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are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active.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


Five on Friday - Barbara Stremikis Edition

It's Friday which means it's time for Five on Friday! Today's Fiver is Barbara Stremikis, author of March Misfit which releases TODAY!

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.

(And check out our earlier posts this week of Chapters One, Two, and Three!)


Thanks so much for stopping by, Barbara! Here are your five questions:

1. Do you have any collections?

I collect books: music, travel, novels. I'm presently reading biographies of the presidents, beginning with Washington. I have reached Martin Van Buren, the 8th president. The problem is limiting myself to one book per president. Collecting books was not a conscious choice. I can't seem to let them go once I purchase them. I need more bookshelves.


2. Do you play an instrument?

I majored in music. I play the piano, flute, and organ. I wanted to play the harp too, but my parents decided they had invested in three instruments. That was enough. My dad probably didn't want to listen to more practicing, especially at 6 a.m. when I began, although he loved music.


3. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

My first thought is about self-imposed exercises, one of my least favorite things to do. If I wait until later in the day, they don't get done and I'm sorry after spending hours at the computer.


4. What is the best job you ever had?

The most challenging and most rewarding job was teaching self-esteem and career exploration classes to college reentry women and to individuals in the Hawaii JOBS Program.


5. Have you ever crawled through a window?

I crawled out a college dorm window (in the days when there were separate boy/girl dorms and strict curfews) and crawled into a basement classroom window where I watched legs passing by looking for a group of us. We safely crawled out and back into the dorm without being caught. I assume it is safe to admit this since most of the faculty are no longer there.


LOL, Barbara, we won't tell anybody! Thanks so much for stopping by. I know everyone will love March Misfit!

And don't forget, everyone who leaves a comment on the blog this week will be entered in our drawing to win a copy of March Misfit!

March Misfit - Sneak Peek & Giveaway (Part 3)!

We're only ONE day away from the release of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis and the celebration continues!

All this week, we've been sneaking a peek at Barbara's fabulous book, but we're also giving away a copy of March Misfit this week! Just leave a comment any time this week to be entered in our drawing to win your own copy of March Misfit.

Lucky for us, though, we don't have to wait until Friday to start reading March Misfit. We posted Chapter One Tuesday, Chapter Two yesterday, and today we're previewing Chapter Three. Awesome!

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.


And here's Chapter Three (where we get to know our hero, Nicolas!):

Nicolas straddled the leather seat and secured his helmet. Legs pedaling, his heels dug into the dirt as he backed the Harley-Davidson out of the shed. The motorcycle, bulky and solid, was a dark blue 1948 panhead. His most prized possession.

He gave a jump on the starter and listened to the engine come to life, proud of the smooth regular sound. Proud because he was responsible for that sound, like a huge contented cat. He didn’t know whether lions purred, but if they did, and he stuck an amplifier near one’s throat, surely it would resonate like this.

...click here to read the rest of Chapter Three.


Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in our drawing. And be sure to stop back tomorrow when Barbara will play Five on Friday with us!

March Misfit - Giveaway & Sneak Peek (Part 2)!

We're only two days away from the release of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis and the celebration continues!

Not only has Barbara provided us with a sneak peek of her fabulous book, she's also giving away a copy of March Misfit this week! Just leave a comment any time this week to be entered in our drawing to win your own copy of March Misfit.

Lucky for us, though, we don't have to wait until Friday to start reading March Misfit. We posted Chapter One yesterday, and today we're previewing Chapter Two. Cool!

Here's what the story is about:

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.


And here's Chapter Two:

Cara jerked awake when the hall lights came on. The harsh glare streamed through slits in the curtain. The clock read 4:30. She turned over and tried to go back to sleep, but Nicolas passed her room and headed downstairs, shouting to his brothers to get up and get going.

“You’d better be at the barn by the time I get the cows there,” he warned. “That means you too, Gideon.”

How did Nicolas find cows in the dark?

...click here to continue reading Chapter Two.


Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in our drawing! And come back tomorrow for Chapter Three!

March Misfit - Giveaway & Sneak Peek

We're only three days away from the release of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis and we're in full celebration mode.

Barbara has been kind enough to provide us with a sneak peek of her fabulous book and she's going to give away a copy of March Misfit this week! Just leave a comment any time this week to be entered in our drawing to win your own copy of March Misfit.

But I'm happy to say you don't have to wait until Friday to start reading March Misfit. We'll be posting the first three chapters of Barbara's book on the blog this week. Cool!

