Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.


Are You Creative?

Are you a writer as well as a reader? If you are, you should check out Teen Ink. Teen Ink is a monthly journal that publishes all kinds of works by teenagers: poems, stories, book reviews, art, and even photos. Through their website, they're also offering Creative Writing Classes this summer (school in the summer? Yeah, I know, but this would be fun!)



You can probably find a copy of Teen Ink at your school or local library, so check it out. Maybe even send them your stuff. Drop me a message or leave a comment if you do!
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4 Book Review for Love at First Flight

Long and Short Reviews gave a 4 Book "Very Good" review for Beth Shriver's Love at First Flight:

Love at First Flight is a charming novel of first loves and growing up. The ending is very sweet and made me wonder what will happen next for Neely and Angelo.
Congrats to Beth for the great review. Visit the Climbing Rose store so you can read all about Neely and Angelo's Mexican adventure:

Neely’s family trip to Mexico starts out as one last hurrah before college. She’s determined to make this her trip, in spite of the fact that her parents are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary and that her sister is back from college. But her trip turns into love at first sight with a young man who is attracted to Neely’s old-fashioned sentimentalism and love for the disadvantaged people of his country.

Another guy, desperate for her attention, stalks her. At first it seems innocent, but his stunts become more serious, even dangerous at times. The worst incident changes her fear into courage, and she is forced to take action. Now that Neely has had the trip of her life, she must leave the beautiful beaches of Mexico, a guy she’ll never forget, and impoverished people that she’s determined to help. How can she leave this all behind?

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Electronics

Did you know you don't even need an e-reader to enjoy e-books on the go? Your phone might be all you need. Curl up with an e-book has the scoop:

With an iPhone or a BlackBerry, you can have dozens of books in the palm of your hand.

There are several applications that allow you to do this.

For iPhone and iPod Touch, there's a Kindle app. The free app does the basics in that it lets you read books from Amazon.com. Other features include the ability to zoom in on text and jump from chapter to chapter. You can try books before you buy them, too, because Amazon gives you the first chapter free.

There are also the Stanza and eReader apps, both of which do more than the Kindle app, such as supporting open-source formats and books in the public domain.

If you have a BlackBerry, your choices are a little more straightforward. Go to www.ereader.com/bb and download the e-reader software.

Pretty cool, huh? Whichever option you choose, make sure you visit the Climbing Rose store and click on All Climbing Rose e-Books to download one of our awesome books today!

Climbing Rose Reading Group

Did you know Climbing Rose has a reading group? It's a Yahoo! loop--which means you need a Yahoo! ID to join, but that's easy--and joining gives you access to great Free Reads from our CR authors. Join today to get these great beach reads for free:

Old Flames Die Hard by Judith Graves

My boyfriend, Travis, split town--a senior year hit and run. I almost didn’t recover. Evan drew me to life. We were even going to the Harvest Moon dance together. Tonight. So why didn’t I tell Travis to drop dead, when he called, asking me to meet him…at the graveyard?
How to Get a Date for the Prom by Denise Gwen
My sister--can you say, Bridezilla?--is getting married tomorrow, the whole family's freaking out about the wedding, and nobody seems to care that my prom is a week away. I don't have a dress, a date, or a plan--but maybe a cute groomsman will solve all my problems?
My Prom Date's a Vampire by Kitty Keswick
When Wendy Stoke’s boyfriend dumps her just before the prom, it bites the big one. A pint of ice cream atop her favorite crypt seems like the perfect way to pout. But is the cemetery a perfect place to find a new boyfriend? One with his own style of bite?
The After-School Question by Kimberlee R. Mendoza
Riki loves Corey but he thinks they're just good friends. When Corey tells her he has something important to ask her after school, Riki wonders if maybe--finally!--he's going to ask her to the Spring Dance. But when Johnny Valentine barges in, will he ruin everything?
Hope to see you in the CR reading group soon!
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Great Review for Summer Lovin'

You Gotta Read Reviews loves our story anthology Summer Lovin' (of course!):

This collection of short stories is immensely satisfying and truly enjoyable. The setting in each individual story is unique and completely different from the others. Anyone can find a favorite or two and consider their time and money well-spent.
From a rich Southern country club to a Midwest ranch and all the way to the cool beaches of the Pacific Northwest, this sweet collection of summer love stories revels in the magic of first love.

