Posts Tagged ‘YA Book’





Filed under: Writing, Writing Style, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Titles of books change all the time. It’s a fact. Period.

As an writer, I’m well aware that when a story is “adopted” by a publisher, they might want to change the name of their new child. Of course, their intent is to give each book the best life it can have. I was very lucky with TOUCHING THE SURFACE–Simon Pulse kept my original vision. This was a huge relief because I loved it–I was attached. But also because my titles play a very large role in the story I am trying to tell, in fact I can’t even begin to write a new book if I don’t have that key piece of information. I need a title to anchor my thoughts. Then it must grow and twist through the story like a vine, with the weaving of the theme being strong enough to support just about anything else I throw into the story…



Now that’s good weaving LOL!

But wait! I must have a reason for all this title talk, right? Of course I do. I’m approaching the end of my first draft to THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY which means 90% of my brain is in complete obsession mode. All I can think about is THAT STORY!!! But…the final 10% is thinking ahead, starting to mull over the next book. Getting to know new characters. Thinking about new questions that I need answers for. So, since book three is starting to tickle my brain, I thought I would share my title with you. Who knows if I’ll get to keep it, but for now…Book Three is called CHASING ADAPTATION. It just feels right.

How do you pick your titles? What are some of your favorites? What do you think makes a good title?

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My Wish

Filed under: Pondering, The Opposite of Gravity

I’m a little lost in the ending of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY right now–unable to even listen to audiobooks because I’m drowning in the songs that I associate with this WIP. I play them over and over and try to let my mind dance with the words and go to the place it needs to go in order to write it right. There are the songs that now remind me of the early chapters and there are the recent songs that have just helped the story take shape and now there are the songs that I’m running to get close  to–so they can whisper in my ear. Here’s one of them…

My wish? That I never stop being this vested in what I write. What are you chasing right now?

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Class of 2k12 in the Spotlight-THE GATHERING STORM by Robin Bridges

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Class of 2k12, The Class of 2k12, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)


In a weird coincidence, I’d just cracked the spine on my very own copy of THE GATHERING STORM by my Class of 2k12 sib Robin Bridges, when the ARC Tour copy showed up in my mailbox. Guess I was reading the right book at the right time. I love it  when the universe sends me cosmic confirmation signals.  Here’s a little bit about THE GATHERING STORM in case you have had the chance to drool over it yet…


In superstitious 1880’s Russia, Katerina of Oldenburg hides a dangerous secret: she can raise the dead.

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888.  As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead.  But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?


THE GATHERING STORM can be purchased at…

Barnes and Noble


Click HERE for a list of other available booksellers


Kimberly’s Review of THE GATHERING STORM

The absolute coolest thing about this book was the melding of paranormal and historical. And what really intrigued me most was that this wasn’t your “typical” historical era that we so often read about–this was Russia!!! The story was filled with all kinds of new and unique things that I’d never read about in a YA book before. Obviously, there was a mind boggling amount of research that must have gone into THE GATHERING STORM and that’s what I loved about it. It felt authentic–which meant that when Bridges introduced her paranormal elements into the story–the lines between reality and fiction were often blurred, making for fantastic story telling.I also really loved Katerina’s drive to be a doctor and her own person and more importantly, I adored her father. He only wanted the best thing for his daughter, even if it defies convention.The Gathering Storm had love, intrigue, history, magic and all of my attention. I can’t wait until the next installment of the Katerina Trilogy!!!
By day, Robin is a mild-mannered writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction for young adults. By night, she is a pediatric nurse. Robin lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, one soon-to-be teenager, and two slobbery mastiffs. THE GATHERING STORM is her first novel.
And if I haven’t already sold you on Book One of the Katerina Trilogy, check out Book Two…
THE UNFAILING LIGHT is now available for Pre-order!!!!
Available October 9, 2012
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She’s about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia’s arch nemesis–who she thought she’d destroyed–is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She’ll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina’s horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
You can find out more about Robin Bridges and The Katerina Trilogy–THE GATHERING STORM and THE UNFAILING LIGHT here…

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Why I’m Reading TOUCHING THE SURFACE to My Boys

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’m reading TOUCHING THE SURFACE to my three boys. Just a chapter a night. Now before you ask–my book is categorized as 14 and up and my kids are 11, 9 and almost 7. I’m not recommending SURFACE to kids under the age of 14, but my kids are in a unique circumstance. They have the author AND their mother in their bedroom at night, speaking directly to all their thoughts and questions. As always, I advocate that parents be actively involved in a book dialogue with their children. What is good for one child might be all wrong for another. Each kid is different and it is important that we know them as individuals. I know my three so I’m very comfortable. Here are some of my reasons for sharing my book with my boys.

