5-1-20 - Hello from Jersey. It's the first of the month again, and I'm hoping you're well and able. It's a hard time for the world right now, but we have many heroes working the front lines. My gratefulness goes out to them in this trying moment for us. For those who are able and visiting my website, my first book/author recommendation this month is for middle grade and titled, A Box of Bones by Marina Cohen. A mystery with a bit of spookiness. A very good and fun read https://amzn.to/3dF0c1S.
For those who love to write, Anne Lamott's bird by bird is excellent reading. It's very encouraging and supportive for writers https://amzn.to/2AqhVff. Confessions of a Wallflower (I may have mentioned this book before as a recommendation) by Juansen Dizon. His poetry, quotes, and personal journal about depression are so honest, healing, and beautiful. It's a good book to go back to from time to time https://amzn.to/2SYhCyA.
There are new writing prompts as always. My blog has turned into my writings and poems on Medium.com. You can view them using the links under my Free Writings tab. If you like my writings there, you can clap at the end of the writing and follow me and I always welcome comments.
I wish for everyone to be safe and to stay well. Thank you always for visiting.
4-1-20 - April is here. Hope you are all well and reading while home. Temperatures here in Jersey moving along in the 50's. Spring has not sprung yet, but we've had a few days when it felt almost like summer in March.
I have one middle grade recommendation for you and one YA. The novel for middle grade is titled, Race to the Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse. It is full of Native American lore and a fun fantasy https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36353103-race-to-the-sun. My second recommendation is a YA fantasy titled Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42248816-scavenge-the-stars?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=OP7949GPIP&rank=1. It is Book 1 of a duo and a very terrific story that has dueling and a main character with much soul, worth, and fire. I recommend this book highly.
On another note, I want to let you know that my blog has been stagnant for a while, because it's turned into my writings on Medium.com. If you look under the tab here on my website called Free Writings, you will find all the links to my blog writings there, fiction stories, and poems that I've posted. You can read three free a month on Medium.
Thanks for visiting and please come back as often as you like and I welcome comments. You can leave your email address with me via my contact page if you are interested in receiving occasional notices of new updates and publishings. Stay well.
3-1-20 - Welcome to March. Here in Jersey, snow has stayed away this winter so far. No stormy weather school days off for kids, but I'm enjoying the cold, dry weather much. I have two new book/author recommendations for middle grade. The first is From the Desk of Zoe Washington, author Janae Marks https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45169415-from-the-desk-of-zoe-washington?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=xclspPfLhE&rank=1. Loved the persistence of this 12-year-old African American girl.
The second novel I recommend is entitled The Unteachables, author Gordon Korman https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38376037-the-unteachables?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5yUUkxhPSJ&rank=1. A hilariously funny story and heartwarming.
New - I have left a new poem for you entitled Frog Eyes at my Poems tab. Enjoy.
New - new link added under my Free Writings tab for a Medium publishing entitled Mad Venture.
As always, come back for more on the first of each month and anytime to see if I've added anything new or any new links for publishings. And you may join my email list for updates and publishings by notifying me via my contact page. Thanks for visiting.
2-2-20 - updating a day late. Sorry fans. I had my days mixed up. Overworked this week. But there's wonderful book/author recommendations this month. For YA, try K. A. Barson's Charlotte Cuts It Out, humorous and relatable, and/or Casey Daniels' Tombs of Endearment. Previous books from Casey are Don of the Dead and The Chick and the Dead for mystery lovers. If you are a Cassandra Clare fan of her Shadowhunter novels, Chain of Gold, the first in The Last Hours trilogy, is due for release on March 3, 2020. For adults, there's Lisa Scottoline's Someone Knows, a stunning thriller. Hope your February is filled with lots of fun reading. My writing prompts are updated if you would like to take a look. There is a year's worth of writing prompts here which will stay until there's a need to condense. New on site is a new tab for free writings. There you will find links to articles and poems I've written and published on Medium.com. Enjoy and thanks for visiting.