Here's what the story is about:

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.


And here's Chapter One:

Willsford
September 1952


The old Ford hit a hole in the gravel road, jolting the six passengers until their heads nearly hit the ceiling. Cara bumped against twelve-year-old Gideon. With a surly grimace, he raised a shoulder and moved closer to the window. He wore black-rimmed, owl-like glasses and had straight dark hair like his mother.

His first words to her when they met were, “I’m twelve and I hate girls.”

...click here to continue reading Chapter One of March Misfit.


Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in our drawing to win a copy of March Misfit! And check back tomorrow for Chapter Two!

Author Interview - Barbara Stremikis - 2010 Debut Author of March Misfit

We're counting down to the Friday release of March Misfit by 2010 Debut Author Barbara Stremikis:

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.


And today I'm excited to be chatting with Barbara Stremikis about March Misfit and about her career as a writer.

Welcome, Barbara! Please tell us about March Misfit:

March Misfit is meant to heighten experiences of being an outsider. I once asked my Psychology students if they had ever felt personal prejudice or bias. All hands went up. Parts of March Misfit are autobiographical. I didn’t lose my family as my heroine did, but she symbolizes human loneliness. My hope is that she will be an inspiration for those occasions when we all feel like a misfit. When Cara is sent to live with a distant cousin, his wife, and their five sons, she is forced to deal not only with her grief, but with a total change of environment and lifestyle. She moves from a comfortable home in Virginia to a remote dairy farm in Indiana; in place of her loving sister, she copes with malevolent boys; rather than her nurturing parents, she is thrown into the struggles of a household under stress with a special needs child. The family dynamics are strange. David is the favored son. Nicolas, the eldest, is tough and sullen. Cara is afraid of him, yet he is gentle with his autistic brother. An underlying theme is why the family wanted her. In Cara’s mind--and hopefully the reader’s--she wonders if Mr. and Mrs. March desired the extra help, wanted access to her trust fund, saw the benefit of a caretaker as they aged…? I intended the story to reflect a simpler time, yet include the complexities embodied within families. For those who love dogs, Shep, has a healing role.


Where did the inspiration for March Misfit come from?

The inspiration for March Misfit came from a story I read as a child. I don’t recall the title or the details, only the tale of a young girl thrust into challenging circumstances. The loneliness of her situation evidently made an impact. Once I set March Misfit in motion, it became a series of the usual “what ifs.” What if a young girl loses her entire family and is forced into devastating turmoil. What if the dwelling is crowded and lacking in privacy? What if she is teased and ridiculed by the boys? What if she becomes a misfit at every turn? What mischief would be likely in the 1950s? What trials can she endure, while she learns and grows, so she deserves the happy ending?


Your story includes an autistic character. Did you have a particular inspiration for Alan?

I included an autistic boy in the story because I understand the stress a special needs child places on a family. I had a Down Syndrome brother. Like Mrs. March, my mother received little support or understanding. Mr. March expresses much of my father’s frustration. Except for behavior patterns, an autistic child can appear normal. Little information about autism was known to the public in the 1950s. I felt Alan would be a more puzzling character than a Down syndrome child, who can be identified by appearance. Alan’s role as a catalyst for Cara and Nicolas was an event that developed as the story progressed.


Why did you want your story to take place in the 50s? and why Indiana?

The reasons for the Indiana location are both personal and technical. My father was born in Indiana. He moved to California when he was eleven. Similar to William March, his father died leaving two boys to run a farm. My maternal grandmother’s family moved to California from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A relative still owns Silver Lake Mill, now an art gallery, which belonged to my great-great grandfather, Daniel Bowman. Family names, Yoder, Volk, and Bowman appear in the book. I have coincidentally retraced the steps of my ancestors. I was born in California, but lived in Indiana before moving to Virginia. In my book, I wanted to use familiar settings and chose Virginia as a starting point. I researched disasters that might realistically destroy my heroine’s home and family. Hurricane Able of 1952 became a tornado that touched down in Franconia, Virginia. This set the time in the 50s. To avoid any misinformation, I changed the name of Franconia to Dracena. Willsford resembles my husband’s home town in Wisconsin where the house and dairy are located. He was my consultant on cars, motorcycles, and the birthing of calves. When a Wisconsin relative saw the book cover, he wanted to know how I got a picture of Abe Fredenburg’s barn. I didn’t, but it shows what a tremendous job Kim Mendoza did with the cover art. The hay loft and long swing, the separator building, and the outhouse were on my family’s original property in California. I conveniently moved everything to Indiana, the advantage of writing.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’m probably like most writers. It is something I always wanted to do. My mother thought I was going to become a writer when a sixth grade teacher encouraged my work. My class performed a play I wrote. In college, I majored in music and elementary education. As an adult, most of my writing has been academic. I’ve had a varied career, but there was always an underlying desire to be an author. After I completed a dissertation in Psychology, I noticed an extension class about getting published. I’ve discovered that research journals seek papers to publish, but I didn’t know that at the time. The same instructor had a class on writing a novel, so I enrolled. When he showed his binder of pictures, I was hooked. As a child, I looked up countries to visit and made a list of the tourist attractions, such as the Louvre in Paris. I wrote travel descriptions and drew the clothes that might be worn. Now I put together a scrapbook for each novel I write, which is both nostalgic and useful.


