Archive for Guest Post

Bookish Bucket List Banner

Thanks to Kristilyn from Reading in Winter for designing the banner!

Have you ever finished a book and said “Man, I wish I could ________ like that?” Bookish Bucket List is a semi-regular feature for the things I’ve put on my bucket list and the books that made me do so.

Everyone, say hello to Kristilyn! I’m so happy to have her over today, to participate in the meme she designed the button for! I’ve been out of town and I am SO BEHIND, but like the saint that she is, Kristilyn offered to guest a few times!

Thank you so much to Anne for having me on the blog today! I love this feature and am constantly reading books thinking about all the things the characters I read about get to do that I’d love to be able to do.

Return to Me cover

Title: Return to Me

Author: Justina Chen

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She’s weeks away from starting college–at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad’s last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there’s the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.

And if that isn’t enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb’s dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her “perfect” boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?
Justina Chen, the acclaimed author of North of Beautiful, has created a moving and powerful novel about the struggles that arise from betrayal, the uncertainty of life after high school, and the joy that ultimately comes from discovering what’s truly in your heart.

Kristilyn’s Bucket List Entry: A treehouse!

Why: When I was younger, I remember my cousins having a treehouse in the backyard. It wasn’t extravagant by any means, but still very cool to have this little separate place outside of the main house. In this book, Reb has a treehouse and wants to actually build treehouses as a career. How cool is that?

When I think about treehouses, I start thinking about having this separate little house, maybe with windows on all sides, filled with books and lots of pillows and blankets. Maybe in the trees, or with a view of the river behind the house. It would be so amazing to have this little place, all my own, with no distractions except for my books. I mean, when you think about it, reading in the house can be filled with distractions — there’s the kitchen, the internet, the TV, the phone, the other people living in the house, etc. But in a treehouse, it can be just what you want it to be. That’s it.

Just imagine — a room filled with light, books, blankets, you, and lots and lots of quiet. No distractions. Perfection.

What’s on your Bucket List?

If anyone else would like to join in and guest for a Bookish Bucket List, please email me at: anne [at] creativityscorner [dot] net – I would love to hear from you!

Kristilyn reviews The First Part Last

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review, Guest Post

The First Part Last Cover

Released: December 28, 2004 (Simon Pulse)
Author Links:

Add This Book on Goodreads



Bobby’s a classic urban teenager. He’s restless. He’s impulsive. But the thing that makes him different is this: He’s going to be a father. His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant, and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they’ll be spending time with doctors, and next, diapers. They have options: keeping the baby, adoption. They want to do the right thing. If only it was clear what the right thing was.

My Thoughts


This was a book recommended to me by my friend who’s the librarian at my local library. I had been reading Ellen Hopkins’ book Crank, one of my first ventures into novels written in verse and while this one isn’t written in verse per se, my friend thought it might be of interest to me as she really enjoyed it.


The First Part Last is a short read with no great amounts of detail, but is still a wonderful story about Bobby, Nia, and the outcomes of teenage pregnancy. I admit that the first thing I loved about this book was the explanation of the title and how it would be wonderful if we started out knowing everything, having wonderful experiences in life, only to end our lives as babies on a parent’s chest, with that feeling of warmth and contentment.


One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was written from Bobby’s perspective. He’s the typical teenage boy who wants to play videogames, shoot hoops, and be reckless with his friends. I’d like to think that once a baby was to come in the picture, Bobby would own up, grow up, and take responsibility, but the author shows the reader, very realistically, that this isn’t the case. While Bobby wants to do the right thing, his old self keeps creeping back into the picture.


And this isn’t a bad thing. At no point does the author start preaching about the way it should be when someone gets pregnant accidentally – especially at such a young age (both Bobby and Nia are 16-years-old).


This was a very beautifully written book, a very fast read, and one that really piqued my interest in Angela Johnson’s work. My only disappointment was that the story was too short and I found myself wanting more details and more back-story into the main characters lives.


