crawling out of the hole...

Christine (of Boulder Bookstore) and me and Victoria Hanley (author of Violet Wings) at our reading last week. A big thanks to those of you who came out to see us!

Hey everyone!

I just turned the revision of The Ruby Notebook into my editor! Whew! I spent the last two weeks trying to get it finished by the deadline (and I managed, with my mom's help, to get it in only a few hours late!) So... if you wrote me an email in the past two weeks and haven't heard back yet, that's why. (Sorry.) I'm trying to catch up with everything now.

I just found out that Delacorte will be giving a new cover look to the Notebooks series. So far I've seen the new covers for the first two books (Indigo and Ruby). Still waiting on Jade. I really like the new covers-- they're photographic and feature girls on the front, but from a back view, which is nice-- that way you can imagine their faces how you like. I don't think I'm supposed to show you the covers yet, but as soon as I can, I will!

Let's see... so now, after I recover from late nights working on the revision (and a nasty little cold), I'm going to refocus on The Queen of Water-- the memoir I wrote with my Ecuadorian friend Maria Virginia Farinango, which comes out in Spring 2011. We still have to revise it, which I'm actually looking forward to-- it's been over a year since I've delved into it!

Also on my plate is starting The Jade Notebook, which is set in a beach town in Oaxaca, Mexico. My husband and I will be taking a much needed Mexico beach vacation in a few weeks (my parents will be staying with Lil Dude here in Ft Collins. Thanks, Mom and Dad!) I'm hoping the trip will put me in the mood for jumping into Jade...

A few nice bits of news:

School Library Journal gave The Indigo Notebook this lovely review!

"Gr 6-9–This is a family and friendship story turned adventure tale with a touch of romance and an even slighter hint of fantasy. Zeeta, 15, wishes most of all that her mother would settle down so that they could have a regular life, rather than moving her from country to country, quoting the Sufi poet Rumi at every opportunity, and getting involved with eccentric, irresponsible men. As they arrive at their latest destination, a small town in the mountains of Ecuador , Zeeta meets Wendell, an American boy in search of his birth parents. When she agrees to help him in his quest, she becomes involved in a mysterious and ultimately dangerous adventure. As the suspense heats up and becomes more intense, Zeeta’s mother is engaged in her own adventure: a relationship with a man who wants her to settle down and become responsible. The change in Layla forces Zeeta to question what she values about her mother, and whether she really wants that suburban lifestyle after all.

Well plotted, with a cast of likable and interesting secondary characters and a powerfully atmospheric setting that includes a cave of crystals and a waterfall supposed to have magical powers, this novel succeeds at creating a believable and touchingly gentle romance between Zeeta and Wendell. The fantastic element, Wendell’s inherited gift of seeing into the future, is deftly handled. An entertaining and suspenseful read."

Yay! I'm glad she mentioned the plotting. Writing this Notebook series has required me to focus more on plotting than in my other books. In the Notebooks, there are mysteries (actually Ruby has TWO mysteries)... which means I have to think carefully about what info is revealed when, and all kinds of other details of mystery writing.

On a different note, Red Glass was selected as one of the Top Five Most Impressive Multi-cultural Young Adult Novels of 2009 by Marjolein Balm on the American Book Center blog. What an honor! Marjolein also posted a great review of What the Moon Saw on her young adult book blog. She calls the book "magical and inspiring." Thank you, Marjolein!

Another blog review from Read Arizona says The Indigo Notebook "would make a fabulous read over the holidays." :-)

If you know anyone in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, please tell them to come to my book signing on Monday, December 7 at 6:30 at Pooh's Corner. (I'll be visiting family there for a few days. Lil Dude and I will ride the Polar Express-- needless to say, he's over the moon!)

I'll be announcing the winners of the Ultimate YA contest and my own contest soon-- the deadline for entries just passed. I'll try to post the winning entry soon (and send out the signed copies of Indigo soon!)

Hope you all had a scrumptious Thanksgiving!