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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Want To See The Cover Of My Next Book? Here's WAITING FOR AUGUSTA

Hi All!

The fine folks over at YA (and Kids!) Book Central are doing my cover reveal today! Actually, it's a full jacket reveal. Kenard Pak's  artwork was so lovely that we wanted to show as much of it as possible, and Lizzy Bromley of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has done a fabulous job with the cover/jacket/book design. Just click the link to see WAITING FOR AUGUSTA's jacket and enter to win an early copy!


And here's the cover~ remember, the entire jacket is over at the above link, so if you want to see that (and if you want to enter to win an ARC) head over there next! The book will be available May 2016.

About the Book
Eleven-year-old Benjamin Putter has a lump in his throat, and he’s certain it’s a golf ball.
It sounds crazy, he knows. But everything's been topsy-turvy since his father died last month.
Then one day something starts tugging at Ben, telling him to hurry to Augusta, Georgia—home of the most famous golf course in the world.
Ben might be going loony, but escaping Hilltop, Alabama sounds like a darn good idea. (And just maybe it will make that lump go away.) As he makes his way to Augusta, Ben partners up with a myserious runaway named Noni, and they embark on a journey with surprises—and possibly magic—at every turn.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Decatur Book Festival, Oh, How I Loved You: How I met Meg Cabot, Jane O'Connor, Judy Schachner, and more!

Boy, did I have a great Labor Day weekend! I was lucky enough to attend and participate in the Decatur Book Festival, where I spotted and interacted with readers and authors galore.

My panel with Meg Cabot (whose books I adore), entitled "Happily Ever After" was on Sunday afternoon and since I arrived in the early afternoon on Saturday, I got to spend some time soaking up sessions and atmosphere~ readers and writers and families and just a whole lot of fun, with the added bonus of funnel cake and barbecue smells wafting around the festival grounds. Here are some highlights:

I went to a panel with Ingrid Law (Savvy, Scumble, and the brand-new Switch), Jacqueline Kelly (the Calpurnia Tate books), and Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks series). Here's a photo of Jacqueline Kelly (and that's Jeanne Birdsall beside her)!

Jacqueline Kelly! And Jeanne Birdsall!

I got to talk with Ingrid Law over ice cream!

Me and Ingrid Law!

Jane O'Connor, author of the Fancy Nancy books, was reading a paper in the hotel lobby and she was SO gracious when I interrupted her to say, "I LOVE YOU. I mean, your books! WE love your books! My entire house! I mean, me and my kids!" Folks, I teared up, I was so excited. My oldest daughter loves her books (of course I whipped out photos of my kiddos). We chatted for a bit, and then she let me take a selfie with her (with her fancy feather boa!)!

Jane O'Connor and me
I spotted Judy Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones books, in the gorgeous book store Little Shop of Stories (if you ever go to Decatur, you MUST visit it) and said hello, then bought her most recent picture book, Dewey Bob.
Judy Schachner! And me :)

And I also got to chat with Anica Mrose Rissi (author of the Anna Banana chapter books), the super sweet and kind Beasley sisters (Cassie is the author of the middle grade book CIRCUS MIRANDUS and Kate has a middle grade coming out next year called GERTIE'S LEAP TO GREATNESS that sounds fantastic), and I got to meet Laurel Snyder (whose picture books SWAN just came out). My parents drove down from Nashville, and we got to see a Pat Conroy session as well.

And then, the panel. Ladies and gents, it was a blast. Our moderator, Elizabeth Lenhard, was so wonderful (she's the author of lots of books, including the knitting-and-friendship-themed Chicks with Sticks series and her latest, Flirt: Our Song), the audience members asked great questions and we talked about everything from our books (I was there promoting Nooks & Crannies and Meg was promoting the delightful From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess) to our writing processes.

L-R: Moderator Elizabeth Lenhard, Meg Cabot, and me


The signing table
Looking around at all the young, eager readers throughout the weekend, I felt like I was going back in time. I would have loved to attend a book festival like DBF when I was young, and I can't say enough about how well-organized it was.

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!