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are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active.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.


Merry Christmas Fun and Trivia

Time to celebrate Christmas (I can't believe it's only 13 days away). I'm starting off my season with a couple of corny jokes.

Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
So he can hoe, hoe, hoe…


What Christmas Carol is a favorite of parents?
Silent Night…


What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Frosted Flakes...


Knock Knock
Who's there ?
Donut
Donut who ?
Donut open till Christmas…

What do you get if Santa goes down the chimney when a fire is lit?
Crisp Cringle...


How do sheep in Mexico say Merry Christmas?
Fleece Navidad...


What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Claustrophobic...


What does a cat on the beach have in common with Christmas?
Sandy Claws...


Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
He had low elf-esteem...


What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas ?
Thanks, I'll never part with it…

How long does it take to burn a Christmas candle down ?
About a wick…

Why are Christmas trees like bad knitters ?
They both drop their needles…

Knock Knock

Who's there?
Rudolph
Rudolph who?
Money is the Rudolph of all evil…



Hope you didn't spit milk out your nose laughing too hard??

But now that all the laughs are exhausted, it's time to get down to thinking. So, how well do you know Christmas?

Tis the season to see how festive you are. I found a trivia quiz on the website http://www.internetfamilyfun.com/christmas.htm and just had to test myself. I got a C+ on my Christmas intelligence with 11 out of 14 correct. What about you guys? Did you know all these? (Psst: Answers are at the bottom!)

1: What country did the tradition of having a Christmas tree come from?

  • England
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • France


2: Every year most homes in the United States bring something from the outdoors into their homes and decorate it. This object is:


  • A Fir or Evergreen Tree
  • A Palm Tree
  • A log
  • A bush


3: What is the name of the head elf in the movie, "The Santa Clause"?


  • Scott
  • Judy
  • Bernard
  • Larry


4: In the poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore what creature is mentioned?


  • Fly
  • Mouse
  • Cat
  • Dog


5: What is dressed in "holiday style" in the song, "Silver Bells"?


  • Streets
  • Store Windows
  • Sidewalks
  • Train Station


6: In what city did the story, "Miracle on 34th Street", take place?


  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Buffalo


7: In "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" the elf named Hermey wanted to be a


  • Dentist
  • Toy Painter
  • Doctor
  • Prospector


8: In the song, "12 Days of Christmas", how many Lords a-leaping are there?


  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11


9: The biggest selling Christmas song of all time is:


  • Bing Crosby's White Christmas
  • Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  • Connie Francis's Winter Wonderland
  • Pat Boone's I'll Be Home For Christmas


10: In the Christmas classic, "Home Alone," where did the family go?


  • England
  • Scotland
  • France
  • Germany


11: In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" what is the angel's first name?


  • Sidney
  • Oliver
  • Clarence
  • George


12: Other names for Santa Claus do not include:


  • St. Nick
  • Sint Klaas
  • Father Christmas
  • Feliz Navidad


13: The name of the girl that asked if there is a Santa in the famous editorial that answered that question.


  • Sally
  • Samantha
  • Betty
  • Virginia


14: In the movie "The Christmas Story", what did Ralphie want for Christmas?


  • Go Cart
  • Bike
  • BB Gun
  • Lamp



ANSWERS:
1)Germany, 2)A Fir or Evergreen, 3)Bernard, 4)Mouse, 5) Sidewalks, 6)New York, 7)Dentist, 8)10, 9)Bing Crosby's White Christmas, 10)France, 11)Clarence, 12)Feliz Navidad, 13)Virginia, 14)BB Gun


HOPE EVERYONE HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

A School Paper Interview

I never wrote for my high school newspaper. I'm pretty sure we had one.

I did write for my college newspaper. I remember a fascinating story about elevators and I did a series of columns about my experience as an exchange student in London.

But I never interviewed an author. Maybe I should have.

Because I've been interviewed for a school paper.

Jillian, a high school student who edits the The Panther Press read When Mike Kissed Emma and wanted to interview me for her school paper. How cool is that? You can go here to read the interview!

To Get You into the Thanksgiving Mood

I shared this poem on my blog last year before my baby was born. But now that she's here, it seems even more fitting. I can actually envision my little monkey-girl doing this!! So anyway, here is a poem for everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving to enjoy. Okay, you don't even have to be celebrate the season to enjoy it.

Don't worry: it's not SUPPOSED to be literary at all... just fun.

Have a great holiday!! See everyone next month!


The Great Hollowsbee Thanksgiving

A long time ago, down in the village of Hollowsbee
There walked the biggest ol' turkey you ever did see.
With a sleek coat of feathers, he was juicy and plump.
He looked tasty enough to sink a fork in his rump.

He was ancient and wise, but looked lazy and mild,
Till one day of the year, he turned quite wild.
Every Thanksgiving, in the hours before the feast
No butcher or hunter could catch this wretched beast.

It was an impossible feat
To gain his delicious meat.
So, year after year, the town went without turkey,
Eating only ‘Taters. Yes, their future looked murky.

Because without turkey, they had no meat to gain protein,
And without protein, they were wimps, making them so mean.
But one Thanksgiving, the strangest battle was fought.
It was a war with that turkey no one has ever forgot.

The challenger was a girl named Lydia Marie
who lived with her parents outside Hollowsbee.
In only a diaper and her bare hands, Lydia did crawl
To the turkey’s fence till she was nose to nose with the animal.

She pointed at the turkey and giggled, “bird.”
Now the idea of her killing this beast was truly absurd,
And people gasped as she climbed the fence and jumped into its cage;
The news of her actions spread through town in a rage.

“Get that girl out of there,” someone screamed. “She’ll surely die.”
But no one was brave enough to stop her, and they all began to cry.
As the child scampered forth, people saw the race begin.
They edged closer, watching her chase the beast around his pen.

Now poor little Lydia Marie only wanted to pet the turkey that fled,
She was so determined, she followed it into his shed.
Oh the dread!

As the town stood near, mothers wailed and preachers prayed.
The day wore on while the little shack shook and swayed.
No one really believed the tiny girl with two names
Could bring down the great turkey. But as legend claims,

A cheer rose up when Lydia Marie exited the barn alive.
Thus, the turkey was dressed and cooked well done by five,
And the usually quiet little town of Hollowsbee
Partied and ate late into the morning 'til three.