First, they NEED to be a part of this. Their names are in the book–they LOVE that. It’s their laundry that’s been missed in the writing of this novel. It’s their mother who’s the crazy one with the voices in her head.  And the thing is–they’re so insanely proud of me–it makes me want to lasso the moon and take it for a ride.  They feel so special when they tell other people that they are reading it–I know because it comes back to me and it always makes my heart swell.

Second, I NEED them to be a part of this. I write with the same voice that I love them with. They are pretty familiar with my weird and wacky ways, my honesty, my assumption that children are continually under estimated. They KNOW me, so reading my writing is truly just understanding more of their mom. This book is some of the very best of me and I can’t imagine not sharing that with three of the most important people in my life.

Third, they are funny. It’s no secret–I have a potty mouth. The rule in our house is…you can say whatever you want when you have your own kids. Life isn’t fair and I don’t think it will hurt them to figure that out with the little things in life. They need to watch their language. Even though they’re used to me needing to be *bleeped* they seem to find it endlessly amusing when I swear while reading my book. The 9 year old actually asked me to re-read a section because he was “confused about who was speaking” only to have the almost 7 year old rat him out for wanting me to read the swear word over again. ROTFL! We had a long discussion about the authenticity of teen characters. We used their older cousins to prove the point. Now the almost 7 year old tells everyone… “yes, my mother uses curses in her book but it’s there to make the characters realistic.” My author-mama heart explodes with pride every time I hear him say that.

Fourth, they surprise me. My 11 year old interrupted our chapter one night to ask me a question about the afterlife. I proceeded to go off on a tangent where I told him how I really didn’t know what was out there etc…  His reply was… “Sheesh, I finally have the author right here in my room and I still can’t get an answer. You wrote the book–you’re supposed to know everything about it!” I smacked my head like it was a V-8 commercial. He didn’t mean the “real afterlife” just the one in my book. And I know this sounds silly, but I realized that I don’t have my mind completely wrapped around the idea that people are going to be really focused on my book–that I’m the one, the only one, who can really answer those questions. The thought of it gives me shivers.

Fifth, they satisfy me. As I’m reading–they’re responding. And they are doing it in all the right places. They get mad at me for leaving them hanging at the end of a chapter. They strongly dislike certain people and they have soft spots for others. Even more important–their reactions to the characters are changing–just the way I had hoped they would. The boys ask interesting questions–smart questions and that makes me proud of them and the book. And the cutest? I’ve actually caught them “fighting” over who would get to be who if they were playing TOUCHING THE SURFACE. I know–how cool is that???

I promise to let you know what they think of it when they’re done. How do you feel about the books that kids are reading? Should be reading? Shouldn’t be reading? How did your choice of reading material impact you when you were a kid?


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The Judgement Police

Filed under: Writing, Writing Style

In general I’ve been writing up a storm lately. Of course I’ve had a day or two–here and there–where that thing called “life” has gotten in the way. But in general, I’m very excited to have the creative juices flowing.  In fact, I’m in that stage where I’m a little bit obsessed with the book. I only want to listen to music off of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY PLAYLIST, I fall asleep thinking about the book and I wake up with the story running around inside my head. My activity of choice right now, if I could completely put life on hold, would be to just sit down some place cozy and get the thoughts out of my head and on the paper.

It wasn’t so long ago where this was the exact opposite. I spent most of my WIP writing time–well–not writing. I wrote other things like blogs, did revisions and edits etc… But, when it came to book two, I could only get small amounts onto the paper at a time. Some days it felt like swimming in mud. Technically, I guess I could have slowly and methodically kept writing and erasing all my dead ends, but that doesn’t work for me.  I’ve learned that I need to know my story and my characters really well to make the writing happen. Besides, the act of day dreaming on paper seems like such a slow way to work. My mind functions so much faster than my fingers.