1-1-20 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were spectacular, fun, and heartwarmingly full of cheer. I've listed two book/author recommendations both in YA, Alice in the Know by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black which is third in the Folk of the Air trilogy. Ms. Naylor has written twenty-one books in the Alice series. This one is about Alice's summer between junior and senior year. She's sixteen. The book brings us more about Alice, her friends, and her family. The Queen of Nothing has deception, magic, and twists. It is dark and dangerous. Holly Black has drawn deep, deadly lines in the Faerie world she has created. Best to start from Bk 1 and then keep going.
Just a reminder that my writing prompts, news, and book/author recommendations are updated every first of the month. If you'd like to be notified of publishings and receive occasional updates on other writings and news, please leave your email address via my Contact Page. You can always unsubscribe. Thank you for visiting. Happy Holidays!
12-1-19 - Hello and Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Hope your holiday was wonderful. It's that time for updates. I have just one new book/author recommendation in the middle grade category (and always for the ageless) entitled, Doll Bones, by Holly Black. It is a Newberry Honor Award Book, and Holly Black is a NY Times bestselling author. She does spooky so well and she's a true story spinner. I've updated my writing prompts also. Please check out my novel summaries. I've completed my fourth middle grade novel. If you'd like to be notified of publishings and receive occasional updates on other writings and news, please leave your email address via my Contact Page. You can always unsubscribe. Thanks for visiting. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
11-1-19 - Hello again and Happy Halloween since I'm posting on the day. Hope your night is safe and your bags filled with yummies. My new author/book recommendations are posted. For middle grade, there's Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman, a wonderful magical story and Whispers by Greg Howard serves up delightful magic for you too. For YA, there's The Iron Trial by both Holly Black and Cassandra Clare which is a five book series. So worth the read and as exciting as many of their other books. They never disappoint. And for YA also, Of Monsters and Men by Jessica Verday, a wonderful story for Halloween and a fantastic author. If you have not read her series, The Hollow, you are missing one of the best in YA. New writing prompts have been added on Writing Promts page. Also, some good news. I've finished my fourth middle grade novel, The Good Witch. You can find its summary on my "Works" page. If you wish to be notified of publishings, please use my Contact page to send your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for visiting and again, a very safe and Happy Halloween.
10-1-19 - Hello to all my visitors. I'm a few days early to post, but the best time for me to update due to my schedule. I have wonderful author/book recommendations and if you have not read anything by author Katherine Arden yet, you must. She's a magical wonder and spins stories like no other. I've had her novel Small Spaces listed for a while. Her sequel to this novel is Dead Voices for middle graders and above; ghost stories you will not want to miss. Also, in adult and YA from Ms. Arden is her Winternight trilogy, the first being The Bear and the Nightingale. I could not put the book down. More for adults and YA, there's Anne Rice, if you like vampires, try Blood Communion, another story of Lestat, if you have read her Vampire Chronicles, specifically Interview with the Vampire. Anne Rice novels are also hard to put down. These are great stories to enjoy during October, Halloween month, and any time. Happy Halloween and Happy Fall. Please stay and scout around my website for my writing goodies. My newsletters contain many fun activities and poems of mine, and there's a blog and writing prompts too for you. P.S. - For adults, Twisted Twenty-Six is out by Janet Evanovich, series about Stephanie Plum, one to twenty-six so far!
Note: my recommendations lists are long; keep scrolling.
9-1-19 - Hi and Happy Labor Day weekend! Saturday, August 31, is sunny and bright here in NJ. We have rain coming and for those in Florida, a hurricane is expected to hit soon, and I'm hoping it's not so damaging for those that live there and that they are prepared and safe.
- I've listed two middle grade fiction books for you this month, Wait Till Helen Comes from author Mary Downing Hahn, a ghost story. Hahn is a keeper and always gives us a good story. This story involves a stepsister and a ghost who died in a mysterious fire. If you like a fright, this story is for you.
- Next for you is The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo, a National Book Award Finalist book. Ms. DiCamillo is a wonderful author and this story came from a short story she was writing and the character of Rob hung around afterwards until she wrote this book when she heard the character answer her question of 'What in the world do you want?' And he said, 'I know where there's a tiger.'