They named their new hero, Lydia the Brave,
Because from starvation, the whole town she did save.
It has gone down in history as the day the great turkey fell.
Lydia the Brave saved Hollowsbee, and that’s all there is to tell.

The End




Oh, and here's what Lydia was for Halloween. You might've heard of the Wicked Witch of the West, but have you heard of...THE SWEETEST WITCH OF THE MIDWEST?!

EPIC Award Finalists



We're very excited that two of our fabulous Climbing Rose authors are finalists in the annual EPIC awards! Pamela Woods-Jackson, author of Confessions of a Teenage Psychic and Linda Kage author of The Stillburrow Crush are both finalists in the YA category. Congrats to Linda and Pamela!

And if you'd like to see what all the fuss is about, check out the Climbing Rose eBook store or our print store to order your copies of Confessions of a Teenage Psychic and The Stillburrow Crush today!

You are fantastic


The other day I stopped for gas after work. I got out of the car, slid my debit card through the reader and started pumping. In the stillness I heard a voice say, "You are fantastic."

I looked around. None of the other customers were paying any attention to me. Then it came again, "You are fantastic." But this time it continued, "You pay the bills, take care of the kids, make sure everyone around you is safe and you keep everything running smoothly in your family's life."

I burst out laughing. It was the gas pump talking to me! Complimenting the heck out of me! How did a gas pump get so wise? Now, I'm not naive enough to think that the gas pump actually tailored its message specifically for me. I'm sure the next 50 people who picked this particular pump got the same heartwarming message. But it made me feel good. Yes, I do all those things. And generally nobody notices, at least not enough to tell me how fantastic I am. But standing there in the forced two minute stillness of filling my tank, I allowed this kind gas pump's praise to wash over me.

As marketing strategies go, this one hit the mark. Because guess who will return to that pump the next time her tank is empty???

Be sure to visit me online at http://www.authorlaurielarsen.com/
2010 EPIC Award winner!

Do you like FEAR?

The sound was loud enough to wake her from deep REM. Like the crack of knuckles against a wall, the thud reverberated through her room, making it impossible for her to tell where it had originated.

Eyes flickering open, she lay as still as death while her ears strained to hear the noise again. The covers pressing down on top of her trapped heat in, making her perspire and her slick hair stick to the back of her neck. Trying to hold her breath so she could be as quiet as possible, she went a little dizzy as she waited.

The sound came again.

Her body tightened convulsively. Lurching into her throat, her heart suffered a severe case of claustrophobia as it beat hard through her pulse, anxious to escape the tight space. Her lungs burned with the need to evacuate air.

Again, the knock sounded from down the hall. From Davey’s room.


But no one had been inside his domain since he’d disappeared.

Unable to hold back any longer, oxygen rushed from her lips, shuddering with stunted gasps.

And then it started. A continuous knock, knock, knock as if someone was pounding on the door to Davey’s room, demanding to get out.

Shoving the covers off her, she leapt from her bed and reached for the nightlight, only to bulldoze it over with her fingers, sending it crashing to the floor. The tinkle of breaking glass followed.

The knocking continued, booming louder and faster. She fumbled in the dark, scurrying toward the hallway. Reaching the entrance, she slapped on the hall light only to find the door to his room cracked open a few inches.

A chilly breeze settled over her, like the cold hand of doom clawing out to grab her and drag her in. It stirred her damp, matted hair and prickled the skin on her arms. Though she wanted to turn back, escape inside her room, slam the door and lock it, then hide under her covers until the horror stopped, she raced forward.

Shoving open his door the rest of the way, she halted in the threshold and gawked inside.

Then she screamed. And screamed. And screamed.


**********


Okay, now that I have your lungs pumping a little harder and your blood flowing a little faster, I’ll finally get down to the meaning of his post.

Fear.

Obviously, since you’re here, you’re a fan of romance and happy endings, but do you ever like to add a little fear to that happy ending? Do you like scary movies? Horror novels? Halloween?

I’m scared to death of them myself. In fact, the one and only time I visited a Halloween spook house, I was somewhere between nine and twelve. It was during the eighties, maybe early nineties, when girls wore those long necklaces made of big beads. I went with my older teenage sister and a group of her friends. I think I clung to her and hid my face in her stomach through the entire tour. I honestly don’t remember much; the trauma’s probably blocking most of it!

The most notable part of this journey, however, came at the end of the walk-through. Some bloody dude with a knife yelled at us and charged, making us escape from him by entering a small crawl space fashioned from hay bales.

Yeah. Hay bales.

If we wanted out of the house, we had to get down on our hands and knees and crawl single-file through an itty-bitty tunnel made of hay bales.

Well, at this point, we were all pretty much ready to leave. Screaming, we surged in one lump mass toward the not-so appealing exit. I wasn’t the first to enter that crawl space, but I was the first to exit it.

I was so scared, all I remember to this day was breaking out into the dark night and just taking off sprinting through town. My poor sister probably had to chase me down and restrain me until I calmed. From her take on the story, I passed a couple people in that tight crawl space, must’ve wiggled right under one my sister’s friends to get by her, because I came out of the hay bales wearing her long beaded necklace. And I wasn't wearing it when we entered the haunted house.

So, yeah, I’m a big scaredy-cat when this time of the year rolls around.

What about you?

Essay Writing Winners Announced!

Back in the summer I had this idea to offer an essay writing contest to my website visitors. I've always been a fan of the Essay genre, and even have a full page of my website devoted to them. So I opened up the contest and asked for entries. And I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single one that came in! Thank you so much for sharing your work with me. It was a tough decision to pick the top three but here they are. In no particular order, here are my favorite three essays submitted, and why I loved them:

A Girl's Trip, by Danielle Murphy

This essay took us on a magical journey to the most magical vacation destination in the world. I related so easily to the trip to Disney, having been there several times myself with my kids, and the author's pure joy for not only the vacation, but the exciting planning process, and the long-awaited reaction from her daughter was to me, pure magic!

On the Job Experiences, by Mary Jean Schiller

It's amazing what job experiences we rack up on the way to doing what it is we were really meant to do. I enjoyed the account of the author's checklist of crazy jobs. Sounds like she needed every single one of those experiences to prepare her for the job of a lifetime: mother of newborn triplets and a two-year-old! And it sounds like she could have a full series worth of stories from Ryan's escapades.