Admittedly, the only other stories I’ve read about teenage pregnancy usually dealt with more issues than the pregnancy itself – sometimes there was drugs, or rape, or just social issues that seemed to take pertinence over the pregnancy. It was kind of nice to read a story about kids who are just that – kids. There are no other external forces except that they want to have a childhood, but they still want to do what’s right.


While it was indeed refreshing to read a story like this from the male’s perspective, a strong part of me wanted to read about Nia. Of course, a lot of pregnancy stories are written from the female perspective, but this one seemed to be like a special case. I was desperate to know what was going on in Nia’s head. It just wasn’t enough for me to get Bobby’s version of her.


This book is perfect if you’re looking for a story that packs an emotional punch, but still keeps you guessing. There’s plenty of mystery going on, which is only revealed at the end, and you should be left with a feeling that while things aren’t perfect, they’re moving along the right path. For some, this book might be just a little too neatly tied in a bow, but hopefully the ride will still be worth it.

Kristilyn from Reading in Winter

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Kristilyn for volunteering to be my first guest reviewer! If you haven’t ever checked out her blog, click on her signature to do so. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Today we have Alissa, from The Grammarian’s Reviews with us. Alissa is one of my newer friends, but we seem to have EVERYTHING in common (down to blog birthdays – her 2 yrs is coming up in a few weeks, be sure to wish her a good one!). She happens to also be my partner in crime on our newest project The Book Sessions – reminder, tomorrow is the last day to sign up! Oh and she’s awesome. Did I forget to mention that? Cause she is!


1)    One of your regular features is Whip it up Mondays. Why do you like
cooking so much, and what is your all time favorite recipe to make?


I like love cooking because I love food. That’s what it ultimately boils down to. When I tell people I love food, their immediate thoughts are that I love eating food. Which, while true, isn’t the right answer. I love learning about food. Most days you can catch me watching either Food Network or Cooking Channel, for hours on end. And if you talk to me long enough, you’ll hear me spew random food/cooking facts into everyday conversation. So, actually, I love cooking because I love learning.

Now isn’t that the nerdy sort of answer you never expected?

It’s a bit hard to pinpoint a favorite recipe, because I enjoy making them all. But, if we’re going by “to make,” then I’ll say wontons. There’s nothing like making your own, with your very own wonton wrappers. It’s a long, slow process. But worth it!

2) You’re a self-proclaimed grammarian – what’s your biggest pet peeve
grammar rule?

Contractions/Possessions. Specifically, its versus it’s. Your/You’re also bothers me, but its/it’s hurts me down deep. I’ve seen its/it’s used incorrectly on the most official of websites, magazines, newspapers, etc.


(Also: spelling. Specifically the spelling of “definitely.” Because it’s sure not “definately.”)

3) If you could travel to one Literary Location, where would it be and why?

Stratford-upon-Avon, for the more literal approach.


Hogwarts for the bookish approach.

4) Describe your “perfect” book – that one book you wish somebody would
write because you just KNOW you’d love it!

Not to call JKR out or anything, but…


The “perfect” book for me would detail either Draco Malfoy’s life, or Tom Riddle’s. Perhaps both? I can’t get enough of the two of them. I’m all for getting a behind-the-scenes look at the “bad boys.”


Although I also love contemporaries with a horror twist. So if someone could write one scary enough that I’d be afraid to turn the lights out, that’d be awesome. ‘Cause they’re just never scary enough.

5) Tell us one thing that the blogosphere doesn’t know about you?

I’m a Spelling Bee winner. And proud of it.

And a list of some favorites to round it out:
Favorite book to promote?


The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin.

Favorite non-blog/reading thing to do?


Cook! Drink coffee!

Favorite advice to give to other bloggers?


You’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t be afraid to start something new, even if it flops.

Favorite post on your blog?


Dear bloggers,

An open love letter to the community for all of our hard work.