From Dara Edmondson, Society Girl

Country club pool boy Nick Martinez comes to the rescue of socialite Vanessa VanHorn. Although she feels an instant attraction, her friends and family will not approve. When she learns her loved ones all have ulterior motives for scuttling the relationship, she bucks their wishes and sets out explore love's possibilities.
From Laurie J. Edwards, Summer Storm

Sixteen-year-old Paige nearly drowns trying to rescue a Pomeranian trapped in the floodwaters that sweep through her town. Chase, the hottie who saves her, wants to help her and her mother, but Paige won’t accept charity. Worse yet, can she risk him unmasking the family secrets she’s kept hidden?
From Mona Ingram, Sandcastle Daze

Carolyn Butler is confused. Why is Todd Keating suddenly paying attention to her, especially when he's practically ignored her all year? Well...there was that one dance at graduation, but since then they haven't spoken. He's good-looking, has a great truck and his family practically owns the whole town but she's not even sure she likes him. So why is she looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow?
From Kimberlee R. Mendoza, Wish Upon A Rock Star

Robin Moss is a big time Reconcile fan. When she finally has her chance to meet the lead singer, Brody X, she chokes. Then on summer vacation in the middle of nowhere at the Lake Oasis Spa & Resort she meets the owner's son, Jake Scott (a.k.a. Brody X). Only she doesn't know it's him. He's changed his appearance and is using his real name.

At first Jake is suspicious of Robin, because she's a big fan of his band, but when he realizes she has no idea who he is, he decides to get to know her. They have amazing chemistry but when she finds out the truth, she's furious. Can she find a way to forgive him?

From Sydney Shay, Saddle Up, Sweetheart

What happened after their New Year's Eve kiss?

Russ and Natalie flirt, but now that she's works at his family’s Lucky Lake Ranch, a romance grows. While Natalie aims for their life together, Russ only thinks of work.Their future may be planned for them. His father gives Natalie two weeks notice, making her last day the Fourth of July. Does Russ love her more than Lucky Lake? Natalie's determined to find out and is ready to change his mind if he doesn't.

And last but certainly not least, from June Sproat, Just Perfect

Caroline Jane Edmonds, CJ to her friends and family, has the perfect summer planned. She calls it the TSL summer: tanning, swimming and love, and not necessarily in that order.

But when the first day of summer rolls around, CJ’s plan gets pulled out from beneath her when her father decides she needs a summer job. He even picks out the job: working at the miniature golf course and driving range for the park district where he is the director.

Now all she has to do is combine her ideal summer plans into her new job and she’ll have a hole in one--otherwise her whole summer will be way below par.

Perfect, just perfect!

Pick up your e-book or print copy of Summer Lovin' today!

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Great Review for Ordinary Me!

Another great review for June Sproat's fun Ordinary Me. This one is from Amanda at That Teen Can Blog:

Ordinary Me made me laugh and feel all fuzzy inside. Kate was a hilarious character. She tended to overreact at the smallest things. You'd think that this would annoy people, but Kate did it in such a way that it was funny and endearing and you ended up sympathizing with her the whole way along.
Here's the story on Ordinary Me:

While behind the wheel during driver's ed, high school sophomore Kate Sterns inadvertently foils an escaped convict's getaway. When her heroic actions land her face on the front page of the Wainscott Gazette, she thinks her life is over, and it is, at least her life as an ordinary anyway. Overnight she is plucked from the ordinaries and plopped into the "in crowd." At first Kate is in denial of her status change, but then she likes it, that is until she's labeled a snob, her locker gets trashed and one other minor thing-- she's being stalked.
Pick up your copy of Ordinary Me at the Climbing Rose store.
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Enter The Parrot is out today!