I used to feel a little crappy about this. Pretty sure the judgement police were going to give me a BIC (butt in chair) Citation, but I’ve learned that perhaps I do better trusting my instincts and being me. I’ve even started to think of this period of my story building, as my “astral projection phase.”  I imagine it must feel glorious to travel without the weight of  your body holding you down, but the closest I can say I’ve come to this experience is a couple really great flying dreams–I love those.  Or maybe it’s the time spent in the in-between of a day dream–plotting a story. I know how other people work the best. And I’ve always compared my methods to theirs, but I’ve been wondering…

Option #1

Heavy and cumbersome–forcing thoughts out onto the page…


Option #2

Light and dreamy–where I let my mind go wherever it wants to take me.

Yes, I like the second choice much better.

***Insert public service announcement–AURACLE by Gina Rosati ROCKS!***

Here’s the thing, I wasn’t completely sure that this was true until the last couple weeks, when all my brain cells decided to get together and have a party. Finally, I know with certainty that there is a complete book here–not just tendrils of thought that I am trying to weave together. I know that the first book was not just a fluke. So, here’s what I want to tell you. Be educated. Know what “writers” need to do to make it in this business. Once you know that, you are loaded for bear. Then…look at what YOU need to do to be a writer. Pick the tools that make your magic happen. Don’t think of yourself as a screw-up. Think of yourself as innovative, gifted and trend setting. Trust yourself as much as you can and then give yourself a little more credit–even if you have to fake it. And of course–be sure to write the book. You can’t be unique and take the world by storm without the book!

So, what do I think about THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY now that it’s starting to live and breath on it’s own? Here are the questions I ask myself…

Will it be any good?

I sure hope so, but who the hell knows.

Was it what I should have written?

The truth–it’s the only thing I could have written–let the chips fall where they may.

Is it anywhere near done?

Not really–but that’s because I’m a weaver and I won’t be happy with it until those original tendrils of thought have come together to make a whole that is bigger than its parts.

And thinking ahead…

Now that I’ve gained all this enlightenment, will the 3rd book be any easier?

Not a chance–but that’s why we feel so proud and accomplished when we’ve finished.

Happy writing! Don’t forget to tell me what makes you unique as a writer? Or tell me what you would actually do if the judgement police weren’t watching. I promise not to tell a soul–maybe.



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Filed under: Apocalypsies, Contests, Touching the Surface

Woo hoo!!! I’ve got stuff to give away. Who wants it???

First, I have an ARC of STARTERS by fellow Apocalypsie Lissa Price

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of Starters

I was given the ARC of STARTERS at the New York SCBWI Conference and I can’t tell you what a lucky break that was for me. I am so excited to have gotten an early peek at this debut novel. My only complaint? Now I have to wait, for what is going to seem like forever, until I can read ENDERS and find out what happens after all those cliff hangers? *growls at Lissa Price*

Why do I love this book? Starters has amazing characters, a very unique setting and a super exciting plot. But the best part is that all these wonderful components blend together seamlessly. I felt the very same way when I read CINDER by Marissa Meyer. These books have mastered the art of story telling–they are the complete package. STARTERS reeled me in from the very beginning and thoroughly captured my attention and emotions.

So, what’s special about STARTERS? A lot–but one of my favorite things is Price’s integration of the elderly into her novel. Below the surface of heart-thumping excitement, I found myself pondering some deep and interesting thoughts about Price’s society and how it relates to our own. I love a story that has layers and depth. And I know I mentioned it earlier, but the CLIFF HANGERS are amazing!!! STARTERS is a complete and fulfilling book and it’s teasers are not gratuitous–they are exciting and well thought out. Thank you!!!!

In my humble opinion, this book will be a well deserved success. And making it even sweeter, I love being able to support my fellow Apocalypsies and Lissa Price has just made my job so easy. Congrats, Lissa–I’m expecting great things from you and if you ever want to let me peek at ENDERS–I’m available.


Want to read an EXCERPT OF STARTERS?

Join the conversation on FACEBOOK

You can also check out Lissa Price’s Website


Lissa Price is also on TWITTER.

The winner of this contest will also get some swag from me and it will include my new BOOKMARKS!!!!  Want to see how pretty they are? They were created by the talented Jeff Allen Fielder and I loved working with him. I highly recommend him if you’re looking for someone to do your bookmarks.  He’ll absolutely be making postcards for me too!!!

Here’s the front…with room for me to sign it if you’d like. How crazy is that??? Seriously, you’d be the very first person to have me sign anything. I’ll be blushing the whole time that I do it!

And here is the back with a sneak peek at my *heart squishing* blurb by the lovely and talented Daisy Whitney–the author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and it’s sequel and new release THE RIVALS.