Favorite part of the book blogging community?


The people and the love for reading.

Thank you so much, Alissa, for stopping by!

Say “Hi” to Julie from That’s Swell!

3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Guest Post
Today’s blogiversary post is celebrating one of my best blogging friends, Julie from That’s Swell! Julie has been with me though all the ups and downs of blogging – always at the other end of the internet to encourage me or talk me through whatever problems I’m having.
1. Your blog has such an interesting retro theme! What got you interested in that time period and what is your favorite thing about it?
Thank you! I’ve always been interested in different time periods, particularly the 1940s. This probably stems from the fact that my grandparents were in their 20s during this time and it would have been cool to know them, then! My grandmother and two friends visited Europe during the summer of 1939 and came face-to-face with Hitler. My grandfather served in the Pacific Theater. I’m a big WWII buff. Aside from this, I love the clothes, the movies, and the HomeFront effort, but these were also troubling times — at home and abroad — which makes it fascinating to me.
2. You have an internship with an agent — can you tell us a little about it?
Sure! I’m a remote intern for Sara Crowe with Harvey Klinger. I read adult and YA manuscripts that are submitted via queries she’s already accepted. I’ve read some really cool YA stories! I hope some of them get published! But I’ve passed on a few, as well.
3. You don’t talk about it much on your blog but you have a strong interest in television — where did that come from? Care to recommend a few favorites?
I love television — more than movies! I’ve always enjoyed dramas, but I became more and more interested in television when I decided to become a screenwriter. I first wanted to write feature films, but once I took a class in How to Write the Television Drama…everything changed. Most of the scripts I write are for TV, even if it’s a miniseries. I mostly watch cable television, and a few shows on network channels. My faves are: The Vampire Diaries, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, White Collar, Hawaii Five-O, Downton Abby, and Homeland. Lately, I’ve been watching Desperate Housewives on Hulu and Weeds on HBOGo. I rarely watch comedies, but I do like Episodes. I’d say my fave show of all time is Sex and the City.
4. You review a lot of different genres that are very diverse — is there any one kind of book you prefer over others? Why?
I read a variety of books because I’m a mood reader and become easily bored. I enjoy reading YA books the most. As of late, my blog has been a mixed gambit, but it’s going to go back to being strictly YA. I’ll review a mixture of genres on my HuffPost blog. I love YA because so many stories are out of this world — literally and figuratively. I think some of the YA books are better than what’s out there in the adult fiction market.
5. Where do you see your blog in a couple of years? Anything you hope to change?
Wow! I have no idea. That’s a tough question. I hope to continue putting out solid reviews and author interviews.

1. Favorite book to promote?
Eeek! I have so many favorite books. But for…2010: Beautiful Creatures and Fallen; 2011: Divergent and Switched; 2012: Something Strange & Deadly…and the year isn’t over yet!
2. Favorite non-blogging/non-reading activity?
Watching TV (obviously), playing golf (but it’s too hot right now), cooking Giada DeLaurentiis and the Barefoot Contessa recipes, going out to eat, and going on vacation.
3. Favorite advice to give other bloggers?
Just be yourself! Read and review the books you want to. But I think it’s extremely important when writing a negative review to be constructively critical and not nasty. We have too much nastiness in our world now, we don’t need it on our blogs! Also, don’t be afraid to contact authors for interviews and publishers for ARCs (if you want them). The publishers I’ve connected with are extremely nice and giving.
4. Favorite post?
Interviewing Amanda Hocking and my Halloween posts with Yvonne Woon and Lia Habel because I asked them crazy questions!
5. Favorite part of the book blogging community?
I’m thankful for all the friends I’ve made (like you, Anne) and meeting authors, connecting with publishers, lit and publicity agents. I just interviewed Susan Dennard via Skype. It was such a blast. I’m a huge fan of her book, so it was like meeting J.K. Rowling, to me. Of course, I enjoy receiving books, but I just love to write. Writing reviews is another outlet for my creativity. I wouldn’t be reviewing books on the HuffPost, Common Sense and a local magazine if it wasn’t for my blog! I know for most people blogging is a hobby, but for me it’s part of my writing career. My goal is to one day review books for The New York Times Book Review and NPR.
Thanks for having me on Creativity’s Corner!