- I have a new article on Medium.com and have added to the story of Mimi the Mad Queen at Tumblr.com. Come see and follow me and on Medium, don't forget to clap for me if you like what you've read.
Well, I'll be back the first of October with more new writing prompts and author/book recommendations. Until then, enjoy my website which has my new fourth blog article posted here and my new fifth newsletter which can be read here also. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Thanks for visiting.
8-17-19 - Hi - this is a special posting to let my followers and newbies to my site know that my fourth blog article, Wrong Choices, and fifth newsletter, Writer's Soup V, has been published here and now available for reading. Hope you enjoy them both and maybe you might leave a comment if you wish. I'll be back to update my news, book/author recommendations, and writing prompts at the first of the month, my usual update time for those headings. Thanks for visiting.
8-1-19 - Hello and hope you had a good July which has been a hot month here in Jersey and it has had its share of rain this month also. I've updated my writing prompts and added new middle grade and YA book recommendations. Mary Downing Hahn gives us a wonderful middle grade book which is definitely for the ageless too called One for Sorrow. I absolutely loved it. It has a ghost and Ms. Hahn is a pro at giving us the chills and tightening our stomachs and delighting us with great stories. In addition to middle grade I've added Margaret Dilloway's Summer of a Thousand Pies. You can read a summary of it here, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35828100-summer-of-a-thousand-pies?from_search=true. A YA favorite author of mine, Victoria Aveyard's Broken Throne was added. She's an amazing and captivating author. It is a compelling read.
Also newsworthy, I'm working on a new blog article due to be posted the end of August and a new newsletter. Hope you tune in then and always at the first of the month when I update my website. Thanks for visiting.
7-1-19 - Hi again. Summer's in bloom here in Jersey. This month's news brings several new recommendations for books to check out in the middle grade category (The Tales of Rowan Hood and Daphne's Book). Also, one recommendation in the adult category (We Never Asked for Wings). Keep scrolling down to each reading age category listed on the left. My writing prompts have been updated also. You may wish to take a look at my newsletters which you can read under the News tab here in the right column and maybe you might be interested in one of my blog articles also here on site. I hope you do much reading this summer beside the pool or on the beach or wherever you go to relax and have fun. A happy 4th of July to you. Thanks for visiting. Keep reading, keep writing.
6-1-19 - Hello visitors. I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday. I've updated writing prompts and updated middle grade, YA, and adult book suggestions also. Please take a look. A new blog article and newsletter forthcoming this summer. Enjoy the ones I've already included on my website and send along your comments which are always welcome.
Here's a link for one of my book suggestions this month, Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12936.Gathering_Blue?ac=1&from_search=true
My writing prompts can help start you out on the writing path, if you would like to try some and are good for practice for those who already love to write. Keep reading, keep writing. See you soon.
5-1-19 - Hi - Happy Easter! Here are new updates for the first of the month. I'm a week early due to my schedule, so updates are available now for May 1st. I've added new book/author suggestions for middle grade and YA. If you like to read books in series, both MG and YA suggestions are series books. In YA, When Darkness Comes, the first in the Guardians of Eternity series by Alexandra Ivy, is a paranormal romance and contains eighteen books. Here is the author's website: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/i/alexandra-ivy/. If you like monsters, one middle grade book series starts with Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1 Professor Gargoyle, by author Charles Gilman, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/LMS/tales-from-lovecraft-middle-school. There are four books in the Lovecraft series. Have fun reading and check out my new writing prompts while you're here. Thanks for visiting.
4-1-19 - Hi - today I'm updating writing prompts and book/author recommendations which I update the first of each month. The first recommendation on the list is the new one that's been added. I've added to middle grade, YA, and adult sections this month. Please note I have also added a new newsletter, Writer's Soup IV, and a new blog article. Enjoy and thanks for visiting.
3-10-19 - New news - I have created Mimi, the Mad Queen, on Tumblr, only on Tumblr. Find and follow me at: http://www.mimithemadqueen.tumblr.com
I'll be back on the first of each month. Thanks for visiting.