Write an Essay, I Don't Think So! by Rebecca Bidwell

This essay just made me laugh! It's a stream of consciousness selection from a retired grandma who is making sense of her new life filled with plenty of free time. My advice: sit back and enjoy the ride, and don't worry about making your days as productive as they used to be -- a lifetime of work earns you some guilt-free downtime!

Laurie Larsen's Essay Extravaganza Contest


If you could write an essay on any topic of your choosing, what would it be about? If you could have a guaranteed internet audience to share your essay with, would you do it?

Here's your chance! I'm sponsoring an Essay Writing contest. Get your creativity flowing, grab your pen or your keyboard, and start writing! It can be on any topic and it's your chance to get your work published on my website where it can be read by thousands of people around the world!

Not only that, but the three winners I choose, in addition to getting their work published on my site for the world to see, will also receive my gift of a free book from my backlist -- your choice of one of my five books -- just let me know which one!
How can you pass up a chance like this???

The Few Simple Rules:
1. The contest deadline is Thursday, September 30, 2010.
2. Submit your original essay via a MS Word attachment in an email to: laurie@authorlaurielarsen.com with Essay Extravaganza Contest in the Subject line.
3. Make sure you are NOT passing me a computer virus embedded in your email or your document. If you do, you can be assured I will delete it immediately.
4. Word count limit is 1500 words.
5. I will read each and every submission. After the deadline I will determine the three winners of the contest based on my favorite essays. What will make them my favorite? Readability, professionalism, quality of the writing, how much the topic grabs me, etc.
6. If you need idea starters of what I'm looking for, feel free to peruse my website's Essays page for examples of blogs and essays I've written myself.

Have fun and I look forward to seeing your work!

Laurie

Banned Book Week 2010

Coming to a library near you...

Since I work in a library for my day job, I’m a big supporter of Banned Book Week.

Held by the American Library Association every year in the last week of September, Banned Book Week "celebrates the freedom to read."

This year, banned book will take place:


September 25−October 2, 2010

  • So, get ready now! Go the library or bookstore and find one of the following stories this week. Read a challenged book and celebrate the fact that these authors broke the rules of their time so they could enrich and entertain us.

    Here's a list of my favorites if you don't know where to start:

    • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
    • Bridge to Terabithia
    • The Giver
    • Go Ask Alice
    • Harry Potter (series)
    • How to Eat Fried Worms
    • James and the Giant Peach
    • Killing Mr. Griffin
    • Of Mice and Men
    • The Outsiders
    • Summer of My German Soldier
    • To Kill a Mockingbird

    Or go HERE to find more challenged titles.

Great Review for House of Wacks

Bassetbarb at Night Owl Reviews loved Denise Gwen's House of Wacks! (Of course!) Here's what she had to say:

I loved House of Wacks. Denise Gwen gives us a behind the scenes look at a movie set and a peek into a sixteen-year-old girl’s mind. Both ring with the peal of believability. Jordan does soul-searching and doesn’t care much for what she discovers about herself and her friends.

I’m not saying anymore, because I don’t want to give away the ending, but buy this book. You will not be disappointed.


Thanks, Bassetbarb! We love Denise's book too :)

Don't have your copy yet? Download it in our eBook store or buy it from our print store today!

R U Ready 4 Back2School?

It's getting close.

Are you ready?

School's about to begin again. Ugg. I know I'm not ready. I work at a college library, and I'm SOOOO going to miss my sweet parking spot once students return. Oh well, I guess they're what pay my salary, so I'll shut up about that.

Anyway, to get yourself back into the school-attending spirit, here are a couple books I recommend you read.


Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson



When Mike Kissed Emma by Christine Marciniak


Krysta's Curse by Tara West


A Girl, A Guy, And A Ghost by Sherrie Kelley


Poor Me by (team) Dara Edmondson & Raina Edmondson



Seek Ye First My Heart [The Russell Family 3] by Kimberlee R. Mendoza

So, there are just a few awesome titles to get you jazzed and geared up for that dreaded S-word. Happy reading!

Oh, before I go, I have an announcement. Here's some BIG news for our climbing roses authors: FOUR of us are participating in EPIC's eBooks Awards Contest. So, keep your fingers cross. Though personally, I think us roses are just going to clean house in the young adult category (not that I'm biased!).

A Great Review for When Mike Kissed Emma

When Mike Kissed Emma has been out for almost a year now, but I still stumble upon reviews. Today this one at Novel Reactions really made my day.

My favorite line is: "I loved reading this book and never wanted to put it down!"

Now, that's a great endorsement!

Head on over to Novel Reactions to read the whole review!

Heartfelt Review for The Stillburrow Crush

Thanks to Kai of Amaterasu Reads for a fabulous review of The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage! The review contains some spoilers but I loved what she had to say about Linda's fabulous book:

I think of this book as my luckiest find for the year. No other book has topped it in my list
...
This was a novel with depth. It's an amazing story about a sassy, smart, and honest girl. Carrie is no damsel in distress who bats her eyelashes just to get the guy she wants. She's a strong, determined young lady who, like everyone else, has a lot of insecurities to deal with.


Thanks again, Kai, we're pretty crazy about Stillburrow too!

Haven't bought your copy yet? It's available in paperback, eBook, and Kindle book. Snap yours up today!

Fabulous review for Confessions of a Teenage Psychic

Dogwood over at Aurora Reviews loved Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson! Here's what she had to say:

The story is wonderfully written. It's almost like watching a movie, the descriptions are so vivid. The story flows very smoothly, you will find yourself finished before you know it. You can tell the author is very familiar with high school environments, because she was able to describe it so perfectly. It was like a blast from the past, and I was right back in school. Dreading getting up early, but looking forward to hanging out with everyone at Peterson's Coffee Emporium. If you are looking for an easy, entertaining read, then this book is just right for you. Perfect for a lazy day in a hammock, or even better, while you are laying out at the beach!


How fab is that? But don't just sit there (or swing there, if you're in that hammock!) download or order your copy of Psychic today!

Summer Jobs

Ahhh, July. A time for reading, swimming, reading, suntanning, reading, family vacations...and summer jobs.


I remember my first summer job was working for a family that made metal craft signs (sorta like the one in this picture!) and then they traveled around to different craft fairs and sold their work. My job was painting all the signs black. I would set them out on metal racks and paint one side, then the other side, making sure I got every nook and cranny painted black. If I didn't do such a good job, I'd get to repaint them all over again the next day.