Thank YOU for joining me, and thank you for all the wonderful things you’ve done for me over the past few years!

Say “Hi” to Amanda from On a Book Bender

13 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Guest Post

Guess what everyone?! Creativity’s Corner turns 2 this week! In celebration, I’m devoting a week to some “favorites” from the past 2 years. Today, I’m interviewing one of my favorite bloggers, Amanda from On a Book Bender! She has been a huge role model for me – I hope someday when I “grow up” as a blogger I can be like her. Seriously, she is THAT COOL. So, without further ado:

1) One of the things I really admired about you and your blog from the time I first met you is the way you make everything about encouraging the community. Why do you feel the community is so important and what made you decide to focus on that?

As a teacher, establishing a community in the classroom is essential to having a class that is enjoyable to be a part of both as a teacher and a student, and that functions smoothly.  I’ve really taken all of that into blogging.  When I started book blogging, I wanted a place where people could have discussions about books and just connect and develop relationships with one another.  We aren’t book blog islands.  We’re interconnected, and I think focusing on the community aspect allows us to celebrate those connections, and unite ourselves rather than divide.  I want to have real relationships with my readers, not just surface “You comment on my blog, so I comment on yours” relationships.

2) You seem to have lots of projects going on – between posting regularly on the blog, hosting Bout of Books, spending time on Twitter, plus your IRL work, how on earth do you find time to read?

Honestly, when I’m in the middle of a semester of teaching, I don’t read much.  It’s not that I don’t have the time (I can still manage to squeeze a couple books into weekends if I try, and I listen to audiobooks during my 10 hour/week commute), it’s that I am generally so mentally exhausted that all I really have the capacity for at the end of the day is causing shenanigans on Twitter or filling out my Clock Rewinders post.  But I am extremely organized, so I’m always ahead with posting, and this allows me the freedom to do what I can for the blog when I can.  Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal also acts as my associate reviewer and tosses two or three reviews my way every month, which takes a ton of pressure off me when I don’t have a lot to time to read.  And Bout of Books is generally planned around my teaching schedule so that it runs during a week when I’m not teaching.  I couldn’t manage otherwise.

3) If you could choose one author to meet (that you haven’t already) who would it be and what is the first thing you’d ask them?

I’d ask Thea Harrison, “Can I live in your head?”  I have so much love for the Elder Races world that I have to admit that Thea Harrison’s imagination would be a pretty cool place to be.

4) Do you or have you ever considered quitting blogging? If so how did you handle it?

Blogging fulfills a certain social need in my life, and if I weren’t book blogging, I would be blogging in another capacity.  I think book blogging is about the only blogging community I have consistently stayed in and have actually gained momentum as time passes, so I plan on sticking around for a long time.

5) In real life you’re an English as a Second Language teacher and you provide copy-editing services. Do you think that affects your reading and reviewing process? If so, how?

It most certainly does affect my reading and reviewing process!  As a teacher and copy-editor, my job is to catch mistakes and find ways to phrase or word something so that it is clearer or flows better.  I assure you that am very good at this.  While I can tune out that side of my brain, it is impossible to turn it off completely.  I have found myself stopping while reading and debating the merits of how the sentence is phrased.  Sometimes it’s even as simple as catching a typo and I get pulled out of the story to exclaim, “TYPO!”  And any time that I get pulled out of the story means that I am probably going to view the book as less favorable.  Really good books help me tune out my inner teacher and editor.

Since this is a celebration of favorites, a set of faves to round out the questions:
1) Favorite book to bully people into promote?