Why do you write YA?

Writing a YA novel wasn’t intentional. I decided to write books with titles named after the months of the year and use the calendar as a metaphor for aging. The heroines in the beginning months (January, February, and March) are younger women. April to September reflect early to mid-life. The heroines in the October, November, December books will be older women. The March heroine is the youngest of the three completed books. My critique partner suggested I seek a YA publisher, and I found Climbing Rose.


What fictional character did you most want to be when you were growing up?

I don’t recall a desire to emulate a fictional character while growing up. I wanted to be like my older sister, whom I adored. I’ve had my Psychology classes do an exercise, which I always found fascinating. I asked for fairy tale characters they admired. Cinderella was most often chosen by the women. To my surprise, it was not because of Prince Charming, but because Cinderella rose above her abusive environment. I have consistently chosen Little Red Riding Hood. She symbolizes the adventurous little girl who leaves home and sets out into the woods to explore the world, where she meets life’s challenges represented by the big, bad wolf. I grew up in a small town with strict religious parents. When I left home, most experiences were new, huge, exciting, and sometimes frightening.


What's next? Any projects you'd like to share with us?

I have several projects going. I’ve written January Journey, about a young woman who is determined to enter the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska. February Folly is a valentine story set amidst Virginia vineyards. The state motto, “Virginia is for Lovers” seemed appropriate. I’m working on April’s Fool, about a psychologist whose husband leaves a message that she is not to accompany him on their planned trip to Europe. Certain he is not going alone she is determined to discover the identity of “the other woman.”


If you were going to a costume party where you were supposed to dress up as your favorite movie character, what would you wear?

If I were going to a costume party, I would be Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. I would wear a black dress, red spike heels, and a silver wig. I have a love-hate relationship with the fashion industry. I wanted to be a fashion designer, but in doing research, I was consistently discouraged by retail buyers who said the business was cut-throat. I tried modeling for a while. I love clothes and coordinating outfits. I’m still fascinated with fabric, design, color, and the glamour involved, but I became disillusioned with the industry. Not surprising for anyone who has seen the movie or read the book. My experiences weren’t quite as drastic, but I couldn’t understand why the male shop owner had to walk through the models’ dressing room to leave the store. With my insular background, I didn’t trust photographers who promised to take me to parties to meet celebrities. I worked with young women who gave up everything to move to Los Angeles and were running out of money with no potential job in sight. Like Andrea in The Devil Wears Prada, the experience helped discern my priorities. I enrolled in graduate school Psychology, maybe to figure it all out.


Fabulous answers, Barbara! Thanks for giving us so much insight into your wonderful book.

Only four more days until the digital release of March Misfit, but if you just can't wait, check out this Early Bird Special on our publisher website! And speaking of sneak peeks, be sure to check back tomorrow--and for the rest of the week--when we'll be posting the first three chapters of March Misfit!

Five on Friday - Sandy of Pirate Penguin's Reads Edition

It's Friday (yay!) which means it's time for Five on Friday! Today's Fiver is Sandy of Pirate Penguin's Reads (how fabulous a blog name is that?)

Welcome, Sandy. Tell us about yourself:

My name's Sandy and I'm currently a freshman in college. I'd much rather be reading than studying for my finals ;) Lol, I run my own site where I write reviews, host contests and plan on interviewing authors in the future. I love getting new visitors so stop by! :D


Here are your five questions:

1. What are four things you always have with you?

A book, pens, hair clips and my wallet (containing B&N and Borders gift cards) ;D


2. Do you play an instrument?

I do! I've been playing the violin for nine years now. I'm pretty decent at it but I admit that I'm no Mozart xD


3. Where did you go on your last vacation?

Chile, South America. It's the narrow little strip on the left side of the country. (most people either don't know that country or forget about it!)