It was usually hot, miserable work and pretty messy too. I'd have black boogers all summer long (and now that I think back on it, I probably should have worn a mask, huh). Anyway, the best part was the money. And what did I buy with my money?


Books! Of course. Oh, and trips to the movies.


I have to say my favorite summer job, though, came between my freshman and sophomore year of college. A Hastings Bookstore opened in my town and I was able to work there for about a month before I left again for college. I was in book heaven at Hastings because I got an awesome--I mean AWESOME--discount on all the books I bought there. Almost makes me want to work there part time again so I can get more cheap books (sigh).


So, now I gotta know, what are some of the summer jobs you've done? And how many great books were you able to buy with all that cash...or did your paycheck go toward something else?

Hero Interview

Hi! It's the twelfth; my day to post. I'm starting with an apology. This month, I feel lazy, ergo I'm just going to re-post something I had on my own blog a couple months back...

So today, we’re here with Luke Carter, hero in my debut novel The Stillburrow
Luke Carter: Hey, before we start, I just wanted to thank you for finally letting me get a chance to talk—
Linda Kage: Wait. What do you mean, FINALLY? I allowed you plenty of dialogue in The Stillburrow Crush.

Carter: Yeah, but the entire story was written in first person point of view from Carrie’s perspective. No one got to see what I was thinking at all. I’m just saying… I’m grateful I’ve finally got a chance to speak my mind.

Kage: Well, okay then. Let’s hear what’s on Luke’s mind. Tell us a little something about yourself.


Carter: What? Right now?

Kage: (eyes rolling) You’re the one who was all fired to begin the interview, bud.

Carter: OK, fine. I’m ready. Uh… Hey, everyone. I’m Luke Carter. I’m a senior at SEC. That’s short for Stillburrow Education Center, though I’m not sure why they have such a fancy name for a little nothing school in a little nothing town. Sure, the grade school and high school are connected in one building, so it wouldn’t be right to exclusively call it Stillburrow High or Stillburrow Grade School. But SEC? Can you say lame? Whenever we have a game and all the cheerleaders start yelling, “Go SEC,” you just want to cringe with embarrassment. Which brings me around to football. I’m on the team… as the quarterback. We had an awesome season. Even beat Valley this year, which hasn’t happened for a long time. I was siked. But other than that, my dad’s the bank president. Mom’s a homemaker. And I’m a fairly decent student. My favorite subject is trig.

Kage: Trigonometry, huh? Wow. I would’ve guessed English.

Carter: (frowning) Really? Why?

Kage: Well, because you’re such a good poet.

Carter: (Eyes growing the size of saucers) SHHHH! Will you keep your voice down! (Hunching his shoulders and glancing around to make sure no one else heard). No one’s supposed to know about that.

Kage: About what? The fact that you like to write poetry?

Carter: WILL YOU KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN? Please? That’s private.
Kage: (Wincing). Uh, I hate to break it to you, bud. But anyone who reads "The Stillburrow Crush" is going to know your little secret.
Carter: WHAT! You put that in the book? How could you put my most private—

Kage: Hey, don’t yell at me. This is Carrie’s story. You need to take your problem up with her? SHE was the narrator.

Carter: (Scowling). Oh, don’t think I won’t.

Kage: (Grins a little smugly) You two sure like to argue, don’t you?

Carter: (not quite able to perfect an innocent, I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about smile) What?

Kage: Don’t give me that look. I know you. You LIKE picking fights with Carrie.

Carter: (Shrugs. Guilty grin slips through) What can I say? I like her witty, smart-aleck personality.

Kage: And why is that?

Carter: (Snorts) What are you, Dr. Phil, all the sudden?

Kage: Just curious.

Carter: OK, fine. Don’t you dare tell her this, but I admire that bold quality about her. I’m… I don’t know. I’m jealous, I guess. She’s just so… free. She doesn’t worry about what other people think; she just says what’s on her mind.

Kage: And you wish you were more like that?

Carter: (Shrugs) Well, yeah. Sure. I mean, as the captain of the football team, you’re expected to be the popular jock. Everyone’s always watching you, scrutinizing every little move you make. It’s impossible to act like yourself. Be yourself.

Kage: You mean, like the sensitive poet you really want to be.

Carter: Seriously, can we NOT talk about that?

Kage: (Laughs) OK, fine. I’ll let it go for now.

Carter: Thank you.

Kage: Let’s keep talking about Carrie.

Carter: (Frowns with suspicious, narrowed eyes) What about her?

Kage: Hey, I’m a major romance enthusiast. I want to know how you two hooked up?

Carter: Well, gee. You wrote the story, Ms. Kage. If you don’t know…

Kage: (Rolls eyes) And you say Carrie’s the smart aleck. We’re FINALLY in your mind now, Luke. Remember? I want to hear it from your point of view.

Carter: Oh... Well, honestly, I have no idea how that happened. Carrie just… happens to people. It’s hard to explain. She’s kind of like a train wreck. One minute, you’re chugging along, minding your own business, following the tracks laid out for you. Then, suddenly, everything’s derailed and one huge mess with Carrie standing right in the middle of it.

Kage: I suppose you don’t want her to know you said that about her either, huh?

Carter: Na, I don’t mind if you tell her that. I like to tell her she’s a disaster magnet all the time. Just read her story to discover all the problems she finds herself getting involved in. I mean, how many people can say they were suspended, grounded, grew a crush, kissed that crush, and aced trigonometry all for the first time within a one month time frame? Not to mention that whole mess with her brother and Abby Eggrow. Carrie’s been a busy girl lately. And ever since she interviewed me for the school paper, I got sucked into the catastrophe right along with her.

Kage: You got sucked into it, or you were drawn in because you like her?

Carter: Sucked in. Drawn in. Does it really matter?

Kage: Major romance enthusiast here, remember? YES, it matters.

Carter: OK, fine. I was drawn in. But Carrie’s just so... animated, you know. I couldn’t help but go back for more torture. Arguing with her’s fun. She’s addictive.

Kage: Awww. My romance enthusiast heart just with pitter pat. That was a sweet, wonderful line.

Carter: (Blushes) Geesh, it wasn’t that big a deal. You already know I like her.

Kage: But you said it so romantically. That must be why you’re such a good—

Carter: If you say poet again, this interview is over.

Kage: (Evil grin). Actually, I was just about ready to wrap things up. You could probably only go downhill from the “addictive” quote. Is there any last minute comment you’d like to make, so everyone can get a better insight into your personality?