3-1-19 - Hello - it's been a month. Hope you are all doing well. I've listed new book/author recommendations in middle grade, YA, and adult. Left side of this page, keep scrolling down to find your category. More recommendations coming next month. Besides that, I'm working on my fourth middle grade novel, a new blog article, and new newsletter which are forthcoming. Please come back to visit. Here's a link to Goodreads for The Girl Who Drank the Moon which is middle grade and for the ageless. You won't want to miss this read. It's wonderfully creative and will be hard to put down:
Also, please click on Writing Prompts for new additions.
Remember that the website is updated every first of the month. Please note that you are able to comment on my blog page. I love comments. Thanks for visiting. See you soon.
2-1-19 - As promised, a new newsletter, Writers Soup III, is done and on my site. Since I'm writing this on 1-31, a new blog article promised for the first week in February, will be available shortly today for reading and is on time. I have added new book/author suggestions to MG and YA and a new writing prompt. Hope you enjoy them. Keep reading, keep writing and thanks for visiting.
1-18-19 - Hi - letting you know my book/author recommendations and writing prompts will be updated monthly now rather than weekly due to my work schedule, working up newsletter and blog, and writing of my fourth middle grade novel. The first week of each month will bring new updates though I have included today a new middle grade suggestion for you and a new writing prompt. Please visit any time to read and search my site. Hope you're having a wonderful January full of reading and wonderful things. Thanks for visiting! Have a great weekend.
1-11-19 - Hoping you are doing much reading and writing, if you like to write or are a writer/author. 2019 brings a new year to further education, have new experiences, and write new stories and novels. I have listed two new suggestions under YA, a new author for me. Please take a look. I wish my visitors much happiness and progress in their careers. Keep reading, keep writing.
1-5-19 - Happy New Year to all my visitors. It's wonderful to say hello again. I'm a day late with updating and I apologize. I hope you're looking forward to a wonderful new year of reading. Please check out my suggestions on this page for books/authors which I update weekly. New updates were added to middle grade, YA, and picture book categories. Here's a summary link for YA novel suggestion Charlotte Cuts It Out should you want to find out more about it from Goodreads (copy and paste) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25787386-charlotte-cuts-it-out. I'll be working on a new newsletter in the next month and another blog article. I welcome comments to my blog and website, and you can sign up for my newsletter or read it here. Thanks for visiting. Keep reading, keep writing.
12-28-18 - Hi. The New Year is almost here. I wish everyone much happiness in 2019 and I hope that part of your happiness contains visiting my website. I have new book/author suggestions under YA and adult this week and new writing prompts, as always. Thanks for visiting. Keep reading, keep writing. Happy New Year!
12-21-18 - There are new book/author suggestions under middle grade, YA, and picture book headings on this page. Suggestions are updated every Friday, including writing prompts. Remember I'll be deleting some suggestions now and then to make room for newer ones, so you might want to copy the lists in the left column here. I've made a few edits to my new blog article entitled Notable Words. The main heading of the blog is called Threads. I hope you enjoy it and comment. It's for adults, middle grade, and YA. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. May it be happy, healthy, fun, and safe.
12-14-18 - Hi - New blog heading - finally! Blog article done, though I haven't decorated the page yet. Hope it's good reading for you. As always, new writing prompts are up also, besides the blog, and there's one new book/author suggestion for middle grade. Enjoy. Keep reading, keep writing. Have a great weekend.
12-6-18 - I'm swamped in boxes and wrapping paper. How about you? Working on first blog article. Keep checking back. Should be posted before Christmas gets here. Will work on a new newsletter for you after the holidays. I congratulate all those who have gotten all their Christmas shopping done. Well done. I've posted one new author/book suggestion in the adult list, left column. In 2019, I will be removing some of my suggestions so that the column isn't forever long. So, take a look and copy before renovations take place. That goes for my writing prompts. There's new ones posted today and next year, some will be removed also to decrease the list size. Have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for visiting.