Sorry I've been away all week for my own release party!
But I'm back now, and what an exciting time, because Enter The Parrot is out today. Already, people all over the web are finding their inner kung fu selves.
But kung fu isn't just about flying high kicks and lightning fast punches (although they certainly can come in handy).
The Chinese words "gung fu" translate into something along the lines of "skill achieved through hard, honest work" and can be applied to anything from martial arts to even cooking! A great chef is said to "have good gung fu in the kitchen."

So even if you're not a martial arts practitioner, you can have kung fu in everything you do. Give it your best shot, because whether you're talented or not, if you put in the work, you will gain kung fu.

And now it's time for me to practice my kung fu of unpacking after a month-long trip...

Another Fan of Enter the Parrot

Here's what Natalie Hatch, Australian YA author and FOK (Friend of Kiki!) has to say about Enter the Parrot:

My friend Kiki Lon’s fantabulous book “Enter the Parrot” is being released this week, so in celebration I thought I’d have a look at Kung Fu and share a review of her book. You have to get it, it’s great, fast paced, two hot guys to choose from, I have it from my teenage daughters lips that she LIKES this book!

Jade isn’t the sort of girls who takes weekend shopping trips to Los Angeles. She shops at the local mall and packs her own lunch. Her friend Fazza is a Muslim girl who practices her religion and is often called napkin head. Her other friend, Alex, is an absolute Kung-fu movie junkie who spends endless weekend movie marathons of them.

Cedric (insert sigh here) is the typical blue-eyed, blonde-haired hottie who falls for Jade. He is all for saving the planet and thinks Jade is the “…most beautiful girl he has ever met.”

TF is a sexy, mysterious and muscled protector who is an absolute bad boy and makes you want your own TF. I know I want a TF. He helps Jade when asked and also falls for her.

This is a very interesting, mind-blowing book that will give you chills and melt your heart at the same time. If you like a good martial arts book mixed with a bit of the romance, this is the book. I don’t remember a time that I have been so into martial arts stories, but hey! Always expect the unexpected I guess.

Don't forget to check out the Climbing Rose store tomorrow for your copy of Enter the Parrot!
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The home of martial arts as we know it



While you're reading this, I am still exploring the streets of Hong Kong, even though I should be at home, getting ready for the release of my first book, Enter The Parrot.

Hong Kong is *the* place for martial arts. Martial arts movies as we know it draw from the long, rich tradition of Hong Kong cinemas, and many great kung fu legends, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan, got their start here. When you walk through the streets, it's easy to see why. This place is teeming with life and a hunger to make things happen.
You can easily imagine martial arts heroes flying from rooftop to rooftop, chasing the bad guys...
Or maybe that's just me?

But kung fu is everywhere, you just have to know where to look for it.
Jade, the unlikely heroine of Enter The Parrot, sure didn't expect her little town in California to be home to a secret kung fu society...
So look around your own home town. Where would the kung fu heroes gather? Or just as importantly, where is the perfect place for the villains to stage an epic showdown battle?

Great Advance Review for Enter the Parrot

Kiki Lon's new book is already getting fab reviews. Booklist magazine says Enter the Parrot:

...may be a first in teen literature, blending martial arts, high school romance, and mystery...The rapid-fire plot and repartee will rush readers along, and the breathless ending will leave them asking for the next volume.
Awesome, Kiki! I hope everybody will stop by the Climbing Rose store on Friday to pick up a copy of Enter the Parrot!

Enter the Parrot - Sneak Peak!