Carter: UH…. Now, dang it. You got me all flustered. I can’t think straight. You’re too much like Carrie in that respect, you know? Talk a poor guy into knots.

Kage: Well, I did invent her.

Carter: Yeah, you did. I’d really like that thank you for that too. Without Carrie around, my life would’ve proceeded with its dull boring, “expected” path. I’m glad you threw her on my tracks to shake things up. She’s become my inspiration.

Kage: (Sighs dreamily) Now, there’s my perfect finale. Ladies and gents: Luke Carter, hero of my young adult romance story, The Stillburrow Crush*.

*The Stillburrow Crush was released in Frebruary from The Wild Rose Press. And Luke might not get to give his point of view, but I must say Carrie gives a pretty actuate depiction of him.

Thanks for stopping by to check out his interview.

Your May Inspiration

May is a good month for endings and beginnings. School ends, the break begins. Spring winds down, and Summer gears up to play. And seniors graduate only to prepare for the rest of their lives. I don’t know how many of you out there are graduating this month, but I have just the poem to pump you up and energize you to begin the rest of your life.

I first heard it in the fifth grade when my class took a field trip to the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri. They played a recording of him reciting this poem during his commencement address at Selma University, Selma Alabama on May 27, 1942. And it’s stuck with me ever since.

I hope it sticks with you as well and inspires you to use your equipment wisely. Have a great May.


EQUIPMENT

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You've all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say, "I can."

Look them over, the wise and great
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes.
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you've all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will.
You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place,
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know.
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within,
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
You were born with all that the great have had,
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."

--Edgar A. Guest

Rave Reviews for Confessions of a Teenage Psychic


Another fab review for Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson! Over at Bitten by Books, they give Confessions 4 Tombstones--which sounds bad but is actually good :)--and have this to say:

Pamela Woods-Jackson has created a thoroughly likeable heroine who is struggling to juggle all the normal teenage angst with her psychic abilities. This story teaches young readers a valuable lesson without being preachy: be true to yourself and embrace those qualities that make you special and unique. Confessions of a Teenage Psychic is an absolutely wonderful debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from Ms. Woods-Jackson in the future.


Pretty cool, huh? Check out Confessions of a Teenage Psychic in our Climbing Rose store today.

Another Great Review for Teenage Psychic

So exciting that Reader Girl over at Night Owl Reviews loved Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson:

Once I started Confessions of A Teenage Psychic, I couldn't stop reading till I finished the whole thing. I recommend this book to every teenager and especially if they happen to be a teenage psychic. If you like reading about high school life with a little fortune telling and ghost talking, this is the book for you.


Awesome! Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check out Confessions of a Teenage Psychic in the Climbing Rose store today!

Great Review for Confessions of a Teenage Psychic!

We're always excited about our Climbing Rose books, but it's still thrilling when reviewers are excited about them too! And Theresa over at The Romance Studio is definitely thrilled with Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson:

I highly recommend you pick up this book and be sure to get a copy for any young woman in your life. This was such a poignant novel that I just know I will read it again and again. This author is going on my must-read list.


How great is that? Read the whole review here. And pick up your copy of Confessions of a Teenage Psychicin the Climbing Rose store today.

Great Interview with Linda Kage at Aurora Reviews

Check out Aurora Review's interview with Linda Kage and find out all about Linda's reading, writing, and romance habits:

Recently she's been trying her hand at adult romance and, in fact, has two adult books scheduled for release later this year with The Wild Rose Press. "My head is constantly buzzing with a handful of stories ideas," Linda told me. "It’s a total mess up there. If The Stillburrow Crush goes over well, I have a few more YA book ideas I could focus on…but beware: they’ll all have romance in them. I’m a romance junkie; I just gotta have that happy ending where the hero and heroine end up together forever..."


And check out Linda's YA release, The Stillburrow Crush, in the Climbing Rose Store.

Five on Friday - Shut Up! I'm Reading Edition

It's Friday which means it's time for Five on Friday where we pose five random questions to some of our favorite bloggers and authors. Today's Fiver is Jessica from Shut Up! I'm Reading.

Here's the scoop on Jessica:

This is Jessica Secret: She's 13. And home-schooled. And, hey, get this, not only does she blog about the books she's read, but she's an aspiring writer too! (Either writing novels or writing/acting for SNL.) Yep, books pretty much rule her life. And awesome music. Sometimes she likes to combine them, especially when writing.


Awesome, Jessica! We love aspiring writers! Ready? Here are your questions:

1. Do you play an instrument?

I took one piano lesson and one guitar lesson. I haven't stuck with either, but I'd love to pull out the guitar again. I loved playing that, even when practicing.


2. What super power do you wish you had?

I'd love to be able to read minds. If I was able to control it, I think it would be an amazing ability. If I wasn't able to control it,then I'd pick flying. Even though I'm deathly afraid of heights, I just think it would be such an exhilarating feeling to be able to fly. Even though the height thing might make it...um...interesting.


3. What's your favorite season of the year?

Fall/Autumn. It's inspiring. I have no idea why, but it inspires everything that I do. My life, writing, drawings...everything.


4. What is something most people don't know about you?

Bloggers don't know that I was in a car accident when I was ten with my seven year-old sister, and two year-old brother. (The ages are just rough estimates, but it was around there.) My mom swerved into a bridge and tipped the car onto its side. I was surprised at how well I handled the situation, I was very calm. After just a little while we were out of car with the help of two very cool men. My mom walked away with a bad scratch with some glass in it, and we all had a sore spot or two where our seat belts had saved us. Friends and family know just about everything about me, I think.


5. What food can you absolutely not stand to eat?

OLIVES. Black, green, it doesn't matter. I gag at the mention/thought of an olive.


Thanks so much for answering our questions, Jessica! That car accident sounds scary, so glad you were all fine. I hope everybody will check out your fabulous Shut Up! I'm Reading blog!

Twelfth Thief


Hello! Linda Kage here. I've agreed to provide a post on this blog once a month, and I decided to steal the 12th (ergo my title: Twelfth Thief!!). So, I'm going to boreI mean, ENTERTAINyou all on the twelve of every month. This first go 'round, I’ll just introduce myself to give you some fair warning about what you can expect from me every thirty days or so.

First of all, I love to read all sorts of romance: contemporary, suspense, historical, paranormal, YA…you get the picture, right? If it’s a romance, I’ll devour it. But so far, I’ve only written contemporary romance.

