Where on earth did 2015 go?? The year FLEW by. But we didn't want to let it end without saying hello once again to all our readers. We've got some fun news to share ~ we're finally on Facebook! Can you believe it?
We'd be thrilled if you'd visit and Like our page so you can join in the fun, and if you enjoy our content, maybe even Share with your FB pals. The more the merrier. *g* We'll be sharing news from the world of kids books and lots of funny stuff, too. Here's the link:
Hope to see you there! In other exciting developments, we've been invited by the powers-that-be at Amazon to participate this month in the first-ever KDP Kids Author Roundtable media event in New York City. We'll be on a select panel of top-selling kidlit indie authors. We're so excited about this! It's at a fancy hotel near the NY City Library, so you know we'll be stopping there! Can't wait to see the Big Apple all dressed up for the holidays.
And speaking of holidays, all you kids and kids-at-heart, don't forget about the extra fun to be had at two of December's pre-Christmas holidays, courtesy of the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.
Leave your shoes out for St. Nick's Day on Dec. 6! If you've been good, AND I'M SURE YOU HAVE, Sinterklaas will leave you a small prezzie to get you warmed up for Christmas. But I say if you're feeling greedy, try leaving out your boots instead. They can fit more! Of course, I'm not sure if I would want to get edible gifts that sat in a pair of stinky shoes all night, though... On Dec. 13 comes the always-charming St. Lucy's or Santa Lucia Day. If a little girl in your life has a "burning" desire (haha) to wear a Santa Lucia crown and deliver treats to elderly shut-ins for the occasion, guess what, they make them now with battery-operated LED candles, or you can craft one yourself out of construction paper or felt!
For us, December also means our End-of-the-Year Reading Wrap-up. This year, it seems like I had so much focus on changes in my career writing for adults that there wasn't much time for reading kidlit. In fact, I only just found my personal top pick for the year: Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud.
OMG, I love this book so much! I've been raving about it everywhere. Stroud has created my ideal kind of read--funny yet spooky, with lots of suspenseful twists, amazing world-building, and absolutely GREAT characters. If I were twelve, I would have a huge crush on the dashing Antony Lockwood, and narrator Lucy is a great strong heroine. The series is now three books in (I believe) and I can't wait to read them all. BTW, the rather bland back cover blurb from the publisher does not do Stroud's clever writing justice. Trust me, this book rocks!
Next up on my TBR pile is one I've been dying to get to: Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories, Book 1: The Wishing Spell. And then--Lord willing!--I will finally dive into the Ranger's Apprentice series.
Here's Eric with his Top Pick for the year and what's next on his TBR (to be read) pile! What do you think, E?
E: Well... I read a lot of books for adults this year, mostly Thrillers. I won't consider those for this blog. I also re-read the Harry Potter books. Book 3, PRISONER OF AZKABAN, continues to be my favorite Harry Potter book (as well as movie). It's quite playful, not too heavy, and extremely well written. Aside from the Harry Potter books, because let's face it, they're hard to compete with, I think my favorite read this year is the book I'm reading right now. It's called CITY OF BONES (The Mortal Instruments, Book 1). It's YA, not middle grade, so it's more for the 14 and up crowd. CITY OF BONES is a fun, paranormal, urban fantasy. It drew me right in from the beginning with cool characters, exciting action, scary demons, and lots of intrigue. The writing is smooth and the pacing is super-fast. There are six books in the series. So, I intend to keep going and see if the books continue to hold my interest. I'll keep you posted...
So what about you guys? What books made it onto your short list for Top Pick of the year? And what will you be reading next?