Here's an excerpt from Climbing Rose's newest release, Enter the Parrot by Kiki Lon:

Lunch time means sitting under our favorite tree, scoping out the hotties on the oval. The trees in the overlap area are highly coveted observing spots. The trees closest to the oval are of course packed with your usual assortment of The Rich and The Beautiful. You know the type, nonstreak fake tan, over-streaked hair, trendy-by-the-minute outfits, and, of course, The Laugh.

The Laugh is one of those art forms that the R ‘n B just do. Shrill, flirty, and utterly Please-stare-at-me. It’s like something Mia and her clique invented to make the rest of us feel excluded. Whatever.

Fazza and I lean against our favorite palm tree and scope out the talent. Today is football day, and that’s usually a good one. We unwrap our food boxes in silence, like we’ve been doing for the last nine years.

Fazza and I have been friends since primary school, where she as sitting in front of me with these super gorgeous red poppy hair clips in her braids. Over the next few years, we bonded over our equally nonconformist (read, not sandwich) lunch boxes (mine – rice and veggies in oyster sauce, hers – rice and
veggies in red curry) and the stupidity of WAP kids whose idea of a great cultural adventure was to one day go to England.

It was inevitable that we became friends. We’re two of the few people in this school who don’t primarily communicate in shrieks and reality TV quotes.

Suddenly, Fazza elbows me in the ribs and whispers, “Dim sum at four o’clock.”Dim sum is short for dimpled and sumptuous, which at the moment is code for Cedric Walsh, the cutest guy to ever walk across our campus. He’s a senior and a semi-pro surfer. He’s won awards and stuff. He’s got the whole California surfer look down pat, from the bleached messy hair to his Rip Curl bag, his shirttails hanging out of his pants.

He’s so cute, like Heath Ledger in that old knight movie.

When he’s around the corner and out of our line of vision, I sigh. Is it stupid to have a crush on someone who doesn’t know you exist?

Yeah, don’t answer that one.
Be sure and pick up your copy on June 19. And check back next week when Kiki Lon will be our guest blogger!
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Enter the Parrot--next week!

I'm excited about next week's release of Kiki Lon's Enter the Parrot. Kiki will be our guest blogger next week and I'll be posting an interview with her later this week. But in the meantime, check out the cool book cover and blurb for Enter the Parrot.

Meet Jade, the White girl in the Wong family. On the surface, Jade fits in perfectly. But just below the surface lurks the fragrance of ginger, ginseng, and a secret kung fu society.When her crazy grandpa’s deluded parrot goes missing, Jade must dive deep into the seedy underbelly of Chinatown to find him, keeping secrets from her best friends and her cute eco-mentor, Cedric: aka the hottest guy in school. She'll need her wits about her to solve the riddle, especially when more than one bird goes missing.

Could TF, the hot Chinese guy with the washboard abs, hold the key to the mystery?One girl. One parrot. One ancient kung fu mystery. Got kung fu?



And be sure to check out Kiki's fab blog Kiki Fu.
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The Chronicles of Narnia Quiz by Nick




Thanks to Nick for creating this fun and challenging quiz, and for allowing us to use it on our blog. Enjoy!

What Are You Doing This Summer?

After the fun prom dresses from trash bags and toilet paper, I couldn’t resist posting about this Canadian teen who took it a step further. Daniella Barreto put her passion for the needy into action. Instead of splurging on a graduation dress she’d only wear once, she created one from trash bags. The money she saved went to charity: UNICEF's Schools for Africa Campaign.

You can read all about it here.

In honor of Daniella Barreto and other generous teens everywhere, I’ll be donating the first six months of Summer Lovin’ royalties to World Vision International. They help communities in crisis around the world, so I think my heroine Paige in "Summer Storms" would choose this way of helping others who have lost their homes due to floods or other natural disasters. I hope you’ll take that challenge, too, and consider helping someone in need. If you don’t have money, give the gift of time, a listening ear, or a helping hand.

How do you plan to spend your summer? Pools, beaches, summer jobs—they’re all fun, but save some time for giving. You'll be glad you did.