My first book, The Stillburrow Crush (YAY!), was released this February from The Wild Rose Press. It’s a contemporary Young Adult story, and strangely enough, the only YA book I’ve finished to date. The other three books I have coming out are all adult romance—not erotic but definitely on the steamy side (yikes!).

If you’d like to read more about any of my stories, please feel free to visit my website at www.LindaKage.com. I just love visitors! I'm hapy to say The Stillburrow Crush has been getting some pretty awesome reviews. So, I've created a REVIEWS page to keep track of them all.

Now, onto my personal life…

I live in Kansas with my husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks (though we only run one clock at a time because, honestly who wants to wind nine cuckoo clocks every morning and evening—though technically, you don’t wind a cuckoo clock; you pull a string. Sorry, I’m not up-to-date on the correct cuckoo terminology on how to re-energize a cuckoo clock!) Anyway...

This February was a HUGE month for me because not only did my first book come out, but my first baby was born too! I know, WOW, right?

I seriously can’t believe my little Lydia Marie is already two months old. Before I know it, she’ll be walking, talking, and moving off to college. My writing time has greatly decreased since she’s been alive, but stories keep swimming around in my head, so I’m sure I’ll continue to use what spare time I can find to keep up on writing…or reading. I really miss reading as much as I used to read before she came along. But it’s still worth it. She’s been a blessing, an exhausting blessing, but a blessing nonetheless.

So, that’s the basics about me. It was nice to meet you all. I’ll see you again next Twelfth!

Five on Friday - Roboloblyn Edition

It's Friday, and that means it's time for Five on Friday where we pose five random questions to one of our favorite authors or bloggers. Today's Fiver is Robyn of Robolobolyn's Universe of Books blog.

Here's the scoop on Robyn:

You may have seen me around the blogsphere as Robolobolyn. Or on Twitter as Robbiebear03. You might have been able to tell from that that I'm an avid reader with a bit of a patience issue. Okay, a lot of a patience issue. But let's not get into that. I like all things starting with kitten, dog, book, and Taylor Lautner. I hate all things involving yucky foods, snakes, and annoying little sisters. I am the world's pickiest eater. Put something in front of me and you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting me to eat it. Even less if it involves onions.

I consider myself educated on the subject of books and will babble non-stop on the subject until you yell at me. Or run away. I've even been known to ditch my friends at lunch to go find a corner to read. (I'm sorry, guys. I love you and all, but this is books we're talking 'bout!)

Oh, and I'm a superhero. I've got supervision, flying powers, and am able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. (Not really, but did you believe me? I had you going, I know I did!)


We've never had a superhero before! How fabulous! And I'm so with you on the onion thing :) Now on to the questions:

1. Where were you three hours ago?

Where was I? Well I was on this big ol' yellow thing called the school bus. For forty-five minutes! What was I doing? Sitting on small children, eating their snacks and throwing rocks at the bus driver. Okaaay, so not really. I was actually being quiet, reading Lilith Saintcrow's Betrayals, listening to my iPod, and texting friends. I am quite the multitasker.


2. When you wake up, what is the first thing you think?

I typically plot out the best way to find five minutes of extra sleep. Or ten. Or however much time I can get before my mom starts yelling at me. I dislike any time before 10am. No, scratch that. I loathe any time before 10am. And I will do almost anything to be allotted a few minutes of extra sleep. Including faking sick. But shh! don't tell my mom! :)


3. What's your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show?

*drops head* I hate to admit this, I still watch the Family channel. You know, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody/The Suite Life on Deck, Life With Derek, and Wizards of Waverly Place. I even went as far as staying up until 2am to watch the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, simply because I refused to watch the 10pm one because I missed the first 5 minutes. Yes, I know. I'm a dork. But can we please shut up about it now? I can hear you laughing at me. Don't think I can't!


4. What is the last movie you saw in theaters? Was it good?

About a month ago I went to see New Moon. Why? Not because I loved the books (they were good, but not the great thing that everyone makes them out to be) but because the one and only Taylor Lautner was in it. And he was shirtless about 50% of the time!!! :D As you may have noted, I heart Taylor Lautner. I'm planning on marrying that boy someday, despite the fact that my best friend also loves him. I told her if we could find a cloning machine we could share. But I still get to keep the original. She disagrees. She thinks she should get to keep the original. We got into a bit of a fight about it. She's now six feet under. (Weeeell, not really, but she will be if she steals him from me!)

Oh, man. I got off topic! Sorry. So, um, the movie was decent, but no better than the book. Parts were slow and boring, while others were hot and Taylor Lautner-filled. (Otherwise, I only liked the scenes with Taylor.) Everything else was just meh. And the ending blew. But, hey, if it floats your boat, go for it. Just don't steal my man!! :)


5. What's the last sporting event you watched?

Let it be known that I am not a sporty person. I will go to a hockey game if given the chance. But I will not sit and watch it on TV for the heck of it. Too many commercials and the old guys gossiping on about which player is sick or horrible or being traded just bugs me. Therefore, the only sporting event I can even remember watching was about an hour ago: The DVD version of Survivor: Pearl Islands. And do not even try to burst my bubble and tell me that it inst a sporting event. Because it is! Have you watched it? The survivors regularly have to run long distances, swim out into the middle of the ocean, plow into each other, get muddy and balance on beams. Among other physical type things. And, I dunno about you, but getting muddy and plowing into people sure sounds like football to me. And swimming long distances? Hello, swimming!? Running? And balance beams. That's sports. Though I'm not sure if there was ever a time in sport history where some of the teammates stripped in the middle of their challenge/game thing just because their teammates boxers were falling down and they didn't want him to feel embarrassed.


What fabulous answers, Robyn! Thanks so much for playing Five on Friday with us. Everybody be sure to stop by the fabulous Robolobolyn's Universe of Books blog.

Great Review of I Was a Teenage Alien

School Library Journal posted a fab review of I Was A Teenage Alien by Jane Greenhill. Here's what they said:

This inventive and humorous tale combines references to alien abductions, Area 51, beauty salons, teenage angst, and environmental concerns in a plausible and thoroughly enjoyable way.


