Friday, August 12, 2011


I'd like to invite any of you who are close enough to Scottsdale to drop by the Barnes and Noble at Shea and Hwy 101 Tuesday night, August 16th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. I'm on a panel about writing romance with the amazing Janette Rallison and Lisa Finder. I'd love to see some of you there. For GPSers, the store's address is 10500 N. 90th St. Scottdale. We're going to chat about our books, read the most romantic scenes, and then answer questions. Feel free to bring daughters and students--anyone you know who loves to write or read.

Okay, if you've just stumbled onto my blog for the first time and haven't read TAKEN BY STORM or you've just read the first book, stop reading now. This post is a massive spoiler. But for those of you who've read the whole saga . . .

Here's some pictures of the Spokane Temple, so you can imagine Michael and Leesie coming out of it--him in a black tux and her in a princess-style wedding dress (with sleeves)!

This first one features me with a really red face. We stopped at the temple and my brother, Dave, took some pictures after I spoke at Tekoa High School. That was so cool. You can see photos of that on my website. Notice, I'm wearing a fringy leather jacket. In my presentation, I shared with the students that I kind of strangled the life out of poor Leesie at first--forcing way too much me into her character. Never a good thing. Then I pull out the jacket and tell them the things I did to change her up so she could grow into a fully-rounded, independent character--gave her long hair that smells like bananas and mangos and a cool suede jacket like one of my son's friends wore. When I was getting ready for my launch tour, I found this jacket on-line. It has turquoise beads that match the front cover. I just had to buy it. My kids were aghast when they saw pictures of me wearing it. "What do you have on?" was the reaction. Oh, well. I still love the jacket.

This next photo is the simply beautiful, amazing photo David took of the Spokane temple at night for me. It fits the scene in the middle of TAKEN BY STORM when Michael and Leesie go to the church dance and wander over to the temple. All it needs is snow falling. 

Dave and his lovely wife, Jennifer, were amazing support when TAKEN BY STORM launched. I don't know what I would have done without them. I am so excited that Jen's book--oh, I mean--Jennifer Shaw Wolf's book, BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, will be out early next year. Your going to love it. It's gripping and heartbreaking. I couldn't put it down. 

Okay, now I need to find some photos of Windy Bay and our old lakefront property. Tune in Monday for that. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Look what I found! With a little help from Google, I found images of Cayman Brac. We visited the Brac before we had digital cameras, so I borrowed a few shots from generous sites around the web. This gives you a feel for the end of the book. Tomorrow I'll share photos re the epilogue.

This is typical Cayman Brac.

The island is made of coral.

This reminds of the resort where we stayed. 

Awesome wreck diving!

Here's the airstrip. We flew there on a tiny plane. The ride back to Grand Cayman was so bumpy the lady behind us was screaming. There were only about eight seats on the plane. The flight there was bigger--a Dash-8 if I remember right.

This is the Bat Caves where I sent Michael and Leesie and friends to ride out the hurricane.  The caves really are the island's hurricane shelter.

This picture shows damage after a hurricane. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back from SCBWI-LA

Sorry to disappear on you last week. I flew over to LA to attend the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators big annual conference. I'll be speaking at Arizona's yearly gathering on October 1st. This year we celebrated SCBWI's 40th Anniversary. Wow, they pulled out all the stops. In three days, I got to listen to Bruce Colville, who spoke about how our work is like throwing a stone into a pond and the ripples move out and change people's lives in unexpected ways, Jerry Pinkney, Libba Bray, Donna Jo Napoli, David Small--who was amazing, I want to read STITCHES now--the legendary Judy Bloom, who was one of SCBWI's first members, Jon Scieszka, as hilarious as his books, Norton Juster, who is celebrating THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH's 50th anniversary, Mary Pope Osborne, creator of the Magic Treehouse series, 3X Newbury winner and industry legend, Gary Paulsen, Richard Peck--always the most elegant speaker, he said, "Unless you find yourself on the page very early in life, you will go looking for yourself in all the wrong places." Amen! And, finally, Laurie Halse Andersen, who quoted T.S. Elliott, "Do I dare disturb the universe?"  Yea. It was quite the weekend.

Here's a few pictures to prove I was really there.

Here I am with SING ME TO SLEEP at the reception they held for published authors attending the conference.

Dessert at the 40th Anniversary Golden Kite Award Luncheon. 

Here's my agent, Erzsi Deak, on the far right, with a couple of my coop-mates. Ann Jacobus, the lovely blonde on the left, writes original, gut-wrenching YA. I hope you get to read some of it soon. She and Erzsi put on the Sequester at the royal abbey north of Paris where I met my editor! 

Here I am--closing my eyes like I did in all the other pictures--with Barbara Younger, another  writer at with Hen & Ink. She's published over 20 books with Abbingdon Press. 

That's Richard Peck--take my word for it. It's really is him. 
I know I owe you final pictures from CAYMAN SUMMER. And I've got a TAKEN BY STORM out-take that I haven't shared before. Tune in tomorrow. Thanks for your patience. 

I've heard from most of the contest winners. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Prizes will be in the mail before the end of the week! I was hoping the trailer for CAYMAN SUMMER would be done by now, but alas. No such luck.