4. Do you like travelling?

I love going to new places and learning more about the world but... I just hate going on airplanes. The food (for me) sucks and I get so restless on board.


5. What's your favorite midnight snack?
A cinnamon raisin bagel with a cup of tea. :)


Yum! That sounds delicious. And I'm so with you on air travel--it's painful! Thanks for visiting us, Sandy, and for your fabulous blog!

Have a great weekend, everybody, and be sure to tune in next week for the launch week of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis. Great interviews, sample chapters, and a fabulous giveaway--fun!

Thursday Link-Up

What's going on in the wide, wide world of the Book Blogosphere? Well, as I mentioned yesterday, here at Climbing Rose, we're counting down the days (hours? minutes?) to the launch of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis (check out the countdown widget in the sidebar to see just how close we are.)

Christine Marciniak, Climbing Rose author of When Mike Kissed Emma is feeling Dickensian:

In Oliver when our hero asked for more porridge he got chased and sold by Mr. Bumble. I can sympathize with Mr. Bumble. Sometimes being asked to provide more is just enough to send a person over the edge.


Linda Kage, Climbing Rose author of our upcoming release The Stillburrow Crush, has posted the final chapter of her FREE READ Bad Boys Don't Play Hero:

On August 17, 2009, I decided to host a short, young adult, free-read story on my website, uploading a chapter a month until the whole thing was posted. I did this in anticipation of my debut novel's big release date, February 26, 2010. I titled my short story Bad Boys Don't Play Hero, and just like I said I'd do, I uploaded a chapter a month.


Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century is Calling all Bloggers:

There's a section of the boards that's all about our mentoring program. Basically you can sign up to be a mentor or mentee and for about 4 weeks you will learn or help teach someone about blogging. We're trying to round up our first round of participants and have more mentees that mentors.


The bloggers of YA Bliss, The Neverending Shelf, The Story Siren, Frenetic Reader, & The Book Cellar have teamed up to compile The Author Hunt:

The Author Hunt gives readers a glimpse into the world of Author Events and Signings. With the help of some amazing bloggers, we have gathered Events from all across the US.


And finally, do you need some inspiration to overcome this dismal January weather (dismal where I am, anyway)? Check out 16 Ways to Increase Creativity and Generate Clever Ideas over at Happenchance:

No matter what kind of work you do, sometimes you run into a wall; the ideas dry up and you feel anything but creative. It happens to everyone. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. You need a break. You need a strategy. You need a saga.


One of those 16 ideas is bound to get me out of a rut--hope you find it useful too!

eBook Wednesday - March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis

Check out the Countdown Widget in our sidebar--we're just days away from the launch of March Misfit by Barbara Stremikis! Next week, I'll be posting an awesome interview with author Barbara Stremikis, a sneak peak at the first three chapters of March Misfit, and a fabulous giveaway. Can't wait!

In the meantime, though, here's a quick preview of March Misfit. 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.


And the excerpt:

“Why do I see you everywhere I go?” Nicolas bellowed.

Cara scrambled to her feet and brushed herself off. “Why do I see you?” He obviously considered her a pest. “I’m not following you around, if that’s what you think.”

“Are you all right?” he asked, coming down the stairs at a clip that told her he was accustomed to them.

“What do you care? You’d be glad if I hurt myself. Then I’d stay out of your way.”

He moved toward her, warmth radiating from his body. She shrank and sucked in a breath as his fingers encircled her upper arms and he lifted her off her feet. Unable to read the gleam in his black eyes, her stomach quivered and an alarm went off in her head.

“Put me down!” she demanded, frightened of him.


Be sure to check back next week for a chance to win a copy of March Misfit!

Tweeting on Tuesday - Topsy Turvy


Have you discovered Topsy? Topsy is a search engine powered by tweets:

Topsy is a new kind of search engine, with a new way of looking at the Internet. Topsy doesn’t think the Internet is a collection of documents. Or even a web of documents. Topsy sees the Internet as a stream of conversations. Topsy treats people differently from the webpages they create and the things they say. And Topsy sees that people in every community are connected in a web of relationships, where each person influences other people to read, talk and think about things.


Topsy also measures influence--the likelihood that when someone speaks (or tweets) people are listening (or retweeting). They also maintain a list of the Top 100, Top 1K, and Top 5K new links posted each day by influential people on Twitter.