Did you enjoy the quizzes during Prom Mania last month? I hope so, because I’m going to post another quiz tomorrow. This one is courtesy of a teen who’s a fan of the Narnia books. Stop back tomorrow to take Nick’s quiz. And don’t forget to leave comments.

Need a “steampunk” way to get rid of old school books?

School’s over—or almost is. Are you jumping for joy?? Glad to be rid of all those schoolbooks you’ve been lugging around? Wish you could toss them into a huge bonfire? How ’bout this for a creative way to handle old textbooks?

P. Smith of the Penwiper website made this by painting the edges of the book pages with glue, then gluing the edges of all the covers to the hardened pages (leaving the top cover free) and weighting it down. After it dried, Smith hollowed it out, then painted the inside with floor wax (varnish would work too), glued cardboard inside, then covered all the surfaces with fancy endpaper (wrapping paper or even wallpaper samples would work). With a belt from a secondhand store, you’ll have a great steampunk purse.

And if you like steampunk or are into the environment, stop back tomorrow for another crafty idea. Anyone who enjoyed the fun prom dresses from trash bags and toilet paper that we posted during Prom Mania will applaud this teen who made a difference.

Another Flood (fish!) Story!

Thanks to Kim for her post yesterday!

I promised more flood stories. This one isn’t sad, it’s funny. Now that it’s over, that is… My husband and I lived in a ratty basement apartment when we were first married. We were both college students and didn’t have much money, so we took the only place we could afford. We soon found out why the rent was so cheap. Every time it rained, water flowed from the hill above us straight through the ground-level windows in the back part of the basement and cascaded under the door into our living room. If the storm was bad enough, water filled the whole apartment—sometimes almost knee deep.

The first time it happened, we’d been sleeping. I stepped out of bed in the morning…Eeekk!...right into ankle-deep water. After that, whenever it rained, we piled all our belongings, chairs, and the few pieces of furniture we owned onto the dining room table. The table was a huge old oak door on sturdy legs. Every time the radio announced a storm, we’d race home and go into emergency mode.

Sometimes even if it didn’t rain, we still got water. Like when someone watered their lawn farther up the hill. So we learned to feel the carpet beside the back door. If it was damp, we schlepped our belongings to the dining room table.

One day we heard a huge rainstorm was on the way. We rushed back to our apartment as raindrops splattered down. My husband yanked open the apartment door and raced to feel the carpet by the back door.

“It’s OK,” he said, jumping up.

Crack!

He lay dazed on the carpet as water flowed all over him and the floor. He’d hit his head on the fishbowl and created another flood.



Laurie J. Edwards
Author of "Summer Storms" in Summer Loving

Kimberlee R. Mendoza on Rock Stars and Summer Lovin'

Hello, my name is Kimberlee R. Mendoza. I’m the author of several books at the Wild Rose Press, including the Russell Family series. I’m super excited to talk about my latest venture, partnering with several of the YA authors to put together the book, Summer Lovin’ We have so many wonderful authors in the Climbing Rose line, though I’m an author, I’m excited for the release of this book. The summer journey takes the reader through so many different vacation spots, it’s sure to be a blast.

My story is called, Wish Upon A Rock Star. Robin is in love with rock star, BrodyX. She would do anything for him to notice her, but when given the opportunity to meet him, she chokes. So, instead of her dream come true summer, her family goes on vacation to a resort in the middle of the California desert.

BrodyX, a.k.a. Jake Scott, just needs to get away from all the craziness of stardom for the summer. He decides to vacation at his parent’s resort in Lake Havasu, California. There he meets Robin, a girl who is fooled by his disguise. For a moment, he thinks he might actually get to know someone without having to worry if she wants him for his star power. But when he finds out that Robin is his number one fan, he begins to shy away.

With a little bit of wishing, a tad of kissing, this pair just might find what they are wishing for.