How cool is that? And we couldn't agree more. Here's the blurb for Alien:


Oas is sent from her home planet of Zorca-twenty-three to rescue her brother Ralb from the worst humanoid known in the solar system-a teenage girl. With her traveling companions, Rotsen, a plant with an attitude who watches too many Sopranos reruns, and Lehcarr, a Venus Fly Trap with the habit of eating her friends, they set out to find Ralb. Traveling through a black hole, Oas is transformed from her ananoid shape into a teenage humanoid, becoming what she fears most-a teenager. They land in Bedrocktown to find the teenagers aren't as bad as they feared-they're worse. Zen her handler has warned her to stay away from pizza and popcorn but she tries both, with horrible results. She needs to find her brother, figure out how humans kiss, save the town from an E. coli outbreak, and meet Johnny Depp, not necessarily in that order. Then all she has to do is find her way home, but are her ties to Earth too strong?


So if you like stories with extra-terrestrial fun, check out I Was a Teenage Alien by Jane Greenhill--available in the Climbing Rose store.

Typical Review of The Stillburrow Crush

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend. We had gorgeous, almost summery weather in my neighborhood. Perfect for Easter Egg hunts (or in my family, an egg-shaped sugar cookie hunt--way more fun to find and eat!)

I'm also excited about this super review from Amber at Just Your Typical Book Blog. She had this to say about The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage:
Carrie has got to be the most strong willed, stubborn headed, sarcastic, foot in mouth character I have ever ran across. Linda Kage writes her with so much spunk though she never becomes annoying. She's brutally honest and doesn't care who you are, she'll tell you like it is. Just about everything this girl said made me smirk. The relationship between her and hunky quarterback Luke (don't you dare call him Lucas) was cute and a sweet one. I liked how they were in a way common characters, but they had so much heart they developed very nicely throughout the story.


Thanks for the great review, Amber! I totally loved Carrie too! If you'd like to find out what all the fuss is about, pick up your copy of The Stillburrow Crush in the Climbing Rose store today.

Five on Friday - Sparrow Review Edition

It's Friday! which means it's time for our Five on Friday feature where we grab a blogger or author and pelt her with five random questions.

Today's Fiver is Cate of the fab Sparrow Review blog. Here's the scoop on Cate:

I'm a small town high school student in North Carolina, and I love to spend a rainy afternoon with a mug of tea and a book. While I mostly review YA Lit, I also love the classics and occasionally something a little different. I also have a passion for fairy tales, and enjoy retellings. When I'm not reading or blogging, you can usually find me baking or watching old Disney movies with my friends (we miss our childhood...ha!) And, believe it or not, I actually really love to tap dance.


Cool! I've always wanted to learn how to tap dance. How fun :) Thanks for playing along, Cate, here are your five questions:

1. What TV show are you following this season?

Ha, this season- more like the rest of my life! As of right now, I'm completely addicted to Gilmore Girls. I own all of the seasons, and just can't get enough of the witty humor.


2. Would you go rock climbing?

Once, when I was about ten or eleven, I was really into rock climbing. Hypothetically, that is. Despite the fact that I am incredibly afraid of heights, I convinced my dad to take me to one of those rock climbing gyms. I think I was in the harness for all of twelve seconds before I realized that I couldn't make myself go more than three feet off the ground out of fear. That phase in my young life ended very abruptly.


3. What's your biggest pet peeve?

People with bad table table manners. I can't stand people who chew with their mouth open, or those obnoxious soup slurpers.


4. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

First I would wish for a thousand more wishes, or course! (Is that legal?) Then, a life-sized replica of the Harry Potter castle. Because, truly, who wouldn't want that? Oh, and world peace. It's a draw for me as far as whether the castle or peace would bring more happiness. ;)


5. What is your favorite animal?

Dolphins. Followed closely by pandas.


You are a riot, Cate, I love your answers! Thanks so much for visiting the climbing Rose blog, and everybody be sure to stop by Cate's beautiful Sparrow Review blog.

Looking for a Cute Romance?

A couple of reviewers think that you'll find it in When Mike Kissed Emma. I couldn't be happier with the reviews I found online this weekend.

My favorite lines from them?

Becky at Becky's Book Reviews had this to say:
I know I would have really really loved this one if I'd read it as a young teen.

And Lauren at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf said this:
The plot was fun and fast paced leaving me to be constantly turning the pages, curious to see what would happen next.

Please go to both of these sites and read the full reviews!

Five on Friday - The Moody Teenager Edition

It's Friday, which means it's time for Five on Friday when we grab a perfectly nice blogger or author and pelt her with five random questions. Today's Fiver is The Moody Teenager (OK, how great a name is that?) from The Moody Teenager blog (where else?)

Here's the scoop on The Moody Teenager:

Well I was est1995 and love to read. That is why I write reviews for teen books I read. Why? Because I've got nothing better to do that's why. I also enjoy long walks on pavement and rainy days, which are perfect for reading!


Rainy days are truly perfect for reading, I'm with you there :) And now for your five questions:

What TV show are you following this season?

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE! I always fall in love with one of the guys but they always get eliminated before the finale (Nathan, Jason....the list goes on). And of course Glee, though the season has ended, I need another Mashup Fix!


What's your earliest childhood memory?

My face being pushed into a pile of snow *shivers*


Do you have any pets?

I used to have a budgie, but he flew away (it was my fault!) and then we got 2 other ones but they kept...umm...doing inappropriate things....


What do you want to know about the future?

Is 2012 real? Will the Backstreet Boys have a come back? Will Britney Spears ever get back to normal? These are the questions that haunt me...


When you wake up, what is the first thing you think?

If I open my eyes, will there be a serial killer there?


I think I might be haunted if the Backstreet Boys DO have a comeback--and now I'm dying to know what inappropriate things your budgie did :)

Thanks so much for answering our questions, Moody! And everybody, go visit the fab Moody Teenager blog!

Springing toward Summer

What does Springtime mean to you?

Gardens and flowers bring the return of color. No matter how crisp and white a snowfall looks, the first of the bursting yellow daffodils are like a voice announcing the return of good weather and outdoors activities.

Oh, it might mean prom dates to some… it might mean applying for a summer job or endlessly mowing a lawn that grows larger every year (how does that happen?)

Those aren’t the reasons you look ahead with excitement. (OK, maybe the prom…) It’s the return of Sunshine and warm warm days.

And that means beach days aren’t far off.

Close your eyes and remember the gritty feel of the sand that insists on creeping onto your towel, and of all the voices laughing and chatting all around. Bet we all have a favorite beach, whether it’s the local swimming hole, a lake, or an ocean-side endless stretch of snow-white sands.

