird), but I wasn't prepared for how beautiful it was. We were lucky enough to have some perfect weather and while I did bring my laptop along, I got to revise looking out my hotel window at views like this...


Here is a picture of our hotel...


We took a ski lift up one of the mountains...



And I held onto my main squeeze's hand to make sure he didn't get too close to the edge!


We then cleaned up nicely for the wedding, which was held at the mansion where a bunch of scenes from Dumb and Dumber we filmed!


The grounds for cocktail hour were amazing (complete with swans)...


We then moved inside for dinner. How crazy beautiful is this place!?!



After dinner...we went to yet another part of the mansion for a little bit of dancing!

So my life isn't all revising. I have some wedding planning pictures to share soon and we've closed on our new house. It's been a busy few months! How the heck did I ever get my book edits done!?!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Pssssst!

Guess what???

My book is back in my agent's hands! She's going to read through the revisions and if she likes them (fingers crossed), we'll be subbing to some more editors!

You may be seeing more of me now that my revising is finally done! My big question is...what do you do with an extra three hours a night? I've been so used to coming home and revising, revising, revising for the last two and a half months, that I feel a bit lost!