It's a pretty fascinating snapshot of the online universe. Very educational--and very opposite of this Twitter feed: @TheMime--which is perhaps the silliest thing ever. For the real punchline, though, check out the number of people following him.

Cool Stuff for Monday - Knitting!

Our awesome interview last Friday with HaleyKnitz of The Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object got me wondering how many other knitters are out there. It seems to be a really popular hobby these days and I'm amazed at how many fabulous knitting sites and blogs there are:

Check out this Winter Knit-Along at Lion Brand.
Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together.

Fun! And at the end, you'll have the beautiful Inishturk sweater they've chosen for their project. There's a Ravelry group to join and also a Flickr group for posting your photos.

For forums, free patterns, or instructions for a particular technique, nothing beats Knitting Daily. It's where "life meets knitting."

And one of my favorite blogs, one that combines "food, flowers, books, art, yarns and more" (all the good things, in other words) is Cornflower. It's a blog that finds artistry in matching yarn colors to book covers or matching quotations to knitting projects. Beautiful!

So what about you? What's your favorite hobby?

Five on Friday - Haley Knitz Edition

It's Friday which means it's time for Five on Friday where we pelt innocent bystanders with random questions :)

Today's Fiver is Haley of The Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object (Best blog title ever!)

About The Life (and lies): I started my blog in 2007, but it was just a regular blog. I found out about book blogging in 2009, and slowly made the switch. I now blog about everything--books and reviews, contests, politics, school, religion (I'm a Christian), songs that I write, excerpts of my books, funny links and videos that I find, my adventures in the knitting world, and just about everything else.

I am also starting a book club at called Library Ghosts.


Fabulous, Haley! Ready for your five questions? Here we go:

1. What's your earliest childhood memory?

When I was really little I was in AWANA at my church (a kids Bible group), I brought my stuffed Dalmatian dog from 101 Dalmatians to church. I called him Bongo. My best friend said his name was Pongo, and I got mad at him and we had a very serious discussion about Bongo vs. Pongo. We're still best friends and we still argue about everything.


2. What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

Twilight. It sucked. Don't get me started. The books were SO MUCH BETTER!!!


3. Do you play an instrument?

I play the piano and the recorder (similar to a clarinet) by ear. I can't read music--but I can play almost anything in the hymn book!


4. What's the worst advice you've ever taken?

I listened to my mom's sewing advice. I bought a prom dress at Goodwill (it was in perfect condition) but it was missing the straps. I was going to sew ribbon onto the dress and make straps out of ribbon so it would be secure and strong (two very important words!). My mom said it wasn't necessary, because the dress was such a tight fit that straps should be an extra pretty thing, that they didn't really need to hold the dress up, they just needed to be there. I listened to her and made some BEAUTIFUL beaded straps--they broke three times before I called it a night and safety pinned the extra ones (made out of some glittery yarn, for the worst case scenario which came true). Those broke too. I left early... sigh. Last time I ever listened to mom for sewing advice!


5. Have you ever crawled through a window?

Yes--one time my ride dropped me off at home and nobody was there and the door was locked and I had no key, so I pushed this big plastic storage box under my sister's window and climbed in. Now I carry a key with me, and we lock our windows :D


LOL, glad you don't have to climb through the window anymore, Haley! And I totally did AWANA when I was a kid, I loved 101 Dalmatians, and I'm a knitter too--maybe we were separated at birth! :)

Thanks for playing Five on Friday with us, Haley, and good luck with the blog and your book club.

Thursday Link Up

So what's going on in the YA blogosphere this week? Well, Linda Kage, author of the upcoming Climbing Rose release The Stillburrow Crush, won the Honest Scrap award and is telling brutal truths about herself:

I finished writing my first full manuscript when I was sixteen. It was about 115,000 words long, titled "The Tangled Web," and was a romantic suspense, which is currently hidden in the furthest depths of my closet, never to see the light of day again (yeah, it was that bad).


Linda, I'd back my first attempt at a novel against anyone's in a should-never-see-the-light-of-day challenge :)

MizB, at Should Be Reading, has a fabulous idea for helping with those oh-so-hard-to-keep New Year's Resolutions:


The weekly event, NEW BEGINNINGS, is all about your New Years’ Resolutions! Everybody knows that these are really hard to stick to, so I thought, why not encourage each other in our efforts? Why not enlist the support of our online friends?


Check out the New Beginnings post for the challenge guidelines and sign-up instructions.

