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  1. The Delightful Agony of the Book Business

    December 27, 2017 by Kiersi

    If there’s anything that 2017 has taught me, it’s that nothing is always good—nor always bad.

    For every political low, there’s been a personal high for me.

    I proposed to my partner right after the election. I got married to the most generous, loving person in the world while everything was on fire.

    In the middle of it all, I published a series of Middle-Grade books with my delightful co-author, Amber J. Keyser. But there, too, have been so many ups and downs.

    Release day for Quartz Creek Ranch: UP!

    Realizing life goes on as usual even after your book comes out: DOWN.

    My first eight-year-old fan telling me he read my book not once, but twice: UP!

    Seeing my first royalty statement: DOWN.

    The radical shifts from high to low and back to high again haven’t stopped since the book launch, either. Every day on this road is an emotional roller coaster. (more…)


  2. Author Chris Struyk-Bonn, NICE GIRLS ENDURE

    October 20, 2016 by Kiersi

    Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-BonnI was lucky enough to get to do an interview with Chris Struyk-Bonn, a friend of mine from my days among the Oregon chapter of SCBWI. I’ve always hugely admired Chris as a fellow writer and author, and so I’m thrilled to be able to interview her for my blog about her new book, NICE GIRLS ENDURE. (Look at that cover! Isn’t it perfect??)

    Nice Girls Endure

    by Chris Struyk-Bonn

    Category/Genre: YA Contemporary

    Released: August 1, 2016 (OUT NOW! Snag your own copy on Amazon!)

    Publisher: Switch Press

    Blurb: Chelsea Duvay is so many things. She’s an avid musical lover, she’s a gifted singer, and she has the most perfect, beautiful feet. But no one ever notices that. All they notice is Chelsea’s weight. (more…)


  3. THE V-WORD: RivetedLit post & giveaway

    March 24, 2016 by Kiersi

    Today I have a really extra-special surprise for everyone. I’m giving away a copy of a beautiful, powerful anthology that I was lucky enough to be a part of called THE V-WORD.

    The V-Word

    Yes, I took a photo of it on my bed, for thematic quality.

    THE V-WORD was spearheaded and edited by the thoughtful, talented Amber J. Keyser. This anthology meets a need that desperately needs filling—a need for real experiences from real women about what it’s like to have sex for the first time.

    Having my essay included in THE V-WORD has been a huge gift for me—a way to explore and process my own experience with messy first-time sex, and to pass what I’ve learned on to younger women in a world that often refuses to be straight or frank with them.

    I was even given the privilege of writing a blog post, titled “Writing Compassion Into Truth,” about what it was like to write for THE V-WORD, over on Riveted LitThis was an important post for me to write. My first experience was not pretty or pleasant, and it was easy to blame it on myself. (more…)


  4. Hijinks Abound in THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH’S

    March 16, 2016 by Kiersi

    The Last Boy at St. Edith's by Lee Gjertsen Malone

    Title: THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH’S

    Author: Lee Gjertsen Malone

    Category & Genre: Middle-grade Contemporary

    Publish Date: Out now!

    Blurb: Jeremy is the last boy remaining at an all-girls school.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    To me, one of the greatest struggles faced by children’s fiction is the limiting dichotomy of “boy books” versus “girl books.” Especially in the middle-grade sphere, this strict gender exclusivity—most noticeably on the matter of boys being rarely asked or required to read narratives told by girl characters—leaves out a whole slew of important perspectives to younger readers. When our media is dominated by male stories featuring token female characters, the female perspective becomes, naturally, tokenized; and by extension, rendered unimportant. (more…)


  5. Eagar’s powerful debut, HOUR OF THE BEES

    March 8, 2016 by Kiersi

    Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

    Title: THE HOUR OF THE BEES

    Author: Lindsay Eagar

    Category & Genre: Middle-grade Magical Realism

    Publish date: March 8, 2016

    Blurb: Carol has to spend her summer on her grandfather’s ranch—when strange things start happening.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Carolina didn’t know quite what she was getting into when she went with her parents, sister, and brother down to her Grandpa Serge’s sheep ranch. Carol’s skipping out on a whole summer full of having fun with her friends just to help her parents clean out the house, and move the obstinate Serge into a home. Worse, her dad—who spent the last twelve years estranged from his own father—is putting the place up for sale against Grandpa Serge’s will. (more…)


  6. Maschari’s REMARKABLE JOURNEY is a triumph

    February 23, 2016 by Kiersi

    The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price

    Title: THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE

    Author: Jennifer Maschari

    Genre: Fantasy Middle-grade

    Publish date: Febrary 23, 2016

    Blurb: After the death of their mother, Charlie and his sister Imogen discover a secret world where Mom is still alive.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Review:

    I received an ARC of this beautiful little novel in exchange for an honest review, and it is my absolute pleasure to extoll all its many virtues.

    In some ways, CHARLIE PRICE is about grief and mourning. In some ways, it’s about bravery and adventure. And in some ways, it’s about denial, hope, and redemption—and the resilience of the human heart in the face of all of it. Tackling these subjects in the middle-grade sphere can be a challenge, but Maschari writes with incredible wit, humor, and kindness. (more…)


  7. Announcing 2-book deal with Carolrhoda Lab

    February 21, 2016 by Kiersi

    Hot dang, it has been a wild week around here.

