Thursday, August 23, 2012

Susan Laidlaw's Exotic Cover!

This is a really exciting time for the MiGs because Susan Laidlaw's cover for INFIDEL IN PARADISE was released! We are all plastering her cover everywhere because we're so thrilled for her.

Check it out:

Isn't it awesome? I love it's exotic flair and the lovely designs.

If you're interested in more details on Susan, you can check her out on her agency's website here. Susan has also agreed to do an interview on my blog so more on that soon.

Add it to your Goodreads to read list!

Here's the blurb from Amazon where you can now pre-order a copy:

Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Q & A Answers

This week on the YA Rebels we answered questions from our comments section. So in the vlog below I answered my questions and almost spilled my big news! I'm hoping to share my news with you all soon...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Asian Literature- Ruby's Wish

Today is my first day back at school. I'm always a little nervous on this day, wondering who will be in my class and if we'll all get along. Spending six hours a day with twenty people in one room all year long can be a great year or a very bad year depending on the mix of people!

In thinking about the beginning of the year, I'm reminded of the picture book, RUBY'S WISH by Shirin Yim Bridges. In thisstory, Bridges retells the journey of how her grandmother became one of the first woman to attend university in China.

I love Ruby's determination and love for learning that shines through in these pages. And Sophie Blackall does such a striking job with the illustrations, pulling out that common theme of the color red, which is Ruby's favorite color.

When I read this story to my students, I also tie it into family history and what life was like for our grandparents and where our grandparents came from. A great link for activities to support this is here.

You're never too old to learn a new language. Here's a link to create flash cards to learn Chinese

And have you ever wondered what your name would look like in Chinese? Check out this link.

If you look to the left, you'll see my name in Chinese. Pretty cool, huh? Now if only I could write it that well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bookshelf Tour

This week on the Rebels our topic was a bookshelf tour. Which made me wonder what kind of books would be on your shelves. My books are just about everywhere around the house and I've got lots of shelves. Both of my boys each have their own big bookshelf too that's full of books. It's kind of insane. And then I've got tons of books in my classroom. I'm probably keeping the book industry afloat all by myself. (slight exaggeration)

And speaking of bookshelves and getting your books on the shelves, check out this interesting article.

Do you organize your books in any particular way?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Winner of the Hunger Games Contest!

I'm so excited to announce my winner for the Hunger Games movie contest!

The winner of the movie poster, lanyard, and movie companion book goes to:

Send me your address so I can mail you the stuff! My email address is farley dot christinaL at gmail dot com.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Today I was supposed to post about the Ascendio Conference but then my hubby surprised me with a hot air balloon ride. (!!!!!!!!) It was soooo romantic!

We woke up at 4:15 am and headed over to the touristy section (which normal Floridians avoid like the plague) and loaded up into vans. The company we used was Orlando Balloon Rides. They took us to this beautiful open field, which is also a hang glider community.

After they unloaded the balloons and spread them out, they fired up the tanks and away we went!

We floated over the Green Swamp, which is actually quite close to our house. The sun was rising right over Disney World as we floated up.

I was amazed how the air smelled. So fresh and crisp and green. And whenever the gas wasn't blasting into the balloon, the air would just silently whoosh around us. I've never experienced that kind of silence before, even on top of mountain peaks.

Below we spotted deer, hawks, sand hill cranes, herds of wild boar, and lots of cows. Our operator called them summer cows. Some are white, some are black. *grin*

Then we landed in the middle of nowhere. We packed up the balloon as a group, avoiding the cow gifts scattered about. The craziest part was this kid blitzed out of the woods on his four-wheeler to say hi. He was looking for his dog apparently, but I was so distracted by the wild boar strapped to the front of his four-wheeler I could hardly concentrate what he had to say. Especially when the boar squealed!

Then we jumped into the balloon basket on the truck and drove out to the main road (which took nearly a half an hour on sand roads and pastures). The champagne toast and breakfast made the morning absolutely perfect.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Covers and Their Designs

There is just something about holding a new, shiny book in your hands. I think it's because every book has a different feel, a different mood. When I went to make my vlog for YA Rebels, I decided to take a closer look at book covers and their designs. It amazed me how each book had its own distinctive look.

Some book covers have raised lettering, others with font that fits with the time period of the text, some have specific paper that fits with the storyline, while others even have reversible covers.

I also think it's fun to check out the people who bring those covers to life. A famous illustrator for the cover design of Percy Jackson series is John Rocco.  Then there are photographers who do amazing work such as Aurora Crowley who did the photography for SHATTER ME by Taherah Mafi. Check out an interview here with Aurora.

I also have a Pinterest page here that shows all the covers that I really like.

I suppose it's because I'm a visual person that I love how books come out. Someday I'm sure ebooks will have their own cool additions brought to them. I can't wait to see what will come out of those in the future.

Check out my vlog on the books that I choose to highlight.

What are your favorite covers and why?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Winner of CAMP by Elaine Wolf and Upcoming Fun!

It's always so fun to do contests. It's actually one of the things that I love about having a blog is that I can give back to all the people who take the time to read Chocolate for Inspiration.

Thank you to everyone who entered the CAMP giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the interview by Elaine Wolf.

And the winner is....

Don't forget, you still have five more days to enter my Hunger Games Contest here to win a movie size poster, the movie companion book and a lanyard.

I just got the ARC of LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead in the mail so I'll be reviewing that and giving that middle grade away soon. Plus I have four autographed books from four AMAZING authors that I met at the Ascendio conference I went to this summer. I plan to have that ready for you this Friday.

And tomorrow, it's Wednesday so I'll post my vlog for the YARebels. We get to choose our topic this week. Can you guess my topic?

Exciting times!

Okay, gotta go and write. I still haven't written my quota for today...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

If You Had a Superpower, What Would It Be?

On the YA Rebels today, I talk about SUPERPOWERS. Of course this was a hard question because we were only allowed to choose one! So I broke down some of the superhero categories and looked at my favorite YA books with heroines/hereos with superpowers to help me out.

One of the parts about writing fantasy is that I can give my heroines or heroes cool powers. I think that's why it's so hard for me not to write fantasy. I hate being confined to the real world. If only we all could do the same things as our characters, right? Although, I'm not very nice to my characters and bad things happen to them. Very bad things.

So.... maybe not.

Also, I wrote a post over at the MiGs talking about how to write characters with superpowers. Check it out!

How about you? What would your superpower be?