And over at Find Your Next Book Here they're running a challenge to love. It's called the Take Another Chance Challenge:

This year, the challenge will be called Take Another Chance. Like last year, the challenge is all about taking chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. Unlike last year, I'm offering different levels of participation and a longer time frame to encourage greater participation and decrease frustration.


There are twelve different challenge levels and prizes, too! What more does anyone need?

And DogEar Diary is running a challenge after my own heart. It's called the Dogeared Reading Challenge:

This reading challenge is about appreciating the old, worn-out and beat-up books we come across. They're out there, and perhaps they're feeling neglected- hoping they don't get shuffled long enough to end up in the recycling (or worse, trash). So let's give them some love! For the Dogeared Challenge, you have to read dog-eared, torn, stained, winkled, falling-apart or otherwise in-bad-condition books.


I love finding old books--give me a library sale and a bag to fill and I'm a happy shopper--so I think this is a wonderful idea.

What about you? Any fun reading challenges you've signed up for? Leave me a comment and tell me about them. Happy Thursday, everyone!

eBook Wednesday - Deidre's Secret Edition

We're all about eBooks and eBook readers here at Climbing Rose. So this month, when dozens of new eReaders debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was hard to decide which one was the most exciting.

But how's this for inspiring eBook reader envy? It's the eDGe by enTourage Systems--a "dualbook" with WiFi and both e-ink and LCD displays. Here's an article and video about it (by a British techie guy with a cool accent :)

And if you're looking for a great eBook to download, look no further than Deidre's Secret by Terry Lee Wilde. Here's the blurb:

When Deidre Roux has premonitions of danger, watch out! Faced with thwarting bank robbers and protecting others from the high school bully, she must reveal her secret to her new friend, Mark Cummings. Can she convince him that she truly sees a world of imminent danger headed their way before it's too late?

Not only must Mark deal with Deidre’s premonitions, which he has a hard time believing, but his convicted uncle has returned home. Humor, suspense, and conflict rule the day as Deidre’s crazy aunt tries to do a true crime story on Mark's uncle. Deidre attempts to keep her aunt out of it before she gets mixed up in the much darker business of robberies and murder—her own, if she’s not careful.


And here's an excerpt:

When Deidre woke that morning, she knew there was going to be trouble. She was sure it had to do with turning sixteen the week before. In a split second, her whole world had changed. Now, the vision she saw wasn’t just about rescuing newspapers before the automatic sprinklers turned on, or saving a kitten from a tree. The scenario had turned deadly.

The tingling sensation began in her forehead and a snapshot formed in her mind. Just a brief image. A blurred profile of a teacher choking on a chunk of hot dog. Deidre would have to rescue her, and when she did, her chances of ever having a boy ask her to the Valentine’s dance would vanish.

But something else plagued the recesses of her mind. Something that forced a chill down her spine. The uncontrollable fear that her visions had warned her before and she had failed to save someone, swept over her like an icy shower.


Visions? Premonitions? Murder? That sends a chill down my spine! Download your copy from the Climbing Rose eBook store today.

Tweeting on Tuesday - How to Get Retweeted!

Twitter--the whole blogosphere for that matter--can seem like a giant universe where everybody is talking at once. It's hard to get noticed, which is why this article at Computerworld caught my eye: Twitter Tips: 5 Proven Ways to Get Retweeted.

We all like to think we're interesting. And on Twitter, that's often measured and validated by how frequently other people retweet your posts. Maybe you're looking to hear feedback on your recent blog post. Or you've found an interesting article or a funny YouTube video that you want to share with others. Aside from the instant ego boost that being retweeted provides ("Hey! They like me!), retweeting also helps you reach a greater portion of the Twittersphere than you'd be able to on your own.


The article talks about the best times of day to Tweet, importance of choosing your words carefully, and being savvy about how you post links. Check it out for some great info.

And also check out this new face on Twitter, YA Roundup--it's a great way to keep up with the new promo website YA Roundup. Cool!

Cool Stuff for Monday - Projects for Old Books

The new year is all about fresh beginnings, right? Clearing out the old to make way for the new. Now, personally, I would never consider Books to be something that needed to be cleared out (and I have the overburdened bookshelves to prove it :) But if I ever do want to clear out some old books, I'm going to start with this post by The Written Word: 9 Ways to Turn Old Musty Books Into Something Cool:

We are up to our waists in books, some of which we hate (really Master Burns? Scottish dialect? A mouse?!) yet we will never give them away. Because they just might come in handy some day. Like a day when you decide you want to transform your old books into awesome works of art. Like today.