Depends on the person, really, but I do recommend Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison a lot.

2) Favorite non-blog/non-reading activity?

Does Twitter count?  Because definitely that.  If I can’t count Twitter, then I choose spending time with my boyfriend.

3) Favorite advice to give other bloggers?

Be yourself.  Do what is right for you.  Interact.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

4) Favorite post on your blog?

That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child!  I think I’d have to go with my open letter to the book blogging community.  I got such a great response and it ended up being a lot more popular than I anticipated.

5) Favorite part of the book blogging community?

The people!

Thank you so much for joining me today Amanda! I really appreciate all you do for the community, and I hope all you readers out there will go check out her awesome blog, On a Book Bender (if you haven’t already, of course). Stick around for more blogiversary shenanigans the rest of the week!

Gailean Quartet Blog Tour: Guest Post

1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Guest Post, Tour Posts

Today we have Christine Schulze with us as part of Teen Book Scene‘s Blog Tour. For a full schedule of posts please click here. I’m so excited for her to share with us her top ten playlist of songs she listened to while writing her quartet. Without further ado, I give you Christine!

Top 10 songs I listened to while writing The Gailean Quartet:

1. “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven: The music playing in my head during all the stuff that happens
in chapter thirteen of The Prism of Ashlei, “The Caves of Aquanitess”:

2. “Scarborough Fair” by Celtic Woman: Inspires the concept of the Siren of the Wood as she plays
her mysterious violin to lure unsuspecting strangers into the wood in The Silver Stag:

3. “Siren of the Wood/Reflection”: Okay, so I actually composed this one after the fact, but it
accompanies The Silver Stag, and you can listen to it here:

4. Zelda music: Both the games and their music have always inspired. I especially love the songs
from Ocarina of Time and also the opening/trailer music to Twilight Princess. I do remember
Twilight Princess inspiring some of the scenes towards the end of Elantra: Song of Tears, Lady of
the Dawn, including the side story with Adrian. Listen to a sample here:

5. “The Song of Tears”: Another inspiration of mine, made while the books were under way and
accompanying Elantra: Song of Tears, Lady of the Dawn. You can listen here:

6. “Blue Eyes”: And yet another song composed during the writing of the books. Also known
as “Gail’s Song”, it is the song Chamblain composes in Gail’s honor in The Prism of Ashlei. Hear
it for yourself:

7. I know I was listening to music from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King around this time. I
can’t think off-hand what this music might have inspired for The Gailean Quartet, but I am sure it
did, just as it influenced The Hero Chronicles. A favorite piece is:

8. Another song I composed at this time was “Ah Lum Deo” or “Ah Lum Amiel”, which is the
song the Octavial Eight battles Moragon with in The Last Musician and the Pool of Lorelei.
Unfortunately, it being a song full of both orchestral and human voices, its complexity has kept
me from putting it down on paper as of yet. However, it does allude to some of the music from
Mozart’s Requiem (don’t watch if you’ve never seen Amadeus and don’t want to spoil it!): http://

9. “She Moved Thru’ The Fair”, also from Celtic Woman. I actually listened to a lot of Celtic Woman
at this time, but this is another song inspiring the siren’s character in The Silver Stag: http://

10. Music from The Pirates of the Caribbean: After all, the vampires in The Silver Stag aren’t just
vampires; they’re vampirates:

Thanks so much for visiting Christine! Readers, keep your eyes open for a review of her book(s) coming soon!

Today we are soooo lucky to have Kady Cross, author of The Girl in the Steel Corset with us for a this or that list with our favorite characters! This post is provided as part of a Teen Book Scene blog tour. For a full schedule of events on this tour click here. For my glowing review, and why this is possibly one of my favorite books of 2011 so far, click here.

