Updated! YA Novel Preview – 2 books tackle the toughest stuff

There is something really, awesomely cool when two books by two different authors but with similar themes come into our reading life at about the same time. It happened to me this summer, when I received ARCs for Hello? by Liza Wiemer and Breath to Breath by Craig Lew. These are two YA novels that you’ll want to keep an eye on. The title links above go to their Goodreads pages so you can add them to your TBR pile. Hello? by Liza Wiemer Like most teens, Tricia, Emerson, Angie, Brenda, and Brian are absorbed in their own lives, past and present. At nearly 18, Tricia is teetering between the overwhelming grief of losing her last living relative, pressure from a local … Read more

Character Counts! A Writer’s Perspective by Fiona Ingram

Several years ago, (then) debut South African author Fiona Ingram asked us to read her new book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was the first book in a middle grade adventure series that is part India Jones, part Spy Kids. Earlier this year, Fiona published the second title, The Search for the Sword of Excalibur. Over the years we’ve kept in touch. In talking about an author’s journey, we had a wonderful conversation about how authors build their characters. We also talked about “author character” – the impact a reviewer’s comments can have on how a writer approaches his/her work. I found Fiona’s experiences and perspective not just interesting, but valuable. I invited her to build on the concepts of … Read more

Josh Armstrong and Picture of Grace

One of the great joys of being Executive Director of The Reading Tub is not just discovering wonderful books, but also having the chance to chat with authors about their stories. More often than not, an author’s life experiences is woven into some aspect of the book, but for every author it’s a different “fabric.” A few months ago, I met a debut author with a wonderful story. Josh’s new book Picture of Grace is a beautiful, touching story about a little girl and her grandfather. But Josh has been writing for years. The newspaper articles written for the local paper are definitely for a different audience, and yet they had the same, sweet “voice” that carries you through Grace’s story. [Tell me you don’t love this … Read more