Here is an excerpt:

The crowd roared in thundered applause. In the dark, the single chord of a guitar sounded and the floor vibrated. Red and violet lights spiraled around the room and then a silhouette appeared.

Robin’s heart shot into her throat. She jumped up and down, screaming. How surreal. Her “future husband” stood just feet away in all his sweaty glory. How did she ever get here?

“He’s so hot!” Her best friend, Cora pumped her fist in the air. “If I wasn’t already taken…”

For two glorious hours, the band Reconcile played. Robin couldn’t believe how close the lead singer, Brody X, was to her. If he came an inch closer to the edge of the stage, she could touch his black board shoes. Her head swooned. Dark, messy hair, five o’clock shadow, muscles that showed through his taut olive T-shirt…he was even more gorgeous up close. But it was more than that, wasn’t it? She’d read every article, watched every interview. They were alike in almost every way. He was her soul mate; he just didn’t know it yet.
I hope you’ll pick Summer Lovin’ up. It is sure to be a vacation worth taking.

Blessings,
Kimberlee

Laurie J. Edwards on Summer Storms & Summer Lovin'

I had fun writing “Summer Storms” in Summer Lovin’, but at the same time, it brought back many memories. I grew up in a place that had several floods. When I was 16, I’d gone to the shore with my youth group. A storm hit, so we spent most of the week indoors. Worse, though, was the news that our town back home had been hit by a flood. We couldn’t get through to anyone there because all the phone lines were down. (No cells either!) It was a scary week, and we weren’t even sure we’d be able to get home. We did.

My family had no electricity or water. They’d filled the bathtub with water for drinking. Seemed odd to be in the midst of a flood and have no water to drink. Our house wasn’t hit too badly, we only had about 4 feet of water in the basement. We lost a lot of books and most of our games and toys, but that was nothing compared to what some people went through.

With so many places experiencing floods lately, my heart goes out to the people who have lost everything. That’s what prompted my story in the Summer Lovin’ anthology. That isn’t the only flood story I have. I’ll share more later this week, but for now, here’s a blurb and an excerpt for “Summer Storms”:

SUMMER LOVIN’ is a collection of love stories by six Climbing Rose authors about life on a ranch, summer jobs, sandcastle competitions, the tragedy of a flood, and falling in love with a rock star.

My story in the anthology is “Summer Storms”: Sixteen-year-old Paige nearly drowns trying to rescue a Pomeranian trapped in floodwaters that sweep through her town. Chase, the hottie who saves her, wants to help her and her mother, but Paige won’t accept charity. And can she risk him unmasking the family secret she’s kept hidden?

EXCERPT (Paige and her mother try to escape the flood sweeping through town. Waves have just smashed the branches of an uprooted tree through their window):

Picking her way over the broken glass, Paige lunged for the tree. Icy water soaked her sneakers and jeans. The suitcase banged against the trunk and almost slid from her grasp. Her fingers raked down the rough bark, tearing her palms. The tree bobbed up and down as water assaulted it.

Paige climbed on and wrapped one arm around an upright branch. Staying seated was like riding a bucking bronco. She wedged the suitcase between two branches and then leaned forward to extend a hand to Mama, who was scrambling for balance.

As she got Mama situated, another wave rocked the tree. The suitcase slid. Before Paige could grab it, it plunged into the water below. What had they lost? Her mind was a blur. But Mama was safe. That was the important thing.

She wrested the other suitcase from Mama’s grip and slid the handle over an upright tree branch. Mama clung to another branch as the tree shuddered. As long as the tree didn’t roll, they could float to safety. She hoped.

Wood cracked and splintered. Only a bit more and the branch would break free. Then they’d be at the mercy of the river.

A tiny yip caused Paige to turn. A Pomeranian paddled furiously in the sludge between their house and the one next door. Its fur slicked tight to its head, the dog panted as it struggled to keep its head above water. The tree had dammed the floodwaters between the buildings, but once the dog reached the rushing water, it would be doomed.