Yes, I get a little mushy every time I read it. *Pulls myself together* But the BIG question is…how can you win all this and maybe even a little piece of chocolate???  Leave a comment below with your contact information included and tell me and Lissa what your favorite kind of swag is? I’m starting to plan my swag bag and I’d like to invest in things that that are really useful and enjoyable to readers. Feel free to get creative.  This contest will run from today (Monday, February 13th) until midnight EST on Friday February 17th. One winner will be picked at random. Good luck and PS…I give good chocolate.

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Wolf Pack Book Review-ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White

Filed under: Book Reviews, Wolf Pack, Wolfson Literary

Are you excited to read ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White?  You should be.

You can pre-order ENDLESSLY here…Barnes & Noble, Amazon, IndieBound and for additional links check Goodreads.


Kimberly Sabatini’s review of ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White…

*Sigh* I am so bleeping sad that the Paranormalcy Trilogy is over. I was lucky enough to obtain an ARC of ENDLESSLY through my agent Michelle Wolfson’s Wolf Pack ARC Tour. But the fact that Kiersten is an agency sister plays no bearing on my delight in reading ENDLESSLY and my disappointment that it’s over.

I am going to miss Evie and all the characters in her paranormal world. They were unique and I know that they will never come my way again. 🙁

What else did I love about this book and all the books in the trilogy? I adore Kiersten’s humor for starters. I always find myself laughing at her quirky bleeping way with words and her creativity. Her take on the paranormal world is delightful. And my favorite thing about the books? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Kiersten writes fluff, because it’s just so much fun to read, but if you’re paying attention, she has depth and layers to what she shares with her audience. She gives deep thoughts and guidance in a way that is never patronizing. She doesn’t talk down to her readers–she wins them over and is a role model through her characters. I mean–who wouldn’t want to grow up to be just like Evie. And I’m not just saying that because I want a pink taser!

Without a doubt, ENDLESSLY comes to a fulfilling end, but I may never stop asking Kiersten to whisper in my ear about what happens to Evie in five, ten, twenty years–she’s become a friend and I don’t want to let her go.

Congratulations, Kiersten–You’ve done a fantastic job. Can’t wait to read your next book. <3

You can find out more about Kiersten White, ENDLESSLY and the Paranormalcy Trilogy here…

*Kiersten White’s Website

*Kiersten White’s Blog




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YA Outside the Lines and My Waiting on Wednesday

Filed under: Book Reviews, YA Outside the LInes

Today is my very first blog post as a member of YA Outside the Lines.  I am so excited to be a part of this group of amazing YA authors.  I would absolutely love it if you stopped over there and checked out the blog and my inaugural post. Kim at YA Outside the Lines.  But before you go, I thought I’d tell you what my Waiting on Wednesday book is…

Turns out that 13 year old, street smart Carley Connors is only afraid of one thing—Love. After a heart-breaking betrayal, Carley, a newly minted foster care child is placed with the Murphy family, who break down her walls. She learns the hard won lesson that she can love other people and, even more surprising, she can let them love her.

As if that wouldn’t have been enough to sell me on One for the Murphys, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Lynda Hunt Mullaly at the NY SCBWI Conference and she told me all about her book–the inside story to what she was thinking when she was writing it.  I honestly can’t wait to read this book. <3

What book are you waiting impatiently for?

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Some Packing Tips for Conferences

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI

So, I’m writing this post pre-conference because I know how tired I’ll be when I get back on Sunday evening, but surprisingly…I’m tired now too.  Ya know–from all that packing and the dirty rotten cold that I’ve been fighting with all week.  So, before I take some Nyquil and fall asleep, I thought I’d share with you some of my best packing tips for a conference since they’re fresh in my mind.  Yes, I know this post would have been fantastic about a week ago, but I wasn’t packing then.  Think about it as a well-prepared post for all those spring conferences coming up. Now on to it…

1. Dress in layers-you never know what the temp in the room is going to be like and it can change from room to room.

2. Wear comfortable shoes.  Your fancy shoes should be comfortable and then also bring a REALLY comfortable pair and plan your outfit around them for Sunday–because by then your feet hate you.  Also for Sunday’s outfit–I’ve learned to wear a really cool shirt (like a short sleeve) as my base layer because often that is book signing/I’ve already checked out of my room day and you are carrying enough stuff to make a pack mule look dainty.  And because of that you might sweat…a little. I’ve learned this the hard way–trust me!

3. Pack enough chocolate for you and all your friends.  I feel this should be self explanatory. If it is not, we will schedule a private tutorial.