The Written Word's post includes a round up of awesome ideas like turning old books into handbags, glass pendants, or my favorite, paper beads like in this video:



Check it out and maybe convert some of your old books into a fab project. As long as they're not Climbing Rose books, that is :)

Five on Friday - Elie of Ellz Readz Edition

It's Friday which means it's time for my favorite blog feature Five on Friday (maybe I should come up with my own abbreviation: T.G.I.F.F. :)

Anyway, today's Fiver is Elie of the fab Ellz Readz blog:

Once upon a time, I was an elementary school teacher. Now I am a stay-at-home Mom of two little sweeties. I love Cheerios, reality tv, my DVR and Victoria's Secret lotion. In the past year or so, I rediscovered my love for reading. My only problem was that I could not find anyone to share my enthusiasm for the great books I was reading. So I started Ellz Readz. Since then, I have met tons of great people, authors and books. I try to read a variety of titles, but lately it has been a lot of YA. I love doing interviews and giveaways. It is a great feeling to tell someone they won a great book. Sometimes, it's the little things. Stop by and say HI, here is my url: http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/


Welcome, Elie! Here are your five questions:

1. What is something that annoys you?

Crunching. You know when someone is eating something noisy like chips or hard candy. There is that crunching noise that echos through the room. Imagine you're watching a really good movie and the star-crossed lovers are just about to share their first kiss or in the middle of the climax in a great book and suddenly...CRUNCH. This drives me CRAZY. I have been known to leave a room to get away from the CRUNCH. Seriously.


2. Name four things you always have with you.

  • baby wipes-these will be with me forever. My kids are grateful, who wants their face cleaned with a spitty thumb? (eewwww)

  • hand sanitizer-again its a cleanliness thing (I am a bit of a germaphobe)

  • Barbie cell phone (and mine)

  • Chocolate-I believe that a great deal of life's little problems can be solved with chocolate.


  • 3. Have you ever crawled through a window?

    Why yes, yes I have! I had plenty of practice sneaking out the window when I was young. JUST KIDDING. You should NEVER sneak out of your parent's house *clears throat* My daughter locked me out one day while I was checking the mail. She couldn't unlock it, so she had a good laugh as I shimmied my way back in.


    What's the worst advice you've ever taken?

    Um, you don't want me to answer that one, trust me. NEXT


    4. Who would you cast to play you in a movie?

    Sandra Bullock- it's not so much that we look alike-save the dark hair-but she would be able to imitate me. A bit clumsy, plain (not too girly) and a bit nerdy. But nerdy is the new black, RIGHT??


    5. What's your earliest childhood memory?

    One day the landlord's daughter and I decided we were not colorful enough. So, we took some markers and colored every inch of flesh not covered by clothing with intricate designs. My Mom said it took about a week to get all the color off. I am just glad there was no photographic evidence, otherwise Mom would still be trying to blackmail me.


    LOL, Elie! Great answers (and I'm right there with you on the crunching thing, believe me!) Thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful blog!

    Thursday Link-Up

    So what's going on in the YA Blogosphere this week? Well, the fabulous challenges just keep coming. Bart's Bookshelf has a great Twenty Ten Reading Challenge:

    The aim is to read a total 20 books, over ten categories, in 2010. (Was this challenge based solely around the name? I’ll let you decide!)


    And the categories are fun things like "Shiny & New" "Older than You" and "Who Are You Again?" An irresistible challenge, I'd say :)

    Kate of The Neverending Shelf has started a forum called The Bloggie Cult:

    The site evolved from an idea that I had to make a bloggers round table... a place where we could all get together and share ideas. Thanks to Twitter and Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century this idea has morphed into something much more.


    It's a place for bloggers to share ideas, contests, HTML, or even find a mentor. What a fab idea!

    And finally, check out this Waiting on Wednesday feature over at Tales of the Ravenous Reader for our very own Linda Kage's The Stillburrow Crush. We can't wait for The Stillburrow Crush book to come out either. In fact...we're counting down the days!

    eBook Wednesday - Free Read Edition

    You know how much we love eBooks and eBook Readers here at Climbing Rose but did you know what an exciting time this is for eBooks? It seems like every week another company announces they're entering the eBook reader market, unveils a new technology, or debuts a new format. The technology (and popularity) is moving forward at a lightning pace. So even though I love my Kindle, I was hit with a serious case of COOL-ER envy when I saw this picture:



    The COOL-ER 3G eBook reader is scheduled to come out some time this spring and will be equipped with WiFi, a touchscreen, and will weigh just 5.8 ounces. The manufacturer, Interead, is promising it will be the iPod of eReaders. And I can't wait to see one! (But I still love you, Kindle! :)

    The good news is, though, you don't need a fancy eReader to download our New Year's Free Read How to Get a Date for the Prom by Denise Barone. Just a computer will do!