Paige clutched the branch with one hand and leaned back until her muscles screamed in agony. The dog struggled closer, but she couldn’t reach it. She gripped the trunk between her legs and let go of the branch. Still, the gap was too great.

Mama screamed, “No, Paige, no!”

But Paige ignored her. She inched backward and reached for the dog. With a great rending sound, the branch holding the tree in place tore free of its mooring. And with a sucking sound, the tree shot into the raging current.

If you want to find out what happened next, you can get a copy of Summer Lovin’ from the Climbing Rose store. And “Summer Storms” is only one of six stories in the anthology. All the stories in Summer Lovin’ are different, so I’m sure you’ll find one you just love.

Stop back tomorrow for more Summer Lovin’ fun with Kimberlee Mendoza, author of “Rock Star.”

Prom Mania Wrap Up & Prize Winners

Thanks to everybody who visited and commented during our Prom Mania month. Our authors had fun going down memory lane (I think!) and we hope we gave everyone some great prom (and anti-prom!) ideas.


And now for our winners:







And the winner of an electronic copy of Summer Lovin' is Melanie.

Congrats, Kate & Melanie. Please contact me at blaizerose.cr@gmail.com so we can send your prizes.

Guest Blogger for the week--Laurie J. Edwards

Our guest blogger this week is author Laurie J. Edwards. Her story, Summer Storm, is part of our fun new anthology Summer Lovin'. Since she's spending the week with us, I thought it would be fun to get to know her and she was nice enough to answer a few questions. So here we go, author Laurie J. Edwards, in a nutshell!

1. Why do you write YA?

I love to read YAs. They’re faster paced, grittier, and more realistic. But I think the truth is: I never grew up. I still feel that angst of losing a boyfriend, being shunned by the in-crowd, being treated as less important than adults, and having a burning passion to make a difference. That’s probably the core of what I love about writing YA and about teens themselves—they’re filled with passion. So many people lose those burning desires as they grow older. I hope to keep that fire alive in me, and in others.
2. Besides writing, what's your favorite creative outlet?

Art. I love to paint, draw with pastels, and sketch. I can lose myself for hours when I’m drawing. At the moment, I’m going for a Graphic Arts degree to add to my fine arts training. Illustrator and Photoshop are a completely new world for me, but I want to expand my computer knowledge. My dream is to illustrate picture books, in addition to writing YAs.

Besides art, I do all kinds of crafts. Cake decorating, sewing, needlework are my favorites. And I also like to fence, bellydance, horseback ride, ski, and play soccer. Oh, and ride in my husband’s motorcycle sidecar. And travel abroad. My goal is to get to every continent. Only two more to go—Australia and Antarctica. All of these give me a creative charge and feed my idea files for future stories.
3. What kind of books do you like to read?

YA, of course. Beyond that, anything and everything. I read cereal boxes if that’s all that’s handy. Fiction, nonfiction, self-help—you name it, I read it. At the moment, I’m immersing myself in Chinese history so I can finish Red Beads, the YA I’m revising that’s set during the Ming dynasty.
4. What's your favorite kind of music?

Classical, but most of the time I prefer silence or the sounds of nature—leaves rustling in the breeze, birds twittering, crickets chirping, frogs croaking. To
me, those are the most beautiful music there is.
5. If you were going to a costume ball where you had to dress up as your favorite movie character, which character would you choose and what outfit would you wear?

To be honest, I don’t watch TV and rarely go to movies. I’d much rather read, so it’s hard to say what I’d choose. But if it’s OK to choose cartoon characters, I always envied Cruella De Vil’s fur coat (not Dalmatian fur, of course) and two-toned hair. I’d love to pair that with long, blood-red fingernails and black high spiked heels—not that I could even walk in them, but this is fantasy, after all. At the same time, I’d love to be Glinda, the good witch, from The Wizard of Oz.

Split personality maybe??

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Laurie! I'm looking forward to your posts this week.