This week the Houston writing community is excited to celebrate the launch of a promising new career. At a SCBWI-Houston conference in 2014, Caroline Leech’s historical YA manuscript won the Joan Lowery Nixon award, which meant a mentorship with Newbery Honor author Kathi Appelt. This book also won the YA categories of both the RWA Emily and Lone Star competitions. Caroline is now represented by Jackie Lindert at New Leaf Literary & Media, and that mentored manuscript earned her a three-book deal with HarperCollins. Congratulations, Caroline!
Also launching today another thrilling middle grade adventure from bestselling author Jennifer Nielsen. WRATH OF THE STORM is the final book in Jennifer’s MARK OF THE THIEF trilogy.
UPDATE! I had an error on my calendar. We have another celebration, this one for a four-book series series from Lisa Ann Scott, ENCHANTED PONY ACADEMY!
Happy Book Birthday
Published by Harper Teen
From the publisher: The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.
It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?
But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.
Buy the book! Brazos Bookstore Blue Willow Bookshop Indiebound Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Amazon
Caroline will be launching WAIT FOR ME at Brazos Bookstore on February 7. There’s a fun interview with Caroline and Brazos Bookstore’s Joy Preble, Wartime, History, and Scottish Insults, which you can read here, and Caroline Leech talks about writing historical fiction with author Caroline Starr Rose here. In April, Caroline will be on a panel discussion of YA and MG authors at the Texas Library Association Conference in San Atonio, and will be presenting WAIT FOR ME at Barnes & Noble La Canterra in San Antonio on May 20. She will also present WAIT FOR ME at Blue Willow Bookshop in May.
Published by Scholastic
From the publisher: Trouble always has a way of finding Nicolas Calva, and it’s not likely to leave him alone any time soon. With Caesar’s magic bulla, the Malice of Mars, and the possibility of a Jupiter Stone in play, all the powers of Rome are circling Nic. He’ll have to maneuver his way through scheming government officials and reawakened magical beasts to save the empire. Can he manage to keep his friends and family safe, claim his own freedom once and for all, and rescue Rome, before the magic gets the better of him?
With twists and turns on every page, critically acclaimed author Jennifer A. Nielsen weaves an epic, action-packed conclusion to her extraordinary Mark of the Thief trilogy.
By Lisa Ann Scott
Published by Scholastic
From the publisher: Welcome to the Enchanted Pony Academy, where glittery ponies learn how to use their magic!
ALL THAT GLITTERS: Daisy is thrilled to be attending the Enchanted Pony Academy, where glittery ponies learn to use their magic. But she’s nervous, too. Daisy’s hooves are sparkly, just like every other magical pony’s, but they don’t give off glitter. And worse, she has no idea what her magical power might be! Will the Academy help Daisy discover her magic and make all her dreams come true … or will she learn that there’s been a huge mistake?
LET IT GLOW: Electra loves to be outside, running as fast as she can — and she’s fast! So now that it’s time to learn to ride with the children at Enchanted Pony Academy, Electra couldn’t be more excited. But riding is a lot harder than it looks. When Electra accidentally throws a prince onto the dirt, the other children are afraid to get in the saddle. Can she find her perfect match and keep working toward becoming a royal pony — before time runs out?
WINGS THAT SHINE: Skydancer can talk to any animal with wings — a very useful Glitter Gift, and one she’s always enjoyed (having your mane braided by birds is fun!). But when she stumbles upon a dragon at the edge of the Enchanted Pony Academy grounds, Skydancer is terrified. Can she be brave enough to use her Gift and convince the dragon to go away … before everything goes up in flames.
DREAMS THAT SPARKLE: Belissima is the prettiest pony at the Enchanted Pony Academy — everyone says so. The problem is, no one seems to see what else Belissima is: a talented, hardworking pony. Her real magic doesn’t have anything to do with her looks! The royal children are coming to the Academy for the selection ceremony, and Belissima is determined to show that she’s not just a pretty pony. It’s her last chance to prove everything she can be — which is so much more than a show pony.
Local Author Events
FEBRUARY 2, THURSDAY, 7:00 PM: ELLEN HOPKINS, YA AUTHOR
Ellen Hopkins, bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, will sign and discuss her new novel, THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN.
From the publisher: For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.
Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.
Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.
What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?