11-30-18 - I'm early writing this to you today. It's actually Thursday, but working tomorrow and wanted to get some news out to you on time. In the left column under this heading, I've added a new middle grade book/author suggestion and one for the continuation of The Bear and the Nightingale, entitled The Girl in the Tower. A Russian tale that's magical, charming, and captivating. The story of the heroine Vasilisa will enchant you. Plus, I've added an adult read suggestion. Janet Evanovich is no slouch, for sure. She's an awesome writer and her new Stephanie Plum series novel is out, her twenty-fifth in this series; all are fun and exciting. Also, a reminder. I add new writing prompts every Friday. While you're here, please take a look. Keep reading, keep writing! Thanks for visiting.
11-23-18 - Hi - I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday. I'm so grateful for all visitors to my site. Please scout around and see my works and suggestions for books and authors. I'm working on a blog at the moment and my fourth middle grade novel which is magical this time, not contemporary as the others I've written. Have a great holiday weekend. And to those who shop today 'til they drop enjoying Black Friday sales, you are very brave. Have fun.
11-15-18 - Hi, I've added a couple of new suggestions for YA. Want to mention last week's suggestion of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden which is a phenomenal Russian tale. Couldn't put it down. Not just for YA. Also for adults. Bewitching and a retelling of a dark fairy tale. Hard not to love it. I hope you're checking my writing prompts which have additions, like the book/author suggestions, every Friday; sometimes I get them in early on Thusday like today, though it's listed as Friday's date. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Much love to you all. Thanks for visiting.
11-9-18 - Hi - I've added a few more new book/author suggestions today in YA and Adult. I hope you had a good Halloween. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming holidays with all its busyness. In my first newsletter, Writers Soup, I left an idea for making a gift with a link to go to. Both newsletters have fun things to do. You can sign up for them or read them here in the right column under the News heading. Working on a blog. Keep checking back. Thanks for visiting.
11-2-18 - Wow - November already! With the winter months forthcoming, I hope you have many good books to curl up with on wintry days and nights and I hope you're trying some of my book/author suggestions here on my site. Adding a few new ones today. I'm working on blog ideas which I will try to get started by the end of the year. Keep an eye out for it. Thanks for visiting.
10-26-18 - Have a cold - Eek! Some changes on hold because of that. Please enjoy scouting around on my website and reading my newsletters. New book/author recommendations on hold until next Friday. Writing prompts today is a quote. Happy Halloween!
10-19-18 - Newsletter is complete! You can sign up to have it sent to you or read it here in the right column - titled, Writer's Soup II. New book/author recommendations posted in the left column. Also, I've added a Non-Fiction section at the bottom. Thanks for visiting.
10-12-18 - My next newsletter is in progress. Please look out for it sometime this month which can be read here in the right column where my first newsletter, Writer's Soup, is located or you may sign up for it. One new book suggestion this time only for middle graders. Have a great weekend.
10-5-18 - Still discovering new authors. So much fun and great adventures. New author for me, Kwame Alexander, who wrote The Crossover for ages 10+ and won a Newberry Award medal for it, and recently read by me was his picture book called Surf's Up. Awesome, fun book for younger aged children. The Crossover is a story told through poems and basketball "rules." A book about twin brothers who are basketball stars striving for a championship. I listed new authors and their novels to the left under middle grade, YA, and picture books. Take a look. My lists are getting long. I will have to shorten them so be sure to copy or write down my lists so you don't miss any suggestions. I will be adding new authors and novels regularly. Thanks for visiting. Keep reading, keep writing. PS - I'm working on a new newsletter. Check back in a week or two to see if I've posted it yet in the right column, but it will come out this month. In the meantime, Writer's Soup is my first newsletter and you can read it here in the right column or sign up for it.
9-28-18 - Discovering new YA authors which I've listed in the left column under Books/Authors to Try, such as Melina Marchetta and Deborah Harkness. Check the titles of their books there. I again recommend Karen Cushman who is tops for middle graders and Cassandra Clare for YA. Both are exceptional. You may like to read some other news from me which I've composed in a newsletter found in the right column titled Writers Soup where you can also find some fun things to do. Keep reading, keep writing.