    Here's the blurb:

    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 can solve all my problems?


    Download your free copy here--and be sure to check out Denise's full-length novel House of Wacks in the Climbing Rose store

    Tweeting on Tuesday

    Have you discovered TweetStats? It's a fascinating look at which topics are trending at any given time (or even, for all time--well, all Twitter time, anyway!) or which apps tweeters are tweeting from most.

    You can also use TweetStats to graph your own activity--tweets per hour, tweets per month, tweet timeline and reply statistics. Pretty cool!

    And if you're like me and you ate Way Too Much Food over the holidays, here are a few Tweeters to follow for inspiration: Try Foodista for healthy ideas and lots of recipes, Fitness4Her for workout motivation, and FashionBlogNews for fabulous new clothes to reward yourself for shaping up!

    And if you need help with inspiration (or maybe just commiseration!) try searching the hashtags #NewYearsResolution or #goals.

    Cool Stuff for Monday - Great Review for I Was a Teenage Alien!

    How cool on this post-holiday Monday to find a brand new review for I Was a Teenage Alien by Climbing Rose author Jane Greenhill. At Bitten by Books--the Paranormal Review Site with Bite (you gotta click over and check out their header--it's so cool!) Mary gave Alien a 4-headstone rating and had this to say:

    This book was so funny! When Oas talked, I heard my seventeen-year-old daughter…like, totally. I loved the way Jane Greenhill mixed up letters or spelled words backwards to create Oas’s language. I also enjoyed how familiar phrases were mangled, which seemed very realistic for an ananoid whose knowledge of Earth culture comes from channeling old sitcoms on her personal satellite. I enjoyed reading this and would definitely recommend it


    I agree and definitely recommend Alien too! Here's the blurb:

    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 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?


    And here's an excerpt:

    “Your brother is being a pain and won’t answer his nose piece,” my handler Zen whined, his hands flittering around like he was swatting the lower echelons of our race.

    I pulled a wad of gysogtom out of my ear, turning off the music. Why is it someone always wants to talk to you just as your favorite song comes on? Major annoying, but then anything to do with my brother rubbed my antennas the wrong way. No matter where he was, he managed to ruin my fun. I slipped the wad into its protective foil sheet and tucked it into my cheek for safekeeping. I have a horrible habit of putting my wad down somewhere and forgetting where I left it.

    Stars above, my mother was always on my back. She’d ream me out in the high-pitched, nauseating voice she kept for just that occasion. “Wads don’t grow on trees.”

    Actually, they did, but try and tell my mother anything she didn’t want to hear, and you might as well talk to Pluto, because if she didn’t want to listen, she’d tune you out. How completely typical of an adult. You wouldn’t see a teen ananoid being so careless regarding another’s feelings. Well, okay, actually you would, but we do it with a little more finesse.

    Zen fumed, his antennas twitching a mile a minute. I had to look away. I got dizzy trying to keep track of them.


    Sounds fun, right? Order a print copy from the Climbing Rose store or an electronic copy from our eBook store.

    How to Get a Date for the Prom - Free Read by Denise Gwen

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! As a fresh-beginnings kind of treat we're ringing in 2010 with a FREE READ by Climbing Rose author Denise Gwen. It's called How to Get a Date for the Prom and it's a great introduction to the fresh, fun, and funny voice of Denise Gwen. Here's the blurb:

    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 can solve all my problems?


    Click here to read the story. And if you enjoy it (which, of course, you will!) be sure to check out Denise's House of Wacks, available in the Climbing Rose store.

    Happy New Year--and a Free Read by Denise Gwen

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! As a fresh-beginnings kind of treat (note the new header, too!) we're ringing in 2010 with a FREE READ by Climbing Rose author Denise Gwen. It's called How to Get a Date for the Prom and is a great introduction to the fresh, fun, and funny voice of Denise Gwen. Here's the blurb:

    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 can solve all my problems?


    Click here to read the story. And if you enjoy it (which, of course, you will!) be sure to check out Denise's House of Wacks, available in the Climbing Rose store.