3. If you already have books from an author that you want to get signed–pack them!  Sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve forgotten mine. Grrrr

4. Camera!!!!  Especially if you have family and/or blog.  For the family–(private use only) I try to take pics of things that I couldn’t possible adequately explain to them.  If you’re blogging about the conference, your reader will get so much out of having visuals to go with your recap.  I  personally feel it really makes a difference and I know I always gravitate to the recaps with l0ts of eye catching pics.

5. Pack a sturdy bag for all the books you buy.  You always think you might not buy so many but when a speaker talks about a book it becomes personal and it’s hard to resist buying it.

6. A list (even if it’s a mental one) of gifts that you might need to give.  An author signed book is great for family and friends, charity (I get one or two for my children’s school library) or for a contest on your blog.

7. BRING BUSINESS CARDS!!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  Part of the fun of a conference is meeting wonderful new friends.  You want these new friends to be able to stay in touch.  I’ve meet the BEST PEOPLE EVER at my conferences.

8. These next items are going to be light in your suitcase but they are still important to bring with you–an open mind. Take it all in.  Take notes.  Take time to digest it.  Let it all wash over you.


10. Bring kindness–not everyone packs #9 when they prepare for a conference, especially their first one.  Be a friend.  Do not let people eat alone, sit on the sidelines or feel like they do not belong.  It costs you nothing to be kind, thoughtful and to remember what it felt like when you lack confidence.  Be a leader.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with some after-action conference review.  In the meantime, what’s your favorite conference tip?  Did any of my tips make your to-do list? Do you have a link to a review of the conference you’d like to share?  Come on–give me something because *yawn* I need to stay awake.


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In the Wild-Installment-1

Filed under: Apocalypsies, In the Wild, SCBWI

By the time you grab your coffee and read this, I’ll be eating a bagel at the Marketing Workshop at the New York SCBWI Conference.  That’s a thumbs up for bagels and marketing knowledge and a raspberry for getting up that early in the morning.  Thinking ahead–yes, I AM talking about me.  *gives you the stink eye* I planned out today’s blog post and Monday’s because I’ll be spending my first day after the conference in bagel detox.  And sadly, reclimbing Mt. Laundrious as my kids have come to call that pile of clothes in their closet that almost touches the ceiling.  Cheeky little bugger aren’t they.  So, since I was out in the wild at the train station, this morning, I thought that In The Wild would be a wonderful theme for today’s blog.

Not too long ago I mentioned that my local B&N had relocated the YA department from–right next to the kids section…to snuggled up in the adult section.  I asked my friend Linda (who works there) how the change was going and she gave it a thumbs up. I also promised some pictures of the new arrangement…

A display table that is chock full of books and the aisles behind the table are all YA!

So many of my favorite titles and authors hanging out on the shelves.

Sorry, these didn’t look this blurry on my phone. Grrrr…

And as I was wandering around, petting and hugging the books, I found some books that I’d never seen out in “The Wild” before. You can click on the picture to find out more about the book and it’s author.

Double Apocalypsie Trouble–Click on the pic for a link to more info about Brodi Ashton’s EVERNEATH and click HERE for more info about TEMPEST by Julie Cross

UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi–An Apocalypsie!!!

THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney–one of Michelle Wolfson’s Wolf Pack!!!!

DARKER STILL: Magic Most Foul Book #1 by Leanna Renee Hieber–Also and Apocalypsie!!!

Another Apocalypsie!!! FRACTURED by Megan Miranda

Another Wolf Pack author!!! Two out of three of the PARANORMALCY series by Kiersten White–Did I tell you that I’m reading ENDLESSLY RIGHT NOW!!! Yes, be jealous.

My class of 2k12 girl–Robin Bridges with THE GATHERING STORM Book#1 of the Katerina Trilogy

Apocalypsie Double Trouble! Click on the picture for a link to Brodi Ashton’s EVERNEATH and click HERE for more on TEMPEST by Julie Cross.


Apocalypsie and NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR Marissa Meyer and CINDER!!!!!

I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see all these books out in the wild.  So exciting!!!!  Can’t wait to stop in again soon and see who else is peaking out at me from the shelves.

FYI–I’ll be blogging about the conference when I get back, but in the meantime you can follow the conference live from twitter–just follow #NY12SCBWI  I’ll do my best to keep you up to date.  So, have you read any of the books that I’ve spotted out in the wild?  What did you think?  Any that you’re lusting for?

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