    I’ll be posting tomorrow or the next day about what’s going on in QUARTZ CREEK RANCH land, but today, I have a super special announcement to make:

    I’m going to have TWO Young Adult novels published by Carolrhoda Lab!

    Here’s the deal announcement in Publisher’s Weekly:

    Deal text from Publisher's Weekly

    So a little background on these two books, because they both have a story.

    HONOR CODE has some pretty deep roots in my feminist heart, even though the subject was originally Alix’s brainchild. The novel takes place at a private boarding school on the east coast—an elite institution that’s been educating and refining the rich and powerful for over a century. (more…)


  8. Come with tissues for PAPER WISHES

    January 5, 2016 by Kiersi

    Cover of PAPER WISHES

    Title: PAPER WISHES

    Author: Lois Sepahban

    Genre: Historical Middle-grade

    Publish date: January 5, 2016

    Blurb: A moving debut novel about a girl whose family is relocated to a Japanese internment camp during World War II–and the dog she has to leave behind.

    Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

    Review:

    I had the immense privilege of reading an ARC of PAPER WISHES in exchange for my honest review. But I want to warn you before you pick up this book—which you will, if you know what’s good for you—to have a big pile of tissues ready.

    I don’t make these kinds of statements lightly. Over the course of this wee little novel, I sobbed probably five or six times—big, gulping sobs, the kind that sends big, fat, raindrop-tears streaming down your face like Alice about to drown herself. That kind of sobbing. (more…)


  9. Radio Silence and the Hawaiian Escape

    December 12, 2014 by Kiersi

    Hawaiian sunset by Kiersi

    I am completely obsessed with the sunsets here.

    I’ve been quiet on the blog simply because I’ve had a major time crunch these last few weeks and decided to forego my online and social media activities while I prioritized the important stuff. (I know that sounds like, uh, duh, isn’t that what you should always be doing? And the answer is that I’ve been pretty terrible at this in the past and so going quiet was actually a calculated and concerted effort on my part to be a responsible adult with book contracts and clients and her own business so just let me have this okay.)

    Anyhow, things have been really exciting lately, and because I was so responsible the last few weeks (I still managed to re-watch the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender with a buddy, learn to play banjo, and attend like, three concerts, so “responsible” is a very flexible term in my case), I decided I could stop in and talk about some recent amusements. (more…)


  10. My #8TerribleTitles Are Darn Horsey

    November 11, 2014 by Kiersi

    the-sweet-sixteens square

    I’ve been ushered in as a member of a really fabulous group called The Sweet Sixteens, an association of MG and YA authors with debut novels on the slate for publication in 2016. (It’s also a fantastic group blog that I’d recommend you bookmark!)

    Some dastardly devil within the membership of The Sweet Sixteens jumped on a blog hop that’s actually quite hilarious—#8TerribleTitles, where you pick 8 random phrases from your novel or work-in-progress and treat them as if they were the terrible titles of new, weirder novels.

    I was tagged in the hop by fellow Sweet Sixteeners Kathy MacMillan and Erin L. Schneider. (Thanks, ladies!) Here are some other Sweet Sixteens who have posted their #8TerribleTitles (and they are funny!):

    Jeff Zentner (I can’t wait to read #5: KINGS AND PRINCES AND SHIT)

    Ashley Blake (I’M PRETTY DAMN DESPERATE sounds like the True Title of a number of books I’ve already read)

    Jenn Bishop (I’m ready for the new, edgy novel, WE GOTTA GET FOOD NOW)

    Kali Wallace (ANOTHER STUPID MONSTER is the paranormal YA my heart has been begging for)

    Jeff Garvin (I really want to know how Ginny Weasley might alter the plot of SENSE & SENSIBILITY)

     

    My Hilariously Horsey #8TerribleTitles

     

    When I performed this neat little trick on SECOND CHANCE RANCH: SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY, for some totally unexplainable reason, all of my titles ended up incredibly horsey-sounding! I would actually quite like to write a book with the same title as #5. Izzy should totally get her own goofy rom-com when she’s older, with lots of bossing and frizzy hair.

    Without further ado, here are my 8 terrible titles:

    #1: I SAY, A RANCH NEEDS A LOT

    #2: HER APPALOOSA SNOW WHITE

    #3: RUNNING AFTER HIM ON FOOT WAS POINTLESS

    #4: GOING TO BE A LONG, SLOW ROAD

    #5: SOMETHING ABOUT IZZY

    #6: RIGHT UNDER EVERYONE’S NOSES

    #7: BEHIND THE BARN

    #8: TWO FLAKES OF HAY AND A FULL BOWL OF GRAIN

    I’m pretty sure #8 is the horse equivalent of a 5-course, home-cooked meal.

    All right, since I only know a few other Sweet Sixteeners who haven’t yet done the #8TerribleTitles blog hop, I’m going to tag them. So here goes: Nisha Sharma and Melanie Conklin, this is me tagging you!

    Good luck! Have fun!