If your favorite spot threatened to disappear, what would you do?

In Spinning the Baiji, teenage Lin’s dream is to save the Yangtze River, about to be tamed by the new dam. And, its not just for herself, but for the dolphins that have lived along the shore of her village…for the grandmas that have never lived anywhere else… for the Lotus flowers that claim this valley as home.

What price will she pay to safeguard the best of her world? Download your eBook copy of Spinning the Baiji, by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier, to find out.

Another Fab Review for March Misfit

March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis has gotten so many stellar reviews, it's starting to get boring...OK, kidding! It's so not boring that so many reviewers have loved Barbara's book!

Here's what Fern at Aurora Reviews had to say:

March Misfit is a poignant and unforgettable tale about starting anew; surrounded by people, difficulties, and circumstances beyond your control. Although told through varying perspectives, this is orphaned fifteen-year old Cara’s story. When she enters into a large family living on the edge of poverty -- all of whom are virtual strangers -- she is the focal point and foundation of the work. It’s an amazing journey that enraptures from start to finish, and once I started, I couldn’t put the book down.


And here's the blurb:

When a mudslide destroys her home and kills her parents, fifteen-year-old Cara Talbot is sent to live with a distant cousin, his wife, and five sons on a dairy farm in Indiana. The stink of cattle, a tiny bedroom loft, and two brothers who resent her intrusion make life a bitter struggle. As she copes with her grief, she finds solace caring for an autistic child, who helps her see the softer side of Nicolas March, another family misfit.


Haven't ordered your copy yet? Read an excerpt here, then pick up a copy today in the Climbing Rose Store!

Five on Friday - Juju at Tales of Whimsy edition

It's Friday, which means it's time for Five on Friday, where we pose 5 random questions to our favorite book bloggers and authors. Today's Fiver is Juju of the fabulous Tales of Whimsy blog.

Tell us about yourself, Juju:

During the day I masquerade as a mature, responsible, financially savvy 33-year-old secretary but by night I'm a teenage bookworm with a penchant for Young Adult Fiction and love stories. When I'm not reading I'm cuddling with my husband and dogs (or both), eating exotic food, or dreaming of my next adventure.


OK, Juju, here are your five questions:

What's your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show?

At the moment it's a tie between the Big Bang Theory and Accidentally on Purpose.


What's your favorite midnight snack?

Definitely chocolate chip cookies. I could be the female Cookie Monster.


Who would you cast to play you in a movie?

America Ferrera she's younger than me but she nails the thick Americanized Latina that would be required to play me.


Do you like travelling?

I live for it. I just got back from Arizona and I'm hoping to visit Scotland or Ireland for the first time next year.


What's your earliest childhood memory?

Waking up early on Christmas morning and just gazing at the lights and gifts with total glee and anticipation.


Thanks so much for playing, Juju. I love your Christmas memory :)

Be sure to stop by Juju's fabulous blog Tales of Whimsy to say hello!

Forevermore, you'll be an "award-winning author!"





Hello out there in blog land! I had to share a really memorable weekend in my writing career, a weekend I'll never forget. It was magical, it was exciting ... well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Back in December or January, I got word that my book Preacher Man, published last year by Wild Rose Press was a finalist in the EPIC contest! EPIC honors e-books of all different categories and genres, and my book was a finalist in the "Spiritual and Metaphysical Romance Fiction" category. HUH? That's a mouthful. But regardless, I was thrilled.

They invited me to come to the awards ceremony in New Orleans to accept the award in person. That's of course, IF I won. There was always the chance that I wouldn't win. But still ... it was a weekend in New Orleans, it was far away from the cold and snow of central Illinois, and it was the chance to chat and have fun with other writers. It was a no-brainer! I made plans to go.
For months, I told everyone I knew, and even some people I didn't know that I was headed to New Orleans in March because my book was up for an award. It was so ... cosmopolitan! I felt sort of like Carrie Bradshaw.
When I arrived in NO, I wasted no time finding authentic cajun food to eat, touring the French Quarter, browsing through antique shops and even taking a ghost tour of famous NO hauntings. I met other writers and I was having a ball! Fast forward to Saturday night when I'm all dressed up in my sparkly dress and heels, listening to the presenter announce the finalists for my category. Everything I'd been anticipating for the last three months had come down to this one moment. Would they call my name? Or someone else's name?
"And the winner is ..."
Time seemed to go into a wierd slow motion while I waited for her to open the envelope. My mind raced with ... I might win, but I might not. Even if I don't, it's still great to be a finalist. I've had a great weekend, and I've met some great people, and I've enjoyed my visit to New Orleans ... but OH, I'd love to win!
"... Laurie Larsen!"
WOW! The first thing I heard was my dad sitting beside me make some sort of sound like, "Ah ha!" Then I heard this rousing chorus of applause and cheers and I just sat there for a moment, soaking it in. The love and support in that room were palpable. I got up, made my way around several tables and up on the stage, all without stumbling. (Whew). And I accepted the beautiful EPIC award. It was wonderful.
When I returned home and shared the news, my brother said something that really stuck with me, "Forevermore, you'll be known as an award-winning author." And you know what? He's right.

Winner of the Confessions of a Teenage Psychic Giveaway


Last week, we launched Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by 2010 Debut Author Pamela Woods-Jackson with excerpts and a giveaway. So today I'd like to announce that

Vampire Girl


is the winner of a copy of Pamela's book. Congratulations, Vampire Girl!

If you'd like to know more about Confessions, you can read the Prologue, Chapter One, and Chapter Two. Or skip the excerpts and go right to the buying :) in the Climbing Rose store.

Here's the blurb:

Caryn Alderson just wants to be a normal teenager. Moving from Houston to Indianapolis and trying to make new friends is hard enough, but when she meets Quince Adams, Rosslyn High School’s star athlete, she wants more than friendship. Unfortunately, two obstacles stand in her way: Quince's girlfriend, cheerleader Kensington Marlow, and Caryn's Uncle Omar. So what’s the problem? Kensington’s cheating on Quince, and Uncle Omar died in Vietnam at age 20!

Imagine hearing voices, seeing spirits no one else can see, and knowing things about people they never told you. No wonder Quince and all her new friends think she’s weird! Then just when Caryn thinks her psychic abilities are under wraps, her friend Megan blurts out the truth on television. Can Caryn finally admit her secret and just be herself? Does she really have a choice?