1) Rain or Snow?
Griffin: Rain
Finley: Rain
Sam: Snow
Emily: Snow
Jack:  lol — Jack would prefer to remain indoors!
Jasper: Snow

2) Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?
Griffin: Coffee
Finley: Tea
Sam: Coffee
Emily: Hot Chocolate
Jack: Hot Chocolate
Jasper: Coffee

3) Vampires or Werewolves?
Griffin: Werewolves
Finley: Vampires
Sam: Werewolves
Emily: Vampires
Jack: Vampires
Jasper: Werewolves

4) Cats or Dogs?
Griffin: Cat
Finley: Cat
Sam: Dog
Emily: Cat
Jack: Cat
Jasper: Dog

5) Is the glass half empty or half full?
Griffin: Half Full
Finley: Depends on the day
Sam: Half Empty
Emily: Half Full
Jack: Whichever best serves his purpose
Jasper: Half Full

6) Would you rather die in a fight, or of a disease?
Griffin: Fight
Finley: Fight
Sam: Fight
Emily: Disease
Jack: Fight
Jasper: Fight

7) Would you rather go blind, or go deaf?
Griffin: Deaf
Finley: Deaf
Sam: Deaf
Emily: Deaf
Jack: Blind
Jasper: Deaf

8) Maths and science or liberal arts?
Griffin: Science
Finley: Arts
Sam: Arts
Emily: Science
Jack: Arts
Jasper: Arts

9) Do you believe in fate or coincidence?
Griffin: Coincidence
Finley: Fate
Sam: Fate
Emily: Coincidence
Jack: Coincidence
Jasper: Coincidence

10) Choose a superpower: Invisibility, Telepathy, or Flight? (really curious about Griffin and Finley here!)
Griffin: Telepathy
Finley: Flight
Sam: Invisibility
Emily: Invisibility
Jack: Telepathy
Jasper: Invisibility

11) Right or Left Handed?
Griffin: Right
Finley: Both
Sam: Right
Emily: Left
Jack: Left
Jasper: Right

Finley and/or Emily:
12) Nerd or bad boy?
Finley: Yes, please
Emily: Bad Boy

13) Blond/blue eyes, or tall dark and handsome?
Finley: Does dark and handsome include reddish brown hair and gray/blue eyes? :-)
Emily: Tall, dark and handsome

So very interesting! Thank you to Kady for visiting today!

Today we have Courtney Rene, author of Shadow Dancer here as part of her tour with Teen Book Scene. For a full schedule of posts and reviews please visit this page.

1. What would you like your readers to know about you before reading your book?

Not much to tell really. I’m a wife, and mother and all that comes with that. I’m kinda boring
actually. I don’t sing or dance and I am far from being artistic. I’m clumsy as all heck and shy
which makes me being clumsy all the worse. Nothing like drawing attention to yourself by
falling off the fourth row of bleachers at a softball game. Ah yes, that’s my life.

As for the book, I wrote it on a whim, not sure it would even go anywhere. The idea came
to me, bugged me for a while before I finally decided to sit down to write it. Then once I
got started it poured out of me. Writing the story was easy and fun. Editing it was the hard
part. Oh how I hate to edit. It’s a real struggle. Even now all these months later I see
where I could have changed it, made it better, fixed it. Why didn’t I listen to my English and
composition teachers when I had the chance? In the end, I love the story. I hope my readers
do as well.

2. What kind of books did you read growing up? What, of those books, inspired you to start

I was a horror story fiend growing up. Stephen King, Anne Rice and Dean Koontz littered
my room and covered every flat surface. I couldn’t get enough. I also had a thing for V.C.
Andrews for a time. They didn’t always have happy endings, which I liked. They seem more
real because of it. I know you are saying “real?” It’s Vampires and Monsters, how real can
they be? I just had an aversion to happily-ever-after for some reason.

I don’t know that any of them inspired me to write. I had been a storyteller since I was very
small, before I could even write in real sentences I was telling stories. If I had to pick one of
the above, it would Stephen King, as he was my favorite for a long time.

3. Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life, or are they completely made from
your imagination?

Its funny actually as they start out as completely made up characters, but as they grow and
progress and evolve, they take on traits of people around me. Yes, even the bad guys. I’m
not saying they are the actual people, they just take on the mannerism of them. No, I’m not
telling who….

4. What advice do you have for aspiring young writers?

I always give the same answer when asked this question. It’s the same advice I was once
given and I think it helps me all the time. Just write the story. Don’t worry about the grammar
or the structure. Just write it. After you have that, then go back and worry about all the rest.
People don’t want to read the grammar and structure. They want to read the story, so write
the best story you can, take care of the rest later.

5. What’s next for you, after Shadow Dancer?

I have several things going, but mainly, I’m very excited to announce that the second book in
the Shadow Dancer series, titled Shadow Warrior, is finished and will be coming out as soon
as my publisher and I can manage it. It will take you on a journey to the other side of the
shadows, to the kingdom of Acadia, were you will meet both old and new characters. I have
been told that Shadow Warrior is even better than Dancer, which makes me very happy as
that was my goal. Once I have a release schedule I will be shouting it out to the world and
posting it on my website and blog and anywhere else I can squeeze it in.
I am currently finishing up a shape-shifter novel. It’s in the editing phase, and as you now
know, I loath that part. As soon as I can get through revisions, I will see what I can do with it.

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She
is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.
Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several
anthologies, and her novel, Shadow Dancer, published through Rogue
Phoenix Press. Please feel free to contact her at or

Interested in my review of the book? It’ll be up on the 8th!

The Chosen Blog Tour: Guest Post

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Guest Post, Tour Posts

Today we have with us Andrea Buginsky, author of The Chosen. For more posts on this blog tour, please visit this page.

Into the Past

I loved to read when I was a kid.  Now that I’m writing books for young adults, I have a much better idea of what it takes to produce books for children of all ages.  Though I haven’t published any books for younger children, I have tried my hand at writing stories for them, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s quite hard to come up with characters and plots that will keep a child interested, especially in this age of computer and video games.  It seems more kids today sit in front of a screen than a book.  Hopefully, with the amount of attention ebooks are getting, they’ll start sitting in front of an ereader screen too.

If I were to meet my past self today with the way things are now, I would definitely want to introduce her to books and the wonderful world of reading.  There were some wonderful books I loved to read growing up, as there still are today.  Here are some books I would recommend to myself at my past ages:

Age 5:

“Good Night Moon”
“Where the Wild Things Are”
“The Pokey Little Puppy”
The entire “Magic Tree House” series
Dr.Seuss books

Age 11:

The entire “Harry Potter” series
The “Ramona” books by Beverly Cleary
Rick Riordan’s books (“Percy Jackson,” “Heroes of Olympus,” “The Kane Chronicles”)
“Charlotte’s Web”
Judy Blume books
“The Popularity Papers”
“Priscilla the Great”

Age 16:

“Twilight” saga
“The Vampire Diaries”
“Eragon” series
“Sweet Valley High” series
“Little Women” series

Age 20

Danielle Steel books
Nicholas Sparks books
John Grisham books
Nora Roberts books

Some of these I did read, and would want to make sure I read again.  Some I didn’t read, and wish I had, like “Little Women.”  Some weren’t around when I was a kid, and I wish they had been, like the “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” series.
There are so many incredible books available, both new and old, that helping a child find one he or she will like shouldn’t be hard.  Just look for books based on their interests, and set up a specific time of day for them to read.  Shut off the electronics, find a comfortable chair with good light and watch their imaginations soar.

Thanks so much to Andrea for joining us today! If you would like to win a PDF copy of Andrea’s book to read for yourself, we are running a scavenger hunt May 25-31. Just answer any of the questions on THIS FORM. Any correct answers will count as entries, up to 8 entries total. The winner will be announced on July 3 at Lost For Words. Good Luck!

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