9-21-18 - I am reading middle grade novel Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman. I recommend her highly. Her book The Midwife's Apprentice was excellent and this is turning out to be the same. She's a very awesome writer if you'd like to try her. In YA, I also recommend Cassandra Clare books. See a few of her books on my list to the left. In my newsletter Writers Soup here in the right column, I have a link to Simon and Schuster's guide to Cassandra Clare's book series The Mortal Instruments to tell you more about the books in this series. Enjoy. Have a great weekend. Keep reading, Keep writing!
9-14-18 - Weathering a cold which always gives me the opportunity to rest. Newsletter, though website was configured, is done, but I have to transfer it to website. You can still sign up for it. I'll be sending it out this month. Thanks and have a great weekend. PS - you can also read it here under 'News' heading on the right where it says Writers Soup. Click on that.
9-8-18 - Hurray - newsletter is configured. You can sign up under this heading "News" over in the right column which asks for your e-mail address. Thanks for subscribing.
Well, newsletter is done but having some technical difficulties today so I may have to change format. Please check back next week. My newsletter will come out monthly once setup is done during the first week of the month. Hoping you sign up for it and they tell me past issues will be retained and available. I'm new at this, so not sure how all that works, but it's good to learn. I do add or make a few changes to Writing Prompts and Books/Authors to Try under News heading for weekly viewing on Fridays. Have a wonderful weekend. See you soon.
I'm still working on the newsletter I mentioned to you in my last news update. Almost there. Come back for a look next Friday. New changes inside my headings this time were made just to Writing Prompts, two new ones for you, and a new heading was added called Poems/Short Stories. If you're new to my website, then all content under my headings will be new to you. So, browse around if you like and I wish you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!
I'm working on getting everything I list in my website's "News" heading and turning it into a newsletter. So, if you don't see changes for a week, it's because I'm working on a free newsletter which I hope you sign up for. My fourth middle grade novel, A Good Witch, is in progress. I will give you a peek in one of my newsletters as it progresses. Have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for visiting.
Hi - I thought you might like hearing about a Marvel comic hero called Luke Cage who I've just discovered. The series appears on Netflix streaming. He's bullet proof, can't be blown up or set on fire. He's a hero to the community in Harlem. He has a couple of sidekicks in the series, a police officer who lost her arm and now has a super metallic one. She's pretty awesome too. He also has a friend Daniel Rand called The Iron Fist who has a powerful hand that lights up and demolishes. It's pretty exciting. There are two seasons so far to watch and the series is geared more for YA and adults. Or you may want to read about them in comic books through Google Books and you can find more comics of him and others in places online like Georgetown Comics, etc. once you do a search. Have fun and have a great weekend. Keep reading and writing!
Hi - I thought I would talk to you about a book I listed under YA, Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan which is out of print as I noted, but you can still get a copy through Amazon at
https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Fire-Point-Sherryl-Jordan/dp/0590452894 or you can hunt around for it. Just copy and paste the URL. It's fantasy at its best. The heroine is a light in the dark. She is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord who is most powerful of all. You won't forget Elsha in this story. It's wonderfully written and left a mark on me as it was the novel that made me want to write YA someday. Though I write middle grade at present, I'm working towards a YA novel which has been formulating in my brain, so I started notes for it. I hope you enjoy this wonderful book by Ms. Jordan. Other books of hers can be obtained from the library. She has won many prestigious writing awards. Thanks for visiting.
Happy Friday! I'm a bit late putting in some additions to the Writing Prompts and Books/Authors sections. Sorry. I'll be posting on time from now on. Hope you like and try the new suggestions or the previous ones I listed. A picture album project kept me overly busy today and I still have about five photo boxes to go through. Enjoy your weekend. You know what I'll be doing besides writing and reading. Thanks for visiting.
Fourth middle grade book, A Good Witch, in progress.
YA, Astrid of the Woods, in beginning stages.