FEBRUARY 7, TUESDAY, 7:00 PM: CAROLINE LEECH, YA AUTHOR
Brazos Bookstore and author Caroline Leech celebrate the launch of Caroline’s debut young adult novel, WAIT FOR ME. Set in Scotland towards the end of World War Two, the book tells the story of a girl’s reaction to a German prisoner of war who is sent to work on her father’s farm. A few things to keep in mind for a book launch event at Brazos Bookstore:
- Reserve your book online at least 24 hours in advance. Call 713-523-0701 to reserve books on the day of the signing.
- Please buy books to-be-signed directly from Brazos Bookstore.
- Get here early because parking in the lot is limited. There is abundant street parking nearby.
- You can have your book signed even if you can’t make it. Please pay in advance to guarantee signed books.
From the publisher: Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artime, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artime to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious, and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.
The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artime bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.
Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons–and themselves–when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?
FEBRUARY 4, SATURDAY, 8:30 AM: NORTHWEST RWA MONTHLY PROGRAM: CREATING A NEWSLETTER WITH MAILCHIMP, WITH JANICE MARTIN & KAREN PUGH
Spring Creek Oaks Clubhouse, 17111 Misty Creek, Spring, TX
COST: Non-members may attend two meetings prior to joining RWA
Does technology have you down? Does the thought of having to create one more thing to promote yourself have you seeing stars? Come join Janice Martin and Karen Pugh and learn how to use the tools provided with the Free Plan from MailChimp to create an eye-catching newsletter. They will lead you through the account set up process, design, and the color selection to make your newsletter pop. If you already have a newsletter but want to shake it up a bit or will be creating one for the first time, bring your laptop and join them for this interactive presentation.
FEBRUARY 4, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM: WRITESPACE WORKSHOP: CASSANDRA CLARKE
COST: Until Monday, January 30, $30 Members, $45 Non-Members
After January 30, $40 Members, $55 Non-Members
In fiction, setting can be as important a character as the people. And in speculative fiction, that character often needs to be built from the ground—and history, and culture, and physics—up. In this workshop, we’ll be tackling worldbuilding. What issues arise when you set a story in a world that’s not our own? How can we build worlds as complex and lived in as the real one? How can we avoid creating the same fantastical world that’s been done a thousand times before? We’ll attempt to answer these questions and more through discussion and writing exercises, and with any luck, you’ll leave the workshop with the seeds of a brand new world.
FEBRUARY 6, MONDAY, 7:00 PM: SCBWI MTG: PAT MILLER
Tracy Gee Community Center
Nonfiction children’s author Pat Miller presents Mentor Texts: Never Write Alone Again.
For more conference information, visit the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!
APRIL 21-22: IDAHO CONFERENCE ON YOUTH & CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND WRITING, BOISE, ID
AGENT: Michelle Witte/Mansion Street Literary
MAY 12-15: SCBWI EUROPOLITAN CONFERENCE, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
AGENTS: Penny Holroyde/Holroyde Cartey Agency; Gemma Cooper/The Bent Agency
EDITORS: Natalie Doherty/Penguin Random House; Kendra Levin/Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Random House
ART DIRECTOR: Stephanie Amster/Bloomsbury; Laurent Linn/Simon & Schuster BFYR
JUNE 22-24: HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY CONFERENCE, PORTLAND, OR
AGENTS: Irene Goodman/Irene Goodman Literary Agency; Erin Harris/Folio Literary Management; Kevan Lyon/Marsal Lyon Literary Agency; Jennifer Weltz/The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
EDITORS: Martin Biro, Kensington Press; Bess Cosby, Tor/Forge
APRIL 7-9: PUBLISHED AUTHORS SPRING INTENSIVE, DURHAM, NC
EDITORS: Daniel Nayeri, Workman Publishing; Wendy Loggia, Delacorte/Random House
MAY 7-13: NOVEL-IN-PROGESS BOOKSCAMP, WEST BEND, WI
EDITOR: Phil Martin/Great Lakes Literary
WRITING COACH: Lisa Lickel
AGENT: Laura Zats/Red Sofa Literary
MAY 18-21: DEFINING YOUR VOICE, HONESDALE, PA
EDITOR: Sharyn November
JUNE 15-18: MIDDLE GRADE MYSTERIES, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Mara Rockliff, Sheila Turnage
JUNE 16-18: ON THE BOOKSHELF: READING AND WRITING FOR CHILDREN, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Nikki Grimes, Floyd Cooper
EDUCATORS: Rosemary Agoglia, Laura Beltchenko, Junko Yokota
JUNE 25-28: THE HERO’S JOURNEY, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR: Jillian Sullivan
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